Thursday, February 20, 2014

Why The After Picture?

Many have asked why I named my blog and Etsy shop the way I did...

I'm writing this as an explanation, of sorts, to show my journey to       "The After Picture". 

Where shall I begin....I guess I'll start at the "before picture".

Being from a single parent household, I grew up very poor monetarily but rich in so many other ways.  My clothes came from a thrift store, not because they were "cool" but because my Mom had only a few quarters ever so often to buy me a few items of clothing.  I remember when my mom gathered some random wood pieces together to make me a set of bedroom furniture.  She carefully painted each piece (some found at the dump) and added knobs that she had found at the flea market.  Again, not because it was the "cool" thing to do, but because she wanted me to have a decent bedroom.

Have you found out what I am rich with??  You're mother's love!  She raised me, my brother and sister in a way that in some ways made us grow up fast and in other ways gave us protection and strength to overcome hardships that we would face us in the coming years.

Years down the road, I got married and had to move all of my "stuff" that I had collected over the years to my husband's house.  I brought my "old" broken down chest of drawers from my childhood to find that there was no room anywhere for it in the new house. 

One day, Jon (my husband) had it loaded up ready to take to the dump....Ummmm.  HELP!  In a few minutes I had to talk him into keeping it around.  Uhhhhhh...  "I'm going to try to repaint that and maybe try to sell it," I said to him.  (Thinking to myself, "I can do this".  "I've seen my mom paint plenty of stuff, right?" "Anything to save it from the dump!!!") 

I knew I couldn't let it go to the dump.  I felt like it was a symbol of sending my childhood to the dump.  

He let me keep it of course and I began my journey to "The After Picture".   

As a foreigner to this territory, I started out by gluing and nailing it all over to make it more sturdy.

I gave it several coats of primer.

The gray paint that I used went on so smoothly over the primer.

The piece was kind of plain so I bought these wood details at Lowe's to give it some visual interest.  They are so easy to glue on with wood glue!

I made sure to do the same paint technique on them as well. (After the wood glue dried of course!)

I was so proud to have finished this all by myself!  After looking and looking at it, I decided it needed something....hmmmm....but not sure what.  Oh, I've got it!  I'll distress it!  But how?  I decided to get out some of my husband's sandpaper and went to town on it.  I sanded all over. Making sure to sand heavier in the areas that would naturally receive more wear.

Now look!  So perfectly distressed!  Like a pair of your favorite blue jeans!
This was my first item listed and sold on my Etsy shop a little over a year ago.  It now lives with a nice family in Louisiana!

This piece (and my life story) was the inspiration of my Etsy shop turned Blog.  I never took any before pictures of it.  I was so excited to get to "The After Picture" that I just forgot I guess.  

Remember, in life who cares what the "before" picture was.  Just that "The After Picture" leaves a lasting impression.

What about me?  Do I miss my childhood piece of furniture?  Sure I do!  When I think about things lost, sold or given away from my past I think of the wise words of one of my cousins.  When asked about his past he said, "I have the pictures in my head."

You see, certain things from our past can get ripped from us whether it be choice or chance.  Parents can get taken from us or they can just up and leave.  The family farm can get sold. Or, in my case, a simple, measly old dresser  can almost get thrown in the dump.  Don't spend your life dwelling on the past.  Do your best.  Work hard. Keep the pictures from the past "in your head" and move on!  We are all striving for a better "after picture".  Don't give up!  God has a plan for us all!

That's my story!

Here's to your happily ever after...picture!


P.S.  If you are a parent reading this, never underestimate the influence you have on your child.  Good or bad.

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