Friday, July 31, 2009

Essex Shops

Last week my friend Paula called me to remind me about the free concert on the green in Essex, Ct.
It sounded like the perfect way to break up the week.

Hubby unfortunately didn't want to go ......but that was ok we got enough people together to make a good fun loving group. Essex is only one town away from Old Saybrook where we live/work.

I have to tell you George still tells people we live in Old Saybrook. I've given up correcting him a long time ago. If you tell people we live in Westbrook they sometimes think you mean Westport which is known for being a very affluent town made famous by the one and only Martha Stewart. She sold her home a few years ago. Can't remember what she sold it for.? big$$$$ I'm sure.

Anyways here I was in Essex in the Summer!!!! I'd forgotten how pretty it is here. I'd worked in this town in my 20's. It's better known as a tourist location then some of the towns around. It has quaint shops and the main street is lined with beautiful historic homes. One complaint you hear is that the town has too many real estate offices but with housing down you never know if that'll change. There have been a few shops that have been there for years but there are always old ones going out and new ones eager to replace them. Thank goodness. There so many store vacancies in Old Saybrook that it's getting kind of scary. Many of our gift shops have gone in the last year but then our town has more box stores (Yuck) then others. On my sidebar you'll see a button on the 3/50 project which is all about helping to keep your small businesses in your community from going OUT of business. It's a great concept so please take a look at it. I'd explain it all to you but they do a better job. Communication is not my strong suit....neither are a lot of things but I won't bore you with that now.

I'm more of a visual girl!!!

So on with the pics please!!!!

This is the window of the Seaflower Florist........

Aren't these rusty metal flowers fabulous.... and the best part... they don't need watering!

I could see them in the garden even just to hold up droopy blossoms.
Perfect thing to put in a hot window......succulents. They can take the heat of being in the sun all day. Not a good look to have a wilted plant in your display window so these do well here.

This is "Weekend Kitchen" owned by Nancy Smith. That's not exactly her whole last name has a hyphen in there somewhere with another name but no matter! her shop is lovely and that's all you really care about right?

Just some lovely doorways.....
This is the office of a well known architect and his wife who is a landscape architect. I just love their planters....very sculptural. I had a customer tell me they had her come for a consultation just to give them ideas on their garden and it was $150 an hour. Wow.... but she is a licensed Landscape Architect.....there is big difference.

This is "The French Hen" owned by Laurie.....very cute shop full of pretty girl things and of course french inspired.

Can someone tell me how to eliminate the reflection of the buildings on the opposite side of the street in the window???

"RIVER" owned by Joe and JohnThey moved here last year from their location down the street. It's a much bigger shop

and in the back they have a beautiful display garden to show off their antique planters and accessories. This was just the view from the street. They have a wonderful website that shows off all their talents. The last 3 photos are off their worth taking a look at. They've been featured in many magazines and Joe's done work for Martha Stewart ( boy her name comes up a lot) .
Johns a photographer and hence why his photos are so much better then mine.

( photos from River website )
These were planters that belong to the homeowners who live right along the street. Nice home but I don't think I'd like living that close to the it's right next to a tavern. Must get pretty noisy at night. They must be very patient people or hard of hearing.

Not sure why they did them differently but their both magificent. They look so good in black wrought iron urns. I took the picture after it had gotten dark out so they came out a bit blurry.

One of the antique shops on the side road with furniture that was not really my style but I really liked the chandelier. I just realized in the 1st pic the lights were on and on the second they're off. You might not have noticed but I couldn't figure out what seemed off about it. I thought it was that awful flash in the window....sorry

I took the 2nd pic on our walk back to the car. The price for the chandelier was $1100. It seemed reasonable by Essex standards.

..........Now I just have to convince my husband!!!

Oh by the way the concert was a blast.....lots of people showed up with their families and friends. We drank wine and eat brownies and watched Paula and Bill dance. I'd shown them dancing before so I thought I'd better not push it and save it for another time but I will show you the children that were running around and dancing to the music.

It was fun watching them have such a good time just running and laughing.

............Don't we wish we all had that much energy!!!!! lol

Hope you all have a fanastic weekend!!!

keep smiling!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

White Wednesday

It's White Wednesday Hosted by Kathleen of Faded Charm Cottage and thank goodness Joan did her post early or I might not have realised it until it was too late. Thanks Joan for being of top of it or at least knowing what day it is.

It's really not that hard for me to find anything white....though I thought at first to feature all the white flowers outside but thinking that might be too easy and to expected from me.

I decided to stay on the inside and look to the unexpected white like in this rusted white candleholder that hang off a cabinet. It's more rust then white.

The white lily of the valley resemble vintage ones....though not sure if they are. They're from Tinsel Trading in N.Y City... a wonderful store full of millinery,ribbon and all things fabulous. Known for many vintage ribbon and bits and bobs( as the English say) I think that's right???? I hope they correct me if I'm wrong.

The doll dress is one that I've placed over a candle and holder in hopes that it would get the wrinkles out.....though it's still a bit wrinkled I'm beginning to not mind it as much.....well anything to not have to iron anything that small.

You knew I couldn't resist throwing a few white flowers in.

The begonia are nothing to exciting or different. They really get no respect in the horticultural world but they are one of the few that will grow in sun or shade and never need deadheading. These were looking pretty shabby a few weeks ago but we began feeding them heavily and they perked right up. Same thing with this Allysum. It looked horrible with all the flowers having gone to seed so at first I sprinkled on some organic fertilizer and left a few without to see if I would see a difference. Within a week I started seeing a change. Usually every year when they get to that stage we just thru them out. We've never had them come back and looked so good. It's a silly thing but I am so proud of those darn things.

The babies breath above is from one of my customers/friend that I planted for her last year. She's been patiently waiting for me to do some maintenance to her yard. Thanks Bonnie. I hope I'm worth waiting for! lol

This gorgeous plant will be recognised by those in warmer climates but here in Ct. we still get asked all the time what this plant is .....actually I'm going to have you guess........ ????? It's also know for it's heavenly scent at night and can grow 8' tall and probably more in it's natural habitat.

Thank you Kathleen for hosting White Wednesday!!!!

Now go to Faded Charm Cottage and visit all the other participants
in the beautiful world of White


Sunday, July 26, 2009


Nigella said to me the other day "I know how lucky I am to have owners who love and take care of me" .... "how can I give back to other ones like me who don't have the love of an owner like the two of you.........and in others I mean even dogs!!!! not just cats"

I thought well I do know a way we could help. I read about it on Tracie's blog from Tracie's My Petite Maison. It linked me to Kelee @ The Katillac Shack. There I found a way to help donate money to a program that would help dogs that were abandoned by their owners. There has been a record number of pets that have had to be given up because owners have lost their jobs and their homes.

All we have to do is decorate easy is that??? A sponsor will donate $2000 if we decorate 150 scarves and send the pictures in.

We decided .....well I decided we could decorate 3 scarves and Nigella would model them.
She loves to be in front of the camera.

We enlisted some help from George to tie them on. Not so easy.This was the one that was made smaller to fit you remember but I think it would have been easier to tie if I had left them the way they were....opps!"It makes a fetching shawl when I want to keep the suns rays off my shoulders. You know pink pompoms are my girly me!"

"They make a nice bib for when I'm eating lobster or some other seafood or my favorite....... tuna juice."

"This last one is my favorite. It was worth staying up til 2 in the morning to finish them. Too bad you got the deadline wrong. I know you do your best work under pressure but you really need to get some rest."

Hope you enjoyed our fashion show. The deadline has been extented to Aug. 20th. Pictures of 115 out of 150 scarves have been submitted so they've asking if anyone else would like to participate. Please consider it. It's such a worthy cause for the many pets that need our help. Please watch this video which will explain what "Design Gives Back" is all about. It's easy, it's fun and your pet will love it too.

Thanks so much,


Friday, July 24, 2009

Where Bloggers Create

Better late then never!!!!

at the subtle nudging of my friend Joan I decided to join in on Where Blogger Create hosted by Karen Valentine of My Desert Cottage

My craft room at home was once used primarily for making dried and silk flower wreath. Now with only a few buckets of dried flowers it's mostly become an array of paper, ribbon, vintage collections,books and whatever else is in the house that I don't know where to store.

On occasion I make cards but it's not really what I'm into. If I do make a card it's for someone that I know will appreciate the time that goes into them and will maybe want to save it. Altered art is what I mostly work on. I should have taken some recent pictures. I had intented on taking some last night but I forgot my camera at work. Good excuse!!!!right?????

This was a mask I wore last Halloween. I sits right above my work area. It took me hours on the internet to find it scouring site after site page after page just to find a simple white mask to paint. You think it would be easy. I had people looking for me everywhere. Finally I ordered it off Joanne Fabrics web site after just missing it at the local store by a couple hours. Someone had scooped up 5 of them. Couldn't she have left me one? mean!!!

Decorating it was pretty easy doing it with red and black marking pen. Painting with regular paint would have taken too long. It arrived in the mail only a day before Halloween. It looked good except it was a bit small for my big head so I'm still on the look out for a better one.
Oh by the way I was a puppet and George was the puppet master. We laugh..... saying in real life it's the other way around!!!! ha-ha

Not very organized but I'm one of those people who would rather work in the chaos then spend my time organizing everything. I do have bins of ribbon wrapped on cards but that's boring. I always like to have a pile of my favorites at my finger tips.

.....or full rolls work for me.

This is a ribbon rack at the shop. I wish this was at home. I've got to get better at bringing back the rolls I take home. Once they get home they have a tendency to stay there.

My friend Delores gave me this wonderful

box of goodies for my birthday. It looked so pretty all in the box I just wanted to remember it all together. The embroidery thread is from France in earth tones and a few metallic. She made me a fabulous card that hangs from metallic thread that I now hang over my work space. I'm so luck to have someone who knows just the perfect things I love.

This is a project that I will probably still be working on when I'm old and gray. ( that's not so far away) It's made with crochet thread. I bought a huge box of off white vintage thread from a thrift shop and thought I'd just use it for twine. But how much twine
does a person need so I thought I'd make a sweater with it. I like the airiness and it had a slight age to it. Of course the aging was mostly on the outside and once deeper into the skein the lighter it was but that's ok. I can always tea die it.

This lace was given to me and the other lucky girls that came to visit Evi last winter. She was doing a purge of her antique laces and ribbons. She just dumped out boxes full of it on a table as we sorted out what we wanted. She just let us have at it. I have to say we were quite well behaved and very tugging or pulling like you see at some sales. Very lady like.....oh, do you like this one???? That would look lovely with the one you already have!!!!

Laura took the rest ( which wasn't all that much) to the a thrift store near her.

Now I'm going to show you a craft room I would give my left foot for.

Evi's workroom.....where she creates the most wonderful dolls and fabric whimsical pieces you've ever seen.

Her space is so well organized and just like I would love if I could change my messy habits. Well even being messy I'd still want it. She loves things neat and in it's place but when she's getting ready for a showing she does admit it gets a little chaotic. Heads, legs, eyes etc....everywhere.

I'd love to see what's inside those bins and baskets. I'm told there are tons of little accessories for her dolls and you know how cute and precious those can be. Her husband Ebi built this whole area for her to work in. It's in the walkout basement of their home which she likes to refer to as the dungeon.
I think you'd agree it looks nothing like a dungeon......

It's bright walls and touches of red just pop out.

Little fabric strawberries and pincushions make up this collection.

Along her work table to keep her company....little mouse, doggy and bird.

At every turn there is more and more to delight the eye.

I hope one day to return again. It was the highlight of my Winter coming to visit. We had a wonderful day with delicious food and we talked and laughed about everything. I can't wait to go back.

Maybe next time we'll get a peak at the inside of those magical boxes and bins!!!!!

I also want to thank my husband who put up with me as I tried to do this post in the middle of the day. Gee it's only taken me 7 hrs. in between customers, watering and a visit from Paula, Evi and Ebi who are down for the weekend.

Hope you all had a great day!!!!

I have to get some work done now!!!!