Little Clay Birds

Oh how I love to work magic in little hands with clay.  I often just use paint to finish off clay pieces but after seeing these, think I'll pay the extra price for glazes and firing day for this shine.  These are keepers for sure!

These were made by students in the 3rd-5th grade.  My Wednesday after school art class. 



Nobody Ever Said....

I started this painting sometime ago actually and decided tonight I needed to whip her up some wings and get the text on it so I could share some thoughts with you.  Funny how you can foreshadow your own life unintentionally.  I coined this term years ago, "no body ever said big girl panties had to be white".  The original painting with this text is hanging in my sweet friend Dallas's cubical in Atlanta.  A fun reminder that sometimes we women folk have to do just that, put on our big girl panties and just do what we gotta to survive.  But by golly, these panties don't have to be big white granny panties!

Last week I put my big girl panties on and put myself out there.  I interviewed for a High School art position.  Now let me just state here that I love my job, my school and most importantly my kids.  BUT...the big but in this conversation is that in our county elementary teachers are not certified positions.  We are paid hourly by the PTA.  Which means there is a lot of unequality in the art education other students are receiving in the county because they can not afford an art teacher as many hours as my school does.   Plus these sweet teachers are given little if any money to buy supplies for their programs.  I've written and deleted twice now more on this but am going to stop here because it gets me really wound up let's just say.  And let's just say I would like to be paid for the degree and certification in which I hold.  Period.  Give me that where I am and I would never leave.  Like cremate me in the kiln and spread me around the grounds never leave.  I love the school that much.

So anyhoo...back to the interview.  I rocked it.  Showed up with a vintage suitcase of art and a power point on lessons I'd implemented with kids at ASES, in my personal studio, adult classes in the studio, etc....It was almost 1.5 hours.  I answered their questions. It was exhilarating.  I felt like I had it in the BAG.  And then yesterday I took the Family and Consumer Science test, which was super hard.  Like whoa nelly none of this was in the study guide I spent $50 on!  I left the test feeling super deflated.  Went home, ran 3 stress miles, ate lunch with Tiffin and got in the studio for a spell.  On a whim I decided to check my school email and there it was.  Dear Mrs. Horne........you get the picture?

So I just sat back on my bed a sobbed.  Not cried, sobbed.  Because at that very moment in time I felt like a complete failure.  They didn't pick me.  It was a grief beyond grasping.  In my head I thought, if I'm not good enough for that school then when am I ever going to be good enough for another school?  Granted, it was my first interview in like 15 years....but still.  When you love what you do, and are really good at what you do....rejection is not easy.  I'd like to know what I didn't have to offer them.  What was missing?

So it's been 24 hours.  I'm in a funk.  I'm just being honest.  On top of it all......get this peeps....I'm on my 3rd bladder infection.  Confirmed today.  Which basically means for 6 weeks straight I've been sick (week sick, week on meds, week off, sick again, it's the cycle).  Again.  Just like last year.  The meds aren't killing it.  And I am in constant pain.  Somethings got to give.

I'm off to walk the doggies and then paint.  I think painting right now is my best therapy.  Thanks for hanging with me, and reading this very lengthy depressing blog post.  But it's my story to tell.  You can skip a chapter or two if ya like, but I can't.  I have to push through and trust that there is something out there bigger waiting.  And that my health will not decline anymore but thrive!

I love you guys.....puffy hearts.  J



I've mentioned before I'm kind of a crazy dreamer.  And many, many of my dreams come true.  I keep saying I'm going to keep a journal so one day I can compile them into perhaps a short story book.  Not only do I vividly dream at night, but I daydream a lot too.  In fact, one way I pass the running time is daydreaming.  I map out elaborate stories in my head, completing the dreams down to the finest of details.  Maybe you find that abnormal.....but for me it's the best way to pass the time and keep my brain engaged in something other than the sound of my feet hitting the pavement and occasionally my breathing getting outta control!

I'm finding lately that my day dreams are not as angry as they used to be.  I can remember many a runs where I'd play a scenario out in my head that happened to me personally in regards to a  friendship issue or a husband issue or a work issue over and over until quite honestly I was just flat out angry.  And then I'd come into the house and be all pissy and yelly at everyone.  It was great.  Not.

So I decided it was time to change that kind of daydreaming.  Last year my health issues.... well, they scared the bejesus out of me.  I was in constant pain, and yet carried about my day like nothing was ever wrong.  My family ignored it because it had become the norm.  And they were over it.  I'd cut off so many friends because honestly the last thing I wanted to do was be around healthy, happy, and  thriving people.  So what did I do to climb out of the hole?  I decided to make some serious changes. Here are a few in case you too are in the hole.  Because the hole sucks.  The hole makes you feel worthless.  The hole makes you want to disappear.  The hole makes you go places in your head you still ask God forgiveness for.

So here ya go:
 1. I bought a devotional book and every morning start my day off in quiet reflection (coffee and at least one puppy accompany this time).  These powerful uplifting words are giving me the hope and strength to overcome my personal struggles with being enough, having enough and receiving enough.
2. I sought out therapy and came to the self-realization that a lot of the inner-personal issues are not in how others perceive me but actually how I see myself.  I'm in constant battle with what I put out into the world and feeling like I need to over compensate.  I have very high unrealistic expectations of myself.  And unfortunately expect the same for everyone around me.  Which kinda sets everyone, including myself up for failures.  What I now know is that failures are a an integral part of growth.  (You'd think I'd be 8ft tall with all this growing but alas I stay 5'4".)  I now graciously accept help, ask for forgiveness and release myself of guilt.  Worry is no longer my friend.
3. Started running with music or book on tape and don't let myself daydream.  Unless it's about something cool, like what I would do if I won the lottery. Or how I'm going to answer interview questions.
4. I started nurturing new friendships and decided some are worth getting rid of and others are worth seeking out again. 
5. I decided that being an art teacher wasn't just a job, but a lifeline that I needed.  Desired.  And therefore have actively pursued a full-time position (you follow me on instgram?  then you know big girl panty stuff has been going on.)
6.  Last I've totally altered my diet.  I still have an occasional binge cream filled doughnut from Dunkin 'Doughnuts ehhem...last night, but as a general rule our house is eating very clean and whole.  Billy and I crave it now.  We are sleeping better and I see him happier.  It's amazing what happens when you take gluten and white sugar out of your diet what it does to clear the mind.  Not to mention our waistlines.  (of course Billy has shed like 20 pounds, me none.....but my clothes fit different)

This is yes....a rather lengthy post.  But this blog is such an important part of the story I am telling.  I love sharing the whole me and how life affects my ability to create.  The above photo just completely filled my heart up yesterday.  To be seen by anyone as amazing is one of the greatest compliments I could receive.  I'm working on the amazing part of me everyday and hope you are too.  If you struggle at all with any of the issues I have, please feel free to email me your story.  I can listen, share, and help you to see the puffy hearts too. 

Thanks so much for sharing in my journey....


The Shirt

So yesterday one of my favorite little artsy students (she's a spitfire red-head to boot!) had on the above tee-shirt.  She's in the 2nd grade BTW.  I was kinda freaking out about it....asking her where she got and more important WHEN did she get it?  Saturday?  Oh yeah!  So of course after school I bee-lined it for Old Navy.  No lie.  This $8 baby came from Old Navy!  It'll probably be a bit tight after one wash.  So I am thinking about cutting the image area off and sewing it to my own tee.  And I'm also thinking about going back and buying another one to attach to a TOTE.  Is that a great idea or what? 

I kinda wish they'd make it in an adult size.  Why don't they think we adult size people wouldn't want this?  Instead they have junk like CALI, Fun in the sun, catching rays.  I often wonder why trends go the way they do. So Old Navy if you are listening, would you mind making this in a ladies cut?  Pretty please??

In other news....I've been studying hard for my Family and Consumer Science exam on Monday.  I'll then be dual certified in K-12 art education and Family and Consumer Science.  I'm wizzing through the nutrition, food lodging, family stuff, interior design, textiles and apparel sections.  The consumer management section is kicking my artsy brain though.  I can budget like no bodies business, but investments, stocks, bonds....what in the world?  I wish I WAS better in those sections.  We'd be richer for sure.  Anyhoo...I just keep studying my cards and taking practice tests.  And pray I PASS because there are openings in 2 high schools for the positions.  That'd be so cool.  Then I could teach high school kids how to take kid size tees and turn them into wearable and functioning art!  BAM!

So...you guys getting ready for Easter.  I can't wait to share what we are doing with friends this year.  Definitely Pinterest worthy!  haha


Last Week I Took This Path....

Last week was Spring Break for our family.  Originally I was supposed to teach in Portland and Mailey was going with me.  Well...that didn't work out.  Quite honestly I think it didn't work out for a reason.  Because instead, as a WHOLE family we went to the beach.  It couldn't have worked out better for us! We needed that time away from the world we really live in.  Our teenagers were super sweet the entire trip.  Like no complaints and plenty of cool conversations.
We stayed in the cabin above in Orange Beach, Alabama.  This is a family place I've been visiting for I guess around 30 years.  Crazy right?  It still smells the same, has many of the same decorations and I'm pretty sure the same mattresses.  HA.
It's not situated on the beach, but rather the Inter-coastal Waterway.  I kinda like that it's not on the beach.  It's in wooded neighborhood, that's quiet and so peaceful.  Plus, bringing my family here just as my parents did when I was a child is special in all kinda ways!
It even has an outdoor shower.  There is absolutely nothing better than taking a shower outside after being on the beach all day.  And yep...that sign says to "shower with a friend"......
The weather turned out a-m-a-z-i-n-g.  I'm not sure I've ever been down to Orange Beach so early in the season. It was way too cold to dip in the ocean.  But just right for tanning and napping and drinking cold beer.  Oh and for eating raw oysters...yummy! It was kinda freaky how un-crowded the place was.  I think all of Georgia was in Panama City.  (blerg)
Aren't we a super cute couple?  He's actually been coming here with me for 18 years.  I have vivid summer memories as an adult being here with Billy, pregnant with William, my little sister Molly getting engaged here and my parents still being together.  This place has a way of creating lingering memories.
In my 30 years of visiting here I've never seen a starfish!  Isn't he cool?  We threw him back.....there was also a slew of sand dollars and gorgeous shells.
Holy cheesecracker...I've got 2 teenagers!  Love them.  A lot.  We ate and ate and ate the entire trip.  Billy likes to eat out all meals on vacation.  I don't mind that.  The cabin also has amazing cable TV.  Funny, I do not remember that as a child.  There were like 20 movie channels.  So we caught up on a lot of movies!  I also ran 4 days in a  row!!  4 days!!!  Billy got up with me everyday and we ran together.  That was kinda sweet.

Oh, and Mailey picked up like 20 jellyfish off the beach.  She's such a weirdo.  And then she brought them home with us.  They are currently living in a Rubbermaid on my kitchen counter.  Awesome right?

Honestly I wasn't ready to come back.  I'm not sure I am ever really ready to come back from the beach.  It's Billy and I's reconnect place.  It's our we wanna grow old and play golf all day place.  Well, he'll play golf and I'll sleep and drink fun drinks with umbrellas in them on the beach.  And take long walks with Lily and Lawrence.  One day.

For now I'll just hold onto the memories.  And hope to make more next year.


Southern Circle Retreats 2015

Tiffin and I are thrilled to announce our 3rd Southern Circle Retreat dates!!  And already we have 2 confirmed coming.  WOWSA!  If you are interested in joining us please check out the updated website:  www.southerncircleretreats.com


Beach Feet

Yep.  It's Spring Break.  When my Portland classes petered out me I decided instead we'd all pile up and hit the coast. We are looking forward to time away as a family.  No doggies to tend, no screaming cats to feed milk, no yard to cut, no stuff to feel like I HAVE to do or pick up.  Just chill.  It's not supposed to be the best of weather.  Honestly, I don't care.  I just want to be away.  With the ones I love the most right next to me for 5 days straight. I secretly packed up a bunch of board games and bought a puzzle.  We always did puzzles on our beach trips growing up.  I figured it be a great way to pass the time.  While it rains that is......


Summer Art Camps Offered!!

The summer schedule is set!  I am super excited to be offering all my classes this year in my home art studio (when I've told kids this at school they've been all ooooo......ahhhhhh).  Space is limited, so if you are interested, please email me at jennihorne@ymail.com for your space.  If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask!  Each 10-3 session will be packed with art making.  The focus for each day has a unique theme with the projects based on this theme.  I look forward to having your children in my studio!  Oh, and please notice the ages for each workshop.  The Tween Girl camp is for girls only ages 10-16.  The Young Masters camp is for boys AND girls entering 1st-5th grade.  And I can only host 12 per class. 


Partay Animals!

This summer I've chosen two themes to run with.  One is "Whimsical Houses" the other "Long-legged Animals".  These long-legged owls turned into quite the partying pair!  I can not wait to see what the little artists come up with when given this theme!


Raising Boys

I love these guys.  Really.  I do.  I can't believe we've let 7 years go by of playing baseball together.  That quickly.  I've been getting a little emotional about all that lately.  Time flying and stuff like that.  These boys are entering High School next year.  And I couldn't be more excited for them!  What an amazing 4 years they are about to embark upon.  And luckily for them, they all have parents and grandparents to love, nurture and support them the entire way through.  And luckily for me I have their Mommas to hold my hand, be my extra ears and hand me those tissues along the way.  Raising this boy has been....well much easier than raising the girl Horne.  Truth spoken.  And although he has  many flaws and imperfections, in my eye his gifts and talents outweigh these.  And as a mother if I continue to nurture and nourish these wonderful gifts surely he will grow into the man not only I desire him to be, but the one God intended him to be as well.


Whimsical Houses

Not much to say today.  Just that I love this painting.  I try to not paint so bright, but I have to.  I love playing with colors next to one another.  Mixing this orange, that pink and this green.  It's all a part of who I am as an artist.  And pretty sure it always will be.   You know the funny thing is I tend to wear a lot of black and white.  Hmm....I wonder what that symbolizes?

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