Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Sunday Drive


As usual, I spent Saturday working. I have been working alot of Saturday's lately. Partly because I like the overtime, partly because we hired 6 new people this summer and no one seems to have a good work ethnic anymore, partly because it's the beginning of a new school year at the university where I work. Yes, the students are back in town and classes started Monday. I am already longing for the Christmas holiday, ha. And I haven't even signed up for my classes yet.

Sunday after church, my husband Jeff said, what do you want to do? I said, well...let's just go for a drive. Those are dangerous words for us! We ended up driving to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, TN, for dinner. Yes, we're nutty like that. But it's only a 3 1/2 hour drive from Virginia where we live. Do other people take driving trips like this I wonder?

We were married in Pigeon Forge, TN, at a cabin we rented for the week, almost 2 years ago (October 7th), so it has a special place in our hearts. We often joke that if we were to ever win the Mega Million, we should just move there. We drive to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg several times a year, often just to eat dinner or stay a night or two. For someone like me, a craft person, it's a paradise! I love going through the shops and I love the 8-mile-loop in the Arts & Crafts Community in Gatlinburg. I have this fantasy of owning a shop there one day & spending all my time working on different projects. :-) Well, if you're going to dream, dream big, right?

We often have lunch at a quaint little place called The Wild Plum Tea Room in the Gatlinburg Arts & Craft Community and have become known as "regulars" there. Not an actual Tea Room, but a charming little bistro-type place. Their speciality drink is the "Wild Plum Tea" (hot or
cold) which is a citrus & tea beverage. OH YUM. My husband loves the tea so much that I bought their little cookbook so I could have the recipe. Naturally, he says I don't make it often enough. :-) We have become friends with the owner, Casey, and last year we were invited to their Christmas dinner. It was wonderful! We were so warmly welcomed by Casey and the staff, we even said it felt more like home than when his parents come in for Christmas. That made me sad, but how true it was for the both of us.

I love just driving through Pigeon Forge on the "Parkway" though I can't really explain it. It is nothing more than miles of restaurants, motels & hotels, outlets and shops. Gatlinburg is the same, only a two-lane road through "downtown" instead of a 4-lane highway. And it's all surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains. I'm really not a mountain-type-of-girl, having grown up in the Tidewater section of Virginia, but I find these mountains beautiful. Well, perhaps, I am biased since we were married here. :-)

I'm sure we'll find our way back down there again in October even if just for a night or two. :-) And of course, we'll have to drop in, have lunch and tea, and say hi to Casey and the girls!


Also, another happy note, I did find the newest issue of Artful Blogging! Oh, yes, how I do love this magazine. And maybe my banner will be in the next issue! :-) Now I must go and sit down with a cup of tea and enjoy & dream!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My banner in Artful Blogging??


I got a comment on my blog from one of my fav magazines "Artful Blogging" that they are interested in publishing my blog banner! I know for some this might not be so exciting, but for me, I AM THRILLED!

I am still on the lookout for their fall issue which hasn't shown up at my local bookstore yet. Ah...it's awful to be this impatient! :-)

Now I guess I had better get busy on my blog because who knows how many people might just drop by!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Trend of Thrifting

Is thrifting ending? Sadly, I was just thinking this today as I came from two local thrift shops. I've noticed the prices are up and the nice vintage items are down. I to love to buy clothing for the fabric to use in craft items AND it's reusing/recycling (love to do that!) and cheaper than buying fabric in fabric shops. I did find a vintage apron today that I just couldn't resist for $1. Guess it's back to the yard sales & church rummage sales (love those!) My grandmother and I used to go to all the local church sales all the time and we got great items for giveaway prices. (Besides, churches around here love to do the "all the clothing you can stuff in a wal-mart bag for $1"). Great place to get fabric!

My mother-in-law has to be the Queen of Yard Sales though if there ever was one! I mean this is the woman who bought an almost brand-new car at a yard sale! It's a little hard to beat something like that.

Thrift stores are great places to find items to paint on too. I have found old chargers before that weren't very nice-looking for using at your dinner table BUT made great surfaces to do decorative painting on. There's something that makes me feel good about giving new life to an old item...maybe it makes me feel like it's my part of being "green". lol, even if it's just a small thing.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

MJF: Teacup & Saucer Exchange 2008

pic from: Mary Janes Farm
I am so excited! I joined my first swap on MJF! A teacup and saucer exchange!I would love to be able to join the ornament exchange or the tote bag exchange....but I am afraid my skills are at beginner level and some of these farmgirls are so skilled.

But TEACUPS! I collect teapots (and china, and tea cups, and....) so this I can handle! I am really looking forward to finding the perfect teacup & saucer...AND

I am even thinking of making a simple french tea towel to include with it! Big dreams for me! lol

I saw a pattern in the October 2008 Craft n Things magazine and I think even I can handle doing that. Well...we'll see! Off to find the perfect tea cup!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Artful Blogging

oh! My blogs are so blahhhh...

I found this magazine over the weekend and I was so amazed! And by the same publisher as Somerset Life, one of my newest and favorite magazines.

Where do they find the inspiration? I suppose after I've been blogging for at least a year, I will have some nice photos too, but WOW. The creativity this causes to rush through by veins is awesome and I want to stop everything and start crafting!

Definitely a magazine worth exploring, but be careful! I think the passion for crafting is contagious! :-)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Confessions of an apron lover

I have a confession: I just love aprons! So you know I am pleased to see that they are the "in" fashion accessory right now. I guess it brings back memories of helping my grandmother in the kitchen when I was a child and spending all my summers, breaks, and vacations with my grandparents. She always wore an apron in the kitchen and had one for me to wear too. What I would do to still have one of those half-aprons!

I bought this adorable apron on eBay...yes, as you know, I am no seamstress and I think my first little project is going to be a basic half-apron. All the ladies on MJF sew them, wear them, love them! So I must get busy! :-) I couldn't resist this one for the fabric...(sorry I am such a horrible photographer! guess I won't be changing careers anytime soon! LOL) The fabric is a Donna Dewberry print with her roses, butterflies,daisies, ladybugs...and I wish you could see the background color! A perfectly pale lemon-ice yellow! Trimmed in such dainty white lace and hunter green trim, complete with a bow. I thought it would be wonderful to wear while I am decorative painting. Maybe it will even inspire me. :-) I am so far behind in everything...

There's just something so wonderful, feminine, creative, warm & homey about wearing an apron. I'm sure some of my (feminist) friends would disagree, but it gives me these fantastic & fabulous fantasies of being a domestic goddess with the sparkling clean house, fresh bread aroma drifting from the kitchen, home-made jams and jellies lining the pantry shelf, and my creativity in a flourish as I masterly paint-sew-crochet-tat-you name it! I probably should be on medication. LOL. Well, it's a wonderful dream and even though the house will never be spotless or sparkling, although I'd settle for "uncluttered" right now, I would love to make loaves of bread & home-made jams. And I haven't given up on the crocheting yet! Maybe there's still hope for me.

On a funny note, my husband saw me in an apron for the first time last Christmas holiday as I was preparing holiday treats and Christmas Day dinner. I have to admit, his look was priceless! I think he thought I truly was a domestic goddess in my apron! :-)