J: How did you learn about my Halloween folk art?
Martha: I was sitting at my dining room table on my computer. I have always loved decorating, for all seasons and holidays. I was web surfing (this was before Etsy, Pinterest, etc) and I think I typed in Halloween folk art and found you! I'm trying to remember if you were having a web sale at the time, or not but I know that I bought my first piece then! I think that was 2006???
J: Yes, and I'm also thinking that maybe my feature in Better Homes & Gardens, way back when, could have led you my way as well. Whatever the magic was, we made the connection!
* Speaking of the dining room table, I really love this tabletop centerpiece! A decorative lazy-susan serves as a rotating display wheel for a grouping of Halloween delights. Included in the mix is a Halloween cat ball character original and a reproduction spider candle stick by Johanna Parker Design along with a sweet faced pumpkin by Jo James of Cart Before the Horse. Off in the distance, we see other seasonal vignettes that we will explore more along the way!
*And if we give that wheel a spin, more Halloween characters emerge! A spooky wire-winged bat with a #31 on his belly is an original by Johanna Parker Design. The pair of metal owls are from Pottery Barn and the winking jack-o'-lantern is another sweet piece from Jo James of Cart Before the Horse.
* Martha shares a closer look at a festive coffee table display! A collection of grinning jack-o'-lanterns by Tammy Strum of Light and Shadow Studio, nest in a leaf-filled primitive dough bowl. Above, a crate makes a rustic roost for an original moon man sitter by Johanna Parker Design. A beautiful bundle of wheat offers a harvest touch.
* A ladder-style shelf offers a high perch to group Martha's collection of my Egg & Kettle Cup characters. A ghost, bat, skelly and cats make for a fun family of little ones, lined up to delight!
* Peeking beyond the autumn leaves, a grinning Jack by Johanna Parker Design, flirts a little with the camera :)
J: How long have you been collecting my Halloween originals?
Martha: I think my first originals are from 2006, or 2007 at the latest. I remember I sent you an email and you were so kind and happy that I loved your work! (You included that first email in my Christmas Collector Spotlight post.....still blown away you had it and could find it!)
J: I do have a tendency to hang on to emails, and it's fun to go back and watch a relationship bloom! I'm so happy that you reached out to me!
* What a lovely corner this is for a pair of my original owls to call home! The warm fall hues of these feathered friends compliment the nostalgic framed typographic art. And Martha's autumn-inspired arrangements add a lovely texture and softness to this scene. Just beautiful! One of a kind owls by me at Johanna Parker Design.
* High up in a nook, we see a yummy Halloween scene in rich hues of orange and black! My Jack ball character glances up to a candlestick pumpkin by Ginny Diezel. A pretty ceramic pedestal ties the group together ever so nicely.
* Nestled amongst a collection of fabric pumpkins by Willow Creek Sparrow, one of my cat ball characters grins quite wide.
Martha: I just remember loving the feeling I felt when I saw them. From the expressions on their faces to the current, yet retro feel. The colors are always beautiful and I love the warmth they exude. It's as if you can feel all the time and love that you put into them!! I just love the holidays/seasons and each character that you paint, whether Halloween, Christmas, Spring, Vday, they all bring your whimsy to that season! And they just bring me joy and make me smile! :)
J: Well thank you for the sweet sentiment. I make pieces in a style and feel that I would be drawn too if I were hunting for treasures. I am happy to be able to capture that vintage charm and release that joy through my artistry.
* Speaking of smiles, this sweet Frankenstien ball character - my first Frank - offers a sweet little smirk. He is carefully paired with a vintage green pumpkin by Willow Creek Sparrow for a lovely color duet.
J: Where have you had the best luck in acquiring my original Halloween pieces;
shows, web sales, Collector's Catch, eBay, etc?
Martha: I have never had the pleasure of going to the Halloween Trunk Show, Halloween and Vine or Ghoultide. But I have gone to your Holiday Open House twice and bought plenty at your home! I have had amazing luck with the Collector Catch! I think I have a Johanna Sixth Sense and get an impulse to check your website! HAHA.....lucky me! I have gotten one piece from your lucky list. I have found some originals as they pop up on Ebay every now and then. And, I am pretty quick and usually grab one at each websale!
J: Yes, I think at times, that JPD Sixth Sense of yours has been strong! All in all, it looks like you have found success down the various avenues where I offer my folk art. I must admit that I have been absent lately from posting Collector's Catch pieces and chipping away at my Lucky List. Thanks for reminding me, as I need to put those back on my radar :)
* From Martha's mantel collection of Halloween cats, this close up reveals a trio of cats that date several years back. There is a noticeable difference (I hope) from my more primitively sculpted originals at the start of my career to the more refined work I do current day. It's fun to see the artistic progression.
J: Do you have a favorite piece in your Halloween collection?
Martha: Hmmm.....gosh I love them all! Of my Halloween, one of my fav's is Dolly Crescent....she is the beautiful black and white candy container with the AMAZING moon on it. Not to mention the adorable mouse sitting on the moon. I also especially love two of my shelf sitters: Full Moon Marcus (2008), probably no additional description needed of this moon man, and Vinny Vine (2012) a super cute JOL sitter with black and creme striped arms and legs!
J: I know, it's not a fair question. Each year, after making a collection of Halloween originals, it's always difficult for me to pick my favorite :)
* Here, at center is "Dolly Crescent", one of Martha's faves! Dolly crowns a collection of cats on the mantel. Drift wood risers, a pumpkin and a candle stand, all act as clever perches for these fun folk art characters. A painting of pumpkins by Carrie Huber of 40th and Plum, makes for a bold, graphic backdrop.
* At left along the mantel sits "Full Moon Marcus"once again. Another favorite find of Martha's, he sits with a companion carnival-style cat, both one of a kind sitters that I sculpted. I love the lantern style cabinet as both a display case and as an architectural backdrop for the scene.
* And then there's "Vinny Vine," another favorite from Martha's collection. Gathered in a nook with two of my ball character JOLs and a sweet jack-o'-lantern painting by Diane Duda, they all offer harvest cheer!
J: Is there anything in particular you suggest I try making in the future?
Martha: Loved that I had said reindeer at some point and you did! Love that I said elves, as I know others did too, and you did! And that I got the first ones of those!!! Hmmmm.....I would love a Christmas Skunk! They were my fav animals growing up and I think the black and white would be cute! Also a huge chipmunk fan.....love the stripes! Oh, and foxes are awesome too! Additionally now you did foxes!!! I missed out on those this season as I couldn't make it to your Halloween Trunk Show. So I guess I'm still pushing for a skunk, a chipmunk, and now how about a white fox for Christmas!!!
J: Hey, that's good news that I am listening to my collectors. I know I haven't attempted a try at all the various suggestions that I receive, but I do like a good challenge! And when time and mood permit, I will give it a go. Yes, skunks, chipmunks and white foxes would be sweet!….
In following, I will share a few more arrangement ideas from Martha's lovely home. You will spy some of my previous pieces making appearances in new arrangements along with the clever works of fellow artist friends….
* It's a pumpkin patch, and props are certainly key to great composition. Here, Martha uses a vintage style cubby to display a line-up of my jack-o'-lantern ball characters below, while a sweet jack by Mandy Broome of Fiddlestix Studios perches above. A cart carrying a lumina Jack by Nancy Malay, tucks under a bundle of wheat. And, I spy my "Vinny Vine" sitter again, resting on the edge.
* These arched nooks in Martha's home are the perfect stage for a Halloween scene. Above, a pumpkin painting by Diane Duda adds color and a harvest motif. Below, a sweet jack scarecrow by Melissa Valeriote rests next to one of my JOL ball characters.
* OH Bats! These two bat originals by Johanna Parker Design get cozy with a carved pumpkin.
* And a HOOT HOOT here and a HOOT HOOT there…. What a fun collection of owls from various artists from left to right: Pumpkin perched owl - Jo James, Cart Before the Horse, Sculpted Owl on a mound - Johanna Parker Design, ceramic owl - unknown, Owl bust - Johanna Parker Design, hanging Owl bucket - David Everett of Chicken Lips, large Owl sculpture - Lisa Bivona
And…..Count your Blessings the sign says!
I hope you enjoyed the tour of Martha's home for Halloween! I know I did! What a pleasure it is for me to see my handmade art and the wonderful creations of fellow artists living in harmony and all so lovingly arranged. Many thanks to Martha for opening her doors to us and inspiring many during this special season. I am honored to be a part of this lovely home.
To leave a message for Martha or myself, please click on the "comments" link at the bottom of this post. Thank you!