Don’t Step on This Dog

Don't Step on This Dog

A word to the wise: if your house is covered in toys and you have a habit of stepping on things, whatever you do, do not step on this vintage Fisher Price dog toy. Just don’t do it. Trust me.

We have a special houseguest this weekend. Jonathan’s youngest brother is visiting from Nashville and it’s been wonderful having him here. We miss our families, way out here on the edge of the Colorado plains. So when we are blessed with a family visitor, I tend to really soak it up and enjoy the entire visit. I love hearing the kids tease their uncle and just generally fold him into our daily life.

Tonight, we had a simple meal:

Two kinds of rice (brown basmati and white)
Three kinds of beans: Aduki/Northern mixture and Black (doctored with cumin, cayenne, chili powder)
Sharp cheddar, cilantro salsa
Homemade cornbread + butter
Roasted carrots with a little salt
Chocolate chip cookies (a free tub we got at Papa Murphy’s for taking a survey. Gotta love free cookies.)

Hope you are enjoying a weekend full of family and friends. Happy Spring…we finally have warm weather here in Denver!

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3 Pieces of Art That Make Me Happy

It’s snowing (again!) and I’m having a quiet afternoon to write and work. I’ve been home from my corporate job for about a week a half and my new way of life is still sinking in. (I resigned from my social media job to run Fat and Appy and help Jonathan’s career; you can read more about it here.)

The house isn’t perfect: clothes are strewn about and stubs of crayons the baby has chewed litter the floor. But there are signposts of peace–small pieces of art around the house that tell me I am home. They make me happy. I thought I might share a few with you.

1. Elephant Tea Pot

I realized I loved design and decor when I got out of college. I was in possession of my first apartment outside of Asheville. On a cool, fall Saturday, I wandered into an antique store in Asheville. I spied this elephant tea pot and bought it, relishing in the freedom that came with having a little money in my pocket. (I am sure it was a small amount of money, but still, it was mine!). This little pot has been packed and repacked a half-dozen times…it always goes with me.

Picture of an tea pot shaped like an elephant with baby

2. Blurry Pop

I love this painting by Mr. Jonathan Fenske. One humid summer day in Atlanta, Jonathan decided to lay out some popsicles on a board in the front yard. As they melted, he took pictures every 15 minutes or so. The art project came to an end when Kemp, our Australian shepherd, discovered the pops and ate them. (Want your own Pop? We have a Giclee print version inspired by Blurry Pop in our online store.)

A painting of a creamsicle by Jonathan Fenske

3. Swinging Bird Timestone Clock

We picked up this clock for super cheap at a thrift store. This hangs in our kitchen and is just delightful. It makes me happy just to look at it. You have to see it in action for the full effect (I took a five-second video).

That’s it from here for today…what pieces of art do you have that you love and make you happy? If you liked this post, you may enjoy our blog post, Art on a Budget: Six Ways to Find Art That’s Affordable

From Out of the Ashes: A Piggy Phoenix

Two pigs get married

Sometimes, art comes out of the trash.

Jonathan purchased these cute pig figurines a few years ago. He loved their whimsical pigginess, the look in the groom’s eye and the blushing playfulness of the bride. He promptly set them up and photographed them. He planned to paint the little pigs. (Jonathan has always loved painting vintage toys. You can see examples of his Fisher-Price/vintage toy paintings on his website.)

Alas, Jonathan never got the chance to paint them. The fragile porcelain figurines proved too alluring for our then-five-year old and she destroyed them with one swipe of her hand. Into the trash they went, a pile of shards.

Until last week when Jonathan came across the photograph he took before the pigs shattered. He asked me, did I think they would translate well to our new Fat and Appy canvases? I said I thought they would, and so he created a digital drawing of our besotted pig friends on their Big Day. I wish them well, don’t you?

“Marry Me Pig” is available in green, gray and peach at FatandAppy.com, starting at $99. All purchases through April 24 receive a free copy of Love Is in the Air by Jonathan Fenske. Sign up for our emails and receive 15% off your next purchase. 

Children’s Modern Art Canvases + Free Autographed Book

It’s crazy exciting to announce our first promotion for Fat and Appy: Modern Art Canvases: A Free Autographed Copy of Love Is in the Air by Jonathan Fenske with purchase. No coupon code needed: We’ll throw an autographed softcover copy of Love Is in the Air* into each order through April 24, 2013. Shop on, art lover!

If you have been following our blog, you know we have been moving toward focusing Fat and Appy on art, rather than apps. We still love apps (hello, Apple!) but our first love has always been art. So, Fat and Appy is officially relaunching as Fat and Appy Modern Art Canvases for Children. 

A happy fat tomato with green background

There are several reasons for our new direction. A lot of parents want to have affordable art for their children’s rooms and play spaces. Too often, they are stuck with tacky prints at big-box stores. Simple, short-run prints have a place, too, and you can find them on Etsy, for instance, but then you have to frame them and we’ve found not everyone wants to do that.

Need tips for finding affordable art? Check out our post, “Art on a Budget: 6 Ways to Find Art That’s Affordable”

Another reason is that we discovered an amazing partner to create our canvases. They are handmade in North America, guaranteed not to fade or crack for 99 years and we offer a 30-Day Happiness Guarantee. The quality is so good, I practically swooned when I saw the first sample.

An orange popsicle on a blue background by Jonathan Fenske

We’ve added 18 designs to the store, starting with the artwork from Healthy Creatures (that’s our app for iPad!) plus some fun Popsicle illustrations. Jonathan is hard at work on more illustrations, so if you have some ideas, leave a comment below.

Two peas with faces with pink background

More details, if you are in to that type of thing:

-High-quality canvas stretched over 1.5″ wooden frame

-Printed with gallery-quality Giclee method

-Available in four sizes

-Designed by Jonathan Fenske

-Canvas wraps around sides providing a white finished decorative edge

-Durable piano wire mounted on back for easy hanging

Thanks for reading, and for supporting us!

–Jen and Jonathan

Who are Jennifer and Jonathan? Read about us, here.

Image of Love Is in the Air by Jonathan Fenske

* While supplies last. Softcover copy of Love Is in the Air by Jonathan Fenske has a retail value of $3.99. Sorry, we cannot personalize the autograph. No cash value. Offer ends April 24, 2013. 

What’s Your Favorite Children’s Book? + Book News

If you have kids in your home, you read a lot of children’s books. Books are everywhere around here. And beware the tidy mother who attempts to curate the collection. There were howls of protest when I started to “thin” out the bookshelves earlier this week. But we had to…shelves were stuffed and books were piled and the baby would drag them around, chewing and mewing for someone to read to her. (Kidding! She’s in that stage where a book is simply not that interesting. We still read to her, of course, but she wanders off to see how her older sisters are clobbering each other. True story.)

In any event, we filled a box-o-books to take to Goodwill.

Box of children's books

This book curating made me think of a guest post Jonathan did in February over at The Write Now Coach, Rochelle Melander. I’ve known Rochelle for many years and she’s a true tour-de-force of a writing coach, author, editor…the list goes on. She kindly had Jonathan on her blog and he guest posted about his 5 favorite children’s books. Here’s an excerpt:

“When we had our first daughter seven years ago, I delighted in buying old picture books at thrift stores and discovering new titles at our local bookstore. When I wrote Love Is in the Air (indeed, whenever I write) all of my favorite books were (and are) swirling in my head, a beautiful, highly respected and influential mass of collective imagination.”

In book news, we’re pleased as punch to tell you that Penguin USA made an offer for Woodward and McTwee. It’s one of several stories about a sweet, innocent hippo and a super snarky bird. The book will be published in 2014. We love Penguin, including Jonathan’s editor, Bonnie Bader. Go book people!

Here’s a homemade mock-up of the cover:

Cover of Woodward and McTwee children's book by Jonathan Fenske
That’s it from here! We invite you to head over to the new home of Fat and Appy, and our new collection of canvas prints for children featuring Jonathan’s designs. Save 15% by signing up for our newsletter. Thank you for visiting. We adore you so much.

Tell us in the comments: what is your favorite children’s book?