Friday, May 2, 2014

Nester Made Me Do It (And a Giveaway for her NEW BOOK!!)

I decided my home needed artistic quirk. It happened over time, but looking back, I see now that quirk was a turning point for me. Once I added quirk, I fell deeply in love with my home. - The Nesting Place by Myquillyn "Nester" Smith

A couple weeks ago, I was sitting in this exact seat on the couch, wearing these exact sweatpants. The biggish kids were at school and Silas was probably in taping his ears to a lamp or something.

As Cory was walking out the door, he stopped momentarily by our green entry table. He looked at the table, looked at me. Looked at the table, looked at me. Then he made that "ehhh" hand motion across the entire vicinity of my beloved entry table and said, "Do you think we should do something with this?"

I mean, there's a first time for everything.

This is the guy who pretty much indulges all of my decorating whims, even when it means all the heavy lifting falls on him and his beard. This is the guy who's immune to noticing changes across the whole of the "change" spectrum.

When it comes to how our home looks, he's surprisingly supportive, given how little he actually cares about things like throw pillows and wall art. If it were up to him, he would throw the giant, glued-together fly-fishing puzzle on the wall with its cherry frame and call it a day.

((Actually, can we pause for a second? Because...why on earth did I ever have an outdoorsy puzzle glued together? Also, I was under the impression that I've always been allergic to cherry wood. Apparently not?))

I think my point is obvious.

You know the entry table is a hot mess when Cory Martin asks you to fix it.

I'll come clean - it had been that way for weeks.

I cracked up and immediately grabbed the camera to memorialize our sad state of affairs, complete with a toy firearm.

In my defense, I found the mirror at Marshall's last summer and fell deeply in amor. It has lived most of the year in the mud room, where it worked quite well. But no one goes in there except me. I thought it looked summery, and I like to complicate my life by moving things around with the seasons.

Unfortunately, I couldn't make the cool mirror work on the existing nail hole, and it's a tricky wall to nail because of a heat duct.

Yada yada, I gave up.

Paralysis by eyebrow mirror. 

As luck would have it, later the same day, Nester's book The Nesting Place arrived in the mail.

Since we had a mostly-free weekend on our hands, and since it was snowing in mid-April, I dove into her book and didn't come up for air until I slammed it closed in final, supreme satisfaction. It's my ultimate-favorite kind of non-fiction book, combining useful information with juicy, newsy memoir.
I have long loved Nester. Her's was one of the first blogs I read. Don't be insanely jealous, but I once ate fast-food fried chicken with her and discussed the virtues of various dipping sauces. All I really remember about that day was, I felt shy because, hello. But when I did talk, she looked straight at me like there was no one she'd rather have across the booth. She's the real deal, and not just because she's the one who taught me years ago that curtains are really the only thing that should absolutely be mistreated.

I have always adored her style and her writing voice. Then I loved the real lady. And now I can tell you, her book might change your life.

All I know is, I was only one chapter in when the solution to our now-sad-once-happy green table smacked me square in the jibs.

An art wall!
Of course!

We do a lot of therapeutic painting around here. Everyone has his or her unique style. This artwork is our collective happy place. The only problem is, I've never known where to put them.

Enter a pair of scissors and an old wad of putty.

Art Wall. 
Art Voila.

I included art from all the resident artists (Cory and Howard don't play,) a photograph by my homegirl Becca, a few notes and greeting cards, an informational hand-out from a Korean palace, and a square of store-brand tissue box. I made the edges uneven on purpose, though I couldn't tell you why. In a clutch decision, I outlined the whole thing with a roll of black washi tape I got for free.


Take your pick.

I'm not trying to win some far-fetched design award here. I'm trying to create a home that brings my family joy and reminds us of what matters most.

I know it might be polarizing, but hey, it's only the first thing you see when you walk into our home. It's not like first impressions are significant in any way.

The main thing is - it thrills me. It's us. It's colorful and personal and more than a little off-center.

This is what I've said all along. This is why it has been hard when people have asked me to help them decorate a room. I can't say what turns your crank.  I'm guessing the thought of taping tissue boxes to your walls isn't your happy place, but that's just a hunch.

You DO know what you love, even if you've always kept it a secret.

People think they don't know how to decorate.
Guess what? I don't, either.

I only know what I like and what makes me grin.
And I'm not afraid (anymore) to give it a shot.

The worst that could've happened with my art wall is that I hated it. It would have cost me zero dollars and no more than 10 minutes to un-happen it.

Nester's book was just the kick in the bum I needed to stop wishing and waiting and just do the crazy thing.

And guess what? She's giving 3 copies away to FPFG readers. People, her book is in the top 70 of all the Amazon books right now. It is so good and so anti-decoratey. It won't make you feel bad about yourself or your home. It won't make you feel silly or stupid or boss you around. It will give you permission to give yourself permission. And then you'll go do something crazy but you'll go to bed with a smile on your face.

All you have to do is leave me a comment. Tell me the craziest thing you've ever done to your home. OR, even better, because we're all friends here, tell me the thing you've always been too/too/too... to do. Too scared. Too embarassed. Too lazy? Whatever. We've all been there.

Consider your bum kicked.

(Nester made me do it.)

*Take a closer look and order your copy here.

*Amazon affiliate links used.