salt and sea

Posted on June 27th, 2017 by mountain girl  |  6 Comments »

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Friday the kids and I drove to Wilmington with our friends Linda, Nick, and Sophie to spend the weekend at the beach. Wrightsville Beach was where I took the kids when we first moved to NC, and we hit that first, staying till dark, playing in the waves and filling our swimsuits with sand.

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The salt spray has a way of ironing out all the pinched feelings of life–especially life in the suburbs. Meet the school bus at 8:45 and again at 4:15, put the trash out Monday, recycling Wednesday, mow the lawn (and do it right!), try to hammer your copper more quietly, check the mail–it’s 11:30, lock the door, run to the store, keep the kids from yelling too loudly, turn up the AC, turn it down, don’t take too many walks or the neighbors might think you’re weird.

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But on the beach, nobody really cares. It’s a wonderful, free feeling. You can leave your bags for hours, and nobody touches them–and as you walk to the ocean on the dirt trails from the street, there are lines of flip-flops where people ditch them to run barefoot and then find them again at the end of the day.

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Saturday we went to Carolina Beach. It was hot and we stayed in the water for hours–Nick and Zia far out where the water was still only waist high, Sophie and Cash on the edge of the shore where the tide slid sheets of water away from them and then came crashing back, sending them rolling and squealing. Linda and I were just big kids, too–swinging our kids over the waves dozens of times, getting knocked over, burying ourselves in the almost-liquid sand. On the salty little midway we got shaved ice and played at an arcade, where Nick won 1,000 tickets and the kids all picked out prizes. It was kid heaven.

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Holden Beach was our favorite. It has a wild feel of solitude and peacefulness that is unrivaled by the others, and it seemed like a herd of wild horses might come flying out of the surf and race by.

There are tide pools that swirl and eddy and sandbars that grow as the tide goes out, leaving treasures of shells and coral and driftwood and tiny snapping things. The ocean is a whole world in itself, and the little things left on the beach are like a trail of bread crumbs that beckon you in.

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We filled Ziplock bags with the things we gathered, and all the intricate shapes and textures made me imagine what I could make using them as raw materials. But the truth is, they are already perfect little artworks in themselves, and would be hard to improve on. I’ll still try, though. ;)

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We drove home Sunday evening happy, sunburned, and saturated with saltwater and sky. Linda found a conch shell just after I wished for one, and now I can have the ocean in my ear whenever I want.

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I have to say, as much as I miss the mountains, the ocean does a pretty good job of filling that hole.

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And so we’ve begun another week in the suburbs, with some extra chillax and a bit less picayune worry about doing things just right and by the rules.

After all, we did just came back from a little reflection of heaven.

happy fathers day!

Posted on June 18th, 2017 by mountain girl  |  2 Comments »

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We unexpectedly got to spend part of Fathers Day with David after two flight cancellations for his London trip. He’s almost in the air now, and we miss him already. We had an amazing day together, and we’re so glad we got to spend it with him.  Happy Father’s Day to Dadda, my Papa, and Grandpa (Pom-Pom). We love and miss you all!

Photo: Pullen Park, Raleigh

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from my making place

Posted on June 13th, 2017 by mountain girl  |  2 Comments »

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Here are a few glimpses into things I’ve been working on lately. Hope you enjoy them!

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Hand carved pine arrow (mounted on wooden box from Target). Inside: handmade copper/rock earrings made from rocks I gathered at Jordan Lake, NC. I added a bottle of RMS nail polish and gave it to a friend.

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I’m working on a commissioned oil painting…more on that later:) This is the neat version of my palette.

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Hand carved redwood earrings on brass mounts.

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Tiny wooden raccoon necklace, custom ordered.

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Hammering copper.

Rough version of a simple hammered copper bracelet.

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Figuring out how to make festival headbands.

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Miniature set of Native American necklaces ordered for a 13-year old boy.

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More carvings in the works.

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The first finished headband (Cash took the pic).

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Light honey stained bear just before I shipped it off.

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Ouch! First bad cut. David had to clean and bandage it while I sank to my knees and gripped the counter. Then I nearly fainted and had to lay on the floor. Typical redhead, haha.

Carving a wolf (I’m fearless, since it was before the hand-cut).

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Cash, doing some leather stamping.

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His finished bracelet.

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Making jewelry. Zia made several pairs of earrings for the pretend store her class runs every Friday. They have a whole life-expenses thing going, where everyone has to make enough money for rent, insurance, car payments, etc. She is a shopkeeper and librarian, besides rocking out her jewelry and clay animal sales. Those are my toes.

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freedom balloon fest

Posted on June 10th, 2017 by mountain girl  |  1 Comment »

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We took the kids to the annual balloon festival here in town a couple of weekends ago. My brother Seth came up from Charlotte, and his and my childhood friend Linda also joined us with her kids, Nick and Sophie.

There were 25-30 hot air balloons from all over the country tethered in a field, and we watched them pop upright one by one and fill the field with color. A storm warning kept the balloons from taking off, but we went though the field after sunset for the “balloon glow” and met the pilots, who pumped flames into the balloons and handed out trading cards to the kids.

It’s been a long time since David and I have done anything fun at night–almost since having kids, haha–and I had forgotten how much I love it. I’m really looking forward to more summer festivals!

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things we never saw in colorado

Posted on June 7th, 2017 by mountain girl  |  5 Comments »

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A luna moth! I came across this one while walking near our house the other day.

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A male anole lizard, puffing up its pink dewlap. It must have been feeling aggressive toward us.

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Magnolias.

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A five-lined skink. This one has a long tail, but Cash spotted one under our truck with a tail shorter than an inch. They are able to break off their tails when needed. Also, the babies hatch with beautiful purplish-blue tails.

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Weird things like this fallen tree with four new trees growing straight out of its trunk.

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Creepy swamps with long, creaky bridges stretching across them.

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Trees big enough for three of me to hide behind the trunk.

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Kids playing in a lake in April, when Colorado is deep in snow.

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Snakes. This sweetie slithered across the trail right in front of us at Bond Park.

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A snail. Did you know snails are related to squid?

We’re slowly getting used to all these wild North Carolina things–and finding out how much a little moisture, heat, and oxygen can completely transform your world.

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