Holiday Adventures | My list of things I want to do this December.

‘Tis the season that always seems to go by in a blur. My house is currently covered in boxes filled with Christmas decorations waiting to be unpacked. Decorating is a multi-week endeavor for me. While there never seems to be enough time to do everything on my holiday list, I’m going to give it a shot this year. We’ll see where the holiday spirit takes me and what I can squeeze in this coming month. Below are a few things I’m hoping to do.

Check out some Local Artisans.  I have a brown felt covered advent calendar with perfectly symmetrical numbered tags hanging from hooks on which we place ornaments to count down the days until Christmas. I made it during a crafting weekend with a friend who brought her sizzix die cutting machine and let me play with it. I  often blog about my love for crafting and always get to a few craft shows each season. It’s the best place to find something unique and personal. Continue reading

Celebrating small, local businesses with the microMaine Trolley Tour

What do beer, bitters, wool felting, pie and qigong have in common? They were all things we got to try on a unique tour  hosted by Benchmark Residential & Investment Real Estate which focused on micro living in Portland. The tour highlighted smaller local businesses so was different from typical city tours.

The tour started at the Press Hotel which is a cozy themed hotel on Exchange Street. This past March, we did Spirit Quest for Maine Restaurant Week and the Press Hotel had my favorite tasting and cocktail combination. This micro tour also had a food component as we were treated to Korean BBQ vegetable chips and house made carrot & ginger effervescence shooters upon arrival. The carrot and ginger juice, was especially amazing. Continue reading

T is for Tree + Vine | Costumes that match a child’s imagination.

I have owned a sewing machine since I was thirteen. My Mom handed her’s down to me in almost new condition. It was a Singer and came with a cabinet so you could put it away when not in use. It was a workhorse that stayed with me through multiple apartments and homes. It finally died but it was a slow death. My grandmother, who was an amazing seamstress and quilted right up until her death at 93, knew a repair guy who could fix my sewing machine. He did. He fixed it many times. But, he was also in his nineties and eventually passed away. I could never find anyone else able to repair it.

Eventually, someone bought it at one of our yard sales. I hope they know someone with that special touch who might be able to breathe life into it again. I miss that sewing machine. It was the one I learned to sew on. My other grandmother taught me. We made a Gunny Sack dress that I adored and wore for years. We also made pink satin shorts and a matching jacket because I was in love with Shaun Cassidy of Hardy Boys fame and he wore a satin jacket. The shorts were a bonus. Continue reading

R is for Recycled Lobster Rope Mats | No better way to say “welcome to my home”.

A recycled lobster rope doormat has been on my wish list for years. I love the ingenuity of their evolution. When federal regulations banned the use of float rope by Maine lobstermen, due to issues with whale entanglement, they had to switch over to sink rope and retire the float rope. While the rope could have ended up in a landfill, instead it became the manufacturing material for a new line of products.

While it’s still possible to find recycled versions of the float rope doormat, there are also other companies that now manufacture them using new rope opening up more tailored designs and colors. They are wonderful, but I prefer the environmentally friendly nature of recycling the used float rope. Continue reading