New Favorite Display

I love to come up with creative display ideas for my booth.  I know many artisans do not get the idea that the right type of display, even with a little effort can draw twice as many people into your booth.   I mean think about it, a 10'x10' tent is not that big...so I can literally glance on a walk by and know I do not wish to enter the premises.   I recently attended a craft show where I literally wanted to hand out my card and offer tutoring on such subjects!  Anyhoo....that is a soapbox subject for another day.  Today I wanted to show off a little project I completed:

 I found this bust at a thrift store this summer.  I recently found her buried in my garage and took her up the The Vintage-Flea to sel in my booth.  Then when trying to decide how to display my adorable bobby pins it hit me!  A crown on that bust would be super fun!  But when I got her home she was too fancy for my Mattie booth.  Hummmm...How about I make her Mattie Blue?  And voila!  Adorable display that cost $10 for the bust, $3 for the blue spray, and the crown was made from stuff I already had lying around.  She'll for sure be a crowd pleaser.  Now, what should we name her? 


The Right Tools

Have you been reading my blog long enough to remember when I did made this booboo?

Yep.  I drilled right through that magic finger.  It was stupid....seriously.  I was holding a quarter size copper blank with my left hand, drill in right.  No pre-set hole, no stabilizer, notta.  Just stupid.  And man it HURT.  Like I've had natural child birth, and this was close.  So last week was jewelry making week and the thought of once again drilling the copper was freaking me out a tinge.  See all these blanks that need holes?  And most require 2 holes!
I decided to take my little self to Home Depot armed with a blank and the bit and ask for expert advise.  I had the best help from Justin....and together we decided this was the equipment I needed to buy to make those holes in the blanks and not my magic finger.

I bought the newest Dremel 4000 and Dremel work station.  Basically I've made a miniature drill press station.  And man.....I could drill some serious holes.  It was actually fun!  Notice my left hand is not holding the copper disc, but rather my bench block is?  Smart girl.  You guys like my safety glasses?  Billy was like why aren't you just using saftey glasses?  Umm...I think these are cooler(and I was too lazy to search for them in Mailey's room).    All I needed was a metal shard in the eyeball to make my day bright...So the sunglasses worked to prevent this.  Jewelry is now done, yipee skippee feeling for sure!! 

It is amazing what having the right tools will do to make me not only super happy, but super productive!  Now I have a few days to get displays ready for the Norcross Show.  It's getting super exciting around the studio!

Knowing Your Heart

I recently found a quote that says, "It's never to late to find out who you want to be".  Yeah, I like it too.  If you are an artist reading my blog, then you get the struggle of "finding" yourself in your art.  How do you make it yours?  How do you embrace your talents? How do you set yourself apart?  Nothing frustrates me more than being super excited about something new only to find it on the front page of etsy the next day!  Drats....back to the drawing board. 

I've not reinvented the wheel this time around with my painting subjects.  I mean, why would I?  I am a painter who uses trucks, bikes, bird, bird cages and silly flowers in my paintings.  That's who I am....and quite frankly I like my subjects.  My painting style however I believe has matured over the years.  I was not a confident painter when I started.  I am pretty sure I thought too much about what I was doing.  Now, I just paint.  In fact, I am a very fast painter.  Mostly this is because I am not going for the text book version of a bird, but rather a more Jennism styled bird. 

As in the past, I am still a lover of texture in my paintings.  But I also love lines...so this round of paintings I had an "AHA" moment of adding texture enough to write my words in, still use the black gesso, acrylics, then fill the carved lines with oil stick technique.  Yes, it was a few day process.  But I am very methodical in my processes when getting ready for a show and started 15 paintings at once.  Yes, you read this right.  Of course 1/2 of those are on their way to the Texas Round-top show with Matilda.  Yee-haw paintings!  The other 7 are making me very happy right now spread out around the art studio. 
This last one.....well I think if you really know your heart, then finding out who you want to be will come quite easy.  You just have to tell your mind what your heart is thinking is all. 


Field Trip Friday...Historic Senoia

This past Saturday I did something that quite honestly I've not done in a long time.  A girlfriend and I decided to spend the day together.  It's not that I don't have friends....don't get any funny ideas that I'm some sort of freaky recluse that only makes art and blogs about it.  Its just that...well...honestly I don't know how it is that you get to a certain age and your kids get to a certain age and the kids seem to have a more fabulous social calendar than you do.  I seriously think we adults should schedule more "play dates".  Anyhoo, we batted around different ideas, and ultimately decided to spend the day in Historic Senoia.  Why Senoia you ask?  Well, Southern Living is hosting one of its two design homes there.  And Senoia just happens to be in my beautiful Coweta County.  First stop however, was the American Legion Yard Sale.....I mean, who doesn't love a yard sale ( Amber and I do!!).

Yard Sales....I'll admit I don't attend many.  But I do love a good yard sale.  My Mother-in-law promised this would be a good one, so we started our jaunt here.  I mean, where else but in a yard sale could you find such treasures such as this artistic treat?

And how ironic that I would find treasures like this sitting right by Mr. Frowny face?  I left $20 short in my pocket and a treasure chest full of goodies.  In fact, I'm not gonna make you jealous by showing them off, just yet.  :)
After loading the truck with our treasures and bellies with amazing soft sugar cookies we headed out to Senoia.  One of the prettiest little cities in our County.  Mrs. Wendy's below I could literally just move right in.  And live that is.
We toured the Southern Living Home first, which I totally blanked on taking any pictures of, super sorry!  I think I was too mesmerized that the kitchen counter tops were the IKEA butcher block ones I desperately want...in fact the entire kitchen was IKEA (counter tops, cabinets and appliances...yep).  Floored me.  My favorite room by far in the house was the basement (four story walk up).  It had my coveted brick floors, horizontal planked wood walls, loft doors and furniture to only dream about with my 4 cats, dog, two children and hamster (OK, hamster doesn't really count I suppose since she doesn't climb on the furniture). Amber and I headed to Founders for an amazingly yummy lunch where the atmosphere and company made me feel less like a Newnan housewife and more like a diva on Park Avenue.
Here's another view of this quaint little town.  Senoia has come a very LONG way since Billy and I moved here.  They have done an unbelievable job of renovating the town and promoting tourism.  Of course it helps that a major movie production company is housed here....and Drop Dead Diva is filming here as well.  But honestly, without the true Southern hospitality, generous spirits of it's people and down home charm the city has to offer, we'd not be enjoying our Saturday here.  So kuddos Senoia!  I'm proud you're a part of our Coweta County family.  And I highly recommend you grabbing a girlfriend and spending the day here as well.  I know our day together was such a special way to reconnect.....


Gentle Reminder Scrappy Cuffs

I mentioned that I'd been doing a ton of sewing, so here is the other project from this adventure with my sewing machine and ALL it's fabulous stitches!
These are made with two pieces of fabric sandwiched with batting.  Lots of random stitching, button closures, hand stamped saying with more stitches and of course a hand dyed charm and bead!  They are super comfortable and quite a conversation piece.  I made them in 3 sizes as well so to fit all wrist sizes. 
I promise after the Norcross Art Festival, should there be any left, they will appear in my Etsy shop.  For now though, if you are interested in any pictured, please just send me an email.  They are priced at $22 each.


A Year in My Shoes

"Life is like riding a bicycle, in order to keep your balance you must keep moving."  Einstein

A year in these tennis shoes.  Man, it's hard to believe it's been a year.  When I left the Flea 2 years ago, one of the first things I did was join a gym.  And I went to the gym....day after day.....exercising.  I am one of those wack people that feels completely alive after working out.  In fact, without it I am sort of a you know what.  But for one year of working out I saw NO results.  I felt better, yes.  But no jeans size down, no shoe size down....wait, it doesn't work that way for feet does it?  Anyhoo......Exactly one year today I hired the amazing Kathleen as my personal trainer.  Yep, just like the rich and famous.  And together for the past 365 days we've taken a journey together.  She's one of those doors I am so thankful to have opened. 
If you've ever met me in person I know, I did not need to loose weight.  But that really wasn't the issue.  I wanted muscles, definition and more stamina.  It is no secret that we women folk have body issues, I imagine even hot Heidi Klum has something she doesn't like about her body.  It's finding that peace within that this is MY body and learning to love every square inch of it.  So 365 days of being more aware of what nutrition I put into this vessel, and being aware of how to push the muscles that are there folks, I am close to the point of looking in the mirror and really seeing me.  And I kind of like it. 

So I debated sharing my results...but I am so proud, so I am.  I share so much of myself with you here why wouldn't I share this.  We measure every 6 weeks.  My best was in May, I suppose the summer took its toll and I had one too many slurpees at the pool.  But here's where it stands now:
weight/ 7 pds lighter
body fat/ 1% less  (I've gone from the BAD to the good range too!)
BMI/ 1 point less  (again from BAD to good)
chest/ -1" 
waist/ -1"
hips/ -2"
thighs/ -1" 

Oh, and in case you are wondering about my routine, I was training with her for two days and doing cardio on my own for two for the first 6 months.  Then we went to one day with her, one day weights on my own and cardio on my own.  Currently I box on Tuesday, walk on Wednesday in my neighborhood, weight train with Kathleen on Thursday and Friday weights on my own.  I am generally in the gym an hour.  Well, thanks for listening and if you are thinking about starting to move your body more, do.  It has opened some creative doors that were covered in serious cobwebs for me!


A Promenade Night

To Promenade:  1:  a leisurely walk or ride especially in a public place for pleasure or display.

Have you ever officially taken a promenade?  Well, neither had I until last night for the Promenade and viewing of the Coweta County courthouse renovation.  I talk alot here in this little blog about being a Mother, Artist and Art Educator.  I kind of leave the details of being a Representative's wife out....after all it really has nothing to do with my being an artist.  But last night's event was SO fun and such a unique experience I just couldn't wait to share it with you! 

We live in a beautiful county just south of Atlanta called Coweta.  Atlanta is close enough to enjoy, but far enough away to make our community still quaint and unique.  Newnan is actually dubbed "The City of Homes".  Man, they are not kidding.  Some of the older homes in our community are unbelievable.   Another monument in our community is the original courthouse built in 1904.   See here from last night:

For the past several years our courthouse has undergone a head to toe renovation.  And last night was the preview party.  I was completely blown away at its' beauty.  I'd been in the courthouse prior to the renovation for this and that but had never really paid attention to any of the details.  And perhaps this was because most of the details had been masked under years of paint, heavy drapes and years of wear and tear.  Here's an example of two details to drool over:  an original doorknob polished up to its' original glory and a faux finish that as an artist gives me chills.  Yep.  ALL the wood grain affects you are going to see in later pictures were completed by a team of 4 master faux painters.  Seriously folks....it is captivating that they can make pine look like more expensive oak.   You see, it was cheaper to use pine and faux finish back in the day.  It's the details like this that in the restoration were not missed.  In fact, the courtroom looks exactly like it did in 1904-  the cork floor, the faux wood finishes, the green paint color, the original tin ceiling tiles, the seats in all areas....  all either refinished or reproduced to a tee.  A step back in time that as a resident now of this county for 15 years makes me just flat out tingly.    They used photos, science, and some plain old unearthing of the details to restore the building.

So here we are all decked out for the evening's activities.  It was a wonderful plan....you made reservations for one of 6 restaurants around the courthouse that had a set menu.  At about 8PM we all left the restaurants and "promenaded" to the courthouse for the tour.  There was live jazz on the east and west balconies.  There was dessert on the lawn.  There were story tellers in historical costumes.  And the weather was perfect!  I'm telling you, the committee that organized the event left no detail out.  I am so glad we decided to attend (it was a $100 a head btw....not a freebie thing).
One last view for you....as a person who has always LOVED historical preservation this evening was truly magical.  And I am so proud that our community deemed it important to take this iconic landmark to its' original grandeur.  So what will take place in here now?  The welcome center has been moved to the first floor and the courtroom will be used for Probate court.  I may just have to stop in more often though and breath in the historical ambiance.  Man if those walls could only talk........


Artwalk Ready!

Today I ran down to The Vintage-Flea to my booth for a little "fluffing".  Tonight is the Fall Artwalk, which is always a wonderful time!  Unfortunately, I'll be absent...... it's Girl Scout night and as it is we are two out of four short on leaders.  BUT, I did get a ton of paintings hung and some other goodies in my booth.  When I left there were several other vendors busy arranging as well.  So stop by from 5-8PM in downtown Newnan if you can!


I am A Little Bird Maker

I am a little bird maker, oh yes I am.   And for almost two weeks now these little guys and girls have been truly coming to life right here in the studio.  This has been a wonderful creative journey, the process of making something new is very fullfilling.  Ok, I know I've made birds before.  However these are made with my pattern and with more fabric than felt and new cages and new stands.  The newness of it all is making my heart skippy with joy.  So I thought I'd scatter the joy your way and show you the process of being a little bird maker.  Because in the end, little ones like Lillyana below are meant to be shared with someone you love.

First:  All the fabrics were collected and the pattern tweaked.  One football game Saturday I sat and cut out all the bodies, bellies and wings.  In fact, I still have about 30 to sew!
Second:  For a few nights in a row during TV time I sewed the bodies to the bellies, stuffed and added eyes.  They are gathered here for staging purposes.  (On a side silly note....my very overweight cat Ellie normally lays her lovely self on this table.  She jumped up the night I placed these here and literally freaked out at their sight.  You'd think she'd seen a ghost.)

Third:  The wings were layered with felt and patterened fabrics.
Fourth:  Wings and birds were paired up for attaching.

Fifth:  By the way, there may be a pop quiz on this tomorrow.  hehehe....  Tails were quilted on the sewing machine.  That's gotta hurt!
Sixth:  Beaks were added with my favorite brown wrapped wire.  When you remove the wrap a perfectly rusty wire is left behind.  Perfect!

Seventh:  Here is where the fun part came to play.  They were either placed in a pile for stands or hoop cages.  I set out to put together all the cages first and glued in the birds.  Then came the "where the heck to I put these to embellish the bottoms?" statement.  Well, I have an awning armature in my kitchen that all I had to do was lift the fabric and tie them all on to the pipe.  They have been such a fun addition to the kitchen this week!
Eighth:  The rest of the birds were given wooden candlestick bases that I painted white, added vintage music paper, tulle and crepe paper to.
So that's it in a very brief nutshell.  For some reason I was extremely methodical with the whole process.  And although I was batch making these guys, not one two are alike.  Some are totally cross-eyed, some have flopped in wings, some flopped out, some have pointy heads, some round, some are more robust than others, etc.  The one common denominator is me, and all the love I stitched into each and every one.  In fact, a couple got kisses because they were so stinkin' cute.  Even today as I was boxing them up little Jelly Bean had her head and eyes popping out of the box like she was telling me something.  Ok. Maybe that was me going cross-eyed!  Nevertheless.....my point is that their personalities are all quite unique because as they were made I was spilling over with happiness (it's been one of those couple of weeks...you know the fulled life kind).  If you'd like to check out all the birdy goodness head on over here and see!  And hopefully by tomorrow some will appear in my etsy shop.  I'll be sure to keep you posted.



I Really Didn't Like My Sewing Machine Until....

I have ALWAYS loved to sew.  I love to tell the story that as a child I can remember sneaking down to Mom's sewing closet to play on the machine to make things (it was an wonderful mustard yellow colored machine).  Remember when they used to sell pre-printed fabric projects?  You'd cut out the shapes and sew them together?  One year I made all my friends those for Christmas presents.

About 7 years ago I decided to purchase my own machine.  I researched and fretted over this decision I tell ya!  But after much thought I chose this Singer:
It's really cool looking isn't it?  At that time I was all about making clothes for Mailey and my neice Addie.  I seriously made some of the cutest dresses ever....I'll have to find them in the attic soon and show you.  Embellished like, well.....very hard to explain. Think of the dress like my fabric canvas and that's what I added.  But in the past year or so it's been a very naughty machine.  In fact, I was researching new ones.  And then Ashley came over, my quilting friend.  I asked her to peek at it.  First she said to have it serviced.  OK....and then she proceeded to tell me all sorts of things I HAD NO idea my machine could do.  You see all these stitches:
Let's just say that those stitches and I have been rockin' and rollin' the past couple of days!!  See below what I am working on?  Tomorrow I shall share all my sewing projects with you.


From Point A to Point B

Things are really progressing in my art studio these days.  I really can't WAIT to show off the new birds and their cages!!  The studio is brimming with excitement. 

Thursday night while William had baseball practice Mailey and I scooted off to the local Barnes and Noble for some magazine therapy.  She's understands this therapy now and actually finds her own magazine to get lost in.   While cruising through one of the crafty mags I saw an ad for this book: 

So we hustled over to the crafty book section and on the bottom shelf when I was about to give up I found it. it's written by an artist I've admired from afar for some time now, Carla Sonheim.   Last night I nestled into my bed and read it.  I know, most of you probably just look at pictures in magazines and books like these.  But I READ it.  Devoured it actually.  You see, before I called myself an artist and was just an art educator, I filled my sketchbooks with whimsical drawings of little girls, fairies, ballerinas, cows, chickens, horses, hippos, giraffes and more.  All in black fine tip sharpie.....all never made it off the pages of those sketchbooks.

This morning with my coffee in hand and a quiet studio, I pulled out those sketchbooks and started pouring over the pages.  And wondered to myself how did I get form these amazing little doodles to what I am now?  I miss drawing horses with giant teeth and pencil legs.  I miss giving bunnies fabulous purses and high heel shoes.  sigh....So Drawing Lab in hand and my new sketchbook I am going to let myself go and doodle today.  I wanted to give you a heads up because Mattie and I may be introducing some new friends to her social circle in the very near future. 

If you haven't already, please be sure to read my interview with the talented Tiffin Mills of Linwood Avenue below!  Have a wonderful , creative weekend!


Circle Talk....Linwood Avenue

I've decided to start a new blog series called, "Circle Talk".  I'll be interviewing some of my favorite artists, crafters, store owners, friends and more!  I have so much to be very thankful for in regards to my creative business.   Sharing this journey with you right here in my blog is a huge part of what has kept my momentum going, even when there were only about 10 of you reading!  And now, well I am ready to share with you the lives of people who have inspired me along the way......some don't even know how much their kind words and thoughtfulness have meant.  So look for monthly "talks" right here!

First up, an entrepreneur I met this time last year at a local craft show.  It RAINED so bad that weekend (It flooded actually...like Noah's Ark flooding), but we all hung in there the two very long days and in the end, found that the weekend was not about sales, but rather gathering  friendships.  Here she is:

Tiffin Mills of Linwood Avenue

So let's start this interview off with the basic stuff:  Who is Tiffin?
i grew up in pittsburgh, pa in a very artistic family, so when it came to college, there was never any choice to do something that didn’t include art. i graduated from ohio university in athens, ohio with an art history degree but started searching for a job as a graphic designer right after graduation. back then, it was more about your “book” than it was about your degree. i still support myself as a graphic designer, but have sadly lost all my ability to talk the uber intelligent “art speak” that i was trained to do in the art history world. it was definitely a fun party trick ;)

i knew i didn’t want to go back to pittsburgh after graduation, so i started applying for jobs in atlanta and boston, for no reason other than i liked those cities. an ad agency in atlanta was the first to call, so i packed up and moved here 2 weeks later. after that, my life went from dating to marriage to children, then a move to the suburbs with 3 ad agency jobs sprinkled inbetween. as a city girl at heart, the suburban move was tough on me, but the silver lining is that i get to drive a golf cart around as my main mode of transportation. yep, you read right, a golf cart. the community i live in was planned as a golf cart community and has more cart paths than roads. kids get golf carts on their 16th birthday and i drive one to the grocery store, the bank, even to target.

Have you always been a “Crafty” person? If so, tell us about your favorite childhood crafty project.
yes, my childhood was filled with many creative projects. i have memories of sewing clothing for my cabbage patch kids - particularly a pair of white fluffy bunny slippers with my mom. we also made people from empty pringles cans with Styrofoam balls wedged into the top as heads. the one i remember most was a native american indian girl for a project at school. she had a fringed coat and long black yarn hair. i still have hopes of making pringles can people with my own munchkins.

I noticed you started creating these beautiful botanical drawings. Can you tell us about the materials you use? Did you take any classes to inspire these?
thanks for the compliment, i love them too! i use prismacolor colored pencils for the initial drawing. then i embellish the flowers for a more whimsical look with a fine tip black pen. prismacolors have always been my favorite pencils because, in my opinion, they blend the best which gives you a lot of flexibility and control over the end result.

i have always had a knack for drawing, but never ventured into colored pencils until this past spring. callanwolde is a large art school in atlanta and for years i wanted to take a class titled “botanical illustration”. finally my munchkins were in all day school, so i had the free time to drive into the city. it was great to have dedicated time to work on my skill and get other artists input. from the first day of class, i was hooked and knew i would have a life long love affair with colored pencils. i plan on expanding the line to include a flower for each month and turn the work into a calendar.

I just have to ask, since I just went through an identity crisis, where did the name, Linwood Avenue come from?
linwood avenue was conceived in the first home i shared with my husband sometime around 2002. when we were newlyweds, we bought and renovated the cutest corner lot red brick bungalow which sat on, you guessed it, linwood avenue. everything i make centers around making a home beautiful, so i thought the name i chose was the perfect umbrella to house all my home goods under. hence my go to line “make your home a linwood avenue home”.

It says you are also a graphic designer, a Mom of two boys, make lamp shades, lamps, sew all sorts of things like vendor aprons, love estate and yard sales......how do you balance it all?? Guide us through a typical day in the Linwood Ave Studio.
ha ha, sometimes i wonder that myself. i really can’t sit still anymore, even when i am watching tv at night, my hands are working on creating something. at this stage in my life, i have finally realized that i am my happiest when i am creative. some people take prozac, i craft!
a typical day goes something like this...
7am: wake up and get the munchkins out the door to school
8-9am: catch up on blogs and facebook
9-11:30am: complete work for my graphic design clients
11:30-12pm: eat lunch with my husband (he works 5 minutes from the house and comes home for lunch everyday)
12-2:30pm: put on a netflix movie and start crafting. that can range from sewing, to crocheting, to drawing - you name it.
2:30 - 4pm: get the munchkins off the bus and work on homework.
4-6pm: more design work
6-11pm: dinner, munchkin bedtime and possibly more design/craft work until my bedtime
that’s pretty much it, day after day after day, i told you i don’t sit still!

What can you not live without in your studio?
that’s a toss up between my pile of vintage sheets and a red uni-ball onyx pen! the beautifully worn patterns on the sheets make me smile every time i look at them. whenever i sew using the sheets, the end product has that wonderful mix of whimsy and a feeling of home. the graphic designer in me is addicted to the red pens for marking up changes and writing to-do lists. i buy them in packs of 30 because it puts a serious damper on my day if i can’t find one to write with.

What is the best find you’ve bought at an estate or yard sale? And can we see a photo of it?
a four foot round off-white coffee table. i love it and shed a tear each time one of my munchkins leaves a stray pen mark on it. but i guess that’s what is great about decorating your house with older pieces. the more stains and scratches they get, they better they look!

As you gear up for the fall show season, what product are you most excited about receiving feedback on? I always find that when something feels really, really right....I am right it sells!
definitely my botanical prints! i am so excited to have something to sell that was created solely from my own hand from start to finish. they are so near to my heart and i can’t wait to see the public's reaction.

What are your dreams for Linwood Avenue?
i work so hard in building linwood avenue because i have hopes of it one day becoming my main source of income. i come from a long line of entrepreneurs and i have great expectations that i can and will make this business thrive!

short term goal: become published in a national magazine
a long term “dream big” goal: license my botanical artwork for stationery, calendars, wall art, etc.

thank you, so, so much for taking the time to interview me. i can hardly believe all the amazing artists i have met through this online world we live in. it is a constant source of inspiration, encouragement and opportunity for me and i don’t know where linwood avenue would be without it.


Spelling JOY

About a month ago I decided to purge the magazine pile.  A fun afternoon activity, mindless really.  I casually flipped through each one before tossing it into the recycle pile.  I pulled this from Country Living Magazine in March of 2007: 

"How do you spell joy?  Joy springs from creativity.  So, tap into yours.  See in new ways, work in new ways, and delight at being unique.  Creativity is all about new beginnings.  Spell joy your way-and follow it with your heart. "

This school year has really started me down a path of renewal for what I am doing as an artist.  New products are being made, painting compositions are spilling into my sketchbook, the sewing machine has made its debut on the art table and jewelry inspirations are tacked to the window.  Yes, it's a time where following my heart is an easy ride.  And joy, well if you take a peek at any of my work you can see that joy is something I do not have a problem sharing.

So tell me, how are you spelling joy right now?


A Little Birdie on the Shelf

This morning after my boxing class totally wiped me out I decided  therapy at the local Books a Million was totally in order before the day went any further.  If you've ever read my "about me" page you know that this is where I go when I need such therapy and it is always accompanied by a cup of super hot coffee (and today a raisin cookie...shhhhh..)  While cruising the crafty rack, which is super low for some reason, I spied this magazine in the racks and did a little happy squeal!  Which btw in a bookstore is kind of like squealing in a library and totally frowned upon.  Oh well.....

Yep.  There are those super darn cute birdies again!  This time for celebrating a special occasion.  Cake toppers are always a treat to make.  I've made several wedding toppers, baby shower toppers and soon a custom 1st birthday!  Please feel free to send me an email if you ever need a silly bird to adorn your cake!

And how ironic that the check came in the mail today for this article...woohooo.....And I'm making more birds right now too!  Crazy signs. 


Something You Don't Know

So today I thought I'd share something about me that you'd probably in a million years never guess that I like.  Here's a hint:

I didn't remember to bring the good camera along, so these are fuzzy cell phone pics.  Can you tell where we are?  I forget sometimes how lucky we are to be Atlanta suburbans.  I get so caught up in my little slice of the world, forgetting that Atlanta is minutes away.  At least I do, my husband goes there everyday to work.  Atlanta has EVERYTHING you could ever want to do or see:  largest Aquarium, World of Coke, first class museum, theater as good as New York, professional baseball, football, basketball, and hockey, IKEA, beautiful parks and the Altanta Motor Speedway.   Which brings me to this photo:
Last night Billy and I attended our first night race.  I am thinking I like the night better than the day!  Races are an amazing experience....the noise alone can make your head spin!  Billy is not the biggest fan of going to these, but he knows I do, so when we are given an opportunity to attend, he always says yes.  By the way, the headphones are not for noise control.  Sitting in the boxes you don't need ear plugs.  Those are scanners headphones.  You can listen to your favorite driver talk to his pit and hear his eagle eyes telling him where the cars around him are.  It's pretty cool.  I don't really know anything about the drivers, except who is really young and who is really sweet on the eyes. 

I enjoy it because it tickles all 5 senses:  the ears (no explanation needed), the eyes (OK, race fans are fabulous people to watch), nose (between the concessions and the car fumes your nose is in hyper drive), taste (where else can you drink beer and eat cotton candy?), and touch....well the cars you're not supposed to touch in the garages but I sure want to feel the slick metal under my fingers!  Anyhoo....I just thought I throw you off a bit and share something about me I know you'd never guess that I like.  Hope you have a wonderful Labor Day!!

What's in Your Hair?

So what do you have in your hair accessory drawer?  Well, you NEED a Chevy for sure!  These will be available at the Naked Art Gallery and Norcross Art Festival the first weekend in October!!


Grocery Shopping with Artist Hands

Earlier this week Mailey and I headed to the store to "pick up a few things".  I have routines for this sort of errand (Mondays for instance are my errand running day). So night time grocery runs are not part of the routine, and usually end up costing me more than planned.  BUT, Billy needed something or another so I asked Mailey if she wanted to join me.  She eagerly said "YES!"  and scurried away.  I found her in the art studio cutting this paper and writing in big sharpie the following items.  Her grocery list that is. 

So to translate my lefty, left brained, creative child's handwriting for you she needs the following in her buggy:  white cheese means provolone, gum is just gum, pufs are actually toddler sweet potato puff snacks, yogert is yogurt, gumyes are fruit snacks, and eney froot is any fruit.  So we arrive at Publix and she wants her own buggy for her food selections.  We cruise up and down the aisles together gathering our items on our lists.  For some reason she pulls up next to me at some point, looks down and exclaims quite loudly, "MOM, you need to paint your toenails!"  What?  I look down to find clean, unpolished toes just as I like them these days.  It's weird I know, but I am not into polish right now.  Mailey I say, my toes are just fine, have you seen my fingernails?

Yep, I think they may need a little help.  And Mailey definitely agreed. 


And the Winner is....

WOOHOO!  carlanda! 

she said the following in her comment:
I love your blog and all work work!  (me blushing) especially old trailers.  i guess right now it would have to be metal, since i am taking a metalsmithing class from stephanie lee.  way fun and different.  pick me please!!

So a funny story about this.....I printed out the comments, cut them up and placed them in a bowl, actually the first bowl wasn't BIG enough, so I chose a second bowl.  (I BIG puffy heart comments!!)  I tried to get Lily in on the drawing which only freaked her out.  So instead I sat down, closed my eyes and picked.  And then giggled, because this sweet lady I met in Las Vegas at Art and Soul.  We took Lisa Kaus's class together.  We just happened to be getting our supply of paint at the same time, and unfortunately for her the red I chose was really excited about the class as well because upon opening it it exploded.  Literally up and all over Carlanda.   Well Carlanda, I guess this is the dutch door theory in action, we opened the top half in Vegas, the bottom half today!  So congrats.  Send your address my way (again) and I'll get your truck in the mail Tuesday!!

Field Trip Friday...Intown Quilters

As a child, I LOVED field trips days.  I can still remember visiting the Barber's Ice Cream factory in elementary school.   At the end of the tour they gave us each a fudgesicle. It was the best fudge pop ever!  To this day the thought of heading out to knew places still holds an elementary school excitement in my heart.  So I've decided to start sharing these adventure with you!  I'm calling the blog series "Field Trip Friday".  Now, they may not be appearing every week, I do work ya know, but when they do happen, this is when and where they will be shared! 

Now a really good field trip is always accompanied by a friend.  And this week it was with my sewing genuis girlfriend Ashley.   Together we visited a quilting shop in Atlanta called Intown Quilters.  Let me prepare you for what you are about to see.....color schemes to die for, patterns, patterns and patterns.  Holy tamoly, it was heavenly!  It's in a cute little house.....so imagine room after room filled with patterns....patterns...did I mention PATTERNS?  I did one run through of the whole store.  Then I started pulling.  It was funny, at one point Ashley said to me, "sorry if I seem kind of out of it....I get that way in here."  I was too.  Seriously, I couldn't even focus on one pattern before my eye got caught by another.  I was speechless, which is so not like me! 

This was a bin of fat quarters at the check out area.  There were bins like this everywhere.  Like those little candy dishes your grandmother keeps out all over the house with candy in them for you to just grab one or two as you walk by.

Why do I need all this fabric you ask?  Well my friends, the new bird pattern I am making requires a patterned body and felt on the bottom (which is opposite of my old pattern).  And since in Newnan we have only Hobby Lobby for fabric buying, driving an hour north to this little fabric heaven was well worth the drive.
This is me in the Amy Butler corner.  And if you really know me, and my house, and my obsession with her and her fabric, I was a little AMY high in this corner.  Yep, could have crawled up into the shelves and stayed for a spell. 
There were samples of projects everywhere and more sewing patterns than you could shake a stick at.  And doll clothes patterns and little girl clothes patterns, and book, and trims, and ribbons, and zippers, and Yep.  I really was really really dizzy when I left.  Although I left without spending a fortune somehow....I was very discerning with my bird fabric picking.  I have in my head how I want them to look, so it was easy to say yes and no to the fabrics.  But for my house, I picked way too many for the number of rooms I have!

Lastly I choose a jellyroll of fabric.  I always wanted to know what those were for, they are so stinking cute.  But seriously, what can you possibly sew with a 2" wide long strip of fabric?  Um.....see those flowers above.  I know, I know....I love them too!!  I see flower pins for your sweaters, purses, scarves, etc.  I'm making them now as you read this I bet.  :)  I cut bird bodies out at baseball practice last night and plan to start stitching those tonight.  Busy fingers here in the Horne house this holiday weekend!  Hope you have a creative one as well!

PS......Give away announced later tonight.  So check tomorrow for the results!
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