Saturday, January 25, 2014

Life Lately...



Ahhh, Big exhale over here. Honestly, it feels like we are just now beginning to slow down a bit after months of going going going. It was a very eventful Holiday season...and wow, what a sharp contrast to last year! A year ago we were a total wreck over here. The hurricane Sandy destruction was all consuming, so the Holidays were...how can I put it lightly?...less than ideal. And this year was the polar opposite. In October we were down in Atlanta, teaching at an awesome event. Then right before Thanksgiving our book was released. Then me and Aaron prepared Thanksgiving dinner for the whole family for the first time.  And then of course...Christmas...and holy cow what a difference between this year and last. Last year we lost our tree and every single ornament we ever owned. And this year we had a beautiful tree absolutely brimming with more ornaments than ever...nearly all of them were gifts that were sent to us by friends such as yourselves! And on top of that, work-wise, we had one of the greatest Holiday seasons in Everyday is a Holiday history. We worked some of the longest days ever, for weeks on end. At one point Aaron had been sanding so many consecutive ornaments that he didn't even realize it when he has sanded straight through the nail on his pinkie finger. Yes, he sanded it clean off!  ha! No worries though. Nothing can put a damper on how incredibly thankful we are for the overwhelming generosity and support. And we're thankful for everyone who shopped handmade and supported not just us, but any small business. But man oh man...this here small business was BUSY.
So...we went straight from that Holiday slam, right into our first ever trip to CHA, where we debuted our first ever scrapbooking collection! Which was of course a total dream come true. But even if your insanely busy days are filled with the stuff that dreams are made of...they are still insanely busy days!  
Anyway...the big rush has subsided for a minute...and we're still keeping busy of course...but there is a slight change in the energy...and the change feels good.



As you may have heard ad nauseam...it has been so incredibly COLD in many areas of the country. Here on the NJ Shore it's been bitter cold. And no matter how high we crank the heat, this drafty house doesn't really warm up. The kind of work we do is slow and concentrated...and the cold makes most of our tasks unbearable. Ask any artist how difficult it is to paint when the fingers are numb from the cold. Heck...it's even hard to think straight in this weather. The temp has not risen above freezing in many days and we have had to keep all of our faucets on a trickle 24/7 for fear of the pipes freezing up again. So far so good in that department. I couldn't care less about the inevitable mountainous water bill that will arrive next month. It's necessary.
Here are some other everyday necessities: space heaters, lots of clothing layers, hot coffee, hot cocoa, and lots of baking...which serves a dual purpose. First, it's an excuse to crank up the oven. Second, delicious warm carbs never hurt anybody. Those bran muffins above really hit the the spot.


Just the other day I was surprised by an unexpected box on my doorstep. Upon opening I found it to be brimming with black and white stripes, and aqua old timey candy. My sweet and incredibly stylish friend Kimberlee Edgar is the one responsible for this kind gesture. Oh man, does she know how to assemble a Jenny Holiday care package!


The box was so incredibly....how can I put this??....Smile Inducing
Yes...that sounds about right.
There were vintage millinery flowers, aqua glass glitter in an antique bottle, tiny glass vials, a vintage felt Atlantic City pennant, and this amazing "tattooed" chippy old baby doll arm. It is simply perfect! Kimberlee truly gets me! She and I share a style wavelength. I may be sitting in this awfully cold house, but nothing can prevent a gesture like this from warming my heart all the way through. 


The cold is stupid...we've got so much painting to do, like you see happening in the pic above...and having chilly fingers isn't exactly pleasant. We got so many orders for the same handful of signs. So we've been tackling the orders production-line-style...hand painting the lettering well into the night, while streaming lots of movies, both good and bad, on Netflix. 


And never underestimate the power of a really hot bath. Oh my gosh...they save me! I have a little space heater that I point toward the tub as well. Now if only I had stopped in LUSH while out in CA. I knew I should have grabbed a bath bomb when I had the chance! 


I spent almost 2 days cleaning and organizing the studio. Piles and piles of the craziest things were everywhere. On the tables, stools, benches, rolling carts... We had been so busy that there wasn't even time to put stuff away while we were working. We were like those kids that have hundreds of toys strewn around their bedrooms because there is just too much playing to be done and simply not enough hours in the day.
Anyway...this wall was the only part of the studio that seemed to be in order. 


I  cleaned way into the night. I actually swept up a pile of glitter that was from early December! The studio lighting is awful for nighttime picture taking of projects. But as far as room shots go...the warm fun, glow of the lights paired with my candy colored gang of paper mache rabbits makes for a really whimsical, circusy vibe.


And speaking of bunnies...oh my gosh, you just have to check out the incredibly adorable review of our book by our friend Jennifer Hayslip! You can certainly call it a Cute Overload!! In fact, I feel like that would be a great way to describe so much of Jenn's photography and artwork. She's got a dreamy, pastel signature style and I think this little shoot illustrates her world perfectly. And when you see how seamlessly our book fits into her esthetic, it's no wonder that we're friends! If her name rings a bell, you may remember her from when she cohosted the Sweethearts on the Homefront event that we taught at in Atlanta, back in our busy October. 


Some of these may look familiar to you. A couple are seen in the "instagram" photo on the cover of our book. Talk bubbles and thought bubbles have been a fave element of ours for years. These were some that we painted a while back, and just yesterday we pulled them out and added a few more...and we're currently working on a couple more to go with this set. These are going to become a sticker sheet, which we hope to have in the shop very soon. They're great for Art Journaling and other mixed media projects.


So, after my marathon day of cleaning, I sat down today to do some personal artwork. Prior to CHA it really had been a while due to our workload. But I'm happy to be back at the drawing board on a regular basis. It is so so fun getting to use "The Sweet Life" papers in my Art Journal! I'm sorry about the poor lighting. It was such a grey day here. (yes...snowed another 3 inches)
When I laid down the supplies I kinda had a rough idea where I'd be going with the page. I knew that the "Dream Big" bubble was going to be a focal point. I'll be sure to share my finished page soon.

We have so many things we are planning on sharing with you guys. Including some more crafty, mixed media tutorials using our new paper collection. And finally...some yummy recipes! Lately, sharing our cooking adventures has been tough. By the time we are cooking dinner the sun is on its way down...which makes photographing our step-by-step process nearly impossible. But we do have a few delicious meals we were able to capture on days when we decided to eat earlier. We'll be sharing them soon!

Also, we are still catching up on emails, and orders. We cannot thank everyone enough for their kindess and patience. And thanks so much for all of the incredibly sweet blog, instagram, and facebook comments! You guys are the best cheerleaders ever! Seriously! Thank You!!

And thanks so much for popping in to see what we are up to! We hope that you are having a great weekend! 

xo, Jenny & Aaron

10 comments:

  1. Wow you guys sound like you've had a whirlwind few months, I'm so glad it's all been positive, apart from the cold! Good luck with all your ventures this year and I hope you guys find time to stop and enjoy everything and it doesn't just pass you by!

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    1. Thank you very very much Sam! So sweet of you. We are trying our best to stop and breathe and to be thankful for it all. Thank you for popping in and taking the time to comment. XO

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  2. You have been incredibly busy!
    Ugh - that unbearable cold. I lived most of my life in Connecticut so I know how cold it gets and how long and grey the winters are. My family is still living there and I visit in the summer and fall but I couldn't move back because I can't tolerate the bone chilling cold. I'm sorry it's so cold when you are trying to get some work done.
    I'm looking forward to seeing what you have been cooking!

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    1. Hi Lisa! Geez, yeah...a crazy bunch of months. Super happy and thankful for it all. And ohh gosh, yes! Tri-State winters are brutal! Thanks so very much for visiting and for your sweet words. We'll be blogging a recipe today or tomorrow! :) xo

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  3. So glad things are going so well. It's been extremely cold here in stl louis too. I have been keeping a fire blazing for weeks but it's still so cold! As we warm our hands by the fire,I think of you snuggled by your space heater. Stay warm as best you can.
    Xoxo
    Vintagehoneybee.blogspot.com

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    1. So lovely of you Rachel. Thank you so so much! Gosh, yes...we are so so ready for spring. This cold has got to go! Stay Cozy! :) xo

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    1. Thank you so very much! That is so sweet of you! :) And thank you for visiting! xo

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  5. I'm so glad you guys had a great holiday season this year! Stay warm! Winter can't be too much longer.. I hope!

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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