Hearts and Jobs

This weekend I spent 90% of my waking time on our screened in porch.  It is by far my most favorite place to be in our home.  Just throw a bed out there and I'd be happy as pie.  I spent the weekend watching movies, drawing and painting.  I added it up and think I spent almost 16 hours out there.  Alone.  It was a tiny bit magical.  The book is coming along perfectly.  It was just the time I needed to get it finished.  I suppose being pushed with a deadline is good for the creative juices.  I only wish I had more time to devote to my art like that.  Long stretches to paint out complete ideas.  Instead of here a painting there a painting.

Billy and I had a "date night" Saturday since Mailey was at a Girl Scout camp out and William was at the Coutny fair.   Honestly I can't remember the last time we did this.  Time alone that is.  We went to our favorite restaurant called Beirut and actually sat outside (So I was literally outside from 7:30 am when I started my run until bedtime Saturday.  Awesome).  They serve yummy authentic Lebanese food.  It is amazing food.  I could live somewhere far off and eat happily.  American food is just not my favorite.  Anyhoo.....during the course of our dinner I expressed some of my anxieties about not getting to be an artist right now.  I told him about a bunch of opportunities I had to sell my work recently but had to turn them all down because I just don't have any extra time to devote to anything.  I love teaching but I'm having serious stress out moments over not getting to make art.  I whined about there not being enough hours in the day.   That weekends the kids are just so needy lately.  Wanting to constantly be entertained.  And that's when he said it.  "Then quit.  Quit talking about it and quit.  Be an artist.  Do it."  I was a tad taken back.   But not really.  He's always been my biggest supporter.  With every crazy idea I've had he's never said NO....or why don't we think about that....or question my ability.  Instead he's always said what needed to be said.  Do it.  He may not say much about much.  But when I need him to tell me the truth, he does it.

Then the rational side of me said to him that financially I have to teach right now for the regular salary.  We moved into the new house and I took the job to keep Mailey in her school.  But in the end, once he quit the legislature my working became a neccessity.   BUT...BUT....if he would help us stay on track with our finances and ifn we were to add more to savings I could do it.  He then threw out the "Don't you make more money as an artist anyways?"  The painful truth is yes.  But there is this huge thing.  I love teaching too.  It brings me crazy joy.  This year has been the absolute best year yet.  It's like 3 years is the magic time to be in a school and get comfy and the kids get comfy and us all become a happy family.  So I am NOT quitting teaching.  But I am thinking and long term planning about my future.  I'm kinda tired of whining about what I'm not getting to do.  Some pretty heavy decisions will need to be made.  But I've got an entire school year to decide.  In the meantime, I'll sneak painting and jewelry making into my weekend routines when I can.  I'll continue to dream about the future.  Because I see really big things there.   As much support and love you guys have shown me over the years here in blogworld I have a feeling if I were to take the leap you'd be right there ready to support my decision. 


Notes on Parenting

I was watching TV recently when one of those overly dramatic Carter's commercials came on.  It was rather lengthy.  You know, one of those tear jerker commercials that makes those that have kids feel gooey inside, those that can't have kids probably feel kicked in the stomach.  What stuck in my head was the last line.  I'm not sure if this is exactly how it went, but it's what I remembered the next day while in church, "the day I became yours is the day you became mine."

So I painted it.    With my favorite flower the daisy.  I've found in my 13 years as a parent that parenting is hard.  It is.  No lie.  There are ebs and flows of good, bad and ugly.  We are in the coasting mode right now with ours.  Ages 11 and 13 they are pleasant enough to be around.  Haha...no really they are.  Now do I wish they'd help out around the house more?  yes.  Do they need to be less "I want, I want, I want."?  yes.  Do I feel like a taxi cab much of the time? yes.  But overall, I'd say the Horne household is a happy, pleasant place to be. 

The day Mailey and William entered our lives they became ours.  Forever.  The day I entered my parent's lives I became theirs forever, and them mine.  Unfortunately my side of the family is no longer intact though.  And despite every effort to be open to this new way of life my heart is beginning to really struggle with it.  I'm feeling less a part of what it means to be a real family and am doing more to please this side and please that side.  And I always feel like a failure.  I'm kinda tired of it.  So after a rather unpleasant encounter I've made a personal decision.  My family....including Mailey, William, Billy and all our 4-leggeds will be first and foremost.  I'm going to stop complaining about being a taxi.  I'm going to teach them how to be better family stewards.  And I'm going to move forward.  Because I can not change the path others are on.  And although they will be mine forever, and I theirs, I do not have to compromise my happiness anymore.  Nor am I going to feel guilty for saying no.  Because the bottom line is who I am in the Horne house will make an impact on who they become later in life.  And I want more than anything in this whole world for my Mailey and my William to look back on their childhood and remember a mother who was kind, nurturing and always there.  They are mine, and I am theirs.  Always. 


Clementine...Her Big Debut

So it's happening....I'm illustrating my first book.  Yep.  Nice little secret I've been keeping from ya right?  I'll fill you in on all the details and show more of the process later this week.  There's nothing like a tight deadline to get your creative juices going.  (Although I am not the best at last minute stuff so I've been a tad whiny this week).

I've been pouring over my personal favorite illustrated books for layouts and placement of words on a page.  Things I NEVER thought about.  There is a difference between being a painter and being an illustrator.  Just saying.  And I'm actually making full sketches before putting them onto the boards (I NEVER do that).  Needless to say this has been a little overwhelming and exciting in one big ball of wax!  I really can't wait to share who the book is for and why I'm doing this.  It has truly been a pay-it forward project.  I've got to shout out to my friend Dallas Nevins for believing in me and being most patient with me!!


Leather Cuffs and Breaking the Rule

I adopted a policy in my studio.....about a year ago.  When I had the great yard sale clean out and made like $1000.  Yeah.  That was cool.  The policy goes a little something like this:  Use the supplies you've got and then you can buy more.  See what you really miss making and then buy more.  Now this rule does not apply to painting.  I always need new boards and fresh paint.  This rules applies more to my jewelry making and sewing addictions.  Yes, addictions.

I love to make myself jewelry.  Which usually leads to people liking it and me getting the light bulb idea that maybe if I made more people would buy it and I could make money and...and...and it might be the next big thing, right? Right.  So in other words, I start making stuff, make a batch, then move on.  When it comes to jewelry making that is.
 I found a source for leather cuffs at the mart years ago and started making simple little cuffs with hand stamped messages, beads and charms on them as an addition to the gentle reminder bracelets.  Which BTW are quite dainty.  And sell like hot cakes wherever I take them.  But leather cuffs seem to be popular so I added them into the mix.  Although I wasn't skilled enough to figure out how to add the stamped pieces with ease.  Until I took and enameling class of all things and she taught me how!  That was in Portland, OR in October of 2011. 
 I tell you all this because it amazes me how even in jewelry making how my skills and creativity have evolved.  One night when I should have been working on paintings I got the wild hair brain idea to emboss on the leather with my scrapbook embossing powder.  Yes, that pixie dust stuff that gets everywhere it shouldn't and lingers for years after.  And it worked.  And I love it.  And reading your comments on my insta and FB feed I am thinking I might need to go out a buy more cuffs.  Because these were the last of my stash.  A part of the rule:  don't buy more until you find out what you really love making and then go buy more.  I've used every last one of the 100's of leather cuffs I bought (Yes, that was a pricey purchase years ago because I do that, buy in bulk for fear of never seeing it again and then have stuff for years which leads to the issue of art supply hoarding and borders on an issue I might really need therapy for.  Yeah.)
The rack above photoed at the Country Living Fair are the original cuffs.  They were actually watch leather cuffs.  That way I could hide all the jerry-rigging wire.  Hahaha  now that I have the snappy things I don't have to worry so much about that issue.  Honestly I love some of the cuffs with just the embossing.  I really can't wait to try more.  Vero at Naked Art gallery in Birmingham, AL is very excited to be getting them for the holiday season.  Look for posts about how and when you can purchase then there or here in Atlanta at upcoming shows.

Well...gotta get going.  I'm working on a rather BIG project with Clementine the Bunny.  A project that is scaring the poo outta me.  That doesn't happen much.  But it is right now.  Basically she and I have to put on our big girl panties and get busy.  See ya on the downside of the week!


That Road

The year year was 1990.  A magical year in the life of Jenni Adkins.  It was my senior year of high school.  I have so many fond memories of that year and all that it entailed.  My family was still intact.  We lived in a beautiful blue house on the Kendall Court cul-de-sac hill.  My room was decked out in Laura Ashley flowers, white walls and cotton candy pink shiny painted trim.  I had several boyfriends....from the cute boy with surfer blond hair to the ruggedly handsome Edward with curly black hair.  A straight A student with a best friend named Amy.  My car...a hot red Jeep CJ-7 with black soft top.  College bound to Randolph-Macon Women's College....life was good.  I had it all..for an 18 year old wide eyed young woman.

On graduation night I gave a speech as Senior Class President using this poem as my guiding light:

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 10
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 15
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 20

You know it well I'm sure.  I bet Robert Frost never imagined his words would affect so many lives.  Especially those transitioning from high school to college or college to adulthood.   That night with stars in my eyes and a full-life ahead of me I couldn't have even dreamed that my life would lead me here.  To this place.  To this life.
As I was running my 17 mile training run Saturday I passed this wooden path into the woods off the golf cart path.  And yes, I took it.  Because that's what I do.  I jump at opportunities to go the road less traveled.  Like training for a marathon.  My husband thinks I'm crazy. 

Last Tuesday-Saturday I ran a total of 31 miles.  2 miles short of what I was supposed to train.  I ran for a total of 5 hours and 30 minutes.  That's a lot of time spent in quiet reflection.  Honestly the time flies.  I listen to music, day dream, let time go by without thought.  It's the only time in my day where someone isn't saying "I'm finished.  Now what do I do?  I need help. Mrs. Horne...Mrs. Horne... Mom, where's my this...Mom what's for dinner?"  You get the big picture right?  The other day someone asked me if I was a real runner.  I said yeah...well, what do you mean really?  He said, a true runner runs without looking at his watch or worrying about the distance.  Funny, although miles are important to me right now in training, I do just run.  In fact most night runs I get to the end and am like, "Oh, I'm done."  Cool.  And then I practice my shadow puppets in the street lights. I wonder if the neighbors ever notice me out there.  Sure to be a sight. 

23 years after giving that speech I am here.  On this road.  Using the body God gave me to run faster and longer than I ever imagined.  Wearing down the grass.  But never my soul.  I'm glad this is the road I've chosen.


Are You a Doer?

Are you a doer?  Would you like to be a painting doer?   Then join me for one of these upcoming amazing ART WORKSHOPS!  Woohooo.....

Tween Girls:  Young girls 5th grade and up are invited into my home studio to create a one-of-a-kind necklace pendant and acrylic painting on wood.   The necklace will have a chain and gift wrapping.  These workshops are perfect for gift making.

DATES:  Monday, November 25th:  9:30-1:30  (please provide a sack lunch)
                Saturday, December 14th: 10-2  (please provide a sack lunch)

Adult Folks:  Young at heart but over the age of 18 come on and join me as well in my home studio for jewelry making and painting.  Again, perfect for gift giving this holiday season.  Necklaces will have a chain and gift wrapping.

DATES:  Sunday, November 24th:  1-5PM  (bring a snackie)
                Sunday, December 15th:  1-5PM  (bring a snackie)

HOW TO RESERVE A SPOT:  email me:  jennihorne@ymail.com

I do hope you'll join me in making a memorable gift this Holiday season. 


Studio Guests

I was painting last week during the night when a few guests came down to see me.  I don't often have guests while working.  It's like the family knows Momma needs some time.  But this night I didn't mind so much.  I mean look at this cuteness!
Allow me to introduce the newest Horne member.  This is Lawrence.  I'll post the story about how we came about getting him later.  I've got to get a few photos of things to complete the story.  I will say he is a little light for our family.  And yes, Lily loves him too.  Whew.  Because we were not giving him back!

Mailey brought Lawrence down to the studio and was sitting on the stool above.  I asked her, as I do anytime she pops in on me, if she wanted to paint.  This time she said yes.  I gave up my seat and let her explore the encaustics I had out while I worked in the other room on the computer.   I kept peeking in on her to be sure she was okay.  She just painted away!   You know, she is one lucky little girl to be exposed to so many art mediums.  How many 11 year olds know how to paint with wax?  Much less normal paints.  She has wicked good hand skills.  I can't wait to see how she grows under another teacher. 

The nest below is what she started.  Mailey is very disciplined about bed time.  In fact she kept asking me, "Mom, what time is it?"  As soon as the clock struck 9PM she was outta the studio.  I can't wait to see the nest finished with the carving tools and oil stick.  I told her we might have to open her an Etsy shop or give her a section in my show tents.  Her collection is growing!


My Adjectives

Last week our staff was given a name of a faculty member and asked to write 10 adjectives to describe the person.  Yesterday this was in my box.  Pretty cool right? 

So adjectives to describe myself.  Never really thought about it.  I can think of a few I'd like to give my husband and children right now.....just saying Momma bear would appreciate a little thank you every once in awhile.  Can I get an "Amen"?  Let's see.... words to descibe me....if I had been given the card to list for myself it might look like this:

crazy, sensitive, artsy fartsy, determined, imaginative, creative, loud, confident, ambitious, enthusiastic

Yep...those are the words I'd use personally.  (I tried not to use the words they used.)  Have you ever thought about adjectives to describe yourself?  Try it.  It's kinda fun.

Friday is here.  Very excited about that.  Tomorrow is the longest run in the history of my 41 years.  17 miles.  I have to say I was totally pumped up after Wednesday night's 8 miles.  They were easy breezy.  Last night however, during a rather short run, my knee issues flared up.  Like holy cheescracker there was NO running to be had.  I'm scared and upset because I can not afford to miss another long run weekend.  (Last weekend I was sick.  Like walking pneumonia sick.  Yeah....I didn't tell ya how sick I was.  Did I?)  Tonight I'm headed to get more KT tape in hopes of warding off any more damage to the knee.  The KT tape helped during last year's half marathon training.  I really thought this race training I was going to be able to avoid the runner's knee.  I've been running alot more miles.  I guess the hills in our neighborhood finally got me.  I'll let you know how it goes.  And if you are a runner and have any knee tricks pass them my way!  Have a lovely weekend!


Playing with Wax Again

I realized last week I didn't post one thing really...well except that I wasn't feeling well.  Thus why I didn't post anything.  Duh Jenni.  Still not up to par.  Which kinda freaks me out since there are miles to be run.  No really, miles.  Anyhoo....while under house arrest I was able to finish up the encaustic pendants I started!  Yeah!!
At least once a year I get ants in my pants to create with encaustic.  It's a technique that I learned in an R&F Paints workshop with my friend Valerie (AKA Gillyweed on FB) many moons ago.  She actually instructs waxy workshops at Corner Arts in downtown Newnan if you are ever interested in learning about the medium.

A few years back while in the middle of creating encaustic paintings I had a thought that maybe I could fill tiny bezels with the wax and make jewelry out of them.  I'm always seeking that unique item to sell at shows that won't break your pocketbook (or mine in the making!).  And it worked!  I made a ton, sold a ton and that was it.  Fast forward two years or so and I decided it was time to try again.  You see, I've two holiday shows this year I want to be really successful.  Plus to be honest I want to get that dreadful Etsy shop back up to snuff.  It's just pitiful the attention I pay it.  And after a nice little run with Ebay I've got a little itch to get back.  Little.   
The only thing is the pendants I made 2 years ago I never sealed with anything.  And after the melted painting in the van episode I decided to take drastic measures.  These now have a layer of resin on top. The above one is prior to resin.  It worked great, the pendants are now safe and will not melt hot wax down your cleavage.  Score right?  Unless hot wax down the cleavage is your type of thing.  NO judging.  Ha. 
This one is of course my favorite.  I didn't stamp on too many, but kinda wishing I did looking at this now.  It looks like my tattoo right?  Hmmm...maybe I should add a word when I go to Portland in April?  Oh yeah....BTW I'm teaching at Art and Soul in Portland, OR in April!!  Super excited.  It's April 7th and 8th.  Check out the site:  Art and Soul Retreat.  If you are nearby maybe you can come!!  Mailey will be my side kick.  So if you are going be sure to let me know so we can all hook up for dinner!


A Week in Pictures

 I started the week off like this:

Dang I love Animal.  This is actually the bobber on top of our jeep antenna.  It's hilarious to see him flying down the road.  In fact I'm laughing as I type this thinking about it.  Especially since my hubby drives the Jeep most days!

But by Wednesday I was more like this:
With emotions that looked alot like this:
And its obvious because I cried all day at school yesterday.  I had a misunderstanding with a teacher and just couldn't stop.  I was like a dang faucet.  Plus that sinus stuff I thought I had started to not feel not so much like sinus stuff.  Yesterday afternoon I went to the Doctor.  Which I hate to do.  Because he tells me stuff I don't want to hear. First he talks to me about my marathon training.  Wants to be sure I'm being smart in my training.  Secondly he asks if I've been around anyone that might be sick.  Ummm....try 450 kids under the age of 10 who touch everything in my room.  His first advice, DO NOT run.  Rest.  Also take this medicine.  Because you have XYZ.  Great.  XYZ  are not good.  And will probably take me down a week or more.  More tears.
So now I am leaning into this.  Today I am here teaching.  Why you ask?  Because quite frankly it's easier to be here than to have figured out sub plans.  Tomorrow I'll not run the 13.1 mile training run.  But most likely will Sunday.  I'll sleep late, hopefully work in the studio and let my body heal.  Even though this year has started off on such a great foot there are always hurdles to jump.  That's kinda what gives life flavor.  And well, I am rather fond of spicy food.
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