Sunday, July 27, 2014

Family Time **Picture Overload Warning ***

These past two weeks have been busy in the best way possible - kids (and a sweet Grand) were visiting from all over.   Texas Daughter and SIL  rented a nearby beach house and filled it with a rotation of  siblings, parents and friends.   Of the hundreds of pictures, we took,  here are some highlights.


Breakfast and watching airplanes take off at The Airfield Cafe.



Checking out the beach with Yaya.   I didn't know that Greek grandmothers are called yia-yia.  I took the name from The Divine Secrets of the Yaya Sisterhood and because I thought it would be easy for a little person to pronounce and because I think I'm too young {but clearly not} to be called "Grandma".


This is what grandparents do - feed kids ice cream and then lobster rolls for lunch.


Only fitting that Boston Daughter who has studied sharks hold the little  sharkie one.


Texas Daughter, SIL and grand baby William.


William takes to beach relaxing.



DC Son, AKA Uncle E and Katie at the beach house.


Moonrise from the beach house deck.




A spectacular clambake orchestrated by Boston Daughter.



This little guy just couldn't be any cuter!


Mastered the cabin ladder!



Texas in-laws came to enjoy beach fun and grand baby time, too.


Mother/ Daughter fun at the Stratham Fair.


And to top it off, William's one year old birthday bash.

I am grateful every day for our family and cherish every minute we get to spend together.   When the kids  were little, I told them that they could be anything they wanted  - I just never considered that they would be doing it so far away!   I am learning to savor the times we have together instead of focusing on the time we spend apart.  Learning - as in work in progress;  not really there yet!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

This Week in the Gardens



I read some good advice on a gardening  blog (can't remember where or I'd happily give credit)- every morning go out in your gardens and just admire the show - no weeding,  no "I should move that plant",  no "what WAS I thinking?":  nothing negative, just bask in the beauty.  I've been doing that and it's a pleasure to just appreciate - colors, textures, flowers without feeling compelled to fix something.  

On one of my coffee-in-hand morning garden tours I realized that this advice is good for life in general - look for the beauty and goodness and ignore the rest.   Appreciating the things that work and make us happy are probably a better view.  This stamp sums it up:



Kraft paper background with swipes of gesso, washi tape, dictionary page strip and Distreess Ink stamped canvas garland.  The circles are the ones I made based on my lurking on the Documented Life Project site- so fun!

This is my judgement-free garden tour of the week:












There - no weeding, no pressure, no misgivings- just enjoying the view.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Finally Made Some Art!



It's been some time since I've spent much time in my studio.   I've been gardening like a crazy person, and while I do think that's a creative outlet, it's not like paper, ink and stamps.

I made this for  Carpenter Son's birthday, using a piece of wood he had sent as protection for some other gift.   I love using wood as a substrate - you can bang it up, nail things right into it , and it takes color well.

I had some trouble getting the background color in this - fiddled with some brown, white and green until I succeeded in making mud!   It needed serious lightening up, so I stenciled the numbers and letters with white gesso, then dry brushed on some cream paint.


I found the old train schedule from his home town at Nancy Dole's Used Books and Ephemera in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts.  She has a small shop filled with beautiful old books and all manner of ephemera from the area. 


This is an old family photo of his Papa driving a steam shovel, probably in the 30s.  The smile of recognition at this photo was priceless.

I added a piece of old ruler to honor his carpentry skills.


One of the fun things about using wood is that I could pound these old gears right into it.   



Love this canvas resist clock piece.   The 73 is significant - the year CS was born and the year I turned 10.  How else could it be possible for him to be as old as he is?



It felt so good to be making something again!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Estate Sale House-Gawking (and Some Buying)

Half the fun of estate sales is the estate.  How often do you get to do sanctioned snooping around gorgeous old homes?   Today's sale was in Cape Neddick, Maine, well within what locals call Maine's "Volvo Belt".   The VB spans the southern coast,  the place of grand ocean vistas,  beautiful homes, and people with plenty of disposable income.  There are great spots on the northern coast {or in some perverse bit of old New England geography-humor, "down east"},  but not quite so many grand homes or wads of cash.

I like estate sales run by professionals.  In our area, the sale runs Friday through Sunday.  The way they work it is that on Friday prices are firm, Saturday's negotiable and Sunday, most reasonable offers accepted.  There are reasons to go every day - Friday obviously offers first dibs on stuff, Saturday is for dickering if there's something you really want but not at the listed price, and Sunday is for "what the heck, let's see what's left".

I snapped a few pictures while no one was looking.  You can check it out in it's pre-sale glory on this real-estate video tour here.   No word on the sale price, but quotes were between 1.2 and 1.9 million.

  That's a small fireplace in the kitchen wall.


One of the back decks.


Window seat, second floor balcony.





The neighborhood wasn't too shabby either:






Much of the furniture was already sold or not for sale, but there were lots of small treasures.   Here are mine:

I try not to wash too many dishes by hand, so never planned to use this dish drainer for its original purpose.  I first thought I'd use it as a planter in the garden, but then decided to use it on the counter  for fruit.  Not sure if I'll keep the silverware piece on it, but for now works for lemons and limes.






Maybe you noticed this antique scale in the video.    It was my priciest purchase at $30.00, but I saw it on eBay for lots more.   



I'd love to use it outside as a plant hanger, but not sure it would do well in the rain.  It looks so cute!


A couple of festive tea towels.


I've been wanting one of these glass containers - perfect for an elderflower spritzer I plan to make for summer company.


And a huge enamel roaster.


 Gorgeous house, great finds and a new neighborhood to explore - win, win, and win.

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