Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Girlfriend Summit 2012

"Most of us don't need a psychiatric therapist
as much as a friend to be silly with"
-Robert Brault

Heading to Nashville for a weekend with three dear girlfriends.  From different states (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee) we meet up as often as our schedules allow.

Our conversations have progressed over the years from engagements and home life, pregnancies and children

We share birthday party ideas...

fashion and beauty regimens

We discuss the latest in interior design and...

of course, our mischievous children

Photography by Holly Andres

Find more of her work at the link below

Upon arrival, it's as if someone presses "GO!"  We spend three days in a swarm of talking, laughing and catching up.  We leave with notes, ideas and inspiration.  As one husband so cleverly observed...these girl weekends cost more than the flight, hotel room and travel expenses considering the new "must have" lists we all come home with.  

One of our group intimated that this past week she felt like she was preparing for a slumber party...indeed, and I can't wait!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A way to make pictures

"I am just trying to find a way to make pictures"
-Jasper Johns (artist and South Carolina native)

The communications director of the South Carolina Arts Commission left a comment on my blog this week...thanking me for mentioning the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Awards (see this post) and letting me know that this year they are celebrating 40 years of the Verner Awards.  For more than 40 years, the Art's Commission, through grants, education and other services has helped artists "find a way to make pictures."  So that all citizens in this state can "enjoy and benefit from the arts."

This prompted me to explore the Arts Commission's website...which lead me to the work of cartoonist Robert Ariail, who received the 2012 Individual Artist Award.

While I do tire of how ubiquitous our State logo has become...I find Mr. Ariail's design for the State Farmer's Market novel and refreshing.

via here
 If you visit the Farmer's Market's site, you can even download and color your own version!  Can't wait to do this with my girls...perhaps it will entice them into eating these foods as well.

Watermelon, peaches and shrimp..."nothin' could be finer than a day in Carolina"

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring flowers

Trying to savor the spring,
a collection of blooms from our yard

-click to enlarge

Symphony of Flowers

Symphony of Flowers
via here

Work above by Charleston, SC artist Elizabeth O'Neill Verner (1883-1979.)  An artist, author and preservationist whose work immortalized the city's lush landscape, architecture and street life.  The South Carolina Arts Commission awards the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts in her honor...the highest honor the State gives to the arts.

For more of her work, as well as other Charleston Renaissance artists, see below


As in Mrs. Verner's day, Charleston is still a symphony of flowers.  I spent a day in the Holy City last week gathering inspiration, plants and good food

If I had to pick a last meal, the fried calamari, slaw with sesame dressing salad at Cru Cafe is on the short list.  Enjoying it on the porch, even better

Ordered along with their truffle and parmesan french fries...perfection

Porch over-looking the horse stables on Pinckney Street

My bounty from a favorite garden center
fiddle leaf fig tree, bedding plants, geranium

A new to me impatiens variety.  Labeled as an exotic variety, excited to have this classic favorite in yellow

Air plants...require no soil, just medium light and a light spray of water twice a week

My plants in their new home

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


"I'll tell you how to stay young...hang around with older people"
-Bob Hope

It's my birthday today, the last of my thirties!  During a recent visit with my Great Aunt at her assisted-living facility she told me I looked like a teenager.  Age is relative I guess.

Aunt Audrey has never been much of a talker.  Her friends however were full of conversation.  One in particular, Jackie, is well into her eighties...and full of stories and wisdom.

She recalled her four pregnancies...the last of which produced twins.  She recounted a conversation she had with her husband while still in the hospital after giving birth to her twins...

"When they started coming in pairs I informed my husband that somebody was gonna get cut before we left the hospital...and it's not going to be me"

Miss Jackie, this is for of my recent illustrations

"Middle age is when a guy keeps turning off the lights for economical rather than romantic reasons"
-Eli Cass

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Plans and Projects

"Spring is the time of plans and projects"
-Leo Tolstoy (from Anna Karenina)

Plans and projects are in full swing.  Starting with a spring cleaning of my potting bench

My tools are clean (sort of) and ready

An encrusted brick I scavenged from the mud banks around Fort Sumter during a boat trip across Charleston Harbor...don't tell

Specimens I scavenged from my own yard...clover, violet and moss.  Weeds but beautiful all the same

Lamb's ear ready for planting

My potting area is simple and serves its purpose.  The greenhouse at Bunny Mellon's Upperville, Virginia estate is a work of art...literally

*All images from Vanity Fair 2010-found via the blog,

Bunny Mellon in her garden circa 1962

Trompe l'oeil murals by Fernand Renard adorn the walls


A longtime friend of Jackie Kennedy, she advised the first lady on art and antiques during the restoration of the White House and contributed to the re-design of the Rose Garden.  So perhaps she also inspired Mrs. Kennedy to incorporate a trompe l'oeil armoire into the master bedroom.  By french painter, Pierre-Marie Rudelle, it features favorite items from Mrs. Kennedy's life

via here

"The thing I envy about Bunny," Mr. Mellon told Washington Post writer Paul Richard in 1985, "is that from the age of 5 or 6, her whole life has been occupied by horticulture, by one consuming thing. She had a garden when she was 5. That led her into all kinds of other things -- to trees, to landscape gardening. Everything she does in life -- her reading, her architecture, her love of pictures -- is related in one way or another to this one main interest."
via here

Friday, March 16, 2012

Good medicine?

"Always laugh when you can.  It is cheap medicine"
-Lord Byron

The medicine I was prescribed this week for a never-ending sinus infection is no joke.  Side effects include...

Weight gain and swelling...lovely
John Currin

Lucian Freud

AND insomnia
John Currin

Van Gogh

YET "inappropriate happiness"
John Currin

Increased hair growth
John Currin

Bulging eyes
Korehiko Hino

AND if that's not enough...potential "personality changes"
Tim O'Brien

My sickness may be better than the treatment.  Have a great weekend...who knows what (or who) I'll look like on Monday

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Butt, it's funny

"The buttocks...these pointless globes are as near as the human form can ever come to abstract art"
-Kenneth Tynan

The Fishermen-John Currin

Not long ago, my seven year old nephew came to visit.
And made this...

A list of every word he knew for "buttocks" which he planned to give to his parents.  Normally I appreciate being recognized for my assistance.  Not in this case...was hilarious until he busted Aunt Jennifer by signing my name to it.

Anyone have additional words to add to the list...kid appropriate of course.  He has a birthday coming up and what better gift to a precocious 8 year old boy than an addition to his naughty list.

I know, terrible...BUTT it's so funny

Monday, March 12, 2012

Birds and Blooms

While driving to Charleston last week, the pines along the highway were draped with tendrals of Carolina Jessamine...a native species and state flower of South Carolina.  Ubiquitous as the too is the print below by artist Anne Worsham Richardson

While this print may be found in many South Carolina homes, her artwork has also been collected by Presidents Carter and Regan.  She lives outside Charleston where she continues to paint and rehabilitate injured birds.

While in Charleston, I took a quick stroll through the Old Village across the harbor in nearby Mt. Pleasant.
once a church, now a charming home

And there draped on a picket fence, a beautiful tangle of Carolina Jessamine

Equally happy to stumble upon the jessamine pictured below.  A fresh take on the "Carolina Wren with Yellow Jessamine" by San Francisco based shop, Dutchdoor.  Described as "two friends, two antique printing presses, a bunch of ink and a whole lot of paper."  Even Ms. Richardson would be impressed!

Carolina Wren & Yellow Jessamine

Their Birds & Blooms of the 50 states are printed on 100% cotton in limited quantities.  More of their creative work.

For more information or to purchase prints, see their Etsy shop

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