Thursday, October 23, 2014

Another Birthday and life lately

It was my birthday yesterday! I turned 25 again. ;) Unfortunately, it was a majorly gloomy and rainy day here on the Jersey Shore. When we woke up in the morning and looked over at the window, we seriously thought that dawn did not yet break…it was that dark. And as luck would have it…it remained that dark ALL DAY LONG. And rainy, and windy, and cold. We had to turn the heat on for the first time this year. Gross weather really gets me down. As much as I want to travel to Portland and Washington state, I know I'd have to keep the visit short. Grey rainy days are not for me.
Though I'm glad that the weather yesterday didn't ruin any plans. Being that we have a lot of work to finish, we had already decided to schedule any birthday fun for the weekend. So, on Saturday the weather is predicted to be sunny with temps in the high 60's! Me, Aaron, my littlest broth Walt, and his girl Val are going to take a pleasant Autumn drive and celebrate for real. I can't wait!

Aaron the "non baker" has been baking AGAIN! Little by little I think his fear of baking is wearing off. Now I think he's beginning to like it as much as he enjoys cooking dinner. And he's pretty good at it. He baked me the most deeelish carrot cake muffins! They turned out perfect! They're loaded with carrots, pineapple, golden raisins, and walnuts…and they're perfectly spiced, and super moist. My morning looked like this. Coffee in my fave mug, and a muffin. 
Complete with a candle so I could start the day with a wish. 

How cute is this little air plant Jack o' lantern? Would you believe we found it at A&P while grocery shopping? Air plants are said to be easy to care for. They get their namesake because they aren't planted in soil. That little Jack o' lantern is hollow…the base of the plant is just floating there in the air. To care for it you only have to mist it, or soak it a bit, and then let it dry well. And it doesn't require direct sunlight.
 I guess we'll see how well he does! 

The past week was filled with lots and lots of Halloween art work! While I was working away, and deep in the holiday spirit, I took a glance over at our Charlotte die cut  and knew that I had the perfect Halloween accessory for her. I think that she will be wearing this sequined mask all year round now! It fits her perfectly! 

We brought back our classic Halloween cupcakes plaques! I love this painting! We have many friends who keep this one hanging on their wall all year round.

And we had lots of orders for our Haunted House Cake plaques! Here they are in progress! They are now off into the world and we are so excited to see pics of them hanging in their new homes!

We added a few creepy cute vignettes around the house. We love this one! Our fave vintage cardboard skeleton and pumpkin look made for each other, and they look perfect perched up there against our chalkboard wall in the kitchen. 

Ohh and this is so funny…I had told the story on Facebook, and instagram, but just in case you missed it…
I had hung this Jack o' Lantern candy pail up on this peg rack temporarily. After dinner I was sitting at the kitchen table, and as usual, Lt. Dan was on my lap getting a back rub. Well, Lt. Dan glanced up and caught a glimpse of this guy…and guess what?…he let out a tiny little growl. Dan was so nervous. Who was this new orange guy with the big red grin?? He wouldn't calm down until I took the pail down to show it to him up close…and even then Dan kinda shrunk. ha! 

Ohhh and we were SO excited to finally see our spread in Art Journaling Magazine! 10 full color pages! It was such a fun interview with the fabulous RicĂ« Freeman-Zachery. We are totally honored to be featured! And it's a great issue! Pages and pages of so much eye candy! It's on shelves now, or you can order from Stampington. We that love our Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Art Journal page was used on the title page. 
And speaking of that…We've been seeing lots of blog traffic on that particular tutorial being that it is that time of year again. So if you'd like to create your own version of this journal page here is a link to that tutorial! Complete with full step by step directions and a fun little video. 

Ohhh and we are so excited that so many of you have love for vintage bunnies too! Lots of these sweet fellas are headed out into the world this week! Thank you guys! 

It has been a really busy week, so our apologies on the lack of posts, but we have some awesome stuff coming up next week that we think we will totally make up for that! Including an AWESOME giveaway! So artsy/crafty peeps stay tuned! It's GOOD!! 

Thanks so so much for popping in friends! And thank you SO SO much for the super sweet birthday wishes on FB, Instagram, and emails! 

Love you guys!!
xo Jenny…and Aaron says hi!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Favorites

My gosh…it's mid October, and it's still t-shirt weather. If Aaron had his way, it would stay this temp forever. I myself enjoy cool crisp Autumn weather. I'm totally not into the cold…but I like the idea of wearing layers in the Fall…good ol fashioned sweater weather. But I'm sure these warm temps are going to disappear overnight, and we'll be on the fast track to winter. Oh well. Right now we're getting caught up with work, and we'll soon begin the Holiday Hustle in earnest. Work-wise, it's the most rewarding time of year. Already we're getting lots of messages and emails asking about our handmade ornaments. It feels so awesome to be part of somebody's holiday wish list!
Some of the following Friday Favorites are part of my holiday wish list for sure. I get so excited to see the seasonal offerings of fellow artists and makers.
 Up above and below you'll se the work of The Frosted Petticoat, whom I discovered through Instagram. Yes, as you can see, The Frosted Petticoat specializes in darling whimsical chocolates. The above 1920's bride and groom made my heart melt! Do they look familiar to you? Go ahead and scroll up, and take a look at the center image of my blog banner! How cool is that?!

Check them out atop this amazing cake!

And I love the verdigris look of this Lincoln pop.

And this cutie made me think of my dear friend Jennifer Hayslip. Not only is it completely her style…it also could totally be the mascot of her Pink Ellie Photography.

And of course The Frosted Petticoat has the most adorable packaging.

This right here is what I was mainly referring to when I said that I'm excited to see the latest offerings from fellow artists. These tiny handmade knives and accessories are the incredible work of Tumbleweeds Handcraft. Aaron really loves the above knife and cutting board charm set, since he's the guy on cutting board duty every single evening. That knife looks exactly like the one Aaron uses! I really can't get over the amazing work that Beca and Doug of Tumbleweeds do. 

We have a friend who is a professional cook and he would absolutely love this one!

Can you even handle the Cleaver?! How can something be so adorable and so tough at the same time? ha! I love their stuff!
What you see here really barely scratches the surface of what Tumbleweeds Handcraft does. To see more, make sure to check out #tinyknife on Instagram. And their shop!

And yeah...these caged crow string lights are way at the top of my wish list. There's a corner of our living room just screaming out for these.

I'm hoping Aaron reads this blog post…cause ya know…my birthday is very very soon…and one of these Party Banner necklaces from would be the perfect gift! ; )

I had seen these a few years ago and loved them, but I couldn't remember where I had found them. Well, once again, big thanks to Instagram…I found them again! And now I can pass on the discovery to you. These Wood Doily Coasters are by uncommon.

And I love this darling larger one. It comes in a handful of pretty colors. They've got something for everyone! I really think I need some of uncommon's work in my life .

I'm swooning for this Heart Candy dress from Mod Cloth. I've got lots of cream & black heart pattern stuff. For me it totally works as a neutral. A classic base for any outfit.

Just this evening I was so excited and happy to re-connect with an old flickr friend! Boopsie Daisy! Missy's work has been a favorite of mine for years! Pure magic! Over the top cute! Electric pastels! Kitschy cute! 
I think Bust Magazine said it best:

"Imagine a 1950s diner on an acid trip & you’ll land at boopsiedaisy, who's prints are like pages torn out of an ongoing creepy-cute fairytale that could easily be turned into a Tim Burton film." - BUST magazine

This one is so incredibly FUN! I can't take it! 

So many amazing prints in the shop that you just have to see for yourself! And check out her dolls!!

Ok, I hope I've made some fab additions to your own Holiday Wish List. I know…we're not even at Halloween yet…but trust me when it comes to art and handmade stuff, you gotta plan your shopping early!
 Happy Friday! Have a great weekend!
xo, Jenny…and Aaron says hi!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Meet "The Creep"

So, remember in my previous post how I mentioned that I nearly died over the piece Aaron was painting while I was working on my "Girls with Cake" painting the other day? Well, here's the painting he was working on!
 If you know me at all, you know that I am absolutely crazy for vintage stuffed bunny rabbits. I have been collecting them for years, and even though I have a lot…I'd say I don't have nearly enough. Some are still bright and candy colored, but most have faded with age and their pastel tones are perfection. The well loved and worn ones are my favorite. If you look around our home and studio you'll soon gather that they're sort of a mascot or trademark of ours. We've incorporated them into our artwork quite a bit, but I think this is the first time we dedicated an entire painting to a bunny. That's why we chose our fave bunny of all to model for this piece. He's our big and tall pink guy, affectionately named Creep. He earned the name Creep because we'd always set him up in a vignette with other bunnies or dolls, and because of his height we'd always prop him up in the back. Well, standing back there behind all of the smaller bunnies and dolls, with his staring red eye, I thought he looked like some big creep who was pretty much trying to photobomb the vignette. But I say it in a nice way. I love Creep.

Like I said…vintage bunnies are a big deal around here. This rolling cart holds one gathering of them in our living room.

And we make bunny artwork whenever we can! Our "bunny baby" die cut has been a collector favorite…and probably my all time fave die cut of ours. 

The die cut painting is based on one of my most prized possessions. This is the actual Bunny Baby.

And here's another Creep appearance. This here is a pin I made (and some rings) from our scrapbooking papers! The bunny was colored in with some washes of acrylic paint, mounted to chipboard, cut out, sealed, and then I added a pin to the back. And if you scroll way way down to the bottom of this blog where it says "Thank You so very much for visiting…" you will see him there as well! 

And yes…he even shows up on the cover of our book!

But I had been saying that we really needed to do more real deal paintings of our bunnies. So, while I was working on painting my girls the other day, Aaron started playing with some papers, and sketching out "The Creep" on this tall and skinny canvas.

He wanted to keep it on the loose side…and sorta give the painting the same time worn feel as Creep himself. Right here is the beginning stages with just the darks blocked in.

At this point my heart already started to beat faster! Sooo cute! 
I really just needed to see the eye and some color, and I knew how the painting would turn out. I snapped this pic and went back to work on my girls.

And in a little while he was all done! Here it is standing next to the real Creep. 
It's a deeper canvas, so the sides absolutely needed some color. You can't see a ton of it here, but he used a fun pink and cream polka dot patterned paper on the edges…and it is perfect!

We already got lots of emails and messages and comments asking if he is for sale. 
Well, he is in the shop now! We made prints and they look fantastic. It's mounted on a 1/2" thick wooden plaque and measures approximately 12" x 4". 

 I think this painting came out perfect, and Aaron is going to show me step by step how he did it, so that I can paint a bunch of my own as well. We've got bunnies in every shade of the vintage rainbow…aqua with pink ears…pale yellow with aqua ears…light pink with dark pink accents…
The painting possibilities are endless! 
And this got me fun would it be to teach a vintage bunny mixed media painting class?! Maybe at a future Art Is You?! Or at a few small shops? I think it could be SO fun!

I had to share! I am just in love with it!

Anyone else collect these? 

Thanks for popping in! 
xo Jenny…and Aaron says hi!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Girls with Cake

Ahh being back home from our Art Is You trip has us filled with mixed emotions. We're missing our friends, missing the artsy energy and environment…just so many creative folks under one roof…you can take a walk to get some coffee and you'll pass rooms that are humming with art…anything from soldering, sewing, painting, sculpting…all in a 5 minute walk. We're missing getting and giving hugs all throughout the day, and seeing friends we have known for years online. 
But even though the event is over, the great energy is still with us. We're home, all of our stuff is unpacked, we're thrilled to be eating home cooked food, and work-wise we're back in the swing of things...and feeling more inspired than ever. Being at Art Is You reminds us to make more time for making personal artwork. We make art daily, but 95% of it is our WORK. Which, don't get me wrong, we love our work. But we need to make more of the art that speaks directly to our souls. Way more Art Journaling has to happen, and we have to take more time for fun and exploring new mediums and techniques. : )

Today while a bunch of orders dried, we did just that. I had started this canvas a long time ago and put it away. I had been meaning to pull it out and rework it, and finish it...and today that happened! 

Maybe my favorite detail is the simplest part…it has this fantastic crackle textured background. And of course it was loads of fun working on these sweet gals. 

And painting cakes is certainly on my list of favorite things. I love the texture on this one…it's my signature frosting technique...molding paste mixed with paint. 

I also love re-painting vintage wallpaper bits and cutting and pasting them into paintings. 

I shared some of the fantastic old photos I had purchased at Art Is You in my recap post. Well I had also picked up some vintage newspaper, which is perfect to use in our mixed media projects and art journals. We hadn't opened up the paper pack until today, and ohhh boy! This particular publication cracked us up. It's a 1975 edition of The Daily Express from the UK. And oh my gosh the headlines are insanity! All Doom and Gloom! 
And I heard from a UK friend that The Daily Express isn't any different today in 2014! ha!

Aaron got a big kick out of this article on the sports page. Apparently there was some controversy over some soccer players who were sore losers and kicked a hole in the door in the opposing team's locker room.

Well the gist of the story is that the team blamed a mouse for the hole in the door…saying that either the mouse chewed the hole, or possibly a player was scared of the mouse and tried to kick it but partially missed and ended up kicking a hole in the door. They said to be on the lookout for a limping Coventry mouse with broken feet or teeth. ha! 

We used some of the more subtle pages of the paper on the edges of our canvases. I love how old newspapers are so perfectly yellowed! 
And check out that corner of the canvas. This is what I call a "sweet spot". I love the distressed floral cluster, and the way the wash settles into the crackle…and I die for that faint aqua glow.

Here is my finished canvas. Don't these girls look sooo psyched about their cakes?! ha! Maybe they are in a sugar coma? I honestly love turn of the century portraits of children...they are rarely smiling. I find that so interesting.  
I really love how this piece turned out. I'm so glad that these girls are no longer on a shelf in the closet!  I'm really looking forward to painting lots more in this series. 

Wait until you see the piece Aaron worked on today!! It is sooo good! I nearly died! Ok not really… but almost. 

Hope your week is off to a great start! Thanks bunches for popping in! 

xo, Jenny…and Aaron says hi!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Art Is You (Stamford) recap

We are back from Art Is You (Stamford CT) and my goodness was it a GREAT time! Every time we do Art Is You we are once again reminded that it is just such an incredible event! Sallianne & Ellen (the founders of Art Is You) do an amazing job, the teaching faculty is so diverse and so talented, and everyone there is just so generous and kind and we are so honored to be a part of it all. We taught at Art Is You in Memphis back in May and were so excited to see all of our friends again, and to make new friends of course! We normally teach a few full day classes, but this time we opted for just one nighttime class, which is about half the time of our normal classes. So instead of the usual 6 hours, we had to design our project to fit into a 3 hour time frame. It was a Friday night class, and it worked out great! And then early on Saturday we set up our table at the vendor fair. 

For the vendor fair we made some cute little plaques and pins with my new favorite mantra. My take on the Saul Bass quote. 
I'd like to think I speak for us all…the lovers of cute and fun. Whether it is our art, paintings, art journals, aprons, our decor at home, or the outfits we wear. 

 We may add some of these cute talk bubble pins to the shop soon. 

We always like having some sweet favors for our students, and these cute aqua lollipops were perfect! I just stamped some quick little tags to tie to each one using our new cakes stamps.

Yep! They are in the shop and available for pre-order in case you'd like some of your own! 

One of our favorite things ever is when friends that had never heard of Art Is You, hear about it from us and decide to come! I was so so excited when my friend Lizzy aka The Connoisseur of Cute, messaged me on Facebook to say she wanted to take our class! She had never been to one of these events, and would be driving all the way from Rhode Island for it! She didn't even stay over…just drove there…made art...and drove back. That is so hardcore.
 It was just her birthday and I had found the most perfect gift for her. I was so excited that I'd be able to give it to her in person! We met through Instagram this past year and totally hit it off Instantly.

How adorable is she? She posted this pic on instagram earlier on Friday...all dressed and ready for Art Is You! Look at her Barbie and Midge suitcase! And the girl is brave for wearing white to a painting class! ha! 

My brother Walt drove us and dropped us off at the hotel...which was only an hour and a half drive. When we arrived we weren't in the lobby 2 minutes before the adorable and ridiculously fun Kim and Kiki ran into us! Kiki is queen of magical selfies! This pic was sparkling on Facebook within minutes! 

The Stamford Sheraton is pet friendly! How great is that?! So of course Lieutenant Dan came! Look at how tiny he looks on this big big bed! ha! You can see his little trail leading to his spot…it looks like tracks in snow. Doesn't he look like a tiny deer? Carlos stayed the weekend with his grandparents. 

And here he is in the morning without his bow tie…a little nudie! HA! 

The hotel had a great area for walking the pups. There was even a bag dispenser for picking up after them. 

And here we are just before leaving our hotel room to go down to teach our class Friday night. 

The class we were teaching was Ancestral Abstracts. Abstract/mixed media paintings incorporating old photos…or new if you prefer. 

Class was so much fun! Everyone jumped right in! Some gals were pros and some gals had never used some of the materials or mediums before. We provided a few portraits for the students to choose from but some brought their own ancestors or instant ancestors (flea market finds). How great is this dapper fellow in the top hat?

Lt. Dan couldn't get enough of Sandra and Liz's table. If he wasn't asking to be picked up, he was making a bed of a purse. Ha!

It was so great getting to walk around and see the canvases coming to life! And getting to chat with gals we had only known on online like Pamala. She is a sweetheart! 
And in the background I can spy Lizzy and Nancy…who are most likely talking about Rhode Island or handlebar mustaches…what a coincidence that they happen to sit next to each other and both hail from the same place and have a thing for manly facial adornments.

Everyone really knocked our socks off! The colors and unique textures they achieved using the knives were fantastic! 

One of our fave duos are the Totire's…Katie and Aleta. It was such a pleasure having them in class again! We had met them a few years back at Art Is You and have been fb friends. We love that they brought their own photos to use. This little guy is too adorable 

And here is again! Older and serving our country! 

A shot of Pamala, Aaron, and Francine working away.

And here is Lizzy working on a bright, colorful and fun canvas.

Lt. Dan napped most of the class in his "good boy bed". And yes his water bowl is a pink vintage melmac teacup. 

Here is an in progress shot of Maureen's beautiful piece. You may recognize this trio of friends. We used this photo in our book! In our "Sweet Spot Necklace" project! 

And here they are finished! Wow right?! All so unique!

Look at that texture! and color!

Francine's gal is on the left with the shimmering shoulder! That's german glass glitter embedded in the gel medium, which will eventually tarnish and have a fabulous look to it! 

I just love seeing them all together! What a great time we had! And we were pretty psyched that we all finished within the three hours! 

Here's Lt. Dan and daddy hanging in the lobby on Saturday. We had such an amazing time! Artsy people every way you turned...conversations in the elevators, getting coffees, everywhere you looked there were people making incredible art, catching up, and trading stories. If you've never been to an art retreat and have even the slightest interest…GO! Seriously! they are sorta life changing! 

This here is a gift from our other fave duo…The Gabels! Another mom and daughter. Brittany and Deb! We met Deb way back when we taught at The Creative connection in St. Paul, Minnesota! We told her all about Art Is You and now she and her awesome daughter Brittany are part of the Art Is... Family! They were in Memphis too! Both are total crack ups! Also generous, kind, and funny! You wouldn't believe the costumes they were in this weekend! I wish I had a pic! They really went all out! I'm cracking up right now thinking about it! This adorable necklace was a gift from them. It's hand sculpted and painted by Doreen Kassel. Doesn't it look so so much like our little Jack? Oh my gosh… all he's missing is the bit of orange. It melts my heart! I love it so so much! Oh it's quite big too! 

These tiny adorable handmade book pins were a gift from Aleta. She made one for me and one for Aaron. Using our scrapbook papers! This photo doesn't do them justice at all! Oh and ignore that paint covered thumb nail. I had been making lots of art! ha! And Katie baked us the most adorable and delicious sugar cookies…which we devoured as soon as we got up to our room…sorry no pic! ha!

Oh and this is funny…way back at one of our very first Art Is Yous, Katie and Aleta had taken an Art Journaling class with us and Aleta borrowed this paint brush. She has had it this whole time! Years! She was patiently waiting to return it to us! ha! And she presented it to us in it's very own chalice. We told her over and over that it was no big keep it. But nope...she brought it to us this Friday! So funny!

And Lizzy brought me the cutest gifts (ya know…because she's the Connoisseur of Cute). This vintage honey bunny soap on a rope, and sweet pink plastic nut cup! She knows me so well! So cute right?

And our sweet online friend Terry, who we met for the first time this weekend, gave us these cute pins she had made using vintage scrabble tiles. And yep...she made sure to add some pink and aqua glitter! 

I bought this these great old portraits from Kim and Kiki at the vendor fair. I can't wait to use them in some future projects! 

We had such a great time! It all went so fast! We wish we could have stayed longer, and maybe taken a class or two. We both vowed to do so next time! We've been saying it forever, and we have to make it happen! We'd love to take a class with Andrea DeMeng or Jodi Ohl. or Kecia. Oh geez…we'd wanna take everyone's class!! So hard to choose! 

There are so many more pics over on fb! Be sure to like the Art Is You page!

Thanks for catching up with us!
xo, Jenny…and Aaron says hi!