Hometown Holiday and a Camera Trick....

Every year in downtown Newnan Santa makes a GRAND arrival on this vintage firetruck the Friday night after Thanksgiving.  Sweet right?

Yes, Newnan is the City of Homes.  A beautiful city with a square that is chocked full of yummy food, amazing antiques shops and adorable gift shops.  I love downtown Newnan.  And had Billy and I visited it while we did our original house shopping 16 years ago, I have a feeling our lives would be very different.  Very.  Like we'd probably be living in an over 100 year old home different. 
 It's charm never grows old on our family.  We absolutely love being here.  And secretly I miss having a little studio down here to come to everyday.  Look at this courthouse:
So here's the thing though.....it appears that Santa's arrival is a colossal deal for many in Newnan......colossal!!!  The line to sit in his wooden sleigh and give your Christmas list was wrapped around the above courthouse.  Which takes up an entire block.  Yikes is right.  So we made ourselves busy while waiting in such a line with our cameras.  By the way accompanying us on this excursion and the whole reason we were excited to see Santa was my sister Molly with her husband Mike and their 2 year old wild man Fielding.  Oh, and Nana, Billy, William, Mailey and Me.  We were all decked out and excited to see Santa.  I should also mention that I have 1 photo of my kids with Santa, and that was from last year.  You see, I had the two kids with fear beyond recognition of Santa.  Thus why we had NO IDEA that Santa's arrival on the square in Newnan was a colossal affair.  Yep.  So the story continues.....

I was determined to get photos at night of all the lights around the square.  We took turns waiting in line for Santa and watching Fielding run more miles around the courthouse than any little legs should be physically be able.  But here's the thing.  I have this fancy pants camera that I know how to take amazing pictures of my art and jewelry with.  But outside that bubble....well.....let's just say I take a bunch of these:
 Which led to this....urgh.....
 Which gave the kids and I an "A-HA" moment once we hit the Christmas Tree for some family photos:
I have NO idea how we did this technically speaking.  But basically I had the camera on too slow a shutter I think and then we wiggled the camera to get the squiggles.  After we figured it out....well William, Mailey and I were lost in camera heaven.  And forgot about Santa.  Oh, and Fielding was more interested in running around the block than seeing Santa.  So we gave up our place in line.....took a bunch of photos in front of the cool squiggly light tree and headed home.
I think it looks like neon on crack.  Technically speaking of course.  HA.HA.  So, have you learned any cool tricks on your camera you want to share?  I think the shake the camera on the wrong shutter speed is definitely note worthy. 
Yes, I pinky promise the above photo is of the Christmas Tree in front of the courthouse.  Yep.


You're Invited!!

Tiffin, Joyanne and I below at the Country Living Fair had an "A-HA!"  moment and decided to do something a little new together......

And YOU are cordially INVITED!!  To our little Handmade Holiday Show!!!  We are thrilled to be doing this together.  We each have so much to offer you in the way of handmade.  For a very special person to that must have just for you, you are sure to find something just right.  So join us.  And the cool part.....it's in my new home.  Eeeeeeeeeee!!!!  I can not wait.    Please email me if you'd like the address:  jennihorne@ymail.com.  I hope to see many of you here!!



Sisters.  They rough and tumble together, they eat each other's food, they snuggle together, they are peas in a pod these two.  The puppy blanket however was given to Lily by her Gammy to help with the white hair on the gray couch issue.   Lily knows this.....and so does Graham.  Graham thinks that sharing with her sister is fun.  Lily on the other hand is thinking in her little head that she would prefer to keep the blanket that Gammy gave HER to herself.  Although I keep catching them both asleep on it.   We'll see.  Knowing Gammy, there will be one just for Graham Cracker in her stocking.  Hehehe....


To Be Thankful

Today as I set the table for the first time in our new dining room, I realized in abundance what I have to be thankful for this year.  It's hard to sit back and reflect when you are in the middle of it, but our lives are rich with so much joy these days.  Now, it's not perfect....nah....but somehow the bad is always overshadowed with the goodness our family consistently surrounds ourselves with. 

Today I placed dear Faye Horne's china and crystal on the table for the first time.  You see, there are many first's here at 120.  It's the first time yes to have Thanksgiving in this house.  But more than that...it's the first time we are hosting it period, with the china given to us as a lovely wedding gift from my mother-in-law.  It has literally been packed away since we married 16 years ago.  Now not only does it hang in an amazing pattern on the pink walls, it fills the gray cabinet.  Oh the dinner parties Mrs. Faye must have had.  There are 24 place settings and enough bowls and gravy boats for 3 Thanksgiving tables!  So I just beamed as I set the table with it today.  On top of the table Billy and I bought together at the Country Living Fair this year....which is covered with the most beautiful piece of orange lace I've ever seen.  Just perfect. 

You can only imagine the frenzy I've been in since deciding to host the family this year.  You know....the last minute details and all the things you want to complete?  Well, they are done.  The only thing missing from this lovely pink room is our family first.....and the curtains (which are being crafted and promised to be ready by Christmas) and a new chandelier.  This room definitely needs a crystal bauble hanging from the ceiling to catch the light coming in and make the walls sparkle!

The tiny pink dresser I found at the Country Living Fair as well.  I love it's dainty size and crystal knobs!  I need Tiffin to get a hold of the boring white lampshade. 
I love that finally I have a place for some of our favorite pieces given to us as remembrances of our ancestors.  The sugar and creamer was my Grandmother Adkins'.  The painting was done by an art friend.  Fits perfectly in this room.  The crystal candlesticks were a favorite item we sold at the Flea.  The tin shelf my Mother gave us as a Christmas present early in our marriage.  It too had been hiding in the attic.
Yes, hanging the plates was a challenge, but man I did it!  I was determined to have a unique pattern of the plates in the walls.  And yes, the chandelier HAS to be replaced with a crystal one...asap!

So today, we join the Horne family, the Lewis family and the Wiggins Family to celebrate a day of thanksgiving.  The noise will fill our home like a symphony the home has never heard.  I look forward to enjoying the day and creating a lasting memory of our first family gathering in a home we plan to grow old in.

This post has been linked up!  visit: My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for other wonderful links!


Hunting and Gathering

I am currently taking another online class.  Yep.  I recently told a friend I am in the "hunting and gathering" stage of my art career.  I can best describe it like this for you.  I have big ideas for my work.  But honestly have not the faintest idea as to how to get the dreams out into reality.  So I keep mushing along, dreaming.  But as someone told me, until you tell you dreams....they have no way to survive.  And that makes total sense.  So this new class is giving me the little kick in the pants to start the doing and not just the dreaming.  What is the class you ask?  Well, for the fiirst time in blog history for me I am going to keep my lips sealed.  I know, mean.  But, I will share this with you.  The course has nothing to do with painting, and yet it totally inspired me to get my paints out and start these two paintings:

 Which I am beyond smitten with.  The pics were taken with my IPAD, so they are a tinge fuzzy, and are totally in the beginning stages.  But I wanted you to see my current direction.  This past summer I took the online class with Mati and Lisa.  It was great because it pushed me to look and study the works of others.  I've been influenced by the works of Flora Bowley since.  And since I can not for the life of me figure out how she creates her paintings with the layers and depth and negative space use, I've come up with my own style....inspired by hers.  But ya know, that's what it's all about.  Taking something that inspires you and making it your own.  Not copying, not becoming Flora.  Rather, becoming Jenni.  And right this second....this painting is making me very, very happy.


Monroeville, Alabama and Back

Saturday was the day I shared with you that I was going to be meeting the other Jennifer Horne at this adorable Coffee/Booknook:

Just lookey at the inside of this space.  Christy, it truly is a magical place!  At 10am when Molly and I arrived to sent up my wares there was a line of like 10 people waiting for yummy coffee and pastries.  In the back nook a sweet family was reading  together as well as enjoying coffee.  All day long people came and went...always smiling.  A gentleman started playing the grand piano set up in another nook.  Such a comforting thing, knowing that somewhere in America there is a slower way of life.  Although my sister probably doesn't realize this, she is pretty lucky to not have a Target or a Chick-fil-a nearby.
So here she is, the other Jennifer Horne.  Turns out Horne is her maiden name, it's my married name.  She lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where she does indeed teach at the University.  She taught a short poetry writing workshop that I wanted to participate....but my sweet Grandmother, Sissy made her way into the shop about then and we ended up visiting the entire time.  But Jennifer understood...Grandmother time is priceless no doubt.

Here's Jennifer engaging her students during the workshop.  That cute gal with pixie cut hair is the Beehive owner, Christy Nettles.  Man I could bottle her up.  She's a gem.  Everyone really enjoyed the workshop and from the sounds of it, wrote some inspiring words as well!
I taught an ornament class based on the Legend of the Robin's Red-breast.  It's a beautiful story by the way....you should look it up. Below is one of my 10 students:
Of course, as much talking about Monroeville as I've done now, I thought I should share some of my favorite photos from around the square:
This was the original courthouse, now museum.  Every year the community puts on a theatrical version of To Kill A Mockingbird in the lawn area. From what I understand people come from all over to see it!  The Red and White has the best fresh meat department ever....it was my first place to ever find Conecuh sausage.  And that's some seriously good eating.
Overall, I am very glad I made the trip down.  We had a lovely time with all our students in the workshops.  And I sold a nice amount of goodies to customers!  So, if you ever find you way to Monroeville, be sure to stop in and share a cup of coffee with Christy....and enjoy a slower way of living just for a spell anyways.


My Buddy L

On my way to Monroeville Friday I stopped at a favorite antiquing jaunt in Opelika called Angel's.  If you follow me on facebook then you probably saw some of the goodies I saw....and some of the uglies I saw too!  I love a good antique mall...and since this one also has a "flea market" vibe, you are definitely going to see a bit of it all.  Anyhoo....for some reason I am drawn to old trucks, big and small.  In one booth I found an amazing red truck door complete with side mirror.  I thought how cool to hang in our bonus room with the Jeep front we already have hanging (yes, I will show pics soon...).  I've also got my eye out for vintage toy campers and trucks.  I found the one above in Portland in a junk shop for $18.oo.  Yep, scooped that baby up!  And could have sold it 100 times at the Country Living Fair.  Note to self, do not take cool orange truck for display ever again!  In one booth at Angel's there was a Buddy L truck very similar to mine, but not cool orange for $85.oo!!  No way!!  So then I decided to look it up.  Here's what I found:

"The maker of the highly collectible Buddy “L” toy cars and trucks did just that in the 1921. The Moline Pressed Steel Company in East Moline, Ill., started out making regular automobile fenders and truck parts.

Then they branched out to sturdy toy trucks, cars, steam shovels, tugboats, passenger buses, ambulances and moving vans that had real working parts.
These incredibly fun vehicles became a rite of passage for the next generation of car and truck buyers.
Like a lot of inventions the Buddy “L” line started out simple. The company’s owner, Fred Lundhal, wanted to build a toy for his son Arthur that was new, unusual and tough.
He came up with an all-steel miniature truck, reportedly a model of an International Harvester. The kids in the neighborhood so loved Arthur’s truck they convinced their parents to have Lundhal make similar ones for them.
Being the good hearted dad he was, Lundhal designed and made 3 all-steel sample toys under the name Buddy “L”. The name came from his son who was known to neighborhood kids as Buddy "L". It was the kids’ way of distinguishing his son from another Buddy in the neighborhood.
Pleased with the outcome, Lundhal took his toys to the 1922 New York Toy Fair and received halfhearted interest. Toy buyers liked the size and quality but balked at the price.
Never one to be discouraged, Lundhal went ahead and launched the first large American pressed-steel toys anyway. Buddy “L” was born. "  taken from Live Auction Talk.

In other words...Buddy is staying in this house for a spell!!  I can't wait to see how much it's worth.  There are several sights that will give you an idea.  Woohoo!!  And here I was thinking what a cool display for my artsy booths.  hehehe.......

UPDATE:  Well, all be...lookey what I found here.  Yep, that's my truck.  Worth a lot more than I ever thought.  Gotta like that happy news, right?


The Other Jennifer Horne

This is my little sister Molly and her little man Fielding:

She and her husband Mike, my Aunt Becky and Uncle John (Big John), their 3 children who come home sometimes (They are grown now), and my Grandmother Sissy all live in this little town called MONROEVILLE.  In Alabama that is.  It's claim to fame is having raised one Harper Lee (the writer of the infamous To Kill A Mockingbird) and Truman Capote was known to spend many a summer with his Aunt there.  It used to be the home of Vanity Fair (panties and bras girls, yes) until my mother, Nancy's Uncle retired as president (now, there's another family member) So the town has slowed down a bit since the main industry has made its' way to Atlanta (they say the new higher-up wives couldn't handle the lack of shopping...hehehe).  There is no Chick-fil-a, or honestly any restaurant to speak of, not even Dairy Queen.  Unless you count the "Club" as dining.   There is no Target, Belk, Macy's or other big name place to shop.  There is a new fancy super Wal-mart though.  No movie theater, bowling alley or skate rink.  Yep.....little town.  But loaded with old houses to die for, my sister living in one, churches, supper clubs, Junior Women's League and Bunco.  Oh...and a YMCA.

 Somehow though, Christine Nettles found her way to this little town, renovated a sweet spot on the square and opened this little jewel:
The Beehive.  Man this has got to be the sweetest little spot I know.  An amazing collection of books, mostly Alabama writers, hot coffee, and delightful sweets.  Oh, and the company is always friendly.  Southern friendly that is.  So I tell you all this because......

This summer I was in the coffee shop with the kids.  We were exploring the shelves and enjoying frozen coffee (it was Monroeville in the summer...it's very south).  When I came upon a book of poetry called Bottle Tree.  By Jennifer Horne.  WHAT???  Jennifer Horne???  So I go up to Christy and politely say, "I'd like to buy this book by Jennifer Horne.  You know that's my name?"  Christy just knows me at this point as Molly's Sister from Newnan.   "And I want my Daddy to make me a bottle tree like he has in his yard out of old Cyprus....keep hoping for one.  Oh, and I'm an artist too."  Christy immediately opened the idea up for Jennifer Horne and I to one day meet.  And now the time has come!!  I am super excited to be sharing this Saturday at the Beehive with her!!  She'll be doing a poetry workshop in the morning, while I'll be teaching a little bird ornament workshop in the afternoon!  I am embarrassed to say I don't know much about her.  All I know is we share a passion for our art, share our name, and share a love of Alabama.  Yep... 

So if you live anywhere near Monroeville, Alabama, come out and see both of us!!  Take the workshops, sit a spell and visit over coffee, and of course shop.  I'll be selling lots of new goodies, and her books are always available at the store.  If not....wish me luck meeting another me.  Man, that's sounds weird.  Two of us....that could be a little scary.  Nah.....


A Special Team

 As promised, here is a snapshot of my last little exhibit for the fall art on the walls.  My amazingly creative little 2nd graders made these Monster Plants.  I got the idea from an Osbourne book and of course today I can not find the darn thing to share it with you.  But it was called something like Monster things to Make and Do.  I think.  Anyhoo....this project totally rocked.  Mixed media in the coolest of manner.  Sharpie, watercolor, paper, scissors and glue.  What 2nd grader doesn't love those materials?  And the subject matter, right up the 2nd grade boys alley.  Girls were on the fence about it.  And most gave them eyelashes just because. 
Of course I had to go over the top and add an entire wall of giant green prickly vines and yellow grass.  Made for a better effect, right?  Family Fun Night at our school is basically a trick-or-treat evening.  I love the idea because it's safe, warm and seriously fun to see how creative teachers can be!  Each team dresses up together in a theme and hands out candy to dressed up students.  Of course I've no photos of everyone else but we had Angry Birds, Legos, Smurfs, Flinstones, 3 Blind Mice, Indians, 3 Amigos and US:
The "special team" was decked from head to toe as the Mommy Monster plants (note to self take full length photos next time.  We used all my vintage tutus on our bottom halves!! And had hand thingies on.)  Behind us were all our widdle baby plants.  Now yes, we scared many once we opened our mouths.  It was like we were cute, pretty maybe, then WHAM....evil man-eating teeth.  We had tons of kids and teachers not even know who we were!!  It was great fun.  And bonded us a little....I like my special girls.  Coach Robin is in the middle, the rebel in blue (She is the tiniest little fireball I know.  I love her spirit and her ability to teach children how to embrace living an active lifestyle.  At our old school they learned to play dodge ball.....alot).  Mrs. Culbreth is our  music teacher on the left (She totally has given my children the joy of music.  Which makes my heart very warm.)  And then there I am on the right.  (The super cool art teacher of course!!)  We embrace all the children in the school....reaching many that can't seem to navigate their way through the regular academics.  Enduring LONG periods without potty breaks.  And trying very hard to share our love and passion for physical education, music and art with 450 children.  You gotta love what you do to teach a whole school.  You really, really do. 


Momma and Daddy Bird

I was cleaning up my photos files this weekend, a HUGE chore in which I avoid like cleaning the oven.   Hiding in the files I came upon this snip-it of a custom painting.  The overall painting was huge.  Like odd long and skinny huge.  It was custom made for a custom skinny spot.  Love that I have a framer that can help me out with these type of custom orders.  :)

Anyhoo, this little close-up struck me sweetly.  Looks a bit like Billy and I.  Mommy and Daddy birds.  Hanging out in the same patch of flowers but not on the same branch.  We've always been one of those type of couples.  Not that we vacation separate, have separate checking or anything nuts like that.  But simply that we've allowed one another to have wings and soar with our strengths.  I love that he has supported my crazy ideas, and I his.  (he's a politician peeps....married to an artist...need I say more?)  I was admiring the fact that our children have witnessed their parents not only be parents, but be individuals who enjoy living their lives outside of being a parent just this week.  Mailey and William have watched us flourish in our passions, mine as an artist and Billy's as a community servant.  They also see us give to our Church family through the sharing of our gifts(both physical and monetary) and our talents.  I know I have weaknesses when it comes to parenting, but daily I am reminded just by the manner in which our children live their little lives that perhaps we've done a pretty good job sitting on our separate branches throughout marriage.   Oh, I should mention that our branches share the same roots.  So we are never that far away from one another...... 


Marist Holiday Traditions

Today is the annual Marist Holiday Traditions.  This is my 4th year to be year to be in the show, hard to believe.  For 3 years I've had the exact same spot in Kurht Gym.  Now spots in this show are small.  Like really small......so I've been eyeing the corner spots since year 1.  And by golly karma heard me, because not only is my space a corner, but it is on a front row, which means a wider aisle!  If you've not been to this show, then I'll explain it like this.  You are not allowed to bring children in strollers, women line up prior to the 9am opening time and come in droves until literally 4pm when it ends (wearing Christmas sweaters and everything).  It is awesome.  Love it.  Now sales, I am not a bazillion sales a year girl.  But I think this year I may do better.  It has taken just 3 years, but I think the trick to this show is limited product styles, but in mass.  So framed tiles, bag tags, magnets and my new bezel pendant I hope will make a statement that says, "BUY ME!!"
 If you can make it, please come by!!  It's $3 to get in the door, but I assure you there will be mucho to see and more to buy.  Good thing I am flying solo.  No time to shop.  hehehe.....  I hope to see you here!!


Fall Art with Kids

Well, I suppose I should start sharing the new part of my creative journey with you guys!  In fact, I think my blog banner needs a verbiage change.  Hmmmm.....paint..metal..inspirer.  I'll work on that.  But for now, here are a ton of photos from the fall show we just had.  Each year the PTA sponsors a Family Fun Night.  In the past they've decorated the halls with Halloweenish decor.  This year I suggested we hang the work my students were working on instead.  And they loved that idea!!  A few bang up Mom helpers came in and about 2 weeks later we had the front halls decked out with all our fall creations!!  Enjoy...I have one more post to share about the Fall Festival....but that I'll share next week.  hehehe...

 4th grade oil pastel pumpkins welcomed the families into the school.

The giant tree was my favorite feature of the show.  Sweet Alice, my custodian, caught me on the very top of the small ladder hot gluing watercolor leaves and about had a heart attack!  She quickly located the rather large ladder for me.  Because yes, this wall is two stories!  2nd and 3rd grade made all the beautiful fall leaves and owls.
 3rd grade made the harvest landscapes.  I absolutely love how each one is so different.  They were given the guidelines and the skills and totally ran with it.  Super creative kids in the class I tell ya!

 3rd grade also made these adorable skinny houses.  We aligned them on the road and put on the night of "trick or treat smell my feet...."  It was hard to photo these because there was so much detail in each one with markers.
4th grade had a blast making papier mache pumpkins for the patch.  We had two tables of pumpkins set up for literally 3 weeks and not one ended up as a kick ball in the hallway.  Respecting other's work does not appear to be an issue at this school!
 5th grade made these most spooky and yet spiritual Banyan trees with oil pastels and black tempera.
 I mean look at these.....so very inspired.
 Another Harvest Landscape....seriously look at the details.  The blue ribbon on the large pumpkin!!!
Now, not really Harvest, or fall but 1st grade couldn't be left out of the show.  So we hung their Fun with Fish bowls.  I don't teach Kindergarten....didn't leave those wee ones out on purpose.

2nd grade also made the project that inspired my "Special" team's costumes for the evening.  Wait til you see!!  Check back next week.  I plan to share projects we are working on weekly if I can!  Hope you are all doing well.  Things are calming down here in the Horne house.  Well, maybe a little anyways. 
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