Feb 28, 2017

Super simple Lorax costume with Truffula trees

Super simple and cute Lorax costume with Truffula trees | The Lowcountry Lady

I often find myself wondering how our parents survived our early school years without Pinterest.  For example, let's say they were to find out about Dr. Seuss week theme days with hours notice.  How did they come up with ideas, or help shepherd those ideas to reality?

I know that my mom spent a ton of time driving my brothers and I around to libraries or book stores to look through books for ideas.  And, I have good memories of those times.  That said, I'm so thankful for the abundant resources at our fingertips, and for the people who share their creativity.

Let's go back to that Dr. Seuss example.  It is Dr. Seuss week at school and dress as your favorite character day is one of the theme days.  Luckily my son knew he wanted to dress up as The Lorax.  A starting point is always good!

Because of the time crunch, we perused the internet and Pinterest for quick ideas.  And, we found some good ones!  We decided to start with this clever but easy idea for a Lorax mask.  We also thought making Truffula trees to hold as an accessory could be fun, too.  No tutorial necessary there, we considered materials and made it up as we went.

A few quick pictures of what we put together -


Super simple and cute Lorax costume with Truffula trees | The Lowcountry Lady

Super simple and cute Lorax costume with Truffula trees | The Lowcountry Lady

Super simple and cute Lorax costume with Truffula trees | The Lowcountry Lady

Super simple and cute Lorax costume with Truffula trees | The Lowcountry Lady

Super simple and cute Lorax costume with Truffula trees | The Lowcountry Lady

Super simple and cute Lorax costume with Truffula trees | The Lowcountry Lady

Super simple and cute Lorax costume with Truffula trees | The Lowcountry Lady

Super simple and cute Lorax costume with Truffula trees | The Lowcountry Lady

Super simple and cute Lorax costume with Truffula trees | The Lowcountry Lady

Supplies used:

Mask -

  • Cheep sunglasses
  • Yellow sheet of foam
  • Scrap paper to make a template to trace the mustache and eyebrows onto the foam (it's much easier to fold paper to make symmetric pieces, if that's important to you)
  • Scissors
  • Tacky glue

Truffula Trees -

  • Wooden dowel
  • Foam sphere
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Cheep feather boas
  • Tacky glue
Orange t-shirt or sweatshirt.

We picked almost everything up at Hobby Lobby.  If you frequent Hobby Lobby, you should get their app... they almost always have a coupon for 40% off one item.  Anyway, several of the supplies, including the orange t-shirt, are less expensive via Amazon Prime (if you have time to plan ahead ;) ).

Hope this helps one more mom or dad pull an idea together.  Good luck!

Feb 19, 2017

Fly Fishing Basics

After a lifetime of spin fishing all over the lowcountry, Jason decided he wanted to give fly fishing a whirl.  My son and I decided to surprise him with a reel.  We headed to Lowcountry Fly Shop to pick one out and I can't say enough nice things about the guys that work in there.  I don't know the first thing about fly rods but they are always kind, explain as much as I want to learn, and help me pick out just the right thing.  Jason loved the gift.

It has been about a year since he cast his first fly.  He was determined, but the technique is different than spin fishing so it took a lot of practice.  He certainly doesn't mind putting in time on the water, but I know that he'd love to catch more fish.  I think that's why he was interested to hear John Irwin give a talk and demo on fly fishing at SEWE.


John Irwin of Fly Right Charters gives Fly Fishing Tips at SEWE 2017 | The Lowcountry Lady

Captain John Irwin runs Fly Right Charters here in Charleston, SC.  He has a ton of experience teaching anglers to fly fish and offered some very practical tips.  Here's what I took away from his talk today...

When you fish, the power occurs when the rod bends.  In fly fishing the rod bends due to the weight of the line. The weight of the line is what causes the rod to bend and load.

Keep a straight wrist
Rather than bending your wrist to move the rod, you want to keep a straight wrist and bend at the elbow instead.  This helps you keep the rod tip moving on a straight plane and prevents inefficient arcs or loops in the line.

Push the tip of the rod in a straight line path
You want to keep the tip moving in a straight path both vertically and horizontally.  Keeping your wrist straight will help you do that.  In Montana, you see fly fishers cast over their heads, starting perpendicular to the water.  In the Keys, you'll see people cast off to their sides with the rod parallel to the water.  Here in Charleston, it's common to see people cast at a 45 degree angel, due to all the obstacles that come with fishing in the grass.  These are all okay, you just need to pick a path and stick to it.  Another helpful tip is to keep your thumb opposite the fish the entire time.  Don't allow your wrist to break or rotate.

Apply power in an accelerated motion
When you're learning, it's okay to watch your line go back so that you can see your rod tip stop and your line unfold.  This way, you'll know how long to stop, or pause, so that your line can fully unfurl.  The longer the line, the longer the pause.  If casting overhead, you stop on the forward motion when the rod is just below eye level and let the rod tip and line fall to the water together in front of you.

The motion is start and stop, start and stop.

Double hauling
What is it?  It's when you pull on the line that's going out the tip of your rod with your left hand while you are casting.  Why do it?  It causes the tip of the rod to bend more than the weight of the line alone, and if the rod bends more, that means more power.

Start with your hands together.  Start to cast back and simultaneously pull the line down with your left hand.  Bring your hands back together as you stop moving the rod.  Repeat as you cast forward.  Separate your hands on the start motion, bring your hands back together on the stop motion.

Double hauling can give you the power you need to cast further and more accurately.  Start moving your rod back (move hands apart), stop moving rod (move hands together).  Add this motion to start and stop - apart, together.  Apart, together.

If you have a lot of obstruction between you and the fish then you need to engage with the line in your left hand as quickly as possible.

Get line ready, before you see a fish
Get to where you expect that you might see fish.  Estimate how far you will have to cast.  Pull that much line off the reel into a pile in front of your feet.  The line you need is at the bottom of that stack, so you'll want to cast or "clear the line" and then restack the line in front of you.  If you have to pull additional line out later, be sure to clear the line again, before you try to cast to a fish.  This will prevent your line from tangling and increase the likelihood that you cast right to your fish.

Remember, in fly fishing you want to cast as few times as possible.

Put everything together
1. Go to where you see or expect to see fish.
Reds will be tailing in the grass, looking for fiddler crabs, as the tide floods the marsh.
2.  Get your line ready.
3.  Hold the fly in your left hand by its tail.  Have about 12 feet of line extending out of the tip of the rod.
4.  Keep your wrist straight as you cast backward, letting go of the fly as you start.
5.  Start and stop.  Start and stop.
If you're going to double haul then apart, together.  Apart, together.
6.  Once you lay the line down, let the crab fall just a little then engage with your left hand.  Pull the crab towards you by pulling on the line with your left hand in short, slow, smooth motions.  Crabs move slowly and just a little.
7.  Keep the rod tip pointed at the water and towards the fly.  Don't jerk the rod up when you hook a fish, instead when you hood a fish...
8.  Set the hook by keeping the rod tip pointed to the fish.  Pull the line with your left hand in a long smooth fast motion, ideally a full arms length.
9.  After you set the hook, continue to pull the fish in using your left hand to pull the line in, onto a pile in front of you.  Don't worry about getting the line back on your reel.

Other tips
You can catch most fish in Charleston (Reds, Trout, Spanish Mackerel) with an 8 weight fly rod.  To catch bigger fish, you need a bigger rod.

If you're going to release the fish, you don't want to fight it for a long time and wear it down too much.  To get the fish to you fast, don't let the fish get comfortable and don't rest yourself.  If the fish moves to your right, move the tip of your reel to the left.  If he moves left, move the tip to your right.


I know that Jason is anxious to get back on the water and to try out these tips and tricks.  Who knows, maybe I'll give fly fishing a try this year, too!


Feb 17, 2017

SEWE 2017

Some say that a "day date" isn't as significant or special as a traditional evening-time date.  I say, the day date is absolutely underrated, especially if you're a parent.  Take the day off of work, drop the little one off at school, and set off on a several hour adventure!

The annual Southeastern Wildlife Expo (SEWE) kicked off today and the weather in Charleston is unseasonably warm.  Perfect day date scenario.

Many artists and craftspeople bring their work to SEWE to show and sell.  So many interesting and beautiful things to look at and appreciate.  Here were a few of my favorite -

Oyster Red Fish Brand Belt Buckles at Southeastern Wildlife Expo (SEWE) 2017 | The Lowcountry Lady

These handsome belt buckles are by Red Fish Brand and were part of a display by Grady Ervin & Co.  Also, how cool is the old tackle box they are displayed in?

Brackish Bowties Southeastern Wildlife Expo (SEWE) 2017 | The Lowcountry Lady

Chic Verte Oyster Shell Jewelry at Southeastern Wildlife Expo (SEWE) 2017 | The Lowcountry Lady

I've been following Chic Verte on the social medias since SEWE last year.  The oyster shell necklaces are so pretty up close.  I may just have to go back and buy one tomorrow.  The are so very lowcountry, especially in the winter months.

Carolina Shuckers at Southeastern Wildlife Expo (SEWE) 2017 | The Lowcountry Lady

Oliver Pluff & Co Teas at Southeastern Wildlife Expo (SEWE) 2017 | The Lowcountry Lady

Landrum Tables Fly Rod Table at Southeastern Wildlife Expo (SEWE) 2017 | The Lowcountry Lady

Landrum Tables has been a favorite of mine for a while, but this Fly Rod table is such a unique piece.  My husband would love to have a setup like this one.


Southeastern Wildlife Expo (SEWE) 2017 | The Lowcountry Lady

John Irwin Fly Fishing Demo at Southeastern Wildlife Expo (SEWE) 2017 | The Lowcountry Lady

Aside from the art, jewelry and whatnot, SEWE also includes lectures, demos & shows.  Today, we caught a fly fishing demo with John Irwin from Charleston Angler.  Stay tuned for an upcoming posts with some of the tips that John shared.


Sunday update -



Dock dogs at Southeastern Wildlife Expo (SEWE) 2017 | The Lowcountry Lady

It just wouldn't be SEWE without catching a bit of the dock dogs competition.  The summer-like day in February made it fun to get right up close.

Matthew Dale Proctor Art at Over Under Southeastern Wildlife Expo (SEWE) 2017 | The Lowcountry Lady