Making Hearts

I'm not sure when I made the first heart, maybe around this time last year. I made it for myself actually. I like doing that sorta thing....making stuff for myself that is. I especially love making jewelry. So fast forward to the Whatever Camp Create this fall when I was wearing my heart and sweet Honey said "girl can you make me one of those?" Sure Honey. So I went home and made her one and shipped it off. Now I should say before this event I made some for my gallery in Birmingham for the Microlove show and NONE sold. So I didn't think people would want them. I was actually very sad because I loved them.

But turns out, when you send your heart off to sweet Honey and she wears it in her instagram posts and people ask her where she got it and she says Jenni made it people start asking me for one too. So I got off the couch and start making. And making. I've now had 2 Instagram sales and one Etsy sale with the hearts and sold out within the day on each sale. Plus some more added in. It's kinda exciting I have to be honest.
 Each heart is completely hand crafted. I can physically make about 14 in a weekend, then use the week to slowly wire bead the chain. I love each step of the process.
Lawrence hates when I make jewelry because I stand up instead of sitting in my usual chair. He likes to cuddle and be held at all times. And holding him and a torch at the same time is just not a good idea. I totally need a baby wrap for him. He'd love it.
 I personally love the rainbow bead combo....but the cool colored beads seem to sell best.
 I love the way each turns out so different. These are making my studio very happy these days!

The bottom was my favorite heart shape to date. Something about the robustness of it. Anyhoo....I called a company about manufacturing these for me. It's a huge leap of faith that the heart is not just a trend but meant to be something bigger. I do feel thus far the whole experience has been God laid out. From being asked to teach at Camp Create and meeting Honey and her graciously sharing my name on her large followed feed to the present demand for them. There's just something about the whole thing that seems bigger. I follow several artists on Instagram that once they allowed His dreams to grab wings they have truly taken off. Maybe my dreams are just about to be those God sized ones too.
Be sure to follow my Instagram feed for updates on the next heart sale. Mailey and I bought some fabulous beads this week I can't wait to string onto some hearts!


Found on Google

So now that I am trying to blog again I was searching for some photos. And found some vintage gems!!  Oh gosh...sorry you are gonna have to bear with a walk down memory lane. Look at those baby faces above! Even Lily looks like a baby.
Above is a photo of me in Mood in New York City. Pretty sure I was with Valerie shopping for our store. Why did I get rid of those awesome jeans? Seriously...dangnabit. And my skin look fresh and happy. Maybe I need to see a botox person after-all. My hair is crazy short too. Why?
Above is me at my very first art show at the Wesleyan School. Not sure the year. I was all set up and ready and VERY nervous in this photo. I had already called Valerie crying about the set-up. They had not told me they provided panels. I had packed my van full of everything I needed for a "show" set-up. Everyone else just hung their art on the panels provided and called it a day. I mean what? I even had flowers. So I was freaking out that people would think I was stupid....so I cried. I'll never forget Valerie's kind words to just calm down and do what I had planned. I was gonna blow them away. And I did...sold out I think. I still have those awesome jeans.

Here I am in my old studio painting on canvas. What???  I know! Little did I know about wood panels then. I love this photo because sweet AJ is in it probably making biscuits on that pillow. AJ was our sweet kitty we had way before kids. He loved Billy so much...slept on his head. When AJ passed the bus driver asked me one day, "Where's orange kitty?" I told her he had passed...she said "I have never seen a cat so devoted to his children. Did you know everyday he waits at the top of the drive with them in the morning and the afternoon is at the top of the drive again waiting for them to get off the bus? Sweetest thing I've ever seen." Makes me a tad teary thinking of him and his crumbled up ears from too much fighting.
 I don't have many photos of myself teaching. But here I am in the original Bubble Gum Ice Cream Art Studio. That little cutie in the left corner is now 16 I think. The girls I don't recognize. Again....why did I get rid of those jeans?  (note to self...keep all your jeans) And i'm really glad I let my hair grow out. Geeshhhhh....talk about poofy. Ooo...and I just noticed I'm wearing my Ironman watch. I was trying to explain that to my Will the other day. That it was "the thing".
This one just cracks me up. It was my 1st photography class. I was modeling so my classmates could take an action shot. Why did I get rid of that awesome t-shirt. Dangnabit.
 When I was a full-time artist I made felted bird sculptures like this little guy. I still have a few laying around. I should fix them up and sell them. Mailey was little back then and loved naming them all.
I remember these two being like this all....the...time. So goofy, so silly and so sweet to one another. And lawd at the outfits they would leave the house wearing. Will those shoes and socks, just terrible...and Mailey's Hannah Montana crocs, really? Well, at least she's wearing shoes. His hair though....gosh I loved his surfer dude hair.

This child before the make-up, before the obsessive hair straightening, before the freckles disappeared. BTW she lived in that white coat for about a year. Summer over her bikini even. 

 The house we didn't get....and I still dream about.
 I need to make these again. In fact, I found a ton of my old jewelry in google files and am like dang girl...you need to make JEWELRY!!
 I am posting this just because we look hot. I mean that hair right? Total Farrah dream hair. Pretty sure this was at a Governor's Ball.
Will's first home run ball. The day before was the school festival, so his hair still has the red spray in it. Love that. (actually it stayed for a long time. both my kids hair holds color. it's weird)
OK last one....my birdie in metal. Yeah. I gotta get to making some jewelry. And look into my google files some more. I am really glad they are all in there. In that cyber cloud that gives me the heebie jeebies and makes me all Big Brother watching me like. 

So what have you guys been up to? I have lots of creative stuff to share. For now though.....a walk down memory lane was what I needed. Thanks for joining the journey with me!


Releasing Petals

It's been awhile right? I've missed this part of my creative journey, but in all honesty I haven't had the energy for it. Here in my blog I've always felt free to share my whole world. Throughout my years of blogging I've always been transparent and vulnerable here. But quite honestly....my little world since August has been turned upside down. I wasn't sure how to share or what to share. Because I am embarrassed and tired quite frankly. I was afraid anything I posted would just be "noise". Just know that one day I'll feel comfortable enough to share the deep and wide emotions I didn't even know I owned. I see now that everyone has a story worth sharing. And that if you leave that story folded in like the above rose, it will never ever have time to open, be shared, glorified then finally released. The later part being extremely important in the healing process. Letting the petals go.

As winter approaches and the holidays are peeking out from under the covers I am truly approaching this holiday season with a joy filled heart. I posted on instagram a few weeks ago that this time of year brings out a lot of sorrow in my heart. But for some reason I am calmer and ready for whatever comes my way. We decorated for Christmas before Thanksgiving even! And put lights on the bushes...I mean what the what? I am so grateful for the family I have been given and want to celebrate the season with all that I have. Hopefully with a few less petals.

Thanks for being patient and always such a special part of this creative journey with me! I can't wait to start truly blogging again and sharing my experiences as a high school art teacher. What a ride the past few months have been in this classroom!
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