Meet Jen! founder & owner

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...jen o'connor's...Artful Adventures & Daily Inspirations

I Love Art, Adore the Handmade and Treasure the Vintage. I am the Fun Mom, the Silly Friend and the Writer who wants to make more room for beauty in the everyday.

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Monday, December 22, 2014

...hello monday & wishes for a merry, bright & beatiful holiday....

...wishing you all that's merry, bright and beautiful this Christmas.
hello gifts to still wrap

hello cards to still send 

hello orders still coming in -- hello express mail to customers!!!

hello messy house

hello friends and family arriving from far 

hello kids home for the holidays

hello craziness, I have to love you - 
this is the happiest time of year and if i don't just embrace it, 
well I might miss it.
Now that would be a shame.

...so let's not get our tinsel in a tangle and let's just enjoy the ride...

hello to all of you and hope you enjoy every minute of the season.


xxoo Jen

Thursday, December 18, 2014

so wonderful to have her back...

Working with artists has a rhythm all its own.

Especially when the artists work from the heart...
when they are able to create, it is wonderful, 
but sometimes life and logistics get in the way...
And we don't have new work...for a while. 

And we wait, and we wait...and then when the work arrives...
I am reminded how very wonderful it is to wait for something so wonderful. 
So fresh...so happy.

I am so pleased that Diana Card has once again been able to create. Following a move from New Jersey to Maine she had a hiatus of studio time...
but now she is back in there...at the paints and brushes.  And I am glad.

Her new series is a departure...it has an openness and airy loft, and among them a feeling of newness that is charming...
AND we're offering them at PROMO PRICING...sweet!

...here's a peek at some of my faves...
(MORE are on the site and ALL ARE SHIPPING FREE 
with coupon code SPARKLE at checkout through 12/25...)


 




Thanks Diana...it's a joy to have your work to share...

xxoo Jen...and here is my very favorite of all....

Monday, December 15, 2014

hello monday...hello SPARKLE

Hello Monday...hello sparkle...
 'tis the season for the crushing and rushing..and I want to say hello Monday, 
let's all slow down and catch the sparkle of the season...

 (Note we're offering FREE standard shipping site-wide with SPARKLE at checkout AND our cut-off for delivery of in-stock items is 12/15)

Hello gorgeous new loot from Jill Schwartz...
no one does texture and shine quite like her...
 

Hello Allie...you are always willing to model for me...and I appreciate it! 
You never know what the day will hold when you show up for work!


We both love Jill's swingy and blingy earrings...
so many pretties it's hard to choose a favorite...




Hello new week...
Hello to taking in all the sweet moments that sparkle this season.

Hello lots and lots of cocoa...of course with whip cream.

Hello to cozy afternoons...I appreciate the break in the sports season for my kiddos...no one in this house plays basketball 
and it's before we're skiing every weekend...

Hello getting through the gifting with joy...
I love to give handmade? Do you?

Hello good book...finally getting around to reading "The Book Thief"...
it's been on my list forever.

Hello Christmas...I know you'll be here SOON!

Hello to all of you...and hope the to dos of the season don't lose their joy and sparkle. I am working hard to take it one step at a time!

xxoo Jen

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Part of the Story of "The Obsolete Fleet"...

...we go to the Hershey car show every year...
it's the largest antique in the world and a sort of "Woddstock" forold car enthusiasts...you cannot possibly see it all...it's so big and overwhelming, but there's wonderful things to see and folks to meet around every corner....

Here's part of the crew that made the jaunt this year....


It's just one among many of our oddball family traditions... We stand around in parking lots for days (we used to stand around in muddy fields before they were paved for HersheyPark), walking mile upon mile of flea market rows past mound of rusty fenders, and piles of unidentifiable chrome bits...

We eat chocolate, we tailgate picnic...it varies who can be there, but it's always some of the Graneys (Walsh, LaRocco and Mihalick) and the Magees...

And we love it. 

This year, my Dad's letterpress photoengravings caught the eye of reporter Daniel Strohl...many thanks to him for help celebrating my Dad's art, The Obsolete Fleet...and our family's love of the Hershey swap meet...
 
Here's Dan's story and an image...
I love how Dan wrote this up and I thank him for it.
Thanks too to all who visit us at the edge of the Orange Field on the way into the Car Show...we love seeing you year after year...and to all who stop to chat with Rory about his Grandpa's creations...a big thanks...he loves to tell the story...and my Dad loves to hear him tell it...
xxoo Jen
PS...one of the fave vehicles this year...not the most practical these days for hauling, but love those red wheels!



A thousandth of an inch at a time, using a bit that spun at 33,000 RPM, Jim Graney etched his line cuts. Thousands of them, all of different designs, all in reverse, committed to zinc and copper plates no more than a few inches square and backed with a few layers of thin wood. And of the countless engravings he produced in a 50-year career, maybe a few hundred remain, all displayed on a table at the edge of the recent AACA Hershey swap meet.
His work appeared in newspapers across the country, including the New York Times, and in many other publications, including Hemmings Motor News. All of it went uncredited, however. Graney, who grew up in Brooklyn and now lives in Warwick, New York, never really considered himself an artist, just a laborer who took on a photo engraving job in 1946, when he was 15. “I just needed an afterschool job,” Graney said. “I worked for a mail order shop to begin with and did a lot of thumbnail prints that people could order from a catalog for their business cards or whatever. There were slews of Model A’s and other old cars in there, and so, every time we got an order for an old car, I made two and set one aside.”
He would eventually take on commercial photo engraving as well and go on to work for Sterling, at the time the biggest photo engraving shop in New York City. And he became known among his colleagues as the guy who wanted duplicates of all the automotive photo engravings that came through the shop. “Everybody knew to make another one for Graney,” he said.
The line cuts that came about, largely genericized depictions of popular cars, tended to illustrate classified ads when classified editors didn’t have a photo of a particular car for sale, but still needed an illustration that was close enough to it. “They were ersatz when it was okay not to be specific,” said Graney’s daughter, Jen Graney O’Connor, who said she grew up learning to identify collectible cars through her father’s line cuts. “He just happened to get the job and stayed with it for 50 years. He loved the art and loved printing and gadgets.”
His love for gadgets also led him to a love for older automobiles, and that in turn led him to start Obsolete Fleet, a company that specialized in renting out older cars to film productions in New York City. If he didn’t own the vehicle himself, he’d consult the member list of the Greater New York region of the AACA, for which he served as treasurer, to see if a fellow club member had a car that would work. And he’d often pull out his automotive lithographs to help movie producers narrow down what sort of vehicles they wanted to cast. Through Obsolete Fleet, he provided cars to Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather movies, among many other
- See more at: http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2014/10/22/rubber-stamps-not-quite-the-automotive-art-of-the-last-letterpress-engraver-in-new-york-city/#sthash.Y14rStxi.dpuf
A thousandth of an inch at a time, using a bit that spun at 33,000 RPM, Jim Graney etched his line cuts. Thousands of them, all of different designs, all in reverse, committed to zinc and copper plates no more than a few inches square and backed with a few layers of thin wood. And of the countless engravings he produced in a 50-year career, maybe a few hundred remain, all displayed on a table at the edge of the recent AACA Hershey swap meet.
His work appeared in newspapers across the country, including the New York Times, and in many other publications, including Hemmings Motor News. All of it went uncredited, however. Graney, who grew up in Brooklyn and now lives in Warwick, New York, never really considered himself an artist, just a laborer who took on a photo engraving job in 1946, when he was 15. “I just needed an afterschool job,” Graney said. “I worked for a mail order shop to begin with and did a lot of thumbnail prints that people could order from a catalog for their business cards or whatever. There were slews of Model A’s and other old cars in there, and so, every time we got an order for an old car, I made two and set one aside.”
He would eventually take on commercial photo engraving as well and go on to work for Sterling, at the time the biggest photo engraving shop in New York City. And he became known among his colleagues as the guy who wanted duplicates of all the automotive photo engravings that came through the shop. “Everybody knew to make another one for Graney,” he said.
The line cuts that came about, largely genericized depictions of popular cars, tended to illustrate classified ads when classified editors didn’t have a photo of a particular car for sale, but still needed an illustration that was close enough to it. “They were ersatz when it was okay not to be specific,” said Graney’s daughter, Jen Graney O’Connor, who said she grew up learning to identify collectible cars through her father’s line cuts. “He just happened to get the job and stayed with it for 50 years. He loved the art and loved printing and gadgets.”
His love for gadgets also led him to a love for older automobiles, and that in turn led him to start Obsolete Fleet, a company that specialized in renting out older cars to film productions in New York City. If he didn’t own the vehicle himself, he’d consult the member list of the Greater New York region of the AACA, for which he served as treasurer, to see if a fellow club member had a car that would work. And he’d often pull out his automotive lithographs to help movie producers narrow down what sort of vehicles they wanted to cast. Through Obsolete Fleet, he provided cars to Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather movies, among many others.
- See more at: http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2014/10/22/rubber-stamps-not-quite-the-automotive-art-of-the-last-letterpress-engraver-in-new-york-city/#sthash.Y14rStxi.dpuf
A thousandth of an inch at a time, using a bit that spun at 33,000 RPM, Jim Graney etched his line cuts. Thousands of them, all of different designs, all in reverse, committed to zinc and copper plates no more than a few inches square and backed with a few layers of thin wood. And of the countless engravings he produced in a 50-year career, maybe a few hundred remain, all displayed on a table at the edge of the recent AACA Hershey swap meet.
His work appeared in newspapers across the country, including the New York Times, and in many other publications, including Hemmings Motor News. All of it went uncredited, however. Graney, who grew up in Brooklyn and now lives in Warwick, New York, never really considered himself an artist, just a laborer who took on a photo engraving job in 1946, when he was 15. “I just needed an afterschool job,” Graney said. “I worked for a mail order shop to begin with and did a lot of thumbnail prints that people could order from a catalog for their business cards or whatever. There were slews of Model A’s and other old cars in there, and so, every time we got an order for an old car, I made two and set one aside.”
He would eventually take on commercial photo engraving as well and go on to work for Sterling, at the time the biggest photo engraving shop in New York City. And he became known among his colleagues as the guy who wanted duplicates of all the automotive photo engravings that came through the shop. “Everybody knew to make another one for Graney,” he said.
The line cuts that came about, largely genericized depictions of popular cars, tended to illustrate classified ads when classified editors didn’t have a photo of a particular car for sale, but still needed an illustration that was close enough to it. “They were ersatz when it was okay not to be specific,” said Graney’s daughter, Jen Graney O’Connor, who said she grew up learning to identify collectible cars through her father’s line cuts. “He just happened to get the job and stayed with it for 50 years. He loved the art and loved printing and gadgets.”
His love for gadgets also led him to a love for older automobiles, and that in turn led him to start Obsolete Fleet, a company that specialized in renting out older cars to film productions in New York City. If he didn’t own the vehicle himself, he’d consult the member list of the Greater New York region of the AACA, for which he served as treasurer, to see if a fellow club member had a car that would work. And he’d often pull out his automotive lithographs to help movie producers narrow down what sort of vehicles they wanted to cast. Through Obsolete Fleet, he provided cars to Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather movies, among many others.
- See more at: http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2014/10/22/rubber-stamps-not-quite-the-automotive-art-of-the-last-letterpress-engraver-in-new-york-city/#sthash.Y14rStxi.dpuf
A thousandth of an inch at a time, using a bit that spun at 33,000 RPM, Jim Graney etched his line cuts. Thousands of them, all of different designs, all in reverse, committed to zinc and copper plates no more than a few inches square and backed with a few layers of thin wood. And of the countless engravings he produced in a 50-year career, maybe a few hundred remain, all displayed on a table at the edge of the recent AACA Hershey swap meet.
His work appeared in newspapers across the country, including the New York Times, and in many other publications, including Hemmings Motor News. All of it went uncredited, however. Graney, who grew up in Brooklyn and now lives in Warwick, New York, never really considered himself an artist, just a laborer who took on a photo engraving job in 1946, when he was 15. “I just needed an afterschool job,” Graney said. “I worked for a mail order shop to begin with and did a lot of thumbnail prints that people could order from a catalog for their business cards or whatever. There were slews of Model A’s and other old cars in there, and so, every time we got an order for an old car, I made two and set one aside.”
He would eventually take on commercial photo engraving as well and go on to work for Sterling, at the time the biggest photo engraving shop in New York City. And he became known among his colleagues as the guy who wanted duplicates of all the automotive photo engravings that came through the shop. “Everybody knew to make another one for Graney,” he said.
The line cuts that came about, largely genericized depictions of popular cars, tended to illustrate classified ads when classified editors didn’t have a photo of a particular car for sale, but still needed an illustration that was close enough to it. “They were ersatz when it was okay not to be specific,” said Graney’s daughter, Jen Graney O’Connor, who said she grew up learning to identify collectible cars through her father’s line cuts. “He just happened to get the job and stayed with it for 50 years. He loved the art and loved printing and gadgets.”
His love for gadgets also led him to a love for older automobiles, and that in turn led him to start Obsolete Fleet, a company that specialized in renting out older cars to film productions in New York City. If he didn’t own the vehicle himself, he’d consult the member list of the Greater New York region of the AACA, for which he served as treasurer, to see if a fellow club member had a car that would work. And he’d often pull out his automotive lithographs to help movie producers narrow down what sort of vehicles they wanted to cast. Through Obsolete Fleet, he provided cars to Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather movies, among many others.
- See more at: http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2014/10/22/rubber-stamps-not-quite-the-automotive-art-of-the-last-letterpress-engraver-in-new-york-city/#sthash.Y14rStxi.dpuf

Monday, December 8, 2014

Hello Monday...Heck, Yeah...It's Vegan...

Hello Monday...I am ready for this week...
Fortified and ready to take it on...
A good meal often does the trick.
Sometimes you gotta shake things up a little...
I was totally inspired by a recent photo shoot I did for Jo Packham and Where Women Cook at the home and kitchen of SHelly Kennedy of Drooz Studio...
I have been eating vegan for a few days...here and there across the past few weeks...a few days on a few days off...the ones that are vegan wow feel great! While I am not ready to give up my fish and meat...
with some good eats it's amazing how great I feel.
 
Totally delish...have made things like Shelly's curried chick pea salad (laoded with walnuts!) her beet hummus and some other recipes I found on Pinterest.

 Hello Shelly....you are amazing...so many talents, and great personal style. Thanks for opening your home to me...and ohh ahh thanks for the great lunch...


Look at her gorgeous kitchen...


 Hello to great graphics and reading with whimsy.  Shelly's art adorns her walls...just love it!


Hello to pretty things, bright colors, and happy moments...
Shelly's dining room table made me feel party ready...

 Hello Jennifer Lanne...can you spot her fab and color-drenched chair painting???
Hello sweet and happy endings...Shelly whipped coconut cream and topped it with berries. I am now addicted.
...this and so many of her stellar recipes will be in an upcoming issue of Where Women Cook...I cannot share too much here...this is just a peek! 


...so hello Monday...
hello vegan delights, I never thought you would taste so good...

Hello to trying to eat better this holiday season...just say no to SUGAR!

Hello long days and late nights...it's been a busy time for me as a retailer, but no complaints, it's a wonderful thing to be busy with orders and customers...xxoo

Hello Christmas...yeah, I know you're coming soon...but so is Charlotte's birthday and we'll celebrate that first before we decorate...

Hello carols, and cocoa and wrapping paper...I want to slow it all down and take in the small joys of the season.

Hello to all of you and have a super week. Leave some comments with your hellos...and feel free to link your blog.

xxoo Jen

Thursday, December 4, 2014

...2 things to add to your calendar...and one is a NEW FAIR

....I know it seems a long way away...
but 2015 will be here before we know it 
and I feel like I just got used to the fact 
that it's 2014!

Sigh...

Anyway....I wanted to share this news and ask you to add these dates to your Spring calendar...
there are 2 exciting Spring Fairs in NY & TN to look forward to attending!
Sure hope to see you there...
and keep an eye on our EVENTS PAGE for more info!

xxoo Jen

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hello Monday...and hello 7 YEAR ITCH

...hello Monday...
I have to tell you all that I resisted Instagram for some time 
-- yet another piece of social media to keep track of ---
to post to...to feed...to mind...to cultivate.
 After all...I have been blogging for SEVEN YEARS. 
Gulp! 

That's a whole lotta me out there. 
Maybe too much...but still I BLOG, 2x a week like taking my vitamins. 
And I can't see giving it up...
It makes me feel good to be able to do it...
I feel good knowing there is some diary of my ups and downs and the business ins and outs...and I appreciate all of you that read me.

Still, sometimes I see social media like those pets that you really want in fiction, but don't want to care for long term....
or like  those houseplants that I know would liven thongs up around here, 
but I would have to water...all the time, forever....and ever...

So it was with resignation that I added Instagram to the whole feed thing...facebook, BLOG, twitter...
all of which by the way cross fertilize and post to each other....

But I #havetoconfess that #iheartinstagram...
And hello Monday this is a great way to get a quick visual image of what's going on...you can click the Instagram logo -- the boxy little camera logo --  

So hello Monday...and hello Instagram. I like how you can search for # hashtags and how the images stay there as a permanent record -- 
just like I appreciate the BLOG for it's staying power and visual/textual documentation of my days...

Are you on there? 
If so comment here 
so I can follow you....

AND PLEASE CONSIDER 
following me 
@jensearthangels


Hello trying something new and sticking to it until it "works"...

Hello December....don't even tell me how many days it is until Christmas.

Hello insanity, I am a retailer and it is the "shopping/gifting season".

Hello to the wonderfulness of the approaching holidays...
I am trying to slow it all down and enjoy...
Hello Australia....ANNE IS IN TOWN!!! 
 
Hello TO YOU! And if you are a regular reader of this blog...THANKS...it's 7 years, and though the followers and this medium have slowed, I am sticking to it...so thanks for your support.

xxoo Jen
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