Tuesday, August 26, 2014

shop is open

My shop is open, although kind of bare for now. I am still working like crazy (well, as crazy as I can) to get things finished up and posted. Keep checking back to see what comes up in the next week. I have some fun things on their way!

click on picture above to go to my site

around my home

The words "business", "clients", and "work" seem so foreign to me. I am not a "businesswoman" by any means. I am just a mom who home schools her kids, spends the remainder of her day cooking, cleaning, meal-planning, organizing, cleaning out a chicken coop and running errands. My one passion is creating. My passion is interior design, and if money and time were no object, I would go back to college and get my degree. Along with interior design, I love crafting, sewing, flower arranging, party planning, baking, painting, and pretty much anything else where I can use my creativity and hands. If you are new to my blog, WELCOME! Also, since my business is taking shape, I want to give you an idea of what my passion looks like.

My 7 and 8-year-old's joint birthday party. Trying to celebrate together as long as I can get away with it. 
I have learned, over a period of 11 years, that kids love balloons. Lots of balloons. They are a very economical and colorful decoration...and will fascinate them for hours on end. This year I used normal balloons, as well as large (about 20") latex, and the numbers "7" & "8" mylar ones. The birthday graphic is from one of my favorite shops (Caravan Shoppe). You can download their graphics onto your computer and print them at home, or at an office supply store. I had a 3' x 4' engineering print made at Staples for under $8.  The chalkboard is one that I made. It is my command center, my chalkboard canvas, and my homeschooling board. Needless to say, it gets daily use. If I could do it over again, I would change a few things, but I still love it, and it fills the wall beautifully.

Our Christmas mantle. 
I sewed all of the stockings, as well as painted the very large canvas. I have had several people ask whether I would sell these in my shop. I plan on creating several different sizes and styles for this upcoming holiday season. Keep an eye out. I will post them in the next month or so. Who knows, I might throw a few stockings in there as well.

36" square hand painted canvas.
My OCD senses are tingling with this canvas. I actually still have to do a few touchups. However, I plan to make a few more like this for my shop as well. I can take orders for different color combinations as well since this isn't a holiday specific item. Again, they will be up on my shop's site too.
Revamped lamp
I took a new lamp base in a color that I was not fond of, and painted it. After painting it a medium gray tone, I waxed it with Annie Sloan's dark soft wax, buffed it, and recovered the boring lampshade with this fabric. It is a cream grain sack cloth with a robin's egg blue stripe. Oh, and you see that side table? That one, and it's twin are about to get painted...My motto: "Paint all the things!"
Since we are talking about grain sack stripes, I repainted this lovely steps tool from IKEA for our kitchen. I use it all the time since I am only 5'2". I can't reach half of my cabinets.

coffee filter & twig wreath
People can hardly believe that this wreath was made out of coffee filters. It is a fun project and I love making them. Would anyone be interested in purchasing one? I won't put them in my shop, but I would take orders if anyone wanted one. I can also do white. This is a natural color.

map wreath
I love maps. This is one of my favorite projects. Instead of spending a fortune on framing this map (Aren't the colors amazing?) I created a vintage "pull down" effect. Sorry for the grainy iPhone pic.

hand-painted doll bed
I painted this doll bed and sewed the bedding for my daughter's American Girl doll. The bed is from IKEA. With a little latex paint, and a cute hand-painted detail, I saved a ton of $ doing it myself...and she had the cutest doll bed of any other little girl I know :)

giant map wreath
Have I mentioned that I love maps? This wreath was made with an old atlas. I have had many comments on it, and am thinking about selling them in my shop. It is not difficult, but very labor intensive. It also caused lots of burned fingers. Ouch!

I would love your feedback on the items above. I am trying to get a feel of what people are looking for. I will always do furniture, but I would like to include some other pieces as well.

Friday, August 22, 2014

seven & the gap

This boy...

This boy and his crazy faces...

 ...and his endless energy make me laugh.

He loves his sister. They are "Irish twins" you know...and partners in crime.

If you don't know him well, you would never know he was such a ham. He is unassuming, and quiet, and seemingly shy. If they only knew...

He is seven. My baby is seven. 

When you hear that "kids grow up fast", you never really understand until you have them. Yes, the days are long, but the years truly are short.  If I had my way, I would stop time and keep all of my kids at this very age. They are all so wonderful. They are funny, sweet, caring, thoughtful, and kind. This one has the sweetest gap in his teeth. When his teeth came in that way, I was a little sad. I guess I wasn't a fan of the gap. Now, I can't imagine him without it. I know that the time is quickly approaching that those teeth will be gone, and there is a big part of me that knows (1) I will most likely cry like a baby, and (2) I will hope that the gap returns. You could say that I have become a huge fan of the gap. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

faith & flying

I love working with my hands. I always have. I have never considered myself to be artistic, but I do love to create things. I love taking something functional and making it pretty. I love taking a piece of furniture that has been overlooked or discarded, and make it into something quirky or beautiful. 
I have decided to take a small leap of faith and start a little business - "Linen & Grey".
I will be selling hand painted furniture, canvases, and other things that catch my eye. 
Over the next few months, I will be working on inventory, revamping my blog/website, and starting some marketing. 
You can follow my shop on Instagram (#linenandgrey), and soon on Facebook and etsy (www.linenandgrey.etsy.com). 
I plan on previewing my pieces here on my blog, as well as keeping up my normal shenanigans. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Look at this face...
How you doin'?
I have wanted chickens for years. We live on an acre, and have a barn. Why would one not want chickens? I mean, they are hilarious. Please feel free to scroll back up to that picture and try not to chuckle. Did you know that chickens have personalities? They do. We have one we call "Nugget", although my husband still insists that her name is "White Bread". He thinks he is funny like that.
That stinker is the rebel rouser of the group. She is the smallest grown hen, but has the biggest attitude.
Nugget as an adolescent. She is a mess.
This is one of our babies. Not sure which one. Am I a bad chicken momma if I don't know which is which? I can barely keep all of my own kids' names straight most of the time, so whatever man. Don't judge me. 

Unnamed chicken being held against her will
Caroline says that the chickens "love to hug her". Really? I'm going to just let her keep thinking that. Maybe that means that she will be willing to scrape the 2 tons of chicken poop off of their nesting boxes if they give her enough hugs.  I won't hold my breath.

sweet 3rd child with fancy chicken
This one has recently grown long feathers around her neck. She is Fancy. (Cue, "I'm So Fancy" here, and get your groove on for a second...okay, come back now.). I have noticed her looking down on the other hens lately. I think she's getting a little full of herself if you ask me. Seriously, how cute is that sweet face (the kid, not the chicken)...which leads me to this...

He is the Jim Carry of 7-year-olds.
It's late, and I have to go tuck in my chickens...um, I mean, kids. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

i want a tiny house

This is not a joke. I really do. I think my husband assumes that the Texas heat is making me delirious. To that I say, "No, dear, being at home with all these kids, every single day is making me delirious. The kids wearing 14 changes of clothes, and snacking every single second of every single day, and crafting, and cutting up paper, and gluing all of the things, and making all of the messes makes me delirious." When I think of how much time I spend cleaning, it makes me want to downsize. Like my friend Jennifer says, "It's all gonna burn." Amen.

I have been watching the new series Tiny House Nation, and can I just say, GAH!!! I want one. Just think about the advantages:
  • being able to clean your whole house in 30 minutes #winning
  • less clothes...less laundry #nudistsdontseemsocrazy
  • the freedom of no mortgage #daveramseywouldbeproud
  • less of an environmental footprint #weonlyhaveoneearth
  • mobility #maybealaska #yeahright
  • The less you have, the less you have to maintain. #myhubbyagrees
  • less time handcuffed to housework = more time with the snacking, clothes changing, messy kids #halleluyer
  • no more clutter #cluttermakesmelosemyshizz
The only disadvantages I can see are:
  • No Christmas tree (seriously...this is a biggie for me)...I could do this though:
    Ikea fabric tree #icoulddigit

  • I might possibly consider taking up drinking if I have to be within 3 arm's length of any human being for more than 8 hours a day. #ineedtointrovert
  • Where would all of our stuff go? #noreallywherewoulditgo
  • I must have a tub and real toilet. #noneofthatcompostingnonsense
  • the noise of being so close #lotsofnoisemakesmecranky 
So, there you go. If you still don't see the appeal, I leave you with this my friends:
tiny storybook house
Cutest house ever. End of story. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

flying my decorating freak flag

Anyone who knows me well is very aware that interior design is my passion. I never really figured out why I didn't major in it in college. My best guess is that I had no idea it was a "real" job. I remember growing up with my Memom taking me to the fabric store, and I would run the fabrics through my fingers and flip through pattern books looking for our next creation together. It was the fabrics and ribbon that did it for me. I am, and always have been a textile junkie, although I am allergic to the dye in the fabrics. I don't mind...if I'm going to go into anaphylactic shock, I would die a happy girl if I was surrounded by satin ribbon, and gingham, and vintage lace. I also love paper, typography, and furniture. I remember thumbing through my mom's Southern Living and Country Living magazines since I was a little girl. I never thought they were "boring grown up magazines". I was always very interested in seeing how rooms came together, and how color and texture, furniture and fabrics, art pieces and knickknacks were telling a story. I remember begging my mom to redecorate my room as a teenager. I was so excited when she agreed, and then proceeded to paint my room this hideous bright turquoise with a white sponge painted faux finish. I found a southwestern piece of art for above my pine furniture, and that is, fortunately, all I could remember. It was hideous. But I was hooked on decorating. Did I mention how hideous it looked? Well, it was hideous.
I find myself stuck in a decorating rut in my own home. Like some of you (any of you?), I thumb through pages of the latest home decor magazines (Southern Living and Country Living are still two of my favorites...like mother, like daughter), peruse Pinterest, and scour my favorite blogs, to be inspired...but sometimes I don't feel inspired. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed. Sometimes I feel frustrated.
I can't even explain my style anymore because I feel drawn to so many. I think my style is nature inspired/industrial/farmhouse/cottage/vintage/eclectic. That's totally a style. Mmmhmmm. I love neutral spaces, but I love a little color. I love sweet florals, and soft romantic fabrics, but I also love cowhides, wood, and plaid. I love lots of white, but I also love pops of color. I LOVE ALL OF THE DESIGN AND ALL OF THE STYLES.
I can boss people around give my friends design advice all day long without a problem, but I am paralyzed when it comes to putting up a picture on a wall in my home. I clearly have issues.
Recently, I read The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith.
The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith
Y'all, it has changed my life. It gives you permission for your home to be imperfect. Decorate with what you love. Decorate with what is meaningful. Her blog is pretty fabulous too...

The Perfectly Imperfect Home
This is the other book that I am reading now it The Perfectly Imperfect Home. It is pretty incredible too.
And since we are talking about flying our freak flag...weren't we... I am going to chose to fly my decorating freak flag. Let me back up a bit. I read this post from The White Buffalo Styling Company. Go ahead a read it, or it won't make sense... or you can just read this excerpt because it explains everything I am feeling:

"What if people think my style is weird?  I mean my style is kind of out there. What will the voters want?  Should I tone down my style to please others?...I’m going forward with my designing life and CWTS committed to FLYING MY STYLE FREAK FLAG, a.k.a doing what I love without worry of what anyone else thinks.
And I want to re-encourage y’all to do the same!  Fly it high and proud.  Let it wave and flap in the winds of other opinions that brush up against it. Do what you love.  Always.  Without worry, without fear.  And do it with joy. Because when you start to worry about what others are going to think or like, your joy and creativity is stolen.  Gone.  Without a trace.  Trust me."
~Lindsay of The White Buffalo Styling Company
I'm choosing to use colors that I love, pictures that I love, art that I love, fabrics that I love, and anything else that I want to because YOU AREN'T THE BOSS OF ME! Seriously, I think that we should surround ourselves with things we love. Don't worry if it doesn't fit a style, or look like a book cover, or isn't what all the cool kids are doing. Seriously, the cool kids just have low self-esteem and their parents are fighting again.
So, I challenge you to do the same. Surround yourself with what you love. It will be perfect. Perfectly you, and you will love it.