Friday, February 28, 2014

Road Trip!! Cedar Key and Birthdays

This was the year of a "BIG" birthday and I wanted to do something a little special, so Ruth, our friend and travel agent, suggested we go to Cedar Key.  Having lived in Florida for more than 25 years you would think we would have explored every inch of the state, but to our surprise and delight we found someplace new and relatively undiscovered by the usual hordes of winter tourists.

We stayed at the Cedar Key Bed and Breakfast which is owned and operated by Alice, a delightful lady who really makes you feel like you are a guest at her home.

Since it was a special day, we booked the Honeymoon Cottage.

As you can imagine, the Captain's first reaction when we entered the room was 
"This isn't a guy's place."

And I had to agree :-)

Very Victorian, very frilly

but also charming and comfortable.

We wandered around the grounds

where there were little nooks and crannies with 
chairs and flowers everywhere

How many ways can you say delightful!

This is how close we were to the water.

We walked through the town where quiet takes on a new meaning.  
Not a Mickey to be found for miles! 

Looking down the main street...

Just peaceful and serene

There is a great fishing pier, complete with pelicans

and some nice shops where we
found some eclectic artwork

We had world famous chowder for lunch at Tony's where the food was so good 
I forgot to take a picture!

But did take a selfie at the pier:-)

And one of the Captain too!

Kayaking, sailing, fishing, boat rides, biking, hiking, golf carts...

everything within walking distance

and we were only there for one night!

While sitting on the porch at the B&B enjoying a glass of wine we met some new friends from the UK, and after sharing some great conversation they joined us for dinner at the Island Room.
This is a beautiful restaurant right on the water and the perfect
place to catch the sunset.

I ended up having such a wonderful day, meeting new friends, seeing new sights...
sometimes life can just surprise you with pure simplicity. 

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The next morning breakfast was served here.

 Each couple has their own little table! 

The cookie jar was always full and the fridge always stocked. Can't wait to return!

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For my knitting friends, Alice recommended a book "Spinning Forward" by Terri DuLong who is a local author. The book is about a lady who opens a yarn shop in Cedar Key and stays at the B&B. 
I've already read it and am looking for the sequel!

                        Until next time...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Pine Needle Pendants

Small Red Jasper Pine Needle Necklace Pendant After the GYB party many of you asked me about my Pine Needle Pendants so I thought I'd share a bit more about them.

I literally gather hundreds of southern long leaf pine needles, one at a time, in and around Tallahassee. This takes an incredible amount of time because the needles must be perfect.  Straight and not twisted. Clean with no discolorations.

I bring them home and wash them in a soapy bath to be sure there are no little critters hiding and then place them on my screen porch to dry. When they are dry, which the timing is hard to predict due to our humidity, I sort them again and cut off the stems which provides a bunch of individual needles.

Now the fun really begins!
Pendants are started  with cabochons which have been adhered to faux leather.  Coils of pine needles are attached by stitching with artificial sinew (waxed thread) while continually feeding individual pine needles into the coil.  After a couple of rows, this is the result.

The art of using pine needles to create baskets and other crafts had almost been lost. Fortunately the craft is being revived through interest in the creation and collection of this unique art form.

                                                                  ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~

Here are a few pieces that are now listed in my Etsy Shop, Pine Designs & Cache-Mire.

The rich, turquoise color is like a bright blue summer sky.

This reminds me of a cameo.

 red jasper

and white howlite

a few are small, and some are larger

and black onyx is one of my favorites

I went to China a few years ago (before I started blogging) and now use a portion of my profits of this craft to benefit China missions. It feels good to do some good, especially when you enjoy the process.  Does that make sense?

Thanks for stopping by!

                           Until next time....

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Grow Your Blog ~ Giveaway Winner!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who stopped by and visited my blog during the party! 

Wasn't that fun!!  It reminded me of a treasure hunt... searching blogs to find new friends.  And I found a bunch!  But it takes time to get to more than 500 sites!  I plan to keep visiting, and hope to find even more friends in the coming weeks.

A BIG thank you to Vicki at 2 Bags Full for hosting the party!  I can't begin to imagine how much time it took putting this all together but greatly appreciate all of her efforts.


... the winner of my sweetgrass pendant giveaway is ....... Una at Great Bags of Wool I hope you enjoy it!  (please email me your address so I can ship it across the pond:-)

Thanks for stopping by!

        Until next time ~