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Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Time for Change

Some people do it in the spring, some in the summer, but I find cleaning and organizing my home and life feels better in the late fall and winter.  Perhaps it is because of my busy season in the fall and I feel I have neglected my home, business, family and friends, or perhaps it is the fact I am trapped inside and have little else to distract me.  Regardless, the process has begun.

Business has been challenging this year. The last few years has brought concern, but this seemed to be the cresting of the battle.  My crafter friends and associates all sing the same song of how their sales are down,  and in most cases, there is one thing to blame, the economy.  So it is time to review the process, the product and the business' direction. If you are like me, I love the creating process of this life, so I am going to scrutinize everything to continue to do what I love.  Change my show schedule, change the product and mostly change the way I market my line of products.

This brings me to my 'change.'   Effective immediately I am directing my online business to my Etsy store.   Etsy does  a great job of marketing, and networking and has provided me with a excellent venue to sell.  This will allow me to concentrate on one site that is bringing the most traffic.  I can add more new products, from my handmade items to my line of vintage.

I thank you for your support over the years, and hope you will continue to visit my shop. which will take you to my Etsy store and my e-mail address will remain the same;


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tis the Season

Well, the snow is falling and it is beginning to look alot like Christmas.  I have been busy these past few weeks attending craft shows, fulfilling my Etsy orders and spending time with family.

Spent Thanksgiving at my son's house.  A full house of family and friends and it made for a very enjoyable day.  The food was very good and of course there was plenty to go around.  Spent the day and then went off to set up for the Hara arena craft show in Dayton.

This past weekend I helped a friend in Huntington, WV.  It wasn't the show we had hoped for, but everyone seemed to have a good time.  The Lions club puts this on as a way of raising money for their many charitable causes.  I believe they were successful in their venture.

I have been working on a few one of a kind projects and thought I would share some of those.  The first is a snowman painted on an old vintage ironing board.   This board was unassembled and I painted a lovely face, attached a hat brim and some festive trim and made sure his orange nose was fitting for his size.  The snowman sold very quickly at my show in Muncie.

This old vintage Samsonite suitcase was just sitting there waiting for me to paint on it.  I couldn't resist the star with the berry vines and on the other side, I painted a sheep with two stars on either side.  The entire suitcase was painted black to give that old look.

I am currently working on list a lot of new items on Etsy.  Etsy has been real good to me this holiday season, and all year for that matter.  It continues to be a great venue to showcase my work.  As well, I am heading to Rockbridge, Ohio to stock my booth at the Appalachian Art and Craft mall.  As I said before, tis the season for friends, family and of course shopping.

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and that all your wishes come true.  I am sure mine will, being with family is all a girl could want.  Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A sign for the time....relaxing

This Indian summer weather is a nice surprise.  With the warm weather it is allowing me a last chance to finish some overlooked painting projects.   One of my favorites is  my signs.  From Welcome to our Deck, Come sit on our porch, or Scrooge lives here; each one is done in a choice of colors, white, red and black. 

I enjoy painting these signs on treated fence boards and giving them that old worn look.  To further enhance the look, each sign is stained in a warm oak color.   Hangers are added for displaying.

These signs have been a real hit with my shows in Ohio and I look forward to introducing them in Florida with my new garden line.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thrifting Thursday - Boy did that feel good

Since coming home last spring, I have been forced to limit my thrifting trips.  Though Ohio has some great garage sales, I am  usually working on weekends and can't enjoy the thrill of the chase.  That is why when in Florida, the thrift stores are great. 

Yesterday while returning from getting a much needed hair cut.  I stopped at the new Goodwill Store in Buckeye Lake, Ohio.  This was a grocery store in it's past life, and is very big inside.  So I wasn't surprised when I stepped in and found wide aisles, plenty of light and lots of merchandise.  And the staff was so helpful and nice.

I was fortunate to find a couple of new items.  First was a set of Melamine picnic plates.  These beautiful plates are done in the red checked picnic design and are in great shape.  A set of 4; wow!  These are sure to be a hit on my shop on Etsy.

The second find was a pyrex mixing bowl.  Now I have a set of three of these bowls now on Etsy, but this particular bowl is of an odd size and I just can't decide if I want to sell it or keep in my RV for my use.  Decisions, decisions.  I also found several pieces of glassware that I will be using to make my new line of  yard art.

A day of accomplishment in my mind....I am sure my hubby won't look at it the same way, as we are after all living in an RV.  Hope you have a great day, and  check out my shop on Etsy; for these great finds and more.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Potato Soup to warm your heart

Well, fall is here and it brings that chill in the air.  Working hard on my fall projects and while pondering dinner, I remembered this post from last year.  Well, I think it holds very true for this year as well.  I am still looking for and painting on spoons; and tonights pot of potato soup will warm the soul.  I hope you enjoy this 'repeat'.  Make sure to follow for more posts and projects to come.

I have been busy painting spoon ornaments for the holiday season.  I have several designs for  Ohio State Buckeyes, Ohio University Bobcats, Cincinnati Bearcats and many more.  I enjoy the challenge that painting on this small surface gives me, and am always looking for new spoons to use.  I have used all the spoons that I have with the exception of my personal stash in the silverware drawer.  So when looking for spoons, I headed for the drawer and immediately thought, "how will I enjoy my warm and comforting soup?"  Which caused me to think of a good warm soup for dinner. 

I decided on potato soup. A large pot of soup that I can enjoy today and which can be warmed and eaten tomorrow for lunch.  I am sure it will leave me feeling very cozy inside.  Here is my recipe which is very simple and quick.  I hope you enjoy!

               Ingredients:  6 medium russet potatoes
                                   1 cup milk (whole or 2%)
                                   1/4 c chopped onion
                                   1/2 pound smoked sausage
                                   1 tsp each butter and olive oil
                                   1 cup half and half
                                   1 tsp parsley flakes
                                   1 tsp celery seeds
                                   1 egg yolk                                  
                                   1 tsp salt & pepper to taste                              

Peel and dice potatoes and set aside covered in water.  Chop onion and dice smoked sausage and saute in pot with butter and olive oil.  Saute until onion is clear making certain not to allow the onions to scorch.  Once onions are clear, add the drained potatoes to the pot.  Add  just enough water to cover potatoes.   At this time you can add celery seeds and salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Stir occasionally and once the pot begins to boil,  lower the temp to simmer.  Allow to simmer until potatoes are soft and can be easily mashed with a fork, approximately 30 minutes. Using a potato masher, work the potatoes until most are mashed, but a few cubes are left. 

Add to the pot the  half and half  and 1/2 cup milk holding back 1/2 cup milk.  Add egg yolk to 1/2 cup of milk, mixing well and stir into soup mixture.  Let soup return to boil, stirring occasionally as it thickens.  Taste for additional seasoning at that time. Can be served with crackers, a dollop of sour cream, chopped chives or
any topping of your choice.  Guaranteed to warm you from the inside out.

So make a big pot, sit down and check out my new ornaments on


Friday, October 22, 2010

Go Bucks, an Ohio State Buckeye tribute

Yesterday I posted a picture of my new OSU wreath design.  It is a great way to show your spirit for the team on your front door or wall.  Today, keeping with the  Buckeye spirit, I am showing my hand painted lampshade.    I have taken a kraft paper shade and  painted a winding vine around the base and top with leaves and painted buckeyes and an O in the front with the buckeye leaves and another buckeye.  What a tribute to Ohio State.  The lampshade fits down over a standard light bulb and measures approx 10" across the bottom and 10" high.  All these designs can be found at Be sure to follow my blog as I will be adding more team items in the next few weeks.

Go Bucks, and we are all cheering for you against Purdue on Saturday!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Long time gone!

Good morning everyone.  Boy has it been a while.  As most of you know, September and October, are the busiest months in the crafter's world.  I have been traveling throughout the midwest exhibiting at shows and working very hard to keep up my inventory.  As a result, I have had to neglect some of my other projects such as this blog, and

The shows have been great this year.  The rewards are meeting  my customers face to face and getting their feedback and reactions to my work.  They often offer great new suggestions and twists on items that I have on display.  My RV slates have been a great hit as well as some new sayings on my dog bones.  And look at the new Ohio State wreath I have designed.  A new twist on an old idea.

I am going to keep this short today as I have several areas to update.  But, just know; I am back and intend to list several new items on Etsy within the next few days as well as updating of my website. See you soon!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Christmas in July Sale - Etsy

I wanted to share a sale that is on Etsy with my readers. It is time for that time tried tradition; Christmas in July. Now through July 25th many of the Etsy sellers will be offering various sales for this promotion.

I have reduced prices, offering free shipping and tweaked many items for this promotion. Please shop my store and see what exciting things I have to offer.

One of my offerings is free shipping in US on this wonderful set of cookie cutters. Can't you just smell the warm sugar cookies out of the oven? The set of various animals, dog, horse, rabbit, rooster, and chicken...what cute cookies these would make.

See you at! But hurry the sale only goes through July 25th...

Sunday, June 27, 2010


I regret that I must cancel my proposed free giveaway. I was hopeful that I could increase my readership by the time previously stated, however, that has not happened. As well, though I have a good following of readers, you must mark as a follower, just stopping by is not enough. Please choose the Follow button to the left and let us start a wonderful friendship and share good times and ideas.

Thank you,


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Life changes…

This has been a week of uncertainty, with my Hubby taking a new job I have been staying at my Son’s during his orientation. His profession is that of an over the road truck driver and involves a lot of time waiting and uncertainty as to when he will get home. Instead of hanging out alone, I stayed at my son’s as he lives only 20 minutes from his main terminal.

With that said, I have been busy on the computer, listing on Etsy, tweaking my show schedule, and deciding if I will continue with my online store or not. Well the decision has been made; yes, I will continue I know it is very consuming to keep it updated, and I realize I can sell on Etsy, but the idea of having my own store which I can sell what I want appeals to me. And this store carries my business name, which provides my products with brand identity.

Many of you may not realize but I offer my products through several venues. First, my online store I have been operating my website in some fashion since the late 90’s. I also sell at craft shows and events throughout the eastern US and that includes the south in the winter months.

I have my products in a lovely booth at the Appalachian Art and Craft Mall in Rockbridge, Ohio. It sets just north of Logan in the very well traveled Hocking Hills area on Route 33. This area is home to Old Man’s Cave.

Then I have my Etsy store, Here I offer a variety of products from vintage, handmade and some supplies. My last item listed brought my store to 100 items for sale. There is a little for everyone there.

And I cannot forget, Facebook. Become a fan to get the latest info on my shows, travels and new products. And follow me on Twitter

Well, with all that said, I am exhausted. I had better get to work creating something. I hope you will check out my stores and sites and I hope to see you in person down the road.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

let's be festive

Wow, the 4th of July is creeping up on me and I love to share the 4th with family and friends. What a way to celebrate with the bold display of red, white and blue and a sharing of faith and a deep appreciation for our freedom. I found these items on Etsy today in my search of the perfect items for the 4th. How much better can it get? Hope you enjoy them...

Get the invites out by jandpaper

Set the table with this crazy quilt as a table cloth by SewnNatural

Put on your red, white & blue flip flops
by BitsyBlossom.

Make up a cheese plate by astrokeofjeanneius

And get ready to play some corn hole by acspecialties

And to make it even better,
OdeToJune just featured my beautiful vintage 48 star flag in a great red, white, blue treasury.
Take a look... What a great treasury OdeToJune.

Well, I hope you enjoy the feature, and stop and see me on Etsy...<

Make it a great day!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday evening,

Well, another week gone, and a weekend in the bag. This weekend was spent at Dulcimer Days, in Coshocton, Ohio. This event has been held in historic Roscoe Village in previous years. Set among the period buildings and store fronts, on the brick streets, this was a true treat. However, the economy has caused the Roscoe Village community to cancel this event, and the Chamber of Commerce chose to hold it downtown Coshocton on the square.

The weather was good, a little hot, but thankfully no rain. The breeze was good all weekend and it carried the sounds of dulicers, mandolyns, cellos, harps and guitars through the trees and air. There was music everywhere, and singing, my goodness, I can't forget the singing. A great time was had by all.

Unfortunately this was to be a selling event and though there was plenty of music, there were very few people; and fewer customers. A sad situation as it was a good festival in the past. Another victim of the economy.

As well, it was Father's day, and I am sure a multitued of BBQ's, cookouts and dinners, were in order. And so it should be, a day of celebration of Dad's, with family close at hand. I spoke to my Dad in Florida, and a little confused on some things, but he sounded strong and well. And Mike, though he reminds me continually he isn't my Dad, he was stuck working with me, in the park, with the sound of light dulimer music in the air.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Free Give away

It is raining here today, so I will do laundry. I have been pondering how to structure my "FIRST" giveaway. I know it will be chosen from a list of followers. My husband has picked a number of followers and is keeping that number deeply buried in his mind. I am curious to see how close he will be and if he will able to retrieve it when the time comes.

The winner has to be a follower of my blog and must leave a comment on this blog and no where else. If you are not currently a follower, just click on the follow button to begin to follow me.

You must have either a blog or an e-mail to list. I would hate it if I could not notify you when you win. And if you don't post a comment I will assume you are just signing up to win something. I will draw the winner from those comments received; and only those comments. No comments sent to my e-mail or through any of my other connections, just the comments left on my blog.

And do not repost this giveaway on your blog or anywhere else. It will disqualify you. I am offering this to my followers, not to promote your blog or site.

The winner will be drawn on June 28th and notified thereafter. Just in time to enjoy the 4th.

Now the next thing, what to give away. I know I will include a personalized slate. I am working on a new patriotic slate, so with the 4th of July coming up, I believe that should be the slate of choice. I have a friend that makes lovely totes, so I have enlisted her assistance in making me a custom tote just for this occasion. This makes a great start, but I am sure there will be more, the quest continues.

Keep checking in for more details, and I will keep digging for the "treasures". If anyone out there has any insight or suggestions I would love to hear them.

Now off to the ribbon store for more ribbon.

Thanks for stopping and make it a great day.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Call me a freak! A magnet freak.

I am a magnet freak. Until I decided to live in my RV, my household fridge was covered with them. Magnets of every type; sayings, frames for kids pictures, calendars from businesses and my various designs of magnets.

Yesterday I started working on a new line of tag magnets. These are cut out of wooden shapes made to look like manila pricing tags. I painted them various colors from prim to chic and went about looking for the perfect sayings. Here is a shot of the tags prior to decorating.
Using a permanent pen I wrote sayings such as “You had me at woof”, “The only thing normal in this house is the washer” and “I love my cat” for just a few. So many sayings, so little time.

Then the sealing process. Each one was sealed with an interior varnish for easy cleaning and durability. Letting each one dry now it was time to try to match the right complementing ribbon.

Uh Oh! A snag. I like the prim ones with the homespun ribbon, but did not like any of the ribbons that had been purchased for the chic magnets. Back to the drawing board.

The next task will be a trip to my nearest craft store for a selection of perfect ribbons. I will take my tags with me this time to make the perfect match. Then applying the magnet and all done, ready to sell on Etsy or my next craft show.

Hope you enjoyed these and I will share the finished product in a few days. See ya! and make it a great day!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Joy of Creating

I was very fortunate to have two different items from my Etsy store featured in Treasuries and blogs this past week. If you are familiar with Etsy, you know any member can create a treasury based on a color, theme or any other criteria using items of other Etsy members.
The first item was my redneck wind chimes featured in a blog by Debra from Missouri. Her blog focuses on good down home fun. My wind chimes fit right in and are so much fun to create. I get such a welcome response when I display them at my shows; everything from “hey these would be great for my dad” to “my son-in-law really needs these.” Everyone gets a chuckle and that is how it is intended, a great gag gift. Check out Debra’s blog, I found it very enjoyable.

The other item is also one I love to create. It is not as popular in the north as in Florida, but it is still a great item; and it sums up my sentiment on most days. It is the “It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere” slate. This was featured in a treasury created by Corkycrafts. She found an entire line of 5 O’clock items, each one unique in its own way. Check out her treasury I am sure you will enjoy her finds and look at CorkyCraft’s Etsy store. She has a unique way to repurpose corks.

Well I am off for today, I am working on a new line of magnets based on a previous line of humorous signs I have created in the past. Check back tomorrow for a sampling of those. I hope you have a great day and make it a great one!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sprint 4G Service

This morning while listening to the local jazz station, an interesting advertisement for Spring 4G services played. The claim is that it will allow you access to Wi-Fi for over four additional units from your phone.

How can we believe? The customer service of Sprint is lacking severely despite the soft-spoken words of their CEO Dan Hesse, and their network for internet coverage is short of their sales pitch.

Recently, while staying in Crystal River, Florida the coverage was non-existent or constantly went into a roaming state. This triggers additional fees, so upon checking the service coverage map it showed excellent coverage. Then why the terrible coverage and service. After well over an hour on the telephone, and countless conversations, from initial customer service reps to advance tech support, it was determined, that the coverage in the area was excellent and they could not pinpoint the problem. Perhaps purchasing new equipment would resolve the problem. Are you serious?

An e-mail to Dan Hesse’s office resulted in another card offered to attempt a resolve to the problem. The replacement unit could not find enough coverage to initialize. The card was returned to Dan Hesse’s office with a letter asking for some review and resolve. To this date, there has been no answer to the letter or resolve.

In summary, how can one enter into a two-year contract with a service provider that does not provide the service as advertised? What are the steps to resolve such an issue? Regretfully for million of subscribers to Sprint services, these answers are not available, just as their 3G and 4G coverage.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

On the road again

Good morning from beautiful Knoxville, Tn. We are traveling on our way home, and not in any particular hurry.

Yesterday we left High Falls State Park in Ga. If you have the opportunity to visit this beautiful park, I highly recommend it. We always stay on the River side, and it is very shady and quiet. A wonderful, relaxing experience. We stayed there while we were preparing for my last show in McDonough, Ga. The Geranium Festival is one of my favorite shows, as the crowd is always so welcoming and appreciative. I didn't set the world on fire, but did make about $25 more than last year, so I consider it a win. And with this being a major fund raiser of the Lions Club, I know the money is put to good use for charitable events.

So Monday, we closed up our camp and headed north on I-75 towards our destination, Ohio. We were doing very well and wanted to make it through Knoxville at night to avoid the traffic. We hoped to touch base with a fellow artist that was staying above Knoxville. Perhaps have a glass of wine or at least a cup of coffee this morning, but a flat on my van in Lenoir City, Tn stopped us. Luckily there was a great staff at the TA truck stop garage got me fixed up and ready to travel again. We decided to call it a night and just dry camp at the Flying J. They have wonderful spots sized for campers and motorhomes and we just pulled in one and spent the night.

Right now we are having our morning coffee and getting ready to travel further north. Don't know if we will make it to Ohio today as we are just driving at a relaxing pace, and it is over 7 1/2 hours to home. But we will get there when we get there. No hurry, my next show isn't until Memorial weekend, so relaxation is the theme today.

Hope to talk to you again soon.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Customer Service, a lost art

I am noticing a lot of hype about customer service. Seems everyone knows that something is lacking, but I fear they do not know how to rectify the problem. From the clerks at the market, to the representative on the telephone, to the youth of today, personal interaction has taken a backseat to perceived efficiency.

The young kids all use electronic devices to talk back and forth, to bank, to pay their bills, this bringing about a large group of individuals that cannot look you in the eye and say, Good morning, how are you today?

Yesterday while at the drive up ATM window at the bank, I noticed the person in front of me was a friend of my nephew. He was definitely making a deposit. The bank was open, several windows were available at the time, but he chose to go to the ATM, which did actually take him a lot longer than had he went to the drive-up window. But that would have involved human contact.

I spent over 25 years in the customer relations field, and I see a terrible trend developing. How as a nation can we continue to grow without human interaction. Getting to know our fellow neighbor or just a greeting to another person.

As a child I watched the Jetsons. What a great life, with machines doing our everything beckoned wants and needs. Did I ever see the Jetsons interacting with other humans outside of work? Did I ever see a dinner party or someone stopping by just to say hi? I don't believe I did.

So today, make it an extra effort to ask someone how they are doing. Tell them to have a nice day, but most of all, look someone in the eyes when you do it.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Remember When - Not just for Allen Jackson

Today was a day of reflection. Recovering from shingles is a slow process and I have good days and bad ones. I spent the last two days working on some pretty intense family issues, so today I paid for it. That made it a day of sitting on the porch and resting. As my mind wandered to a simpler time I couldn't help but to remember when... See how many of these bring back fond memories for you.

You could play outside for hours alone and didn't have to worry.

You knew your neighbors' name and you spoke on a regular basis.

You neighborhood was a community and people would help out their neighbors if so needed.

You didn't have to worry about what your kids are watching on TV or the computer.

Meals were eaten together at a table and not in a car.

Besides the church, the school and your child's education was a focal point of your life.

Parents took responsibility for their children and taught them the difference between right and wrong and basic manners.

Telephones were in houses not in pockets, and girls giggled with girls about boys, and no one knew what a text message was.

Customer service involved a greeting and eye contact when you made a purchase. And, oh yes, thank you.

People made eye contact when they walked down the street.

I could go on for hours and more and more items. But as I reflected this afternoon, I was sure you could do your own "remember when". Close your eyes and go back...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Under the weather

Hello all, I just wanted to stop by and say hello. I apologize for the lack of posts, but seems I have contracted a severe (and I mean severe) case of shingles. Now I have heard of people getting these before, and heard they were nasty and painful, but there isn't a word to describe the pain. I have been through alot of surgeries and such in my life, and this by far is the worse. Each day I attempt to do something, but it quickly puts me back, laying down and resting. So I surrender. But I didn't want to leave you totally without a bit of crafting and primitives so check out these sites. I am sure if you already aren't a follower, you will be after today. Enjoy and hope to see you soon.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Working Wednesday

Yesterday I was able to spend a few hours in my studio on some new signs. I have a lot of ideas on paper, and now it is time to bring them to realization; I hope. I don't know about you, but sometimes an idea on paper just doesn't come out the way you had hoped. But that is another story. I am sharing a couple signs I got completed. My "Nana's Place" and "Gone Fishing.
I wanted to incorporate my "nana" theme into some new signs and I want to start working on more floral work. Being self taught, I don't do well with the "one stroke" process. I once spent 4 hours at a show (not a good show) with a neighbor who did beautiful floral work. She tried for hours to get me to limit my strokes to the one stroke process, couldn't do it. Having the creative bug, I can't just contain myself. So I am working on flowers.

As well, it is springtime and I want to take some of my old tried and true favorites and enhance the work as well. I have been doing fishing signs for a long time, and it is going to be father's day soon, so here is a new fishing sign as well.

Hope you have a great day. I will talk with you soon!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday Monday - A visit from Flat Stanley

Good morning all. I hope the weekend was good for you. Most of us enjoyed a part of the weekend with good weather and it is sure to get better. Down here in sunny Florida it is getting better every day. It is still a little wet, but the temps are great. So great I was blessed with a visitor from up north the other day. My grand daughter Savannah sent me her Flat Stanley doll so he could experience a vacation in Florida. Here Flat Stanley is modeling her hairstyle with my sister. They have the same doo!
It was perfect timing as we were just set to go off to a real rodeo. There was barrel riding, bull riding, calf roping and a lot of cowboys. Florida has several sanctioned rodeos. This one was held at the Ocala livestock facility and though some of you might not know, Ocala has proclaimed itself the "horse capital of the world". There are big ranches here for sure, and plenty of ranch hands also known as cowboys.

I was working at this event helping a fellow vendor sell cowboy hats. That was sure a hit. Along side our tent was a big bull named Sancho. Sancho was a steer from Ohio. No kidding; New Holland to be exact. Sancho and his owner were down here traveling the rodeo circuit for the winter as well. Sancho was such a mild mannered steer that he would lay down when told, back up and pose. He loved his carrots and apples. He was just like a big over grown pet. But look out, Sancho has a horn span of over 122" and still growing. Kids (and some adults) would get on Sancho and get their pictures taken. And of course, Flat Stanley had to get her picture taken. She was a little scared, so I got on too. What a great picture. Then we went in and watched the rodeo.
Saturday was the last day of the show, so we had to tear down. After that we were so hungry we had to stop at a Denny's to get something to eat. And of course, we couldn't leave Flat Stanley in the car, she came along too.
We hope to take Flat Stanley to the beach, to see the manatees and perhaps a boat ride along the Crystal River. Anywhere we go, Flat Stanley will go to. Check back later to see if he gets into any more wild adventures.
Talk to you later this week, please be sure to join my blog as I am working on a free give away to members who follow my blog. TTYL...Karen and Flat Stanley.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Whacky Wednesday


Good Morning! Today is supposed to be Wandering Wednesday, but as some of you might have read in the past, we are remodeling the MH, and because of this process, which is going slower than expected, we aren't very mobile right now. And though I am not totally tied to my MH, my travels haven't been very exciting. So I won't bore you with those stories.

My MH is currently sitting in the driveway of my father's house in Florida. My father will be 83 in June and has a progressing case of Parkinson's decease. In his case it affects his mobility in his legs. On most days he doesn't walk very well and someone has to help him into a wheelchair or if not too far with his walker. And to further complicate his life, the medicine that he is taking has had an adverse affect on his cognisant skills. On a good day he will know us, and will converse though he often can't complete a sentence. On a bad day, he doesn't know where he is and who we are. This is the most difficult for me.

But, despite how difficult it is for me to see him this way, I can only imagine how he must feel. To start a sentence and not be able to remember what you were saying. To have to have someone to help you in almost every area of your life. In my younger years I remember my father as a rock, a successful business man, and thougt I really didn't always agree with him, I was respectful of his knowledge and position as head of the house. This is a real role reversal and is difficult at best.

So now we spend our time together sitting in front of the television watching cowboy westerns, his favorite, wheel of fortune, Bonanza and Brian Williams. We don't talk much, but it is knowing that no matter what life takes from me, it will not take away these memories of time spent with a man that has meant so much to me in my life.

Have a great day and spend some time with someone you love.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday, Monday - New Projects

Good Monday Morning. I hope that everyone had a great weekend and everything is good in your world. Mine is one of anticipation. Anticipation of all the work that I have let slide and now I must get done.

I have a wholesale order that must get done this week, photos and inventory to do for Etsy , and product to make for my show schedule. For my show schedule, I must process photos of my newest products and complete paperwork; a must to get into the good shows.

The jurying process is very time consuming for me; but, juried shows, for the most part, are the purest of shows for handmade product. There are occasions where a wooden rose or a made in China sign will get in, but the majority of the vendors are true crafters. People that have put their hearts and soul in their products and want to share their enthusiasm for their projects with you.

For those of you that do shows or those of you that are contemplating doing shows, here are a few tips I have learned along the way.

Request the paperwork well in advance of the deadline. Many times you might get it off of the internet.

Read the instructions thoroughly. Too often I get to shows and see someone that wasn't prepared and often it is because they failed to read the paperwork. Be sure to note the deadline, what is to be included with the application, and if a SASE is expected. The rules will also note any unsual needs such as long extension cords or a dolly to get your product from your parking spot to your booth.

Product pictures. I use my 35MM camera to take my photos. Sometimes I use my photo box, but many times I try and show the product in the way it is meant to be used. For example, if I am selling slate welcome signs, I will photograph it hanging on the front of the house. Also, be certain that the colors and clarity of the photo come through. The better the pictures the better chance you have of jurying in. And pick the best products you have to get into the best shows. Oh, and be certain to put your identity on the back of the photo; the same one that you are using to jury into the show.

Be Neat Imagine that the people jurying have hundreds if not thousands of applications to go through. Yours is not special to the committee in anyway so you must do something to make it stand out and be easier for the jurying committee. So be neat. Be certain to print clearly and do everything as they requested in a nice format. This will go a long way in the process.

I hope this information has helped some of you and that the ones that haven't applied to juryied shows will do so. We need some new blood, and there is a wealth of talented people out there and I would welcome their participation.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Festive Friday

Today is a festive day indeed. Good news about Mike and his CHF, and the sun is shining brightly.

Mike went to the VA eye clinic this morning for a follow-up on his glaucoma. They were quite pleased with his progress and advised him to continue with his drop regiment. I am to go the next time so that we can discuss the possibility of surgery.

This afternoon we went to the VA Clinic in Lecanto Florida to see Doctor G about his earlier diagnosis of CHF. The prescription of a water pill and potassium has done the trick. No further congestion in his heart, no more shortness of breath and most of the swelling in his legs and body has gone down. She agreed with the diagnosis and ordered further refills of the medicines. As well, she is scheduling him a full cardio workup at the Gainesville medical center. She explained that he should modify his diet, limited fluids, especially sodas and drinks such as Gatorade's and cut way back on his salt intake. We have already started this process at home.

She also said that unless showed up on cardio workup, and he follows her recommendations, he should live a full and comfortable life, and not be overly concerned with his CHF. It is a chronic disease, but one a person can live with for years with the proper precautions.

So, with that, I will tell you how this morning while we were sitting on the porch, drinking our morning coffee, a coyote went running through the yard, definitely out of his element and scared. He was very cognisant of his surroundings and went further into the wooded area beside my father's house. Wildlife at it's greatest.

Okay, well, we are finishing up some work around here and I am going to take my husband out to dinner for some fresh seafood on the water and enjoy this 70's weather. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday Family Issue

Good morning all. I apologize for the break in my series and missing my blog yesterday. As some of you may know, my husband, Mike, hasn't been feeling well for several weeks. As a man he balked at going to the doctor and continued on his daily and weekly routine. We both felt it was a case of a cold or bronchitis and I pushed liquids and asked him to rest and try and kick this bug.

He couldn't sleep, he had a wheeze and he coughed constantly. Mike quit smoking over 2 years ago, but colds still set in easily, so there was a good case of bronchitis. But I still begged that he go to the doctor as he wasn't kicking it.

Mike is a 12 year veteran of the Navy. His primary care giver is the VA. If you are familiar with VA, they provide terrific medical care, but are not a source for urgent care. Especially here in Florida where they are over worked. So we chose an urgent care facility in Lecanto ran by the State of Florida.

Arriving early to avoid a long wait, he walked in from the parking lot, huffing and puffing from lack of breath. The receptionist was alerted immediately of his distress and asked of short of breath. When he responded yes, she ran the "Code Blue" alert and care came running from all over the facility. They administered oxygen, checked his blood pressure, sat him in a wheel chair and ran him immediately into a room. After an thorough exam, checking his vitals, listening to his heart and lungs, he was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. What? This was a cold! He had fluids in his lungs, around his heart, and throughout his body.

He was ordered to take a diuretic and potassium and to see his primary care provider. So he spent most of the day yesterday attempting to get an appointment with VA within the week. We are awaiting a call for an appointment, but they assure us they will call us back today.

Today, I will do some more research on CHF and determine what roll I can play to help him in his road to recovery and a long life. I know a revised diet will be the top priority and once he gets the go ahead, exercise. I know that will be the big battle. He hates to walk and hates exercise, so perhaps I may have to tie him to the bumper of the car, but I will get him out on his bike or something. He is my soul mate and I don't want to lose him.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers and I will talk to you soon.
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