Sunday, October 30, 2016

An Abundant Life - The Golden Touch

One day a few weeks ago I felt led to walk down 36th Street in Manhattan. As anyone who knows me would know, since I was born again I call that a leading of the Spirit, but once upon a time I would have said it was the Universe or a hunch or intuition - whatever you call it, it's that feeling you have that you have to do something that you don't quite understand and may even be a bit out of your way, but you get the feeling that if you don't follow that feeling, you'll miss out on something great. About halfway through the block, I saw a sign outside a very industrial loft building that there was a jewelry sale inside. The name of the designer was very familiar to me, and though I couldn't quite place her, I knew that this was the place I was supposed to go. When I walked through the door there was another sign leading me to the elevator and up to the 7th Floor and into Olga Kvitko's studio. The sweetest and loveliest of women welcomed me, asking me if I wanted to sit down and offering to take my coat, and somehow I felt transported to a fairy tale. The weather was cooler than it had been, with a brisk chill in the air, but it was cozy inside, and Olga was so welcoming that I would have stayed all afternoon if I hadn't needed to get on my way home. I told her I wrote a blog and posted on Instagram, and offered to take some photos of the jewelry - the pieces were lovely and obviously chosen by someone with a passion and eye for design and beauty. She told me that she didn't design the jewelry, but that she chose it to work well with her clothing designs. All around the studio were some of the most lovely gowns, for weddings and formal occasions and those times when we want to really dress up. There were also less formal dresses and designs, but each piece was so exquisitely made that it would make you feel like a princess or queen.

As we talked I saw a resume on the table, and as I looked at it marveling at the top publications her gorgeous designs had appeared in and the amazing top designers this sweet humble woman had worked with, I saw an address in Hoboken, and then I remembered. A few years ago I had walked into her shop in New Jersey on another Spirit led walk. At the time I didn't know that she was the designer and maker of all the beautiful things I saw that day. I knew she had great taste, and that her store was delightful, but I didn't know that she had designed and hand stitched many of the pieces herself. I could go on and on in raptures about the skill that Olga has - there are so few people in the world today who bother to take the time to create couture pieces. The stitching can take days and sometimes weeks, and the fabrics, though exquisite, can be so difficult to work with and so costly that there is no room for mistakes. But the fact of it is, that once you have had a piece of clothing made to order, it fits you in a way that nothing else can. The hand stitching, so time consuming, is felt every day that you wear it, in the way that the cloth drapes and falls and gives you confidence that you are looking and feeling your best. Visit with Olga, either in Manhattan or Hoboken. You will be making an appointment you will not regret.

Olga Kvitko
In One Of Her Gorgeous Creations
225 West 36th Street #707, NYC
 60 4th Street, Hoboken, New Jersey
(973) 978-7384


Hands Of Gold

Designs To Live In

I met Paul Fitzgerald of Urban Consign and Design at the Hoboken Arts And Music Festival in September. I had heard of him long before that, because people who know I love art and design had told me there was someone very special who had a store somewhere near Observer Highway. I am in that area often, as I walk that way when I am going to Newport or along Grove Street or further over to other areas near Exchange Place or Harsimus Cove when I am taking even longer walks, but somehow I had never seen Urban Consign And Design. Then one day after meeting Paul, when I was on my way across Observer Highway, I thought, let me see what's just on the next corner, and I walked just a block out of  my way to find the most lovely store and lovely Paul D. Fitzgerald who owns it. Urban Consign And Design is a feast for the eyes, and a rest for the weary. An oasis on a very busy street and corner, you can lose yourself in beautiful design pieces and fall in love with that one special piece or many. Eclectic and classic, mid-century modern, antiques, refurbished, newly made, hand designed with love. It's all there living happily and harmoniously together, creating a joyous and celebratory atmosphere you'll want to come home to. Paul also supports local artists and designers, and features their work in his showroom. It's one stop shopping for all your design and art needs.

Urban Consign And Design
Paul D. Fitzgerald
650 Newark Street
Hoboken, New Jersey
(201) 710-5075

Gorgeous Handcrafted Lighting Designs
Created By James Barricella of Lionworks Designs

Stunning Knobs And Pulls From Sean R. Baumbach of SRBGlassCraft
Who I Wrote About In These Pages A Few Weeks Ago

A Peaceful Corner To Delight In And Watch The Busy World Go By


Jannie Susan

Sunday, October 23, 2016

An Abundant Life - A Season Of Harvest

A few weeks ago I wrote about the wonderful store, Cheese + Wine Hoboken. At the time I mentioned that the gorgeous owner Victoria has regular events in the store and around town, and now it's time to whet your appetite even more by describing some of the wonders I've discovered since I walked through those golden gourmet doors.The space is so lovely and inviting, and the smell of the fresh foods and cheeses intoxicating. Add to that mix some carefully curated pairing events with experts in the fields of fine wine, food and cheese, and you'll find yourself in a living dream. At the first event I attended, a wine and cheese pairing with the excellent Leigh Friend of Food Matters Again sharing information about her choices for the cheese selection and John Kafarski from David Bowler Wine sharing tips about his selection of fabulous wines, from the first bite of delectable cheese and sip of ambrosia-like wine, I was transported to Paris and some of the most memorable times I have had there. Two weeks later, I attended a Fall Wine & Food Pairing presented by The Hoboken Wine Group with hosts Julie Hartigan, Professional Chef and Recipe Developer and Tom Kobylarz, WSET Level 3 Certified founding member of that group and also of consulting company Wine Solutions. The selection of food and wine and the taste combinations were exquisitely delectable, and the hosts so informative and knowledgeable, inventive and charming that it was a privilege to spend time with them. Stop by to check the schedule and watch the website for updates. The reservation list fills quickly for these popular events, so make yours early.

Cheese + Wine Hoboken
The Wines Of The Cotes du Rhone Region In France
Wine And Cheese Pairing
With Leigh Friend From Food Matters Again And John Kafarski From David Bowler Wine
Complimented By Lovely Arrangements From Christina Andersen Floral Designs
And Fine Breads From Choc O Pain French Bakery

 Fall Wine & Food Pairing
Presented By The Hoboken Wine Group
With Hosts Julie Hartigan, Certified Trained Chef And Tom Kobylarz, WSET Level 3 Certified

Sharing A Harvest Of Caring

Last March I wrote about the wonderful organization Handbags Of Hope and an event I attended that had been organized by the founder, the effervescent Erika Hernandez. I had the opportunity to attend another event last weekend in support of Breast Cancer Awareness, a beautifully planned afternoon of sharing and caring and support and empowerment. There were so many wonderful speakers and people involved and I will only show a few here - follow Handbags of Hope and find out all the details - you'll be blessed to know what they're doing and be a part of their journey.

Handbags Of Hope
Belles In Pink
At The Culinary Conference Center
Hudson County Community College, Jersey City, New Jersey

Founder Erika Hernandez, Stunning As Always
Shares Life Affirming Messages

With The Gorgeous Cocktail Vixens
Mixologists Extraordinaire

Dr. Garret Wirth Enlightens and Informs

Anita Kopacz, Editor In Chief of Heart & Soul
Takes Us On A Guided Meditation

Beauty And Smiles Abound


Jannie Susan