Thursday, January 29, 2015

#1,869 Makeover Day 2 + Beach Blonde.

Well, got this wall ready for a big huge Lucky Luxe logo that I'm going to paint very soon.

Got our offices mostly cleaned out (while conducting business as usual—which was semi-stressful):

Got the floors and sample cabinets tarped up and Ben knocked all the plaster off his office's wall to expose the brick:

And we went to Walmart for groceries, but found something so wonderful I actually got teary with excitement (I know how that sounds)—but y'all. BEACH BLONDE IS BACK. My smell memories can be realities again!
Seriously, I sniffed the Sea Waves spray and turned 15 years old. It's magic.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

#1,868 Makeover.

Today, we made the plan to give Lucky Luxe a makeover... In one month or less. I know, just what I need to be doing right now. Click here to see my pinterest board to that end.

I'm going to be selling a whole lot of the decor from in there, for anyone who might want it. There will be some big Rodney White prints in there... Some of this and that. I'll keep you posted.

Also, look what's making major progress! My library mural!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

#1,867 Great News + Tourism.

I haven't mentioned a word about it to y'all, but I've been a nervous wreck the last couple weeks with the news that a dear friend was experiencing some curious optical issues, that as a breast cancer survivor, made her eye doctor nervous about the possibility of new cancer forming somewhere else and causing the issue. They called for an MRI (modern day torture), and she had to wait 3 whole. days... to find the results of what they told her "might be symptoms of a brain tumor." Today she got the phone call that there are absolutely no tumors, no lesions, just an inflamed optic nerve they can treat easily with medicine. My heart poured open at the news from such relief. I just felt like cancer again couldn't be possible, and had committed my head and my heart to that in prayers, but you just never know. And yesterday, Mrs. Ina, the amazing, warm, inspiring mama who leads our young adult Sunday school class, sent out a mass text telling us that after completing her last round of chemo a week ago, they did a CT scan... And the very rare stage 4 lymphoma they found all over her body in September has disappeared 100%. She is cancer free. Her doctors are calling it a miracle.

Today I've been walking on clouds. I know that people with incredible faith pray for healing and don't get it. I know that praying for health is not the right prayer. I know that it doesn't happen this way for a lot of people who are just as beloved and faithful. I don't know why it happens that way. I know that life is frail and wonderful and difficult and inspiring and devastating but most of all—it's a gift. And their lives, advice, faith, and love are gifts to so many people like me who are just plopping one foot in front of the other, figuring out life as I go with the guidance of women like them. I can't tell y'all how thankful I am for all this news today. Nothing could overshadow it.

This is Lucy and me being happy about that:

In less important, but very good news—Ben and I were fortunate enough to have a meeting with Malcolm White, the director of tourism for the state of Mississippi who has been spearheading the creative economy initiative (read this—it's awesome!) and is the point of contact for all things entrepreneurial and creative, and promoting everything that's special about Mississippi. He has invited me to be keynote speaker alongside with him at a statewide creative economy event next month! How fun is that?! He's going to be working with us on some other projects that are still developing, too.

Jeez, Louise.

So y'all don't feel totally lost, here's the deal.

There are 2 major events occuring that I just can't elaborate on until they happen. Well, maybe more like 4 major events, but 3 of them are part of the same event. There aren't like, a million things happening all at once as it probably seems with so much vague referencing I've been doing. By February 6, we can talk about one thing. By April at the latest, we can talk about the real big thing(s). None of those things are babies. #spoileralert

It's gonna make a good blog post though, I promise. So hang in there with me.

Monday, January 26, 2015

#1,866 Dreaming + Exploring.

Since I posted about our search for families with old houses needing a major renovation, I've heard from several our sweet neighbors and a few folks we didn't know before who are interested. This morning, when our friend Adam stopped by the shop, I figured it would be about business as usual—new ideas for his (very successful) art career, our favorite masking fluid, the Laurel Main Street projects we've been collaborating on and what not.

But today, he stopped by to tell us that he and Lily would love to renovate their old house that was built in the 1800s that they've inherited from her grandparents.
Photo by Brooke Davis

So we went over to check it out. It was an old house wonderland. My imagination ran away.

So many ideas.

One of these days, friends. We'll talk more about it.

For now, it's bedtime.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

#1,865 Sunny Sunday + Finishing FNL.

It was another beautiful non-wintry January day in Mississippi, but I won't belabor the point too much for my sweet northern friends who are preparing for a blizzard tonight. I'll just leave it at this:

And then, late tonight... As has been our routine since late August at Jim and Mal's most nights after they put Lucy down to sleep, we finished watching the entire Friday Night Lights series.

And now, that makes 3 TV series I've watched in their entirety, and the third time I've been left feeling bereft at the end of it. How dumb is that? My rankings and explanations would be:

1. The Sopranos
Because Gandolfini was electric to watch, because my heart ached for Carmela, because Italian food and NYC.

2. Friday Night Lights
Because Coach Taylor is a man among men, because Tami is my hero.

3. Felicity
Because it's about a girl, the daughter of a doctor and a realtor, following Ben, the biggest crush of her life, to college, where she majors in art and lives a charming, magical life in NYC.

Did you ever watch Felicity, by the way? I feel like if you read here, you are 100% the kind of person who would deeply appreciate it and you really need to.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

#1,864 Houses.

The art supply store. It's a wonderland. I've been doing a whole lot of painting these days and I'm realizing that an artist is only as good as her tools—which I'm severely lacking. I've been using tired old brushes and garbage masking fluid for too long, and I realized yesterday how much faster I could work if I'd just go to the store and get what I need. So this morning we knocked around the house and then I walked over to the studio to do a little work while Ben oiled the butcher block counters in our kitchen, and it was the loveliest day out there. I got to wear just a button down and a sweater, which was just right for the winter/spring chill.

In the afternoon, Ben, Jim and I went to Hattiesburg to visit Hobby Lobby, Michael's and then about a million other stops that were for them, too. Because this was a mostly guy trip with Mal out of town for the day. We got everything I needed, had dinner at Tabella (that salad! that soup!), then went on back home. I couldn't wait to go over to the shop to get my new supplies all organized in my new box thing, which is actually just a flattened overpriced tacklebox, but I still like it very much.

Camille, the tote you sent us from Belgium is with me ALL the time, and is the keeper of all my supplies. You have no idea how handy it is or how much I love it!

And I organized all the house portraits I've done in the last few months into a cutesy little storage box thing.

I can only imagine how tired you are of my talking about work lately. I'm a little tired too, but January is typically our busiest month of the year on top of some other... big... projects we've got in the works. Which leads me to some important questions for you. Alright. You ready?

1. Are you about to begin a major old house renovation in Laurel? Preferrably, in the historic district? If so, we might be able to help.

2.  Thinking about buying an old house in Laurel in the near future and not afraid of a major renovation? If so, we might be able to help. If not, click here, then reconsider.

So. You know. Holler at me.

It could be really fun.

Friday, January 23, 2015

#1,863 Artsy Fartsy.

Y'all, I was gettin after it on my fine arts today. After my wedding work was done (including going over some concepts for new striping on our Market bags with our screenprinter—can you BELIEVE that's not stitched or dyed? It's printed on there!):

I set to work doing a portrait of a really lovely Texas farmhouse you might have seen on the TV.

After work we headed to Dean's Smokehouse for BBQ with the Tews, Nowells and Gebauers, which conveniently happens to be just a few minutes away from Laura's pottery studio, Tew Potters.

She's been working on some prototypes for the Big Ben mug that we'll be selling in the Lucky Luxe Dry Goods store. I was lucky enough to snag one of her mega mugs at Loblolly last year, but alas—it's painted in a floral pattern, so Ben doesn't love carrying it around. She's been working on making some manlier designs for him this week and it holds something crazy like a half gallon of coffee, but looks normal sized in Ben's hands.

We had some ideas and she threw some clay on the wheel to just make it up on the spot, and I watched her, remembering those fun summer days in 2007 when I took my last pottery courses my last summer in college.

Sam was fascinated:
Then she let me give it a try. I wondered if it would be like riding a bicycle, a natural feeling you never forget, and my memory of how to do it was mostly there... But my hands just wouldn't cooperate like I wanted them to.

I almost had a good thing going when it got off balance and collapsed, but gosh it was so much fun trying it again after all this time.

Ben gave it a whirl, and honestly didn't do so bad:

While the pro was 5 feet away kindly coaching him as she glazed the latest crop from her kiln.

Josh had to try it, too... But became frustrated with it pretty instantly. It's seriously so hard to get the hang of at first. Making a bowl is usually the first thing to try, but it's not especially easy either.

Which begs the question—what exactly was Demi making? And what kiln was gonna fire that huge thing?
Unsolved mysteries.

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