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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Sunapee Crafts Fair

An event I look forward to every summer is the League of New Hampshire Craftman’s annual fair held in Sunapee, New Hampshire. At the foothills of Sunapee’s ski mountain, a number of huge white tents are set up and within is every form of fine art, craft, and beautiful skilled art work you can imagine: Photography, painting, etching, ceramics, pottery, knitting, felting, weaving, jewelry, wood crafts, rock sculpture, and more!

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Group weaving project – everyone’s invited to contribute!

Every summer growing up, my mom would take my sister and I to the Sunapee Craft’s Fair. We were each allowed to pick out one little thing to buy; a tiny carved and painted wooden goose, a stained glass sun-catcher, a pewter stegosaurus, a small raku pot in the “seconds” bin for 20 dollars. I still treasure these things. I’m thankful my mom introduced us to artisan made crafts at such young ages! Though I don’t get up to crafts fair every single year anymore, I still hold such a place of fondness for this fair in my heart. From here forward I will try not to miss it (I even drove up by myself just for the afternoon last August!). There are new things to see every summer! Many of the artisans put on live demonstrations. I personally loved watching Richard Foye’s raku pottery demonstration this past year. The colors he gets on his finished pots are so beautiful!

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Richard Foye at work creating Raku pottery!

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I’ve also always admired the carved wooden spoons. Two years ago, I finally got one! I am sad to say I cannot remember this artist’s name, but he was kind enough to show me the tools he uses to carve spoons and recommended ones for home carving. Another fun thing to do is take a ride up and down the chair lift to see the beautiful mountain view! You can buy tickets to do this in the lodge. I’ve only done that a couple times, but it is a stunning view – just don’t do it if you’re afraid of heights 🙂

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There is a sculpture garden, fairy houses, a trout pond, a children’s tent, lots of yummy food. Really, something for everyone. The dates for this year’s Fair listed on the League of New Hampshire Craftsman’s Website are:

August 3rd to August 11th 2019 from 10 AM to 5 PM daily

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I still think about these ceramic Koi Fish! 

As a random aside, I discovered a sweet little farm shop on the way home from the Fair last year ~ the Sweet Beet Market at 11 West Main Street in Bradford, NH. It’s a nice place to stop for a snack for the road or to get your week’s produce. I just thought it was super cute. A perk of driving home on back roads! You never know what you will discover.

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As if there wasn’t enough to look forward to this summer 🙂

 

 

Portrait of a Small Town: Harrisville

Perhaps the most special of all the New Hampshire small towns is Harrisville. Situated in the Monadnock Region of the state (which is special in general), it is a lovely old mill town right on a lake. It has a yarn shop which is quite fancy and esteemed, and a general store that makes some of the best food ever. Seriously. Most of the old mill buildings are converted to artist’s studios (sometimes they are open to the public). Harrisville doesn’t have to be a little place you stop to on the way to somewhere- you can make it a destination. Bring a kayak for the lake, take a poke around the yarn store (there’s a lot more in there besides yarn) and have an excellent meal at the store. Just a little stroll around town admiring the quaint houses is fun too.

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The Lake, Yarn from Harrisville Designs, and a fresh cider donut from the General Store: All in a day’s visit to Harrisville!

I like going to Harrisville in any season and (of course) my favorite thing is having lunch at the store. I mean, look at this food! They always have a  variety of fresh creative salads available, their decaf iced coffee is the tastiest ever, and the desserts just scrumptious (I will be forever craving that strawberry rhubarb pie!)

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The mill building in front of a sunrise; the village cozy under snow

Kayaking in Harrisville Pond is delightful. The Public Library is that little brick building right on the edge of the water! If you look closely, you might see a beaver swim on by 🙂

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I love going to Harrisville. Any season or time, it is always a joy to go there.

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A Quiet Winter

Ah winter. Quiet, rest, hibernation. Those “activities” are generally my over-arching winter goals. Yes, I miss outdoors time and flowers and long hours of light and warm air. But the calming nature of winter, the spare beauty, and the indoor coziness just about make up for it. This particular winter was quite restful for me, as I had to have surgery at the end of January. So I was able to rest and rejuvenate more than usual. I did manage to get out and about a little bit. Here are my favorite shots from this winter.fullsizeoutput_28f1


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New Hampshire in Mid-Winter

It’s been an icy, icy world out there lately. December and January seemed especially brutal with days on end of sub-zero temperatures, wind, and a couple of ice storms. On New Years Day, with just 2 degrees on the thermometer, Ethan and I set out for a northern adventure. We just had to get out of the house! And we wanted to see the snowy mountains. We bundled up and hit the road, temperature plummeting the more Northward we drove. fullsizeoutput_2cfa

fullsizeoutput_2cfcWe meandered through small towns, such as Grafton and Warren. We tried to take smaller, back roads as we went. Route 118 from Warren to North Woodstock was particularly scenic. From there, we jumped on highway 93 North so we could go through the Notch. The Notch was socked in with fog it was so cold, but the glimpses we got of the mountains were beautiful.fullsizeoutput_2cf6After a quick stop at the Garnet Hill Outlet in Franconia, we made our way to Sugar Hill for a late lunch at Polly’s Pancake Parlor. Situated on a hill overlooking a gorgeous mountain view, Polly’s has quite the spot. If only the food lived up to the location. I hate doling out bad reviews, but the food just wasn’t that great. But the options were many, so perhaps we just made some bad choices (I had the quiche of the day and Ethan had a reuben as per usual). Their peppermint cappuccino on the other hand- yum, yum.

fullsizeoutput_2cfdAfter our lunch, we went over to Sunset Hill in Sugar Hill to take in the view above. Still a  little foggy, but lovely none the less. We were starting to lose light, so we meandered towards home from there, though we were far from it. We went through some little New Hampshire towns that I had never seen before. Most interestingly, we stumbled upon The Brick Store in Bath which is on the National Register of Historic Places as the oldest general store in the country- how cool! It had loads of old character, we had to go in and have a look around. Thankfully, we caught them just before they closed for the day. My favorite thing was the wide front porch with all the rocking chairs. Too bad it was below zero out, it would be fun to sit there and enjoy a treat from the store. fullsizeoutput_2d66

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Other towns of note were Haverhill and Etna. Both new to me, and both very colonial and charming. The moon was rising when we were in Haverhill, so by the time we drove through Etna, it was too dark for photos. Haverhill is along Route 10 in New Hampshire, and Etna is situated atop a hill off a side road- you’ll have to use your GPS to find it, but it’s worth finding- well, hopefully, I did only see it in the dark. fullsizeoutput_2d67fullsizeoutput_2d65Well that was our little mid-winter, sub-zero, just-have-to-get-out-of-the-house adventure! Hopefully we can repeat it in warmer temperatures. There’s a certain rocking chair in Bath calling out to me…

Tuesday’s Inspiration: Lilla Cabot Perry

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Lilla Cabot Perry
The Silver Vase
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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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My Artist’s Statement

this place:
ten years of photography near and far by Callista Faucher
artist’s statement.
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         This body of work examines the interesting juxtaposition between the exhilaration of exploring new places and the comfort of finding beauty in the familiar surroundings of home. Travel has always called to me; yet, at the same time, home time draws me too. Wander and explore, or put down roots? A perennial question, and a question I’m so thankful that I have the circumstances to ask. I’m eternally grateful for the trips I’ve taken, along with the beauty of my home that has made these images possible. Whether near or far, I try to keep in mind the quote by Walt Whitman from which the name of this show was taken: happiness, not in another place, but this place. Not for another hour, but this hour. Photography helps me to do just that: to be happy in the present moment. This is good. Dreamer by nature, idealistic almost to a fault: I am often thinking about the next thing. The click of the shutter however, grounds me in the here and now. Photography helps me to really see what is in front of me and to derive happiness from the beauty inherent in all of the ordinary and extraordinary places in which we live out life’s moments.
Along with exploring happiness and presence in different places, this show is also a story of my growth as a photographer. In the making of these images, I’ve never been laden with bulky equipment, nor do I rely on hefty zoom lenses, tripods, or image stabilization. I don’t use a flash. I’ve always enjoyed physically moving to get a shot, at times being on my hands and knees, sneaking up on a shot, or making myself look crazy to get an angle. When I first started shooting, I used a Fugifilm Finepix digital camera. At just 5 megapixels, it was a pretty lousy camera, yet I was so happy to have it, and I took some shots that I am still fond of today. At the time, I was a fan of really editing my photos: I loved a cross-processed look, deep sepia tones, sharp contrasts: making things look a bit larger than life. Some of those shots are included in this show, because it wouldn’t be an honest portrayal of my artistic growth if I left them out. I eventually saved up my pennies (literally) and bought a Nikon D5000 DSLR in 2009. It’s wide angle lens helped to develop my love for sweeping landscapes. These days, I like a more subdued look and gravitate towards calming scenes with minimal editing.
I’ve always known I wanted to “make art” and “be an artist”, yet I never considered myself one. I was quite narrow minded and grew up imagining that to “be an artist” one had to be wealthy and connected; I thought of it as some sort of out-of-my-reach privilege. But really, I was just getting in my own way: months would pass and I would create little. I was paralyzed by indecision; having too many ideas but never acting on any. I made excuses. I was busy, always busy. All the while though, the creativity and inspiration were building inside of me. At times, I felt as though I would burst. It always made me sad and overwhelmed that I hadn’t created anything. And yet, going through this body of work, putting this show together, I realize now that I’ve been creating all along: these photos are my art. These places captured have made me an artist. All the times I was moved to click that shutter, I was creating. Little bits of beauty, pure happiness, moments captured: these were and are my inspiration and motivation. I’ve been unknowingly making these images for 10 years now and I’m so happy I finally got out of my own way to display them for you. I hope you enjoy my work, and I thank you sincerely for your interest in it.

Time is suspended in this place: in all the places you and I have been.

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Go out and see the show! Through February 14th in the Daniel’s Room at the Hancock Town Library, Hancock, New Hampshire. grove

RefugeGrove, On Wings, and Refuge : 3 of my oldest (and most favorite) photographs.

Hancock Through the Seasons

Here are some photographs of Hancock, a gorgeous little New England Village tucked away in Southwestern New Hampshire. I was fortunate enough to work as the Children’s Librarian there for one year, so I enjoyed Hancock through each season.

Spring:

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Flowers sprouting up around town. Budding trees in front of the Hancock Inn. Apple trees with new leaves in the orchard on Norway Hill. Irises on Main Street. Trees in bloom in front of the Hancock Town Library.  Lilac bushes in front of a colonial house.

Summer: img_6197

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Processed with Snapseed.old dublin roadElliot's GardenMy most favorite view off of Old Dublin Road. Flowers at the farmer’s market in the old circular stables. A place of sanctuary at the Harris Center. Giant bubbles from a performance I planned at the end of summer reading.  Scenes from the Tour Hancock Gardens summer garden tour. A walk down the dirt sidewalks of Main Street. Storm clouds approaching Nubanusit Lake. Walking Old Dublin Road. The Elliot’s amazing private garden.

Autumn: img_4153

hancock main streethancock autumnwillard pondHancockInnnorway hillGolden trees on Main Street. Ivy growing up an old colonial house. Norway Pond stillness. Main Street littered with leaves. A walk on an old dirt road. Kayaking on Willard Pond close to sunset. The historic Hancock Inn. The fall colors starting to appear at the apple orchard on Norway Hill.

Winter: 

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hancock winterA snow storm in February blankets an old colonial home. Lilies brighten up the winter day inside Fiddleheads Cafe. The huge tree outside of the library covered in snow. The Hancock Inn and it’s Fox tavern is a cozy place for a winter’s evening meal. Frost patterns inside the library’s windows.

No matter what season you visit Hancock, it is always going to be beautiful.