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epitome of summer

August 28, 2015

basic sand castle pleasure in simple things blog

Most every coastal town in Fairfield County schedules a sand castle building contest during the summer and each year I try to attend at least one. For Friday field trip this week, I am sharing a few photos from the contest I attended this year.

sand castles mermaid pleasure in simple things blog

sand castles pleasure in simple things blog

sand castles bear pleasure in simple things blog

sand castles contest pleasure in simple things blog

sand castle fish pleasure in simple things blog

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Which is your favorite?

Have a wonderful weekend and remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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two tons of white legos®

August 21, 2015

building in process pleasure in simple things blog

What would happen if someone dumped two tons of LEGOS® into a city park and told the public to ‘have at it?’  You can find out this summer on the High Line in New York City with The collectivity project!

lego time pleasure in simple things blog

art installation at the high line pleasure in simple things blog

The collectivity project, an installation of white LEGO® bricks, features an imaginary cityscape conceived and designed by the public.  The ever-evolving shape of the installation is at the mercy of those visiting the High Line who are welcome to play with the installation – building and rebuilding the structures over time.

building legos at the high line pleasure in simple things

The project stimulates tons of creative energy and provides a darn good time in the process!  The idea was driven by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, demonstrating his desire to make the concerns of art relevant to society at large; not limited to the confines of a museum or gallery.

high line legos pleasure in simple things

Visitors are a mix – from super serious architect types to those who are just passersby and add a single brick or two.  Me? I found myself somewhere in the middle.  I wanted to make my mark on the project – to be a contributor – but, I didn’t feel the need to impress anyone with my superior LEGO® building skills!

lego sky scrapers pleasure in simple things blog

If you should visit, you may not see what is pictured here since the piece is constantly being reconfigured by those who visit and contribute to its ever-progressing contour.

building legos in nyc pleasure in simple things blog

lego tower at the high line pleasure in simple things blog

Visit the High Line now through September 30th and you will get the chance to make your mark on two tons of white LEGOS® at no charge!  How cool is that?!  Thanks for stopping by for Friday field trip!  I will post some additional photos from this great installation on Facebook this weekend.

white legos pleasure in simple things blog
Have a wonderful weekend and remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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P.S.  Click here to read more about The High Line.

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poetic chest before and after

July 24, 2015

after Duck Egg drawer pleasure in simple things blog

This piece was part of a larger piece that was left out on the curb at a beachfront home. I instantly fell in love with it, because I knew the details would look awesome as a painted piece. It was a really large piece and I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend the time on it that it needed. It ended up I couldn’t resist it. After having a heck of a time getting it home, I ended up taking the top piece to the dump and started working on the bottom piece.

before photo pleasure in simple things blog

First, I used a sealer on it because I feared some of the stain may bleed through the paint. I decided Old White and Duck Egg would look really great on this piece, even though I was very tempted to use my favorite French Linen.

Duck egg door pleasure in simplet things

This piece would find its home in a commercial retail space that had something of a poetry theme, so I had the idea to paint the inside of the drawers and add some pages of a poetry book; roughing them up some to make them look vintage. And, because of the poetry theme, I departed from my standard coastal town name and named the piece T.S.

inside cabinet drawer pleasure in simple things blog

This redo had to be one of my toughest ever because so much of the work was done on the hottest, muggiest days we have had this summer. And, believe me; I am not exaggerating…the weather was so bad that the drawers had swollen and wouldn’t fit back into the piece when it was completed! It wasn’t until T.S. was in its new home, in air conditioning for 24 hours, that I was able to put the piece back together – and, even then, I didn’t want anyone to touch it for a while because I feared the wax wasn’t set. (The reason there are no great after photos! That and the fact that the retail space hadn’t opened yet!)

cabinet detail pleasure in simple things blog

I ended up really happy with the result and I think the details are just lovely. Here is how T.S. came to be:

• 2 coats of Annie Sloan Old White on the main part of the piece
• 2 coats of Annie Sloan Duck Egg on the doors and drawers
• 1 coat of Annie Sloan Old White and water wash (50/50) on the doors and drawers – applied with a cloth
• 1 coat of Annie Sloan clear wax over everything
• Some distressing
• 1 coat Annie Sloan dark wax

cabinet redo pleasure in simple things blog duck egg and old white

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Have a wonderful weekend and remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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a window view

July 17, 2015

a window view 1 pleasure in simple things blog

The last time I went into the city, I had a fascination with windows. Sounds crazy, right? I started looking out some old windows with chippy molding and was mesmerized! It seemed the older and dirtier the windows, the more beautiful they became in my eyes. And, if something interesting was near the window – all the better!

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You know I am all about a good theme and, apparently, my visit on that particular day was going to be windows!

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For Friday field trip today, I am sharing a few of my favorite photos from my ‘window day’ in New York City. I will post a few additional window photos on my Facebook page.

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In the words of Anne Spollen in The Shape of Water: “I discovered windows one afternoon and after that, nothing was ever the same.”

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Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a wonderful weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing at House of Hipsters,  Craftberry Bush, The Shabby Nest, and French Country Cottage.

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dusk in the garden

July 10, 2015

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At the beach or in the garden, the light at dusk is my favorite light of the day.

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I am enjoying the opportunity to explore a yard I haven’t seen before at this glorious time of day.

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And, today for Friday field trip, I am sharing my visit with you.

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Many would have found the challenge of creating a pleasing landscape in a sloping yard with plenty of trees and ledge as too much to handle.

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That is not the case with the owners of this yard!  If the abundance of shade presented a challenge, it is not evident to anyone who visits this beautiful and imaginative space.

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The details are lovely and there are plenty of unique features.

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I think one of my favorite aspects of the garden spaces is that where many may have used white, (on a pair of Adirondack chairs, planters, garden shelves, fence) this couple chose to use black as a ‘go-to’ color.  The use of the darker color brings a sense of richness to the design.

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I hope you have enjoyed a few glimpses of this lovely space today on Friday field trip.  Thanks for stopping by.

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Have a wonderful weekend and remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing with NancherrowThe Shabby Nest, French Country Cottage, and Craftberry Bush.

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american waters: a marine exhibition

July 3, 2015

pleasure in simple things Lyme Art Association

For today’s Friday field trip, I am very excited to take you to American Waters: A Marine Art Exhibition in Old Lyme, Connecticut.  This summer exhibition of work by the country’s premier maritime artists is on view in the Lyme Art Association’s beautiful sky-lit galleries.  American Waters represents a showing of the very best of fine contemporary American marine paintings. A jury exhibition of marine art by the Association’s member artists are on view alongside art by invited artists from the American Society of Marine Artists.

One of my very favorite pieces from the collection is View from the Top by James Magner.

View from the Top James Magner pleasure in simple things

Here is a detail photo from the piece.  I wish I had the budget to purchase the entire collection of over 120 works (which I don’t), but if I had the budget to purchase just one for myself, this may very well be my choice!

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Remember that these paintings are far more magnificent in person than a photo could ever convey.  Also, in the gallery the pieces are all displayed in frames.  Here, I chose to show them to you without the frames since I thought the frames were distracting in a photograph.  With that being said, here are some of my other favorite works.

pleasure in simple things marine art 86Discovery by Shauna Shane

pleasure in simple things marine art 32Beached by Joan Poarch

pleasure in simple things marine art 114Meandering by Kim Muller-Thym

pleasure in simple things marine art 24Dog Days by Catherine Puccio

pleasure in simple things marine art 17Solitude by Faripour Forouhar

pleasure in simple things marine art  98Morning Light by Kent Winchell

pleasure in simple things marine art 49Slack Time by Deborah Kotchen

I hope you enjoyed sharing some of the wonderful works on display at The Lyme Art Association.  If you live in Connecticut or are passing through, be sure to stop by the exhibit – it is easily accessible off I95 and well worth a visit.

Lyme Art Association in Lyme CT pleasure in simple things

I am very much looking forward to the Art Association’s upcoming exhibition Summer Days, Starry Nights & Connecticut Pastel Society opening on August 14th. If you want more details about upcoming exhibits, check the website by clicking here for more information.

American Waters Exhibit pleasure in simple things blog
Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing with Thoughts From Alice, Finding Silver Pennies, and House of Hipsters.

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patriotic driftwood bubble wands

June 26, 2015

patriotic bubble wand pleasure in simple things blog

The Fourth of July at the beach is great! And, just like in the rest of the nation, some serious red, white, and blue action is going down! It starts early in the day with the kick-off red, white, and blue parade. The kiddies dress themselves, their bikes, their dogs – and just about anything else you can think of – in the colors of the day!  Once the evening arrives, a magnificent display of fireworks is the crowning glory of these patriotic hues.

diy patriotic driftwood bubble wands pleasure in simple things blog

The relaxed vibe at the beach makes it easy to create – most times using items found on the beach. A classic example is the crab catcher. This handy item is crafted from an old wooden clothespin and some string. When baited with whatever scrap of meat or meat related product can be salvaged, it works its magic!

making bubbles with homemade wands pleasure in simple things blog

Another handy item for the beach is a bubble maker aka bubble wand.  For the holiday, this can be a fun patriotic craft!  Using some dish detergent (1 patriotic driftwood bubble wands pleasure in simple things blogtablespoon dish liquid per 1 cup water) and some homemade bubble wands, it is super simple to create some fun in the sand. Running along the beach after bubbles can keep the young (or young at heart) occupied for hours!

Bubble wands are easy to make using pipe cleaners and driftwood.  They can be decorated with shells, scraps of ribbon, or any other number of items washed up on shore.  Some crafters take time for elaborate decorations. while others work fast; anxious to get to the bubble part!  (Yes, the star shapes do work to make bubbles, but are much more complicated for young fingers to create.)

For today’s Friday field trip, I wanted to show you some of the wands I made at the beach. You can use wire or stiff ribbon – anything that will hold its shape. I used items I already had. The smaller ones here are made with a sparkly wired ribbon and the others are made with metallic pipe cleaners.

patriotic beach day pleasure in simple things

I like to make the bubbles by dipping the wands into a shallow container of the bubble liquid; especially for the larger bubble wands. This makes it easy to dip the wand and the shallow container helps avoid knocking over the solution.  Remember, the larger the wand, the larger the bubble!

loading bubbles onto a homemade bubble wand pleasure in simple things blog

And, for some extra night time fun, break open a glow stick to add to your bubble solution for some glow-in-the-dark bubbles!

I hope I have inspired you to create some bubble wands of your own!

4th of July pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks for stopping by. Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing with House of Hipsters, Thoughts From AliceCraftberry Bush, Nancherrow, and The Shabby Nest.

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a wordless year

May 22, 2015

shell at the beach pleasure in simple things blog

I didn’t choose a ‘word of the year’ for 2015.  I was thinking about that on my walk by the water today.  I wondered why I wasn’t inspired to come up with one this year.

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I thought if I had, it would have been something that expressed a need to keep things fresh…to constantly learn new things…to go on new adventures.

a piece of driftwood at the beach pleasure in simple things blog

I don’t have the ability to travel to foreign lands or visit exotic cultures.  But, I am still able to find new adventures every day.

crab at the beach pleasure in simple things blog

Not a day goes by when I don’t learn something new that creates a special interest or the need to explore.

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But, I certainly wouldn’t want to confine that need to discover to a single year…maybe that is why no word for the year?

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I hope you enjoy joining me on my walk today for Friday field trip…

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driftwood  at the beach pleasure in simple things blog

Have a wonderful weekend.  Thanks for stopping by!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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a visit to ben wolff pottery

May 15, 2015

Ben Wolff white clay pots pleasure in simple things blog

Because I am so enamored with his handcrafted pots, I have wanted to make a visit to Ben Wolff’s studio for a long time. Even though it is located right here in Connecticut, the studio was one spot on my ‘to visit’ list that never seemed to get crossed off.

Ben Wolff flower pots with Tuscan Rim pleasure in simple things blog

That changed this past weekend when my son asked what I wanted to do for Mother’s Day. I decided I could pass on a meal and, instead, we aimed to get Ben Wolff’s pottery studio crossed off my list of places to visit- yippee! It was a great day for a drive and the ride provided some great alone time with my son – catching up on what was going on with him.

Ben Wolff pot and bleeding hearts pleasure in simple things blog

If purchasing flower pots were my goal, it would have been easy enough to just order them online. I’m not saying I didn’t want any pots, but that was not my main reason for the visit. I wanted to see the studio and meet the artist. As luck would have it, I was able to do both.

Ben Wolff tuscan rim flower pot in white pleasure in simple things blog

Ben and his wife, Corinne, were both in the studio when we arrived. I knew Ben was a third generation artisan and he was happy to share his history and explain how he got started learning his craft at the age of two!

ben wolff white pot pleasure in simple things blog

It was a great visit and it turned out my son’s gift also included a few of Ben’s pieces! As a lover of neutral color schemes, the pots Ben creates in white clay are my favorite! I carefully picked out a few; choosing ones with Tuscan rims.

Tuscan rim white clay pot Ben Wolff pleasure in simple things blog

They are just so gorgeous! It is hard to imagine using a terra-cotta pot after you have seen Ben’s work. (If you read this blog, you probably have already figured out that I don’t use terra-cotta pots because of my aversion to the color and that my passion in the garden is for all white flowers!)

Ben Wolff signed white pots pleasure in simple things blog

With pieces starting as low as $8, they are affordable pieces of art – each signed by Ben.

White clay Ben Wolff flower pots pleasure in simple things blog

I haven’t yet planted in my new pieces, but for Friday field trip today, I hope you enjoyed sharing some of Ben’s works of art – a few from the thousands of flower pots he creates each year on his potter’s wheel in Goshen, Connecticut. I photographed them with some of the early bloomers from my garden.

Ben Wolff tuscan rim white pot pleasure in simple things blog

I hope you are enjoying some of your own garden flowers. If you follow my Instagram, you know I have been enjoying mine!

Ben Wolff Pottery Studio pleasure in simple things blog

The outside of Ben Wolff’s pottery studio in Connecticut.

Thank you so much for stopping by!  Have a fabulous weekend, Jackie

Sharing with Craftberry Bush and French Country Cottage.

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a cluck and an oink and healthful eating

April 17, 2015

pig at Sporthill Farm pleasure in simple things

For me, more so than the start of the new year, spring is the signal for new beginnings. And, just like the tradition of making new year resolutions, I always try to start spring off on the right foot. One thing that I am constantly trying to improve upon is my nutrition.

chickens at Springhill Farm pleasure in simple things

Each year, I try and take one or two baby steps that continue me on the path of healthy eating. Some of the steps I have taken in the past, for example, are the ones that have totally eliminated diet soda and artificial sweeteners.

Healthful eating is a real challenge. As a consumer, it is not always easy to make good food choices. This task definitely requires a lot of time and effort!

chickens up close pleasure in simple things blog

Up close and personal. What it looks like when a chicken pecks your camera lens!

One baby step I have added that really helps me in the time department is to shop in places that have virtually eliminated what I consider to be bad food choices. How do I do this? One way is by shopping locally at farmer’s markets and local farms.

friendly pigs at Sporthill Farm pleasure in simple things

This spring, I have already started visiting a local farm – Sporthill Farm in Easton. Even though there is not much product out yet, it is helping me develop a habit of visiting a healthy source for foods – another step toward a healthier lifestyle. And, as you can see by this week’s Friday field trip photos, I am meeting a few new friends along the way!

pigs at Sporthill Farm pleasure in simple things

In the words of Dave Weinbaum:  The secret to a rich life is to have more beginnings than endings.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful weekend!

new plants at Sporthill Farm pleasure in simple things blog

Wishing you many new beginnings! xo Jackie

Sharing with Nancherrow and The Shabby Nest.

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