Thursday, June 30, 2011

week in rehoboth beach, delaware... fun in the sun!

Last week my family and I rented a big 'ol beach house in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. My sister came over from Colorado, and a bunch of other extended family members joined in on the fun in the sun.

Rehoboth is a typical little East Coast Atlantic Ocean seaside resort from the turn of the century with a boardwalk. Its history is kind of interesting as it was founded by a Baptist minister after he had a dream of a Christian seaside meeting place. Now it's an infamous "rainbow friendly" beach! It's very quaint and a fun, quiet place for families.

My niece and nephew are above with my sister and her hubby, and my mom and dad. And below are all of the kids in their Coopersmith's Brew Pub (compliments of my brother-in-law Chris) tie-dye t-shirts. They caused quite an "Awww, look how cute!" stir on the boardwalk that night.

A great time was had by all in gorgeous weather! Wish Rowan wouldn't have brought a case of the chicken pox all the way from Ireland though (no worries for the American kids because they are vaccinated here)! Must say the fresh beach air and salt water cleared them up pretty quickly :)


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

pretty early 20th century american arts & crafts pottery and stained glass

Back for another peek at my parent's house in Pennsylvania! My family is a big fan of history and antiques. Pennsylvania used to be a wealthy state full of natural resources like wood, coal, natural gas, and steel. These industries were at their peak in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and one can find lots of lovely antiques in this area from this time.

My mom used to collect American Arts & Crafts style pottery from the early 20th century which you can see displayed in the living room. Some is Roseville, some is Hull or McCoy, and a bit of Weller. All are Ohio art pottery firms that are highly collectible and quite fashionable now. My mom was lucky to pick up her collection here and there at flea markets or auctions, and most have some chips or cracks. While they are not perfect, I still think they are lovely and would love to bring some back to Ireland!

My mom started doing stained glass in the 70s. She took classes at the community college with her friend and enjoyed the hobby for 35 years. These are some of her Tiffany lamps that she made. She has reproduction Tiffany lamp bases to match each shade. Thankfully, she brought one of her dragonfly lamps to me in Ireland when she visited last!

 These lamps have around 1000 little pieces of stained glass that my mom cut! I always remember going with her on shopping trips to Youghiogheny Glass. The gorgeous glass is still made in Western Pennsylvania in Connellsville.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

attending a wedding as a guest in pennsylvania

 My cousin's son got married while we are on holiday in the States, so I got to attend as a guest with my family and not as an official photographer. I must admit I spent a lot of the time trying to wrangle my 2 year-old and 4 year-old who had a lot of energy and not a lot of patience for a wedding. But I did get some pictures of my family... my parents, nephews and nieces, aunts and uncles, cousins, etc.

The reception was interesting for me because it's been a while since I attended an American wedding. In this part of Western Pennsylvania, cookies are served at the reception. My Aunt Tina and cousin's wife Marlene, made all of these cookies which I think someone said was 100 and some dozen! YUM!

My cousin Annie, who has a cake business called Comini Custom Cakes, made this 7 layer pink, black and white cake in flavours such as red-velvet and white. Amazing! She is really talented and has created some really original cakes as you can see on her facebook page.

I don't have any photos of the bride and groom because I didn't want to step on the official photographer's toes :)
Stay tuned for some photos from our week at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

the beautiful historic merry-go-round carousel at idlewild amusement park, ligonier, pennsylvania

Voted Best Kid's Park by Amusement Today and ranked as one of America's most beautiful theme parks, Idlewild is a place that my grandparents, parents, and me and my children have all enjoyed. The park dates from 1878 and the rides were added from the 1930s according to Idlewild's webpage

We were there on Monday, and I thought I'd show my favourite attraction at Idlewild...the historic merry-go-round or carousel. It was built by the Philadelphia Tobbogan Company (the oldest roller-coaster manufacturing company in the world!) in the 1920s and has been at Idlewild since the 1931. It's all 100% original and to me is a marvel of artistic craftsmanship. The sound of the fairground music coming from the Wurlitzer is enchanting as you can see from the children's expressions. I love it!

What a fantastic job for an artist to paint murals for a carousel! I can't imagine that carousels are made this well today.

If you are ever in the Laurel Highlands area of Western Pennsylvania, be sure to include Idlewild in your itinerary. There is so much to visit around this area which isn't too far from Pittsburgh. This is where Fred Rogers of Mr Roger's Neighborhood and Arnold Palmer the famous golfer came from. Also, Frank Lloyd Wright's famous Fallingwater is not too far from here.

More Idlewild fun to come!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

pretty peonies and poppies my mom planted

Having a Victorian-era house in the US means you have to plant beautiful flowers to compliment the house. My mom works at a DIY store so she has access to pretty plants on sale or at an discount. Here's a peak of some beautiful pink peonies she planted next to the PVC fence she and my dad put up (a DIY store score).

Peonies have become quite popular for modern and vintage weddings too. They are really gorgeous and totally lush!

The purple Rhododendrons were here when my parents bought the house around 15 years ago. I haven't seen these in a wedding bouquet yet!

My son is trying to pick a peony for a vase. A hard feat as scissors are need for this task... but he suceeds in the end with a little help from Pappy.

And I LOVE these pink poppies. I've never seen this colour before. I've only seen red and orange. my mom said she bought it on sale.

Some potted petunias flowers on the front porch.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

my parent's house in pennsylvania

Since a lot of my blog's readers are in Ireland, some might be curious to see my parent's house in Pennsylvania where we vacation every summer. This is my parent's house in north-central Pennsylvania in a little Victorian town called Brookville. I didn't grow up here, but I love staying with my family here. The house was built around 1890, at a time when this little town was rich with people making money in the logging industry. There are lots of beautiful houses from the 1800s and if you could find a job here, they can be bought for a song. Unfortunately, there isn't much work here anymore and it's pretty economically depressed. But it is a beautiful place to get away from it all in an area of the state that is called The Pennsylvania Wilds.

One of my favourite things about American houses that I miss when I'm in Ireland is the porch. My parents found some beautiful wicker furniture from yard sales that they put on the porch. I love sitting out there and reading magazines or books, but my legs get all bit up by mosquitos in the muggy evenings!

That's my Daddy outside on the porch with me. I bought him some lottery tickets from Ireland he is scratching off. And my husband Niall sitting with us...not sure why they look so contemplative. They probably just don't want to look at the camera!

More pictures to come of my mom's flowers and other scenes of my life in America in the summer.