Vintage ~ Handmade ~ Homes ~ Gardens

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Hurricane Sandy -- what a difference a month makes

Last month this was me on a sunny street in Belmar NJ.

This is that same street today after Hurricane Sandy.

My heart goes out to all those effected by the storm in every country and none more so than my dear friends in New Jersey.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Fall in Cape Cod

Is it really a month already since I was in Cape Cod? It was a little early for Fall colour but       roadside 'pumpkin farms' were piled up with all types of squash and house porches were beautifully decorated to welcome in the change of season. After a wonderfully hedonistic time in New York it was about as perfect as life gets to take the train that hugs the Connecticut coast rambling through lovely old towns like Stamford and Bridgeport. The pretty coastal scenery that litters the journey wets the appetite for Cape Cod itself.

I picked up a car at Providence and drove out to Cape Cod and onto scenic Route 6A that ambles along the north of the Cape. It was late afternoon and the early Autumn sun made the beautiful clapperboard houses that line the route glow. Every twist and turn I sighed and squealed with delight - I was in Martha Stewart heaven!      

The route is littered with antique stores. This one was closed even though stock was left out front. Like stepping back in time.

I couldn't resist stopping to explore Brewster's Store. A wonderful trip back to bygone days.

Of course it wouldn't be Cape Cod without seeing some lighthouses; this one was at Harwich Point. 

"Yer gonna need a bigger boat!" 

Couldn't hep but think of the line from one of my favourite films Jaws when admiring the lovely little ports that are dotted around the island.

And those windswept beaches left me wistful and happy - I sat here on my last day just to drink in scenery that I had longed to see for years. It is a beautiful as I had imagined - bliss!

I have travelled all over America and seen some wonderful sights but I felt so lucky those all too short days I spent in Cape Cod to have visited a place that many others have only dreamed of. 

The train journey back was to savour. After warm autumn sun the heavens opened and Amtrak did a sterling job of getting us through a flooded Stamford station. Arriving back at Penn Station and the shock of being back into the real world - but what wonderful memories I have.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Vintage treasures

I haven't shown you my unit at Hertfordshire Craft Collective in Radlett for quite a while have I? I was in there today stocking up with some new treasures so I thought you might like a peek!

The decoupaged cupboard bottom right of the picture will feature in a 'How to make' blog very soon!

My ever popular cushions for cowboys and gals!

And for their mummys...

This old shelving unit has been upcyled in Farrow & Ball French Grey, one of my favourite colours as it goes with anything. I'd use the shelves for storing vintage scarves and gloves.

I found this little quirky shelf unit last weekend - I think it shows off some of my mid century wares beautifully.

(Did someone mention Xmas stock....?!)

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Pretty front porches of Ocean Grove

I discovered the cute little town of Ocean Grove NJ back in 1989 on a pilgrimage to Asbury Park (that's a bit like Mecca to fans like me of Bruce Springsteen). Last month I got to go back. How often do you get to say a place hasn't changed a bit?!

Ocean Grove was founded in 1869 as an outgrowth of the camp meeting movement in the United States, when a group of Methodist clergymen,formed the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. By the early 20th century, the popular Christian meeting ground became known as the "Queen of Religious Resorts." The community's land is still owned by the camp meeting association and leased to individual homeowners and businesses. Ocean Grove remains the longest-active camp meeting site in the United States.

There's a sign as you enter this little town thats says "Ocean Grove - Gods square mile". Well I don't know about that but it has some heavenly houses that line the peaceful little streets of this village by the sea.

This was the pretty BnB I stayed at - a shells throw from the ocean.

Ocean Grove houses are all distinctly quirky with cute front porches all individually personalised by their owners

Even the little chapel is ridiculously quaint!

These house are all about the front porch. Some were fun...

One or two were, well, um - gaudy...

But so much effort goes into making these porches eye catching...

Many were distinctly patriotic...

... or elegant

I really liked the Americana style of this one ...

Loved the simple green and white - such a pretty entrance!

Finally ... an American house that's smaller than mine and cute as a button!

The people of New Jersey are still as friendly as I found them back in 89. I popped in to say hi to a lovely lady I know via our Facebook business pages who has a wonderful painted furniture store, Paintin Place in Belmar, just a couple of miles along the coast. Sherry generously invited me to join in a paint technique class and here we both are with the result! She is such a talented lady and a great teacher! 

Of course I couldn't leave New Jersey without visiting some of those Springsteen landmarks. Just a long from Sherry's is one of the most famous ...

WIsh you all a great weekend, oh, and welcome to new followers! 

Louise x

Thursday, 4 October 2012

A very special tea party (and a very swanky loo)

 Let me introduce you to some fabulous women....

L to R: Robynne - Liz - Me - Selena - Laura - Sarah (with scrumptious baby) - Charlotte -Becky - Gesci (Missing from the line up Sarah of Sarah-Jane Down The Lane)

These wonderful ladies are all bloggers extrordinaire. Earlier this week they met for a very stylish tea party hosted by the very lovely Laura of Happy Homemaker UK fame. I was lucky enough to be part of this special bloggers get together and I can't tell you how super it was to meet these women who until now only existed in my laptop! They have voices I tell you! 

The venue was rather wonderful too. Sketch is just of Regent St in the West End of London. Have a peek...

Isn't it gorgeous? And the food was pretty special too...

Of course being seasoned bloggers the cameras were out immediately to capture the decor, the food, and the wonderful company! Finally we did get round to eating, and talking ... lots and lots of talking! What a creative and dynamic group of women they are.

Did someone mention a swanky loo? We all had to make a trip - I was well and truly gobsmacked!

I'm sure you know some of these lovely bloggers already but if you don't why not go over and say hi? 

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