Sunday, May 27, 2018

Memorial Day Breakfast. Historical Destination.

Bill Hoffman proud Veteran
 Took my Vietnam Veteran Husband out to The Town Common Restaurant in Hopedale today to celebrate Memorial day. A young couple (who we didn't know) bought our breakfast! How nice was that? They left with out a word, we didn't get a chance to thank them

The Town Common is a new discovery for me. I am always in search of perfect breakfast spots and this one ranks high. The location, across from a park and beautiful old stone church is gorgeous. Breakfast is served on Fiesta wear in a variety of colors. You can watch the owner cook your delicious meal from and opening looking into the tidy kitchen, and the waitresses are amazing (one helpful gal helped me when I could not shut of the data sucking app Waze!)

Below is a bit of cool history about this scenic little town.

Outside Town Common
Hopedale Community a Utopian dream, becomes a self-contained Company Town

 Founded in in 1842 Adin Ballou and his followers purchased 600 acres of land on which they built homes for the community members, chapels and factories.
Ballou believed that he could create a Utopian community blending the features of a factory town with those of a religion-based commune. The community stood for temperance, abolitionism, women's rights, spiritualism  and education.

Fourteen years later the intentional community was converted into a textile factory town. The factories were purchased by George and Ebenezer Draper.

Inside Town Common. Refinished wood and brick.
The Drapers believed that good houses make good workers and created a model self-contained company town with one of the best collections of architecturally significant double houses in the country, built on hills and in valleys in garden settings which preserved the views. The company charged low rents, and provided high quality housing, impeccable maintenance and recreation opportunities. Workers left their handsomely designed duplex houses to walk to work, then left work to play in company parks or stroll along company streets.  

Side door leading into Town Hall. Stained glass windows not visible.
 The Town Common Restaurant is in the Town Hall. The architecture inside and out is grand. We drove around the town of well designed houses imagining what a great place it must have been for the factory workers of long ago.

The planned community with innovative 19th and early 20th century employee housing, remain essentially intact today.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Art Directors Visit

What FUN! I finally met Karen Lee, an art director I worked with on "Wild Animal Babies" put out by the National Wildlife Federation for many years.

Six years we produced an award winning section for the kids magazine that consisted of a poem, fingerplay and illustration. It was the best job I ever had. And one of the best Art Directors I ever worked with.

We had had great conversations about the work and other stuff long distance. Although we never met in person, I felt like I knew her like an old friend.

A couple weeks ago Karen, who lives in the DC area, came out to visit her Boston friends and I was lucky enough to be one.
We had tea and a yummy sticky bun that Karen brought us. She got to meet Bill and our new dog Ellie.  Then off we went to my  favorite new shopping stop, The Blessing Barn in Mendon MA. FOUR floors of consignment items!!! Dishes, clothing, furniture, housewares, instruments, records ...the list goes on. What a shop!

Karen got two dishes, and I got two giant brand new down filled couch pillows for a great price.

I have also donated quite a bit of crystal and china to this clean, well run store.
You know I can't resist a close look at the tea party stuff. this is just a little much more.

We ended her visit at The Miss Mendon Dinner. An old dinning car that has been transported to the back of a car dealership. Excellent food. Homemade potato chips are the best!

I got to show Karen a bit of my world out in the country, before rushing her back to the train to Boston. And I do mean RUSH she was on the train 2 minutes before it pulled out Whew!!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Sketches Doodles and Drawings

The opening of Sketches Doodles and Drawings was held on another of our wintry rainy Spring evenings, however, there was a great turn out!
I had a fine time talking about my beloved sketchbooks that I started making in high school.

Many of these these sketchbooks fill my bookcases at home. It's always a good time sharing the books and recalling some of the fun events that inspired the pages..

Artist Friends and FAN (Freelance Artists Network) members that exhibited and attended the show where Sandy Valpey Cordts (who gathered us all together), Erica Szoplat, Lesley Breen Withrow and Rob Dunlavey.

I brought the original sketch and color composition with notes that Highlights for Children art directors looked over before I created this cut paper Highlights cover.

It is a winter scene, but seeings as we just had flurries AGAIN yesterday it's looking seasonal!

If you have a chance to see the show, grab a postcard and find the 22 things wrong with the back cover. Remember doing this at the Doctors office? Thank goodness for Highlights For Children Magazine to keep us amused. This is one of six covers I created for them.

For sketches and doodles, I included the many changes that transformed the cover of the Simon and Schuster book "ABC Animals A Bedtime Story". Many changes were made on this cover along with the surprise flipped image when it went to press.

Mark Penta (artist for hire see his web site) was on hand creating excellent caricatures of the attendees. Here is the sketch he made of my friend Corey and myself.  Mark also had some of his work hanging in the gallery.

The show runs through April 23rd,  if you have a chance check it out. There are three other shows going on at the same time so there is plenty to look at.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Quilters SHOP HOP

Headed off on my second Shop Hop Friday morning with quilting friends Joyce and Pam. This is a yearly event that has been happening for about 6 years now. Our first stop on our Five Hop journey was Quilted Threads in Henniker NH. This is the biggest shop of all five, and I think it is my favorite. I was looking for more beautiful panels by illustrator Julie Paschkis. And I found them! A set of panels made for the four seasons (pictured below with the patterns). Unfortunately the winter season was sold out :(...of course it was my favorite.

 Each store serves delicious food, gives away a free pattern, has an on going demonstration, and passes out a free "Fat Quarter" of fabric. You can make a lot with a fat quarter (a 1/4 yard of fabric cut square instead of long).

So far I have added pillow covers to my list of things to make.

The next stop is The Red Barn Sewing and Yarn Center. This adorable little store boasts 4,5000 bolts of fabric. it is in Merrimac MA. Here I fall in love with some Laura Burch animal print fabric and get a coordinating print to go with it. Joyce promises to help me make a sewing tote.

The ladies here are very helpful. And they have a good bunch of sale fabrics.

Bunkhouse Quilt shop is next in Lydenborough NH. The owner and her husband have made the best displays and the food is great, Soup, crackers and cheese and homemade desserts.

I purchase a delightful fabric with a tea pot and cup pattern. I have a pattern at home for a tea cozy. This is the year I'll make it...I'm inspired!

On to Cobble Stone Quilts in Townsend MA. We listen to a talk on threads for the sewing machine. I am sold on Aurifil, a 100 Egyptian Cotton. The woman has close up pictures of
competing threads showing lots of hairs that will clog your sewing machine.
Look at the cute pattern for the Hawaiian shirt square. Husband wears shirts like this, maybe I should make something incorporating this idea.

Last stop is the Quilted Crow in Bolton MA. Here we "Graduate" from the school house Shop Hop and get a prize. We are also entered into the grand prize drawing, a $75 gift certificate from each of the 5 stores! and a punch card that saves us %20 on anything we purchase May-June.

We had lunch in Henniker at a great restaurant called Daniels on the water. Very relaxing, pretty view, good food.

 I try to dress in the colors of the School house bags. Last year was turquoise, this year was lavender. Easy for me! How long does a trip like this take? We left Medway at 10:00  AM and got back at 6:00 PM. A full day of fun! Can't wait for next year (or to win the grand prize and go back to visit all the stores again.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

It's not like I sit around coloring all day.

This caption caught my eye! From my friend Sandy Bartholomew's fabulous blog filled with her life adventures and great ideas. She is the author/illustrator of many Zentangle (and beyond) books. Check out her review of my book MERRY MANDALAS plus her step by step coloring of this beautiful page HERE.
  I have finally come to the end of my run on this delightful 8x10" book. If anyone is interested in purchasing any I have about 12 left. Contact me to arrange. My best selling Meditative Mandalas is still available in my ETSY SHOP, along with coloring posters, cards and a small portable coloring book. Check them out here Ms Moffatt ETSY SHOP.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Rockport Weekend

A dream come true! As a child I used to love to watch Salt Water Taffy being made on the pier in Onset MA. Two years ago year I discovered the cute little shop was long gone.  I  began my quest to find a candy house that still made it the old fashion way.

Found Tucks in Rockport. From the outside window you can watch the blob of taffy turn into long aerated strands. From the inside of the store you can watch the candy master feed these long pieces into the 1900's antique Cutting and Wrapping machine.

The results are heavenly bits of taffy delights. All flavors displayed in a wooden row boat that takes up 1/2 of the sweet little store.

BTW, there are only two Saltwater taffy shops on the cape left. I found one in South Yarmouthport on route 28 but the machines were not working at the time I visited. There is another in Provencetown, I have not seen. They make "Mermaid" Taffy their byline is: "Carmels of the Sea"! Don't you love it?

A block away from the bustling shop lined street of Bear Neck is this quaint little row of TINY HOUSES. One side of the street sports all these natural colored shingles, the other side has a few surprises...BAM ...color and lots of it on the new clapboard siding. I love them all! 

 Bear Neck ends with a pier and a walkway out to the ocean. A circle of stone benches provide visitors a place to sit and enjoy the breeze and scenery. Downtown is the beautiful Shalin Liu Performance center with the ocean as it's backdrop.

And finally the reason husband and I are in Rockport. The wedding of my BFF's son Matt and his now wife; Amanda. A fabulous time was had by all at the Rockport Country club. Dinner, dancing and desert following a sweet outdoor ceremony with a few good laughs. Great families joined together to celebrate the night way.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Tiny house in Gloucester

 I am in love with the idea of a tiny house. Could I live in one full time...probably not, but I can fantasize. This month my girl friend took me to her cousins tiny summer house.
This is the entrance beautiful heh?

When we got inside I got quite a surprise, a guy I haven't seen in 35 years was staying at the house! He is close friends with the cousin....small world! Ray went to Mass. School of Art, I went to The Art Institute, our paths crossed many times back then.

Off the adorable galley kitchen is the porch that is practically on the water. Below is a dock where we sat and watched the boats and birds sail by.

And who else lives in this tiny house all summer? Well a tiny dog of course! He is an Italian Grey Hound who gets cold quickly so has to wear a sweater or curl up in a blanket.

Everything was so tiny and cute at the house. The town of Gloucester was fun to explore too. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset on our ride home.