Water for everyone

August 15, 2018

When it’s this hot and dry, the birds need fresh water too. Filling the bird baths is a daily activity that Archie loves. Yum! Bird-flavored water!


It is watering season. And it’s been SO dry which makes it all the more important to fill your cans and get out there. If you haven’t yet, you should sign up for the TGP newsletter. They share watering tips in the latest edition plus other great info. Use the link in the sidebar on the right to reach their site.

Meanwhile, check out a closer look at the watering cans I have at the Naperville location so you can pick one up and water in color!

I can set up in the backyard to paint! What a beautiful weekend. I finished a couple of items and have many more (lots of watering cans!) in process. Looking forward to the Growing Place Gardener’s Art Festival on Saturday, June 25 at 9 a.m. at the Naperville location.


Sun and flowers…a good day indeed.


July 14, 2015

Some of my friends in India…

Cow appreciation day 2015_2

After a long and much needed deep sleep at the Laxmi, we headed for our next destination around 8:00 a.m. after a quick breakfast. Our soon to become friend and driver Annu was prompt as usual and had cold water in the car for our five hour drive from Bharatpur to Ranthambore. The plan was to check in, relax a bit and then go on our first safari to Ranthambore National Park to hopefully see tigers in their natural habitat. We were told our chances were decent but with the high temperatures we should keep our expectations in check.

As usual (per our super extensive travel of a couple days) the view out the window of the car was an interesting mix. Camels pulling carts among motorcycles and cars is just no big deal here.

The average mix in IndiaAnd when you reach your destination it’s a surprise stop where you wonder for a second if something has gone wrong (“Wait! Why are we stopping HERE?!”) and then you see the hotel. (“Oh. Right.”)

Hotel Ranthambore Regencey April 2015 And, of course, our first stop after check in was yet another very nice pool area — albeit not as big as the others and this picture doesn’t do it justice — it was very nice. AND there was a cat!!  Smart little creatures these India cats, staying at the nice resorts by the pool in the lush garden areas! Ranthambore Regency Pool April 2015When we went to the lobby to take our first safari we had no idea what to expect. To our delight, the open top canter we boarded truly made us feel like we were headed off on a National Geographic excursion. And although we didn’t see any tigers the first afternoon out we met people who had and they suggested that we take the early morning safari again the next day. They shared their pictures of the tigers that were just feet away from their canter and we were sold — book the next morning — tigers we will see!

The next morning we were loaded onto a canter with a group of professional wildlife photographers. John and I both tend to be lucky and this was one of those times when we realized that our luck was with us. Although we still didn’t see tigers that morning, we made some great connections and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I’m now following Wild Side Photographic Art on Facebook if you are interested. John and I also decided we are both interested in looking into the opportunity to do some more adventurous trips like maybe the Serengeti in our future. Now we have a recommendation on who to help us make that happen. In the end, we did see some cool wildlife nonetheless..

Wildlife at Ranthambore National Park April 2015

It was just a great experience overall. Next time, we will stay for a week and take morning and afternoon safaris every day. Until then, I’m so glad to have the experience to add to the many other memories that pop up in my mind at the most unexpected moments as I take in all that is India.

We truly began to understand that India is the land of extremes and that you never know where you are going to find a hidden oasis when we turned into the drive and through the gate to Hotel Laxmi Niwas Palace. (If you didn’t watch the video from my last post, I would recommend doing that before you read on.)

We were scheduled to go to the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary a.k.a. Keoladeo Ghana National Park later in the afternoon so we opted for a drink in the courtyard and then a dip in this BEAUtiful pool before we got ready for our excursion. If I remember correctly the temperature was about 106 F so the cool pool water was greatly appreciated.

Look at the detail above the door…everything was so colorful and ornate.

It reminded me immediately of the Marigold Hotel but everything worked!

It reminded me immediately of the Marigold Hotel but everything worked!

We decided to opt for the horse-drawn carriage ride when we got to the park rather than the bike rickshaw. It was recommended to be a little faster and considering the heat it was the right thing to do. What they didn’t tell us until we were already on our way was that our horse had gas. Apparently he was having tummy troubles and the handler gave him a laxative not too long before we arrived.  I kid you not when I tell you that as soon as the driver told us this…the horse took a dump.

horse drawn carriage at Bharatpur bird park

We saw some pretty birds that my little Nikon pocket camera couldn’t capture that well and overall we were happy that we went.  (I booked it because John loves birds.)

birds at Bharatpur

My favorite part was the temple we stopped to check out while we were in the park. I think I mentioned in an earlier post that there are dogs everywhere BUT the cats are the smart ones, hanging out in parks where they can climb on tall monuments away from the chaos, loitering in hotel courtyards where there are cool shady spots to rest and patios where people eat, and well, yes, a bird sanctuary is a pretty good choice too I would say.



There were also many monkeys and a guy who could talk to the turtles to make them come to shore. (I suspect it had something to do with the mash he fed them, too.) And, of course, the configuration of statues to worship.

Temple at Bharatpur bird park

It was a good first adventure for sure.  Next stop Ranthambore…

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!)


Merry Christmas!  Season’s Greetings!  Happy Holidays!


jen (by jennifer)

An early morning smile

December 10, 2014

Meeow BH Tag

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!


back deck lockport street 062014

Garden Cat

July 1, 2014

garden cat 062014

The time is near!

June 16, 2014

I spent Saturday and yesterday painting in preparation for the Gardener’s Art Festival at the Growing Place this coming Saturday, June 21 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  I’ll be in the front lawn area this year and am hoping for a day as beautiful as those we had this weekend.  A little less–well, a lot less– wind than yesterday would be better.

Come visit if you are in the area.  It is always a great show and the gardens at the Growing Place are worth the visit all on their own.

See you soon!

jen by jennifer

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!


jen (by jennifer)

These are under the tree by the porch that we use as our main access to the house.  Makes me happy every time I walk by them.  Finally!  I think spring is here…

First Spring Flowers 2014Cheers!  Have a fabulous weekend!


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!


Jen (by Jennifer)

I received the information in the mail yesterday for the Growing Place Art in the Garden Festival 2014 on June 21 in Naperville!  Mark your calendar.  I already requested my usual couple of days before the event off from work this morning so I can be ready, ready – ready!  And I will start sourcing watering cans right away.  I sold all the cans I had painted last season.

Let me know if you have requests!

Spring will come!!  Hang in there.

jen by jennifer