Country Living Fair Atlanta

Hey there!!  I know I wrote about the Fair earlier this week, but finally I located the camera with all the photos and wanted to share some with you.  I wish I had more of the show.  But honestly the only time I ran out of the tent was when I was running to the potty.  And by potty, I mean porta.  And folks that's just not a place for a $1000 camera.  Nope.  So you just get me. 

One MONGO advantage to this show is the setting.  Man is it pretty.  I actually would like to have felt a tad more sun since this weekend Mr. Winter decided to visit us in Atlanta.  And since the booths were also MONGO we got to spread out.  Like S----p---r---e---a---d out.  Sweet.  I didn't realize until I got home honestly how spreading out affected my body.  What are you talking about Jenni?  Let me explain it to ya.  At the Decatur Arts Fest for instance our 10x10 tents are butt to butt.  And you are NOT allowed to put anything outside the front of your tent.  So you literally stay in your 10x10 with your goodies in the sweltering heat for what feels like 48 straight.  Yep.  And let me tell you....10x10 can get tight with guests in your tent.  Hey, I love guests though!!  Here I was spreading out the front and back.  I even had a check out stand!  Yeehaw!
New displays for this show are my tent sign (luv), double laundry rack for framed tiles, girls are sporting new colorful tutus, and my favorite is the bag tag rack.
 Loads of shiny new products too:  magnets, necklaces, yo-yos, puzzles, earrings and more!

So here's me sporting the ponytails and boots.  Which after walking around a spell decided it was the vendor uniform.  Cracked me up.  Again, I can not thank my friends and family who came to help, some as far as Birmingham, Alabama!  And the friends and blog readers who came to find me and enjoy the show...some as far as Birmingham too!!  It was a lovely show...one I am not so sure I'll do again.  But boy am I glad I did.  Hey, you gotta get outside of the comfort box sometimes, right?

Next up is this weekend at MARIST.  Please come by and say hi.  I'll have a very miniature version of this set up there.  And can not wait!


An Adventure

I've been thinking about how to tell you about the Fair.  Ah.....the Country Living Fair.  The show I wanted so badly to be in for the inaugural year but let the whattheheckareyouthinking monsters tell me not to bother.  But in case you've noticed, I'm living a tad large these days and making decisions that are based no longer on the fear monsters.  Instead they are based on the fly dreams.  Yep.

So, the fair.  I am not sure what I was expecting.  Scratch that.  I was expecting BIG THINGS,  like over the top things.  Like make 250 framed tiles and order 1000's of business card things.  And well, that didn't happen.  Nope. Whew......Now, it was not a total bust sales wise for me.  It was a great sale show.  A normal show.  I hate to talk numbers because one may think that was piddly while another wow!  But it was a wow, nice amount in my head.   I sold some of everything.  Even paintings.  Fabulous.  Yep.  Well, not really.  Because I had these unbelievable expectations.  I made 250 framed tiles expectations.  And walking around talking to a few other artsy vendors I found that they too had the same sentiment.  It was disappointing.  There I said it. 

But here's the thing.  I can always find a silver lining. 

First, I had family and friends with me that made the weekend not only more fun, but made my stress level zero.  I was relaxed and enjoyed the show.  I try to be all big and do shows alone.  And ya know what, that is just plain stupid.  Because having more than one right arm really is nice.

Second....I did it.  I applied to a huge national show.  Got in.  Paid the $750 booth fee and did it.  That's something.

Third....the connections made where amazing.  And I have a sneaky feeling may be the very reason I was led to apply to the show.  Yep...  Dreaming BIG may be transitioning soon.

Fourth....I've got lots of stock ready for the Christmas season.  Now I can relax and do a little nesting in this new home our family has decided to call home.

Anyhoo, I've yet to locate my camera in the mess now in the garage.  I've got another show soon and didn't feel like hauling it all back to the basement.  And as you well know, I am now teaching full-time.  So.....I am in survival mode here in blogworld.  Bare with me please!  I've so many plans, ideas to share.  But dang if the time doesn't fly!!  But as the sentiment states on that super cute camper above....make the adventure of a lifetime, life itself.  Right this moment that is exactly what I am doing.  Living it big.  Making really solid decisions for my future in all aspects from family and friends to business.  Because something in me is reminding me that life is just too short to live an unfulfilled life.  And I am just about to bust with excitement for this future filled with joy.  Yep.


The Country Living Fair

It's here my art friends.  It's here!!  My stomach is doing such a butterfly dance that today I simply can eat nothing but chocolate chip cookies.  The lunchroom ladies are cracking up at me.....I suppose they KNEW Mrs. Horne needed her favorite food group today in mass quantities.  hehehehe.....

So the Fair.  I am ready.  I've literally put hours into my new products and displays.  It will be good.  It just has to.   There is a core group of my artist friends who are doing the show as well.  In fact we are all piling into one hotel room for the show.  It's gonna be like an artsy sleepover!!  Woohoo!!  My family and friends are coming to help in droves and I could not be more thankful for that.  I usually do shows on my own now, just because.  But this show I knew I needed the troops behind me.  They are real gems I tell ya.  I am one lucky chick. 

As soon as school lets out today I am on my way to the dentist (uck....hopefully it's a stress toothache??) and then to load the cars.  It's taking 2 this time.  Yep.  I told ya....I've got the goods this time!!  Tomorrow as soon as we can Billy and I are off to set up.  I simply can not wait.  Yep.  Excitement, and cookie high are setting in and tomorrow starts a fresh new adventure for sure!!  I really hope to see you there!  Dogwood 81 is my booth number.
HEY...It's 7:30.  Car is loaded and I am about to soak myself in some hot water.  Had to tell you though that I went to the dentist fearing the following:  root canal, abscess tooth that had to be yanked, cavity or worse.  Yep.  I was swirling with anxiety because tooth pain, that I've never had it until a week ago.  And it has yet to stop.  And it sucks.  But guess what?  NOTHING IS WRONG WITH MY chompers.  Nope.  Notta.  I have a big fat sinus infection that is lingering...and has wandered its' way into my frinkin' chompers.  Seriously?   You know this could happen?    Well it did.  Now I have some pain meds and an antibiotic.  And an appointment to see my doc....again.  I've seen him 3x since September.  Which is more than in like 3 years.  Geeesh.  But the show must go on!!  And boy am I ready!!  Woohoo!!


Do You Yo-Yo?

Lots of new goodies up the sleeve here in the studio.  And this happens to be my son William's favorite!

This little photo shoot was so fun to shoot.    We'd count to three and they'd yo-yo and I'd giggle.   Mostly I was giggling because Graham, the crazy kitten kept attacking our yo-yo's!!  Heck, I'm giggling as I write this remembering the scene.  See her behind Mailey in the attack mode? 
So the yo-yo's work just fine and are a fabulous Christmas gift for your youngsters.  We sure love yo-yoing around our house!


Painting a Story...Art and Soul

Alrighty.  Here it is.  The last post for Portland.  I've been dragging it out.  I know.  But seriously I could not shorten this first time.  Nope. 

My last class to teach was called Painting a Story.  The whole class was based on an article I wrote and was published a few back in Somerset Life.   Literally, I was just about busting at the seams to teach this!  The story behind the painting is this, we all have a story to tell.  Some tell it in words, some scrapbook, some take photos, and some paint.  I talked for a spell about this and how through images we can tell our story.  Actually I talked for a spell enough to make myself about cry, it was very hard not too.  Very.  But that is a HUGE indicator of passion, right?  But I also can't help but giggle, the other indicator to me that there is not only passion, but zest for life in my soul.
I just gotta say it.  Teaching a class like this was cool.  Everyone came prepared with their mementos to add, all the painting supplies I had listed and this amazing ability to take what I was saying and apply it in their very own way.  After my little introduction and "pep talk" about being an artist, we dove right into painting.  Maybe they can tell me better what I said.  I am most certain it was pretty profound....hahaha.....But seriously, I know I told these aspiring artists that honestly my goal here was to plant seeds.  They were not here to copy my work and become Jenni.  They were here to find their own authentic voice in the art world.  Geesh, that is hard.  Hard as crap I tell ya.  Because it HAS ALL BEEN DONE.  No lie.  Google it.  Your idea that is.  Done.  But what you make of the seed that is planted, and how you make it yours..... take hold of it and nurture it....and develop it.  Then and only then will it be truly yours.  And once you get that, you should totally run with that.  And you will totally know when it's right.  Because you will want to keep going and never stop.  Hey, why do you think I keep painting those darn birds, campers, trucks and bikes?  Because they are mine.  Puffy heart mine.  Ok, soapbox over.....onward painting class.

So here I am demonstrating.  We used the black gesso and chalk technique I like to use.  I think next year I am on the books to create rich and textural NESTS using the secret ingredients (whaaaahhaaaaa.....laugh inserted here).  But for this class, the technique was more about paint and collage.  I loved everyone's story and how they developed it.  It was awesome how everyone had such different perspectives.  AND different abilities.  Here below is a work in progress:

 And more in progress.  I love that some were about family, and some were personal journeys.

And here are my bird friends again, Becky and Christine.  Becky it turns out has a blog.  AND so does my friend Sheryl and Teresa!!  So please visit and say hi.  It's always nice to make new friends in blogworld, right?
We all took a break and ran back over to the Embassy for the start of vendor sales.  Luckily Tiffin was able to set me up and hang with the table while I taught.  After the break we dove again into painting.  They all did SO freaking good.  I was inspired.  They loved the Phillip frames and couldn't wait to pop their art into them!!  I know when I take a class I want to leave with something finished to show for my time away from home.  I think these ladies all took something away very special.  In fact, my Florida peeps Rene and Kara have already ordered more frames for their paintings! 

Here are snipits from all the paintings.  Somehow a few of you snuck out without my getting your finished piece photographed...hmmmmm (Rene).
Oooo..and the frames.  Man, those frames just make the art look complete.  Puffy heart there for sure!!  I have to send thanks to the class:  Patty, Teresa, Becky, Irja, Christine, Rene, Mary Ellen, Kara, Sheryl and Teresa.  You gals were wonderful students.  I was so fortunate to have meet you all!!
 Saturday night was vendor night. It was slow....painful. But still fun. Met the coolest artist ever. So opposite of me and yet I could not quit staring at it. Or chatting with them about their art. They probably left thinking I was some crazy blond from the south. 

Overall, this first Art and Soul as an instructor went flawlessly. And already I've got peeps joining me next year. I'll be teaching textural nests and what I call "The American Still Life" ...think truck, camper and bike. Yep.   See you there.....if not in Virginia Beach first in MARCH!!


Little Bird Making at Art and Soul

Hey artsy peeps!  Well, this is a sneak peek into the world of teaching outside my Georgia boundaries.  It was a wonderful experience...I am thinking this could be a regular event for this creative chick!  Friday was the first class I taught, and we were making little birdie friends.  I am no longer going to be making these as a part of my regular studio so I thought it was a fabulous way to end their stay with me.  Sort of a pay it forward.  I had three lovely students; Christine and Becky are Mom and Daughter and then wild card Wanda.  (I am telling you Wanda is ME in 30 years.  Yep.).  Now I must interject I was not in the least bit disappointed in only having 3 students (one of my classes was canceled because she didn't have enough students.  Poopoo).....but I was worried that we'd be done by lunch and be staring at each other the rest of the afternoon!  Yeah, so not the case.  These girls worked through lunch and ended I think later than time allotted.  Not by much, but still!!  Woohooo bird making!!! 

 Below is the goody box filled with sweet treats, vintage finds, glitter pencil, fun eraser and more!  I also had lots of birdie samples and my favorite birdie book.  Each student received 2 patterns to work from.  Most chose the fatter bird.  The other pattern I've made is better on a sewing machine.
 Everyone had the opportunity to make one with long wobbly legs and one in a cage.  We all finished our standing ones, but I think everyone took the cages home a little unfinished.  We ran out of time and embellishments.  You can never bring enough junk to these art workshops.  I had a $50 shipped box full and still wish I'd brought more to share!  I think the best idea they took home was that felt can come from old wool sweaters.  And since they all live where wool is probably easier to find in thrift stores, I think the Goodwill best be ready for some artsy students soon!
I just can not thank these ladies enough for being a part of the day.  It really, really made my heart full.  It's a little hard to describe what teaching others does for my soul.  I know this sounds nuts, but honestly I couldn't create without being willing to share it.  It indeed takes a special person to share skills and knowledge with others willingly.  And you most importantly have to be willing to give up a part of yourself to your students.  And not get upset if one day, they become successful from an idea you sparked inside them.  Because the chances of that are pretty good.  If you teach them good enough.....hehehe....So make lots of birdies my new friends.  And I hope some of their sweet goodness will bring you good fortune in the near future.
 Live in JOY......are you??


The Story of a Tattoo

So, by now I've let the cat out of the bag and you know about my new art.  Permanent art that is.  A tattoo.  I know.  You are thinking either A.I've lost my marbles; B.  I am having a mid-life crisis; or C.  I am a rock star.  Yep.  I say this because those have been the 3 reactions I've gotten.  And it is across the board age-wise these reactions.  At school my kids have cracked me up....Mrs. Horne!!!  Is that real????  Mom's have glanced and can't help but stare.  My daughter won't quit exploiting it to her class.  (I understand that during art while I was gone she yelled out to the entire class, "SHE"S getting a TATTOO TODAY!!!)  The whole class then gasped and giggled.  So why all the fuss? 

Well, let's see.  You have seen my photo above, right? I am a blond, blue-eyed, very naive, Southern girl that still does not wear white shoes after Labor Day.  It's out of character.  But you know, I have wanted a tattoo for years.  Seriously.  In college it would have probably been grounds for expulsion from Phi Mu.   As a young married woman it'd have been a rebellious act while away from my husband.  In other words, I have let society tell me that it was not okay for ME to have art on my body.  Oh yes, I can make art, sell art, but to have it permanently embedded on my skin would be shameful. 

Back to why did I choose now to do this.  I can best explain it like this.  I am finally very, very comfortable with me.  The whole person me.  It only took 39 years.  No big deal.  And I love the me I have found.  So one of the first steps to getting the cork out was to let the real me do some of the real stuff I've let lie dormant.  I have let fear take hold of my life way too long.  And I don't mean fear of heights and crap like that.  Like fear of looking stupid.  Like fear of failure...or the fear of disappointing others, or fear of not having friends, or better yet what friends are saying.  You get the picture right?   Like letting go and letting myself ENJOY this life.  This crazy imperfect...yet perfect life.  I've said it before, and I'm going to say it again....I think way too many bloggers paint wayyyyyy to pretty a picture in their postings.  Heck yeah, it's super fun to brag and show off the art we make and the share lives we lead.  But sometimes underneath all that mascara and lip gloss is fear.  So fear, you are now being faced by me.  Yep.  I am now a chapstick girl. 
This summer while meeting with my creative peeps we somehow got on the conversation of tattoos.  And 2 of the 4 had them.  And it ticked me off.  Really.   So I threw out to the group, "I think I'll get one while in Portland.  I didn't get the nose ring while their 5 years ago....not gonna leave this time without the tat."  Tiffin did her magic searching and found this amazing tattoo parlor.  One artist in particular had the "style" I wanted.  I called to make an appointment a few weeks before going to Portland.  And guess what?  She was booked until freaking April.  Crazy, right?  So the owner and I talked for a spell.  With my sweet southern twang I told him what I wanted and  he sent me to another of their artist's websites to view and get back to him.  Okey dokey.  And there she was:  Karina.  Man I knew she was the one.  Check her out.  You'll see why I was smitten. 

Thursday am Tiffin and I rented our super cute Ford Fusion and headed to Infinity.  This place was hopping.  People in and out.  One guy was getting a giant falcon across his chest, the lady beside me a giant hibiscus flower on her leg and foot and more were working on images.  Tiffin and I both agreed we could have hung out there all day and been totally fine! The owner and artists were just so nice and talkative.  We tweaked the art I sent her (yes I sent a nest painting of mine to her...I imagine an artist getting a tattoo is like a teacher being taught.) and made the stencil first.  Got the image just right, and the right size.  Of course it had to be stylized a bit.  But it was perfect.   So she set out with the tiny black outline.  Then the color.  Now the photo below was posed just for you guys.  It didn't hurt.  Nope.  (OK...I am SO PAINTING a Rosy story.  It hurt like hell.  But that photo was totally posed. True story.  I was however sweating bullets and trying to tourniquet my arm to help the pain.  It didn't work.)

Here it is after the outline was done.  Which was the worst part.  Man....

It took about an hour to finish.  I watched some, but to be honest, it was painful to watch.  It was gross actually.  And it turns out that the wrist is a "hot spot".  Of course she didn't tell me that prior, since I wanted it there.

Well, here it is.  It's perfect.  And so symbolic.  I am so glad I waited.  Because this image means more now than ever.  And if the sublimation press burn doesn't un-scar itself I may be back next year for a bird.  Yep.  Just letting you know now.


Art and Soul Part Two...Around Town

So, as mentioned in the previous post I spent last week from Tuesday-Sunday in the beautiful city of Portland.  And just because I bought an amazing Boden raincoat, it did not rain.  Nope.  In fact, it was quite warm there!  So, around town.  Tuesday before my class I was just a itching to get somewhere....a 5 hour plane ride will do that to a person, right?  So the hotel shuttle took me to the train and off I went.  We have mass transit here in Atlanta called Marta.  And I've ridden it a fair amount of times.  So this was a piece of cake. 

The city of Portland is very beautiful.  I got off at Pioneer Station and just started walking.  I found amazing artsy boutiques, vintage clothing stores and more.  It was such a treat to walk through all these stores quietly, touching everything and buying lots of sweet treats for my family and friends back home.  Here is what I observed about the city:

1.  It's friendly for sure.  Like people bend over BACKWARDS to help.  I asked where the nearest Post Office was and the grocery I was in bent over backwards to find out and the hours.   Here, a lady with too long a fingernails smacking her gum would tell me she never went to no post office.  Seriously.  In that language.
2.  No one talks or texts while walking the streets or on the train.  On Marta it's like a street festival of noises.  You can make a band out of the music, cell phone talking and text tapping. 
3.  The streets are eerily quiet.  No traffic, horns, heavy machinery, jack hammering, and crazy noises like in Atlanta the city.  Now here in Newnan we have quiet of course, it is suburban world.  But in comparing city to city...it's way quiet. 
4.  They have lots of fabulous restaurants with OUTSIDE seating.  In fact, I don't remember seeing a TGI Fridays anywhere.  Or chick-fil-a.  Don't know if I could go a week without Chick-fil-a....but the big box chains, yeah.  Can do without.  Restaurants and breweries were everywhere.  And that made me so, so happy.  Because I love good food.  And good beer.

These are shots from around town with new and old friends.  I won't bore you with much more typing.  But know that renting a car was the BEST idea ever....thanks for the idea Tiffin.  Without it I'd not have made my Tattoo appointment.  Oopsy...did I say that word?  Yeah, whole post coming on that adventure.  We did drive all over town finding vintage stores unlike any we have here.  And cheap.  Junk is much cheaper there than here.  But somehow I managed to come home with less than I left with.  Strange.    Anyhoo, enjoy the shots below.  Later this week I'll show off my students and their work!!  (and the tattoo)

 Teresa, Me, Tiffin and Sheryl after Wednesday classes at the Widmer Brewery.  They are twins...you will see these chicks again in my class later this week!  I could bottle their zest for life and make a killing!

Some of the street finds....there were so many.  I should have taken more pics!

So in our car adventures on Thursday we found this super street vendor food court.  Seriously??  And gourmet.  We had brick oven pizza, the yummy fries with squeaky cheese and grazy and should my belly have not been full we could have had crepes!  I know....I know....

Since we were cruising in our little Ford Fusion we took some time to visit the neighborhoods.  At one point we got out and walked the streets just taking photo after photo of houses of all kinds.  See:
The last stop was at a whole market for dinner treats and flower photos.  I think Tiffin took an entire camera card for reference.  I didn't see one "hand-dyed" carnation in the bunch!
OOOOO....I almost forgot the best stop.  The Lounge Lizard.  Where I scooped up 3 of the swags hanging from the ceiling.  And I could have bought more!  I can not wait to hang them in our bedroom.  Promise to show you soon!
So the Lounge Lizard was packed full of furniture I could have decorated my entire house in.  And so reasonable.  Their housing may be more there, but the stuff to fill it sure isn't!  The yellow tufted low sofa I wanted so very, very bad. And the red one wasn't too shabby either!

So....up next will be my teaching post.  I can not wait to show off their work!!


Art and Soul Part One...What I Took

I'm back peeps!!  Miss me?  Ha.  My family sure did...especially Lily.  Geesh.  She suffocated me in bed last night and right now as I type!  I can barely type for her body.  So.....so MUCH to tell you about the 6 days I was away.  Yep.  6 whole days of no laundry, no cooking, no bedtime routine, no rushing around to this and that, no taking cats to the darn vet (which we have had over $1000 of vet bills this month alone!), etc....but I did miss my goodnight Mommy and of course my sleeping partner that weighs over 10 pounds. 

Anyhoo....Portland.  I have decided that it deserves a 3 part blog post.  So this is part one.  What I took to fatten my creative belt one more notch.  I arrived Tuesday around lunchtime because Tuesday night I had a class.  Come to find out both classes I signed up for were with this adorable artisan:

This is Jean Van Brederode.  An amazingly talented enamel artist.  Tuesday night was a total technique class on this fancy pants piece of equipment I so have to get now for the studio:
So in case you want to know, it's a hydraulic press.  This is a small one compared to her one at home.  This
one only presses 12 tons....at home she has a mac daddy 20 ton one.  Why do I need this?  Well, because after cutting my own pattern with a jewelers saw and piece of acrylic I was able to make this adorable bird pendant.  And could press it over and over and over.  Uh...huh.....addictive.  And with only 3 in the class we totally got the personal attention and time to play!!

Wednesday morning I was up and at 'em and heading to my second class with Jean called "Jingle Jangle Bangle".  And yes, we made bracelets.  The enameled yummy kind.  I've always been drawn to enameled work, and this was not my first exposure to it.  I can remember enameling at camp as a child and loving the anticipation of watching it in the kiln turn to glass.  I did learn how to not only mess with enamels, but learned how to form a bracelet from copper (my favorite metal to stamp) and RIVET!!!  Holy tamoly I am about to become a riveting queen! 

This was our enameling station.  She was a super great teacher.  And so organized.  Love that.  Well, she has some experience with teaching.....32 years of 8th grade English that is!  And since there were just 4 of us, man I went to town making.  She called me the "hurricane".  Good or bad I don't really care.  I learned a load and made even more!!  You saw my arm above right??  Here are the two that fit me to a tee...and I never took off the rest of the week!
So at the end of the day, where none of us even stopped for lunch, I secretly made a ring.  Had to.  Really. Well, she caught me in the act and I felt like such a bad student.  But I used remnants from my bracelet, so no waste at my station!!  And I LOVE it.  And I can totally see my own twist without the enamel come into play with new jewelry soon.  But I may also break down and ask Santa Claus for that fancy smancy blue kiln.  Because I really, really love enameling.  Oh, and a hydraulic press.  Yeah.  One of those too.
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