Capitol City Visit

Capitol City Visit
Madison Wisconsin

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Crafting on Vacation......Why not?




I recently told of our trip out west, to South Dakota and Colorado (see prior posts).

In Colorado, we stayed at the YMCA of the Rockies. It was a fabulous place with much to do. I've already told you of the hikes we took during our week stay, in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Now, I'll tell you about some of the other activities! There was so much to choose from!

In addition to hiking, our family road a zip line, went horseback riding, played mini-golf and basketball, took classes on archery, wilderness survival, animals of the rocky mountains, and beavers. Everything was great, except for the Beaver Walk, which has to be another topic! It got to mid-week and we hadn't even checked out the "craft barn". By this time, I was going through a little beading withdrawl so two days before we had to leave; we spent an afternoon at this wonderful distraction at the Y.

Just like the physical activities, entering the craft barn is a little overwhelming! There is just about every craft you can imagine! After spending about a half hour just deciding what to do, we chose the following crafts......my youngest chose a fired "green ware" dragon to paint with acrylics, my soon to be 5th grader picked a frog mosaic to make lively and colorful, and my oldest tie dyed a shirt with his dad. Me, well, I longed to do some beading! How convenient that about half the craft barn is just for crafting.......beaded jewelry!

After picking a small wooden school house structure to paint while keeping my dragon artist company, I wandered over to the beads. Most people seemed to be in the make and take mode. In other words, you pick your beads and then assemble your piece (necklace, bracelet, etc.) and pay for a completed piece of jewelry. The YMCA provided assistants to help with the assembly of your jewelry. This was great if you didn't already know how to make jewelry. I went a different route. After checking, I was told that of course, I could just buy beads!!! Yeah!!! I had a grand time picking wonderful, unusual beads to bring home! They had a great selection.

For me, I like the solitary atmosphere that I have when I create a piece of jewelry and while there was definitely a time and place to create on vacation, I elected not to. I am very protective of my creative muse and sitting at a table with 20-30 other women while creating a piece just doesn't work for me. I also don't like to look at the work of others. I have found that it inhibits the individuality of my pieces. So, given that there were many beautiful and unique beads to choose from I had a good time bead shopping. Which.....if I was creating pieces in my head as I picked each bead......then I did do some crafting on vacation!

I can't wait to share with you some of my pieces that I made with beads from our vacation. Keep watching here for those! In the meantime, enjoy a few more pictures from our stay at the YMCA of the Rockys and Rocky Mountain National Park. #1- Bear Lake, #2- YMCA of the Rockies Statue, & #3- Alberta Falls.
Have a great weekend! Carol

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Scenes from the West....just amazing!





Before I get to my main post today, I want to know if anyone knows why hummingbirds eat more after it has rained? We have a "hummer" (as we lovingly call them) feeder attached to our kitchen window over our deck. We have daily visits from these wonderful and amazing creatures.

Our weather has been notably rainy this year (not cold, mind you, just rainy) and as a result everything in our yard that is usually burned out (like our lawn) or dead (like my container flowers) are flourishing! However, the rainy weather has led to an interesting observation with regards to our hummingbird visitors.

It seems that during a rain storm or after it rains, we have a dramatic increase in visits to our hummingbird feeder. In fact, yesterday, the hummers almost drained the thing! This voracious appetite followed what was a terrible thunderstorm, for most of the night before, accompanied by very heavy rainfall.

We have been back from our vacation for a week and I'll have filled the hummingbird feeder twice, already! While this might not seem like a lot for some, it is a definite increase for our feeder. In fact, yesterday, we had hummers "dueling" it out for drinking spots! This has never happened before! They are very territorial creatures and I am sure one hummer felt this was his own personal, nutritional oasis!

So, I am back to my question.......Why does it seem that hummingbirds visit our feeders more during periods of rainy weather? If anyone knows the answer to this, I'd love to hear it!

As I stated, we have been back from our Western Trip for sometime now. I wrote, last week, about the wonderful experience we had hiking in the Rocky Mountain National Park. We arrived in Colorado via South Dakota and a visit to the Badlands, Custer State Park, and Mount Rushmore. All I can say is, amazing!

It is amazing that a group of men carved the faces of our country's great leaders into the side of a granite mountain! It is amazing how beautiful it is! The day we visited, there wasn't a cloud in the sky! It is amazing that we learned no one was killed during the carving of this beautiful and awe-inspiring monument! Amazing!

The Badlands! Amazing in their unique topography! Arising from the vast, flat openness of the prairie, the badlands are so amazingly odd in their appearance they are almost scary! You definitely get a sense of being in the old west and can almost picture the expression as explorers and cowpokes road across our prairies and came across this landscape! Amazing!

Custer State Park is amazing, too! It offers a lovely scenic drive through pine studded forests. And if you are a self-proclaimed conservationist/naturalist, like myself, you will be glad that places like Custer still exist. Cool, vibrantly green, and refreshing to the spirit! Amazing!

I have to add another amazing observation, here. We were amazingly disappointed that the Crazy Horse monument has not made more progress in the last 50 years! It will be quite a feat to finish this fine monument to one of our native americans, but it would have been nice to see some people working on it. Amazingly, very quiet, for the amount of work that still needs to take place. Amazing!

I will post some more of my photographs later today of these Amazing places out West. Please stop back to view those. In the meantime, can you answer my hummingbird question?
Have a great week! Carol



Friday, July 23, 2010

Fantastic Friday....Anything Orange is on Sale!






Okay, you've enjoyed my pictures, now I have to engage in some shameless self-promotion.

For Today only, 7/23/10, everything in my shop that has the color ORANGE on it, is 20% off the listed price! I will refund via paypal, immediately after the sale is completed! This offer does not include shipping fees and will end at 10pm CST, tonight! Take a look at some of my orange pieces. Great to wear now and keep wearing right through the fall holidays.

Here is the link to my shop; http://carolsjewelryorchard.etsy.com

As you can see, I offer many different styles.....come and take a look!
The above pictures are only a few of my pieces that contain orange!
Feel free to contact me if you are unsure about a piece qualifying for this SALE!

Also, if you are a local person reading my blog today, AND, I know you personally, you can also save on the shipping and I'll deliver the piece to you!
Thanks! Carol

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday






Wordless Wednesday.....
Water Gardens and Water Lilies at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Sqaure, PA

Wordless Wednesday


Wordless Wednesday..... Fused Glass Pendants available at; http://FusedGlassByGinger.etsy.com




Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Promoting Fellow Artists from Etsy

Good Morning!

I am helping to promote other artists that have shops on Etsy. After weeks of helping to do this, I woke this morning to find out that it was my turn to be promoted!!!! I am so excited. I am featured along with 3 other fine shops;




and myself at


We all offer different styles and pieces but all are lovely! Please come shop, today!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Rocky Mountain High......

Hello!! If you follow my blog, you will have noticed that I did not post last week. My family took a vacation out West. There were two parts to this vacation. First, we visited Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands. Then, we went to Estes Park, Colorado. Both will be memorable for my family!

Colorado is beautiful. We went hiking almost daily in Rocky Mountain National Park! The weather was gorgeous and the humidity was low! I found that it is one of the few places I can go where my hair isn't a ball of frizz!!!!

The staff at Estes Park was very helpful in finding appropriate hikes for our family with younger school-aged children. On day one we hiked from the Bear Lake Trail head to Emerald Lake, seeing Nymph Lake and Dream Lake along the way. It was gorgeous! Of course, I took tons of photos!

Day Two took us to Alberta Falls and beyond, but we tired after being caught in a brief thunderstorm and did not make it all the way to Mills Lake. The thunderstorm was fun and scary at the same time. However, a side benefit was that many hikers headed down the mountain and I was able to get some unobstructed photographs of Alberta Falls.

Day three we did not hike. We needed a change of pace and spent the afternoon in the craft barn at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park. We started some very cool projects, which will be a topic of another post!

Day four took us back to the Rocky Mountain National Park for more hiking. We chose to go on a hike that would take us to The Pool from the Fern Lake Trailhead.
This was a wooded hike but very lovely beside the Big Thompson River, where we cooled our feet on the return hike back to the trailhead.

I can't say enough about Rocky Mountain National Park. It is awesome and awe inspiring! The mountains are majestic and of course, rocky! All of the people we encountered were very respectful of the land and pleasant in passing! The rangers were visible and anxious to help provide you with a great experience!

I will be posting a few pictures from this trip (obviously)! You know by now that I love taking landscapes of the places I travel to. I am also very excited to tell you that right before we left on our trip, I sold my very first photography from my shop on Etsy. Here is the link;

This, along with the beautiful scenery I have recently witnessed, has inspired me to post and make available for sale more of my photography. At this time, you can view/purchase my photographs in my etsy shop at;

Please visit soon! Have a great day! Carol

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wordless Wednesday




Wordless Wednesday....Enjoy Quintessential Wisconsin....in the summer!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Patriotic Music.....Always a part of the Fourth!



Well, in my post earlier in the week (page down to view), I spoke of listening to patriotic music.

Today, I was listening to two of my favorite patriotic CD's, pictured above. Both of these CD's have some beautiful music on them. The Ultimate Patriotic Album; God Bless America has anthems and all of the armed services songs or hymns. It starts with Yankee Doodle and ends with The Stars and Stripes Forever! A couple of my favorites are Simple Gifts and American Patrol. It is uplifting and quite classic in the presentation of this music....almost like you're at the National concert on the lawn of the capital in Washington, D.C.!

The Bostons Pops CD is another festive choice for this holiday weekend. Led on this CD by John Williams and Arthur Fiedler, this music is fun and uplifting. It features several by Aaron Copeland like Hoe-Down and Fanfare for the Common Man. He has to be a favorite composer of mine! Probably my favorites from this CD are This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie and 76 Trombones by Meridith Willson!

I could be wrong, but I somehow don't think there'll be many etsy shoppers this weekend. However, if the mood strikes you; or you just need to get out of the sun....I am offering FREE SHIPPING through 7/5/10 and have starting taking markdowns on select pieces of jewelry. You can check these out in my shop at; http://carolsjewelryorchard.etsy.com
Maybe you'll notice that I have a new banner! That's a story in itself!

The weather appears glorious here in the mid-west. Bright sun, Blue Skies, and Hot Temperatures. So, I guess I'm off the the grocery store for my watermelon!

Have a great 4th of July!
Carol