Friday, June 18, 2010

Maine Home and Design Show

Hey there,

Jake, staff writer extraordinaire, is back...
The Maine Home and Design Show 2010 visit began as a whim.  I noticed an online events calendar listed this show in the Camden/Rockport area the following day and we quickly determined that going to the show was much better than staying home to do chores.  So the next day we headed out for the two hour drive.  

What’s an impromptu road trip without impromptu meals?  We stopped by Governor's the home of over sized desserts and breakfast pastries to grab some breakfast picnic items to go.  If you visit Maine, it's worth looking them up for some down home cooking and good desserts.

Here's the everyday breakfast staple gingerbread and real whipped cream...
...and the giant cinnamon roll. 
We were pleased to find it was a covered event upon arriving at Point Lookout Resort.  In our haste, we didn’t bother to check and it had been raining during our drive.  After paying $20 for two VIP passes, (OK not really VIP but we pretended), we entered the show and immediately filled out our raffle tickets for the Vespa.  We would never use it but maybe we could sell it and fund a small project around the house. 
Many booths were setup in the conference spaces, ball room, and under tents outside.  The show had a little of everything going on.  If you wanted something for your home, it was probably on display.  Furniture makers, home builders, artists, alternative energy, decorative concrete, interior designers, and so on.  This recap would be too long if we went through everything so I’ll highlight a few booths that were special to us. 

We met a local artist, Hope R. Angier, that specializes in residential murals including murals for stair risers and cabinet doors.  This caught our eyes because we have been debating what to do with our newly exposed stairs.  The artist explained that she tailors her work to requests from each client and does not use generic scenes.  You can see examples of her Boston Globe featured stair risers here.  Her work is in the early American style that she learned from her mother-in-law.  I imagine this folksy style it would look great in farm houses and craftsman-style homes. 
Another booth that caught our attention was the illustrated recipes by watercolor artist Brenda Erickson. Alison immediately fell in love with the idea of being able to have an old family recipe illustrated to give at Christmas.  It is certainly unique.  The recipe is written out and then the ingredients are hand painted to match specific brands or descriptions.  If your family has a special serving dish for the meal, that can be included too.  What a fun and practical way to decorate your kitchen with the food memories of your childhood.  You can see examples of Brenda's work here.  There are options available for different budgets: buy a calendar or poster, purchase a print, add your recipe to an existing illustration for partial customization, or commission an original painting.  Alison wants them all but may order the Maine Recipes poster featured below for our kitchen (reasonably priced at $29) as a start.  Brenda also has a cookbook in the works that Alison is looking forward to buying.
Sara Hotchkiss - handwoven rugs.  Please excuse the poor photo quality below (it's hanging in front of a large window) and see her site here for better ones.  We wanted to know more about these but Sara wasn't available when we went through.
Maine Art Prints by Maurice "Jake" Day were being presented for sale by his family.  He lived a long and interesting life from 1892 -1983.  There are several landscapes, coastal scenes, and imaginative paintings to choose from.  They have a gallery is in Damariscotta, ME so we might take a day trip there some time.  One of his prints almost came home with us but Alison elected to wait and see what else was at the show first.  She wants to put this in one of our guest rooms.
The Old Port Specialty Tile Co had some awesome handcrafted recycled glass tiles on display but Alison forgot to take a photo.  We like the idea of having recycled glass counter tops (like the one here made from Skyy vodka bottles) but using the Vihara tiles from Sonoma Tilemakers (see them here) somehow is probably more within reach for us.

One of the most memorable booths belonged to the bath remodelers.  They were under the tented area, we turned the corner and saw a tub, sink, and toilet setup right on the grass.  It’s not everyday you see that.  And yes, one of them was serving tootsie rolls out of the toilet.  And yes, Alison took a photo.  We like to keep things classy here in Maine.  No, we did not partake in the toilet tootsies.
So despite the fact that we didn't win any of the raffles and are not the proud new owners of a vespa, fancy vacuum, tiles, Red Sox tickets, or a plethora of other items it was well worth the trip.  We did leave the show with some new ideas, three tote bags (one filled), various freebies, a pansy, a wooden treasure box, and some of our Christmas shopping done.  Alison was not going home empty handed! 

She got the Pink Branch Box with the dragonfly on the lid (left of the one with the duck on it).  Of course, this is the one booth that I can't track down the info for.
We had a late lunch at the Village Restaurant overlooking the harbor.  The weather cleared up and a newly married couple was out on the docks shooting some wedding photos. 
We walked around a few shops, took some photos of the harbor, and headed home.
Alison got bored and randomly snapped this from the truck's passenger window as we were speeding along on the highway. 
Hope you enjoyed my recap of the home show and visit to Camden.  What is the best freebie you've received at a show?  Have you ever won a door prize?  I'll be doing another post regarding a booth that taught us all about tank-less hot water on demand.  I bet you can hardly wait.  :)


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