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


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"What I Did On Vacation"

Well, we've been lazy.  We've gone riding.  We've played dominoes and skip-bo.  We've watched TV and watched the waves ripple on the lake.  Mama and Wayne have fished, but haven't had any luck so far.  And I've been working on a few little goodies.  I have a show coming up in a few weeks where I'll be selling handmade and vintage treasures, so I need to make some new stock for the sale.

These are a few of the flower brooches I've been making . . .

This one is made from 1950's chicken feed sack fabric.  I sewed this one on the machine, and covered the button with the same fabric.  It is about 4" across, maybe a tad more.  The colors are a soft spring green, teal and shades of lavender.

Brown poplin and a fallish print of beige, gold, burgundy, brown and green, with a vintage green button and pinked edges.

A pretty blue, white, yellow and green daisy print fabric, with a center yo-yo made of 1950's chicken feed sack fabric and a vintage white button.

These three are made of a pretty, shiny black cotton with mauve and pink roses and green leaves.  The buttons are vintage as well.  The fourth pic is of how I finish the pins - a scrap of felt, a brass safety pin, and another scrap of felt to hold it on nice and tight.

Do you like these?  Let me know what you think.  I've sold a number of these in different colors, and people seem to like them.  They sell for $5 each.  If you are interested in any of them, let me know, otherwise they will be for sale at the Purple Palooza III in October.

I've also made a few sets of flannel 'coat pocket hand warmers' that you warm up in the microwave and put in your coat pocket for those cold winter days that are on their way.  Maybe I'll show you those next time!  See you later, Becky

Sunday, September 12, 2010


sunshine; nice cool breezes; birds singing; boats on the lake; families laughing and enjoying time together


Yes, we are once again camping!  For the next little while we are stationed at a campground in the beautiful mountains of northern Georgia, and this time Mama is with us for a few days.  She is looking forward to much time sitting on the banks of the lake fishing for 'the big one'!


Why now?  Why this week?  Well, there are several answers to that, but the biggie is easy.  One year ago today, my sweet Daddy was struggling to take his last breath, and about 9:00 pm one year ago, he went home to be in heaven.  No more suffering, no more struggling, no more worries - just well deserved rest and peace!

Hubby - doing what he does best!

We decided this would be a good time to get Mama out of the house and let her fish and enjoy some time away.  So here we are!  And we are very fortunate that a cool front came through last night, so there was rain on the roof while we slept, and about mid-morning the sun burned away the fog and it is a beautiful day!

The girls, enjoying the sunshine!

We are so relaxed this morning it isn't even funny, and that is a wonderful thing!  It's been a busy last few weeks, and hubby's job more stressful than usual, so it is a good time for a break.

My Craft 'Stuff'!

I brought more craft stuff than usual because we are only a couple of hours from home, and we brought both vehicles.  Hubby pulled the camper here and I went by and picked up Mama and all her stuff and we came right behind him.  I even brought my sewing machine, and I may pull it out in a little while - I'm in a sewing mood!

Breakfast Station

We set up a table just next to the camper and that's where the coffee pot stays, along with the toaster oven and such.  It sure takes a lot of morning activity out of the camper and into the more open spaces.

Our canoe 'Red' is sitting by, waiting for her first cruise of this trip.

We look forward to several outings in our canoe called, for obvious reasons, Red.  There is an island around the bend that we want to check out, but we'll probably do that early in the morning before boat traffic gets too heavy.  It's so nice to be out on the water, with nothing but the sound of the water lapping on the side of the canoe, and paddles dipping into the water.  (Another {sigh} here, please!)

Our home away from home!

The View

So here we are, chillin' and relaxing and enjoying some time away from the normal - whatever that is!  And the underlying theme for me is 'joy'!  Yes, today is not a day to be mourning or grieving!  Daddy lived an amazing life, and he fought to live to the very end.  But the last few years were horrible for him!  Pain, weakness, declining health that he didn't understand and inability to do the things he loved was not living!  And now he is in heaven, and he is happy and whole and walking upright (something he hadn't done in a long time) and living like never before.  In fact, he's doing MUCH better than we are here on earth!  So this is a day for rejoicing, and remembering the good memories and how much we loved him and he loved us.

And what better way to do that than be out in the open outdoors that he loved, and enjoying being together.  He's here, too.  I truly believe that he is watching from above and knows we are doing well.  He is probably sitting around chewing the fat with his trucking buddies, or maybe walking the streets of gold with HIS daddy!  And it's all good!  I'll see him again some day, and then we'll never be apart again.  What a blessed promise!

Have a wonderful week, friends!  Becky

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Dream Come True!!!

Did you see it??? That new logo over there to the right? The one that has a header of "I Design For . . . "? Yeah, that one! It's official! For a couple of years now I have had the goal of becoming a design team member for a card making challenge blog or some other card making 'enterprise'. Any number of applications later, and I have finally been chosen to be a member of the design team for . . .

Unscripted Sketches is a sketch challenge blog that issues a new sketch each Saturday that many people will turn into a greeting card based on their own individual take on the sketch. My responsibilities will be to make a card based on each sketch and any 'bonus' challenges, and visit the blogs of card makers who enter their cards in the challenge and leave them encouraging comments about their cards.

This is not a paid job, but it is my dream job! I'll now be doing what I love doing, all while being a member of a team of lovely ladies who share my passion for creating our own little pieces of art, and encouraging other folks in their own artistic efforts. Doesn't that sound like a dream to you?

In upcoming weeks I'll be getting to know the other team members, and learning all the ropes of the Unscripted Sketches organization. I hope to have my first card for the challenge on September 18th, so be sure and check back often! Life is so funny, and God is so good! I felt so good when I was preparing my application for this team, and every other time I have been so nervous and felt I wouldn't make that team.

I feel so blessed to be given this opportunity, and look forward to carrying out my duties with joy and a new level of creativity. Thanks for visiting today! Be back soon, Becky