… “mean people suck”

If you were around in the 90s you might have remembered this bumper sticker that read “Mean People Suck”.

It was rather surprising to me to encounter a certain group of people that have very strong feelings on refinishing furniture, blogging, grammar, and the like. I’ve had to swallow a few difficult emails.

Yesterday, I broke.

I’ve been working really hard caring for my kids, doing playdates, carpool, ballet, music, piano, more ballet, cooking meals, making lunches, zoo outings, church & Sunday School,+/- 12 loads of laundry a week, date night, grocery shopping, Zumba, picking up the house and basically trying to make the house & family run. Oh, and I’ve been painting ALOT.

An unkind email made me cry. A snug from Greta. A glass of Cupcake Prosecco and God sending a kindred spirit, Laura, walking down the sidewalk to wipe away my tears.

There by the grace of God go I (not meanies).

I sat on the porch, had a few spoonfuls of Nutella and thought about all you Lovelies out there that have been so kind & supportive.

And a nice chat with Reid.

After bathtime, a reading of Stuck and some more snuggling with each sleepy babe, I had one more spoonful and I tucked myself in.



  1. Jennifer Lynn says:

    *Hugs* You are an incredible mom, a caring wife, an inspiring woman, and I am so thankful to have met you. The Tyler has a happy new home, and I have been blessed with another kindered aquaintance. Please don’t let the unhappiness of others bring you down. It takes only moments in your presence to see what a beautiful person you are, an incredible home you have built, and what a truly miraculous family you keep. Sending love & prayers your way. Keep smiling, the world needs your sunshine.

  2. So glad to see you yesterday and hope you are feeling better today! Don’t let those naysayers get to you – your work and all you do for your family is incredible!!

  3. Ever since I read your article on the Post, I’ve been following your job, and I think you do it amazingly. I’ve done this business before, and decided to get back to it. You are inspiring, love searching for inspiration in your work. Thank you, blessings. Vanessa

  4. Kristina says:

    You are so fortunate to find your passion – don’t let anyone distract you from doing what you love. You’re an incredible mom, wife, sister, friend, ARTIST and business owner. I can’t imagine doing everything that you do…so well…and always with such grace. Love KZ

  5. I have been enjoying your blog and furniture pics since I read about you in The Washington Post. This is the first time I’ve felt the need to comment. Mean people aren’t worth your energy so please don’t dwell on it, even though I know its hurtful. I don’t understand people who do things like this and think that the only reason must be their own insecurity and jealousy. You deserve to be proud of what you’re doing…please know that there are lots of people out there like me who don’t comment but enjoy every minute…we are kind of like supportive little leeches! Keep up the great work!

  6. I must admit, as a former English teacher, I have cringed at mistakes I have seen in various blogs. But, I also know that I will always read with, at the very least, a figurative red pen. However, I also have to tell you what I told my students: I can fix mistakes and teach you how to avoid them but I can never begin to impart the skill of developing and implementing ideas. That’ s why it is important not to worry about the mechanics of writing or any other endeavor. Get the idea moving and worry about the niceties later. Keep up the good work! Pat

  7. Part of putting yourself out there is exposing yourself to the blue meanies. It hurts but think what their life must be like-very sad. You did exactly the right thing-took the right medicine in the form of children and chocolate. I’m new to decorating/DIY blogs and I really enjoy yours. Your work is fabulous and you are inspirational. Keep on creating and when the next nasty comment comes, sigh, head for the children and chocolate and keep on doing what you do. By the way, those wicker chairs are awesome.

  8. I am stunned that anyone would be critical of what you do! Your pieces are so peaceful and airy. You are recycling tired furniture and keeping it out of the landfil, giving it another life and making people’s homes more beautiful. How can people possibly be nasty about that? I am so sorry. And so glad that there were people there to make you feel better. I have been reading your blog since the Post article and have also fallen in love with Annie’s chalk paint. So thanks for being such an inspiration by making the effort to balance your art and your family. I am doing the same thing and find it reassuring that others are both suceeding and struggling with the balance. Thanks for your honesty. And all your lovely eye candy.

  9. I love to read blogs and rarely comment on posts… but yours today made me want to leave you a message. I enjoy your blog tremendously and applaud you for the job you do. Thank you for sharing your talents 🙂

  10. I found it disheartening and distressing that people would take the time to write negative things to you. If someone disagrees with something and can offer insight into how it can be done differently, that is one thing. I think your creativity and energy are inspiring. I have been involved in home decor, furniture building, designing, refinishing etc for longer than you have been alive and have found many, if not most people more than willing to share trade secrets, certain products and even sources with generosity.
    So celebrate the many good people who will enter you life and with a breath of kindness, just blow the meanies away.


  11. I just recently started reading your blog and I think you are amazing and talented. I do not have a blog, but am inspired by your work.

    Unfortunately, we now live in a world where people feel they have the right to critique who you are, what you do, and how you do it just because it is in the public domain. Somehow, it makes them feel good about themselves or in control. My rule of thumb is if you can’t say it to someone face-to-face, why would you think it would be OK to send it in the form of an email? It’s cowardly.

    Continue your good work. I rely on you daily.

    Camille (from Upstate NY)

  12. Hang in there, Christen! For every hater, there are hundreds and thousands of us who support you and find your work inspirational. You were so lovely when I spoke to you by email about a purchase, even though I ended up not purchasing the item. Keep up the great work, keep being your wonderful self, and try to think of your many fans when you’re feeling down! Much continued success to you!

  13. So sad to hear of your experience. Showing your feelings to your children and how you handle it with grace is one of the best gifts you can give to them and yourself! You are a talented person and a great mom–don’t some anonymous jerk get you down.

  14. I’m so happy for you, that you have discovered something that you are very good at . . . forgiving is always the best thing to do. God has gifted you with a wonderful talent. Enjoy it and don’t let anyone take this special season of your life away:O) Blessings, Sandy

  15. Jealous people stink!!! Don’t let them get you down! You just continue to follow your heart and passion!! As they say… Follow your bliss 🙂

  16. “Mean people” will always exist. Remember – it is they that have issues not you. You are obviously talented and have your act completely together. Signed up for your blog after reading the WP article and enjoy it very much. Looking forward to your Open House. You have found the “light” and follow it. Let the “light” give you peace and comfort when the “mean people” strike.

  17. Margie Ritenburg says:

    Christen ,

    I was never a “blogger” until I read the article on you in the Washington Post. Because of that article I now look forward to opening my email on a daily basis to view your projects and to read about all the interesting things you’re working on. Your “career” took off not only because of the Post article but, more importantly, because you have a natural artistic ability to create beautiful things.

    I’m astounded people would actually waste their time criticizing what you do……..I guess it takes all kinds!! I’m planning to attend your Open House on Sunday (and I’m bringing a friend). If you ever decide to give classes on refinishing pieces, I would love to attend.

    Keep up the good work……..and, enjoy another glass of Prosecco! ; )

  18. My favorite key on the keyboard is the “delete” key, specifically for moments that have unkind and unwarranted emails. In a moment of haste I have been known to respond to such emails with just the word “delete” in the body of my response 🙂

    Just remember, that you are awesome and as long as you are doing your best, enjoying what you are doing and are happy — that is all that matters.

    Like everyone else that has commented, I enjoy and appreciate you and your work.

  19. aw. just seeing this now- surely hoping the sting has passed, betting your character has developed beautifully from the experience. meanies, i’m convinced, steal their own joy more than they can ever steal that of those to whom their meanness is directed (feel free to forward that to the meanie who corrected your grammar, for inspection!). no more meanness, and i mean it! (anybody want a peanut?). oh, chris. such is the downside of budding celebrity. u better get used to it, missy! 🙂

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