Thursday, April 17, 2014

Events ~ PPSRI's Festival of Historic Houses ~ June 13-15

Providence Preservation Society's
Festival of Historic Houses
June 13-15, 2014
Providence, Rhode Island
Info/Tickets



FRIDAY, JUNE 13: Cocktail party kick-off at the Joseph Cooke House
SATURDAY, JUNE 14: College Hill at Cooke/Manning/Hope Streets
SUNDAY, JUNE 15: Pearl Street Lofts on the South Side

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Artists ~ Annette Paull ~ Providence

Artist’s Name: Annette Paull
Shop Name: WaterSpirits Jewelry
Website: In the works
Twitter: http://twitter.com/WaterSpiritsJ
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/waterspiritsjewelry
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/waterspiritsj
Other: http://etsy.com/shop/waterspiritsjewelry

1. Tell us about your work
WaterSpirits jewelry is meant to give the wearer a connection with the ocean and it’s powerful, mysterious beauty. Each piece is unique and a distinct WaterSpirits design. Adorn and know it is a reflection of yourself and what you are grateful for. When we are grateful, we are rewarded with more to be grateful for.

2. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
I have always loved being creative. I started sewing when I was in 4-H in grade school and in my adult years, I took classes to learn watercolor painting and metalsmithing/jewelry making. The whole process of creating something with my hands is very rewarding and fun and the finished product is something to enjoy, not only for myself but others as well. It wasn’t until 2010 that I started getting serious about making jewelry professionally. It all seemed to just fall into place and transform from being a hobby to a profession. I had gone through some trying times with the pregnancy of my twins in 2004 and experienced the loss of one of my daughters and life changing news about my daughter who survived. I’ve loved the ocean ever since moving to Rhode Island when I was a teenager, but especially found comfort and peace from it during this difficult time in my life. I enjoy collecting treasures of sea glass, shells and stones when walking on the beach. After making jewelry for myself (from those treasures), I would often get compliments from family, friends and even strangers. Those compliments turned into requests to purchase my creations. A good friend then offered to host a party which turned out to be a great success and the business just blossomed from there.

3. Where do you draw your inspiration?
I draw my inspiration from my love of the ocean…it’s beautiful colors and reflections, the smell of the salt air, and the feeling of peace and gratitude when near it. For me it’s very therapeutic to sit or walk on the beach and I have that same feeling when creating my jewelry, which is a reflection of the sea and those wonderful feelings it evokes. My mother, who is an award winning watercolor artist, is also a big inspiration to me and I guess that’s where I get my creativity from. Every step of the way, she’s been supportive and offered words of encouragement and advice.



4. What’s you favorite item to create?
I love wire wrapping sea glass and making pendants (in different shapes such as hearts, angels and dragonflies) and rings. I use one continuous piece of wire and let the qualities of the sea glass help define the shape I create. Each creation is one of a kind and unique. I also love to do special orders, whether it’s out of a personal ocean treasure that someone wants to be able to adorn or display or a creation for a special occasion, such as wedding or celebration.




5. What’s your best seller?
It’s really dependent on the season. I sell a lot of sea glass angels during the holiday season because they make beautiful ornaments. In the summer, I sell more jewelry and wine charms. The wine charms make great hostess gifts for those fun summer outings on boats or at a beach house. They are of course ocean themed and beautifully embellished not only with beads, but sea glass, shells and other “Rhode Island” or ocean themed charms. When many people see them they think they’re actually jewelry.



6. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
I’ve lived in East Greenwich, Rhode Island for almost 40 years and I started my business in 2010.

7. What do you love about Rhode Island?
I love the fact that you can be near the water, whether it’s the bay or open ocean, within minutes of getting in your car. I love Rhode Island’s natural beauty, history and diverse culture, which creates for many wonderful restaurants. It’s a small state that has a lot of big things to offer, not only to residents but visitors as well. Everything is so convenient too! Depending on which direction you travel, you can be at the ocean, in the country, on a real island via boat or bridge, or on a train or plane all within a half an hour! And I love having my creations represent the most beautiful that Rhode Island has to offer…it’s beaches and ocean.

8. In addition
Not all of WaterSpirits Jewelry’s creations are made using sea glass or shells, but all creations remind us in one way or another of the ocean and it’s beauty, power & mystery. In addition to Etsy & Facebook, I currently have a large selection of my jewelry for sale at David-Max Boutique on Main St. in East Greenwich. For the largest display of creations, please visit my facebook page and anything you see there is available for purchase through private messaging, except for the mermaid pin who is seen in many of my pictures. She is my logo which I am trying to make into charms to put on my jewelry.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Guest post ~ Visit Block Island

The following is a guest post by Will von Bernuth of Block Island Organics.


Visit Bock Island - One of The 12 Last Great Places in the Western Hemisphere

That title you read above, it's not something I made up. It's what the Nature Conservancy said about Block Island and it rings true to this day. Read on to find out what a trip to The Block is like and make your way there this summer to see for yourself.

Sitting 13 miles off the coast of Rhode Island, Block Island is 10 square miles of outdoor paradise and getting there is part of the fun. Like the classic movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles, the first step is deciding how you want to start your journey. Take a ferry? There are four different spots you can start from: Point Judith, New London, Newport and Montauk. Want to fly? New England Airlines has a 12-minute trip out of Westerly. You have to get to the ferry or the airport first and car or train will both do the trick.

My favorite, and the classic route, is a ferry out of Point Judith but even there you have decisions to make. The high-speed catamaran takes 30 minutes while the old faithful ferries will get you there in about an hour. Personally, I like the old faithful. You'll save a few dollars plus have lots of space to roam and likely run into a few friendly pooches who just want to give you a kiss. The locals seem to prefer this way too and it gives you the option of sitting inside or out. My recommendation here is to set yourself up at a table inside. It will give you a place to put your stuff, crack open a book and take it all in. Plus you can always step outside to breathe in the salt air or catch a few rays. The snack bar will also be close by if you need a bite or want to indulge - as the sign says, no booze till they cruze. On the practical side, if you want to take a car to the island - not needed for day trips - these ferries are the only way to get one there. Call in advance as car slots book up fast.

Another great feature of the Point Judith ferries is they drop you off in Old Harbor - some of the other ferries do too. If you've ever seen a picture of Block Island with some grand old buildings lined up along the town's main street over looking the water, this is Old Harbor and the center of town. It's definitely the most dramatic, beautiful and charming way to arrive.

Once there, what do you do? There are a ton of options. A little island shopping? Right in Old Harbor are cute boutiques and one-off stores. In fact Block Island supposedly has a town ordinance that won't allow any chain stores although how do you explain the Ben & Jerry's, hmm... Looking to head to the beach? There are 17 miles of beautiful coastline from Town Beach to Mansion Beach to Mohegan Bluffs and all the places in between. You can find secluded spots, bustling volleyball courts, sandy outlets and rocky breaks. A little hungry? Restaurants range from roadside stands to high-end tablecloth faire. If you're looking for a drink and a view, try the outdoor deck at the National Hotel or the lawn of the Spring House or Atlantic Inn (both great at sunset). Eli's Italian food on the backside of Old Harbor is always one of my favorites. If you're in the mood for a burger, The Beachhead on the way to Town Beach is a good stop. You can even buy lobsters straight off the lobster boat in Old Harbor. Ask for John Grant. There really are too many great places to list. Add to all this biking, mopeds, kayaking, hiking, deep sea fishing and you begin to see there is a lot to do on this little place. But best of all, you can also do nothing. Sit quiet, read a book or catch a nap - these are some of my favorites.

One of the great things about Block Island is that it is known for its nature conservancy. In fact more than 40% of the island is set aside for open space. No development, just wide open spaces. This leads to a rustic New England feel with long stone walls, open wild-grass fields, over grown dirt trails and pristine beaches. It also means you can get away from all the hustle and bustle of mainland life and be on island time. One of my favorite things to do is hike Rodmans Hollow. The trail begins just off Cooneymus Road (yes, that's the actual name) and it's a maze of trails that lead down to bluffs overlooking a beach. Makes for a great hike - be sure to bring some water.

Another special treat is Mohegan Bluffs. Just down from the Southeast Lighthouse, a sight to behold itself, the bluffs sit high above the water's edge. Below you'll see waves crashing on the beachy shore. If you're feeling adventurous, there's a set of stairs to your right that lead down. You'll probably see a few people huffing and puffing on their way up as it's 141 steps down and completely worth the trip. There are no lifeguards at this beach but you'll see folks out in the break, picnickers on the shore and sun bathers laying out. If you do go down and head all the way to your right, you can scramble over a few rocks and a larger beach will open up beyond. Be sure to turn around and snap a few pics from the stairs which you came - the bluffs above make quite a dramatic shot.

There 's plenty more to see and do such as heading to the Great Salt Pond / New Harbor where you rent a kayak, see a movie on a rainy day or grab a tasty lobster roll at the Oar. There's also the North Lighthouse which is at the tip of the island. Make your way to the parking lot and then walk on out via the beach. It's farther than it looks! Parasailing is available out of Old Harbor. Hike along the many trails known collectively as the Greenways. Or simply rent a bike or moped and explore. It's not that big a place. Trust me, you won't get lost...for too long.
So what do you think? Up for a quick trip? You'll want to stay the week...

Will von Bernuth
Block Island Organics
www.blockislandorganics.com

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Events ~ Eat Drink RI Festival ~ April 24-27, 2014

Eat Drink RI Festival
April 24-27,2014
Providence, Rhode Island


A celebration showcasing the best of the culinary world in Rhode Island.

"Presenting farmers, chefs, bartenders and food & drink artisans from across the state, the Festival offers special dining & cocktail opportunities, charitable events, an All-Local Tasting featuring farmer & chef cooking demonstrations and culminates in the Grand Brunch with the best restaurants in R.I."

Events include: 

Thurs. 4/24:
Rhode Island Chefs Feast

Fri. 4/25:
Truck Stop to Benefit RI Food Bank

Sat. 4/26:
Grand Tasting
Food Seminars

Sun. 4/27:
Grand Brunch (2 seatings)

Bear and I went last year and had a really wonderful time. We tasted, tested and learned so much!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sights ~ Ladd Observatory ~ Providence

Ladd Observatory
210 Doyle Ave.
Providence, Rhode Island
(401) 863-2323

Ladd Observatory by robtm2010
Ladd Observatory by robtm2010

Last October, when my friend from Chicago was visiting, we checked out the Ladd Observatory in Providence. The nice thing about out of town guests is going places you've always been meaning to go. Not as terrific is cramming all that tourism into a short time span and then having to remember it five months later when you sit down to write about your experience.

The observatory opened in 1871, under the directorship of Prof. Winslow Upton. They started making regular transit observations and timekeeping in 1893. The Observatory houses a 12" refracting telescope, transit telescopes, precision pendulum clocks, chronometers and more.

The observatory is open on Tuesday nights, weather permitting, for touring and sky viewing. It was pretty overcast when my friend and I went, but we were able to view a twin star through a small but powerful telescope set up on the deck.  The big gun - "a 12-inch (30 cm) refractor with a lens made by John Brashear following the design of Charles S. Hastings" (I don't know what that means, but it sounded impressive on Wikipedia) - wasn't in use. In fact, the observatory isn't really used for modern professional observations, but is available for students who want to kick it old school, and gain a sense of the history of their field.

main telescope
main telescope by e_pics
Another tidbit of interest. The hill on which the observatory sits - and observatories commonly sit on hills - was once called Tin-top Hill, because it was a dumping ground for tin cans. Their reflection could be seen at a distance.  Makes you glad they cleaned it up.

Also on the site is a small metal surveyor's marker. It denotes a point where the latitude and longitude are known with a "high degree of precision," and was set in 1968. Use of the hill as a surveying point went on long before that.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Events ~ Dishcrawl ~ Providence East Side ~ April 1, 2014

Dishcrawl East Side World Tour
Providence, Rhode Island (TBA)
April 1, 2014



Dishcrawl hits the East Side of Providence April 1st!

From the press release: 
"Tickets are available now for our next Providence event, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, when we will explore the wealth of Alternative and International dining options on The East Side of Providence. Restaurants like Kartabar, Nice Slice, Kabob & Curry, Soban, Paragon, Andrea’s, English Cellar and Shark’s have really put this area on the map for local diners. “The East Side of Providence has always been the place to go for locals and guests looking for new culinary ground or International Cuisine in Providence,” says Memphis Dishcrawl Ambassador Michael Paliotta. “Our goal is to bring adventurous foodies and local restaurants together in a really fun and unique way,”

To purchase tickets for the event visit East Side World Tour. For more information on Dishcrawl, check us out on facebook and twitter."

We're looking forward to the event!

Friday, March 14, 2014

From the I {heart} Rhody Flickr group

Saint Patricks day parade, Providence, RI by provbenson2009
Saint Patricks day parade, Providence, RI by provbenson2009

energy of the sea-3 by enjoiskate8
energy of the sea-3 by enjoiskate8

mouth by emiliabright
mouth by emiliabright

Once Upon A Time.... by Donna St.Pierre
Once Upon A Time.... by Donna St.Pierre

Rgoer Looking Upon his Flock by crosbyjohn9
Rgoer Looking Upon his Flock by crosbyjohn9

Turk's Head Building by Chen Yiming
Turk's Head Building by Chen Yiming

Dance Of Peace by ArtFan70
Dance Of Peace by ArtFan70

Untitled by appylovee
Untitled by appylovee

Snow in February 2014 by GoProvidenceRI
Snow in February 2014 by GoProvidenceRI

Sunset Under the Bridge by Frank C. Grace (Trig Photography)
Sunset Under the Bridge by Frank C. Grace (Trig Photography)

Gulls Working at Sakonet Point Light by windshadow2
Gulls Working at Sakonet Point Light by windshadow2

Good morning, sunshine by rilurky
Good morning, sunshine by rilurky

never overdue by Rick Payette
never overdue by Rick Payette

Waterfront Sunset by robtm2010
Waterfront Sunset by robtm2010

P1270198 by Royston_Kane
P1270198 by Royston_Kane

ODC Noisy by R Joanne
ODC Noisy by R Joanne

Warwick Asylum Cemetery by sixkings55
Warwick Asylum Cemetery by sixkings55

Newport, RI train station by t55z
Newport, RI train station by t55z

Old Narragansett Church, Wickford, RI, winter. by print57
Old Narragansett Church, Wickford, RI, winter. by print57

Goddard Memorial State Park E. Greenwich, Rhode Island V by MyDay247
Goddard Memorial State Park E. Greenwich, Rhode Island V by MyDay247

Conimicut Point Sunrise - Mike Dooley by mike_dooley
Conimicut Point Sunrise - Mike Dooley by mike_dooley

Hunts Mill #2 by Macedo295
Hunts Mill #2 by Macedo295

Sunrise | Westerly, RI by kylenolin
Sunrise | Westerly, RI by kylenolin

Secret door by kobrienjewelry
Secret door by kobrienjewelry

Conimicut Point by J&C Photo Samples
Conimicut Point by J&C Photo Samples

Fountains by MStoeckle
Fountains by MStoeckle

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Events ~ Craftopia ~ Hope Artiste Village ~ Pawtucket ~ April 27, 2014

Craftopia
Hope Artiste Village
1005 Main St.
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
April 27, 2014, 10 am - 4 pm


From the press release:

CRAFTOPIA kicks off spring at Hope Artiste Village!

Who: Rhody Craft 100 promotes local artists and crafters through its seasonal store and website (www.rhodycraft.com ). Rhody Craft sells a carefully curated selection of locally handmade art and craft.

What: CRAFTOPIA swings into spring, once again, in Pawtucket RI this April. The area’s premier, one-day craft show, CRAFTOPIA has built a reputation for it’s festive atmosphere and the consistant quality of it’s vendors. CRAFTOPIA showcases the fun, funky and high-quality work of a carefully selected 55 artisans from around New England. CRAFTOPIA curates an eclectic mix of art and craft, including repurposed clothing, original handbags, one-of-a-kind jewelry and accessories, paper arts, fine arts, bath and body products, and always something unexpected.

There will be food trucks outside and hot coffee inside, along with a few surprises, so ring in spring at CRAFTOPIA. Admission is just a buck, and kids are admitted free, with every 50th entrant winning CRAFTOPIA bucks in varying denominations which can be spent at any vendor booth.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Artists ~ Jennifer Field - Newport

Artist’s name: Jennifer Field
Shop name: Fruition
Website: www.fruitionbyjennifield.com 
Etsy: fruitionbyjennifield/etsy/.com
Facebook: fruitionbyjennifield


Tell us about your work.
My company makes personal accessories, household d├ęcor items, and gifts from vintage, upcycled, and recycled fabrics. I have a passion for vintage fabrics and have collected them for as long as I can remember.

How did you become a professional artist/crafter?
I studied textile design at CCRI and then completed the Master Seamstress program that is offered through The University of RI.

I come from a long line of seamstresses. Both my mom and grandmother have paved the way for me. Since I was a little girl I can remember them always in front of a sewing machine, doing repair work or making clothing.

Where do you draw your inspiration?
Fruition was born of my passion to design and sew from my recycled and vintage acquisitions. Hunting and then transforming my fabric finds is one of my favorite parts.

What's your favorite item to create?
I love to give new life to things that people would otherwise throw out. People often give me old fabrics and say "I was just going to throw this away". If I can keep it out of the landfill then that is another great bonus.



I like to say my projects choose me, because I work only with what I find, I have to adapt to it.



What's your best seller?
I would have to say one of my top selling products has been my oversized vintage beach tote. It fits everything. My magnetic snap clutch bag has also been a good seller and I just this spring started a new line of zipper pouches and a fancier foldover zipper clutch bag.



For housewares my vintage napkin sets are a big hit. Fully lined and sets of 4 for only $12. Great hostess gift.

How long have you been in Rhode Island?
I was born and raised in Newport, an actual native. I have lived here for most of my life. (with the occasional departure). I currently reside in Newport with my husband Colby, daughter Mari and our English bulldog Bruschi.

What do you {heart} about Rhody?
Sometimes I walk the wharfs and small side streets and I am reminded just how lucky I am to have grown up here and to now raise my own daughter in such a beautiful place.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014