Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Sparkly Little Bracelets

stars bracelets 
Just finished up this custom order for a long-time repeat customer.  Ten of these bracelets in total.  These will go to some special employees, the business of which I'm not naming right now in case some of those employees stop in here and see their surprise!  That freckly little arm belongs to one of my redheads, the perfect model.

We had our state softball tournament this past weekend ... three long days of softball!  I brought the family with me since the nice Vero Beach location brought with it the opportunity to not only see some great softball, but also hit the beach.  We are about five miles from the beach at our home on Jacksonville, but here in Tallahassee, it's about an hour an a half.  We miss being that close!  I've been using a very talented sports photographer named Tom Hagerty to photograph our state tournaments, and he does such a fabulous job.  Check out this shot in particular; it's my favorite of the tournament, and just so happens to feature one of my hometown team's athletes.  You can see all of Tom's awesome photos here.   

I've mentioned my role in Tallahassee here several times, but I realized I don't think I've ever really told you all what it is.  I'm the Executive Director of the Florida College System Activities Association.  You can read all about us here.  And of course, you can follow our Facebook page here!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Best Shot Monday: Meet Ruby

Ruby-3

Meet Ruby. She's currently in foster with Tallahassee's Big Dog Rescue (as their saying goes, they also rescue "dogs who think they are big). My girls fell in love with sweet little Ruby. We had a long day photographing dogs for Big Dog Rescue on Saturday, and Ruby was about in the middle of our day. This was a first for me. Though I've been photographing shelter and rescue dogs for four years now, Ruby is the first blind dog I've photographed. I've photographed several deaf dogs, but Ruby was a first in the blind category. Our challenge here was in allowing Ruby to walk around a bit in a very unfamiliar place, making sure to keep her safe and far away from the parking lot roadway. Once she started feeling comfortable, she had quite the little pep in her skippy little steps!

Ruby-2

Ruby is estimated to be 10-12 years old, and the old gal's been through quite an ordeal. You can read her full story here on Big Dog Rescue's website. I'll admit, I'm usually a true "big dog" kind of girl. I grew up with Dachshunds, but when I met my husband and his two big Labs, I was immediately smitten with that big dog love. But sweet little Ruby won me over. Even though this was the first time she met us, she was perfectly happy to crawl up in each of our laps and sit a spell. Ruby is available for adoption through Big Dog Rescue.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Free Bling Friday is Back!

aqua jewels

I decided it's time to bring back Free Bling Friday! For those of you who haven't been following the blog long enough to know what Free Bling Friday is, welcome! I'll be giving away one little piece of bling the first Friday of the month. These little beauties are gorgeous aqua glass briolettes wrapped with sterling silver wire, topped with twisted sterling rings and lt. Colorado topaz Swarovski crystals, all hung on sterling silver french wires.

To get your name in the hat, leave me your first name, city and state, and a way to contact you in comments below no later than midnight ET Thursday, May 5. I'll pick a winner using random.org on the first Friday of next month, Friday, May 6. Open to U.S residents only. New to commenting on Blogger?  At the very bottom of this post, under the "You Might Also Like" section, you'll see a post date (4/08/2016) and "comments" in hot pink. Click on the "comments" and a comment box will open.

Want a reminder of Free Bling Friday each month? Sign up for my monthly newsletter over there in the right column! 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Working on Some New Things...

Photo locket pendant 
I've been incorporating my photography into simple pendants for a while now, but I've always loved lockets and found these fun little locket findings to which I could add a photo to the outside. They open so that you can add your own photos to the inside. The photo on this one is this photo.  Shooting glass pieces is always a challenge because you invariably get a window reflection in the glass.  So there you have it, my home office window!

These are brass so they are a departure from my usual sterling silver work, but I really like them. Fun to change things up every now and then. I have quite a few I need to photograph and list on my website, and I'm working on a big website update soon. I'm also planning to bring back Free Bling Friday this Friday, so be sure to check back in Friday! Have a great week!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Best Shot Monday: Eyeing Dinner

Pete eyeing lizard

I walked into my bedroom this afternoon when I got home from work and found Pete fixated in the windowsill. It took me a while to find what he was looking at, and he certainly wasn't getting out of my way for me to get a better view, but finally the little green lizard peeked his head around the corner of the outside window frame. Ah ha! And Pete was so fixated that I was able to go into the other room, get my camera, and come back and he still hadn't moved.

You certainly can't tell by reading this blog lately, but we have been busy around here!  Sarah and I have been working in our Documented Life Project journals, and I've been prepping for the Springtime Tallahassee Arts Jubilee, which is this Saturday. I'm still struggling with finding a good spot to photograph my mixed media and jewelry work here in our house in Tallahassee, and with as much work travel as I have on the weekend, it's hard to find the time to squeeze it in! I need to take a few days off here to get some photo work done!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Best Shot Monday: 100 Acre Wood

Purple Leaf

We were home in Jacksonville last week for Spring Break. Great week full of perfect weather. There were a few days when storms were forecast, but they came at night and didn't interrupt our days. Our favorite place to hike at home is the Theodore Roosevelt National Recreation Area, what we call the 100 Acre Wood, gifted to the National Park Service by Willie Brown III. We usually take the Willie Brown Trail and then the Timucuan Trail.  Sarah's developing an interest in photography, so we were practicing "noticing" on our hike, and she's starting to develop a pretty good eye. At one point, I was down on the ground photographing light coming through a leaf, and Livvie said, "Mama, how do you spot that stuff?" Sarah responded, "You didn't see that purple leaf all glowing with light!?! How could you miss that!" Yep, she's noticing.

100 acre 3-16

Sarah and I stayed on our usual trail while Benny and Liv took a little easier route since he was tiring quite a bit and our normal trail had the biggest climb in the park (and the highest elevation in Jacksonville). Sarah was on the hunt for the heart tree. We were so saddened to see that it had fallen completely over. But what I thought was so sweet was that the park rangers had taken the portion with the heart and lay it just so facing the trail for all to still find. There's no way that piece of log landed there on it's own. Nice of them, don't you think?

100 acre heart

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The 2016 An Artful Journey Project...

LL3

For this last Artful Journey, I took a class with Leighanna Light. I love that Leighanna calls herself a "Thingmaker!"  We created two "decks," one metal and one out of canvas and plaster. The individual pages are 6" tall by 3" wide. It's so hard to share this project in pictures. You really need to hold it!

LL4

The rabbit collage above is an example of the metal deck. And an example of an "oops!" that I fixed! Behind that rabbit was another collage that didn't work out very well because I used a cool owl napkin separated out into just the top ply, but I placed it over a darker background. Because the owl was white, he just faded into the dark background and you really couldn't see him. A classmate had this beautiful little bunny that she shared with me, and she fit perfectly over the owl and ultimately became the cover of the deck. The substrate is the metal, and then I added some old book paper, two different kinds of tissue paper, added in a little cheesecloth there on the left and finished it with the keyhole and some keys. I used keyholes throughout the whole deck.

LL9a

I did another collage with the owl (above), making him stand out much more clearly by using a piece of very light cream book paper behind him, and he then became my other favorite in the metal deck.

LL23a

Above is an example of the plaster on canvas. We started with canvas pieces and then added your basic Venetian plaster from Lowe's with a palette knife. Here I added the plaster to the canvas through a stencil and then added watered down acrylic paints for color and then topped it with a gold metallic Shiva paint stick borrowed from another classmate. I loved that paint stick and used it on quite a few pages! Must get some!

LL20b

Above is another example of the plaster on canvas technique, also done with a stencil and palette knife. Leighanna's work is gorgeous and she used pretty earth tone colors in her examples, but if you've been following this blog for any length of time, you know I'm not a muted earth tone kind of girl. Give me glorious, riotous color!

LL36

Most of the metal pages contain little added doodads as embellishment. I used my trusty Crop-A-Dile to punch the holes and add the eyelets. I started adding the embellishments the last afternoon of the class but just got frustrated because I knew my jewelry tools and wire I had at home would make the job much easier, so I finally gave up and finished it all up at home.

LL18a

I could share tons of pictures here with you, but it would probably be easier for you to just pop over to this Flickr set which contains tons of pictures of the whole project.

In closing, what can I say about this whole journey? I started my journey into mixed media by taking a huge leap and attending DJ Pettit's class at An Artful Journey in 2010. I had very little experience at the time and immediately felt like I was in way over my head. But through the help of DJ's encouragement and gentle guidance, I produced a crazy-color Kelly version of a DJ book that I'm still incredibly proud of to this day. That year followed classes with Albie Smith (twice!) that lit a fire for my love of bookmaking, and a class with Orly Avineri, who challenged me to give into the process and try things a little differently. Not sure I ever told Orly, and I realize I never shared it here, but one of the spreads from the journal I created in Orly's class was selected for publication in Dawn Sokol's book A World of Art Journal Pages. (I'm on page 214 and featured on the Table of Contents page.) So my last journey was with Leighanna, and such a delight she was. She was funny and free-spirited and gave us free reign to completely make it our own. "Sure! Try that!" was heard often!  I wasn't sure what I'd do with this mess of metal and plaster cards when I brought them home, but I'm so happy I combined the two together and ended up with something I want to carry around with me and show everyone I see!

Thank you, Cindy Woods, for providing this vehicle for artistic growth for so many lucky women. I'm forever grateful to you for creating the avenue to my very first art retreat and now, six years later, constant paint and glue under my fingernails, happily.  You can see posts from all my Artful Journeys with Cindy here.