Monday, June 20, 2016

The yard needs some TLC...

Our new home needs some gardening TLC.  The house had not been occupied for over a year and had been used as vacation home only.  The yard has amazing potential, but no effort has been made other than basic mowing and edging so it would sell.  We have zero curb appeal and a lot of weeds and trimming to deal with.  I'm considering hiring some help to get a good foundation in place that I can build on. Here are some fun decorative ideas that I found on Pintrest....I love them!

1.) Hostas are one of my favorite plants, they are very striking when used as a potted plant. I'd love to do something like this for the front porch.  It is covered and shady...just what hostas love...shade.
Container Plants

"Hostas in a pot! every spring they the pot! Add geraniums and ivy."

2.) Another favorite of mine are succulents in a big low profile pot.  Not sure where I would put this, but I love it!
Container Gardening

"Love this container, looks like floating water lily. Of the blue-glazed birdbath pictured here, Baldwin writes: "Purple and pink echeveria suggest water lilies. White-webbed Sempervivum arachnoideum rosettes sparkle like sunlight on the surface of water, and in their midst is a flat green Aeonium tabuliforme (lily pad aeonium). A topdressing of green and blue florist's marbles enhances the illusion." Baldwin took the photo at the California Cactus Center in Pasadena, and the design by Arree."

3.) The previous owner left a old wine barrel and a lot of old galvanized buckets and tubs, I plan to do something creative with them, this is a good example of what I want to do.
Container Gardening

"Love the bright colors of this impatient mix, it will brighten up a yard that is a sea of green grass and trees."

4.) Last but not least we have a significant slope that has been sliding down to the driveway with every rain storm. WE will be putting in a retaining wall, but I would also love something like this.  I absolutely love the different textures, the rocks and plants will satisfy that craving for texture. Love it!
Rock Garden

If you have any ideas or photos of fun landscape installations, please send them my way.


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Join the Fun....

I’m joining the fun this week…. Sitting on the porch and answering random questions about everything under the sun….

Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

1. If you could sit beside and/or jump in any lake in the whole wide world today, which lake would you choose and why?

Lake Blue Ridge in Blue Ridge, GA….We just moved to Blue Ridge three weeks ago, due to all the unpacking, office/studio set-up, trips to the Home Depot, and donating stuff to local thrift stores, we have not had time to enjoy the beautiful mountain lake just a short trip from our house. Looking forward to dipping my toes in the cold mountain water sometime soon!
2. What's your favorite 'fruity' drink?

I love Sangria with a lot of fresh fruit floating in the pitcher. We purchase a great bottle of sangria from Costco and add our own fruit to jazz it up.  It’s so refreshing on a hot day.

3. I read a list here of thirteen things to do right now to simplify your life. They were - clean as you go, re-evaluate your relationships (cut toxic ties), unsubscribe (too many blogs and websites), de-clutter, write down your daily goals, reply to emails right away, forget multitasking, create a morning routine, re-evaluate your commitments (which hobbies and responsibilities are most important to you), say no, clean up your computer, and plan your day ahead. Which of the tasks listed do you currently find most helpful in keeping life simple? Which item on the list should you adopt in order to simplify your life this month? 
“Forget multitasking” has helped my scattered brain cope during this massive multiple phase move we just completed.   The one thing I should do this month to help simplify my life would be “write down your daily goals”.  This would help keep me on track and not forget any of the tasks that still need to be completed at the new house and for my upcoming craft show events.

4. What did you do the summer after you graduated from high school?
I worked at the Dairy Queen in Merrillville Indiana.  I made hundreds of Dilly Bars and Ice Cream Sandwiches that summer.  To this day I can still make a perfect cone with the curl on top.  Ice Cream has always been my guilty pleasure.

5. Are you a fan of podcasts? If so what's a favorite?
I’ve only listened to a few; they all had to do with increasing sales and customer service on Etsy. 

 6. Do you think today's fathers have it harder, easier, or just different than fathers in the past?
Not harder or easier, just very different. This generation has its challenges with all the social media and pressure to fit in. Parents toady have to keep up with the latest ‘fads’ and ‘scams’ just like our parents did; the goal is the same for every generation…keep your kids safe and well provided for.  

7. Tell us one way you're like your father? Or not at all like your father if that's easier?

I’ve been called “Jim Patton in a skirt”; we are alike in almost every way. He is determined and driven, a hard worker, he believes in God, and has a tender heart for all God’s creatures. In those ways I think I'm like my dad. I also inherited his height (I’m 6’ tall) and his blue eyes. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I’m reinventing myself (center); I left the corporate world after 33 years to pursue my creative dreams.  We moved out of the big city (Atlanta) to a small mountain town with a fabulous artist community. I’m booked for my first juried art event and I have the loving support of my husband Chuck, my girl friends, and family …Life is good!


Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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Saturday, June 18, 2016

She's so excited....

Our granddaughter Kyra (6) lost her front tooth...she was so excited to tell us her big news. She is so Cute!


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Friday, June 17, 2016

New Location... New Life!

Moved to the Mountains....

For many years I dreamed of moving to the's now a reality. I left the corporate world (33 years) and I'm beginning a new chapter....I'm reinventing myself.  Below are some photos of our new home in Blue Ridge, GA.  A dream come true!

"Brookwood Manor"

The Brook


Master Bath

Screen Room

Master Bedroom

Looking forward to making this home ours and embarking on all the new adventures in store for us in our new location.  Loving the new life so far!


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Sunday, April 10, 2016

New Design Space...

Now that I'm no longer working in the corporate world, I'm dedicated to reinventing myself and pursuing my creative side... 

I ordered this corner desk unit to use as my creative workstation at the new house. I will have a dedicated room for my studio. 

I plan to revamp and expand my current Etsy jewelry shop and develop a new shop dedicated to wedding decor.

I'm so excited to begin this new chapter in my life!

This piece will be used as my printer stand and file cabinet for my Etsy orders paperwork.  I like the wood grain finish and the industrial look framework.  

I will have two of these matching tall shelf units flanking the corner desk. One will be used for bead container storage and the other for wedding decor storage.  I will have easy access to both units for supply selection when I'm working on a project. I won't need to jump up and down to reach supplies like I do now in my current space.

We move to the new house in about three weeks.  I can't wait to get started on my new life!

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Dear Kelly...

Put your family first.

You can live your bohemian lifestyle later on; you can’t get your kids, spouse or family back from a neglected relationship. You tend to underestimate the influence that you have on your children.  Kids who are exposed to bad parenting are two times more likely to misbehave, lie, and become aggressive. Your inconsistent disciplinary approaches, poor supervision and promises broken are poor parenting attributes that have negatively affected your children; regardless of what you think, they are worth your time and effort.

You can be the hero of this story; it’s not too late to put your family first…

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Tuesday, April 5, 2016



What Money Can’t Buy…
·         Reminiscing About Old Times with Your Best Friend – Those amazing life experiences only the two of you lived through together.  Like that wild weekend trip to Sarasota, or following ‘that guy’ for miles to see where he lived, or floating down Rock Springs in an inner tube on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Priceless!

·         Unexpectedly Hearing Your Favorite Song – You’re stuck on I-285 in rush hour traffic, you change the radio station for a little diversion.  The opening notes to your favorite song (September by WW&F) instantly chime in. Priceless!

·         The Sound of a Rock Filled Rushing Creek– It’s the music of Mother Nature surrounding you. Priceless!

·         The Warm Touch of Your Sweetie – It’s the touch no one else shares.

·         The Feeling of Acceptance – You’re a part of something greater… and it feels good. Priceless!


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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Relaxing on a Sunday Afternoon....

I want this! Relaxing on a Sunday Afternoon....

I really enjoy spending Sunday afternoon at home just relaxing. I know this sounds crazy, but for me relaxing is all about organizing, shopping, and reading. Here are 3 things to do to make the most of your peaceful Sunday....
1. Organize your pantry: Dive into your pantry or kitchen cabinet and organize it. Get rid of the items that have expired or you haven’t used in years, and arrange the ones you have left. You'll feel pleased with yourself and ready for cooking next week.

2. Go online shopping: I’ve recently cleaned out my closet; I need to fill the newly cleaned space with a few new outfits (I’ve lost some weight recently). Sundays are the best day to online shop from the comfort of my favorite cozy chair.

3. Catch up on your favorite blogs: Check out all the blogs you didn't have time to during the week. You might even get an extra dose of inspiration for the new week ahead.

Happy Sunday!
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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Reinventing Myself...

Choose your Path Wisely

Growing up, I always assumed that I'd move to a cool loft apartment in a city with a lot of creative energy and pursue a career as a graphic artist. I was a fine art major in college, but I never accomplished my dream of becoming an “artist”.  The reality of supporting myself as a struggling artist forced me down another path and I entered the corporate world.  As a 22-year-old retail ‘professional’ and aspiring Project Manager with boundless energy, it was the right fit, and I couldn't have been happier.  But flash forward thirty three years and many, many, IT projects later; I realized I was in a rut. I felt uninspired at my job, fed up with corporate life, and I craved a change of scenery. 
Still, the idea of leaving my job was terrifying.  As stressful as corporate life can be, it was also my comfort zone. While leaving my job was certainly a risk, I realized it was a bigger liability to stay put for another year; my health was suffering from stress and unhappiness. 
After putting in plenty of thought and research, I chose to take a leap of faith and quit my corporate job and once again return to my creative roots.  
Here are some things you should know if you are also thinking about taking this leap of faith:

Take a Risk

1.  Give the Decision Plenty of Thought — Then Fully Embrace Your Choice
Taking any risk is like jumping from a plane with a parachute on your back: if you think about it too much, you'll probably end up saying "nah, not today". I'm not saying the decision to make a huge move should be taken lightly or done impulsively. But once you've done your research and weighed all the pros and cons, go with your gut instinct and commit yourself to making the change happen.
There's never a guarantee that something is going to be as wonderful as you'd hoped, but follow your instincts and remember that everything is reversible.

Ladies Night

2. Network, Network, Network
To begin my creative career, I needed to move to a place that inspires me artistically —we are in the process of relocating to the North Georgia Mountains. This admittedly makes me a little nervous because, as much as I value my alone time, I've always had a close circle of friends in the same city as me.
Being an introvert, it’s never easy for me to engage people and make new friends.  So to combat my fears I’m working on several ways to network in our new town.  Read my five ways to meet new people in a strange town here.  

Me Time

3. Embrace Your Newfound “Me” Time
A creative and social network isn't going to fall into place immediately.   One of the best parts of moving to a brand new town is that you get to play tourist, and there are plenty of fun activities to do by yourself. Dining, shopping, scenic parks, and site seeing are all activities that can be enjoyed solo.  Without the rigid work schedule I’ll be free to explore the new surroundings.
New Routine
4. Get Yourself into a Routine
It's natural to feel a little off-kilter when you first leave the daily grind of the corporate world. You're in an unfamiliar place and are still dealing with a lot of unknowns. As exciting as it is, it's also going to be stressful at times.
For many people, there's comfort in building a new routine. Try to establish healthy sleeping and eating patterns immediately, because feeling physically healthy and energetic will make a huge difference. Have a regimen, but don't force yourself to structure every minute of every day. Allow yourself free time to catch your breath, watch a guilty pleasure TV show, or simply wander your new neighborhood.

5. Accept That There Are Some Things You'll Miss
According to unofficial data (aka my feelings), Don't be surprised if you feel pangs of sadness when you see Instagram posts of your friends and colleagues hanging out at a café together or at one of your favorite happy hour spots in your former city after work. It doesn't mean you made the wrong decision by moving; it just means that you made some strong relationships and memories in your former life, and that's something to be grateful for.

Reinventing Yourself
6. Try Not To Have Regrets
If you have put in all the effort and planning to make a huge life change, it's because something wasn't working in your life. Once you've arrived in your new home and begin reinventing yourself, embrace every opportunity and stay positive when things get uncomfortable.   Take comfort in the knowledge that you took the initiative to give yourself a clean slate and you are creating new opportunities for yourself. That's something to be proud of!

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Friday, April 1, 2016

Making Friends as an Introvert...

Making Friends

Those who know me well know that I’m an Introvert and totally shy around new people. Making “friends” as an introvert is always a difficult task for me.  Soon my husband and I will be moving to a new town; the idea of making friends again is daunting.  To combat my fear, I’m doing a little research on the new town and planning some ways to make this “challenge” interesting and more adventurous. Below are some possible ways to make friends as an introvert in our new town.

Main Street
1. Find a cafe, bar, park, or bench that is “mine”.
The new town has a main street filled with interesting shops and restaurants. It is close to home, and will take minimal effort to get there. I plan to visit it often, same time, and same place. After several visits I will emerge as a regular to the staff and other regulars. This won’t take too long to accomplish.

2. Take a jewelry making class.
The new town has a little independent bead shop that offers classes. I’ve found that classes are a good place to connect and relax. Letting go of control is challenging as an introvert. However, that is the point. After 2 hours of watching others working on the same project, conversation is easier, fun, and just flows.
3. Go to upcoming creative lectures.
Lectures are a major draw for introverts. Several artists are scheduled to lecture at one of the galleries on Main Street.  I can sit and listen to big ideas and new concepts. I can look around the room, observe the curiosity of others, and simply enjoy a close-ended experience. There’s plenty of time to ask questions in an orderly fashion, and pinpoint others I’d like to get to know. Afterwards, there should be an opportunity to strike up a conversation or engage with a group of people.

Walking in Blue Ridge, GA
4. Go walking at the same time every day.
There’s something about taking a walk on a quiet morning and seeing other members of the community in their daily routines. You see familiar faces by following the same route. This provides me a sense of security, comfort, and community. It’s great practice for talking to strangers, and maybe making a new friend.

Dining Meetup
5. Start a meetup group
Starting my own community gives me the chance to “hand-pick” the people I want in my new circle of friends. Maybe a dining group or artists who want to start a co-op. I can create events, and cap it at 10 or even 20 members. As the group leader, I’ll be in charge of picking events and communicating with people.  This will push me to get out and socialize.
Hopefully these efforts will give me a sense of empowerment as I try to make new friends as an introvert. I want to create new social connections that will enhance my life.  Wish me luck on this new adventure!


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Thursday, March 24, 2016

10 Ways to Welcome Spring Early…

I’m ready for spring!

This year the winter here in the Deep South has been daunting, bitterly cold lows and record breaking highs. In just one week we had temperatures below 10 degrees, snow, an ice storm, and a balmy 69 degree day. I keep thinking spring is on the way, but as soon as it starts warming up, another cold front passes through. The weather has been teasing me.

I have spring and all the things that it brings on my mind today. So, this weekend I am going to push spring’s arrival in my neck of the woods. 

Here are 10 ways to welcome spring early:

10 ways to welcome spring early

1.) Visit the Farmers Market for fresh strawberries – Do you have any smell memories? One of my strongest spring smell memory is fresh strawberries. Florida is at the peak of their season right now. Yummy! 

Birkenstocks with socks

2.) Wear Birkenstocks without socks – Since there is no better shoe for shopping, visiting an outdoor festival, or trekking down to the campsite; I wear my Birks all year. It’s time to take the socks off and let my toes breath.

10 ways to welcome spring early

3.) Plan a “Spring Break” vacation – It’s been a long time since I piled into a car filled with friends and headed to the beach for a week. I’m going to do some research and plan a Florida road trip. Florida was my home for many years; it’s time to share that chapter of my life with my husband. There are so many memories and sites to see!

SUV Packed for Glamping or Camping

4.) Organize the camping gear – We love camping in the spring when nature is waking up from its cold winter sleep. The landscape is new and bright, the air is clean and crisp and new life is emerging. By sorting, cleaning, and organizing the camping gear now, we’ll be ready to hop in the car and head for the mountains on the first nice weekend.

10 ways to welcome spring early

5.) Put up a hammock in the back yard – Have you ever spent an afternoon with a good book relaxing in a hammock? It’s a wonderful way to relax and escape for a few hours in spring. Naps are optional, but highly recommended.

10 ways to welcome spring early

6.) Sit outside at a café – I love the atmosphere of a sidewalk café, a relaxed casual approach to dining. We seem to linger longer over the meal and people watch as the surrounding tables fill with interesting people. And why does a burger taste so much better when served at an outside café? It’s a mystery…..

10 ways to welcome spring early

7.) Visit the Flower Market for tulips and daffodils – The bulb flowers are just beginning to pop out of the ground. I think tulips and daffodils will brighten the house with the colors of spring.

10 ways to welcome spring early

8.) Take a hike and notice the trees budding – New life is emerging all around; a hike in the woods will bring me a little closer to the birth of spring.

10 ways to welcome spring early

9.) Plant Something Green – Last but not least, my favorite way to quicken spring’s arrival…dig in the dirt! It’s one of my favorite ways to relax and the results make me smile for many months and sometimes years if they are perennials.

Linen Closet

10.) Store the winter bed linens - Remove the down comforter and flannel sheets. They may have been perfect for the winter season, but during spring it's more comfortable to opt for lightweight covering, such as a duvet or a quilt.

Lori in Atlanta

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