Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!...

Wishing you ALL a very Happy Halloween from Jack and the gang at Johanna Parker Design! Delight in the clever costumes, savor the sweet treats and share in the merriment of this fun carnival......

~ Johanna,  JP & Jack


* Roll over Jack and show off your latest owl tee designed by Johanna!
Add one to your pet's wardrobe HERE...



Photos © 2011 Johanna Parker Design, LLC ~ Photos may not be used without permission.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Collector Spotlight: Amber in CA...

And last but not least to help me finish out my most favorite month is this fun Collector Spotlight featuring my friend Amber who also lives in California! She spotted my folk art early on when I was still experimenting with my mediums and technique, and some of her pieces date way back to 2005 (which honestly feels like ages to me!) You will enjoy perusing her collection of Halloween folk art which also includes many wonderful delights from fellow artist friend Nicol Sayre. So, grab a handful of Halloween candy and enjoy the photos that Amber has graciously shared with us here. Many thanks to Amber for the open invitation to visit her decorated home, and a personal thanks for admiring, following and collecting my work fron my earlier days of artistic exploration to the current time. It's such a treat for me to revisit all of these pieces and enjoy catching a glimpse of them in their loving home.........Please leave comments for Amber at the end of this posting.....


J:  How did you learn about my holiday folk art?  
A: The 1st time I spotted your creations was in 2005 at Halloween and Vine.  I went with a friend to snag a Nicol Sayre witch doll.  After the rush we saw your booth.  Unfortunately, I had already spent all my money!  But my friend was able to buy a large cat head sculpture. I loved it and knew I had to have one for myself!!


( * Above, one of my earlier tall vase sculptures featuring an original black cat towers over some vintage style Halloween novelties )

J:  How long have you been collecting my originals?
A: 6 years ~ I started collecting shortly after H&V that year.  Halloween is definitely my very favorite theme and holiday, but I couldn't wait for the next October to roll around so I started my collection with an adorable Snowman named "Peppermint Tommy".  I love him with his candy cane nose!  He is very special to me cuz he started the whole collection!
J:  Ahh, this does take me back, and I do recall you adopting Peppermint Tommy, but I didn't realize that he kick-started your JPD collection! What fun! (Amber has included a photo of Tommy lower in this post, so we can all go down memory lane :)

( * Above, a wonderful grouping of my Halloween originals congregate together on a side table in Amber's home ~ two of which were created this year while others date back to 5 or 6 years ago. Scrolling wrought iron candle stick accent pieces add additional interest to Amber's arrangement. What a beautiful display! )

( * Taking a closer peek, Amber displays her first JPD bat just recently acquired and grouped alongside an owl and jack-o'-lantern friend from year's past )

J: Where have you had the best luck in acquiring my original pieces; shows, web sales, Collector's Catch, eBay, etc?
A: I have gotten pieces from Halloween & Vine, Web Sales and have been pretty lucky on Ebay!


( * Above, "Polka & Punkin" a candy container duo and "Ollie O'Lantern" are several years old, but still lookin' good and are some of Amber's favorites as you'll notice below..... )


J: Do you have a favorite piece in your private collection?
A: It is way to hard to pick a favorite...I actually have a lot of favorites!  LOL  Polka N' Punkin and Ollie O'Lantern are way up well as Gilly Juggles, and one of my newest, Moonlit Owlvira!  And I cannot forget Jester Jack!  He was a surprise birthday gift from the sweetest man ever!!!
J: Ah, yes, those are some of my favorites from your collection as well!  I still pine over "Gilly Juggles" (pictured above) as he really did turn out quite special. I almost kept him back when I made him, but I'm happy that he's well-loved in your home and amongst so many other Halloween friends!


( * And there's "Jester Jack" pictured directly above, adopted for Amber during my Black & White Delight Web Sale this past spring by her thoughtful beau! And I spy another sitter character that I completely forgot that I made! He must be several years old..... And I do believe that smiling jolly jack candy container was created last fall.... )


( * Looking to another display, a one of a kind candy container cat grins from ear to ear and lights up the counter. A glass jar filled with black and white striped candy batons adds a bold graphic touch  )

J: What is it about my creations that captures your imagination?
A: There are so many things I love about your work.  The colors, designs, attention to detail.  What I love the most is that they are so whimsical and scream vintage Halloween!  They also trigger a wonderful nostalgia for me :-)  My JP collection is among my favorite possessions.
J: That makes me smile!  (mission accomplished!)


( * Amber proves that grouping both my reproduction art (the tall bat vase from my line of Bethany Lowe Designs products) can look quite dashing with an original piece of art like this one of a kind owl head. The draping spider webs and haunting cheesecloth add background texture, and those spooky apothecary bottles add a creepy old-world touch )

( * Another eye-catching Halloween display sprawls across the bar counter in Amber's kitchen. She clearly wants to surround herself with eye-candy as she cooks! Let's take a closer peek below...... )


( * And there sits "Moonlit Owlvira," mentioned above as one of Amber's faves. She's proudly displayed with some sweet jack-o'-lantern characters designed by doll artist, Nicol Sayre. It's fun to see how well they complement one another! )


( * Moving down the line, I spy a one of a kind black & white owl candy container that I believe Amber snagged off of a private sellers's auction on eBay. He really looks enchanting here with more Nicol Sayre folk art characters...... )


( * And it's fun to be reacquainted with "Belinda Bag Lady" who was photographed on my coffee table trunk in the 2007 issue of Halloween Tricks and Treats Magazine by BHG. She looks ever so pleased at home with Amber! And I'm really liking that old decorated dress form off in the distance ~ I have a similar piece here in my home! )

( * And we mustn't forget some of my earliest reproduction pieces from my Primitives by Kathy line...... )

J:  Is there anything in particular you suggest I try making in the future?
A: Hmmmmm....maybe a werewolf or perhaps a mummy???  Could be pretty darn cute I think :-)
Thank you again Johanna...this has been fun and I am honored :-) xoxox, Amber
J:  Oh, the honor is all mine Amber!  Everything is just lovely, and I am thrilled to see my creations in such good company and so well-received.


( * And one more Halloween original, a black cat rattle cone from way back when, suspends over two sweet Nicol Sayre folk art witch dolls )

*BONUS Feature!... Here's a sneak peek at Amber's collection of my Christmas originals along with a Spring-themed piece as well! She's got the seasons covered :)


( * And remember "Peppermint Tommy," the snowman that fueled her collecting passion for my creations? Well, he's pictured above at left with that fun-loving candy cane nose! It's a pleasure for me to revisit these guys for this winter's inspiration! And look, one more sitter rests by his side! Looks to me like both Amber & Sandy & Gary had their sights set on my short-lived run on folk art sitters!..... Maybe I'll reintroduce a collection of sitters one of these days )


( * One more pair of my one of kind snowmen make me laugh with their quirky smiles. These guys date back 5 years or so! )

( * Ahhh, and I remember making a series of these nesting birds, each very unique and all-seasonal for the home. I wish I had more time these days to create more every-day delights, but Halloween has really stolen my focus with its high demand and popularity! At any rate, this turquoise bird looks lovely on an old peely white antique display cabinet )

Well, it was certainly a pleasure to see and share with you Amber's delightful collection of folk art!  A warm thanks goes out again to Amber for allowing us into her lovely home. She has offered a generous glimpse to us, so please offer your comments below for Amber to enjoy.

This has a been a delightful series during my most favorite month with 3 Collector Spotlight Features! I am honored to see my creations bringing joy to your homes and look forward to featuring more private collections in the near future!

Thanks again and Happy Halloween Collecting,
~ Johanna

Monday, October 24, 2011

Collector Spotlight: Mona in CA...

I have the pleasure of introducing to you another dear collector of mine. Her name is Mona, and she has been acquiring my Halloween (and Christmas) originals for a few years now! With a shared passion for collecting, she is great friends with Celeste, pictured alongside her, and it was Mona's bag that I mistakenly swopped with Gary & Sandy's bag at this year's Ghoultide Gathering! (Oh it's a small world which makes for a comical tale, now that it's in the past!) Mona's delightful collection is certainly sprawling with one of a kind Halloween collectibles from both myself and that of my fellow artist friends. Fortunately, Mona snapped a fun variety of photos to share, so sit back and enjoy as she opens her doors to us. Many thanks to Mona for offering this delightful peek into her home and for taking the time to answer my questions. :)


J:  How did you learn about my holiday folk art?  
M:  I met you at the  Halloween and Vine Show in 2008 and bought my first piece Dixie Dot.

( * I was excited to see just how many of my Halloween originals Mona has lined up in one spot! It's an impressive march of jack-o'-lanterns, cats, bats, owls and a moon, spider, bunny and crow! Also in the mix includes a Carolee Clark Welcome Dearies sign, a Tammy Strum tambourine, and a squash man by Laurie Hardin ).... You can click on this image for a larger view......

J:  How long have you been collecting my originals?
M: 3 years

( * I thought I would zoom in a bit so you can see these characters up close. So, here we are starting on the left end....  I do believe that the center cat pictured with illustrated hat is "Dixie Dot," Mona's first piece of mine! Thanks to Dixie's charm, it seems that Mona got hooked!)


J: What is it about my creations that captures your imagination?
M: I love that when I look at your whimsical creations they make me smile, some artists creations make me cringe when I look at them.  I am not into the dark side of Halloween I love the light side.  Halloween makes me think of my childhood and the fun it was going door to door trick or treating.  I also love the warm soft hues you use to capture the feel of Halloween!
J: I think you nailed it Mona ~ my art certainly focuses on the happy-spirited side of Halloween, and I want to evoke those sweet, nostalgic memories. I'm glad it's working!

( * Front and center on this shelf of characters is a proudly standing base chamber vase bulldog original of mine that Mona snatched up alongside the bat and moon cups at last year's Ghoultide Gathering )


( * A perching owl and black cat pair were likely adopted at the last Halloween & Vine I exhibited in, while Mr. Spider, a new character this year, was adopted at the 2011 Ghoultide Gathering. Mona likes to use wooden pedestals to elevate key pieces in her collection )


J: Where have you had the best luck in acquiring my original pieces; shows, web sales, Collector's Catch, eBay, etc?
M:  All of the above, I have found them at Halloween and Vine, Ghoultide Gathering, your Open House, web sales, I have been lucky a couple times and been able to snatch your catches and ebay.


J: Do you have a favorite piece in your private collection?
M: I don't have a favorite piece of yours, but Celeste does, she loves the candy corn egg cup cat on the ice box!  I have to make sure she doesn't tuck in her purse when she leaves.  ; )
J: That's too funny! Yes, do keep an eye on that little cat as he could be easily lifted when your back is turned :) (Speaking of, that cat is pictured in the image above, appropriately placed with an assortment of candy-filled jars and a fun squash character by Laurie Hardin.)


( * Halloween art has found its way to the kitchen island in Mona's home as well! Here, my reproduction Halloween horns (from my Bethany Lowe Designs line) surround an older tripod cat reproduction (from my Primitives by Kathy line) As always, I am in great company with the stunning platter by Carolee Clark, winking Jack by William Bezek and lantern-carrying JOL man by Scott Smith! OH, and I believe I spy a moon man off in the distance by Brandi McKenna...)


( * More fun characters dot the house as we come across another one of my older black cat egg cups joined by a group of friends from Jodi Battaglia. In the background a hand-painted handled-plaque by Elona Engelke and a decorated clock by Angela Walter set the spooky-fun mood )

( * 2 of my latest egg cup characters, including my first little mouse, are set aglow thanks to a whimsical lamp by Spookylvania! What FUN! )

J:  Is there anything in particular you suggest I try making in the future?
M: I would love to see you make a Halloween raccoon.  I just can see you doing one with it's natural mask.  Frankenstein would be fun!!!!  Halloween Bell ornaments like you make at Christmas.  Let me know if you need more ideas ; )
J:  Great ideas & yes, keep them coming! 


( * Perching atop an antique Victorian secretary is one of my original owl ball characters that I believe Mona was able to snag during a past EHAG Emporium sale. Paired with a Nicol Sayre black cat, they make a fun duo )


( * A wider view reveals additional creations by Lori Mitchell, Allen W. Cunningham, Vergie Lightfoot and Tammy Strum )


( * Above, a mirrored curio cabinet is lined with shelves of Mona's collection of Wee Forest Folk. "Best Witches" an original bust of mine proudly tops it off, while Scott Smith's Old Crone keeps watch )


( * On a nearby table, my one of a kind "31" bat takes cover under a whimsical Halloween tree!  And one of Laurie Hardin's signature orbs adds a touch of magic to the side )


( * Even a visit to the bathroom never disappoints at Mona's residence! My reproduction owl pail (from my Bethany Lowe Designs line) perches above an antique wash basin table which displays 2 handmade characters from Lori Ann Corelis.  Glowing above resides a witch and pale trio by Laurie Hardin)

I hope you enjoyed this Collector Spotlight feature! Please leave your comments for Mona below. She has graciously opened her doors to you, and I am sure she would enjoy reading your thoughts...
And once again, Thank You Mona for sharing. Both myself and my fellow Halloween art friends truly appreciate your passion for what we do!

~ Happy Halloween Collecting ~
 ~ Johanna ~

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Eye Spy!...

It's always a joy to spot my Halloween works popping up in unexpected ways! Last month I had the pleasure of finding one of my original black cats peering back at me in the debut issue of FOLK Magazine! Here, I'm in good company with a menagerie of Halloween artisans chosen as FOLK's favorites, so thank you FOLK :)  In addition, the fall staple Tricks & Treats Magazine by Better Homes & Gardens revealed an unexpected grouping of candy containers in a private home feature. Fortunately, the owner with her "zest for decorating" included a pair of my reproduction cat & owl glass jars. I had friends and family spotting this way before I had ever made it out to the newsstands. What a treat! As much of my time is spent at home creating, my chances to journey out and shop are far and few. So it's a always a surprise to see the work that I do take on a life of its own in various magazines and within the private collections of others. Just thought I'd share...... Happy Halloween to all & thank you for the opportunity to share my work with you!

~ Johanna


* Amongst Halloween art friends, Robert Brawley, The Whimsical Whittler, Lori Ann Corelis, Cheswick Company, Prim Penny, Jody Cain, Needlin Around & Honey and Maple Syrup.

* A closer peek at this jolly cat ~ I'm still scratching my head as to where the staff at FOLK actually found this image..... surprise, surprise is all I can say!


* Homeowner, Cher Beall shares her collection of candy-filled jars in her "fall frolic" feature in Better Homes & Gardens, Tricks & Treats Magazine. Can you spot my two jar designs?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Collector Spotlight: Sandy & Gary in PA...

Well, it has been about a year since I have posted a Collector Spotlight feature! During the frenzy of this past Ghoultide Gathering, long-standing fans and collecting couple, Sandy & Gary from Pennsylvania traveled in and adopted a few more original delights from me. They promised to send me photos of their collection (even after I mistakenly swopped their bag on them.....eek! :) Fortunately that was resolved, and upon their return, they had a moment to snap some lovely photos and answer a few of my questions. So, enjoy a peek at their sweet and spooky decor along with a fun Q & A! Many thanks to both Sandy & Gary for taking such a special interest in the work that I create and for sharing a glimpse at their decorated home with us :)
(please leave comments for them below...)

J:  How did you learn about my holiday folk art?  

S & G:  It has been so long, neither of us could remember....

(* I thought I would start out by sharing this lovely photo of their mantel all dressed for Halloween! It is such a treat for me to have my art displayed in such an honorable way...)
You can click on this image for a larger view....

(* Perched atop an antique bucket stands an owl original of mine that Gary snatched up at last year's Ghoultide Gathering! Little did either of us know that this owl would appear in this year's Midwest Living magazine!... In surround, 2 other originals, a black cat & and a bat atop a jack keep company with a sweet handmade blackbird by Lori Ann Corelis.)

J:  How long have you been collecting my originals? 
S & G:  It seems like we've been big fans and collectors since you started.  Our oldest pieces are from 2006, so I guess about 5 years.
J: This is a nice span of years to build a collection ~ I actually started making my originals full-time in 2004, but I was still just learning my technique then. I often shudder when I see some of those older pieces resurface today :)

(* Last year's one of a kind, base chamber vase black cat strikes a proud pose on the left end of their mantel. An original bat and older black cat and standing crow share this cozy spot with one of my reproduction owl rattles and a sweet handmade bear by Lori Ann Corelis. Sandy & Gary enjoy mixing in old wooden boxes and buckets to use as risers for their collection. The vintage appeal of both complement one another.)

J: What is it about my creations that captures your imagination?
S & G: Well, this is a rather tough question, as we have never dissected why we like your creations.  So in attempting to answer this question, we agree first and foremost it is the pure artistry of your creations. The medium you have chosen, the whimsical detail of each piece and the folk art style fit into our personal collection.
J: Thank you, that's wonderful!

(* This image takes me back! It's been several years since I have created any one of a kind shelf sitter characters, and this papier mache clown is certainly unique. The mouse is current this year, and was adopted at the Ghoultide Gathering. Peeking from behind, the reproduction black cat candy cup is from my line of Bethany Lowe Designs products.)

(*Due to the complexity of these pieces, I only made a handful of shelf sitters. It looks to me that Sandy & Gary have the majority of them sitting around in their home! :)

(* See look, there's another one of a kind sitter! Wow, that makes four :) The mini-sitter and lumina jack are reproductions, again from my line of Bethany Lowe Designs products.)

J: Where have you had the best luck in acquiring my original pieces;
shows, web sales, Collector's Catch, eBay, etc?
 S & G: We've collected through EBay, web sales and Artist shows.  Our preferred gathering source is Artist shows where we have the opportunity to touch and feel, and of course touch base with you and JP.  These shows also give us a chance to discover new artists and their creations.
J: This is true ~ you along with my other collectors do have the best luck in acquiring my originals via Artist shows. Knowing that you are traveling in just like we are, we want to offer you a nice showing of work to make your trip worthwhile :)

(* These two one of a kind ghosts were snatched up by Gary at this year's Ghoultide Gathering. He patiently waited for several hours in the chilly, wet weather to snag some black & white originals from me, and ghosts were one of my latest additions! Thank you for your determination, Gary!)

(* And speaking of discovering other artists, you will notice that two of my original black cat candy containers here, are in good company with the wondrous wood carvings from The Whimsical Whittler and a handmade crow from Lori Ann Corelis.)

J: Do you have a favorite piece in your private collection?
S & G: After much discussion, we've decided our whole collection is our favorite piece.  Like children you just can't have a favorite!

(* More of my one of a kind cats, made over various years still look as if they are all part of the same family, regardless of when they were created. I can certainly see an evolution in my attention to detail over the years. But, it's a relief that Sandy & Gary still love them all!....)

(* The large cat bust is an older one of a kind ~ look at those long arms & neck! :) The pair of spider and owl kettle cups were created last year and snatched up by Sandy at the Ghoultide Gathering. The wee little owl is a licensed Bethany Lowe reproduction of mine...)

(* A pair of winged companions hang, suspended from an antique sign. These fun characters were new last year from my line of Primitives by Kathy reproductions.)

J:  Is there anything in particular you suggest I try making in the future?
S & G: We are collectors who look forward to seeing your new creations and we are never disappointed.  We know and appreciate your passion is Halloween, but you have created selected other pieces for Christmas and a few Spring offerings.  We would love to see you take a look at other Holidays:  St. Patrick's Day and Valentines for example.  We decorate for each Holiday and would love to be able to display some Original Johanna Parker pieces all year long.
J: Your point noted.... thanks for the push! Your passion for my work and collecting certainly inspires me, and I thank you graciously for that.

*BONUS Feature!... Here's a sneak peek at Sandy & Gary's collection of my Christmas originals ~ It looks like they have 11 more of my characters to share...

(* Ah-hah, I spy yet another sitter! I believe some of the other characters were won on eBay and / or acquired through my web sales. Ah yes, I recall that Santa candy container taking forever to complete with all those dimensional icicles and that whimsically carved beard :)

( * More characters from the red and cream palette make friends with another one of Lori Ann Corelis' mohair bears! {I am seeing a trend!} And there's that one and only "bear" of mine, so far anyway. I know, he does resemble a mouse too.....)

(* These guys must be older ~ perhaps some of the first originals that Sandy & Gary adopted. Thank goodness they took a liking to them!)

I hope you enjoyed this Collector Spotlight feature, and please leave a comment for Sandy & Gary below. They have opened their doors to you, and I know they would enjoy reading your thoughts below....

Now, how about you?  Do you have a budding collection that showcases my folk art? Of course I would LOVE to see it and share it with my readers here. Please EMAIL ME with a message of interest, and we'll take it from there. Thank you!

Happy Collecting!
~ Johanna