Dragonfly Cottage

After our fun Drive-By the other day I was contacted by an artist who wanted to do a painting of one of the homes I featured! I was so excited! is an amazing folk artist who not only paints wonderful scenes and cottages, but teaches others to paint as well. And besides that, she is a super nice person and a fellow blogger. She offers her paintings for sale on ebay. I couldn’t believe how quickly she painted this, but here it is, cute as a bug: Dragonfly Cottage!

Dragonfly Cottage

How fun is that? You give Catherine a photo, she twirls her paintbrush and it turns into a painting! Artists are amazing!

Relating this back to our discussion a few days back on home personalization, paintings and photos can be intriguing portals to memories or feelings. Why hang random stuff on your walls when you can find art that really speaks to you, means something, and gives you a sense of connection to your home? If it doesn’t have a story (even if the story is that you fell in love with it at a garage sale or on a blog!), I generally don’t like to use it. Or I think twice about it.

I have line drawings of my past homes because they remind me of special places I’ve lived in my life. Whether you hang a photo of a home you actually live in or used to own, or a painting of a scene that takes you off into a wonderful dream and makes you happy, using art effectively is a great way to make your house feel like home.

Stop by Catherine’s to see her work and for more information on her paintings, including Dragonfly Cottage! Or maybe ask her to paint your own little dream!

The Home Office Saga. Crying involved.

The Home Office Saga. Crying involved.

No pain, no gain, right? Isn’t that how the saying goes? Redecorating, remodeling or re-arranging is sometimes downright painful! If it isn’t the mess involved, the frustration of the decisions, or the expense of it all, it is the emotional torment or battle that can go along with change. But, as with everything that is worthwhile, you sometimes have to suffer a bit for the cause. Isn’t that the truth?! I am suffering just a bit right now because of a little project I am working on. Ok, I’m suffering a lot. Sniff! I’ll tell you about that in a minute. I’ve got to grab my Kleenex first.

The Home Office Saga. Crying involved.

Some of you (at least all three of you who were reading my blog back in August!) will remember that I announced my exciting plans for a new master suite! The entire third floor of our house is going to become our retreat from the world! A bedroom for my hubby and me, an office for me, a boutique style closet with chandeliers and storage galore… Sound dreamy? Well, I’m still dreaming. Life happens and I have been too busy to actually get that project going.

How you girls manage to whip out so many home-improvement projects — like repainting all of your furniture — showing us how you did it step-by-step in photos on your blog and still manage to cook something for dinner in your cute little apron is a mystery to me! I seem to run out of hours in the day before I get to do anything pretty around my own house. And if I do manage a little project, I forget to feed my son dinner. Oops! I usually realize it when he is eating his sixth bowl of cereal. Bless his little heart, he finds his own meals sometimes.

Here is what transpired over at my house this week. My son came up to me while I was at the computer desk the other day saying (in his most serious and concerned seven-year-old tone):

“Mom, could we please clean up this room? There are piles over here, piles over there and it just doesn’t look good. It looks terrible in here.”

Ha! Out of the mouths of babes. Even my son recognized the problem! I need my own office! I need file cabinets! I need shelves! I need my own room to work in! I need cute boxes and notebooks and colored file folders! We all agree on that! And once a seven-year-old is complaining about the lack of order and style, you know the time has come to take action.

So with that little nudge from my son, my dear, sweet, thoughtful husband took pity on his overworked wife and decided he would dive in on my behalf. While I was on a phone conference last night, he started in on my new office! We realized that this master suite project was a big undertaking, so it was best to break it up in to smaller more manageable chunks. The best place to start was with the room that would help me the most — my new office. No more dragging our feet. We just had to dive in and get going. And that he did (sorry, none of these photos are mine, technical difficulties are preventing a photo of the real room).

The Home Office Saga. Crying involved.

But here is the painful part.

Starting on my office meant taking apart our 19-year-old daughter’s bed and packing away her personal belongings.

There. I said it.

You see, my new office has been her bedroom for over four years. It is MY DAUGHTER’S BEDROOM I am stealing for my own convenience. I know this is a line parents are not supposed to cross. Never, EVER, dismantle a college age child’s room while they are living in a dorm. Isn’t that a rule? I think it is. You don’t want them to feel they don’t have a room to return to on school breaks. And I do want her to come home! I do! I miss her so while she is at school.

The Home Office Saga. Crying involved..

But, trust me, we’ve discussed this thoroughly with her and have promised to provide her with a new room. She completely understands and supports the re-purposing of her room on behalf of my business!

But agreeing on this didn’t make us feel good about it as the bed was dismantled. No, we didn’t feel good at all. We stood in the room without a bed and just looked at it. Little lumps grew in our throats and little tears were in our eyes. Visions of our little girl climbing into that now dismantled bed flooded our minds. She was just barely into her teens when she moved to this room. This was her little world! Was this symbolic of the end of her childhood? Were we pushing her out of the nest by taking over her room? Would she ever come back? Oh, I’m telling ya. Being a parent is rough. You always worry you are doing it wrong. And the milestones are so bittersweet.

The Home Office Saga. Crying involved.

Ok, so this project is a bit emotional for us. It is the right thing to do and we all agree that the change will be for the best. But that doesn’t stop the emotions when you see it happening.

Time is marching on and we can’t go back.

The good news is, if I can bear to think of it, is that I now have a space of my own to work with! Hip Hip Hooray! I am now dreaming of what the room will look like and how organized I will be! There will be file cabinets and shelves, a pine table and lamps and OH MY this will be such fun! That is what I am telling myself. Through my tears. Thanks for being a shoulder to cry on.

Now I am ready to find that new office furniture.

all photos from