The Creative Type

Are you the creative type? I am. And I do believe this gene has been passed along to my dear children. As a child, I had a Barbie house, it was a white 5 story bookcase. My sister Molly however, had the real Barbie penthouse. I liked mine better though because I could put the furniture where I wanted, there were no pre-painted walls telling me where to place the toilet or bed. I made furniture out of boxes and Legos and clothing from materials around the house. This year, my 7 year old wanted the newest Barbie penthouse. And boy, it has more bells and whistles (and toilet flushing sounds) than Molly's ever had. It is a site to see........see........Mailey received more Barbies than one could really play with. A pink golf cart, blue punch buggy, Nurse Barbie, retro bathing suit Barbie, and oh so much more in of course all shades of pink. Why, oh why aren't there more orange Barbie accessories?? But guess what folks. This little creative soul was on Christmas Day asking the following. "Mom, where is the candy bowl and the tape? I am going to make Barbie a dress out of candy!" (her eyes were like wildly happy with this idea) "Mailey, a candy dress?" She must have seen my look of complete tiredness because she then said, "Well, what could I make a dress out of other than fabric?" "How about some paper?" "I'll go see." "Okay. " And she comes back with tape, my vintage green velvet ribbon and the Barbie. Within minutes, Barbie was wearing this fashion forward green swirly number:
Mailey was quite proud of her little creation. Billy and I just lay in bed shaking our heads. "She thinks of the most imaginative stuff " he said. Yes. She does. The next day every Barbie and Troy in the box received a new swirly ribbon dress, Troy ribbon shorts. And they are hanging out in the penthouse having a New Year's party as we speak.

My creative brain is working on micro paintings for Naked Art Gallery.

Flower power frames for my booth at The Vintage-Flea.

And of course, a new batch of feathered friends. My goal is to have something finished before the 2010 bell rings tonight! I hope you have a wonderful evening!


A Little Bit of Little News

So this past week has been all about new. New Year on the way, new Christmas traditions getting started, new paint in the hallway, new paint in the bedroom, new carpet, new baby. Whoa....new baby? Yes indeed! But not mine, my little sister and her husband have their first son. Born last Thursday. His name is Fielding McCoy. Such a cutey patootee. They say he looks like my William. Can't wait to see for myself!
Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!!


Another Place for Chalkboard Paint

I have this mini wall that separates the family room from the kitchen. It's like a giant box that holds my washer and dryer. In retrospect when building the house I wish we'd had the builder create a garage laundry room and made our home one big open space. But 14 years ago, I was too busy getting a wedding planned, new job under my belt and building this little house. And seriously who places a phone jack in the middle of a wall these days? Maybe in the 50's, but 1996? It's a real pain trying to cover the jack which for some reason sticks off the wall about 3/4". So I painted the wall the color of the kitchen (Another dilemma....paint it the den or the kitchen color?). When taking some old pictures down from the wall last week I obviously did not find the right color to patch the walls. And I have no idea what color it is. Huh. Artist brain in work......paint the entire kitchen? No way says sane Mommy brain. I decided to go with chalkboard paint. Yep. Love the stuff. This wall is where I tend to hang my kid's artwork in frames I find at thrift stores (forgot to take before pics, sorry). But it's beginning to be a real issue finding cool frames that fit the work. And I'd like to be able to change the work more often. They do take my art classes, and are always painting when I do. So we needed a gallery wall space. Here it is all nice and painted black. Which honestly rocks with the black kitchen cabinets forward and the new black leather sofa in the family room.
Before I could get the artwork on the walls, the kiddos had a better idea. Start drawing...on the WALLS. I mean how cool is that? So the gallery is a little unproportioned. That's okay though. When Christmas is over I can erase the Santa drawings and finish the wall of with more creations.
William hard at work on Old St. Nick. Can you see the tree in the background? It's an amazing flocked, pre-lit tree I found at the mart a few years back. Love the flocking. And our super sweet black couch. Lot's of eyes rolled when I said I had gotten it. And then when they saw it they were like, yeah Jenni you can pull this off.

I decided to doodle some frames around the paintings. Yep. I think it's great idea too. Pat pat.

So here's a little glimpse into the personal side of me. I really LOVE my home. It's cozy, and decorated on every square inch. My style that is. No Kirklands or Pottery Barn allowed and I am not to keen on "drapery". It's been collected piece by piece. Complete with rock collections lovingly displayed on the mantle. I promise to show more soon!


I am thinking this might work....

So I am thinking about getting out all of our goggles, scuba masks and snorkels for the next few days. The rain is unbelievable with umbrellas impossible to keep right side out. And shoes? Well lets just say there is no such thing as weather proof in my closet! My clothes are soaked, my hair a puffy mess, and I really should have considered my water proof mascara this morning. So maybe I should do as William has here: But with a shirt on of course. I don't want coal in my stocking! Have a super soaky Monday! Tomorrow I intend to stay home and cuddle the doggie, clean out the art room and finish some details on the garden painting.


Mary, Mary Quite Contrary

How does your garden grow? Well right now, we've got nothing but winter weeds in our yard. But this much rain is sure to aide my spring and summer growth! It may just take that long for the earth to absorb all the rain we've had. Last night while watching TV the awful beep came across the TV that we are under a flood watch until Wednesday. That's 4 days of watching! Yikes. For now I intend to immerse myself in happy spring paintings like below. This is for little Rowan's room. Can't wait to get it all finished up for her!


Oh Frosty the Snowman....

I just love that Christmas special. Old Frosty the Snowman. Here in Newnan we are lucky if we get enough snow to make a snow baby, so a snowman is way out of the question! But in my art classes this holiday I really went all out with special seasonal items, including a Frosty the Snowman. We made super, super cute banners see: The one above really loved hers....see all the hot pink hearts on it's tummy?
Each one was so different and had so much personality. The parents were very happy to see this come home!

Here are two of my cute 3rd grade artists holding their banners. I think they inspired each other a bit. We also made Santa pillows below. All they need is a little stuffing and a comfy place on the couch! So that's it for me this year for children's art classes. I am looking forward to the next few weeks off from teaching and recharging my lesson plans. These children are enthusiastic and very talented. It's a joy to have them! So I really want to challenge their talents in the coming months.


Living in a Hallmark Movie

My family and I live in a smallish community just south of Atlanta. When Billy and I first married and moved to Newnan I had some doubts about being outside of the city and commuting to work. Driving to the grocery store meant passing horses and cows munching on grass. This was something I did not grow up seeing and never thought I'd be a "country girl". 14 years later we are raising our children in this community....and it is such a blessing. As we rode in the Senoia annual Christmas parade Saturday night, all bundled up and waiving to the smiling crowds, I was reminded that this little community has become my extended family. There's not a day that passes that I don't run into someone I know (even when I am praying not to!). And as my Mother said on that very cold Saturday night, "This feels just like a Hallmark movie." And at that point and time, it did. Sunday afternoon was the annual Newnan Christmas parade. We participate in many parades with my husband throughout the year. This Christmas, Mailey and I had a new family to walk with. Our little Brownie Troup 10322. Aren't they a cute bundle of girls? And yes, I made the banner. And no, I will not be making any more. That's Mailey on the far left in the white fuzzy coat, and I am in the back middle with the silly elf hat on. I did not start out as a co-leader.....but my personality and inability to say no led me to be just that. (sigh with a smile) We walked and handed out lots and lots of candy from stockings. All 12 girls were there. It was such fun. Now my husband and son William walked with another crowd. And this float I have to say was just about the cutest idea ever! Who doesn't love an elephant?

Wishing you a Hallmark Christmas! Because here in Newnan, Georgia we are having just that.


Having Strength.....A Gentle Reminder

Everyone needs gentle reminders. For example, "You look really nice today" or, "Have you lost weight?" Gotta love those. It's a part of human nature to need compliments. Even the silliest of compliments can bring a rather ho-hum day into rather yippee day. We also need reminders to watch our words when we have crossed a line of friendship or have caused pain to one another. Of course those reminders are as hard to give as to receive. Today I was reminded of several things, and they did not come from spoken words. I was telling a friend that I feel a little underwhelmed with creating right now. Getting ready for shows is exciting then during the shows you are constantly getting your compliment tank filled....and now it's sorta quiet around the house and there is no one there to say, "Now, what are these painted on? I really like the texture....etc" But as I sat in the studio today piddling, I turned to see this hanging on the wall. A gentle reminder that I do make good art, from one of my biggest fans. Now is a time of recharging and refocusing. Something I have a hard time doing. So many directions.....so many ideas......

Another gentle reminder came today as I was cleaning my icky van. I'd forgotten I even owned it until I found it nestled under a pile of CDs. A little ring with the word STRENGTH etched into it. Yep. Strength. It was something I found in a boutique and had to have. You ever encounter this...you are drawn to an object for personal reasons? Finding the ring was another gentle reminder that I really needed. Webster says many things about this word, but my favorite is this: the quality or state of being strong: power to resist force. This time of year is the hardest for my little sister and I. It's personal, but let's just say that strength is definitely a driving force for the next 18 days as we await Christmas. As I am reminded to remain strong during this season of such joy and hope, I am ever thankful for gentle reminders. I am a strong woman. And am thankful for the strength that is within my heart to see this.


Rainy Days Don't Get Me Down.....Well Actually...

It's been raining here again. I pass a small horse farm everyday and once again the poor horses were desperately seeking high ground because their small pond was more of a lake in their pasture. And now that the weather is cooling, the rain is even more unpleasant to get out and about in. And most uninspiring I have to say. I finally have a clean desk, clean house, Christmas decorations up and presents wrapped. And guess what I did today? Got back in my comfy clothes after the gym hour and did nothing. Yep. Me, Jenni Horne actually vegged in the BED with the old lady cat and dog. Boy were they tickled to have Mommy around. BTW there is nothing on TV worth watching during the day.
So I am sending you out tonight with an up close view of a newer umbrella painting. An umbrella.....have you noticed how cool they are now? They come from very tiny to large enough for a small army, have amazing patterns or solid beautiful colors, and are very swift to open with one little finger. But all accomplish the same thing. They shelter us from the rain. And those of us with a little more punch to our personality you can tell, because we have the patterned umbrellas, and maybe even some super cool zebra print rain boots. Look at your umbrella and think about it, does it tell anything about you? Then look around the next time it rains and try and guess a personality based on a stranger's umbrella (or are they the stubborn ones without an umbrealla?). I betcha it'll tell you tons. And it'll give you something to giggle about if you run into them in the Target isles later on.


A Little Birdie Says I Do

This custom cake topper is for a young lady who found me on etsy. She's known to me only as mas005 I think is right. I sure hope she likes it as much as me! I've a little more work to do on the base, can't find my sand paper anywhere. And a nice coat of varnish too. But other than that I am just waiting for the okay to send it on her way!

Lots of details in this little topper. Vintage tulle, vintage music paper, pearl stamens, velvet pink flowers, vintage crepe paper and of course, my favorite Amy butler papers!

Love is in the air in the studio today! Getting lots done. Next on the agenda are snowmen banners cut out for my 40 afterschool art students. Not really looking forward to it, but the end results....VERY tickled mommies....makes the light come on at the end of the tunnel.

What to paint.....what to paint....

It's been awhile since I really pulled out the canvas, brush and paint. Getting ready for Holiday shows requires a different type of mind set and product. And I was really happy to pack all that stuff away Wednesday. And now I have a pile of fresh canvases, framed wood, new paints, new collage papers and a brick of wax from Valerie to try a new mixed media idea out. But the ideas are kind of swimming. During the holiday shows I always had my sketchbook to fill pages with all sorts of new thoughts and ideas. I see words, birds, new shapes and new doodles coming into play. But for now I leave you with a few of the images I've gone through in the past three months. Some favorites to take some visual clues and color combinations from.

So the birds are coming back and this time they are playing with time, gears, movement and the idea that living life to the fullest means taking time to be ourselves. Our truest selves.


Mattie's Angel

This little angel sweetie would make the perfect topper to your tree this season! Crafted with much love, she has a paper clay structure, carefully painted, and sealed with gloss glaze. She's holding a little Mattie, which is sure to bring you much luck in the coming year. She is available at The Vintage-Flea in downtown Newnan.

We are silly busy getting ready for holiday guests tomorrow. I have 12 coming for lunch. I love hosting dinner in our home. We rarely ever do for some reason. It makes me clean like crazy and reset the house in ways I wouldn't normally do. It also will help get our entire family into the Christmas spirit! So I'll probably not be back here until next week. Gotta clean the art desk up so 6 guests can eat at it. Although glitter is probably not harmful, a sparkly turkey is not on the menu this year! I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving Day!!


I Love My Hands

As an artist reading this, you are probably laughing at the sight of someone actually taking a photo of their hands in this condition, or you may have even done it yourself. As I finished up a project the other night I looked down and found this rainbow of colors coating the fingers and palms of my hands. And I smiled. And thought what a wonderful job I have that being this dirty is really quite beautiful.I love my hands. They are the shape of my Grandmother Emily's. Having her hands reminds me to remain strong as a mother, wife and friend. An ugly scar on my right hand serves as a painful reminder that they are human hands, and should be cared for. They need nourishment, holding, and kissed occasionally. For they work hard everyday. Hands say a lot about a person, and as a lifeline to my personal artwork, they say more than my voice sometimes. So I love my hands, especially when covered with a rainbow of messiness.


What to do with a box of funeral cones 101.

I have several junkin' haunts. They are are part of my regular routine when creating. Go, find things needed, and some not so needed. If you are a creative junky you get this. My husband gets it now, it's taken 18 years, but he gets it. And my children LOVE it. Some finds are so super cool and used immediately. Some however, sit in the storage unit until the "aha!" moment comes. Take for instance this box of 100 funeral cone inserts that had to go home with me over a year ago. I love working with paper clay and these babies have that very texture and appeal. So there had to be something that my little creative brain could make with them...... Ellie came up with an idea yesterday all on her own. Hide-in-go-seek from Mommy.

So this is the idea. I have my last Holiday Market this weekend at St. Pius High School(See link on right side bar). And I needed some new items. These cones are super cute and would make a great gift for a teacher, friend, hostess gift, secretary gift or for yourself! Simply cut some greenery or grab some trimmings from the tree sellers and Voila! an instant door decoration.
Already has a tag for you too. I have a new stamp set and craft punch itching to be used.
My favorite idea for these cones is this below. Bake (or buy) a mini loaf of your best bread and slide it on in with a piece of tissue paper. As a teacher myself, I really love all the baked goodies that come to me from students. It fits perfect! AND what a great gift bag!

After this weekend I am hoping to get some serious paintings started. I've a fresh stack of canvases and wood waiting for me in the garage. So hopefully you'll get a peek of something other than Christmas crafts here on the blog very, very soon.


itty-bitty Goodness

My kids ride the bus home on Monday and Friday. And as usual today they came bounding in the house ready to tell of their day's events. Usually it starts with someone getting into trouble, which on occasion involves them, but mostly involves stories of children I don't know (we are in a new school this year). Today Mailey was all excited to show off her Book Fair purchases. Each received a $20 bill to use at their own accord for the bi-annual book fair. And as usual Mailey chose as much as she could with her crisp $20. A Club Penguin comic book (urghhhh), Fancy Nancy chapter book (yipee!) and an itty-bitty Baking Kit (this is supposed to be a book fair. Why I asked, why?). And here it is, the $9.99 item she had to have. Today just happens to be my husband Billy's 42nd Birthday. I can tell you his age with a giggle because he is a bit older than me.....hehehehe....Now years from now I'll not be laughing, or maybe I will as I wheelchair race him down the hall. So the kids immediately were like "Mom we've got to make these for Daddy. You make the big cake, we'll make these." I, being the sucker Mom that I am, said okey-dokey. So in the box came a recipe for cake and icing for this teeny pan, totally from SCRATCH I tell you. Just to give you an idea of how tiny these are, the recipe said that a regular cake mix would make 300 itty-bitty cakes. Yikes. That's a long time cooking with one little pan that makes 6. It'd be 500 minutes of cooking (can I do multiplication or what?). So we followed the instructions and made these extremely YUMMMMMMMY cupcakes bites. Seriously. So yummy. And I am an icing freak. I stowed some away just for tomorrow when I am thinking about it.....and have to have more!
Oh, so super cute. Billy was so happy. We made a few bigger because of time in the mini-muffin pan.
This is all that's left, well, maybe they are all gone by now. I may have needed another....two.

Oh, look who likes cake? Etsy boo-boo. She devoured it. Lily also had one. Wasn't sure the turtle would, and really did not want to waste the goodness on an un-appreciative animal. So we celebrated the night with a yummy dinner, red wine, itty-bitty cupcakes and silliness around our table. At work they had a cake for him and this card:
Okay, so if any of you happen to know Billy, this is quite hilarious. I laugh out loud to think of his little sweater vest wearing self partying like a rock star. Maybe when we are old and racing down the hallway in our wheelchairs. For now though, I kind of like his laid back conservative self, who would rather not party like a rock star. Happy Birthday Billy!


Bringing Joy Home

I wanted to show you a few of the ornaments that made their way into my holiday collection this year. I am, and have been crazy for patterned paper. I love the smell, feel and look of finely made paper. I also have a crazy love for Amy Butler's fabrics and paper line. Her papers are double sided, a real treat when making cones like these: The quote along the bottom says, "May the spirit of Christmas bring you Peace." They would make a great gift card holder, little sweet treat holder, or other treat for your gift-giving this season.
I had a fabulous time with the Eddison letter cutter at my kid's school making snowflakes and cutting out perfect little letters last week (have you ever noticed that when buying letters there are NEVER enough of the one letter you need so you have to head back to the store and buy an entire set again?) . Several banners made their way to new homes this weekend. Joy and Peace would be a nice addition to your door wreath or mantel greenery.

And last but not least, I just had to have little bird ornaments. These are adorned with Amy Butler paper, diamond dust glitter, vintage tulle wings, and little glittery papered butterflies. Oh so sweet. A great little extra on a package and of course adorning your tree! So how are your handmade ornaments coming along? I always struggle with this aspect of my booths, but want to have them. So I fret and plan for the perfect little ornament. This year I've had a burst of energy and made several different types. All which don't have to just hang on a tree.
If you are in the area, they are available at The Vintage-Flea in Newnan and also at my upcoming show at St. Pius High School in Atlanta this coming weekend.


A Series of Events

Before I start this possibly long winded post, I wanted to remind you that I'll be showing THIS SATURDAY (tomorrow) at Dunwoody United Methodist Church as a part of their Holiday Show. It's from 9-4 on Mt. Vernon Rd. Right down from Perimeter Mall. So come on out. I'm in the Fellowship Hall. Which leads me to now. Sigh..... So where to start? Let's just say that a series of events has led me to a current state of heart racing uncertainty. Ever get that little twinge that something is not right, and yet you have no control over the events to come? Well, that's my day. I will say though that there have been signs all day reminding me to be happy, grateful, and thankful. My blessings are many. And as this day comes to an end, I'll be counting them carefully. A little retail therapy and a rather large double doozie cookie eased some of the angst and now I am ready to tackle a new adventure tonight....Girl Scouts. Our fearless leader has the flu, co-leader has a vomiting daughter, so I was roped, I mean politely asked to fill in tonight. Sigh again.......I Will Remember to be Happy (a motto I saw on a coaster at Barnes and Noble earlier today). So wish me luck, for the art show tomorrow, and perhaps say a little prayer for tonight. Which reminds me to bring up the whole "craft show" verses "art show" at some point soon. Seeing what I saw today while setting up is a giant reminder to bite my tongue and carry on.
These were the #1 seller last weekend. This week I sewed my little fingers away and made some amazing new colors! This little happy item is only $15.00! Have a wonderful weekend!
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