Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Of course, at least here in JPD-Land, October 31st would not be complete without an appearance from Mr. Jack fashioning one of my party hats for Halloween! Fortunately, he was in good spirits when we decided to snap his photos. Honestly, the first round of pictures was a little rough, so we gave him a wee break. But, suddenly he was meowing for more! So, on went the hat and bow tie combo once again, and the camera's shutter just clicked away! I found myself laughing at the silliness of the scene and his calm demeanor. What a ham!  He is such a sucker for attention.... May these fun photos make you smile, and enjoy the additional outtakes at the end of this post!

Wishing you a very Happy Halloween! May it be purrrrrrfect...

~ Johanna, JP & JACK

* 100% genuine photo indeed. My black cat Jack is truly wearing a party hat and a bow tie to match!


* The key to getting just the right image is to distract him a wee bit!


* He loves pencils with erasers....... Why, I don't know!


* But, he'll wear anything for the attention! Lots of praise along with a distractor or two adds just the right magical touch!


* Ya, I know he looks thrilled doesn't he? But, he was just flattening his ears down so that I could properly place his hat!


* And he kindly extends his chin so that I can tie the bow....


* A little tuck tuck there to secure that hat in place...


* One or two more adjustments to fine-tune the festive ensemble!


* And voila! Jack is ready!....


 * And after it was all said and done, I give him an affectionate squeeze of thanks for putting up with my silly antics! But seriously, he wanted to do it all over again!

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Collector Spotlight?...

Hi Halloween-loving friends! I just wanted to peek in with an update for those of you with inquiring minds. I know I promised that I would feature a couple of Halloween Collector Spotlights during the month of October. Well, this month has quickly slipped by, and it's already the 30th!  EEEK! I had a handful of collectors slated to be featured this fall, but for some reason they have vanished! Actually, I was a little too late in asking some while others are still lurking in the shadows.. hehe! Sorry to disappoint, but the good news is that I will have more collectors and their spooktacular collections to feature next fall!

But, never fear ~ I wouldn't dream of leaving you with no eye candy! So, join me in taking a walk down haunted memory lane with a look back at just some of my past Collector Spotlight features:

Behold Amber's Autumnal Acquisitions

Notice Mona's Menagerie 

Feast on Sandy & Gary's Spread

Glimpse at Celeste's Treasures

Contemplate Craig's Collection

Inspired? Or perhaps you have a growing collection of Johanna Parker Design Halloween collectibles..?  If so, now is the time to snap those photos and share them with me! I would be honored to feature you in a future Collector Spotlight feature. Come out from the shadows and don't be shy ~ wear a mask if you wish or a patch o'er your eye! It's always a pleasure to see my creations displayed in your homes, bringing laughter and joy to your family and friends. And, it's a treat for my readers to find inspiration in your holiday traditions through happy-spirited decor. Many thanks to ALL that find a cozy spot for my art in your personal spaces. I am honored to be a part of your holidays.

Happy Halloween!

~ Johanna 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pumpkin Critter Carvings...

This year, JP and I grew "Giant Pumpkins" from a few seeds that a neighbor kindly shared with us! We started them in tiny peat pots, and soon they were ready for the ground. It wasn't long before the vines became an entangled maze of umbrella-like leaves, shading the emerging pumpkins below. After a few months we had some whoppers ~ 3 in total! The smallest of the 3 separated from the vine, rolled off the hill and into the path. So, it was relocated to the backyard where the squirrels tend to frolic. Of course, they saw that big pumpkin and immediately began to nibble! Before long, their little bites and gnaw marks turned into deep pits, and soon they had eaten their way through the meaty wall of that large melon. At first, the hole was small, but with each day it grew and grew until one day, the squirrels could make it through! All along, I assumed they were enjoying the flavors of the pumpkin's juicy flesh, but they were after the seeds! Was it instinct to chew and chew and find the seed prize inside, or was that a pleasant surprise? Perhaps it was a little of both! Although we've been a bit disenchanted by what these squirrels have done to our pretty pumpkin, the critter carving has captured our curiosity and offered much comic relief! I snapped a series of photos to share with all of you. ENJOY and Happy Harvest & Happy Halloween!

~ Johanna


* Peek-A-BOO! This chubby squirrel snagged a juicy pumpkin seed!


* He pokes through the pumpkin's window and checks both ways for a safe exit...


* 1, 2, 3...... Jump!


* Don't drop that seed now!


* And now he sits for a spell to enjoy that tasty treat before the sequence of seed-hunting starts all over again! After Mr. Chubs had enough to eat and vacates the pumpkin premise, a smaller squirrel approaches for a bite....


* This little girl is way more shy..... "Who me?" she asks....


* She bobs back and forth and musters the courage to have a peek...


* OH, the sound of my shutter clicking stops her in her tracks!


* But, she jumps with hesitation, keeping an eye on her back!


* The coast was clear! Entry complete.....


* Mission accomplished - Seed in mouth!


* Eat seed from pumpkin portal....


* Captured in the act, but too cute to scold....

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ghoultide Gathering 2012....

We have returned from the long road to the Ghoultide Gathering! Luckily, with no hitches along the way, we are safe and sound. And when we close our eyes, images of Halloween whimsies dance in our minds and memories swirl of reconnecting with fellow artists and friends. The experience is always bittersweet as the clock ticks by too quickly to converse and catch up with all, but nevertheless, it's a treat to unite and share our common love for Halloween. And, it's certainly a pleasure to see each artist's interpretation of this favorite holiday.


Gray skies, haunting winds and icy sprinkles tried to scare us away, but excited collectors were determined to wait out the weather events. A covered tent, decked out in Halloween decor and strewn with hay bails for folks to take a load off, served as a shelter for those who arrived early. A food truck along with other vendors offered warm, delicious eats and hot drinks to keep those bones from chillin'... Scott Smith's haunting jack-o'-lanterns towered over the arriving guests, perching atop stacks of hay bails and tiers of beautiful pumpkins.


* For a brief moment, Saturday's skies offered a glimpse of blue!

Inside, about 30 artists lined the walls and center isle of a lofty green barn on the Chelsea Fairgrounds in Michigan. We all set up our tables on Friday morning. The back and forth from the car to the table and all the commotion in between kept me warm under such chilly circumstances. Adrenalin was kicking in as we configured our layout, unpacked all the treasures and set each out with love and care. Then, I rushed around to peek at the other displays, snapped photos of what was in place, and we rushed off for a tiny little nap and to change into our Halloween attire.


* Johanna Parker Design ~ that's me!  Before the Friday night early buy commenced, we snapped some more photos for the 'ol memory book.


* My table included a menagerie of Halloween characters from owls and bats to mice, witches and cats!


* And there's my handsome hero JP d'Andrimont who drove me the whole way to Michigan and back while I sat, passenger-side, working on my Trunk Show blog post (see post below) along with preparing graphics for our new high-tech check-out system. I really couldn't do this without him........


* Stuffed in our VW beetle, I brought along an old chair, vintage tins and tambourines, stools and a pair of old lamps to dress up my table and prop my collectibles....


* And there I am showing off my beak alongside the one of a kind raven base chamber vase with his bold beak too! I collected the pretty hair fancy from Mandy Yocum of Clever at Denver's Trunk Show, just one weekend before. (see post below)


* When the doors opened, loads of people rushed in like a stampede to see the creations of Scott Smith! The rest of us jokingly waited for the dust to settle :)


* I'd like to take you on a tour of some of the creations that were offered! Below is just a sample from each artist that exhibited at this ghoulishous event! I regret that I did not snap a photo of the work of Lori Hough. She set up her eerily realistic bats and creepy animals after we left on set-up day, and we forgot to take photos later. I hope I didn't miss anyone else.... ENJOY!


* The Whimsical Whittler * Vaughn & Stephanie Rawson ~ Wood Carvings


* Tinsell and Whimsy * Sue Bartolucci ~ Folk Art with a Pun


* Kristen Beason Designs ~  Whimsical & Contemporary Folk Art


* Reddog's Pottery * Kevin L. Haney ~ Woodfired Face Jugs


* King of Mice Studios * Carolee Clark ~ Wicked & Whimsical Art


* Aron Lowe ~ Felted Figures & more


* Notforgotten Farm * Lori Brechlin ~ Textile & Needleworks


* Murphy Bears ~ Mohair Bears & other characters


* Jerry & Darla Arnold ~ Spun Cotton Figures


* Prim Pumpkin * Jennifer Hepler-Takens ~ Pumpkin Dolls


* Paul Gordon ~ Dressed Papier Mache Figures


* Allen Cunningham ~ Small Dolls inspired by the past


* Katherine Webber ~ Spine Tingling Creations


* Soft in the Head * Pam Gracia ~ Soft Sculpted Characters


* Monkey-Cats Studio ~ Papier Mache Folk Figures & Paintings


* Enchanted Productions ~ Ghoulightful Fabric Characters


* Artistic Confections * Kim Short ~ Professional Cookies & Petitfours


* Nicol Sayre ~ Bewitching Papier Mache Dolls


* William Bezek~ Haunted Halloween Figures


* Rucus Studio * Scott Smith ~ Unpredictable Characters


* Hats in the Belfry ~ Sherri Taylor


* Hop Hop Jingle Boo ~ Papier Mache Figures


* He-Be-Je-Bes * Debbie Hawkins ~ Wool Felted Characters and such


* The Spotted Hare * Lori Ann Corelis ~ Mohair Animals


* Sheila Bentley Designs ~ Sculpted Witches & such


* Novelties & Illuminations * Arbutus Hunter ~ Spun Cotton Ornaments


* Lucky Stradley~ Stoneware Pottery


* Irene Gates ~ Whimsical Painted Collage


* All along, outside hand-picked pumpkins were scattered in the field and for sale...


* Outside the barn, I spotted this adorable child picking a sweet "just her size" gourd....


* And of course, a visit was not complete without having your photo taken under Scott's enormous skeleton which reminded me of a larger than life puppeteer! Creepy cool indeed!

My heartfelt thanks goes out to my dear collector friends that made the journey to see us in person and collect some special pieces! The weekend was filled with ooo's and ahhh's, and I enjoyed all the favorable comments regarding my folk art creations. I am happy to delight you with what I create, and am pleased to spread those smiles for years to come. And, one more hearty THANKS goes out to Scott Smith & the Rawsons for putting on a show like none other. All the details and care to make it so very special were much appreciated by all.

Happy Haunting,
~ Johanna