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Steve and Rob are Turnbridge Point

Last year, we got word that our neighboring house had been bought. The rumor was that these young gentlemen would be starting a bed and breakfast. One was a baker. “Cool” we thought. Our suppositions of the coolness paled in comparison to what has happened since. steve and rob on their porch on shalavee.comRob and Steve are extraordinarily nice people. They have helped us immensely by being the kind of neighbors who can meet our kid’s bus when we suddenly can’t. They work tirelessly to create business opportunities and provide the same for the other businesses in town. And I swear in their year and a half here, they know way more people than I do after my 15 year residency.Fiona on Turnbridge Points porch on Shalavee.com

After a lovely renovation, the Turnbridge Point bed and breakfast was opened this past Spring and has since gained much acclaim. This past August we happily assisted with our County’s first farm to table dinner set on their beautiful property.

Cinnamon buns on Shalavee.com

Steve Konopelski is not just a baker, he’s a patissier. Trained in the art of French pastry making, he often delivers his sinful leftovers to us via our driveway. We’re kinda spoiled. So when, at a special cocktail party, Steve and his husband Rob Griffith announced their big news that Steve was on TV in the Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship, we were so happy for them.

Rob and Steve's announcement on Shalavee.com

And again, they wanted the community to know that they felt this was an opportunity for everyone as the spotlight was about to shine down on our sleepy little town.

Steve talking at the first viewing party on Shalavee.com

I attended the viewing party for the first episode at our newly renovated Culinary school and Steve made it through the first round cut.

Team Steve on Shalavee.com Last night’s second viewing party at the pub up the street proved he made it through the next round. Only Steve, and probably Rob, knows how many more rounds he truly made it through. Here in Denton, we’re all rooting for #TeamSteve.

brunch at Turnbridge Point on Shalavee.com

Turnbridge Point has also been offering Sunday brunches and I was luckily and generously gifted a ticket to yesterday’s brunch.  Here’s some of the proof of the man’s cooking talents.

platefull of brunch at Turnbridge Point on Shalavee.com

brunch at Turnbridge point on Shalavee.com

cranberry and apple crumb top pie on Shalavee.com

pumpkin chiffon pie at Turnbridge point on Shalavee.com

And those pies, the cranberry and apple with a crumble topping and the pumpkin chiffon, are the two being offered up for holiday orders on the Turnbridge Point’s website. These were also the first two choices of pies Steve would have made in the Baking Championship’s first show had the ingredients not been grabbed from the pantry. Both were fabulous! And he said there’s one more brunch being offered in December.  I ate until I was fuller than full. Good Luck to you Steve and Rob!

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Paper Connections : Nearby

As I stated in my previous Paper Connection : Faraway post, connecting with people really has made a profound difference in how I feel about myself. Even the interactions I have with the local folks as I go through my daily routine in our small town of Denton, Maryland, make me feel good about being me. And so I thought why not create an event where I and some of my very favorite women here could craft, bond, eat, and drink over Christmas crafting and card making. Many of these gals I knew back when I had my shop, Bally Eden, and we often speak of missing it.

As I was doing my painting on the brown leaves, they felt like nature’s kraft paper, and my invitations were inspired.

brown leaf inspiration on sha;avee.com

 

brown leaf inspiration on sha;avee.com

From the leaves and the paper card crafting, I had my color palette and materials chosen.

craft party invitations on Shalavee.com

craft party invitations on Shalavee.com

The idea for the crafting play date was for guests to bring some supplies to plop in the middle of the table to share. We could then be inspired by many materials to make cards or gift cards or present toppers and get some craft on while we ate and drank and chattered on about whatever.

craft supplies on shalavee.com

And so I hauled out the crafting supplies

crafting party on shalavee.com

And my friends showed up and we got our craft on. Paper connections were made.

Caitlin's birds on shalavee.com

getting our craft on at shalavee.com

getting our craft on at shalavee.com

  I made turkey chili, buttermilk cornbread, red velvet cupcakes, and that McCormick’s veggie soup mix dip with spinach and chopped up water chestnuts. Box of white and a box of red and fun was had by all. Despite being distracted, I still managed to make my sister a card and a few gift tags with kraft paper and washi tape. Everyone was inspired and pleased with their craftiness. And yes, we all totally stole ideas from one another. Crafting, however and whomever you can share it with, is good for the soul.

Progress Is A New Shopping Center

There’s more “progress” happening in our sleepy little town. Remember the Walmart they built that I never shop in?

suburbia sprawling on Shalavee.com

There’s more mall sprawling happening next door. Happened to meet the foreman after I came out of the Y and was taking pictures. He was nervous about me taking those pictures. Seems people taking random pictures of his construction sites had gotten him in trouble before. Safety risks were a questionable issue. I assured him I was just taking pictures of the equipment for my kid. I was kinda telling the truth.

suburbia sprawling on Shalavee.com

Rumor is that there’s absolutely nothing going into the plaza that I care about. A pet store and a mattress store. And the Rite Aid gets to expand. Whoop Dee Doo. So progress happens whether you care or not. I hope they get her done soon as I had to work hard the other day to deliver my recycling behind the building. Diggers and detours are everywhere.

digger on Shalavee.com

And “progress” continues whether you want it to or not.

The Shore’s Farmlands

There’s a lot of farmland here on Maryland’s Eastern Shore (we are a state divided by a Bay ergo Eastern and Western). The climate allows for abundant and beautiful produce for its growing seasons.The Giant Sprinkler Beast Eastern Shore farmland on Shlavee.com

The Shore’s money was made in a canning industry boom in the early part of the 20th century.  I enjoy watching the farmers in action during the harvesting seasons and the way the fields and farmlands change character with the different crops.ThA barn on Eastern Shore farmland on Shlavee.com

 Eastern Shore farmland on Shlavee.com And being able to see over these distances makes you feel expansive inside. As if you can sprawl out into the space and you belong to it and it to you. I grew up in a city and I was used to the claustrophobic anxious jumbled up sprawl that is a city. Plenty to keep your brain busy and your senses piqued.

A boat and soybean field on  Eastern Shore farmland on Shalavee.com

 Eastern Shore farmland on Shlavee.com

 Eastern Shore farmland on Shlavee.com

But once I moved here, although I don’t much like the flatness of it all, I began to appreciate the quiet peacefulness. A sense of returning to the old and honest days, the ways of yore. Grain silo on Eastern Shore farmland on Shalavee.com

Horses on Eastern Shore farmland on Shlavee.com

A great place to raise children to be sure. As long as you keep them occupied and involved in their life’s interests, away from the TV, and don’t allow them on ATVs. Dangerous those. This is a place where’s there’s one traffic light between me and civilization. Traffic light on Eastern Shore on Shalavee.com

And sometimes I traverse that road once in a week if at all. It’s the Denton/Easton road to the locals. And all but three of these pictures were taken on my journey to drop off my daughter at her Grammy’s house. Story of my day and my life, thanks for reading.

Downtown Denton’s Window Decorations

Once upon a time, in 2010, Downtown Denton, Maryland needed a sprucing up for their upcoming Spring Gala Event to be held there in May out on the street. My friend Danielle was asked by the Arts Council lady Marina, to do something with the mostly empty windows in the store fronts on our Main Street called Market Street. And somehow we ended up with this crazy beautiful design scheme which we had to follow through with.

The original ReInvent Window on Shalavee.com

It all started with an idea we had for the window of the exercise studio Energy in Progress up the street. I’d decorated this window a few other times but I wanted this one to be special. The theme was Re-imagine Yourself and thus, the theme of “Re” words was adapted and then a design plan began for all the window decorations downtown. Please excuse my blurry photo above.  Was just getting ‘er done.

 

 

rethink window from Shalavee.com

ReThink

 

ReVive window from Shalavee.com

ReVive

ReImagine on Shalavee.com

ReImagine

We used white paper, white adhesive shelf paper, about $50 worth of tissue paper in four colors, and some clear plastic plus assorted cardboard boxes to carry out the design. With the intention to make a cohesive visual theme of trees, birds, flowers, and poms, and the “Re” words, Danielle and I began to design each window.

Reimagine window from Shalavee.com

ReImagine windows

ReImagine on Shalavee.com

 

 

Danielle was the lead designer and we had to stealthily assign our work time as we both have children and not a lot of free time. Plus those poms are labor intensive. Not to mention the swirly trees. After coming up with sketches for the windows, we’d assign the words cut outs, poms, and tree making as homework and then there was multiple nights of install. You could not pay me enough to do this again but it did look super cool when it was done. Equally hard was getting pictures without a glare on the glass (A truck with a black side parked next to it would have worked).

Re Imagine window from Shalavee.com

Recreate window from Shalavee.com

ReCreate window

From the Recreate window on shalavee.com

Sadly, the Recreate window was to befall a horrible fate as the guy who rented it for Karate classes for two seconds ripped everything out of the window and tossed it in the back of the building. He got an ear-full from the town manager but it was tragic.

 

Renew window on Shalavee.com

ReNew

Re New window from Shalavee.com

Rejoice window from Shalavee.com

ReJoice window

The Rejoice window left me speechless when I saw it. Danielle had taken the clear plastic roll (gift basket wrap) and created a stained glass effect with the tissue paper. It was incredible at night-time. Felt like a garden in there.

Rejoice window from Shalavee.com

 

Re Joice window from Shalavee.com

We’ve been moving West on the South side of Market Street from Third Street to Second. These last blackened windows belong to a still vacant building right before the Market Street Pub. It was a three-part design that has such lovely movement and tells a story.

Re Store windows from Shalavee.com

Restore three windows from Shalavee.com

Tree with moon from Denton's Downtown Window Design on Shalavee.com

ReMember window from Shalavee.com

 

Restore window from Shalavee.com

ReStore window  on Shalavee.com

ReDiscover window on Shalavee.com

 

My memories of this project are the struggles and the moments of interaction with the Danielle and the people in town and these old buildings. Here we had to work around the pub patrons sitting at these tables. And for one window, we used a Food Lion coupon card to jimmy a door lock that someone forgot to give us a key for. One building had had a fire and the water damage was apparent. And both Danielle and I were experiencing physical pain problems that have since been addressed.

ReStore window on Shalavee.com

 

 

Re Design window on Shalavee.com

This was the only window done on the opposite side, North side, of the street. At the time it was unoccupied and there was no electricity. We were in there trying to beat the fading light with Danielle’s little daughter roaming around picking up various hardware piece off the floor.

This project was really stunning to see in person. And we were well appreciated by the Arts Council and Town’s people. It did seem to fill the hole of our sad depressed downtown for a little while. And proved that something in the windows is better than nothing because soon there were another crop of little businesses filling up the store fronts, taking advantage of the first 6 months rent free. They come and they go, much like my little shop Bally Eden did. And now I feel happy that these beautiful windows have been releases like butterflies into the internet. Our work is gone but not forgotten.

 

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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