Monday, December 14, 2009

Blessed and Gussy-fied

I have a confession. I lead a blessed life. Always have. Even though I came as a bit of a surprise, my parents accepted the, ahem, challenge (think of a brown-eyed Audrey with darker hair, access to woods and much more mud, and fewer great one-liners) with gusto, encouraging my creativity and giving me as many opportunities to be a kid as possible. Born premature, and always a bit too small (until college when I realized I could gain the "freshman fifteen" - or make mine twenty - with the best of them) I turned out just fine, and no one sat me down and had a serious talk about the absurdity of a sub-five-foot, fifty-five pounder going out for the middle school basketball team (even though they should have, I mean, it was a bit ridiculous). I was blessed to meet my husband young (I'm talking fifth-grade, young). Even more blessed am I that in spite of witnessing the knobby knees/twigs-for-arms stage, the frizzy hair accompanied by braces stage, or the wait!-where-did-those-thighs-come-from stage (and every stage in between), he has repeatedly decided to choose me, and acts as if he's the one getting the deal. My friends from childhood are still as fantastic, they just have their own places now, better cars, and more bills. No one should feel sorry for me. Ever. It would just be silly.

But last week, last week I was blessed AND lucky! And I just have to share. I have a very talented designer friend, Meredith. She is the brains behind, as well as the heart and soul, of the Bloomington, Indiana-based Spire Design Group. The pictures you see above are her work - no, they are not my kitchen or laundry room, that would be a blessing overload! (Although, looking at them, I can't help but dream a little dream). Meredith is also the writer of wonderful blog, which I follow, where she offers design tips, inspiration, and recently held her first give away.

The blogging world is still new to me, my experience with reading blogs being just over a year. But in that time, I've discovered an entire community of amazing artists and designers, blogging and selling their work online. One of these artists is Maggie Whitley, better known as Gussy. She designs and creates one-of-a-kind wallets, pouches, even laptop bags. I had run across her work months ago. Then, I noticed that Meredith was hosting her first give away - a very generous $30 credit from Gussy herself! Of course, I threw my name into the mix of want-to-be-Gussy-owner hopefuls, just as I do for other give aways every week.

But this time, I WON! I won! What transpired next was a texting-fest between myself and my little sister (who I could easily assume was still up due to the 3-hour time difference and who only asked me once what I was doing up so late shopping online once she found out about my good fortune) as I tried to decide just how to spend my $30 credit. The wallet and pouch you see above are the ones that I reluctantly didn't choose (but kept daydreaming about adding to my cart), opting for a larger pouch that will be the perfect pop of color to add to a soon-to-be all-things-blue diaper bag to hold those things that are just for mama. You want your own Gussy goodness? Just check out her etsy shop. While you're at it, take a moment to check out her blog and read her story - you've got to love what a girl can do with a sewing machine, library card, and a dream.

Still swooning over the interior design photos above? Visit Meredith's website to see more incredible shots from her portfolio - the before and afters are a must. Not a resident of Bloomington? No problem. Meredith has recently added a number of online services, available to anyone in the country. Go to her blog to find out more. Oh, and if she gets 100 followers to join her blog by 2010, she's going to offer more give aways like the great Gussy one I get to add to my list of blessings. Just some food for thought...

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