What a huge year this has been – seriously!

And where did that time go? Life seems to speed up the older you get, don’t you think?

2016 has been a roller coaster of sorts. Back in January, I shared with you about my mum and her diagnosis in this post, “Brain Cancer Sucks” Well, to give you an update, she finished radiation and chemo treatments in October, and her latest MRI indicated “significant decrease in the lesion” – WOW! For the type of tumor she had (GBM), even the Doctor remarked that this was incredible news. The oncologist read the radiologist report, saying that they don’t use the word significant lightly. Needless to say, we were incredibly grateful for such a positive report, (insert happy dance here) and doctors encouraged mum to “keep doing whatever you’re doing”.

Well, for us, as a family, as I mentioned in my last post about mum, our “whatever you’re doing” consisted of gathering for prayer every Sunday night for the entire year (our prayers where quite specific, but I won’t go into that here). Also, during this time, we felt to introduce a strict no sugar or processed food type diet for mum, via a naturopath, who also gave nutrients to help boost her immune system. Apart from that, she’s been counting her many blessings, and we’ve all been taking the time to enjoy life a little more, and learning to stop and smell the roses, remembering that life is more about relationships than ‘things’.

She is doing amazingly well, and if you saw my recent instagram story, I showed her pulling apart my postage cupboard, and organizing all my packaging for me – she’s awesome and I love her!

Mum & Dad on their way out to celebrate mum's birthday at Singing in the Rain.

Mum & Dad on their way out to celebrate mum’s birthday at Singing in the Rain.

I Restore Stuff – things we’ve achieved in 2016

It’s been a busy year with I Restore Stuff, and we’ve seen furniture come and furniture go, painted several custom pieces, and other pieces for selling via The Furniture Artists Collective local Brisbane Facebook group – a growing marketplace for specialty up-market, up-cycled unique pieces of furniture. I’m so privileged to be a part of such a quality bunch of furniture artists!

SOLD - via Furniture Artists Collective Brisbane.

SOLD – via Furniture Artists Collective Brisbane.

I am also still selling a few items over at Wynnum’s FSG Cafe where they have the cutest collection of hand-made treasures!

FSG Wynnum

Items sold at FSG Wynnum

A New I Restore Stuff Recruit!

This year has also seen I Restore Stuff put on an extra staff member! Yay for growth. Meet Eric.

Eric - the legendary helper!

Eric – the legendary helper!

Eric loves to restore stuff – literally! Many of you may have seen my dear friend, Sharene, on my DIY Facebook Live segments with Hometalk this year. Sharene is one of those, “Seriously, where would I be without her” type of friends. Well, Eric is Sharene’s youngest son, who is super keen to learn about furniture restoration, sanding, and all that good stuff. Eric is a drummer, and has even restored a drum kit that was being “thrown out”, making it useable again for someone to learn drums on. And that was BEFORE he started working with me, so I knew he was keen on the whole restoration thing.

So, here is one of Eric’s first jobs I gave him – he sanded this entire dresser. Great job, Eric. He’s a keeper!

Sanded dresser ready for painting.

Sanded dresser ready for painting.

Facebook Live with Hometalk in 2016

This year has also seen the introduction of Facebook live to social media, and we’ve jumped on board, bringing you random lives every so often, which we intend to make more regular in the new year – WATCH this SPACE!

Hometalk approached me to do a Facebook Live DIY demo on their Facebook Page after I submitted a couple of my Youtube tutorials to them. With over 3 million followers on their Hometalk Facebook page, I was stoked to be included as one of their regular Hometalk bloggers who do Live demos.

I find the Live shows pretty nerve wracking, but my high school theatre skills come into play and you wouldn’t notice on air (winky face). My husband, as you may know, is a video producer, so has helped tremendously with creating content visually that looks great live. And my good friend, Sharene, as I mentioned above, is my life-saver when it comes to doing these live shows! She helps read the comments from viewers which fly up the screen feed at a rapid rate, especially when it comes time to enter a comment to win a prize! And she helps me pick a winner, feeds me questions from the audience, and is a general all round AMAZING support. Eric also helps Marty with the video switching when we do these lives. He’s pretty clever at lots of things.

Sharene & Eric - my faithful sidekicks!

Sharene & Eric – my faithful sidekicks!

Christmas Vacation of a Lifetime – USA here we come!

And now the year is coming to an end, and we have an amazing holiday with family to look forward to! It might not seem a big deal to some, but we have never been on a family vacation this big with all the kids, and we are so excited to be taking us all across the other side of the world to the USA to visit Marty’s sister and her family in North Carolina! Woohoo – we leave this week, and believe me, I am cramming in so much last minute stuff before we leave that I don’t think I will relax until I’m on that plane!

I have orders to fill, and blog posts to prepare right up till the last minute. I delivered a custom job yesterday, and finishing off another one today. Don’t worry, my Aussie friends, Sharene & Eric will be taking care of any orders while I’m gone.

We are looking forward to possibly a white Christmas for the first time ever – our kids have never even seen snow and two of them are adults. We are in for a COLD winter I hear with snow storms due to hit this week over there.

It is my intention to bring you some fun blog posts while we are over there – I can’t wait to hit the antique stores with my sister-in-law – and she has the most beautiful American home in “old world” style, which I can’t wait to show you, so look out for a “home tour” on my facebook page – we may even do that live at some point.

Here she is, up a ladder, decorating the Christmas tree just for us!

Family Holiday

Paula, my sis-in-law, getting ready for her favourite brother to arrive!

I Restore Stuff – You Can Too!

This year, in fact, just at the end of last month, I finally started a Facebook group for my subscribers and followers who are keen for some more practical know-how. The purpose of this group is to encourage each other in the area of furniture painting and restoring, and to provide some post workshop support especially to those who attend my workshops.I Restore Stuff - You Can Too.

In the group, we encourage you to ask questions – there is no such thing as a silly question, I can almost guarantee that someone else has been wanting to ask it too.

This is also a great space to post pictures of your work. If there is a stage of painting you are stuck on, needing some help with, let us know. Post a picture and you never know who else may have experienced a similar situation. We’re here to cheer you on!

Be proud of your work! Show us what you’ve created. I look forward to seeing you over on the group, where I intend to jump on “Live” every now and then to chat about techniques and any problems you might be having, so we can help solve them together.

Looking forward to 2017

What are you looking forward to most about the new year? Got any projects on the horizon?

I look forward to bringing you content that will inspire you to create beautiful things out of the ordinary. So if there is anything you’d really like to know how to do in the area of furniture painting and restoration, let me know in the comments below.

Merry Christmas everyone, I look forward to sharing some of our USA travels with you both here and over on my Facebook page!

Happy painting!