snow way

Finally Cape May county got hit with a snowstorm!  Usually we just get rain or a dusting when winter storms move through the region.  This storm was all ours though, dumping a manageable half-foot Monday night.  The snow quietly enveloped the region – from coast to farmland.  Very exciting.  The tide seemed to slow down just enough to allow the water to freeze under the frigid temperatures.  It is almost unbelievable to see the beach in this state, isn’t it?  Ryan was on feeding duty at the local alpaca farm.  I tagged along to visit the animals who seemed less than impressed with the snow.  Just look at their expressions!

snow at Sunset Beach Cape May-5834

 

from snow to sun

Ryan and I recently went away to beautiful Vermont.  I really, really love New England and our increasing trips north.  That part of the country boasts so many beautiful old homes brimming with character and antiques.  No wonder I feel right at home there.

Vermont snow

We stayed in a circa 1900 home that encompassed the style of the region so well.  It was at the end of a snow-covered mountain road within walking distance to town.  Every detail was perfect from the stacks of old books to the antique church pew and area rug.  I had serious rug envy!  I’m also coveting French doors.Vermont cottage

While Ryan skied in the below freezing temperatures, I explored back roads, dug through little shops and read. I had very limited access to the online world.  Sorry friends but it was great to disconnect for this vacation.

However, it is always nice to get back home to our own routine.  So long for now, Vermont!

Let’s talk New Jersey for a minute.  Cape May specifically.  A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was milk painting a cedar closet a rich navy – Artissimo.  Well, here it is!

Artissimo closet-5764

This started off as a generic old thrift store cedar closet.  They’re a dime a dozen.  I particularly liked the size of this one as I had a space for it in the cottage we’re working on.

closet before

The closet required very little prep work as the wood was mostly raw.  I used two coats of Artissimo without bonding agent.  I love the richness and depth in this color.  I probably could have gotten away with just one coat since this wood soaked up the paint so nicely.  I anticipated some chipping milk paint where there was a bit of varnish left but only one area across the front chipped.  I couldn’t have planned the placement better myself. The entire piece was finished with furniture wax.

Artissimo closet-5768

I took this opportunity to hand paint the “on the way to Cape May” lyrics across the flat closet front which is always a hit in these parts.  We finished off the front with a new glass knob.

Artissimo closet-5774

I left the inside unpainted and I swear it is not that orange in real life!  We get beautiful natural light in this room which is mostly a blessing but in this case, a curse.  This closet will function perfectly for guests to use.  I can’t wait to pull the rest of the room together.  The room will have a bit of a mid-century vibe.  You’ll die when I post pictures of the beautiful vintage dresser…

Artissimo closet-5772

 

 

windows of 2014

In just a few short hours we will be celebrating the arrival of 2015. It sounds completely surreal: 2015!  We certainly live in the future.  The age of hashtags, selfies and admittedly more social media acronyms than I can keep up with.  True confession, I thought #MCM stood for mid-century modern.  Who knew man crush Monday was a thing?

I am happy to celebrate the past everyday surrounded by pretty and practical vintage things.  I thought that it would be fun to close out 2014 with some of my favorite displays from our window at The West End Garage.

We took up residence in this space in March and started off with an Easter themed window.

easter spring window display

Spring came with a walk in the garden.

spring summer window display

Summer arrived along with our busy season and the omission of a few fun windows.  I have resolved to take more photos with an actual camera in 2015 to capture all of our displays!

patriotic window display

Fast forward to fall…my favorite season and perhaps my favorite window of the year.

fall window display

fall window display

We closed out the year with the magical Victorian dollhouse. A mini version of Christmas in Cape May when historical homes are decked out from eaves to gingerbread trim.

Christmas winter window display, victorian dollhouse

Fun fact:  The West End Garage is a very old building that was originally a Ford Model T dealer.  I believe this front space was the showroom hence the beautiful tin walls and ceilings that are still in tact.  Then it became an auto shop called, none other than, The West End Garage.  We’re so lucky to be part of such a unique space.  If you haven’t been in before, you have to put it on your list for 2015.

Circa Dee at West End Garage in Cape May, NJ (26 of 28)

If you’re lucky enough to celebrate the New Year in Cape May, be sure to stop by.  Everything is on sale today and tomorrow.  Thanks for a great year and Happy 2015!

 

 

 

 

winter wonderland

Winter Wonderland at Congress Hall Cape May

Did you know that we are popping up at Winter Wonderland at Congress Hall in Cape May?

Circa Dee at Winter Wonderland

It is a truly magical place to visit throughout the holiday season.  Complete with an old-fashioned carousel perfect for kids from ages 1 to 92. All of the details and hours can be found here.  Don’t miss the tree lighting Friday night on the grand lawn just across from the beach.

Winter Wonderland at Congress Hall  Carousel

Just around the corner, past Santa’s Workshop and the Congress Hall Express train is the shopping village, poolside.  I told you, magical!

Winter Wonderland Vendor Village

That’s where you’ll find Circa Dee and Houndstooth featuring our favorite gifts for everyone on your list…plus many other fantastic shops along with a treat bar where you can pick up the hotel’s legendary hot chocolate.  Yum!

Circa Dee at Winter Wonderland

Circa Dee at Winter Wonderland

Circa Dee at Winter Wonderland

 Happy Holidays!

thankful

I am thankful for a job I absolutely love.  Buying, merchandising, potting, painting, decorating and all-around creating are tasks that I simply love to do.  Shopping Brimfield…for work?  Yes, please.  It’s been said, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”  Truly, I am grateful.

Circa Dee at West End Garage- Garden Holiday, cotton, boxwood & vintage radio flyer scooter

I’m thankful for my husband who has been by my side creating this brand.  He’s done the heavy lifting, constructing and much of the behind the scenes work to make my many visions reality.  Just this week he spent hours meticulously arranging minute dollhouse furniture, positioning the tiniest of dishes and details.  Something I’m not sure I would’ve had the patience to complete.

Circa Dee Victorian Cape May dollhouse holiday wndow display

Circa Dee Victorian Cape May dollhouse holiday wndow display

I am thankful to call this community home.  Cape May is a quaint seaside town lined with historic homes and filled with some of the most creative folks around.  This week has been a massive behind the scenes tour as we’ve watched an entire town prepare for the big event.  The Holidays In Cape May.  Fresh paint, new lights, stacked firewood, grand displays, pressed linens.  Pulling out all of the stops to create fantastic memories.  No wonder Cape May was named one of America’s best towns for the holidays by Travel + Leisure.  I’m grateful to contribute to such a special culture.

Christmas in Cape May-5147

Christmas in Cape May-5153

I’m certainly thankful for your support.  This year we’ve taken our business to a new level.  We’ve expanded and branched out to areas I dreamt about for longer than I realized.  We added an entire line of garden products including live plants and American made gifts.  You’ve been so encouraging.  Following our journey both personally and professionally.  Leaving comments across social media.  Introducing yourself in person.  Pinning, liking, purchasing.  Thank you.  It hasn’t gone unnoticed and means the world to me.

Circa Dee at West End Garage- circa 1940s plant stand

Happy Thanksgiving.  What are you thankful for?

welcoming autumn

autumn

 

 

 

We’ve been soaking up the changing seasons here with walks on the beach, bike rides, flower picking and wood stacking amongst our usual work. I am a bit smitten with a field of beautifully decaying sunflowers.  Their great big heads full of seeds ready for sowing next year (or snacking this year).

All of the marsh grasses are in bloom showcasing a soft pink hue as the sun catches them waving in the breeze.  Honeysuckle has faded on the beach dunes making way for cheerful goldenrod which has always been a favorite roadside weed.  And the sunsets… phenomenal.

What’s blooming in your neck of the woods?

 

goldenrod autumn sunflowers

autumn equinox