Life in the South

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hey y'all! (See-- I'm learning the ways here!)

I figured I am long overdue for a blog post.. probably about time I update you on our life here in Georgia. Crazy to think we have been here almost TWO months! Time seemed at a stand-still the first few weeks we were here. Getting adjusted and familiar with the new digs took time.. not to mention that we missed our people back home terribly. And our doggy was waiting for us in WA until we found a home that would work for us. It was draining, I'll be honest. My emotions were all over the place, we were stressed and quickly grew tired of being shackled in a tiny hotel room together, finding a house, a husband starting a new job, and said husband buying a new truck, establishing ourselves in a new state (i.e. utilities, licenses, finding the right grocery store (Yes, this is real. It took several failed attempts until we found the perfect one... if you feel inclined, ask me about the one with security and hair weave salons inside of it)), waiting for our moving truck to arrive and so on. Moving is a lot of work. Moving to a whole new state across the country... well, that's just plain crazy. But after getting all settled, we are so happy to be here and are really embracing our surroundings, trying to make the best of such a big life change.

Our days have been spent nesting in our sweet little house, scoping out antique stores and estate sales (major gold to be had here, furniture friends!), playing at parks and meeting new friends. I am so thankful to say we have already met some wonderful people that I think will be in our lives for a long time to come. It's true what they say about the south, everyone is so welcoming and friendly. As for our home-- we decided after much debate to rent our first year here until we get our feet properly planted and know what we want out of life here in Georgia. We are located in East Atlanta and so far are loving the city life! There are so many things to keep each member of our family occupied here-- my husband is 5 minutes from his academy, parks on almost every corner for our kiddo and the coolest dog park for the furry one just a few minutes from where we live. And me, well I have a Target right down the road and ladies, you know that's it and that's all it takes to make you feel at home. Am I right? Aside from that though, there is a bountiful supply of furniture shops and treasure stores all within a 10 minute radius. I just can't complain!

Instead of babbling on, how about some pictures of our adventures to sum up the rest?























This journey is really teaching me how to embrace the unknown and relish in the sweet moments with my family. I can't wait to see what's to come. If you ever have any questions about a big move or anything Atlanta related, I would be happy to offer my tiny bits of advice or "what not to do" or awesome spots to check out. Don't hesitate to ask!

Until next time. (Maybe it will be a furniture related post...?!)

Surprise...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

WE'RE MOVING!!!

I have put off writing this post for longer than I should. Truth be told, I think I've been in denial about this huge change that is upon us. My family and I will be moving to Georgia in a little over two weeks. Yup, you heard that right! This PNW girl is headed to the South!

Maybe this will help clear up my lack of posting on here, and even on our Facebook page lately. I'm deeply sorry for my absence my beautiful friends! I've been a liiiiiitle preoccupied, and overwhelmed and exhausted, and excited, and on a straight and narrow mission for supporting my husband and family during this crazy-awesome time!

A little background: Kyle has been working his booty off for the past two years to get hired on as a professional firefighter. He started applying in WA state and unfortunately it was slim pickins'. He did however manage to make it through two oral boards with Seattle Fire which was HUGE! But it didn't go any further than that. For those who don't have much reference to becoming a paid firefighter: it is hard, extremely competitive, emotionally and financially taxing and a very long process. After things didn't follow through with Seattle, he started playing around with the idea of out of state options. I was hesitant at first, almost all of his suggestions were a definitive N O. But somewhere along the lines, my heart was being called to follow and support my husband, regardless of distance. Kyle and I have lived in a very small radius our whole lives. He has had an itch to get out and see and experience a different part of the country, and those feelings of adventure and excitement for the unknown started to whirl around in my mind, too. Flash forward to us flying to Denver, CO and Ventura County, CA... and then to Dekalb County, GA. Traveling was fun! Thrilling in fact. The thought of us actually moving to any of these places was so far off my radar. I was just along for the ride and there to back my guy. I will say this though... of those places we visited, Georgia instantly had my attention. It was so warm and inviting, and something about being there had us stopped in our tracks and appreciating all the beauty there. It was the first and only place we could see ourselves living. It must have been fate. From start to finish, it took almost 6 months for the process to unfold and to receive the official job offer. The suspense!

To keep this long story going... ;)
I have been riding this emotional roller-coaster for quite some time now, lots of highs and lots of lows. For those of you who know me as just the "painter girl" probably don't know how deep my roots are here in the Northwest. I am a family girl through and through, I consider my parents my best friends, I see my grandparents several times a week, have the greatest friends in all the land and I have... YOU. I started this painting gig from scratch. I knew very little going in to it, I just knew I wanted to be creative and paint. And somehow I've managed to gain such a tremendous support system and strong client base because you have believed in me and what I do. I'm blown away by you, my friends and truly mean it when I say you have inspired me and kept me going and learning. I think that is why I've been so negligent in telling you this huge news because it saddens me to leave you and everything I have worked so hard to accomplish here. I have met so many amazing, wonderful people, been a part of two very lovely and nurturing stores and been able to work side by side (a lot of the time) with my number one gals, my mama and baby girl. It has been the perfect world. But the fascinating thing about our world is that it is constantly changing, and we are too. We aren't meant to be stagnant, we are designed to explore and grow. Even though this is a really intimidating time, I do find comfort in knowing that no matter how big or little these upcoming changes will be, I won't forget about you or the memories I have. And I hope you won't forget about me. ;) I have to tell myself that you'll still stop by my page and check in on me... you will, won't you? Maybe I'll start shipping..!

So for now, this is not a goodbye, as I am altogether terrible at those. This is a "please wish me luck as I'm shaking in my boots" and let's remain friends. I can only hope I will be so warmly welcomed there as I was here. You guys have been so GREAT to me!

We are set to move mid September, but I will be back in October to do my first show, so please please come visit us there. We will be at the Clutter and Charm Vintage Market in downtown Puyallup on October 18th.

Before I go, would you like to see some pictures of our trips to GA? Ok, you got it!

 (The first house pictured is the house Martin Luther King Jr grew up in. Pretty neat, huh? The picture next to it is the firehouse he used to play at when he was a kid.

Bottom left: some of the most delicious gelato I've ever had the pleasure of eating. Bottom right: our new house!! ...just kidding. ;)




 Top left: Ok, we really bought a house! ...Psych. Got ya again. That is me jumping in front of the Swan House, an iconic home in downtown Atlanta (fun fact: part of the hunger games was filmed here.) Top middle: my babe on our first trip there, that smile says it all. He knew it was meant to be. Top right: our two kiddos we are taking with us!

Thanks for listening, I know I don't do "brief". Hope you're still awake out there!

I'll be back soon with more updates. My good friend Amanda suggested I blog about us moving to the South and documenting our steps along the way... I think I might just do that! I hear the painting community is pretty big there ;)

xoxoxo
Jill

She's got style, she's got grace...

Monday, June 23, 2014

Well she's all you'd ever want,
She's the kind they'd like to flaunt and take to dinner.
Well she always knows her place.
She's got style, she's got grace, She's a winner.
She's a Lady. Whoa whoa whoa, She's a Lady.
-Tom Jones

Ok, cheesy moment over. This is the song that keeps playing over in my mind when I think about this set.

Big, bold, beautiful and has curves in all the right places!

Here she is before she went to the salon:
 
 
We wanted to let her natural beauty come through, so we kept the paint nice and simple. A couple coats of ASCP Coco and then a layer of clear wax and she was done! [Fun fact-- Coco is one of my all-time favorite colors to work with, and I just love it in a bedroom. In fact, this is what our bedroom dressers are painted.]
 
Here she is after:

 What do you think? Would love to hear your feedback!

Have a great Monday, friends!



Sidewalk Sale

Friday, May 30, 2014

Good morning, friends!

As many of you know, we have been working hard to put together a "sidewalk" sale for Saturday (tomorrow!). So before that happens, I wanted to write a little on what you can expect to find there and all the details. And a slight disclaimer of sorts before I get started: the sale is in fact not taking place on a sidewalk, however it will be on a very large parking pad with a beautiful backdrop. There will be plenty of parking (just don't come in swarms! ;) Sarcasm...). I specifically did not call this a "garage sale" for several reasons. First namely being that we are not selling out of a garage, and second, I did not want the pricing or quality of what's being offered to be jeopardized by that name. Don't get me wrong, I loooooove to shop garage sales, I do, I do! But our purpose here is to not have a massive purge of stuff (although that'd be fun, huh?), the real reason is that I love to meet and greet customers, people who have purchased our work in the past can come back and see what we have available now, or someone who hasn't had a chance to shop our furniture yet an opportunity to do just that and at lower prices. That is one of the biggest things I miss about being an active part in a retail shop. It was so fun to mingle and chat with the shoppers! I love and appreciate knowing who takes home one of our babies, it really means the world and gives me immense gratitude.

Ok, Jilly, get on with it already!

Tomorrow is supposed to be gorgeous, I'm talkin high 70s to 80s! I could do a happy dance just thinking about it. (don't worry, the furniture will be covered under awnings to protect it) There will be refreshments and nibbles served, hydration is key! Show up anytime between 10 and 3. There has been talk of a special guest appearance too and I'll give you a hint....  it may or may not be my momma's vintage trailer!!! I'm thinking we will do a fun little game of "name that trailer!" too...because, well, it doesn't have a name yet and it needs one! Maybe there will be a prize given to the one my momma chooses...hmmm....

Now on to the really good stuff----- Pictures!



 

 
 
 
Would you believe me if I told you that's not even half of it? Ok, well maybe half. I was really hoping to have pictures of "as is"/ project pieces on include but you know how it goes, there are never enough hours in a day to get it all done. There will be a pretty dining set, console table, an upholstered accent chair, long coffee table, small tables, etc. at great prices for all you DIYers! There are also going to be lots of smalls (vases, pillows, d├ęcor, trays, trunks, and more).
*We will be accepting cards as form of payment in addition to cash. Please note there is a small usage fee for that.
 
I think that's it! I'm going now. Check back later because I'm planning to get some close up pictures of the smalls that I mentioned as well as the backdrop of the sale. Fun stuff, people!
 
Let me just say this, I am so excited. I look forward to reconnecting with past customers and also meeting fresh faces. And I also really want you to meet my momma (she doesn't know I'm saying any of this but will soon when she reads it..), she is such a big part of IF although she hates taking any credit, and I want her to feel the LOVE people! So bring your friends, I promise you this will be fun (music, bevies, maybe a little dancing..who knows.)!
 
Alright alright, since you asked I'll share a little bit about my last experience doing something like this. Trust me when I say I have grown and learned a lot since then!! I had only been officially painting as a full timer for a few months and I decide to throw together a yard sale extravaganza. I had it all set up (with the help of many) in our yard (we are talking awnings, lemonade and cookies, the whole bit!), had the garage all cleaned and organized looking like a showroom of a beginner, it looked nice! And while I had many shoppers (who I think I disappointed because they weren't finding $1 deals :/ ) I only had one sale on something I actually painted. And it was from my Nana. If you don't know her, you need to. She is an angel on earth. BUT this isn't a sob story, oh no way! That day I had SO much fun. My family and friends were there and we just made a day out of it, lounging and laughing in the sun. At the end of the day, I only allowed myself to be bummed for a few minutes because even though I didn't sell much, I had the pleasure of looking at all our hard work, and enjoying it with some of my favorite people. And that is what I plan to do tomorrow. So even if you don't plan on purchasing anything come anyways and hang out! I am totally cool with that.
 
And before I really go this time, a side note. I just realized how much I like to use parenthesis in my writing. Here's why: when I write, especially blogs like this, I really do think of it as dialogue. This is how I really talk and those words I put in parenthesis are what I would be adding in real life. I can't help it! Am I weird? I use commas a lot too.
 
See all you lovelies tomorrow! (Because I am not posting the address publicly, please feel free to email me at if.inspiredfurnishings@yahoo.com and I will be happy to get you set up with directions!)

Jill

--Edit--
Here is where you will find us tomorrow at 10am!
 There will be pillows (hand sewn and one embroidered by this fabulous Nana I speak of) and trunks, candles, chalkboards....
 Be on the lookout for bright neon signs to help get you to the right destination! See you tomorrow!

 

 


Layers on layers on layers...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

You guys.

I. Can't. Stop. Layering.

Ever since I got a wild hair the other week to try a new painting technique [the magical layered dresser] I couldn't wait to try it again. I decided to mix things up a bit with this project by adding a new element. Spackling paste. Just wait.

The secretary about to undergo operation was in pretty rough shape when I got my hands on her, terrible stain job, bumps and bruises, you name it, she had it. BUT, that is our quest as painters and restorers, see through to the beauty on the other side! I wanted to play up the old worn vibe and give this baby lots of texture and make it appear as though it had a ride through the color spectrum over the years. I added good ol' spackling paste straight to my paint, about 3 parts paste to 1 part paint. It was a thick, creamy mixture that I knew would be great for adding texture. [try not to laugh at my terrible action shots]
 
Here are a few pictures I got during the painting/layering stage. I just grabbed an assortment of blues/greens and an orange to play with. And then I used a putty knife to apply each batch (in increments, allowing dry time in between) in random spots. Sort of looks like a patchwork design.
Although I wanted the secretary to appear textured, I didn't actually want it to feel textured. I used my orbital sander and went at it. The original wood started popping out in various places and I LOVED that! It really gave it an old world finish. And now it was soft to the touch, thank goodness!


What do you think? I know I've been doing more taste specific pieces lately, but every once in a while it pays off to be bold and go for it. At least that's what I'm hoping for! I picture a young boy working diligently on his school work at this desk... wishful thinking? ;)

*In case you were curious, all paints used on this project were Annie Sloan Chalk Paint products, including [my favorite] clear soft wax!

 Thanks for stopping by!
Jill





The desk that stole my heart

Friday, May 23, 2014

Happy Friday, friends!

What a wonderful week it was for us here at Inspired Furnishings. We were B U S Y painting and enjoying the beautiful weather!

I'm here to share one of our projects: the most beautiful desk you ever did see. This was a CL find and as soon as I spotted it I knew I had to jump on it QUICK as it wouldn't last long. When I went to pick it up, I noticed that it was in less than perfect shape, quite a few deep scratches were on the top, which meant there'd be some intense sanding involved. However, I couldn't help but be swept away with how stunning the lines were on this desk and how solid it was!

After the prep work was done, we got to painting. Each step we got more and more excited with how it was turning out. That was until we started the "wash" technique on top. I wanted this piece to have texture and depth to give it an even more elegant look. So after applying a heavy and criss-cross like painting technique, I mixed up an H20 diluted paint color that was lighter than the all-over one we used. It took me several tries before I loved the way it looked. I didn't want it to look contrived or obvious, I wanted it subtle and soft. The good news is, eventually we got there! You just have to stick with it and remember you can wipe it off with a damp cloth and try again. ;)


 
 
I am so pleased with the response this piece received on Facebook. It was our fastest sale to date, selling within a matter of less than two hours it was paid for and off the market. Sometimes, you just never know how long it will take for the right person to fall in love with your work, so this one was a pleasant surprise. :)
 
 
Have a great weekend!