a magic wand.

My sister, my niece and I were out shopping before Christmas and one of the items we came across was a magic wand for turning on the Christmas tree lights.  I have to admit that I kind of loved that idea.  In practice it was a little clunky though.  You had to actually push a button on the wand while waving it in the general direction of the tree to get the lights to come on and obviously the waving part was superfluous.  It wasn’t a real magic wand, but it did make a fun magical sound.


There was a lot of eye rolling taking place between my sis and my niece as I stood there admiring that magic wand.

But seriously, I could really use one.  Except I don’t need it to turn my Christmas tree lights off and on (although that would be handy because every time I lean in to plug in those lights I worry that I’m going to knock a fragile vintage ornament off the tree).

  What I really need is a magic wand for redecorating my house.  I have so many ideas rolling around in my head and only a very limited amount of time (and money) to execute them all.  If only I could wave my magic wand and have a ship lap wall in my bedroom, or wave my wand and have my bathroom repainted in the charcoal grey that I originally wanted instead of the dark greenish gray that I ended up with.  Or wave my wand and have my yellowing maple floors refinished.

But no, we all know it doesn’t work that way.  Unless of course you have an unlimited budget and can pay someone else to do the work for you while you spend a day at the spa.  I assume it goes without saying that I do not fall into that category.

I’ve often written about how much I enjoy blogging, but there is one aspect to it that I find difficult and that is my compulsion to compare my home to other bloggers out there and find it lacking.  Between a full time job, writing a blog (or two if I count the Reclaiming Beautiful blog) and painting furniture there is very little time left over for redecorating my home.

I really struggled with that this year as I was trying to take photos for a “holiday tour” of my house.  I felt like none of the photos were quite good enough.  All I can see as I look around are the projects that I haven’t had time for.  I do OK with a staged shot of a particular spot …

But trying to get a good photo of an entire room escapes me.


In the end I gave up on the idea of a full on Christmas ‘tour’ of my house.

So for now I’ve decided to cut myself some slack and go back to focusing on what I’m good at, and that’s painting furniture.

What I love about painting a piece of furniture is that I can generally go from conception to completion in about a week.  That’s about perfect for me.

pink vanity angle

I can stage a piece of furniture in any style that currently appeals to me, take some lovely photos of it, and then cross it off my list as ‘done’.  I’m a big fan of crossing things off the to-do list.

wash stand 3

So coming up in the new year on q is for quandie, expect to see more furniture transformations and don’t hold your breath waiting for home improvement projects.  Deal?

43 thoughts on “a magic wand.

  1. Someone is being very hard on themselves. I’m sure I speak for many of us in your blog world. You are a person we all admire and look to for inspiration. Love that you share what your good at and that is both painting furniture and decorating. i.e. YUM Coffee and those old clocks.


  2. As I get older I’m much more willing to take a look at what I’m best at and give the rest of it away. Sounds like you’ve been doing some end of the year reflection. I LOVE your furniture and if I live closer to Minneapolis several of your pieces would be in my house. You are also so great at sharing the details so a wanna be painter like me could take on a painting project myself. Keep up the good work!!! I love your blog.



    1. I like that concept Rhonda, being “willing to take a look at what I’m best at and give the rest of it away.” I think that is what I’ve been doing without really being able to articulate it as well as you did.


  3. I so enjoy your posts because your photos show authenticity. Many of the home tours only show the power of their credit cards. Yep, they can put the perfect Pottery Barn accessory on the perfect Wayfair table, but where’s the soul? I would much rather visit YOUR home. Hope you’ll invite us in someday! Barbara in Como Park


    1. One year I did give tours during my sale. My friend’s 10 year old daughter took people around for a dollar. She got to keep the proceeds. I may have to try that again 😉


  4. About that magic wand. I actually bought one and gave it to my daughter (grandkids). They loved it but mom had issues with them turning the lights off and on, which I kind of understand, so they had to work out some rules. I may have to check the after Christmas sales and buy one for myself. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if it did much more than turn your lights on. The possibilities are endless. I did miss the tour of home this year. I get what your saying but when we look at the pictures we see what you have done. Only you see what you want to do. So remember when you look at those beautiful pictures on Pinterest I’m pretty sure those people have a “to do” list too. Happy New Year!


    1. I bet those kids had a great time with that wand! I saw them at Bachman’s, but they put their Christmas stuff at 75% off a week ago so there may not be any left. And you are so right about the ‘to do’ list, I’m sure everybody has one!


  5. Your house always looks pulled together…but to someone with as many ideas you have floating around in your head, I’m sure it’s hard to pace your talents to your available time and funds. You do such a great job on furniture…that alone is more than enough!!!


  6. Hi Linda, weighing in on the ‘to do’ list versus the ‘what I can do’ list – first, the furniture painting you do is really inspiring. Second, the home projects will always be there and by the time you do them, you will have changed your direction many times – so look at the bright side, you still have time to decide on the ‘final’ finished look. And, really, really your house is wonderful just the way it is. A home is supposed to be where we find our joy and comfort, not a magazine photo. As one of your loyal followers I am looking forward to all your painting projects, bring them on! Just a side note, I have been retired 2 years and still haven’t painted the kitchen cabinets that were supposed to be my first project…


    1. Ha, that is so true Laura! By the time I get to a project I realize that I no longer want that look! I hear you on those kitchen cabinets, that project can be a bear. I hope you find the time for them this year 😉


  7. I love your furniture makeovers! They are an inspiration to a lot of us! You have a gift. Thank you for sharing your gifts and talents with the rest of us😀


  8. You are enough. We all are enough. If only we could give ourselves a break as easily as we give others. 🙂 All you young decorators/junkers out there, I didn’t find ‘enough’ spare time for all my projects until I retired, and even now I have to pick and choose what matters most with the time and $s I have. Thanks for all you share with us, Quandie — it’s all good!


  9. I shop for myself as little as possible due to my profession as a designer, where I am shopping nonstop for clients. I am grateful to be able to do so – just saying I do not frequent stores as much as I shop online in search a particular item. I have never seen one of those wands and how fun is that!
    I totally agree with Andrea about your home it speaks volumes about the folks who live there personality abounds. Everyone always wants to tweak a few things. Did I mention I have a crystal ball and I do see that shiplap wall in your future!


  10. I read many blogs and I have to say you are one of my favorites. I hate painting furniture, but love painted furniture! I love your home! It is much more “me” than any of the “Pottery Barn” decorators. I look at these blogs and I see so many similar items in each of the houses. A white sheepskin type rug, the same chairs from Wayfair, and on and on. I also see many ladies going for the same exact look as one of the other bloggers I read. In fact one day I thought I was looking at her home and it happened to be someone who had copied her look so much that you could not tell the difference! You are a great decorator and I love everything you do! I love that your home reflects you! I really love your barn (carriage house) and your home in general. I look forward to your posts, and hope to one day make it to your part of the world and maybe even come to your carriage house sale! We all have “to do” lists, and they are not ever really done, because by the time you are done it is time to start over! 🙂
    Keep up the good work! YOU ARE AMAZING!


    1. I’ve always said that exact thing about decorating, by the time you are “done” it’s time to start over. I think the TV shows like Fixer Upper give us this false sense that you can re-do your entire house in less than an hour (don’t get me wrong, I love that show and think Joanna Gaines is amazing). But in reality there are very few of us who can revamp our entire home in one go, and all in one style. I also think I needed a slap upside the head to remind myself that I don’t need to be like everyone in blogland. Thank you for that Shelly!


  11. What I enjoy most about your blog is how reflective of the true you that it is. Your readers who say that they really admire and enjoy your blog can take comfort in the knowledge that your blog is really an accurate reflection of who you are. In fact, I believe I know you better by reading your blog. It’s our quality time together that Real Life doesn’t always afford. That is one of the reasons I don’t mind that you spend so much time at your computer. Plus, I’m sure they can imagine from your blog just how much fun it is to live with you!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Mrs. Linda! (I’m a teacher, so calling other people by a surname seems normal) I too have very little time but thought it neccessary to take the time and comment today. I find your home drool worthy, when I come and pick up a piece of furniture, I don’t want to leave, I want to stay and inspect every last detail so as though it may stay in my brain and possible rub off in my own home. I think even Joanna Gaines would admire your home and possibly “steal” some great inspiration from the creative ways you have displayed and created a magazine worthy home. We all have things we would like to do “some day” that’s what makes our homes fabulous as we keep looking to create new magic and change it up ever so often. I think your home is one of my all time favorite homes, it’s a perfect balance of livable, an interesting display of beautiful pieces but no collections and it’s not cluttered so many homes take a design overboard and it’s too busy, your home is eye appealing without being brain overload like one of those find Waldo picture books. My daughters and I have pulled in your driveway and just sat and starred at the outside of your home, we collectively all love your fountain. So my friend, no need to compare or think the grass is greener any where because your house is fab!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh Nikkii! That amazing comment brought a tear to my eye. You are so, so sweet to have taken the time to leave it for me. Thank you so much! I think my favorite word in your comment is the word ‘livable’ because my house indeed has to be livable. It’s small enough that we don’t have any ‘extra’ rooms that can be just for show. All of the space in our house has to be functional. Sometimes it really is difficult to balance function and beauty, so thank you for letting me know that I’m getting that right🙂


  13. Thanks for the reminder to focus on the positives and not the negatives! I love your painting and staging and always find it inspiring as well original.
    Happy New Year and keep up your good work.


  14. You are much too hard on yourself. You do beautiful work and write a great blog. You need to pat yourself on the back as a job well done!


  15. HI,
    Like many others, I too really like what you do. I was thinking earlier this week, that I don’t know how you do a day job and furniture and then blog and have time to talk to your husband too. Then I open your post and there you are wondering….Personally, I think that the details are what I like to read about. A big picture of a whole home is great, but what I really notice is a small piece. That is what catches my eye. I will never redo a whole room, but I can spend two l-o-n-g days rehabing a 100 year old gold plaster frame that was missing half the pattern on the entire right side, and I was ready to quit, and then I finished, and was amazed, you can’t even tell it was repaired. I have it on “my gallery wall in the hall”, (which in a 1200 sq ft home is not at all what it sounds like) and it is just one item that others might not even care about, but it makes me love my wall. So hats off to your “vignettes”, which are more than the whole to me!


    1. I bet that gold plaster frame turned out beautifully! You make a great point Mary. Now that I think about it, I bet the ‘vignettes’ are easier for people to take ideas away from and use in their own homes.


  16. Such a timely post! I decided on Christmas night to sit down and do a home inventory. BIG MISTAKE! I got so depressed!! It made me not want to do anything. I finally decided to invest my time, money and energy in the rooms I spend the most time. For me, that’s the living room and bedroom (although I’m technically sleeping). I’m a task master as well, so I think this will help me feel like I’ve accomplished something.
    Even though I don’t always take time to comment, I want you to know your posts always leave me with a laugh, inspiration or eye candy…usually all three. Keep being you!


  17. You have a beautiful home that’s authentic, original and really you and that’s something to be proud of. Nothing (or nobody) is perfect but wouldn’t life be boring if it were?
    I think it’s pretty amazing you are able to combine a fulltime job with painting furniture and blogging and you even manage to have a private life. But I’m glad you do because I would miss your blogposts a lot.
    Best wishes for 2017…


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