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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Where I Create (Where Bloggers CreateII)

With My love for Creating & Sharing, I have an equal love for anyone willing to share with me. I absolutely adore the Book/Magazine (Where Woman Create) I can't tell you how many times I go through it, and spot something new, I didn't catch the first or second time, as well as those amazing quotes, spaces and Oh those ladies, how they so Inspire me to give anything & everything a try, and make you believe you can do it, so grateful to Jo for her Wonderful gift of Hope,Inspiration & Encouragement.
Once i jumped into blogging, how so excited i was to come across Karen's (, So Charming, Creative, and when I saw she was hosting this Sharing Party of Bloggers with (Where Bloggers Create II) I just couldn't stand it, had to join in and so thankful for her willingness to share-encourage sharing, & Inspire so many of us (mostly me)...
If you haven't visited my blog before, My name is Karryann, my blog is Gracefully Vintage,
named after my passion for anything & everything vintage & my love for grace & style.

I have always loved old furniture, & after one time paying over $300 for a piece to be upholstered plus material  & cost of chair I realized I can never do that again. And so it began my hunt for old pieces I could practice on. Soon I had a garage full of projects, wingbacks, french arm chairs, ottomans, & slowly turned into side tables, dressers and so on until we could no longer park in garage.
With the encouragement of my husband I began to rent a small amount of space at a little shop, while i kept my Bookkeeping job on the side for safe keeping, then moved to more space loving it even more & finding along the way that what I truly loved most was, sharing what i was doing & how i did it, as well as creating something out of nothing. I was able to quit my Bookkeeping job to give more attention to what I really thrived off of which was seeing the transformation of a forgotten broken down piece into a beautiful shabby darling or seeing someones eyes light up when they grabbed an apron I made or found that one piece of furniture in that exact fabric they had been looking for- I just LOVE that.
After moving to  another shop where I got more space & allowed to work more with customers, all of which i just soaked up,  an opportunity came up for my own shop, and while I debated, I remembered the quotes I had read , one from Karen's own Blog about "Following your Bliss, and Doors will open where you did not think there would be doors", or "Make What you Love, What You Do",  or "Do what you love, and you will never work a day" and so with my husband & children's push (shove) I jumped into uncharted territory with my own little shoppe "Gracefully Vintage".

So here is my Creative Space (our front living room) you know the one, you never really use it, kind of there for looks only. Well I have so taken over ours. My amazing settee, that i left the way i bought it, wanting to keep the History with it. The vintage sewing machine, vintage frames and fresh flowers all of which draw me into that room. I wake up & walk down the stairs and can't wait to get started for the day. With the big windows that look out onto our front yard/court so I can peek out & watch over my kids as they play and I sew.
My husband built me the tall cabinet/shelf to hold my fabrics, and the hutch was for a computer- I painted it black, added the rods to hold all of my ribbons (that I love so much), & store my embroidery machine & extra sewing materials.

With some of the pieces i re-finish or re-upholster I just can't bare to part with them so they end up becoming a part of our home like this one, that now has fabric inside and on top of.

A friend of mine who is always so upbeat, encouraging, & inspiring gave me that sweet little dress form, and I love it. I keep it at home with me to use for measuring aprons or dry the crowns I make, it reminds me of her and her happy spirit, it makes me smile every time i walk into the room.

On that darling black armoire I have an old Vintage Frame i made into a Burlap Cork board (which i make & sell at my shoppe) and i really just love them, I also have an old antique glass top that was from a small antique table i did once, I added "gracefully vintage" to it and hung it as well. I just adore my little crowns-party hats, so they are usually all over the room, the shoppe or in the process of being made, I love the whimsy look they have and feel to each one.Loving all that glitters & sparkles these unfinished Crowns end up becoming part of my Creative Space. 

I also have pictures of my family all of whom are so encouraging & helpful and put up with my furniture everywhere-fabric left out-unplug my glue guns(when i forget) or straighten up for me while I am at the shoppe working.

Within this same room is my sewing desk (an old french desk i found) I fell in love with it & made it my sewing table, the legs the frame work all of it i just love, and of course i like those unique eclectic pieces so had to have my chair in cheetah fur.I had this thread holder attached to the side of hutch-next to sewing machine-so they wouldn't fall off, and be easy to grab.
Behind the desk is a vintage gun hutch (smaller version of the one at the shoppe), I store all of my trims for aprons-party hats-crowns in there as well as extra ribbon, bobbins.

The Yellow wingback was that first chair I paid so much money to have someone else re-upholster, so I guess you would say this is my
Biggest Inspiration piece- the one that caused me to start re-upholstering for our home and then for others, and it is where my husband or kids sit and talk with me while i sew.

On the other side of this small formal living room that is really only 12x8 is the walkway from the front door into our home- there rests my beautiful Buffet my husband bought me for our 11 anniversary.

The buffet is one of my favorite pieces- My husband encourages me everyday to do what I love, even if it means P&B and Jelly for dinner because I'm so busy with the shoppe or lets me blog until 11 pm- so when I look at that or use it, I am reminded how lucky I am.
Above it is my inspiration board, i made, it is tacked with cut outs of prints of pieces i would love to make, reminders, things given to me, a drawing my daughter drew me, & pictures.  I have all of my buttons-trims-lace-fur-pom poms -beads in glass jars on the top ,as well as the paper I use to make crowns & with some portraits of our children from a few years ago. The drawers are filled with extra staples-nails-for upholstery, plain buttons, Velcro, thread, piping, stamps i made, notes and more fabric.

At the end of that walkway-is our kitchen/dining room-and where an old antique vanity sits with a vintage dining chair, cork board & my dear laptop where I blog-email-or print. I have it right between the kitchen & dining room and next to our family room-so even when I'm working-blogging-emailing I am in the middle of what is going on in the house, with kids or husband. I can run to the dryer to get clothes out and back to work, or add to dishwasher and back to computer or get up to check on kids in pool or see what is so funny on T.V. as they all are laughing. Having it in the thick of our household allows for me to work at home and not be left out either.

OK so it may not look like a creative space-but this is a "part" of our garage & where i store all of my loves- my furniture-old frames-paint-lamps & so on. I can go out there & think of all of the things I want to make, or could make or hope to make or get started on. My heart truly pitter-patters at the thought of starting a new piece-whether it is a Cute Custom Crown, Frilly Apron or Upholstering a Chair.

My last place I create is my shoppe, I wanted my shoppe to be a place that I look forward to going, a place where i could be there all day, and be able to get work done. So I have everything I need there, my cricut machine, glue gun, tons of craft paper,trims,furs, ribbons-So many times I look up at the clock and it is time to go, the time passes so fast. It doesn't feel like work at all. I have this place where i go & get to share my love of furniture, fancy hostess aprons,painting furniture, making Crowns or Party Hats, taking personal requests or custom orders for sewing-painting-or upholstery or little girl parties and I know how lucky I am.
 My passion for creating, sharing has lead to my own little shoppe and an amazing world of blogging friends who I adore, and look forward to meeting  at each post, and I can only hope along the way at my shoppe, out in my front yard painting, or on my blog I can inspire or encourage another woman to follow what she loves, you never know where it will take you, But start with that Creative Space that makes you want to be Creative.

Don't Forget to go to My Desert Cottage's Blog and check out all the other Creative Spaces with the 2nd Annual Where Bloggers Create II Party.


  1. This post is so encouraging to me. I'm in the very beginning stages of putting myself out into the public eye and it's a little scary. My hubby is always encouraging too. Bless the men we both have that are so supportive of our hopes and dreams. Now just to get my to bring home a tattered chair like yours. ha ha...that's a long shot for me. Your hubby gets kudos for that act of kindness.

    You know what's even more fabulous is that you're in Sac! I fly to Fresno a couple times a year and have a few friends that live in Sac. So I will definitely get the opportunity to come see your shop one of these days. That makes me smile...

    Blessings to you and your family this weekend,

  2. Hi Karryann,

    Thanks so much for sharing so much of yourself in this post. Great way to get to know you and very encoraging for someone else also doing their own business! Husbands are great aren't they!?! Mine pushed me to 'Just do it' and start My Sweet Prints about 9mths ago and I haven't looked back.

    Look forward to getting to know you more via your blog.

    From a chilly winters night in Sydney,

  3. FAB creative space! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!


  4. Love, love, love this space your created! It's my type of place! Simply gorgeous ~ fit for a gorgeous lady who creates gorgeous things! Thanks so much for sharing! xo

  5. This is a great post. I'd love it if you'd come link up at my Home and Family Friday Linky Party.


  6. Sorry. That is

    Forgot the e in home in the comment above.

  7. This was amazing to read!!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your workspace at home and your "garage" photos made my heart pitter patter!!!! I'm in the beginning stages of your story ;) I've only recently started making over old treasures and have had 1 sale out of my "boutique" a.k.a. my garage ;) It really IS an amazing feeling to see people fall in love with something you've done. So glad you did this post, it was a pleasure getting to know you more ;) p.s. I'm inpired!

  8. Loved this post, Such an ispiration! I have been wanting to venture into re-doing my own furniture and started out on some things, really want to try my hand at upholstery. This is so encouraging to see others start from nothing and work their way up.

  9. Love my cricut machine, too. Your creative space is fabulous. so, enjoyed my visit with you. Enjoy the rest of the party.

  10. Thank you for sharing your story. It is so inspiring. It's wonderful how supportive your family is.

    It is my dream to someday open a shop, or at home business for all the things I like to create, repurpose or restore. This year my focus is on my own house, but eventually I will run out of rooms to renovate and I'd love to turn my attention to creating for others.

  11. Your creative space is terrific! LOVE< LOVE< LOVE the settee!
    WOW! How fun having a beach right there! Living in Arizona, I do not see too many beaches!
    Queen Bee Studio

  12. Sorry been away so long. So just spent the last hour catching up ! See my daughter beat me to it LOL I loved this post the most...My hubby as you know is very supportive and I feel truly blessed that he is the way he is....he even follows me on Networkedblogs! Gave me his last 10 so I could buy a goodie at the Flea Market today, and is always ready to go out on the hunt with me....we are lucky ladies!

  13. I am really glad you wrote all of that. I started doing the shabby chic thing around 2003 and in the area in which I lived ...well lets just say they are hardworking, farmers who didn't "get" me refurbishing their old "junk"

    I made the most amazing things by hand the things you can now buy. Chandeliers, pink dressers with rosettes tons of stuff. I sat out in the rain and cold at the largest market and people would come by and say "oh isnt this beautiful" and never buy it. I ended up having to sell off all my inventory at garage sales at garage sale prices... I was so disheartened.

    NOW i see on the blogs, a lady in the area once lived refurbishes stuff out of her house and she can't keep up with it. I was too early for the area or that area has taken years to catch up. I have moved on to another part of the country and want to do the same stuff again but am extremely freaked out to start over for fear of rejection.

    I put my heart and soul into what I was doing.

    I think I need to read your post over and over and over, it was so encouraging. It actually makes me want to cry...

    I posted that bedroom I was telling you about and you can look at the ceilings. They are just boards laid beside each other.

    Thanks for posting this post.

  14. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! It is very fabulous!

  15. I love your space that you have created, it's just fabulous!!! Thanks so much for sharing it. Blessings~~~Daphne

  16. Your space is beautiful, it looks like it gets a lot of natural light:) I wish I could sew:( Maybe someday!

    Thank you for sharing your lovely space!

  17. Such a FaBuLOuS place to create! Thank you for inviting us in to take a look around. Come by when you get a chance to visit my creative space.

    Creative Blessings,

  18. Love your creative space....just beautiful!

  19. What a beautiful and creative place to find inspiration! I could stay there all day! You did a wonderful job!
    Best wishes,

  20. What an amazing space you have created! You have inspired me to add to my own crafting area.

    I adore all of your storage solutions.

  21. Your space is so beautiful. You have truly created a happy space for creating. I love that you are right in the center of your home, creating and going about the business of working, being a mom and a wife. How cool is that! Your talent shines in the pieces you have done. I think you must really enjoy what you do as it just shines through all your comments. Thanks for sharing.


  22. I really enjoyed reading about how you started your business. Your studio is gorgeous and I love the cabinet your hubby built for you. I can tell you really enjoy life and have a great personality.

  23. Ooh, that is a gorgeous space! I'm looking around my office right now trying to imagine how to do the exact same thing, albeit with much, MUCH less space!

    LambAround’s latest post: A Flower Delivery MYSTERY

  24. My Dear Karryann...

    Thank you for showing us snippets of your precious home! I have been waiting. Your creative space is something that would have been perfect for "Mary Engelbreit" magazine. May it rest in peace:( Seriously, I love it.

    Can I come shop in your garage??


  25. Also, I forgot to say, what a blessing it is to follow your dream and what a blessing your husband is, but you already know that.

    Keep reaching cuz you have talent girl!!

  26. Oh, gorgeous creative space! How lovely for you! Just came over from Daisy Pink Cupcake, your tablescape is gorgeous and I am happy to be your newest follower! XO!

  27. Love your stuff. Your furniture is wonderful. Thanks for the tour!

  28. First of all, it sounds like you have a fantastically supportive husband. I love your space - love what you did with the cabinet and ribbons storage. You've created such a wonderfully charming space.

  29. Karryann, I hope you take this the way it was intended but... I"M SO PROUD OF YOU! Way to go girl! It is sooo scary to take a leap of faith like you took, but the rewards can be so HUGE!! I love hearing about support husbands. There aren't enough of them in this world, but I think we have more than outr share in Blogland! Your creative spaces are just wonderful an d I wish I could come visit your shop! Thank you so much for being a part of this event. I enjoyed my visit here so much!!
    My Desert Cottage

  30. I love your space and your style! Also loved this post. Congrats on your store and doing what you love...very inspirational.

  31. You have an adorable "living room." Such beautiful appointments and all so functional.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I feel humbled by all this beauty that surrounds you. You asked if oiling your sewing machine helps. I read my manual and it said to oil at least once a year, more often if you use it a lot. I just did what the book recommended and oiled in the places it showed. I know mine was dirty and that was the biggest plus. Getting all that fuzz out of the bobbin holder was probably as important as oiling it. Hope that helped.

  32. Oh My, you all are so kind, Every Comment means so much to me, & you can't imagine how important each one is, or how it impacts my day.. Love You All. Karen I hope you now what a great thing your doing is.I LOVE seeing everyones spaces, I LOVE meeting all of these inspiring woman-woman I hope to be like, woman I hope to Inspire..
    If i could by stock in Blog- I so would.
    xoxo Karryann

  33. You make me want to go paint something since I have been reading through all of your blog posts. I wish you lots and lots of luck with your new shoppe. Your space at home is lovely too. I love the desk. I have one in storage that I painted the top pale green and the rest white - beautiful. I miss it.

  34. What a fun way to use a little used place in your home! I would love walking down and seeing that every morning, too!

  35. I just love your shop. What wonderful spaces to be creative in.

    I have an award for you on my blog.

  36. Totally terrific space and I love the work that you do...TFS!

  37. How awesome...wish I was creative enough to redo may be my inspiration to give it a try sometime!

  38. You have a delightfully enchanting creative space, sweetpea! I'm trying to get around to everyone and it's taking a great deal of time but at least I'm here. Squeeeeeeeeal!!! Nice to meet ya, chick.

  39. Great use of space! Loving that settee!

  40. great space-and that you found a way to do what you love! have a wingback chair i got at an estate sale to do the same thing to-but chickened out. now i let the dogs lay on it-and will one day re-do it for me :)

  41. Great space you have. Love the garage and shop too. Love your repurposed furniture. So great you have the support of your hubby and family. That is wonderful. I will have to come up and visit your shoppe. Thank you for sharing and I enjoyed all your lovely treasures..

  42. Greetings my Graceful Friend! Needle and thread and so much more fills your studio. Sigh. How I wish to sew like you. Glad we are friends. Thank you for your sweet sentiments and blessings Eden

  43. Thanks so much for sharing your studio. You have me thinking about my livingroom that seldom gets used. Wait till my Beloved finds out about this New idea! I'm on the verge of launching a business so things are busy around here too. It's so nice to meet you.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  44. I love your studio/craft room!
    Thanks for sharing such inspirational photos!


  45. Hi Karryann, WOW & WOW!!! I have enjoyed my visit here. Your creative space is totally amazing, just gorgeous. I love, love your beautiful shop also. You are a lucky girl!!! Happy Creating, sweetie.

  46. Great story! Great space too. My daughter makes a very nice living painting furniture. We have recently begun discussing the possibility of trying our hand at upholstery.

  47. Wow, good for you being able to do what you love! I love your spaces! You've really used that black armoire to its fullest potential. Love the dress form and your crowns. Thanks for sharing your spaces!

  48. Love your storage solutions...your space is fabulous and inspiring! Thanks so much for sharing a glimpse of your wonderful space:)

  49. Congrats on the success of your business. I love the yellow walls and black accents in your first space. I'd love to pilfer through that garage, looks like great finds in there. Thank you for sharing your inspiration and encouragement.

  50. Your space looks like it belongs i a book or magazine itself. I dream of a space as amazing as that. Thank you for sharing...i got some great ideas too (this is one of my next projects).

  51. Wonderful studio! Thanks for the tour. Connie

  52. Such an Oasis you have created! Love the dark wood floors next to the white coffee table. Soo pretty!

  53. love your studio and will certiantly add you to my visit list thankyou for sharing your studio also love the story of you and your husband

  54. You have a perfect space to create in. I'd love to be closer to the family too, but my space is in the basement. Thank you so much for inviting us to visit.

  55. Love all your spaces, and your work is really interesting and inspering (I love painting on childrens furniture, and learning to sew). Thanks for sharing your space, it was treat to see.

  56. Good Morning,
    Oh, how I love your many pretty things to look at. I wish I could visit in person.

    Yes, I am still making my rounds through the participants in Karen's "Where Bloggers Create" event...and having a wonderful time. Thank you for sharing your creative space with us. ~Natalie

  57. I love your space and your blog..

  58. Love, love your space and your blog.

    Count me as your new fan. (smile)

    Julie x