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, July 29, 2013

Runaround Rosie and #19

Hello Monday....
When you're part of a big family it's sometimes a rare thing to get one-on-one time.  
Here's my Mom, Rosie catching a few minutes with her #19 grandchild, Aidan.
I loved catching them catching up with each other,
 and I am grateful that they shared a moment.

 Me and my Dad had the 1930 Model 'A' pulled out of the garage to take some photos for Ben Ashby's next issue of FOLK magazine. 
I am working on a fun piece about cars and their iconography for each generation. Why we love them and what it is we love about them as Americans, but more on that soon...

 Silly faces and all, these two always get along.

Hello to my wonderfully adventurous, octogenarian parents...I hope I am just as willing to blast off on an adventure as they are at that age...

Hello to quiet minutes in the midst of a busy day.

Hello and thank you to whomever invented AC. Wow this week was hot, hot, hot and I would be totally wilted without a little air cooling!

Hello to friendships between young and old and across the generations. We have so much to learn from you.

Hello to true love.  Here's Rosie with her main man, Jim.

Have a beautiful week and hope you find a moment to share with someone you love in the midst of it all.

Hope you have a great week and hpw are you keeping cool?

xxoo Jen

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

some softie love...15% off 'til 7/26 love that!

I like to share news of our monthly specials here on the blog for those of you that don't follow our newsletters...
or for those who like a reminder that a sale is going on....
So if you love teds, heirloom toys and softies, then it's time to take a peek at the site  and take 15% off all creations by some of my very favorite artists:
Krys Kirkpatrick, 
Heidi Steiner 
Letty Worley

Take 15% off ALL of their creations -- including SALE items until Friday, 7/26 
with code SoftieLove at checkout


As an extra treat, we'll be including ALL of Krys Kirkpatrick's paintings, paperies, small works and watercolors to the SALE...woo hoo...

Enjoy this SALE and don't forget SoftieLove at checkout!

Ad for you careful readers...we'll let you know that the next sale coming up will feature jewelry and accessories so stay tuned!!!

xxoo Jen

Monday, July 22, 2013

...the family that gets crabby together....Hello Monday.

Hello Monday...the week was a hot and spicy one! 
It was also sentimental and full of crabby family time...

We gathered on Saturday in Maryland to remember a really wonderful woman. 
We miss you Aunt Cindy.

So glad that Micah's Aunt Holly & Uncle Bill pulled together a gathering in her honor. 
We shared pool time, oodles of crab in Old Bay, quite a lot of beer and some wonderful memories.  We'll do it again next year, but hope to see these Maryland members of Micah's family before then.  They're avid hikers and climbers so we're hoping to lure them north for some time on the Appalachian Trail that wends its way through Warwick.

And if you've never eaten a crab, look up Joe Voelker! 
That man has it down to a refined science of style that amazed me and the kids who were riveted as he ribbed the entrails from those sea bugs! 

And all that work for a bit of meat?  Yep. Rory and his Aunt Lara above all will tell you it's worth it! I confess it's sweeter than lobster and all that salt from the Old Bay, keeps you quenching your thirst -- as if the hard work cracking the shells wasn't enough?!

Thanks to all for a very special, totally messy, and festive day.

Getting us all in a picture not so easy, but  we made a go of it...

 You'll note the dog was most cooperative. 

 Hello to Family far and wide. We love you of course, and we like you too!
We all need to make that time to gather, it's what matters most.

Hello dirty hands and sticky days with cool pools, and evenings and ice cream waiting.

Hello car trips and books on tape.

Hello planning for our trip to Germany...Eises here we come!

Hello Uncle Bill, you know it's all your fault Micah is a motorhead. 
Not a bad thing to pass along in the gene pool....

Hello mid-summer's dreams and daydreams...whatever they may be for you.
Enjoy them and making the memories that hold us all together through the years and across the miles.
 And by the way...were those really school supplies in the stores??!?!
Fugghetaboutit...there's just no way I am buying notebooks and pencils in July. School thoughts will just have to wait! This is time for summer fun.

Hello to all of you and hope you have a wonderful week whatever you are up to!
xxoo Jen

Thursday, July 18, 2013

so excited for Jo...Create-ologie has launched!

Congrats to my wonderfully talented and ever inspiring friend, Jo Packham on the launch of "Create-ologie" her new web-based shopping destination for wonderful crafting and studio organizational items...

Please take a peek what Jo's been up to and to see what she's sharing to stay tidy, organized and motivated in the creative process.

Here's what Jo is sharing about her new venture:

"As an artist, organization was not a strength of mine until recently. As with all things worthwhile in life, it took me some time to learn how to get (and stay) organized. Organization is a matter of owning up to your real-life habits and expectations — your system has to work with you, not against! Having a gorgeous design strategy to go with it certainly never hurts either.

One thing that helped me clear the clutter in my studio was recognizing what was working and what could be improved. Big, open boxes equal a big pile of mess; however, if I organized the contents of those boxes into smaller containers, I could quickly and easily retrieve what I needed, whether it was ink, stamps or ribbon.

I am also far more likely to stay organized if I like the containers I am using, like this adorable tin with glass jars inside. I love the art nouveau look, and the jars are so useful! Just take what you need and put it back when you’re done — how simple is that?"

Congrats Jo!
xxoo Jen

Monday, July 15, 2013

the summer is melting away...

Hello Monday.

the summer feels as if it is melting away...rolling past me, not at warp speed like the rest of the year, but at a pace that is all it's own...

And I like it best when it feels like the days when I was a kid. 
When there was less to worry about, and time to daydream.
And I've been driving my old wagon a ton...
(we took it out to Wisner Road to shoot it for a retro love piece I am working on for FOLK Magazine...stay tuned on that)

Cool quiet mornings when it feels like the day is looming large and long, and sticky afternoons where you've run out of energy and all the grand plans for the day become hazy and loose.
Peaceful evenings with no real bed times and the promise of the next day.

...hello working only 3 days a week for a few weeks...ahhh....

...hello cleaning out the closets and starting lots of house projects that have been on the to do list for months, nay years!

...hello ice cream for breakfast.

...hello lots of kids around the house.

...hello bare feet.

...hello sunshiney, long days that lead to firefly evenings.

...hello summer and move just a wee bit slower please.

How is your summer going? 

xxoo Jen

Thursday, July 4, 2013

our 4th of July SALE -- is today & tomorrow -15% off site-wide...


...before you head for
those hot dogs & hamburgers...

Shop our ENTIRE site at 
15% off

Use code FLAG15 at checkout for your discount.

CLICK HERE TO SHOP NOW sure to use the code FLAG15 to get your 15% off

Enjoy! xxoo Jen

Monday, July 1, 2013

Hello Monday - bbq 2013

Hello Monday. 
What a week you were....Saturday we hosted our Annual Friends & Family Reunion. This year we topped out at 213 people. 

Folks come from all over to catch up and share the afternoon...we love hosting this every year, as much work as it is to prepare and cook and clean up, we really love it. And most of all, we love that year after year we share this Red, White and Blue Celebration Tradition...

Hello photos on the flag...when the first guests arrive there's time for portraits on the flag, then mayhem brakes loose...and I grab what shots we can...

Hello Tess & Sue...
 Hello Heath and Ben...
 Hello Kim and Cheung...
Hello Richard, Thea and Alayna...
 Hello Hellers...
 Hello Cameron aka "King of the Root Beer Keg" and Alice...
 Hello Sue and Rog...
 Hello Desrats Clan...

When the party really gets rolling and I am hard pressed to nab a shot,
 but love when I can...
 Look at these three....what a wonderful trio!

The of course there's the MEN at the GRILL, something about the fire and the red meat...thanks chefs and carvers Robert, Harold, Fred, Cheung, Jason, John, Tom, Jeff...with 200+ folks they cooked and served 100+ pounds of meat to go with all the salads and sides Allie and I cooked on Friday...
 And I love looking across the yard at the total mayhem wrought by 80+ kiddos...
 ...and 130+ adults...

And I love catching the quiet moments too...

 Hello youngest guest...
 Hello Folk-style picnic...
 Hello childhood friends....I wouldn't be me without you...
 Hello good girlfriends...

 HELLO DESSERT PARADE!  Maybe the best part of the evening...a great way to get dessert served with kid labor...

 Hello driveway race zone...WATCHOUT!!!

Then the sun went down and 500 glow sticks kept the kids busy while we waited for the town fireworks at 10pm. 

What a way to end the day...

Hello cleanup.

Hello happy memories.

Hello wonderful traditions.

Hello perfect afternoons....

Hello America and Happy Birthday!
xxoo Jen

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