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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.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
...it's a wonderful time of year...
Wishing peace and joy to you and yours...and all the very best to enjoy the celebrations of the season and the new year ahead of us.
I will be back in blog land soon...
A very merry, merry and a happy, happy
Sunday, December 21, 2008
That Laurie Meseroll...let me tell you a little about this super cool chick. She's a fab mom, an uber talented artist, an avid collector, a true friend, and now...a grandma, to the prettiest of babes born. See her blog -- www.folkart.typepad.com -- to catch up on her life, her art and her inspirations.
She's been busy painting a new series that shows, with fabulous clarity, a strength and renewed intensity in her choice of black and white. As a painter, her creations reflect her life in story, theme and style. This makes her work resoundingly real and lasting in appeal. Her latest series is absolutely wonderful. They salute some of her favorite themes...home, children, life on the farm, sewing and more...in monochromatic wonder.
You can see the images on her blog, or email be for full details at Jen@EarthAngelsToys.com
Congrats to Laurie for all you do, and thanks for sharing all that you are.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Cheryl Kuhn dreams of white Christmases and the wonder of the season in her iconic palette of white on white.
She has just sent a fabulous new grouping of work. It's laced with frosty details and merry tonal elements than marry findings and castoffs with poetry.
Many thanks to Cheryl for sharing these creations with us. E-mail for images and details. Her lovely one of a kind work is as fleeting as melting snows.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
On Charlotte's 6th birthday a very special guest visited her classroom of 18 kindergartners...Her Auntie Joanne (owner of "Charlotte's Tearoom) aka Miss Manners, brought tea and sweets to share with her classmates.
Eighteen little ones sat politely and drank tea from "real" cups on "real" tablecloths...they said, "pleases" and "thank yous" and and used their napkins. One even proposed a toast to Charlotte with a cup raised in good cheer.
Miss Manners regularly hosts "mind your manners" teas and birthday parties for youngsters at her tea room...how lucky we were to have her make a cameo guest appearance at Park Avenue School.
Thanks to Ms. Berghan for a birthday Charlotte will never forget and thanks to Jo for making Charlotte feel so very special...as if it weren't enough to have a tea room named for her (ok, so maybe she shares the moniker with a spider of some literary fame...)
Sunday, December 14, 2008
The holiday season is a welcome excuse for adornment in this house where we love to decorate. Trees and their themes vary year to year. As soon as the Halloween costumes are tucked away...we launch the official tree planning committee (that’s me and my kids) to discuss "this year's tees". The kids love it...and ridiculous ideas abound...Oh, Mom...let's do a tree with all cow ornaments, or all orange, or all cars...and so on...
Yes, we use traditional decorations, but all sorts of collections, keepsakes, toys, utensils, and odd accoutrements find their way onto branches. Last year we had 10 trees -- some large, some small (the record is 15)...this year there are 14 -- some real, some faux, some bright and some softly sweet...
I'll start with my favorite, the wonderful real tree in my bedroom -- it's birds, nests, blue and white. I've wanted a real one in my bedroom for some time -- I love the smell of the pine...
Twin pencil trees flank the fireplace. These host the kiddies’ handmade treasures from school and sport a few Christy Silacci Christmas cuties as well…
The front hall tree is tall and grand greeting everyone with creamy whites and vintage baubles and Bling… look carefully and you’ll see some creations by Jennifer Murphy, Stacey Bear, Wendy Addison and Jody Battaglia among the boughs...this is Micah's fave.
In the dining room a tinsel tree dons Dara DiMagno’s one of a kind photo ornaments and old beaded candy canes nabbed at the Sis Boom sale.
This year's "odd use" award defintitely goes to the one in the guest room where gloves and playing cards adorn a white feather tree. I cannot tell you how this combination happened but I love it!
Here's our angel tree to remember those loved and lost. There’s a bell on the dresser to ring each time we pass to help those angels get their wings…
Now when it comes to the kids, I just have to let it happen...
What a surprise! Charlotte must have pink! Last year we had a white tree and "Hello Kitty" lights - this year she is seeing RED and she's glopped it up with white lights, pink feathers and anything glitzy we could gather from the drawers and shelves...oh so girlie and fun.
Aidan is one for tradition, so for the past few years have hosted a "Star Wars" tree in his room...sharing his collection of ornies and intergalactic toys with Rory who goes along for the ride. Maybe it’s a good thing the image didn’t turn out so well..it’s a might bit garish!
Here's a tree load of my treasured Bakelite bangles in the bathroom...
Hope you enjoyed the tour! A big thanks to Allie for her help with all of the decorating fun. And a very merry, merry holiday to all...best wishes to enjoy the festive spirit of the season
Saturday, December 13, 2008
It was wonderful to be in Chagrin Falls, OH last week with jewelry artist Dara DiMagno. We really did have a super time with the gals from the Rebecca Ray Design Studio -- a big thanks to Rebecca, Michelle, Katie, Kim and all the others on staff who made the event possible. You all made us feel so very welcome...
To the customers we met - a heartfelt thanks - your appreciation of Dara's work made the trip to your charming town so much sweeter...
It was a successful event and we sure do hope we behaved ourselves well enough to be invited back to visit! Just look at the displays...I loved them all -- and everything in the shop (I came home with a delish key fob).
The folks at the Rebecca Ray Design Studio have a fabulous cache of Dara's signature necklaces with a equestrian, dog and winter themes...just contact me via email at Jen@EarthAngelsToys.com
for images, or call the Rebecca Ray Studio at 440.893.9492 for details.
Thanks Dara for another artful adventure!
xxoo Jen O'Connor
Thursday, December 11, 2008
We have just learned that Deirdre Friebely -- and her Blackbird Design Studio -- will be featured in the next issue of "Where Women Create" which will hit the newsstands early next year...this is FABULOUS news Deirdre...you and your work are well-deserving of the attention!
Many congrats...and I simply cannot wait for the readers to be able to take a peek into your cheery studio and read more about you and your inspirations...
Deirdre has just finished a wonderful grouping of works now that she's up North... Paul has just posted some to the site others will be shown via an email update newsletter that should be in your in-box today if you are on the update list...
Here's an image of Deirdre with her Mom, Diana Card -- another talented painter -- in their barn studio.
Deirdre -- hope you Can make the trip to Warwick soon. Bring Diana!!!
xxoo Jen O'Connor
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I really do love cupcakes. They are the perfect indulgence for one, no need to share kind of treat. Rosanna and I were wandering around midtown when we turned the corned and there it was...a shop full of them!
Butter, sugar and flour are magic at Magnolia Bakery
Here I am heading in for a treat (this is the location near Rock Center but there are other bakeries on Bleecker Street and Columbus Avenue). The inside is old fashioned as the recipes used to bake up their signature confections.
Red velvet cake is a bakery favorite, along with a towering (might I say, sky high)coconut cake and a chocolate layer cake with a buttermilk frosting...ummmm ahhh...and my fave the banana pudding.
...ahhh more of those yummy cupcakes...worth every calorie so save room on your next trip to 6th Avenue. After all, "...a cupcake a day...".
xxoo Jen O'Connor
Sunday, December 7, 2008
If you’re in the “Toot & Puddle” set, you’ll know that Hollie Hobbie’s adorable character claims, “Italy is one big treat”!
Her illustration to match shows an Italian bakery and sweet shop stuffed with cases of confections and stacks of treats tempting dear Toot on his travels.
When our friend Rosanna DeBellis arrived from Montova, Italy on the heels of the Silver Bella convention, the kids ran to get her the book. Having her visit was indeed one big treat, just like her homeland.
We crammed her visit full of gastronomic adventures – Magnolia Bakery the highlight (will post on this soon!). And lots of wonderful browsing on 5th Avenue. She adores Juicy Couture and she, like Nicole Bowen, is addicted to the charms – something I knew nothing about of course...
Here she was the night before she arrived at the Silver Bella convention…these gals at the festive paper arts convention dressed for the theme “Prom”….
...ahhh tea for all the sweets, this was a fab display at Juicy...
Here’s Rosanna with Joseph in Juicy –
...and us with her loot!
...the last day of Rosanna's adventure she was able to visit Jennifer Lanne at the Gallery for her show...
...and here we are with Nicky Bowen, the featured artist...
Here we are with Thea at the show at the Rothman Cneter...Rosanna caught a plane from Omaha, NE to Newark, NJ and then a cab - she was determined to pack her trip with as much fun as possible...
Rosanna, you indeed had to travel all the way from Italy to get me to play for a few days. A big thanks for this...it was a treat to have you here. Facing the temptations of butter and sugar was never finer. But, I’ll leave those Hostess “Snoballs" -- pretty as they are -- to you!
Thea, we need to visit Italy and have pastries for supper with not an ounce of regret. Rosanna will show us how!
xxoo Jen O’Connor
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