Thursday, August 26, 2010

What's your "Crafting POV"?

If you've ever seen Food Network's "Next Food Network Star" you'll know that the judges are always hounding people to figure out what their culinary point of view is, but why? Well, because that's what makes a consistent and lasting brand.  A person's POV drives their creations and ultimately their success because all of their ideas are based around this core belief.

The "POV Theory" has really come into play in my life lately.  As you may, or may not, know, I've been considering starting a small Etsy business, so that I can share my craftiness with others and hey, if I can make a buck or two, that'd be pretty sweet!  I have so many ideas of things that I could make running through my head, it's quite dizzying.  So to get a handle of where I should start, I focused on why I began crafting in the first place.

A lot of the reason my crafting obsession started was that I often see a design or idea in my head, but can't find anywhere to get it, so I'd make it instead.  I have always liked having things that I know no one else has. I like things that are, well, Simply ME. 

That epiphany resulted in the title of this blog, as well as my Etsy business (coming soon!)  Simply ME is as much about allowing me to craft and create my own designs, but to also provide my blog readers and my customers the opportunity to take what I've done and really make it their own.  At the end of the day, I'd want someone to think "this is simply me" and be referring to themselves.

I think I've always known all along what my crafting POV was, but now being able to put it into words and to own it- I feel that I have better direction for my Etsy future. 

So, stay tuned as this venture unfolds!  (If house decorating calms down, items should be listed in September.)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I got a chandelier for free!

Well, sort of anyway.  How did I do it?  I managed to flip one item to buy another, which was really easy! You can do it too, you just have to be on the lookout for a good deal.

Despite my first home being considered "move-in ready," I have to put my own stamp on the place.  Is anyone surprised by this? Well, I decided that I wanted to spruce up some of the fixtures, cause honestly, the original 18-year old brass chandelier that is currently marring my dining room has got to go.  The boyfriend and I have been looking for a while and trying to decide what we want. Well, we had finally decided on this nice modern one from Lowes.

Photo borrowed from

So, despite really liking this one, we've still been looking at other options until we get to the point that we've finished the rest of the dining room. (Which will be this weekend, most likely) Well, during a recent shopping trip with my mom at Lowes, I found this $198 chandelier for, get this, $20!!

Yeah, not a typo there, it was really only $20. Not sure how this fixture made it through two price reductions, but hey I recognize a good deal when I see one!  I really didn't want a traditional style chandelier, but I liked the scroll work so I figured I'd give it a try.  Unfortunately, the picture on the box is very deceiving- this chandelier is huge and way too big for our dining room, especially when placed over a gathering-height dining table.

So, being the businesswoman that I am, I decided that instead of returning the chandelier to Lowes, I would sell it on Craigslist. (People will buy anything, really.)  All I wanted was to make enough money to cover the cost of the fixture that we liked, a mere $56 bucks after using a coupon Lowes sent us.  Now, there are a lot of chandeliers on Craigslist in the Pittsburgh area, so I wasn't sure if listing it for $90 would get any interest.  Well, within the first day I had a woman who wanted it and wanted it immediately! 

I've covered the cost of the original chandelier, have enough to buy the chandelier I want, and have pocketed an additional $14. I'll definitely be keeping my eyes out for more bargains that I can flip on craigslist.  Who knows, maybe I'll be able to decorate some other rooms for free :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Remind me why I paint rooms...

It seems that every time I paint a room, I remember what a chore it really is and how long it actually takes.  So much so, that I never want to paint again.  But then a few weeks or months or even years go by and I forget my disdain for painting and I am right back in there, brush in hand.

Well, Sherwin Williams had a 40% off sale on Saturday, which I could not pass up.  I love Sherwin Williams paint, it is a far superior quality to what you get at a big box store.  But that quality also comes at a hefty price, so when you see a 40% off sale, you jump on it! 

I've been staring at my living and dining rooms walls for the past month, loving the color one minute, hating it the next.  These rooms are a mystery to me, depending on the light and time of the day, the walls (which are a dark yellowish green) either look more blue or more yellow.  The worst part about the color is that when the sun goes down it is extremely dark in there.  (The dark flooring doesn't help that much, either.)

So, I decided to lighten the green up (yep, I painted over one green with a different green). My townhouse has an open layout, so the living room and dining room don't have a full wall of separation, but just columns.  I wanted to make the spaces feel more distinctive, but to still flow, so I've decided to keep the previous green on the lower 1/3rd of the wall in the dining room and repaint the entire living room and the top 2/3rds of the dining room with a lighter color.  Once that's done I'll install chair rail between the two colors in the dining room.  I chose a pretty color called "Clary Sage" and it goes well with the current dark green. 

Painting in progress
I have a coat of paint up so far, which took me just about 6 hours by myself.  Hopefully this week I'll muster the motivation to finish the 2nd coat.  I hate having furniture misplaced so I'm sure it'll get done soon so that all can go back to normal!

Check back soon for the final "After" pictures when I get the chair rail in place and some stuff on the walls!