Posts tagged Susan Havens-Morris /Middleburg Folk Art Studio

Overcome – Lets all send our support

Guest Blog By: Greyson Havens-Morris

Greyson wearing his three "O" pendent designs for gulf relief.

O is for our Oceans
It’s day 70 of the largest oil spill in U.S. history. It’s hard to believe it’s happening at this very second, to people and wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico; a sticky, toxic, black sludge consuming everything in an ever growing puddle hundreds of miles in diameter. We’ve been following this disaster since we heard about it in late April. My father, Gregory, was born and raised near Pensacola, Florida, a city directly affected by the oil spill. We have family and friends who live in the area, and have vacationed on the beaches there for decades.
Why is it so heartbreaking? “It’s like if you had a jar of sugar and you poured it all along the beach; that’s the natural color of the sand there. And the gulf water? It’s emerald green and it just sparkles,” My dad recites with fondness, while sanding off the wooden base of a cake topper here at Middleburg, “Or, it used too be.”
Unfortunately its gorgeous beaches are constantly becoming dirtier and dirtier each day. After hearing about authorities running more yellow tape along another quarter-mile of another Pensacola beach, 75 feet back from the water, we’ve decided to take our first step in helping overcome this bleak happening.
O is against the Oil
On June 15th the U.S. Government raised it’s estimate of the oil flow rate yet again, declaring that as much as 60,000 barrels of oil could be flowing into the Gulf every day. After 70 days of the mess, that’s the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill almost twice over.
It’s alarming to hear how much money is being lost by local businesses in the midst of what’s being called the nation’s worst natural disaster to date. Although my family understands why people are suggesting to boycott the oil giant and casting stones at who they believe is responsible– this ultimately won’t improve the situation. We all, as much as we wouldn’t like to admit it, depend on oil presently. Some of us have hybrid vehicles, but still depend on others who don’t own them yet. It seems to us here we’re all responsible, and need to do what we can to “overcome”, not just this spill, but oil in general.
O stands for OVERCOME
Here are our first three steps in a direction to an oil free gulf with these OVERCOME pendants. Each features a different form of Gulf sea life; the brown pelican, a school of fish, and great sea turtles all who are being affected. Each pendant is in the shape of an “O” to represent the ocean, oil and overcoming this disaster. “Overcome” comes from Martin Luther King Jr.’s poignant phrase “We shall Overcome!” and we as a country can overcome anything by uniting together.
In addition, 20% of each sale will go to one of the 6 organizations of your choice listed below:
Craft Hope – http://crafthope.com
Water Keeper Alliance – http://www.waterkeeper.org
Nwf.org – http://www.nwf.org
American Bird Conservancy – http://www.abcbirds.org
Matter of Trust.org – http://www.matteroftrust.org
The Nature Conservancy – http://www.nature.org

Also, I’d like to suggest three other artists who are doing what they can to help. Please check out their great work, and help support the beginning of an oil free tomorrow!

SAVE THE GULF alligator watercolor MATTED

http://www.imagiro.etsy.com

Save Our Seas – 1/2 of the proceeds go to NWF’s Oil Spill Cleanup

http://www.TheWheatField.etsy.com

Save the Gulf - Dolphin at Sunset on Womens Alternative Apparel tshirt

http://www.Rctees.etsy.com

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(http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/o/oil_spills/gulf_of_mexico_2010/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier). http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36850248/ns/us_news-environment/

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Tate says… “Be good to the earth.”

Being Eco friendly is sooooooo CUTE!
One day in particular, I overheard Tate saying to her pug dog Gigi, who was chasing her chickens “Chickens are friends, not food.” Not that Gigi would ever hurt them, but it was more like our little black pug was dying for someone to play with. But it went right along with who Tate is becoming, moving away from meat, one kind at a time. First it was beef, then pork, and now turkey is “iffy.” I know one day she will probably go vegetarian, which is totally fine with us.
I have always accommodated for my vegetarian friends at dinner parties and bar-b-ques. Often I find myself skipping meat in many meals these days. But I also have the worst digestion system and stomach from years in advertising you know, LOL. She also is the one who inspired us to hang cloths outside to dry and recycle all our water bottles.
Tatham, better known as Tate, is a fun-loving teenager who loves to wear pendants and jewelry, fun t-shirts and wild colored flip flops all with a green element when she can. We are very proud of her!
That's our Girl!
When I started Middleburg Folk Art Studio I wanted it to be green to use recycled elements and paper, never wanting to hurt the environment, or me the person who was making it. Papier Mache is the the ultimate recycled material. The little apple (Tate) did not really fall far from the tree.
Our new series is all about being good to the earth, the environment and nature. Inspired by  Tatham and her love for animals, nature and being green. We created this new line of pendents, using her words in a lot of them.
Our new series featuring Animals.
My daughter Tate will also be helping to create them this summer while she is on break. She is a talented artist in her own right and a helpful joy to have around the Studio. Hope you enjoy our new jewelry pieces!

The whole staff needed to get in on the shoot last week on one HOT NC day!

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Celebrating the Sport of Kings

And they're off

Guest blog by Gregory Morris (The Hubs)

With Father’s Day fast approaching, we have been thinking about something great to give dad. He’s tough to buy for. It seems like everybody’s purchasing all the nifty gadgets and tools from the “big box hardware stores.” But, what else is there? Here at MFAS, we know there’s a few items that will surely suit his “man-cave!” For instance, our new line of horse and jockey game room pieces. Speaking of which, did you know the Belmont stakes are this Saturday? And, Disney is making a movie about Secretariat whose from Middleburg, VA?

When we opened our studio a few years ago, Susan and I wanted to name ourselves after something that signified true beauty and magic to us. Since we had lived in Middleburg, Virginia (hometown of Secretariat) in the late ’90s, it has always brought a smile to our face. And it’s also very horsey. There are so many races and events there year round that celebrate one of God’s most noble creatures. A little farther up the East coast though, the 142nd running of the Belmont Stakes in Belmont, New York is this Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

Greyson's Derby Collection. He has been collecting Derby glasses for 6 yrs!

We here at Middleburg Folk Art Studio take all of the Triple Crown events seriously and stop everything on those days to watch.  A couple of weeks ago. We sat with bated breath to see if Calvin Borel would win the Preakness to earn his second leg of the Triple Crown, but sadly, he did meet with success.

Another notable horse event is coming up in your home town, in your local theatre, actually, and its’ called Secretariat, staring Diane Lane and John Malkovich. It’s the story about a horse that beat the odds and won the Triple Crown in 1973.

If you’re looking for something to collect and you’re into horses (like we are), a great thing to shop for at flea markets this summer are Kentucky Derby glasses. They’re great to collect because they are inexpensive, historic, and make great decorations for any living space.

So to celebrate Father’s Day and the upcoming “horsey weekend” our studio is offering five new pieces.

And they’re off!

Racing Horses-A set of three horses perfect for your game room, mantle or dining table on race day. (We will sell them individually as well as customize them for you!.)

Oh Foxy-A sweet little red fox to sit on your night stand or office desk.

The Jockey-An excellent Fathers day gift for the sporting man in your life.

We have one of each of these in stock as of this blog posting but we’d be glad to make another for any of our readers.

Happy Fathers Day!

–The Hubs

Mint Julep anyone?

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A Weekend with Family and Art

We had a lovely extended weekend as the children both had off school and the weather was beautiful here in NC, only last week we had snow on the ground. And my sweetie was sculpting 18th century snow people. All she said is I’m going out to play in the snow and about a hour later she said come look and to my surprise two lovely sculpted snow people stood in my side yard.


This is totally why I moved here, my son can drive home from Virginia and just spend a couple more days with us within the school year. Plans included a trip to the movies, dinner and the Folk Art Show at Fearrington Farm.

“Book of Eli” is my favorite movie right now have seen it twice and I think I’m going again as my daughter found more suttleies in the film I want to see. It’s beautiful filmed and super, super cleaver in content and If you haven’t’ seen it, it has a OMG ending you never see coming.

The Folk Art Show at Fearrington Farm

Wanted to go to this show after reading a tweet by Dolan Geiman [ dolangeiman.etsy.com ] he and Ali really have the inside scope on the real art world and since this was practically in my backyard it was so worth it. The setting is one of the most beautiful places you could imagine having a show. Set on a historic farm which has been converted into a small village, it has restaurants, a few shops and grounds to make it worth making a day of. The show is held in a redone pack house barn, with branch candlers to die for.

The entrance had artists outside with garden sculptures of metal and then you walk through a hallway which was also hung with art, then the grand hall with all the artists. You could tell it was a collectors show, people pro-used the artist work many with there reps right there working the booth along side them. The art was wild, creative, interesting and original.

I would call it more of an outsider or naive artist show. Lots of great found object work with primitive painting and type added. Check out the artist cars:

My two favorite artists were Rose Rosely [ http://www.roserosely.com ] and Amy Lansburg [ http://www.galleryonmainbh.com/Artist-Detail.cfm?ArtistsID=271 ]. Quite different these two gals, but you can check them out for yourself.

Clyde Jones a true Folk artist is a hoot and a half, did not get to meet the man but went on a trek to see his house after an antique dealer we stop at after the show told us about him. Antique dealers are a unique bread and this guy was testing to see if I knew anything about anything, as I was coming it to his shop for the first time and asked me if i thought it was a true Folk Art show??? Little did he know who he was talking to and I had my options on the subject and definitions all formulated in my head. But then again I always have a opinion, so silly boy he was to ask. He must have liked my answer as he subjected we should go find Clyde Jones House to get a real treat. And how if the board is across the road he doesn’t want visitors and if it is open you welcome to come by. This guy they say doesn’t sell his work but gives it to you if he likes you. Seems like he likes the whole town he lives in as everyone has a least one of his grand sculptural animals of cedar wood.

But back to the farm…
The Banded Goat is where we grabbed a bite, great food, cafe deli style and the garden outside in the summer, it sure will be great to sit in.

And the last thing we did is visit the banded cows…they are too cute. And Yes I’ll be creating some of my own very soon. I fell in love! Their friend the Donkey was the real instigator of the group and just wanted someone to play with but the bull wanted nothing to do with him.


Nehucky Update…

We here on our own farm are playing weekend warrier and the vinyl siding is coming down in preparation of painting. The “Hubby” is taking down the siding to find lovely cedar clap board underneath. And our daughter is getting in on that act and tearing off the green roofing that one barn has been sided with. Really makes the house look historic again. I’ll keep you updated when we choose colors.

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The Building of a Dream

Often in my work I think of things in series, over the next weeks I hope to share many parts to this new dream. Way back when I was a Creative Director in advertising the bigger the idea the better and i was know for some biggie’s in my day, but I also had teams around me who knew I could pull it off, so they followed and supported those ideas. But in the real world it’s hard to share with others your dreams and the reality you can bring to a project. There are however in my life a few that I totally really on for the emotional support I need, my husband who over the years has learned not to question but to jump in with both feet because on the other end it always turns out. And my son who when we talked long distance yesterday not only grasped the idea in a second but said “thank God because nobody I know moves as fast as we do and I could use some of that right now”.
So what we will be sharing is the building of our booth for The Colonial Craftsman’s Faire in Newport News, Virginia this May. We will be traveling to The Endview Plantation to launch our new historic line called Coach House Heritage. My love of all things historic has inspired me to create a line that will span from the late 1700’s to the Civil War.  Over 20 new pieces Papier Mache and another 25 in fabric will launch on the web and in person in Virginia May 16th!
Off with a dream…I envisioned a total environment to surround my work in, something modular, something historic, something grand…I envisioned Mount Vernon! You have to understand once i have a idea it’s pretty hard to stop that train. So the planning began, the sketch were whipped out, the materials thought out, the budget put into place. Supporters check! We will be creating a scale down version of George Washington’s impressive home. The measurements will be 20′ across by 16′ deep, the roof will climb up to around 12′. It will be a single room you will walk into set like the smaller “Green” dining room at Mount Vernon. A working front door and two rear doors along with at least four working windows. The copula, the dormers and chimneys will be faux but in three dimension. We will be demonstrating our 18th century process for papier mache casting during the days behind the building.
Here is the link to this very interesting show and event: www.colonialfaire.com
If you are interested in coming to view my creation, please sign up for my e-mail mailing list by sending me an e-mail and I’ll send you a discounted ticket and a special treat from Middleburg. 
Our e-mail: team@MiddleburgFolkArtStudio.com
I hope to end each one of these blogs with a tip or tidbits about business, and creating your dreams. 
So Tip #1: Dream big, figure out how you can make it possible, plan it out and find the ones in your life to give you that emotional support. So when you doubt yourself at some point in the project they will help carry you back to the Dream.!

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