This week I found out that I am one of BHG’s Top 10 Best DIY/Decorating Blogs! (check out the other nominees and vote for your favorite here) It is just so surreal when stuff like this happens. I look around and my house (that is a disaster right now) and want to silently mouth “who me?” because 1. this is cray, and 2. I don’t want to alert them in case its a mistake.
But in all seriousness I’m grateful for moments like this that make you stop and look back . The thing is, you just don’t ever know where you’re going to end up. When I started Vintage Revivals 5 1/2 years ago I literally knew nothing about DIY. I’d never spray painted anything, sewn a pillow, or made multiple trips to Home Depot in the same afternoon. After all, I wasn’t “creative”. I didn’t decorate or DIY because I didn’t think that I could, so attempting it wasn’t an option. I probably would have butter socked you if you told me this is where I’d be today.
The whole crazy ride started when I found All Things Thrifty. At the time, all of my friends were buying black slightly distressed living room groups from Ashley Furniture. Our money was going…other places. In my core I felt like not having a cute house, and cute things that everyone else had was just another tally mark in the “Mandi’s Life Fails” category. But All Things Thrifty was different. She wasn’t dropping loads of cash to have what everyone else had. Brooke was going to the thrift store and decorating her whole room for like $150. I was blown away. I was inspired. I wanted to be just.like.Brooke. So I went to the thrift store, and bought an end table. And then I went to Wal-Mart and bought bright yellow spray paint. I could not wait to get started. I didn’t care that it was 105 degrees outside, or that I had no clue what I was doing, I was ready to be creative!!
Looking back and knowing what I know now, the project did not turn out well. I didn’t know that you were supposed to sand after you primed, so the poor defenseless end table had the texture of Rhino Liner. *shrug*
I also didn’t know that you were supposed to put a cover down on your driveway that was bigger than the piece you were working on because there was this thing called overspray. *double shrug*
But you know what? I LOVED that table. It unearthed something in me that I didn’t know existed. It taught me that creativity isn’t something that you’re born with, its a skill that you develop. I was SO EXCITED about this new found love that I just couldn’t contain myself, so I started a blog. Let me be the first to say that for the first 6 months that thing ran on spray paint fumes because I had no idea what I was doing, nor did I have any business telling people how to do it. Thank goodness for blind enthusiasm and the fact that Pinterest didn’t exist so you could take after pictures in your driveway! This was my real life after picture of the one that started it all:
Wowza. (Court’s reaction was exactly what you’d expect it to be.)
My FAVORITE emails to get are from people who’ve just finished their first project. For some reason lately I’ve been getting less of those and more of the “I’m overwhelmed and don’t know where to start” emails. That, coupled with the fact that I haven’t done an actual project since Brem was born means that we are ALLLLLLL getting a pep talk!
I saw this video on AFV (my girls LOVE AFV so its constantly on at our house) and it made me laugh because how often do we do this in our lives? Bless the internet for making GIFs of everything.
The agony!! So much stress and anticipation for what?! Just kick the stupid ball!!
Did you know that 4 out of 10 homeowners wait 5 years to repaint in their house because they are worried they’ll get sick of the color? Of course you’ll get sick of the color! Its ok!! Your style will evolve, change isn’t a bad thing!
How many times have we passed up that once in a lifetime find at the thrift store because you don’t know if you can pull it off? If you love it, you will make it work! The answer to that question is once, and you’ll kick yourself forever.
How about not starting a project just because you’ve never done it before? I pinky promise if you start you’ll learn something, one way or another. Hopefully you don’t lose a finger in the process…or we might have to ring finger promise the next one.
Or my personal favorite, not doing something you’re excited about because your worried what someone else will think, especially people that don’t matter. You guys, you’ll never please everyone, so do what YOU love. It’s your house! We all know how supportive Court is in all of this. He literally lets me do whatever I want because he’s wonderful. True story. Court came home from watching a fight about a month ago. It was at a Dr’s house. Super expensive, in the nicest part of town. Basically The Dream in his mind. So he comes in and says “I finally get what you do.” This giant amazing dream house was beige and boring and was just like every other house in St. George. He could finally see the value that unbridled creativity brings to the table…after 5+ years of helping me execute it firsthand. WHAT!?! But you can bet your pudding cup that I was over the moon excited that he finally gets is.
As funny and cute as that video is, how different would the poor kid feel if his friend said “Whoa buddy. Chill it for a second. Let me show you. This is what I’ve learned. Do this, not this.” That is what Brooke’s blog and so many others did for me and what (I hope!) Vintage Revivals does for you! For fun, check out my top 10 WORST projects to see just how hard I’ve missed the mark. I bet you’ve never spray painted your kitchen backsplash orange. Been there, done that.
In all reality, how easy is it to feel like we’ll never kick the ball as far as some people?!! All of these perfect projects and houses and families are so shiny! But guess what?! We’re shiny too, we may just need something to shine us up a little (I have an abundance of nursing pads so of you want we can use those!)
So lets make a pact to just kick the ball! No stressing, no melt downs, just taking a breath and realizing it for what it is. Its decorating. Its not choosing to cut the blue wire or the red wire.
For goodness sakes, send me those project pictures so I can high five your skills! And don’t forget to pop over and vote!