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If moving dwelling places isn't your favorite thing in the world, this post will give you hives.
It's about de-decorating.
Not my favorite thing either, but it's a necessary part of the next season of my life.

I am constantly amazed each time we move, which would be every 3-5 years thankyouverymuch, how many decorating doo-dads I have.  
I get reeeeeaaaallly in touch with how much stuff surrounds me each day.

These are the times I usually begin berating myself for hoarding useless stuff....but not this time.
THIS time I recognize how awesome I am for adorning this circa 1982 lofted ranch in such a way that more than 20 different families walked thru during Open House and enthusiastically exclaimed over 'my decorating'.  
They loved the story.
And one family bought it just 2 weeks after we put the sign in the yard.
For asking price.

Walking thru it now, removing all the 'jewelry' reminds me how empty spaces leave me cold and sad.
How our 'stuff' helped tell my family's story the last few years.
How arranging and rearranging it gave me a hobby and outlet for my creativity.

I'm ready to part with lots of my decor, not because I hate it, but because so much of it was perfect for this house, and maybe won't be so perfect in the next.
Because I like change, and want a bit more color in my next house.  

And since we don't have nailed down exactly what 'next' looks like....and the immediate future will be living in a house 1/2 the size of this one...

...I'm gonna have to say so long to many happy decorating pieces.
Stuff that is just stuff, of course, but stuff that has happy memories for me.
I started this blog soon after we moved here, and it makes me all kinds of thankful I documented my decorating adventures here with all that stuff.

And though I'm none-to-pleased to have to pack it all up over the next couple days, it's giving me opportunity to check in with those ::cottage instincts:: again....sifting and sorting those likes and loves, trusting I'll make a few mistakes by keeping what I shouldn't and perhaps giving away something I should have kept.

So while I spend the next days de-decorating, I'm already mulling over what items I'll use to decorate the temporary home....because, like I said, I like stuff.  I have a need to tell my family's story where ever we dwell.  
But I don't think I'll need all three sets of vintage dishes to tell that story in a house with no room for a china hutch, eh?


::Brave Color, Brave Bloggers::

As I tenuously dip my toes into the idea of decorating a new house, I find I'm challenging myself to be open to what colors really make me happy.  Ya'll know I already have an obsession with blue and brown.  

my current fabric stash...only half-way organized because the house was on the market.

But I also love pinks and reds with yellows, bright aqua and spring green.
I'd even throw a little purple love in there too....

Maybe it's just because we're on the tippy edge of February's demise, listing heavily into March, which means spring is coiling itself up like some sort of seasonal slinky, ready to burst thru the surface in an array of tulipy, hyacinthy, crocusy goodness.  Not that I planted any, or would be in this house to see the show if I did.
 But, the gray drearies are destined to melt away leaving wide open patches of lovely.
Believe you me. 

As I consider what I already own, what the style of house will be, and our budget.....basically my ::cottage instincts::, I'm listing heavily myself into some rooms full of infused color.
Fun, happy, bright-ish, pastel-ly goodness. 

I do love a frenchy farmhouse look, all grain-sacky and greige and rusty market baskets.  I follow lots of gals who carry that look off to the moon and back.  But I've always craved more color than that, and I will always love the splashy English flowered Ralph Lauren fabrics....which don't really jive with grey.  Call me way off-trend, but I don't like gray/grey/greige.  Love it in other's homes, but wouldn't work for me. Same for chevron.  Over it.  Actually,  skirted around it.

With my mom's passing last fall, I'm itching to use a set of colorful dishes she gave me, and grey DEFINITELY won't work with these babies:

And this shelf from her decor stash, and the rose dishes that were her grandmother's:

Anyway, along those lines, I wanted to highlight a couple bloggesses who are severely inspiring to me with their fearless use of color.

First, Jen of {the cottage nest}, (a fellow Hoosier I might add) pins some really inspiring, colorful cottage stuff (for instance the first shot of the dishes above).  Really adorable.  She lives in a wee suburban village in an old farmhouse and blogs THE most beautiful shots of her interiors. Not that I stalk her or anything.  
Behold this shot from her most recent post about her studio:

That wall color is eerily similar to the color of my cra(p)ft room (which happens to be Spring Melt by Martha Stewart, go figure):

She's all about girly flowers and brights frolicking with pastels and pinks and aquas and vintage yummy-ness. Here are some of my repins from Jen's Pinterest Boards (and I also highly recommend her blog for a plethora of eye candy).

Seriously fun.  And girly....and living with 4 males (including my male dog)....I need me some girly.

Another Hoosier blogger (yeah we got some style up in here) is Shannan of Flower Patch Farmgirl fame.
She just built herself a new farmhouse cottage and filled it with swoony swatches of flea marketed swag.
And aqua.
Shut the front door.

'Ole Farmgirl also just happens to be one of the best blog writers out there, so hecks yeah, there's way more than corn in Indiana.  Here's a few more shots of Shannan's decor skillz.

She does color fearlessly (which also happens to be the way she lives her life).  

Both Shannan and Jen are also crafty mavens of the highest order.  As I visited their respective corners on the web, I suddenly realized the other reason I'm inspired by them.  They're the gals I wish I could be, and I'm awed by their ability to live their dreams in the face of real skepticism and fear.

See, it just so happens that they both strapped themselves and their families into an unpredictable rollercoaster ride to make their house dreams a reality, often going against the standard advice, facing stubborn fears, dealing with regrets, backpeddling into their hearts to really connect to their cottage instincts and make their current homes a reflection of their families values.

I dig that.

And in light of our current home trajectory, I soooo need to know others have walked this road too.
Something about company in misery or some such?
Maybe they'll share their 'braves' over the cyber net to be my house birthing doulas?
Ok, that was weird.

I may just begin a series featuring bloggers who I feel follow their cottage instincts in the face of trends and conventional rules of decorating (or house finding).

They won't absolutely HAVE to be from Indiana, but bonus points if they are.

Have a suggestion?  Do you have your own story of bravely following your guts to make your home a reality even if it goes against common sense sometimes?  Or common decorating rules?
Do you use color fearlessly in the face of a Pottery Barn Nation?
I'd love to hear from you.

And I like pretty pictures.


::Swan Dive::

So long story a bit shorter:

We bought the house in the previous post....the cape cod with a lot next to it.

(the white house in the background was built by friends of ours from another neighborhood...so we'll be back-door neighbors again!)

It was a super duper long shot, as 2 other buyers had scheduled a 2nd showing the following day, and the realtor was expecting another offer over the weekend.

We looked at it with the kids, then spent the evening deliberating about an offer as it had to be something the kids could afford to pay us as rent after we move next door once our house is built.  Even though we knew others were seriously interested, we decided we wouldn't get into a bidding war, that we would offer what we could (more on that in a bit), and trust that if it was meant to be, it would happen.  Before bed, we emailed our realtor to call us first thing to help us put in the offer.

6:00am I get an email that the property is no longer on the market.  Wait, wah?

Disappointment, weeping and gnashing of teeth ensue.  We shouldn't have waited!  BUT, we did was was sensible and prudent, taking our time to understand the ramifications of going forward with my little scheme....and I assumed at that point, it must not have been in the cards for us.

I put off calling my daughter 'cause I knew she'd be so disappointed...even though we told her and her hubby it was gonna be hard to finaggle all the details, especially as we weren't able to offer full price.  Now we couldn't even make an offer!

Before calling her with the news, I checked in with hubs a couple hours later to see if he'd heard from our realtor about what had happened.  Sure enough, he had a voicemail from our realtor.  Evidently the listing had expired at midnight, so I was notified via email...but not that it had been immediately relisted.


24 hours later our modest offer was accepted with no counter offer.  My biggest fear was that they'd counter and we would have to walk away....or worse, the other offer would simply better.  I was truly shocked!  And thrilled!  And amazed!  And I actually cried.....we chanced it, and it worked :)

One wee issue...we couldn't do a contingent offer...sooooo.....

.....Realtor Friend put a sign in the yard the next day.  Sell, Baby, Sell!  We were excited about how it worked out, but were terribly under the gun to get our house sold.  I believed things were happening as they should, without us pushing or fretting....but that breeze felt a bit chilly on our rear ends just ahangin' out there.....

And within 2 weeks, we had an asking price offer.  While we were traipsing thru Disney World no-less.

We move in one week.

One week.  As in 4 weeks after this whole rigamaroll started.

Exciting times here at the cottage, lemmetellya.

The saga isn't over yet....we still need to make sure we can get financing to build next door....and the bank might not be too keen on financing a property that might not appraise for what it will cost to build because it sits on a main thoroughfare (already had one appraiser tell us NOT to build there).  We'll just keep to the plan until it seems it's impossible.  The way things have worked so far has convinced me that things work out like they should if you dare to dream and to follow your instincts.

Even when you're in a full-blown swan dive into a big unknown future.


::Chunk-o-licious Cupid::

I'll update on the house saga this week, but needed to document some severe cuteness first.


My grandbaby Robyn Rose, 9 months.  

Asked to model headbands for Petals and Posies....
Photography by Della Terra Photo



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