Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Deal of the Week

Who doesn't need a cute tote?  I have a bit of a bag obsession and it is not meshing well with motherhood and the diaper bag.  But, this could double as both.  I love the leather handles, inside pocket, and zipper closure.  Not to mention the crown.....

25th Anniversary Crown Tote

Happy 25th Anniversary Ballard Design!  Thank you for offering this limited time sale. This would make a great holiday gift.  Bring it to the hostess filled with wine or homemade candy.  Stock it with eco-friendly products for a subtle hint to your unPC friends.   Stuff it with CO Bigelow lip gloss, Fresh Brown Sugar Body Cream, and Origins Charcoal Mask for your sister/mother/daughter for under the tree (hint, hint).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Age Old Question.....Answered!

Kirsten over at 6th Street Design School gathered some answers from fellow bloggers..... I love this post!  Check out the rest of the series about balancing motherhood, work, toys, and design.

It is amazing what I can get done during nap times!!!
-Leah Hill The Way We Are 
ha!  it's hard; i squeeze it in whenever i have a spare second....luckily one of mine is in mother's morning out 5 days a wk so that helps....nap time, late at night, or early in the morning is when i try and blog, answer emails, work, etc.
-Shannon Darby Pink Wallpaper  
All a matter of make time for things you want to do.  I'm thinking though that I may need to readjust my priorities because I have replaced blogging for exercise and tv..and let's just say eye sight and booty are the first things to go when sitting down and starring @ a computer....Perhaps it is time to get back into exercise:-)
-Christina Brian Full House  
We each choose how to spend our time, we make time for things we love to do. I love to blog and create so I make time for them.  I try to get as much "computer stuff" done as I can while my children are napping + and school. There are also occasional late nights, but I never do it because I feel like I have to. I truly love what I'm doing so really, it's more of a relaxation to me than anything.
-Danyelle Mathews Dandee Designs

I wrote about this in a post awhile back. I get up at five a.m. to have a couple hours of productive quiet time before the chaos begins. Also, now that both children are in school I am able to devote much more time to my work, but am done with work by the time the kids get off the bus. I do make sure my summer schedule is lighter, however, so as to have more down time with the kids. I find I need the break as well!

Part time childcare! I have a babysitter come for a few hours every morning and take the boys to the park. For me it is the perfect balance of mom-time and making time for me to get some stuff done.
-Jordan Ferney  Oh Happy Day

My time with my kids is sacred.  For the most part, I work only after they go to sleep.  We get so little time with them as it is. Unfortunately, something's gotta give, and that something is my sleep.  I could not live without my iPad.  I keep it on my nightstand so that I can quickly respond to e-mails without having to fire up my laptop.
- Krista  Kiki's List

I cannot wait to read how other designers/bloggers do it!  I think it's the million-dollar question.  I'm not a great morning person, so my main work time is late at night after everyone goes to bed.  If I don’t write my post the night before, I probably won't have anything new on my blog the next day.  I try to stay on top of email during the day between doing 101 other things.  It's tough, but I love it.
Emily Clark

Ooohh...  THE Number ONE question emailed to me.
My REALLY short answer...

My amazing, awesome, sexy hubby... does the laundry.

hahahahahah... yup.  It's true.
And no, you can't have him :)
Okay, even though that's a HUGE chunk of time saved... that's not ALL of it...
The REALLY BIG one, is...
I - LOVE - WHAT - I - DO.
There isn't a day that goes by that I don't look around and say... "What the HECK am I thinking!" LOL
But there also isn't a day that goes by that I don't stop, at some point during the day and wonder "How lucky am I !? "
Life is short.  And goes by too quick, and no matter what... my Family always comes first.
Blogging, decorating, and my vinyl business are ways for me to help out my family, not only to make a little money for us, but also... because they make this Momma HAPPY! :)
And you know what they say... "If Momma ain't happy........"  lol.
I've found something that is MINE... that I have a passion for and that also keeps me feeling GOOD!
And no.  I'm not talking about the times in my week when I break down crying because my house is mess and I have 200 new emails in my inbox, or when my three year old sneaks under my desk and flips that lovely RED SWITCH, to OFF, on my computer, and I lose EVERYTHING...
(yes, this has happened twice.  And I literally had to LOCK MYSELF in my bathroom for about 20 minutes, so as not to BEAT my child into her next life)
........just keepin' it real.
I'm talking about the times when ...
* I find myself literally laughing out loud, crying or nodding along while reading peoples comments left on our blog.
* I get the opportunity to connect with extremely talented women, that inspire me EVERYDAY, all over the world!
* I experience peace and therapy from writing my thoughts down...the good, the bad, AND the funny :)
* I Create something new, that I am proud of, and get to share it!
* Finding out that you and a few thousand other ladies can relate to and feel the SAME way about things... that YOU DO!
So I guess that my answer to this question REALLY is...It's hard.  Anyone who tells you different... is a liar. LOL.
There will NEVER be enough hours in the day. 
Kids, church callings, a house, a husband, school, business, blog.....  It's all just part of who I am, now... It's what makes me tick...
* Nobody can be the BEST at everything.  I'm still working on this one, but I think I'm coming to terms with that. LOL.
- Someones house will ALWAYS look better
- Your neighbor/friend/co-worker will always make more money than you...
- And you can NEVER give ENOUGH time, attention or LOVE to your kids.... because even if you try your HARDEST, you'll almost ALWAYS feel like you could have done more.
SO... just DO YOUR BEST!... and if YOU feel good about what YOU'VE accomplished at the end of the day... then that's ALL that matters :)
If I've learned one thing in my adult life so far... it's this...
Time is like Money... You'll never agree on how other people decide to spend it :)  ~Shelley Smith haha
hmmm... I think that needs to be in vinyl somewhere........
lolShelley Smith  House of Smiths

As a new blogger, I am finding myself really having to set some boundaries. The other day both my kids came down with their toy computers and sat down next to me on the couch. They wanted to be like mommy. Oops. Not sure I want that to be how they view me. So now I blog when I first get up in the morning, I wake up about 45 minutes before they do and enjoy a hot cup of coffee and some alone time. Great way to start the day. I also make use of nap time. I either work on a house project or sit down at my computer. As a stay at home mom, it's nice when the husband can swoop in and take over for a bit and I find a quiet hour to myself. Everyone gains from that. Like everything, it's a major balancing act.
-  Courtney Fernan A Thoughtful PlaceMmmmm, I’m looking forward to everyone else’s answer to this question. I didn’t blog and I limited my design projects when my children were very small, partly because they were very demanding and partly because I served as the president of my local mothers of multiples club. It has gotten easier now that my children are in preschool and my volunteer commitments have diminished – but the tradeoff is that they no longer nap and they now have afternoon activities. I take appointments while they are in preschool, but I struggle to find time to blog or actually do my design work. Right now, I stay up too late and drink too
much caffeine. I certainly couldn’t blog or run Traci Zeller Designs without a wonderfully supportive husband and trusted, reliable babysitters who we consider family. While I don’t have a set child care schedule, it helps to have someone to call on when I just can’t get it all done by myself. Henry and Charlie are also starting to play very well independently – which is delightful, not only because it allows me to do some work but because I love to hear them enjoying each other’s company.

It is a constant juggling act. I get up an hour before my son. This is my time for prayer, shower, and blogging. Its a great way to get a jump start on my day and feel refreshed. I work my business during his naptime or at nights when he is asleep. With kids you always have to be flexible with the unexpected so I am not hard on myself if I miss a day of working my business.  
-  Anna Liesemeyer In Honor of DesignGet up early...when they sleep.  I have a netbook so I can snuggle on the sofa with them while they are watching a movie and I can check emails etc... I try not to be plugged in all the time. 

I like Gabrielle Blairs advice to allocate time to be at home and then time to work. Don't try to mix them or you'll find you don't do a good job at either. I think about this a lot and try to either work after my kids are in bed or hire a babysitter.
- Stephanie Stephmodo

I didn't start my blog until my kids were all in school, and so I have quite a bit more "free" time than I have had for the last 11 years!

I break up the work. I like to get several posts started with the chunks of time that I have when my kids are at school. I will scan pictures, or find pictures, and then start anywhere from 3 to 10 posts. As I have time throughout out the week, I will flesh out the posts, one at a time.  All appointments for consultations and other design work is done while my kids are in school. It may sound a little old fashioned, but no matter how busy I get, I always want to be there for my three children when they get home from school.
- Autumn Design Dump

 My daughter hates my laptop and slams it closed every time I open it so I do all of my e-design and blogging when she's napping or asleep at night! 

If my daughter is awake I find it almost impossible to design or blog. I try to keep my work/blogging to early mornings, afternoon naps, and bed-time. Separating my time allows me to give 100% attention to my daughter or my clients. 
It's all about scheduling and compartmentalizing. I wake up early and work before the kids get up and I stay up late and work after they go to bed, sometimes until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. It's not easy to be a full time mom, a full time blogger and a full time decorator. Being a mom is the priority for me, and sadly, that's the job with the least obvious deadlines and the most flexibility. How easy is it to turn on Nick Jr and get a couple of hours of work done without having to pay a sitter? For me though, that's not the point, and I'm not happy when I find myself there. Recently we hired a part time nanny who comes in on Tuesdays and Thursdays and that is really helping me, both in my ability to get things done and in feeling more comfortable with the amount of work I am taking on. By compartmentalizing this way, I feel like I am a much more present mom during the rest of the week.

There are just too many good things to do with our 24 hours in the day. It's easy to feel guilty or frustrated or overwhelmed, but I'm getting better about taking things in stride and focusing on only the best things. My motto is 'I can't do it all, but I 
can do a lot.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Shelf Style SOS

Look at this pathetic excuse for living:

Yup, I unpacked the books and such in no particular order and just left them like that.  Yikes!

I wish Jamie from i suwannee could help me.  I wish her obsession with pretty bookcases would be contagious.  

In other news, the couch was delivered last week! L-U-V.  

Friday, October 22, 2010

Weekend Warrior

A few weekends ago, husband tackled a little project for me.  I spy......

Corner shelves!!

What a guy!  And, no swearing was involved!

Still not sure about the content, but we're experimenting.

Do you have any projects this weekend?  Tell me about them....(Really, don't be shy.  Hit comment and type away :))

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dining Chairs: Before And After

Remember these?

Well look at them now:

A few months ago I scored some Christopher Farr fabric in "Ravenna" (Julie - I don't remember the seller, sorry!) and FINALLY used it on my dining room chairs  (also an ebay score).  Sadly (and more frustratingly), I did not end up upholstering them myself.  I attempted one, and I found myself and the living room knee deep in foam, staples, and very sharp upholstery tools.  NOT a great environment for a 3 month old.  Will I EVER get my own workshop?? (Now I feel like I need to go read Virginia Woolf)

Do you like my new table from World Market?  You'll see a better view soon.  Promise. Maybe even tomorrow.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Canada Is Really Bringing It, Eh

Canada has really got it going on.  They filled a lot of gaps (RIP Domino) with their sustaining shelter magazines, gave us HGTV, and introduced us to Sarah RichardsonSarah's House (or as my husband calls it, Sarah's Hoose) is so fun to watch, although I still don't quite understand what she does with the houses she renovates or how she makes a profit.

Now meet Christine.  She lives in Toronto and recently contacted me about purchasing my Christopher Farr fabric.  Since I never used it, I was happy to give it a new home.  After she described where she wanted to use the fabric in her house (Chiang Mai Dragon, Imperial Trellis, David Hicks "La Fiorentina"...) I HAD to see pictures.  Let me preface this by telling you she has 3 kids and a "large" dog......There is hope for my white couch yet!

I should've bartered for the ottoman! 

White pouf! 

This chair is covered in faux ostrich skin making it very durable to sticky kid fingers.  Brilliant!  I will steal this idea for my chairs.

Love Valley of the Dolls

I love her use of neutrals with pops of vibrant accents.  It looks like she put a lot of thought into her collections to achieve that layered look.  This house does not look like it was copied out of a catalog. 

Where did she find these things you ask?  Well, she happened to divulge her secrets to me:

1. Ottoman and lamp- Global Home NY
2. Vintage Sette- etsy  (bohemiennes)
3. Mirror- homesense  This is the Canadian version of Homegoods.  TJX owns them.  
4. Platner Chair- ebay
5. Tufted Chair- Cocoon Furnishings- Lillian August line
5. Cushions- etsy ( and furbish studio and a few other etsy sellers (imperial trellis, japanese kimono pillow and blue stripes)
6. sofa- Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams (Elte)
7. Coffee table- custom design
8. Rosewood furniture- vintage from family
9. Rug- Ikea Stockholm Rand and cowhide (Elte)
10. Artwork on fireplace- Nama Roc0co (Lille a Shop)

Christine promised to send me an "after" photo of where she is putting the Christopher Farr fabric.  I am looking forward to reading her contributions to the blog world.  Be sure to add her to your daily read!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What Wood You Do With This Empty Space?

Ah, old jokes are back (lucky you!)

Look what Jenny did to her friend's non-working fireplace:

I love this look.  It will take a lot of wood to fill up our fireplace, but I love the rustic look it will bring to the room.  Now - if I could only find that Moroccan rug somewhere for cheap. I had it in my grasps a few years back at a major rug sale event, but had no room for it at the time :(  Maryam from My Marrakesh has some great choices and her prices are a fraction of  the cost you'd find in the US.  Email her for details.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Have You Heard Of This Store?

Global Home

Well, I haven't.  Lots of eye candy AND it has the ottoman I've been wanting for ages....

CF064 Light Burn Oak A008 Ottoman

Thanks to a blog reader (Hi Christine!), I have a new online store to peruse.  You'll be hearing more about Christine in the near future.  I love making new friends from this blog :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Before and After: Green Monstah

Remember this beauty picked up on Ebay?

Well, I should go away more often because look what greeted me when I got home last week:

It now serves as a changing table and houses Quinn's growing wardrobe.  I L-U-V it!

I am pretty sure husband used a plain old roller.  It came out awesome!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Before And After: Nursery

This room is by no means finished but I thought I'd give you a preview of at least one furnished room in the house.  I'm still contemplating furniture placement since the room kind of evolved from wherever the movers set the chair and bookshelf.  


We added a bathroom where a closet used to be


We still have to hang art and drapes, too.  A home is always a work in progress isn't it?

Happy Friday!