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…)

Really John Says Archie

Really John?


January 10, 2014

PLEEEEEEEEEEEZ Can I go outside today?  It’s above freezing.  Not that that matters to me…you know I wanted out when it was -20 degree something with wind chill…  PLEEEEEEEEEZ?!Archie - December 2013

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

Before I move on, I should mention that the flower buckets from yesterday’s post are 15″ tall by 7.5″ diameter at the top.  I will ship to you. You pay postage.  I take PayPal or you can send a check in advance.  Or we can meet depending on your proximity.  I’m flexible. Now on to the GOOD stuff – Day 9!

This is truly a one of a kind find – an old wooden tool box.  Thanks Mom!  She spotted this a few years ago when we were out on an adventure and bought it for me with full faith that I could do something with it.   It was already distressed with white paint. What I found as I continued to work on it was that clearly one side is “noon” and the other is “some time around dusk.”

Ready for work at noon on a beautiful day

Ready for work at noon on a beautiful day


Work is almost over

Work is almost over

SO many options

SO many options

I see this in so many ways. On a big island in a kitchen with cookbooks and utensils, in a living room full of magazines or rolled blankets, on a porch with potted plants … what do you think?!

This, I don’t want to ship unless I have to because it’s heavy and I don’t want you to pay for that, but hey –  I can see why you would.  I love this.

Day 9 down friends – see you tomorrow.


Does he look guilty ... or is it just me?

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.



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

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

love jen

(from Archie too – mrweowp!)


What a beautiful weekend in Plainfield, Ill.  Although I was out in the back yard most of the time, I had to pause to take a few pictures of the front of the house. Thanks to my awesome girlfriends for their gifts that help to make the front porch fall-festive.

The pumpkins are from Teri and the beautiful white mums are from Sue.

Love you girls!

I hope you all have been enjoying this great time of year too.

Peace and pumpkins!


I hope you are all enjoying Father’s Day with those you love.  Happy Father’s Day to those of you to whom it applies.

Today’s feature item is a 12-inch tall white watering can that is fully functional and ready to inspire your flowers to bloom all summer long and beyond.  Now that I think about it, this can goes really well with the white chair I featured on Friday.  What a duo they would be in a back entry or on a patio!  Anyway, like my other items, the watering can has been treated with polyurathane so it is sealed and ready for use.  I can tell you more when we visit at the Growing Place  – Naperville next Saturday, June 25, for the Gardener’s Art Festival and you pick this cutie up to take home.  Check him out –

When you come visit you’ll also see a neat way to display and use watering cans.  I’m not going to reveal it now, but I can tell you it is an attention grabber every time.

Well, I need to get back out in the yard and inspire some flowers as a matter of fact – they aren’t going to plant themselves.  And I’d still like to work on a few more items this afternoon to take with next weekend.

Hope to see you all soon!

Feel free to comment on a post if you have questions or go to www.jenbyjennifer.com where you can contact me via email through the form.  OR just straight up email me at jen@jenbyjennifer.com.

Have a great afternoon.

jen (by jennifer)

Her Favorite Color Was Pink

February 6, 2011

I’ve always liked the word fortunate rather than lucky.  I’ve also been a fanatic for grammar and spelling.  Sure as I say that I’ll have someone comment on my posts that I have spelled or punctuated something incorrectly.  Oh well. 

When I was about 23 I started writing a book.  I often think when I finally open my shop and I have to be close by in case I get a customer that I will finish writing For Life.  But fortunate as I am, when I do I will have a very cherished note from my Grandma A. by my side.  Being the avid reader that she was before her sight started going, when I decided I would send the only hard copy draft of what I had written so far to someone to weigh in, it was her.  Many people would have either skimmed it at best or read it and responded with the obligatory “That’s wonderful, honey,” but not my Grandma.  She responded in detail about what she liked and what she would like more of.  What a great lady. 

I forget if I told the story of finding my book again, but the first couple lines start, “It was an unusually cool day for July.  The wind whipped through the trees and across the field into the window of their living room…”  I found the packet I’d been looking for a few years ago when it was just that. 

I don’t really feel like taking the time to try to express how I feel about my relationship with my Grandma A., but I can tell you I am a better person for having her in my life in so many ways.  It was a very different relationship than the one I had with GZ but no less special or impactful on the person I am today.  I am fortunate.  Very fortunate.

I have more cards and notes and memories of my “Grandma Jane” than anyone would probably guess.  And as she would have always said to me…

Bless You.  The world became a better place the day you came into it.




January 29, 2011

Although cryptic, my last post was inspired by a visit to my Grama Zimmerman (GZ) in the nursing home.  I never thought I would be sitting next to her holding her frail hand and answering questions to help her sort out how long she’d been there and assuring her that family was around her and that she had been visited regularly.  It was very sad.  But I was able to make her laugh a couple of times and she said she felt better after talking with me.  I’ll leave the other details of the day out for the sake of brevity and staying on topic.  What it really comes down to is it was time for her to let go and move on.  And she did.  Thursday morning after a visit from my mom.  So, now there are two.  This is a picture from about three years ago at her ninety-third birthday get together at my brother Bob’s house.

Hazel Marie Zimmerman, Janet Marie Zimmerman (Anderson), Jennifer Marie Anderson

So today we will have a private service and lay her to rest.  I’m certain she is already much happier than she has been in a long time, reunited with my Grampa and my brother.  For that I am happy.

I spent a lot of time with G and G Z when I was growing up.  And when I stayed with them there was always a project to do.  Often it was painting something.  So this morning until the time I have to clean up to go to the service, that is what I will do.  Already I can smell the varnish from the other room.  I put a coat on a project I’m finishing for my mom that is her Mother’s Day gift from last year.  Figured I better do it before May rolls around again.  I get the feeling even if I live to 96 in good health as she did, there will still not be enough time to do all that I will want to.

Peace and love GZ –


You just Never know

January 21, 2011

If you know me at all, you know I can rationalize anything.  You also know I believe everything happens for a reason. 

I am extremely grateful to be from a family of creative individuals.

Tell someone today that you learned something from them.  Doesn’t matter whether it was positive or negative.

Ok.  I have decided to do a show this year.  I started in 2002 (I think) with the Elmhurst Garden Faire and Walk and then added The Growing Place – Art in the Garden Festival a couple of years later.  Up until last Summer (or the Summer before?) I had been doing both of them each year.  With having moved residence, the plans to open the shop, etc. I decided not to do them.  But this year I’m back!  And I will be doing things a little differently… taking items to represent the shop as a whole rather than just my stuff.  But I still have to get painting in order to take enough of my product to make a good display.

So – here’s to inspiration! 

I was watering mamala’s flowers for her last night, so I snapped a couple of pictures.  I then went home to check my garden out back… the 25 lily bulbs are starting to sprout!  BUT this morning I saw a bunny back there…. hmmm – I’m thinking that could be BAD.  I may have to let Mr. Kitty out afterall to patrol the grounds. 

Maybe he can put some of those quick moves on the flower munching bunny and all that practice on his straw will be worth it.

Have a great day all!  I’ll keep you posted.