Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cottage Charm Giveaway winner is... ME...3 times!!

The Cottage Charm Giveaway hosted by The Twice Remembered Cottage was going for the month of May.  There were 48 Bloggers who put together their giveaways for the event.  I can't believe I won...not one, not two, but three of the giveaways!  I'm still in shock pretty much!!  I had company over the weekend so I didn't take time to check my email.  After they left on Sunday early evening, I looked at my emails & there were three telling me I had won!

Shabby Cats and Roses
Creative Home Expressions 
The Tapestry of Life

I am so excited to win each & every one.  The giveaway gave me a fun way of exploring other blogs I hadn't heard of yet & connect with ones I already follow.  As I receive each package, I will blog about it.  Thank you so much to Brenda @ Shabby Cats and Roses, Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions, and Vicki @ The Tapestry of Life for having awesome giveaways and I feel so honored to have been chosen.  I anxiously await my packages...whoo hoo!! 



Monday, May 30, 2011

Have a Blessed Memorial Day

According to History.com:
Memorial Day, which falls on the last Monday of May, honors the men and women who died while serving in the American military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least it marks the beginning of summer.
 Thank you to all those military men and women who fight to keep our freedom in this country; especially those who have lost their lives in that service.  I am so thankful and so humbled by their sacrifice.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Making Decisions on a new career...Any Advice??

I am making a big decision in my life about starting a new career.  I have been thinking about it for a long time but recent events made it seem a better time than ever to pursue.  That career choice would be....Home Staging and Organization.  I have staged two homes that we have sold in down markets and rather quickly.  

The first was 10 years ago and I hardly knew it as "Staging".  I was just decluttering, deep cleaning, and designing with a minimal approach to show the house to the best potential.  It was a downturn in home sales in that area and we ended up selling within 6 weeks.  Our realtor was wonderful and even then, took full advantage of the internet to show the house.  We had many compliments from the realtors after the open house and although I don't remember exactly how many lookers we had, there weren't many before it sold.

Then the most current home we have sold I have already blogged about...we got an offer after 5 weeks on the market.  Even with lots of snow, foreclosures selling for much less in our neighborhood, and very slow market, our house sold.  From the initial meeting with two realtors to decide who to have sell our home to the final realtor for the buyers, I got complimented on how I had decorated the house to showcase it well.  Of course, painting and deep cleaning played a big part, but the ultimate way the home looked to potential buyers was critical in the selling process.  How the home was staged  let buyers see the house as spacious and envision how their things would look in the space.  There were no personal items visible or pictures of family to distract the lookers, only minimal furniture and well chosen decor; like walking into a model home.  

I already have a realtor that is writing me a letter of recommendation; the buyers realtor from the home we just sold!  She was happy to write one and told me I would make a great stager!

Now for the questions...any advice on how to proceed?  I've been looking into staging classes online and books, but it is hard to know if the money spent is worth it.  Should I be certified or just start without it and maybe work towards that goal?  I have been a sponge for a long time on any articles on home staging and organization online and in printed media.  Should I start out with freebies to add to my portfolio or is that necessary??  Advertising ideas?  Services to provide?

My first thought to do is to buy and study books.  With the knowledge I get from them, make contracts and an information packet/portfolio.  I need to decide on a business name and register it;  then get business cards.  I'm looking into cheap or no cost advertising like Craigslist and Penny Saver type papers.  I know that getting the word out to people I know that I am starting this business is important.  I think a website is critical to success, so that would be worked on also.  Then networking, networking, networking...  All of this is coming off the top of my head right now, but is that a good start??  I want to also provide customers with a list of small companies that could do painting, repair work, carpet cleaning, etc. in the area.

So now I go to you... to ask for your comments to give me advice, encouragement, and knowledge in this adventure.  Any recommended websites or schools for staging that are good and not too expensive?  It is hard to decide, when I'm not sure if the classes are going to benefit me or just take my money.  I will continue searching and studying in the meantime.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I am blessed to have three grown children, Josh, Nathaniel, and Elizabeth, plus my daughters in love, Jamie & Jessica.  I spent a lovely morning with my hubby going out to breakfast and walking through a wonderful nursery here.  He got me a beautiful hanging basket for the front of our home and a few plants that I will be putting in pots to enjoy around the front & back yards.  Then our daughter and her boyfriend stopped in for a few hours on their drive back to Bend from the coast.  I was in 7th heaven having her with me today!  My daughter in love that lives here, stopped in also for a bit.  It was so nice to get to see a couple of our kids.  It really made my day!!

I've gotten several more things done in the house.  I got almost all the hanging pictures and items up and most of the furniture bought.  We picked up a metal bed frame for the guest room, a coffee table & end table for the living room, and wood to make raised garden beds in the back yard, on Friday.  We made a loop around the Salem/Keiser area getting everything.  We looked at a sofa on Saturday that we decided to get; we will pick it up next Saturday.  Everything was on Craigslist!  I will share some photos when I get a few more things done.  I will be asking some opinions on a few things too.

Wishing you all a blessed day...