A Magical Island

This past weekend I had the privilege to visit many islands off the coast of Georgia.  This one had to be my favorite, one I can not wait to come back and visit to see more of its' magical landscape.  What's it called you ask? 
Cumberland Island is approximately 18 miles long and between one-half and 3 miles wide—or about 40 square miles.  And within this small space is a story, rich in history and beauty.  One that we couldn't grasp all in one day.

The legendary horses of the island.  These horses are wild.....meaning they have no interaction with humans for care or survival.  Don't worry, they keep their population going just fine with out us humans intervening.  The white horse baby was a few months old, and we saw another that was just a week old.

Walking on the island was intense.  We'd be under a beautiful oak landscape with lovely breeze to below, an almost desert feel heading to the coastline.  And once we hit the coastline, the wind was enough to blow you sideways.
 Look at these swirly trees!  And so cool under this canopy.  There are two ways to stay on the island, camping or an inn.  There are also homes on the island privately owned.  We didn't make it to this part of the island due to the tropical storm headed in.  In fact, they evacuated the island while we were there.  Talk about an experience!  The only way on and off the island is by boat.  We rode the ferry. 

It's amazing what an untouched shoreline can look like.  Unfortunately we weren't allowed in the water, not because it is sacred, but because of the storm.  So we walked the shoreline instead.  And picked up shells.....oooo....we picked a ton of huge ones!  Don't worry.  The ranger said it was OK. 
We also visited St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island and the Okefenokee Swamp.  It was truly a wonderful trip.  One I hope Mailey and her 17 little Girl Scout friends never forget.  Yep, you heard me.  We took 24 people to the Georgia Coastline.  Which during the weekend just happened to have a tropical storm hit.  And somehow, it missed us the entire trip.  No really.  It did.  Now the hotel we stayed it rained the entire time.  But each day we'd get up and go on with our plans and have perfect weather.  We did have to altar the plans one day....Jacksonville, Florida was out.  Instead, we visited St. Simons Island.  Another Georgia spot rich with history and beautiful landscapes.  Here are a few other shots that are my favorites:
 St. Simons coastline and lighthouse.

 Okefenokee Swamp boat tour

And yes, you do see a ton of these along the road to the water and in the water. 
 Happy Momma and daughter...with memories to last our little lifetime.


A Jar of Hearts

Christina Perri is totally inspiring me these days with her voice and her words.  Filling up my jar of hearts slowly.  Keeping them for a rainy day, but also sharing them here.  Thanks for coming by as always! 

I may be missing a spell from blogging just wanted you to know.  Not a loss for words by any means...oh man have I been one busy motivated  freaking bee......just needing to focus on some other things.  Like a vacation.   wink...wink...

So later next week I'll share the projects and the new paintings.  It's all good!  Have a wonderful holiday weekend!


Adult Painting Workshop Offered!

OK....ok....have you seen the sidebar picture and the top tab??  NO?  Well here's the link to the painting workshop with all the information you need to join the Paint Something Workshop!!  There's still room for a few more artists.  I do hope you'll join me!!  It's just 3 weeks away!  Yippeeeee!!!!  You can pay the day you come.  And since I''m providing everything, all you need to do is show up.  Cool. Right?  Come on!! 


Summer Markets

While in San Franscico all week I kept asking Billy funny questions....like, "Where do dogs go poo?  It's all concrete here?  Where do these people go to the grocery?  I 've not seen a Publix.  Where is the Chick-fil-a?  I'm not sure we could go a week without that.  And gasoline?  Where's the gas station?  Do they not allow cats in the city?  I've not seen one cat."  Yep.  Funny questions.  However, on a weekly, sometimes daily basis, these are places and things we as a family do.  We let Lily, Graham Cracker and Ellie out the front door to our rather large green yard at their demand, hit Chick-fil-a at anytime of the day because we luv it so, get gasoline at least once a week,  and see the Publix clerks so much they know us by name.

And then....oh then came Saturday.  We headed down to the Ferry and Marketplace for me some Blue Bottle coffee and gluten free pastry to find the mecca of all outdoor farmer markets was set up.  Good gravy peeps.....my little suburban heart just about fainted at all the glorious freshness.  It answered so many questions...so many.  I mean, who'd need Chick-fil-a with homemade cheeses and breads for the week?  And jams, and flowers, and meat, and milk, and...and......I just get all in a tissy thinking about what they had available that day.  They even had special crazy carts to carry their bags on!

As a child we were a part of a farmer's market co-op with a bunch of Mom's friends, but what I remember of that was creepy farmers under the interstate in downtown Birmingham.  It was loud and smelled funny.  Mom would take the collected money and buy in bulk fresh groceries from the back of the farmer's trucks.  Then we'd get home with the smelly boxes(they do have a stink about them....that cardboard does) and divide it amongst the families.  My favorite was when she'd get eggplant.  Oh, I loved the way she prepared it, lightly fried with cornmeal.  The only other person that's made eggplant as good is my friend Valerie, who makes a delicious eggplant parmesan.  I've never made eggplant anything.  Maybe I will!

Anyways....the long drawn out moral to this story is this.....THIS summer I am locating a place for my family to go and buy more locally fresh produce, eggs and cheeses.  I've already got the scoop on a few places, but if you know of another...send it my way!  We are south of the Atlanta Airport.  I'll be sure to share my favorite spots...and recipes!  Have I ever shared my homeade salsa with you?  Let's just say my 12 year old asks for it regularly, and he's a boy. 

Oh and....the cat question is still out there....we didn't see one.  Heard one wailing in Chinatown behind a blue steel door.  But we both promised to never ever ever think about that again.  Ever.


A Really Fun Post....Really

Hey peeps!!  Well, it's Sunday night 7:13PM.  Mother's Day actually.  And this is a really fun post.  Really.  I can laugh about it.  So you can.  Especially since my typing seems to be having fun and all my letters are dancing with one another.  Yeah.  My computer better not be having issues is all I am saying.  It will just be icing on a cake of a day. 

So this is my scene right this second.  Of course you gotta picture my peppy self in the chair.  Drinking from dear Xavier the bottle of very expensive wine my hubby gave me this am (I usually buy cheap stuff, this is a treat)  Love that man.  Good gravy look at that wine glass!  One can not HELP but be in a silly fabulous mood looking at it!!

So let's take this back a few hours.  This is me driving, yesterday at the weeeeee hours of the am.  Very, very excited about the Dunwoody show.  No, really.  I was excited.  It's my semi-retirement partay day.  Remember?  Ok.. It may not have been very smart to be photo journaling...but hey.  It's Sunday.  So I obviously made it.  Right?  And it was wayyyyyy early in the am.  On my way to set up for an amazing art show.
All was good.  We set up.  We were all stoked about the set-up.  Yep.  And then it started RAINING.  Bummer.  And then it stopped.  YEAH!  And it didn't rain ALL DAY!!!  Woooohooooo!!!!!  But I forgot my camera.  Never do that...like ever.  So this is all I got peeps.  Sorry.
I-Phone cases were a hit.  I have to make more, yep.  So may be an extra week before they make it to the etsy shop.  Sorry guys that live in far away places.  Of course...there were some that flew to see me.  Good gravy again....I am a lucky gal to have such amazing friends.  (wink..wink....Cara and Rene)
I love all of you who came out yesterday.  Like not want to marry you or anything freaky like that....but LOVE you for coming.  Supporting me.  And buying all my paintings.  Like 20 of them.  No really Francis the guru show director of all times,  20 original paintings.  Like holy crapper I sold 20 paintings yesterday.  Plus all the other stuff I had to sell.  LIKE OH YEAH I ROCK~!!  Day.  yeah.  yeah.  That is not normal.  But I like it.  And really, really, really want to thank you for coming out and supporting my artsy self.  Really.  Like somebody better get me off this high white horse soon. 
Well......white horse riding came to a rather abrupt halt due to nature on Sunday.  Mother's Day.  I had a lovely morning with the kids and Billy.  They gave me an orange purse...that I'd fallen in love with earlier in the week at TJ Maxx while shopping for my Momma.   I swear,  he had NO idea, really....Billy got it for me for Mother's Day!! And the bottle of above said wine.  :)  Awww....I know.  It's that branch thing.

I hopped in my car at 10:00am and this was the scenery for today's trip.  Again, yes...I am here to share it.  No comments from the peanut gallery.  This is what one would call crappy weather period.  Art show or not.  It is not good.  Right?
Luckily I had packed up all the left over paintings, jewelry and other goodies into my van the night before.  I'd just left the tent and grids.  Whew.  Because this is what was running free in my tent:

I am literally ankle deep in water above.  Ekkkkk......!!!!!!  And it's running through my white tent.  I just laugh and tell everyone who will listen "ahoy matey!!!!".  I may or may not have even offered to host a dance party.    What else can I do?  Below is my artsy peep Natalie from Newnan.  We happened to be neighbors at this show.  Which was such a sweet thing.
 So.....what did I do???  After getting more coffee I started to unload my van and set up.  Why not, right?  And then it started to rain.  And I said to myself...."why am I doing this?????"  So, instead of setting up I took it all down....packed up orange van....and headed HOME.  I got home to a very quiet house.  You see, the family had their plans with Gammy/Billy's Mom.  So still raining, I literally just ran into the house, rented "the Vow" and laid on the couch with my Lily.  It was a lovely way to spend the Sunday.  My family yes eventually made it home and now we are chilling together.  I better get back really.  So....bonus for the weekend?  Look at my super cool feet tan:
I mean, you can not buy that sort of coolness.  It may just be the new trend.  So anyways,  I am rested, belly full to the brim from left-over Maggiano's and ready to finish my last 2 weeks of school.  And beyond puffy hearted from a weekend that literally could not have been more magical.  For a last show for a while...you all made it that way.  Thanks.  Really. 

Good grief....it's still raining.  I love this porch during the rain.  But thinking it's time to head on in.  See you later in the week.   :)


Little Birdie on My I-Phone Told Me....

Oh geeeeshhhhhh!!!!  I am freaking out over these new I-phone cases!!  It's funny, I've had the darn blanks for months and just never got around to making but one for me, one for William and one for Disney fairy Rene.  I am super glad I waited however, because my newest encaustic work looks amazing on these cases!!  Like whoa...is that my artwork?  So this little birdie has 5 friends.  And they are $20.  Slap yo Momma yeah!  $20!  We can't even eat at Chick-fil-a for $20! 

This is about the only new stuff tagging along with me this weekend for the Dunwoody Art Show.  BUT, I do have a slew of birds, bikes, nests, campers, houses and more PAINTINGS on SALE at the show this weekend in Dunwoody!!  Like I am pulling art off the walls in my house, in my husband's Capitol Office...it's clean out time!  Come on out and see me at this awesome Splash Festival Sponsored event.   We'll be set up at 10am on Saturday and Sunday by 11am.  It's going to be a wonderful weekend to bring the family out!  Hope to see you there!!!


The Bits and Pieces

Maybe it was waking up each morning and seeing this outside of my window, 12 stories up and wide open.
 Maybe it was being with this man for seamless days and nights.
 There was something about this city made my heart very, very full.
 I'm pretty sure I left a part of it behind.
 While overlooking a water that took my breath away with it's natural wonder and crisp sky that made my head clearer in thought than it's seen in months.
 There's something mysterious that happens to me when I travel.  I loose bits and pieces of myself wherever I go.   But I also find that I put back a few that I'd lost along the way.   I thought about that a lot while in the city of extraordinary hills and impeccable cuisine.  Why is it that being away from the normal me I actually find me again?  Sometimes it's at the end of a long mysterious hall.
 Sometimes it's in a tiny detail I've been overlooking. 
 And since I firmly believe that all things happen for a specific reason and in their particular time, that there are no U-turns, no regrets and no time for looking back.....
 I think the city with bridges that look just like diamond strands at night brought me back to a nice little spot right here at 120.
 I was reminded to be extremely grateful for what I have...what I can be....and what a strong person I am becoming.  Yes, it's truly amazing what leaving behind can free up for potential to grow.
And I owe a small part of this to here.  Thank you San Francisco.  For taking what you needed, and leaving me the rest. 

Dear Friends,
Posting about this trip was something I thought a lot about.  I wanted to show off what we did and where we'd been.  Because we had a fabulous time, really.  But here in this blog.....well my desire is to reveal more of me as a whole creative person.  After I wrote this, there were tears. The words and images were effortless and so fluid.  And that is the kind of post I know in my heart I am really supposed to be sharing.  Not the "look what I did and you didn't" post.  But rather the truth.   So I challenge you this week to do the same.  Write a post not about what you made or where you went....but about how being where you went or how what you made made you feel.....reveal a new layer of yourself on your blog.  We all know you can create...and you can go places.  But very few of us truly embrace the wholeness of living a creative life.  As a creative person you have such an authentic voice that people want to hear....want to be drawn into.  If you only share the parfait in a milk glass bowl no one will ever see the beauty and flavors that lie within.  

Oh, and please leave your post link in my comment section...so we can all join in the treat, in your clear bowl.

Puffy hearts,

Morning! And a SALE!

I just wanted to pop in and say "hi!".  I slipped away last week.....across the entire USA without even telling you.  I know.  Can you believe I kept that secret?  It may be a few days before I'm up and running again here.  LAST art show of the season, and well actually for a spell is THIS WEEKEND in Dunwoody.  Lots of last minute details for this are under construction.  Including a sale.  Um, yeah.  A huge freaking SALE!!  I want get all the art out of my basement and get it into homes.  So if you've been wanting an original painting, ya might want to find sometime to get up to DUNWOODY this weekend!!  It's going to be a great show.  And a great sale!!  See you there!!!


Not Raining

It's not raining on my parade these days. We just keep looking up here in the Horne house.  It's nice knowing that summer break is around the corner.  15 days to be exact.  WOWSA.  This year has flown. 

Summer rainy days can mean movies and popcorn on the sofa all day.  And sunny days mean pool, Popsicles and lots of conversations with friends.  My favorite part of summer?  Long days....and knowing it's the first summer in our new home makes the anticipation of it even greater.  I can not wait to share our first summer here with you.  I am sure it will inspire all sorts of fun projects!


The Self-Portrait

Ok.  As an artist I know my weaknesses.  And during the 3 figure drawing classes I painfully made my way through in college, I realized that figure drawing was a serious weakness.  I was telling Tiffin the last time I had to draw a portrait of myself (not counting the portraits I demo in class at school....those are on "their" level) it was a nude self portrait.  No seriously.  Nude.  Our professor had us create portraits of ourselves in our birthday suits.  Bless my heart....my southern, modest holy crapper what is my Momma gonna say when this comes home heart!!  Well, made it through that one.  I don't think I made such a great grade on it either.  What happened to it you ask?  Well I still have it.  Yep.  It hung in our old house in the hallway.  Yeah...I know.  Wild thing.  No really, it was very modest.  I'm pretty sure NOT what the sicko professor had in mind.  It's one of my favorite works from college.  Anyhoo, great story right?

Vero over at the Naked Art Gallery asked me if I'd be willing to participate in the self-portrait installation she is doing for the gallery in May.  Now, depsite her super cool name, this one did not need to be in your birthday suit.  Stop it.  Ever eager to please my sweet Vero I said yes.  Then fretted on how to go about making a freaking portrait.  Of myself.

Well, I started like I do my bike paintings.  I took a copy of a photo of me and traced it onto the wood.  I already new the composition would include the bird and cage.  That was a sure thing.  But once I got that real face drawn onto the wood it totally freaked me out.  Yucko!  Do I really look like that?  So I exaggerated the eyes, shrunk the lips and went to painting.  And I love it.  Symbolically it fits me to a tee.  My entire life I've been told I have beautiful blue eyes (made them large and piercing) hated my crazy large nose (attempted to leave it off the face completely) and my lips are really tiny (thus why I shrunk them).  It's funny how we see ourselves in the mirror....and how others see us.  Although I don't think too much about my looks these days.  At 40, you pretty much have to learn to live with what the good Lord gave you.  God blessed me with such a healthy body and simple features....that I just joke about the things I'd love to change.  But never will.  Well not with a knife anyways.  I do love to exercise!

So this little 8x8 painting is headed to Birmingham tomorrow.  Will anyone recognize it as me in the gallery?  Probably not.  But that's ok.  Because there is more of me in that painting than really meets the eye.

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