The Gala was a humongous  success as the Furniture Bank raised a record setting $45,000! Ensuring they will be able to continue their great work in the community and beyond for the next year. Also wanted to share an awesome story from the night that was relayed to me:

In one portion of the program, two former Furniture Bank clients came up to the podium to give testimonials about how the Furniture Bank helped them during their time of need.  Shortly afterwards, the Live auction began.  One of the items up for sale was a combo package of AirTran tickets and Disnery World passes.

After being the highest bidder, the gentleman who bought this AirTran/Disney package promptly turned around and gave it to one of the clients who had just given her testimony!  Her little boy was there, and he was so excited!

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My entry for this year’s auction benefiting the Furniture Bank of Atlanta is just about complete. The painting is based off some bird sketches I came across while flipping through an old sketchbook of mine. That happens a lot – I’ll sketch down an idea I think will make a nice finished piece at some point and then forget about it. It’s nice to come across an old idea and find a home for it. The auction is at the end of the month and all the proceeds will benefit the Furniture Bank.

You can see my previous year’s entries here

How long should you hold onto a card that is sent to you in the mail? I suppose there are a myriad of factors to consider such as who sent it, the occasion it’s marking, how much room on the fridge is available, how large your mantle is, and how attractive the card is. If you open it and glitter falls out you can just go ahead and throw it away no matter who it’s from. Some are easier to keep than others but some cards are just begging to take their rightful spot in the local landfill, recycling bin or shredder minutes after opening. Amongst the contenders in this last category are the birthday cards from your 3rd aunt Myrtle and your dentist’s office,  and the holiday card from someone you did business with that year.

Holiday cards at my office are a big deal though. Afterall we are a design firm. Clients come to us all year for mind-blowing creativity and beauty. The least we can do is send out a ‘thank you, Happy Holidays, keep us in mind’ card at the end of the year that people would much rather frame and hang on their wall than toss in the garbage. Easier said than done. We know each card we seal and stamp is in danger of heading for the trashcan so we do our best to save them from that fate. That responsibility has fallen on my shoulders the last 3 years and while I’ll accept the fact these things are not being framed, I would also like to think there are quite a few still hanging around somewhere.

All imagery copyright Litigation Presentation, Inc. 2007

All imagery copyright Litigation Presentation, Inc. 2008

All imagery copyright Litigation Presentation, Inc. 2009

www.litpres.com

…and no one is around to hear it – does it make a sound? I don’t know. But I do know if a tree falls behind your house at 3 o’clock in the morning you sure as hell are going to hear it. A record setting year for rainfall mixed with high winds was more than the giant oak tree could handle. I was awoken to, what I thought was, a train crashing through my bedroom. Turns out it was just the enormous oak behind us uprooting and bringing down the 3 nearby power lines with it. Thankfully that’s all it took with it – it fell about the only direction it could to not fall on someone or something. In fact, the tree snapped in two as it fell directly on top of a power line pole, saving several cars that would have been in the way.

I flew back to Texas for the Thanksgiving holiday to see my family. There have been lots of new additions over the last 2 years. I took home some prints for the little ones to put up in their rooms. Some of them are starting to talk and they’ve been learning what sounds certain animals make. As I showed them each picture they proudly blurted out the appropriate noises and acted out the movements – toddler charades is much more entertaining than you would think.

“RAAWWWRRR!”

‘Very good! That’s exactly what a tiger sounds like…’

“OOH OOH, AH AH!” (scratching head with one hand)

‘Yay! It IS a monkey!’

[Silence]

‘Hmmm…what sound does a giraffe make? Or a zebra for that matter?’

(Shoulder shrug)

‘I’ll pick better animals next time.’

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2 minute poses

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I reused my headless horseman design the following evening for the Atkins Park Pumpkin Carving Competition. Eight impressive contestants battled, knives in one hand, beer in the other, for the ultimate prize: bragging rights for best control of motor skills while drinking $50 in house cash. The floors piled high with orange innards, the tables cluttered with empty bottles, the sculptors made incisions with surgeon like precision stabbed wildly into their fleshy canvases, the servers grimaced at the mess – some of their faces rivaling the reliefs in progress.

The bell eventually rang signaling to the proud participants it was time to put down our knives (but not necessarily our drinks). The house lights were dimmed as candles were lowered into position. The smokey interior of the bar created a ghostly fog around the glowing gourds on display. Intense judging ensued: fellow carvers, Atkins Park employees, awed bar patrons, and a homeless guy who had wandered in to use the bathroom all cast their ballots.

In the end, my headless horseman was raised in victory. Much like King Mufasa proudly holding his son, Simba, before the rest of the pride, so I hoisted my baby before the throngs of listless bar-goers…and that homeless guy. I had never felt so proud.

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Special thanks to Julie, for the picture, and The Pizza Maker, for moral support

My office held its first annual pumpkin carving ‘contest’ today. I hadn’t carved a pumpkin in years, but with the help of my trusty $2.99 pumpkin carving kit from Target, a favorite childhood activity was relived. I’ll blame my rusty carving skills on a 10 year hiatus from the sport. Everyone had a good time carving, no one suffered an injury,  and all the pumpkins turned out nicely…Happy Halloween.

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I just received word I’ve been chosen to participate in The Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta‘s, Chairish The Future fundraiser again next year! The Furniture Bank works tirelessly to help those moving out of homelessness and fleeing domestic violence get back on their feet. By providing bedding and other basic furniture needs, the Bank facilitates a smooth and timely transition for clients into their new homes. Artist’s participating in the fundraiser will be creating works of art from ordinary pieces of furniture and selling them at auction. Last year’s event raised $40,000 with all proceeds benefitting the Furniture Bank. I am fortunate to be participating in this event for the 3rd straight year. Below are my entries from previous years. You can see lots of last year’s entries here: Chairish The Future 2009

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More photos of my entries here and here