What I learned from my year in business: Don’t give up, Ever!

I decided to start at the top and work my way up.

Sometimes things don’t work that way. Let me explain: I decided to make beautiful

furniture that I spent a lot of time on and wanted good money for.  I didn’t get the prices I wanted for my pieces. But try try try again. This is what I have learned from my year in being in business for myself. Don’t be afraid to take risks, learn from your mistakes and on’t give up, don’t give up, don’t give up, ever!

I love my Etsy business at my online shop Caribbean Style Decor, my obsession with all things blue, white and shiny; that business is wonderful but erratic $200 one day no money the next day.  I am starting to save for a house I need a steadier source of revenue. I went back to the drawing board and looked the items that brought me the most money, my furniture. I stopped working on my furniture because I didn’t get the prices I wanted for the time and energy I put into refinishing and re-painting.  It is important to pay attention to what the market will bear. I looked over my techniques, I am a perfectionist, my techniques take a lot of time and are

exacting, one table took over 40 hours. I call that one “The Table”.

I sold my furniture in two places a local retailer and on Craig’s List.  I rethought everything and came up with a plan to make My Craig’s list prices profitable. I knew this retailer wasn’t the place to get the best prices for my pieces but they were easy to get into and to work with. I sold all the pieces I had consigned to them and working with that store helped me to figure out where my prices needed to be to sell.

I made up a new set of rules for myself. There were a lot of things I could do to save time and

still achieve the look I wanted. I would spend no more than 8 hours on any one piece. These adjustments would get my prices into the Craig’s list zone.

That’s fantastic news because I LOVE doing the furniture. I love taking furniture ugly ducklings and turning them into gorgeous one of kind pieces.

I have two chairs at home waiting to be worked on. Stay tuned. I’m back at it. …Melissa

The Tao of My Dog’s poop

I made another step in figuring the mysteries of my dog’s bathroom schedule. I rescued an older dog I hadn’t intended to but there she was in a back yard alone, foraging for herself where she had been for years.

My son Jordan and my Dancing dog Milu

My son Jordan and my Dancing dog Milu

She had been left in a this yard of a home that was rented by a family that only held events at the home intermittently. She is a full breed boxer. When I met her she was sweet, friendly and doing a dance routine for food. She is quiet the dancer. Check out her dance moves.

My son fell in love with her and once I figured out she was alone I picked her up and brought her home.

Even though she had been living outside for sometime she remembered what it was to be a treasured dog and headed straight for our king sized bed and made herself comfortable. She was dirty and flea bitten but I didn’t have heart to kick her out to of the bed. Thankful she she still remembered not to go to the bathroom to in the house and after some adjustment everything was in order. As long as she went out before bed she was good for the night.

I quickly learned she liked routines. She loved to go in the car to drop my son off to school at 8am and would remind us on the weekends. She went to bed at 9:30 and if I wasn’t in bed by 11:30 she wold come looking for me. Our lives changed in the last few months and we were definitely off routine. We had moved to a different state; and for while I was staying in an home where she was not allowed. She was boarded and for about 6 weeks. When I got her back she wasn’t sleeping through the night any more. Every night she would wake up and and want to go out for a pee: 3 am sometimes 4 am, every night sometimes 5am.

My Boxer dog Milu's sweet face

look at that face

I tried to get her back on schedule so that she would sleep through the night with no success. We kept trying I would let her out to do her business every night before bed and every night she would wake me up to go out.

Then one night she didn’t. I woke up and checked her she was fine. We were back on pee patrol the next night in the middle of the night. I gave up I figured she was an old dog and couldn’t sleep through the night any more. She was a 9 year old baby that would never grow up.

Then I figured it out. It was the poop not the pee, she was going poop. She has this little thing she does after a poop, she runs a full gallop back into the house. Sure enough she was galloping back into the house in the middle of the night.

The next night I gave her a longer walk and made sure she pooped and now we are all sleeping like babies

Follow me to Hometalk a place for you and me!!!!!!

http://getyourpaintonblog.com/2013/03/26/i-like-shinny-things/How Hometalk took my blog To the Next Level! Click to Follow me there for all the DIY fun. It’s easy peasy!

 

Hometalk how I love you, let me count the ways. I have been meaning to write this post for a while now and now I have the perfect push. Hometalk is having a contest for Bloggers. I am the accidental bogger. I just intended to have a website and the next thing I knew I had a blog and people were reading it.

So I was just making my little posts and sharing on Facebook and Pintrest. The Printrest peeps were coming over and reading it was awesome. I knew of

Hometalk and I sniffed around it a little I clipped a few posts. For those of you wondering Hometalk is it “is the largest online home & garden knowledge hub” Basically it’s a website full of people just like me who love all things Home and Garden talking about and sharing DIY ideas and everything in between, amateurs and professionals alike. get over there and LOOK! So decided to make my first post to Hometalk about what I was doing. I was having a Shiny Spray paint party. So I posted my first post to Hometalk From Trash to Shiny, I also posted to Facebook and Pintrest as usual. My Blog traffic shot up like a rocket. I had my usually Facebook and Pintrest traffic but my Hometalk traffic was through the roof. It doubled my best day. I was amazed. It was the same time every time I have posted a project and DIY ideas. I found my peeps. I’ve found them yoo hoo! A sweet pocket of Do it Yourselfers like me. I actually posted a poem to Hometalk on  their Facebook page. It went something like this:

Hometalk how I love you let me count the ways
Where people click on and comment on my post like no other.
Its the land of the DIY peeps like you and me.

As you can see I’m not a poet, but I was so darned excited. So follow me to Hometalk. It’s the place for DIYers like you and me!

So you want to paint some glass

Hand Tinted mason set

So you want to paint some glass!!! maybe you don’t need all that Shiny DIY mercury glass effect (but it’s so fun check my tutorial out here). My best advice to you, wait for it…. is to get yourself some … Continue reading 

Share the best part of being a Mom

599062_3938818505675_1837535401_nBeing a mom is so awesome and so random. I walked into the bathroom today and saw a flashlight ( turned on) a string of disco Christmas ornaments all apart and a truck. I guess I could have gotten mad at the mess but I found it so endearing. My imaginative son was making an adventure for himself, of course he forgot to take his adventure with him or clean it up. I love being a mom I am constantly amazed and amused by the randomness of my son’s imagination. When my girlfriend was babysitting he asked her what she would do if 1000 cyclopes were in her house. She will never forget that one. With Mom’s day coming up What your best mom tidbit? Share and get a chance to win this Beautiful vase group! if you would like to find out how to make vases like this yourself check out my tutorial here.

The best vacation ever: Key West!

What a smile. I'm Happy in an Awesome place. Key West

What a smile. I’m Happy in an Awesome place. Key West

I am  going to tell you the story of the vacation that changed my life.  The story is helped along by a random find when I moved. I moved 2 months ago. I packed all my stuff up 90% is in storage and moved into to house sit my ex-husbands place. He will be overseas for some months. As I am moving I come across a random stack of photo on my beside table. I am not sure why they are there but I grab them and stick it in my purse. Let’s remember that.

As I sit down to write about my best vacation ever, in Key west Florida, I am fussing about what photos to use because all my photos are in my storage, buried deep in the storage. And I remember my random stack of photos.  Could there are some Key West shots in there. Yes! You can’t tell because it’s just of me smiling but I know I’m there and that’s good enough.

I am don’t remember how I came to go to Key West I was living in New York City at the time and in need of vacation. Myself and my then boyfriend took off  for the wonders of the keys.

I expected the sun and the fun but I fell in love with the place. The architecture reminded me of Barbados my home island in the Caribbean. I felt at home, everyone was your friend, relaxed and happy. We spent every night  at Sloppy Joes they famous local bar. And every sunset we watched the sun go down in the circus atmosphere of Mallory

Malory Square: A photo by my friend Claudio Check him out on Instagram

Malory Square: A photo by my friend Claudio Check him out on Instagram

square, watching trained cats, dogs and human do tricks.

Right there and then I decided to move to Florida so I could be close to this magical place. Within 6 months I had moved and would drive my jalopy 5 hours from Fort Lauderdale one way to join the magic.

I was single and as a single woman Ii found friends at every stop. I still live in South Florida and I have been to Keys West more times than I can count, there is no place like it. I have a 7 year old and I have taken him a few times.  In fact I’m figuring out how I can live down here. The Love affair goes on.

Having Breakfast at Dennys on Duval street. looking a little tired but with a smirk on my face

Having Breakfast at Dennys on Duval street. looking a little tired but with a smirk on my face

Can You Teach an Old Dog New Tricks? and me too

403906_2973952504628_604422054_nCan You Teach an Old Dog New Tricks? and me too!

On my nature walk/ swim at the beach I was captivated by my dog taring around the beach in quick circles, ear flying, full of happiness. To see her so purely happy touches me because of where she came from. This is her new life. I picked her up flea bitten and skinny from the back yard where she had been abandoned. She had been there for years. What broke my heart is that no one could remember how many years she had been back there. She had been there so long.

Apparently her original owners had moved and left her and her son behind. She is a pure bred boxer I assume he was too. And there she stayed struggling for life. The properly was later rented out for spiritual events. Events were held every two to three weeks hundreds of people walked by her over the years. Her son disappeared at some point leaving her alone. My hope is  that because he 482229_10200414953753186_339992797_nwas a pure breed someone took him in.

I went to one of these spiritual events and here she was smiling wiggling this way and that way. My son feel in love with her. I assumed the organizers had brought her. As my son followed her around one of the the organizers said, “Take her! We don’t want her anymore.” I thought they were joking. At home bothered by their statement I called asking about her. She was still in the backyard, alone.

I jumped in my car and drove the 70 miles to get her. Once at home she became the pet she used to be. She headed straight for our bed and hasn’t laid on anything hard since.

She is old at least 10. At 10 years old after struggling survive she has slipped into her new life without a ripple.  She spends her days playing my my 7 year old son and one of the cats she has  adopted  as her own. She is my shadow always at my feet. She learned how to heel and is perfectly obedient. Her old life forgotten she is now a picky eater. She is such a sweet loving  animal. her wonderful attitude not affected by her years of struggle. When she runs with her ears flying in pure joy you can’t help feel it too. 604050_10200611645710362_466473673_n

Don’t Freak out I’m Re-Naming my Blog

button-smDon’t Freak out I’m Re-naming my Blog. As I entered this Bloggy universe I was slightly unprepared. I didn’t know that I was making a Blog. And then I was being asked what is the name of my Blog? A name?  It’s called Blog! What they have names? Ok so I tried to come up with one cute, funny and catchy. I didn’t come up with much. I just went with Furniture, Paint and DIY Fun cause that’s what I do. But it was soo Long and  slightly un-catchy. Then I said so someone: I am going to get my paint on. That’s it! Cute, catchy, perfect. Well Get you Paint on was taken so I just added “Blog” So the graphics and a few other things have changed. Don’t Freak out. It’s still me.

This is my backyard

Almost my back yard

This is my backyard.

Well it’s about  a mile away. When I read FOLK Magazine Community Journal Challenge subject this week get out into nature I thought I am out in nature all the time. I used to take walks daily but when was  the last time? I don’t know.  I took the dog to the open field across from my house a few times last week. Does that count? No! Does it count when  I’m refinishing furniture in my back yard? No! Does it count when I sit in my backyard with my laptop and a tea and enjoy the sights and sounds? Almost.

me and old girl dog, Milu

me and old girl dog

My friend was showing me a beautiful set of cards she has gotten and handed me one. It said get out in to nature. Someone is trying to tell me something.

So after I dropped my son off at School I took the dog and we went to the beach.

A soon as we get there she knew where she was. She is a 10 year old rescue we got last year. She stamps with excitement. I decide to have a swim, the water is cool but feels good. The dog sniffs the ground and she runs. She gallops at top speed  like a horse taking tight corners  her ears flying a big smile on her face. She runs in pure joy. Her past years abandoned in a backyard  forgotten.

Her joy is infection it makes everything feel sweeter the water the sand and air. Heading home we are both refreshed I’m ready to work and she ready to sleep curling up on the car seat. They say dogs live in the moment. I am learning from her!

These chairs might actually be old-ish maybe

How old is this chair. Will it's value take me to Starbucks or the BigTime

How old is this chair. Will it’s value take me to Starbucks or the BigTime

Everyone who knows me knows that I am permanently on the hunt for furniture to refinish. Now I am lucky in the fact that my ex-husband is the king of the curbside pick up and the garage sale find. I am also lucky  that we are getting along well after years of fighting with each other. After a few years we realized we had to raise your uber cute son together and got over ourselves.

He LOVEs garage sale and goes every weekend. A) That’s good for me when I go along because my negotiating skills are nill. If I want something I just let him know and have him handle it. He’s Australian so with that accent of his and his ability to spin tales I know he’s going to get what I want at a good price. B) It’s also good for me because he is always on the look out for good pieces for me and occasionally shows up with a little gem.  I’m getting off the subject.

He calls me up and says he found two  chairs on the side of the road and” they look pretty good”,  he always says that. When I seem the I’m impressed the look nicely made and they have claw and ball feet which I love. I don’t pay too much attention and throw them in  my storage space to deal with later.

A few weeks later I take a closer look at them all excited to refinish they with some black paint and gold wax  accents. Hmmmm, as I look closer I realize the claw and ball feet are carved really really well and have a lot of detail, that’s good. When I turn the chair over to look at the seat, I see three layers of fabric with the apparently original covering secured by orderly nails and some words stenciled on the bottom No. 7155 MAH Polona WI NE. Hmmmm. I’m impressed with the workmanship and as much as I want to start slapping paint I don’t want to jump the gun if I actually have an antique that is worth something.

From my research the chairs are Chippendale style. I’m still thinking that they are a nice 50’s or

what gorgeous feet

what gorgeous feet

60’s era reproduction. I don’t want to get too excited.

My dream is to go on The Antiques Roadshow and have those super cute furniture experts, the Keno brother’s (the twins) hopping from one foot to the other dying to tell me that have have two treasures worth 1/4 million each. That could happen. meanwhile I’ll keep doing my research to see what I have.

If the are from the 50s or 60s I’ll be happy, if they are Victorian Era reproductions I’ll be thrilled and if they are older than that I’ll be over the moon.