Hi, my name is Kim Hanou from the blog Too Much Time on My Hands. Now, I don’t really have too much time on my hands, but with the little time I do have, I love to find, create, and share crafty, DIY, and upcycling projects that I complete around my home in Arvada, Colorado. I have been blogging for almost two years and love every second of it. When I began, I had no idea where it would go. Would anyone follow along, would people appreciate my rustic and environmentalist style, or would I would be laughed right out of blogville. Last May, I knew I had done something right when a mysterious and very exciting email popped into my inbox. I am so happy to be here at Style Spotters to share my exciting little Better Homes and Gardens story with you today. Because it was pretty much the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me and it could happen to you too!
One run-of-the-mill morning in May 2012, I settled into my office nook with a steamy cup of coffee and opened my e-mail to see what was in store for the day. The subject line popped off the screen and read, “Possible Better Homes and Gardens Story.” That was my first thrill. I sat in a stunned silence for 3 minutes, just staring at the screen. “This is probably a joke…Let this NOT be a joke…This is probably a joke…” was the running commentary in my mind. It was not a joke, and a sensational adventure began.
After talking with Senior Editor, Kit Selzer, about some of my environmentally friendly Christmas projects from 2011, she challenged me to come up with Holiday projects, decorations, and crafts that would classify me as the “Christmas Recycling Crafting Queen.” I started creating with reckless abandon and my home turned into this:
My second thrill came when I arrived at Fedex with a bundle of samples in my arms and shipped them off to the Better Homes and Gardens Headquarters. I stood in the parking lot thinking, “I just sent samples to BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS!”
A few weeks later, the story was approved and my projects selected. I had to create my stick and chicken wire tree topper and enough shopping bag garland, and recycled paper ornaments for a nine foot Christmas tree.
My third thrill came when famed photographer, Edmund Barr, and photo stylist extraordinaire, Stacey Heston walked through my door with a fresh Oregon Christmas tree on July 19th. It quickly turned into Christmas and I spent a lot of time watching, asking questions, standing around, and primping while Edmund, Stacey, and 2 assistants made the magic happen.
Everyone was outrageously friendly, fun, and easygoing. It felt like two days hanging out with old friends. Posing for the photos was a riot. Edmund was so funny and kept shouting things like, “Every dentist’s office in America baby!” and “Work it, girl!” which resulted in many photos with my wildly crazy laughing face. At one point in the middle of the shoot, Edmund and Stacey were checking out some shots and I was just hanging out on my ladder and I had my fourth and most profound thrill. It was quiet, I was alone in my head and said to myself, “look around, take it in, really feel this amazing experience that is happening right now.” I almost got teary, and now when I reminisce, I really can put myself right back there and feel the excitement of that moment. At the end of the day, I spotted the photo order on my entry table and it hit me one more time, “this is really happening to me!”
I am so happy to share my BH&G story with you. I love how the recycled decorations turned out and if you want to make some for yourself all of the instructions are right here. Or if you aren’t feeling very creative, you can buy them in my ETSY shop, K & H Homegoods. I would also love for you to stop by my blog, Too Much Time on My Hands, look around, and say hi!
-Kim Hanou, Too Much Time on My Hands