My Story, my blogging experience…

Ever have one of those times when you’re feeling super blessed? When you’re so happy you could just burst? Nothing specific has happened. No awesome event. Not a special announcement or exciting news. I write for my DIY blog  (DIY Show Off and you’re here! “HI! Welcome! or Welcome back!”) and I almost always have a DIY project in progress. I looooove DIY. I love being crafty, decorating, improving my home, shopping, planning, organizing and even cleaning. I love learning. I love hands on. I love transforming ugly into pretty.  And I’m so thankful that what I love to do has become my career via my blog. It’s a dream come true and I’m thankful for each and every visit every single day, every link up, every comment, every share and every feature. And the encouragement and support I receive, that makes it all worth while. Thank you!

Hello! My e-friends call me Roeshel. My family calls me Shelly. Mr. DIY calls me Mittens. My girls call me Mim.

Roeshel at DIYShowOff

Since I’ve been blogging for so long, sometimes I assume I’ve known my blog friends all along. But my analytics shows differently most of the time. So, if you’re new to DIY Show Off {“Welcome! Hi! SO glad you’ve stopped by!”}…you may not know our story.

Here it is:

Growing up, my parents owned an old fixer upper farmhouse. We’re talking serious fixer upper. No bathroom. Chickens running through the kitchen. But, they used their small budget and turned that old farmhouse into a home filled with love and fun memories…the place I see in my head when I think about my childhood. I loved that old house. And I guess I turned out just like my mom in that way. She was always painting, the queen of wallpaper and super creative when it came to re-doing a house on a budget. She is my inspiration.

When I was a little girl, one of my favorite things to play with was my paper dolls. My sisters and I would create our own. We’d have dolls and clothes and I’d take the creativity a step further and make a paper house with furniture and accessories, a yard and barn with animals. Not much has changed. I still love creating a pretty home (minus the farm animals).

Thank You: I’m so thankful for my family. I mentioned my mom above. I’m very close to my (gulp. grown up) girls {Bri & Ali} who share my love of DIY and thrifty treasures. They’re both artistic and creative souls. They’re my best friends. They celebrate my small milestones.

My sister is always a great listener and has the best advice. She is always optimistic and supportive. She makes the best of every situation and always sees the silver lining or accepts things that cannot be changed. I could write 100,000 words on the people that mean the most to me. My long time friend always offers her help. My blog friends and readers…too many to list, but I can’t tell you how often my e-friends have left a kind comment just when I needed it or shared my excitement. These people make me want to give 100% and do my best when it comes to my blogging. I haven’t forgotten my husband…

My partner: I refer to him as my Mr. DIY.

Mr. DIY is the one who encourages me daily to live my dream, to do what I love. He is amazing and if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be a DIY blog author. He reassures me during those difficult times. We rarely argue. Our biggest argument: When something is lost. Nothing gets Mr. DIY’s blood boiling hotter than when he can’t find something. And 99.9% of the time it’s because of me. I’ve either

  1. put it away where it belongs and he’s staring straight at it but not seeing it,
  2. moved it somewhere without thinking as I was clearing clutter to stage photos for blogging and even I can’t find it for 20 years,
  3. or he’s left it where he last used it and doesn’t remember where that was.
His hobbies are DIY, cooking {specifically on his Big Green Egg}, gardening and home brewing. We’re considering adding his recipes to the blog. :)
 
When and why I started a blog: I started blogging in 2007. When we were looking to buy our home, it was after looking for a year and not finding the right place. We thought for sure we’d have to settle for something that wasn’t the perfect fit. But the day we looked at this place, despite it’s neglect, despite the fact that it was just plain gross, we couldn’t stop thinking about the things it had that we did want. The things that were most important to us. Location and size. A vision for what we wanted had a starting place. I grabbed some graph paper and started making up designs. The next day, Mr. DIY put an offer on the house. A bidding war ensued and we weren’t sure we’d win, but it was meant to be. We are the lucky owners of a home that will always have a DIY project in the works and I love the challenge. I love the character in old homes.

DIY Show Off Home Tour

I started a blog to journal our home improvements at the time when we purchased this old fixer upper farmhouse. Those who started blogging around the same time might remember me from Evangeline’s Vine. I blogged about our life as well. Then two years later, I decided to create a blog dedicated to DIY because I found that others enjoyed DIY home improvement and decorating just as much as I did. I wanted to create a place where others could show off their work and be encouraged. That’s when DIY Show Off was created. {I finally had the opportunity to give up my full time medical/administrative position  for a part time medical transcription job from home for the same company in 2009. My medical transcription position officially ended in 2011 and I became self employed! Hurray!} I LOVE my job now and look forward to ‘work’ every day.

DIY farmhouse kitchen makeover

farmhouse kitchen

Personal:

I haven’t always used the best judgement or made the best decisions, but I’m learning and believe that my life happened the way it did because it needed to. I think I’m a better person because of the choices, and yes, sometimes mistakes that I’ve made too. Things I dislike most about myself: lack of confidence, indecisiveness and not being witty or talkative. I always think of things I should have said after the fact. Drives me crazy! Things I do like about myself: My faith, my determination, my creative drive, my life.

BEHIND THE SCENES OF MY DIY BLOG

I chose the name DIY Show Off because after my first blog, I wanted a name that shared my specific interest. DIY and sharing – and I never meant for that to be ‘me’ as the “show off”, but a place for readers and other bloggers to “show off” their hard work. We put so much time, thought, energy, creativity and hard work into do-it-yourself and getting a little recognition for a job well done is an awesome feeling! Now that there are so many feature blogs, I’d love to come up with something prettier but I’m torn because after so long, changing a name feels like starting over. So DIY Show Off it is.

I’m always working on something and taking pictures along the way. Sometimes I’m working on five things. All at once. I love being creative and productive. I’m so blessed {and SO thankful} to be doing what I love to do. I wanted to explain what my days are like for those who don’t own a blog. This is my average day:

Nearly everyday:

  • After waking up and having breakfast, I check/answer emails.
  • Comments.
  • Social media.
  • Most times I visit a few blog friends, see what they’re up to, leave a comment, pin some inspiring ideas.
  • The most common windows open on my desktop are: other blogs, Gmail, analytics (real time), site meter (more analytics), my blog (both home page and dashboard), Pinterest, Facebook, Google+, HomeTalk.
  • I have to tear myself away from the computer to get showered and dressed (somedays not until later in the afternoon).
  • Back to the computer. lol!
  • Then on to a do-it-yourself project or running errands.
DIY Show Off Project Gallery (updated frequently)
 
DIY projects entail:
  • Gathering supplies.
  • Grabbing camera (making sure the battery is charged and there’s enough storage on the disk). Sometimes I forget this step and use my iphone if it’s more convenient for me.
  • Starting project.
  • Taking pictures along the way and thinking how to word things, what steps and tips are helpful (and checking to make sure pictures aren’t blurry and lighting is good, etc.).
  • Back to the computer in between steps which require drying time/etc.
  • Back to the project.
  • Finishing the project.
  • Staging project for “after” photos. Most times, this requires cleaning or at least clearing clutter (Wouldn’t it be fun to see behind the photographer or to the side of a project? In my house, you’ll most likely see a mess!)
  • Uploading photos to computer.
  • Organizing/sorting pictures.
  • Editing, labeling and re-sizing pictures.
  • Writing a tutorial.
  • Uploading pictures into post, making sure to label them correctly and give descriptions.
  • Proofreading. Rewriting tutorial (oh, about 3 times). And I don’t know about you, but by that time I have the post memorized and I’m not seeing mistakes. OR – who else does this: proofreading means adding to the post and all of a sudden, it’s a book. So more editing to narrow it back down to a reasonable length. No, I haven’t done that step with this post. ;)
  • Scheduling to publish or if I’m too excited, just hitting “publish”.
Sometimes I’m working on several projects at once and don’t get to the staging or editing in one given day (some projects may take a few days or a week). Some projects like a room take months. Our kitchen is still a work in progress a year later. When working at the apartment we own, there’s also a 45 min. one way drive to take into consideration. I also have to pack up tools and supplies and decide if something needs to be done at home or on location. For example: I wouldn’t pack up the miter saw. It’s a little crazy making cuts at home, driving 45 min. and realizing cut isn’t right though! Not that I’ve experienced that first hand or anything. Okay, maybe. ;)
Shopping!
 
Some days, I go thrift store shopping and hit the estate sales. Most common purchase? Decorative items or things to re-purpose and second hand clothes. I’d prefer to shop for my clothes in a thrift store than a mall. I love wearing something that feels one of a kind rather than one off of a rack of 20.
 
There’s also shopping for home improvement and decorating materials.
My favorite stores {not including the hardware store…that’s a no brainer!}:
  • St. Vincent de Paul
  • Target
  • TJMaxx
  • GoodWill/Salvation Army
  • HomeGoods, Ikea, Hobby Lobby – but they’re at least an hour drive that I only make a few times a year.
Window shopping at: Restoration Hardware, Anthropologie, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Ballard Designs, Wisteria. Addicted to Decor Steals.

The Good/The Bad: Blogging is a roller coaster experience. When visits are up, I’m on cloud 9. I feel loved. Bloggers can’t help but smile or have that happy feeling – “Hey, someone took the time to visit, to comment, to encourage me, to understand me! YAY! I helped/taught someone something today. I inspired someone!” It’s an awesome on top of the world feeling! Being featured, being recognized. Hard work appreciated. Helping someone. Teaching. Making friends. That all makes blogging worthwhile. And at the same time, a day with no comments or low stats, well, it feels down right discouraging. And while all bloggers try NOT to let pageviews control our mood, the reality is, sometimes it does. I’m learning the trick is “don’t look” so often.

blog stats

And those discouraging days? Those are the days when I turn off the computer, step away from blogging and spend time on other interests. For me it’s family, friends, just watching tv or reading a book. Sometimes bloggers need to re-energize and put blogging on the back burner. But again, it’s an addiction and more than likely, that blogger (me) is back online within the hour. ;)

Blogging for money: When blogging starts to cost money, making some is helpful. DIY Show Off earns money from ad networks and sponsored posts when the product, company or service is a good fit.  Money goes back into the blog. I’d guess a big % goes to doing projects which provide free content and makeover our home at the same time. I’m so thankful for the opportunities blogging has given me. Blogging has given me some dream come true moments and I’m still dreaming. :)

Blogging is time consuming!

As I mentioned above, in between all of the work it takes to create a blog post with original content, time for blog maintenance is required. Sometimes a blog will let you know when maintenance is needed (not a good day). And if you’re a little technically challenged like me, it takes a lot of research on Google to figure things out. I also have an awesome web developer who I email or call on for technical emergencies (or what feels like emergencies to me) frequently. I’m also in a few online groups and bother my friends and seek help there if all else fails.

Blogging highlights/things that have made me squeal for joy/accomplisments:

DIY Show Off Features

DIY Show Off features

  • Making friends and meeting others who share my love for DIY, home improvement and decorating is by far my favorite thing ever about blogging. Online friends are every bit as wonderful as real life ones. :)
  • Being featured by other bloggers. When hard work is recognized and an e-friend feels it’s worthy to share with their readers…it’s the best news of the week!
  • Being featured in magazines. When This Old House contacted me a couple of years ago, I felt like I won the lottery! What? Me? My budget bathroom makeover?! Yes!!!!!!! And the ones since then have left me with that same elation. Definitely a dream come true!
  • FrogTape Blog Squad and spokesperson. Promoting a product I use all.the.time is an awesome experience! And those FrogTape ads in Country Living and House Beautiful made me realize that being a blogger is awesome and serious and I’m exactly where I want to be.
  • Shaw Floors/HGTV Home design challenge – the all expense paid trip to design a room around a floor with Cassity (Remodelaholic) and several other teams of bloggers was an unbelievable and amazing experience that I will never ever forget.

DIY dream art

My dreams include continuing help others realize they can create a home they love on a small budget and a lot of DIY, to grow the DIY Show Off business and amazing opportunities to work with the brands I believe in. I’d love to create my own brand one day. My dreams include a full featured magazine article about something I’ve done with a real professional photography session. My dreams include a special project that my girls and I are working on. {Not something super huge, but something sweet that we’ll accomplish together.} My dreams include being able to continue doing what I love, to inspire others. My dreams do not include being famous…unless someone invents a dork filter. ;) But I would like to be on tv one day if I can ever get over my anxiety associated with public speaking! What are your dreams?

Embracing imperfection: While blogging means showing off our best, the truth is…we have a messy house sometimes. Maybe even most of the time. Sometimes I’m behind on cleaning, laundry, projects or blogging because life comes first. And for every staged photograph, if you could turn the camera around or just a little to the left or right and see what I see…it’s “real life”. The same with our DIY. Real life contains “oops” and boo-boos and imperfections. Creating a comfortable, beautiful environment for your family doesn’t have to be perfect. Just do what you love. I spend more time in my home than anyone else on earth and all that matters when it comes down to it, is that we’re happy with our surroundings. {see my “keeping it real” post}

staged vs real life

BLOGGING COMMUNITY: The do-it-yourself blogging community is filled with so many talented, amazing friends who share the same passion! Isn’t that the best? When others in real life mostly have other interests, sharing within our DIY, decorating, crafting community is so cool because those friends understand! Those friends are excited to see how a tool works or how an ugly piece of furniture gets transformed or how $100 can transform a room. We all share the same addictions and the same obsessions. In my real life, friends can sometimes appreciated it but don’t always understand it.

thank you so much blog friends

{original source}

I just wanted to tell you a little bit more about the girl behind DIY Show Off. And to tell you this: YOU are a HUGE source of inspiration and encouragement. If it wasn’t for YOU being here, there wouldn’t be a blog. Without your support, it’s just a diary but because of you, because of blog friends and readers, my diary became a blog and I am thankful every single day. Thank you for making this girl’s dreams come true.

And if you’ve read through this entire post…thank you x 100! I’ve always wanted to share a little bit more about myself. Maybe that was a lot. lol! But thank you for following along. It means so much more to me than you can imagine

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