Bored at Work?


Click your mouse to change the color. :)

Speaking of Jackson Pollock...
A Jackson Pollock inspired painting by yours truly--You can purchase it for MUCH less than it costs to own a real Pollock :) Just Click Here.

Also, really cool Ikea Stylemeter: Click Here to find your style. I was 80% modern, 20% Scandinavian, and 0% country.


My Hair: To cut? Or not to cut?

So my hair is at it's usual "I'm bored" length and this is where I always cut it off. Always. It has never gotten longer than this. No matter how many layers and interior layers I ask for my hair just lays there at this length. It's flat. It's pretty and shiny, but it's flat. And I am not a flat hair kind of girl. My dilemma is: what if my hair is amazing when it is longer and I don't know it because I never let it get past this point?

Decisions, decisions.

I got my first morelle purse today! It's the purple suede valkyrie and it's even prettier in person that it was online!

I can't wait to receive my next purse from her. And she has several others right now that I am having a hard time not purchasing. :)

I re-read Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer this week--giving it another try since I absolutely disliked it the first time I read it. It wasn't nearly as bad this time. I enjoyed it this time. I had to come to terms with the fact that the author knows where her characters were going because she knows them better than anyone else. Yes, I thought the characters changed quite a bit in the last book--in ways that I didn't think jived with the rest of the books--but now that I've come to terms with that character realization, I liked it. Have I mentioned that I got Jeremy hooked on the Twilight series. We went to see the movie and Jeremy really liked it (so did I, which surprised me a bit) so he started reading the books. He's almost done now.

Today I had major major major dental work done this morning. Past fillings were re-done that were getting too old, all four of my front bottom teeth were re-built with resin-based fillings from the damage my braces did to them, and a couple of cavities were filled. They prescribed me some valium for the appointment because I was completely freaked out (my front bottom teeth have always been a problem for me since my bad experience with braces, so getting them worked on yet again was really overwhelming for me--the $1500 price tag when all is said and done was also really overwhelming for me).

News Flash: Valium is USELESS!

I was shaking the whole way through and I started crying when it was over. I was a wreck. I'm a complete baby when it comes to dentists and even though our new dentist is really great and really nice and really gentle (he didn't accidentally drill my gums at all! Woohoo!) I have so many bad experiences with dentists that it just ruined me. It also didn't help that the Novocaine never fully kicked in. So he gave me more. Which hurt. And it still didn't fully kick in. After the whole thing was over, however, the Novocaine just wouldn't quit for several hours. I had so much Novocaine that my entire jaw hurts, not to mention my re-built teeth.

At least he was proactive and willing to rebuild the teeth so I wouldn't have so much difficulty with them in the future. I'm glad that's over, though.

CPSIA: Did you Know?

**This is a blog post that many are posting today to help raise awareness of the new law and how it will affect everyone. Many people don't know about it yet. And those who do know about it, know it's very hard to understand. Even my local news last night didn't mention anything about the law besides that fact that thrift stores don't know what to do.**

As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

The CPSIA requires very expensive testing for all products that will be used for children under 12--everything from sweaters to notebooks to toys to books. Even products not necessary meant for children under 12 but that can still be used by children under 12--like office supplies. They're not meant for children under 12, but legal pads are an affordable alternative to those Five Star binders and notebooks. Testing runs $70 per component for lead testing. Around $350 per component for phthalate testing. Which means a sweater with 2 colors of yarn, 3 colors of thread, buttons, and a felt applique (7 components in all) would cost $2,940 to test. Make the same sweater in a larger size--$2,940. Same sweater in a smaller size--$2,940. Imagine how much you'll be paying for sweaters now. Not that much ($2,940) because businesses will eat some of the cost, but don't be surprised if prices double.

How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12. This will likely raise your property taxes, as well, to cover the new public education costs.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.
Article from the American Library Association: Click Here

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

Lovey from Pogo Shop on Etsy

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.

Landscape I Original Collage by Lindsay Brackeen on Etsy

To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.” Article from the Wall Street Journal: Click Here

Antique Toy Car Assemblage Necklace by Savage Salvage on Etsy

To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:
Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.

If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes.

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law:
Click Here

Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.


Best. Coat. Ever.

So today Jeremy and I had to go to Ikea (I say "had to" because it's Saturday and I try to avoid Ikea on Saturdays because it's a mad house) to get me a new chair to go with my new art studio as well as some storage for all of my supplies. We also stopped at Ann Taylor Loft because I love that store. I found this gem of a coat:

Love it!! I bought it online because it was 30% off online only--way to shop smart, Sara!! Plus, when I put it on, Jeremy looked like he fell in love with me all over again. He loves it as much as I do--apparently I am gorgeous in yellow.

Now this jacket is on my radar for Spring:

I loved that one, too. But it's still coat weather and that is NOT a warm jacket so I'm just going to keep my eye on it. If it goes on sale before spring/jacket weather I'll snap it up.

Our house is SO clean. It's fantastic! Except for my in-progress art studio. We have to get the new storage set up (We got a dresser for my supplies--sounds weird, but it will work great! And it matches my Ikea art desk!) and all that stuff that we stored under the bed that we gave away now needs a new home. So that room is a little cluttered. But the rest of the house--heaven!

Watching Iron Chef America. That is such a bad idea this late at night because it always makes me hungry.


Bought from Morelle!

I bought two purses from morelle on Etsy this week. Two clutches, to be exact. I've been waiting for a new Truffle Clutch to be listed so I could buy that, but I also fell in love with the Valkyrie Clutch. It's purple suede makes me happy to look at! And the Truffle Clutch in variegated linen is very versatile and will go with everything! I'm very excited for them to arrive!!


I want some enchanted hair clips!

Jeremy had a dream last night that I had enchanted hair clips that knew how to transport us to any place in the world thanks to the wonder of the extensive Google maps, which they had downloaded or studied or something.

So we went to Disneyland Paris and I took him to all of the big art historical sites because I'm an art historian and given the chance those are the first places I'd go with enchanted hair clips.

So, in honor of the enchanted hair clips, here's the item of the day:

So pretty they just might be enchanted hair clips. Coffee Bean Chrysanthemum Silver Plated Hairpin Set by Ben & Oliver - Click here to purchase


Art By Jay Now Selling Art Prints!

The Art By Jay shop is open on Artfire! You can find him at http://artbyjay.artfire.com

Lighthouse art print - 8 x 10 - Click Here to Purchase

The Artfire shop is currently dedicated to the prints of his original paintings, which will soon be available on Etsy, too.

You can buy them in three sizes: 8 x 10, 11 x 14, and 18 x 24 (the size of the originals) at much lower price points than the original paintings! It's an easy and affordable way to get a beautiful painting for you home!

Go and check it out!

Sold another painting!

I sold another painting tonight!! It's a small abstract piece. One that I started and had no idea where I was going with it--I was completely confused until it was done! But it turned out well and now it's been purchased and has a lovely new home! When I first finished it I wasn't going to list it on Etsy because I didn't quite know how I felt about it. That's a problem I have--over thinking my art and therefore being too critical of my "happy accidents." But then overnight it really grew on me (one of my resolutions is to stop second guessing my art) and it's been one of my favorites lately because it's simple but still really pretty on the wall.

"Stained Glass Grass" - Original 12 x 12 acrylic on deep profile canvas


National Delurking Day

Was yesterday. I didn't realize it! A fellow Etsy artist, Tamara Garvey (click here for her blog), posted about it. I just think the picture for National Delurking Day is great. So, here's a late post about it.


Holy Bluebeard, Batman!

Our car totaled out for WAY more than we thought it would! We were thinking we'd get maybe $7,000 for it since it had been in a previous fender bender and was 11 years old (but only had 77,000 miles on it). As long as it totaled out for at least the $3,000 we still owe on it I would've been fine. It totaled out for $300 less than we originally paid for it ($10,000)!! So, with our deductible, we only lost $800 on that car. And it was the best car ever! To only lose $800 on the best car ever is pretty great if you ask me.

They said they didn't know how much the damage was because once they reach the "total loss" point they just stop assessing what else needs to be fixed. Poor car. :( The guy who did the inspection said, "She got in a catfight. And she lost." It sounds so much worse when you say it like that.

For a list of all of Robin's "Holy (insert words here), Batman!" statements, click here.

I've been trying to find an iPod touch for my husband since Christmas because it's the last part of his Christmas. They've been out of them around our house. Tonight while he was in class I went all over Utah valley trying to find an iPod touch. I finally found one at the American Fork Wal-Mart. So I surprised him with it! And he surprised me with a green iPod Nano! What a happy coincidence. Then we went to TJMaxx and got me an iWave for my office so I can use those speakers for music! I'm excited about it.

Art By Jay on Etsy Front Page!

**Repeat Post from ArtsAfire blog**

One of my grandfather's watercolors made it to the front page of Etsy on January 9th!

Here is the specific painting:

The River - 18 x 24 Original Watercolor - Click Here to Purchase

As promised there will be greeting cards and calendars and prints available soon. With all the craziness of the past couple of weeks we haven't gotten it started yet, but it's definitely still in the works.

Look for another painting from Art By Jay tomorrow as well as a new ACEO on ArtsAfire!


Most Expensive Books

Most Expensive Books Sold in 2008 on AbeBooks:

Etudes à l'Eau-Forte by Francis Seymour Haden: $17,216.

L'Abou Naddara, Journal Arabe Illustre by James Sanua: $13,000.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling: $12,874.

Go Harry. :)

Click Here for Complete List


Disneyland and Christmas Recap

Before all the awfulness of this past week (with the car accident, our excess financial aid check being MAILED to us instead of direct deposited so we still can't pick up our new Mini, and all sorts of other crap that has made me completely mental this week--for instance, I had a dream that I wrecked the new Mini--tiny wreck, but the car fell apart--and I sat in the middle of the road putting the car back together in hopes that no one would notice. I had to put together axles and crankshafts and fix pistons and reattach doors. I have gone crazy.), we had a fantastic Christmas!! We went to Disneyland for Christmas and it was the most perfect vacation ever.

We did our first part of Christmas shopping there--we still haven't finished the bulk of our shopping for each other, but we're doing that this weekend when we can finally pick up our new Mini! We had a 5-day park hopper pass. We spent it mostly in Disneyland, but we did spend some time really exploring California Adventure. Previously, we had just run into California Adventure to go on Tower of Terror and California Screamin' (and a few of the smaller rides, like the Maliboomer). This time we went and watched the shows (Turtle Talk with Crush was hilarious!), explored more of the rides (the new Midway Mania Toy Story ride is really fun), and looked through more of the stores. It was really fun!

Some quick observations about our vacation:

- The Snow White ride doesn't end logically. One minute she's dead from the apple. The next shows the dwarfs going after the wicked Queen. Next scene: "And they lived happily ever after" written on a board. How? Obviously I know how, but that ride does not even touch on the whole "Prince" aspect. Very disjointed.

- I've always thought that Dumbo couldn't be ridden by adults without children. Jeremy laughed at me and informed me I was wrong. So we went on it and I was absolutely giddy. That is one fun ride! I got to control the up/down lever.

- Disneyland is very clean. We saw them mopping the street gutters.

- People can't read. We went on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad one night (one of our favorite night rides that we ride over and over again) and there was someone trying to get through the fast pass line without a fast pass. They said very loudly, "Well, you should have a sign!" And Disneyland worker replied, "We do, sir. It says 'Fast Pass Line.'"

- The Midway Mania Toy Store ride had one of the longest lines we encountered. It looked really short. But then we realized that an engineering genius must have designed that ride line. It wove through buildings and out of buildings and around itself--all while looking deceptively short. But the ride was really fun and completely worth it.

- The Christmas fireworks make me cry. Not because of the sappy music, which I don't really care for, with the sappy conversations thrown in. Just because they're very pretty.

- I got the new Britney Spears CD for that Womanizer song (great workout song!). That girl can't sing. Every song on the CD is just her voice, synthesized. Completely boring. And annoying. But Womanizer still rocks because of its use on the Gossip Girl commercial--Chuck Bass is really fun to hate/love.

- By the fourth day, we were pretty Disneyland-ed out. Normally three days aren't enough for me. But the parks weren't crowded at all the first three days we were there--each ride was practically a walk-on ride. So we got to go on everything about 8 times by the fourth day. The fifth day we went to Laguna Beach (family vacation spot) and had breakfast/lunch at Ruby's. We didn't go to the park until around 6 p.m. that night.

- Technology makes me mad. Because we're dependent upon it for everything, especially our accounts. When you don't have internet access and you're trying to budget using your phone and texting for account information--it's not easy.

- There are certain things that hotels need to disclose that they never do. 1) Extra parking fees. I think that should be included in your nightly room fee, but if it's not, it's something they should tell you before you arrive. Especially when you ask them what the final final total will be. 2) They're going to hold an outrageous amount of money on your credit card, rendering any money you have budgeted to use on your credit card useless because they have the entire card held for your trip, so they can take their $600 out of it at the end.

- I have serious vacation anxiety from the time we went on vacation to visit my parents and our accounts got hacked into. So now I'm always afraid of vacations and the money needed for vacations. Gotta get that under control.

And on an unrelated note: We saw an episode of South Park while we were there that had giant Guinea Pigs attacking the entire world. And then there were giant "Guinea Bees" and "Guinea Rabbits" and "Guinea Mice"--all Guinea pigs dressed up in costumes. It was hilarious.

Later today: Pictures from our trip, updates for Arts Afire and Art By Jay, Item of the Day.