The Jitney's Journeys Studio : Overview & Quick Intro

Here is our finished studio!!


It may look super cluttered to most people, but oh, how I love this space!!! This studio has everything I need to be creative, including tons of storage and wall space of inspiration. 

During our house search, we intentionally looked for a room without carpet that I could make into our studio. This house had a guest bedroom - with tile. It's kind of weird that they would have tile in a bedroom and I'm not sure of many people that would be into that kind of thing - but it was a bonus for us! It's super easy to sweep up burlap and glitter; and paint easily scrapes off the tile. 

When we first moved into this house, I placed my collection of bottles on the built-ins. Then my mom came to visit and the collection was the first thing to go. Fortunately, she suggested they would look better on ledge under the giant window in the studio and I can't imagine this place without them. It's almost like a stained-glass window when the sun shines through. She's a genius.

I painted two coats of "jogging path" from Sherwin Williams on the studio walls to replace the standard beige that covers the walls of the rest of the house. It's a soft gray and the name of the color screams success, right? It's almost like saying, "This room is destined for the jogging path to success." Plus, the gray walls brought out the grays in the tile very nicely. I'm super pleased with the turnout.

We built the desk ourselves (we, meaning JD, dad and myself) and I stained, painted and put up all of the shelving while JD was at work. Surprise!


This space has all of my knick-knacks, leather-working tools, mailbox, crafting supplies and paper. You may notice the sign that says, "Hippies Use Backdoor - no exceptions". I found this sign in college and fell in love. I'll admit that I've been called a hippie (or "crunchy") many times in my life, especially recently. JD and I have been riding our bikes everywhere over the past three weeks, including our weekly grocery trip, so it makes sense for people to have that perception of us, but I digress. It's funny and that's what matters. 


This is my shipping, packaging and inspiration station. We placed the antique door chalkboard against this wall to keep track of projects, birthdays, weddings and babies. Each order I receive is assigned to a basket on the shelf. Now I can set an order aside and work on another one, if needed, and I'll still be organized! This is a new one for me. ;) Then we have bags, envelopes, tissue, etc. for shipping and packaging needs. 

Please note the "Safety First" sign and First Aid box hanging on the wall - both finds from Mom, of course. I store all of my small supplies in the First Aid box, and the Safety First sign is just too cool for words. 


Alas, this is what you see when you walk in the doorway: my sewing nook. Isn't it charming? Bonus: I bought the chair from a thrift store for $3, painted it and recovered it. It's not only pretty, but quite comfy!

I will be posting about each section of the studio over the next week or two. Hope you enjoy the tour!

Mixed Media : She Wants to Grow Old By His Side


Remember the welcome home "sign" we posted on Instagram when JD got back from his last trip?

Well, we wanted to share a little more about it in detail today...


It's actually a 12 x 12 mixed media piece I made JD for his birthday. He was on travel during Valentine's Day and his birthday (Feb 17) so I was really excited to give this to him first-thing at the airport. 

It's funky but we like it that way. 
{Have you seen how we decorate our home?!}

The text says, "She wants to grow old by his side." 

Materials consisted of scrapbook papers, paint, stamps, vintage sewing patterns, old book pages, and antique paper goodies.

JD has a little more scruff than normal in this painting, and he doesn't have a moustache connecting to his beard in real life. In fact, he shaves his moustache every single day but leave a little beard scruff for some of his trips (like this one). But I accidentally gave him a moustache so we're learning to deal with that. :)

Explanation of outfits:
JD wears soccer jerseys on his days off so I thought the scrapbook paper with numbers would be fitting. 
I used the graph paper for the shorts because he carries around a graph paper Moleskine journal to jot down notes for work.
My outfit is pretty self-explanatory. I love high-waisted skirts, shades of blues, bold belts, lace and flowers. 

The back is pretty simple with a piece of chipboard and scrapbook paper nailed to the backside of the canvas...


My gracious parents let me stay with them in Georgia while JD was on his trip. 

Mom thought it would be a fabulous idea to take an online mixed media class together... and it was!!!

To say that I now enjoy mixed media would be a complete understatement. 

When we weren't drive-by-shopping at antique stores and flea markets, we were crafting and creating on endless projects. 

This project was my favorite though. 

JD is one of my greatest inspirations, aside from Christ.

I love growing old by his side.


Who or what is your greatest inspiration?

Vintage Greetings : Easter Inspiration

Snow flurries have been dancing around the past two days here in Huntsville. 

What?!

It may not look like Spring outside - or even feel like it - but the Todd Nest is ready for blooming flowers and the Easter bunny.


The birds are taking over, but that probably doesn't surprise anyone who has seen our home.

Bird nests, bird houses, bird cards, and birds (not real ones, of course).


When I was spending time with my family in Georgia, my grandmother gave my mom and me a huge bag of old greeting cards and postcards (along with the vintage scarves). We sat down at the dining room table and distributed those beauties amongst ourselves. Her and I are very similar but our tastes in vintage greeting cards couldn't be more different. 

We would've been in trouble otherwise.

The first greeting card ("HELLO" with the birds) quickly became my Spring decorating inspiration. I taped the back to 8.5" x 11" kraft paper and framed it with an antique white frame. 

The second greeting card has a vase of seven small flowers you can pull out.
"A Seven Day Cheer Card for You"
Each flower has a sweet quote hidden hidden its petals.
They don't make cards like this anymore, people...
I displayed it in a vintage flower frog. It's just one bonus element of our Easter display in the kitchen (main photo on top collage).

You probably can't tell from the picture but I slid one of the old card boxes between white books to give the glass jar (holding tiny nests) a boost. It has a nice aged tint to it with purple flowers lining the side. The perfect accent.

Vintage spring-themed cards would look breathtaking on a cute indoor Easter wreath or held up by vintage forks in a vase for your Easter dinner centerpiece.


What is your inspiration theme this spring?




Germany : Heidelberg Christmas Markets

It's cold in Germany.

Many of you may not think it's cold, but for a couple of newlywed kiddos from the Deep South like us... it was cold. 

But Germany has Christmas Markets.

So the cold was easy to overlook.

Each town hosts at least one Christmas Market in Germany. "Amazing" cannot even describe it. Most people are cheerful, friendly and inviting. "Merry Christmas" banners hang on sides of the buildings, and guess what? People don't protest them or rip them down. In America, people try to protest nativity scenes and anything that says the word Christmas; but not in Germany. They believe in Christmas and they celebrate it like no country we've ever seen.

This particular Christmas Market was in Heidelberg, Germany. Five different markets lined the main street of the town: Kornmarkt, Markplatz, Universitatplatz, Anatomiegarten, and the Bismarckplatz. 

See the line of lights in the photo below? Those are the walkways between the Christmas markets....

Before we shopped, we had to make one crucial stop. 

Food.

Check out the Fuerwurst that I grabbed at the Christmas Market booth above.

Delish.

JD got the steak with onions.

Are you a Nutella fan?

If so, go to Germany. Everything is Nutella there, including the special crepes.

Ok - so we realize that kissing pictures are cheesy and a lot of people don't think they're very cool... but how can you resist when there is a store right in front of you called Coffee & Kiss? 

I mean, you really have no other choice, right?!

Below you will see a gigantic Christmas Pyramid - life size, at that. 

I could've stood and stared at this thing until it got dark. 

And maybe we did...

(Haha - kidding, we walked back to it after we finished touring the markets and it just so happened to be all lit up.)

How beautiful is that!?

When we realized how big of a deal Christmas Pyramids were in Germany, we just had to get one for our own Todd Nest. Each tier displays a piece of the Christmas story - except Baby Jesus isn't on there. We like to think that the candles display who He is - the Light.

Have you ever seen one of these in person? It's super cool. The heat from the candles rise and spin the propellers at the top, which in turn spins each tier. It's one of our favorite Christmas decorations.

What is your favorite Christmas decoration?

Thanksgiving Rummaging and Reminiscing

Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone!

Most of you have probably had five blog posts since Thanksgiving Day but we wanted to share our weekend with y'all anyway. :) I cannot wait to spend a couple of hours delving into your blogs, checking out your holiday happenings thus far. 

Thanksgiving is such a great holiday. As much as I love giving gifts (and let's be honest... receiving gifts), Thanksgiving is one of the rare holidays that is all about family and friends. No tangible gifts. Just the gift of community. How awesome is that?

We spent the weekend at JD's parents in West Alabama. As some of you may know, JD's dad celebrated his eightieth birthday in October. Yeah - celebrate good times! C'mon!

He kicks it better than any eighty-year-old man we know. He walks about seven miles every day... after breakfast, after dinner (and probably most days after lunch). 

So we joined in, walking sticks and all.


And it was such a blessed time. 

There is just something so special about Thanksgiving walks with the fam. I'll never forget one Thanksgiving Day I spent walking under the amber trees at Lake Oconee (aka The Bungalow) a few years ago with my sweet Gingin. She shared with me how crucial it is to savor every moment, because you really never know when it will be the last. You think you know that until your grandmother reminds you. Then you realize you really don't know much at all so you better soak in every ounce of wisdom she has. JD and I are both thankful for the wisdom and lessons our precious parents and grandparents have taught us.

Back to the weekend....

JD's childhood room is still decked out in baseball posters. Stacks of baseball cards (with chalky gum still in the plastic wrapping of unopened cards) line the walls. Random Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figurines can be found in drawers and high school and collegiate awards still hang proudly on the walls. Needless to say, I love sleeping in there. It makes me feel like I can share a special part of him that I never had the chance of knowing. 

We spent the weekend trying to clean it out but had trouble since so much held a special place in JD's memory. Obviously, we had to share a few of our favorite finds with you...


The American Gladiator soup thermos. The black slanted writing is none other than the names of each gladiator. What!?


We rummaged through old papers and sermon notes. The ones above and below were favorites of mine. 

Why?

Because it proves that opposites truly do attract. 

JD's occupations of dissimilar interests include all but one of the things I wanted to do in life. When I was young, I spent every day in the basement teaching an imaginary classroom while writing lessons on several chalkboards for my "third grade students". I started college majoring in Radio, Televison and Film to be a News Anchor / Reporter - and switched halfway to finish my studies in Public Relations instead. And now... I would love to teach an art class. 

My only non-interest was a medical illustrator.

At least we agreed on one area of dissimilar interest.


However, my favorite find was this: JD's written testimony from high school (pictured below). Even though our stories of salvation never change, our testimonies of God's goodness and mercy are ever-changing in such a beautiful way. It was so awesome to read about the place God had JD in that season of life. 


And then we found this... a poem JD wrote in college that made goosebumps pop up on my arms. 

My sweet husband is such a humble man. Reading things like this make me fall even deeper in love with him and Christ. I am thankful for him.


Unbeknownst to me, JD set up my new sewing machine and all of my supplies in front of the TV (so he could watch football while I sewed) while I was sorting through his childhood room.


Thus goes the weekend: Walking, Turkey, Walking, Sewing, Football, Eating, Cleaning, Organizing, Sewing, and Walking. :)


What was your favorite Thanksgiving memory from this year??


Linking up with Molly & Carly for #YOLOMondays! Please go check them out and show some love! :)



Surprise! Did You Know We Were Movie Stars for Twelve Seconds??

Today we're linking up with Molly & Carly for #YOLOMondays! 

Keeping in line with our last post about extras...

Did you know JD and I were in a movie??

Yeah. Like, we were stars for about twelve seconds. It was awesome.


Ok, so it was only an ABC Family movie. BUT we officially made it onto Netflix. What!?

If you want to check out our part, without watching the rest of the movie - you can.

Movie: My Future Boyfriend
(It was originally named "Always & Forever" which we liked a lot better, but oh well.)

Time Stat: somewhere around the 39 minute mark.


About three months after graduating from college / three months into our marriage, we were living in "The Bungalow" (AKA: a cabin right next to my gracious grandparents on Lake Oconee). I was jobless and JD had just gotten a small job at a technology storefront in town. Needless to say, we had a small income and very flexible schedules.

So when we heard about Extras Casting Atlanta on Facebook, we were super pumped.



We heard about this company via my brother, Chase.

Side note: You can see him as an extra in the movie Wanderlust. We watched the movie on the airplane just to get a screenshot of him...



A day or so after we "liked" the company, we saw an opportunity pop up for a "kissing couple." We emailed one of our wedding photos and an engagement photo that night and two days later, we got a phone call asking us to be in the movie.


They asked us to bring in a few outfits for the wardrobe department to choose for our part. The wardrobe dept. told JD "Your outfit looks perfect," then pointed to me and said, "Uhh... What else do you have?"

I ended up with the floral dress and JD ended up with a green polo and shorts.

Then we got on set...

The director looked at JD and said, "What is he wearing? Did you even go through the wardrobe dept? Go change."

We got a pretty big laugh out of this. The wardrobe dept. got him some khakis and dress shoes within a few minutes, and we were back on set.

Our part was "so important" that we were not allowed to play as extras in any other part of the movie because the audience would notice us. This led to an entire twelve hours on set (getting paid $9 an hour), only to act for 30 minutes of it.

Our part?

We were supposed to portray "love" so JD bought me a rose, we kissed and walked off.

They shot about four different angles and we were finished.

About nine months later, someone wrote on my Facebook wall: "I'm pretty sure I just saw you on ABC Family..."

Contrary to our beliefs, they decided to keep our part in the movie and we were on TV.
How cool is that??


We still can't believe that we were in a movie, but it hits on our Top Ten List of the most exciting adventures we've had thus far. It was also the prime part to play as newlyweds.

What unexpected thing would go down on your Top Ten Most Exciting Adventure List?


We Dashed Like Warriors.


This past Saturday, we gathered with thousands across the Southeast to compete in the Warrior Dash 5K, the world's largest running series.

Blood. 
Sweat.
Tears.
Ropes.
Barbed Wire. 
Mud.
Fire.
Beards.
Turkey Legs.

Here's a taste of what our race obstacles looked like...


The Warrior Dash came to Alabama for the first time this year. Appropriately, the race was held in the city of Warrior, Alabama. 


We thought the fire trucks were present because of the fire obstacle (in case someone caught on fire). However, we finished the race and found the competitors washing off the mud and dirt under the showers of the fire trucks' water hoses. Crazy.


Brandon and Theresa (JD's sister), and Matt and Julie all came up to compete with us.
Brandon and Theresa came up with the perfect idea of coordinating the super rad Tees, bandanas and socks (bright ones for the gals and camo for the guys). Theresa and I designed and crafted it all though. ;) Of course, us girls had to paint our nails to match our tie-dyed shirts.

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Pre-Dash Photo Op....


How about the awesome stenciled warrior helmets?


Post-Dash......


Champions.




We ran into Mo, a college friend of JD, Brandon and Theresa. Check out his handlebar 'stache and shirt ("You can go blind from my pure awesomeness")?


After the race, we drove up to Julie's parents' house for a fantastic dinner. Honestly. It was a dinner for true warriors, or Vikings, if you will. It's a good thing we received these shirts, metals and Viking hats as a reward for surviving in the race. The outfits made for perfect dinner attire.

The weekend held amazing, Spirit-filled conversations and laughter between a few of our favorite people. Thanks Mrs. Leslie and Mr. Craig for hanging out with us crazy couples and for opening up your lovely home to us without caring about getting mud all over your floor. We had such a blast!


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By the way, JD and I flew back in from Hawaii last Wednesday! The past three and a half weeks were magical, challenging and awe-inspiring. We're going to postpone writing about Germany a few more posts because we are that excited about our Hawaii adventure this year. 



Viva Las Vegas : Happily Ever After

Have you ever been to Fashion Show Mall in Vegas? 

It's pretty epic. 

A fashion show stage and catwalk literally rise from the ground floor and models strut their stuff. As soon as the show is over, the models step back into their window-shop positions as the stage and catwalk lower back down into the basement of the mall like an elevator. 

Sheer genius.


We celebrated Jackie's birthday at Maggiano's, family style Italian. 

Mmm.


The guys fought against Optimus Prime. 


And we took a lovely family photo in front of a fountain.


Here's a few last Vegas shots for your viewing pleasure...






Thanks Chase and Jackie for letting us stay with you guys. We're super proud of the things y'all are doing in Vegas. God is doing amazing work in and through the two of you. Can't wait to see what else He will do! 


Mom and Dad  - Few kids can say that their parents have been married for 30 years... much less happily married for 30 years. Chase and I have been infinitely blessed by you two. Your kisses in the kitchen and hands intertwined when you walk have not gone unnoticed. In fact, it is the imagery of your entire marriage. Thanks for loving each other wholeheartedly. You have not only stuck with each other through the worst of sickness - but you have fought for each other within in. Thanks for rubbing mom's feet when her neuropathy kicks in full-blast and for driving dad at nighttime because glaucoma has glazed his eyes. Your support of one another is impenetrable. Thanks for remaining faithful in prayer and in the Lord when doctors said mom would only have one more year to live in her darkest time of sickness, and when doctors said dad wouldn't be able to see his daughter's birth because he would be blind by that point. 

Most people must live by faith and not by sight.

But I have seen. 

I have seen that God heals and that He does a mighty work in marriages, in families and in our bodies. Thank you for leaning on Christ and each other in times of trials rather than straying apart from one another. Thank you for setting such a pure example of marriage for Chase and Jackie, and JD and myself. 

We love you.

Here's to 50 more years of being newlyweds. ;)

Viva Las Vegas : Red Rock Canyon


Not what you would be expecting from Las Vegas, huh?

Located about 15 miles outside of Vegas, Red Rock Canyon will overwhelm your senses. It is a glorious creation of fossilized sand dunes mixed with amber and crimson cliffs, thanks to the iron oxide built up throughout many centuries.


Isn't my mom lovely?


And this guy? He's such a stud. ;)


The stark contrast between the deeply colored rocks and the barren valley truly mesmerizes onlookers.


Chase & Jackie


Dad, Chase & me


JD & me


Happy 30th Anniversary, mom and dad!






Viva Las Vegas : In-N-Out Burger vs. Five Guys


If you live on the West Coast, surely you've been to In-N-Out Burger, right?

Chase brags about how phenomenal it is every time he would come back from visiting Jackie's family in California. 

JD and I were pumped to try it out first hand. Thus, we decided to make it a priority in our Vegas Venture. 

The entire family kicked it animal style... or Wild Animal Style, as I like to say... from their Not-so-Secret Menu



The Verdict?

In-N-Out was delicious. We were digging the scripture on the wrappers and the 50's style vibe.

BUT, we decided that we still choose Five Guys and Fries as the Nation's Chain Burger Champ. The fries are perfect and the burgers. Yeah. Period. That's the best way to describe them. The burgers cannot even be adjective-ized. 

We've made our choice, but what is yours?
Which burger chain is your fave?