Friday, October 6, 2017

Musings From My Couch

Looking back over this first week of October, I started musing about all the different things that have occurred so far in my most favorite month of the year.

I have had an international sales week in my Etsy shop. I have shipped items this past week to Switzerland, Japan, Israel, Norway and Taiwan. That is a first for the six years I have been selling!



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The highlight of the week so far is the opening of my new booth. On October 1st, my husband, son and I moved my stuff into Geneva Antique Co-Op in Geneva, New York.


It is a bittersweet move because the store my current booth is in is closing by the end of this year. The move was not by choice, so the day was sad and exciting all at the same time. I loved selling at Rustiques!

I am downsizing, so to speak, moving a huge room full of stuff into an 8 x 10 space. It's all that was available. The upside to my new spot is that the co-op is located in Downtown Geneva, a very cute small town situated right on Seneca Lake, one of the five Finger Lakes of  Upstate New York. Hobart and William Smith colleges are nearby, the Finger Lakes Wine Trail runs through the area and there are many shops and restaurants along the route.




I was able to set it all up within a few hours and I am happy with how it looks. I have lots of stuff to fill in when things sell.








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The weather has been gorgeous this past week. Sunny and near 80 without any humidity. My garden is looking very sad, trying to go to sleep for the winter, and very confused with the warmth.


Although it is all fading away, my neighbor tells me all the time how she loves to look out of her bathroom window (the one to the right of the birdhouse) every morning while brushing her teeth to see what new flower is blooming.

The succulents are looking fine in their Fall colors...



The Zinnias, although they had a rough start, are still blooming....


And the birdies left me a nice surprise in my Forsythia bush.....a pumpkin vine...



There are lots of buds and blooms and one tiny pumpkin starting to ripen. How fun is that?!



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I have gone a little lighter than in past years on my Fall décor. It is all concentrated in my dining room that is decorated in Fall colors year round. It is all about the golds and browns and oranges here....I just can't do the neutral Fall décor although I love it!


A centerpiece on my dining room table....



My new hand knit pumpkin from an Etsy seller....



Some velvet pumpkins and a pillow in this corner of my dining room...



....and  my new Blessings banner on my big cupboard.



With an Etsy shop, two booths, two kitties, two men in the house and lots of Fall baking to do, that is all I can manage for now!

I hope your first week of October was filled with crisp mornings,  Autumn light through the windows and pumpkins on the vine.

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these fun blog parties:



Thursday, September 28, 2017

Easy Vintage Cutting Board Signs

Every once in a while I get the urge to create and craft something new. I make two or three of my new craft and then I am satisfied.

I visit a lot of blogs that have a lot of great ideas.

Kim at  Exquisitely Unremarkable  inspired me recently with her thrift store cutting board makeover.


Her method seemed like cheating to me but I got over that quickly :-)

The $1 Tree near me has a great variety of wall decals with some pretty great sayings on them....for a dollar each.

I had been collecting old/vintage cutting boards for awhile and I already have an assortment of paints and brushes to use.


For the first one I painted the wood with Home Décor chalk paint in Parisian Gray, distressed it a little with my sanding sponge and then just laid the sticker on.Two coats of decoupage and it was done.


The second one was just as easy. I used 2 coats of the same brand chalk paint in Sheepskin and decided to distress this one a little more vigorously. I laid the sticker on, painted two coats of decoupage and done.




I did add a saw tooth hanger on the back of this one. These are all great for leaning on a countertop, cupboard or bench but in case there's wall space, it looks great hung up too. This one is already tagged to go in my new booth. More on that in a future post!


On the third one, which is actually a pizza board, I used two coats of Folk Art milk paint in white and wiped it down on the edges with a wet cloth. I positioned the sticker and then coated with decoupage. This one already has a cord to hang.


I only painted the fronts of each board, leaving the backs in their original condition.


I am happy with how they all turned out and I hope they will add some personality to my booth.


If you like easy, quick makeovers or want to try a new craft, you must visit Kim. She has lots of great ideas and she is all about quick and easy!


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I have to put a shout out in here for my sweet blogging friend Diana whose first blog is Nana Diana Takes A Break. Lots of fun stuff going on there!
She just announced her new blog and Etsy shop shop this week. Her blog is A Cottage On The Cove and her Etsy shop name is Cottage On The Cove.
She has a giveaway going on....something about an old crone :-)
Stop over and visit!

AnnMarie xoxo


I am linking up with these blog parties:

Tuesdays With a Twist
Share Your Cup
Vintage Charm Party
No Rules Weekend Blog Party
Best of the Weekend
Anything Goes Pink Saturday
Cooking & Crafting with J & J
Dishing It & Digging It
Talk of the Town
You're The Star Blog Hop
Over The Moon Link Party

Friday, September 22, 2017

Fall Gardening


Happy Fall!

Just in time for the first day of Fall, Lucy Clark, Founder and Chief Editor of Garden Ambition, an online resource for all things garden, wrote this article for me to share with you for the upcoming Fall planting season.

Can plants be grown and survive low temperatures? Learn what happens to plants growth during the cold season and to start an efficient Fall garden.



Fall Gardening: How Does Temperature Affect the Plant’s Growth and Development

Seasons change and soon Fall will be on our doorstep. As the air gets colder, you may want to recheck your garden. Some plants that were in full bloom in spring and summer may not stand a chance when the temperature changes.



Seed germination is greatly affected by the cold temperature. Make sure you have done germination prior to the change in temperature.

Does Temperature Affect Plant Growth?

Yes. Temperature is a big factor in plant growth and development. Extreme temperature affects plant growth. Heat stress in plants causes problems with photosynthesis and root development. When this happens, expect for poor plant growth. It is also noticeable if a plant wilted due to extreme temperature or low temperature.

Temperature also affects on how fast plants grow.  Their growth and development are dependent on the temperature surrounding the plant. It also varies on what plant you are growing. Extreme heat may cause reduced plant growth while low temperatures may make plants sterile.




Once the cold temperature starts, the soil may freeze, making it hard to plant. The cold also freezes up the plant cells, causing damage and interruption of the flow of nutrients.




Depending on the temperature you chose to grow your plants, specifically for vegetables, their taste and texture may be affected too.


Temperature also plays a factor in seed germination. Warmth, water, and oxygen are needed for seeds to germinate. Seeds deteriorate over time, and if not germinated, they will die. You can say that it is impossible to grow it during cold temperatures. However, germinating seeds in Fall can be possible. Since the soil is still warm from the past season, seed germination can be done in preparation for a Fall garden.

 Preparing your garden for Fall

There are things to prepare so that you can be sure your Fall garden is a success.
1.      Seed Germination

Take advantage of the warmth of the soil that summer has left before the temperature changes. 80 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature of the soil for almost every seed to germinate.

2.      Prepare the soil
Once the coldness hits, it may affect the soil condition. Seeds may die if planted in a cold soil combined with a cold temperature. Before planting, make sure to clean up the soil. Remove weeds and dirt. Use a lot of compost and fertilizer or even mulch your garden to ensure that the soil will be healthy and ready when you start planting. Due to the cold weather, also make sure that your plants will receive enough moisture and oxygen.

3.      Plants to grow
There are a variety of plants that you can grow over the cold season. Vegetables, like lettuce and cabbage, are crisp and sweet if planted during fall because of the cold temperature. The effect of temperature on plants vary, together with some factors like exposure to sunlight, moisture, and the changes in temperature especially in fall season.




Pick up your favorite spring bulbs and start planting! These bulbs are a great addition to your fall garden.


Plants Best for Fall Gardening

Although temperature, especially during the cold season, may affect your plants growth and development, there are plants that are good in withstanding the low temperature. Considering the factors above, are you ready to start your Fall gardening?

Raid your favorite stores for seedlings and bulbs as they tend to go on inventory sale during the cold season.

 1. Flowers
 Spring Bulbs

Great for the cold weather. These flowers are best to plant in late August to early fall so they bloom beautifully in Spring time. Daffodils, Grape Hyacinth, Blue bells, Snow Drops, and  Tulips are available in your local market, so you can just pick your favorite ones and plant them.







Enjoy seeing these wonderful bulbs bloom into gorgeous flowers. Feel good while looking out your window and sipping your favorite cup of tea.

2. Vegetables
Most veggies are best grown in low temperatures. It is recommended to plant your veggies early August to give time for them to mature. Fall gardening is ideal to grow your fresh veggies. The cool temperature makes them sweet and crisp!

You can grow the following vegetables:


     Broccoli

     Lettuce

     Spinach

     Kale

     Carrots

     Beets

     Brussel Sprouts

     Arugula

     Cabbage

     Cauliflower

     Onion leaves


Fresh vegetables from your fall garden, as pictured above, include broccoli, carrots, green onions and beets. These veggies are great to plant in fall as they can withstand the cold and frozen soil.
You can try other crops as well. Grow them well, and you can enjoy loads of fresh, super nutritious, and yummy vegetables when you harvest them.
3. Trees and Shrubs
Trees and shrubs are a great addition to your fall garden. The soil temperature is still warm for the roots to develop; hence, the Fall’s cool air helps in growing your trees and shrubs faster.

The following are some trees and shrubs best during the fall season:

     Alder
     Ash
     Crabapple
     Hackberry
     Hawthorne
     Coffee tree
     Sycamore
     Maple
     Pine


Who doesn’t love seeing this? Green grass, trees, and shrubs. You can start planting during Fall when the air is cool, and the soil fertility is great for root development.

Flowers in Fall add to the beauty of the color changes in the trees and the change in light. Enjoy colorful flowers in your garden even during Fall.

Feeling the cold Fall breeze? Don’t be afraid that your Fall gardening may fail due to the temperature. Plants grow and develop well when you properly take care of them, even in the most unfavorable temperatures. Just make sure you are well-prepared before the cold hits. So, get your gardening tools ready and start gardening!

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Thanks to Lucy for this great information
in getting our Fall gardens going!


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Only in New York

It had been 6 years of debating whether to go back or not, but my husband decided he wanted to go home for his birthday weekend, which also happened to be Labor Day weekend.

Home is New York City.

A few days in New York City can stay with you for a lifetime.

Entering New Jersey, you can see the NYC skyline. A little surreal!

He found a hotel in New Jersey that provided bus service to NYC in as little time as 20 minutes.No crossing the George Washington bridge, waiting for 2 hours to get into the city. We did have to go through the Lincoln Tunnel everyday though, which kinda freaked me out.

I survived.

Our hotel had the prettiest flowers on the walkway. Anyone know what these are?


And this was a sight for weary, cold bodies after walking the city all day......Free!


The night we arrived we drove into Hoboken, NJ for dinner and a stroll along the pier there.


The skyline from across the Hudson River was fabulous.





We were excited to find Carlo's Bake Shop, of Cake Boss fame. We loved the show, but not the baked goods in this shop so much.

Actually they were tasteless and stale.


The next day we were in Times Square with a lot of familiar and some unfamiliar sights. The NYPD barricades on the sidewalks are new, due to the recent tragedies of pedestrians being run over by wayward cars.


The police were all over and were ready, in full riot gear, hands on rifles.



One of my favorite shows to watch in the morning....


My husband got tickets to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. Kind of a creepy thought to me, to see life size wax figures of celebrities and other famous people. Only a few looked like themselves to me.

Like Pharrell Williams, minus a hat.


Trump looked pretty good too (the picture came out too blurry). And how can you miss with ET? My husband, always clowning around....


Woody Allen....eh


Just to show you the size of the Hulk.....he was not made of wax.


We had time before our next adventure, The Ride, so we went to Chelsea Market which is in an old meat packing warehouse in the meat packing district.


I saw a few pairs of these feet around the market....not sure what they represent. Not sure I want to know.


The Ride is a sightseeing tour on a bus that is like a theatre with one side all windows that face out to the street.  

We had two girls doing the narrative on the sights and they made it so much fun with their banter back and forth and their theatrical antics. To add more fun, every now and then on the street, a person would start singing or dancing (all part of the tour) and interact with the people on the bus. The picture below shows a saxophonist with a guy that came along and started singing to the music. 



At Columbus Circle, a ballerina with a lit up tutu was dancing and bumped into a man walking. He took her in his arms and they both danced ballet in front of the fountain.

I won't give anymore of that away. It was a lot of fun.

One of the highlights of my trip was to meet Amy, who blogs at Ms Toody Goo Shoes, in person. We met in a cute coffee shop, Le Pain Quotidien across from Bryant Park.


My desire and goal is to meet as many blog friends as possible and Amy was the first! We had a nice chat over coffee and high calorie treats!


Another highlight happened that same day when we went to see the Broadway musical, Beautiful. I just love Carole King and have listened to her album Tapestry faithfully since it came out. Also, recently I saw Carole King: Tapestry – Captured Live at Hyde Park London at the movie theatre. She is in her early 70's and boy, she's still got it!!

The musical was fabulous!


Some random pictures from walking around the city.

"Give me your tired, your poor, your bananas....."


My son will take one of each please.....



No comment.


So at the beginning of this post I mentioned that a trip to NYC can impress you for a lifetime.

Our visit to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum is one of those that will play back over and over in my mind.


We've all seen the pictures the media put out at the time, of the engraved names, and heard the playback of that fateful day many times. 


But to walk into that museum with hundreds of other people and have no one speaking, surrounded by pictures and soundtracks and actual pieces of the buildings, was a sobering event. It was a dreary, rainy day outside and it was dark and somber inside.

The pictures are just to give an idea of the magnitude of the museum and the events that happened on that very ground.

Ground Zero








Most striking to me were the names engraved around the reflection pool.


Todd Beamer, a hero known for trying to avert the terrorists.


I saw a few of these.......and her unborn child......so sad


and a few of these.....



But there is always hope and this tree is a symbol of that. It is called the Survivor Tree, found in all the rubble, still alive and was nursed back to health and brought back here.


These are just a few of the many things you can do and see in New York City. There are links if you want to check any of them out.

If it's spectacular, weird or unbelievable, it may just fit in the category of "only in New York".