3.16.2009

FAQ


I've decided to compile the answers to the questions I receive as comments to my daily posts in one spot. I was looking through Pampering Beki blog last week and noticed she had put out a call for questions, so I stole her idea and ran with it.

Here are the burning questions (and answers):

Why do you call yourself "Jennifer Juniper"?

My mom and dad have always sung that song to me, near me, around me my whole life. What song? you ask? Scroll down to my music player all the way at the bottom of my blog, and click the arrow. Jennifer Juniper by Donovan is the first song on the list. I was going to name my shop Jennifer Juniper, but sadly, the name was already taken.

JENNIFER JUNIPER
Donovan


Jennifer Juniper lives upon the hill,
Jennifer Juniper, sitting very still.

Is she sleeping? I don't think so.
Is she breathing? Yes, very low.
Whatcha doing, Jennifer, my love?

Jennifer Juniper, rides a dappled mare,
Jennifer Juniper, lilacs in her hair.

Is she dreaming? Yes, I think so.
Is she pretty? Yes, ever so.
Whatcha doing, Jennifer, my love?

I'm thinking of what it would be like if she loved me.
You know just lately this happy song it came along
And I like to somehow try and tell you.

Jennifer Juniper, hair of golden flax.
Jennifer Juniper longs for what she lacks.

Do you like her? Yes, I do, Sir.
Would you love her? Yes, I would, Sir.
Whatcha doing Jennifer, my love ?

Jennifer Juniper, Jennifer Juniper, Jennifer Juniper.
Jennifer Juniper vit sur la colline,
Jennifer Juniper assise trs tranquille.
Dort-elle ? Je ne crois pas.
Respire-t-elle ? Oui, mais tout bas.
Qu'est-ce que tu fais, Jenny mon amour ?
Jennifer Juniper, Jennifer Juniper, Jennifer Juniper.


So, how did you end up with Hope Studios, then?

Hope is my middle name and I think it's lovely. My friend used her middle name for her shop and I followed suit.

Why did you start your blog? Click for the answer!

How many kids do you have?

Some days it seems like 10, but in reality I have 3 sons.


Who is Helper Munchkin and why so much screen time?

Helper Munchkin (H. M.) is my youngest son and he is the one who is around the most since my other boys are in school. He helps me out with most things I do, whether it's baking cookies or holding up the end of a board I'm sawing in the driveway. He is strong and coordinated and can beat his brothers in most sports out of sheer will to not be thought a baby. He is point blank with his opinions and doesn't worry about niceties or political correctness. He wants to be either a chef or a professional BMX'er when he grows up. When asked what he wants to be when he grows up, he's just as likely to answer "nothing" since he doesn't want to ever grow up, just like Peter Pan.


The Peacemaker is my middle son who is sensitive with a temper (strange combo) who lives up to his nickname, running interference for his brothers. My friends call him my "lady killer" for his long eyelashes and flirty personality. He is small in stature but big in heart. He is up for anything sporty, crafty or cook-y and wants to be a professional X-games contestant or in the hospitality industry. What? Makes perfect sense to me!


#1 son is my oldest. He is the only one of my kids who will kiss me in front of his friends and is a whiz at math. He is shy and funny, my future artist with a great eye and a nose full of freckles. He is our hormonal child who runs hot and cold, and he is stubborn to the core. He wants to be an architect or a professional magician someday.


The Big Guy is my husband. Infinitely patient with my cracked out ideas, need to create,and inherent messiness, he is my better half. He is able to reign me in and keep me on track. He is the sensible, straight-laced, suit-wearing business man during the week and denim-wearing hick on the weekends who likes to build tree houses, shoot quail, and ride dirt bikes. We've been together for 17 years and it looks like he's stuck with me.


Who are the Soul Sisters?

A rag tag group of my girlfriends I have accumulated over time. We all hit it off from the start. Though we are all very different, we are alike in many ways. We are all mothers who love to cook, craft, and blog. We are just trying to make it through these early years with our sanity intact and come out the other end with some great friends and funny stories.

Soul Sisters Role Call:
Joy Beadworks
Marzipan Mom
The Treat Girl
and "Meg" (we need to get her a blog!)


What is Jennifer Juniper 365?



My husband is puzzled by this project and it's hard to explain to someone who goes to work each day and has friends and an identity separate from what he is here at home. He has always been his own man, who is also a father and husband. It isn't as slippery for men to surrender to that role and get lost in it. They leave and do their thing all day and fall back into "Daddy" or "Honey" once they walk into the door.

It isn't that way for me. Much of my identity is wrapped up in these roles. I am a mom first and foremost, and I fit in the rest when I can sneak it in. Don't take this to mean I am complaining, because this life is everything I'd hoped and more. But, it is healthy to stretch my wings and retain what I was, or still am underneath. There are days in this house when I can go for a whole day and never glance in a mirror. I begin to loose sight of me. This is how I described it in Flickr.

Who am I? This is a journey lasting 365 days to answer that question.

It's so easy to loose yourself in your labels, responsibilities, relationships...who am I underneath all of that? Who is the woman who is also the mother, wife, sister, daughter, and friend?

This project forces me to slow down and spend time with me each day. I hope to learn to appreciate my face and body for what they are, not what they were or what they could be.

I want to reveal myself to myself as the days go on and see growth and progression by the end of the project, uncovering layers thought lost or never discovered.

I hope that if this project is discovered by my children later in life, they can look at it and understand who mom was as a woman, a person.

This is a year in my life.


How do you find the time to do all you do?

There are a lot of hours in the day and though it may seem like I do a lot here, I think it's just because I show it to you. Listen, I'm not going to lie...my house could be cleaner (shut up Big Guy), the laundry could be done in a more timely fashion, but things get done in due time.

I painted a plaque for over my kitchen sink that says "Boring women have clean houses", since that supports my lifestyle I'm sticking with it. Things are picked up, (but you can't eat off my floor), dinner is served every night (though it may not be gourmet) and there are clean clothes to wear (though you may have to rifle through the basket to find them).

I watch TV every night from 9-11 (yeah, the boob tube - I'm so refined!) and while I'm watching, I'm painting at the kitchen table. I run up and down the stairs 100 times a day to my shop to put on another coat of paint or begin a new project while doing a number of other things at the same time. I brush my teeth while wiping up the sink, I read my book while eating my lunch, I scrub the shower before I get out of it in the morning...multi-tasking is key. I could get a lot more done if I got my ass off the computer, though.

I try not to work on the weekends and try to spend as much time as I can with the kids and the Big Guy on those days.

Do you really post at 4 am?

No! I need my beauty sleep and am snoozing every day from 11 pm to 7 am. Most weeks, I compile a bunch of posts at once and schedule them to publish throughout the week. Since that is usually between 12-4 in the afternoon, I just change the "am" to "pm" because I'm lazy.

Does you creative cup ever run dry?

I am one of those people who is easily inspired, always thinking, and very forgetful. So, I keep little notebooks every place and constantly jot down ideas for projects, blog posts, frame quotes so I will remember them at a time when I am not feeling so inspired.

Sometimes, the convoluted path that an idea takes from inception to it's completion is confusing to others, but it makes perfect sense to me. Sometimes I get, "Seeing THAT inspired you to create THIS? Really?!"

Do you have any advice for new artists?

I am really only doing what I have always done. If I didn't have an outlet to sell this stuff, like Etsy, I'd be like a crazy bag lady with junk piled to the ceiling in every room. I have to create things, paint, sew, craft, cook or I will be in a state of constant agitation. That being said, you have to know how to direct your energies to make it appeal to the masses if you want to make this a business.

How can you get the word out about your art? Think about your audience, how can you make things more attractive to them to spend their money with you? I have found that the answer to that involves making connections, really listening, giving suggestions, good communication, going above and beyond, and excellent customer service. If you make a mistake, own it, apologize, and make it right. Your customers will respect you for it and word of mouth will bring more work around to you.


How long ago did you start your business?



I actually started my business, with some prodding from my brother,a year ago December. I'd painted a lot of frames for friends and family for Christmas gifts and my brother and I sat down on the computer to search Ebay and figure out if there was a demand for such a thing.
Little did I know what a response there would be! I picked up business steadily each month and began to look for another venue to sell. I wanted someplace more "artsy" but I wasn't sure there was such a place. Soon, I found Etsy and I loved it from the start, low listing fees, and artsy feeling, kind members who held my hand and answered my questions...a dream come true for this stay at home mom with a big itch to create, make some money, and start a business while caring for my kids and home.
Now, 15 months and 300+ frames later (I keep terrible records, so I don't have an exact number) Hope Studios is going strong! I've been able to supplement my family's income and have some spending money of my own. I can contribute.

What kind of dog do you have?

My little Pipa is a cockapoo, perfect for The Peacemaker and I who are allergic to most animals. She is my sole source of estrogen on a daily basis, and though I never wanted a dog (I wanted to fulfill the romantic notion of giving your son a dog on Christmas morning...I was crying, they were not) she is mine. She is sitting at my feet right now as I type this. I got her from a great breeder out my way called Cuddlespice Cockapoos and she has been a very good dog, a lovely companion, and playmate to my kids. A little dog with big dog personality.


What are your favorite quotes?

I have a few favorites, and here they are:

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

Life is short, eat dessert first!

Don't hold back.

Love like you've never been hurt.
Dance like nobody's watching.
Sing like nobody's listening..
Live like it's Heaven on Earth.


What is the best dessert you've ever tasted?

There is a steak house in the city called the Capital Grille that has a fantastic Creme Brulee Cheesecake with fresh strawberries that I dream about at night. It is light and creamy with a thin caramelized sugar crust and is out of this world.

14 comments :

  1. I love it! Hope you're having a wonderful time at Disney.

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  2. wow very informative and thoughtful post.. love the honesty and openness you display on your blog... takes a lot... =D

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  3. I love Creme Brulee and that variation sounds great. What on earth is a Cockapoo? A cocker spaniel/ poodle cross? I swear we have nothing like that in South Africa - she seems very cute and sweet.

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  4. Fun and interesting. Such handsome boys in your house! And a lovely little fur-girl to balance it out. ;o)

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  5. That Jennifer Juniper song is like a tongue twister. I enjoyed my visit on your SITS Day.

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  6. I found this very interesting and it sure is a great way of sharing about yourself and your family. I'm with Helper Munchkin--Peter Pan was my hero too! I knew when I had it good and didn't want to grow up either.

    Happy SITS Day!

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  7. Happy SITS day!

    Creme brulee cheesecake...that's just gotta be good!

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  8. Shhhhhh. Don't tell anybody. Yours is my favorite blog of all time. I love so many of them but I resonate (big word) most with yours. Thrive on!
    Sandra

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  9. HI!
    I am your newest follower! I clicked over via a tweet (from Kimba at Soft Place to Land) about your most recent post (blog addiction) that intrigued me.

    After reading your bio, it is un-canny how much I find in common w/you! (I totally wipe the sink while brushing!) I, too, am the mother of boys, though I'm quitting while ahead with 2. ;)

    Yep, you are just 'my people' look forward to visiting again.

    Cheers!

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  10. My name is Jennifer too and my brother used to sing that song to me all during my childhood!(He is 16 years older than me) He also called me that too...
    Anyway, just thought it was neat to see "Jennifer Juniper" again!
    Cheers!
    -Jen Bailey

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  11. how do i subscribe to your site for updates by email?

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  12. Love this! Very honest, very funny :)

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  13. Question: the t-shirts where you cut up another t-shirt to make flowers on them...doesn't the fabric shred?

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  14. No shredding here. Tshirt material tends to roll at the edges rather than shred

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