WELCOME ! Here you will find Valerie Connelly's
Music, Books and Art.
NEWEST BOOK ADDTION:
GOOSH GOSH FROM THE LILAC KITCHEN
AND OTHER CHILDHOOD STORIES
COMPANION TO: The ART of Grandparenting
When a child says to a grandparent, “Tell me a story,” and adds the idea, “from your childhood,” the grandparent is blessed and (only gently) cursed at the same time. Suddenly, the young years of life flash in the mind, and the question is, “How can I tell him about that?" Well, nothing is more endearing. The challenge is to tell the stories with honesty, humor, and a gentle revelation about life. The window opens in the child’s mind, and the grandparent is more human, more real, more loving than ever before. I hope these stories are fun to read to your grandchildren, and that they get you started on telling your stories too!
GRAMMIE'S SONGS FOR KIDS:
COMPANION TO: The ART of Grandparenting
A collection of original, wimsical songs composed and performed by Valerie Connelly to reflect the day-to-day life experiences of children. Songs entitled: Carrots in my Bellybutton, Alligator Pool, Halloween, Swing, Swing I love to Swing, I Went for a Walk with Grammie Today, Go to Sleep Lullaby, Diamonds in the Grass and instrumentals that are fun for dancing and generalized movement are all child tested and approved. Great for teachers, parents and grandparents to play with children of all ages, pre-school through lower elementary grades.
Click on THE ART OF GRANDPARENTING cover for more info.
A collection of stories, humor and wisdom from several authors. Whether you are a soon-to-be, current, or seasoned grandparent, the author’s real life stories and experiences give you insight you can use. One of the things I particularly loved about this book is that it does not preach, but instead simply shares experiences others have had and how they overcame any obstacles they encountered. Tips and Tricks pages summarize useful ideas from each story.
Valerie is a lifelong musician and songwriter. She studied piano for seventeen years, vocal performance for five years, taught herself to play guitar, and started composing songs at fourteen. Her library contains hundreds of copyrighted songs. As a member of ASCAP since 1987, she writes regularly performs her new music.
IN THE VIOLET OF THE NIGHT (1969)
YESTERDAY'S CHILDREN (1987)
PICKIN' UP THE PIECES (1988)
NOTHING IS OURS BUT TIME(1992)
GRAMMIE'S SONGS FOR KIDS (2011)
TILL TOMORROW COMES (2012)
HER STORY (2013)
Valerie founded BlockArt Prints Inc, in the mid-1990’s, and created hundreds of custom-designed, hand-carved block printed images for greeting cards and note cards for Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo and Lincoln Park Zoo, American Express, NASCI, and many small and medium-sized businesses in the Chicago area. She patented the Glowbox.
Valerie calls her portfolio of paintings STRANGER IN THE WILDERNESS. Click on the ART Galleries menu to see the breadth of her paintings, and both originals and prints are available directly from the artist. Commissions welcome. She shows her work at ART a la CARTE in Cookeville, TN.
THE GLOWBOX --- an illuminated box with interchangable faces of BlockArt Prints images etched in gold and silver mirrored plexiglas. The images are one-of-a-kind, hand carved block prints etched by laser into the mirrored material. The soft light throws no shadows, bathing darkness with a soft glow that allows nighttime navigation of a room without having to turn on a bright light. Perfect for children's rooms as well, since there are no shadows to create strange shapes that can keep a child awake. Images for the holidays all year round, the seasons, florals, birds, animals, fish, scenes, and more. Available at www.glowboxgallery.com or use thecontact form on this site to order from the artist.
In 2003, Valerie founded Nightengale Press, now A Division of Nightengale Media LLC and has published over 150 titles so far. As a book publisher, she helps authors from all over the US, Canada, Australia and Europe bring their books to life, and if you want more information about this revolutionary publishing firm, go to www.nightengalepress.com or www.nightengalepublishing.com for more information. Also, Valerie is the author of four titles herself, two novels, two children’s books and a myth-busting guide to the book publishing industry. Her third novel NO TOMORROW is in due for publication in 2014.
Valerie taught English as a Second Language (ESL) in Togo, West Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. She earned her Masters Degree at Northwestern University in 1981, and taught French Language and Literature from 1974 – 2005 in public high schools, middle schools and community colleges in the north-suburban area of Chicago. She also taught ESL to immigrant adults in the early 2000’s. Students nominated her to the Who’s Who in Education five times during her teaching career. Phi Kappa Delta, honored her as Teacher of the Year with the OUTSTANDING EDUCATOR AWARD 2005, in Recognition for Extraordinary Dedication, Commitment and Service to Education.
Valerie traveled in France, Italy, England, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland, Spain, West Africa, and Iran. She joined the Peace Corps and lived in Togo, West Africa right after graduating from college. She designed the first curriculum and set up a school teaching ESL in Iran in the early 1970’s before the fall of the Shah. In 1981, she founded the non-profit Overseas Alliance to take American students to France on a month-long immersion language study program which she wrote and taught. Through Overseas Alliance more than eighty American youth met then President François Mitterrand, who was an acquaintance of Valerie’s from her college and Peace Corps years.