Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Black Eyed Susan Explosion

This year my black eyed susan's exploded everywhere. In the spring I was so excited to see their serrated edged leaves peaking up through the soil. That was until they were everywhere. I love black eyed susans but not this many.
So I separated some into pots and gave some to my neighbor. Well once they bloomed there were still lots and lots. This variety has small flowers about the size of a quarter, bot like Rudbeckia Goldstrum's which I have some of them too, just they are planted elsewhere. Anyway, there were over 1000 tiny blossoms in my rear bed area. I can't imagine what next year will bring as the seed heads are out there and are starting to dry. I've told the hubby that if they explode again this next year, we will be digging them up and planting them along the side of our driveway on the property we own rurally. We don't live there yet, hopefully one day, but my dream is to line the sides of the driveway with black eyed susans. Until next time...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday's Treasures Featured Artist

My Tuesdays featured artist from It's Better Handmade Guild on Artifre this week is Nancy of Wyvern Designs. I am so far behind in posting these, hopefully I'll catch up soon!
Anyway, back to the featured artist....Nancy began crafting as a young child. Often bugging her mother and sister as they sewed, so they would give her scraps of fabric and lace to fuel her creativity. In high school, Nancy took an art class and decided she wanted to be an artist/craftsman. Nancy says she loves to draw and paint as well as make jewelry. Her current passion right now is to work with polymer clay. She considers herself "A Lack of All Trades...Master of None" as when she sees a new medium or technique, she has to try it.
She currently resides in New England with her husband, 3 children and adorable pup, Odin. Nancy says she loves it there, enjoying all the seasons that part of the country has to offer. Be sure to stop by Nancy's artfire studio to check out her work. She also has a blog and sells on goodsmiths. Until next time...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sandsculptures in the Sand

I wanted to share with you the beautiful sand sculptures that are created each day in the sand at Ocean City, Maryland. It's fascinating to watch them being built and transform into works of art.
The artist always creates sand sculptures based on bible passages. Here are two I took at night....simply beautiful.
He has collection jugs set out for donations. I was very delighted to see that he is still inspired to create and share his work with the visitors of Ocean City. He's been doing this for over 30 years...
Until next time.....

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Some Beach Somewhere

We finally went on our family vacation at the beginning of the month. We took 5 nights and 6 days to go back down the ocean, hon! It seems like forever that we been there and much had changed, including us.
This was the view outside our room. We were beachfront. This hotel use to be right on the beach but years ago, Ocean City did a beach replenishment program and the oceanfront properties on the boardwalk have an ocean wall built along with a widened beach to keep the stormy seas at bay. Our hotel was at the end of the boardwalk and had dunes built in front to protect it, so we were as on the beach as you can get now. Anyway, it was delightful to be able to sit on our balcony and watch and hear the waves. I was worried just how I was going to keep up my daily exercise routine while on vacation, but my family provided the answer. Not being early risers, them not me, I was able to get up and get my exercise in every morning. We went bike riding the first 3 days. Forgot to take a picture on day 1 but it was just a regular bike, so no biggie. The other 2 days I walked the boardwalk from start to finish all 2.5 - 3 miles of it (depends on who you ask as to how long it is!)
For some reason Ian and I decided that we would take Sean with us bike riding. Now Sean doesn't bike ride so the plan was to rent one of the small 3 seater surry bikes and take Sean along. Well when we got to the bike rental place, which was right outside our hotel, they only had larger surries for rent, so we went with that. Well let me tell you, they need all 4 people to peddle any distance and at more than a snail pace. We managed to get about 3/4 down the boardwalk before we had to turn around as it took us 1/2 hour to reach that point. So I really had my work out for the day that day!
Ian and I rode these fun cycles on our third day. They were interesting once you got the hang of how to steer them. We made it from one end of the boardwalk to the other in the hour we had. Sorry the picture is so blurry but forgot to wipe the condensation off the camera lens. Once we returned to the hotel in the morning from my morning exercise, we would get breakfast and then head off to do some serious mini golfing...
and some more....
and there was at least 2 more days of mini golfing...but forgot to take pictures one day. Betcha you can guess who the picture taker in the family is?
We went to the beach and Chip and Ian went boogy boarding. Ian hasn't been since he was 8 years old and then he couldn't go out too far into the water, so this time it was much more fun for him.
Sean and I vegged out on the beach for a bit. Sean built sand castles in the sand while I watched the boys boogy boarding.
We ate at lots of our favorite places in Ocean City and found lots of new favorites.
or should I say, the boys ate and I took pictures....
Best caramel corn ever! Well I did eat plenty and some things I probably shouldn't have, but I did try to be good and skipped the ice cream at Dumser's. My kids use to call it dumpster when they were small as they couldn't remember it's name all the time.
We played skeeball and went bowling....
Ian bought a stunt kite and went kite flying...
Sorry the picture isn't clearer. Ian learned pretty quickly had to make his kite do what he wanted. Soon he had other people asking for his advice on their kite issues!
Our vacation time went faster than we wanted but all in all we had great time and the perfect weather...
Can't wait to go back next year to visit again. Until next time....

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tuesday's Treasures Featured Artist

Ok, so I stink at keeping up with blogging....hoping to get back on track and catch up with posting the featured artist from my Artfire group and just life in general. The last month and a half a lot has gone on....some bad, some good....guess you can just say life, really. Ok, so back to today's post. My featured artist this week is Caty Ann's Creations on Artfire. Cathy is a jewelry artist and has been working at her craft for the last 7 years. This busy mom and grandmother hails from North Western Ohio.
Cathy first started making jewelry for herself and family members. Soon after she began offering her wares for sale. She currently sells through her own website, on artfire and has a zibbet shop. Cathy has been selling online since 2008 after surviving stage 3 breast cancer or as she puts it, she kicked cancers butt! Gotta love her outlook! Anyway, Cathy also has a blog where she features other artists as well as her own work. Be sure to check out her out online at the links included.
Until next time....

Friday, July 6, 2012

Christmas In July

Boy is it ever hot but that's not stopping some of the artists on Artfire from having a Christmas In July sale. Please stop by artfire and type in CIJ2012 in the search box and you will see thousand of beautiful items that are on sale. Visit the artist main studio page to view their sale promotions and retrieve their coupon code. If you visit my studio between today and July 31, 2012, yep got a late start in the promotion due to power outage) and enter CIJ2012 in the coupon code box at checkout you will receive 10% off your purchase. It's never too early to shop for Christmas. And while it's so hot outside, why not stay cool and comfy letting your fingers do the shopping? So what are ya waiting for? Until next time....

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy 22nd Birthday Joshua!

Seems like just yesterday your dad and I brought you home from the hospital. Boy has time flown by! Can't believe it's been 22 years!
Happy Birthday baby boy! I know....MOM! I'm all grown up now! You'll always be our baby boy, no matter how big you are. We love you always and are proud of you. Hope your day is special and we will celebrate after your graduation from the academy.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July

Wishing everyone a safe and happy 4th. For those who are venturing out, stay cool and hydrated. Enjoy the day with family and friends. Hope the fireworks are spectacular.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tuesdays Treasures Featured Artist

My featured artist from the It's Better Handmade guild on Artfire is Howling Caterpillars. This segment will now be published on Tuesdays to give the featured artist more exposure for the week. Howling Caterpillars studio has a spiritual feel. In their studio you will find what they call "dream webs". They don't call them dream weavers as they are not from Native American ancestry but use the techniques seen in many traditional Native American dream catchers. Each dream web is unique and made one at a time so no two will be alike.
Continuing on the inspiration from Native American designs, Howling Caterpillars also have these hairpipe chokers. While not handmade by the studio, they were all handmade by a part Native American friend who has since passed away. The proceeds from the sales benefit his widow. What a lovely thing to do helping out a friend.
Also in the Howling Caterpillar studio you will find some vintage jewelry that has been upcycled. Upcycling is the newest trend today and a great way to keep our landfills from filling up. Howling Caterpillar is located in Weymouth, Massachusetts. You can find them on the web at their artfire studio and also on their blog. Until next time.....

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Wrath of Mother Nature

On Friday we had a huge t-storm come through our area. According to the local meteorologist the storm that moved through was called a derecho. I included a link to Wiki in case you would like to read more about this weather phenomenon. I was unaware of just the extent of the damage until I arrived home. I was at the movies seeing "Magic Mike" with my friend Karen, about 12 miles north of where we live. And while we heard a thunder storm while in the movies, there wasn't any clue to the destruction until we were about 2 miles from home.
When we got off our beltway and were heading down one of the main road, it became a game of bobbing and weaving....there were branches down in the roadway, it was pitch black and there was an eerie steam/fog rising up off the road making it difficult to see. We manage to make our way slowly to our neighborhood, being detoured once due to down power lines and trees. Anyway, when I arrived home I could see a large branch had been sheared off the neighbors tree. It is laying precariously on the power lines of the neighbor on the other side. As you can see, it took out their fence too. The tree company was here this morning hoping to take the tree down as it will become unsafe if left to stand. The have had to suspend removing the tree til the now live power lines are taken care of by the utility. We will be sad to see it go as it provided shade for our backyard during the hot summer months. Come the fall though it will be a godsend as I won't have extensive leaf clean up.
The extent of the damage that was done at our house was my huge tomato plant has been blown's still laying there...we haven't decided if we will try to upright it, risking breaking it's stems and losing all the tomatoes that are on the plant or to just let it continue to lay sideways....I guess time will tell. The real damage though was the 48 hours of sweltering heat, that we endured. We had no power, so therefore no air, in the worst heatwave that we have had this summer. It was really terrible sleeping with it being so humid. Apparently I was not alone. Over 600,000 of the 1.2 million, customers that our power company supplies power to lost their electricity. Ours didn't occur because of the tree, it was something else that caused the blackout. But I guess we really shouldn't complain too much. We were able to get some relief during the day using fans that were powered by the little generator we own. We also were able to keep our refrigerator and freezer cold. We even cycled the neighbors refrigerators to help keep their food cold.
The only other casualties were in my perennial flower bed. The echineceas are blown sideways as is the large phlox. I'm sure they will recover and will enjoy their beauty even if it is at a slant. I am thankful for the power company restoring our electricity in 48 hours as there are still well over 200,000 customers without power as I write this post and it's another day of 90+ temperatures. Until next time....

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesdays Treasures Featured Artist

My featured artist from the It's Better Handmade guild on Artfire is Gail from Heart and Sow Designs. This segment will now be published on Tuesdays to give the featured artist more exposure for the week. This busy mom of 3 and grandma of 8 loves sewing. In fact she's been sewing for over 30 years. She learned at her mothers side when she was a teen making some of her own clothes. Recently Gail had been looking for cute aprons. Having found none to her liking, she proceeded to make one for herself and out of this need came her business, Heart and Sow Designs. Gail makes a variety of sewn items from aprons to purses to scarves and much more. Why not get your daughter off to a good start in her cooking journey with this adorable "mothers helper" apron? Isn't it the cutest? And if your young protegee` happens to be a boy, Gail does special orders. And keeping with today's style, Gail makes these cute, warm fleece scarves that are reasonable priced. I sure wish I had found Gail's studio when I was looking for a new scarf this past winter. Gail also makes these fun purses which aren't just functional but also stylish. You can find Gail online at her Artfire studio and on her blog , Hart to Heart. You can also find her on facebook and twitter. Be sure to stop by and check out all that Gail has to offer. Until next time.....