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SUNDAY STORIES by Lisa Haukom 12.04.22

Updated: Dec 25, 2022

Your dose of Sunday Stories to feed your head and inspire your heart. This week: Inspiration, Boys on the Side & the Death of Instagram

It is finally feeling cozy here in the Pacific Northwest. I have to don gloves to walk the dogs and our gorgeous maple tree in the front yard is officially naked. It's time to think about resets and fresh starts. This brings me to something I've been struggling with lately, an abundance of too many good things. All the ideas, all the possible paths to explore — and no clear direction through it all. It occurred to me you may be feeling the same way this time of year. Or you may have the opposite but equally paralyzing feeling, of withering creative reserves. Either way, this issue is for you.

When I have the opportunity to interview other creatives for the blog, one of my favorite questions to ask is about inspiration. Specifically how they stay inspired and motivated, especially on the days when they aren't quite feeling it. I've curated a round-up of their top tips and favorite resources for you below, along with my method and philosophy for motivation, inspiration, and creativity.

Staying inspired has never really been an issue for me. My problem is having too many ideas and a desire to experience them all at once. It also helps that I'm finally, after many careers, doing what I love. Often working weekends and late into the night to feed all of my passions: writing, photography, food, and interior design — it feels like there aren't enough hours in the day, or lifetimes for that matter, to experience everything.

While I'm excellent at minimizing distractions and being productive when focused on a clear direction, my methods could use refinement. Despite my resolve, my creative process can be scattered, finding inspiration and ideas everywhere; a menu item, typography on a sign, or an eye-catching color story in a magazine. I'll track and take note of every single one, jotting down an idea to style and photograph in my many journals, or pinning inspirational images to Pinterest. Magazines are torn up and wedged between the pages of books and...speaking of books! My family is mortified by my treatment of books, viewing my habit of writing in the margins and ripping out pages, as a sacrilege akin to scribbling on the furniture. Not exactly the most precise tracking method.

How about you? Where do you fall on the spectrum — or maybe you are a bit of both? Reply and spill. I'm here for all of it.




We are delighted to share Self Portrait Studio member Michel Van Devender with you this week! We all strive to turn our aspirations and creative goals into what we can sustainably do every day. The dream is to have full intention, working on what most inspires us. Charlotte North Carolina-based Michel Van Devender, blogger, stylist, design junkie, home renovator, and artist shares how she has grasped the reins of her creativity. On her blog, Michel Van Devender shares a brand full of creative inspiration, thick with sophistication and free spirit.

In our interview, Michel explains, "There’s a lot of discipline and showing up that plays into creativity. Believing inspiration and motivation will always hit before you can start may be a bit of a myth." She also shares her advice for starting down the path of creativity, "We are ALL creative in some way. I have people tell me all the time they aren’t creative. That’s a bullshit narrative! I think creativity is a mindset and a practice… a lifestyle." Read the full interview below.


Music is often my creative muse. Now find all my favorites on the website. Pick one that delights you or choose what I'm listening to in the studio this month. Subscribe.


I cannot underestimate the importance of finding novel stimuli and experiencing new environments, ideas, and people. Especially people, one of my favorite sources of inspiration. I'll often dive into a biography or road trip to a nearby town taking in a pretty walk around the city. I love great design, and if you look around, it’s everywhere. From a funky old sign to flea markets —beauty can be found in the most obscure objects. When I feel burnout on the way, I know it’s time to expand my immediate world and get inspired elsewhere. It works every time.


Weekly visual inspiration and moodboards.

This week's theme is a sense of place. That feeling of being magically transported back in time to a very specific memory and feeling. For me, a sense of place is a mix of escapism and sentimentality. It can come from books, music, and movies. For you, it might be textures, scents, or food.

This week's theme is a sense of place. That feeling of being magically transported back in time to a very specific memory and feeling.

I remember the first time I read Francis Mayes 1996 book Under the Tuscan Sun. I was crushed when the story ended and promptly started from the beginning again to keep the feeling flowing. I delayed watching the movie when it came out, not wanting to ruin the perfection of her writing.

Boys on the Side also give me a very specific sense of place, watching it with friends I love most, the ones who know me best. The soundtrack still tugs at my heartstrings and the song Willow will forever bring tears to my eyes. So this week we have a sweet homage to friendship and plenty of photo inspiration with vintage Drew. Enjoy xoxo.

Photographers Choice.

Extra flair for your week. Click below to visit. xoxo L.

In LOVE with my Marinière Stripe Tee from Lacson Ravello. Click for 20% off your order.

Obsessed with Nancy Meyers Interiors? We are too.

Want even more? I thought so. I made you a moodboard too.

Vryao incense in Verdant is perfect for those hard to buy for girlfriends.

Rebranding mid-life. Love the movement, hate the fact that it's not already normalized.

If you're in NYC for the holidays please send photos of this installation.

If you don't have a website and email list, here's your motivation.

Your Q's.

Q. When you’re not curating, designing, or photographing, how do you spend your time? What’s your favorite way to veg out??

A. I'm not sure I ever entirely veg out or switch off, except when I am sleeping. I'm always doing something, even when sitting still. I am eternally curious about everything and love new experiences. I read a lot, and by reading I mean listening to Audible books while walking, cooking, or tidying up the house. I love to go the flea market and farmer’s markets on the weekends and then cook a big meal with friends and family. I love to putter around the house, rearrange the furniture on a whim, or re-paint a room. This weekend I'm playing with wallpaper and peel & stick floor tiles!


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