Pickity Place

Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house we go! Isn’t that Little Red Riding Hood? I think so. Well anyways, Pickity Place is the place to go if you want to step into a real life fairy tale. In fact, the cottage that now houses the restaurant was what the Little Golden book illustrator used as a model to illustrate her version of Little Red Riding Hood.

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It is indeed a cozy, fairy tale cottage. An enormously old tree full of character towers over the little red cottage. When it is time for your meal to begin (they do 3 seatings a day) the hostess rings a bell by the door. The waitresses hustle and bustle in the relatively cramped space (little cottage after all) to get you all 5 courses in the proper order, explaining each edible herbal addition.

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IMG_8900The quality and creativity of the food alone is enough of a draw to go to Pickity Place, never mind the quaint setting. Each month, a new menu is revealed, with 5 new courses to try: A dip appetizer, soup and bread, salad, main entree, and a yummy dessert. There are always 2 entree choices, one of them being a vegetarian option. It’s usually a hard decision, as both entrees are always excellent. All the food is prepared fresh using herbs grown right there at Pickity Place.

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pickity-place_24003837942_oOh, and I can’t forget about the beverage options! They have a few fun options including a lavender lemonade, a strawberry basil tea, an orange tea, and Mocha coffee (complete with cinnamon stick straw). They let you change which drink you try each time you run out, making for a fun variety- I always save the mocha coffee to have with my dessert.

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The fun doesn’t stop when the meal is over; then it is time to explore the gardens! I’ve gone at all times of the year, and it is always beautiful. June, of course will be the best month to explore the flower gardens. However, even in the winter, the garden blanketed with snow, the cozy cottage nestled in, and the big tree watching over is still charming. During spring and summer months, stop by their greenhouse to get herbs and flowers for your own garden! Their plants are reasonably priced and I’ve found them to be of high quality.

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They book up fast (special days sometimes over a year in advance) so be sure to make a reservation! If you really get hooked on Pickity, they have a frequent diners card; I’ve never been that committed to it, but some people go once a month! I like it for special occasions; it’s a great place to take someone visiting the area. Pickity Place is a quintessential New England experience!

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Florence Griswold Museum

There is a little gem of a museum in historic Old Lyme, Connecticut. It’s called the Florence Griswold Museum and it’s home to artwork new and old, gorgeous gardens, and a lovely river view.img_9207

img_9203The Museum centers on the home of Miss Florence Griswold, who opened her big colonial home up as a boarding house to members of the Lyme Art Colony in the early 1900s. As you stroll through the lovely old house there is art work everywhere. Not only traditionally hung paintings, but also fun and unexpected little paintings on the walls and door panels. The artists would have competitions with each other to each paint in a certain style, say impressionism. They would have to paint the same subject on either side of the door panel. The result are whimsical paintings done in a free style on most of the houses’ doors.img_9139img_9149img_9176

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img_9147Across the flower gardens, the more modern Krieble gallery houses newer works of art. The day we went happened to be their Art in Bloom day- that was such an awesome surprise! The flower arrangements to match the works of art were some of the best I’ve seen. They really captured their assigned paintings.img_9121

After being thoroughly inspired from the various art and flora which fills the premises, definitely take a stroll down to the Lieutenant River. They have Adirondack chairs set up just waiting to be sat in.

img_9197img_9195There is also a beautiful little art studio in a cedar shake cottage right by the parking lot. Be sure to poke your head in there.

img_9219I felt thoroughly inspired and refreshed after my visit to the Florence Griswold Museum. How serendipitous to be there for art in bloom as well! You can find the museum off of Highway 95 in Old Lyme Connecticut. Enjoy your visit!

 

 

Tuesday’s Inspiration: Dulac

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Edmund Dulac, Illustrator  

The Snow Queen and Other Stories from Hans Christian Andersen.

London: Hodder & Stoughton 1911.

Isn’t this illustration just marvelous! I’m so happy I saw it on This Ivy House this snowy and icy morning. It’s been a rough weekend and I haven’t felt well, but it’s amazing what a bit of inspiring art can do to lift the spirits. Edmund Dulac was a French born illustrator who, after giving up law school, lived and studied art in England for most of his life. His modern art nouveau illustrations beautifully bring to life various fairy tales and myths. Through the course of his career, Dulac also worked for magazines and newspapers, designed stamps, and even designed chocolate boxes. Here’s a compilation of his wonderful artwork on WikiArt. Scrolling through I am struck by the color palette he used, his strong attention to detail, and the whimsicality of his work. Looking through these images and learning about this talented artist was the perfect thing for this icy morning.

Tuesday’s Inspiration: Jan Mankes

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Jan Mankes

1917

 

This is how I felt on my walk today. It was a bit dreary. We are in the midst of the February doldrums. Despite the dreary vibe, this picture holds a certain beauty. I love the tones, and that background with the house sort of blurring into the trees. The bare branches of the tree and hedgerow. And the little flock of birds, reminding us to look around and notice things to be thankful for. I had to tell myself that today while I was out walking in fact. I was feeling a bit off and said in my head, “find something beautiful”. I looked up and noticed a stand of young birch trees. I focused on them and for a minute wasn’t focusing on my chilly ears, or tired body, or unsettled thoughts. It always helps to find and focus on the beauty. I found this painting on Pinterest a few weeks ago. It is a fitting image to share for Tuesday’s Inspiration.

Tuesday’s Inspiration: Percy Bysshe Shelley

Is it too early to be dreaming of spring? I don’t think so. The sun is around so much longer these days. It’s really just around the corner. I found this poem on one of my favorite websites (This Ivy House) this morning, and I love how spring is expressed in it. I wanted to share it with you, my faithful readers (all 2 of you! 🙂 haha). So here is an excerpt from To Jane: The Invitation by Percy Bysshe Shelley via the Poetry Foundation.

Bending from Heaven, in azure mirth,
It kissed the forehead of the Earth,
And smiled upon the silent sea,
And bade the frozen streams be free,
And waked to music all their fountains,
And breathed upon the frozen mountains,
And like a prophetess of May
Strewed flowers upon the barren way,
Making the wintry world appear
Like one on whom thou smilest, dear.
Away, away, from men and towns,
To the wild wood and the downs—
To the silent wilderness
Where the soul need not repress
Its music lest it should not find
An echo in another’s mind.
While the touch of Nature’s art
Harmonizes heart to heart.

Tuesday’s Inspiration: Audrey Hepburn

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Audrey Hepburn, 1967. Photographed by Terry O’Neill.

I’m laid up on bed rest from a recent surgery and using my time to catch up on all the classic movies I’ve never seen. Film, Hollywood, movie stars, classics: none of it is my cup of tea. However, I have always wanted to see Audrey Hepburn movies, just to see what it’s all about. Yup, I can see why people love her. She’s a charming person to watch on the screen, and I love her vintage style. I watched Roman Holiday yesterday and I have My Fair Lady on the docket for today. In addition to Audrey Hepburn movies, I also have Casablanca, The Sound of Music, Citizen Cane, On Golden Pond, and Out of Africa.

What other classic movies would you recommend?

Tuesday’s Inspiration: Lilla Cabot Perry

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Lilla Cabot Perry
The Silver Vase
1905

Isn’t she a beauty? I searched for paintings by this artist when I learned she had a summer home in Hancock, New Hampshire. There is also a small portrait of a child Perry painted on display at the Hancock Town Library which is captivating. I had to see more, so I searched for Perry’s works and found this one, The Silver Vase. Dressed in the colors of winter, I thought she was a fitting symbol of this January day.

Making this post led me to do a bit more research on Perry and what I found was delightful:

  • She had no formal art training until the age of 36
  • Though she was born in Boston, Massachusetts her family traveled widely and lived in various places around the globe, including Paris, Munich, and Japan which really influenced her painting styles and subjects through the years.
  • She saw a Claude Monet painting at age 41 (in 1889) and so admired it that her family rented a house in Giverny, France (where Monet resided) for 9 summers. Monet became her close friend and mentor – imagine!!
  • Monet encouraged Perry to “commit her first impression of a scene to canvas rather than to sketchbook” (Encyclopedia Britannica) – what a gorgeous thought.
  • Her later paintings are inspired by the landscapes around her summer home in Hancock, New Hampshire where she died and was laid to rest.

I found the bulleted information above on the National Museum of Women in the Arts website and the Encyclopedia Britannica website. What a fascinating woman! And how cool she had such a connection to Hancock, New Hampshire.

What is inspiring you this week? Do share

 

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Postcards from Paris

May 2008. A dream fulfilled: a trip to Paris with my best friend! Here are my favorite photos from our arrival day. I will periodically share subsequent days of the trip as I finish editing them. I took the photographs 10 years ago and am just now getting around to editing them! haha! I’m a major photo procrastinator. But I’m glad I waited in a way, as I can delete photos more easily and edit in a nostalgic style, which suits Paris. You must forgive the slightly grainy photo quality as these were taken with my first little 5 megapixel camera. Enjoy~fullsizeoutput_2ab4



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  • My first siting of the Arc D’triumph in our taxi from the airport.
  • The gorgeous architecture of the buildings (I was in awe) and the sights and smells of the open air food market near our hotel.
  • The Eiffel Tower! We went right up it- fantastic views!
  • Locals playing some bocce ball in the park near the tower.
  • The street view of Napoleon’s gold dome burial spot.
  • Wandering the streets in a light rain.
  • Enjoying a creme brûlée for dessert.
  • The tower lit up at night from our hotel room’s balcony.

Looking back on these, I appreciate all the more what a beautiful city Paris is. I’m so thankful I was able to see it with my own eyes. I would love to visit again someday, along with the french countryside. More to come….

Tuesday’s Inspiration: Paul Gauguin

This is an old idea of mine, resurfaced: Tuesday’s Inspiration. On one of my long ago blog attempts, I used to post something simple every Tuesday- something meaningful, beautiful and inspiring. I want to get back to this practice in order to share with you some of the artworks and writings of others that I find most inspiring. I love the spread of inspiration! Have an excellent Tuesday my friends 🙂

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Kneeling Cow
Paul Gauguin
1888

I chose to share this favorite painting of mine, Kneeling Cow, as I think of it very often: every time I see a cow in fact. Cows generally aren’t called ‘beautiful’ however, this cow is, and has made me view all the cows I see as beautiful. Just look at the profile Gauguin captured! The shape of his sweet nose, his calm mouth, and knobby knees. I don’t know, this painting just gets me. Additionally, this week I’ve been reading an excellent homesteading book before bed: Ben Hewitt’s The Nourishing Homestead : One Back-to-the-Land Family’s Plan for Cultivating Soil, Skills, and Spirit. I just started the chapter on keeping animals, so again, Gauguin’s Kneeling Cow has been on my mind and heart.

What’s inspiring you today? Do share.

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