Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Where It's All At: Mom Fuse

So one day I'm tweeting away on and happen upon a tweet from the owner/creator of looking for someone to review their site. Having only quickly scanned the site in the past, I decided it looked interesting enough to take on the task of writing a review. After "researching" the site for a few weeks, a/k/a perusing all its helpful, informative features, I must say that this is one of the best sites for Moms that I have seen on the web. Their tagline is "for moms. by moms." and they couldn't have described their site any better. Moms everywhere will find useful information on everything from recipes to crafting to beauty tips. I will opine briefly on some of my favorite categories the site has to offer, but this list is in no way meant to be exhaustive as this site offers ALOT! And I do mean ALOT!

1. "Fab Finds." The title says it all! The site's 'mommy' reviewers search out some of the best deals out there on the hottest fashions, nursery decor and gifts, and electronics, just to name a few. I think it's safe to say that if it's fab, they'll find it!

2. "Recalls." This feature lists recently recalled items due to safety concerns. Contact information for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and, in some instances details on a specific store, are also listed. Check out this page before purchasing that toy your little one's been asking for.

3. "Featured Recipes." As a mom, I'm always on the lookout for new recipes that hold my kids' interest at mealtime. Here you will find everything from quick-fix suppers to decadent desserts to holiday-specific treats. At the time of this post, Easy Mochaccino Cupcakes adorn the home page and were looking so yummy I was almost tempted to lick my monitor. Almost. :)

4. "Reviews." I don't know how they did it, but Mom Fuse found some of the best mommy reviewers around. These incredible ladies review a vast array of products such as books, clothing, toys, and video games. I found the reviews to be helpful and informative....these mommies definitely know what they're talking about!

5. "Just For Kids." This is a really fun feature for the little ones. There's crafts and recipes that will turn any youngster into a budding artist or chef. I even found a great article on this page on organic food choices for baby and toddler from Plum Organics.

6. "Pregnancy." OK, I have no intention of getting pregnant again ever, but if I did, this is one page I'd put at the top of my bookmarked list. Geared toward pampering the mom-to-be, this feature's only writer (as far as I can tell), Nicole Ibarrando, offers up some innovative finds. My favorite: Utterly Yours Pregnancy Pillow. If only I had known about this pillow when I was pregnant!

7. "Beauty." I'm sure any Mom would agree, it's a little hard to feel even remotely beautiful when there's a glob of baby spit-up in your hair or a toddler's chocolate handprint on your cheek. The writers at Mom Fuse found some lovely little products to help keep you looking and feeling beautiful while enduring the messes that go along with having little ones.

I have only touched on the many wonderful features this site has to offer Moms. There's also contests and tips on money and parenting. There's even a spot for mompreneuers to promote their business, and Mom Fuse has advertising opportunities which are an inexpensive way to get your business seen by a vast audience (the site receives 600-1000 visitors per day and averages 6000+ unique visitors per month).

You really need to see for yourself why this is the only site you'll ever need when looking for mom-related resources. I could sing the praises of Mom Fuse all day long for a week straight. Seriously, the site is that good.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Discover This: "Beautifully Wrapped" ~ Cecile's Chenilles

The next featured artist in the Discover This series is Cecilia Brown of Cecile's Chenilles. Cecilia spent twenty years making props and working the "Art Department" of the film business. Unable to keep her hands still after retiring, she went back to painting and crafts. Fortunately for us, those busy hands have created some of the most beautiful shawls around!

One of her (and my) favorite products are these silk/cotton/blend shawls which Cecilia makes by hand, and it's apparent she has plenty of fun choosing just the right fabrics and colors. You won't be disappointed with the workmanship, or the prices, either. If you're looking for that really outstanding gift or need a wedding or special occasion wrap, then look no further than Cecile's Chenilles. These 70"-80" long shawls are gorgeous and finely sewn. Each features silky or glass bead fringe.
This beauty offers deliciously creamy chiffon checks on one side and crisp white cotton on the other. Great for a wedding, formal event, or prom, this shawl would beautifully compliment an outfit of pure white, cream, or pale pastel. Each end has intricate machine made crochet with long fringe. The fabrics are cotton, polyester, silk and cotton crochet.

White and Cream Chiffon with Crochet and Lace Shawl

The olive green paisley side of this 80" shawl is 100% silk. The other is a combination of fine cotton with a rayon leaf print insert. Gorgeous 6" silky trim in black. Cecilia says this shawl is "great for redheads and anybody else who loves those warm earthy greens." Measures about 18" wide.

Olive Green and Black Silk/Rayon Shawl

Last, but by no means least, is this stunning shawl featuring an overall red tiny-flowered pattern on front and back in vintage chiffon. This shawl is quite wide. It can be folded in half lengthwise (as can any of Cecilia's shawls) to make a narrow wrap across the back, then drape and let it open out at the hems. Bright red and silky fringe completes this wrap. Cecilia says this shawl is "more fun than elegant."

Red Millefleur Chiffon Shawl with Red Fringe

For more information, including pricing, on these and all of Cecilia's beautifully handcrafted shawls, please visit her online shop at

I would like to extend a special thank you to Cecilia for allowing me to showcase her luxurious shawls.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Get Stoned! First in the "Discover This" Series

I am very proud to present "Discover This," a special series here on the JMO blog where I will be showcasing undiscovered artists that can be found on as well as other places on the web.

First up is Marni, a very talented Midwestern artist who describes herself as a "self-taught mixed-media craftsperson. " Says Marni: "I have always loved creating things, from crafts to cooking. I take inspiration from many places, especially nature, to come up with my creations. I'm lucky enough to have a husband that enjoys the same things I do and supports me in all my endeavors." And JMO feels very lucky to have discovered her! Her designs are eye-catching and functional.

Take these Salt and Pepper Shakers with Purple Glass Gems for instance. Standing approximately 4" tall, they are embellished with violet glass gems, wire, and violet glass beads and would make an elegant addition to any table. They are sturdy enough to be used outside for a picnic or backyard bar-b-que, or inside for that fun dinner party. Marni can also make them in your choice of colors!

Or this Red Stained Glass Candleholder with polished Stone Cabachon. Marni created this asymmetrical candleholder using beautiful red stained glass and a polished agate cabachon. The stained glass sits atop a removeable metal stand that holds a tea light candle. Imagine the candlelight playing off the red glass, creating a captivating visual display! The glass piece itself is approximately 4 inches at it's widest point by 5 1/2 inches tall. Sitting on the stand, it is 6 1/4 inches tall.

And this Stained Glass Planter Charm/Suncatcher with polished Jasper Cabachon is a true work of art! Marni created this unique piece for use in potted flowers, houseplants or small container gardens. It can also hang in a window or from your vehicle's rear view mirror. She took a piece of stained glass, foiled and soldered the edges, and attached decorative wire, glass beads and/or charms. A beautiful polished Jasper Cabachon has also been attached to the glass. Use this piece outside in warmer weather, then during cooler months bring inside to add beauty and charm to the home. The charm is approximately 8” long (including beaded hanger & tassel) and 1 ½” wide. A hand-made wire shepherd’s hook is also available upon request.

For more information, including pricing, on these and all of Marni's beautiful creations, please visit her online shop at All of her designs would make wonderful and unique gifts for yourself, your friends, or your loved ones.

A special thank you to Marni for allowing me to feature her gorgeous works of art here on my blog.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ohhh Baby!

What's soft, stunning, and oh so cuddly? A baby blanket from Jean May Originals, that's what! Perfect as a baby shower gift, my blankets are crocheted using the softest yarns in designs exclusive to JMO and are sure to become any child's favorite "blankie." Alot of love is weaved in with every stitch and the finished piece is a beautiful, handmade creation that will, with proper care,* provide warmth and comfort for years to come. My baby blankets can also be used as a lapghan by older children or adults in the home.

Baby Blanket in Buttercup

Baby blankets can be crocheted in a wide range of colors to complement any nursery. The blankets in the photos shown here were crocheted using the softest cotton yarn I have found so far. Due to the possibility of skin sensitives in infants, I prefer to use cotton yarn but will use an alternative fiber on occasion. This is my own personal design; I followed no pattern to create this item. Finished piece measures approximately 34"W x 38"L but size can vary depending on the yarn and/or hook used and whether or not I have my tape measure handy when the piece is started!

Baby Blanket in Sage (wrapped and ready for gift giving)

Prices start at $35 excluding shipping charges. To place a custom blanket order, please send your inquiry to I strongly recommend that at least 3 color choices are provided and listed in order of preference. You will receive a reply email within 48 hours. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery from the date your order is placed. Expedited orders will incur additional charges. All orders are shipped neatly folded and wrapped with ribbon. (Ribbon will vary from that shown in the above photo.)

Thanks for visiting, and have a wonderful day!~Jean

*Machine wash warm, delicate cycle, using mild detergent. Lay flat to dry, or tumble dry on low.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Welcome To The Official Blog of JMO!

Hello, and thanks for stopping by the official blog of Jean May Originals! Let me start things off by giving you a little background information about me.

I'm a widowed mom of 2 boys, 1 girl, 1 dog, 2 cats & 3 goldfish residing in Chicago's south suburbs. Legal assistant by day (for now, anyway!) and indie jewelry/crochet designer by night. I've been designing for about five years now and have really grown creatively in that time. I started out making simple bracelets for myself, but when ladies started buying them right off my wrist I decided to turn my fun little hobby into a business. Soon necklaces and earrings were added to the mix, custom orders came rolling in, and Jean May Originals was born.

About two years into the business I decided I wanted to give customers more variety, and that's when the crocheting began. Again, I started with very simple pieces such as wrist cuffs and basic belts. Customers started asking for more specific items, such as beaded belts, beaded caps, and certain poncho styles. From that point on, whenever I'd pick up a hook and some yarn, I'd just let my creativity fly. Now you never know what JMO will come up with next. An up-and-coming trend seems to be combining yarn and strips of fabric crocheted together, so be on the lookout for my first design using these two mediums. Currently on my crochet hooks are a few custom orders--baby blankets, mittens, and hats--so I've been happily crocheting like a madwoman the last few weeks and wouldn't have it any other way! One of these days I'm going to try my hand at crocheted cool that will be to combine my two loves!

So that's me, at the moment, in a nutshell. My creative world is always evolving, so be sure to visit regularly for all new and informative updates!

Wishing you all the best~~Jean

Photos: Top left, Fall Mosaic Bracelet; Bottom center, Triangle Shawl in Blue Mint. For ordering info, please send inquiry to