October 22, 2014

Touring B. F. Clyde’s Cider Mill – Old Mystic, CT


One of those "off the beaten path" must-experience places,
B. F. Clyde's Cider Mill is set apart from the most popular tourist sites.
Located at 129 North Stonington Road in Old Mystic,
it was one of our favorite stops while we were in Connecticut.

This is the home of the oldest steam-powered cider mill in the United States!
Just a quaint wood building tucked away amid the trees.
Nothing innovative or industrial looking about it.

B. F. Clyde's is open from September through late December.
It's a national historic mechanical engineering landmark!


We really enjoyed watching how the press operates.
Ground apples pour out into fabric-lined frames.


The apples are spread evenly using a state-of-the-art tool called a "garden hoe."


The fabric is folded over...


...then topped with another frame.
The process repeats several more times.




Now it's time for the press to do its work.


The apple juice runs out and is collected below.


With my thanks to Lee C., I share this YouTube video
so that you can see the Cider Mill come to life!

A collection of old cider jugs hangs from the rafters.


It warms my heart that they're still family owned and operated! 
Six generations of Clydes have been making cider since 1881!



After our tour of the mill, we popped over to their little shop,
filled with good things like sweet apple cider, 
apple pies, local honey, fudge and maple syrup.

This was the most delectable melt-in-my-mouth apple cider donut
I have ever had the pleasure of tasting!


Here's B. F. Clyde's 
website and Facebook page.

Did I mention the donuts?

October 20, 2014

The Bright & Bold Sculptures of Zim & Zou

Lucie & Thibault are French artists who create
outrageously detailed sculptures just bursting with color!

Although they often use paper,
several of the pieces shown here have been made from
the rich textures of leather.

Take a peek into the exotic world of Zim & Zou!

See more Zim & Zou on their
website and Facebook page.

Images used with direct permission from the artists.

October 18, 2014

Retro Planet ~ Let’s Go Shopping!

The next post in my "Let's Go Shopping" series leads us to Retro Planet!
It features super cool retro gifts, plus furniture and home decor as well.

Above: Crosley's replica of a 50's payphone is a real touch tone phone!
How fun would that be to use? A real conversation piece. $99

Below: These beverage glasses, replicas of the Franciscan "Starburst" 
pattern, would lend a futuristic flair to your kitchen! $30

A desk lamp like this one would be a stylish addition to any desk. $120
By Draper. Also available as a floor lamp.

How about this incredibly cute owl cookie jar? $35

A steel outdoor chair by Griffith, also in green, white or red. $77

Oh, it's Gumby & Pokey! 2 1/2 " set of 2. $7

A metal sign for a classic diner look! $50

The ever-popular American icon, the Kit Kat Clock!
Yep. Its pendulum tail and eyes move back and forth. $50

Let's go shopping at Retro Planet!
Here's the link to their website.

October 17, 2014

Amy Hamilton Illustration

I am totally intrigued by the illustrations of Amy Hamilton.
Natural and rustic.
She captures her subjects amid drips, smudges and splatters.
And the results are captivating.

Amy's out of Ontario, Canada.
You can see more of her work on
her website, on Facebook
and on Society6.

Images used with direct permission from Amy Hamilton.

October 14, 2014

The PET Brings Mobility & the Love of Christ to Developing Countries


A highlight, and certainly the most meaningful experience
of my recent week-long trip to Ohio,
was a tour of the PET Project manufacturing facility in Stow.

PET stands for Personal Energy Transportation.
These hand-cranked carts offer the gift of mobility to people
who have had to live their lives struggling to get from place to place,
often by crawling through dirt, mud and stones.
Some can't walk due to birth defects or diseases such as polio,
and some have lost limbs in accidents -often from landmines.

The PET Project is a faith-based, non-profit organization,
 run by volunteers, who, most often are retirees.

PETs are given to people in developing countries to share the love of Christ.
They offer a new lease on life, one with new-found hope and dignity.


Although I can show you the photos I took, and tell you about my tour,
nothing pulls it all together like watching this moving video, Mercy in Motion.
It's from a feature by KOMU's Sarah Hill, which illustrates and explains
the heart-wrenching need that the PET Project addresses.

Vince and Jim in the Stow, Ohio workshop.


There are 23 production sites in the United States, and 1 in Zambia.
These partner with 49 distributors, including World Vision and Samaritan's Purse.
In 20 years, over 46,000 PETs have been given throughout 100 countries.
Estimated world need for PETs: 10 million.



Nick doing some touch-up painting.



Templates are ready to guide volunteers through each step of the building process.



The day I visited, a template was being prepared for an updated seat cushion,
an improved design made after studying pressure points for comfort.


Sue cuts the marine-quality vinyl.


Julie at work on the sewing machine.




Would you like to make a donation
or to find out how you can get involved?
Visit these websites for more information:
PET OH-Stow on Facebook
PET International