FYI – Sisters are the best

I am dead serious when I say that I have the best sister in the entire world! Don’t even start to tell me about your sister and how amazing she is because I guarantee you she would not, could not, ever not……hold a candle to my sweet sister. I am just teasing really………maybe.

My baby sister Sarah is almost 7 years younger than I am, and when she was born I used to carry her around like one of my baby dolls…..my mom would get all kinds of stares and comments because she let me carry my sister around like she was my own child. I had the hip hold mastered at the ripe old age of seven……:} Man how time has flown by……and my sister is now married with babies of her own. {very beautiful babies I might add!} I wish we lived closer so that I could see her more and kiss on my sweet nephews…….but maybe, just maybe there will be a change there soon! I am crossing my fingers and toes.

Even though we are far apart in miles….opposite sides of the country…..my sister never ceases to amaze me with her gifts of love and encouragement at just the right time. I arrived home from my trip to Delaware {my uncles funeral} and when my neighbor brought over the mail I saw a beautiful package addressed to me  in my sisters immaculate calligraphy….and wondered what in the world could be inside? I knew it would be fantastic whatever it was…..but I was not prepared for the flood of emotions that came when I opened it up and read her sweet note to me, and then saw this amazing watercolor calligraphy print that she had made just for me. I totally welled up with tears at the thoughtfulness and love that seeped off the pages of her gift……and my heart filled to the brim with love for the greatest sister in the world!

Her simple statement was a reminder to me of words that I have excitedly exclaimed to her over the years as I have seen miracle after miracle happen in both my personal life and with my little Knack business…..and as she sensed the sighs of my growing pains and signals of distress with the move and all that comes with it…..she took the time to remind me of the past……of the many miracles I have seen, and experienced first hand…..reminding me not to forget them……and to let the memory of them fall fresh on me again………

I love you Sakes!

If you all have never read my sisters blog, or visited her etsy shop…..you are missing out. The way she creates, photographs and captures life is so beautiful…..don’t miss it.

xo,

Barb

Etcetera

We have reached the end of another very hot summer week. I wish I had gotten more accomplished at the new studio, but it was so nice to have some time to sit back and relax with friends and family for the fourth. My friend Amy brought over these beautiful flowers for me from her garden! Aren’t they fantastic?! The super fun red sandals are an early BIRTHDAY treat to myself……oh and the glittery tank is as well! Yippee….the celebrating started early this year! Oh, and I literally lived off of bowls of freezing cold watermelon balls. They are so refreshing, and my new summer staple.

I hope to make a major dent in the studio work today! I spent 2 hours cleaning the bathroom on Tuesday! Seriously…I may have gone a bit mister clean on myself but the sparkly beautiful bathroom with its new rug, and towels is so inviting! Today, I will be sweeping, vacuuming, and sealing  the concrete floor and wall in the work space in order to help with dust, and to help keep the floors as clean and easily maintained as possible. i am going to work hard today so that I can enjoy MY BIRTHDAY tomorrow!! woot, woot! I am going to party like it is 2012! ……and for all of you who I know want to ask……the number is 38.

Have a great weekend!

 

xo,

Barb

P.S. did I mention it was my BIRTHDAY tomorrow?

 

FYI

There is so much that I want to say, yet at the same time it is very hard to put into words all that has transpired over the past few weeks. I will try to start from the beginning and see what happens.

I think it is safe to say that for the past year I have been thinking about the next step for Knack. Where and how I want to grow my company. How big do I want to get? What really truly brings me joy? What is best for my family? At the same time, preparing for the launch of my first book and along with that, the title of “Published Author”.  So many very exciting things going on and coming up in the very near future for Knack…..things I only once dreamed of happening when I started painting furniture in my garage just a few short years ago now.

I would lay out plans in my head and on paper and made lists of pros and cons……and was very specific about what I wanted in the next step. I have a very close core group of people that I share my dreams and ideas with and I let those people in on what my little secrets were and just kept plodding along. I really, really spent a lot of time honing in on what I truly wanted based on what I enjoy and started moving in that direction. I used to think that I wanted certain things and achievements that I no longer desire….and I am so thankful for the clarity I have been given and for the path that lies ahead. For me it is more about truly loving what you do and not about anything else. I believe when you truly love what you do, you are “successful” on all levels no matter how big or small.

When I planned for Knack’s next step, I wanted a place where I could have a studio/working space in the back and a showroom/store in the front. A place where I could begin to develop my style even more, by carrying unique items for the home that come alongside and compliment my furniture designs. I wanted a place where there would be gorgeous natural light so that I could focus on my photography and styling shoots. I wanted a building with architectural character. I wanted a place that I could hold beautiful events in. I wanted a place that had a loading dock. I know this sounds crazy, but I wanted a bathroom with a shower so that on the days that I have events and don’t have time to run home and shower and change …..no problem! Did I mention that lighting was huge to me? I wanted great light in both the shop and the work space.

I think you will see in these pictures , that I got everything on my wishlist, to a tee…..and more! I got that bathroom with a shower..not only did I get great lighting but I also got a skylight on top of great lighting in the workspace….and as an extra bonus the building comes with a parking lot on one side and a little brick and stone garden on the other side. It is literally the stuff dreams are made of. There is not one thing about this building that is a negative…..it is a Godsend…..it is the only way to describe what has transpired with this space……and how fast it happened.

I am ready to dig in and make the space my own……freshen up the plants and beds on the outside, sweep, dust, and sparkle on the inside….and fill it to the brim with beautiful furniture and found goodness.

I decided to jump…yet again……Thank you for joining me on this journey.

xo,

Barb

 

 

Etcetera

Can you all even believe the lush, colorful beauty of my mountains?! I had to post a few more photos from our trip to the mountains last weekend for a couple reasons:

1. The color and beauty just get my juices flowin’

2. this weekend will be the polar opposite of complete relaxation in the mountains! hah!

For starters, I get the keys to my new studio today, and that will begin the moving madness {yipee!}…. my cousin is getting married on Saturday, family is in town for the wedding, and my guest bathroom is being demolished and gutted as we speak! Woot!

I am so very excited about the bathroom redo…it has been a long time coming, and I have lived with a huge hole in the hallway for about 6 months due to a leak that brought on this redo! The bathroom is going from seventies avocado green everything……to white subway tiles with gray grout, recycled wood, and penny tile goodness. I will be sure to photograph along the way and show it off when it is complete.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

xo,

Barb

Found Goodness

While the hubs and I were away this past weekend, we wandered into a little town up in the mountains of NC called Brevard. There are a few little shops I love to browse in, our favorite place to eat, painted alleys, a great chocolate shop, and charm just oozes from the streets as you walk on them.

As I was browsing in one of my favorite consignment shops…..I spotted this beautiful picnic enamelware set from France. I picked up the box, which just happened to be painted in one of my very favorite shades of green, and started looking for a price. My eyes spied a little brown tag, and I could not believe what my eyes were telling me…….20.00 for the entire set of stainless steel, made in France, white and gold picnic ware! I looked at my husband with the ” I think I want to buy these and use them every day at the house” eyes and we were on our way to the register to make the purchase.

When we got to the register to check out, I double checked about the price just to be sure I was not seeing things…..and I do believe the sweet lady at the register wished she had spotted them first! I am just so happy with this purchase and can’t wait to put them to use!

What are you all finding lately?

 

xo,

Barb

FYI

I was catching up on some blog reading last week and I came across this project idea through Lindsey’s blog which then led me to the original post on a beautiful mess blog. I thought it was the coolest idea! I love paint by number paintings, I love paint, and I love letters and typography so this was a win win in my book of ideas!

I pinned the project on Pinterest so that I could remember it, and also remember where I saw it…..and I thought “I’ll do that some day soon “. I had two paint by number prints in the studio that I bought a few months back and I have been waiting to frame them. I thought about using them for this project…..but then an idea hit me one night as I was drifting off to sleep. I had a picture that was given to me and it came out of  my husband’s granny’s house. It would totally work! It was not a paint by number…but it had the look of a paint by number. It was your typical mountain, stream, and tree print with lots of blues and greens.

I already had completed my Father’s day gift buying but I was so excited about making this gift for my husband! I could hardly wait to get to the studio the next day and create it. When I took the picture out of the frame, I found that it was a thin sheet of paper so I wanted to make it a bit more sturdy. I used Mod Podge to attach the print to the piece of thick poster board that had been behind it, and once that was dry I started figuring out the placement of my stickers. Once the stickers were applied {it is harder than you think!} I applied two coats of white paint, and BOOM dynamite!

I know some of you are wondering what in the world “I Suwannee” means?! I chose to use this old southern slang phrase which means “I Swear” because it is a phrase that my husband’s Granny is well known for. I remember the first time I heard her say it……I could hardly keep from laughing. I did not grow up in the south so I was not accustomed to such “verbage”…but I thought it was a hoot! I would try to think of funny things to say just to get her to say it over and over. My husband could always get her to say it……and then I think she caught on to my giggles and would just say it for my pure enjoyment. Granny is so sweet, and this was my way of keeping a piece of her with us at all times.

My husband loves it….and thought it was the coolest gift…..and I have to say that I only pretend I made it for him….it is really for me! Hah!

xo,

Barb

18

I am going to stray from the normal etcetera post today because this weekend is a very special weekend. Not only is it Father’s day,…..but our 18 year wedding anniversary falls on the very same day this year!

I have been married to Jon Blair for 18 years this Sunday. Just writing that sentence blows my mind. We have known each other for a total of 21 years, which have been seriously the best years of my life. Together we have built and purchased homes, experienced the miracle of birth and raising our babies,  braces, cars, loss of loved ones, starting businesses, highs, lows, good, bad….but through it all, we have been together side by side. I cannot imagine life any other way.

I am so thankful for the love of my life…..and I am looking forward to our mountain getaway next weekend!

{…..and a special thanks goes out to our 13 year old daughter “B” who pranced around in the prickly field with us and took these photos. She’s pretty great at it right?!}

 

xo,

Barb

Found Goodness

I pulled together this photo of three things that found me this week and inspired me with their beautiful shapes, colors  and function. The beautiful flowers from the farmers market, with their amazing colors and textures….the now infamous mexican blanket with its stripes in all colors of the rainbow, and the little owl knobs that will soon live on a piece of Knack furniture.

All of this is found goodness indeed.

xo,

Barb