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For the Love of the Blog

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So, I had a completely different post planned for today with a really fun and easy project that I love and am excited to share, but it just didn’t feel right to post about it when my mind is so far from home right now. I’m currently on a plane (in air wi-fi is the best) headed to Salt Lake City for the Alt Design Summit which is the yearly blog conference of blog conferences for people like me.

 

stripes and sparkle

 

I’m packed up with stripes, sparkle, shoes, handbags (not the ones above, although that would be awesome), and a ton of business cards.  What does this have to do with you? Well, two things…

Firstly, I am nervous as all-get-out.  I don’t feel like I should be posting about homemade bath sachets when I’ve got a lump the size of Texas in my chest.  Why do you ask?  Well, last year when I went, I was so new to this blog and all of you were new to me.  I didn’t have much to lose, but a ton to gain.  This year I still have a ton to gain, but way more to lose.  I wouldn’t want to make a change to House of Earnest that would lose any of you, or wrongly represent what I’ve set out to share, but I also want to shake things up and offer some newness to this place.  OH yeah, and I’m speaking… double yikes.

Secondly, I’m so excited to share with you that I’m meeting with people from Better Homes and Gardens, Sherman Williams, Keep.com, and Bing to better this blog, explore next steps for how to get my creative ideas out there into the world and overall keep this blog thing energized, organized, and chalk full of newness for you, my dear readers.

So, That is what’s going on inside my head this morning.  I know it’s not necessarily home decor based, but if you guys are up for hearing more behind-the-scenes of life in the blogworld type posts, definitely let me know.

IF you’re still reading and you also really like parties, fashion, and clothes, then follow on Instagram - I’ll be sharing lots of photos of the parties I’m attending all week (tonight it’s dinner with Better Homes and Gardens!), the outfits I’ll be wearing, and the tips, treats, and drinks that will be flying around.

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing one of my favorite things about being out west and I suppose the diy project will have to wait until next week!  Have a fab Wednesday out there guys!

Photo Credit 1 – The Coveteur | 2 – Parcelpost | 3 – BergdorfPrincess

 

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Strength in Numbers

strength in numbers1

Whenever I go to the store, I pick up flowers for a two week stint in my home.  My goal is always to have several different arrangements to go in every room in the house and cheer things up.  All white tulips in the winter are just the right bit of greenery while still being serene and reminiscent of the frosty outdoors.

Breaking the market bundle into one large, a couple smaller groupings, and two bud vases means that I have enough to go around.  A bud vase for the bathroom and the bedside, a smaller arrangement for the kitchen and office, and the largest one for the entry.

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strength in numbers diptych

This tactic works well with any type of flower and is a good method if you’re not awesome at arrangements.  Beware of your vessel too – something with a small opening like a stemless wine glass works awesome, but if you’ve got a more difficult shape, like a cube, tie up your flowers into a nice little bundle and lean them to one side – tres chic!

I hope you’re having a lovely and beautiful Tuesday!

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Two Years of House of Earnest

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Well, It’s a pretty big day here on House of Earnest – We’re turning TWO!  It’s been a whole two years of tips, tricks, decor, DIY, parties, entertaining, flowers, and festivities.

I honestly cannot believe that we’ve had so many successes in just two short years – if you’re new to House of Earnest, or love a blast from the past, here are twelve of my top projects from the past year – snoop around, enjoy, but keep scrolling down for my goals from the past year, how I did on them and what my goals are for year three.

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My goals for this past year were as follows:

  • Improve my photography (and consequently my photographic documentation that I post)
  • Start a couple of regular column-style posts (one is coming tomorrow!)
  • Learn photoshop (got it for my birthday last week, so now I’m ready to learn!)
  • Post more fun DIYs (and get one in print!)
  • Post more original ideas and content that you won’t see splashed across every other part of the internet
  • Get more reader interaction going on
  • Tweak and refine my branding, graphics, and site design.
  • Collaborate with some other bloggers to increase the variety and voice of the blog
  • Secure some amazing sponsors!

I can honestly say that I’ve accomplished every single one of these goals – and here are some examples!

ONE I got photoshop one year ago and my photos drastically improved, here is a before and afterTWO Have and Make was one of the more popular columns, but Style Splurge and Details With were also fun, regular columns we did in 2012.  THREE I spent close to 4 hours making each of the little photos above flash words when you hover over them with your mouse.  I’ve taught myself a ton of things on photoshop, but being that I cam completely self-taught, I’m taking a class this Saturday as well! I’m pretty excited for it! FOUR If these top twelve DIYs from last year aren’t proof enough, I don’t know what is.  And I’ve had four of my projects in printed magazines! Woohoo! FIVE I’ve really tried super hard at this goal.  I hate the idea of reblogging a photo that you’ve probably seen ten times on Pinterest, so I make it a huge priority to post mostly (90%) my own photos and my own content.  No scans of magazines here, new, fresh ideas that are carried out by me. SIX I would love to still improve on the goal to increase reader interaction.  I’d love for the comments on each post to increase and for more discussion to get going. SEVEN I completely revamped my site and my branding.  If you don’t remember what the old site looked like, I’m not going to remind you! EIGHT I would like to collaborate a bit more with others, but my Details With column, the Trade & Made post series, and the 24 Merry Bloggers posts all count toward that goal. NINE I’ve currently got some amazing sponsors! Benjamin Lowry Photography, Betty Means Business, and a host of other non advertising sponsors help me get you the best content each day – A huge thanks to them!

All of this just means that I’ve got to make some even bigger goals for year three, and boy are they big.  Here are some of the ones that top the list:

  • Team up with some national brands for collaborative tutorials or DIYs
  • Foray my way into some video or TV opportunities
  • Improve my photo styling
  • Meet Martha Stewart (I’m not sure where or how, but I’m confident an opportunity will arise!)
  • Find a good balance between inspiration, tutorials, and real life projects
  • Bring you more ideas, tricks, and tutorials you won’t see anywhere else
  • Super secret goal #1
  • Super secret goal #2 (cheating isn’t it?)

While my two last goals are some of the biggest, unfortunately, they’re not totally honed and ready to be unveiled.  As soon as I do unveil them, however, I’ll add them to the list.

So if you’re still reading by this point, I just want to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for another year.  For coming here, reading my ideas, and trying them too. Nothing makes me happier than to see that you guys benefit from the time I spend putting together this site and hearing your feedback and comments. So, to round out my longest post of 2012, I’d like to as you to please take a quick little survey (just 8 questions) to help me continue and improve House of Earnest.

 CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY (thank you a billion!)

 

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Friday Faves 1.18

Friday Faves 1.18

ONE 16 x 16 knit pillow case in original graphic art $64 by Julia Kostreva; TWO Hand crafted porcelain Amsterdam mini houses - because I love Amsterdam that much.  $112 from POAST; THREE Saddle office chair might be the best think to happen to the work day since pandora.  $349 from West Elm; FOUR out with the old.  Last year’s pantone color – tangerine – inspired this boho candle from Illume, but the older design is your gain.  It’s on sale for $17 for the large size.  FIVE pretty, minimal, inspiration art isn’t hard to come by at acorn&whale.  This set of three letterpress prints is just $32.

It’s Friday!  I hope you’re as excited as I am.  Today’s Friday Faves put a little pep in my step (I’m totally buying the art), and I am looking forward to something big this weekend.  I’ll be back here first thing Monday to share the excitement, so hold onto your hats until then, ok?

My plans this weekend are to get a bunch of stuff prepared for my trip next week to Salt Lake City for the Alt Summit – a conference for bloggers to learn new things in the industry, meet up with reps from amazing brands and companies, and get out from behind our computers to socialize with each other.  I’m about 75% excited and 25% so nervous I might throw up.  I was chosen to SPEAK on a panel regarding social media for the new(er) bloggers and I’m specifically talking about Facebook.  So – don’t make me look like a total hypocrite and hop over to the House of Earnest page to ‘like’ if you haven’t already (big thanks). I do some other activities on the FB page that aren’t on the blog (like the question of the month) so go over and check it out!

Have an AWESOME Friday and weekend out there guys!

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Fresh Clean Rustic

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I love a feeling of unrefined age and warmth in a house, which I translate as rustic.  This home is a slightly different take on most people’s perception of rustic however, because it’s clean, bright, and fresh – but if I go by my aforementioned description, it totally fits the bill.

This Gotland home is a true example of the whole being greater than the sum of it’s parts.  Each piece of furniture or decor isn’t necessarily awe inspiring, but the whole is so beautifully put together.

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My two favorite things are the office with the all white campaign desk or the little kids bedroom with the sweet little twin beds!  It’s a comfortable looking home with tons of natural light, and what more could you ask for?

What are your thoughts?

Have a BRIGHT Thursday!

 

Photo Source – Lantliv

p.s.  I know a lot of you are getting ready for Alt Summit and making goals for 2013!  One of my awesome sponsors – Betty Does Business – has a downloadable checklist to ensure that your business has direction!  Check out the post here (and do some general snooping around the site, it’s pretty cool and offers a lot of quick advice for budding entrepreneurs!).

p.p.s. want to see your ad on House of Earnest?  Click here for a bit of info or email me for 2013 rates and dates!

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Silhouette Stitched Pillow

dog silhouette pillow by www.houseofearnest.com

If you’ve followed House of Earnest for a while, you’ll probably know that my love for my dog is probably rivaled by my love for pillows (don’t tell her that), but this project brings the best of both worlds.  A simple stitch on an open weave pillow covering is easy to configure in any shape.  I considered a quirky word, but I’m kind of over ‘word’ art in my house.  I thought a nice big heart would be darling, or even a more abstract stitched pattern for the design included would be amazing.

I landed on the silhouette idea in an effort to mesh something classic with something current and glam (like the metallic finish on the pillow) for a bit of design contrast.

Dog Silhouette Diptych

It was very easy, and anyone with a spare 30 minutes could do something similar.  I stitched it up just last night while watching Downton Abbey. I felt a little like Martha Washington or someone – darning fireside – but it was over in a flash.

Continue reading for the step by step!

Continue Reading…

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Old is New

blue and white - pillow pattern

What goes around definitely comes around in both fashion and in home style.  If you would have asked me 5 years ago if I’d be wearing bright cobalt jeans to work I’d probably laugh at you, but here I am sitting in my cobalt jeans (and polka dot chambray shirt) just thinking it’s the coolest.

There has been a huge resurgence of the antique methods of dying and printing lately with woodblock, shibori, tie dye and the like.  I saw one of these pillows from Luru Home on Horne yesterday during some completely unrelated research and just was enamored by how bright and pigmented the blues can look in some areas, but dark and rich in others.  I also love how easy it would be to integrate these types of prints into the home – adding a global flare while still keeping a relatively tight palette.

I would just love to have a giant couch topped with a mix off these pillows – how fun would that look?

Have an amazing Tuesday out there, friends!

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Hand Lettered Thanks

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Yesterday, I spend some spare time to practice a little hand lettering with my new calligraphy pen.  I bought some white ink and have been learning (slowly) how to make the strokes and letters.  It’s way more difficult that I’d initially anticipated. Partly because I already write in elaborate script for my regular hand and thought the strokes would be the same, which totally isn’t the case, and partly because I’m so new to the ink distribution and how to control it.

There is still a ton for me to learn and a LOT of practice in my future, but it was fun to try my hand (pun intended) at something new with the bonus of having some hand written cards to send to the friends to traveled near and far this weekend for party my husband threw for my 30th birthday.

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Doesn’t receiving something hand made from a friend make it ten times better?

My calligraphy (if you can call it that) needs to improve vastly, but I’m excited to have had the chance to practice and all get some things checked off my to-do list in the process!

Have a BEAUTIFUL Monday out there – and try something new!

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Friday Faves 1.11

Friday Faves 1.10

ONE Make a Wish cake topper $35 from Madeline Trait;  TWO Striped Wooden Scoops $9 for three from Sucre Shop; THREE Sugar Paper Classic Thank You notes in raspberry from Design Darling, $16 for six; FOUR Paris is Always a Good Idea art print from Note to Self Print Shop on Society 6, prices start at $32. FIVE Tortoise iphone case(is on my birthday wish list!) $40 from Bloomingdales; SIX Bazaar Pouf is $249 from West Elm.

 

First of all, I want to THANK YOU guys so much for all of the kind words and well wishes yesterday on my birthday!  I’m loving my faves today partly because a few were on my birthday wish list (the phone case and art print to be exact), and because a little pop of color grounded in neutrals is just what I need for a snowy, rainy day in January.

This weekend, my sweet husband is throwing a roller skating party for my big day and we have so many amazing friends coming in from out of town for the event.  I’m going to get up early tomorrow, do some shopping and finish the night out on the roller rink.  I’m so excited and just have to get through a long day of meetings before it’s the weekend!

Have a FABULOUS Friday, all!

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The Big Three-Oh

www.houseofearnest.com

Isn’t it funny the crazy amount of choices that we’re presented with each day and how they, together, form a path?  It can be overwhelming if you really think about it, but today, on my thirtieth birthday, I’m breaking free.

All my life, for the last thirty years, I’ve made choices that I thought would to take me in the right direction.  But what was the right direction?  Growing up, it was the opinion of my parents. In school the right direction could have guided by a professor, and in the workforce, the opinion of an HR team, a boss, or a colleague. I never felt that those directions were 100% me, and guess what?  I’ve ended up on paths that have been walked by thousands before me.

It’s really taken the past ten years to gain insight on what I want and where I want to go.  I don’t want to follow in someone else’s footsteps because I can’t shine.  I need my own way, my own path. I don’t 100% know what that entails, but that is the amazing part.  There is nobody to tell me what the next step is, because no one else has been there. There is freedom in not knowing what I should do next because that page hasn’t been written, and it’s all up to me.

I’m so so blessed to have my husband as my primary support.  He never tells me that something isn’t possible, or shouldn’t be done.  He’s a dreamer and a thinker like I am.  I know he supports a ‘no plan plan’ and gets as excited about life’s endless opportunities as I do. I’m going to take the next decade to dig this path out with him by my side.  I do have some specific goals in the next ten years, however, I’d be aimless if I didn’t!

The Big Ones:

1. Work for myself

2. Live Internationally for at least a year

3. Build a house on the land we bought (already)

I have a ton of little ones that are a little more ‘everyday’… things like washing my face before bed and maintaining my weight, but those are always on my list of things to strive for. Overall, I’m just going to do more of my own thing, and less of other peoples’ things.  That means I cannot compare myself to anyone – because nobody else is on my path! There is a lot of joy in that thought and a lot of happiness in my heart today as I turn my face to my next ten years!

 

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