Friday, September 30, 2011

Going, Going...

It's hard to believe, but it's the end of September and the 2012 calendars are already in low supply.

I noticed today that has only 4 Abundant Blessings Monthly Pocket Planners left in stock. They say there are more on the way, but I know from placing my own orders that availability of the Abundant Blessings Wall Calendars on the wholesale level is limited, if not completely sold out, by now.

If you plan to purchase the 2012 Abundant Blessings or Seasons of Friendship calendars, please order soon for the best selection. They are available at Hallmark and other gift stores that carry Andrews McMeel calendars. You can also find them online at quality sites like,, and Remember to type "Shelly Reeves Smith 2012 Calendar" in the search window if the link does not take you directly to my products.

The new year is just around the corner so order soon! And a special thank you to everyone who has made the effort to find these calendars in stores and online since 2010. I know it's been a challenge considering the name confusion between companies, but we appreciate your loyalty and hope to see you again in 2013!

Copyright 2011 Shelly Reeves Smith, LLC

Sunday, September 25, 2011

History of Art

For those of you who sat through Art History classes in college...and actually liked it...this is for you.

I recently bought this updated copy of the classic book History of Art by H.W. Janson and Anthony F. Janson. Does it bring back memories? I ordered this copy in a panic when I couldn't find my original from college. Of course, the day it arrived, I found the old one safely stored away. But now, I have a backup.

Janson, as some call it, is a huge coffee-table-size book filled with pictures of art from Etruscan urns to Andy Warhol's soup cans and filled with information about how each piece relates to other events of its time.

I'm not sure why it's important to have this book in my possession. I kept few things from college, but I can't seem to let go of this. Perhaps it's because it's so dense with information. Or maybe it's like a travel guide for the aspiring art collector/world traveler.

But the more likely scenario it that it reminds me of one of my favorite professors, Mrs. Harriet Mears. She was a small, soft-spoken, well-educated lady who exuded intelligence and kindness. She was always restrained and professional, but in her art history classes, her excitement was hard to contain. At times she would get so excited describing the cathedrals of Europe that she would almost seem out of breath. I completely understood - even only seeing them in pictures took my breath.

She also taught weaving and other art classes (I can just hear the snicking from the pre-med students) all of which I enjoyed mostly because she taught them. Her love for her job and for artistic effort was infectious. Anyone who knew her loved her company, whether they were a student or a colleague.

She was also a safe person to be around for those of us who shall I say it....slow to grasp less objective styles of art. You know how it can't admit to just anyone that you prefer neoclassical architecture to modernism or realism over abstract expressionism.

A week after buying the book, it came in handy in a different way. Ison decided he was a big boy and didn't need his high chair. So in the absence of a booster seat, we pressed Janson into service. Turns out, when paired with Carla Emery's The Encyclopedia of Country Living, it's just the right height to bring a 19-month-old child up to table height.

I wish Harriet could see this picture and meet my son. I think she would approve of this twist on "form follows function".

Copyright 2011 Shelly Reeves Smith

Saturday, September 17, 2011

My Summer Vacation

Well, it wasn't actually a vacation. I completed a calendar and worked on several other projects. But I did take a break from blogging to spend some extra time with my family.

In doing so, I spent a lot of time watching my son's first attempts at creating and building. In just a few short months, he has quickly gone from baby-toddler to little-boy-toddler. Among his new tricks and skills is stacking objects in interesting this kitchen-inspired sculpture that he made, then of course quickly abandoned for something much more interesting.

I didn't actually see him stack this, but I have watched him build towers before with other toys, like the Fisher Price POP-ONZ Pop & Twirl Building Table that our dear friends loaned us (I say "dear" because this is quite possibly the best toy ever invented). When my son, or any child, plays with it, I see them piece together colorful shaped blocks with unwavering confidence and enjoyment, then promptly congratulate themselves afterward with a rousing round of chubby-handed applause.

If one definition of art is the act of creating, then a child joyfully arranging objects to his liking has to qualify as art. Watching the process has certainly helped me remember that art should be playful...and temporary. As I have said before, in the midst of deadlines it's easy to forget that, in truth, everything around us is temporary, even the masterpiece we might be creating.

In taking time to play, we gain so much perspective. I hope you took time this summer to enjoy some unstructured time...and that you made sure to congratulate yourself afterward!

Copyright 2011 Shelly Reeves Smith, LLC