Cape May: West End Garage

One hot Sunday, my sister and I decided to walk from where we were staying on Beach Ave. to Sunset Beach in Cape May Point. It was kind of hot and humid out, but we’d packed lunch and iced tea so we were pretty confident that we could walk the three miles there in good time. Along the way we stopped in at West End Garage.

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My sister’s an artist, and I have a love of beautiful things so it made sense for us to stop in.

At first I thought they just sold local art – but while my sister was exploring the gorgeous Cape May paintings I wandered towards the back where I found loads of handcrafted items as well as many many antiques and original pieces.

It’s really a lot bigger than it looks like from the outside!

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Candles! I own loads of Bath & Body Works candles, and couldn’t resist checking out these original pieces of wax art! How cool is the giant R2D2 and Yoda!

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It’s an old-school typewriter! I dream of one day collecting these, I don’t have the space right now so my secret desire shall have to wait, lol!

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What the…?

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They do sell a lot of clothes and fashionable pieces, as well as glass created by local artisans, but I’m more interested in the older things – which West End is full of!

Lot’s of interesting finds… Including a working 1800′s brass ship compass, and an Artillary Casing from the USS Dubuque (1975) that apparently was collected by a sailor from the Dubuque while it was operating in Vietnam. Also, a set of vintage steer horns in pretty good condition.

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Mugs from Tiffany’s!

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I kind of regret not getting this Forget Me Not cup, I really wanted it but talked myself out of it at the last minute – and it was only $3.99! I just didn’t want it to break on our way back.

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Okay, so get this in West End we snapped a pic of this glass case and on closer inspection we found something pretty fan-freaking-tastic:

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Closer inspection:

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Somewhere stuffed in there is a rare 1935 edition Johnny Gruelle illustration (for $24). Well, Johnny Gruelle was an American artist, political cartoonist, and children’s book author and illustrator. He also happens to be known as the creator of Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy! How crazy is that? If I had known then, I totally would have snapped it up!

Look at this 1952 magazine – aren’t her lashes amazing?!

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I had such a great time exploring the West End Garage and definitely plan on returning sometime in the future! Click here to visit their website and for more information.

The Creativity Comeback with Creative Can!

Did you know that children’s creativity test scores have been declining since 1990? A study of Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking has measured a steady decline in creativity and we could be facing a creativity crisis. To combat lack of creativity, Creativity for Kids  has introduced the Creativity Can. What it is is relatively simple, it’s a free program designed to put simple materials into the hands of children and challenge them to imagine, create, and share.

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I love the idea of the Creativity Can – and recently I put Jules to create something magnificent and creative with a Creativity Can of her own! Here’s what she created:

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It’s Rembrandt! We went to the MET about a year ago to see a special exhibit featuring Rembrandt and his works – and this is what she masterfully pulled together.

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I think it bares a startling resemblance, lol!

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To check out the Creativity Can program, click here. To find out where the closest participating retailer is click here.

I think programs like the Creativity Can have a lot of potential – and I feel like encouraging creativity and using kinetic learning is a worthwhile goal. However I did notice that while I was searching for Creativity Can distributors in the NYC area, the distributors existed primarily in more affluent neighborhoods, as opposed to the areas of higher need. I would recommend that Creativity Can would extend their program to more areas – I feel like such a wonderful program could really be beneficial to many children who lack creative stimulation.

* Update: Creativity for Kids has let me know that Creativity for Kids is using its existing channels of specialty toy retailers to distribute the free can and that no purchase is necessary. This effort is just the first prong of a multi-year campaign to raise awareness about the drop in creativity, encourage a national discussion and search for a solution. Creativity for Kids is looking to further expand this effort.

Partying with Post-Its!

Last Wednesday night I had the pleasure of attending probably the coolest Post-It and Scotch (as in the tape, lol!) party ever! I went with my sister (the artist) and had so much fun!

We were greeted at the event by loads of Post-It art – from mini post-it pieces of art to large twister-looking sculptures. I was completely blown away by all the amazing things you could do with Post-Its!

Here’s some photos from the event:

postit fashionAren’t these the most fashionable post-it products! I love them!

postit artAwesome Post-it art created by Greg Adamson and Robert Mann respectively.

postit artAMAZING Post-It art – who knew you could do so many creative things with Post-Its!?

Alton DuLaneyDesign Consultant Alton DuLaney shows off the skateboards he designed using Post-It and Scotch’s line of office and craft products!

postit signature seriesI had an inside peek at Post-It’s new Signature Series which will be sold online and at boutiques! They’re designed by artists and look gorgeous!

I had such a blast at this event, my sister is already dreaming of one day designing her own line of Post-It’s for their signature series, lol! I loved seeing the original and unique pieces created by artists with Post-It’s and loved the new products they have out. It’s really great to see Post-It’s veer into designer and craft territory – the Post-It brand is no longer relegated to the corner of one’s desk, with new designs and fabulous products Post-It demands attention!

*Disclaimer: I was invited to the event as press and received a gift bag during the event. However, my opinions are 100% my own and not influenced in any manner.

Scooby Doo & Rembrandt Too

I’ve been a New Yorker all my life, and in my lifetime I’ve been to the Met (or Metropolitan Museum of Art) at least 18 times. However, despite my repetitive visits the museum has never failed to surprise me with something new to see. Just recently, I made another visit to the museum with my whole family and I thought I’d share some amazing things that we saw here:

Take a look at this guy. He doesn’t look like much with his big puffy velvet artist hat, but behind his beseeching gaze is a soul that has gone from guts to grace. If you don’t recognize him, his name is none other then Rembrandt van Rijn. He went from being the son of a miller, to the acclaimed artist and party boy of Hollands Golden Age, to a man humbled by poverty who learned that Grace is better than glory. His work is usually not shown anywhere other than in Holland, so its pretty amazing that the MET got a whole room full of his work on loan! But only for a little while! If you are able to see one of them in person, you could undoubtedly see the deep emotion within the imperfect forms of humanity he paints. Or you’ll think “Gee Scooby is it just me are those eyes following us? Doik!”

Wouldn’t you like to drink out of this cup? While crashing a guided tour my mom and I found out that this cup and the silver one behind it, were cups used to serve Persian King Artaxerxes. The silver one in particular was used by famous cup-bearer Nehemiah to serve the king! How cool is that?! In fact, the tour guide said that it is quite possible that these two cups were used by Queen Esther when she exposed Haman’s attempt at annihilating God’s chosen people.

This little number is the third model of the Colt’s Dragoon .44 Caliber Repercussion Revolver (the sort of revolver that Maddie Ross carries around in True Grit)! Made out of steel, brass, gold, and walnut- this dates back to 1853!

This is the Tara Brooch, not only did it’s familiar name (think, Gone With the Wind) draw my attention, but also how pretty and ornate this small piece was. A reproduction of the original, which is at the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin, the brooch is said to exemplify early medieval Irish metalworkers achievements.

Oh! My knight in shining armor! I visit these guys every time I go to the MET, because, we’ll in case they suddenly come to life I want to be the first damsel in distress (scratch that, these guys are actually pretty short believe it or not).