It’s Glitter Market Time!

Hey folks! If you’re going to be in the Oklahoma City area on Saturday, October 27, come see me at Glitter Market in the Casady Square shopping center! I’ll have paintings, illustrations, jewelry and more. There will be other wonderful vendors too… selling hand-made goods like beautiful knitted things, quilts, aprons, assemblage art pieces, hand made dolls, and other wonderful things. I hope to see you there.

ship of dreams

I made this ship this weekend.  I created a wire frame, painted it gold, then hand-stitched vintage lace scraps to the frame.  I took photos along the way so I can show you how to do it, in case you want to make a ship of dreams for yourself, but I’m having trouble getting my camera photos to upload.  I will get it figured out tonight and post them tomorrow.  In the meantime, here’s an instagram photo of the finished product.  At least, I think it’s finished.  I may add more stuff.  It was way more time consuming than I thought it would be!  It sucked away my whole weekend.  I mean, like THE. WHOLE. WEEKEND.  I actually felt guilty about it.  Because I basically ignored my family for two days.  I mean, I still made meals and cleaned but I didn’t snuggle with my kids much or read them stories.  So then I got to beat myself up about that all night last night.  We can’t really have it all, can we?  We have to pick what we can fit in, then feel guilty about what we don’t!   haha…  So today, it’s extra snuggles and stories.  Maybe Winken Blinken and Nod would would  be a good one.

What did you do this weekend?

Painting roses… a progression in photos

I’ve been on a painting kick lately.  I thought it would be fun to show the progression of a painting.  I’m not a trained artist.  I have not taken art classes since high school (in retrospect, I sure wish my major in college had been art and not the extremely useful [sarcasm] Political Science.  But I digress).  Actually, I did take a china painting class when I was in my 20s because I was born an old lady.  But other than that, I have no basis or training for art at all, so please, all you classically trained artists, be gentle with me!  I am positive I’m not doing this the “right” way, because I do not know what the “right” way is!  I paint with acrylics.  I would love to learn to paint with oils, but I just don’t have time for that right now.  This is a big canvas, it’s 2 feet wide.  I painted it for my living room.  It was so much fun!  All of the photos are clickable to enlarge, in case you want to see more detail.  Sorry about the watermark being right in the middle of the photo.  Lately, I’ve had lots of problems with people taking my photos to use without crediting me.  I have even had people crop off the watermarks that I usually put in the bottom corner to keep from being a distraction.  I don’t mind if you share my photos, but please leave the watermark and credit me with a link to my site!  The above photo is the finished product, but it started out like this:

A basic background of blended greys and greens.  I made it centered because I wanted a loose bunch of flowers sort of floating in the middle here.  I also put some blobs of pale pink to serve as place-savers for the roses.  I use jar lids and such to place on the background until I am happy with the placement, then I put the blobs so I will remember.


Starting to resemble flowers. I start by deciding which direction they’ll face, then place the centers and start surrounding it with the base that will become petals. These are English roses, and they have a quartered center, which I love. They’re a less formal, sort of loose and blousey rose. I like them way better than a stiff, long stemmed tea rose.

Bummer that it’s blurry, but you can still make out that I added more layers of highlights to the roses and deepened the center colors a little.

Now the roses are really popping. More highlights.

Beginning to place the rough bases of leaves.

The leaves looked too small for the large canvas before, so enlarged them and added some deeper color. Also, you see the beginning of a little bud and stems.

Another layer on the leaves, still looking pretty flat and rough. I just keep layering until I like them.

A little more highlights and lowlights. It’s all about light and shadow for making things not look so flat. I used to get very caught up in making the leaves super detailed and real looking, but I have moved more towards and impressionistic, looser feel. I still want to loosen up even more, leaves can look stiff easily. I also added some darker area to the bottom right corner and blended it out to anchor it and give the impression of some depth and shadow.

Finally, I decided the painting was too washed out with the pale roses, so I added more color. Think I’m done now.

Talk To Me Tuesdays: Heather Kowalski

Tuesday is quickly becoming my favorite day of the week!  This week, I am honored to share a little bit about my lovely friend, Heather Kowalski.  I admire her so much.  She’s a devoted mother raising two great kids and juggling life as a talented photographer, jewelry maker, crafter, teacher, blogger, and more.  She is brave and strong, but still manages to keep her softness.  I love this girl.  Talk about squeezing the lemons, wait until you see what she’s done with her kitchen!  I hope you enjoy this little MiniView and glimpse into her pretty world. (All photos in this post are copyright and courtesy of Heather Kowalski)

Tell us who you are and what you do.

My name is Heather Kowalski. I am the writer of my blog Pretty Petals. I am a Mom of two gorgeous boys whom I love with all my heart. I’m super creative. Love to decorate (on a budget). Blue is my favorite color. I feel like I am constantly trying to juggle what I HAVE to do… with what I WANT to do (which is usually being creative in some form or another). I tend to have many different projects going on at once… and when it comes to creativity, I never really seem to run out of things I want to do or try. My passions are photography, jewelry making, paper crafts, decorating and diy projects.

Where do you do your art & crafting?

Currently I do my crafting right at my kitchen table. I have a little closet that I have turned into a “craft closet” right off of my kitchen. That is where I have all of my crafting stuff and then when I get the urge I drag everything out right in my kitchen. It is kind-of a big old mess when I am in the middle of a project.

When I first cleared out the “craft closet” to make space for all of my supplies, I had all these visions for it to be beautiful and organized and arranged just so. However, it is usually a jumbled kindof beautiful mess in that closet! Maybe one day I will get a better system but for right now that is how it goes with kids, animals and daily chores always demanding my attention!

What inspires you?

I am inspired by beautiful colors, emotion, pretty pictures, old worn things and the stories they could tell, children, kindness and flowers.

What are your favorite art supplies?

My favorite art supplies are old sparkley jewelry, vintage fabrics and paper, old photos, flowers… and my hot glue gun which is the number one supply that I could not live with out.

What is your home like, how is it decorated?

My home is definitely a reflection of my love for comfortable, vintage style. It is always evolving and I like to move things around a lot. I don’t ever spend a ton of money on one single thing because I don’t want to feel like I can’t move it out of the room if I tire of it…. (not that I have a ton of money that I could spend, but I am just saying!) My favorite things are vintage chairs… big old cupboards…. I love comfy furniture with clean lines and pretty pillows… chippy paint… mix match frames… white & grey mixed with color… and fresh flowers from the garden.

Where do like to find your diamonds in the rough for your home?

I love finding things for my home in junk/antique shops and get so excited when I have the time (and extra spending money!) to go out antiquing for the day. There is one particular antique market that is the last Sunday of every month in the Pittsburgh area that I love to go to. I have found most of my vintage finds there… and I also love Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Homegoods, and IKEA!

What is your favorite flea market/ garage sale/ thrift store find and why?

My favorite flea market find is probably my chippy coffee table / piano bench. I have had it for years… never tire of it… great original chippy paint… love the pale grey color… it has clean lines, it isn’t too curvy and ornate… but not too plain jane either. A perfect example of my style!

My favorite lemonade project is my kitchen. I recently moved into my house after going through a divorce and I have been trying hard to create a home for my boys and I. My kitchen was definitely on the “I must do something with this room” list. Every time I would walk into the room I would think about how to fix it.. even if it was just a little bit. I would make lists… and look at pictures… and try to figure out a way to make this space a little more beautiful. I had very few pennies in my purse for anything major but my creativity has helped me in this area!

Heather’s kitchen before:

Heather’s kitchen after:

When I first looked at this house I knew that the kitchen had a lot of potential if I just polished it up a little with some elbow grease and a couple cans of paint. I must admit at first it seemed like a daunting task! I tried to see through the dark ugly cabinets and super ugly yellow/brown checkered floor and knew I could make it pretty even though I had basically no budget. Now I do admit that it was a lot of work… but once you make up your mind to get it done, it really isn’t that bad! It truly is amazing what a few coats of paint can do. At the end of that project I kept looking at what a difference it made in my home.. it was a brighter and happier space to be in. Total cost for my transformation was only $138 and a whole lot of hard work!

If you would like to see more of my art or work you can find me here…

I offer several different online crafty classes through my blog,

when I get in the crafting mood I like to sell jewelry in my etsy shop

OR, you can view and like my facebook page here and keep up with all of my creative endeavors all in one place! Thanks for reading a little about me. It is so nice to know there are other women out there making lemonade out of lemons too!


French Inspired Paintings

I’ve always loved the beautiful floral plaster reliefs you find on French things… furniture, baskets, even buildings, are un-apologetically adorned with these romantic reliefs!  I’ve had in my mind for a while that I wanted to translate that to canvas and do some paintings that mimic that style. So today, I managed to steal away a little time and paint these two.  The number 5 represents the five people in my little family.  It was really fun to work on these. They’re not perfect.  I see lots of flaws.  But I had a great time doing them!  Painting like this is not as hard as you might think.  When I have a chance, I would love to do a short video showing you how I make the little flowers and leaves.  It’s fun and quick.  I will really try to do that this fall.  I will try.  But I have three kids, one of them is a two year old, so no promises or timeline!  But I would really love to share this with you, anyone can paint!

This one is in an amazing frame my husband made for my out of vintage moulding that was pulled from a falling-down Kansas farmhouse.  I was so lucky to stumble upon it many years ago.  I had enough for two frames.  He hated making them because the wood is crooked and wonky and warped.  But he did it anyway.  Now THAT is love!  Keep your romance novel heros, I’ll take a guy who makes frames out of chippy blue wood over that any day!

I’m trying to carve out time to be creative.  I did these at the kitchen island, while dishes sat in my sink.  I’m glad I took a moment to do something for myself and my home!  The dishes can wait.

Talk To Me Tuesday: Holly Hall

Oh, I love the featured artist that I have for you today!  Holly Hall is a wife, a mother, an artist, an entrepreneur and a lemon-squeezer!  I asked her if I could feature her because I love her spirit, her resourcefulness, the way she approaches motherhood, just so many things!  I’m so glad she agreed to write a little something for us today.  Be sure to visit her and leave a comment on her blog and Facebook page, but first, read the great MiniView and the piece she wrote for us today.  How precious is that sweet baby in this first photo here?  Picking out a book for mama!  Thank you, Holly!:  (All photos in this post are courtesy of Holly Hall).

I’m Holly Hall, a mess maker and mama to two little girls living in Northeast Oklahoma. When I’m not homeschooling my oldest daughter, cooking, or nursing my bitty one, I can be found making art, and sometimes making music with my husband and partner of 14 years as one half of  Welcome Little Stranger. I blog sporadically at, and I’m the proprietress of where I sell art prints and candles featuring my line of imaginary patron saints, and The Beauty Saloon, where you’ll find apparel and gifts featuring my vintage beauty and hair styling designs.

Where do you do your art & crafting?
I do the bulk of my art and crafting at my dining room table or at my computer desk, though I do have a small spare room devoted to holding my tools, books and supplies. Perhaps one day it will be clean and organized enough to actually make art in!

What inspires you?

I find inspiration everywhere! I’ve always been an old soul, drawn to the past and old-time ways since I was little, so antique items and ephemera are high on the list. I’m very inspired by words and song lyrics, especially old country songs and mountain ballads. I love folklore, old funeral customs, and murder ballads, the more gruesome, the better, and I find I’m repeatedly drawn to Victoriana, religious imagery, vintage hair styles, and flowers. I also really love and admire traditional tattoo art. A huge source of inspiration, both in my art, and in my life, are our strong, inventive foremothers who made the best of hard lives and few resources. Talk about squeezing the lemons!

What are your favorite art supplies?
My favorite supplies are vintage photos and ephemera, fabric, antique embroidered linens, embroidery floss, vintage bits and bobs, and matte acrylic medium.


What is your home like, how is it decorated?
My home is a constantly evolving work in progress. We’ve owned our 100 year old house for about five years, and we’ve made quite a few improvements, but the list of things we need and want to do just get longer and longer. I’ve removed old carpet from every room in the house myself, stripped wallpaper and a hundred years of wallpaper paste from the living room walls, patched old stove pipe holes in the walls, painted nearly every room in the house at least once, installed a new tub and shower with the help of my step father, and I taught myself to hang and finish drywall in the bathroom. Still on the list is stripping and re-papering the dining room, repainting the kitchen cabinets, new light fixtures, refinishing the floors, new kitchen and bathroom flooring, foundation repair, new windows and installing central air. Since money is tight, and I have to do most of the work myself, I’ve definitely had to learn patience, and that it’s okay to live with things in progress. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and an all or nothing type person, so I’ve had to overcome my tendency to not do anything at all if I can’t do it all at once. Baby steps! I don’t know when we’ll be able to afford new windows or central air, or when I’ll finally have time to tackle those dining room walls, but I can still take pleasure in arranging pretty little corners of my home and be proud of the work that I have done. My home may need work, but it’s very charming, too! We fell in love with the wrap around porch, original dark-stained wood trim, the beautiful original light fixture in the entryway, and the huge, light-filled pantry in the kitchen. My decorating style has evolved over the last five years from all 1950’s kitsch and Mid Century Mod, all the time, to a more eclectic, darker folk style. I’ve come full circle and returned to my first love, which is a bit more rustic, handmade, old-timey look, although I still love a bit of 50’s atomic and kitsch, as evidenced by my kitchen and bedroom! I love color, braided rag rugs, twig furniture, old cabin decor, state and Ozarks souvenirs, plaster face wall hangings, 40’s barkcloth, 50’s lamps, folk art, imperfect quilts, vintage Asian collectibles, and anything to do with peacocks.

Where do you like to find your diamonds in the rough for your home?
I find the majority of my furniture and household goods at garage sales, estate sales, junk stores, and the occasional flea market. In fact, the only things in my entire home not purchased secondhand are our sofa and mattresses. Even my dishes and silverware are secondhand. But adopting and finding beauty in other peoples’ castoffs is a way of life for my family that goes back generations. As a child, I learned the thrill of the hunt with my grandma shopping at “rummage sales” and thrift stores, and my mother never let being a poor single mom stop her from having a well decorated home with lots of personal touches. As a kid most of my clothes came from Goodwill and garage sales, just as my family’s do now. I’ve been well schooled in “squeezing the lemons” my entire life.

What is your favorite flea market/ garage sale/ thrift store find and why?
I have so many things that I love in my home, but one of my most favorite junk store finds is my 1940’s bedroom vanity. My mom and I were in a secondhand furniture shop just before my wedding ten years ago, and she spotted it and bought it for me as a wedding present, so it will always hold special memories for me. It’s also a place I try to keep orderly and nicely decorated for myself, with my favorite perfumes displayed on a pretty antique plate. The vintage Asian figure lamps on the vanity are pretty high on the favorites list, too. They were a garage sale find, also with my mom. I like to sit at my vanity to fix my hair and pamper myself a bit before special nights out, although I don’t get too many of those these days. I’m sure the other mamas can commiserate! 

One of my favorite sayings, is “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” Our grandparents knew how to make things last and make the best of what they had. That’s what I strive to do, and what I hope I will impress upon my children. We talk a lot about using resources wisely, and understanding the difference between wants and needs. We also spend a lot of time counting our blessings. There are so many things that I want and wish we could afford, but when I start to feel down in the dumps about where we are at this moment in our lives, I try to remind myself how incredibly fortunate I am. Just by having a home, a car, and plenty of food to eat, I am richer than half the people in the world. What a luxury it is to have clothes and shoes, let alone a washer and dryer to keep them clean! I may not have the best of everything, but what I have is good enough for right now. At the risk of sounding cheesy, our family is rich with love. I don’t know many families who say “I love you” as much as we do to one another. In fact, one of my 14 month old’s few words is her baby version of “I love you”, which sounds a bit like “ah boo”. She says it repeatedly because it’s the most common phrase she hears. If we lost our home and everything we own tomorrow, we would still be lucky because we’d have one another.

I think, like many people, I’ve wasted a lot of time letting the perfect be the enemy of the good when it comes to my home, my art, and my life. If I wait until my house is perfect and decorated to the very last detail to really enjoy it or to have friends over, I’ve missed out on a lot of good times. If I talk myself out of making art because there’s no way I am a good enough artist to make the end product anywhere close to the vision I have in my head, then I’ve forfeited the immense joy that comes when I create. If I wait until I’m 40 pounds lighter and have the wardrobe of my dreams to feel good about myself, I’ve spent a lot of time being mean to my reflection in the mirror, when I could have been enjoying the healthy body that allows me to walk, play, and hold my children. We only get one life to live. Our children only get one childhood. “Using it up and wearing it out” can apply to life, as well.

A collector of Shells

“It is, perhaps, a more fortunate destiny to have a taste for collecting shells, than to be born a millionaire” Robert Louis Stevenson

This is one of my favorite quotes.  It really speaks to the kind of overly sentimental point of view I usually have.  The treasures in my little house are my kiddos, the heart shaped rocks they pick up for me on the playground at school, and seashells.  Those things would be treasures to me even if I were a millionaire!

If you would like to follow me, I am on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram (HollyDoodle3).

I would love to see you there!

Come back tomorrow for a new Talk To Me Tuesday, our MiniView this week is with Sweetheartville’s Holly Hall.  She rocks!

potting table to sofa table

Last year, my house was photographed by some very talented photographers and appeared in the 2012 Spring issue of Romantic Country Magazine.  It was a crazy and fun time!  Click on the link for the whole crazy story of how they found me, and how they were willing to drive all the way to central Oklahoma for my house.  LOVE THEM.  Anyway, while getting ready for them to come visit, of course I wanted to make sure to do all I could to get everything all pretty-fied.  The back porch area was one of the areas that they photographed, but it did not end up in the magazine.  This is my photo, taken before they came.  I had this cool table hanging around that I picked up from a place that didn’t really DO the chippy painted thing, so I got it for a song.  The top was stained in a weird purpley stain, which I just whitewashed over with some white paint I had hanging around.  It doesn’t really match the rest of the old white paint, but I don’t care.   I thought it would make the perfect potting and storage table.  And it did!  Doesn’t it look awesome and summery and inviting?!  I am not usually drawn to yellow, but I have to say I’ve been liking it more and more lately, and these pillows were cheap-os from TJ Maxx (how great is that place?!), so they set the color for the porch.

But then… weather happened.  Oklahoma has LOTS of seasonal weather changes.  Rains, drought, heat, freezing, snow, tornadoes, you name it, we get it.  So, after about a year, this is how my awesome table was looking:

Not so hot.  Plus, the kids were just jumbling it up with all their stuff and I wasn’t tending to the potting as much as I fantasized I would.  My treasure was turning to trash!  So I decided to bring my table IN the house.  So I had to scrape it, sweep it, clean it, evict the spiders that were nesting in it (ew.), repaint the top and wax it.  Here it is after a bit of clean up:

But I didn’t have ONE SINGLE WALL where it would work!  I was so frustrated.  It’s a huge table, actually, and I just didn’t have anywhere that it would fit.  Then, it struck me.  A sofa table!  My front door opens onto a small entry hall area, then you look smack-dab right on the back of the sofa.  It’s not a very welcoming entrance.  But the table changed all that:

So much better!  I love this kind of thing.  What I WANTED didn’t work out, but because of that, it became something even better.  I love when there are better things waiting for us when we give up on our own plans!  Sometimes we get lemonade without even trying, just by letting go of what we thought we really wanted.  I know it’s just a table, but a good little lesson for me.  By the way, my kids still leave stuff on it, but somehow it’s cuter:

A newspaper hat and a little red car.  Evidence of little boys.  I will miss these kinds of things when they grow up.  Precious treasures.

I’m a Sucker for Leggy French Girls.

You know what I want?  I REALLY want Rachel Ashwell or Annie Brahler (or both) to be browsing around the internet and stumble across me and think “This girl seems cool.  I think I’ll ask her if she needs any help in decorating her bedroom.  Then maybe I’ll decorate it for her and put it in one of my books.  And I’ll just do that because I’m awesome”.

What, you don’t think that could happen?  It could happen!  And Jon Bon Jovi COULD have seen me in my tiny black miniskirt while he was flying over my head in 1980-something and decided to marry me.  But since NONE of these things really DID happen, I guess I’ll have to decorate my bedroom myself.

But the problem is, I don’t have the cash.  This is the same pesky problem that always rears it’s ugly head!  I don’t have a lot of dough, but man, I have GREAT taste.  It’s a curse.  But it can also be really FUN.  Because it makes you get creative.  I was scouring my local Salvation Army recently and I about passed out when I spied a pair of these leggy girls.

The turnings and fluting on their legs seemed tre’ French to me.  They’re super well-made, sturdy LANE tables with dovetailing and all the other stuff my husband always tells me makes good furniture (but after “dovetailing” I usually just hear Womp-wah-wah like the adults in the Peanuts cartoons).  I knew with a little elbow grease, I could make them special.  They were marked $50 each.  That’s kinda pricey for me.  Especially for the thrift store.  But I know my thrift stores, and I know if something’s been there a certain amount of time, they have rules that they will mark it down.  Sometimes on really cool pieces, they “forget” to mark them down because they know they are worth the higher price.  They had been in the store over 3 weeks, which shocked me.  So I asked, and I got them discounted to $37.50 each.  Still pricey for a thrifted table, but not really for what they were, so I snapped them up (and remember, these would cost probably triple that or more from the furniture store).

I didn’t have a lot of time to mess around with these tables, so I took a chance and SPRAY PAINTED THEM!  Yes I did!  Then I went over them with an antiquing glaze from the paint section at Lowes.  It was FAST, EASY, and look how awesome it turned out!  I’ve only done one, I still have to do the other.  These will be my nightstands in my future awesome ecclectic French chic bedrrom.  I’m showing it here in my living room because my bedroom looks like a sad college dorm right now.  I am working on it.  When it’s all done, I’ll have a big reveal.  But for now, you get to see it here, next to the sofa.

I LOVE a good before and after.  If you have one, please leave a link to your blog post about it in the comments section!  I want to see it.  Everyone wants to see it!  Maybe I will try to figure out those linky-party things and we can have a show and tell day or something.  If you know how to do that, maybe you can explain it to me!  (Please excuse my iphone photos for this post.  And if you want, come follow me on Instagram.  I’m HollyDoodle3).

Talk to me Tuesday: Audrey Eclectic

One of the regular things we’ll be doing around her is “mini-views”, which are little mini interviews with artists, crafters, moms, entrepreneurs, or whoever else I think is neat-o.  I’ll ask everyone the same (mostly) questions and then ask them to tell us a little something about how they make lemonade in their own lives.  I’ll usually post these on a Tuesday because… well, because I didn’t get around to it yesterday, so now it’s Tuesday.  And I’m going with it.  Also “Talk To Me Tuesday” has a nicer ring than “Moan With Me Monday” or “Whine With Me Wednesday.” Anyway, I’m so excited to share our first artist feature with you today!

If you don’t know Heather from Audrey Eclectic, then I am tickled to introduce you.  She is an amazing artist, mom, and lemon squeezer.  Here is her Mini-View, and after that is her guest blog post for today.  When you’re done reading, please be sure to stop by her blog and leave her a comment to say hello, and then visit her flickr and her etsy shop too!  I can’t believe how talented this awesome artist is. Enjoy! (All photos courtesy of and © Heather Sleightholm/Audrey Eclectic).


Hi, Heather!  Please tell us a little about who you are and what you do.

Hello! My name is Heather Sleightholm and I am the artist behind Audrey Eclectic Folk Art. I love painting my own unique version of folk art portraits that I sell as originals, prints, and postcards. You can find my website at, my store at and my blog at

Where do you do your art & crafting

I have taken over a little spare room in my house as my art room. I wish it was immaculately organized and adorably decorated, but it’s most very utilitarian and *this close* to being a complete disaster! Every so often I clean it out and organize it and it makes me feel so calm and motivated and ready to paint. You’d think I’d keep it up, wouldn’t you?

What inspires you?

I feel like I’m always on the look out for inspiration, and it comes from the most random places. I love art that tells a story, so other types of stories always appeal to me—be they great novels (especially the Brontes and Austen) movies, or old photographs. The backs of old postcards, vintage magazines, classic illustrations. As for the arts, I’m really interested in traditional folk art, both Americana style and European. I am also at once inspired by my home state of Oklahoma (we’ve been here 5 generations now, and no one’s found oil yet!) as well as far off lands—particularly the United Kingdom and Sweden. Oh, and Russia. See, it’s a rather rambly list!

What are your favorite art supplies?

Well, I use a lot of acrylic paint—mostly just the traditional tubes of craft paint that I started using with my mom as a kid. I am also proud to say that because of my parents’ tool and abrasives business, I have a lifetime supply of sandpaper at my disposal! So you’ll always find me scuffing up my paintings before I seal them, I love an aged look. And if I’m aging fabric, I love to coffee stain. It smells so good!

What is your home like, how is it decorated?

We bought our home a year into our marriage, a little bitty ‘starter home’ in a new neighborhood that’s rather cookie-cutter. Back in the olden days of 2005, we had no idea there would be a housing bust and that we would ever manage to outgrow 1100 sq. feet! We’re still here though and trying to make it work (cue Tim Gunn) and I’ve just about stenciled every room in the house!

I’d call my style old timey eclectic, and I decorate mostly in antique mall finds and family pieces that have come to live their last days with me, the girl who loves old crusty antiques. It’s been my mission to take this new house and turn it into a house that looks like it’s been here for decades. I love old photos and paintings (the more chipped the frame, the better!), blue and white dishes, and strange and slightly spooky old dolls. A year or two ago I painted my bedroom a deep almost peacock green and stenciled over it in a chocolate brown on two walls. I paired it with cream curtains and a cream embroidered bedspread and I’m more than a little pleased with how it all turned out. I am also blessed with a very understanding husband who lets me do what I want to the house, no matter if I know what I’m doing or not!

Where do like to find your diamonds in the rough for your home?

I find diamonds in many different places. I also love sifting through junk for the good stuff. Some of my dearest items are from family members who know I appreciate old things and so they let me have them. I’ve been collecting old family relics since I was little, really. I was always the kid who wanted to look through all the old family albums and hear the stories.

I also enjoy a good antique mall—especially small town antique malls that are an adventure to explore. Etsy can also be a good place to find some unexpected gems and there are some beautiful things to be had there! I think it helps too to have an appreciation for a little aging and cracking and chipping. I love thinking of the story a piece could tell—and no perfect new piece can convey that feeling like an old vintage piece can.

What is your favorite flea market/ garage sale/ thrift store find and why?

If I am itching to get out of the house or looking for something random, I love to go over to River City Trading Post in Jenks, because it never fails me. More often than not, I come out of there with something, even if it’s not what I meant to find! I once found a 1940s boxed set of beautifully illustrated copies of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. I thought the price was for one book but it was for two. I was so happy I could have cried!

I also enjoy the Dewey Street Market in Sapulpa, my home town, which has a beautiful little down town. They’ve always got a wide array of items to look through and some beautiful old pieces.

I’ve also had some luck at the large Good Will store on South West Blvd. in Tulsa. They have some really nice houseware items there, and I think a lot of old family china and ‘outdated’ (but awesome!) dishware make their way to Good Will. Plus who can resist books for a dollar?


This past winter, I got it into my head that we really needed to move. I felt stuck in a rut and wanted a new house, a new adventure, and felt like we just needed to be brave and take a chance and put our house on the market. I think by dusk on Christmas day I had the house stripped of all ornamentation and nearly devoid of my slightly eccentric (but awesome!) decorating style so that we could enter the pool of houses on the market.

We knew that the housing market was limping along, and a lot less shiny and limitless than when we bought the house six years before. But gosh, everyone we knew was buying and selling houses in a week’s time! It seemed so easy, and who wouldn’t want a nice little starter-home by a great school that was so beautiful decorated?! We couldn’t lose! Or…so I thought.

The truth was, it was hard. Really hard. Especially for someone like me who hopes if I just clean hard enough, someone will fall in love. I would spend days cleaning and then another day toting my dogs and daughter out of the house for hours while strangers ambled through the rooms I was so desperate to be rid of.

But there was nothing. Barely even any feedback as to why we didn’t make the cut, and if we got any, it was usually ‘it’s too small.’ We began to realize that what people wanted were cheap repossessed McMansions, not well kept little homes. There wasn’t much market for ‘small, but great personality!’

Then something odd happened; my indignation at my home being rejected on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis made me fall a little bit more in love with it. Who wouldn’t want this place, with its eclectic color scheme, it’s cozy atmosphere, its tiny but epically bloomy yard? I started thinking about how these people who considered bigger to be better didn’t deserve this little house. We only wanted true love for the house, and maybe…we realized…this home’s true love was…us?

When our contract was up with our realtor, we said ‘thanks, but we’re staying.’ And by jolly, staying we are.  In those months on the market I did a ton of soul searching and reevaluating what it is that is important to me. I also started researching the way people live in other countries—and it is usually quite happily with a lot less square footage. I realized that the concept that ‘you upgrade to a certain size house at a certain point in your life/career/marriage’ is a bit of a myth. Sure, some people get it, but do they really appreciate it? Or is it just another rung on the ladder of things to want and acquire?

Ironically, a few days after deciding all this, I got contacted by the editor of Somerset Life Magazine and asked to write an article about blogging. I wanted it to be a different take on blogging than the ‘why I love blogging’ story I so often saw. But what to write?

I decided to write about my house. About how it was such an important part of my blog, as the backdrop of my life and the showcase of my paintings. My home has been featured in my blog since I began blogging in the infancy of my art business, Audrey Eclectic. I wrote about how my house helps me present my art and my work to the world via the internet and it became sort of a love letter to this 1100 square feet of tiny adorableness.

And just a few days ago, I received my copy of Somerset Life. And there, in it’s pages, was my house! My little house, too small for anyone to imagine living in, was gracing 6 entire pages of a nationally read magazine. I felt a little shocked and amazed. And a tad bit vindicated. But I also felt still very much in love.

***Heather’s article is in the Summer issue of Somerset Life, which will be hitting the newsstands any day now.  Thank you for sharing your story with us, Heather!***