Sunday, May 10, 2015

LBJ All the Way - The Presidential Library

I'm a nerd and I don't mind admitting it.

This week I went to Austin to attend a conference and the night before the conference got underway we were given the opportunity to visit the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum. I was thrilled.  It's hard to say what I enjoyed most.  He did so many things during his presidential term - declared the war on poverty, began Headstart to help jump start education, kick-started efforts to support the arts, funded NPR, continued the civil rights act, voting rights act, Medicare, and seriously, the list goes on.  I loved being able to walk through the museum to see his notes, and photos of personal moments.

I also loved being able to see Lady Bird's office and see so many special family photos and memorabilia.  The docent shared so many stories with us making the tour so special.  Throughout the museum you can listen to recorded conversations and my favorite was when the President was practicing his speech and Lady Bird critiques him ultimately giving him a B+.

Across the street from our hotel was a wonderful Italian restaurant that is housed in a gorgeous building. It was a treat to enjoy non-hotel air, food and atmosphere.

There was a "Pun-Off" taking place next to our hotel.

 Maybe I'll come back next year and next time maybe I'll get to see more of whatever it is that is supposed to make Austin "weird" but I was happy to leave town after enjoying a Brisket Frito Pie (yes, we slipped out of one of the hotel lunches to go try some brisket) and a fantastic tour of the library.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Deployment, Family, Chick-fil-a and ... the Atlanta Falcons

The day is finally here and in just a few short hours we will have to say goodbye.  This time it will be for about 7 months,  It doesn't sound like much but during that time there are 5 family birthdays, Mother's Day, cheer competitions, summer camp/vacation, anniversary, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, the holiday season and so many other special events.  We will feel his absence and we will all be reminded that time doesn't stand still, for us or for him.

He's a tried-and-true Atlanta Falcons fan so along with his family photo, he's packed up his favorite Falcons jerseys.  Today we will lunch on one of his favorites - Chick-fil-a, before heading to the airport to do what military families do - say goodbye and then lean on each other for comfort.

We are proud of my son, my daughter-in-law and my nephew and all of the other men and women and their families who serve in the armed forces and make these sacrifices every day.

Godspeed dear son.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Art by Tony McCray, Joey Kiernan and Paper-making

Folks in my neighborhood are so talented!  It was so much fun to be invited to a neighborhood art show on a Saturday night. Yes, there was art, but there were also some demonstrations which made viewing the art extra fun.
My husband and Tony
I've blogged about my talented neighbor Tony McCray of Rust in Peace in the past.
You've gotta love these business cards!
Tony had several beautiful pieces on exhibit and I have to confess that the Scrabble mirror was my favorite.  The mirror is huge and is framed in over 1200 Scrabble tiles.  And just look at all the happiness!!
My neighbor Joey is amazing and let me tell you.  She's not just creative with an eye for beauty. NOTHING will hold her back.  She displayed pottery, various mixed media, mosaics and encaustic painting.  Joey even did a demo on the process.

 Joey did an amazing encaustic demonstration using layers of wax and a blow torch which created greater appreciation for her works using this technique.

Then we got to watch a paper-making demonstration by a local nonprofit that creates paper and journals to help young victims of human trafficking.  Sadly Atlanta is a hub for human trafficking so it's great to learn about the nonprofits that work to help the victims.
Recycling paper scraps into new pulp


The pulp was fun for the kids!

Straining the pulp

Spreading out the pulp for drying

The pulp is spread between two fabric squares

The paper is dried overnight on racks

My husband was amazed

And here's the final product
I feel so lucky to be in a neighborhood with such talented and nice people!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Lilly Pulitzer for Target

How many of you love Lilly?  For those who hadn't read anything about it, today is the day that Target launched a special line of Lilly Pulitzer created just for Target.  Apparently the Target website crashed this morning because of the online shopping frenzy! 

Photo from
Well, today I joined over 100 shoppers at Target, Atlantic Station location who lined up at a very early hour to try to get a few items. The store manager had a sign up to force shoppers into a line and to help keep things orderly.  The doors opened at 8:00 and it was funny when a guy showed up at 7:55 to get some paper products and he kept asking us, "why are you lined up?" "what's a Lil(l)y?'. 

I left my house in plenty of time to get s good place in line but some folks were there by 6:30 this morning so by the time I got in line at 7:45 the line looked like this:

I was able to get the items I was shopping for (graduation gifts and a birthday present) to give as gifts to some of my Lilly-loving friends and family.  What a fun thing to do and what a nice group of people shop with.  Everyone was so kind, courteous and helpful.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Atlanta Decorators Show House Benefiting the Atlanta Symphony

I've been volunteering at the Decorators Show House for 12 years and it's an event I look forward to every year.
This year we were allowed to take pictures for the first time!  Yay!  I also had a chance to spend some time visiting with my girlfriend Ginabeth. 

I'm sharing just a few of my favorite rooms. Hope you'll let me know your thoughts based on what you see. One of the designers shared the thought that these days clients are asking form the use of more color. The theory in design world is that when the economy is not doing very well, clients ask for more neutrals but when the economy improves clients want color.  Today, color was back!

Caroline Weeks, one of the designers with Melanie Turner Designs