I have committment issues.

With my paintbrush. I am afraid of paint. It's my favorite medium but I'm afraid of it. Once I put it down on that canvas, it's not easy to bring it back up. And yes, you can paint over it. But after I've put hours and hours into a painting I don't really want to paint over it. So I get scared. I started painting a set of canvas boards last night and after four of them, I vocalized that I hated it and I marched straight into a state of depression and self-loathing.

So tonight, I start over with a brand new idea because wow, I hate last night's idea. I have a better idea. I just need to find a way to execute it. I need something round...and hollow. Like my McDonald's cup here on my desk! Hallelujah. I am a problem solver.

Anyway, I was telling Jeremy that I feel like anyone can do what I do and that I'm just pretending to be an artist. That everything good that I've ever done has been more of a fortunate accident than anything because I don't make plans. I just paint and hope that something good comes out of it. But despite having a house full of fortunate accidents, I still feel like I'm pretending.

So today I re-read a blog post from a year ago about the book Art and Fear thinking that it helped me last time, hopefully it would help me this time.

This needs to be my mantra:

"The fear that you’re only pretending to do art is the (readily predictable) consequence of doubting your own artistic credentials. After all, you know better than anyone else the accidental nature of much that appears in your art, not to mention all those elements you know originated with others (and even some you never even intended by which the audience has read into your work). From there it’s only a short hop to feeling like you’re just going through the motions of being an artist. It’s easy to imagine that real artists know what they’re doing, and that they--unlike you--are entitled to feel good about themselves and their art. Fear that you are not a real artist causes you to undervalue your work.

"The chasm widens even further when your work isn’t going well, when happy accidents aren’t happening or hunches aren’t paying off. If you buy into the premise that art can be made only by people who are extra-ordinary, such down periods only serve to confirm that you aren’t."

But it's much too long to be a mantra. So I suppose I'll just have to remember to look at it occasionally.

Work is incredibly slow this week. I'm going crazy. Next Thursday is my birthday, so Jeremy and I are taking off Thursday and Friday. It will be a much needed break. And the slowness of work this week just further proves to me that I need to be able to work from home selling art and other art-related things. I can keep myself busy that way and I won't go stir crazy.

We're throwing a Halloween party this weekend for the 202/1911 (Freshman dorm numbers) crowd. I'm thinking I'll go as a rubix cube. And Jeremy can be God's Gift to Women (we'll wrap him with a tag that says, "From: God, To: Women"). We'll see.

Item of the Day:

What is this, you ask? A Winsor & Newton Aluminum Bristol Easel. It can be upright or flat, for watercolors, and it holds a canvas up to 34" high. The non-watercolor easel holds one up to 56", but I like having the option of painting on a flat surface when I need to, without getting down on the floor.

Note: Forgot that I needed my McDonald's cup. Crushed it and threw it away...just realized it.


Spinning is Bad for your Butt

So, I tried a spinning class at my gym tonight. (The second time in as many years.) 12 minutes into it I remembered why I didn't come back after the first time. Because those bikes are torture devices. The pedals bite into your feet, the seat is an alien probe device and the handlebars bruise your palms (because you're putting all of your weight on your hands to keep from having any weight on your butt). I was looking around at everyone thinking, "How does this not hurt you people?"

Then I noticed.

Everyone else was squirming as much as I was, trying to get away from the seat, only to be bruised by the tiny pedals pushing into the arches of your feet and the tiny handlebars bruising your palms.

This begs a question.

Why is spinning so popular? When there are tons of other forms of exercise that don't inflict pain upon you (except maybe muscle soreness afterward, but that's completely different), why do people choose spinning? Yes, it burns tons of calories. After 12 minutes of it I was already feeling it. But so do other exercises.

Now, back to watching The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Item of the Day:

Nike + iPod
The real way to exercise. On your feet.


We'll Miss You, Lisa

I haven't been around because my aunt died last Sunday morning. She was only 48.

Lisa Marie Fish 1960 ~ 2008

Lisa Marie Houmand Fish, 48, a loving wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister and friend, passed away on October 12, 2008 in West Jordan, Utah.Lisa was born in Murray, Utah on March 24, 1960 to Holger Jay and Carmen Lucille Lloyd Houmand. She married Glen Leon Fish on November 25, 1977 in Sandy, Utah. Marriage later solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple on June 30, 1979. Together they raised five boys who all have received their Eagle Scout Awards. Lisa was an active member of the LDS Church. She served in various callings, but spent most of her time in the Primary. She was the senior teller at the University of Utah Credit Union at the time of her passing. Lisa loved spending time with her family, camping, gardening and designing floral arrangements. Survived by her parents, husband, children, Cody (Lisa); Paul (Tawni); Niel (currently serving in the Argentina Buenos Aires West Mission); Jacob; Kevin; grandchildren, Carson and Charlotte; siblings, Catherine (Dean) Gardner; Alyson (Mike) Pace; Ryan (Ann) Houmand; mother and father in law, Leon (Sharon) Fish; many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be held at 12 Noon on Thursday, October 16, 2008 at the Fontaine Claire Ward Chapel, 1465 West Bristol Ridge (8440 S). Friends may call from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday evening at Goff Mortuary, 8090 S. State St. and one hour prior to the funeral services, at the church. Interment, Midvale City Cemetery. We will love and miss you forever!

I got a call from my mom last Sunday at 4:30 a.m. saying Lisa had died 20 minutes before that. My uncle woke up at 3 a.m. and noticed she wasn't in bed. He found her in the kitchen and she wasn't breathing. They took her to the hospital but they couldn't bring her back.

I'm mostly sad for her husband and five sons. She and Glen had been together since they were 17. Her youngest is 18, so she was able to raise them all to adulthood, but they were all really close. They'll get through it, but we're all really rallying around them to keep them engaged with the family.

On a lighter note, Jeremy didn't believe me when I said that the human head supposedly weighs 8 pounds, but I thought his was heavier. He didn't believe me on either accounts, oddly. So we laid down on the ground and used a scale as a "pillow." My head weighs exactly 8 pounds. Jeremy's weighs 8.8 pounds.

Score two for Sara.

Item of the Day:

Grand Canal Dress from Anthropologie


First Event Done

Today was the first client appreciation event that I was mostly in charge of (it was in the works before I got there, but I took it over). It went really well! And despite the market conditions, our clients were very nice and glad to be there.

The blog that I created to promote my store has been marked as spam. And I keep requesting a review and nothing is happening. I'm starting to get annoyed.

I'm officially re-obsessed with The Nightmare Before Christmas. I've always been a huge fan, but then I found remakes of the song "What's This" by Fall out Boy and "This is Halloween" by Panic at the Disco and "Sally's Song" by Fiona Apple and I fell in love with them and therefore I fell in love with the movie all over again. Jeremy and I love Disneyland at Christmas time so much because of Haunted Mansion Holiday which is ten times more fun than the regular Haunted Mansion.

Next bit of news . . . My birthday is coming up. Disneyland for Christmas is pretty much my birthday present, but Jeremy still wants to get me something. I have no idea what I want, though. Besides Disneyland paraphernalia.

Everyone needs to check out "More Time" by Needtobreathe. Fantastic song. New favorite song.

I'm in a rut. And so is Jeremy. And we're not liking it. We're hoping that the new car will help, the vacation to Minnesota will help, the trip to Disneyland will help, and Jeremy's new job in January will help. If not . . . any ideas? We're both just generally down lately. Not actively down. Just generally bored and in the dumps. Not too fun. We need a change.

Item of the Day:

2006 Nightmare Before Christmas engagement rings
Men's says: I'd like to join you by your side
Women's says: ...where we can gaze into the stars

I kind of prefer the 2005 set. The men's ring says: "My dearest friend, if you don't mind I'd like to join you by your side." The women's ring says: "For it is plain as anyone can see, we are simply meant to be." But this is the set with the best picture that I found.


Mondays are OK Because of Staff Meetings

Sounds weird, right? But it's two hours out of the day during which the four of us get together and eat free catered lunch (courtesy of Scott, who is a great boss, and not just because of the free catered lunches on Monday), talk about our weekends and the football games that were on, and plan the day/week. It's actually fun, so I don't mind Mondays.

Tomorrow is going to be a really busy day. On Wednesday we have two client appreciation events. One for lunch and one for dinner. So I have to prepare for those. I need to pick up 10 gas cards to give away at the raffle, make a raffle box, print out all the raffle forms, get back with our presenter, send in his presentation for final approval and include last minute RSVPs in the head count, etc . . . I like being busy, and since I enjoy my work I don't mind being busy with it.

In the meantime I'm working on my art and getting it all photographed for my store. I'm going to be managing my grandfather's store, too. He paints really great watercolors and would like to sell them, but he has Multiple Sclerosis and doing the Etsy thing on his own would be hard for him, so I offered to take care of it all for him. So, once I get everything up (crossing my fingers for two weeks from now) I'll post links to my stores and my grandpa's store, as well as the blog to promote it all.

The marketing campaign begins.


Forget February!

So, we went and test drove our intended Mini Cooper S today. W. O. W. LOVED it! It was so fantastic! We test drove the regular one (non-S) and the S (for sport! woohoo!). The regular one was really nice, but the S version has great pick up! The turbo charger is really fun and quiet and it doesn't sound like the car has to work so hard to speed up. It's only about 1 second slower than our Cobra. (Note: I had "2 seconds" but Jeremy let me know that it was actually faster than that, which makes the car even cooler.)

Jeremy has turned me into a sports car girl so we had to go with the S. No questions.

So, remember how my last entry mentioned ordering it in February so we'd have it in April? Not gonna happen. Because we ordered it today. We ordered one that will go into production on November 10th so it'll be built and shipped to our Mini dealer by the first of January! We're leasing it so it'll be $125 cheaper a month than buying it, and we can trade it in for a new one at the end of three years. We're all for leasing.

When we got there we had every intention of waiting to order it, but they were running a deal where you can put $0 down (but we're putting $2500) and pay no security deposit (which runs at about $750). So, we saved $750 by ordering it today (which is 3 months of payments, the three months that we wouldn't have had it between January and March, so why give up those months?) and we loved the car, so all in all, a good deal.

Item of the Day:

Our new Mini!!


New car smell...mmmmm....

So, we're getting a new car. We plan on ordering it in February so it'll be here in March. We're getting a Mini Cooper S!! I'm so excited! It's gonna be Pepper White and it's pretty darn quick for a little car!

We were thinking we'd get an "economy" car like the Ford Focus (which isn't so bad since they re-designed it--the car was an ugly, ugly car before and should never have been made and the most popular color was that awful electric blue so that made it even worse). Then we realized that the base Focus was over $17,000 and the base Cooper was $18,000. Hmmm...Ford economy car? Or BMW anything? BMW anything wins that argument!

We're going to see the dealership that we made a deal with tomorrow. We get a "member" price through our bank, but they're contracted with the MINI in Las Vegas, not the MINI here in Utah. But Jeremy did his magic and called the MINI in Murray and asked them if they'd match it. They'll beat it. Fantastic! So we're gonna go and drive one tomorrow and talk to them about ordering it in February. We were going to get it in a week because the MINI of Murray has the exact one that we want in the same color coming in a week. But we really, really want to go to Disneyland for Christmas. So, we're putting it off in favor of Disneyland, which is completely worth it to us because we're Disneyland fanatics. We've both said that we'll gladly work at Disneyland. Or live in California as long as it was near Disneyland and Downtown Disney--that would make the outrageous prices and the general scariness of California worth it.

Item of the Day:

Wave Earrings from betsy3


So, I have my own office

Which is really fabulous for my first real job. An office with a window and an area for clients to sit. Though really we only use the conference room for clients and we only use the chairs to sit in when we're talking to each other or having an impromptu meeting. I have one of those big wooden U-shaped desks which I would never want in my house but any financial office is incomplete without. And I have a coat rack. Where do you even find coat racks anymore? I feel very official. There is one problem, though. I dropped my best pen behind my desk and it's way too heavy to move...Jeremy is going to have to help me with that this weekend.

We're planning a big luncheon/dinner next week at Magleby's with a Market Commentary presentation, which is scary because the markets are down 30% and it really hasn't been this bad since the Great Depression, but we want to touch base with our clients and take exceptional care of them during this whole financial almost-crisis. I'm excited because it will be my first big event that I've been in charge of. It's going very well so far.

My store is very nearly ready to go up. I'm trying to decide whether to sell handmade books or not. I should, but they're difficult to make when you don't really have a desk to make them on. Since we converted the office to a guest room/office, we put away the big desks that would be perfect for art.I'm thinking there's got to be a way to rearrange the front closet so that I can put one of the desks in there, set up, so I can just pull it out when I want to work on it. The closet is crazy oversize so it would easily fit an extra-deep desk all set up. I'm going to work on that. I'm getting an easel for my painting because painting on the floor is the bane of my existence and my back hates me for it. I'm making do. We plan on moving when our contract is up into a three bedroom apartment for a year (before booking it out of Utah) so that I can have an art studio. I can deal for a year.

Changed the name of the store. Wanted something catchier than JSHDesigns. Arts Afire is the new name. I'm still keeping JSHDesigns because my grandpa and I might open a joint shop. He'll sell his watercolors and I'll sell my more traditional art like my drawings and my watercolors. Arts Afire is going to specialize in my abstract acrylic paintings. And if I don't open a joint store with my grandfather, I'll have a store called Handcrafted by Sara where I'll sell my hand painted pendants, my handmade books, and other things like that. I'm very excited about this whole thing. Jeremy is, too. He's pretty positive my store will do well. I've been offered money for my paintings before, so it's not too far fetched to think that they'll sell well. Plus, I have a very intensive marketing plan. I will get my name out there.

Jeremy's starting a job/career with Primerica. His friend works there and it's insurance and securities sales. Kind of like Richard Gilmore on Gilmore Girls. He's starting that up in January and if he does as well as his friend does working on 10 hours a week, I can easily quit my job and focus on my art. But I like my job so I'd like to stay longer, unless my store picks up like wildfire (I'm really hoping it does) then I'll really need 8 hours a day to work on it like a lot of the other artists on Etsy. But, like I said, I really like my job so I'm not worried about it. It's not like I can't wait to move on. Though when I got up this morning earlier than I would have liked I thought about my friend Amanda and how she quit her job and her last day was Tuesday (she's pregnant) and I thought, "She doesn't have to be up this early. Unless she wants to be. Unfair." But if I worked at home on art I wouldn't be able to let myself sleep in. I'd feel too lazy. Maybe once a week, though. A girl can dream.

Item of the Day:

Hedgehog and Piano print from boygirlparty.com

And we're back!

So I've been at my job for about a month now.

Loving it.

It's fun and my coworkers are fantastic! I'm basically in charge of "first impressions and lasting impressions." I make sure the company looks good and that the clients are happy. I plan the parties and events, buy gifts for clients, keep track of birthdays, compile all their "values" and statements for reviews, etc . . .

I'm beyond happy about finding a job that I enjoy. From what I gather it's rare for that to happen. I've only had one job that I hated. I walked out in the middle of my shift of my third day of work. Political Science department. 'Nuff said.

Jeremy is currently building a new computer. I'll be glad when he gets it all done. He's wanted a computer for so long but the finances never seemed to work out. Something else that we both wanted would come along, like a vacation or a new bed or something. But he's finally getting it. When he gets it done we're converting the office/guest bedroom into an office/guest bedroom/game room. We're moving all of our consoles in there so while Jeremy plays games on the computer, I can play the Xbox, Xbox 360, Wii or my DS in there on the bed. The bed sucks when two people are in it, but when there's only one, it's pretty darn heavenly so I think it will make a great game/crash room.

Speaking of the Nintendo DS Lite, there are many rumors saying a new one will be unveiled tomorrow. Cross your fingers with me. I would love an upgrade. Especially if, as rumored, it also functions as a camera and a music player. Still not discreet enough to play game during church on, but that's what iPod touches are for.

We're going home to Minnesota for Thanksgiving. And then we're going to Disneyland for Christmas. No Christmas shopping before Disneyland. We're giving each other $150 to spend there on gifts to open on Christmas morning (Downtown Disney is the best; they have a Sephora--Utah is lame and doesn't have one so I have to send away for all my favorite products). Then we're having the rest of our Christmas in January when we get back. We're getting season passes, too! We're so excited!! We love Disneyland almost as much as we love each other, air, and our new mattress. We might love Disneyland more than air . . .

Will write more tomorrow. I have a lot to say, but I'm going to break it up so as not to exhaust all of our news immediately.

Item of the Day:

Benefit's Bluff Dust. The perfect powder.