Monthly Archives: July 2015

Gloucester Museum School – Project Adventure Summer Camp – Rowing the Jones River Salt Marsh

Gloucester Museum School – Project Adventure Summer Camp – Rowing the Jones River Salt Marsh

Martin Del Vecchio submits-

This is how kids start their day in the Project Adventure Summer camp; by rowing the Jones River Salt Marsh to the day’s destination.  My kids have done this camp for four years now, and they absolutely love it.

More info is available at


Get Ready for Cape Ann’s Premiere Fashion Show!

unnamedBaylee Kirk models an Alyssa Fishenden Band-Aid dress.

By Terry Weber


Fashionistas and jewelry lovers across the North Shore are gearing up for the Celebrate Wearable Art Fashion and Runway Show scheduled for September 27 at Cruiseport in Gloucester. Celebrate Wearable Art (CWA) is a half day celebration of handmade unique clothing, jewelry, and accessories crafted by local and visiting artists and designers. The event features a fashion runway show with local models, a sale of locally made clothing, jewelry and accessories, and a buffet of Mediterranean appetizers, coffee and sweets.


The proceeds will benefit the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts – Cape Ann (seARTS) and is organized by seARTS Wearable Art members and volunteers.  This year it will kick off Boston Fashion Week, and links the North Shore fashion community with the Boston Fashion Trail by way of Gloucester. 25% of the participating artist-vendors sales are donated to seARTS and for the first time, exclusive wearable vests will be auctioned at the event with vest artists donating all or part of the sale to seARTS).


Here’s what you need to know to participate in this event:


Would you like to attend? If you book your tickets before August 15, your name will be entered into the Arts Destination Drawing, sponsored by the Franklin Cafe. That means you could win one of two packages including a night’s stay after the show, and a gift certificate for shopping and dining. Gift package donors include: Blue Shutters Beachside Inn, Pleasant Street Inn, Lexicon Gallery, Ohana restaurant, and Canterbury Hill Studio & Gallery. Please note the August 15 deadline represents an extension from the original July 20 deadline. Don’t delay on buying tickets, two shows in previous years have sold out!


For best seating, purchase your tickets today at or mail a check to seARTS, PO Box 1476, Gloucester, MA. 01931. Please include your email for ticket confirmation. Or, stop by the Pop Gallery, 67 Main Street, Gloucester, MA to purchase your tickets. Ticket prices range from $125 to $175 and details about seating arrangements can be found here:


Are you a fashion designer, artist, or local creative looking to turn your idea into a wearable piece? To check out the possibility of your designs being showcased on the runway, download and save the PDF application from, and email to Or, send your application to seARTS, PO Box 1476, Gloucester, MA, 01931 with an application fee of $35 by August 15. A limited number of spots are available.


Are you a model? A call for additional models will be held on Saturday, August 22 in Gloucester at the Cape Ann Savings Bank Community Room (10 AM to 1 PM, 123 Main Street). Hosted by Darlene Sweeney of WSM Talent, Newburyport, participating models will be matched with fashions and jewelry submitted by designers and artists.   Potential models must sign up in advance by emailing; please enter “model inquiry” into the subject line. Be sure to include your name and photo.


Would you like to sponsor this event? Event sponsorships are open for all categories; in particular, seARTS seeks a presenting sponsor. Sponsorship requests should be directed to Jacqueline Ganim-DeFalco at


For all other details and updates on this event, please visit Don’t miss out on this Cape Ann original event!

Katherine Worth model

Katherine Worth models a Jane Wilson Marquis pressed flower wedding dress.

Both photos are from Linehan Photography

Rockport Retail: It’s Gettin’ Hot in Here

by Rockport artist Stefan Mierz

Rambling in Rockport

Yesterday, a post went up on GMG written by the venerable Joey C. on his Saturday a.m. shopping experience in the equally venerable town of Rockport, Mass. The post has since been edited in response to the wail that went up from Main Street and parts of Bearskin Neck — a wail that could be heard all the way in East Gloucester, ringing through the antennae of the crustaceans piled up on the dock as Rockport shop owners rose up in protest. (The protest is mostly on Facebook if anyone wants to read along for some insight into what I’m talking about).

It seems that Joey came to Rockport on Saturday no less than twice (which is two times more than a whole lotta other locals) in an effort to procure some goods from some stores that had caught his eye on Instagram, but both times he was thwarted. Once, because he showed up with the not-unreasonable plan to eat breakfast and shop after the stores open (in theory anyway) at 10 am and the other time — after he was stymied the first time — because he couldn’t find parking. A parking pain we have all felt from the regular schmuck just trying to buy a doughnut from Brothers’ Brew to the the highest Selectperson in the land, just trying to buy a doughnut from Brothers’ Brew. In frustration Joey had no choice but to go to Bed Bath & Beyond or worse, maybe Kohl’s — I don’t know, it was some terrible place way far away with a couple of football fields of empty parking spaces — and line the pockets of our Corporate Overlords with his hard-earned dollars.

The point of the original post seemed to be twofold: 1) Talk about how genuinely great the shops in Rockport are, mention how awesome the Rockport Farmers Market is (yes it is!) and give a well-deserved shout-out to breakfast at the Blue Lobster Grille, and 2) Call out the shops for contributing to shopping difficulties by opening after 10am when securing a downtown parking space in Rockport in July is roughly worth the price of your firstborn.

A coupla things. First off, in the eyes of this very lame GMG occasional contributor, Joey stepped up by editing the post to reflect that he did not plan his shopping visit to Rockport with a strategy that included the realities of a shopping visit to Rockport. In Rockport, there’s not much about the retail scene that is like other places. The shops are independently owned, many of them run year-round by the same person (in spite of the assumption that everything is seasonal) who at some point has to see his or her family and take a shower, and then there is the consumer. Residents and tourists in Rockport follow ancient traffic patterns that involve a complex algorithm of when/if the sun is shining, vacation alcohol consumption recovery times, and preferred side of the street to walk on (I’m serious about the last one). Showing up in Rockport just minutes after the sun rises — which, on Rockport time, is more or less 10 am — is an exercise in futility, unless you are planning on going to the farmers’ market, eating a strudel, heading out in a boat, or staring at your fingernails while you sit on an empty bench. It may sound nuts from a consumer standpoint, but there is a method to the Rockport retail madness.

For most shops (multi-generational places like The Pewter Shop or John Tarr’s notwithstanding), opening at 10 am is equally an exercise in futility, with shop owners waiting in vain to make a sale to the approximately sixteen potential buyers that are out strolling Bearskin Neck and/or Main Street at that hour (a count that actually goes down to around seven people when adjusted for the ones who “forgot their wallet” — oldest excuse in the book — because they’re walking the dog or just aimlessly wandering between coffee places). Maybe the Rockport Farmers Market, which is only in its third year, will help change this, as shopping patterns shift to earlier in the day. I hope so.

Secondly, for those of you who read the Facebook thread in response to the original post, the merchants make some valid points, even if these points are cloaked in dismay, sadness, and even one or two expressions of rage.

People who come to Rockport, and maybe even more so people who live in Rockport, have no idea what running a shop in Rockport is like. It’s hard to write about this, because readers will immediately go into Mach-Defensive mode, rushing to explain to merchants everything they’re doing wrong, starting with the brilliant point that no one is forcing anyone to own a shop in Rockport (as though, because shop owners aren’t forced at gunpoint to run a business that means any point they make about the REALITIES of running that business become moot. Which is bizarre. So don’t bother with your “no one is forcing shop owners to own a shop” nonsense comments. I mean, you can bother with them, but I’ll just know you’ve got nothin if that’s your opener.)

Getting Real

Owning a small retail shop is a lot like owning a mom-and-pop restaurant in the sense that literally every single customer that walks through your door — or stands outside of it because your shop is closed — thinks, at some level, that they can do what you do. Imagine how crappy that feels for a second. Every single person thinks they are an expert on your work, when in reality they most likely know next to nothing about retail in general (let alone retail in Rockport), which demands a mix of smarts, financial wizardry, aesthetic gifts, salesmanship, and lots and lots of luck. Because weather is involved. It’s a lot like farming, actually. You have to anticipate what will sell at market six months in advance, throw everything you have ($$$) at it and pray like crazy the sun shines at the right time. Then you have to show up, pretty much all the time, but chances are (and by chances I mean literally, by chance because retail is also like gambling — you are always playing the odds), it will be still be the wrong time for someone, who will tell you how you screwed up. Which could be true, the screwing up, but if nearly every shop is closed in tandem at the hour you want to shop, then chances are there aren’t enough people shopping at that hour and the issue is with consumer patterns, not store owners.

I used to own a shop on Main Street in Rockport, and if I had a nickel for every soul who came in and stood at my counter and began a sentence with “I’ve always wanted to own a shop” or (the always-fantastic) “You know what you should do? You should…” well then I would still have closed my shop because I would be so incredibly rich I would have bought my own island, named it Cape Get Out of My Face I am So Very Tired and moved there.

Story time: one hot summer day years ago, I was standing in my shop in Rockport contemplating whether this was the right time to leave the store to dash to the bathroom. That’s right. Because I did not have a bathroom in my shop, even though I paid a rent that would make your ice cream melt, because several Rockport landlords have decided toilet facilities are optional. Anyway, a woman came in right at that juncture, when I was choosing between the health of my bladder and losing a potential buyer who might wander in and help pay my toilet-free rent. I looked at the woman — might this be a customer? who is always right? — as she stood blankly in the middle of the room, her mouth hanging open. I honestly thought she might need help of a non-retail variety because she she seemed so disoriented and aimless fifteen seconds into her visit. Suddenly she whipped her face toward me, a face distorted in rage and shouted “I might have BOUGHT SOMETHING if you had said hello to me!”  I was shocked. Before I could even respond she spun on her heel and stomped out the door. (Follow up: I chased her up the street and begged her forgiveness at the same scale at which she screeched at me. More confusion ensued.)

Take that scenario and multiply it by a thousand, only don’t forget to account for variations — like the strangers who come in and, when, you say hello in your best cheerily calibrated shop voice, haughtily inform you that when they need help they will ask for it, rolling their eyes at their companion at what a loser you are, accosting customers who want nothing more than to fondle your merchandise in peace — and it all adds up to a lot of stress for the small shop owner. Especially since most of their net worth — and lot of credit — is tied up in that merchandise.

Anyway, I could go on as I have stories galore, both from my store and those of friends. Like the time a customer — except he didn’t purchase anything — put a 14-inch vintage knitting needle up his nostril nearly (hopefully) into his brain in order to demonstrate his sideshow prowess to a lady friend, or that one time a customer — except she wasn’t — used the corner of another friend’s store as a bathroom. Actually, maybe I should have realized that last one, using a corner of the store as a litter box, was an option. I never would have had to leave the store then.

I should add, because I need to clarify, that having the shop was wonderful, and I loved working in Rockport and connecting with locals and visitors from all over the world. I really miss those days in so many ways. It’s just that getting advice from strangers when I was already about to pass out at the counter from working 7 days a week is not one of them.

The Takeaway (with Tissue Paper and a Gift Bag)

In short, while it’s important for shop owners to listen to consumers, especially ones who are as supportive of local businesses as Joey, it is also important for consumers to listen to shop owners, and not assume the worst — that they are willfully refusing to say hello, or that they purposefully refuse to stock whatever it is you want to buy, or that they are rolling around at home in a pile of undeclared cash that they raked in from all those suckers who came in to buy a candle or a card — or whatever it is that people assume. Buying local is a two-way street, a marriage between small business owners and their customers, and just like in any relationship, mutual respect goes a long way.

Can you ignore a screaming child?

I’ll be the first to admit I can’t stand screaming kids. As a previous diner owner, I absolutely couldn’t stand the sound of a screaming child. Now, if I had to listen to 45 minutes of it, I honestly don’t know what I would have said to the parent. I probably wouldn’t have said anything and gave a dirty look. I understand the whole “different parenting approach” parents are taking these days but some things gotta give.


I raise my children with discipline and yes, it starts as early as 2 years old. Take your screaming child outside the restaurant and handle it. No one wants to hear your screaming child while you’re browsing on your smart phone.


Parenting approach:

Do you ignore your screaming child in a public place and let it continue for ever?


Do you discipline your child and make it stop?


Click here for the story!




Need Help with Your Focus?

kitten focus

Whether this is true or not, this study provides great justification for looking at those adorable kitten photos every morning before you start your day, or before starting a project you need to focus on.

On the subject of focus and memory, I have been doing a lot of research and trying all sorts of things since my mother slipped into the realm of dementia.  I wanted to find whatever I could to help regain her memory, and my own, which had gone from bad to worse rapidly over the past few years.  While I can’t say I have found a universal cure, I can say that my own memory is now back to where it was 10 years ago, and mom’s is also improving.  This morning I met a new neighbor and his puppy, Ted and Pippa.  Might not sound earthshattering to you, but a year ago, I would never have been able to remember their names, nor the names of people I had met repeatedly, which was very embarrassing, but whose names I now remember.

Aside from regular exercise, pursuing a deeper spiritual life, and getting us on as brain healthy a diet as possible (fish, fruit and vegetables, minimal gluten and bread/pasta carbs, coconut oil, beet juice, etc.), there are three supplements we have been taking for a number of months now, which I believe have been having an amazing effect.  One is Dynamic Nutrition pure extract turmeric curcumin with BioPerine, the next is HealthForce ZeoForce Detoxify Daily, and the last, and I think the most effective, is Biogenesis Focus Fizz.  Poor nutrition, stress and toxins are known causes of dementia and loss of cognitive ability.  Unless we live in a bubble eating only nutrient rich foods, we are all subject to them and need to take whatever steps we can to protect ourselves from their effects.

If nothing else, try the kitten photos.

E.J. Lefavour

Sound Temple Music and Healing Arts at Floating Lotus in Gloucester on Friday (7/24)

Come meditate, move and be in a sacred, healing musical space with Sound Temple.

Friday, July 24
Sound Temple with Christine Tulis and Kem Stone

Special Guests
Stan Strickland, Jon Holland and Lisa Bouchie

Floating Lotus
169 Main Street, Gloucester
7:30 pm
$20 suggested
at the door


Who said Joey C hates dogs?
Who said Joey is a wimp when it comes to anything with more than 2 legs?
Who said Joey is a jerk when it comes to someone’s love of their 4 legged child?
Not me now.
Little “IZZY” stole Joey’s Heart last Friday. Joey even fed her by hand.
Seeing him hug and kiss her made me cry. I guess I had Joey all wrong.
So bring your dogs down the dock when visiting and maybe Joey will throw you a Bone.





You Gotta Have Your Head Examined If You Don’t Get a Free Lat 43/Minglewood/Alchemy/Opus/Maggies Farm All In One Serenitee Restaurant Rewards Card

Cape Ann Dining News-


I have one and every week free stuff shows up on there. Free Brunch at Alchemy, Free brunch at Opus, Free Dessert, Just The Other Day We used Alicia Unleashed’s Free Sushi Roll that Showed Up On her Rewards Card.

If you Don’t Like Free awesome food Then Don’t Sign Up. it’s THAT simple.

Here’s the free Sushi Roll we got using Alicia’s Card-

2015-07-20 16.38.10

Serenitee Rewards Card

Here’s the info from The Serenitee restaurant Group website-

Account for your good taste.

The Serenitee Rewards Card allows you earn points towards free food and experiences every time you dine at one of our restaurants. You earn 10 points for every dollar spent. All you have to do is put your Rewards Card next to your credit card when you pay. Here are the standard rewards:

2,500 points = Free Appetizer, Salad or Dessert
3,500 points = Pizza, Sushi Roll or Sharing Platter
5,500 points

View original post 161 more words

Community Photos 7/21/15

Saltwater Designs On Bearskin Neck Got Some Cool New Hand Printed Signs in!

New signs are in!

A post shared by Saltwater Designs Rockport (@saltwaterdesignsrockport) on

Downtown Rockport, Front Beach on Sunday From Matt Cegelis

Cegelis Art Group


Coffin’s Beach sunset from George Surabian


The Mighty F/V Holy Mackerel Shows Off His Fancy New LED Lights. Many commercial boats are now installing them. They are incredibly effective. @durabritelights

If You Have Water Bugs, You Should Have One of These

If your kids are water bugs, like mine, then you need to check out these new KYPADS.  I did a quick blog post about them earlier this spring, but would be remiss to not follow up now that we’ve had the awesome opportunity to demo these incredible boards for a few weeks.

We were lucky enough to take two KYPADS with us to Nantucket back in June and then were thrilled to hang on to them a bit longer so as to hit the beaches around Cape Ann too!

These boards were designed by a some local peeps who had the vision to create boards that are super kid friendly, easy to manage, and up to the challenge of some kid wear and tear.

My humble review of the boards?  Well, first of all, they couldn’t have been easier to get on and off my Jeep…which I might add, is pretty high.  I was able to put them up and strap them on by myself after having gotten the hang of the ratchet straps.  Once the boards were off the Jeep most of the kids that we were traveling with (ages 6-12) had no trouble carrying them down to the beach with no help whatsoever!  That is a HUGE plus!  My absolute FAVORITE thing about the boards?  Each and every child, without exception, quickly mastered how to maneuver the boards and took to the water with no fear, no assistance, and no difficulty. More importantly than that…each child, without exception, came off the water feeling proud of the independence they had just demonstrated…and pretty psyched that they had become so darn good at something so quickly.

My boys can’t get enough of the water.  They are happiest when they are at the beach or on a boat.  To be able to hit the water solo and with such confidence in such a cool way was so excellent for them.  They were so proud of themselves and I couldn’t have been happier.

Check out the KYPADs HERE and learn about how they were created and how fabulous they truly are.

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