If I had a castle...

I have such a strong desire to express these fairytaley feelings inside of me. To tell stories (even though I’m not exactly sure what they are!) To bring them to life, make them real. I literally cried tears after movies like the BFG and Mary Poppins Returns because I love them so much and long to tell stories myself. But what I feel is always vague; I don’t have clarity with exactly WHAT I’m supposed to focus on and create. So most of the time I do nothing. Or I do something Disney, because its the closest I come to connecting with what’s inside of me.

I’ve been wrong many times before, but I sense my ‘If I had a Castle’ is THE thing I’m supposed to do. Or where I am supposed to start anyway.

Suddenly I have this very clear outlet for all of those feelings. A place for them to all belong. A world for me to build. Random thoughts and feelings have a home. Like I have always had this happy love for powder puffs and scented powder. It stems back to my Grandmothers. So I was able to create a fancy powder puff with a beautiful jar of scented powder and it belongs in my castle, on the vanity I know in my mind and have on my list to paint.

Every time I make beef stew I think the same thing was made in a castle many years ago, and now I painted my own iron pot and rustic bread and can imagine it in my castle kitchen. So satisfying to visually express that feeling I always get!

My love of the movie Ratatouille!!! I was able to create my own little mouse girl, put her in a red cloak, give her snacks on a silver platter.

Clawfoot tubs and chandeliers and the magical bubbles from Mary Poppins Returns! They all belong in my castle bathroom that now exists in my mind and my art and my heart. : )

Something about rabbits and blueberry bushes is in me, not sure why, but it will go on my list, because as I am walking the trail in the fairytale forest by my castle house, I will see them there. I see one little guy wearing a vest. :)

I could go on and on and on…

Already in only a few short weeks my confidence has grown. The thought of illustrating an entire book doesn’t seem so daunting. I’m excited to get up everyday and paint the next thing. Probably getting 4 to 5 hours of sleep a night but not tired one bit. Jason says the house could be on fire and I’d still sit there drawing.

I’m not exactly sure what my book will specifically be, but I believe as I keep expressing and stretching myself over these 100 days (100 day Instagram project) ideas are going to come to me and things are going to fall into place. I have found this little place that is MINE.

Jason showed me this video of the LCD Soundsystem guy. I don’t listen to the music but I loved the video and it stuck with me. He wasn’t having success, but he created a song that he just KNEW was it. No one else was really with him on it, I think maybe one person. People acted like it was bad, but he just knew it! And he was right. It was the song that brought them true success. I think of that video every once in a while and I think someday I’m going to come up with something that I will just know, and I will have the drive to work and follow through on it.

I feel like this is it. I’ve said that before. I could feel embarrassed of this blog 6 months from now and be back to doing nothing. But I don’t think so. This is my niche. It’s specifically what’s been inside of me wanting to come out for all of my life. Just sweet, happy, fairytaley, magical, special things. Right now they’re just snippets, but I’m moving forward creating one day at a time and know more will come.

Thankful for this fun gift God has given me and pray for direction along the way. :)

Thanks for reading! You can follow me on Instagram @jen_treece


Warm Fuzzies

I have such warm, fuzzy memories of the Berenstain Bears, one of my childhood favorites. It’s surprising to me when I pull up an old episode or look at a book and the illustrations are fairly flat and bright. In my memory I visualize them warm and rich and inviting, because that’s how they make me feel.

I love the simple joy of this little family, helping and caring for each other in their cozy treehouse or their old-fashioned town where most everyone is kind to one another.

I am thankful to think my family is kind of like them. We are far from perfect. We look at our electronics too much. We bicker. I worry I don’t have my daughter signed up in enough activities. But I love our simple life in our cozy, quaint home.

Sometimes when I pull up to the house at night, it looks so picture-perfect with its glowing windows, next to kind, caring neighbors. I think I am rich and thank God for such blessings.

I may not have published books or artistic ‘success’ (in the way I want it anyway), and some days I really let this get me down. But in those moments I remember I have my sweet little family and this special place all our own. And they call me Mama (even Jason when Gianna’s around, just like Papa Bear :)

In a lot of my paintings that is what I am trying to express - that warm, wholesome glow where you are cared for and loved. Like a freshly cleaned kitchen on a cold winter night and you’re about to sit down by the glow of the stovelight to homemade pie with your Grandma. That kind of stuff is where its at :) Those are the kind of things the best parts of my heart long for and treasure. <3


Jardin du Luxembourg

A couple weeks ago my brother-in-law was showing me some pics from Paris on his phone. I found the one of this fountain so beautiful. The Medici Fountain in the Luxembourg Gardens. Looks like such a cozy, magical spot.

I immediately imagined a woman leaning over peeking into the water, and was surprised later when I was looking at the fountain more close up, that the statue was doing the same thing. It looks like a cupid peeking down onto the couple below.

If I never make it to this spot, I feel like I've been there after the time I spent painting it, listening to Parisian music. Have truly enjoyed the time creating it :)


Home Sweet Home

When I was laid off earlier this year, I was SO excited to take a stab at following my heart and working with my art full time. I started out like a freight train, pushing myself, planning, making schedules. 

I didn't take the time to start each day in prayer, in my bible, finding peace. I always know the days that start that way are the best, but in my busyness I was blowing by that.

One morning I decided to sit down on my porch, catch my breath. The day after I'd barely slept in some urgent frenzy to get my website in order.

I thought 'I think I'll read a psalm'. And 127 randomly popped in my head. Had no idea what it was. I turn to it and was like wow <3

Unless the Lord builds a house,
    the work of the builders is wasted.
Unless the Lord protects a city,
    guarding it with sentries will do no good.
It is useless for you to work so hard
    from early morning until late at night,
anxiously working for food to eat;
    for God gives rest to his loved ones.

I felt loved and spoken to and decided I was going to rest more. Not push myself so hard. Not try so frantically to make things happen. I feel like I've been rushing around for 15 years juggling, God gives me a rest and I'm still doing it to myself.

So 4 months later now I find I have barely painted, and in 6 weeks I haven't painted something I wanted to just because I was inspired. Wasn't imagining that, but the bills have mostly stayed paid and my daughter and I have made some good memories through the summer, and I have been getting lots of sleep!

I have been blessed with some freelance work, and some commissioned paintings that have gotten us by.

And where I thought I was going to find my joy in painting all day, I have found even greater joy in being a Mom, and a Wife, and being the caretaker of our home.

Taking care of a home well is a full time job. This was always one of my struggles while working full time. Failed huge there. Although its not really 'failing' when its really too much to be expected in the first place. Work full time. Keep your house neat. Be a good Mom and Wife. Take time to have fun and make memories. Keep the laundry up. Something's gotta give, you can only keep so many balls in the air.

I remember a description once of thinking of your home like running a bed and breakfast. Keeping it clean, welcoming, neat, good food stocked and cooked. Being welcoming and kind.

I have found such satisfaction in being able to do this! I'm far from perfect and some areas of the house need a lot of help still, but overall just keeping our main living areas neat and uncluttered, having good food to eat and not feeling rushed and paying full attention to my loved ones has been wonderful. Dropping my daughter off unrushed and picking her up at 3 and just hanging out and having fun after school everyday is worth a million bucks.

My bank account does not look real great right now, but I feel rich. Yesterday was so awesome! Dropped G off at school, did some freelance work, started a painting. Got some groceries, did some laundry, made our beds and burned pretty candles. Cooked dinner ahead of time so we just had to warm it up, picked up G at 3 and watched cartoons with her.

I pray that this can continue. Like I literally get on my knees everyday and fervently pray from the bottom of my heart that this can continue. There's not really much more right now I could want but to be home being who I feel I was meant to be.

Packing a lunch, kissing the top of a head, keeping the laundry from being an overwhelming mountain. Having a clean fridge and an uncluttered house, When I look at our bills, and look at the coming winter, with no art shows, with the little safety net of unemployment running out and not being there on the weeks I don't make anything, with some bills that were temporarily reduced because of our situation going back to full payment, it looks impossible.

Yesterday after praying about all of this, the verse for the day in my thru the year bible was from Ecclesiastes:

 Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God. God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past.

Life IS short, so short, I've seen my nieces and nephews go from babies to college kids in what feels like 3 years. I pray that in this short life I am able to get by with the work of my hands being caring for my home and family and painting.

And then I read Proverbs 31 in which describing a Godly wife and mother it says:

Her hands are busy spinning thread,
    her fingers twisting fiber.
She extends a helping hand to the poor
    and opens her arms to the needy.
She has no fear of winter for her household,
    for everyone has warm clothes.

The fear of winter really spoke to me right now. I so want to continue with how things are. I don't really know exactly how things are going to work out, but for the moment I will one day at a time give thanks for being able to live my dream today and know that they are going to work out.

Of course we always hope that things will go the way we think is best. But I know regardless God has my good in mind and will be with me whatever way this goes. 

So for today, I am just living life thankful for feeling fulfilled and serving an important purpose. Today I am a stay at home Mom! And an artist! And I'm thankful, and pray tomorrow I'll be that too.

From Matthew 6:

So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

Seeking HIm and His purpose in my life! <3