Monday, December 12, 2011

December 2011 - Catching up on some of our travel adventures.

Well, obviously I've been busy!!!! :) There's been no new posts here for quite some time, although I visit, sporaidically, here and there, when I remember "I have a blog!" LOL! Life has simply been crazy! I make it through one day thinking that tomorrow it will be better, offering a chance for me to slow down, but somehow when tomorrow arrives, that doesn't seem to happen, so I'm going to try to make the most of it and attempt to post some of the highlights of our year. I left off taking about and preparing to post some of our Outer Banks vacation trip, but more importantly you should know I left my heart there and  I cannot wait to go back! {This year's lease agreement & cashier's check are already in the mail! :)}

Anyhow, returning from our vacation... seemed to fill my life with a void I didn't know existed. I quickly realized just how little there is to actually do here on a daily basis, but the restless I feel prevails. Don tried to help me, purchasing me a kayak, taking me out to paddle, either at Alum Creek or Richwood's little park with its nice little beach and flat water pond, perfect to paddle in.We began riding in the dunebuggy more, going on a Memorial Day run over to Indian Lake with friends, a day trip {just the two of us} to the Lake {Erie}, a group ride over to Mohician Valley, where we cruised down the road with the kayak on top of the buggy! and I even did a few hours of kayaking before returning to camp to fix some cheeseburgers for the boys! In late autumn, we took a "Covered Bridges of Union County" tour with Mike and his Trykes. We even went "busting water" down along the side of Bigelow Bridge!!!! It was a freakin' blast!!! So much so that had it been about 20 degrees warmer, I doubt they'd gotten me outta that creek so fast, LOL! It was then, that I, got bitten by the bug! So, No. I didn't hesitate to make a couple runs to buy up some dunebuggy bodies, chaises, motors, and transmissions, in fact, I think I even encouraged it, LOL! We made a run to Toledo for one; and an all day run to Traverse City, Michigan to drag a basket case of a buggy home. We're still not certain that this one is a Manx.... it has all the makings of one, except for the wiring tubes on the underside --- who knows, perhaps someone cut them out, but that's neither really here nor there, the fact is this one is for ME! :)

Besides, vacationing, traveling for dunebuggies {parts & pieces}, we've been blessed with a grandson! Jonavin is 5 months old now and is a very vocal baby. I believe that boy is gonna be talking soon! I also found his first little tooth the other day ---- Yep! Grandma's proud of that known fact! ;) I've been watching him throughout the week while his momma returns to college and he is the joy of my days!!! Alexxis is in the first grade of school this year and is doing wonderfully well. I love hearing about what she is learning and the excitement she has for learning to read is amazing. So much so that we bought her some workbooks for Christmas just to help her practice more since she enjoys it so much!

My Mom and Dad are doing good.... considering their ages and although we had quite a scare with my mom recently. The week of Thanksgiving, my sister, Karen and her husband made it home to share Thanksgiving dinner with us {They were our houseguests.}and Mom was admitted to the hospital with CHF - Congestive Heart Failure, which fortunately, they can treat and help with the symptoms, although there will never be an actual cure for her... she can slide in and out of it, but it will never totally disappear. Mom is back at home now... but the scare of losing them still lingers.

Somehow, during all this I had this overwhelming urge to learn to paint and I found solitude and strengths I never knew I had while creating some of these paintings. I've posted them in the order in which they were created and after the first one a friend commented, "I didn't know you could paint!" I had to admit to her that I didn't know I could either until I did it!" Although, I'm sure there's room for improvement, I've had no formal training in drawing, sketching, or painting, but I'm certainly enjoying the process I'm making and am proud of my efforts ( --- otherwise, I'm not so certain I'd share them, LOL!)

The canvas on this painting was so stretched on the frame, straight out of the packing, I thought about returning it. Instead I decided to try to add some tissue paper over the canvas and it helped to not only tighten the canvas on the frame; it added depth and texture that I could work with! It is one of my favorites to date. I also experimented with a heavy bodied tar gel and mixing acrylic paint more in shades and tints. The reflections in the water had me stumped but with the help of some Flow-aid, I was able to obtain the dream, watery reflection I desired and the texture really helped to add some sense of motion to the painting. Well, at least, I think so.... ;)

And last, but never the least is my newest piece of artwork in progress. I feel deeply in love with the Currituck Beach Lighthouse and knew I wanted at least one of its images in my collection of paintings, so I "Googled" it and found a picture whose composition I liked and began sketching right onto the background. It's been a little tricky getting the sides of that lighthouse just right, I finally got smart and resolved to use masking tape to keep the lines straight!!! LOL! Oh, the tricks you learn in life! :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Damn! Them Dates on the Calendar are Closer than they Appear!

I cannot believe it! Here we are, smack dab in the middle of October before I finally make it back to visit my poor neglected blog! No pics, no vacation updates, no pics of our new grandson!, or the thousands of other things that have happened over the course of the past four months... and all I can say is, "I'm Sorry. Life Happens." and it's been "happening" a lot lately! ;) 

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

This is the view of the Corolla Light Resort from atop the Currituck Beach Lighthouse looking southeaster-ly. It is a very clean and well-maintained resort and we found the staff to be friendly and helpful regarding directions and things to do & see outside of the resort area as well. We loved that a lot of the main attractions, such as the Corolla Historic Village & Shoppes, the Whalehead Club located within the Heritage Park was close enought to walk to or enjoy an evening bike ride to catch a sunset on the sound. {An additional bonus for us was not only could you see our beach house from the lighthouse, we had an amazing view of the lighthouse from our beachhouse!}

{room to upload pic to follow}

Our Outer Banks Experience...

Have you ever seen pictures of someplace online and just know that somehow someway you gotta go there? Well, going to the Outer Banks of North Carolina was my someplace --- I absolutely fell in love with the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and the Outer Banks moment my eyes first laid on photographs others had previously posted on the internet, mostly those shown back in my scrapbooking message board days. I'd never really imagined going, but I certainly dreamed and thought about it for quite some time!  I cannot for the life of me even remember when or where or why, Don & I's conversations even began to take the turn to begin taking about a vacation, but neverless the less, take one we did! It was sort of spur-of-the-moment, feeling the need for one, and then Don told me to get online and check things out. Before I even knew what hit me, I came across a great deal for a week's getaway, considering to be on the off- season, an entire beach house for 12 within a resort community with access to many amenities, so discussed it with Don, who quickly told me to contact the realitor. It didn't take long to say, "We'll take it!" and leases and cashier's checks began flying through the mail. Yep! It happened that fast; we'd packing and leaving in six short weeks! Shortly thereafter, I googled everything I wanted to know before leaving while the anticipation and excitement began to build. I don't know how many times I actually had to pinch myself to be sure I wasn't dreaming, LOL! Little by little, the brochures I'd order began appearing in the mailbox and I'd spend my afternoon browsing and dreaming of the places we'd see and some of the things we'd love to do while there. I truly felt so suddenly alive and inspired, I created the mini-book previously posted, and began filling in some of the details, I was certain I'd want to capture. {Although after you go, is when you REALLY get it!}  We ran into so many people from Ohio, we began to wonder, "how in the world, did we miss the bus?" Anyways, our week was absolutely amazing! The beach house was more beautiful that we expected, the resort absolutely beautiful, peaceful, with plenty of things to do even in the off-season. Lighted walkways assisted us to the beach areas in the evenings and at night. We spent time laying on the beach, collecting seashells, people and nature watching, enjoying the sand, surf, and blue skies. We couldn't have asked for better weather, days with little or no rain, even though the weather channel previously stated otherwise the week prior to our trip. We flew kites on the beach while the wind played havoc with the sun, sand, and sea, We enjoyed the deck at the beach house with it's day and nighttime views of Currituck Beach Lighthouse, along with wonderful food and of course a few "island" theme adult beverages. 

We enjoyed the close proximity to shopping, dine-in or carry-out food, and to Corolla BBQ!, which was our first venture out after unloading and settling into the beach house. The pulled pork sandwiches and potatoe salad made for a nice, light dinner, followed by a walk to the beach in the evening, which made a wonderful preparation for a good night's sleep. There's nothing quite like the smell of the sea- salted air blowing a light breeze through the bedroom window while the sound of the waves lull you to sleep and the light from the lighthouse anchors you securely with the knowledge you and your loved ones have arrived safe and sound.

Monday, May 30, 2011

"Almost" June!

It's so hard to believe that today is Memorial Day! {Thank you to all who have served our country through the centuries. You are the true heroes!} and tomorrow will be the last day in May! We've been so busy over the past six weeks that time simply went right on by with all the planning and anticipation of our Outer Banks road trip. We had such an amazing time, it's going to take me some time to post pictures and write updates. Please be patient with me as I take the necessary steps as we continue on our journey! Pictures and posts soon, I promise!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Outer Banks Mini-Book ~ Signature II

The second signature was sewn into the right side of the gatefold album, again I fastened it into place using a pamphlet stitch. I used a lot of scrap papers creating this album and it was so much fun to find myself rubberstamping and playing with paper again. I think it shows ;)

I left room for observations...

included a postcard and added a map of the Outer Banks area. A rub-on circles the word "Corolla" and the map is accordian-folded to preserve the integrity of the small 6" x 6"book.

Another photo from the resort's website and a variety of rubber stamped images and text, along with some of the local telephone numbers that we may or may not need.

Also, located within the Corolla area is the historic Corolla Village, which features a quaint, small town restored schoolhouse that is on the National Register of Historic Places so I designed several pages for photographs and journaling to be added after our visit.

I was stoked to learn that the Corolla Light Resort won 2010's NC Resort of the Year. The map printed off below is actually an interactive map on the resort's website. I printed them off to assist me with correctly documenting everything... hopefully anyways!

The Grille, an oceanfront restaurant located within the resort,
aka "Crabcake Heaven"... another photo from website.

I created a pocket to hold another map that I printed off the resort's website. It is a map of the entire resort area, which our beach house is located within.

Print of map, unfolded.

Researching the area, I learned about Corova, a twenty mile area north of Corolla, where the wild Spanish mustangs roam free...

All of the above photographs were taken from travel brochures discovered online. I'll be adding photographs that we take once we get there which will help to assist in personally the mini-book just for ourselves.

This Rhonda Ferrer stamp pretty much sums up how I feel about going! I'm so ready!!! The next portion of the book focuses on the beach house itself... It's name is "The Lush Life" Let's hope it lives up to it, LOL!!!

I printed off the online photographs of the house and created a small accordian album to house them altogether.

Released from it's tie closure...

and stretched out...

One of the amenities of the Corolla Light Resort is the Community Trolley. Trolley Stops are located within the community, although one can easily walk to everything with just a little bit of enjoyable time doing so...

A tri-folded enclosure houses the trolley map {printed from website}, a stamped tag and a few accents complete yet another page. The beach house we've leased is located within the Lighthouse Villas area of the resort, so I printed off another map of the area. I'm certain these will come in handy in helping us to reach our destination! ;)

I also left a couple of pages for journaling and more photographs, as we, ourselves physically visit the area and get to experience all the sights and sounds ourselves!!! I cannot wait!!!

I may end up creating a few more signatures to add to this mini-book. It has already became apparent that that is a lot of information to pack all in to one place and did I mention that this only covers the one area out of many that we plan to experience while on the Outer Banks. Stay tuned...You may just see more here real soon....

Outer Banks Mini-book

I began by altering a Basic Grey Gatefold Mini-Book by removing the pages and creating two new signatures within the book using a pamphlet stitch to attach the signatures to the book's structure and cover. Adding additional pages allowed me to cover a lot of territory and details for our upcoming Outer Banks, NC road trip that I'm certain that I don't want to miss.

To help remind me of some of the places I desire for us to go and visit, to some of the things I'd love to do while we are spending the week there, I saved and printed off some of the pictures that I've used here from some of the actual travel brochures we'll be sure to pick up on our travels, with promises of being "more than just a beach".

Visiting and hoping to see the Wild Spanish Mustangs in the Corova area is probably #1 on my MUST Do list! We will be staying very close to that area, just a bit further south in Corolla.

Therefore, for this signature I focused mainly on that area of the Outer Banks.
The beach house we've leased is located within the Corolla Light Resort area and we will have access to all the amenities the resort offers. I've decided Don and I deserve the "Starring Roles" in this production as we spend our days at the beach, charting our own course as we navigate through the days trying to savor each and every moment of our time spent there.

Visiting the Lighthouses is another MUST See/Do... located within Corolla is the Currituck Beach Lighthouse and is one of five on the Outer Banks. Seeing them will most definitely be "A Wish Came True".

I created a card style closure to hold a few pictures of us and room for some journaling about our adventures.

A K&Co. rub-on, a Cricut cut, and a Corolla tab help decorate the pages.
Another page with room for pictures and journaling...

I've already added my list of things to do!

It is here within the mini-book that I focused my attention completely on the Corolla Light Resort and Corella area. The photos were printed from online brochures and their website to provide me a visual add as well as to serve as reminders of the time we will be spending there.

I created a small accordian style booklet to hold a lot of important information all in one place. Location, physical address, directions, Main office, Sport Center, Maintainance, and Security telephone numbers and a printed email with information from an online friend.

Another page for photographs and journaling to be added...

The Outer Banks area a group of barrier islands along the Eastern coast of North Carolina, the Currituck Sound on the west and the Atlantic ocean on the east... promises to provide the best of both worlds!

Another couple pages for notes, photos, and whatever else.

Names of places within the Corolla area...