October 30, 2008

Sneak Peek

So who knew that remodeling a house was such a big project? I'm the first to admit that I was totally and blindly optimistic. "We'll just paint the walls and put in some tile floors and granite counter tops!" said me, the naive first time home buyer 8 weeks ago who thought this would take maybe two weeks to do. Little did I know that once you start, it creates a domino effect and 5 weeks after signing the papers, we still haven't moved in... Here's a sneak peek of how the painting is going...

Remember this drab and boring picture of my future studio?

Dark, depressing almost black floors and a bland off white paint on the wall. An old and outdated light fixture did not add to the charm.

Ta da! The floors have been painted a "Dusty Trail" color and the walls are now a light blue called "Surf's Up". Since it was my very own space in the house, I decided to go totally girly and replaced the light fixture with a chandelier from Pottery Barn Kids. The boxes hanging from the windows hold curtain rods that I am going to install in front of the closets to replace the sliding doors that had seen better days...

Yikes! Broken doors that were really heavy and off of their tracks.

Behind those funky doors hides the smaller, older closet. The bizarre wood paneling lining the walls was just plain ugly.

We took the doors off to reveal the massive closet space. This will soon be behind a simple off-white curtain hung from just below the ceiling. I imagine that most of the time the curtains will be open, since I'm going to put the "shipping department" inside the right side of the closet.

I kept the granny window covering - it's kinda cute now that it's surrounded by the new color. I was going to paint all of the trim a light grey but unfortunately it's black because it's been shellacked and apparently shellac turns black in 50-60 years. The only way to paint over it takes a lot of scrubbing, cleaning, and priming and it was just too much work to take on at this point. The black doesn't look too bad, though.

These pictures are before I've even got my stuff in there! I'm so excited to use this space - I can't wait to put all of my stuff in one room and not have it scattered all over the house. The only thing I need to find now is a sturdy surface to hammer on since I won't be using my kitchen for that any more!

October 15, 2008

You are so loved!

Please give this print to anyone who you may think may not be feeling this way right now...
This is from Jess Gonacha's etsy shop. After what my family has been through, a sentiment as simple as this is like receiving a big hug, and who doesn't need a big hug? This print also reminds me so much of all the love and support my family received through this tragedy. Thanks to everyone for sending me sympathy cards - I'm going to keep them forever and pull them out whenever I'm feeling not so loved!

October 07, 2008

Zero and dog stuff

I got Zero all kinds of doggie things yesterday and spent about $100. Pets are expensive! I got him a new rope/tennis ball toy that he's in love with and new food that he actually eats. He was not a fan of the all-natural food I got him last week so it's nice to see that he was just picky and not depressed. We left him alone in the house for the first time last night, and after three hours we came home and he was ecstatic to see us! He also did not have any accidents or destroy anything in the house. Fantastic!

It's funny how soon Greg, Zero, and I all acclamated to each other. Having a dog thrown into your life is kind of crazy but Zero seems very happy - he loves Greg and whines whenever he leaves. I missed Zero when we were at the craft show last week, too. He's definitely going to love our new house - bigger and with a back yard - what more could he want? He might miss walking around our current condominiums and "leaving his mark" every ten feet or so, though....

Anyway, here are some cute doggie items I have hearted on Etsy:

I already bought this adorable dog tie for Halloween - I actually marked it as a favorite before Zero became my dog again... He'll probably destroy it within minutes but how cute will he look before that happens?!

this is a great dog tag by Cristina Ashley Design - very simple and modern

but I kind of like this one for his rock 'n roll side by Punk Rock Paper Scissor

I like all of the pet beds in this shop, but this one is my favorite by Apartment C

On a side note, it is finally raining. It hasn't rained in two weeks in Nashville and it's about time. Now I won't have to get my car washed - it was absolutely filthy from last week's dust bowl show, which turned out to be my most successful show ever! Awesome!

October 06, 2008

Comic Relief

I got a lovely email from a Shecky's representative today, asking me if I would be interested in doing one of their shows. Here was my reply:

Hi (very nice Shecky's representative who has no idea what I am about to unload),

I actually did Shecky’s in Atlanta 2006. It was really just too expensive to justify doing it again since I didn’t sell very much due to the fact I actually threw my back out before the show started and left in an ambulance. My friends came to the rescue once the show had already begun and tried to sell my jewelry, but my setup was incomplete and they did not know what they were doing. I was only there for an hour at the end in extreme pain and also sick from the medication the emergency room gave me. Plus, I was completely harassed by a customer for a discount I would not give her, and security would not throw her out. She was really fun to deal with between throwing up outside in the bushes. I did not receive a full or partial refund from Shecky’s which everyone who was at the event and witnessed my horrendous night was appalled by, including the manager of the event at the Biltmore. But thanks for contacting me!

“freshie” beth lawrence

Too harsh? I hope I made her laugh if nothing else. The best case scenario would be that I actually get a partial refund of that wasted $600! Ah, the joys of business ownership...

October 03, 2008

the light at the end

Well it's been a week now and maybe tonight I'll actually get some sleep. Focusing on the positive is my mission in this bizarre and horrible chapter of my life and the funny thing is, before Wednesday I had been so happy and excited about so many things in my life. I'm giving myself permission to focus on them again and feel good about it.

First of all, I got into the Atlanta Gift Mart - one of the biggest wholesale shows in the country which means if I have a good show, there wil be less traveling to craft shows! That prospect makes me a little sad since craft shows have been such an adventure but now it means I only get to do my favorite ones, right? Staying at home more is the goal so that I can be all grownuppy and maybe pop out a freshie junior or two... scary thought.

Then I got into the Philadelphia Buyer's Market of American Craft! Rock on! Suck it American Craft Council! (who by the way, if they ever invite me to apply again I'm going to let them know I think they're scamming artists nationally for their jury fees - oops i guess i just told them) This is a handmade-only wholesale show a month after the Atlanta show so I should be a very busy girl next spring. And Amy of Olaria Studio will be there so I'll ge to hang out with her again hopefully.

And if that wasn't enough, Greggars and I closed on our house on Monday so it is official - we have a house we can call our own! Wall St crisis shmisis! We are practically doubling our space and I will have an entire room dedicated as a studio space. I can't wait - I've been picking out paint colors for weeks and getting decorating ideas from Domino magazines I have collected over the years. There is a sweet back deck so I am also so happy to be able to entertain friends at my house again - the condo was just too small and cramped to have people over, let alone more than two and now we could invite the entire neighborhood!

my future studio

We also now have a fenced in back yard that is quite large which leads me to one of the most positive things that have come out of this - I have Zero back! I gave Zero to my brother about 4 1/2 years ago because he was driving me insane since he was such a demanding personality and I did not have enough space for him to roam around in. Plus, he refused to be housebroken since he would pee out of spite. It's a little weird to say that I inherited a dog, but the minute I heard about my brother I knew I would take care of Zero again. And the only reason I knew for sure was that we were getting a big yard that he can play in. There are all sorts of doggie neighbors that he has already met (including a hilarious territorial chihuahua) and I know he'll be very happy. He's also mellowed out a ton and will actually sit still and even behave (!!!) - I may even take him to a craft show one day...

So now we are at the Pink Palace Crafts Fair in Memphis and I miss Zero already. I'm totally happy to be away from all the gloom and doom at home, though, although my brain only lets me escape for a few hours at a time. I'm coming to terms with everything and I know my family and I will be okay. I'm convinced it has to do with so many people loving us and praying for us. My heart has opened up so much to not only my nearest and dearest but also to long lost friends, not-so-close relatives, and even strangers. It's sad that it takes a tragedy of epic proportions for facets of your life to be revealed to you but it's awesome that I have reconnected with people I thought I had truly lost. To the Toy, nothing between us has changed and that's the way I intend it to be. This experience has also taught me a lot about grief and for better or worse, I can empathize with people when they have experienced any kind of loss whereas before I could never really face sorrow, especially when it was other people's.

So having said all of that, keep your eye out for updates about all of these really amazing blessings in my life because truly - my life overall is very blessed! God gave me talent and a brain and I thank Him (almost) every day for that. I'm going to be like Fawkes the phoenix and rise from the ashes. Hmmm... maybe it's time to reread Harry Potter again...