Antiquing In the Brimfield Tradition

It has become a tradition (cue the Fiddler on the Roof theme!) for my mother and I to hit Brimfield twice a year- once in spring, and once in the fall. Brimfield is a town in Massachusetts that becomes the antique mecca of the US three times a year. The town is overtaken by a baffling quantity of antiques dealers from all over the country, selling every possible thing ever made. That is what I like most about it. While I may be seeking certain things for my various collections, mostly I like to take pictures of the oddities that I never expected to see. And so, I share them with you! I hope you appreciate the old and odd, too!

Who you lookin’ at, punk?

I didn’t expect to see Harrison Ford, for example.

Harrison and Mom, together at last!

Early Christmas!

Are they live, or are they cooked?

Here you can see a set of the original, deadly steel-tipped Jarts, along with a painting of…questionable content.

What is going on in that painting?

I can’t buy everything, but IF I could, this would be amongst the purchases:

You can never have too many wooden bunny carts, I always say.

Here’s another one of those “Wha???” kind of items. They are plaster wall hangings depicting… human peas?

OH, the humanity!

These make me want to be a chocolatier, so I would have an excuse to own them all!

Continue reading “Antiquing In the Brimfield Tradition”

New stuff from Brimfield…

As I said, I picked up a few things at the Brimfield show last week, because you can’t go there and NOT find anything, that would be impossible.
For me, anyhow!
Old stuff is aesthetically more interesting than most new stuff.
Again, for me, anyhow!

Some of the things I am a sucker for are vintage children’s books:

This coloring book is from 1934, and was never used. Why is that a little sad?

These are from 1950- I especially love the alphabet one!

These are teeny- about 3″ each. Wee stuff is always extra cute!

A little salute to Belgium and Holland:

That’s a wine label, I think…plus some sweet wooden shoes.

I always manage to find at least a few “new” old fabrics…

New-old stock Easter candy box= LOVE!

Another mysterious love- old, unused stickers, preferably the gummed paper kind, and especially if they’re in their original package!

Also an unused decal from one of our favorite meccas…Santa’s Village in NH!

And a little something more medieval, too:

Rampant unicorns! Huzzah!

That’s most of what I picked up. I guess I am generally an ephemera lover!

Antiques in the Air…

… can you smell it? Fall, Autumn, the wind whistling, a few leaves blowing by…and miles of antiques!

September is when one of the three yearly Brimfield shows occurs, and I snuck away for the day with my mom to partake in the hunt. It turns out that I collect pictures just as much as real stuff (no, more), so herewith are some photos of things I thought were cool, and some of the stuff I got while there. Really, I think the fun is just in the poking around, looking through decades past.

‘Twas a brisk fall day, cloudy for the most part, but with sun poking through occasionally.

Every season is Christmas at Brimfield:

These are some mighty fine paper candy containers:

Here’s something you don’t see anymore, not even in Scotland!

I love the naive painting on this set o’ dwarves…

Continue reading “Antiques in the Air…”


Took a day with Mom and went to the antiques haven that is Brimfield. If you like to scrounge around through old stuff, then this is the place for you!

Hundreds upon hundreds of dealers…thousands of weird items…

Here’s my mom considering a new sewing machine:

They have things you wished you could take home:

Any home would be enhanced if it had a ride-on squirrel! Continue reading “Brimfield!”

New York City in January

I just got back from a few days in New York, both setting up the FRED booth at The NY International Gift Fair and visiting my agent and publisher. Those meetings went well… more on that stuff *soon* !

Upon arriving in The Big City, we checked into the W Hotel, waaaayyy way up on the 30th floor.

The first thing I saw when I looked out the window was this:

What!?! Billy Elliot is playing right there in the back yard?? This is the one play I really wanted to see. We tried to get tickets the last time we were in town. This time, GOT ‘EM! It’s one of my favorite movies, so I was really curious about how they would make it a musical, of all things. So after walking around in the -20 weather to my meetings, Eric and I went to a Belgian restaurant (carbonnade flamande!) and then to the show:

It was fabulous! They did a great job of integrating ballet/dance/singing and miners striking and swearing. One would think that couldn’t be done, but they did it. Now that I am involved in community theater here at home, I couldn’t help but look at all the technical stuff involved. How did they keep the smoke machine smoke so even along the ground? How did they fling that kid on a wire from one end of the stage to the other without him dying? And just how deep do those hydraulic stage mechanisms go into the earth? And wow, dancing pants. I didn’t expect that! See it if you get the chance!

Never been to a big trade show before? You don’t know what you’re missing! Here’s me at the Fred booth (set up the day before, you can’t imagine how hellish the show looks the day before the show!):

All nice and clean, see? All the products looking their spiffy best!

We have a big TV now that scrolls through images. Cool. Here’s me with a WineStein:

My pal Barb was set up in a different section of the show devoted to licensing artists. This is a booth that’s hard to ignore! Check out the new fabrics and lamps!

Look who was overseeing The Javits Center!

Wait a minute. What did that taxi say? Let’s try that again.

Ah, irony. You’ve got to love irony!
It really was frigidly cold while we were there, so we didn’t stay outside too much. Here’s Eric freezing in Times Square!

Here’s George M. Cohan freezing in Times Square, too. He’s always cool. Yeah.

You know what we DIDN’T see in New York?

No KISS-guys with baseball bats. No mercenary mimes. No Riffs, no subway-stalking rollerskating guys. No Warriors at all!
And only one Lizzie. Hehehe.

Ben’s Bar Mitzvah

OK, I had never been to a Bar Mitzvah before last weekend. I didn’t know what to expect, really.
My good friend Barb’s son Ben was the guy of the day- and what a great job he did! The actual ceremony was beautiful. Luckily for us, it was explained along the way, full of music, and very joyful. Then, after that….

The party portion took place in a grand ballroom that was decked out like Fenway Park:


The kids had their own head table and buffet of kid-approved foods:

head table

No detail was left to chance! As far as I could see, everything was perfectly themed.


The kids (mainly 13-year old boys, of course, but with a smattering of girls, too) were able to take instant pictures in a photo booth, get into Red Sox gear and have their photos put into banners, and visit their own ice cream bar. There was a kid-friendly concession stand:


And guys on hand to airbrush custom t-shirts (the kids could choose the design):


There was a beautiful cake that had a lot of tall candles on it- each candle represented an important person in Ben’s life.


The Nook was well-represented that night. Here’s Monica, MB, and Janet, wearing their Bar Mitzvah best!


There’s Ben in the middle of the dancers (yes, dancers!):


‘Twas a night that brought out the best in everyone. It was impossible not to have a great time. Thanks to Barb and Phil and Ben for letting us share this amazing experience!



…is already upon us.
And you know what THAT means:

Who cares about flowers and candy.
These are so much cooler!

These are from the good ol’ days of Valentine exchanging.
Kid’s valentines today are so lame…they don’t even come with teeny envelopes that you had to write on and seal. Not to mention, only the very youngest of kids even exchange cards now- like maybe 2nd grade and down. By 3rd or 4th grade, everyone’s too cool for this sort of thing.


Well, I still have every Valentine I have ever received since Kindergarten, plus a few hundred more.
Love them!
I’ll try to post more of these lovely old bits this month. I am otherwise insanely busy with deadlines and will need to be working over the upcoming weeks…woohoo!
Any other Valentine collectors out there?

Great Danes

Check out these beee-you-teee-ful tiles I found at Savers two weeks ago:

Sometimes you just get lucky!
I don’t really know anything about these, only that they are really nice. And made in Denmark. If anyone knows anything more about them- feel free to tell me!
I do love shopping at Savers (and yard sales, garage sales, etc.) purely for the fun of finding the unexpected. I get a lot of my etsy fabrics there.

HO HO HO…Where did December go?? It’s the Winter Blog Catch Up!

Have you all been having a lovely time this season?
Been doing a little decorating?

This is my “Five and Dime” area, decked out for the holidays.

Have you been feeding the birds? The muse? The face?
(I have on all counts!)

I have definitely been taking a holiday break from the blog (and a lot of other things) as I focused on other stuff for a while. Most of the other stuff has been good, so no complaints here! I’ve been pursuing a gentle blend of work laced with baking and decorating.
Laundry? Not so much.

We spent a good portion of November and December as stage hands, etc. for the local version of “A Christmas Carol,” which our kids were in.
I don’t know about you, but I am a Christmas Carol addict. I know every version and have read it a load of times, it’s an all-time favorite. So even though the stage production took up A LOT of time, it was very fun.
Here’s Scrooge watching the Cratchits and realizing the error of his ways:

Oh, and look! There he is on Christmas morning, all happy-like!
Our version had Charles Dickens as the narrator.

I made Christmas Carol-themed cookies for our concession stand, and for the cast party.
Here are Marley, Past and Present:

Speaking of cookies, I made lots more of them since we have a cookie exchange every year at the FRED office. It’s a good excuse to whip out the cookie cutters and molds.

Yeah, molds!

These are some of my speculaas molds…the must-have accessory if you are a glutton for punishment and enjoy medieval baking processes. I mean, who doesn’t??
After many hours of having the dough “set up”, and then molding them, the cookies end up looking like this:

Closer up, you can see all the delightful detail.
It’s ALL ABOUT the detail when you’re making these.

Here are some of my traditional cutout cookies.

It’s not Christmas without lobsters, I always say. At least I say it this year!

These wintery months have brought a flurry (haha) of good press lately for some of my products.

Calf and Half has been featured on The Today Show (woo hoo!) and in the Chicago Tribune (Yowza!), and even in Oprah’s O at Home Magazine!

Ice Princess made it into the December issue of Good Housekeeping!

Well, isn’t that nice. I love me some good press.

I recently made a few new things for my Etsy shop:

These make me happy because I am starting have a real convergence of my art style overlapping with my craft style, and vice versa.
I think I am finding a stronger “voice”, sort of.

Here’s another nice thing, made by a very nice kid who lives here:

Do you know who this is made out of snow? Guess!

In the meantime, I guess I’ll get back to whatever it is that I should be doing.
Oh, yeah…it’s tea time. I should be making tea!

Illustration Friday- Wise

I haven’t managed to post an Illo Friday drawing in a looong time, so I decided to not obsess about it and just draw the first thing off the top of my head.

Yeah, apparently I think Magic 8-Balls are “wise”.
This bunny has asked a secret question of the mystical ball, and received a resoundingly clear answer.
This happens to be my favorite 8-Ball answer.
What do you think the question was??