Friday, November 07, 2008

Tribute to Grandma

Last month, I lost two of my grandparents. My Mom's mom and my Dad's dad died just over 24 hours apart.

Grandpa's Obituary:

Grandma's Obituary:

I was visiting Iowa when both events happened, and thankfully, was able to spend this difficult time surrounded by family, instead of alone in LA.

Grandma Breen passed so peacefully, she just faded away. She was 94 years old and had suffered with dementia for the last 8 years. It's a bit of a relief now, to know that she's no longer confused and scared, but up in heaven rocking the babies to sleep by singing the Irish Lullaby to them, as she used to love to do with all of us as infants.

She was an amazing woman. She and my Grandpa Breen had 10 kids; 5 boys, 5 girls. When she passed she was surrounded by 8 of her children, all her son- and daughter-in-laws and 6 of her 30 grandchildren. She also had 31 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, their oldest son, Jim, 2 of her grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

She raised her 10 kids to be wonderful adults, and always made sure they had what they needed before she got her own, whether it was a meal or new shoes. I think it's an amazing testament to how loved and respected she was that every single one of her 30 grandchildren dropped everything and were able to make it back from all corners of the country to attend her funeral and celebrate her life. There wasn't even a doubt from anyone, we HAD to be there. She had a way of making each of us feel as though we were her favorite. I only hope that some day I can inspire the same devotion and love in my own children and grandchildren.

Her spirit, her compassion, her laughter, and her love will live on in each of us.

Below is the Eulogy written and shared at her funeral by my cousin Carrie. I think that she says it better than I ever could aspire to:

Eulogy by Carrie Bolshaw
Grandma Breen was our rock. Our true north, and the calm you knew was coming after the storm. She was the anchor that never let your boat drift out to sea. For all of us, she was this and more;

She was pure,
She was honest,
She was strong,
She was humble,
And most of all, she was loving.

We have all spent the past week remembering and sharing our stories. Some we’re hearing for the first time, others we could recite word for word. In all of them, we learned more about a woman we love deeply.

Like how you would open her front door at any time and be greeted with the smell of fresh baked bread. Or how she sang the Irish lullaby to calm and comfort all of us and our children. She kept us warm with her hand-sewn quilts; her love was in every stitch.

Grandma Breen had an infectious laugh. She would giggle until tears filled her eyes, and when you looked around - everyone was laughing with her.

We remember piling into her house on Christmas; how condensation would collect on the windows as the snow fell outside. She wouldn’t have it any other way, and neither would we.

She was there for our birthdays, first communions, baptisms, graduations and weddings. She attended our concerts, our plays, and our sports. Grandma committed herself to attending our lives, and we are all better for it. Each of us knew that we were her favorite.

She never wanted more than she had, and she was thankful for all she was given.

And so as we come together today, we know that Grandma Breen is in everyone one of us. The things she taught us we now teach our children, and hope they in turn teach theirs. Because of this, we know she will live on forever.

This is a short video clip I took of her on her front porch in July of 2002, singing one of her favorite songs. She may not have known who we were all the time, but she never forgot the words to her favorite songs. As we gathered around her bedside during her last days, some of the only times she responded were while we sang to her these words:

Goodbye, Grandma Breen. I love you and miss you.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


So, I signed up for Ravelry. Not quite sure exactly what i'm supposed to do now, but joining seemed to be the 'in thing' to do! :)

My name on there is Jennifah if you want to look me up.

Friday, September 07, 2007

LOST (and *hopefully* found) at WeHo SnB!

HELP! I think I left my cute little plastic container that I keep all my crocheting 'notions' in at the WeHo SnB last night!! It has a mostly clear white lid and a purple-y bottom and it doesn't latch properly anymore. Contained inside are a needle gauge, stitch markers, embroidery needles, scissors, tape measure, dental floss (for when I'm flying and can't carry on a scissors), 'crocheted by jennifer' labels and that sort of thing in it. I also think I may have left part of a skein of white yarn sitting with it.

Did anyone happen to pick it up?? I'd hate to have to replace all that stuff!!! (It would be a big pain in the butt do find the $$ to do that since I'm unemployed and all!)

I'm so bummed out about this 'cause I *actually* wanted to work on my friend's baby's blanket tonight, and all my embroidery needles are in the missing case!!!

Speaking of the's the most recent pic of my progress:


The lost kit has been found!! Thank you Sara for keeping it safe for me!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New look....

what do you think of the new look of my blog?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

So close!!

Well, it's no longer possible to finish this baby blanket BEFORE the baby is born!
This was sent to my phone yesterday morning:
Baby Boy. 9lbs 8oz, 22in. All fine. Name-TBD.

Maybe I'll get it done before they decide on a name! At least I hope they didn't name him "TBD", that'd be a really odd name, but Kevin (baby's daddy) *IS* pretty strange!!

I've actually made lots of progress this week. I guess being unemployed is good for SOMETHING. (just wish it paid better! If you know anyone in need of an Emmy nominated video editor, send them my way!)

**UPDATE: baby name: Jack Gavin K****. And I have the last row of 'white' centers done, and the yellow 'outsides' done! So, just two more sets of 'outsides' for the last two two-toned rows and I can start assembling them together!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Stupid Bird Took My Emmy!

You may or may not know this, but I was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for "Outstanding Achivement in Multicamera Editing".

We didn't win. : ( Sesame Street took home the prize in our category. Stupid Big Bird!

I did have a great time at the Creative Arts Awards Ceremony though. Here are some pics of the event:

Obviously, not MY statue! Our show DID win for Makeup and Hairstyling. This is the statue won by our Makeup Artists!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

And now for something completely different!

Actual crocheting! This is a pattern from the "Happy Hooker" book. It's the belt/scarf/guitar strap pattern. I chose to make it as a guitar strap as a Christmas/Birthday present for a cousin. I didn't make it quite as wide as the pattern, as the strap hooks I found only allowed for part of the width the pattern called for.
I struggled a bit with trying to figure out HOW to turn it into an adjustable strap. The guy at the guitar store suggested I buy a plain strap and sew it on, but my concern with that was that it wouldn't be adjustable, or the only ways to make it adjustable would be to only sew part of it down, which didn't sound like it would be a very good solution. I did buy the plain strap to try to get ideas from it. As I was studying it, I realized that I could just take my brand new seam ripper (it came with my brand new sewing machine) and use the plastic parts and just thread my crocheted creation through in place of the original strap!
Then I took my brand new sewing machine (it came with my brand new seam ripper!) and sewed it in place much more securely than I would have been able to do by hand. (Which is how I thought I'd have to do it until I got the sewing machine)

The yarn I used was Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. I ordered Harvest, Malibu Blue, Midnight Blue and Goldenrod. They were out of the Harvest and replaced it with Barn Red, which they said went nicely with the other colors I had chosen. I think that it worked out ok.

This is the project I took with me the night my 18-year-old cousin and I stayed up outside a Best Buy store all night in order to get our siblings Ninetndo Wii's for Christmas....

We had thought that being in California would be much nicer than being in Iowa (where she lives), as December in L.A. isn't usually that cold. We were wrong! It was FREEZING! It rained all day leading up to the all-nighter. I think the temps in Iowa were actually warmer than what we sat in! But we had a couple very appreciative siblings on Chirstmas morning. And the all-nighter is probably the only way I managed to finish the strap, as I was WAY behind on it before this night, and finished the night with only 1 row left to do.

Friday, January 26, 2007

I know I didn't crochet this...

but I did make it with the sewing machine I got for Christmas.
So, I guess this blog is more 'jen makes and fixes stuff' than 'jen crochets'! Which is likely to be the case for a while, as I have a lot of crafty (and some, not-so-crafty fixer-upper-type) ideas for my new condo! Now, if I only had the time to make them all!
The reason I put a curtain on a closet on the stairwell landing is that's where my cats' litterbox is. When I was shopping for a new home, I wanted a place where the litterbox would be out of sight, but not totally out of mind (otherwise I'd always forget to clean it out!) When I saw this little closet on the landing of the stairs, I knew I had found the perfect new home! :) I took the door off the closet (because the kitties haven't yet mastered opening doors!) and popped the litterbox in it. The only drawback was that it is exposed whenever you walk up or down stairs, which, when it's just me and the furbabies is acceptable, but if I ever have company, I wanted a way to hide it a little more. And since I am in the midst of planning a belated housewarming/belated birthday party, I needed to get to work on concealing it a bit. One thing that I am very proud of (yay me!) is that I didn't use a pattern!!! I made it up all by myself. Of course, curtains are probably about the easiest thing in the world to 'make up', but I don't care. :)

Shadow checks out the new decor. He's too masculine to admit he likes the botanical print. (I think he just wanted to pose for the camera!)
Scout comes downstairs to give her approval.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Windy City Chicago...

This is a hat/scarf set I made because I *loved* the pattern and colors in the yarn that the pattern was made with. The pattern is from the "Little Box of Crocheted Hats and Scarves"

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I gave it to one of my cousins as a Christmas present. I think she liked it, cause she put the scarf on right away and was wearing it the rest of the night!
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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Please help with a worthy cause:

A friend of mine (Sara) and I are participating in a race in February ( She's crazy and doing the half-marathon, while I am only slightly less crazy and participating in the 5k.

The cause that this race is raising money for is one that is near and dear to Sara's heart, so instead of making my OWN fundraising page, I decided to help her out by sending the link to HER page to some of my friends and family.

This is what Sara has to say about this cause:
"I'm currently training for a half marathon and am raising money to
help buy wheelchairs for people in third world countries that would
otherwise be immobile. It costs just $44.40 to buy 1 wheelchair. I'm
trying to raise enough to buy 10. If you can help, check out my
fundraising site!"
Click here to link to her site!

If you are able to, we'd love for you to contribute to this cause, but please don't feel obligated to if it is beyond your ability to give at this time.

Thank you!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Because I just don't have enough things to do...

... around my condo - things like: UNPACK, finish painting, clean, fix a couple light fixtures, finish crocheting some christmas gifts, write christmas cards, etc. - tonight, i added ANOTHER project!

At least this one was quick and fun!

Background: I bought a small tree (yay! it's fake, but I've never had a tree at my own place before and wasn't sure how the kitties would treat it!) but the star i bought for the top was too heavy and i didn't see any lighter ones anywhere (at least ones I liked).

So tonight, while I was at Michael's buying a crochet hook (I swear, that's ALL I went in to buy!!) I had a brainstorm! Ended up buying the crochet hook, a wreath for my front door, and a ton of craft supplies to make a 'non-traditional' tree topper...check it out:

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It looks much better with a baby wearing it...

Mackenzie Jean, 8 lbs. 4 ounces, 20 inches, 11/23/06 (born thanksgiving morning! now THAT's something to be thankful for!)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Washcloths and soap....

For my sister-in-law's baby shower I handmade some of the door prizes. I made 'spa cloths' and soap. I only took a couple pics on my own camera at the shower, as my SIL wanted me to take lots of pics on HER camera. (Cara, if you're reading this - I need copies of those pictures to add to this blog!!!) These are the only pictures I have and you can't really see the washcloth or soap: This is my sister in law with my aunt (who one the first of the door prizes)

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I also can now reveal pictures of the adorable pink sweater and shoes I crocheted for the new niece:

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

more non-crochet related pics...

Here are more pictures of my new condo.

I took these yesterday at the home inspection.

I just need to find a place to stash my stash and I'm set! :)
I had hoped the window seat in the living room would have storage under it, but no luck there!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Not crochet related...

But still pretty big news in my life!

I just bought a condo!!! OMG!! it's not a totally done deal yet, but assuming all inspections and appraisals pass, i will be a HOMEOWNER by the end of October!!!!!!
It's a really cute unit, not quite as large as where I am now. But only a few sq. feet smaller, so it's not too bad. I *LOVE* that it has a private garage! Woohoo! It's in not quite as nice a neighborhood as I am in now, but where I am now is REALLY nice, and someday I will be able to afford a place in that kind of neighborhood!

This is the info from the listing:
Gated Tri-Level luxury bright townhome with all newer upgrades. Bamboo floors, high ceilings, kitchen has granite, tile floors, stove, dishwasher, microwave, refridge, newer carpet, newer paint, both bedrooms with own bath, lot's of closet space, newer fixtures, private 2 car garage with direct access, washer & dryer, complex offers pool and spa!
Condo/Townhome/Coop Property, County: Los Angeles, Year Built: 1982, Two story, Central air conditioning, Community swimming pool(s), Community spa/hot tub(s), Hardwood floors
•Condo/Townhome/Coop Property
•County: Los Angeles
•Year Built: 1982
•2 total bedroom(s)
•2.5 total bath(s)
•Approximately 1160 sq. ft.
•Two story•Type: Townhouse
•Style: Traditional
•Family room
•Hardwood floors
•2 car garage
•Heating features: Central electric, Central gas
•Central air conditioning
•Interior features: Dishwasher, Disposal, Oven-gas, Microwave, Refrigerator, Range-gas, Dining area, Breakfast bar, Formal dining room, Carpeting, Tile flooring, Laundry in garage, Laundry gas hook-up
•Exterior features: Curbs, Fencing-block, Fencing-wood, Fencing-wrought iron, Lawn-front, Lawn-rear, Garage door opener, Sidewalks, Sprinklers-Automatic, Sprinklers-Front, Sprinklers-Rear, Sprinklers-Side, Street Lights, Streets-Paved, Streets/Public, Sewer-in Street, Utilities/220 Electric, Utilities/Cable TV, Utilities/Gas, Water/Public Utility
•Exterior construction: Stucco/Wood
•Roofing: Composition shingle
•Community park(s)
•Community spa/hot tub(s)
•Community swimming pool(s)
•Pets allowed
•Zoning: R4
Here are the pics from the listing:
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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Something a little different...

In my quest to find new and fun things to crochet, I decided the next frontier to explore was WIRE crochet! So, I ordered a couple books that finally arrived last night. And after a quick dash to Michael's, and a little time spent getting the feel of the wire, this is what I ended up with:
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Monkeying Around!'s finally finished! (ok..except for the thousands of ends I still need to weave in!) Here are pics of the completed monkey blanket -

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Monday, July 31, 2006

Almost done!

Well...the top secret project I posted last time has been put on the back burner for now, because I started working on another project. This is a baby hat and blanket for my soon-to-be-born niece! I have it ALMOST done, just need to finish 2 sides of the border and make and attach the two monkey faces to the blanket. This is the Sock Monkey Blanket from the Stitch 'n Bitch Happy Hooker book. Here are pics:

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My "Cat in the Hat." I have never made my cats model my creations before, but I couldn't resist with how cute this was!

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Sammy was at Stitch 'n Bitch the night I finished my hat, so I got to try it on a real live baby! The only thing cuter than this hat is the baby it's on!

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All the squares are done and whipstitched together!

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Closer look at the squares.

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Last round of the border almost complete!!

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Close up of the border.

This is made with mostly Bernat Softee Chunky. This is the 2nd or 3rd project I have made with this yarn and I *love* it, it's soft, sturdy and SO easy to work with.