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Tuesday 15 October 2013

The story of O and Jean and me and magic

This is Jean, Jean Thilmany. Doesn't she look great?

Check out that colour combo - red booties, orange bag, green dress, patterned cover-up, with a hint of crazy socks and tie belt. Note too the pink flamingo. Jean has got Style! But Jean is not a style blogger (at least not yet) - I requested the photo from her, which she valiantly had taken by a family member.

I met Jean through my partner O, who met her by way of Bag and a Beret. It's a complicated story but a perfect illustration of how extraordinary and unexpected positive change in your life can come from blogging.

A couple of months ago, out of the blue, Jean sent O an email which precipitated an intense flurry of emails between them. As a highly mature, open-minded, sophisticated, sensible, loving (and modest) partner, and with the aid of some Kobayashi-technique meditation sessions, I was quite happy to let their relationship run its course, and even encourage it BECAUSE -

- Jean is a writer. She stumbled across O's art website after dropping by Bag and Beret (there's a link to his site under my banner) while perusing +40 style blogs. O's art captivated her. She wrote O to ask him if he would be interested in being interviewed for an article in New-York based Mechanical Engineering magazine, where she is Associate Editor. It is published by ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers).

Well...Gaaa! After working in relative solitude for years, O and I had been wondering how we could introduce his work to the art world, engineers, and people who enjoy the poetry of small quiet things, which O specializes in. Our jaws dropped when we found out that Jean's focus for the piece would be about the marriage of art and engineering.

Just to give you an idea of the kind of work O does, below are a few of his latest pieces. The first is a solid gold chess set of 18K yellow and white gold on a stainless steel board, 3.8mm X 3.8mm, probably the smallest in the world in its category.

The stainless steel chess board below, 0.95mm X 0.95mm, is barely visible even on the head of a pin. And O is going even smaller... I call it magic. More than skill, if you don't believe you can do it, O tells me, you will definitely fail.

Jean's article, "Artist's Eye ME's Creation," came out in the October issue of Mechanical Engineering magazine, which is viewable online only by ASME members and in print by subscribers, but with Jean's permission we have posted a PDF of the article here. We couldn't have imagined a more perfect and timely public launch.

I contacted Jean after publication to thank her and invite her to take a bow on Bag for the incredible and unexpected positive impact she has made on our lives, knowing she enjoys reading style blogs. Here's what she said about her style in her email to me:
I'm a thrifter, of course. And have a huge collection of stuff thrifted almost since high school. I do cull, but some of it I just can't get rid of. I like to grab the first thing that comes to hand in the morning and then make an outfit around that. I've pretty much been dressing the same way since the time I discovered "grandpa sweaters" in high school. Never went to grunge, but did wear overly big shirts and skirts with too many layers in the 90s. That's about the only thing I've changed.
Here's another shot of Jean, self-portrait. I love that outfit with those shoes and socks. And check out that bling wall and mannequin hanger. At first I thought that was a wonky doorway but it's a mirror.

And that's my story, well, O's story, Jean's story, and my story, or just the beginning of it maybe. It's not my typical blog post, but I wanted to share this major event in my life with you. I was busy for a while updating O's website and my own art website where I have had to go TOTAL CHAOS to re-short my circuits, if that makes sense.

So keep on blogging my friends. You never know where it will lead! But then you already know that...


  1. Wow! Sweet serendipity. First off, my jaw crashed into my keyboard when you showed me O's art. They aren't really words to express my awe. Brilliant, simply brilliant. I agree, it's magic! And!, to read of the tangle of energetic threads coming together such as they have is magic too. Such a delight to see it happen. Three artists, meant to connect!!! Gives me goosebumps, and gives me hope! Bless you Melanie!!

  2. It never ceases to amaze me, the power of the internet.
    To people of our age most of us thought for years that the only people you'd meet on-line were scammmers and teenage geeks but since I started blogging I've made true friends.
    O's work is incredible! xxx

  3. fabulous post! Blog world is one of the most creative fabulous places i know! It lead me to a mental institution in remote Ukraine during a minus 30 degree winter once!! xxx

  4. What a cool story. And those miniature pieces are incredible.


  5. Fabuloua post, and art inspiration, my dear melanie.

  6. my necklaces hanging on the wall also

    cool! ;-)
    greetings from germany

  7. Serendipity-doo-dah! I'm so glad you've shared this story and Jean's style! She looks so cool, and I love that bling wall. O deserves to get wide recognition - as does your amazing art site!!!

  8. Oh how wonderfully splendid!! The good fairies must be showering you with magic dust. It is SO heartwarming to hear such good news, and to think it all came about "organically" as they say. In other words, you couldn't have planned it!

    Hugs, kisses and all best wishes,
    Rosemary from England of

  9. Feck me, it's amazing how connections are made, especially these days!
    Jean is indeed rather fabularse, and I'd really love to rummage in her wall of bling!!!
    O's work...OMG...almost defies words, it;s so amazing and intricate and teensy!!!!!

  10. So happy for O Mélanie, like Vix said the Internet is so powerful and goes beyond what we can't imagine yet!

    I know O's work, it's truly amazing
    I had a look at your website, i like it! It's you!

    this is why i didn't get an e-mail from you!

    Take care

    Big hugs and congrats to O!


  11. I've been a fan of O's art as long as I've been a fan of yours. I am so pleased that he is getting the attention that he deserves. Isn't it amazing the magical connections we make through the mysterious vibrations in the air? Your time is coming, Ms. Beret. I can feel it. I'm feeling those good la la....

  12. It is incredible how blogging enhances our life, particularly when blogosphere and real life come together. I love Jeans creative look and I am more than impressed and amazed by the miniatures (3,8 mm incredible too!)

  13. What a fabulous story! Not surprised, somehow, that blogging brought you all together. And how magical that O's work might thus be brought to the wider audience that it deserves -- through a post-40s style centre! Rock on, Ms. M!!

  14. Blogging is so cool this way! I read the article and love it that his wife (you!) is called out as an artist too. The chess boards are exquisite and Jean is super fab, what with her collections and thrifting and all. xx

  15. What a great story. The miniature is absolutely amazing in it's precise detail. Hope much becomes of this article!

    blue hue wonderland

  16. I love the collision of art, style, engineering, jewellery, literature and life.

  17. My dear friend, you have the eye of an artist.
    Have a lovely day.

  18. that is so amazing!, I had a look as I was intrigued over 'O''s art and then sat there, mouth open (so demure!)and astonished as I tried to figure out the scale of the pieces and how they are so beautifully made, you are right, there must be magic! I am absolutely chuffed for 'O' and this brilliant time for you both! and Jean is fabulous and makes me want to wear ankle socks (I love them!)x x

  19. Isn't it wonderful when the powers of the Internet can be harnessed for good, instead of evil ;) What a wonderful, serendipitous connection, and kudos to you for being the mature, supportive partner. O's work is truly astonishing, even more so when you read how he creates the pieces (a bow from a piece of his hair??!!). A great story!

  20. this is just SO COOL!! O's artwork is FREAKING amazing!!

  21. Yay me! And ya M and O. Now to start my own blog. Sigh. Must. Do. (As I sit here working in my pajamas).

  22. Ooh, I love tiny little creations!

  23. What a great story. How good to meet Jean, how utterly jaw-droppingly amazing is O's work, and how cool is blogging, when it means that brilliant paths cross like this. Fab. xxx

  24. I love the connection between people. The world and the possibilities has become so much bigger with our new technology. Thrilling to get such a chance to present your art (O) to the world.
    Three artists together... art is a whole new world to me.

  25. Fabbbbulous style! Love all of your colors and those red shoes ROCK!!!
    xoThe Beckerman Girls

  26. I've shown O's website to a few friends of mine, as I'm a fan of the both of you!

    I'm thrilled to pieces for you, and thank you for featuring another awesome thrifting style artist for me to follow. :D

  27. And then again we are reminded that the world is small and you can have these encounters that put you in a new direction. These connections are wonderful when then become more than just comments online. I'm so happy for you both. She's got great style, the chess set is mad! What skill and steady hand!

  28. FABULOUS and INSPIRING all the way around. I love this story from beginning to end. It is a testament to following your passion and art, letting the ripple effect take it's course, and letting love flow. Jean is a gem and I love her colors!! O's work is mind-bogglingly beautiful. You, my darling, are magical, talented, smart, and so very wonderfully full of Good Stuff.

    Congrats to you all. I hope this brings many more opportunities to share the joy. XXXOOO

  29. O's work is incredible. I'm trying to work out how he managed to get that chess set so small and so beautiful. It is amazing how life works - you just never know when something fabulous is about to happen. Love Jean's eclectic style - so glad you all connected xx

  30. Jean has wonderful style, and O's art is freekin awesome! How many angels can play chess on the head of a pin?

  31. Very nice, and unexpected, opportunity for you and O.

  32. A beautiful story, Melanie. Congratulations to the three of you. O's art is magnificent, and deserves this wonderful recognition.

    Blogging brings magic, connection and surprises that are life changing! What could be better?

  33. So many reasons why I love the internet, all embodied in your story. Thanks for sharing O's amazing creations!

  34. I feel honoured to have seen the magical loupe in person after seeing the utter works of art and skill that O has made.

    Fabulous article!

  35. This is a great post, thank you for introducing me to Jane :)

  36. I want to just reach into my closet and build my outfit around what I happen to pull out...but I'm scared! Now, that art is killer!!! What a wonderful connection...I will ask my mechanical engineer husband if he gets that magazine!


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