Thursday, December 31, 2015

Our Year in Review

For so many in our family-- us included-- the year 2015 was a whirlwind of good and bad. Mark and I faced some of our toughest situations yet as a married couple, but so far we've managed to pull through each one. I learned a ton about myself, about marriage, and about life. I won't go into all the "lessons learned" since I waxed eloquent on that topic yesterday. But I did want to share a quick look back at our year. So much happened-- I can't even wrap my mind around it all. 

My blogging friend Whitney of Hey Whitney Blog shared her End of the Year Digest this week. I loved the idea and decided to do the same for Patina & Purl today. Writing for this blog has been a great way to immortalize our lives together. It was so fun to look back and see what we were thinking, feeling, and experiencing as the year went by. If you're new to the blog, this post will help you get a feel of who we are, where we've come from, and where we're going. 


This month marked not only the beginning of a new year but also the decision to make a major life change. I decided to leave my M.A.T. program at Mount St. Mary's University and went to work as the Assistant Director of Financial Aid at McDaniel College. I think our early twenties are definitely a time to flounder around, figuring out who we are and who we want to be. It took a lot of courage to jump off the proverbial cliff and try something new. 

My favorite posts:
Deciding to Change
First Snow of 2015


Because I was busy learning my new job at McDaniel College, February and March were the lean months for the blog. It seemed like this month was determined to freeze us to death-- we got so much snow and bizarre sub-arctic temperatures. I became convinced that we had moved to Alaska rather than Maryland. 

My favorite post:
Self-Portrait in Third Person


March was a hard month for me. Naively, I thought March meant the arrival of spring. Instead, it meant more snow and ice storms. In the spirit of authenticity, I'll admit that I became really discouraged and depressed this month. I wasn't happy with my job, my health, or the weather. My life seemed to revolve around work and icky snowy mess. Looking back, I'm so grateful for a husband who unconditionally supported me through a hard month. In happier memories: we found a Civil War battlefield behind our local Target. 
My favorite posts:
Our Dining Room Tour
Bully: Owning a Pitbull
Our Weekend in Photos: Monocacy Battlefield


With the arrival of spring, I made another big change and leap of faith. Keeping our budget in mind, Mark and I decided that I needed to work in a creative capacity in order to truly be happy. I went to work for a local vintage furniture company. Simultaneously, I began writing a novel, working on my Etsy shop, and blogging again in earnest. Like the winter fog melting away, I felt my depressed mood finally begin to lessen. 

My favorite posts:
Morgan & Newman // A Springtime Wedding
Photography: Baby Girl Harper
Creating a Capsule Wardrobe


May marked the beginning of my love of chalk painting, as well as my journey to physical fitness. Mark and I began working out together every day, which tremendously boosted my mood. Our house underwent some of its main renovations-- and we were nominated for the Apartment Therapy Small Cool Contest. 

My favorite posts:
Paris Grey Dresser Makeover
Industrial Pallet Coffee Table
Our Patio Makeover


June seemed like a month of travel, planning, and family events. Our best friends had a baby shower for their first baby, while at home we began planning our kitchen renovation. I meanwhile sat down and gave the blog a serious once-over, determining its new direction and giving it a new look. Overall, Mark and I just enjoyed summertime in beautiful Frederick. 

My favorite posts:
Around Town: Frederick City Guide
Revitalizing Old Art Prints
Baby Boy Shower & Bump Shots


In July, that peak month of summer, Mark and I enjoyed a family vacation to the North Carolina coast. While there, we received the scary news that our best friends were at the hospital, having their first baby over a month early. Luckily, everything turned out all right for the little baby boy. 

My favorite post:
Photo Reel: Ocean Isle Beach, NC


August was a hot whirlwind. Mark and I took Solo on his first camping trip to Gambrill State Park, and I undertook two of my biggest furniture makeovers of the year.

My favorite posts:
Old World Style Dresser Makeover
Warm Industrial-Inspired Vintage Desk


This September, Mark and I seemed to go hiking almost every weekend. We just couldn't get enough of the perfect mild weather. I think September may have been cooler than our December! Everything glowed with a bright green vibrancy, seemingly in defiance of the coming autumn. We discovered new favorite hiking spots and explored an orchard.  My crafty side went into over-drive with fall craft ideas. All in all, September was a really fun month. 

My favorite posts:
Around Town // Worthington Farm Hike
Chalkpaint Pumpkin Pillow Hack
Wheat & Berries Table Arrangement
Stovetop Apple Simmer 


This month, Mark and I celebrated our third anniversary with an impromptu trip to Washington D.C and the exact spot where he proposed: the Jefferson Memorial. We explored Georgetown and found the oldest building in D.C.  On the renovation front, we tackled our kitchen renovation and other small projects around the house with the help of Mark's parents who came up for a visit. Meanwhile, I unlocked the secret to achieving a stained look with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Finally, I had the honor of guest posting at Hey Whitney Blog. 

My favorite posts:
Chalk Paint Makeover: the Stair Rail
Bathroom Makeover
Chicken Vino Bianco Recipe
The Oldest House in Washington
How Thomas Jefferson Changed My Life


November was the month of renovations. We finally completed the kitchen, and I transformed our dining room with a birch tree statement wall. To celebrate Thanksgiving, Mark and I traveled to Delaware where we ate too many carbs and explored Cape Henlopen State Park. Surprisingly, our kitchen makeover was subsequently featured on Apartment Therapy and Unfolded. 

My favorite posts:
Kitchen Reveal
Workspace Tour
Birch Tree Statement Wall


This topsy-turvy year rounded out with a much-overdue trip to Georgia to celebrate the holidays with family. Opening presents with my two nephews added a whole new definition to the early morning Christmas excitement. 

My favorite posts:
Cape Henlopen State Park
Master Bedroom Makeover

Thanks for following along this year! I hope you enjoyed reading about our antics, furniture makeovers, and renovation adventures. It sounds like 2016 has a ton of new adventures in store for us already. I can't wait to see where it takes us and to share our discoveries along the way.

Have a safe and happy New Year!

This post format was originally created by Whitney Torres of Hey Whitney Blog in her post End of the Year Digest. I emulated the format for my own "Year in Review" post. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Reader Favorites of 2015

Can you believe that 2015 is nearly over? I can hardly believe it. I'm still trying to figure out how Halloween wasn't just yesterday, and when and how Thanksgiving and Christmas already passed. To be honest, 2015 was simultaneously one of the hardest and happiest years of my life. Mark and I got hit with a lot this year. If it was anything, life was certainly not easy for us in 2015. Yet, I learned so much this year about myself, about others, about marriage, and about life.  

I learned that your own real opinion of yourself is more important than others' opinions of who they think you are. I learned, no matter what comes tumbling through life, my marriage can be the foundation I cling to; but that this means that sometimes I have to do my part by being a steady rock and not always just the one clinging to it.  I learned that often the world is dishonest and wrong, but that those things don't have to cross the threshold into your home. I learned that peace and kindness is more valuable than asserting yourself and proving that you're right. I learned that burdens will be lifted if I just pray for them to be so. 

Most importantly, I learned that, even though life cam seem impossibly difficult, it's still blessed, happy, and full of things for which I should be thankful. Sometimes, it's still easy to forget this one. To be honest, I'm still working on this lesson and probably will be for my entire life. But I'm thankful to have at least  small understanding of thankfulness. 

In the spirit of thanksgiving and nostalgia at the close of another year, I thought it might be fun to look back over this year's posts. To create a "Greatest Hits of 2015," if you will. This little space experienced some growth this year -- something I thought might have happened but that I didn't really realize until I sat down and looked at a year's worth of posts. Thanks to all who have followed along on our renovation journey this year; I hope you'll continue reading as we tackle all that 2016 holds!

Without further ado, here are your greatest hits and reader favorites of 2015. If you missed one of these posts when it was originally shared, you can click on the title and catch up. 

Patina & Purl Reader Favorites of 2015

10. Warm Industrial-Inspired Vintage Desk

9. Birch Tree Statement Wall

8. Bathroom Makeover

7. Chalkpaint Pumpkin Pillow DIY

6. Creating a Capsule Wardrobe 

5. Our Home Work-space Tour

4. Dining Room Tour

3. Patio Makeover

2. Deciding to Change
This blog post was hugely personal to me. Deciding to leave my M.A.T. program was a huge step that made me insanely nervous, but to this day I haven't regretted it. Which lets me know that it was the right life choice for me. I was overwhelmed by the kind response everyone had to this post. Thanks for being so supportive! And a HUGE thanks to all the teachers out there-- I am amazed at your strength and intelligence and ability to do what you do. 

1. Our Kitchen Reveal
This post by far was my favorite of 2015-- and yours too, apparently! Our kitchen renovation was a long time coming and took the whole family to complete. But I'm so thrilled with the result. We were lucky enough to  have this project featured on Apartment Therapy as well as Unfolded. 

Thanks to all who followed along this year. We hope you'll stick around and visit us on the flip side. It looks like 2016 has a lot in store, and we can't wait to share it with you. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Etsy Update // End of the Year Sale

Well the holidays are over. Did it feel like Christmas to anyone else? Personally, I felt like my family had all conspired to pretend that it was Christmas... when in reality it was summertime. As I stood outside in shorts, barefeet, and a Tshirt, I remarked to my mom that we should be hiding Easter eggs not unwrapping gifts! In Georgia, the warm weather has created quite the confused landscape: birds tweet, thrift blooms, and cherry trees bud. Meanwhile, I'm thinking "no! slow down! stop!" -- Will we even have a spring this year? Especially once winter really does arrive and kills all the little confused blooms? 

Oh well-- the new year and winter will come whether we like it or not! 

In honor of the upcoming new year, the Etsy shop is offering a HUGE sale. All my original art-- yes, ALL of it-- is on sale. Prices have been slashed across the shop: large and small, abstract and still life, oil and acrylic. So if you've had your eye on one of my original pieces, now is the time to purchase. 

These two beauties have both been reduced by $100. Can you believe that? "Effervescent," pictured first, is now only $250, while the triptych is just $450. Yes, that's three 24x36 canvases for just $450. 

Both pieces are very large. "Effervescent" is 30 x 40 while "Icefloe" measures 72 x 36 if hung as one piece. Both are mixed media acrylic abstracts painted with palette knives in an impasto style. Texture and soothing color! 

Or, if you're not into abstracts, you can go with something like these pieces. Personally, these two paintings may be my favorites in the shop. I love the bright pop of green in the pear still life. Painted with oils, both paintings have a tranquil color palette that's easy on the eyes. 

Lily pad painting: $145
Pear still life: $75

You can also choose from my collection of florals. 

Hydrangeas, that quintessential Southern flower, are one of my favorite subjects to paint. My great-grandmother grew blue and purple hydrangeas around her front porch. Their fluffy heads would sometimes be as big and round as dinner plates. So, I guess these flowers are just ingrained in my psyche. They're just a part of who I am as a person and so reflect in my artwork. 

Pricing clockwise from top right: Hydrangea $55, Pink flower $80, Pink Hydrangea $55, and Floral Vase $60

Click on the button above to be directed to my Etsy shop.
Sale expires Monday, January 4, 2016-- so don't miss out! 

Oh, and pssst... Blog readers can receive an additional discount.
Use code BLOG5 at checkout to receive an additional 5% off. 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas from Patina & Purl

Merry Christmas from our little family to yours! We hope your day is full of holiday cheer, laughter, and lots of yummy food. Eat some fudge and swill some egg nog for us! And frankly just have a wonderful time with your family. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Good Reads // Our Favorite Books of 2015

In my opinion, 2015 was a year of good books. I feel like I had some seriously good luck with book selection this year. Getting a Frederick library card not only made me feel like a real Marylander, but also  definitely helped keep my reading costs down. Seriously y'all, have you seen how much books cost nowadays?  I used to walk into a book store with $20 and leave with 4-5 books, feeling like a queen. When I was a youngster... in my best wheezy old-man voice. 

Anyway. Today, in the end-of-the-year spirit, I decided to compile a list of my ten favorites reads from 2015. Some of these titles were shared in our Good Reads series; others are new to the blog. Some are classics, some are new bestsellers, but all were good reads. 

Into Thin Air by by Jon Krakauer
Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
Longbourn by Jo Baker
I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling
My Life in France by Julia Child
The Star Side of Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Dead Wake by Erik Larson

What were some of your favorite reads of 2015? 
I'm always looking for a good book suggestion!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Dill House Diary // Master Bedroom Makeover

Hello, everyone. You may have noticed that we were MIA for a week or so there. We've been undergoing some major changes around here, with the hubs getting a new job in Washington, D.C. and starting up his personal training business as well. Then, last week, we took an impromptu trip to Virginia to visit Mark's family there-- so blogging fell by the wayside for a few days. 
We've returned though with another makeover post for your reading pleasure. Today, I wanted to share our master bedroom makeover. Like every other room in this little house, it underwent a big change-- going from drab to dramatic. Here's a glimpse at what the master looked like when we purchased our home: 

Can you say "depressing"? We were the proud owners of off-white walls, a clanking window unit, a rusty radiator, and one window shade. I tell you, that one window shade made all the difference. Yes, that was sarcasm. 

Because the carpet was brand new, we decided to leave it even though it wouldn't have been my pick of carpets. We decided to paint the walls and the radiator, and just give the room and entirely new vibe. Instead of drab and sad, I wanted a dramatic, eclectic look. So without further ado... here's a look at what the space looks like now. 

Because our bedroom faces north, we're limited on how much natural light we get through the day. Most of it streams in during the morning and then gradually diminishes throughout the day.  I knew a pale color wouldn't work well without the correct light; so I took a risk and went with a dark, dramatic shade of charcoal grey. we chose Arabian Veil by Behr Paints, available at the Home Depot.

It turned out to be the best idea. The charcoal grey has a deep purple-blue undertone that shows up in different ways over the course of the day. It's so pretty and works so well with the blue accents in that room. 

When Mark and I registered for our wedding, we decided that one major item we would register for would be good bedding. Having really nice bedding--sheets, duvet, comforter--  really can give your room a luxurious feel. Even if the rest of the room isn't totally perfect, crawling into a squishy, hotel-soft bed will elicit the most content sigh imaginable. 

We currently have these sheets by Cariloha and this duvet from Bed Bath & Beyond. 

Our dresser and Mark's beside table are painted in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint's Paris Grey. I did two coats of the Chalk Paint on both pieces of furniture, sanded to add some distressed touches, and then added two coats of the Annie Sloan Soft Clear Wax topcoat. The pale grey color matches our charcoal walls and somehow has a modern yet vintage touch at the same time. I absolutely love it. 

You can read more about the dresser makeover here

My favorite feature in our bedroom is the blue stained glass window that hangs above our bed. It makes such a big, bold statement and really sets the mood of our room. Can you believe I found that beauty at an antique warehouse for only $45 dollars? They had three others which I didn't buy. And to this day, I regret that I didn't! 

All in all, I love our master bedroom. I feel that it really encapsulates and showcases my style. Its eclectic, colorful vibe makes me happy everyday. It's cheerful and cozy at the same time, with lots of layered texture and bright hues. 

Like what you see here? Check out our kitchen renovation and home office tour. We're always renovating and DIYing around here. So stay tuned for more projects and makeovers! Thanks for reading!

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