Hello AWB friends, my name is Jerusalem Jackson Greer and I am so happy to be hanging out with y’all this month.
Here are a few things about me: I am crafter, a writer, a former pastor, blogger, nest-fluffer, liturgical groupie, speaker and farm-gal wannabe. My day job is being the “Book Room Lady” at eStem Public Charter School in downtown Little Rock. I am surrounded by books and kids (including my own) all day. Working at my boys school is the closest I will probably ever get to homeschooling. Me, my husband Nathan (who I refer to as Sweet Man on my blog) and our two boys, Wylie and Miles, live in a 1940s cottage in Park Hill with an ever-changing rotation of pets, including a hen house full of heritage chickens and an English Sheep Dog mutt named Maizy. As a family, we are attempting to live a slower version of modern life. Sometimes it goes well, other times not so much.
Because I tend to think in words and pictures I thought I would take you on a little visual tour of my life. But first, go get your favorite beverage, find a comfy seat and settle in. Sometimes I get wordy when I get excited.
This is my family-well some of them. My boys who are almost always in some sort of costume; my parents in their twenties during my dad’s seminary years in Memphis – I get my love of overalls from him; me and Sweet Man whose shoulder I lean on often and who is my biggest fan; my Maw – who is my muse and whose belief in me propels me forward and finally me and my siblings when we lived in Alaska wearing our Hope Watermelon t-shirts that my grandparents sent us. I am the tall one with the frizzy hair. These are the people I was born to and who were born to me. They are the ones who shape me and encourage me and love me and put up with me and tell me the truth.
I am realizing now that I should have made a collage of my friends because they are the family I have chosen. But honestly I don’t know that you would stick with me through a blog that long. Sweet Man jokes that I have a hundred best friends. He might not be wrong. If you come to the AWB conference you will get to meet at least a dozen of them.
Here are some things I love. I am a wee bit obsessed with icons of the Virgin Mary. I collect paintings and chalk statues and I take pictures everywhere I go of her. My family and I love to camp. Especially places where there is already some sort of rough structure, like this tent at Petite Jean, where I can camp cute with my vintage quilts and melamine picnic ware. A dream job would to be a paid camping blogger for State and National Parks. I adore my Ariat men’s Rambler boots. I wear them constantly. I also like to Instagram them. We have 6 chickens in our back yard and they are precious. Sweet Man is a musician and introduced me to Bluegrass and Southern Rock. For this I am eternally grateful. I love fairs- county fairs, state fairs, and local festivals. I love the fried food, the animal barns and the blue ribbon competitions and the craft booths.
I have been blogging for 8 years this month. Growing my audience has been slow and steady as I have found my footing and my voice. I have had to “re-boot” the blog twice and I am still not 100% sure why my readers like me, but I am grateful that they do. I tend to blog about the following topics the most: Decorating our house, Crafting, inspiration out on the web (mostly on Pinterest these days!) my desire to slow down (and to sleep more,) what I am reading, other places I am writing, traveling – places I have been, places I want to go, my faith, and food- cooking and eating.
Twelve years ago I took my first steps into the design and craft world when I began decorating friends homes for Christmas and appearing on Good Morning Arkansas as the “craft girl.” Over the years I have had successes and failures. None of them came easy or fast, as even the hard lessons were learned over time. In a funny twist of fate (which is the only way things happen in my life) all of the really fun stuff, the “dream come true” stuff , has happened in the last few years. In the years after I officially closed my design and craft business. Here are some of my favorite fun stuff: Recently, P. Allen Smith came to our house to film a segment on urban farming. My boys are my favorite parts of this whole video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNePnp16fck&feature=youtu.be) My friend Jeanetta and I occasionally dust off our talents and whip up some crafty and vintage items to sell at Craft Shows. We call our venture Bright Ridge Co-Op. Parts of our home have been photographed for several magazines, including Vintage Style, Cottage Style and At Home in Arkansas. I design positive posters that I sell online from time to time (http://jollygoode.bigcartel.com/) and which have been featured on some of my favorite blogs like Whatever and Farm Patch Flowergirl . But out of all of this, the one bit of creative work that I am most proud of is my new book, which is being released this month: A Homemade Year; The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting and Coming Together. (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-homemade-year-jerusalem-jackson-greer/1113830866) The book is part narrative as I tell my story of faith, and part DIY/Inspiration. The entire book was shot by my sister Judea and styled by both of us. Everything you will see in the book was made by myself, Sweet Man, Jeanetta, Jemimah or my mother (the latter three helping me with the sewing) and the kids. Every meal we shot we ate, every person you will see I love. There are no models, no fake loaves of bread, no show homes. When we weren’t shooting at my house, we went “on location” in the backyards, around kitchen tables, and on the screened porches of friends and family.
To say that this book- from the stories to the crafts to the recipes and the parties- is the result of love, tears dedicated hard work, and countless hours of smiling and waiting and helping from everyone around me would be just scratching the surface of the truth. I cannot wait to share A Homemade Year with the world, because I cannot wait to show the world what love looks like from where I sit: Humbling, giving, generous, amazing, love.
So there you have it. All about me. I apologize if I talked your ear off. I tend to get excited about things like my family and the book. If you want to visit me at my place (http://jerusalemgreer.com) I would love to have you!
Till next time, cheers and blessings- Jerusalem