The JO Vintage Jewelry Collection | Just Added to the Shop

I wanted you all to know that we have added the new JO Vintage Necklace Collection to the shop.

Beautiful and one of a kind pieces created from treasures from our travels.

We can’t wait to wrap these up for you!

Each piece lovingly created by jewelry artist Lisa Souers.

vintagejewelrycollection

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If Adventure, Creating and Travel Speak To You {I have something for you}

Sometimes we get to be wild explorers and travel far away, other times we can connect with other creatives not far from home and at other times we have the joy of hunkering down right where we live and creating among our day to day life.  Each one of these are life giving and creative building travels.

I love that my travels have allowed me to build beautiful new friendships, sketch among stained glass windows and old wooden pews, sip espresso as I watch the locals pass me by and learn to get out of my comfort zone and create wherever I go.

I also love that it has taught me to find the beauty in the ordinary and familiar.

Whether you are looking for adventure and creating near or far I wanted to share with you what I have coming up. I would sure love to have you join me!

June 2016

We have ONE spot that has just opened up for our sold out workshop at our new studio.

To register or read more click HERE.

***

August 2016

I am a speaker at HAVEN and I will be talking all about Product Launching.

To read more or to register click HERE.

***

August 2016

Danielle Donaldson is our first guest artist in our new studio.

There are a few spots left.

To register or read more click HERE.

***

October 2016

We have ONE spot that has just opened for our sold out The Living Studio Along the Danube.  The whole ship is sold out and this is the very last spot on the river cruise.

If you would like to read more or register click HERE.

Payment would be due in full shortly after registering and this is for a upper lever level room. You have an awesome roommate and room waiting for you!

***

February 2017

Join me at Donna Downey’s studio in North Carolina! What an awesome way to kick off the new year.

***

April 2017

I know it sounds crazy to be planning for 2017 but we only have a few spots left for The Living Studio Along the Seine!

To read more or to register click HERE.

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The First The Living Studio {Lake Como}

I am back from the first The Living Studio and I am feeling tired, blessed and changed.

I am also a little sick but that will pass:-)

I had dreamed of traveling with other creative people to beautiful and interesting places near and far.

My desire was to get out of our comfort zone and create not just in a studio but out where life is really lived

I wanted to see people capturing their experiences with their art supplies around a cathedral, statue or cafe.

I had hoped to encourage even one person to start carrying their supplies with them once they returned home and to find the beauty right outside their front door.

This first The Living Studio became all of these things and more.

This first retreat would not have been possible without the beautiful collaboration with Laura McCollough.

Laura hosts annual creative retreats in Bellagio, Italy and has such a love of the Lake Como area.

She was kind enough to share her love and knowledge of the Bellagio area and work with me to create a unique experience for everyone that attended.

Nothing can adequately describe how wonderful it was to explore and create along Lake Como but I hope this gives you a glimpse…

Our days were filled with walks along cobblestone walkways, lots of steps, double espressos and early morning cappuccinos, sweet chapels and grand cathedrals, cooking classes and kayaking, views that we will never be able to describe or adequately capture with the camera, hikes to castle ruins, afternoon shopping, time at the pool being served drinks we don’t even want to know how much they cost-), evenings in the music room, art classes on the balcony under the umbrellas, quiet sketches in dark sanctuaries, messy hair from boat rides on the lake, dinners that we will dream about until we return to Italy and pizzas bigger than our faces, glasses raised with Prosecco, sunburns and sore feet, afternoon bells ringing, the smell of jasmine in the air and the breeze off of the lake, green shutters and yellow buildings, old cemeteries and untold stories, tree lined shaded paths and sculptures greeting our steps, open air markets, painters on the streets, tiled floors, exploring villas and gardens, creating out of our comfort zone, creating in places that were new, laughter until our bellies hurt and friendships created that will last beyond the trip.

Thank you to all of the women that journeyed to Italy with me!

I hope you will join me again and we can explore and create together!

Plans are already underway for a new The Living Studio in another part of the world.

If you would like to know more about The Living Studio you can email me at jeanneoliverdesigns@gmail.com.

If you currently host retreats and would like to bring The Living Studio to your area you can email me at jeanneoliverdesigns@gmail.com.

If you would like to be the first to know about where I am teaching and where other retreats will be held I would love for you to subscribe to my newsletter.

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When You Have a Heart That Has Always Longed To Travel {when Italy knocks on your door}

 

I have had an itching to travel for as long as I can remember.

I think I begged my parents throughout my whole childhood if we could move.

I used to call the airlines and get price quotes on a flight from Chicago to LA on a weekly basis.

The best part is that my mom let me do it.

I was a dreamer.

I read magazines and books about far away places and loved reading about discovered art and treasure from around the world.

My first trip out of the US was for my January term in college and we went to England.

Can you imagine taking 30 college students to England??

We were crazy!

{my mom reads this blog so let me just say that the trip was not just academic}

We went all over the country in our few weeks there and it only cemented my love of travel and other countries.

I wanted more.

When Maddy was a little shy of 2 years I traveled with my mom to Austria and met my Grandma Jeanne and her husband Robert for a trip with them that I will always treasure.

Austria and Germany have to be some of the most gorgeous countries I have ever seen.

You haven’t lived until you attend an opera in Vienna that your grandparents drag you too (only because you are so tired from 28 hours of travel) and THEY fall asleep during the show.

Seriously, they looked dead.

My mom and me were laughing so hard because they were a few rows ahead of us all slumped over.

A few years ago I had the amazing privilege of attending Kari Meng’s French Chateau Getaway.

It was my first in France and I can not imagine a more magical time.

While I was there I even made friends with one of my most favorite persons in the world.

I was able to go back to Paris last fall with my husband and then spent another week in the Normandy region with this girly.

When you love to travel it only makes you want to travel more and with the people you love the most.

I am heading to Italy this summer to teach.

This is a dream come true because Italy has been a country that I have wanted to visit for most of my life.

I met the event hostess, Laura McCollough, while I was teaching at another event.

We instantly connected and she asked me to come teach at her event on Lake Como.

How long do you think it took me to agree to that deal?:-)

Isn’t life amazing that when you follow the gifts that you have been given that beautiful experiences and people open up to you?!

Laura has given me the itinerary for the week and I am beyond excited.

I can not wait for the beautiful apartments in the heart of the village, the boat tour along Lake Como, the incredible food, the strolls through tiny alleys and cobblestone streets, time to relax at the pool and creating art with other women.

This is a special area of the world for Laura and her family so they know all of the special places and she puts her heart into the event.

For all of the girls that are signed up you are in for such a trip of a lifetime.

This event is sold out but Laura has a waiting list going because something always happens and someone needs to change plans.

I am looking forward to making special projects with the girls that have been customized for this amazing trip.

I am really excited that I get to bring my husband.

I can not wait to explore this area with him and then take a few days to travel to Florence and Venice together.

If you are going to the retreat in Italy please email me and let me know.

If you have suggestions for the Lake Como area, Florence or Venice I would love to hear them!

If you want to be placed on the waiting list please contact Laura.

{All photos property of Laura McCollough from her travels to Italy}

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Paris {Day One}

When you touch down in another country you are most likely dealing with exhaustion, excitement and coffee shakes all at the same time.

You may also be walking around in a state of tired delusion.

That was us the first day.

We flew through the night and landed at 8am Paris time.

We dropped our bags off at our sweet hotel on Rue Cler and headed out.

Kelly had never been to Paris before so our first stop was the Eiffel Tower and then on to the open air tour bus so he could quickly see the city.

When only music was coming though our earphones we were drifting off to sleep being lulled to the land of dreams by the warm breeze in our face, music in our ears and the hum of the bus.

As soon as we could check into our hotel at 2pm we headed back for a quick nap and then on to dinner.

We walked a few blocks to La Fontaine de Mars.

We were early enough we didn’t need reservations and we were still pinching ourselves that we were in Paris…together.

Just like all meals in France it was long and leisurely.

It was perfection.

After dinner we walked back to the Eiffel Tower and found our place on the green.

We were waiting along with many for the hourly sparkle to begin.

The weather couldn’t have been any better as we walked back to our hotel {Grand Hotel Leveque}.

That first night I opened our large windows in our room.

No screens and as large as doors.

Below we could hear the busy cafes and the random loud laughs.

We could hear the clinking glasses and the shuffling of the waiters clearing the tables.

To our surprise we were able to see the top of the Eiffel Tower and we still enjoyed the hourly twinkling lights.

A trip that my husband came on to please me would soon change him and he would fall in love with France too.

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Back from France {Giveaway Winners Announced}

This is my first day back home after being in France for the past two weeks.

I feel like I am coming out of a France fog.

It is really hard to believe what I just go to experience and that so many people that I love helped make it possible.

My mom drove from Illinois to watch our children for the week my husband was with me and my sister helped with the business.

I am currently starting to go through all the photos I took, all the vintage treasures I found for the shop and digesting the sweet memories I made with my husband in Paris and Tracey in Normandy.

I am posting my iphone photos on Instagram if you can’t wait for all the photos on the blog:-)

You can find me under Jeanneoliver.

I will be starting a series on my Facebook business page that will have “30 Days of France”.

Each day I will share a new photo from my trip to France.

You can also now follow Tracey from French Larkspur on her new business page and see her “30 Days of France”.

Two weeks ago I had the giveaway on the blog for 10 spots for Creatively Made Home {Creating a home that reflects your heart in everyday living}.

This is my brand new e-course that is being co-hosted with four of my very creative and talented friends!

If you haven’t signed up yet we would love to have you.

The course will begin October 22!

Here are the ten winners for the course…..

Kelley Mikus

Tracy Hankwitz

Beth Cole

Karen Taylor

Poor Aunt Edna

Lee Ann

Lori Moon

Marietta Warkentin

For My Madeline

Julie Sopha

If you are one of the above winners please email me at jeanneoli@hotmail.com with your email address.

Congratulations to the winners and to everyone that entered and shared about the course.

You can register for the course HERE or just click below.

I will be back this week with the first peek into my time in France.




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Easy Instagram Tips {filters and so much more}

I love my Canon 5D Mark ii.

I really do.

I have been cheating on it for awhile now though and I am not ashamed.

I use the inferior camera on my iphone everyday and I use Instagram to document our days.

It is not just the ease of Instagram that has me hooked but all the awesome apps that you can purchase to instantly change your photos.

That whole instant thing is pretty fun and convenient.

I thought before my trip I would share with you all some of my favorite camera phone apps.

First of all is Instagram.

If you aren’t playing along I highly suggest it.

In a glance I can see the beautiful highlights of my friend’s days.

I catch more of our everyday with my iphone than I do with my big camera.

The Canon is awesome but…

It is big.

It is heavy.

Before I upload a photo to Instagram I really like to use one of the following apps (or even a combination of a few).

100 Cameras

This is so super easy.  You take a photo or upload one into the app and it gives you 100 options.  Pretty cool. Pretty easy.

I took a photo of one of my clock collections and here are three examples of what you can do…

Finger Focus

I like this app because unlike Instagram and some of the other focus choices….this one actually only focuses where you drag your finger.

Very cool and nice for when you want to highlight more than a circle or rectangle like some of the other apps.

(fyi..this is a work in progress so she looks a little scary right now:-))

Histamatic

This is just a fun app!  It will instantly make your photos look like an old Histamatic phone..duh.

I guess I didn’t have to explain that one.

Scratch Cam

You would think the name would explain this one but I will go ahead and explain anyways.  I am awesome like that.

You have tons of overlays that will give your photo an aged and scratched up look. Tons of options and your results can be surprising and beautiful.

I just took a quick photo to show you.  I am sorry for the photo…end of the day and not looking too styling!

Aren’t these effects so cool!?

iDarkroom

I use this one a lot!  Lots of control over the photo and also so fun effects.

I use iDarkroom when I really want a high contrast like in a black and white.  I find that other apps don’t do B&W justice.

You can also add bokeh to your photos like this…

Pic Stitch

I don’t do a lot of collages…probably because they take longer than the average 2 seconds I like to take on my photos:-)

When I do collages this is the app I use.

Typolnsta

This is the app I use to add text. Lots of font, color, sizing choices etc. and really fast and simple.

I am sure there are a million apps out there for text but this is the main one I use.

8mm

This is not a photo app but I wanted to include it anyways because I love it and…why not?

This is a fun and fast way to take video and make it look old.  Lots of choices and really easy.

I have even used it to make artsy videos for my e-courses.

I have an iphone so my links are iphone related descriptions but most of these are available for different phones.

I have tried LOTS of apps and these are my favorites and the ones I use the most.

I would love to hear what you use!

I promise to use the Canon in France:-)

{I can’t promise that I won’t be giving daily updates with the iphone though:-)}

6 more sleeps until France!

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