Tuesday, January 22, 2008

football and feminine frills

When we're home working, which is all the time, we always have a soundtrack. On weekdays it's a local, commercial free talk radio station, WNYC. We paint and we glue and we cut all while listening to their whole daily line-up of shows: BBC world news in the morning leads into The Brian Lehrer show, which is usually politics and New York issues. Then comes the unparalleled Leonard Lopate Show...he's the smartest, most informed interviewer you will hear...after his show is Sound Check, which delves deep into all sorts of music. Then comes the legendary Terry Gross, her guests are always amazing and her questions are sooooo spot on. And then after Terry, the news comes on and it's dinner time. All those voices, all the information, a giant buffet of topics and subjects floating on soundwaves around the apartment. We just work and work and either consciously listen or just let the radio serve as background chatter to break up the monotony of the day. Of course the night belongs to Letterman and Conan. (Aaron was teary eyed when they both came back on the air amid the writers strike.) On Saturdays we'll rotate in some loud music and if it's raining, we'll put on the TV and listen to the deliciously cheezy Lifetime movies. So the whole week is filled with electric sound...all but Sunday.  Sundays are mostly quiet...except this past Sunday. Blasting all day and night was NFL football. I like the game of football plenty but I'm certainly not a TV football fan, and Aaron, who was a football and wrestling captain in highschool, wishes he could rekindle an interest but he just can't seem to follow more than a couple of games per season. But this Sunday was a must see. The Giants vs. The Packers for the NFC championship, in sub zero Wisconsin. I told Aaron, "Our apartment sounds like a real apartment." Well, it sounded like the other apartments we've overheard every football season: The roaring TV, the guy yelling back at the TV, the girl laughing at the guy who's yelling at the TV. I guess it felt... American. : )
  In our case the contrast was the interesting part. See, while watching the game we were working on an all new painting, and when we do this we surround ourselves with a ton of reference and inspiration. We'll fill a whole folding table top with cake stands, doilies, cupcake wrappers, fake cakes, porcelain dolls, floral fabrics, nonpareils, wall paper clippings. Let's just say it's not a very manly atmosphere...so the unrelenting din of the Giants beating the Packers in overtime makes for a humorous juxtaposition with all that sweet grandma stuff.
  I'm bringing all this up because I'm now looking at all that sweet grandma stuff, and I'm holding the new painting that came out of the loooooong Sunday of football and feminine frills. It's a painting we've been plotting for a while and it's the long awaited third in our new collection. The other two, Charlotte and The Well Read Raven, were just the start, and we planned all along on creatively circling back around to tie in some of our beloved classic cupcakes. The color palette is the same, pale turquoise, antiqued aqua, perfect pinks, chocolate, tan, mocha...and of course, a dash of classic black. And besides color, the real tie that binds this collection together is pattern. We love finding great vintage wall papers, but what we love more than finding them is creating and painting our very own. Same goes for these adorable porcelain doll busts. We see our paintings as tributes to the stuff we love.  This is the first new work of the new year so we're excited about that! It's titled Cupcake Girls, and it measures 11" x 14" (the smaller size will also be available soon.) We've got this little cupcake trio listed on Etsy and Ebay and also hanging on our very own wall beside Charlotte and Raven. Me and Aar are our happiest when a new painting is complete...for a moment we feel worthy...but then the moment passes and we say "when can we get to work on these other ideas?"... We get so tangled in the day to day and never find the long spans of time necessary for giving our full focus to a painting. Who knows, maybe Super Bowl Sunday will produce the fourth in the collection! ; )

I received a wonderful package from the famed Connie Govea Stuart. There are artists whose work is identifiable at the mere hint of a glance. They possess a visual signature and you just can't sum it up simply. You can't put them in a box and say, "oh yeah, they always do pink stuff...they always use buttons...etc...", no, they have a signature that's not so easily deciphered. It's a natural thing that can't be artificially reproduced. Simply put, they have "the eye". It sounds corny, and the term is overused (and lots of times misused.) But Connie has "the eye". You'll repeatedly see her work in Somerset and always, your eyes will find her work first. She has "the eye", and therefore she has "a look". Anyway, I love her stuff and I'm honored to be able to hold a package from her in MY hands! The little Scottie is soooo cute and the altered dolly suitcase is beautiful! (Thanks Connie, I love everything...and since breaking the air travel ice for Silver Bella I just may take a trip to Northern California and pop in to see you!) 
  Well, it's cold and we're neck deep, not in snow, but in Valentine's nutcups. Every flat surface is teeming with crepe and ribbon and cupcakes. Working the fingers to the bone. But it really is a thrill. So many of these orders are for annual Valentine's tea parties and luncheons. Events that gals throw year after year... and this year our nutcups will grace table tops and place settings everywhere. Valentine's day is such a sweet, whimsical, and stress free holiday. (well, not stress free if you plan on eating out and haven't made reservations!) I love all the pink, the chocolate, the hearts...it's all so pleasing to the eye and palette. We owe a huge thanks to Romantic Homes for including us this year. And an enormous thanks to all you guys who've been a constant source of creative encouragement.
 xoxo, Jenny
(ps. I hope no Packers fans were offended. Your boys played an excellent game.) 


  1. Hey Jenny! Your writing muse was def in da house on this post! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. You almost (ALMOST, not quite!) made me wish I watched football! :-) I LOVE the new addition and am so happy for your continued successes. No one deserves it more than the two of you's guys ;-)  What a treat to receive a special piece of art from Connie! Wish she had a blog... well, if you come to NoCal you def have to venture the rest of the way from Bay Area to Humboldt County where I am. Redwoods on the Coast baby! Gotta see it at least once~ Bring the Bay Area gals and we'll have an art weekend in my new 16x20 studio! WOO HOO!

  2. Darling trio of girls...they're the icing on the cupcakes!  What a funny image of you and Aaron with the sugar*sugar*crafting*artsing opposite the TV screen of male testosterone trying to win simultaneously with trying to not freeze their Valentine nutcups off.  Funny.  Glad to see it worked out for both of you in the end!

    I love Connie Govea Stuart's work, and especially this Scottie dog pendant!  Too cute!  Thanks for showing it all off!

  3. Ohhh love your cute new things! And of course what's not to love about Connie's Art. I've had the pleasure of meeting her and she's a doll for sure.

  4. Congrats sweet Jenny on your recent Romantic Homes publication!!  I told my husband, "Oooohh, I know that girl.  Look, honey...she's famous!!"  You and Aaron did a faboo job on the painting.  It's killer cool!!  You guys are so productive.  My husband and I watched the game while intermittently petting the cat and eating potato chips!  I love your blog and your writing style and your visual goodness.  Sorry I haven't checked in more often...life has been crazy.  Go Giants!!  Hugs, Kimla

  5. Finally sat down and read this post! I so love it! I can completely picture the contrast of manly and sweet grandma and it had me smiling like a fool at the computer screen! :) )Thanks for perking me up. I love the vision of tough football-playing, totally-manly Aaron in a sea of pink, dolls, cakes and the like. Just makes me SMILE! Hugs to you both....cheryl :)


Thanks so much for reading! We absolutely love to hear from you guys...so please leave a comment if the mood strikes you, or if you have any questions for us about a recipe, project, art supply , paint color, etc. Don't panic if your comment doesn't appear right away...we moderate all comments to avoid getting tons of spam. Thanks again!!
xo Jenny & Aaron