Monday, March 3, 2014

Geek-end Getaway

Two weeks ago, I went away for a long-anticipated weekend to Palm Springs with my friend Jeanne. (I have to plug an amazing performance she gave recently with Eddie Vedder -- ever wondered how Julie Andrews would sound singing The Rolling Stones "Shattered"? Click HERE and wonder no longer.) We had been plotting our escape for months and had finally managed to coordinate the schedules of our respective husbands and sons so that we could slip away for thirty six hours and indulge ourselves.

"You all ready for our geek-end getaway?" Jeanne asked as I loaded my bags into the car.

Geek-end getaway

I had been wondering what to call it. Instead of bathing suits, sandals and embroidered caftans, our suitcases were loaded with laptops, iPads, digital writing tablets, creative manifestos (this, this and this), and our comfiest clothes.

Our dream weekend had nothing to do with yoga, mountain hikes, massages or mani-pedis -- and everything to do with recharging our brain cells.

This was going to be a learning vacation. Our goals?

~Inspire each other creatively
~Provide each other with constructive feedback on personal projects
~Trade sources of inspiration (What books/magazines/music/videos were obsessing us?)
~Learn new apps (Which ones could we not live without?)
~Brainstorm without limits

Heck, if we were really on a roll, we might not even leave the room until Sunday checkout. (We didn't.)

Two of my favorite discoveries from that weekend?

1. The Noteshelf app ($5.99) which lets you create amazing layouts and collages just like the ones you see in design magazines like Domino and Lonny -- great for people like me who don't have Photoshop. 

You can create your own little notebooks from the covers provided or do like I did and upload photos from the internet to make your own custom ones. (I found some good old book covers HERE.)

Here's one of my books devoted to collages of favorite fabrics and patterns. I find that putting them together like this is a super helpful way of seeing what works together and what doesn't.

Here's another book I made to explore an embroidery series I've been working on. Noteshelf makes it super easy to choose the kind of paper you like, upload photos, add text and draw. Bonus: They have good type fonts like Gill Sans and Bodoni (the two I used below). Type fonts make a HUGE difference in giving personality and character to a layout.

Here's another one I made for various random ideas.

2. The other app I am absolutely in love with is Procreate ($5.99) It lets you sketch, paint, draw and create virtually anything you can imagine. I could go on and on about this app -- it's intuitive, easy to learn (be sure to download the free user guide) and as simple or advanced as you want it to be. I can't see myself ever getting tired of it.

And it has one specific feature I'm crazy about: It lets you write directly over a photo. You know, like Garance Doré does.

Remember the post I did last week with all those hand-drawn titles over the pictures? I made them all with Procreate. I just uploaded my photos, chose the style of "pen" I wanted, and drew right onto the iPad with my finger.

The upshot of our geek-end getaway? 
Brains were stormed, ideas were generated and the groundwork for great future projects was laid. 

Here's a photo I snapped of the hotel as we were leaving on Sunday -- it was the first time I'd seen the grounds since check-in. I bet it's a lovely place to spend some time outdoors. 
(Colony Palms Hotel,  2/9/14.)

Next time.

“For my belief is that if we have five hundred a year and a room of our own; if we have the habit of freedom and the courage to write exactly what we think; if we escape a little from the common sitting-room and see human beings not always in their relation to each other but in relation to reality…then the opportunity will come and [we] will be born.”

~Virginia Woolf 


Pamela Terry and Edward said...

"... the habit of freedom.."
Dear Virginia.
I've always loved that phrase.

katy gilmore said...

Oh thanks Lisa - so much fun to see your friend's moment as Julie Rolling Stones Andrews!
And thank you for your always generous sharing of creative possibilities. I'm glad you had such a wonderful weekend away!xo

Unknown said...

Hi there. Wonderful inspiration, as always. Can you identify the fabric or paper on the bottom right of your collage that looks like a map? Many thanks.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Actually that is a map! It's London in the 1700's.

Unknown said...

Ah, no wonder it is so lovely!

Terra said...

I like your brain storming fest with your dear friend and those are pretty book covers. The grounds are so gorgeous I would have meandered outside. I am writing a gardening book so that would be considered research. I can see you came up with many fabulous ideas.

S@sha said...

Rake's must be trending on my blog feed today. First I read this, with you witty embroidery plan, and then I see a print made by David Hockey upon his move to New York on Ben Pentreath's blog. Do you read him? Lovely posts about London all the time.

Frances said...

It's grand of you to share these brainstorming fruits with your readers. There is always so much more to learn...makes life full and interesting. Curiosity is the key.

Best wishes.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

One can never go wrong with a little Virginia Woolf.

materfamilias said...

You make that look so cool that I've just downloaded the app! At that price, it's a very accessible inspiration to play -- thanks!

Unknown said...

I love your business card. Also, thanks for the WATERLOGUE app suggestion. Got it and love it!
The idea of creative getaway with girlfriend is so great. One of my fav PS places to stay.

Unknown said...

I love your business card. Also, thanks for the WATERLOGUE app suggestion. Got it and love it!
The idea of creative getaway with girlfriend is so great. One of my fav PS places to stay.

Jeanne Henriques said...

Thank you Lisa...I am addicted to Apps (not healthy) but I love them all the same. Today I went to the gym, ran Map My Walk for distance, Argus to count my steps and Heart Rate to check my heart rate. This was quite a feat when I switched from outdoors to the treadmill and tried to take my heart rate. I think a FItBit would solve all my problems. Can't wait to check out your are fab, thank you!
Sending you warm wishes from Saigon..
Jeanne ;)

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That photo at the end is gorgeous! Love your blog. Ashley

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Unknown said...

Thank you Lisa for sharing these amazing apps, which I got after reading your post-----if you write that they are amazing that is all I need to know . And you are right----they are fantastic. Thank you and hope you are soon back in NYC, Howard

Painting the hamptons said...

Thank you for sharing your ideas. You are such an inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Great post and my admiration of Jeanne Tripplehorn has now increased tenfold. That video was awesome in the extreme.

Unknown said...

Jeanne's 'Julie Andrews' cover of "Shattered" made my day. Thank you for this amazing post. I am a HUGE fan of "A Bloomsbury Life" - what joy, insight, and life you breathe into your stories!

debbie bailey said...

Brilliant video! Your posts are always so stimulating and fun!

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JudyMac said...

Aha! I see you've discovered Stefan Zweig. I'm not far behind you on the trail. :-) The tips I pick up from A Bloomsbury Life and other blog postings continue to be great finds.

Slim Paley said...

Hi Lisa!
I recently discovered Noteshelf too and love it!! I will definitely check out "Procreate" next, based on your rec.
Thank you, as always!

PS. WHEN is your book coming out?!


kim at northerncalstyle. said...

What a fun idea a geekend! Love it. Cool things you found.Some wonderful apps here. I can't wait to try the collage one. Thanks for sharing Lisa!

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dramamama said...

This is a great post! I want to recreate such a weekend myself! What digital writing tablet do you use?

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