“Once you try it, you won’t be able to go back to regular soap.”
That is what I was told by handmade soap maker, Dixie Reaver. Dixie has a booth at the Marietta Farmers Market, “The Herb Garden”, where she sells all natural handmade herbal soaps. Interested in trying more than just fruit and veggies at the market, Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder and I stopped by her tent to learn more.
First of all, let me tell you that Dixie is the epitome of southern hospitality. Soft spoken and petite, she graciously explained each and every soap she had available, the ingredients and what each soap was “best for”. Her passion for the product was obvious. So much love and thought put into each and every bar:
The Herb Garden Soap is made with saponified olive oil, palm oil and coconut oil. The exquisite fragrances come from natural Essential Oils which are extracted from flowers, leaves and roots of plants. We use no synthetic chemical fragrances. The colors and textures of our soaps come from the natural botanicals. This old fashioned soap making process creates soap and also glycerin. Some soaps have had the glycerin removed and sold as a separate product. We leave in every bit of this natural moisturizer which results in a wholesome natural soap that is mild, gentle and luxurious.
After sniffing away to our heart’s delight, we decided on the Oatmeal Lavender soap. “Popular choice,” she told us. If you closed your eyes and inhaled, you would swear you were wallowing around in a lavender field. Here is how Dixie describes this particular soap:
Oatmeal is gently exfoliating and has a high silica content which, it is believed, forms a moisture retaining film on the skin. Lavender soothes and refreshes and is excellent for treating burns, cuts and bites. It is also antiseptic and antibacterial. Our Oatmeal Lavender Soap contains organically grown oatmeal and pure lavender essential oil. It has a rich creamy lather.
Photos by: KHJ
What a treat to meet such a nice lady and bring one of her lovely creations home with us. And about the whole “never go back to regular soap” thing…I have to say, I think she was right!
It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato. – Lewis Grizzard
This past Saturday, we made another visit to the Marietta Square Farmers’ Market. We went a little earlier in the morning, so the temperatures were just a teensy bit cooler. On that note, there happened to be a “Christmas in July” celebration going on in the square and the air was filled with Christmas tunes. Why is that so weird to me? Sweating and listening to “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” is just not right!
We didn’t have a shopping list, we just wanted to see what the day would bring. I love crafting menus at the market, that’s the best way. You never have to feel bound by a list and you get the opportunity to select only the brightest and freshest fruits and veggies. After browsing a little while, I kept thinking back to this fresh basil that had caught my nose while passing. Intoxicating!
Ding! I’ll swing back by the farm-fresh cheese stand and pick up some mozzarella and then browse some of these other stands until I find the perfect tomatoes…Caprese Salad. Yum!
We found these gorgeous heirloom tomatoes, picked the night before. Tiny, plump and oh so good!
The nitty gritty:
All you guys usually see are the “pretty” photos. I thought it would be neat to give you a behind-the-scenes look at how we get some of these shots…you might be surprised.
You see, Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder and I have given our house a little nickname, The House of Nap. Surrounded by large trees, our house is usually in the shade. The dim light always makes you want to flop on the couch and catch some Zzz’s. Don’t get me wrong, we love our house, it’s just missing one minor detail…natural light. So when taking photos, we have to get creative in order to get our subjects to look the way we want. Sometimes that even means bringing our dinner plate outside for a quick photo-op.
When photographing the Caprese Salad, it was sprinkling rain outside so we came up with this idea:
If you are anything like me, at this point you have forgotten that we are talking photos and you want to know where I got that darling table. Well, this baby is one of my treasures from the prequel to the “World’s Longest Yard Sale.” (Trust me, much more to come on this topic.) This table has quite the personality. It’s kind of funny, I didn’t pick her out…she picked me out. Really!
I saw her and thought she was mighty cute. But let’s be honest, I live in a townhouse that likes to think she’s a big girl house. She really can’t hold much more.
I walked on. I finished browsing the other items, paid my bill and started loading things into the truck. There she was…just standing there, “You’re really not gonna take me home?”
Ugh, I’m such a sucker! I couldn’t just leave her standing there. So in the truck she went, and I paid my bill…again.
Photos by: KHJ & CMJ
While she still hasn’t found her ‘place’ in our house, she has definitely found her purpose. She knew I needed her even when I didn’t. She’s the perfect sized prop for our photo shoots, lightweight with a beautifully rustic look. How is it that pieces can just speak to you like that?
We’ve recently talked about the endless job of a farmer and the beauty of an open air farmer’s market, but I think there is one last player to mention…the diligent gardener.
Gardener (noun): a farmer on a smaller more intimate scale; lover of the earth; friend of the soil.
Gardening has a way of clearing your head and putting that good ‘ache’ in your muscles. It can be therapeutic at times, a rewarding experience for both the young and old. I’m so happy to share with you some of the stunning images from the garden of my dear “littlest” sister, Kameryn. At only 11-years-old, her garden is bursting with bright colors and hearty veggies. She had an amazing garden this summer and was kind enough to share a little bit of that experience with us.
What made you want to grow a garden?
Well…it is fun to plant seeds and watch them grow. Mom gave me several packs of seeds on Earth Day and I decided to go to Walmart and buy vegetable seeds and plant a garden.
What was the hardest part about having a garden?
The hardest part of having a garden is watering it EVERY day in the HOT sun.
When the plants began to sprout, how did you know what was what?
After we planted each section of the garden, we took twine and a stick and marked off each section of the garden. Then I made a diagram of the garden in my notebook.
What plant/vegetable did you enjoy growing the most?
I enjoyed growing the sunflowers the most because they were so big.
Were there some plants/vegetables that did better than others?
Yes, the zucchini did better than the rest of the vegetables. The leaves were dark green and the size of a football!!!
What plant/vegetable do you wish you had grown in your garden?
I wish I had planted okra, potatoes and broccoli.
How did you feel when you were able to eat something you actually grew in your own backyard?
When I ate my crops it felt good knowing that everything came out of my organic garden. I sauteed my squash and zucchini in butter and garlic and it was super yummy!!! Also, I ate my cucumbers and carrots with ranch dressing and made a BLT with my tomatoes.
Are there any tips you could offer people new to gardening?
If you ever plant a garden, ALWAYS plant more of everything because some of everything dies and you want to have enough.
Did you share any of your harvest with friends and family?
Yes, I gave my neighbors some cucumbers and tomatoes and I gave Mema and Papa some zucchini, tomatoes and cucumbers.
Photos by: Kathy Graham (a.k.a Mom)
Awesome job Kameryn! I know it was a lot of hard work, but definitely worth it. Thanks so much for sharing a little bit about your summer garden. You have a true green thumb!
If you haven’t made your guess on the beadboard project, it’s not too late. Just leave a comment on the “When life gives you beadboard” post and you could win a Home Depot gift card.
So, I am a little bit embarrassed to admit it, but for the last several months this random piece of beadboard has become a permanent fixture in our bedroom. Let me explain…
Back in January (yes, I just said January) Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder and I decided to give our master bath a little refresher: new paint, new sink, new light fixture, new faucet, and yes, beadboard. We are happy to say that we are finally done with that project (minus a few decorative touches here and there). It’s not that it was that difficult of a project and I have to say it is not *all* Mr. BEY’s fault that it took almost six months to complete. Cut him a little slack, he married the “Queen of Projects” and she has filled the last six months of his life with about a trillion mini-projects like here, here and here.
But I digress…the beadboard.
So, this piece of beadboard was left over from out bathroom renovation. Living in a townhome, we lack everyday luxuries like a garage, tool shed, workshop and storage. This piece was too big to fit in any closet or through the attic door and too big to just throw away (I inherited my Mema’s just-can’t-part-with-it gene). So here she stands.
Now don’t get me wrong, she has been a good roommate. She’s very quiet and neat and loves listening to me ramble on…but it’s time for her to move on to bigger and better things. This weekend she will become a part of an adorable surprise project and will make one little girl squeal with delight.
Any guesses as what she might become? Aww, c’mon now, dream big for her. Leave me a comment and tell me what you think she might become or share with us any long, drawn out home projects that you have been a part of and you just might win this:
$10 gift card to Home Depot
(Just my little way of helping you tie up the loose ends on your projects.)
Last Saturday night, Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder tried his hand at something new…painting with light. With gear in hand, he headed down to historic Oakland Cemetery for a photography workshop.
I had no idea what kind of photos he might come home with, I just hoped I wouldn’t see any eerie faces peering back at me. As soon as he came home (around midnight) I made him download his pictures for a little sneak peek.
There were tons of really neat photos, but as you can imagine, a workshop is for learning…so not so many masterpieces. (That comes later.) These photos should give you a good idea of some of the things he learned and a little peek into Oakland if you have never visited before.
Note: Anyone that knows me, knows I am not the dark, creepy, dance-around-in-the-graveyard type. Don’t get me wrong, I love Halloween, but it’s kind of weird to see Blue Eyed Yonder plastered with pictures of tombstones and mausoleums in the dead of summer. I try to focus on the history and photography aspect of the night and forget the whole people-are-actually-buried-here part!
Mr. BEY arrived in the cemetery around 6:00pm. For the first hour, students roamed the cemetery to select the spot they would like to focus on during the workshop.
Oakland Cemetery is really quite beautiful. During the day people jog, walk their dog or enjoy their afternoon under a shady tree. The cemetery is almost park-like; such a quiet place within a bustling city.
As the sun set, the instructor gave a demonstration on “painting with light”. Then she asked the students to begin taking their places for the workshop.
Mr. BEY chose one of the medium-sized mausoleums, he didn’t want to compete for space at some of the larger ones. In the beginning, it’s kind of like a waiting game. He kept taking shots and adjusting the camera settings. You’re basically waiting for the sun to down enough to where you get deep, rich colors in the sky, yet still have enough light for the photo. That window of the perfect balance of light is very small, so if you goof around…you just might miss it.
In this first photo, the sun has set and the sky is starting to get a little dark. Notice how dark the mausoleum looks.
This is the first picture where the subject is “painted” with light. The sun needs to sink just a little more, the sky is not quite dark enough.
In just a matter of seconds, the sky’s light can change dramatically. In this photo, the deep, rich blues are starting to make their appearance. There is just a slight bit of light “painted” on the subject.
This photo was taken just seconds after the previous one with no use of outside lighting. The sky is a deeper blue and you can get a sense of just how dark it was. The mausoleum is a mere silhouette.
Now that the sky is in perfect condition, Mr. BEY started to play around with the uplighting on the subject. In this photo you can see the majority of the light is “painted” on the marble stairs and surround walls. I keep calling this one the “headlight” shot. It looks like someone is pulling up in a car to pay a late night visit.
Remember, Mr. BEY is not standing behind the camera at this point, he is walking around in front of the camera with a large flashlight. You don’t see him because the camera’s shutter is set on about 30 seconds and he keeps moving to keep from being detected. With a shutter that slow, the camera will only pick up objects that are stationary.
Very similar settings were used in this shot, however instead of painting the stairs and walls, Mr. BEY focuses his light on the mausoleum itself. I am not sure of the right word to describe this: pretty or ominous?
At this point, almost all of the ambient light was gone from the sky and many of the students began heading out. Wanting to make the very most of his night in the cemetery, Mr. BEY hung out a little longer and got some really dark, kind of creepy shots.
Photos by: CMJ
Ok, this picture totally gives me the heebie jeebies. Notice anything funny about this one? Mr. BEY’s large flashlight died and he had to switch to the LED maglight. Thank goodness he had a back up!
He had lots of the eerie blue photos and frankly, they darn right scare me. Mr. BEY kept calling them Smurf houses, and when you put it that way…they’re kind of funny.
So you’d like to rent some vintage items. We’d love to help. Let’s make a wishlist!
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4) Make sure you’ve included everything you like, adjust the quantities as needed, and click ‘submit’.
5) We’ll ask for a little information from you and get in touch once your quote is complete.
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