Knack Stories :: The Sullivans

Every now and then, we will meet someone through the shop who just gets us; someone who seems to understand what Knack is about; someone who knows how to live with what they love.  Dee Sullivan is just such a person.  Our latest Knack story comes from her family of seven (!!!) and their beautiful, nearly hundred-year-old home in North Carolina that they have been renovating one room at a time:
We eat, homeschool, work on art and other projects, do budgets, pray together, play games, entertain guests and have long family discussions in this room.  We thought it would be a great room to overhaul first.



Dee and her husband, Don, decided to turn their formerly dark, moody dining room to the lighter side, with the aid of some inspiration.
I had been blogging to keep all of my Canadian family and friends updated on our lives and to show off the paintings, collages and ceramics I was selling on Etsy.  In doing so, I ended up meeting some wonderful people.  Two of my very favorite artists/bloggers were and are Annie Koelle and Barb Blair.  They are two very talented ladies!!  So when I first saw the furniture pieces they worked on together I was smitten, especially with one certain piece, a gorgeous hutch named Kalymenia whose buttery cream paint perfectly applied by Barb along with the soft ocean and mountain scene reminded me of Vancouver, BC. (The place I moved from 8 years ago to come to the South.)  …. My love knew I wanted this piece ever so much, so after a visit or two to Knack, he surprised me with buying Kalymenia as a gift.  I was ecstatic!!


Dee and Don also brought a locally made cedar table home from Knack, which Don has stained a driftwood/aged cedar grey, adding even more warmth to their fresh white dining room.
The pieces from Barb’s studio now both carry the feeling of Vancouver and make me feel cheery and at home here in the South.  Even better to me is knowing that the creative spirits of local artists and artisans I admire massively are poured into these pieces.  We now have the cheeriest dining room ever and even though we are not quite finished (Who is really ever finished with their home?), these pieces give our most lived in room a nod to our love of the Northwest, a tribute to the local artists and artisans we admire and love, and they make a unique and creative space to gather, work and eat in.
Dee and Don and their big, happy family embody the very heart of home that we champion here at Knack.  We are so elated that two Knack pieces have found a forever home with the Sullivans.

FYI – Sisters are the best

I am dead serious when I say that I have the best sister in the entire world! Don’t even start to tell me about your sister and how amazing she is because I guarantee you she would not, could not, ever not……hold a candle to my sweet sister. I am just teasing really………maybe.

My baby sister Sarah is almost 7 years younger than I am, and when she was born I used to carry her around like one of my baby dolls… mom would get all kinds of stares and comments because she let me carry my sister around like she was my own child. I had the hip hold mastered at the ripe old age of seven……:} Man how time has flown by……and my sister is now married with babies of her own. {very beautiful babies I might add!} I wish we lived closer so that I could see her more and kiss on my sweet nephews…….but maybe, just maybe there will be a change there soon! I am crossing my fingers and toes.

Even though we are far apart in miles….opposite sides of the country… sister never ceases to amaze me with her gifts of love and encouragement at just the right time. I arrived home from my trip to Delaware {my uncles funeral} and when my neighbor brought over the mail I saw a beautiful package addressed to me  in my sisters immaculate calligraphy….and wondered what in the world could be inside? I knew it would be fantastic whatever it was…..but I was not prepared for the flood of emotions that came when I opened it up and read her sweet note to me, and then saw this amazing watercolor calligraphy print that she had made just for me. I totally welled up with tears at the thoughtfulness and love that seeped off the pages of her gift……and my heart filled to the brim with love for the greatest sister in the world!

Her simple statement was a reminder to me of words that I have excitedly exclaimed to her over the years as I have seen miracle after miracle happen in both my personal life and with my little Knack business…..and as she sensed the sighs of my growing pains and signals of distress with the move and all that comes with it…..she took the time to remind me of the past……of the many miracles I have seen, and experienced first hand…..reminding me not to forget them……and to let the memory of them fall fresh on me again………

I love you Sakes!

If you all have never read my sisters blog, or visited her etsy shop… are missing out. The way she creates, photographs and captures life is so beautiful…..don’t miss it.



Etcetera- Delaware and beyond

Well……after 1,373 “ish” driving miles, a funeral, and a birthday ….here I am. Back at it.

I am so thankful that my whole family was able to travel to my uncle’s funeral, and am even more thankful for the sweet time that was spent with extended family while we were there. I am overwhelmed with the sweetness and the comfort of just being surrounded by family…. those you love and are loved by…..just as you are…no questions asked.

It is good to be home…but I will treasure the renewed relationships, and the memories that were made.

Have a wonderful weekend!




I was catching up on some blog reading last week and I came across this project idea through Lindsey’s blog which then led me to the original post on a beautiful mess blog. I thought it was the coolest idea! I love paint by number paintings, I love paint, and I love letters and typography so this was a win win in my book of ideas!

I pinned the project on Pinterest so that I could remember it, and also remember where I saw it…..and I thought “I’ll do that some day soon “. I had two paint by number prints in the studio that I bought a few months back and I have been waiting to frame them. I thought about using them for this project…..but then an idea hit me one night as I was drifting off to sleep. I had a picture that was given to me and it came out of  my husband’s granny’s house. It would totally work! It was not a paint by number…but it had the look of a paint by number. It was your typical mountain, stream, and tree print with lots of blues and greens.

I already had completed my Father’s day gift buying but I was so excited about making this gift for my husband! I could hardly wait to get to the studio the next day and create it. When I took the picture out of the frame, I found that it was a thin sheet of paper so I wanted to make it a bit more sturdy. I used Mod Podge to attach the print to the piece of thick poster board that had been behind it, and once that was dry I started figuring out the placement of my stickers. Once the stickers were applied {it is harder than you think!} I applied two coats of white paint, and BOOM dynamite!

I know some of you are wondering what in the world “I Suwannee” means?! I chose to use this old southern slang phrase which means “I Swear” because it is a phrase that my husband’s Granny is well known for. I remember the first time I heard her say it……I could hardly keep from laughing. I did not grow up in the south so I was not accustomed to such “verbage”…but I thought it was a hoot! I would try to think of funny things to say just to get her to say it over and over. My husband could always get her to say it……and then I think she caught on to my giggles and would just say it for my pure enjoyment. Granny is so sweet, and this was my way of keeping a piece of her with us at all times.

My husband loves it….and thought it was the coolest gift…..and I have to say that I only pretend I made it for him….it is really for me! Hah!




I wanted to share just a few photographs from our lake vacation this past week. It was four days of complete relaxation {minus my phone being gobbled up by the lake…but once I buried my head in my husbands chest, cried about the stupidity of it all, and got mad at myself for being careless, I was over it} and we had the most fun we have had in a while. The weather was so beautiful….. it was mid 60’s to low 80’s the entire time and very low humidity, which is a dream for this time of year here in the south!

You know how you have those awesome trips where everyone gets along great, weather is perfect, the food is delicious, and the friendships and memories just nurture your soul? Well, that was this trip. We jet skied, went for many boat rides, tubed, wake boarded, kayaked, and water skied. You name it, we did it….and we did it until the last bit of sunshine peeked below the horizon.

I tried something new on this trip! I was challenged by my friend “J” to try wake boarding and I literally had butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it! Every muscle in my body hurt from my very first wake boarding experience…but it was so worth every muscle pain. I was so afraid to try, and almost defeated myself before ever trying because I knew it was going to be tough. I have never snow boarded before because I don’t like the thought of both feet being strapped down, so the thought of not only having both feet strapped to a board but then also being yanked up by a boat just had me questioning my sanity. I lived to tell about it, and I got up not once, not twice, but THREE times! It was so great to conquer that little nagging ” you can’t do this” voice in my head…..and to hear my friends and family cheering me on from the boat ahead. My husband and my son also got up on the wake board for their first time as well! Woot!

One of my favorite things has to be the tubing though……that moment of sheer panic when you hit the “vortex wave of death” {created by crazy boat driving friend!} and go airborne…..yeah, it’s pretty dang amazing! It was such good times. I am so thankful for the beauty of these memories that were just written across my heart forever.

Have a great weekend you guys!




We had a wonderful weekend with family, celebrating the 6th birthday of our very spunky little niece! We laughed till we cried playing games, ate birthday cake until we were sick, {that cake looked amazing….and it tasted even better!}, enjoyed the flea market, and as always were surrounded by color, color, color! My sister in law is so very creative in all that she does….it was inspiring to see the labor of her hands.
so good. 


Some of you might remember that I had to say goodbye to my furry pal “lizzie”  in September. I miss her, and I miss having a dog in the house. 
My 13 year old daughter “B” is a huge animal lover, and she has just applied to volunteer at our local humane society. It is a beautiful, no kill shelter that we are really proud of. 
So……. we have found ourselves “needing” to pop by there more often these days…..and whenever we are  there, I always stop in to see all the babies……and this one almost came home with me…..but I am not sure I am ready yet.
…..i may go back and get her …..jury is still out…..
… husband says that the humane society is the most dangerous place for my daughter “B” and I to be….and he is totally right….we may end up bringing them all home 🙂