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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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Good News

Congrats are in order... and there's good news to share! Joanne Graney and her "Charlotte's Tea Room" are featured in the October issue of "Romantic Homes" magazine. Woo hoo!!

The spread proclaims the tea room as a treasure of Warwick...and well worth a visit.

Don't you love these images of Mary and Joanne seeing the article for the first time... ladies you gals look wonderful in print! But you are even better in person...

And here's Lynne in the kitchen as ever! Lynne is a California girl and her recipes really add to the mix of traditional and continental flavors offered...
If you haven't yet been...please make time on your next visit to downtown Warwick.
My new favorite lunch is the 'Trophy Wife" salad special...Huge lumps of Lynne's citrus carrot slaw, coupled with curried chicken and egg salad served in a crystal banana split dish...too yummy...
But everything on the menu is truly wonderful, well presented and worth the visit. (Diana, when you visit next week... let's go to the tearoom, ok?)
Jo says, anyone can mention this blog post and she'll treat you to a glass of their signature lemonade.

And a big shout out of THANKS! to the editors at Romantic Homes magazine for this wonderful press for the Tea Room and Warwick...

xxoo Jen

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

At the End of the Rainbow

I had to share this image...the rain left behind a rainbow and my Dad and the kids plunked themselves right underneath for this picture...

As ever, I am reminded to look no further than my own backyard for happiness.
xxoo Jen

Friday, August 22, 2008

Blackbird's Nest

...Steps from Diana's studio in the main barn (see post of August 19th...) there's another talented artist at work, her daughter.

Here's Deirdre Friebely of Blackbird Design standing at the door to her studio. It's a sweet nest of colorful, castoff farm and garden accouterments that seem to cozy up with rakish charm and casual whimsy...

I loved seeing where Deirdre works. Her space is the former milking shed where her grandfather worked each day. It's got a funky vibe that palpates joy and seems to resonate with the artists' throaty chuckle.

The longer Deirdre is in my life, the more confident I am that fate, in her sweetest of moods, brought us together. I treasure Deirdre’s friendship, her constancy of spirit in our business relationship…and most of all…having her art about me to lighten the days.
And my oh my, has she hit her spunky stride in these new paintings!

Her palette sits on brown craft paper on top of the the old milk cooler.

Her studio has a nest-like feel. Here she is ensconced creating some of the best work I have seen her do…

Thanks Deirdre for all those emails, those calls and those car trips to get us to this point. And now to think…I am raiding your Mom’s barn for props for our next adventure together and if I am lucky, she just might invite me back!

We hope you can meet Deirdre at the Country Living Fair next month…and in the meantime, watch the site or email to be on her special list for updates on her work…

xxoo Jen O'Connor
PS Artists contact me by the dozen each month. There is so much talent out there…and Deirdre’s work spoke to me. It was more than a year until we could meet and come to an accord.
Read about how Deirdre and I met and how she became an “Earth Angel”…

Thursday, August 21, 2008

BARN SALE! Save the Date

Time to mark the calendar for another event! We're havin' a rootin tootin...
A Harvest of Folk Art, Paintings, Vintage Goodies & Quilts
Saturday, September 20th – 11am-4pm
Sunday, September 21st – 11am-3pm
Rain or Shine (yes, we'll be in a BIG tent once again!)

A Showcase of Original Paintings by Jennifer Lanne
Antique Textiles Presented by Rosie Graney
Folk Art by Earth Angels' Artists
(DiMagno, Weberpal, Bowen, Battaglia, J. Murphy, others too!)
at the “Warwick Antique Barn” - 293 Route 94
(watch for the big red barn heading south towards Vernon, NJ)

Those who can make it will enjoy special “BARN SALE” pricing on tons of goodies... AND, you will love visiting the Warwick Antique's chock full of wonderful goodies...
The owners -- Carole and Arthur Johnson -- are absolutely delightful. They are simply thrilled to host this upcoming event. Their multi-dealer, 2-level center has it all...from country classic to shabby chic...and of course Arthur's famous harvest tables...

I never leave empty-handed! Last time it was the set of old dolly furniture and the old bear I am carrying in the photo above...

And yes, there will be quilts! My wonderful Mom, Rosie, has been an antique dealer for almost 25 years...she knows so very much about quilts and has amassed more than 120 to show and sell at this event...There in every palette, age, pattern and style! And those of you who follow this BLOG know her favorites are the yo-yos...

Artist Jennifer Lanne has agreed to be there for the's a peek at some of her latest work...

So...if you need more info on this event, visit the website or give me a ring (845) 986-8720 from 9am-7pm EST or of course, there's always e-mail
In the meantime, I hope you can grab a gal pal or two and plan to visit Warwick on SEPTEMBER 20-21!
xxoo Jen

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Down on the Farm

Diana Card says she always knew that her daughter would be an artist. I am just not at all sure she foresaw she and Deirdre painting together on the family farm – each with their studio in the barn…

Here they are, Diana and her daughter you know as the creator of Blackbird Design, Earth Angels' artists Deirdre Friebely.

Diana works in the large interior studio and next to the hayloft with soft light coming in the east door. Deirdre is stationed in the old milk shed her Grandfather used for eons (in my next post I will share images of Deirdre’s space).
They meet for tea in her studio, take their breaks with the cows and the dogs and inspire each other in their work. Last Friday we shared in their day.

Diana grew up in rural Sussex, NJ on a street now named for her family; they farmed the area for generations. She was the 7th born of 11 children and the first girl after 6 brothers. I looked at a picture of Diana as a little girl on a tractor…she looks the same! She is about as comfortable on a farm as anyone I’ve seen.
Now, years later, after raising her children in Maine, she's back in Sussex living just down the road from her childhood home, one farm that has been in her husband’s family for what seems like forever.Her cows roams the grassy hills behind the barn and she watches them while she paints, taking a break to putter about the barn with the incessant chores old buildings can bring. The main farmhouse sits awaiting a renovation, but in the meantime...

Diana works deftly on booth board and canvas in her fabulous and well-recognized style. I keep begging her to let me sell her works…but with her waiting list, there just never seems to be enough! She promises that there will be…someday. In the meantime, I will content myself with a visit to her studio again in September.
I'll be going back to pick up the old farmhouse’s screen doors; she’s hingeing them together as display for her pal Leslie McCabe’s work to be shown in the Earth Angels Artist Showcase Tent at the Country Living Fair…

I love her houses...happy with their orderly gardens...

Diana, I wish you were coming with us too…maybe next year??? In the meantime...Just Keep Painting!

Xxoo Jen

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Move Over Cosmo!

Move over “Cosmo”, there’s a hip new drink in town.

Here’s how it all happened…
One Friday night last month, a group of us gathered to celebrate the impending nuptials of niece Beth and hubby-to-be, Mike. The bar was serving this fabulous concoction…slightly pink, with a touch of sweet frothiness and subtle zing. Pure yum. I went right up to the bar and. “asked for one of those”, pointing.

I watched her make it. This was something new…I didn’t recognize the recipe. She explained it was her own and of course, I needed to know the name wanting to order another for my sister, a die-hard Cosmo fan.

“Funny you should ask”, she said, “I haven’t come up with one just yet”.
Right there we did. It’s the “Silver Suitcase”…its name evokes the elegance of travel, the luster of Bling and the undertone of steampunk chic. Further it celebrates the talented and oh so festive women who are forming “The Silver Suitcase Society”.

Want to know more?
The drink was created by mixologist Sandra Zueger. Native to Warwick, her parents came to the States 25 years ago from Switzerland. For as many years they have owned and run the well-regarded and elegant Chateau Hathorn on Route 94 just south of the Village.

Here Sandra shares her recipe for the drink she has created…

Silver Suitcase – created 2008
Stoli Vanilla - 1.5 parts
PaMA(original pomegranate liquor) 2 parts
Pineapple Juice - .5 part
Shake over ice and serve in a Martini glass
...she often rims the glass in lemon drop sugar and garnishes wiht fresh exotic fruits to add texture and depth...

Yes, it tastes a bit like a Cosmo, but less twangy, and it’s so much more “Now”, with the bright flavor of pomegranates, the fruit of 2007, that are so full of antioxidants.

Want to know more about the aforementioned “Silver Suitcase Society”?
Stay tuned. But let me give you a hint, if you know Jo Packham, or anything about “Where Women Create”, you’ll be hearing more.

Please enjoy responsibly.
Jen O’Connor
PS The name for the drink and its recipe maybe used and reproduced without permission, but please provide credit to the creator and her restaurant if used in printed materials other than a menu.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Murphy Arrivals

What a look! I love the vintage appeal of these bears...the flourish of texture proffered in a vintage button, and old bit of trim, a body stuffed with excelsior. They are so much like the antique toys I adore....

AND even better, they're finally here! And so worth waiting for...

I wait so very long for a box of original works from Pat and Jennifer Murphy to arrive. These ladies' creations are utterly fab, and in such great demand. How wonderful that boxes from Michigan and Minnesota -- both mother and daughter's studios -- arrived on the same day here at Earth Angels for us to share...
You can see more of their original work on our site, as well as Jennifer's line of irresistible and oh so affordable holiday decorations she's licensed with "Midwest"...(by the way...Jennifer tells me this is her last year designing with the company so these cuties are getting gobbled up even faster than last year...don't miss your favorites)
Thanks to Pat and Jennifer for the new treasures.
I am off to unpack the rest of their goodies...
Ciao for now...
xxoo Jen

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