This is the second annual My Country Blog Hop/Challenge created by Nan Smith. Last year the focus was for people to design and make a piece of jewelry that reflected a country where they lived or were born in. I chose the place I was born: Kassel, Germany and wrote about it here.
This year Nan decided to change things to include anything handmade. Nan’s challenge was to “create a work of art that best tells a story about our homelands. You don’t have to currently live there , either. It can be where you were born, where you once lived, where your ancestors originated or almost any other reason that you are knowledgeable about this place.”
I decided to write about Carmel Valley, California since my family has been renovating a house here and I have come to love it here. The house is in an oak woodland. Here is the view from the deck: Carmel Valley Village is 12 miles from Carmel-by-the-Sea. It is in an oak woodland along the unspoiled Carmel River Valley by the Santa Lucia Mountains.
The best part of Carmel Valley is a regional park of 4000 acres, Garland Ranch. According to the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District “This park is home to a variety of landscapes that occur at elevations from 200 to 2,000 feet. From the willow covered banks of the Carmel River through the cottonwood-sycamore stands of the old floodplain, the trails ascend steeply. Atop the northern crest of the Santa Lucia Mountains, the trails encounter open oak savannas and spectacular vistas. Along the way, you will travel through maple-filled canyons, dense oak woodlands, and thick stands of chaparral. Garzas Creek gently bisects the park and provides a peaceful, shaded trail that reaches a secluded side canyon of redwoods.” Dogs are allowed off leash! My favorite hike is to the Carmel River. I love to watch the seasons change on this hike. This is in the winter: Just past the Village, if you turn right on Esquiline Road, right on South Bank, and then left on Hitchcock Canyon Road you will reach the Kahn Ranch additon to Garland Ranch Regional Park where there is a picnic area and hiking trails. There is a lovely short hike to Fern Falls, which had only a little water this year because of the drought: The Carmel Valley area has several fancy resorts and a plethora of wine tasting establishments, but most of Carmel Valley has a rustic charm: There are vineyards, wineries, galleries, and restaurants in Carmel Valley. The Carmel Valley Art Association has a gallery that I like to browse. I also enjoy the art glass gallery Masaoka Glass Design Gallery, which has work by renowned artists including Paul DeSomma. Our favorite restaurants in the Village include Kathy’s Little Kitchen and the Corkscrew Cafe. Kathy’s has wonderful homemade Mexican food and the Corkscrew has a full menus including wood fired pizza. I love the muffins at the Wild Goose Bakery Cafe and will often have one with a cup of coffee out on their deck. I decided to make a Lampwork bead for this blog hop, inspired by the oak trees and mountains of Carmel Valley: Be sure to visit the other blogs in this hop to see their handmade items:
Hostess: Nan Smith (Canada) wirednan.blogspot.ca
1. Ana (Portugal) acbeads.blogspot.ca
2.Rita (Orlando) JewelSchoolFriends.com
4. Robin Reed (Indiana) willowdragon.blogspot.com 5. Lilik Kristiana (Indonesia ) pcbylik.blogspot.com
7. Karen Mitchell (South Australia) http://www.overthemoon-design.com
9. Melissa Trudinger (Australia) beadrecipes.wordpress.com 10. Johana Nunez (Puerto Rico) http:artincendi.com 11. Kepi (Alberta) kepirasmussen.blogspot.ca 12. Deb Fortin (Ontario) studiok24.blogspot.ca 13. Divya (India) jewelsofsayuri.com
15. Kay Thomerson (Texas) kayzkreationz.blogspot.com 16. Bairozan (Bulgaria) bairozan.blogspot.ca 17. Carolyn’s Creations ( ) carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com
20.Inge Van Roos (California) ingetraud.wordpress.com
22. Lori Schneider ( ) beadaddicted.blogspot.com 23.Mary Harding (New York)maryhardingjewelrybeadblog.blogspot.com 24. Bouchra Rebai (Algeria) bouchrarebai.wordpress.com 25.Michelle McCarthy (Florida ) Fireflydesignstudio.blogspot.com