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New England, United States

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


How often do I think how well "I" did something... how well "I" (add most anything). 
The truth is, I've had many mentors in life that encompass many aspects of my life...those people who came alongside me to encourage and guide me and, in the name of honesty, there were moments a 2x4 was called for up side of my skull (figuratively speaking, of course)...or a palm laid firmly across my backside (not so figuratively speaking). By the way, parents of a very stubborn, strong-willed child have very strong palms.  I digress.

We all have mentors...people who encourage us, inspire us to kick it up a notch, challenge us to take leaps of faith, guide and teach us.  We have them for all areas of our lives.  Parents, siblings, God, pastors, friends. If we ever feel like God's left us on our own, we only need to look for those He placed in our lives to move us forward...upward. Sometimes they stretch out a hand to pull us up...sometimes they fall in step beside us...sometimes they jog backward in front of us saying, "Oh, yes you can!"

Here are three women who've mentored me, encouraged me beyond measure and helped me come to a place where I actually believe I can turn my home and property into beauty without breaking the bank.  Surprisingly, we have never met and have never talked or communicated personally though we are "in touch" daily via their DIY blogs. They don't even know the impact they've had on me. There are many DIY blogs I follow, but these three made me believe I could DIY.
Big Boy Room
It all started when I stumbled across a DIY blog by Sarah, Thrifty Decor Chick, a couple of years or so ago. Located in the Mid-West, this woman didn't fear power tools or pounding nails into already beautiful walls (uhmmm...I'm not there yet about the pounding nails into walls - I start to twitch thinking about it.  Yeah, I'm fearless like that). She could take a mudpie and turn it into a work of art if you gave her one. She inspires me to look outside of my "box" and see things with an imagination that is slowly coming back to life. She is truly thrifty, not someone who sends you out to purchase stuff out of budget, but shows you how to substitute less expensive products for high-end, lasting projects. Molding?  This girl knows her stuff and makes it look easy! And if Sarah does recommend a particular item or brand, I don't have to second guess if it's great or is. Even though she may stage her home for pictures of her projects, she is equally honest that her house is not always in perfect condition. Sarah even has those "fail" projects and is humble enough to let us readers know what didn't work and why. If you're looking to refresh or update your interior, please drop in and visit her.

Ana's Plans
Now that the door had been opened to a whole new world, I started checking out others.  The next one I ran across was Ana White (Ana-White). This was like a little kid's perfect Christmas morning! Sarah was helping me decide how to update and make my mark on my home inside; Ana was about to teach me how to build furniture (and more) for both inside and out! No more drooling over really expensive outdoor dining sets or bed frames! Ana and her husband built their home in interior Alaska from the ground up while living with a newborn in the garage area. Ana wanted nice furniture to complement her home and threw her fear of power tools to the wind and started to make furniture out of leftover wood from the build. She posts detailed, yet simple to understand, plans. People who use her plans also post their "version" on her blog. Currently, Ana and Ram (that's how we know her husband) are currently building "The Momplex" - an incredible duplex so each of their moms will have a really warm, safe and secure home to live out their lives for many, many years. If you are looking for a less expensive way to have incredible furniture or how to make a great raised garden bed or whatever your heart fancies, visit Ana. Oh! And while you're there, view the incredible majesty of interior Alaska through Ana's photography.

The Liberty House
I next "met" Kit (DIY Diva) who is also somewhere in the Mid-West. Seriously,  I couldn't resist her tag line: Bridging the Gap Between Woman and Power Tool Wielding Badass One Project At A Time. I have to wonder if she was a stubborn, strong-willed child.  This woman just bought an old 1800's classic, brick farmhouse on acres of land that has 2 or 3 barns as well and is now busy crossing the bank's "to do" items off the list to get her money out of escrow (stinking appraiser).  As of the most recent post, she spent some time asleep in the middle of the master bedroom floor while being abducted by aliens painting due to exhaustion (she also holds down a full time job in addition to revamping The Liberty House) and then a couple of hours hanging out on top of the future miniature donkey barn (yes, I did say "miniature donkey barn") convincing herself that she needed roof jacks before tackling a new roof on the barn (stinking appraiser). Kit has previously renovated/built two other houses and wields power tools like I wield cooking utensils! About a year ago she got her contractor's license....because she could. Her sense of humor is priceless. Her ability to do ... well, it seems about anything, is infectious (she's even ready for a zombie attack). I would have to say that Kit is responsible for fully reigniting the "I can do anything" streak in me.  Her fault, my friends...and you thought I'd mellowed out. Take it out on her and no, I do not plan to build a barn...maybe a good sized shed. I can trust Kit's judgement about tools, no questions, no doubt. (I also trusted her about winter I'm good to about 40-60 below.) If you want to install anything, this is the girl to visit. If you need to replace just about anything (windows, doors, floors, bathrooms, kitchens, etc.), this is the girl to visit...if you want to do it yourself.  Kit's also very honest about when to call a professional in like when all else fails. Now, it's time to check out that sliding compound miter saw she convinced me was a must have.  Yep...her fault.

So go visiting. They'd love to have you! You won't leave them without new ideas, inspiration and dreams. And dreams are a necessity!


  1. Hey Guerrina, thanks for sharing. Have seen Thrifty Decor Chicks site, but haven't been to the other two. Will have to check them out. I love to steal, uh borrow : ) other peoples tried and tested changes and ideas !!

    1. I've no doubt you will find Ana's site a gold mine of about any plan for any project and Kit knows her stuff - she did a wonderful knock-off of a Pottery Barn bathroom vanity that you might want to check out. I've tought about building it for my half bath, but will choose a different counter. It was done for the house before this one.

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