Thank You (and a little Rothko-esque art project) - Juniper Home

Thank You (and a little Rothko-esque art project)

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Thank you all so, so, so much for your kind notes and words of encouragement lately. Each one has meant so much to me. :)

It has been hard for me to share everything here, and I don’t think it would have been appropriate at the time, but it’s been a very strange and difficult couple of months for me, filled with a lot of challenges coming from what felt like every which way. I thought I was managing it all okay, but the last couple weeks were when I hit my breaking point (Ha! breaking point!). I guess I didn’t really realize how buried I was getting until the holidays and my broken arm forced me to stop for a second and take an emotional inventory? Everyone goes through low points, and I think it’s healthy and important to be really open with loved ones about these things, which I totally failed at this year. I should have asked for help earlier, but it was like I was too busy to feel or something, so when I switched gears for even just a minute, it all came crashing down hard on me. I’m sure many of you have experienced similar emotions. It’s no fun.

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Anyway, the good news is today I feel like the fog is beginning to lift. Things are looking up again. I’m feeling hopeful. I’ve decided I want to keep writing this blog and I’ve got some new plans that I’m truly so excited about. I keep having to remind myself that my arm (and my spirits) are still a bit fragile though, so I’m easing into it. :)

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Today I was itching to do something creative (and simple enough to do with one good hand). I had been looking around online for a print with some reds in it to fill one of my gallery wall place-holder frames, and I kept coming back to images like this Rothko print. I almost just bought one, but lately I’ve been wanting an excuse to paint something for myself. I didn’t want to paint anything that required thinking or planning or really any technical skill. I just wanted to throw some colors on a piece of paper. (which is exactly what I did and is exactly the opposite of what Rothko did – just to be clear!)

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I used cheap acrylic paint from Michaels (which wiped right off my counters when I was done) and white wrapping paper (!!!!) because it was easy to find in my disorganized construction zone of a house, and it was the perfect size already for my frame. I used a ton of paint on this thing and it took basically all day to dry, but I had a great time layering on different colors, and mixing and blending.

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I buy thrift store art all the time, just for the frames. This huge 35×49 brass frame was only about $4! I just had to take the time to pull it apart, remove the old art (but I was sure to leave the old linen mounting board! Good stuff!), and install my new art with a roll of mounting tape from the dollar store. I like the bit of dimension the thicker mounting tape gives the art. The paint dried on the wrapping paper in an interesting way and I like that the raised mounting left a lot of the texture in the paper and didn’t smoosh it flat.
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You’ll want to make sure all the mounting tape pieces make good contact with both the art paper and the linen board so you won’t have any slipping issues in the future. (so annoying when that happens, right?)
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My painting’s really not very good, but doesn’t it seem like everything looks better under glass? Once I had it all framed up, I liked it more.
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I can’t tell you how therapeutic it was to do this little art project today. It felt good to do a project for me, just because I felt like it. And it felt good to be happy enough with the results that I wanted to share the photos with you all.

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Also, I know it’s lame to copy a famous artist, but I really love Mark Rothko’s color study paintings, so it feels like a little ode to him rather than a knock off since this is just for personal use. It will likely just be a place holder until I find something more permanent to put in the frame. In the meantime, I’m loving the jolt of energy these bright colors brought into our living room! And I think when I look at it over the coming weeks, I’ll be reminded of some of the hope and clarity I’m starting to feel today.

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Thanks again, friends, for your patience and understanding. Big hugs to you all. xoxo

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180 thoughts on “Thank You (and a little Rothko-esque art project)

  1. Wishing you all the best, Jenny.
    I adore your blog and your spirit and inspiration.

    This piece is a fabulous inspiration, made even better by the joy and lift it's brought you!

  2. I went through the same thing when we moved over the summer. I always laughed about celebrities suffering from exhaustion, but with the packing and moving, and the chaos of it all, I pushed until my body wouldn't go any more. It took a month to get through it. You need to take time for yourself too! Thank you for sharing your human side with us.

  3. Hey Jenny,

    SO glad your going to keep the blog going. Lots of carino to you and your family. I am going to be in AZ in Feb for the winter break, maybe we can get together.



  4. I love your art work, for it's simplicity, for it's color, but most of all because it is an expression of you!! In response to your instagram question, I allow myself to rest, and in resting, I am reminded that I am always being held by God. A God who is bigger, stronger, kinder, wiser . . . . As I asorb the goodness of this truth, I begin to find my strength.

  5. Jenny, thank you for your honesty. As a longtime reader, it has been amazing to watch your productivity and wonder–from behind my computer screen–just how you manage to get it all done. This will sound strange, but thank you for being human. Creativity comes and goes. It's easy to understand how someone so in-demand and so creative can feel overwhelmed and depleted from time to time.

    Welcome back, but just know that we love you and your talent! Take time to nourish yourself and your talent!

  6. I am so floored by your honesty. Honestly it takes a real strong person to show vulnerability. Having been in a similar place at one time, know that all artists have to be super emotional to respond so deeply to beauty. You are part of that beautiful group of people. You will be more than okay. You will soar out of this higher and stronger than ever and know that your passion and love for life will continue to inspire.

  7. Your blog and talents are what keeps me going sometimes! A bit of inspiration to motivate and brighten my day. I will say that I love it when bloggers share their human side too. So often they seem so "perfect" and put together. A great reminder that we are all just trying to navigate through our own journey here on earth. "We're all in this together" right? Thank you for being honest and willing to share. You are making a difference. xx

  8. Hi Jenny,

    First so glad to hear you are feeling better.

    I am a voracious reader of good blogs and yours is one of my favorites. I can't tell you how much I have learned from your DIY tutorials and your take and knowledge of the design world. The creative content that you routinely post is well in a word outstanding. BUT and I mean this in the most respectful way. I think you try to do too much too often and while we readers benefit tremendously from your efforts you are in danger of burning out.
    Which scares me and probably your other readers as well. So I hope you can take a step back, rethink how often you need to do the "full on DIY" post, maybe create some kind of schedule that would be just as entertaining but not quite so work intensive. One of my favorite post topics you write are sourcing posts. "Where to buy metallic linen?" That was invaluable info for me. I'll often "search" your archives for this kind of info. I'm really hoping that you will mix it up a bit more, train us to be a little less "needy" so that we can have you in our lives for a little longer. Thanks for all that you have done so far. k

  9. I love, love, love your blog!!! Your ideas are amazing and your projects rock the house!!! It's okay to take time for yourself when you need it, broken arm or not!!!!

  10. I saw a saying on Pinterest that said, " I'm not lazy, I just enjoy doing nothing". I'm a firm believer that we as a society have glorified busyness. A counselor asked me once, if you were talking to your best friend, what advice would you give her? It stopped me right in my tracks.would your best friend perhaps suggest that you," lower the bar?" Take time to stop and smell the roses. You owe us nothing but we care about you.

  11. Where did you get the peach side chair? I love the color and I don't remember it from your past homes. Glad you're doing better. A big move is such a hard adjustment…I think it takes time to hit you. At first its exciting, then after a bit the culture shock sets in. Glad to see you returning to your creative roots. Thats why we all love your blog!

  12. Hi Jenny, I've followed your blog for the past three years and have marveled at your talent and great style, not to mention how nice of a person you really seem to be! I've always thought that having a popular blog would be awesome, but I could never do it because it would take so much out of me to have an audience waiting to see the next amazing thing! So, I admire you so much and appreciate all the good that you do, and also, I think I can speak for all your readers when I say that it is really understandable that you might need to come up for air sometimes and give yourself a break! Only wishing you lived next door so I could knock on your awesome red door and ask if you think I should be brave and finally paint my old console! Anyway, be well!

  13. Hi Jenny,

    Thanks so much for sharing these personal posts with us. It can be so frustrating to read other blogs where their picture-perfect lives are curated to a point where it seems unrealistic. I always appreciate your honesty, and it's what keeps us readers engaged.

    Please take care of you, and the rest will follow! Keep doing the things that make you happy and you will find joy again. Sending positive vibes your way!


  14. Jenny!!! We LOVE you and you blog. 1st thing I check in the morning and I'd hate to lose it. However, we all want what's best for you, so please take time for yourself when ever you need it. We'll always be wating for you when you come back!!!

  15. It's perfect. I am glad to hear you are feeling better. Those 'foggy' times are needful sometimes as they help us get our focus back to the important stuff.

  16. I'm just going to echo what so many others have said: You are so charming and talented and I, personally, will never get enough of your posts. But frankly, I don't know how you do it. You seem like magic with your endless creativity, energy and ideas, and at times I've found myself wondering how on earth you do it. I'm glad to hear that you're not a robot and are taking care of yourself. I'm familiar with these lows and I know how they can leave you feeling empty and joyless. It's wonderful to see you painting (something just for you!) and being gentle with yourself. We'll all be here if you need to take some more time for yourself.

  17. Jenny, I just wanted to say "thank you" for all you do with this blog! You are a real inspiration, not only with DIY and design, but also by being willing to "put it all out there" when you are struggling. Prayers and positive thoughts going out to you for restoration of your body and mind, as you heal physically and mentally.
    <3 Debra

  18. I am a vorcacious consumer of all your content, Jenny. Your work has inspired me in so many ways. I have upholstered three tufted headboards, repurposed art, made several roman shades using your tutorials, and the list goes on. Thank you for all that you do. Take care of yourself and your family – you are worth the wait!

  19. Jenny,
    I'm so grateful you've decided to keep this blog going. I follow a lot of blogs and this by far is my favorite. I've tried so many new things because of you.

    Your vulnerability is much appreciated. Feel better, rest well and may you be extremely gentle and nurturing with yourself.

    Love the painting too!

  20. Jenny,
    First off, you are so brave to even write this post! And secondly, thank you so much for letting us into your world. You are a decorating genius and I look forward to your posts ever day. Feel better and take all the time you need. You will always have a huge fan and a loyal reader.

  21. love the art project – and your honesty/words.

    we moved around the same time you guys did, to our "home" 1000 miles away, and your post at the time about leaving NYC really resonated with me. this post/your feelings also resonating as I realized over the holidays that I too am struggling in the same way. hang in there – looking forward to a happier, clearer 2014, with lots of LGN inspiration :)

  22. Not sure what I would do if you decided to stop blogging! Your blog is the first thing I look at in the morning while drinking coffee. I hope you continue to feel better because you are a great inspiration to many!

  23. I'm so happy to hear you are feeling better. Everyone goes through these struggles in life and it is important to let your love ones know. I'm rooting for you and I'm sure I'm speaking for all your readers in say, that your health is #1 priority. I am glad you'll continue the blog and I look forward to what you share with us this year. God Bless.

  24. Jenny, I have been following your blog for years, but have not left a comment before.

    Your life comes across as utterly perfect in this blog, and while I know that's not always reality, the fact that you've shared that everything's not all sunshine, daisies and rainbows all the time makes you more approachable to me.

    I'm sorry to hear that things have been stressful lately, and I thank you for sharing that your life isn't the unattainable perfect I always imagined it was. Hang in there. *hug*

  25. Your art (and your blog!) are lovely. And they are yours. I know when you put stuff out in the world, you feel naked and judged. But never qualify or feel like you have to give apologies or disclaimers. Feel proud of yourself and allow yourself to be human. No one will love you less!…

  26. You have been missed greatly. So sorry that you have been going through a weird and uncertain time. I hope things start looking up and you find the clarity you need. So hard when these times comes so unexpectadly!! Big hugs!
    This project is awesome and I love the color and vibrance it has. Take it easy and take your time in coming back full force. Sometimes life makes us slow down a bit and when you look back you may realize it was just what you needed.
    Cheers to you my dear.

  27. Well now that we're being honest, I will say that I do not like the sponsored posts at all. Especially the Glade (ick.) You lose the goodwill of your readers when you sell to a corporation like that. Let's not pretend we don't notice. On the positive side, you are still super interesting, and I look forward to seeing how well your house turns out! I wish you a speedy recovery! Hang in there! :)

  28. scrolling down I see you have a ton of blogger world support and hope you feel it (other than a few not so nice people). Remember that sponsored or not this is your space, do with it what you want and it will turn back into your happy place. I am a huge fan of your work and very inspired by everything you do. It take a lot to get a blog to where you've brought yours. Now take some time for you, heal that arm (and that soul) and us true LGN fans will be here!

    Now onto your post, I am loving this collage and your ode should make any artist proud, this is a favorite of mine. Reminds me that you don't always have to spend the big bucks and can still get the look you are going for. HAppy New Year blogger friend. :)


    Natalie @ DRB

  29. Your blog has been a highlight of my day for almost two years. I would be very sad to see you go. I don't need big projects or long posts-sometimes it's nice for you to check in with a few sentences and a picture or two of random things. Don't forget–most of us are here because we like you for you, sadness, stress, and all. And I think your painting is more self-revealing than you realize-it's beautiful.

  30. So fun! I love it. As for cheering oneself up – volunteering is such a great way to go. Smart decision. It's so good to get outside of yourself and focus on others. To that end, a good hike and a dance party also help me feel better and get outside of my own head. Best wishes!!

  31. Such a beautiful and fun painting! Hope you continue to feel better and take good care of yourself! Thank you for all the amazing ideas and projects you've shared over the years! Thank you also for sharing about your challenges.

  32. I hope your feeling better. I go through lows often and its really hard to get out of them.
    Like you this week i did a painting inspired by Kirra Jamison. But then i felt bad that i copied her art work. But i just have to remind myself its only for my house and its pretty colours makes me happy.
    Goodluck, your inspiring to all of us xx

  33. I love that you used creating a piece of art as an outlet for the emotions you're feeling right now. It is amazing what a little bit of "just because" creativity can do for the soul and spirit. Hope you are back to feeling 100% soon, in mind and body!

    PS–Also grateful for the clarification re: Rothko's process. The art nerd in me was happy to read that. ;-)

  34. I would miss your blog so much if you stopped posting altogether! I am so glad you took the time to mend and heal so you can continue to post and inspire. Your biggest fans (like me) will wait on the edge of our seats for your daily posts to return! xo

  35. Absolutely do not use it as a place holder!! It's an awesome use of creative energy, and therapeutic, so a win/win. Keep the picture up for good!! It makes me want to do something like that for myself – you inspire that in people, in all of your readers. Please rest, and recuperate.

  36. Jenny,
    I check your blog frequently, and while I love hearing about what you are doing, big or small, I have been more concerned lately with how you are doing. I know you reported some health concerns earlier, and I have been checking in to see what came of them. And then I hear you broke your arm! And around the holidays too! Take your time and focus on healing. No one says you have to post every day or every week! You could post once a month and you wouldn't lose a single one of your devoted followers. I love the painting by the way!

  37. Jenny, I love stopping by your blog to see your latest house and DIY projects. You are human …and often it seems like bloggers, especially in the design sphere are expected to pump out projects and ideas at a non-human speed, and be subject to lots of criticism along the way. That's just not fair, I like seeing real life side, and sometimes that means we need breaks – and support! Sending good thoughts your way. Hope you get the rest and inspiration you want and need. Love hearing from you!

  38. Can I just say, Jenny, that your energy is absolutely amazing. I genuinely don't know how you do it all, and I think it's even more amazing (and somewhat relieving!) to know you have deeply human thoughts. Take your time: we'll wait a long time for you, and your posts are always so thoughtful and wonderful that I'd prefer one a month rather than none at all! Recover slowly and well – and know we're all cheering for you xx

  39. Hi Jenny – I have been reading Your blog for four years now and this is my first post ever. I felt compelled to tell you that your blog is fantastic and the only blog I have been returning to consistently. With that said I echo other commenters – I would still follow you if you blogged weekly or Monthly. Seriously think about that or simplier posts. You will not lose your fans!!! I would hate to lose you over burnout and you need a break and time for yourself and your family.

  40. I'm a new mom of a 5 months old baby and I discovered your blog while I was pregnant and moving in our appartment last spring. I was looking for a DIY bookshelve and I ended up looking at that amazing project in your brownston living room. Since then I've been checking your blog every day, sometimes many times per day! and I am NOT a blog reader usually. Anyways, You know how you're just glued to the rocking chair the first cupple weeks? (Well maybe not you though!) Well I spent most of these evenings reading your blog from the very first post with my newborn in my arms. I just felt in love with your creative, affordable and inspiring spirit. Your style in the design sphere but also in the writting part of your blog is always a joy. What have I noticed in my reading?You've changed but you're still yourself, and that's one of the reason why people love your blog. I will echo what was previously posted but just stay who you are, and we will be there looking forward for the next post.
    Nobody ask you to be perfect exept yourself. Remember that post on a red ribbon and a lampshade in your girls room in the brownstone? How you wanted to be able to post about simple projets and post about them lightly?
    Good luck and we all support you

  41. Keep taking good care! Thanks for sharing too – it helps those of us who experience the same down times. When I'm in those times I try (really try) to remember that even if I can't see the sun, it's still behind the clouds. Find what brings you joy and follow That! :)

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