Episode #98: Goodbye Collin

This week is kind of an emotional episode for me because I’m saying goodbye to Collin after nearly six years of making projects together. We recorded this episode on his last day!

You can stream the episode here on the blog or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayTuneInPocket Casts, and Stitcher. You can find the podcast posts archive here.

Thank you to this week’s sponsors! We loving getting to share these deals with you. Be sure to check out the offers and codes from JuneShine, Issuu, BetterHelp and Verb. And if you’re ever looking for a podcast code, you can check this page.

Show Notes: 
-Collin says his favorite projects were the playhouses—A-Frame Playhouse and Mid-Century Play Set.

-Collin says the most difficult project he did was the tiled wine cellar.

-Here’s a pic of Collin’s least favorite project.

-He says building shelves is easier than it looks. Here’s our custom shelves 101 post.

Rainbow bookshelves (The used bookstore in Nashville we mention is McKays).

-Arch Nook.

Whimsical Children’s Vanity DIY

-Mary Poppins-inspired dollhouse (How to build a dollhouse and the finished reveal).

-Elsie mentions Kate Zaremba’s Etsy

Built-in breakfast nook which inspired our modern farmhouse table DIY.

Lemonade Stand and Toy Box DIY

Episode #42: Oops, I’m Moving Again (backstory of why we moved twice in 2020).

-Here’s Collin + Karsyn’s instagram if you’re interested in following their upcoming house journey.

We will miss you SO much, Collin! xx

Miss an episode? Get caught up!

Episode 98 Transcript

Elsie: You’re listening to A Beautiful Mess podcast in this episode. I’m saying goodbye to the infamous “some guy named Collin” after we worked together for almost six years. We’ll be sharing stories from our years of home projects and celebrating some of Collin’s best work. Hi, Collin!

Collin: Hi!

Elsie: Welcome. You’ve been requested and summoned so many times to be on the podcast. But you guys, to be honest, he didn’t want to do it! But today is Collin’s last day working together after — it would have been six years if we had a couple more months. Like, that’s crazy.

Collin: Yeah, it’s a long time.

Elsie: So he agreed to do it. Thank you, Collin.

Collin: Of course. Yeah. It’s not that I didn’t want to do it. I just, I’ve never been on a podcast…so.

Elsie: You’ve never been on one?

Collin: No. So, you know, I was just a little bit — a little nervous, but I’m happy to do it and happy to be here.

Elsie: So I thought it would be helpful for the part of our audience that doesn’t know every little detail to explain to them, like sort of how we started working together.

Collin: Sure.

Elsie: After we first both moved to Nashville.

Collin: Yeah. So I think the first time I ever did anything for you is, yeah, we both moved here kind of around the same time. We were moving from Texas, you guys from Missouri. And I don’t think that we knew…me and my wife Karsyn didn’t know you guys that well. We like had met a couple of times, but through my sister Stacy, like mutual friends. And from what I can remember, I know we like hung out maybe a few times. I think we helped you guys move…

Elsie: It sounds like you don’t remember how we started working together, which is totally fine, because I actually kind of don’t either.

Collin: I do kind of.

Elsie: I think. OK, tell me if you verify this. I think I asked you to switch some lights maybe? I think I heard you had experience in that.

Collin: Yes.

Elsie: And then it started snowballing after that. I just kept calling you back and back and back and back. And then eventually we started paying you to work part-time every week.

Collin: Yeah, that’s basically what I remember too, I just didn’t remember how it started, like what the first thing was. But yeah, I think I just was like, hey, if you ever need help because I had — before I moved here, I was like doing electrical with my brother as an apprentice. So I had a little bit of work doing electrical. So I was like, if you need any help. And then, yeah, it just never sort of stopped from there. (laughs)

Elsie: Yeah, I was recently thinking about it and I think six years to work at the same job in your twenties is such a long time!

Collin: It is. Yeah.

Elsie: So yeah. I want you to get full credit for that and then OK, I was thinking it’d be interesting to kind of tell the listeners like some of the things you learned through the years, because when you first started, did you, did you know how to build shelves and things like that?

Collin: No, I didn’t know anything. I had only really used a couple of power tools in my life. I was a musician as a teenager. I had not built or done anything. So, yeah, I just — everything that I know how to do, I’ve learned from pretty much just you being like, “hey, I need this. Can you do it?” And be like I guess I’ll try it. And then, you know, teaching myself through the YouTube videos and a lot of trial and error.

Elsie: Yeah, I think that’s really encouraging for people. I hope that’s really encouraging for people to hear that you don’t have to have some kind of class or some kind of baseline experience to start working on your home. You really just need YouTube and DIY blogs.

Collin: It’s true, yeah.

Elsie: And you can go on there and just follow steps. We still do that to this day.

Collin: Yeah.

Elsie: Because this summer, Collin framed an arch, and he learned to lay brick!

Collin: Yeah. (laughs).

Elsie: For the first time, which is like something we never even imagined we would end up doing. But there — was we had to sort of like extend our little outdoor kitchen bar. And so he just learned how to match and lay brick from the Internet.

Collin: It was a lot of work. It was hard. That was a little bit…that was probably one of the hardest things I’ve learned how to do. But yeah. I mean, that’s true. YouTube, everything you could ever need to know is on YouTube. So, if you’ve got a couple of power tools and access to the Internet, you can do anything. (laughs)

Elsie: I hope people really take that to heart because it really is true. And also, I think just like trying to like do the same types of projects over and over because like with shelves, for example.

Collin: Yeah.

Elsie: You started off building like a smaller shelf, like in our kids’ room and then ended up doing that floor-to-ceiling arched ceiling shelf, the one with the rainbow books at our old house. And then now what we’re sitting in is Jeremy’s new music studio that has bookshelves on every wall all the way around. And it’s kind of cool because it like sort of like gives the room a better sound quality with all the bookshelves, but also looks cool and it’s cozy. Anyway, those are skills that like build off each other. Each project was like sort of like a lesson for the next one.

Collin: Yeah. Start small, I’d say, start with little things, and you learn every single time you do something, so start with something small and just go from there.

Elsie: So you are moving. I always knew, eventually, well I didn’t know, but I always thought that eventually, Colin would move back to Texas, which is what’s happening. His family’s from Texas. He’s from Texas. There are “cheap old houses there”. Like I totally get it. And for anyone thinking of relocating these past two years have sort of like, been like the turning point for a lot of people. So anyway, tell us about your upcoming move and about your new house.

Collin: Yeah. So it’s funny you say that you, you thought you always thought I would move because I honestly never thought we would. Me and Karsyn are both from Tyler, Texas, and we, whenever we moved here. We were young. We were like, oh, we’ll never move back there. I don’t know, just being, you know, growing up, leaving your hometown, you kind of like — we were like just really needed to get away from it and learn and grow. And so it’s funny. You’re like you thought maybe we’d always move back because I really never thought we did. But after you have kids like, you know, kids change everything. So now that we have two boys, we just in the past, you know, the pandemic, the shut down, we’ve just been kind of…like I have some family here and we see them. Two of my sisters live here. But we were just, you know, kind of been isolated for so long, which was kind of by design. We wanted to get away from family and a little bit just to like, you know, figure out who we were. But now it’s just been you know, we’ve been here for, you know, six years now. And with the kids, it’s just really hard being away from family. And so that’s really, you know, why we were ready to move back, because we both have so much family there, so so much that we’re really close to. And our boys have so many cousins. Like I think we’re up to like seventeen grandchildren just on my side of the family. So yeah, it’s a lot because I’m one of six and you know, everyone has kids. So yeah, we’re moving back and we are still in the home buying process. We haven’t closed yet. It’s been super stressful, as I’m sure anyone who is trying to buy or sell a home right now, it’s it’s crazy, but we’re really excited. We have a house we’re under contract with — we’re moving in ten, ten days from today. We’re going to be going and closing on our new house in Tyler, it’s like a little mid-century sort of branch. Yeah. So it’s kind of a fixer-upper, so. Yeah, we’re going to have a lot of stuff, a lot of work ahead of ahead of me (laughs) to do but I’m excited.

Elsie: I personally am really, really happy that you ended up with that home because it’s such a — it’s a project house. Like, you could just look at it and you can already start to see the afters. So I feel like it’ll be really exciting to see what you do to it. I can’t wait.

Collin: Yeah, we’re excited. We’re going to, I think, redo the floors and probably the kitchen as soon as possible.

Elsie: Hell yes, Collin!

Collin: I know, yeah. (laughs)

Elsie: Collin did a kitchen was it last year, or the year before?

Collin: It was last year.

Elsie: He did a kitchen. For how much?

Collin: Oh, well, not only…I re-did all the floors in the house and got the kitchen for like I think it was like six grand or maybe a little over.

Elsie: Incredible.

Collin: Yeah, (laughs) it’s crazy how much money you can save. I mean, yeah. When you’re doing things yourself. But I will say it was a lot of work and we did it as fast as we possibly could because we were living in the house. We weren’t able to like, leave also during a pandemic. So it was like…couldn’t go anywhere. So it was a lot of work, but yeah, it was very, very cheap. But you would never know.

Elsie: Yeah. So you were kind of reusing and it is beautiful and so fresh, like amazing. All right. Let’s talk about some of your projects through the years. So can you name your favorite project that you ever did for A Beautiful Mess?

Collin: This is a hard I’ve been thinking about this and what I always come to, and I don’t know if it is my favorite, but it’s the first thing that pops in my head. So I’m going to go with it. But I think the playhouses that we did at your last house. Just because I don’t know, they just turned out really good. That was like probably the most scared I ever was doing anything doing a project because I had never done anything on that scale. And it was just super, super fun getting to like, I don’t know. Yeah, do it all like from the designing and like just yeah, it was really scary, but I think that was my favorite because they just turned out so good.

Elsie: They were incredible. We’ll link to those for sure. So just so you guys know in the show notes, it’s a abeautifulmess.com/podcast and we will put a link to every single project we mention because there’s going to be like 20 projects mentioned here. But yeah, there’s two playhouses. One was an a-frame little playhouse and it had like a tiny kids’ kitchen inside of it. It was very small. For an adult, you would sort of like hunched down to even like walk inside of it. So it was kind of like a kid zone. And then beside it was a swing set that had like a mid-century roofline to it. And it kind of had like a little playhouse that had a slide coming out of it. So, yeah, I am sad that we didn’t get to the point in this house of doing playhouses because I, I am excited to add a playhouse, but I also feel like we got so far in a year.

Collin: Yeah.

Elsie: So I’m really proud of what we did. But in another episode I’m going to go over all the things we had to take off our schedule when I found out Collin was moving because it’s actually kind of a funny story, but it all is working out and it’s a happy ending. What is one project or like, skill, that you hope to never, ever, ever do again?

Collin: Well…

Elsie: Be honest. (laughs)

Collin: I would say — it’s funny we just mentioned it — but I think the bricklaying, even though it turned out really good, I’m so proud of it, but it was probably my least favorite type of medium to work in. It’s just like, rough and messy and dusty. So I’m happy that I know how to do it now because I’m sure I will have to do it again at some point in my life, you know. But yeah, that was probably my least favorite.

Elsie: Yeah. I mean, I totally get that it. It turned out really, really cool. But I think that that’s one of the things you learn as a DIY blogger over time is like which projects are worth it to you where you’re like, I save five thousand dollars on this, I’m going to do it every time in which projects are like, I would totally just hire that out next time, which, you know, you live and you learn. What is the most difficult project that you ever had to do. I guess besides the brick.

Collin: Yeah, there’s a hard one. I was trying to think about this too. I think probably the tiled (laughs) wine cellar. I would say.

Elsie: Yeah!

Collin: That one was really…just like physically it was really strenuous because tile is just a lot of work in general. It’s a lot of.. like the grouting is a lot of pushing in, you know, so it’s like a lot of physical labor. So I would say that was probably the hardest, but also one of my favorites because it looks amazing. I’m so happy with how it turned out. But that one was — that one whipped my butt. (laughs)

Elsie: Yeah, it’s an incredible room. I feel like it’s one of the most stunning rooms in our home, even though it’s like a tiny little closet, basically. When you walk into it and the tile is even on the ceiling, there’s just like something about ceiling tile that’s really…it creates a big vibe.

Collin: Yeah, every time I walk by, I will just peek my head and turn the light on. Just stare at it. Just looks so pretty. I’m like, I can’t believe I did this! I did it over a long time. We took breaks. So it wasn’t that bad. But yeah, it’s is really beautiful. It looks so good.

Elsie: You have to do a tiled ceiling again.

Collin: Yeah, I’m sure I will.

Elsie: Yes! Ok, and then what is a project that you would say is way easier than it looks? Like it is — it’s impressive, but it’s not as difficult as it looks.

Collin: Um, I think the shelf building, especially the like, you know, the ones that look really elaborate are built-in. They end up looking really, really nice. But are honestly like really simple if you know, even some really basic, you know, power tools.

Elsie: Mm hmm.

Collin: I feel like most people can do it, you know, and we — I think we did a post a DIY sort of like explaining how to do it in your own space. And yeah, I think that’s one that like, yeah, it looks really intimidating and scary to do, but is a lot more simple than it looks. And I think most people could do that themselves.

Elsie: Yeah, I think most people are too intimidated, but I have noticed that whenever I bring up a shelf building project that it makes you like, happy and excited to do it each time, which is really cool. And yeah, the shelves that you built are so incredible and they’re everywhere. So I fully think that adding shelves is one of the things that can transform a room the most.

Collin: Totally. Yeah.

Elsie: Yeah. Especially when you have a big room that’s weird.

Collin: Yeah.

Elsie: You know what I mean?

Collin: Like an awkward wall you don’t really know what to do with it or no like no furniture can go on that or anything and just yeah, some shelves can solve your problem. (laughs)

Elsie: And now let’s take a quick break and hear from our sponsors.

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So I thought it would be fun, sort of like reminisce through. I went through the blog archives all the way back until you started.

Collin: Oh wow.

Elsie: And wrote down my personal favorite projects and there’s so many. So let’s talk about the rainbow bookshelves.

Collin: Yeah. The big ones in your last house?

Elsie: Yes!

Collin: That one was one that was also one of the first built-ins I had done — built-in shelves that I had done. And I was again really scared. I was like didn’t know if I would pull it off, but yeah, it was, it was a lot of fun. And yeah, we, I just remember making lots of trips to different bookstores and…

Elsie: Oh to buy the books! Yeah it was such a thing, we spent probably like almost a whole year buying the books, which was so fun. But yeah, any time we had sort of like an extra half-day in the week, it would always be book shopping time.

Collin: Yeah, going and loading up, trying to find good, like certain colors. It was a lot of fun. It was like treasure hunting at the bookstore.

Elsie: We have this amazing used bookstore in Nashville where you can get books for like 50 cents.

Collin: Yeah.

Elsie: So we got a lot of amazing books and we were shopping by color a little bit.

Collin: Yeah.

Elsie: Sort of like filling in the colors more, but that was really fun too. Yeah. I remember I always like got stuck in like the gardening aisle and the like old school DIY aisle where it’s like how to build your own cabin yourself…

Collin: Yes! (laughs)

Elsie: Like I always buy books like that. I love it. Even though I’m like who — did someone did someone really build a cabin themselves when they bought a book?!

Collin: I know. Like can you really? Yeah. It’s so funny.

Elsie: OK, let’s talk about the inset cabinet. It’s actually inset drawers. So under the pink arch that we just added, we had sort of like a lull in our schedule, which, OK, this is what we do. Whenever we have any kind of lull in a schedule or like if I’m going on a trip or like if I don’t know, sometimes there’s like an extra week or two. And I give Collin something really hard that he’s never done before. And he always figures it out, like I should have said in the beginning, but Collin’s superpower, 100 percent, is problem-solving. He’s — and I think that’s like the thing is like he has a problem-solving attitude, which makes him a great DIYer. So anyway, I just showed him a picture on Pinterest of like what…this is what inset drawers look like or inside cabinets. It just looks, you know, like all flush, like the drawer is just like floating inside of the trim and it’s all the same level and it looks really nice. And I just wanted to like, see if we could achieve that. We did kind of a fake version of my closet where we trimmed around it to create them. And then and this one, he actually like built a drawer from scratch because the cabinet…I feel like unless people can see a picture where someone standing there, they might not understand how big it actually is, but it’s probably, would you say like four feet across or three feet across?

Collin: Or maybe a little bit more than 4 feet. It’s — they’re big drawers. Yeah. Yeah, that was a lot of fun. That was…

Elsie: Would you ever, like, try to build your own cabinets?

Collin: I’ve thought about it and I might someday. It’s one of those things that’s like…I just never know if it’s worth it. Maybe someday it will be. But it’s a lot of work and can still be kind of expensive if you want it to look nice. If you want to use you know, if you’re not painting it or staining it, you got to use like expensive wood. So I might someday. But yeah, that was a lot of fun. That was really the hardest part of that was just like having to custom build drawers. I had never really built drawers. So I had to like, how do you look up — on YouTube — how do you build drawers. But it turned out really well, actually was not as hard as I thought it was going to be. And it looks really good. I’m really happy with that project. It looks so pretty.

Elsie: It’s beautiful. We just completed it and I will link to the finished blog post, which just went up. And the reel that shows how it started because, yeah, it was just the single awkward cement shelf floating in way too high of a level and Collin…

Collin: I got to smash it with the sledgehammer.

Elsie: Yeah he got to sledgehammer it! We usually don’t do that kind of demo like the kind they do on TV.

Collin: Yeah.

Elsie: So I feel like I posted that video kind of a lot, but it was fun. OK, next project. OK, you knew this one was coming. The Children’s Vanity DIY from last year. He made the children’s vanity. It’s kind of like an old Hollywood vanity that has lights around it and then the mirror has flower petals around it and it’s miniature. It’s so cute. It’s one of the — it’s definitely one of my favorite blog projects of all time. I have seen one person do the project now, which was like the greatest feeling because all DIY bloggers know this, but people don’t do the hard projects. People only do like the curtain hanging tutorial and things like that. And then the ones that are like how to build a shelf all the way up to your ceiling. Like no one really does that. But they enjoy reading it still. But yeah, whenever someone does our really hard projects, we get really happy!

Collin: Yeah, it was really good too, the person that did it. I remember looking at it and being like wow. It was like exactly as the DIY was, but yeah that was one I forgot, I forgot about that one. But that was also one of my favorites that I’ve done because it was just so I don’t know, so unique. I have never really seen many things like that and definitely ever built anything like it.

Elsie: It was so unique. I got inspired by a vanity that I found on Etsy that was fifteen thousand dollars. Which not to say that that person didn’t deserve it because I think it even had like welded metals and stuff, (laughs) like it was really a piece of art more than a children’s vanity. But, yeah, whenever I saw just the miniature vanity, I was like, oh, my God, I have to try that. So that was yeah. Probably my favorite project during 2020…it was such a weird year, but yeah that was amazing. OK, the next one, this was actually a top post of the year two years ago, but our Mary Poppins-inspired Dollhouse. So we made a dollhouse that has doors, two doors that open kind of inspired by the Mary Poppins one from the original movie, and it has a roof that opens that kind of like holds the doors out when you put it back down. And it’s just a very basic, simple dollhouse. So I, I think it’s a wonderful tutorial. If anyone has the desire to make a homemade dollhouse, which you totally don’t have to do because there’s plenty that you can buy. But it’s like, it’s custom and it’s amazing. And I found like dollhouse making one of the most fulfilling, sort of like small DIYs because it’s just like so fucking cute.

Collin: Yeah, yeah. That one was super fun. Building the actual dollhouse yeah again, not super complicated, and I feel like most people could do it, but it just was so fun to get to…I feel like we worked on it over a long period of time. So it was fun to see it morph. It Started off really basic and then it sat for a while and then we painted it. And then I honestly, my favorite part was getting to like build some of the little miniature — the kitchen I remember like the little kitchen cabinets and stuff, like making little tiny versions like miniatures like is maybe when I get, you know, old and retired, they’ll be like one of my hobbies is building tiny little miniature furniture. It was so fun.

Elsie: You could have such a cool Etsy shop. And honestly, some people like the Elsies of the world, do spend a lot of money on Etsy. So you never know. Like the funniest the most random things are on there. I love shopping on there.

Collin: Yeah. I’ve had so many people like friends and family who have seen the post of that dollhouse being like, you should do this as your job, you should sell these on the Internet and I’m like, I don’t know. (laughs)

Elsie: Dollhouse stuff is definitely money, because every time I go shopping on there, I’m like, oh, spend like 40 bucks and oh, God, like, I won’t even say it, but it happens. But yeah, it’s…that little dollhouse is so incredible. And this year we sort of like revamped it. We added some new wallpapers cause Kate Zaremba, who made our guest room wallpaper, made us miniature versions. So we just like added those in. And I kind of love that. It’s like a project that can evolve over time. All right. So I had down the A-frame play house, but we already talked about that. Let’s talk about learning to wallpaper, because that’s something that I would love for you to just explain a little bit like the differences between stick-on wallpaper and traditional wallpaper and which one you think is easier and who…like what kind of personality type should do it.

Collin: Yeah, so there’s the different — there’s the removable stick on. And even within that, there’s a lot of variety of good and bad. I would say if you’re going to just stick on…

Elsie: Do you remember the best brands?

Collin: I don’t remember names of brands I just remember the types. So maybe you would know. But the ones that are like more of like a fabric material, they’re not like glossy, slick, like plastic-y vinyl…

Elsie: Those are better?

Collin: Yeah. The vinyl ones are bad, I would say. Or, they’re just a lot harder like because they stretch if it’s kind of papery and has its removable is good or but it’s just like I would say, avoid the vinyl kind if…

Elsie: If it feels like a piece of shelf liner.

Collin: Yeah. It’s a nightmare to put up. The stuff that looks like it’s woven fabric is a lot more durable. And then there’s two different kinds of like real wallpaper, there’s pre-pasted and then there’s like just normal just paper. And I think out of those two the prepasted is probably easier. I would say there’s so many different ways to do it. But most people, I think, like most instructions, say to like lay out the prepasted kind and roll it with like a paint roller with water. And I think the easier way as I got at Home Depot, like one of those chemical sprayers, where you pump it mists and I just put water in it and I would lay it out and just missed the back of it. So you have to, like, work with the wet, you know, and then you let it sit for a few minutes and then you put it up and it’s a lot easier than the stick on because it the pace is like, you know, slippery so you can move it around and get it to line up a lot easier. I think it’s another thing that’s a lot easier than you think it can be intimidating, cutting around windows and doors and stuff. But if you start maybe on like a bare wall with maybe like one window and go from there, I think I think most people can do it. If you’re feeling — if you’re crafty or if you’re into DIYs at all, it’s an easy thing to get into for sure

Elsie: If you mess up. Do you feel like it’s easy enough to fix your mistake or?

Collin: It depends. Yeah. With real wallpaper or the prepasted, it’s a lot easier because it drives a lot slower. It doesn’t stick right away. So if it, if you put it up and it’s not going well, as you know, as you’re putting it on, you can kind of take it off and redo it a bunch of times in it. And it is going to. But the sticky kind, it’s the sort of sticks. So when it’s on the wall, there’s no moving it. So you have to like lay it on perfectly as opposed to the stuff with paste. It kind of wiggles, you know, give you some wiggle room.

Elsie: Yeah.

Collin: So but maybe still start with the if you’re if you’re wanting to go and do it, I would say maybe start with a removable wallpaper or the sticky kind because it’s just a little…

Elsie: And just a plain wall with no windows. Would be like the ultimate thing.

Collin: Yeah. I would say start there.

Elsie: Because you’re still going to probably have like power outlets and light switches no matter what.

Collin: Yeah.

Elsie: So Collin, the past I think year and a half is when he started doing traditional wallpaper too, because I never knew that he could do it, so I never asked him to. But then one time I was like, should we just try this? And he said that it was just as easy as stick on wallpaper, which was shocking to me, honestly. And then another tip I think is really fun. And this is kind of like a grandma thing, but I stand by it — is when you’re done to use your scraps to wrap like your outlet covers, because it just looks so good. Yeah, it looks so nice when you have, like, the wrapped outlet cover and you barely even see the buttons or the whatever you call it, prongs compared to when you have just like white. Depending on your wallpaper color, having the white little, whatever you call them all over the room can look really bad.

Collin: Yeah.

Elsie: So anyway, we also started painting some of our outlet covers with trim paint. (laughs) Just to see and it actually looks really good too.

Collin: Yeah.

Elsie: Just to like make things blend. Anyway, I’m getting really into the weeds there, but I think it’s really inspiring that you taught yourself to do wallpaper and I’m scared for you for your future. Now that your wife knows you can do that, I guess. Because wallpaper’s so exciting and fun.

Collin: Yeah, no, I know we run into this a lot where Karsyn’s like “do you think we could do this?” And I’m like, I mean, yeah, probably maybe I don’t really want to b– and she’s juust like, well, I know you’ve done it at work, so I know you can do it. I’m like yeah I know. (laughs)

Elsie: Oh my Gosh! All right, let’s just take a quick sponsor break.

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So this is an oldie, but I feel like it — I never forgot it. So do you remember in the first AirBnB the builtin breakfast nook?

Collin: Hmm. Yeah.

Elsie: So there was a little small — like it was it was a nook next to the kitchen. It was perfect for a built in nook. And what they had there when we viewed the house was like a little like card table and two chairs…looked like bad. And Collin did the three sided bench all the way around the nook and then a table, kind of a custom table in the middle that sat there. I really thought it was like one of the things when we sold the house that made it shine. And it also was the inspiration, why I ended up, we ended up building a farmhouse table in my previous home. And I think some people were like, why do you want a farmhouse table? It’s because I fell in love with this breakfast nook table and I just thought it was so incredible, like the most beautiful DIY table I ever saw. So I’ll link both of those. But yeah, tell us a little bit about building tables.

Collin: Yeah, I haven’t built that many, but that that was one of the first ones there, if not the first one I had done. And it was super fun. Yeah. That space was it was weird because it was like kind of too narrow of a space to really put like a normal table there. So it was like perfect for the bench and, you know, the little built in. And it’s awesome, something that I’m probably going to do at my new house. It’s such a perfect little trick if you have, like, a weird, you know, little area.

Elsie: Do you have a nook for it?!

Collin: I think we do. I it’s hard to see because I’ve only gotten videos. I don’t really know yet. But yeah, I think we have a little nook off of the kitchen where I might do some sort of built-in bench little area with a little breakfast table, but it looked really good. But I would say that was one of the first ones I built and it — I don’t know how well it held up a long term, like the really fun one was kind of getting to replicate it a little bit with your big, big one I made in your dining room.

Elsie: That table was incredible. The people who bought our home asked to buy it. Which I’m not surprised because it was perfect for the room, but yeah I kind of want it back sometimes (laughs) it was really beautiful.

Collin: Yeah. It was so much fun. I, I’ve done so many products that. Yeah. You bring that up now. I’m like, oh yeah. That was actually one of my favorite ones too, but I just done so many. But yeah that was super fun. It was exciting because I had at that point. I had done a lot more woodworking, so I felt like I was able to perfect…it was like the perfected version of the one from the AirBnB. But yeah, it’s super fun and I can’t wait to build another one. I might build another table for our new house.

Elsie: Yeah. I mean you absolutely should. I can’t…that’s why I’m so excited about your new house because I can’t wait to see which of your skills you use and like what kind of kitchen because they’re going to do a full kitchen.

Collin: Yeah.

Elsie: Like a gut remodel. It’ll be so fun to watch. OK, I will put Colin’s Instagram and his wife’s Instagram in the show notes so you all can follow them too. All right. The last one. So one of the things I’m the most proud of that we did was working through the entire pandemic because this was like…in the beginning of the pandemic, we didn’t know what to do, but we ended up working through the entire thing at like socially distanced and wearing masks for almost a whole year until we both had our vaccines. So that was something like I obviously like hope never to do it again because it was challenging. But also, I’m so proud of us for getting through it and making it work. And I know so many people made things work that were like, you know, like you step back and you’re like, wow, I really did that. So anyway, one of the funny things that happened during the pandemic was we decided to move. You know, I’ll just link that in the show notes in case you want to hear the story. I’m not going to re-tell it now, but it was a long, really horrible, sometimes funny story. But OK, so what it resulted in was that we prepped our house we basically flipped a house and prepped it to sell. We made it perfect in like a month. And it was like one of the coolest things we’ve ever done. It was like so much work, but it was like the priorities. And Jeremy and I were like painting trim on the weekends and every night. And it was just like a miracle that it even happened. But it created this awkward sort of like hole in our schedule or a gap where we got the house perfect and it was sold. But we weren’t closing for like two months and moving to our new house for like two months. So we didn’t have…we really couldn’t do any projects to an already sold house and we couldn’t work on our new house. So here’s what we did. We built some toyboxes and a mother fucking lemonade stand! (laughs) So yeah, the lemonade stand is my last one. There’s a lot of lead up to that huh? (laughs)

Collin: Yeah, yeah, yeah. (laughs)

Elsie: But anyways, yeah, the lemonade stand. I’ll just let you talk about it.

Collin: Yeah. No it’s, it’s funny, I forgot about that, that why we built those. I forgot it’s because we were in a sort of limbo. But yeah. The lemonade stand was so fun, it’s so cute. It was another thing that’s, you know, pretty, pretty simple. I just looked at a couple different ones on the Internet and just sort of like picked pieces of, you know, sort of piece it together from other ones I’d seen. But yeah, it is super cute and it was a lot of fun. Yeah.

Elsie: It has wheels. So what I love about it is we keep it on our back porch of a covered porch and most of the time it has plants on it. So it just looks like a little plant stand. That’s like I think you can tell it’s a lemonade stand but like kind of works as a plant stand as well. And then, yeah, all we have to do is just like, you know, clean it off and it can roll it around and it can be a lemonade stand. I think we’ll use it in our future — in our Girl Scout troop for a cookie stand. Excited about that.

Collin: And my favorite part is the little chalkboard sign on the front. It’s such a nice little touch. It’s so cute.

Elsie: Yes! Ok, well, thank you so much for coming in Collin, and telling us all these stories. We’re going to miss you so much. And I know all of our listeners are just wanting me to relay right now, “We love you Collin! Thank you for coming on the podcast!”. So thank you for listening. We’ll be back next week.

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  • Haha, this was exactly the moment I was thinking about! I will miss you “some guy named Colin”!

  • Wishing you and your fam all the best, Collin! It was a pleasure seeing your beautiful work on ABM!

    I’ve been following their home hunt story through Karsyn’s insta. <3 Hope that the series of events that lead them to this house all work out and it becomes a wonderful home.

  • I just realized while listening to you guys that I’ve been reading ABM for 9+ years now (omg!) and Collin felt like an important part of the “blog family”. I wish you all the best, Collin and will definitely check your house renovation.

  • I am amazed that Collin learned so much on his own! I assumed he has been in construction for years.

  • Ohhh quina llàstima que marxi el Collin!!! Et desitjo el millor per a tu i la teva dona en aquesta nova etapa a Texas. Som molts els que estem tornant a prop de les nostres famílies.
    Una forta abraçada desde Menorca!

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