Saturday, September 24, 2011

Check Me Out on A Better Way of Business

Hi, everyone! I did a guest post on Friday at A Better Way of Business with Ivan Bickett (yes, he's my husband, but let's forget about that for now). The post gives the viewpoint of the spouse of an entrepreneur. I think I did a decent job. ;-)

It was posted on his WordPress hosted site, but his main site went live today. I'll post links to both below because comments were made on the hosted site, if you want to read them. If you don't care to read the comments please check out his new site.

A Better Way of Business -
A Better Way of Business (WordPress) -

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Painting the Dresser - Goal 9

Here's a picture of the dresser I wanted to paint for goal number 9.

You've seen this type of dresser before, I'm sure. I wanted a piece for my studio in which to place fabric, paint, brushes, and other items. This dresser really needed a makeover, though. Something to reflect my personality and whatever art I create. I wanted to remove the decorative border, replace the handles, and do some painting.
It was so easy to remove the border. I was going to just sand it a bit and not worry about it anymore. But what would greet me when the border was removed? This:

The face of the drawer was routed out so that the border could be completely inserted, not just glued. Oh and there about 50 nails in each border.

I was not a happy camper, but Ivan suggested inlaying the routed part. I looked into this, but the routed area is just way too big.
I refuse to give up, though, and am thinking of 2 possibilities. The first, which is a little more work, is inspired by the following piece from Twice Lovely (link at the bottom).

I would stain the top, assuming the wood is all one color, and paint the borders a similar color to the stain. The rest of the dresser would closely mirror the inspiration piece.
The next possibility is a similar looking dresser from Anastasia Tumanova's Flickr stream that has a bit more of a pop (link at the bottom).

Nice, huh? Because the dresser would be in my studio I would choose a brighter yellow. I could leave the border on all drawer fronts and just change the hardware.
Which piece do you think would look better in a studio? Do you think a different color would be better? Maybe you can see something completely different in my dresser; some kind of potential that I'm blind to. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Twice Lovely -
Anastasia Tumanova's Fickr stream -

Monday, September 19, 2011

Frustrations of a Working Mom

You always hear about stay at home moms and how hard they have it. Or at least how other people think they do nothing and don’t have a real job. Stay at home moms do have a ton of work to do and I long to be one some day, but I do have a few annoyances about what people think of working moms.

As a working mom people assume that you just don’t care about your child that much and would rather work. False. Some people don’t really have a choice. Yes, there are some choices, but they compare to the same choices the stay at home mom makes/gave up to stay at home. After having my son I had to go back to work. My husband and I still disagree on that point, but I went back and it was a blessing that I did. Shortly after returning we had several bad, expensive things happen that would have bankrupted us had I not had a job. God works in mysterious ways, but I’m glad that the decision to go back to work had its blessings.

Of course there’s the work aspect, too. When you have a sick child it’s not part of your job to take care of them. You have to call in to work and say you need the day off, see what you had scheduled for the day and rearrange what you had or attend with the chance of a crying/sick kid popping up. Work thinks you’re a slacker and gives you an unexcused absence. Oh, you read correctly. Work places still have them and they suck for parents because it can affect your performance evaluation, raises, and can get you fired. I’ve dealt with this and it’s no fun. Work makes you feel like crap and that you don’t appreciate your job and you feel like a crappy mom when your husband stays with the kid instead of you. It’s a no win situation.

What about when you’re sick? You can call into work, but they often want a doctor’s excuse (yep, you don’t get away from that when you leave school either). Some want you to come to work then send you home. If you’re like me you stay home and realize how much needs to be done in your house and feel you should do something, but know you shouldn’t because you’re sick. Plus you still have to take care of your child and husband when they get home (don’t get me wrong, I have a great husband and he spoils me so much…some of these comments are about working moms in general). Stay at home moms can say that they don’t get to call in sick, but you have to as a working mom because you have to get better quicker or risk losing your job. No one wants that on their record.

For some of us we also have the problem of not having family live near us so we can’t just call in grandma and grandpa to watch our child when we’re sick, want to go out, or whatever else you can think of. Most of the time I want Alexander with me, but there are times that it’d be nice to have time with just Ivan. Many stay at home moms I know seem to live right next to mom and dad, so life is a lot easier.

Lastly, and my biggest frustration of all, is the fact that stay at home moms have the mindset that they are the only ones who have housework and they have to balance that with watching their children. Are you kidding? What mom doesn't have all of that work? For a working mom you'll have roughly 12 hours of you day devoted to getting ready for work, commuting, and working. Take away about 8 hours to sleep (usually less) and you have 4 hours left in the day. Four hours to cook, clean up after cooking, sweep, vacuum, mop, do dishes, wash and fold clothes, make lunch for the next day, and spend time with your child and husband before bed. Sure, you have the weekend, but they are usually reserved for groceries, errands, trying to see family or friends, church, and finally a couple of hours of sitting still and spending time with your family. While stay at home moms have to do this kind of stuff to it is there job, as they put it, to do that and keep house. So, technically, I guess I have two jobs. I welcome the relaxation of being a stay at home.
So there's my rant. Keep in mind that any combination of working and being a mom has it's pros and cons. To me a mom who works part time seems to have the most difficult time. You may work a couple of days a week and if you or your child gets sick you miss 50% or all of work that week. Not the best option and certainly viewed from a very different perspective by an employer. They probably think, "Man, she only works part time and she can't even come in to work for that." This probably leads to a quicker decision to reprimand or fire the mom. A mom who has her own business from home, say intertior design, and keeps the kids at home with her probably has the best option. She brings in income and can make her own schedule so that things are a little smoother. She still has bumps, but that seems like a pretty cool deal to me.
What type of mom are you? What frustrations do you have? We all have something that bothers us, so rant away...everyone has to vent at some point to keep an even head.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Overwhelmed by Thoughts

Have you ever had so many things buzzing around in your head that you feel like you'll go crazy? I don't mean a to do list or what's on your calendar. I mean ideas and thoughts to improve yourself, your hobby, your relationships, your life. That's how I've felt lately. It's mostly very manageable, but there are times that the feeling just overcomes me; makes me know that I'll dream about tidal waves and running away from them. It's really hitting me right now, which is why I'm posting. I have so many ideas about how I want to improve myself, my house, my many things.
It's not that I'm not happy. I am so happy and lucky to have my husband and son - I never thought I'd be this blessed. They bring me joy every single day and always bring a smile to my face. It's not just me, either. Ivan is feeling the same way, although it's more to deal with his venture to start his own business. That may be adding to it because I'm nervous for him, though confident at the same time. It's very exciting!
I think it'll get better when I can actually get things planned out and get some project complete. I suppose Ivan and I will have to have free weekends to get some of it done. I hope to have goals/projects from my current list completed soon and have pictures posted here. If I can keep my head on straight I'll even have before, during, and after pictures. :-)
Hmm...interesting. Writing for a little while has helped calm me a little. Maybe I should write some of my ideas and stories down when I feel this way. Something to think about.
Do you ever get overwhelmed by the ideas, creative or not, that run through your mind?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day Weekend and Photo Fail

What a fabulous weekend!

I got to wear my narwhal shirt and converses to work. :-) I love my job. I also listened to Video Games Live and other gaming soundtracks all day, even while I talked to pharmacy faculty about resources and books. You might be surprised by the number of people who love the music I listen to at work who are shocked and a little turned off by the fact that it's from video games. Weird. The college had early dismissal so I was out and running errands for a little bit before I picked Alexander up for some mommy-son time. Even though it's month end Ivan got to come home on time and it made my day even better. Lots of time to hang out with my 2 favorite men.

Errands and relaxation.We, of course, started with breakfast date at Chick-fil-a. For anyone north of the perimeter I suggest going to the Hamilton Mill location. Everyone is super nice and the food is always perfect. It makes for a great start to the day. After that we went grocery shopping, cleaned, washed dishes, and finally spent the rest of the day playing and relaxing.

We got up early and headed down to Ivan's parents' house. His sister organized getting us all together for the grandparents. It was loads of fun. It's amazing how much busier and noisier their house is with 3 grandchildren playing and running around. I love it! After we had lunch and chatted some more we left for my grandmother's house. My lovely aunt was visiting so it was a super bonus. She is sweet, funny, and a joy to be around. Combine that with being around my grandmother, another aunt, mom, and one of my sisters and you have a a ton of fun. I love being around family. We headed home later that evening and went to bed as soon as we got there.

Bonus! Chick-fil-a was open for breakfast AND they have hot chocolate. The temperature has been getting down to mid-70s or below so it's definitely hot chocolate time for me. I run a little cold. hehe After that Alexander took a nap, I played some FF13, then we headed to the Ackerman's. I love seeing them and talking to my sweet, sweet goddaughter. She was actually awake for quite some time, but crashed during dinner. It took her less than a minute to fall asleep. We talked the night away with the always entertaining La Sha and Peter and headed home shortly before Alexander's bedtime. What a fantastic way to end the weekend. I can't wait to see them again.

What was the photo fail? Did you see any photos in the post? No? That was the fail. Even though I had my camera with me the whole time I didn't take any pictures. :-( I need to get better at taking pictures at gatherings. Hopefully I'll have pictures to take after the next get together or adventure we have. Until then....

Saturday, September 3, 2011


My original and only hands on project of the year was going to be repurposing and updating my old dresser. This is still on the list, but more have been added. The dresser awaits completion because I don't want to paint it until the weather is a little coolor. I'm not sure how the paint and/or stain will react in 95 degree weather. Never fear, however, because cooler weather is on it's way! :-)
My other project is repurposing a coffee table. It's old, or retro since it's probably circa 1980, but I see potential for this discarded piece of furniture. The legs defnitely need a redo and the top is missing chunks, so it's no good. I want to repurpose it to be a small spot for sitting and removing shoes and jackets inside the entryway from the garage.The underneath will be made into cubby holes for muddy shoes, work boots, or rain boots. I need to reinforce the underside of the table to support weight, which the cubby hole sides should help with. I'm not sure if I want to add knobs in the wall above it to hang jackets, purses, and backpacks or if I want to add a ~3 foot backing to the table with a few more cubby holes and knobs underneath them. I believe some sketches are in order to make a final decision.
There is one more project, but it will not be done before the end of the year. I want to take an old china cabinet and turn it into an entertainment center.The reason it'll take longer is because it's sooo heavy. I need help to move it anywhere. Ok, so I don't need help, I have to have others move it for me. It is seriously that heavy. The cabinet has 3 windows in it, but the middle one doesn't open. My plan is to take these windows out and add to 2 doors that can be folded and slid into the sides. Does that description make sense? Here's a picture that's similar to what I'm talking about...unfortunately I have no recollcetion of where I got this image.
I honestly like the art above this entertainment center, too. Even the wall color is appealing. I may repaint my studio (ooo another goal for the year) before I finish setting it up and am thinking of something bright like this. We'll see. It all depends on the color of the dresser. Will it be yellow or blue? Hmmm.
So what do you think I should do with the coffee table? Do you think my idea is good? Can you think of something else for it? What about the china cabinet? Neither will ever be used for it's intended purpose in my house. I have no china for the cabinet and a coffee table just wouldn't work in our living room. Should I post pictures of both so you can get a better idea of what they currently look like? Let me know and I'll get pictures uploaded.
Do you have any projects that you'd like to complete this year? Please share if you have any you've done or want to do. I'd love to hear about it. :-)