January 31, 2011

oh, you make me smile.

shelby {patton} etress is truly one of the sweetest souls there is. i just look at the girl and feel happier. we seemingly have taken very similar paths in life, specifically when it comes to education. she and i attended the same college for undergrad, and then i followed her to graduate school. while i have been studying words and books, she has been studying color and texture. so i asked shelby a few questions showcasing that which she knows best, and  
q: how did you become an artist? what's that story?
a: i don't think i can pinpoint when i became an artist. i started drawing at a very early age, but it wasn't until college that i started taking art more seriously. in my mind, i think i'm still aspiring to be one.

q: what inspires you most?
a: hmmm... i am definitely inspired most by the Lord. even though my artwork isn't necessarily religious, i know He can be glorified through the process. 
q: fill in the blank. i like to create ___________.
a: does the blank need to be filled? i honestly just like to create! however, if i had to pinpoint something, i like to create things for an apartment/house. those DIY blogs were made for me.
shelby with her true love her husband, josh.
q: fill in the blank, please, once more. i love ___________.
a: ringback tones. what a wonderful idea!
q: what excite you most about being an art teacher? 
a: the students. it's so cool and wonderful to see them create so many things. AND, kids are the future, so it's cool to be able to have a little influence on that.
q: why do you think art education is important?
a: art education is important because it's the one classroom where students can express themselves and not be judged for it.

shelby is available for commission work. she is most easily contacted at etress.shelby@gmail.com

where there is love, there is art.

January 30, 2011

time so slow, so fast.

dear january,
you were absolutely fantastic. 
a breathe of fresh air. 
it's a little strange even because you were so grey in color.
let's do that again, but maybe with a bit more sun?

dear last week of january/first week of february,
please go by quickly. 
i have a lot to look forward to 
next weekend. 

January 27, 2011

she makes it seem so simple.

i've mentioned before that {the} anne lamott is my favorite {non-fiction} writer. if i were to have a life coach, or really even understand what a life coach does, she would be it. she is my mind friend, but we've never met. does this sound crazy? well, maybe you can relate and maybe you can't. regardless, just a couple of days ago i finished another of her books, plan b: further thoughts on faith. there are several quotes that i'd love to pull, and share with you. however, i am going to encourage you to go out and pick up a lamott book for yourself. in the mean time, here is a little nugget of love for you:
"Hope is not about proving anything. It's about choosing to believe this one thing, that love is bigger than any grim, bleak shit anyone can throw at us."
— Anne Lamott (Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith)

where there is love, there is art.

January 26, 2011

the love of the stoners.

you will not find a more beautiful couple.
cathey and alex stoner.
i met alex and cathey in college, and was immediately captivated by the beauty of their love story. now i will share it with you... in their own words:
q: how did you guys meet?
a: we first met in sixth grade, when we started middle school… {yea, i know}. we met when kids are the most awkward, braces and all. alex was my best friend in middle school. ae talked about our middle school dramas together, even our “crushes.” i think the moment i realized i liked alex was on our eighth grade school trip to washington d.c. we were such great friends, i even think we said, “i love you” before we started dating. but i did, i loved him so much already. we talked about going to the prom together someday, and made our dream list of places to go once we could drive. seems like a lifetime ago now. we officially stated dating the day before valentines day our freshman year of high school. from that point on we never looked back. yes, it was a LONG road- middle school changes, high school emotions, different colleges, and big life decisions. but we experienced all of these events together which has made it a wonderful journey. 

q: cathey, what do you find most attractive about alex? alex, what do you find most attractive about cathey?
cathey- what i find most attractive about alex is that he is actually a true gentleman… a gentle man. he has a quiet, but strong spirit. i am way more high strung than he is, and he settles me down and knows how to the right way. he can’t lie, not that he is bad at it, but his conscious won't let him. i admire his honesty. i love that he is creative, free spirited, but dependable (the best kind of artist). the fact the he is handsome is a perk!

alex- what i find most attractive about cathey is that she is always pushing me to be better. i love that on paper we are exact opposites, and yet we totally click. she is just a sweet heart. she has the ability to light up any room she walks into, and loves others so well. she helps me care about things that matter and let go of things that don’t. she’s the best.

q: is there a work of art {painting, literature, song, etc.} that best represents your love for one another?
song- Ben Harper’s "Forever"- our first dance song

book/art- The Griffin and Sabine Trilogy. the beautiful and unconventional love story with artwork on every page.

q: what do you guys think is the key to loving?
yes, the cliché things are actually very important. honesty, having fun together, and keeping God in the center of your relationship! but what is also very important is communicating about every single thing. picking your battles is important, but communication is key. knowing your partners love language is essential! my love language is physical touch and acts of service. so i feel most loved when i get unasked for hugs and kisses, or when he does the dishes. that is important for him to know. alex’s love language is words of affirmation. i have to remind myself to encourage and lift him up in his work, his gifts, and his achievements because he feels most loved when i support him. also, this was forced onto us since we were married while in college- teamwork is the ONLY thing that works. we both have so much going on that i am not the only one who can “cook, clean, and make house,” and he isn’t the only one to “take out the trash, pay the bills, and be the bread winner.” we both do it all, pick up slack for the other, and it takes so much pressure off both of us. this was hard for us to get the hang of at first. and last but not least: forgiveness and respect.

where there is love, there is art.

January 25, 2011

you don't know me.

if you don't know that i LOVE music. always have {haven't i, mama?} always will.

now, i realize just 2.5 hours north of me {in nashville} you can hear music just about any time of day. beautiful, beautiful music. while that makes me quite envious, i need you to know that birmingham has it's fair share of fabulous live music options. and so it goes... let me tell you a thing or two...

there's the civil wars. february 4th and 5th. at workplay theatre. as they release their newest album "barton hallow" on february 2nd {buy it}.

on the same night {february 4th}, at bottletree cafe the great book of john.
lissie. february 7th. at bottletree cafe.

willie nelson. february 8th. at alabama theatre.
joshua radin. february 9th. at workplay theatre.

brad paisley and darius rucker. february 11th. bjcc.
jackopierce. supported by my darling friend, matthew mayfield. february 12th. at workplay theatre.

ben rector. february 17th. at workplay theatre.
grace potter & the nocturnals. february 23rd. workplay theatre.

and that's just in february alone... so go ahead and put those pennies together and buy some tickets, eh? make no mistake. you know i am, eh?

where there is love, there is art.

January 23, 2011

"it's my birthday week!"

i never knew somebody to love birthdays as much as me...
until i met katiegirl.
all week i've had a reason to celebrate because of this little gem.
but, today is the day of the her birth. 
and for that i am very thankful.
where there is love, there is art.

January 22, 2011


where there is love, there is art.

January 20, 2011

festival season > wedding season.

robert plant. wyclef jean. the avett brothers. mumford & sons. amos lee. john legend. the the decemberists. wilco. cyndi lauper. lucinda williams. arcade fire. willie nelson. gregg allman. the strokes. ms.lauryn hill. robert randolph. 
jazz fest chillage circa 2008.
not too shabby new orleans. jazz fest holds a very special place in my heart {mostly because it's in new orleans}. so while coachella wows the masses, myself included, with an impressive line-up i can't help but remain loyal to jazz fest. if you have the opportunity to go, please do. it is one of those events that you must go to at least once. add it to the ol' bucket list. now i sit and wait for the hangout fest to make an announcement on who will be playing this year. any day now... 
where there is love {of a festival},
there is art.

January 19, 2011

and through one thing came another and another...

and then i found this. 
amen and amen, parker fitzgerald
art indeed.
what is there to love more than beautiful words on art {polaroids}?
please look at his other work too. be inspired. i was.
where there is love, there is art. 

January 18, 2011

new favorite.

in 2011 i have a lot of new favorites.
last night i did a bit of "blog stalking," and came a across a new favorite...
andrew + carissa.

where there is love, there is art. 

January 17, 2011

a day to celebrate.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. 

January 14, 2011

stella and dot giveaway WINNER.

thanks to everyone who entered our "snowy giveaway" this week!
the winner of these beautiful stella and dot earrings, as generated by random.org, is...
amy, hannah, and ellie said...

These are just adorable! What a fun giveaway!!

good luck figuring out who gets these {haha} beauties.
your earrings should be delivered to you shortly by your stella and dot stylist, susan miller
where there is love, there is art.

have you heard? happy birthday.

two very special folks are turning a year older within the week.
first, January 16th...
william hunter hamrick {the little brother} turns 21.
then, on january 19th...
big bill turns... details are useless, right?
happy birthday, boys! love you both very, very much.
where there is love, there is art. 

January 13, 2011

...like the ground i grew up on.

on the reel... {you get it?} seeing this movie {country strong} reminded me of reasons why i can love country music. deep, deep down it's there inside of me. it was the music i grew up listening to and singing. it's almost like it runs through my blood, through every family memory. the stories told in the music were lived out in pike county by those i love most. for that reason- i can't help but love the honest, hard workin' man and the folks that sing about him. after all, those people are my people.

this post is dedicated to my grandparents, gene and lou emma green.
where there is love {as thick as mud},
there is art.

January 12, 2011

katie model pretty angel girl.

this is what i need you to do:
i need you to go here.
but then i need you to back track a bitty and "like" heidi elnora's fan page. 
after you do that then you go to this picture of my friend model girl, katie ford (kelly)
then when you look into her lovely eyes you LIKE that picture.
deal? deal. 
also, i don't mean to be demanding, but i need you to do this by friday @ noon.
so really just go ahead and do it. now.
after all is said and done she will be a model for heidi elnora. 
and she will take pretty pictures and walk runways.
it will be magical and i will brag on her some more.
the end. 
{and thank you}.
update: she did it, y'all. she got the most votes, and has a meet and greet with heidi elnora tomorrow! keep your fingers crossed! and thanks for voting for katiegirl!
where there is love, there is art. 

January 11, 2011

during the blizzard...

i had a visitor from nashville. 
i watched the snow fall from my window. 
i went on a walk in the neighborhood. 
i enjoyed the snow covering my humble abode. 
i wore hats and mittens and scarves. 
i watched oregon lose and auburn win... a national championship. 
i watched a friend relive her college days by "rolling" her apartment. 
i saw an apartment become toomer's corner. 
i took a victory lap in the snow with my roommate. 
what'd you do? 

where there is love, there is art. 

January 10, 2011


while you are snowed in take the time to consider this...
small, fringe hoop earrings- silver from the new spring/summer stella&dot line. 
i love pretty, shiny things. don't you? 
well, these pretty, shiny earrings can be yours for FREE. 
first thing is first... become a "follower" by clicking the button on the right hand side of this blog {if you haven't already}. 
second... post a comment telling me why you would LOVE these pretty, shiny things. 

the drawing will occur on friday.
please comment and become a "follower" prior. 
you have 5 days. do work.

also, if you are interested in seeing more from stella & dot go to this website. you can also contact susan miller, a stella & dot stylist, at miller.susang@gmail.com for any questions. 

where there is love {of pretty, shiny things}, 
there is art. 

shocking snowstorm.

photo by anna evans. 
i couldn't help but share this photo. 
jewel is simply amazed by the snow. 
me oh my! is she not the cutest? 
more snowphotography to come... 
where there is love {of snow in bama}, 
there is art. 

January 7, 2011


did you know that aloha means love in hawaiian? so who wants an update from this hawaiian girl {also known as my best of the best}? i know i do. before she left me once again, flying back to hawaii from nashville, i got these words from this beauty:
Life. is lovely.  A lot has happened in the past five months. It took about a month to find a job, which was frustrating, although I can think of worse places to walk around without a car or job.  During that time, I learned a whole lot about patience and trust. I knew that something great was around the corner so I tried not to get toooo pissy {haha}.
I ended up landing two really amazing jobs. Four days out of the week I work for a company called Pono Pacific. We are a Hawaiian conservation company. Every day we work out in Maunalua Bay ridding the ocean of this invasive algae called Avrainvillea amadelpha {I can't pronounce it either} that has been killing the coral and marine life. It's such a fun job- hard work, but very satisfying. Never thought I would say I have a job where I wear a wet suit everyday and pee in the water more than an actual toilet on a daily basis. But that's not important. I love that I am able to contribute to this beautiful island during my time here. I'm basically like Captain Planet's BFF. 
yes, that is flat stanley. you know him?
I also work at a Tattoo shop three times a week. It's the greatest tattoo shop, and I love every single one of the artists there. Its called Tattoolicious. How appropriate, I know. 
I love life out here and I love life back in Nashville too. It sometimes feels like a win/win situation. After spending an ungodly amount for rent for our mediocre 2 bedroom apartment, we peaced out of the slums of paradise and moved in with our best friends here in Hawaii Kai-- Roz and Randy Mason. They have become our family and have pretty much changed our lives here since the minute we met them. We are really so lucky to know them. 
I will know when my time in Hawaii is up. What I do know now is that I am growing and learning every day, and seeking to find joy and beauty in all I do. Life is still life-- full of your typical day to day struggles and challenges. Some days it can be hard as crap, no matter what sunset you are looking at. But I am one thankful girl, and I am ecstatic to be in this place! I am also really okay with waking up everyday and seeing that sun glisten on that beautiful water. :)
where there is love {or aloha},
there is art.

January 6, 2011

today is love.

this comes from the blog "today is love," written by my dear friend mary catherine. i have spoken of her a few times, like here. the words she uses, and the story she is telling, is something worth sharing. as a matter of fact, if you read nothing else of substance today please read this. i withhold telling you to "enjoy" like i typical do before sharing, after all this is not the story told in fairy tales. keep reading...  

This was not easy to write. Maybe it won’t be easy to read either. I’ve replayed it in my head dozens of times. My head pounds between my eyes and my knees begin to buckle.
We headed for the beach and a little R&R this weekend. As we sat down to eat on Saturday night I noticed a young Haitian woman.
She was absolutely stunning. In her early 20’s, beautifully coiffed with perfect features. There was something about her but I couldn’t exactly put my finger on it. Instead, I just kept staring and periodically pausing to eat as she tapped her long, painted nails on the blue table. There she sat with a middle-aged, Middle Eastern man in complete silence. She looked around at him and sometimes the dining room fixtures as he ate his pumpkin soup. It bothered me that they weren’t speaking and she wasn’t eating. I noticed that she wasn’t wearing a guest band on her wrist like he was.
I had remembered seeing him earlier that morning, alone. He sat by the pool smoking a cigarette, all in his business attire. Slickly dressed and pseudo important looking he talked loudly on a phone.
As we got up from the table to head back to our room they also stood to leave. I collided with her at the exit as she bustled quickly after him. I followed closely behind as they walked (once again) in complete silence.
They had nothing to discuss. They were strangers.
We stopped at our door as they continued walking. As they rounded the corner she fell slightly behind him. I looked up to find her staring directly into my eyes. It was one of those brief moments that feel like an eternity. It’s hard to put into words, but we stood at that moment and she shared something with me. It was like her fear, desperation, hurt, struggles—her heart—traveled across the distance between us and I understood.  And I understood what was about to happen when she went with him into that room.
I choked back knots in my throat as I saw him at the curb waiting to leave the next day. He was alone with his black suitcase. The sun seemed to reflect off his shiny, rich shoes.
I can’t stop thinking about that night and my freezing at the sight of epitomized injustice. It was one of those terrible dreams where you can move, can’t speak. I can’t stop thinking if there was something-anything- I could have done to stop her. Could I have even stopped her? Could I have talked to her? Could I have given her the money myself? Was that even the solution to her problem?
She wouldn’t have been there that night given the choice. I don’t know if any of us have ever been faced with a decision like that, “Sell my body or go without food? Sell my body or let my children go without food?” Maybe it’s me, but that rationale can be somewhat rational.
I don’t believe that the term “prostitution” exists in Haiti; however, the word trafficking does. Women here aren’t given a choice. The poor are not given a choice. There is no job that they can go out there and do to make money, there isno money. They live in absolute poverty- no clean water sources, food, basic shelter, medical care, or income. 10 million people cannot be asked to make something out of nothing.
A majority of the AIDS population in Haiti consists of women. Various reasons account for that statistic including U.S. and UN troops, and NGO aid-workers continually exploiting the desperately poor female population here. Who will allow them their dignity if not the very individuals who are here to “help” them? Perhaps multitudes of women in Haiti would not be so STD ridden and free of preventable disease if given jobs and dignified ways of alleviating their destitution.
We keep telling the Haitian people to make something, do something with outright nothing. We tell them to continue with their barren land, shrunken animals, a government who steals their money and poor health. Then we wonder why they pay and bargain with sex. The world wants Haiti to put up a fight; yet, currently they are too busy being incapacitated by Cholera (another completely preventable and treatable disease) to raise their gloves. 
I keep thinking about how I am going to get on a plane next week, and I am going to fly to be with my family for the holidays. Haitians don’t have the luxury of getting on a plane and escaping their lives. Instead they find themselves trapped inside with limitless and unbounded problems. I’m haunted with questions like: “Why them? Why not me? Why was I born in a place that seeks to protect me? What kind of privilege is that? How do I use my privilege for their sake?” Over and over in my head, I can’t stop thinking about the pain human beings knowingly inflict upon their brothers and sisters. And at what cost?
More and more I hear Haiti discussed in social circles, I see it on the news, and it’s widely talked about among the International community. People want to help, but most at no personal expense. We give up because we don’t know where to even begin. We send our money and block out the injustice because it’s too hard to be that vulnerable or care about something so impossible. We do it because that way we never have to feel the pain of knowing justice was never received on the lacking end. 
Right now, I don’t have any good answers. Only lots {and lots} of questions and hope that one day soon, answers will come. 
All of this and I am still hopeful because He sustains and can be taken at His word. There couldn’t be anything in the world more deserving of hope than that. I am hopeful that He is rising up people at this very moment, even people who are reading this, to declare freedom for all Haitians. People who aren’t afraid to love so desperately that it hurts. Those who refuse to back down when starring into eyes of the adversary. And people who are rightfully angered by suffering, who do not stand for the continued degradation of women. 
There are so many things hoped for. 
where there is love, there is art.

January 5, 2011


the preciousness was inspired by...


and a whole lotta love.
where there is love, there is art. 

January 4, 2011

some things are just perfect.

this would be one of them.
photo by max wagner.
enjoy. thanks to max wagner {and loren who shared the love}...
where there is love, there is art.

January 3, 2011

no goodbyes.

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
-e.e. cummings
the beauty of a friendship that has lasted 18 years is knowing change doesn't change the quality of the relationship. 
in fact, sometimes it only makes it stronger. 
as of tomorrow, for the first time in eighteen years i will no longer live in the same city as one of my nearest and dearest. 
i am proud of her for taking a chance and making a move. 
no goodbyes.

where there is love, there is art.

to honduras with love.

my darling dear, elizabethann, is departing for honduras tomorrow. she has a month-long break from school, and decided this was the opportune time to visit the country {and people} she loves most. before her trip i checked in to ask what her expectations were for this trip {she has been several times}. this is what she had to say:
photo by taylor gunter.
expectations are twofold:
first of all, i'm hoping to implement a couple of new products for Mi Esperanza's summer line- things they haven't done before that will appeal to a wide range of people. i've got a couple of ideas that lori and i will discuss. we'll choose what to move forward with and then head to the honduran fabric store (it's heaven on earth) and get things going. i love to watch the women when we give them something new to sew. they completely know what they're doing, and as i try with my broken to teach them how to make things i've designed, they nod, turn to their machines and just start making them. it never fails to amaze me.
second, i'm just hoping to love on all the women for the next week or so, and remind each of them how truly exquisite they are. i've got a huge bag full of fun things for all of them...i can't wait to watch them go through it all. we will hug each other a lot and laugh a lot. my prayer is that by the end of the week, they just feel loved. 

where there is love, there is art.

January 2, 2011

it's a new year, eh?

i am feeling really good about 2011 thus far. probably because it began with some of the greatest souls alive...
oh! and after two days the resolutions are working out alright too...

where there is love, there is art.