Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Seamore and the Sea Turtles

It's been work, work, work around here lately. I will admit that I miss my studio. Trying to work out of this apartment proves to be challenging. It took me three hours to hunt through boxes the other day to put an order together. Oh well, it's only temporary and time is already flying by. We'll be in our new house before we know it.


Going into 2016, I decided to make a few changes to my business. As I begin to travel more and more, meeting new friends and having Play Dates and Chats all around the country, I decided to design six brand new Folk Art Fusion classes exclusively for those participants. Teaching is my passion and I wanted to do something special for those guilds and groups who hire me.

This is Seamore the Seahorse

Seamore is an entrepreneur. He sells his seashells in the "Sand-Dollar-Store." hee,hee,hee. ;) I was inspired to create him as a celebration of my new home in this wonderful beach town.  

Would your guild or group like a Folk Art Fusion play date with the crazy bunny lady? Then hop over HERE for more information. I would love to meet you!

Speaking of living in a beach town, I had a new adventure last Saturday night with my friend, Jean. She and her husband, Dave, are sea turtle volunteers and they invited me to attend an excavation with them. Of course I said YES!


Jean and Dave explained that three days after a nest has hatched, it is excavated. This enables any remaining turtles who have not emerged from the nest to be set free. The trained volunteers extract the turtles and count the number of eggs that were in the nest and then record the data. The public is welcome to observe the baby turtles take their first steps from the sidelines of the turtle trench. The turtles make their way down the trench and plunge into the ocean where they begin their long journey to the gulf stream.





Jean has guard duty as the turtles make their way. The volunteers help the turtles stay in the trench and keep them pointed towards the ocean. They wear gloves to protect themselves from the bacteria the turtles have on them from the eggs.




































I asked Jean why they don't pick the turtles up and just put them near the waters edge. She told me that the turtles must make their imprint on the beach because they will return to the beach where they were born when they mature. 




Then she explained how only one in one thousand turtles will make it to maturity and how they swim currents and the seas all around the world before they return to the place they were born. It takes around THIRTY YEARS!



There were seven babies left in the nest. They were so tiny.

As I watched them go by, I couldn't help but think of all the adventures awaiting them. I also said a little prayer for their safety so they could one day return to this beach.


Before they plunged into the ocean, I wished them "Fair Winds and Following Seas." This is a quote Captain taught me. It's what they say in the Navy when one is leaving.


This is a card the volunteers were handing out. There is lots of good information and so many things I didn't know.


You can read more about this group HERE.



I hope you enjoyed the turtles as much as I did and please contact me if you would like to schedule a Play Date in 2016.

Light, love and hugs to you,
Michelle, the Bunnies and the Sea Turtles too!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Cottages Old and New - Adventures in Southport NC

Hi ya! Hope your week is going well. Mine is great so far! This is a long post, so grab yourself a drink and a snack. :)


Today I wanted to share an adventure David and I took on Sunday. We decided to take a little drive (40 minutes) to Southport, NC.


This small, seaside town is packed with Southern charm and character.


There were delightful shops and restaurants everywhere. We had lunch at the Fishy Fishy cafe. Yummy! If you ever go to Southport, you should eat here.

The best part of the adventure for me was seeing all the cottages. Give me small and charming any day. I admit, there were several times I almost hyperventilated with all the cuteness. David started counting how many times I said, "Oh My Gosh! That is sooooooooooooo cute!" Then he gave up because it was pretty much all I said.  hee,hee,hee

I thought it would be fun to share the photos with you. First, we will start off with the old cottages. Most of these were built in the late 1800's.

This was the first one we came to. This 3 bedroom, 2 bath 1200 square foot cottage has been completely remodeled and is a quick hop and a skip to the water. However, it's super pricey at $595,000!!! Can we say "location, location, location." Yep. 


I could have moved right into this one too. That little deck up top is so sweet!


I love the salmon and white colors of the house against the green of the grass and the brown tones of the tree, front door and stone fence. I think these would be gorgeous in a quilt. ;) Hmmm...noted.


Is it just me, or are yellow cottages always so friendly? You can't help but smile when you see a yellow cottage.


While we are looking at the old cottages, I must point out one of my favorite things about this area. The trees!


You know how much I adore trees.


There are Live Oak trees everywhere. Many of which have moss hanging from them. My favorite! These trees are hundreds of years old.

This cottage was surrounded by trees and there was even a tree swing in the yard. Fun!

I loved the Victorian details of this cottage. It was quite large compared to the other homes on the street.


The same with this one, which was an inn.
 
Even the side view of this home was welcoming. The yard, or garden as my UK and Aussie friends say, was beautiful.

This one was very patriotic. Notice the details on the bay window.

This one had been remodeled. I think they did a wonderful job. The windows on the front porch with the shutters were very interesting. They are not what you would normally see on a bungalow style house. Again, note the tree swing on the right. ;) 


This one had charming details, trees and a gorgeous yard. I could take a nap under a quilt on that porch any day! Well, except when it's 100 degrees out like it was on Sunday.


The last stop in the "Old Cottage" section is this majestic home with a widow's walk. It was really fun for David and I to find this house. Lyd told me that her mother in law grew up in this house! It was built by her great grandfather who was a famous blockade runner. Lyd's husband, John, said great, great, grandfather's photo is in the local museum.


Here is the historic marker across the street from the house and...


here is the view from the house! Incredible. Of course, Lyd and I both chatted about living there during a hurricane. NOT!

Now, we will hop down the road a bit and go into a brand new cottage neighborhood. These homes have all been built within the last few years. They are twice the size of the old cottages and half the price. The trade off is location. You would have to drive to the water from here. Also, there are no trees. Like many new neighborhoods, the developer comes in and clear cuts everything (insert grumbling here). :(  I will admit though that I fell in love with the neighborhood despite the fact there were no Live Oak trees.


The homes are simply charming and completely up to date with modern, energy efficient finishes.
Like most new neighborhoods, there are several home plans to choose from. This plan is called the Sandpiper.

Here it is again in a taupe/gray color


and a slightly different version in a salmon or coral color.


This one is called The Seaside.

Here it is again in aqua


and here's another yellow version.


This is The Sandfiddler model.

and this one is The Seahaven.

This one is called, The Surfside Cottage. It's my favorite style out of all of them. I love the roof lines, the porches, the columns and the floor plan.


Here is another variation

and another


and another. David and I both liked this one best as we like more neutral earthy colors. Plus, this had a big detached garage out back that David really loved!

Here's a link to the floor plan and some interior photos of you would like to take a peek. :) While you are there, you can look through the other models. They are all equally as charming.


My friend, Jean, mentioned that we should take the ferry back home. It only cost $5 and we decided it would be fun. Although, it was really, really, like really hot as you can tell from the melting look on my face. Thank goodness for the sea breeze.

The seagulls were riding along with us. It made me laugh how they would sit on top of the ferry and ride along like they were just too hot and tired to fly across.


This little one came by to say hello to me. He also asked if I had a snack to share, which I did not. I thought the light shining off his wings against the Carolina blue sky was so beautiful.


The pelican boys came flying by. They were headed out to the "Buoy Bar" to meet their buddies.


It was a packed house. hee,hee,hee. You know I couldn't help it. I just had to have a little critter story in here somewhere.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this little adventure to the sea. Which cottages to you like better, the old or the new? What color would you paint your cottage?

I'll see you back here next Wednesday hopefully with an update on our little cottage.

Hugs,
Michelle

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Catching up - Checking in - Going slow

Hi there! Boy oh boy have I missed you! I feel like I have been gone for years. It's amazing how fast the time is going by. Of course, I say this ever single day as I'm sure you do too.

Here's a recap of the past few weeks.


We said goodbye to our home, Rosewood Cottage in New Bern, on July 4th. It was bitter sweet for sure. Fourteen years ago we were building this house. There are so many wonderful memories that were made here. We will treasure the years we spent in this house.


While it was sad to leave our house and our dear friends, we were also excited to begin our new adventure in Wilmington. We had been in New Bern for over twenty years. This is the site of our new home, which is scheduled to be finished around Thanksgiving. The neighborhood, yard and house will be much smaller, but we are looking forward to less upkeep. Also, we are blessed once again have a pond behind our house. Who knows, maybe we will even have a new peep family. ;) I will share the progress of the house with you.

Captain and Eric helped us move to Wilmington (Thank goodness! Thank you!!!). We all learned two very important things from moving ourselves. One, it was much easier to do when we were 20 years younger. Two, we will never do it again. At our age, it's easier to write a check! hee,hee,hee.


Captain gave me this beautiful picture frame she had made. I cried...The photo was taken at our going away pool party. I'm grateful we are only 1 1/2 hours away from each other so we can visit often. Plus, I chat with her and Lyd every week on the phone. It's something I look forward to. Miles don't keep good friends apart. Right Jules? ;)


We rented an apartment for six months while the house is being built. We have nicknamed the apartment "The Storage Shed." We haven't lived in an apartment for over 25 years. It feels like a hotel to us as you can hear all the noisy neighbors above us. Not to mention, we only unpacked the necessities and there are boxes all over the place. Plus, it smelled like a wet dog when we moved in. Stinky! However, the best things about living here is that it only takes 20 minutes to clean the entire place and the "Trash Fairies," that's what I call them, come Sunday through Thursday to pick up our trash. We simply put our trash can outside our door after 8 p.m. and the Trash Fairies come by and take the trash away. Of course, they charge $25 a month for this whether you want them to do it or not. So you can cool believe I'm going to use their services!

Sabrina is finally starting to adventure out of our bedroom. She was not happy about the move at all and meowed the entire drive here. I felt so bad for her. She was so scared. I can only imagine what was going through her mind.


This is the chair that was in our bedroom and the chair she likes to scratch her nails on. Thank goodness she can't hurt it. I put it back in our bedroom again, even though there isn't much room. I put a quilt over it and made her a "cat fort" in which to hide. It includes her bed and her toys.


As you can see, she is very happy with this arrangement. ;)


Hannah did very well on the trip as she is use to riding in the "to-go box." She settled right into her new space like the good girl/employee she is.


"Mama, I do believe you owe me some extra treats after all of this. Oh, and I better have a really nice corner office in the new house. In addition, I will be making some adjustments to my employee contract. Just say'in."

Bunnies.... ;)

Bunnyville has been set up in the second bedroom. I love all the bright light coming into this room. Plus, you know I love trees and the view from the windows is just beautiful. There are Magnolia trees everywhere!


Now that I'm temporarily settled in, I'm inspired to get back to work. This is a sneaky peeky of one of my new Folk Art Fusion classes. His name is Seamore Seahorse. He sells seashells at the sand-"dollar" store. Hee,hee,hee. I crack myself up! Anyway, I will show more of him later and update you on my classes.


I received this beautiful card in the mail just before I left. It was handmade by Heidi Clark. She has followed my blog for years and sent this card in memory of Harrington. Inside was a beautiful hand written note and this quote,

"Until one has loved an
animal
A part of one's soul
remains unawakened"
            - Anatole France

Thank you so very much for this lovely card and your caring words Heidi.

Every morning I think of Harrington. He loved morning and breakfast. I miss him so very much and honestly, it still doesn't feel like he has been gone a month already.

I took this photo as I was walking past Captain's yard on one of my last morning walks through the neighborhood. When I took the photo, it made me laugh to see a "turtle and a hare" together in the yard like that. My mind went wild with all sorts of conversations they must have been having.

When I look at it now, it makes me think about moments in time. How some moments, like time with my friends and beloved animals and time spent creating, I want to go so very slow like a turtle. While other moments, like waiting for the new house to be finished, I want to go so very fast like a hare. 

As I've grown older and have begun simplifying my life more and more, I have realized how my slow moments now outweigh my fast moments. I have time to savor each simple, slow moment, like having a chat with Betty Box Turtle, while she ate her breakfast. Yes, I do enjoy going slow. 

Light, love and hugs to you. See you next Wednesday.

xx,
Michelle