Picture Perfect: Art OUTSIDE of the Sugarloaf Craft Festival, Too

Twice a year (in October and March) the Sugarloaf Craft Festival comes to central New Jersey. Hundreds of talented artists and craftsman bring their handmade creations to the exhibit center in Somerset.  I go each time with my mom, and each time we find things that we (didn’t know until we saw them) just can’t live without.  My walls and shelves, purse and accessory drawers are adorned with finds from the festival.

To our delight, one of our favorite (and local NJ) artists, John DiAmicis was again in attendance at the festival and we picked up something special from his booth.  (I can’t tell you what it is, because it is a surprise gift for someone who just might be reading this blog.)

Actually, most of the things we picked up this time around were gifts.  Well, gifts and food.  So, I realize after the fact, that I don’t have many photos to share from the festival itself.  (Don’t want to ruin any holiday surprises!)

You’re going to have to take my word that the things there were, once again, pretty cool, and that there truly is something for every age, taste, price range, and interest at the Sugarloaf Craft Festival.

A little bit of winter in the fall.

The photo I do have to share with you on this Picture Perfect Sunday was taken yesterday just outside our visit at the festival, on our way back to the car.  The snow had been falling for a few hours already, and it began to stick in a thick, heavy coat – over everything.  Tree branches were weighed down, and the autumn hues of amber and orange were peaking their way through the thick snow.  This photo is from just outside the exhibit center; inspired by the artists at the festival – where there was art in every direction and from wall to wall – I snapped a photo of art myself.

The festival is in town through today, October 30th.  They’ll be back again in the spring.  You can visit their website or the Notes on the State of New Jersey calendar for more details.

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

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(S)no(w) Kidding!

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For a few mornings, I had been hearing on the radio that NY state was expecting or getting snow – north of NYC. But big deal, right? Doesn’t upstate NY always get snow earlier than we do?

This morning, I realize what the big deal actually is…it is snowing right now, here in central NJ. It’s only October 29th…not even Halloween yet!

I know hundreds of years ago, like when George Washington was living right up the street in what is now Kingston, snow was common in October. Has it snowed this early in recent years? Someone told me today that it hasn’t snowed this early in NJ since the Civil War, perhaps that is the case?  (This may be a good question for our friends at NY NJ PA Weather!)

It doesn’t look like it will be good “snowman” snow, but hopefully you will be able to sit back, get comfy and experience the October NJ weather that George Washington once knew.

(I’m headed over to the Sugarloaf Craft Festival today in Somerset, but after that I’m heading back home to enjoy my fireplace!)

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

100th Post: 100% Picture Perfect Sunday!

This afternoon on Super Bowl Sunday, we get to enjoy some warm(er) weather here in New Jersey.  I spent some time earlier today in Rahway and visited the “Close Encounters” art exhibit at the Arts Guild New Jersey.  (It was fascinating, and we’ll have some info about it on Notes on the State of New Jersey very soon!)

The sun has been out all day and it’s melted away some of the snow and ice, making for nice driving conditions.  (Just in time too, because it looks like a few more storms are headed our way this week.)

Melissa Morris Snow

Taking in the snow in New Jersey, while we have it.

Though we keep saying that we’re sick of the snow and ready for spring, I think it’s important to appreciate the beauty of winter while it’s here. This is a favorite photo of mine from the last snow storm we had…

Now, off to go watch the Super Bowl (and all the fun commercials)!

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

Waking up in a Winter Wonderland

The winterized version of the small stream in back of my house.

It snowed again.

We got about another 17 inches of snow in central New Jersey, from the storm that came overnight.  Now, we’re pushing record-setting numbers for snowfall in the month of January.  As much as I would like to see the crocuses come up and hear the birds chirping again, I have to admit that all of this snow is kind of fun.

In fact, yesterday’s storm was complete with thunder, lightning, and freezing rain, as well as lots and lots of snow.  With my fireplace ablaze, I got to catch up on reading some of the fascinating books about New Jersey that have come my way recently.  I’ve certainly added to my list of upcoming destinations (weather permitting, of course).

Loving the lines that the trees and snow formed this morning.

While shoveling out this morning might have been an unplanned workout, the relaxing snow day that followed was a very nice treat.  (And brought with it plenty of great photo opportunities.)

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

January 12, 2010 ~ More Snow

So, the predictions were correct and we got some more snow (about another seven or eight inches of fluffy, fresh snow here in central New Jersey.)

Though I especially love the summer months (and have been daydreaming about the warm sun and being able to wear flip-flops and tank tops again), I do enjoy snowstorms.  I like the snow not only because it turns everything in sight into blank coloring book pages, but also because of the sense of calm it brings with it.

As it falls quietly, the snow gently forces everything (and everyone) it touches to slow down.  The familiar, fast pace of New Jersey is temporarily replaced and we move in slow motion…

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl