Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Birthday Weekend!! :)

So so sorry I have not been around. Life just got a bit busy around here. And every time I want to sit down and write I am summoned by one of my boys to help on homework or their new schedule. But I am okay with that. :)

Many things has happened lately. One I feel a lot better and every day gain the energy I need to be productive, not that I am not in the first place but you know it feels good to be productive. Two I just celebrated my 39th birthday.

My birthday fell on Saturday the 13th of March and I was excited because I knew we would be heading into Louisville. My first present from my wonderful family and awesome husband was a class at the Kentucky Arts and Crafts Museum. It was one of their Saturday workshops. The one I was taking was from a metalsmithing artist Sharon Major. She was going to show how to work with metals to be able to make a Celtic necklace and she would provide the pendant. Most of the skills she was teaching I already knew but its always nice to take a workshop and learn more and also meet others that enjoy the same things you do. So I was very excited that morning to head on into Louisville.



Saturday, March 13th from Noon-4pm

Create your own Celtic jewelry just in time for St. Patrick's Day! Workshop participants will learn skills such as cleaning and preparing wire, making jump rings, hammering techniques, and creating clasps. Five different types of jewelry links will be demonstrated and taught. Finish things off with Celtic charm handcrafted by the instructor to create a marvelous Celtic necklace!

Sharon took a metal smithing class to relieve stress and fell in love with manipulating metal to create works of art. She calls on her years of teaching science to middle-schoolers in her metal smithing -- the melting points of metals, the chemistry of color changes and the exchange of electrons in gold and silver. Many of her designs are inspired by nature. Now retired from teaching, she devotes full time to her jewelry making business, which she calls Frog Hollow Creations. She has traveled the country to study with nationally known artists such as Valentin Yotkov, Cynthis Eid and Ann Hollerbach. She is one of the few artists in the area to work with corrugating silver and to practice the ancient art of chasing and repoussage.

While I was taking the class Bo and the boys will be headed to the Frazier Arms Museum then the Science Center. It was a nice time for Bo and the boys to spend together. :)

I was then dropped off and I had some time to kill so I took some pictures in the gallery adjacent to the classroom we will be working in.

The view of Main St. from the 3rd floor. I love the architecture of the buildings.

Artwork from the gallery

The classroom

The instructor took a picture of me when I came up to the main table to work on a few pieces. My table was the one behind me.

I truly enjoyed the class, met an artist and also met other ladies that were really friendly and creative.

Here is my finished piece.

After my class the boys and Bo picked me up and we headed towards Bardstown Rd in an area neighborhood called the Highlands. They have many neat and eclectic shops, galleries and restaurants. We didn't realize they had a parade there so we ended up parking half a mile away from the restaurant we were headed to. It was okay though because it was a nice walk and we just love the energy of the hustle and bustle in such a small area.

I was taken to Ditto's Grille and the service was awesome and the food delicious and of course what made it even better was my company. :)

The boys...

Bo and I

Our dinners

Mine was chicken carbonara...yummy

Jared was crab stuffed shrimp

Nick his normal burger

Bo a bbq chicken pizza

The server gave me my choice of dessert on the house and so we were stuffed when we left.

At home I opened my cards from the boys and Bo and we had cake. And yes all three of them sang happy birthday to me. LOL! Most of my presents were coming in the mail. Bo ordered me more tools for my bench and other art supplies. I opened my parents presents sent to me the night before.

I had a great birthday celebration and I owe it all to my wonderful husband and boys who totally knew how to make my day special. :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What is new from my art table.....

Even in the course of being "sick" my creativity never leaves my mind. If only I can jot down all the ideas that cross my mind while I am doing dishes, or in the shower, or when I am cooking. Sometimes it drives me crazy that I have all these "floating" ideas but I need the materials or the energy and motivation to create without being frustrated.

So one day in the midst of a fever bout I sat in front of my beading table and just stared at all the mismatched beads and just looking for anything to do something with and did not know what. I started with just wire wrapping some of the beads then started incorporating some copper washers and chain. And before I new it I was well on the way of creating a necklace.

I have been dying to work with my glass. But until our garage is safe enough and temperature controlled I cannot really work in there yet. And Bo has not set up his torch yet. So I have been looking through beads Bo has made sitting around and started playing with silver and copper again. It feels good to actually be holding a finished piece mostly when you don't feel well and you feel like you have at least accomplished something.

So here is the turquoise and copper necklace I made. The two topaz glass beads and the elemental cone bead with black and blue and cream are Bo's creations from a while back.

As I got to feeling better I went ahead and played with silver and copper wire wrapping and using liver of sulfur to patina the copper I was working with and decided to make some fun earrings. On one pair I used the torch to color the copper before working with it.

Here are the first ones I made.

Sterling silver earrings with precious stones.

Copper earrings with sterling silver and Swarovski crystal pearls.

These are the earrings I have managed to make.

I always notice, even if I love vibrant bright colors, whenever I am working on jewelry I tend to always move towards the more earthy colors that remind me of nature. The copper looks like the clay in my yard right now and the pearls and the semi precious stones reminds me of grass and flowers. :)

I am trying to put more into my inventory again. Hoping to put it back on Etsy or to start my own site. I still have glass pendants and earrings and it has been tedious to try to take pictures of all of it but I know at some point I will have to. I also have some bracelets left over from the bazaar but I am patiently waiting for Bo to also get his little area in the garage up and running so I finally have his glass beads to work with again. :)

I hope you enjoyed my new pieces. I have my follow up appointment tomorrow with the ENT doctor. I am not really looking forward to it. I just feel more confused and frustrated every time I leave an appointment plus I am not looking forward to being poked by needles again. :( Thankfully it is a scheduled day off for Bo so he will be with me at least.

Hope you had a great Tuesday! :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Trip into Bardstown, Kentucky on February 27, 2010

Hi I am back. :) Well at least I hope so. I am feeling a bit better but still not out of the woods. I was put on antibiotics and given a steroid shot, for the most part it has helped. My fevers went away and I do have a little bit more energy which if you know me well I take advantage of, but the two lymph nodes under my jaw and chin are still swollen. :( It went down dramatically but they are still there. The ones on my neck are gone.

Last week I had a dental appointment so that they could take x-rays of my teeth and jaw area so that they can see if I have any dental infection going on. That day was stressful for me since I have anxiety over seeing dentists and orthodontists but this new dentist was so personable and his staff was so patient and kind to me. The x-rays showed healthy jaws and teeth except a little cavity that will be taken cared of the end of this month. So we are still stumped on how I could have become so sick in such a short period of time and yet no one knows the cause. :( My follow up appointment with the ENT doctor is this week, so hopefully if they do blood work maybe they can at least try to answer some of our questions. Thank you for those of you thinking of me, it means a lot to me.

So as I became a little better and Bo and the boys were antsy to drive out of town and get out of the house. We had pretty weather until the day we drove out of course. LOL! It was snowing again and the skies were dreary but that did not stop us. On a whim we decided to drive to Barsdstown, KY Bourbon capital. :) We have been there before, a long time ago but was never able to really walk around and enjoy the area. This time we came too late also and was able to only walk into one shop before they closed but it was nice to get out of the house and see the scenery.

On the drive there we saw barns with painted quilts on it. One of our projects will be to look for these barns and take pictures of all the different designs. It started off in Ohio where a lady wanted to honor her Mother and painted the quilt on her barn. Now the little "grass roots" movement spread and Ohio, Tenessee, Kentucky, Iowa and Indiana have painted barns. These barns are to promote getting people out into the country, the love of the land and honoring family. I think this will be such a great excuse to drive out and find these barns on the weekends. :)
Here is an example of one but this is not my picture.

Painted Quilt on Barn

As we neared the town of Bardstown we passed some buildings that we were not familiar with and were told they were distileries. I saw some really neat photo opportunities that showcased just how neat and eerie these places looked but we couldn't stop on the highway to be able to do so. :( But we did drive up and find areas for us to at least look at them a little closer.

Bourbon is what Bardstown is known for. And here are list taken off the tourism web site of the different distilleries around.


In Bardstown, the Bourbon Capital of the World®, you have many opportunities to enjoy a hands-on tour and Sample our Spirit at one or more distilleries. Surround yourself in our Bourbon Heritage and see why Bardstown is to bourbon what Napa Valley is to wine.

Heaven Hill Distilleries Bourbon Heritage CenterHeaven Hill Distilleries
Bourbon Heritage Center
1311 Gilkey Run Road, Bardstown 502-337-1000.
Through interactive exhibits explore the birth of bourbon, the role of whiskey-making pioneers and the bourbon-making process. View the "Portrait of Heaven Hill" movie, tour a rickhouse, and enjoy a tutored bourbon tasting. Create a keepsake personalized bottle.

Historic Tom Moore Distillery -
1792 Bourbon Heaven Hill Distilleries Bourbon Heritage Center
300 Barton Rd., Bardstown
Oct.-May, Free extensive tours; Jun.-Sept., free abbreviated tours; Mon.- Fri., 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Tour the best-kept secret in Kentucky at the only full distillery tour in Bardstown. Must be 21 and able to walk stairs. Reservations required.

Jim BeamJim Beam American Outpost
Hwy. 245, Clermont, 502-543-9877.
Learn about six generations of Beam distillers. Visit the home that Jim Beam's son, T. Jeremiah Beam, built in 1911, view an authentic moonshine still believed to be the oldest in America, and learn about barrel making at the cooperage museum.

Kentucky Bourbon Festival
One Court Square, Bardstown, 502-348-3623.
Each September Bardstown plays host to this celebration for the ages. The six-day festival is highlighted by bourbon tastings, black-tie affairs, arts & crafts, bourbon-related cooking schools and contests, and plenty of good music for everyone.

Makers MarkMaker's Mark Distillery
3350 Burk's Springs Rd., Loretto, 270-865-2099.
Tour this lovingly restored distillery, now a National Landmark. Your behind-the-scenes look at this operating distillery takes you through the bourbon-making process from beginning to end. Dip your own bottle into the famous red wax.

Spalding HallThe Oscar Getz Museum
of Whiskey History
114 N. Fifth Street, Bardstown,
A 50-year collection of rare whiskey artifacts dating from pre-colonial days to post-Prohibition days. The museum features rare antique bottles, a moonshine still, advertising art, novelty whiskey containers. A definite stop for bourbon enthusiasts.

Chapeze HouseChapeze House,"Kentucky's Home for Bourbon"
Bourbon Tasting
107 E. Stephen Foster Ave., Bardstown; 502-507-8338 or 800-704-4917. Taste Ultra-Premium Bourbon from each Kentucky distillery. Dine upon Kentucky Bourbon inspired Southern cuisine. 6:30 Bourbon Tasting, 8:00 Dinner. Outdoor seating available. Call for reservations.

Meet The Colonel and Margaret Sue, Kentucky personalities featured on the Food Network TV with Paula Deen, Travel Channel and Fine Living Channel. A tour of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail is not complete until you have made a reservation to drink Kentucky Bourbon with The Colonel and dine upon a dinner prepared by Margaret Sue at the Chapeze House, "Kentucky's Home for Bourbon."

Other Area Distilleries and Bourbon-Related Attractions

Four Roses Distillery. Lawrenceburg, 502-839-3436
Blanton's Distillery. Frankfort, 502-223-9874
Brown-Forman. Louisville, 502-774-7000
Buffalo Trace Distillery. Frankfort, 502-696-5926
Heartland of KY Decanters and Steins.
Lebanon Junction, 502-833-2827
Wild Turkey Distillery, Lawrenceburg, 502-839-4544

Additional Links

- Malt Advocate Whisky Magazine
- Whiskey Magazine

Bo and I are hoping to partake in the Bourbon Trail tour sometime this summer. My favorite bourbon is Maker's Mark and I am hoping to dip my own bottle and keep it as a memorabilia.

As we came nearer to the downtown area we were delighted to see people walking around and enjoying the quaint town despite the weather. We parked and took pictures and stopped into a boutique called At Mary's. I love how the stores mix vintage antiques with modern art and collectibles. I always feel like I am in a candy store when I walk into places like this. We were only able to enjoy one store but we saw there are many more to come back to as the weather gets warmer and we have more time.
I only took a couple snapshots in the store feeling awkward doing so but their set ups were so pretty and neat I couldn't pass it up. Believe it or not the boys actually like stores like this and even show me the art they like. :)

At Mary's

At this particular store there was a dress form near the counter with jewelry hanging off it. I have always wanted a dress form in my little art room and I have been having a hard time finding one. Anyway there were pendants that caught my eye and I had to get two of them. They were from a company called Pick up Sticks. Here are the two pendants I bought and love wearing.

The front side of the pendants:

The backside of the pendants:

After leaving the store we walked around and took pictures of the area and other neat boutiques to visit in the future.

This is the Talbot Tavern Inn. Bo took me here for dinner on one of our anniversaries when we were here in the area over 6 years ago.

Bardstown is a really neat area full of history. If you want to know more about it here is the link to the tourism page. Bardstown, Kentucky Tourism

By now we were hungry and the boys were begging to go to Rocky's Grille which Bo has been craving also. This was always our favorite restaurant. It is located across the Ohio River from Louisville, KY in Jeffersonville, Indiana. So we decided instead of going back out of the town and hitting the interstate we would take a local road into Louisville which was the historic Bardstown Road. We wanted to see the section in Louisville called the Highlands off this road full of little boutiques, galleries and restaurants.

The Highlands was a happening place when we drove through and so we made a note to take the time to go and explore the area on another day. :) We then continued on to downtown Louisville and across the bridge to Indiana to exit 0 where the restaurant was. We had a 45 minute wait but as we sat down and had our dinner we totally enjoyed the service, the food and just the time we have together as a family. It was a great day despite the weather.

Rocky's Grille-Bo's favorite restaurant. :)

After dinner we took the time to take some pictures of Louisville across the Ohio River. It is always a beautiful skyline at night. :)

Indiana also has places we want to explore. One that was here across the river is the Ohio Falls State Park. We had brought the kids there when they were younger but now it would be neat to bring them back and hike the trails by the river to look for fossils. :) There is so much to do in every state and we try to always explore and enjoy. You only live your life once. :)

The evening was a nice end to finally being able to get out of the house. Everyone was content after coming home. I am always grateful that Bo and the boys and I enjoy the same things in life. I will miss the boys when they head of to college. That is actually coming up way too soon for us. :(

Hope you have a great Monday and hope you enjoyed the trip with us through the pictures. :)