The BIG REVEAL and a Give Away!!

My favorite part of Extreme Home Makeover was when cutie pie Ty would yell, "MOVE THAT BUS" only to see the people totally freak out over their new homes.  I mean seriously freak out.  Now that is true joy in its rawest form.  So, I've moved the big bus, revealed my new blogging home and am hoping you're doing a little happy dance like ME!  What do you think?  I've been working away at it for a week now and couldn't wait to share the reveal.  It's very ...well.....ME.  It's just enough orange to make me smile, Mattie blue and of course, includes a Mattie bird.  And she is what started me down this whole road to artistic freedom.  So there you have it.  My great identity crisis didn't last too long.  I don't like to muster over things too long.  Wastes energy and precious creative time, don't you think?

Now don't worry, I'm not going to be just painting birds again.  I will still be spreading love on bikes, sharing my love of camping through a cute RV or two and of course heading down the dirt road in my Chevy.  But Mattie will be tagging along in more paintings and will be introducing her social circle more.  Maybe even adding a new character or two.  There are 4 cats, hamsters and a turtle muse in this house too.  Oh the joy I have in my heart right now for this little artsy life of mine.  sigh.......

Now on to the exciting news.....the GIVE AWAY!   A new product I'm introducing this show season are these fabulous art boxes with print of a favorite painting.  The boxes are about 2" deep so they can hang on the wall or nestle in a favorite bookcase.  Just about anywhere you place them will add a flair to your decor!  So how do you win one?

Let's see......I'd love to hear in the comment section what your favorite art material is.  Yep.  I love me some art supplies and would like to hear what you love to use!  I'll go first.  My name is Jenni and I LOVE heavy body opaque acrylics.  Now it's your turn!

PS  The drawing will be held on Friday afternoon!


Paging Dr. MG......Paging Dr. MG

FIRST, tomorrow you must come to my blog!  Cool things revealed and a give away!!  Well, cool to me anyways and I am thinking you'll like them too :). 

But today, since my internet has been most unkind to me for a week, I finally have a cute Mailey story to share.  Oh how I love being her Mother.  So Friday night Mailey and I had the house to ourselves.  I was pooped for some reason so mostly I laid on the couch in and out of sleep.  She kept coming in and asking for things like, "Mom, where's the white string?  Mom, where's the tape?  Mom, where are the band aids again? Mom, where are the safety goggles?"  etc.  Finally she came in and said, "I'm all ready now."  OK.  For what?  "Surgery Mom.  Pinkie has a hole in her heart and I'm about to fix it.  Want to watch?"  Um yeah, can I bring my camera?  "Sure"  So here are just a few of the pictures I took of Pinkie's heart surgery:

As you can see her heart did indeed have a  large black hole in it.  This is Dr. MG putting Pinkie to sleep.  (with the cap to my water bottle)
And here she is performing miracle open heart surgery with the hottest new tools in medicine, patterned pencils.

Here's a view of the surgical center (my bathroom).  I tried to point out some things on the photo. Seriously guys, I don't know where she gets some of her ideas from.  The wrapping paper box IV stand, heart monitor, and wii remote?  Man, she is totally going to be inventing something one day HUGE.  There were many more steps in the surgery including using my GAP artist perfume for cleansing, cleaning of the wound with q-tips, listening over and over with her scope, etc.  It was really fun to watch.  In hindsight I should have videoed it.  Could have been a Utube sensation!

And here is Pinkie all bandages up and ready for the recovery room.  As you can see, she is still hooked up to the IV for careful monitoring over night.
The next patient was Africa, a wild elephant who had a broken nose.  Here once again we are putting the animal to sleep.  She was not just a doctor for animals Friday night either.  American Girl Doll Kit had glass removed from her foot which required 6 stitches and birdie had paper removed from her eye from the owners who were carelessly shredding paper too close to her cage.   Yep, they all had a story.  So that night they all slept in the recovery room off the surgery center.  Unfortunately, the center had to be moved to her room the next day.....we did need to use the potty at some point.  :)  Today she made the den a GIANT kitchen.  Haven't gotten photos of it yet, but I really wish my stove was as big as the one she made out of a box.  Yep, always an adventure in this house!

Hope to see you back here tomorrow!!  Enjoy your Monday.


Sense of Anxiousness

So remember earlier this week when I said I feel like something big is coming?  Well, that sense of  anxiousness has set in and I really can't shake it loose.  It all started with the painting of Lily and Mattie, the feeling that I need to step it up and make a decision about my identity.  Maybe that's not the best way to put that, I mean my identity as an artist and the business side of it all.  Sooooo, my internet has been down pretty much all week which has given me an excuse to work on some ideas.  Man I have so much to share with you guys!  So many ideas, so many thoughts.  But alas, my family seriously will not let me have 5 minutes in here without interruption to write my thoughts down for you, sigh....  I'll be back early next week though when the house is quite (except for the snoring of Lily).  For now, here's a blueprint of things to come:


Folk Fest 2010

You know you've arrived at an amazing Folk Art Show when you park next to this:

I think I should have kept my old red van after all.  Mailey, William and I could have totally had a blast creating it into a masterpiece...oh well.  This is Folk Fest 2010.  A show that is held in a huge trade center about 1 hour north of my home.  I have to tell you, last year I was a bit skeptical about bringing my work to this show.  It seems so big named, and well BIG.  You see, this is a gallery run show.  Especially in the old days I hear, you had to be represented by a gallery to come.  Mary Jane Potter of Matilda's in Alpharetta is representing my work.  It's a really nice situation.  She rents the booth and lighting.  We all gather to hang, and then come and go all weekend as she sells away!
This year I wasn't going to be participating, but as you know, my unfortunate situation with the solo show came about.  In fact, this was the VERY weekend I was to host that show.  I brought all the paintings that were intended for Birmingham to this and boy am I glad I did!  What a wonderful response to my work.  Much better than last year.  Lots went home to happy families, and one will be receiving her large custom painting very soon!

So here we all are:  Me, Sandy Erikson-Wright, Barbara Olsen, Mary Jane Potter and Allison Strine.  You can see more pictures of the show here on my facebook page!


The Adventures of Mattie and Lily

I should be telling you all about the Folk Fest this morning and how amazing it is.  I really should.  BUT, when I got home Friday night late from the opening I had a restless night of sleep and something urging me to PAINT.  I struggle with many things surrounding my art career, but never about what to actually paint.  In fact, I have an entire black sketchbook full of little sketches waiting to come to life.  You know what most of those sketches are of?  A little bird named Mattie doing a wide range of things with friends.  Yep.  That little bird I just can't set free.  And these were the ideas in my head that kept me up all night:

As you can see I drew two out and one is totally finished....I think.  They may have a little conversation on the canvas, may not.  Overall though, I am YIPPEE skipping for joy.  And so is Lily, my little muse.  I've never painted a dog for real, I mean I've showed my art students, but I've never included dogs in my paintings to sell.  I think I like this little adventure.  And how big the canvases I chose.  Really, this is out of my element these days.

So the little bird that opened this enormous art door up for me may be making her way into the canvas a little more.  As I flipped through the sketchbook full of ideas I really got excited about her future.  I know when you feel this kind of excitement about something it's usually an indicator of something really good about to happen.  And I am very ready for that something good.


Widdle Happiness

I've got an agenda going for the next few weeks prior to "Show Season" starting.  It's 5.5 weeks and counting, a little too quickly for me!  This week my goal was jewelry making.  And today I did this:

They look like little ants on a picnic almost.  But in fact they are about 200 widdle charms that I hand dyed.  Yep.  One by one dipped, placed in baking soda mix, water then dried so as not to rust.  Whew.  Smelly too.  And I've got lovely fingernails to prove that I did it all by myself.  I found that when owning a retail store it was more cost efficient to buy in bulk when you can.  And now that I've found a resource for my charms, I did just that.  And I am super excited about this little find in that shop:

You can squeal....I did.  Isn't it the cutest thing ever???  Just like the campers I paint!  I also have now a wonderful supply of trucks, lock-n-keys, woven hearts, RV campers, butterflies, paint palettes and bikes.  Oh the possibilities are endless with the words to go with all of these.  I've been stamping away this afternoon in hopes of having some for the FOLK FEST this weekend!


Morning Sunshine

This morning I have this overwhelming sense of joy.  Don't really know why.....but it feels like something big is about to happen.  You ever get that feeling?  Of course I am hoping this sense of anxiousness is followed with good news!

I wanted to share with you two paintings that will be flying over to Birmingham, Alabama today entitled "Morning Sunshine".  Anne called me awhile back after seeing my work at Seibel's in Homewood.  She wanted two paintings for her daughter's first "big girl" room.  And here they are!

She's thrilled, and so am I.  It was my first time to paint since learning that my solo show was canceled.  I've had to take a break from the brushes....but now I'm back!  Here's where they'll be going.  Isn't this a gorgeous room??  (Sorry for the fuzziness, it's really low resolution which I can do nothing about.)


The Next Step in the Journey

Yipppeee...show season is around the corner!  Like 6 weeks and counting corner.  It feels like just yesterday I was anxiously getting ready for my first.  Ahhh...the good old days.  Now I feel like a seasoned show girl.  Umm..I mean show artist.  (Although show girl sounds more fun!)  With the anticipation of this season comes my frenzy for the perfect look.  I am crazy about display, drawing the crowd in, and keeping them engaged in my little 10x10 space.  It's an experience when you walk into my booth.  And one I hope will lead to your leaving with something in your hands.   Which brings me to these thoughts today.  Lots of thoughts really.

Above was my first business card.  Isn't it cute?  And sweet and well, it tells you NOTHING about what I do or who I am as an artist.  Notta.  When customers come through in an art show setting there are lookers, buyers, and lookers who may buy one day.  When they take your card, you want it to trigger a part of their memory, hopefully a memory that reminds them man I've gotta have that!  So made I made this to trigger those memory cells:

This was a postcard sized business card.  You're right, it does not fit into your wallet, but really I don't want it in the wallet.  I want it on the fridge or the bulletin board (heck frame it!).  I want it to inspire the buyer to  see more.  I loved this card.  Then I started using a different printer who offered book marks at a fabulous price.  Hummm...and here ya have the first book mark shaped business card:

Again, in one glance you know my style, what I sell, and how to reach me.  Only this time, you can keep it in your favorite book or magazine.  Of course refridgerators love them too!  This card got me a chance to speak to a pretty cool person in a pretty cool place one Saturday in January.  Still working on it, but fingers crossed it'll become something BIG on day.  Had I not had this card with those pictures on it, she'd have not given me a second thought.

Above is the latest of the series.  It's such a neat way to see how my style has matured through these 4 business cards.  I mean, no one ever said a business card HAD to be 3"x5".  And being creative allows me some freedom and flexiblitiy to be, well creative with this tool. 

So here are the thoughts I've got swimming in my head today.  I am ready to brand myself.  Not in the Angelina tattoo sense, but like the artsy branding logo sense.  Like really really ready.  I've got jenni adkins horne out there, Mattie's Social Circle and recently I've been using my email and user name for some things artsyorange.  And artsyorange seems to be the stand out in the crowd.  But am I ready to move forward with this?  Not really.  My gut tends to lead me on things like this and I'm not sure.  So that's why I'm coming to you.  What do you think?  

artsyorange.....creative journey of jenni horne

Yeah, I'm not sure.  I'm usually really good with this sorta thing.  I guess because it's gotta be soooo good and soooo angels singing that I'm not hearing that I am doubting.  sigh.  So thanks for your input.  Hope you are having a creative Monday!!


Studio Tour

Hey guys!!  So here it is, my art studio.  Man I LOVE this space.  Like big puffy heart this space.  Before 2008 this was a non-used walk through room on the way to the back yard.  It is totally open to our kitchen, making it one big L shape.  This was my "pretty room" complete with awesome orange couch (storage unit now).  Slowly, as very evident from my posting earlier this week, it has become a lovely nest of artsy treasures!  It took about 6 hours to overhaul it Monday.  But it feels soooooo good now.  Everything has its place, is labeled and ready for me to touch it and make some artsy magic.  What a great feeling.  So here's the tour:

Visually, it is a little overwhelming at first to visitors, but too me, it's homey, inspiring, and loved.  I've tried in the past to simplify and purge.  But recently I have come to terms with the fact that I love my stuff.  I do.  I am not talking grand expensive stuff from stores either.  In the cabinet below you will find a nice collection of clay pieces made by my children, sweet prototypes I've made, nests found in the yard, cherished nic-nacs and of course tiger, my little pompom tiger I've had since age 5.  There's a tiara from my childhood, books, treasured yarns and more.  This is also my most favorite piece of furniture we own.  And we've got a lot of furniture in this house!  As I look around the room I see so much that has meaning and truly comforts my creative spirit.  A lot from the past, a glimpse into the future and as evident by the paintings in the works, plenty for the now.

This is my happy face.  Yep.  Makes me smile all the time with his orange mouth.

Below is a picture at the exact angle from the messy desk photo you saw earlier in the week.  Like I said, 6 hours.  whew is right.

And here is Mailey's art desk.  A little cleaner too.  I pinky promised her that I'd keep my messes off her space.  Since Monday she has been so busy working in here it's crazy!  And now we need tape.  (mental note)

A few other favorites below:  1.the painting is "Mattie's Social Circle" kind of what started this whole crazy art career path of mine  2.camper toy from junkin' with buddy Valerie...good times  3. framed paper, a true keeper from William's K class where he had to write "My Mother makes the best....ART (I am thinking the teacher thought each child would say a food item. Yep tears a comin') 4.I love typography so some letters of my name  5.total folk artsy paint brush face  6.  felt sculpture that William made me one day that makes my heart so full 7.of course it all sits on top of a cabinet I found out back of a store for FREE that holds an unbelievable amount of art supplies!

Here is my favorite find for all the jewelry junk, I mean supplies, that I own.  These two units stack on top of each other.  They have handles too.  Organize puffy heart there.  I am also a label making fool.  The large white incised art is for a client.  I've been too chicken to start painting it....I know guys.  I'll get over myself and start painting it soon.  Also stacked are my canvases ready to come to life!  Love that crazy Phillip and my frames!

Well, that's it.  It's not that big of a room, but it's just perfect in my eyes.  Seriously I feel as though I am living in a dream having this space to create.  Well, kiddos just invaded the art studio.   It seems the first week of school was a success.  It was a success on many, many levels I have to say.

I'm off for the weekend to do this and that.  I hit an estate sale today and am pondering going back.  Also going to Auburn to my other junkin' haunts tomorrow.  I'll have to share some of my finds.  Maybe I should start blogging about these adventures.  hmmmm...See ya next week!


Living in the Moment

So today.....where do I start but to say I am really living in the moment just like this painting here:

I must start by saying that I woke from sweet slumber this morning quite happy.  I say that with CAPITAL letters, SLEPT.  Because for a few weeks prior, I'd not.  And it was causing a huge trickle affect for the rest of my life.  Whew.  I am hoping this SLEEP trend is here to stay.  Fingers crossed.  After morning coffee, lovely conversation on the phone and a trip to the gym I came home to my clean studio (promise to show pics, promise!) to start my pile of customer painting orders.  But then something inside me said, check out the movies Jenni.  So I did.  And I went, all by myself to see Salt.  Loved it.  I am a total James Bond, Mission Impossible movie freak....and this did not disappoint.  When I left the movies I'd missed a call......

So if you read part 1 of my interview with the very sweet Suzanne over at Blue Sand Studio this morning, she asked me a question about who I thought I was as an artist.  I replied around and into the subject saying the following, "I am someone who thinks a lot, about life and my place here. I know that there are no happenstances, and that everything and everyone is placed into our lives for a specific reason (just like your meeting me during Flying Lessons…I mean how is it that out of the 500 students we found one another?). But within this life of reason, comes a beautiful journey where doors are presented, with not every experience easily navigated. There have been times in my life where I opened the wrong door, but through the experience I gained wisdom and strength. My art continues to be a journey where I open and close doors. Allowing myself the freedom to truly nurture my creative destiny has been a wonderful experience. It has been one that has led the direction of my paintings, jewelry and sculptures. There is something so pure and raw in my work. My hope is that as a viewer you can sense the honesty and vulnerabilities I am presenting and in the end can take from it a piece of the journey. And maybe, just maybe be inspired to start your own."

So today I was living in the moment, and basking in the alone time I now have when Mary Jane of Matilda's Cottage called.  About a month or so ago she had called and asked if I wanted her to take my work to the Folk Fest in Atlanta the weekend of August 20-22.  Oh man was I bummed because it was my solo show weekend opening I'd told her and really was not sure I'd have any paintings to send with her.  And I'd definitely not be able to attend the event.  Today she called to follow up and and see if by chance I'd had the energy to paint a few for her.  Well, Mary Jane as it happens, I have about 40 for you.  WHAT?  Yep, my solo show was canceled, and honestly I'd forgotten about your offer.  So she said, BRING THEM ALL!  So as I said in my artist statement above, doors sometimes are opened and closed too quickly.  And then sometimes.....just sometimes....they are a dutch door.  I love that kind.


The Prettiest Song

There is a sweet quote out there that says, "The littlest bird sings the prettiest song".  I just love that thought.  And these little babies, well I am pretty sure I heard them singing their hearts out as I created them.  I know I was.  As I mentioned in a previous post I've been working on a new bird pattern.  Let's just say I am tickled with the outcome of the newest pattern and their little perches!

This one has a lovely hand stamped message tag that says "You Grew in my Heart".  It's embellished with large and small ric-rac ribbon and blue velvet ribbons. 

To construct the cage I used two sizes of embroidery hoops.  One entire hoop was used to create the outer sphere, while a single smaller hoop was suspended from the center with chain to create the perch.

This is one has a message of "Find Your Voice."  You now, that is a very hard thing to do sometimes. Especially in this media driven world telling you how and what to feel when.  So I challenge you this week to think about those words and find what's inside you waiting to be said.

If you are interested in any of these lovely creations I know they'd look great in any place of your home.  I  can really see them in a nursery as a mobile.  And of course I can make a custom one!   You can find these two though hanging out over here in my etsy shop!


You May Want to Close Your Eyes....

The picture below is a little disturbing.....to me anyways.  I guess this is about 2 years ago now?  Oh man look at how adorable my studio is!  That's the disturbing part.  How in the heck did I let it get to the point  I showed you in my last blog posting?  YIKES!  With the kiddos headed off to school tomorrow I am going to print this picture out as incentive to simplify the studio.  Yep.  Sim...pli.....fy.  I'm not so sure I can do that, but I am going to try!  I want this studio back!


Mailey's Art Room

Yesterday morning as I was working on my birdie pattern in the bed (lazy days are almost over, I've got to take advantage!), I began to hear a commontion in the art room and then the den.  "Mailey, what are you doing?"  "Making a tent, can you help me?"  After a little coaxing that heavy fleece blankets would not work the spanse she wanted, and I found a perfect sheet, she began to tape away.  When we were done she was beyond smiling.  Ok, now what I thought?  And I ask, "Now Mailey, what are you planning to play in your tent?"  And she replied most emphatically, "MOM, it's my ART ROOM."  Oh.  OK.  And then I grin from ear to ear as well.  So here is her art room, which by the way is still in tact.

Of course I asked her why an art room when she could just work in my room.  And she says, "Mom, have you seen your art room this morning?"  Um.....she may have a point.  Here's my desk with the piles creeping into the work space.

Yikes!  And this is the other table in the art room where the piles have totally taken over the table.

So last night when I wanted to pull out the sewing machine and try Singer sewing the new birdie, well.....I took over the kitchen table as well.  We can eat in the den in the art room tent, right?

And here's a neaky peaky at what the above mess was able to make.  I am beyond excited about the new bird......and it's little cage.  


Facebook Liking

Appropriate for my mood this morning, this painting is entitled, "Now I am Quite Happy".

And it just happens to be the artwork I chose for my icon on my up and running Facebook Like me page.  So, do you like me yet?



Whew.  It's absolutely amazing what a steroid shot in the arm (ouch) and $100 worth of presciptions can do for a body!  Sorry about the lack of postings this week, and the ones I did were a little sad, but man I've been really sick, and you know us Mom's, we can't get sick.  And yes, I was grinning and bearing it on our fabulous vacation.  On the mend now and getting more focused for sure.  Yeah!  Old me.  ;)

So now that I have a plethora of paintings for upcoming shows to sell and to use on cool new products I'm developing in the studio, I've been working on some of what I call DIVERSIONS.  Yep.  Webster defines diversions as 1:  the act or instance of diverting from a course, activity, or use 2:  something that diverts or amuses: PASTIME.  I love this word right now.  diversion, diversion, di....ver....sion.  It's a much more exciting way to say that I am totally off course and playing around in the art room.  It's a fluffy word for spending time on things I may or may not sell,  but I'm going to try anyways.  And since I love to learn new things, and try new things, a diversion was a welcomed word to the vocabulary.  So what have been I amusing myself with this past week?  Take a looksey:

A new BIRDIE pattern!!  I do love my felted silly birds with super long legs, but after seeing some adorable paper birds on branches at Seibel's a few weeks ago I decided to work on a new birdie pattern.  I'm still tweaking the pattern a bit.  William says the beak area is all wrong, and they aren't fat enough.  I can always add more fluff I told him and rounden out the head.  My plan is to place the little guys in some handmade cages.  Oh boy. 

And also diverting my attention is my new obsession with embroideryish things.  I say "ish" because I have NO idea what I am doing.  I just stitch away.  My favorite is the truck, but the photo turned out blurry wouldn't ya know.   I worked on a bunch of these little projects in the car.  These mini nests are about to be neatly laid into pendant bezels.  Remember the crewel work necklace a few posts back?  Yeah, I think using my own creations is better than cutting up my favorite vintage crewel work too.

So anyhoo.....gotta go work on the birdie pattern again and get myself all set up for the night's projects.  Billy is out of town and the kids are at Nana's.  I know, I am a very lucky girl right now.  Oooo...and Project Runway is coming on too!  It's going to be a fabulous night filled with diversions.



"life is a balance of holding on and letting go"  rumi

So this is what keeps me balanced right now.  I suppose it always has.  Yesterday I let go of one dark cloud, and am mustering the strength to let go of another.  But as Rumi said so wisely, life is about letting go and holding on.  It's just figuring out what to let go of that's hard.  And since I am SO not a quitter, letting go is the hardest part.  Sometimes I realize to late that what I have stepped into is really not good for my life.  You ever get like that?  I think letting go feels alot like a failure, that you are saying "I can't do that".   But I can't do it all, nor is it healthy too.  So this week, our last week of summer, I am going to focus on being a mother and open an old door that needs revisiting. It's time to stop opening new doors for awhile and focus on the ones I already have.
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