Friday, October 29, 2010

Great Thoughts

Wow, this author/blogger has really nailed it. This is SO how I feel sometimes... and not just about my art. Such a blessing to have the reminder that God is on our side..
Check out this post: Ignoring the Soundtrack

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Go-To Movies

So this evening I decided that I must watch Little Women, just feeling in one of those moods for a "go-to" movie - one of those movies that is classic for you, a dependable storyline with fascinating, inspiring, or intriguing characters; a movie you can watch over and over again and still not get sick of no matter how many times you see it. I had been listening to the soundtrack to Little Women (by the way, I have decided that one day when I get married, I am so walking down the aisle to Orchard House/New York and then walking out with my new husband to Under the Umbrella. Please don't ask why :) they just have that special feeling of joy and excitement for me), and I decided today that my heart just really needed one of my jenna-appointed-classics. So this had me wondering, what are your favorite "go-to" movies, your-classic movies of choice? In no particular order, here are mine:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Taste of Fall

Homemade applesauce simmering on the stove.
Core and coarsely chop two apples (do not peel). Combine with 1 1/2 cups cider in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cover and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the apples are tender and the cider is almost completely reduced, about 5 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor until smooth.
(Taken from Apple Cider Doughnut Recipe by Food Network)

Pumpkin Pie Trifle


  • 13 gingersnaps graham crackers
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg 
  • Pinch of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice if desired
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 cups cold heavy cream


Put graham crackers in a resealable plastic bag and crush into crumbs with a heavy pan. Brush the bottom and about 1 inch up the side of a trifle dish with the butter. Add a few spoonfuls of crumbs roll them around the inside of the dish; pour out the excess crumbs and reserve for topping. Refrigerate the prepared trifle dish.

Put 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, the pumpkin, and the nutmeg in a food processor. Pulse until smooth, about 1 minute.

Put the white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 50% power until melted, about 1 minute, stirring halfway. Add to the pumpkin mixture and process until combined. Transfer to a large bowl.

Beat 1 /12 cups cream in a bowl with a mixer until soft peaks form; fold into the pumpkin mixture until smooth. Pour into trifle dish and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Beat the remaining 1/2 cup cream with a mixer until foamy. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Top the trifle with the whipped cream, reserved cookie crumbs. Sprinkle with nutmeg, cinnamon, or pumpkin pie spice if desired. 
 (Recipe Credit to Food Network: Taken from Pumpkin-Pie Parfaits Recipe)

Discount Time! Looking to Do Some Early Christmas Shopping?

Then check out some new pieces of jewelry in my Etsy Shop. Or some art in my other Etsy Shop. And even better, here is a *DISCOUNT SPECIAL* just for you guys---
Here's what you do:
Step 1. Click to follow my blog
Step 2. When you check out on Etsy, type in the coupon code "ShadesofReverie" when checking out and receive 20% off any item :)
Step 3. Enjoy a beautiful piece of jewelry or art as a gift for yourself or someone special :)

Here are some pieces to inspire your Early Christmas Shopping











(discount only good once to new followers :) thanks!)

New Things Here and There

A couple of new things that I have been meaning to post about.
First, my feature on Supernatural Fairytales is up :) Click and go see this wonderful blogazine with so many neat fantasy and fairytale features, art, and literature. Dorlana runs the blogazine and is also a pretty great writer - check out her pieces and her blog! Thanks Dorlana for featuring my art! :)

Next, check out my new picture/link to my jewelry etsy shop ----> It's featuring the main image for my new banner in the shop :) I've also got a new banner in my artofjenna etsy shop so click on over there to see that too! I get so proud of my "graphic designs" :)

Found this beautiful piece on etsy the other day and I knew I had to post it on here. Can we say major awesomeness?!?! I think I am in love. :) So beautiful. I shall be saving for a while in hopes of getting this lovely jacket

And last, some new books I've been starting to read.

Amy Inspired

I picked this up tonight at Borders and starting reading it. I think I was/am drawn to it because the main character is trying to find the strength to pursue her dream, or at least keep pursuing it since she's already gone most of the way and life isn't really turning out to be as ideal as she expected. Now she has to trust that God is leading her. Totally there right now in my own life. Maybe this will be an encouragement for me? Maybe? Although I am (unfortunately?) relating to the sarcasm and cynicism of this "Amy." Haha, probably an indicator of something...


This book just kept popping up in my face, even though I would have rather ignored it because while I will read some books on Christian living, I'm definitely skeptical of most. But it wouldn't go away (lol) so I decided ok, let's give this a try. I've read through the first two chapters, and honestly, I can't really say how I feel about it. I have highly mixed emotions. On the one hand, it makes me super uncomfortable about the way I've been living out my faith- which is probably good. On the other hand, it's really, for me at least, starting to bring back a lot of the "fear God so that you will do the following things so that you might be saved and if you don't well too bad for you" feelings that have taken me so long to move past. This kind of fear that  I'm talking about here is not to compare with the fear of Holy God, although these lines are starting to get blurred in my mind now, hence part of the problem. But I know the unhealthy fear (such as the fear of hell being more of a motivator than the love of God) had a grip on me for so much of my life (yay Churches of Christ...), and I really don't want to go back to that place. So, that's the number one thing that makes me uncomfortable in a bad way from this book. Number two is something that I again have super mixed feelings about. I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that followers of Christ must not fall into the same problem that the rich young ruler had. This book really talks about giving of yourself and doing the very things that Christ commanded. But I'm having a really hard time with this when I consider my art. I have always felt like making art was/is what God wants me to do. How is such a lifestyle in keeping with Jesus' commands then? If I live a lifestyle that involves selling what I have and giving to the poor and living only to tell others the good news (in a literal speaking/telling sense) then how am I to make art? I'm afraid the lifestyles do not agree. If I sell everything and move to a third world country to serve and spread the news of Jesus, how can I paint? I know that this probably sounds irrational, and before I picked up this book, I would have agreed. I've always reasoned that God calls different people to different things. But I feel that this author is plainly saying, look, Jesus said that those who follow him must be prepared to abandon their jobs, families, etc. for Him. And not everyone that says to Jesus, "Lord, lord" will be saved because not everyone obeys the will of the Father in these regards. Now we're getting back into the "you didn't obey so you aren't saved" mentality in which something you do, motivated by fear, saves you. Which I don't think is the intent of this writer at all, but this is how these ideas are causing me to think or react so far. So, not sure how I feel about the book yet. I really like some things he says, but others make me fear again, for better or for worse. I guess we will just see...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Must Watch for the Church Today

If you claim to be a Christian, I think this is a must-watch message.

This clip is also really great too

Friday, October 1, 2010

Guess what came in the mail today!

And guess what my sister and I will be doing during Fall Break.....

Can we make this happen?

I really want to learn Irish Gaelic. Christmas list? Yes?

Would you dare to believe?

I'm not really sure how to formulate all that is going through my mind this evening, but I really feel that I need to share the faithfulness of God. There is a song that Matt Maher sings- well actually 2 songs for this post - bu the first, Alive Again. In a normal context, and when this song first came out, I really felt like God used it to speak to me in a powerful way about his relentless pursuit of me. To quote the second song by Matt Maher, Your Grace is Enough- God did and continues to "wrestle with [this] sinner's restless heart." But today, in a very profound and unmistakable way, God spoke to me. And I later heard these words in this song by Matt Maher,

You called and You shouted
Broke through my deafness

Now I'm breathing in and breathing out
I'm alive again
You shattered my darkness
Washed away my blindness
Now I'm breathing in and breathing out
I'm alive again  

These words became and have become so literal for me right now. For the last few months, I have been trying desperately to figure out what God wants me to do and what I should do- as far as school, a career, etc. I have chosen "realistic" career paths, one after another, along with the appropriate school options. None of which ultimately worked for me, resulting in a recurring headache. All the while, this voice inside me kept saying, Jenna, why don't you just paint. That simple. Yet even considering this path and its lack of a steady job completely floods me with worry. I like plans, and that path is too spontaneous and unreliable. But I went with it anyway, because I felt one by one God began eliminating my other options. Yet for whatever reason, I still did not feel confident in my decision. I felt so silly and ridiculous anytime someone would ask me what I'm doing now.... "Well I'm.... painting. And I'm going to go back to school to paint. So I can graduate and.... paint."
I kept begging God to please, give me some confirmation that I was actually doing what he had asked. That I was actually doing what I am supposed to be doing. That I hadn't completely missed what he had said or overanalyzed or misunderstood.

Today I went to meet with my undergrad art professors to get some advice on applying for and pursuing my MFA. And WOW. I cannot believe the depth of confirmation that I felt in my heart from God. These people think like me, have the same motivation as me, know what it feels like to tell people that your career is art. They have the same hopes and dreams for themselves and their art. They understood me. And best of all, I feel so normal around them. Around people that I have so much in common with. Around people driven to create. Around other artists. And they have such confidence that this is what I should be doing and that I will succeed- Such a compliment coming from artists like them. And I know, now more than ever, God brought me back to Memphis at just the right time, and he placed me in just the right school to finish my undergrad. Being in this art department was such a blessing to me and my art, especially when my love for and confidence in my art had been so wounded. Being around these people is such a God-thing. And today just capped it all off. I felt and feel God's calling so strongly. It was like God was saying, "Ok, if you didn't catch what I was saying before, let me make it undeniably clear. Now go. Do this." I am just so amazed at how he answered my prayer for guidance. I have no idea how I am going to get to where I am going, but I know he will see me through and see me to the end.
Honestly, left up to me, I would never have planned such a thing for myself. I still have a really hard time even considering myself a true "artist." But this God? An MFA? Wow. Great is your faithfulness, Oh God.