Guest Blogger

{guest post: project possessed}

My name is Carrie, and I come from a family of talkers! Both my husband and I talk — a lot, and our child talks circles around us (which is really hard to do). One question, which seems so easy to answer, always has me at a loss for words: “Tell us about yourself.” With 31 years worth of information regarding that very topic, I’m left wondering: what do you really want to know? What’s deemed as relevant and not relevant? But mainly, I think it’s because it forces you to pause for a moment and summarize yourself in a nutshell. How often do we stop to consider the words that define us as a person? Here’s my nutshell (which is what I consider to be information all my friends would know about me):
I’m blessed with a family better than I deserve (this includes, but is not limited to: hubby, son, mom, and dad — this picture was just taken a week ago on vacay! And, no.… we do NOT have family bath night!),
we possess a menagerie of pets (2 dogs, 1 cat, 2 hamsters, and several fish), my family is incredibly small (my son, husband, mom, and I are all only children), I’m a ‘stay at home’ mom who instructs Yoga classes several times a week, we have lived in our money pit of a house for over two years now and it been better for us than we are for it — mainly teaching us you can do anything you want to do, and not having money is the foundation for some of the most amazing ideas. Here are three projects from our home which have taught us some of the best lessons:

1. An{other} Chandy Update

The entire house needed updating, and this light fixture was at the top of my list. Quickly learning that money doesn’t go very far when renovating, and the cost of a new chandelier being pretty hefty, we explored other options. Between my mom, dad, husband and self we somehow came up with the idea to spray paint the brass base an off white, and frost the glass. I have grown to become quite fond of the chandy now, and it’s somehow made its way off the ‘to-do’ list.
Lesson Learned: We don’t throw out people just because they get old — why do that with things? A little TLC and collaboration of thoughts goes a looong way (and it doesn’t hurt that spray paint fixes everything!).

2. Mirror Makeover

This mirror is from our pool house. (On a side note — I can never make any sense of the items people leave behind in their homes.) Apparently it has a guardian angel. It was literally in my hands literally on its way to the trash. I got a wild hair to use it simply to ‘try’ something with. With the use of paint I had on hand, and purchase of a couple test colors from HD it has somehow become one of my favorite things. I just love surprise endings!
Lesson Learned: Just because you hate something doesn’t mean it can’t become one of your favorite things. Keep an open mind, and try things — you never know what may result from it!

3. Painting a Concrete Floor

This project is my ‘other child.’ It spawned from a demolition whim, and determination that frugal, function, and fabulous could co-exist. It was a well researched theory that opened Pandora’s Box. Cliff’s Notes version: we prepped (correctly), we painted, paint didn’t stick, we removed, re-cleaned, new product, re-painted, simple stencil evolved into elaborate process, weather won’t cooperate, and here we are. This project began in March! FYI: I’m still not done! (I will be soon though! I just received my custom stencil in the mail this week! Last two steps: silver leaf, and seal.) This slab of concrete has become a running joke to my family and friends — we are actually going to lay on it and use it for a photo for a few select Christmas cards. :) This is the project which provoked me to begin blogging. Detour us from projects? Naw.…it actually strengthened the desire!
Lessons Learned: Far too many to count, but here are the highlights. 1. Sometimes the best laid and most researched plans don’t pan out — even if you did do everything correctly. 2. Sometimes science and math cannot explain things. 3. All the other items on a ‘to-do’ list appear so trivial after tackling this beast of a project. 4. When a project takes longer than expected, it’s amazing what it can evolve into — which may not have occurred had things gone as planned. 5. Projects failed aren’t a complete loss — the information learned is invaluable. 6. It’s taught me that determination can enable you to do things you didn’t know you were capable of.
So there you have it. When we bought this home, we though it would receive all the benefit and improvement — when actually it was the other way around.
Thanks Vanessa for letting me share a little snippet of our self-realization from our renovation,

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  • Reply
    I am LOVD
    Tuesday November 8th, 2011 at 07:12 PM

    Nice. Would not have had the guts to do the concrete floor so kudos to you!

  • Reply
    Tuesday November 8th, 2011 at 08:57 PM

    @ I am LOVD: Umm.…not sure it was guts as much as ignorance! {And, here’s a little secret: it’s not done yet! Sshhh! Plans are to finish it in March..hopefully!}

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