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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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A beauty of a day















My niece Beth married her sweetheart Mike last Saturday. Congrats!... and I do so very much love you both...










The wedding was here in Warwick, NY at the farm of a family friend...my sister-in-law Joanne thought of the venue. And it was utterly wonderful! The 250 guests made merry from later afternoon to almost midnight...wandering about the property, on the lawns and yes, the dance floor.













So many of you have asked to see images, so I am sharing these…and now that I look at them, I realize I was having too much fun dancing with my kids to capture all that there was to the day…













The tent was chock full of lovely details that set and elegant mood. Sandy Kurtz of Grammy's Garden did the flowers... Eddie Fava the food...












As with all our family events, there were kids everywhere!






















The bride and groom...










My sister Roseanna, the mother of the bride, tried to gather our brood for a photo...



















Love the chandeliers? I do!
…so much family, so much beauty, my dad’s fleet of antique cars ferrying the bridal party to and from the church, my newphews asking me to dance, the kids catching fireflies in the field at dusk...It will long be remembered.

…all good wishes to the happy couple and all the brides and grooms out there.
Xxoo Jen

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Summer's Sweetest


A wonderful trip to the beach with my kids coincides with the arrival of the summer's sweetest creations from Lori Ann Corelis...


This latest batch of cuties from brings good cheer and memories bygone summers at the shore.

Lori Ann exceeds my expectations each time her creations arrive....her work is immaculately crafted with subtle needle-sculpting details that utterly charm me. I am smitten with these kitties!








Funny enough there is an old family photo like the one I've shown above...it's a precious shot of my Grandmother as a young girl (she was born in New York 1898). She is in the same pose at the sea shore with her sisters...
Bravo Lori Ann and thanks for letting us share these with out Earth Angels customers...e-mail us for details on size, price and availability.

Please note, I am off to the lake this week. While we are off making some summer memories of our own it will be business as usual here at Earth Angels. Shannon is holding down the fort...so call or email her at my address of you need anything...

xxoo Jen O'Connor

Monday, July 21, 2008

Railroad Ave to 7th Avenue














This week my gal pal and neighbor Brooke will close her store. This will mark the end of a great run for B. Page & Co., her women’s apparel shop on Railroad Avenue here in Warwick. For more than four years its served as a mainstay for the style seekers of Warwick and beyond.











I will miss the shop for sure...I found so many fabulous garments (including my new favorite red, three-tier cupcake dress!) hanging on the racks...Her offerings were always so now, and so classic -- always fresh, and sometimes just a wee bit edgy...designs from Velvet, Susana Monaco, Trina Turk, Sanctuary, Beth Bowley...ahhhhh. So yes, I am sad to see her shop close...But, I am totally thrilled for what's on the horizon for Brooke!











She is returning to her roots and realm of the 7th Avenue design houses and her first love. Brooke is collaborating on a clothing line of her own design with a former manufacturing partner. She will soon ink a licensing deal with a Japanese-owned apparel group to market and sell her debut collection. “Bastien Luxe”, is her collection of knit sportswear named for her five year old son Sebastien. It will launch Spring 2009 at Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.
Now how cool is that?!
Watch for her
knit ensembles and the brand name in seasons to come. Go Brooke - I have a feeling you will knock "St. John" out of the water!
Followers, friends and newcomers alike, are invited to wave a fond farewell to this talented designer and her Railroad Avenue location and... take advantage of a final clearance sale with deep discounts. The store will remain open Thursday-Sunday, July 24th- August 2nd from 11am- 6pm. If you can make it over, please tell her I sent you...

Fashion followers interested in Brooke's upcoming design endeavors are encouraged to contact her at bpageandco@aol.com.
Thanks Brooke for all the fab fashion fun...

xxoo Jen

Friday, July 18, 2008

Summer Studio











Here's my wonderful friend and talented painter Laurie Meseroll on her stoop in Woodstock, NY...We went for a visit yesterday to see Laurie in her glory!


You see, this Ohio native is quick to call herself a Woodstock Woman. She has been in love with the town since she set down roots there as a young Mom in the mid 80s. It was there that she first fell in love with painting and set up her studio in the outbuildings of a rambling 1820s home on the town's main street. She painted, and painted more, and raised her babies. Though she returned to Ohio as a widow with four young children in the 1990s, she left a piece of her heart there that has only recently been able to flourish once again.
Last summer she returned to the house, and with that, to her teaching and her summer studio...


























This is the backyard at a quiet moment, it is usually filled with visitors...
Here Laurie and Shannon watch resident artist Noll paint...he is a sculptor of some renown and of Native American origin...this summer Laurie is encouraging him to paint...the results are compelling and promising...



























It is so wonderful, it is almost surreal. Laurie pools talent, then informally coaches and nurtures her fellow artists and her kids...the days pass and then in the afternoon -- depending on her mood -- she retreats to her quiet studio bedroom to sketch and paint or heads off to the outbuilding that is piled high with ephemera, canvases and pigment pots to brew her magic...
She emerges at supper time to feed those gathered...dinner is served al fresco on the benches of the bridge that crosses the creek that babbles through the back yard. Her own knights of the court and bizarre round table!












Here are some images of studio in the outbuilding...








Shelves hold vintage goodies galore and constantly inspire her work...old dollhouses hang overhead and a huge lampshade hovers...color is everywhere...













Unlike this space, her bedroom studio is airy and quiet...Here it is...













...it's Laurie's own brand of cute and laden with teddies and other goodies...Laurie is a big fab of Letty Worley and Julie Arkell...can you spot their creations?
The kids were watching Laurie work, but soon they were painting too! Laurie shares. Ever patient with five of her own children, she knows how young people think and encourages a free- spirited, but very family oriented lifestyle with her own kids.


















Here Laurie shows Aidan and Charlotte to whirl with the color and spread glaze...
























Canvases are always at the ready...
I love her house too...here are some images of the space...there are Kitty B boxes everywhere!













It's layered and lush and loaded with vintage goodies...and yet so calming. Laurie loves old mirrors and their light...













































Can you spot the Kim Stout pillow and Valerie Weberpal cat...

At present, Laurie is working on a series of pieces that pay homage to the summertime of childhoods, rambling landscapes, children at play and as ever, her own story as a mother, sister, friend and teacher. Watch the site for her latest creations or email to be on her update list.
I was there for a day and felt like I was on a wonderfully long and relaxing vacation...Thanks Laurie , I will be back soon -- I miss you and the art vibe already.
xxoo Jen
Earth Angels

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Boards and the Bend











Diane Allison's new work reminds me just how much I love the graphic appeal of her boards; they have long reminded me of quilt patterns. How wonderful that she is working to celebrate the unique history of Gee's Bend and its quilters with a new series of game boards created in their honor...







The bold and graphic designs in the quilts of Gee’s Bend, blend ingenuity with flair and a quilting tradition cultivated though six generations of quilters native to the all-black community in which they were wrought. Much like an inland island, Gee’s Bend is a small rural town is tucked into a curve in the Alabama River southwest of Selma.





It thrived for many years without much outside influence, and in doing so, developed its own traditions and craft forms – most notably in the realm of textile art. The town’s women developed a distinctive, bold, and sophisticated quilting style based on traditional American (and African American) quilts, but with a geometric simplicity reminiscent of Amish quilts and modern art.
Gee’s Benders have coined their own terms for common quilt patterns. They call the square-in-a-square Log Cabin pattern by the name "Housetop" (shown above); the Courthouse Steps variation is known locally as "Bricklayer." The Roman Stripes or Fence Rail pattern is, in Gee’s Bend, a "Crazy" quilt (no relation to the Crazy quilts made with irregular scraps).






The women of Gee’s Bend passed their skills and aesthetic down through at least six generations to the present. In 2002, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston presented an exhibition of seventy quilt masterpieces from the Bend. It is from this internationally acclaimed exhibit, subsequent books on the exhibit, the US postal service stamp… that so many of us fell in love with the quilts and their signature style. The exhibit was shown at the Whitney other prestigious museums on its twelve-city American tour .







Here is their "Bricklayer" pattern...Art critics worldwide have compared the quilts to the works of important artists such as Henri Matisse and Paul Klee. The New York Times called the quilts "some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced."








I am thrilled to announce that Diane Allison has launched a new series of game boards inspired by, and paying homage to, the quilters of this community. I am smitten with the graphic appeal and color play of Diane’s work and the wood is a wonderful vehicle to share the Gee’s Bend tradition. There are three boars in the series to date...above is "Work Clothes"...a limited edition of 25 pictures next to the quilt shown in the book that inspired Diane.












Here is the board Diane has done as the second in the series. She calls it Gloria, named for a Gee's Bend quilter, and it's an edition of 25...now almost sold out. I love the red and gold.
If you can, do catch the exhibit on the textile arts of Gee’s Bend
Gee's Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt
and/or
Mary Lee Bendolph, Gee's Bend Quilts, and Beyond. You can see
the official Gee's Bend website for a full exhibit schedule, along with more info on the history of the Bend and background on the source of inspiration for the quilters and more.
This board is called Loretta and it's my favorite in the series. My Grandmother was named Loretta and I have a wonderful niece Loretta (she's the one that named the "Secret Lab"). This board is another limited edition celebrating the Bend and the quilters. I love the whirls of color and rectangle blocks. The contrast of the eggplant and orange sings to me.
You can see all of Diane’s new boards... celebrating the Bend – as well as her other creations – on our website. And if you do order, mention this post for free shipping as a thanks to our blog readers.

xxoo Jen
Earth Angels
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