Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lead me not into temptation. I already know the way there.

I vowed I wouldn't do it.  I stayed away as long as I could. I really did. I was warned about the addictive quality of it all, the alluring pull that it has, the obsessive compulsive behavior it could provoke, but I caved anyway.  I signed up for Pinterest.

I logged on. I lusted. I pinned. I drooled a little. I pinned. I followed all of your boards. I repinned most of them. I cringed because you knew. I lusted some more. I pinned, and pinned and pinned. I pinned so much that my eyes starting crossing, but I still kept searching and finding and pinning.

I couldn't keep my excitement to myself. I called my 'bestie' to get her involved in the fun. She told me she had already had an account and didn't really see the novelty of it, but she'd give it another whirl.

(Oh it's so much fun to drag someone else down with you, isn't it)? Fast and furious, with reckless abandon we pinned. In an hour's time,  We redecorated our living rooms, put in lushly landscaped pools, added cathedral ceilings, pulled together catwalk- worthy outfits, created recipes that made Rachel Ray jealous, constructed mason jar soap dispensers and oh so much more.

And then we stepped away from our computers and stepped back into our lives. 

She called me the next morning -both of us with Pinterest "hangovers" and  said: 
 "I want a Pinterest-y life. Not the life I have, but the life I created on Pinterest, where everything is quirky and quippy and trendy. A life that can be summed up in a cute little quote, neatly packaged together and perfect".

And I told her, "So do that why it felt a little disappointing to wake up today in my chipped up, fingerprinted, lived in, well-worn bungalow that smells like antique furniture and dog pee?"
And she said, "Pinterest might not be good for people like me and you".
I politely agreed.

Here's my "Pinterest-y" life....

Here's my actual Life:

It ain't pretty kids.
I think what is so appealing about Pinterest to me is that it so opposite of my own life.  I tried making those yogurt dipped strawberries that looked like they were covered in white chocolate and they turned out mushy and mealy.  I tried staining an old skid pallet to use as a headboard and my esophogus is burning today.

 I tried to make a twin bed out of an industrial crate on wheels...wait, I didn't try that yet, but I really want to. Does that count? I'm halfway there.

You get the idea. My Pinterest Life and my real life are two very different things.  Don't get me wrong...I love Pinterest. I really love all things Pinterest. But sometimes therein lies the problem.  I love all the ideas,  dream homes, recipes, outfits, hairstyles, cars, boats, quotes, etc. that at times I walk away from Pinterest discontent with my un-quirky, un-quippy, un-trendy life.
I once read this quote somewhere and I've had to remind myself of it many times in my 40 some years on this Earth...

"A perfectionist is someone who takes great pains...and then passes them on to others".

I'm not swearing off Pinterest for good. In fact, after seeing the posted pictures of the mess in my cupboards and bedrooms, Pinterest can really motivate me to dig in and organize.  I'll be looking for that motivation as I think about gearing up to spring clean in the next few weeks.  As with all things in life, moderation is key. Something that hasn't been my strongsuit in the past. I will bravely log back on to 'sinterest', (I mean Pinterest) and find all kinds of ways to make my life more interesting, beautiful and fun. And then I'll walk away from the computer,  give myself a reality check and know that these things aren't just found on a popular website, but they're found inside of me.

Happy Pinning!!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bonus Rooms


Monday, February 13, 2012

Basement and Kitchen Remodel

Ya'll ready for this?? 

I get so excited to show you before/after shots-especially the ones that bring so much new life and energy to a space that you hardly remember what it felt like before all the fun began.  Such is the case with my client/friend Karen's lower level remodel.  We've also been doing a little more than 'tweaking' the kitchen (which is what we were calling it before we REALLY started getting excited with all the possibilities) and well, you thing is leading to another....

(...exactly why my darling husband doesn't give me a decorating inch anymore...he knows that I will take waaaaayyyy more than a mile. But, this isn't about me. This is about my friend Karen and HER pocketbook this time. :)  Phew!)

So, the bucket list for Karen's basement this fall contained the following: Lightening and brightening the space by taking down the dark paneling and adding drywall. Replacing the drop ceiling with sheetrock and raising the ceiling as much as we could in the process. Repurposing an underutilized office space into a teenage boys' bedroom and adding a full bath and a mini bar - with a counter height fridge. (Well, she hadn't exactly thought of doing the mini kitchenette but her pushy designer friend talked her into it).

Here's the basement before:

Here's the basement after:

If you lifted this denim slipcover up, you would discover a lovely delicate mauve and green floral pattern.  I don't know what I'll ever do if Lynette, the slipcover queen ever retires.  She sewed us some funky, fun pillows (fabric from Field's) and and Karen added a few from PB.  Sign-courtesy of "Room for Change", Lamp from Hobby Lobby and large print from World Market.
Here's a few more angles for your viewing pleasure:

She asked me to paint and distress a 'Sale" sign as that is her soon-to-be new last name!

Okay, before you peek at the kitchen... All we did is replace countertop and backsplash, sink, faucet and appliances.  That's it!  That's really it!  And it's a brand new kitchen!  (I know, I's like what my Dad used to say all the time, "It doesn't seem like much when you're not the one spending it") but you get my point anyway.  A little change goes a long way!

Don'tcha just love the tiled backsplash??? Don'tcha!?? 

Still putting the finishing touches on it. We're deciding between a blue/gray paint and a gray/green paint color. We'll keep you posted.
Karen, thanks for the updated pics you sent with light switch covers on, but they got blurry when i converted them to a jpg. so I used mine. Loved working on this with you, girl!

Stay tuned for next time when I'll be revealing some more room-by-room transformations.  I'm also dying to show you my basement remodel, but can't seem to find the time or motivation to accessorize it yet!  You know I wouldn't be vulnerable enough to show you that before it's completely staged, so you'll just have to wait. :)  (It literally is getting 'staged'.  Both my daughters insisted on having their dad build them a stage down there like they used to have- Sigh. I thought we outgrew the karaoke but apparently not yet. :)

BTW, Happy Valentines Day!!  Hope you're feelin' the love today and every day!


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Projects, Paint Swatches, Pottery Barn and Patriots

Sorry it's been a while since I've posted.  I've been blessed to be busy with lots of new clients and projects since mid January. So much so that I can't seem to find time work on any of my own home projects, which seems to suit my husband just fine. I'm anxious to start working on my youngest daughter's bedroom remodel which she's been asking for as a 12th birthday gift (in March).  We are only in the brainstorming portion of the project but we're having fun dreaming about the possibilities.
In the meantime, I've been finding some satisfaction in completing some of your wish lists and making some fun things to bring to my booth at Not So Shabby. One of my clients saw that Ken and I had taken old antique doors and added old barn wood to them to use for display shelves in our booth at the store. (Thanks to JB & Me for the inspiration). She is going to use the bottom shelves as a vanity for her makeup and the top shelves for scarves and other things in her master bedroom. If you saw her and her sense of style, you would know that this whole door is going to be a piece of art holding her baubles and bling! She's the same one who bought a retrofitted china cabinet at my tag sale to hold her shoe and boot collection. Genious! 
I made these large wooden dominos from an old 'header' beam that we had in our basement. Ken cut and sanded them and I painted them with creamy white paint, stenciled dots and distressed them. They're for sale in my booth right now and look best displayed in groups of three but even one would look great in a bookshelf with some other quirky treasures.
I've had people ask about these growth chart rulers for quite some time now. I finally got around to putting a few together. Brought two to the booth, and the dark one already sold. I'll be making more, but if you'd like to order one, let me know. They're $55.

You've seen this before. "LOVE" -new and improved. Two left. Get 'em before they're gone!

This is a new design. Those of you that have seen my business card, know that this sign/look is near and dear to my heart.  This is made of wood and any name or saying can be stenciled on each color swatch.  These are actual paint names from Benjamin Moore's fan deck of paints-(not the actual colors).:) I thought this one would be cute in a baby's nursery.

The sign to the right is actually an Irish Toast that I had heard somewhere a few years ago.  I have been wanting to make this sign for my own house for a while now.  It's a good reminder to me to find contentment during those times I find myself comparing the size of my house to others' or the times I'm frustrated that I can't entertain/host large crowds and gatherings like I could in the larger homes we owned. This sign is for sale at my booth, but a similar one hangs in my own living room as the daily prayer of my heart.
I wanted to show you a dining room of a new client of mine. I can't take credit for any part of the design.  She actually hired me to help her out with some other rooms in her house, but after she showed me this room, I asked her what on earth I was needed for! :)  Some of you have such great talent and many times I ask that question of you..."What do you need me for?" Most of the time the answer is, "I just need reassurance". Or "I just need a fresh eye".  Or "I'm not sure if it will all flow".  Or "I just needed another opinion".  Of course, I'm always happy to be just that...your fresh eye, your reassurance, your cheerleader, your honest girlfriend.  I won't lead you astray. I promise. In the meantime, thanks for letting me in on your ideas and projects. Enjoy this rustic dining room. Most pieces are from Pottery Barn.

Isn't that great? I'm not a rustic kind of gal, but even I love how this looks and feels!
Oh and one more thing....some of you asked about where I found the furniture and accessories that I posted in my last blog entry.  Sorry I can't go back without a lot of formatting headaches...(and the Superbowl is about to start), so I'll take the easy way out right now and say that here are my favorite sources, and  where most of those items came from....

World Market in Grandville
Talsma Furniture in Holland/Jenison
Hobby Lobby-(for fabrics too)
Pier One
Joanne's Fabric in Holland/G.R.
Field's Fabric in Holland
Marshall's in Grandville
TJ Maxx in Holland/G.R. Centerpointe Mall

Those are my latest "go-to" spots.  Next time I'll post the source with the item. Thanks for your inquiries!  Now, go Patriots! (Like I care...)