August 30, 2014

Yarn Bombing!

Yarn bombing.
It's a warm and fuzzy (quite literally!) type of street art.

Crafty knitters and crocheters are leaving their creative marks on
benches, trees and bike racks; any public place that could use a bit of brightening
can be dressed with colorful graffiti-like expressions!
Unlike graffiti, however, this can be removed at any time-if you really want to.

Without a plan or pattern, the resulting designs are often made from leftover yarn scraps.
What a cozy way to bring a smile to passersby!

So, who started this craze? Her name is Magda Sayeg of Houston, Texas.
In 2005, hoping to jazz up the exterior of her shop, she knitted a cover
for her door handle, and one for a nearby street sign.
After receiving great positive feedback, she yarn bombed drab neighborhoods near and far.
Since then, yarn bombing caught on as a fun phenomenon around the globe.

The Andy Warhol Bridge in Pittsburgh, PA was the unsuspecting target
of a yarn bombing event called "Knit the Bridge."

For more information:
Magda Sayeg
Knit the Bridge

August 28, 2014

Asbury Park, New Jersey


We recently stopped in to visit the seaside town of Asbury Park, New Jersey!
In its heyday, it ranked up there with Atlantic City for attracting fun-loving tourists.

On its southern end lies a gorgeous, round, copper-turned-patina green building.
Once home to a lively carousel, it now stands quiet and empty.

The Carousel House is of the Beaux-Arts style of architecture, 
as is New York City's Grand Central Terminal,
both courtesy of the design team of Whitney Warren & Charles Wetmore.

So, what is Beaux-Arts style?
In French, it means "beautiful arts" or "fine arts."
It's architecture of grandiose proportions, identified by, among other things,
ornate cornices and columns, decorative medallions and grand arches.





Only the shell remains of the Asbury Park Casino.


The old heating plant.


Oh, and I spotted another reminder of the "Glory Days" of Asbury Park...
(well, they'll pass you by...)


Here's an Asbury Park City Guide pamphlet.
More info at VisitNJ.

August 24, 2014

Art Star Gallery & Boutique


Situated in the Northern Liberties area of Philadelphia,
there's a fantastic little shop called Art Star Gallery & Boutique!
It features a praiseworthy collection of quality handcrafted creations by various artists.
Step inside with me for a look around!

A Phea Jean dress sewn from vintage fabric and the 
amusing work of Fuzzy Ink greet us at the door.


This place overflows with creativity, imagination and artistic talent!


Since 2004 ~ Congrats on 10 years, Art Star!


Clever greeting cards including a selection by Paper Sparrow.


Imagined from a felt fantasy world, how about this for faux taxidermy?
Horrible Adorables by Jordan Elise


A gorgeous grouping of Robert Siegel Ceramics.


A gallery of wall art, with some fun stuff by Kristen Tercek.



Prints by Paper Sparrow, plus Nick Kripal's Stacking Tart Sets.


A super display of tees ~
I was especially drawn to this one - Herb Garden by Red Prairie Press!


Captivating children's books featuring primo illustrators like Emily Winfield Martin.


Also for the kiddies - check out these great wooden cars & trucks by Patrick Donovan.


Oh-so-cute hair clips by Wee Stitchery!


Meet Megan, who couldn't have been friendlier!
It's her discerning eye and flair for business that make Art Star happen!

How about free gift wrapping? Awesome!


Art Star is located at 623 North 2nd Street in Philadelphia.
Check out their website!
Also on Facebook and on Twitter @artstarphilly.

Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming info on the phenomenal
Art Star Craft Bazaar!


August 20, 2014

Blueberry Buckle


Gotta LOVE blueberries!
This recipe for Blueberry Buckle is an absolute family favorite!

So, what is a "buckle", anyway?
A Buckle = Cake Batter + Fresh Fruit + Streusel Topping.
The classic version uses blueberries, but other fruits will work as well.

Why the name, "buckle?"
When the cake is baked, the topping crinkles, or buckles.

This dessert has been popular in the United States,
particularly in New England, since the time of the colonists.


This colander once belonged to my
brother-in-law Vince's dear mother,
whom I miss so very much.
I use it all the time and think of her.
A special keepsake.

Here's a kitchen gadget that I like to use: The Wonder Cup.
It's great for measuring things like shortening or peanut butter -
ingredients that are tough to remove from regular measuring cups.

I purchased mine years ago through The Pampered Chef,
but since I could no longer find them on that website,
I'm providing a link to, if you'd like to check them out there.


The batter ~


The crumbly streusel topping ~


Incredibly delicious!


Blueberry Buckle

 1 ½ C sugar
½ C shortening
2 eggs
1 ½ C milk
4 C flour
4 t baking powder
1 t salt
4 C (2 pints) fresh blueberries

1 C sugar
2/3 C flour
1 t cinnamon
½ C butter (1 stick)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, cream together the sugar & shortening until fluffy.
Mix in eggs until well-blended. Then add milk and mix again.
In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder & salt.
Add to wet ingredients, mix slowly until blended.
Fold in blueberries.
Grease & flour 9 x 13 pan. Spread batter evenly into pan.
Combine ingredients for topping. Cut in butter with a pastry blender.
Sprinkle over batter.
Bake 40-45 minutes.



This recipe comes to you with thanks
to my sweet friend Lisa T.,
who shared it with me many moons ago!

Other blueberry recipes on the blog:

August 18, 2014

Greenmarket Union Square - NYC


A recent day in the Big Apple landed us at a fabulous farmer's market at E. 17th Street.
The Greenmarket of New York City’s Union Square hosts up to 140 vendors 
each Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
A loyal following of urban residents shows up to shop from a huge variety 
of fresh, organic produce and the like from nearby farms.
Fruits, flowers, vegetables, eggs, honey, herbs, seafood, mushrooms and so on!

Greenmarket is operated by a non-profit group called GrowNYC, which began in 1970 
to encourage New Yorkers to create healthy, environmentally-conscious communities.
Teaching folks about recycling, how to set up community gardens,
how to compost, and about the importance of good nutrition
are just some of the great things that GrowNYC accomplishes!

Here’s the Greenmarket mission :
“ promote regional agriculture by providing small family farms 
the opportunity to sell their locally grown products directly consumers, 
and to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to the freshest, 
most nutritious locally grown food the region has to offer.”









Game boards at the ready for a friendly round of backgammon or chess.


Lounging in the park.



Visit the GrowNYC
Website and
Facebook page.