I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Autumn Equinox

Isn't this a magical rhyme, a spell, an incantation!

Equal dark, equal light
Flow in Circle, deep insight
Blessed Be, Blessed Be
The transformation of energy!
So it flows, out it goes
Three-fold back it shall be
Blessed Be, Blessed Be
The transformation of energy!"
- Night An'Fey, Transformation of Energy

And this....

"Smoke hangs like haze over harvested fields,
The gold of stubble, the brown of turned earth
And you walk under the red light of fall
The scent of fallen apples, the dust of threshed grain
The sharp, gentle chill of fall.
Here as we move into the shadows of autumn
The night that brings the morning of spring
Come to us, Lord of Harvest
Teach us to be thankful for the gifts you bring us ..."
- Autumn Equinox Ritual


It's a hot and sultry summer day here at the beach. Mo and I continue our walks and garden peeping, hoping for signs of Autumn instead of summer dog days and doldrums. Autumn doesn't begin here until mid-November...I wonder how those ancient people [I'm seeing Stonehenge in my mind!] would have reconciled the stars and climate?
Giant zinnias! They must be 8 feet tall!
Fence creepers...

This odd flower is called "Love Lies Bleeding" . The guy finally stuck the seed packet on the fence because everyone stopped and asked what it was...

Blue hydrangeas, muted now into shades of cream and rose.

Lush bayberry! However did the Pilgrims and other settlers figure out that these scented berries, that grow so prolifically on the dunes, would make sweetly scented candles for the dark winter nights? That's a bit of magic, isn't it?


We don't have many trees. Here's a pretty Japanese maple that is always red.

And the ornamental grasses now have nodding seed heads. They do so well in the salty air here.




First of the mums appeared last month! There won't be a chrysanthemum to be found, come Thanksgiving, when I want them for my party dinner.
The seasons turn slowly, slowly---but the years go by so fast.
Why is that, is it just me...?
Hope you're enjoying this end of summer time! Shorts! Flipflops, t-shirts---cocktails on the deck at sunset! Easy. We shall laugh at looming Autumn, and treasure these (Indian?) summer days.
gone to the beach.....


Monday, September 15, 2014

Oh Baby

Hi guys! One of the most fun things about being a seller on etsy is making special items for custom orders. I love hearing from my customers, learning about their dreams and plans, and in my small way adding that handmade, charming touch to their party or making a special gift item, like a memory necklace or a baby quilt.

It can take quite a bit of back and forth-ing. What size, what color, what can I do and still fit their budget. But so rewarding...

The following are the creative steps that went into 40 white linen lavender hearts, made as party favors for a baby shower.

First, concept photo.

We discuss size:

I offer fabric choices. Colors?

Or antique whites?

We might spend some time [online, of course] playing with my vintage button collection.

Aren't the classic MOP baby buttons so sweet!

 Sometimes I even provide virtual handholding,lol, and photo updates for nervous grandmamas-to-be.
hearts in work
In the end the client has to trust me, my skill, my experience, my artistic vision. So far, so good, I am thrilled to report.
This person wanted party favors for an autumn museum dinner party. The lavender hearts were made of antique French striped ticking with old celluloid buttons, packaged in little cellophane bags, so the scent wouldn't distract from the food.
This person wanted a bowl of BLUE strawberries. So cute!

This is a recent baby quilt I made. It was a gift for friends, though I do custom baby quilts sometimes. I had seen this pattern by Tula Pink at a shop in NYC when I was displaced during H. Sandy. I bought it but since the shop prefers not to give out bags [who knew I had to bring my own?! what hurricane survivor packs her recyclable grocery bags?] I didn't get home with any of the patterns I bought that day.
I loved the LOVE and since these friends were also affected by H. Sandy I chose it in a reduced version for their new baby girl. This time I got smart and bought the pattern online. [yes I could have drafted it myself, but for 8.oo I prefer to the give the designer her due, both design credit and cash.]

I tried hard to make a modern design / color way for modern young parents and baby. I took the colors from the mom's wedding colors and baby shower invite/ notes colors. I used graphic grey and white ground fabrics and modern beachy batiks instead of ditsy calico for the letters.

pattern by Tula Pink

It would also make a wonderful custom etsy quilt, wouldn't it, maybe with the baby's name instead of LOVE?

This week I am making---with dear friend L's help, as my hand is still so painful---little gingham whales! For an October block party down at the Jersey shore. You can check out Carol's wonderful seaside shop The Gingham Whale here

Do you like making special custom orders? Fulfilling family and friends' requests, even when it's ''not my style"? Is it a fun challenge or just---hard?

prepy whale throw pillow
for a friend to give as a gift

How about gifted baby quilts? It's difficult to please the recipients but so fun?

Have a great week!



gone to the beach........



Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Days Are Getting Shorter


Hello! I'm sure you noticed how early it is getting dark these days. Here at the beach we love to drag out summer, and I am not much in an autumn mood...but I pulled some photos from previous Septembers.

For inspiration?



carpe diem?
a jewelry gathering
Enjoy these weeks of hot winds and brilliant sunshine! Icy winter will be here all too soon... 




gone to the beach........................