Salut! It’s My One-Year Blogging Anniversary.

6 07 2013

Salut

This month marks one year of blogging! WOO HOO! It has been an amazing year and this little blog ‘o mine has taken me to unexpected places. I started it because I needed to have my creative voice out there. A few months into blogging, I stumbled upon this fabulous group of women at Generation Fabulous. They were remarkably supportive of one another and read my blog and even commented on it. Then GenFab bloghops were in the freakin’ Huffington Post and there I was!  This led to writing for another group, Better After 50 and more amazing writers. GenFab has grown in just the few months since I joined and  now has a website featuring the powerful voices of midlife. I was a featured blogger and had a video interview with Chloe Jeffreys for her feature Coffee with Chloe. I still am surprised when I look back on this past year and see where My Creative Journey has taken me.

Another surprise is that I didn’t expect that each post I’ve written would become a blog child. I must admit while I love all my blog children I do have favorites. So in honor of my one-year anniversary I’m going to tell the world my favorites and why.

These are what I consider my 3 best posts:

the jump

Taking the Leap
This is about my attempt to become fearless.

Me and my sweetie, Steve

Soul Mates and Angels
Even though I wrote this, I can still tear up when I read it. It’s me and Steve’s love story.

Full view w detail

If You Give Connie a Glass of Wine
This chronicles the birth of my business, Greenview Designs in that meandering way that is my creatve processs. It’s written in the style of, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” a book I loved reading to my daughter when she was little.

These are about where I live:

katrina-08-28-2005

Bread, Batteries and Booze
Big shoutout to my buddy Juan Simoneux who posted it on at The Cajun American.  It’s because of his fans that this remains my most viewed post ever. It’s about living in hurricane country.

Flyin Alligator waterfront lounge

Luzianna Friday Nite
I love where I live. OK, I don’t love hurricanes (see above).

These are about my family:

  My mom dresses just like the Cosmo Girl.

Wild Woman
This is about my Mother. You’ll need to read the post to understand why that’s all I can say about this one. 

My Mom and me, 1961

The Sandwich Generation  
What make The Wild Woman story so special to me is where my Mom came from. This post tells that story.

letter

Large and Purple
My Dad, Lloyd McLeod, was a local character and a really great father.

My first apartment

Argo, the Ayatollah, Eudora Welty and First Apartments
Connections I share with my daughter.

These were unexpectedly popular:

mcleodyardwork

Timeless Tips From a Fashionista
This was inspired by the GenFab bloghop on epic fashion fails and it also made the Huffington Post. It proves I don’t care about embarrassing myself if it makes a good story.

Teresa from the Housewives of New Jersey flipping a table screaming Prostitution Whore!

My Guilty Pleasure
I was a little surprised how many other people admitted to the same guilty pleasure. Ssssshhh, it’s our little secret.

Sometime in the last year I heard about this amazing blogging conference called BlogHer. So I will be flying off to Chicago soon and rooming with a new friend from GenFab. I could never have imagined this a year ago. I’m sure a blog child will be birthed from this adventure. Time will tell if it’ll become a favorite.

Thanks to all who have read and supported me in the past year.

If you like My Creative Journey, I’d love for you to follow me. My posts will then arrive in your email and I promise no spam.

I’m proud to be a GenFab blogger!





I’ve Got Great Knobs

29 12 2012

home

I love my little home in the burbs. It’ll never be in Architectural Digest. But here are some projects that I’ve done that have turned my home into my creative oasis. They go from easiest to difficult. (FYI: I like color and sparkly things.)

Tip: All home improvement projects take twice as long and cost twice as much as you expect. It never goes exactly as planned, but creative magic often happens in those unexpected accidents.

My Top 10 DIY Projects

1. Great Knobs

knobs

New knobs are the quickest and easiest way to freshen up cabinets, doors or furniture. Anthropologie has great knobs even if they are pricey. Google “cabinet jewelry” if you like shiny things, that’s what my red kitchen knobs and pulls are called.

Tip: Think use before you buy knobs. Don’t use a delicate knob or one with nooks and crannies in a heavy use area.

2. Family Stories

doughboy

I come from a long line of repurposers. Maw Maw got tired of Paw Paw’s old metal WWI doughboy helmet lying around, so she painted it, drilled a hold in the bottom and made a flowerpot out of it. I love this heirloom and hung it on the wall along with this great photo of my Grandfather’s WWI Army Company. It’s a good conversation piece.

The pictures on the bottom are brass rubbings I did. If you’re in Great Brittan brass rubbings are often listed under things to do with children.  These make great souvenirs for any age and can usually be done for a small fee or for free.

Tip: Be careful if you repurpose something vintage, your “improvement” could cause it to lose its value. Find out its value first.

3.  The Red Light District

chandelier

I found this chandelier at a garage sale. I knew I wanted to “funky it up”. I didn’t want to permanently change it knowing I’d eventually get tired of this look. I added light shades and bought some beads on a string. I wanted it to be a little over the top and kitschy. I didn’t really realize that it would look like a light in a bordello. It’s still up and I smile every time I look at my “sexy” chandelier.

Tip: When working on something that will go above your head, think about what it will look like from underneath.

4. Sparkly Things

house-numbers

I do love things that are shiny. I painstakingly glued each jewel on these house numbers. It did take a ridiculously long time. Some people knit, I bedazzle.

Tip: When doing something outdoors, make sure your materials are weather proof.

5.  Photo Collections

photo wall

I took B&W photos on a vacation to Malaysia/Singapore. Framing is expensive so I started collecting frames at garage sales. I painted them all black. I got a frame store to cut the mats and the glass and I assembled them. I did this for about $200 and as opposed to spending that much per picture.

Tip: When putting together a collection to hang, arrange them on the floor first before hanging.

6. Accent Walls

stripes

masking stripesI have an aubergine wall and I wanted a red wall. I wanted it to be a little different so I striped it. The secret is taping. You’ll need a ruler and a level—I lightly drew a pencil line before I taped it. This is a real pain to do and takes more time than painting, but is critical to its success. I painted it with a matte paint and used polyurethane to create the stripe.

Tip: Use a matte and high gloss paint of the same color. The polyurethane left foamy residue. Dark colors work better than light colors.

7. Can you move that over an inch?

clock

I saw an ad in some magazine for a vinyl clock that goes on the wall like wallpaper. I created my own and painted it on the wall. I found a few clock shapes I liked with a photo search online and then drew it in the computer program Illustrator. I printed out the actual size on a large poster printer and used it as my pattern. I taped the pattern to the wall and made sure it was exactly where I wanted it before painting. The clock face is real.

Tip: Make your pattern the actual color you want, it’ll confirm whether it’s the color you really want to paint on the wall.

8. Laundry Holder

chair

This may look like a chair, but it’s where I throw my clothes. It was my grandparents’ parlor furniture, from the 1930’s. The cushion is stuffed with horsehair and is very uncomfortable. It was shabby and not in a cool shabby chic way when I got it. So I painted and re upholstered the sofa and two chairs. Painting the details showcased the craftsmanship in a way that wasn’t noticed prior to the paint job. Paint is an easy way to make an old piece of furniture contemporary.

Tip: When painting furniture, have a plan. Take a picture; try out color schemes with markers or colored pencils before painting.

9. Hurricane Bar

hurricanebar

I have this because my sweetie is a man of practical skills and loves to build furniture. I wrote a post call “If you give Connie a glass of wine” about creating this. The idea came post hurricane when fence’s were blown down and I needed a something to hold my wine and wine glasses.

Tip: You have to have the right tools to do this.

10. The Big Kahuna: Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom reno

Just like #9, this happened because my sweetie knows how to do these things—electrical, plumbing, furniture building. We had a plan, a small budget (that doubled), the time and another bathroom we could use. It was designed around the vessel sink I found on Overstock.com for $100. I hung art that my daughter did years ago, I pulled a vanity chair that was my grandmother’s out of the attic, a ceiling fan and art that had hung in my sweetie’s previous home that held memories for him. Each of these details was a DIY project in itself. This project confirmed what I already knew about taking twice as long and costing twice as much. But when it’s all done it’s worth it.

Tip: If you put  in a vessel sink you need to realize that it’s higher than the sink you’re used to. Build accordingly or your short friends will have to use a step stool to wash their hands.

My little home, it’s full of hidden jewels and jewel tones. And remember, you too can have great knobs.





Birthing an Idea

4 11 2012

I am in labor right now. The gestation period is coming to an end. I’m birthing an idea. My partner and I are creating a brand new business. This isn’t the first idea we’ve given birth to, but it’s the first business we’ve created together. We know that once an idea is born, it takes on a life of it’s own. I’ll be a working mom. I’m not quitting my day job to take care of this baby. I work in Marketing at one of the largest OB hospitals in the country, so this birthing analogy is natural for me. I’m still waiting for my real baby girl to be totally self-supporting. Time will tell if either of these babies will eversupport me!

If the idea of starting a business was inception, the first labor pain was coming up with the name.That name became Greenview Designs. Why Greenview? It’s the literal
avenue where our creative journey starts every day. It’s our creative oasis. It’s where we grow ideas.

Our vision is a business that houses different kinds of design and nurtures creativity. Together we have decades worth of talent and experience of turning ideas into things. We want our idea to grow into what it wants to be and will give it the freedom to go where life takes it.  I like the story of FAB. It started out as one business model and evolved into something else. That something is even more fabulous than the original
idea. 

Our starting concept is that Greenview Design is a design and strategy company. We’ll
facilitate workshops on creativity and innovation; offer graphic design services; commercial TV/video producing and production expertise; branding and marketing consultation. We’ll transfer your VHS tape to a DVD. And we’ll nurture a personal passion—custom furniture design.

Procrastination is really a part of the creative process. I’m good at this phase. Finally after spending some quality time procrastinating, I pushed and pushed and a logo was finally created. Designers put extra pressure on themselves when designing something for themselves. I treated myself as a client and came up with three options. Then I made it my partner’s job to pick one. Here’s a bit of the process work.

First ideas are
rarely the best in logo design.

After I did
this, I realized I’m watching too much
HGTV.

Clean, classic
and simple.

The chosen logo.

The Hurricane Bar is the first custom built furniture that was created under the Greenview Designs umbrella. Here are a few more examples of custom furniture that’s available.

Chef’s
Table

Shaker Step-Back
Cupboard

This blog is about
my creative journey, so it’s seems appropriate that the birth of
our business is shared here. I’ll keep you updated with this baby’s
progress. Facebook, Pinterest and a website will be among it’s
first milestones.  We’re still deciding who gets the president
or the CEO title, which reminds me, I better design that business
card.

HEE, HEE,
HOO.

An idea is born into the
world.  Watch it grow!

Contact us at:
greenviewdesigns@gmail.com