Monday, January 27, 2014

I AM listening! Plus some major overhauls....

Sometimes I believe a higher power is speaking to us.  Sometimes I believe we choose to listen and other times we do not.  The past 6 months I have spent a lot of time trying to listen, because I believe there are lessons I am supposed to be learning right now.

In July 2013, my family and I were in a very bad auto accident on an interstate here in Indianapolis with a semi. We were hit on the passenger side causing us to do a 360 degree spin only to go crashing head first into the cement center wall and bounce off coming to a stop sitting sideways in the middle lane of a 3 lane highway. By the grace of God no one else was involved but us and the semi. We were very fortunate to walk away from the accident with nothing but bruise...bad bruises, but I was very thankful for my bruises.  The pain I felt let me know I was still living and breathing. For that I am forever grateful.
 In September 2013, just as my husband and I were starting to be able to drive down the road and not jump at every little movement the cars around us made, our neighbor and friend of 10 years was killed in an auto accident less than 3 miles from home. We were there when our neighbor received the news, we heard the screams, saw the tears, felt the pain and held her and her son tight.  Todd and I were devastated.  For weeks we both found our selves crying and trying to make sense out of what had happened.  Why would God take a loving father from his wife and child of 5 years old?  Why were we so lucky?  Why were we spared?  The questions still continue.  There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of Mike at some point.

It's these 2 incidents that made me take a LONG, HARD look at my life and REALLY rethink what is important to me. 

What have I learned from this?  Life is short.  We are not promised tomorrow.  Tell those you love that you love them and tell them often.  Cherish the small moments, good or bad.  Breath every day in deeply.  Slow down, life is NOT a race.  It's not about the money you make or the number of promotions you get, or if you are driving the best car or wearing the best clothes or living in the best house.  None of this matters, because in the end, it's about your and your family.  They don't care about any of these things, all there care about is you loved them, cared for them and were there for them. We are all only here for a short while, make the most of it while you are here.  Tomorrow could be your last day!  These are the lessons I have learned.

For the past 3 years I have been working a part time job (25 hours a week), trying to build a business (The Pauper's Castle), volunteering as a Walk Coordinator for the Preeclampsia Foundation, trying to be a wife and a mom.  What I realized is, the two people that mattered most to me were the ones that were getting the least amount of my attention.  I had it all backwards. 

I still have to work part time.  Our family depends on my income. The Promise Walk is way to important to me to not continue. So, I decided to shrink our business back down to one location (Main Street Shoppes) and stop being a retailer for American Paint Company.  I wanted to have more time for my daughter and my husband.  So far, this has helped tremendously.  We have actually been able to make some improvements in our own home!  I kind of forgot what this was like.  It's been fun taking back our humble abode.

We are working a major overhaul in our family room.  This room is the hub of our family activity.  And let me tell you...this room is small compared to most family rooms.  It's 12 x 16. Not only is it a family room, but it's also the play room.  So we have been working very hard to find some creative ways to stash the toys so it can be an adult space as well as a kid space.  Over the next several weeks, I will be sharing this adventure!  If you follow me on Facebook, you have probably already seen the finished project of the buffet wall, but for now, I will share the beginning stages!


Ciao! for now!
Kellie



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Where have I been?

WOW!  
It's been since March that I last posted. I knew it had been a while, but I can't believe it's been that long. I am really not sure where time goes, but these days it seems to just fly right out the window.

So.....Where have I been?  

Well...the month of March was filled with 3 family birthdays, 3 friend birthday parties and one 11th wedding anniversary. Don't forget Easter!  That snuck in at the end of March this year too! April, was filled with dancing, dance pictures, dance practice and dance recital. May was crunch time for finishing up details for the Indianapolis Promise Walk for Preeclampsia (my husband I and coordinate this).  
Which by the way, if I can toot our horns for a moment...we were $2000 O-V-E-R our goal!
And now it's June!  

I would like to say, Phew....now it's time to breath.  
Unfortunately, that is far from the truth!  In the midst of all of this, we opened a 2nd location, moved our studio space and took on a new line of paint!  Some days I think I am completely nuts all while working another job and trying to find time for family!  Because in the end...family is what means the most.  But I have a vision of where I want this little business to go, so it keeps me pushing on. (Thank you to my family for putting up with me)  So please forgive me for not posting for quite some time.  But something had to go....so for a while it was my blog.  I hope to get back to a more regular schedule soon!

So you want to know where our new location is?  

Not too far from our other location in Westfield, IN. (Main Street Shoppes ). 
It's about 7 miles.  

Our second location is located in Carmel, IN in the Carmel Arts District at the 
Vintage Shoppes of Carmel. 
This shop officially opened it's doors yesterday!  It's a wonderful little shop comprised of several small businesses under one roof!  The beauty of this is...you get a lot of variety and character in one stop. The shop owner is actually a really great paint customers of mine! So when she offered me space there along with 750 Square Feet of space for our studio (painting workshops) and I couldn't refuse. 
 One side of our space is filling out nicely....the other side, well.... I need to have a date with my garage.  In time, I will fill this too!

 I am so excited to be a part of this opportunity.  All of the other vendors are wonderful as well.  Here's who you can find there!

The Pauper's Castle - That's us!
Simply Refinished
AMOR Photography
Covered Art & Design
Unique Chic
Revolver Vintage


Be sure to stop in soon!  
Vintage Shoppes of Carmel is located at 
301 S. Rangeline Rd, Carmel, IN 46032

Store hours: 
Monday, Tuesday, Saturday - 11-5, Thursday, Friday - 11-7, Closed Sunday, Wednesday

So now you're asking....A new line of paint?

Yep!  If you pay attention to our Facebook Page then you know we discontinued the CeCe Caldwell's line and brought in American Paint Company, the "original" chalk & clay paint company.
American Paint Company offers an all natural, zero VOC, eco-friendly, and solvent free paint. Having made the cleanest, healthiest paints and finishes for the residential and commercial markets for the past 25 years, it was only natural to offer their products to the DIY market. APC paints contain no acrylic, no fungicide, no co-polymers and no worries! 

So I am sure your next question is.... Why?  

Well...there were many reasons why, but in the end sometimes in life you come to a cross road and you have to make a decision.  Sometimes it is not clear which direction is the right direction...so you must rely on your gut!  And the one thing I have learned over the years...when I go against my "gut" I usually regret my decision.  So this time, my "gut" was telling me to choose the path of American Paint Company.  So that is what I did!

I know you will be thrilled with their product!  It's still all natural, 100% no VOC, Green paint, wax and sealer that sticks to any surface with no prep work (just a general cleaning with a good de-greaser). Plus, they have 30 awesome colors to choose from!
So THANK YOU to all of you that are still supporting us through all of the changes.  We greatly appreciate you and your loyalty!  In closing, I will share a few photos of our paint displays at both our locations!  Plenty of paint for everyone!

Main Street Shoppes
Vintage Shoppes of Carmel
ciao! Kellie

Monday, March 4, 2013

And the winner is....

Here I am at 6:18 am posting the winner of our CeCe Caldwell's Gift Basket.
  I had all these plans to have this post ready to go yesterday and it just didn't happen.  
So please excuse the short post, but a promise is a promise and I need to announce the winner.

Just a quick refresher.....
(to read more of the original post click here)

 Thousands of women and babies die or get very sick each year from this dangerous condition called preeclampsia, a life-threatening disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Preeclampsia and related disorders such as HELLP syndrome and eclampsia are most often characterized by a rapid rise in blood pressure that can lead to seizure, stroke, multiple organ failure and death of the mother and/or baby.

So in honor of the Preeclampsia Foundation and my mission to help educate those I come in contact with, I am going to give-a-way a CeCe Caldwell's Chalk and Clay Paint Gift Basket! You will receive 1 Quart of CeCe Caldwell's Chalk & Clay Paint in the color of your choice, 1 Pint of Clear Wax, 1 Sample of Light Aging Cream, 2 - 2" All Natural Chip Brushes, 1 medium grit sanding block, 1 fine grit sanding block and a buffing rag!
Valued at: $85.00
 
And the winner is.....
 
Cynthia
 Congratulations!  And thank you for your support!  
Cynthia, if you are reading this....please contact me through our contact page.  
I will need your mailing address. 
 Thank you to everyone that participated.  Every little bit of sharing helps.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

To Restor-A-Finish or not?

I love to refresh, paint and breathe new life into old furniture.  
But I also have an appreciation for pretty wood.  I enjoy having a mix of both painted and finished furniture in my home. I think it adds interest to design. To have an entire house of painted furniture just wouldn't be me.  I was raised to believe you NEVER paint over nice wood, especially when it can be refinished.  But let's be realistic...I hate stripping and refinishing wood. It takes a lot of time and patience.  Two things I don't have. 

I have several pieces of furniture in my home, that has been on the "someday" list.  
You know...Someday, I will strip and refinish it.  
We have been in our home now for almost 9 years...."someday" hasn't come.  

Roger, the owner of Main Street Shoppes where we have our shoppe space and studio, carries a product called Restor-A-Finsh.
 He swears by this stuff.  So last week, I broke down and bought a bottle.
I say broke down like this broke the bank.  Far from the truth.  
It cost me a whole $6.00.  Best $6.00 I have spent in a REALLY long time!  It's simple to use, just wipe on with a rag and wipe off the excess.  It does have a bit of an odor (not my favorite), but so does stripping and refinishing.  It's available in mulitiple colors so I am sure they have one that's perfect for your project.

Now, I will let the pictures speak. I am very impressed!

 
These are some photos of a large Goodwill desk that Todd and I purchase almost 12 years ago for $20.00.  It was a steal of a deal.  This desk is large and solid wood, including dovetailed drawers and wood drawer dividers. I've thought about painting it, but we built bookshelves around it and painted those white (you will see these in a future post). 
 I like the contrast of the wood against the white.
What a difference you can see here!  
 Half way done!

Complete!

This table is one of those pieces that most people would want to paint.  And I agree, it would be beautiful painted.  However, I love the wood grain on the top.

It's like a brand new table.
 Same table, just pictures of the legs. Speaking of legs...aren't they sexy?

This is a antique bar we purchased from a garage sale for $10.00, 9 years ago.  
This is still on the list to paint, but for now....Wow!  What a difference!  It's hiding the fact that the veneer at the bottom is all chipped up.  No...it's not perfect, but it's MUCH better! 
Don't you agree?
And in case you don't...here's a close up!
Now, before you think this stuff is a miracle in a bottle like I was beginning to think. 
 It does have it's limitations.

This is the top of my great grandmothers singer sewing machine.  When this was given to me almost 20 years ago, the top was covered in contact paper.  You know...the wood grain kind.  At some point, I don't remember when, I pulled it off and this is what was underneath.
It's been like this ever since.  It's used as a night stand in our spare bedroom.  It's usually covered in decorative stuff so you don't really see much of the top.  
I decided to take Restor-A Finish to the test!

This is where it met it's match!  
Although, I will admit, It looks TONS better than what it did...
I still need to strip and refinish this one.  
 Dang it!

So to review...
I L-O-V-E this product.  And for $6.00...you can't beat it!  

For those of you that want a perfect finish with no blemishes...this probably won't be the answer for you.  To me, that's what gives the piece character. It tells the story of the piece. 

I think it took at least 10 years off most of these pieces; some a bit more.

Think of it like botox for furniture.  It's not a "real face lift", but it a good quick alternative and very inexpensive to boot!  For me, this was about an hour and a half of work, where as stripping a refinishing all of these pieces would have been several WEEKS of work.    
Which I don't have at this point in my life. 

Until "someday" comes, I am ecstatic with the results.
What do you think...worth the $6.00 and a hour and a half?

If you agree and you are local, you can find Restor-A-Finish at Main Street Shoppes in Westfield, IN!  

Ciao for now!
Kellie

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Re-Upholster With Paint - Tutuorial

Time to dig out that old chair that's collecting dust because you "intend" to one day reupholster it.  Today, we won't be cutting or measuring fabric.  
In fact, you aren't even going to remove the fabric on your chair. 

We are going to reupholster it in paint!  
Not just any paint, but CeCe Caldwell's Chalk & Clay Paint.

Here's how this Goodwill Chair started out!
The fabric was clean with no rips or tears.  Just a bit too "office" looking.  However, the lines of this chair had LOTS of potential.  It just need a little refreshing.

I wanted to paint my wood white, so I started by taping off the wood.  
You can skip this step and paint the entire piece all one color if you choose.
Here comes the fun part!  
Paint!  
Choose your color and start painting.
Remember to really get the paint into the cracks.  
You don't want someone sitting down and seeing the old fabric peeking through the cracks.
Depending on your fabric color, pattern and the paint color you choose, it will take 2 to 3 coats of paint to completely cover.  
The first time I did this, it took 3 coats.  This one only took 2 (approx 1/2 quart of paint).  
I painted right over the brads on this one.  I'll show you how to fix this in a minute.
 Now you can remove the tape.
You could stop here and have a solid colored chair.  OR...you could stencil on a pattern.  OR...you can have some real fun, and use this chair as a canvas!  
Start painting your own custom fabric.  That's what I decided to do.
Call it dreaming of spring!  I painted an abstract cherry blossom pattern.  
I mixed up a custom coral color to pair with the Santa Fe Turquoise base. 
(1 cup Kissimmee Orange, 1/2 cup Vintage White, 1/8 cup Traverse City Cherry)
Once you are happy with your pattern (if you choose to do one), if you had brads on your chair, grab a damp rag and start rubbing the paint off the brads.  It's not going to be perfect.  There will still be some paint in the cracks. I'm OK with this. 
 If you're not, well, you might be there a while cleaning.
Here you can see where I have cleaned and where I haven't.

 Now, paint the wood in the color or your choice.  I chose, Simply White. 
I wanted a clean crisp look.  No distressing!
Let your chair dry overnight (to make sure the fabric is completely dry) and apply two coats of Satin Finish (undiluted) to the ENTIRE chair; Yes...fabric and wood.  Let the first coat dry completely before applying your second coat.
 You are done!  You now have a one of a kind chair (kid and pet friendly) and you didn't have to pull a single brad to make it happen.  
AND...who wants to pull ALL those out?  
Not me!

Let's recap...
Before and After.
Ready to paint?

Ciao for now!
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