Thursday, September 24, 2015

Tiny Rant about Blog Ads

I have been reading blogs for ages.  I jumped on that bandwagon before any of my friends.  That's not a brag.  I was a computer teacher and spent lots of time looking at different ways people used computers.  Of course, I'd come across blogs.  They were the next big thing.

Back in "the old days"  blogs were written by people for the love of sharing what they knew.  I found many great ones about decorating, fashion, cooking, refinishing furniture, etc.  When these gals started their blogs, there were no ads.  They weren't selling their own line of this or that.  Companies weren't sending them free products.  They blogged with complete freedom.  They were gold mines of good information I could use.

Almost all of those early favorite blogs are now something like a Nascar car - ads filling every spare spot on their page.

Today, I found a blog that I really, really wanted to explore.  It looked like one that could easily become a favorite.  Unfortunately, it had so many ads, it took forever to load and then practically brought my computer to a standstill.  There were pop-ups - more than one at a time.  There were videos which forced me to stop reading, scroll through the page and find those videos to push pause.  Ad bars were at the top and bottom of the page.  There was almost no empty spot on the page.  Forget it.  I had to close the page.  I won't say that dealing with it ruined my morning because that's an awfully trivial thing.  But it did annoy me and I like to avoid being annoyed as much as possible, don't you?

I understand that blogging takes a lot of time and it's nice that these ladies are now getting a little something for their time, but as a reader I hate it!!! Even if you can get past all the distracting ads, too many of the posts start out sounding like it's from the heart and end up as a giant "buy it" post.

Buy my paint.  Now that I'm famous, I'm cashing in with my own products.  I only blog about what I'm selling now, but as long as you keep buying my stuff, that's fine by me.

I was given this ________ by the company that makes it and if you buy one, I'll get even more money, and you should totally trust my opinion because honestly, I'm not biased at all.  Not even the teensiest bit, right?

I have to admit on more than one occasion, I have considered using ads on my blog.  I tell myself that I'd use good judgement and limit ads.  My posts would still be from my heart.  But, as I continue imagining it, I know that it would make me post differently.

For instance, I thought about a simple Amazon ad just promoting things I was truly excited about.  I have a post that I'm going to do soon about something I love using - wool dryer balls.  I've already got my photos.  Anyway, I once again thought that maybe before I did that post, I'd start the ads deal. I was going to write the post anyway, so that felt authentic.  But immediately, my mind soon jumped to other posts I might do just for the ads factor.  That's when I knew - I do not need to have ads.  My posts would change.  My blog would change.  Those ad earnings pennies might go to my head and change ME.

I like passing on information and tips with absolutely nothing to gain. It feels generous.  When I write that post on dryer balls, you'll know that I truly am excited about them and it has nothing to do with adding a few cents to my bank account.

PS - If I ever change my mind and put ads on this blog, kindly remind me of this post.  Or pass the hat - it may mean I'm broke and desperate.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Painting the Master Bath

I'm continuing to keep busy and making decorating improvements around the house seems to be something that can keep my mind occupied pretty well.  Last week, I tackled the master bath.  The walls needed painting and I went with a wonderful green.

The cutting in process was a nightmare.  This room will probably never be painted by me again!  Or maybe it's like childbirth... I'll eventually forget the pain and do it again.

I also made new curtains from a chenille bedspread.  They look better in person - the texture is fun.

Rudy made the bench a couple of years ago.  I'd like to paint it white, but can't bring myself to change it.  That's probably stupid since I'm the one who painted it in the first place.

There are some funny memories associated with this bench.  I wanted a simple, vintage-style, rickety-looking bench, but that wasn't up to Rudy's standards.  When he built something, it was generally strong enough to withstand a tornado.  This bench has all sorts of extra reinforcement.  He actually made it for me to sell in my booth, but I'm glad I still have it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Exactly the Chairs I Was Hoping For!

Sometimes Facebook is annoying and other times it's wonderful.  Today, I think it's wonderful.  It helped me get the word out to my friends so I could get exactly the chairs I was looking for in record time.  Let me explain...

I have been wanting two matching chairs for ages.  I actually started the hunt when we first moved into our current house in 2008.  I couldn't find the chairs and I gave up looking for a while and headed in another direction.  Then, a couple of years ago, I started looking again.

I wanted the chairs to be sturdy and comfy, but they also needed to be pet friendly.  I wanted two loose cushions in each chair and no fabric around the outside because that's way too attractive to my super destructive cat, Cindy Lou.  She has scratch pads of all sorts, but she prefers furniture.  I've tried (without success) every trick on the internet to keep her away.  I give up.  It's easier to decorate around her issues.  She likes to scratch fabric - upholstered chair backs and sides are her favorites.  So, I needed chairs without fabric on the sides on backs.

There were a number of styles that would work for me, but I never seemed to be able to find them.  I did not want to buy new.  I knew I'd eventually come across a used set at a decent price.  I've been pretty patient, but my patience finally wore thin and I decided to get more aggressive in my search.

Any of these styles would do.
Yesterday, I posted a collage on Facebook showing the various chair styles that would work.  Then, I tagged a number of my treasure hunting buddies and asked them to keep an eye out for me.  Within a few hours of that post, I had a message with a photo of just what I was looking for.

Spoon Sisters in Tyrone

Lynne, the wonderful owner of Spoon Sisters in Tyrone, saw my post and showed it to her vendors right away.  Betty, one of her vendors, had these chairs at her house.  She was planning to put them in her booth as soon as she had room.  No need for that!  I went to her house and picked them up.  By the way, Betty's house was fabulous - lots of incredible pieces of furniture - and she had the prettiest pond out back.  I wish I'd taken a photo, but it was hard to concentrate on anything but my new chairs.   I couldn't believe my search was finally over.

Love those details!

I love the details on the bamboo (or is it rattan?).  The chairs are sturdy and comfy - they definitely passed my test. They're roomy, too. I'm looking forward to having company, now that more people will be able to sit comfortably.

I didn't care what kind of shape the cushions were in.  I was pretty sure I'd be getting new cushions and having covers made for them.  As it turns out, I won't be in any rush to do that.  These cushions are in great shape and the black and white check fabric looks just fine in the room.

This is the second one on the opposite side of the sitting area.

As a bonus, these chairs will be super easy to slipcover.  I can change the look easily.  Each chair came with a small throw pillow, also in the black and white check.  I prefer to have a contrasting pattern, so I added yellow and white pillows there for now.  I will probably change those soon.  There are some other colors I want to bring out in the room.  One decorating change leads to another and I have a number of changes in mind for this room.

It's crazy how quickly I got exactly what I was looking for.  There's probably a lesson here. Good things happen fast when you ask for a little help from your friends!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

How Many Mugs Does One Person Need?

My newest decluttering inspiration is Marie Kondo's The Magic of Tidying Up. I read all the online articles I could find on her and then finally purchased the book.  One of her big things is not to declutter & organize room-by-room, but rather by category.  For instance, you may have books scattered all over the house.  You won't realize how many you actually have until you bring them all together.

I haven't been following her plan in the order she recommends. I've been working on whatever category seems to need attention.  Today, my coffee mugs begged to be culled.  I pulled them all out.  There were 15 of them in the cabinet. I also have a few special hand-made mugs that I use in other ways. I'm not including those in this category.

Despite the evidence, I'm not a mug hoarder. Most of these mugs were gifts, collected over many years. The most functional ones are scratched or chipped.  Many are colors or designs I don't like.  I'm keeping 5 and tossing the rest.  In true Marie Kondo style, I thanked them for their service and sent them off.

Unfortunately, I'm not all that thrilled with the ones I'm keeping. In this case, the decluttering hasn't left behind what I consider to be beautiful.  One day soon, I'll replace them all with a matching set of simple mugs.  They'll be the perfect size and the perfect color and will feel just right in my hand.  They won't have quotes or cartoons or distracting designs.

Tidying up really is a bit magical.


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