Sunday, April 15, 2012


Giveaway is closed; thanks for entering!  Winner will be announced later this weekend.

For those of you that are new here (welcome!) I don't update this blog anymore, opting to put my updates on FB instead, but trying to figure out how to follow Facebook's rules for a giveaway was giving me a headache. Since I never deleted this blog (it is on my business cards after all...) I decided to use it temporarily for the long-promised GIVEAWAY!

So, what are you going to win?  
Your choice of any of the happy spring birds on my Etsy shop.

There are three different ways to enter and you can each do all of them so you could get up to 4 different entries.

Here's how to enter:

1. Like my Paisley Cinnamon page on Facebook, then return here and tell me in a comment on this post. Don't forget to leave me your email address. 

2. Favorite my Paisley Cinnamon shop on Etsy, then return here and tell me in a comment on this post. Don't forget to leave me your email address. You will need to be logged in to your Etsy account to do this; if you don't have an account, it just takes a minute to set one up, and you're in for a treat!  Etsy is an awesomely fun site to browse (you're welcome.)

3. Share this giveaway with your friends and family by posting a link here on your Facebook page or blog. Come back and leave me a comment-make sure you leave separate comments for each (one comment for sharing on FB, one for sharing on your blog.)

Make sure that each of your entries into the giveaway is in a separate comment on this blog post!

This contest will close at midnight (MST) Friday, April 20 and I will choose a winner at random from the eligible entries. That winner will be notified by Monday, April 23 via email.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012


They say the only thing constant is change, right?

I've been doing a lot of this the last few weeks:

And this is what I think: I am closing this blog.

I am really enjoying my time at home, crafting and filling my Etsy shop and getting to know the Etsy world, but I find that a rather large portion of the time I could be creating is spent on this blog, or on reading other blogs and commenting and trying to break my way into their world.

I am not enjoying that.

I feel like I'm forcing myself to write blog posts when I don't really want to and about things I don't want to post about, trying to find the thing that will make people like me. I'm worried about followers, when the reality is that even the regular readers of my other blog didn't follow me over to here. I miss my old blog. I miss my old readers! I miss being able to say what I want, when I want for no reason other than because I want. I miss being able to read and look at blogs for enjoyment instead of because they might be valuable for me to connect with.

So I'm done. I will continue to document the tearing-apart-of and putting-back-together-of my house on my original blog, because that seems like fun, and all else over there will be business as usual. If you are interested in reading and don't have that blog addy, shoot me a message and I'll send it to you. The rest of my time, I will be able to focus on crafting and Etsy.

If you are interested in my Etsy shop, you can visit here, or follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

This Old House

Today begins an ongoing series entitled,

"My Design Dilemma:
Nate Berkus--Come
and Save Me!"

working title: "I Can't Take It Anymore; Money or No, I'm Just Going To Start Ripping Things Apart."

Tagline: "I Love My House. Really."

I mean, look at this picture: it's adorable! What's not to love?
My husband and I met, married and had 3 babies while we were still in college.
Throw into that mix that baby #3 was born with a disability that requires a lot of medical care and frequent trips to specialists in another town, and you can imagine that we were pretty poor. We were blessed for my husband to find a great job with wonderful benefits not long after graduating, but money has been-and continues to be-tight for us.

Six years ago, some friends in our neighborhood told us they were moving and wondered if we wanted to buy their house. They offered it to us at a wonderful and generous price. We had been in their house many times, and they were very open with us about its flaws. We knew it wasn't perfect, but we had already lived near this neighborhood for 8 years so we would stay in the same church, the same school, and we already knew everyone that lived on the street. It is a close-knit friendly neighborhood, with no through streets and lots (LOTS) of kids that my kids were already friends with. We didn't have to think about it for too long before we said YES!

We moved in and we loved it...after 10 years of marriage living in rental apartment after rental apartment, we had a place of our own. We painted, we rearranged, we planted, we plotted, and I was insanely happy and grateful living here.

For about 4 years.

Don't get me wrong...I'm still happy to live here. All those things that made this house the one for us are still there--the church, the schools, the neighborhood/family--and I'm very grateful to have a house. I know it is a blessing to have it.

But the honeymoon is over.

All those things that the previous owner warned me about? I'm feelin' them now and it's TIME!

What hasn't changed? The total lack of disposable income...

SO! I've made a decision. We are going to renovate our main living room/kitchen. To me that is the area that is the biggest problem (the area that has most often found me yelling, "WHO designed this house??? WHAT were the THINKING?!?). I've decorated and rearranged around the problems for 6 years and now it's time to fix it. With almost no budget. You with me? When we first moved into this house, we had no money and almost no furniture to fill it. I challenged myself to furnish and decorate it with upcycles, hand me downs, and thrift store finds. And I did. And now I'll do it again.

It's going to be a LOOOOONG process, but you can't finish if you don't start, right? I'll keep you updated as I go along--the good the bad, the ugly and the terrifying--my door is open, starting, next Wednesday, with the photo tour of the current state of things....

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Way It Is

Let's make a pact to stop apologizing for how messy our houses are, mkay? No matter what it actually looks like and no matter what you say about it, people will think whatever they are going to think about your house. Why in the world do we feel the need to apologize to an outsider for the way we choose to live inside our own houses, anyway?

I had two experiences with this in the past week, both where I stopped by people's houses unannounced. I'm going to share them with you even though the subject of one of them reads my blog. I hope she's ok with it; the two situations happening one right after the other really struck me and I wanted to talk about it.

Situation #1: Young mother of one toddler. Brand new house, decorated very cute. This house was spotless. SPOTLESS. No dust anywhere, perfectly clean white carpet and not a cluttery item on any surface. There were 2 small toys lying on the living room floor. When I complimented her on how cute her house was, she gestured towards the toys and said, "I'm just so embarrassed that you're seeing it when it's such a DISASTER!" She apologized twice more for the "mess" within the course of our short conversation.

Situation #2: Mother of 4 young boys, busy Friday night following a week where not only had the mother been particularly busy, but most members of the family had been sick at some point during the week. The living room where we sat to visit was a little messy--appropriately lived in. On top of that, we had caught the mom already in her pj's for the evening.

As we went in and sat down and enjoyed our conversation, she never once said anything to apologize for her appearance or that of her house. I want to point out that I even noticed this--NOT because I thought she should apologize, but because it was such a stark contrast to the situation the day before.

As I left house #1, I felt so uncomfortable with our conversation. I didn't know this girl well, but our conversation didn't do anything to help me feel like I knew her better, or- to be honest-to want to. I felt like if her standards were that high, she must be judging me as well, and suddenly felt very uneasy that I had gone to visit her in my scrubby, post-work outfit and windblown hair. I couldn't imagine sitting in her living room and feeling like we could have a warm and cozy chat. I wasn't thinking about the people who live there at all, but about all the stuff, cold and formal.

As I left house #2, after our visit, all I could think is how much I loved and respected this woman. Even though her house and it's appearance are important to her, she knows that making people feel loved and welcome is worth so much more, and that is where her energy and focus were. She has worked hard on making her house beautiful and it is decorated so cute, but after we left that particular night, I couldn't tell you any details about how her room looked, but I do remember the spirit that was there. Sitting in her house and chatting was the very definition of warm and cozy.

For those of you who know me, you know that me publishing this is a little hypocritical-I am the very queen of excusing my house for not being perfect-but I'm going to try my hardest to remember my friend the next time someone knocks on my door. Thanks for being such a good example to me!

Friday, January 20, 2012