Saturday, October 23, 2010


What a phenomenal gathering I went to today. It was called "Scraptacular," a weekend retreat for people who scrapbook as a hobby. This bi-annual "crop" was in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and was hosted by Rayann Culp, owner of Scrapbooks by the Sea in Pawleys Island, and Linn Phillips, owner of Scrapbook Concepts in Florence, S.C. Eunice Alexander of MeMe's Scraps & Invitations in Hartsville. S.C. and Laurie Capps of Charleston Scrapbook Company in Summerville, S.C. were also there.

My daughter-in-law, Meghan, has scrapbooking as a hobby. She's given us several books, and we love them. It's a perfect way to be creative and to preserve heart-felt memories. I was covering the event for my story on scrapbooking. It's a huge topic. There's traditional, digital and hybrid scrapbooking. Then there's card making and other paper items to make, such as "pillow boxes," which are used for gift cards, cash or jewelry.

I label all my pictures and put them in photo albums, but what I do is primitive compared to scrapbookers. They use patterned, themed and colored paper. They add yarn, letters in all sizes and fonts and any other appropriate item. Most of the scrapbookers give the books as gifts. It's worth looking into as a hobby.

To read my story go to and type in my name: Jo Ann Mathews. That's the fastest way to get the story--but you have to wait. It won't appear until Nov. 4.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Brunswick County, N.C. in October

Although the vacationers have gone home, lots of activity continues in Brunswick County, N.C. On Oct. 1 the new Sunset Beach Bridge, named Mannon C. Gore Bridge after the founder of Sunset Beach, was dedicated. The town held its Sunset at Sunset festival Oct. 2, and on Oct. 4 the town council voted to preserve the bridge tender's house that sat atop the old bridge.

Oct. 15 is the grand opening of Ocean Isle Beach Park off Old Georgetown Road adjacent to Ocean Ridge Plantation. Then on Oct. 16 and 17 the 30th annual North Carolina Oyster Festival is held at Ocean Isle Beach. It begins Oct. 16 with a walk/race at 7 a.m. The festivities continue all day with arts and crafts vendors, entertainment and activities for children. It culminates with the Oyster Shucking contest from 4-6 p.m. The highlight Oct. 17 is the Oyster Stew Cook-off at noon.

The 9th annual Communities in Schools gala takes place Oct. 21. This black tie optional event was the first ever annual ultra-formal celebration in Brunswick County. It raises more than $125,000 each year. All proceeds go to programs for children in Brunswick County Schools.

The 3rd annual Wag Shag gets going Oct. 24 in the tent at Sea Trail. What a treat it is to see the dogs dressed in costumes and performing for the audience. This year features Halloween costumes. No dogs are unruly, and owners make sure thier pets are friendly to all those at the big party.

Brunswick County is an exciting place to live.