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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!

pleasure in simple things marine art 43

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.

Lunch at the beach pleasure in simple things blog

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.

sea wall at the beach pleasure in simple things blog

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?

walking the beach pleasure in simple things blog
I hope you enjoy joining me on my walk today for Friday field trip…

a shell at the beach pleasure in simple things blog

bird at the beach pleasure in simple things blog

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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a winter trip to the flower show

March 13, 2015

the shed at Terrain in Glen Mills PA pleasure in simple things blog

For Friday field trip today, I would like to share a few photos from my recent trip to Philadelphia. Every March, Philadelphia is home to the world’s longest-running and largest indoor floor show. Yes, I did go to the flower show, but this year the photos I am sharing are not actually from the show! Instead, these photos are from a couple of my favorite stops along the way!

Terrain in Glen Mills PA the cafe pleasure in simple things blog

window at Terrain Glen Mills pleasure in simple things blog

The first few photos are from Terrain in Glen Mills, PA – for me, always a required stop on a Philly trip. One of my very favorite stores, Terrain is the ultimate in home and garden inspiration!

Next stop is Longwood Gardens!  Listed as the 2nd best public garden in the nation, my other “must visit” spot on a Philly trip is Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA.

Icy Longwood Gardens pleasure in simple things blog

Even on a day when the hemlocks are dripping with ice and the weather prohibits walking the extensive grounds of the gardens, Longwood does not disappoint.  Even the bad weather doesn’t prevent a quick walk past the topiary garden.

Topiary Garden at Longwood Gardens pleasure in simple things blog

At this time of year, the Conservatory sports an amazing display of orchids. But, this trip, these were my favorite flowers.

Longwood Gardens indoor flowers pleasure in simple things blog

Inside Longwood Gardens pleasure in simple things blog
And for me, the winter is a wonderful time to admire favorite indoor spaces that do not get as much attention when the weather makes the outdoor spaces at Longwood more inviting – like the children’s garden. Here are some of the great water features in the children’s garden (Did you see the video of the nest and bird fountain on my Instagram?)

Fountain in childrens garden at Longwood Gardens pleasure in simple things blog

Water feature at Longwood Gardens pleasure in simple things blog

Fountain in Children's Garden at Longwood Gardens pleasure in simple things

As I leave, I see a suggestion of what is coming in the better weather ahead – this will be filled with roses in bloom before you know it!

rose trellis at Longwood Gardens pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks for sharing a few photos from my (snowy and icy) trip to Philadelphia on today’s Friday field trip.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing with French Country Cottage and The Shabby Nest.

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powder room redo

March 6, 2015

sink and towels powder room pleasure in simple things blog

Who doesn’t love to see a good before and after? For Friday field trip today, I am sharing the progress of a pretty little powder room update.

powder room before pleasure in simple things blogMy good friend, Phyllis, decided she needed to update the bathrooms and laundry room in her beautiful, historic home. On a recent visit, I found her downstairs powder room was almost complete. With only a little styling left to finish, I had to admire the beautiful update she created.

bathroom with Pike's Peak Gray Paint by BM pleasure in simple things blog

before floor in powder room pleasure in simple things blogAfter removing floor to ceiling wallpaper, Phyllis started the powder room project by adding some molding detail on the bottom half of the walls. This is where a handy husband is very important! He crafted both the chair rail and the panel molding. This type of detail on the walls is a great way to add some interest to a small room! Next, for the toughest part of the renovation – removing the old tile floor. (I know, I know – the old floor looked great too, right?)

closeup tile mosaic pleasure in simple things blog

Phyllis picked out a pretty geometric mosaic tile pattern that also coordinated well with the tile she chose for the upstairs bath and the gray marble she chose for the nearby laundry room. (I can’t wait to see the finished laundry room – I will try and share that with you on an upcoming field trip!) The mosaic tile pattern was installed with a black tile border.  For the wall color, Phyllis chose a lovely shade of gray called Pike’s Peak by Benjamin Moore.

long shot of sink in powder room pleasure in simple things blog

Phyllis kept her sink, but decided to install a new, more efficient toilet.

long shot of powder room toilet pleasure in simple things blog

We all know good taste is not limited to shopping at expensive stores and Phyllis proved this, big time, with her mirror choice. After visiting many stores, she chose this beauty she found at Marshalls to hang in the new powder room.

mirror detail powder room pleasure in simple things

A little bling in the light fixture choice and shine on the wall switch definitely add an elegant touch to the space.

bathroom bling in powder room redo pleasure in simple things blog

powder room light fixture pleasure in simple things blog

Coordinating with a little bit of shine, Phyllis created a little orchid planting in a silver container specifically for the space.

orchid planting pleasure in simple things blog

Phyllis has plans to add a white plantation shutter to the window and a few more accessories to complete the space, but with the styling almost finished, you can see how pretty the new area came out!

Thanks so much Phyllis for sharing your beautiful new powder room on Friday field trip!

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends! Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing at NancherrowShabby Nest, Coastal Charm, and French Country Cottage.

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happy chinese new year!

February 20, 2015

Chinese New Year pleasure in simple things blog

Yesterday started Chinese New Year. In celebration, for today’s Friday field trip, I am sharing some special Chinese art given to me. These images are photos of Chinese paper cuts.

paper cuts for Chinese New Year pleasure in simple things

Paper-cutting (Jianzhi in Chinese) is one of the oldest and most popular folk arts in China.

pleasure in simple things Chinese New Year

As early as 3 BC – before paper was even invented – paper-cutting techniques were used in China on leaves or other thin materials. Chinese paper-cutting is the first type of paper-cutting design since paper was invented in China!

Chinese paper cuts pleasure in simple things blog

Aren’t they amazing?

chinese paper cuts on pleasure in simple things blog

one chinese paper cut pleasure in simple things blog

Have a wonderful weekend!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

P.S. You may not be celebrating Chinese New Year by creating designs like these, but maybe try creating some yummy bubble tea?  Click here to check out how to do it!

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glass blowing adventure

January 9, 2015

paperweight from glass blowing adventure pleasure in simple things blog

I love all creative arts. One place I had been eager to visit ever since I knew of its existence is Peter Greenwood’s Glass Blowing Studio in Riverton, Connecticut. Peter offers workshops for beginners with no experience and I really wanted to give it a try!

Front of Peter Greenwood's glass blowing studio pleasure in simple things blog

My idea was to visit before Christmas and create a glass blown ornament for my tree…how special would that be?! But, after discussing the workshop options with Peter before I made my visit, I decided to create a glass paperweight rather than a glass ornament. Yes, the ornament was an actual glass blowing experience, but if I took the workshop for the paperweight; I could actually make my piece from start to finish. I decided to go for the hands-on experience of forming molten glass and sculpting it into a paperweight – with Peter’s guidance, of course.

I am so glad I did. The process was fascinating.

A friend and I made the trip to the quaint little town of Riverton where Peter’s studio and showroom are located inside a historic stone church built in 1829.

glass blowing studio with pleasure in simple things blog

piece at Peter Greenwood's studio pleasure in simple things blog

I am sharing some photos from the visit on today’s Friday field trip, but I think the best way to really get a sense of the process is to watch the short video created from phone videos the day of my visit. In hindsight, I probably should have brought a video camera with me, but my friend Wendy was nice enough to take some video of my experience and I am thrilled to have it documented.

Click here for A Video on Creating a Paperweight in Peter Greenwood’s Connecticut Studio.

tools of the glass blowing trade pleasure in simple things blog

glass blowing tools pleasure in simple things blog

In some ways, I found creating glass pieces very similar to throwing pots because of the symmetry component, although working in conjunction with a 2,000 degree oven was a little more daunting! I was very much aware of the dangerous temperatures involved and was extremely cautious.

2,000 degree furnace glass blowing pleasure in simple things

The 2,000 degree oven used to create my glass paperweight at Peter Greenwood’s studio.

 

beginnings of a paperweight pleasure in simple things blog

The beginnings of my paperweight at Peter Greenwood’s studio in Connecticut.

glass chips from glass blowing pleasure in simple things blog

Glass chips like this are used to create the design in the paperweight…I used blue chips for mine.

When completed, the blue swirl I created in my paperweight glowed orange from the high temperature. Once cooled, the blue color would be apparent. The cooling process is done very slowly or the piece would have exploded due to the quick temperature change!

finished paperweight before cooled pleasure in simple things blog

I hope you enjoyed today’s field trip. Peter is a wonderful teacher and I highly recommend looking him up should you ever want to take a trip to Riverton and experience some of your own glass adventures!

Peter Greenwood pieces pleasure in simple things blog

Have a wonderful weekend!

Peter Greenwood pleasure in simple things glass blowing adventure

The glass master himself, Peter Greenwood.

Thanks for stopping by! Remember to enjoy pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing with Elizabeth & Co., Nancherrow, and House of Hipsters.

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restoration hardware gallery in ct

January 2, 2015

mixing textures at Restoration Hardware pleasure in simple things blog

Don’t you love walking through Restoration Hardware? Their use of a neutral color palette, thoughtful mix of textures, and minimal use of accessories is definitely right in line with my taste. And, the light fixtures? O.M.G.

lighting at Restoration Hardware in CT pleasure in simple things blog

All the stores are worth a visit, but if you happen to live near Boston, Greenwich, Atlanta, or West Hollywood; you have access to a very special store – the Restoration Hardware Gallery Store. If you don’t happen to live near these places, you can catch a little glimpse of what you are missing on today’s Friday field trip to the Connecticut store.

restoration hardware gallery in connecticut

Formerly on Greenwich Avenue, the store moved a short distance up the street to occupy the old historic Greenwich Post Office and become one of the four RH gallery stores. But, this did not happen until after the space was completely gutted and renovated. Click here to see more about the project.

The grand scale and dramatic lighting of this magnificent store make for a museum-like experience…

a collage of restoration hardware

magnificent lighting at RH pleasure in simple things blog

The store displays a luxury lifestyle with dramatic interior and exterior installations of home furnishings in a gallery setting.

stair case at Restoration Hardware in CT pleasure in simple things blog

bathroom at Restoration Hardware pleasure in simple things blog

Some pieces are a little too masculine for my taste and some a little too heavy on the industrial vibe, but for the most part, I would love to own any one of Restoration Hardware’s furniture pieces (if I had a large enough space to accommodate it, of course!).

chair at Restoration Hardware pleasure in simple things blog

textures at Restoration Hardware pleasure in simple things blog

I love examining paint finishes and have had fun trying my hand at recreating (in look anyway) them in some of my refinishing projects using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

table setting at Restoration Hardware pleasure in simple things blog

table accessory at Restoration Hardware pleasure in simple things blog

The Greenwich RH Gallery provides some amazing inspiration and I urge you to visit one of the four gallery locations if you should be provided the opportunity.

lighting at Restoration Hardware pleasure in simple things blog

I hope you enjoyed today’s field trip.

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

Sharing at The Shabby Nest, Kim Klassen’s Friday Finds, French Country Cottage, and House of Hipsters.

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