Monday, August 22, 2011

A Quick Update . . .

Hello!  Thought I would stop by and see if anyone was still hanging around here at this old blog of mine!  Things are fine.  Today is hubby's birthday and we went out for a nice Italian dinner tonight to celebrate.  As for what's been happening since I last posted:

  • I found out one of my cards will be published in the Jan/Feb 2012 issue of Paper Crafts Magazine
  • I am new Design Team member for another card making challenge - Alphabet Challenge Blog
  • Several of my cards have been featured on other blogs
  • We went camping at Moccasin Creek State Park
  • We took a fun train ride with friends Sue and Tom
  • Mama and I drove to Delano, TN to a wonderful Amish community and bought veggies at their farm market
  • Friend Phyllis and I drove up to Mentone, AL to check out the southern end of "The World's Longest Yard Sale", then had a great lunch at the Wildflower Cafe.
  • I've done bunches of crafting

And things that are coming up:
  • I have three craft shows coming up . . . the first 2 weekends of October, and the first weekend of November - I will be sharing a booth with my friend, Sue
  • We are going camping at a nearby campground in a couple of weeks to try out our new tent
  • I am taking Mama to the same campground in Oct. so we can spend some time together and she can spend time fishing.
  • We hope to go back to Grayton Beach, camping, in late October or early November

I am doing well, just spending as much time working on projects for challenges and for the craft shows as I can.  You can always check on me over at my other blog.  Thanks for stopping by!  Blessings, Becky


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

All Is Well . . .

Hello!

I know, I know . . . I am still the worst blogger EVER!  Right?

But I just wanted to let you know that all is well!  I haven't been sick, I haven't been away, I've just been busy!

Lately, the last couple of months or so, I have been in a very creative place, and most any time you will find me in my little 'studio' playing with paper, ribbon, buttons, glue, ink, etc.   And that makes me very happy!  Whenever things are stressful, exhausting, boring, depressing . . . I make my way to my little room and the rest of the world goes away and I am content.

One biggie thing that will soon be taking up more of my time is that I hope to start another blog of a totally different kind!  It is Moonflowers and Morning Glories, a cardmaking challenge blog focusing on NOT using stamped images on your cards.  You can read more about this by following the 'other blog' link below and reading my notes in the right hand column.  I have been thinking about this for a long time, did a couple of polls on my crafting blog, and already have one design team member waiting in the wings.  This is very exciting, yet nerve-wracking for me . . and I'm loving it!

And I haven't been neglecting my OTHER BLOG, so if you want to see what I've been doing you can check that one out!

So, after much consideration and thought and much guilt over neglecting my duties here, I've decided to put this blog way back on the back burner for a while!  When something like this becomes a chore, and no longer a joy, it is time to make a change.  If something happens that I want to share, I'll share it with you first right here!  But don't get concerned if I'm not around much!  I will leave all of my blog links right here, and will continue to read my favorite blogs, I just won't be posting for a while, and I hope you will understand.

For now, and until we meet again . . . wishing you many blessings, Becky

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Gist . . .



I know, I know . . . I am a very bad blogger!  But you know, there are those times when there is just so much going on, that blogging has to take a back seat!  I can't believe it's been more than a month since I posted, and I apologize, but I'm not sorry!  Here's the 'gist' of what's been going on here at Camellia Cottage . . .



April also brings 'busy-ness' . . .

In April, we spent two wonderful weekends camping on our beautiful Lake Lanier, I had a Sunshine Sisters Farmgirls meeting, my birthday, a visit with an out of town aunt who was passing through on her way back 'up north', and on April 30th, we headed south for a week of fun and sun on Florida's 'Emerald Coast'.  And of course in the midst of that I had house stuff, laundry, a vet appointment for the dogs, a doctor's appointment for my mother, and other 'normal' things.  And in the middle of that I was in a very creative card-making mode, so I spent as much time as possible making cards.



We got home from our vacation on Saturday night.  Sunday we unloaded the truck and camper, got the camper in the garage, and I made a run to Lowes and then bought some much needed groceries.  Today, it's been all about the laundry . . . trust me, ALL about the laundry!  :o)



The highlights of our trip?  Well, the best part was just being 'away together'.  Walking on the beach - especially at sunset, riding the tandem bike down to Seaside, a day trip to the Naval Air Station at Pensacola and visiting the Pensacola lighthouse and the National Museum of Naval Aviation - both on the NAS base.  And two nights we took the tandem bike to Seaside for dinner - I had salads from Modica Market and hubby had BBQ from Barefoot BBQ, two converted airstream trailers right on Hwy 30A - very special!

That's me - kayaking on Western Lake, a rare coastal dune lake right on the beach!

Oh, and I've been contacted by a couple of people wanting to know if we had any damage from the bad storms in Georgia.  Thankfully, no!  The night of the storms I stayed up until about 2 am, watching the local weather folks and following the storms on radar online until I felt it was safe to go to bed.  The nearest damage to us was on Lake Burton, an hour and a half or so from here.  The worst was a couple of hours away in Resaca and Ringgold, Georgia.  It is really awful - the damage - and we are so grateful that we weren't hit with the bad storms.  One of my dad's best friends house was pretty badly damaged, and one of hubby's customers in Alabama was killed when his home was hit by one of the tornadoes.

The 'girls' LOVE camping!!!  Bessie on the left, and Bailey on right.

So everything is fine here, and hopefully now things will get back to normal and I will be able to get back to the yard sales and estate sales this week.  And I promise to try to be a better blogger, but I'm not making any promises!  Life happens, ya know!



Me, on a sandbar, at the Gulf Islands National Seashore between Pensacola Beach and Navarre Beach.


Blessings folks!  Becky

PS, we have a new 'Little Gifts' blogger and I hope to have her blog added to the roll ASAP!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Losing Time and Finding Treasures!

Wow!  I can't believe it's been two whole weeks since I posted on  here!  I'm sorry friends, and there's no excuse other than I've been busy with other things!

Such as, you ask?

Well, the week before last is mostly a blur, but on Thursday I had to take my Mama to the doctor because she had a 'cold' which turned out to be a sinus/upper respiratory infection and she got a shot in each 'cheek' and a prescription for antibiotics.  She is fine now, thanks!

Then after I took her home I went to visit my friend, Sue, to help her make a card for her great nephew's wedding shower.  We visited the house that they are working on for him and his new bride, and to see her chickens and pigs and to see the baby Rhode Island Red chicks they had just hatched.  Very sweet!  While we were at the nephew's house, we got to take some lumber scraps, so I hope to do some crafty projects with them soon.

Then, on Friday I went to an estate sale in Gainesville - what a bust!  It was just a bunch of well used newer stuff - no treasures for me, so I left there and went in search of yard sales.  I had success at a couple of them, too.  First was a condo where this lady had TONS of stuff!  Apparently she owns or owned a children's party business, and there was lots of things like small games, cotton candy supplies, snow cone supplies, etc.  But what I got was . . .

  • a large bag full of fabric
  • a box full of ribbon
  • three vinyl, flannel backed tablecloths

and all for $7.  The tablecloths were like new, and I've seen the big green ones for $7 at Walmart, so I think I got a great deal!

Then I stopped at another yard sale and found the deal/treasure of the day . . .



Three vintage canning jars, two of them the aqua blue Ball jars, the third a Hazel Atlas 1/2 gallon jar!  Glass wise they are all in great shape, but the metal clamps are very rusty, and part of one is missing.  And only the clear Hazel Atlas jar has the lid, but they are so pretty and will look great sitting in my kitchen window!

Here is a slideshow of that week's goodies . . .




Place your cursor (mouse arrow) over the picture and it will tell a little bit about each item.

Then, last week  I was in a crazy good creative mode, so I did projects for the next month's assignments over at Unscripted Sketches.  Oh, and if you haven't visited over there yet, this is the time because we are celebrating our second blogiversary and 100th sketch with some great giveaways!

On Friday I left home @ 6:40 and drove over an hour to Dunwoody, GA for an estate sale I'd seen online on Thursday.  It was amazing!  This lady had hundreds of patterns, hundres of yards of fabric, tons and tons of lace, buttons, yarn and other crafting products.  I got some GORGEOUS ribbon, lace, some pretty hankies, some buttons, etc.  

After I left the estate sale, I started looking for yard sales.  There weren't a lot of them out there on Friday, but I did find one that made me very happy!  I had been looking for old pillowcases to use for making old aprons and using for fabric for other projects, and I found a stack of very pretty pillowcases, and, the deal/treasure of the day . . .



It is a gorgeous barkcloth tablecloth - in all my favorite bright colors!  It was dingy and I actually thought it was beige until I washed it and soaked it for a day in oxiclean, and then I found out it was actually white!  Most of the stains came out, and I am very happy!  This will be on my kitchen table very soon!

Here is a slide show from Friday's treasure hunting . . .




So, let's see, I guess that's about it!  This weekend we just messed around the house, looked for and bought a new grill, and went out to eat.  Although we could use the money from hubby working overtime, I am really enjoying having him at home on Saturdays.

And this week is just as busy!  Tomorrow I'm going shopping and out to lunch with my friend, Phyllis.  She is on her last spring break from school before she retires in June.  And then Thursday I'm going to pick up my mother and take her to a restaurant to meet my dad's two sisters for a late breakfast and visit.  One of his sisters spends the winter in S. Florida and the rest of the year in either VA or NH, and she is on her way north.  And then this weekend we are going camping on Lake Lanier, just a few miles from here.

So if you don't hear from me for a while, never fear!  I am doing fine, just being busy with life.  And it feels so good!

Blessings friends, and Be Joyful Always!  Becky

Saturday, March 26, 2011

52 Flea Giveaway!

Just a quick post to let you know about Laura's giveaway over at her blog 52 Flea!  She's giving away a free canvas print (your photo) to one lucky US winner, or a copy of Artful Blogging to an international reader.  Please go check out her lovely blog!

Example of canvas print you could win!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Camping, Treasures, and Ohio!

Camping - Sorry it's been so long since a post!  Last week was a busy one . . . we decided on Tuesday that since the weekend was supposed to be beautiful, we ought to go camping.  So we did!  We went to the beautiful Richard B. Russell State Park near Elberton - one of our favorite Georgia State Parks.  And we camped in the tent, which is a switch for us!  Due to high gas prices, we are trying to take the camper only on certain trips, and branching out into taking a tent as often as we can.  And it was lots of fun!

Saturday was a beautiful day, and we pretty much just sat in the sun and dozed.  In between bouts of dozing I was crocheting on dish cloths, but other than that we were pretty lazy.  Late afternoon we took the kayaks out into the lake for our only paddle of the weekend, and it was great!  The only meals I cooked were breakfast on both Saturday and Sunday - coffee in the percolator, link sausages and pancakes - and it was delicious!  We were having cold fried chicken for dinner on Saturday night and suddenly the sky started getting dark, and we began to hear rumbles of thunder, so we rushed around and put anything that didn't need to get wet in the back of the truck.  By the time we had everything secured, walked to the bath house for a potty run and got to the tent, the rain began.  And we had quite a summer electrical storm - in March!  You know we have to pay for the beautiful, warm, unseasonable weather some way, right?  But we stayed toasty warm and dry in the tent.  And we had the small TV and cable, so we watched an NCIS marathon while it stormed.  And it really was a great weekend!

Treasures - On Friday morning, before we left for the campground, I walked around the bend to a house in our subdivision that was having a garage sale.  I had ridden by there on Thursday and they were setting up (but not open yet) so I knew things looked promising!  First thing I found was in a box marked FREE - which is always fun!  I got this . . .





It's from 1994, and it's in really good shape except the cover needs a good cleaning.  You know I love learning about my birds!

And next I found these . . .


I'm almost certain the one on left is a snuff glass, and the one on right is a Bama jelly glass.  She had them marked for 10 cents each, but when I checked out I got her to drop that so they were free - yippee!!!  I really love snuff glasses, and have several of them - they are great for juice.

And next I found this . . .


The color doesn't show up very well here, but it is a pretty soft pink with gold veins and trim.  It's about 4 to 5 inches across.  Here is a picture of the makers marks . . .


I've googled and looked for marks, but have not been able to identify the maker of this piece.  I will have this one up for sale soon, so if you are interested, let me know!  It will look wonderful in shabby pink decor!

And I also found this plate . . .


Don't you just love this dinner plate?  Here are the marks . . .




I already have a salad plate that I have turned into a pedestal plate that matches this, so as soon as I can find the right piece, I will be turning this into a cake plate.  They will both be up for sale on Myrtle -n - Me eventually.

And, the real treasure, and I think - for right now - this one is staying with me!!!  It is just beautiful . . .



I think it is considered flow blue, although the colors range more from aqua to teal.


It has a lovely, delicate floral pattern.


This is the largest of the marks, but I haven't been able to find much on this - I'm thinking it may be the store that the plate was manufactured for rather than who made it, because . . .



I was able to identify the marks above and below.  The plate was made by Furnival sometime between 1878 and 1888.  The stamped 26 and 15 on the lower picture have yet to be identified!




Here is a view of all of the marks - and there are 5 of them!


The plate is in excellent condition, and that small crack appears to have been created in the firing, because it is glazed and there is no sign that it has expanded.  And it really is gorgeous!

So that was all of my treasures from Friday.  I can't wait to get out and about this coming Friday and see what kind of treasures I can find!

Ohio - We are seriously considering taking a trip back to one of our favorite vacation spots this summer.  We went to Ohio about 4 to 5 years ago and just loved it!  We have found a state park - Salt Fork State Park - where we think we will be camping.  If we go, it will be some time in July most likely.  And why am I telling you this ???  Well, because if you know the east central part of Ohio (Amish country, Hocking Hills, etc.) I would love to know of places to visit!  Antiques, fabrics, glassware, food (both restaurants and markets), beautiful places, you know - just great places to find treasures or fun things to do!  I truly would appreciate any input you can give!

Oh, and back to the camping trip.  I only took a couple of pictures, and they were Saturday night when I was watching TV and crocheting while I waited for the storm to pass.  Bailey wasn't happy with the storm and stayed as close to me as she could until the thunder stopped.  She is our oldest little girl, but she is still my baby doll!  Take a peek . . .


She really was not a 'happy camper' that night!  And even when the storm ended and I put out the light and laid down in the bed, she stayed right beside me under the covers all night long!

So that is about all for today!  I hope you have a wonderful day, full of blessings and little gifts!  Be Joyful Always, Becky

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What's Wrong With These Pictures???

I took a little stroll around the yard today, and I am quite concerned.  Why?  Well, because of this . . .



 . . . the vinca in the side yard is blooming, and . . .


 . . . and the old fashioned spearmint is coming up all over . . .



 . . . the wood poppies, and . . .


 . . . the foxgloves are already way up . . .


 . . . the little flowering quince that I started from little more than a twig . . .



 . . . the sweet rocket . . .



 . . . and the hydrangeas . . .



 . . . the red pixie lilacs . . .



 . . . and the 'old fashioned' lilacs . . .


 . . . the Chinese snowball . . .



 . . . the spirea, or what we always called 'bride's wreath' . . .


 . . . and the shasta daisies . . .

are all coming up and even beginning to bloom!  So, what IS wrong with these pictures???  The date!  It's only mid-March and we are still about 5 weeks away from Easter!  Here in northern Georgia, we can still have a hard, killing freeze until Easter or just beyond.  So, here come all these tender perennials popping up, putting out, and blooming.  Temps this weekend are going to be in the low 80's . . . IN MARCH!  So while I'm loving the warm temps, and everything being so pretty and green,  underneath the enjoyment lies a nice sized chunk of FEAR!  Fear that comes with knowing how things roll around here, and that while it's really nice right now, there are still about 5 weeks or so before we are really out of the woods temperature wise.  But what are you gonna do other than wait and hope and  have all the sheets and blankets and towels ready to take out and throw over the roses and the hydrangeas, etc. should a hard freeze be predicted.

That said, I want to share a couple of special jewels in my garden!  First up is this gorgeous thing . . .


 . . . it's a tulip magnolia, and it's about 6 years old, and this year it has really come into it's own!  It's about 10 feet tall and 7-8 feet across, and just FULL of gorgeous fuscia / purple blooms!  Here are some close-ups . . .




Isn't it beautiful?  And it smells so sweet!  I bought this from my Daddy when he was selling plants, and it was in a 3 gallon pot.  I think he is tending my garden these days, and that gives me a sweet comfort.  I know he is here, I just can't see or touch him.  Sorry, but all of a sudden I'm getting weepy, and I don't do that so often any more.  I still miss him, but I know he is so much better off now, not in pain any longer.  It was a year and a half last Saturday since he died, and I can't believe it's been that long.

Now for the next treasure, and it may not look like much to you, but to me, it is such a treasure!!!


This little thing is a flowering almond.  My parents planted it's parent at least 50 to 55 years ago in their yard.  I have many fond memories of the sweet, soft pink blooms on that small bush.  Over the years it had hung on, but wasn't doing much; a few blooms, but it wasn't healthy or flourishing.  About 3-4 years ago we passed down some furniture to my parents, and when hubby backed the truck up to the front door to unload it he ran over my precious flowering almond!  A piece broke off, with a bit of a root, and I brought it home and stuck it out in the big island.  For the last few years it has just hung on - not growing much and last year it had one tiny bloom.  But this year, although it is still only about 10 inches tall, it is leafing out, full of tiny pink buds, AND it has put out a baby off to the side!  I was so excited when I found it earlier today!  Oh, and the parent plant in my mother's yard?  It is doing better, too!  So maybe getting run over helped in some way, but I wouldn't advise trying it yourself!




You may think I am crazy for 'treasuring' plants, but I grew up in a family of gardeners.  My grandmother had a large yard and it was FULL of all kinds of flowers and shrubs.  Her hydrangeas were famous in the neighborhood, and she had some of the most beautiful lilacs!  She and my grandfather lived about 1/4 mile from us, and back then it was a dirt road.  I would walk down to their house and pick flowers and pretend I was a bride and make bouquets of beautiful flowers.  My dad could grow ANYTHING!  He had ten green fingers and ten green toes!  People would come from all over to ask his advice about how to plant and grow and prune things, and would even bring him cuttings of plants they wanted him to propagate for them.

So having heirloom plants . . . offspring of plants handed down from generations before, well, it is such a special way to remember times gone by!  Now tell me, do YOU have any heirloom plants that came from family members?  I'd love to hear about them!

Blessings friends, and Be Joyful Always!  Becky

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Treasure Hunting Season . . . . has officially begun!!!

Yes, finally, after months of down time, the treasure hunting season has once again gotten under way!  (By the way, I call visiting yard sales, estate sales, flea markets, etc. treasure hunts, because that's what they really are!)  On Saturday, on our way to Sue's house for the Sunshine Sisters March gathering, Phyllis and I saw numerous yard sale signs, and while we didn't have time to stop, we knew we would  be stopping at some on the way home!  The gathering was great, by the way, and we now have five (5) members - wahoo!

Anyway, the gathering ran longer than expected, and by the time we headed for home the very large subdivision sale had ended.  But I had a secret!  I had been wanting to visit Mr. Boling's 'Barn Sale' for a long time, and the time was right!  I took Phyllis in the back way, through the winding and hilly narrow road that led to the 'barn', which was really a chicken house.  I had been there a year or so ago, and I wanted to see if he still had a treasure I didn't buy that day.  And he did!  Two of them . . .




I know there is only one in the picture, but I got two of them - for $1 each!  They are very old, heavy glass saucers that were used for watering chickens, primarily baby chicks.  You put it on top of a jar of water and flip it over.  Water runs into the saucer and stops when it gets up to a certain line, but as the chicks drink the water, more goes into the saucer.  I remember these from my childhood - we had a chicken house that burned down only weeks before my sixth birthday, and I remember getting loads of new baby chicks in and putting these out with water for them.  I also got this . . .




It's an old 'Black Draught' syrup bottle.  I loved it for the color and . . . .




 . . . the slim size.  It is narrow and fits perfectly on my window sill in the breakfast room.  And doesn't it display these . . .



beautiful camellias from the bush beside our chimney just beautifully?  Our home is Camellia Cottage, after all!  This variety is from Monrovia Nurseries and is called 'April Remembered'.  I love it - very, very much!  Oh, and I paid 50 cents for the bottle.

And I also got this . . . .


 . . . a very sweet vintage pillow case.  I've been looking for a special one to use to make an apron.  I found THIS tutorial online and want to try it out!  I think this will make a very sweet apron to add to my collection!



And I also got these . . .





 . . . two very sweet feed sacks or flour sacks.  They are kind of faded from washings, but are vrery soft and pretty.  One of them had two pretty bad spots on them, but I've washed them twice, and soaked them in hot water with oxi-clean for about 24 hours, and all that is left is a faint orange marking and you really have to look for it, so I'm really pleased.  Oh, and I got the pillowcase and two feed sacks for 50 cents each.

So I spent a huge $4 at Mr. Boling's Barn Sale!  And my friend Phyllis bought me something there, but I'll save that to share with you another day.

Anyway, once again we headed home and saw a yard sale.  It was pretty pitiful looking, but we got out and looked anyway, and I found a treasure there, too!  Here's what I got . . .



Two pretty china cups; the first one (l) is Royal Devon bone china, is a very pretty shape, and will probably very soon become a pretty pin cushion.  Maybe?  I really think it's cute!  So it's a toss up as to whether I'll make it into a pincushion or keep it!




The one on the right has this mark . . .



 . . .a shamrock, laurel, and the word Japan.  Does anyone know anything about this marking?  If so, I'd love to know whatever you can tell me!  And I got both of these for another 50 cents.  Love that!

So I spent a grand total of $4.50 and got some pretty cool treasures.  But the best treasure I've gotten recently was this . . . . .




Remember a couple of weeks ago when I lost two computers to a virus?  Well, the first died on Thursday, the second died on Friday, and I was having a very bad day - until this came in the mail.  And this is how it was packaged . . .



A little burlap bag tied up with a pack of sweet n sour smarties, a sweet label telling how my goodie was made just for me.  What is it?  Well . . . .



 . . . it's my Mary Jane's Farm Sisterhood necklace!  My birthday is in April, and I told hubby this was what I wanted, and he told me to go ahead and order it (and I did)!  It is beautiful, heavy, and  has my sister # - 1941 - on the front, along with a pink rose with a bit of glitter.



The back side has a very cute farmgirl image and the words Mary Jane's Farm.




I love it, and have worn it almost ever since it came.  To get a sisterhood necklace you must be a member of the Mary Jane's Farm sisterhood, but Elaine makes all kinds of very sweet charms similar to this.  You can check them out at her website.

So, not only did I receive a treasure that was very special to me, I also bought some great treasures in the first official weekend of treasure hunting.  What a fun weekend!  Now it's your turn!  What kind of treasures have YOU found lately!

Blessings friends, and don't forget to Be Joyful Always!  Becky