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Albuquerque Blogger Series: Desert Willow Lane

Deme Crinion3 Comments
I've had so much fun sharing some amazing DIY/Home bloggers from the ABQ with you throughout this series.  I hope you've enjoyed meeting some new faces too!

We're wrapping up the series with someone I've introduced you to before (way back here in a Reader Spot highlighting her son's bedroom).  And she was the first blog buddy I ever met in person - you know, those awesome people you connect with online and then realize you live in the same city and could actually meet in person but what if we have nothing to talk about and its really awkward or they turn out to be a serial killer, so let's meet in a very open public place just in case??  Yes that.  Then, she turned out to be even more amazing in person and I miss meeting up for coffee, breakfast burritos, and shopping trips to ReStore. 

Now, I'm going to hand it over to Sharon from Desert Willow Lane, before this post goes too far down sap-ville lane.....



Why did you start blogging?  
I started blogging because I was on a mission to fix up our house.  I wanted to make it really pretty and to make it more of a reflection of me and my kids.  That's my politically correct answer.  Actually, my kids were sick to death of me asking them to look at yet another round of paint samples on my bedroom wall.  Whenever I'd call one of them for something they would say, "Is this about paint again?"  They also told me that they didn’t really like going to ReStore to look at “old stuff.”  Since I’m a single mom, I really wanted to connect with other people who actually like looking at paint samples and old stuff at thrift stores. 


What makes a place home?
I found out the answer to this the hard way.  When my ex-husband left, I was only working part time.  I was so afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to swing the mortgage payment by myself and that I’d lose the house.  I felt like I was going through enough with the break up of my marriage, and I didn’t want to lose my house too.  Plus, my kids were only 15 months and 3 years old at the time, so I didn’t want to have to uproot them either.  The threat of losing our home was very real and I was scared.  But, I realized that where we lived didn’t really matter, as long as we were together.  That’s truly what home is for me, being with my kids.
What's your favorite project to date?
I would have to say my rolling pallet play table.  I think it captures me at my best, which is using my creativity to solve a problem in a frugal way.  Plus, it was my first big feature, which really blew me away and was also very humbling. 

What's your biggest project fail?
Definitely my failed tray makeover.  I had such high hopes and it really would have been awesome if the paint hadn’t chipped off.  I still haven’t even tried to redo it.  I spent hours taping the herringbone pattern.  Then, I see cute trays go on sale at Target for $15.00 and I think, “Why didn’t I just buy a flippin’ tray?”  

What do you love about ABQ?
I love the mountains.  I also love the climate.  We’re fortunate to have all four seasons but they’re not too extreme.  I love the big blue sky.  I don’t realize how much I love it until I go somewhere where it’s overcast a lot and it makes me feel claustrophobic.  Oh, and the food.  You cannot beat New Mexican food.

 And the question you will be asked at every restaurant in Albuquerque, red or green?
You know, I’m a Gemini so I actually love both.  I probably eat more green chile and sort of associate red chile with Christmas time because that’s when we eat posole and tamales with red chile.  If I get a craving for chile, I just run to the drive through at Golden Pride and get a breakfast burrito with green chile, or a carne adovada burrito when I want red.  Life’s short.  Why narrow your options? 

One goal for 2014?
Oh gosh.  I have so many.  I’m going to try to be more grateful.  I’m really so blessed.  I have wonderful kids, a supporting family, good friends, a stable job, good health, and a beautiful home.  It’s easy to get caught up in the comparison game and always want more, especially when you’re a DIY/decorating blogger.  I just want to really appreciate and enjoy what I have and be grateful.  Life is good.

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Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Sharon!  I now have a serious craving for green chile and a run through Golden Pride.  Best. burritos. EVER.  You can catch more DIY/home projects on Sharon's blog where she's always coming up with resourceful and creative ways to make things feel more like home.  She also whipped up the cutest Paint Chip Valentine Bookmarker that would be perfect for a class party.


Be sure to stop by and visit the other ABQ bloggers if you missed them earlier in this series!
Jennifer from Thistlebear


Thanks so much for reading! We would love to keep in touch!

Albuquerque Blogger Series: It's Always Ruetten

Deme Crinion2 Comments
School is closed today in Dayton due to round 2 of El Polar Freezo.  So while we spend one more day hanging out in our pj's, I'm going to let Julia from It's Always Ruetten provide the DIY home inspiration.  She's next up in our Albuquerque Blogger series!  

You've already met Amy and Jennifer - each with a unique home and point of view.  Julia has her own creative streak that's helped make her ABQ apartment feel that much more like home.  She's a master at creating the amazing on a small budget, finding impermanent ways to put her own stamp on her rental, and maximizing small spaces.  Let's hear a little more....





Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging to keep my parents, family, and friends connected to what I was doing in Albuquerque. Between my family and college I have close ties to Montana, Minnesota, Iowa, and California. Keeping them all updated was easiest through a blog.
 
What makes a place home?
This might seem like a weird answer, but I feel like blankets make a place a home. Weird right? Maybe it's that I grew up in Montana where our winters are long and cold and a blanket just screams warmth, but whenever I'm in someone else's home with lots of blankets I always feel more at home. In my home, I have blankets on the couch and the bed! :-) I think pets also make a house feel like a home.



What's your favorite project to date?
My favorite project to date is probably my Valentine's Day wreath from last year. But I also love my Labor Day wreath too! Living in an apartment that I rent prevents me from tackling some really major projects that I want to, but I do have some fun furniture makeovers coming up in the new year!

What's your biggest project fail? 
By far my biggest project fail is when I tried to spray paint my kitchen trash bin white (see the fail here). The primer was all brush strokes and showed right through the paint. Needless to say I bought a new one

What do you love about ABQ?
I love the food in Albuquerque. Seriously, there is nothing better than New Mexican food!

Red or Green?
Depends on the dish, but you can never go wrong with Christmas (red and green!)!


One goal for 2014?
One blog goal: respond to comments on my blog more consistently; One personal goal: make the final payment on my student loans in 2014! Woot!!


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I totally get the blanket thing.  They absolutely make home feel more cozy...especially with your favorite fur-babe curled up in it.  And that adorable Valentine's Day wreath has me excited to start thinking about V-day crafts. Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Julia!  You can find more of her resourceful craftiness and home inspiration at It's Always Ruetten.....and congrats on being so close to that last student loan payment!!

Let's hear from the renters - how have you been able to put your own stamp on a rental home?  How do you make it feel like yours?


Thanks so much for reading! We would love to keep in touch!

Albuquerque Blogger Series: Thistlebear

Deme Crinion20 Comments
Last week we kicked off a mini Blogger series running on Tuesdays for the month of January, introducing you to some incredibly talented bloggers from the ABQ!  Our family loved our time in Albuquerque and the few home bloggers I know of in the area happen to be pretty amazing.  Last week you met Amy from Delineate Your Dwelling and today I'm excited to introduce you to Jennifer!  She's the author of Thistlebear - a blog where she shares her love of all things creative, crafty, yummy, and beautiful. 



Why did you start blogging? 
I started blogging primarily to create a record. I wanted to savor and share the simple moments in my life. Writing about my little world and photographing things around me helps me to feel more connected to the people I love and the things we do together. 





I also wanted a place to share some of my hobbies and passions, which include crafts, decorating and photography. I appreciate the way that the blogging community supports and encourages people in their creative pursuits.




What makes a place home? 
To me, home is a comfortable place where everyone has space for creativity, relaxation and growth. Home is warm and cozy, simple and uncomplicated. Home is where you feel safe and loved, and where you can be yourself. Home is a place full of personal creations and items with memories attached. It's a composite of each family member's interests and ideas.




What's your favorite project to date? 
I think my favorite project is my Giant Granny Square crocheted afghan (January 2013). I loved making this blanket, which was a colorful and cheerful addition to my bedroom. 



What's your biggest project fail?  
My biggest project fail is probably anything I've ever tried in the area of gardening since moving to Albuquerque in 2006. I do not have a green thumb! I love gardening, and was usually very successful when I lived in the northeastern US, but here it's very tricky and I'm just not getting it right yet. But I do like it and I'm leaning more all the time, so I hope to have more success as I keep trying.


What do you love about ABQ? 
I think this is a really nice place to live and to raise a family. We have found great schools here, we love the Biopark and the open spaces and bike trails. We also like the way of life here; people are largely open-minded and accepting, and the pace of life is relatively slow. I also appreciate that there is a thriving artistic community here, especially in the area of fiber arts; there are lots of great resources for people at any ability level and many ways for people's talents to be showcased. We've been really happy here and are proud to be transplants to this interesting and eclectic city.

And the question you'll be asked at every restaurant in Albuquerque - red or green [chile]?
This is a tough one! I think I would have to choose green, though I only eat a little bit. Funny story: when I moved here, I didn't know anything about New Mexican cuisine and I was so surprised when I ordered food and it came with no seasoning or sauce. I think my first experience was with a taco salad at Los Cuates. I didn't know about using chile at the table. I've learned a lot about NM dining since then. 

One goal for 2013?
 House painting! We have lived in our current home since 2009 and we are slowly getting through all the rooms in the house. Our foyer desperately needs a facelift, so it's high on the list.

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Does anyone else feel the need to learn how to knit or crochet now?  Or maybe take a photography class?  All these photos are Jennifer's - Thistlebear is full of her creative projects and beautiful photography documenting their family.  She also has some incredible recipes that make me want to jump through the computer screen to gobble them up.  Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Jennifer!!


Thanks so much for reading! We would love to keep in touch!

Albuquerque Blogger Series: Delineate Your Dwelling

Deme Crinion11 Comments
Today I'm so excited to kick off a blogger series for the month of January, introducing you to some really amazing gals!  There are bloggers all over and the realm of DIY/Home blogging has so many talented faces. There are many represented in TX, UT, CA, the midwest and the east coast.... 

But my old home Albuquerque? I only know of four.  And these four are truly rockstars!!  So, if you don't happen to follow them already, I thought I would make some introductions and let us all get to know them a little better.  Each Tuesday in January I'll be sharing one of these talented ladies from Albuquerque, NM and we're going to kick things off with the adorable Amy from Delineate Your Dwelling!   

She's a mama of two, with a background in landscape architecture...but she dabbles in graphic design and her creative juices have transformed her beautiful home with big and small projects alike.




Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging because I love being able to create and believe we are all made to live creatively.  I wanted to be able to share that excitement with others (I love even having craft night parties with friends).  I believe that anyone can be creative, sometimes you need a little inspiration, a little hand holding and a small push in the right direction.

(sharpie mug art)


What makes a place home?
I think making a home takes place in three steps.  First, a place becomes a home the very moment people you love are all gathered together in it.  Second, make your space work for your particular family in terms of function and organization.  Third, personalize it to your taste.  As Nate Berkus says, "There should be items in your home that sing a little song to you when you walk by.

 (cream felt pumpkins)

 (clipboard gallery wall)
  
What's your favorite project to date?
My personal favorite project to date that I've posted on the blog was my kid's chalkboard desks.  I had such fun going from a simple white IKEA desk to soft blue chalkboard tops with a painted table top.  We use those desks every single day and it's a project that changed a few times along the way, but I was so happy that I stuck with it.  Happy kiddos and happy mama! 

What's your biggest project fail? 
My biggest project fail was never shown on the blog.  I jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon with people doing canvas' covered with magazine cuttings and the letters overtop.  At a craft night with a friend, I glued all these adorable mint green, peach and gold magazine clippings down and applied letters spelling out "eat your broccoli".  Then I painted overtop all of it with gray paint and after it all dried, removed the letters.  It was a crazy bubbly hot mess.

What do you love about ABQ?
Albuquerque has so many great attributes.  Although, the weather has to be pretty high on the list.  I adore eating our meals outside and love that we have a great outdoor space to do that.  No bugs, no humidity = lots of long lovely dinners spent with dear friends outside!


And the question you will be asked at every restaurant in Albuquerque...Red or Green [chile]?
Green, green, green! 


One goal for 2013?
Personal life related goal- Learn to cross stitch but make REALLY cool things
Blog related goal- I'd love to do more collaborations with other talented bloggers.  I get so inspired by some of my blog friends.
Family related goal- Take more family walks after dinner

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Thank you so much for chatting with us today, Amy! I wish I were eating out on that patio right now...and I know that my kids would be using those sweet desks on a daily basis too!  Be sure to hop over to Amy's blog Delineate Your Dwelling to see her beautiful home, her top projects from 2013, and those graphic art skillz in action over at her shop.  

I love Amy's quote from Nate Berkus...what elements in your home "sing to you" when you walk by?  Who else is blogging it up about home and DIY projects in NM?



Thanks so much for reading! We would love to keep in touch!