Marist Holiday Traditions

Well, tonight I am shrinking my last pair of earrings, adding black chain to the last statement necklace, and of course whipping up some new price labels.  Tomorrow is set-up day for MARIST!  Wahooey!  Seriously I am very excited.  It's like getting ready for Prom.  So Marist shoppers I am ready for you (minus the dress of course)!  Here are a few new items for this show season:

And like the price label states, yes you will be stopped and asked where you got this fun bauble for your neck.  I've got 20 made....20 different designs as well.  I just could not decide which art I liked better!  It's like wearing a little painting on your neck. 
I needed something for the man in your life, or boss, or other folk you just never can figure out what to get.  And it's that magic price.  Yep.
And my personal new favorite, earrings.  And if I told you what they were made out of, you'd laugh.  Well alright..... twist my arm.  They are shrinky dinks.  See I told you.....go ahead and laugh.  And then punch yourself for not thinking of it.

So here's the nitty on where to go and buy these items this weekend on this website:  The Marist School Holiday Traditions.  Over 250 vendors for your shopping fun.  I do hope to see you there.  I am in the Kurht Gym.  I'll be the one with the giant grin (because I love my artsy life) and maybe a modified prom up-do (it gets fairly hot in the gym).  :)  Jenni



It was about two weeks ago that as a family we were laying around, enjoying the fall weather and a little Auburn football.  For some reason late Saturday night I decided I HAD to make something.  The kids were situated, Billy was situated, and I was antsy.  So off to the garage I went seeking out supplies.  I didn't want to paint and the family dislikes it when I make jewelry because its loud.  Hmmm... so I grabbed a block of floral foam, large bowl and paper mache.  Yep.  Oh, and a steak knife and some duck tape.  This beautiful angel was created from those ingredients.

I love to take pictures of my process, and I will show you one day, but for now here is the end result.  After finishing the mache body, I baked her....and baked her....until finally all that paper mache was dry.  And then she sat for almost two weeks.  I wasn't ready to make her come alive I suppose.  Then Monday I started painting, adding glitter, and adding details.  And then the sewing machine came out for wings and the tutu.  And more glitter was added.  It was such a nice change from my normal art making routine.  So nice.

For now Cherish is sitting in my studio looking down on my art desk.  I like having her there.  She's a gentle reminder that I do Cherish this little life of mine.  And embrace all it's ups and downs.  It has been a strange and very emotional month for our family on so many levels.  I think this angel was created by my hands to symbolize the change that is coming and to remind me that yes, being an artist is at the core of my heart.  And that although some of the change is uncomfortable, it is a part of the process of growing and becoming a stronger self.

So here are some of the things I cherish right now:  family, friends, a good night's sleep, a yummy dinner, finished art projects, eager art students, time alone, time with good company, a sleeping cuddling dog on my lap in my art chair, kissing my children good night, watching them sleep, my vision for my creative career, and last.....my supportive and strong husband. 
I hope you are having a lovely week and are able to take some time to think about what you cherish.


Staying True but Adding Sparkle

This will be my second year of Holiday shows.  And this week is the benchmark for the madness to begin.  5 days until show #1 of 4.  One thing I learned last year was this.....so listen up all you art show folks, this is a lesson I learned the hard way and don't want you to.  There are major differences between a "Holiday" show and an "Art" show.  By this, I do not mean that any is better than the other, you just have to be mentally prepared as well as product prepared for which one you are participating.  Last year I took my paintings and everything else I make....the whole kit and caboodle to all my shows.  And although my paintings made the booth pretty in the Holiday shows, as a general rule people (and  just to clarify, holiday show people are women....women on missions without their kids or husbands) do not buy original works of art for the Mother-in-laws, teachers, friends, family, etc.  So keeping this in mind this year, I have made an entire line of products that are very true to my aesthetic as an artist, but are in a price point true to my buyer. 

First up for you to take a sneaky peeky are my ornaments.  I quickly learned that ornaments are hot sellers at Holiday shows (I know, no duh right?)
These birds I found at a favorite Flea Market, and literally I bought every single one totaling about 72 I think.  They were plane jane wooden birds on the perches with an obnoxious pointy thing on the top of their heads.  I carefully Dremel sawed the thingy off, hand painted each one a favorite color, sanded them, hand sparkled and added vintage music paper wings.  They are just so darn pretty I can't stand it!!

And like I said, very true to who I am as an artist.  Little birds....little perches....and all painted in my favorite hues.   Like I said, staying true but adding a little sparkle.  And who doesn't like a little sparkle this time of year?


Country Living Fair Atlanta

What a great weekend in Atlanta!  The Country Living Fair came our way this year and Mom, Molly, Fielding and I were there.  Actually, this is my second CLF....my first one to attend was the FIRST one held in New York City's Central Park.  Valerie and I went together.  I think it was probably 4 years ago?  It was a very small event with only Country Living tents... you see they set up tons of giant tents like a revival almost.  Folding chairs in rows with a stage up front, with each tent a different area of their magazine.  Like the magazine literally comes to life in front of you.  It was great, but very small scale.  In Stone Mountain park on Friday though, it was anything but small!  They had the giant Country Living tents with demonstrations, etc but they also had hundreds of small vendor tents.  I can not even tell you how amazing in words all the booths were.  From upscale antiques, to small town artisans like me, there were enough vendors to keep us there for 6 hours. 

And crowded......holy tamoly it was crowded.  In fact we were really glad we were able to stay late because after about 2 o'clock we were able to go back through and actually get into some tents we'd loved early on.  At 10am people were literally packing the walkways like sardines....and the tents, well it was a peek and walk on situation.
This booth was one of my favorites only because her furniture literally looks like my house.  Each piece would slide right on in and be right at home in our little home.  And the couch she had, covered in crewel and linen.....holy tamoly once again.  I may have drooled on it.  seriously.
I am a nut about booth set-up.  And this show did not disappoint.  Look at the little store front they made above?  I wonder if I can make a facade for my Mattie booths?  I've got a roof rack now!  hmmmmm...  At some booths where the "hot" items were, the lines to check out were like black Friday.  Cracked me up.  I wanna be a vendor next year with a black Friday line!!
So my total weakness these days are fabrics and notions.  And my empty wallet now feels the pain of this tiny obsession.  However, everything I bought will be put to very good use.....sometime.  We stayed until the very end, going around twice so as not to miss a thing.  I bought teacher gifts, family gifts, notions, fabrics, and other goodies.  And the ideas....well let's just say my trip to Hobby Lobby today was a doozy.  And I can't wait to get started on the ideas for my Christmas shows coming around the corner and of course my fun booth at the Flea.  It's going to be briming with birds and tons of sparkles.  So more pictures of there fair are here (my fb page).

Anyhoo....I hope you all have had a lovely fall weekend.  We sure have!


Pumpkin Carving Time!

Carving pumpkins with my father has always been a fond memory of mine.  Years of orangy goo has tickled my fingers.  And a few weekends ago my children had the opportunity to follow in my footsteps. 
She is really beginning to favor me......like really.  William and Mailey both designed their own pumpkin face first on newspaper, then on the orange squash.  Mailey's was supposed to be a pig, William just a scary face.  But with Pawpaw in charge they soon took on more life including a banana pepper tongue and drilled hole freckles!

She loves goey messes and bugs much more than this pretty face below:
Look at all those yummy seeds!  Which of course I toasted up with some crazy salt and smart balance spray.  Have you ever tried toasted pumpkin seeds?  They are the best fall snack!
Posted by PicasaI was trying to get some shut eye in the hammock when these two monkeys climbed in for some Mommy love.
So here are those crazy pumpkin heads....my kids AND their pumpkins.  What a great day, and a memory that will last forever.


Headed to the Fair!

I love to go to the County Fair.  The smells, the tastes, the sounds.....it literally is an experience that teases all the senses!  Today my Mom, Sister and I are headed to the "grown up" fair, The Country Living Magazine fair!  It just happens to be traveling our way this year to Stone Mountain Park.  It's about a 45 minute drive from my home.  We are so very excited!  I'll be sure to post some pictures upon my return.  An artist friend of mine set up at the event and said it is literally the most amazing show she's ever taken part.  And coming from her in my book is HUGE!

If you want to know more go here to see if the fair is coming near you.


teaching......yes i do love it.

Last Friday morning I had the most amazing morning.  What did I do you ask?  Well.......I worked with 2 Trinity School in Atlanta kindergarten classes to create the most amazing bike paintings for their silent art auction!  Last year at the Trinity Spotlight on Art show I made a very subtle hint (hehehe) that working with the students on a painting for the auction would be something I'd love to do.  So this summer I got the letter asking me if I wanted to participate.  Well that was any easy answer, yep.  So here's the nitty gritty.  For 30 year's this school has put on the most unbelievable art show (more on this part later).  In recent years they've added to the fun a silent auction of the children's work.  But not just any work, a collaborative piece from each class with a specific artist as the guide.  Some kids have gotten to work with Steve Penley!!  (luv him....look him up and see why).  So honestly I am tickled to be amongst such giants.  And my kiddos did not disappoint at all! 

I prepared the wood with black gesso and chalk outlined the bikes.  The kids came in small groups and painted areas.  They painted like crazy and seemed to be totally pleased with their outcome. 

I know I am.  I had to take the paintings home to dry, clean up the chalk lines and add the words we voted to add.  Of course they'll be placed in my salvage wood frames.  I'll be sure to let you know in January what they sell for.......let's keep our fingers crossed they go for mucho bucks!!

Posted by PicasaThe second class made a more beachy bike.....aren't they cutey patootey kids??


Cutest Dogs on the Block

In my after school art classes this month we tackled clay.  Kids luuuuuvvvvv clay projects.  It's like Fun Dip on a hot summer day at the pool.  They luuuuuvvv it!! I usually do pots.....or birds....or nests.  But this go around I wanted them to make dogs.  And these dogs won't bark, poo, pee or be bad in anyway.  They are just too darn cute to be bad!!  So here they are after being fired waiting for their owners to pick them up.

Could you just take this one home or what?  He's howling at the moon!
 Look at the personalities that came out once painted!  From golden retrievers to polka dotted Dalmatians, we ended up with a true dog pound in the art room this month!

So what's on the agenda for this month.....van Gogh pastel flowers.  A project sure to be a Mother's favorite!


Adventure of A Lifetime

So this has been quite an adventurous week.  Yep.  Adventurous that is to a.... suburbanite.artist. wife.mother.wifeo'politician.obsessivehousecleaning.boxinglovin'.cookieeating.artteachingfool who is loving life right this minute.  I've done two things I've not done in almost 10 years in one week!  Wow.  I am literally taking my advice and 'making the adventure of a lifetime life itself".

So my two things......#1 I ran a 5K road race in 32 minutes yesterday (10 min. mile ok for an old lady) and #2 interviewed for a job.  Yes, I said J.....O.....B.  I know you are thinking you've got a job.  But this is a job that actually pays and I don't spend any money to make money.  I know artsy people there is hope.  I've got one more interview and then I can tell you more, but for now I am seriously loving this adventure.  Because no matter what the outcome of the "J" word is, the experience has kindled a flame I have a feeling is going to be burning awhile.


Field Trip Friday...Naked Art Gallery

When I head home to Birmingham I feel like I've got to squeeze as much into my time there as possible.  It's kind of silly really, it's only a three hour drive.  But in recent years my trips this way seem few and far between.  Luckily for me though, Vero at the Naked Art Gallery had her grand opening in the new space last weekend while I was there for my reunion.  So as a part of Field Trip Friday, here's a glimpse into the cutest gallery spot ever!  It's a field trip worth taking if you are looking for a day trip for sure!

I looooooove the new color scheme.....orange and naples yellow.  Two tubes of paint that are always in the paint bin.
 The gallery is located in a wonderful artsy community in Birmingham called Avondale Estates.  Lookey here at what a fun house she bought to place the gallery:
And boy were we tickled to walk onto the glass porch and find my artwork right there.  Like right there as you walk in.  I am totally flattered!!!!  The jewelry she has in this retro glass case in the second room back.

Vero was the first gallery to believe in my work.  So she has a very special place in my artsy heart.  I big puffy heart this new space and strongly encourage you to visit it in person!!  Oh and my solo show has finally been rescheduled for MARCH 4th.  So please mark your calendars.  The new space has an amazing room for solo shows.  I want so many people there the fire marshall comes to check it out!!


New Goodes!

On our way home from the reunion weekend Dad and I couldn't resist a stop at our favorite antiquing haunt in Opelika, AL...Angel's.  And lookey what we found for the soon to be outdoor living area at our home:

As soon as I found it I was like, "Awwwwww....look kids.  I could sit in this and watch you guys play basketball.  And it's a glider.  And it's mattie blue..."  And then I looked at the tag which said $79.00.  OK doable, but then looked up and saw the booth had a 40% off total booth sale which meant this baby was totally.....Sold. 
I also found this amazing half mannequin for modeling my jewelry as it's made, will be great for Etsy shots and perhaps end up one day in my dream adult bath.  And for just $25.00 it was like I said above.....SOLD.  So where is this amazing place?  Angel's is off 85 south from Atlanta at one of the Opelika exits.  Not sure which one, but there are plenty of billboards to guide you!!  Maybe I'll see you there sometime!


The BIG Weekend...It's Done

Whew.  The BIG weekend.  It's done. No more 20 year high school reunions for me.  Isn't that weird? There are very few moments in your life that you get to experience only once.  ONCE (have you really ever thought about that?)   And a 20 year high school thingy is one of them.  This past weekend was AMAZING!!  All the stressing, texting, emailing, and hard work seriously paid off.  Because everyone said as they were headed out the door late Saturday night, "THANKS".  And that word is like the sweetest candy ever.  So I know this is a blog about me as an artist, but I just HAD to show off a few pictures from the weekend.  The kids and I just got back tonight and I am beyond exhausted mentally and physically and am super glad the kids have one more day off from schooling.  We all need it. 

Friday night we all met at the football game.  High School football in the south is a serious deal, so of course the reunion was planned according to this.  We had a whole section blocked off in the bleachers with a wonderful turn-out of classmates.  Above is my BFF Aimee Robbins Nichols (and yes, she has always had that amazing red mane and amazing porcelain skin).  After the game we all headed to downtown Homewood to a super cool bar called Oak Hill.  We packed it out talking and cutting up until the weeeeee hours.  I really don't think my body has seen 2am in a long while, has yours?

Saturday during the day we all met with families in tow for a giant picnic in our local park.  It has been totally renovated since my childhood, but wormy up above is STILL there.  And still my favorite to climb (although in a pair of skinny jeans I'll admit is not as easy to climb!).   We also invited all our teachers to the picnic which was really cool.  I just wish Mr. Shelby had been there.  :(
 Here are my mini me's and Suzan's mini-me's.  Man, are we in trouble with those two babies in the middle! 
So here's the gang minus a few sweet friends (Heidi and Betty weren't there yet, and Amy wasn't there at all shame shame).   Jani Farr, Me, Suzan Summers Brandt and Aimee Robbins Nichols...we were also part of the reunion planners.  When you decide to be class officers in High School you really should be told that the job never ends and includes reunion planning for life.  But in all honestly it was all GOOD.  really.

I can't tell you how many times I heard, "YOU look exactly the same!"  I guess that's good, although I think I look better with few little wrinkles and blonder hair!  Mailey totally pointed this out to me by the way.  I think her words were, "Mommy why didn't you dye your hair back then?"  Well, because NO one dyed their hair back then, or straightened it with flat irons.  "Oh.  Well you guys should have."  Ok 8 year old daughter.    Hehehe...  The kids and I have spent the past two days napping, boat riding, and pumpkin carving at Pawpaw's fish camp.  Tomorrow we have another day off from schooling.  I think the plan is this...sleep late, unpack, head to Atlanta for some shopping and then a fundraiser for Daddy at the Five Season's Brewing.  Such a fun little day 20 years after graduating from High School.  So what are you doing on Tuesday?


Home Will Always Know Me.....and a little giveaway

I don't know if you've read my "about me" page before, but I am from Birmingham, Alabama.  I grew up in the most amazing city surrounded by friends and family my whole little life.  Seriously when I think back on my childhood, the memories flood my head with giant puffy heart moments. 

I bring the nostalgic up because this weekend is my 20 year high school reunion.  Yep.  20!  I am beyond excited to see everyone as it has been so long for many of us.  I was cutting and pasting senior pictures onto nametags just an hour ago wondering how they look, what they are doing now, where they live, etc!  The questions are sure to get answered as we have an entire weekend planned!  Yippee!!  So as I am a wee bit overwhelmed with the last minute details (I was class president...who'd a thunk that now?), I'll not be back here until Tuesday when we return.  I didn't want you to think I didn't like you anymore. 

BUT, if you're up to it, here's a bit of homework for ya.  Yes, you read me right, I said a bad word in my blog.  I'd love to know what home would remember about you.  What was your footprint growing up? Leave it in the comment section.  And yes, there will be a gift for your HOME for one lucky reader.  (as in GIVEAWAY people)

Here's my answer:  Home knows my voice.  Literally.  I was a singer, known for this in the community, school and church.  I am also painfully loud when I talk and upon reading old report cards a few teachers thought so too.  :)


Yahooey Etsy Shop Updated!

Seeing as how I've shown my etsy shop NO lovin' for a spell, this is truly an exciting evening. Truly.  So step on into artsyorange's shop and well.....shop!!  There are 16 necklaces, lots of prints and a few feathery friends now available.  If I feel punchy tomorrow I just might list an original or two.  :)


Love the Way You Make a Living

"Love the way you make a living".....so how many of you reading this can actually say "I DO!"?  Let me tell ya, right now I DO!  Norcross Art Fest far exceeded my expectations this year.  I want to give a HUGE shout out to all of you who came out to the festival and supported the artists.  This was my third time to participate, so now I consider myself an old pro at setting up for this particular event.  The weather Saturday was perfect....Sunday got a little windy which in a 10x10 tent can be a little scary.  My birdies really wanted to learn to fly let's just say!  There was a constant flow of happy visitors, many with their puppies, and all were very pleased with the quality and variety of artisans who participated.  So on a scale, this was definitely a 10!  I'm going to share some photos of my booth here today.  Later this week I may show some more off....but today I promised my self NO WORK.  I've not had a day off literally in about 3 weeks.  Lily and I plan to lay on the couch and watch chick flicks all day.  It's going to be so relaxing.......So enjoy my virtual tour.  I'll see you later in the week!

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