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it’s the bomb

Posted by Maria Castellano-Usery on March 22nd, 2017

On a recent Friday evening, my husband Terry and I found ourselves at Frontier in Brunswick for dinner and drinks. We weren’t planning on going out (it was shaping up to be a leftovers-and-Netflix kind of evening), but I’m so glad we did. Not only was the food at Frontier great (as usual!), but the current exhibit from Bomb Diggity Arts/The Art Department (entitled “Hollywood Magic”) had me up on my feet and snapping pictures before, during, and after our meal. The walls are packed with colorful, fun, pop-culture portraits that will have you smiling and feeling good in no time. I loved this show so much, I even bought a painting! I’m certainly not alone, though: there were red dots all over the place. “Hollywood Magic” runs through the end of April. Be sure to catch it while you can!


nicki minaj

“Nicki Minaj”


princess diana kate middleton, supergirl, hulk hogan, tim allen   

“Princess Diana and Kate Middleton”, “Supergirl”, “Tim Allen”, and “Hulk Hogan”


 b52s jaws knight rider 3 stooges

“B-52s”, “Jaws”, “Knight Rider”, and “The Three Stooges”


cyndi clawper

“Cyndi Clawper”


lady rock star

“Lady Rock Star”: I bought this painting!



in the books

Posted by Maria Castellano-Usery on March 8th, 2017

After many late nights and long hours (and a mishap or two), I finally finished my Little Free Library! This was a fun project from start to finish. As you may remember from my previous post, I received my Little Free Library on Monday, February 20th and started drawing my sketch directly onto it on Tuesday, February 21st. Paint pick-up day was Wednesday, February 23rd, and then we were off and running! Here are some photos of the process:


me with Olga @ sherwin williams (joyce)

choosing paint at Sherwin-Williams with Olga Pastuchiv (photo credit: Joyce Schmitt)


lfl wip 1

work in progress


lfl & althea

Althea demanding my attention


cosmo lfl &brushes

Cosmo not wanting to be left out


lfl althea supervising

Althea supervising



Here’s that mishap I was talking about…


lfl wip 2

more progress…


lfl side 2 finished

lfl side 1 finished

lfl front finished

…and finally, the finished product! 


Curtis Memorial Library’s Booked For The Night was on Saturday, March 4th at 7 pm; I turned in my Little Free Library around 2:30 that afternoon…talk about cutting it close!


lfl on display

Here’s my display! (photo credit: Mike Gorzka)


us in front of my little free library

with my husband Terry (photo credit: Mike Gorzka)


Booked For The Night had a fantastic turnout, despite the fact that it was ridiculously cold outside. Kudos to everyone at Curtis Memorial Library for making it a fun and festive evening, complete with good music, tasty food, and even a treasure hunt! If you weren’t able to make it, you can still see some photos of the event here and here. All five of the Little Free Libraries found new homes on Saturday night, and I’m particularly excited about where mine is headed: Crystal Spring Farm! I’m so excited, I even signed up for a CSA!

book it

Posted by Maria Castellano-Usery on February 22nd, 2017

In early January, I received an email from Joyce Schmitt asking if I might be willing to decorate a Little Free Library to be auctioned off at Curtis Memorial Library‘s upcoming fundraising event, Booked For The Night. Of course, I jumped at the chance! 


The Little Free Libraries were being built by students at Region Ten Technical High School, and the turnaround time was scheduled to be rather fast: Little Free Library pick up was estimated to be around Valentine’s Day, with Booked For The Night slated for Saturday, March 4th. Well, Maine winters don’t care about your plans or your calendar, and thanks to a series of snowstorms, the construction and the delivery of the Little Free Libraries was delayed by about a week. Time to ramp up the challenge!


I picked up my blank Little Free Library on Monday, February 20th…and let me tell you, this thing is a lot heavier than it looks!

loading lfl into car

photo credit: Michael Gorzka


The Region Ten Technical High School students did a fantastic job! Even my cat, Althea, agrees:

althea lfl

cat not included


I started doodling some ideas on scrap paper Monday night, and on Tuesday, I started my pencil sketch directly on the Little Free Library:


lfl sketch


Curious to see how it turns out? Me too! Come to Booked For The Night and find out for yourself!