Thursday, March 12, 2009

Newspaper Article, I made the Front Page!

There was Joanie Siewert, pouring over hundreds of silk flowers on display at the department store trying to find the "perfect" arrangement for her kitchen. She had been there a long time. Jean Kirst, of Markesan enters the aisle grabs a few of these, some of those, a couple of that and walks away with a beautiful arrangement to die for.
"Stop right there, how'd you do that?" Siewert called.
Kirst, with an eye for colors, and artsy-craftsy background and a knack for visualizing a room's possibilities, explained that she was considering starting a business to help people with home decorating.
"I'll be your first customer!" Siewert offered.
And so it was in the fall of 2004, Jean Kirst started "Decorating on a Dime" a low-cost decorating service that helps people work with what they have or finds low cost solutions for living with or letting go of clutter.
Whether it's organizing your stuff, turning trash into treasures or taking on the challenge of making your home presentable for sale, Kirst can provide everything from consultation and color coordination, to customized handmade accents.
"I'm really striving to work with in people's mean and with existing things. I want to make your home more comfortable and relaxing. You should like what you come home to after a hard day's work," Kirst said.
Joanie Siewert's plain, white-walled entry way was transformed with a deep, rich color that she would've never considered. The room is now a spectacular showplace for her antiques, plants and special art work.
The chance meeting at the department store, turned into a lasting friendship.
Over in Portage, Lola Allen hired Kirst to make her newly constructed home match her furniture and wall hangings.
"People come into my house now and they comment on how much they like the colors and how beautiful my home is," Allen said.
Another customer Dustylee Gray, of Poynette agrees.
"Jean has a way of looking outside the box when it comes to decorating. What a person may initially scoff at in concept, translates absolutely beautifully in reality," she said.
Kirst says the success of both her craft business (Krafts by Kirst) and her new decorating service she attributes to her family.
"They are really proud of me and very supportive, I couldn't do it without them," she said.

That was in 2004, now my business has expanded I have to hire painters to come in, I no longer do the painting, I work with several clients at once, I shop for furniture, pick out flooring, work with a window treatment company, on top of decluttering , organizing and just simply redecorating. I even had to purchase a van for halling furniture and all my goodies I buy for clients, sporting my Decorating on a Dime logo on it. My goal is to be on TV some day, may be a high goal, but it's my goal...... lol

Newspaper Article, 2nd part of story. The Back page of Paper

This is a picture of Sammi Jo and I at my workspace were all my creations began and finished.

Newspaper Article

This was a hint to people that I was going to be in Kingston at a later date. I had made that flower arrangement and many more to show at the lecture.

Newspaper article on my Lecture on Decorating

My whole family assisted me on this project, I took curtains, plants, things I made , pictures , lamps, pillows, to show people how to pull a room together and told them how to use what they have at home. Great turnout!

Article in Newspaper, of The Markesan Regional Reporter Office Redo

This was the Open House Party they threw for me after I got done with redoing the office makeover.

BEFORE: North side of MRReporter office

Take notice the furnace placement, the building is old and cold, so bringing in carpet , warm paint choice made all the difference in the world, take a look.
Nothing in this project was bought brand new other than office supplies and organizational supplies. The desk they work on now, which is another pic, is a long table we found in the back room, I sanded it, put a couple of coats of polyurethane on it and it works perfect. Most cost of this project was in my labor.

AFTER: North side of office of MRReporter

I had furnace guy come in and move furnace down where it should be, fixed holes and repatched walls, gave them a mirror and coat hanger,, organize, delutter and you get much more workable space

BEFORE: the side view

change the layout, use space wisely and take a look at after

AFTER: Markesan Regional Reporter Office

declutter and organize according to how they work and they are happy clients

BEFORE: The Markesan Regional Reporter Office

This is the view I had when first walking in.

AFTER: The Markesan Regional Reporter Office

I had took this color on walls from the sign on there front window. The sign I made and painted for them to resemble the front page of there Newspaper with the redline underneath the title. The pictures I hung are front pages through the years they had published. I shifted the desk to the right of the room, making it more welcome and easier for the employees to access to the back where they work also. I talked to owner of building and recommended they put in carpeting, this building is old and cold. lol He happen to have some he wasn't using, I called an installer and it was done. I painted the trim around room , decluttered , organized office space and went to an old building they had with all paper press antiques. I rummaged through them and brought some old stamps, paper cutters, ink cartridges and used them for displaying on front shelves. Great conversation pieces for clients to enjoy when they come in.

My first business Card

That picture on the card is actually my living room. Take notice my e-mail address has changed since, 2004. It is now

BEFORE: Hallway

This Sammi Jo starting the project, always start with the ceiling. I had the kids on ladders, it was an interesting project cutting lines between the two colors I used on these walls. This hallway was so boring I couldn't stand it. It seemed like an unfinished room. WEll it doesn't now! Look at the after picture.

AFTER: Hallway

I liked using two colors in this hallway to show how tall of a space I have. I found that metal scrolling at a flea market, for a great price, love how it draws the eye up. I took the ivory color on side walls, and ceiling.. looks great!

BEFORE: Daycare in a Garage

This is an actual garage turned into a daycare, what a great space! The garage door goes up on good weather days, they have a huge screen going across the entryway to keep children in. She wanted me to declutter, organize, update new color choices and rearange furniture. I gave her the idea of having her husband build a changing station, with a diaper changing table to her heighth , no more bending that many times in a day. and I told him how to make little cubbies for each childs diaper bags or back packs. He did just so and they love it. You see that table runner on her table, that is what I decorated around, she loved all colors in it and I ran with that, changed window treatments to bring in more light, and show more of her great view in the country. Painted the garage door the color of walls so the door wasn't a big eyesore. Changed up metal brackets to match all other hardware in room, and tadaaaaaa, paint , new changing station/storage, valences , futon cover and its all done..take a look at the after, what do ya think?

AFTER: Garage

my picture looks dark, but, by no way is it dark in this fine place. It is big airy and very relaxing for my client and all her little children she takes care of. On the side of fireplace is pictures I left for her to hang up and the one on fireplace she was going to also. I don't do all the work, to cut costs, I give instruction and they do what they can.

water fountain, by rock pond

This is by the gate by the pool, remember this was in 2004, things have really changed since. This pond and fountain was my first and on to bigger and better things this year!
Plants I planted for tall background agains fence are bee balm, rudebekia, coneflower, lillies, daisies, just love them! Brings me lots of hummingbirds!

Tree trunk works wonders for plant stand

That tree trunk we had just got from a tree in the back yard that was causing havock with the pool, the tree had made too many walnut dropping in there and the squirrels were trying to hide there nuts on top side of railing around pool, and the squirrels would fall in, try to get out and rip our liner, some would drown, but, it works great here! Making something good out of a bad situation is what I am all about. lol
I found that old birdhouse in garage when we bought the house, love it!

Back entry where I and Sammi Jo were standing in Newspaper Article

my Little mexican guy resembles my father, taking a siesta. I made that birdhouse out of barn board from which I and my family had gone and torn off of and old demoloshed barn. I made a lot of those and people wondered why they cost so much if it is old used barn board, heck, I should of tooken them on the calls when people would call me and say, "Hey Jean, if you want the wood, come and denail it, load it , cut it, haul it", lol. I got old wooden box crates on deck with lots of different shape terra cotta pots, and antique tools and oil cans.

Pictures of people going through my Garden on the Garden Walk

It was a huge compliment that people were taking family pictures through the whole time in my garden.

This was July of 2004, when our garden was chose to be in a garden walk where they pick like 6 houses from Markesan and people pay to come see your garden, it was a neat experience, I got lots of comments,which inspired me to do more, such as in the background to the left of the playhouse is old window frames I hung on posts for morning glories to climb up instead of the common lattice. I use an old high chair cutting a hole in the seat big enough for a pot to go in and hang that on a wall also. I used an old odd shaped tree trunk to put pots on in different heights in garden, I have an old water pump with a stone pot beneath as a bird feeder, which is frequently used, I use old wooden boxes for puttin different levels on deck, and antiques inside mixed in with plants to draw interest. I decorate this backyard as an outside extension of the house.
The memory garden they are speaking of is to the left and right of stairs, I had grown different plants or shrubs in memory of my father(Joe), my brother (Jim) my sister (Judy) my other brother (John) and my nephew ( Jason). It's my way of celebrating there life as time goes on. I don't like going to cemetary's so I cherish them this way.

Newspaper articles of Decorating on a Dime

Monday, March 9, 2009

Before: A storage room, slash years ago a chicken coop!

Ok, this is on our pool deck, looks kinda of blah, wouldn't ya say? I have been wondering what to do with this boring site of the pool. There is this little room attached to the car part of the garage that used to be an ole chicken coop. Look at little door to the right of the big door. A Chicken Door! lol.... We have been using this room just to store garden supplies and pool supplies in since we bought house.
One day just lookin for another project to do, I said, "Hey Rusty", oh, he tends to run when I say those "What's up now, he says", I just thought of something to do today, that storage room we do nothin in can be used as a snack bar for the pool, all we have to do is get the saw zaw out, cut out the windows, you have that old countertop I can use, I have posts, lets do it today", lol.... Rusty was gone in a flash, for some reason the car had to be filled with gas, he wanted to get the mail,,,,lol....... " Sounds like a great idea Jean", but when and how long will it take.. " well lets find out, I am starting today" .
Rusty left to get mail and etc. probably just driving around, lol, by the time he gets back, I had the windows out and the saw zaw out and the demolition begins.. he couldn't believe it when he came back...the most important thing is: He loves it now! We still have some work to do to finish things up, but, it is very useable now! We love it! Look at the After and let me know what you think!

After: A snack bar by pool. Most popular place now!

Take notice the center post, I picked up these old porch posts on side of road on garbage bulk days, they were Free, my favorite finds. lol (remember Decorating on a Dime) Look on each side of opening we put the half posts I found on the sides to draw interest and I think it added that extra touch it needed. I found some old cast iron shelf supports for underneath the bar, I found these in basement when we bought the house. The bar top was found from my husband, it was a second, meaning it was scratched or dinged up, so he got that for me and I sanded it, and put a heavy duty polyurethane that they use on boats on top, 3 layers to be exact.... Stinky stuff I tell ya.
For seating, I had been collecting milk cans, yes old rusty milk cans, probably paid next to nothing for them, went and bought some stool cushions and walllla, seats that can handle wet swimsuits and spills The bench you see in front was givin to me years ago, used it as a coffee table at one point if I recall, then was stored for years, well, look how nice it works here. lol
On the floor I put and indoor outdoor carpet, made just for outside wear and tear, it can handle drink spills and all. As far as Decorating walls, we brought in some old school memorabilia from Rusty, Chad and I and Sammi Jo's college softball stuff. We used Sammi Jo's college discount on Beer pitchers( we of course use for soda) ;) that sport her college name. Very cool! Plus some drinking signs we found at a clearance store that match our liking.
We have a refrigerator in the room for soda ;) and storage for food to keep critters out.
This has become the most popular place to hang out and play cards or just visit if you don't feel like sunbathing or swimming.
We have to replace deck in front of snack bar this year, that should be a fun project, I am trying to come up with something unique other than just deck boards, maybe I will paint a design on the deck or use some different materials.
I am putting up an awning for that extra beachy feel and hopefully find some old shutters for shutting up at night or on bad weather... I will post more pics when I get more of this project done..Isn't it cool? Love it!