To stay or not to stay

Gulf State Park – Alabama

In between Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, Alabama sits Gulf State Park. It is a large state park with 3 lakes and miles of ocean front. Reservations can be made up to 14 months out or something like that, so it is hard to find a space, because there is no penalty for cancellation. They do some times have space available when the Reserve American website says they are booked. We were making reservations for next year, was told it was booked and to go to headquarters and sign up on the wait-list. When we got up there, found out that they had space available. So check your options.

The campground has full hookups. Big spaces and facilities available. There are a lot of easy hiking or bike paths. The beach is just a short bike ride away or you can drive to it easy.gulfstate

There are signs every where warning not to feed or aggravate the alligators. So be careful where you walk your dog. We will definitely put this on our list of possible places to stay. It is very conveniently located to either Gulf Shores or Orange Beach.

http://www.alapark.com/gulf-state-park

Indian Pass Campground – Indian Pass, Florida

indianpass

The campground is located about 23 miles from Apalachicola, Florida right on the bay.  The beach is full of oyster shells and the water is pretty brackish. It is an older campground, looks like any updates were done out of necessity not for upkeep reasons. No sewers hook up, though there is a dump station and also they can pump you out for $15. Arrival time is 3pm.. if you get there before then, expect to pay $10 for the privilege of coming in early. Check out is at 10 am! It’s a small park, has a decent bath house. Several trailers in the park full time. There is a fishing charter that you can take for 2 ½ hours for $55 or you can also get a lift to the research island across the way.

dolphin2Unfortunately the boat was down for engine repair while we were here, so that wasn’t an option for us. Though the campground is fine, it is kind of in the middle of nowhere. You have to drive at least 25 minutes to get to anything other then the small trading post. We did see dolphins in the bay one morning, so that was nice. Will we stay here again if we come this way, maybe if they charter is going just to go do the fishing part. Would love to get some fresh fish… we bought some at a fish market, but it’s so pricey, would be cheaper to pay for a charter.

https://www.indianpasscamp.com/

pelican

 

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Missed Moments

So we are on vacation for the next couple of weeks, until the art show in Cedar Key, Florida. I’m not sure how to process vacations as we’ve taken so few of them. Usually a vacation is in the form of we are away from home doing a show and we have a few days before the next one, so we are on vacation. A few days is a lot different from two weeks.

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beach dreaming

Even when Scot was in the military, vacations were normally taken when we were moving to a new location. There is a handful of times that we vacationed with the kids. I regret that now, would have liked to spend more time with them without the normal hubba of life. To late to change that, but I would like to change it in my life now. To take time to smell the roses so to speak.. visit important people while we have the chance… see places I’ve always wanted to see… and yet in order to do that I have to start a whole different life pattern. Learn to stop and breathe and relax… take in the moment, instead of rushing to the next task. 

 

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Gulf State Park

Change is never easy for me, even if it’s a good thing. To often I feel the need to continue the work until it’s done, but what I’ve realized as I’ve gotten older is that the work is never done. There is always something more you could fix, finished, start, etc etc… but in the chaos of that, I think you miss the moments that make life worth living. There are thousands of them… that perfect sunrise or sunset, the cuddle with the cat/dog/child that only happens for brief moments before it’s gone, the scent of the flower in one second of time before it dies, and the list goes on. I want to collect those moments, store them up for when I’m in my darkest hour, breathe them in so I carry them in my cells, and live the life I was meant too; instead of the rush I’ve lived for far to long.

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Fraulein

What moments are you missing?

Orange Beach Festival of Arts

Orange Beach Festival Of Art – Orange Beach, Alabama – March 10 & 11

This small show of about 100 artists is held on the grounds of the Coastal Arts Center. It is a beautiful park with an recently opened Art Gallery that is stunning. Also on the grounds is a glass and pottery studio.

Set up was Friday afternoon. Drive your booth, unload and move the vehicle after unloading. Parking is behind the Baptist Church next to the park. They also have space for some RV’s to dry camp. The church burned recently and it has this location a bit shaky, but hopefully it will continue.

Saturday hours were 10-5. Despite weather forecasting that there might be rain the crowd was good in the morning, though it dwindled some in the afternoon. I didn’t see to many bags walking around, but our day was good as we sold our of our larger pieces to someone with some patron bucks to spend. We had wonderful neighbors and the art I saw was superb. Kudos to the jury pool for who they chose. Judges came around and spent time talking with you about your art.

Artist dinner and award ceremony was held Saturday night. Low key ceremony with a fantastic Low Country Boil of shrimp, potatoes and corn on the cob. Filled in with a salad, artichoke dip with pita chips, coleslaw, crab cakes and a bread pudding for dessert. Awards ranged from a $1000 for best in show.. down in $200. Since the art was fantastic, I’m sure if was a tough choice for the judges.

Sunday (10-4) arrived to soon with daylight savings time and we got to the park to open up. There was the potential of bad weather coming in, so they were working with EMA on whether or not to call the show. The crowd was just beginning to start filling in and buying, when we got the word to pack down because a storm was headed our way in the couple hours. Big kudos for the organizers for having the balls to call the show before the rain hit. We packed up and had been on the road about an hour before it started to pour and the wind made it come down in sheets. In fact we passed another art show down the way that we had done last year and those poor artists were trying to break down in the wind and the rain. So grateful that wasn’t us!

Despite having only one small sale today, it was a good show. Great people to work with and I hope we make the cut next year and get in.

Let’s talk Food

Let’s talk food.. We discovered a couple restaurants in Orange Beach, AL that are worth the trip. The first one is Cosmo’s. We went at lunch time, it was packed. Calamari for appetizer.. was perfect.  Scot had a fried oysters and shrimp, roasted garlic & bacon grits, and garlic asparagus. It was okay, nothing incredible. Neither one of us are big on the fried seafood, but it was the only variety they had. I had a grilled shrimp with a Parmesan risotto. The shrimp were ok, kind of tasted muddy. But the risotto was incredible. Perfect creamy and rich. I’d definitely recommend it if you go there. Service was good. http://www.cosmosrestaurantandbar.com/

The next day we went to GT’s on the Bay. It was before the regular lunch rush, so pretty empty. We had a great waitress. Very attentive without being obtrusive. Scot ordered the special of the day shrimp with a pasta dish, kind of creole based sauce. Sorry he can’t remember the name, but as he said “it was really good.” I did their version of shrimp and grits. The grits were deep fried, which I wasn’t sure I would like, but boy was a wrong… the sauce kind of reminded me of an etouffee. It was incredible.. was hard not to lick the bowl! http://www.gtsonthebay.com/

But the best was found was on the trip out of Orange Beach. In Perdido Key, Florida. We saw a sign for Greek Food on a food truck parked on Merrila St. There was enough parking we could pull in with the RV so we stopped. OH MY… if you like Greek food this is a must hit place. We had the gyro plates… traditional gyro meat with a grill pita bread, rice, fries and a Greek Salad.. and lots of tzaziki sauce. If you love garlicky tzaziki this is the best I’ve had since Germany. We will definitely put this on our trip plans if we come this way. The original Georgio’s Authentic Greek Food. https://www.facebook.com/GeorgiosTheGreek/

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Sandstorms of Life

So we are traveling again for art shows, currently down near Orange Beach, Alabama.  Today we went to the beach and I did something I’ve never done before… I just laid down on the sand without a blanket under me or anything.  Always before I’m thinking I would get my clothes all sanding, but today I didn’t care.  Life has hit me right in the heart with some major bumps and I figured maybe being right in the sand might help me ground a little.

It’s chilly down here, so I had long pants and a sweat shirt on, but I just pulled my hood up and laid down on the cold sand.  Pulling my pants up enough that I could bury my feet and calves in the golden grains.  And I just laid there as the wind blew sand crystals across my face, not hard enough to really hurt, but enough to sting just a little.

Did it help ground, maybe don’t really feel anymore settled then I did, but it did feel good just to lay there without my usual care of am I getting sand on me and will I get it in the car?  So I suppose that is a start.

It also made me think about the stinging of the sand as it blew in the wind.  How life is some times like that sand blowing… Some times things happen as they are like tiny crystals of sand blowing on your skin, some times it is just little irritating and some times it is hitting your skin so hard you think it is going to draw visible blood.  When you look around you wonder why people can’t see that the sand has worn you to the bare threads of your soul.. that your essence is literally bleeding as though it’s worn away your skin.

And then you have to wonder if you are missing seeing the same thing when you look at them?

 

 

And so it begins

So in 2 days we leave for our first art show of 2018.  KY Crafted- The Market.  It’s a part wholesale/part retail show that is sponsored by the state ran Arts Council.  You have to apply to be a member.  In addition to Kentucky artists there will be some artists from other states who are part of programs in their states.  Indiana, Missouri and more.  It is always filled with incredible art.

This year it’s back in Louisville, which hopefully will be a good thing.  Some of Louisville has been slammed with terrible flooding, so I don’t know how that will play out.  I am excited about the show, because I get to see some artist friends whom I only get to see at the Market once a year.  So that is always really nice.

mermaid Large

I’m also excited to introduce my latest creation, a large mermaid.  I call her Synder in tribute of one of my incredible nieces, Michelle.  Synder is her stage name she uses when she does fire dancing or belly dancing.  She is amazingly graceful.  I figured that since my mermaid was born with fire, it was perfect.

So in a couple of days, she’ll be gracing our booth.  If you have the opportunity and are nearby come to Louisville this week at the Expo Center and see her in booth #429.

Gearing up for 2018 Shows

So I’ve been a little quiet in my blog, just haven’t made it back to the page to sit down and write.  But 2018 seems to have awakened me, so we will see how long that last.  The last few weeks, after a month long hibernation hiding from the unseasonable cold we had this year, we made it back to the shop and began to create some of those dreamed about things.  We’ve got our first show in Louisville, KY.  Kentucky Crafted- The Market.  It’s at the Expo Center on Phillips Lane.  We will be in booth #429

March 2nd (trade hours) 8am-4pm.  Retail 5pm-8pm

March 3rd Retail all day 10am-8pm

March 4th Retail 10am-5pm

mermaidhair  Me drawing hair on my mermaid

From there we leave the next week to do a couple coastal shows.

Orange Beach Art Festival – Orange Beach, Al.  March 10 & 11 Saturday 10-5/ Sunday 10-4

Old Florida Celebrates the Arts – Cedar Key, FL  March 24 & 25 Saturday 10-5/ Sunday 10-4

In between time we will enjoying some of the coastal magic and we are on the wait-list for Fairhope Art & Crafts Festival, so we maybe there.   Who knows.. for those of you that don’t do juried art shows, we have to apply to shows every year.  Doesn’t really matter if you’ve been in them before or not, sometimes you don’t make it in and sometimes you are stuck on the wait-list, sometimes you just don’t get in.  So if you are a patron at a show and see something you want, please don’t ask the artist if they will be there next year, we have no guarantee.  Just buy it and make it a successful show this year.

For me it’s back to work.. mermaid zapp

Just a little kiss”   Mermaid by me!  Glass fish by artist Lisa Fowler- China Blue Designs.