Wow! Is it really 2020? If you follow me on Facebook/Instagram, you know that each year I pick a word for the year to be my focus. I started this back in 2013 and had to go back to see what I picked each year. Some years are easier to remember than others.
2017 - adventure
2018 & 2019 - I honestly don't think I picked one....but looking back on both years I know what my theme was - SURVIVE
That's right. These past two years, I SURVIVED. WE SURVIVED. Mike and I have been working so hard these past two years to build and grow our business. And many days I felt like all we could do was take one step in front of the other and work together to survive. Many days and nights of tears, frustration, pain and feeling alone, we battled through what has been the hardest two years of our lives. I try hard not to let it show on social media, but please know, if you have been SURVIVING too, that you aren't alone. You are only looking at our highlight reel on social media. How did we survive? By the grace of God and prayers from our family. God is good. Always. Period. I'm so thankful God has pulled us through this year and by his grace and for his glory, we are ready to make 2020 the best year ever!
So about a month ago, I began thinking about my word for 2020. I began making a list of words I wanted to focus on and praying for God to lead me to the word. I thought I had the word picked out until two nights ago and I was reading some of my friends posts on FB about their word for the year and my word appeared.
I wasn't sure if it was the word for me or not, so I prayed some more about it and asked for God to show me if it was really the right word. And then...Jeremiah 29:11 showed up. And I knew the word was meant for me this year. You see, this verse, is my life verse. It's the verse my Grandma wrote in all of her letters to me when she wrote to me while we lived in New Jersey.
I was praying GOD would show up big in that moment and he did.
The definition of Prosper-
1: to succeed in an enterprise or activity especially : to achieve economic success
2: to become strong and flourishing
: to cause to succeed or thrive
When I choose my word, I think about all the areas in my life and how that word can be my guide to make an impact in each area for the year.
Although prosper can mean money, when thinking about my husband and family, it doesn't have to mean that. I want to prosper in my family. God is first, my husband is second and my family is third, Family is so important to me and they can easily be left behind when trying to pursue business goals and dreams. It isn't fair to any of them, so this year I am working on my relationships with them all.
- Monthly date nights/days with not only my husband, but with my family members. In fact, many of them all received paper gift cards from me of my commitment to them for the year.
- Putting the phone down and being present with each member of my family. Easier said than done. My phone is attached to me and between texts, emails, facebook messages and notifications for both MDT Woodworks and Thirty-One Gifts, it is so easy to get consumed by all the messages and never put it down. Even when I walk away from the business for the night. I want to do better this year. Please know, if I don't respond to you right away, it's because I have stepped away to be with those who are most important to me and I will get back to you, it might just take a little bit longer.
After putting two very hard years into our business, I believe God has big plans for us to PROSPER this year. Every decision we make for our businesses has to help them prosper in some way. I don't want to waste my precious time doing things that won't have a big return on investment. These decisions, won't be easy, some will actually be hard, yet I am prepared and I know how important they are to allow us to prosper. One of these decisions I will be sharing with you all very soon. We have made a big goal for 2020, so now we must break down the steps needed to get there. All of it with the word Prosper guiding us through all decisions.
Prospering in my time with God. Boy oh boy, do I struggle in my quiet time. I want to grow closer in my relationship with God, including daily and nightly devotions, journaling and reading through the bible for the year. I want to make a better effort to keep my eyes on God's plan and listen to him for guidance before making any decisions.
Prosper in my health -
Gosh, this one I really need to work on. I have neglected myself. Owning your own business, being self employed, your husband being self employed and working your tail off without much rest, takes a toll on your body. This year, I make a commitment to myself to give myself breaks, be more cautious of what I put in my body and make sure I am taking care of me.
I'm very excited to see what God has in store for us this year. Prosper is a promising word and I can't wait to grow and prosper in all areas of my life! Have you picked a word for 2020? I would love to hear what it is!
I am asked all the time, where did I learn to create and design. Did I go to college for this? Did I take special classes? Is it something I have always loved to do?
To be honest, I am not sure. I always respond it is a gift from God. It's true. I would have never thought in a million years, I would be doing what I am doing and living where I am living. But God knew the entire time. Along the way, God has placed family members, teachers, and friends to encourage me, to think outside the box, believe in myself and use the gifts God has given me.
I sit back and think about all those who have influenced my life. Gosh...there are so many. And I am thankful for each and every person.
One in particular was my art teacher, Mrs. Dana Osburn. I don't remember the first time I went to her class, nor do I remember every single class I took with her, but I do remember how she encouraged all of her students, how each time I left her classroom I felt empowered and encouraged that I had made something worth showing my family, and that even if I may have colored outside the lines, it was ok and there was a way to fix it. She and I shared the first name, Dana, which I thought was super cool, because I didn't know a lot of people named Dana growing up. She was the mother of three dear high school friends and I spent many times in the Osburn home in high school. She always made us feel so welcomed.
When we moved back to my hometown, I was so excited that she came to our grand-opening. I was even more thrilled and honored when she and her granddaughter, Maggie attended one of my workshops. We had so much fun that day and I will never forget Maggie asking for the real Dana's help, which I smiled and said your DeeDee is the real Dana as she taught me all I know. They both smile and you could see the genuine love they had for each other.
A little over a month ago, Dana had called me and ask if I could paint a piece of furniture for her. I honestly was so honored that she had asked me. I knew that she could do it on her own, but she trusted me enough to do it for her. You see, Dana, was a true artist. She could paint and draw free handed. She had an eye for art and decorating and was so talented.
This past week, Dana passed away. Sadness filled my heart for her family. I was heartbroken that I wasn't able to finish this piece for her before she went to be with Jesus. Just a few days ago, I finished it. It is quite the transformation. She and I had several conversations about what she wanted it to look like. Black, not glossy, matte. She decided to keep the handles and have them painted black as well. The piece was beautiful before, but I love how classy it looks now solid black. I hope she would have loved it.
What I've learned through all of this is to share with those who make a difference in your life. Don't wait. Thank them. Hug them. Tell them how much you appreciate them. I was able to share this with Dana a month ago when she came into the store to ask about our ceramic tree workshop. You see, I learned about ceramics from Dana. She was the reason I even attempted to offer this type of workshop at MDT. I will be forever grateful for what she taught me. She will be deeply missed.
Wow! How is it the end of another week?!! We have been so busy in our shop, that I often lose track of what day it is! And I haven't been blogging this week! I work all day painting and designing and then sit down at night and crash! I promise to get better!
Today was a FUN day as we delivered a new table, 2 benches and chairs to a family. I love seeing the smiles on their faces as they look it over and see it in their home. Our hope and prayer is that they will spend many meals and gatherings around the table enjoying family and friends.
Isn't it beautiful!? This was one of my favorite finishes we have done on the table legs. I'm the rustic girl, so the more distressed and old I am allowed to make table legs and chairs, the better!
We have 3 more tables coming out of the shop this next week...so stay tuned! You all are going to fall in love with them!
The table top and benches were made of Hackberry Wood. Who knew Hackberry could be so pretty?! In fact, it's so popular now, our sawmill is having a hard time keeping it in stock! Everyone wants it and we don't blame them, it is gorgeous.
After delivering the table, we came home and crashed. The weeks seem to keep getting busier as Christmas orders are starting to roll in!
In fact, if you are in need of a Toy Box for Christmas., I wouldn't wait much longer! It is our #1 selling item on our Etsy site right now. And everyone is wanting one for Christmas. So don't delay! You can order yours HERE
Today, I spent some time with this beauty below. It is our most popular table made of Bug Eaten Ash wood. (the black spots are holes that my husband dug out by hand and filled with epoxy). Although it has been in our store for a bit, it is definitely one of our statement pieces that has many of you ordering the same table in the size that works for you.
It is by far my favorite table. In fact, if we had a home, this piece would be in our home and look just like it does here. (well...except for the legs...I have a plan for them.....so stay tuned....I am finally going to finish them next week!)
This table is truly One Of A Kind. I think it is why I love it so much.,...and because I know the guy who built it.
I love decorating and am so blessed I get to do it on a daily basis! God has sure blessed me with the most incredible career. Fall and the Christmas season are by far my favorite seasons to decorate and with the cold weather that came in today, it seemed fitting to work on adding a little more beauty to this table. So today, I spent some time enhancing this tablescape.
The first picture is what we started with when we changed over to fall. I love to add a table runner to any table. I am not much of a place mat girl. However, I do think they are important when everyone sits down to eat to protect the top of the table. After the table runner, it's time to start adding some different textures and heights. These beautiful wooden lanterns I love to fill with live gourds and mini pumpkins. This year, we used neutral colors. Then to add more of a pop of color, I grabbed a few of our fabric pumpkins, one of our banana wicker centerpiece holders and then some sprigs.
Yet....I felt like something was missing (and yes...I know you are wondering...everything in our store is for sale).
So then earlier this week, I decided we still needed more height, so I added the candle stick holders on both sides. And I felt like the lanterns needed just a small pop of color in each. So I took apart some flowers and laid just the top of the flowers in with the gourds and pumpkins.
See what I mean...it makes a huge difference. In fact, when the Hubs came into the shop earlier today, he was telling me how much he loves this design on the table.
And well..you know me.... I can't leave things alone for too long. Usually what happens is I start working on something else and think...hmmmm..I should add this to that project I just finished. So below, you will see how I added the live edge sign that I painted yesterday and I topped a couple of the candle stick holders with the fabric pumpkins.
I love it. What do you think? I would love to know if you add decor or centerpieces to your tables at home.
Now all this girl needs is for someone to give me a house that is falling apart that we can fix up and put this beauty in. haha...kidding...well...kind of....
Happy Thursday friends!
.Our hours in the store have changed for the fall. Many have asked WHY?! The truth is, we had to do this in order to focus on our online business. You see, being in a small town of less than 600 people, you cannot rely solely on business in the area to be your bread and butter. I would call it the icing on the cake.
We started our business online and it is definitely where the majority of our business comes from and we are so grateful for every one who supports us! We as business owners took a hard look at our numbers and made the business decision to be open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It is what is best for our business. Now, please understand, I am not at home sitting and eating bon bons. Nope, in fact, I am working more than I did when we were open 6 days a week.
Our shop where all the projects are built is not in the same building as our retail location. My husband does the building and I am the one who paints and finishes the bases of most of our large farmhouse tables. And it is hard to be in two places at once.
In addition, I don't know if you all know, but I have been a Senior Director with Thirty-One Gifts for 9 years now and have a team of 200 women that I mentor. It has been a challenge doing both businesses since relocating to Fairfax. I needed to be able to set aside a full day to work on my personal and team business. Many may say why not give it up?
Nope, not going to do it. Thirty-One Gifts has changed my life and our life together. We have traveled for free more times than I can count, I have more friends than I ever thought I could have and the Lord has given me more self esteem than I ever thought I would be capable of having. In addition, Thirty-One has been my bread and butter for 7 years. I love my career with this company, my team, and my customers. So being able to pour more into it this fall is exciting!
Want to check out Thirty-One? Here you go: https://www.mythirtyone.com/us/en/DanaT/
So there you have it! A little bit more about me and a little bit more about why we changed our hours.
I am excited about what is to come this fall and winter! I can't believe it is 75 days away from Christmas! The orders are beginning to roll in....so we are preparing for the busiest season yet!
If you have a custom request, I would get the orders in no later than Nov 15th. For large pieces of furniture, I would order no later than Oct. 31st.
Well, I am hopping off! Time for my conference call with my Thirty-One team!
Well friends! It's time! I have been wanting to get back to blogging for a while now and since we updated our website, I figured it was the best time to get started!
My hope with this blog is to share my love for decorating, designing, coffee and my faith in God. I really want to give you all more of an inside peak of our day to day business and my prayer is that God leads me on this journey with you and what I am to share.
So sit back, grab a cup off coffee and get ready to go on this adventure with me!