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.