Yes, that was a Busta Rhymes reference. Dude, that song was my junior year jam. And speaking of jams, our new nail gun is our latest. John’s totally ready to get his crown molding install on this weekend, assuming he can wrestle it out of my hands. Just gotta let these guys acclimate a little bit longer…
So while the crown molding gets to know our house a little better (and I dreamily gaze at it while whispering sweet nothings) we’re excited to share our 2013 Benjamin Moore paint picks! We’re a little tardy for the party with this – and a big thanks to everyone who has been asking about it! – but we just didn’t want to pull them out of a hat. So we took our sweet time finding the colors we wanted to marry. All 32 of them. It’s going to be the wedding of the century, guys.
We thought it would be fun to toss out some more specific ideas for using a few of our picks right in this post, so here’s one now:
And here’s another one (you’ll find four more peppered throughout the post).
Some of the colors in the collection are tried and true tones that we’ve already used, some are colors that we’ve eyed forever, and some are colors that we used for our book (so we’ve seen those in action as well). You can check out all of our colors here (if you told us five years ago that we’d end up on the Benjamin Moore website, we’d have laughed at you for five minutes, gained our composure, and laughed at you for five more). And you can pop over to view our collection whenever you’d like by following this little sidebar button of ours…
We’ve been using Benjamin Moore colors for around half a decade, and we’ve been buying their actual paint since 2011 (we first tried it out on our office built-ins), so when they invited us to curate a collection of our favorite colors last year, it was pretty much a dream of ours. And jumping back in to choose 32 new colors for 2013 was just as much fun. This partnership is just like any other side gig that helps pay the bills – like writing a magazine column or our book – except we get to play with paint chips for this one, so… yeah buddy.
Our process was pretty simple. If by simple you mean splaying out 561 paint swatches (you think I’m kidding) in order to choose our favorite 32 colors. It was beautiful chaos, I tell ya. And I loved every undertone-investigating minute of it.
The goal is simple too. We just hope anyone out there who’s overwhelmed by a giant wall full of swatches will find comfort in a smaller collection of favorites to peruse and potentially use in their home. And we hope that some of the suggestions spattered throughout this post get your motors running. You know, in that exciting I-want-to-paint-something-right-this-second way. Or in that I-want-to-paint-something-but-first-I-need-a-marshmallow way. Either one.
And since we’re on the subject of color, have you guys used any paint colors that you’ve loved lately? Do you keep a little folder of your favorite swatches? Or a pinterest board full of ‘em? How do you keep track of them all?
When we were choosing this collection we discovered that cutting out swatches individually and laying them all out on a neutral background (dark charcoal colored Karl, haha!) was a great way to see how they all worked together. And it helped us “balance” things by being sure we had enough dark choices, bold ones, neutrals, and soft and serene colors that weren’t too bright or too neutral. In short: if you have a few spare weekends and a neutral colored sofa, I highly recommend playing around with paint swatches instead of watching TV. Seriously, it’s right up there with a marathon of The Walking Dead (albeit a lot less bloody).
Psst- We picked a winner for this week’s giveaway, so you can find out if it’s you right here.
Valentine’s Day is about a week away (wink wink, fellow husbands) so we’re using this month’s usual showing of appreciation for our sponsors (the people who make our other 30+ posts possible every month) as an excuse to celebrate love, romance, and those abundant Valentine-y colors of pink and red. As you know by now, we haven’t been given any of the items shown below (here’s our no-swag policy) and there are some good ol’ discounts at the end if you’re interested in showing your love while saving some loot. Oh and there’s a hint about Monday’s giveaway hidden in here too, so feel free to guess away…
- Bright quotes & illustrations from the cheeky designer at A Vintage Poster.
- Cozamia and the awesomely cheerful patterns in each of her paintings.
- Home From India‘s authentic Indian silk accessories and handmade hardware.
- Hand-painted and personality-filled cards from 1 Canoe 2.
- The pairing of this hot pink lamp and its “carnival shade” from Shades of Light.
- WallQuotes‘ collection of love quotes (warning: they might make you feel all mushy).
- DecorChick’s curator collection on Joss & Main which has lots of lovable stuff in it.
- Glass tile mosaics in all sorts of colors and patterns found at The Tile Shop.
- Viewing Mirror Mate styles in rooms, like this yummy sounding Cherry Chocolate frame.
- The many ways to say “I love you” in Heart & Stone Jewelry‘s Valentine’s Day line up.
- Smock Paper‘s eco letterpress cards – a pretty way to apologize if you forget V-Day.
- Sustainability info from Naked Binders (a good reminder that office supplies matter).
- Big impact walls thanks to modern color combos + this Royal Design Studio stencil.
- Fish Foam‘s streak free formula (it’s like a romantic bubble bath for your windows).
- Silhouette Blue‘s wedding invitation suites, like this cool clothesline-of-hearts motif.
- This vintage Valentine’s Day card from 1909 that I found on Ruby Lane.
- This card from Freshline Illustration (perfect for any shutterbugs that you love).
- Liberty Hardware‘s selection tool – it helps you picture finishes against your cabinets.
- Oreck‘s canister vacs, like this means-business “Quest Pro” model. Take that dirt.
- Beautifully packaged Shakespearean sonnets from Red Barn Mercantile.
- The fun results when searching Rentini’s “romance” category of stylish vacation homes.
- Quilting services from Enchanted Desert Quilter, for those of us who are quilt-dumb.
- Samantha French‘s swimming-themed paintings, which make me wish it were June.
- And a giveaway hint. This time someone’s getting $500 towards a Sherry-favorite…
And here are the deets on those DISCOUNTS:
- Shades of Light: 10% off using code YHL0811
- WallQuotes.com: 15% off with the code YHL15
- The Tile Shop: 10% off when you use the code YHL10
- One Canoe Two: 10% off with code YHL10
- Heart & Stone Jewelry: 10% off with the code YHL10
- Royal Design Studio: 10% off stencils with code YHL10
- Silhouette Blue: 15% off with code YHL15
- Freshline Illustration: 25% off with code YHL25
- A Vintage Poster: 25% when you purchase 3 or more prints
Sometimes we get hilarious and adorable comments like this: “Holy cow, your book was a New York Times bestseller! Congrats! You must be rich!!” …
… and it makes us realize that other than fleetingly mentioning how the whole book deal thing works in this blogiversary video (around 17:10 near the end), we haven’t really talked about it at all. So since folks have been requesting more behind the scenes details on the subject (even from as early as September of last year when we did the Q&A video below) this post is well overdue. Let’s dive in and over-share, shall we? Spoiler alert: Donald Trump, we’re not. But that’s ok. We’re cheap-os and we know it (please sing that to the tune of “we’re sexy and we know it” out loud in whatever room/office/subway car you’re currently inhabiting).
As we mentioned in the video, this book thing has always been for the fun and the amazement of seeing our names in print. It has never been about money, which is a good thing since that’s not usually what comes a-rollin’ in when you’re a first time author (well, not unless you’re Lena Dunham apparently).
The way that a book usually works is that the author gets a fee for all of the work that they do before the book comes out. This is called an advance. In our case, being first time authors, it was a modest advance. Someone like Stephen King might be able to buy a yacht with his. Ours… no yacht. Actually, if you break our advance down across the time over the past two years that we’ve spent outlining the book, writing the proposal, pitching the book, writing the manuscript, revising the manuscript, doing projects for the book, shooting the book, and editing the book we probably made around five dollars an hour while working on it (we didn’t keep a time log or anything, but that’s our best guess). So yeah, John probably earned more per hour at his high school library job of shelving books than he did writing one (especially since he’s splitting that $5 wage with me – ha!).
But you won’t see us complaining. It’s an amazing opportunity (one we’d almost be happy to have done for free – just don’t tell our publisher) so that’s why we said “holycowyes!” to a book. If you’re a first time author like us, we actually wouldn’t recommend writing a book for the money (you’d probably be really let down if you were just in it for the dough). Instead, I’d recommend doing it for the experience and the thrill of seeing your words in a bookstore and your book on your mom’s coffee table… that’s a pretty freaking awesome moment.
The way it works, at least how it worked for us, is that first you get that modest advance (paid out in smaller installments throughout the book-writing process) and then a few years later after the book is out in print (it typically takes around 2-3 years for it to go from concept to being printed) you get into the “book royalty” area. We’ve been told that many authors only earn their advance but never “make it” to receiving royalties, since it necessitates selling enough books for the author to hit their royalty point. See, the publisher actually doesn’t pay us a penny until their book sales earn back all of the advance they paid us plus money they spent on the illustrator, the photographer, etc. So it’s not until they earn all of that book-making money back that we’ll start receiving royalties (which are also pretty modest since we’re first timers).
We’re nowhere close to hitting that royalty point. Maybe in a year or two we’ll get there. Maybe sooner. And maybe never. But assuming our publisher eventually makes all that money back, they’ll start issuing our little royalty checks twice a year. Once we hit that point we’ll make around a dollar or two per book (royalties are a very small percentage of the heavily discounted price that a bookstore pays per book, which is usually around half of the book’s cover price – and it can vary by vendor). But as of today, we haven’t seen a book check since the last installment of our advance came a year ago.
So we thought that was an interesting tidbit to share. We never really knew how it worked, so learning that an author doesn’t get paid when the book comes out or with the sale of each book was enlightening to us. And a year ago if we saw someone get on the NY Times bestseller list, even for just a week, we’d probably assume they no longer use toilet paper and prefer to use hundy dolla bills to wipe their bestselling author buns. It’s so not like that around here. We use gold bars. Just kidding. Those would be cold.
We also always assumed authors got paid when they toured – even just a little bit to offset the work they’re unable to do while on the road (our tour stretches over four months) but that isn’t the case, at least for us it’s not. But they cover the travel expenses and dude, we’ve had the opportunity to meet so many of you! And I’ve achieved my lifelong goal of getting to sign ceramic animals! And that, my friends, is the beauty of book-writing. Plus, you know what they say: Mo money, mo
problems ceramic animals and then your husband wants to kill you.
Another reason we thought this post would be helpful is that we don’t want to embark on any big projects without explaining that we’re paying for them in the same way that we’ve always paid for things (the old penny-saving-over-time method that we know and love). Our book agent actually said it’s somewhat rare for a first time author to make more money on the back end of a book than on the front end (meaning that your modest advance is usually the most any first time author will see from a book) so we’ve known that from day one, which is really nice when it comes to setting expectations and all that good stuff.
As is the case for a lot of other things in our life, we did this for the love. Corny but true. The fact that you guys share photos like this with us? Seriously, it makes our chests all swelly and bursty. Even John’s stony man-heart.
Plus when it came to the actual deals that publishers were offering us, we wanted to choose who we worked with based on things other than the money. For example, a few other publishers wanted to create a big $50 coffee table book with us, and we felt a lot less comfortable with that. So one huuuge reason that we went with our publisher (thereby choosing this deal) was because they “got us” and allowed us to be our dorky selves on every page while slapping an approachable price tag on the thing.
So all of this is just to say that we’re more committed than ever to keeping it real, saving cash whenever we can, and squirreling away extra pennies towards future projects, just like we always have. There’s no Rolls Royce and Beverly-Hills-ish plastic surgery in our future but I fantasize about completely different things anyway. Like Clara’s big girl room. Dude, who’s excited about Clara’s big girl room?! $herdog is beside herself (you know she only uses the third person when she’s really hyped). Last night I was making up rap names for the whole family. Burger could be Potato Skinz. And Clara could be Small Fry. Catchy, right? And I tried to change John’s name from J-Boom to Applebeez or Bloomin’ Onion but he wasn’t having it.