by Cate Murway
Bloomsdale, the Landreth family home, had the most amazing collection of trees in the United States – only Judge Field of Princeton and the Sargent family of Boston was in the same class. At one time, there were over 1200 species of deciduous [maple, birches] and evergreen trees, some of which are still living.
The D. Landreth Seed Company [since 1784] is the fifth oldest corporation in America, passionate in its quest for excellence in quality, service and innovation. Among its many historic claims is the fact that the company sold seed to every American president from George Washington to Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Ellen [variant of Helen, meaning “shining light”] Doak Winslow, Moorestown Friends ‘76/U of PA, a descendent of the Landreth clan, is still enamored with trees, but now she’s decorating them!
Her handmade Christmas tree ornaments “hang in the best of places”.
Ellen’s stunning ornaments have been displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. Similar signed original ribbon and glitz balls that will grace your holidays and make them sparkle for generations have been sold at “Primrose” and the “Haddonfield Floral Company”, “Victorian Thymes” in Riverton and various specialty shoppes in New Hope, PA.
Ellen will be profiled in Fall 2009 in Country Woman, the bimonthly magazine that reflects the diversity, strength and spirit of country women throughout North America.
“Holidays are joyful
Theres always something new”
She officially unveiled her newest holiday fanciful creations this fall that include an abundance of originality, ingenious efforts crafted by her loving hands with lace, delicate curly wire decoration, beadwork, tinsel, gems and other materials. She painstakingly makes each ornament herself! It makes her feel like a woman out of the 1800’s to be hand making beautiful things for Christmas!
She began crafting seasonal decoration to brighten her spirits and it’s become a blessing.
“They are made with a lot of love and you can’t instill that in people.”
Ellen only has 6 ornaments left at $45.00 apiece, so hurry!
She has lived in her toasty warm 1800’s 3 story meticulously kept family carriage house with lots of charm, “Glen Ellen” for the last nine years with her resident kitten, Heidi. Her home with the stately stone fireplace was part of the Beverly Edgewater Park 2000 Christmas House tour. Guests are immediately made welcome as she offers them chocolate chip walnut, “the best cookies on earth” and a mugful of Christmas eggnog.
“The lights on my tree
I wish you could see
I wish it every day…”
Talented Soprano Ellen, who shares her birthday with American singers/songwriters Harry [Forster] Chapin (1942 –1981) and Thomas Alan Waits (1949 -) sings at events at the Beverly National Cemetery and the Historic Riverfront Park in Beverly, NJ, as well as for the noon holiday teas at the 19th century columned Greek revival styled Smithville Mansion.
Baritone Robert Edwin of Cinnaminson, NJ, a member and past Secretary/Treasurer of the prestigious National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) is her voice teacher. As a singing teacher and a coach since 1975, he is able to teach her an integrated method that includes voice technique, repertoire development and performing skills, encouraging Ellen to discover and cultivate more of her own creative resources and artistic expression.
p.s. She sings “Merry Christmas Darling” on her cell phone!
“The Christmas rush is through
But I still have one wish to make
A special one for you
Merry christmas, darling…
Ellen is the youngest of 4 children born to the late Meta [Latin meaning “goal”] Florence Landreth Doak, Agnes Irwin School ’34, Wynnewood, whose hobbies were tennis and playing bridge and William C. [Bill] Doak, manager of his family's Philadelphia business. James Doak, Jr. & Co. was a proprietary firm in a substantial brick building that manufactured a variety of worsted yarns for men’s suits and fine carpets. During WWII, they produced material for the Army. Typical of the local textile manufacturer, their Kensington family business was long overshadowed by the historical attention to mass-production corporate enterprises. The region's textile hub was stilled in the 1960’s then ultimately burned down.
Her sister Jean was involved in architectural work in Berkeley, CA; Meta “MiMi” Pakenham lives in England and in Saint- Tropez, France; and her brother, William lives and works in Virginia. The family resided in a colonial home across from St. Mark Church on Radcliffe Street until they moved to NJ when she was 3 years old.
Ellen is back home often to historic Bristol on the Delaware to visit her Aunt “Char” who is “upbeat and a lot of fun”!
[She was the flower girl in Charlotte’s wedding].
Her grandparents, Florence [Swift] and David Landreth V had 4 children including Charlotte Swift Landreth-Melville and her mother, Meta. There was also her late godmother, Emily Mostyn Landreth and her Uncle David Landreth VI who died at the age of 13.
Ellen has actively participated in the Bristol Cultural & Historical Foundation functions for almost two decades.
“I really love Bristol and the old colonial homes on Radcliffe Street. It’s a wonderful place to live!”
In the early ‘80’s, Ellen, known as “the 1st Lady of Christmas” while she lived in the nation’s capitol, created decorative displays for the shoppes in the famously upscale Georgetown neighborhood district. She also provided striking decorations for the grand luxury Omni Shoreham Hotel and the premier Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, DC. The Smithsonian recruited her to design their tree with 60 1-foot wide French ribbon themed ornaments. She also had the opportunity to create whimsical holiday window displays for the flagship Saks Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Her talents earned her spots on 14 television stations!
She keeps the framed letters documenting proof that she has been recognized by royalty and former US Presidents, Reagan, Clinton [his featured bears playing saxophones] and Bush. She has also received commendations on behalf of the royal family from Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, Princes William and Harry and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.
She also adds her personal dimension to watercolor painting, makes a variety of imaginative wreaths and handcrafts ingenious decorations from eggshells.
Ellen’s relatives and ancestors were interior designers, architects and painters, as well as involved in the textile industry. She was always particularly talented in art and writing.
Impeccable craftsmanship bolsters her reputation for the enhancement of Christmas enchantment.
“It’s all inspired by the love of Christmas!”
“But every days a holiday
When I’m near to you”
This “Saturday's child works hard for a living” as the demonstrator and “sample lady” in the Edgewater Park Pathmark. She confirms that she “wins every sales contest”!
“Daily I feel frustrated and hopeless about how just about everyone I know or talk to has lost their depth and humanity”, Ellen wrote for a Burlington County Times article this last May. She possesses talent inclination and strength of character to make a real difference in the world and she realizes that one person can make a huge difference in this complex world of ours when one combines head and heart.
She has put her beliefs into action in many ways. Ellen worked as a Public relations officer in The National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC), widely regarded as the voice of American business in the Arab world and the premier portal to the United States for Arab commercial enterprises. She also collects money for the Salvation Army and volunteers for the Burlington Mall ministry, wrapping gift packages.
“Humans have lost their humanity because most of us aren’t deeply caring and thoughtful towards one another anymore.”
She is intensely grateful to her parents for her religious elementary school education at St. Mary’s Hall.
Ellen shared, “My Christ centered life has enabled me to rebound from any difficulties.”
In her insightful “Take time to smell the flowers” article, Ellen wrote, “Put love into living — send that loving card or make that call of support.
Think often of good people and good times. Realize how “rich in spirit'' we already are and light up your world!”
“We’re apart, thats true
But I can dream
And in my dreams
I’m christmasing with you”
Her favorite songs are love songs of the ‘40’s, show tunes and movie themes.
Preferred film? “Miracle on 34th Street”. “Christmas isn't just a day, it's a frame of mind!”
Great book? “Home” by Julie Andrews, the memoir that chronicles the actress and singer's days as a child star of British theater and her path to becoming Mary Poppins.
The best colors are dark velvet blue with silver.
Mashed potatoes and gravy are her ideal meal, that and the grilled boneless chicken breast at historic Bristol’s King George II Inn on the Delaware!
“I’ve just one wish
On this christmas eve
I wish I were with you
I wish I were with you
Merry christmas, darling
Happy new year too……”
[Italicized lyrics “Merry Christmas Darling”]
Ellen Doak Winslow
2 Cottage Ave
Edgewater Park, NJ 08010
Recommend a “Spotlight”: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Joseph S. Jaczko BORDENTOWN -
Joseph S. Jaczko, 70, passed away Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, at Compassionate Care Hospice in Trenton. Born in Trenton, he lived in the Bordentown - Roebling area all of his life. He worked for the Albert C. Wagner Youth Correctional Facility for 30 years, where he was awarded Officer of the Year. Joseph was a member of the Holy Assumption Catholic Church of Roebling and was an avid fisherman. Son of the late Joseph and Margaret Jaczko, brother of the late Betty Sukola and husband of the late Sharon E. Jaczko, he is survived by his beloved daughters, Denise Atchley and her husband, Roy, of Plumsted and Michele Lefever and her husband, Robert, of Pompton Plains, NJ; his beloved sons, Joseph R. Jaczko of Bordentown and Mark L. Jaczko of Dingmans Ferry, PA; a brother, Stephen Jaczko and his wife, Patricia, of Fieldsboro; two grandchildren, Jeremy Jaczko and Bryan Atchley; many nieces and nephews, including Stephen and Joanie Jaczko and Peter Sukola, and dear friends, including Ellen Winslow. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, at St. Mary's Church, 45 Crosswicks St., Bordentown. Interment will follow in Holy Assumption Cemetery, Roebling. Friends may call Tuesday evening from 6 to 9 p.m. and again Wednesday morning 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Peppler Funeral Home, 122 Crosswicks St., Bordentown.
Song, crafts and baking mark creative life
By Jeannie O’Sullivan Staff writer | Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 12:00 am
If the multi-talented Ellen Doak Winslow isn’t home when a friend rings her up,
the caller still gets to hear her melodic voice.
“My signature song is ‘Unforgettable’,” Doak Winslow, a trained singer,
said of the number she’s performed in concerts.
The tune is a fitting description for Doak Winslow,
whose roles number far beyond songbird. Her surroundings,
in a red carriage house in Burlington Township
next to the larger home where she was raised as one of four children,
are a shrine to her talents.
Paintings grace her walls, mostly still lifes of the nature and animals she holds dear.
Baked goods — everything from brownies to banana and spice cakes — are usually on a platter, ready for guests or neatly wrapped up to give away to one of the many community charities she supports.
Add fashion model to her list of achievements. In one framed photograph, a teenage Doak Winslow dons a bathing suit and smiles from a beach in Ocean City. The image was the cover of a promotional magazine for the shore town.
Her latest inspirations are what she calls “Lady Slippers,” tiny satin shoes she adorns with lace, ribbons and decorative spring flowers and butterflies. She considers her activity an “angel idea” that helps ease the grief she’s felt since her longtime companion, Joe, died in November.
“I was feeling low in spirits in January and I had the intuition to make those shoes. I consider them to be for an elegant lady’s dressing table or bureau or bathroom, or a gift to an expectant mother,” said Doak Winslow, who lives with her “beloved” Heidi, a gray cat with huge yellow eyes.
The creative, uplifting existence follows a whirlwind life. Following a short marriage in Florida in her early 20s, Doak Winslow studied literature at University of Pennsylvania and opera singing at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
Washington, D.C., beckoned in her 30s. She headed to the Georgetown section of the city, where she worked as a publicist for the chamber of commerce and made Christmas ornaments on the side. Her craftiness drew nationwide attention during the holiday season in 1988.
“I was selling my ornaments at the best shops in Georgetown. I took (the Smithsonian Museum) a sample and they said they’d like me to do a tree,” Doak Winslow said while holding up one of the trinkets, a giant silk ball adorned in velvet ribbons and birds. “I made 60 of these, in all different themes, in five months while holding a full-time job. I was up at 4 a.m. before work every day.”
The effort paid off, not with cash but acclaim.
“I was on 14 television stations,” she said of the media buzz surrounding the holiday display.
Since moving back to New Jersey, she’s indulged her love of singing as a regular feature at Smithville Mansion in Eastampton, at the meetings of the Haddonfield Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, in front of groups at senior care facilities and during patriotic events at the Beverly National Cemetery in Edgewater Park. Nowadays she gives her vocal chords a workout when she has company for dinner.
She shares her culinary prowess by volunteering for Meals of Love, a monthly community meal served at Beverly United Methodist Church, and bringing cakes to the Home for Aged Women in Burlington City.
Her perfect day? Listening to hymns, singing, painting and baking.
“I was never allowed to express myself growing up by I’m making up for it now.”
More people should strive for meaningful relationships
by Ellen Doak Winslow
Posted: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 3:00 am
People of all ages are pining for that "special" someone. Seniors and the middle-aged look for exceptional qualities in someone who might possibly make them that someone special to them because we were taught to think. Most teens and young people consider sexual healing the relationship, and they ignore all the attributes they would otherwise express to have a truly satisfying companion. Because of a lack of religious values, and a total shallowness in the media, millions are eager to have these ignoble relationships, void of fidelity, honesty devotion or true caring.
Sexual expression was created to be the icing on the cake in a relationship of sincere commitment. What's wrong with developing and expressing the fullness of what that means by expressing qualities of sincere caring? No wonder people from other nations are shocked at the behavior of Americans.
To top this off, thousands of babies will be born that will have no chance in life because their parents were out for a good time. Thousands of these neglected babies end up society's predators.
With our addictions to the computer and mechanical devices, pondering concepts is an unknown, because each split second there is a new image or idea. And because people share this frantic mind-set, an instant relationship seems normal. Are people rendered incapable of thinking anymore?
Real relationships are worth working for. Spending quality time together and exchanging ideas are so worthwhile and gratifying.
Let's honor our creator, ourselves and our beloved country by striving to be our best. The results will be life-altering as we strive to express a higher humanity.
Ellen Doak Winslow, Edgewater Park
Her Ornaments Are Works Of Art
By Tina Kelley, Special to The Inquirer
Posted: December 12, 1991
Tapes of Christmas carols play in the background. Raw materials are in neat piles: racks of ribbon, silk flowers, ribbon rosettes, embroidered braid, a suitcase full of rolls of ribbons. Miniature porcelain animals are arranged like a chorus on a table under a small, lit, decorated tree.
This is Ellen Doak Winslow's home and workshop. There, Winslow, a 38-year- old designer, makes Christmas ornaments. All year long.
She will be showing about two dozen of her creations at the Masters of Tomorrow Gallery in Haddonfield during the Christmas season. She is scheduled to appear there in person Sunday.
The ornaments - silk balls ribbed with ribbon, braid, glittering baubles and small animals - have appeared far and wide, from the Smithsonian Institution to the Queen Mother's palace.
In 1984, a 13-foot tree in the Smithsonian held 60 of her ornaments, the fruit of five months of full-time work.
She donated them to the museum, where they are on display every year, she said.
Each ornament takes two or three hours. She sells them for $25 each. She makes about a thousand a year. To make them, she measures lengths of ribbon and cuts all the pieces first.
"It's gauged by eye alone," she said. "You have to be good at geometry." She pushed a pin through a ribbon into the ball with the top of a pen. "To me, it's a labor of love. Everything is perfect to the last pin."
When she's finished, she signs her name on a loop of ribbon at the bottom.
"I usually fill the room up," she said. She has snapshots of ornaments on coat hangers, taking over her ceiling.
"After making them for 15 years, I thought they were an objet d'art and I should send some to people who think they have everything," Winslow said.
She has made ornaments for Queen Elizabeth II in Stewart plaid, her tartan. One also went to the Queen Mother, eliciting this response, which Winslow proudly displays in a frame:
"The Christmas ornament in Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother's racing colours which you so kindly sent at Christmas time was most accurately contrived," wrote the private secretary. For those who don't know, the Queen Mother's jockeys wear blue, black, gold and orange-pink when racing. The ornament used the same colors, plus a fuzzy white pony.
Winslow also gave one to President Mikhail S. Gorbachev, via the Soviet Embassy, and is planning to send one to George and Barbara Bush this year, for the first time. "He's under so much pressure now, I feel he needs something to boost his morale," she said.
The ornaments have managed to help her through some tough times, she said.
"I started when around 20," she said. "It was a very tragic time. I had an unhappy marriage, but the ornaments and designing them . . . kept me as happy as I could be."
She is inspired by Christmas memories from childhood, when her grandmother, who had 10 children, would have everyone over. The food they needed filled four ovens.
"It was an aspect of Christmas where I really could be original and creative," she said. "I never dreamed it could evolve into a career," one that she said leaves her a lot of room for expansion.
"Art is pretty much infinite," she said. "There are millions of artists, and each has millions of ideas."