Friday, April 16, 2010

My Art Opera brand new Kits for Sale!!

It's good to be back! And to find myself in a better place mentally. I guess if I were to assign one word for how I feel right now, it would be: Thankful.
Thankful for people. Often, when I let you guys in on my world I explain how much of an isolationist I am. My usual day, week, month...consists of Aaron and me, shut away in our little apartment, working and worrying day and night. We always plan on changing things...getting out more...opening up more....but our excursions are few and far between.
It gets to the point, that in order for us to get out and socialize we need to first sign a contract that eliminates any chance of withdrawing from the set plans...We are such shut-ins that we need to be contractually obligated to go out and see people! Luckily, a little while back, we signed such a contract...
Lisa wait, her name deserves a James Brown style introduction...The unflagging, unfailing, ever-ready, always-game, always-on, creative ring master...Lisa Kettell, contacted me many months ago and asked if me and Aaron would like to be instructors at the first ever big-time New Jersey art retreat known as "Art Opera". Without even blinking once, we said "YES!"...after which, we signed the above mentioned contract and happily sealed our public fate for the week of April 7th, 2010. And now, one week later, I'm more than thrilled to report that signing that contract was not only the right choice...but also, a life changing, future altering, extremely serendipitous, perfectly felicitous decision. In other words: I'm so glad we did it!
Of course, in the weeks leading up to Art Opera, me and Aar were still backed up with orders, unprepared, insomniac, headless chickens. And that's just the regular, everyday us. But then there's me. The agoraphobic. With Art Opera on the near horizon...the idea of meeting face to face a few dozen strangers and friends whom I've only spoken to online... having classes to prepare to buy...wondering if we'll have enough merchandise ready for the vendor fair...etc...etc... My anxiety reached dizzy new heights. It's hard to put into words all the scattered thoughts that race through the mind of a crazy person like me...and actually, I'm not going to bore you guys with a detailed analysis of my neuroses. We're all a little nuts, some more than others...but I think it would be a bit self indulgent to transform my blog into a shrink's couch. Instead, I'll gloss over all that mental mumbo jumbo and talk of Art Opera like a normal person...or my best rendition of one.

Well, let me first say that I'm going to be as brief as possible. The brevity was actually recommended and requested by those above mentioned few dozen peeps whom I had previously only spoken to online. When meeting face to face and discussing this here blog...those gals who are regular readers had a suggestion for me: " hey Jenny, when you finally return to blogland...when you at last decide to post something fresh...could you do us a favor?...could you make it less than a three cups of coffee epic? ...we'd prefer you to post shorter and more often."

So, I said "yes, I'll try my best." But now I'm looking up at my monitor and already the screen is obliterated with tiny text. So what can I do now except to expedite and streamline the rest of this post to the best of my abilities. Besides, the coolest thing about an event like Art Opera is that even though it's a live and in-person convention... it is first conceived online. It's made up of people who are on the internet. And, being that it's a small little world that we live in...odds are, you are very familiar with many of the blogs, Flickr, and Facebook pages of those who were in attendance. So, if you are curious about Art Opera, after you are through here, you can search around online and put together a multi-person mosaic of perspectives.

Lisa really put together a great event. It did not feel like it was the first one ever. It already felt "Established". The opening night dinner was decorated magically, the gift bags were brimming with good stuff, the volunteers who helped make everything run smoothly worked so hard and pulled it off. The students were fantastic. We absolutely loved our classes. Calling them "classes"...what a misnomer! When you think "class" you think: think: work. No...these were like mini parties that you left with your hands covered in glue and your belly full of cookies. left with a fantastic piece of artistic decor. We taught two classes. Number one was our "Sweet Dreams Mobile". I really loved this one because you really do end up with a fabulous piece of art to display in your home!

*( Info for Sweet Dreams Mobile Kit)
We've got a bunch of extra kits for sale and I've included here a photo of it hanging in our kitchen. It's really a "room maker". But let me first say, I know that not everybody has a pink striped, vintage bakery theme kitchen like us. Not everyone can get away with this as a piece of permanent decor. But it's perfect for special occasions, birthdays, etc... it's lightweight, so just hang it up on a little hook and it's instant magic. It features four dangling, six inch in diameter, circle medallions with prints of our original cakes paintings on both sides. You get in the kit all the supplies needed to create this amazing mobile. That fantastic jumbo pom pom trim in aqua and pink...little plastic ballerinas, tiny Swarovski crystal rhinestones, crystal glass glitters, faux cherries, bakers twine, a twelve inch mdf ring as the base, seam binding in all the best colors, big thick ribbon, aqua tulle, pink sequin trim, a page of pink stripe pattern for that scalloped awning, a template for the scallops, watercolor paper, some tiny wooden stars that look amazing when you glitter them, and a bunch of other stuff...all included. Plus there are highly detailed instructions and a reference photo. All you'll need is one little bottle of craft paint in whatever color you choose, so you can paint the mdf ring. Also a paint brush, some all purpose glue, mod podge (or the medium of your choice), and scissors. Most likely, this is stuff that you've got lying around. This project looks complicated but it's simple enough for anyone to pull off...really, lots of bang for the buck. And now...You can purchase this kit as well as the other one, and some of our brand new items, right here on this blog!! We're trying something new...we're adding a paypal button right here on the blog to make it easy...we also accept money orders. So if you see something here on the blog and you want it...just shoot me an email and we'll put together an order. I'm going to post again tomorrow and on that post I'll include paypal buttons for all the new items that we had at the vendor fair.

Ok, on day two of Art Opera we did our "Beaux Gateaux" class and it was a super duper good time. It was our last class and the last class of the day, so by the end it seemed like a bunch of outsiders had streamed in. We love when our classroom turns into the party room. We really wanted our two projects to be completely different. Both in their physical appearance and in the skills you use to make them.

* (Info for Beaux Gateaux KIT)

This project focuses more on paper craft but even though you start with paper you end up with something much more substantial. We love to inject a nice dose of Black into our decorations. This project starts with an 11 x 14 canvas board that you paint black. The look is inspired by traditional Paris Patisserie style blackboards. Those French sweets and treats are prints of our original well as those berry pink curtains, the Patisserie banner, the scrollwork crown and base, and the scalloped awning. We've always believed that fabulous sweets are worthy of the stage so that's how you'll depict them here. The best part of this piece is the three dimensional aspect of it. The awning and curtains lie flat in the background, while the scrollwork crown & base, the banner, and the sweets are in 3-d. This look is achieved with decoupage, watercolor paper, and 3-d glue dots. It really looks fantastic. I'm not sure if it shows up well in the photos but the banners and awning are really vintagey...sepia toned, and overall the colors are soft...a great contrast with the black. And the ultra fine glitter details really make it magical. Everyone had a lot of fun with this project. This one would be great to do with a friend because it's fun to see how subtle differences completely change the outcome. Again, the kit contains everything you need: Pages of our artwork to cut and paste...watercolor paper, an 11 x 14 canvas board, a few colors of ultra fine glitter, ribbon & circular punched paper to hang it with...and of course detailed instructions and a reference photo. All you'll need is all purpose glue, mod podge (or the medium of your choice), a paint brush, scissors, and some black craft paint.

On the weekend after classes was the vendor fair. There was so much good stuff all in one room! I kept wandering over to Heidi Wallingford's table which had a ton of the little figures that "Vintage by Crystal" is so famous for. You pick one up and then another and then another and you finally decide that you actually want to take home every single one. They are the most adorable little things you ever saw. Also, there were lots more people to meet at the vendor fair. Me and Aar definitely made some real deal friends with some awesome people who also happen to make and sell awesome stuff. And above, remember how I described Lisa Kettell as unflagging, ever-ready, and always-on. Well, vendor fair was proof enough. After a long few days of being the organizer of the entire event...answering countless questions, dealing with all the hotel bills, giving directions, being available 24/7, making everyone feel welcome, plus teaching classes of her own...well at vendor fair she spent all of her time doing even more classes right there in the middle of it. All day there were make and takes going on! And QUALITY make and takes...real good stuff! Lets see, what else...well Marlene Haveron, the gal who organized the vendor fair, and all around social butterfly, is even zanier than I expected. She was dancin and movin and groovin all over the auditorium...and there wasn't even any music playing! I wish I had some video of it...picture clapping, finger snapping, groovy thumbs up shoulder shrugging dance moves. Too Much! And on day two of the fair there were the world famous scone ladies. The greatest scones with jam and clotted fresh brewed very berry!
We had a whole bunch of brand new, never seen before stuff for sale. The necklaces went over really well! Again, I'll make sure that all this stuff is up here for sale tomorrow. As a bit of home therapy I've been art journaling a whole bunch and so much of this new stuff comes directly from the pages of my art journal. It's a bit of a new look for us and I see a bunch more projects headed in this direction.

The above photo of Lisa Kettell, Jenny Hernandez (so so great to finally meet Jenny in person!!!), and myself is courtesy of Marcel Martori. He's the professional photographer who's services Lisa acquired for the fantastic visual documentation of Art Opera 2010. In Marcel, Lisa found probably the best guy for the job. I've been clicking through his pics of the event and every shot seems to encapsulate the attitude, atmosphere, mood, & humor of Art Opera. And this is because he wasn't just a fly-on-the-wall guy with a camera. He immersed himself in Art Opera from the fancy dinner on opening night right on through to the cleaning up after the vendor fair. All week long you'd hear "Marcel! get a picture of this!...Marcel, hey! take a picture of us!...Where's Marcel?...we need a picture of this!" And he was always right there with his camera and a smile. Here's a link to his photos. I believe he's putting together the complete Art Opera photos in a few formats that will be for sale, whether you're looking for a cd or individual prints...give him a visit.

Alright, so what!!? I lied. I said I'd be brief and I wasn't. I mean, you didn't actually believe me? did you?
But it's been a while and a lot went on and I've got good photos to show for it. I've only got one more thing to mention here in this post. I can't believe that I'm only getting to blog this now! Our new line of stuff in Michaels! We love the stuff! A few weeks back the emails started pouring in from all over the U. S. and first there were lots of humorous ones...very loyal friends who had our backs...they walked into Michaels and saw this line of stationery items that looked eerily similar to the artwork of Jenny & Aaron at Everyday is a Holiday. Some of these loyal friends at first thought that we were ripped off by some big manufacturer and they were "prepared to make heads roll" (their words...not mine!) It's heart warming to know that so many people have your back. Really!...but then they picked up the items, flipped 'em over, and read our names on the back. "What a relief!" and after that...they bought as many as their hands could hold!! Really. One friend said she spent a couple hundred bucks and has enough merch to give as small gifts for the rest of her life! Almost all reports are of gals nearly buying out the stock. This makes us so happy. But wait...I didn't even yet mention the best part...these are all Dollar Items! dollar each! We have no idea how they can sell these for a buck and make a profit. They really are great quality. In the journals, our artwork is on every page. and the mini notecards don't come with plain white envelopes...nope...they come with cute little envelopes in adorable corresponding colors. And some of the items are glittered!! I remember when we were in the design process...our gal kept stressing that they love the glittery parts of our paintings. We had no idea that they'd be able to actually glitter these tiny paintings so perfectly.
The emails have really been the greatest. Everyone tells us that when they are standing there looking at them at Michaels, they just spontaneously have to tell the customer next to them that they personally know the artists who made this stuff! Or they tell the cashier as they are checking out. I can imagine the disinterested eyerolls they get "big deal lady...good for you." Of course they know that this is the reaction they'll get but they do it anyway...and that is why we love them! How hilarious. Me and Aaron are guilty of buying a ton of our own stock from our local Michaels. I mean...there's only so much of this stuff. We have a personal supply of samples but we just want to be certain that we don't run out of this stuff one day. It really is great stuff. So get out there and get it while it lasts. Unfortunately most of the reports we're getting is that the shelves are either empty already or very close to it.
Ok, I guess that's it for now. Again, I'll be posting again tomorrow with a bunch of new stuff for sale right here on the blog. And I mentioned it briefly way up at the top of this epic. I'm Thankful and I'm in a better place mentally...that means there will be lots more new artwork coming....and that means there will be lots more blog posts. I'm Thankful to the good people who welcomed me with open arms and made me feel so welcome with their genuine good nature and friendship. I mean, what the heck...I spent about a year indoors away from people and then I jumped into the deep end and met a hundred faces as Art Opera. And I didn't die...I'm still in one piece!! So I think I'll be leaving the house a lot more and I'll make sure that I report back the findings of my explorations right here. Thanks so much again for coming back and reading. Love you guys!! xoxo, Jenny


  1. So much wonderful stuff!!!!! The mobile made my heart go pit a pat and pennies will have to be saved for that! I also personally love your long posts, feels like we are sitting somewhere chatting over a piece of cake. ;0) Have to run out to Micheal's this weekend and check out your items.

  2. Dying over everything here Jenny!! I stocked up at Michaels and I love everything so much!!
    I am so glad Art Opera was such a success!! But am I surprised? Of course not!! Not with all the talent that was there, lol! Your new pieces are so amazing, I cant stand it!!
    Can you combine shipping if I want to order more than one thing??
    Thank you so much sweetie!
    Love ya,

  3. Awesome post! It was so great meeting you last week!

  4. First... I'm so glad to hear that another artist out there is also a "shut-in" type. I had incorrectly assumed that you were out and about at all the shows and thinking "There's NO WAY I could do that!" Turns out you and I aren't very different at all.

    Second... YAY for the inclusion of the photos of your Michaels stuff!!!!! So glad to finally see it after hearing all about it on Facebook for the past few weeks.

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful talent!!!!!

  5. Thanks for the post....I was so disappointed I could not attend......I am doing some soul searching as to why I am letting my work take such a hold of me(the reality of this bad economy Is one reason) but, this post made me feel like I was there......oh, how I would have loved to met you and seen Marlene in all of her glory. I love Lisa and am so proud she is a fellow jersey girl doing great things in the art world.....Congratulations again on making my trips to Michaels and Barnes and Noble such a you have to leave the house to see your products in stores----what an exciting feeling that must be!

  6. LOVE,LOVE,LOVE!!!!!!! I am so glad everything went so well at Art Opera, but then, I knew it would! Thank you for all the great pics. I can look at each one for hours. They make me so happy! I also love all the items you have through Michael's! It does make me sad to see all the goodies I'm missing because I don't have a store near me. ;) I will be writing you soon to place an order. Ya'll need to sleep! LOL Love you guys!! XOXOXO

  7. Jenny, you are one classy gal...and you are sooo right we all are a little nutty I definitely can say I am...I've been through a lot in my life and have lost a lot of special people in my life time too ~ 2 were my parents at a very young age, and boy if you knew of all the insecurities & problems I have you would laugh (I too like to stay home & never leave)...that's why I take every day like its a present & I try not to take it for granted...I love you the people that God puts in my life & truly feel that I am bless to have them be a part of my life...thank you for being a part of my life and Aaron...& for being sweet & great gal..and BRAVO for venturing out to Art Opera YOU GO GIRL...and here's to the many more trips you will be making..well I off to let the pup boys out hope to see U soon...have a honey of a night ~ sweet dreams! grace peace joy love & many blessings 2 U my friend, Marlene

  8. P.S. I miss Geralyn being there too ~ you would love her Jenny, she is an awesome Jersey day you two have to meet...

  9. Have missed you in blogland and your long, long posts! Sounds like all is good in your world - Art Opera sounded fantastic! Hope to see anther post from you in a timely manner!

  10. oh my oh my miss jenny...i screamed when i saw your sweet goodies at micheals! I felt offended...a dollar no way...but when i went home and thought about it i ran back and wanted to buy the whole friggin' rack!!!!!!!!! You wil be happy to know it was all gone!!!!! I snagged a few goodies about 2 weeks ago but haven't seen the goodies at Barnes and Noble...oh my jenny Congrats to you and Aaron! Wow!!!!! You so deserve are an amazing artist...and really started this whole cutest cupcakes and sweet sugared goodie art! You deserve this amazing deal! pip pip i am off to B & N...for some more of your goodies! I gotta support my girl! boy my lil' vintage trailer is gonna be stocked full of everyday is holiday...goods! Cat

  11. Honey hush!~~~I about fell on the floor when I saw your LOVELY cards and goodies in Michael's! I snapped up a bunch o' them!~~~You are such a talent, my friend!!!~~~XXOO, Beth

  12. Oh Miss Cuttie Pink Pattootie! The only fear you have I think is of the color "Orange"? LOL! You were the sweetest sweetest person...Aaron 2!! If you had 5 classes I would have taken all 5 ok and snuck in Ann-Denise and Jenny Hernandez shhhhh. Fabulous classes it definately felt like a party with all your decor and your wonderful personalities all the other girls and of course Aaron and your brother and the ever so patient and funny photographer Marcel. I can't say enough. Will order some more goodies tomorrow....ok now I am almost writing as much as u! lol Hugs squishes so wonderful to spend time with you! Oh I almost forgot the hotel called and said their pitcher of water had a funny film in in lololo LOve Ya Grace

  13. I'm so glad you put your kits up for sale....I so wanted to go to Art Opera, but I didn't have anyone to watch my boys. I just bought both kits. :) I'm so glad you are posting again. There is little to nothing left of your stuff at our Michaels. It is still too cool.

  14. It was so nice to meet you and Aaron in person at the Vendor Faire! I'm so sorry I couldn't attend any of the Art Opera seminars (new job. Wah WAH.) but look forward to next year's. I thought you all did an amazing job and to think it was only the first year! Well done. :-)

  15. You are too kind Jenny, thanks so much. I really enjoyed meeting you and shooting your classes as well!

  16. I just bought one of your cards at micheals and I love it. I am going to go back and get the entire set. Keep the work coming.

  17. So darn cute! The mobile is TDF!!!

  18. I got some of these great ones!! How cool!
    Hugs, Lisa

  19. Boy am I glad to read this! I was in Chapters here in Toronto and saw a bag and bookmark with "Keep calm and have a cupcake" on it and thought, "Oh no, some big company ripped Jenny off!" I am thrilled to hear that isn't the case! Good for you! YAY! I am so happy you got this contract.

  20. Hahaha! I thought the same thing! I just loaded up on a TON of these, and then I found your blog!! Hooray...they are so stinkin' cute :)


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xo Jenny & Aaron