That Happened Fast!

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It sure did. We decided to buy a house and build. Our plans went from 3-5 years (in the making for a couple) to NOW.

After looking around town for neighborhoods that suited our tastes (vintage ranch style homes with big yards) became hard to find in our price range, we changed gears. We thought about houses to remodel or that were already remodeled in our style. Then there was the day my husband said something about new homes. The funny thing was, we have never cared for new homes ever! Somehow though, the thought of starting new and not having to fix up anything, was a joyful relief.

Once we looked around, it was over. It was done in my head as to what I wanted. Hubby and I struggled a bit with agreeing on what to do, but in the end, we found our home. A brand spankin’ new house, built in 6-7 months time.

The crazy part now is finding the time and energy in between life’s events and work, to pack/declutter, fix up our current home,  and keeping it spotless for the realtor team. Let’s also throw in the costly task of replacing our AC system this week, before our house goes on the market. Nice timing.

Part of the craziness ensuing is me purging Rare Bird inventory. I do not want to pack it up and I don’t want it stored either until the new house is ready. So in the mean time, I have asked my customers to name a price and make an offer. This means deep discounts! I have had folks set up appointments to meet me at my home office or to check out my Instagram shop. By the way, free shipping ends in the Etsy shop Monday, 7/14. I have already sold a lot of stuff, but there’s still more! Pretty soon, Rare Bird will take a hiatus, so get your vintage while you can!

To wrap this up with a bow, I am taking a breather to write this and update you on what’s going on… We will be working on packing and fixing up a few more items around the house this weekend. I will try my best to post more and keep you abreast of anything else.

Best wishes,

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Hooray For Weddings!

Yes, let’s hear it once more for weddings…

Our reception was featured on another wedding blog! A month or so ago, I just so happened to be reading about a wedding on Etsy’s “Storque” section called “This Handmade Life”. Luckily, as I was skimming through the comments, I noticed that Andrea from Real Etsy Weddings was looking for some handmade weddings to feature on her blog. I answered her request and she accepted. Hooray! As of December 28th, you can check out our lovely wedding reception showcase by clicking here.

Be sure to check out the Real Etsy Weddings blog and discover “stories and tips from real brides, newly weds and wedding vendors on how to incorporate vintage and handmade items (all available from Etsy) into your wedding.”

Thanks again Andrea!

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Speaking of weddings, I am in the process of remodeling the Rare Bird Boutique on Etsy. I had a lot of fun designing my wedding reception and decided to revamp the shop with vintage wedding decor found and also created by me.  I changed up the look of my biz cards and banner, thanks to Freshly Picked Designs.

Also, our second bedroom is under construction. Well, not really, but the queen bed is gone, the desk is moving in, and a guest room/office it will become. Expedit shelving from IKEA will soon store my art supplies, stationery, and Rare Bird inventory. The corner wall that juts out will no longer be a sea foam green, but a dark gray. Birds will enter the decor and so will the colors pink and teal blue. Modern will rule the roost, but antiques will still make their appearance. I am super excited to have a place this artist can call “home”, where I can spend time writing, creating, and focusing on my shop again.

It will be another big year for us and this house. An office/guest room and a modernized backyard with alfresco style dining will be made. Stay tuned while we get ready to ring in the new year with more DIY projects and home improvement.

Gonna Be Sittin’ Pretty

Thanks to some generous wedding gifts, we were able to start on our much talked about sitting area in the backyard this weekend. We hopped in the truck Saturday morning and picked up a yard of red decomposed granite, twenty limestone blocks, and professional grade weed blocker. Once we arrived home with our heavy load, my husband Jon got started right away by tearing up the grass. I suggested that he roll it up like carpet, but that only works when you are putting down grass. Maybe I got that idea from a cartoon?

Once the grass was torn out, it was time to put down the weed blocker and edge our future lil’ sitting area with limestone blocks. The least I could do, besides take pictures for documentation, was to refill my man’s water supply as needed, assist him with the leveling of the blocks, and cut the weed blocker down to size. Feeling bad about my puniness, I tried to shovel the granite out of the back of the truck with Jon. I helped as much as I could until I was banished to pick up some dinner. He did not want me hurt myself and besides, it was evident I was struggling with all the heaving and grunting. So off I gladly went to buy him some well-earned pizza, soda, and dessert. By the time I got back, it was dark and Jon had finally called it a night by cleaning up.

The next morning, Jon got back to work by unloading the rest of the granite into our “square” and sealed the blocks in place with some Quikrete. We, and I should say that lightly, will be back to work next weekend, adding more crushed granite to our sitting area. All the while, we have been trying to figure out what kind of table and chairs to put out there. Hubby wants to build a table like this one on Ana-White or find one like it. I actually did find a Pottery Barn table quite similar this weekend on Craigslist for $100, but it had already sold when I checked. Boo! Whatever it is, we prefer a long farm table or a simple table with clean lines like the one below:

We want to paint it black

Mixed-Matched Ol' Chairs

We also wanted to place some metal chairs around the table. I like the idea of mixed-matched vintage/antique chairs and I think Hubby is on board as long as they are comfy. Looks like we will get to scour the local antique stores & Craigslist. Yippee! After that is all set up, we will eventually get potted plants to decorate our outdoor living space. We prefer low maintenance foliage after having spent dollar after dollar on plants that end up dying in this unpredictable Texas weather. So we went with the idea of succulents. Besides, they match the whole eclectic & vintage mixed with modern style. We plan on finding uncommon metal containers or pretty planters to place the fleshy cacti. Check out these succulent plants and pots featured on Heather Bullard, a new blog my friend “E” shared with me last night. I will definitely be checking back on her site for more inspiration.

Stay tuned for more deets and photos on our modest, lil’ outdoor sitting area. We look forward to the spring and having friends over for an alfresco dinner. If you have any ideas, blogs, or photos to share with us for a boost of inspiration, please comment!

Create Yourself

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – Unknown

As I was polishing the wood furniture this morning, it dawned on me that I needed to blog about all the wonderful ideas I have in my 32 year old head. Since the planning of my wedding this year, I have had time to figure things out. Working odd jobs, taking a Creative Writing class, reading lots of  books, and designing most of my wedding reception has led me to a few conclusions.

At first, I thought I wanted to be a children’s book writer, but over time I realized to start slow and not overwhelm myself. So with that in mind, I’d like to create a zine that I could sell through my Etsy shop, Rare Bird Boutique. Speaking of my shop, I want to redo it! New logo, banner, biz cards and what I would sell in the shop. With all this wedding DIY hub bub, I might just break into it myself. Back to the zine, if you do not know what that is, here is the def: “a magazine, esp. a fanzine. A webzine.” It is like a handmade magazine and you can do anything you want! Draw and write by hand or use your computer. I could make a grown-up version and a kid’s version. Be on the lookout this Fall/Winter for the possible future zine created by yours truly.

Another new found joy in my life is yoga. Okay so I just went for the first time yesterday, but I really loved it! After turning my fiance and friends down many times because I thought yoga was boring or that I was going to be the guy that “tooted” in class, I never gave it a chance. But I decided a gal like me, puny and out of shape, should give it a shot. Luckily, there was a class in downtown Georgetown at Runtex during Saturday morning for $10. I walked in and the instructor Beth let me be her guest and I joined the class for free. I met several nice ladies around me and waited for the journey to begin. My butt was literally handed to me  though – what a workout! We did some hardcore yoga, danced to the “Eat Pray Love” soundtrack, and meditated. It was definitely needed. I was so excited afterwards, I bought my own hot pink yoga mat and begged my fiance to join me for the Monday night class. For more info, go to the Runtex Georgetown Facebook Page.

After my yoga class, I walked around downtown Georgetown as I waited for my engagement ring to be polished at Quenan’s. I visited several of my favorite antique stores and took in the scenery. That was when I thought how lovely it would be to live near the square so we could walk everywhere and indulge in the charm of the lil’ town. We could take the dogs for a walk or ride our bikes in the historic neighborhoods, grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants, visit the library, and shop at the antique stores. But those houses are hard to come by in our price range, so I will have to dream a little dream…

Downtown Georgetown

A beautiful GT house For Sale 

Oh well, I have a cute abode out in the country and I have lots in mind to change things up a bit. Since I want to get back to my Etsy shop, sell antiques, write a zine, and blog, I need a creative space of my own. I tried this year, during my writing stint, by incorporating a desk into the living room. It is kind of in the way and there’s not really any privacy for “thinking time”.

My small creative space

We have a guest bedroom with Jon’s old bedroom furniture, but I want shelves, my desk, and an old bed. Everything is too “matchy-matchy”. Currently, this is what it looks like right now:

The bed takes up the whole room, not to mention we have a giant dog kennel in there too. But if we sell the furniture, I can get my guest bedroom/office in order! Here are a few ideas that I stole from various websites like Apartment Therapy (see my “Link Club”):

Older & Smaller Bed

Wall O’ Shelves

Oh… I can just imagine it and boy I have! With that in mind… I have several ideas for around the house too. Can you tell that after this wedding, I am back in business with redecorating and design?

A “stair-stepping” garden for the backyard

Using vintage wooden pant hangers for artwork

Industrial metal stools for the bar counter

There is so much to do and I better figure out a better source of income to feed this insatiable, creative appetite! We want a fence, a deck in the front and backyard, tile our bath and kitchen floors, and redo the scary kitchen counter tops too. It is a work in progress, just like me.

Speaking of, I definitely want to be the O.G. that I am, but have never dove in quite like this before. I mean I border on weird, but I take pride in my uniqueness and want to shed  a little more light. Why not a nose piercing, different clothes, a tattoo or how about bolder eyeglasses such as these?:

These RayBans are reserved for me and no one else!

Whatever it may be, I know this year will be different. I thought I was finding myself, but I have been here always. I just need to continue creating myself, even if it means at the age of 32. Getting married, starting over, and making new discoveries has been quite a ride in 2010 and I can’t wait for it all to continue. It has been scary, but fun. Stay tuned for so much more!

Winding Down… Yet Still Busy!

Long time, no hear from me. Sorry everyone, but I definitely have to say since October, life has slowed down in the home improvement department. After we had the house completely painted and hung up our brand new Mission Style house numbers, I have not wanted to do anymore to the house, much less talk about it.

While that has died down, my wedding planning (along with the holidays) has picked up and has now kept my schedule and attention very busy! I have decided to nix the tropical-themed wedding reception and have gone a different, but personal route. Something that represents both mine and Jon’s tastes and interests. I have been fairly keeping it quiet as a surprise, but what the heck… I am doing a vintage-themed wedding reception! With my quirky artsy-fartsy touch, it will be perfect for us. Thank goodness I searched the Internet and found some inspiration…

Lately my obsession, and I mean OBSESSION, has been drooling and fawning over several Indie & DIY wedding blogs (and it kills me to even share, since I feel like it was my dirty, little secret):

1. Once Wed

2. Ruffled Blog

3. Style Me Pretty

…. and many more… but these are the GOOD ONES! Uh, it hurts to even give it away!

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Now for the final product as of October (drum roll please), our HOME SWEET HOME:

Mmmm… That’s Tasty!

Well, we finally did it… Jon and I completed the purple bathroom! On Saturday, we decided that it would be best if we painted the bathroom together and not hire a company to do it. Hmmm, I would really say he talked me into not hiring someone in order to save money. He was right.

A week or so ago, I purchased a new rug online at Urban Outfitters for only $9.99 and it arrived pretty darn fast! From there, I went to the ol’ Home Depot and brought home paint samples. As soon as I matched up a color to the Caftan Floral Printed Rug, I started to dabble in the thought of actually getting this project off the ground. I knew instantly it was meant to be though when the Behr color I picked was called “Vintage Grape” (in a Satin finish):

vintage grape

What do you think? Makes you want an old fashioned grape soda in a bottle, right?

So on a rainy Saturday night, we bought the paint and got to business on Sunday. The project was finally completed as of last night, as soon as we replaced the old light fixture, shower curtain rod & curtain rings. Then everything went back into place. I have attached some pictures of the project for you… Your taste buds will just savor the color!

Bye, Bye Red! Jon helping me paint...

Bye, Bye Red! Jon helping me paint...

The green countertops will eventually go - another project!

The green countertops will eventually go - another project!

My sweet rug! Eventually, the carpet will be tile one day.

My sweet rug! Eventually, the carpet will be tile one day.

Diggin' the purple with all my black and white stuff!

Diggin' the purple with all my black and white stuff!

After finishing up, I baked cookies and had me a grape soda!

After finishing up, I baked cookies and had me a grape soda!

Color Me Purple

So…. my bathroom is painted red, 2 different reds actually, but that was by accident and it is a long story. The tub area of the bathroom is a darker red and the vanity area is a brighter red. The countertop is olive green (which we are going to tile over) and the cabinets are white. I have black & white and red artwork on the walls. So basically, green, red, and black & white accents in the bathroom. I would keep the cabinets white, all the artwork with it’s hints of red, and everything else that is black too. Picturing it? Nah, no photos for now.

We also have some doctor’s office glass jars with red lettering and a good ol’ bottle of Meyers soap by the sink. Normally we use Lemon Verbena (green label), but Jon got Lavender once and from then on, the bottle has struck my attention. It has a red circle with a grayish purple label. “Well, that would be a pretty paint color.” Purple walls with red, black and white accents all throughout the bathroom? Sounds great, just need to get my future husband’s approval first! Well, he is okay with it.
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With this in mind, I googled “purple bathroom” and got a few photos for inspiration. Maybe this year, after finishing up painting the exterior of the house and the guest bedroom trim, I will work up the nerve to paint the bathroom a velvety, soothing purple for the bathroom. Take a look at what I am talking about:

 

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Anyone out there have better purple bathroom images? Send me a link in the comment section. I would love to get more ideas and become motivated to actually go forward and paint!

Flooring: A Work in Progress

Here are some photos of Jon installing the wood flooring in our home.  We have the bedrooms & living room done; all we need to do now is the hallway, bathroom vanity area, the coat closet & the guest bedroom closet.  After that, we have to finish installing the transition pieces in the doorways and trimming it out along the baseboards. Hopefully this project will be finished up after a few weekends. Thank you honey!

FYI: Flooring purchased at Lowes / PERGO Mexican Mesquite

Our Master Bedroom

Our Master Bedroom

Our Guest Bedroom

Our Guest Bedroom

Now does anyone have any advice on dog hair & dust build up in a house with wood floors?  It would be greatly appreciated!!