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Ceramic Pendants!

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Some of you may know that I really enjoy ceramics- making, touching, throwing. I think its an “earth/soil” kind of thing, you know… toiling, digging, planting, making mud-pies, composting. Seriously! There is something about that connection to the earth that is joyous, playful, fulfilling and meditative.

Where was I? Oh yes, during my play with clay these ceramic pendants have come to the surface. I experimented with making them last fall and loved giving them as Christmas presents!

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I will have a limited number of these little darlings to sell at the Flower Show along with the neck cuffs. I’m thrilled with the way they came out! Some of the designs are flowers made from pressed almonds and pressed rosemary. Others are burlap textures with plants incorporated into the design. I even have a couple of little topiaries featured to tie it all together. Hope you likey. They make a beautiful, artful statement!

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The Nantucket Cranberry Festival

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Fabulous Find Friday… The Cranberry Festival! Do you see those tents in the foreground on the left… and the tiny little lighthouse off in the distance on the right? Nantucket Island- where Farmboy and I celebrated our 20th Anniversary this month! Twenty years!! I thought that it would feel much longer, but its only been a blink in time. How can that be? I’m pretty darn thankful.

It was our first time to visit Nantucket and what a fun and relaxing time we had. Our room at the Centerboard Inn was spectacular (more on that later). We rented bicycles and pedaled everywhere we wanted to go on the island. Our dinners never tasted so good after all of that excercise! The meals were wonderful. There is quite a selection for dining out on the island. Loved our experience and meal at Company of the Caldron!

IMGP6333Our bikes are in there somewhere! I loved my basket.

A couple friends who frequent Nantucket recommended that we attend the Cranberry Festival and I’m so glad that we did. There was something for everyone and I learned so much!

IMGP6313There was a sheep herding demo…

IMGP6314and a very enthusiastic sheepherder. : )

IMGP6320There was a machine that drove through the bog and released all of the little cranberries!

IMGP6322Do you see the beauty?

IMGP6327And can you taste the deliciousness? Try this simple recipe.

IMGP6330These guys wrangle in those cranberries for harvesting.

IMGP6329And there they go… off to the grocery stores just in time for Thanksgiving.

Ok. so I have a tiny confession. I’ve never tried that can-shaped burgundy gelatin-looking 18oz cylindrical mass at Thanksgiving. Not a chance. Turkey, cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy… and no way that I was going to plop a slice of that round goo on my plate to join the yum. I did NOT see the merit.

Oh, but the fresh cranberry. Who knew? I highly recommend those little cuties in their natural state and I also recommend the Cranberry Festival. There was food, music, horticulture, agriculture, sheep herding and sheep shearing (just wait until you see my Wordless Wednesday photo/post for that). It could require an explanation…

 




Olive and Gourmando


This past summer Farmboy and I had the opportunity to drive up to Montreal to meet some friends, do a little site-seeing and go to a Coldplay concert. It was my first time to Montreal and what a treat! The Old World inspired architecture was a nice change of scenery from our bucolic Upstate New York digs… not to mention learning about the history of the area.


Our “in the know’ friends recommended that we try Olive + Gourmando in the Old City of Montreal for breakfast.  After a short walk from the business district we found ourselves in breakfast heaven. So many delicious choices; french pastries, fresh breads, baked goods and their memorable savory creations.

The ambiance was as delicious as the food with intriguing lighting and smells of buttery croissants and fresh coffee wafting through the air. (Yes, I said wafting. snicker.)

Farmboy and I ordered double Americanos to start the morning off with some rich coffee goodness. I chose the “Poached Egg on your Face” sandwich- a pressed panini made with ciabatta and filled with carmelized onions, aged Comte, confit tomatoes, speck and a cooked egg salad. Yowza. What a way to start the day!! Delicious!

So, when you find yourself in Montreal put Olive + Gourmando on your to-do list for breakfast. You will be so glad that you to-did. And don’t forget to…




RedEnvelope’s Picnic Backpack



What a fabulous find!  Apparently picnic backpacks have been around for a while but they were new to me when I ordered this one for Farmboy as a romantic Father’s Day present. We were planning a trip to Montreal later in the summer and I was thinking ahead as we often travel with a basket of bread, cheese, jam and bottle of wine.

I liked it so much I purchased 2 more to give as gifts!

There are many different ones but for the price I liked the RedEnvelope backpack. The only change that I made was switching out the cloth napkins (very lightweight and kinda cheap) with some funky quality ones from home.

The kids and I have even used it for hiking nearby and carrying a picnic lunch. There is an insulated section to keep foods at the proper temp as well as a bread board, cork screw, bread knife, salt and pepper shakers and enough plates and utensils for four. Oh My!

So, if you don’t have one you should get one for those impromptu getaways or give one as a wedding or anniversary gift! They will love it.




Something Special!

My sweet friend Mary Carlic of The Wren’s Den is opening a retail store… tomorrow… right here in Central New York! The store has a lovely eclectic mix of goodies with lots of beautiful topiaries!!! Just in time for Mother’s Day… just sayin!

“It won’t be a gift shop, really, nor an art gallery, either. It’s just something different. And it will be different every time you visit.

The Wren’s Den annual spring open house is actually a Grand Opening this year. If you are in the area you must stop in Sat. April 28th, 11 – 6pm! Mary’s shop is in the retail store located at Hillside Gardens- 2756 West Seneca Turnpike. I’m so happy to have my cards, sachets and prints available there!

Enjoy a sneak peak!!




Dansko Jute Clogs

I love these shoes! Clogs + Espadrilles = funky, happy shoes. They are so comfortable and fun to wear. Farmboy bought them for me because he knew I had a crush on them.

Today I saw that they were part of the 20% off sale at Sahalie in case you needed to get some for your little sweet feet. The discount code is 15034 thru 4/15!

Happy Fabulous Find Friday!




Peony String Lights!

These are so much fun! Especially for a little girl’s room. I found them last Christmas while shopping online for LaLa. I ordered them with her other goodies because I KNEW they were fabulous and that I would use them: a) on my mantel in the Spring, b) in LaLa’s room, or c) somehow in my booth or studio.

Well, guess where they wound up? Oh, they are so sweet and they cast the nicest light. Although they use LED bulbs the lights are hidden in the flower petals and create a soft, warm ambiance. It is her only nightlight these days and I must say that she looks like a little fairy princess sleeping in a shimmering flower garden surrounded by her kitties.

 

 Happy Fabulous Find Friday! For ordering information visit Hearthsong.com!




The Interlaken Inn- Lake Placid, New York

What a delight our stay in Lake Placid was. Having never been, I was thrilled when Farmboy revealed our anniversary trip destination! We arrived around 9pm on Friday night to a lovely, old historic Inn- steps away from both Mirror Lake and Lake Placid.

I loved the beautifully decorated grand piano in the foyer and the heavy architectural mouldings/woodwork throughout the inn.  Once we were settled in our room (I’ll come back to that) we went downstairs to the pub style bar to have a glass of wine. All of the dark stained wood paneling and the copper ceiling tiles created a wonderful ambiance in the pub. Of course, the giant moose may have had something to do with it too.

The staff was very helpful and friendly encouraging us to visit various places to best take in the scenery. We asked to see the Inn’s dinner menu. Known for its world class cuisine… here are a few offerings from the menu that sounded particularly interesting:

Buck Island Crab Cakes- with orange basil beurre blanc

Bison Meatloaf- over roasted garlic Tucker Farms mash potato, with thyme scented veal jus

Shrimp and Pasta- with asparagus, plum tomato and sweet Thai basil sauce

Puff pastry wrapped creme brulee’  (Tried this Friday night… Excellent!)

 Our room- The Hibiscus Room #20, was wonderful. Quaint with many dormered walls/ceilings creating a sense of being in a cozy nook.  Keep in mind its on the third floor (no elevator so don’t accidently leave something in the car!). Luxury linens and a spacious comfortable bed created a cloud that I did not want to leave! What a relaxing way to start the day. Although there was a TV in the room we never turned it on.

 The bathroom was simple and refined with tile floors, a pedestal sink, claw-foot tub, skylight and luxury, plush robes and towels. Ahhh. Uncluttered.

The grounds around the inn were charming as well. Stone walls, a private garden, a flagstone patio, little baskets of herbs containing the beginnings of what was to come from the kitchen. Located one block off the main street there was no traffic or noise from passing cars.

Saturday morning we met Mary the proprietress as we left for our 2.7 mile walk/run around the perimeter of Mirror Lake. She was friendly and inquisitive about our plans for the day. Little did we know how she would save the day on Sunday!

I do wish that we had gotten back to the Inn in time for dinner- the menu sounded so good! Maybe next time. Sunday morning we started the day with a hearty Adirondack breakfast in the front dining room. Baked goods, clean crisp linens, polished flatware and Brazilian coffee that was so smooth I drank it black.  Farmboy and I chatted with some of the other guests and learned more about the 100 year old house’s history from the owner. Her carmelized onion and red pepper omelet was scrumptious! In the light-filled breakfast room Farmboy and I gathered our thoughts and plans to make the most of the day. After the car was indeed packed I rummaged through a bag in the trunk to find some notecards to give to Mary as a little Thank-You gift for her hospitality…

Did you hear the one about the couple celebrating their 18th anniversary? You know, a perfect weekend… only moments to go before they continue their romantic drive home through the Fall-colored mountains? That one. Where she locks the keys in the trunk by accident while in the process of getting a goodie out to give to the Inn owner. Hysterical, isn’t it? Not. Needless to say, our lovely hostess went “above and beyond” to help us be on our way and keep any disasterous anniversary memories away. She took such great care of us- making all of the calls to help us find a way to get into the car and on our way home.


Heading to Lake Placid? Stay at The Interlaken Inn. You will be so glad that you did. Tell Mary the artist who locked her keys in the trunk on her anniversary weekend sent ya. She’ll remember. For more information visit their website here.

 

 




Fabulous Friday Find: Molly Mutt

I found out about these beautiful dog bed duvet covers from my bloggy friend Lisa Porter and her pup Gracie. They are a stylish bunch over there at the LisaPorterCollection. I couldn’t wait to order one of these covers for Oliver who insists on coming up to the studio with me when I’m working. He loves to look out over his domain as you can tell.

My sweet dog is getting some grey in his muzzle and beginning to slow down a bit. He needed a soft, stylish spot for his sweet-self. I love the concept behind these duvet covers too… recycle, reuse!

Doesn’t he look comfy?

Sometimes he has to share with his little sister Gracie. I think she will get her own too.

 

Click here for more information on ordering your dog (or cat) duvet cover.

Happy Fabulous Find Friday!  : )




Fabulous Find Friday: Colby Smith

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

Colby.

Colby Who?

Colby Smith Door Knockers

Door knockers? Do YOU have one? Does it express who lives in YOUR home? Oh, what a great Fabulous Find Friday! You need one of these. Really. I can’t wait to introduce you to my friend Colby’s work. He is so talented.

Now, every year at the Philadelphia Flower Show I tease Colby and his wife Jane… because I’m a like that and because their booth is located directly behind mine. All day long I hear knocking. All day for 8 days. Tap. Tap. Tap. Bang. Bang. Bang. Knock. Knock. Knock.  Me… “Do you hear something?” alittle while later… “Do you hear knocking?”  alittle while later… “Hellloooo?”  and later yet…   “Come on iiinnnn….”.

Guess you had to be there.

They have to put up with my music so I think we are okay.

From Colby’s website: These door knockers are substantial–easily recognized from a distance and interesting in detail up close. Each piece is sand cast in solid yellow or red brass, hand finished, assembled and lacquered for tarnish resistance. Various color patinas and nickel plating can also be applied to any design. Mounting hardware is provided for use on wood, metal or fiberglass/composite doors. If ever needed, Colby will completely refinish his door knockers for a small fee.

I LOVE his work. I’m totally a customer. I wish I had more front doors!  There is something for everyone- from traditional to contemporary. If I had a beach house you would SO be using that Flip-Flop (shown below) to find out if I was home!

 

Here is a list of some of Colby’s designs: Bass Fish, Berry Basket, Blue Crab, Celtic Heart, Dogwood, Fleur-de-lis, Oak Leaf, Musical Note, Sailboat, Pineapple… and many more. Go to their website for more info and to order! Happy Fabulous Find Friday! : )




ABOUT

Hi, I'm Michelle. I am an artist/designer specializing in unique topiary themed illustrations for the Home & Gardener. I live on a farm in Upstate New York with my husband, aka Farmboy, my two children affectionately known as "La La" and "the Bean" and a small petting zoo of other family members.

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