Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I got a hobby, I got a hobby, I got a hobby hey hey hey hey!

Wake up. Work. Dinner. TV/Read/Clean. Sleep. Repeat. That is a typical day in the life of Sarah. With such little variety, I’ve become bored, bored, bored. So, to add something interesting, I’ve decided to try doing random crafts…

This past weekend, I spent a lot of time trying out my new hobby! And I enjoyed it! I had been doing a lot of research about different crafts that I thought might be fun, and I decided on jewelry making. I chose this because there are several varieties of jewelry to make, and A LOT of different materials that you can use.
Through my online research, I’ve discovered so many fun projects out there that allow you to create fun jewelry with materials that a person might normally throw away.

And let me tell you, one thing I’m really passionate about is the environment! And not just because it’s the new trend to be “green.” I’ve cared about the environment since I was in elementary school. I remember having a club called the “Save the Earth Club.” I think it was me, Emily Stanton, and Cindy Brew. I think we created a newsletter about it and we tried picking up trash in the undeveloped part of our neighborhood. I think we also bought a bird feeder to help the birds, and we planted some plants in the undeveloped part of the neighborhood, that was later torn up and turned into the rest of the neighborhood. So yes, I’ve always been interested in the environment.

Well, as I was saying, you can basically use “trash” to make jewelry! The first upcycled material I decided to use was the tab from a soda pop can. I had seen many projects using these tabs and so I started saving them a few weeks ago. My intention was to save enough to create a purse! But unfortunately, I haven’t been able to save that many. So, I decided to make a bracelet instead because it requires a lot less tabs. After a few attempts at getting started, I was finally able to get into the swing of things and create my first pop can tab bracelet. Check it out!

Also, during my research of fun craft projects, I discovered I had heard people mention it before, but I never really checked it out until recently. They have A LOT of cool stuff on that site! It is a site for people to sell handmade or vintage items. There are a lot of creative people out there. And I hope to become one of them! So, in order to promote my new crafting hobby, I decided to create my own Etsy shop, It was easy to set up, and although I haven’t sold any of my creations yet, I hope maybe I will someday! It would be fun to know that somebody else thinks what I did is so cool that they would want to buy it and wear it around! So, hopefully I’ll make my first sale soon! :-)

My other jewelry crafts that I made were drop earrings. I had wanted to make these for a long time since I saw them at a craft fair on the 4th of July. They seemed like something I’d be able to do, and I love earrings, but hate paying too much for them. And after buying the materials at Hobby Lobby, I discovered it was possible for me to make them! I was very excited about my first pair. I wore them to work today! I’ve created a few different designs so far and I made these available on my I still need to design more pairs! :-)

The final project I created this past weekend was a wreath for our front door. I got the idea from my friend Ashley, and it was a fun project to do! The wreath is made out of lima beans, hot glue, and a foam floral wreath. I spray painted it flat black, and glued on an “M,” the first initial of my last name, that I spray painted green. I hung it from our front door on a wreath hanger with a thick green ribbon. Because of the flat black, it kind of reminds me of a tire hanging on our door, so I might paint the wreath a different color, but for now, I’m satisfied! Another thing I might change would be to have it say “Welcome” instead of the initial “M.” All in all, it was a great, inexpensive project that I enjoyed creating! And I hope it makes our front door look decorated! :-)

I’m really enjoying my crafting hobby! I have several more projects that I want to try that involve upcycled materials, including but not limited to: water bottle or juice wrappers, old gift cards or credit cards, and more fun with pop can tabs! It gives me something to do when I come home from a rough day at work. And it’s something I can do while still spending time with Chaz. I sit at the kitchen table and make earrings while he works on his laptop. We can chat about our day and still get something accomplished. It is better that sitting in front of the TV! Chaz has also been very supportive in gathering all the “trash” that I want to make crafts from. We have little bowls and piles of “junk” all over the kitchen right now, but he hasn’t complained yet. He’s a good guy! :-)

So, stay tuned for more fun craft projects made by me! And stay tuned for more handmade accessories listed at! :-)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I Feel the Need, the Need for Change!

This year, I turned 27… 27!!! That is crazy. It just seems so… old! Where did the time go? On the inside, I still feel like a high school kid. I still feel very immature… But on the outside, I’m supposed to be a responsible adult, with a husband, a career, a mortgage, bills, bills and more bills… a “grown up.” It’s hard to explain, but lately, I’ve been looking around thinking, is this it? Is this all that there is for the rest of my life?

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life! I have a great husband and we have a great relationship. He is my best friend. I have a wonderful, supportive family that is always there for me. I live in my dream house in a great neighborhood with awesome neighbors. I have a college education that has led to a career that I enjoy and is really perfect for me. I really have been blessed. But for some reason, it still feels like there is something missing... I’ve just been really confused. Basically, I feel like I need a change.

Not a lot of people know this, and I’m not sure why I’m sharing in such a public method, but one change that I’ve been wanting for almost a year now has been to start a family. This is very strange because Chaz and I have always planned on waiting until we were at least 30 to start a family. I never really felt ready for kids. I was always scared of kids, and frankly, I still am a little scared. But suddenly, at the end of last summer (2009), it just clicked that I was ready to have a baby.

Chaz, however, was not on the same boat. He wanted nothing to do with kids. Those first few months were spent with a lot of arguing between us, and a lot of tears from me. I just couldn’t understand how he couldn’t want the same thing I did. We had always wanted the same things. And I hated the fact that I couldn’t change his mind. I had already stopped trying to prevent a pregnancy, if you know what I mean, and this did not make Chaz happy.

But eventually, things settled down between us. I cut back on how much I talked to Chaz about babies and baby making and basically anything baby related. But I think the amount I did talk about it helped Chaz become more comfortable with the idea. I think he accepted that it was something I was ready for and he wouldn’t be able to change my mind. We are both so stubborn… So basically, as long as I didn’t admit that we were “trying,” then we were doing just fine.

But to me, we have been trying. I’ve been trying. I’ve been taking my vitamins. I made Chaz start taking vitamins. I’ve used ovulation kits. I pay attention to cycles and certain times of the month. I’ve even called my doctor (they won’t see me until we’ve been trying one year). I’ve taken pregnancy tests. But it’s been 10 months now, and still no positive result. This has been incredibly frustrating. Especially when it seems like everyone I know already has kids or is pregnant. I’m not sure why they feeling is so strong, but for some reason, my biological clock is ticking very, very loudly!

So, that’s where things are right now with starting our family. Basically, nowhere. I really thought getting pregnant would be easy. How many times have I heard “All it takes is 1 time.” Apparently that’s only true for the 16-year-olds on MTV. I know that it’s only been 10 months. I know of other people who have been trying longer than us and haven’t had good news to share. So for now, I’m just settling with what is going on. I can’t control this (which I hate). So I’ve just got to go with the flow. The plan is to keep trying, and if nothing happens, see my doctor in September (I’ve already got the appointment scheduled).
So, starting a family is a change I’m ready for, but I can’t control when it will happen. So, the second change that we’ve been working on this past week has been a geographic change.

Chaz and I decided this week that we want to move somewhere that stays warm year round. Somewhere tropical. Somewhere near the beach. So, we began looking at possibly moving to Hawaii, specifically the island of Oahu. I know, it seems far-fetched. It seems impossible. But we both know that life is too short to not try something new, try something crazy. If we didn’t like it, we could always move back home. So, we researched jobs. We looked into places to rent or buying a condo. I started getting my resume ready. We did this same research for other areas of the country, including Sarasota, Florida, the Florida Keys, and southern Texas.

And most importantly, we made an appointment with realtor to check out our current house to see how the process would work to get it on the market.

That’s when this new idea of change was shot down. Of course, everyone knows about the current housing market. The values of homes have gone down. And unfortunately, that includes our house… At best, we’d be able to list our house at the same price we owe on it, so we aren’t quite to an upside-down mortgage yet. But we are pretty darn close. I had figured that our home value was down, but it’s still disappointing to hear it from a professional. That doesn’t leave us anything for a down-payment on a condo, or for moving expenses.

So for now, we are putting this new idea on hold for a year. We are going to work on paying extra towards our mortgage and prevent it from getting upside down. We are going to build equity the old-fashioned way.

My need for change has still not been satisfied. I’m not sure what I plan to do. And my little quarter life crisis continues… Chaz suggested a hobby. I might try making jewelry. I’m not really sure.

In the past I’ve tried basket making. I took a few classes through the community education Tri-Ace. I also took a Zumba class with my mom. And Chaz and I took a ballroom dancing class. I’m also taking a Marketing class as a pre-req for my MBA. But all this hasn’t filled the void I feel.

I will be on the planning committee for the AHA Start Heart Walk beginning later this April. So maybe that will satisfy my need for something more.

I will also try to blog a lot more! Hopefully my future blogs won’t be so depressing!