Those pesky doors…..

“When one door closes, another door opens; but we so often look so long and regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell

Here’s to keeping your eyes open for the cracks and cranny’s of new doors. That we all see the new with joy and excitement.  May 2016 bring new adventures, new friends, new smiles, good health and many magical  doors. 

Goodby 2015 Hello 2016
Milly waves 2015 Good Bye…and a golden 2016 arrives. (BTW- Boots Designed by Birdelli)

Happy New Years!

6:03 ET…12_21_2014

Winter solstice. Dark skies. Cold temps. No wonder bears and other animals decide to hibernate! Some days that indeed feels like the perfect plan. Today is the shortest day of the year here in the Northern Hemisphere, we get only 9 hours and 4 mins of light here. That’s kind of a bummer until you flip it around and realize the positive, that TOMORROW it immediately starts getting better! The days start getting LONGER! Another positive about the long winter nights is, that if there is a clear night, it can be spectacular star gazing.

WInter Stars

Isabella has decided to “accentuate the positive.” She is listening to music (“Baby it’s Cold Outside” just happens to playing as I type this. A fun winter song of dilemmas and choices that often makes both Izzy and I smile!) Izzy (her nick name) knows the importance of attitude as these dark days role thru the winter. Remember, the dark skies make the bright stars appear to shimmer and sparkle!

We (Izzy and I) want to remind you that Isabellas role, in the community of Botaniums, is that she is the driving force behind “The Knowledge Café.”  A place that strives to always offer a warm welcome to all that travel through the doors and to be a gathering place for all. The Knowledge Cafe is a place of wonderment for many and that delights Izzy. The Café not only houses the Joyful Sparkles Bakery of Julia with its delectable goodies and beverages, but also acts as a general store with books, handmade local gifts, fun technology, an art gallery as well as arts center, and sometimes even an art studio. All this helps foster friendships, and connections. Izzy believes in the importance of all these facets of life, especially the friendships and connections part-life is not nearly as much fun or interesting without those!

All this helps reminds her, and by proxy we hope you too, that life is actually pretty darn great….Despite winters cold temps, head colds, slush/mush, dark days, and some of the other less exciting winter attributes, there is still plenty of reason to smile, snuggle, enjoy and be happy.

According to Victor Hugo-Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.” How can we argue with a famous poet, novelist, dramatist?

…One kind word can warm three winter months. – Japanese Proverb…
Make Victor Hugo proud – use kindness and laughter to warm up these long dark winter days and nights!

Growing, people and our business

A few weekends ago we (that would be I and the gang of Botanical Beauties) were off again to a pretty special little town called Sharon Springs NY.

First, a heartfelt thanks and a nod to Cobbler & Co. located on Historic Main Street in Sharon Springs. They are now on the list of places you can walk into a brick and mortar store and buy Botanical Beauties & Beasties cards! It is a delightful store filled with wonderful treasures. Straight from their website- “Cobbler & Co. is a twelve-room eclectic gift shop. We offer an ever-changing array of gifts for you, your family, your friends, your home and garden and all of your entertaining needs...Take a look around our store and remember, we can ship anywhere!” (www.cobblerandcompany.com/index.html If you find yourself in that neck of the country I highly recommend a visit. For that matter, there are quiet a few stops worthy in Sharon Springs and the nearby environs.

Botanical Cards in the store.
Our cards displayed in the Cobbler & Co. card room. Hurrah!

Which brings me to Sharon Springs generally. The 2,000 census counted the population  as 547!  Sharon Springs NY is up in the Mohawk Valley, not too far from Cooperstown for you baseball fans. The countryside is beautiful, the wonderful Adirondack Park and Catskill Mountains are close by borders giving you some idea of its beauty. The ride is about 3 hours for me, the people I meet are always warm and friendly, meaning both the town folks and the fair attendees. Although I am lucky to even get close to breaking even when I am done with gas, lodging, fees etc I find myself returning each time. Why? What draws me to these shows 2x a year? The annual Garden Party (as the spring show is called) and the Harvest Festival (as the Fall show is named)- it seems like a crazy idea to keep going? So, why do I keep returning?

All this brings me to the words of hope, fascination, and charm. I think these may be the hidden charms of Sharon Springs?  There is something a bit intangible about it all, but it is contagious. I never know whom I will meet, but they are inevitably interesting people at these festivals. Some of it is plan old small town living, some of it is who these festivals draw in, and some of it Sharon Springs and its community. Granted, The Beekman Boy’s name is behind these fairs, it was fairly predominate, now it is a bit obscured. (Their FB page.) As a matter of fact, ETSY will be running the fair in the fall, so well see how that plays out. Regardless, The Beekman Boys are still a “draw” and fans come out to play!  There is a tour their home (a separate but planned extra if you so wish) and a fun array of other scheduled events happening on these weekends. For sure, it is a fun “weekend get-away” for many. I have decided to add to my weekend routine…after the arts fair is over on Saturday, I walk over (about 500 steps) and have a lovely cool cocktail on the amazing front porch of the American Hotel. Totally relaxing after a long day.  One never knows who might turn up there to chat with, and I like that! It is what I consider a quintessential front porch, and I met the nicest folks last time.

The American Hotel

Part of what is fascinating about Sharon Springs NY is its history. Here is a brief glimpse.  At one point, about 1836-1860, Sharon Springs was well know for its mineral water spa, with multiple large grand hotels and boardinghouses. By 1841, the village had become world-famous as the social elite came to take the waters. Magnificent large hotels and forest-like parks graced the village landscape. During the second half of the 19th Century, Sharon Springs was home to over sixty hotels and rooming houses accommodating over 10,000 visitors each summer. By the early 1900s… the summer clientele with the influx of European visitors (had become) primarily from Judaic tradition.” (more info.)  “Thanks to its sulfurmagnesium, and chalybeate mineral springs, Sharon Springs grew into a bustling spa during the 19th century. At the peak of its popularity, Sharon Springs hosted 10,000 visitors each summer, including members of theVanderbilt family and Oscar Wilde (who gave a lecture at the now-demolished Pavilion Hotel on 11 August 1882).” (more info) Sharon Springs also had a great location – in the 1800s two major paths (turnpikes and canals)  were constructed and Sharon was connected to Albany as well as larger cities like NYC easily. Farmers with cash crops of wheat and hops were now well positioned to thrive. To add to the good fortune of Sharon, the Delaware and Hudson Railroad open a spur thru Sharon, and the age of the spa was pretty well golden! Eventually, as family (and so spa and hotel proprietors) aged, fires, a hops blight, Prohibition, plus a few more national factors, Sharon Springs thriving success was brought to a halt. Here’s an interesting tidbit According to a NYT article (26 August 2000) “After World War II, Sharon Springs got a second wind from the West German government, which paid medical care reparations to Holocaust survivors, holding that therapeutic spa vacations.” More info.) In 1994 Sharon Springs, and its Spa-related structures were added to the National Register of Historic Places and Sharon Springs became a Historic District. The walking tour and the accompanying plaques were created to guide visitors through our history. The plaques showcase the many buildings, some still remaining, some long gone and put them in their historical context.” (Here is  a link to a brief, but complete  story of the fascinating history of Sharon Springs. More info. 

In todays, world Sharon Springs is again picking its self up and seems to be a story of revitalization.  There are charming stores and delicious restaurants to peruse and enjoy.  It appears that growing communities of artisans (both material and culinary) are living, and moving to the area…and don’t forget-I always seem to meet nice people there! Need a break? Try out a visit during the Fall Festival Sept. 20 & 21, 2014: Arts, countryside, amazing food, fun, frolic, and pretty much guaranteed a pleasant time.

Sharon Springs Collage

To all Mothers!

To mothers of human babies, and to all the mothers of all the creatures of planet Earth

 Happy Mothers Day! 

Rosie with Babies

 

 

The Wonderful, Fabulous, Beekman Boys and BEEKMAN 1802

http://beekman1802.com/heirloom-charlie/
Wahoo!!!!!! Check out the link!
It starts out saying..

At Beekman 1802, we are always inspired by the artisans we work with to create our products, but we also get inspired by people we meet “along the way”.   We met artist Liz Carren at an event earlier this year and were inspired by her “starting life over” story.  She’ll be one of the 150 vendors at this year’s Sharon Springs Harvest Festival.  Find her booth and say ‘hi’.

 

The Beekman Boys are true to their words, they said they would do it and they did! A little,  make that  A LOT, of  PR for Heirloom Charlie and so The Botanical Beauties & Beasties too!!!!! Heirloom Charlie IS UP and On the Beekman Boys – 1802 Beekman Website ( http://beekman1802.com/heirloom-charlie/)   and FB page (https://www.facebook.com/FabulousBeekmanBoys) …ahem, they have 94,852 Likes on their FB page- it’s got to help our PR and help get us to our goal of helping feed some families that need a bit of help!

Join us at The Harvest Fest this weekend!

2013-Harvest-Festival

and from The Beekman Website as well…
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.–T. Roosevelt

 When we started the Sharon Springs Harvest Festival 5 years ago, we dreamed it to be an occasion to celebrate the harvest from our local farmers and a day to bring the community together.   The first  year we were thrilled when 500 people showed up to the one day event.  Last year, imagine our surprise when over 8000 people over two days came to visit our little village.  Why?  No other reason than it’s a weekend to acknowledge what is good about small town America.  We want you to come by and say ‘hi’ to everyone.”

http://beekman1802.com/heirloom-charlie/

Perseverance pays off- hopefully in spades!

• And More big news. Every time We, The Botanical Beauties & Beasties and myself, are out and about in public, at shows or wherever, many folks ask, “Where’s the book?” “Do you have a book out yet?” Or, I hear them say, “You know, you ought to write a book” and on and on it goes, Well, 2 years later, I am finally “on it” – I am actually writing a book. I have about 1/2  of it drawn and the first draft of the words are also about 1/2 down on paper, well actually in the computer so digital paper. I plan it to be a series, starting with Heirloom Charlie, and for small children. Each book will feature one character, introduce another (which will naturally be the next in the series) and gently tell about the characters story/cause. The last part of each book will be about community and helping one another in the small and big details. I am hoping to be able to keep all the cost down, and be able to “package” 3 or 4 of the books together with ribbon, much like a “card packs” I do now.  I’m excited, and working away over here in my land of BBB3!  If anyone has any great ideas, or knowledge that can help- please, bring it on!

 

 

…and we are off to The Cape

 

Cptuit Sign

 43rd Annual Festival of Arts & Crafts in the Seaside Village of Cotuit.

This weekend the CraftFest Cotuit on the Cotuit Village Green becomes the largest outdoor crafts festival on Cape Cod! Come on down and join the fun, see the art, and enjoy.

“More than 100 artisans and craftsmen gather at this premier showing of skilled craftsmanship and artistic talent. A day spent at CraftFest Cotuit is a day full of artistic inspiration, dialogue and learning, with all the pleasures of a quintessential summer village festival, down by the seaside, on Cape Cod. And, once more, the festival’s organizers will offer both free parking and free admission.”

Farmers Markets

 No farms – No food.Tractor

Although it’s dogmatic I still like this (No farms – No food) bummer sticker/slogan a lot. It’s all to easy to forget WHERE our food comes from. Do our kids know where food comes from other than the grocery store? Some yes, some no.

farmers’ market (also farmers market) is a physical retail market featuring foods sold directly by farmers to consumers. Farmers’ markets typically consist of booths, tables or stands, outdoors or indoors, where farmers sell fruits, vegetables, meats, and sometimes prepared foods and beverages. Farmers’ markets add value to communities.[1]  (Wikipedia) 

There are all kinds of Farmers Markets in the warmer seasons. They exist world-wide, reflecting each areas culture and flavors. When you stop to think about it Farmers Markets are about as old a tradition as they come.  A gathering of a few locals, selling food and wares, pretty much happening since sharing food began!. Time marched on and Trading Post came to be, then The General Store…take a million steps forward and we transferred that into mega grocery stores.  There are now some Markets attempting to bring us back to better health and making the shopping experience more connected-such as Whole Foods Markets.

Local Farmers Markets are a better ‘carbon footprint’ than any grocery store. Here’s why – The items are primarily all from LOCAL people, driving/transport is kept to a minimum due to the local factor. Now days you usually have an ‘organic‘ or ‘natural‘ element you can choose from, thus keeping pesticides and chemicals uses down. With small local markets the refrigeration is often coolers with ice, not those giant walk in cooler (which certainly DO have their place but also do take a LOT of energy to run.) Farmers Market food pretty much has to be fresh, and have had less time in storage. This equals a healthier food. Markets are generally outdoors, no energy needed for that solar lighting! Not to be left out is that the profit go directly to the farmer/grower/vendor. These are ALL bonus points for the individual, the community and the planet. . Recently a more sophisticated consumer is seeking out these factors/qualities more and more. The last really nice part is, if you attend your local Farmers Market regularly you will inevitably start-up a conversation, have fun food shopping, get to know a local farmer, and maybe a new neighbor! A local conversation and communication in-person, face to face. Now there’s a good old fashion true value!

 Hopkington Farmers MarketWe will be at The Hopkinton Farmers Market this sunday 1-5 pmBUY LOCAL, BUY FRESH!
Open every Sunday, June 16 through October 20 for the 2013 season.
1 pm to 5 pm.
Hopkinton Town Common
Street Parking.
Free Admission

Come get your produce, cheese, honey, meat, bread and wine (wine not every week), and ARTs, and/or some other special visiting vendor each week!!

(across from 11 Ash Street, Hopkinton MA)

map-Hopkinton

Its Hot…Its Art…Its in Tiverton RI- Arts & Artisan Festival

This weekend means we will be in the sumptuous Tiverton RI. Stop by Grays Ice Cream and go on down the road another mile or so and find this lovely Arts Fair! Ice Cream and Art- how can you go wrong?!  Directions/Map

Wessie

“Tiverton Four Corners is once again proud to present their Annual Arts & Artisan Festival on July 20th from 10:00~4:00 (rain date July 21st.) Now in its 26thyear, this festival has seen some of the best local and regional artists display their works and this year will be no exception! A boutique Arts & Artisan festival set in the beautiful Mill Pond Area of the Historic Tiverton Four Corners Village; this festival should not be missed! Follow us on Facebook!

70 + vendors from apron and home good designer/makers to watercolorists, someone who makes dog accessories and snacks, a bird house maker and everything in between. Paintings, Jewelry, pottery, photography, doll clothes, assemblage boxes and all natural, hand made body care and much, much more! There will be food from Acacia Café of Little Compton and baked goods from MULTI award winning bakery Mad Hatter of Newport plus free, local musical entertainment provided by Gary Fish!” -http://bristol-warren.patch.com/

Restorative – the sea and the power of old friends and love

I Must Go Down to the Sea

 I must go down to the seaS again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seaS again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

 – John Masefield

It was last weekend…I was hot, tired frustrated therefore my coping skills were close to zero and so sadness was washing over me… I was in the middle of a 2 day show, and that is just a boat load of work. After a Friday eve set up with a few mishaps, and a full day of show sales, and heat,  I was pretty much a dishcloth ready to be wrung out to hung up to dry. Thank goodness for old friends and the sea. I will just call the friends SMG to protect their privacy. I quietly roll (hybrid so it is virtually silent) into their driveway and puddle into their couch. First a wonderful glass of wine meets my hand- already it’s getting better! Then S says, let’s go down to the boat and float , watch the sunset and breathe some restorative sea air. It was perfect! We did not leave the mooring, which was also perfect for it required no extra energy! M happily puttered and played, we contentedly sipped our wine, watched the waters swirl, the sun hide, and the sea healed a tired soul – mine. Thanks to wonderful friends who just “get it”, and wonderfully happen to have an amazing sailboat we could sit upon, and the sea with all her rhythms of sight, sound, and motion.  Dinner, a good nights sleep, and Sunday was indeed a new day which went easier than the day before. Keep on trucking….

Moe
I Must Go Down to the Sea…. This is MOE, Minister of Clean Water.  He is available in cards, prints and note pads  if he tickles your fancy.

 

Another Weekend and ART to enjoy.

And we are off to Narragansett
Heirloom Charlie, recycled, UPcycled tractor, on his way to Narragansett. Gordy is on his canvas, waiting to fly over for the weekend.

107 Vendor spots to be filled with visual pleasures for your eyes! 31st Annual Narragansett Art Festival.  Yes that reads Art, not arts and/or crafts fair. That means you see new and different items if you are a frequent weekend show goer!

Heirloom Charlie, just couldn’t resist- he left today for he is riding his tractor down!  The rest of us will be there and ready bright and early Saturday (and Sunday)  morning!

Free Admission…. June 22 and 23 — 9 am to 5 pm
Veterans Memorial Park – that would be right next to the Historic Towers and the water! All in lovely Narragansett R.I.

In case you get hungry, 2 invited Food trucks, and tons of good eats all over Narragansett.

We will be there with our “goods” – art prints, Mini Arts, i.e. cards, Handmade lacquered boxes and  trays and a few Beauties on mugs. Come on down and join the visual feast.

 

… and here he is!

Finally – you get to see the whole Botanical Beauty!   You read his story the other day… and now you get to see him as well. In case you are wondering about his less obvious  ‘parts’ – His  hair is dill, chest is a Cheromoya, thighs are star fruit, feet are small onions, pitch fork is Rhubarb, and he is walking on ginger root!  Hope he makes you smile, and think about sustainability across all the parts of your day.

In case you missed his story – it was friday’s posting! http://botanicalbeautiesbeasties.com/off-to-a-garden-party/

 

Heirloom Charlie