Dec 29, 2011

{A Charming Nest}'s Best of 2011: Top Five Countdown!

I officially started {A Charming Nest} in May of 2011. Since then, we have been immersed in a whirlwind of activity. I can honestly say that I have learned so much about blogging in my short time as a novice blogger and I have really had a blast doing it.

A few months ago and after seeing all the attention my blog was getting, a friend of mine asked me if I thought it was cool that people I had never met were visiting my blog. My response was "Well…yes!" But, honestly I couldn't (and still can't) believe that people are interested, and an added bonus was that people actually really liked a lot of what we were doing. When I started writing and sharing about our projects, I never expected anyone to be interested in what I (we) had to say.

Of course, none of this would be possible without Justin. We truly do work as a team. All of our projects start as a plan that I create. I spend a lot of time measuring, looking up products, and drawing pictures on notebook paper to figure out what I actually want. Once I get the plan somewhat presentable, I plant the seed by sharing the picture with Justin. Sometimes he sees my vision, and other times it takes awhile for him to see how it will actually be worthwhile. After every major project, we usually find ourselves standing back with our arms around each other saying to ourselves how shocked we were that we were actually able to pull the whole thing off.

Then there's the sewing. This is a whole new obsession venture for me. I purchased my refabricated machine from about three years ago. I think I spent $60 on my Janome sewing machine and I hadn't sewn a thing since my home economics class in the 7th grade. The first thing I sewed were drop cloth pillows to practice. Then I sewed drop cloth curtains for our living room. I remember that once we put “The Kid” down for bed, Justin began painting Restoration Hardware's Silver Sage and I was sewing away…hoping what I was making would work.  I ended up loving the curtains, Justin was impressed, and the people who bought the house wrote “window treatments” into the offer…unbelievable.  I've been sewing ever since...and I'm still not very good, but I'm still trying.

Photography is a whole other beast in itself.  I struggle with this all of the time.  What’s the right ISO? What’s the right F-stop? What lens should I use? I try not to use a flash, but in Indiana winters, and when you work during daylight hours, it’s hard to find the right light for the photo you want to take of the perfect project you want to share.

Time is our only issue at this point for more. For every day I have been given, I wish I had an extra eight (or more) hours. I tell Justin all of the time that I feel like I have split personalities...going from writing a paper about equity audits in schools to sewing cafe curtains for the bathroom to making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with my homemade jam. Even though we are extremely busy, I do feel that we have accomplished some balance.  We spend time together as a family.  We work hard at our jobs.  We spend time learning new things.  We are creative…together as a team.  And the awesome thing about it all is that we are really enjoying ourselves.

I love all of the comments that you all leave. I read every single one. It truly inspires us to keep on keeping on! From the bottom of my heart...thank you.

Cheers to a great 2011, and to an even better 2012!

And finally...drum roll, please.

{A Charming Nest}'s Best of 2011: Top Five Countdown! 

Number 5: {DIY: Pottery Barn Knock Off "Vintage Keys"}
One of my favorite knock off projects…mostly because it doesn’t really look like a knock off, it actually turned out looking like I purchased it from the store.

Number 4: {Fireplace Reveal}
This project had us shaking in our boots.  We were scared.  We didn’t want to f*#! mess things up!

Number 3: {A Half Bath Makeover}
This was a fun project.  At this point we had confidence in ourselves that we could get the look we wanted.  After two trials of paint colors, we finally got it right with Sherwin Williams Beach Glass.


During this time period, I also learned about Windows Live Writer.  I started adding a watermark to my photos and posting them with curved corners.

Number 2: {New Bedside Tables...they're a RAST hack}
I love when form and function come together to create…affordable beauty.  Not to mention that these bedside tables saved us a lot of dough.

Number 1: {Mudroom Storage: Reveal!}
It’s been pinned, it’s been copied by other bloggers, it’s been featured, and we’ve gotten more positive comments on this project than I could have ever imagined.  I am so happy and so grateful for the great feedback!

I’ve linked to one of my favorite blogs…Southern Hospitality’s Best of 2011 Link Party.  Check it out…


Happy New Year y’all!


  1. Your bedside tables look great. What a wonderful improvement.

  2. You've accomplished so much in 2011 your home is looking really homely, keep it up :)

  3. Thank you so much! Love all of your comments...encouragement!


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