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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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Friday, February 29, 2008

Brunch Meets Art





















...our walk continued on hobbled, chilly toes...only a few blocks more...ahh the Whitney Museum of American Art. A sure gem in the City's diadem of art museums. With its “Biennial” about to launch, the lobby was abuzz like New Orleans before Mardi Gras. This museum is aggressively fresh with its exhibition schedule and always satisfies my hunger for the new and noteworthy... It is well worth your visit.

We managed to get a table for brunch at the Whitney's restaurant "Sarabeth's" in the museum's sub-level rotunda.








This restaurant is one of five of Sarabeth and Bill Levine's eateries scattered across the island. They are among my favorite spots, sure and steady for the best of pumpkin waffles smothered in warm syrup and cream, light and fluffy ricotta pancakes and my fave, "Goldie Lox", melt in your mouth scrambled eggs dotted with smoked salmon and cream cheese. So very New York, their restaurants and bakeries are part of the landscape and frequented by the neighborhood and tourist patrons alike. They serve breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner on the East Side, West Side, on Central Park South, at the Whitney and in the Chelsea Market.






I fell in love with Sarabeth's “Legendary Spreadable Fruit” when I worked the Paris food show, “Sial” with her hubby Bill Levine in 1999. Bill taught me to eat their famous preserves by the spoonful, and I do, almost daily with zero caloric or carb regret. My favorites, Plum Cherry and "Apricadadbra" (apricot-pineapple) can be ordered at http://www.mailordercentral.com/sarabethskitchen/products.asp?dept=2. At $10 a jar they are a real treat and a staple in my cupboard.



Try them on warm buttered toast, it’s heaven.

Digression….
Funny, how the world is small… I traveled France at 19 with a fabulous gal named Ellen. She is a good friend of Sarabeth's daughter, Jen ....but with a different last name, I only discovered the connection 15 years later when I worked for the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce promoting food and fashion manufacturers, including “Sarabeth’s”!

Well, with a fabulous brunch in our bellies we continued to wander...our feet took us for a quick tour of The Met...just a few block away. I have some favorite pieces that I visit there at least once a year...and greet them like old friends. With the American Wing under renovation, we made an abbreviated tour. Little Charlotte could barely walk another step, though she loved Degas’ ballerinas. With dinner plans on the horizon we ended our walking tour and hopped in a cab.

Charlotte perked up and is sure that, "her first cab ride" was one of the highlights of the trip! Entertainment is a matter of perspective!

More soon…
xxoo Jen
Earth Angels

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Walk in the Park







Weeks and months escape so many of us in habit, chore and task. Often I find myself hungry for an escape of the daily to refresh and revive. I yearn to try something a bit different to the vernacular measures of my day.

Like most that inhabit this country in 2008…busy is the buzzword, served with a side order of stress. I have three young children, a business, and dirty dishes that just never seem to be able wash themselves. Any schedule can become overwhelmingly tight, but as the climber can see the mountain clearer from the plain, a respite from the daily can make mundane chores seem welcome acconpaiments to the day. And so I thought, a wee vacation in my own town, even a walk in the park could make all the difference.

And it did…With my 14 year old niece Hayley and my five year old Charlotte in tow, we headed to the City and our annual girlie weekend with loose plans to meet friends, and big plans to just see what we might find. We made a merry trio.

We started our walk at Grand Army Plaza (all you Streisand and "Sex in the City" fans knows this place and its fountain….). The scaffolding is still up on the Plaza Hotel, so we’ve made a note to walk the lobby on our next outing to the area. This was Charlotte’s special request; she’s eager to see where Eloise lives.
Spontaneously, we jumped into a carriage drawn by a balck horse named Rebel. It was my first ride in a Central Park horsedrawn carriage…silly me…what have I been waiting for all these years? I suppose it seemed the thing tourists do, but since I was playing tourist, why not? We three were tucked under a big blanket while the snow fell about us. There were sledders on the hills, skaters on the ice, and couples strolling. It was a magic ½ hour and perhaps a new tradition.

Charlotte had seen the Carousel from our ride so we were off down the snowy pathways to find it. We reached for the brass ring whirling around the Carosel…rides are just two bucks and still make me search for Holden Caulfield’s orange hat among the trees. I rode the same horses as a kid for 30 cents; they’d been waiting for me. A favorite ride of long ago was one Thanksgiving after the parade…just me and my Dad wandering around the Park on a perfect fall day.











Next we strolled past Wollman Rink to watch the skaters and then up to the Children’s Zoo. We caught the animals of the Delacorte clock going around at 12:30. We walked as if we hadn’t a care in the world. None of us admitted that we couldn’t feel our toes in the frosty weather!

They say 25 millions folks make it to the park each year…be part of the fun. It’s a gem in the cityscape. If you aren’t familiar with its history here’s a link to a brief and informative write-up http://www.ny.com/articles/centralpark.html.
I studied the Park and its development as part of my urban design coursework. A favorite class at NYU was spent surveying the park’s assets and features. I resuscitated that knowledge…googled my own memories…to play tour guide to Hayley and Charlotte!

To learn more and pan your visit to the park check out … http://www.centralparknyc.org/site/PageServer. Also, here’s a super cool spot on the official Central Park website… http://www.centralpark.com/pages/map-it/maps.html . You can take a virtual tour and zoom in to see special spots…visualize yourself in the Sheep’s Meadow, on the Great Lawn, watching “Shakespeare in the Park”, or seeing the seals at the Zoo.

And if New York is not nearby, or in your travel plans…go to your local park. Those that saunter through the parks here in town have something figured out. Stroll, wander, and potter about. The words are even quaint and laden with discovery.
xxoo Jen
...more soon on the rest of our adventure!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Flew the Coop
















AWOL! That's what I was....I took 3 days off...no work and all play. It was a much needed break, and the first in some time...


Thanks to my wonderful niece Hayley for the fabulous tradition of our annual girlie weekend. Once a year we play tourists in our home town of New York...and meet with a special group of friends to "play dolls". This year we brought along my 5 year old, Charlotte.
....images and tales to tell will follow...

In the meantime, I am celebrating the simple quiet of an evening, rested and refreshed.

xxoo Jen

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hooray! Horrah Huzzah!

Let's CELEBRATE...
a BIG THANKS to all of you who made "the heART of winter" possible...Such an undertaking can only happen with the help of true friends, a great staff and good cheer...many thanks from the bottom of my heART. xxoo









Hannah, you and your Mom Kathy are great pals!












Michelle, you did it all...







Denny & Little Red...the most dynamic of duos..

















Ro and Micah start the day for everyone... and must love me alot!









Shannon, is there a Super Girl cape under that coat?








Charlotte's Tea Room crew gone South of the Border! Yum! to Lynn, Joanne and Mary...







...the bar boys John and Bob...what fellas...
...the barmaids...they sure serve up a mean hot cocoa...

Sue and Ro (um, I mean "Julie") the cruise driectors...

Bouncer Bob, wounded in action, and Sweet Sophie...
















Robin and Kim...


Many thanks to all who put their hearts and hands to the event. It was a success! And I am counting on all of you for the May event for sure!
...And here, after a good two weeks of clean up and catch up, I have recovered. In celebration, I am taking a few days off to take my niece and daughter to the City for some girl time...I will be back in BLOGland next week with new tales to tell.

Until then...xxoo Jen

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Merrymakers











Always remember, there is no party without the guests!

Here are some images of the gals who made the trip and joined the celebration at "the heART of winer". A big thanks to all of them for their support, patronage and fabulous response to the festivities....

...and the girls of the hour...the early hour...Cindy, Kim and Ro greet Debbee Thibault a few hourse before the event begins...
















...Antoinette has a special piece painted by Jennifer called "Lucky Shutter"...here they meet for the first time....
Karen and Laurie...two of my fave gals and oh so talented gals.






Antoinette, Kathy and Mrs. Quinn...some very special ladies and my good friends who support and encourage me each day!



Bob, Aidan and Stacey with my wonderful Aunt Bernie and Uncle Paul and Laurie.




Jennifer with great pals Ken and Stephanie...














Laurie and Jen with Loretta of blogland fame...

Here's Rosita... wearing Dara's "Red Hot" necklace...and Loretta (our B&B hostess) wearing "Wild Woman" with artsit Dara...








Donna and Gina make every event more festive! I hear you girls have been dubbed Lucy and Ethel...I just want to know, who's who?

Thanks to all of the merrymakers for making it so..
See you all in May! SAVE THE DATE - MAY 18th
...7th Annual Spring Soiree...
"SONG OF THE SEA"...

xxoo Jen

Friday, February 15, 2008

Nicol Sayre Charms




Nicol Sayre makes the most incredible of folk dolls. I am completely smitten with her creations and especially thrilled to have hosted Nicol for a signing of her original work and her first gallery showing at "the heART of winter".





Nicol has an affinity for the mid-1800s, a period well reflected in her original work. Her dolls abound with vintage detailing and are charmingly reminiscent of that bygone era. Her passion for antiques, old toys, sewing notions and household implements inspire, and adorn each creation. I am captivated by her work and have pursued her artful folk dolls for several years. They are among my greatest treasures...


And so, Nicol absolutely charmed the attendees at the show. The exceptional presentation of almost 50 dolls and framed artwork -- including many large-scale pieces -- and her special seminar on her inspirations and techniques won many hearts...

Luncheon hostess Ro with Nicol at the intimate event offered by the artist...








Kate, Dawn and Lisa at Nicol's seminar...
















This gogeous hanging piece was the favor at the luncheon...it is darling...




...a lovely trunk set...this piece is available at this writing...









...another beauty...


















Jennifer Lanne next to Nicol's utterly fabulous showpiece titled, "The Heart of Winter" she wears a crown and her skirt reveals a cage like room full of golden birds and nests ...











...a wonderful grouping...













Happy collectors Donna and Susan flank artist Nicky Bowen and show off their new dollies...


















Standing beauties.....


Here is Olive, she too is available at this writing...













...a close-up of Olive, and grande dame in a paper riding hat...26" of beauty...












Kim and Lisa pose next to Nicol's santos....all exquisite...




















...this large-scale theater showcases a marionette...it was Nicol's favorite piece, and indeed one of the most wonderful things I have seen her do!


Many thanks again to Nicol for her visit and for making our event spectacular! I am already looking forward to seeing her and her work at our next event in May.

xxoo Jen

Thursday, February 14, 2008

xxoo



Happy heART day!
Surround yourself with friends and beauty
to celebrate the sweetness of the season.
Be My Valentine
xxoo Jen

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Love the Art in the heART
















I am still in recovery mode from the big event last weekend...As I sort my recollections of the day, my memory is prodded along by all the fabulous images that were captured. I feel like the bride again, going back over the photos from the wedding and wondering,

“Wow, did the cake really look that good?” and

“…was so and so really there?”.

And, “ Ohhhhhh, that’s what it looked like from across the room!”

(…and yes, "Is my nose really that big!?" and "Wow, I do look my age!").

It was a whirlwind of art, artists and the collectors and enthusiasts who came to celebrate with us. Here are some images of the creations that inspired…made by a truly talented group of artists

who put their “heART” in it…




Nicol Sayre's amazing 4 foot creation displayed with paintings by Jennifer Lanne...









Some of Nicky Bowen's Necessary Excess soft sculptures....




A Nicol Sayre santos with Mud-Cakes mixed media pieces by Laurie Meseroll...


















Momentos

in the showcase...








...small textile wonders from Leslie McCabe...















...and larger-scale rugs and punch needle art also from Leslie's able hands...











Kim Stout's Thistle Hill creations in stoneware and textile...












Dara DiMagno's wearable art display...












Earthgirl pottery from the hands and imagination of Jill Wiener...



















...more eye candy...



...stay tuned for a post on the art of Nicol Sayre….a look at Leslie McCabe's crafting demo...and the folks that made the event possible

...Earth Angels' biggest supporters!

xxoo Jen
Earth Angels
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