Come along with me as I plan my vacation to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida! It will be frugal, it will be fun, and it will be in September 2021! I haven’t had a vacation since 2004. Seventeen years! I think I’m overdue for some relaxation and fun at the Most Magical Place on Earth* and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando.
* while I love Disney World, I consider the most magical place on earth to be Asheville, NC.
The cute cups you see photographed are from TJMaxx. 🙂 I’m not a diehard collector of all things Disney, but this is a big trip for me, and I want to have fun counting down to the event as well as attending it.
Come out and pick up a signed paperback of Manual Exposure and my handmade items: embroidered hoops, original coffee mug designs, Cozy to Go! cup wraps, earrings, necklaces, greeting cards, key fobs, and more!
Bring Mom along and let her choose her favorite things!
I’d love to see you at the Girls Shopping Network Vendor and Lifestyle Show in Mooresville, North Carolina!
Come out and pick up a signed paperback of Manual Exposure and my handmade items: embroidered hoops, original coffee mug designs, Cozy to Go! cup wraps, earrings, necklaces, greeting cards, key fobs, and more! Mother’s Day (May 14, 2017) is just around the corner, and Bushnell Unscripted Handmade items make wonderful gifts.
See you there! Look for my banner!
March 18, 2017
10:00 am – 3:00 pm
In the Old Burlington Mill
Merino’s Furniture & Design
This event will have a separate entrance – look for signs!
The craft patterns include shoulder bags with fox and raccoon faces, a big-eyed owl case for eyeglasses or cell phones, cute pincushions and storage cases, leaf coasters, wall pockets, and magnets. The instructions are easy to read and decipher, whether you are a beginner or expert crafter.
The completed projects from this book will become treasured gifts, too!
I was ecstatic to receive a review copy of this book from Leisure Arts. Over the years, I’ve learned many skills from the wonderful publications Leisure Arts produces. I wanted to start with an easy project, and one that will definitely be of use to me, and I hope it will inspire you, too! I thought the leaf mug rugs looked adorable, and I couldn’t wait to create them.
The following method that I use differs slightly from the instructions provided in the book. The directions in the book are fine; this is simply the procedure I used to create the end result.
A Note About Materials Used:
The directions use wool felt, but as a vegan, I don’t use wool. I substituted the wool for my favorite Kunin Eco-fi felt. It is made of polyester from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. The felt is made in the US and comes in a number of great colors. I’ve used it for many years and always have a large stash on hand. I am using olive and goldenrod colors. This felt is actually stiffer than a wool felt, so keep that in mind.
Time to craft!
I printed a copy of the leaf I wanted to use and transferred the outline onto the felt. I used a marker, as I knew my lines wouldn’t show once cut.
I cut out two leaves from the felt–one for the front and one for the back. The instructions also call for a thin batting to be sandwiched between the layers of felt. I used Insul-Bright, as this is the batting I happen to have on hand, and I know it will help keep my cup warm and toasty.
After all the cutting, you should have the following pieces:
a front and back of the leaf, a liner for the leaf, and a piece of jute
The photo below shows the order the layers should be in. You will be inserting the twine between the leaf layers, sewing around the leaf, and turning the leaf right side out so that the finished product will have the two felt pieces on the outside and the batting on the inside.
For the loop: The instructions call for 10 inches of jute twine, but I used 8 inches of hemp twine. Sandwich the twine between the leaf layers, placing the hoop on the inside and the loose ends hanging out 1/2″ beyond the raw edges. The key is to place the hemp where the stem of the leaf would be.
I like to use clips to secure my layers together before heading to the sewing machine. Yes, feel free to use pins, and use as many as you need. There are no judgments here. Also, don’t worry about one heart being a tad larger than the other, and don’t fuss over trying to perfectly align them. As you can see, I have a little wonkiness going on, and that will take care of itself when you sew around the edge with a 1/4″ seam allowance (give or take a little more as needed).
With a sewing machine, sew around the perimeter of the leaves, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance and a hole for turning the leaves right side out. You may want to use clips or pins to mark where you want to start and stop for your opening. It is easy to sew past the spot you wanted to leave open for turning.
Tip: Remember when I said this felt was stiffer than wool felt? Well, that becomes important with turning. I needed two inches to turn this fabric right side out.
Once you’ve turned the fabric right side out, you need to use a blunt object, such as a chopstick, blunt crochet hook, or turning tool to round out the leaf and smooth out the curves. Once complete, it is time to sew your leaf closed. Take your time, and you’ll be pleased with your results.
Next, I recommend freehanding the leaf lines with chalk. You don’t need anything fancy. I have a box of sidewalk chalk that works just fine. Again, don’t worry about duplicating the exact lines from the book. It is okay if your lines vary from the project instructions. I used to worry about making everything an exact duplicate of what I saw in a book, and that really took the creativity and fun out of crafting.
Take the leaf to your sewing machine, and stitch along your drawn lines. Before your very eyes, you’ve whipped up a beautiful little mug rug that is sure to make your coffee breaks more enjoyable. These make great gifts, and with four different leaf patterns, you can make an assortment! As you can see, there is plenty of room next to my mug for a cookie or two.
Stay tuned for more crafts created from this adorable book. For more information, or to order the book (as a digital download or print edition), please see the following link:
Items I used to create the mug rugs (affiliate links to Amazon products):
A photo posted by Jeannie M Bushnell (@jmbushnell) on
What Makes it Unique
Studio Movie Grill has the first-run movies you want and alternative/retro movies you can’t wait to see on the big screen. The in-theater dining includes the old popcorn favorite, but they have a full menu to order from, including a black bean burger for your veggie friends! There is a full-service bar, too.
As the video below shows, you push the little button on your seat table and an SMG team member appears at your seat and takes your order. You now sit back and relax in the reclining seats and enjoy the movie. Your food arrives hot (unless you order something chilled) and freshly made. The servers are not a distraction during the movie, and surprisingly enough, the smell of the various foods being eaten are not bothersome. Unless your bladder alerts you, you won’t have to leave your seat for a refill or to purchase the food. All transactions are brought to your seat.
Please note, food is not included in the Groupon ticket price, and you cannot use the Groupon discount toward food.
There are restrictions on the Groupon ticket purchase. For example, the tickets are not valid for movies at 5pm or later on Friday – Sunday. They cannot be used for Special Event movies, Crowd Sourcing, or Film Series Movies. There are extra fees for 3D movies. See the link above for additional restrictions.
Buy Tickets in Advance or in Person
If you are attending a movie where you may be running late, or you anticipate the theater will be full, then you may want to redeem the Groupon tickets online and reserve the exact seat that you want (a $1.50 convenience fee/seat applies).
Otherwise, have your Groupon ticket ready to redeem at the counter, and you can pick your seat from the ones still available. You will know going into the theater what seat number you will be sitting in. Pretty cool, eh?
Parking in Uptown isn’t scary at all once you realize that SMG validates parking (up to 4 hrs) in the self-parking area of the EpiCentre parking deck for guests of Studio Movie Grill. Valet parking will not be validated.
Be sure to check out the other restaurants and stores at the Epicentre. Fun events happen every day of the week, and if you are still hungry after the movie, you can swing into Five Guys and feed your french fry addiction. I know I’m not the only one who loves a potato.
Starting April 1st, all Bushnell Unscripted Insiders will receive 25% off of an order placed at my online shop. Want this deal? You have to sign up! Feel free to let your friends know, but they won’t see the discount in their cart unless they become an Insider, too.
Sale Dates: April 1, 2016 – April 20, 2016
Below are just a few of the items available in the shop!
As someone still new to the Charlotte scene, I’m always searching for fun and affordable events to attend within the city. One of my favorite places to find information that fits within those parameters is the Charlotte on the Cheap list that Jody Mace compiles. One of the events that she recently listed is Bechtler by Night.
The Bechtler museum is in Uptown Charlotte and open Monday through Sunday. I’ve had plans to make it out there before, but something always comes up, and I find the hours are just not workable for me. I’m obviously not alone, as the Bechtler by Night event exists for those like me who can’t seem to make it to the museum during the regular business hours.
Once a month, on the third Friday of the month, the Bechtler museum opens from 5 pm until 9 pm for a night of art appreciation wrapped in fun activities and prizes. The event makes for a wonderful date or outing with family and friends.
Unsure of what to expect when we arrived, my friend and I found a bustling museum entry filled with people in line to receive their bingo cards and sheets for a scavenger hunt. If you are one of the first 100 people to return the completed scavenger hunt and bingo card, you will be offered the chance to draw from a raffle box and win a prize!
As you walk through the museum hunting for the answers to the questions on the scavenger hunt page, you find yourself reading the descriptions for the art and looking at the art in an entirely new way than you have before. As a lover of museums, I’ve frequented my fair share, but this event encourages us to take the time to really read about the artists and the works rather than just scan the room and do a quick glance at each piece as we pass them by without a notice of much else.
On the back of the scavenger hunt sheet, you are asked to draw a quick sketch of your favorite work of art in the museum. I chose a self portrait of Sam Francis. The obscure sadness just called to me.
I applaud the museum for creating an event that invites patrons to engage with the art in a new way. The modest size of the collections at the museum are ideal for this type of event. The museum is not expansive like The Smithsonian, and this helps prevent the patrons from feeling overwhelmed by the game. My friend and I were two of the lucky ones to finish the scavenger hunt before all the prizes were awarded, and we won two passes to the museum! Other prizes included items from the museum gift shop and tickets to jazz performances at the museum.
I thoroughly enjoyed my night at the Bechtler museum, and I can’t wait to return for future nights of Friday fun at the museum.
Are you in need of the perfect gift for your favorite bibliophile?
What about your best friend who devours big books?
Maybe you just want to say that you love them?
Gifts are wonderful to give, but don’t leave yourself out!
Whatever the occasion, my Cozy to Go! cup wraps are the perfect accessory. Each Cozy to Go! cup wrap is cut and sewn by hand. Made of three layers: one outer embroidered cotton print or solid fabric, one cotton lining solid or print fabric, and a polyester insulating liner. You’ll be fashionable while protecting your fingers from the cold or hot drink in your hand.
The wrap should fit most disposable hot and cold to-go cups, however, it may not fit all large cups. Send us a note regarding specific cups, and we may be able to help you.
I’m continually adding new designs to the shop, so please stay tuned. Also, if you sign-up for my newsletter, you will automatically become a member of the super club who receives special coupons and purchase opportunities that are not made available to the general public. Don’t worry, I don’t flood your inbox with junk mailings or alert you to my every move.
Starting in September, Carowinds becomes SCarowinds. It is a haunting event for the young and old!
For $8.00, you can purchase a plastic necklace that features a glowing pumpkin to alert the costumed employees that you do not want to be scared. I know, there are some of you who think this is ridiculous. After all, you’ve come to SCarowinds to be scared, right? Well, while I didn’t purchase one of the necklaces (because I think they cost too much and I didn’t see them offered until I was leaving the park), having had the experience of the employees getting a little too close for comfort and screaming in my face, I can see the value of purchasing such a necklace.
No, I don’t like to be scared. I like to stand back and admire the scary displays and costumes, but I do not like to be screamed at or grabbed, and I’m not a fan of someone coming up behind me in a darkened walkway to scare the crap out of me. Nope, not a fan.
Mazes and Scare Zones
I went through the Seventh Ward maze (aka haunted house), and had the actors refrained from shouting in my face or reaching into my personal space, I would have enjoyed it. The strobe lights and mirrored walls didn’t help. The maze is indoors and very detailed and interesting, but I couldn’t enjoy it due to the constant onslaught of people screaming in my face.
I didn’t want to go in any other mazes after touring the scary “mental institution” that I’d raced to get through. My friends (two adult males in their 40s) went through the Cornstalkers maze (which they found scarier than the Seventh Ward), and the Zombie High maze (which they also found spine-tingling).
There are also established scare zones. The Bloodyard resembles a junkyard where you are surrounded by thirsty vampires waiting to turn you into one of their own. The London Terror scare zone doesn’t look too bad, but the small area in which there is to walk, and the mass of costumed characters waiting to scream at you make it less than a welcoming stroll down the streets of London.
If you love haunted houses, I think you will love SCarowinds. If you don’t, I think you should invest in a glowing pumpkin necklace or just skip SCarowinds and stay home where you can watch a scary movie with the mute button depressed to prevent hearing the horrible scary music and sounds from reaching your sensitive ears and heart. Is that just me?
Delights for the Ears and Eyes
The employee costumes and makeup is definitely my favorite thing about the SCarowinds experience. With over six hundred monsters to create for the event, the work of the makeup artists really shines. Read more on the SCarowinds blog to discover what goes on behind the mask. The article states that each artist is given 8 – 12 minutes to complete the makeup, and as someone who has toiled for hours to get Halloween makeup 1/2 as good as what the employees of the park are sporting, I am amazed at how quickly it all comes together every night of the event.
Rated PG-13, Leave Your Costume at Home, & You May Not Re-enter
The park states that the event is rated PG-13 and may be too intense for young children. I saw plenty of small children in the park enjoying themselves, but I know that won’t be the case for all young children. The younger children (or scared adults) can always come to Carowinds during the day before SCarowinds opens in the evening, and there is even a Great Pumpkin Fest to enjoy.
There is one extremely odd caveat to the SCarowinds event: guests cannot re-enter the park if they leave for any reason. It is normal for Carowinds guests to receive a stamp on the arm upon exiting so they can re-enter the park during the same-day visit with ease and no extra charge. This is not happening for SCarowinds. Everyone is held captive to this rule, so don’t think you are exempt Gold Card Members. I’m not sure why they’ve put this new rule in place, but that means guests can’t take a break to exit the park during their SCarowinds visit. What makes the SCarowinds event so special that guests cannot leave the park and return? I have no idea. If you find out, let me know. I asked several employees during my visit but none seemed to understand the arbitrary rule, either.
Darkness & Security
The park is too dark during SCarowinds. The regular low lighting that is used at night is made worse by colored bulbs and fog machines that occasionally make it hazardous to walk. There was security presence at the park, but the two people I saw aren’t enough for such a large crowd. The lack of security is one of the features that most people find disconcerting during regular Carowinds hours. Considering that the majority of the employees are teenagers, the park doesn’t exactly feel like the safest place at all times. While I know that many people feel safe allowing their teenagers to go to the park alone, I would not allow a minor to go to the park alone with the current security presence.
Scary Deals & Dates
The best deal (outside of the regular Carowinds Gold Pass) is the Haunt Pass which allows for unlimited admission to SCarowinds. You can attend every night of the SCarowinds events for a low price of $59.99. If you have a regular Gold Pass to Carowinds, you can also attend every night of SCarowinds, too. If you don’t have a pass, prepare to pay $15.00 to park.
Do yourself a favor and check the site before you head out to the park. If you are looking for some Halloween night fun, the park is open from 7:00 pm until 1:00 am. Have fun, but you won’t see me there. I’ve had my fill with the one night I attended. But then again, I’m a scaredy pumpkin.
I’d love to hear about your visit to SCarowinds!
Hours for SCarowinds:
Fridays & Saturdays
7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays
7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Late Night Closings
October 24 & October 31
7:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Banned Books Week – September 27, 2015 – October 3, 2015
I love reading banned books. It encourages the tiny rebel that lives in a dark corner of my psyche. Who are YOU to tell ME what to read?
I don’t know about you, but when I look at the titles on the banned book list, I see books that have made a profound impact on my life. The books are deep, thought-provoking literary guideposts that reflect our culture and experience on this planet. What one person labels “dirty” or “inappropriate” shouldn’t be the deciding factor on whether or not another person has the opportunity to read a book. Parents who protest a book’s inclusion into the school library because it speaks about slavery or homosexuality should be allowed to have their child excluded from reading the book, but they shouldn’t be allowed to speak for every parent and child.
There are those who defend the censorship, but when you show them the banned books list, they are dumbfounded when they realize one of their favorite books is included on the list. Well, some people will have this reaction and others will continue to blindly defend the censorship.