In a Life without Horses

As I contemplate the crisp and windy weather, and the joys of staying inside (which I’m not), I start thinking about the projects I’d like to undertake were I to avoid the winter like any normal human being. Of course what I should (and might) do is paint the damn hallway, but what I would love to do is get back to one (almost) non-horsey passion- art.

I was the quintessential artsy kid growing up, trading animal-shaped erasers for drawings in kindergarten, then becoming the sketchbook toting nerd in high school. Of course, horses made up the majority of my doodles.

Pen and Ink Drawing from High School

Pen and Ink Drawing from High School

Then in college, after making the switch from Animal Science to Art & Design, I took a mandatory Painting studio as part of my degree, and found that I really loved the process. I could get completely in the zone for hours, and it was so peaceful and satisfying.

Part of a triptych

Part of a triptych

Mixed Media Painting

Mixed Media Painting

But sadly, the only thing I’ve painted since school is this rooster painting, which was meant to hang in my kitchen but now resides in one of the piles of artwork that dons every closet. Or to rephrase, the only things I’ve painted since school are one rooster painting and a shit ton of walls.

Rooster painting that I would love to truly finish one day!

Rooster painting that I would love to truly finish one day!

That is not to say that I don’t satisfy the creative calling in other ways- photography is certainly an outlet for that (see Britt Gillis Design tab), as well as the occasional t-shirt design (or logo contest 😉 ) that comes around. But there is something about a fresh canvas, or a blank sheet of paper, that tangibly physical evidence of the artist’s hand, that those outlets simply lack.

Alice in Wonderland t-shirt design

Alice in Wonderland t-shirt design

My best friend N knows how much I miss doodling/painting/being an artiste, and got me this wonderful Disney book full of original animation sketches. I love to look through it, and have been wanting to try Disneyfying Foster for a long time. But other than this random proposed project, the tools that dominate my schedule remain my saddle and reins, and not my paint brush. Maybe when I’ve had so many falls that I’m too broken to ride, I’ll pick up my palette and give it a go again.

2013 Accomplishments Part II: The House

This is a big one all in itself, considering we didn’t even own a house until February. After our harrowing purchasing experience though, here’s what we have done so far (sorry for the picture heavy post!):

  • New carpet throughout
  • New paint (inside and outside)
Living room transformation

Living room transformation with equestrian theme

  • Pressure washed stairs
  • Landscaped Front Entry
  • New door hardware & accessories
Guest bathroom makeover

Guest bathroom makeover

  • Tiled master bathroom floor
  • Removed wallpaper: kitchen, master bath
No more wallpaper!

No more wallpaper!

  • New cabinet pulls in kitchen
  • New fans and light fixtures throughout
Dining Room with paint and chandelier

Dining Room with paint and chandelier

  • Finished Carolina and State rooms
  • Fix fireplace
  • And oh yeah, start a blog about our house on the hill 🙂
The Carolina Room

The Carolina Room

Woowhee! Next year I hope we get through some of this list, that we didn’t get to this year…

  • Remove jungle Thin trees in back yard
  • Landscape front yard
  • Paint cabinets in kitchen
  • Granite countertops in kitchen
  • Tile floors in kitchen
  • Hell, remodel the entire kitchen
  • Replace grody couch in living room
  • In general drive my husband crazy with new decorating ideas

A fresh coat of paint (!!!)

I love painting. It’s the easiest way to make a big impact on anything: a wall, a piece of furniture, a house…

As I might have mentioned in a previous post, I have been working on refinishing a piece for the Carolina Room. The dresser was part of a set that also included 2 side tables, a massive credenza, and one of the ugliest headboards I have seen. All but the latter now reside in our master bedroom, having been refinished before the move. They were quite obviously several decades old and needless to say, needed some help. All that was left is the dresser, as the others are now painted grey and sanded in a shabby-chic type fashion.

So without further ado, here is the dresser before and after:

Before and After

OK, so the feet aren’t done, but will be soon! Just need to drag in some protective plastic

Behind the dresser you can also see the color I am thinking of painting the walls. It just so happens to be practically identical (as in when you squint you can’t tell a difference) to the color I put in the guest bath. I guess I just love that color! (And sorry honey, that doesn’t make me a Carolina fan!)

The other slightly bigger project that has been going on for the past week has been the house. While also not quite done (a few touch-ups needed here and there), it’s also far enough along that I think I can share it with you.

Drumroll please….

Front of house

Front of the house in the strong morning light

The back of the house

The back of the house. The light is playing a few tricks with the color, it’s even in person!

Another view of the house closer up

Another view of the house closer up

Granted, it’s hard to really get the color right with my iPhone’s camera, not to mention different times of day, but…No more sad grey house! Gone are the horrid blue shutters! Hooray!

A couple small things are still to be done as well, such as spray painting the light fixture by the door and getting a new kickplate. We also received a *lovely* horse head door knocker as a house warming gift that is going up soon!

 Next up is the master bath, which has tile going in as we speak. Lots of changes around here!

So, what do you think? Post your thoughts below 🙂

In which Britt complains about Rain

Seriously, it stinks. Meaning, I would much rather be out playing with ponies but instead I’m forced inside to tackle more DIY projects around the house. Right now we’ve got two projects going on, making over a dresser to go in the ‘Carolina Room’ (Oh, you didn’t know we have rooms named after universities?) and the other is the removal of the oh-so-nineties wallpaper from our master bathroom. Following that, I intend to stencil a feature wall in the Carolina Room and paint the other 3 walls some color I haven’t figured out yet.

Here is a pic of the stencil that I’ll be using (I got about 75% of the master bedroom wall done before decided it was too busy with our bed and painting over it).


All of this I want done in the next month or so, so I can then paint the master bath and put a bed in the Carolina Room in preparation for all the guests at Thanksgiving 🙂

I have all this to do, yet I would rather play outside. Tomorrow may be good though, as Foster and I are heading to MacNair’s, this time for a saddle fitting. I am *hoping* to take advantage of their beautiful covered arena and school briefly if they will let me. After that I have the feeling it’s going to be some time before we get back to business at home.

I bet the rain will stop… in time for hurricane season!

What are you guys up to with all the rain? Do you use it to relax inside or for forced labor?