Saturday, December 26, 2009


It's hard to put into words what makes Polyvore so totally addictive, but I am going to try.

First I'll try to explain what Polyvore is, for those of you that may not be familiar. Here's what Wikipedia has to say about Polyvore:

"Polyvore Is The Greatest Website Ever. Polyvore is a very easy-to-use web-based application that allows its users to mix and match pictures from all over the web to create very creative, unique, stylish and artistic sets. It is a lively community for creative people".

The sets can be in fashion, interior design or artistic expression. You gather 'your items' by searching through the well-categorized database of images. Since user submissions are encouraged, it's kind of like flickr, in that the database is constantly being updated with new images. Your items are saved in a library so you can use them to create new sets.

Another thing I really like about Polyvore is that my design ideas aren't limited by time or budget. This is online daydreaming. Like designing your engagement ring online or shopping for rims at (yes, I day dream about rims) I am creating source material, so I can dream big. However, if the day ever does come when I find myself with an excess of time and funds, I can go back to my sets and find out exactly where to purchase any of the items in my library. So it also works like an interactive catalog as well. Are you beginning to see the evil genius of Polyvore?

So while the snow is falling outside, I sit in my office, with the lights dimmed, flipping through page after page of mid-century inspired housewares and smoky topaz jewelry. I'm comforted by the knowledge that the holidays are behind us and a New Year lies ahead.

Now please to enjoy my dreamy outfits. xoxo - jenni

Knotty Girl
Knotty Girl by Ms Atomic

Boho Chic
Boho Chic by Ms Atomic

Michigan & State
Michigan & State by Ms Atomic

Modern Day Love Child
Modern Day Love Child by Ms Atomic

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Organizing for Change

"A place for everything and everything in it's place." I don't know how old I was when I heard that saying for the first time, but I know I liked it right away. The idea that a well-organized life means less clutter emotionally as well as physically. This appeals to the OCD side of my personality. Unfortunately, the ADD side would prefer not to empty the dish washer or fold laundry, so I struggle with the task of organizing.

About 4 months ago I decided to convert a little-used guest room into a multi-purposed art room. A place where I could have all my fabric on bolts and displayed on long shelves. A spot for all of my yarn. A nook for all my paper goods... you get the point. "A place for everything and everything in it's place."

There's still a lot of painting and refining to be done and I have yet to find the perfect drapes, but I wanted to show off the progress so far and get some thoughts and feedback on the overall look. I operate in a bubble, so some outside ideas would be a refreshing change. xoxo- jenn



Monday, November 30, 2009

Birthday Week :: Day One

Happy Birthday to Me! It's my birthday week and the fun began early today. I went to yoga and had an awesome class with a new instructor named Lynn. To add to the treat, studio owner, #1 yogi and friend Marlene was also in the class, student-side.

I have taken an shamefully long hiatus from yoga and my muscles and joints are punishing me for my laziness. I am feeling every bit of my age these last few weeks. I'm sure Mister is tired of hearing me say "My fill in the blank hurts"

After yoga, I headed a few blocks east for a cup of coffee when I stumbled upon a vintage resale shop. There it was...poof...a totally adorable vintage boutique with amazing everything right in the middle of Barrington. Who knew?

It's a not-so-secret dream of mine to own a little vintage shop one day and this little boutique is just the kind of place I could happily spend my days. The proprietor, Laura, was as nice as can be and in no time we had struck up friendship based on a mutual love of bartering. I ran home to gather up an arm load of vintage that I've been trying to sell in my esty store and I headed back to Redefined to do some good 'ol fashioned trading. Here's a little peek-a-loo at my score... xoxo jenn

clockwise from upper left: upcycled barkcloth skirt, barkcloth & bakelight handbag,
barkcloth knitting needle case, black taffeta and brown lace party dress

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sugar Lumps

If you aren't watching Flight of the Conchords, you should be. The show chronicle's the daily life of Bret and Jemaine, a musical duo from New Zealand now transplanted in New York City.

Billing themselves as "Formerly New Zealand's fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo", Bret and Jemaine combine witty lyrics and amusing characterizations to create a unique musical comedy.

The show hooks you right away with an awesome supporting cast, clever writing and some really good musical interludes. It's funny, creative and the accents are easy to imitate when recapping the shows later. There's no definitive word on a Season 3 yet but my fingers are crossed.

Please to enjoy...

xoxo- jenni

Drool-Worthy Floor Art

I've taken a little break from the bloggin' this summer. My list of "things to do before fall" includes a summer update and general howdy, but that'll have to wait. I'm here to talk to you about rugs. Not the head kind, but the floor variety.

This rug....
and this rug...Well, ladies and gentlemen, I ask you... have you ever seen rugs like these? Trust me when I tell you, these photos do them no justice. Insert gurgling Homer J. noise here. I lust for the both of these beauties, and there are at least 8 more drool-worthy selections. So where are they already?! Wait for it....

Amy Butler! Who knew it? Did you know it? Good for you, interior design nerd!

Here are the particulars, courtesy of Amy's lovely website

I'm so happy to introduce this line and work with my great friend Ravi and his family at Chandra in Atlanta. These rugs are truly handmade (I've seen it!). From the hand-tufting & dying of the 100% New Zealand wool, to the hand-carving of the designs by masters using special scissors. They are available in 5' x 7' 6" and 7' 9" x 10' 6". There are 19 rugs in the collection - 13 designs, six of which are colored in two colorways. They are all based on my fabrics and bedding prints!

click here to buy direct from my webstore

I'll be back soon with my summer wrap up. xoxo- jenni

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Whoopie! A Baking Triumph!

My baking successes are few and far between. Usually it's rock hard oatmeal raisin cookies, mushy wet cupcakes and I recall a totally inedible sweet potato bundt cake disaster. But practice makes perfect and things have been getting better. I'm proud to share the photos and the recipe for these delicious Whoopie Pies courtesy of They are super-duper easy and a real crowd-pleaser. Whip a batch of these up the next time you are baking to impress. xoxo - jenni

A batch of vanilla cake tops and bottoms baking away in
my amazing oven with the confection bake setting.

  • 4 cups flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sour milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 tablespoons marshmallow cream
  • 4 tablespoons vanilla (this is not a typo)
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups shortening

  1. Shell: Mix together shortening, butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla.

  2. Sift together dry ingredients and set aside. Add milk, cocoa and hot water. Then add the dry ingredients.

  3. Scoop large rounded spoonfuls of batter onto a greased cookie sheet and space at least 2-inches apart.

  4. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes.

  5. Filling: Add all ingredients in a bowl and beat until smooth. Then place scoop of filling between two of the shells.

  6. Hold on to your socks because they are about to be rocked-off!

Voila! The finished result.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Easy Rider?

A few months ago I decided that this summer I'd learn to ride a motorcycle. Mister took his advanced riding class with a private school in the city called Ride Chicago. I decided to take my basic licensing class at the same school.

The course includes one 5-hour classroom session aimed at educating new riders on the safety do's and don'ts of motorcycle operation and two 5-hour riding classes where we actually learn how to ride a motorcycle.

This weekend is the riding portion of my class and I am really looking forward to it. I have a healthy mix of excitement and trepidation... but mostly excitement. If all go's well, I'll have the Class M added to my driver's license by this time next week.

Wish me luck and stay posted to see the results! xoxo - jenni

Sunday, March 29, 2009

and so I bid a fond farewell...

When Chicago experienced an unseasonable warm spell 3 weeks ago, I told myself not to be fooled again. I have lived in and around the city my whole life and am acclimatized to it's fickle conditions.

Every winter we get a few days in February when the temperatures top out in the 70s. I start pulling out my flip flops and saying Spring is here! Peepers are singing in the ponds, crocuses are pushing through the newly thawed ground and all of life begins to turn toward Spring. We have fallen for it again. From the frogs to the flowers, we all know that the best case scenario is at least 5 more weeks of temperatures hovering just above freezing. Worst case scenario, a full-blown winter wonderland complete with fallen trees, power outages and piles of snow that will be here well into April.

Last night we were belted with at least 5" of wet, heavy snow. The kind of snow that's great for creating awe-inspiring lawn deities like my snow Buddha below.

Snow Buddha of Happiness

The temperatures are climbing again and it looks like Buddha may melt before too long. But while he's here, he will serve as a reminder that to be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring. xoxo- jenni

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Plate of Shrimp

plate of shrimp scene; Repo Man | the amazing David Lynch | June Carter Cash in down dog

"Suppose you're thinking about a plate of shrimp. Suddenly somebody will say like 'plate' or 'shrimp' or 'plate of shrimp', out of the blue, no explanation. No point in looking for one either; it's all part of the cosmic unconsciousness." — "Repo Man, 1984"

Last night I listened to David Lynch narrate on the topic of transcendental meditation while I screen printed Buddha t-shirts until 1am. I have a healthy combination of A.D.D. That's a discussion for another day. Anyhoo...David Lynch talks about the euphoric rush he gets from meditation. About the deep well of pure bliss. Bliss for all the senses.

Then, this morning I took a class with Marlene. While we sat in meditation, Marlene asked us to take an internal tour through the vast mansion that is "our inner-self". It was only 9:45 am and I was contemplating the cosmic enormity of my inner being.

Marlene imagined aloud for us, a giant house with hallways that led to more hallways, connecting to stairwells that ascended to rooms within rooms. That this mansion was a place where we could spend our entire lives exploring room by room; searching for a hidden chamber. The Heart.

She said that there was a world of infinite bliss just beyond the door of one of those internal rooms.

There it is again! Bliss! My plate of shrimp.

So it got me thinking about the concept of meditation. I understand that a person can achieve a sensation so unlike anything else that it can be described as "infinitely blissful". I comprehend the possibilities, but as to the "how" or "when" of it, I am clueless.

Maybe that's a part of the journey. Maybe you have to fake it until you make it (another marlene gem) Maybe just the awareness of such a place is the first step. what do you think? xoxox — j.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Our 44th. President



Let's embrace this opportunity to change. Let's keep this momentum going. Let's continue to advance forward as a nation. Let's have a country and a government we can all be proud of.

Let's use the strength our collective democratic voice to vote for more than a new American Idol.

Let's do the best we can, even when it's the hard thing to do. Let's not forget the sacrifices others made so that we can be free to choose our leaders.

Let's remember the day our world changed for the better.

Today I love my country and I'm proud to be an American.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


To whom it may concern ~

The party in the first wishes to offer the party in the second a complete refund for services rendered. Please accept this offer as our final word on the subject. We will now consider this matter closed and no further action will be taken.

so on and so forth... ect, ect.

Respectfully Blah Blah Blah