Category Archives: Home and Garden


While looking for bandanas to make Charlotte, our baby granddaughter-on-the-way, a bandana baby quilt, I came across wonderfully whimsical animal inspired navy and white bandanas at J.Crew. The elephant bandana has little elephant heads in the corners and the whale bandana has an overall pattern that includes fishes, anchors, and a compass rose. The bandanas are printed on an ultra soft, almost batiste-like quality cotton fabric. Recalling that newborns can mostly only see black and white for the first three months, and that the J.Crew designs are so charming, I abandoned the pink idea and went for blue and white. And, a portion of the sale from the bandanas goes to support wildlife foundations.


1) Prewash bandanas, cotton batting, and backing fabric. Press.

2) Stitch together the four bandanas. Bandanas are not a woven design and oftentimes are not printed on the square perfectly. You have to fudge it a little and not be too fussy at this stage.

3) Press the bandana quilt top seams flat. Place the quilt top over cotton quilt batting. Pin or baste the batting in place. Trim batting close to quilt top edge.

4) Place quilt top and batting unit on top of cotton backing. Pin or baste through all three layers to keep in place. Trim to neaten edges.

5) Cut 4 bias strips, in desired width, in backing fabric, the length of each edge, plus two inches. I like to cut my bias strips 2 and 7/8 wide inches for binding a quilt. Fold bias strips in half and press.

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Gloucester foreclosures include one of the 100+ Gloucester MA houses that Edward Hopper painted

Hopper by lees

Edward Hopper, Gloucester Houses, 1923, Whitney Museum of American Art, Josephine N Hopper bequest. You can match the boulders in Hopper’s drawing that the domiciles were built upon; Lee’s Breakfast Restaurant at the far right;  and the stacked granite blocks to the left of #7.

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74 Long Beach front row cottages in less than a minute

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The view from the boardwalk on a spring day – can you spot the two new homes?


Long Beach cottages from the boardwalk 1 of 3

animation 1 of 3 (first 24 homes, just past the old hotel)


Long Beach cottages from the boardwalk 2 of 3

animation 2 of 3 ( Laughing Water and next 25 homes )


Long Beach cottages from the boardwalk animation 3 of 3

animation 3 of 3 (next 24 homes)

coastal living: a Long Beach walk combines ocean view, front row cottages, and beach

Long Beach panoramic (click picture to enlarge) view at low tide, April 2017. The barrier rip rap is mightily exposed. At other times the large boulders are buried beneath deep sand.



This spring awakening is calm. Most of the homes remain prepped for winter.

Do you know how many front row cottages line Long Beach?

The view from the beach at low tide (ocean at my back) in two parts.


Long Beach animation front row cottages beach appeal 1 of 2


Long Beach animation front row cottages beach appeal 2 of 2


Tomorrow, Monday, I’ll be giving my Pollinator Garden program in Osterville. Cape Cod friends please let me know if you would like to attend ( Tuesday I’ll be at the Nahant Country Club but I am most excited about giving the program at the Sawyer Free Library on Thursday evening. I hope to see you there!


Dear Friends,

Please join me April 6th at 7pm, at the Sawyer Free Library where I will be giving my Pollinator Garden talk and screening several short films. The event is free and open to the public. I am looking forward to presenting this program at our wonderful Sawyer Free and hope to see you there!!

Thank you to Diana Cummings at the Sawyer Free Library for making the lovely poster!


Echinacea and Bee


Dear Friends,

Please join me April 6th at 7pm at the Sawyer Free Library where I will be giving my Pollinator Garden program and screening several short films. This event is free and open to the public. I am looking forward to presenting this program at our wonderful Sawyer Free and hope to see you there!!

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird and zinnia – ornithophily is the pollination of flowering plants by birds. They carry off pollen on their heads and neck to the next flower they visit.

The newly eclosed Monarch is clinging to its chrysalis case. Within moments of emerging, the two-part Monarch proboscis must zip together to form a siphoning tube. If the two parts do not join, the butterfly will not be able to drink nectar. In this photo, you can see the proboscis is not yet fully zipped.

“Following the rhythm of the seasons, celebrated landscape designer Kim Smith presents a stunning slide show and lecture demonstrating how to create a welcoming haven for bees, birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Native plants and examples of organic and architectural features will be discussed based on their value to particular vertebrates and invertebrates.”

Sometimes they just don't want to leave home🌻#monarchbutterfly

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Take Me I’m Yours! A FREE HOUSE! You Only Need To…pink-house-newbury-plum-island-2-copyright-kim-smith

Many admire the Pink House that you see on the way to Plum Island and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, so much so that when it came time to demolish there was public outcry. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has agreed to preserve the house by either of these two conditions. Option number one: a person can take ownership if they are willing to move the house off the land, or option number two is that if you own several acres of comparable land near the refuge, you can exchange the land for the house. Option two allows the house to stay in its current location.

Perhaps the Pink House could become a community or art center. The building has been deemed structurally sound, although there is quite a bit of asbestos that needs removing.

The Pink House is the last house remaining on the refuge. All other homes and farms were either sold or taken by eminent domain; the very last on Stage Island was demolished just this past

pink-house-newbury-plum-island-red-tailed-hawk-copyright-kim-smithpink-house-newbury-plum-island-red-tailed-hawk-2-copyright-kim-smithSnowy Owls, Red-tailed Hawks, and other raptors like to perch on the cupola of the Pink House.


Loving every minute of a snowbound afternoon

Home sweet home ❣

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It's a hot cocoa kind of day ❄️❄️❄️

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There are at least 550 different varieties of amaryllis. This cheery one is called Amaryllis hippeastrum 'Clown.'

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Tractor as scratching post

Farmer Ken Lane’s beautiful cows are currently grazing at Waring Field. Seaview Farmstand is open on Saturdays through the winter (from December 26 through May 14).


About Seaview Farm from their website:

SINCE 1838

The farmland was purchased by Andrew Lane in the early 1800’s and at the time was known as the Davis Pasture. The exact acreage is unknown but it was believed to have been approximately 2000 acres, all around the south end of Rockport. The original barn was moved to the property from a farm on what is now known as Jerden’s Lane. By assessing the architecture of the barn, it appears to have been built around the late 1700’s. The original barn is still standing and is currently used as a tool shed. A new asphalt shingle roof was put on in 2012, replacing the older metal roof. Under the metal roof is believed to have been some of the original cedar shingles from when the barn was moved to the property and repaired. The house was built in 1838 and the large cow barn followed. A small farm store was added onto the house in 1914, in which the farm’s vegetables, homemade ice cream, milk, candy and a variety of other items were sold.

Early on in the farm’s existence, a milk route was established. In the old days, milk was transported in a large milk can on a horse-drawn wagon and a dipper was used to measure the amount of milk a customer purchased. The cows were here until Charlie Lane sold them in 1972 and converted the business to a horse boarding facility. At Charlie’s death in 2008, his grandson Ken and wife Regina (click here to view video) moved from their beloved home in Florida to run the farm and keep the family tradition alive.

After Ken assumed control, the farm continued exclusively as a boarding facility until 2011, when a beef cow and calf were purchased.  This began Seaview Farm’s expansion into the grass-fed beef business. Vegetables were also re-introduced to the farm, and the farm store was re-opened–in its original space–for the first time since its closing in the 1930’s.

The farm has been a great fit for Ken as his background includes a high school education at Essex “Aggie” where he took animal nutrition and management, and became an FFA member. Ken also took post-graduate classes at the “Aggie” in farm management. He went on to college majoring in business at Columbia Greene College in Hudson NY.

For Ken and Regina, It has been a challenge and an honor to run the family farm these past years. They are excited to continue the family tradition of offering healthy, sustainable food for all to enjoy. The Lane family thanks all of its patrons for helping to keep the farm going from the 1800’s to now and ensuring that this wonderful family tradition is kept alive!

Read more about Seaview Farm Here


By 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea.
vonwong_plasticmermaid-4_plastic_drain-1024x683“If the average American uses 167 plastic bottles a year, in 60 years they will have used 10,000 plastic bottles.
Those same single use bottles will be around for your children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children.

That’s a lot of bottles to be running away from, for a very very long time.”

Read more at the artist vonwong’s project here



The first of our amaryllis, planted about a month ago, are blooming, and just in time for the holidays! This variety is Amaryllis hippeastrum ‘Papillion,” and is one of the prettiest I think. ‘Papillion’ has three separate stalks, which means three bunches of flowerheads! amaryllis-hippeastrum-papillion-copyright-kim-smith

Amaryllis hippeastrum ‘Papillion’

paperwhites-copyright-kim-smithChinese Paperwhites for fabulous fragrance

Gloucester Motif Monday: coastal homes with cut out shutters

From where I was standing in Gloucester neighborhoods, here are several homes (and one gallery) with cut out shutters; beginning with the green shutters seen on the Beauport, Sleeper-McCann house, one of Gloucester’s two National Historic Landmarks, and a Historic New England property.









Beyond shutters: beginning with “Lookout Hill”, estate built by Natalie and John Hays Hammond, Sr :


jeff-cluett-sugar-skullThe above drawing was created by local artist Jeff Cluett. We purchased it from him several years ago. Jeff works at Surfari on Main Street if you’d like to get in touch with him.

Last evening, All Hallow’s Eve, marked the beginning of the three day celebration of Dia de los Muertos. Today, November 1st, is Dia de los Angelitos, the day when deceased children are honored (All Saints Day). Tomorrow, November 2nd, is referred to as Dia de los Muertos or Dia de los Difuntos, the day when deceased adults are honored (All Souls Day). We’ve created an ofrenda on our front porch and neighbors are welcome to place a photo of a loved one who has passed on the altar.

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