Thursday, February 15, 2018

Remembering

Hi there,

Sorry for not being here yesterday. In all honesty, I'm lucky to be here now. I'm just so worn out with all the sadness, killing, politics and drama in the world right now. It's all just waaaaaaay to much. It's exhausting.

I was going to write a post about the changing times, industry changes, people changes, my business, etc. I sat down to write and nothing would come. Instead, I got lost in the days of yesteryear, when I would spend my evenings reading blog after blog after blog. The days that were filled with creativity and fun. Times with my bunnies and friends and family. Times that just didn't seem to be so awful and depressing. Times when I use to laugh a lot. It's hard to believe that was ten years ago.

So instead of getting into all the changes that are here and those to come, I've decided to take a hop down memory lane and, in honor of the Olympics, share one of my most favorite posts from days gone by...

Please enjoy the re-post of "The Bunnyville Olympics," which originally posted in 2012 and then again in 2014.

 Hoppy Friday! Bunnyville Olympics
I sure have enjoyed watching the Olympics. Have you? What is your favorite event? I must say I'm partial to the ice dancing. It's so beautiful.

In celebration of the Olympics, I decided to repost "The Bunnyville Olympics" which originally appeared with the Summer Olympics in 2012. It still makes me laugh and I hope it brings a smile to your face as well.

There is one new event added to the end of the post. Enjoy!

This week, Harrington and Hannah wanted to wish you a Hoppy Friday with some scenes from the "Bunnyville" Olympics. (for those of you who are new friends to our blog, Bunnyville is the name of my studio where I design and Harrington and Hannah live)

First up, we have the "100 Pellet Eating Relay."

Next, Hannah competes in the "Ladies Litter Box Hay Throw."


She grabs...

She extends...

and she throws! Woo hoo! Another excellent hay throw out of the litter box!

Moving on to our next event. Harrington competes in the "Mens Long Yawn."

               He yawns...

            and holds it..
    and holds it...

Checking the score board...Yes! He is still the reigning champion of the Mens Long Yawn!

Our next event is the "Synchronized Leg Lick." The key in this event is to lick the legs in unison while keeping your eyes on the judges.

Harrington shows great form while keeping both eyes on the judges,

while Hannah get's extra points for lifting the leg.

Moving on to the "Flat out Belly Flop."

They competed in pairs

and individually.

Harrington won this event hands belly down. ;)


Our final event was the litter box snow dig. Unfortunately, both Harrington and Hannah were disqualified from this event as they refused to dig the snow. Eating it doesn't count. I was informed later that, like their Mama, they hate being cold.

We hope you enjoyed the scenes from the "Bunnyville" Olympics. They received Gold Medals in the Cuteness competition, but then again, they win those every day around here.



Hoppy Friday!!!
xx,
Michelle, Harrington and Hannah

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival

Well hello there!

It's been a very busy couple of weeks preparing for the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival and I'm still not done yet! This is a wonderful show and I have been attending it for over 25 years. It has always been a dream of mine to teach here and this year I'm over the moon excited that the dream has come true!


My "Beekeeper" pincushion class filled up right away. I'm really looking forward to a fun play date with all of my students.

Remember, I travel all over the country teaching this, so if you belong to guild or group that would like a super fun "Play Date," please contact me! Hop on over HERE to my website for more information.





I'll also be vending at the show.



My two dear friends, Molly and Babs are coming along to help out in my booth.





Like all things, change is inevitable. As I move forward with my little bunny business, I'll be making some changes. You live and learn, sometimes the hard way, but you learn.



I'll be sharing more about the changes at the end of March.



 In the meantime, I'll be filling my booth with lots of different goodies this time, like Essex Linen, Valdani threads and National Nonwovens wool felt.


and National Nonwovens wool felt.



I'll see ya right back here next week!

Hugs,
Michelle


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

"In a Fix" - the Living Room

Hi ya! How's your week going? I don't know about you, but I can't believe January is over. I have a feeling this year is going to just fly by! One thing I won't mind flying by is winter. I'm over it and ready for warm, sunny days! :) :) :)

This week, I want to share another installment of "In a Fix," which is my journey through fixing up my cottage here in Wilmington, NC. I decided I just couldn't stand the gray walls any longer and the ugly "hole in the wall" as I called it.

Here's what it looked like with the previous owners. Note: this photo was from the real estate listing and was altered. The walls look beige here, but they were actually grey. You'll see in my photographs.

Back in 2001 when our cottage was built, everyone still had those tube TV's and builders would add these openings for the TV's. You can see where the TV use to go in the middle of that opening. I'm not sure why the builder didn't make a nice cabinet at the bottom.  Also, the shelving up top was added by someone along the way. We are the 4th owners. It didn't match any of the other stuff and was sagging in the middle. In addition, the living area is wired for surround sound. See those those dark speakers up top. They are also in the dining room. The previous owners had a more modern style and this worked well for them.


One day, a few months ago, I got a "wild hare" and decided to rip all that stuff out. I was saving my pennies for a new, custom, real wood piece. I knew it would be a while, so I  put a bunny in there to occupy the space for a bit. hee,hee,hee.


 Now you can see the actual color of the walls. Amazing what photo editing can do to a picture eh?  I know everyone loves the gray, but I just can't handle it. It makes me sleepy and depressed and reminds me of my dentist office where I just spent 6 weeks in pain and agony. I don't need that reminder in my house.


The other thing that bothered me is that this is a small living room and I felt like the fireplace mantle was overwhelming the space. So we took the top piece of moulding off. In addition, we had the electrical boxes moved and plugged the makeshift holes the previous owner had made to hang the TV. Then it was time to start patching the walls.


This is David's brother, Mitchell. He came to visit us after Christmas. He is a master carpenter and such an incredible craftsman. He helped us do lots of repair work to the walls, trim, electrical etc. He can do everything!



There was a piece of dentil moulding in the dining room. I'm not a fan of this traditional moulding as it gathers lots of dust. Plus, I just thought it looked dorky on the wall there. So Mitchell and David removed it. You can see the other two speakers there as well. Ick.


It was so cool to see the original wall colors underneath the moulding. Ahhhh yes, burgundy and yellow. I betcha they hand hunter green furniture and a splash of azalea pink thrown in and, of course, some Laura Ashley fabrics. Mark my words, those colors will come back in style within the next ten years just like the gray (Hello 1982) came back in style. Just say'in.


So David patched and


patched and


patched some more.


Then the painting began. I'm using the same color throughout the entire house. It's Sherwin Williams Aged White with Extra White for the ceilings and trim. It's a soft cream color. Not too white, not too yellow, but right in the middle.


I saved enough pennies to have the custom piece made by Hollingsworth Cabinetry here in Wilmington. They are super busy because they work mainly for home builders. It took them 3 months to get this piece built, but it was totally worth the wait! I saved some money by having it installed unfinished. We figured since we were painting all the trim and walls anyway, we could go ahead and paint this too.


This is how it turned out! I love the soft arch at the top.  We also added a small piece of moulding to the top of the fireplace mantle. Now it looks finished, but not overpowering.


I love how cozy and well "cottagey" the room looks now. We even took out the speakers. David will hang up the soundbar for the TV soon. I can't help but think about what the TV of the future will look like. For some reason, I feel like there won't be one. I think everyone will have their own personal device with their own set of headphones or something and will watch things independently. Hmmmm..... what to hang there if that happens. hee,hee,hee.


I love the way the sunlight pours into this room in the afternoon. It makes me smile and it feels like a warm hug on these cold winter days.


This is the view looking back towards the kitchen and the foyer. The kitchen is on our list for the distant future. I have to save lots of pennies for that one. Not that it will be all that fancy, but because it will involve new flooring at the same time.





Speaking of flooring. I got this new bench for the foyer. It's made from reclaimed wood and has a super strong iron base. I love that this piece is made to last. I also love the color of the wood and when I redo the hardwood floors and replace the carpet in the bedrooms with hardwood, this is the color I want. It's so warm and isn't too dark or too light. It's just right in the middle.



And, speaking of being in the middle. Have you heard of this? My new friend, Susan Schwant, in Michigan told me about this after I was telling the class that I consider myself two notches above being a minimalist. I told them that I find minimalism too harsh and that it looks like a college student who just moved out. At the same time, I can't handle clutter. I'm a neat freak who hates to clean, so the less there is to dust the better! LOL! Plus, I feel there is just too much, as I say "Happy Crappy," out there. People fill their homes and fill their homes and fill their homes with stuff that has absolutely no purpose or meaning. It's just a bunch of stuff their kids get stuck with getting rid of. I explained to the class that I was a "cozy minimalist." I liked "Not too little, Not too much." Susan then told me about this book and it describes me and my design style perfectly!


I'll be sharing more about Lagom in upcoming blog posts and in new adventures. But I wanted to share one of my favorite things about this lifestyle that ties into my business tagline of "Designs to Inspire." You see, your home should be a reflection of YOU! It should be a statement about what makes YOU happy. It doesn't matter one bit about what the trend is (grey walls) or that all the decor in the box stores looks like it belongs in the dentist office. You should decorate your home in a way that brings YOU the most joy.

For me, that is "Calm, Clean and Serene." Neutral, warm colors and items that add texture such as linen, cotton and wool. It also means decorating with art that makes my heart happy every time I look at it. For instance, my beloved Sir Walter Harrington and Lady Hannah Goldenhare original watercolor paintings by my dearest friend, Jules Woolford in England. Both custom framed by dear friends Mary Kay and Maryann in New Bern, NC.


And, this print from my talented artist friend, Jeri Landers. Again custom framed by my friends.


This bunny picture has been passed back and forth between Mommy Syl (Captain's mom) and me several times. It has also had several different mats and frames. Mommy isn't getting it back this time. ;)

This next piece is a whimsical and fun piece. It is a real bag that held bunny food from England. I love it because it reminds me of my beloved Harrington bunny who I lost in 2015. My friend Sue, who lives in Canada, had her daughter in England purchase it. I had it custom framed. It has meaning to nobody but me and I love that.


These pieces were picked up on special adventures with friends.


This is a vintage piece of hammered aluminum, which was popular as wedding gifts from the 1930's through 1950. It was made by someone's hands here in the USA and I will take that any day over a mass produced piece of junk from China.


This too is a vintage pewter candlestick. It's heavy and whenever I look at it, I imagine someone lighting the candle and walking through the house on their way to tell a bedtime story to a child.


Finally, these three pictures are extra special too. The photo on the left is my grandmother. She became an angel in 2009 at age 92. In this photo, she was in her 20's. She loved the ocean and swimming in it. My grandmother was smart, sassy, loving and didn't take crap off anyone. Her favorite thing in the whole world was a hug.... oh how I miss her and her hugs.

The center piece is an original watercolor painting of my Sugie bunny by friend, Sue Andre. Sugie loved to lay under her willow tent. I lost her in 2011 from a rare rabbit disease called Megacolon syndrome. She was such a sweet girl.

The last photo was taken in 2001, the same year this little cottage of mine was built. This is my oldest niece, Laura, talking to me on the phone. Remember our giant, cordless phones that would get static if we moved too far away from the base? In this photo, Laura is one year old. I can't believe she will be 18 this year. Isn't it funny how TV's, phones and even little kiddos change within a blink of an eye? All the more reason to make the things and the people we surround ourselves with extra special.


There are many, more projects to be done and truthfully, I'm not in any hurry. I'm having such a fun time enjoying this journey.

Hugs and see ya next week,
Michelle