a girl, a guy, a tomato, a bean, and a bear

Friday, July 10, 2009

Right up my alley

I may be way behind on discovering this, but I've just found this cool website, polyvore.com for creating collages from images and text around the web. It seems it is used primarily for fashion and interior design collages, but I can many other creative applications. It has a great user interface and a bookmark you can add to your link bar so that any image found on the web can be easily clipped while on that site for use in a collage. For years now I've kept clippings from magazines and websites, but have always struggled for the best way to organize them. I've printed them out and put the in page protected binders, I've created inspiration bulletin boards, I've archived them through my amazon.com wishlist and my tumblr or here on my blog.

The thing I like so much about polyvore is that you're able to quickly resize, rearrange, bring to the forefront or send to the back any image in the set. You can of course do this sort of thing in photoshop, but it takes more time as that's not photoshop's sole function, as in polyvore. Bighugelabs.com has a neat collage feature, but they automatically crop and scale images, and sometimes the result leaves something to be desired.

I'm already excited by the possibilities for this tool as a way of visualizing a set of items. Back in March, there was a sale at DWR that nearly made me lose my mind in a frenzy of I need a dining table RIGHT NOW. I know I am susceptible to the urgency of a limited time "good deal" and so I was able to regain my sanity before I acted rashly. I like to comparsion shop, and sometimes it's hard to get a good idea about your options unless you can see them side by side. For example, with the tables, viewing them next to one another makes it easy to find strengths and weaknesses--i.e. I like the legs on this one, but prefer this other color, etc. With polyvore I can add images of chairs too to mix and match potentials there as well.

As we get ready for our big move, part of the preparation has been in selling some of our old things to clean house and pare down our possesions. I don't want to drag around a bunch of stuff I don't love, even if I'm not the one physically doing the dragging. Doing this, I've realized how much my tastes have changed over the past 4 years. As a 22 year old, I had no idea what kind of things I would really use when setting up a wedding registry, and thus many things I thought we really needed, we haven't used at all. For instance, we registered for a beautiful pattern of fine china and have used it maybe on two occasions. It's a lovely pattern, but I'm not convinced it was the best choice for our needs. I assembled our living room here piece by piece with no real plan, and it shows. Now, I like an ecclectic style in design, but there are certain pieces and colors that mix and match better than others. The more I look at images, the more I learn, and I think I've finally internalized the fact that decorating is a process, not something I should expect to do all at once. Of course, Justin lovingly shakes his head at all of this--from the satisfaction I get from comparing tables to my fickle nature and the difficulty I sometimes have making decisions.

Anyway, all that is to say, I think that polyvore will be a useful tool to help me visualize and catalogue ideas. Feel free to weigh in on the things that I post, to help me see flaws in my logic or point out things you like too!

Canopy Beds

Here's my first quick mock up. So...we already have a bed. It's a sleigh bed we bought in Oklahoma for cheap after we were married and it's perfectly functional. It's totally fine. And I want a different one. I've told myself that after I work on getting things we really need (like a dining table), in a few years I can replace our bed with a new one. Lately I've been really into canopy beds, and these are a few I've really been taken by. Unfortunately, my favorite one (bottom center by Niermann Weeks) is sold only to "the trade," meaning designers, and the selling price to me would be in the range of $8,000. Yeah.....How do I always gravitate to the most expensive possible choice?


Kathy said...

I think that it is in the genes! I always seem to pick out the most expensive house to check out. Martin reminds me that it is a known fact that I have expensive taste! I think that is better than being cheap ... but I still am unable to afford my "favorite"!
Aunt Kathy

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