Friday, May 28, 2010

Gorgeous Gals, Vintage Sweets, And a Big Holiday Weekend Sale! :)

****Swap update: So the Vintage Vacation Swap sign ups are closed and I will give you all your partners very soon...I originally thought I'd have you guys all matched up by early this week but since I extended sign ups til midnight on Tuesday, this set things back a give me a couple days to get it all together. I believe by Monday & Tuesday you will all be matched up. And also...if you signed up and didn't yet get a reply email from me, don't worry, I probably just could not answer at that moment, but I've saved all of your emails to a file and will make sure to go through carefully .

So Memorial Day Weekend is here and in my neighborhood it's impossible to miss the signs. Right about now, the population of our little town probably quadruples. These big beautiful white houses, dark & dormant all winter long, suddenly fill with life. Flower boxes...empty vessels spilling forth with extravagant color and fragrance. Once empty porches, now crowded with white washed wicker. Flags are flying, cars line the streets and driveways, and all this week...especially today, with last minute urgency...power tools and landscaping implements are roaring away at their final tasks.

I really do love this time of year. I'm a fan of things beginning, whereas Labor Day weekend is the complete opposite...the end, the last hurrah...when you'll feel either sadness or relief that it's all over. But right now the air is charged with possibility and the heat has yet to slay us in relentless weeklong waves. Beginnings, new starts, first steps, are the world to me...

For the working artist times like these call for creative measures. You have to capture that electricity that's in the air and put it to good use. Paint the canvas, glue the paper, sew the fabric, mold the clay, click open the shutter, gild the lily...

We have these two new paintings...our "Gorgeous Gals", that are just so exciting for us. We have a history of painting Gals just like this that stretches back to maybe 1998. We used old cupboard doors as canvases and in fluid hand painted black line we'd do these Gals right over the old peely paint. We could not hold onto those for very long and eventually the demand outgrew our supply of old peely paint cupboard doors!

Well, here are our 2010 Gorgeous Gals...the cupboard doors gave way to paper collage, which references another memory from about a dozen years ago. Our good friend had a little antique booth in a tiny back room of a larger shop and she plastered one whole wall with the most gorgeous scraps of vintage wallpaper you ever did see. She did estate sales and house clean-outs and she left nothing behind...she'd peel down that 100 year old wallpaper!! Ever since then, whenever we do paper collage, we have one image burned into our memories...that tiny back room plastered floor to ceiling with a treasury of time worn florals, stripes, damasks, and dots . We wish the photos did these Gals justice but really, you have to hold the print in your hands to see the texture and age of the background collage.

Gorgeous Gals have always been an integral part of our home decor...every room must have a face, a muse. In our minds, we are decorating FOR that gal. The room is hers and we populate it with the furnishings and accoutrement of her liking.

So, this weekend means new art for us and it means a big sale for everyone else! First off, in our studio we are having a Holiday Weekend Sale...20% off everything in the shop...I went ahead and activated the sale on Artfire...which is another great feature of theirs...and the prices now shown in our shop reflect the 20% off Weekend Sale.

AND...and this is a big AND...Anyone who shops the sale this weekend will have their name put in a hat and we will pick one lucky shopper's name out...and that person gets to pick: THE 5 x 7 READY TO FRAME, MATTED PRINT OF THEIR CHOICE! It's a giveaway for anyone who makes a purchase this weekend! So you get 20% off anything you buy, plus you've got a great chance of winning a Free Print!! I don't know about you...but holy cow! If I wasn't me...I'd be shopping at Everyday is a Holiday this weekend! ;)

I mentioned in a previous post that over the winter I found a much needed refuge in the act of Art Journaling. As a working artist, your creativity is your rely on need it to survive...and you are constantly showing your creations to the world...because, need to.

But Art Journaling was this whole new thing...because it's all done within the privacy of those pages. And it offers more than a sketchbook take it a bit more seriously. You have this idea that your pages should look like something...they should feel like finished products...But, you also feel like it's all one ever has to see. So with that in mind, but usually on a subconscious level, I'd try things I hadn't done before...use techniques and mediums that were outside my comfort zone...and that I really didn't even have a name for. I'd finish a couple pages and I didn't even know how to refer to, well it's not a drawing really...and it's not really a painting...and it's not exactly a collage. I really loved the idea of it and plan to keep one going for as long as I need to.

Well, I bring this up again because I've got some more new pieces that I finally got to list in our shop. These too are over on Artfire. I drew inspiration directly from the pages of my Art Journal. The cake and cupcake circle plaques are a really fun new look yet side by side with our other pieces they fit right in...and because they feature prints of cake & cupcake paintings they kind of bridge the gap between the two styles.

And I really am excited about the "When I Grow Up..." pieces. They are almost an exact replica of a page from my Journal...and it was one of those things that I saw completely finished in mind the second I laid down the first basecoat of paint. They're collages, paintings & drawings all in one and they come on 8 x 10 wooden plaques. They really are so sweet...but the inspired message of that little girl inside of us might be a little too hard to live up to!!

Alright...before I go, I must return to the inspiration that I opened this post with. The impending summer...the days have gotten so long already! My neighborhood is quieted down now. All the last minute workers have called it a day and it feels like the calm before the storm...but that's not exactly a good cliche to use right there because a storm usually cramps your style. I hope this weekend brings no storms (figuratively and LITERALLY!...rain rain stay away...come back some other day!)

But the dawn of summer is here...the Vintage Vacation Swap is right on time...and so I'll leave you with some of my favorite inspiration images from summers gone by.

Thanks so much again for reading...and don't forget the SALE...20% off and a giveaway!!

xoxo, Jenny

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A new collection, a new direction, and making new connections

(Close up shot)

The Vintage Vacation Swap is filling up fast!! Sign ups are 'til midnight on Tuesday the 25th of this merry month of May. I would extend sign ups further but this thing is already looking big and I just don't want it to get unwieldy! I want to be able to be the best swap hostess possible...keeping everyone updated, on schedule, etc...AND when I partner up swappers I never ever pick at random...I like to play match maker...I go to blogs. I do the research...looking for who's style matches who's... who's personalities seem to this swapper one of those "opposites attract" types?... And sometimes, when I get lucky, I have the pleasure of creating lasting friendships! I'm's a thrill helping kindred souls find one another.

So, sign up while you can...again, the cut off is midnight New Jersey time...this Sunday.
Lets see, I wonder what state of mind I'll be in on Sunday at midnight?...well, that all depends on LOST!! I've never ever imagined I'd be so anxious over a tv show! All this week, throughout the day, my mind will wander, I'll think of LOST, and I get nervous...seriously. There are so many unanswered questions...about a thousand loose ends. And it's not like I want them all tied up...I just want to feel...hmmm....what's the word?...."rewarded" maybe. Rewarded for my dedication and devotion. I don't know, in a way I've already been rewarded...for like six years, through the good times and bad...I've been given a little escape from the grind...I've been given quality, televised art. So really, however they want to end it...I guess it's fine with me...well, maybe not...but I guess I have faith...and if you're familiar with seems to be paramount.
So sorry for that LOST tangent...I know that for non-fans of LOST, there is nothing more annoying than somebody talking about truly, I'm sorry...but I just had to.

32.00 plus shipping

fits 16 x 20 frame

36.00 plus shipping

8 x 10 wooden plaque
w/ glitter highlights

Alright, back to vacation...back to summer and fun and family and memories and the sweet taste of nostalgia. Me and Aaron decided to provide some visual inspiration for you the form of a new painting! Yes, up there at the top of this post is our latest: "Ferris Wheel"... and we are just so so so inspired...This is the first in a series that promises to capture the magic of summer, days at the beach, carnivals, boardwalks, cotton candy & ice cream, games, rides, skee-ball, the circus...etc... All of these things are ephemeral in nature. Here today in all of their glorious colors...and gone tomorrow. We only get to experience them for brief magical moments...but if we're lucky, we'll keep the memories forever.
"Ferris Wheel" is available now in three sizes of ready to frame matted prints and as an 8 x 10 wooden plaque, which has ultra fine glitter highlights in all the right places! (the photos do not do it's magical in person!)
If you want to take home some of the can purchase it here...or, I'm so excited to announce...our brand new Artfire studio!!

After a whole lot of personal drama, set backs, and then add to that Aaron being out of commission for two weeks...we got so far behind in our orders and getting caught up feels like an insurmountable task. But we're working hard to do so and we just NEED some new artistic energy... sales help move things along and out the door. We are trying so hard but our physical efforts alone won't be enough...we need at least a modest flow of commerce to push everything in the right direction. In the past we listed a whole lot of stuff on Ebay...but then, as anyone will tell became Fee-bay. They just kept taking more and more...all while the service diminished. And then Etsy fees are way less than Ebay...but it's still a big chunk of change each month if you're a full time artist...and then factor in Paypal's get the idea.
So I had been looking into Artfire for quite a while and decided to give it a shot. The price is is either free, for a basic account...or a flat rate of $15 dollars for a pro hidden final fees....just $ closed! It's got a lot of great features...links to facebook, your Etsy, instant tweets, blogs, 1 click transfer of your Etsy listings...and lots more. Of course there are cons, like way lower traffic volume...but I'm not looking to pull in the masses right now anyway. I hope to do my part to get our art in front of who wants to see it and then be able to send them to a mutually convenient place to buy it. ArtFire is the place! So please, go check out our studio, click around Artfire, open an account as a's free...and fellow up a studio of your own! We'll be upgrading to a pro account this week for sure, so I'll have lots more info on the way.

Before I go I just have to mention my girl Kari, the ArtsyMama. We seem to always be on the same page! At the exact time that I announced the Vintage Vacation Swap, Kari was launching her new blog: Artsy Mama's Ice Cream Social. She wants it to be a hub for all things summer...go there and announce your own summer swap, post inspirational summer photos, craft ideas, tutorials...just everything fun under the sun. We really were thinking the same thing at the same time! And it's not like she lives down the street...she's in Minnesota! She's one of my favorite people and she's always been so dedicated to bringing together as many like minded bloggers as possible. So lets build a summery bridge between here and there. Bring on the pics, the inspiration, memories, recipes, etc. Be sure to post your link here and there.

In closing, I just wanted to answer the number one question that seems to be on everyone's mind: When is the send date for our Vintage Vacation Swap packages?
Well don't worry...I understand that some of you will have actual vacations smack dab in the middle of the vacation swap...and tons of other things going on as the shipping deadline won't be 'til the end of June. Plenty of time to get things ready. Ok, thanks for stopping by...xoxo, Jenny!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Vintage Vacation Swap sign up is OPEN!!! :)

Alright, I'm a little late but I'm no less excited. Aaron had a bad couple weeks, a sickness that landed him in the hospital and then it just lingered on and on...more than a week of total insomnia needless to say, it it threw us way behind with everything. And in the middle of all that was my little bro Walt's birthday, Mother's Day, and me & Aar's 17th anniversary. And he was incapable of celebrating any of these. So now we need some perking up and I hope a swap is just what the doctor ordered! And I'm not talking about myself here...I'm hoping to spread some sunshine around. Everyone loves a good swap right?

Vintage Vacation...when I think of it, I see one thing...but what you envision is probably worlds apart. One swapper goes beachy, another goes goes to the lake, another goes to Disney. When we start receiving our swap bounty in the mail I bet no two boxes will be even close to the same.

I'm really hoping to take this swap beyond the actual swap. I myself will be following up with a bunch of Vintage Vacation inspiration posts...and I would love for all you guys to do the same. But really, you can expand upon the Vintage Vacation theme with your blog postings. Think: family vacation photos, maybe some staycation pics (barbecues, picnics...your favorite spot to escape to in the backyard) great summer recipes, party themes, favorite summer music, postcards, beach scenes, amusement parks get the idea! When you post this stuff just be sure to come back here, leave a comment that includes a link back to your blog post...or if you don't have blog, you can link us back to your Flickr.

Ok, feel free to take my Vintage Vacation Swap button for use on your blog...the big one, and the little one for your sidebar...this will really help to spread the word!

And are the details:
1. email me at ...make sure that the subject is need to send me your Name, Mailing address, Email address, a link to your blog and/or Flickr.
2. I will be partnering people up and then informing each swapper who they'll be swapping with.

Heres what you'll be swapping:
-at least 2 Vintage or "thrifted" items
-at least 1 handmade item...feel free to craft as much as you like.
-something edible...get creative!
-optional: some crafty goodies/supplies for your partner to use in their own summer/vacation crafts.

again, it sounds like everybody is cool with the $20 spending range...this is before shipping...and as far as shipping cost goes...think about flat rate boxes...make sure your stuff fits...and also, if not using flat rate: think light...but think great!

Ok, some ideas to get the ball rolling:
souvenirs: plates, snow globes, keychains, t-shirts, pillows, hankies, table cloths, etc...
vintage sunglasses, seashells, postcards etc...I'm sure you guys will dazzle!!
Swap sign ups are open til midnight on Sunday, May 23rd, New Jersey time.
Lets have lots and lots of fun with this...lets get super creative...and hopefully this will feel like a little vacation in itself!!
I am beyond excited for's been so long and I just love love love how a swap brings people together!!! You have no idea!
xoxo, Jenny