Mardi Gras Beads for Christmas?

Raise your hand if you have a bag of Mardi Gras beads gathering dust in your closet.

Mardi Gras, beads, ornament, decoration, Christmas, class

Make Mardi Gras beads into Christmas decorations and more. Learn how at Orange Beach Arts Center this Saturday, December 4, 2010.

It’s time to do something constructive with those beads! Creativity knows no bounds, and Orange Beach Arts Center would like to prove that to you—with the help of Dorie Parsons.

Dorie is possibly best known for her excellent teaching skills, most recently with her local photography classes. But she is also quite resourceful and imaginative. Allow her to describe and demonstrate the techniques of turning those colorful necklaces into holiday decorations, adorable animals and other jewelry. Then let your imagination take over to create items for yourself or others

This Saturday, December 4, parade yourself, your beads and $15 to the Orange Beach Arts Center at noon. Spend the next hour playing with the easy techniques and ideas. You may have so much fun that you will look for more beads to make more items at home!

Teachers, this could lead you to a classroom art or holiday project that your students will truly enjoy, so be sure to find your stored beads before the week is over.

Right now, before you get busy with other things, call the Orange Beach Arts Center at 251-981-2787 to reserve your place in the class. Laissez les joyeux noels rouler! (Let the good Christmas times roll!)

Stay informed of local activities, vacation rental specials and more by subscribing to this Discover Alabama Beaches blog and Meyer Muse, and by following Meyer Real Estate on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.

Black Friday Deal: Hangout Music Fest

Black Friday. Love it or hate it, it has become the official kick-off of the holiday shopping season. It’s the day when we shift from the delicious Thanksgiving feast and time with family and friends to Christmas and the fun of choosing the best gifts for family and friends.

Hangout Music Fest, Black Friday, deal, Gulf Shores, Alabama, Private Gallery, Meyer Real Estate

Grab this amazing deal on Black Friday: Purchase 3-day passes to The Hangout Beach Music Festival (May 20–22, 2011 in Gulf Shores, Alabama) for just $50!

For many, music-related gifts will play a large role. Others may wish to give a gift that will create memories, possibly even including travel. But we want you to know of a terrific gift that would include music and memories PLUS guide you to it at a tremendous bargain price. Yes, we’d like to help you make your recipient (and you) dance with joy, not just on Christmas, but also next spring.

Only on Black Friday can you get this amazing deal, so here’s the scoop:

* A limited supply of discounted 3-day passes to The Hangout Beach Music Festival (May 20–22, 2011) will be available on Friday, November 26, 2010, and only while supplies last.

* A 3-day pass is valued at $174, but on Black Friday, you can get yours for just $50!

* Passes must be purchased in person at

— The Hangout in Gulf Shores, beginning at 8:00 a.m.

— Private Gallery at Tanger Outlet Center in Foley, beginning at midnight

— Private Gallery at Eastern Shore Center in Spanish Fort, beginning at 6:00 a.m.

— Private Gallery at SanRoc Cay in Orange Beach, beginning at 8:00 a.m.

— Private Gallery at Legacy Village of Springhill in Mobile, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

— Private Gallery in downtown Fairhope, beginning at 10:00 a.m.

* Pass purchase is limited to 4 per person; children younger than 10 years old do not require a ticket.

Visit the website of Meyer Real Estate for details on this Black Friday deal as well as the festival itself. The 2011 lineup has not yet been announced, but you will see who played in 2010 and why the event was such a success in its first year.

Who needs Santa this year? You know the very best gift for anyone’s stocking is available Black Friday. Ready, set, SHOP for tickets to the best music experience on the beach!

Stay informed of local activities, vacation rental specials and more by subscribing to this Discover Alabama Beaches blog and Meyer Muse, and by following Meyer Real Estate on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.

2011 Hangout Beach Music Fest Dates Announced!

The 3-day event of 2010 brought nearly 60 bands to four stages on the gorgeous beach of Gulf Shores, Alabama, thanks to the folks at The Hangout. It was so well received and it generated so much excitement across the country that there is an agreement with the city to host the concerts for at least the next five years.

Michael Franti and Spearhead, Hangout Music Fest, Gulf Shores, Alabama, Meyer Real Estate

Hangout Music Festival 2011 is scheduled for May 20–22. Enjoy 60 bands at the beach, plus much more!

Grab your calendar now and mark May 20–22, 2011 for the 2nd Annual Hangout Beach Music Festival. The 2011 lineup has not yet been announced, but we know it will be a crowd-pleasing mixture of styles, including rock, pop, indie, jam and Americana. (To give you a better idea, the 2010 acts included Zac Brown Band, Ben Harper and the Relentless 7, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Alison Krauss, NeedToBreathe, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Trey Anastasio and TAB, Rodrigo 7 Gabriela and many, many more.)

Picture yourself on the white-sand beach of Gulf Shores, Alabama, basking in the salty breeze and warm rays of the sun. Picture yourself in the audience during a concert by your favorite musicians, cheering and singing along. Picture yourself sharing a tremendous weekend with your best buddies or your sweetheart. Now put them all together in the same picture. You can’t beat this incredible experience!

But to make it even better, how about a FREE night of lodging? Stay in a prime location in Gulf Shores (maybe even right next door to the festival site!) or pay a little less and stay in nearby Orange Beach, Fort Morgan or Perdido Key and just catch a shuttle to the event. See MeyerRE.com for all the details and to choose from the largest selection of properties on the island.

Stay tuned—we’ll have lots more information as details become available. But don’t wait to claim your condo or house, since the most popular properties will book very quickly!

Stay informed of local activities, vacation rental specials and more by subscribing to this Discover Alabama Beaches blog and Meyer Muse, and by following Meyer Real Estate on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.

Happy 100th Birthday, Orange Beach Museum!

Those with an interest in history, local lore, the fishing industry and/or American Indian artifacts will find plenty of reasons to visit the Orange Beach Indian and Sea Museum. But this Saturday, November 20, 2010, special activities will enhance your experience.

Orange Beach Indian Sea Museum, Alabama, Gulf Shores

Join the 100-Year Celebration at Orange Beach Sea & Indian Museum on Saturday, November 20, 2010.

Between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., live music and light refreshments will set a celebratory atmosphere as you explore the museum and chat with other guests. Even if you don’t plan to spend the entire four hours there, be sure to gather at 11:00 to hear some of our local folks recount memories of the building’s various uses and the growth of Orange Beach.

The little wooden structure has traveled and changed “careers” more often than some of our residents! It started as a schoolhouse on Canal Road, then became a church and a community house. In 1995 it was moved to Snell Park, where it became a museum. And now it can be toured, analyzed and admired at its location on John Snook Drive near City Hall and the Post Office.

Frequent guests and first-time visitors will all find something new to discover during this celebration. To learn more about the museum or the festivities, call 251-981-6039.

Stay informed of local activities, vacation rental specials and more by subscribing to this Discover Alabama Beaches blog and Meyer Muse, and by following Meyer Real Estate on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.

Make a Hand-Blown Glass Ornament

Handmade items as holiday gifts or ornaments hold special appeal, partially for the obvious reason of being handmade and therefore one of a kind. But this holiday season, ramp up the “uniqueness factor” by making your own hand-BLOWN ornament.

Child learning to blow glass ornament

Make your own hand-blown glass ornament this holiday season!

It’s not as difficult or scary as you may think, since you’ll be working directly with a professional who loves to teach the art form. Make it a family affair—children aged 8 and up, parents and grandparents alike will enjoy the learning process, making the masterpiece, and then admiring each others’ creations. (Children younger than 8 will be allowed to assist.)

This opportunity is not common or ordinary. In fact, The Hot Shop at the Orange Beach Arts Center is the only public-access glass studio in the state of Alabama, and one of only a handful in the Southeast. At only $20 per ornament (discount on 3 or more) and about 20 minutes to make one, this is an experience and a bargain that just cannot be missed.

Boy shaping hand-blown glass ornament.

Learn glass-blowing at Alabama's only public-access glass studio at the Orange Beach Arts Center.

Contact the Orange Beach Arts Center for details and to make your appointment. Call 251-981-2787 or stop by 26389 Canal Rd. in Orange Beach (just a few moments east of Hwy. 161), Tuesday through Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Be sure to allow time to wander through the Arts Center and the gift shop while there. You will find numerous artists represented and a great variety of media and subjects.

Share your hand-blown ornament as a gift, or place it on proud display in your own home. Either way, you will have a fun, distinctive memory to hold onto always. Who knows—it may open you to a new interest and the discovery of a hidden talent!

Stay informed of local activities, vacation rental specials and more by subscribing to this Discover Alabama Beaches blog and Meyer Muse, and by following Meyer Real Estate on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.

Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival

11 days. 26 venues. 170 musicians.

The Songwriters Fest runs through November 21, 2010, along the Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast.

The Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival has been referred to as the world’s largest gathering of songwriters. The talent comes from as far away as Australia and as close as next door, and ranges from those just getting started to well-seasoned veterans of the professional music world.

You’ll want to be in our backyard (Perdido Key, Florida plus Orange Beach, Gulf Shores and Bon Secour, Alabama) between now and November 21 to enjoy as many of these gifted composers, lyricists, singers and instrumentalists as you can squeeze into your schedule. But consider yourself warned: Choosing which venue and who to hear will not be an easy decision! On the positive side, though, no matter where you end up, you won’t be disappointed. And another bit of good news: Nearly all of the venues are free.

Add the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival website to your Favorites or Bookmarks so you can have the most current schedule available; the songwriter line-up is subject to change without notice, but will be updated online.

Stay informed of local activities, vacation rental specials and more by subscribing to this Discover Alabama Beaches blog and Meyer Muse, and by following Meyer Real Estate on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.

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