Planes, Ferries & Automobiles

I think there has got to be a quote or an adage that says the more difficult somewhere is to get, the more rewarding it is when you finally get there. Every year, we travel to the island of Nantucket for our summer vacation. It is not an easy place to get to, especially from Ohio, so traveling here can definitely qualify in the difficult category. A combination of cars, airplanes and a ferry boat are required transportation–and that is on a good day when you don’t have any delays due to fog, wind or other such things.

If you are not familiar, Nantucket is a small island off the coast of Cape Cod, 14 miles long by about 7 miles wide. Its hey day was in the mid-1700s to the late 1830s when the island was the whaling capital of the world, with as many as 150 ships making port on the island during its peak. There is not a single traffic light and next to no chain stores so everything here is wonderfully, authentically Nantucket. Its so unique that it makes even the most difficult travel day melt away to a distant memory once you arrive because it is so worth the trouble.

I’m convinced that somewhere across the ocean between Nantucket and America (as the locals call the mainland) some kind of magic happens. I swear that flowers bloom more brilliantly here, birds chirp a little louder, stars are brighter and tomatoes and strawberries grow even more luscious (more on the strawberries in next weeks post!). And even though adults are not supposed to believe in such things, I can almost agree with my 7 year old that mermaids DO live in Nantucket harbor. (She swears she has seen one, even if it was just a glimpse!)

Traveling anywhere with small children, as many of you know,  can be challenging. Our trips to Nantucket have had their ups and downs but the more we have done the trip, the more I have tried to just enjoy the ride and take it all in–the plane, the car ride,the ferry… After all, as I’ve been telling myself a lot lately: The journey is the destination.

With that, here is a little photo journaling of our long, but fun journey here this year.

 

On the plane - thank God for iPads!

On the plane – thank God for iPads!

Leg 1 complete - getting off the  plane in Boston

Leg 1 complete – getting off the plane in Boston

In the car on the way to the Cape - this is the best shot I could get of our quick pass through Boston. Look close, that building says Boston on it!

In the car on the way to the Cape – this is the best shot I could get of our quick pass through Boston. Look close, that building says Boston on it!

Waiting for the ferry in Hyannis

Waiting for the ferry in Hyannis

Bye Hyannis! Looking out the back window of the ferry

Bye Hyannis! Looking out the back window of the ferry

Even when we try to keep a positive attitude, everybody still gets a little grumpy

Even when we try to keep a positive attitude, everybody still gets a little grumpy

Looking out the ferry at Brant Point Lighthouse. One of the best views ever because you are so close!

Looking out the ferry window at Brant Point Lighthouse. One of the best views ever because you are so close!

Back in the car but ALMOST THERE!

Back in the car but ALMOST THERE!

We're here! And at the end of the day, it was all worth it.

We’re here! And at the end of the day, it was all worth it.

 

For more photos, information and fun things to do with kids on Nantucket, stay posted to my blog! In the meantime, visit some of these websites:

  • Nantucket BlACKbook – Great site for all things fun, fashionable and unique on Nantucket
  • Townpool – A great site for travel, food and retail deals on the island (yes, there are some!). Follow them on Instagram or Facebook too for amazing pictures of the island.
  • I found some fun facts about Nantucket and its history here
  • The Inquirer & Mirror (aka The Inky Mirror) is Nantucket’s only newspaper and their website is a good resource
  • Nantucket.net is a good source for Nantucket travel information

 

 

 

 

Creative Q & A with Inga Walker from The Classic Clutch

Being part of, or even watching, any creative process can be inspiring, energizing and fulfilling. I think everyone has ideas and dreams that they want to fulfill someday if only they have the time, money or talent… But when someone actually takes an idea and makes it a reality, it is an amazing thing to witness.  In both my personal and professional life, I have had the good fortune to meet and work with many creative people–artists, photographers, museum curators, graphic designers, interior designers, florists, event planners, store owners, moms who love to craft–and I always wonder, how do you they do it?  Often the answers are simple and sometimes they are more complex, but they are always inspiring. With Creative Q &A, I hope to create an ongoing  series to ask these questions of some of the amazing creative people I know. I think their stories will be as inspiring and exciting to you as they are to me.

Inga Walker - Owner & Designer of The Classic Clutch

Inga Walker – Owner & Designer of The Classic Clutch

For this first Creative Q & A, I am excited to feature Inga Walker, owner and designer of The Classic Clutch.  Inga and I met about 5 years ago when our children became classmates. Quite frankly, Inga is one of the most creative people I have ever known. She has a wonderful eye and a great sense of design of all types, from events and fashion to home decor and gardening. Whether she is working on a fundraiser for the kids school or helping a friend pull together some pillows and window treatments for their home, she has a real knack for making things look beautiful. So when Inga pulled me aside last spring and told me she had an idea for the perfect purse, I was not surprised. Within months, she had a prototype for The Classic Clutch–a preppy, all-American styled purse that is the perfect accent piece for any outfit with an array of colors to choose from, all with contrasting piping/lining. Over the last year, Inga has grown the line to include 18 styles, including a co-branded Classic Clutch in the iconic Nantucket Red with  Murray’s Toggery Shop on Nantucket. Talk about taking an idea and going full steam ahead! I interviewed Inga this week during our kids swim practice (busy moms gotta get things done whenever and however we can!) and I’m sure you will find Inga’s Creative Q & A as honest, insightful and inspiring as I did.

Q: What inspired you to create The Classic Clutch?

A: I was searching for this type of purse design and style for myself. I wanted a simple design with classic lines in fun prints but I was never able to find it. I wanted a design that could be repeated in multiple patterns and fabrics so that the same style clutch could be paired with different outfits. The design would be so simple and classic that I would want to wear it with everything. The Classic Clutch logo

Q: How did you come up with the design?

A: The design came to me in one of those moments in the middle of the night. I couldn’t sleep and I had this idea pop into my head about creating the perfect purse. I knew I didn’t want to call it the perfect purse so I came up with The Classic Clutch. The design was in my mind from day one. I wanted it to be large enough to hold keys and a phone but not too small like a typical clutch. I wanted this to be more functional. I was also really inspired by the Bermuda Bag from the 80s that has fun fabrics and contrasting piping. A Bermuda Bag has interchangeable covers and The Classic Clutch is kind of a play on that—its a clutch that people can buy in multiples to pair with different outfits.

The Classic Clutch Cotton Canvas Collection

The Classic Clutch Cotton Canvas Collection

Q: Your purse fabrics are all so cute – how do you select the fabrics that you feature?

A: I purchase my fabrics in New York and I’m really interested in doing mostly cotton canvas although the winter styles are more silks and wools. When I look at hundreds of different fabrics, I pull what I like and what I would wear. I want these fabrics to be preppy and fun. I want to appeal to a wide range of people too and some people want a more simple style and solid color so I like to have a few solid colors as well as prints. Right now I have about 18 different colors and patterns and I think the range has appealed to a large range of styles.

 

Q: What has been the most rewarding part of starting this business?

A: The opportunity to have my own design come to life and to have that design manufactured and then sold in a variety of different stores and areas of the country and to be able to interact with some amazing people–consumers and retailers. It has been really exciting for me to have it come to life. This year has been busy for me but I hope to take it to the next step in year two.

 

Q: What has been the most challenging part?

A: I am an artist and a creative person and I love that part of it so the business side has been the most challenging—creating a business and understanding business basics. I’ve had to learn a lot by taking classes and seeking out other people for help.

 

Q: As a full time mom with two school aged children, how do you balance the business and family?

A: That has been really challenging. It is a balancing act. I try to get a lot done when they are at school and at night but that is always something that I am trying to perfect and I haven’t really perfected it yet!

 

Q: What are the next steps for you and the business? How do you hope to see the business move forward in the next year?

A: I’m really thrilled about the co-branding with Murray’s and I’d like to do some more co-branding with other clothing retailers that I have my eye on to partner with next year. I’m also starting a sorority line with two or three sororities that I will be launching this fall on Etsy.

The Classic Clutch in Nantucket Red

The Classic Clutch in Nantucket Red

Q: What advice do you have for someone starting a creative business like yours?

A: If you have an idea, just go for it. I think that many times people don’t have confidence in themselves. Try it out and see if it is going to work. If you don’t, you will never know and then have regrets. That is what I did and I know that there are going to be ups and downs. Set your sights high and take it one step at a time and then you will build that confidence to see if your idea is a worthwhile one.

The Classic Clutch in Sand Cotton Canvas with Navy Monogram

The Classic Clutch in Sand Cotton Canvas with Navy Monogram

The Classic Clutch is available at The Grey Colt, Knuth’s, Murray’s Toggery Shop, Abigail’s and on Etsy. For more information, visit theclassicclutch.com

Why Not Woodstock?

peace-love-music

My husband and I went to a phenomenal Woodstock party last weekend but I have to admit, when I got the invitation several weeks ago, I was not thrilled with the theme. Honestly, I’m not a big fan of theme parties and definitely not a fan of costume parties. Some people really enjoy these types of parties and come with incredible, creative and fun costumes while I end up feeling envious and self conscious, thinking…”Why didn’t I come up with that idea?”.  As a result, I’ve opted to forgo most themes and just wear whatever I would to a dinner party. We went to a 50’s themed party last year and I wore a black cocktail dress–yawn.

But this party was a little different. I started texting my friends to find out what they were wearing, hoping that perhaps we all could just agree to ignore the costume part of this party together.  Nope. I got texts back saying tie dye skirts had already been purchased from web sites like hippieshop.com and there was even some mention of go-go boots. I definitely had to step up my game. When I went online to look at costume ideas,  I  a) absoltluy could not picture myself in a million years wearing a tie dye maxi dress and b) decided there was no way in hell that I was going to spend more than $10 on anything for this party. I pulled up a bunch of pics from the actual Woodstock Festival and most of the women weren’t wearing tops or were completely naked, and nobody judged them, right?

Woodstock Party Paraphernalia

Woodstock Party Paraphernalia

Searching my closet, a J.McLaughlin tunic I bought a few weeks ago stuck out to me as being a good hippie-ish option. I decided to cut off a pair of old jeans that I had recently tossed in my “Give Away” pile and grabbed a cool Native American necklace that my husband brought back for my daughter from a trip to South Dakota a couple years ago. I have a great blue-faced vintage watch from, coincidentally, 1969, that I just had to throw on.  I still needed to amp  it up a little bit so  I went to the mall and found a cute black, white and blue beaded headband for $7.99, and voila…my version of Woodstock.

Granted, I looked more like Parker Posey in Dazed and Confused (picture below & one of my favorite movies of all time, BTW) than flower child from Woodstock, but hey, even putting on a beaded headband and going out of the house was a stretch for me.

Darla (Parker Posey) and her crew in Dazed and Confused

Darla (Parker Posey) and her crew in Dazed and Confused

But for some reason, putting that headband on actually changed what was IN my head. I’m not sure exactly why but for once, I didn’t feel silly and self conscious, even after I got there and saw some of the amazing costumes. It was a beautiful night in an idyllic setting next to pond with good friends, food, music and free flowing drinks. In the free spirit of Woodstock,  I embraced the theme, tossed away my inhibitions and simply, had fun.

This is me with my friend Karen with her tie dye skirt from hippieshop.com. She rocked it.

Me with my friend Karen with her tie dye skirt from hippieshop.com. She rocked it.

I had so much fun at this Woodstock party, I would love to host my own. It is really fun to look at pictures from that weekend in August 1969 and imagine what it must have been like to be there and how I would recreate it. The list of bands that played is just unreal too…The Grateful Dead, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Jimi Hendrix, Sha Na Na?!?!?!  Here are some fun pics I found online from Woodstock (Janis Joplin drank Veuve backstage!) as well as some ways you could add some cool touches to a modern day Woodstock party. Peace!

Woodstock Then & Now

Images clockwise from left to right: Crowd at Woodstock; All You Need is Love invitation from Minted.com; Woodstock image; tie-dye party ware; Janis with her Veuve; tie-dye cake; VW bus image; rainbow peace sign cookies

The First Day After the Last Day of School

Memorial Day has passed and the pool is open, but I’ve always felt like summer doesn’t really arrive until the day after the last day of school. Even as an adult, I’ve found that having kids in school keeps this childhood rule of mine as true as ever. While many people mark the new year on January 1 and others love the crispness of the first day of school in the fall, the day after the last day of school feels like a new year to me.  The beginning of a new routine (or lack thereof) filled with days at the pool, ice cream, dinner on the patio, and late sunsets by the ocean provide me with a freshness that only summer can bring.

So, on the first day after the last day of school, I am taking the advice of a very good friend and jumping into something new with my first post on this blog. I have studied and stewed over creating a blog all winter long but it took a pep talk by an honest friend and the feeling that there was no better time than MY new year, to just go ahead and take the leap to launch.

In honor of the first day after the last day of school and new beginnings, I pulled together a few old favorites that always feel fresh and new for summer–pink peonies from the garden, my favorite summer purse and the best summer lip gloss  ever (Nars lip gloss in Orgasm–I swear it looks great on everybody). All I need now is a glass of wine and that sunset I mentioned earlier and summer has officially arrived. Cheers!