About Me

My name is Amber, I am a stylist with a crafty past in Knoxville, TN.  Join me as I work to spruce-up my rental home with a small budget, some hand-me-down-furniture, and as much imagination as I can muster.

Me In the January Sun

Me In the January Sun

Some things about me–

  • *I love kitsch– campy, gaudy, and funky are some of my favorite descriptors.  I am also fascinated by vintage items that were intended to be disposed of– like amazing packaging, party supplies, gift wrap, etc.  So much effort went into making things eye-catching and just plain pretty.
  • I’m obsessed with scale– things that are proportionally HUGE (I have coined the term “Gigantiques”)  or tiny and diminutive (known all over the world as “miniatures”) are equally fascinating.  I have found that small things are (relatively) easy to collect, but the big ones, oy.  Over the years I have received some ‘kudos’ for my miniature work, among them: I won first place in a Dollhouse magazine competition for a 1:12 park scene; some of my 1:6 vintage kitchen scenes have been licensed through Getty Images, as well as some of a teddy bear picnic; and a few of my Barbie and Ken shots were selected by NPR when they were celebrating 50 years of Barbie.  My interests are always morphing and changing, but ever since my Dad built me that dollhouse in the first grade, I’ve been hooked on the tinies.
  • I have a weird talent for color.  I love, love, love the stuff.  Color– literally– brightens my day and my home every single day.  If I truly look at a shade, I can recall it with some close similarity later.  We– my family, friends, husband– have tested this, many times, over the years.  I still don’t know how this ‘talent’ is to pay off for me here in the real world, but until then my house reaps the benefits.  I don’t *have* to carry a bag full of paint swatches in order to perfectly match a fabric color.  (I do though– so I can show other people!)
  • On a related note to the color talent, I am also somewhat obsessed with colors that border two tones on a color wheel, particularly chartreuse (between yellow and green) and puce (between purple and red/pink).  Puce and chartreuse are VERY misunderstood!  (And if you learn ANYTHING from me– they are never, ever interchangeable terms.  Very different colors, those two!)
  • I am a complete Francophile, but that pink-poodle-1950’s version of France.  You know, the one they visit in “Funny Face.”  I took French in high school and college, and I secretly dream of brushing up and being fluent.  Until then, I will continue to watch Simpsons DVDs in dubbed in French (et avec la sous-titres!)  and dropping hints for Rosetta stone packages being gifted for Winter holidays.
  • I never met a craft that I couldn’t conquer!  One thing that is incredibly wonderful about putting in time handmaking things is that those crafty experiences overlap and inform the next generation of crafts… simply– the more you make, the better you get!
  • I currently live in a house with two cats and an old dog.  One of the cats is a gorgeous orange mouser that picked us and just wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer (and I’m sooo glad he wouldn’t!) and the other is a stylish lap panther and snuggle monster.  Our dog, Rosencranz Ann Guildenstern (Rosie) has been in our life for the last ten years, and loves our boy so wholeheartedly that I have absolutely no doubt she would drag him out to safety in the unfortunate event of a house fire.  I’m always battling fuzz and dander, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
  • I’m amicably divorcing a computer programmer that I can rarely talk into tending small changes here on the blog (a cobbler’s wife with no shoes and all that), who also dabbles as a magician and giant-bubble-maker in his spare time.  Our lives are filled with whimsy!
  • Our son is our only offspring; he is a music lover, LEGO fiend, puzzle master, and an adept reader.  We are so fortunate that he is in an excellent elementary program that caters to his skills.  So proud of my smart boy!
  • We currently rent a split-level home that was built in the seventies.  I live mainly upstairs, the ex lives mainly downstairs.  It works for us right now.  I have a very open and allowing landlord, but I still make some effort to comply with the fact while it is our home, it his his house.  I aim with my decor to strike the right balance of pleasing both of us as well as the landlord.
  • I work as a home stylist.  This means I help my clients make the best of what they have in their spaces and on a budget.  It’s a great career for me, I enjoy every minute of it, even when I’m working at my hardest.
  • I run an etsy shop (not currently open) and sometimes an ebay shop, both under the name lovenestdesign. I also do Pinterest, where you are welcome to follow my obsessive pinning– pinterest.com/lovenestdesign/
  • Our last home was featured on the etsy “Get the Look Decor” series on Valentine’s Day of 2010.  Such a big honor!  I think my taste and decorating ability has only improved since then, it’s my hope that I can generate some similar (or better!) coverage of this new place through a little hard work and blogging.
  • I love that you’re here!  Thanks for visiting and reading all of this junk about li’l me, my family, and our home.

***Oh, and also, one teensy note– all of my photos are 100% unretouched, all the time, guaranteed.  I don’t know how to do that photoshop wizardry, and my husband doesn’t have time.  So you can pretty much rely on the fact that what you’re seeing is completely unedited and as-is.  I try and get a decent photo, in the moment, with my little Canon Powershot or iphone and hope that they can stand alone.  (I cannot say the same in the event of guest photographers, but in that situation I promise I will credit the photo– all other uncredited photos, are mine.)

***Lastly, if you use or are inspired by or use any of my ideas or spaces, please link back to this blog (or my flickr page, as the case may be), and give credit where credit is due.  I would do it for you, and in many cases, I already have.  I have enough ideas of my own that I don’t have to pretend that that everything I do is all mine, all the time.  Let’s keep it real here folks, please!