Just before the COVID-19 craziness really started to set in, my hubbie and I flew (gasp!) down to Savannah, GA to meet up with some friends we hadn’t seen in ten years. (As a side note, there was no shortage of travelers and no sign of masks in either the Philadelphia or Savannah airports the first weekend of March. I did notice we weren’t the only ones sanitizing our immediate area on the plane though!) Since that weekend, our kids’ colleges decided to send everyone home for “remote learning” while they assess the situation. Our status as empty nesters has been revoked! Luckily, reading our blog comes with no risk of contagion. We’ve got a whole backlog of projects and adventures to tell you about! So let me start by sharing some highlights from our long weekend escape to Savannah…
I started this post before the schools, restaurants, wine stores, and everything else started shutting down here in PA and around the US. We’re now embracing social distancing! I liked one sentiment that I read, to the effect that we’ll never know if we overreacted to this pandemic, but we will definitely know if we under-reacted… For the sake of our parents, grandparents, and immuno-compromised friends and neighbors, why not err on the side of caution and stay home? We’ll try to focus on some make-at-home projects in upcoming posts, but for now, please indulge me while I celebrate this recent trip to Georgia, that occurred just before the “spit” hit the fan…
Perry Lane Hotel
What a gorgeously appointed hotel, right in downtown Savannah! The decor is eclectic but elegant. Our suite offered little touches like a small cloisonné panda and a framed family letter addressed to “Sweet Pea”. The Perry Lane features a fantastic restaurant Continue reading →
Oh February! Even though it had an extra day this year, it still seemed to fly by. The weather didn’t help, being very mild, warm and wet here in PA – hurrying us along towards spring. Our shortest month did, however, yield some efficient days of crafting, blogging and catching up. We squeezed a lot in! Here are our top ten favorites from this productive month…
February’s choices for both book clubs had mixed reviews from our members. Cass’s book club read Keeping Lucy by T. Greenwood. It describes a mother in the ’70s trying to save her daughter (born with Downs Syndrome) from a cruel institution and manipulative in-laws. The novel is based loosely on a 1971 exposé of horrific care inside a Massachusetts “school for the feeble-minded”. A guest speaker came to talk about her adult son, who has severe autism. The writing was good, the discussion interesting. Some of us were dubious about how quickly Lucy adapted and rebounded from her first two neglected years. But hey, kids are resilient, right? Continue reading →
Any devoted fiber artist or crafter probably has an overflowing stash of yarn for new projects. But let’s assume for the moment that you don’t, or that you’re new to crochet, knitting, etc. Maybe you want to test the waters with some small beginner projects – without breaking your budget on materials. Or perhaps you’d like to help a non-profit with a crafting cause, but can’t afford skeins of expensive wool? Sure, you can find discount bins at the craft store. But why not give the Earth a high five and try some of these upcycling ideas instead?
Thrift Store Gems
For many projects, used or re-purposed supplies may be perfect. If you’re making things like rescue nests or a potholder, you don’t need brand new yarn. You also don’t need perfect technique, so it’s a great way to learn and practice! Allow me, therefore, to introduce you to the Goodwill Outlet Store! These and other pay-by-the-pound-type thrift Continue reading →
Cass and I have been bombarded with ads for Mixtiles for a while now on our various feeds. I guess all the advertising worked – we were curious! So for Christmas, we decided to give our kids some personalized photo art for their dorm rooms and apartments. Key selling points for us were ease of hanging and the minimization of wall damage. With those in mind, we tried out three different photo tile companies to see which we liked the best. (No, we don’t get any kickbacks!) If you’ve ever been in the market for some inexpensive wall art, and wondered how different manufacturers measure up, read on for our review!
For the purpose of our informal comparison, we ordered 8”x8” unframed tiles with adhesive hanging mechanisms from all three companies. Odd numbers are aesthetically pleasing, and nine seems like a good starting point for an impactful arrangement. Our price analysis is therefore based on a hypothetical order of nine tiles.
Mixtilesgot our first order. I’m guessing you’ve seen their ads, too – with happy people sticking and resticking the same tiles on a wall until they get the look they want. (Image courtesy of Tina’s Galapagos Getaway: a zoom-in on a land iguana’s spiked head!)
The holidays have come and gone, along with the college boys, and we are back and resettling into our empty nest routines. Time to compile a top ten list of cheep trills from our long hiatus!
If you’ve never ventured into the genre of post-apocalyptic fiction, A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World, by C. A. Fletcher, is a perfect place to dabble your toes. I can also heartily recommend the Audible version, voiced by the author himself. Fletcher does a fantastic job of narrating, and you know you’re getting all the right nuances when the writer is also the story teller. Plus, it’s a terrific story, at least as stories of what happens after the apocalypse go. It’s easy to be transported to this future landscape, a hundred years or more after most of the world’s population has died of old age. It’s a world Continue reading →