Monday, September 23, 2013

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Grab your morning cup of coffee, this is a long one:>)
Earl and I haven't had a real vacation in several years. We take a weekend here and there as time permits, but this year we wanted to do something fun and special and since we love to learn new things we decided to look for a class to take. We ended up taking different classes, for reasons that will quickly become apparent, but we had plenty of time to explore the area and relax together at night. We chose the John C. Campbell Folk School because they are nestled in the mountains of North Carolina and they offer a wide enough variety of classes that both of us found something we wanted to take in the same week.
I took photography! Yes, I am finally, after 3 years, no longer afraid that I will bump a mystery dial and have no idea how to get my settings back to normal. I'm no Ansel Adams just yet, but I learned a lot!
 There was plenty to practice on, not only on the beautiful farm campus of the school, but also in the national parks and surrounding mountain vistas that we visited on field trips. One morning found my class up before dawn so we could catch the sunrise over the mountains. I could have never captured this before. I took over 600 photos and had a hard time deciding which ones to share.
 Earl took a blacksmithing class, something he has long had an interest in trying. I didn't envy him standing next to a forge when the temps were already hovering around 87-90 degrees, but he soldiered on and made some great things. They had a first project, a fireplace poker, that every new student made to get the hang of working the metal. Then he was able to forge some great hooks that I will be finding a place for, a new handle for the garage door he plans to build to replace the old one this fall, and some secret items that I can't tell you about because they figure heavily in some gifts he plans to build for our kids;>)
I managed to handle the heat long enough to get some photos of him at work on some of the things he made. The last photo shows him adding a beautiful twist to one of his projects.
He came home a mess every night after school, but fortunately we had made week long reservations at a beautiful B&B just down the road that provided a wonderful air conditioned room and all the amenities we could have wanted. Fabulous gourmet breakfasts and a deck off our room for our late night and early morning coffee. We even had a friendly little visitor our first morning there!
This little 6 point buck is a frequent visitor to the B&B, where they feed him carrots and apples. He walked right up the steps to the deck and came looking for his breakfast. We both got to pet this little darling, it made my week! I snapped this with my tablet which I had out on the deck with me. He is actually wrestling with Earl's arm with his velvety little antlers! L♥ve!
My only regret was that I was supposed to meet Penny at The Comforts of Home, she was a mere 2 hours away but we just couldn't make the schedules fit! I have been friends with Penny for maybe 6 years through this blog and we were so close to getting together! I hope to get back to the area some day and finally meet her.
Just one last note, I will be extending the 20% off sale on fall items in my etsy shop for one more week, final day to get a great deal will be Sept. 28, so make a beeline if you want any of the new designs:>) Thanks for all your support and for your visits and comments. I read every one and appreciate you all so much!
So what are you planning for this week?


  1. Beautiful photos Kathy. My great grandparents came from those hills. Their holler is now in Smoky Mountain State Park. What a great opportunity to attend the folk school. I'm happy for you and soooo jealous.

  2. Kathy, I am so sad we didn't get to meet in person too. We will make it happen....

    Your sunrise photos are so beautiful! I love the picture of Earl and the deer.

    I am glad you had a wonderful time on your vacation.

  3. That sounds like a wonderful vacation! I love the idea of taking fun classes in a beautiful location. The little deer would have just cinched the week for me too. :)

  4. Now that is a very productive vacation. I love the idea of taking classes plus a wonderful place to stay. Maybe someday... My week consists of making lots of lotions and soaps for the upcoming craft fairs. Been looking at chenille projects. Have you ever worked with chenille?

  5. Your photographs are beautiful and the b and b sounds lovely. What a wonderful vacation.

  6. What a fun idea for a vacation! That's something I'd want to do (don't know if my husband would be up for it though).

    Your photographs are just beautiful!

  7. What a great idea for a vacation! It sounds like you had a good time at your respective classes. Your photos are beautiful.

  8. What a GREAT idea for a vacation! Your photos are lovely.
    This week I am starting some Christmas sewing and hosting a jewelery party which is just an excuse to have a "girls' night" :) xoxo

  9. What an interesting time you had on your holiday. How sweet to see the little buck joining you!

  10. Ahhh!! What a happy post!!! I love that y'all did that! Your photos are incredible!! I love the montage.
    Someone I know around here recently blacksmithed calla lilies for his daughter's wedding. Iron calla lilies.
    I think I have stopped blogging.
    I am Instagramming and FBing as you know.

  11. What a wonderful way to spend your vacation! You've given me an idea for my future 'bucket' list! Your photos are amazingly gorgeous and I loved seeing (and hearing of) your hubby's endeavors. My plans for the week include saying goodbye to dear, long-time friends who have been visiting for several days, bidding farewell to my sweetheart as he leaves for his annual trek to the woods in search of meat for the winter homestead and some time to myself. Quiet time, I hope!

  12. What a fun time this must have been. I would love to take some classes, too.
    Your Earl is looking good...and that deer is so precious.

  13. It sounds like a wonderful trip! I would love to be that close to a deer!

  14. Sounds like fun and productive too! Love those pics of the sunrise. They look gallery ready. Mimi


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