One Busy Weekend

Last night I couldn't sleep. It was like Santa was coming today for some reason. My head was spinning with remember this and remember that, set up this set up that, etc. You see, I am headed to The Weselyan School in Norcross, GA for their annual Spotlight on Art this afternoon. It's a great show. The opening reception is tonight, Friday is 8am-7PM and Saturday is 10-2. I can not wait to meet new buyers and talk about all the new work I have to share. It's going to be great.On my way home Saturday I'll have to swing by The Vintage-Flea to grab extra goodies from my booth, then the storage unit for display screens. I'll spend the night getting ready to go out again on Sunday. Sunday is Serenbe's annual May Day event. I LOVE this show. Really. Tons of very happy people. And a fabulous environment to boot! Whew. But that's not all......
On the home front my son William has a baseball game tonight and Saturday. Mailey has Brownies Friday PM. Both kids have their annual Field Day festivities on Friday. Our annual church BBQ is Saturday where my husband is one of the meat cookers. Now a BBQ? Big deal you say. But this is serious beef BBQ. We make about $25,000 on this fundraiser every year. So yeah, it's a big deal. And it's so good it'll make you slap yo' mamma!
And if that wasn't enough to make your heads SPIN. Today is day 40 of this legislative session. For those of you not in Georgia, our legislative session is only 40 days. But these are not consecutive....nope. Billy started the "official" 40 days in January. You do the math on that one. Let's just say this has been a very, very long session. I may head down to the Capitol to hang out after my reception tonight. They will pound the ginormous gavel at 12 midnight. It's a cool tradition I don't want to miss. Or I may fall out in my hotel room and dream of selling all my paintings. I hope you have a wonderful weekend......and if you are anywhere near these two shows please come by and say "HAY! I read your blog!" That'd be so swell. Later....J


Spreading Love

I firmly believe that spreading love and kindness on your relationships lead to long lasting ones. And today, I'm spreading a little your way. I finished up the last of the new paintings today. Whew. It's been a very exciting time in the studio with my brushes. I drew most of them out last Tuesday so I could keep momentum going. But then along the way I got inspired to do one of these and one of those, and the next thing you know I now have 30 new paintings already packed in my car for the Wesleyan Show this weekend. Yep. I said 30. Now, many are ittle bitty for me. Like the top flower for instance, the image size is like 3" x 15". Lots are under $200.
And lots with hearts. I noticed this trend as I was photographing them all today.

This last one is a new favorite (It's about 12"x16"). The colors in person just "wham" ya. The bottom corner (which I cropped out by accident I see) says, "How to grow love". And the jars say, "Patience, trust, joy and kindness." I showed my husband and he said, "I like it, but you need a lot more than just those four things to grow love." Huh. Maybe he needs some hearts thrown his way? I have been a little absent this past week. Now that the paintings are done and I can CLEAN this place up I can throw hearts all over the place. For starters, I am going to throw a little magic into the pot of homemade spaghetti sauce on the stove. Nothing like hot garlic bread and homemade spaghetti sauce to make my family big puffy heart me again.;)


Get Out Your Sticky Notes Girls!

That's right girls, get out your sticky note pads, because this one is a keeper. It's a real motivator, a real kick in the pants, and a real Hallmark sticky note word to the wise. Ready........read..... Laugh! Now, I have a pretty good sense of humor (I think). I mean, I make people around me laugh all the time. I know, that could be a sense of naivety, not sense of humor. But laughter, whether through my naive comments, or my true witty wisdom is the best medicine for the soul.
So many words in my art lately. Don't know where this is coming from. But I like it. Most are not my words, but I like them anyways. These are my words though. Should I patent them now? Or is it copyright? Whatever it is, I don't think anyone would steal my panty line. Get it? See I told you I'm funny! :)


What I've Been Up To....

Of course I did a little more playing with the Brownie camera today. And I worked on a few new paintings for an upcoming show.This afternoon I laid down for a spell. Now, this is not a normal activity for me. I have to be beyond tired to even think about sitting for a spell, much less close my eyes before 9PM. But my body and mind needed a break. Mailey and William were playing with friends, so the house was quiet. I never really got to sleep, but rather a completely restful state. And that's when I got the idea for a new jewelry piece. See here:
OK, maybe you can't really see it that well. So here it is in full focus with my Rebel friend:

It's a little family tree necklace. It looks super cool on too. Ah.....back to the brushes now. Oh, and here's a Rebel friend picture of the new paintings. The one on the right says,
"Only from the heart can you reach the sky". Little blue bird is releasing heart balloons to his love that's sits on the moon for him. Aw....I really should work for Hallmark, don't you think?


Maybe I'll Paint Later...

Ok. I was about to paint and then I was like, "I wonder how my new camera would do with my colorful art supplies?" And here you go: And what about my little camper and Jenni letters.......
Oh man, I've got a PINK bike I could use too and prop it in front of the playhouse........can you tell I got really excited? My kids came home fom school and I showed them my contraption (actually William was like Mom, what are you doing with that pringles can on top of that old camera? And why is your camera on top of it all?). They were like, "Mom that is sooooo cool. Can we take some?" Not yet. I'm on a roll kids!

Yep. On a roll. Now I wonder where I can find an old truck parked? Gotta go!!

I Should be Painting but....

A new toy came in the mail and well....this is what I've been doing all afternoon. I really can't even express in words how excited I am about this new toy. Seriously I am in awe. These pictures are so mysterious, so soft, so.....well, perfect.

Now I am off to paint in my very cool sunroom studio. Lily is already nestled in my lap and snoring. The life of an artist. I think I like it right now. Yep, ginormous smile running across my face right now.


Where Are You Going Tonight?

I'd like to take a drive at night somewhere where the stars are so bright they sparkle like millions of diamonds. Then I'd lay down the tailgate, spread out a cozy blanket and gaze upwards. Of course a nice glass of red wine would accompany me during this gazing. And I'd watch for shooting stars. My wish should I see one? Well now, wishes don't come true if you share them!


Being a Mamma Bird

Being a Mamma bird can be, well hard sometimes. You work hard to build the nest, then protect the eggs and of course nurture the babies. It's easy to isolate yourself while in the process of all these stages and try to do it all alone. Sometimes it's just plain easier to do it yourself than teach someone else you say. I know, I've been there. But as I was driving home from Birmingham today enjoying this amazing day, I had this thought process about the Mamma Bird. Before a bird can become a Mamma, she has to build a nest. She uses branches fallen from her nature friends, fur from the family pets, dryer lint from the laundry of the house she has decided to call her own, wrappers from the Popsicles the children have left unattended in the yard, and other trinkets left behind from the family. Without those things, her nest would not be as warm, as strong or as inviting.
After the show yesterday I was very thankful to have my family, friends and you there to support me throughout the day. For each of you play an important part in making my creative nest a success. And without even the smallest twig, it could come completely apart. I am not sure I verbalize enough how very much I appreciate all the support I receive during an art show weekend. From the physical support, to the emotional support, each plays a vital role.
So as I traveled the I-20 route back to my warm home, I enjoyed being so content in my heart and mind. I thought a lot about the future of my creative career and the dreams I have. But one breath at a time I will move forward. I will listen to what my heart says and always be mindful of what I need to nurture my family and myself at the same time. Upon my arrival home I was greeted by an exuberant Lily dog, warm embrace from my sweet husband and a "Welcome Home Mommy" poster and drawing of Mailey and I holding hands taped to the walls. Oh wow, with every breath I take my life becomes more and more complete and so very full.
And my nest, well it's very tightly woven together right now, with lots of Popsicle wrappers for added sweetness. xo Jenni


Where are you going?

Here's where I'll be going THIS WEEKEND with all my new jewelry (like 75 new items, you should see my fingernails!)and a few new paintings. This show I added sorta last minute. And since I run a tight timeline before shows, paintings were not to be started until next week for the Wesleyan Show. So today I made a few new ones that I love, plus I have the few from last week. So if you live in the Birmingham area, come out and see me. This community is amazing! Next week I'll be back to show some of the lovelies I've been working on all week. See you then!


On Being Famous

One day I'd like to be rich and famous. Isn't that what we all said at age 5? Well, still holding onto that dream, I am ever hoping to have someone "discover" my art and whisk me away into the land of mass production ease. Not that being made in China is what will make me famous. However being reproduced by a large company can reach such a broader audience. And in the end, if my work and the message behind my work can reach across the nation, well then that be just dandy. Don't you think? But alas, my Fairy Godmother has yet to find me. So I trudge on in my own little sweat shop coming up with new products for you. And this one I am most excited about! I found these wall hooks at a local craft store on clearance. I immediately thought, "I can totally cover that icky image with my awesome art!" And so I printed, color copied, cut and attached the images to these wall hooks.
And I love them all!! They will be available for sale this weekend at the Mount Laurel Spring Show right outside of Birmingham, Alabama from 10-4. After that they will head to my new and improved LARGE booth at The Vintage Flea. Woohoo....


Definately by a Man.....

So today I decided that this new drill, that I LOVE, was designed by a man. Yep. A man with a sense of humor even, or maybe a sick sense of humor. Well, why Jenni do you think this? I'll just tell you. So today I am toodling along on all my projects for this weekend's show. I love the week before a show. The excitement, the packing, the last minute details. Love it. And then the drill dies. Drats. Now I've yet to have to recharge the new drill, so I slide off the battery from the bottom of the handle, find the charger plug that came with the drill and begin a search. A search to find where the heck to stick this plug so I can charge the battery. Hum.........I searched, and searched. And since I think manuals are for sissies and they clutter my house, but seriously if you saw my house, and the things I keep this statement is really not true!
So I begin to get a weeeee bit frustrated. Alas, my computer will find the answer! So I search for a manual online and find photos instead of my drill for sale. Ok, so check to be sure I have everything. Check. But maybe I was supposed to buy a charging base separate? So I call Lowe's. Yep. Called Lowe's just like a dingy blond would to ask how to charge my drill. Seriously. And the very nice gentleman explained to me that yes, I would need to charge the battery on the drill when it died. No duh. And he assured me that there was a base to plug this battery into. And I assured him that there was not a base and that what I had in my hand was a wall plug and pokey thing. And the pokey thing had no hole to plug into the base. While politely explaining this to him I walked into the sunroom, looked down at the drill on the floor and saw this:

Yes the HOLE. On the back of the handle of the drill. I explain to the gentleman that I have finally found the hole and he says to me, "You aren't supposed to charge the handle, just the battery. The battery is what needs to be plugged in and charged." I gently explained to him that the hole in which to stick the pokey thing was in the handle and NOT the battery. Actually the battery had to be re-slid onto the drill to charge! He was completely confused at this point and I said very politely thanks but I've got it now and have a fabulous day. Good bye.
So here she sits on the counter by our yummy cookies charging away. Yeah! Oh I almost forgot, the part about this definitely being designed by a man. Despite the ridiculous sliding off of the battery, I mean why? It doesn't do anything on it's own does it? Why not keep it attached? But just look at where and how this thing charges. I'm just saying.........
(you get it yet?)


My Heart is Really, Really Full

So our trip away was just what the three of us needed. I was totally unplugged and totally focused on my sweet children. It's amazing how good they really can be when they are given 100% of my true focus. Have you ever noticed this about your kiddos? Even just a few minutes makes them so happy and full filled inside. There was no real fancy entertaining at the lake, just simple laid back focus on being together. And being lazy. So here's a list of the favorite activities while at the lake. Keep in mind it was too cold to swim, but swimming will be added to the list when it gets warmer! 1. walks around the marina to the point by the vintage Pepsi sign
2. making clover flower necklaces and bracelets
3. finding heart rocks (and a heart leaf)
4. learning how to skip rocks
5. swinging in the hammock
6. eating outside on the huge picnic table that Pawpaw made
7. learning how to play Old Maid
8. coloring in old fashioned coloring books on the camp style bunk beds
9. fishing and not catching a thing, but loosing a bunch of bait!
10. watching the Sunset

The other amazing thing about our three days away was the quietness I felt inside my heart. The sense of calm that everything upon our return was going to be just fine. It's been such a stressful few months around our little home. And having a few days to refocus and dream about my future was really, really good. Sometimes I think we all need to do a little more dreaming about who we want to become. If you dream about it enough, sometimes it even comes true.
I also like to dream about their future. Right now they are so full of potential. Mailey is our little inventor, confident and always full of surprises. William is sensitive, nurturing and talented in sports and art. And little Fielding above, my sister's happy baby, is watching them both like a little sponge learning how to love and how to be loved by so many. So lucky are they to be surrounded by so much love and happiness.

So I will continue to dream for my children, and promise to take time to focus on their little hearts more. They complete me, and make my heart really, really full.

This picture is from our last morning. We took the time to walk alone, skip rocks and just listen to the world around us. I of course had out my camera and just clicked away. I tried to capture them in action, in their own. I love to watch and listen to how they interact together. William was trying to show her which rocks skip better, Mailey was more into just chucking big rocks back into the water. And I just watched and giggled at their amazing differences. And dreamed of their futures.


Words and Art

Placing words on my art has always been something I wanted to try. And since I've been in an experimenting mood, here they go:
**note on the above, I took this photo at night with artificial light. I have found that natural light and no flash capture my art the best. If you take photos of your own art you should try this: find a spot in your yard where you get no shadows, maybe shaded. Stand over your art and take the photo from above. You can always crop later. When I do this I never have to do any light adjusting in photoshop. The above is really dull compared to the real image. darn.

These were also all made using black gesso as the base. I tried to leave outlines around everything with the black. It was hard to cover the black gesso, but I really like the outlines it leaves behind when you leave a gutter around the positive spaces.
I'm off to Alabama for a few days. It's Spring Break for the kiddos. We usually travel as a family during this week, but unfortunately the legislative session is running long this year, and Billy has to stay behind. Total bummer, but proud of what he's accomplished this session. With so many changes at the national level, the trickle affect for the states is taking it's toll on our state government. But he stands strong on what is right for the people he represents.


So I Did Get My Brushes Out

After a yummy lunch with our family, a little napping, watching the movie Blind Side with William and an icy cold mug of brew, I started to paint. And paint, and paint. I just could not stop! It was liberating and fun and exciting! I was able to get 5 smaller paintings finished last night. My goal was to be looser with my paint brush. And since I had not started any with texture and was too impatient to layer the texture, sleep and then paint, I just kept layering and layering the paint onto the wood surface to obtain these really exciting new compositions:

I am headed to Hobby Lobby to buy some black gesso. I am thinking I may like the outlines left behind from the black gesso. I've also started a tandem bike, some funky lollipop flowers and some more back yard birds. I bought this great Georgia Backyard bird field guide which is where the inspiration for all the little tweets have come from. Off I go!!


Company's Coming!

When you invite a bunch of people over for dinner, are you like me and feel like you've gotta transform your house? You know, like re-do something or do a massive clean out or your know maybe paint something? No? Ok. I thought I was a little impulsive crazy and now I know! Ha! But seriously, I do have this urge when I know company's coming. I suppose since we never entertain, I get so excited when we do that my nervous energy turns on the house and I do things I'd had on the "honey do list" for months. So Saturday night we were supposed to have a bunch of our baseball team over for a cook out and flash light Easter egg hunt. We all agreed that our boys were not too old for egg hunting, but the church egg hunt did. So a flash light hunt seemed the perfect plan! Except, the boys played in a baseball shoot out and guess what, they of COURSE made it to the championship game, which was played at 8:00PM last night. And we lost, and no one got to come over. Yep. Total bummer on many, many levels. Good news though, my little house got a much needed face lift and now I am motivated to do more!So here's my spicey front door. I've been wanting to fill holes in the trim from decorations and give the door a fresh lighter look. Whatcha think? I just love it! Really lightens up the little front door nook. I am on the look now for this front door mat I saw at out Target with blue birds on it. Of course when I went to buy it the other day it was gone. Surely I can find it at another store.

Always the store owner, I had to put a vignette in the yard to represent spring. So I unearthed the old red wagon, painted it blue and planted it with white inpatients and some yellow flowers. Love the chick I found at Scott's awhile back. This is at the front right as you walk to the door. I had to do something with the negative space where the GIANT bushes once laid. Yep, the other crazy project I started.
So here's my little cottage. With 14 year old boxwoods all across the front. We don't believe in "grooming" them into crazy little shapes. We like free form. And so they have free formed for 14 years into these massive forms. Practically covering the house. So Thursday afternoon I decided to trim them back, and clean out the beds, etc. Since we were having an egg hunt I figured the yard needed a little sprucing up as well. Well, you see I started where the circle is drawn above with hedge clippers (which during this time I hedge clipped the extension cord right in half ! Yikes!). During which I said to myself, "I really don't like these bushes any more. I think I'll dig them up." Yep. That's what I said, and what I started at 3 o'clock on Thursday afternoon. I gave out on bush #3. 14 year old roots I do believe grow to China. Geesh. So the arrow points to the ones that still need to go. A friend suggested tying it to the truck and gunning it. I'm afraid that the roots are attached to the house and that if I do that the house will follow suit! So, it's Easter morning and my body after almost three days of company coming work is exhausted. I am really looking forward to lunch with my wonderful family, a little egg hunting, and later some painting. Yes, I am getting the paints back out. whooohoooo. I have a this whole new idea series in my head. And well, just like with the yard, my impulsive gotta do it behavior crosses over into all aspects of my little life. Hope you have a blessed day!!
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