It’s Q & A day! And I decided to answer your questions in a video.
I’m a Chatty Cathy, so the video is pretty long. If you don’t have the patience or desire to sit through the whole thing, you can find the questions that I answered listed below the video, as well as the time marker in the video where I answer each question.
Unfortunately, I accidentally skipped two questions, and then I had some late additions. So I’ve written the answers to those questions in the post below.
Having trouble seeing that video? You can click here to watch it on YouTube.
In the video above, I cover the following topics:
- 00:40 – When you were young and thinking about you would do as a career, what was it, and how did you arrive at what you do now?
- 03:30 – What did Matt do before he became handicapped, and does he have a career now?
- 06:55 – Updates on Cooper, Peeve, and Felicity Smoke.
- 10:17 – How do you like the new carport?
- 11:00 – What/where would you recommend doing/going in Texas?
- 10:40 – What is in Matt’s game room?
- 15:50 – What project have you done that makes you smile the most?
- 17:50 – Tell us how you and Matt work together. I’m guessing Matt does some work for your business, but what else does he do?
- 19:40 – How do you and Matt remain so positive while dealing with M.S.?
- 22:15 – How involved is Matt with your business? Does he have his own work?
- 24:00 – What is your history with Matt? Where did you and Matt meet?
- 27:20 – What was your original profession?
- 28:30 – Why did you go to Turkey?
- 30:15 – How is the keto diet going?
- 35:00 – How do you so efficiently make decisions, in spite of imperfect choices, and just move on with your project?
- 38:40 – Which product do you use for filling cracks and nail holes?
- 42:00 – What was your first ever big scale building project and who taught you woodworking skills?
- 49:00 – Info about my blogging career.
- 56:30 – What resources do you recommend to get from greenhand to your level [with DIY]?
- 58:10 – I’ve noticed that you seem to say “artwork” instead of “art” exclusively. Is there a reason?
Phew! That’s a lot of rambling! 😀 But I accidentally skipped over a couple of questions, and then had some late additions. So I’ll answer those here…
I would really like to know how you became so talented. You can basically do EVERYTHING. Did you grow up with a family of DIYers?
I answered the last part of that question in the video (around 42:00), but let me just say something about talent.
I don’t believe that talent is something that we’re born with. In fact, I think it’s so rare for someone to have innate talent in an area that we even have a special word for it. We call a person like that a “prodigy.” The very reason that prodigies are impressive is because they’re not the norm.
The rest of us have to actually work at things. Practice, practice, trial, error, practice, error, practice, error. But with enough practice, we’ll finally get it. Some of us may get it sooner than others, but we all have to put in the time.
But most of all, we have to be okay with mistakes. Without mistakes, you can’t learn. So many people are afraid of mistakes, and take it almost personally, as if making a mistake is a character flaw. So you have to reframe how you look at mistakes. Mistakes are amazing learning tools.
So how did I become so talented? I tried lots of different things that interested me, I made a ton of mistakes, and I didn’t give up. (Anyone remember the big pile of crown molding scraps I created when I was learning how to install crown molding during my kitchen remodel? It was so frustrating, but I stuck with it, and now I can cut and install crown molding with no problem. Those mistakes helped me learn all of the ways that don’t work, until I finally found the way that DOES work. 😀 )
Do you consult Matt on decisions when you waver between two or more ideas or do you keep questions like that to us?
When it comes to design decisions (i.e., things that affect the structural design of our house, like adding on a carport, or putting a doorway in a load-bearing wall, or adding on to the house), I always consult Matt first and see if he has any strong opinions one way or another. If not, then I take the question to the blog.
When it comes to decorating decisions (i.e., this color or that one, this fabric or that one), I almost always bypass Matt and bring it right to the blog.
Matt has made it clear over our almost-17 years of marriage that our houses are mine to do with as I please. And generally when I ask a decorating question, his response is either, “Whatever you want is fine,” or, “I doesn’t matter to me.”
While Matt loves to see the things that I create, and he’s definitely my biggest cheerleader, he has zero interest in the actual process of decorating or the decisions that go into it.
What do you use to take care of your hands? Wood, sandpaper, paints, solvents, cement, glues, etc., have to do a number on your hands and nails.
I don’t do anything special. I’m not particularly fond of special products for skin, face, hands, etc., because most of them contain chemicals that I can’t pronounce and don’t sound natural. So I keep it simple.
If I’m using oil-based products (stain, poly), I try to remember to wear gloves. For everything else, I just clean up with soap and water, and then if my hands are looking a little dry, I use some coconut oil to moisturize.
Now my fingernails are another story. 😀 Let’s just say that manicures would be wasted on me, so my fingernails almost always look tragic.
How do you stay so motivated day after day? Do you ever have days that your body hurts and it’s a struggle to get out of bed?
I don’t really have days when my body hurts so much that I don’t want to get out of bed, but I do have days when I don’t want to work.
But over the years, I’ve learned to give myself flexibility in what I work on from day to day, and that generally keeps me going. I may wake up one morning and not feel at all like I want to install window trim, but it’s rare for me to feel like I don’t want to do anything at all, unless I’m just feeling exhausted and need a day to rest.
My creative brain needs to be fed on an almost-daily basis, and so there’s almost always a project of some sort that I can find that needs to be done that will keep me interested for the day and keep me moving forward.
Now that’s not to say that it’s just all fun all the time. There are certainly those days when I don’t want to install the trim, but it absolutely needs to be done. In those cases, I generally try motivate myself with a fun and creative project after the not-so-fun work is done.
So right now, the trim in the back entry of the studio still needs to be finished. For some reason, I’m dreading it, and having a hard time making myself do it. But yesterday I told myself that if I just get it done, then I can spend some time on a fun art project for the walls in the back entry. Getting the not-so-fun projects out of the way so that I can get to the fun stuff generally motivates me to get it done.
How do you handle housekeeping and cooking along with all the work you do on your house and writing your blog? Do you ever take time for yourself?
Housekeeping is one of the things my brother helps me with. 🙂 (I talk more about my brother in the video around 22:15.) He comes every Sunday and cleans, so that’s one big thing off my plate.
As far as cooking goes, Matt and I generally do intermittent fasting with one meal a day. That makes it soooo much easier and frees up so much time for me. I cook one meal a day (and often a very simple meal), and that’s all the time I spend in the kitchen. Back when we were eating two or three meals a day, it was so discouraging to me how much of my time was spent cooking and eating every day. If for no other reason, I love intermittent fasting just for the amount of time it frees up every day. (Of course, there are health benefits as well. 🙂 )
And as far as taking time for myself, I try to do that every day. At the end of almost every day, I head to Sonic, where I order a tea and sit in my car for about 30-45 minutes while listening to an enjoyable podcast and scrolling through Instagram.
It’s a small thing, but it’s invaluable to me. I spend my days thinking about and working on projects, editing pictures and writing blog posts, taking care of Matt, taking care of my pets, etc., so those 30-45 minutes at the end of every day are when I can get away by myself, turn off my brain, know that I won’t be asked to do anything or help with anything, and just be. It’s a small thing, but it’s necessary for me.
And that’s it! Thanks for the questions, y’all! I had fun answering them, and hopefully y’all got a little more insight into my life and the blogger behind the blog. 🙂