Monday, August 7, 2017

Best Shot Monday: The End of Summer

Home

Yes, the end of summer is quickly approaching ... not in a regular calendar sense, maybe, but most definitely in a school calendar sense. I caught this shot of Benny and Olivia sitting on the dock with the dogs not long before we had to head back over to Tallahassee for the start of band camp. Yep, band camp. (I know those of you of a certain age and movie generation might now be saying in your head, "This one time... at band camp..." My husband says it all the time now!) As the redheads head into high school, they will both be participating in marching band, Sarah with her clarinet and Olivia on drill team. Because they are incoming freshmen, that meant THREE WEEKS of band camp. The first week was freshmen only, 8am-noon; last week we finished up full band, 8a-5pm; and this week they have afternoon rehearsals 3pm-5pm. School starts on the 14th!  Hard to believe my girls are heading into high school.  It may be cliche, but it's so true. Time surely passes quickly!  

Friday, August 4, 2017

Getting Back to the Jewelry Bench

Cristhel necklace

While we were Home in Jacksonville for a good part of the summer, I brought some really basic jewelry supplies home with me, REALLY basic. I brought my tools and some brass wire and chain, along with a bin of beads that I've been meaning to destash on Etsy. I never got around to photographing the beads I wanted to destash, but I did spend some time at my workbench playing around with some random beads I had there at Home. I spent a couple nights working with sweet Denver at my feet, and this was one of the pieces I made then. I sent this one to my fellow shelter volunteer friend, and now volunteer coordinator, at our Jacksonville shelter as a little surprise to thank her for all she does for our shelter staff, volunteers and, of course, all the animals! Once I get my workshop cleaned up and reorganized in Tallahassee now that we are back over here, I plan to get better at spending a little more time at the jewelry bench again. Great thing to do while my art journal pages are drying!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

2017 Documented Life Project: January

Jan-1

Hello! Now that we've finally hit August, it's time to share my January edition of my 2017 Documented Life Project (snort...!). I have been chugging along in my 2017 journal on a fairly timely basis... just have a little backlog in sharing it! The Art to the 5th gals did not continue with DLP in 2017, but I decided to do another year on my own since I really liked the documenting part of it, particularly adding in pictures from the week to my journal. It really is a great reason to actually get those pictures out of my phone and into real life. I started the year out with a little booklet I received from Brave Girls Club, perfect way to start the year.

Jan-2

The first week of January was a big one for us. The Daily Dose of Awesomeness got BRACES! :-)

Jan-3

For the second week's spread, I used this stamp I got from Donna Downey Studios. Since we try to be all sorts awesome around here, it's perfect for our family. I cut that pink light out an HGTV magazine.

Jan-4

Jan-5

The inspiration for the next week came from a Sherry Canino video tutorial. So much juicy goodness out there on YouTube; I discovered Sherry through Roben-Marie Smith. The excitement this week included my turning-50-right-of-passage: a colonoscopy! Whoo hoo! All good! (and it's really true what you hear...the procedure itself is a breeze; it's the prep that makes you miserable. Be sure to get your screenings!!!)

Jan-6

Jan-7

In my goal of "using up what I have," one of the things I've been trying to do here is include more of my photographs in my journals. This little heart leaf has been in my stash for a while. I captured it in the parking lot on campus a couple years back. I'm always on the lookout for hearts in nature. This week took me back on the road for our FCSAA Winter Music Symposium. Lucky for me, it was in Jacksonville, so I got to spend a fews days at Home. Looks like I also got two shelters day in that week, one in Tallahassee and one in Jacksonville. Bonus!

Jan-8

Jan-9

Another thing I've been practicing with these past two DLP journals, in addition to using up what I have, is that some weeks I just need to embrace simplicity. That may mean using a page from a magazine that really speaks to me or, as in this case, using a fun little postcard size message. I do a lot of juggling in my life, and I'm a chronic over-scheduler (I don't think I know how to live any other way...), so one way I do try to manage that is by being okay with a really simple page on occasion. After all, I don't think art journaling would be fun if it became a chore, right?

Jan-10

To see my 2016 Documented Life Project, click here. For 2015, click here. And for 2014, click here. I'll continue posting 2017 by the month until I get caught up posting! Thanks for stopping in today!  I'm excited to be heading up to Donna Downey Studios this weekend to take an art journaling class with Pam Carriker

Monday, July 31, 2017

Best Shot Monday: Meet A Very Special Four-Legged Boy

Denver

As a shelter dog photographer, sometimes you can't help but fall in love (over and over and over again...). Meet Denver.  This boy was filthy, poopy dirty, but so incredibly full of love, so after I finished my photo session the day I met him, I gave him a bath. Such a sweet gentle boy! He loved his bath, probably because it simply felt like someone loving on him. The shelter has been incredibly overcrowded this summer. At one point, Jacksonville's Animal Care and Protective Services was sheltering 739 animals in a shelter designed to hold 364. Dogs were doubled up in kennels, with guillotine doors (usually only closed for cleaning) closed to allow two dogs to be sheltered in one run, essentially giving each one only about 3' by 4' of space, instead of their normal 3' by 8'. Denver was one of the doubled up dogs. So the very next day, guess who came home with me as a foster. Yep, Denver.

Denver smile

We had a week with this special boy, and I won't lie: we all fall hard for him. Taking the fosters back in for adoption is always the hardest part, and this time was the hardest ever. Thankfully, when I took Denver back to get ready for our MEGA Pet Adoption Event, he didn't have to go into a shared kennel, but, boy, was it hard for me to put him back in that run. Tons of tears kind of hard. I usually try to do a short goodbye, but Denver's kennel wasn't ready yet, so I sat with him for nearly 30 minutes waiting for it to be cleaned. We talked about what an awesome boy he is and what a special gift he was to our family for the week he spent with us, tears running down my cheeks the whole time (God bless our shelter staff who never once looked at me like I was crazy.)

Denver ball

If you've never fostered before, please consider it. It is such a blessing to be able to have these experiences, no matter the heartbreak that comes with saying goodbye when it's time. Hopefully we've helped Denver be better prepared to start his new life successfully. I had to go out of town the day after I dropped Denver off for MEGA, but my husband sat at MEGA with him, advocating for him until he was adopted. Thankfully, that didn't take long at all! MEGA started at 10am, and Denver went home with his new forever family at 11:45am! Happy Tails, Denver!  Thank you for sharing your love with us.  

Monday, June 26, 2017

Best Shot Monday: Besties

Three amigos

These three have been best friends since they met in preschool at three years old. When we made the move to Tallahassee but kept our home in Jacksonville, this was part of the reason why: life-long friendships. I shared in this post that I've had a lot of different addresses. (I mentioned in this post that I wouldn't mind NOT finding the right family to rent our home to, and we didn't...so I love that we still have Home with a capital H, as I sit here right now writing this at Home...) 

When I was growing up and moving around, we didn't have the internet, Instagram, Facebook, Facetime, texting, online Minecraft battles, and all those other myriad ways to keep in touch with friends not in the same city as you. It's been fun for me using those avenues (except for the Minecraft battles...) to catch up with old middle school and high school friends that I lost touch with.  Despite all the downsides that all this technology has brought us at times, I'm so happy my girls have that technology now.  Pretty sure this will be one of those life-long friendships. Thank you, Lord, for this blessing.  

Monday, June 19, 2017

Best Shot Monday: Meet Morning Glory

Morning Glory_A1049840

I get to spend a good bit of time working from home in Jacksonville this summer, so that means I'm able to get back into my "home" shelter for photos! I spent this morning with the pups at Jacksonville's Animal Care and Protective Services. It was a bit of a challenging day since they are replacing the air handlers at the shelter. That meant that each back yard enclosure door that exits each run was largely blocked with a large portable a/c unit, with its exhaust vent propping the door open. The dogs and I had quite an adventure making it around that for each exit and entry back into the run!

Morning Glory here was a lot of fun. This girl has been at the shelter since early February, nearly six months. Can you believe it? She can't; that's why she's sticking her tongue out at you. She's a Lab mix, about six years old, chock full of personality. She's available for adoption at ACPS, 2020 Forest Street, Jacksonville.

Friday, June 16, 2017

2016 Documented Life Project: December

December-1

Whoo hoo! I've finally made it to the last month of my 2016 Documented Life Project! And I'm not quite six months late! :-) I'll skip the narrative this time and just share with you how much I've enjoyed this project the past few years. I've done something a little different each year, and while 2017 is proving to be pretty similar to 2016 (with the goal of using up just what I have ... and apparently I have way too much to use up), I'm keeping it up. The only thing I'm finding is that I really don't care for the actual "calendar page" parts. I think I'd just rather just do a simple background with some quick highlights of the week instead of following that restrictive grid format. The second half of 2017 may see that. Thanks for sticking with me through this project! Scroll to the bottom of the post for links to the full project!

December-2

December-3

December-4

December-5


December-6

To see the rest of my 2016 Documented Life Project, click here. For 2015, click here. And for 2014, click here. Up next, 2017!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Best Shot Monday: Meet Raisin

Raisin_A169726

How about a Best Shot Monday on a Wednesday? It's summer time! Nothing is on schedule! I spent yesterday afternoon at the shelter in Tallahassee hanging out with sweet pups like Raisin. This little gal is so much fun. She runs, runs, run, and then just stops right next to you ... and I mean right next to you. The only way I was able to get a good photo of her for the website was with her looking directly up at me like this. But I love the shot!

Raisin is available for adoption at the City of Tallahassee Animal Service Center.  Adopt, don't shop!  There are thousands of wonderful pets waiting on you in your local animal shelters.  And they truly know they are rescued...and they often rescue you in the process.   

Monday, June 5, 2017

Best Shot Monday: Meet Lexi

Lexi

Meet, Lexi! I photographed this sweet girl about a month ago, and I'm so surprised she hasn't been snatched up yet! She's a good size, not too big, not too small, walks well on her leash, loves to play fetch, and is just an all around great dog. She's been in the shelter for about six weeks now. I always wonder why dogs like Lexi sit there waiting for a while. Her kennel presentation is pretty good, and she's obviously adorable. I mean, seriously! Look at that face! She has a little bit of hair loss on her chest, but that's likely just due to kennel stress. Once she's in a good home, that'll grow back in nicely.

Give shelter dogs a chance, everyone! You'll find that they rescue you in the long run. Lexi is available for adoption at the City of Tallahassee Animal Service Center.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Best Shot Monday: Remember

Cross City

As I was traveling home from my meetings in Tampa last week, I stayed off the interstate and took the back roads. I came upon this site in Cross City in Dixie County. There were a couple hundred of these flags lining Highway 98, memorializing fallen soldiers.  I took the photo with my phone and I see now that I really have my glasses on that it's a little fuzzy, but I wanted to share it just the same. I just thought they were so beautiful. Happy Memorial Day to those in the United States. Remember and honor those who have given their lives for our country. Thank you, service men and women. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

2016 Documented Life Project: November

November-1

Finally catching up on posting the last of my 2016 Documented Life Project! Work has been crazy lately! :-) So here's November. This first spread I clearly took the easy way out and pulled a piece of great magazine art and called it a day there on the left. This first week of November included our state volleyball tournament. She girls came with me and the husband went home to Jacksonville for a few days, so one of my sweet Chi Omega officers pet sat for us. She left me the sweetest note on the counter when I got home so I popped it in here. I'm finding that this project really is a great way to capture the little bits and pieces of your life that you'd like to hang on to, but just can figure out what to do with.

November-2

The challenge for the week above was do something with your initial. The redheads and I had the opportunity to visit the Ringling Museum and Mansion where we were at the volleyball tournament and captured this sweet pic of my little ladies on the steps of the mansion. Worth the visit!

November-3

The challenge above was pretty funny: use something from the bottom of your purse. I just so happened to have a receipt in there from our lunch date with bonus daughter Courtney that week. We went to the Riverside Arts Market that morning and then had lunch at Al's Pizza. I pulled the page on the right from the art journal I started creating in Melody's class at Serendipity a few years back.

November-4

Back side of the Serendipity page journal here, using one of my cow photos. This was Thanksgiving week, so we were home for a few days and went to see Fantastic Beasts with Hailey G.

November-5

The tail end of November and the first couple days of December brought my birthday and Sarah's band marching in the Winter Festival parade. Her first parade! I can't remember for the life of me what this journal challenge was, but I'm guessing it was something to do with stencils! So that's it for November! December coming up next week and then I'll start sharing 2017!

The Art 5 ladies aren't hosting the challenge in 2017, but I've enjoyed it so much these past three years that I'm keeping it up. As I mentioned at the top of this post, it's really been a great way to gather life's ephemera and make me print out some of those photos on my phone! Check out the Art 5's offerings here. You can see more of my 2016 journal here, my 2015 journal here (which I'm still working through...) and my 2014 journal here. Now go make some art!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Best Shot Monday: Precious

Precious laughing

And who says dogs don't laugh. Clearly, Precious is laughing at one of my stupid jokes here. She's quite the character, and she's available for adoption at the City of Tallahassee Animal Service Center.

Precious_A168564

Monday, April 24, 2017

Best Shot Monday: Meet UTOPIA Grad Autumn

Autumn

Meet Autumn! She is a member of the most recent graduating class from the City of Tallahassee Animal Service Center's UTOPIA program! What's that, you ask?

The UTOPIA program is a partnership between Animal Services and the Taylor Correctional Institution (TCI) in Perry, Florida. This program began on June 4, 2007, and aims to increase the adoptability of the dogs in training.  The Animal Service Center dogs are housed at the TCI for eight weeks to receive socialization and basic obedience training. All dogs participating in the UTOPIA Program must complete their training before being adopted (minimum eight weeks). 

Programs like these benefit not only the dogs but also the inmates working with the dogs.  The dogs learn basic obedience training while the inmates learn to care for another while incarcerated, thereby giving more meaning to their time in the facility. It's really a fabulous program, and we have a similar one in Jacksonville called TAILS.  I remember an instance in Jacksonville in which, through the help of an anonymous donor, an inmate who helped train a TAILS dog was able to adopt the dog upon his release. It was such a beautiful story! 

So Autumn here has had her eight weeks of training and now walks beautifully on her leash, sits patiently for treats and takes them very sweetly. She is crate trained and ready to come home with you!  She is available for adoption now at the City of Tallahassee Animal Service Center!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Best Shot Monday: Meet Lupita

Lupita 1

Meet sweet Lupita. I so love this girl. She has a beautiful smile, doesn't she?  I first photographed her back in mid-January, and then she got caught up in a little scuffle during playgroup and ended up with stitches and several weeks recovering in the vet suite. Scuffle totally not her fault!  She's back in adoptions now, so I wanted to get some fresh pictures of here. Alix and I had her outside for a while, and she is truly such a sweet girl.

As I was wrapping things up Tuesday afternoon, I ended up helping a family look at some dogs. They had come in with a picture pulled up on their phone and said the photo brought them in.  It was my photo of Mr. Rodgers. They met Mr. Rodgers and then wanted to meet a few others they specifically picked out from the website, including Gwen and Indigo, and then I took the opportunity to introduce them to Lupita and Kahuna, both dogs who've been waiting quite some time for their forever family. They loved Lupita and Kahuna and then ultimately couldn't make up their minds! All the dogs I took out for them are still available on the website, so I'm hoping they at least came back and adopted a dog later in the week.

Lupita 2

Seriously!  Look at that sweet face up there! ^^^  When I was taking 'Pita back to her kennel after her meet and greet with this family, I promised I'd keep trying for her. She really is a love. Here's what the shelter says about her: "Lupita (also known as Pita) is a staff favorite here at the shelter. At 53 pounds she is all muscle, but she acts like she's all fluff. 'Pita knows how to sit and takes treats very gently. She can be protective of her people. Pretty Pita can sometimes be found in playgroups or even behind the front desk, where she shows off her good behavior to any customer who will pay her attention." She's available for adoptable at the City of Tallahassee Animal Service Center, 1125 Easterwood Drive, Tallahassee.

Friday, April 14, 2017

2017 Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap

Didgerdoo postcard for swap

I participated in Kat Sloma's Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap again this year. I love doing postcard swaps! It's always fun to get a fun little unexpected something in your mailbox instead of bills and junk mail! For my submissions, I created some postcards out of some of my shelter photos and added in quotes with them. Above is a dog from the Tallahassee shelter named Didgeradoo. He was such a cool dog!

Below are the other two I did, one a group shot from playgroup at the Jacksonville shelter and the other my all time favorite shelter dog love, Chuck. Chuck was the first shelter dog to completely steal my heart, and he's had it ever since. I think of him often!

Chuck for postcard for swap

Playgroup postcard for swap

Below is the first card I received in the mail. Kat spreads out the mailing do you don't get them all at the same time. More to look forward to! This card came from Deanie Houghtaling in Phoenix, Arizona. It is of a carousel horse in Jardin du Laxembourg in Paris! One day, I will travel to Paris.  One day...

LYA-4

Next, I received this beautifully drawn zentangle card from Linda Yeatman in Reston, Virginia, below. I love the black and white contrast.

LYA-3

Next came this beautiful photo from Chrisann Risser. Chrisann and I emailed back and forth a bit, and here's what she told me about her photo: "That photo was taken in December 2016 in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, where I was born and raised. I went home to visit my Dad. Lunenburg is a fishing village on the Atlantic and the colour of the buildings on the waterfront are red so that is what you are seeing in the background. And the photo is of wild rose buds." Beautiful!

LYA-1

Next I received this beautiful page from an art journal from Lorraine Rush, below. She did not share on her postcard where she was from, but her art is beautiful!

LYA-2

Then came this lovely little painting from Sheila Delgado from Prescott Valley, Arizona. I visited the little town of Prescott years ago when I went out that way for a friend's wedding. Very cute town! Thanks, Sheila!

LYA-5

Last I received the card from Kat herself, our wonderful hostess in Portland, Oregon. I wasn't quite sure what the correct orientation was supposed to be, but I liked it best this way! I guess when I see Kat's reveal, I'll know if I was correct! Thanks to Kat for coordinating this swap every year. It's so much fun to send little pieces of your own art out into the world and receive such beautiful little things back.

LYA-6

Thursday, April 13, 2017

2016 Documented Life Project: October

October-1

Welcome to October for the 2016 Documented Life Project! The first week of October was certainly an interesting one for us as Hurricane Matthew hit north Florida and left us with a tree in our roof in our house in Jacksonville. Fun stuff, huh! It's all repaired now, but it was a long couple of months getting there.

October-2

The first week's challenge was to hide something, and I just happened to have another page from the things I created at Melody Ross's class at Serendipity that fit the bill perfectly!

October-3

I had to save this "Comedy Night" invitation on the right. My girls and their friend Kylie put on a little comedy show for us in the front yard, complete with one liners and funny flashlight work.

October-4

This next challenge was to "start with a doodle background." I used a scrap piece of deli paper that had lots of juicy leftover paint and doodles on it before I added a postcard from Lesley Riley and some apples cut from a magazine. The three components really have nothing to do with each other, but I loved the way they came together! The photo on the right is my girls with their volleyball team. This was their first year playing volleyball and they loved it. We lucked into an awesome coach. Makes all the difference!

October-5

This next challenge was to "divide your page in half." I added in a postcard from Rae Missigman and a little pendant the girls and I created way back in Mermaids and Mamas. We went to the FSU Flying High Circus that week for my husband's birthday. One of only two college circuses in the country, FSU's group is absolutely amazing!

October-6

The last challenge for the month was to "repeat a pattern." Those strips with the square holes in them are actually the sides of pages I pulled out of another journal. Always repurposing to get rid of all this stash. So, that's all for October! For more of my 2016 Documented Life Project spreads, click here. For 2015, click here, and for 2014, click here. Be sure to visit the Art to the 5th ladies to see what they have going on! They are the creators of this project!