There are certain activities that can be done at any time, but when the conditions are just right: Perfection. Skiing is one of those activities. A picnic is another. And the one I'm thinking about now, in preparation for Zimman's Customer Appreciation Sale this Sunday, is shopping for fabric.
Maybe these guidelines are going to make me sound crazy. But hey, it's what I've picked up from personal experience and maybe you can relate. Maybe you even have your own tips to add to the list. Please do!
Here goes (Note: I peppered the list with photos of textiles that I've been enjoying lately. They don't have anything to do with the actual guidelines):
1) Know your needs. Not specifics in terms of color or print, but in terms of projects. I get so overwhelmed when I get to the store that half of my plans quickly exit my brain. It helps me to make a list of what I have going on.
2) Bring fabric and paint samples from your current projects/rooms. Pictures too, if applicable. I've started bringing fabric samples from pretty much every room in my house (umm, all four of them!). That way, if I encounter a fabric that screams "bedroom pillow," I can do a quick check to make sure the fabric truly fits.
3) I study photos of my favorite rooms before I go. I don't bring them with me, because I don't want to feel limited and like I have to copy them exactly. But looking at my favorite rooms helps my decor ideals stay top of mind, and that's a good condition to be in when you're looking at hundreds of bolts (or swatches) of fabric.
4) Dress carefully. For me, wearing a brightly colored sweater will influence the colors and patterns I'm drawn to. Like if I was shopping for fabrics in the light blue and gray families, I wouldn't wear green. I would see clashing colors everytime I held out my arm, and it would affect how I feel about the selection. This works in the reverse, too. If a red T-shirt casually tossed on the bed inspires me to find a red fabric for a new pillow, I might just wear that very red shirt to the fabric store. Do you see what I'm saying?
5) Here's my fifth and final tip: NO HANGNAILS! That should be a guideline for everyday life, but it should be doubly enforced while shopping for fabric. Choosing fabric is often just as much about the feel as it is about the look, and who can say a fabric feels nice when it has pulled a hangnail? So yes, I'm saying that I recommend a good manicure before fabric shopping. In a neutral color, of course.
Have you seen this lady? She holds the world record for the longest fingernails. Thirty-four inches of gross, times 10. (I just noticed her rings. I wonder how she puts them on? Someone must help her with that. Ew.)