YouTube Channel Launch

I’m launching my YouTube Channel Simply Dezigned and I wanted you to see it for yourselves. Now I can do videos for a parent to share with their child or for the child to see and do themselves. Thanks for being a part of the family of Simply Dezigned…..more stuff to come. Keep watching!!

“Remember, be Always Artistically and creatively focused and live life beautifully for God.”

Lifestyle Enthusiast


Okay, guys, it would be the right thing to welcome you to my site and tell you what wonderful things I have planned for you….and I do….but the honest truth is I’m gonna be slowly learning and researching with you as I go along with the process.  What’s my site all about?  You will be looking at a Lifestyle Enthusiast, Creative Guru, who will be combining, culture, history, art and beauty all in one.  You will get a little education, a little culture, a little history and beautiful art and it’s all for children because they need it the most in this country.

Sounds exciting?  It does to me and I can’t wait to set it up and show you what you’ll love.

Bon Appetit is usually used in cooking, break a leg in show business and now…..Carpe diem for living this life beautifully, building a new world and new life for our children.

Thanks for joining me on this ride!  Remember:  “Always be artistically and creatively focused and live life beautifully for God.”  



Click below to see more products:

Simply Dezigned Designs by Renee

Living life, Not Wasting it!

I attempt to pass on information that will ignite conversation and help with understanding that it has become crucial for change in the African American Community.  This video explains how technology is changing the game plan.

When I was teaching, I was told from an African American, that I was treating my students like they were in a private school….and I almost lost my professionalism at this comment but I realized that most of us don’t understand that education is THE passport to growth and change or should I say learning is a passport to better including creating wealth and opportunity.  Because of this, I decided to start a business that can help address the issue as much as I possibly can.

As well, In an attempt to bring culture, art, history and significance to our children I have created products to help in that vain.  Check out my site: Simply Dezigned, Simple Elegance for Children and leave your thoughts, like me or purchase something for your child’s bedroom to help optimize their education.

Thanks for listening and be “Always Artistically and Creatively Focused, and Live Life Beautifully for God.”

#4 of 7 Encourage children to read for pleasure and participate in the arts

“Limit TV and other screen time in order to make room for creative activities like rehearsing a play, learning to draw, reading every book written by a favorite author.”   BY CHRISTINE CARTER | SEPTEMBER 16, 2008 The Greater Good Magazine

Children should be and can be read to as early as 8 months to 1 year old.  Even though they don’t understand the language at 8 months, they get used to hearing sounds and may even learn to speak earlier because of this.  Research backs this up:

“And once your baby arrives, reading to your newborn is a must. Your baby won’t understand your words, but hearing your voice stimulates an interest in sounds and helps him develop listening skills. Plus, no matter what your baby’s age, reading together is a great opportunity for cuddling and bonding.”  Reading to your baby | BabyCenter

In the early months, hold your baby close and read, talk and sing to her. By 36 months of age, your baby will start to enjoy looking at mirrors and pictures of faces, shapes, colours. She will begin to make sounds, reach out and touch the pictures. Choose books with interesting pictures and textures.  Fischer Price ToysArt Institute

Here are is a link to an African American Book Publisher that you can purchase for baby KaZoom Kids iStoryBooks or you can always visit your public library for story hour or to get books. Here is a link: Guide to More Great African American Children’s Books Rand, Donna and a link to Children Book Authors  Meet the Authors.

For the arts, there are several places you can take your child to for free classes.  The Art Institute Offers Family Day with free art classes for child(ren) and parents. The Artist Studio at the Art Institute.

#3 of 7 Ways to Foster Creativity: Allow kids the freedom and autonomy to explore their ideas and do what they want creatively. Don’t create choice for them all the time!

I believe that sometimes we want our children to conform so much to what we believe will make them successful in society, that we tend to create fear.  What I mean is that we want to control every factor of baby-child-kid-girl-161593.jpegtheir behaviour so they don’t or won’t get in trouble.  I believe this is a hold-up from slavery and an apparently racist society who has always found something negative about our children and our race.  However, that can be the wrong approach.  I understand fears and belief systems but we are living in such an advanced technological society that those “old” ways are npexels-photo-730807.jpego longer working.  We have become the dinosaurs of the types of behaviour and thinking that needs to change if we want our children to progress through this maze of racism, fear thinking and acting.

I am not advocating that we teach our children to be rebellious and riot or tear things down, but I am suggesting an overhaul in how they see themselves as compared to what society tries to or attempts to make them believe they are.  This process can only truly happen by letting them overcome their fears of self, society and others through the process of allowing them the freedom to choose wisely.  Of course, you would set up the parameters for those choices, but at least they will feel like they have some say so.  When you start this process early, children become much more equipped to make positive, good decisions when they become adults.

How is this done?  By giving them the freedom to just be.  It may appear contradictory on the surface but if you look further, you will understand what I am saying.  Some par1ents allow their children too much freedom and others don’t allow enough.  The key is to give enough freedom with boundaries.  In other words, allow kids to explore and stop trying to control the outcome.  Of course, it is important to state that what they are exploring should be a constructive and not destructive element.  Freedom is not the license to do whatever one wants, it is the ability to explore in an environment of stability and support.

What does this have to do with creativity?  Remember creativity at the deepest level is just problem-solving.  If you let children figure out things for themselves, you’re building their ability to see life from different perspectives, (creatively) thus they have more understanding to solve problems and to make better choices.  This behaviour can become the way in which they view the world and challenges.  It is a healthy outlook.  Yes, values and beliefs matter too but knowledge of how our values play out and operate in real life is what I seek to find answers to.

If they get into a complex situation or problem, let them deal with the consequences or find out how to make a decision to change the problem.  Offer them choices but not solutions.  When we teach children they have a choice, they then begin to try and create problem-solving scenarios around those choices.  In other words, these are my limits…what do I want to happen good or bad.  Enough choice and consequence and they begin to see that their freedom and choice is dependent upon them, not external people or circumstances.

In a business environment, they are able to find solutions, problem solve and create a place in the world for them even in an environment of constant change and racism.  In other words, theypexels-photo-355952.jpeg know how to think and they know who they are because they have been allowed to explore options.

Take away those options and most children believe they can only do one thing or go in one direction.

Children need creativity, beauty and a foundation to develop and grow into the beautiful flowers that they can become……minus the sometimes thorny behaviours.

As always, Live life Creatively and Artistically focused and live life beautifully for God.  

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Now let’s go create!!  For Ideas visit the link from Amazon below.  Happy creating.

Amazon Creative Selections

#2 of 7 Ways to Foster Creativity is: Make Your Home a Petri dish for Creativity


Number 2 of 7 Ways to Foster Creativity is: Make your home a Petri dish for creativity. In addition to creative spaces, you need to foster a creative atmosphere.


A Vacant Lot Renewal–and a space for children.

Sounds good but how do you do that?  I can help you with this one.  I believe atmosphere is everything.  When my children were younger, I created a space for them to play and create.  They didn’t always use it, but it was there.  In that space, I had educational and non-educational toys, games, books, music and any and everything to help imagination to flourish.

Did it help?  Of course, it did.  The oldest is great with styling and fashion and the youngest gives me great ideas for my ideas.  I’m working on them, still, as adults to utilize that creativity every day.  They make small attempts to use their creativity but the biggest issue is being confident in its use.   Unfortunately, they are fearful of appearing different or of straying from their own culture and roots.

Acting silly is a part of creativity.

As much as I had it around them, they didn’t see enough of it around them in school and community to feel safe and confident to use it.  Although I’m an educator, I fought hard for African American children in the system I was in just to give them a great experience of learning, creativity, and productivity with limited resources.

Creativity in our community, as a whole, is thought to be only for those of us who are talented in art, music, dance or song.  That’s a big misnomer.  Creativity is an altogether different entity.  What do I mean by that?  Creativity is the ability to imagine and make that imagination become a reality.  Thus, it can be used in any industry, profession or discipline.  Creativity is not limited to traditional arts.  In fact, I believe it’s a shame that it’s not promoted more in other fields and interests.

I have friends who believe they don’t have any creativity because they don’t fit into one of the traditional artistic genres but I disagree.  They are creative; they just have to find there gifting and use it.  Some will always be more creative than others but nevertheless, using your gifting(s) whether big or small can take you to great achievements.

If your child does not fit into the traditional role of being creative, find what their gifting is and help them become excellent at it.  Surround them with those things that would help them flourish such as books, magazines, lessons, etc. around that gift.

I will be doing number 3 of 7 ways to Foster Creativity next week.  In the meantime, listen to this Youtube Video about Science Experiments that can be fun and creative using the arts.

Science Experiments

My thoughts on Art Education

Beautiful Alstroemeria’s

Art Education has been thought of as “teaching art,” however in my small estimation and years of experience teaching, it does way more than that.  In fact, Art Education is the foundation of a well-rounded education and should not be seen as fluff or something my kids can’t make money off of, or limiting it to dance, music, acting, and singing.  Art encompasses all of life because it brings real beauty to our otherwise mundane and boring lives.  It allows us to get a small glimpse of God through our daily lives…..then we begin to live for this beauty daily.  In essence, we begin to live for God.  Who hasn’t longed for peace, tranquility and creative expression?

We can find most of this in nature and our surroundings when we take the time to focus and look but more importantly, God equipped us with this same creativity, beauty, and ideals.  We then have a responsibility to bring that beauty to life and add a small glimpse of God to an otherwise mundane and sometimes thankless world.

Treat your child, family or significant other to a touch of beauty today.  I try to depict beauty in my life as much as I can through flowers, a painting (something you can do yourself and I’ll show you how), books, music, etc.  anything I can use to bring joy and happiness to my day.  Of course, life is not meant to be a non-stop joy fest.  There is occasional pain and “real life” interruptions, but who says we can’t keep this concept in our lives daily.  Life shoots by so fast, and if we don’t make a habit of the things we love, pretty soon we will look up and find it’s too late.

Choose JOY!  and remember, to always be “Artistically focused and life beautiful.”  Find your joy.

Defining Simple Elegance

It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing,  doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah…….

Simple is a word that doesn’t sound extremely sexy or fun but it can be both.  Why do I say that, because I’ve learned that keeping things simple and doing things simply (being understated) is actually very elegant and sexy?  You don’t have to shout in people’s faces for them to see beauty.  Beauty is shown because it just is.  So when I use the word “simple” for me it’s about showing beauty in it’s rawest and rarest form.

Saks Fifth Avenue, 1940

How does one go about doing that?  By sticking close to nature and the things that naturally resonate with each other.  Because things are never what they appear to be and because keeping things down to it’s bare minimum helps you to see their reality. I believe simple is actually profound, fun and sexy. The truth sometimes appears ugly at first glance, but once you have a long hard look, it becomes inviting and needed.  In a world where again, things are not always what they appear to be, “Simple Elegance,” becomes a refreshing welcome and treat.

Saks Fifth Avenue Entry, 1940

It is not always easy to determine exactly what is simple or plain boring.  For me, I like to lay down a simple foundation and then add a pop of color or “magic” pattern to it.  I call it magic because, without simplification, a pattern can become ostentatious and overdone.  I also like to look at other’s work who have kept things simple but elegant like architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, etc.  Now don’t get confused, I love lovely things and so I also believe you can do Elegant and simple with class, like black Architect, Paul Williams.  His work to me personifies that the beauty is in the details; more is not necessarily best and less can be gorgeous if the right things are added in the right places. Here his work represents a simple but lovely Interior of Saks Fifth Avenue in 1940.

Frank Lloyd Wright Art Glass

The chairs are simple stripes and most of the decor is white but the details on the chairs, the foliage he brought in, the architectural elements, etc. all make for beautiful simplicity.  He wows you without overwhelming you.

Frank Lloyd Wright Falling Waters, 1936-39
Carson Pirie Scott design by Sullivan in 1897

Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture is another example of simple beauty.  Wright stayed away from ostentatiousness of any kind.  Mainly I think because he worked with Louis Sullivan, who in his day and time used a lot of ornate figures and symbols for his imposing buildings in Chicago.  Frank stayed true to nature and brought a lot of that into his spaces.  Clean, crisp lines, elements of nature, lots of natural stones, planters, simple glass decorative windows which he referred to as “art glass,” was a slap in the face to the more ornate stained glass used during the Victorian Era.

My design work: funky, fun, functional and friendly.
“Simple Elegance”
A mix of African and American Fabrics

I’m by no means am an Architect, but I love structures and for some structures, their unassuming beauty.  My goal is to bring that same idea and concept to children’s accessories, clothing, and rooms through my designs.  I’ve included some school work designs I did.  The idea is to bring pops of color to enhance the feeling of the space sorta like Feng shui but only my take on it.  My goal is to mix the African aesthetic with American flair….two opposing designs but both can come together beautifully.