Category Archives: adventures

Squeezing the last drop out of summer

This past weekend Mother Nature granted us with one last weekend of summer. So we decided to squeeze every last drop out of summer by going to the beach. We packed the car, put our dog Penny in the back seat and off we went on our way to Gloucester for a glorious send off to summer.

Salt Flats | Gloucester, MA

Apparently everyone in New England thought Gloucester was the place to be! We arrived at Wingaersheek Beach and found an overflowing parking lot. The street was lined on both sides with parked cars long before we even got to the parking lot. So we did a U-turn in the parking lot and drove to the salt flat not far from the beach. Penny was pretty happy to be able to get in the water.

Penny at the Salt Flats

We left the Salt Flats to go to Good Harbor Beach. It felt like Groundhog Day, same story with the ridiculous amount of cars. Hoping that the third time is a charm we made our way to Halibut Point. And we were disappointed for a third time.

Feeling defeated, we made our way to Woodman’s of Essex. The line to get food was ridiculously long, but we wanted to close out the summer at Woodman’s. So we waited and once again, Woodman’s did not disappoint.

We decided to give Wingaersheek Beach one more try, figuring that most of the people will have left to get dinner. We go there, parked right up at the front and took Penny down to the beach.

Wingaersheek Beach | Gloucester, MA

The beach was beautiful at sunset. Penny was as happy as can be playing in the water. So after a day of being disappointed, we ended it with a delicious meal and a glorious sunset on the beach.

Deb & Penny

And so we say goodbye to summer and begin the fall show season. First up Paradise City Art Festival in Northampton, MA the weekend of October 11-13 followed by the Kentuck Festival of the Arts in Northport, AL on October 18-19.

We hope to see you at a show soon. And if you can’t make it to a show, you can always see the latest and greatest in our online shop.


Perfect Day: Sand, clams & ice cream

A heat wave is defined as three or more consecutive days with temperatures above 32°C/90°F. We are working on our third or fourth heatwave of the summer. What’s the best thing to do to combat the stifling heat and humidity? Play hooky and go to the beach.

On Monday we took the day off and drove up to Gloucester to spend a glorious day at Wingaersheek Beach.

Wingaersheek Beach

Wingaersheek Beach

After a good six hours of exploring the beach, splashing around in the water and laying on the beach, we packed up our gear to head over to Woodman’s of Essex.

Deb loves friend clams

Deb loves Woodman’s

What could be better than Woodman’s after the beach? Ice cream! So we jumped back in the car and headed over to White Farms Homemade Ice Cream. Imagine our sheer joy at the amount of flavor choices.

Deb loves ice cream

Deb loves black raspberry ice cream

And they had many choices of soft serve flavors too.

Jil loves ice cream

Jil loves black cherry soft serve ice cream

Sand + Clams + Ice Cream = PERFECT DAY!

Isn’t it time you played hooky and went to the beach?

Penny Pingleton goes to a craft show

Penny & Deb

This weekend we were in Salisbury, MA for the Vintage Bazaar at Pettingill Farm. Knowing that we would have space behind our tent, we decided to take Penny Pingleton along for the ride. It was her first art/craft show. She was extremely social, making friends with many of the people at the show.
Penny & Deb
After greeting all the people that passed by, Penny realized that being an artist and going to shows is really hard work.
Penny is worn out

According to What?

Back in January I saw a piece on CBS Sunday Morning about Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei.  The show was about an exhibit at The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden “Ai Weiwei: According to What?” which was scheduled to close in February.  I knew I was going to be in Baltimore for the American Craft Council show in February so we decided to add on an extra day to be able to see the Ai Weiwei show before it closed — it was incredible.  I left the museum inspired and wanting to know more about this artist and his life.

Recently I was approached by the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum to create a piece for “Party for the Park“, their signature event celebrating and benefiting its mission and programs.  I was given a 10” acrylic sphere and was given carte blanche to create a piece of art.  I chose to create a piece based on a quote from Ai Weiwei — “Creativity is part of nature. It can only be untaught.


This weekend I delivered this piece to the deCordova.  I look forward to a great evening at the “Party for the Park” and can’t wait to see what all the other artists did with their spheres.


 Did you get to see the Ai Weiwei exhibit?  What did you think?

What turns your tongue blue?

Wow, summer went by so quickly this year.  All of a sudden it was Labor Day and  we were off to the 3 County Fair to throw darts at balloons to win silly prizes, ride the ferris wheel, eat cotton candy and other crazy fair food that turns your tongue.

Candy Apple

Drew & Thomas (Photobomb by Jil)

Blue Tongue

Drew & Thomas

In addition to fun times at the county fair, we are enjoying the two barn cats that we recently adopted.  This year our garden was decimated by all the pests.  It was a race to see who could get to the tomatoes first — us or the chipmunks.  We have ventured into the garden to find the remnants of a chipmunk garden buffet.  Our friend and dog sitter told us about working cats.  We were intrigued and finally made the decision to adopt two sweet cats who we have named Odie and Farben.





Why Odie and Farben?  One of the few stock German phrases in Jil’s repertoire is “Oh! die Farben!”  which translates “Oh! the colors!”  Seemed like funny names for cats, so we went with it.  And the names actually suit them quite well.

So now that summer is over, show season begins which means finding vintage stuff and putting it together to make JunkHead, BabyBots, JunkYard Dogs and more.  Today we updated the events section on our website and on Facebook so you will be able to keep track of us through the end of the year.

We hope you had a great summer and we look forward to seeing you at a show this fall.  Oh and to answer the question of what turns your tongue blue … a wild raspberry slushy!

To quote Horace Greeley “Go West!”

A few weeks ago we went way west to Seattle for our nephew’s graduation from the University of Washington.  It was our first trip to Seattle.  We loved it and will certainly be going back.  Being the good tourists that we are the first place we went to was the Pike’s Place Market — and it did not disappoint.   Beecher’s Handmade Cheese had some of the best mac ‘n’ cheese we have ever had.  So much fresh produce and seafood.

Pike's Place Market, Seattle

Pike's Place Market, Seattle

Pike's Place Market, Seattle

Another highlight was  Gas Works Park, opened to the public in 1975, which is a 19.1 acres public park on the site of the former Seattle Gas Light Company gasification plant.  The boiler house has been converted to a picnic shelter with tables, fire grills and an open area. What was once the exhauster-compressor building is now a children’s play barn featuring a maze of brightly painted machinery.  Even in the rain, this place was a treat.

Gas Works Park

Gas Works Park

Gas Works ParkWe had heard of Salumi prior to going to Seattle and were hoping to be able to find time to make it there for lunch.  Just off of  Pioneer Square, Salumi is only open Tuesday through Thursday from 11am to 4pm (or earlier if they run out of food.)  As determined as we were to sample a delicious sandwich from Salumi we managed to get there twice.  If you are going, our advice is to get there early, because you will have to stand in line — it’s that good!


And while we were in Pioneer Square, we went below ground on Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour where we learned the history of Seattle and got to see some crazy stuff that had been untouched underground for years.  We just wanted to return with a truck to take some of the fantastic stuff we saw underground.

Seattle Underground

Seattle Underground

At the end of our Seattle visit we hopped on the train to go north to Vancouver where we spent a couple days right on the water.  It was there that we saw some of the most adorable houseboats we had ever seen.

Vancouver Houseboats

When our friend Karen found out we were going to Vancouver she made arrangements with a friend of hers so that we could get a behind the scenes tour of the Vancouver Aquarium which is in Stanley Park.  We spent several hours there mesmerized by the penguins and otters.  Already in Stanley Park we spent the rest of the day exploring different areas of the park.  Huge trees, beautiful flowers, open spaces, the water — it was all amazing and we were lucky to have a gorgeous day to explore.

Vancouver Aquarium

Vancouver Aquarium

Now back from vacation, a long drive west to State College for this weekend’s Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.  Stop by booth 0-52 and say hi.  Here are some the fun new things that made the trip to Pennsylvania.



JunkYard Dog

Back to Seattle for a second…if you go, you have to visit the Fremont Troll.

Fremont Troll, Seattle

And how do you go to Seattle and not go to the Space Needle?  

Space Needle

And while you are there, check out the new Chihuly exhibit.

Chihuly: Garden and Glass

Imagination and Art…Add this museum to the must see list

The City Museum in St. Louis did not disappoint!  It is truly the greatest place ever.

World's Smallest Underpants at The City Museum, St. Louis, MO

World's Smallest Underpants

Not only can you see the world’s smallest underpants here, you can see underwear as art.  And in case you were tempted to touch, please heed the warning sign.

Underpants at The City Museum, St. Louis, MO

Do Not Touch

Feel like getting in touch with your inner child?  You can do that here too…by making your way through a rebar maze.

Rebar Maze at The City Museum, St. Louis, MO

Rebar Maze

And if that isn’t good enough for you…how about a BIG SLIDE?

Big Slide at The City Museum, St. Louis, MO

Big Slide

And because I can’t forget my friend Galluzzo who loves a good squirrel, this one is for her.

Squirrels at The City Museum, St. Louis, MO

While this isn’t at the City Museum, this is something I saw yesterday that I think is too good to not share.

Perfect Dog

Perfect Dog

I don’t want to leave, but I have to go to Louisville to set up for the St. James Court Art Show.  If you are in Louisville this weekend, stop by Booth #813 on Third Street and say hi.

Thanks to the City Museum for a fantastic and inspirational morning.  I leave you with this thought…

The City Museum, St. Louis, MO

What If?