Happy Easter to one and all!!

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Hoppin’ down the lane….

Hi everyone!   Today I worked on cleaning up some random painting work so our house doesn’t have quite as much of a “warehouse” look to it.  My brother will be joining us for Easter dinner and Brian has arrived home . Smile  He’ll be staying for a few days…tonight March Madness with his dad is on the schedule.   Sunday we will talk to Craig, so in a way, the whole family will be together.

Those of you who have been reading for the past year may remember Easter Bunny Lane. Well, every year the display is changed and animated figures are used in a different way so the display is “new”. Each year new pieces are also added as old ones wear out or retired.  So here we go!  Remember, most pieces are animated and Spring/Easter music plays the entire length of the lane. This is just a portion of the display…I don’t know WHAT the first one is—but I’m sort of out of the loop on what young kids are liking lately…but the little ones looking at it seemed to enjoy it!

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Dora seemed to be the cry at this scene…all the little girls were clamoring to see her…

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OK….I admit I love Sponge Bob…my favorite jammies are covered with his likeness….seriously.   No……seriously.

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Big Bird….

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Sesame Street…..It started when older son Craig was born……  They are all members of our family…..

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You go, girl!!…….

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Good ole Charlie Brown…we celebrated Christmas with Charlie every day of the year with the record player….

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Hippity, Hoppity, Easter’s on it’s way!!

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And the tour finishes to leave in your mind the reason why  there is an Easter………

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With snow still on the ground,  Spring may only be found in the greenhouse….    ahhhhh…Hydrangeas……..

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and tulips……at our last house I had hundreds of tulips….my favorites were the hot pink lily flowered tulips…I think I had some of these magenta ones too…

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Charming miniature daffodils….at my back door I had a cluster of pink daffodils……..

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and lilies …these pink ones are so delicate…of course there were lots of the traditional white Easter lilies also.

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I finally saw my first robin this week…I think those little buggers were huddled in the shrubs wondering why they came north too soon!  Next week it is supposed to plunge to abnormally cold temps again. Sad smile    Will Spring ever come to stay???      Excuse me…I think I will head back to the greenhouse again…hyacinths are calling me……

Have a happy and blessed Easter!!   ——Jan

Chocolate Heaven!!!

Hello everyone!   First I would like to welcome my new followers.  It is a bit hard with word press to know who is following, but I would love to get to know my followers better. I read every comment and appreciate them all.

Today I want to share a store I LOVE to walk into…mainly because of the smell that wraps itself around you. This is Daffin’s..billed as the world’s largest candy store. They are famous for their chocolates…and their Chocolate Kingdom.  It is a huge store, and actually has expanded again since I was last there.  The first pic is of the very long row of chocolates in glass cases…yum…Croquettes and French Mints always call to me!  Milk chocolates, dark chocolates, hundreds of variations of creams, nuts, a huge assortment of barks, and novelties were tempting the crowd of shoppers.  I noticed Al was hovering in front of the turtles. Winking smile    (his favorite)…..my favorite is all of the above.  Sigh……..Then there were the rows upon rows of large, shelved display tables loaded with chocolate rabbits, cars, lambs, computers, ducks, and many more figures in many sizes….. I tried to talk Al into a few 5# rabbits, but he said no. …Sad smile

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This is the original mold created by the founder for his first chocolate rabbits…I’m sure it is a treasured heirloom for the family.

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Ahhh!!  Entering the Chocolate Kingdom!   These are all solid chocolate creations…..castle and a rhino peeking out from behind the castle…

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The turtle is HUGE!!  It weighs several hundred pounds and is solid chocolate….

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Chocolate elephants and deer….

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This frog was about two feet tall..again solid chocolate.  These figures are kept year round for visitors to the candy store and school children day trips.  When our boys were little, we used to take them for swizzle stick day where you got a sample of Easter egg filling dipped into liquid chocolate.   YUM!

                                    

Daffin’s also has an extensive gift shop and an amazing wall of hundreds of flavors of sugar free candies.  I hope you enjoyed this tour…I just wish my blog had “smeller” capabilities!   The thick chocolate smell was delicious!!   ……………….I think I gained 5# just smelling it! Winking smile

Have a great day!—Jan

Mountain climbing

Hi everyone!  I’ve been a bit AWOL lately..hopefully I’ll be around a bit more from now on. The last two weekend we were in the highlands of Virginia at our first show of the year. Last year it was a wonderful trip as we traveled through the West Virginia mountains. Tree buds were popping open , daffodils lined the roads, and there were countless new lambs and calves in the pastures.  This year, just before we left, a major snowstorm struck the area. We were so worried about the conditions of the roads and especially at the higher altitudes. Luckily the roads were pretty good…there were only a few areas where we had to slow down because of snow on the roads…some areas were covered because of blowing snow.  The scenery was so different this year because of the snow. It outlined the ridges and made the mountains look so much more rugged. Distant mountains were a beautiful blue and each layer was a different shade. 

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Ahhh….so pretty…..but we still had to navigate those pesky hairpin turns!

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Hellooooo, way down there!!  

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We suggested to the show promoter that they install guardrails on those hairpin turns for the scaredy cat northerners.  Winking smile  Next pic is where we always stop to catch our breath and for Al to stretch his legs…..this is Seneca Rocks. It is a really gorgeous outcropping of rocks —very impressive.

                                                        

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Anyway, we arrived safely (6 hour drive ), set up, and went to our hotel.  Because of the snowstorm, many thousands of people to the east were still without power…thus the show attendance was down. Sad smile  Some areas very close to where the show is got 24 inches of snow and were still buried.  So what do you do when a show is not super busy? PAINT!!   I worked on Fall/ Halloween samples for greeting cards. Our winter ones were well received and will be offered for licensing.  The publisher emailed asking for more Winter ones and also Fall samples. These are not finished yet, but here’s a sneak peek…..

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After the weekend, we were able to drive home quickly because we are able to just cover our booth and leave. The venue is locked up and secured.  During the week we worked to replace everything that had sold, thinking the second weekend would be better…nope!   The weather was terrible…freezing cold , snow, then heavy rain, UGH!  We were allowed to pack up early because another snowstorm was headed our way.  We did OK with sales , but some did virtually nothing. One vendor sold three birdhouses over both weekends. Sad smile  This is just the way it goes sometimes and you have to roll with it. We ended the show down some, but overall it was fair—we will go back next year. Besides the Fall card samples, I worked on the lid to a wonderful round box I found at a flea last year.  I wanted to get the very tedious work done—saltbox houses will go in the middle.  I also got four other pieces almost finished.

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Along with all the painting at home, I also managed to sew a little. I miss it so much so it is a real treat when I can take some time for it. I did six bunnies using a Threadbare Primitives free pattern. ….

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Then the bad news…the last Sunday of the show, Al noticed a text message from Brian. We called…Brian was in a car accident…luckily no one was injured.  The other vehicle was just scratched, but Brian’s car was badly damaged. This is the first new car Brian has bought. Insurance will cover all of it, now up to $6000 in damage, except for the deductible. So, we’re upset, but grateful no one was hurt.

Now that we have one show under our belt, I hope to be a bit better at blogging.  I’ve missed you all and really have tried to keep up with my reading.  Another snowstorm is expected this weekend, so stay safe and stay warm!  Spring will be here eventually!  —Jan