Wednesday, December 30, 2009

change is in the air...

But then again...when isn't it around here?
I make it that way.
I am a change junkie.

My husband comes home from work and finds a new coffee table in front of the sofa about once a month. A few weeks ago we went to bed...he turned his lamp off...and about 30 seconds later says "I see I have a new nightstand." It doesn't even phase him anymore. Although he does think I should donate some of my extra time to being a case-study for a college Psychology class somewhere. He thinks I have some yet-unknown metal disorder that make a person constantly change their surroundings.

Thank goodness he so easy-going...because I need that constant change. That is one of the pit-falls of painting furniture for a living. Few things stay in the same place in my house for more than a couple weeks. But it feeds my craziness that I can do something different each and every day. Lets just say I am not a girl that can sit behind a desk in an office 8 hours a day. I have tried. Trust me on this one. Oh how I yearn to...I want to wear the cute clothes and killer shoes. It would be much better than the hoodies with paint all over them you would normally catch me in. I miss seeing people at work, the gossip, the day-to-day chat. It is just me, a radio and a paintbrush most days.

This year alone I have painted and sold over 500 pieces of furniture. Maybe doing this is what has made me a change-junkie. I am always needing to do something different...and better than the time before. Is this how extreme-sports get started? Mountain biking becomes boring after a while until you are doing it at high speeds next to a cliff? Will I soon be seen on a reality show for Extreme-Dining-Room-Set-Painting?

By now I am sure you are asking where the heck I am going with this long winded chat about let me just say there are new things going on in my life right now. Professionally, that is. Exciting things...things that are keeping me up at night. And once I do fall asleep I wake up thinking about them as soon as I open my eyes. I'm plotting and planning. I can't tell just yet, but I want to soooo badly. I am busting to let it all out. I work so hard, it is such a wonderful thing with life rewards you with opportunity you didn't even see coming.

I am definitely a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants girl, but ironically, new things make me nervous.

 So, to escape all this stress of these big changes...I am making a pact to finish all the reno projects I have started during these winter months. To tie up loose ends, to vow to keep a piece of furniture in one spot for a long time. (Don't tell my husband just in case I relapse on this one.) I am going to finish my home rather than always work on other people's spaces. And I promise to take photos and post my projects as I go.

Whew, I was soooo good to let that all out. Sorry it was such a long one. That happens when I don't get much sleep.

Off to finish project #1. The hallway. How hard could that be?? Wish me luck. I am painting it the fourth color since I have lived here. Yikes!

(photo found here...)

Monday, December 28, 2009

words to live by...

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

I was cruising the internet today looking for inspiration. I am trying to finish up a reno project but feel I am running out of design steam this week.

Instead of images of gorgeous rooms...I found this. I thought it was fabulous - so had to share.

It seems like an appropriate sentiment to start off the New Year with...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

merry christmas...

Well my is finally here!

Wishing you...

love, laughter and all good things the Holiday brings!

 Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

paper...plastic...or canvas??

I don't know about you...but I've been shopping my socks off this week!

I unpacked everything today...getting ready to bust open a bottle of wine with the hubby tonight and crank up the Dean Martin Christmas album for a good old fashioned wrapping party.

As I was unpacking I was shocked to see just how many bags were piled all over my bed. Can one woman really kill the planet with plastic store bags?? If she can, I am the responsible party.
* Insert guilt here *

So this made me think...should I do the "green" thing and carry my own bags to the store? I have tried this in the past...I bought a few super cute grocery totes thinking I would carry them with me into every store...ha! I think I have forgotten them in the back seat of my car 99 out of 100 times. Seriously, I don't even remember I own one until the girl at the checkout whips out yet another plastic bag for me to bring home. Geesh! (I have a serious lack of short and long term memory...but that is another story...we could be here a while)

So I have to you girls bring your own bags when you shop?

I just gotta know if I am the only one destroying the planet with these things.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

a new baby...

I am so giddy with excitement I can barely contain myself!
We had a new arrival in our home today!

 Canon EOS Rebel T1i
December 16, 2009
10:27 am
1 pound 6 ounces
8" long

I never imagined it would feel like this. I am so in love.
Isn't she beautiful?

Brace yourself, I will be boring you all very soon with photos of just about everything! Oooooh...and she shoots video, too! It will be like going to the in-laws and having to sit through hours of family vacation slides.
Let me offer you my apology now.

I can't wait to name her.

it's a Lola B's giveaway!

I was sad to hear Kasey is bidding her online store, Lola B's Boutique adieux.

Kasey and I met a couple of years ago at the show where I sell in the summer months. She has a good soul. And there is nothing better than a girl that has a sharp eye for all things vintage!

So pay her a little visit, leave her a kind word or two...and you may even be one of 3 lucky people to win some of her gorgeous boutique goodies!

As a business owner, I know how hard it can be to keep up with...well...everything! To constantly stay fresh, and on top of what is new and exciting. That is a full time job itself. So I cannot help but applaud her. This door is closing, at least for a little while, but I know many more are going to open up for her.

She is amazingly I know wonderful things are just around the corner for her!

Wish her well...and good luck...if you win...let me know what loveliness was in the box!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

it's a creamy soup kind of day...

Just sharing a little recipe love with you all...

I am crazy in love with this receipe, so try it. You will love it. I swear.


You HAVE to try this is super easy and fast to make. I serve it with crusty french yummy on a cold day! This is one of the favorites around our house.

4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 grocery store rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 (6.2oz) box Uncle Ben's Fast Cooking Long Grain & Wild Rice w/seasoning packet
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
2 cups milk

In a large pot, combine broth, water and chicken. Bring just to boiling, then stir in rice, reserving seasoning packet. Cover and remove from heat.

In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper and flour. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in contents of seasoning packet. (It will be thick.) Reduce heat to low, then whisk in flour mixture by a little at a time, to form a roux. Whisk in milk, a little at a time, until smooth. Cook until thickened - about 5 minutes.

Stir cream mixture into broth and rice. Cook over medium heat until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes.


Monday, December 14, 2009

I've never been happier...

I've never been happier than I am right now...that I am a coupon clipper.

That's right girls...I am no longer ashamed to admit it.

Right now you may be asking yourself why this makes me so happy...

So let me tell you...

It involves my friend know...Iowa Junk Gypsies...yes, that Anita. We both sell at the same show in the summer months, and I just love her and her 'junking partner' Judy. Afterall, they are Iowa girls, and anyone that knows an Iowa girl knows they are good people.

I was over the moon to hear Anita is hosting a trip to take a group of girls April...

But a second later...when I realized I would actually have to pay for this trip...I was sad.

I was telling my husband about it...about how much I would like to see Paris again...and the fact that I would be traveling with Anita...and this is what he says..."so, go." Simple as that. No questions hesitation. God I love this man. Never in my life has he thought one of my crazy ideas was a bad one. He should have a time or two, trust me on that one.

Then it dawned on me. I have been clipping coupons like a crazy woman this year! I gave myself the challenge in December of 2008 to see how much money I could save in 2009 with using coupons. I was just curious. I just had a couple of rules...I never bought anything just because I had a coupon - it had to be something we actually used and would have bought anyway...and I had to keep a log of how much I saved as I went.

So I did store...Target...even my plumber had a coupon in the phone book! If you put fourth a little effort, there is a coupon out there for everything, I swear.

So here is it...the grand this minute...what I have saved this year...


Seriously. I come!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

etsy love...

I need to find a therapy group. One that deals with OED...Obsessive Etsy Disorder. I can't get enough.

My mailman and I are on a first name basis. I leave cookies for him in my mailbox. He is on my Christmas card list. All because he is at my door all too often bringing me cute little Priority Mail boxes. This can't be normal.

Here is the source of today's love affair...thought I would spread that love.

I am a simple girl. You won't catch me wearing a lot of accessories...but I would looooooove to find one of these in my stocking this year.

Check this one out...I have the calendar already marked for when I am buying one of these babies. I'll be off on a girl's trip to the Virgin Islands this year...I know my sweetie will be missing me, so I'll have one of these sent to the mailbox. He will love it. What a cool idea! Why am I not smart enough to think of these things?

It is gray. It is a tote. 2 of my favorite things on this planet. Enough said.
I want one.

I should not be showing these to you...because I want to buy them for myself. And once you see them,  you are all going to want them, too. They are just so darn cute! And in my book,  you can never had enough vintage white pitchers. I have to say that...because I have collected about 96 of them. See. I do need therapy.

Just doing my part to support small business. A very big part. Hope you are doing the same this season!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I come from a rather large family...I am the youngest of 8 kids.

No step-siblings, we all have the same parents. I get asked that all the time, so just wanted to clarify. Just one big happy, Midwestern farm family. Question #2 is usually..."Are you Catholic?" Apparently Catholic families are known for being large. Really?? I thought all sorts of religons could have large families. Ugh! But seriously, who the heck asks these sort of questions? I would never. But they are part of my most vivid memories as a child.

(photo courtsey of Style Me Pretty)

My parents have always dimplomatic and fair...even when it came to having children. There are 4 girls and 4 boys in our family. I am way down on the list - number 8 to be exact. I was born 9 years after number 7. I have heard every comment that goes along with that. I should have kept count, but I swear I have been called an "oops" by people that barely know me at least 11,496 times in my life. Ugh! I find no wit or humor in that statement. I am hoping I will someday stop being referred to as "the baby"...maybe when I turn 80 I can finally shake that title.

So this long-winded introduction brings me to the topic of my day...


 I love my sisters, and my life would be so different without them. 3 of us are very close, even though we are far apart in age. One of them lives actually lives right next door to me. Yes - next door. As in our-front-doors-are-100 feet apart. They house next to her went up for sale and my sweet hubby and I snapped it up before it even went on the market. I have entered a new phase in the strage comment section of my life. Now I hear "I could never live next to my sister"...or even better..."we would kill each other if we lived that close". What do I say to that?? Ususally it is just..."that is too bad...we love it!"

Fast forward to this morning. We were hit with 12" of snow last night. I get a call this morning. "Come on over, I'm making pancakes!"...I was there in 2.2 seconds. In my PJs...with bed-head. We yak it up for a while and eat way too much bacon.

Today we may have 5 phone calls back and fourth, but never longer than a couple seconds. I am sure when I go to make dinner tonight I will have forgotten to buy some ingredient. I always do. She always has what I need, so much so she is now referred to as "the store next door"...I love it. Oh, and it helps just a little she has workout equipment, a tanning bed and a hot tub, too!

There are lots of impromptu shopping excursions...and she is always the first one I call when I drive past some really good piece of furniture sitting by the curb that I just have to make mine. The 2 of us jump in the truck and drag the darn thing home without thinking twice. She gets me. If I asked anyone else to garbage pick with me in the dead of night they would have me committed.

Now if only my other sister could buy the house on the other side of me.

So I want to hear from you! Do you have sisters? Do you get along...and best of all...could you live next door to each other?

Wishing you all a fabulous-sister-lives-next-door kind of day.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

a little Ikea love...

I have a love-hate relationship with Ikea. I love their vignettes as you walk through the store. I love how their furnishings look in a photo. I love their prices. But the quality...not so much. But today I have a little restored love for Ikea...I this found on the Ikea Sweden's website...

Everyday people can post photos of how they decorate for the season. Some info may have been lost in translation, but I believe the idea was to showcase how Ikea plays a part in your Holiday decor. These are some of my favorites...and now I think I am heading to my closest Ikea to see what I can find to make my home look this fabulous!


I am soooo making a mirror like this for my hallway. Love it.

The simplistic beauty of this table is incredible. I love everything about it.

And where do I begin this this room?? I am in love with the wood walls and painted floors! And that cabinet...oh I want it sooo bad....I see another addition to the "honey-do" list once my desk is finished. The hubby just may have to make one for me!

It looks just like the one Holly painted...if only Canada wasn't across some silly border. I would have bought it and hauled it home as soon as I saw it. I still go on her website to stare at it now and then. Yes, Holly. That is me stalking you with 1000 hits a day on your site. I am coveting the dresser. Don't tell me who bought it. I may start stalking them, too!

So simple and beautiful. Again with those walls...I am crazy in love with them! I am so glad my house has a few rooms with wood walls like this. I am getting inspired to add little touches of greenery around my home this year. I bet it smells fantastic!

It must be something in the air around here. My husband's family is from Norway, and now I am hitting him up for a trip to visit. I want to live their life for just a couple weeks. I have really fallen in love with the relaxed and casual decor in Scandinavia. But I have a feeling I am going to have to bring a few extra suitcases to bring all my buys home! Wish me luck...maybe I will find a couple of plane tickets in my stocking. I have been a good girl all most of the year!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

this week's to-do list...

Just thought I would show you a little of what is going on in my house this week...its just another week full of building and painting...but I am super excited about this project!

You see, I fell in love with this desk from Pottery is a simple, uncomplicated style and it was my favorite color...white. It was love at first sight....

(photo: Pottery Barn)

...but I did not love the price tag. So, what's a girl to do??? one herself, of course! (Or cook a week full of fabulous meals for her husband and ask in her most persuasive voice for him to build one for her. I went with that plan.)

So this week, after my sweet hubby gets home from his super-stressful, manly-man job...he gets to unwind and relax by spending a little quiet time with his tape measure and table saw. I am forever grateful he loves to do these things for me, and even more grateful one of us took math class seriously in high-school. I think there would be a few frustrated freak-outs if I was really the one that had to build it. Hopefully, by the weekend I will be painting my gorgeous Pottery Barn inspired...but waaaaay less expesive desk for my newly renovated home office.

Oh, and just in case he gets my desk done a day early...I have drawn out the plans for one of these, too!

(photo: Martha Stewart Living)

 I have a wall in my kitchen just waiting for this. Each night, about 5:30, my husband hears me complaining about my train-wreck of a spice cabinet and how I can't find a freakin' thing in it! So I am sure he will be happy to accomodate.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

happy thanksgiving...

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving...

I thought I would show you this very "Pottery Barn looking" dining room I found on Rate My Space tonight!I think it is pretty darn fabulous! She was inspired to throw a Thanksgiving dinner party after finding the table, which seats a whopping 12 people by the way, at her local thrift store for $29! I want to shop where she shops!

Hope you all have a wonderful day...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

sweet potaotes + pecans = heaven

I am gearing up for Thursday...I will creep out of bed extra early that morning to start the turkey and all the yummy goodness that goes along with Thanksgiving. I love this time of year. Comfort foods...seeing my nieces and nephews...all the boys playing the annual family football game...its just a good old fashioned Holiday around here!

So that is why I need to share this recipe. Try it. Your guests will LOVE it. As in freak-out-when-they-take- the-first-bite-and-insist-on-the-recipe-so-they-can-claim-it-as-their-own - kind of love it.

I am not sure what kind of magic happens in that oven of mine....but when I combine some of this:

 with these:

and a little bit of this:

It comes out to be the most AMAZING creation ever known to grace a Thanksgiving table.

Here is the receipe.

4-5 sweet potatoes
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup flour
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup pecans, choped
Wrap each sweet potato in foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 - 1 1/2 hours. When soft, remove from oven and let cool. Unwrap, and they will mush right out of their skins.

In a bowl, combine sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a 9x13 baking dish.

In a bowl, combine sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle over sweet potato mixture.

Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.


Monday, November 23, 2009

i feel the love...

I thank you all for your emails, you are just so sweet and I am feelin' the painted furniture love over here, thats for sure! I am slooooly loading things up on Etsy, so bear with me.
A sincere THANK YOU to all you fabulous ladies that are patiently waiting for me to get my act together.

You see, with doing shows May-October, I don't have much of a life during that time. I work 7 days a week almost ever week of the summer. So, once that last show wraps in October, I relish in being able to do 'normal' things like...clean my house...cook...finsh off reno projects that are loooong overdue, do a little shopping now and then. Things I should always be able to do, but I have a little problem with the phrase "sure, I can get that done for you by next week" popping out of my mouth waaaaaay too often. I have been busy with custom orders, but with only 2 left to finish that I promised for this month, I have a little time to try to get some things posted before I start in on Decembers load. I am so lucky I love what I do!

So, heres a little preview. (sorry my pics are not the best, my camera had a little "accident" so I have to use my old one for a while.)

I have loads of frames to if you want enough to fill a wall, email me! I think I have 18 vintage ornate frames ready to go...

And yes....I finally have more necklaces done, too! If you ordered one, drop me an email to remind me! My brain is a little fried from all the paint fumes lately...I don't want to forget anyone!

To check out the few things I have listed...visit me on Etsy. I have a way to go to "pretty" the shop, but I at least wanted to get some things posted!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

today's crush...

I am flippin' out, girls! In a good way...because I am crazy in love with this bedroom from one of my favortite blogs. Just a little eye candy from me to you...courtsey of Bird Tweets.

Be sure to hop over and take a peek for more is fabulous beyond words! These 3 crazy ladies are amazingly talented!

Back to reality for me...I've got a floor to paint today! I'm working on getting my new studio space finished by Christmas so I can show you the results. I am giddy with excitement over this makeover!  Stay tuned!