i-Pad Cases

Yeah, sometimes I forget that I have this super cool printing system that makes me look real professional.   You see I ordered these i-Pad cases a year ago.  Made one for myself.  And that was it.  I honestly wasn't sure people would pay the $50 I need to charge for them.  But by golly my husband bought one exactly like these but solid black and he paid $55!  So last night in my sweatshop...hahaha....I made these 5 complete with fun vintage trimmed edges.  love...love them. 

These will be available for purchase at Marist Holiday Traditions THIS Saturday.  It's a great show.  So come on out and see me!


Growing Old Together

We took this photo at a family wedding last weekend.  I just love it.  It was taken by our son, William.  Not a professional.  It's not been edited.  And I love that.   I love seeing all our extra creases and wrinkles.  They represent years of courting one another, of parenting together, being a legislator and legislator's wife, teachers to our own children and many others, surviving family ups and downs, it's all there in those deep creases.  Gentle reminders of our past.

I love that there's still a sparkle in each of our blue eyes.  Not just because they are quite blue, but because we still literally have that sparkle.  It's not always pleasant or easy to be married to one another, I'll be honest.  I annoy the stew out of him with my worrying.  He annoys the stew out of me with his calmness.  I guess we balance each other out that way.

Unedited, we are pretty good together.  Growing old together, deepening the creases.   Not worrying too much about the future.  Just living in the day.  Waking and doing it all over again.  A lovely way to be I say.


Joy You Give

Sometimes you meet people along life's path that come in and out of your life for different reasons.  I believe fondly in the theory that there are no happenstances.   I met sweet Dallas Nevins years ago, when she moved to Serenbe and frequented our store, The Vintage Flea.  She and her parents were great customers!  I'll never forget her energy at Camp Serenbe one summer when I took Mailey Grace to several day outings where Dallas was the ring leader.  In fact Dallas, we STILL have our bamboo walking stick with pink tissue mache and glitter.  It's a treasure!  She also is the owner of several of my paintings, including this favorite below.  (Which she tells me hangs in her work cube....I love that!)

So when she called this summer and asked if I'd help with a painting for an auction, I said yes.  Of course.  This is a special auction, for an amazing school....The Atlanta Speech School.    Much like the auction we held at our school in the spring, artists were asked to work with one class to complete a painting.  The paintings will be on auction at their annual gala in November.   Here's our finished painting below:
The quote says, "They will forever leave an imprint on your heart."  I  love the quote and think it fits well with the kindness shared in the school.  By the way, the heart balloons are filled with the classes' fingerprints.  The students helped to finish the sky and the hearts.  Such a sweet finished piece.  I can't wait to hear which family takes the piece home to enjoy for years to come.
Thanks again Dallas for allowing me the opportunity to share my gifts with your sweet children.  I look forward to next year.


An Orange Sparkle in Her Eye

Sometimes I do things that totally embarrass my kids.  Like dancing in the car...singing in the car or other places of public view.  In my defense I danced and sang on stage many times solo the first 18 years of my life.  But I suppose the styles have changes a bit since 1990?  Anyhoo....I loved the orange glasses above found in that awesome chick store Claire's.  Add a little sparkle to my eye and voila!  You've got one jazzed up Momma bear.  Who thinks she's cool, but maybe not to a 10 and 12 year old.  Yeah.  5 years ago they'd have loved Momma in orange glasses.

Things are shifting in the Horne house.  William is as tall as me and his voice has changed.  All his friends are jealous because theirs have not.  He's also skinny as a rail.  And obsessed with 6 pack abs.  Were 12 year olds obsessed with things like 6 pack abs back in our day?   And clothes....lawd that child is so Mr GQ with clothes and socks (not so much about brands thank goodness just about looking good).  We even iron t-shirts.  And socks and tennis shoes must match the outfit for the day.  He also has more of a social life than me.  I dropped him off at a sweet 13 year girl party Friday night.  Yep.  Boy/girl parties are on the rise.  And the fridge has 3 more invites on it for the next 2 weeks.  Geesh.

And Mailey....well she's a little bean pole with sassssssssy eye rolls and more giggly girlfriends than I have toes.  She was the child that I carried on my hip even when her legs touched the ground.  She's the child that never wanted Momma to leave her side.  That was a Momma's girl like none other I've ever known.  Until this weekend.  While on our way to a party she said, "Mom, are you planning on staying at the party?"  Me, "No, I was thinking about hanging at Barnes and Noble while you jumped in the sweat house. Is that okay?"  Mailey replies, "Yeah, I don't want you to stay."  WHAT??????  I mean, I wasn't planning on it, but still.  That was heart wrenching to Momma bear.  Sigh. 

Yeah.  Things are shifting in the Horne house.  My kids are growing into little teenage people.  I can already see the writing on the wall with Mailey.  It's not gonna be an easy road.  The eye's might get stuck in the roll if she doesn't watch it.  Just sayin'.  William on the other hand is so sweet and sensitive.  And although he's getting awfully big, still waits for me to come in at night to say goodnight.  Billy and I joked after watching Modern Family that we are on the 7 year plan.  But honestly, I've a feeling that in 7 years I'll be so happy for these 2 to be making a new life for themselves and scrambling to figure out how to live mine without them.


Puffy Heart Post

I had a lady last week email me in a panic....she'd lost her favorite necklace.  Just like the one above.   It made me realize that this necklace, although it's something I thought had run its course, still means alot to people.  And means alot to me.  So I made her a new one and sent it on its' way to Dunwoody.  I could hear her excitement coming through the email. 

My Heart is Full.......
Friday night I was interviewed by a young lady who is considering a career in the field of art.  I found myself at a loss of words sometimes, and over zealous at answering other questions.  The bottom line is she asked a lot of questions about being an artist...and then specifically about being an art teacher.  I told her that what other job in the world could I paint, use clay, watercolor, crayons and sharpies all in one day?  Or have portraits drawn of me and love note grafiti all over my white board?  My heart is so very full everyday with joy for what I do for a living.  The pay is not good, I was painfully honest about that.  If I was in a certified teaching position it would be better.  But honestly, the money is not what drives me.  I teach in the most amazing school with amazing kids and co-workers.  Seriously, everyday they amaze me with their talents and energy to learn. 

I've had to adjust my entire life as an artist to teach.  Letting go has not been easy, but slowly I'm learning that it's okay.  (Especially after an awesome tax slap in the face.  geeeeeesh....)  I told her you can do both, teach and make art to sell, paint murals, custom paintings, do gallery work.  You just have to find the right balance.  It's taken me a spell but that's just a part of the learning curve.  Keeps me on my toes.  And keeps my brushes more wet than dry.  I hope my words encouraged her to research her options and to make decisions based not only on what the end salary would be but what would truly make her heart full. 


Musings From the Art Room

It's been a spell since I shared some art goodness from the under age 10 fan group.  These owls were made by my 3-5th graders in afterschool art.  Seriously, I wanted to keep them all!!

First we made pinch pots, then turned them upside down.  I taught them about the 3 S's rule for adding details:  score, slip and smush.  They were encouraged to add a nose, wings, big eyes, feet and if feeling groovy hats, suitcases and more.  I know these were a hit with the parents!
Above is Mailey's creation on the left.  She made a turkey....since she's a turkey and didn't want to follow directions.  Her BFF made the one with the suitcase.  I accidentally bought some metallic paint, which turns out makes clay projects rock!  Look at the blue one below.  That nose!  Ekkkk!!!
The bottom 2 were made by the youngest in the class.  I let them paint the owls any colors they wanted.  I found it interesting that the younger ones went all out with color and fun, where the older kids painted their owls more realistic.  Hmmm...I'm sure there's something philosophical about that.
 And this week the kids will be painting their clay PIGS.  Holy tamoly.....cuteness alert.  Like I said on facebook, this little piggy is very glad he came to art class instead of the market.  He got some cool stripey socks and tail!


Paint Stick Installation

I was in Home Depot recently buying paint for our door and shutters.  Long story...I'd ordered new ones and then chickened out in the end.  They were costing us a fortune that really, just a gallon of paint coulda fixed my dislike of our current shutters with.  So while waiting I looked up and was like WOWSA!!! 
 No really....WOW out loud.  This has got to be one of the most clever ideas ever.  I wonder how many gallons of paint they stirred to get the assortment on the wall?  And not only that, but there were 2 of these displays.  Love....love....love.  Now it's got me thinking where could I install this idea in our home?  I was tempted to ask the paint mixing guy if he'd start saving me his sticks.  But then I didn't.  Anyhoo....cool idea I thought I'd share and let you ponder.  It's amazing how we artsy fartsy people see things in life that others don't.  The guy next to me for instance waiting for paint thought I was nuts for taking photos in the Home Depot.  (He told me this.  Really.)  After a second glance he was like, "Oh....that's what she sees."  And then he got it and said wowsa too.
By the way....it's the Peachtree City Home Depot I saw this in, in case you want to go take your own picture and say WOWSA in front of it too.   hehehe.....Have a great Friday!!!


I Did It!!!

Hey guys!!!  Well......13.1 came and went!  It was a-m-a-z-i-n-g.  No really.  You probably are thinking she is nuts.  Running for 2.5 hours is anything but amazing.   But after 12 weeks of training and stressing, it was truly amazing.   Many of you have asked what it was like, so I decided to blog about it.  Why not.  I am still on a little runners high!

The day started for me at 4:30am.  Oooo.... before I start race day, let me tell you about Saturday.  Dad and Barbara came over Saturday morning and we went out to Historic Senoia for the day.  I'd been telling them for years that they'd LOVE it there.  And they did.  We shopped all the fun stores, ate a yummy lunch at the Redneck (complete with fried pickles) then headed home for a quiet evening at our house.  My pre-race dinner was a pile of noodles, plain grilled chicken and salad.  I also made a pumpkin cake by suggestion of buddy Tiffin which was a huge hit!  (and gluten free!)  I also drank so much water that day I could have floated through the race.  We all hit the bed at 9PM since 4:30am was a tad early, right?
Race day I was up at 4:30 and immediately hitting the water drinking.  I was not going to be dehydrated this day.  I also ate half a tiny bagel with natural peanut butter.  That's my long run fuel.  After carefully KT taping my knees and getting dressed I was ready to go!!  It was a cool Sunday morning, but not as cool as expected.  I'm still glad I wore the pink, it looks cool in the photos...hahaha....  It took 45 min to get to the drop off zone which was in Brookhaven.  They have a really nice new shopping area where the race started.  Dad dropped me off then went back the mile to park.  Thank goodness he did, because I had to find the porta potty before starting.  Turns out that line took 30 min to get through!!! 

After that it was time to get lined up.  As you can see in the photo above it was just me and 2,806 other people running the race.  Ha.   I was not in a front corral because I am a slow chick.  Instead they had flags indicating race finish times.  I had wanted to be in the 2:20 area but it was too packed, I couldn't fit.  So I lined up with the 2:30 group.  We were all very quiet waiting for the start signal.  It was a little eerie honestly.  I'd gone ahead and started my headphones to calm myself.  I wasn't really nervous anymore, just anxious to get started.  I guess you could say I was mentally preparing myself for what was ahead of me.  I definately said a long prayer.  After the national anthem and a prayer they counted down.  No gun shots.  I suppose in downtown Atlanta that's better.  Just sayin'.  It took literally 7 min. for me to get to the start line....and then I was still sorta walking until we hit the first curve.  And to my right was Dad, Mailey and Barbara screaming for me!!  I near about cried.  It was here.  Race day.  Holy cheesecracker I was about to run 13.1 miles!!!
We obviously started the race in the dark heading out of the parking lot, turning left onto Peachtree, past Oglethorpe, and into a neighborhood.  Having only run in 4 races total since age 19 I had to get used to running with so many people.  It buggered me that the walkers would be in a line socializing making it difficult to weasel around to keep running.  I had decided I was there to RUN the race, not walk.  So no matter what I was running.  The course was extremely hilly and curvy.  There weren't any hills as bad as the ones in my own neighborhood, but it was a constant incline and curvy.  Lots of curving, like a roller coaster.  I stopped at every water station along the course, but never had to use the porta potty, thank goodness.  I stopped to drink having never mastered the water drinking and running art.  That little stop always gave me the extra boost to keep going, so glad I did.  Plus water stations were FULL of very happy encouraging people.  I couldn't help but smile the entire time!!  The other fun thing was since we were running through all sorts of neighborhoods the families were literally out on their lawns in their PJ's with coffee cheering us on!!

Above was mile 5.  We had looped back around to the starting area.  On the left side I saw Dad, B and Mailey cheering me on with a poster that said "GO MOM...LOVE YOU!!"  I was SO happy to see them.  So I ran straight at them.  That's how Mailey got the great photo above.  It was the best feeling knowing they were there for me, waiting and cheering.  We then headed down Peachtree to Ashford Dunwoody Rd and wound the hills and turns for the last 8 miles.

Above I was just about to cross the finish line.  With a giant cheese grin on my face.  This was it!!!  The announcers were calling our names as we crossed, music was booming,  families were yelling....it was truly a sweeeeet moment.  As I crossed the finish line I started to cry.  Then quickly realized it was causing me to wheeze, so I had to gather myself and stop that silliness!  I have to say it was one of the absolute happiest moments of my life.  Like crazy happy moment.  All my hard work had finally paid off.  I had done it!!!!  And within 2.5 hrs.  There were 500 people behind me too.  I didn't finish last.  Woohoooo!!
My family was proud too.  I could see it in their eyes and their jumping up and down as I was crossing the line.  As you can see I'm missing my boys.....William had a baseball tournament.  I called Billy immediately and he was like "Well????Did you do it??"  I was like of course and in 2.5 hrs!!!  He was so happy for me.  Amber said he ran over to her to share the news and was about jumping up and down with excitement.  Aww.....
So....what does a runner do after running 13.1 miles?  Well, we walked the mile back to the car stopping at Dunkin' Donuts for coffee and a curler for me!  Then we headed home for me to shower off the 13.1 miles off my body and get to William's second baseball game.  Of course I wore my bling.  William and his team were like, "Whooooaaaa Mrs. Jenni that is so cool." William was like, yeah my Mom just ran a marathon.  She is so cool.  I may have slept in the bling....maybe.  And I will be wearing it to school tomorrow.  We had Monday and today off which was sweet since my buttocks has not enjoyed walking.  It's funny to me that this was the muscle that was the most sore.  You'd have thought it'd be my thighs, right? 

I spent the entire afternoon on the porch enjoying movies, wine and a dozen or so of the pretzel turtles below.

I've been eating everything in sight for 2 days.  My strict diet last week I guess caught up with me and I am wanting to eat any and everything in sight.  Hilarious.  I might be gaining some of those 2 GAP sizes back quicker than anticipated. 

Overall I couldn't be happier with my experience.  From the training, race packet pick up to race day, the Allstate 13.1 was a great experience.  What's next you ask?  Well, I've got a 15K January 13th.  My Dad was so pumped after my race that he's signed up for the 15K with me.  That'll be a really special day.  And Mailey's got the bug too.  She'll be doing the 5K.  A whole marathon.....well I've not said no.  But I've also not said yes.  It's on the bucket list.  So it'll probably happen next year.  I need more time for training.  And I want to find a good one somewhere cool.  Like New York.  It's flat there right?

Man.....what an amazing experience.  I am still in awe that I did this.  Really.  Sigh.......I've got to take about a week off from running to heal from the inside out.  But then I imagine I'll be right back to my old schedule.  It's cheap therapy.  And great for calorie burning.  BTW Saturday I burned 1250 calories.  Yeah, that's an awesome thing to see.  Can we say Zesto nachos?  hehehehe.....

Well...off to spend the rest of our off day playing around town and perhaps a movie.  Hope you had an amazing weekend too!


One Day Until Race

It's hard to believe that 12 weeks ago I signed up for my first half marathon.  This half if ya want to know that sorta thing.  It's been an exhilarating goal to achieve.  Despite the 6am Saturday wake ups for my long runs.  It's been a total personal goal setting adventure.  One that only I can control.  No one can run for me, right?  I've done all the training right here in my neighborhood, and a little in the one next to me.  See below...why would I want to run anywhere else?  It's so beautiful right here.

I've learned the hard way what works and doesn't for my body.  I've got it down to the right pants, socks, KT tape techniques, hydration drink (which is only water for me), right energy chews, right breakfast.... I've got it down now.   It's taken a few weeks no doubt.  After the 11 mile run I thought I had the flu/stomach virus.  When it happened again after the 12 mile run I decided to be more proactive in a recovery plan.  It turns out that is as important to my body as fueling before the race!  I've enjoyed watching my body grow into a runners body from the inside out.  Running for 2 hours takes not only physical stamina, but mental stamina as well.  No doubt I talk to myself the entire time...basically I tell myself I am a warrior and that I can do it!!  On a side note this training has been an awesome bootey weight loss program.  I've lost close to 2 sizes in my GAP britches.  So cool.  Quite the motivator to keep it up after Sunday.
I researched training plans and ended up buying Hal Higdon's Novice 2 App for my phone.  It was a wonderful training tool.  He talked to me during the runs, there is a place for journaling, keeps a music mix for you, and best of all, it tracked all the miles logged.  Geesh...I ran alot of miles in 12 weeks.
Personally I've run for 12 weeks very, very excited about what I was doing for myself.  Since going back to work I have zero time to myself.  Nights are insane at our house this year between sports, acting lessons and HOMEWORK.  If you've read my blog a spell you know I kind of need the me time.  I can not function properly without it.  It's one of the reasons I started to run, nobody could ask me questions, need anything from me, call me, or drive me nuts not doing what they were supposed to be doing.  It was just me, the road and my music.  Truly inspiring.

Now, there have been a few bumps along the way with injuries.  I've done a lot of foot icing since hurting it at school week 1.  And of course this week my knees have completely retaliated.  I am walking around like an old crippled woman.  Hoping these days off will help....I'm a tad nervous about the run Sunday because of the knees.  It came out of nowhere too.  Urgh.  Scratch that...I am a nervous wreck about the race now due to the way my knees feel right now.  I'd be so pissed honestly if Sunday they have to pull me off the course for not maintaining the 16min mile!
 Although there have been bumps there have been milestones as well.  Like running my first 10K!!
Along the way in the training I started to really think about the actual race day and how I was going to stop for water, or go to the bathroom.  So I simulated as best I could.  I didn't rent a porta potty and put it on the lake path, but I did run close enough to home should I need it!  I also set up a watering station in my mailbox.  This was the best idea.  It is an art learning to drink water and run without spilling it all over yourself!  I decided it was best to stop, drink and then run. 
So this is the app on my phone. Can't believe I'm showing you how slow I run...but I am consistent.  Although in the 10K I ran a consistent 10min mile.  They say adrenaline gets your pace a little up, and it was a flat course.  My neighborhood is anything BUT flat. The fastest mile I ran was 8:55.  Ironically it was the first day I ran in the program.  I suppose I was so excited about starting....It was by far the fastest run to date.  All the other runs are consistently 11:30-12/mi.  I'm okay with that.  As long as it doesn't get slower because they will pull you off the course if you run 16/mi.  YIKES!

Total miles run....drum roll please.....176.68 miles!!!!  Holy cheescracker indeed!!  I feel ready.  More than anything I am ready to get rid of these jitters.  I'm a nervous nelly.  Like hands shaking, crying at the drop of a hat nervous.  I suppose it's because I want this soooooo bad.  You ever get that feeling?  Want something so bad that you feel it in your bones?  That's me.  I was a ghost of an art teacher yesterday.  I was there...but not there.  I've not run in that many races.  I've been running forever, but never been that big on racing.  And this is a big one with 1,000 of runners.  I am number 1297.  Lucky number William says.

So wish me luck!!  I think I'm going to need it.  Although everyone says between the adrenaline and the crowds I'll be fine.  I'll know tomorrow by 9:30am if this is true!  I'll be posting pictures on facebook, so be sure to hop over and like me there to see my super cool neon pink ensemble.  I had an orange shirt, but due to the crazy drop in temperatures JUST for tomorrow (seriously what's up with that?  I've been training in 80'+ weather,  the cold will either speed me up or shock me into turtle mode).  I've got to wear a winter shirt which happens to be neon pink.  Cool right?  See you guys on the other side of 13.1!


Glass Baubles

In other jewelry news this is the assortment of goodies I'd ordered from over seas before deciding it was time to pair down the jewelry making stress.  The funny thing is I was simply looking for silver branch pieces to make bridesmaid bracelets when voila I had a cart full of pieces and parts and a huge vision.  This seems to happen to me when I get on Etsy while soaking in our fabulous tub.  How the two end up making me wipe out my paypal account I've no idea.  It's like a conspiracy. 

These pretty pieces came in the mail I guess 2 weeks ago and could not wait to put them together!!  They make the prettiest necklace statement....and below the bracelets will go with anything!  There's also earrings.  I know.  Somebody stop me. 
These will also be available at Marist Holiday Traditions.  Have I got you coming yet?  It'll be worth it!


Soy Paint

Ok folks....I don't talk much in the blog about products I LOVE.  Perhaps I should.  I do have many go-to's in the crayon box.  Last week I was in Hobby Lobby buying craft paint for my afterschool kiddos.  I don't usually buy this type of paint for my personal work. It tends to be runny.  Although I've noticed on several of my favorite artsy blogs this very type of paint on their desks...hmm do they know something I don't??.....I tend to be drawn to thick, opaque paints though.  Thus why I steer away from the .69 asile.  Anyhoo...after buying the white 8oz bottle I needed these bottles caught my eye.  Of course.  Being artsy and all the labels got me.
Delta Soy Paints....I love, love, love you!!  They were $1.99 a bottle too.  Holy smoly folks!  The colors were so vibrant and yummy.  And with names like butternut squash and blueberry how could they not be.
So what was so likeable about them?  Let me tell ya.  First, I must say I paint on wood.  Craft paints are made for surfaces like this..wood, glass, etc.  I don't know how well they'd apply to canvas since I don't use canvas.  They did however work like a dream on my expensive Ampersand gessoed boards.  THe colors illuminated on the surface guys.  I like to paint in layers and with many colors at once.  Just look at the sky above the truck...and the truck!!  Oh man in person it is such a luscious rasberry.  The texture of the paint is hard to describe.  It just goes on effortlessly.  I can not wait to find more colors.  Hobby Lobby had just the 5 above.

So...there's my commercial for the day.  If you see then out there...try them!!  I hope you love them as much as I do.


Who Am I?

Hey!! No, you've not stumbled into the wrong blog.  It's me...Jenni.  Artsyorange.  Mailey's Mom.  Or William's Mom.  Or Billy's "better half".  The art teacher.  Yeah.  All those things are on my resume.  I like wearing a lot of different hats.  Suits me fine.  Keeps me busy.  Makes me tired.   Gets me energized all over again.  It's a cycle.  This blog has been my little slice of key lime pie for several years now.  Even before I was a full-time artist I had this space to share snippets of my creative journey.  And the banner.....well it's seen some changes.  I loved the one two before this one.  The one with the photos and my logo.  But you see....it featured my birdies (not making anymore) and jewelry (slowing not making those anymore).  I thought I better go ahead and start transitioning outta that banner.  So I made a new one.  It was cute.  But it was buggering me.  Because it didn't "look like me".  Make sense?  What do I look like anyways?

Well first and foremost when Tiffin and I were trying to put labels on ourselves for the Southern Circle Retreats business cards I threw out the word doer.  Doesn't look like a real word does it?  Well assure you it is.  It's someone who does stuff with vigor.  Uh....it just might have my photo beside the word in the dictionary. 
I am a doer.  One who's been known to head to Home Depot for daisies and come home with scaffolding so we could hang a new chandelier 30 ft in the air.

One who recently said, "If I could figure out how to paint while running I'd be in heaven".  Yes...I like to run that much.
I've been known to do embarrassing stuff too....like wearing a dryer sheet out the back of my jeans as a new trend in fashion.  All day long.
I see beauty in the strangest places...especially in my art room.

But most of all, I just love ART.  I love to look at it, make it, and teach it.  Yes, I am a doer of many things.  But what I love to do most is being completely immersed in the joy of art.  So my blog may change, my art my evolve, and I may decide to wear a dryer sheet outta the back of my skirt next time.  But what will never change is my heart.  And it will never need a new banner to remind it where it's been and where it's going.  The new banner just means I am making room to grow into the artist I am meant to be. 

And I kinda like it.
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