Monday, August 30, 2010

page 14

'Twas the night before the first day of school when all through the house ... three out of four of us are still stirring even though tomorrow is a very big day.

I find myself quite wide-awake (yet exhausted), still reeling over receiving the October issue of Romantic Homes today and seeing that my La Jolie Jarre tutorial made it in for sure!

The art director did such a beautiful job with the layout. Tomorrow I plan to stop by my local book seller to buy every copy in stock!

The issue also features one of my favorite blogs for decor inspiration, Heather's Pretty Petals, in the we love / site seeing section. To be honest, I have really only looked at page 14 so far!

My summer has been a bit rocky and stressful at times and my mantra has been: Look to the fall ... look to the fall ...

I hope that this October issue is a little sign of the happy things a change of season can bring.


Friday, August 27, 2010

alexandra stoddard's charming town + more

My sister Dede flew in to visit for a few days. Let's go some place new to both of us was her request (along with whole-belly fried clams and lobster rolls).

We usually think Cape Cod or Newport for sister-staycations. Some place different, eh?

Stonington, CT, just 45 minutes away came to mind. I had been there exactly fifteen years ago working on a film shoot for the HGTV show, Homes Across America. I was the "local" of the production crew there to film interior designer and prolific author Alexandra Stoddard in her stunning home.

Photo credit:

Alexandra did the opening and closing segments for a season of episodes and I worked the teleprompter. {Remember my blog post: my many jobs?} It was a truly wonderful experience and one that I appreciate now more than ever as a homeowner, decor enthusiast and aspiring writer.

As I reminisced about Alexandra to my sister over chowder, Alexandra breezed right by our table in a blur of cheerful prints. I (re)introduced myself and she remembered the shoot instantly and fondly.

Alexandra and her husband, author Peter Megargee Brown chatted with Dede and me as warmly and graciously as if we were all reunited relatives. I loved having this charmed chance to tell Alexandra how spending time with her years ago affected me in so many positive ways.

{Alexandra and Peter will be signing books at
The Stonington Free Public Library on 8/29.
here if you're in the area.}

After lunch, Dede and I strolled around the Borough of Stonington. Every passer-by was so friendly.

Stonington is a narrow, mile-long peninsula. Most views from Water Street are surrounded by three sides of water.

The Old Lighthouse Museum

More images from our pretty stroll in the misty weather ...

Back in the car on a quest for fried clams, I nearly shocked Dede with a sudden screetch-of-a-turn into the parking lot of a shop that caught my eye, called Nest .

The shop is preparing to relocate and many things are on clearance: GASP!

This set of prints is sort-of stuck in my mind ... not even sure where I'd put them but aren't they lovely?

I was a good girl and bought only a few small things (a nest, a wire basket, a few yards of shiny ribbon).

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Little did we realize that we were just ten minutes from Mystic, CT. Home to Mystic Pizza, a seaport, aquarium, lots of shops, a great book store with some Cath Kidston items, and ...

fried clams and lobster rolls for Dede and me.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

daycation staycation

Hyannis, MA

This summer with money being a little tighter than usual, we have been planning daycations (or is it staycations?) or as we called them when I was growing up: daytrips.

Living in Rhode Island, we're not far from coastal destinations like Newport or Cape Cod. With just over a week remaining until school starts, we have kicked day trips into high gear lately. Thursday we headed for Cape Cod.

For those of you far from New England, Cape Cod is a seventy mile long penisula with fifteen townships stretching eastward from Bourne to the tip at Provincetown.

We started our day walking around the busy Main Street of Hyannis (part of Barnstable). We had lunch, the boys rode a carousel and played at the arcade, I searched for the beloved junky seashell souveniers of my childhood, and then we took a tour of the Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory. {Two free bags of chips per person. Not too shabby!}

Heading from lower to mid-Cape, we rode go-karts and drove by Chatham Lighthouse, before stopping for a late seafood dinner at family-casual Kreme and Kone in West Dennis. My oldest is proudly displaying a piece of his fried calamari in the photo above. I ordered my summer fave: a lobster roll. {Easy on the mayo next time!}

I asked for extra placemats. So cute and somehow very Cath Kidston -- all red, blue and slightly kitschy! Would it be crazy to frame one of these?

After dinner we continued on Route 28 to my new favorite town on the Cape, pretty Chatham.

We stocked up on candy for the ride home. Then it was back to scenic Route 28 for another go-kart ride and even more souvenier shops until we reached the highway -- arriving home just after midnight. A great day.


The following day we were off to Newport. We strolled Thames Street for more shops, sweets (this time -- ice cream), and even more arcade games.

We also visited a portion of Cliff Walk, which offers amazing views. Coming up: A Red Sox game courtesy of Aunt Gretchen (thank you)!

Today my guys are visiting an armory museum. As for me ...

I plan to do some blogging ketchup aka catch-up on reading blogs!

And maybe make some of these so it looks like I didn't spend my entire day on the computer ...

Where do you like to visit on your daycation-staycations?


Thursday, August 12, 2010

preserving summer

Still tinkering with mason jars. This time I am using them to hold sand from nearby beaches.

I find differences in the sand from beach-to-beach to be visually interesting.

I have labeled each bottle or jar in one way ...

or another.

I display my small collection on a shelf in the beachy Blue Mesa-painted bathroom.

Among other things, you'll find my collection of sea glass ...

and now, two more jars: one for cotton and one for swabs.

The print on these is a very pale blue. Probably difficult to see online (maybe click-to-enlarge?).

A very manageable project during busy-summertime.

Look for more fun with jars from me in the October issue of
Romantic Homes in the we love / make it section. {I am thrilled!}

Just weeks of summer left ... enjoy!


Sunday, August 8, 2010

little lucky streak

that runs through Blogland. There is so much sharing -- of ideas, of ourselves, of our tastes. I recently had a little lucky streak and won two giveaways. Both packages arrived within a day of each other so yesterday during a bit of quiet time I opened everything and then sat, stunned at the vision of my dining room table now covered with the most generous display of unique treasures!

The first package to arrive was from Bethany at Vintage Bluebird. I GASPed when I saw how cleverly she decorated the tin. Perfection tied in blue ribbon.

Inside the pretty package (shown at the tippy top) was one of Bethany's necklaces.

Here is the lovely flipside
How very former-DJ and Davy Jones fan of me to use "flipside" (tee hee)

Also included were bluebird-themed gifts. So adorable and cheerful -- just like Bethany's blog {you have to see the fabulous play tent she made for her daughter one afternoon}.

Next I opened my prize package from groovy mother-daughter design team Kat and Suz from Katsui Jewelry.

There were vintage pages neatly clipped with tea-stained tags ...

small pouches packed with goodies ...

greeting cards, and post cards ...

sweet soaps and bath soaks ...

wind-up dancing robots for my boys ...

and even more things for me to play with.

Thank you again to Bethany, Kat and Suz for your generosity and thoughtfulness.

I hope you'll pop over to their blogs: Vintage Bluebird and Katsui Jewelry.

Come to think of it, my 2nd blogthday is coming up. I'd better start planning a giveway myself!
{Stay tuned}