Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New and Just For You!

Forest's Edge
Michele's Lake
Jessica's Farm
Karla's Lake

I thought I'd share with you some of the reason's I've been so neglectful to my dear sweet readers. I've been up to my ears in custom orders — delightful! 

I love working with folks from around the globe to get just the right piece for their home. It's a great way to recharge my batteries and bring back wonderful ideas for all my lovely customers.

Back to the studio for me — I have a super cute painting I'm finishing up. I promise to share with you soon. But, in the meantime, stay  tuned — I've got big news coming around the bend, you won't want to miss!

nancy jean

What's New: Love on Paper

For all the fans of my Custom Love Nest Paintings I've got a new treat in the shop: Custom Love Nest Prints! Another option for the perfect, personalized wedding, anniversary or baby gift!

These beauties are printed with archival pigment inks on velvety cotton paper.

This is a great option for folks who would like a larger piece without the larger price tag. I'm offering 3 sizes: 8" x 10", 11" x 14" and 13" x 19". All are sized for easy fitting into ready-made frames.

Another great thing about these darlings, is that they can be ready to ship within a day or two — perfect for last-minute gift giving!

Stop by my shop and check them out!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Chickens: There's No Stopping Them

I've had a keen eye on the political hen house here in Maplewood, NJ: The clucking over granting residents permission to keep chickens in their yards has ruffled more than a few feathers. But it looks as if the chickens are coming home to roost! I read in our local Patch that last night, the Township Committee members asked Town Counsel Roger Desiderio to draft an ordinance that would allow 14 households to pilot a one-year program that will be introduced on Sept. 6.

Now that's something to crow about! (Okay, I promise, no more chicken puns.)

Chickens aren't new, but they have gotten quite hot, as the locavore movement spreads rapidly through cities and towns all around the country.

I just love the idea of chickens in the backyard. I have a soft spot for any animal, and I quite like the idea of having an egg-laying operation. Besides, chickens are just so cool!

The Front Yard Coop!
There was squawking (oops, sorry) from some residents, with worries about raccoon raids, poop-y yards and noise. Not to worry: Chickens will happily lay without the noisy rooster, and for the style conscious, here's the Frank Lloyd Wright of chicken coops — called the Front Yard Coop. Touted as the The World's First Self-Propelled Chicken Coop , it stores power from a solar cell in a marine deep-charge battery and inches along your yard at a safe and subtle 16 feet per hour. When it bumps into something, the circuit board reverses the coop’s direction. This distributes the flock’s impact on your lawn, spreads its beneficial manure and constantly offers your birds fresh forage.  The stored solar power also provides power for the electric fence that keeps predators out. 

Besides, it's so darn pretty! 

If you like your chicken abode to be a little more of a permanent structure, Country Living Magazine's July/August issue has a great article on building your own super-de-lux chicken coop. It's very stylish as well — I think any hen would feel proud to call it home!  

The plans for this darling coop-cottage are from FreshEggsDaily.
I thought I'd round this article out with a few of the delightful items I found, as I searched through Etsy, with the keyword "chicken".
This gorgeous Burlap Pillow from Samantha2818 comes complete with a French accent!

Isn't this this needle-felted Chicken Rattle from countrywildflower darling? It even comes with it's own needle-felted nest!

You can always count on finding some prime "chicken" cuteness, shopping in the vintage section. These charmers are from maplestreettreasures!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Katie's Kitchen: Fresh Fruit Fraisier

 I use to cook.

There was even a time in my past — as an unhappy art director working for an ad agency — that I thought of giving it all up and becoming a chef. It took me exactly one catered affair to change my mind.

It's been many years since; living on both coasts, meeting the love of my life, raising 2 wonderful daughters and finding the passion I was searching for in an easel and brush. 

But, even now I still can't resist the lure of recipes. If you saw my cookbook collection, you might think I was an accomplished cook, or at the very least someone who actually did cook. Nope. I just love reading about cooking! Especially the pictures.

Juggling my work, kids and sanity keeps me busy enough for a good excuse to not cook. Until the time comes when life slows down, I will live vicariously through those who do spend there time, lovingly creating culinary works of art. With the appreciation of a connoisseur, I will continue to enjoy my voyeuristic pastime!

All this brings me 'round to my addiction to Katie's Making Michael Pollan Proud blog. (Her tendancy towards luscious desserts helps, too.) 

Katie recently featured a Fresh Fruit Fraisier — as a challenge she completed for a very fun web-based group called Daring Baker. Katie explains, "Daring Bakers brings cooks from across the world together once a month to create a common dish and try out recipes they might not have dared attempt on their own."

I think Katie's gorgeous confection looks like just the thing for a hot summer party. Visit Katie's blog to find out how she made this dreamy dessert!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Come On Down, Mon Cher!

Little Red Barn, a sweet little 8 x 8 inch gem!

If you're in the Asheville, NC area this weekend, stop by Atelier 24 Lexington Gallery for the Bele Chere Festival. The gallery has many of my American Farm paintings to see, as well as my new "Little Farms" that are the perfect size for groupings or shelf sitting!
The Bele Chere Festival is an annual 3-day event, featuring live, local, regional and national performers, on 4 stages. I looked up the origin of the name and found out that Bele Chere comes from an ancient Scottish dialect, meaning "beautiful living". Sounds like a good plan!
One of the bands I looked up — purely because I took a shine to their name — was Hoots & Hellmouth. I took a listen and found them quite delightful They definitely got me in the mood for some outdoor music, food and art this weekend. Enjoy!

Here's the scoop:
Bele Chere 2011 Dates & Times:

Friday, July 29 Noon to 10 p.m.

Saturday, July 30 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Sunday, July 31 Noon to 6 p.m.

Watch the full episode. See more On Canvas.


    WKRQ in Cincinnati

    I was so excited to see this photo that Patti — from WKRQ in Cincinnati — sent to me!

    I wrote in my last post, how much I enjoyed working with Patti on the custom set of Ohio Farmhouses that she ordered for her radio station digs.

    I just love how the arc in the grass of the paintings mimics the arc of the opposite green wall and the slice of cobalt blue on the first painting is reflected in the strip of blue on the upper wall. Brilliant!

    Thanks again Patti!

    Saturday, July 16, 2011

    I Love My Customers!

    I'm loving this new custom series that I just recently finished!

    My brilliant customer, Patti, had really liked how the "detail" images looked in my Etsy shop listing of My Ohio Farmhouse. She asked if I could paint a series for her building, exactly like the detail shots.

    I think the four paintings look smashing together! Thank you Patti for your order and for your inspiration.

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Peace Love and Understanding

    So happy to be in the shade!

    What a fun, exhausting weekend!

    I'm still recovering, unpacking and regrouping after running a booth at the weekend-long music festival Maplewoodstock.

    This was the first time I've shown this work at a live venue and it was wonderful to talk with folks and get their reaction to my paintings.

    I learned many new things:

    My work seems to appeal to a very broad range of ages.

    Men love my Farms and Dreamscapes!

    My new note cards were a huge success.

    So now I'll take this new info in mind as I start restocking my shelves for the upcoming holiday season.

    Thanks to all who stopped by the booth to say "hi".

    Now, back to work!

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011


    Here's a custom painting I just completed recently — Gossip Girls!
    As the USA was celebrating the the birth of it's nation, I was thinking about all of the milestones that the past month held. My husband, Matthew and I started the month off, celebrating our 20th anniversary, my oldest daughter graduated high school and my youngest daughter graduated from middle school.

    Summer seems to have swept in while I wasn't looking and here it is July 5th!

    As I attempt to catch up with life and blog, I will start on a festive note; the Backyard Bird Giveaway!

    On the morning of July 1st I gathered up all the entries, compiled them into a list, cut them up, put them in a hat and the winner was drawn.

    Natalie Tetzlaff won the 2-painting set and is in the process of picking her favorites for me to wrap and send — Congratulations Natalie!

    I have many more items to chat with you all about, but will save those for another post.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    New! Custom Love Nests Now Available as a Fine Art Print

    It's true!

    I've had so many folks ask me to offer prints in my shop as a lower-priced option. I've taken heed. I plan to expand this new area but wanted to start with my favorite — The Custom Love Nest Print!

    Here's a great big, beautiful way to show your love. This gorgeous 13 x 19 inch keepsake is printed with vivid archival inks and velvety smooth, heavyweight cotton paper. Both are guaranteed not to fade for 100 years.

    I'll add you and your-own-true-love's names, wedding date and even the amount of eggs you'd like in your nest.

    This sweet gift is sized perfectly to fit into a ready-made 11 x 14 inch frame. Or for a real focal point; buy a ready-made 16 x 20 inch frame and ask the framers to cut you a mat to fit big bang for the buck!

    Speaking of "bangs for the bucks"— hurry to my shop and order your Love Nest soon, because for a very limited time, I'm offering these custom prints for $30 — that's a $20 savings from the regular price of $50!

    How many eggs are in your nest?

    Thursday, June 9, 2011

    Give-Away Update

    A sweet Little Backyard Bird and a Nest to go with it could be yours!
    Things are getting heated up for the give-away. I've had a lot of new visitors and I'm excited about the attention it's drawn. Here's a reminder — if you haven't yet — to comment, like and heart your way to 3 chances to win. See all the Birds here in my shop.

    Check out the post for more info. And remember, the contest ends when July begins!

    bonne chance!

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    Katie's Kitchen: Cupcakes + Ice Cream = Yum!

    Oh Katie, you've stolen my heart again!

    In her latest post in Making Michael Pollan Proud, she shares with us her awesome entry into the 2011 Ice Cream Cupcake ContestThe New York State Upside-Down Ice Cream Cupcake

    The contest is to combine cupcake and ice cream — hard to go wrong with that combo. But if you ask me, Katie has taken the pairing to a whole new level with this heavenly treat. Caramelized rhubarb, fresh strawberries, whipped cream and homemade Roasted  Rhubarb Ice Cream come together with delicate cake to create the sublime.
    Katie's The New York State Upside-Down Ice Cream Cupcake
    If you're looking for a truly special dessert for your summer dinner party, check out Katie's blog for the recipe. She makes it all look easy!

    Monday, June 6, 2011

    Speaking of Chickens

    Barnyard Queen ©2010
    The last post I ran got me thinking about raising chickens.

    My daughter's been bugging me to add to our pet population with a few "layers". Apparently there's an ordinance in my town that keeping chickens a no-no. Sad. But, I read in an article dated April 10th, 2010 in our local Patch, that our good Vice Mayor Kathy Leventhal has asked the Board of Health to consider allowing chickens to be raised for eggs.

    In an article that ran last year in NJ.com, Grace Grund
    talks about keeping chickens in her
    Montclair backyard.
    I love this photo by the Star Ledger's Matt Rainey!

    Seems the peckish poultry is welcome in neighboring towns such as Millburn, Livingston and Montclair. I find myself envying folks that have cozy coops in their backyards. Not that I need any more projects, but the idea is so appealing — a pet that earns its keep.

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    Tuesday, May 31, 2011

    Love is in the Air

    June is traditionally a bride's favorite for weddings. To get the month off to a romantic start, I thought I'd share with you some of the Custom Love Nests I've made over the past year.

    Here's to all you the love birds out in the world!

    The very first Love Nest was a tiny 5" x 5" - for yours truly & her true love
    I love to see all of these together, representing so many sweet families!
    Creating this 24" x 30" focal piece was so much fun!

    The nest with feather
    Sweet and simple!

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    Make Way for a Give-Away

    Goldie with his favorite Nest!
    It's time to heat things up over here at the Nancy Jean Home Blog. No better way I know of, than to host a give-away!

    From now until the end of June I'll be collecting names for a drawing to give this sweet set away. You'll get to choose from 1 of my 9 Backyard Birds, and 1 of my Little Nests — a duet that's sure to brighten any spot in  your home!

    No purchase necessary — just leave me a comment and your name will be entered into the drawing.

    Want another chance to win? Of course you do — simply visit my brand-spanking-new facebook fan page and "like" it.

    What's that you say? You want another chance to win? OK, OK pop on over to my Etsy shop — ThePaintedSky and come back and tell me what was your favorite item. That's 3 chances to win, 2 darling paintings from 1 very happy painter!

    Good luck!

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Nesting Instincts

    I've been nesting.

    Getting ready for some sales events that are coming up this summer. Among them:

    I'll be at Maplewoodstock — a wonderful weekend-long concert in my local town. It will be fun to show my new work to freinds and neighbors.

    I'm also hoping to have a Heartsy sale event. For all who are unfamiliar it's a little like Groupon for Etsy. Now I can see you all scratching your heads "What's Groupon?" I'll leave the details of both these fine companies for you to checkout on their websites. Short story is; if they accept me I will run a day long deal through them that is well over 50% off all items! I will tell you more if it happens. (Warning: Heartsy will make you signup for an account to see the deals — but there are some awesome bargins.)

    I also plan to have a Grads, Dads and Brides Sale sometime in the beginning of June — keep your eyes out for that!

    Anyway, all of this has got me painting away to ensure enough paintings for all who want them. I just finished 28 Nests.

    Next up, Backyard Birds!
    The Nests

    The fuel

    Saturday, May 21, 2011

    I Want This Now: Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Simple perfection!
    My new favorite blog just happens to be run by one of my favorite people — my niece Katie.
    Katie has been baking since she was old enough to hold a spoon and her commitment shows in her fabulous journal of culinary delights: Making Michael Pollan Proud.
    I think these Oatmeal Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies from Joy the Baker look like just the kind of treat I'm in the mood for today. 
    Check out this recipe and her wonderful blog here!
    And if like to know more about Michael Pollan's and his writings about the intersection of food and culture — check him out here. 

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Meandering Through Some Favorites

    I've been feeling guilty.
    I belong to several very wonderful teams on Etsy, and part of your responsibility is to create treasuries featuring team members.
    I think one of the hardest parts about making the treasuries is that there is just so much wonderful stuff to choose from! I was lazy today and really couldn't settle on a theme, so I just wandered through my favorites and let it go from there!
    Here are a few picks from the batch:

    Click here to see the whole treasury!

    Sweetheart from Tastesorangey — Be still my heart!
    Ball, Chains and Freedom from swakdesigns — I love the texture of this wonderful scarf!
    Organisims No. 1 by Naomilayne: inspired by scientific illustrations of the past
    Reminds me of Ernst Haeckel's fantastic work!