I got an email a little bit ago. It was from Joanne of Joanne Inspired (isn’t that an adorable name?), and she just told me that she had given me the Liebster Award! It is an award given to blogs with fewer than 500 followers and is designed to help recognize and promote lesser-known blogs.
What the wha!
She chose me?!
I’m not sure I didn’t faint for a couple of seconds when I read that. I mean, I have been so busy and neglected my blog for almost three months while work and family obligations, not to mention that pesky dissertation I have to write, have consumed me. This is a shot in the blog arm if there ever was one! Thank you, thank you, Joanne!
Here are random facts about myself:
1. My first professional job was coordinating developmental education. I took it because it seemed like a good “foot in the door” to securing a job teaching English at a community college. Seventeen years later, I am the vice president of the college and have never had a full-time job teaching English. I do, however, get to teach part-time.
2. I love french fries. I should marry them. If there was only one food on the planet and it was french fries, I would be perfectly fine with that.
3. I have been in school for all but seven years of my life. I don’t know how not to be a student.
4. I have never cooked a whole meal in my life. I once fried an egg, put it on a styrofoam plate, and watched it melt the plate and fall to the floor. And that was probably my best cooking day ever.
5. I wrote my master’s thesis on Anne Tyler’s body of work and never, ever tire of re-reading her books.
So here are Joanne’s questions . . .
1. Why did you start your blog?
My husband is incredibly generous and has done an amazing job of renovating our home. I wanted a way to share his work and have a chance to talk about the spaces he has created for me. I found that blogging about our home also allows me a chance to talk about life in general.
2. Who has been the biggest influence in your life in terms of creativity?
My whole family. My husband is an incredible woodworker, and he taught me the value of taking my time and doing things right. He never takes short cuts or does anything half way, and as a result, his work is solid and lovely.
My mother is the best storyteller I’ve ever known, and she made me love stories, which turned into a passion for reading and writing.
My daughter made me fearless. She just finds something she likes and recreates it with her own signature style. Her ability to love her own creations gave me courage to try and tenacity when I fail. Her passion for creating is incredible. She’s a science teacher, not an artist, by vocation, but you should see her classroom! (She made this adorable pin cushion for me.)
My son is a musician. He taught himself to play the guitar and ukelele, and I’ve never known anyone with as much raw talent for music as he has. He saved money and took a year and a half off from work to work on his craft, and now he plays in a band in Dallas/Fort Worth. He turned me on to the value of YouTube as a teaching tool.
3. What was your favorite DIY home improvement?
Oooh, this is really tough. I think my closet and my craft room are dead even. I mean, the two things I love, shopping and sewing, are all tied up in those two spaces. Plus, they were created by my husband just for me, so they both have a sentimental value to me.
4. What is your favorite post you have written?
My favorite post is the one about taking our honors students to see To Kill a Mockingbird. It doesn’t fit in with the home dec theme of my blog, but it is probably the most reflective post of who I really am.
I can’t believe I get paid to go to college and hang out with these kids every day. No matter what else is going on in my life, when I step into the classroom, I get an hour and fifteen minutes off the beaten path where life is always good.
5. What is your favorite color to incorporate in home decor/design and why?
My favorite color has always been pink. But . . . I don’t decorate with pink because it is too feminine and can be too cloying at times. Blue is my favorite color for decorating and is part of my home in almost every room. It can feel rich and leathery or light and airy, but it always makes me feel cozy and calm.
6. What’s the one place in the world you would love to visit or return to?
Florence. I want to see The David. I want to stand at the feet of the statue and feel the vibrations of its power.
7. What is a favorite childhood memory?
I had a wonderful childhood with a great family, so it’s really hard to choose, but I think one of my things was in high school.
I was the feature editor for our high-school paper, and I did a layout on what it mean to be a Rebel (our mascot) that talked about how you could tell the sophomores, who walked in clusters, and the juniors, who walked in pairs, apart from the seniors, who had the confidence to walk the halls alone, but at the end of the day, we were all the same. We were all Rebels.
The principal read that piece to the entire school one day during announcements! It was so thrilling. Except that I was sick that day and had to hear about it second hand. LOL
8. What is one thing you’d put on your bucket list?
I want to publish a novel. I have one in progress that is about people who live on the same street on the weekend that JFK was killed. I have six of the stories finished, but it had to be put on hold when I started my doc program.
9. If money were no object, what renovation/design project would you tackle immediately?
I would love to open up our kitchen. We have a separate dining room, and the wall between the two is load bearing, so it is going to take some planning. However, everyone wants to hang out in the kitchen when they visit, and there isn’t enough room.
I have chosen the following blogs to recognize with the Liebster Award:
If you’d like to accept the award, here are my questions for you:
1. How would you describe your style as it is reflected in your blog?
2. What is your favorite thing about your blog that you hope others can appreciate?
3. Who would you be most thrilled to have following your blog and why?
4. What is your profession (and I include anyone who works at raising a family!), and how is it related to your blog?
5. If you could take any class you wanted for free, what would you learn how to do or how to do better?
6. What is your signature piece of clothing? Why is it your signature?
7. Who (band, artist, lecturer, etc.) would you most like to see on stage?
8. If you had to choose one character from a book that you feel is most like you, who would it be and why?
9. What is the most creative thing you’ve ever done?
10. If you were to start another blog in addition to this blog, what would it be called? What would be the focus?
I’ve copied the rules from Joanne Inspired to make sure I get them just right.
“Official” Liebster Award Rules: Once a blogger is nominated, and they choose to ACCEPT the award, they should:
1. Thank and link back to the blogger who nominated you
2. Upload the Liebster award badge to your blog
3. Post 5 facts about yourself and answer the 5-10 questions from the person who nominated you
4. Nominate and add a link to 5-10 blogs with fewer than 500 followers
5. Notify the nominees by email or leave a comment on their blog, include 5-10 questions
I thought I would share a little about my fabric storage since one of my favorite things to do is look at how people store their fabric.
This cabinet holds most of my fabric. I arranged by pattern instead of color because I kept looking for patterns. I can tell at a glance if it is cotton, denim, or upholstery grade since I don’t have too much.
Here are my polka dots, stripes, paisleys, and toiles. I used comic backer boards for folding, and you can find all kinds of tutorials on how to fold. If I had fabric that was bigger than what would easily pin, I used some twine/rope to secure it.
Florals, and one thing I like about the comic book boards is that the fabric is relatively the same sizes and stacks nicely. I gave my husband the dimensions based on this type of fold. I think the book lover in me finds this attractive.
This is the top shelf, and the fabric here is fabric that is either thick or contains more yardage and folds best this way. Some of it will be used for skirts (if I can muster the courage to try that), and some will be used for home dec projects.
The basket next to the felt holds fabric that matches for aprons. I don’t want to use it accidentally on a different project. I don’t have much time to sew while going to school, but the aprons are a top priority when I graduate.
I hope you enjoy looking at my fabric as much as I have enjoyed looking at storage and folding techniques.
Have a happy day!
I love looking at people’s organization ideas, don’t you? I have gotten so many great ideas from Pinterest and different blogs, and I can never get enough. When my sewing room is well-organized, I feel inspired to get in there and get something done.
I thought I would share some of my own organization ideas with you. I’m finalizing the cabinets and closet right now, so I’ll have a new post in a few days, but for now, I hope something in my room will inspire you!
I like to store as much as I can in these mason jars because it is so much easier to find things this way. I have two rows, so I can put like things together, too. Much of my sewing odds and ends are in these jars, and I even have some electrical supplies for a project or two.
This tray holds my sewing supplies, and the little dish holds pins. I got this at IKEA in Dallas and put a heavy duty magnet on the bottom. I also use the little rabbit pin cushion. It’s one of my all-time favorite things!
I store some small jars and rolls of washi tape in an old Coke box. The little jars are wedding favors from Walmart, and the little cream and sugar silver set is from an antique store on 6th Street in Amarillo, which is on the old Route 66.
I love these jam jars. If you ever get a chance to try Bonne Maman jelly, you should jump on it. It is wonderful jelly, and the jars are adorable. I’m not a paid spokesperson, but I should be because we buy tons of their jelly and use it in all kinds of pastries.
This is a behind-the-door solution to lots and lots of small bottles of things. I have everything from glitter to Mod Podge to Rit Dye stored here. I stacked the two units together that I got at Michael’s with a 40% coupon. I also have a paper towel holder on the paper cart. I think it’s important to have paper towels handy, especially for painting and working with other liquids.
I have only a few books and some embroidery software, so I keep them handy. The vintage muffin tin holds sewing ods and ends, and the green and white picnic pail holds scissors and small embroidery hoops. The pink truck is a pin cushion my daughter made for me. I cherish it because she painted it and sewed the cushion just for me.
I got this twine-rope holder from Antique Farmhouse, and I can’t tell you how often I used it. I will have to get more of the rope one of these days. That little camera in the forefront is from Anthropologie, and it holds washi tape.
I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions because I seem to forget them shortly after the new year. Or I don’t even start because New Year’s day is not conducive to beginning a new habit or tradition, and who cares what happens on January 2nd, anyway?
So here is what I resolve to do:
As a person whose most time-consuming aspect of her job, I manage people. I don’t mean manipulate; I mean manage. And part of managing people means understanding what they need and giving it to them. One of the people I work with just needs me to listen. One always needs a hug and reassurance that we are “okay.” One needs two minutes of my time. And when he says, “two minutes,” he really does mean two minutes. I resolve to be better about giving this to them. I resolve to manage my own frustrations and giving them the time and care they need. In the long run, I expect, I’ll find that this really makes my own life easier.
I resolve to stop agreeing to do things that I do with resentment and ill will. I will manage myself better so that I am not cultivating negativity because I failed to acknowledge that I don’t have time or simply don’t want to do something.
I resolve to stop believing that I am the only person who can do something, nay everything. I will trust others, and I will accept their efforts, whether they meet my own standards or not, with gratitude and love.
I resolve to manage my own self as carefully as I manage others. I will do one little thing to help myself: I will spend the first five minutes of each work day with my calendar, getting a feel for what I need to accomplish at work.
Have a happy day!
2013 brought some real challenges, especially the deaths of two of my coworkers less than a month apart. It also brought a massive blizzard that I missed, the death of one of my cats, and the retirement of several long-term, fantastic board members at my college.
But this year also brought some really great things, things I want to make sure I acknowledge and express gratitude for.
In no particular order, these are the 13 best things about 2013:
1. My daughter earned her second master’s degree and is now the most educated woman on both sides of our family for as long as we’ve tracked our families.
2. My son got married to a wonderful, beautiful young woman who loves him like crazy.
3. My daughter-in-law (aforementioned) got her first professional job teaching high school, and my son-in-law started his master’s degree in business.
4. Breaking Bad.
5. My mother and father are still with us. As are all of my siblings and their families. I am especially grateful for our good health.
6. I celebrated my 29th anniversary with the love of my life.
7. I finished my coursework for my doctorate and will be, officially, ABD in February if I pass my comps.
8. I saw Pearl Jam! Yep, that’s right, Pearl Jam. In Oklahoma City. And it was magical.
9. I started the corner farmhouse blog and actually made over 20 posts. That’s big, people! Big!
10. I reconnected with childhood friends on facebook. Kids I grew up with and went to school with all 12 years (or mostly). Still the best friends I have ever had.
12. I got to have lunch with Carlotta Walls-Lanier, the youngest of the students who integrated Little Rock High School in the 1950s. She is a fascinating, lovely woman.
13. I turned 50 and swam a mile on my birthday; swimming that mile was the biggest goal I set for myself this year!
Last year, I was incredibly blessed to get a new craft room. I had a couple of spaces before, but neither were very conducive to creating. I pinned thousands of spaces, hoping to find one that felt exactly right. I found a couple of inspiration spaces that I’ll share in another post, and I began designing. My husband took my ideas, sketched out some plans and spent his whole summer making my furniture. I had one cabinet that I kept, and he refinished our old kitchen table.
I can never, never express sufficient gratitude for this work of love. It was the summer after our son moved from home for the last time (he’s married, now) and I lost my beloved beagle, Holly. The year had been particularly difficult at work, too. This room is a gift of immeasurable proportions to me.
The cabinet is a music cabinet I bought from my college. I use it to store small notions for scrapbooking and other crafting. The cabinet beside it holds my fabric, and the cart on the other side is one I got from antiquefarmhouse.com to hold wrapping paper.
This cabinet has large bins for fabric, pillow forms, and stuffing. The top bins hold some of my sewing patterns, backing, and other supplies. The basket in front is one I covered that holds batting and foam.
This is a view from the other side of the room. I made the curtain for the closet, which has great storage space. The cabinet that holds the mason jars holds them double deep, so there are twice as many as you can see. I also have the turquoise Ikea cart to hold fabric for projects in progress. Right now I am working on a couple of infinity scarves and a new bedskirt.
Here is a view of my sewing cabinet. I have a simple Brother that works great, a small Brother embroidery machine, and a large Singer embroidery machine that I got for my birthday. It has a hoop size that is enormous. I’m fixing to break that baby in with some monogrammed sheets and pillow cases. I feel a little spoiled to have a great tv, but my cute builder insisted on building a shelf to accommodate it, and now I am really glad.This is the storage in the music cabinet. My husband found one at the high school that was headed for the trash and rescued it. He is going to refinish it since it was painted and the glass was missing, but it is the twin to this cabinet.
The cabinet in the corner holds a ton of stuff, and it has three sets of doors in case I change spaces and need it in a different configuration. I can access the entire shelf, but he made sure that it was suitable for any other space if we ever move.
The cabinet next to it is on casters to ensure that we can move it if we need to access the doorway for something big. It is an incredible cabinet that holds my cricut and my silhouette machines. The top shelf holds my ribbons, felting supplies, and smashbooks in various containers.
The table and chairs are our old kitchen table, and he completely refinished them and painted them to match the rest of the furniture.
I am proud to link to Miss Mustard Seed!
Have a happy day!
- Counting the days til Christmas (creativestyling3.wordpress.com)
I’ve been missing for the last month, trying to finish up the semester. It’s like this every semester . . . you marathon grade papers and finals and any extra credit projects, and you forget to breathe the whole time. On top of that, I was finishing my last semester of coursework and attending the winter meeting for our regional accrediting agency, SACS-COC in Atlanta. I’m having a hard time remembering to breathe still, but my little blog, and my little farmhouse are about to get some attention.
A few years ago, we remodeled our bedroom, which was a converted attic. I got a wonderful closet out of the deal, but I thought I would share some pictures of the bedroom. I’ve since changed comforters and rearranged the shelves, but it gives a good sense of the space.
Isn’t that “C” divine?! I think it looks like perfectly aged copper, but it’s a cardboard letter from JoAnn’s wrapped in foil and painted. If anyone is interested, let me know, and I can do a tutorial. I don’t know if people like things like this, but I do. I also made a pail for cat food for our outside cats. It looks wonderfully rusted. Maybe I’ll link a picture of it soon.
I will be doing my craft room reveal around the first of the year, and I’m so excited to share it with you! In the meantime, have a joyful, peaceful holiday.
. . . and have a great day!
I’ve been lucky enough to have three different craft spaces, the last of which is a custom built space by my awesome, awesome husband. My first craft room taught me a whole lot about storage, and I thought I would share some of my storage ideas with you. I am working on getting my new craft room cleaned and reorganized to get some pictures together for a post, but in the meantime, maybe something I’ve done can help you organize your space. I love looking at pictures of people’s storage, so I hope you enjoy these.
This is a cabinet that my husband built me for sweaters. He built it around these baskets, but then we remodeled our master suite, and I had a great space for sweaters, so I used this for crafts. The first picture is the inside, and the second is the cabinet closed.
This is an old television cabinet that I used. It was great for paper storage, and I used to do mostly paper crafts, so I had lots to store! Now it is a cabinet for linens, and I’ve painted over the green.
I took my old containers for shoes after we built the new closet and made these little boxes out of cardboard. I was so proud and thought no one had ever done this, and then I saw that someone had actually made boxes of wood. Wooah! She is way better at this than I am.
I put all of my eyelets and brads into these little wedding favors from Michaels. I got them with a coupon, so they were a pretty good price, and they are really cute. Now I use them for small bottles of glitter.
I have a music cabinet that these craft boxes fit into perfectly, and I still use it for the same purpose. It is full of these boxes, each in its little slot. It is dreamy for people who like to organize.
Have a happy day!
A while back, I made this wall hanging for my office. My daughter, who is extremely creative and gutsy in her crafting, and I spent a cold day over spring break crafting. We gathered up some tree branches from the elm tree in our front yard, and I used some 1.00 frames from the Dollar Tree.
I cut the letters with my Cricut from the Songbird cartridge using the shadow font and the regular font. The regular font is glittered with a homemade mix of Martha Stewart fine glitter in greens and blues. I used Tim Holtz distress ink in blue and browns to age the paper and then painted the frame and used similar distress inks.
I used scraps from scrapbook paper that my daughter gave me. She ran them through a shredder, and then I started gluing and stacking until I had a nest. It takes some patience, but I used a glue gun and a whole lot of paper. Using the glue gun gave me a little forgiveness in time so I could shape the nest.
The egg is a plastic Easter egg that I covered in glitter. If you ever make a glittered egg, take it apart and do each piece separately. It makes it much easier to handle. I sprayed the egg with spray adhesive and used the same glitter as I used for the letters. I sprayed and glittered twice to make sure it was well covered. After I put the egg together, I tied a piece of crinkled ribbon to hide the seam and glued it into the nest with hot glue.
I took a scrap of paper to make a flag and then stamped on it. I folded it so it would be kind of 3D’ish. The ribbon I used to hang it all was from Martha Stewart. I bought it several years ago on super-duper clearance at Michael’s, and the quality is incredible.
I have this hanging right across from my office desk as a reminder that to find the joy in life. When I get overwhelmed, which is most of the time, I find comfort in these words, which I hear in my heart: “Be still, and know that I am God.”
I hope your week is filled with joy, and I hope you can be still when life seems to be too much. Just for a moment, just to catch your breath.
Have a happy day!