Tuesday, November 30, 2010

art walk - this friday, december 3

Twice a year, the art galleries and specialty boutiques of downtown Canandaigua host Art Walk, a wonderful evening to stroll Main Street and discover Canandaigua's cultural treasures. JOOLZ has been part of Art Walk since we were the new guy on the block. Now three and a half years later, we're one of the seasoned veterans.

We try to book our evening's guest artist as early as we can. This time was no different, but when the artist canceled on us with only a few weeks to go, we had to scramble. Hoping against hope, we contacted Kerry Bogert, a lampwork and wire work artist who was our guest artist during a prior Art Walk. We explained the situation to her, she checked her calendar and said YES! We're thrilled.

Kerry will be demonstrating both her lampwork and her wire work, will be bringing copies of her best-selling book, Totally Twisted, with her and has been hard at work in the studio creating new work just for this evening.

It's going to be a fun evening and a great opportunity to find unique holiday gifts. Kerry will be with us from 4-7pm. Hope to see you then.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

happy thanksgiving!

The day before Thanksgiving is full of prep work for the big day. At our house we're working on making some yummy apps - our contribution to the family feast this year. Thanks to Cousin P., we'll be relaxing and stuffing ourselves with some of this fabulous bounty:

(image by Ree Drummond)

Best wishes to you all for a wonderful Thanksgiving Day, wherever you are. We are so thankful for your friendship and support.

Monday, November 22, 2010

JOOLZ featured in canandaigua magazine

The winter issue of Canandaigua Magazine arrived today and is full of shopping ideas for everyone in the area. While we were on our trip in October, the writer and then the editor of the magazine contacted me to learn about what JOOLZ might have to offer for the holiday shopper. I was happy to share some ideas with them...and am pleased to see that my info has been included in its entirety. In fact, even one of the several images I sent them has also been used in the story. Nice press for the store and nice press for Canandaigua's Main Street, which offers so many unique stores for a one-of-a-kind shopping experience.

This is the left-side opening page of the story, showing many of the yummy treats at Sweet Expressions, our local chocolatier:

Here is the right-hand page, the first of three pages covering downtown Canandaigua:

And this is the section the writer, Nancy McCarthy, included about JOOLZ:
If you live in the area, pick up a copy of Canandaigua Magazine for yourself. It's chock full of good ideas for the holidays and also includes a great article about our "cousin", Leslee Schenk Trzcinski, and her new yoga studio for high-performance athletes.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

sarah berardi trunk show

When I visited the Clothesline Festival in early September, I was delighted to meet Sarah Berardi of Grazia Jewelry, the Merit Award winner in jewelry this year. Sarah works with precious metals and gemstones, creating regal and elegant joolz that are feminine and very wearable. Originally from the Buffalo area, Sarah has recently lived and worked in New York City, fabricating her work in her Tribeca studio. Today she brought a collection of her work to JOOLZ for a holiday trunk show.
Sarah and her mother, Grace, spent the day with us and introduced her charming designs to our customers. We enjoyed every minute of their visit. Thanks, ladies!

Monday, November 15, 2010

entertainer of the year

Over the past several years, the music played at our house has morphed into constant country. Thanks to DirecTV playing satellite radio, Larry tunes in to all country-all the time stations from morning to night. I am learning to like it through osmosis. Most of the songs have melodies and words I can understand, but I'm not crazy about all the messages. For example, who can get revved about a big green tractor? Oh yes - my husband! He'll ride HIS big green tractor while mowing our 3 acres and sing along with his iPod at the top of his lungs. Good thing he has a good voice, cuz everyone driving down our country road can hear him.

We had to watch the CMA Awards the other night on TV and Brad Paisley won Entertainer of the Year. Larry was in heaven, because he had purchased tickets for us to see Brad in Rochester just a few nights later. We were going to be seeing Country Music Royalty!

(photo by Brady Dillsworth, Democrat & Chronicle)

The Blue Cross Arena was virtually sold out and the fans were psyched. Justin Moore and Darius Rucker opened for Brad...and then there he was. The stage was huge and the digital graphics were amazing..

We had great seats - second row, just one section away from the stage. And there was a runway right in front of us. Brad was not even 6 feet away:

I took this closeup of his guitar from the big screen. His finger work is just amazing...

He never left the stage during the entire show, had boundless energy and a great sense of humor:

We enjoyed every minute of it and loved our great seats. Thanks, Brad - you well-deserve your Entertainer of the Year award!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

here comes the judge

This past summer I was a judge at Sonnenberg's Arts at the Gardens, which you can read about here. Even before that event, I was also asked to be a judge at this weekend's Canandaigua Christkindl Market, benefitting the Granger Homestead. I told Suzanne, the show's director, that I wanted to see how the first Judgment Day went before committing to another. My time at Sonnenberg was fun and a good learning experience. I decided I would do it again in November and told Suzanne to put me on the roster.

Now in its 4th year, Christkindl Market takes over the front lawn of the historic Granger Homestead on Canandaigua's North Main Street. The Federal-style home of Postmaster General Gideon Granger is a beloved landmark and historic house and carriage museum. Monies raised at the event help to maintain and improve the house and its grounds.

Gigantic tents are erected on the front lawn and house over 100 craftsmen and food vendors. While the European Christkindl markets, upon which Canandaigua's event is fashioned, are out in the open, the local organizers decided it would be too much uncertainty and stress to hold a craft show outdoors in mid-November. The giant tents are heated and lighted and make for a very comfortable setting:

Many familiar faces were seen, including Linda Connor Cass, one of our favorite jewelers who has her work at JOOLZ. This is Linda's last big show before Baby #2 arrives in 8 weeks:

Another familiar face was Scott Mackey, who with his partner, Don Stevens, owns Wick-edly Sent Soap and Candle Company, located on Canandaigua's Main Street:

(photo by Don Stevens)

Canandaigua award-winning doll artist Nancy Wiley also won the Toys and Dolls award at Christkindl Market. Known internationally for her exquisite handcrafted dolls, Nancy has also written a book which features images of her dolls telling the story of Alice in Wonderland.

Our group of three judges, all involved in the arts in Canandaigua, was thrilled to be able to present the Best of Show award to Canandaigua goldsmith Eileen Quinn DelDuca. Her work is superb and the award is well-deserved:

It was a good day and lots of fun. Thanks to Suzanne for asking me to be part of the judging team and for the opportunity to meet and learn about so many delightful exhibitors. I went back on Sunday to do a little shopping and was able to get a few things from some vendors who caught my eye on Friday. That 1.5 pounds of fudge will be gone within a nanosecond!! Meanwhile, Suzanne sat for a minute to chat with me before I left and she's still smiling. She should be - it was a beautifully organized and produced show. Congratulations, dear friend!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


The online version of the local newspaper is running a poll to determine the Best of Ontario County and JOOLZ shows up in the jewelry store category. We'd love to be the top choice and hope you will VOTE for us! It's open to everyone, near and far, but you can only enter once. Even if you're not familiar with the other Ontario County businesses, you will need to choose one in each category or the poll will not allow you to continue. Take a stab at it, but VOTE for JOOLZ. Thanks!

Tomorrow I will be VOTING as one of the judges at the Granger Homestead's Christkindl Market. Report to follow...

Friday, November 5, 2010

france - days 13 + 14

Our last day in Paris was going to be chock full. We started off with a guided tour of the Musee d'Orsay, an old train station that had been converted into a superb museum. Now home to a fabulous collection of post-1830 French art, I was looking forward to seeing the Impressionist paintings, and more from Monet. Unfortunately, there was a large retrospective exhibit of Monet's work at another site, and the Orsay had lent out all but 3 of their Monets.

The large clock of the train station stands high above the museum's 3 floors of exhibits:

I was happy to get that shot before I saw the sign saying photos were prohibited. Regardless, it was a delightful visit and almost satisfied my need to see more from the Impressionists. Now if only those Monets had been there...
After the morning tour, we were on our own. We had tickets to the Louvre, the world's #1 ranked museum, which was right across the river. We crossed on a nearby bridge

and had this view of river boats on the other side:

We took a pedestrian tunnel under the nearby road and came up to find ourselves in the Jardin des Tuileries, the gardens surrounding the Louvre. There were lots of people in the gardens, jogging the trails, having picnics on the lawn and sitting in the many chairs provided throughout the park. We took advantage of the chairs and had a nice rest in the bright, warm sunlight. What a view!
Our prepaid tickets got us in a back door, so we only saw the I.M. Pei-designed glass pyramid from a distance.
One of my most vivid memories of that first trip to Paris was climbing up a huge staircase to see the Winged Victory. This time we approached her from a different direction, but I had to go down the stairs and look back up at her. As Yogi Berra would say, "it was deja vu all over again."

Another change at the Louvre is that Mona Lisa now has her own room and is positioned behind bullet-proof glass. The room was crowded with tourists and everyone had to raise their arms to get a photo (which is allowed in the Louvre - go figure) of Mona. One of our fellow travelers raised her arms to take a shot, with her bag hanging from her arm. She discovered her wallet was missing 10 minutes later and called her bank in Philadelphia immediately. The perps had already charged over $200 in perfume and had tried to get cash from an ATM (no PIN = no cash) when she called. A lesson learned...

We took a Paris city bus back to the Left Bank, but it stopped short of our destination and the driver turned to the passengers and said something very quickly. My French wasn't good enough to get it all, but the rest of the passengers exited the bus, so we did, too. Thank goodness we had taken that walking tour of the St. Germain des Pres area the day before. I knew where we were and was able to get us back to the hotel without too much trouble. It seems that the police had blocked the bus route for yet another demonstration, which we had to walk through to get "home."
For our last evening of the trip, we took a chartered boat ride down the Seine, enjoying a delicious meal and reliving the highlights of the trip with our fellow travelers. Along the way we saw Notre-Dame bathed in lights

and then came upon the Eiffel Tower lit up as well. Breathtaking.

On the dot of 9pm, the lights on the tower began to twinkle. It was a magical sight and the perfect ending to a wonderful trip.

Day 14 was an easy ride to Charles de Gaulle airport, where our plane (fully fueled) was waiting. We left early and arrived early in Toronto, where we caught a quick cab back to Lisa's studio to retrieve our car and lots of new Lisa Ridout joolz. There was no wait at all at the border and soon we were back home in our house on the hill.
Au revoir, France. Je t'aime, and I'll be back soon. I think I may have to schedule in an R&D trip to Paris every year. It was truly inspiring and I hope you enjoyed the ride along with me.

france - day 12

When I first saw Paris, I was 16 and traveling with my parents and younger brother. My memories of that trip are like images flashed on a screen for only a few seconds. This time around I wanted to savor every minute and when I saw this lightpost near Notre-Dame, I knew I was truly back in Paris.

Our first morning in Paris we were taken on a bus ride to see the main tourist stops of the city: the Opera House, where we had a group photo taken, Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Place de la Concorde, the Champs-Elysees, the Eiffel Tower and many sites in between. It was a whirlwind, but it gave us a good overview.

Notre-Dame is perhaps the building that epitomizes the history of Paris more than any other. Construction was begun in 1163 and continued for two centuries. A favorite of visitors to Paris, there had been recent terrorist threats, and we saw soldiers in the vicinity with rifles. Our guide said that soldiers had been stationed near all the main tourist stops for the last 3 weeks. Not a very comfortable feeling.

The bus stopped at the Place du Trocadero for a photo shot of the Eiffel Tower. The place was crawling with tourists and those out to rip them off. Street vendors were everywhere, as were young women claiming to be mute, who wanted you to read a petition they had. We just said no, but I imagine others would fall prey to the scam and while reading the petition, the girl's partner would swoop in, bump against the tourist and grab a wallet. That's the part of Paris I don't like!

In the afternoon we took a guided walking tour of St. Germain des Pres, the area on the Left Bank where our hotel was located. This is where the writers, artists, and intelligentsia of past generations lived and worked. Today it still is home to many art galleries and unique shops. Since many of the streets are old and narrow, FedEx has adapted their trucks to conform. Here is a unique pedi-truck, out for delivery:

It appears that Canandaigua's wonderful new shop, F. Oliver's, is doing so well that Penelope has expanded internationally, with her first European location. Even the window sign is in English:

If you want to "eat American" you can always get Le Big One, a hamburger of enormous proportions and enormous cost. When we were there, 15 euros was about $22. We didn't stop.

Where we did stop, later that evening, was at "A La Petite Chaise", a charming bistro which claims to be the oldest restaurant in Paris. At the suggestion of the hotel's concierge, we walked to the nearby restaurant to have dinner with another couple on the tour. I was seated on the banquette against the wall, with a good view of the small dining room.

I was startled and delighted to see an elegant, older couple enter the room. The lady took a seat on the banquette opposite me and I had an excellent view of her face. I knew immediately that it was Leslie Caron, the adorable "Gigi".

Now almost 80 years old, she is still beautiful and was quite animated during dinner. Another of our traveling acquaintances confirmed for me that it truly was Leslie Caron, and I heard snipets of Maurice Chevalier singing "Thank Heavens for Little Girls" in my head. It was the quintessential Parisian moment!

Continuing our quest, we both ordered the onion soup and both determined that it was THE BEST ONION SOUP WE HAVE EVER HAD. How could this day get any better?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

france - day 11

Feeling better on Day 11, I was ready to visit Giverny, the long-time home of Impressionist Claude Monet. But first we went to the city of Rouen, situated on the banks of the Seine River. We saw lots and lots of people walking with determination toward a common destination. There was going to be a large demonstration against the increased retirement age and it seemed that all the citizens of Rouen were enroute.

We, however, were enroute to the Cathedrale Notre-Dame. This Gothic masterpiece is dominated by the famous west facade, painted over 30 times, in different lights, by Claude Monet. We were shown where Monet had 3 different studios, each overlooking the cathedral from different aspects. Monet would move from one to the other, depending on which light he was painting.

We visited the interior of the church, known for its stained glass windows and cast iron steeple, and then exited through another portal which was also highly carved in the Flamboyant Gothic style:

We walked down the rue du Gros-Horloge (Big Clock Street), passing by this delicious tea and cakes shop:

Medieval and more modern buildings lined the street. We were told how to recognize the older buildings - in medieval times the building owners were taxed on the footprint of the building, so in order to get more space, they would build second and third stories that projected out from the footprint, thus avoiding increased taxes. The building on the right, below, is from medieval times; the one on the left is more modern.
The 16th century Gros-Horloge has a single hand, to tell the hour, and indicators for the day of the week and the phases of the moon. The street below is now only for pedestrians.
We walked down to the Place du Vieux Marche, the Old Market Square, where we saw the very modern (1979), dragon-like Church of Joan of Arc. In a sheltered courtyard was the spot where Joan of Arc was burned alive in 1431, having been tried and sentenced to death for heresy. She was 19 years old.
Then we were on our way to Giverny, the home of Claude Monet. A protege of Eugene Boudin of Honfleur, Monet was one of the most prolific painters of the Impressionist school, producing over 2000 paintings in his lifetime. As an art history major in college, I studied all the great masters. I liked some of them and disliked others. I LOVED Monet and the opportunity to see the spot where he painted so many masterpieces was truly thrilling for me.

Monet lived and painted at Giverny for over 40 years. Today, the gardens and his house are beautifully maintained by a charitable foundation, with admission fees helping to cover the enormous expense of taking care of the property. His lily pond was featured in many of his paintings...

as was his green Japanese bridge. Monet was highly influenced by Japanese woodblock prints, many of which are displayed in his nearby house. The photo below looks just like one of his paintings, but I actually took the picture. :)

We were there!

We left the lily ponds and wandered through the gardens on our way to Monet's house.

I couldn't believe I was seeing in real life what I had so often admired in museums or in art text books. I was in heaven!

Then our visit was over and we were on our way to our last stop, Paris.