Salvage Style

By | Books, Creative Ideas, Decorating, Entertaining, Lifestyle, Uncategorized | No Comments

My new book, “Salvage Style” has just been released by Sterling Publishing.. The subject is decorating with recycled and reclaimed materials. For the second time I partnered with Country Living Magazine. The first book with Country Living was Aged To Perfect. Salvage Style is filled with photographs and interviews with homeowners all over the country who are passionate about recycling and repurposing material and objects to infuse their homes with character. Read More

Custom Wedding Invitation Platters

By | Crafting, Creative Ideas, Decorating, Decoupage Wedding Invitation Plates | No Comments

I love designing wedding invitation plates. Most of them are 10-inches square, but lately I’ve been expanding to platters. Most are 16×20 inches because the invitations are getting larger and there are so many activities with printed programs included. Also, more and more, couples are creating little booklets of events, names of everyone in the wedding party as well as cute maps, “save the date” cards, and lots of other printed material. And then there’s the shower invitation that I usually put on the back.
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Really Last Minute Wrapping Idea

By | Creative Ideas, Holidays | No Comments

Let’s face it, there isn’t a whole lot of time left – maybe a few hours to wrap up your gifts.  I am a great believer in recycling when possible. I take great pains to neatly fold the wrapping paper I’ve carefully removed from holiday packages and re-roll ribbon for another use. I cut Christmas cards into package tags and punch holes in one corner, then put them into a greeting card-size box to be used next year. I don’t think I can remember when I last bought holiday gift tags. The ones that aren’t specifically holiday-ish I save for birthday presents. It isn’t frugality that provokes these actions,
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Busy Week

By | Crafting, Creative Ideas, Holidays | No Comments

Leslie signing copies of “Nantucket Cottages & Gardens”
at Marine Home Center during Stroll Weekend. (some still available)

This week has been a busy one for everyone. It seemed like we had lots of time to get decorated and ready for Christmas and suddenly we don’t. Or at least that’s the way it seems. The Festival of Wreaths was a big success. Always a good kick off to the season. Then we had Stroll Weekend and now a round of holiday events. Every year I attend the party at The Homestead – always joyful. Music by the ShepCats – makes the party quite lively. What I like most about this yearly party is that it reminds us of how our community reaches out to all generations and doesn’t forget the elderly.
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Local Events

By | Creative Ideas, Leslie's blog from the Nantucket Inquirer & Mirror | No Comments

Now that it’s September all the local events kick in. On Saturday the Egan Maritime Institute hosted their yearly Maritime Festival on the grounds of Children’s Beach. This is a free event for everyone and families come to participate in all sorts of maritime arts and crafts. There’s also plenty of food served throughout the day.

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Maritime Festival at Children’s Beach

A huge tent was set up with a dozen or more tables manned by volunteers and hosted by artisans encouraging children of all ages and adults to pull up a chair and participate for however long they wanted to stay.

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east-meets-west-Failla-porch

East Meets West

By | Creative Ideas | No Comments

The picture of a simple farmhouse with cushioned chairs for relaxing are quite beckoning. This could be a property anywhere on Nantucket or in New England. The trees that surround the property are familiar, unlike the palm trees, for example in the south. But this is a small, family owned vineyard in Calistoga, California and the house is where they have regular wine tastings, open by appointment to the public. However, unlike any other winery in Napa Valley, this one is owned and run by a Nantucket born resident, Ehren Jordan, son of Nantucket real estate owner, Lucille Jordan.
Failla wine tasting bldg

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Peju-Vines

Wine, Wine, & More Wine

By | Creative Ideas | No Comments

When you come from Nantucket, driving through Napa Valley, with huge mountains everywhere you look, can be super overwhelming. In a word it’s awe-inspiring. Add to that, fields and fields of symmetrical rows of grape vines. It is just pre-season for the vineyards so everything is pretty quiet. Even though the pickers are nowhere in sight, we are told there is much going on behind the scenes. This area is farmland and all about one industry. Nantucket used to be that way at different times in its history. Imagine how quiet things were during the whaling era when every able bodied male was off to sea for months, even years at a time.

When I first came to Nantucket as a child, tourism was in its infancy and most year ‘rounders made a living from scalloping. The energy level of the town was what might be described as “laid back.” For three weeks we’ve made the small town of Calistoga, CA home. And now, after two weeks the pace I normally operate on is slowed down to where I am questioning if I will ever get back my “normal” energy level. Maybe this is what a vacation is for.

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Ferry Terminal in San Francisco

Away From Home

By | Creative Ideas | No Comments

“There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home!” chanted Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. I agree. Whenever I go away from home I miss it like crazy. Not just the island, but the comforts of my own home For the first twenty-four hours away I am terribly homesick. But I leave over and over again because, let’s face it, travel broadens us, and once home we appreciate and relive the experience over and over again. We get to see how other people live in other parts of the country. We get to try different food, sometimes we experience different cultures. The variety of vegetation in other parts of the country always surprises me, as does the architecture. Right now I am in Calistoga California after a couple of days in San Francisco. We had lunch yesterday in Napa in a delightful restaurant. We sat outside on their patio and reveled in being tourists, something we don’t get a chance to do on Nantucket.
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outsider art

Outsider Art Comes Inside!

By | Books, Creative Ideas, Decorating, Media Coverage | No Comments

I’ve always been attracted to Outsider Art; self taught art by undiscovered raw talent. It is naive, often made by prisoners, the insane, poor, indigent, disables, black, reclusive, and by people living marginally, on the fringe of society. It has become a term to describe “different” from the expected, mainstream and acceptable. An example might be two small drawings hanging in the Whitney Museum. It is by a self taught artist named James Castle and they were drawn with the artist’s mix of soot and saliva as he had no money for, nor access to, traditional art supplies. Usually outsider art is surprising, leaving us with questions, wanting to know more about the circumstances under which the artist lives and creates, or did live, if no longer alive. We are more generous about acceptance when we learn that the art was born out of raw talent produced under dire circumstances. It tells us how compelling it was for the artist to express him or herself. And this fact alone makes us want to embrace the art. Further it is affordable and therefore accessible to everyday appreciators with limited funds. At least it always was
But lately I’m distressed to find “outside” coming “inside” so to speak.
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Outdoor Living

By | Creative Ideas, Entertaining, Lifestyle | No Comments

There’s always so much going on during the season that it’s hard to decide what to do. Kitchen tours, house and garden tours, red tie galas, Boston Pops at the Jetties, lectures, musical events, author readings and book signings, art gallery openings, the triathlon, and then of course all the outdoor fun like biking and tennis and golf and beaching that’s always available. But wait, Nantucket weather can be fickle so you have to reserve indoor activities like museum tours for those overcast days. So much to plan and guests too!

Vacationing can be work, for those of us who live here! It’s often hard to fit in the fun things we’d like to do, enjoy our guests, and meet up with friends we may only see in the summertime. Time is precious. I like to entertain casually on my deck. We start with drinks and apps outside and then, as the weather cools or gets a bit damp we move indoors for dinner. I can safely say I’m the only house in my neighborhood that has trees decorated with fairy lights.
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