My experience in an online design contest.

Some of you may remember the amazing online decorating contest, So You Think You Can Decorate.

I promised to update you on my experience with the contest, but I’ll be honest. When it ended for me, I needed to catch my breath. And I’m nearly (kinda sorda) there. Nearly. :)

An online design competition: 9 weeks, 9 projects, 10 contestants

Winnings rated by popular viewer votes.

When I was first approached to be in the contest, I LOVED the idea. But I was scared. I was already in waaaay over my head with other obligations. But I just couldn’t say no. So I didn’t. :) So I decided to get excited instead and go for it.

Week 1 – Accessories

Kitchen office

3rd place out of 10

I remember the first week. I tore this area apart to redo and retweak and rephoto shoot it. And I’m happy to say, this one stayed as you see it pretty much. It’s productive, looks cool and works well with my house. The only thing I may tweak is to paint the armoire white. Like I wanted to from day 1 but was afraid. I’m getting more unafraid with each passing day. :)

 Week 2 – Catalogued inspired

Bingo board tray

2nd place out of 9

Week 2 totally freaked me out. I detest catalog shopping and prefer to coast on my own, so I spent HOURS online trying to conjure up something I could later live with.

Before this project, I had never applied paint to decals so this was an awesome beginning to something much bigger to come. I LOVE the tray and we use it right where you see it in this picture every day.

Week 3 – Old

Mattress spring bulletin board

1st place out of 8

I happened to be off the week I made this bulletin board and I’m so glad I was. Each day I had NO idea if it would turn out. I learned countless new things during this week I had never done before.  It was grueling and exciting all at the same time.

But it didn’t come without issues. The night before submission, I was up till 3AM styling the board trying to make it look good. And to me it still didn’t. The next day I did two more complete photo shoots. This is the weirdest area in the house to photograph, as it’s so dark. When I finally posted the finished entry, I still wasn’t thrilled with the outcome. And then I won. :) 

Week 4 – White

White Trash Bedroom

2nd place out of 7

I cheated here. This one was already done so I grabbed predone photos. I needed a breather at this point. Really really bad. 2nd place for no extra effort was a true bonus after that week with the mattress bulletin board!

Week 5 – Fabric

Hanger dropcloth curtains

4th place out of 6

I had already done hanger curtains previously (as you can see in the above mattress spring picture) but just not with a dropcloth.


So I slightly modified the project, bumped it up a couple notches with added details, did another photo shoot and crossed my fingers I wouldn’t get voted out. Fabric is NOT my strong suit so I was pretty relieved to still be in the running after this one! I still have only the one dropcloth curtain and one sheet curtain hanging to this day. I never did get another dropcloth. YET. :) But I want to. I really love the look!

Week 6 –  Paint

Old crate stairs

1st place out of 5

Glory be, I was unnerved to have to come up with something JUST paint. I kept thinking of walls, maybe trying a mural for the first time, furniture… I paced the house in a panic, when it hit me. My bare wooden ugly stairs. My first thought was simply to stylize lumber stamps on the stairway, (lumber comes factory stamped with quality ratings) but that soon morphed into pop crates when I started snooping around the house for further inspiration. I wondered if it would work for about 3 seconds and then I just ran with it. And giggled all the way through! This one was a BLAST. And I have the Bingo board project to thank for this one!

And then about 3 days into this project, my mom passed away very suddenly. GULP!

I have to believe, these stairs were my saving grace to get me through that period believe it or not. I didn’t know what to do with my mind, so I simply kept going as planned. I allowed the project to bring me to a place of stability of some kind because honestly, my world was a blur.

And I mean, what do you do when your stairs are in THIS condition? Ya sorda have to keep going to clean up the place. So I did. I received many a visitor during the week the stairs were just like this from kind souls checking up on me. And they all asked what I was doing, and I told them all the same thing. “I don’t know what else to do so I’m doing this.”

And then I felt abit insecure with the outcome. This project was actually kinda weird. Very weird. But what the hey… I submitted it anyway because I liked it. And then I won. :)

Week 7 – Lumberyard Materials

Old gate screens

2nd place out of 4

 I had this one visioned for WEEKS in advance, but obviously was way too busy to do anything about it. So while the stairs were barely dry, I ran out and picked up wood to build these screens. I saw them as clear as day from my first vision and they turned out exactly as I imagined.

I was running late for this entry as it was the week of my Mom’s funeral. (sounds so crazy!)  I was so late in fact that I glazed the screens on the morning before the funeral started. I kept asking myself, “WHAT IN BLAZES AM I DOING!!!” But I just kept going because I told myself I had to. Funny… the morning of the funeral, I was in excellent spirits BECAUSE of these screens. What does that tell you?

I did make a mistake on them though. When I brought up the first screen, it was too high for the room. So I lugged it down the stairs again to recut. :)

Week 8 – Junk

Palette TV stand

3rd place out of 3

I remember having a 4 hour slot do output this one. Four hours. That was it. So I kicked a day off work and went crazy on it for… more like 5.5 hours. I wanted it finished before my son came home from school but ended up working on it for abit after, but not by much.

I honestly really enjoyed this one because it cost me NOTHING to make and I self taught myself building skills. :) I just really LOVE working with wood for some reason. It cooperates. :)

And you had to get so creative to make it LOOK good because, let’s be honest… palettes aren’t that pretty. And while making this one, I was secretly hoping I’d get voted off, because I was dying inside. I needed a lull so bad. So I didn’t mind when the palette didn’t turn out ‘beautiful’. And then I lost. :)

I still love the tv stand to this day. I smile when I look at it. It’s just so perfect for our home!

Week 9 – Tablescape

Cow sign theme with slideshow video

no win, however entry was mandatory

But as it so happens, although I lost with the palette, I had to enter the last entry anyway. With NO time, I did the tablescape the day right after sweeping up palette wood shavings because I had one afternoon to whip it up. Thankfully, it didn’t rain that day because it rained the rest of this week! Oh. My. Gosh.

But this last entry was really deep for me. Just having lost my mom, the sign JUST came into my hands, so I created a memory video out of the project as well. I still watch it alot because so many things about it reminds me of what a wonderful childhood I had. I just feel closer to my mom when I watch it even though I can’t get through it without shedding a few new tears. But they’re good tears.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Not sure if you picked up on something about this type of contest. Each project took me a week to output, but I only had until Thursday to complete. Friday was photo shoot and submit. And Saturday I started the next project because I had to jam in as much weekend time as I could. I remember running from SNS weekends to the project.  x 1000. It was juuuust a little crazy for awhile. :)

The pace was unbelievably impossible. My son sat in front of the tube way too much for comfort. It was gruelling to try whipping out OUTSTANDING projects that were worthy of contest level one after the other. It’s hard to be creative when exhausted. And I have never been so tired in my entire life.

BUT…  the event proved to me what I was capable of. All those projects I submitted, I had never done anything like them before. They pushed me in a zone I probably never would have discovered had I not had the deadline and pressure to go for it.

Was it hard? YES. Was it worth it? EVEN MORE YES. Would I do it again? Not for this many weeks. :)

And this part is important to me. I want to thank everyone for sticking it out with me. You put up with my plugs, you voted, and hopefully enjoyed what you saw. THANK-YOU for your part in this amazing adventure!

I think the contest resumes in fall again, but I’m not entirely sure. But I will indeed be watching and voting during the next round. Because, take it from me, every vote someone gets, they’ve worked VERY hard for it.

Thanks again to Stephanie and all my fabulous contestant sidekicks for the wonderful time! And to all of you for the most important part. Your kudos. :)

Any questions? I’m happy to answer! And I’m also curious. What was the contest like from a voter’s perspective? I’d love to hear. 

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  1. Seeing it all in one big swoop makes it all the more clear how much work you produced in that short of a time, with everything else going on as well. You were the winner in my book and I still can’t believe your tv stand lost.
    From a voters perspective, the competition was very nice, but I personally would have like it more if it had been more anonymous (I have seen craft competitions were the identity of the maker was only revealed after the voting).
    I can fully understand that you are not going to participate in the Fall. I would never be able to pull it off. I work way to slowly and have a hard time as is, combining my blog (projects) and my day job.
    Gonna miss you in the competition though!

  2. I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your mom, Donna- My thoughts & prayers are with you, your son & your family.

    You did a fabulous job, we couldn’t tell that you were like a chicken with your head cut off behind the scenes & were very impressed with your projects…so GREAT JOB!
    You always have me amazed with your projects, I wish that I had just a bit of the talent that you have in your pinkie;} teehee

  3. Thank you for sharing your experience Donna. I’ve never participated in something like this myself (and never will!) so it was interesting getting a contestant’s perspective. I can’t imagine pumping out a project every single week. But I suppose it’s good in that it helped you get through the passing of your mom. I secretly still think you should have won!

    Btw, go for it painting the armoire. I recently painted my dining room hutch (scary) and absolutely love the results.

  4. You are amazing…I was cheering you through this whole thing. Having lost my mom two years ago, it was art that saved me during those weeks. Numbing, meditative, and just something to do with my hands and my whole being…..
    julie

  5. I did not realize that you did all of these in such a short amount of time and then to have your life turned upside down in the middle of the process ~ you are an inspiration to all of us Donna to keep busy and create. Love seeing all of the projects together and congrats on your wins! You know the stairs are my favorite!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this. I enjoyed the post and pics very much. It really put it into perspective what you had to do each week. I remember your mom passing and even though it has been 10 yrs since my mom died, I still remember the blur. I don’t know if I could have pulled off what you did. You are truly amazing. I was always excited for Sunday nights even though it meant I had to go to work on Monday because I couldn’t wait to see your projects.

  7. I thought for sure that all the contestants had the themes for weeks before the contest started and were done beforehand. I didn’t realize you were making everything in less than a week! Although it seemed to me that many of the other entries were past projects of the entrants.
    As a “viewer” it was really exciting, I looked forward to 9pm on Sunday’s and really enjoyed seeing all the new projects entered. The first couple weeks took an hour to read through! Voting was tough, it was hard not to go with my favorite bloggers and really go with the actual entry. But that is what I made myself do!
    I wonder though if that is what everyone else did? Marianne has an excellent point, keeping it anonymous would alleviate some of that, but would probably take away some of the fun too.
    I also anxiously awaited Saturday and the results post….can’t even imagine what it must have been like for you. So much stress!
    And most of all the fact that you finished at all when your Mom passed, well, you simply amazed me. Your last entry was beautiful and your slideshow brought me to tears. I can only hope that when it comes time to deal with my own Mom’s passing I will remember the lessons I learned from watching you go thru it with such class.
    I have all the respect in the world for you Donna. You don’t need a design contest to be a winner in my book!
    Rose

  8. what a great job you did! you are very creative!!! I too, lost my Mom and had to keep so busy that I would fall into bed each night exhausted. God bless you and your Mother.

  9. I am in complete awe, you are amazingly talented. I will have to thank Lori for sending me to your site. I intend on becoming a follower as well.
    Zizette
    ChezZizi.blogspot.com

  10. You are the most ultra talented woman I’ve ever known in cyberspace and the queen of repurposing! Why some design show hasn’t scooped you up is beyond me! (Must be your manager’s fault).

    I love all those projects, but the stairs are incredible! Now I’m going searching for an old bedframe for my office too.

    You have such a lovely home and I’d love for you to come make my home look just like it.

    Way to go on all that hard work!

  11. You are amazing Donna. I love every one of your projects. The fact that your mom passed during that time, and you still carried on speaks volumes about your strength and character.

    You are a winner and I think I see a career in your future having to do with design. There are probably many who follow you, who would pay for you to come and work your magic in their homes!

  12. I’m tellin’ you girl, you have sooooooo much talent. Every single thing you produced is fabulous. I voted for you most of the way..and had so much fun watching it all.
    Now, I am taking some time this morning to read more of your talents.
    xo bj

  13. I followed SYTYCD and all your entries were amazing!

    I can’t believe how you were able to press on despite the sudden loss of your Mother, I’m sure it was difficult. I’m so sorry for you loss.

    I loved your hanger curtains…but without a doubt your staircase was my absolute FAVE of the whole contest. I even called both my Mother and my Sister and told them to check them out =)

    Congratualtions on all your successes!

  14. Thank you for sharing your experience. I knew it was a very tough time for you, but there was never any doubt in my mind that you would come shining through. Why? Because the love for what you do always comes shining through. I used to wonder where all your energy came from, but having followed you for a few months I realized it was you passion, which by the way, is unequaled anywhere as far as I can tell. I know you were in a competition, but you always let your work speak for itself, you weren’t begging for votes – that speaks volumes to me. Thank you for sharing your experience, it is very inspiring and uplifting and humbling as well. When most would quit because the sorrows of life got in the way, you held onto everything good and it saw you through. I agree with Rose, you don’t need a contest, you’re a winner in my book too.

  15. Hi Donna,
    Wow…what an amazing and grooling experience for you!! I wasn’t blogging yet at the time of the competition, so I didn’t get to watch or join in on the voting. I haven’t seen the other contestants’ entries, but you’re definitely a winner in my book just for going for it and not quitting when your mom passed away. You’re very strong!! I’m so sorry for your loss.
    Your entries look awesome. You know how much I LOVE your white trash bedroom!! :)
    Thanks for sharing your experience with us.
    Happy Memorial Day!
    :) ~ Jo

  16. I’m writing to you between massive bouts of nose blowing. I am SO glad that you did a recap. I remember when the contest started and I was watching and voting and then…the rug was pulled out underneath me. I was in California for a week and then had to return to 6 weeks of producing A+ quality work to my instructors so I could graduate. I kept saying, “I just want to breathe.” Oh Donna, you did it and you did it so beautifully. I am so proud of you. I know Peter and Agatha are too. Sniff.

  17. I had no idea you lost your Mom in the middle of it all. I remember commenting on your fabulous stairs and you taking the time to email me back. So glad that God directed you to a project to keep you going. And I am so so sorry.

  18. There you all go again, making me feel like a million bucks! :)

    We actually did know the topics beforehand, but it’s impossible to output them all. It’s natural to run ‘behind’ and have to make a mad dash to finish on time.

    And oh good grief. I totally overlooked the posting and waiting for your comments part. That was the BEST! The comments! All that hard work and then to receive unbelievable response was all the thanks one needed!

    I can’t speak for the other gals, but I’m guessing my story is probably similar to the others’ as well. We all worked so hard, had a blast and hearing what you had to say made it worthwhile.

    Thanks big time for that!

    Donna

  19. My goodness, seeing it all at one time sure puts all the hard work into perspective. Each of your projects were so well thought out, and we all knew you put everything in to it.

    The creativity of all the projects from everyone is worthy of it’s own book. (Seriously, somebody should look into that.) There were so many projects that I thought were amazing. Some were a take on things we’d all seen one place or another before, but for the most part, the originality of the projects is what kept me tuning in.

    From a voters standpoint, I have to tell you, it was tough some weeks. You want to vote for the blog you’re most partial to, but then you feel the yank to vote otherwise when you see a project you like more. I decided in the beginning that I’d vote only for the best project, regardless of who made it. I’m glad I did because I felt more involved that way.

    I think it’d be great to have a shorter series, say 4-6 weeks, and be able to have them more often. It was genious of Stephanie to come up with this and I’d love to see it keep going.

    Everyone put so much effort in the contest. I can’t imagine ever having the time to complete all that you did.

  20. Happy Monday!!!

    I loved the variety and imaginative projects you came up with.

    Deadlines are brutal, but obviously you are strong willed and hit every one
    of them – with gusto! The rest of us, o.k., me, should stop whining about not having time, and finish those un-finished projects already!!!!

    Cheers!

  21. I started following you becuase of that competition and I’m so glad I did! I love all your projects, and I’m glad that even though it was a tough time for you, the competition seemed to help you through it.

  22. I should quit writing posts in the wee hours of the morning. :)

    Past projects:

    We were allowed to submit them. I just chose to phrase mine as ‘cheats’ because compared to banging out something brand new, it felt ‘too easy’ in doing so. Everyone knows how long a good project takes to create. THEN comes the photo shoot. THEN comes building the post. That in itself is like 3 projects a week. But goodness, it is fun!

    Yes, passion drove me through this one. Without a doubt. Otherwise there is no way I would have seen it through.

    Donna

  23. You know I still love the TV stand. I swear to you, I think it is amazingly creative and just super cool. I was shocked when it lost. I liked the other entries and the other bloggers but was a bit suprised when certain sets won. Maybe it’s because I have done a lot of projects myself so I could see someo f them for what they were. Cute sure but for me the extra wow was………wait, how did she do that?! I got that more with you…LOVED the other contestants, really creative great blogs…I’m just sayin.:)

  24. I wondered how stressful it was for all you ladies. You are resourceful and imaginative. I always look forward to see what you’ll come up with next :).

  25. I must admit when I found out you were going to be part of SYTYCD I was ecstatic as I was a follower already… But then the inevitable happened, two other of my favorite blogs were also contestants. Each week I awaited the results, the new theme, and each new opportunity to vote. I knew it was stressful and was amazed at the projects. The creativity that flowed.. And when I heard about your mother passing so suddenly, I cried. It was a heart wrenching time for me as I miss my mother so (she lives over a 1000 miles away…!!!)

    You do not know this but some weeks you were my sanity! Knowing what you were going through, seeing your love and faith, well it was a great help to me… No, our life wasn’t marked by tragedy, just a series of events which was making life stressful. You were and are a breathe of fresh aire!!

    Thank you!!

  26. Your style is my style–if I had your ability to put it all together. I had the exact same sofa when I moved into this house, but sold it because I couldn’t make it fit. I had bare wood stairs in our last house because I couldn’t stand the carpet and always wanted to do something like your painting. I also have a big picture window that would look great with those wood screens. I loved seeing what you were doing, it really inspires me. We will be moving later this year and I’ve been leaning toward a different type of decor…but then I see your wonderful rooms and I believe I can decorate with my beloved thrift finds. Thank you for sharing.

  27. I think I found you in the middle of your contest. I remember seeing the steps but that is all. I am so sorry to hear about your mother. No on can tell you how to grieve and working through these projects were probably just what you needed to keep yourself busy. I admire your strength to endure a grueling contest and then deal with such a sad time in your life. You are an amazing woman! I also completely admire your style.

  28. Donna,
    I enjoyed your blog long before the party started. I love your style & your wonderful work ethic. Each week I would await the “showin’ & tellin’ “. To me it was so outstanding to see such creative minds at work. It did take me a long time to vote. I kept going back and forth until I thought OK you really are NUTS!
    Loosing your Mother unexpectedly was I know hard. All I could do was read and clean my house. Your tribute was totally outstanding. I love the picture of you and your son and your Mother. You have been truly blessed and so have we.
    smiles, alice

  29. The creativity of all the projects was awe-inspiring. I loved many of yours partly because of the large-scale impact they provided. You did a great job–can you believe how many challenges you did win! You’re pretty amazing, Donna :)

  30. I loved all the contestants and their wonderfully creative submissions and I really had fun voting for my favorite projects, I had to admire each of you just for your endurance. It seems that with the appearance of reality TV in our lives everything seems to now have a time limit of one week. I guess the TV execs think this translates to exciting but for me it just seems to add unneeded pressure for the contestants and that pressure is feel by the audience. There is already too much pressure in our lives and I would like to see a contest like this one place the importance on creativity done in a realistic time frame rather than a race to the finish. Knowing you were under such a time crunch made me nervous for you girls. For myself I would even the contest at a more relaxed pace.

  31. I can’t imagine doing all that in that short of time. I think I would of needed a vacation after that! Then to also do it with the loss you suffered. Once again you pulled it off with grace, class and style. A little laughter thrown in too. I still think that you should of won though!

  32. I am truly impressed & inspired by you! You are amazing!! Thanks so much for sharing! I so want to be like you when I grow up!
    I only got 1 wrong on my vote! I ALWAYS knew which style was your’s! AND that is the one I would vote for! Good job,
    A fan, Rosie T

  33. Thank you for sharing your experience (it has really touched me). I am very sorry to hear about your Mom.

    What you have done is truly amazing. I love your steps. I look forward to seeing what you do in the future.

  34. Donna, You are a super talented, super creative, incredible person. I loved hearing about what you went through to accomplish all this. It’s the behind the scenes part that we readers sometimes don’t know about unless you share it with us! Thank you for doing that. And, I knew, it was also during the time you lost your Mom. Thank you for having this blog and sharing your wonderful ideas with us. Your blog is by far my favorite that I read! Hope to someday meet you for real. I feel like I already know you! -Karen

  35. I loved the contest and often found it hard to pick a favorite. I liked yours, miss mustard seed’s, and shabby nest the best for the most part. Who won anyway? I’m not even sure if I know who won or what the heck they won- it better be something good for all that work!! I love your pallet table and I’m surprised it didn’t win. The great thing is that you got all these projects done with a deadline that otherwise might have taken you all year- and you get to keep them! I can’t believe you did that all while going through the loss of a loved one. I think as viewers/voters we had no idea of how intense the contest was, I get it much more after reading you post about it.
    I totally hear you on the too much tv watching. We closed on a house 4 weeks ago and have been fixing it up ourselves. My poor kids have been really neglected, last week I probably spent over 40 hours at the house, and my husband definitely did, all while working full time! Anyway, I did feel bad about it, and it’s not even over! We probably have another months worth of work to do. At least for now we’re having the floors done and that is hired out so we get to rest a bit this week. It’s crazy though! Us moms always feel guilty no matter how hard we try!

  36. Jeez, I’m feeling a bit exhausted just from reading this post. I feel like I ran up a flight of stairs and didn’t come down!! Wowzers! That WAS a ton of work!! Not to mention the emotional work getting through it all in the midst of your loss.

    You are a rock star-super hero decorator person to me. I don’t always have the get up and go to do stuff. I need to sit down a spell (sometimes that spell last for weeks! LOL!)

    The contest was actually my tv. I don’t watch the tube so I waited each week for the new stuff to happen. It was one of the most joyful adventures to witness. Loved seeing everyone’s ideas come into place each week. Did many people comment on the actual SYTYCD posts each week? I felt like a pest over there. I’d rather be a pest here! However I did visit everyone’s blog of those who were in the contest to give them a kudos.

    The voting part I hated. How do you pick who is supposed to be the “best” when tastes are so inherently different?? It was H-ard! Couldn’t they have called that Simon guy or something? Kidding.

    It was a brilliant idea to create SYTYCD!!! So looking forward to the next one.

    And Donna thank you for doing the show. I cannot, for a moment, imagine what it would be like in the throws of what you were going through. Although I do know that “work” of any kind can be a good companion when our emotions might overtake us!!

    Love, love, love you!
    ~K

  37. Thanks so much for sharing all your “real life” with us here. Your talents are amazing but equally so are your personal grace and strength. I can’t seem to finish one project in a month (unless my kiddos are gone for a weekend) and could never keep going as you have… You continue to inspire in so many ways! Your Momma must be very very very proud.
    God Bless,
    Leslie
    PS- Thank you too for the kind email. Until you have a book out (I’ll buy it asap), I’m thrilled to contribute here for the escape n lift you provide me. Make that Paypal logo BIGGER! ;-)

  38. So sorry to hear about your mom.

    I’m amazed at your beautiful creations, and can’t believe that you were able to push yourself so hard, especially under such difficult circumstances.

    I’ve always believed that creating let’s us tap into our peaceful souls.

    Best wishes to you.

    Warmly,
    Andrea

  39. Goodness… you’ve blown me away with your lovely comments! Thank-you!

    Kolein! Now do you get why I couldn’t stop and submit to magazines?!? :)

    Honestly, if I didn’t have to work for a living, I’d do this all over again. There is NOTHING like a deadline for certain to get this kind of stuff done.

    I should also add, I was asked if I wanted to leave the competition when my Mom passed. I said yes in my mind but no came out of my mouth. I just couldn’t give up. :)

    Donna

  40. Yes, of course!!!

    However, those mags are still waiting and so is the population who doesn’t have a “funky junk” friend to encourage and be real with….hmm?

  41. I love seeing all your projects and it was so interesting to read the details. Too often we see things and think if I only had nothing to do I could make all that too. Wrong! You do what you love cuz you want to. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. It’s been over 20 years since I lost mine and they are someone you will always miss. Great job and I think you should have won!

  42. I’m a new-ish follower but wanted to thank you for this post and say that I’m sorry to hear about your mom and all the stress you went through during that rough time. Your designs/projects were AMAZING and I love hearing the behinds-the-scenes truth about your experience with SYTYCD. I just discovered the contest and can’t wait to see how next season plays out.

    Oh, and I *love* your office armoire! Can I move in to your place? ;) If you ever have the time, I’m over at blogspot.whimsysmitten.com.

    Take care and enjoy all those FABULOUS projects you showcased for us!

  43. WOW, I just read your post and I have to say, your work is amazing!!!!! Every week-project is so wonderful and its unbelievable that you made everything in a few days. GREAT WORK!!!!

    xoxox Christina!

  44. Hi Funky Junk Donna! I am truly inspired and aw-struck by you. How wonderful and invigorating to know “I DID THIS!!! ALL BY MYSELF! I DID THIS!!!” I LOVE your style, your emotional connection to your family that flows through your work, and your confidence!!! I am dreaming of starting a business similar to yours at the ripe old age of 25 in Indiana :) I would LOVE to get in touch with you. IF you can find the time (next to impossible I’m sure) please shoot me an email. emilyhuston@indy.rr.com

  45. You are amazing!! Fabulous projects, each and every one of them…love them allll!! wow..how inspiring you are, how talented…your mum would be proud.
    I hope as you begin a new year the pain of your mums passing lessens and your memories begin to not bring tears of pain, just joy as you remember the good times.
    My mother passed away suddenly 18 months ago …(we did not have a happy childhood and only as an adult, with a faith and trust in God, was I able to forgive my mum and rebuild a relationship with her)…but the pain was no different, I don’t think, than as if we’d had the perfect life..this surprised me so much at the time. I couldn’t imagine feeling any more pain than I did…which was perhaps a sign of the real forgiveness that had taken place. anyway..sorry…I wanted to say I hope you have wonderful memories to draw on and the tablescape video moved me to tears as I realise that even at 51, I still really miss my mum. But life goes on…and you are now creating memories for your child/children…bless you. For sharing, even thru the hard times.
    jessie, nelson, nz