And Now A Word From…..Well Me.

(In my best PBS fundraising voice…)

Hi there –

I appreciate your patronage to Courtney Out Loud.  It’s because of readers like you that I am able to bring such fantastic blog posts like  my holiday tablescapes, client design boards and quick and easy recipes.  Your continued support will enable me to do more things and continue the quality posts you have come to know and enjoy.  However, like a Hollywood starlet desperate for attention or Charlie Sheen, I need you all to show that you care.  How can you do this?  Simple.  Here are six easy ways….

1) Leave comments: I love comments.  They are my life blood.  If I was a vampire, I would feed off comments.  Even if it is a single sentence, comments are a quick and easy way to show that you enjoy the posts I am putting up.  Heck, if you hate the posts I am putting up, leave a comment then too and tell me.  I can change ….no really…I can change. 

2) Subscribe to the blog:  Don’t have time to visit every day and enjoy the idea that a little part of Courtney will be waiting for you when you get home.  Honestly, is there anything better than crawling into bed after a long day with your laptop, opening up your email and finding a cute, funny and entertaining blog post from me waiting in your inbox?  I thought not, so why not subscribe.  Honestly, receiving emails from me is way more fun than the usual Viagra and female pattern baldness SPAM.  That is unless you have those ailments and those emails offer you hope, then by all means continue to read them, but in between those enlightening emails, I am sure you can squeeze in an email from me.  Look to your right and click the “Subscribe” link.  I will like you forever!

3) Follow me on Twitter: Don’t want to read 500 words from me? What about 140 characters?  If brevity is your thing, then I urge you to follow me on Twitter ( http://twitter.com/CourtneyOutLoud).  If my blog is rated “G” then my Twitter is probably “PG-13” – so expect wild and crazy pictures (of furniture), stripping (of wood) and lots of talk about thick meat (take that one for what it’s worth).

4) Follow me on Facebook: Just like your middle school class from 1984, I too, have a Facebook page.  Find behind the scenes pictures, special offers, discount coupons, commentary from today’s leading design and culinary experts and a host of other things on the page.  Okay, that was a total like — there will be pictures and discount codes but the commentary is pretty much all mine.  However, the commentary is funny and it’s stuff you won’t find on the blog or in my Twitter feed – yup fresh content for all you design hungry peeps.  I am putting out harder than that girl in high school that everyone knew would go to 2nd base on the first date.  Click on the hyperlinks above or the Facebook icon on the right to start your magical journey …..

5) Tell A Friend/Relative/Crazy Homeless Guy: Word of mouth is how I am going to grow this blog and believe me I have been telling everyone in shouting distance about the blog.  Now it’s your turn.  If you like the blog, write a post about it on your blog, put me on your blogroll, flyer nursing homes with my URL (it counts as community service in some states FYI), but most importantly, tell people about me.  I enjoy being gossiped about – I will even send you unflattering photos of me in compromising situations if that helps.

6) Email: I read and respond to every email I get because I love talking about design, food and DIY projects.  I get excited when I see the little icon appear indicating that I have mail because it means I get to have a personal interaction with someone just as passionate about the topics.  Well that is unless you are the same folks reading the Viagra and female pattern baldness SPAM and want to talk…I am gonna pass on that then.  However, for anyone else shoot me an email at lifeoutloudmail@gmail.com.

Blogging is something I do because I love it but the joy comes from knowing that I am sharing with people from all over the world.  To those of you who have done any of the above six things – thank you thank you thank you.  I truly appreciate it and am grateful.  For those you stumbling onto this blog today, take a chance on me and find out why I was voted “Most Likely To Succeed” in high school.  And for those of y’all you have lurked on the edges but haven’t taken the plunge, do something bold today.  I promise it won’t be nearly as painful as watching a PBS fundraising telecast.

Weekend DIY: Sunburst Mirror

Unlike Charlie Sheen, addiction in some cases is a good thing.  Case in point is Kristi Linauer of the blog Addicted 2 Decorating  – this lady is clearly an addict!  She loves design and she loves DIY projects – all things worthy of an addiction.  While not fully ready for a 12-step plan, Kristi’s easy step-by-step process to creating this fantastic DIY sunburst mirror from wood shims IS worthy of your attention….

Check out Kristi’s two-part tutorial on how to make this statement piece: Part One & Part Two.  This is one of those projects I will keep in my back pocket next time I need to a WOW factor in a room!  Okay, I am off to enjoy my weekend and I suggest you do the same!

Etsy Has Got Me Insane In The Membrane….

Hey peeps — sorry for the lack of a posting yesterday, but I had a major case of the “Grumpies” that I could not shake.  I was afraid I would pull a “Charlie Sheen” and say something I did not mean and could not take back.  Ergo, I sat my tushie on the couch, stuffed my face with chips and watched Bethenny Frankel’s reality show.  Surprisingly, watching her show made me feel SO much better about my life cause that chic (while hilarious) is 110% crazy.  It made me realize that I am merely only 85% crazy and still have opportunities to correct my mistakes!

However, one thing that does make me loopy, crazy, bitter and angst-ridden is Etsy.com.  Surprised?  Personally, I love all the artwork but the sheer amount of it plus the site’s lackluster search capabilities makes me give up after 20-30 minutes.  But I know my lack of patience is biting me  in the butt (hmmmm…2 butt comments in the same post…interesting) as I know I am missing out on some incredible art for myself and clients.  So what is a boy to do?  I asked my new-found Etsy crush, Marnie, for her recommendations.  Marnie is a paper craft expert who runs an Etsy shop Crafterall where she turns simple planes of colored paper into fantastic topograhic artwork.  I figured if anyone would know how to navigate Etsy and highlight its gems, it would be Marnie. 

Fortunately, she didn’t disappoint!  She gave me a list of fantastic artisans who run the gamut.  Here are Marnie’s Etsy’s recommendations:

GreenPost: Kendra is a painter by trade, but also makes these amazing, plantable tags. I send her all my paper scraps and she works her alchemy to turn them into multi-functional, beautiful and Earth-friendly works.

WardOMatic: Ward Jenkins is an amazing and prolific illustrator, who has a style I adore.

CindyLindgren: Fellow Minnesotan, Cindy is a graphic designer with a flair for the Arts and Crafts style. She’s recently been branching out from cards and prints to rugs and fabric — genius! I’m particularly smitten with her Solomon’s Seal design.

PaintSquare: This duo has an aesthetic and eye for color that I find highly appealing. I will own a set of their work someday!

Elsita:  Elsa Mora is an outstanding paper cut artist who blogs regularly about her work and life, and who’s work takes my breath away.

Anything that Thom Kostura  puts in his treasuries!  Thom has an eye for creative, outside-the-box, well-crafted finds and curates them in brilliant collections. His belt buckles and cuff links are pretty sweet too.

After reading Marnie’s email I feel a little less crazed with Etsy.  Who knew that people actually put together curated lists of Etsy finds?  This is major news to me!  It’s like the heavens have opened up and gave me a glimpse into the promise land.  Now if I was Charlie Sheen, I would probably throw in a comment about prostitution and being paid $36 million a year to act in a crappy sitcom.  But like all good actors, I know when I should end a scene to get the maximum benefit.

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