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Monday, April 21, 2014

Making our house....a home sweet home!!!

Springtime. The birds are singing...the trees are budding...the weather is warming...the flowers are starting to poke their heads up...and the project list is GROWING!!!

This is the time of year when I can't seem to stop the ideas from coming!! All of a sudden I know exactly what color I want to paint the walls...and exactly which curtains I want for that room. I know what to do with the cool piece I found at the antique mall...and where I want that piece of furniture to go.

Making our house..."home sweet  home"...is one of my, many, obsessions!

 I have always loved "old things". They don't have to be antiques....just have a story. I love old metal and wood. I love imperfections..dings and dents and chippy paint. Over the years that "style" has been called everything from primitive to shabby chic....country to cottage...but, the fact of the matter is...my style...is MY style. I don't think it falls into any, particular, category....and I think that's the way it should be!! But...my style has changed....sort of.

Our house is an old farmhouse...and, when we first moved in, I was determined to make it look "authentic". I wanted the colors to be "old"...the curtains to look "period"...I stenciled and collected the "right" kinds of "country" decorations. Somewhere along the line, however, I realized that a lot of the things I loved...didn't, necessarily, fit into the "authentic" look...and I, also, realized....that it didn't matter!! I love illustrations from old children's books, gardening stuff...like watering cans and children's gardening tools. I love quilts and vintage kitchen stuff....but I, also, love fiestaware and birdhouses, crows and beeskeps, and all kinds of "re-purposed" stuff. The key, here, is that I LOVE everything that makes our house...our home...and that's why it works!!

I don't try to make anything "authentic" anymore...I just pick up whatever catches my eye. Sometimes it's old (more often than not!!) sometimes it's brand new....but, always, without fail...it's something I love and, because of that, I know it will fit right in!!

I am on a burlap kick, right now...(actually, I was into burlap BEFORE it was cool) I bought several different style curtains for a couple of the bedrooms upstairs. It looks awesome (so much so that I think I am going to start to carry curtains!! I will keep you informed!!) and they work, really well, with that new paint color on the wall!! We picked up an old screen door...my husband is going to build a cabinet and use it as the door!! I, also, have funnels (like the ones in the top picture...) that we have been collecting to use for lighting. Maybe inside....maybe outside!!! Oh.....the list goes on and on!!!

Some people think of Spring and Summer as time to  relax...I think of it as time to accomplish!! I mean...the days are longer for a reason...right?? Surely it's so that we can make our home...even sweeter!!


Monday, April 7, 2014

Happiness Is.....

Happiness is....

Do you remember that phrase?? It was all over everything, years ago. T-shirts, mugs, greeting cards....

Sometimes we forget, though, what it is that makes us happy. We get very caught up in day to day stuff...obligations, schedules, duties and chores...working, working, working....we forget to enjoy the simple things. Sometimes we forget to enjoy...anything!!!

I don't think happiness just happens. I think you are, very much, in control of your happiness...it IS a choice! Every day we are faced with situations...good, bad and in between...and how we handle those situations makes us who we are...and dictates whether or not we will be happy.

For example...worrying. It really doesn't help. It's not like the more you worry....the better the outcome. Whatever is going to happen...is going to happen. I try to avoid mistakes, make good decisions and stay on top of the things I can control. The things that I can't control...I try to have a plan to deal with them IF they happen...and move on.

That, particular, trait has served me well in this business that I have chosen. When you are in any kind of "service" trade...you have to deal with all kinds of things. Unavoidable stuff...equipment, deliveries, acts of God....people. I mean...come on...there is no doubt about it...people can be exhausting!!! (that was a really nice way of putting it!!!) But....I wouldn't trade, what I do, for anything!!

We had a lot of "new" people, this week. When that happens we find ourselves "telling our story" over and over again. People want to know how we got started...how long we have been in business...etc. To be honest...it's a good story!! (haha!!) I think my most frequently asked question would be..."do I still love what I do??" Absolutely!!

Does that mean that owning this business is all moonlight and roses...absolutely...not!!! It's long hours and hard work...it's dealing with the good, the bad AND the ugly!! There are moments of joy....and moments of biting my tongue (sometimes really, really hard!!!) There are people who are not all that impressed...and people (thankfully many, many, many....) who love us and all that we do!! It means being a part of a huge extended family...watching all of the important events...as well as the heartbreaking moments!! It means putting myself out there...for possible scrutiny as well as positive feedback!! It's all part of being successful....and we have worked really hard to achieve it!!

I am "myself" every day...and I make no excuses!! While I think that trying to please everyone is a huge waste of energy...I do the best I can to make people happy...it's what I do. And, making people happy, makes me happy!!

We have a sign, hanging in the gift shop...it says "Be yourself...no one can tell you you're doing it wrong" I am not sure I agree with that...I'm sure there are plenty of people who will try!! But...be yourself, anyway, and choose to be happy!!