Is it possible that it's over?

(Essex Boat Club from Pettipaug - Summer Afternoon)
by Leif Nilsson

"And so the seasons went rolling on into summer, as one rambles into higher and higher grass" - Henry David Thoreau
I have always loved this quote. I think it captures the true essence of my favorite season - "summertime". Unfortunately, with school beginning this week for my girls, it is for all intents and purposes, over. Just a blur between my first roasted marshmallow on the 4th of July and the hot fudge sundae at the dairy bar last weekend. Replaced by 6am wake-up calls, homework and hectic schedules. Last weekend, knowing that the end was near, my husband and I took a drive down to Essex, Connecticut, to savor this old river town and share the last of our precious "summertime".

More on painter Leif Nilssen

Cottage Industry Artist - Heidi Howard

In the small town of Eastford, Connecticut - population 1,800 not including the cows, Heidi Howard has set up shop in the detached garage of her 1780 colonial home. There she creates 18th century Trade and Tavern Signs, using salvaged wood hundreds of years old. Working with milk paint, as they did in days past, she hand paints each and every piece, often hand-planing the wood herself to ensure an authentic canvas. Beginning her artistic career at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, Heidi set up studio in an old mill outside of Providence where she worked as a waitress and pursued her love of oil painting. Then tragically the mill was destroyed in a fire, along with her paintings, supplies, and seemingly passion. Twelves years past before she would pick up where she left off. Now a wife and mother of two boys, she came across a photograph of an old tavern sign in a magazine. The spark was ignited, the timing right.... and the beautiful results below speak for themselves.

Handpainted Antique Camera Sign created for the studio of photographer Jody Dole of Chester, Connecticut

I love the "Mermaid" theme!

Heidi works on a sign

Heidi's Studio, Eastford

(Eastford, Connecticut by Artist Tom Menard)
P.S. I am partial to Eastford in that I was married there last year. Click Here for details!

On The Market - New Canaan Architectural Gem For Sale

New England and Connecticut in particular is known for it's historic 17th and 18th century homes, and no one loves them more than I. But while prowling a real estate website this morning, in search of an antique sea captains house I saw advertised in the paper, I came across this gem. On the market for a mere $5,000,000 is the 1957 "Bridge House" by architect John Johansen in New Canaan, Connecticut. Johansen is well known as one of the "Harvard Five" - a group of architects who graduated from the Harvard School of Design during the World War II era. They were all highly influenced by their professor, Walter Gropius, who was the founder of the Bauhaus School of Design in Germany, eventually teaching at Harvard University after escaping the Nazi regime. I love the vistas, from one end of the house to the other, with the outside pouring in through the large windows. New Canaan is known for it's hillsides and the small rivers and streams that flow through the countryside. Despite being a former antique home owner, I now live in a contemporary house filled with glass and light. I miss the charming nooks and crannies of an old house but there's something to be said about standing at one point in your home and practically having a 360 degree view of the outdoors. So take a look and let me know what you think!

View from the living room of the "Bridge House"

Another famous New Canaan, Connecticut house (now museum):
"The Glass House" by "Harvard Five" architect Philip Johnson

Architect Philip Johnson outside his Glass House

Would definitely have to upgrade my underwear if I lived here!

Hmmmm...who's this country bumpkin? ;-)

Coventry Farmer's Market Goes To The Dogs

It has become my Sunday ritual to head over to the Coventry Farmer's Market at the Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry, Connecticut. It can't be beat for fresh produce, baked goods, farm grown herbs and flowers - not to mention culinary delights. On a recent gorgeous Sunday afternoon, Robin, (aka Bird-in-the-Hand) and I headed over to the market, only to find it overrun with dogs! Apparently, the market was celebrating our canine friends on this particular day and there were a multitude of doggy themed items to be had. Our favorite! - the dog collars designed and made by Heather Bruggeman of Beauty That Moves. They were so gorgeous in fact that Robin had trouble choosing which one to purchase as a gift for her neighbor's dog Boddington. She ended up choosing the third from the left - the one I liked, as I'm a pushy friend ;-) Either way, I am sure Boddington is quite pleased!

Heather at the Market

Gorgeous fabrics everywhere!

Fellow Market Artiste Winter Caplanson of Sleepy Moon Soaps

Gorgeous organic dyes used at Too...Cute Fiber Farm

There are many reasons to come to the market:
Robin comes for the flowers...

My girls love the Italian ice...

The husband has a Keifer's Kettle Korn addiction...

And me...I'll be found at the Howard Valley Fudge Company!

Another day at the Coventry Farmer's Market!
"It's never too late to be who you might have been." --George Eliot