Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Christmas Mystery

A few days before Christmas, I think it was Wednesday evening, hubby and I were standing near the Christmas tree talking about something or other . . . who knows what it was . . . anyway, my attention strayed a bit . . . to the tree itself.  There, hanging right in front where anyone could see it, was a red tassel.  Now, the odd part was not the tassel itself, but . . .

  1. I had never ever seen this tassel before in my life;
  2. The tassel was in rough shape, literally coming apart; and 
  3. Just the day before that tassel had NOT been on the tree!  Period!
I asked hubby if he put there and he said no, not unless it had been in the few decorations he had helped put on the tree a couple of weeks before.  Then I explained to him how the tassel had not been there just a day or two before. It was a mystery!

And I know this wasn't on the tree before because just the day before I had been taking pictures of some of my favorite ornaments and had taken a picture of the ornament right next to where the tassel was hanging, and that tassel was not there!  Sadly, I had not like any of the pictures I had taken of the ornaments and deleted all of them to save space on my old PC, so I don't have those pics, but the mystery remains!

And another thing . . . since the day I had taken the earlier pictures, I had not been away from home!  I had walked up to the mailbox, but it is right in front of our house, in full view of the front door, so there was no way anyone had been into the house without me knowing it!

A day or two later I went to pick up my Mama to bring her here for Christmas and on the way took her by to visit her sister for a little while.  I dropped her off, ran to the grocery store to pick up a couple of last minute things, and then returned and spent some time with Mama and my aunt.  I told them both about the tassel.   We laughed about it a bit, and my aunt said, "You know, Becky, it could be a gift from your Daddy".  And I laughed and said "Yes, it could be, and it kind of makes sense, because he always had a crazy sense of humor, and only HE would leave me a gift of a defective tassel!"

So, all through Christmas I would go by the tree and finger the tassel and wonder how it got there.  But I left it there!  And it will now become a permanent fixture on our Christmas tree as a reminder that there are still some things that are unexplainable, and to remind me that some gifts aren't perfect, but they are still lovable, just like me!

Have you ever had a Christmas Mystery?  Tell us all about it!  Be Joyful, Becky

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Our Christmas Eve Tradition

Since about the second or third year of our marriage, hubby and I have made a point of doing something special for Christmas Eve that was just for us.  For several years we went to a local Italian restaurant, but eventually they stopped being open on Christmas Eve.  Then we started going to a Steak and Ale for dinner, and after quite a few years, they too stopped being open for Christmas Eve.  So then we started going to a favorite place of ours in Buckhead (north Atlanta) - Dante's Down The Hatch.  Dante's is an amazing place!  They have a jazz trio, as well as other local talent in between sets.  The building is old, and they are in the basement, and there is an old ship inside, with tables and a stage for the band IN the ship, and then other tables on the Wharf.  There is an extra fee for sitting inside the ship, but you can hear the music all over the restaurant, so we usually sit on the Wharf.  There is also water surrounding the ship, complete with turtles and crocodiles - yes, LIVE crocodiles!  And there are vintage pieces from all over decorating the place - it is very eclectic, to say the least!

But the best thing about Dante's is the food!  They serve several different varieties of fondue, and our favorite is the 'Mandarin'.  You get a pot of hot oil and a plate of breaded shrimp and chunks of lean steak, lean pork loin, and chicken.  You also get all the fresh French bread and butter that you can eat.  We usually get a salad as well, and their bleu cheese dressing is incredible!!!  With the fondue you get four sauces - a teriyaki, a soy and ginger sauce, a sour cream and horseradish sauce, and their remoulade sauce.  And oh, my!  The remoulade is to die for!  I am so glad I didn't know what was in it before I tried it, because I probably would have missed out on the deliciousness that is in that sauce!

Anyway, when we moved up here to the 'country' we continued to drive the hour plus that it took to get down to Dante's, until . . . one Christmas hubby made me a gift of an electric fondue pot, and then our new tradition began!  We stayed at home, I prepared our fondue dinner to be as close as I could get it to Dante's but with the addition of extra veggies, and set everything on our rather large coffee table and built a fire in the fireplace, watched a Christmas movie on TV, and just relaxed with food and wine and each other . . . in the comfort of our own home.  Bliss, I tell you!

This year, Christmas will be a bit different for us, because my Mama will be with us.  And there will be only the three of us, and I am so excited about that!  We will still have our fondue dinner here at home, but we will move it to the dining table to make it easier and more comfortable for her.  But we will probably still have a fire in the fireplace, and will definitely watch a Christmas movie!  And we will enjoy relaxing with food and wine and each other in the comfort of our own home, only there will be one more of us.  And I can't wait!

So, I'm going to share with you the recipe for Dante's remoulade sauce (and yes, they gave me a printed copy once when I asked them for the recipe), and I hope some day you will give it a try!  Bur first I want to wish you a wonderful Christmas, and ask you "what is your favorite Christmas tradition?"

Merry Christmas, Becky

Remoulade Sauce 
from Dante's Down the Hatch Restaurant 
Atlanta, Georgia 

1 cup mayonnaise

1 egg (hard boiled and very finely chopped)

1 tsp. dry mustard (ground mustard)

1 tsp. anchovy paste (this is the only recipe I make that calls for this, and don't buy the stuff. I have found a little bit of soy sauce - 1/2 teaspoon or so - in it's place works every bit as well)

2 tsp. capers (small size, or diced larger ones)

1 tsp chopped tarragon leaves (or a little more - I love tarragon!)

1 teaspoon finely minced garlic

Add mayonnaise to mixing bowl and stir in hard boiled egg. Stir in remaining ingredients, stirring until the anchovy paste disappears.

(This makes a good bit, so I usually half it just for us - I just cut the hard boiled egg in half and mince half of it.)

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Wonderful Giveaway!!! Just in Time for Christmas!!!

I have been given the wonderful opportunity to give away a gift certificate for $45 to one lucky winner to the CSN stores!  They have over 200 websites you can order from, and they carry everything from furniture, cookware, leather messenger bags, home decor, kids items, health and fitness and so much more!!!

Simply leave a comment here on this post through midnight eastern on Sunday 12/19 and I will choose a winner and announce it some time on Monday 12/20!

Also, I have been given an additional giveaway for my other blog, so please go there and enter to win again!  I will choose a winner there on the same day.  And to make it fair, you can only win ONCE, so if your name is drawn on both, we will draw again on the second blog to get another winner.

So please, leave a comment here, then leave another on my other blog, and then go tell all your friends about it so that they can enter, too!

Good luck!  Becky

Thursday, November 25, 2010

My Thanksgiving Gift To You!

Today, here in the US, we take a day to pause, and give thanks for all our blessings of the past year, and ask God's blessings upon us in the next year.  While this life of mine isn't perfect, neither am I, and yet I have so very much for which to be thankful, and this morning my heart is full as I prepare to share a wonderful meal later today with the two people who mean most to me . . . my husband of 25+ years, and my 80 year old mother.  Please take the four minutes it will take to watch this video and lift up YOUR song of praise to the God from which all blessings come.  Happy Thanksgiving!  Becky

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sweet, Sweet Sound . . .

Hello!  This afternoon I went to a local arts and craft show to visit a friend who has a booth, and then came home, chatted with hubby and then made my way into my studio to work on some more projects for the craft show I have coming up in a couple of weeks.  As I often do while I create, my heart started humming some tunes, and I got to thinking about appropriate songs for Thanksgiving.  Of course my first thought was of the Doxology . . .

Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all creatures here below,
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts,
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

That song often bubbles up in my heart when I am happy, or out riding around our beautiful country, seeing God's creation and being grateful for the opportunity to see and enjoy HIs beauty.  But after that song passed through my heart, this song came next and, although it's not a Thanksgiving song per se', it IS a praise and worship song, and another one that I dearly love, and I think it is appropriate.  So I decided to share it with you today.  Enjoy "I Love You Lord",  Becky

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Busy Crafting!

Hi Folks!  Just a quick note to direct your attention to my other blog, Camellia Cottage Designs, where you can find pics of all the crafts I've been working on in preparation for the Christmas craft show I'll be doing in a few weeks.  Please check out all the Christmas goodness for yourself!

Also, I'm thinking of weaning away this blog, and turning everything over to my crafting blog, and using the new Aprons Across America blog for my outlet for recipes.  I just don't have the time any more for three blogs, and this one is the one that gets left behind in most cases.  So, let me know what you think!  Thank you!  Becky

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Inspired Ideas by Amy Powers . . .

Crafters Alert!!! I recently discovered this online magazine 'Inspired Ideas' and thoroughly enjoyed flipping page after online page of fall season goodness time and again. Amy Powers is a crafting 'goddess', so where has she been all my life!

Please, please, please if you are a crafter, or simply love to decorate for the Christmas holidays, go pay her a visit and take a look at the new Christmas issue of Inspired Ideas. I promise you, you will not be disappointed!!! Blessings folks! Becky

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My New Endeavor(s)

Hi Folks! Wow, things have been busy around here. and I'm not really used to this kind of busy! First up was the designing and publishing of the new blog Aprons Across America with two of my 'online' friends this past Monday. I did all the setup work, but now that the blog is up and running, Teresa and Lori and I will be equally sharing the posting of recipes. The three of us, as well as our 'honorary' members all met through an online recipe swap forum several years ago, and have kept in touch ever since. The 'forum' changed, and we decided we wanted a way to share recipes with each other, and all our family and friends, so the blog was born. Please be sure to check it out when you have a chance!

Then on Wednesday I had to take Mama to see her Opthalmologist for the 2 week follow up after her cataract surgeries. She is doing very well, and we don't go back until after Thanksgiving, when they will give her a new permanent prescription for reading glasses.

And then on Thursday I started my newest endeavor . . . a new part time job! I am now employed by Georgia Mountain Candles and More in a small town about 15 minutes or so from here. I will not have any regular hours, only work when the owner, Tina, needs me to fill in for her. She also has a part time 'whenever they need her' job, so when she fills in on her other job, I'll fill in for her at the store.  The candles there are so remarkable!  Tina makes all the candles herself, and the scents are soooooooo good!  If you aren't familiar with soy based candles, here are a few good things about them:
  • They are made from American grown soy beans
  • They burn cooler, and slower, so they last much longer
  • The wax will wash out of clothing, tablecloths, etc. with soap and water, and my favorite part . . . 
  • The wax makes an incredible moisturizer!!!  Seriously, just take 2-4 drops of the melted wax and rub it into your hands and they will stay soft and smooth for a long time, and two good points about using them as a moisturizer are that it doesn't wash out immediately, so it is great if you are in water a lot, and it is not parrafin based, so it doesn't build up on your skin.
The store is also full of home decor items and handmade crafts on consignment, plus new ladies accessories like purses and jewelry as well.  You can go right to the store's website by clicking on the link above or on the picture in the right hand column.  So, I've worked two days now, and although business was kind of slow, I feel like I've 'found my feet' and could better handle a busier day now. 

While things were quiet I sat in the doorway with my crocheting basket, making cotton dish cloths.  I have several of them up for sale in my Etsy shop, and will have even more on there soon.  If you are interested, you can click on my Etsy shop window to the right, or the link above.

So, as you can see, things have been busy, but a good busy!  I am so thankful for my new opportunities and my friends, online and here at home.  I am blessed, and I wish you many blessings as well, Becky


Monday, October 25, 2010

Aprons Across America

Just a quick post to let you know that some friends and I recently started a food/recipe blog and would love for you to visit us at Aprons Across America!  The very first recipe is up today, and we will be featuring new recipes each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 

There are five members - three active and two honorary - who all met on an online recipe swap forum a few years ago, and have kept in touch ever since.  Please pay us a visit, and let us know what you think. 

Thanks friends, Becky 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wonderful Weather, The Hunter, the Pest, and the Hunted!


Earlier this afternoon I took my camera outside to take pics of a card for next week's Unscripted Sketches challenge.  The sunshine was so warm that I just wanted to lay down on the grass and take a nap.  Well, I did lay down for a few seconds, but didn't want to give the neighbors cause for alarm, so I got right back up.  Anyway, when I came back inside the dogs (in the fenced back yard) were carrying on a conversation with the other dogs in the neighborhood, so I went out to ask them to stop.

When I got out on the porch,  I realized that I was not the only one enjoying the warm afternoon sunshine.  The Girls were taking great advantage of the sunshine as well!  Laying in the sun, but ever watchful of . . . the holes!

Now, I have to give you a bit of background here.  When we first moved into this house, 7 years ago now, there was no evidence of chipmunks.  But within the last year or two, they have moved in, and with a vengeance.  (Side note:  chipmunks are also known as 'ground squirrels', but anyone who has ever seen an Alvin and the chipmunks cartoon knows what I'm talking about!)

The Hunted!

When I was a child we had pet chipmunks that we kept in a cage, and they were great fun, but as a homeowner, they are destructive and a nuisance.  But Bailey has taken it upon herself to keep a close watch on the critters and try to keep them out of our yard.  The fact that they have tunnels that go from inside our yard to outside the fence into neighbor's yards doesn't affect her, nosiree!  She is on a mission!

The Ever Watchful Huntress!

But that's where the pest comes in, and no, the pest isn't a chipmunk, it's Bailey's sister, Bessie!  While they are of the same breed, that's about all that is the same about those two.  Bailey is 100% Doxie through and through, and a determined hunter and digger.  Bessie is like Ferdinand the bull who goes through life sniffing the daisies and getting into everyone's way . . . especially Bailey's!

Bessie, the pest!

When Bailey gets wind of a chipper in the yard she goes for it, and that's when Bessie tries to play with her, or love on her, or just keep her from her appointed duties.  It's so much fun to watch!!!  So, while I am sure they will never catch a critter unless it is sick or gets trapped some way in the yard, I love that Bailey tries her best, even though she is hampered at every turn my her 'unique' sister.  (And no, they aren't blood sisters, but they were adopted into the same family!)

Blessings friends!!!  Becky

 Bailey, the hunter!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Busy Week, a vent, and Do You Remember . . .


Hi Folks! Sorry I haven't posted anything this week, but my mother was with us from Sunday afternoon until Wednesday afternoon because of her first cataract surgery on Monday. And we will repeat the same schedule next week so she can have the second cataract surgery. It's hard to get away and create with her here, because she wants to know where I am and what I'm doing every minute, and if I'm not doing what she thinks I should be doing, she tries to do it herself - which makes me crazy! I mean, I'm 58 y/o and yet she still treats me like I'm 8!!!   So sorry for the vent, but I just had to get it out!  :o)

Anyway, the real reason for this post is to ask you . . .

"Do You Remember This?" . . .

Well, the secret is out, and you can find out all about this project, and see pictures of the finished product on my crafting blog . . . Camellia Cottage Designs.  There is also more info there about Unscripted Sketches 'Breast Cancer Awareness' Blog Hop, and some cool prizes you can win if you care to join in on the blog hop!

Blessings, Friends!  Becky


Friday, October 8, 2010

It's Fall, Y'all!!!

Hi Folks!  I've been doing a bit of cleaning and spiffing up around my house the last few days.  It's going to be a busy weekend (The Ellijay, Georgia Apple Festival on Saturday with my friend Phyllis, and kayaking on Lake Rabun on Sunday) and then on the way  home from kayaking we'll go by and pick up my mother and bring her home with us.  She is having her first cataract surgery on Monday, and has to start drops in her eyes on Sunday night, so we thought it would work better if she just came home with us and we go straight to the surgery center from here on Monday. 

Anyway, I've been spiffing up the place a bit, and had absolutely zero intentions of doing any fall decorating until I saw this . . .

What is it about a freshly polished dining room table that calls out for something pretty? 

Now, if you were reading my blog last year, I told you about my lack of understanding all about the halloween thing.  I just don't get it!  And that post went over like a lead balloon, with a resounding thud of silence.

But if you want to talk about celebrating the harvest; acknowledging God's bountiful blessings and celebrating that, or just celebrating the beauty of this 'golden' season . . . well, I'm all over that one!  But for decorations, I want things that highlight the positive things about fall.  Last year I had just lost my Dad and had been sick, and I just didn't do much at all.  The year before that, I did a little, but couldn't find some of my favorite decorations - now where did they go???  Then, after Christmas, when I was putting away the tons of decorations up in the attic, I found a bin that I 'thought' held old fake pine garlands, but instead held my favorite fall decorations.  Hooray! 

So yesterday I climbed up into the attic (yes, all by myself - shhhhh!  don't tell hubby, that's a no-no!) and brought down my big blue bin full of fall decorations.  The ceramic pumpkins, pierced metal and beaded pumpkins, too.  My turkey salt and pepper shakers, along with the little boy and girl pilgrim salt and pepper shakers.  There were a oouple of silk flower arrangements, and wood things, too.

I really wanted to use my hand blown cloche, so I pulled out a vintage cake plate, put the ceramic pumpkins under the dome, and tied a copper ribbon with some wooden leaves onto the knob.  Then I placed the treasured salt and pepper shakers on either side.  My table was done!

Then I took a big basket with some pine cones left from last year, and added a cornucopia silk flower arrangement and a sign I painted a few years ago.  That went on the hearth in front of the fireplace!  Those are some of the prettiest pine cones I've ever seen!  We picked them up at a WMA area south of Savannah last year.  We hope to go back and get more of them this year when we go at the end of November.

On the left side of the fireplace I placed the punched metal pumpkins . . .

and to the right side went Mr. Crowe . . .

and a stuffed pumpkin.  

And that's as far as I got!  I was decorating as I cleaned, and my vacuum stopped sucking dirt, so I didn't get finished!  And here I sit, talking to you instead of taking my vacuum apart to see why it won't suck up the stuff it's supposed to suck up!

I'll try to share the remaining 2-3 pics with you AFTER I get the cleaning and decorating finished, but right now . . . well, right now I'm off to take my vacuum cleaner apart!  Wish me luck!  Blessings, Becky


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bouquet of Friendship

Hi Folks!  Just a quick post to direct your attention to my other BLOG where you can find more info about this lovely . . .

. . . wall hanging that I recently made.  Normally I would post my fabric crafts here on Hearth and Home, but am trying to move all crafting/creative posts to my Camellia Cottage Designs blog.  I'd love you to visit me over there!  Thanks, Becky

Monday, October 4, 2010

Purple Palooza III

This past Saturday I had the incredible opportunity to participate in a local community festival called "Purple Palooza III".  I learned about it through Stick it 2 Cancer on facebook, met the lady in charge, Cathy Cathey (and yes, that's her real name!) at a Farmgirls meeting, and told her I was interested in having a booth to sell my vintage and hand made treasures.  When she told me the fee was $100 I declined, saying I just couldn't afford to pay that much, not knowing if I would make it back.  She said "Becky, I understand.  This economy it bad, and people just don't have the extra money.  I will waive the fee for you.  We are sisters after all!"  (She meant sisters in the 'universal, non-related' way).  So because of her kindness, I was able to have my booth.

Purple Palooza was started by Cathy's employers Medica Forsyth, a medical imaging practice, as an attempt to give back to their community.  This year, the beneficiaries of the festival were Stick It 2 Cancer, and through them, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Georgia.  Stick it 2 Cancer was founded by John and Tori Westmoreland after John was diagnosed with Lymphoma.  All at one time, they were trying to grow their business, raise money for cancer research, AND fight lymphoma.  They are an incredible family, so please go read their story by following the link above.

The festival was so great!  There were @ 80 booths - many of them doctors or medical services, and many of those doing health screenings.  There was a food court with BBQ, subs, ice cream and much more.  There were moonwalks and other 'inflated' activities for kids, a petting zoo, pony rides, face painting, and a very popular cake walk!  There was also live entertainment!  A trash can drum band from a local high school, a children's group, a barber shop choir, and even more that I can't remember.  There were lots of people, but no one was buying vintage and handmade!  After expenses I cleared about $45 - about 1/3 of what I've done at other shows.  It was just a different clientele, and that's okay.  I did sell 3 aprons, the old suitcase, an altered journal, a postcard, and a vintage flour sifter.

Before I go, I wanted to share a picture of my new sign that I made for this sale.  I was really {REALLY} proud of how it turned out!

I used a 6" x 24" board, scrapbooking papers and embellishments, ball fringe and tulle for the hanger.  Gotta love that Cricut!!!  I also made a name tag for myself that matched the label on the left hand end of the sign, but had a lavender and white checked bow on the bottom.

Well, that was my trip to Purple Palooza.  Even though I doubt she'll read this, I would really like to thank Cathy Cathey for this opportunity, and the whole Westmoreland family for what they are doing to raise money for Leukemia and Lymphoma research.  You folks all ROCK!!!  Now, please enjoy the slide show of pics from my booth and the festival.  Hope to be back soon, Becky


Sunday, September 26, 2010


So, I told you a few days ago about the new toys that hubby and I got, and how excited we were to get out and give them a try.  We took them over to a park on Lake Lanier (10-12 miles from here) on Wednesday afternoon.  Put them together.  Pumped them up.  And paddled.  Despite thunder in the distance and dark clouds all around, we gave them a good test ride.

The first time blowing them up wasn't too bad - once we had found where all 5 of the valves were!  The foot pumps are really great, and it didn't take very long.  There is even a little gauge that you put up to a matching gauge on the side of the kayak and check to make sure they have enough air in them.

We paddled around a bit, trying to get the feel of them and get used to the two ended paddle.  Each of us had a problem, though.  Hubby's kayak insisted in going around in clockwise circles, and mine insisted in going around in counter-clockwise circles.  We couldn't figure it out!

When we were about ready to close up shop and head home (thunder getting nearer) I had pulled my kayak up on the bank, with it leaning down toward the water and I had a huge, brilliant flash of inspiration!

Or you might prefer to call it a DUH! moment!  As I looked back toward my kayak, leaning on the bank, I could see the two 'skegs' (fin type thingies) on bottom, and they were on the end I had been using as the front end of the kayak!

I had been paddling my kayak in the wrong direction.  The.Whole.Time!  Darn!  Funniest thing was - so had hubby!

So, thunder or no, I was going to get back out there and try my kayak again, going in the right direction this time.  I explained to hubby, and he was right behind me.  Wow, what a difference it made!  As I told hubby "if we had brains we'd be dangerous"!  And we paddled around for a few minutes, then got out, deflated the kayaks and headed for home - the thunder was getting closer, and we know what happens to people who stand under trees beside a large body of water when there's a storm coming through!

Fast forward to Saturday.  Hubby worked a few hours, then came home (about 9:30) and I had most everything ready to roll.  We headed north to Nantahala Lake, a beautiful mountain lake (Duke Power Co.) northwest of Franklin, NC.  We had wanted to take our canoe up there for a long time, but strapping the canoe on top of the car was so much trouble!  So now we have the kayaks - easy peasy - and we were off!

We were watching storm clouds overhead, but there was zero thunder, so we decided to head on out.  We got them inflated in no time (10-12 minutes), slathered on the sun screen, and went down to the ramp.

It was SO MUCH FUN!!!  I felt much more comfortable this time, and totally enjoyed seeing the lake from on the water instead of the bank.  It is a very clear mountain lake, most of the shoreline is what I call 'table' rock, or large sheets of rock that go down into the water.  Mossy banks and mountain laurel bushes and evergreens went up the mountainsides from the water.  It is absolutely beautiful! 

Oh, and I even saw a tiny bit of this . . .

Color!  Red leaves.  Not a lot, but there were a few, promising the fall season's approach. 

That's hubby, paddling along.  He's getting much more confident, which is a great thing.  When he really paddles hard, he goes off and leaves me in his dust er, wake.  There were lots of people bringing in their boats for the winter.  Like many places, they let this lake's levels go lower in winter, and that leaves the docks of the homeowners around the lake on dry land.  One guy came up on a jet ski and started asking us questions about the kayaks.  He was very nice, and we enjoyed chatting with him while he waited for whoever was coming to get there with the trailer for the jet ski.

We had such a great time - did I say that already???  Sorry, but we did!  We have talked a lot this weekend, and can see ourselves getting out a lot more and doing what we love.  We didn't need to spend the money, but if you don't put yourself out there some times and do new and different things, you'll end up in a bigger rut than ever.

If you look at the picture above, there was a heavy rain cloud hanging over the lake.  We were across the cove from the boat dock where we had put in, and we headed back across to get in the car, but the rain got to us about half way across, so we started paddling harder and it started raining harder.  We laughed all the way across!  It was a lot of fun, even though we got pretty wet.  We looked around and the lake was pretty much socked in with clouds and rain, so we packed up and headed south.

We took some new roads and found some cool new places to visit.  I've lived in Georgia all my life, and we've ridden the roads a lot, and it is always fun to find a new route that shows us things we've never seen before.  Well, I need to go start dinner.  What was your last adventure, or when is your next one planned?  If you don't do it, no one else can do it for you!  Get out and do something fun this week!  Blessings, Becky


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Big Ideas ? ? ?

I am an idea person!  I think I get that from my Daddy - he was always coming up with some big new idea and many times they never came to fruition.  (Like Father Like Daughter!)  But I also got a huge dose of resourcefulness from my Mama, so that's cool, too.  Put the two together - Ideas+ Resourcefulness = ???

My artistic side is always coming up with some great idea, which is super cool - right?  But do you know how many of those great ideas are either trashed by now, or are stuck in a drawer somewhere waiting for the inspiration to come and tell me how to finish it???  Yeah - lots - tons maybe!  But that's okay!  I try to learn from these situations and move on.  But still . . .

So when SarahKaye, the team leader over at Unscripted Sketches (I did tell you I made the Design Team, right?  Yeah, I thought so!), encouraged us to make projects based on the sketches OTHER THAN cards, well my mind went to racing!  I mean, cards are my comfort zone, but I also like doing other things, and I came up with the idea of making a fabric wall hanging based on one of the sketches.  Cool, right?  Hmmm, we'll see!

Anyway, we get the sketches a few weeks in advance, in fact we have all the sketches through October, so we can work on them and have them submitted in plenty of time.  In case you haven't seen one, you can see the sketch and all the DT's cards HERE.

So anyway, SarahKaye was encouraging us to do something OTHER THAN cards based on the sketches and I said "Oh yeah, I can make a wall hanging!" and SarahKaye said "Fantastic".  Duh!  So here I am trying to make a wall hanging based on one of the upcoming sketches, searching for ideas. 

Months ago I bought some of the Avery Printable Fabric for ink jet printers, and ever since it came I have TRIED to get something to print on them, to no avail.  Yesterday, just on a whim, I decided to try again, and do you believe it?  It worked!  So I printed out a pretty bird, a lovely butterfly, a pretty background fabric, and a verse of my very own.  And it worked!  Why, after all these months?  Whatever - it worked and I'm so happy!

So now I've got a theme, and a verse and a sketch (I picked the one for 10/16 when we are celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month) and no excuses for not making it work!  We shall see how it all comes out!

I'm thinking I will lightly stuff the bird and butterfly, with a stitch here and there for dimension, and then embellish it with buttons and beads and ribbons and such.  Tell me what you think, please!

And then there was the OTHER big idea!  And I didn't have this one alone - oh no!  Hubby and I share the goodness of this idea!  You see, we have had a canoe for about 5 years.  It - we thought - was "our" mid life crisis little red convertible that we bought in our 53'd year.  And we love it - truly we do!  But the logistics of getting it from point A to point B and back to point A again is just such a chore, that we haven't used it as much as we would have liked.

For a couple of years now we have been talking round and round about getting kayaks.  One for each of us so we would be independent, and have equal opportunities for views and taking the lead.  We have looked at hard shell kayaks, and all this time Hubby has been talking about inflatable kayaks, but the only ones I had seen were thin plastic - kind of like a kid's raft, and that didn't work for me.  

Last week while we were on vacation, we made a run up to Murphy, NC so that I could visit a quilting store and a stamping/scrapping store, and while I was in the quilting store, hubby was next door in an outfitters store, talking to the guy who worked there about inflatable kayaks.  They had some on display that I had a chance to look at, and they ARE cool!  And the guy said he preferred the inflatables to the hard shell kayaks.

So, I got online and we found what appeared to be a pretty good deal, and we ordered one of these . . . 


 . . . for each of us!  They deflate to fit in the bag you see in the picture, they come with seats, a pump and paddles, and they weigh only 26 pounds!  Very do-able for me to carry mine on my own with no help.  We already have the PFD's (personal flotation device - or life vest) so we are ready to roll, or float!

They are due to arrive TODAY, and if they get here by 2:00 pm, Hubby will leave work early and we are taking them over to Lake Lanier (10 miles from here) and give them a christening ride!    And we are planning on taking them out to two different lakes this weekend - on Saturday after Hubby works for a few hours, and on Sunday after we make our first visit to a church in the area.

If, and that's a big IF, these things turn out to be all we think they are and that we want them to be, there will be no more excuses for not getting out on the water more often!  And I am super excited!  As I told some of my friends on Facebook (who strongly encouraged me to be careful) I may be old, but I'm not dead YET!  When I was younger, I would never have thought of doing this, but now - it's a no brainer!  It's fun, great upper body exercise, and healthy for body and soul!

So, tell me what you think!  About both of my big ideas!  And I will definitely keep you posted on both of them!  Blessings folks, Becky