I will kick so much ass today

It’s been entirely too long since I’ve written a blog post. And like a lot of things, the inertia is overwhelming.

But I just read my cousin-in-law’s blog, where she is on Day 97 of a 100-day self-imposed writing challenge, and her writing is so beautiful. She and I don’t have a whole lot in common, but we have more than I think I’ve let myself acknowledge. Her fearless approach to writing resonated deep within.

At some point in the recent past, I packed myself up and didn’t let myself admit that these are the things I like, and these are the emotions I have, and I am grateful for these experiences.

Work has been hard. I don’t feel like I’m growing, and I feel like my path is unclear, and as those worries have compounded for years (which is ridiculous), it’s slowly evolved to where I have a hard time fully enjoying all of the rest of my life. One of the top three questions people will ask you when they haven’t seen you for a while is “How is work?” I’ve tried brushing the question off, lying, being honest, being too honest, and the conversation never really goes in a way I could call “good.” The whole thing gets awkward in my head. It’s frustrating. It’s embarrassing. It’s redundant. It’s boring.

So I feel frustrated. And embarrassed. And redundant. And boring.

And on top of it, or because of it, or whatever, my internal self kind of disintegrated. Obstacles become too big to be considered. Disappointments don’t leave.

I HATE feeling like this. Who the hell is this whiny bitch? I can’t seem to break through.

So my new motto will be: I will kick ass today.

I have some new projects totally unrelated to work that are taking shape, and I’m getting SO much positive reinforcement from my friends. I am getting love, and hugs, and support, and confidence. All you need to do is just kick a teeny tiny bit of ass. Just a smiiiidge. And that instantly becomes so much.

I have wanted to start a gratitude journal, but wasn’t sure how. Thank you, thank you, thank you Christen for showing me how it’s done. Today, I am grateful for you, and for my wonderful Phil, whose voice I always hear in my head, telling me to do the things I’m good at, or want to be good at.

I will kick so much ass today. And I will be great at it.

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A pleasant surprise

So March Madness is over, and Richmond was more caught up in then usual this year. The University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth U were both in the tourney this year, and both made it farther then anyone anticipated. VCU actually made it to the Final Four – after playing some INCREDIBLE games to get there. (Seriously, I’ve NEVER enjoyed watching a game of basketball more than the nail-biter win over Florida State and the “you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet” rampage over #1 Kansas.)

VCU is also where both Phil and I went to college, so of course, we were cheering for them the whole way, and so was the rest of the city. This is a city that has a love-hate relationship with itself, and could be diagnosed as mildly schizo. But for a few weeks at the end of March, all that got put on the shelf, and we were all Rams fans. The UofR Spiders were even in the crowd cheering for the Rams, after they lost their own game in the Sweet Sixteen round, which I thought was an excellent display of cross-city brotherly love and sportsmanship.

Saturday night, VCU lost their game against Butler for a spot in the final game. Of course, we were sad for the team, but at the same time SO happy for how far they’d come, and for the feisty underdog story that they’d dished up for us all to feast on.

Then this past Monday night, Phil and I were coming home from a meeting while the final was being played between UConn and Butler, and we saw this on the skyline. We were both filled with warm and fuzzies, and I thought it needed to be shared. I’m sure next week we’ll all go back to moaning about this-or-that about living here, but for now, I wanted to hold on to this:

Studio Before and After

So, a confession. This is my shame. This is what our guest bedroom/ Phil’s studio looked like:

Every time I walked past that open door, I would cringe. It got worse when I walked inside:

The biggest problem is obviously storage.

Phil has a LOT of craft supplies, and the fur and fleece that he uses takes up a LOT of space. The thing that killed me is that the closet, which was hidden behind the home-made lightbox, and nearly impossible to access with the table in front of it, had plenty of potential. The contractors who renovated the space prior to our purchase had done a HORRIBLE job of planning out how the space would be used, and it was completely inefficient.

You can sort of see what I mean in the picture above, and here’s a shot of the closet, once I pulled out most of what was in it:

We decided to remove the sliding mirrors completely (they blocked your access getting in and out, and that fake gold trim – SO UGLY!). Then we ripped out the existing “guts” of the closet, and put in two shelves that run all the way across the space. We built a ledge to run through the whole closet (and we may end up reinforcing the front of the shelf by adding more ledges on the left and right of the door.) We used a piece of plywood we already had on hand for the top shelf, and we had a piece of MDF cut to size for the lower shelf at Ye Olde Big Box Lumber Store.

We do use this closet to hang some long clothes that don’t get used often, like my formal gowns and Phil’s grandfather’s old coats. We wanted to keep them in here (since closet space in the rest of the house is also hard to come by.) After coming up empty-handed when I tried to find something that would work in the closet department of the Big Box store, I got the idea to add a short towel bar mounted on the underside of top shelf. That’s the silver bar you can see on the left side of the pic. It works perfectly, and has more than held up to the weight that’s hung from it. (The longer items just get tucked neatly to the left.)

At this point, it was just a matter of putting things away so that everything was accessible. Below the bottom shelf, we store most of the plastic bins that used to be stacked near the door. These are the bins we need when we do craft shows, so it’s great that they’re very easy to pull out and put away when we’re done.

On top of the lower shelf is the existing drawer systems we were already using. They’re not my favorite thing stylistically, but you can’t argue with the function. Phil can just pull out the drawer he needs, and have it on a chair next to him while he works.

The top shelf got the items we use less frequently, or items which were lighter. Here’s how it looked when everything was piled in:

From there, it was just a matter of picking out fabric for the curtains (which we scored at the awesome local shop called U-Fab.) I pinned everything, and Phil sewed them and hung them. We both LOVE the results.

Phil’s sewing table is now on the wall where the bins and drawers used to be, and there are still plenty of other things we need to find storage room for (like those big cardboard boxes, which are full of fabric and fur.) One project at a time though.

Yay!

Things I love today

These lights from Urban Outfitters. I really want our initials hanging on the wall.

and

Philly style!

Hey it’s better than me singing the theme song from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which is about all I can do when we talk about going to Philly. (Admit it, you’d sing along with me.)

We’re attending the awesome Art Star Craft Bazaar, but you know, if you’re mobile, you should also go to the 9th Street Italian Market Fest, and say hi to our new craft show bestie, Sara from girlscantell. I have a big long blog post that’s halfway done about meeting her, but the short version is that Phil and I both found her blog awhile back, we both use it as a source of inspiration on doing this crafty biz thing, and then, at the Brooklyn Lyceum show, we set up across from her for a whole weekend. (!!!) There may have been a squeal from me, but I can’t divulge such secrets, and she was way cooler than we could have hoped. Lots of fun, goofy, smart, willing to wear masking tape mustaches with me to celebrate Mustache May… sigh. Heart.

So stalking your blogger inspirations will sometimes work out. Just sayin’. (Be cool though, be cool. Don’t look like an ass.)

In any case, come see us, then go see her, if you’re anywhere near Philly. And if you’re not near Philly, if you leave now, you just might make it in time.

No Sleep till BROOKLYN!

It’s the only headline I can come up with when we drive up there. It’s an oldie but a goodie.

Phil and I are headed to Brooklyn this weekend to the Lyceum Spring Food and Craft Market. There will be BEER on site. Craft shows with beer can’t be anything less than awesome. Craft shows with beer and baby octopi and baby apes? It’s gonna be RIDICULOUS.

I’ve been a little stressed out about this show. We did a show in Brooklyn last year, and wasn’t quite as successful as we were anticipating. I’ve tempered my expectations for this show, but I can’t lie, I’m getting excited about it. Come on, Brooklyn, bring the awesome! We are. 🙂

Boredom Cure

So I’ll admit it. I’ve had this blog for entirely too long, but I don’t post often, because it’s intimidating. I’ve been trying to figure out what My Next Post should be about. Um, intimidating. How about what we’ve been up to? So much to write about, but really, it’s just our life, and who wants to read about that? And yeah, that’s intimidating. For the 6 of you that might actually stop by, hi! You’re probably a friend of mine. So what is there to be intimidated about? Beats the crap out of me. So I thought about what I have been up to. The newest thing is that I’ve been going to the gym again. And it is AWESOME. I was going to the Y, and we had a family membership, but I was the only one using it, and it was a pretty hefty $80+ a month. Then a friend mentioned the new gym at VCU (he works there) and at lunch one day, I decided to stop by. It is FANTASTIC, and since I’m an alum, I can join for the low, low price of $23 a month. There’s a pool, a hot tub, yoga classes, more weight and cardio equipment than could possibly be used at once, and a really sweet indoor track.

I am SO glad that I’ve been back in the gym. I was turning into a mopey crankpot. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I get up most days and go to work. I leave work, and then… um… not much else happens. I have dinner. I clean the kitchen. I watch some TV and play with the puppy. Repeat. Without going to the gym, my life was stressful, and there was a lot going on, but I was still bored as crap. Getting back in the gym, and going by myself, means that I have something that’s mine. I have somewhere to be. I have something to do. I’m loving it, and I just want to stay with it for that reason.

So that’s part of what’s new. Maybe later this week I’ll post pics of our new sprouting things. We planted seeds a couple weekends back, and we’ve had morning glories, basil, tomatoes, sage, and carrots pop up. If things keep up, we should have a decent harvest this year!

ps – The Kitchn cure was awesome. Our cabinets are cleaned out, and the fridge was cleaned out. I heartily recommend it for anyone who doesn’t know where to begin with getting a grip on your kitchen.