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…)

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

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

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!)

 

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!

jen

I like to have a chair in my dressing room and one in the kitchen and one next to my dresser in my bedroom and I have one in my living room…  I’m starting to wonder – oh and in my office.  I guess I like chairs.  They are a great catch-all.  That’s probably it.  Makes me feel like I’m not being messy if everything is piled on a chair.  So why not make it a good-looking one?  Like this –

Ironically  my purse matches the seat almost perfectly.  Anyway, this is a piece I got from a resale shop that donates their proceeds to cancer.  I donated a couple other painted items they thought they could sell and they gave me this interesting chair.  It’s been repainted and has a new seat, but it still carries a good caring vibe.  Funny how stuff can do that.

Happy Thursday folks.  Technically I guess I missed my feature for yesterday, so I’ll do another later.

Have a great day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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)

Go Cubs!

April 1, 2011

This is from last year May 1 when Kristen (right), Kevin (left), Zimmy (Kristen’s husband) and I went to the Cubs game.  Rooftop package deal – great view and an awesome time.

And, YES, I have been working in the shop.  I’ll try to post this weekend with some photos. 

Happy Friday all!

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.

Love

Jennifer

R.I.P. GZ

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 –

“Jenny-re”