I'm in the Bloglight!!

I feel like a movie star on the red carpet at the Oscars!! I've been selected as a featured blogger by Hometalk!!

Have you heard of the Hometalk network? It's a place for people to share ideas and projects, ask questions and get answers from professionals and do-it-yourselfers on all sorts of home related subjects - even home repairs!  Anyone can join and there are so many fabulous ideas of things to do to your home and garden that you won't know which to do first!!

So, onto the "Getting to Know You" part.  Here goes!

1. How did you first get into blogging?

After my marriage broke up it took a year and a half to sell our house.  By the time it sold I decided to stay where I was instead of moving back to the city because I had met someone. This is a tiny little town with a population of 7000.  It's cute, it's quaint, the sidewalks roll up at 6 pm, it's Mayberry, USA! (except the Canadian version of it).

I bought a little fixer-upper house.

The blog was born for two reasons:  one, I thought I would share my renovation experiences to encourage others to DIY; and two, I had a whole lot of time on my hands thanks to the fact that my new relationship was a long distance one.  And when that relationship broke up, I began tackling all the renovation work myself and loving my new power tools.  It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. :)

An early DIY project - notice the lack of power tools...

2. How did you decide on the name of your blog?

I chose Design Dreams because I am always dreaming about decorating and changing things up.  Ever since I was a teenager with my own room to decorate, I've been reading home decor magazines and doing things like dragging home furniture found at the side of the road and building bookshelves out of bricks and odd pieces of wood.  The name, however, was already taken, so I added the "by Anne" part to distinguish mine from anyone else's dreams...

3. Is blogging something you do on the side, or is it a full-time job for you? What did/do you do for a living?

This is very definitely a part-time gig for me.  I work for the local municipality as website administrator and social media coordinator as well as being editor of and contributor to a twice-annual community guide.  I also write articles for a local e-newspaper.  

4. What was the first project you ever posted?

My kitchen renovation.  The horrible little kitchen in my new house was so bad, it had to be torn out within the first two months.  The fridge and dishwasher were brand new, so they stayed.  The miniature stove (you couldn't even fit a turkey roaster in it!), the 5 cabinets, leaky faucet, bowl and a half sink and the 4 feet total of counter space were not working for me!!  It was a huge job because two doors had to be walled up and a new door ripped into the bathroom that used to open into the kitchen (ewwwww!).  Of course, had I waited, I would have had a much better layout because now I know precisely how it would work best, but, oh well!  


HORRORS!  I used a flash! and small photos!!  The things you learn when you get past your first six months of blogging.  Natural light is the only way people!!! but apparently you don't need a fancy schmancy camera, point & shoot will do.  Good thing!  lol

5. Which project has brought you the most traffic to-date?

My home made chalk paint armoire.  Although if I add together the number of hits on all three baby greenhouse posts, I think these two projects are neck and neck at this point!

6. What do your friends and family think about your blog? Do they read all of your updates?

My friends and family think I'm amazing for doing all the work myself, the furniture, the bathroom reno, the greenhouse. I've been told by a few of my friends that whenever they're thinking about things for hubby to do around the house, their next thought is "Anne could do this".  Sometimes I think I'm just a glutton for punishment but I do really like knowing how to do these things instead of waiting around for someone else to do them for me.  I don't know how many of my friends actually read my blog, though, since most have gotten the info from my Facebook account or from dropping by the house.

7. Do you stick to a strict posting schedule? How do you keep track of when and how often to post?

I post when I have something to share and I try to have something to share at least once a week.  Thank God for the paintings I do, they're definitely filler material when I run out of cool stuff!  :)   When I got really stuck in a blog burnout at the end of last year, I started throwing out reposts of the most popular things I did.  Nothing like resting on your laurels!

8. What advice could you give to other bloggers that you wish you had known before you started blogging?

Don't hesitate to make friends with other bloggers.  Leave comments on their posts, ask them for advice, join a blog community like Hometalk - the relationships are what keep me blogging.  Without them, this would not be any fun at all.  Well, maybe a LITTLE fun, but I really love you guys!!

Learn how to take fabulous photos, and don't forget the before and during photos!  What I've noticed about the most successful blogs these days is that all the photos look like they should be in magazines.  They're styled and well-lit and well, full of gorgeous things.  I fly by the seat of my pants most of the time, but I've been fortunate enough to make friends with a lot of bloggers along the way so I'm never without comments on the things I do.  I've been very blessed.

Lastly remember to remove all the odds and ends that are lying around the space you want to photograph.  I really do need to build a wagon-for-bloggers so I can haul all that junk out of the way instead of trying to clean up every time I want to take photos.  Even then I always seem to have some cat toy or or animal's tail or extension cord in my photos that I never see until I go to edit them (and by then the mess is back in place again!).

Dog head in lower right hand corner
bloody extension cord - again!
cat tail in doorway
 See what I mean?  and we could talk about the ugly white mini mp3 speakers that are always in my bedroom shots because I forget to hide them.   Good thing it's digital photography.  Can you imagine if we were still using 35mm??  Somebody would be getting rich fast, and it wouldn't be the bloggers!

Thanks so much Miriam and Hometalk for choosing me this week.  I'm honoured to be included in this fabulous network with so many of my blog-idols.  Hometalk Bloggers ROCK!  If any bloggers reading this aren't using Hometalk, you really need to sign up!  Our Google Plus hangouts and Twitter parties are A.W.E.S.O.M.E., but you'll need speed reading and high speed keyboarding lessons before joining one of the Twitter parties, just sayin'.
Thanks for reading!


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  1. I learned some new things about you today, Anne. From one single blogger doing it on her own to another, you are amazing!

  2. Ahhh! Love you Anne! So glad that you're in the Bloglight today :)

  3. Congratulations, Anne! I am soooo glad :)

  4. Congrats to you Anne, you sure deserve it, you are such a DIYer and I always enjoy reading your posts!

  5. Congratulations, Anne, I hope to see more posts now that spring is spproaching!

  6. Great post Anne. It was fun learning more about you . I love all your redo's


  7. Really enjoyed reading about how you entered the world of blogging. I would like to start a blog, but it seems so intimidating. Just the technical/computer knowledge and skills required seems overwhelming. Love the quote at the end.

    1. Betsy, just do it! Set up your blog on blogger.com and if you have any questions just email me. I'll be more than happy to help out. Set up an account on Hometalk, too. You can ask all sorts of questions on there and get answers and inspiration from other bloggers. Go for it!! You know you want to...


  8. Wow, I hadn't realized you were doing all this on your own! You certainly have my DIY respect.. that is no easy feat! Your kitchen cabs are nearly identical to mine... counters too!

  9. Totally awesome interview, Anne! Those pics of your animals in the pics - and the extension cord - had me laughing out loud! I so can relate! :)

  10. Great post Anne! Loved reading more about you and your blog and I love your little hometown!

  11. I loved reading your story, Anne. Congratulations! Well-deserved for sure!

  12. The first part of #8 fits you like a glove because that is what you always do! In my mind I always have you pictured wearing a cheer leader outfit. And the cat tail? I think that's what takes that photo from ordinary to extraordinary!


  13. woohoo! I enjoyed learning more about your back story Anne!

  14. Anne, you are amazing! Creativity and positive energy flow out of you and into all of us... thank you for that!

  15. Love getting to know you a little better, Anne. Congratulations on your feature!

  16. Anne, I feel like I already knew you, just from comments you make on HT,but it was so interesting to learn more about you. Congratulations on being in the spotlight. laurie

  17. The hubbies in your town probably cringe every time you do something new - they know their wives will be comparing them to your fabulousness - and putting then to work!!

    Love you, your blog, your skills and really loved learning more about you my friend!

  18. Such a great post, Anne ... enjoyed learning more about you! I love your home and your awesome projects (your armoire is beautiful)! Congrats on being on the spotlight!

  19. Awesome! You just amaze me girl! Keep being who you are...it's perfect! ~Tammy

  20. What a cute post and congrats on being in the spotlight!!!

  21. Loved reading your story Anne. First time I have seen the mini green house. neat. and I love the outtakes (I am very fly-by myself. ha!) My favorite is the kitty cat tail. cheers. jb

  22. Love you too, Anne, and I'm so glad that I've gotten to know you through blogging! Loved reading more about you today and congrats on being in the spotlight!

  23. Oh, Anne~you are so awesomely awesome....love you much and thoroughly enjoyed reading your story!

    ~big hugs, Mary Beth~

  24. Congrats on being in the spotlight. Enjoyed reading about your blog history and for sharing a little more about you. When I first discovered your blog, I read through all the previous posts and you've done a lot of work on your home to make it your own.
    I'm hoping we get back to the little Bavarian City of the Rockies again some day. Our visit was too short and I'm now thinking about the yummy salted caramels from the chocolate shop. How appropriate I'm thinking about chocolate on Valentines. :)


  25. LOVED getting to know you a little better! You are pretty darn amazing lady! xo

  26. Anne, you are such a lovely person! I've just barely found you and already I know that. It was great reading your blog story and learning more about you. I've seen so many of your projects before I even knew who you were. Love the mini greenhouses! I might have to use up some more old windows to make one. :)

  27. So nice to get to know you! <3 Congratulations and Happy Valentines Day!

  28. congrats on being a featured blogger Anne....and the tips on picture taking come in very handy since I am just starting out..But I really enjpoyed the cat tail and dawg face...lol

  29. What a lovely post, Anne. I love the picture of the little town where you live--so pretty! Congratulations on being featured! and Happy Valentine's day:)

  30. Love this post Anne! And I hear you about the photos. I feel like my greatest improvement since I started the blog has been with my photos. (And they're still a bit questionable.) But when I look back on early pictures from my blog I just shudder.


  31. Congratulations!!! And one well-deserved. You've done a lot to your home and I enjoy seeing your new projects. You've got great taste!

  32. Congratulation Anne. About time that someone put you in the Spotlight ... a well deserved honor. You always inspire me with your talent.
    Hope you had a lovely Valentine Day.
    Audrey Z.
    Timeless Treasures

  33. Hi Anne Great story. I am from Hometalk, too, and I wanted to stop by and say congratulations!! Gorgeous town you live in and I love the armoire!!
    Thank you for sharing.

  34. Aweee man.... loved reading this and learning about your fun blogging adventure! That armoire is Hello- Gorgeous!

  35. Anne...congrats on being in the Bloglight!!!....you know that I love your blog and am so blessed to have "come to know you"...You have made me laugh so many times and you have inspired me to take the plunge with many DIY projects...I am in awe of your many great talents!!!...

  36. I enjoyd getting to know more about you Anne. You are very inspirational.

  37. Yay Anne! Thanks for sharing your story and congratulations on being in the Bloglight!

  38. Good for you, Anne, it was very interesting learning something about you, too! I always enjoy seeing what you've been up to!
    Hugs, cindy
    PS And thanks for being a friend.

  39. Great post Anne, I loved reading your story. You have completed some wonderful projects and look forward to seeing all of your new ones. Congats on the Bloglight!

  40. You are amazing, Anne, and totally deserve the recognition! I've enjoyed getting to know you on blogtalk, love your sense of humor. :)

  41. Wonderful post Ann I just loved getting to know you better!! You are so talented. I was much like you when I was young. As a teen I was painting my room and furniture to change things up!!

    Hugs Giggles

  42. Congratulations, Anne!! And kudos to you for doing all that DIY on your own.
    Debbie :)

  43. I'm so happy for you Anne! Congratulations on being featured on Hometalk. You totally deserve it. You have a great blog and I enjoyed learning more about you. Well done!



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