Add Some Glow to your Holidays with Cape-Crafted Holiday Ornaments.
1. She Sells Seasonal Shells
Nantucket artist Jeanne van Etten creates whimsical hand-painted ornaments perfect for adding a merry seaside touch to any holiday decor. The island artist—who gathers her shells from a Cape Cod friend—says the line of wired and varnished ornaments ($22 in a gift box) can be personalized at no extra charge. For information, call 508 332-9829, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Handmade for the Holidays
For handcrafted wooden ornaments that are pure Cape Cod, including this map ($10) available in a variety of colors, visit A Touch of Cape Cod in West Yarmouth. Other locally created holiday designs include the Cape Cod Santa, the Christmas Shark, and the Christmas Whale designs as well as many other fun coastal styles, ranging from $6 to $15. For more information, visit atouchofcapecod.com, or call 508 771-6488.
3. Catch A Cape Cod Star
Add some glow to your holidays with a lovely Cape-crafted ornament designed by Harvest of Barnstable. A bright cluster of berries and a festive red ribbon decorate pristine shells, adding a coastal glimmer to any decor. Check out Harvest of Barnstable’s full line of nautical gifts, handcrafted decorations, Nantucket Paperwhite baskets, and more at harvestofbarnstable.com, or call 508 362-4595.
4. Beach Beauties
Artist Kellie Quinn creates holiday gifts capturing precious Cape Cod moments with Beachsand Snowflake ornaments ($18.95) customized with sand from your favorite beach. These unique coastal collectibles are available at Fein Things, Centerville; The Barn & Company, Dennis; Painted Daisies, Sandwich; The Plum Porch, Marstons Mills; and the Brewster General Store, Brewster; or at beachsandsnowflakes.com.
We finish up 2013 with several HOME Winter stories where inspiration is combined with talent....
A woman in Osterville who transforms her small, antiquated kitchen into the ultimate gathering place for her grandchildren. A struggling young family whose new home is built in Orleans in just five days—for free—by more than 100 Habitat Cape Cod and Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Cape Cod volunteers. A homeowner in Cummaquid who gets the chance of a lifetime to work side by side with a custom home builder to build the elegant house of her dreams.
We finish up 2013 with several HOME Winter stories where individual inspiration is combined with the talents of Cape Cod’s architects, builders, interior decorators, landscapers, and artisans creating homes and interiors with distinctive made-on-Cape-Cod appeal.
The Cape has always been a place where people come together to make life better, sharing skills, valuable experience, and an understanding of and appreciation for the beauty—and the fragility—of our coastal environment.
In this issue we also profile several Cape and Islands residents who are adding a special sparkle to the holiday season this year, from the owners of Cape tea shops where you can enjoy tea and homemade delicacies on cold winter days, to a talented scrimshaw artist on Nantucket creating beautiful ornaments celebrating ‘The 12 days of Christmas.’
‘There is something for every lover of Cape Cod and the Islands in this issue of Cape Cod HOME. We think it is a fitting tribute to our inspirational seaside region’s colorful diversity and deep coast-to-coast resources.
All of us at Cape Cod HOME wish you the merriest of holiday seasons!
Susan Dewey, Associate Publisher & Editor
- Posted in Susan Dewey's Blog
A kitchen in an antique Cape comes alive in the hands of talented local professionals.
In our old Cape house, the original kitchen was once the most important room in the house. Read more…
Step-by-step guide to making all the holiday decorations in our Native Bright story.
Cape Cod and the Islands are fertile territory when it comes to finding natural materials for holiday decorations. We are especially lucky when it comes to evergreens like Juniper, Arborvitae, White Pine, Spruce, and Fir, which thrive in the Cape Cod landscape. Both native and exotic (or imported) species are so abundant that you can decorate your house from top to bottom with materials plucked from your own—or a neighbor’s—backyard.
And then, of course, there is holly. Cape Cod is a holly belt and our woods are full of wild American holly,Ilex opaca, which fruit with glorious abandon. Unfortunately, Ilex opaca does not last very long in cut arrangements or decorations—so we usually leave our native holly bushes and trees as landscape adornments and turn to imported varieties like the ever-reliable Ilex x meserveae for cuttings. Our favorite imported hollies are the Blue Prince and Blue Princess varieties. This year (2013) seems to be especially good for all kinds of holly fruiting; the bushes around our house are heavy with berries.
Evergreens—like native Juniper, Cedar, and White Pine—will survive for more than a month after cutting, making these tough species a great choice for holiday decorations that you can make before Thanksgiving and leave in place through New Year’s. Arborvitae is another good choice; lots of varieties are covered in small pinecones right now, which can add a lovely texture to your decorations.
Speaking of texture, before you clean out your perennial gardens this fall, save any interesting dried flowers or foliage to add an artistic flair to any decoration. As you can see from our story, Native Bright in Cape Cod LIFE’s November/December issue, dried Allium flowers can look like starbursts and dried lavender adds a quintessential Cape Cod beauty (and scent!) to any arrangement or decoration.
Below is a step-by-step guide to making all the holiday decorations in our Native Bright story. Feel free to email me at email@example.com with any questions, or suggestions, and we will share your thoughts with our readers, Happy Holidays! ~ Susan Dewey, Editor
Hydrangea Wreath with Blue Fir, Juniper, Dried Lavender & Starfish
To learn how to make a hydrangea wreath, please refer to the blog story on this website entitled “Creating A Simple Hydrangea Wreath for Year-round Beauty” which gives photos and instructions.
When the wreath is complete, you are ready to decorate it for the holidays. You will need the following supplies:
- Thin wire (green coated floral wire is best; you can find it locally at Country Garden in Hyannis.)
- Four to six starfish (available at Harvest of Barnstable and other local shops that carry shells)
- Dried lavender (If you do not grow lavender, you can purchase it at local nurseries and craft shops as well as at Cape Cod Lavender Farm in Harwich
- Juniper (cut sprigs with berries)
- Blue Fir
- Silver or gold, wired ribbon
Once you have made your wreath, decide on an overall layout for decorations. In my experience, it is good to have three separate focal points arranged in a triangular pattern. On this wreath, the focal points are the hydrangea with two starfish grouping at the top of the triangle, supported by the lower left-hand single starfish with lavender and the lower right-hand bow.
Build your wreath enhancements around this triangle, adding in sprigs of Juniper, Blue Fir, more lavender bunches, and other shells if you wish.
The lavender bunches are wired together with floral wire, or picture hanging wire. If you have a small drill, you can drill holes in the starfish and wire each shell around the wreath. It is not necessary to wire in the evergreens and lavender unless you want to keep this wreath long past the holidays. (The wreath I made two years ago for my blog is still vibrant on my office door!)
For a more colorful wreath, use small bunches of wired holly, instead of lavender, sprigs of white pine and a more colorful bow.
This wreath lasts best indoors; it is a great addition to a kitchen or a bathroom all year-round!
Vintage Holiday Tablescape
This tablescape features some family treasures—silver candlesticks, napkin rings, bowls and baby cups, and a vintage lace tablecloth—and natural treasures such as pinecones, dried Allium heads, sprigs of Hinoki cypress, and American Arborvitae, and pinecones of all shapes and sizes.
To create the tablescape, start with the centerpiece of candle holders surrounded by randomly placed cups and bowls. Fill the bowls with evergreen sprigs and pinecones and place the Allium flowers on top of the baby cups. Pinecones—surrounded by evergreens—are placed in a natural pattern around the bowls and cups—this design should look free form and relaxed. The touch of silver (pewter is good too!) adds a festive glimmer.
Cloth napkins in complementary colors can be wrapped in napkins rings and decorated with evergreen or holly sprigs.
For the finishing touch, spot glue a starfish atop your largest pinecones on the candleholders.
If you do not have dried Allium flowers, this design also works with dried Hydrangea, baby Kale plants, and small pumpkins atop the cups, or small bowls!
Antique Find Decorations
Brass Teapot: This lovely teapot belongs to our publisher’s wife, Judy Shortsleeve. We decorated it with sprigs of American Arborvitae, added a few tiny pinecones, and sprigs of Blue Fir, and a little feathered bird.
The Arborvitae, Blue Fir, and pinecones came from our backyards. The bird can be found at Country Garden, Hyannis and local shops. Cardinals are also available for a touch of bright color.
Blue Glasses with Evergreen Sprigs: These small glasses in cobalt blue belonged to my husband’s grandmother. I filled the glasses with sprigs of Blue Spruce, Juniper, Blue Fir, and Arborvitae for our kitchen windowsill. Another good idea is to use baby cups, or shot glasses!
Bookends with Bow and Evergreen: This couldn’t be easier: add a touch of green, a starfish or two and a bright bow to your bookends bringing a festive touch to shelves. Thanks to our Comptroller, Liz Flynn, for lending us these sweet bookends!
Lobster Buoy Beauty
This lobster buoy belongs to the Shortsleeve family; our publisher and his sons like to collect buoys of all shapes and sizes! We decorated this buoy with some seaside touches—scallop shells, a fishnet glass ball and an old fishing net—surrounded with festive clippings of holly, Blue fir, and Spruce all tied up with a coastal blue bow.
- Fishnet Ball
- Blue Prince Holly
- Blue Fir
- Scallop shells
- Blue wired ribbon
- Floral or picture-hanging wire
To begin, tie a big bow out of an old fishing net around the buoy. It helps to fasten the bow with a couple of pushpins on the back to carry the weight of the other decorations. Add your evergreen and holly sprigs in a pleasing, fan-like pattern all around the fishnet bow. Wrap the wire around the base of the clustered scallop shells and wire into the fishnet. Wire the fishnet ball on one side of the buoy, balanced by a wired-in bow on the other side.
This decoration can be inside or out; it is especially beautiful on the front door. Add as many shells as you wish; starfish add a bright white touch. Dried hydrangeas can make the design larger; just wire the flower heads into the fish net.
For more information, contact Susan Dewey, editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Posted in How-To
Gracefully Arching Pine and Evergreen Boughs...
Gracefully arching pine and evergreen boughs. The sharp scent of sky blue Juniper berries and the glimmer of red holly. Sweetly scented lavender woven into last summer’s hydrangeas bringing back memories of summer days. For holidays with a Cape Cod sparkle, head out to your backyard and snip an aromatic armful of nature’s winter wonders. Our editor, Susan Dewey, provides step-by-step instructions on how to make all of these decorations; Happy Holidays from all of us at Cape Cod LIFE!
The coastal hues of dried hydrangea, fastened to a straw wreath and festooned with Juniper berries and foliage, sprigs of dried Cape lavender, and starfish accents will stay vibrant on your door long after the holidays are over.
For a glimmering tablescape during the holidays or a winter party, combine the shine of silver or pewter with some unique natural textures. These include dried Allium heads, sprigs of Hinoki cypress (native Cape Cod cedar is also a good choice!), and pine cones of all sizes brightened with two starfish above a vintage lace tablecloth.
Small whimsical touches can bring the spirit of the holidays to every corner of your house. An antique brass teapot full of American Arborvitae sprigs (add some Cape Cod holly or Juniper berries for more color) comes alive with a tiny feathered bird; old-fashioned blue glass cups add a scented touch to kitchenwindowsills, and bookends can become decorative elements with the simple addition of a few evergreen textures and a bright red bow.
For a true touch of Cape Cod, decorate a lobster buoy with a fish net, a bright glass netted ball, scallop shells, sprigs of evergreens, and bright holly from Cape Cod bushes. The Cape bursts with holly during the holidays; it is one of many natural gifts we all can treasure during the holiday season.
For delicious pizza, CRISP is a new Cape hot spot on Main Street, Osterville.
All summer long, the buzz built about the new Osterville restaurant shaping up at the site of the former Sweet Tomatoes restaurant on Main Street.
The word was that this would be Jamie Surprenant’s new place. The talented restaurateur—whose parents started the Hyannis blockbuster Sam Diego’s in 1982—is a co-owner of both Osterville’s tony Five Bays Bistro and Falmouth’s popular Anejo Mexican Bistro.
Just in time for the Red Sox playoffs in early October, CRISP Flatbread Inc. opened its doors. Diners lined up for tables in the hip interior decorated with streamlined ambiance in low-key earth tones with pops of color. Families filled comfortable, padded booths and groups of friends settled around high top tables for a view of the Sox beating the Rays on two flat-screen TVs over the crowded marble-topped bar. Since it was a warm night, the crowd spilled over into an inviting, well-landscaped outdoor dining area that includes two fire pits, attractive seating areas, and an outdoor ping pong table.
Inside and out, friendly staff delivered steaming flatbread pizzas, cooked in a high-tech, wood-fired EarthStone oven. Pizzas flew out of the oven in just three minutes, the 900 degree fire delivering hot crusts, but delicious, soft centers. All ten tantalizing versions feature hand-crafted dough and organic ingredients.
The word on the street was to try the Duck Bacon ($18), reportedly Jamie Surprenant’s favorite, a tantalizing combo of smoked duck bacon, homemade mozzarella, Humboldt Fog goat cheese, dried tart cherries, shallots, and pomegranate drizzle. My favorite was the Margherita ($14), featuring huge fresh tomatoes, big circles of melted homemade mozzarella, and garlic-infused olive oil with lots of fresh basil. Eclectic choices include the Wellfleet with cherrystone clams and bacon ($16) and the New Beige with New Bedford linguica ($15). A wide variety of add-ons are available including several cheeses, meats, seafood, and fresh vegetables.
Salad choices ($8 to $11) include a zesty Rocket with arugula, lemon, olive oil, and Parmesan; a delicious Caprese; and Caesar. Creative pasta options are all made with fresh pasta and homemade sauces. Be sure to try the Wicky Wicky Chicken Biggies featuring free-range chicken and rigatoni in spicy tomato cream sauce ($17).
Jamie Surprenant says he has long dreamed of opening CRISP. “I would drive by on my way to Five Bays and think: ‘that’s a great location to have a really good pizza restaurant’,” says Jamie. “I wanted to make this a neighborhood gathering place where everyone could come for great pizza.”
There are lots of things to like about CRISP; the interior is elegant, yet casual. The wine and beer choices include some good local brews and fine imported vintages. On warm evenings, you can gather with your friends or family for food and drinks around a fire pit, or keep the kids entertained with impromptu ping pong games.
But when all is said and done, what makes CRISP a true slice above is their pizza. The Margherita was the best we’ve tasted since we devoured a memorable pie in Locarno, Italy. And the Duck Bacon? “I just love it,” says Jamie. Pizza lovers at our table agreed. Anyway you cut it, CRISP is bound to be an Osterville hot spot all year-round.
CRISP is currently open year-round, seven nights a week for dinner at 791 Main Street in Osterville. Lunch menus are being planned for 2014. For information, call 508 681-0922, or visit crispflatbread.com.
- Posted in Food
Recreational shellfishing is an easy Cape Cod pleasure: even for raw rookies who don’t know a cherrystone from a little neck.
There is something so simple, yet deep-down satisfying about shellfishing. Read more…
Long after summer’s flowers have faded away, foliage plants keep fall gardens alive with color and texture.
September and October are glorious months on Cape Cod and the Islands, when the air temperatures cool down, but ocean and bay waters remain warm. Read more…
The end of summer on Cape Cod is always tinged with regret.
The end of summer on Cape Cod is always tinged with regret. Read more…
- Posted in Autumn