Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Etsy Kids Team Treasuries

This post features some of my favorite Sept. treasuries from Etsy Kids Team members:

Baby It's Fall by Althea1326
Newborn Lovelies by Beanstalk by Yizzy
Keeps on Beating by Lil Princess Bow
 Making Lemondade from Lemons by Apple Tree Boutique
It's Game Time Baby by Baby Swank:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Flight 93 10th Anniversary Memorial Trip

This past Friday on Sept. 10th, we went to the Flight 93 National Memorial dedication. We were supposed to take part in a bike ride down to Shanksville and to the memorial on Sept. 11th, but when we found out they were doing the dedication and unveiling of the memorial wall and that George and Laura Bush, Bill Clinton, Joe Biden, and the group that are raising the money to build this memorial were going to speak we decided to leave a day early and went on our own. I'm glad we did.
Field opposite the crash site
So under some very dark skies we packed the bike, put on our rain suits and rode the 2 1/2 hours south to Shanksville. We got pretty wet a couple of times on the way down--which I can tell you on a bike doesn't feel all too great--but it was well worth the ride and I'm glad we went.
We got to the memorial at 9:30 am. We didn't get parked and in the park until noon. Traffic was that heavy. It's a very long, winding road that leads to the memorial itself--all through pastureland. We ended up parking about a mile or so away from the site because we got tired of the stopping and going--not to mention the above picture is what the parking area looked like. No way were we getting a bike in that mess.

Of course the line was long and security was pretty tight. The one thing I did disagree with was that they made people take the flags off the poles and toss away the poles. I didn't think that was right. True, the poles were pointy but we were going to honor the people who gave their lives for this country and I just thought that was wrong. Oh--and those are S.W.A.T. guys fully armed on top of the security roof.
This is what you see after you walk into the site. On the left, a black wall they have built to keep people away from the crash site. Far away to the right is where they had the dedication ceremony. We were all sitting in the open--the big white tent is Red Cross and the smaller tent is the pavilion where the speakers sat.
There was a lot of media. See all the trucks? Check out the guy on the left's jacket. We're still in Steelers country and two things we love are our Steelers and our country. There was a woman walking around with a Ravens bag. Wonder if she made it out unscathed.
 We were sitting pretty far away so it was hard to get a good picture of the dignitaries. Maybe you can pick out George and Laura Bush, Bill Clinton, and Joe Biden. Also the men who are raising money and started this memorial spoke (one of them wearing a cowboy hat). They all gave wonderful speeches and all called the passengers "heroes". As a matter of fact, the word "passenger" wasn't spoken as much as the word "hero".  Biden and Clinton gave credit to George Bush for pulling this country together when this happened and taking action. Biden even got a bit emotional towards the end of his speech because he recognized that these heroes saved his life--literally. If that plane had crashed into the Capitol building where he was, he and countless others would've lost their lives.
Rude People

One thing that did bother me was the fact that there were some rude people there. These people would NOT sit down through most of the ceremony (which was about three hours long) even tho they had chairs. Also the woman behind us wouldn't shut up and kept talking on her cell phone. Seriously. So disrespectful to others there and to the event itself. This was not a "celebration". So much different than when you go to The Wall. Thousands of people and you can hear a pin drop there.
The most emotional part of the ceremony was when each hero's name was called an the bells tolled after. There was a woman who was pregnant on that flight and her unborn child was also mentioned and they tolled the small bell for it. There weren't many dry eyes during this part of the ceremony and many, many heads were bowed.
The end of the ceremony came when they unveiled the wall with the 40 names. It's made of marble and each name has it's own "slab". We were a bit far away (and I was a bit too short) to see them actually unveil it, but Mike did get a picture beforehand when it was still covered. They gave the family members and guests 30 minutes to view the wall by themselves. I really wanted to see it but there were so many people there. Me and Mike are going to go down again either this fall or maybe in the spring when it's not so crowded so we can see the wall, the bells, etc. up close.
This picture was found online for one of the news agencies. We were riding for Deora Frances Bodley. I'm not sure who this man is who is touching her name-perhaps her grandfather (she was only 20 yrs old). I will never forget Deora and I will always think of her now.
Crash site. Where the heroes are laid to rest.
 Going to this memorial made this really sink home and made me realize that these were people like me and you who had lives and families, who either went to school or to work every day--just like you and me. They were ordinary people who did an extraordinary thing that day. Joe Biden said it best when he said, "Everyone has courage in them and maybe one day it will be called into use." It was called that fateful day at 9:58 am on Sept. 11, 2001.
Walking Out with a new perspective on life.
 So when you see shows, advertisements, etc. about 9/11, please PLEASE do not just think of the planes, victims, firemen, and police officers that lost their lives in NY--think of the 40--rarely spoken of--true heroes that died taking this plane down so it wouldn't reach it's destination. I give respect to those that died in NY, but the firemen and officers were doing their jobs---the passengers of Flight 93 knew they were going to die and instead of sitting back and letting it happen they took matters into their own hands and launched an attack against the hijackers and saved countless lives in so doing. That, in my opinion, is what a true hero is. I find it sad that the media does not give these 40 heroes the true recognition that they deserve. 

Just a footnote: it took the fire crew and police 15 minutes to get to this crash site after the plane went down. 15 minutes. There was no nicely paved road at the time only pastureland--and it only took them 15 minutes to get there. Please think of them too.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Deora Frances Bodley: A Fallen Hero

On Thursday of this week we received our Flight 93 memorial ride package. In it was a short biography of the Flight 93 hero we are to represent, a pin, patch, dog tags, t-shirt, and flag with the hero's name. The t-shirt has the Flight 93 Let's Roll Ride logo on the front with the names of the 40 heroes who lost their lives in a field in Shanksville, PA on Sept. 11, 2001.
Biography, T-shirt, flag, pin, & patch
Pin, dog tags with hero's name, and patch.
Back of T-shirt with heroes' names

Me and Mike will be representing Deora Frances Bodley. She was the youngest passenger at just 20 yrs old. She was from San Diego, CA and attended Santa Clara University where she was studying in French and psychology with her major and goal to be a child psychologist. Deora loved children and spent her free time volunteering at the San Diego Zoo and the Special Olympics. Deora loved her family, reading, and writing. She was on her way home after visiting friends in New Jersey.

I ask that on Sept. 11th, you keep Deora and her family in mind and say a prayer for them. So sad to lose someone so young to such a tragedy, but she will be remembered forever as one of America's young heroes.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Kids Day Event

Yesterday I set up a booth at a Kids Day Event held at our local Market House in town. I was hoping I would do well since most of my items are geared for babies and children--and guess what--I did!! It was such a BIG relief compared to the last show I did (only made $27). The man who organized it is planning to make it a yearly event, so I can't wait until next year! A lot of people were truly interested in my items and a few took my cards so I hope I get more local business from it. My main goal was to get my brand out there locally and I think I accomplished that.
Practice Booth Pics

 It was also a ton of fun! I had the PERFECT spot--right next to all the entertainment! There were clowns that were making animal balloons, face painting, and just entertaining the kids (who LOVED them!). There was also a pretty lady there who danced with hula hoops (she was SO amazing!), a band (which actually wasn't very good at all), and a DJ (who played golden oldies). So I got to watch the kids get their sweet little faces painted, try out hula hooping, and dancing. So cute!
Face Painting
Hula Hoop Dancer

 My biggest selling items were hair clippies and pins--mostly owls, flip-flops, and kitties:

 I also sold a bear tooth fairy plush, a couple of Cuddle Monsters, and a couple of aprons (size 3/4 seemed to be the favorite)
Oh--and did I mention the cute vendor apron I made for myself :)
 All in all it was a very good day and I truly enjoyed it!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Aging Parents

It's been awhile since I've blogged. Reason being: life in general. Seems sometimes (ok--a lot of times) things come up in your life that throws you completely off schedule. Something like this recently happened to me.
Dad and my great nephew Chase a year ago
Dad when I went to vist
A couple months ago, I got a message from my brother that said my dad was feeling really depressed and was saying that he didn't think he'd ever see me again (I live in PA--my family lives in TN). That same afternoon my oldest niece called saying the same thing. He's been having health issues. He has pancreaitis and was in and out of the hospital for a month or so. I guess this really got him down so he got a bit depressed. 

Well, he's the only dad I have so I decided I'd better get my tail down there for a visit. It had been two years since I last went. I usually try to go every year but finances being what they were, I couldn't afford to go last year. I spent three weeks there and it was a good visit. I'm glad I went.

If you have aged parents (mine are 73 and 74) I don't have to tell you how hard it is watching them age and have health problems that come with aging. I probably don't have to tell you either, that you realize your parents are not going to be here forever. What I do have to tell you is to spend as much time as possible with them and be there for them like they were for you growing up. It's the least we can do.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Rat Named Daisy

 A couple of years ago I decided to get a new pet. I already have three cats and a chinchilla, but for some reason I've always liked hamsters, guinea pigs, etc. I do not know why. I thought maybe that feeling would change once I became an adult, but apparently not. So, while I have Rocky, my chinchilla, I wanted something I'd never had before: a rat. Now I know what you must be thinking, "A rat--ewwww gross!!!" which is what I always thought myself in the past, so imagine my surprise when I absolutely fell in love with Daisy!

Daisy is my very first rat and I'm so glad I made the decision to get her. She's very calm and docile, and believe it or not, extremely lovable! I know, I know, you think I've fallen off my rocker, but she really is quite a friendly critter. There's nothing she likes more than to lay on my lap under a blanket and get her nose rubbed. She'll lay there for hours enjoying the attention--talking to me all the while.
Saying "hello" to Rocky
Daisy is not only quite friendly towards me, but it seems as if she likes other furry critters too. One day last week when I took Rocky's cage outside to give it a good spraying down (he lives in a three story mansion that's almost as tall as I am), I decided to see how her and Rocky would get along (I usually let Rocky have free reign in the bathroom while I clean his cage). Well, she was friendly enough, but Rocky--well apparently he doesn't like other critters. I just happened to snap the picture above at the perfect moment because two seconds afterwards, Rocky bit Daisy on the nose. Poor Daisy--she ran into my arms as if to say, "Save me from that big, hairy beast!!".

Last night, I decided to take Daisy out of her cage, like I do most every night, while Scooter was in the bedroom (if she's in the house, she's stuck up my butt) just to see how they would react to each other. Well, I must say, that was a better show than what I was watching on TV! It seems Scooter was a wee bit curious at first, and Daisy being a friendly critter, just wanted to make friends:
Scooter was ok with that at first and was actually very well behaved: she didn't try to bite, scratch, or otherwise attack Daisy--just seemed curious was all.
Until.....Daisy decided to chase her around the bed. I haven't laughed that hard in quite some time! Every time Scooter would lay down and relax, here would come Daisy--trying to groom her and play with her, and up Scooter would jump and run away! I tried to get a few pics of the whole shenanigans but Scooter would jump up so fast every time Daisy came near her it was a bit difficult. But it was indeed good entertainment!
Now, while I dearly love Daisy (I never thought I'd say that about a rat), she is getting old. I've had her for a bit over two years and rats are only supposed to live 1-2 yrs at the most, so I'm afraid Daisy won't be with me very much longer. She's lost quite a bit of weight and mostly sleeps these days (even when out of her cage), so it was rather nice to see her show a bit of energy while she chased Scooter around the bed. I'm not sure if I'll get another rat or not after she's gone, but I wouldn't mind another one. By the way, if you're looking for a first pet for a child, I would highly recommend a rat over a hamster, gerbil, or guinea pig any day.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

My 1st Craft Show

I apologize for the blurry pictures. This is a view of my Lil' Bit Sassy section.
Schoolhouse Designs Section
If you have any suggestions about how better to display my items, please let me know!

Yesterday I did my very first craft show. It was held at the local college (Allegheny) by some students. I must say, they did a great job of organizing the event. The tables were all set up for us when we got there, a student helped us unload our cars and carry our things up (it was on the 2nd floor) to the hall, and they even served us free cookies, tea, and pizza for lunch. The only flaw I did notice was that they needed more signs. They only had one sign pointing to the parking lot but no signs on the building itself to tell you what door to go into or how to get to the hall. It was at the back of the building too so made it even more confusing. Needless to say, the only people we had attending were college "kids" and some of their parents.

Unfortunately, none of us vendors did very well. I only made $27. The show was free, so that was a plus. I got a lot of "ooohs" and "ahhhs" over my things, but not really any sales. I think next year (if they have it and I decide to do it) I will focus on wallets, wristlets (I noticed a lot of the girls were carrying those) and adult sized aprons (they seemed to love my kids aprons). I really thought my Allegheny Gators would go over well but I didn't sell even one of them. If anything, this has not deterred me. I am more determined now to make my little business a success locally.

I think there were a few reasons we didn't do well. As I said, I think the signage was a part of it, plus it being the 1st year they've tried this. I did meet some other vendors and that was great. One even told me about an event coming up at our local Market House from May till September. Each 2nd Saturday of the month they will be having a little fair with certain themes (healthy living, wool spinning, etc). One of the themes in August is Kids Day and I might just do much better at it. I am willing to give it a go.

Another good thing about the day was that I won a couple of doll purses from another vendor. They had a Chinese auction and some of us donated items for it. The purses are really cute and I think I'm going to send them to my great niece. The vendor that made them didn't have a website but she did have an email address ( and a brochure with the purses. If you're interested in American Girl doll clothes & accessories, send her an email!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kabi Designs

I have a thing for polymer clay. I can't make anything from it myself (been there, tried that, didn't work), but I love, love, LOVE the little figurines, jewelry, and buttons that some artists can make with it! So I was very excited when Kabi Designs was featured in blog ring post on Handmade Artists Forum. I am so excited to be blogging about this shop and it's unique polymer clay items!

Karina is the owner of Kabi Designs and this is a little bit about why she loves working with polymer clay:

In March 2006 I discovered the wonderful world of Polymer Clay - and since that day - I practice daily so I can learn new techniques !

I love experimenting with clay and creating just about everything - but I especially enjoy making jewelry in which I use many different techniques, using canes that I make and enhancing the beauty of the canes and techniques with Glass beads and Swarovski Crystals in many occasions.

Also, I have entered the wonderful creative world of Fantasy Figurines which I also make out of Polymer Clay!

So let's take a look at some of my favorites from her shop.

If you like any of these items, please be sure to check out Kabi Designs for more original polymer clay items!

Tam's Crafts and Collectibles

I would like to tell you about a lovely jewelry shop on etsy. It is called Tam's Crafts and Collectibles and she sells lovely jewelry at VERY affordable prices--plus it's guaranteed!! She has several styles so you're sure to find something for yourself, friends, or family. Here are just a few examples:
Turquoise Nugget & Gemstone Set

Oil Slick Bead Necklace with Earrings
Twisted Heart Pearl Earrings

And of course she has many other jewelry pieces to choose from. So why don't you stop by and say hello and check out her lovely shop!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

End of an Era

On our way to Daytona in '98
You see, this bike? Well that's our 18 yr old "Geezer Glide". In this picture it's packed and on it's way to Daytona for Bike Week. This was in '98 and El Nino was blowing through. Just so happened that on the morning we were to leave, it was 50-some degrees out so we canceled the trailer rental and decided to ride. So we packed up our clothes, tent, and sleeping bags and off we went. Took us two days riding about 10 hrs a day to get there. The further south we got, the warmer it got. It was a good ride.

Of course when we got to Daytona it was COLD. Low 60ºs during the day and dropping down to the 40ºs at night. Which might have been ok had we been staying in a motel. But we were camping out and sleeping on the cold ground. Needless to say, on the trip home I got so sick that I completely lost a day. We had to stop and put up in a motel so we were late by a day getting home. The morning after we got home we woke up to snow on the ground. Made it just in time.
Flat tire on way to Peoria races.
We've had quite a few good times on this old bike. Lots of road trips. Lots of great memories. We used to put 10,000 miles a year on it--mostly doing road trips. We enjoyed going to flat track bike races in Hagerstown, MD; Peoria, IL; Parkersburg ,WV; and even Indianapolis a time or two. This bike has also been to Myrtle Beach four times, Alburquerque, NM, and Memphis, TN. I wasn't there on the two latter trips, but that's no matter. This isn't about me. It's about an old, reliable friend. This old bike has gotten us there and back many a time without a hitch.
New Friend
So, when Mike brought our new V-Rod home it was a bittersweet moment. I was excited of course, but also sad that we will soon part with our old friend. You might ask why we got a V-Rod, which is a much smaller bike. Well, you see, we haven't taken a road trip in many years now so we no longer need a big bike. Plus, our old bike is, well, old. Though we've maintained it well and taken good care of it, it's still older. So it's time for a new bike.
New V-Rod

My only hope is that our old reliable friend will find a good home and that the new owner will have as many happy memories as we've had on it. I will miss it dearly.  It's truly the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.