Beautiful

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I went to NYC this past weekend and while there saw “Beautiful” which tells the story of Carole King from her early days as a Brooklyn teenager (named Carol Klein) struggling to enter the record business to her years spent as a chart-topping music legend.

It also touches on the friendship and competition between Gerry Goffin and Carole King(who were married) with Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil to create the best hits of that time period in the 60’s.

Much to our surprise the REAL Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil were there at the performance we went to! They raffled off the original sheet music to “On Broadway” and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’Feeling” (which they wrote) at the end of the performance.

With the music and the choreography which showed the songwriters busy at work( and then suddenly “The Drifters” or “The Shirelles” would appear and sing the song as we all know it), it really brought back a lot of great memories and I highly recommend seeing it. Jessie Mueller is absolutely fabulous as Carole King-you can feel her confidence growing as her singing gets stronger and stronger.And of course, the rest is history once “Tapestry” was produced.

 

Beatrix Potter

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If you ever wondered how Beatrix Potter got the inspiration to draw such incredibly adorable animals in such beautiful, charming settings you need only go to the village Near Sawrey in the Lake District where she lived in a house called Hill Top Farm .

Born into a wealthy Unitarian family, Potter, along with her younger brother Walter Bertram (1872–1918), grew up with few friends outside her large extended family. Her parents were artistic, interested in nature and enjoyed the countryside. As children, Beatrix and Bertram had numerous small animals as pets which they observed closely and drew endlessly. Summer holidays were spent away from London, in Scotland and in the English Lake District where Beatrix developed a love of the natural world which was the subject of her painting from an early age.

She was educated by private governesses until she was 18. Her study of languages, literature, science and history was broad and she was an eager student. Her artistic talents were recognized early. She enjoyed private art lessons, and developed her own style, favouring watercolor. Along with her drawings of her animals, real and imagined, she illustrated insects, fossils, archaeological artefacts, and fungi. In the 1890s her mycological illustrations and research into the reproduction of fungus spores generated interest from the scientific establishment. Following some success illustrating cards and booklets, Potter wrote and illustrated The Tale of Peter Rabbit, publishing it first privately in 1901, and a year later as a small, three-colour illustrated book with Frederick Warne & Company.
With the proceeds from the books and a legacy from an aunt, Potter bought Hill Top Farm in Near Sawrey, a tiny village in the English Lake District near Windermere, in 1905. Over the following decades, she purchased additional farms to preserve the unique hill country landscape.

Potter published over 23 books: the best known are those written between 1902 and 1922. She died of pneumonia/heart disease on 22 December 1943 at her home in Near Sawrey at age 77, leaving almost all her property to the National Trust. She is credited with preserving much of the land that now comprises the Lake District National Park.

West Dover, Vermont

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We just went to a wedding in West Dover, Vermont. We got there early, so we went exploring to grab some lunch and found Dot’s which had great salads. While there, we noticed a woodworking store so stopped in to meet Mark Sprague of Far Beyond Woodworking. Mark has created all of the pieces pictured. I got a footstool and a trivet-they are beautiful!
Mark is a self taught woodworker. Shaker and Mission styles have helped to shape his style. Mark uses clean lines, with traditional joinery, with dovetails on all drawers.

Charming Lake Houses

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I just went to visit two friends who have quite a knack for collecting the neatest antiques for their cottages in New Hampshire. From the coffee grinders to the the tablecloths to the containers for sugar,etc….I just loved every corner of both of their homes!

The Fire Hose Nozzle Lamp

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I bought this fire hose nozzle at an Antique Sale at my church 2 years ago. My husband and I both loved it-it is solid brass and leather and is probably from the 1920’s. We decided to turn it into a lamp-he built the wooden base but the rest of the electrical work was done by Concord Lamp and Shade. They can turn just about anything into a lamp!

San Gimignano Marble Eggs

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When we lived in Zurich years ago, I took a trip to the Tuscany region of Italy with a friend-between us we had 7 children! We dragged them to San Gimignano to buy the marbled eggs that I cherish every Easter.

Well worth the visit for more than the eggs,here is a brief history:

San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena, Tuscany, north-central Italy. Known as the Town of Fine Towers, San Gimignano is famous for its medieval architecture, unique in the preservation of about a dozen of its tower houses which, with its hilltop setting and encircling walls form “an unforgettable skyline”. Within the walls, the well-preserved buildings include notable examples of both Romanesque and Gothic architecture, with outstanding examples of secular buildings as well as churches. The Palazzo Comunale, the Collegiate Church and Church of Sant’ Agostino contain frescos, including cycles dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. The “Historic Centre of San Gimignano”, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town also is known for the white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, produced from the ancient variety of Vernaccia grape which is grown on the sandstone hillsides of the area.

Dedham Pottery

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These beautiful bunnies are actually made here in Concord.They are reproductions of Dedham Pottery-here is the history:

In 1876, family member Hugh C. Robertson visited the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia – an early world’s fair – and viewed pottery from China with a blood-red crackled glaze that would inspire him to create his own version. In 1867, the Robertson family founded their first company in Chelsea, Massachusetts on the corner of Marginal and Willow Streets, a prelude to Dedham Pottery, called Chelsea Pottery U.S.. The Boston Daily Globe reported on Monday, July, 30th 1894, that “about 10 acres of land at East Dedham, was sold for $6,500 to the Chelsea Pottery Company” and the pottery company would be moving from Chelsea to Dedham, “just as soon as proper buildings can be erected and other necessary work done.” Chelsea Pottery U.S. closed in 1895 and, just as promised, the company moved on to Dedham, MA where Hugh C. Robertson, a fifth-generation Scottish potter, opened Dedham Pottery in 1896.

The Dedham Historical Society as well as another company in Concord, MA produces reproductions of Dedham pottery. The Dedham Historical Society owns both the name and original trademark of Dedham Pottery.