What’s Holding Us Back



I’ve been putting off this post for a long time. I probably should have written it three years ago. But, each time, I thought to myself, “I don’t want to write about negativity on my blog. I want this to be a positive and empowering space for people (especially women) to be inspired to pick up a power tool and/or complete that DIY project they’ve been putting off.”


This past week I witnessed and endured something that made my blood boil. Supposed DIY experts belittling women. Most of the behavior wasn’t blatant, it was subtle. Some of it was body language (crossed arms, wide leg stance and a scowl while being asked a question.) And some of it was not so subtle with a condescending comment or tone. And this behavior made me mad. No—take that back—it burned me up inside!

Why? Because I have a dream that one day when any woman walks into a hardware store or a home improvement store it will NOT BE ASSUMED that she isn’t handy or that she is incapable of completing a major home renovation or repair. I dream that there will be a day that the stereotypes about women and men will cease to exist. And I know that any woman that is belittled or turned away from DIY is one less step toward my dream.

lumber_in_acadiaSandra of SawdustGirl.com and myself

Therefore, I think it’s time to address that big fat wall that’s holding us back. What is it that scares you about DIY? Is it the fear of a power tool? The fear of screwing something up?  Of injuring yourself? Of breaking something?

Well, it’s time to break down that wall!

First, you need to peel back those layers and really address why you don’t think you can. Did you get messages from others that became part of your beliefs about your own abilities?

How was that wall built? Did it start when you were a child? Did your Dad or Mom tell you not to touch a tool for fear you might hurt yourself? Did your Uncle or neighbor laugh at you when they saw you trying to fix something? What was it? Usually that wall is a culmination of years of messages that get embedded into your brain, until you are stripped of the self confidence necessary to try something new.

Do any of these messages sound familiar:

  • “That’s a man’s job. Let a man do it.”
  • “You might break it.”
  • “You’re not strong enough.”
  • “Why don’t you hire a professional?”
  • “Here, let me help you with that.”
  • “Stand back, I’ll take care of it.”
  • “Don’t hurt yourself.”

Or was it a more subtle message from a professional or someone more experienced who threw a bunch of technical jargon at you making you feel confused or inferior.

I want to share with you some of the nasty comments I receive (especially on YouTube.) The comments are direct assaults on my self esteem and confidence. After reading them, I often begin to doubt my own abilities. Here are just a few of those nasty comments:

  • You really should remove your power tool tutorials. Some idiot is going to seriously hurt themselves.
  • What she is saying is completely wrong esp the part about wetting the caulk but at least she is trying.
  • Woman, you do it wrong
  • Get back in the kitchen where you belong.
  • Women shouldn’t use MAN tools. There is a reason god made you bare children and born with a frying pan in your hand.. This is the same as being a lesbian in my book seeing a woman pick up a tool!

AND then this person left a reply to that last degrading comment:

“Hey dude with the negative comments toward women… disrespectful !  Why can’t a women use power tools?  She can do whatever she likes.  I think you are old school curmudgeon that is afraid of women, and in controlling what they do, that keeps you feeling like KING SHIT ON TURD ISLAND.  Newsflash – we’re in 2014 – get used to it loser!  I hope you are man enough to apologize to Brittany for your loser comments.”

I wanted to high five that commenter! He had it right. There are a lot of people who are threatened by women who can DIY. They view it as a threat to their masculinity. Heaven forbid a woman realize that using a power tool or fixing something isn’t rocket science.

Let me be the first to tell you. You CAN do it! That wall of negative and self-deprecating messages is going to come down NOW! No offense to anyone who is a plumber or knows a plumber, but I sincerely doubt that you have any less brain cells than that guy who’s mooning you while trying to fix your leaky sink. He just has a little more knowledge and experience at tightening slip nuts and p-traps (sorry, I didn’t mean to throw out the technical jargon.) However, when that plumber started, he had no more expertise than you do. He may have been trained in an apprenticeship or trade school But, lucky for you, today there is a wealth of resources to teach you how to fix anything! YouTube, Google, FamilyHandyman.com and many many many blogs that will help you complete a DIY project using step-by-step tutorials!


Still fearful of using a power tool? Well, here are the facts. If you are safety conscious, you will take the time to read the manual and go slow when learning how to use a new power tool. You will have less of a risk of injuring yourself than a seasoned pro. Why is that? I call it the healthy fear factor. If you respect the tool and have a healthy fear of it, you will double-check that you are keeping your hands and body away from the tool. You will be sure that your hair is tied back and you have removed any jewelry or loose clothing. You will not rush through a cut or task. You will give that tool your full attention and make sure that you are staying safe.

A few years ago one of my favorite contractors told me he had to retire. He had accidentally cut off one of his fingers. This is a man who had been building and fixing for decades! And he cut his finger off. How? He told me, “Brittany, I was stupid. I did not respect that tool and it bit me. I was rushing through a job and cut my finger off with an angle grinder. I’ve used that tool hundreds of times and was complacent and didn’t give it my full attention.” And that is why it is important to ALWAYS respect the tool. It’s okay to have a healthy fear of power tools! In fact, it is what will keep you safe.

I encourage you to take a hard look at that wall of negative attitudes about DIY.

Don’t let someone rob you of your self confidence. If you are reading this post, know that you are an intelligent human being who is capable of much more than you give yourself credit for. Grab that wall and pull it down. Believe in yourself and tackle that DIY project. I’m here if you have questions. I’m here to give you positive encouragement. Just think to yourself, “What Would Pretty Handy Girl say?” and build up a platform of positive thoughts and messages so you can dive off the top of that wall of crap!

What’s the worst that can happen if you do try to fix or build something? If you screw it up, so what! Call in that professional. But, stick right by his or her side and watch how they fix it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. AND hopefully they will keep their butt crack inside their pants. Should you succeed at the project, rejoice! Celebrate and share with your girlfriends. Let’s break down the stereotype wall together.


Feel free to leave a comment below about that time you were talked down to or someone made a condescending remark. Let’s all lift each other up and reassure one another that we can do it! High fives all around!


P.s. This post is dedicated to my blogging friend and fellow power tool wielding DIY Rock Star! You go girl! 

Why I’m NOT going to participate in Teacher Appreciation Week anymore!

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

Two weeks ago was Teacher Appreciation Week at my son’s school. Every year I have a bit of a knee jerk reaction to this week. Is it because I don’t appreciate my sons’ teachers and administrators? Definitely not true! I appreciate them more than I can ever show. It’s a joke in our house that if I homeschooled, we probably wouldn’t have children. We all need that time away. And, my kids are so head strong, that they learn much better from talented educators that don’t tuck them in bed at night.

So, why you ask do I have a knee jerk reaction? Let me explain. [Read more…]

An Interview with David Bromstad – HGTV Color Splash Host

David Bromstad painting

David Bromstad HGTV host

If I had to choose one HGTV host that I would like to meet in person, that would be a no-brainer. David Bromstad has always been my favorite designer with the transformation talent. With his “push the color envelope” attitude and ever present jovial (and often joking) nature, I think he’d be a blast to meet at a party or maybe collaborate on a DIY project for charity! (A handy girl can dream, right?) The other thing that gains David extra gold stars on my list of celebrities I’d like to meet, is the fact that he’s an artist too.

David Bromstad painting

I am in love with his short painting tutorials on Color Splash. He really knows how to empower others to try their hand at artistic expression.


You can imagine that I’d be super excited when I received an email asking if I wanted to interview David Bromstad. That email was replied to INSTANTLY! Of course I hoped it meant he was coming to Raleigh, NC and we’d have coffee together and chat. But, you know, that was a dream that didn’t happen this time. Instead, I interviewed David just before the holidays via a phone conversation.

Without further adoration and praise… I have with me (virtually) today: the one — the only — Color Splash host, David Bromstad! Jump on your couches, scream like the Beatles are playing at the Ed Sullivan theater and share my exuberance to have him on the blog today. [Read more…]

How to Pick Paint Colors with Lindsay {via Glidden Show Me How Video}


How to Pick Paint Colors

Do you know Lindsay? Makely Home Lindsay (the rockstar blogger formerly known as Living with Lindsay?!)

lindsay - Makely Home

The gal who is so bold with color that her playroom looks like this!

Makely Home Playroom

Well, I have the honor of saying that Lindsay is a friend of mine. But, she is also my idol when it comes to choosing colors. She literally has no fear when it comes to buying paint! When ever I find myself being too safe with color, I think to myself “What Would Lindsay Choose?” And this, my virtual friends, is how I push myself out of my comfort zone.

Glidden has partnered with Lindsay to create some really great Show Me How videos. Check out this short video to learn how Lindsay picks out her beautiful vibrant and daring colors for her home. It’s a great way to be sure before you paint:

If you’re still uncertain, you can try out your color by using this virtual room painter tool at Glidden’s Show Me How site.

Just remember, if you want to push yourself out of that builder’s beige comfort zone, ask yourself “What Would Lindsay Choose?” And you’re halfway done.

Get more tips, tricks and tutorials for your next painting project at Glidden’s new Show Me How website!


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Glidden brand paint. I was compensated for my time to write this post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Handy Girl Daily News: Vote, Shop & Save


I’m just dropping in to give you the Handy Girl Daily News…well, since this is the first one (and possibly the only one for 2013), maybe I should drop the “daily” word from the title. Anywho, just needed to make a few announcements:

OPC’s Better Half Before & After Contest Voting:

Remember when I donned my judge’s wig and judged a weekly Before & After contest?


Well, the weekly winners have all be chosen and now it’s the grand finale of One Project Closer’s annual Before & After contest! Voting starts tonight at 10 pm EST for the grand prize winner! All of the weekly winners will go against each other for the grand prize ($150 gift card). Voting will take place Thursday night (sept 26) at 10 pm EST through Sunday at midnight. You can vote once per day for your favorite.

You might recall that Kim from The Kim Six Fix was chosen by me for a weekly winner.

If you thought that was an amazing “after”, you should really check out all the other amazing Before & Afters and vote for your favorite.


Shop for a Good Cause:

I’m all about strong women. No matter the size (or age) I celebrate women who aren’t afraid to fight. I’d like you to meet Cami, she’s one tough little chica.


She beat cancer at age 4, but unfortunately she’s now battling it a second time. You can help Cami and her family by doing a little shopping at P.S. I Adore You this month. Hurry, there’s only two days left and she needs all the help she can get!

You can also help Cami (or possibly another child who needs a bone marrow transplant) by getting on the BeTheMatch donor list. It’s super easy, you just enter your information on the website and they send you a kit in the mail to do a cheek swab. Easy! Can you imagine if you were given the chance to save a child’s life? What if it was your child that needed saving? I hope you’ll take a few moments to sign up.

To read more about Cami and the fundraiser, visit my friend Shelley at House of Smiths.


Silhouette Discount Announcement:

Finally, I have big plans for November! I’m planning an entire month of DIY Cheapskate Gift Ideas you won’t want to miss. There will be tutorials all month long to help you keep more money in your pocket without being a grinch when it comes to gift giving.

One of the projects will be created using my Silhouette and the new glass etching kit.


If you have been waiting to purchase a Silhouette, now is the time to do it! If you purchase the Cameo (my favorite Silhouette machine), you save a whopping $69 on the machine and the glass etching kit ($30 off the machine and the etching kit for FREE!)

If you don’t have the budget for the Cameo, you can save even more on the Portrait. Save $89 on the machine and glass etching kit ($50 on the Silhouette Portrait AND  get that Glass Etching Kit for FREE!) You can’t beat this deal.

Visit Silhouette now and remember to use the promotional code: HANDY when checking out!

Okay, that’s all folks!


Disclosure: I receive a very small percentage of any sales made on Silhouette products when the promo code: HANDY is used. 

25 Dreamy Blue Paint Color Choices

The Lettered Cottage


It’s no secret that one of the quickest and least expensive ways to transform a room is with paint. Choosing the right color, however, can be tricky. It’s always recommended to paint some sample colors in the room you’ll be painting. Both natural and artificial lighting play huge roles in how the hues appear at different times of the day. After you’ve painted samples, see how they look in the morning light, afternoon and with ambient lighting in the evenings.

Many people lean towards neutrals for wall colors, but light blues and aquas bring in the airy tranquil feelings of the sky or surf. Be lulled into a peaceful tranquility by these 25 dreamy blue rooms. You’ll soon discover that these colors do anything but give you the ‘blues’.

Bedroom Beauties:

Young House Love

1. Valspar’s Carolina Inn Club Aqua at Young House Love
John and Sherry balanced the softness of the wall color with rich wood accents.



2. Benjamin Moore Tranquil Blue at  MosaicWorks.ca
In contrast to natural wood tones, this room simply uses white accessories to create a lovely retreat.


Kelly Moore Blue Green Gem

3. Kelly Moore Blue Green Gem at Centsational Girl
Gray and silver accents echo the wall color in a welcoming guest room.


[Read more…]

Why My Grandmother Would Love that I Wrote All Over Her Coffee Table



My grandmother wouldn’t mind that I painted and then wrote all over her coffee table. She was one of the most giving people you’ve ever met. She truly was the type of person that would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. I strive to live up to her legacy every day of my life.

She was also a very lucky lady. I mean lucky as in she could spot a four-leafed clover in a field of them. She was constantly finding money on the ground.


When I was living with her my freshman year in college, she made me do a U-turn on a street because she saw a five dollar bill in the middle of the road! She was a hoot and loved to make people laugh with her jokes or just dressing up as a bunny every Easter.


(That’s my sisters and me in the floral skirt.)

She also won several contests in her life. But, she rarely kept her winnings. One of the things she won was a solid construction coffee table. When I was moving into my first apartment, she gave it to me. We used it for years until my design tastes changed and I bought a new one. Grandma’s coffee table moved into our attic. It sat there for years, buried under bags and suitcases.

When the big tree fell on our house, we did some serious purging in the attic. I should have taken the coffee table to Goodwill or sold it at our yard sale. But, something made me keep it a little longer. [Read more…]

Haven and the GMC Habitat House Makeover 2013



My goodness, it has been a whirlwind week for me. I left on Wednesday to head down to Atlanta, GA with my good friend Holly (of Storywood Designs). We rode in the lap of luxury in a swanky new 2014 GMC Acadia Denali! (My boys were in love with the new SUV. Especially the bluetooth headphones that let them listen to another radio station as Mama belted out the lyrics to “Blurred Lines.” I can’t blame them, singing is the one skill I don’t have.)

I was sponsored by GMC at Haven and they let me borrow the vehicle for the week. It’s a good thing we had the Acadia with loads of cargo space, because neither of us travel light. We even brought our own furniture:

bellhopOur bellhop barely skipped a beat as he loaded furniture onto the cart with our luggage.
(photo courtesy of Holly)

Holly and I didn’t waste a moment. We checked into the Grande Hyatt in Atlanta, spread out our ScothBlue Heavy Duty Non-Slip drop cloths and started transforming furniture: [Read more…]

10 Dreamy Window Seat Inspiration Photos



I have a friend who is an interior design genius. She would beg to differ, but honestly she is brilliant when it comes to design decisions. This friend, (you know who you are, but if you need a hint…name starts with a “C” and rhymes with “Bear”,) was the visionary who created our kitchen floor plan for us. She was also the person who saw a window seat in our bay window. Magnifique! Adding a window seat to the bay window was a great way to free up floor space, add storage to the kitchen, and give us a cozy spot to sit and eat.

After the idea seed had been planted, I immediately scoured the web for window seat inspiration photos and these are some of my favorite (of the MANY more photos I found): [Read more…]

10 Tips for Surviving Springtime Allergies


My plane had no sooner touched down at Raleigh/Durham airport than I started sneezing my head off. We were back in the pollen bomb (what I call the abundance of pollen accumulation this time of year.)


My oldest son has severe pollen allergies. This time of year is usually miserable for the poor guy. Over the years we’ve gotten better at managing his symptoms. Besides some preventative prescription allergy medications (that we start before the pollen hits), we’ve also used some simple non-prescription remedies. I’m hoping that some of these tips might help ease your springtime allergy suffering, too.

10 Tips to Surviving Springtime Allergies [Read more…]



Sometimes there are no words and silence is golden.

From my Instagram feed Friday night. Click the photo if you wish to see the original and read my thoughts that night.

“By not talking too much about it. Silence is sometimes the best thing to do, holding a hand, hugging somebody.”
– Reverend Eugene Peterson, an except from this interview on Spiritual Strength in Times of Great Need



Pouring My Heart Out and Giving Back


This is going to be a pour my heart out post, so be prepared. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes of Pretty Handy Girl that you don’t get to see. I’ve been blogging for over two years now and I feel the need to share with you what makes me tick and why I blog.

Pretty Handsome Guy (my husband) and I were out to dinner the other night and he asked me what truly makes me happy. I thought about it and the usual answers came up: doing fun things with the kids, being outdoors, crafting, woodworking and creating things. But, what really fuels my “joy tank” is helping others and giving back. This is so core to my personality that it eats away at me when I can’t help.

When I started this blog, it was truly to be able to give back to people. To help all my friends and family and acquaintances that wanted my time and my help to show them how to complete their own DIY project. I was originally going to hold classes in my garage (per my good friend Renee’s suggestion.) But, you can thank Pretty Handsome Guy for suggesting that I start a blog to empower others. And believe me, every time I see how many people are reading my tutorials, I am blown away and realize that the blog was a good decision.

Last week I had one of the most emotionally draining weeks since the birth of my first son. I was tasked with choosing 4 finalists from over 250 entries into the Boost Your Roost contest. The stories and pictures that were sent to me left me in tears and frustrated that I could only choose four. The night that I finally submitted the finalists (after agonizing over how to whittle down all the people who I felt truly “NEEDED” the prize) I didn’t sleep very well. I was up for several hours trying to figure out how to make it happen for those who had a need and I knew wouldn’t receive. (It is still so hard for me to write this because I want to jump in my car and go help each and everyone of them. But, I can’t. I have a duty to my children as a mother and as a wife to my husband.)

This sleepless night had me thinking about how I could give back and how I could help others. What I realized is that I can’t do it alone. I also need help to complete my goals.

Mimi Collins, one of my fans on Facebook, helped me more than she realizes when she replied to one of my posts: ‎

“Never worry about numbers.
Help one person at a time,
and always start with the person nearest you.”

- Mother Teresa

I kept coming back to this quote and I found some peace realizing that if I could help one person at a time, that help may spread. And then I could move on to the next person.

What I’m trying to say is that occasionally I will be deviating from DIY tutorials in an effort to give back where there is a need.

Will you stick with me?

Can I count on your help?

I’m not asking for your help every time, but just to take a few minutes to read about someone who has touched my heart and whose story might touch you as well.

With this in mind, you may know my friend and fellow blogger Colleen. She’s known as Mural Maker to the blog world.

Colleen with Centsational Girl (Kate)

Colleen is a caring person and is truly a giver by nature. She and her husband each took care of their aging mothers on a 24/7 basis. They were forced to live separately while they cared for the women who raised them. They did spend as much time together as their lives allowed, especially while caring for their 4 year old grandson.

She and her husband Marlon were struggling to make ends meet after the thoughtless and fraudulent actions of one person turned their lives upside down. Just when they thought they had hit rock bottom, a glimmer of hope arose and it looked like there might be a way to erase (if that’s even possible) 20 years of literally paying for an erroneous paper filed with a goverment agency. While in the process of filling out mountains of paperwork to undo this “wrong”, Marlon began to make the first steps out of an extremely fragile financial situation.

Three weeks after he was starting to get his life back, Marlon developed an aortic tear (if you remember John Ritter’s sudden death, he was struck by the same medical condition.) Most people die instantly from an aortic tear, but not Marlon. He fought for his life and so did the surgeons. After several surgeries, he was in recovery but the damage was done and he slipped away peacefully.

Colleen was devastated, her husband was her rock and her best friend to lean on. He was her ever positive outlook guy . As she dealt with the blow of his death, she didn’t realize that the worst was yet to come. Soon after the funeral, the bills started to flood in. Medical bills from the surgeries and all the emergency room and ICU fees. Bills for the funeral. And their normal bills.

Amidst all the hands outreached for money, Colleen has one that presents a more pressing need. She suffered a debilitating back injury years ago, which still requires medical treatments so she can endure the pain. At this point, I think you understand that her need for  funds to pay the bills and just simply survive (until she can get back on her feet) are unimaginable.

Colleen would never ask for money for herself, but she has agreed to let me post these details of her life and help her set up a fund raiser.

A Friends of Colleen Jorgensen Fundraising Page has been set up with Rally.org (a unique site for helping people fund raise for their causes.) All the money raised will go directly to Colleen. Payments can be made with credit card or eCheck. And all your information and the amount you donated is kept private.

Update: Rally.org doesn’t have a Paypal payment option, but payments can be made by sending money to Colleen’s paypal account email: MM14biz (at) gmail.com (remove the spaces and use “@” instead of “at”.

As a special thank you (this is NOT a raffle or traditional giveaway), I have decided to chose one donor at random to receive a Pretty Handy Girl Basket. I’ve been collecting tools and all things Pretty Handy Girl for this basket. Because your donations mean so much (no matter how big or small), this is just a little incentive and a way to say thank you.

So, who’s with me? Can you help give back with a small donation?

Or can you help spread the word? Simply paste this code onto your sidebar (or in a post) to help spread the word:

Friends of Colleen Jorgensen Fundraiser

Note: If the above code doesn’t work in your blogging software, try removing the <div align…> and </div> tags from the code.

Your kindness will be rewarded in good karma. I definitely believe in karma, do you?

On the Radio and On Blogger Jealousy


Hey, this is just a quick little post to let you know a few things:

1. First, thanks for all your comments yesterday about my son being in the hospital. The stories you more experienced Mama’s had to tell about your own accident-prone kids really lightened my day. My son was released tonight and we are all back home and under one roof again. We’ll be laying low for the weekend and trying to keep him hydrated.

2. Do you wonder what I sound like? I was on Fave Craft Radio the other day with Amy from Mod Podge Rocks! Amy also interviewed Anna from Mochi Mochi Land and the dynamic duo Cathie & Steve from DIY Network’s Creative Juice. My interview comes on right after Cathie & Steve, so it was almost like I met them! I came sooo close.

Amy, Simone, and I had a blast talking crafts, makeup and Pinterest! Hear what my biggest Pinterest pet peeve is and what I secretly use Pinterest for.

3. I recently wrote a post for Crafterminds about Why You Need to Stop Comparing Yourself to Other Bloggers. This is a true “written from my heart” post that I hope will inspire bloggers to ease up on themselves and help curb jealousy.

TTFN (ta, ta, for now!)


What I Learned at Blissdom


Blissdom is the blogger conference to attend if you need to recharge your bloggy battery. The keynote speeches alone will send you home with enough juice to hit the keyboard typing for months!





  • Jon Acuff, Keynote Speaker at Blissdom 2012:


This year’s keynote speaker was Jon Acuff, the author of Quitter. His talk was truly inspiring! If you ever have a chance to hear him talk, it is well worth the effort to get there. Here are some of my favorite quotes from his speech:

“Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle!”

I can’t even begin to tell you how grand this statement is to a new (or not so new blogger.) Every single blogger started at 0 page views, 0 followers, and 0 readers. [Read more…]

Blissdom 2012 Recap and Photos from Nashville, TN


I’ve been mulling over this post in my head for several days now.. And although I love a good challenge, I’m pretty sure you don’t want to read through a book today. So, today I’m sharing some photos from Blissdom 2012. Stick around for the lessons I learned at Blissdom on Friday.

This year I drove to Nashville from North Carolina. Luckily I had some good bloggy buddies to keep me company along the journey:

Erin: Two Story Cottage, Sandra: Sawdust and Paper Scraps and yours truly.


At Blissdom, the best place to catch up and get to know other bloggers is through the meals! [Read more…]

Go Bold or Go Home! Show Your True Colors.


I am drawn to homes that have unique front door colors. I crave something beyond the normal white, black or burgundy. Give me a unique color that tells me something about its occupants! I love being able to say, we’re the only house on the street with the purple doors.

Our front door. Purple Honor 8906N by Duron

Cameron Park is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Raleigh. It is tucked between Oberlin & Hillsborough Street (two very busy roads). The houses are old and the trees are ancient. But, there seems to be an ongoing competition for the boldest and brightest front doors. I spent an hour just walking around the neighborhood snapping pictures of these louder than words portals.

I used a Sherwin Williams color deck to choose an approximate match for each door. If you are considering painting your door with any of these colors, be sure to paint a large sample on poster board and hold it up to your door first. Keep in mind, some of the colors may need two coats before you see the true color.

Chartreuse SW0073

Blue Peacock SW0064

Halfway between Danube SW6803 and Dignity SW6804

Slick Blue SW6949

Open Seas SW6500

Crabby Apple SW7592

Atmospheric SW6505

Aqua Tint SW6939

Indulgent SW6969

Bee SW6683

Swimming SW6764

Fabulous Grape SW6293

Cloudless SW6786

Lobelia SW6809

Honorable Blue SW6811

Copper Pot SW7709

Sapphire SW6963

Wild Currant SW7583

Ebbtide SW6493

Lantern Yellow SW6687

Nautilus SW6780

Lei Flower SW6613

And just in case you have a lust for the international palette, these are a few doors I spotted in the UK:

Frank Blue SW6987 – Obviously this door has a weathered look though.

Fine Wine SW6307

Blue Chip SW6959

Nifty Turquoise SW6941

Blue Blood SW6965

Heart Throb SW6866

Talk about WOW factor! I found this green door online HERE.

Outrageous Green SW6922

And if that isn’t enough to catch your attention, look what Allison Cosmos did to this door:

The Front Door eclectic entry

This is my all time favorite front door photo from The Impatient Gardener. Could you tell that I’m drawn to blues?

Blue Chip SW6959


Back at the Pretty Handy Girl abode, I am very particular about the colors in each of our rooms. I am a color nerd. Color evokes very strong emotions for me. When we paint the interior rooms of our home, I knew the exact color I wanted. But, it actually has more to do with the feeling the room should portray.

Our living room speaks of warmth and a comforting embrace (Wasabi Powder UL200-16 by Behr).

Our master bedroom must create serenity and peace (Tradewind SW6218).

Our kitchen greets me with a warm sunny disposition every morning (Shoreline 3006-6B by Valspar).

And the home office requires a neutral color so I can focus on color palettes for my graphic design clients and not my wall color. (Hot Spring Stones AC-31 by Benjamin Moore)

I hope you have been inspired! Now Go Bold or Go Home!

Sharing this post with Centsational Girl’s “Favorite Things in My Town

Inspired by Spring Flowers


Oh happy day! My spirits are being lifted by the showy flowers that are blooming outside my window. This post is for those of you that are still suffering through this brutal winter. My thoughts are with you often, and I hope these colors help brighten your day and let you know that Spring is on its way.

So, grab a warm drink or blanket and sit back for a few minutes of buds, blossoms and blooms.


When there is so much colorful artistry outside, I couldn’t help bringing a few inside.

I wish you had smell-o-vision. Those little white flowers on the left are called Daphne, and they have the most fragrantly sweet lemon scent.

I’m going to try to root some Daphne shortly after the flowers fade. Apparently that is the best time to snip them, add some rooting hormone, and stick them in a pot. Wish me luck!

I found this decanter set at Goodwill last week and they are the perfect size to hold a few daffodils at our table.

Does anyone else’s child have Staff & Teacher appreciation week coming up? Ours is this week, and I found an economical solution for the multitude of gifts I needed for each teacher, office staff, bus driver, etc. I’ll be sharing that with you later this week!

Words of Wisdom for Bloggers from Blissdom 2011

{Disclaimer: This post is a departure from my normal DIY tutorials.
If you are craving the usual familiar Pretty Handy Girl posts, you may want to leave now and come back when our regularly scheduled program returns.}

I arrived home from Nashville on Saturday. It was so wonderful seeing the smiling faces of my boys at the airport.

I had a week I will always remember. A week where I absorbed enough wisdom, information, and friendships to make my head swim. A week that made me need a 2 hour nap early Saturday evening.

A week where I met my sister in looks.

Me (aka PHG) and Cindy (My Cottage Love launching this summer)

And my sister in soul.

PHG and Sandra – Sawdust and Paper Scraps

And many more women who I can truly call a sister in spirit. (Unfortunately, they aren’t all pictured below. If I missed taking your picture, you know who you are!)

Marian, Kristen, Kim, Sandra, Layla, Erin, Ashley

In summary, this week was so inspiring to me, that I felt the need to share some of the pearls of wisdom I took away from Blissdom.

What is your intention, your purpose, your goal?

Write down your goal for blogging. YOU MUST HAVE A PURPOSE or you will be unable to stick with it for the long haul.

  • Blog for money and your account will run dry.
  • Blog for fame and you will find yourself alone.
  • Blog for attention and you will be ignored.

“If you can be yourself on your blog, then you will have no competition.” - The Nester

  • Don’t be someone you’re not on your blog.
  • Don’t copy anyone.
  • If you do use a photo, idea or portion of another blog, be sure to ask permission and definitely link back to their blog.

“Start as you mean to go on.” - Old British expression.

In other words, start your blog as if it will be a huge success. Be prepared to be BIG one day.

Be professional from the start. Set your intention and stick to it. Determine now if you want to share photos of your children or your real name.

“Post the Awesome! Don’t post mediocrity”Scott Stratten

We all feel the pressure to keep on a schedule, but don’t just post to post. If you aren’t feeling inspired, ignore the pressure to put something out there.

Lack of inspiration? Take a break, lay down, go for a walk, get outside, call a friend. Or take a longer hiatus to re-group your thoughts and find your intention again.

…you are responsible for your happiness and you are responsible for the energy you bring to everything.” - Oprah Winfrey

As a blog writer, it can be difficult to keep your spirits up. There are days when it seems that no one cares about you and your blog. Or worse yet, you receive a comment from a Troll.

About Trolls: 

   {a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response…} – Wikipedia

Emotional currency: “Let’s say we have $100 worth of emotional currency a day. Give it to people you care about, not to trolls. Don’t even give them a $1 of your emotional currency.” - Scott Stratten

Don’t whine, complain or post negativity on twitter, facebook or your blog. Think about it before you rant. “Would you put those words on a 30 ft. billboard for your mother to see?” - Scott Stratten

“Let them hate you because they fear your success and their lack of success.”- Scott Stratten

Make a short list (even if it is only one or two people) of people whose opinions you value above all others - Brené Brown, PhD

Taming the Green Eyed Monster:

It is so hard to read anyone’s blog without your eyes wandering over to the Google friend follower or feedburner counters. You may find yourself measuring your blog against theirs. Or, wondering what makes them better and able to have more followers, comments, advertisers, etc. etc.   

STOP! It is so important not to get sucked into feeling envious of your fellow bloggers. We all need to support one another and be happy and thrilled for another’s success. Those that have succeeded are only paving the road for the rest of us. 

If you do find yourself comparing. Turn your follower widgets off or hide them at the bottom of your blog. Pull out your blog intention statement and remind yourself why you are blogging.

Remember that no one reached 200,000 page views the first week they started blogging. Your blog will grow, give it time and recognize that it is a slow and steady incline if you stay true to your intent. But, also ask yourself, how will you measure the success of your blog? Refer back to your intention. 

Re-think what is important in your life. Is it your followers, stats, income and/or readership? Or is it your physical family and relationships that are concrete and there for you even if you stop blogging tomorrow? 

“Thank you for being a Friend that would Move a Body” - Brené Brown, PhD

We all need friends. But, as a blogger, we need good friends that also write blogs. Choose a network of blogging buddies that you can rely on:

  • as a sounding board
  • as someone to help you when you are stuck
  • as someone to help promote your blog
  • as someone who will be completely honest with you
  • as someone who will share information with you
  • as someone who will listen with a kind ear but won’t dish about you later

This is probably the most important thing I learned at Blissdom. The need to create a network of other bloggers.

This may seem a little daunting. I admit going to a blog conference can help immensely with networking. But, it isn’t mandatory. Email bloggers that have blogs similar to your own or that you admire. Email bloggers whose blogs are bigger and smaller than your own.

If you don’t get a response or the out-stretched hand, don’t sweat it. Just recognize that everyone is different and they may have their own support networks or just don’t have the time to invest in a good friendship. Don’t let it hurt your feelings.

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of networking with newer bloggers or those with less followers. You may be surprised what they can teach you.

Case in point: This wonderfully smart and sweet blogger taught me more about advertising and WordPress than anyone else at Blissdom:

PHG and Kristi (Creative Kristi)

Kristi was a business major, but she is also hard-working, determined, and one smart cookie. I urge you to check out her blog.

Build Each Other Up and Support One Another:

I have a song that has been running through my head since I heard Brian Walker and Crystal Bowersox (husband and wife singers) perform it the last night at Blissdom. It speaks to me about what we need to do for each other:

“I wanna be your mason baby, I wanna build a life with you…Bridges burn and buildings fall and time can tear down walls…but you will always have a home with me.” – by Brian Walker with Crystal Bowersox

So, to my new blogging friends: I wanna be your mason baby, and I want us to support each other as we build our blogs together.

PHG and Kate

Cleared for Takeoff
The Cottage Chick
Creative Kristi

Erin, Sandra, Kristi and PHG

Decor Chick
Dr. Baby Mama Drama
Frugal with a Flourish
Heels and a Hammer

…and any other bloggers I met and forgot to mention, call me out on it and I’ll add you!Now available! Watch the Blissdom seminars from home:

Couldn't make it to BlissDom? Get it all here.