A Tour Through Blogland, or, A Jade and Fern Exclusive

September 2, 2014

A Tour Through Blogland - Jade and Fern

So you remember in elementary school when a group of kids was playing Capture the Flag and you really wanted to join but you were too shy to ask and you didn’t know who started it all and you felt totally left out and it made you whiny?

That’s how I felt when I started seeing the posts for A Tour Through Blogland pop up.

Bloggers were all “We’re so awesome!” and I was all “Pick me! Pick me!”

And then, out of nowhere, I was picked!

THANK YOU, Hailey from Here nor There, for inviting me to join in on the fun, calming my playground insecurities, and introducing me to your awesome blog!

Here we go, guys, I’m answering the four questions for A Tour Through Blogland:

What are you working on right now?

A Tour Through Blogland - Jade and Fern

What am I not working on right now?! Seriously, I am starting a petition to change the term “blogging” to “doing too many things at once for an audience of thousands.”

My current to-do list:

  • this post (obvs.)
  • a super easy, super cute DIY for Thursday
  • hanging art in the living room
  • phone call later today to hopefully negotiate a sponsored post (EEP! cross your fingers for me!!)
  • planning fall and holiday DIYs
  • my top-secret living room DIY which is driving me crazy because of unexpected technical difficulties (and is the last reason I’m STILL not finished with this room! argh!)
  • photo editing, photo editing, photo editing
  • furniture refinishing, furniture refinishing, furniture refinishing

But I’m not complaining, I LOVE this list. This blog is my creative outlet—and it saved my brain from an art and inspiration-free void (more on that later). I do something different every day and adore every minute of it.

Excepting, of course, agonizingly endless projects like painting the living room over and over…

How does your work differ from others in your genre?

A Tour Through Blogland - Jade and Fern

…It doesn’t really? This is a tough question as I’m STILL trying to nail down my “niche.” There are a million DIY blogs that also post recipes and project roundups and playlists and so on. It’s a saturated market!

(Which, let’s be honest, is awesome, because I want to dive into a sea of DIY blogs and just keep swimming around until I’ve seen/made/fawned over ALL THE DIY.)

That said, I like to think that Jade and Fern stands out just a smidge through my fresh take on trends, my unique voice, and by just making whatever the bleep I feel like. I work hard to create projects that haven’t been done before, like my copper wire abstract art. And if I am taking on a popular subject or technique, I try to do it with a twist, like the embroidered gemstone ornaments and Mondrineon tote bag.


How does your writing/creative process work?

Wait, there’s a process for these things?

(Potential sponsors, please don’t read this part.)

Although I try soooo hard to be organized and plan ahead, I’m incurably one of those people who thrives on the adrenaline of a looming deadline snapping at my heels. I wrote this entire post this morning. Yikes.

I’d like to get more done ahead of time, as it would help me keep publishing content in weeks when my migraines are particularly relentless, but those same migraines unfortunately keep me in a state of perpetual catching-up. So frustrating! But they also keep me working hard and living fully on days when I am well, so, you know, it’s all meant to be or something.

As to how it all comes together, it’s a combination of intentional effort and “divine inspiration.” Creativity is a temperamental beast that rarely allows itself to be forced into anything. At the same time, the more you practice being creative, the easier it becomes.

Basically, I work my ass off while completely winging it. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, amirite?

A Tour Through Blogland - Jade and Fern

Here’s me, crouched under my tripod to shoot an upcoming tutorial. 

Why do you write/create what you do?

Kurt Vonnegut: The practice of art isn't to make a living; it's to make your soul grow.

Because creativity, once accessed, is an insatiable hunger that demands constant and ever-varying feedings.

Because creating in any form helps us to recapture that wonder and joy we felt as kids.

Because in the years between graduating college and starting this blog in March of 2013, I was so overcome by chronic migraines that I felt like I was drowning, and starting to create again pulled me up back among the living.

Because I have to, or else I would burst.

Because there’s nothing quite as pride-inducing as being able to say, “I made that.”

Holy cow, that was crazy cheesy. Excuse me while I clean up these pools of schmalz.


And that concludes the tour!

Thanks for giving me (another) chance to share some more about my wacky self. I know I always love learning more about the bloggers I follow, so hopefully some of you feel the same. And if not, you can just ignore this post and click through to the DIYs. 

Now it’s my turn to pass the torch—I nominate Jeran of Oleander and Palm! I love this lady and her gorgeous DIYs. Be sure to check out her Tour Through Blogland post next week!

And if you’re interested, here are some delightful Tours that I enjoyed:

Amy of Homey oh My

Emily of Go Haus Go

Francesca of Fall for DIY

and of course, Hailey from Here nor There

6 Vegan Salads for a Badass Labor Day Weekend

August 29, 2014

Yes, salads can be badass. At least, these salads by fabulous vegan blogger chefs are.

Cookout sides are just as important as the main dish, especially if you’re a vegan and there isn’t a main dish. All of these recipes use “normal” (read: non-scary) ingredients, and are gluten-free. Ok, one of them uses hemp seeds, but do it. Your tummy will thank you.

So whether you’re a vegan yourself, or an omnivore unsure of how to feed your vegan guests, try serving up one of these 6 vegan salads and you too can have a badass Labor Day weekend. Because food is the way to everyone’s heart.

This was the worst intro ever, so I’m moving on to the salads:

6 Vegan & Gluten Free Salads for Labor Day || via Jade and Fern

German Potato Salad by Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

Georgia Peach-y Slaw by Luminous Vegans

Artichoke Potato Salad with Arugula by The Forest Feast

Crunchy Kale Salad and Citrus Dressing by The Simple Veganista

Avocado Tomato Grape Salad with Crunchy Potato Croutons by Divine Healthy Food

Hemp Seed Tabouleh by Oh She Glows for Choosing Raw

I know I usually have a little something to say for projects/recipes that I share, but these photos speak for themselves, don’t you think? Also, it’s dinnertime as I’m writing this and I’m getting hangry.

Yes, 3 of the 6 are potato salads. If that’s not enough potato salad recipes for you, try my avocado potato salad.

I think might be craving potatoes.

What are you doing for the long weekend? And where do we stand on the vote between “Make Summer Last Longer” vs. “It’s Time for Fall Already” that I just started right now?

P.S. Remember when last week I said I should be done with the living room unless I jinxed myself?

I jinxed myself.

P.P.S. This is not a salad, but I stumbled across this recipe and it made my mouth water with the force of Niagara so I had to share: Vegan. Cheeseburger. Macaroni. Three words guaranteed to get me cooking.

Make it Friday: Clocks, Wood, Color, & Pattern

August 22, 2014

I’m gonna start with my usual opening: this week went by FAST! Holy moly, we’re almost in September you guys.

It was a good week for inspirational projects, some old some new, so I’ll skip the blah-blah and just dive right in:

Make it Friday: Inspirational Projects from Blogland via Jade and Fern

Jeran of Oleander and Palm made this fabulous table runner to showcase the new Nate Berkus fabric line. I’m sold.

Francois et Moi’s leather and teak clock looks soooo high-end, but don’t be fooled, all it takes is two steps!

These ombre teacup candles by Miss Renaissance are just beautiful.

Another clock? What can I say, I’m loving these simple platter clock projects. Fiona of Craft Hunter shows us how to use a wood bowl and stickers to create this lovely wall clock.

If you are a sewist, would you please make me one of these gemstone zipper pouches by See Kate Sew? I can trade in cookies.

Have I ever mentioned that woodworking projects are my favorite? This simple dipped cutting board—using Plasti-Dip, which is apparently non-toxic!—is no exception. Also by Francois et Moi, who has clearly won my heart.

In a genius repurpose, Little White Whale uses temporary tattoos to update a plain plate. Awesome.

What’s inspired you this week? I’m off to Ikea to get some finishing touches for my living room—have a fab weekend!

Working Hard or Hardly Working?

August 19, 2014

No no, working hard. Definitely.

Big projects take me a long time. Which is why I wanted to give you a little sneak peek of the living room progress. To keep you interested—assuming my apartment is interesting to anyone but me. And to assure myself that you’re assured that I’m actually doing stuff.

Living Room Sneak Peek || Jade and Fern

You didn’t think I was gonna stop at just painting the room white, did you?

I’m beyond excited that my living room is so close to being an actual reflection of our tastes. Yay!

There’s going to be several DIY tutes for you guys coming out of this makeover so hold on to your butts. Plus, a certain item I’ve been coveting for a long time (hint: my new sponsor Kaya Kilim is involved).

Things should be ready to go live next week. Unless I just majorly jinxed myself. Please have mercy, oh DIY gods.

What’s keeping you all busy this week?