France | Where Beauty Is The Function

 

Jet lag is still my sidekick as I try to settle back into day-to-day life after France. These extra days of adjusting are also good for my heart and mind as I process once again the beautiful opportunity of travel. As I download photos, unpack my suitcase, wash too many loads of laundry, unwrap French treasures, and put away art supplies I am given the gift of remembering, honoring and reflecting on this time away.

 

 

 

I am a lover of learning so being a student is natural for me. I love to immerse myself into places, people and history. As much as I am most comfortable alone, with my family, making art and immersed in my books and learning… life has offered me the honor of also leading and teaching. This combination of teacher and student is the most wonderful worlds to combine.

 

 

Each person that I ever travel with teaches me more about myself, others, love, bravery, passion, second chances, fear, doing hard things and so much more. This trip to France for our Living Studio art workshop was no different. I watched beautiful marriages, watched families creating memories, watched women move on bravely, watched intentional acts of creating, watched friendships formed, watched so much joy and laughter, watched so many making art after a long hiatus, watched woman encourage one another, watched my daughter grow up before my eyes, watched people making the whole world their studio!

 

 

France taught me once again and this time it surprised me and encouraged me all in the same breath. France lavishes me and gives me a glimpse into ways I can make our day to day life more lovely just for the sake of being lovely. Maybe this is why I love France so much. I feel like the moment I land I dive into a color palette I love, live in and paint in. Each street holds a glimpse into something beautiful whether it be a doorknob or architecture. The parks announce to the world that this is a place that gathers and honors resting. The cafes bulging on every street corner beg you to stop and slow down. When you gather at a French restaurant they will never rush you so the next group of people can sit down. This table is yours for the night if you want it and if you want your bill…good luck. You may have to track down your waiter to actually get it. The art…oh, the art. It is spilling out everywhere and it may be painted along a wall in an alley, the sound of a quartet on the corner, sculptures throughout a garden or maybe the most beautiful and yummy croissant you have ever tasted.

 

After the workshop I had another five days in France with just our Madolyn. We would sleep in, walk all over Paris in the day, find good food along the way and watch movies each night. It was the most wonderful gift I have ever given each of us. This precious time of being alone and helping me see her separate from the boys will always be deeply woven in my heart.

 

 

 

 

On Easter Sunday I had ordered a picnic lunch to be picked up that morning and then we were going to take it to the green in front of the Eiffel Tower. As we unpacked our beautiful lunch, spread the blanket that was included on the ground and as I opened the wine I felt loved by this artisan that put our beautiful lunch together. They honored what they did and in their authentic way they were making the world more beautiful. I turned to Maddy and said, “This must be how women feel like when they come to our workshops.” It hit me hard. So, France also taught me that what I do is important. I am not just talking about the big things we do and the online courses but the day to day making things beautiful for myself, my family and those that gather on our land is of importance. It may not be to everyone but it is to me and I am proud of it. I also believe that when woman have gathered on our land to create art part of my gift to them is to make their time here beautiful and to put attention into the details. To help them experience beauty, rest and art if possible. France made me see that it is not just something I do but something I need to do because I love it, appreciate it and honor it. The world will be better when we each use our authentic gifts to make it just a bit more beautiful for beauties sake. Not such a bad way to function.

 

***Next week I will share more photos from the workshop and the art made***

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The Living Studio Along the Seine River Cruise

Ever since I have been a little girl I have been a lover of history, architecture, art and I have ALWAYS known…I would travel.

I am greatly driven by my desire to learn, explore and to discover more of this world.

My family makes choices all of the time that will make it possible for us to travel more and to have less of other things.

We want to collect adventures and memories and not just things.

I have an extremely exciting announcement to make and we have been working on it for awhile now.

For all of you lovers of adventure, history, art and travel…this is for you!

Join me in April 2017 for The Living Studio Along The Seine! 

Imagine exploring and creating in France!

We will have structured art classes on the ship and then creative prompts that will encourage you to create in the cities and villages.

THIS is the heart of The Living Studio!  It is my desire that you make the whole world your studio.

This is not just for painters and sketchers…this is for all of us!

If you love history, art, architecture, live music, wine tasting, cooking classes, lectures, bike tours…this is for you!

The best part is that you get to choose each day what you do or don’t do. You can participate in the classes or you can lounge by the pool…or both!

The details…

Detailed Itinerary

April 6-15th, 2017

The Living Studio Along the Seine

Day 1 ARRIVE IN PARIS, FRANCE – EMBARKATION
Arrive in Paris and embark to your luxurious ship. Meet your fellow passengers at the Welcome Dinner. (D)

Day 2 VERNON
Spend the morning enjoying the scenery along the Seine as you cruise to the provincial town of Vernon. Upon arrival, you will have free time to explore the town at your leisure. Later, you will visit Giverny and the home and gardens of Impressionist master Claude Monet. The artist lived here for more than four decades and immortalized his ponds and flower gardens in some of his most iconic paintings. The ship moors overnight in Vernon. (B,L,D)

Day 3 VERNON – CAUDEBEC-EN-CAUX
After a scenic morning cruise on the Seine, arrive in the old fishing village of Caudebec. You will have a choice of two different tours. The first option is to visit Honfleur, a historic and picturesque port with pastel-colored houses that was a favorite subject of artists such as Courbet, Boudin and Monet. The town’s medieval Sainte-Catherine church, with its separate bell tower, is the largest wooden church in France. As an alternative, choose the “Routes des Abbayes” excursion spotlighting Normandy’s famous abbeys, more than 100 of which once covered this region. You will visit the ruined abbey in Jumièges as well as St. Wandrille, still a working monastery. (B,L,D)

Day 4 CAUDEBEC-EN-CAUX – NORMANDY BEACHES
Today, you have the choice of three different excursions. “D-Day Remembered” is a full day excursion to the US sector. Your first stop will be the village of Arromanches, where the remains of the floating harbor used during the WWII landings can be seen. You will have free time to see the museums before visiting the US Cemetery and Omaha Beach at St. Laurent-sur-Mer. Your last stop is the artillery battery at Longues-sur-Mer before returning to the ship in Caudebec. As an alternative, you can tour the Gold and Juno beaches in the British and Canadian sectors. Your first stop will be the Pegasus Monument in Ranville followed by Canadian cemetery at Beny-sur-Mer. You will also have the chance to visit the Juno Beach Centre, Canada’s WWII museum, with a final stop at Arromanches. A third option is an excursion to rural Normandy, which includes a visit to the Pays d’Auge and “Routes du Cidre” (the Cider Road). You will visit beautiful Norman towns and villages, such as Beuvron-en-Auge, Crevecoeur-en-Auge and Cambremer, and tour a Calvados distillery where you may sample apple cider and apple brandy. (B,L,D)

Day 5 ROUEN
Enjoy a morning walk through the medieval city of Rouen and see the imposing Notre Dame Cathedral, painted numerous times by Monet, and the square where Joan of Arc was martyred. Afterwards, you will have free time to explore Rouen on your own. (B,L,D)

Day 6 LES ANDELYS – CONFLANS
Depart Rouen early this morning and enjoy scenic cruising on the Seine to Les Andelys. An mid-day stroll along the river offers beautiful views of the Seine Valley’s dramatic white cliffs, centuries-old half-timbered houses, and the hilltop ruins of Château Gaillard. This former stronghold of Richard the Lionheart changed hands a number of times during the Hundred Years’ War. Athletically-inclined guests may enjoy hiking up to visit the ruins of this historic castle before we continue our cruise along the Seine. The ship arrives tonight in Conflans. (B,L,D)

Day 7 CONFLANS — PARIS
Today, you have a choice of two excursions. The first option is to visit Château Malmaison, former home of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife Josephine. Your tour includes the Château’s interior, gardens and museum. Alternatively, travel to Auvers-sur-Oise, a town famous for the Impressionist painters who lived there in the 19th century, such as Paul Cézanne and Camille Pissarro. Your “Artists’ Walk” tour will include many sites associated with their work, including the Auberge Ravoux, former home of Vincent van Gogh. The upstairs room where Van Gogh died has been meticulously preserved. He and his brother Theo are both buried in the nearby town cemetery. The ship departs this afternoon for Paris, arriving in the evening. (B,L,D)

Day 8 PARIS – DISEMBARKATION
After disembarking the ship this morning, guests participating in the post cruise extension in Paris will enjoy a panoramic tour of Paris plus a visit to one of the city’s most renowned museums, the Musée d’Orsay, built in a former railway station on the Left Bank. Its collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces is the largest in the world and includes well-known works by Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin and Van Gogh. After touring the museum, you will be transferred to your hotel. (B)

Day 9 PARIS
Today is yours to enjoy however you wish. Explore Paris’ multitude of landmarks, museums, cafes and shops, or choose one of several optional tours. (B)

Day 10 DEPART PARIS
Your river cruise vacation comes to an end as you prepare for your homeward flight. (B)

What is included in your 9 night/ 10 day stay

*7 nights deluxe cruise accommodations in an outside stateroom – most staterooms offer French balconies.
*Art classes with Jeanne Oliver
*Daily creative prompts to inspire you to create in new ways while traveling
*You will be provided with your own portable studio so you can create anywhere you go
*”Limited Edition Tours”
*Life-enriching tours with personal headset included
*Entertainment on demand in all staterooms featuring free high-speed Internet access, hit Hollywood movies, extensive music library and English language TV stations
*Complimentary Wi-Fi access on board
*Terry bathrobes and white-on-white plush bedding in all staterooms
*Fine dining with all meals included during your cruise
*Multiple dining venues
*Unlimited red & white wines from France’s great wine regions, beer & soft drinks with every lunch and dinner on board
*Bottled water in every stateroom replenished daily
*Cocktail Reception, Welcome Dinner & Captain’s Gala Dinner
*Transfer from the ship to the hotel in Paris
*2 nights hotel accommodation in Paris at the Pullman Montparnasse (or similar), including daily buffet breakfast
*Special highlights including lectures, theme dinners, cooking demonstration, onboard music performances and afternoon/evening piano music
*Services of professional Cruise Manager
*All English language on board in a non-smoking environment (smoking permitted only on the Sun Deck)
*Transfers between hotel and ship are included with the purchase of cruise and land package; airport transfers are included with the purchase of airfare from AmaWaterways
*All port fees, taxes, gratuities
* This does not include airfare

A peek into life on the ship…

Join me: April 6-15th, 2017 for the Living Studio Along the Seine

In US dollars: Starting at $3807.00 per person / double occupancy

These prices reflect a $1000 discount through April 30th.

To view the ship and cabin choices:

http://www.amawaterways.com/ships/amalyra

 

Deposit (non-refundable) due on contract signing $950.00

Payment Schedule:

We will set up a payment schedule just for you

If you are interested in The Living Studio | Danube River Cruise please email Jeanne Oliver at contact@jeanneoliverdesigns.com to answer any questions and/or to place your deposit on this once in a lifetime art retreat.

 

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Creativity Takes Courage {Cat Bude}

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For those of you that are new to the blog I want to tell you a little bit about the free series.

My creative network offers free videos, new online courses, live “chats” and now interviews with courageous lovelies from around the world.

Over the past two years I have had the opportunity to interview some of my favorite creative women and business owners.

You can see the talented list of interviewees over on my creative network under Creativity Takes Courage.

 

 

This month we are talking with Cat Bude all the way from Normandy, France!

I have had the absolute joy of getting to know Cat over the past three years.  I always leave my conversations with her inspired and with a smile on my face (and with another idea ready to take off).

I admire her love of family, home and faith.

She is a PNW transplant that has dived into the adventure of a lifetime and in the process saved everything that mattered to her.

Join us for an interview that will walk you through her family’s move to France, starting a business and finding her greatest voice.

Come on over and transport yourself to France!

 

To watch the video you just need to be registered at jeanneoliver.ning.com (registering is free).

Once you are on the site you will find this series, free videos (business and art) and new online courses along the left hand side of the page.

You will find all of our courses/videos under the COURSES heading.

If you want to watch Cat’s video:

1) Go to COURSES along the left hand side of the page

2) Click on Creativity Takes Courage {interviews with courageous friends}

3) Click the +join button on the upper right hand side

4) All of the details are on the page and you are all set.

Tell your friends!

We want to create an online community where you can create, connect and be inspired.

Come on over and check out the interview!

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leave me a comment.

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The Living Studio Normandy, France {registration is open}

My heart behind The Living Studio is that we will all learn to explore and create wherever we live.

I hope to inspire people to step out of the comfort of their studios and out into the world and boldly create based upon the beauty all around them.

This unique retreat combines my love of travel and creating and connecting with other women.

I don’t know how many times over the years I had walked past a person sketching in an art museum,

painting in the gardens,

practicing their watercolors in the mountains

or writing at a cafe and I have stopped a moment to envy them.

They were doing it!

They HAD to be creative.

It is a practice and a preparedness that motivates you to create your studio wherever you go.

With practice and always having your tools with you…you live your creativity and the world becomes your studio.

Few places have changed my creative heart as much as France so it is my joy to announce my collaboration with Cat of Sunday Brocantes to offer you The Living Studio | Normandy, France!

Here is a peek into this luxury creative retreat!

Are you a writer, a photographer, a painter, a sketcher ?

Are you just starting to embrace your creativity or have you jumped in all of the way?

No matter how your creativity is expressed or the level in which you practice it…this retreat is for you!

October 9th-16th 2015

Your trip begins in charming Normandy villages, and stunning seaside resort towns, and concludes with exploring the world renowned Paris Flea Market.

While in Normandy take walks in small local villages, discover French country farms, cider mills and chateau’s, spend a morning experiencing the beauty of Monet’s gardens, take a bike trip along the famous beach-side boardwalk of Deauville. Enjoy an afternoon at the quaint stone French cottage of a local painter and have an aperitif in his private garden. Walk along cobblestone streets and see 300 year old architecture and churches…and absorb the culture of Northwest France.

 

Partake in local culture at farm markets, stylish bistro’s and fabulous restaurants … Shop for vintage treasures, explore the beauty of the French countryside … You will never just sit in a room and make art. Your art will be created out of exploring and experiencing Normandy. Imagine making art in small villages along the sea, at a cafe, in Monet’s gardens, in an art museum, among ancient ruins, inside a cathedral or in the quiet of the grounds of the manoir.

 

Each day you will be given prompts that you can use if you choose to be open to the art all around you throughout the villages of Normandy. We will also have a few structured art classes.

Our hope is that this will not just be a retreat…it will be opening up of your heart and mind to creating your studio wherever you go.

 

 

Tour dates: Friday, October 9th – Friday, October 16th
• Transportation to and from Paris and all local transportation throughout the tour.
• 6 dinners, 7 lunches at bistros, brasseries and fine restaurants.
• 7 nights accommodations in a classic 18th century seaside Normandy manoir with full service spa facilities, beautifully decorated bedrooms, large private bathrooms, WIFI, and all of the amenities,  breakfast each morning and sea-view outdoor spaces to relax as well as walking distance to the beaches and shops.
• Art inspiration and structured or in-formal instruction in small villages along the sea, at a cafe, in Monet’s gardens, in an art museum, among ancient ruins, inside a cathedral or in the quiet of the grounds of the manoir with Jeanne Oliver.
• Stops at vintage shops, markets and brocantes.
• A visit to Monet’s home and garden and stops to sites frequented by the French Impressionist artists and their students.
• A hosted visit to the home of a French painter, studio tour and aperitif in his charming garden.
• Afternoon strolls in centuries old villages, stops at ancient ruins and stunning cathedrals.
• Expert French speaking native to translate, negotiate, assist and share local cultural information  during your stay.
• An exclusive visit to Rabbit Hill.

October 9th-16th 2015

This retreat is $3995 double / $5495 single US Dollars

A $500 (non-refundable) deposit is due at registration

If you are interested in registering for this retreat or if you have questions please email Jeanne Oliver at jeanneoliverdesigns@gmail.com

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Creativity Takes Courage {Interview With Pamela DuMont}

Our April interview in our new video series, Creativity Takes Courage, begins right now!

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For those of you that are new to the blog then I want to tell you a little bit about the free series.

Two months ago we expanded our creative network to offer free videos, new online courses, live “chats” and now interviews with courageous lovelies from around the world.

My first interview of the Creativity Takes Courage series was with the amazing Stephanie Lee.

The February interview was with my good friend Melody Ross.

The March interview was with the lovely Edie Wadsworth!

This month I interviewed my friend across the ocean ….Pamela DuMont!

I met Pam through this incredible world of blogging.

I instantly loved her courage in moving her family to Paris and creating something incredible for her whole family.

I would find myself constantly smiling as I would read her blog looking at Paris through her eyes.

Seeing Paris (on her blog) in the winter sealed the deal and I had to ask her to be a part of the new video series.

With the time difference I sat down at my computer at noon as Pam was sitting down to do the interview at 8pm.

With Pam’s flat windows wide open, the view of Parisian apartments behind her, candle burning and her pearls on…we did our interview.

I think I smiled the rest of the day just because of the view behind her as we talked.

I adore you Pam, your heart and how you bring me back to Paris time and time again with your words and pictures.

Come on over and watch our interview.

******

To watch the video you just need to be registered at jeanneoliver.ning.com (registering is free).

Once you are on the site you will find this series, free videos (business and art) and new online courses along the left hand side of the page.

You will find all of our courses/videos under the COURSES heading.

If you want to watch Pam’s video:

1) Go to COURSES along the left hand side of the page

2) Click on Creativity Takes Courage {interviews with courageous friends}

3) Click the +join button on the upper right hand side

4) All of the details are on the page and you are all set.

Tell your friends!

We want to create an online community where you can create, connect and be inspired.

Come on over and check out the interview!

*******


The Journey of Letting Go begins in ONE WEEK!!!!

We are busy taping and editing and getting everything ready for you.

It is like planning a big party and we can’t wait for you to arrive.

You can register HERE or HERE.

{faster and easier for you if you register directly on the Ning site}

You can watch my video about the course HERE!

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Being In The Moment {Instagram, Paris and Normandy}

While I was in Paris and Normandy I found myself reaching for my iPhone more and more.

With my camera phone, Instagram, fun filters and editing it is so easy to capture moments and love the results.

I find that my kids smile more with the camera phone, I can take photos of myself and friends with ease and I catch the little moments more.

I just find that images are captured that truly show us in the moment…and I love that!

While I was in Paris and Normandy I used my big camera a ton and I am slowing sharing our days on the blog.

 I thought it would be fun to show you some of my Instagram favorites of the trip.

Paris with Kelly

Normandy with Tracey

Some of these camera phone photos are my favorite from the trip.

I actually would have missed some of the little and unexpected moments without my camera phone.

Do you Instagram?

Do you find yourself using your camera phone more and more?

You can see my favorite Instagram and camera phone editing HERE.

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You have only a few more days to save 50% off all prints in the shop.

This is a once a year sale and it will be over on Sunday!

No coupon needed:-)

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Do you remember that amazing retreat that I am teaching at in Italy?

The one that was just announced four days ago?

It is already half full!

Please don’t wait too long if you are thinking about it.

To learn more or to register go HERE.

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Oh, and Creatively Made Home…..it starts in 18 days!!!!!!

Are you registered?

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Paris {Day Two}

I thought going to bed with the windows open and listening to the sound of the busy cafes below was pure music….

Waking up to the sound of the street coming alive was even better.

As we were getting ready for our day we could hear the streets being swept, carts being rolled out, children going to school and Rue Cler coming alive.

As we walked out of our hotel we passed open shops and street vendors ready for their day to begin too.

Our second day in Paris (this day with a good nights sleep) we were headed out for our tour of Musee d’Orsay.

I had wanted to see the incredible collection of impressionist paintings during my last trip to Paris and was disappointed it was closed the only day I had free.

It was a beautiful walk from our hotel and it was the start of a long day of walking.

We decided to reserve a tour to avoid the lines and to have a guide to get more out of the museum.

I am so glad we did and I always learn more this way.

After Orsay we made our way to the Louvre and the Jardin des Tuileries.

We loved the gardens, the fountains and even taking a walking break around one of the fountains and someone may have dozed off for a few minutes:-)

One of our stops was the Pont de l’Archevêché. We brought our own lock to add to the growing collection.

We walked from the Louvre, through the gardens, back to Notre Dame  and then all the way back to the Champs Elysees.

We stopped at cafes along the way and tried to soak in as much of the sites as possible.

As you are walking the streets of Paris it is all so beautiful that it is actually hard to believe that you are actually there.

I am walking around with the love of my life and we are in France…together.  Not too shabby!

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Join me on my business Facebook page for “30 Days of France”.

Each day I am showing a new photo from my trip.

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