This was my project to finish this weekend. Success! Delivered to my friend Hiede Saturday as a Christmas-non-Christmas gift. The model in the painting is Lilly my dog friend who lives with Hiede and her family. (I don’t have many dog friends… a good thing because Archie does NOT appreciate it!)

LillyVermilyer2014forHiede

Merry Christmas!  Season’s Greetings!  Happy Holidays!

Cheers

jen (by jennifer)

I didn’t really feel like decorating that day but the next day was going to be December 1 already!  I had to do it AND it was nearly 50 degrees outside.  It would really have been the wrong move to put it off…so this is what I came up with that afternoon.  I went rustic Christmas with items I bought (very few), collected or was given.  (My basement is FULL of stuff!)  Knowing I wanted to go this style, I had already purchased the ribbon so I was in pretty good shape.

Thanks to my mom for bringing home the fresh greens from her house in Missouri.  I always use fresh greens to fill my flower boxes each winter.  It’s good to have a source that barters in wine and conversation!

Merry Christmas!

2014 front porch christmas

October 1

October 1, 2014

My favorite season is here AND my favorite month. I’m going to make every effort to value and enjoy each day (even though I can’t believe it is here ALREADY!).

Happy Birthday to my brother Bill today.

If you haven’t already and particularly if you are in your 40’s, I recommend listening to “Bossy Pants” by Tina Fey. I just started it on my commute this morning. VERY enjoyable and I’m amazed at how much of it I can relate to. I might even go so far as to say it’s inspiring me (MIGHT – don’t want to set expectations that I’m going to DO anything with the inspiration).

Happy day all!

jen

Last weekend we had a great time visiting in Missouri.  My nephew Ely graduated from Plattsburg High School.  It was a really nice ceremony and it was so good to see him SO happy!

Visiting after the graduation with Ely and his brother Sammy, and seeing people I haven’t seen in a long time was just as good as I expected.  An important note:  John got to meet Sam’s mom which is something Sam was very excited to have happen.  I just love that the two of them have become such good friends.

Here’s a picture from the day before when John and I were out roaming the countryside.

Having fun in the country!

Having fun in the country!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking forward to the long weekend at home to paint for the show at the Growing Place on June 21, and to work in the yard!

Hope the weather is as beautiful by you as it is here.  Happy Memorial Day weekend all!

Cheers!

jen (by jennifer)

A successful visit!

April 9, 2014

Thanks to my friend Cindy who I haven’t seen in years which is hard to believe, I had a “shopper” a couple weekends ago.  In conversation at work, Cindy’s friend Jenny mentioned she was looking for a unique gift for her mom’s birthday.  Edited story…Cindy showed Jenny my website and blog and now I am writing this post!

Thanks to Jenny for stopping by to shop “the shop” for a gift for her mom.  It was a pretty Saturday afternoon and the experience went just exactly as I had always hoped it would when someone made an appointment to come.  I was thrilled to have a guest, Jenny was very excited to find not only the white container (pictured below on the left), but also a pitcher that I had filled with fresh flowers.  Ironically enough it’s a pitcher that Cindy gave me to paint!  I love karma.  She took the pitcher water, flowers and all.

In an email exchange after her visit, Jenny told me

She ABSOLUTELY loved them, she was a little sad to be turning xx so they brightened her day!  Thanks again for an amazing gift for her!

I’m sure I’ve said it before, but that is a true gift.  I love when people are excited about buying something I’ve painted.  And I hope they will enjoy it for years to come.

white handle can and yellow flower bucket

Reminder:  I will be at the Growing Place again this year for the Gardener’s Art Festival on Saturday, June 21.  I’d love to see you there!

Cheers!

Jen (by Jennifer)

I originally created a facebook account because I wanted to see all the pictures my friends were posting of their kids.  Since that time I’ve enjoyed posting a few pictures of my own, sporadically following some friends and more often than not shaking my head at the things I see there.  I definitely don’t use it as my main means of communication and I rarely check the inbox (email-like) feature. For whatever reason this morning I noticed a message in my “other” folder so I clicked on it to find:

Hello Jennifer, My name is Tammy and I am hoping you are who I am looking for. I use to be friends with a a guy by the name of Dan Anderson and he worked in Slater Missouri for a Company called BHA.

He was always talking about his sister who was named Jennifer and always wanted me to met her. Dan passed away Nov 2005 on the day I graduated from the Police Academy. If you are his sister I would really love to get in touch with you.

This has been in my inbox since New Year’s Eve.  I guess  that I just found it this morning is my brother’s way of saying Happy Valentine’s Day, sister.  He has a way of sending me these messages…

I’m still choking up at “He was always talking about his sister…”  That’s not the first time I’ve heard that from friends of his.  How privileged am I!

Well, I wanted to share this with you as a reminder that not just today but EVERY day make sure the people who you love KNOW IT!  Thankfully I never had to question it for a minute…my brother and I loved each other very much.

Happy Valentine’s Day friends! (And thanks bro…)

Friday? Really?

January 2, 2014

Is anyone else really thrown off by the holidays falling in the middle of the week this year?

I started my new job on November 18, so I only worked one full week and then I was off for Thanksgiving on Thursday and Friday.  Then I worked another full week and another but then all of the sudden it was Christmas and then New Years – both weeks where I was off two out of five working days.

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is Friday!

I’m making the best possible effort to stay positive, but MAN Monday is gonna be rough knowing that there will be a stretch of nearly five months (unless I take personal days) before there’s another long weekend.

Oh well!  Guess I had better make my weekends between now and then count!

 

Happy New Year 2014!!

January 1, 2014

Hello!  It’s been WAY too long.  But … at the least I’m back.  Most importantly I want to wish everyone (fan or foe) who is reading this a very Happy New Year!  It’s a time to forget the past (unless it propels you forward IN A GOOD WAY) and to realize that life is beyond too short to hold on to baggage.

I had intentions of posting a photo of my outdoor Christmas decor (that I received many compliments on this year) next to my New Year’s day transformation photo only to find when I went on my phone to transfer the pictures that I hadn’t taken any of the holiday porch!  Oh well.

In short, I still have things to do tonight before I rest for another day at my new job tomorrow.  So I’ll leave you with a photo of where I’m starting outside this year.  AND my thoughts that despite some great loss (my dear friend Lisa – and for John, his dear friend Austin), searching for a new job (SO glad that I found one where I think I can really contribute and thrive) and all the bumps in the road of life, I had a really pretty fantastic 2013.

Cheers friends!  Peace, love and happiness.

jen (Archie and John Cook)

winter 2014

Hippo Birdies Dad!

January 31, 2013

Happy Birthday to my dad! Thanks for all the great conversations that no one would believe we’ve had. 😉

LOVE you –

jen (and the Arch)

Happy Birthday Mom!

January 19, 2013

I’ll spend my day today finishing a winter wreath for my front door, organizing my dressing room and doing some creative projects.  Wonder where I get it from?  The one I call mom.  Thanks mom for everything you’ve taught me – some things you realize and some that you don’t.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  Hope you have a wonderful day in the woods of Missouri.

love,

jen

What?!  I wasn't supposed to open it?!

What?! I wasn’t supposed to open it?!

Happy New Year!

January 3, 2013

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. I must admit I’m not a holiday person; I actually find the season a bit depressing. Nonetheless, it’s always nice and John, the Arch and I had a merry Christmas and are into a happy New Year with family and friends.

Part of my time out of the office was filled with our home office project. I decided I wanted to make one of the walls a magnetic chalkboard. Remember now, the house was built in 1860 and I’m not working with fresh drywall here. Well, John got two coats of magnetic primer on and when I came home we had to leave the house. We took Archie with. Word of caution – if you are going to do magnetic primer be prepared that the smell is outrageous! I applied a third coat while John was gone the next day and was able to keep a window cracked, air moving and candles burning, keeping the toxic fumes at bay.

After a break (and dry time per instructions) I decided it was time to start applying the tinted latex chalkboard paint. I opened the can to find what is supposed to be “garnet” looked like fuschia. Not wanting to make a mistake considering the cost and the time it took to do the magnetic primer, and not wanting to apply too many coats over it to render it magnetic-less, I headed to Home Depot. Well, the color is right and one coat is on the wall. Thankfully I didn’t select a lighter color because trying to cover black primer is difficult and I will have to visit the Depot for another quart of tinted chalkboard. I’ll keep you posted on the outcome.

Meanwhile, HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!

jen (by Jennifer)

Wall in progress

Wall in progress

I hope you’re all enjoying the holiday with family and friends … or just your air conditioner or someone else’s!  Current temp in Plainfield, Illinois, is 93.4 degrees aiming for an even 100.  Yikes!  Glad we got outside and had fun this past weekend before it got to be so oppressively hot. Sigh.

Cheers!  Jen (by jennifer)

Happy Mothers Day!

May 13, 2012

This picture reminds me of my Grandma A.  It also represents quite a few other women who have impacted my life.  The brush belonged to my Great Grandma Krueger, the peonies remind me of Grandma A, the old purse and glasses are from my Grama Z, and the fact that I put these things together on the top of my dresser comes from learning to decorate creatively with things that having meaning to me from living and learning from my mom.

Happy Mothers Day to all the great women in my life (then and now).  If you are reading this, you are likely included.

love, jen

Well, I did it.  I had my first opening in “the shop” – Jen by Jennifer.  Thanks to everyone who has encouraged me and supported my dream to make this a reality.  Thanks to everyone who stopped by for a visit.  And thanks for the feedback on the shop and house and for the purchases, of course, too! 

I was very pleased to see that Sh… cards (adorable hand-crafted cards created by Sarah Hunt) sold right from the start and that there are a handful of stained glass fireflies out there flitting around thanks to The Glass Ceiling (Bob Anderson).

Keep watching for featured items and the next official shop hours.

Image

Happy Birthday to my mom today.  May the coming year be one full of nothing but happiness.

love jen

(from Archie too – mrweowp!)