Monday, September 23, 2013

The Princess Bed

Awhile back, I was contacted by a very special friend, Nora, who wanted me to paint a bed for her daughter. Nora's family is very near to my heart as their family has been affected by cancer too. Little Abigail is three and a half, and up until now, has shared a bedroom with her big brother. Her little brother is now big enough to move from his crib and thus, Abbie is getting her own room!

What started out as a very ho-hum dull bed has been transformed into something so, so sweet. An older maple twin bed, missing the spindles, pretty scratched up and looking yucky! The only perimeters were in needed to match the colors of her bedroom. The colors in the bedroom are brown, pink and one other that I keep forgetting. Abbie's request was for hot pink (which I love) but I wanted to paint the bed so when she finally tires of hot pink, her bed will grow with her. Hmmmm, how do I do that?

Perusing Pinterest for color ideas, I came across the GORGEOUS bed painted with Coco, Antoinette and Old White. So, off to the mixing room (AKA the kitchen) to make my own custom colors.

I made a mix of about 2 parts Antoinette to one part Coco (kinda looks like melted Neapolitan ice cream) and painted a coat and a half. Then I made a color wash of Antoinette and slapped it on, let it sit for a few minutes and wiped off the excess. The look is amazing! I topped it with one coat of clear wax.

 But, the bed needed a little something. So, I used a little Miss Mustard Seed Antique wax in the crevices. Now, if you wonder why I didn't use AS dark wax, it is because MMS antique wax allows a little more precision. Still, it wasn't done. I mixed Old White and Clear Wax and used an old rag to hodge podge the bed. wasn't done. It was looking pretty good, but needed a little shimmer for our very precious little princess, so I used a fine paint brush and applied a silver gilding wax. Perfect! It will get one more coat of clear wax and a good buffing to give it a high shine and then, it will be perfect for Abbie!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Island Fever

It's been awhile since I have checked in. Life has been so busy, but I am finally slowing down and finishing up some small projects and starting a couple big ones.

I was commissioned to redo a boring oak kitchen island in an otherwise great space. This island was begging to be redone. It had been painted black, but the paint was starting to chip off. (This is why painting cabinetry with standard oil base paint can be a bad idea). It took a little bit of work to convince the resident that French Linen with clear and dark wax would give her the look she wanted, but in the end, I told her if it wasn't exactly what she wanted, I would redo it. After the first couple coats of ASCP French Linen, said resident loved the color. But wait! There's more! After the clear coat of wax, the piece was looking lovely, but not quite done yet.. As soon as I started putting the dark wax on, she started crying! OK, not really, but in my imagination she was. ;-) However, she did absolutely love it, and was amazed at how adding a little dimension through wax changed the entire look. What do you think? Feel free to ask questions, or leave a comment.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Springtime = creative juices flowing!

I'm finally getting some energy back and not in such pain. (yea!). The mister has been requesting I clear out my work space (AKA the garage) and since I've been feeling super creative lately, I decided it is time to get busy! I am reminded of my favorite quote from the movie, "Shawshank Redemption", "You can get busy living, or you can get busy dying". Since I have no plans on dying today, I'll just get busy instead.

A while back, I wrote about the antique buffet I scored at GW (Goodwill). Built, I am guessing, in the 1940's. It had a pretty rough paint job, but has great bones about it and in otherwise great shape. Not really sure what I wanted to do with it, I started by stripping the top with my favorite citrus stripper (not to be confused with Gypsy Rose, which is a totally different kind of stripper). Once the top was bare, it revealed itself to be a beautiful cherry wood. Score! All the top needed was a fine sanding and some new stain.

I painted the rest in ASCP Old White, but it was too white. As with every project I work on, it evolves and sometimes gets multiple colors. So, I ended up going with ASCP in Old Ochre. Old Ochre is one of my favorites. It is a creamy color with slightly yellow undertones. I topped it with three coats of clear wax. Speaking of wax, I can't remember if I have ever talked about furniture wax in any sort of detail? There really is a difference in quality of waxes, so get a good quality like Annie Sloan or Hemmet's. You usually have to go to an antique store to get some of the better waxes. Big box stores just don't carry the really good stuff. I know some people swear by Minwax, but trust me, go up a step and get something better. You will be so much happier. I've been using AS waxes because they are super creamy and easy to work with. You can apply with a wax brush and let it sit a couple of minutes and start rubbing off the excess. I actually use old t-shirts because they don't deposit lint on everything and if who doesn't have old t's around? When I run out, I run to my local GW, and they have bags of them for dirt cheap!

After my beauty was all stained, painted, painted, and painted, and waxed, waxed, waxed. I took the original hardware and spray painted...yes, spray painted the hardware in Rustoleum's spray paint for metal in Aged bronze. I love it! Are you ready to see what it looks like now?
What do you think? Leave me a note, I would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The blizzard of 2013

The kids were ecstatic to learn they were getting a snow day today. I don't know about you all, but I think I get just as excited and happy when there is a snow day. Snowy, blustery days are perfect for lounging in pajamas all day, eating grilled cheese sandwiches, drink cocoa and watch movies. Naturally, I didn't do any of that. Although I have been in sweats and sweatshirt all day. So I think that sort of counts.

What a snow day is good for, it starting, working on, or completing little projects around the house that have been ignored for far too long.

After pouring my first cup of joe this morning, I climbed back into bed with my laptop and started surfing the internet in hopes of finding some ideas for decorating our master bedroom. We have had the same style furniture for as long as we have been married and it's really good quality, so I know the mister will put his foot down if I try to cajole him into new digs for the room. So, what can a person do with a limited budget but unlimited ideas? hmmmmm

I've been saving "pins" on Pinterest for a while now and as I looked over my boards today, I realized my taste tends to lean towards a French provincial look. I love the look of antique linens in creams and whites, with pillows piled high. I love the simplicity of basic, great quality window coverings and I love antiques in pretty much all shape, condition and size.

Is that what I have? No. This is my husband's dresser (mine has too much stuff on the top to photograph at the moment).

I was thinking maybe I would paint it something lighter and antique it, maybe in a soft gray? And then my friend talked me off the proverbial furniture ledge and reminded me that this is a classic style and will never truly go out of style. I might switch out the drawer pulls for something else. Not sure yet. 

What I am going to do is move this fabulous armoire that my Momma painted down into the guest room. It only houses my husband's old military uniforms and is taking up precious floor space. I think it will great in the guest room and add an element of fun. 

It is pretty cool, don't you think? My Momma is super talented. I often wonder why it is that my Mother, who has had her painting in museums and galleries all over the world, did not pass on any drawing gifts to me whatsoever! I also have a couple of very talented sisters who can draw ANYTHING! I can paint, just not anything other than colors. All in all, I still have to thank Mary Ann for bestowing on me the gift to be able to visualize and bring to fruition fun colorful furniture. Love you Mom!

I was trying to draw some inspiration off things I love and I always come back to this picture:
This was bought off a street painter in the Piazza Novona in Rome. I love the old architecture. This painting makes me visualize what is inside. What does the furniture look like? Is it over sized and dark? Is it petite and light? Is it hundreds of years old? I don't know, but I am going to redo my bedroom in what I imagine is inside. Want to know what I am going to do? You'll have to wait, but be guaranteed that re-purposed drop cloth will be involved. 

Keep watching!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A New Dawn, A New Day, A New perspective on Life

There hasn't been much creative activity going on in my work space (AKA the garage) lately. Well, there have been creative thoughts, but no activity. I am hoping that is going to change soon and have been busy purchasing some ultra cool things to get going. OK, they don't look like ultra cool things at the moment, but they will be!

You might remember what spurred the beginnings of Quinnspirations, having cancer, right? Yep. Well, it seems that after you have surgery your body is more prone to getting hernias where the incision has weakened and allows hernias to bloom. And man, was my body ripe for some hernias! I had hernia repair a few weeks ago and it really kicked me in the tuckus. Is that a word? If not, it is now. I've been sporting this lovely hernia girdle wrap around my mid section for about five weeks now and only have three more to go. (Insert sarcastic joy here). I still can't lift anything more than 15 pounds, but this recovery hasn't stopped me from thinking of all the cool stuff I can create.

I finally ventured to one of my favorite places in town, The Habitat for Humanity Restore. Not all Restores are created equal. Some have furniture and some have building material, and some, like ours, has a bunch of junk. I mean that in the most literal term. I keep seeing things like Pepto Bismal pink sinks from the 60's, and formica as far as the eye can see. Also, old toilets in every shape, but all more than 20 years old each. Sometimes, I pick up remnants of some of these materials (not the toilets silly) to practice new methods. Before I painted the cabinets and counters in the cabin, I picked up materials very similar to what I wanted to paint on from Restore, just to make sure I could do it and not ruin a perfectly ugly 1980's kitchen.

This week at Restore I picked up some way cool materials (don't want to spill the beans yet) and can't wait to get going on revamping 100 yr, somethings...into something super cool. So, keep an eye out.

In the meantime, I encourage you to check out places like Restore, or salvage shops to see what fun things you find.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Interview

I don't blog or create furniture because I am looking for fame or success. I blog as an outlet to share creations and creative ideas with others as a way to get the word out on my quest to help find a cure for Ovarian Cancer. As you know, 100% of the proceeds of any furniture piece I do goes directly to The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. I am hoping to be be able to donate $10,000 this year. Um, so please go buy my furniture! ;-) (Which can be found at Cashmere and Coco in Vail, CO, or if you are in the area, you can come see what I am working on and I can custom fit it to your needs).

I've spoken about my way cool, gal pal, Reyne Hirsch before. Reyne truly is a one woman power house! She can be seen on multiple seasons of Antique Roadshow, and now can be seen on episodes of Treasure Detectives. I love that show! That and Rehab Addict. I just know Nicole and I would be pals if we ever hung out. Anyway, Reyne can be found everywhere...and I mean everywhere. I get tired just thinking about all the stuff she does: Huffington Post, book author, antique appraiser on a huge scale, fine art dealer, production company name it. So Reyne hooked me up with this gal, also a cancer survivor, Robin McCoy who blogs at Robin interviews Moms (and Dads) and chose me to interview. Wow! I am so blessed to a) still be walking this Earth, b) have friends who know people, and c) get the word out on what I am doing and hoping to achieve.  So, without further ado, here is the interview:

Spotlight on Mom: Holly Quinn of Quinnspirations

When I heard about Holly Quinn and the reason for starting her business. Quinnspirations, it struck a cord and made me want to share her story.  Like me, Holly, battled cancer and beat it -- Yeah!.  Upon being diagnosed, she, like many others who receive this scary, life changing diagnosis, decided that she wanted to spend her time not in an office, but with family.  So, she stopped working, to stay home and raise her children.  Bored while they were in school, Holly began refinishing furniture to keep busy.  She takes gently used and vintage furniture and repurposes it, or refurbishes it. Many items she sources via Craigslist, Goodwill or garage sales. With a bit of creative ingenuity, and elbow grease, Holly turns cast off's into showroom beauties. Her furniture can be found in the brick and mortar store, Cashmere and Coco in Vail Colorado. The store is owned by Jesse and Ann Csincsak, former reality stars from the shows The Bachelor and Bachelorette. Holly turns a few hundreds into several thousands and is always being asked to create more.

But, the best part about Holly's story is that she donated 100% off all profits to the Ovarian Cancer Research fun, in hopes that a cure will be found, and lives will be saved.  How great is that?  :-)  I am so glad I found out about Holly, and that she took time out of her busy schedule to respond to my Spotlight on Mom feature.  Below is my interview with Holly, as she shares more about her new business, Quinnspirations and person journey as a mom entrepreneur.  Enjoy!

Name: Holly Quinn
Company Name/Product/Service: Quinnspirations
Company Location: In my house at the moment, but looking for the right location to open our retail location
Company Website: (under construction)
Facebook URL:
Age of Company: one year
Favorite Inspirational Quotes: "You can get busy living, or you can get busy dying". Shawshank Redemption 

Favorite Book: "To Kill a Mockingbird"


Tell us a little bit about yourself. How many children do you have? What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc. 

I have four children: 25, 22, 16 and 14. I enjoy running, painting, sewing, refinishing furniture, making all natural body scrubs, cleaning supplies and body products

Briefly explain your business. How did it come about? 

I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and decided being a corporate woman was taking too much time from my family. Cancer is really a wake-up call to what is important in life. I needed activities to keep me occupied, but that I could do in 15 minute increments (That's about all the energy I had) so I started making all natural products. Then my sister told me I should refinish a table we I thought, "why not". This has evolved into taking cast-off furniture and making them beautiful with fun colors and whimsical designs. Next up? I am taking an upholstery classes and learning to make my own furniture from reclaimed wood.

What is a typical work day like? 

I only work during school hours. My day often starts with looking for materials and furniture. I only do the physical work a couple hours a day.

What has been a struggle while starting up your company? 

Trial and error of figuring out what products work and what products don't. By the time I have finished a piece, I might have 80- hours into it because I want it to be a one of a kind, work of art.

What did you do in your past work life? 

I was an insurance agent.

What have been some of your major successes? 

Having a boutique owner ask to showcase my furniture in Vail, Co!

What have been some of your major challenges? 

Trying to transport large pieces of furniture!

On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going? 

100% of the proceeds from my furniture painting goes to The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund so we can kick cancer's butt!

What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family? 

My family always comes first, and I do not compromise. My husband is a rock! So, when I need to make a delivery to the mountains, he is more than happy to get kids where they need to be.

What is next for your business? 

I have found a business partner and we are in the process of finding just the right property to open our own retail store where we will specialize in up-cycling.

Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business? 

Go for it! Sometimes, we don't try new things for fear of failure. But, I think we don't try new things for fear of success.

Friday, February 22, 2013

National News

Hi everyone! I just wanted to brag a bit. One of my tables is in this weeks issue of Star Magazine (Page 22). Yeah!!!! Here is the photo: 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Le French Buffet

It's been awhile since my last post. I've been working on something pretty cool. I took this boring, blah buffet and worked on it, and worked on it, and worked on it.

I had a special request from a client to make it turquoise and fabulous! Now, making something fabulous is a tall order, but I felt up to the challenge.  

The great thing about what I do, is I set my own schedule and paint at my home. So, if I find myself awake at 4:30 A.M., (which sadly happens frequently thanks to hot flashes) I can go and paint.  And, paint I did, and paint, and paint, and paint. Did I mention I painted?

It called for just the right shade of paint and it took about 10 different blends of colors to get just the right shade of turquoise. Then, the color was perfect, but it just needed a little something. I played with some free hand painting and it wasn't quite right.

In the middle of the night, it suddenly came to me. This piece was going in Cashmere and Coco (Vail, CO) and Coco is Chanel's first name, and Coco Chanel was French....this little western American looking piece, needs some oh la la! It needed some Parisian....But, how does one go about oh la la ing? Why, French poetry of course! Oui!

My favorite Annie Sloan stockist has some UH MAZE ING stencils. Now, these are not your ordinary stencils. They cost mega bucks (read...husband will freak out when the credit card comes) stencils. But, it is what this piece needed! A lovely spring-time French poem about flowers stenciled on the top in cream color.
My friend, Shawn, who only ever tells me the truth about my work...including when she doesn't like things, told me this is her favorite piece I have ever done. Not ever one to be humble, this is my favorite piece too. Something about it speaks to my soul. Look how good it looks in Cashmere and Coco!
photo by Jesse Csincsak

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The cabin kitchen re-do

We bought this great little cabin up in the mountains a while back and ultimately, we hope to live here full time in our Golden years. Well, there and Italy, but that's just a dream. I mean wouldn't want to hear someone say "ciao bella" every time you leave a shop or trattoria? (insert sigh here), Anyway.....we bought this cabin and the kitchen was so circa 1980s! Truly, the only things missing were shoulder pads and Aquanet! It had builders grade stock oak cabinets in a golden oak finish and teal laminate counter tops. Teal, people? Really? What were you thinking? I suppose not every choice I made in the 80's was great should see my Brooke Shields uni-brow I was sporting and man, did I have some shoulder pads.

Here is the dilemma No money for a costly kitchen renovation, and big desire to bring the kitchen into at least something that looks not so dated and hideous. So, I did some research. I looked high and low and far and wide for any product I could use to upcycle what we already had. Rustoleum makes some great products to re-face your cabinets and counters, but at a cost of over $200 per kit, I figured my makeover would cost about $1,200. And that, my friends, was not in the budget! Secretly, I am hoping if I save my pennies I can totally redo a few things in the house anyway and didn't want to spend too much at this point in time.

What is a girl to do? Why grab her can of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint of course! I removed the hinges and laid the cabinet doors on drop cloth on the floor. Be careful to leave them in the order they were hung, or you will regret it when trying to re-hang them. I did three layers of ASCP in Old Ochre and two layers of clear wax. You could experimenter with the dark wax, or even use different colors for upper and lower cabinets. My original plan was to use Old Ochre on the uppers and Coco on the lowers, but when I got there, it made the kitchen too dark, so went with all Old Ochre.

How much better does this look? This photo was taken at night and the place looks tons brighter, don't you think?New aged bronze hinges! This entire project took two days, and most of that was waiting for the paint and wax to dry. To help the waxing go faster, I bought an orbital buffer. What an arm saver!

Now, anyone who knows me knows projects are never truly finished and merely works in progress, so up next I had to tackle the elephant in the room..or rather the shoulder pads...aka...the counter tops. 

The four younger folks who I spawned will tell you that I talk to anyone, um, and everyone....and so......

I went to pick up my totally awesome Thomasville Georgian style sofas off Craigslist and I spy a can of ASCP in the lady's garage. So I had to talk about it! We talked at length and she invited me into her lovely home to see her latest project; she had painted the tile surround on her fireplace, and it looked great! But, the real prize was seeing her kitchen, which she had chalk painted! Then, this amazing woman, went on to tell me about Giani Granite! Oh lady from Craigslist, how I love thee! (Insert cautionary warning here...please be careful when shopping Craigslist, there are some truly weird and bad people out there).

I researched Giani Granite ( and it had really good reviews! The best part? It costs about $65 and one kit is enough to do a small kitchen! Yippee ki yay!!!! If you can use tape and a roller brush, you can use this stuff! You can order it online, but I found a local place that stocked check it out!

This entire project took me less than two hours. In fact, since I was alone at the cabin, I put on the movie Jerry Maguire and paused it every time I was done with a step and it took me to the line, "You had me at hello",  to finish the entire thing!

Step one, tape anything you don't want to get black primer on. Especially your appliances!

Step two, roll the primer on and let is sit several hours.

Step three, four and five. Take the three colors and apply one at a time, with the enclosed sponge. It looks pretty bad at first, but you can see the colors starting to meld together. 
Giani Granite chocolate brown, primed with first color.
all three colors added
close up of the three colors. 

Then you put on the enclosed sealer, which really and truly makes it look like granite! I am not kidding you! It is a bit tricky to apply the top coat. Just watch the Giani videos and it will be a snap!

And here, my friends, is the final look. The entire project cost me roughly $200! So, what are you waiting for?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Where to score the good deals?

I am asked, quite frequently, where do I get furniture to upcycle? I look in a multitude of places and I look frequently. 

1. Craigslist. Craigslist is  like going to a potluck, you never know what you'll find, or where you'll find it. And, if you are looking for something specific, you need to look often. If I am in search of something specific like the funky buffet I am working on, I might look two or three times a day. It helps to also expand your search. For instance, I like to take old, broken down antiques and fix them up but if I search "antiques" on CL, I usually find higher end things. So, I might look under the furniture tab, but type in "antique" or "old" in the search engine. That tactic usually brings more hits. 
Also, when shopping CL, you have to go with an open mind, cash on hand and an adventurous state of mind. Once, I was looking for an antique sled (see older post). When I get to the address, every stick of furniture that is normally INSIDE the house was now OUTSIDE the house, sitting on the lawn...and it looked like it had been there for quite a while. I was a little scared I might get bit by a rat, so I called the person and asked them to bring the sled out. I was quite surprised when the seller steps out of his RV (parked in the drive way) and brings me the sled. That was an interesting day to say the least!

I have scored off Craigslist" Two BRAND NEW Thomasville sofas (in my living room) for $100 each. They were used to stage a million dollar home. Ethan Allen sofa and side tables, lots of antiques and a few pieces of junk. 

2. Thrift stores. Shop frequently! If I am in the neighborhood of my local Goodwill or Salvation Army (or whatever local place), I'll pop in. I bypass all the clothing (um...usually, but there is a really good one that I go to that I always at least peruse the clothing because it is pretty high end...shhhhh, don't tell the kids) and head straight to the furniture. In the last couple of months I have found a full 9 piece mid-century modern dining room set for $125. I painted it in Arles from Annie Sloan and it is currently in Vail. I also found a beautiful Drexel Heritage easy chair for $25. Mint condition. Not sure what to do with it, so it is sitting in my garage...probably becoming a mouse nest.

3. Garage/Tag sales. Look online through your local newspaper or even the garage sale listings on Craigslist. Usually people will tell you what pieces of furniture they are selling. If you are super interested in something, get there a few minutes before advertised opening time and make an offer. If you are just our perusing for furniture, go later and haggle over price. Most people just want to get rid of stuff at that point.

Here is a photo montage of a few scores of Craigslist.

What are your favorite places for scoring good deals?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The $50 pillowcase

Since it is a new year and most people have some sort of resolution, who am I to go against the grain?

I really want to learn to upholster furniture, but am aware some modicum of sewing skills might be required. And, since I didn't even know what a seam ripper was, I figured I  better learn. Baby steps Holly, baby steps.

A couple of weeks ago there was a Groupon for two hours of beginning sewing classes for two people, so I signed me and the youngest Quinn up for the class. She'll thank me for it later, I am we tote our newly purchased machine and our bobbins, whatever they are, off to the sewing shop. We were pleased to find two other moms and daughters in attendance. Oh, what fun we were going to have! The anticipation of newly sewn projects were dancing in my head. 

In reality, after two hours of class, I had no more skills than when I went in as the instructor spent most of the time trying to figure out one of the other students sewing machine. But, girl child and I had fun learning(?) together and we went away with mostly completed tote bags, and directions on how to complete them on our own.

What is an inspired gal to do? All this creative energy surging through my veins and still no mad sewing skills. Sigh. I put on my big girl pants and went to one of the places that intimidates me the most....Joann Fabrics. I looked for the most senior employee in the store, justifying that surely if you are the oldest employee in a fabric/craft store you must have years and years of experience...and I was not disappointed! The lovely 70 something year old lady took me (literally) by the hand, showed me what projects beginners should work on (pajama pants, pillow cases and aprons), helped me pick out fabric (and a seam ripper), and then told me about classes! Oh Kate, how I love you! 

I immediately went and signed up for four classes (go big or go home) because they were all half off! Today Miss Ann (also 70 something years young) taught us how to thread a sewing machine, the importance of perfection and she made me rip out one seam and redo it three times. But the results were amazing! I have the most beautiful pillowcase ever! And it only cost me $50 including class and materials, but it is priceless!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Back to the grind

The two older kids have gone back to their homes, the husband is back to work after 17 days (and we are still married!). The two younger ones have two more days of break and then it's just me and the dogs at home. Sigh. What is a girl to do with so many hours to herself during the day? I have so many project ideas going on in my brain, it's hard to decide what to do first.

I need to finish my teal blue, funky buffet to get to Cashmere and Coco in Vail, CO.( for my furniture there. I mean, do I really need much encouragement to go hang out with Ann and Jesse (former Bachelor and Bachelorette show contestants) Who are, quite possibly one of the coolest couples I know. Hanging out with them makes me feel cool by association. Them, and my friend Reyne  (that's Reyne as in owner, jewelry designer, Tiffany Glass dealer, author and as seen on TV multiple seasons of Antique Roadshow), coolest people I know. I told you, I am cool by association! 

The other furniture projects I need to get started/finished or whatever are: the way, way cool antique Asian rice bin that I am going to re-purpose into a ski holder for the cabin, finish the French, antique dresser, start the next dining room table, re-cover the dining room chairs, make new curtains for the homestead house (am thinking of using Miss Mustard Seed's idea of using drop cloth), and finally teach myself how to reupholster so I can re-cover the two Thomasville sofas I scored off Craigslist for $100.  

I am feeling a bit ADD today and can't quite figure out what project to do first. I mean after I finish the commissioned piece. I'll give myself tomorrow to get the Christmas decorations put away and start on Friday...or the day after.....