Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Are You Ready For First Thursday Tomorrow?




I am...almost!

Tomorrow will be September's First Thursday. (I can't believe it's September already! Sheesh) This First Thursday's piece isn't a surprise. We will have the incredible, the fearless, dun, dun, DUN... "Stupendous Chandler".

Right now, and for the past week I have been busy preparing the Certificates of Authenticity, and little hearts. I've also thought of the most genius wrapping idea! Those of you who order will find out;)

I decided I love this design so much that I am going to add "Stupendous Chandler" to the Chandler the Robot  Line.

So, if you'd like yours tomorrow, your order will include one of the first 50 Stupendous Chandlers with a unique numbered little heart in his hand (like Lonely Hearts Chandler) and a Certificate of Authenticity. If you'd like to wait a few more weeks you can order him at the regular price which will be $30.00 (I can't gaurantee that I will have him in stock then, but I most likely will.)

So excited for tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. central!

Honstely,
Meg

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Delays in life happen for a reason. Humans don't like delays, but they are essential for a human's preparation and growth. During delays you reflect, learn, improve, and allow people, circumstances and events to line up, and in God's perfect timing, everything happens the way it's intended"

-Jon Gordon The Seed


Wasn't very fond of the book, but I thought this quote was amazing.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Martha Stuart, watch your back!

Cooking is always a battle with me. In order to create a proper meal, one needs to set aside at least two hours of focused time. I can never fully commit. On the one hand, I want the benefits of a cozy home-cooked meal and the pride at having accomplished a domestic feat, on the other hand I'm constantly screaming at myself, wondering why on earth I am spending this much time coaxing a bell pepper to "sweat", when I can simply drive down the street and order a delicious two dollar taco in under four minutes?

But, the "home-cooked meal" side of the argument always wins. After all, I don't want to be thirty and not have the know-how to boil a potato. Shouldn't every woman know how to be an expert team player, swooping in with finesse while twirling a spatula in one hand and scooping up a screaming child with the other, at the neighborhood barbecue? And while there are no neighborhood barbecues or screaming children in sight, I know my day will come, and so I persist.

I recently invested quite a chunk of cash on some quality kitchen supplies. After carefully slicing an entire autumn squash into perfect yellow ribbons, all it took was one false step for my floppy plastic cutting board to launch my handy work into the air. This was the last straw. 

Nick and I strolled through Bed Bath and Beyond and with each addition to an already over-flowing shopping cart his worried brows raised another inch. "Now, whatever are you going to do with a knife that costs more than your bedroom set?" I yanked the pretty shiny weapon off the shelf and tossed it in my bag as I stared at him with steady eyes and coolly replied, "I'm going to stab myself with a kitchen knife, if I have to use that  flimsy, $10.00 piece of shit one more time to chop onions!"

Nick was stoic for the rest of that shopping experience.

My first meal I made with a brand new whisk, cutting board, knife, and chopper was jalepeno corn muffins, grilled chicken on a bed of lettuce leaves garnished with calamatta olives, sliced red onions, and feta cheeses, and homemade salsa. I felt like a domestic goddess. (Now, I've never been a pet person, but I bet the way I feel about my new chopper is how most people feel about their Spanish Terriers.) 

Ha ha, funny, I had started out this blog with the intention of letting everyone know my exciting plans in the next couple of weeks, and it ended up being "Tales of Woe in the Kitchen..."

My apologies.

Dia and I will be playing for "honored guests" in a "private theatre" at the U.S. Open. Jade, of course, will be coming along. Who else is going to explain why on earth those very skinny and tan people with the nice legs are hitting that neon green ball back and forth. (Jade also promised me a very sizzling conversation with Matt Damon since we have been reserved box seats!)

From there, I will be hopping on a plane with Dia to join her in L.A. I will be taking part in some "writing sessions" with some "professional song writers". She said that I can be sure to "learn something". And Nick tells me I should never miss out on "opportunities". While all of this sounds very vague to me, I'm never one to say no to a new adventure. And plus, think of all the great stories I'm going to have to tell you guys:)

Stupendous Chandler is to be released in just a few days! I'm so excited I can't contain myself. Out of all of the jewelry I've made so far, this is the one that I'm going to be wearing every day. (I know I say that about everything I make, but seriously!)

Honestly,
Meg

Monday, August 22, 2011

Stupendous Chandler

First sketch of next month's First Thursday "Stupendous Chandler"

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The City Comes Back to Life

 Nick and I spent the afternoon giving our new washer and dryer a piggy back ride up the two flights of stairs to our apartment. The burning pavement cooked the bottoms of my feet through my flats. Although the deed was difficult and the sun was harsh, my discomfort was momentarily forgotten when I started thinking about how grateful I was that I only had to unload the trailer this one time.

I miss touring, but there are times when I'm glad I'm not spending every day loading and unloading musical equipment in extreme weather conditions, whether they are boiling asphalt in the south or below-zero blizzards in Canada.

Later on in the evening I glanced at my computer. The time in the upper right corner read 11:02 p.m. My chest was having muscle spasms from the heavy lifting, and I seriously was drooling over my soft honey-yellow bedsheets, my vintage, second-hand lamp, and a delicious stack of books on my bedside table. Tonight though, I had made a commitment to make an appearance on Red River Street downtown, to sing a song or two with a very talented front man in a band called "The American Spirit". (I'll let you listen to their track I sang on as soon as the record is ready to go)

I curled my unruly hair, smeared some plum lipstick on, and dressed comfortable yet also like I gave a damn. I knew my choice in wardrobe wouldn't quite measure up to my chic Austinite girlfriends who would be wearing the trendy waist hugger mini shorts with L.A. tall high heels, but like you are probably beginning to notice, I am a creature of comfort.

I usually don't have much trouble driving downtown, but due to the influx of recently returning college students, I was lucky if my car inched forward a few inches in ten minutes! Almost overnight, it felt as though another city of people had been stuffed in with the people who were already living in Austin. Pedestrians paid no attention to crosswalks, and stumbled with dumb grins on their faces in between slow-moving cars. Pedi-cabs joined the debacle, huffing and puffing up and down the roads, looking over to make small talk with their drunken passengers in hopes of a large tip. Pedi-cabs are like modern, mini horse-drawn carriages pulled by bikers rather than horses. 

I lucked out when it came to parking. I finally found Nick and the rest of The American Spirit gang inside of the packed bar. We made our way to the top of the building where we caught a pretty good view of the band that was playing. They were fabulous by the way. I wish I would have learned who they were. They were an eight-piece musical outfit, complete with three horn players, and an occasional over-excited audience member who would vivaciously grab a percussion instrument on stage and begin flailing away. 

The band had such a happy and raw rock sound, three part harmony, an old timey organ. The most impressive thing about these guys though, was how much fun they were having. They weren't nervous. They weren't tired (If they were, you couldn't tell). And maybe it was the booze jamming up their on that stage, but I doubt it. They looked like they were having the time of their lives, and the audience just ate it up, and so did I!

Tonight there was music pouring out from every bar and venue, competing with each other, drummers competing with guitarists, competing with singers, competing with crowds, seeming to shout, "Here! Come here. Tonight, THIS is the place to be!" 

There you are again Austin. There you are.



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Song Writing Sessions and Lessons Learned

I knew I was going to get lost. I scribbled down directions to Tim's house on one of the last pages in a fluffy chick-lit book I'm reading. The other day Nick chastised me about my literature choice, "You used to read all these great novels like The Fountainhead and 100 Years of Solitude on tour, and now you listen to Dr. Laura instead of music and read this junk instead of Ayn Rand. What happened?!" Well, I really can't explain how the substance of my choice in entertainment has dramatically dropped. I blame it on the heat and the Texas drought. When I see rain in Texas, then I'll pick up a book that is too mentally challenging for me to sneak paragraphs from and drive at the same time.

Dia asked if Tim (Plain White Tee's guitarist) and I would submit a song for her new record. Tim arranged for two other song-writers/musicians to be in on the fun. I had never been as far west in Austin until yesterday, driving out to Tim's house. I live in the south west area where there are a lot of apartments. The only other places in Austin I frequent are "downtown"= bars, bbq, condos, and South Congress = bars, bbq, really old houses. So, I've always wondered where the "suburbs" are, or where the really rich people live. 

I found out yesterday. 

Driving into the area was just insane. All of a sudden I found myself driving down a street in which these ginormous grandfather trees spread their spindly fingers and arms over my car from both sides. I later told Tim, I felt like I was driving straight into one of those old rich towns in Southern Georgia. Then I actually saw front yards with lawns in them. Imagine that! Huge colonials next to sleek modern mansions. The real mind -blowing part came when I actually found Tim's house and saw his view. His house is parked directly in front of a lake. He can just throw his kayak over his shoulder and start moseying down the river with his guitar and a six pack. Trade me please!

He showed me around his charming and immaculately clean bachelor pad. He would try to say things like, "And this is the kitchen. This is where my roommates stay…" But it was difficult to hear his voice through my constant squealing, "Don't you just get so inspired to write out here! If I lived here my songs would sound incredible! Ah!" And so on and so forth.

The writing session went quite well considering. I started out the session saying things like, "No, Dia wouldn't like lyrics like that. That sounds way too bitchy. Don't you guys remember her from the show? How sweet she looked and everything?" They would murmur and nod, until finally the veteran of the group said, "Now look. I've found that if you try to write a song for somebody and write from their perspective it won't turn out good. You have to write the best song you can, and then give it to them, and that's all you can do." He shrugged his shoulders, and I had to silently agree with him.

From there, things went splendid. We came up with an extremely catchy chorus, a pretty awesome pre-chorus, chorus lyrics that I was happy with. Over all I'd say it was a pretty decent experience. Much more productive then these sessions normally are. 

But I couldn't help thinking that really good songs and music don't happen like this. During our dinner conversation, Arcade Fire's "Neon Bible" kept being touted as one of the greatest records out there at the moment. I haven't listened to the whole thing honestly. But I know that that record wasn't written with a group of four different song writers collaborating and going in four separate directions and yet trying to arrive at the same place.

 I always think of Michelangelo and how differently the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel would have looked if there were 6 or 7 collaborators scattered underneath him, shouting up at him and guffawing while the work was in progress. "No Michelangelo, I just don't think that color matches the robe of Aphrodite on that 2nd panel!" and then the next person exclaiming, "Well, in my opinion I think it really demonstrates what the artist was trying to portray with that scenery with those blue clouds over on the east side". So then Michelangolo timidly paints a thin line and then tentatively winces and peeks over his shoulder to hear the opinions of yet another dude. 

I'm no Michelangelo, I am most clearly a Meg. There is a time and place for collaboration, like when I'm trying on a new dress and I want to know if it makes my butt look fat. In that situation, yes please, bring out my gang of girlfriends so we can squabble over our opinions on that point. But when it comes to art, just let the man work in peace.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bedroom Demos



For some reason, in Austin, every food place has funny messages on their announcement signs. I drove by a taco stand on the way to yoga yesterday and read this on their sign, "I hope at least."

So I you guys want to hear the very first demo of a song I'm working on?

It's called "I Hope at Least" (of course:)



Stop thinkin' bout the powder white in streets at night in New Orleans
Men with sequins on their thighs all the beauty queens in the philippines
homeless on their roller skates shouting street obscenities
hand in hand trying to pretend
they;re the chosen ones and they'll be seen

Oh why I wake up soaked in the middle of the night
oh smiling through my teeth winning grammies in the day light
oh headin' on that train there's no need to keep an eye eon me
oh I can't keep this up
I can't keep on fighting

We escaped from those crowded bars
found our way to piers abandoned
we stared at the setting sun
missing home and feeling stranded
I dared you to break in to fields locked up by voices higher
came home with bruises on our arms turned into guilty liars

Monday, August 8, 2011

Chandler 3.P.0 (Rockin' Out Chandler) now available!!!

Hi guys,

The wait is over! I now have Chandler 3.P.0 (Rockin' Out Chandler) available both on my blog (choose "Chandler 3.P.0" in the drop down menu to the left) and on my Etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/chandlertherobot?ref=pr_shop



Honestly,
Meg

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chandler the Explorer is Sold Out!

Thank you to all who placed your orders! I had a lot of fun with you guys and our guessing game:)

Honestly,
Meg

Chandler the Explorer SOLD OUT!

O.K. First of all. WHO OR WHAT IS THIS TIN TIN? Ha ha.  

I didn't expect anyone to actually guess "Chandler the Explorer" so anyone who guessed along the lines of "Indiana Jones" will be receiving 25% off "Chandler the Explorer." Please check the end of this post to see if your name is there. If so, after placing your order regularly, email me @ chandlertherobot@hotmail.com with the subject "Guesswork", and I will give you instructions on how to receive your discount refund.) I apologize if you believe my first clue of "journalism" had nothing to do with an "explorer". Nick's opinion was that it doesn't, but my opinion is that journalism does have something to do with an explorer, because when you "explore", you "document" your work with photographs, and photographs are used in articles. 




I had a lot of fun with the creative process of this Explorer bot. I've always wanted to incorporate a mini camera, and I've also received a lot of requests from you guys about that. The safari hat took a couple tries to get just right, and of course, I just had to add a mustache!  As far as the color goes, I patina most of my bots,  which means I use a liquid that creates the darker smudges that cover the clay. This process makes the clay look old and worn. Of course, robots look SO much cooler that way. For "Chandler the Explorer" I decided to use a little extra "patina" to really bring out the "grittiness" of this piece. This Chandler is a tough-outdoorsy kind of dude. We need to all learn from him that sometimes in life you gotta get out there and "get your hands dirty". 









A real life Explorer we ran into on Chandler the Explorer's photo shoot. You should have seen the cliff this guy climbed! I had to place a Chandler the Explorer around his neck for good luck (Not that he needed it) 

In the pictures, Chandler the Explorer is exploring sediment rock and plant life, in my picture I'm exploring the million dollar questions: What do I really want? What really makes me happy? If what used to make you happy isn't a reality anymore, than the question becomes what could make you happy? I used to think that owning my own home and decorating the interior with Pottery Barn would really make me happy. I became so fixated on that future idea, I totally blocked out the enjoyment I should have been experiencing in the present.  I realized that in my apartment of monk-simplicity, I have the most comfortable and warm bed to pass out in each night. I realized how incredible it is to kick back in my pajama pants, after a day of making "wild-life loving" robots, with a glass of wine and watching "Arrested Development" while playing footsies with someone I care about. Hell, I'm the most spoiled person I know!




What have you been meaning to "explore" about yourself lately? Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty. Ask yourself honestly and think about it. The answer might surprise you.

*Only 50 "Chandler the Explorer" will be made. He is made out of polymer clay, vintage watch parts, and antique copper. This necklace includes a 26" antique copper chain. He is 2" tall. Cost: $50.00

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Jade as my "Guest Blogger" with more clues

I'm am so impressed with your answers. You guys have really been paying attention to my previous posts! The answer is not a "Jade Bot". Because so many of you guessed a Jade Bot , I  asked her to be a "Guest Blogger" today and give you some more clues in the right direction. (Already, a  few of you have guessed closed enough and will be receiving the 25%:) To read more of Jade's wondrous blogs visit her blog @http://isgreenjaded.wordpress.com/

It was Christmas Eve. We had all chipped in to give my mother a massage as a gift.  Meg had round curled bangs, and Dia still played the Backstreet Boys none stop. I was too young to be let in on such a great surprise for my mother. During Christmas Eve dinner, my mother told us all how tired she was. She then looked right at me and said, “I’m ready for Santa to come tomorrow and take care of Christmas.”. HA! I thought. I knew there was no Santa. Just to prove my point I blurted out across the dinner table, “Oh really, Mom? That’s good. Because I think he’s giving you a massage for Christmas!” Meg and Dia choked on their mashed potatoes, and you know those large sweet eyes Dia has? Well they were burning fireballs suddenly that melted my face. I had just given away the surprise!

So now that I am notoriously known for giving away surprises, Meg called me and asked me to “do my blogging thing.” and I hope I don't give too much away. I’m going to try to be as vague as possible about Meg’s little surprise (meaning it will probably be so obvious even YOUR MOM could get it. So, c’mon people. Work with me.)

This surprise thrives in adventure. It will get as much pleasure from discovering you as you will discovering it. Think Calvin and Hobbes goes into the woods. More that type of deal. Ya dig? And you may be thinking to yourself…"Meg was talking about journalism, Jade, you are way off." Well, YOU are way off, my friend!!! For I am never wrong. I’ll connect the dots here and whisper an idea in your head. If you were in a new land…Wouldn’t you want a snap shot of it?

Okay, Meg’s gonna kill me for “giving it away” again. I still honestly don’t know if I have been forgiven for that Christmas. Maybe if I get Meg a surprise massage, she will forgive me…Oh wait, did I just type that on her blog? Shoot. Done it again. 

Good luck First Thursday high-achievers. May tomorrow be 25% better for you!

-IGJ

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"First Thursday" Only a Couple of Days Away!

It's that time of month again: "First Thursday"! To those of you who are new to my blog, each First Thursday of a new month I release a special Limited Edition jewelry design available to the first 50 people who place an order. The past few designs have included such crazy ideas as a cowboy robot, a Cowbot, and a Punk Rock Robot. Each piece is handmade by me. The design goes up right here on my blog at 1:00 p.m. central time. This month's First Thursday falls on August 4th which is only 2 days away!!!

Now, I'm not going to give anything away, but those of you who are lovers of journalism will want to be in on the impending robot action! Also, this robot loves going on adventures...

Hope I didn't give too much away, because anyone who cares to guess in the comments below what the next little robot dude is and is correct will receive 25% off this months "First Thursday" design.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Adventures at Madam Mam's

 Nick and I decided that for dinner we would have take-out Thai from our favorite Thai restaurant, Madam Mam's. I called in an order of lemon grass soup with fried tofu, grabbed my flip-flops from the closet, and we were on our way.

Nick needed to pick up a few groceries from the market nearby, so he dropped me off at the restaurant. Paying for our meal and receiving our spicy soup took a lot less time than I thought. I decided to make myself comfortable on the shaded benches just out front of Madam Mam's while I waited. A father and his two sons were seated on the other side of the bench. I settled back into the seat, assumed a look of moderate disinterest, and proceeded to steal glances and tidbits of this little families' convo. (Hey, I don't have one of those fancy iphones like all of you to keep me occupied. Don't judge!)

Little kid drawl is entertaining enough on its own, regardless of the ridiculous phrases that are constantly coming out of their mouths. I tried to hide a smile as the younger son, who appeared to be about two, rambled on about how he should own a commuter since his older brother had one. "But daaaad, Why can't I have a comp-com-computa? Jason hadth one?! I waaaant one tooooo!"

While younger brother was yanking on his fathers cut-off shorts, the older son, Jason, pointed to one of those new electric car models that had just driven into our view. "Can we have an electric car dad?"

"Hmmm." The father's face looked quizzical. "We could have an electric car if we lived down town, but where we live it just isn't practical"

"Why?" chirped Jason.

"Yes, why?" I thought to myself, just as eager as the six year old to have his father impress some knowledge onto us.

The father, who had looked pretty miserable up to this point, sitting outside in the heat while his wife was paying for their dinner inside, suddenly perked up a bit. He looked down into his curious son's face and saw a tiny spark of hope, a learning opportunity, a moment he could capitalize and use to turn his boys into striking young men.

"Well" the father started with a grin, "I DO think an electric car would be a fantastic idea! Electric cars are cheap to make. They are smaller so they are easier to park in those tiny parking spaces downtown, and they don't use up a lot of gas so they are good for the environment as well." The father went on to list a whole slew of  positive reasons to own an electric car, as well as the negative points to make his lesson objective, of course. He gracefully snuck in just enough economics and politics for a six-year old to understand. After his explanation I was determined to inform Nick upon his arrival that we needed to head to an electric car dealership before returning home.

I thought to myself, "What a great father! He's sensitive, not at all condescending, and an educator all in one." What a wonderful childhood these children must have, how full of knowledge and love. I nodded my head in approval and sneaked a glance to witness the childrens' reaction.

The younger one was busy squishing a tiny beetle with his left sandal. The older paused for a moment, his mouth gaping open with just the slightest bit of slobber looming dangerously close to the edge of his lower lip, and said, "Dad, can we get a clown car?"