Hellooooo Brilliant Gift Idea!  Personalized Completely Custom, Tailored Shirts With In Home Fitting and Consultation For Less Than Half The Price Of Boston Tailored Clothier Menswear.

There’s nothing worse than buying a dress shirt and there being a ton of excess material hanging out at the waist if you have an athletic build or if your neck is so thick that you can’t button your shirt to wear a tie.  That’s why having one or two tailored shirts make sense.

For More Info-




Top Ten Tips for Attracting and Supporting Native Bees

Bees, butterflies, and songbirds bring a garden to life, with their grace in movement and ephemeral beauty.   Bee and Monarch Butterfly ©Kim Smith 2012Many of the plants that are the most highly attractive to butterflies are also the most appealing to bees, too!

Bees are also a “keystone organism,” which means they are critical to maintaining the sustainability and productivity of many types of ecosystems. Without bees, most flowering plants would become extinct, and fruit and seed eating birds and mammals (such as ourselves) would have a much less healthy and varied diet.

Native bees come in an array of beautiful colors, size, and shapes. Some are as small as one eighth of an inch and others as large as one inch. They may wear striped suits of orange, red, yellow, or white, or shimmer in coats of metallic iridescene. Their names often reflect the way in which they build their nests, for example, carpenter bees, leafcutter bees, mason bees, plasterer bees, digger bees, and wool carder bees.

Approximately 4,000 species of native bees have been identified north of Mexico. They are extremely efficient pollinators of tomatoes, apples, berries, pumpkins, watermelons, and many other crops.

Native Bee Pollinating Apricot Tree ©Kim Smith 2009Native Carpenter Bee and Apricot Tree

Listed below are what I have found to be the most successful tips for supporting and attracting native bees to your garden.

1). Choose plants native to North America. Over millennia, native bees have adapted to native plants. If planting a non-native plant, do not plant invasive aliens, only well-behaved ornamentals.

2). Choose non-chemical solutions to insect problems, in other words, do not use herbicides or pesticides.

3).  Choose plants that have a variety of different flowers shapes to attract a variety of bees, both long-tongued and short-tongued bees.

4). Avoid “fancy” plants, the hybrids that have been deveolped with multiple double frilly layers. This only confuses bees when they are looking for nectar and gathering pollen.

5). Provide a succession of nectar-rich and pollen bearing blooms throughout the growing season. Select plants that flower during the earliest spring, during the summer months, and until the first hard frost.

6.) Plant a clover lawn, or throw some clover seed onto your existing grass lawn to create a mixed effect.

7.) Bee Friendly–bees only sting when provoked. When encountering an angry bee, stay calm and walk away slowly.

8.) Plant lots of blue, purple, and yellow flowers, a bees favorite colors.

9). Provide a source of pesticide-free water and mud in your bee paradise.

The first nine tips are for any garden, large or small. The last is for people with larger land areas.

10).  Establish hedgerows, or clumps of native woody shrubs and trees, and wildflower fields. Contact the USDA NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Services) for available funding opportunities.

Tomorrow I’ll post our top ten native plants for attracting and supporting native bees.

Cornus alternifolia ©Kim Smith 2009One of the most elegant of all native trees is the not-widely planted Cornus alternifolia, or Pagoda Dogwood. Where ever I plant this tree of uncommon grace and beauty it becomes a magnet for all manner of bees and butterflies.

My Black Swallowtail Film at the Lowell Film Festival Tomorrow (Tuesday) Night

BST Banner FINALI hope you can come join me for an evening of screenings and Q and A at the 2014 Lowell Film Series. My film Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly is playing, along with Whales of Gold, a film by Lucia Duncan, about the gray whale migration and how to conserve habitat and species in a way that also sustains the livelihoods of local people.

About the film: Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly is a 45-minute narrated documentary that takes place in a garden and at the sea’s edge. Every stage of the butterfly’s life cycle is experienced in vibrant close-up, from conception to pupation to metamorphosis. The film is for adults and for children so that all can gain a deeper understanding of the symbiotic relationship between wildflowers and pollinators and the vital role they play in our ecosystem. Filmed in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

The location of the screening is at the Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center, 246 Market Street, Lowell. Click this link to read more about the series.

The 2014 Film Series: Land, Air, and Water is offered in partnership by the Lowell Film Collaborative and the Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust.

Click here to visit the film’s website: Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Cape Ann Artists & Photographers Group

Hi Everyone,

Happy Spring!

Our next Cape Ann Painter and Photographer Group will meet on Friday, May 2,  from 9-10:30 AM at Cape Ann Giclee on 20 Maplewood Avenue in Gloucester. Parking is on the far right of Shaw’s Market.

James Eves , who owns Cape Ann Giclee with his wife Anna, will demonstrate Studio Photography and Lighting. It should be a very interesting program.

Thank you James and Anna for this upcoming program and for offering your space for our meetings!

We will also be discussing ideas for future programs and social events.

The group was founded almost three years ago with the aim to give Cape Ann Artists and Photographers an opportunity to meet each other, offer support, share ideas and ongoing work, and have a good time.

Hope to see you there. All are welcome.

Alice Gardner

Young Gloucester writer launches KickStarter Campaign to print his new book and launch a new publishing company

Casey Emmet Buckles
Casey Emmet Buckles

Gloucester native, Casey Emmet Buckles, has been developing his book Plain of Ghosts for the past six years — and now it’s done.  So, just like lots of creative people these days, Casey launched a KickStarter project to help him print and ship his new work.

Casey’s Plain of Ghosts description is haunting and compelling.  The book will use watercolors by his mother as a “backdrop” to the narrative.

We just pledged and very much look forward to having Casey’s book in our hands this fall.

I have a feeling Plain of Ghosts will become one of those works of literature that helps put Gloucester on the literary map in the 21st century.

A Message From Mamie’s Kitchen

For years we have thought of owning a restaurant. We always wondered would we be successful? What would our menu be like? What would of customers be like?
If you know the odds of a restaurant succeeding that would be slim to none.
We have been successful since day one. There really isn’t a formula for that success except:
great food, great prices and great service. Which we feel we have mastered all 3.
So now we are happy we fulfilled our dream and actually its continuing to grow. The stigma of when a restaurant closes or change hands is that it didn’t do very well. When we are exactly the opposite. If you go out, go out on top!
Our new hours of operation are:
Saturday 6am to 1pm AND Sunday 7am to 2pm!
I would rather change hands with someone that wants to continue Mamie’s, they would continue our recipes, menu, reputation.
Thanks again for fulfilling our dream!
Alicia and Chris

The Tale Of The Oysta: A Seafaring Woops! A Jazzy New Musical Written By Kids!!

The clever tale of Shelly Oysta – a poor girl who dreams of a better life aboard the glimmering yachts of Cape Ann. Mrs. Fifi Hogenheimer, the crĂ©me de la crĂ©me of Cape Ann High Society, holds her annual gala to showcase her Tip Top Tiara. Toe-tapping tunes, uprorious laughter, a double wedding and a happy ending will usher Spring in with a bang! Developed through Henry Allen’s Young Playwrights Workshop, inspired by the music of Cole Porter and George & Ira Gershwin. Only 6 performances, opening Friday May 2nd!! Advance tickets on sale now at


the tale of oysta

Motif #1 Day 5k May 17th!!!

The Motif #1 Day 5k race is sponsored by Rockport Public Schools, raising money for local health and wellness initiative. The race is a great way to start the Motif No.1 Day festival! To find out more about the race and to register online, please go to the race website, listed below. For questions, contact the race organizers through their website and Facebook page.

Do Y’all Remember Ekaterina Smirnova from the Goetemann Artist In Residency Program?

Well she’s kicking ass on YouTube with her watercolor instructional videos-

She was the Goetemann Artist in Residency Program Artist Of The Month in June 2012


Check Out Her YouTube Channel here-


& her website here-


Monday April 28th , 2014 Cape Ann Weather…

Marine Forecast…
Mon N winds 10 to 15 kt with gusts up to 20 kt. Seas 2 to 4 ft.
Mon Night NE winds 10 to 15 kt…increasing to 15 to 20 kt after midnight. Gusts up to 25 kt. Seas 4 to 6 ft.

Monday Forecast :
Mostly dry with clouds and sun highs in the 50’s to near 60° over the interior .. Light winds from the North and North East … Monday night cloudy chance of a few sprinkles lows in the 30’s and 40’s.. North winds around 10mph …
Hourly Forecast …

Extended Forecast….


My thoughts and Prayers go out to all the people and Families that lost loved ones in the ARKLATEX … Mayflower Arkansas and Oklahoma … Devastating Deadly Tornados !! Just awful !
Courtesy CNN…..

Community Stuff 4/28/14

Essex author and folksinger Daisy Nell releases a story in rhyming verse, with a twist: it’s a coloring book. Moxie and the Whale is about a small dog and a large humpback whale.

Daisy & Mox

In Daisy Nell’s latest book we meet Moxie the “doxie,” a long-haired miniature dachshund, who goes out sailing with Captain Stan to look for whales off Cape Ann, MA. Moxie is not a quiet mate, but he learns a lesson about barking when he falls overboard–and lands on a whale! Accompanying the story are illustrator George Ulrich’s twelve lively drawings, ready to be colored.

Daisy Nell, a life- long sailor and singer with her husband Stan Collinson, is a native of Essex, MA, and is the chair of the Gloucester Schooner Festival, now celebrating thirty years as an annual gathering of schooners from near and far. For her, writing children’s books has become a consuming passion. “I love to combine local history and  lore with a made up story. I always aim for a bit of humor to keep adults engaged as well. After all, they are usually asked to read these books again and again. With this new coloring book, I’ve been fascinated to see that children latch onto the story immediately and are ready to take over and fill in the colors for themselves”.

The book is available at Seven Seas Whale Watch, The Book Store of Gloucester, Maritime Gloucester, Sea Meadow Gifts in Essex, and Russell Orchards in Ipswich.

Mary Kay Taylor, Education Director, Maritime Gloucester says:

Daisy Nell has inspired generations to appreciate the local culture and heritage of Cape    Ann through her music and song writing, education programs and children’s books. She once again charms us with her new book, Moxie and the Whale. Through its playful verse and imaginative coloring pages, kids will connect with their ocean environment and the charismatic creatures that make their home right off our shores.