Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Life In The Forest…


…so as of today, all of my strawberries have been eaten by some little critter and all of my hummingbird feeders have been emptied, leaving only sticky little paw prints on the glass containers. I can only sum up that it was raccoons or bears, but have come to the realistic conclusion that I do "live in the forest" and to expect anything less would just be unrealistic. But, I'm glad that I didn't insist on a garden {other than my herb garden}, since it surely would have been only to feed everything but us. I really didn't want a garden anyway, I'd much rather visit the Farmer's Market every weekend and come back home with a sense of supporting local farmers & my community.


Well, with the "Spring" everything else awakens, along with the flowers & trees. Like this Rat Snake that we found by our front porch last year. He came out to "play" yesterday and Ozzy & Lita didn't even pay him any mind! It was like they were used to seeing him or something. He's about 5 feet long and rather docile. I tried to take another picture of him, but he quickly slithered into his "home" under our porch steps! We decided that we would let him stay, since he will be good for keeping rats & mice away. Wayne even has said that he wants to become "his friend" and maybe even try to touch him! Now this is my husband talking, a city slicker from Boston! But I have to admit, he sure has quickly turned into a country boy and he loves it!


Now, if I can keep my "Hosta" safe from the deer this year, I'll be doing good.


And these are the cutest little "Newts" I ever saw {of course they are the only ones I've seen}

Off to the post office & the grocery store ~ Hope you are all having a wonderful Wednesday!!!

Xxoo & peace always ~ Kathy

Today I'm sharing a quote that my friend "Jen" sent – something her Dad said:

"Life has a flavor that the sheltered and protected never know, and I've tasted a lot of it" - Jen's Dad

Monday, May 26, 2008

Beauty….


…so I was thinking today about things that made me smile recently, and how I marvel at the beauty of just plain ole nature. And since it's Memorial Day, I decided to share some of those beautiful things with you.


Wild Blueberries ~ these are blooming wild all over the forest. The whole forest is just full of luscious smelly good things right now, like these:


Wild Azaleas and these:


Mountain Laurel – blooming all over the place! And these:


Wild "Lily of the valley" bush plus too many others to even mention. But the most amazing thing that I've seen lately is this awesome animated video. One of my sweet little MySpace friends sent it to me for "inspiration" and boy did it work! I have so many things in my head right now that I'm having to sketch them out. So be looking for some awesome new things this week in the shop.

I hope you are having a great holiday weekend! And congratulations to "Bunny B" ~ she won the awesome earrings from last Thursday's post!

Xxoo & peace always ~ Kathy

Today's "Women's Lip" quote is about make-up:

"Make-up is such a weird concept, but I buy into it like every woman I know. I'll wake up in the morning and look in the mirror: "Gee, I really don't look so good. Maybe if my eyelids were blue, I'd be more attractive…." – Cathy Ladman

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Happy Thursday & A “Freebie”!!


So I decided that I needed to "step up" when it came to pictures of my jewelry on Etsy. I've been working on "overlay" pages and here's the newest one I came up with:


Its swirly edges and I'm rather proud of it. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. I'll pick a number Monday, based on the number of comments that are left, and the lucky number will win these gorgeous little earrings, which happen to be some of my best sellers, by the way. Good luck & thanks for reading my ramblings.

Off to help Wayne put the canoe rack on my car *yay – it finally arrived* and then take a hike in the woods. Oh and congratulations to David Cook, the new American Idol! ~ Happy Thursday!!

Xxoo & peace always ~ Kathy

The Women's Lip quote for today is about housekeeping

"I don't buy temporary insanity as a murder defense. Breaking into someone's home and ironing all their cloths is temporary insanity." – Sue Kolinsky

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A *spark* of creativity :)


So today I didn't feel like making any jewelry, so I played around with my digital scrapbooking stuff and created this:


I think it turned out really cool and if you are interested in getting a print of it, you can do so right here. I just got a print in the mail today of my little raccoon painting and it's really, really nice. Real good quality, too. And, you can barely notice the dog hair that was apparently on the painting when I took pictures of it and I didn't notice at the time:


But hey, it makes it even more special. I also made some little pendants with it, which will be for sale in the shop, once I talk to Suzanne about it and make sure it's okay with her. Well, tonight's the final night of American Idol and I don't know who I want to win. Both the David's are very talented and I'm not sure if I would buy an album from either one of them. But, never say never as I would have NEVER thought I would own a CD with country music on it {but I do}.

Happy Hump Day!!!

Xxoo & peace always ~ Kathy

A women's lip quote on *Fashion*

"It is interesting to speculate how it developed that in two of the most anti-feminist institutions, the church & the law court, the men are wearing dresses" – Flo Kennedy

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Just Peachy!


We discovered two peach trees in our yard and they are full of little fuzzy baby peaches. I can't wait to sample them. A few other things that made me smile this week were these:

Garden fresh veggies, baked in the oven, grilled chicken breast, rice pilaf and this:


Fresh baked Sourdough bread & organic butter from the Farmer's Market and this for dessert:


Chocolate cake with coconut cream cheese icing, another Farmer's Market find and it was absolutely yummy! So all in all, it made a great looking dinner table:


And this morning I got up and made this:


Of course, it's right here in the shop, if you want to take a closer look – it's quite lovely…


….as are my "Peonies" – Happy Tuesday!!!

Xxxoo & peace always ~ Kathy

So I found a box of books {yes, I still have several unpacked boxes in the basement} and one of them is called "Women's Lip" and is full of funny & punny quotes from women, so I'll share them with you now and then and hope they make you giggle. The one today is on "exercise"

"I don't think jogging is healthy, especially morning jogging. If morning joggers knew how tempting they looked to morning motorists, they would stay home and do sit-ups" – Rita Rudner

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Thanks for the *Great* Advice, O.J.!

Can you even believe this! Of course, this book was published years before O.J. Simpson decided his ex-wife & her boyfriend deserved to die @ his hands. And yes, we all know how he "would have done it", if he actually did. And, we all also know that he "actually did". So in case you can't read the quote clearly, it says "The day you take complete responsibility for yourself, the day you stop making any excuses, that's the day you start to the top" and, is under the "Responsibility" section of this little book. And what's really eerie about it is that on the very next page of this same little book, also in the same position on the page and still in the "Responsibility" section there is a quote from Francis Bacon that says "The mould of a man's fortune is in his own hands." – Freaky!!! Indeed!!!


On a happier note, Wayne surprised me by loading up my little turtle vase with these gorgeous flowers from our yard! Of course, you can always get one of these awesome little fellows for yourself from "The Duck Pond Potter" ~ he really does an amazing job @ holding flowers.


Well, I was feeling a little "spiritual" this morning, so I made this awesome little necklace for
the shop
. It features a gorgeous brass "Buddha hand" and I named it "Namaste'" – I hope you love it as much as I do…

Off to the store to get sugar for my hummingbird feeders & zucchini for my zucchini bread that I'm making tomorrow for "Music Monday".

Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!!!

Xxoo & peace always ~ Kathy

"As human beings, we are endowed with freedom of choice, and we cannot shuffle off our responsibility upon the shoulders of God or nature. We must shoulder it ourselves. It is up to us" – Arnold J. Toynbee

Saturday, May 17, 2008

White Squirrels, Blue Fairies & Fish!


Day after day, the news is filled with sadness, death, hunger & war. Sometimes it can almost be overwhelming to even think about. Those are the times when I try to look at the "good" things about life and it seems like when I think about it, they always outweigh the bad. I sometimes dream of winning the lottery, just so I can give it away and help as many people as I can. Of course, the chances of me winning the lottery would be 100% greater if I actually bought a ticket! But if I did buy a ticket and I did win, I would give it all to charity, well except the 25% I would keep to spend on beads {that's all, I swear}


So one of the "good things" I was thinking about this morning are these gorgeous White Squirrels we have here. Now they are only found in about 4 or 5 other places, so we feel pretty special that we have them here. The story as to how they got here is, well, I think just a story, but hey, who knows how they really got here, so here's the story and I'm sticking to it:

According to Brevard resident Mrs. W. E. Mull, the lore of the origin of the snowy critters goes something like this:

In 1949, a carnival truck overturned near the home of Mr. Black of Madison, FL, apparently freeing several white squirrels. When Mr. Black observed the unique creatures playing in his pecan grove, he caught a pair, giving them to Mr. H. H. Mull, Mrs. Mull's brother-in-law.

Mr. Mull passed the pair of squirrels to his niece, Barbara, who attempted breeding them unsuccessfully until she married in 1951. Following the escape of one of the squirrels, Mr. Mull released the other, and they began to multiply in the wild.

The rest of the story is more or less obvious. The squirrels became more than a novelty, becoming so prized by the residents of Transylvania County that in 1986 the Brevard City Council unanimously approved an ordinance protecting all squirrels in the area. The ordinance states, "The entire area embraced within the corporate limits of the city is hereby designated as a sanctuary for all species of squirrel (family Sciuriadae), and in particular the Brevard White Squirrel. It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt, kill, trap, or otherwise take any protected squirrels within the city by this section."

Today, the squirrels thrive in the area. It is not difficult to observe several playing in the trees or a friendly back yard during an afternoon drive around town. And next weekend is the annual "White Squirrel Festival", which is always a great time!

Not only are we lucky enough to have "White Squirrels", we also have these awesome little "Blue Ghost Fairies". They were all over our driveway last night. It's really quite amazing to see them. It's like being in an enchanted forest. I tried to take a video, but it didn't come out. I'll try again when the moon gets fuller.



But the "Catch Of The Day" is this awesome little fish necklace that I listed in the shop. And since we are talking about "Good Things", I'm offering a 15% discount from right now until midnight Sunday night {May 18th} All you have to do is type "Good Things" in the comments to seller section @ your time of purchase and then wait for me to send you an invoice for the discounted amount. Easy as pie!

Off to the Farmer's Market to see what kind of "good things" I can find! Have a happy weekend!

Xxoo & peace always ~ Kathy

"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead" – Louisa May Alcott

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Music & Metal…


Music & jewelry, that is! You know, I grew up listening to music and then when Broc was little we didn't have a T.V., so all we ever did was listen to music and now he loves music at least as much, if not more, than I do. We can both sing along to just about anything {old stuff that is}. I don't even listen to most of the new music that's out right now and couldn't even tell you who sings what. Of course, I do have all of "Coldplay" & "John Mayer's" CD's. Not to mention "Paul Potts" & "Nora Jones". My latest CD purchase was "Raising Sand" by Robert Plant & Alison Krauss and it's absolutely wonderful! So along the way, my taste in music has changed drastically. My Daddy was a huge Pink Floyd & ZZ Top fan and had all of their albums. Then, on the other hand, my Mother loves classical music and old stuff like Frank Sinatra & Tom Jones. Of course, we all loved The Beatles, Elvis & Elton John. Broc's Daddy loves Country music and my Ex-husband is into heavy metal and played guitar and keyboard in a band. And then there was that window during the 80's when I was into Punk Rock and spiked my hair with pink streaks and "punked out" to Billy Idol, The Payola's, Men At Work & Modern English. So I guess you could classify me as a "Classic Rocking, Head Banging, Punk Rocking Country Girl". But I'm lucky that Wayne loves all types of music, like me, and now that we've moved here, we are listening to more and more singer/song writer Americana music. We've met so many people here that are either artists, or musicians, or both. We really look forward to our "Monday Music" nights. So here's a clip from this past Monday. It is our friend "Nick Friedman", who is also an amazing potter & has a studio here in Pisgah Forest called "The Duck Pond". He's also selling some things on Etsy, so please do check out his shop. I just recently got a drum that he made and I've been practicing for "Music Monday":


Besides being an amazing Artist/Musician, Nick & his wife Jen host a slew of musicians throughout the summer @ their studio. The studio is situated right on the bank of the "French Broad River" and you can actually canoe or kayak to or from there if you don't feel like driving {that is of course if you live near the French Broad River}. The music goes on throughout the summer, with musicians coming from all over the country. Some that live here and some that are just passing through. Check out their MySpace for additional information & summer schedule. And if you do decide to travel down here, please let me know and I can give you more information on things to see, and places to eat & stay. I promise you'll love it!

By now you are thinking, okay, so what about the "Metal" part. Well, I probably bit off more than I can chew, as usual, and decided that I want to learn more about the coloring & patination of metal. The lady that I was getting my antiqued wire from is no longer working with it, so I have to do it myself. She told me how to do the wire and then suggested that I get this book:


And so I did. Of course, there are so many different colors & finishes you can give to metal that I'm having a hard time deciding what to do first. And then I have to purchase lots of different things {acids & stuff like that} and a small torch. I've met several people here that are metal sculpturist, including my next door neighbor. I figure I can get some hints & tips from them, plus inside scoop on other tricks & short cuts. All in all, be looking for some new and exciting things from me this summer. I can't wait to get started. And since I've been on somewhat of a "book buying frenzy" as of late, I just couldn't pass these up:


They are just the cutest book plates I've seen in a long time. Years ago I had book plates in all of my books. A rather good habit to be in, I think. You never know when someone may ask to borrow your book and then you won't be put on the spot by saying "let me write my name in it first". If you have these awesome little book plates in them, you can say "sure, enjoy it but I'll need it back soon".

So now I'm on my way to "Lowe's" to see what I can "cook up" and to price torches!

~ Hope you are all having a wonderful Thursday!!!

Xxoo & peace always ~ Kathy

"Until input (thought) is linked to a goal (purpose) there can be no intelligent accomplishment." ~ Paul G. Thomas

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

LEAF {Lake Eden Arts Festival}


The very first time I visited Asheville {about 10 years ago}, I just knew that's where I wanted to live and I felt a huge sense of belonging. And when we were there, the "Lake Eden Arts Festival" {LEAF} was going on up @ Black Mountain. We didn't have time to go and I wanted to so badly. I kept the information and when I got back to Baton Rouge, I joined the mailing list. So for 10 years I've been waiting to go and we finally got to this past Sunday! Now this is a three (3.5) day festival that is held twice a year, in May and then again in October. It's located at "Camp Rockmont" in Black Mountain, NC and is situated on a gorgeous lake. Most people arrive on Thursday night and then camp out for the whole weekend. We are planning on doing that in October and I can't wait! Just going this past Sunday already has me hooked. There are so many performers and musicians and artists that I was just in awe. There are eight (8) different stages set throughout the grounds that feature an amazing variety of music, arts & dancing. Like their statement says "from Mali to St. Croix, and back to our American backyard – from Zydeco to Salsa, LEAF takes you round the world in 3.5 days". There are so many other things that go on around there, as well. One of Wayne's good friend's from the Navy {Randall Thompson} lives up here and he is a performer and was performing Sunday for the kids. It was great seeing him:


And then there is this awesome creek that runs right through the grounds and the kids take turns building rock sculptures, of which some were truly amazing:


The lake was just gorgeous – you can paddle around in canoes & kayaks and there was a huge double zip line that kids were flying down into the lake


And a rock climbing wall that was always in use for those up to the challenge:


There were also several "healing arts" tents and Wayne got a massage/adjustment for $20! And, of course, there is always that one "hot" item and it was these:


There was a lady selling these awesome little hoop skirts! They were so simply made, and obviously a "must have" for every little girl that attended. But the second to best part was the music and these are some of our new friends from Brevard ~ the "Steep Canyon Rangers":


And the very best part about the festival were these:


Our newest and dear friends Mike & Paula {whom we went to the festival with}, and everybody's favorite little baby in the whole world, Jack. His mommy puts those ear protectors on him so the music won't bother his little ear drums. He's the sweetest little kid in the whole world {at least we think so}.

What a wonderful time we had! If you ever visit this area, I would certainly encourage you to attend a "LEAF" festival ~ It's awesome!

Now I'm off to try and figure out how to patina copper {wish me luck}. I hope you are having a wonderful week!

Xxoo & peace always ~ Kathy

"Happiness isn't something you experience, it's something you remember" – Oscar Levant

Monday, May 12, 2008

Thanks For The “Stimulation”…..


….today's batch of packages, thanks to the "George Bush Tax Rebate" stimulation. After all, you can always blame him for how much money you spend in my shop. He did "urge" you, you know. So after the wild ride of activity in
my Etsy shop
over the weekend and the all day "LEAF" {Lake Eden Arts Festival} yesterday, I'm just about pooped out. But, I did get all of your orders filled & off in the mail today *Yay*. And now we are getting ready to head over to some friends' for dinner & music. Please do check my blog tomorrow, as I will be filling you in on all the fun stuff that happened @ "LEAF".


Here's Wayne & his new "best friend" Jack! It looks as though Jack wasn't as excited about the music yesterday as the rest of us were.

Hope you all have a wonderful evening!!!

Xxoo & peace always ~ Kathy

"One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving." ~ Paulo Coelho

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Birthday Gifts…



…so Wayne says that I'm "too old" to get Birthday gifts from my Mom & my Sister! Well, maybe he's "too old", but I'll never be too old to get gifts! We did decide to stop all of the overboard giving of gifts at Christmas, though. It had gotten really ridiculous with my family. They always knew what they were getting because they would tell me what to get them! Besides, none of us even needed any of the things we got and it was just a waste of time & money. So now we just give each other gifts on Birthdays/Mother's Day/Just Because Day, etc. Now, I don't know about you, but I think money makes the best gift. Even though it is somewhat impersonal, but if it accompanies a really sweet, well versed card, it's one of the best gifts ever! Besides, it's really "the thought that counts", right! So, my Mom sent me some money and my Sister sent me a gift card from "Poppies", which is an awesome gourmet market here in Pisgah Forest and where I buy just about all of our groceries that I don't get @ the Tailgate Farmer's Market. And yesterday, my gift from my Mom {that I bought with the $$ she sent} arrived in the mail!

It is a "Flip" Video Recorder! And, it's quite awesome. The main reason I got it {besides the fact that I'm a total geek & gadget freakazoid} is because I got this to go with it:

It's a waterproof case, so you can shoot underwater videos! Now I can make videos of Ozzy swimming, or us swimming, or fish swimming, etc. I actually got it so I could take it with us when we go canoeing {and no, we still haven't done that yet, we are waiting for a rack for the top of my Subaru} and it won't get ruined if it falls in the water, or gets wet. Plus, you can record a full hour of video and it works really great ~ I love it! So then I went over to "Poppies" to use my gift card and here is what I got:


There are some awesome recipes in here and, of course, "Bob's Red Mill" products are the very best of the best! I can't wait to try some of the recipes out and I'll certainly share them with you, when I do.

I also got this awesome jar of Masada Bath Salts for "Joint & Muscle", which I really need lately with all the hikes we've been taking. And last, but certainly not least, was a 6 pack of these:

"Shining Rock" Lager from "Highland Brewing Company", which is right here in Asheville. All in all, it was a wonderful birthday, indeed!
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend & Happy Mother's Day!
Xxoo & peace always ~ Kathy
"I thought of nothing else but rock 'n' roll; apart from sex and food and money--but that's all the same thing, really."~ John Lennon
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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Guts & Wildflowers…


So where have I been!?! – well, we went on a hike for the past three days in a row. It's just gorgeous up here right now and the wildflowers are popping up all over the place. We just have to take advantage of those things whenever we can. So Monday we took Ozzy & Lita for a swim in "Fawn Lake" – of course, all Lita did was watch – she was not having any part of that swimming stuff, which makes her "a chicken". Even though Wayne got them some life jackets to wear:


At least Ozzy had fun! Tuesday we went on what was supposed to be a "4" mile hike that actually turned into more like "6" miles because part of the road was closed and we had to take a detour. The trail was "Daniel Ridge Loop" and it was very, very rugged & rocky, but gorgeous none-the-less. There was a beautiful waterfall, an awesome creek and some lovely wildflowers:






And then yesterday, we went back to "Cove Creek" to get more pictures of the gorgeous "Pink Lady Slippers":


And then we hiked up to the "North Face of Shining Rock". I thought I was doing good just to hike up to the bottom of this massive rock and then there was a young fellow that had his camp all set up and had climbed about ½ way up the side of the rock! {he's where the red circle is in the picture}. Currently, people can only climb up one side of the rock because there are "Peregrine Falcons" nesting there and they are on the endangered species list.


I couldn't even look up at him for very long in fear that I would fall backwards. I realized right then & there that I was not nearly as "brave" as I thought I was and in fact, I was just "a chicken" like Lita!

P.S. You can click on any one of these pictures and see all of my photos from the last 3 days on "Flickr"

Well, I guess I should get busy and make some new things for "The Shop" ~ Happy Thursday! Xxoo & peace always ~ Kathy

"So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable" - Christopher Reeve

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