Moxie & Mel

{September 7, 2006}   Dear Moxie–

I had a FABULOUS time in Shipshewana yesterday! I got some fantastic photos also! I think I finally figured my camera out! I say that, but hope that you don’t expect “Moxie quality” pics, but I thought they came out pretty well for a camera that fit into the “Mel budget”! LOL

I was able to visit the huge flea market that they have there on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday during the summer. I’ve never been there during the week before so yesterday was a nice treat. There must have been 1,000 vendors there offering their wares at negotiable prices. Of course there were the booths that had boxes and boxes of “dollar store” stuff, but there were also many true crafters on hand demonstrating their hand created items that you can’t find anywhere else. I was especially drawn to a local artist offering her oil paintings in frames that were built by her husband. Such beautiful artwork and at a very reasonable price. Just FYI, if you ever get the chance to visit Shipshe (dubbed by the locals) flea market, be sure to arrive by 9 o’clock in the morning in order to see everything! They roll up the sidewalks in that town around 5 each evening with the exception of a couple stores and restaurants.

I took 22 photos, but I’ll just post a couple here then if you want to see the rest you can go to my flickr account and see those.

Let’s start with the pictures of the carousel!

I wish I could have gotten a better angle on it, but there was a huge window behind it and the afternoon sun was shining in brightly!

After my mom and sister were done looking at every single thing that was for sale on the 3rd floor of The Davis Mercantile Community, they FINALLY followed a very antsy Mel to the 1st floor to visit Lolly’s!

I couldn’t resist taking these pictures in “heaven”! LOL Oh no! I just realized that I forgot to get a pic of the “boatload of fat quarters”. A quilter’s dream! They have a small rowboat inside the store that is overflowing with quarter yards of a zillion different prints of fabric!

After my sister drug me from the store kicking and screaming, we started down the main street in town where all of the homes built from the late 19th century to the early 20th have been converted into specialty shops.

Our next stop was The Riegsecker Marketplace. They have a huge line of Howard Miller clocks and handcrafted furniture.

By the way, If you can possibly fit this in my stocking, I would love you forever!!! LOL

After more walking and shopping we made our way to “the big red barn” AKA Yoder’s Dutch Country Store.

There are 9 shops inside including Lotions And Potions and Shipshe Log Furniture. There is also a beautiful country scene mural, painted by a local artist, on the wall over the front doors.

By the time we were done browsing there, we were in need of a little pick-me-up, so we found a little shop that is now rivaling Lolly’s for my favorite!

Need I say more??? With all that beautiful chocolate staring me in the face and calling to me, you would be proud to know that I only indulged in ONE piece!

Granted, it was as big as my head, but I only ate ONE piece of chocolate all day! LOL BTW, you can have some of these South Bend Chocolate Company turtles shipped to your door!
Believe it or not, after the chocolate shop, we stopped for some authentic Amish home cooking and then started on our trek back home. It was a wonderful day filled with my very favorite things. Crafts, crafting supplies, the company of my family, and of course CHOCOLATE!

If the clock doesn’t fit into my Christmas stocking, maybe you could just stuff a zillion more days like yesterday into it!

Big Huggzz–



{September 5, 2006}   Dear Mel-

Oh no! I hope you aren’t hurt too badly from your fall. I can’t imagine how I would have reacted; I think chanting “I’m not gonna cry” is pretty close to the mark.

I really enjoyed visiting the winery website; I did have to laugh at the Elderberry wine though- I kept thinking of the quote from Monty Python, “…and your father smells of Elderberries!”.  As for the new “rec room”, I would be afraid to let my husband visit. I don’t think even a crow bar would have gotten him out of there!

I haven’t done anything so generous or impressive as helping a family member prep their house for sale, but we did have a nice weekend. Today Missy came over for a visit and after the fun of tracking down a black racer that was in the boxwood hedge out front…

Black Racer Snake

…she helped me figure out the new sewing machine mom bought. We actually got it to stitch something, which made us feel like we’d won some sort of Olympic Gold. Of course, we still don’t know how to digitize our own graphics, but we’re talking baby steps here. I was so proud of myself I didn’t care that mom’s black tank top now has a poppy flower on it with a stem going sideways from her armpit to a large blossom right where her nipple would be. I’m sure that one glance at the (lack of) instructions for this thing and you’d understand my low expectations and high feeling of success~ the fact that I got it to actually stitch ANYTHING without having a PHD amazes me!

While I was still sailing on the creative high that comes with such accomplishments, we headed out to the Fire Station to take dinner to my sister. We got there just in time to see the afternoon storms blow across the fields. I snapped a picture for you:

Stormy Field

Having assured ourselves she wouldn’t starve, we headed off to spend some quality time at our favorite places.

Jim's Favorite Place

My Happy Place

Jim picked up a few new fishing lures and I sipped coffee and soaked up the crafty goodness. I even spotted a copy of Mason Dixon Knitting!

Mason Dixon Knitting

How sweet is that?! We also spotted quite a few books that screamed out, “Buy me for Mel!” but I held my ground and managed to escape without them. For now. Don’t be surprised to find a box in the mail sometime soon though. LOL

Feeling crafty and inspired now, we all loaded back up in the Soccer Mom Van and headed off for the beach. Why? We were looking for unique sea shells and seed pods to ‘make stuff out of’. Yep. Even Jim was on spotting duty!  I took a TON of pictures while we were there- the storms were sweeping in off the ocean and the sea mist was rising.


Sea Mist

After hanging around long enough to spot an Osprey relaxing in a tree, we set out for home and I got to work.

Now I KNOW you’re thinking, “Work?! On Labor Day?”; and the answer is yes! I set up a new page with graphics showing the basic loom knitting stitches and I created my first pattern- it’s for the adjustable cuff slipper socks I made for Miss Christine.

Now I’m consuming gallons of coffee with cream (no sugar) and trying my darnedest to stay awake until 3am in preparation for the new job. Since I’ll be working 6pm to 2am, I am trying to get used to this new sleeping pattern ahead of time. I sure hope it works!

Well, now you know how my weekend went! What are your plans for the week? Anything crafty in your near future?


et cetera