…building a business: conviction

Ummmmm…so, it’s no secret by now that I was a bit upset last week about a few comments received about my Cane Tutorial and the over-use of the word “Ummm.” Yes, there were many, many, many wonderful compliments, but I did react quickly to the negative ones probably because I was drip-drying from being at swim lessons all afternoon & before that back & forth from camp, etc. I got really cranky and fired back on FB as some of you know.

keep calm

Ummmm, what lesson can I derive? One lovely reader noticed in this last tutorial that I did not quite seem myself. Maybe a bit more somber and she even thought I was going to cry towards the end. Well, if I had to guess it was my lack of confidence & conviction.

Yes, we all get a little more brave behind a computer screen. Yes, it’s easy to throw stones when we are not the ones putting ourselves & ideas out there. Yes, I should have a thicker skin. But, what can I control of not other’s opinions & comments? Ah-ha! If I stop and think about powerful & influential people in our world or that came before us, they typically have an abouding compass and mission directing them. They are convicted and for better or worse they carry on. Even when rained on.


Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, Sigmend Freud, John Lennon, Steve Jobs, Mother Theresa, . What do they all have in common? Conviction. They all were rooted in the knowledge of their own truth and not much was going to stop their mission. They had ideas and publically expressed them. They were brave about it.

Obviously I’m not comparing painting to the work that these individulas have done, but what lovely examples of marching forward as yourself. So many ideas were born because of an individual’s conviction. I see this even in art & craft every time I log onto Etsy or enter an art museum or eat at a new restaurant with foam on the menu.


I think of Greta too. She loves painting irises. She is young & sees the flower through her eyes and interprets it her way. Is it the way that others see an iris? Are the details perfect? Is the composition right? How about the scale? The shading?


Ummmm, does it make a less beautiful painting?



  1. Heather says:

    You’re awesome! So glad you realize that the nay-sayers are the minority and don’t matter. Use the criticism to build your strength and conviction, keep doing what you love and KNOW that you bring so many people joy just doing what you do! Follow your passion and continue to be an inspiration to others. Think of what you would tell your kids – you are perfect just the way you are. :o)

  2. Thank you for your cane tutorial. I appreciate you sharing your ideas and I frankly have learned a lot about painting from all of your tutorials. There will always be encouraging and discouraging folks here on this planet. Continue on with what you love and ignore the critics. My Mom used to tell me, “just ignore the ones that like to criticize because they are just jealous and mean people!”

  3. Please know that for every negative comment you have 100 people who think you are amazing. I try to look at your blog every day. Your youtube videos have helped me more than anything. My daughter and I have started buying, painting and reselling a few pieces here and there and everything we have learned is from you. Please don’t stop the videos!!! Just before you did the cane video,I had bought a table and 5 cane chairs (not sure how I am going to market this one with only 5 chairs) and I really needed to see that tutorial on painting cane because I had no idea how I was going to do it. You are amazing and an inspiration to so many by sharing your gifts with others. Some time in the future I would love to see a post or video on how you find so many pieces and where. Thanks for all you do.

    • I totally agree! I love your blog, and if you didin’t know Christen, you are my new best friend and i LOVE seeing whats new everyday! haha! Don’t let anything ever stop your talented self! I am learning so much and enjoy learning from you! Laura

    • I totally agree! I love your blog, and if you didi’t know Christen, you are my new best friend and i LOVE seeing whats new everyday! haha! Don’t let anything ever stop your talented self! I am learning so much and enjoy learning from you! Laura

    • I totally agree! I love your blog, and if you didn’t know Christen, you are my new best friend and i LOVE seeing whats new everyday! haha! Don’t let anything ever stop your talented self! I am learning so much and enjoy learning from you! Laura

  4. Kathryn says:

    I poo, poo the haters as well. I love your blog and through you I have found out about Luckett’s Store. I didn’t know how close Leesburg was to Ashburn so I was excited when I realized that. I went to it when I visited my sister a few weeks ago and told her I was coming for a visit the next year for the Spring Market. Love your blog and your style.

  5. UMMMMM………….you are not going to make 100% of the people happy, 100% of the time, so UMMMM make sure that you are making yourself happy before, UMMMM trying to make those others! The thing I love most about your videos is that you are NOT trying to be/act like a professional (UMMM, don’t take that the wrong way), you are real, you have a life, you work outside in your yard, you wear your scrubby, dirty ol’ work clothes – those are the qualities that make it unique and awesome and I LOVE IT. The nay-sayers should take the energy that they spend on commenting on negative attributes and redirect it into something, UMMMMM useful/beneficial.

  6. Christen,
    I love your talent and your willingness to “put yourself out there”. The unfair part of this is that there are always people that put down or complain without doing anything better.
    As far as Greta, I think she is very talented. She should check out Vera Neumann’s work. Maybe not, she has her own talent and needs to remain true to herself.


    ps an idea on the table and 5 chairs Terri has, is to find a 6th arm chair for the head of the table. Maybe a little larger/fancier that serves as the host’s chair.

    • that’s a great idea however 2 arm chairs were included in the amazing deal i got. thanks for the suggestion though!! 🙂

  7. Keep up the good work. I am happy that I accidentally bumped into you on the internet….your work is amazing!! I always open your feed when it is posted on facebook! I appreciate you for your candidness and honesty, though. It must be difficult to be ‘out there’ in the public’s eye and have a small contingency of nay-sayers….definitely can ruin a day! I just wanted to add my voice to the others posted here….I support you 100%. keep strong and carry on….

  8. Tina Aguilar says:

    Christen, I think you are just so great at what you do and I am learning from you. I’m very greatful for all you videos and please don’t let peoples opinions and comments upset you. Some people are not happy with themselfs and can’t see other people having a good time with what they love to do. I love your videos you are so friendly and go out of your way to explain steps and tips. I’l watch you as long as your on. All the best to you.. Tina

  9. Christen – your work is inspiring. Your taste is impeccable and your videos and tutorials are easily understood and so informative. There are always people who see the glass as half empty rather than half full. That’s more about who they are than about what you do. Keep following your passion and you will know you are on the right path.
    What amazes me is how you can possibly accomplish so much while also raising your precious children. It would be a pleasure to meet you someday.

    In respect,

  10. errrrmmmm, that little girl on the left in the final picture of your children’s bedroom series drew and painted that Iris picture? W – O – W. Until I read the detail I assumed it was a piece of artwork you’d bought / salvaged. Does she do commissions??? Such a talented young lady, obviously takes after her mama.

  11. Wow Greta you rock! Such an eye for COLOR, shape and form at such a young age is amazing. But then again you do have an amazing Mom. Keep up the good work both of you. X

  12. Hey Christen ~ You are a lovely person, inside and out. I love your transparency and vulnerability. You’re doing what you love and it shows. You are striving at life balance, and from the outside looking in…are doing a fine job. Your husband is supportive and loves hanging out with you, obviously. Your children are beautiful and full of lie and fun. And those of us that follow your blog, can’t imagine painting without your mentorship. I sure cannot! Your first name is dinner table conversation at my house. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself, your craft, and your life with us. It’s a true blessing!

  13. “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the
    greatest accomplishment.”
    ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

    don’t those people have anything better to do than to criticize and point out what they perceive as a flaw in someone else? move one sweet girl, their opinion doesn’t matter at all!

  14. Christy says:

    “She that has clean hands and a pure heart shall receive blessings from the Lord.” Psalm 24:4-5
    You have a pure heart and what you do is a blessing to US. God has blessed you with talent, (and your daughter too, by the way!) and to have you help us who are trying to paint furniture ourselves, why it’s a gift! I admire you and read your blog faithfully, and I truly do enjoy your video tutorials. Such a help to me!!! I couldn’t do it without you. Thank you. And as for the people that say unkind things to you…smile and ignore them. It’s hard to do that sometimes, but you can do it.

  15. Back in the late 70’s I asked one of the Pastors from our church, about an issue. His reply:
    “When your heart is right with God, then the judgment of men is secondary”
    ~Pastor Romain, Calvary Costa Mesa, California


  16. Courtney says:

    You are so talented and inpirational. Ignore the haters!!

  17. I totally agree w everyone! I love the way u speak, it’s like we r hanging out in ur driveway and chatting! Don’t change a thing! I also love checking in on ur blog and seeing what’s new everyday. HaHa. So inspirational and motivational- great tips and ideas!! I’m so glad I ran across it bc now I’m hooked! Thx. Laura

  18. I like you. Just the way you are. Thank you for taking your precious time to share you ideas, tips, tricks, techniques, talents and thoughts with us and mostly for being uniquely you.

  19. You know, don’t worry about the negatives! Just to let you know here is a positive one. You have inspired my son and I to tackle some projects we have together for our resale booth at the flea market. Ummmmmm, that’s about all! Keep up the videos. 🙂

  20. Hello Christen,

    I found your YouTube channel searching for chalk paint info. Why I watched you? I like that you are relaxed, and look like a real person with your paint splattered clothes. Also, you are not strict with instructions but give options to choose from. I am not on Facebook so I have not read any of the comments you referred to. I did read a couple of negative comments on YouTube. Please don’t let any of these comments deter you. You inspire me and obviously may others. I don’t have the nerve to show myself on video. You are a brave soul. I won’t say ignore the negative comments since it would be hard for me as well. But I will say this. There are individuals that make themselves feel big by belittling other. I feel sorry for them. So yeah, Keep Calm and Carry On. Ummm, which magazine is that you are featured in?

  21. You are awesome! Someone looking into something too closely reminds me of a jealous school girl! Keep your chin up and keep doing what you do great!

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