October Free Bling Friday!

Little Blue Drops

Happy Friday! The calendar may say October, but it's far from Fall here in Florida. We've still had temps in the 90's this week. We're ready for a little cool down! Are you ready for Free Bling Friday!? Congrats to Whitney from Jacksonville, the recipient of my September Free Bling. Whitney is a long-time supporter of both the Happy Shack and me personally, so it was extra fun to draw her name this month. If you've been following this blog for many years or met me at one of the arts festivals I participated in early on in my Happy Shack journey, you likely met Whitney, as she was my assistant extraordinaire!

I decided to continue the small and delicate theme this month with these little blue beauties for October. The blue glass beads are smaller than a pencil eraser, so that'll give you an idea of over all size. All silver is sterling. To get your name in the hat to win these little beauties, leave me your first name, city and state, and a way to contact you in the comments below no later than midnight EST Thursday, October 18. Share this post on Facebook and post a separate comment letting me know you did that for another entry. And if you haven't already subscribed to my monthly newsletter, click here to subscribe and you'll receive a reminder each month for Free Bling and one more entry. Newsletter readers get a Free Bling entry simply by replying to my monthly email as well as access to subscriber only discounts in my Etsy shop.  Love these and can't wait?  I've listed a second pair in my Etsy shop and on my website.

New to commenting on Blogger? At the very bottom of this post, you'll see a date (10/5/2018) and comments. Click on the "comments" and a comment box will open. Open to U.S residents only. I would love for you to help me spread the word and share this post with a friend or two! Thanks for stopping in! 

Best Shot Monday: Meet Cloud and Photography Challenges

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Isn't this little gal adorable?! Her name is Cloud. She's about three years old, and while she needs a little bit of leash work, she is a fetcher extraordinaire! She fetches and returns and can catch the ball in midair as well. I love this shot. It's like she's holding back this little secret she's not quite sure she wants to tell you. She's available for adoption at the City of Tallahassee Animal Service Center.

I was chatting with an online friend over the weekend about photography. She's my favorite bead artist and when she posts photos of her beads, they are always so gorgeous! Check out her Instagram feed here. If you've followed this blog for any length of time, you've undoubtedly seen some of Angela's beads in my finished jewelry pieces. I find it ironic that I'm very good with a camera photographing dogs, people, landscapes, etc, and I know I particularly have a gift when it comes to photographing animals -- pretty sure I speak dog. But let me tell you, I absolutely HATE photographing my jewelry. Shiny little things are difficult to photograph, particularly for someone with very little patience (raises hand here). I've been designing and selling handmade jewelry for 13 years now. 13 years! I actually can't believe it's been that long! And for that entire 13 years, I've struggled with the photography aspect of selling my jewelry pieces. So I was chatting with Angela Sunday about what was working so well for her when it comes to photographing her beads to post for sale. That led me to setting up mini studios all over the house trying to find the best place. I finally settled on the front porch in natural light and have gone back to photographing my pieces on a white background instead of gray. We'll try that for a while and see how we do! I'll share some newly finished work later this week! Thanks for stopping in today!

Best Shot Monday: Meet Sapphire!

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Happy Monday! At our Tallahassee shelter, the City of Tallahassee Animal Service Center, there are two "main" runs.  The first is always full of adoptable dogs, 50 kennels total.  The second run is sometimes a combination of adoptables and those on stray wait, and then when we aren't quite as overly full, sometimes just stray wait pups. When adoptables are in the second run, we call it the "Straydoption" run. Either way, because it changes from week to week, I think the dogs in the second run don't get nearly as much exposure to the public walking through as those in the front run. And that's where I found sweet Sapphire here. Kennel 63 in the straydoption run, to be exact! And what a doll she is!

Sapphire is what I call a velcro dog. Essentially, she sticks to you like velcro. She was easy to leash right out of her kennel, and then stuck right by me as we walked past the front run and out to the play yard. Once outside, she didn't stray farther than three feet away from me. And then, even when she did venture out a few feet, she took a few sniffs around, and then came right back to me, tail a-wagging with a big smile on her face. This shot is the classic velcro dog shot. I managed to crop my feet out of the shot, but you can still see the shadow of my legs! 

Our Tallahassee shelter is not unique in that adoptable dogs are often mixed in with dogs on stray wait simply because there is no room in the main adoptable runs.  Summer through Fall are typically the most overcrowded times at your municipal animal shelters. If you are looking to add a furry friend to your family, take some time to review the shelter website to check out adoptable dogs first, so when you come in, you have a few ideas of dogs you'd like to meet.  But always be open to those you may have overlooked!  Sometimes the sweetest, most family friendly pets are overlooked because they don't jump out at you on first look!  Sapphire is available for adoption at the City of Tallahassee Animal Service Center.

New Work and New Look!

Go Gators

Notice anything different around here!!?!!? I've been working with a web designer to update my look and have refreshed both my website and my blog. Can I tell you I actually squealed out loud when I opened up my blog and saw the masthead Danielle created for me?!?! I sent her about four dozen pictures, representing all the different things I like to talk about here, because I couldn't decide what I wanted. When she sent me the email to go take a look... really, I literally squealed... and I was in a meeting!! Love what she did here so much! Thank you, Danielle and Red Peach Designs!

So I'm sharing a little new work today. At the start of football season, I always create some fan-themed bracelets, primarily for football teams here in the South. Since my team is the Florida State Seminoles, I tend to create more of those, but I also do things for the Florida Gators like this one, Georgia Bulldogs, Jacksonville Jaguars, etc. I also take special requests for something to suit your favorite team. Just let me know what you'd like! Happy weekend!

September Free Bling Friday!

Sept Bling

Hello friends, and happy Free Bling Friday! Congratulations to Julie from Jacksonville, Florida, the recipient of my August Free Bling! This month I have another delicate little pair for you. These pretty little mint green drop beads came to me as a sample with a larger order, and I thought they were so pretty! I had enough to create two pairs of these, so I'll be listing the second pair on my website soon. They are small, about the size of a pencil eraser, while the smoky gray beads above them are only 3mm. I've pulled them all together with sterling silver accents. These would be really pretty on post earrings as well, so I'm happy to change them out for this month's winner if desired.

To get your name in the hat to win these little beauties, leave me your first name, city and state, and a way to contact you in the comments below no later than midnight EST Thursday, September 27. Share this post on Facebook and post a separate comment letting me know you did that for another entry. And if you haven't already subscribed to my monthly newsletter, click here to subscribe and you'll receive a reminder each month for Free Bling and one more entry. Newsletter readers get a Free Bling entry simply by replying to my monthly email as well as access to subscriber only discounts in my Etsy shop.

New to commenting on Blogger? At the very bottom of this post, you'll see a date (9/7/2018) and comments in hot pink. Click on the "comments" and a comment box will open. Open to U.S residents only. I would love for you to help me spread the word and share this post with a friend or two! Thanks for stopping in!

Best Shot Monday: Sweet Mamas Pletzl and Triscuit

Pletzl_A177527

Sometimes, it's not just a stray dog that comes into the shelter. Sometimes, it's a stray dog and her brand new puppies or a stray dog who's about to give birth. These two sweeties made me ache for their babies this past week. Both Pletzl (above) and Triscuit (below) had clearly just recently given birth but were no longer with their babies. I'm sure the babies were immediately adopted as soon as they were old enough, but these two mamas remain in the shelter waiting for their shot at a new life. I'm hoping someone with a soft spot for new mamas comes in soon. They are both available for adoption at the City of Tallahassee Animal Service Center and are both incredibly sweet, mid-sized gals!

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2017 Documented Life Project: Finally December!

I was cleaning up my workshop this past weekend and realized I never photographed and shared here the final month of 2017 in my Documented Life Project. So, for posterity's sake, here we go!
Dec-1

Often due to the way the calendar falls, two month's land on one spread, as was the case here with the last few days of November and first few days of December. All the better to share a sweet picture since we kicked off the week with Olivia marching in the Thomasville Christmas Parade with her twirling group, Apex Twirling Academy. That Saturday was my birthday as well as a Hurricane Irma rescheduled FSU football game that we attended with a large group of my girls' marching band members. I don't always show the calendar side of these spreads since they can be a little boring, but sometimes I'll cut random magazine images that grab my attention to add some color to my calendar days, thus the lovely bowl of avocado and squash!

Dec-2

And speaking of magazines, that's where these fun boots came from, walking across the first art journaling spread of the month.

Dec-3

And yet again, another magazine clipping! I loved that jar and used it to bring a little sparkle to an otherwise not fun week due to a little oral surgery I had to endure. I cut things from a variety of magazines including Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Southern Living, Better Homes and Gardens, and Magnolia Journal. I'm also a home decorating magazine junkie, but those are sacred to me and have yet to see scissors. Though I have been thinking about doing something with all those fun doors of the month in HGTV Magazine. :-)

Dec-4

This page on the left and below is probably one of my favorite from the whole year. I started out collaging some random scraps of paper and then wasn't quite sure what to do next (I really struggle with choosing focal images....). I dug through my bin of stamps and found a plant-looking one. It was just the grassy looking things, which I stamped in black and then hated it. So after letting it dry, I painted it with a random selection of paint I had sitting out and added the sunshiny flowers and, voila, I loved it! The deer on the right is from an old Papaya Arts planner I took apart when it was out of date. This week represented our last week in Tallahassee before we headed home to Jacksonville for the Christmas break.

Dec-5

Dec-6

This spread came together nicely for me in regards to color. The art journaling side started out looking quite differently! It was an old ad, which you can see peeking through with a little "merchantile" and coral coloring at the top. Can't even remember what I started out doing, but clearly it went a different direction as I ended up with much softer colors through a little bit of paint, some napkins and a bird cage. We went down to South Florida to visit my dad the first part of this week and did a fun day at Lion County Safari. Can't believe that place is still there and better than it ever was! We had a hysterically funny several minutes thanks to an ostrich who really wanted the stuffed animal that was sitting on the dashboard of the car. He apparently was convinced he could get to it through the windshield and entertained us trying to do so. I have it on video somewhere!

Dec-7

Dec-11

Our Lion Country Safari goat friend, who the girls name Bert, above. I posted these two pictures to my Instagram feed and Lion Country Safari actually commented and said "Martin won't mind his new nickname! Thanks for visiting!"

Dec-8

Christmas Day brought us our usual Christmas morning walk out to Big Talbot Island's Black Rock Trail to Boneyard Beach. We had to go extra early due to the timing of the tides, and we caught a beautiful sunrise. Magical way to start the day.

Dec-9

Dec-12

And this last page closes out 2017. Both my 2016 and 2017 projects divided out into three books each, so I covered the covers of each volume in pretty papers and have all six of them sitting on a shelf in my workshop. Now, I'm working on 2018, and am only, oh, about seven months behind... Thanks for stopping in today! See more of my 2017 DLP project here; see 2016 here; see 2015 here; and see 2014 (my favorite!) here.