Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sometimes Trials Make Things Better

The ever lovely Mandi had a chest of drawers that was a little tired and plain. She wanted it to fit her style a bit more and asked me for some help.  I wish I had a before picture of this piece, I'm blaming the fact that I had to get a new phone and was busy and forgot to sync my pictures before I switched everything over. My fault entirely…human error.


The first paint in all its streaky glory...


Sanded and repainted - oh so much better!

Eli thought he had worked tremendously hard at weaving in and out of the drawers like an obstacle course.

I think the piece turned out great. There were a couple of obstacles with it though. The first paint I used was not good and streaked like crazy. I had to sand the piece down for a long while to repair what the paint had done. The second paint went much faster and was a gorgeous finish and color. The piece went home and then some of the drawers got damaged so they were brought back and repainted again.




I painted the knobs black, they were previously silver.




That's just how things are sometimes though. You take the good with the bad, fix the bad, and make it good again. One of my favorite quotes ever:

 "Painting is a metaphor for control. Every choice is mine: the canvas, the color…art taught me that one's vision can be achieved by sheer force of will. The same is true of life, provided that one refuses to let anything stand in one's way." 
-Niklaus Mikaelson, The Vampire Diaries

Sometimes stuff just speaks to you. Even if it's from a TV show that you're slightly embarrassed you watch ;) Through trials, multiple coats of paint, and general busyness of life, I'm making my dreams come to fruition "by sheer force of will" and with the help of many blessings.

Many many thanks to all of my awesome clients as well. I couldn't do what I do without you!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ellis’ Custom Bedding


This is one of those projects that I absolutely loved doing. It challenged me which is always good. Add in the fact that I was doing this for Amy (who is one of the sweetest people I know) and her precious little girl, and it made it a fantastic job.
Sweet little Ellis is growing up and she was making the transition into a big girl room. Amy had loved her nursery and was really sad about the transition because she didn’t want to lose that look in her daughter’s room. She found the same fabric that the drapes were made from and asked me to make custom bedding to match. I’ve done a few duvets now, but I had never done one for a daybed. The fabric also had some pretty serious pattern to line up. The first draft I sketched was like a standard twin bed. I laid the fabric out on the floor and was seconds away from making the first cut when I realized my mistake and that the pattern would be running the wrong direction for a daybed. I re-measured, re-sketched, and then got back to work. Occasionally I have operator errors like this, it happens and I’m ok with it because so far I have always realized it before making things permanent. I know one day I will have messed up and it will be permanent…I dread that day. So far I’ve been lucky though. Everyone pause and knock on wood for me pretty please.

I started by ripping apart the unused curtain ties that Amy had from the nursery curtains. This is tedious but goes much faster than you might think when you're watching netflix.


All ripped apart and sewn together to create a long ruffle



 All ruffled



 The back was made of minky fabric. I have never used this before and was unaware of how creepy crawly it is. Now I know ;)



I didn't have hardly any fabric left, but I wanted them to get the most out of it. I surprised them with some custom pillows to match.


 I love this pillow!


The other one was double sided minky/toile:



This bedding turned out so cute. Everyone was really pleased with the results and I think it is so precious! Another happy client, another project down, and I can add daybed duvets to my repertoire. 



On to the next one!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Happenings


This should be a post about the finished breakfast nook, or Dylan’s painted cottage floors being finished, or another of the many things that I have posted sneak peeks of on my facebook page and Instagram. Instead though, it’s going to be a little random. I'm going to throw in a few pictures of all of those things so you can see some progress. You see I have a lot going on right now. I know everyone does, but this is the most I have ever done at one time. It’s a tad overwhelming and I’m starting to understand just exactly how different it is to be a single mom and try doing everything and more.

(Dylan's Floors)

(my new shop-vac)

Basically, I can’t. 

(sneak peek at the banquette)

Oh, you can guarantee that I am going to try really hard. I’m just that way.
I usually have Fall d├ęcor out and a cute little posts about what project I’m working on for my own home. This year though I have an 8:00-5:00 job, two children to be a full-time mom to, the huge blessing of Peacock Door growing like crazy, the messiest house I’ve ever had (this drives me insane), and absolutely no time at all. Seriously people, I’m lucky if I get a shower…I always do but sometimes it is 3:00 a.m. and I have to be up in three hours to do the whole thing all over again.

(new pendant light I made from a cheap candle lantern)

During this time I wish for multiple “me’s.” My son thought this was an awesome idea. Bless him that he still thinks having multiples of his mother is a good thing! We had a conversation at dinner one night that went like this:
Me: "I think 3 of me would do. One to clean, paint, and maintain the house, one to work outside the home, and one to be mama and run Peacock Door."
Dylan: "Mom! You should so do that! Then it would be easy and we would have you all the time!"
He’s precious and makes me smile.

(I do have to cook sometimes and I love this apron from World Market)

It’s busy. I love busy, but I sent a text to my friend a couple of weeks ago and I thought I was having a panic attack. Suddenly, in that one moment everything seemed so huge. Making lists wasn’t helping just then. Not at all! Instead, that normally calming task was making me shake and feel like I couldn’t breathe. My sweet and practical Lisa (we think of each other like sisters) basically made me see that I needed to step back and calm down. Something my mama always said, “You can only do one thing at a time. Get it done and move on to the next one.” It used to frustrate me because it sounded so simplistic, I mean I was making the lists so I could do just that and I still just felt crazy…

Have you ever noticed that sometimes you need to hear it from someone else? You don't always want to, but that's what it takes sometimes.


(start them working young)

In the end, I took some deep breaths and put on my big girl pants. You really do just have to deal with it. I can't do more than I can do. I work really hard and I'm proud of that. I needed to give myself some credit instead of applying so much pressure. I always expect a lot of people and most of all I expect the best from myself. I expect it in everything I do. But I can't spread myself too thin. I'm so glad I have my Lisa! She helps ground me and see reality. Friend/sisters are good for stuff like that.

But this little family right here. This family is mine and worth every single minute of hard work. Worth every sacrifice I need to make and we are so blessed.

(photo taken by the most awesome Carrie Tungate of Tungate Photography)

Those two little ones melt my heart. They are my joy and even when they are crazy, they are my calm.
This family right here is worth it!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My Nerdy Side

I've always been okay with admitting that I'm a bit on the nerdy side. But seriously, if you aren't watching Doctor Who you need to start. I know the first season is slightly cheesy, but it gets better and you really do need to watch it from the beginning.
A friend of mine that has flawless taste when it comes to literature and entertainment was always posting little snippets on Pinterest or on her Facebook page. It got me curious. I had a quite a bit of painting to do and so I decided to pull up Doctor Who on the old Netfilx account and watch. I was warned about the first season being campy and lower budget so I stuck it out. It was episode 8 (Father's Day) that finally got me pulled into the show for real. After that, the love was full blown and I went flying through the episodes while working on client work.
I got my daughter really into it as well. I even got scolded when she found out I was watching ahead of her and then going back when it was her time to watch. She's super in love with it!


...when she found out I was watching without her.


One of the many papers lying about that reference Doctor Who.


Oh so precious!

We both have a favorite and a few of my friends have the same favorite - we love the tenth doctor, David Tennant. Jade said she wanted a shirt about The Doctor and so we looked. People…there are HUNDREDS of Doctor Who shirts! HUNDREDS! But, we wanted one that related to TEN.
Because why not?

(google images)

(google images)

I cannot handle how adorable he is!

There were some fun shirts, but I decided it would be cute to just design one. So I went to CustomInk.com and designed a pretty cute shirt even if I do say so myself. 


I ordered a few and decided to surprise a few of my friends with a Doctor Who box. My friends that are the biggest fans live far away from me so I knew I wanted to go all out for the boxes.

Jade and I got our crafty on and had a blast making these gifts.

I printed off a quote by the producer Steven Moffat and made a card


I printed out tiny TARDIS and cut them out 


I wrapped up the shirts with some ribbon


Jade made the gift bag



We spray painted cereal boxes in high gloss blue to represent the TARDIS



These turned out so ridiculously fabulous that I'm now hoarding boxes so I can spray paint them for Christmas wrapping. 

One of the gifts ready for it's box

 



These were so much fun! But what makes it even better is know how much the recipients love it too!


Fall in love with your nerdy side ;)
It's really really fun!!!



Sunday, September 7, 2014

Personal Style Evolution

I’m convinced that personal style grows and changes. As we mature and move through life, our tastes change. When I was little in the 1980’s in Texas, everything was so countrified!!! Country blue, pink, mauve, cream, and lace had vomited on every surface in our house. Of course it had in most other houses in our area as well so we fit in. It wasn’t my favorite but I was little and didn’t know any better. Nor did I really get a vote. It was my mother’s house after all.
The entry Hall - please forgive my 9 year old self and lack of britches:


Ahh the pink and blue wallpaper and country straw hats adorned with fake flowers…

The kitchen a few years before its 1986 renovation:


My 3rd birthday

I'm REALLY going to get into trouble for this, but I seriously couldn't find another picture of the tiny blue, pink, and yellow heart-flower wallpaper. My best friend may not like the fact that I am posting the picture of her surprise 17th birthday, but the background is the real star here. That wallpaper…ugh.


As a teen, things got a bit better but I had a bedroom that was a hand me down from my big sister. The only things I really loved in that room were the furniture pieces. They had been my grandmother’s and were classic pieces. It was the 90’s by then and things had gone from country blue to hunter green, burgundy, and pink.

My bedroom (throwing another old friend under the bus):


In college I got an apartment with one of my best friends for life and I also started developing my own style. It was a lot more neutral and a lot less cluttered. I started liking more modern lines, neutral big pieces, and pops of color in the accents. This is still a philosophy that I use today.
I went much more modern as a newlywed. I went blonde, metal, and glass open style furniture. That lasted until my son was born. Once I had a child I wanted doors on all furniture! I wanted to see zero clutter because man that kid came with a LOT of stuff! All of the pictures of these time periods are packed away so sadly I can't show them. The best I can do is show how my home looked right before the move to the time capsule house.
My Home:


Now, after all the phases I’ve been through style-wise, I was asked what my style is…What is my style? That’s actually a really complicated question. Is anyone really just one style? Maybe. Not this girl though, and not a lot of other people I know either. After personal upheaval this past year, I think I’ve gone through another tweak in my personal style. As a single mother of two I’m really looking to simplify things as much as possible. I’ve purged quite a bit and am purging more and more all the time. 

Things I thought I wanted only a year ago have changed; evolved with who I am as a person. I’m still the most drawn to Cape Cod cottage style. But, I want very little clutter and a bit of modern with that. Throw in a tad of industrial, a little rustic, a little sparkle, a lot of white, saturated pops of color, and little kids laughing and you have exactly what my style is. So yes, it has definitely changed over the years and I think it will continue to ebb and flow just like we do as people.


So when I am asked the question of what my style is, now I just say eclectic. Honestly, if I listed all of the styles I would sound bipolar. 

Don’t ever be afraid to like things that “don’t really go together”. Maybe they don’t for other people, but if it works for you and makes you happy; do it!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Design Inspiration - Breakfast Nooks

I have ALWAYS wanted a breakfast nook. Seriously, ever since I was a teenager and saw one in a bed and breakfast while on vacation with my family, I have wanted one. I thought to myself that when I was all grown up that would be so much fun to have with my family.
My parents had an eat-in kitchen but no nook, my first house was tiny and barely had enough room for a dining space much less a nook. But now, now I have a place for a nook!!!

This is what the space looked like when I got my house:

After some work, it now looks like this:

I added the Chalkboard Wall last summer and have been working on installing new trim all over the house. Of course I still have carpet in here…but hopefully not for long!


I want to do a built-in banquette in that corner. So I've been scouring my options and finally found some amazing ones to choose from.

The first one I saw was this one
Gorgeous, but I didn't really want the sloped back and it seemed a lost opportunity for storage. I LOVE storage.

The next one I found just makes me happy! It's light, bright, and beautiful. The bench raises up and there is storage inside - so smart! Except I'm lazy and I wouldn't want to remove the cushions every single time I got into the storage area. I like to keep it stupid simple. 
(source)

So I moved on. I found this one with drawers underneath, but my table's pedestal has larger legs and I would have to move the table to get into those drawers too. Again though, bright and happy! I love the look!

I found these last two and decided to combine a few things to get exactly what I wanted. I love that this photograph shows the drawers on either end of the seats. To me that was the best. I don't have to move anything to get into the storage and it doesn't waste space. Perfect!

 This last one spoke to me a lot. I love the white with the wood top, and that is exactly the finish that would be perfect for me.
I pinned this off of Houzz.com but when I went back to find it for the source I couldn't find it again. If any of you find it let me know and I will replace the link.

It's been in the works for a couple of weeks now and I'm making good progress. Stay tuned for the reveal coming soon!