Leaps of Faith

You know sometimes.....

Everyday I work towards this:
I wasn't going to talk about this here, but last night's dream was just too much and I feel like sharing.  You are my little support team here.  I like you guys!  An opportunity has come available to be an art teacher at a different school.  In a certified position.  Full-time.  And I've put in for it.  Since making this decision 2 days ago I've been a bundle of nerves worrying about leaving this school, the 350 babies I love, the teachers I am comfortable with, the parents who care and support me.  Then last night this dream came to me.  I am an avid dreamer by the way. I never remember the entire dream, rather snip-its.  This dream was SO vivid though.  Here's the scene:  I was at a swimming pool.  My children were there, Billy there, and some friends I think.  They were already swimming and having fun.  I was late for some reason.  I got my suit on and then immediately climbed up the high diving board to just jump in.  And then I got scared and wanted off the diving board.  When I turned around to go down the ladder, it was gone!  I was freaking out.  Screaming to get off the board...and yet my family was all in the pool cheering me on to just jump mom!!  You'll be okay!  And then Billy woke me up.  So I'm not sure if I jumped or not.  But symbolically.....danged if it wasn't telling me something!!
We all have to take chances in our lives sometimes.  Sometimes we jump in and loose our bikini tops.  Other times we jump and impress with a gorgeous swan dive.  How ever you jump, the point is you jump.  You take the leap of faith for yourself.  Luckily for me I have an amazing support team cheering me on, including my current principal.  I may not even get an interview.  But I might.  The important step has been taken, I've put myself out there.  I jumped into the water off the high dive in real life.
Now, I am waiting patiently (refreshing my email every 5 minutes) to see if I get "the call".  If I don't it's okay.  I really...really love my job here.  But if I do get a call, rest assured I'll do my best to shine in the interview. I'll be sure to keep you posted.  Thanks for listening!  And always being here in cyberland for me.


A Little Tandem Ride

This is another custom painting order ready and waiting for pick up.  I am loving these custom painting oh yes I am!  And funny enough, this is my second tandem bike that is a wedding gift.  How cool a gift is that?  Actually the first photo is of my process.  Many of you are intrigued by my choice of canvas color.  Yes, it starts black.  I noticed the other day in Michael's they actually sell black gessoed canvases.  Interesting.  Although I do not like to paint on canvas, rather prefer the wood surfaces.  But the option is now out there.

I have some cool things going on these days in the classroom, home and personally.  I like it when my world seems balanced.  Seems.  Because sure enough something will eventually creep up and knock me off my feet.  It's those feet knocking experiences though that make me stronger and wiser.  And more prepared for the next round of good and bad.  Right now I'm going to focus on the good.  And ride the tandem bike with my sweetie Billy.  Because lately we are really pedaling the same speed.  It's kinda nice.  He sees the light at the end of the political tunnel.  I can not tell you how exciting the thought of having him home for January-April is.  Yeah.  It's going to be nice riding the tandem bike with him and not alone those cold winter months!


Entranceway Project....Nesting Time

Sometimes things come into your home which require complete transformations of the spaces they are going to reside.  Yep.  Like this rock your brain most awesome chair ever in the history of chairs chair:

And this family heirloom you finally decide to paint a poppin' blue.  Yes.  These two things came into our home and me being the nut job that I am started a tailspin of a remodel in the entrance way of our home.  Yeah, I know.  Jenni when do you stop?  That answer is simply never.

When we moved into the house I knew eventually I'd have to tackle this two story entrance area.  It's a dead space honestly.  Annoying that it functions as nothing but a walk through.  Too small and awkward to be a room, but enough space to need attention.  So this week was the week.  First, ya know how I feel about all the khaki in this house.  So I won't bore you with that rant.  The den and kitchen area I painted the prettiest color called "cotton whisper" from Home Depot.  Since you see right into the den when you enter our home I decided perhaps that should be the entrance color.  So painting was first on the agenda.  Oh geesh....there was so much brush painting in this area....my arm retaliated towards the end!!  I will end up hiring someone to paint the tall walls, as I was not renting scaffolding again.  But the amount I painted so far makes me very happy.

Ok.  It's not as bad as I make it out to be,  I love to over dramatize.  And I love to nest.  So for a the price of a gallon of paint and a few thrift store finds I have an entirely new look to the entrance way!

It's hard to see the change in color with the lighting, but man the buttery white makes me so happy now.

The blue table was our kitchen island in the old house.  Now it has a better home than on the screened in porch area.  The vintage mannequin is a favorite to decorate for the holidays.  I think she'll have wings this year.  :)  Oh, and I painted the railing dark gray.  That is an addition I love!!  No more dirty hands on the white!
I love to decorate with my favorite things including photos.  I'm not a big frame buyer so instead I scattered some favorites out for friends and family to flip through when they come over. The heart leaf collection stands perfectly in old books I've ripped the covers off of.
The nook below pretty much stayed the same, except I found the amazing green ceramic lamp at the Goodwill last week for a mere $3.50.  I intend to glam up the shade with some Amy Butler Fabrics.   The larger scale lamp makes more sense for the wall height.  It's funny how you notice things like that.  I've never been a lamp person until this house.  And I kept buying tiny lamps when we moved in.  Now I am looking for HUGE lamps.  Because the wall heights need scale!

One of the biggest and prettiest changes for the room is the chandelier pictured here.  My Dad and his wife gave it to us for Christmas last year.  We finally got it up in lieu of the 200 pound brass thing.  That btw even the Goodwill wouldn't take.  This one is perfectly gorgeous!  And will hang here for years to come.  From this angle you can really see the paint differences.  The bottom of the chair rail is the new color.  Cotton whisper.....I should also mention that on the sky lights to the left and right of the door were not only wood blinds but also dark film sheets.  Without those two things the room is SO pretty and airy.  The cats love it.  We have to replace the door soon due to rotting wood.  I am hoping we can do a double door.....

Well.....the rest of the week was full of family, friends (girl-friends too.... ekk....we love our new sweet friend) food, and rest.  It has been such a lovely week.  I feel blessed beyond words that we live in a home we can fill with food and family on holidays like this.  I do hope your week was filled with love and happiness as well.  I'll be back soon with some of the studio time charm. 


A Little Break

Lately it seems this is my life:

During lunch last week Billy brought me Chick-fil-a (rock star hubby) while I worked on not one but two computers at the same time.   And this is just one 30 minute break.  You should see how I roll during class!  No wonder I am literally hungry ALL day long.  With my training runs and teaching on my feet all day I am burning more calories than I am in taking.  I really like being called this:

Because she rocks.  And deep inside I think I rock too.  But this week we are out for Thanksgiving Break.  So I intend to hang with these two.  They can just call me "Mom".
 And hopefully my thankful hands can look a bit like this. 
Everyday I am so thankful that I have this life to be a part of.  There was a time when I really did not like any part of my life or anyone in it.  I am thankful that through love, support and time those days are behind me.  So this week I am taking off from blogging and FB so I can focus a bit more on being kind to myself and my family.  And showing them how grateful I am to have them as a part of my life.  I hope you have a lovely holiday week.  Blessing to you.


Southern Circle Retreats

As you know, Tiffin and I have been busy bees planning our first Southern Circle Retreats.  Part of the plan was to gather vendors for swag bag goodies.  We made a list of companies we like and whose products we love.  And then we started sending the emails.  And well.....just a little bit of this is coming our way.

Actually alot of JOY is coming our way!!  It's like Christmas at Tiffin's house everyday as the UPS man drops off boxes of goodness for our retreat attendees to use during the retreat and take a little home as well!
 Velvet ribbon from May Arts will be used on our embroidery project.
 TombowUSA sent double stick tape runners that will be used for LOTS of things during the weekend.
Plaid Crafts sent Modge Podge, Martha Stewart craft supplies and more!!

There's more too....some we can't show because it's secret goodies.  We don't want to give it all away....but we did want to tease you a tad.  It's not too late to sign up for the retreat.  AND if you need us to send an email to a family member maybe mentioning the retreat for a Christmas present do!!  Send them our way at:  www.southerncircleretreats.com  or email direct to:  gather@southerncircleretreats.com

We want you there!!  And you know you wan to be there.  With us.  For the first ever Southern Circle Retreat.  It's going to be so good.


If This Jar Could Talk

If this jar could talk I wonder what it'd say?  It's painted 100's of paintings with me.  Had it's photo taken like it's my child everytime it makes a cool color.  As an artist sometimes I get a tad annoyed at my brain and how it sees things.  Like beauty in this jar.  And the water colors that emerge as the canvas is brought to life. 

But then again, if there weren't artists like me who saw beauty in things like this, the world would be as very dull place to be.


I Just Love Soy Paint

I just can not tell you how much I am LOVING these delta CREATIVE soy paints.  I about kart-wheeled down the Hobby Lobby aisle when I saw they'd restocked!  (Actually there was a rather large lady and her daughter totally blocking the paint aisle on the phone talking to Daddy about dinner and groceries.  I about ninja'd them to get to the paint!)  I did miss yellow somehow.  Guess I'll be making a trip today.  They just go on like butter, not clumpy thick like my regular paints (which cost a fortune!).  And at $1.99 a bottle.....yeah I am thinking this is a no brainer.  I am going soy.  Have you tried them yet??
 Here's the raw start of a painting with the soy paints on my black gesso.  I can't wait to show you the end result.  This little painting is for a friend.....who also wants a yellow house by the sea.
There's the bottle in the right corner of the above photo.  They are likely to be where the "craft paint" is located instead of in the fine art aisle.

Anyhoo....busy bee around the house lately.  I can't wait to share the new entrance way.  It's coming along nicely!  And just in time for the 15 guest at our home for Thanksgiving dinner.  Yep. The WHOLE family is coming to our house this year!!  So cool.


Custom Painting

I've been working like a wild woman on custom paintings.  I've decided I really like this idea...custom paintings.  First, you are making a client super happy.  That's a good thing.  Second, there's no risk of it sitting in your basement for 2 years going to every show never selling and eventually getting painted over.  Right?

This sweet client wanted a truck and a bike for over her boy's beds.  The beds are amazing four post twin beds painted red.  The quilts are an awesome "boy" plaid.  I think the end results are going to look so cool over the beds!  Below is the scarey stage of the process.
 Never fear, with a little scrubbing the end results are very lovely.  Rich in texture.
Yep.  I can't wait to visit Diane and get photos of the two rooms with the art work hanging.  Makes my heart full to know that years to come these paintings will be with the boys.


Happening Around Here

As my studio time is very limited these days, I find myself drawn to simplifying other parts of my life as well.  I only work on the computer during my 30 min lunch break for instance.  I'm not following as many blogs.  I instagram a bit each day, but tend to not dwell on it.  FB...well unless it's linked to instagram just doesn't happen.  The election comments wore me out, so I decided that too many opinions were just that, too many opinions.  Perhaps it's the 6:00PM darkness, perhaps it's a change of my heart....whatever the reason some things that HAD to be done, just don't anymore.

We all have to seek balance in our lives.  I tend to burn a candle at both ends, buy a new one and start again.  So finding that balance is vital to my sanity as a mother, wife, teacher and artist.  This week I am extra thankful for a day off in the middle of the week.  I seem to have found a lot of balance on that day.  So here goes what I am loving and ever thankful for in my artsy life right now:

-Quiet studio time to work on several custom paintings and my 52 canvases....

-Long runs through the lake path and the neighborhood.  Man brisk weather makes running feel even more alive for me.  And my thoughts while running just keep leading to bigger and better things for the future.  I do hope these dreams come true!

-The beauty that envelopes me as I enter our home.  I love our home more and more everyday.  It's so warm and charming inside.  Between the two-legged and 4-legged family members I feel very safe and loved in our home.  Honestly I hate to ever leave.

-I am thankful that being a nester by nature is something my husband embraces and just giggles at.  As he walked through the door Tuesday night and had to step over drop cloths and paint cans I can' t help but be thankful he enjoys letting me just be me.

Other little things I am enjoying right now:  cooking new things for dinner, baking like a crazy lady, catching up with old friends, planning for a big race, loosing myself in the big bathtub, walking Lily to the bus stop so she can say hello to everyone in the morning, thrift store shopping for the entrance way re-model, putting together a puzzle with the family....and more.....


Marist Holiday Traditions

Hey guys!!  Well I'm sorta back in cyberland.  My laptop still has no Internet....and the school email keeps sending my photos back undeliverable.  Something is just not lining up for me with the technology these days.  Oh...and my i-Pad and i-Phone won't send any emails from jennihorne@ymail.com.  They are hanging out in the outbox for a spell. 

Anyhoo, this is not a post to complain about my technology challenges.  Somehow these photos snuck in before the school decided to start blocking my photos.  They are so inappropriate right?  Haha...
Marist was a huge success once again.  I can always count on this show to be well attended, brimming with happy shoppers ready to buy.  I've participated in this show 5 years now and in those years have learned what to take and what not to take.  We loaded the van Thursday night and Billy was like, "Is this it?"  Yep sweetie it is.  Except for the 2 token paintings everything in the van was under $50. 

Mailey went up with me afterschool on Friday to set up.  I tell you what she was the absolute best helper when it came to setting up and taking down.  Never complained, was eager to help and such a joy to have around.  Especially at closing time.  I was pooped, but she just kept bee-bopping and loading up Saturday afternoon.  A real trooper.  Now during the show, we had to work a bit on how to greet everyone, and make sales (not sit on the stool and play games on the phone).  But that will come with maturity and perhaps having a bit of her own work next year to sell.
 Hot seller?  The i-Phone cases by far, sold 20.  And sold all but 2 pairs of earrings in the bauble jewelry.
 I love this corner spot.  I hope it can be mine forever.  One of my artsy peeps says she's been doing this show like 25 years.  If I do the same I'll be 65 setting up.  Right here.  In this corner spot.  :)
Oh, and the clay bird necklaces were also a hit.  Sold like 14 of those.  The rest of the stock all went to Design House (formerly the Vintage-Flea) in downtown Newnan.  This Sunday is Holiday Open House.  I can't wait to go.  Some friends and I are attending together.  It's been way too long since I did anything like this with friends.    It's well deserved time away.
I'll hopefully be back later in the week with a sneak peek at what's going on in the studio as well as the house!  I got a bee in my bonnet to re-do some areas.  I love to nest in my home that's for sure!  Take care!

PS...I just had to add this photo of Mailey from Saturday night.  She was obviously pooped at this point!! 


Musings From the Artroom

Red Ribbon Week was celebrated last week here at school.  I'd often wondered what in the world dressing up nutty for a week has to do with being drug free.  But then this year I got it.  Sometimes you have to figure out creative ways to make things stick in little brains.  We are of course competing with TV, computers, Ipods, game boys...the list grows every year!   Having a week to celebrate making a decision to be drug free definitely had our school in high spirits.  I just hope they remember 10 years from now when they are presented with a decision, they remember the right reason they had "crazy sock day at Arbor Springs".

My role in the week......well the counselor asked if I could have the kids draw feet with their names on them and hang the feet leading to the ballot box.  Very symbolic, right?  Well....ya know I can't do anything 50%.  This 100% project turned out so amazing!!!  Look at all the little feet leading to the ballot box!

400+ feet walking to pledge to be drug free.  It was a great week....dressing up silly and all.  Our hope is that they'll remember these pledges when the time comes.


i-Phone Cases

Whilst in the sweatshop Monday night I also decided to whip up some new i-phone 4/4S cases.  There are white, black and clear cases in the 6 different designs.  Priced at $20, these make fabulous gifts or stocking stuffers! 
I'm obsessed with the new painting above.  It's actually one for the 52 canvases series.  I shouldn't really be using it, but I had to.  The colors are some of the best I've put together in a long time.    Clementine also made a debut in the printed products.  If these all do well I'll be ordering more next week and uploading to Etsy.  I know not everyone lives in Atlanta and can make it Saturday.  You could however, be like my dear friends Rene and Cara and get on a plane to come see me.  Just saying.  They rock!

I plan to display them on this awesome vintage key rack and once purchased they are going in sweet vintage candy bags.  I love details. 

Looking forward to seeing you guys Saturday!  Mailey is very excited.  It's her first time to be a show helper.  I usually do this show alone, but think maybe she's ready.  She's very excited that's for sure!  It think she just wants to go shopping.  I know I do!
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