Since today is a day of Thanksgiving here in the US, I thought it was a good time to combine saying thanks and sharing just a little more about the book-writing process in one post. I had already turned in the final manuscript and my editor, Michelle, asked me to write my acknowledgements. Oh…I hadn’t even thought about that! I felt like I could write a book of thank yous to people, but I didn’t want to bore readers, so I mentioned the key people and kept it brief. I’d like to expand on those acknowledgements here, though, to let you know why I mentioned who I did…
My family, of course, for all of their love.
This one is obvious. My family has been a huge part of this entire journey. My mom prodded me to start a business and my parents were my initial investors. They have also helped at antique fairs, painted furniture, shopped with me, put tags on strings, proofread articles, cheered me on…so much that I could never repay. My husband has picked up furniture, delivered furniture, repaired furniture, built things, fixed things, picked out my computers, helped with my retail space, given me feedback, proofread articles, chapters and blog posts, done u-turns for promising yard sales, and has been all-around wonderful as my business has grown. He’s even thinking about starting a blog of his own! My boys keep me from being too impractical with my decorating, which makes me better at what I do. They also help load and unload my van, stick pins in the pieces I’m upholstering and sprinkle glitter. My brother came up with the name Miss Mustard Seed and helped me with technical decisions early on. My in-laws have helped me in so many ways as well…shopping with me, watching the boys when I needed to work, giving me things to sell or use in my home and they have always been “fans.” Beyond that, my aunt gave me furniture to paint and stuff to sell and has been an encouragement all along the way. I know not all entrepreneurs have support from their family, but mine has been awesome and I’m so thankful.
The gift book team at Thomas Nelson, for seeing my potential and making this book a reality.
This team is amazing. Not only were they working with me on a professional level, but they were readers and fans of my blog and truly wanted to see this book happen. They persisted and tweaked until we got the thumb’s up. Had I been in the hands of a different group of people, this book may not have happened. I don’t even know all of the hours they put in behind the scenes, but I’m so thankful for their hard work.
My editor, Michelle Burke, for bringing out the best in my words and photographs.
This lady is awesome. Awesome. She was critical and encouraging all at one time, which is a true art. She made me think, gave me suggestions, gave me direction when I felt lost, picked me up when I was discouraged and said just the right thing at the right moment to get my creative juices racing. I love Michelle. She also has wicked good grammar.
Charlene Mindte aka “Mini Mustard Seed”, for taking such great care of my boys when I needed to work and for being my hand model.
My boys were not in school full time when I wrote this book, so Charlene took care of the little guys when I needed to work. I’d also call her in at critical moments to use her pretty hands in my pictures. She’s helped me with making ornaments, sheet music wreath, glitter letters and painting furniture. I would’ve really struggled to meet deadlines without her help and you would be distracted by my freakish thumbs and hang nails in pictures if I had done my own hand modeling!
Jami Clune, Dee Kasberger, Lisa Leonard, Laura Dreyer, Cindy Austin, Ann Drake, Kristi Abernathy, Alice and Jay, and Christi Wilson for creating some of the beautiful accessories, artwork and pillows in my home.
All of these ladies made beautiful things (most of them for free) for me to use in my home. Many of them sent things to me before they knew their work would be featured in a book. I have been overwhelmed by the generosity I have received through the blog world and these ladies are a big part of that.
Jami made the clay tag on page 187, Dee Kasberger created the artwork on page 165, Lisa Leonard made the place card holder on page 194 (the name on the card was my grandmother’s), Laura Dreyer painted the nest on page 167 (she also designed my logo, which is featured throughout the book), Cindy Austin painted the cow on page 107, Ann Drake made the ticking and linen pillows on pages 12, 38-39 along with some others featured throughout the book, Kristi Abernathy made the clay tag on page 65, Alice and Jay made the lamps on page 166, and Christi Wilson made upholstery webbing bunting on page 53.
I also want to slip in a thank you to Jody McKitrick who took all of the photographs of me in the book. She was credited, but not thanked in the acknowledgements.
Karen Watson, Barb Blair, Shaunna West, Donna Williams and all of the “DIY Divas” for their friendship, advice and encouragement.
Karen, aka The Graphics Fairy, has been one of my mentors. She’s the reason I’m a vendor at Lucketts. She has taught me soooo much about blogging and business. She has also been a true friend and when something exciting happens, I want to pick up the phone and call Karen. If we were teenagers, we’d have slumber parties a lot.
I’ve only been in the same state as Barb Blair of Knack twice since I’ve known her, but that’s enough to consider her one of my very dear friends. She called me out of the blue one day and we talked for over an hour. Then we talked the next day for over an hour and the day after that and then I was referring to her as my “good friend, Barb” when my husband asked who I was talking to all the time. We talk paint, family, balance, books, opportunities, retail spaces, furniture, nose rings and business. I’ve called her crying and she prays with me. She’s always brought things back to the things that are really important.
Shaunna West of Perfectly Imperfect has been one of those people I loved immediately when I met her. We have so much in common and she has been so encouraging. Our businesses and families are almost parallel, so she’s been a great person to talk to when I need some perspective. She’s also just so stinkin’ inspiring and another friend who prays with me on the phone.
Donna Williams of Funky Junk Interiors was my first blog friend. She reached out to me and we started partnering up on the Workshop Series and later the Copy Me Challenge. I am absolutely certain that those collaborations helped our blogs grow. We made a promise that I would have her book on my coffee table and she would have my book on her coffee table. I kept up my end of the bargain and now it’s her turn. :)
The DIY Divas are my “tribe.” Girls who have my back, who I can bounce things off of and who have been amazing with helping to review and promote my book.
All of my blog readers, fans and friends, for following my adventures through every blog post. This book may not have happened without their subscriptions, comments and clicks.
This isn’t just a casual shout out to my peeps. This is a sincere thank you. Thomas Nelson only paid attention to me and my blog because you did first You were a part of the pitch and a part of the argument to take a chance on a first time author. You have been a key part of my journey. Thank you.
Last, but certainly not least, I am so thankful to the Lord, for creating me, saving me, shaping me into who I am today, and using me despite all of my imperfections.
I love that God uses people time and again who are broken, filled with faults and have left behind a trail of mistakes and bad decisions. I am no exception and it’s only through His grace that a decorating blog has become a ministry, encouragement and inspiration to others. It’s only by His goodness that this business has been so blessed along the way. I have no design, writing, photography or business training and really have no business writing a book when looked at from a human perspective. He has opened doors and I’ve simply walked through.
“…For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”