I apologize in advance for this very wordy and long-winded post. I promise to have more pretty pictures next time.
About 5 weeks ago I didn’t have a blog. I didn’t have a Facebook page for Finely Furbished. I didn’t have a business email. I had never edited pictures of my work or used Lightroom. I had never used Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint. I didn’t have a design plan for the dresser that eventually became Jenny.
But Shaunna West and her MMS Milk Paint Contest changed all that.
I was falling down the rabbit hole of furniture refurbishing blogland when I stumbled upon Perfectly Imperfect. I had been on her site a few times before, but this time I just couldn’t leave. I started soaking up all of her past projects and decided to add her to my bookmarks. (That’s how I follow blogs. I’m old fashioned like that.)
Well, the very next day she announced she was going to host a paint contest! The only rule was that you had to use Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint. Perfect! I had been wanting to try out some of her gorgeous colors anyway. The contest was set to start November 1st, which only gave me barely over a week to launch my business, set up a website, learn a new computer program, create and execute a styled photo shoot, and, oh yeah, paint a piece of furniture.
Did I mention that I also needed to feed and generally care for my one and three year old, and also somehow make two Halloween costumes? First world problems, right?
At first I wasn’t sure if it would even be possible to enter the contest, but with a little encouragement from the hubs, I decided to at least try. Worst case scenario: It would be good motivation to start launching my business. At the end of the week, I would hopefully have a painted dresser and, at least, a Facebook page. Best case, I might get a little exposure; maybe some people other than my closest friends and family would like what I do and want to see more.
So, what’s a girl to do when she needs to get something done and there aren’t enough hours in the day? Call in reinforcements, of course! This is what my week looked like:
- Friday my husband watched the kiddos so that I could make the 3 hour (round-trip) trek to the nearest MMSMP supplier.
- Saturday my mom came over so that I could get the piece prepped and ready for paint while hubby was at work.
- Sunday my husband went for a long walk with the girls so that I could start the first few layers before we headed out to a birthday party.
- Monday my stepmom drove over an hour from her place so I could put on some more layers.
- Tuesday my mother-in-law watched the girls so I could do the final touches. (Which ended up being two more layers of paint, but that’s a story for another day.)
- Wednesday I did the styling and photo shoot during nap time.
- Thursday I made costumes and then participated in Halloween merriment.
- Friday, after bedtime, and after a long week for both of us, my friend Amy let me use her computer and taught me how to use Lightroom.
And this was the end result:
I thought I couldn’t be any prouder.
And then Shaunna picked me to be in her Top 20! I was jumping-up-and-down excited. And then the votes started rolling in. And the Facebook likes. And the super, amazingly sweet comments from far-flung family, friends, and people I’ve never met.
And then I won!
You guys! I have been on a crazy high for this entire week. And I am so humbled by how much encouragement I’ve had. I can’t describe how amazing it feels to be getting such positive feedback after working on this little dream of mine in the shadows for so long. I feel like I’m on the right track, and I’m incredibly, incredibly grateful for the overwhelming support. Thank you so much!
And, I would like you to know that I was up against some fierce competition. There were some truly stunning pieces that I wish I could have in my own home. Some of the entries were submitted by bloggers I already follow and have been inspired by for awhile. Follow these links to see some amazing work:
http://www.oliverandrust.com/2013/05/another-before-and-after-chippy-chic.html http://www.lizmarieblog.com/2013/10/ikea-hack-bekvam-step-stool-makeover/ http://mypassionfordecor.blogspot.com/2013/10/typewriter-milk-paint-buffet.html http://shadesofblueinteriors.blogspot.com/2013/10/mms-milk-paint-in-ironstone-with-hemp.html http://melaniealexander.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/more-green/ http://sophiasdecor.blogspot.com/2013/01/kitchen-scale-ironstone-and-french.html http://littlecottageonthepond.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-little-table-who-could. http://littlecottageonthepond.blogspot.com/2012/09/once-more-into-milk-paint.html html http://staceyembracingchange.com/2013/10/08/my-harvest-table-and-my-new-lamp/ http://staceyembracingchange.com/2013/10/06/part-two-the-glorious-reward-of-stripping-a-dresser/ http://www.thegoldensycamore.com/2013/10/oh-chippy-goodness.html http://www.findingsilverpennies.com/2013/10/delphine-before-after.html http://frenchbluecottage.com/milk-paint-drop-front-secretary-before-and-after http://frenchbluecottage.com/milk-paint-vanity-before-and-after/ http://www.bluehydrangeafurniture.blogspot.com/2013/08/shutter-cabinet-my-1st-attempt-using.html http://eviemethugh.com/artissimo-dresser-side-table/ http://www.findingsilverpennies.com/2013/10/talia-wine-table-before-after.html http://www.somewhatquirkydesign.com/2013/11/miss-mustard-seed-milk-paint-custom-mix.html http://breidawithab.com/painting-with-miss-mustard-seed-milk-paint/
Again, thank you to everyone who voted! And thank you, Shaunna, for hosting the contest!
Oh, I almost forgot, here’s a link to Jenny’s album on my facebook page. There you’ll be able to see some before and in-process pictures as well as more after shots.