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I'm back from four wonderful days with some of my favorite people in the world!

We went on a walk at Dumbarton Oak Gardens, which was quite lovely! Very humid and hot, but lovely.



Still, my favorite view was the top photo.😉

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Treat yourself, cause you deserve it!

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Another phase closer!



The wood floor is almost an industrial grade wood, often used in old factories or warehouses. It fit the budget and I actually love the color variations!


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Instantly inspired.

I was a late bloomer to Instagram, but I must say, I love it. It's a quick way to see what some of my favorite people are up to, visually. Sometimes it's enough to just log onto their page and glance, without even strolling down the page. Like a quick injection of visual vitamins!
My Instagram page from this morning:


Here are a few examples from my Instagram travels this morning...









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Esther is feeling so much better!!

Thank you all for the love and concern you have showered upon us! It must have made a big difference because Esther is doing remarkably well!!
She is happy to see us and any guest who comes by, she has started showing her tail in the up position and she is happy to roll over for belly rubs. Understandably she is nervous and unhappy when we go outside, particularly when she sees other dogs. I'm not sure what can be done about that, we hope she will regain confidence. In the meantime it's a great joy to see her more energetic and funny.
In the photo Esther is standing still, frozen, will not move as long as the doughnut is around her neck. She HATES it, so we don't use it much and instead try to watch over her to make sure she doesn't get to the staples...



Esther, Reid, Nina and I send our love and gratitude!💗💗💗

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Poor Esther, it's not right!

Yesterday morning Reid took Esther to our local dog park. Truth be told, we are not big fans of the park because there is no separation between the big dogs and the little ones, but Esther mainly stays to herself and likes running around. Reid was throwing a stick for her to fetch. He threw the stick and she sprinted to get it. At the same time another dog came running from a different direction, pounced on Esther, pinned her down, grinding her face into the mulch, and went for her neck. Reid was quick to respond, grabbed the big dog (40 lbs to Esther's 14lbs), and pulled him off of Esther. He then picked her up and headed right out of the park and brought her home. By the time she got home she had blood all over her neck, bites and bruises all over her neck and she was obviously in shock. We got into the car and took her to the emergency vet.
She will be fine but needs round the clock care for the next few days.

The whole time I can hear Esther say: why? what did I do? I was just minding my own business? She has a look on her face that to me says: but I didn't do anything, why was I hurt?

This is the second time Esther has been attacked, out of the blue, by bigger dogs. I'm not happy right now! Everybody better lay off of our sweet Esther!


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This much I know!

Our house is coming along, I finally feel connected to it, it seems like it may be the place we will live in. All the drywall is completed, next week they will begin putting in the wood floor and the tiles. Here are some of my choices for tiles:
This tile is called Puzzle. It is a cement tile and has a earthy look to it.  It comes in boxes with 6 different tiles as shown in the photo below. Then you lay them out in whatever design you want. You can see a sample of a dining room with the these tiles. They will be in the area between the wall of cabinets and the island, sort of like an area rug. 


The bathrooms are going to have white tiles. I had all sorts of plans for color but somehow price and area constraints led me to white. We will have pattern though. The photo below is of the wall tile. The tile is a chevron shape so we will play with the options shown in the photos below.


The powder room will be more dramatic. I am going with a cement tile, (a leaf pattern), and will paint the walls in a dark aubergine or dark blue. The faucet is the one shown below.

The other item I am excited about is a piece of furniture for the kitchen/dining nook. This will be alongside the modern kitchen cabinets we chose, and will give the kitchen a warmth and interesting vibe.

So, that's what I know so far.


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"Saudade", melancholy.

There are times when you should not say a word. Just let the artist speak:

Joana Choumali writes:

The pictures were shot with my iphone, 3 weeks after the terrorrist attacks I chose to use my iphone instead of my DSLR camera to capture people discreetly. They don' t know that they are photographed, so their attitude is natural. I took the pictures as if i was doing a scan of the city.
It took me one month to embroider the pictures as i was sick with malaria and also "sick of all this nonsense"..
This series is a way to cope with my own sadness and a way to witness the (denied) traumatism of people living there.
Bassam is my refuge, the place i go to unwind and to be by myself. At one hour drive from Abidjan, Bassam is a place full of history, a quiet and peaceful little town. Bassam reminds me of insouciance, my wedding family lunch, all these childhood sunday afternoons i used to spend with my loved ones on this same beach where the attacks took place.. To me, Bassam was a synonym of happiness, until that day.
3 weeks after the attacks, the atmosphere of the little town changed.. The sadness is everywhere. A "saudade", some kind of melancholy invaded the town.
Most of the pictures show empty places, and people by themselves, walking in the streets or just standing, sitting alone, lost in their thoughts. "ça va aller" means "it will be ok" . This typical ivorian expression is used for everything, even for situations that are not going to be ok.
This work is a way to address the way ivorian people deal with psychological suffering.
In Côte d ' Ivoire, people do not discuss their psychological issues, or feelings. A post-traumatic choc is often considered as weakness or a mental disease. People hardly talk about their feelings, and each conversation is quickly shortened by a resigned " ça va aller".
The attacks re-opened the mental wounds left by the post electoral war of 2011.

Each stitch was a way to recover, to lie down the emotions, the loneliness, and mixed feelings i felt.




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Just things and stuff

I hate it when a blog I enjoy following goes silent. That is usually followed by an apology which often is followed by another silence. I'm not going to do that. Apologizing may be bad karma in this instance so know that I am aware and feel bad about not writing in awhile and that even though I have been sick, nasty sick, that's no excuse and I'm not apologizing, even if I am really sorry for disappearing.

One of the great joys of my work has been the design class I am teaching online. What a fantastic group of stitchers! More than anything I admire their courage and am thankful for their willingness to go off on this strange journey with me. Not knowing exactly where I will take them, but coming anyway, is something I am very grateful for. We started back at the beginning of February and only now are we taking needle to canvas! We have been designing, and working hard, but only now are we going to see how it all comes together.

I  found a few more watercolor creations that I thought I'd share with you here. These are from a few weeks ago.




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©Orna Willis
All images, text, and content on this site are the sole property of Orna Willis and may not be used, copied or transmitted without the express consent of Orna Willis. Any other inquiries please email me at orna@ornadesign.com

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