Monday, April 13, 2015

Dreams and Forgiveness

I'm a big believer in lists. I love organization and making things simple and functional. Those type things make me so happy and content, so this is confession time for me:
Right now my life is anything but clean, organized, simple, and functional. Everything is kind of a mush pot and I feel like I'm living such a frenetic existence.
I'm only complaining a little bit and only because it is so hard for someone with my personality to accept that. I know that I am so unbelievably lucky to be doing what I love and that it is supporting me and the children. It's amazing really. I'm going to be extremely straight forward though, sometimes it is still so hard. You learn the hard way that sometimes people will mistreat you, you learn that the schedules you thought would work out just don't, you learn that you have to stay in constant motion to keep it all going.
Sometimes I get down on myself about things. Things like not keeping up with the blog like I "should", not posting as much on Pinterest or on my business Facebook page, or being slow to return calls and emails sometimes. I let myself feel so bad that I'm lagging behind or that things just aren't going as smoothly as I anticipated.
But then I sit back and let myself remember…I'm doing this alone. I do every bit of the work myself, I write every blog I manage post, I source fabrics, I place the orders, I sew everything, I strip all of the upholstery, I do all the new upholstery, I strip the finishes off the furniture, I do the staining, lacquering, or painting and sealing, I use the table saw, the miter saw, the sanders.

(fabric scheme laid out in my living room chair)

(completely packed garage)

On top of all of that, I am the only one that does the laundry, cooking, dishes, cleaning, lawn mowing, taking the children to school and picking them up again. Taking my daughter to dance and still somehow making time for friends occasionally and even dating.
I should really give myself more credit. 

(occasionally the children will help with the laundry)

(almost clean living room)

(the little tree I trimmed myself and am ridiculously proud of)

I'm saying this because I had a moment this past week when I couldn't walk through my house. There was a pathway between client furniture and kid mess and I really thought I was going to lose my mind. I thought, "How in the world are you ever going to make your dreams happen when this is what it takes day in and day out?"
It got me thinking that I have only ever thought about my true dreams for Peacock Door Designs. I'm a big believer in writing down goals so here it is - 
I want to own a design boutique. I want a place that will be workshop space for custom upholstery, furniture refinishing, and have a small retail space open to the public. I even know exactly where I want it and the building I want to buy.
Right now that still seems pretty far off, but I am still clinging to it. I'm still in the learning curve of my business right now, learning how to juggle it all, making mistakes and overbooking. It happens and I need to be better at forgiving myself for that. Some days my affirmation is just simply "I'm still making it work."

(the day I was in tears because I couldn't walk through my house and I had so much housework I couldn't see the end)

So if you're a small business owner and you are feeling overwhelmed, just know that others feel that way as well. If you're a single parent barely keeping your head above the water, I completely get it. If you are just someone that generally feels overwhelmed by things happening in your life, I'm there with you. Just remember to give yourself a little bit of grace.

I'm so grateful and feel blessed by all that has occurred in my life. It's not always easy, there are tears as well as laughter. There are failures as well as amazing accomplishments and successes.
A verse that helps me through things a lot is Philippians 4:13
"I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."
It's so important to keep reminding myself of this. The struggle is real, but never forget to choose happy!

"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great."
- Tom Hanks, A League of Their Own

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Nursery Rocking Chair

About six weeks ago I did a post about a beautiful dresser I had painted for a nursery. Just after the dresser was completed I also did a nursery chair for the same sweet baby girl. Since then I have been so busy it has been difficult to get all of the pictures organized and actually find time for blogging. But, I love this part and I don't want to quit! I decided I will be doing short little blogs here and there until I can get caught up (ha ha ha).
The chair was in slight disrepair when I got it. Some sanding was needed, some wood filler, and the wood was also fairly dry. Repair work is very time consuming, but it's also incredibly rewarding.

It was snowing and quite cold at the time so I did the repair work inside my house.
Next  I had to start the upholstery. The chair didn't come with cushions so I had to make some this time. The fabrics were so cute and I loved working on this project.

The chair got a nice few coats of white to match the dresser.

Cute little nursery rocker for a sweet baby girl.
On to the next one!

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Curse of Old Plumbing

When it's been so long since you last blogged that you actually have to look at your own blog to see where you are in your line up, you might be overwhelmed.
I saw this picture on Pinterest and it completely sums up my life right now.

Not complaining at all I promise. It's a good thing, it's just a LOT!
About six weeks ago, while I was super busy with client work and had deadlines all over the place, my plumbing decided to back up. I thought it was just in the kitchen sink but that afternoon I realized that it was all over my laundry and mudroom.
If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: I HATE CARPET! It's awful. Sorry if there are any carpet lovers out there. I agree that it can look pretty in some cases. It is so nasty though that I just can't get past what is in all those little fabric fibers and underneath the pad. One thing I will never understand is carpet in wet spaces like bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. This house was carpeted in ALL of those places. I've slowly been trying to get the carpet out but flooring is expensive! 

This is what the laundry/mudroom looked like when we moved in:

This is the disaster of the plumbing problem. Beware: gross pictures!!! Just be glad you couldn't smell it.

I had to rip out the section that the laundry machines were sitting on because they were the most saturated. But the floor is covered in old black mastic so I couldn't rip it all up or we wouldn't have anything good to walk on while waiting for the new flooring to arrive.

Why yes, that's a sheet of hardboard cut to fit the carpet cutout so that I could put the machines back in and actually have clean clothes for the children to wear to school. Feel free to insert your own red-neck joke. I think I came up with about 20 myself!

Finally having working laundry was an amazing feeling. Also, to have the smell gone was pretty fantastic. The new flooring was ordered and I cannot explain my joy when they called a week early and it was already in!

I cannot wait to show you guys this room! Stay tuned for the inspiration pictures and the finished product!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

All In The Plan

I've had a plan for this house since I walked through it the first time with my amazing realtor. In my head, it was going to happen in sections, tackling the most offensive areas first and then moving on to tweaking the smaller ones.
I've done a few things so far like the bathroom flooring, painting out paneling and walls, and the breakfast nook
This is about my son's room.

Above is the picture from the real estate listing. Below is the closet that was in this room.

This house is laid out almost perfectly for me, but there are a few things that I felt needed to be changed for better functionality for the way we live. Here is a small section of the original layout of how my son's room connects to the rest of the house.

His closet was the center section with the other two sections opening up into the master. (there will be more plans revealed for that space in the future)

As you can see below, I closed that closet up to make more wall space in his bedroom.

But now the boy needed a closet. Here is the plan for what I am doing right now.

The hall closet was taken over and is being made into Dylan's custom closet. The view from the hall looked like this when we moved in:

Gold lattice covered doors and all!

So, off came the doors. But before the big demolition began my daughter's cat Eli decided that we emptied this entire closet just for him.

The walls did come down though. This is looking from the entry hall into Dylan's room.

This is the view from Dylan's room to the front door and his beloved cat Tennant Rory (can you tell that my son loves Doctor Who?) Tennant wasn't fond of the construction and was quite loud about it.

Here is that same view after the wall was framed in and the drywall was up.

Below is the view from the entry hall once I had done a little mudding.

Obviously this bit of construction impacted the hallway and I will have more to reveal on that in the future as well. Yes, this is the domino effect. In this case though, it is such a beautiful one that I don't mind. There have been other domino effects lately that have not been so pleasant. Things like plumbing, but that's for another post entirely.

I scoured many many houzz and Pinterest boards to find the best solution for the built-ins in Dylan's new closet. I found a lot of really great options but this one drew me in the most. I altered the final plans slightly but the overall concept is the same.

I can't wait for this space to be finished and show you all the reveal. As of right now this is my favorite room in the house…other than the breakfast nook.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Nursery Dresser

I love the power of paint! This is a beautiful makeover for a very special nursery. Andra brought me this dresser to makeover for her daughter Courtney. Courtney is expecting soon and needed beautiful and practical storage for her nursery. 
I won't call it simple really, the piece needed a bit of repair before the painting began. 

Here is the before:

You can't tell from the picture above, but the structure of the dresser wasn't very sound.

The styles had separated from the top on both sides of the center drawer and door set.

This resulted in a major crack on the bottom of the piece and caused the piece to sag in the center.

All it took was some metal brackets, wood glue, and clamps and the piece was back to it's normal state.

The hardware required some painting and sealing.

So chic!

Here is the piece all finished in its delicate white glory!

Another pretty piece complete! Now on to the next one.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ashleigh's Custom Light

If you have followed me for a while you know that I have a really fabulous client named Ashleigh. I could wax poetic about her style and flawless taste for quite a while, but I'm sure that if you look at things like the buffet, this armoire, these nightstands, the farmhouse table, or the fish chairs you can see that amazing taste for yourself.
More recently I have painted a fireplace mantle and made a custom light fixture. Here is a quick peek at the fireplace before and after:

She was over the dark and wanted a brighter and cleaner look. She called and asked if I could paint it short notice. She already had the paint, so I came in and painted it out. It took three coats to cover the black. In the picture below I took a quick picture before leaving and you can tell it wasn't completely dry. It looks fabulous though.

Just a quick little makeover.

Now to the main event! 
Y'all know how much I love good lighting. The right fixture, pot lights, and especially natural light. Lately, I've really been into creating light fixtures that are similar to high end fixtures. My lantern pendant in the breakfast nook is a great example.
Ashleigh knows this and had a great idea for a fixture in her new mudroom entry space. She brought me this:

It's an industrial dome shade but it had nothing attached to it and was covered in dirt.
My daughter thought it looked like half of an easter egg and made up a little rap and dance about it. I have it on video and may use it as blackmail when she's a teenager. Since she would kill me if I shared that, I thought this picture would suffice.

She is a mess!
A piece of wood had to be fitted with a bracket to attach to the ceiling box. I wanted the wood to match her flooring so I got some red oak veneer to cover the poplar that had been used for the top.

Next that piece had to be stained and waxed

 With the exterior being vintage I wanted the inside of the light to look as original as possible as well. I used porcelain bulb sockets and attached them to a perfectly turned piece I had my father make. I don't use the lathe…it still scares me. But, my amazing father is fantastic at it and I contract him out for small jobs like this.

All the wires pulled through

My dad helping me hold it in place to see if we liked it.

All of the wood on the inside of the fixture was painted white to match the shade.
Here it is all finished up and ready for installation.

 This was a difficult installation. I had to take it back to my dad's shop and tweak a few things and come back and try again. Ashleigh's husband ended up helping me as it was large and difficult to mount. 
Here it is installed in the space:

It ties in perfectly and is so great in this space. Even though it was a bit difficult to hang, it was so worth it in the end. This is probably my all-time favorite fixture I've done.