It’s the little things…

Despite Nashville being slow to get on board with the season of autumn (seriously? 90 degrees on Saturday? Ug ) I was feeling the fall- nesting instinct that seems to be going around. I’m about to start some pretty big projects in the house, but I wanted to spend this weekend making a bunch of small updates and doing a few little crafty things. It’s funny, because I feel like the small updates I did actually made a really big impact in helping a few spaces feel competed.

My roommate had a bunch of mason jars lying around that helped inspire a few of my projects this weekend.

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The first I just filled with corn kernels, stuck a candle I already had inside, and wrapped some burlap ribbon I had used for an earlier project around the outside.

The second jar completed a shelf I hung in my bathroom. That one was even easier- add rocks, add a candle, done!

I got around to organizing the buffet in the kitchen, too.

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I added some fall foliage to my painted wine bottle for a seasonal touch, and finally tried the often-pinned trick of adding a candle to coffee beans for a nice aroma… And it worked! I used a cinnamon- vanilla tea light in an oversized coffee mug. Yummm!

The last thing I did this weekend was a quick update to a Home Goods find. I bought a cute wall hanging but worried the color would blend too much with the walls. I simply added some yellow chevron ribbon to the outer edge- just enough color to make it stand out against the neutral walls! It also gave me a reason to bust out the hot glue gun. Woo!

 

 

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I’m going to be posting a lot more updates on the house as I finish some long over-due projects. Stay tuned!

The Land of Lincoln

So I remembered that I have a blog… :-p

I figured in honor of re-launching my website and new things to come, I would dive back into blogging, and a great starting point seemed like it would be a re-cap of last weekend’s mini-tour to Illinois.

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First up was a stop in my college-days hometown of DECATUR, IL for a show at Timbuktu Saloon. My good friend Chance Phebus and I played a show together and had a great time playing country covers and originals for an AWESOME crowd of fans and friends. I brought my guitar player Tony Merz with me this time around to spice things up a little bit on stage, and we definitely had our fair share of adventures. We made a pre-show stop at one of my favorite little restaurants, La Gondola, for a Torpedo sandwich… I had forgotten that these things are like 18 INCHES long! I wish I had remembered to take a picture of the monstrosity before we devoured it, but it was definitely a delicious trip down memory lane from the ol’ Millikin days.

Here are a few pictures from that performance:

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The next day we drove up to the Chicago area and played at an Irish Pub in Villa Park, close to where I grew up. This was probably my favorite performance because I got to see SO many family members and old friends, including friends I hadn’t since high school and elementary school! It was amazing to feel so much support in my home city, and I had a great time playing some new songs and old favorites. I even got Tony to play a song that we wrote together, and he rocked the house. You can check that song out here:

“If Things Were Different” by Tony Merz

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Our last stop to end the weekend was back in the Decatur area, opening for my good friends Day 40 at their EP Release Concert at the Mt. Zion Convention Center. It was great to get to warm up the crowd for this talented band as they premiered songs from their brand new release “Enemies.” It was pretty great to get to play in a bigger venue with lights, big sound, and even some fog effects! Thanks again to Jim and all the guys in Day 40 for inviting us, we had a great time.

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It was a short trip, but definitely a great experience. It felt so good to be back on the road and playing for fans in my home state. Can’t wait to get back out again soon!

As I mentioned up top, I’ve just re-launcehd my website! Check it out at www.anniekennedycountry.com. From there you can link to all my other social media to keep up with the latest news, music, and tour dates!

-Annie

Baby you can light my fire…

It’s time for another home related post! When I was looking at houses, one of the things I loved about mine was the backyard. It was big and fenced in and even came with a fire pit! … Or at least the remains of one from the previous owners.

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That sad, broken paver stone pit had me dreaming of summer nights by the bonfire, enjoying s’mores and playing music with friends (a very Nashville dream if I’ve ever seen one!).

I started working on the new and improved fire pit a few weeks ago, a few spare minutes at a time. First I had to get rid of all the garbage and half-burnt remains from the guy who lived here before me. I think he may have been a bit of a pyro…. I found trash, old springs, and what I’m pretty sure was something from a car engine. Haha.

After that was done I dug out the ash that was left in the pit to get down to the dirt. I removed all the old paver stones, which were luckily not cemented together, so that part was easy. I removed more of the grass from around the edges to keep more space around the fire pit clear as well.

Finally it was time to build the fire pit! The first row was the most tedious since the old first-layer of pavers was really uneven. I was using the hexagonal paver stones, some from the original pit and about 30 new ones I bought at home depot finish the project. I laid the first brick and then went one at a time, butting them against each other and filling in the spaces with soil or digging into the ground to get a nice, level base. Once I had the first row completed, I packed more soil around the inside and outside of the ring to secure the bricks.

The rest was pretty easy. I just laid paver stones in stacked rows, making sure they were snug and secure as I went. I had debated using some kind if cement to secure the stones together, but after reading a bunch if tutorials (thanks, Pinterest!) I decided that it would be fine to leave them stacked and not glued together.

The final result looked like this:

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I’m pretty proud of this one. I am thinking about adding some pebbles around the edge to give it a more finished look. Can’t wait to start enjoying some beautiful summer, southern nights by the fire!

Four Years

This weekend marks my 4 year Nash-iversary; 4 years since I graduated college, packed my bags, and started my life as a singer/songwriter in Music City. In some ways I can’t believe that it’s only been 4 years, and then I take a breath and can’t believe that it’s already been 4 years.

I am so thankful to be in a city I love, making music and learning more about the creative process and my own voice every day. You all know I love an excuse to make a good list, so I figured this was as good a chance as any to reflect on the 4 biggest lessons I’ve learned, and the 4 biggest goals I have for the next year. Ready?

Four Lessons

1. Do what you love.

2. Work hard.

3. Find the right path… the end destination is likely to change and isn’t always clear, but finding the right road makes the hard work more worthwhile.

4. Know your strengths and recognize your weaknesses. Then, find people that are better than you at both and learn everything you can from them.

Four Goals: 

1. Record a NEW ALBUM with NEW Music. Pretty excited about this one :)

2. Make sure a few more publishers in town know who I am… time to start knocking on some doors on Music Row!

3. Keep writing with as many people as possible and learn as much from them all as possible.

4. Don’t lose sight of how much I love making music.

So there it is! A quick retrospective of my first four years in Nashville. Here’s to the next four and beyond. Thanks for sticking with me, I can’t wait to see where this journey takes us!

Annie

p.s. Check out my latest YouTube video! This one’s a song I wrote with Kristen Kuiper, one of my ridiculously talented friends :)

The View From Today

The view from today (ok, technically it was yesterday! )

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Ashley Monroe had her cd release show at 3rd and lindsley last night. It was an amazing show! She’s one of my favorite writers and artists, and a great new group Striking Matches opened the show. This pic is Ashley and her Pistol Annies band mate Angelina Presley. Great night of inspiration!

The View From Today

I played one of my favorite writers’ nights tonight. My friend John Nemeth hosts this one at Back Alley Diner. Tonight I sang my original song “Ain’t Caught Nothin’ Yet” with Tony Merz on guitar and Nick Diomedes on cajon! Thanks to my guys for helping bring this song to life.

The view from today

The view from today:

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So, my co-write today got rescheduled and I took advantage of a couple free hours to do some work on my home! I figure painting a $15 Craigslist desk is still creative, and will actually benefit me as I’ll have a better central location for all of the business related stuff that goes along with being an independent artist! I hope you’ll enjoy the quick departure from music talk for a minute.

As an Independent artist, in always looking for ways to save money; being a new homeowner I’m trying to fill my house with pieces I love. So when I found this desk for $15 on Craigslist, I saw major potential!

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I decided to invest in some Annie Sloan chalk paint since I wasn’t sure about priming the lame-o faux wood surface of it. A couple hours later it looks like the first photo!

All that’s left to do is distress it a little, put the wax finish over it, and add some new hardware to the drawers. Be sure to check my Facebook for the final product!

Now, back to business: I’ll be playing with my guys Tony Merz and Nick Diomedes at back alley diner in Nashville on Tuesday night at 8 pm! Hope to see you there :)