Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's Happening...Just As It Should

Life is a funny funny thing.  Not necessarily funny-ha-ha, though that is always enjoyable, but more of a funny-ironic thing. 

It's funny how creativity can come naturally sometimes, and other times you have to work at it.  Either way, it takes talent, and knowledge, and passion to live.

And as I sit here reflecting on the year 2011, I'm engulfed by both the funny-ha-ha and the funny-ironic memories that have made this year so special and so important.

In somewhat of an order:
-I quit/lost my horrible job (I say lost because they "let me go" right after I put in my two weeks)
-I acquired a new job that asks alot of me but is what I've been looking for for so long
-I moved in with Dan (and brought all my stuff with me!)
-I continued to plan our wedding, down to every last detail
-I spent every weekend of the summer going camping, or with family, or hanging out with friends - I was SO busy!
-I got married!!
-I traveled to Europe for the first (and certainly not last) time with the love of my life
-I obtained two new clients for J. Paris Designs

Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mention that part yet??  It all just kind of happened :)

So you're thinking, two? Really?? Not like you can quit your day job or anything.  Well, no.  But it's something.  And my day job is what got me here.  Flooring clients turned interior design clients.  I charmed them with my design prowess and knowledge of pretty colors - plus my business card says "Interior Designer" right on it :)

But, nevertheless, they were impressed by what I had to say and not one, but TWO people hired me (that's right, I get paid) to tell them what to do.  Or at least guide them to making the decisions on their own.

The funny-ironic part comes into play when I think about how long I've waited for something like this to happen.  How badly I hoped for someone to actually be willing to pay for my ideas - not just a friend who casually asks "I was hoping to get your advice on a color for our bathroom".  Afterall, I wanted to make a career out of it, not just give it away for free. 

Enough about that, though, and more about the actual rooms I'm working on!

The first clients are a lovely couple adding an addition off of their existing kitchen.  After seeing their house, they obviously have a sense of design and style, but just weren't sure how to implement that into the new area. 

Doesn't look like much just yet, but once the drywall is up, it's full speed ahead!!

They also are planning a wine room/bar in the basement as a second project.  I went with the Mrs. to the cabinet store last week to pick out elements for that room.  Here is what I came up with:

Just a start, but a copper bar sink, light colored granite countertops, and dark antiqued-edge cabinets.  Along with cork flooring, I'm pretty excited about this space!

The second client is a remodel of the kitchen in a one bedroom condo.

It's pretty small, and the client wants to utilize more of the space on the left wall by adding more cabinets and rearranging the stove.  I'm in the middle of designing a blueprint of the new space to his specs so that he can show it to a contractor for a quote. 

Pretty exciting!! :)

I was arranging the gifts under the tree yesterday and came across this package addressed to me - or at least I assume it's me:

Love him <3 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pot Luck

I've been potting for over 6 months now - on the wheel for at least 4.  I'm getting better ;)

If you remember this post, about my last crew of pottery, you will remember that they were cool, but could be cooler.

And so I give first batch of really cool handthrown pots:

Of course, the pictures won't do them justice, but this one is a beautiful teal blue/green one.

This one is a dark brown/black metallic finish - one of my fave glaze results yet!  Just look at that profile....perfection! haha

The glaze got a little thick on this one - if you look close at the inside of it, you can see glaze bubbles. Also, it decided to "poop" a little bit on the bottom, making it slightly uneven when it sits on a table.  No biggie though.

This was a request from a friend for a "knitting bowl".  I had seen a ton of people making them in class, but never tried it myself.  Basically, it's a regular thrown bowl, but you cut a hole or slit in it for the yarn to go through.  That's what the "J" shaped part is.  The two holes to the left of that are for the knitting needles to rest in :)

I wasn't super excited with the glaze effect on this one, but I can admire my pimp throwing skills though!

Currently taking orders because I literally have ZERO space left for any myself!!

Dresser Gods Are Smiling Down

Boy, oh boy, oh boy!

Do I have great luck, or what??!

It started out like any other Wednesday evening.  Went to weekly pottery class, made some awesome stuff (post on that up next!) and was driving home when, what to my surprise, I see not ONE but TWO dressers sitting out by the side of the road.


Alas, though, I was in the Bug....cuter than the dickens, but just not suitable for dresser stashing.  So I rushed to the store to by milk (the errand I was running when said dressers were spotted) and came in the house shouting "I found dressers by the side of the road. Let's GO!"

God bless him, he tries to put on a good face, but deep down inside he sees himself on an episode of Hoarders one day.

Anywho...there was only one that I really wanted, so we get in the truck, drive to the house, load 'er up, and head on home.

Note: Not only do I bring a flashlight with me, but I hustle around like someone is going to come up and try to steal it from me if I don't hurry up and get it in the truck.  Also, I feel somewhat dangerous - like a thief in the night or something :)

It's as we are putting it in the garage that I realize we grabbed the drawers for the OTHER dresser....drat.

So back in the truck I go (and to the curb the other drawers go - though I SO wish I had a use for them!) and load up the actual drawers.

Now this is the exciting part......

Someone put all the drawer knobs in a plastic bag for me!  They knew I was coming :)

And wait....there's more!
Aside from a good sanding (I honestly don't mind the glass ring on the top) it's already stripped.


It's like the dresser gods were smiling down saying "If you put it by the side of the road, she will come."  Such nice people to get it all ready for me to come in and make it spectacular.

Wait, you want to see the actual dresser??  Good call......

Oh, yeah!

Monday, December 5, 2011

'Tis the Season to be Freezin'!!

I cannot deny that, even though winter will stretch all the way until March when I want to kill Mother Nature, early December still has me craving the snow.  Northeast Ohio is notorious for the four seasons of almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction (I stole that from Jeff Foxworthy!), so the fact that it hasn't snowed yet is a little disheartening.  But I getting the house ready for our first Christmas together!

The mantel is decked and the stockings are hung with care - and 3M removable hooks.
I used an old window leftover from summer decor on the patio and put snowflake wrapping paper behind it.  Upside down wine glasses served as candle sticks, and green glittery candles and decanters were stolen from the wedding stuff still packed in boxes in the basement.

Here's three of the Christmas bottles that resemble the ones from my Halloween mantel.

The nutcracker I bought when we went to see the Nutcracker Ballet over Thanksgiving weekend.  He's super glitter-ified :)

A little wooden sign I made a couple of years ago.

Who doesn't love the Grinch??!

This past weekend we went and picked out our tree.  Chopped it down and everything :) 
There's something to be said for gettin on your boots, hat, scarf, and gloves and trudging out into the Christmas tree field in search of the perfect tree.  It's just not the same when you have to trudge to the basement to pull it out of a box.

Growing up, we always got a real tree.  And every year, my sister and I would pull out the box of ornaments and decorate with a hodge podge of macaroni angels and clothespin reindeer.  What mother would ever turn down a handmade ornament?? 

This year being our first Christmas as a married couple meant our ornaments had to live together on the same tree.  I'm not the "themed" Christmas tree kind of person.  While I can appreciate the aesthetics and the planning of such trees,  there's nothing quite like the patchwork of ornaments that each tell a story.

This one we picked up on our honeymoon in Paris.  Handpainted Eiffel Tower and Paris city scene.

I didn't get this one in Paris (more like Hobby Lobby) but it's one of three Eiffel Towers hanging on the tree.

My mom made my sister and I matching angels when we were little and I stole mine from her ornament box when I moved out - now it hangs at the top of our tree :)

Dan's mom bought us this for Christmas last year.

From the first Christmas in Dan's new house.

This is one of Dan's contributions....

Just Kidding ;)

My little sled and Dan's really little sled!

And here's our patchwork of ornamental beauty!  Of course, there's more ornaments than branches, but we like it that way.

Merry Christmas, Everybody!

Does anyone have any ornaments that mean something special??  Do you decorate your tree in a theme, or a menagerie like our's?