Our Trip to Charleston

pineapple fountain

It was a chilly but sunny visit to Charleston for us! We only had one full day in the city, so we spent most of it walking and admiring the gorgeous architecture (of course), but managed to cover a lot of ground and see a lot! Our favorites are listed at the end.

 Famous Rainbow Row

Famous Rainbow Row

We took a horse carriage tour to learn a lot of the history of Charleston. The girls loved the beautiful Belgian horse that pulled us, and our guide knew her stuff. After the ride, we walked back to the Battery and imagined which houses we would live in...:) 

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We were staying with family in Mt. Pleasant, so it was an easy drive to the beach the next day. Our girls had never been on the East Coast so we HAD to stick our toes in the sand!

beach

We decided to make the drive through Savannah on the way home. It was so quick it's not worthy of a separate post, but we definitely want to make a longer visit soon!


Where to go & what to do- the details:

Old South Carriage Company for a great historic tour. It was a great way to start because we were able to see things we wanted to go back and take a closer look at, and being on limited time it also covered a lot of ground in one hour. 

Old Exchange & Provost for an interactive history lesson. We toured the dungeon, saw historic memorabilia and even got to meet "George Washington" upstairs. A wonderful local dresses in period costume and answers questions. The kids loved it!

Be sure to walk along the Battery. The homes are amazing!

Our favorite meal was at the Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan's Island. Be sure to make reservations way in advance for any restaurant, especially the popular ones! We didn't travel with dressy clothes, so this was perfect and the food was truly incredible. We had oysters, fish and fruity drinks!

Worth mentioning is that the area of Mount Pleasant is very nice and offers easy access into the city. You'll find all the basic shops like Harris Teeter and Target, plus a few great local places like Abide-A-While garden center and Napa Mount Pleasant was a fun and delicious dinner!

Savannah was mostly a walk along the waterfront for us, but we did make it to one of my favorite on-line follows, The Paris Market and Brocante. If you go, get some macaroons and coffee to enjoy before or after you shop! (That's where the photos of the girls in the candy shop was taken.)

Let me know if you try any of these, and we definitely want to go back, so PLEASE leave me recommendations in the comments. I'm making a list for the next visit! 

5 Ways to Be More Present With Your Kids

Thank goodness "keeping it real" is a trendy thing these days...our life is FOR REAL and sometimes keeping the balance is hard. Being a wife, mom and small business owner can be rough. Don't forget church, volunteering or kids activities-and perhaps we'd like to have some friends? I'm sure your to-do list is as long as mine, but what can we do to hit the pause button and enjoy some time really with our kids before they are grown? I've come up with 5 ways that work pretty good for us and want to share them with you here:

 Kids love creating! 

Kids love creating! 

  1. Hide your phone! (and their ipads/pods/whatevers)- My resolution at the beginning of the year was to have no-tech time from the time I get home until they go to bed. Some days there's work that has to be done, but if it can wait, I see a huge difference in my girls by taking time to give them this attention.

  2. Get active! For us this is often as simple as walking out back and jumping on the trampoline. Or jogging to the mailbox. Other times it's teaching them a new yoga pose or attempting their dance/gymnastic move. Lots of fun and laughs from these experiences-and best of all they are free!

  3. Let them help! I don't know about you, but I need my kids to learn how to do things themselves-and the good part? They really love to help do most things! If play time is short and we need to eat or clean the house (so Mama doesn't lose it), I let them "play chef" or use as many paper towels as needed to clean the mirrors so we can tackle the work-together! 

  4. Read Together! Sometimes homework takes care of this, but when time allows, I love to read a book aloud together. It might be just me, or we take turns doing a page. We are about to start A Wrinkle in Time because I really want to see the movie but want them to read it first (and I can read a liiittle faster than my first grader).

  5. Take a Chill Pill! Oh, you're already cool as a cucumber? (Give me your secrets!) House work will always be there. Maybe even the laundry baskets in my living room...but sometimes ya gotta let it be and accept the mess as beautiful and worth it for the sweet times that are passing faster than most of us would like.

 Appetizer created by my First Grader. 

Appetizer created by my First Grader. 

What do you think? Comment below if you try any of these or if you've got more to add. We can all use some good tips!

 

 Honorable mention: Chase Chickens! 

Honorable mention: Chase Chickens! 

And if you're looking for something fun for your kiddos this summer, pop over and check out Art Camps! Click here to learn more. 

Insider Look at RS Workshops

It's hard to accurately describe how excited, yet at the same time nervous, I can get before leading one of my workshops. I love taking time to gather all of the supplies and prepare the tables, but always hope that I can deliver a great experience for my guests! I really enjoy watching the class dynamic unfold as attendees arrive. Some come with a friend, but many come solo because they are truly passionate about the specific skill set and that is so inspiring to me! 

If you've ever considered signing up for one of my workshops but weren't quite sure what exactly goes on, enjoy scrolling through these photos and take a closer look.

HL101 Cover photo.jpg

First we start with the workbook I've created. Students begin to explore various tools and techniques. 

hand lettering 101
rs workshop
 Everyone gets a full kit to keep. 

Everyone gets a full kit to keep. 

The newest workshop I've added is Modern Calligraphy. It is still a beginner level, but we explore working with the pointed pen and ink. It is really nice to slow down and consider our marks!

nib and ink

Think you're ready to dive in? Registration is open for both workshops in April. Click here to read more details and grab a seat!

Love is in the Air...ideas for sweet happies

Ah, sweet Valentine's Day...it really is sweet to take the time to focus on those you love best. I love a good homemade card and bar of dark chocolate! I'm also never disappointed with jewelry! I've put together some of my top recommendations for little love gifts! 

 

 Grace Girl Beads Vintage Brooch Necklace and Druzy studs

Grace Girl Beads Vintage Brooch Necklace and Druzy studs

 

Original mixed media pieces by Stacey are sweet little tokens, perfect for little girls or co-workers.

 
 Bath salts, lavender pillows and a gorgeously scented candle are all great treats!

Bath salts, lavender pillows and a gorgeously scented candle are all great treats!

Available in store now. Gift wrap is complimentary, and I'd love to help you choose the perfect gift! Most importantly, though, I hope you take a minute to let the ones you love know how special they are to you! I pray love and kindness will cover you all as you spread it out into the world! 

XO,

Stacey

Let's Get Artsy!

Summer fun continues at the studio with so many chances to explore art and have a good time with peers. I had a great time teaching the first session of my Under the Sea Art Camp and wanted to share some photos from camp:

art camp

 

 

I've also had a great time with my Thursday night workshops. Most recently I led Watercolor & Brush Lettering-it's not as easy as it looks! But we learned some new techniques and created some beautiful notecards. Can you imagine receiving a  card that's not only hand-written, but also hand-painted? Wow! Super special is how I'd feel! 

 

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 Colors mixed by Maeve Eubanks

Colors mixed by Maeve Eubanks

Aren't these beautiful? I love how everyone encourages each other and sparks new ideas!

 

I've just made the registration links live for all July Classes and Workshops. I would love to to host you and your child for some creative time this summer! I'd love to see pics of any art made at a Reclaimed Spirit event. Just tag me @reclaimedspirit and feel free to use the hashtags #reclaimedspiritbystacey #keepflorenceartsy

Stay Artsy!

Stacey

Spring Studio Peek

 The dogwood right beside the patio. 

The dogwood right beside the patio. 

I can't believe how quickly the early spring blooms seem to have come and gone! As the dogwoods fade, my Claire Austin roses are blooming and even the peony burst open (that is about as exciting as Christmas to me!). I love my nature view from my home studio. It's so peaceful--and then inside looks a little crazy right now! I do not have one of those picture-perfect studios, Check it:

 The creative chaos that is my home studio. 

The creative chaos that is my home studio. 

 

This is the way I roll-just paint! I have two really great things rushing at me simultaneously-an art showing in Franklin, Tennessee and the Grand Opening of my new storefront here in Florence. While I am more than thrilled, I'm facing the realistic truth that I cannot quite accomplish both of these things at the 110% I want to, so this last month has really been about letting go of the crazy standards that I can impose on myself. So, I've painted as much as I can, when I can, and I've been working on merchandising the store and making it feel a little more "lived in" and "me". It's so interesting how a few loving touches can totally transform a space. I've enjoyed having customers through the doors and students learning there already. Here are some moments:

 

 Works in progress around the studio

Works in progress around the studio

A candid snap of me in the store.

 A student works with charcoal in a private lesson. 

A student works with charcoal in a private lesson. 

I'm so grateful for all the opportunities I've been given, and to you for clicking by to read this post! 

Show Prep and not losing my mind

All good things seem to happen at the same time, right?  In the midst of opening the new store I am also preparing for art show season. I say season, because I don't do a whole lot of shows, but had planned to sort of "pack them in" during April and May, and packing in I am! I could easily let myself get overwhelmed but yet I have had an overarching sense of peace. I believe that knowing it is part of a master plan that is not my own helps. Also, that worry doesn't do us any good and seems to only attract more worry and negative things. But I also gotta get stuff done. This week I have been able to prioritize with some clarity and more boxes are getting checked off of the to do list. 

One of the most fun parts of show prep, for me, is deciding what pieces to bring with me for each particular show. Of course it's a giant crapshoot for a show I've never done before, but putting together an educated guess is always a good challenge! I have two shows in April:

The Girlfriend Gala, April 6th at Locust Hill in Tuscumbia, Alabama

Main Street Arts Festival, April 29-30 in Franklin, Tennessee

 

I would love to see you at one of the shows and/or at the new store.  The doors will be open Friday April 7th from 10-8:00! 

Reclaimed Spirit: 416 N Court Street, Florence, AL 35630

New Store Opening & Art Camp Dates Released

Wow! I'm so glad that Spring is officially here and that I've got so much to tell you about! If you read my previous post, you know that I'm in the process of opening a new store, and that's coming along pretty good. My family is pitching in big time and I could not be more thankful for that. I've also connected with some other amazing Designers and Artists to showcase so you can find all kinds of fabulous things under one roof! Annnnnd, I've decided that I want the doors to be open April 7th, for First Fridays in Downtown Florence-but we'll be open ALL day, 10-8. You've got to pop by and see the progress. It won't be perfect, but it will be pretty and I know y'all have birthday gifts to get and Easter baskets to stuff!

Today is also exciting because Art Camps are LIVE! I can't wait to make some precious art with the creative kids in Florence! Last year was a blast and I can't wait to do it again. Plus, I've got OPTIONS! Two 3-day camp sessions and Two 5-day girls camp sessions. The theme is "Under the Sea" for the shorter camps & we will be painting and gluing and making all kinds of cute projects. The 5 day camps are something so dear to my heart...drum roll.....I'm teaching Project 2911! *heart eyes* If you aren't familiar with Thou Art Exalted, then you need to hop right over there next (I'll link at the end) and see what amazing things Annie Pacjic is doing. I'm counting myself blessed to even get to use her curriculum and can't wait to study God's Word through art with tweens in Florence. I'm limiting space to 12, maybe 15 if there are friends that just might not make it alone :) I hope you'll read for about it and tell a few friends.

Have a wonderful day!

Stacey

http://www.thouartexalted.com/

Amazing Things are Happening

Y'ALL! Yes, that's a big ol' all caps shout out because so much has happened to flip my little art world upside down since the beginning of the year! I'm continually astounded (although it shouldn't come as a surprise) at the pieces of my life that I KNOW that God is moving. How do I KNOW, you ask? Well, you know when there are things that don't make sense? Or are not something that you seek out, yet ends up on your doorstep? And maybe you don't necessarily wanna do it at first, but you're like, "really Lord? Are you sure?" I don't know if I can remember a time that He's put me to the test quite this specifically, but when the opportunity to expand my brand into it's own storefront was handed to me, all wrapped up--with a very pretty wired (burlap) ribbon on top, I knew I couldn't turn it down!

So, here in the midst of art show season, I am painting like a madwoman and setting up shop in Downtown Florence!  I love it's historic charm and all the creative energy that flows down Court Street. I love that I'm two blocks from Trowbridge's ice cream and walking distance to so many other favorite restaurants and shops. This morning alone, I hit Rivertown coffee, office of Success by 6, and Jack O'Lantern Farms (for a major avocado and fresh tomato craving). I love the energy of the UNA students walking by bring. I love that today, in early March, I propped the door open  and blasted "Queen radio" on Pandora. The UNA kids may think I'm a hundred years old, but hey, it keeps me going!  I love that I finally feel at home. I didn't grow up in Florence, but I was born here many moons ago, and in the four years since we've relocated here, I have fallen for the city's charisma, art culture and down home vibe. It is such a hidden gem, no wonder Florence was named Alabama's most picturesque small town! So, whether you are from Florence or visiting, you need to checkout this great city! Start by coming to see ME during April's First Fridays! Also available by appointment before then. I am thrilled to see where this adventure leads--thank you for joining me in the journey! Don't forget to sign up for my e-mail list for all the latest and greatest! 

He Leads Me

Merry Christmas!

It's been a very nice day of lounging and crafting here at my house. Everything has been so rushed and busy leading up to this day, so it's extra nice to slow down and spend some real quality time with my family. Tonight we'll read our last Advent devotional and thank God for the most incredible gift, His Son, Jesus. Tomorrow will be full of gift giving and receiving, and I hope that many of you are happy with your touches of Reclaimed Spirit. It's so amazing to work with my hands and heart to make things that bring joy to so many! So, my Christmas Eve prayer for you is to slow down, love on your family; be grateful and generous and an example of kindness to everyone you meet! Merry Christmas from my family to yours! 

 

Enjoying the Ride

First, let me say welcome, as this is my very first blog post since creating Reclaimed Spirit. Thanks for clicking through to hear about my little ride. Just over a year ago, I set up for my first outdoor show. It was Oktoberfest in a little German town nearby. It was wet and cold, but during the dry times I had loads of shoppers and quickly sold out of my Autumn themed signs. While not a record show by any means, I had the spark of encouragement that people really might want to buy my art. During that same show, I was approached by a friendly artist and local store owner that wanted my work in her store. It was a perfect match and I totally remember my first set up and how I left with the feeling of being at home.

 Enjoy the Ride; Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas; 24x24

Enjoy the Ride; Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas; 24x24

Over the fall and holiday season I had success both in the store and at outside shows and decided to try a few more in the spring. Since the beginning of 2016, I've done shows, Art Camps with kids, adult painting classes and lettering classes, and I've joined in as a co-owner of the store, Studio 23 in Florence, Alabama. The Studio is an amazing hub of creativity. Our goal is to foster and support local artisans that create real, handmade goods. A walk through our store will inspire you with its uniqueness and you can be a supporter of the arts by spending your dollars on local, handmade goods and art. 

I've digressed a bit, but the point where I am in my "ride" is one of growth and realization that I need to take some leaps of faith to become a better artist and to get the feelings in my head out here to you, so that you can understand a little more about what painting means to me. And hopefully we can connect with what my paintings mean to you. I hope you have a blessed day!

Stacey

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