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. I'm so glad you're starting to feel better, Jenny! Also glad you'll still be blogging because you are just the best blogger out there and from what it looks like a pretty phenomenal mom/all around awesome lady. Whatever you want to share, we are all ears/eyes!

  2. Dear Jenny,
    I've never commented before, but I wanted to leave a note letting you know how much I love your blog- not just the blog itself, but the feeling you create for readers. I always feel inspired by your posts. I'm 25 and going back to school to study interior architecture. My first college experience was rough- I had many health problems and have dealt on and off with anxiety and depression. Whatever it is you are going through, I know you that you know this, but you aren't alone. And I want to tell you that when I have "bad" days, many times seeing that you've made a post (or simply browsing through your past posts & DIYs) has been the one highlight of my day. And I dream that one day I will be able to DIY, paint, restore, knock down and rebuild so many things like you do. Because it's such a beautiful thing to create or redesign space to improve our wellbeing. It makes such a difference. And even through a computer screen, you are a huge inspiration to me and one of my biggest design heroes. Thank you for sharing so much! xx

  3. Hi, Jenny! I'm so glad things seem to be a little 'lighter' recently. I must admit I've wondered how on earth you've managed to do so much in so little time. You've had so much on your plate this year, that just reading about it made me tired! It's great that you've decided to keep doing your blog for now, but I know that the added weight of knowing people are waiting for posts can add up to a lot of pressure. Please don't let it end up being more than you can handle. Your health comes first!

  4. I completely feel where you are coming from…when we moved cross-country, from a city I loved so much, it took me awhile to find myself and plant my feet. Love to you…and to that gorgeous art!

  5. Thank you for what you do for all of us " out here"…it is appreciated in more ways than you know. And your honesty is so commendable. Take care, dear girl!

  6. Thanks for being you and keeping it so real. In a blog world full of "getting famous" and "sponsored everything" it always feels good to read someone's honest and true thoughts and then like them even more! You are an inspiration in more ways than one. Take care of yourself. We'll all be here! xo

  7. We moved in a similar time frame as you, and I've been in a funk, too. I think that these major moves are hard on us, even though we know they are positive and good for our lifestyles and families. So then we end up feeling guilty about being blue —because we're supposed to be happy! But change is change, and it takes some time to adjust. The best to you!!!

  8. I want to echo everyone else-thank you for sharing your life with us and hope you feel better soon! Please ignore the critic, and know there are thousands of us out here who support any decision (design or sponsored) you make

  9. So glad you are going to keep blogging. I only just discovered you about a year ago and have thoroughly enjoyed your posts. Long live buying thrift store art for the frame!

  10. Jenny,
    Only you could take some cheap paint, wrapping paper and a thrift store frame and make it look so incredibly artsy and cool. Like many others who have left comments, I too have been a follower of your blog for years, although have not yet left a comment. I just wanted to thank you for the seemingly endless inspiration you provide. Because of you, I have felt inspired to tackle various DIY projects in my own home (headboards, blinds, spray painted chairs, etc.), but most important, to tackle things with a can-do spirit and an imaginative eye. You and your blog truly have changed the way I decorate and provided so much useful information along the way. You are truly awe-inspiring.

    I am so sorry to hear about your arm and your funk. I agree with so many others who have said that you should take care of yourself first. And honestly, if taking care of yourself simply means not blogging anymore, then that's what you need to do. I would miss you dearly, but you only have one life to live and you owe it to yourself to live it on your own terms. Best wishes to you.

  11. your blog is my favorite thing on the internet, hands down. you have been missed. glad to hear things are on the upswing and looking forward to what you have in store for your blog.

  12. your blog is my favorite thing on the internet, hands down. you have been missed. glad to hear things are on the upswing and looking forward to what you have in store for your blog.

  13. I am following your post for about a year now, from the other side of the globe, Athens, Greece that is. Reading your daily post is one of the best things of my day since I lost my job and I stay home. When you moved in this house I was overwhelmed by its size and the amount of projects you tackled yourself. Adding the blog and your children to this is a heavy load for anyone. Although I missed your posts and I was checking daily your blog for something new, feel free to go silent whenever you feel like it. I will be there when you come back.

  14. I've been following your blog for years, and always enjoy your posts and hearing about the things that do and don't work in your projects. Life is also full of things that are working and not working at any given time, and those who follow your story will understand that too. Please take the time you need to rest and recharge—posting 5 days a week is a treadmill of content that can be exhausting, especially when you have such a wide and effusive following! But you need to do what's best for you and take care of yourself. :)

  15. Love the art. I can sympathize with you. I love doing a project just because the mood strikes. I think that it what it was like for us in childhood, we had an idea and ran with it, b/c we had very little by way of schedule to keep. It is so liberating, and yet we don't have much opportunity to do that as working moms anymore. I had a small fire during a christmas party which caused me to have to slow down (I was burned). My husband said that was my wake up call. We need to be sure to listen to our bodies, minds and spirits. Take care of yourself! We love what you do here, but it's no good if you can't take care of yourself and have something left to give your family. Thinking of you!

  16. Hang in there! I enjoy your blog so much. Thank you. You are an inspiration in many ways. And your taste level is wonderful. We all go through "things" and hopefully learn from and make changes based on those experiences. I feel for you. Have a good day and enjoy your family.

  17. Glad to hear you are coming out of the fog. I broke my elbow too (on Dec 19) and basically slept from then until Jan. 7. Fortunately I was only in a splint for 5 days-not as bad a break as it sounds like you have-but it absolutely wore me out. (O yea, I had the flu, too.) just this week I have felt exactly as you say "coming out of the fog" I consider stuff like this nature' sway of telling us "Be mindful. Take car of yourself."
    And love the painting. I have a list of challenges to complete by age 60 and one of them is "Paint a picture". Half the challenge is just doing it! You're right. Absolutely everything looks better in a frame unde glass.
    Glad to see your blog in my inbox once again. Please don't abandon us.

  18. Jenny-
    Your blog is the first one I go to daily. You are such an inspiration! As the mother of 5 young kids I have an idea of what you might be struggling with!! I'm so happy that you are getting rest and the help you need. Take care.

  19. Jenny,
    Welcome back! I recently moved across the country (from Indiana to Texas) and at first it is soo excited and there are so many opportunities. But as time went on, and projects still continued to drag on in our fixer upper, along with a pregnancy I too hit my breaking point. I am happy to say taking a month off, was like therapy and allowed me to recharge and refocus. I hope your arm mends quickly, but more importantly that you find peace. In the meantime, I will be lurking for updates no matter how small :)

  20. Jenny,
    Welcome back! I recently moved across the country (from Indiana to Texas) and at first it is soo excited and there are so many opportunities. But as time went on, and projects still continued to drag on in our fixer upper, along with a pregnancy I too hit my breaking point. I am happy to say taking a month off, was like therapy and allowed me to recharge and refocus. I hope your arm mends quickly, but more importantly that you find peace. In the meantime, I will be lurking for updates no matter how small :)

  21. I am very sorry you have been going through such a tough time. Hang in there! Thank you for being so honest with all of us. Although I miss your posts :), it is way more important for you to take time to rest and heal. You are in my thoughts!

  22. What is there to be down about? Not trying to be mean, but you just broke an arm. Other than that, you have a beautiful home, you do not have a 9-5 from what I can tell (not sure). You decorate your house and post it on a website. Really, what is there to be down about? You really need to count your blessings because you sound like an entiteld whiney brat. Please volunteer your time and see how the other half live. I bet you will be singing a much different tune. Better yet, spend some time in a battered womens shelter decorating that.They have more than a broken arm and a blog to worry about.

    1. Inappropriate. Seriously, if you can't realize that everyone goes through ups and downs, regardless of their circumstances, then you are in denial. Sure, there are always people out there who have it worse off…But are we really here to compare lives or to be compassionate when someone needs a pick me up? No one asked you to read Jennys blog and no one asked you for your opinions. Please take some sound advice and just keep your comments to yourself if they're not going to uplift people.

  23. I love the art. More importantly, I am glad you are starting to feel better and the fog is lifting. I have been there and it is a tough place to be. I am in my 30s, work full time and the parent of two young kids myself. Although it is wonderful, it can be difficult to manage so much. I went to counseling with my husband and started on a low dose medication and it helped so much to help me feel like myself again.

  24. Jenny,

    I'm really glad you were a little open on the blog because I feel like so many blogs have false advertising of their lives and I appreciate your honesty. Also, I'm so pleased you decided to keep writing. I love your blog and I'm sending you positive vibes!

  25. I love this art piece! I truly thought it was a Rothko print, but love it more knowing that you made it. Definitely inspires me to make my own.

  26. Hi Jenny –
    I'm so glad you are starting to feel better. I went through a similar time right after we moved back to the East Coast. There was so much going on which was exciting (new house, full renovation, new baby, starting a new business etc) that I got way too bogged down and stressed out and really took it out on my husband. Thank goodness he stood by me and I am now in the process of hiring someone to help me. I'm sure everything will turn up fine but it's good to take a breather.


  27. oh my gosh, please do not take what 'anonymous' said to heart! It makes me so angry when someone judges another person like that. Sometimes it's not something you can just 'snap out of' by counting your blessings. I'm sure there is more to this than you want to share with the thousands of unknown readers. Thank you for your openness and vulnerability in this post. So many people go through these low points in life and are afraid to talk about it. It is nice to know you are not alone.

  28. Jerky Anonymous,

    I am one of Jenny's (real life) friends and I just wanted to jump in here and defend her because I know she is too wonderful and forgiving to do it for herself.

    You should know there is a LOT more going on here than Jenny is letting on. She is a very private person (for someone who shares her ideas with the internet?) and she feels like she wants to keep some of her life to herself, and rightfully so, damnit! She is going through a really rough time right now and the bottom line is you don't need to know all of the details. She is going out of her comfort zone to tell us that she is hurting and needs some space, so she needs only our love and support here (and thank you to all of you who are giving it to Jenny unconditionally!)

    I just can't fathom what kind of shriveled up soul you must have to want to attack someone as sweet, kind and positive as Jenny. She is a bright and happy spot on the internet and the last thing she needs is someone telling her that she sounds whiny when she is being vulnerable and open and honest with all of us who only take, take, take from her and give her nothing in return. Shame on you.

    Jenny, I hope you delete that last anon comment and see all the big fluffy hearts the others are sending your way. Love you.

  29. Hi Jenny,

    I know this sentiment has been shared by many before, but reading your blog brings a lot of joy and inspiration to my life. Take care of yourself and your family because that's the most important thing, but if you can find time once in a while to share bits of your life with us, well that that's great, too. Thanks for all the care and effort you've put in over the years. You've done a lot to make the world a more beautiful place.


  30. So glad that you are feeling better. We all get into funks and feel lost sometimes. Thank you for sharing your journey back, I'm sure it will help someone find their way when they are feeling down. And it's always nice to know we are not alone in feeling that way! The artwork is beautiful. Great idea to buy cheap art for the frame. I've heard that before and forgot all about it!

  31. Jenny, I'm so glad you're getting some much-needed down time. I'm a fairly new reader, but your blog is a "must-read" for me every day. I'm so glad you decided to continue writing it! As others have said, I'll take whatever wonderful content I can get. Just don't push yourself too hard. Thanks for keeping it real. :)

  32. I'm very glad to hear you're doing better. Thank you for your wonderful inspiration. It helps some of us more then you know!

  33. You have no idea how much your blog means to me! I get excited little butterflies in my stomach when I jump over here to see what you've posted on. It's my favorite blog of the hundreds I've looked at. Literally, I reward myself for finishing my "to-do" list by reading your blog. Just wanted to tell you that. :)
    Be well today!

  34. Jerky Anonymous –
    I agree 100% with Emily. Though I don't know Jenny personally, it doesn't take much for me (or for most humans with souls) to recognize when someone is hurting and to understand that pain is universal. I too have a wonderful partner, a great job, a roof over my head and fresh delicious food to eat every day. So I guess that means I have no right to hurt or feel anything but shiny happy feelings 24/7, right? Wrong. I fell prey to that thinking at first too, but that's part of what kept me in such a hateful and painful place for so long. Practice empathy with yourself and others, and learn how full the world is of big fluffy hearts. We're rooting for you Jenny, and hope you continue doing what you do here!!

  35. So glad to hear you're seeing some light at the end of the tunnel! Also, your colour study is fantastic — and works so much better in that space than the masterpiece you were considering.

  36. I hope you are taking a lot of time to heal and find peace. I am always so impatient for your next post, and you seem limitless in your creativity and projects (and time!). I've never thought how much pressure you must be under. You are only human! I hope you recover beautifully, and continue doing only the things that make you happy. Take care of yourself!

  37. Hi Jenny,
    I really like this project. Your gallery is comimg together nicely.
    I find this time of year difficult as well…taking down the Christmas stuff, my yearly review, and big new projects starting. It feels overwhelming and all I want to do is sleep.
    Obviously, do what's best for you, but please know your blog is bright spot in a dark month for me. It energizes me to tackle home projects, and the activity makes me feel better.

  38. I love that you shared this post with us. And I'm so sorry to hear about the "crash". Last year was a super weird year for me (baby #5 and house remodel #8). Talk about a crash. It wasn't pretty. It left me clinging to hope and feeling (still do) very fragile. I shut down my blog and have never looked back but! Can I just say how happy I am that you decided to continue blogging?!! I hope you find hope and healing soon. So glad you are sticking around. Hang in there.

  39. Thank you for sharing Jenny!
    Winter/house chaos/broken bodies…it all seems to show up at the same time sometimes in various forms. I'm so sorry you're going through a valley right now. In a society where we've trained ourselves and each other to only show the "highlight reel" of our lives with pretty designs, pictures, and places we've been, it's nice when us humans can encourage each other with reality that it simply isn't altogether all the time. I just want to encourage you with a scripture that often comforts me from a God who created you and loves you. "…casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by our brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you." 1 Peter 5:7-10 There's obviously lots of layers to scripture, and it starts with getting to know Him to be able to understand them for what they are, but anyway, I hope you're encouraged that you're not alone and He loves you and hears you, and you have a fabulous fan/support base here! Thank you for your always inspiring and beautiful designs!

  40. I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. I'm an artist, high school art teacher, wife, and mother to three boys. Your projects inspire me more than any other blog out there. Your use of color and the way you place things together have inspired me to redo little corners of my own home. Thank you for sharing your own struggles. We are all human and one thing we all share are the complex emotions we all go through. You are not alone and I thank you for your honesty. Rest and recover, we'll be here when you return!

  41. I think your artwork is a masterpiece. I would not replace it because it will remind you that God got you through a low point and that you came out stronger. You are so talented and think outside the box. God gave you those gifts, and I am glad you share them with us. I pray that 2014 will be one of renewal and refreshment in your mind, body, and spirit.

  42. Regarding your Rothko-inspired artwork, it looks great from my perspective. Sometimes we are the most critical of our own work, huh? I know I'm that way when I've done any DIY paintings.

    Regarding your funk, we all go through them now and then, I guess. I like that your blog mostly focuses on decor, but now and then a personal post helps us see that you're a real person, not an awesome decor & DIY robot! :) Like many others said, your blog is one of my few must-reads. You inspire me more than any other bloggers. You have great taste, and even your DIY projects always look top-notch … not DIY'd! As a fan, I hope you'll continue to inspire us here with your blog. But if it's something you needed to end for your own sake, don't let us pressure you! What about posting less often? It seems like so many bloggers stress about posting every day. Even one Jenny post a week or every couple weeks would be great!

  43. I don't normally comment, but I wanted you to know that you're my favorite. I love this blog. I'm an overwhelmed SAH mom of 4 kids 5 & under. You inspire me to make things around me pretty and I leave your blog happy and hopeful. Thank you for all you put into this space. Hope 2014 brings some rest and healing your way. Good luck friend.

  44. Jenny, you are truly an inspiration and a breath of fresh air. I don't religiously follow many blogs, mainly my cooking blogs, but I always come back to see you and your blog:) Everything you post is always so dazzling, hip, fresh, and simply beautiful. We all have times of getting into a funk, more than I care to admit sometimes, but you seem like someone who is not going to give up that easily and for that and much more, you will always be something special!

  45. Jenny, you are truly an inspiration and a breath of fresh air. I don't religiously follow many blogs, mainly my cooking blogs, but I always come back to see you and your blog:) Everything you post is always so dazzling, hip, fresh, and simply beautiful. We all have times of getting into a funk, more than I care to admit sometimes, but you seem like someone who is not going to give up that easily and for that and much more, you will always be something special!

  46. Love the painting and it looks really professional.
    Keep doing what you love because you love it xx <3

  47. Take things slowly and enjoy your day to day life. You have a beautiful blog and lots of admiring followers. Hope your arm is healing.

  48. Jenny, hope you can really rest and heal, in every way. You spoil us with your creative ideas and projects! We can wait. Enjoy your family, your lovely home and take good care of yourself for a while!

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