Thursday, January 24, 2013

Places To Visit

        If you like wine, a nice gourmet meal, complete with white linen service, and a great view, you may want to take a ride on the Napa Valley Wine Train! I have to say it was more than just a meal. The experience was one that I will always revisit when I think of northern California.  It was like reliving an era that I never got to live the first time around. From the moment the steward seated us, luxury and tradition of this historic railroad made me feel like I had stepped back in time.  
      Upon arrival at the station we browsed the wine store and read a little history. After that there was a nice wine tasting and FYI session on wine while we awaited to board our train. Of course, who could resist buying a few bottles of wine to have shipped home?
Once aboard and seated we had a choice of pan seared salmon or roasted beef tenderloin. The train wound its way through rolling hills of family owned vineyards and past various wineries. The complete trip lasts about three hours. At the half way point we were directed to the lounge car for coffee and dessert. I wish I could try something new, but every time creme` brûlée is one of the choices, I can't resist it. In the lounge car we just sat back in comfy, over stuffed chairs, faced the outside windows and watched the world go by.
There were three options to choose from. Whatever your taste and budget, they can accommodate. There is the Vista Dome at $144 per person, for romantic moonlight dinners, the Gourmet Express (which I chose) at $114 per person, for a
pampering lunch or dinner, and the Silverado at $104 per person, for a more western type experience of barbecue and a relaxed atmosphere. I did read that they have specials at certain times of the year and they even have a murder-mystery tour.
So, if you ever decide to take a trip to Napa for a little wine adventure, be sure to make reservations ahead for the Napa Valley Wine Train. I think you'll be glad you did.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Home Decor

Do you love candles as much as I do? I love the warm glow of candles in a low lit room. Some-thing about them is magical. However, to burn candles as much as I do, it can become quite expensive. I've tried the LED candles but was never satisfied with just the pale glow and no flame. 
  A few months ago I made a trip to The Nut Cracker Market in Houston (a once a year event worth checking out, if you like lots of "stuff" in one place) and I ran across a booth that looked like a winter wonderland all lit up with candles. I first thought, "how can they burn all those candles inside this building, with all these people?" With closer inspection I saw that they were not real flames at all.  These candles are LED bulbs, but also have a moving "flame" that make these things look almost real. I love them!  They are Luminara™candles. There is more than the fact that they create a beautiful ambiance that makes me excited; They have a five hour timer on them. You initially turn them on at, say, 6 P.M., then they turn themselves off at 11 P.M. They will automatically come on and go off each evening until you reset them or the two size D batteries go down. I have had mine on for three months and the batteries are still going strong. 
  Even though the initial cost is $40-50 each, I think they are well worth every penny. They will be cheaper than candles in the long run, but mostly just the idea that I don't have to light them every evening is enough for me! Actually, I always forgot to light them and missed out on using my candles. You can find  these on several places on the web. If you go to you can also see a video of the flame. 
  I bought the lantern, moss and greenery at the local hobby/craft store. I then set the candles on styrofoam to lift them to the perfect hight for the lantern. I then used craft sticky glue to glue the moss in place. If you have already found these candles, how do you display yours?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Where I Create

 This was a bedroom in our guest house. Most of our guest enjoy staying in the main house when they visit, so I thought it was time that I have one place for all my fun things. this is a Koala sewing cabinet. I love that it is so big....48"X60"! And look at all the storage area. 

The book cases are from The Bella Cottage. I ordered one at first, as I was not sure that I would have enough room for two. But in the end I was pleased that the room could accommodate two!  I didn't realize how much stuff I was harboring until I filled the all those little drawers and still had a lot left.

I enjoy using this wrapping station. I spend more time making a beautiful package now that all my wrapping things are not scattered about.

The desk is nice for storage; I don't use it to craft on because it has an acrylic top on it and I know that I will ruin right off the bat.

Sometimes I just go in my new craft room and sit there......I love it! I also love seeing other's places where they create. Where do you do your fun stuff? In a cozy repurposed closet, a converted corner, or at your kitchen table? I would love to see what you've done.