Sunday, February 27, 2011

Today for my first Sunday post I have a very special and deeply personal entry.  I debated much over whether to share this with you or not because it is so personal. However, because I have promised to continue posting my blog in a whole new direction, I felt it was especially appropiate today for:

Sharing Jesus Sunday

Illustration from ”The Sunday at Home”, 1880

I am sharing Psalm 23 with you today because our family is in the valley this weekend while morning the loss of my Father in law who died on Friday afternoon after a long and courageous battle with Pancreatic Cancer.  The good news is, we know he is not in the valley any longer and is now in the house of the Lord!  He was a Christian and one of the finest examples of a man of faith that I have ever met. 

We will all miss him dearly and look forward to the day we all meet again!

This Psalm while often one of the most dreaded of all verses should give each believer a sense of comfort and hope.  I encourage each of you to take the time to study and enjoy these verses while you are in greener pastures and to build upon the foundation of your faith!

Please keep our family in your prayers today and the days ahead.

Thank you!

Friday, February 25, 2011

I got a new doo!

Hi Yall!  I am working on my second post with my new schedule and that means it's;

Free Friday
(really need to learn how to make some cute buttons)

here at The Decorative Dreamer.

I get to post about whateva!
I've spent this past week getting all my ducks in a row, hope they will stay that way for a little while.

I've been very busy marketing the new business and have a couple of bookings for April.  One is very large and will be a great way to start off the month.  I've also got a few ladies who are testing the water for doing catalog sales in their offices.  I hope those work out for March.  This means labeling and tagging out everything.

I made these cute decorative labels in a snap using a free template from  I bought the labels at Walmart and just went to the website on the back of the package.   Still waiting on free business cards I have coming in from  Free templates there too, and I only paid for shipping!  Woohoo!

  I have purposely not been booking anything for March due to the very poor health of my FIL. I would hate to have to cancel on a host, so the office orders will be a blessing.  I have set up a facebook page called Mary Keels Initial Outfitters that you can "LIKE" if you want if you are on facebook.

Also, I wanted to remind you that I am updating my blog with photos of my own collection often under  the Decorative Dreaming with Initial Outfitters tab beneath my header. Look for more photos, like these.

In addition, I've been working on that tray picture I bought because I want to transform it for my displays but I am having a heck of a time getting these little nails out of the cork board without totally destroying it.

  This will have to be a project you work on for a bit then put down and pick up again later, very frustrating! I really thought it was going to be much easier, and I think there is glue behind this cork too.  I will get there though!

So here's the newest BIG change that I did to help me get my ducks in a row.  I got a new haircut!  It has been a long time coming!  My hair was getting way too long and way to time consuming to style.  Hopefully with this shorter doo it will be easier for me to dry and style a lot quicker.  

Terrible photo I know, but let's try and focus on the hair okay?  LOL!  What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you are looking forward to a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Reclaiming My Blog!

 I want to tell you about a new direction I am taking for my blog.  I am very happy that I took some time to stop and rethink about why I am blogging.  I want to share why I did this and what I have discovered.  I am considering this my very first post for;

Wellness Wednesday

Until now I have been blogging by just following along with whatever has been going on in the community of bloggers that I follow.  While I have felt very secure in this little group of of bloggers, (yes, we are only a small portion of the blogging world) and I have enjoyed developing and renewing my creativity in ways I hadn't imagined, I have allowed blogging to take over my life rather then reflect my life.  How did this happen?  I have two theories here; 1.)  I think it was because I was too busy trying to keep up with all the partys I enjoyed joining in.  They were a lot of fun and exposure but not always convenient to my own schedule.  2.) I didn't have my own guidelines set in place already.  Basically, I have been blogging for my readers but not necessarily for myself always.  I didn't even know this was so important to me, but boy do I believe so now!  Let me tell you why!

Blogging too much for your readers can be a double edged sword.  While it may help you to increase your blog numbers and make you feel great, it can also enslave you to what others want to see.  Let me explain, we all want our readers to be interested in our blog and continue to follow but it can be quite unsettling when you find yourself in the midst of a fall from grace.  Suddenly, the comments aren't there from those you are used to hearing from or they are few and far between when they do come.  Then you find out you are no longer on someones blog roll because they are just not that into you.  Why?  Who knows?  It can be a fickle world out there in blog land!  It's especially hard when you thought that someone was a real friend and would support you always with your own blog.  Yep, it can happen!  It can make you question every blog friend you ever have and their motives.  It is a very awful place to be and can literally suck the joy right out of you and your blog.  I know this because that is what happened to me.

  I know some may think I'm being negative to speak about this, but the truth is I am a realist.  I always have been so and do NOT live with rose colored glasses on, my life has never allowed me that luxury!  I have however, attempted to let my blog survive that way by attempting to keep everything pretty and appealing all the time.  Funny thing is, it didn't work for me!  I don't always have pretty things going on and that is not my whole world, so why was I trying so hard to keep my blog that way?  IDK!  Maybe, I was too afraid to leave the comforts of the community of bloggers I have come to know, maybe I was afraid of more rejection if I venture out on my own.  Maybe I just hadn't put that much thought into it at all until now.  Why now?

Because under the weight of my own personal trials and endeavors that are going on in my personal life combined with the negativity in our own blog community that everyone has been posting about caused me to collapse.  It has caused me to question my motives and every one else's too.  It made me question if I have done anything wrong.  Seriously?

Then it occurred to me, if I had really done anything wrong, it was that I have been blogging FOR everyone else.  I was not really showing my readers who I truly am, by following the crowd!  Also, that I have been letting my blog monopolize all of my time to do so.   By understanding this small but crucial detail I realized how easy it is for others to develop their own perceptions of how one may or may not be based only on what they have seen on your blog.  Without taking the time to truly get to know another blogger, it's easy to make assumptions based on what you read, even though we all know what they say about assuming.
  I now consider it a blessing to have gone through this most recent slump in my blog life.  I think somebody must have been praying for me!  Fortunately, any time you shine a light into the darkness you show things that originally you could not see.  What I had not seen was that because I was trying to please my followers too much, I was not pleasing myself.

This is my blog and I own it, well me and blogger anyway!  LOL!  From here on out I blog as I please, when I please and about what I please, and if you are still following me, God bless you!  I have given myself a schedule to follow that I hope will help me manage my time blogging and may also better help my followers really know whom I am.  This is not my own idea, I have seen many bloggers doing this, making their own schedules.  Sure wish I had done this from the start!   My guidelines may change over time, but here's the new schedule I created for myself for now.  I have also put these on my tabs page with more explanation, so here's what I intend to follow;

Sunday- Sharing Jesus
Monday- Mary's Meditating Mind
Tuesday- Take a look Tuesday
Wednesday- Wellness Wednesday
Thursday- Tablescaping Dreams
Friday-Free Fridays
Saturday-Skip A day

I may join a few partys again eventually, but for the most part I have decided to pull back on most all of them except for one that I have always truly enjoyed over the past year.  I even committed a whole day just for it.  I may not ever be amongst the best of the table scapers out there and may not even participate every Thursday, but I will not give up something that I found has brought me so much joy in my life.

I plan to blog only as I feel the urge to do so, using the guidelines set forth.  This means I may or may not blog daily.  Some days I may blog more often then others some days not so much, but you will know what to expect on those days when I do.  I am in control now and if you are here I hope you will enjoy it, but if you leave I will still carry on because this is my blog!

 Thank you so much to those of you who continue to follow and support my blog.  Atleast, now I know if you are here it is because you want to follow ME.  Now do you understand why I am considering this a Wellness Wednesday post?  Because for me to continue enjoying my blog, it's got to truly reflect ME.
Free Fridays will most likely keep you updated on my life's goings on's, including my new business.  There's still time to enter my giveaway here, if you missed it though. 

  I am very happy to be restoring "JOY" to my blog life, and hope you will enjoy too!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

It's All about Networking

Hi friends! I am taking a break from blog world!  Luckily for me I have a few wonderful real life friends who understand the importance of networking.  They have opened their doors wholeheartedly to my newest business adventure and are looking forward to helping my business grow.  In this economy it takes the support of every friend you have to make it!  Seriously!  The majority of women that I know of who are successful have often done so because of the help and support of friends along the way. 

I am very blessed to have made many connections through Facebook with many ladies I have known since I was in elementary and middle school.  When I joined Facebook originally it was to keep watch of my own children online.  I have enjoyed seeing my friends list grow as more of my old friends and acquaintances began getting online too.  Now I am very pleased to see that many of these old friends are eager to help me in my business adventures as well.  I am very hopeful things are about to take off soon! 

  I am truly grateful to those of you here who have enjoyed your visits with me and have genuinely supported me every step of the way.   I have enjoyed sharing my home, tablescapes, thrifty shopping, creative writing and life in general.    I feel the most blessed, to have also developed a few very special friends here in blog land! 

I have decided to put the breaks on my blog for awhile.  I will be putting forth my efforts where they will be most beneficial to me at this time in my life, getting my business off the ground and attending to my families needs.  

 My life is not a photo shoot or cover for a magazine spread and it is not my goal to appear that way, though I have enjoyed learning how to improve my photos.   I am happy to know I have always been honest and straight forward about how I have represented myself and my life, even though it has not made me a very popular blogger.   It takes a considerable amount of time to blog, post photos, comment, follow and respond to those who follow me.  I am tired of the juggle of my schedule around blogging, discouraged by the negativity of ridiculous perceptions lately, and am looking forward to a break from the responsibility of continuous blogging.  In addition to focusing on getting my business off the ground, I am also dealing with my FIL who is in the very late stages of Pancreatic Cancer.  Since my plate is very full right now, it is time.  I just wanted to clue you (my blog friends) in on the upcoming absence of posts. 

I will be back after the 28th to announce the winner of my giveaway only.  Odds are still pretty good for those of you who entered.  Apparently, not too many of you in blogland want a free monogrammed gift. Go figure!  I do want to leave you with one final pic though. I thought some of you might want to see my display I worked on some today after my personal samples came in!

  Again, I really do thank those of you who have always supported me along the way!  I will see you on your blogs, for now! 
Many Blessings!

Friday, February 18, 2011

A few Thrifts and possible props

Yesterday I went to a few of my favorite thrift stores in search of more possible props for my new business, see this post here for more details, on my newest adventure and to enter my giveaway. 

Here's what I came home with!

Imagine my joy to find this for $ will be my new bracelet display bar, after I jazz it up some.

This cute little stand has a hook in the middle that will perfect for featuring a particular piece.  I will be using this as is, excellent deal at .75cents!

This duck picture sure does look a lot cuter in my home then it did in the store.  It might even end up in a frame somewhere else, not sure though.  I bought it for the tray aspect, a bargain at $1.50.  I am thinking maybe a nice piece of fabric or design paper for the bottom, and a paint job.  What do you think?

I was on the look out for frames because I plan to make a display piece with them.  This one fit the bill perfectly.  Not bad for .50cents!

These I am going to use as is for pictures here in my home. They are both a very good solid wood. I love them, especially at $1.00 each.

And I just couldn't pass up these wooden napkin rings.  They were only $1.00 for the whole bag.  There are 10 total in two different styles.  They are definitely going to get a cute new paint job! 

Ooouu!  I almost forgot I bought these last week from GW.  They were only $3.50 each for the lamp and shade.  They are so small and cute.  I don't have a clue where I am going to put these yet, but I am sure I'll figure something out.  I just love the bubble glass on the base.

I hope you stop by and check out all these other great bargain finds at;

I am off to go sailing on this gorgeous sunny SC afternoon!
Hope you are having a great day too!

Yikes! What's up with my computer?

Hi Blogger friends!  Last night I wanted to change my template and recieved and error code message that came up.  It read;

Message from Webpage
Possible problem with your *gwt.xml module file.  The compile time user.agent value (ie8) does not match the runtime user. agent value (ie6).  Expect more errors.

I was able to change my template and make all background and custom fonts ect. without any problems.  But am very concerned there is something else going on.
I had one of my blog friends mention my blog was lagging.  I removed the music and it still seems the same to me.  Anyone have any idea what's going on and how to fix?  Any computer techies out there?

Would appreciate all advice and tips available!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

How do you define SUCCESS?

Good Morning Miss Jenny!  I made it!  Yes mam, I sure did! I am sooo glad to be here today too! I am sorry I am running late, but I had to run an errand with Cousin Mary this morning to the thrift store to look for more props.  I just couldn't wait to get here, though.  Yes mam, I know I told ya I may not be able to make on account of cousin Mary looking for a job, but guess what she's got one, and I might still be able to make it to class!  Ain't that great?

Yes Mam!  She sure did!  Do you remember last week when I told you about an opportunity that she wanted to do that was risky and you thought that was my "R" word?  Then I told you no mam, that ain't my "R" word that Retail Therapy was my "R" word and..What?  Oh yes mam, I'll stick to the point.  Okay, so my point here is that crazy old cousin of mine went for the Risky job.  She decided this was the right time in her life to just go for it! 

 Mam?  Well yes mam, I'm gonna tell ya, gosh, gimme a minute here will ya? No mam, I ain't being sassy..huh uh, no, not me, I'm just so excited!  She is going to sell custom engraved jewelry and embroidered gifts through a home party sales company called Initial Outfitters!  She even gets to make sales online with her own website, for those people she can't travel that far to have parties for.

Yes Mam, she said I can just call her an outfitter now!  I said, what's that?  She said somebody who helps others choose personalized accessories to wear and then sells it to them.  I said,  oh I get it, but I really didn't. Then she just laughed and said, it's the same as an independent sales consultant silly!  Then she said let me just show you a few things I am going to be selling.

I'm gonna sell custom engraved jewelry like this.

And, I can sell embroidered accessories like these!

I said, Wow!  That's purty stuff, cousin Mary!  I love it!  I think your business is gonna go well, then you will be a BIG SUCCESS!  Well, I thought for sure cousin Mary was gonna kiss me, but she didn't!  She just looked at me and shook her head.  She said, You sure gotta a lot to learn girl!  Let me tell you what being successful is.  Successful is all about your attitude, what's deep inside of you. 

Success is when you got a heart of humility that ain't (I mean she said isn't) afraid to help others out when you've got the resources to do it!  She said, one thing she loves about this company that she is going to sell products for is they know about giving back.

She said, they help support a ministry called Charlies Lunch.   Cousin Mary said, for every lunchbox and cookbook she sells, her business is gonna donate the proceeds to help feed hungry children all around the world.

 She said, and that's not all, I can even collect straight money donations to turn in or let my customers round up there purchases to help out because even that little bit of money will feed lots of hungry children.   She said, it sure makes her proud to be working for a company again that understands about giving back.

Then she said, there's all sorts of ways people can help out others and each of us should look deep in our hearts to figure out how we can help another.

  She said, take shopping at Goodwill for example.  They are helping out many!  Lots of folks get to shop there and that money really does go far.  I said, maybe, but what about those people that complain about them getting too expensive then the poor people can't shop there anymore.  She said, it takes money honey to make world go round!  I said, What?  She said, they are trying to stay low but they've got to pay people to work for them and they do hire people that might not be able to work other places and help provide education for them too.  They help out in ways most of us don't even know about.  Besides, you know good and well, most of us find plenty of bargains through that business, and can well afford it.   Every purchase we make is helping another in some way, it all goes around.  I said, okay I see, but I really didn't get exactly what she was talking about.  Then she said, come on hop in the car, let's go hunting for some props.

So we drove to this store here!  I said, cousin Mary what kinda props are you gonna find in here!  She said, you just stick with me child and you'll learn quite a bit.  I want to show you this store.

She said, there's bound to be something here I can use.  I said, Cousin Mary!  But before I could say another word, she said, let me tell you about this store.  It sells donated items where all the proceeds go back to help another charity called, Good Works.  Good Works helps those who are really needy to make repairs and fix up their homes that are literally falling apart.  They started that charity and right away started collecting items to help do the repairs and the work on homes.

  Before you knew it there was so many people donating and so many things coming in that the donations were all over the main building.  Eventually, the folks over at Good Works realized that God was giving them so much and there was another way they could continue to give back, so this store was opened.  I told cousin Mary, oh I get it, it's for the poor people only then.  I thought cousin Mary was going to loose her head.  She said, NO Mam!  It's for anyone!  You just don't get it do ya girl?  Of course you are gonna have poor people shop here, but why in the world would you cut off one hand that could help the other, when you don't have too?

  If this business was only for the poor people it may not last, or make nearly as much money.  But if you let others in they will keep popping by and keep helping out by buying things, and then that money continues to help out too!  It all counts! 

 Then she said, there is always a way to help another when you have a spirit of humility.  Mam? No mam!  My "S" word is not spirit, I told you it was SUCCESS didn't I?  Well, I thought I did!  Yes Mam, I'm wrapping it up here, I promise, right now.  Cousin Mary said, SUCCESS is when you keep a sense of gratitude for all that you have and a spirit of humility about all those things that got you there along the way.  Now that, little girl, it what I call a BIG SUCCESS! 

Then cousin Mary smiled at me and said, come on get back in the car, we've got to get you on to class for Alphabet Thursday.

So there's my homework Miss Jenny, and I hope I get to see you next week too, because it looks like Cousin Mary is going to be able to do her work around helping me and others out too.  Isn't that great news?
I sure think so!
Hope you have a great day!
"Little Missy"

Props or Bust?

Here's a peek at what I've been working on.  Props for my new business, selling jewelry and embroidered gifts with Initial Outfitters.  Just in case you missed it and I know most of you did, I am having a giveaway that I told you about yesterday. I am sure those who entered do not mind if you don't since that increases their odds, but if you like monogrammed gifts you may want to go back to that post here

Most of my sales will be through home party's in addition to my website.  Since I am selling jewelry I really needed a way to display my pieces.  I already have a few of my own jewelry displays I plan to use but I wanted to make a few new displays as well.

Do you remember I showed you this wooden CD rack I bought from one of my favorite antique/resale stores?  I told you about it here in this post.  Well, I bought it to use specifically for my new business.

Here it is after I spray painted it white.

I love how after just a few sprays you could still see the grain of the wood.  I didn't want to cover that.

Then I added burlap on the inside to give the background more texture.  I used the modge podge method our friend Kim at SSS showed us she used on her sideboard.  Thanks Kim, that was easy!

Then I added a Mocha glaze from Valspar.  This is why I wanted to keep the wood grain showing.  I just love this natural warn look!

This is going to stand up right on tables.  The burlap is a wonderful neutral background against silver and beaded chains.

These dowels will be perfect for hanging necklaces, don't you think?  I also think this piece is going to tie in very nicely with the next prop I made.

I was very inspired, after looking through the catalog that I had from last year.  Even though burlap is not used on the cover here, this is the reason I thought of using the burlap for the background texture on the previous prop.

Because I knew I wanted to try to make one of these busts in burlap too.  First, I cut out the shape I planned to use, by folding the burlap before cutting.

Then cut a strip for the bottom, and sewed them all together.  I stuffed it with several scraps of old fabric I already had on hand so I would'nt have to buy polyfill.

Then I sewed a collar and hand stitched it on.

And here is my standing bust!  What do you think?

  I know most of you sewers are probably giggling out loud by now, but I am pleased as punch!

 I think this is going to look great with the jewelry displayed on it too.  I can hardly wait until my samples arrive, just so I can see them here on my displays.

See that extra burlap there on the table I am playing with the idea of making a runner too. 

I have had such fun making these display and have a few more ideas for more, like something to display the bracelets and earrings.  Fun!  Fun!

I am linking this post to the following party's, please be sure to check them out for;

I gotta run, now and hit those thrift stores to find more pieces for props!
Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

An Announcement and A Giveaway

Hi Friends!  I am so excited!  I just cannot wait any longer to share this with you!  I have officially launched my new business adventure with Initial Outfitters.  I am now an official independent consultant/outfitter!  That means, I am now able to sell beautiful custom engraved jewelry and embroidered gift items directly to you.

I will primarily be selling through home and office party's, but also individual sales through my website online.  This means you also will be able to purchase directly from me as well!  Isn't that great?  I certainly think so!

I love these products!

I have been researching this company for over 3 years now.  I cannot believe I didn't sign up last year when I considered joining them immediately after my retail employment business closed. Talk about procrastinating!

  As you may remember in my previous employment I worked in a small local embroidery shop that sold many items similar to what I am now able to sell directly to you.   However, we did not carry jewelry, not for my lack of trying though!  My heart has been is this business for some time now and I am so excited to now be able to continue selling affordable personalized gifts.

Have I tempted you enough with a sampling of our jewelry?  Perhaps you would be more interested in the embroidered gifts.

Or maybe you prefer engraved soaps?

Or maybe a custom personalized license plate...

..or vinyl monograms!  Whew!  There is so much good stuff here to offer!

  I am also very happy to be able to make my own schedule and pace.  This is something that I have been praying about heavily for the last few months as we are dealing with many health challenges in our family with our parents.  I have spent time yesterday and this morning getting my website up and running, adding a blog page and creating a fan page on Facebook all geared towards helping me successfully sell my products.  I am sure I will be tweaking my blog page under my header often.   So please, be sure and check it out often as when you visit me here at The Decorative Dreamer! Also, I could use all of your prayers as well that my business will be a success and a blessing to our family. 

If you are interested in seeing more gifts or shopping now, please visit my website at
Just click on "shop now" to browse through our many selections. 

Since I am centrally located, I am happy to travel throughout most of South Carolina for my blog friends who are interested in hosting a party for your friends. I have great incentives to offer you and would love to speak with you personally.  For any of my blog friends who are also interested in selling Initial Outfitters in your own state or even in SC, I would love to add you to my team. I would be happy to speak with you personally as well,  about our organization! 

Finally!  Here's the fun part! In order to help me celebrate I am having a giveaway!  I haven't yet decided what I will be offering but I can promise you it will be from Initial Outfitters and personalized just for you! 
 And if that isn't enough, I am also offering another giveaway soon from CSN Stores to celebrate reaching over 100 followers again.  That giveaway coming up later this week!  Woohoo!  Exciting times here at The Decorative Dreamer.

  If you would like to enter this contest;
1.  You must be a follower, please leave me a comment reminding me you are to enter = 1 chance
  2.   Please go over to my Initial Ouftitters website and browse through our gifts.  Then come back here and tell me in a second entry what you would like to win = 2nd chance
3. Copy the first photo on this post of our catalog cover and add my giveaway to your blog, then come back here and leave a separate message letting me know = 3 chances.
This contest will officially close on February 28th, 2011.

I am joining Elements Interiors for Wassup Wednesday, cause this is what I've been up too, and to Kim's WUW party at SSS, because this jewelry will definitely Wow YOU!

Thanks for visiting today and I am hoping you are glad you did too!
May God Bless!