Friday, June 6, 2008

It's Official.

It is TOTALLY summer. I mean, really really summer. Our 10 day forecast is for 6 days in the 90's, and the other four? 86 to 89. But they way I really know it's summer time is that I am compelled to drive barefooted with the windows down, particularly at dusk. That is summertime
to me, and living out here in the valley is the closest thing to living in the county that I've had in a long time. I'm totally lovin' it.

Tomorrow Matt and I are headed to Townsend (this side of the mountain from Gatlinburg) to the Smoky Mountain Pottery Festival. Perfect timing for me to get some inspiration before my next round of pottery classes start, not to mention this stuff looks AMAZING, I am totally primed to buy (Woo hoo new budget, I love the first of the month!). I'm crossing my fingers in the hopes I find something for Father's day, too--the most impossible holiday as far as my family is concerned. I know I can make my dad a cake and he would love it, but I'd love to find something else for him as well, something really unique and beautiful, and since my dad is a pottery junkie, this seems like a great opportunity. Y'all cross your fingers too.

Speaking of amazing and crafty people, my mom presented us with the most incredible anniversary present last week--a Sailor's Valentine she made for Matt and I. The lighting in the den was not great this morning, so I'll be trying for better pictures later, but trust me when I say this is the most gorgeous piece of art--a real family heirloom--and Matt and I were completely bowled over. Mom based the design on a compass rose (a nod to Matt and his pirate roots) and decorated it with shell flowers and bugs (for me, the gardener and nature lover).

Also on the amazing and talented front, my very handy in-laws came over last weekend to hammer out the preliminary plans for our deck remodel. Matt and I have been talking about adding a pergola to our deck almost since we first looked at this house, and now we're nearly ready to start the construction. We loved the pergola Frank built for their house in Florida, and Matt is really excited to be able to work with his dad on the project. It's a gigantic undertaking, but I think it's really going to take our already-awesome deck over the top. I'll never want to leave! We'll be adding a two-level pergola to the left side of the upper portion of the deck pictured here, basically across the length of the main part of the house, and possibly adding a third part on the right by the sunroom/office. I took this picture in the morning, which is the ONLY time this deck is in shade. The rest of the day, full blazin' sun--the shade will be MUCH appreciated, and I think this will sort of integrate the deck with the house and make a nice transition. Watch out HGTV, you got nothin' on Hall & Son! I'll keep y'all posted once construction begins. Maybe everyone should come down for a party to help christen it once we're done....

Hope everyone has a great weekend, I'll see you all on Monday!

6 comments:

KatieKate said...

I luh-HUV the valentine!!!

And the pergola! What a fabulous idea. It will be perfect for us to sip lemonade under.

sunday said...

i love the pergola idea and you are right perfect for the shade! so you must give background to "pirate roots", what in the world, how cool. also what is a sailor's valentine? i need all this information ASAP!

sunday said...

i love the pergola idea and you are right perfect for the shade! so you must give background to "pirate roots", what in the world, how cool. also what is a sailor's valentine? i need all this information ASAP!

sunday said...

just a note, i am on my in-laws laptop at the beach and i seem to be leaving a lot of comments where ever i go. sorry about that. i promise i am not that demanding.

CortneyTree said...

It's not a problem, Sunday, I LUV comments ;)

"Pirate Roots" sounds exotic, huh? Actually it's nothing that exciting, just referring to his glory days of playing music--Matt's band was pretty much a trop rock, Buffett-style group, or that's how it started anyway, and so he spent a great deal of his life traveling and playing sailor-y music for people that would refer to themselves as modern day pirates. Because of the years we both spent in this world, we have a lot of tropical and sailor/ocean/Pirate themed stuff, and the Sailor's Valentine and a compass rose sort of fit right in :)

As far as what a sailor's valentine is--in the early 1800's Barbados was THE port of call, and almost any sailor would have stopped there on his way home to the US. To capitalize on this, the local women began setting up shops for the sailors to buy exotic gifts to take home to their families/girlfriends. (Not unlike if you went to a "WINGS" or whatever the chain tourist shops are called at the beach you're at now and brought us all home shell sculptures and shot glasses). One of the items that took off were Sailor's Valentines, they were big octagonal boxes that the women had made into little scenes using tiny shells and sometimes other things like drawings or rope knots and such. Sometimes they spelled things with shells like "Love for Always", which was how the "valentine" came into the name--they were like big giant shell valentine cards for their girlfriends. Anyway, collecting these antiques is apparently a popular thing, and down near Sarasota they have a Sailor's Valentine convention and they sell the boxes and shells to make your own, which is how my mom got the idea and decided to make us one for our anniversary (it started as a wedding present and became such a huge task it turned into our anniversay present!) It's so beautiful and I promise to post better pictures of it soon! Anyway, if you want to see what they looked like, try googling "sailor's valentine", you should find a bunch, plus modern day versions people are making now. It's really amazing!

CortneyTree said...

LONGEST. COMMENT. EVER. ;)