2020 has been a struggle for so many, it goes without saying. I felt like we were just getting up to speed when everything shut down. There were so many plans for shows, events and shops that just stopped! Sadly, many vendors closed for good and I will miss those business partners. Hopefully, the rebuild and recover will come safely and quickly.

Being creative in isolation is a slow go. Community and social is missed and for me, it's hard to work without a pressing event or deadline. It's given me time to reflect and retool and connect where I can. I've been fortunate to know and to meet so many talented people. Inspiration is the most important ingredient in my toolbox. Thinking about my community, I wanted to recognize some of the amazing people and resources that have inspired me this year.   

Artsy Orange  Jenni Horne is a thriving artist and teacher. We met at a show and became fast "art friends." I love her jewelry made of "found" items (feathers and insect wings) and I am the proud of owner of one custom made from a treasure I found. She reminds me to look out for nature's cues and to just keep making things. She's keep busy and has great work to show for it! 

Corner Arts Gallery and Gifts  Where do I begin? So much history here! Jenny Jones is an "evangelical artist." She will pray for you, lift you up, and cheer you on. The shop supports over 40 local artists and offers a variety of art classes to students of all ages and abilities. Jenny "found me first" in Newnan and gave me the courage to start selling work. This place is an adopted family business and we all chip in where we can. When the film tours came, Jenny quickly identified the market for "souvenirs" and that is how I got the idea to make prints of local landmark subjects. There's plenty to paint in our historic town and it has become a growing collection of work! She cares about every artist, student and customer. Corner Arts believes everyone needs Jesus in their heart and a little paint in their hands. And to that I say, "Amen!" 

Fine Lines Art and Framing  Cecelia Hilton and her team and "expert caretakers" for fine art and precious memories. It's not just selling frames for them. This team crafts and captures images to be displayed and perfectly preserved. Not only do they care for the art, but the care for the artist too. They proudly support the finest collection of fine art in our area. Cecelia has helped me find confidence to grow and to show original work here. My favorite moment was being the artist in the window here! I'm humbled to be hanging with such good company.  

Pottery 32 Rich Brown's mission is to provide art that can be used in everyone’s daily life and not just displayed to be viewed. Pottery32 accomplishes this by providing unique and usable keepsakes to be passed down for generations! I met Rich at the Hummingbird Festival. I was literally getting out of the rain and getting a hot cup of coffee. I loved his work and liked him immediately. I hope you take time to check out his work and I think everyone needs one of these mugs in hand for the comfort feature.  

Neece’s Pieces  Joanne Neece and I met as ECHS Swim Team Moms. Now because of the time required by this sport, you want to find a Mom you enjoy hanging out with, but when Joanne and I discovered we are both “makers,” that changed everything. We hung out even more! Next thing I know, we are out picking through wood piles and sharing ideas and even art show space. She's been a big help and created a collaboration that I couldn’t have survived without. I can’t say there is one thing she does either. Joanne continues to find ways to make something useful and creative and she’s continued to grow her business. When we couldn’t have art shows, she started making masks for front line workers. When that need caught up, she was on to Christmas angels. She’s always moving. I think it's a swimmer thing: If you don't move, you sink. She’s known best for her stylish, farmhouse decor, but if you don’t see anything you like, you can call her up and she can make just about anything you can imagine. I'm not kidding! She can make just about anything. 

Downtown Newnan What else can I say, but this is home! From the first time we stopped here, more than twenty years ago, this little, historic spot has felt special. I can’t stop thinking about all the wonderful small businesses here. We’ve lost a few and others are struggling, but when you see our two hundred year old courthouse surrounded by a town square, it's a reminder of the struggle and tribute to survival. This is our place to hold events too: Market Day, Art Walk and more. This is the center: where the town connects and this is where we will come back stronger. Shop small but think big!

Thanks for taking a moment to let me share some of my favorites! I just keep thinking about others. I easily could share a hundred more! I hope good things cross your path too. I look forward to sharing more finds and friends with better days ahead. I'm going to get back to being busy in the studio in hopes to build up a good inventory! 

Let's keep making and shaping. Encourage and inspire where ever you are. We are all a work in progress.