The Real ‘Housewife’ of Johnson City

Mattie doing what Mattie does best *wink*

Mattie doing what Mattie does best *wink*

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from gluten-free goodies to easy DIY projects. Today on the blog, I am sharing some fun photos that capture a day-in-the-life of a “housewife” who runs her own art business from the comfort of her home while wearing Nike shorts + oversized, paint-splattered Southern Belle T-shirts and explaining why I was MIA from the blog.

Ziva imitating Mattie

Ziva imitating Mattie

Okay, so the first two photos in this post are of my furbabies. Yes, there are probably  a thousand other things with which I could have started, but these babies keep me smiling and make being at home entertaining because there is never a dull moment with them. My Instagram tells the story. According to all the social media and marketing experts, my IG should be filled with pretty, staged photos of my art, but it is not. It is filled with adorable pups being adorable…with an occasional photo of an art project or event happening. Yes, I am a social media rule-breaker, but that is okay because I am having fun, the furbabies are having fun, and sharing the fun with the world is fun *wink*

Display from the Farmers Market in Johnson City

Lolly Molly Art display at the Farmers Market in Johnson City

My day begins with a Diet Dr. Pepper and some sort of breakfast food–I am not terribly picky. I am just as happy eating leftover pizza as I am eating bacon and toast. While I eat, I check email and try to catch up on social media…though, most days, I fail at this; however, I am trying to pay more attention to the marketing side of my little art business.

It is really hard sometimes working from home because there are many distractions–from laundry that needs to be done to Ziva barking at the UPS guy–bless the UPS guy’s heart! Ziva loves packages and her barking is merely her way of screaming “Mom, there’s a package at the door!” I must admit that I spend way too much time being a “housewife” and not enough time marketing my art business. I know this is a bad thing, and I am trying to change. If y’all have any advice, I am listening–so please feel free to comment on this post *big smile*

This is a large mixed media painting inspired by love of bikes and Henry David Thoreau.

This is a large mixed media painting inspired by my love of bikes and Henry David Thoreau.

After I finish breakfast, I play “potty time” with the pups–Lucy (who is about 18 years old and runs the house), Mattie (who is the baby and diva), and Ziva (who is the nosy toddler). This task seems simple, but it is not because there are cats and squirrels outside + neighbors walking their dogs. Life is full of distractions, and it is how we handle those distractions that separate us from the pups. We can go chasing squirrels all day, or we can buckle down, get the job done, and then go chase squirrels *wink* But, I must admit there are days when I chase squirrels, and I think it is perfectly okay to do so *big smile*

I had fun playing with texture...and figuring out how to add a pop of bright color.

Just having fun playing with texture and color

Once everyone has gone to potty, I get all my chores out of the way–laundry, Swiffering, dishes…I think and create better in a clean space…and I admit that I am a cleaning freak. Getting new cleaning supplies is like Christmas to me…it is a bit sad.

Having lunch with my favorite VIP (Vintage Inspired Passionista)

Having lunch with my favorite VIP (Vintage Inspired Passionista)

Once the chores are completed, I spend the rest of the day in the studio planning, sketching, painting, and building. Sometimes, I am in the basement sorting wood, cutting wood for little houses, or building frames. The creative time varies because I create solely on inspiration and whim. I get a vision and work until the vision has been brought to life.

Abby and I love going to Bristol. I have submitted my art to a local gallery there--hoping to hear something from them soon.

Abby and I love going to Bristol because there are some fabulous places to shop and dine + the downtown area is inspiring. P.S. I have submitted my art to a local gallery there–hoping to hear something back from them soon. It feels good to take a risk with something that is so close to the heart, but so scary at the same time!

Now, on days when I do not feel creative or on days when I feel trapped inside my house, I go on mini adventures in and around the Tri-Cities area. Sometimes, you just have to get out and about–being a housewife + a very small business owner doesn’t mean that I am a slave to my family, to cleaning, and to my computer (because my computer is the lifeline to my business). It simply means that I have a flexible schedule to do the things that I need to do and want to do.

It has taken me a long time to accept being at home…to accept that my art business is a “real” business…to accept that I do not have to do what I went to college to do (and it’s been so long since I went to college that I have forgotten what my initial career choice was *wink*). I am in a place in my life where I can take time to figure out who I am and what I really want to do with the talents with which God has blessed me.

Shopping at TJ Maxx with Abby--sometimes, it is good to go shopping for a deal instead of answering emails and mopping floors.

Shopping at TJ Maxx with Abby–sometimes, it is good to go shopping for a deal instead of answering emails and mopping floors.

There was this one weekend not too long ago that the hubby and I decided to paint the living room. Stay tuned for more.

There was this one weekend not too long ago that the hubby and I decided to paint the living room. Stay tuned for more.

Being at home has its struggles. Explaining what I do is not always easy. Am I really self-employed when I lose more money than I make? *wink* Is “Starving Artist” my job title? Am I really a small business owner? Or am I a very, very tiny business owner? Perhaps, I am a housewife with a serious hobby….

Like I said, it is really hard to explain to others when I don’t even know myself *wink* BUT, what I do know is I am playing it by ear from one day to the next. I am researching, taking online courses about social media and marketing, and creating happy art hoping when people see it they smile. Hoping when people buy my art and take it to their houses that those art pieces will make others smile. I know I want to spread happiness one piece of art at a time, and at this moment…that is enough.

Whew! Enough chatting about all of that. Now, let’s take a look at what has kept me away from the blog over the past couple of months. Believe me–it has been a busy summer filled with adventure, paint, and family *smile*

Courtney Bennet (owner of Salon Confidence in Jonesborough) with Abby at the grand-opening celebration of Courtney's salon. On the wall behind Courtney is "Confidence the Peacock" that I painted for Courtney.

Courtney Bennet (owner of Salon Confidence in Jonesborough) with Abby at the grand-opening celebration of the salon. On the wall behind Courtney is Confidence the Peacock. To see another peacock painting by SassyHat (my artist name), click here.

Complete selfie fail in Nashville *haha* I spent a good portion of July going to and from Nashville--which is a fabulous city with the most delicious all gluten-free restaurant! Stay tuned for more.

Complete selfie fail in Nashville *haha* I spent a good portion of July going to and from Nashville, which is a fabulous city with the most delicious, ALL gluten-free restaurant! Stay tuned for more. P.S. see the hubby in the background…he was IGing his photo while I was attempting to capture myself with Nashville in the background…it was a good try *wink*

Occasionally, I create custom houses. This was a Neshoba County Fair Cabin that I created for a special gift.

Occasionally, I create custom houses. Pictured here is a Neshoba County Fair Cabin that I created for a special gift. So far, this has been the most challenging little house I have made.

One of the art pieces that I created for the Jonesborough Days Art Walk. This is Uncle Sam's Fair Cabin--made using reclaimed wood, picture frame moulding, paper, metal, and paint.

One of the art pieces I created for the Jonesborough Days Art Walk. This is Uncle Sam’s Fair Cabin–made using reclaimed wood, picture frame moulding, paper, metal, and paint. Each little house takes about 5 days to create, and I usually build 4-5 houses at a time.

A sneak peek photo of Uncle Sam's Laundry Day. This mixed media painting won 3rd place at the Jonesborough Days Art Walk. It took me about two weeks to create it.

A sneak peek photo of Uncle Sam’s Laundry Day. This mixed media painting won 3rd place at the Jonesborough Days Art Walk. It took me about two weeks to create it.

It was a busy summer, but a good summer! It was filled with special moments with my little family, and I wouldn’t trade those moments for anything–not even a “real” job with a “real” title and “real” money *wink*

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about random things in my life. If you are a starving artist, housewife, or small business owner, do NOT lose heart because you are doing what you love–and that is what matters. Don’t make excuses or be ashamed! Be proud of what you do and who you are! It took me too long to accept that where I am in my life is perfectly okay!

Chalkboard art inspired by my teaching days

Chalkboard art inspired by my teaching days

 

 

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