“SOWA’rd Ya Go Sunday?”

Coach and I spent the better part of Sunday afternoon at the SOWA Vintage Market and Open Market in Boston’s South End. What fun!

The indoor market vintage shops are crammed with various and curious items for sale like art

and style

…and just plain sexy. This loveseat and chair were heart-stoppers for me!!

The artist, Holly Czapski, from Re-Furnish of West Concord, transforms pieces of old furniture into works of art. Using vintage photographs that she transfers onto fabric, she creates one-of-a-kind, stunning functional art pieces that could be the focal point of any room. AMAZING. You can reach her at holly@re-furnish.com

The larger part of SOWA is the outdoor farmer’s market and arts and crafts show. With pop-up tents filled with hand-crafted and vintage goods surrounded by food trucks of all shapes and sizes (kickass gourmet grilled cheese at Roxy’s, the line was 20 deep at all times!) this weekly event is not to be missed. If you are traveling to Boston, or just looking for an entertaining Sunday afternoon, SOWA is a must see. There is not room enough on this blog to note every item I deamed awesome and noteworthy. But I will highlight a few of my favs- for the rest, you’ll just have to go and shop for yourself. I am always searching for unique, quirky, fun items. I found a few here:

Love On The Blocks Your favorite photographs printed on to handcrafted birch blocks. The images are soft but true.

Nonsense Institute Whimsical creations by Anisa Asakawa. Handmade. Screen Printed. Recycled. Adorable.

Darn Good Barn Wood unique furniture made from reclaimed antique barn wood. Gorgeous finishes. Perfect for a country kitchen!

Oh How Cute Coasters! Started when a small, piggy-tailed kid was constantly over the coals for not having a coaster under her drink. Morphing the fear of water rings on furniture and a love of photography, Oh how cute! Coaster Co began. Handmade in New Bedford, MA.

Marcart Graphic art by Marc Roulstone. A must-have, since we had Bartlet the French Bulldog tagging along with us (with his mommy, who was stopped approximately every ten feet by Frenchie fans wanting to pat him and play with him. We must have heard “Oh, he’s sooooo cute!” at least 100 times! Being the celebrity that he apparently is, he took it all in stride. He was more interested in eating food droppings off the ground than acknowledging his admirers.

Those of you who know me and my blog, know how much I appreciate recycling in any form or fashion.

So here was a very fashionable recycling booth!

Manswap, sponsered by SOWA,

where you could bring your clean, gently used items and swap them. “Swap is the New Shop”. LOVE.

And finally, another unique shop, this time a converted school bus filled with vintage clothing. Great way to set up shop: drive up, park, sell your stuff, drive home. Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “Sunday Drive”. Susan

Have a Whale of a Fourth!!

Before heading into Boston today to view the Tall Ships via Hestia Cruises (an early birthday gift from our kids : ), I was excited to give Mr. Whale the coffee table a new look. As soon as I saw him at the yard sale this past weekend, I knew he just needed a fresh face to return him to his former maritime glory! Since our back porch is red, white and blue, it only seemed appropriate to make him the patriotic focal point. Mr. Whale before:

During the transformation process: the whale wash

Sanding off the old shiny varnish

Painting the base (Coach did this while I was at work- one less thing for me!)

Designing the pattern (best not to do this after a long work day and a couple of wine coolers-makes for many mis-measures)

Taping off the design

first coat of red stripes (remember 7red, 6white…7red, 6white) taping makes for perfectly straight rows and sharp, clean edges

Addition of the stars on the blue background these little stickers were perfect as a stencil- stick on, spray over, peel off when dry! Couldn’t fit 50 stars, so decided to go with a random, funky look instead. My apologies to Robert G. Heft, the schoolboy who designed our current 50 star American flag for a school project…for which he received a B-!!!

Unfortunately, today is a damp, rainy one. Not great for Tall Ships viewing, and certainly not great for painting and glazing whales out on our makeshift workshop on the porch. Sooooo, here is Mr. Whale- patiently awaiting his glaze finish. Moby Dick never looked this good : )

Left to do (once the air dries and the sun comes out):

1. Sand one last time for a truly rustic, aged appearance

2. Antique glazing to add a touch of shine and protect Mr. Whale from the elements

3. Enjoy our new coffee table!!!

Have a whale of a Fourth everyone!! Susan

Airing It Out(side)

It’s Friday here in the Boston area, and finally a relief from the blistering heat that has blanketed the state for the past few days. Today’s forecast is for temps in the 80’s with some thundershowers to cool things off. Every year, it seems as if we get one brief preview of the upcoming summer heat, and it is always then that Coach states “we need to get the air conditioners in the windows TODAY.” Now let me point out that I have attempted to persuade him, on more than one occasion, that perhaps central air conditioning might be a wise investment, saving us from the annual “haul them out of the closets and install them in the windows” dance that we do with the portable AC units. He is of the belief, however, that if James Buchanan (the US President when our house was built in 1857) could live in the White House without air conditioning, then we should be of hardy enough stock to do the same. Can I point out that I am almost 100% certain that the White House is now centrally air-conditioned in 2012!?!

SO… the dance begins. We go searching in the closets for three units, one for each upstairs window. Since our home is a cape cod style house, we are essentially living in the attic upstairs- hotter than blazes during a heat wave. Then I remember that the unit we had in our bedroom previously had finally kicked the bucket last summer and was tossed. I also recalled that the one previous to that had an unfortunate and abrupt ending to its “shelf-life”. The story goes something like this:

Coach: “Come help me get this AC unit in the window. (as he hoists it up on to the inside windowsill). Can you hold this for a minute?”

Me: “OK” (as I place ONE FINGER against the unit to stabilize it-you know where this is going, right?)

Coach: “OK, I just need to adjust the tilt angle” (as he whips the window open!)

Me: “Oh, x#$#!!!!” (yeah, that fingertip balance thing not happening- air conditioner falls out of the window and smashes to the ground two stories below)

Coach (angrily): “Why the hell did you let it go!?!?!?!?” (as he stomps down the stairs to go retrieve the unit. Actually, he had to dig it out of the muddy ground…he was not amused) This is not the actual pic, although it would be nice to live next door to a wine bar…

Me: Immediately pick up the phone and call my mom- who else do you call when you need a friend, a shoulder to cry on or to share something so ridiculously funny!? She can’t understand what I am saying because I am doubled-over, laughing hysterically…until I hear Coach coming back up the stairs, broken air conditioner in his arms, covered in dirt with sprays of grass sticking out of the bent and broken corners (this was before cell phones with cameras- so unfortunately, no pics)

Needless to say, that AC unit never made it back into the window, the EPA frowns on leaking Freon into the ozone layer- apparently that hole is big enough already.

Two units down, one to go. The installation of AC #3-the last unit standing-was pretty uneventful despite the fact that it was Wednesday night at 8 PM, and we were both hot and tired. This unit is very old-it’s not even DIGITAL!! Therefore, the two “wingy” things- you know, the little accordians that you pull over to the side to block out the bugs and birds and stuff? Well that was broken…on both sides. Duct tape to the rescue. Desperate times call for desperate measures. At least the gray matches my night stand. And, I discovered another use for duct tape- cup holders for margaritas!!!

Hope you have a cool day…Susan

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