Archive for September, 2013

sbcI love London, as any regular visitor to Lost Cowboy knows, and I don’t need much of an excuse to plan a trip that great city. However, I have found an event that makes me want to jump on the next plane to be in London for next weekend: The Classic Car Boot Sale at London’s Southbank Centre.

A “boot sale” is basically a flea market of the type I like to frequent. The “boot” being the Brit’s name for the trunk of a car. At a boot sale, vendors drive in and open their trunks and sell their wares.

The Classic Car Boot Sale is by far the coolest event of this type I have ever heard of. First of all, a visit to the Southbank of the Thames in London on any day is a treat, but to add a vintage sale to it and I am just busting with desire to go.

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About the Classic Car Boot Sale at London’s Southbank Centre: “The Classic Car Boot Sale assembles the finest vintage fashion, accessories and homewares traders operating from the boot of their vintage vehicles alongside show stopping classic car displays, London’s finest street food wagons and all manner of vintage fun that can be had on two and four wheels. Taking place on 12th October 2013, along the banks of the River Thames, London’s iconic Southbank Centre will come alive with a glorious exhibit of classic cars and vintage vehicular delights. Queen’ s Walk and Southbank Centre Car Park – Hungerford Bridge will become a petrolhead’s paradise and a vintage shopper’s cornucopia of clothing, accessories, pop culture memorabilia and vinyl records. If street food is your thing then we’ve gathered a selection of wicked wagons serving up the finest amongst a sprinkling of impromptu musical performances and street theatre. Ladies bring your man. Gentlemen bring your lady… There’s something for everyone here!”

Of course this event has “hipster” written all over it – but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Some of my favorite people are hipster Londoners.

See more about the Classic Car Boot Sale at London’s Southbank Centre here.

This picture, taken earlier this week, shows my favorite view of Mount and Lake Chocorua with the very first signs of autumn colors taking hold. Soon, the majestic mountain’s trees will all be a mix of reds, yellows and oranges. I like it just like this – holding on to summer with just a hint of what’s to come.

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FF1This is kind of an odd “find” for me, but I really like the design and lifestyle website Refinery29. Refinery29 is basically a style magazine featuring items on fashion, travel, design, art, food, etc. Like most magazines and websites like Refinery29, not all the content is for me (like the fashion bit) – but Refinery29 has so much stuff of interest it keeps me coming back to see what is new.

About Refinery29: “Refinery29, the largest independent fashion and style website in the United States, is a lifestyle platform that delivers nonstop inspiration to live a more stylish and creative life. In addition to its global and local newsletter editions and 24/7 original editorial content, Refinery29 connects over 10 million visitors every month and over 1.25 million subscribers with content, commerce, and community, giving them all the tips, tricks, and tools they need to live a more beautiful life – and share it with the world.”

Visit Refinery29 here.

Today’s Friday Finds may seem a bit random, but they all have something in common… they are all things I discovered while on my recent vacation.

FF: The Double Dish snack dish from Joseph Joseph

1ffFirst up is the ingenious Double Dish snack dish from Joseph Joseph which solves the age old problem of how to serve nuts with shells or other goodies that require a second bowl for discarding shells and other nonedible items.

About the Double Dish from Joseph Joseph: “Double Dish provides the perfect solution to the problem of serving snacks such as olives and pistachio nuts, with their inedible stones and shells. Its unique design comprises of a serving dish sitting on top of a larger collection bowl, curved outwards in three places to allow the disposal of unsightly food waste. As well as hiding any waste from view, Double Dish eliminates the need for additional empty bowls on the table.”

Find the Double Dish from Joseph Joseph here.

See all the great products of Joseph Joseph here.

FF: Red Cup Living

2FFRed Cup Living is a movement started by a group of people who wanted to promote good times with friends and family. The icon of these good times is the ubiquitous red plastic cups that seem to be at every celebration these days. As part of the movement, the folks at Red Cup Living have produced a line of reusable cups designed to look like the disposable ones – and they are cool.

About Red Cup Living’s Icon Cup: “Meet the Icon, an awesome plastic cup that pays homage to America’s favorite party cup. Only this time you don’t need to throw it away because it’s reusable! Enjoy 18 ounces of your favorite beverage, pop it in the dishwasher and reuse all over again. Made of break-resistant and double wall plastic, this sturdy cup will keep beverages cold and be ready for any gathering. Cheers!”

See more about Red Cup Living here.

Find the Red Cup Living shop here.

FF: Cape Art Tiles

3FFOn a day trip to Provincetown, on the very tip of Cape Cod, we discovered the retail shop of Cape Art Tiles. Cape Art Tiles produces a number of images by local artists on tiles, glass and other items – making very cool and affordable works of art and an excellent keepsakes from a vacation to the Cape.

About Cape Art Tiles: “Cape Art Tiles reproduces artists’ images on porcelain tiles, tempered glass cutting boards and an array of other substrates. We have a commitment to quality reproduction. Our current library features an abundance of Cape Cod images from such artists as Robert Kennedy, TJ Walton and Sally Brophy. We are proud to offer an exclusive representation of John Dowd’s popular annual image reproduced on both tile and cutting board. The constantly expanding image catalog also includes photography and less traditional imagery, such as Barbara Cohen’s renowned Dog In The Dune series.”

Visit Cape Art Tiles online here.

FF: Gay Grace Tea Mobile Tea Shoppe

4FFWhile touring around a little art fair in quaint Sandwich, MA on Cape Cod, Lynda and I discovered the wonderful tea blends of Gay Grace Tea. We fell in love with many of Gay Grace Tea’s unique blends of loose tea and enjoyed chatting with the proprietor, Gay Hughes.

About Gay Grace Tea Mobile Tea Shoppe: “Find premium loose leaf teas hand selected by Gay Hughes, owner of GayGrace Teas, as well as teapots, cups and saucers, tea cozies, aprons, and other unique tea items. Gay will help you select everything you need to brew a perfect cuppa tea at home. Find the Mobile Tea Shoppe at Farmer’s Markets, Craft Festivals, and other events.”

Good news, Gay Grace Tea also has an online store where you can purchase all of the great teas and related items offered by the Gay Grace Tea Mobile Tea Shop.

Learn more about Gay Grace Tea here.

Every time I announce that I will be selling my vintage finds at Todd Farm (an antiques and collectibles flea market in Rowley, MA north of Boston), I mention that I will try to be set up behind the barn.

While I was selling at Todd Farm a couple of weeks ago, I was so busy setting up and helping customers that I never really paid attention to my surroundings until I turned around and saw the barn in the glory of the morning sun.

Well, the forecast looks great for this Sunday, September 29, 2013 when I plan to return to sell at Todd Farm from approximately 7:00AM to 1:00PM or so. If you stop by my booth and look behind my tent, this is what you may see:

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Learn more about Todd Farm in Rowley, MA here.

SBCI have mentioned many time before that I love salt. In fact, I think as recently as yesterday I mentioned salt. However, until I came across the book, Salt Block Cooking: 70 Recipes for Grilling, Chilling, Searing, and Serving on Himalayan Salt Blocks by Mark Bitterman, I had no idea that you could cook on salt in addition to with salt.

About Salt Block Cooking: 70 Recipes for Grilling, Chilling, Searing, and Serving on Himalayan Salt Blocks by Mark Bitterman: “A precious pink mineral mined from ancient hills in Pakistan’s Punjab province has arrived on the American cooking scene as an exciting and enticing new form of cooking. Himalayan salt blocks, for years the stuff of Iron Chef panache, are today available at specialty retail stores around the world. And the market is growing. This is the first book to address this subject, along with 70 recipes designed for using this unique cooking tool. This is the definitive text on Himalayan salt blocks, written by the man who wrote the definitive text on salt. Enough with salting your food—now it’s time to food your salt!”

In addition to looking cool, apparently Himalayan salt blocks can be used to cook a variety of foods in a unique way. I loved reading this book and fantasizing about using salt blocks in my own cooking – which by the way is now on my bucket list.

Salt Block Cooking: 70 Recipes for Grilling, Chilling, Searing, and Serving on Himalayan Salt Blocks by Mark Bitterman is available from Amazon and other fine book retailers.

ASCToday’s Find is not so much a “find” as a rediscovery: the amazing Atlantic Spice Company.

I have posted about Atlantic Spice in the past, but a recent visit to their retail outlet in North Truro, MA made me want to sing their praises again.

Atlantic Spice, Company is a wholesale purveyor of spices and related products sold mostly through catalog and online outlets out of their Truro warehouse. Lucky for me, they also run a retail outlet at their warehouse where I popped in recently on my recent trip to Cape Cod.

About Atlantic Spice Company: “We are a wholesale company that offers the highest quality culinary herbs and spices, extracts, teas, dehydrated vegetables, nuts, seeds, botanicals and essential oils. Our customers range from individuals who order by the pound, to restaurants, food co-ops, and health food stores, who order in much larger quantities. Atlantic Spice Company also offers a large assortment of bulk potpourri ingredients and fragrance oils to either the home or professional crafter. All of the items found in our extensive wholesale catalog are (also) available in the store at the same great discounts. Browse among the more than 250 herbs, spices and baking and food items that range from allspice to zaatar including saffron and vanilla beans.”

I love Atlantic Spice’s huge selection of salts in bulk, and packaged salts like my all-time favorite Maldon Sea Salt.

I also love Atlantic Spice’s collection of loose teas – on my recent visit I picked up a few bags of my favorite, Licorice Mint Tea: “This herbal tea is a blend of peppermint leaves, spearmint leaves and licorice root. The combination of these ingredients forms a unique blend of mints and licorice, especially easy to enjoy knowing that it is caffeine-free.”

As cool as a visit to Atlantic Spice Company’s store is, lucky for us, you can purchase everything they sell on Atlantic Spice Company’s online shop.

Check out the Atlantic Spice Company online here.

The Atlantic Spice Company retail store is located at the junction of Routes 6 and 6A in North Truro, MA and is open year-round.

SAM_2580People have been asking about the status of my container garden as it has been a few weeks since I posted about it.

Well, the short story is that 2013 has been the best season I have ever had with my container gardens. I had an early yield of tomatoes and believe it or not, they are still coming, despite a couple of frosts and even an early freeze.

In fact, one of my tomato plants is still producing blooms (right), which means I could have more fruit if the weather cooperates. That may be highly unlikely as another freeze is forecast for tonight – which means this little guy may be the last of the tomatoes this season:

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Last week I presented a few of my Finds from my day out in Portland, ME attending arts festivals in August. Today, I present some more of the great artists (and art) I found in Portland.

FF: The natural fiber prints of Fiber and Water

fw1I love the work of Fiber and Water, a group of artists who hand-press images on natural fibers. First, the designs are cool and classic and by printing on textiles – like burlap – this art has a texture that looks great in frames and ultimately on your wall.

About Fiber and Water: “Fiber and Water represents a collection of hand-pressed designs on natural fibers, that make a unique piece of burlap wall art. Every item is carefully constructed in our studio on the coast of Maine. All artwork is created by the inspirations in life, travel & cuisine. We are perfectionists. We set the standards very high for ourselves and care about every person we work with and every single material and design detail that goes into the goods. We never overlook the details. This may not be the easy way, but it is an honest way and it is what we pride ourselves with! We do the best we possibly can to give our customers unique wall decor at an affordable price!”

In addition to evocative imagery like dogs and anchors, Fiber and Water has a neat “roots” series featuring a silhouette of a state or country with roots (get it?). I of course like New Hampshire Roots (above right): “A great silhouette of the state of New Hampshire, enhanced with roots for those New Hampshire natives who are never too far away. This hand-printed piece of art has beautiful texture from a combination of natural burlap and water-based paints.”

I also love the Fiber and Water’s image of a Vintage 1940’s Racing Bicycle:

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See all the “hand-pressed designs on natural burlap” of Fiber and Water here.

FF: Mainely Labs Studio

mls1One look at the images of the playful and colorful dogs in the works of Mainely Labs and you can’t help but smile. Mainely Labs Studio, which features the “Lab Art” of Portland-based artist Jim Williams, delights with original paintings, prints and all manner of merchandise featuring this great art.

About Jim Williams, the artist behind Mainely Labs: “In my Lab Art I try to capture the essence of Labrador Retrievers. Labs have a distinct shape, which you can instantly pick out even from a distance. I love to use bold colors to set off the distinct Lab shape. It doesn’t matter if the dog is a black Lab, chocolate Lab, yellow Lab, white Lab, silver Lab, blue Lab or red Lab… you recognize a Lab when you see one. I like the way they stand, sit, walk, run, romp, swim, jump, chase, retrieve, sleep or just stare at you when you are at the dinner table. They are all alike, yet they are all different. My paintings don’t represent any one Lab, but all Labs.”

MLS.fThe prints and other art featuring the great work of Mainely Labs Studios is all fine, but you can’t help but love the flask featuring one of the dogs: “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker. Our 6 oz. stainless steel flask allows you to get your whiskey fix just about anywhere. With a sleek, curved design that hugs the body, you can slip it in your pocket for a discreet drink anytime. Gift your Groomsmen or bring to the Bachelorette Party, a custom metal flask is a timeless treasure for the alcohol aficionado.”

See a gallery of Mainely Labs here. 

How can you not love works like Lab Dance?:

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Mainely Labs Studio is located at 164 Middle St. as part of Two Paths Gallery in Portland, Maine.

FF: The Illustrations and Designs of Kris Johnsen

kj1I spotted artist Kris Johnsen at the Picnic Music+Arts Festival (the hipster version of Portland’s Sidewalk Art Festival) and fell in love with his work. Mr. Johnsen is a very talented illustrator and has produced work for many events and other clients and we are fortunate to have him share his work with the public.

I love Mr. Johnsen’s Ride or Die Poster: “Screen Printed poster for ARTCRANK – Interbike group art show in Las Vegas, Nevada. 2 color screen print.”

I also love Mr. Johnsen’s Whale Print…

Until the Path is No More Screen Print:

KJ2

See all the great designs and illustrations of Kris Johnsen here.

FF: Medusawolf – the Art of A. E. Brown

AEB2Also at the Portland Picnic, I found Medusawolf.

About Medusawolf – the Art of A. E. Brown: “I’m a very shy fellow and my artwork has always been a way for me to reach out to others and for them to reach for me. I try to be a decent person, which isn’t hard, let’s face it. When I’m not drawing/painting/cobbling together a toy I love to ride my bike, visit nature, eat pizza, and do other things humans like to do.”

I love Mr. Brown’s Doom Division Bicycle series.

Seriously, how can you not love amira vos fox bicycle?

AEB1

Visit Medusawolf’s Etsy shop here.

BICSTARI like bicycles as you know, but I also like the classic Bicycle playing cards.

There is something about the Bicycle card brand that make them the only card to use when you play cards. Bicycle Cards are manufactured by United States Playing Card Company along with many other classic brands.

Sure you can still get the standard Bicycle deck of playing cards (manufactured by the United States Playing Card Company since 1885) but there are many other options these days.

I like the simple, but cool, design of Bicycle’s Star cards. However, there is nothing cooler than the Escape Map deck – made to commemorate secret cards made in WWII.

BICMAPAbout the Escape Map cards from Bicycle: “During World War II, the United States Playing Card Company joined forces with American and British intelligence agencies to create a deck to help Allied prisoners of war escape from German POW camps. Individual cards in these decks peeled apart when moistened to reveal maps of escape routes. This new Escape Deck honors the secret circumstances surrounding the original map decks, as well any and all prisoners of war. While the cards do not peel apart when moistened, the map is visible on the front of the cards—and creates a complete map when placed in order. The Escape Deck features original artwork on the front and backs of the cards, including the face cards and jokers. These decks were printed in the USA at the United States Playing Card Company and printed on premium stock with a quality finish.”

OK, so the Escape Map cards are the ultimate in cool. Shut up and deal!

See all the card designs of Bicycle and learn more about the history of the United States Playing Card Company here.