Michael Blanchard Inspirational Photography

The great thing about sNov - 428 Michale Blanchard Photographyocial media is it can introduce you to a few of your favorite things! That’s what happened to me several years ago when I came upon a  Michael Blanchard  photograph on Facebook.  I’ve been a fan ever since!

Michael lives and works in Maine and makes trips to Martha’s Vineyard almost every weekend. He wakes up before the crack of dawn and in the solitude and the solstice of early morning sunrise  and sunsets  makes photographs that have become to known as inspirational photographs. You see, many take a photograph, but Michael has a way of creating images that evoke something inside yourself. That’s why he  has over 43,000 people follow him on Facebook.

Michael Blanchard Inspirational PhotographyPolaroid Camera

Michael’s first camera was a Polaroid camera he received as a teenager. But it wasn’t until the age of 54 that he found his interest in photography.  He recalls the first successful long exposure shot of Lucy Vincent. He sat quietly for an hour after that and felt so connected. That’s when he knew photography would be an important part of his life. The camera became a means of being quiet and reflective. It got him out of the house and on the beaches and he found a lost spirituality.

Michael Blanchard PhotographyWhy Martha’s Vineyard

It was a sailboat trip to MV  that would change Michael’s life! Once there he had the immediate, explainable desire to stay.  A few years later, he married a woman who had a home on the island. That is what we like to call Serendipity!  Michael has openly discussed in an open forum his ongoing recovery from the disease of alcoholism and the pain of his subsequent divorce from his wife. The island of Martha’s Vineyard and the art of photography helped to heal him.

 3 Favorite PlacesMichael Blanchard Photography

Lucy Vincent Beach, Moshup Beach and Menemsha are his three favorite places on the island. Being a big Jaws fan, he can see Hooper, Quint and Chief Brody heading out to sea to get the shark every time he sees the little fishing shacks in Menemsha.

Michael Blanchard PhotographySunrise or Sunset

Sunset is the time he loves best to photograph. The colors are different than at sunrise. He finds more interesting shots as evening approaches. But, he does admit some of his best photographs have been taken at sunrise.

Miachel Blanchard Photography Fighting For My LifeFighting For My Life

Fighting For My Life” Finding Hope and Serenity on Martha’s Vineyard, is the book that has helped Michael with his demons. He found while displaying his photographs on Facebook for the world to see, people responded to his words from healing from addiction, as much as the photos themselves. The two went hand-in-hand.  With a talent to take photographs that people liked and a want and need to share the life changing events. The book served the purpose as a cathartic  ” spilling out” of what he went through as a further means of how helping to heal. The book was designed and constructed to help raise money for addiction treatment, and most importantly, to help reduce the  shame alcoholics and addicts feel about their disease.  He wanted people to see the real and torturous existence of an alcoholic so they could better understand the disease and then use this information to help others who are struggling. He wants those who are struggling to know ” there is no shame as long as you take responsibility for your recovery”.

 Michael Blanchard PhotographyThe Calendar

In May 2016 Michael will release a brand new calendar to help raise money for the Martha’s Vineyard  New Path’s Addiction Treatment Program and to increase awareness that additional resources are needed to fight the disease of addiction. Some of his stories and poetry and words of wisdom will be included to help those who need a boost of “hope”.  Thousands of his Facebook fans helped vote to choose the photos that will be in the calendar. It will be available through his website, several other websites as well as stores all over Martha’s Vineyard. The proceeds after costs will go to the New Paths Program.

Michael Blanchard PhotographyInspiration

Ansel Adams inspires Michael more  for what he said “photographs are made not taken” .  Adams would work in the darkroom for hours working to get the contrast right on a print.I In Michael’s case, editing photos is his creative escape.  Adams is his hero for “allowing” him to edit and experience the joy of creating something that is “him” and beautiful from the raw material generated by the camera.

Michael Blanchard Photography3 Things You Should Know

  1. The Camera is his means of connecting to whatever spirituality or divine energy that exists in the world. It is important in keeping him grounded and in the moment.
  2. The editing of photos is a means of creative expression he never had and allows him to channel feelings and emotions that would otherwise stay bottled up inside.
  3.  Photography is the window to the soul. He plans on using imagery  and cameras to help teenagers heal from addictions to drugs and alcohol. People can literally express themselves in the photos they choose to take.

Michael Blanchard PhotographyMichael Blanchard Inspirational Photography

To view his collection or order a book or calendar visit Michael Blanchard’s website and  follow him on Facebook

On Island, you can find his work at Kennedy Studios in Vineyard Haven and Kelly House Gallery in Edgartown. This Summer his art will be displayed at a number of Black Dog stores throughout New England.

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I LOVE Movie Set Places

I LOVE movie set places and in New England there are many!

What I really love are waterfront and coastal towns that have a vibe to them. Yes, sometimes they are very busy, especially in-season.  I like to visit them off-season, early in the morning or at sunset….You know the magical times! Which is not to say the magic isn’t there when things are bustling. Here’s a look at three of my favorite places that evoke that magical feeling.

Perkins Cove

Perkins Cove Scenic CoastlineI’ve been going to Perkins Cove for over 25 years. Guess what, every time I go it’s just as magical as the first time I was there! I love the small paths with shops and restaurants. I still remember going into the Pottery Shop at Perkins Cove for the first time and being in awe of their hand crafted goods. I love finding true New England finds in all the shops here. Restaurants like Barnacle Billy’s and MC Perkins are casual and relaxing and serve good food. Shops at Perkins Cove

I’ve taken Finest Scenic Cruises to Nubble lighthouse and I’ve walked the Marginal Way in all seasons.   Beyond the shops, restaurants and bustle, it’s the moments you experience! The moments when the sun is rising and there is barely anyone there as you take photos. Or the windy winter days where snow is hitting you sideways. Or it’s the smell of salt water while you are enjoying an ice cream or coffee. That ‘s the movie set life of scenic places I love. I can’t wait to breathe it all in again on my next visit to Perkins Cove. Perkins Cove Boats 1 - Copy

Sunapee Harbor

Sunapee Harbor is a movie set! Well at least it looks like one! This has been a popular destination for summer vacations since the days of the steamship, when people use to come from Boston and New York City. The Grand Hotels are long gone but beautiful custom homes dot Lake Sunapee.

Lake Sunapee Harbor

It’s a great place to visit in Summer when the few shops in the harbor are open. Lunch or dinner at the Anchorage is a must as is ice cream from the Quick Shack.

Lake Sunapee

A highlight here is Sunapee Cruises narrative scenic and dinner cruises. The views on their sunset cruises are great and the air is so clean


MV Kearsarge 1

A highlight here is Sunapee Cruises narrative scenic and dinner cruises. The views on their sunset cruises are great and the air is so clean. Being in the center of Lake Sunapee is one of the most relaxing places I’ve ever been.


I have a funny story about Nantucket. I was there twice over 30 years ago…pretty much just around Straight Wharf and town for the day. So that was my early Nantucket experience, no beach and the shops are not what they are today! Then for many years, when I would hear or read about Nantucket in tourism pieces I read there was barely any electricity on the island and you needed a bike to get around the island. Cru Nantucket

Guess What? Two years ago I lived on Cape Cod for a year. I went to Nantucket several times because it is one of the most coolest places I have ever been! I have met a circle of people  who are the most creative individuals I have ever met! Enter Serendipity Again! I have learned more from these people and about about myself in the last two years than I could have ever imagined! Isobel and CleoMy admiration for these designers, shop owners, entrepreneurs and creative people that promote the island runs deep.  Honestly, almost daily, when I am not there…I am thinking about it…wishing I was there. In my opinion, there are more creative trend-setting things happening on Nantucket than in New York City! Hey, it’s my website and my opinion. There is a coastal vibe from people who live and work here year round who literally travel all over the world for their work. Vineyard Vines Nantucket is pure eye candy! From the shops on the wharf which catch the most amazing light. Each shop is creative in its own way and the staff are always so hospitable,  smiling, helpful and so upbeat!

One Orange 1Scanty Lighthouse








From Sankaty Lighthouse to Brant Point the ACK feeling is amazing!

Sconset can only be described as breathtaking + delicious. View some of the best sunrises and walks on the beach and sunsets at Galley Beach are speechless.

Cru Nantucket exterior patioThe food and presentation at ACK restaurants like Cru, Straight Wharf and Town Restaurant are among the world’s best! Plus, there are many other restaurants that are open during the season that are equally as good. If the best in shopping and dining weren’t enough…Nantucket has some of the world’s best beaches.  You can see the sunrise and sunset like nowhere else! Everywhere you turn, there is magic on this island! Nantucket

There is peace! There is  a quiet that I have only experienced while living on Cape Cod. Clearly, there is a creative vibe among the people who live, work and play here that is second to none! No wonBrant Point Lighthouse 1 F - Copy - Copyder people call Nantucket their Happy Place! See you soon Nantucket! It will be good to be bACK!

All Photos by Melissa Tyler


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Cape Cod President’s Day Weekend

Weekend Getaway

Hyannis Yacht Club


So last  weekend was the long President’s Day Weekend.  Oh, yes, it was Valentine’s Day too! So we got in the car and took a drive and did what we love!  We went to New England. More specifically, Cape Cod! Wrentham Premium Outlets Tory Burch On our way we stopped at Wrentham Village Premium Outlets.  It has been our experience overall, that WVPR always has   the most enthusiastic and happy sales associates we have ever seen any where…well except maybe Nantucket. But that’s another story.

Armani, Nautica, Ralph Lauren, Coach, Michael Kors and  one of favorite must do stops at Tory Burch.  Guess what? That pocketbook I have been dreaming about since last year in gold was now in silver and well YES, I had too!

Now, Here’s where I start entering my Happy Place!  Cape Cod and the Islands! A short 40 minutes drive Mashpee Commons 1from WVPO, remember it’s winter and I made my next stop Mashpee Commons. I LOVE Mashpee Commons too! They have some wonderful shops that are authentic New England like Maiden Voyage,  The Black Dog, Puritan Cape Cod, Vineyard Vines, Purple Poppy and Cupcake Charlies.

Cupcake Charlies Mashpee CommonsIn my opinion, Cupcake Charlies has the BEST cupcakes I have ever had! My favorite is the Ultimate Chocolate and this weekend it was decorated for Valentine’s. Apparently, New England agrees with my taste as Cupcake Charlies has been consistently voted BEST Cupcakes in New England. Roadhouse Cafe Hyannis So of course after  the drive to the cape and all that shopping it’s time for dinner.RoadHouse Cafe

Roadhouse Cafe in Hyannis is a must. After more than 25 years of going out to the Cape and a year of living on the Cape I know all the best places to go!  Overall, many of the restaurants on Cape Cod and the Islands offer not only the best hospitality and service but the best food and presentation I have ever had. That Friday evening at the Roadhouse Cafe was no exception! By the way, the house salad dressing is so good, they bottle it and sell it locally on Cape Cod.

Alison Caron Boot Camp


Saturday was Boot Camp day with Alison Caron Design Alison has not only been a friend of mine for many years, but I along with the rest of Cape Cod and the Islands and beyond have admired her work in numerous Cape Cod magazines for over a decade. While not designing for the Cape’s top companies like Cape Cod Beer, Alison won the 2015 Hermes  Creative Award from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals for an international business report. She’s involved in a whole lot more but that’s another story. Boot camp included lunch at my forever favorite pizza place on the cape Pizza Barbone Pizza BarboneIT was great to meet with new and old friends and talk about projects and the future. Earlier in the morning before Boot Camp we took a drive to Seagull Beach. What a surprise to see the snow drifted almost a foot high so sad to say we did not have our ocean beach walk. But, all the same it was great to just take it all in.

Seagull Beach

 Saturday Night Dining

How cool was it that Valentine’s and President’s Day combined to make a wonderful four day weekend! We dined at another favorite  Yarmouth House Restaurant  You can’t visit, yet alone live on Cape Cod for a year with out dining at one of our friends Ted Zambeli’s restaurants.  So good to see our friends that work here that once again provide great hospitality, service and delicious food. Presentation is key here as it is at some of other favorite restaurants in the area.Bar at Yarmouth House Restaurant

Yarmouth House Restaurant

Presentation and big portions are a strong point. First off, the dipping oil with the fresh Parmesan cheese was mouth watering! The French onion soup was so good and had excellent presentation, as did our Caesar salad and seafood entree. Desert! Yes, we overdid it tonite! Chocolate cake and a Irish coffee!  The Yarmouth House

Yarmouth House Restaurant

Bagels and BeyondSunday was a relaxing day. Catching up with more friends. Seeing the sights. Planning our next visit. But first, we had to stop at Bagels and Beyond for their tasty non doughy bagels. Look, I’am originally from New York so I know my bagels. These my friends are the best bagels I have ever had! Incidentally, Bagels & Beyond 1st store was in New Jersey! Lucky for the Cape, Bagels & Beyond has several locations to keep the Cape Cod going!

Well, that’s it for now. I will be back soon from numerous locations throughout Cape Cod and the Islands and all of New England and look for my new updated website to premiere soon this Spring 2016!


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All New Site Coming This Spring

Sorry We’ve Been Gone So Long!

We will be re-launching our site in the Spring with a fresh, new look!

In the meantime, follow us for updates.

The New England Blogger

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Sip + Shop & Celebrating Summer with Miss Nantucket blACKbook

Thanks to Holly Finigan Miss Nantucket blACKbook for another great event on #Nantucket

Holly Finigan The Nantucket blACKbook

Here’s a Photo recap of Sip Shop and Celebrate Summer at Pumpkin Pond Farm that took place on August 6, 2014



The Pavan Sangria was flowing and the vendors were 02254 Paven Sangria Nantucket.

Holly Finigan and Dan Driscoll  We even met Nantucket’s incredible photographer and videographer Dan Driscoll.  Over 12 vendors participated in an evening of libations, fashion and fun! If you missed this event at Pumpkin Pond Farm in Nantucket.

Don’t fret Miss Nantucket blACKbook has a full calendar of events on Nantucket.  Did you catch the pre-party at the Boston Pops or the Michael Kors fashion show on #Nantucket last night.  If your not on Nantucket yet, there’s still time to get there!

IMG_5803 (800x533)

Sip Shop and Celebrate Summer with The Nantucket blACKbook


IMG_5835 (533x800)                                                                      Photos by Melissa Tyler

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Wine Tasting at Truro Vineyards of Cape Cod

We All LOVE A Good Bottle of Wine, Right?

Check OutTruro Vineyards the FUN We Had at Truro Vineyards of Cape Cod They Pioneered the Art of Maritime  GRAPE GROWING on the Cape!   

This IS A GOOD Time For WINE LOVERS! Many Events throughout the season and YES They ACCOMMODATE Special Events!


Truro Vineyards
Truro VineyardsTruro Vineyards

Truro Vineyards


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BEACH BLONDE – Cape Cod Beer

Cape Cod Beer Beach BlondeCAPE COD BEER


Light & Refreshing!

New England Blogger recommends Cape Cod Beer Beach Blonde for the beach the barbecue and all your summer bashes on ICE!!!

A very drinkable golden ale with a hint of toasted malt character and a clean finish. A   R-e-f-r-e-s-h-i-n-g  light bodied golden colored American Blonde Ale is S-m-o-o-t-h and easy drinking. Perfect for the beach, the backyard, or just relaxing after a long day.

There’s an old saying, that once you get Cape Cod sand in your shoes, you will always return. “Once you get a taste of Cape Cod Beach Blonde Ale, you’ll always come back for more.”

tasting cape cod beer


Visit Cape Cod Beer in #HYANNIS – For Tours & Tastings


cape cod beer logo

Click On Logo Link and Follow Them on Social Media


1336 Phinney’s Lane, Hyannis, Ma



Photo C Melissa Tyler


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No One Puts The ACK in NANTUCKET Like

The Nantucket blACKbook!

The Nantucket BlACKbook Nine Years ago Holly Finigan stepped foot on Nantucket….And Things Will NEVER be the same for Nantucket!  Yes, Holly worked as a bartender, a  freelance writer, created her popular blog and in May 2012 launched the website that has become The GO-TO Source for ALL Things Hip + Fresh + Haute + Cool on the 02554!

The Nantucket blACKbook is THE Online Guide Connecting Those ON and OFF the island with all things hip and fresh. It is the brainchild of Holly Finigan.

We recently spoke with Holly discussing her blog and life on Nantucket. Holly and her creative team under her direction, bring that FRESH ACK look to promote #Nantucket Fashion, STYLE, Food, Restaurants, EVENTS, Shops, FESTIVALS, #Tourism…The list goes on and on!

“What They Are Wearing” What They Are Buying” “What To Wear To A Music Festival or Holly Finigana Wedding”  That’s just the tip of what Holly Finigan wants you to know what The Nantucket BlACKbook is about! She works with the leaders in the industry on Nantucket which are part of her own team creating THE Fresh look That IS Nantucket!

Festivals…Festivals..Festivals…Nantucket Has THEM!

The Nantucket BlACKbook showed The World,  Nantucket’s Red, White and Blue this past JULY 4TH!  This Weekend they will be at the island’s Yoga Festival, Then there was was the Wine Festival, The Book Festival, The Film Festival and coming July 16th The Comedy Festival, The Dance Festival (July 21 – 26), The Garden Festival (July 23-24)  and of course The Nantucket Music Festival  (August 2-3) with Bruce Hornsby and many others. Nantucket BlACKbook will be there for all of it as well as promoting the events in advance only in the way they can!

Today, Holly’s features appear in Nantucket Magazine, she freelances for editorial pieces from Boston to NYC and received notary in the August 2013 #VANITYFAIR  Society Coast to Toast article about Erosion. Holly is also on the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce Board.

Timeline…Nantucket Stroll  December 2013 – The Nantucket BlACKbook photo spread taken to promote the month long celebration that attracts visitors from around the world.

GLAM SQUAD Collaboration


Nantucket BlACKbook The Nantucket BlACKbook

 All Photos Charlotte Carey Photography

 Timeline…April 2013-  Nantucket Daffodil Festival the blog site  photo spread about the flower festival that takes over a weekend in early Spring each year.

Glam Squad Collaboration



All Photos Charlotte Carey Photography

Keep up the good work Holly! You are an inspiration to Nantucket and the rest of the world! Be Sure to view her website from the link above and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.  

The Nantucket BlACKbook


Written By Melissa Tyler – New England Blogger


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Isobel and Cleo – Nantucket

We found the coolest shop and it’s right when you step off the boat in Nantucket!

Isobel and Cleo


IMG_3691 (640x427) IMG_3701 (640x427) Isobel and Cleo

Isobel and Cleo takes residence in one of the many upscale shops that dot the harbor in Nantucket when you get off the boat.  No visit to Nantucket would not be complete without an enjoyable walk at Straight Warf and old South Warf to visit these colorful ocean shops. The Shop on Nantucket also includes other artists made goods from Nantucket.

Isobel and Cleo design and create the most unique and luxurious knitwear right from their shop and studio on Nantucket. From sweaters to pants, scarfs and other unique items it’s a MUST STOP on your trip to Nantucket. They are at the shop right where you get off the boat in Nantucket from June through mid October and back to their studio at 2 Union Street the rest of the year.

Owner, Charlotte Hess picked up knitting needles at the age of 8. In School she studied a semester abroad in Scotland. Upon her return to the USA she transferred to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she received a BFA in Fine Arts and Fashion. She Interned with Karen Walker and Nom#d in New Zealand and a Masters Degree from Glasgow School of Art.

Her ESTY Shop led to her starting her own brand, numerous blogs that were written about  Isobel and Cleoher fashions led to a grant awarded by the Scottish Arts Council.  She was eventually headhunted by the URBN Corporation, parent company to URBAN OUTFITTERS and ANTHROPOLOGIE to design sweaters for their FREE PEOPLE Brand.

In March 2011, Charlotte won the Emerging Designers Competition at Charleston Fashion Week. She spends her time in her workroom on Nantucket and the UK. Every piece is designed and handmade on Nantucket Island. When away, Charlotte scours the globe looking for the best materials for her collection and chooses to work with companies that have fair workers rights practices and/or produce sustainable yarns. The brand is sold online and in stores in New Zealand, Scotland, Vermont, and California, Custom Knit garments are also created for private clients. Charlotte’s work has been featured in Lucky Magazine, N Magazine, Nantucket Today, and Nylon and Elle Magazine’s blogs.

Isobel and Cleo


All Photos C 2014 Melissa Tyler

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A Whole Lotta Crunch

We Found The BEST Ever Granola!

It’s soft, fresh, delicious and made right here on  Cape Cod.

A Whole Lot Of CrunchRecently, we visited the Bass River Farmers Market in South Yarmouth and tried A Whole Lotta Crunch. Don’t let the name fool you! This is not old box store granola AT ALL!  Just FRESH, MOIST, DELICIOUS Granola! It is the best we have ever had and worth a visit to the farm market or better yet just order online from wherever you are!

A Whole Lotta Crunch is an all natural, wholesome snack.  Have it mixed with berries and cereal, create your own  fruit and yogurt scrumptious parfait. We even sprinkled some on top of a sliced banana for breakfast, or just munch on some plain as a snack or late night  treat.

Oats, Dates, Raisins, Sliced Almonds, Wheat Germ, Cinnamon Dried Cranberries, Shredded Coconut  are just some of the Yummy ingredients that make this product absolutely Yummy!  Do we dare mention it’s good for you too!

Owner Valerie Stone has created a niche for her products and with some luck and perseverance Kids Muchin’ and Crunch Granola will be in Whole Foods in the near future! In the meantime you purchase the product on Cape Cod or by ordering directly through her website.


Try the Gluten Free Just Crunch and Monkey Crunch. These products are available at several Cape Cod outlets as well as the Bass River Farmers Market on Thursday’s and Saturdays from 9am – 1pm through the fall. Click the link above for more information.


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