Showing posts from July, 2015

Books ~ Monumental Providence ~ Paul F. Caranci & Heather A. Caranci

I stumbled across Monumental Providence thanks to an article in the August 2015 issue of East Side Monthly called "What Writers Read."

(page 21)

The article provided some great ideas for local authors to read, and being a bit of a history geek, I started out by going to Paul Caranci's website to see his list of works.

I was excited to find Monumental Providence, and regular readers can guess why: I love art of all kinds and am fascinated by the stories behind public art and how it came to be where it is. I read it in a day, and it was chock-full of new (to me) information about the art we see every day, and the pieces that are outside our usual path.

I'll be scouring Providence to find every one of these monuments and statuary, and share them here.

In the references was an even bigger surprise: Caranci lists a couple of I {heart} Rhody posts as references! I'm so honored and thrilled...I had no idea.

Two other of Caranci's books are on my TBR pile: The Hangi…

Artists ~ Mary Claire Dilks ~ Providence

Artist’s name: Mary Claire Dilks
Shop name: Emerging Energy
Twitter: @emergingenergy

1. Tell us about your work
My work is to help people heal and achieve a state of wellness so they can fulfill their purpose in life. There are three facets of Emerging Energy- Pearl Apothecary, Inner Gate, and, of course, my healing practice of Acupuncture. Pearl Apothecary fuses ancient Chinese Herbal wisdom with modern science and precious essential oils to create small batch skin products for luminous skin. I am soon launching my line of jewelry - Inner Gate. This is something I've wanted to do for a while- to create pieces that will nourish someone's healing journey when they're not on my treatment table. I've always loved to make things, so this is just an extension of my creativity and love of beautiful things.

2. Is there a story be…

Dining ~ Kitchen ~ Providence

94 Carpenter St.
Providence, Rhode Island
(401) 272-1117
Bus routes 17, 19, 28 or 28

Quite by accident I stumbled upon Kitchen on a Sunday morning while walking from Broadway to Westminster up Dean Street.

It's a cute little place with a giant serving spoon for a door handle on the outside

and a cookie press roller door handle on the inside.

When I say little, I mean tiny. Two-seater tables line one wall, and some four-seaters on the other, and I don't think you'll fit 25 people in the place, including staff. It means lines out the door to wait for a table, but it also means a quaint/Colonial inn type feel when you finally get inside.

The menu is on the wall in chalk. I was aghast at the price for bacon: $2.50 per slice. Everything else seemed reasonable, so I tried a Big Breakfast (French toast, eggs, hash browns and bacon or sausage).

As soon as it arrived, I realized why the bacon was so expensive. Not only is it hand-cut on site, but it's cut into thick, ge…

Events ~ The Blessing of the Fleet ~ Narragansett

Blessing of the Fleet
Port of Galilee
Narragansett, Rhode Island
Bus route 66

The weather on Saturday was perfect for the Blessing of the Fleet, an annual event held the last Saturday of July in Port of Galilee.

I took the Pappo and the Peeper by bus from Providence to Narragansett. It's a long ride, but it was so worth it.

We arrived just in time to see the bagpipers march in through the parking lot at George's of Galilee.

They played a few familiar tunes, and then a soloist launched into Amazing Grace, which if you've never heard on the bagpipes by the water, you've never heard as it should be. It's somehow both lonely and reassuring - a perfect match of song and instrument.

We waited on line at George's carryout window for our lunch and then found a seat on the rocks by the water. Father Francis Kayatta of St. Mary Star of the Sea Church said a prayer of remembrance for fishers and sailors from Galilee lost at sea in the past year, and read out each name, th…

Flickr Friday July 2015 edition

come in by TONY RUBINO

Historic Providence by Robert Magina

Water's edge, North Kingstown, Rhode Island by Peter Rintels

IMG_6763 by MrsLamontagne423

Ruin on Aldrich Estate by Michael Macedo

The Heaving Graves by Frank Grace

Roger Williams Park. Providence, RI by Fire In The Eye Photography

Irish Famine Memorial by Erika Smith

For The Love of It..... by Donna St.Pierre

Providence, RI by Anthony Nathan Photography

Fishing off the Fort by Royston Kane

Breathe in life. (Portsmouth, RI) by Kelsey Gracia

fresh pond retro by John Crosby

Events ~ Gen. Nathanael Green Homestead Birthday Open House ~ July 26, 2015

Major General Nathanael Green Homestead
Birthday Open House
50 Taft St.
Coventry, Rhode Island
July 26, 2015 1-5pm

Artists ~ Julie DeRosa ~ Pawtucket

Artist’s name: Julie DeRosa
Shop name: Sacred Relic Studio

1. Tell us about your work
I like to call the assemblages that I make ‘shrines’. Typically, I will use found and recycled materials as well as create one or more of my own elements for the pieces using a molding and casting process with resin. Each resin piece that I create is hand sanded, given a coat of primer then hand painted and sealed with polyurethane to protect the finish. Most of my themes seem to revolve around personal transformation. Using discarded materials and adding elements (relics) created by me, my pieces speak to creating and holding onto hope, which is to me, sacred. This expression has been a very real and tangible means of living with a mental illness with grace. My greatest desire is that my work conveys hope and healing to anyone who chooses to …

Book review ~ Why Rhode Island Matters! by Ann Marie Marshall

Why Rhode Island Matters!: First in Independence, Industry, Art & Innovation by Ann Marie Marshall

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

There are tons of great, beautiful and interesting things about Rhode Island. This book encapsulates some of the high points. It's part of a series called "short attention span books," and I can see why.

Each blurb about education, industry, maritime concerns, whatever is headed with "Matters!" It would become tiresome after awhile, if the book were much more than 60 pages long. It had to be one of the fastest non-nursery-book reads I've ever done.

On the plus, a nice bibliography in the back for further reading.

View all my reviews

Artists ~ Lina Clark ~ Saunderstown

Artist’s name: Lina Clark
Shop name: SeaShards

1. Tell us about your work
A lot of what I do comes from a place of love for nature and all the curious things that it produces. I've always had an affinity for collecting things from outside. To me, having the chance to do something like hold a bird's feather is akin to touching and experiencing the animal's presence. A similar sentiment goes along with items and even broken pieces of old artifacts - by touching something from the past you can reach back in time and feel a little of what those days were like. I've carried this mentality over to what I provide in my shop.

Much of what I carry includes animal parts, plants, and antique items in wearable forms. I mostly fashion them into pendants as I find them to be easiest to wear and accessorize with. This allows the possessor of these items to access them wherever they go and always have that special thing close at hand to touch, …

Performing arts ~ Ocean State Theatre Co's 2015-16 Season

Ocean State Theatre Company 1245 Jefferson Blvd. Warwick, Rhode Island (401) 921-6800
We loved seeing Rent at the Ocean State Theatre Company a couple of years ago, but haven't gotten back since. That's all about to change with this season's line-up. I haven't been this excited about this many coming productions in any single theater before!
From the press release:  Ocean State Theatre Company (OSTC), which is currently in rehearsal for its upcoming production of the Tony® Award-winning classic American musical, Gypsy, is proud to announce the opening of the box office for single ticket sales for its fourth season in its state-of-the-art theatre in Warwick. Beginning on Monday, July 6 at 12 noon, patrons may purchase tickets to any or all of the following productions:
The weird and wonderful family comes to life in The Addams Family: The Musical, which features an original story that is every father’s nightmare. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, is al…

Doing good ~ Five-feet ~ Newport

What it is
Portsmouth native BT Hathaway founded an organization called which aims to gather at least 1,000 people in each of 1,000 places around the globe in order to raise awareness of rising sea levels. They're starting right here in Rhode Island.

They aim to gather people “at the tide” along beaches and tidal lowlands around Rhode Island, and with lots of help and luck, all around the world, to create the world's largest "teaching moment."

Get involved
Volunteer through Meetup
Like them on Facebook
Learn more on their site

Events ~ Rhode Island Round-Up ~ Westerly ~ Aug 19-22

Rhode Island Round-Up: Farm Dinner with Austin’s Eden East
Celebrated Austin, Texas farm-to-table restaurant Eden East, led by Owner and Executive Chef Sonya Coté—a Rhode Island native—is traveling to the east coast for this exclusive dinner series hosted by Horseshoe Farm, a private estate surrounded by miles of fences along the coastal countryside in Westerly, RI.

The acclaimed Austin eatery brings its exquisite dining experience easterly, merging its bold Texas flavors and ingredients with local products from New England farmers and purveyors, including Blackbird Farm, Walrus and Carpenter Oysters, Jonathan Edwards Winery, Revival Brewing Company and more.

Rhode Island Round-Up Menu The Rhode Island 3 Way Raw Walrus & the Carpenter Raw | grapefruit & cucumber mignonette Oysters “Bootlegged” | cornmeal, dry cured sausage aioli, garlic chives Grilled Oysters on the Half Shell | holy trinity, filé, chocolate roux paired with a cocktail from Texas-based Deep Eddy Vod…

Product review ~ Post Road Soap Company

Along with her interview, Vanessa at Post Road Soap Co. sent a couple of samples of her products.

First was a bar of soap that I was so excited to try, I forgot to take a photo. :S
I don't see an image of it on her Facebook page, and at the moment her site is down, but it looked more or less like the photo below, only with black in it as well.

The scent was pleasant, not overpowering or overly floral. It made great lather, too. I could easily see this bar, properly cared for, lasting a month or more. Sadly, my grandchildren also loved it, and it saw a quick end.

Homemade soaps need to be allowed to re-dry after use, or they tend to go fast. My grandkids are enthusiastic bathers, but notsomuch with the putting away of things when they're done. Therefore, we had a problem very few adults will have: the black tended to run when left unattended on a wet shower shelf. Since it's soap, it cleaned up pretty quickly and easily.

I guarded the mud mask much more carefully.


Artists ~ Vanessa Mascaro ~ Warwick

Artist's name: Vanessa Mascaro
Shop name: Post Road Soap Co.

1. Tell us about your work Post Road Soap Co. provides handmade and all natural alternatives to over-the-counter bath and body products. Handmade soaps are made in small batches the old-fashioned way of cold-process. There's a wide variety of soaps that are perfect for blemishes, aging skin, extremely dry or cracked skin, sensitivities, and even baby's delicate skin. Our other products are chemical free, paraben free, and eco-friendly. From sugar scrubs to mud masks, we have just what your skin needs!

2. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer? Post Road Soap Co. started in July of 2014 and became an LLC in January. I became very aware of the toxic chemicals in my bath products when my daughter was born. I questioned everything- where her food came from, what products I use on her delicate skin- only t…

I {heart} Rhody artist interviews now on Rhode Island Creative Magazine!

Each month, Kim at Rhode Island Creative Magazine will select an artist interview to include in her magazine.

I'm excited about the collaboration, and look forward to sharing lots more of Rhode Island's exceptional artistic talent!

PS- read the rest of the magazine, too, for great information on makers, and the creative process.

Events ~ West Side Thursdays Concert Series ~ Providence

West Side Thursdays Concert Series
Dexter Training Ground
Providence, Rhode Island

Dining ~ XO Cafe ~ Providence

XO Cafe
125 N. Main St.
Providence, Rhode Island

My parents, now 70 years old, still drive up from Long Island to visit once or twice a year. Whenever they do, I try to take them somewhere new, to show off the local culture and diversity.

Brunch is a favorite in our family, and I did some research to find a good place to go. The XO Cafe had appeared on a list of best places for brunch. It was local, it was affordable. It was a go. I made reservations for 10 (me, Bear, Mommy*, Papi**, four kids 8 and under, and my parents) and we met my parents at the restaurant.

I started writing a detailed account of the event, but it seemed to go on and on. So let's focus on right and wrong.

They made a good Bellini and Bloody Mary.The food was quite good.The French toast in particular was excellent, and pleased all four children (no easy task).The decor is fun and funky, especially the murals around the bar.The bartender, who we saw when we left, was so friendly and helpful, it was a pleasu…

Artists ~ Robin Johanson ~ Saunderstown

Artist’s name: Robin Johanson
Shop name: Sea Star Glassworks or
Facebook: Robin Johanson -Sea Star Glassworks
Instagram: seastarglass

1. Tell us about your work
Using treasures from the sea and stained glass techniques, I handcraft unique accessories for hair, scarves, wraps & jewelry for every beach lover. All glass, shells and stones are found on Rhode Island’s shores. I often incorporate other colored glass, beads and brass charms into my work for texture and interest. Each piece is unique, made with high quality construction and materials.

2. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
I come from a long line of "crafty" women so have enjoyed working with several mediums. In particular, I like to find clever ways to make art functional. A few years ago while creating stained glass panels, I got inspired to create some unusual barrettes for my three daughters... we hav…