Lite of My Life

Have you ever wondered about the origins of the Lava Lite, the icon of the sixties design culture? Check out two amazing websites: for the history of the original Astro Lava Lamp and for the history of the U.S.A. made vintage Lava Lite. 

Brochure for the Original 'Astro Lamp' from

Back in the early 1960’s, the original description for the Astro Lava Lamp read as follows: Favoured for it’s charm: The Original “Astro.” Perfect anywhere. Designed to suit any mood, any decor – in the home, office or public place. The ‘professional’ extra for waiting rooms, halls & reception areas.

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Magnetic Movie

The colors of semiconductors and magnetic fields. Where art & science meet and where the secret lives of invisible magnetic fields are revealed as chaotic ever-changing geometries.

In the following movie  by Semiconductor Films, space scientists at NASA’s Space Sciences Laboratories, UC Berkeley, talk about their discoveries…”Actual VLF audio recordings control the evolution of magnetic fields as they delve into our inaudible surroundings, revealing recurrent ‘whistlers’ produced by fleeting electrons.  Are we observing a series of scientific experiments, the universe in flux, or a documentary of a fictional world?…” 

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Magnetic Movie “, posted with vodpod


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Rock’n Roll


Iron-on transfer

“It’s only Rock’n Roll but I like it…” Here’s proof that embroidery rocks!  “It’s easier than A B C…” just as Michael Jackson said.  So pull out your cotton T-shirts, boxers, cotton hankies or what ever else strikes your fancy & discover your needlework skills…  Impress your friends!  You got all the stuff you need to get the band together!  Drums, symbols, mike, amplifier, the whole shebang…

rock-n-rollOnce you’ve decided you want to try out your skills what you need is an 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet of multi-imprinting, iron-on embroidery patterns.  Just iron on to any fabric and stitch along the lines.  Each pack comes with complete instructions for getting started in embroidery!  Get in touch with your softer, gentler side…  

Also available, starter kits with all the stuff to get you started including stitching lessons and complete instructions.

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Cuppa Cha, Anyone?

April, as usual, is bringing those only to be expected rain showers. The frozen ground beneath our feet has changed into a soggy mess, and although the garden calls out to us for a little TLC, it is much easier just to stay indoors with some excuse or other. A refreshing cup of tea usually goes along with that excuse, like a good habit that never dies.  Why go out on a dull, damp weekend afternoon when there’s an opportunity to relax by the fire with a fine cuppa and a good book?

The Mad Hatter's Tea Part from 'Alice in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll

The Mad Hatter's Tea Party from 'Alice in Wonderland' by Lewis Carroll

The drinking of tea apparently goes back a long way. It is said, the first known book about the buying & preparation of tea was written in China in 59BC. Known by early Chinese physicians to make one ‘think’ better, tea was used as a currency in the form of a ‘tea brick’ in the eighth century. It wasn’t until the seventeenth century that tea first arrived in Europe when it was brought by the Dutch East India Company to Amsterdam.

In 1660 London’s Samuel Pepys wrote in his diary about “a chinese drink of which I had never drunk before.” Initially promoted as a medicinal beverage or tonic, by 1750 it was the national beverage. Merchant ships delivered fabric & other goods to China & India & brought back tea to fill their empty holds. The escalation in the poularity of tea drinking coincided with the rise in imports of sugar cane from the East Indies. While there came about a general addiction to ‘sweet tea’ in Britain, the trade off was that China was being paid for it with opium.

Initially highly taxed tea was imported into the American colonies, however when Benjamin Franklin suggested to the British Govenment that the tax on tea should be relaxed, the outcome was opposite to that expected. In order to strenghthen the colony’s independence & not wanting to be lured in to buying British goods, word was spread that tea was actually bad for you. As we all know, the end result was that famous catalyst of the American Revolution, the Boston Tea Party in 1773 when American colonists dumped 343 barrels of tea into the harbor. 

Curiously, even until fairly recently, in the United States hot brewed tea continued to be less popular than coffee or iced tea. Since 1993, however, the American specialty tea market has quadrupled in size & there are many fabulous teas to be found & enjoyed. How to make a good cup of tea? Click here. 

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Open Sugarhouse

Today is statewide Maine Maple Sunday and one of the best producers in the state happens to be the closest to us.  Two miles down the road Adam Rice and his wife Susan host what has for the last eight years become one of the great family days on the calendar. This year there were traditional horse and wagon rides, alpacas, goats, chickens and an army of Labrador dogs waiting to greet you.  Adam taps about 300 Maple trees yielding 500 gallons of sap which he collects by hand. The sugar house with its wonderful aromas pours out steam and provides a friendly center to the Homestead. Free food and lots of it along with free barrel made ice cream waits for you to pour on the syrup. Richard Verney from Alna with his lovingly restored ancient log splitter produced  perfect kindeling which he tied off and was happy to give away. The cars were parked all the way down Split Rock Rd as well as up  the north side of 129. You need to get there early….Adam sells out fast…. Are we going to see you there next year? Rice Farms is located on 36 Split Rock Road in Walpole, Maine. For more information about Rice Farms Maple Syrup call #207-563-6023.











making sugar

wagon ride

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Maine Maple Sunday

This Sunday, March 22nd, is Maine Maple Sunday! It notes the date that invites us, after the long cold Winter, to crawl out of hibernation and celebrate the very beginning of Spring. There will be dozens of farms open all across Maine inviting you in to watch the sugaring process, sharing information and offering a taste of Spring sweetness. Click here to go to the Maine Maple Producers Association website where you can find out all you need to know about maple syrup and it’s history. 


Maine Maple Producers Association
PO Box 93, Newfield, Maine 04056• (207) 793-8850

Visit Maine Maple Sunday Here


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What’s Really in Your Bag?

Let’s be honest. We’re all collectors of things. It is interesting that we all have certain things that we feel we need to carry with us wherever we go. what’s in your bag? Some of us are minimalists, taking with us only the bare essentials, while others carry around everything but the kitchen sink. what’s REALLY in your bag?   Each to his own. The question is which bag to use? It not only has to match the outfit but has to hold all those essentials or at least the bare necessities.

A bag (also known as a sack) is a non-rigid or semi-rigid container, made of paper, cloth, plastic, leather, or some other flexible material. The word probably has its origins in the Norse word baggi. (Wikipedia)

baggallini bag
Berkshire bagg, Khaki

Leather handled tote with 3 outside pockets for phone, glasses, camera, etc.
The zippered interior compartment contains a detachable ID/coin pouch, mesh bottle pocket, key fob & 3 additional pockets.
Small handbag unclips and comes with a detachable, adjustable 52″ strap.
Inside are credit card slots, lipstick holders and an additional pocket.
Lightweight water resistant fabric. 18″ x 12″ x 5″

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