It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like December

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like December! | Hannah & Husband

It seems like the first week in December is the busiest for me this year, but I have no complaints! Holiday designer-ing is in full swing as exhibited in this little snapshot above. So here are a few peeks at the week so far.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like December! | Hannah & Husband

Monday night I made Joe’s Leftover Turkey Gumbo while sipping martinis and dancing in the kitchen. With Husband playing Christmas tunes in the parlor, I confess that I was in such a blissful state I accidentally doubled the roux. So I just made twice as much gumbo! That little happy accident is now safe in the freezer waiting for another rainy Monday.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like December! | Hannah & Husband

Hanukkah Coloring Pages for DIY Network by Hannah B. Slaughter


If it is cold and rainy where you are, might I suggest spending tonight cuddled with bae watching Netflix and coloring? Hanukkah begins on Sunday, and I doodled a couple of Hanukkah-themed coloring pages for The one above may be my favorite yet!

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like December! | Hannah & Husband

Speaking of the holidays, I sent out the invitations to our annual Cocktails & Carols party today! Fa-La-La-La-La!

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like December! | Hannah & Husband

I’ve had so much fun making holiday pretties using different mediums lately. I painted this little couple on a mini canvas for the AIGA Knoxville ornament auction on Friday night. If you’re in Knoxville, come on down to The Basement Art Studio and bid on ornaments from local artists!

The Crafty Lumberjacks for DIY Network by Hannah B. Slaughter

Finally, if you’d like a little more crafty inspiration, I profiled The Crafty Lumberjacks for DIY’s Made + Remade blog this week. This pair make me want to spend an evening drinking whiskey and crafting in Queens!



It’s Time to Color! Coloring Pages for

Some of you may remember that I instagrammed a mandala I was doodling recently. Well, it was part of a bigger project I just did for Coloring Pages!

Coloring Pages for | Hannah & Husband

There are 5 designs to download and color while you’re watching tv, flying to see family over the holiday, or sitting at your desk on those super long conference calls. It’s such a relaxing activity and made me think of the hours Grandma and I put in on all those Snoopy coloring books when I was little.

Click here to download all 5 on You’ll also see a few ways you can use the final products. The best part? They’re free!

Coloring Pages for | Hannah & Husband

If you end up coloring, we’d love to see! Instagram them and tag @diynetwork & @hb_belle


If you’re interested in what I do when I’m not blogging? Click here to see

5 Artists to Follow on Instagram

You may know that Husband and I are really passionate about buying art and supporting artists. In fact, earlier this year I posted a 4 part series called “How to Start Your Art Collection.” I was so excited to hear about what art you collect and what pieces your family considers treasure! As you may imagine, I follow numerous artists on Instagram, and it’s not surprising that many artists consider Instagram their most important social platform. It’s such an easy way to connect personally with their fan base by giving glimpses into their workspace, their travels, their sketchbook, and their latest work. Recently, I read an article called “How to Use Instagram to Invest in Art” that gave even more insight into this trend. So today, I thought I’d share my current favorite 5 artists to follow on Instagram.


A photo posted by Donald Robertson (@drawbertson) on

If you’re into fashion, Donald Robertson is my top pick. His messy red smooch and long ladies can be found on everything from handbags to shirts worn by Beyonce. (All hail Beyonce.) Bonus: His blue-eyed twin boys make appearances regularly.  

Autumn in New England on a rainy day. #paintingaday #365daysofpaint #30minutesketch #sketchbook A photo posted by augustwren (@augustwren) on

August Wren is now on year 2 of my favorite “daily drawings” project. Her daily 30 minute, sketchbook paintings often feature wildlife and quirky faces.

Monika Forsberg is an artist hailing from London. Her colors are almost over-saturated creating a beautiful wash of color. She’s started on some holiday projects recently that have been a delightful treat to see in my daily feed.

Flora.Forager is the work of Bridget Beth Collins. Her beautiful still lifes are painted with petals. It’s always interesting to see what she’s found, and it’s fun to watch her feed evolve with the seasons.


No need to say goodbye to white wine just yet–Best (cheap) fall whites on @punch_drink today 🍂🍁

A photo posted by Natalie K. Nelson (@nelsonknatalie) on

Natalie Nelson’s makes mixed media editorial illustrations. Her playfulness and the retro elements she chooses are so much fun!

Who is your favorite artist to follow on Instagram? I’m always looking for someone new to follow!

Hello, Autumn!

Hello, Autumn! | Hannah & Husband

Hello, Autumn–you taunting vixen you! It’s been so dry here that leaves were falling from the trees without changing colors, and I was beginning to wonder if Fall, my very favorite season, was just going to let us down completely.

Then yesterday, it happened! After a couple good rains, I caught a few glimpses of color in the trees on my drive home. Sure enough, I stepped out of my car and felt that familiar *crunch* under my feet. It is Autumn after all!

I always wonder if Fall energizes everyone the way it does me. Fall makes me excited, inquisitive, and restless all at the same time. Do you think the school year begins in September because Fall is the time that children get the most curious and mischievous? Or is it the other way around?

Hello, Autumn! | Hannah & HusbandWhen I was in college, early morning walks to class in the Fall were so invigorating. I’d put Outkast on my iPod (remember the year of Hey Ya?) and clutch my coffee for dear life. It wasn’t quite cold enough in the afternoons to warrant tights with my skirts so there was a cold, damp chill on my legs might as well have been caffeine.

Art history classes, design classes, drawing classes, and printmaking followed by time at the library leafing through art books that were too heavy to carry home. In the afternoon, I’d grab a caramel apple cider and spend hours with my sketchbook. So many ideas!

Hello, Autumn! | Hannah & Husband

Tomorrow, I’ll be talking to a group of students in the graphic design program at UT. I’m so excited to spend another early Autumn morning on campus.

Usually around this time of year, I’m setting goals for things I want to accomplish over the next year. (You can see a past list here.) For this season, I think my only goal may be to spend more time reading art history books, asking questions with no answers, and doodling in my sketchbook. Just making room for new ideas.


Four Generations of Rivermont

This weekend was off-the-charts epic beginning with a special visit on Friday afternoon. As we were running around getting ready for my 30th Birthday Bash, three very special guests stopped by.

We’ve been lucky enough to get to meet all four Kerr boys that grew up in this house including Chris, who lived here with his own family when we bought it. He is such a sweetheart, and, being a fellow history-nerd, we found an instant connection. So as a birthday surprise, he brought over two members of Rivermont’s living history for us to meet.

Four Generations at Rivermont | Hannah & Husband

(R to L) Hannah and James Slaughter, Christopher Kerr, Frank Pettaway, Whitney Dunford (and Angel) | Photo by Christopher Kerr

Whitney Dunford (seated on the far right) is the granddaughter of the very first family to live at Rivermont the Harveys. Next to her is Frank Pettaway. Frank lived at Rivermont with his grandparents who owned the house from 1936-1957. I’m hoping this will be the first of a few visits with these two! It was so exciting to hear about the house’s beginnings. Frank even started naming off the animals that lived on the land when it was still a working farm.

Frank is holding a painting of Rivermont done by W. Russell Briscoe in 1939. With the exception of a tree here and there, the “ol’ barn” as Nancy called it remains unchanged. It was so special to get a glimpse of the painting in person! Briscoe is somewhat of a folk art legend here in East Tennessee. He was an insurance man that served on several boards in Knoxville. But his wife, Deas Adams, seemed to be the one that encouraged his artistic side.

During the Great Depression, they started a toy company, and I’ve read that their dollhouses were even sold in FAO Schwartz. This painting of Rivermont is said to be one of his earliest–he wouldn’t actually start painting seriously for nearly two decades. But it does display the saturated colors of his other paintings. And bonus, it shows my very favorite angle of the house! (Click to see this eerily similar picture I took a few weeks ago.)

Briscoe’s paintings are bright depictions of small town life with a somewhat flattened style that brings the scene closer to the viewer. Each painting is a nostalgic view of the subject and will make you feel like you’re looking at memories rather than specific places. (Click here to see more paintings by W. Russell Briscoe.) 

Four Generations at Rivermont | Hannah & Husband

When we bought the house, Chris presented us with a framed print of Briscoe’s Rivermont painting signed by each of the “Kerr boys” that were at closing. It hangs in our dining room.

Meet Nancy Kerr

Portrait of Nancy Kerr by Elizabeth Kerr-Rike at Rivermont | Hannah & Husband

Meet Nancy Kerr, the previous matriarch of Rivermont. There are so many things about this house that I love, but, without a doubt, its good spirit is the thing for which I am most thankful. And, from what I gather, we have this lady to thank for that.

A plucky war bride from England, Nancy and her husband Jim raised four boys within these walls. Nancy was an impressive being; she was a nurse during WWII and was the first hospice nurse in the state of Tennessee. I’m sure I’ll share more about the Kerrs’ tenure in this house at some point as we have so enjoyed getting to know their family. But for today, I just couldn’t resist sharing this portrait.

It was painted by Nancy’s sister-in-law Elizabeth Kerr-Rike who was the preeminent portrait painter in Knoxville in the forties and fifties. In fact, James saw some of her work hanging in a local country club recently! In the words of Nancy’s third, Christopher, “She could catch the essence of a person in her drawings.” This portrait carries such a presence that the first night she was here, Dexter walked right up to her and growled. (I’m happy to report that relations have warmed since.)

There is just something about her expression and that gleam in her eye that I can’t seem to get over–powerful, confident, and perhaps a little mischievous. Anyway, she’s staying at Rivermont until her granddaughter (who shares her striking features) has a place of her own. For now, we couldn’t be happier that she’s here for a bit longer.


Hello & Happy Friday! Since I haven’t done a round-up of random links in a few weeks, I thought it was high-time to share all the things I’ve had bookmarked. Here goes…

The Fire Wire on the grill in action. | Hannah & Husband

The other night I took my cooking to a new frontier: The Grill. We’ve had so many amazing goodies in our CSA basket, and there’s something about veggies in the summer that’s just begging for that little accent of charcoal. If you look at the peppers and onions in the picture above, you’ll see that they make a circle. That’s because I used my new favorite kitchen doohickey: the fire wire. It’s a long, flexible kabob skewer, and you can order one here for under $10.

Jon Batiste's Social Music

It is rare that I listen to an album from start to finish, but today I listened to Jon Batiste’s Social Music.




If you have Amazon Prime, you can listen to it here, or the album’s on Spotify. His version of St. James Infirmary is absolutely incredible, which is rare for a song that is covered by everyone in the genre. If you recognize his name but aren’t sure why, he will be the house band for Stephen Colbert’s new Late Show.

Wayne White in The Bitter Southerner

We are big fans of Wayne White (who you may remember from this post). Recently, The Bitter Southerner did an excellent profile on the artist that’s definitely worth a look–even if it’s just to swoon over the photography by Kendrick Brinson and David Banks.

Finally, it’s national tequila day! Here’s a little something to get your celebration off to a good start.

Happy Friday!

Photography Extraordinary and Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland Sculpture in Central Park | Lewis Carroll's  Photography Extraordinary on Hannah & Husband

Home again, home again, jiggity-jig! One unplanned detour through Atlanta and we are home–after a wonderful, whirlwind of a trip to The Big Apple. On this trip I tried not to take as many pictures and really just soak everything in. But on Sunday, one of my favorites and I went to see the 150 Years of Wonderland exhibit at the Morgan Library. It was there that I read about Lewis Carroll’s humorous essay “Photography Extraordinary” and, if you’ll excuse the pun, went down a bit of a rabbit hole.

Sketch of the White Rabbit from the Morgan Library's Alice in Wonderland Exhibition | Lewis Carroll's Photography Extraordinary on Hannah & Husband

In 1855, Carroll published an essay anonymously in The Comic Times called “Photography Extraordinary” that spoofed this new invention of photography. (It’s worth noting that Carroll later became an accomplished portrait photographer himself.) You can read the full text here, as part of the Morgan Library’s online exhibition, which is really fantastic in its own right. The premise was that this new machine could capture the idea of a dunce and, through further development, make it sound brilliant. He then suggests that the same mechanism be applied to the speeches of Parliament. Ha!

As I started thinking about this idea of repetition leading to full development, I started seeing it in John Tenniel’s illustrations for Wonderland as well as the work of many other artists. For instance, The White Rabbit, shown above, appeared repeatedly on sketches throughout the collection. Little details like the lines around his eyes or the length of his ears would change but his essence was always there. (For the record, of all the rabbits, the sketch above was decidedly my favorite.)

Alice in Wonderland Sculpture in Central Park | Lewis Carroll's Photography Extraordinary on Hannah & Husband

Much like an artist, the chef works out the flaws of a knife technique as they become more comfortable with the practice. A musician works out the nuance of a piece as they become more in tune with the placement of actions and the rhythm. The truth and meaning come out as the writer employs different ways of stating their opinion. And perhaps your mother was right: Practice does make perfect.

Related Post: How to Work Through an Idea

Reclaimed Book

Last week, in Video 002, I shared a peek at this reclaimed book I’ve been working on. Today I thought I’d give you a closer look.  It’s a library book that was withdrawn after years of wear & tear and left in the free bin at a local book store.

I started on the page with the Random House logo, and ideas proceeded from there. If you look closely at the dedication page, it reads:

Dedicated to the memory of my dear home life.

Happy coincidence, no? Now with the help of pens, paste, and colored pencils, it’s slowly becoming a book about our home, our favorite objects and activities.

Reclaimed Book Project: Home | Hannah & Husband

Reclaimed Book Project: Home | Hannah & Husband

Reclaimed Book Project: Home | Hannah & Husband

Reclaimed Book Project: Home | Hannah & Husband

Reclaimed Book Project: Home | Hannah & Husband

Reclaimed Book Project: Home | Hannah & Husband


Weekending, petunias, and Dexter. | Hannah & Husband

Hello & Happy Friday! Below are some very unrelated TGIF! links that I bookmarked over the last couple of weeks. Enjoy!

If you have kids or live in a world around them, you must read this essay our friend Yale wrote for Harry’s Five O’Clock about raising two daughters. The premise is summed up well in this line:

It is my responsibility to display that substance in such a way that my daughter (and her sister, when the time comes, and I hope to God it’s not soon) sees it as the sine qua non of what constitutes a “stand-up man.” 

The Jealous Curator has become one of my happy places on the internet. Danielle Krysa has a beautiful aesthetic and shares the art she’s admiring each day. She recently gave a fantastic Creative Mornings talk on “Humility” that anyone in a creative field might find inspiring.

Art for Your Ear with Martha Rich

However, the real link is to this podcast she’s started. It’s called “Art for Your Ear,” and while her original plan was to be a bi-weekly show, she’s decided to post a new podcast each Saturday. Click here to read about her first episode with artist Martha Rich and click here to subscribe to the show.

TGIF! | Hannah & Husband

Fast Co. Design posted an article this week called “How Nostalgia Fuels Creativity” that I found pretty fascinating. The idea is that nostalgia makes us feel more open and, as a result, it’s easier for us to be creative. In a way, I think the research is saying that nostalgia can create a safe place to allow our minds to work. Definitely worth a read. I’d love to know what you think of the premise.

seth-godinI get Seth Godin’s email delivered to my inbox every day. This one titled “Is it meeting your needs…” really resonated recently–as in, I copied it into a notebook to weigh things against in the future.

Finally, I’m just really excited for this…