Blogland Tour Continues at Redouxinteriors

A couple of weeks ago I was invited by Larissa at Prodigal Pieces to join the tour through Blogland.  So fun! 

If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out Larissa’s blog, it is a must follow.  Larissa has beautiful painted furniture, upcycled decor and a beautiful blog.   Larissa also has a beautiful Etsy Store where she sells much of her upcycled home decor creations.  And oh my, Larissa is busy! She has 5 children, and home schools all of them!  I wish I had those time management skills.  Here is a little of Larissa’s work, one of my favorites, she made this outdoor rustic kitchen for her kids, perfect for making mud pies.  

And now it is my turn!  I guarantee, it is a little wacky.

Question 1: What are you working on right now?

Ummm…What am I not working on?  I have been on the road this summer.  It has been a fun summer, but challenging with getting projects completed.  I had the house to myself for one entire week and did a ton of little and big DIY projects.  I am still working on getting my Office Decorated with Junk organized.  It is definitely an ongoing production.

I am hoping to put a dent in this gorgeous chair I found for FREE a few weeks ago. So far, all the fabric is ripped off…..

Question 2: How does my work differ from others?

I definitely prefer things in poor condition when I start.  As in, literally pulled from the dumpster, next to a dumpster, or dumped on the side of the road.   You can read all about my tips on Dumpster Diving at my Dumpster Diving Series


I get so much soul satisfaction when I can take something that was literally heading to a landfill and not only save it, but turn it into something more beautiful than it was before.  Like this Dresser I found in the middle of the road.  I used wheels, CeCe Caldwell’s Paints and Crates I found in a dumpster too!  I also used found trim on the bottom.

There are a lot of really amazing junk upcyclers on the blogosphere.  Everyone has their unique take on what they are doing.  I tend to work mostly in functional furniture.  Dressers missing drawers?  No problem, it becomes shelving.

Garage Door panels being thrown out?  I built an outdoor wall for a garden room.

I needed a mobile work station (two in fact).  I created a mobile station for tools using a large Shipping Crate.  

I purchased this large Table for $5 at a garage sale.  I added wheels, shelves and a fun paint treatment using a combination of CeCe Caldwell’s Destin Gulf Green and Santa Fe Turquoise and created a moveable work surface, with all my tools for painting right at hand.

I have found tons of books, I love creating unique lamp shades.  This time I made a lamp shade with book pages!  They are hot glued to a shade underneath, so there is no chance of the heat touching the paper.

One of my favorite projects was a brand new bathroom vanity given to me by friends who own a rental property.  The Vanity would not fit the bathroom space they intended it for and they could no longer return the item.  I added wheels, a faux reclaimed top, a back and painted the entire piece with CeCe Caldwell’s Virginia Chestnut and CeCe Caldwell’s Destin Gulf Green.  The Vanity turned rolling kitchen island sold quickly and is currently being used as a rolling kitchen island!

It has been a childhood dream, carried into adult hood to have my own business selling items I had created by hand.  I don’t actually build the furniture I sell from scratch, but I often create what I call Frankenfurniture.  My most favorite frankenfurniture piece is my Bench Made From Junque.  This bench was made from found pieces.  A headboard, one of those garage door panels I found, cut down, serve as arms.  The frame is built with salvaged wood. Even the pad is made with an old drop cloth and the filler is my daughter’s old comforter.

Question 3: Why do I write/create what I do?

For as long as I can remember, I have always had a desire to create something by hand.  As a child, I used to crochet stuffed animals. I know, strange, but I couldn’t stop!

This is NOT MY WORK, this was done by an artist at Miracle From Threads.  I wish my animals had been this cute! 

When we purchased our current home, I had a large home to fill and not a large budget.  I started by painting garage sale finds, experimenting with paint techniques and a passion (obsession) was born.  You can read some humorous details and see examples some of my home at my Keeping It Real Holiday Home Tour.

I wrote about my struggle with infertility/miscarriage and a still birth and some of the trials I have had. I shared how I move forward in this post EVERYTHING GOOD HAS RAW PLACES.

For two years, I experienced so much loss and grief, health challenges, that at times I thought I was mentally standing on the edge of a cliff and I could easily just step off and my mind would come apart.  It was a very dark and difficult time.  For every challenge, loss, heart break and grief that will not be healed in this life, painting and creating has always been my Balm of Gilead.  I have a deep an unwavering faith and belief in Jesus Christ and His Atonement.  It was during some of my darkest days that I truly learned how deeply Christ loves each of us and how His Atonement can heal every heart break or life experience that is unjust. Sometimes we experience grief and pain so deep that it will not go away in this life, but I truly believe that through the Atonement of Christ, we learn to live with the pain and use it to good in this world.  I believe all will be made whole again, all injustices made right. Enduring through this life is the challenge and lesson.  GOD gave me the strength to pick myself up again and when ready, create again.  For every miscarriage I had, painting was my therapy.  After we lost a baby very late in pregnancy, and not long before, my brother had tragically taken his own life.   Painting and creating, and a firm knowledge that Christ was with me and helping me carry my pain pulled me slowly, but steadily out of my dark pit of grief.  This is my goofy family picture from the 70’s.

Both of my parents were creative, out of the box thinkers.  My father didn’t believe in throwing things away, but instead reworked them or restored them. My mom taught me the joys of restoring furniture, and creating a beautiful home without spending a lot of money.  This my family today, my husband, here known as “Suffering Husband”.  You can read about my Valentine to Him HERE. I promise you will laugh, no sap included.

My family inspires me every day to do better, create, and share the gifts I have been given.

It was not long after these losses that I discovered CeCe Caldwell’s 100% natural chalk and clay based paints.  Someone had linked a project to my link party and I was intrigued. CeCe Caldwell’s had not even gone National yet.  They sent me some samples to try shortly after, began offering the paint throughout the U.S. and now Canada.  I was given the blessing and gift to come along with them as a blogger.  We began selling the paint at Paris Flea Market in Livermore, CA where I sell my creations.

I have a thriving teaching career at PFM using CeCe Caldwell’s products.  I believe this was another gift from a loving Heavenly Father.  I was definitely at the right place at the right time.  The paints are 100% natural, so I can use them inside with my family, and I don’t worry about  chemicals I am exposing myself to because all of their products are 100% natural.  I even painted my stairs using CeCe Caldwell’s Beckley Coal and their hard clear coat called Endurance.  My dog is so happy. 

Working with CeCe Caldwell’s has been like expanding my family. This is a picture taken at our last Crohns and Colitis fundraiser at Paris Flea Market with CeCe retailers, friends from Paris Flea Market and CeCe Caldwell herself.

Coming up with new paint techniques and creating new paint finishes. Painting and upcycling furniture using CeCe Caldwell’s products feeds my soul and in turn, spurs on more creative ideas. Creating this Anthropology Knock off Dresser was one of my favorite projects.  This project was featured on Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Features!  I show how you can blend the paints to create a faux wood effect.  This was a dresser I found on the side of the road.

Question 4: How does your writing/creative process work?

If I told you I had voices in my head, would you think I was crazy?  I don’t actually hear voices, but my mind NEVER stops. I hear my voice all the time.  It is a blessing and a burden.  I keep notes in my phone, post its, and recently started a blog/project notebook.

This has been very helpful as it has helped me organize my ideas as they come.  Ideas for blog posts, painted furniture projects, trash to treasure projects, upcycled decor, etc.  This last week I was in Atlanta with CeCe Caldwell’s promoting the paint at the America’s Mart.  Lauren DeFore, CeCe’s daughter and Marketing executive told me the voices are called the “Committee in our head”.  I laughed so hard at this. I am sure many of you can relate, many creative people have a creative committee in their head that never stops talking!

photo courtesy of google images

I keep a running log of projects I want to complete and (try) to discipline myself to work down that list.  I usually end up jumping to what is inspiring me at that time.  Before I start a new project, I usually say a quiet prayer that I will be guided to use what color the piece needs, or type of paint finish.  I believe there is a creative force that we can all tap into if we just listen.  If you are not a praying type, just be still and let your mind relax.  If you begin to listen to your intuition and act on it, the ability to tap into the creative force will increase and the ideas will start coming faster and more clearly.  Try it, I promise it is fool proof.  You just have to take that leap of faith and listen!

My writing process is easy for me.  It is just an extension of my over verbalized brain.  I have always enjoyed writing, even as a child.  I was an English Major in college and then worked as an editor/proof reader for a time.  (among many other odd jobs after college) .  Believe it or not, I enjoyed writing business memos and was once praised by my boss for my “business memo writing abilities”.  LOL!  Not exactly the next great American Novel.

I love a good joke, I don’t take life too seriously, and I love to make others laugh.  If you have read my blog and chuckled, or laughed at how poke fun at myself, then I have done my job.  If I have inspired you to take a 2nd look at some junk on the side of the road, then you have just made my day.

If you are getting started writing a blog, my advice is to just begin writing.  Then go back and edit, edit, edit. After I finish a post, I  try to eliminate all unnecessary words.  This is a long winded post.  You are probably rolling your collective eyes.

This concludes my version of Blogland Tour Continues at Redouxinteriors.

Now meet my friends that will be coming up in the tour next Monday, the 21st! Here is a little intro to each of them.

Pauline from My Altered State

I grew up in the small town of Grantsville, Utah with 3 older brothers, and 2 parents

My dad built the house my family lived in with his own two hands after work and on the weekends, and I grew up around the tools and the construction.  I’m a daughter who was taught by her father.  I discovered that I like finding value in seemingly insignificant things. If I could impress upon anyone one thing, it would be that things can change to be something different. Something better. Nothing has to stay insignificant.  I’m a woodworker, crafter, and fix it myself-er.  I support the belief that things can be altered to fit our needs,and I’m always looking for opportunities to send something back into circulation.

Kim from Reposhture

I am a spunky wife and mama, part-time audiologist, full-time creator/inventor, and whole lotta fake blond. I will paint just about anything that isn’t nailed down and some that are. I spend much of my time daydreaming of ways to use my collected trash and then collecting the items to repurpose and reuse in fearless ways.

Christy from Confessions of a Serial Do It Yourselfer

I blog at Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer and as the title suggests, I move from one project to the next.I love to transform thrift store and yard sale treasures and give them a whole new life. I also share projects in my home, outdoor spaces, and easy-to-follow sewing tutorials.

Each of these women are amazingly talented.  I can’t wait to see what they share and how their creative processes work.

Thank you so much for hanging out here with me today.





  1. Jeanette @ Creating a Life

    Hi Karen! Wow, this was a great tour. I have been a casual follower of yours for quite some time and I LOVE the creative things you do with found and upcycled pieces. {your bench is one of my favorites!} I too am finding blogging and creating to be a form of healing after difficult times of loss and divorce.
    I went over and read your infertility/ miscarriage post, and found myself getting emotional, because I’ve been there too. I have four children but have also lost five children to miscarriage. Even though the last miscarriage was before the birth of my now 7-year-old son, reading your story really reminded me of how much healing I’ve received from that time of loss and hopelessness, I definitely think children feel even more precious, if that’s possible, when having them live to a healthy birth isn’t a given. You are a testimony of healing and faith and hope for those who might be experiencing something similar. Thanks for being so open about what you’ve been through, and for being such a creative inspiration to so many of us!

    • GTC

      Thank you so much Jeanette. Thank you for sharing your story as well. I think there are many women who have been in our places, and I have found that sometimes sharing these stories is so healing, and helpful to those who are going through them. I do try never to take my children for granted, I know how hard it was to have them in the first place. I am so sorry about your divorce too, that is probably one of the most difficult losses someone can go through. I am so glad blogging has provided a place of healing for you as it has for so many. I really believe it is a blessing for so many women as reach out and share some of ourselves and our talents.

    • GTC

      Thank you so much Lori, I feel the same way with your gorgeous talent!

  2. Pauline Henderson

    This was fantastic Karen! I truly enjoyed getting to know more about you and what makes you tick. (I am very familiar with some of those things…)

    Thanks for choosing me to be a part of it.

    quick random thought:
    Sunday morning I was standing in the security checkpoint line, in Atlanta airport, about to go through the x-ray machine, when I turned around and I swear I saw you getting your ticket scanned. Was that you? Am I crazy? It was kind of far away… Anyhow, there are a lot of people in that airport…

    • GTC

      Pauline! That was me!!!!! I was at the Atlanta airport Sunday morning! Were you at Haven? I was actually there with CeCe Caldwells for the America’s Mart. Oh my goodness, you should have just yelled out my name and if it wasn’t me, then no one would know! I can’t believe we were so close, that is funny!

  3. Laura / Pet Scribbles

    What a great tour and background into what makes you tick…or rather paint! 🙂 Love your creations that you generously share here too!

    • GTC

      Laura you are so sweet. Thank you so much for taking the time to read the post and thank you for checking out my creations!

  4. Larissa ~ Prodigal Pieces

    What a fun tour through what you do, Karen! You shared your heart and it shows in all you do. Thank you for taking the time to be a part of the tour. You go girl!

    • GTC

      Thank you so much for inviting me along Larissa. Funny, I thought it would be a quick post to write, but it ended up taking a while and all of that just spilled out!

  5. Dorth

    I am inspired by your blog. Keep on writing and inspiring others!

    • GTC

      Thank you so much Dorth!

  6. Christy@Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

    Karen, thanks so much for including me!! I read this from my phone last week, but I can’t comment from there for some reason. I really enjoyed getting to know you more, you are one of the few blogs I actually take the time to open EVERY time it hits my inbox. I love your spunk! XO XO

    • GTC

      Hi Christy, I am so honored you came along on the tour, I know you were so busy getting ready for Haven. Thank you so much for your sweet comment, I feel the same! I can always count on something really awesome and learn something new when one your posts lands in my inbox.


    I loved reading more about our process and how your thinker thinks! We really could be siamese sisters….although that might make it harder to paint! Thanks for allowing me to be included on the tour.
    Love, K

    • GTC

      LOL Kim!! Some day we will need to meet up, go Dumpster Diving, then put our heads together on what we can come up with. I need a Chicken Coop Coffee Table!

  8. fieldengineer

    I am a Staff Author at a Marketplace for On-Demand telecom workforce, extending from field engineers to high-level network engineers, project managers and Network Architects in 146 nations.

  9. Harold Curtis

    Thank you for sharing the results of your labors. You definitely have a talent for converting discarded and ugly furniture into functional and pleasing to the eye. Did you learn this yourself? Or did you attend some courses, read literature to get started? I’m interested because I also want to try to redo some old furniture for a long time, but I don’t know where to start … By the way, have you thought about filming streams with your furniture restyling process and tweaking them? I saw similar streams there and noticed that most often they were posted by accounts to which at least 64 thousand subscribers were subscribed! I am sure this is because the owners of such accounts have repeatedly used the services of in order to wind up subscribers on Twitch.

  10. Mokamasakama

    Thank you for sharing the results of your labors. You definitely have a talent for converting discarded and ugly furniture into functional and pleasing to the eye. Did you learn this yourself? Or did you attend some courses, read literature to get started? I’m interested because I also want to try to redo some old furniture for a long time, but I don’t know where to start … By the way, have you thought about filming streams with your furniture restyling process and tweaking them?


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