Monday, December 29, 2008

The After Christmas Blues


Every year I tell myself I am not going to get down after Christmas. Every year I try to think of ways to be excited as I usher in a new year but alas it never works. I am that crazy Christmas lady who forgets every year that life does go on after Christmas. It isn't just the presents and decorations anymore either...it has now become the friends and family that I miss.

I miss the way people behave during the Christmas holiday. My friends and family seem to be so much more relaxed and easy going. Everyone has time to linger around the dining room table or chat a little longer at Starbucks. These are a few of the reasons Christmas time is even more special than it was when I was a child. Gone are the days of waiting for that new Barbie Dream Cottage or the latest NKOTB album. What has replaced it is a thousand times more valuable.

As I get older I realize how important my friends and family are to me. I feel blessed to have so many wonderfully supportive people in my life. Christmas reminds me of this every year. So maybe this year I will try to let that feeling lift my after Christmas blues as well as help usher in a new year.

How do you get over the after Christmas blues? What are you most looking forward to in 2009?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I am so very proud to post pics of my new neice! Never in a million years did I think I could fall so totally in love with another person's child! As her godmother I feel so lucky to have the chance to help this little elf become a strong and confident woman!! So without further delays I present Edith Jane Chapman




This baby girl has unleashed the baby fever!! I feel like I will never be ready but seeing my sister fall so deeply in love with this baby has made me start to crave a baby!! Watch out Zan!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Walden Artisan Market 2008

Come join me for holiday shopping done right...handmade and unique! If you are in the Nashville area the address is 1900 Eastland Ave. From paintings to jewelry there will be something for everyone on your list! Here is a preview of some of my new items!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

VOTE!!

No matter if you are Republican, Democrat or undecided, today is the day to make a choice! The important thing about election day is that you use your voice and this amazing freedom we have as a country to decide who best to represent us as a whole. I have made my choice. I feel that whatever the outcome it is time for change. It is time to show the rest of the world that we do care about everyone and not just ourselves. It is also time to show ourselves that we care about this country and its future. So no matter what you believe make your voice heard today because in the end the only choice we have is to move forward!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Etsy Gift Guide #1: Don't Let The Holidays Break Your Bank!!

The holidays will be here before we know it! In this economy it is important to a.) not panic and b.) help rebuild it! The issues with the economy are not going away over night. By making a few smart choices this holiday season (i.e. keep the credit cards in the freezer ;)) your gift giving will not break your bank!

If you are unfamiliar with Etsy.com run do not walk to take a peek at all the treasures waiting for you! Etsy is an online community of super creative small business owners. The selection is great and the prices cannot be beat! So skip the mall and super discount mega marts and support an artist and/or small business owner this year. This blog is my Etsy best of gift guide for the 2008 holiday season! Happy shopping and enjoy!!
*******
Stylish Warmth

Pumpkin Spice Scarflette $15

Caper Chris Creations

Blooming Vine Scarf in Sunset

Fray

*******

Metal Components

Red Velvet Recycled Bike Clock

1 by liz

LOVE METAL WORDS WALL ART DECORATIONS MODERN HOME DECOR $28.00
*******
Too Cute


Princess Tutu $20.00


Custom Portrait of Your Own Pet - Be a part of the Forever Home series $45.00

Paw Prints Project

*******

Something To Carry It All

Damask Leather Wallet with Antique Skeleton Key...Antique Claret $60.00

Urban Heirlooms

Delila Bag with Adjustable Strap - Japanese Kokka Fabric $58.00

Poppy Mini Pouch- Raspberry $28.00
*******
For The Home


Yellow Bird on Cherry Blossom Pillow $28.00




Kitchen Icon Labels - vinyl decals $19.00


The Turning Large Print $25.00

Hopefully this gives you a great place to start shopping for the holidays! Etsy has something for everyone on your gift giving list. Take time to to explore Etsy you will be surprised at how many quality items you can find for under $100. Check back soon for the next group of inspired Etsy artists!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It's Halloween!!


I love Halloween! I don't think I have always loved Halloween as much as I do now. I guess it is a combination of the beginning of the holiday season as well as the crisp fall nights. I am sure being a home owner has something to do with it as well. There is such a sense of comfort and pride in it. All I want is to decorate and entertain! I never thought the day would come when I would ask my mother for her coveted crock pot spice concoction. But it happened! It is a smell that reminds me of being a child. Now I want it in my own home welcoming the holiday season the way it use to when I was young.

What is your favorite thing about the beginning of the holiday season?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Upon realizing that your mother really is a Superhero...

Do you hate to clean? Did I just write that? Of course, no one likes to clean. Well, I am now a home owner and cleaning just comes with the whole package! I have always been someone who keeps her kitchen cleanish but never an entire house! Ok so it is only 1323 sq. ft. Pathetic but oh so true! Blame it on my youngest child syndrome. Yes, let's do that. Mother thank you so much for always doing so much for me that I now have the inability to "keep house". Just kidding mother! What I really want to say is, "Ok mom I get it and thank you."

I don't know how she did it and kept her sanity! Everyday the same thing: scrub, rinse, repeat. I am starting to think I might go insane. And my poor mother on top of all that, doing it with two semi ungrateful teenagers and a passive husband (my father has since redeemed himself-well kind of ;)). The perfect example of my mother is how she used to wake us up for school in the mornings. She would come in singing something like, "It's morning, the sun is shining, time to wake up and enjoy the day!" Now those of you who know me know that my response to this was none to pleasant. But as an adult in a new marriage, I am starting to get how powerful it must be to love as a mother.

My hope is to have a daughter (even though I know mother you are laughing at this) and be able to fully appreciate the pure torture it must have been to have been my mother. The mother of a depressed (daughter of my father) teenager! Here's to you mother. You deserve a medal and a song!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Overcoming Fear


Someone once asked me, "Why are you afraid of being successful?" The way I felt following that question was what I imagine getting slapped in the face must feel like. I had never before thought about my lack of forward motion as a reaction to my fear.

The older I get the more this all makes sense. Also, on the flip side, the older I get the less this fear is able to control me. Sure I still put in a frantic call to my saint of a mother who calmly assures me everything will be all right (Thanks for this morning!!). Isn't the saying, "Nothing worth doing is ever easy". I try to remember this statement when I wake up bombarded by the pressure and chaos of the world pressing the covers tighter over my head. It is not always easy but then again is that not what mothers are there for? To calmly and lovingly remind us that we are all capable of achieving all of our most precious goals!

So today I embrace my fear and allow it to move me forward! Even if it means feeling out of control for a little while. Eventually it will all makes sense.

Has anyone been moved in a forward motion by their fear? What was the outcome?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Ah...married life," she said with a sarcastic sigh!

Was anyone else blissfully unaware of the reality of living with one person day in and day out? I really kind of thought it was like a tv show.

Me the happy homemaker/artist wearing my cute little 50's style dresses happily preparing my hubby's martini for him after a hard days work (again this is all being said with a very sarcastic tone). Him the ever devoted extremely motivated business man who rushes home at the end of the day to greet me with open arms.

YEAH RIGHT!

Cut to reality and the fact that I am sitting alone in my new house furiously writing my husband an apology note via email. I have fallen short as a partner and I am not sure how to fix it. I am someone who struggles with depression while also having extreme focus issues. But the truth is I can talk about it until I am blue in the face but the only solution is to shut up and do my part!

Does anyone else feel they fall short at times? How do you manage to pick up your dignity while at the same time tuck under your tail and say, "I'm sorry baby?"

Monday, September 22, 2008

A desire to be...just be.


Yesterday I was stressed, today I am stressed and tomorrow I will be stressed! Do you remember as a kid when everyone would say things like, "Enjoy life! The older you get the more complicated it gets!" Why is that? I mean seriously I want someone to tell me why that is the one constant truth of being an adult?

On top of this realization is the realization that I am still struggling to find a way to feel successful in terms of my career path! Is it too much to ask to only have to deal with the external crap that comes my way? Do I really have to figure out how to feel creative while also being a competent business owner?

I just want to be...just be: creative, carefree, uncomplicated and relaxed. These words have become my new life goals. Okay, I know in a perfect world! So add to that successful, prepared, productive and perfect! Now I am starting to see the problem!

Anyone else struggling? If so how do you make your peace?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Moving Day Has Finally Come!!


At last! The hubby and I officially own our first home! It is so perfect! From the tiny 1928 closets to the decadent sun porch! We have been moving loads all week and the movers come tomorrow.




From the beginning of our relationship all we ever wanted was to have a home together! I am so proud to say we accomplished that goal! Next up: Becoming Debt Free!! This may take a bit longer but I know we can do it!

This has been such a challenging year for hubby and me but we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. I fully believe our new home to be that light. With the purchase of this home we have found a sense of comfort and stability. What more can you ask for in life? The love of an amazing man and a place to call home. Today I am truly blessed.

Friday, July 4, 2008

New Etsy Site


http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5398810




I have a new etsy site up! It seems the only down side is all the research involved in driving traffic to your site. It is a very user friendly site. Sellers are very eager to share advice with you. Please take a minute to check out my stuff. Any words of encouragement or critique are so very welcome!



Also any advice you guys might have on web advertising would be greatly appreciated!!


http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5398810

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Oh anixety how do I loathe thee...let me count the ways...



1.It is 5:12am and I can't sleep...
2.I have been composing this blog in my head since 4:03am...
3.The cat has a hair ball...
4.The carpet in my bedroom needs to be vacuumed...
5.The dishes in the sink are taunting me...
6.My husband's favorite shirt smells like mildew because I left it in the washing machine for much too long...
7.It is 5:16am and I still can't sleep
8.There is a rather large purple couch in my dining room...
9.My "office" needs to be organized
10.The reason we rented this place was for the luxurious screened in porch and it is rapidly becoming a homage to Sanford and Son...
11.I need to write thank you notes...
12.It is 5:20am and yes no sleep still writing about it...
13.The sheets could wash themselves at this point...
14.I am a housewife...
15.I am a jewelry designer...
16.No, today I am a housewife and failing miserably...
17.I have rewashed the shirt twice and it still seems like mildew...
18.Even if I get it all done I have to start it all over again tomorrow...

Monday, May 12, 2008

My decent into domestication...


I just had a moment of clarity. The fitted sheet that has been taunting me with its weird angles and uneven fold finally gave up the fight. I didn’t even give it its normal moment of glory this time. I didn’t sigh. I didn’t curse. I will say that it has been bunched up on the dining room table for the last couple days. But it couldn’t see me. It was buried under some towels. However, this morning I picked it up without thinking and somehow managed to fold it into a neat little square! Some of you might say I have too much time on my hands. I say maybe but that fold sure did give me a high this morning!

Recently I have been experiencing a battle with my decent into domestication. Most days I lose to the previous days dinner dishes or the eight (yes I said eight) loads of laundry. Those once neat piles of clothing have started spilling out and hurdling themselves all over the hallway. I haven’t quite figured out how the clothes actually propel themselves out of the baskets I put them in.

On top of all that I just realized that the moment I finally put everything away I have to start all over again. This concept is where the battle begins and ends. I mean where is my Rosie? George and Jane Jetson had it made as far as I am concerned. Rosie cleaned the house, did the laundry and served dinner right out of her belly. As creeping as that sounds, the dinner actually coming out of her robot stomach, today I wouldn’t turn it down.

Oh well it all starts again tomorrow. Except tomorrow I have to deal with the oil leak in my car! What are you going to do? C’est la vie!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

What is that smell?

How do you keep your home from becoming an over flowing laundry basket? Zan and I spent all day Saturday cleaning the apartment. When I say all day I mean from early morning until 6:30 pm. The reason for the cleaning? We decided to invite some friends over to play with my new obsession, Rock Band. I hate to clean as does my husband. As embarrassing as this is to admit, we can go for weeks without a proper cleaning. It takes inviting people over last minute for us to get our apartment clean. I just can't keep myself on a "cleaning" schedule. I fully understand that by creating a schedule cleaning it would not always seem so overwhelming. I think I must be lacking the domestication gene needed to keep a home.

I love a clean house. There is nothing like the morning after you have cleaned. Waking up knowing there are no dishes stinking up your sink. Or stepping into a clean bath tub knowing there is no mysterious slimy substance waiting to challenge your early morning equilibrium. And yet, neither the stinky dishes or the slimy tub is enough to get me to clean up our apartment on a regular basis. I am like a nasty frat boy living in my own stink and enjoying it. I have become accustom to living in my own filth and I am starting to feel scared! It's cold mom...I...I can't feel my feet...

Truthfully, the state of my home is directionally proportional to my state of mind. And my state o' mind ain't what it once was. But that is what pisses me off! I mean how old am I? I always thought there was this magical age when I would get my shit together. But the joke is on me apparently! There is, of course, no such thing. Just the cold dark reality that when the shit hits the fan my sink starts to reek!

Does anyone else feel this way? Does anyone adhere to some kind of schedule? If so, what is it? How do you keep yourself motivated in order to keep on track? If anyone is reading this leave me a comment with one great tip. Whether or not you currently reside in your own pit of despair, I know you still have one trick for tidying you save for when company is coming over. I try to create a place and space for everything. No matter what I do there is always an area in the apartment that remains cluttered.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Project Green

Project Green
Is it possible to build a green home for under $200,000? Let me start by saying I have no experience building anything. All I have is a limited budget and the drive to live green. I will be blogging every step from applying for Eco grants to zoning hearings to site construction.
This blog is meant to serve as how to guide. As I am a first time builder, the guide will likely be heavy into what not to do when building green. That is okay. I don’t really have any idea what I am getting myself into with this project. What I do know is that I have a great desire to better myself and the world I live in.

The concept is to create a community space in urban Nashville of 6-8 single family green homes. I would like to be able to offer the houses for under $200K. I don’t think there is anything other than condos claiming to be green in this price range. The ideal end result will be to have the houses operating off the grid.

I have several reasons for taking on this project. First, my husband and I are on an extremely limited budget. We do our part to help the planet (i.e. recycle, fluorescent bulbs). But we want to do more. We want to make more of an impact. However, the currently available options for buying a green home are limited by our budget. Second, I want to prove that anyone can go fully green whatever their budget.

I am currently, as I have no home designing experience other than The Sims, searching for an easy to use architectural software. I need something that is user friendly and allows me to create from the foundation up. I am going to try Home Designer 6.0. My plan is to create 6-8 concrete homes located on .75-1 acre of land. The homes will be between 900-1200 square feet. Each unit will have its own "backyard" green space. Plus every unit will share a community green space.

Does this sound ambitious or what? I don't care. I spent the better part of my life lost. I wasted so many precious educational opportunities. That being said there is a valid reason these opportunities were wasted. See I have been asleep for 29 years and 129 days.

The next step will be attempting to navigate my design software. I will also work on finding and pricing local green building materials. It will be important to create a rough pricing outline for this project. In the mean time I will be playing with the design and layout of the houses. Stay tuned...

Blog Ammendment 04/03/09-What was I thinking?? This blog is the truest example of Jane-The Dreamer! Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I have been asleep for 29 years and 129 days.

I have been asleep for 29 years and 129 days. On May 9, 2007 I was diagnosed with Narcolepsy and have now been awake for almost a year. The power of drugs is amazing. I am not saying I love the idea of taking a drug that begins with the words "meth" every day for the rest of my life. However, my life now compared to my life almost one year ago is like night and day.

Narcolepsy is defined as, "A condition that causes sudden uncontrollable desire to sleep and sometimes causes visual or auditory hallucinations at the onset of sleep." What does this really mean? Line up boys! No roofies needed!! Just start talking about your love of all things football and I am out!

The part that sucks is that no one ever bothered to ask why I was so tired all the time! I know this sounds like I am placing the blame on my parents but I am not. Truth be told I learned to hide it. I have spent the greater part of my life developing little tricks to "kinda" staying awake, from pulling the hairs out of my head to getting jacked up on Stacker 2 pills.

For me narcolepsy is not like you see in the movies. An average day, pre-medication, would consist of waking up and feeling like a zombie. I would then spend the greater part of the morning trying to stay awake in a caffeine induced coma. After the caffeine wore off I would spend the rest of the afternoon fighting sleep by any mean necessary. I would slap myself. When I say slap myself I mean over and over again really really hard trying desperately to snap myself out of this strange waking sleep trance. Have you ever fallen asleep in class? You know you were out really late the night before and the current lecture is excruciating? Try living everyday in a constant state of sleepiness.

The whole concept of being awake for the first time in my life is throwing me for a loop as well. I have missed so much. I guess I am making up for it now. But the down side seems to be the inevitable looming pile of tasks I was always too tired to complete.

I am trying to start fresh by completing one new or old task everyday. My first mission has been to start reading. I just barely made it through high school and college on cliffs notes alone. I did try to read but I always fell asleep. I know this will sound silly to many of you. If it sounds silly to you, you can imagine how embarrassing it is for me to admit. But it is true! And do you know what I have found? I LOVE TO READ!!

Okay, I promise I am going to try to make my future blogs a bit more upbeat! I am not even sure anyone is reading these but no worries! I have been know to have conversations with myself on a regular basis! C'est la vie!!!