Coming off the January Blog a Day Challenge and the Young House Love Thrift Store Challenge last month combined with reading this post by Ashley and this post by Kim, one notable thing has occurred to me as of late.  I’ve been playing it safe.

With design and with my blog.

Let’s start with design.  As you know, we’ve recently moved into a home I’d like to spruce everywhere.  I’ve completed three rooms now in Sweetey Petey’s room, the dining room and the living room.

I haven’t blogged about Sweetey Petey’s room because ultimately I decided that was his space and not my place to share.  Besides, after getting a Land of Nod catalog in the mail it turns out we are just plain miserly.  Every inch of his room is NOT fully coordinated with mismatched but somehow still matched items that all totaled cost more than my car.  And I’m talking the new car people, not the old car.

As far as Sweetey Petey’s room goes, suffice it to say I painted his new room a slightly brighter shade of his old room.  Updated but kinda the same too.  I told myself it was the logical choice.  His sheets, his changing table cover, his chair, all his stuff still matches.  Practical.  Safe.

I am seriously considering painting a whale on his wall so I might share that once it’s done.  Daring, huh?

I did blog about the dining room and shared how I painted half the walls the same color as the old dining room.  The exact same color.  How’s that for safe?  Same pictures on the wall too.  Same table.  Same hutch.  Same wobbly chairs.

Now comes the third room I’ve finished, the living room.

Midwestern LR RW

The colors in the new room aren’t exactly the same as the old room, just mostly the same.

See?

Midwestern Old LR RW

Yup, I painted the new living room only a slightly varied version of the old living room.  Same pictures on the wall.  Same desk.  Same creaky rocking chair.

Midwestern LR 2 RW

I am currently working on the master bedroom.  There is an attached bathroom and walk in closet which I haven’t tackled yet so I am only done with Phase 1 out of 5 painting projects in there.  Wanna know what color I have painted so far?

Light grey.

Midwestern Bedroom RW

Wanna know what color the bedroom was in my old house?

Oh hey, light grey.

Midwestern Old Bedroom RW

I do go wild and crazy and swap the old maroon accent wall for a new orange accent wall that I still need to paint.  Wild.  Crazy.

Four rooms.  All safe.  Maybe it’s a subconscious attempt to make the new place feel like home.  Maybe it’s a desire not to spend money we don’t have on new furniture and accessories to match.  Maybe if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  Maybe I misplaced all my creativity in the move and haven’t unpacked it yet.

Or maybe I’ve just been playing it safe.

I’ve been perusing a ton of home makeover blogs lately to revamp my mojo.  Supermom and I have been working on a project to be unveiled soon to expand our redesign horizons.  I’m hoping to dig my way out of the rut I’m in.

On to the blog.  When considering starting a blog, much of the advice out there says to find your nook and stick to it.  Cooking.  Healthy living.  DIY.  Sewing.  Whatever your schtick is, do that and nothing else.  That sounds wretched.  Midwestern Bite is a creative outlet for me and I cannot imagine being nailed down to one topic.  Ugh.  Double ugh.  I like to think I am funny (hopefully you do too) so maybe that can just be my thing, but this post isn’t funny at all so, theoretically, I’d have to chuck it.

There’s also a little matter of vulnerability.  It’s a term I keep seeing creep up in relation to writers, whether professional or not.  Good writers need to be vulnerable.  In my mind I struggle not to falsely relate this to transparency, an open pass into every corner of my daily life.  Where did I go yesterday, what time did I wake up, what did I eat, what did I think of what I ate?  Again, wretched.  I’m sorry folks, but I’m a SAHM not a world traveller so my days are just not that interesting.

I need to adjust my understanding of the word vulnerable.  I can be honest and interesting without subjecting you to the intricacies of daily life.  Vulnerable doesn’t need to mean transparent.  Right?

Although all those crazy people who log into Foursquare and post their exact location at any given time on their Facebook and Twitter feeds have to be the exact definition of vulnerable if there ever was one.  Yikes.  What a horrific idea.  Perhaps those people should be playing it a little safer.

I guess that was kinda funny.

Joanna

P.S.  Please stop back in tomorrow for 23 Paws and a public service announcement that you DON’T WANT TO MISS.  Seriously, if I can help just one person get through what we went through I will be a most happy blogger.  I also have some fun posts lined up for next week that I just need some snaps for.  Snaps is my new word for photographs.  I stole it from Cinnamon and I’m not giving it back.  See ya tomorrow!

Question of the Day: What do you think?  Am I too safe?

10 Comments

  1. Where do I start? Okay. The paint. I love LOVE bold solid color walls, especially when there are a couple different colors in one room as you showcased above. Now I’m most certainly no decorator and haven’t done anything major design-wise to my house since the original projects four years ago, but I love what you’ve done. I have an extra room I’ve been toying with painting, but then I think of all the damn choices, the cost, the actual painting…can I hire you?

    As for blogging, screw the experts and all of their tips. Who cares? You’re you. I’m me (for better or worse.) It’s your blog and I think you are authentic and honest while being funny and informative and creative. There’s a certain odor of desperation from people who put it all out there all the damn time just so they have something to say in an attempt to stay relevant, whatever that means. My life is boring as well and I don’t share every detail, but I think I can also share those things that make me feel vulnerable and know people might “get” it. Maybe I’m wrong, but my point is–just be you 😉

    • If you hire the wife, you’ll get your money’s worth. I’ve never known anyone to spend as much prep time as she does. Patching, Sanding every inch, washing it down. Watching her is exhausting. 🙂

    • The Husband is right, I am really anal about painting. The prep is 75% of the work for me. I actually really like the painting part. There’s something about seeing a bold color go up on a plain wall that is so appealing. I hated painting the grey walls this week, though. I know it will make the most sense next to a bright orange wall, but it was torture to paint such a light color.

      You’re awesome because you can make even a boring day interesting. I bet dinner with you, discussing the day, would be hilarious! I think your blog is very consistent. You’re witty and funny and I am never disappointed.

  2. See now I would classify this post as vulnerable. You didn’t tell us everything about your day or put your mug up all in our face, but you shared your thoughts. Thoughts that could have easily been kept inside your brain and none of us would be the wiser. Inner thoughts can be scary to let out because there is always the potential for someone to (gasp) think differently. But without sharing we don’t truly KNOW each other. And relationship is where its at.
    I find that posts where I reveal sneak peeks (is that right? LOL) into my brain always resonate more with people. Its hard to do but also rewarding.
    Yes I think you are funny. Very.
    As for design…I could and have wanted to write a post about this subject. I have LOTS of thoughts about it. Mostly for me I get overwhelmed. So many options, colors, choices, styles…exhausting. Keep it clean and simple and make it easy for readers to find stuff (in your blog not your house)…those are the things that I think are MOST important.

    • If you think this post was vulnerable, I’ve been writing one up about a short journal I found from 2005. Yikes. You just wait for that post coming soon. I would be very interested in a post on design from you, especially in light of the fact you can’t paint and are living in a rental home.

      And thanks for thinking I am funny. Also, I cannot wait for 23 Paws tomorrow. It’s going to be a good one.

  3. I think you’re fun and kind of ballsy with things, so I don’t think you play it too safe. Maybe you feel stuck in a rut for picking the same colors/etc., but I still think the colors are not “safe”. 🙂 I agree with Cinnamon that you do share your thoughts in a non-playing it safe way. I don’t like sharing too much in my posts because I had a different reason for starting my blog. But, occasionally I stray away and share a story or two. I think that because we have people we want to protect (like you with your son) that it makes us hesitate to share certain things on here, and that’s ok.

    • Yeah, I wonder sometimes about the mommy bloggers who post every little detail about their kid including not only where they went but where they are currently. That seems like such a bad idea to me!

  4. I don’t think you play it safe at all! A post proclaiming that Chobani is not the best-tasting Greek yogurt? (GASP) Making fun of the 4 square thing? That crazy sugar pie? No way! And I think your following on Twitter also makes it quite clear that a lot of people like your niche just fine. You are one of the more “real” bloggers out there!

    • Awww, thank you my dear. I do share the snark, but sometimes not much else. I suppose that’s a lot of me though since I am rather snarky.

  5. Pingback: The Bucket Book