So, I finally got rid of my Valentine's Day pillows! Well, actually I just moved the large Je T'aime one over to the chair on the other side of this room but I did finally get around to moving the one that actually said "Le Valentin" on it and made two new silhouette pillows. I wanted to keep the pop of black in there but figured I had done enough scripted pillows lately so decided to screenprint two of my favorite silhouettes.  I can't decide yet if I like them being different or if I would prefer to have two of the same on this sofa. They've only been there for a day though so I will just ponder it a few more days before deciding.

Before I show you the pillows, though, I wanted to give you all some updates on Dear Lillie. First, the plan is to officially close our Etsy shop on March 30th and not reopen until August. I am due in about seven weeks and want to have those last three or four weeks to just have fun with Lillie and then when our new little bundle arrives I want to enjoy every minute of those first few months with her before getting back to the craziness of running an online shop.

We have quite a few changes planned for Dear Lillie when we reopen which I am so excited about, including hiring my brother to take on the business side of it so that we can go back to taking on wholesale orders and the hope is to expand into doing more home decor and we want for our blog to continue going in that direction and hope to start doing more tutorials. (Even though we will have our shop closed for a few months we will continue blogging on a regular basis). As far as our shop goes, I am not 100% sure what items we will continue to carry and what items we won't or exactly what we will be adding but as the summer goes on and we define more the direction we want to go in we will give some updates. One thing that we will most definitely no longer be doing is custom orders of any kind. We changed our policy last fall to that and want to really stick to it. It has been hard because we have gotten to know so many of our customers so well that it can be so difficult to say no, especially because so many of them have been such a pleasure to work with and it can be fun to design something unique, but it has just become too overwhelming and we have found on many occasions that we actually end up losing money on custom orders.

And the last thing I want to mention is e-mails. First, I want to tell you all how very much your e-mails mean to us! All of us at Dear Lillie (myself, my mom and sisters) love reading each and every one of them and have been so touched by so many of them. In fact on long days I have often opened one up and felt like crying over some of the most incredibly sweet and thoughtful things that you all have shared. Up until now I have tried to respond to each and every one (although I am often running a few weeks behind) and I want to be able to continue to do that. Since Christmas, though, the amount of emails we receive each day has grown to the point where it isn't possible unless I find a better system.  I am first and foremost a stay-at-home mom. Lillie doesn't go to daycare or have any regular babysitter. I was one of those girls that dreamed my whole life of being a mom and love every minute of it and I don't ever want to look back and feel like I missed out on this phase because I was so wrapped up in Dear Lillie.  Because of that I try to not to any Dear Lillie work while she is awake. (Fortunately, Lillie is very into doing projects right now so I often can get a lot of our house and holiday projects done with her as my little helper, although the projects generally take five times as long and make twice as much of a mess). Once she goes down for her nap each day and then to bed at night is when I do all of my work. Because Jon is a basketball coach he generally has very long hours and is out of town recruiting a ton so that can make for some very long days here where I often don't get to start on my work until close to eleven at night. (We do have a wonderful stretch of time in May and June where they have a "dead period" and we get to have very normal lives before he leaves for the entire month of July to recruit. Needless to say over the last few years May and June have become my most favorite months!) Anyway, I am getting sidetracked - sorry! Generally I start working sometime around ten or eleven each night and work until three or four in the morning. Even staying up that late I struggle to get everything that goes into running a small business done and that is often without even making a dent into e-mails.

So, to help organize the e-mails better I am going to first start with how I approach the questions on the blog. In the past I have tried to send both an e-mail to the person as well as answer the question in the comments section. From now on I am just going to answer all of the blog questions that are in the comments section right there and not also send an e-mail. I have found that so many times I have taken the time to reply to the comments only to find in my sent box that they weren't even going to the person because they had their e-mail turned off in blogger. So, if you ask us a question on the blog in the comments section just check back later that day or the next and your question will be answered right there! I spent some time last night going through them all and think I got caught up on answering most of those questions and from now on I will try my best to go in each night and answer, although occasionally it may take a little longer. I WILL definitely answer them so just check back.

Also we get a ton of e-mails regarding paint colors. The first time I post a room I always try to include that information but often when I have already posted about a room I don't think to repost that info. For now you can go to our feature at The Old Painted Cottage and scroll to the bottom to see all of our paint colors. As soon as we close up our shop and I have some more time I am planning on adding a FAQ section here on our blog where I will include all of that information along with answers to a lot of the other questions we frequently get asked. And if you are looking for paint colors there is a brand new blog called Favorite Paint Colors that you will love!

I feel horribly that it has taken me so long to get back to so many of you, but I am hoping with those simple changes (not writing both an e-mail and blog comment for blog questions and adding a FAQ page) that should help alleviate the situation a little bit. Thank you all for being so patient. I know it can be annoying to write a quick e-mail with a simple question and have it take forever for me to get back to you. (Also on that note, I was organizing our inbox today and finally made some progress but noted that I cannot find one of the e-mails I was planning on getting to tomorrow. It was from someone asking about consulting on designing/decorating their home. I have literally looked everywhere for it and even went through our whole deleted mail section and still can't find it so if whoever wrote that happens to be reading this would you mind resending it?)

Anyway, I am really excited about the new direction we will be going in because I absolutely love decorating and design and can't wait to start focusing more on that! Alright, enough rambling about all of that. I had meant to keep it all to one paragraph but didn't even come close - sorry!

Here are the new pillows I made yesterday for our living room to replace the Valentine's ones:

I added one of the "dream" pillows to this chair. 
We will be giving another one of these pillow covers away 
in this post so scroll to the bottom to see how to enter!

And speaking of giveaways, I actually won one myself! Last weekend a beautiful package arrived from Cabbage and Roses. I had won a giveaway that Lu had hosted on her beautiful blog the week before. If you haven't ever been to her blog or website you definitely need to head on over there. We discovered we had quite a bit in common including the fact that she is pregnant with her second little baby too! I have really enjoyed getting to know her. She is so sweet and so incredibly talented. You should see the post Rachel Ashwell (yes THE famous Shabby Chic Rachel Ashwell), just wrote about her on her blog! Anyway, Lillie and I were headed out the door to head to Richmond for the CAA tournament when the package arrived and of course I couldn't resist opening it. There was a beautiful laundry bag which I immediately added to our suitcase and we used last weekend. I almost didn't use it because it was so pretty I hated putting our dirty clothes into it! And then there was this lovely scented candle and notebook which are now both in our living room!

If you would like another shot at winning one of the rĂªve pillow covers we gave away last weekend  here is how to enter this weekend's giveaway:

The giveaway rules are the same as always:

 How can you win?

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post!

You don't have to have a blog to enter, either. If you aren't a blogger, just enter a comment and then where it says "comment as" scroll down near the bottom and click on anonymous. However, if you do that, make sure to leave your e-mail address so we can confirm that you are the winner. If we draw the name of someone who doesn't leave any identifying information we will simply draw a new name. Make sure to check back here on the blog to collect your prize!

You can comment each day if you would like to up your chances!

For an extra entry become a follower of our blog!

Just write "follower" as a second comment so it counts as an entry.

You can enter until midnight on Sunday evening
and then I will post the winner either Monday or Tuesday! 
I am completely caught up on all of this weeks orders and everything has been packaged and shipped on out so I am hoping to finally get to visit some of my favorite blogs this weekend as well as hopefully make another ruffled lampshade so that I can do a tutorial on it this coming week and then continue to clean out closets and get ready for the new baby! I am also hoping to get some more pillows printed. We should have some more of the Je T'aime ones available at some point this coming week and if there is any interest in these silhouette pillows we will probably make one batch of them as well.
I hope that you all have a fabulous weekend!


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