Sunday, May 29, 2011

Odds & Ends - May Style

A couple weeks ago my friends and I made a trip to the West Side Market on W. 25th St. in Cleveland, OH.

There are 2 sections to it - the produce area and the meat/cheese/bakery/ethnic area.  Because I am on my kick to eat healthier most everything I bought was in the produce area --

We spent quite a bit of time in the other part but I pretty much only bought beef sticks (about 4 lbs.!!) for Mr. Cardigan and the grandsons.  They absolutely love them!!!!  Here's quite a few photos of that part of the West Side Market - I can't wait to go back --

If you want to read more about the West Side Market - you can go to their web site here.

The other day I went with my friends to Crane Creek - although apparently it has made some transformation and is pretty much known as Magee Marsh Wildlife Area.  You can read more about it here.  This is about a half hour east of Toledo, OH.  This has become a big birding area and there were trails closed due to eagles nesting.  It was a cool day and rained some of the time we were there, but it didn't deter us at all. 

We toured the building behind me which was the birding center.  The eagles and nest are just a statue but I thought it was interesting since we could never get close to see one.

A real snapping turtle in a tank inside this building -

There were bird feeders outside and I took this photo from inside looking out -

It was still misting outside but we walked to a couple story loft that was near the birding center to get a "birds eye view"!!

My best friend Barb decided she wanted to keep her feet planted firmly on the ground -

We then drove to the northern-most part of the property - right to Lake Erie --

I guess back in the day it used to be a nice beach but now there is no swimming or upkeep of it due to the cost. 

But, I was pleasantly surprised to see shells on the old beach!!!!  Not the pretty kind that is found in Florida - but still I can surely find many uses for these shells once I get them cleaned up.  These were just quart bags and I can't wait to go back!!

One of the fun things for us gals is using our auto setting on our cameras to get pics of all of us.  The only problem is -- each time I use it - it is just like starting over - it takes a couple tries to get the hang of it!!!!  As you can tell I didn't get back to the group in time -

Here we are on the boardwalk (this time I made it in time!!) -

We checked out the Wildlife Refuge Center just up the road and took these photos -

These parents were keep track of 13 little ones.  Wow!!

Now for a little recap on what I was hoping to accomplish this month.  I am doing pretty good at eating healthy and losing some weight.  I have been feeling really good which is the best part.  I have found that when I am not eating much - it is nice to use a pretty dish to really make it feel special -

I don't have many containers planted - only 8.  Although I will not be doing nearly as many as I have in the past - I still want to do some more.  Also, I have not painted any of the outdoor furniture that I wanted to re-do -- so I will be saving any of these photos for next month!! 

I have not done much beading either but I wanted to show some photos of some of the work that I have done.  I love doing beaded silverware and have given many as gifts -

These are some pieces that I have kept for myself that are my favorites.  The large fork with 2 prongs was the first piece I ever did -

I love these animal print beads!  I am doing these serving pieces for myself and have a few more yet to do --

One of my favorite bloggers - who has a colorful decorating style - does some beading and did these crosses that I fell in love with.  You can see her blog here.  I made this cross for my mother-in-law for her birthday.  I want to make more of these.  I think it came out pretty good --

Let's see - what do I have planned for June?  Well, I plan to finish my outdoor decorating and plants; do more beading; my daughter has her annual tea the end of June; hoping to go to at least another festival; the grandsons have a gazillion baseball games; I want to update my Fall-Thanksgiving Notebook and get my Christmas Notebook all organized.  I will let you know how I do!

I tell you -- you take anything out of a cupboard and leave it open - Lucy sure wants to see what is in there --

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Shelltime Mantel

I have been loving shells since our trip to my daughter's home in Florida over a year ago.  All these shells were gathered from the beach near her home and flew back with me on the plane - which was another story!!  Thank goodness my grandsons are strong!! 

The sand dollars were collected by my grandsons and brought back here by my daughter.  The starfish were purchased just down the road from the beach.  Now, for some close-ups --

Photos were from that trip, too --

This is not the mantel - but an extension of the decor --

I just have to show you my dining room table.  I switched the Easter eggs for shells in my floral --

Now for Lucy the Explorer - always going to new heights!!  She couldn't resist the mantel being clear (and also the table nearby was clear to give her a boost!) and I caught her up here a few times.  Hopefully, she will leave it alone now that it is decorated --

I am linking to The Lettered Cottage's Summer Mantel Linky Party.    Please go here to see all the great ideas.
The Lettered Cottage