Sunday, July 26, 2009

Elvis Sighting In Greenville, Maine

My husband Mike is turning 50 this week!!! He is pretty tough to surprise and my son Adam and I thought we'd plan something special for this milestone in his life. After almost 29 years of marriage, it's hard to be sneaky...

When he had turned 30, we were living near a round barn and we decorated the roof of the barn with a huge sign announcing "Mike is turning the big 30". We also had the owner of one of his favorite restaurants - Big G's, put "Mike D. is turning 30 - wish him a Happy Birthday!", on his road sign on Benton Avenue in Winslow. A good friend of his was also turning 30 later that year and his wife and I decided to rent a limo in honor of their birthdays. We went out to dinner and then as we came out of the restaurant, they were greeted by a limo driver who opened up the limo door and said, "Your limo is waiting". They laughed, thinking that we had paid the driver to say this but were stunned when we said that we had truly rented it for the next three hours. We had a cooler with their favorite beverages inside and a rented movie. We only drove about 40 minutes away to Gardner, Maine and back but the ride was really fun. They were surprised with this gift but thrilled!

When Mike turned 40, I had a surprise party for him at another favorite restaurant, The Pointe Afta, also in Winslow. All of our friends and families showed up and surprised him for appetizers and drinks. They all brought joke gifts suitable for someone now "Over The Hill" - shirts and gadgets with Old Fart printed on them, Geritol, and even a pin cushion doll where you could select different aches & pains - age appropriate...

Now Mike is turning 50 and he had already mentioned way back in June, suspecting that I wouldn't let this special birthday go unnoticed, that he didn't want any kind of birthday party this time and actually didn't want me to do anything at all. Of course we couldn't let this special birthday go by without any kind of hoopla....

Knowing that he has always wanted to rent a camp in northern Maine, I mentioned it to Adam and he went on line to search for camps in the Greenville area and found one that was very reasonably priced for the weekend. It was an older camp and privately owned. Adam contacted the owner and made the reservation. I had to make up a story to get out of the house on Thursday to meet Adam and buy the groceries needed for the weekend getaway.

We didn't tell Mike anything about our plans, even when he started getting suspicious a couple of days ago, thinking that we were up to something. Even my daughter Amanda kept the secret. Adam borrowed his truck a few hours before we were planning on leaving to load coolers, wood, and the canoe. When he and his wife Amber showed up with our grand dog Ella, we hit the road. Only then did we tell him that we were going to Greenville for the weekend. He was pleasantly surprised and quite relieved.

It had been raining all week, as it has for most of the summer so far, and we were hoping for good weather. It rained on and off all the way to Greenville, but as soon as we got there, it stopped. The camp we rented was on a dirt road off a couple of main roads. It was past the point where the electricity ran and it was powered by propane gas. It was an older camp but quaint. Ella was immediately thrilled that it overlooked Wilson Pond and ran right down and jumped in.

The sun came out yesterday morning and after a short hide and seek game, stayed out for the rest of the day. Adam had bought Mike his hunting/fishing license for a gift and the two of them went out in the canoe in the afternoon to try their luck. No fish were caught - I'm told that they weren't big enough yet so they left them in the pond... It was so relaxing and Ella was thrilled to have all of us there with her. She kept jumping in and out of the pond and running through the woods all day long.

The funniest part of the weekend occurred yesterday while we were sitting on the deck having lunch. My daughter Amanda is the biggest Elvis fan that I know. She was seated across from Ella in the pictured Elvis camp chair that has a huge head of Elvis on the back and Love Me Tender printed on the seat. She had just gotten up from the chair when all of a sudden, Ella started to make a low growling sound.

We had heard a story from the owner about previous renters having a bear come into the screened in porch during the night and wondered if the bear had returned. Ella kept up the growling and started going in the direction of the chair. We figured that an animal was sitting just inside the woods behind, directly lined up with the chair. Ella made her way over to the chair and started sniffing and looking at one side of the chair and then the other, still growling. After a minute, she went back and laid down. It was then that we realized that Ella was actually growling at Elvis and trying to figure out if it was a person or not because of the huge head. We couldn't stop laughing. What do you know; someone who didn't know who Elvis Presley was!!!

We had a lot of laughs, the sun came out, and Mike had a great birthday weekend! What will we do for his 60th????

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My First Time Featured In Someone's Treasury!!

I just found out that my brand new Luscious Lilac earrings were selected by Ozzana's website from London, England to be in her "All Things Purple" treasury!! It is my first time being selected for a treasury and I am quite pleased and excited!! Thank you Ozzana!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Luscious Lilac

I'm in a creative mood this morning! Of course I wait until my last day of vacation. I work better under pressure, but I drive myself crazy.... These lovely pieces are going on my website right after this blog post. I'll probably add a matching bracelet soon because I am all about the matching sets!! The necklace is a series of silver wire wrapped links in various shapes and sizes of lilac mother of pearl shell beads, cream colored resin round beads, and antique silver filigree round beads. It has a lovely ivy leaf pewter toggle clasp. I used the larger round and the square lilac mother of pearl shells along with the silver filigree to create the dainty earrings that compliment the necklace so beautifully.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Winner of the Treasure Hunt!!!

Congratulations go out to Jen Smith of Manassas, Virginia for searching high and low on my blog and website for the answers to the Treasure Hunt questions. Jen has won a lovely Sweet Pea necklace!!! Thank you all for participating and please stay tuned for the next giveaway from All Strung Out 1!!

Friday, July 10, 2009


Are you ready to pretend that you are Captain Hook and go on a Treasure Hunt? All Strung Out1 is offering a special giveaway and all you have to do is search my blog and website for the answers to the questions in the Treasure Hunt. Those of you who answer all the questions correctly in an email to me by July 15th, will have your name entered into a drawing on July 16th to win one of my favorite necklaces!!! If you find that you like the items on my website while on your treasure hunt, please leave me a heart - they are always appreciated :-) And if you decide that you like my blog - please "follow" me for future contests and surprises!!! Are you ready to begin???

1. What was the item purchased in my first sale?

2. What is my most viewed item?

3. What is the name of the lady that I've done a collaboration with?
4. Which is the piece of jewelry that my husband helped with?
5. What is the largest item that I have listed?

6. Which item has something handsewn attached?

7. What color is the most viewed of the dichroic pieces?
8. What is the name of the Japanese braided items?

9. Who was always my biggest fan and supporter?

10. What is my most favorite material?

11. Who has the most items for sale out of my favorite sellers?
12. Who introduced me to crafting?

13. When did I join Etsy?

14. What is the name of my grand dog?

Bonus - What is your favorite item in all my listings?

Reminder - all answers can be found on either my website or
within my blog - Good Luck!!!

Send me an email with the question number and your answers.
Put "Treasure Hunt" in the subject line. Leave a comment once
you have emailed. You will be notified if
you are the winner and your name will be also listed on my blog
on July 16th!! I can't tell you what the prize is yet because it is
one of the answers (hint hint)!!

Website -
Blog -
Email -

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ella - The Bubble Machine

Now, my close friends and family know that I have never been a "dog" person. We had turtles, gold fish, a duckling, & two cats (for a brief time) growing up but never a dog. I also think something happened to me with a dog when I was much younger that made me eternally afraid of them, but I've suppressed that memory...

That all changed when my daughter in law, Amber, brought Ella into our lives three years ago. Ella is a yellow lab and was just a puppy when Amber got her and brought her home. Being a puppy, she was very lively and thought everyone just loved her and wanted to play with her. I thought she was adorable with those big eyes and loving nature but I was very nervous.

We went camping with my son Adam and Amber and Ella that first year and Ella, left in my charge for an hour, got the rope that she was tied up with all tangled up in the bushes and trees on the campsite. Every time I got close enough to try and untangle her, she would nip at me because she didn't like the situation. I was afraid to get too close, afraid of the sharp teeth, and unfortunately had to wait until they came back to untangle her - what a coward...

Over these last three years, I have gotten much calmer with her and have realized that she isn't trying to bite me, but it is part of her playful nature. I am no longer afraid to pet her and attempt to hug her; although she still thinks everything is a game and wants to play and lick.

I was really put to the test one Saturday morning last summer. Adam and Amber had gone away for the weekend and my other son Chris was left in charge of Ella and had spent the night at their house, taking care of her. He had to work at the driving range that morning and didn't dare bring Ella while he was mowing and picking up golf balls. She tends to chew on the golf balls and chase the mower and ball picker upper. He dropped her off with my daughter Amanda and I. Being Saturday morning, (oh who are we kidding - the weekend in general) we weren't dressed yet. I told Amanda that I would watch Ella while she showered and dressed and then we could switch places.

Amanda had no longer left the room and Ella disappeared; a matter of three seconds... I began calling for her, but couldn't hear her anywhere. I went upstairs to check and found the door to my bedroom open. As I walked in, Ella came out of my bathroom. She wasn't making a sound and I noticed a large bulge on either side of her mouth. I told her to come see Memere and asked her what she was up to. She was looking at me but couldn't make a sound. I realized that she had gotten into something in the bathroom but couldn't figure out what, at first, but that it was in her mouth. Awwwww, that meant that I had to open up her mouth to find out what the problem was, and it was full of sharp, pointy teeth..... All of these dog biting images came to mind but I knew something was wrong and didn't want anything to happen to her.

I gave her strict instructions not to bite Memere and opened up her mouth. A freshly opened, big bar of soap was stuck in all four corners of her teeth and wasn't going anywhere. She had gone into the shower in those few seconds and gobbled it off the shelf. I grabbed the soap, gave it a tug and pulled it out. Ella started licking herself to try and get the soap taste out of her mouth. I can imagine how nasty it tasted, but then again, she puts anything in her mouth - we won't go there.... I convinced her to come downstairs with me and she followed eagerly. I checked the label to see if there were any warnings of any kind but didn't find any. I gave her a large bowl of water to get rid of the soap, and because I wasn't really sure of what else to do and she took to it happily.

I watched her for quite awhile after to make sure that she was okay and to make sure that she didn't start "shooting soap bubbles"!!!

Ella attempted again and succeeded this time in eating a bar of soap that following week at Amber's, but at least it wasn't on my shift....

All in a day with Ella!!!