Monday, June 27, 2011

How did I get here?

Tonight as I got ready for bed, I went about turning off lights, locking locks, latching doors... I stopped and took a serious look around. In the dimly lit glow of my kitchen looking into my living room, I asked myself, "How did I get here?"

I mean, I know what happened, I know what I willingly gave up, I know what disappeared from my life, I know what I've accomplished (I think). But looking back at these last two years of my life, how that time began, to what it has become now, I am in awe of where it has led me; The people it has led me to.

So much has happened during this time. I have grown, I have learned, I have evolved.

Sometimes, it takes a strong look at a physical place to really see the measure of what you've accomplished. 

I went from this:

To this:

It's not much, nor is it by any means "perfect", but it is mine. None of it existed at the time the first photo was taken. I moved in with a bed, my clothes and books. I have found every piece of furniture I own, most of it I've refinished, a lot of it for free...and thankfully I can now look at this room, my home and my life with pride, because I worked for every single minute and every single inch. 

But mostly? 

I just feel blessed. 

I feel like all of the hard decisions I have been faced with, the gut instincts I didn't ignore and all of the choices I made, brought me to this very moment, this place in my life where I can take a look around and feel as though I am right where I need to be. I am surrounded by people that I love and that love me in return. I am treated with kindness and respect. The people in my life do generous and thoughtful things for me, and appreciate me when I do the same for them. I like who I am and the person I have become. 

And I guess that's a hell of a lot. More than some might ever get, you know?

Well, and this:

Some might never get that, but, I did :) 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Paint, tables, beach blankets, fairies, cows, camels and vampires, oh my!

I've been slackin' you guys.

But only on you. I realize this isn't much of a consolation, but I knew you would be comforted with the knowledge that every other area of my life is being attended to, but I miss you so! I'd far rather hide in here and play all day (which is not even close to an exaggeration), but I have been busy as all get out making hay and donuts.

I do, however, have a few glimpses into my recent projects. Let's see, I painted my living room and am so happy that's done. The color is Beach Blanket by Valspar. I got the sample during Valspar's free sample promo a few months back:

What do you think? I am SO in love with it. reminds me of the color you were helping me try and find back in this post from this photo:

'Cept my new color is a bit more green hued than that room. It has more gray notes to it. It also makes me really happy to end up buying a gallon as a result of their free sample giveaway, to feel like I'm reciprocating not just taking advantage of, if that makes any sense. I'm kind of sappy.

I haven't had time to do much in the way of "staging", not that my living room is one of those spaces that staging would really help, but you work with what'chu got, yanno? I love it 100 times more than I did. At the moment the only thing that drives me bat shit is the TV. :: Le Sigh:: I usually watch stuff on my laptop anyway so I can't really obsess over the small stuff. Well. I can and do, but I try not to.

Remember this post from not too long ago?

So that was then:

and this is now:

I'll post more photos later, but for now, you can see the color at least and some of the pieces I finished. I am still trying to decide if I want to paint my white chair's legs and the table next to it. I bought the table with every intention of painting it until I got the chair and thought it needed a friend with that same shade of dark brown in common. I also realize the scale is a bit off and I have to ignore that until I have a bigger budget. Or any budget for that matter. I've been working with free or dirt cheap pieces and about the only thing I pay for is paint. I will tell you though, since I started using an industrial paint sprayer, it's a brave new world. Which reminds me, you can get your lolz on with this gem:

At least with my ability to laugh at myself, I'll never be truly lonely, right?

So where was I? Oh yes, projects. I also finished my bathroom, which I'll also cover soon, but that went a little like this:  

Old bathroom here:

And new/new bathroom here:

I love it SO much more. It feels so much bigger, calmer, more serene. Oh, and in case you're thinking it, no, I am not painting these rooms again, or every 2 years as some of my friends are theorizing. I haven't even blogged my bedroom or kitchen and by the time I get around to it, I will be on its second make-over. 

I also took care of these nesting tables that I absolutely adore:

if you love my pillows, you can get your own pair:
Layla Grayce

I love the inlay and planned to paint the inside of them white, similar to my beloved Greenwich tables by oomph that I love so much:

image via oomph's blog

At nearly $1,500 a pop, I will quite merrily settle for my own version for the cost of a quart of paint. Which actually got me the equivalent of 2 gallons of paint in this case - but that's another story and you know better than to get me going on a shiny thing.

Initially I was going to go a bit darker green, especially after seeing, coveting and wanting to replicate Natty's lovely green dresser:

image via Natty by Design

Is that not crazy gorgeous?

Then I decided to let them sit it out a bit, get comfy in their new skin...and now I kind of like them the way they are. Of course, I'll change my mind in a week and want to paint them navy. I wish I were kidding. I painted the inside panels of my IKEA Billy bookcases (what a fiasco that was!) and by the time I had finished I decided maybe my accent color should be navy, not pink so my LR didn't feel so watermelony and estrogen filled. I am NOT changing it. Nope. Nuh uh.

It's hard being a girl that can never just relax and be happy with what she has.

Then I knocked out Lilly's chair and it's side table and unfortunately only have the shittiest of before photos for you:

But the after is considerably better:

When I first put it back in its spot, Lilly gave me a look as if to say, "Wait, it's white, am I really allowed to sit on it?"

It went kind of like this:

Not unlike the look my friends give me when they glance back and forth between myself and my white couch. Outside of our little world here where we're all crazy with our slip covered white couches, people think we're kind of insane. You do realize this, don't you?

For now, I gave Lilly a step stool to get up to her bed and she loves it. 

I'm still trying to decide how to arrange the room long-term. It's wide open to the kitchen/dining room so I don't have very many options. I thought of somehow partitioning it, or maybe putting up a folding screen, but I'm not too worried about it at the moment. I'm too busy busting out more of these things:

Obsessing over Marian's cows:

Wishing my baby a happy 2 year birthday:

coveting cake plates from Bountiful:

images via Beach Bungalow 8

Having my friends Photoshop me doing fun stuff :

Oh, and listening to this on repeat:

I hope you have an awesome weekend.

Love, Chrissa

OH! P to the Ssssss! Who is rip, roaring and ready to go for Sunday? 

I set up a Facebook group in which to confine our gushing about Eric Northman, so if you'd like to join just clicky clicky and ask to get in. The posts are private so only members can see them.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The best thing today.

I know it's not my usual bag, but after watching this on How My Heart Behaves I felt a sudden and intense urge to share it with anyone that I possibly could.

Some things just do that to me.

And now, not only do I want to make a thousand paper cranes, but I want to listen to this song on repeat for eleventy hours. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

In Love With Awesome: The Cozy Project Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to The Cozy Project giveaway winner from our last post: Julie Hackel

Please send your mailing address and cozy of choice from The Cozy Project's store to

As a special "Thank you" to The Design Junkie readers, Jen is giving you a coupon code for FREE SHIPPING through next Friday, June 24th, 5PM EST using the code: DESIGNJUNKIE at checkout.

The Cozy Project Elsewheres:
The Cozy Project's Website
The Cozy Project's Etsy Store
The Cozy Project's Facebook
The Cozy Project's Twitter

* If you're interested in having The Design Junkie host a giveaway for your Etsy store or company, please send me an email with a link to your website, store or Facebook page and I will get back to you regarding scheduling and any related information. xo, Chrissa

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

In Love With Awesome: The Cozy Project (& Giveaway!)

Once upon a time there was a girl who stalked things.

Her stalking things led her to stalk other things and the stalking upon stalking eventually leads her to...wait, that's not the story I want to tell. But, what I wanted to share did involve a littttle bit of stalking. Let's try that again, shall we?

A long, long time ago which means two years I found a lovely blog called Frolic! and I followed every single post. One day they posted a lil' "Happy Monday" blog which detailed links to lovely things, one of which asked the question, How cute is this? and you know I had to know how cute what was. And "This" turned out to be really, really cute (I even won a giveaway myself!). So began my adoration of The Cozy Project. (Can you tell that I loves me some story telling? I know, I know, I'm not crazy good at it, but still I try).

When I told Jen I was writing a blog about The Cozy Project and asked her if she would mind answering some questions, sending me some photos of her work/workshop and doing a giveaway, she was ripe with enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is a pretty big deal around these parts. I absolutely love the photos she sent me and I am sure so will you:

All photos courtesy of Chelsea Fuss of {Frolic}

So much adorable. Not only do these cozies make great coffee insulators, but they also keep your poor fingers from getting chilly when you slide your beer in one.

Or even your Crystal Light flavored Smart Water:

Which might happen to also perfectly happen to match your shirt that day:

And if you're really nutty, like I am, it might even match the artwork in your office:

The matchy-matchy is pretty outrageous in Chrissaland.

When you were little, what did you imagine yourself doing when you "grew up"?
I will pretend for the sake of this question that I am actually a grown up! I have always been interested in lots of things and wanted to try all of them. I have an intense need to be creative... My mom taught me crochet when I was ten or so. I drew a lot and wrote (really ridiculous) poems in high school (and maybe college..... Shhhh. Don't tell. They were terrible!).  My fav classes were writing and anything but math! I currently have a "day job" that I enjoy but I always make time to pursue creative adventures. I have dabbled in painting and sculpture. I like to tailor and and tweak my own clothes in order to make them a little unique. If you asked me now what I want to do when I grow up, I would say that I want to move to Greece and run a hotel on the beach! Preferably somewhere on the Isle of Crete. It's a nice little teensy dream!

You have to be so proud of yourself for finding such a wonderful and creative product that people love, what inspired you?
I am excited that people love what I make. It's really validating and motivating for me to continue. I love to make things. I would probably continue even if no one noticed but who isn't motivated by a little positive feedback? It is my preference to make gifts rather than buy them. I have made lots of things. One year for Christmas everyone got an afghan. Yes. An Afghan. Everyone. I think I made 20. They were very simple... but I had just moved to a new town and I didn't know anyone and I think that season of 24 was really good... so Jack Bauer was my best friend and I made a lot of blankets. The first cozy came last year for my boss for Boss's day. Everyone at work was really encouraging and wanted me to make more. How could I not oblige?
As far as what inspires me when I am creating something? I would have to say everything. Colors are really inspiring. I like to find a way to match normally unmatchy colors. I like contrast. A week or so ago I saw this beautiful bouquet of sweet peas and loved the way the colors looked. So I went home and created a cozy that matched. I don't organize my yarn by color. I like to see it all up against each other. I see shapes and I want to replicate them. I love when people request specific things... like a certain flower or animal or they tell me their husband is really into craft beer and could I try to come up with something he would like. (Hops. I stitched Hops onto felt and attached it to a cozy that fit on a pint glass.) Cozies are really fun little projects. There is so much opportunity for creativity. Each one can be different. And because they are smaller projects, I can sit down and in about an hour have a finished item. Almost instant gratification.

What are your favorite products, websites or vices that you simply can't live without?
Coffee with steamed milk!!! Also: I love buttons. I could spend hours shopping for buttons. Lately I have really been drawn to wooden buttons. I am partial to cotton yarn and not just because I am allergic to wool. I love Lion Brand Cotton Ease. My fav cozy that I use myself is made from recycled cotton yarn. It's so soft!! I love Fray Check! Pandora. Etsy. NPR. Double stick tape (not necessarily cozy related but craft related and I do not know what I would do without it). I recently replaced my old cell with a smart phone and we are totally inseparable best mates. (Or perhaps I have an addiction.) The other day I used the screen as a light board to trace shapes for felt pieces. I get so excited when I think of all that I have at my finger tips!! Also, I can keep track of orders and be "present" in my shop even when I am out and about! How great is that?

Pretty great, huh? You know what I think is great? The Cozy Project. I am cheesier than Chester Cheetah...I think I am okay with that.

I'm pretty sure you knew that already though, I'm not getting anything past you guys ;)

Now for the best part, Mr. Giveaway. Hit up Jennie's store and pick out your favorite. Let us know which you loved the most and I'll announce the winner on Friday's post.

You can post an additional entry for the following:
"Liking" The Cozy Project and The Design Junkie on Facebook
Posting a related Tweet
Tagging both pages from your own
Posting a blog linking to this one

Have fun!

The Cozy Project Elsewheres:

The Cozy Project's Website
The Cozy Project's Etsy Store
The Cozy Project's Facebook
The Cozy Project's Twitter

But before you go...

Congratulations to the Emily Finan Illustration giveaway winner from our last post: Cat Christmas

Please send your mailing address and illustration of choice from Emily's Etsy store to

As a special "Thank you" to The Design Junkie readers, Emily is giving you a 10% off coupon code off anything in the store through this Friday, June 17th, 5PM EST using the code: DESIGNJUNKIE at checkout.

* If you're interested in having The Design Junkie host a giveaway for your Etsy store or company, please send me an email with a link to your website, store or Facebook page and I will get back to you regarding scheduling and any related information. xo, Chrissa