I’m here on the back porch again with a special guest. Now last time I had a goofy photo of myself on the backporch that I made in Photoshop. Peggy has informed me that I am “under NO circumstances” to use the photo. (The photo can be seen here.) It went down like this. “Anita, you know I think you are beautiful and I love you, and think your blog is awesome, blah, blah, blah…” This went on for awhile.
I could have stopped her because I could see it where it was headed, but, it isn’t often I hear such accolades, so I let her go on a bit. Eventually she got to the “BUT”. The “BUT” was “That picture of your head and shoulders in the chair with those cartoon man hands… well, it’s just too much and it is way TOO ugly to have on your blog.” Okay, Peggy has spoken, no more goofy photos.
My dear friend Debra is here from Common Ground to share a little bit about herself. I’m very excited she is here, and I LOVE her style. We share an admiration of French antiques, among other things. Here she is.
1. What made you decide to start a blog?
At the beginning of 2009, I’d been in the antique business for several years and it had really become a big part of my life. I had been in several different selling spots and my main focus was at a great store, which was a co-op of sorts. There were about 14 of us gals there, and they had become like my extended family. I spent most days working alongside of them, and felt a part of a kindred community. But my life changed when I had a near heart attack in January of that year. My doctor said that whatever I was doing, I needed to re-evaluate in light of my health. I gave up my space there, but immediately felt like I had lost touch with who I had become, so I started blogging as an outlet, both creatively and socially.
2. What has been the most exciting thing that has happened to you because of your blog?
There have been a few, like being featured in Romantic Homes Magazine’s Site Seeing column earlier this year. It was so gratifying to see my photos in a magazine that I love. I didn’t realize how much I loved photography until I started blogging. What started out as just taking pictures of furniture and vignettes, soon became more of an artistic endeavor. Finding the right light, the perfect angle, and the essence of an object now intrigues me. Letting a photograph tell a story...now, I’m never without my camera.
Also, getting to know women across the US and around the world has been such an amazing plus to blogging. Finding so many of you out there with similar interests, that actually “get” who I am, and what I love doing. But the most exciting was when I was able to meet and spend time with two new friends that I have made through blogging. Anne from Fiona and Twig and Elizabeth from The Adventures of Elizabeth.
Anne Lorys and I had been phone friends for 2 years when she and her husband came to Missouri from Texas last year and we were able to spend an entire week together. We then traveled together for a weekend visit with our mutual friend, Elizabeth Maxson. We all feel like we will truly be lifelong friends. Getting to know so many wonderful women who share my same interests and passions is one of the biggest blessings in my life.
3. What are a few things that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
I love getting to know people, but I’m pretty much a “loner”. I’ve always been happy with being a wife and mom and taking care of my family and home. I’ve never been one to get bored very often because I’ve always had “projects” that keep me busy. And I’d have to say that my husband is my best friend. Ten years ago I had three major heart attacks and triple bypass surgery, as I almost died from an unknown hereditary and genetic cardiovascular heart problem. Since that time my outlook on life has changed. I try to enjoy each day, make the most of it, and try not to sweat the small stuff, which is hard since I’m a type A personality.
Because of my health issues, I try to eat healthy and keep stress to a minimum. The older I’ve gotten, the more I realize that I can’t “do it all”, so I’m more selective about my interests and pursuits. Having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is my number one focus in life. I try to let God “order” my life and give me direction. I have a Christian blog, “a day in the life” where I relate my ups and downs along my Spiritual Journey.
4. How would you describe your personal decorating style?
I’ve always been a lover of antiques and vintage, a trait handed down from my parents. As a young person I remember falling in love with Country French style; the real “country” French; old baskets, pottery, textiles, furniture. I’ve always preferred an antique to something new, and lived with those until my husband tired of drawers that didn’t work and handles that fell off. (to me, just part of the charm).
I also love English Country, so I think I’m somewhere in between. I gravitate to a white or neutral background, but need a little “color” and pattern which often comes in the form of accessories. Changing my interiors seasonally with florals and the seasonal color palette is also part of my personal style. I hate to say this, but I could probably redecorate my whole house every 5 or 6 years if money was not an object. (Unfortunately, it is) I like to change things up frequently; keeping rooms fresh and evolving, with comfort being a big priority. Accessorizing with vintage finds is the number one way I express myself in my decorating style.
5. What would be your dream gig?
I love to “style” photo shoots using vintage props, so that might be a job I’d raise my hand for. Some of the most fun I’ve had in blogging is when I’ve “created” a theme or mood for a blog post and then photographed it. Working for a magazine styling homes or features would be a dream job for me.
I’ve also thought about having my own boutique; a brick and mortar store that would incorporate a few clothing and lingerie lines (coming from someone who loves flannel pajamas) with custom made jewelry, art objects, home goods, and antiques. Nothing that resembles “flea market” or antique mall, but a high end boutique, that showcased French and English Country antiques, clothing, and linens. Think French armoires, chaise lounges, fur throws, and chandeliers…maybe serving up a glass of champagne, too. I love to create an “atmosphere” for friends and shoppers; one that draws them in, pampers them, and makes them sure to come back.
6. What are your top 3 favorite posts?
I’d have to say that my favorite post would be the one I did on my new chair slips that I had custom made last year. My Dining Room had been a problem room for me because of all the large dark pieces of furniture which were overpowering me. I’d been wanting chair slipcovers for several years and when I finally had them on, my outlook concerning the Dining Room totally changed. I was in Heaven!
I’ve published almost 1000 posts, so another favorite would be something about personal things; like the one I just did on my grandmother’s locket that was given to her on her engagement.
Each Fall I do an outdoors tablescape where I go “all out”. This last years’ Fall Outdoor Tablescape. was my favorite. As I said before, I love “staging” a photo shoot, and love to create an atmosphere that captures a feeling and moment in time.
And speaking of back porches…it’s one of my own favorite spots here at my house, too. If you’ve been following me on Common Ground for awhile you might recognize a few photos of mine throughout the seasons.
Thank you so much Anita! This has been such a sweet honor to be asked to come sit down with you for a personal visit. Many Blessings to you all, Debra
Did you miss any of my interview series? You can catch up here.
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