{ changes. }

In December 2012, my husband accepted a new position with his company. With it came the agreement to move to Columbus, Ohio.  With our oldest still in high school, the company graciously allowed us to remain in Kansas City until graduation.  

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(Lottie wants a valentine.)

What this means is that for over a year now, we have been in a holding pattern. For a person like me, who likes to upgrade and change things around in her home, it has been tricky. It hasn't stopped me, of course, but my focus has been on Resale. Neutral. General Appeal. Cleaning out. Paring down. Organizing. 

See why I haven't blogged about it? Want to get excited about my cleaned out linen closet? Yup. It's been riveting, I tell you. The photos are compelling, award-winning stuff. 

I still have a long way to go.

My pemberlie project was a lot of fun, but it also meant that for a year I could greenlight any project. My garage is still full of potential items. Random things. It was a workshop of misfit old lamps, extra chairs, homemade chalk paints, wooden frames, I accumulated some extra used furniture that I just kind of liked. I had put boring house maintenance projects on hold.

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(there has been work in the mud/laundry room -- amazing!)

Shoot, I put fun personal upholstery projects on hold.  I've had a glorious floral wingback in my kitchen for years now. She needs some attention.  Especially because she is positioned right next to my floral curtains. And now the dog has claimed it as her chair and I have no idea what to do with either of them.

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(snow day fairy fort)

We have an agent coming by for the first time tomorrow to look at our house and give us her straight shooter opinions. Staging, updates, timing, the whole she-bang. 

Are you ready for a bunch of before and afters? Because I think I am. 

People, when this house goes on the market, I want it to sell Quickly. With three kids and a puppy, keeping this place showable will be by best trick of all.

Stay warm, friends!


{ ever so slightly } considering

Remember how I used to have an etsy shop?  You don't?  I don't blame you.  It was eons ago.

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Never you mind.  I've decided I need to shoo away the dust bunnies and open the windows, wipe off the cobwebs and create a fantastic mess in my studio.  I am cautiously optimistic about being able to stock a few items over there.  

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On Thursday, I spent a few hours listing, planning, scheming, and organizing.  Then I rolled up my sleeves and cut out some tablerunners.  Gosh, it felt good. The need to MAKE remains strong. I'm going with it. I started with some cream burlap table runners trimmed with cotton eyelet. I found a yards of this stuff on some vintage curtains last year and have been saving it for something like this. 

Hope you're having a good weekend, friends.  It's beautiful here and feels like autumn is approaching. That feels good, too!

xo


{ review } Stitch Fix:1

Have you heard about it yet?  Stitch Fix

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It's the online service I've been waiting for all my life because, well, I hate shopping. I don't have time. And I don't like the mall. Or the lighting in dressing rooms. Or masses of people. Or ALL of the choices. I often get overwhelmed and just don't buy a thing.  Or buy something and then never wear it because it matched nothing in my closet. 

And my taste is all over the place. I have style ADD or something. I'll come home with chunky modern bangles, a romantic ruffly top (exactly like the three I already own), and a sequined tank.  

So when Kristen (of DineandDish) instagrammed about receiving boxes of specially selected clothing and accessories from Stitch Fix, I was curious.  

Imagine: A personal shopper that sends you clothes. Trying them on at home with your own accessories (thanks to the outfit idea card included). Paying for your favorites and sending the rest back. Reviewing all the items to give your stylist a better idea of what you like and ... waiting for your next fix.  It's beautiful.

And of course it's not free. But it's close. $20 includes the personalized shopping service and shipping and applies to your order, if you keep anything. Yeah, you read that right. And if you buy all 5 pieces, you get 25% off the whole order. Also very cool. 

 

So what was in my first Fix?

 

Item #1:

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This chambray shirt. I loved the fabric. I liked the high-low hems and the detailing.  The thing is, my arms are really short and even this XS was too long for me. And it felt tight across the back, but looked ...baggy from the front? It just looked wrong. It's too bad, because this is one thing I don't have in my closet, and it does seem to be a good fall layering staple. Maybe I need to try another brand.  Returning.

 

Item #2:

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This darling tunic-y navy blouse. I pulled it out of the box thinking it looks like something my Great Aunt Ruth would have worn. Which is to say, I never would have pulled it off a rack.  I slipped it on and FELL IN LOVE.  The silk.  The modern detailing. The cut. The possibilities! Thank you, Personal Stylist Sarah.  I loved this pick! Keeper.

 

Items #3 + #4 : cobalt statement necklace and teal twist wrap tee.

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I liked both of these a lot.  Probably because I already have similar items in my closet and jewelry box! Returning both, although I loved the fabric and fit of the top (very similar to an emerald one I bought at anthro last year). 

 

Item #5: Navy Blue Zipper Detail Dress.

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Sarah knocked this one out of the park. I love it so much. It fits like a glove. I probably wouldn't have ever picked this one out because I rarely go for a solid color dress. However, in my questionnaire I had asked for tops and maybe a dress, something modern and still traditional.. something for a work dinner function and WHAMMO, does this one ever work! The mister liked it, too. Always a plus.

Evidently, I am apparently using WHAMMO now as an adjective.  I'm jaunty like that.

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I included some of the outfit cards because they are fun.  They didn't happen to photograph that well because they are small and aren't really crisp photos for starters, but I think it serves to share the experience a little bit. In the interest of time I edited these together on my phone, but the quality is lacking. For now, you get the gist. 

So.

2 out of 5.  Not bad.  I'm told that as your stylist gets to know you better, the Fixes do, too. Fantastic. Well done, Sarah.  Well done!

For what it's worth, this review is entirely voluntary. I'm not receiving anything in exchange for this testimonial. I just want them to succeed. Because it might be my favorite thing. Ever.  

However, I will get a reward for referring you if you click through from my blog. ;)

xo,

miss chris


{p.s.}

It's been nagging at me, my last post.  I think what I meant to say is... I wish there were some kind of sign I could hang so people understand that it's me, not them. I have screwed up playdates and birthday party invitations because I'm forgetful and distracted.  I am quite sure there are several moms in my neighborhood who think I'm a complete idiot.  But they don't know. And how do you tell them? What kind of conversation is that?

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I have an overwhelming need to be at home. I don't feel like cooking. I'm tired. I'm tending to my family and new puppy and that takes it all out of me. And pretending anything else feels fake.

And at the same time, I don't want to burden everyone with our loss. I don't want to be defined as 'the crazy lady with the cord-strangled-stillborn.' I know two years have passed. I feel it.  I see two year olds and my heart hurts. I see my girls growing older and know that once my littlest goes to kindergarten, that's it. No more toddlers. 

It's dark in here.  I am working with a counselor and taking medication to help with the lows.  I practice yoga.  I am eating clean and intentionally.  We keep busy. I recently finished the playroom and the girls are thrilled with their new, productive space. I pray, but I can't go to church yet. I weep so uncontrollably that it is very uncomfortable for me and those around me.  The doctor's office terrifies me. The thought of being in a gown and being on a table paralyzes me with grief and trauma. My mind and body instantly flash back.  I can't look at ultrasound photos or even think about them without welling up.  I can't even go to the dentist.  It's too sterile and hospital-like.

Maybe writing about it is good. 

Today is Sunday. It will be beautiful and cool, a wonderful late summer treat. We might take the girls to the zoo. One day at a time, I tell you. 


{ july }

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We got the puppy. 

She is a good baby girl. That is to say, she has a wonderful puppy temperament, even if it means getting up at 4:30 am.  She is patient and sweet with the girls, and needs just the right amount of attention. Lottie has plenty of personality and is quite vocal, emitting baby chewbacca sounds that make me giggle. Her fur is soft and downy and her tongue is like velvet.  

And she has giant paws. Gulp.  Lottie isn't going to be little for that long. 

But, OH, that FACE.  I melt.

(and she just peed on the floor. damn.)

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July is a struggle for me. It always will be. I take it day by day. And most days, hour by hour. I know that others have forgotten...or they don't realize that the anticipation of that nightmare's anniversary has been eating away at me for weeks already. Or how it effects everyday life.

There is a scorching pain in my chest that climbs into my throat and threatens to creep out of my eyes in a flood of tears pretty much every day. It takes a lot of energy and breathing to keep ahead of it.  

Especially with three girls ...and a puppy.

Exhale. 

{ summertime }

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This summer is flying by.  It's been jam-packed with dance classes for all three girls, recitals, a birthday, swim classes and a a couple trips.  And that was just June. 

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We got back from a long-anticipated annual trip to Captiva Island, Florida, on Saturday night.  After eight loads of laundry washed, folded and put away, and an open calendar for July, you'd think I'd be ready to relax.  Sure. 

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Oh no...  On Friday we are getting a puppy.  An 8wk old goldendoodle from a breeder in Joplin.  We are so excited.  

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Another fun thing about July is that I've been asked to contribute over at habit.  I'm looking forward to taking time each day to reflect and use my big old camera for more than special occasions.   See you there!  (I'm guessing there might be a few puppy photos.  Just saying.)

Thanks for stopping by.  I haven't posted over here in forever.  Last September, it looks like.  I suppose now would be a good reason to start up again.  It feels good.  

xo


{ music } to my ears

One of the fantastic things about the being immersed in this vintage resale community is the access I have to other vendors and their cool stuff.

The sweetest stereo cabinet ever.

Like this pretty little Admiral stereo console.  She had been at one of our vendor's screen printing shop for years, but they were moving and there wasn't really room in their new space.  It broke her heart, but Sarah brought the beloved console into our shop, unwilling to even price her, for two months.  We all drooled and considered taking her home.  

I had grown up listening to my grandparents' giant console in their living room.  I loved it. However, there was a cross-country logistical issue.  And a space issue.  And it possibly smelled like 50 years of cigarette smoking and New Hampshire mildew.  I couldn't justify the cost and all the possibilities.  I'm sure the mister was glad for that short-lived possibility.

This one was smaller. Closer.  And didn't smell.  After selling a couple of my upholstered pieces, I just couldn't resist anymore.  I decided she was going home with me.

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And it was just in the nick of time. 

Some local radio personalities happened to be in the store that night, getting ready for a live broadcast from the West Bottoms (kicking off our famous haunted house season, oy).  I saw them circling and oohing and ahhing and checking her out. 

They were quite disappointed to hear she was already spoken for.  Ahem.  I let them down gently, of course.  

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I grew up listening to Disney record albums.  And I kept them.

I haven't heard them in decades.  

My old albums.

We've been making our way through albums, the girls flipping through the illustrated covers as we go. 

The radio works, too, and the sound…perfect.   

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I still haven't found a spot for her in the house.  Right now she's sitting in my bedroom, keeping me company while I fold laundry.  (Incidentally it ALL got done this weekend.  Coincidence? Nope.)  And she won't stay this color blue, although it's pretty. She would be gorgeous in the playroom, but there are far too many curious little people in and out of our house!

My hope is to make her over so that she will live in one of our main living areas someday.  Perhaps in a smoky grey finish or a creamy white?  

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For now, we're just having fun. 


{ one year later }

I'm working tonight on getting things in order for our first Friday weekend at the store.  The shop has been a blessing in so many ways.

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But the hard fact is that I wouldn't be doing it at all if, one year ago, things in my life hadn't come to a complete, heartbreaking stop.

These days are hard.

The trauma of what we endured keeps replaying in my head.  Conversations with doctors.  Driving in the car.  Sounds.  Silence...  Every single minute of those horrific days is still crystal clear. 

Occasionally someone will ask me about my shop name.

The thing is, (and Jane Austen fans will know this already) Pemberley is the name of the Darcy family estate in my favorite novel, Pride & Prejudice.  And so my work at Pemberlie is dedicated to my little Darcy, the one I held for three hours, one year ago tomorrow. The perfect little sister with a knot in her cord.

Tonight and this weekend I am working as hard as I can.  I need to be the best version of me.  For her. 

I welcome a full day of work tomorrow and this weekend with the same arms I held my sweet angel August 3, 2011. 

Good night, Darcy.  You are loved.


{ fairy dreaming }

My Pemberlie project is taking the lion's share of my creative time these days -- and it's wonderful. It's really, truly awesome to be surrounded by so many talented people.  The energy is inspiring and has been a great source of therapy for me.  I can't put into words how good it feels to be productive again.  

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I knew things would have to change for me to move forward...  For a long time after losing Darcy, I was numb when I stepped into my studio.  I walked in, shuffled around, looked at fabrics and patterns, tidied up a bit and walked out.  I had lost any creative drive.  I saw piles of fabrics and remembered what I was originally going to do with them.  No need for a new bumper.  No need for a new rocking chair pillow.  I didn't feel much like thrifting or fixing up things, either... my creative and personal spark was gone.  I don't know how else to describe it.

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With the Pemberlie project, I have deadlines and creative challenges and a completely different perspective.   And so far, so good. I am feeling more like myself.  I feel like my family is getting a better version of me, too.

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The shop keeps me very busy.
I don't have much time for personal crafting, but last Thursday was an exception.  

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A while back, the little girls and I had visited Powell Gardens. Kansas City is so lucky to have this beautiful treasure!  This summer's theme is Fairies and Forts and it. is. awesome.  The girls were so inspired by what they saw, they couldn't wait to make houses of their own for our backyard fairies.  

Lilac's mother's home (and water crafts)

And lets be honest.  Neither could I.

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We began assembling supplies immediately.  I had found some wooden stump cuts (is there a real name for them?) at a thrift store and we collected sticks and rocks and nuts at the park. We decided that our fairies would appreciate some flowers and gemstones as well, so we popped over to the craft store for those and super tacky craft glue.

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When we got home  my girls sat for hours and created whimsical little fairy homes.  Fidget concocted story after story about Lilac and Lucko, the fairies who live in her creations.  

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The littlest easily spent an hour and a half working on her house. She was very patient about waiting until we were outside to add the glittery pixie dust.  And then helped herself in the most generous way.

It's a lovely fairy village.  The girls enjoy watching the birds and bugs explore these new additions to our backyard.  They are quite proud of their creations, making sure that everyone that comes over gets a personal tour.  

Fidget's fairy house - "Lilac's Castle Island"

If you know of any fairies looking for a change of scenery and enthusiastic landlords, send them our way. I'm sure something can be arranged.