Saturday, December 24, 2011

Best Wishes to You!...

Dear Friends,
Thank you for another fruitful year filled with whimsy, laughter and fun! Your encouraging words, delight and praise for the folk art I create truly make me smile and inspire new creations and ideas every day. It is such a joy to bring good cheer to one another through the passage of art, and I am so very grateful for this daily exchange. May you have a very Merry Christmas! And, as Jack and his chickadee friend below tout, may you have Peace and Good Cheer through the holiday season and in the new year!

Best Wishes,
~ Johanna ( and JP and Jack and his feathered friends! )

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Bustle...

Well, it's certainly that time of year when we find ourselves bustling around town. Whether we are out and about visiting with family and friends, gathering together at various festivities, eating, light-seeing, shopping for just the right treasures, and beyond, the season is a frenzy of run-run-run-fun!

Between December's calendar of events, I have been back to the drawing board, illustrating holiday-themed notepads and charms for 2012. Of course, the due date for these designs falls right during the busiest season of all!  So, I continue to play the juggler.


This month a couple mice found their way into my drawings...  Despite the last minute rush to complete these images, I must admit that illustrating season-appropriate subject matter makes more sense (rather than illustrating winter characters when its spring outside!)


And, it also helps to have a little snow on the ground when drawing snowmen and the like!


Holly berries, festive wrap, bows and mischievous cats staking their spots in gift boxes are holiday traditions in our family and familiar scenes around the house that offer artistic inspiration.... (and a little holiday humor I might add!)


Before I packed and shipped the last few one of a kind holiday characters from my December Treasure Hunt, I had the chance to display them at Lakewood's Cultural Center. During this particular event, visitors had the opportunity to peek at my case of originals, ask questions and adopt reproduction ornaments. Many thanks to those of you who stopped in to visit and collect my creations!


That's me and my case of holiday delights! They had me situated right outside the lovely Artisan Showcase featuring other handmade treasures by local artists in a gallery setting. Many thanks to the   Lakewood Cultural Center for the warm welcome and invitation to show my creations...


In between art signings, project deadlines, etc... we snuck out on a sunny day for a brisk walk to the park! I honestly had not been on a walk to that park since summer!!!  Eeek! Yet, the clock was still ticking and there was little time to sit for a spell.....  At least I had a chance to finally move my legs. And like I said earlier, December seems to be the month for run-run-run-fun!


We had to scoot for a fun lunch date, shop and then scurry back home to change for 2 evening parties that we wanted to attend. JP snapped several images of the holiday eye candy at party #1... Check out that towering tree all aglow!


I naturally gravitated to the fountain of chocolate fondue and quickly made a mess of myself! But, this time of year, you are supposed to indulge, right?


Cookies and sangria also make a tasty pair too, not to mention licking the chocolate off of my palm :)


And I mentioned light-seeing as well, which is certainly a must this time of year! Thank you Dave & Yv for the magical holiday displays! The journey across town to find our way to your Christmas house was certainly worth the trip...

Well, with any luck I am hopeful to soon sit for a spell and enjoy the weekend with those that are dear. The holiday hustle and bustle has a tendency to intensify through the years, and we all seem to scurry around like excited mice. Perhaps that's why I drew a few last week ~ hehehe! While you are out and about running your holiday errands and dashing through the snow, take a little time to enjoy the sights, sounds and one another. Here's wishing you a little magic and R&R during the holidays! And many thanks to so many of you that make our holidays special and one of a kind......

~ Johanna

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sending Seasons Greetings!...

Since many of you have asked for my winter-themed postage stamps, it was the first thing on my list of to-do's after last weekend's holiday home show! So, I just composed 6 new designs, and I hope you like them..... By the way, thank you for taking an interest in my designs! There's still plenty of time to order your favorites and add them to your out-going greeting cards. Each features an illustration of mine and promises to add jolly good cheer to your recipient's mail! You can find these in my Zazzle Shop.
For individual links to each design, see my captions below!

Thank you for mailing my whimsical designs across Santa's map! I love spreading my art and good cheer to others......

Best wishes,
~ Johanna


Here are the individual links to each stamp, starting from top left:
* Party Snowman Stamp
* Cheers Santa Stamp
* Happy Snowman Stamp
* Holiday Owl Stamp
* Candy Cane Stamp
* Vintage Santa Claus Stamp

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Holiday Treasures...

Happy Holidays my dear friends! For those of you who missed our Christmas cottage event this past weekend, I welcome you to join me on a little photo tour. It was truly a winter wonderland weekend event as the the flakes were falling outside. I'm always in a last minute frenzy to snap the last few photos before the crowds rush in to collect their holiday goods. But, fortunately this year I had an extra day to snap photos in advance, so enjoy the tour. And, I truly hope that you can join us in 2012 for our 10th Annual Event! And for those you still hoping to collect a one of a kind from my holiday collection, keep scrolling down to find those originals, still looking for a home. Please read the captions carefully as many of my creations pictured already found homes over the weekend while others still await adoption! And of course, just enjoy the tour!

UPDATE:  Well, I'm thrilled that some of you were on the (Christmas) ball and checked in when you saw this post! All 5 originals from this Treasure Hunt have found loving homes, and rather quickly I might add. Thank you so very much for making a special place in your home for my folk art  :) xoxo, Johanna


* Oh, that's me striking a pose in my holiday attire!... Now, let's move along.......


* Upon entering, guests were greeted with a variety of tables dressed in vintage holiday cloths. Feather trees and antique finds offered the perfect displays for a variety of my holiday designs. Let's take a closer peek....


* An old white picnic basket and collected pottery vessels housed a fun variety of snowmen characters. I spy one of the 16 limited edition snowman sitters awaiting his new owner, and all these guys found homes over the weekend...


* A closer look reveals a pair of my latest reproduction novelty boxes from Primitives by Kathy. Both fun and functional, these guys were a big hit! Off in the distance is my mantel of originals, so we will make our way around to peek at some of those characters soon....


* Off in the corner was a fun grouping of more holiday reproduction characters. An old plant stand made for the perfect perch for the last few snow ball characters from my Bethany Lowe Designs line. They almost floated magically! Grandma's vintage tree skirt adorns an old wooden card table where additional snowmen and Santas group. And the fluffy white tree from mom's childhood proudly stood in the corner to display her collection of cloth Santas from Primitives by Kathy. Let's take a closer look......


* A timeworn suitcase offers a fun way to display this grouping of Santas and snowmen from my Primitives by Kathy line....


* Below, more prim-style snowmen, including Ruby the Snowbust peering in above, look so sweet grouped together. Again, these characters are available from my Primitives by Kathy product line....


* Ho Ho Ho they go in a fun little wicker sleigh.... These cloth Santas were designed by my mother, Kathy Parker who joined us this year for this fun event! You can also find her Santas at Primitives by Kathy too!....


* Now, we take a twirl and find ourselves at my mantel of holiday originals!  Those of you that follow my blog will recognize some of these guys from earlier posts and the photos shared of my step by step progression to complete each and every one of them! With the snow falling outside, I do believe that collectors were in the spirit of adopting snowmen! In fact, ALL of the snowmen sold in a matter of moments, and of course, I can only wish I had made more. So, I promise to start on my holiday collection for 2012 sooner so that I do have even more to offer next year.... Never fret however, as I still have 5 very special one of a kinds still available, so keep on reading.....


* At a glance you can see some of my wintery original delights traipsing across the mantel....


* BOO! It's a trio of Ghosts from Christmas past :)  As you know my heart sings Halloween, so I gave in to the temptation to create a few holiday crossover pieces for the first time this year! And I love how they remind me not only of ghosts, but of ice cream cones, white-chocolatey hershey kisses and sugary sweet meringues, all yummy indeed! Though the bell ghost at left sold on Saturday, the large and small candy container ghosts, middle and right, are still up for adoption! They are each sprinkled with a shimmering dust of mica and are characterized by that signature "o" mouth, singing a holiday boo to you! Details, pricing info and additional views of "Joyful Luke the Spook" the candy container with the hand-painted "JOY" spooks, marking his front, can be viewed HERE. And, details regarding his ghostly kettle cup friend, donning the mistletoe at right can be found HERE. (Both Christmas Ghosts have now SOLD) Thank you!


* The red and purple painted mantel niche sets the perfect stage for a feather tree adorned in one of a kind ornament bells. Each found a home on Saturday, and so I hope to make many more for next year's 10th Annual event....


* Here's another snowman here to tease you. According to this character, he loves to sing! He too found a home over the weekend, and if you recall, JP snapped several photos of me adding the final glittery touches to his hat, just the week before....


* Another pair of one of a kind snowmen raise their wiry arms to greet the guests. Again, these two guys also found homes during the show, but I promise that I have 3 more one of a kinds still available! However, let's take a quick twirl around to see another view of the holiday displays...


* Above, Santas and snowmen perch atop the boughs of decorative feather trees. Below, more Santa ornaments crowd into a red sleigh, and a collection of feather and bottle brush Christmas trees are offered to shoppers to help decorate their homes...


* A closer peek reveals a grouping of shimmery Santa clips with red and black chenille appendages. These guys didn't sit around too long before being snatched up by happy hands!...


* "Cheers to you", waves another limited edition snowman sitter resting amongst other snow-loving friends...


* The red feather tree donned a fun family of snowman clips wearing red chenille scarves. They too were new this year from my Bethany Lowe Designs line, and all found homes with happy, gift-giving shoppers!


* Always a big hit are these prim-style top hat snowman head dangles that add a touch of whimsy to any tree. Looking quite yummy on a tree of chartreuse, these fun characters can be found from my Primitives by Kathy product line as well....


* Let's take another twirl back around to the guys traipsing across the mantel. A few one of a kind ball characters strike a pose on a vintage holly covered box. Each of the the three have already moved on to new homes; however hoooo's above that may still be looking for a nest?...


* That's right! This little wintery owl is still looking for a cozy nest! I had a little fun with his kettle cup base, painting the holly leaves red and berries black. He's certainly a holiday HOOT! For more details and views about this Holly Owl Kettle Cup, please click HERE. (This sweet little owl has now SOLD) Thank you!


* And what's Christmas without a little Santa and his reindeer? Yes, indeed both were snatched up on Saturday, but gauging from all the emails I have received regarding reindeer, I'm thinking that many more are on the list for next year..... Hmmm, why do I get the feeling that I am being watched?...... Let's see...


* A quick twirl around reveals my black cat Jack, intently watching me as I take photos throughout the room! Well, I'll get you! Tempted by all the tables skirts and additional hiding places that our transformed cottage shop had to offer, Jack patiently stays out of trouble at least for most the time.  A vignette of additional holiday characters cluster together on vintage stools. Let's take a closer look...


* Just hanging around on an old trellis is a fun grouping of snowmen and Santa ornaments from my line of Bethany Lowe Designs. Their wiry candy cane-striped arms and legs really add that festive touch! And judging from their popularity, I will be offering more next year...


* To the side, a nervous snowman with arms raised high sits atop a child's vintage stove! EEk! I hope he doesn't melt.... Below, a pair of mom's Santas rest their weary feet... "Hooo Hooo".... Who's calling, who's calling?...


* Why, it's "Sue Owlen Snowfeather" the one of a kind owl candy container drumming up some attention! She too is still in search for a new perch! I must admit, she's a beauty, and if I had my way, I'd keep her as she looks lovely in our home. But those who attended will tell you that we need to finish our front porch! So, alas, she is up for grabs. This snowy owl is beautifully detailed with intricate sculpting and hand-painted accents. To see more details and views, click HERE. Curious cat-loving fans will have to say goodbye to the cutie egg cup above. He was snatched on Saturday. I loved how the stocking motif played out on his egg cup base, but if you like the look, I have one more goodie that might make you SQUEAK!.... (Sue Owlen Snowfeather has now SOLD) Thank you!


* Yes, this tall wintery mouse candy container with stockings is very SQUEAK-worthy! I just love what a whimsical statement this character makes. AND, "ChristMouse Eve" is still available! Eeek Eeek! Keep scrolling down for another view along with a link to details regarding this collectible piece....


* Proudly perched next to "ChristMouse Eve" is this stately snow owl, all decked out for the holidays.  I wish I could have kept this character too, but he has happily relocated to a loving nest....


* Let's take another peek at more of the holiday goods that shoppers were snatching around the house. Here, an old lamp shade makes for the perfect hanging spot for my illustrated charm necklaces. Ruby the Snowbust from my Primitives by Kathy line sits in the middle of all the fun!


* A closer look reveals my latest owl and candy cane charms!


* Another twirl around brings us to that beautiful cabinet that JP made me when I was still in art school! It's  always a show-stopper, and so is that antique vase filled with vintage glass baubles on aluminum Christmas tree branches.


* A closer peek reveals one of my latest snowman novelty boxes that I designed for Primitives by Kathy... I just noticed that all my winter-themed products are now on sale via Kathy's website for the month of December! So, if you missed them at the show, you can still find them online and save a little too... And do you see that out of focus stocking on that pumpkin-colored wall....


* I love this vintage find from mom that hangs below another fun architectural niche in our living room. It's the perfect spot for a pair of sitting snowmen to roost high above the guests....


* Circling back to the front door opens up the view of the living room and beyond to the kitchen and back sunroom. I can't wait for our front porch vestibule to be complete, offering us more space, more light and a place to kick off our shoes...


* One more peek at a silly silver tree reveals a fun display of dangling charms that I illustrated for the holiday season. On Sunday, I hung one charm around the neck of a bottle of wine for a fun hostess gift idea, and guests loved the concept!


* Now, let's meander into the kitchen for a dose of vintage delights! A pair of grandma's velvet reindeer  from year's past frame another Ruby the Snowbust character. And, an antique lamp glows under the metal shade of an old mop bucket attachment, set upside down. Yes, it's my cheap and unique form of decorating indeed! Old tins are stacked against my 1940s/50s Westinghouse fridge. I am a sucker for vintage appliances.... :) They're just full of character, chrome and curving lines...


* Let's step back for the full view which reveals my collection of colorful old pottery finds. I only wish I had made the time to snap additional photos of the kitchen treats and hot cider scene on our old 1940s stove. But, Saturday morning was a whirlwind of commotion as JP and I, along with my mom, dad and god mother added the final touches and tidied up before we opened the doors. It was snowing and bitter-cold outside. So, to keep our early collector guests cozy in their cars rather than waiting in line, we spontaneously decided to hand out numbers. I think that worked well, and may consider working that in to next year's planning...


* And now, we will return to the main room where Jack patiently waits for a good scratching..... I wonder if he has MICE on his mind?....


* Ahh-Ha! There's that MOUSE again! "ChristMouse Eve," pictured at left, is certainly a cutie and is looking for a home! Eve has a magical dusting of mica strategically placed for just the right shimmer. Hand-painted stockings, each unique and some filled with mice, are painted around Eve's containing cup. Old Italian silver tinsel trims this character's neck, adorned at front with a red vintage crepe paper bow tie.  For more views and details regarding this special piece, click HERE. And yes, the smaller mouse companion friend already found a home here in Denver.... (ChristMouse Eve has now SOLD) Thank you!


*And if there's a mouse in the vicinity, I can almost guarantee that a cat is close by...  Here's a closer peek at the only winter cat ball character I made this season, but don't get too attached as she sold during the show...


* Cats always make me think of Halloween, and being the huge fan of October 31st that I am, I had to pull out what goodies I had remaining from this past season. It's become a tradition that I designate a portion of my studio & drawing board room to year-end reproduction Halloween delights. Most everything is always marked 20-30% off, so there are some fun deals to be made! Can you find Jack in the mix?


* A quick spin to the right reveals my one and only original Halloween fire screen that JP and I made as a team effort. Halloween lovers always enjoy seeing this piece in person, so it's a fun excuse for me to bring it out and share it with you...


* Let's take a closer peek of what goodies were in store. Of course, the typical gang of black cats and owls were on the roster, whom again flew out the door!


* And you can't forget about those witches and jack-o'-lantern friends. My Halloween heads have been a big hit this year and are offered through my Primitives by Kathy line. Mom's smiling JOL pillow sets the spooky mood too!


* Right before we opened the door, we snapped a few quick shots. We were happy to have extra help from out of town family this year! From left to right, is my husband JP d'Andrimont, my dad Jim Parker, me, my mom Kathy Parker and god mother Melinda Hovey Hightower. Look how cute the girls look in their vintage aprons!


And.... 5, 4, 3, 2, 1..... 10:00 am arrived, and it was show time!  WELCOME Guests!


* Before the wrapping and packing frenzy began, JP snapped a quick pic of the shoppers delighting in the goods and choosing their favorite finds! We were thrilled to have guests from as far as Washington state and California, eager to collect one of a kinds. Maybe next year we'll get some east-coasters too!


* Well, I hope you enjoyed my Christmas Cottage tour..... It was such a delightful weekend, and I am honored that so many of you marked your calendars and still came out on such a cold wintery day to play with us! I certainly hope that we made your holiday brighter and set the jolly spirit for the rest of the month.
Remember, our 10th Annual Holiday Folk Art Show & Open House will take place the first weekend of December in 2012. So, save the date! It's going to be a big one!

And if you would like to adopt one of the available 5 original delights in this Holiday Treasure Hunt post, please just EMAIL ME to reserve your piece!

Many Thanks & Happy Holidays,
~ Johanna