Bueller….Bueller….Bueller…..Anyone out there? Is this thing on?! Long time no blog post! Seriously…it’s been a month. I couldn’t even remember how to log into my blog it’s been so long! And the comments and the emails…goodness…I’ve got some serious catching up to do. So if you’re recently (and by recently I mean the last couple of months) left a comment, asked a question or sent an email, I’m just getting around to them.
But let’s cut to the chase and the big question on everyone’s mind (who am I kidding…just my mom’s mind), “Where have you been?!”. Let’s just say I haven’t been terribly good about balancing the day job, the Etsy shop, and life in general. So what did I do about it? I quit my job. Boom. I just wish I had done it with a little bit of flair (or twelve pieces of flair) like Marina Shifrin did in this video:
So now that I’ve dropped the bomb, here’s how this all went down. Since May, we’ve had steady sales on Etsy. From day one, we were selling enough product to make a decent living. It wasn’t quite enough to match my day job salary but it was more than enough to live. In the back of my mind, I knew running Roostic full time was a possibility in the not so distant future. So I worked hard, squirreled away most of our profits, and grew our sales to a point where our profits were outpacing my salary on a pretty consistent basis.
This was late September. Then crazy(er) things started happening. I was approached with wholesale offers on such sites as Shoppe by Scout Mob and Domestica, both offers I couldn’t pass up, and our products were being featured by such behemoths as Sweet Paul, Better Homes & Gardens, the W Network and more. Given that I was averaging about 4 hours of sleep a night (on a good night) those wholesale offers weren’t ones I could take on right away. Something had to go. And after much soul searching, a few tears, and a lot of discussion with Colby about whether or not this was the right decision, I put my notice in at work and signed the wholesale contracts.
November 1st was my last official day at my day job as the marketing director for NH Bragg and Sons (an industrial distributor…hence my love for tools). I’m not gonna lie. As much as I thought I was going to waltz out of there all ecstatic-like about my new adventure, it was bittersweet. I had been there for over six years. I grew up there. I finished grad school there, moved into my first big girl apartment there, met Colby there (not literally), got engaged and married there, and worked with some amazing people. I learned so much and really grew up at NH Bragg, as a marketer and as a person.
But I couldn’t wait to get going running Roostic full time. We had just started wholesaling on Scout Mob and had 125 orders in our first week there! Eeek! Not to mention a ginormous, 50 piece order to get to. Needless to say, we were busy. I spent many days and evenings hanging out in the basement sanding my fingers to the bone. And just when I thought we had caught up, and I could do my first load of laundry in over a month (don’t worry…I had clean underwear…Colby did a couple loads of laundry…although…folding is not his strong suit…he just dumped it on the kitchen table…where we got dressed each morning since that’s where the clean clothes were…I wish I was kidding), then boom, UPS broke all but 8 of the 50 piece RUSH iPad stand order and we had to do it again. Thus, the reasons for the radio silence this past month.
But we’re back, baby! Back in a
New York blogging groove! I’ve missed blogging…like MISSED IT, missed it. It’s the thing I like to do at night before bed to wind down for the day. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep up with a regular blogging schedule as we’re just getting into the big, holiday rush, but I’m going to try. I’m aiming for posting five times a week, Sunday through Thursday nights, like back in the good ol’ blogging days before Etsy came around. So stay tuned for more house project shenanigans. There may be a new rug situation we need to update you on, some new-about-to-die-if-I-don’t-water-them plants in the house, and a big ol’ kitchen remodel on the horizon. And of course Goose pictures…because what would this blog be without the Goose!
Pssst…Have I mentioned yet that I missed YOU GUYS?! Man have I missed you guys!!! And all your sweet comments!
A long, long time ago,
I can still remember, how that music used to make me smile we bought a tractor seat stool at Home Goods. It was an impromptu purchase while on a Vermont road trip because when you see a tractor seat stool, you buy it. Those are the rules. No exceptions. But alas, the tractor seat stool was red which isn’t necessarily my favorite color…not even close…I’m more of a blue girl. But I left it red until the Etsy work space evolved a little bit more. But now…that tractor seat stool is sporting a brand new turquoise coat.
After a bit of color debate, I opted to paint the stool the same turquoise color as the cage light fixture that we made last week, which happens to be leftover paint from our media cabinet in the living room. Nothing like a little color synergy in the space. But my favorite part of the stool’s new paint color, is how cute it looks with the coral curtains. I’m a sucker for coral/turquoise color combos. It gets my insides all tingly ever time.
But remember where we were just a few-ish weeks ago? Red stool with green/yellow curtains. Oh my. Not so great.
Painting the stool was one of those super quick and super easy projects that provides a big impact. As for the how we did it portion of this program, it was our regular old spray painting song and dance. The stool was metal with a super glossy finish. So I prepped the stool by wiping it down with a liquid deglosser, which magically scuffs up the finish without sanding AND cleans the surface all in one step. Then prepped our paint sprayer for painting.
We’ve hit the one year mark on our paint sprayer (a Graco 2900 purchased from Lowes…you can read our review on it back here) and I have to admit, we’ve been having words. Strong words. Like the kind you yell at the dog after he ate an entire plate of freshly grilled bbq chicken (been there). Fightin’ words. I’m kind of wishing we had upgraded the paint sprayer to the next model up, the one where you don’t have to water down your paint. And it’s been a clog monster lately. Live and learn. At least a clog saved Colby from being spray painted a lovely turquoise color.
Next step, spray time. After I worked by Goldilocks skills with the water to paint ratio until I got the perfect consistency of not too runny but not too thick to clog the sprayer, I layered on about four thin and even coats of paint. Three coats almost covered up the red, but not quite so a fourth was needed.
I’m a big fan of spray painting outside by putting down a scrap piece of plywood or some cardboard in the lawn and plopping my spray painting piece down on top of it. It’s so much easier to tackle these kind of projects outside. Then you can leave them out there to fully dry and harden before taking them in. Sadly, our spray painting days are numbered. See the leaves in the yard? Spray painting season is drawing to a close as the temps are dropping and winter is looming. My spray painting trigger finger is officially un-itchy…and gloved.
After a couple days of dry time, the stool returned to the Etsy office space and I happily plopped by butt into the turquoise seat. Such a happy tushy!
As for what’s next in the Etsy office? I’ve got a few decorating/organizing projects up my sleeve. My favorite kinds of projects, the little ones that add some depth, layer, and texture to the room. The kind that really make a space unique and give it some character. Stay tuned.
Pssst…While we were spray painting away this weekend, what were you guys up to? Any painting projects? Organizing? Halloween prep work? Man…Halloween is sooooo soon. I’m officially not ready!
“First you must find… another shrubbery! Then, when you have found the shrubbery, you must place it here, beside this shrubbery…” What?! We’re talking about shrubbery tonight on the blog so isn’t it a given that we whip out Monty Python quotes?! Anyway…we owe you an update, or two, or three about the progress we’ve been making on our front porch ever since we ripped out the windows (with intentions of repairing them). Since we snapped these pics of our shrubs back in late August, I think it’s time we got around to posting about them…and more importantly what we did to them. So let’s talk shrubbery, and the overgrown shrubbery around our front porch.
We had a bit of an overgrown shrub situation going on beside our porch. The shrubs have been a bit on the overgrown side since we bought our home. Fast forward three years and they’re even more overgrown than before. So much overgrown that they’re growing into the house. Case in point…the burning bush growing into our porch windows. Why hello shrubbery!
That right there is one of the major reasons why we have so much rot and damage going on with the windows out here (learn more about our porch problems back here). You see, when it rains the water drips down through the leaves of the bush. That water then drips down behind the sill stop, pooling at the base of the sash, and the sun never hits the sill to help dry it out. The bush had to go. So out came the loppers and down went the bush…one branch at a time under Goose’s careful observation.
One bush down. Which left us with two more to go, one evergreen and another burning brush. The burning brush on the right wasn’t as big as the first one I took down, the one on the other side of the porch, but it was also planted too close to the house. Same with the evergreen….just a bit inside (my favorite Major League quote).
So I chopped down bush number two while Colby took the chain saw to the evergreen. Apparently tonight is movie quote night…
It didn’t take Colby long to take down the tree. A few minutes and swipes of the chainsaw to take off all the low hanging branches, which exposed the trunk.
Then a few more minutes to chop down the tree at the base. Again, under careful Goose supervision.
And maybe, just maybe a bit of heckling from the pooch.
This left us with a few stumps to take care of. Colby did his best to chop them down with the chainsaw, but we still have a little bit more work to do on getting rid of them in their entirety. For now we’re left with some small, nubby stumps that we’re hoping will soften up and maybe rot a little over the winter and in the spring we can get rid of them for good. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but mostly it’s shear laziness combined with flat out just not wanting to deal with it right now.
It was when I snapped the following pic that I had that “whoa….what did we just do?!” moment. You know, that moment when you do something kind of permanent, you can’t go back, and it’s kind of major. Like chopping down all your trees/bushes around your house. All of our sudden, we can see the front of our house and it’s amazing! Who knew our front porch was so large?!
And stump chopping round two. Go baby, go! For some reason, that stump scared me. Maybe because I was painting the side of the house while straddling it and imagining myself tripping and impaling myself on it. Great visual, huh?! I’ve been watching too much Grey’s Anatomy.
With that, our house is officially exposed. As much as I hate to chop down plants, in particular trees, it had to be done. The bushes were damaging not only our windows but also our siding. It’s really not good to have your plants growing right up the side of your house. They really shouldn’t even be touching your house since the water damage they can do just isn’t good. So alas, down came the trees.
Since we’re approaching winter, yeah I said it, and our first frost is looming, it’s doubtful that we’ll be planting anything this year to replace the old shrubs. But our game plan is to try and finish buttoning up the porch windows and maybe, just maybe, refinish the porch floor and ceiling while we’re at it. But gardening wise, I’m already scheming of planting a few more hydrangeas and surrounding the house with them. The trio in the front of the house have done really well this year and they’re just so pretty. But who knows. I have
three six months of winter to change my mind.
Pssst…Any plant choppings going on in your neck of the woods? Or dog supervision/heckling?
I kid you not, a mortar and pestle has lived on the back of our toilet since since early August. See:
And a closeup for the cheap seats in the back:
I told you so. For the record, mostly so you don’t think I’m the weirdo with a mortar and pestle on the back of her toilet, I picked it up and the tissue cover at Home Goods shortly after returning from Haven in early August. I came back from the blogger/DIYer conference inspired to accessorize our home more. I’m a chronic under-accessorizer and was bound and determined to course correct and rectify the situation, starting with our bathroom. I thought the mortar part of the combo would make a cute little succulent pot for the back of our toilet. It just took me three months to get around to it. Truth be told, I really had no motivation to plant the succulents and accessorize our bathroom until I came across these beauties at the flea market.
They’re old trivets that were made by a shop here in Maine, Screen Craft in Yarmouth. They went into business back in 1952 and are still in business making beautiful trivets. You can find Screen Craft online here. The going rate on their new trivets is $69 each but we scored our stack of four for a whopping ten dollars (holla!). We found them at our favorite flea market during an end-of-season coastal shopping trip extraordinaire on Labor Day weekend and knew immediately. From the moment I clutched them to my chest and vowed to adopt them, I knew they should hang in our bathroom. And after careful consideration (aka…Colby holding them up in various blank bathroom wall locations while I yay-ed and nay-ed), decided for the nook above the toilet.
As for hanging the trivets, we went the super cheap and easy route by using some Velcro command strips.
And just tacked them onto the back of the trivets, pressing down firmly for optimal adhesion.
And hung the trivets in a four square grid above the toilet.
Being a card carrying member of the under-accessorizing club (we even have secret handshakes), I thought the trivets-as-art addition was a bit on the crazy town side. I wasn’t quite sure it worked. So naturally, I decided to dive deeper into crazy town (and way outside my comfort zone) and added more art, since the trivets seemed a little off balance with the big, blank space above the laundry basket on the right. I dove into our stash of misfit
toys decor and came up with a Vermont waterfall framed pic, which was a freebie from Colby’s mom, and added it to the wall.
Now we’re balanced. The waterfall art really helps balance out that empty space above the laundry basket and makes everything make a little more sense. And after actually putting tissues in the tissue box cover and planting the succulents, our toilet nook was looking a bit less naked and a lot more interesting.
Although, every time I come into the bathroom to go take care of business-es (the term we use when it’s time to let Goose outside), I get spooked when I turn the corner and see the art and accessories. Every time. Good thing there’s a toilet nearby for those pee my pants out of scared-ie-ness moments.
My favorite “moment” of the accessorized nook is the addition of the succulents in the mortar. Now that’s an appropriate way to utilize a mortar in the bathroom.
The added bathroom accessories definitely add a bit more interest to an otherwise boring nook. Our bathroom is pretty much the most finished space in our home. It is oh-so-close to done. It just needs a little bit of noodling around and a little bit of editing. Maybe I’ll lock myself in the bathroom until it’s done. Although, that might be weird. You know, when guests come over to visit and need to go pee and I’m locked in the bathroom until after I choose just the right accessories and finish painting those open shelves (which I shamelessly still have yet to do). I’m not certain our guests would ever come over again. Awkward!
Until then, I’m reveling in my small accessorizing VICTORY! Any Entourage fans out there? Do you also channel your inner Johnny Drama and shout “VICTORY” in your strongest viking voice?! And maybe throw up your hands and your head back in dramatic fashion as you yell it out for all the Viking Quest fans out there at Comic-Con?! And maybe even sport that horned hat?! Just me? Okay. I believe the term you are searching for is……anyway…one final shot of our bathroom accessories.
Pssst…So what odd object have you had sitting around your bathroom? Any mortar and pestles? Or anyone else want to join our under-accessorizers club? We’re not terribly exclusive. We meet on Thursdays. Bring wine.
This is a slacker blogger alert from your local public address station. It is October, I repeat, October, but yet we are recapping August’s projects in a little monthly roundup. At least with a month plus delay in recapping the month in projects and general shenanigans, they all seem a little new and exciting. You know, like when you’re in your early thirties looking through your old high school yearbooks and start poking fun of the sweet perm you were sporting. Good times, good times, delicious dish (please tell me you fellow high school perm sporters remember “Delicious Dish” from SNL circa 1998?!).
Etsy Success Tips: We had some crazy early success with our Etsy shop when we opened up in May. So we recapped what we learned about Etsy in the first few months of opening our shop. Everything from packaging tips, dealing with damages, and my favorite the three P’s of Etsy (product, price and photography).
Inspired Design Challenge Anthropologie: Our bedroom lamp shades were a tad on the boring white side. So we used the Anthropologie rosette lamp shades for inspiration and performed an Anthropologie-esque lamp shade makeover. It only took about four Red Sox games and twelve beers…definitely not a one (hour) and done kind of project.
Holy Haven Mavens: I went to my first blog conference in early August, the Haven Conference. Not only did I learn so much about the blog world and how to make my blog absolutely amazeballs (although…following through with that blog plan is a whole other story), but also had a blast! Here’s to Haven 2014!
In This Corner: We did a little water based vs oil based stain trial. In my book, oil based stain pulled through for the win but it was a squeaker! But the ease of use and color of the oil based stain trumped its pain of cleanup.
Fly Like An Eagle: For the final installment of our Inspired Design Challenge, I painted an old switch plate cover that we originally removed from our house and even distressed it a bit using a candle wax trick.
Pillow Panache: Yeah, our couch has it now. Pillow panache. After a day of “playing Pillows” and trying out all possible combinations of my favorite pillows, we picked a combo and upgraded our couch pillow situation.
Shears And Shades: The couch couldn’t have all the fun, we also upgraded the living room window treatments with some cheap shears from Target and some budget friendly bamboo blinds from Lowes.
Inspired Design Challenge Recap: We came, we saw, we inspired design conquered. And recapped the entire Inspired Design Challenge in all its highlight glory. Some of my favorite projects from the challenge included Lindsey’s light fixture, Sara’s jewelry organizer, Jennifer’s pillows, and Kristin’s art. Seriously talented and amazing women! Then there was my awkward self thrown in the mix. Who invited this girl?!
The Cheap Basket: I love a good basket. Better yet, I love a good CHEAP basket. I picked up a $5 basket from a local antiques store and gave the green basket a white spray painting makeover. SO much improved.
The One That Got Away: We had ourselves one of those moments. You know, the one where you find your dream home, it’s amazing, you want to buy it on the spot, but your house is by no means ready for sale…wop, wop, wop. Although, even if we were ready for sale, we still probably wouldn’t have pulled the trigger on dream home. Oh…and it was affordable too! AFFORDABLE dream home. It was just on the wrong side of town. But now we’re invigorated to finish up our current home so when dream home part deux comes around, we’re ready for it.
Ship Shape: I bought a ship art print from Etsy back in December. Yes, December. And finally framed and hung said ship art. Why?! Why do I wait so long to do such simple projects yet I’m the first to volunteer to start ripping apart and fixing all eleven of our porch windows?! Which we still haven’t finished!
So there you have it. August in projects. Maybe I’ll come back tomorrow and recap September?! Cough cough…slacker…cough cough.
Pssst…What did you guys all tackle back in August? Or does your memory fail you like it does mine since it was sooooo long ago!