Little Bikes and the Season of Giving

The season of giving. We are right upon it aren't we? I know I've already ordered several very special personal gifts to give and have stowed away several fun things for my children. The older I get the more I find myself drawn to gifts with meaning. The empty gifts are no longer as important. I get so giddy when I find that "perfect" gift for my friends and family members. In fact, truth be told I don't like receiving at Christmas. Rather love to give. Weirdo right?
So when a facebook friend emailed me about a gift exchange idea and could I possibly help her fill the idea, I got really excited! Knowing that when her friends unwrap these, something she loves, makes me super warm and fuzzy inside. I am sure the joy will resonate down to my little Georgia town.
Each little bike is on an 8x8 cradled wood canvas. I made the backgrounds all the same, but then made each bike a tad different style and color scheme. I hope the gift exchange reveals squeals of delight. I wish I could be a fly on the wall.

Have a lovely weekend friends. We are hosting William's girlfriend's family for the Auburn game at our home. I am so excited. We've known Toni and her family since the kids were 2 and in pre-school together. I love watching him be a boyfriend to her. He's seems genuinely smitten. Oh, the high school lovey days. Right? There is nothing like that feeling. And the best part is they re-aquainted at church. We hope to get our bonfire area cleaned up for post game smores. I'll share our area next week here. It truly is magical when all lit up with lights and a fire. And with all the love in the air, I'm sure it'll be even more magical.


Adoption Fundrasier for the Jupin Family

Last week I was sent an email that melted my heart. A blogger friend (in my sweet home state of Alabama) is in the process of adopting a child from the Ukraine. To offset the ENORMOUS expenses of getting him from his country to ours artists from across the country are banding together to create an instagram auction. Kindness of strangers blessing this sweet family. It was a no-thinker for me when she asked if I'd be willing to donate an item to this cause. You see, this year we've had 2 children join our school that were in this little boy's shoes. They were in an orphanage in the Ukraine, living like no tiny human should have to live. One of our school families adopted these 2 children and within a week of being on American soil joined our classrooms. At first I was a little scared. I have no Russian in my back pocket. However these 2 children have blossomed in the mere 12 weeks we've been in school. In fact, I get a tad teary thinking about the blessings they have become to the children and faculty here at Arbor Springs. You should see the American children teaching these Ukraine children with such patience and compassion. The 4th grade boy comes in and talks my ear off every time. I only wish I knew what he was so enthusiastically telling me! And the little girl has a smile that will melt your heart.

So, when Amy asked, I replied YES! Here is her sweet blog and story about the process here. They hope to meet "Jude" in early November. The details on how you can purchase this painting I have donated to the auction is below. The auction is only tomorrow from 1:00 central time until 9PM. So please consider buying an item in the sale. Bid away!!
This painting is 8x8 on a 1.5" cradled wood canvas. The sides are stained. It can hang on the wall or sit in a bookcase perfectly. The starting bid is $45.oo. I will be paying the shipping.

The auction will be held on Wednesday, October 22nd. Amy will begin posting photos of all the goodies donated on Instagram under this username: auctionforjude  at 1:00 central time. The bidding ends at 9:00PM. You bid and bid until then. If someone bids and you are like, "Hey I wanted that"...bid on top of them!  Let's bless this sweet family blogger friends!! After the bidding closes Amy will send me the address of where the painting is going and I will personally be shipping it to you.

I thank you ahead of time for supporting my artsy journey and this dear family. I love that the internet allows us the opportunity to know people from across the globe. My tag has been for years....scatter joy. This is an amazing opportunity for us to all do just that.


Pumpkin Canvases

I teach classes after school at my school. It's an extra class parents have to sign their children up for and pay a fee. I pay the school rent and buy all the supplies for the classes. I've actually been teaching after school classes here longer than teaching during the day! I love it because they ALL want to be there and if I have behavior issues I just tell the parents, "If Johnny can't behave I have a waiting list of students wanting to attend the class." Not that I've had to sue that line much.  We use lots of nice art materials I can't afford during the regular class day.
For instance, canvases, charcoal pencils and acrylic paints! Which is what these pumpkin landscapes are. These turned out even better than I imagined they would!
As a general rule I don't do holiday lessons. I have several students in the class that their religion doesn't do holidays. So I always hesitate on doing anything too "holiday". But then I had a parent mention they like the seasonal ideas because they can put it out, then put it away for next year and not feel bad about not having everything out all the time. I was like HOLY cheesecracker. Genius idea.
These canvases have a pretty burlap hanger so it can be hung on an interior door or window for the fall season.I wish I had one of these from my kids! If parents were clever enough they could put these into Shutterfly and have a table runner made or cards or....lots of great ideas in Shutterfly. I recently had lots of gorgeous gifts made for Christmas using my art. I about freaked when I received the products. I can't wait to give the gifts!!

I hope you are having a lovely start to fall. I absolutely love this time of year!


The Gray Day

Yesterday we were out of school. Thank goodness. Because the art show put me down....down...down. Not only physically but mentally. Now I remember one of the main reasons I quit doing shows. Plain and simple. The sales. It was horrible. And it wasn't  just me. That's one thing about the art friends I've made over the years. We do not sugar coat. We speak the truth. And the truth is in Spring of 2012 I sold 25 paintings in one show. And since then....well I've not been so fortunate.  It's such a catch 22 though, because if I don't put myself out there I won't grow.  My sweet husband I could tell knew it was a bad weekend and he was trying everything to be sure I came home to a calm environment. Laundry was done, hot tub was getting winter ready, he quickly started unloading the van without being asked, dinner was made, etc....he knows me. And knows how a bad show makes me feel like total crap and like a total failure at life. It takes several days for the funk to lift too. Because folks, when you are an artist and you paint your heart on the canvas you become vulnerable. It's a word no one wants to admit is in their blood but it is. So although I wasn't the only artist with bad sales, I still felt exposed, vulnerable and raw.

Today is a new day. I rested yesterday. Watched 2 movies with William. Napped. And did pretty much nothing. I am still in love with my new paintings and know there will be a wonderful home for them one day. My goal is to get items listed into Etsy soon. Including original art and some prints. I'll be sure to let you know when. I hope you don't mind my being so candid here. I don't want to come across as whiney. Just honest. This past weekend was disappointing, wet and tiring. It was another weekend in the life of an artist.

Today I head back into the classroom. Looking forward to spreading some joy on my budding artists and sharing what I love about art with them. They amaze me with their abilities and willingness to try all that I bring to the table for them.


Norcross Art Fest 2014

I am so excited to be participating in the Norcross Art Fest again. This was actually the first outdoor show I participated in back in 2008.  See the whole post here and here about the first time I did the show. Boy...lessons learned for sure! Look at my short poofy hair! First lesson learned. I look better with long hair. Good grief. Back then my business was called "Mattie's Social Circle". You see, Mattie is the little blue bird I painted. All the friends I painted with the dainty flowers were her "social circle".  But then I started painting bikes, trucks campers, etc...and the name didn't make sense. Plus I was told by a wise person that an artist should be using her name for her business, not hide behind a catchy business name that was confusing people.  Especially since there is a town outside of Atlanta called Social Circle. Which no, I am not from. So I made the switch to Jenni Horne Studios.....baby steps. And now just Jenni Horne.
So tomorrow I pack up and head to the show. I've not done a show this size in 1.5 years. I am nervous and excited all rolled into one ball of sticky wax. I've had such an amazing journey getting ready for the show. With SO MUCH new art. New style. New colors. New. I love it. If you can, please come by and say howdy. Here's the link: Norcross Art Fest

Just a few of the 20+++ new pieces! Plus I have all 12 original bike paintings for sale from my licensing contract. Plus a ton of older work at a HUGE discount (think $50 smackers ya'll). And jewelry. And felted birds. And...well you need to just come by and SEE for yourself. Yeah art shows!!


New Work

I am so excited about this weekend's show. I've not painted like this in years. I'm not sure sure where the energy is coming from. I am already packed and ready to go. And yet I just keep painting. I keep thinking... "Just one more..." I hope you'll put this weekend on your calendar to come see me. Especially if we've never met. I love meeting my blog readers! Norcross Art Fest...See you there!!


Great Things

I've been doing some thinking lately about great things. In particular what great things I have in my life at the moment. And how all the little steps I've taken over the years have gotten me here. There are many moments that cause me to pause lately and really think about how to move forward. I daily remind myself to live in today, not worry about yesterday and certainly stop fretting over tomorrow. Worry is such a life killer. And unfortunately I am plagued with it. I seriously have to make a conscious effort daily to not worry. So here are some random small things that are bringing joy to my life right now. All these together are making for a really great life.

-Fall is here. Oh how I love fall.
-My son, while lounging on the couch is now the length of the couch. I am so thankful for the man he is growing into.
-My art is finding a new voice. I'm not sure where it's coming from, but it wants to be heard. 
-We are going to travel this year as a family to 2 new exciting cities. I can not wait to share these places with the kids. 
-My children tell me lots about what's going on in their lives. I hope that door continues to stay open. I enjoy knowing their hearts. I didn't feel I had that connection with my parents and have worked hard to be the listener and the conversation starter when needed.
-I find myself staring at Billy wondering how we grew into the 2 people we are. So comfortable with each other. So ready to grow old together. I can not imagine sharing this life with anyone else.
-My running has become easier and so amazing feeling. I am so thankful for healing. I'm not 100%...but getting there slowly with the help of a chiropractor and a deep tissue massage therapist.
-I'm doing a huge art show next weekend and am seriously considering going back into this life style. Conversation for later....but let's just say I am not sure I physically or mentally can teach elementary children another year at my current pay scale. It's one of the small great things I am doing that's making a huge impact on my worry level. 
-My e-course is taking off. Again. I can't believe the number of people that have signed on to take art from me through the internet! I am humbled, excited and nervous about teaching this group of amazing artists. I am truly blessed to have the gift for teaching. I can not wait to start sharing on Monday.

I hope that you are finding yourself drawn to small wonderful things in your daily routine. I have found lately that if I allow myself a little room for goodness, greatness emerges. It's kinda awesome.

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