Friday, October 18, 2013

Saturday Spotlight Life Behind the Blogger


Susan from Must Love Junk, and myself (Kris) Junk Chic Cottage wanted to do a regular feature on our blogs, something unique that hasn't been done before.   So we came up with an idea to 'spotlight the real life behind the blogger' in a more personal way.
There is so much talent and inspiration in blogland, and we thought it would be fun to bring you a closer look at the person behind the blog.

Every week on Saturday we will spotlight a blogger and have them tell us a little bit about themselves and their blogs.  You will be able to see and read about each of the bloggers on both Susan's and my blog.


Saturday October 19
Anne: Design Dreams By Anne



Time for me to introduce you to another beautiful and talented blogger.  I would like you to meet Anne from Design Dreams by Anne Blog.  Anne's story is very inspirational to me.  I love that she found that she can carve out a wonderful life for herself and does not have to be married or have children to necessarily full fill this.  Anne your story is inspirational to those out there that are finding themselves single and with no children going in a new direction.  So get your coffee and sit back and learn more about Anne.



Hi everyone, I'm Anne from DesignDreams by Anne.  I live in a little cottage bungalow just outside the Canadian Rocky Mountains with my two crazy cats who hate each other.  It keeps life interesting!  I love the small town I live in, there are literally hundreds of miles of trails and wilderness all around us.  I'm such an outdoor kind of girl!  I love hiking and walking.  I really love photography too and I have loads of opportunity to indulge myself living out here. We have 4 distinct seasons and loads of gorgeous views all around us like this:


and this:


This is the downtown core but there are many little shops dotted all through town, too:


My life changed abruptly four years ago.   I was recently separated and a little discombobulated (say that one 10 times fast!!).  I began to change my life up.  I decided it was high time I began trying things that I had been afraid or intimidated to do because I wasn't an "expert" at it.  I don't know where I picked up that attitude to begin with, but I was ready to be rid of it!!   So I made a pact with myself to do at least one thing per month that I had never done before.  I began learning all sorts of things and little by little, I began to feel really alive again.  

Part of my new attitude led me to buy art kits and splash paint around on paper because I had always wanted to but ...  yep, you know what I mean.   I discovered that, contrary to what my elementary school art teacher had told me, I actually could paint pretty pictures.  Go figure!  I LOVED painting.  I painted lots of pictures, all different styles and that felt great, too.   Here is my latest painting:


As a single woman, I found it difficult to find friends to hang out with, everyone was either already in relationships or just too busy to make time.  I decided to go out by myself more - I go to lots of movies and enjoy new restaurants.  I'm even taking mini vacations by myself too.  It was a bit intimidating at first, but now I don't care what anyone else thinks, I just want to enjoy myself.

A year after my separation, our house finally sold and I bought a 1930s fixer-upper cottage. I wanted a project to focus on and I figured decorating and fixing up this house would be fun.  When I first moved in, I had thought I would be handling mostly cosmetic changes - I was wrong...

The longer I lived in the house, the more I realized there was much more to be dealt with than what appeared on the surface and it would be costly to deal with.  I took to scrounging materials, picking up roadside items, dumpster diving, yard sale'ing, horse-trading and swapping all sorts of things to get the look I wanted. Instead of hiring contractors, I invested in a starter set of power tools and took on the projects myself. It's been a lot of work and a lot of fun, too.  The satisfaction of having done it all myself and on a small budget is HUGE. The more I learn, the more hooked I become.  Power tools used to make me so nervous and now I can't wait to find things that I want to try and build!  And just so you know, the only tools I had ever used before I moved into this house were a drill, a hammer and a screwdriver.

Here's my house today, it's just had a bit of a facelift with fresh aqua paint on the door, white trim and some DIY shutters.  Come on in for a tour.



I took on the kitchen first.  It needed a big overhaul so I used the Home Depot "12 Months No Interest" plan, waited patiently for one of their kitchen cabinet sales and then I bought cabinets, counters, sink, faucet, plumbing materials and lights and got to work.  I also got a new stove because the one that came with the house was so tiny you couldn't even fit a turkey roaster in it!



I put my sideboard in the kitchen and put a shelf over it for some free additional storage space.   This is an Ikea sideboard that I painted with a home made paint to give it an antique look.


I found a pot rack at a yard sale for $3 and hung it on the wall beside the stove for easy access.  That bump out wall is the original chimney.  Some day I'll tear all the drywall off it and make it into a feature...  some day... 



The previous owners had an addition built onto the original footprint and now this kitchen has no windows - UGH!  So I carved two holes between the studs over the kitchen sink to give myself a view into the next space that DOES have windows.


I built a pantry cabinet.  I needed a custom size to fit the space I had, so building was my only option.  I'm still working on the bottom door...


I gave my bedroom a huge makeover. I painted EVERYTHING - walls, furniture, trim, closet doors, and more! I built a headboard from a 100 year old door I got at a yard sale for $5.
A new bedspread and shams complete the makeover.




 Then I tackled my spare bedroom, making curtains and shams from tea towels I got in a clearance bin.




I added a shelf desk and painted some grain sack stripes on it to dress it up.



I had an enclosed porch at the back of the house with nothing in it except washer/dryer connections, so I made it into a laundry/mudroom with lots of storage. I moved the existing dryer vent and bought a stackable washer & dryer to save space.  I put in a closet organizer for coats as well as a drying rack during the winter months.  And I installed some salvaged pantry doors on the bottom of the tower so I could hide the detergent and odds & ends from view.  A wrought iron rack makes a pretty hanging rack for the ironing board and brooms/mops.



I used an old potting bench for a counter and hung seed catalog covers on my dryer to doll it up a bit.  My curtains are another clearance bin find - a twin sheet that I folded in half and attached to a rod with clips.


I installed a gorgeous Ikea laundry tub, a base cabinet and shelves with a home made counter and then I put in a window over it to let in the light and built rustic shutters as a window treatment:




My biggest challenge so far was tearing apart the original 1930s bathroom and rebuilding the whole thing from scratch.  




Every room in the house has been painted in either tan or off-white.  I buckled down and painted all the ugly orange wood trim in the house.  It looks amazing now!  I've also painted most of the furniture so it all coordinates better.  Painting it was the best idea, the furniture went from looking old and tired to fresh and new again.



For a dining room hutch, I bought a 2nd hand Baker's Rack for $25 and gave it a makeover.  I added wood shelves and a new wood top and stained/painted the whole thing.


Then I refinished my dining room table to match the new industrial style that I'm falling in love with:



Hope you enjoyed the tour. I have lots more photos and how-to details on my blog - come over and visit some time!  For more photos on the room tours, click on the links:



Thank you Anne for sharing your personal side with all of us.  I loved getting to know you better.
Now that you have gotten to know Anne please jump over to Susan's Spotlight blogger Brenda from Cozy Little House and enjoying learning about another talented blogger.
Happy Saturday 
Kris
:)

43 comments:

  1. What an adorable house--I love my family to pieces but I have a little bit of jealousy about the single life. It looks like she has a great one! Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Ha Ha Sandy I had the same feeling!!!! Ohhhhhhh to be single again!!!!! I just love Anne and her courageous story. Thanks for coming by.
      Kris

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  2. Wow Kris, this spotlight is such an inspiration. I wasn't familiar with Anne before, but I'll definitely be following her now. Love her style and her attitude about life!

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    1. Thanks Jeanette. Anne is a special blogger that I have met and I am so happy to introduce her to all of you. Her story is so inspiring. Love that she came through hardship and now is craving out a new life for herself. Look at what a beautiful and creative life she is making for herself. She is my hero. Thanks for leaving this sweet comment for her.
      Kris

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  3. WOW......I am so impressed!!! Good for you......what an inspiration!!!

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  4. Anne, I've been following your house transformation for awhile now and have marveled at what you have achieved on your own, but seeing it all laid out here this way makes me admire you even more. You should be very proud of yourself... it's not easy to take on so many new challenges. I really enjoyed getting to know a little more about the gorgeous girl behind the blog.

    Thanks Kris for another great Saturday Spotlight.

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  5. Absolutely wonderful, Anne! I love what you have done! I, too, am on my own and have ventured into the unknown world of learning how to do pretty much everything, you are giving me great motivation!

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    1. Hi Debbie,
      Anne is a great inspiration and I am so glad you found her inspiring. You go girl!!!
      Kris

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  6. anne, your downtown is so charming! and your painting is lovely! beautiful job on your lovely home:)

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  7. I found Anne's 'story' so inspiring! Love her gorgeous views, sweet kitties, and most of all her attitude! :)
    Susan

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  8. Kris, All I can think to say is Bravo Anne !!!! We women never give ourselves enough credit at times. When are backs are against the wall, we can come through with flying colors. Kris, she got a 100 year old door for $5.00...she must be your soul sister. xoxo, Susie

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    1. Ha Ha Susie. We door hoarders find each other!!!!!! Anne is such an inspiration to come out of a bad marriage and start her life over and to take on redoing a house all by herself. Anne is an example of what women can do when they put there mind to it. Thanks for leaving her this nice comment.
      Kris

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  9. Anne is one gutsy gal! I love her cottage and all the changes she has made!

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  10. I've been following Anne for some time now and she's a great inspiration to all of us DIYers. She has done an amazing job fixing up her lovely cottage. Way to go Anne!

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  11. Anne is amazingly talented and inspirational...and she's a fellow Canadian too! I've been following her for a few months and she never ceases to amaze me with her gutsy "get er done" spirit. She's also an incredibly talented artist - I just love her work! Her little spot outside the Rockies is such a quaint little Bavarian town - I've been there many times. Anne, you rock and congrats on this feature!
    Marie@InteriorFrugalista

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  12. I love \ann's new painting and her home is so full of inspiration and beautiful. Love the idea on buying sheets to convert into curtains.
    Sarah x

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  13. I have been following Anne for awhile and I knew she did the work herself, but didn't know how much work she had done.

    Wow! What a girl and her tool belt can do!

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  14. AMAZING amount of work ! I can Just Barely pound a nail or turn a screw...she's a heroine for sure! :0

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  15. Love, love, love Anne! She has been my DIY hero forever! Nice to see some of her awesome accomplishments and surroundings here! When you chose Anne for a feature.....you chose one great lady for sure!!

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  17. What a fabulous job you have done with your home. Wow, I am totally impressed. Good for you, go tackle the world. I love your spunk. Hugs, Marty

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  18. Anne is so incredibly talented, and she should be mighty proud of all that she's been able to accomplish herself. I'm in awe!! Anne has transformed her house into a charming and lovely home.
    Mary Alice

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  19. Anne is lucky to be surrounded by such beauty! I have enjoyed watching her transform her beautiful home!Thanks so much for sharing!
    xx
    Anne

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  20. Kris, thank you finding and spotlighting Anne. I love her attitude and creativity. She will go far with that combination. I will visit her blog.
    Christa

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  21. Kris - What an awesome look into Anne's life and home! Thanks so much for sharing this with us. She's really done a lot to her home and it looks great!!

    Judy

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  22. Hi Kris ... thanks for featuring Anne ... I follow her blog and she continues to surprise and inspire me. Happy to know more about her town.
    Blessings,
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

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  23. Thank you, thank you for sharing Anne's blog and lifestyle! It's so nice to see a single person highlighted. I've been single for a long time and I am so impressed by Anne's house and all that she's done.

    xo
    Pat

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  24. What an inspirational lady Anne is! I was so impressed with her story. She gives me the confidence to think twice about what I don't do out of fears. Her home is so charming and I like it even more knowing she did it all herself!

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  25. I've been following Anne for a while now. Her courage with and without power tools is truly inspiring. Haling from the suburbs of Chicago, I'm in awe of the scenic beauty she is surrounded by. It suits her perfectly. How nice that you featured her in your spotlight. I really enjoyed reading more about her.

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  26. Thank you all so much for your kind and sweet comments! I'm so pleased to meet you all! xox

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  27. Anne
    Your home is a breath of fresh air.
    I'm glad you stepped out and followed your dream,
    because your art works are beautiful!

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  28. Somewhere there is someone missing out on a wonderful lady who can put together a wonderful home. Their loss!

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  29. Anne is one amazing and inspiring woman!!! She is strong and has a great personality not to mention tons of talent. I love following her on her journeys. What a beautiful area to live in with so many gorgeous things to look at in nature. I am so glad you featured Anne, very well deserved!!!

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  30. Anne never ceases to amaze me, and I'm surprised to read that she hasn't always had the "can do" attitude that she now has. Her home is filled with hard work and love, and all of it was accomplished by Anne. Great feature. laurie

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  31. Anne is so inspiring. Not only talented, but I admire her spirit and spunk too!

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  32. Yay for you Anne - thank you for sharing your story and your home with us!

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  33. A great feature! I love Anne's home, so cozy and welcoming; plus that wonder women has put SO MUCH love and work into her place and it shows :)

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  34. Someone make that woman a cape! I love Anne, her wit and charm are what draw you in, then bam that fearless can do attitude keep you coming for more. She inspires me beyond words! xo

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  35. Your house looks amazine, Anne!!! You are such an inspiration!

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  36. Anne is one amazing woman, isn't she. I have followed and read her blog for a while now and I am continually amazed at what she tackles and accomplishes. Thank you so much for featuring her.
    Hugs, cindy

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  37. Liked the pantry cabinet work and eagerly waiting for the bottom door.
    quartz worktop

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