With more than 80 nonfiction books to his credit, history author Martin Sandler has hit his stride - with no plans to slow down.
What do you do when you’re an 80-year-old writer and so many voices—your critics’, your editors’, the one inside yourself—tell you that after more than 40 years in the business, you’re better than you’ve ever been? If you’re Martin Sandler, you scribble your rollerball pen across a yellow legal pad for hours on end, because you have a deadline looming. Read more…
Accessorize your look this winter with one of designer Irina MacPhee’s handbags ($85-$275). Handcrafted in Massachusetts and sold exclusively at Pastiche of Cape Cod in West Barnstable, these unique, sophisticated-yet-fun handbags are made from repurposed designer fabrics and materials, and come in a variety of styles, colors, and patterns perfect for every occasion. Visit Pastiche of Cape Cod to see Sissy MacPhee’s complete collection, including belts and scarves. pasticheofcapecod.com
Down Right Festive
Perfect for the holidays, these festive pillows feature artistically rendered seasonal designs printed on antique linen. Filled with soft down, the 20” by 20” pillows are edged with rope cording and have hidden zippers in the back. Great for your own Cape or Island home, or as a gift to someone special. $100. Entirely designed, printed, and made in the U.S. by Oxbow Decor. oxbowdecor.com
Liza-Jayne’s nature-inspired jewelry collection, Beyond the Sea, is composed almost entirely of unique shells owner Liza Lentini finds from around the world. Born and raised in Braintree, Lentini casts her beach treasures in sterling silver or gold vermeil, creating what she calls a “beautiful wearable travelogue.” Her collection is sold exclusively on the Cape at Shining Sea Boutique, located at 143 Main Street in Falmouth. Her complete collection is also available on her website, liza-jayne.com
Cool and Green
Upholding its commitment to eco-friendly products, ‘g’ Green Design Center’s polka dot cork coasters and trivets by Dinner-Ware are friendly to the environment. These fun, colorful items (perfect for holiday gifts or stocking stuffers) can be used as drink coasters, serving mats, and even decorative home accents. They’re washable, heat resistant, and lightweight. Four coaster sets are $29.95 and trivets are available for $19.95 at ‘g’ Green Design Center in Mashpee Commons. ggreendesign.com
A Pearl of a Creation
Aw shucks! A Wicked Good Oyster Opener owner Larry Schneider and his wife, Sherry, invented this stainless-steel oyster shucker ($175 or $215 if mounted to a cutting board for safety.) It’s fast, easy to use, dishwasher safe, and best of all, opens oysters horizontally so that the salty brine stays in the shell. It’s perfect for oyster lovers everywhere, as well as restaurants and seafood markets. Log on to awshucksoysteropener.com for a video demonstration.
Mother Nature’s Cutting Board
Give the gift of durability this holiday season with a sleek 18” by 6” bamboo cutting board ($25) from ‘g’ Green Design Center. It offers several advantages over traditional wooden and plastic cutting boards: bamboo is a sustainable, non-porous resource, and it’s significantly less likely to warp or carry bacteria. Not only is it a durable tool for your kitchen, but it’s healthier for you and the environment! Find this and other ecofriendly kitchenware at ‘g’ Green Design Center in Mashpee Commons. ggreendesign.com
Scan the footnotes of Theodore Roosevelt’s life story and you’ll find the name Joseph Bucklin Bishop more than once. Bishop was a Roosevelt booster in the editorial pages of New York newspapers, a controversial appointee during the construction of the Panama Canal, the first of many biographers of the 26th president, and editor of the 1920 best-seller Theodore Roosevelt’s Letters to His Children. Read more…
Mariposa Serveware & Gifts
The Mariposa aesthetic thrives on unique, original design and superior craftsmanship that ages flawlessly. Our purpose at the Armchair Cottage is to help you enjoy the splendors of the table and of your home through our extensive collection of home furnishings and gifts. Read more…
Coastal Dream Houses
Shore Décor: Design at the Water’s Edge ($50) offers readers a glimpse into why living by the water is a truly unique privilege. From the classic to the contemporary this gorgeous collection features nearly 350 beautiful photographs of homes making it obvious why seaside living is so desirable. In this book, you just might find the inspiration to turn your seaside dream house into a reality. More information is available at schifferbooks.com
No home on Cape Cod or the Islands is complete without at least one piece of wicker furniture. Antique Wicker ($19.95) presents 925 examples from former worldwide wicker giant, the Heywood-Wakefield Company of Gardner, Massachusetts. Photos and illustrations of chairs, tables, sofas, beds, and wardrobes are featured in a reproduction of the original catalog, which was illustrated with Art Deco flair. An authentic price guide allows any homeowner, collector, or dealer to see the original price of wicker items nearly a century ago, giving a sense of the enduring value of this quintessential coastal style. For more information, log on to schifferbooks.com.
The Classic Cape
In The Cape Cod House ($25) Stanley Schuler documents the history of this iconic style of home, from the first structures built by the Pilgrims to the modern styles being constructed today. The text is accompanied by drawn plans and 143 pictures of Cape Cod houses as well as explanations behind the designs and materials used to make these classic American homes, now built across the country. For more information, log on to schifferbooks.com.
Brilliant afternoon sunlight pours into Robin Pierson’s studio, illuminating the antique windows, sea glass, seashells, and pieces of wood and glass that line every wall and cover every surface of the room. With a stove warming the garage-turned-artist’s space in Gray Gables, the organized chaos of Pierson’s studio feels like home. Hammer in hand, Pierson methodically flattens a collection of shells that are too bulky for use in her art. Read more…
It seems like every summer we face a barrage of new advice on protecting our skin, protocol for how much time to spend in the sun, and guidelines for SPF, UVA, UVB, and a bunch of other acronyms. But what about the wear and tear on our skin during the winter? Freezing temperatures, lack of moisture, and decreased sunlight ravage our complexions for months, leaving our skin parched and in as much need of a good dusting and polish as your great grandmother’s antique silver. It’s time to shake ourselves out of the winter doldrums and squint our way towards the bright glory of spring. But how do we shed that sallow skin that Jack Frost left behind and return it to its natural radiance? It turns out you don’t need anything more than a well-informed, stepped-up home skincare regiment to get back to glowing in no time. Read more…
Local choices for healthy coastal living
As winter turns into spring, many of us are itching to use our barbecues and backyard fire pits. Cape Cod Fire Log provides 100 percent recycled, unused wood free of waxes, oils or any additives in the form of logs or cooking briquettes for a green evening of grilling and relaxing. Fill up and keep warm while preserving trees. Cape Cod Fire Log products can be burned indoors or out and are available locally at Roche Bros and Tedeschi Food Shops. Briquettes can be purchased in six-pound, 15-pound, and 30-piece sets of mini logs. $4.99-$12.99. capecodfirelog.com, 877-663-5647. Read more…
To me, the 152 pages of this year’s Cape Cod Life Annual Guide represent a lot of effort. After countless hours of research, talking, and transcription, the best part of the endeavor is holding a copy in my hand for the first time. The worst part comes a little before that. Read more…
PORCH ($14.95), a new book by award-winning photographer Brian Vanden Brink, gives readers a glimpse at the outdoor oases on some of New England’s finest homes. Vanden Brink, whose work has been published in Cape Cod HOME, Boston Globe Magazine, and Coastal Living among other magazines, collaborated with author Richard Grant to produce this handsome book. The featured homes are in a variety of New England settings, from picturesque woods to the glorious shoreline. The simple, comfortable beauty on display in PORCH will inspire anyone who wants to add personal touches to their own outdoor living space. Available at Cape and Islands bookstores and from Down East Books (www.downeastbooks.com).