Monday, August 29, 2011

New items on Etsy

Hi friends!
Just a quick note to share that I'm listing new items in my Etsy shop.  I'm selling vintage items like chalkware, supplies for mixed media and only handywork!  During Paper Cowgirl I learned how to make distressed flowers out of satin, tulle and such.  I love making these flowers so much!  Since the look is rather vintage I decided to pair them with vintage ribbons, ric rack and doilies to make necklaces, pins and cuff bracelets.

When you have a chance, please visit and let me know what you think!  I'm working on earrings, rings and hair clips now.

All proceeds for purchases made go directly to Pekingese rescue.  For more info on my efforts with rescue, please visit my other blog

Best wishes and high hopes to all,
Jennie and the Pretty Pekingese

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I see London, I see France...

Hi friends!
It has been a long time since I last wrote; I hope all are doing well.  We've enjoyed 45 days of triple-digit heat and I'm SICK of it.  :)  Southern women are supposed to be dewey not sweaty!  Blech!

Time has been filled with so much this summer.  My involvement with Pekingese rescue has become a full time job and that dang full time job that pays the bills has been cramping my art time!    Pekingese Rescue has been great.  In total Mom and I have pulled 11 dogs since May - that's 11 lives that were saved from shelters that were over-flowing and puppy mills.  We've lost our beloved Fawn and adopted sweet Cocoa. For details on our fosters visit my other blog - link to the right of the page.  And at this point...I will willingly take donations.  Rescue is far more expensive than I thought and AMEX actually does put a limit to how much a person can spend! 

So last month I went to a paint class in Fort Worth with my dear friend Cami.  The theme of the class was a romantic French image of the Eiffel Tower.  Cami's husband drove us because the class was BYOB.  Yeah, that tells you already how my painting turned out!  Cami and I had a blast!!  We were in a class with a lot of great people and with some nibblies and drink we quickly turned into the rowdy girls.  'Magine that?!

Here are some images from our class, Cami captured the whole Eiffel Tower feel.  I somehow captured a Pagoda them with psychedelic roses.  It was so much fun though and each time I look at it I smile and giggle to myself.

In October the Paper Cowgirls will have a Wicked Tea.  I can't wait!  It is going to be a wickedly good time!

Wishing everyone well - Best wishes and high hopes,
Jennie and the Pretty Pekingese

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Paper Cowgirl - Meet and Greet and Swaps

Dear friends,
Last weekend was Paper Cowgirl! What a great time we all had at this amazing art retreat in Waxahatchie, TX. 

I picked up Kana from the airport - she flew in from Tennessee for this retreat and she and I met up with Cami for lunch.  From there we ran to Fort Worth, got really lost, pulled King and took him to the vet then headed down to Hatchie!  Here's how the car looked...

Kana made the cutest pins for Cami and sweet!

Events started Thursday with a "Meet & Greet" and exchange of projects with our swap partners.  Lisa Pace spoke to us about becoming a published artist, The Doves Nest spoiled us with snacks and Ann Denise blew us away with this dress that she made.  It's from crepe paper, coffee filters and paper clay.  Amazing.

The swaps were great.  There were several to choose from but I limited myself to making charms for each attendee, the altered cigar box swap and the name tag swap. 

 The charms I made are really simple little frames with a Pekingese Cowgirl set in resin and tied up with a pink bow. 
For the name tag I opted to do something slightly different.  Since as a group we were given hanging name tags (to attach our charms to) I wanted to give my swap partner a wrist corsage tag.  Little bit of ribbon, a doilie and love created this corsage. 

Sadly I forgot to take pictures of my altered cigar box.  I did a vintage travel theme because my partner loves to travel.  I aged the box with paints and trimmed it in lace.  On the inside were vintage pieces of jewelry with tags that indicated where in Europe she had worn them, vintage pictures and postcards and so forth. 

My swap partners spoiled me!  My name tag was sewn by Susie and is just beautiful.  She wrapped it in an amazing wax paper and lace bag.  Everone kept taking pictures of my name tag the whole weekend but pictures don't even do it justice.

Trisha created this box.  Words escape me because it is STUNNING.  She spent 3 weeks gluing pearls, jewels and trinkets to the box.  It's so vintage and beautiful, I'm actually trying to find a pretty vintage glass cake stand to store it in becaue I'm afraid for dust to touch it!  The inside was full of wonderful goodies including a beautiful bracelet that she made.  Trisha is a talented jewelry maker and soldered 3 beautiful bird inspired charms to the bracelet along with bird charms and pearl spacers.

Wow...I'm just amazed at the talent of these ladies!  Thank you Susie and Trisha - I will treasure these items forever!

Also during our "Meet and Greet" we collected our name badges.  They were blank and that night several of us sat up decorating our badges together, adding the charms we collected and laughing over really cheap wine.  Here's how my badge turned out.

I'll post a couple of more entries to show the classes and goodies from the vendor fair.  I'm so inspired that after I wake from my nap, give the pups baths and finish my laundry I might have time to paint.  LOL...fingers crossed!

Wishing everyone the best,
Jennie and the Pretty Pekes

Saturday, June 4, 2011

New Blog Alert!

Hi dear friends!
I've started a new blog that will focus on Pekingese and animal rescue.  Please visit and follow to lend your support for this amazing breed.

I'm not a 501C and am primarily offering transport services and very short term foster care.  But it's a start.  One day I hope to have my own rescue group so that I never have to fret over an animal in need.  One day I'll get there!

Sending Peke Hugs to everyone!
Jennie and the Pretty Pekingese

Monday, May 30, 2011

Don't really is me!

Hello dear friends,
It's so hard to believe the length of time between my posts.  It certainly isn't for the lack of anything to say but the lack of time and honestly, energy, to post.

It's been a busy couple of months - I've participated in several wonderful swaps, I'm getting ready for Paper Cowgirl next week, I've had some sick pups, a worn out back, a tornado threat and best of all, I rescued a Pretty Pekingese!

Where to start?  How about from bottom to top!  A couple of weeks ago I had the honor of pulling a male Pekingese from the Arlington Animal Services center. Sadly, it's a kill shelter so time was limited.  He was a stray from Garland that somehow ended up in Arlington with a disconnected number listed on his name tag.  His name is Lucky but the people who adopt him will be the lucky ones.  He is a 3 year old, neutered male, healthy as can be, happy as a lark, playful, smart, extremely well behaved, house-trained and rarely barks.  My Mom and I instantly fell in love and leaving him with the rescue group was bittersweet.  He has a great future with wonderful people but I wish I could have kept him.  Here's little Lucky while we were riding to Oklahoma City to meet the rescue group.  Thanks so much Pekes and You Pekingese Rescue!!!

The back...oh what agony...oh what pain..oh pity me please!  Ok, that's a little extreme but it has been about a 12 on the 0-10 pain scale for a while now.  I finally went to see a Spine surgeon and will hopefully find out soon if something can be done to correct that lovely curve, the arthritis and pinched nerves.  Only so much discomfort I can breathe through much longer. 

Enough of that selfish nonsense. 

Our area had a tornado rush through the other night which made for great fun.  Have YOU ever sat in a smallish walk-in closet full of dirty clothes with your Mom and 5 dogs?  LOL  My poor Mom was probably wondering if I ever do laundry by the piles of clothes on the floor.  Fortunately all is well and our area was spared from anything other than heavy winds and pea-sized hail.  It was loud and noisy but even our little lizard out back made it through.  (Yes, dear friends...Mr. Wicky is back and other than missing his tail looks great!)  Here he is with his tail.

I've participated in a couple of bunting swaps, matchbox swaps and am getting ready for Paper Cowgirl next week.  I'm so excited - I love seeing my girlfriends and creating glitter and glue messes with them.  Here are some of the boxes I made...

Jan is in Essex England and loves nature.  So her box is covered with a soft bird newsprint and I made a paper mache nest that I covered in moss and added 3 blue beads to for eggs.  The little bird is a Wade Whimsy which seemed perfect.  The other box was for Piper in Utah, who loves spring and tea pots and frills.  I found a child's tea cup and created a bouquet in it from paper flowers and broken earrings then stickled dots on the box and trimmed with velvet.  These were soooo much fun to make.

The boxes they made me were soooo lovely and I'll post pictures soon of them.  These swaps create such great friendships and I'm thrilled to say that Kana from a previous swap will be my roomie at Paper Cowgirl and Piper from this swap is now someone I regulaly chat with on Facebook.  All of the ladies are wonderful and it's an honor to craft for them.

For Paper Cowgirl I've completed 100 charms to provide to each attendee and the instructors.  The idea is that we'll swap charms as tokens of friendship.  I'm also participating in 2 swaps, an altered cigar box exchange and a name tag swap.  I had to restart the cigar box because my first one became a modge podge mess.  Almost done...  Almost done with the name tag which I love.  I made a wrist corsage and just need to add the name.  I'll post pictures as soon as everything is done.  Really pleased with all of them so far.

Let's see....oh yes, something huge happened.  I attended the Royal Wedding!!!  Yes, my lovely bonnet and I were up, curled against our pillows watching the wedding much like we watched Diana's oh so long ago.  My bonnet, while not a Fascinator, was black and white and far more posh than my bed linens but how could I not wear one for such an event!?!  Such a wonderful circle of life to have witnessed - the marriage of Diana and Charles, the introduction of William to the world after he was born and now little William's marriage to his beautiful Catherine.  I'm proud to have been a witness to such a romantic story.

My darling Saffron has been suffering from seizures, the cause is unknown and the triggers are varied.  Today alone she has had 4.  I'm terrified by them and worry for her future.  I've got her on phenobarb. but hate the side effects of it.  However, I'll do anything to keep her safe and healthy.  Here she is after a very recent summer cut.  She's 11 now, the matriarch of my pack.

My Mom's little Chi has recently been diagnosed with an enlarged heart.  It's causing her to cough and have difficulty jumping but hasn't stopped her from begging for treats at 9pm on the dot each night!  She's on a diuretic and we're monitoring her closely as well.  Fawn is 12 and by far, my favorite Chi.

Lastly, my little Ginger Socks suffers so from allergies.  She's on steroids, benadryl and a prescription for a topical ear and eye treatment.  Bless her little monkey face.

I hope each of you are well.  I've been visiting your blogs and wishing you well with each visit.  May you have a wonderful day of reflection, gratitude and love for those that sacrifice for our nation.

Best wishes and high hopes,
Jennie and the Pretty Pekes

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Mothers Day in Ireland

In Ireland, Mothers Day is not celebrated on same day as in US. Mothers Day celebrations in Ireland takes place on the fourth Sunday in the Christian fasting month of Lent. This corresponds to the day on which Mothers Day or Mothering Sunday is celebrated in UK, a close neighbor of Ireland. While in the US Mothers Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in the month of May. But just as in scores of other countries, people in Ireland honor their mothers on the occasion of Mothers Day for all their love and affection.

History of Mother's Day in Ireland

The history of celebrating Mothering Sunday or Mothers Day in Ireland can be traced to the medieval practice where children from poor families were send to work as domestic servants and apprentices to work with the rich. Once in the year in the middle of the Lent these children were given a day off to visit their 'Mother Church' and worship Virgin Mary. After visiting the Mother Church or Cathedral of their home town these children visited their mothers and presented them with flowers they picked along the way. Girls bake special Mothering Cake on the day. Pattern of living changed after the Industrial Revolution and Mothering Sunday celebration almost lapsed. The custom was revived after World War II. Americans too helped to bring back the charm of the festival in Eurpoean countries as their tradition and way of celebrating Mothers Day spread far and wide.

Mother's Day Celebration in Ireland

On Mothers Day, people in Ireland present flowers and cards to their mothers to express love and gratitude. People take their mother out for dinners and lunches and often pamper them with breakfast in bed. Gifts are given to mothers with love from caring children. Programmes, plays and skits are organised at several places in honor of mothers.

Lá na Máithreacha Sona!   Happy Mother's Day!

A very special Happy Mother's Day to my Mom.  I love you very much!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Dear friends,
I so love St. Patrick's Day.  A day of celebration, laughter and reflection on faith.  The Irish are such a spiritual group - whether you are Catholic, Protestant or a Druid.  The passion for our faith is strong and we see this faith in so much that we look at.  Our conversion to Christianity is an exciting tale that leads us to the current legends of St. Patrick and shamrocks.  Many believe that St. Patrick used the shamrock as a way of explaining the Holy Trinity.  True or not, the shamrock has become the un-official symbol for Irish folks and of the Irish Catholic faith.  Take a look at St. Patrick's cathedral (one of my favorite places in NY.) Within the Gothic styled architecture you'll see several 3 "leafed" images. 

So either before or after you begin your Guinness fest, take a moment to reflect and remember the mystery and legends of our people and our faith.  We have such a wonderful history and today is our day to dance a jig to celebrate it. 

Slainte my dear friends!

Best wishes and high Irish hopes to you all,
Jennie and the temporarily green Pekes 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A wonderful new swap! Banners and Buntings!

Dear friends,
Amy with RubyMoon Art is hosting a great swap!  Please visit her site for all of the details but here's a snippet from her website.


Here's how it will work. Each participant will make 5 triangles, send them to me, I will mix them up, arrange them all into buntings and then send them back to you. Your pieces will be mixed with the other pieces and we'd all end up with a bunting that includes artwork from around the globe! Looking at the time line I'd like to have these back to you in time for May Day (May 1). Create with spring in mind, just think spring colors, themes, bright, cheerful. I will take sign ups until 3/25 (or until full), mail the completed pieces to me on 4/11 (I want them here by the 15th) I will assemble and return to you by May 1st.

•To sign up, send an email to Include your name, address, blog/shop address and any info you'd like to include about yourself.

•Make 5 flags, alter or embellish them as you wish, be creative, (please don't just cut out a piece of scrapbook paper or fabric and call it good) add your touch to each one, make it you!

•Anything goes for your theme, any medium... paper, fabric, altered, digital, painting, drawing, collage, mixed media, sewing, crochet, knit...I will email you a pattern to use so they are all approximately the same size.

•You can make 5 of the same or 5 completely different flags, your choice.

•Please sign and put your contact information on the back of each piece! Everyone likes to know where their art came from :)

•Join this flickr group to post pictures of your finished pieces or join just to watch what everyone is doing, even if you're not participating.

•On April 11th mail your pieces to me, include a return address label and return shipping payment, $6 US, $7 Canada & $9 int'l by paypal.

•Post this on your blog to spread the word and invite your friends to join in.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Match Boxes, Tags, Dresses and Funky Finds Oh My!

Hello dear friends,
Over the last few weeks I've participated in 2 really fun swaps.  The first was a Thinking Spring tag swap hosted by the fabulous JoAnne of the Vintage Dragonfly.  There were 10 participants and we were each challenged with creating tags that reflect what inspires us to think spring.  So many lovely artists participated and my tag book is now a treasured part of my collections.  I just love it. 

Another swap that I particpated in was the Petite Inspiration Matchbox swap with the theme Flea Market Finds.  This swap was hosted bythe Speckled Egg.  My swap partners were wonderful and spoiled me with their creativity and finds. 

Below are the images from my sweet swap partner Catherine.  I just love how she covered the inside of the box and the detail to the exterior.  Not to mention the wonderful goodies within!  Thank you Catherine!  I love it!

My other swap partner was the lovely Kana.  Kana lives just outside of my hometown of Nashville so seeing her box was extra special.  It was like getting pieces of home sent to me.  I miss Tennessee so much and knowing that she went to one of my favorite flea markets in the South (Nashville fair grounds) wow...was pretty awesome.

Next, I completed my February dress for the Monthly Dress Up Challenge being hosted by Angela with Sew Loquacious.  February's inspiration was Gustav Klimdt.  This was a tough one for me because I'm not a fan of his but that's the point of a challenge.  To push your comfort levels and test your creativity!  Here's my interpretation.  I was inspired by "The Kiss" with all of the shimmery gold and accents of color dotted throughout.  My dress is made of leaf shaped sequins (in honor of his many nature inspired paintings).  I'm working on the March dress which is to be inspired by Modern Art.  This one I'm having a lot of fun with!!  Pictures to follow in a few days.

 Please visit Angela's website for other amazing images of dresses. 

Last but by no means least...Funky Finds was this weekend.  Funky Finds is an amazing event that is open to all types of artists.  It's a great opportunity to see and meet artists and learn about their creations.  I found an amazing woman that made earrings from paper, another person that made belt buckles and cuff bracelets from discarded materials like old watches, industrial items and broken jewelry.  Beautiful.  But I'm biased.  My favorite booth was Sandra Feazel.  She is an amazing artist that I met at the October Wicked Tea hosted by the Paper Cowgirl.  I was lucky enough to snag a piece of art and even better sign up for a class she's teaching at the Paper Cowgirl event in January.  I also grabbed the cutest ring too that will be perfect for the Paper Cowgirl event. 
Sandra will be teaching this in June at Paper Cowgirl!


Picture I purchased at Funky Finds!
I wasn't able to get a good picture of the ring, partly because my manicure is so chipped from yard work today.

I wish everyone a creative week and thanks for spending some time catching up with me.

Best wishes and high hopes to everyone,
Jennie and the Pekes

Friday, February 18, 2011

Did I really almost commit career suicide? Really???

Hello dear friends,
Well, if you aren't already aware I'm a little bit of a goof from time to time.  Heck, who am I kidding?  Most of the time.   I've been known to be so distracted at work that I've consumed a cup of tea without actually getting any of it in my mouth, I've walked into desks, tripped in my too high heels...oh my...the list goes on.

Well, here's the latest...

I work for a financial institution specifically in the Merchant processing division.  You know those electronic boxes on the counter that your credit card is swiped through...yeah, that's what I support.  So, this customer reached out to us because he has some strong opinions about how a product he is using is working.  Well, I decided to test his his product myself and see how well it was or wasn't working.  So..I logged onto his website and was a bit shocked.

He sells much more than we knew...guns, ammo, satellite tracking devices and so forth.  Very Mission Impossible looking.  Well, heck with the fear I'm buying something with my corporate card to prove the shopping cart works correctly.  So, I'm hunting (LOL, I crack myself up..hunting...) for something inexpensive to buy.  Ahhh...2.99...I'll take it.  I add it to the shopping cart, fill out the information to complete the order and then notice what I'm purchasing.  Genius has selected a box of bullets and has set up the account to send them to our corporate office.  Sweet Mother of Pekingese!!!! 

After I stopped shaking from the idea that our mail room manager almost received a box of bullets from me I deleted the item and found a nice bottle of hand sanitizer to order.  Oh my goodness, my heart is still rushing at that.  I can see the Dallas SWAT team showing up at my office and yelling..."I've got a head shot!".  And if they didn't take the head shot and just escorted me off the the heck would I explain to future employers that I was fired for accidentally purchasing bullets with my corporate card and sending them to my office.  Oh geez...

I survived this but am left now wondering ....does anyone else think it's creepy that this business that markets guns, ammo, satellite tracking software, body armor sells hand sanitizer? 

Best wishes and high hopes,
Jennie and the still-employed-much-shocked Pekes