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A new craft room!

If you’re like me, you have an unused room in your house that becomes the dumping ground for all things that don’t have a place. Storage center, filing cabinet, winter coat closet – these are all apt descriptions of how that room was being used. My husband and I both agreed it should become something functional – and would be my space. (since hubby just got a pretty sweet man cave in the basement)

What did I decide to do with it? Make a craft room of course. Truth be told, I really wanted a room to wrap presents – with one of those handy wall racks for hanging rolls of colorful paper. And I wanted a counter height table for wrapping, so I wouldn’t spend one more Christmas even hunched over the bed, wrapping gifts with an aching back. 
I had a vision in my head of what I wanted, the color scheme, etc. It’s a small room, so it didn’t take more than about a week and a trip to Home Depot to make a reality.
This is probably my favorite part of the room – this pegboard wall with the wrapping supplies. We simply bought two pieces of pegboard and drilled them onto the wall.
I made this craft table and it was super easy! I bought two cube shelves, which form the sides of the table. They sell these at Home Depot – they are 36″ wide and the same exact width of the hollow door that formed the top of the table (also purchased from Home Depot). We used a saw and cut the door down to a good size, so that I could easily walk around the table with plenty of space. I painted and stenciled the unfinished door, and attached it to the cube shelves with Liquid Nails adhesive.
I had an old brown wooden book shelf, and just painted it with Annie Sloan chalk paint in Paris Grey. The yellow is just sheets of scrap book paper decoupaged on the back. 

A grey linen-wrapped memo board holds items of inspiration, and the white shelves on the left house paint. Furniture painting will not happen in this room, thus big cans are still stored in the garage.

My french chair makeover has found its home! It’s been sitting for a year in my living room, but the grey and yellow are perfect for this room. I shoved a grey-topped IKEA desk into the closet (and took the doors off). Now I have a great place to surf Pinterest!
Isn’t this rhino fun? I found him at HomeGoods, and new he would make a great addition. And I can hang my apron over his horn!

Now you can see the sewing machine, notions and gift bags all shoved down in the bottom!

I’ve had a lot of questions about these frames. They came from HomeGoods. But man, they would be easy to make. They’re just grey-washed boards glued together. The white is foam core, with a small little piece of plastic covering the photos, with screws holding the images in place!

My wonderful neighbor Tara Sutherland took these family photos. What fun!
So there you have it – my new craft room. So far, I’ve made Valentine’s day keychains in this room, and wrapped a couple of gifts. But, I’m awaiting a craft kit in the mail and will work on it in this space too. More photos to come!

Why aren’t you painting anymore?

I know what you are thinking. A blog post from Twig and Twine Nest? Yes, after 8 months I am writing again, and this might just be the cause for all of our recent snow! Ha. Okay, that’s the last time I will speak of the evil white stuff again.

Anyway – I have missed blogging, crafting, painting, etc. I took some time off from it all to focus on other things -like my family. And myself. You see, I kind of got carried away with my little side business. And that’s what it was supposed to be – a fun sort of hobby, that I could do when I wasn’t working my book job, or taking care of hearth and home. 
Instead, I dove in head first. My hobby got a name, its own business cards, a blog (a full-time job in itself), and a Facebook page. It started to grow and breathe and consume me. I invested in training, books, and countless hours of YouTube tutorials to hone my craft. When I wasn’t learning, I was painting. In a garage that was either 80 degrees or eight. 
And let’s not get started on the search for furniture – hours at auction, or driving from one thrift shop to another for a deal. Hours in bed at night searching Craig’s List. Taking my husband’s truck and begging neighbors to help me lift my haul. 
Soon I was painting furniture to sell, and taking commissions. At any given time, I had half a garage full of stuff waiting for its turn. The cars had to sleep in the driveway. It irritated my husband. The gym became an afterthought and I gained (more) weight. But, I loved the satisfaction of a finished piece of furniture – the transformation. So, all else took a back seat. Laundry piled up. The house wasn’t its usual spotless abode. Saxon had to fight for my attention. And my husband was last in line. 
And right when it was becoming clear to me that something had to give, the paint business started changing for me. Selling was becoming difficult. The local area seemed to explode with interest in repurposing furniture, and suddenly everyone was dipping their brushes into the collective paint can. I lost commissions to lower priced painters. My inventory wouldn’t budge (unless I slashed prices like Crazy Bob). Tax time came and when my accountant told me I took a loss on my “hobby,” I was devastated. Here, I thought I was helping my family earn additional income, while doing something I loved. Instead I SPENT money. Ouch, that was a tough realization. 
Soon, I decided to hang up my paint apron. I sold off my inventory. I stopped taking commissions. And while it gave me more time to focus on other priorities, I missed it. I felt ashamed, like a quitter. And my blog, which once gave me delight, became a source of sadness. It hurt to look at previous posts. And as each month passed, I felt guilt for ignoring it. I still do.
But, a lot of good has come from my time away. My jeans dropped 5 sizes. Saxon is reading like an “above grade level” champ, and I like to think its due in some small part to the time I spend with him and open book. My marriage is stronger than ever. 
I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on myself. It’s obvious I am an all or nothing kind of person. Twig and Twine was my baby, and come hell or high water, I was going to see her to the prom. Yet, I skipped right through the joys of infancy. That business model might work for some, but it wasn’t right for me, or my family.
In the past eight months, I’ve still enjoyed decorating my home. I have painted a couple of things, too. For myself and a friend – without the pressure making a profit or turning it around in time for the next project. I’ve enjoyed trying new crafts, cooking healthy meals, teaching fitness classes, walking my dog, playing board games and other activities. I’ve found a better way of living I think. One that gives me flexibility, while still including so many things I love.
I’ve learned one person can only have so many jobs. My plate is still full. But at least now I have time for a blog post! So when someone asks me, “Why aren’t you painting anymore?” I just say that its not the right time in my life for painting as a business. But painting will certainly remain a hobby. Until the next thing comes along to absorb me!