Monday, October 31, 2011

mountain bike monday - some fall riding

biking oct 30 005

Yesterday was a little chilly when we hopped out of the car to head out onto the trails. When we started I wasn't too excited. Sometimes you have those days where you just aren't all there! But...after we got started and I made it up the first couple of big hills I decided that it could be a good day if I wanted it to be. Plus, it made it better when Dynamo told me we could just take our time and enjoy the ride.

biking oct 30 008

Riding is like anything else. It's 80% mental and 20% physical. For me at least it is. Some days I feel as if it's 100% mental. My mind has always been my worst enemy. If you've ever read Joel Osteen's book, Your Best Life Now, you know he talks all about the power of positive thinking. There is a real power to thinking positively.

biking oct 30 002

All through school I was a softball pitcher. I'm used to having to talk to myself and pep myself up. So, on the trail there are many times when I'm talking to myself, my bike, or both. It's something about outwardly expressing what you're thinking that seems to make it happen. This is why I name my bikes too! Yes, if you talk nicely to them they will respond!

I'm a big quote person too! I love to read quotes and would have my entire bike plastered with quotes if I could. It would look like those cars with thousands of bumper stickers on them. The main quotes that I'm going to put on my handlebars are going to be 1. Just Pedal Damnit! and 2. You can do this!

More choice phrases would be:
If this was easy everyone would do it.
Life is what you make it!
We are what our thoughts make us!
I'm gonna live longer because of this!
Be grateful you CAN do this!
Enjoy this day!

It was a beautiful day and I had to shed a layer of clothes a couple of miles in. Dynamo volunteered to hold my shirt for me. He is a minimalist, so he has very few things in his Camelbak! Unlike me who has, Ibproufen, trail maps, tissues, camera, knife, phone, chapstick, and girl items. If you need something, it's likely that I have it!.! Camera....yes! I carry the essentials!

biking oct 30 009

Some of the re-routes on the trails posed new challenges for me. I think after I see them a few times, I'll feel comfortable enough with the lines. Dynamo was showing me a line over some roots in the above pic.

biking oct 30 010

He can go over any obstacle so smoothly and without much effort. Me...I'm like a bull in a china shop! I keep telling myself to "be light on the bike." "Be one with the bike!" One day it might sink in!

Until then, that's what practice is for right? We finished up the Lakeview Trails logging around 13 miles.

Hope your weekend was enjoyable! Mine was!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

rug crazy?

Burgundy Rag Rug 1

Do you think I'm a little obsessed?

Burgundy Rag Rug 2

Well, Dynamo just finished another beautiful rug loom for me and I just had to try it! He's so awesome!!! My friend was over on Monday so I got her started learning how to make rugs and let her get this one going. And, last night I finished it.

Burgundy Rag Rug 3

This rug is a little smaller than the others. It measures approximately 19 inches by 30 inches. It's a really good size to fit in a bathroom or in front of your kitchen sink.

Burgundy Rag Rug 4

The colors are pretty in this one too! I can't decide which rug is my favorite! Now, that I have my new smaller loom I'll be making more small rugs to have 2 size options for people!

Hope you like it! Are you tired of rugs yet?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Last Friday I came home from a long week of work and saw a note sitting on the counter for me!

I get so excited when I open the mailbox and there's more than just bills! Dynamo had left this note on the counter for me.

It was a note from my friend, Rachel! On the front of the card it said "Encourager."

On the inside was the kindest, sweetest, most generous message about me inspiring her and encouraging her on the bike. As tears poured down my face, I ran outside and handed the card to Dynamo to read.

The week before while riding Rachel told me that she felt inspired to do have something that she could do for learn something new. And...she has chosen sewing. She will be taking a beginning sewing class in December and is so excited. I am so excited for her!

Well, my heart smiled when she told me this!! She told me that she read my blog and it inspired her to get started! Right then I truly felt that all the work that I do on this blog was worthwhile. If I inspire one person to ride a bike or start sewing or make a card or send a card to someone else then everything was worth it.

In the beginning when I started this blog it was to keep family to keep up-to-date on our adventures and maybe start getting my crafts out there. Now, the blog is much more to me! Maybe it will inspire the girl who might not be the skinniest, fastest, or most coordinated to get out there and get on the bike or run a race! Maybe it will inspire someone to start knitting or crocheting! Maybe it will inspire someone to send a card to a friend they've been thinking about! Now, the blog is about doing something for someone else. It's about showing people that they can do anything they want to do if they put their mind to it. I don't have much that I can give, but there's one thing that I can give...that is myself, my love of life, and my love for share it with others. I want to share what I know in hopes of helping someone else to get out there and try something new.

I always joke and say that I don't think anyone other than my mom, Dynamo's mom, and my few friends read my blog (Elise - you are my faithful reader and I love you for that). I don't get many comments, and at the beginning that was discouraging (Thank you Jim and Missy for faithfully commenting). But...I do get emails from people or calls from friends, or the occasional bar of soap for inspiration in the mail (thanks Mis!) that do let me know someone reads this thing!

But, when I got the card in the mail last week in "honor of my 52 weeks of mail" my heart was so happy! All 367 posts that I've made on here were worthwhile! So, thank you, Rachel! And...thank you to everyone who reads this blog, whether you care about my rugs or our mountain bike monday posts! Dynamo still swears more people like bike stuff than craft stuff :)

I hope each of you out there find your "thing" and if you don't have a "thing" yet just be will find it. Everyone has gifts. God gives us all gifts and He expects us to use them. God is good.

pastels are pretty

Pastel Rug 1

Well, I finished another rug. This one is very pastel and spring-like!

Pastel Rug 2

The colors are so happy!

Pastel Rug 3

I enjoyed making this one because there wasn't much restriction on the colors. I could use all my colorful sheets and fabrics and they all went perfectly together!

Pastel Rug 4

This rug would be a great bathroom rug or in a little girls' room!

Pastel Rug 5


Pastel Rug 6

So, right now I'm up to 4 completed rugs!

Rug Collection 2

Whew! And...guess what? Dynamo made me another loom!!! :) This one is a little smaller, so now I can have two sizes to offer! He's so talented. It's amazing how he can just look at something and make it! I'm so blessed to have a bike mechanic, carpenter, and just all-around can build anything/fix anything hubby! And...when Dynamo makes something it's done with 110% heart. It will be perfect!

He still says I'm running a sweatshop in our house! It's so crazy I know! I'm trying to make sure I have enough inventory! I always want people to be overwhelmed and have plenty of choices! I can't wait to show you more broaches/pins I've been working on. And...I've got to get busy making more wreaths!

So..the craft show is called Apples and Arts and is on November 12, at Woolridge Elementary (Richmond/Chesterfield)! We'll be there from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Please stop by if you're in the area...even if it's just to say hi!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

mountain bike monday - old trails new routes

biking oct 23 2

I have this habit of cutting off Dynamo's head when we take our own pic! Oops!!

I did it again!

biking oct 23

It's actually funny because sometimes we have to take several pics to get it right!

biking oct 23 9

Well, yesterday we rode the Lakeview Trails at Poco. All 3 trails! This was the first time since Hurricane Irene that I have been on LV 3. Wow! There were quite a few changes!

biking oct 23 006

I can't begin to describe how beautiful yesterday was at the park!

biking oct 23 007

The light shining through the trees and reflecting off of the leaves was magical!

When we began Dynamo asked me if I saw the split tree last week. Of course I didn't. When I ride I tend to miss lots because I'm always looking straight ahead! Maybe one day I'll be comfortable enough to look around! Don't get me wrong...I do look around, but I have to be careful!

biking oct 23 010

That split tree was awesome!

biking oct 23 8

Just like magic it was split right in half! I bet that made a noise! I guess only the animals heard it!

biking oct 23 018

And, we came upon this GIANT mushroom! No lie - It was bigger than my head. Here it is with the tire to show you size.

biking oct 23 12

And, there was this one section on LV 2 where a tree created an underpass for riders...

biking oct 23 10

All I could think about was when this thing would eventually fall. But, it was really neat to ride under it. I kinda wanted to ride by and grab the limb and swing off my bike like in the movies! Silly, I know!

biking oct 23 15

When we came up the hill to our resting spot I snapped some pics of Dynamo with the leaves falling. I'm not sure how I did getting the leaves in the pics!

There's one right over his eye in this one...

biking oct 23 14

And, one by his arm!

biking oct 23 13

And, when we got to the peak at the lake on LV 3 I snapped a couple of pics. The lighting was so beautiful on the lake...

biking oct 23 023

It was so bright behind Dynamo...

biking oct 23 16

On LV 3 there was a huge re-route of the trail! It was really cool!

biking oct 23 18

Yes, you go under the tree, but over the logs underneath! AWESOME!!!!

biking oct 23 20

Did I mention how awesome this was?

biking oct 23 21

Can we do it again? :)

biking oct 23 22

Yes, we finished up and I snapped this pic of Dynamo crossing the creek! This part is still my nemesis on many days! There are so many times that I almost just make it!

biking oct 23 028

He's like lightening through the trails! See the blur?

biking oct 23 030

It was a great ride together! I've missed our rides together on the trails. It was so much fun to take our time and take pics and check out the newly re-routed trails. To be honest it's nice that there were some changes to the same old routes! It keeps you on your toes.

And, speaking of re-routes...We stopped to talk to a friendly gentleman on LV 3. He told us that he was down from Pennsylvania to help out his brother and sister-in-law whose daughter, Katie, was suffering from a severe brain injury and is in a facility in Petersburg. He told us that he sits with Katie everyday so her parents can go to work. He said that he wheels her outside to take in the sunshine. He has committed to helping his family out because he can...he is retired. He said there's always time for trips to Colorado, but now he's needed here.

Katie Ralcewicz is only 28 years old. You can read about her story here.Please take time to say a prayer for Katie today. Even though we don't know her and you may not either, she needs your prayers.

Often, we never know what people are going through. We see people pass us by and never know what's going on in their world. We never would have known about Katie unless we had stopped to say hello. For some reason that was in God's plan yesterday for us to meet Katie's uncle.

Enjoy the sunshine today! Be thankful for your families, friends, and the chance to enjoy the beauty around us that God has created. Dynamo, I LOVE YOU!

Friday, October 21, 2011

almost good enough to eat

Lavender Chamomile Soap 1

The latest soap we made is just delicious!

Lavender Chamomile Soap 2

It's lavender and chamomile scented with local lavender buds sprinkled throughout!

Lavender Chamomile Soap 3

I've been wanting to experiment with different textures and color on the top of the bar and inside to create marbling effects, etc.

Lavender Chamomile Soap 4

What do you think of the purple accents in the bar and on top? It honestly looks like a dessert to me!

Lavender Chamomile Soap 5

And...the smell of this soap is amazing!! This might be my favorite! Dynamo is an excellent soap cutter making sure all the bars are just right! It's so exciting to pull out a new loaf and start cutting. It's a surprise as to what patterns you end up with!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

animal testing...

Lexi Bath

Lexi girl loves a bath! And, what better time to test the Happy Camper soap than now! It is a pet/camping soap for humans and animals! We test all of our soaps before we give/sell them! We test the pH of them as well!

When I made this soap a while back she was going crazy over the smell. It does smell like a citronella candle, which might be a good scent to her! Who knows why she liked it so much!

She enjoyed her bath as she always does! She was so clean and spunky afterwards! The soap lathered up well and she pranced around feeling pretty!

Lexi Bath2

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

another rug complete

Green Rug

Don't you just love the greens and pinks in this rug?

Green Rug 2

I just love the color combos in this rug!

Green Rug 3

Another one complete and ready for the craft show!

Green Rug 4

They feel so soft!!

Green Rug 5

And...already strung up another and ready to go! The loom Dynamo made is really getting a workout!