Thursday, October 23, 2014

Rental Part One - Bathroom

Sometimes you get a job that is super exciting. For me this was one of those jobs. Not because it was a major renovation or a high end client (which are really fun), but simply because it was a house in my own neighborhood. It is a similar style to my house and while there are some major differences, it was fun to see how my house could kind of look if I actually ever had time to work on it. 

I also love the challenge of taking a budget, making small but impact-full changes, and having them turn out so fabulously. Please forgive the cell phone pictures. I have been sick and extremely busy lately and this job was absolutely down to the wire! I finished at 1:30 in the morning the day it was due to be complete. I didn’t get into bed until after 2:00 that day and had to be up by 6:15. I prefer to take pictures with a nice DSLR in good natural daylight, but cell phone pictures at 1:30 in the morning is what you have for this one.


This called for quite a bit of TLC. The tiles needed to be painted, the carpet needed to come out, the cabinets were also pink, the valance needed to be deposited into the nearest dumpster, the wallpaper needed to come down, the walls needed skim-coating and paint, and new knobs were needed. 

 I had to use an epoxy based paint to paint the tiles. This is really all in the prep work. I cleaned these tiles about 7 different ways before starting to paint. I made The Duchess help out. She did work very hard, but then she crashed! It's hard when your mama has to work late on a Friday night!

 You would also think that pink would be easy to cover as it is fairly light. Well, so did I and I was wrong. It took about four coats all said and done.

Then I had a moment...if you follow me on Instagram you already know that I didn't realize this little bit of tile existed until well into the third coat on the rest of the tiles. I was pretty bummed.

Then the cabinets needed painting. I also used salvaged knobs and chrome paint to give the "new" hardware an update.

I wish I had a before on those knobs because they were bright brass with peach centers before I made them chrome. I've become besties with spray paint lately. I've changed a ton of hardware from ugly to nice.

This is one of those projects that snow-balled. I thought I would just paint the tiles and cabinets, take down the wallpaper and paint the flat walls and be done. But the wallpaper was NOT kind and there were some issues with the walls. Texture was needed and my timelines were getting crunched to bits. Another person came in a textured the walls and ended up painting them as well. I came in and cleaned up, added the hardware, and frosted the bottom half of the window.

Here is the After:

It’s such a huge difference! I LOVE paint!!!
The next stop is the living room! Stay tuned for that next week!

What I'm Learning As A Parent

This is a little break from design and decor today, but I think it's so important. I love reading and hearing what others learn as parents so I thought I would share a little of what I have learned.
I have a sweet son that wakes up nicely and once he’s up, he’s up. Not in a bad mood but not particularly in a good mood. He’s awake and doing what he is supposed to do: getting dressed, packing his backpack for school, and completing morning chores. Sometimes he even makes my protein shake for me or goes out and heats up the car when it’s cold. It’s so nice.

On the other hand, I have a little girl that is soooo much like her mama in the mornings it’s scary! You see, I don’t like mornings – I never have. They are pretty, sunrises are great and I can appreciate that, but I would rather be sleeping. I’ve never been super mean in the mornings but I honestly prefer it silent and with a giant cup of coffee. No talking, no questions, not even music…please just let me get conscious in silence. My daughter is the same way. She doesn’t want you to remind her of instructions, it takes her a while once she’s awake to even get out of her bed, and if she wants to sit there and stare at the floor just leave her alone pretty please. Often mornings end up with her running out the door with un-brushed hair and in tears…even if I had gotten her up 30 minutes early.

For a while now it has been my goal in life to make her giggle herself awake. I go in and snuggle her and sing good morning songs that my own mother annoyed me with as a child and see if I can’t coax a smile out of her as her eyes open. My intension was to make sure that even though her little life feels hard sometimes that her mornings with her mama were always good things. 

Funny how we can start out doing something for someone else and it can turn into something completely amazing for us personally. Because in making an effort to make her smile and start her day off good, I start my own off good as well. I giggle with her, get snuggled in return, and my mornings are ten thousand times better than they used to be. It has also changed my perspective on their achievements.

I don’t get as many moments with my children as I used to. The adjustments we’ve had to make in this past year have been hard on everyone. It’s not just big things that had to change, it was a ripple effect. Big things affected smaller things and those affected other small things and it kept going forever it seemed. That’s hard for anyone to adjust to, but with young kids it seems to hit them over and over and at unusual times. 

With all that adjusting it’s been amazing to see what can happen. The moments are more precious because they are fewer. The conversation is deeper because of the content. The little adjustments are discussed so we are all on the same page. So while I’m trying to be their mother and teach them about life, they are constantly teaching me things as well. My son is showing me that he is learning certain responsibilities and is taking control of them. My daughter is showing me that her heart is still full and open and innocent, but teachable.

 I am learning that these are amazing things to watch happen. I’m learning to stop and acknowledge some of the little things in life as the most potent. I’m learning to see what they are accomplishing and when I get frustrated that they won’t obey or that my daughter still will not clean her room, I can pause and see what they actually have learned to do. 

It’s pretty incredible really. One of my favorite quotes:

“While we try to teach our children all about life,
our children teach us what life is all about.”

― Angela Schwindt

I have found this so very true in this past year.

I'm loving every minute of it!

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


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 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!!!