Beautiful Breeze

Today as I was running around Lake Peachtree I found myself listening carefully to the sounds which surrounded me.  I am not using my ipod these days so I can allow my mind time to rest, time to cleanse my head in a way.  As much as I'd like to meditate in it's pure form, the act of stillness has not been perfected by my body.   I find running to be a way for me to meditate. 

The sounds which surrounded my 4 miles were the rhythms of my breath, beating of my heart, my feet hitting evenly on the pavement, the singing of  birds, the rustling of the tree branches, an occasional train whistling, the wind whistling in my ears......slowly the rhythms began to orchestrate a beautiful song.  And allowed my mind the freedom it needed from the day to day life. 

I wrote this quote some time ago in my journal, and thought how appropriate to add it to this particular painting. So sweet is the imagery placed with the gentle words. If you have the time, and a bit of patience, take yourself outside and sit and listen, or better yet run and listen. A song will find its way to you as well. And hopefully it will help you to cleanse and free your mind, preparing it for what it really needs to hear and see.   What lies ahead could be amazing.


House of Courage

This house was built on courage.  Courage is something must practice on a daily basis.  In fact, sometimes courage is what leads me here to reveal myself  in this blog.  It allows me to persevere through the week moments and face my fears.  This word makes me fearless in creating something from nothing.   It especially opens the doors to new ideas.   Those doors are revealing themselves by the dozens this week.  I am so very thankful that my heart is brave enough to open them and confident enough to keep them open.  I hope to be able to share these with you very soon!



Today I was reminded that life should be all about this one little word....joy.  And this word, well it keeps appearing in my paintings.  My heart leads me to put it there.  Like a sticky note on the mirror, a gentle reminder to feel joy, to create joy and to share joy.  Yep.  And like the joy embedded on the outside of the birdcage, it is definately not meant to be captured for a few but rather for us all.


Subtlle Simplicity

Subtle.  I have a hard time with this act......of being subtle.  Just being around me once you'd understand.  I have a very LOUD voice, loud laugh and tend to talk with my hands.  Yeah.  But I can't imagine being any other way.  It's me.  And like I said on Wednesday I want you to know me.  So there's another tid bit about me, that I know, recognize and embrace. 

I joked with our BB gun coach recently that I was pretty sure I knew most of my faults (he was btw getting on to me for being too LOUD in the holding tent).  He replied, those faults you want to recognize that is......and then he went on to say usually those are your strongest traits as well.  I suppose those traits do come in handy while teaching a room full of excited young artists.  And well, these traits do help in a room full of people I don't know.   I can literally strike up a conversation with anyone.  To many people's annoyance sometimes!  hehehe....Yeah, I'll take my not being subtle personality.  It fits me just fine.


Little Corsage Cuffs

So here's how it went down yesterday.  I was finishing up all my little pieces for The Vintage-Flea booth.  Pricing this, signs for that.  And then I got the itch to work on something totally new to add to the mix.  So I pulled out the ceramic robins behind the cuffs below and attempted to embellish them.  Yeah....didn't work out like I wanted.  Bummer.  And then I remembered the wreaths I saw in blogland Monday.  This artist had fallen in love with the $40 cone wreath at Target that I too had drooled over (it's in that section by the books and stationary...you know that expensive section with the door mats?).  She had made her own using a wreath form and 2 Reader's Digest books.  It was genius....and gorgeous.  So into the garage I went looking for a wreath form.  Dang, packed all that up in my purging for the selling of our house.  So I glanced around and thought, "I wonder if I can make those swirly flowers out of all the fabric scraps I have?  Well that was a yes.  So then I set out to find something to glue them to.  And that's when I unearthed these brassish cuffs that had been tucked away for a "rainy day" project.
And that's when it ALL came together.  Yes, I am so loving these "rainy day projects" that I didn't have to buy a thing to make!!  Little wrist corsages.  Just in time for Mother's Day.  I mean, who doesn't love a little wrist corsage!

Seriously, I puffy heart them.  I am going to buy a headband today and see how they look on that base.  I am thinking Mailey is going to have a new hair accessory!  So they are available at the Flea, but if you want one just email me and I'll send one your way!  They are $22 each.


know me

When I placed the words gently into this painting I remember exactly what was on my mind.  Lately I've had a deep desire for those that I surround myself with to really know me.  Not just the bubbly, silly talking, stick-her-foot-in-mouth, art teaching, artsy, Mom, Wife kind of know me.  Know me.  I find the heart on the sleeve thing can be most annoying.  The constant noise and opinions of other's, well sometimes it can overhwhelm me to the point of breaking.  I have loads of courage though.  And good intuition.  I also have my feet firmly planted in the direction my heart and head are telling me to go.    My creativity is overflowing and so inspiring that I can not help but be positive.  Amazing things are around the corner....I feel it in my heart.  So.....I suppose that heart on the sleeve thing can be good for something afterall, right?


Sweetwater420 Fest 2011

Show weekends.  Man I love them.  Like big puffy heart love them.  Now there are down sides to doing show, no doubt.  But driving home last night with a car a lot less loaded down than when I left at 7am Friday morning, I was all smiles.  Because this is one of the best jobs ever.  Ever I tell ya.

With a tent full of new products and paintings I was full of anticipation those early Friday morning hours.  The show started at 4:20 Friday PM with visitors coming in herds.  Literally.  It was unbelievable the number of attendees.  And I just have to tell ya, I felt old.  It was a very young crowd.  Young married, young college, that kind of young.  The weather was a little unpredictable that night so I cut my losses and headed out early.  And I am super glad I did because just as I got the last painting in the van it started to storm.  And it stormed ALL night long.  I stayed with some artsy buddies Julie and Gail in Buckhead.  Yes, another reason to love show weekends.  It's like one continuous stream of happiness.
So on the main stage there were bands all weekend long.  The artist market made the perimeter of the lawn area for the main stage.  I'd say there were about 100 vendors.  From gourmet doggie treats, handmade clothing, soaps, candles, jewelry to me and all my goodies there was a little something handmade for everyone.  Even Lily got a handmade goody from this show!  There was a smaller stage with smaller name bands, a comedy tent, children's area, food area, swag bag area and of course tons of beer trucks.  It was sponsored by Sweetwater ya know!  Chandler Park I do believe was "the" place to be this weekend.  Woohooo!
Since this show went into the late night hours lighting your tent was a must if you wanted night shoppers.  I opted for outdoor strung lights and hung them from the center all around the perimeter of my tent.  It was super magical in there!!
 I made some amazing new friends this weekend.  Something about the vendors at this show.....well they were all real happy and easy going.  Debra below who made unbelievable batik dyed clothing I was immediately smitten with.  She called herself and team of peeps helping her the "festival fairies".  And yes they wore wings all weekend, blew bubbles and hula hooped.  Her spirit you were so drawn to......I know we'll be friends forever.
And of course, what's a show weekend without old friends to hang with all day!!  I loved having my Dad and Barbara with me Friday and Saturday,  Sunday Tiffin hung with me and I had surprise visits from Laura, Becky, Michelle, Audrey, Leigh, Heather, Debi, Allison and more!!  It truly was one of the funnest festivals I've ever been a part of.  And for some reason I did not ever feel exhausted or ready to go home(maybe it was the Sweetwater and cupcakes?). 

Now today.......well it's taking all I can to not crawl back under the warm sheets and nap with Lily!  But alas, I've got about 60+ credit cards to call in and some other book work to close out the weekend's sales.  Yes, it was a great weekend for selling!!  And really, not one thing sold better than another. 
New to the display was this amazing Amy Butler fabric.  I loveeeee it!  And how it ties in with the whole look.   I also now have a wonderful mirror, new hanging mannequins and new magnet holder.  More pics here of displays if you want to peek!
So what's next??  I've got some fluffing to do at my booth at The Vintage-Flea and painting to do before Dunwoody Arts Festival which is in 3 weeks!


Aspire to Be More

I am not the biggest fan of the saying, "when life gives you lemons make lemonade!".  Instead I think we should say, "aspire to be more".  Same thing, different words. 

I saw a facebook link to this U-tube yesterday.  Something told me to go there....to see it....to pass it forward.  It changed me.  My words are not always chosen carefully.  But I am just like this yummy bowl of lemons....aspiring to be more.

If you are in the Atlanta are this weekend, please come by and see me at the Sweetwater420 Festival.  I am listed under Mattie's Social Circle.  You'll recognize the work though I am sure!!  Hours are Saturday:  12-10PM and Sunday:  12-7PM.    The skies have broken, clear thanks goodness, and looks like it's going to be a great day!!


What We are Capable Of

I am always in awe of what one can accomplish in a given day.  Yesterday I was overwhelmed, completely.  But after a very, very productive list checking off kind of day, I was able to stand back and and truly absorb what was right in front of my eyes.  Sometimes being right in the thick of the creative process I completely loose sight of what should be an enjoyable journey.  The technique I use does not reveal its true beauty until the very last step.  But once the journey is over the reveal is well worth the wait.

If you read this blog on a regular basis then you've seen the willow tree sneaking its' way into the mix of compositions.  Their natural beauty mesmerizes me.   And combined with Ernestine.....well I am amazed at what sometimes I am capable of capturing through a paint brush.  It's so simple....this composition.  And yet it it has gravity.  It is entitled "embracing the journey home."

Below the willows  become almost like wintry whispers.  I wrote this sometime back to incorporate into a painting, and this was the one....but words stamped into this particular composition I think would have been distracting.  Here are the inspirational words behind the painting:

"how beautiful is the breeze as it carries your song to me"
The way the colors illuminate off one another well,  it's like they are dancing a romantic waltz around the canvas.   It takes my breath away.  And reminds me once again that this studio is truly an amazing place to create.



Feeling a Tad Bit....

Overwhelmed.  Yep.  Me.  Overwhelmed.  I am not one that usually gets this kind of wound up before a show.  Now I get wound up about things....but more because I am beyond excited about what is happening.   I like everything to be perfect for a show down to the last detail.  But this is an in the gut freak out show is here I am NOT READY KIND OF OVERWHELM.  Whew.  I said it.  And I am shaking.  And I am blogging instead of painting?
But before I go here is what I came home with yesterday.  65 frames for my little tiles!  Wooohooo!  Looking at them all stacked up was freaking me out.   Until I actually sat down and glued the tiles in, hammered the hangers and signed them all. 
This is by far my favorite printed item to sell.  Makes me giggly looking at them all!!  Oh and the paintings behind the tiles are another giggly thing to look at.  Almost done, they need their lines filled and their frames.  I am loving the bigger paintings.  Love.  Puffy hearts all around.  Ok.  So I am calming down a bit now.  Thanks for listening.  I'll be back hopefully before Friday to share some more finished products.  Friday is Show DAY!!!!!  Sweetwater420 Festival.....come see me!!


May Have Found My Sport of Choice

Not what you expected to see me doing in this blog today, right?
This past weekend William and I were participants in the 4-H State BB Match.  The event was held at our State's 4-H camp at Rock Eagle.  A most impressive camp I must say!!  I won't bore you with all the details and there are more photos here.  But let's just say the other Coaches (Dads) dared me to do the coach shoot.  They jokingly said "Jenni they give awards for the lowest shot too!"  Now, I've shot guns before.  Yep.  But never the Daisy BB gun at the tiny targets.  In fact, I'd never even looked through the sight.  William was not helping the matter either.  He too was joking that I was not going to be ANY good.  Well, let's see:
Yep.  They were all taking back their giggling.  This little blondie did do quite well for herself in the 5 minutes we had to shoot all 10 targets (kids are given a 1min prep period and 10 minutes to shoot)!!  Given William and I were giggling and carrying on so I think given some time and a little guidance I just might enjoy this sport.  And you don't even break a sweat!

But seriously, this is what the match was really about....being the best Coach I can to this amazing little boy. He rocks the prone position....then the rest are all over the board.  We giggle, we fuss, we challenge each other's patience, but it is so worth it.  It's our thing we do together.   With more practice and the determination I know he has in him, he'll do fine next year.  OH, and I should also mention that this sport has written gun safety tests that play a huge role in the overall scoring.  Isn't that cool? 
Guns in waiting above at camp.  Below is a long view of the match.  We had 547 shooters in this Georgia State Match.  There were 7 relays with about 100 firing points being shot at once.  It was an amazing site.  everyone starting at command.  Everyone stopping at command.  Works flawlessly because of the amazing coaching, and by coaches I don't mean coaches like me.....I mean the volunteers like our Coach Chris.   And most of these team coaches don't even have kids in the program but volunteer their time to the sport because they love it.  And what a wonderful gift they give our kids.  William and I can't wait until next season.  We are working on Mailey to join the team too......make a family sport out of it!  So how'd you spend your weekend??

The Vintage-Flea... A Little Slice of Newnan Goodness

I have a permanent booth in a sweet little shop in Newnan.  It's called The Vintage-Flea!  Together with Natalie of Grit and Grace (isn't that a fabulous business name?)  we create a unique shopping experience in our 7x12' space.  She carries amazing asseccories, tees, dresses, purses, etc.  We scatter my little joyful creations into the space and voila!  Instant shopping bliss. 

So if you are looking for a fun day out and about come on to Newnan.  We have a special square with loads of unique shopping and yummy eats!!


Field Trip Friday!!

Hey guys!!  Well, it's Spring Break week here in Georgia.  And boy have we filled our week with "Staycation" activities.  Along with all the Atlanta suburbanites it's felt like!  Crazy crowds everywhere cool to go.  But it's been fun.  Today Mailey and her BFF attended Camp H20 at the Georgia Aquarium.  I know, very cool thing to get to do.  It was a behind the scenes camp including VIP treatment for the new Dolphin show.  They loved it.  And Momma, well she took FULL advantage of the day and hit some fun spots of her own.  And not once did I get lost, have to jump start the van, blow a tire, get towed, or lock my keys in the car!  For those of you giggling right now, there was a story.....just not one I can share here.  There's always a story when it comes to me and a road trip.  So at 8am in Atlanta there is not much open.

But I did make my way over to the Atlantic Station Target.  Man I love a good Target.  I mean, where else could you find such an amazing Anthropologie inspired dress like the yellow one above for a mere $27.99!  (and since I ended up having to wear it all day...the story... and got a zillion compliments and "you got that where?" statements it was a good buy.)   I spent 1.5 hours in Target looking in places I didn't even know existed!  I also scored some fabulous outdoor lights for the Sweetwater 420 Fest.  There are some dark hours during that show and I want my customers to be dazzled when they walk into my tent!!

Next the orange van and I traveled across the city to the Atlanta Gift Market.  I was in need of some findings from Yousef.  And look what I found along the way!!  OOOOOweeeeee!  Beautiful clay flowers.  I have absolutely no idea what I'll be doing with these, but I have them in the bag of tricks for a rainy day.  I also can not ever leave that place without buying a strand of blue beads.  And the dreamy aqua faceted ones now in my possession are too pretty to use.  Yep.
Next stop was Saga Selection.  If you need a neck, or any type of form for that matter (they even have feet...ewwww) they have the best selection.  They also have the clear bags, the tags, the stickers, the well just about everything you need to display and sell jewelry.  I needed some simple necks for the new jewelry.  And these white burlap ones look like they were made for my booth.  So exciting when a plan comes together!
With the need to buy list all complete I had oh, about 4 more hours to kill.  So off I wandered into this and that store, you know, the want stores.  One store I found the sweetest jewelry ever for my booth at The Vintage-Flea.  Since there it doesn't have to all be handmade I can slip a few favorite finds into the mix.  Look at this super duper bike!!!!
There are sample rooms a plenty on the 7th floor.  And of course, I have favorites.  Like Ahn and Ahn.  And no I did not need anther white shirt, but I own it now!  (I could literally wear white tops and jeans everyday of my life)
I showed considerable restraint during this shopping trip to the Mart.  Maybe it was because I was traveling alone, or maybe it was the stuffed closet I stand in everyday, or better yet maybe it's the fact that everything I buy right now I compare to how many gallons of paint it equals.  Because if we get the new house, I'll need about 100.  :)
With the Mart trip under my belt and still 2 hours to go until picking up the girls, I headed back over to the Midtown area....in particular the new Anthropologie.  I had a return to make.  But seriously who can resist a store like that.  I could live there.  If they'd let me.   And since I'd forgotten my receipt, and these glasses were saying, "Jenni....you can wear me to shows and look so cute in the booth because I am Mattie blue".  I bought them.  Oh and the store girls also loved my yellow dress....hehehehe


Magnet Love

Like my refrigerator art?  The sunflowers on the left Mailey painted in my afterschool art class and the poster on the right is a favorite find on etsy.    No, I am not doing a post on refrigerator art.  Nah.... Rather look what's holding the beer poster up!

Fresh off the printing press are MAGNETS!!  Woohooo....I am so excited to be offering these.  And man did they turn out great!

There are 50 printed, packed and ready to go for show #1.  Which ironically enough is the Sweetwater 420 Fest.  The irony is that Sweetwater is my favorite beer.  A local Atlanta brew.   Sweet stuff I tell ya!  I hope if you live in the Atlanta area you'll come check these and all the new items I've been brewing up in the studio this week.  It starts Friday, April 15th at 4:20.  hehehe.....


The Truth

Yesterday while watching my son's baseball games and weaving little nest pendants I began to watch those around me.  Parents mingling with one another, making small talk all the while hoping that their son will make the next big hit or amazing play in the field.  You can see it in their eyes....the anticipation.  The boys are playing 11u travel ball.  It's "real" this year.  It's no more trophies, it's about points accumulated to play in the Little League World Series.  Yep.  Now please do not get me wrong, I LOVE to watch my William play.  He is amazing.  But what really inspires me is how they as a team have begun to know each other, and can anticipate plays.  I love that they win as a team, as well as loose as a team. 

Sometimes I wish friendships could be a little like this.  I wish my team could anticipate when I need more or less room at the plate.  Or when I hit a homerun they are all on that plate chanting like mad men!  Better yet, after striking out they are in the dugout saying, "man, you'll get it next time!"  Yes, I want those around me to know my heart. 

So as I navigate the silence today, working toward goals in the studio the team will be back at the field.  Cheering one another on as parents watch in anticipation.   Of course I know I'm not all alone in the studio.....you guys are right here with me in the journey.   And I am pretty sure you know my heart.  :)


Field Trip Friday!!

Hey guys!!  It's been awhile since I shared a field trip with you.  And boy is this a fun one!!  So last Friday my artsy buddy Laura and I headed off on an adventure for the day.  First stop, the bead storeThe bead store.....
 Isn't it dreamy?   Ooooooooooo......it'll make your head swim it's so......beady........
In actuality it's completely a totally overwhelming head spinny place to visit.  I always go with a detailed list in hand.  Always.  Plus I have a certain aesthetic I look for.  Sometimes it's a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack.  The one strand I wanted like ten million of she had none of.  Bummer.  But I did score some amazing beads for the new necklace designs and  30 feet of brass chain.  My new favorite bead is a laboradite.  It's quite dreamy.  And my bag FULL of beady dreaminess was only $124.00.  Yep. 
Next stop on our list was to head to the highlands....Virgina Highlands that is.  This is the city I BEGGED Billy to live in when we were looking for homes 15 years ago.  It's hip, trendy, artsy, and oh the houses are amazing!!  But alas, I lost and we became suburbanites.  Sigh..... So now I get to visit and enjoy the city when I want.  It's not like it's hours away.  Virginia Highlands has a hip street of shopping.  Our first stop was a store that unfortunately was closing that had some of Laura's amazing jewelry pieces.  Got them, a nice stash of cash, and off we went.  Next stop was lunch.  Ok.  Now I am going to go overboard with this.  So just bear with me.  But seriously it deserves an overboardness.  This may be my new favorite eating spot.  Yeah! Burger.  And by that I mean Yeah! Burger is the name.  Although after eating it, you will shout YEAH!
So why does a burger joint deserve such excitement?    Because it is crazy good.  First you choose the meat.....organic beef, organic chicken, organic bison, or the organic veggie burger.  Then you choose the bun:  fresh baked white, wheat or gluten free.  I must stop now and tell you that NEVER have I had such delight from a bun on my palette.  Nope.  I usually go bun less.  Big fan of lettuce burgers.  But here I will ALWAYS go bun.  Then the topping list goes on and on....all local and organic.  Even the dang ketchup is organic!!  OH and organic local pickles are a must.  Because pickles and I......well I love them.  Fries can be gluten or non-gluten, but are all hand cut.  Then the sauce choices comes into play.  Now I am a fan of the YEAH!  sauce.  Can't explain it.  It's smokey, and yet sweet.  And it is so good I imagine you could put it on ice cream.  Yep. 

This is a multi-napkin meal.  I must warn you.  But when you are done, sitting back and rubbing your rather robust belly from the yummy meal, you will indeed thank me for suggesting it.  Yep.  In case you are wondering where this delightful YEAH! place is, check the heart Virginia Highlands, can't miss it and then Mid-town on Howell Mill Road.  BTW, my buddy Tiffin is totally to blame for my now obsession with eating here.  hehehhee....
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