Friday, February 27, 2015

#1,898 Waco.

We woke up with the sun and hit the road, bound for Texas with Jim and Mal.

We had the MOST appropriate soundtrack:

A quick stop in Shreveport for lunch at the Twisted Root:

And before long we were finally pulling into icy, freezing cold Waco for dinner with a few of the amazing folks involved with Fixer Upper (no, not Chip and Joanna tonight, they had to work late to finish up before their last reveal of season 2 shooting tomorrow):

Lindsey, the most genuine, and caring network executive in TV history, and Clint, our friend and small business mentor:

Kelly, Ben and Jimmy Don were across from us alternating between cutting up and serious business talk:

Tomorrow should be fun. So far, Texas is a-okay with me.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

#1,897 Creative Economy.

Today I had the GREAT pleasure of speaking at a statewide event put on by the Mississippi Department of Tourism about the Mississippi Creative Economy. I got to be the keynote speaker along with Malcolm White, owner of the world famous Hal and Mal's, and director of Visit Mississippi. I can't tell you how honored I was to be invited to this. 

The topic centered around how Mississippi's historic downtowns are the key to thriving communities and the creative economy, so you can imagine how fast my heart was beating before I went up to speak. Those are two things I really believe God created me to be an advocate of. And doesn't it feel amazing when you get the opportunity to really have a voice and feel like you're becoming who you were meant to be?

So many thanks to Malcolm and Ellen for putting on the event and letting me be a small part of it. I only hope it could be a spark in some other creative hopeful's heart.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

#1,896 Tews Are Moving.

Today our friends Ross and Laura made an offer on a house here in the historic district and the offer was accepted... Which means they're gonna be our neighbors! I'm so so excited. Even though they're only moving from a neighborhood on the north side of town about 3 miles away, when you live in a town as small as Laurel, those 3 miles might as well be 30 if it's not in our daily walking radius of home, the studio, the park, the church, and Jim and Mal's.
I wish I had a photo to show you of the old 1920s foursquare they're moving into. It's in great shape with parts that have been recently renovated, but lots that can still be renovated to put their personalities into. There's even a future pottery studio with a fireplace and a kiln room in the backyard beside their garage. How perfect?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

#1,895 Mama.

It was another intense and difficult and long day at the shop that made my brain feel like a tangled up necklace (you know what I'm talking about), and this afternoon when I received a text from my mama that said, "I'm making y'all a big pot of ranch stew for dinner. Bringing it over in a little while." I felt like crying at her thoughtfulness--because she knew she might not be able to help me with my work, but she definitely knows how to help me with my heart. 

I wouldn't let her bring it to us, I wanted to be there at home for dinner. It feels so good to eat your favorite thing at mama's house doesn't it?

Monday, February 23, 2015

#1,894 The Marrying Type.

Well today we finally released the the collaboration we've been working on with Old Try:

The Marrying Type. A 100% cotton letterpress marriage certificate you can customize right on our site. I spent about 6 hours working through bugs in the order system as our website was blowing up with visitors atop the other work that needed to be done... Which put us getting home at 10:30 tonight. I know we're in a season that won't always be this way, pushing so hard to get things streamlined and automated as our company is growing, but man... I can't wait until we make it to the other side and can resume regular life. I know you're growing tired of work posts, though it's where we're spending 12 hours of our day so it's hard to work around lately. Hang in there, okay? It's going to get much better in a few months!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

#1,893 The Barnes House.

You remember a couple months ago when I was working on those watercolor room paintings?

Late last night while I was falling asleep, I was idly flicking through instagram and spotted a photo of a familiar house on my explore page. I quickly recognized it as the beautiful home that I've been inspired by for a couple years, that I've pinned from an old Garden & Gun story on basically all of my pinterest boards.

Turns out it was a post by Leeta, the owner of the home, who has just put The Barnes House on the market for sale (visit that link to see the eye candy that is their photo album for the sale of the beautiful old home). My heart lept, thinking of the portrait I had done of her hallway:

I private messaged her the painting, and she told me their pup, Cleo, passed away a year ago. She told me she was deeply touched seeing it, so soon I'll be sending her a print. We hit it off right away, and I realized her husband is Kenny Thomas, the designer of the Todd Snyder for Champion clothing line which Ben is obsessed with, though they don't make anything clothes that fit him. And now they've connected and hit it off.

I never stop feeling amazed by the way the internet connects us with kindred spirits around the world. I mean, you're here! Isn't it a wonder?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

#1,892 Ole Smoky Slow Ahead Chili Tent Revival.

It's the best Saturday on the Laurel Main Street winter calendar again... This year our small group from church had a team (Ole Smoky Tent Revival) and daddy, Clark, uncle Dale and Dayne had a team (Slow Ahead—it's a Jaws thing—Clark and Daddy are lifelong fans and completely obsessed), and their tents happened to be side by side which made for a really really fun day, even with 50 mph winds. Which reminded me of Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, my favorite cartoon when I was little.

Walker came!

Uncle Dale, who is not my uncle, but my dad's oldest friend:

 The Lucky Luxe website exists and functions beautifully because of these amazing people:

Daddy between 6'6" Ben and Dayne was funny to me. Daddy didn't think it was as funny.
Unfortunately, neither of my teams won. Jim and his business buddies team didn't either, so it was a total bust on the trophy front for our bunch, but this year's cookoff was double the size of last year's and it's safe to think it could surpass Loblolly as our most popular event in a few more years. 

After we had loaded all the tents and tables into the back of Ben's truck, we hung around propped up on it with Ross, Paul, Stevens and Robby talking about all the changes that are happening around this town. It feels kind of like a miracle for those of us who've seen how special Laurel is all along. It's an exciting time to be here. I wish all of you could've been here, too.

Supper at home wasn't too bad either.

Friday, February 20, 2015

#1,891 Paint it Black.

We started painting the stairs black in the studio at 4:30 pm. I painted them red when we were married and moved into the apartment in 2008. When I was 23, red was EVERYTHING. Now, not so much.

Weirdly, Paint it Black by the Rolling Stones came on Pandora while we were working on them.

By 6:30 pm, we were on our way to dinner.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

#1,890 Hair + New Lights.

Oh goodness, y'all. I'm so very very tired today. This cold I've taken and my late work hours have got me feeling ready for bed (I'm even skipping Gilmore Girls!), but there were some really great things about today. I got my hair done finally. It was getting so long, but now I'm back to feeling like myself:

And Ben wired and hung the new black enameled warehouse lights in the hallway at the studio. I wish you could see them, but this will do until I can photograph a proper tour:

Also, I designed the HECK out of that flow chart today. It feels so good to explain yourself clearly, doesn't it?!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

#1,889 Meeting + Flow Chart + Ash Wednesday.

First of all, good morning from Baker boy who is LOVING this cold weather:

Second, we had a really great meeting with our friends Trent and Whitney about some business ideas and collaboration brainstorming...

Which resulted in our finally scoring one of his sought after cast iron skillets!!!

Then Ben and I spent the evening coming up with a flow chart for the production designer handbook I've been writing for Lucky Luxe and it took the most enormous weight off my shoulders to have this written down and mapped out. I know how geeky this is, but it is hands-down the best thing that happened today. I'm notoriously bad at problem solving, but with Big's help I was able to map out part of our process that I couldn't have figured out otherwise. Next up is to make it look pretty and designerly...

And then we went to church for the Ash Wednesday service, which is always a somber and special reminder of the sacrifice our Father made for us. I've committed to praying more at specific times each evening rather than give up something.

Are you giving up or taking up something for Lent?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

#1,888 Mail Surprises.

We woke up to a bitter cold morning, which is the best sometimes—the way a home feels warm and inviting when there's frost on the windows. So far, it's not been a very cold winter. While our friends up north are buried in snow, it's felt like springtime most days here. A cold day once in a while is nice, if you ask Ben and me.

As we were walking out the door to go to the shop, the mailman was leaving a few packages on the doorstep. First, the homemade dark chocolate nonpareils from Holsten's that Ben ordered for my Valentine's gift finally arrived. It's become his tradition for me on holidays, and I adore them.

And a little consolation prize from L.L.Bean to let me know that my backordered boots (since the first pair were too big and I sent them back) are going to be further delayed. But that's okay, since they gave me such a cutie keychain.

And there was letter from Lisa, which always makes me feel like a character in a Jane Austen novel to read a letter from my friend. Aren't great mail days the best?

In other news, our friend Lindsey received a surprise in the mail today, too. We know how much her childhood home that was sold a couple years ago means to her (she has the address number tattooed on her wrist to always remind her of home), and if I had a dime for every time she's said "I wish I had a house instead of an apartment so you could do a house portrait for me," I would have 20 cents... So with the help of her best friend and Google Maps, I got a photo of the house and did a portrait for both she and her mama. Giving an unexpected gift to someone you care about is the absolute best feeling.

What is it about 4 walls and a roof that touches us so deeply? The memories of the people who were there. That's what's great about home, isn't it?

Monday, February 16, 2015

#1,887 Flea Market Finds.

Well, as Mammaw would say... I've taken a cold. I guess a germy grocery buggy somewhere got me, and tonight I'm feeling so sniffly I'm in a constant state of "about to sneeze" face. The cold medicine has got me ready for sleep, so I'll be kind of brief tonight.

After we got all our work done this morning, we went up to Meridian to check out the big flea markets there in search of some finishing touches for the office.

And we struck gold! We found 2 oil painting portraits and 1 charcoal portrait that felt just right to me, and got them for a great price. We had an earlybird dinner at Wiedmann's then came on back home to finish the last coat of varnish on the wainscoting in my room so we could hang my new finds and see it all somewhat put together. I'm in love! The old look felt very much like me at 20 instead of me at 29, and now I feel right at home.

This WWI era sailor looked friendly and very dapper. The ladies at the antique mall called him Joe, but I will call him Ralph, after my mama's handsome daddy who was a sailor in WWII.

So the glamorous lady across the room from him has to be named after my grandmother Jack, right?

I wish I had a painting of my grandmother, but this will have to do. She looked like a movie star in her youth. I'm her namesake (my middle name is Jacqueline) and I always thought it so adorable that though she was Jacqueline, to everyone who knew her well, she was Jack. Can I just start being Jack?

In the daylight it's such a bright, glowy room. I'm LOVING the decision to paint the walls white. Good call, y'all!
Ben found a good looking buddy for his office, too:

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