Professional Packer

If I could come up with any crazy job in the world and get paid for it, I would be a professional packer.  Yep.  I love to pack for a trip.  And perhaps part of this is because packing means GOING somewhere.  Right?  But seriously, when I know a trip is coming up I start the piles and most importantly the lists.  And rarely ever do we leave anything behind.  Heck, when a car road trip is involved you should see the micro-studio I pack and take.  No wasted time ever! 

And then there are the flying trips.  We don't have many of these in the Horne house, but when we do it usually involves just me flying to take art classes or teach art classes.  And this week has been all about packing for teaching at Art and Soul in Virgina Beach.

Now, unfortunately several things happened to mess up the natural order of my packing and preparing for this trip. 
1.  Phillip the framer didn't get my frames ready prior to winter break, even though I ordered them about 2 months ago.  (I know, right Valerie...?)  Instead he hand-delivered them to me Monday PM.  After UPS was closed.  Sigh.  And I still had to clean them and black gesso the boards for the class.
2.  I had NO boxes at the house large enough to fit the 20 frames and inserts at the house.  And it's Monday night.  And I am freaking out a bit.  Because I work during the day now, and can not get to UPS in time to get them shipped out without having to sell Mailey on the black market.  And we have BB team practice Tuesday night and I have to be in Atlanta Wednesday night for a fancy dinner.  GEEESHHHH....
In the photo below you can kind of see the enormity of the pile.  I even tried putting them in a suitcase...hahaha..They measured 17" stacked on top of one another.  Not gonna work.
So the kids and I threw a frame in the car on the way to BB Team practice last night and headed to the UPS store where thank goodness Brandi was working.  I explained the quandry and together we came up with a plan to get these suckers on the plane with me so my sweet students would have their frames and boards to paint.  We measured, weighed, measured and weighed again.  Careful not to go over 50pds and 62" in total l+w+h.  Oh, and to add to all the drama I should add it's monsooning again in Newnan.  Geeeesh...

So as you can see the boxes are humongous.  I am going to have to tip the sky cap guy a $20 no doubt. Here's a better look at their size below:
She'd probably go with me if she could.  Love that doggie of mine.  So back to the packing.  I got all the frames and panels snug as a bug in their boxes then went and got the scale.  I weighed myself without the boxes (depressing) then with the boxes.  42 pounds each.  Whew....and then the large orange suitcase full of paint and other teaching goodies...42 pounds!!  (which btw I packed up Saturday...)  So I am taking literally 126 pounds on the airplane.  Which I find hilarious.  Oh, and we haven't even packed our clothing yet!  But the important stuff is by the door and ready to go tomorrow.  I can not wait!!!!!


The APPS on My Apples

In our house we now own everytype of I-pod, I-pad and I-Phone there is.  Just no I-Computer....yet.    Billy and I are too chicken.  Although we love all the other toys that start with the letter I.  Not meaning to brag....just sayin'.

I am a photo junky.  Really I am.  I wish I knew how to use my fancy pants camera a little better.  Because I could see myself as a photographer.  Not of people, but like National Geographic photographer.  Or flowers.  I love to take photos of flowers.  Anyhoo....I opted not to take the big camera to Disney, just the I-phone.  You see, in my phone I have 4 camera APPS.  I love each and everyone for different reasons.  And Disney was a giant playground for messing with those APPS in the phone.  Ooooo...lookey at little Cinderella's castle after I got ahold of it:

I LOVE this photo I tinkered with at Epcot.  Yep.  The eyes of an artist and Disney's giant playground were a wonderful place to be!


Oh Disney...

You didn't think I'd leave out some photos from the trip did ya?  I have to admit though, when I uploaded them I realized I really didn't pay much attention to the camera on the trip.  I was too busy living in the moment I suppose.  I did however watch in AMAZEMENT at how people totally documented their entire trip through a camera, camera phone, video cameras....even on roller coasters.  I wonder if once they got home they realized they missed half the trip because they only saw it through a viewfinder.  Anyhoo.....Oh Disney....the land of a million wishes. 

We stayed on property at the Pop Century Resort.  It was a giant playground of giant stuff.  Literally.  See:

It was the funnest hotel I've ever stayed in...and for the price, we'll be staying there again.  (They also had the best sangria I've ever tasted....mmmm....)  Below has to be my favorite giant sculpture on property.  Seeing as how I used to totally rock the big wheel and the big wheel break 360' spin.  Oh yeah.
We are big Lego fans in this house.  I've mentioned before that while my sister Molly was getting Barbie's for Christmas I was getting Legos. The Downtown Disney Lego store never disappoints with its' sculptures!  This time around it was full of Toy Story Characters.  Awww....the Toy Story Memories.  That was William's favorite movie at age 2. 
So we spent 3 days in the parks, all 4 Disney parks that is!!  Sunday was Hollywood Studios.  A BLAST I tell ya!  The new Star Wars area rocked.  That ride....man I felt like Princess Leah hanging with C3PO.  Luv.  I also loved the Tower of Terror.  The element of surprise is my favorite kind of ride.  Roller coasters I can see the loops on...not so much. 
Monday we spent all day in the Magic Kingdom.  Which....well.....I think we've kind of missed the magic years on this park.  Because while I was ooooing and ahhhhing and wanting to ride Peter Pan, my tweens were not.  Thank goodness for Space Mountain....Mailey rode it over and over hands in the air yelling woohooo the entire time!   The other special moment here was our dinner in the Crystal Palace with Pooh and Friends for Mailey's 10th Birthday.  We'd never done that before, it was beyond worth it to see her face LIGHT up when she saw her favorite characters come to life.  Like tears happy.  Like she jumped up everytime they reached our table and gave bear hugs like I've never seen before.  Magical. 
See Pooh?  He's totally giggling and loving her bear hug too!!  They all signed her a Birthday card too.  That'll be something she keeps forever!
It was absolutely perfect weather for the trip.  Not hot at all!   We also hit Animal Kingdom and Epcot.  I think we all want to go back to Epcot.  It was an amazing park.  Highly recommend every ride in that park.   And yummy food!!  The Space shuttle mission literally feels like you are taking off in a space ship and flying through the atmosphere!!
Billy did have to leave early, which was a bummer.  The kids and I took advantage of Downtown Disney again with movies and more food.  I think we ate our way through the week!!  Oh, and the hotel arcade was a huge hit.  We had such a wonderful trip overall and are super, super glad we went.  6 days away felt like the blink of an eye.  I am very glad we went with no real plan, because we had no expectations to be disappointed about afterwards.  We just got up and went.  And then crashed...and then got up and did it all over again!  But here are a few things from the no plan gang you may want to know if you are planning a trip:

1.  All the time you'd normally spend packing cute outfits to wear....don't waste time doing.  Seriously pack all your work-out clothes.  I am wearing a fashion ekkk....with tennis shoes above but am SO thankful I thought to pack them last minunte.  Because Disney is like a giant track.  And cute shoes and outfits are not noticed by anyone.  Seriously.
2.  Back pack must.  Another thing we did last minute was dump Mailey's school pack and take it along.  Everyday I packed snacks and water bottles we refilled.  Because peeps, water is $2.50 a bottle.  And I didn't see that many healthy snack options along the way.  (Although my hubby ate I think 2 Mickey Ice Cream sandwhiches a day!!  Mr. Healthy eater cracked me up!!)
3.  Upon entering the park decide right then the most important rides and run to get a fast pass.  And then wander and enjoy other things.  We missed out on the Soarin' ride because we didn't get the fast pass soon enough.  And guys a 210 minute wait is just stupid.  Yes, that is 210 minutes I said.  That would be a 2.5 hour wait for a ride.  Luckily my kids were rolling with the punches too so any ride too long or fast passes not available said, oh well.  Next time.

I've got a trillion things on the to-do list this week.  Mailey and I head to Virgina Beach Thursday for Art and Soul.  Woohoooo!!  I'll be back with some shorter posts later this week.


Here For Each Other

This painting has stamped along the bottom these words, "I think we are here for each other".  This week our family was shown amazing kindness.  Which simply reminds me that we are all here for each other in this little blog world.  All you have to do is ask.  I promise, you ask....and I will answer.  

See you real soon with new stuff.  Good stuff.....oh and speaking of new stuff.  Anyone notice a new badge in the sidebar?  Just sayin' you might want to peek if you want to be in the "know".  hehehe.....


Puffy Heart

Right this second I am puffy hearting that we made a crazy decision to take the kiddos to Disney over our winter school break.  Yep.  We are here right this second as you are reading this post (I hope safe and sound...gotta love pre-posting).  Why such a big deal you ask?  It's just Disney.  Well you see, we aren't fancy vacation people...Billy and I.  We like a beach trip,  at least 2 a summer. Simple, sand in toes with no responsibility vacations are the name of the game for us.  This...while to many is "oh we go to Disney every year" (which I am AMAZED at how many people in Atlanta do), is a big deal for us!

And yet...we've not planned a thing.  Are we crazy?  Honestly I think those who over plan Disney miss out on some of the magic of the trip.  And yes, our kids have two legs and can walk.  The stroller frenzy is not an issue this time.  And we've got 2-days to do the parks and 3 days to do other stuff.  So we'll be fine and dandy.  I did make reservations to have dinner with Pooh...a family fav.  :)  Puffy heart that too.
So the Mickey Mouse ears....well.....they are MY Mickey Mouse ears.  From the first trip we took as an Adkins clan.  I have no idea what year it was.  But do know it had to be prior to the year 1982.  Because that was the year I changed the spelling of my name.....yep.  My parents spelled it Jenny from the get go.  And then in 6th grade, I hit middle school and decided that was just not a cool way to spell it and changed it to Jenni.  My birth name is Jennifer, and yet I've never been called that.  Yep.  Been idependent minded for some time now.  But you already knew that, right?

Billy has to fly home early from the trip because Georgia Legislature is in session next week.  And although we will miss Daddy terribly....Mommy is really excited about having the kids to herself for a few days with no plan, house to clean, blog to write, classes to teach, laundry to wash, meals to cook, need I go on?  And a giant playground to play in!!  How cool is that?  Mommy wouldn't mind a prayer for the car ride home though.....hint...hint....

So I'll see you back in a few....actually a week!  Holy tamoly we're going to be gone a spell!!  Woohooooo!!!


Musings From the Art Room

Every once in awhile I find a project that makes me so giddy I can't stand it!  And this was one of those projects!  An artist at the Trinity Spotlight on Art show had these adorable paintings of little girls blowing bubbles.  My wheels starting spinning on the ideas for my own kiddos at school!  Self-portraits blowing gum bubbles!!  Aha!
These portraits were made by 5 and 6 year olds.  They are acrylics on canvas...the bubble is a flat bottom wooden ball.  These are the biggest parents pleas project I've made to date! 

Enjoy!!  We are headed to Disneyworld tomorrow....I think I am more excited than the kids.  I can't wait to ride Peter Pan and eat dinner with Winnie the Pooh (we are doing this on Mailey's 10th birthday btw!!)!!  This is our second trip with the kids to Disney.  The first was on New Year's Eve like 7 years ago.  Crazy.  Crazy.  Hopefully this time it will be a little less crowded!!  We have no plan of action or hand book.  We just plan to go and enjoy.  I think people that over plan a Disney trip miss out on some of the magic of the trip.  And besides our kids are older and no strollers will make navigating the parks much easier!


Memory Lane

I was born in 1972.  So in the 70's my Momma dressed me.  I've got photo proof of plenty of smocked dresses on Sundays and wide legged pants and patchwork tops during the week.  Yep.  They are fabulous photos guys.  Ha.  The 80's came along and I was pre-teen and flat out teen.  So I remember vividly the clothing and stores....V-neck sweaters turned backwards from The Limited (I wanted everything from this store!!) , Units (don't tell me you didn't own a piece from this store....it was the BOMB!), Spencer jewelry, long sweatshirts with leg warmers and more.  Yes....the 80's.  Hideous clothing in so many ways.  While at Target the other night I about died at the clothing.  Bright....bright..crayon box bright.  And cut like the 80's but sorta hippy.   It's like the 60's-80's have mashed.  Fun.   And then over in the jewelry I just laughed OUT LOUD (which made Mailey wonder why?)  at what they are actually selling: 

Seriously?  Friendship bracelets!  Back when I was in middle and high school we didn't carry back-packs.  We had lockers and went between classes to our lockers to gather books for the next class.  What we ALL had were clip boards.  Oh yeah.  With stickers and paint pen writing all over them!  And during class we'd make friendship bracelets.  I can remember having an armful of these!  And now, some person in China is making them for Target.  And Target is selling them for $4.00.  I laughed and told Mailey, "I'll show you how to make those.  Let's go buy a clipboard."

The rainbow clothing I may have a little trouble fitting in to my wardrobe (I am a black, gray, white, jean person) but the earrings...I am totally freaking over.  Like these I found at Rugged Warehouse for $1.99. Yep.  You can envy me now:

Anyhoo...this is a totally random post, but the color clothing everywhere has got me all giddy for spring.  And since we are headed out Saturday for a warmer climate....I've been doing a lot of shopping.  It's not just Target that has the crayon box clothes either.  It's infiltrated everywhere.  I may have to break down and buy something out of my comfort zone!  Have a happy Wednesday guys!!


Little Bird Cages

Sometimes I buy stuff that I really shouldn't.  Yep.  I see it at a yard sale or thrift store and think to myself, "maybe I could paint on that?"  These wooden panels were such an example of my binge buying.  I found them at a yard sale for a steal but they sat....sat....sat....perhaps even got moved to the storage unit sat...until recently I looked at them and it hit me.  They looked like a BIRD CAGE!  And voila!  A painting series began.  See:

This one is the odd man out...but I just had to use this sketch from my sketchbook.  And the words, well they mean a lot to me these days.

I hope you start your Valentine Week off with loads of JOY and LOVE......the Horne house sure is!


Orange You Glad You're Here? (a birthday)

Yes, we still do birthday parties in our house.  In fact, we tend to go all out for parties at our house.  My favorite by far was William's 9th Birthday where we hosted a SPY party.  It was so cool....I made the invitations in reverse so parents had to read it in front of a mirror. hehehe... There were lots of mustaches involved with that party!  We've done maybe one for each of them somewhere other than our own home, but I find when I ask the kiddos, they prefer the ones at home.  Hey, I love the chance to have guests....small and large!

William turned 12 this year.  Wow....I know.  Seems like yesterday he arrived in the middle of an ice storm.  We were afraid we'd not make it to the hospital!  In Georgia the world shuts down in ice and snow ya know.  Here he is though, age 12.  And he wanted a sleep over.  Cool.  So we invited 5 boys plus him.  Woohooo!!  This was the yummy food buffet table:
The theme for the party.....well at 12 you are a little over Bob the Builder and Lego parties.  So we went with a color scheme.  Guess which color?  Orange you glad you stopped by today to see all this?  Hahaha... (on a side note, I CAN NOT get a decent photo in this part of the house.  Irritates the heck out of me.  These photos I was so excited about sharing and dang if they aren't all kind of icky.....)
Since we went with an orange color scheme we scoured the store for orangey treats...the giant gum ball machine balls with movie treats in them were a HUGE hit.  Seriously 12 year old boys still love fun stuff like giant gum ball machine balls!
I put silly orange jokes all over the food table for fun.  William thought that was a little corny, but hey, I was on a role with the decorations!
I'd seen the Mason jar glasses all over the Internet and decided it was a fabulous idea!  I mean, who hands a 12 year old a sippy cup?  In our new house, we don't allow drinks on the new carpet....but at a sleepover you kind of have to break the rules.  So this was the solution.  And can I just tell you, the boys had a fit over them!  "These are so cool Mrs. Jenni!!  Can we keep them?"  My friend Amber used her magic machine to cut the vinyl letters for them.   I wrapped the jars with layers of paper and filled them with orange soda and ginger ale ice cubes!!  Yummy.
So what do you do with 6/12 year old boys?  Well, first fed them hot wings (William's choice...ironic that they too are orange), hot chicken dip and queso dip.  Then you send them outside with flashlights and fabric napkins for capture the flag in the dark.  You are very thankful that A.  it's not 20' outside and B.  it's not raining.  Because outside running around is a wonderful idea for 6/12 year old athletic boys!!  Then at 10:30 PM you surprise the boys and tell them to get their shoes on because........we are going BOWLING!!  Yep, Billy and I loaded the gang up and went bowling until midnight.  We are cool parents, right?? (or crazy...not sure on that one yet.)
Once we got home all the boys grabbed their giant balls full of yumminess, their sippy cup...I mean mason jars, and all the other stuff from the buffet and headed up to the movie room.   We'd rented Transformers for them to watch.   By 2am...it was quiet. (except for Lily and Billy's snoring)  I decided it was finally safe for me to fall asleep as well.  You see, one particular friend, whom we've known since inutero was threatening pranks.  And well, pranks and I do not like each other very much.  So I had to BE sure he'd indeed fallen asleep prior to pranking.
So, from what I hear from Mommies and boys....a very good time was had by all.  I never heard fussing, whining or fighting.  Which was cool.  We have Mailey's sleepover tomorrow night....which I am sure there will be a little more drama.  They are girls (8/10 year old girls).  So wish me loads of luck and patience.

Oh...and in case you were wondering, yes I took a 2 hour nap Sunday afternoon.  haha...


A Studio View

Just thought I'd give you a view of the studio in work mode.  I told ya I work in multiples!  One day, one day...one day....I will remember to take photos of the whole studio remodel so you can see the end results.  But here's a pretty good glimpse.  It's super magical down there!  We'll be trying it out as a workshop studio this weekend for Mailey's party.  All her friends have asked me what they are making....why?  Hahaha....I can't wait to set it up for art making for her friends.  :)
I can't believe the pink sofa doesn't have a four legged on it in this photo.  The cats love the sofa.  See the tiny pink chair with painting on it?  That would be Mailey's....I guess she needs her own easel.

I use egg cartons at school for paint trays.  Super great idea....so I decided to try it at home and love it!!  The paints actually don't dry out in a day either.  Can you tell my palette of preference?

Lots more paintings to share over the next week....I hope you'll come back.  Follow on facebook for newest posts or follow me up there on the right hand side at the follow button!  I love to know who's joined the journey!


Valentine's Day Vignette

I suppose all the new blogs I've found and the linking up has made me giddy for decorating a wee bit for the season.  Yep.  Wee.  In the entrance to our home I have a  favorite piece of furniture and the lovely lady Isabella(my mannequins all have names, yes they do).  And well, this area just seemed a perfect fit for a little Valentine's Day sprucing up!  You'd a thunk the PINK dining room would have been the perfect spot.  Well, it will be for our special dinner!

So onto the decorating.  I really have to share what was made and where I found some of these puffy heart goodies!
 1.  the banner:  Michael's has the new $1ish bin area at the check out and well, that is my new favorite spot to check for little crafty ideas.  Low and behold they had colored crocheted doilies!!  I had been wanting to do something with those, I don't really know why, but just have.....and so I bought pink for V-day.  I also bought that day a lovely patterned paper and the most amazing glitter paper to layer on the doily.  At school I used our die cut machine to make the LOVE letters.  Then back home Mailey and I cut large circles from the paper and ran the sewing machine around and around connecting the doily and the paper.  We used double stick tape to attach the letters.  To string the letters together we simply sewed the doilies to the velvet ribbon.  Voila!  Instant banner.  Add a vintage U to the display and it's just about perfect!
 2.  the hearts:  Always on this dresser are our sweet heart collection of leaves and rocks.  I love to display them in the bottles we've found at Pawpaw's house.  The puffy heart on the wall I made using a fabulous technique.  I'll share that later.
 3.  Lady Isabella:  I was piddling last weekend in an antique store when I came across the pink satin apron....ok....seriously satin for cooking?  This was some fine lady's apron I suppose.  You think she also wore her white gloves while baking?    And the 4 stranded pink beads....OMG....I had....to....buy.....
 4.  the ultimate love letter:  So the white card above with the heart embossed on it is our wedding invitation.  I was a printing major in college.  In the intaglio class I made a series of probably 8 small heart plates and used them to create many prints.  When getting ready to make our invitation I decided to not go the traditional creme with raised black letters invite, nope.  Instead, the printers used my plate to emboss the front on an amazing deckle edge white paper, with the inside a letter from mine and Billy's parents asking the guests to attend our wedding.  I puffy heart that we did this. 

 5.  the little wreaths:  As a child, my mother made little curtain ring ornaments for her tree at Christmas time.  She painted the rings red and green, attached her favorite plaid ribbon then placed a photo of my sister and I in the opening.  I loved looking at them every year to see how much we'd grown.  This Christmas I had intended to do the same for my kids, but alas time slipped out from under me and I didn't get it done.  But ever clever, I decided to make them for the Valentine's tree!  I love, love the way they turned out.  And seriously am thinking of making a family tree soon.  I just have to track down the photos of everyone.  I used my camera+ app to take and edit the photos in the grunge mode.  The kids look a tad scary ghostly, so I may change the photos out before I put them away!

Overall, I just love seeing this vignette when I walk into the house.  It makes me smile.  And yep, in case you are wondering, I have already begun the Easter vignette in my head.  teeheeeheeee....
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