Collector Spotlight: Mary & Frank in Washington!

Hello Friends!

I am honored to share another fun Collector Spotlight with you! For about 8 years now, Mary and Frank have been such sweet supporters of my folk art! Nestled in the Pacific Northwest, they traveled to a California art event years ago where I was exhibiting my Halloween folk art originals, and the rest is history! Since then, they've journeyed out to Colorado to experience one of our rocky mountain winters and collect a few winter delights. Most recently, I travelled to them at this year's Hallowbaloo in Washington state! They arrived early, and it was such a pleasure to reconnect! After last month's Halloween event, they decorated their home with their favorite seasonal delights and sent me a video clip of their festive mantel. I was so thrilled to see their display that I invited them to share more of their photos with you! Gladly they accepted! So, ENJOY a peek into their decorated home along with a fun Q & A. Many thanks to both Mary & Frank for sharing a glimpse into their home and for being such dear collector friends!


* I love this selfie! Frank & Mary are always smiling bright whether it's in person, photo or via email :)


* Here Mary arranges a group of my originals by color scheme. The folk art vintage whites and earthen hues from surrounding textural accent pieces bring out the natural charm of these two lumina jacks and the ghost sitter (.. the ghost they acquired this year!)


* This dramatic vignette centers around one of the few taller pieces that I have created over the years. The sweet jack-o'-lantern vase looks charming surrounded by fall gourds, autumnal foliage and a hooked art piece.

Johanna: How did you learn about my Halloween folk art?

Frank & Mary: We started collecting Halloween folk art work back in 2002. We went to Halloween & Vine in Petaluma, CA for the first time in 2007 and Mary was suddenly drawn to your display and character designs and became avid followers of your work ever since.

Johanna: Well that is definitely a perk of traveling to shows as we have the opportunity to make new friends that often fall in love with the art that we make. And the connections made inspire me to make more characters and dream up new concepts!


* A trio of Halloween originals strike a pose on Frank & Mary's mantel. These two candy containers and a jack make for a fun cluster under the towering candles. "Witch Hazel" at left (and referenced below) captured Mary's heart, and the collecting began!

Johanna: How long have you been collecting my originals?

Frank & Mary: It all started in 2007 at Halloween and Vine when Mary purchased "Witch Hazel" which was shown in a magazine featuring your work.

Johanna: Well, "Witch Hazel" looks content in her WA home. She has certainly welcomed many more JPD cousins into her family since her arrival! And yes, she did appear in Halloween Tricks & Treats Magazine by Better Homes & Gardens, the same year you started collecting my art!


* Here's a wide of their lovely mantel where you can see many of their Johanna Parker Design folk art characters proudly displayed.

Johanna: What is it about my creations that captures your imagination?

Frank & Mary: Your creations highlight a special occasion or holiday, but the folk art details and care that go into each piece bring a sense of joy in looking at them anytime.

Johanna: Ahh, thank you for saying that. A lot of heart and attention to detail do go into every piece with the wish that they will be cherished, appreciated and bring joy to their new owners. For me, it's a treat to see those smiles in person too...


* Speaking of joy and smiles, JP happened to capture this adorable photo of Mary grinning with glee after she snatched my one and only black cat folk lantern! From the looks of it, she found a prominent spot for this cutie in the center of their mantel!


* I just realized that I named this piece "Happy Frank Folk Lantern!" This often happens when creating my pieces... I'll get the notion to name a character a certain name, and then the collector that acquires it will have a deep connection to that name. Well, here we go again!! Clearly, both Franks make Mary happy, and that likely makes Frank happy too! Hence, "Happy Frank!"


* A tall green vase, filled with bittersweet, frames an end of their stunning mantel display. The soft vintage green accents on some of my originals pair well with the decorative objects, candles and nature inspired finds the Mary embellishes her seasonal settings with.

Johanna: Where have you had the best luck in acquiring my original pieces; shows, web sales, Collector's Catch, eBay, etc?

Frank & Mary: Our best luck in acquiring your work has been at shows, with an early arrival the best strategy. Web sales have also worked as long as I (Frank) was at a computer at the right time. The most fun was making a journey to Denver after it had snowed at one of your open houses in December when we were able to meet JP and your parents and take a side trip to Georgetown for a sleigh ride.

Johanna: Ah yes! We certainly enjoyed your presence at that memorable event! The flakes were falling and we were blanketed in sparkling snow, perfect for a holiday themed event. And yes, my parents who also live in WA, were in town visiting too! Thanks for braving the storm and being courageous to venture up into the mountains to Georgetown too :)


* Here is a magical snapshot of the winter originals that Mary & Frank adopted during a past visit to our Holiday Open House in Denver. I do remember it being a very snowy weekend, so I'm sure these pieces bring back lots of fun wintery memories from their snowy trip to Colorado, sleigh ride and all! How fun and nostalgic!

Johanna: Do you have a favorite piece in your collection?

Frank & Mary: The pieces are like children so there are not any favorites - they are all loved equally.

Johanna: That's a safe answer!  :) I hear ya, it's difficult to pick folk art faves!


* Here's a fun side scene of spooky characters! My 2 original jack-o'-lanterns (Johanna Parker Design) at center are in great company with 2 of Scott Smith figures from Rucus Studio...


* A jolly JOL man by Jack Roads takes a seat next to a black feather tree trimmed in Halloween ornaments.. Mary has her tree tucked in an old firkin, cleverly tying in a little of the past with the present. Let's take a closer peek!


* Ahh, yes, I spy 3 of my reproduction Halloween hanging ball characters from my Bethany Lowe Designs collection. Intermixed are other delights including a variety of Patricia Breen baubles.

Johanna: Is there anything in particular you suggest I try making
in the future?

Frank & Mary: We miss collecting the "mantle pieces" and bowls with characters done earlier in your designs - so bringing them back would be nice.

Johanna: Hmm, can you describe what you mean by "mantle pieces"?

Frank & Mary: I remember seeing large bust/head pieces (like shoulder and head) that you put on your mantle and shelf in one magazine featuring your work.

Johanna: Oh, I see! Yes, you are referring to my head and shoulders busts. I bet you are remembering back to my Tricks & Treats article as there was a witch bust pictured on a side table and a Jack bust on the mantle. I kept them both, and now they live on my studio shelf :) Thanks for your feedback! I should make a few busts for next year.


* Speaking of busts, here is a mini bust that Frank & Mary collected during my 4th of July themed web sale last year. I'm glad you snatched an Uncle Sam, as I rarely have time to make summer season characters.


* Beyond the Halloween & Holiday collecting, Mary & Frank enjoy celebrating Valentine's Day! They snapped this sweet photo of a heartfelt trio. Again, I'm in great company, as my two Johanna Parker Design V-Day snowman and love bird egg cup are cozying up to a precious Nicol Sayre angel.


* And, let's not forget about spring! So far, Mary & Frank have adopted this original chocolate-hued bunny ball character of mine. If I could find the time to make more spring characters, they would likely have a few. But, one is certainly a happy start and may just "spring" forth others!

Well, I hope you enjoyed this peek into Frank and Mary's delightful home! I certainly did! I probably say this every time, but it is always a pleasure to see my folk art characters lovingly displayed in my collectors' homes. Whether they prefer contemporary modern, shabby chic, eclectic, vintage, or beyond, my folk art originals seem to fit right in! That always fascinates me! Again, I am honored to  see my creations carefully arranged and admired with love. Many many thanks to Mary and Frank for  supporting my artistic endeavors and opening their doors to us! Your home is lovely!

To leave a comment or question for Frank & Mary, please click on the "comments" link at the bottom of this post! Thank you!

I look forward to sharing more Collector Spotlights posts in the future. 'Tis the season, so before you take down your JPD holiday displays, send me some photos for next time! I look forward to honoring your support of the folk-arts!

~ Johanna

Collector Spotlight ~ Spirited Celeste!

Bring on the Holiday Cheer as Christmas is ever so near! It is my honor and treat to share with you a festive Collector Spotlight. My dear collector friend Celeste, who shares a love for all things holiday, has once again opened her cozy home to us! After she artfully arranged her holiday displays this December, she snapped a medley of photos for me to share with you! Celeste has been collecting my folk art for several years, and her cupboards and sideboards show the results of her passion. Amongst the art of others, I am honored to have such a special spot in her home! Not only does she revere my winter-themed characters, but she also has a weakness for my Halloween as seen in her original Collector Spotlight feature! We've connected several times at shows and at our open house, and it is the twinkle in her eyes and the joy in her smile that really resonates with me when she sees my latest creations. I love that my creativity can ignite a wonderment and inspire her imagination. As always, it is a joy for me to see my handmade creations delighting others and filling homes with good cheer. Thank you Celeste for welcoming us into your decorated home, and I appreciate that you have found a special place in your heart for my art! For those that have joined us, read along for a fun Q & A as you peruse Celeste's photos! ENJOY!


* Celeste's excitement for the holidays has a long history… I love her perky dress and curly locks as the  tinsel shimmers on the Christmas tree!


* A prominent piece for displaying treasures in Celeste's home is her antique Sellers Hoosier hutch,  or "The Better Kitchen Cabinet" as the vintage tag plate states. I agree, it's the perfect spot to showcase a medley of finds, both old and new! From the top to the counter and the shelves in between, she fills the nooks with holiday cheer. A clever blending of antique finds pair perfectly with the folk art characters that call this piece home.

Johanna: How did you learn about my holiday folk art?

Celeste: I first saw you at Halloween and Vine seven years ago, and when I found your booth, I had already spent all my money!! I was so sad..I brought my friend Mona over to your booth and said, look how cute these pieces are!!! Buy one, so at least I can see it at your house! So she bought "Dixie Dot"! Your web update was not long after that and I was so anxious, I was an hour early for it, I forgot about the time change!! I was able to get my first one that day, "Bailey Boo".

Johanna: Oh my, I still remember that email that you sent me an hour early before the sale! I'm so glad you snatched something special, and wow did that ever blossom into something special!


* At center is an original mouse candy container, one of Celeste's favorite pieces.  He's donned with painted stockings and perches atop an old Sparking Mint Puffs tin. (I too have this vintage tin in my collection!) An original cat ball and a snowman ball character surround the scene. Vintage glass sugar jars add a touch of nostalgia and a baker's delight feel. Holiday originals by Johanna Parker Design.


* Above,  one of my original kettle cup snowmen whistles a holiday tune! Celeste tucks him in with old boxes and tins. A sweet vintage style tree and other novelties complete the nostalgic scene.

Johanna: How long have you been collecting my originals?

Celeste: Seven years.

Johanna: Time sure flies! I was just thinking today that I have been making my folk art, full time for over ten years now. Crazy!


* Below, we take a closer look at my snowman ball character, snuggling up to that sweet green tin. Under a delicate glass dome,  a vintage Christmas tree twinkles.


* Off to the side, a pair of holiday ball character originals pose for their photo! As the snowman balances on a pair of antique glass shakers, a vintage camera sets the scene from behind. "Merry Be"says the cat! Holiday originals by Johanna Parker Design.

Johanna: What is it about my creations that captures your imagination?

Celeste: I love antiques and vintage things and I feel your pieces remind me of vintage holidays, say the 40's era. The hues you use are so rich and the expressions are so cute and whimsical, I truly love them.

Johanna: Ahh, you nailed it! I love that era too. Whether intentional or not, the style and flowing lines of the 30s and 40s decades just seep out of me when I create. 


* A white feather tree adds texture, twinkle and delight to the scene. Celeste has been collecting my ornaments, both originals and reproductions for several years now, and her treasure hunting has proven fruitful. One of my illustrated snowman hats cleverly crowns the top of her tree! Below, holiday characters clip and dangle from branches. She has been collecting my one of a kind bell ornaments for several years now and has acquired a hearty handful of these jinglers! Off in the distance, I spy a snowman sitter…. Let's take a closer look!


* Back at the hutch, this very limited edition snowman sitter from my Bethany Lowe Designs line waves a happy hello, while an original Santa ball character hails a "ho ho ho!" Christmas characters by Johanna Parker Design.


* More ornaments dangle in delight and spread good cheer. In the mix, a jolly snowman with carrot nose (bottom right) from artist Tammy Strum joins in on the fun! More characters, both original and reproductions by Johanna Parker Design are sprinkled in for a festive mix!


* As you take a stroll around the tree, more treasures peek through the branches including the two snowmen in red stocking and cone by Johanna Parker Design along with a whimsical snow-cone combo by artist Robert Brawley.

Johanna: Where have you had the best luck in acquiring my original pieces; shows, web sales, Collector's Catch, eBay, etc?

Celeste: Web sales

Johanna: That would make sense… I should call you "Speedy Celeste" with those fast fingers!


* A cabinet cubby calls Christmas with more Johanna Parker Design snowmen! Vintage style snow flake boxes are used for both holiday sentiment and perching posts. A sweet elephant Santa peeks out of a chimney by Jody Battaglia.


* Old coffee and spice tins add a tasteful touch to the holiday scene where both my Santa kettle cup and snowman bust settle. Vintage glass beads, old baubles and a bottlebrush tree add holiday shimmer.

* More antique novelties and an old coffee grinder set the stage for a reproduction Santa ornament from my Bethany Lowe Designs line and a jolly sweet snowman holding snow babies,  an original by artist Tammy Strum


* Up top, a limited edition snowman vase from my Bethany Lowe Designs line, bursts with a spray of shiny holiday cheer. An original owl kettle cup by Johanna Parker Design nestles amongst the antique tins and a sweet holly angel by Jody Battaglia adds balance to the arrangement.


* Towering "Icicle Ike," one of Celeste's most recent acquisitions, is one of her faves! He proudly perches next to a very special vintage 60s tree created by Vivian Parsons, Celeste's mother now in spirit. A smaller snowman ball character offers a sweet grin while a little holiday train carrying critters frames the scene. Both snowman originals are by Johanna Parker Design.

Johanna: Do you have a favorite piece in your Christmas collection?

Celeste: As many of your collectors have mentioned before it is hard to choose just one!!!! I love them all! But "Icicle Ike" is up there and the mouse candy container. I am koo koo for your egg cups though, as I love small things…

Johanna: Oh, I know it's almost impossible to choose a fave. I would have guessed egg cups for you too as I know how much you love those :) "Koo Koo" is appropriate in a fun egg-cup kinda way!


* Speaking of Egg Cups….. Look at the large family of characters that Celeste has been adopting over the years! In mass, they make quite the festive statement. I spy eleven little characters in cups with arms spread wide! In the background, the "'Take out Window" painted by the late Charles Wysocki, sets a magical winter scene while Wee Forest Folk ornaments dangle from a tree.


* A closer look reveals sweet little faces with bright eyes and delicate details. A row of beautiful general store style candy jars add a sweet touch, and some are filled with glass candy by Hulet & Hulet.

Johanna: Is there anything in particular you suggest I try making in the future?

Celeste: I would love for you to try making Halloween bell ornaments as well as a squirrel and a raccoon!

Johanna: All would be fun, and thanks for the suggestions! I'm still on the hunt for spooky-sounding jingle bells for Halloween. If anyone has a source for me, please let me know!


* Delicate snowman lollipops, holly leaves and berries and swirly candies and stripes are just some of the motifs that I've painted on these festive cuties...

* Across the way, Celeste has festooned her mantel with holiday finds created by doll maker artisans. The standing Santa Cat designed by artist Mark Roberts is quite a festive statement piece and reminds Celeste of her mischievous cat Millie! But, I imagine (from what I've heard) that Millie would not tolerate to wear that Santa outfit :) A sheer mantel dressing drapes over the edge and draws the eye to a pair of cute snow folk by an unknown artist. 


* Back at the tree, more delights capture Celeste's heart including a hand-painted dog ornament by Carolee Clark (top left) and a sweet cloth angel by Robin Armstrong Seeber (bottom left). Snowman medley by Johanna Parker Design.


I hope you enjoyed the Q & A as well as the holiday glimpse into Celeste's cozy home for Christmas! Many thanks again to Celeste for opening her home to us! It is a joy to have this chance to visit my creations through the lens of her camera, and I am pleased to see how carefully arranged and cherished my art is in her home. My wish is that my handmade characters continue to bring twinkle and delight to her eyes and smiles to those that enter her dwelling. 

To leave a message for Celeste or myself, please click on the "comments" link at the bottom of this post. Thank you!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to you!
~ Johanna

Collector Spotlight ~ Martha in So Cal, Part 2...

Well, the pleasure is all mine to post the Part 2 portion of Martha's Collector Spotlight! As a follow-up to last year's holiday feature, we are sharing with you Martha's Halloween folk art collection. This season, she has graciously taken some stunning photos around her home, sharing peeks at how she decorates with the Halloween originals that she collects. And, I hear that he son Connor, had a hand in the photo-taking fun! Together, they took existing photos, and then played with alternative arrangements to offer additional decorating ideas for you! I am honored to see so many of my one of a kind characters, gracing this lovely home and treasured by the family that dwells here. It is touching to see handmade art being appreciated and loved in this way. Martha collects from a variety of folk artists, and you will some of those handmade works in her photos shared. I want to extend my hearty thanks to Martha for sharing her home in two, lovely Collector Spotlight features! What a treat! So, let's begin with an Artist & Collector Q&A that will meander throughout this Halloween post. Enjoy!


J: How did you learn about my Halloween folk art?

Martha: I was sitting at my dining room table on my computer.  I have always loved decorating, for all seasons and holidays.  I was web surfing (this was before Etsy, Pinterest, etc) and I think I typed in Halloween folk art and found you!  I'm trying to remember if you were having a web sale at the time, or not but I know that I bought my first piece then!  I think that was 2006???

J: Yes, and I'm also thinking that maybe my feature in Better Homes & Gardens, way back when, could have led you my way as well. Whatever the magic was, we made the connection!


* Speaking of the dining room table, I really love this tabletop centerpiece! A decorative lazy-susan serves as a rotating display wheel for a grouping of Halloween delights. Included in the mix is a Halloween cat ball character original and a reproduction spider candle stick by Johanna Parker Design along with a sweet faced pumpkin by Jo James of Cart Before the Horse. Off in the distance, we see other seasonal vignettes that we will explore more along the way!


*And if we give that wheel a spin, more Halloween characters emerge! A spooky wire-winged bat with a #31 on his belly is an original by Johanna Parker Design. The pair of metal owls are from Pottery Barn and the winking jack-o'-lantern is another sweet piece from Jo James of Cart Before the Horse.


* Martha shares a closer look at a festive coffee table display! A collection of grinning jack-o'-lanterns by Tammy Strum of Light and Shadow Studio, nest in a leaf-filled primitive dough bowl. Above, a crate makes a rustic roost for an original moon man sitter by Johanna Parker Design. A beautiful bundle of wheat offers a harvest touch.


* A ladder-style shelf offers a high perch to group Martha's collection of my Egg & Kettle Cup characters. A ghost, bat, skelly and cats make for a fun family of little ones, lined up to delight!


* Peeking beyond the autumn leaves, a grinning Jack by Johanna Parker Design, flirts a little with the camera :)

J: How long have you been collecting my Halloween originals?

Martha: I think my first originals are from 2006, or 2007 at the latest.  I remember I sent you an email and you were so kind and happy that I loved your work!   (You included that first email in my Christmas Collector Spotlight post.....still blown away you had it and could find it!)

J: I do have a tendency to hang on to emails, and it's fun to go back and watch a relationship bloom! I'm so happy that you reached out to me!


* What a lovely corner this is for a pair of my original owls to call home! The warm fall hues of these feathered friends compliment the nostalgic framed typographic art. And Martha's autumn-inspired arrangements add a lovely texture and softness to this scene. Just beautiful! One of a kind owls by me at Johanna Parker Design.


* High up in a nook, we see a yummy Halloween scene in rich hues of orange and black! My Jack ball character glances up to a candlestick pumpkin by Ginny Diezel. A pretty ceramic pedestal ties the group together ever so nicely.


* Nestled amongst a collection of fabric pumpkins by Willow Creek Sparrow, one of my cat ball characters grins quite wide.

J: What is it about these characters that captures your imagination?

Martha: I just remember loving the feeling I felt when I saw them.  From the expressions on their faces to the current, yet retro feel.  The colors are always beautiful and I love the warmth they exude.  It's as if you can feel all the time and love that you put into them!!  I just love the holidays/seasons and each character that you paint, whether Halloween, Christmas, Spring, Vday, they all bring your whimsy to that season!  And they just bring me joy and make me smile!  :)

J: Well thank you for the sweet sentiment. I make pieces in a style and feel that I would be drawn too if I were hunting for treasures. I am happy to be able to capture that vintage charm and release that joy through my artistry. 


* Speaking of smiles, this sweet Frankenstien ball character - my first Frank - offers a sweet little smirk. He is carefully paired with a vintage green pumpkin by Willow Creek Sparrow for a lovely color duet.

J: Where have you had the best luck in acquiring my original Halloween pieces;
shows, web sales, Collector's Catch, eBay, etc?

Martha: I have never had the pleasure of going to the Halloween Trunk Show, Halloween and Vine or Ghoultide.  But I have gone to your Holiday Open House twice and bought plenty at your home!  I have had amazing luck with the Collector Catch!  I think I have a Johanna Sixth Sense and get an impulse to check your website! HAHA.....lucky me!  I have gotten one piece from your lucky list.  I have found some originals as they pop up on Ebay every now and then.  And, I am pretty quick and usually grab one at each websale! 

J: Yes, I think at times, that JPD Sixth Sense of yours has been strong! All in all, it looks like you have found success down the various avenues where I offer my folk art. I must admit that I have been absent lately from posting Collector's Catch pieces and chipping away at my Lucky List. Thanks for reminding me, as I need to put those back on my radar :)


* From Martha's mantel collection of Halloween cats, this close up reveals a trio of cats that date several years back. There is a noticeable difference (I hope) from my more primitively sculpted originals at the start of my career to the more refined work I do current day. It's fun to see the artistic progression.

J: Do you have a favorite piece in your Halloween collection?

Martha: Hmmm.....gosh I love them all!  Of my Halloween, one of my fav's is Dolly Crescent....she is the beautiful black and white candy container with the AMAZING moon on it. Not to mention the adorable mouse sitting on the moon.  I also especially love two of my shelf sitters: Full Moon Marcus (2008), probably no additional description needed of this moon man, and Vinny Vine (2012) a super cute JOL sitter with black and creme striped arms and legs!

J: I know, it's not a fair question. Each year, after making a collection of Halloween originals, it's always difficult for me to pick my favorite :)


* Here, at center is "Dolly Crescent", one of Martha's faves! Dolly crowns a collection of cats on the mantel. Drift wood risers, a pumpkin and a candle stand, all act as clever perches for these fun folk art characters. A painting of pumpkins by Carrie Huber of 40th and Plum, makes for a bold, graphic backdrop.


* At left along the mantel sits "Full Moon Marcus"once again. Another favorite find of Martha's, he sits with a companion carnival-style cat, both one of a kind sitters that I sculpted. I love the lantern style cabinet as both a display case and as an architectural backdrop for the scene.


* And then there's "Vinny Vine," another favorite from Martha's collection. Gathered in a nook with two of my ball character JOLs and a sweet jack-o'-lantern painting by Diane Duda, they all offer harvest cheer!

J: Is there anything in particular you suggest I try making in the future?

Martha: Loved that I had said reindeer at some point and you did!  Love that I said elves, as I know others did too, and you did!  And that I got the first ones of those!!!  Hmmmm.....I would love a Christmas Skunk!  They were my fav animals growing up and I think the black and white would be cute!  Also a huge chipmunk the stripes!  Oh, and foxes are awesome too! Additionally now you did foxes!!!  I missed out on those this season as I couldn't make it to your Halloween Trunk Show.  So I guess I'm still pushing for a skunk, a chipmunk, and now how about a white fox for Christmas!!! 

J: Hey, that's good news that I am listening to my collectors. I know I haven't attempted a try at all the various suggestions that I receive, but I do like a good challenge! And when time and mood permit, I will give it a go. Yes, skunks, chipmunks and white foxes would be sweet!…. 

In following, I will share a few more arrangement ideas from Martha's lovely home. You will spy some of my previous pieces making appearances in new arrangements along with the clever works of fellow artist friends….


* It's a pumpkin patch, and props are certainly key to great composition. Here, Martha uses a vintage style cubby to display a line-up of my jack-o'-lantern ball characters below, while a sweet jack by Mandy Broome of Fiddlestix Studios perches above. A cart carrying a lumina Jack by Nancy Malay, tucks under a bundle of wheat. And, I spy my "Vinny Vine" sitter again, resting on the edge.


* These arched nooks in Martha's home are the perfect stage for a Halloween scene. Above, a pumpkin painting by Diane Duda adds color and a harvest motif. Below, a sweet jack scarecrow by Melissa Valeriote rests next to one of my JOL ball characters.


* OH Bats! These two bat originals by Johanna Parker Design get cozy with a carved pumpkin.


* And a HOOT HOOT here and a HOOT HOOT there…. What a fun collection of owls from various artists from left to right: Pumpkin perched owl - Jo James, Cart Before the Horse, Sculpted Owl on a mound - Johanna Parker Design, ceramic owl - unknown, Owl bust - Johanna Parker Design, hanging Owl bucket - David Everett of Chicken Lips, large Owl sculpture -  Lisa Bivona
And…..Count your Blessings the sign says!

I hope you enjoyed the tour of Martha's home for Halloween! I know I did! What a pleasure it is for me to see my handmade art and the wonderful creations of fellow artists living in harmony and all so lovingly arranged. Many thanks to Martha for opening her doors to us and inspiring many during this special season. I am honored to be a part of this lovely home.

To leave a message for Martha or myself, please click on the "comments" link at the bottom of this post. Thank you!

Happy Halloween,
~ Johanna

Collector Spotlight: Donna, the Farmer's Wife from Maryland

It is my pleasure to share with you another inspiring Collector Spotlight feature! For the haunting month of October, my collector friend Donna in Maryland has opened her lovely home to us. Her Halloween art collections sprawl throughout her farmhouse, and pair harmoniously with her love for antiques and vintage novelties. Initially, I asked that Donna share 9-15 photos of her collections for this post, and she wowed me with 30! So, we are all in for a real treat! I had the joy of meeting Donna earlier this month at the Halloween Trunk Show here in Denver. Fortunately, her quest from afar, for more Halloween originals was indeed fruitful, and after arranging her new-found treasures with care, she has generously decided to share! I am always tickled to see my creations, happily settled and well-loved in their new homes. Thank you Donna for sharing a glimpse into your art-filled home! I imagine that your love for seasonal folk art will inspire many others to start building special collections of their own. Now, let's get started with a little Q & A and a medley of photos!...


J: How did you learn about my Halloween folk art?

Donna: I found your art looking at pictures of Ghoultide Gathering in 2011. It was love at first sight!

J: Well, I am thrilled that you were perusing photos from the Ghoultide art show and that you spotted my papier mache folk art characters!

* A trio of my Halloween characters: black cat, mouse & raven by Johanna Parker Design share a haunting nook with a Nicol Sayre art doll memory box....

J: How long have you been collecting my originals?

Donna: I bought my first original in 2011 from your Halloween Web Sale, a few weeks after discovering your art.

J: Ahh, yes! I recall you snatching up the jack-o'-lantern egg cup character, pictured below at center on the top shelf! You were so thrilled to capture your first Johanna Parker original, and now he certainly is in good company...

* What a colorful grouping of Johanna Parker Design Halloween folk art characters! It is reminiscent of a spooky carnival and a pleasure to see them all grouped in one place!

J: What is it about my creations that capture your imagination?

Donna: Halloween has always been my favorite Holiday.  I am especially drawn to vintage Halloween items and your originals capture that vintage look.  Just holding one of your originals in my hands is a magical experience for me.  I love how each piece has it's own personality. I love the texture, the artwork and the little embellishments that you add to each piece, such as glitter, bowties, collars and wire.  It all combines to make each piece entrancing and instantly takes me to my "happy place".

J: Thank you for being so observant and appreciating all the little extra details that I add after painting each original piece. It's like the icing on the cake, which takes me to a happy place too!

* Above, my mini bat bust with wire accents and bow tie trims captures some of those fun embellishments that take Donna to her "happy place!" A small Laurie Meseroll primitive painting serves as a sweet backdrop for this Johanna Parker Design bat in the foreground.

* A wider view captures a pair of Nicol Sayre's art dolls, joining the Halloween folk art gathering...

* Another grouping of folk art artifacts includes my striking Halloween owl vase, Johanna Parker Design. You can enjoy the full arrangement below...

* From left to right, cloaked art doll by Nicol Sayre, standing clown button bird by Johanna Parker Design, primitive painting by Laurie Meseroll, owl vase by Johanna Parker Design, ornate clock case with art doll by Nicol Sayre and mohair black cat by Steiff

* Here is a close-up of my clown-style standing button bird. I recently started adding vintage buttons as a fun embellishment to some of my original pieces this year....

J: Where have you had the best luck in acquiring my original pieces; shows, web sales, Collector's Catch, eBay, etc?

Donna: I just attended my first trunk show in Denver, and I lost control of my hands - I bought seven originals!  I was asked numerous times, "How many are you buying?"  LOL  I have an extreme fear of flying, so just showing up was huge for me.  I did not want to waste the opportunity to purchase as many originals as I could, as I may never get my up my nerve to fly again!  I would have to say, your shows are the ultimate buying experience!  I have also had equal success with  Collector's Catch, web sales and eBay.

J: Well, it was quite a treat for me to meet you in person, and I am so honored that you made the journey to collect my art, despite your fear of flying...(I'm not a fan of flying either!) I am happy that your buying experience was fruitful... Your loss of hand control made me laugh out loud!

* Now happily residing in Donna's home, this special witch bust was one of the 7 that she collected earlier this month at Denver's Halloween Trunk Show. "Spookquila Jewel" by Johanna Parker Design

* Donna has an eye for assembling and arranging her antique finds and folk art objects that creates a nostalgic experience and a sense of treasures found!

* An old pewter plate frames a cat ball character that I created earlier this year, again featuring vintage buttons as textural adornments. "Vintage Gerry" by Johanna Parker Design

* A spooky spider bust by Johanna Parker Design also went home with Donna after her trip to Denver! This sweet and rather harmless friend now keeps watch over a "Beloved" Nicol Sayre art doll, eerily laid to rest...

* A black cat kettle cup with illustrated hat, by Johanna Parker Design, makes for an intriguing grouping with other novel, antique finds...

* My Blog Readers may have caught a glimpse of this special piece in the lead-up to this year's Halloween Trunk Show. A few inquired, and well, "Leowl & Lumin-o" now perches in Donna's Maryland farmhouse! Original perching owl by Johanna Parker Design...

J: Do you have a favorite piece in your private collection?

Donna: That is a tough question for me to answer, as I love all my JP originals.  I would have to say that "Morty Moonsquat" is my favorite.  He flew so high, he landed on the moon, quite by accident.  He is a reminder to me to keep myself "grounded".  "Timely Timowlthy" is a very close second.

* At left is "Morty Moonsquat", a special order piece that Donna convinced me that she needed!... According to Donna, I captured him just as she imagined! Yay! And, he pairs nicely with the cat/moon ball character that she collected from me last year... Both Halloween ball characters are by Johanna Parker Design.

* A wider photo of both moon characters reveals a standing bat witch by Nicol Sayre amongst other folk art characters by Johanna Parker Design. A distressed painting by artist, Jennifer Lanne, adds texture and drama to the setting...

* And there's "Timely Timowlthy" my first "Screampunk" piece that I created for a group EHAG Challenge. This whimsical Johanna Parker Design owl, stretched my imagination, and it's a pleasure to see him roosting in his home...

* Pictured above "Timely Timowlthy, are a pair of mohair bears, holding sewing notions in antique tin cups by Letty Worley Brooks

J: Is there anything in particular you suggest I try making in the future?

Donna: I am so happy you asked.  I have several suggestions!  For Halloween I would love to see a zombie or a devil.  For Christmas I think an elf would be delightful.

J: Thanks for the ideas! I have never made any of the 3 you mentioned, but I do have some elves slated for this year's Holiday Open House - well as long as I like how they turn out!

* A closer image of Nicol's bat witch show's her paired with my mini cat bust...

* And, here is another sweet trio of folk art characters. From left to right, a pin cushion mouse by Lori Ann Corelis, a lumina jack-o'-lantern egg cup by Johanna Parker Design, purchased from Frame by Frame, and distressed art doll by Nicol Sayre. Tucked up against a gilded mirror, the viewer can enjoy reflections as well...

* Donna found this early jack-o'-lantern of mine on eBay. He is likely dated 2004 and was created when I was still exploring my technique and deciding IF I wanted to follow along on this folk art path!

* A wonderful standing witch by Nicol Sayre enjoys the company of my leggy spider, by Johanna Parker Design...

* An original owl candy container, again by Johanna Parker Design enjoys the company of a perching bat by Lori Ann Corelis...

* Taking a closer peek at the Johanna Parker Design spider reassures us that he is indeed a friendly fellow... Thank goodness!!!

* A distressed corner cupboard houses three folk art finds. The sweet mohair witch & pumpkin pairing was made by Lori Ann Corelis alongside another owl candy container by Johanna Parker Design. Below, a delicate coffin exposes a sweet Beloved Nicol Sayre doll...

* And, lastly for the Halloween imagery, Donna shared a photo of her table top display, featuring my reproduction candlestick spiders! She explains that she removed the outer two spiders from their candlestick roosts, and they are now hanging from the chandelier above! I love that she is enjoying the versatility of this fun set, and allowing her imagination to play...

* Donna also shared a few other Johanna Parker Design holiday characters! From 2011 & 2012, these two Christmas cross-over pieces bring a hint of Halloween whimsy to her decor. My holiday Bat Sitter and Ghost of Christmas past candy container are both elevated upon pedestals and make us smile!

* Two time-worn books elevate a holly owl kettle cup, appropriately paired with a NOEL egg cup snowman, both by Johanna Parker Design. In the mix are vintage sheep, an old crock and heirloom photos, passed down through the family...

* Two snowmen surround a perching owl, all decked out for the holidays. Again, these originals by Johanna Parker Design partner well together and amidst the antique treasures in Donna's home.

* And, let's not forget about Valentine's Day! During a web sale, Donna snagged this special heart-shaped barn owl piece that I created for the month of love!

* And last but not least, Donna shared a peek at a pair of spring-themed Johanna Parker Design originals. The party-style bird is a much earlier piece that she found on eBay. The white hare kettle cup was included in a collection of originals made for my spring web sale in 2012.

J:  Well, THANK YOU Donna for opening your home and extending an invitation for all of us to marvel at your decor and amazing folk art collections! It is a TREAT for me to share in your enthusiasm for my art, and to better imagine how you enjoy these pieces with each day. I can see why there is a yearning to acquire more than just one, as these collectible characters pair nicely together and group with even more visual impact! Let the collecting begin, or in this case, shall we say, continue... :)

I hope you enjoyed Donna's photos! You can share your thoughts with Donna here in the comments portion of this post. Just click the "comments" link below to leave a message for both me and her!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN & Happy Collecting too!

~ Johanna

Follow Me on Pinterest

Collector Spotlight: Amber in CA...

And last but not least to help me finish out my most favorite month is this fun Collector Spotlight featuring my friend Amber who also lives in California! She spotted my folk art early on when I was still experimenting with my mediums and technique, and some of her pieces date way back to 2005 (which honestly feels like ages to me!) You will enjoy perusing her collection of Halloween folk art which also includes many wonderful delights from fellow artist friend Nicol Sayre. So, grab a handful of Halloween candy and enjoy the photos that Amber has graciously shared with us here. Many thanks to Amber for the open invitation to visit her decorated home, and a personal thanks for admiring, following and collecting my work fron my earlier days of artistic exploration to the current time. It's such a treat for me to revisit all of these pieces and enjoy catching a glimpse of them in their loving home.........Please leave comments for Amber at the end of this posting.....


J:  How did you learn about my holiday folk art?  
A: The 1st time I spotted your creations was in 2005 at Halloween and Vine.  I went with a friend to snag a Nicol Sayre witch doll.  After the rush we saw your booth.  Unfortunately, I had already spent all my money!  But my friend was able to buy a large cat head sculpture. I loved it and knew I had to have one for myself!!


( * Above, one of my earlier tall vase sculptures featuring an original black cat towers over some vintage style Halloween novelties )

J:  How long have you been collecting my originals?
A: 6 years ~ I started collecting shortly after H&V that year.  Halloween is definitely my very favorite theme and holiday, but I couldn't wait for the next October to roll around so I started my collection with an adorable Snowman named "Peppermint Tommy".  I love him with his candy cane nose!  He is very special to me cuz he started the whole collection!
J:  Ahh, this does take me back, and I do recall you adopting Peppermint Tommy, but I didn't realize that he kick-started your JPD collection! What fun! (Amber has included a photo of Tommy lower in this post, so we can all go down memory lane :)

( * Above, a wonderful grouping of my Halloween originals congregate together on a side table in Amber's home ~ two of which were created this year while others date back to 5 or 6 years ago. Scrolling wrought iron candle stick accent pieces add additional interest to Amber's arrangement. What a beautiful display! )

( * Taking a closer peek, Amber displays her first JPD bat just recently acquired and grouped alongside an owl and jack-o'-lantern friend from year's past )

J: Where have you had the best luck in acquiring my original pieces; shows, web sales, Collector's Catch, eBay, etc?
A: I have gotten pieces from Halloween & Vine, Web Sales and have been pretty lucky on Ebay!


( * Above, "Polka & Punkin" a candy container duo and "Ollie O'Lantern" are several years old, but still lookin' good and are some of Amber's favorites as you'll notice below..... )


J: Do you have a favorite piece in your private collection?
A: It is way to hard to pick a favorite...I actually have a lot of favorites!  LOL  Polka N' Punkin and Ollie O'Lantern are way up well as Gilly Juggles, and one of my newest, Moonlit Owlvira!  And I cannot forget Jester Jack!  He was a surprise birthday gift from the sweetest man ever!!!
J: Ah, yes, those are some of my favorites from your collection as well!  I still pine over "Gilly Juggles" (pictured above) as he really did turn out quite special. I almost kept him back when I made him, but I'm happy that he's well-loved in your home and amongst so many other Halloween friends!


( * And there's "Jester Jack" pictured directly above, adopted for Amber during my Black & White Delight Web Sale this past spring by her thoughtful beau! And I spy another sitter character that I completely forgot that I made! He must be several years old..... And I do believe that smiling jolly jack candy container was created last fall.... )


( * Looking to another display, a one of a kind candy container cat grins from ear to ear and lights up the counter. A glass jar filled with black and white striped candy batons adds a bold graphic touch  )

J: What is it about my creations that captures your imagination?
A: There are so many things I love about your work.  The colors, designs, attention to detail.  What I love the most is that they are so whimsical and scream vintage Halloween!  They also trigger a wonderful nostalgia for me :-)  My JP collection is among my favorite possessions.
J: That makes me smile!  (mission accomplished!)


( * Amber proves that grouping both my reproduction art (the tall bat vase from my line of Bethany Lowe Designs products) can look quite dashing with an original piece of art like this one of a kind owl head. The draping spider webs and haunting cheesecloth add background texture, and those spooky apothecary bottles add a creepy old-world touch )

( * Another eye-catching Halloween display sprawls across the bar counter in Amber's kitchen. She clearly wants to surround herself with eye-candy as she cooks! Let's take a closer peek below...... )


( * And there sits "Moonlit Owlvira," mentioned above as one of Amber's faves. She's proudly displayed with some sweet jack-o'-lantern characters designed by doll artist, Nicol Sayre. It's fun to see how well they complement one another! )


( * Moving down the line, I spy a one of a kind black & white owl candy container that I believe Amber snagged off of a private sellers's auction on eBay. He really looks enchanting here with more Nicol Sayre folk art characters...... )


( * And it's fun to be reacquainted with "Belinda Bag Lady" who was photographed on my coffee table trunk in the 2007 issue of Halloween Tricks and Treats Magazine by BHG. She looks ever so pleased at home with Amber! And I'm really liking that old decorated dress form off in the distance ~ I have a similar piece here in my home! )

( * And we mustn't forget some of my earliest reproduction pieces from my Primitives by Kathy line...... )

J:  Is there anything in particular you suggest I try making in the future?
A: Hmmmmm....maybe a werewolf or perhaps a mummy???  Could be pretty darn cute I think :-)
Thank you again Johanna...this has been fun and I am honored :-) xoxox, Amber
J:  Oh, the honor is all mine Amber!  Everything is just lovely, and I am thrilled to see my creations in such good company and so well-received.


( * And one more Halloween original, a black cat rattle cone from way back when, suspends over two sweet Nicol Sayre folk art witch dolls )

*BONUS Feature!... Here's a sneak peek at Amber's collection of my Christmas originals along with a Spring-themed piece as well! She's got the seasons covered :)


( * And remember "Peppermint Tommy," the snowman that fueled her collecting passion for my creations? Well, he's pictured above at left with that fun-loving candy cane nose! It's a pleasure for me to revisit these guys for this winter's inspiration! And look, one more sitter rests by his side! Looks to me like both Amber & Sandy & Gary had their sights set on my short-lived run on folk art sitters!..... Maybe I'll reintroduce a collection of sitters one of these days )


( * One more pair of my one of kind snowmen make me laugh with their quirky smiles. These guys date back 5 years or so! )

( * Ahhh, and I remember making a series of these nesting birds, each very unique and all-seasonal for the home. I wish I had more time these days to create more every-day delights, but Halloween has really stolen my focus with its high demand and popularity! At any rate, this turquoise bird looks lovely on an old peely white antique display cabinet )

Well, it was certainly a pleasure to see and share with you Amber's delightful collection of folk art!  A warm thanks goes out again to Amber for allowing us into her lovely home. She has offered a generous glimpse to us, so please offer your comments below for Amber to enjoy.

This has a been a delightful series during my most favorite month with 3 Collector Spotlight Features! I am honored to see my creations bringing joy to your homes and look forward to featuring more private collections in the near future!

Thanks again and Happy Halloween Collecting,
~ Johanna

Collector Spotlight: Mona in CA...

I have the pleasure of introducing to you another dear collector of mine. Her name is Mona, and she has been acquiring my Halloween (and Christmas) originals for a few years now! With a shared passion for collecting, she is great friends with Celeste, pictured alongside her, and it was Mona's bag that I mistakenly swopped with Gary & Sandy's bag at this year's Ghoultide Gathering! (Oh it's a small world which makes for a comical tale, now that it's in the past!) Mona's delightful collection is certainly sprawling with one of a kind Halloween collectibles from both myself and that of my fellow artist friends. Fortunately, Mona snapped a fun variety of photos to share, so sit back and enjoy as she opens her doors to us. Many thanks to Mona for offering this delightful peek into her home and for taking the time to answer my questions. :)


J:  How did you learn about my holiday folk art?  
M:  I met you at the  Halloween and Vine Show in 2008 and bought my first piece Dixie Dot.

( * I was excited to see just how many of my Halloween originals Mona has lined up in one spot! It's an impressive march of jack-o'-lanterns, cats, bats, owls and a moon, spider, bunny and crow! Also in the mix includes a Carolee Clark Welcome Dearies sign, a Tammy Strum tambourine, and a squash man by Laurie Hardin ).... You can click on this image for a larger view......

J:  How long have you been collecting my originals?
M: 3 years

( * I thought I would zoom in a bit so you can see these characters up close. So, here we are starting on the left end....  I do believe that the center cat pictured with illustrated hat is "Dixie Dot," Mona's first piece of mine! Thanks to Dixie's charm, it seems that Mona got hooked!)


J: What is it about my creations that captures your imagination?
M: I love that when I look at your whimsical creations they make me smile, some artists creations make me cringe when I look at them.  I am not into the dark side of Halloween I love the light side.  Halloween makes me think of my childhood and the fun it was going door to door trick or treating.  I also love the warm soft hues you use to capture the feel of Halloween!
J: I think you nailed it Mona ~ my art certainly focuses on the happy-spirited side of Halloween, and I want to evoke those sweet, nostalgic memories. I'm glad it's working!

( * Front and center on this shelf of characters is a proudly standing base chamber vase bulldog original of mine that Mona snatched up alongside the bat and moon cups at last year's Ghoultide Gathering )


( * A perching owl and black cat pair were likely adopted at the last Halloween & Vine I exhibited in, while Mr. Spider, a new character this year, was adopted at the 2011 Ghoultide Gathering. Mona likes to use wooden pedestals to elevate key pieces in her collection )


J: Where have you had the best luck in acquiring my original pieces; shows, web sales, Collector's Catch, eBay, etc?
M:  All of the above, I have found them at Halloween and Vine, Ghoultide Gathering, your Open House, web sales, I have been lucky a couple times and been able to snatch your catches and ebay.


J: Do you have a favorite piece in your private collection?
M: I don't have a favorite piece of yours, but Celeste does, she loves the candy corn egg cup cat on the ice box!  I have to make sure she doesn't tuck in her purse when she leaves.  ; )
J: That's too funny! Yes, do keep an eye on that little cat as he could be easily lifted when your back is turned :) (Speaking of, that cat is pictured in the image above, appropriately placed with an assortment of candy-filled jars and a fun squash character by Laurie Hardin.)


( * Halloween art has found its way to the kitchen island in Mona's home as well! Here, my reproduction Halloween horns (from my Bethany Lowe Designs line) surround an older tripod cat reproduction (from my Primitives by Kathy line) As always, I am in great company with the stunning platter by Carolee Clark, winking Jack by William Bezek and lantern-carrying JOL man by Scott Smith! OH, and I believe I spy a moon man off in the distance by Brandi McKenna...)


( * More fun characters dot the house as we come across another one of my older black cat egg cups joined by a group of friends from Jodi Battaglia. In the background a hand-painted handled-plaque by Elona Engelke and a decorated clock by Angela Walter set the spooky-fun mood )

( * 2 of my latest egg cup characters, including my first little mouse, are set aglow thanks to a whimsical lamp by Spookylvania! What FUN! )

J:  Is there anything in particular you suggest I try making in the future?
M: I would love to see you make a Halloween raccoon.  I just can see you doing one with it's natural mask.  Frankenstein would be fun!!!!  Halloween Bell ornaments like you make at Christmas.  Let me know if you need more ideas ; )
J:  Great ideas & yes, keep them coming! 


( * Perching atop an antique Victorian secretary is one of my original owl ball characters that I believe Mona was able to snag during a past EHAG Emporium sale. Paired with a Nicol Sayre black cat, they make a fun duo )


( * A wider view reveals additional creations by Lori Mitchell, Allen W. Cunningham, Vergie Lightfoot and Tammy Strum )


( * Above, a mirrored curio cabinet is lined with shelves of Mona's collection of Wee Forest Folk. "Best Witches" an original bust of mine proudly tops it off, while Scott Smith's Old Crone keeps watch )


( * On a nearby table, my one of a kind "31" bat takes cover under a whimsical Halloween tree!  And one of Laurie Hardin's signature orbs adds a touch of magic to the side )


( * Even a visit to the bathroom never disappoints at Mona's residence! My reproduction owl pail (from my Bethany Lowe Designs line) perches above an antique wash basin table which displays 2 handmade characters from Lori Ann Corelis.  Glowing above resides a witch and pale trio by Laurie Hardin)

I hope you enjoyed this Collector Spotlight feature! Please leave your comments for Mona below. She has graciously opened her doors to you, and I am sure she would enjoy reading your thoughts...
And once again, Thank You Mona for sharing. Both myself and my fellow Halloween art friends truly appreciate your passion for what we do!

~ Happy Halloween Collecting ~
 ~ Johanna ~

Collector Spotlight: Sandy & Gary in PA...

Well, it has been about a year since I have posted a Collector Spotlight feature! During the frenzy of this past Ghoultide Gathering, long-standing fans and collecting couple, Sandy & Gary from Pennsylvania traveled in and adopted a few more original delights from me. They promised to send me photos of their collection (even after I mistakenly swopped their bag on them.....eek! :) Fortunately that was resolved, and upon their return, they had a moment to snap some lovely photos and answer a few of my questions. So, enjoy a peek at their sweet and spooky decor along with a fun Q & A! Many thanks to both Sandy & Gary for taking such a special interest in the work that I create and for sharing a glimpse at their decorated home with us :)
(please leave comments for them below...)

J:  How did you learn about my holiday folk art?  

S & G:  It has been so long, neither of us could remember....

(* I thought I would start out by sharing this lovely photo of their mantel all dressed for Halloween! It is such a treat for me to have my art displayed in such an honorable way...)
You can click on this image for a larger view....

(* Perched atop an antique bucket stands an owl original of mine that Gary snatched up at last year's Ghoultide Gathering! Little did either of us know that this owl would appear in this year's Midwest Living magazine!... In surround, 2 other originals, a black cat & and a bat atop a jack keep company with a sweet handmade blackbird by Lori Ann Corelis.)

J:  How long have you been collecting my originals? 
S & G:  It seems like we've been big fans and collectors since you started.  Our oldest pieces are from 2006, so I guess about 5 years.
J: This is a nice span of years to build a collection ~ I actually started making my originals full-time in 2004, but I was still just learning my technique then. I often shudder when I see some of those older pieces resurface today :)

(* Last year's one of a kind, base chamber vase black cat strikes a proud pose on the left end of their mantel. An original bat and older black cat and standing crow share this cozy spot with one of my reproduction owl rattles and a sweet handmade bear by Lori Ann Corelis. Sandy & Gary enjoy mixing in old wooden boxes and buckets to use as risers for their collection. The vintage appeal of both complement one another.)

J: What is it about my creations that captures your imagination?
S & G: Well, this is a rather tough question, as we have never dissected why we like your creations.  So in attempting to answer this question, we agree first and foremost it is the pure artistry of your creations. The medium you have chosen, the whimsical detail of each piece and the folk art style fit into our personal collection.
J: Thank you, that's wonderful!

(* This image takes me back! It's been several years since I have created any one of a kind shelf sitter characters, and this papier mache clown is certainly unique. The mouse is current this year, and was adopted at the Ghoultide Gathering. Peeking from behind, the reproduction black cat candy cup is from my line of Bethany Lowe Designs products.)

(*Due to the complexity of these pieces, I only made a handful of shelf sitters. It looks to me that Sandy & Gary have the majority of them sitting around in their home! :)

(* See look, there's another one of a kind sitter! Wow, that makes four :) The mini-sitter and lumina jack are reproductions, again from my line of Bethany Lowe Designs products.)

J: Where have you had the best luck in acquiring my original pieces;
shows, web sales, Collector's Catch, eBay, etc?
 S & G: We've collected through EBay, web sales and Artist shows.  Our preferred gathering source is Artist shows where we have the opportunity to touch and feel, and of course touch base with you and JP.  These shows also give us a chance to discover new artists and their creations.
J: This is true ~ you along with my other collectors do have the best luck in acquiring my originals via Artist shows. Knowing that you are traveling in just like we are, we want to offer you a nice showing of work to make your trip worthwhile :)

(* These two one of a kind ghosts were snatched up by Gary at this year's Ghoultide Gathering. He patiently waited for several hours in the chilly, wet weather to snag some black & white originals from me, and ghosts were one of my latest additions! Thank you for your determination, Gary!)

(* And speaking of discovering other artists, you will notice that two of my original black cat candy containers here, are in good company with the wondrous wood carvings from The Whimsical Whittler and a handmade crow from Lori Ann Corelis.)

J: Do you have a favorite piece in your private collection?
S & G: After much discussion, we've decided our whole collection is our favorite piece.  Like children you just can't have a favorite!

(* More of my one of a kind cats, made over various years still look as if they are all part of the same family, regardless of when they were created. I can certainly see an evolution in my attention to detail over the years. But, it's a relief that Sandy & Gary still love them all!....)

(* The large cat bust is an older one of a kind ~ look at those long arms & neck! :) The pair of spider and owl kettle cups were created last year and snatched up by Sandy at the Ghoultide Gathering. The wee little owl is a licensed Bethany Lowe reproduction of mine...)

(* A pair of winged companions hang, suspended from an antique sign. These fun characters were new last year from my line of Primitives by Kathy reproductions.)

J:  Is there anything in particular you suggest I try making in the future?
S & G: We are collectors who look forward to seeing your new creations and we are never disappointed.  We know and appreciate your passion is Halloween, but you have created selected other pieces for Christmas and a few Spring offerings.  We would love to see you take a look at other Holidays:  St. Patrick's Day and Valentines for example.  We decorate for each Holiday and would love to be able to display some Original Johanna Parker pieces all year long.
J: Your point noted.... thanks for the push! Your passion for my work and collecting certainly inspires me, and I thank you graciously for that.

*BONUS Feature!... Here's a sneak peek at Sandy & Gary's collection of my Christmas originals ~ It looks like they have 11 more of my characters to share...

(* Ah-hah, I spy yet another sitter! I believe some of the other characters were won on eBay and / or acquired through my web sales. Ah yes, I recall that Santa candy container taking forever to complete with all those dimensional icicles and that whimsically carved beard :)

( * More characters from the red and cream palette make friends with another one of Lori Ann Corelis' mohair bears! {I am seeing a trend!} And there's that one and only "bear" of mine, so far anyway. I know, he does resemble a mouse too.....)

(* These guys must be older ~ perhaps some of the first originals that Sandy & Gary adopted. Thank goodness they took a liking to them!)

I hope you enjoyed this Collector Spotlight feature, and please leave a comment for Sandy & Gary below. They have opened their doors to you, and I know they would enjoy reading your thoughts below....

Now, how about you?  Do you have a budding collection that showcases my folk art? Of course I would LOVE to see it and share it with my readers here. Please EMAIL ME with a message of interest, and we'll take it from there. Thank you!

Happy Collecting!
~ Johanna

A Collector's Spring Inspirations...

Tucked away in my mailbox last week was an overstuffed envelope from a dear collector who lives locally in town. She has been supporting my creative endeavors since I first started showing my wares at outdoor flea markets 6+ years ago! I believe Karen Z. discovered me at Denver's Ballpark Market, which I believe is a thing of the past these days. My whimsical holiday characters lit a spark in her collective passions, and she has been acquiring a piece here and several pieces there ever since. Before she put her "Johanna Parker Spring" collection away this year, she snapped a few photos and mailed them to me! What a treat :) I thought I would share them with you..... Enjoy, and thank you Karen for your thoughtfulness and for believing in me! It's always a pleasure to see how my collector friends display their cherished collectibles in their personal spaces....

~ Johanna


* Here, Karen has my Spring characters grouped in front of a mirror for a magnified view. (Great idea!) She has included a pair of my illustrated spring party hats that complete the spring family.


* These few original spring characters take me way back! The sunflower girl and large spring chick were some of my first spring creations, and I believe the little spring egg cup was one of my first from this series of cup characters....


* You may recognize this sweet pair from my Spring Gallery page...... They are some of the few spring originals that I have created over the last few years..... I admit, I took this year off from creating spring as time just flew by. Perhaps next year I will release a few more one of a kinds.....


* Another close-up reveals a spring chick candy dish design that I licensed to Bethany Lowe Designs a few years ago. This piece is now retired, but it looks like Karen snatched one up at one of the last Spring Flings!

Spring Designs © Johanna Parker Design ~ Photographs courtesy of Karen Z.

Collector Spotlight!...

I wanted to share another fun Collector Spotlight with you this month! Through a chain of events, my collector friend Kevin in New Jersey stumbled across my Halloween folk art collectibles, and the rest is history. Since then, he has been adding both my originals and reproductions to his growing collection of Halloween decor. Fortunately, he had a moment to share some of his own photos with us, but he admits that much more of what he has collected, including several of my originals, are still in storage. So, perhaps we'll get to see the full collection next year. Kevin recently relocated, so I'm sure it's a bit of a challenge just finding all the goodies he has been accumulating! For now, enjoy a peek at what he has on display this year along with a fun Q & A! Thank you for sharing Kevin :)


J: How did you learn about my Halloween folk art?
K: I bought a Scott Smith item at a gift shop and stumbled across his Halloween and Vine website, saw your collection and had to have some. When I attended H&V last year I had a whole game plan. My plan was to dart to your table fist, place my orders and then dash to Scott's & Greg's and then place an order and see what was left.

* My original Base Chamber Vase Owl is surrounded here by two whimsical Greg Guedel carvings...

J: How long have you been collecting my originals?
K: Only about 2 or 3 years.

* A variety of collectible Halloween folk art pieces are on display in Kevin's Craftsmen-style curio cabinet...

* A Johanna Parker reproduction black cat candy container, third from left resides amongst Kevin's collection atop his curio cabinet and includes an eye catching witch and JOL boy from Scott Smith and a coffin boy from Living Dead Dolls...

J: What is it about my creations that captures your imagination?
K: They are so unique, and the fact they are each hand made. I love originals!

* Kevin proudly displays an array of candy container originals on the various shelves. The black cat and owl piece are Johanna Parker originals and Lori Rudolph of Retro Rudolph's created the devil and smiling jack-o'-lantern. The orange cat & jack combo piece up top is vintage...

J: Where have you had the best luck in acquiring my original pieces; shows, web sales, Collector's Catch, eBay, etc?
K: Web sales, and too many at H&V. (Still paying those off...haha)

* Another one of my one of a kind owl candy containers shares a spot next to a whimsical Scott Smith skelly top-hat creation.

J: Do you have a favorite piece in your private collection?
K: Hmmm, tough questions. I wouldn't part with any but I'm fond of the owl you made me.

* Yet another one a kind owl from my studio to Kevin's house. I wonder if this is the owl he's referring to? He has quite a few!

J: Is there anything in particular you suggest I try making in the future?
K: Witches, maybe a Dracula or Frankenstein.

* Speaking of witches, it looks like Kevin has at least one of my original witches! I believe she is a couple of years old, but looks pretty good for her age :)

* Back to the curio cabinet, Kevin has a trio of my Halloween buckets designed for Bethany Lowe Designs intermixed with a black cat from Greg Guedel.

*A variety of collectible Halloween folk art pieces resides on Kevin's antique buffet as well...Left to right: Johanna Parker reproduction JOL from Primitives by Kathy, Greg Guedel devil & witch, Johanna Parker reproduction black cat from Primitives by Kathy, Katherine Webber witch & Scott Smith JOL man. OH to be in such great company!!

What fun! Many thanks Kevin for allowing us to peek inside your new home to see how you decorate for the haunting season. We look forward to seeing more from you in the future, and I very much appreciate your love for my Halloween folk art as do the other artists that you represent in your collection. If I left anyone out, please let me know and I will offer you credit.

Cheers & Happy Halloween!
~ Johanna

Collector Spotlight!...

YAY, the month of October is upon us, and I have invited another special Collector friend to share her collection with you! I would like to introduce you to Celeste who has a deep passion for collecting Halloween. It has been three years since we first met, and her love for one of kind creations has grown more evident with each passing season! After adopting a few of my originals, I believe she was hooked. And, she has been on the hunt for more ever since. Most recently, she made a special trip out to my Halloween Trunk show and left with several new goodies to add to her growing family of JPD originals. It's obvious she had fun arranging and decorating my Halloween characters all about her house, and fortunately, she sent me photos to share!

I admit that I lost count of how many of my originals Celeste has snagged or at times "caught!" All I can say is that when she grows tired of them, you know who to call! :) Enjoy her photos below along with a fun Q & A! And a huge thanks to you Celeste for your support and appreciation for the work I do. I am truly grateful….


J: How did you learn about my Halloween folk art?
C: I first saw you at Halloween and Vine three years ago and when I found your booth I had already spent all my money!! I was so sad..I brought my friend Mona over to your booth and said, look how cute these pieces are!!! Buy one, so at least I can see it at your house! So she bought "Dixie Dot"! Your web update was not long after that and I was so anxious, I was an hour early for it, I forgot about the time change!! I was able to get my first one that day, "Bailey Boo".

* And, there's "Bailey Boo" above left ~ He must have told her that he wanted to be surrounded by family :)

J: How long have you been collecting my originals?
C: Three years.


J: What is it about my creations that captures your imagination?
C: I love antiques and vintage things and I feel your pieces remind me of vintage Halloween, say the 40's era. The hues you use are so rich and the expressions are so cute and whimsical, I truly love them.


* I love how she has my originals displayed in an antique kitchen hutch, mixed in with vintage tins and other relics from the past!

J: Where have you had the best luck in acquiring my original pieces; shows, web sales, Collector's Catch, eBay, etc?
C: I think I am the queen of Collector catches!!

(J: I think she's caught about 4 or 5 out of maybe 13 or so Collector's Catches so far ~ not bad! She's also had a few lucky wins on eBay and the EHAG Emporium as well as acquiring my work in person at shows.... )

* The spider pictured above was one of her lucky eBay wins - some of you may remember him from EHAG's Black & White Challenge this past spring...

J: Do you have a favorite piece in your private collection?
C: As many of your collectors have mentioned before it is hard to choose just one!!! I am crazy over your candy cups, but I do love my big owl, "Sir Hoots a lot"! and "Bizarro",

* A couple of those candy cups she's crazy about stand behind my silly stylized bat...

* The bulldog candy cup & black cat kettle cup were recently snatched up at my Trunk Show!

"Sir Hoots-a-lot" is the standing owl on the right.... hoot hoot!

* "Bizarro the Bat" is seen guarding the center of Celeste's festive mantel, lined with a fun grouping of my one of kind Halloween creations!

J: Is there anything in particular you suggest I try makingin the future?
C: I would love for you to try doing a mouse!!!

* Hmmm, just a bat and 2 cats pictured here, but a Halloween mouse does sound sweet!...

Again, thank you Celeste for sharing your personal photos with us! I am honored that you find such joy in my work...

~ Johanna

PS: Stay tuned for at least one more Collector Spotlight feature coming later this month.....

Collector Spotlight!...

Please join me in welcoming my second guest feature for my new Collector Spotlight series! Robert Brawley, also known as "The Halloween Fanatic" has been collecting my original art and "twisting my arm" as he likes to call it, for a few years now! After he first introduced himself via email, it didn't take long for me to realize what a passion he has for the holidays, especially Halloween. Along the way, he too has delved into the arts of crafting in various clays, and you can peek at Robert's creations here. For now, enjoy the images he has taken of his private collection along with a little Q & A below!.......


J: How did you learn about my Halloween folk art?
R: I found out about your work online, and originally I had special ordered an owl, then I saw your bulldog, and knew, I had to have one that looked like my dog Twinkle!


J: How long have you been collecting my originals?
R: Since 2008, my dog Twinkle being the first original, and after that I was hooked!


J: What is it about my creations that captures your imagination?
R: The whimsy, graphic design, and detail that goes into each wonderful piece.


J: Where have you had the best luck in acquiring my original pieces;
 shows, web sales, Collector's Catch, eBay, etc?
R: Special order originally, but then through web-sales, Collector's Catch, and at one time at Frame by Frame, a wonderful shop owned by artist Rodney Leeseberg.


J: Do you have a favorite piece in your private collection?
R: This is always a hard question because it is almost like picking your favorite child. However I think Twinkle is my favorite! I do love the pieces that my wife has picked up for me as Christmas and birthday presents too. Lily Luna, even included an original illustration of her, by you, very special!


J: Is there anything in particular you suggest I try making in the future?
R: I would love to see Johanna Parker Skeletons! I think you could make some amazing skeletons, with your talent!


Thank you Robert for sharing your Halloween collection and spooky fun display with us! My illustrated plates on the wall (offered thru Bethany Lowe Designs) were a fun bonus to see and really make things pop! And, you were clever to request those special ooak commissions when you did as now MY plate has been a bit too full to chip away at other requests. (fingers crossed time will be more forgiving next year!) As always, I appreciate your support in my artistic endeavors and I wish you the best in yours!

~ Johanna

PS: I am anxiously awaiting more fun images from my loyal collector fans out there, so please don't hesitate to share your photos with me! I know some of you still need to decorate, so when you're ready, send them on over. I hope to showcase a few more collections before October 31st strikes! Many thanks for your support and interest in my original work :) I look forward to sharing your collections with my reader friends.

Collector Spotlight!...

I am introducing a fun, new series here on my blog that features my supportive collectors out there! Please join me in welcoming our first guest feature as August's Collector Spotlight..... Craig has been a loyal Halloween fan for several years now, and he has graciously offered a peek at his Johanna Parker one of a kind collection at Halloween-time. You can read along at our Q & A, and enjoy the eye candy as you go!


J: How did you learn about my Halloween folk art?
C: I first came across your work at my first visit to Halloween and Vine about 4 years ago. So I guess you could say that I just stumbled across your work, although in hind site I had already purchased one of your cat bowls online to use at my veterinary hospital to hold candy at halloween. At that time I did not know you had any other pieces or original art work as well.


J: How long have you been collecting my originals?
C: Since I met you 4 years ago at Halloween and Vine.


J: What is it about my creations that captures your imagination?
C: I love vintage folk art Halloween images. I'm especially drawn to paper mache artwork. The color palates are perfect for that era along with the detail image work on the Halloween hats and the container bases. I also am drawn to your work because you incorporate animals such as bats, cats and more recently even dogs! The expressions on the faces are always fun and cheerful.


J: Where have you had the best luck in acquiring my original pieces;
shows, web sales, Collector's Catch, eBay, etc?
C: I have aquired most of your pieces at Halloween and Vine and some that you have offered online. I don't know what I'm going to do this year since you won't be at Hand V :(


J: I know, I won't be at H&V this year, but I will be exhibiting at the Ghoultide Gathering in October. It's a must see event with a fabulous Halloween artist line-up! I have a hunch you'd like it :)


J: Do you have a favorite piece in your private collection?
C: I love them all but I really like the squatty bat with the spread out wings.


(I think this is the squatty bat he is referring to, or it could be the one pictured below.......)


J: Is there anything in particular you suggest I try making in the future?
C: Would love to see more dogs! I think some skeletons or zombies would be great too if you wanted to go down the creepy road.

Thank you Craig for sharing your unique Halloween collection and spooktacular display with us! It's always a pleasure for me to see my creations so thoughtfully displayed in their new surroundings.....

~ Johanna

PS: I know there are many more of you loyal collector fans out there, so please don't hesitate to share your photos with me! Perhaps you will be my next Collector Spotlight! Many thanks for your support and interest in my original work :)