Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Packing Up and Moving On Out - Exciting Change

Hi Everyone!!

Hope Summer is going great for you!  Our summer is flying by with lots of exciting things happening....not the least of which is a move in 2 days!!

We began looking at acreages last year to find a space outside of town with a little more room to breathe, a place to have our Airstream onsite, some land for a puppy to run, and if possible a barn to host Handmade U Art Retreats.

We immediately fell in love with a property,  a well-maintained Historic Registered house built in 1895 with an outbuilding for our cars and Airstream, and an AMAZING Red Barn.  We looked at it 3 or 4 times, dreamed about it, worked the numbers over and over, and made an offer.  After our initial offers were declined, we gave up and started looking elsewhere.

We searched and searched the surrounding areas, even Iowa for something even close to our original #1 choice, but to no avail.  We waited out the winter and towards the end of Spring the sellers of the our #1 property came to us and said they were going to lower the price and would we be interested in making another offer.

We visited the house again and knew we would not find anything that would surpass this in our eyes, so we went all in and our offer was accepted!  We quickly got our house ready and put it on the market, and within a day of showing sold it!  We felt elated that after our prior two individual houses were such bears to sell we made up for it with this one.

So we have been knee deep in all the "FUN" stuff of a move like inspections, appraisals, negotiations, packing, calling movers, utilities, etc.  It is all going to have to be done soon as we give up our current house Friday morning, and close on our new home right after!!

This will be our first home we buy together which is really exciting!  We are looking forward to the beautiful land, peace and quiet, a neighboring organic farm and restaurant, hosting Handmade U onsite in the loft of this beautiful barn, and just making all kinds of new memories here.

So if you are wondering where we are in the next week or two, we'll most likely be taking a much deserved break right there on the front porch swing.

Hope to see you this Fall at Handmade U.  Sign-ups will begin soon.  Watch all the moving action on Instagram @rjmcgough

Wish us Luck!

Friday, February 21, 2014

New Year's Eve in Maui

It did seem strange to us to see Christmas Trees and hear Here Comes Santa Claus, sung Island-style while we walked around Kanaapali Beach - but Hey we went with it!  Shorts and t-shirts on Dec 31st was just what we needed!

After our Christmas in Dallas we flew through San Francisco to Maui.  We arrived a bit jet-lagged and a lot hungry and headed straight to the beach to find some fresh seafood.

On Sunday we decided to get out on the ocean and look for some whales!

  This was our ride.  The trick about the tide is that your entrance onto the boat needs to be expertly timed when you step down onto those stairs you see at the back.  Even with the guides telling you to GO! the ocean will do its own thing...it did it to us and we were soaked upon arriving onto the boat!!  Good thing it was 80 degrees out, we dried out pretty quickly!
It was a game day as you'll see we were wearing Cowboy gear and were able to get the game on slingbox on our phone, well until the last few minutes of the game of course....The restaurant and hotel staff we found really liked to talk football!

The ride was fun, we did see a few whales spouting and turning over towards the end of the ride.  It was interesting to learn that this area is the best place for mothers to have their baby whales and let them grow before heading back up to Alaska!

That evening we took in a Luau.  It was fun to see once!

We hit the hay early as we had a VERY early morning call to get on the road up the mountain to see sunrise before our ride down the mountain on bikes!  It was COLD up at the top.  Luckily the bike companies outfit you with gear to keep you warm...

We took hundreds of pictures while waiting for the sun to come up over the clouds which we were above!
Here are just a few....

Beautiful Sunrise!  Totally worth it!

After the sunrise we took our bus part way back down the mountain to where the bikes were.  We made a quick side stop to see the Hawaiian State Bird the NeNe.  Looked a lot like a goose.

We also stopped for snacks and saw the State Flower as well....

Then we got all ready to go!

All the kids and women road down first with the guys bringing up the rear.  We stopped along the way for pictures.  You really had to keep ahold of the handlebars and pay close attention to what you were doing down the mountain.  It was beautiful to see everything....we went through a bit of rain, but mostly sunny skies!

That evening we had one of our best meals...we luckily got a little table with this view....

The rest of our time consisted of more food and relaxing...

Mama's Fish House is a favorite on the island so we had a New Years Eve Lunch here...

We enjoyed seeing this Sandman!

New Year's Eve wasn't too crazy for us....we had dinner which was unfortunately not great...then checked out Fleetwood Mac's Bar/restaurant, that was TOTALLY dead....and decided Bed sounded good after our adventures....we had another big one coming our last day....

We checked out of our hotel and had until 11:30pm to find something to do....

The ROAD TO HANA!  This is not for the faint of heart!  Beautiful scenery that comes with a bit of a crazy drive!  Roads that wound and wound....narrow and many one lane bridges.  My husband was an amazing driver that day who got us safely there and back in one piece!

It is not a far distance but it was slow going and we made numerous stops along the way to see different points of interest.  Again this is a one time thing that was great to see!
A short hike through a bamboo forest...

 staying hydrated by coconut water fresh from the tree....

  a cool Rainbow Eucalyptus grove....these trees were so cool...

more sights from the drive....

stopping for fresh banana bread snack at a roadside vendor.

black lava beach...

 The waterfall was our final stop along the road....anything beyond that was deemed not great for the rental car agreement :)

After this it was all downhill headed back to civilization to grab dinner and rest at the airport until our flight home!

It was a great trip!  Certainly one to remember, another wonderful New Year's Eve with my husband!!



Monday, January 13, 2014

This Documented Life

Hi All -

Are you among the 3,400+ joining the Documented Life project?!  The Art to the 5th crew have really hit it out of the park with an OUTSTANDING project!  A fun, useful and easy to keep up daily planner!!

Check it out HERE.

You mention Moleskines and my ears perk up.  I love planners in general, but one that can hold art, ephemera, daily little bits that I accumulate, now we are really talking!

I must have been living under a rock for awhile,(maybe just out of town for the holidays) but when I resurfaced I saw what all the hoop-la was about and jumped in.

I ran out to my nearby trusty Dick Blick's and picked up one of their last 2014 planners.  I think I got one a little different from the masses, but it's gonna work for me.

I signed up for Lorraine Bell's mini-workshop.  Check it out HERE..... It's only $12 people, give it a go!  I loved watching the videos, #1 because I haven't seen Lorraine for a couple years and loved seeing/hearing her!  and #2 it was a great kick in the butt to get going, she makes it look fun and easy!! I couldn't wait to get started.

One of the first steps is adding all the extra pages with WASHI Tape!  It's always nice to have a use for the basket of washi tapes that I have!

Next was to paint the cover.  I am still in the midst of creating the cover.  I painted with gesso first, the found a fun Tim Holtz Stamp that I used as a background with a navy Statz On ink.

I found a fun stencil too that I used with a yellow, blue and red spray ink ...

I added some pink and blue neon paint, and more to come....doodling, and adding some ephemera are next...
Watch my progression on the cover and the challenges on my Instagram : rjmcgough
This will be a fun project to work on all year long!

The artists that are part of this project are each fabulous as well.  I am in love with Roben-Marie Smith's artwork too!
Check out all her workshops that are available online HERE!  I hope I can find some time to fit in one of them soon.  OR, perhaps I will have to see if Roben-Marie would be interested in coming to Handmade U for an upcoming semester!!  
Would love to learn from her here in Omaha one day!!
Hope to see you all on the Facebook Group!
Have a fun time with it!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Hi Friends!!

I am so so so EXCITED to announce my Sixth Semester of HANDMADE U!!  I can't believe we are at 6 already!!  What fun we've had each semester with amazing teachers, the nicest students, and wonderful sponsors!!

This semester will be no exception!!

Please VISIT the HANDMADE U Website for the information, more details on the classes will be coming in the next couple weeks!!  CHECK OUT WHO OUR TEACHERS WILL BE!!!  So Happy they are coming!

Sign up prior to Feb 15th for the Early Bird Special!

May 15 - 17th will be the dates for our 6th Semester to be held once again at the Hilton Garden Inn in beautiful historic downtown Omaha!

Hope to see you here!!

Happy New YEAR!


Friday, December 20, 2013

Winner Announced!

The winner of Our Bracelet Giveaway is Dawn King!!  Dawn please message me your address and we'll get you your cuff and bracelet! Thanks for entering!

Rachel & Jennifer