How to Decorate with Pastels

Decorating with Pastels - www.pencilshavingsstudio.com

With spring in the air, pastels start to pop up here and there. Here’s my handy dandy guide at BHG on how to decorate with these pretty shades while still staying chic.


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Designing for the sexes!


Several years ago there was a show on HGTV in which a very exuberant host would proudly proclaim with a broad hand gesture, “I’m Michael Payne and THIS is DESIGNING FOOOOR THE SEXES.” Then there would be a half hour where the husband wanted a man cave but the wife wanted a Victorian boudoir and Michael Payne would then help them discover that what they REALLY wanted was a contemporary retreat. It was marriage therapy disguised as a design show.

This is exactly where we are today when it comes to planning for the lake house.

Here’s the conversation we keep having on repeat: Continue Reading →

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Alt for Everyone Giveaway



I just love a good giveaway, don’t you? Up for grabs this go around is not one but FIVE free tickets to the next session of Alt for Everyone!  This online version of the popular  conference is a great way to brush up on your blogging know-how. Yours truly will be speaking on branding again too.  So what will you get with your free ticket?

  • 7 online classes of your choice
  • 1 online keynote session
  • 1 virtual social meet-up

And don’t forget, a box full of goodies will show up in your mailbox as well!

See the working schedule for May 2014 Alt for Everyone here.

Ok, so now how to enter – all you need to do is sign up for the PSS newsletter using the form, then comment on this post that you subscribed. That’s it! And if you’re already a subscriber, then just leave a comment below.  Good luck!

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This week

Eames knockoff chairs with Nickels and Coco - www.pencilshavingsstudio.com

I’ve been radio silent all week here at the blog. Turns out handling social media, filling orders, doing laundry, picking out furniture, and attempting some landscaping doesn’t leave much time for pretty much anything else.

A rundown, therefore, of what happened in our lives this week:


1. That time Nancy and I ripped out some shrubs
Nancy and I drove her Suburban up into the yard, attached a chain to both it and some of our dead bushes/shrubs/trees (all of the above), and we ripped them out by gunning the motor. I’m 99% sure the neighbor lady across the way came out to watch. (Simon agreed to let Nancy  help us with the landscaping after seeing the paradise that is her backyard and recognizing that I have a black thumb. I keep myself, the dogs, and the humans alive in this house. I can’t guarantee much else will survive.) Thankfully it was big junk day the following morning and the garbage men had quite the haul to take away.


This week I discovered that the dogs (probably just Nickels) dug a hole under the fence into the neighbor’s yard. They also drug a pair of my underwear outside, attempted to take down the pug next door (justifiable, IMO), and Nickels succeeded in getting his head stuck under the gate on the side of our house. Much shrieking has ensued – from both me and the dogs.  I am consistently amazed at how darn smart Nickels in particular is. He seriously is like a child you can discipline all day long and it never makes a dent.


3.The Spanish Inquisition at West Elm
I’m amassing furniture, accessories, and lamps, and trying to figure out what things we already own will go to the lake house. Earlier this week, I decided to buy another one of these lamps but I did a little research and found the base on eBay for a pretty good deal. So I called around to a few stores to see if I could find the matching lampshade since when I previously purchased it the lamp base and shade were rung up separately.

Salesgirl: So I don’t understand. You only need a lampshade.

Me: Yes. That is correct.

Salesgirl: So just so I’m clear, you only want the lampshade. I’m confused. But you already own a base and another shade. And now you want another shade. I can’t sell you just the lampshade. It screws up our inventory.

Me: (Feeling embarrassed, not wanting to admit my cheapness and purchase on eBay). That’s right. I just need another shade.

Salesgirl, after long time on hold: Ok, I’ve talked to the manager, and we can MAKE AN EXCEPTION in your case and sell you only the lampshade.

Me: Oh thank you!

Salesgirl: (suspiciously) Now, I’m still not totally clear on what you’re going to do with the lampshade. Since you already have the entire set.

Me: Srsly?

Ellington & Rose picture frame - www.pencilshavingsstudio.com

4. Remember these frames by Ellington & Rose?
The cute girls at Ellington & Rose got their shop up and running! And it was super sweet of them to send me this fun rugby stripe frame.  Thanks for thinking of me!

And that, my friends, is the week in review. The weekend will be full of soccer, church, and more. And somewhere in there, I’m also hoping for a nap. Or two.

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