Our Catherine Ryan has curated and designed a wonderfully fun and beautiful exhibit, “Once Upon a Contest: Selections from Cape Ann Reads,” currently on view at the Cape Ann Museum.  The exhibit highlights local writers and artists of children’s picture books from the Cape Ann Reads initiative. Cape Ann Reads, hosted by the area’s four public libraries (Sawyer Free, Rockport, Manchester, and Essex), was created to encourage literacy in young people through community and creative collaborations.

The exhibit is thoughtfully designed for little folks. The paintings are hung at just the right height for pint-sized readers and soon-to-be readers. Mock-ups of the books are placed on shelves within easy reach and petite chairs for little ones make for a cozy storytime feeling.

I took Charlotte to the Museum on Friday and she had a fantastic experience. We’re planning to return again this Friday!

Come join us at the opening celebration from 3:00pm to 5:00pm, this Saturday, January 5th, at the Cape Ann Museum, 2nd floor.

“Once Upon A Contest” runs from December 20th through February 24th.

Thank you to Charlotte and her Mom and Dad for the photos! The watercolor illustration Charlotte is sitting in front of is from my book, “Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly,” which was the original inspiration for the documentary film of the same name. The illustration shows a pair of Monarchs ascending into a maple tree, as they are mating. 

The Cape Ann Museum is free to Cape Ann residents during the entire month of January!

Author/illustrators included in the exhibition:
Leslie Galacar, Martha Shaw Geraghty, Marion Hall, Steven Kennedy, Charles King, George King, Michael LaPenna, James McKenna, Barbara McLaughlin, Alexia Parker, Victoria Petway, Jim Plunkett, Diane Polley, Mary Rhinelander, James Seavey, Gail Seavey, Kim Smith, Christina Ean Spangler, Bonnie L. Sylvester, Juni VanDyke, Maura Wadlinger, Betty Allenbrook Wiberg, Kirsten Allenbrook Wiberg, Jean Woodbury and Claire Wyzenbeek

Exhibit Curated and Directed by Catherine Ryan, with support from the Bruce J. Anderson Foundation.

Deborah Kelsey, director of Gloucester’s Sawyer Free Library

Cindy Grove, director of the Rockport Public Library

Sara Collins, director of Manchester’s Public Library

Deborah French, director of Essex’s TOHP Burnham Public Library

January is Buddy Month at CFCA!

Cape Ann Wellness

January is Buddy Month at Crossfit Cape Ann! Not sure CFCA is right for you? Buddy month has officially started and we would love to see you in the gym. Don’t know a current member? Reach out to us and we will find you a buddy! Buddies get two FREE classes in January. If you join in the month of January you’ll get $50 off their 1st month’s membership. What a deal!

Looking for more information on CFCA? Check out our website! Or check us out on FB!


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Chris Fitz Tonight @ The Rhumb Line’s Dave Sag’s Blues Party 8:30pm 1.3.2019…Put on your dancin shoes!

Dave Sag’s Blues Party -Thursday at the Rumpline, let’s welcome Acton’s answer to to the Blooze: Mr. Chris Fitz. Yes, he’s taking a night off from his usual gig to entertain you…the viewer. He tore the place up last time he was here, forcing Fred™ to repaint the whole bar. Let’s do it again!


40 Railroad Avenue
Gloucester, MA 01930
(978) 283-9732

Happy New Year from Design of Mine !

Everything is 40% Off!

New merchandise added to our inventory just for the sale !

We want to thank all of our customers for an amazing year!

Sale ends January 8th

*All sales final!

*excludes prior sales!

Design of Mine
33 Main Street
Gloucester, MA

Today’s paper- Gail McCarthy writes about Once Upon a Contest at Cape Ann Museum

Gail McCarthy wrote a wonderful article about the exhibit at CAM in today’s Gloucester Daily Times newspaper: “Young at Heart: Cape Ann Museum and Cape Ann Reads encourage literacy in new show”   Cape Ann Museum Reception Saturday 3-5pm

Gail McCarthy Gloucester Daily Times article Once Upon a Contest Cape Ann Reads at Cape Ann Museum exhibition © catherine ryan.jpg

Nichole’s Picks 1/5 + 1/6

Pick #1:  Fantastic Beasts Scavenger Hunt at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

Read more HERE

Celebrate the film Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and revel in a holiday season bursting with the magic of J. K. Rowling’s world by embarking on your very own search for magical creatures! Climb a 150-year-old staircase, explore a maze of hallways and hidden rooms, peek around corners and into shadows to discover the real creatures and stories behind these fantastic beasts. Where CAN you find them? Look no further than the hallowed halls of the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology and the Harvard Semitic Museum. Witches, wizards, muggles, and magizoologists of all ages are invited to pick up the Fantastic Beasts Scavenger Hunt clue sheets at any of these Harvard museums and begin a quest to uncover the hiding places for a host of amazing creatures.  Find them all, and you win a small prize! The spell is cast and the adventure begins November 18, but time is limited, so plan your visit now. The magic ends on January 6.

Regular admission rates apply.

The museum is located at 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts, just past Harvard Yard.

Adults: $15.00
Non-Harvard students with I.D.: $10.00
Seniors (65+): $13.00
Children ages 3–18: $10.00
Children under 3: Free
Free for members



Pick #2:  New England Reptile Expo

This is not a place that you’ll catch me, but if your little ones have been clamoring for a new pet and you’re not into fur balls, litter boxes, or taking dogs for long walks….you may want to check out the Reptile Expo up in Manchester, NH.  It is billed as the Largest Reptile Show in New England, for whatever that’s worth.


Sunday, January 6, 2019
10:00 to 4:00

The Doubletree Hotel Manchester Downtown

700 Elm Street, Manchester NH

Thousands of reptiles on display and for sale as pets!  Vendors will also be selling cages, supplies, frozen feeder rodents, feeder bugs, and many other reptile-related items at discounted prices.

Admission: $10/adults, $5/kids 7-12, under 7 free.
Kids 12 and under MUST be accompanied by an admission paying adult!


Pick #3:  Rye Airfield Indoor Skate Park

Rye, New Hampshire

My boys have both been here a few times and love it!  It is HUGE.  It’s also a great option to break away from the normal indoor activities that your children may need a little vacation from.  You can bring your own bikes, scooters, skate boards, etc. or simply rent something up there.


Before we get to the ramps, we have a ton of viewing areas, retail, concessions, bathrooms, showers (camp use only), multi-purpose rooms and usually a good joke or two.

Rye Airfield is New England’s premiere skate & bike park. Our indoor skatepark was originally designed and built by Jack Murphy Productions (designers of The Gravity Games, Vans Skateparks and the Dew Tour) with the consultation of former Pro Skaters, Dave Duncan, Andy MacDonald and Chris Senn. Over the past decade we have remodeled a handful of times with the most recent phases of design and construction being completed by Brad Jameson and John Saxton of Skidmark Skateparks along with a covert crew of volunteers.

We are not just a skate & bike park though, we also offer a full service pro shop that carries a solid selection of bike, skateboard and scooter products from completes that are ready to go, or all the parts you need for a custom built ride. Our mechanics can build and repair just about anything that is used in the park.

Our year round indoor facility has 50,000 square feet and features everything you’ve dreamed about riding or skating all under one roof. Our outdoor area is more than 100,000 square feet and is a work in progress with wood and dirt features. The ultimate goal is to create an outdoor bike park that offers something for the cross-country mtb rider and the dirt jumping bmx rider.



As always, for a comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid.

Home Interest Rates and Price Dropping in 2019?

Cape Ann Home

Pratt SignHappy New Year!  I hope you all had a festive and wonderful holiday season.  As January 2nd is upon us, it’s time to start planning for the year ahead.   With that, I want to touch on a few financial and real estate topics that may be beneficial to everyone.

In the beginning of December, all the talk was about increasing interest rates, home prices declining and inventories rising.  Now in the beginning of January, things are looking a little different.  How is that possible?  The Fed increased the benchmark interest rate .25% in December, it’s the holiday season where there tends to be less home buyers and even less sellers and we are going into winter when it’s typically slow.  The easiest way to explain this is to look outside.

While the decent winter weather can account for more people buying and selling homes, that has nothing to do with…

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Make your own sauerkraut at Backyard Growers’ Fermentation Workshop!

Cape Ann Community

Fermentation flyer

We’re teaming up with our friends at Pigeon Cove Ferments again this winter to offer a Fermentation Workshop! Join us at PCF’s downtown Gloucester Fermentorium to learn about the benefits of fermentation and how to make your own sauerkraut.

We will begin with a short overview of the fermentation process, fermented foods and the health benefits of fermentation. Then we will chop, grate, mix, and begin fermenting our own sauerkraut for participants to take home!

When: Thursday, January 17, 2018, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Where: Pigeon Cove Ferments, 44 Whittemore Street Unit #10, Gloucester, MA

This workshop often sells out, so get your tickets today! Tickets are $20 per person, with a 50% discount for Backyard Growers program participants.

Questions? Please contact Backyard Growers at 978-281-0480,, or visit us at 271 Main St.

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