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The Trendsetters & the Quest for Beauty

Publisher's Note: Home & Garden Issue 2012

by Lisa Burwell

It has been said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder but, alas, for years, a select handful have been defining what is beautiful and fashionable as they gently (or not so gently) nudge mass opinion along to their way of thinking: architects, artists, fashion designers, writers—these are all trendsetters. What would the world be like without the creativity of these few who have something new to design, paint, wear, or say?

Beautifying your life can seem like an insatiable quest for the Holy Grail, but it can be an enjoyable journey, too. Committing to a daily routine for balance and a sense of well-being is not a new idea. Feng shui (wind-water), a practice based on the Taoist understanding of nature and the balance and energy of a given space, has been around for three thousand years. In my own quest for a more beautiful life, I’ve found that little things can mean a lot—a new paint color for a favorite room, a new garden area in the backyard, fresh flowers for the dinner table, taking time to marvel at a sunset, or just offering kind words to a neighbor. Anything and everything can make a big difference in having a beautiful life. Philippians 4:8, one of my favorite scriptures, seems to exemplify this:


“. . .whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely. . .think about such things.”


Opinions of both outer and inner beauty have never been more center stage in the Western culture than they are today. Sharing these opinions is almost an art form. Or would that be platform? Posting photos—of family and friends, a new dress, a do-it-yourself project—is now part of life’s everyday flow of consciousness on social marketing platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and blogs. Of late, a new genre of posting quotes has emerged on all the web-based social platforms—quotes from authors, philosophers, the Bible, famous (or infamous) people, and everyone in between. They are usually uplifting and inspirational and communicate messages of hope and enlightenment. In all, that’s a lot of molding (and nudging) to define what is beautiful. A collective consciousness seems to organically take shape on these platforms, and to some degree, because of it, we’ve all become trendsetters as we influence those within our sphere.


So, when thinking about what we wanted to express in our second Home and Garden issue, we decided we simply wanted to delve deeper into the art of living.

Speaking of which, art is the oldest expression of beauty. In this issue, we feature the work of Justin Gaffrey, as he continues to evolve and explore new territory with his talent; Teresa Cline’s breathtaking new HORSE series, the proceeds of which benefit Alaqua Animal Refuge; and the quirky but powerfully thought-provoking art of Justin Lyons.  Thus, in presenting this issue, I am confident that VIE is enriching the lives of our readers. To behold. To think. To be inspired.

To a beautiful life!

— Lisa


— V —

May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day. May songbirds serenade you every step along the way. May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that's always blue. And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through. —Old Irish Blessing

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