Monday, August 15, 2016

Best Shot Monday: Mia and Miracle


First up this week, meet Mia! Mia is currently being fostered by Tallahassee Big Dog Rescue. She is a U.T.O.P.I.A. (“Undergone Training and Obedience in Prison to Increase Adoptability”) graduate! She completed this 8-week program during her stay at the Tallahassee/Leon County Animal Services Center (TLCASC) before she came to TBDR, so she is more than ready for her new beginning! Mia has a great personality and craves love and attention. She is housebroken and crate-trained. She loves to play--tennis balls and squeaky toys are her favorite--but is content being a couch potato, too. She walks fairly well on a harness-style leash. An active household with a large high fenced yard would be perfect for her. She gets along with other dogs her size but needs a home without cats or small dogs.


Next up is Miracle. This little sweetie got adopted shortly after I took her photo on Saturday, but I couldn't resist sharing her sweet face. Best news is that she was adopted by a family that lives two doors down from us so we can visit her! See all the dogs available for adoption at Tallahassee's Big Dog Rescue on their website here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Coptic Stitch Books

purple and green books-2

I finished a couple more coptic stitch books. These are a bit larger than my little tea book! The covers are made from 6 x 9" sheets of water color paper folded in half for a finished book size of 4 1/2" x 6".

purple and green books-4

I started with the 6 x 9 paper flat and wet it with a very wet brush. Then I sprayed a couple different colors of inks and picked up the paper to move the inks around. Lastly I sprinkled some salt on them while they were still wet.

purple and green books-3

Once they were completely dry, I brushed the salt off and that leaves you with the cool mottled effect. If I remember correctly, I learned that little trick from Wyanne Thompson when she was still living just up the road from me in Amelia!

purple and green books-5

I sewed in six signatures of four folios each giving the books 48 front and back pages of mixed media paper, perfect for wet or dry media painting, sketching or journaling. I have two more ready to sew in different colors. I'll start listing these in my Etsy store and on my website soon ... once I decide I can part with them. That's been the challenge with my bookmaking projects. I never want to let them go!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Best Shot Monday: Proof


Proof.  That's what Livvie said this is.  Proof that she "flew and caught" at camp. Last week my girls participated in Florida State University's Flying High Circus Camp. FSU's Flying High Circus has been in existence since 1947 and was first started by Jack Haskin as an activity in which both young men and young women could participate together.  1947 was the year FSU switched from the Florida State College for Women to the co-ed Florida State University you know today.  And they do circus camp!  You can read more about FSU's Flying High Circus here.

I knew this camp would push my girls, and that's why I enrolled them. I feel like it's my job as Mama to give them opportunities to push themselves out of their comfort zones, and this camp certainly did it.  Olivia is typically far less cautious than Sarah, so she was all about the high flying trapeze and the cloud swing. Sarah preferred the challenges that were a little more grounded .... and that's fine. That's what both Sarah and I had to learn. Of course, as Mama, I really wanted to see her up on that flying trapeze, and while she did try it a couple times, she felt far more comfortable a tad closer to the ground.  I think we learned a lot from each other this week, Sarah and me.  She learned that she really is stronger and braver than she thought she was; she did get up there on that flying trapeze three times after all.  Even if all she felt comfortable doing was swinging from her knees, SHE DID IT.  SHE GOT UP THERE!!! 

The last day of camp, they did a showcase where parents could come see the different performing events their children wanted to show them. Olivia, of course, wanted to show me the flying trapeze, as did most of the kids there, so while she was waiting in line for her turn, Sarah walked me around and showed me her moves on the trampolines, the tight wire, the juggling ring, and the static trapeze.  She's a very graceful girl and she was able to demonstrate that grace with these initiatives. Click here to see a quick video of her on the static trapeze. It was very clear to me that she was very proud of what she'd accomplished in one short week. And that was awesome to see.  After Sarah and I walked around a bit, Livvie finally was able to make her way up the line and to the top station of the flying trapeze ... where she flew and caught.  Click here to see it.  Her excitement was akin to the first time she rode a real, adult-sized roller coaster and came off jumping up and down screaming, "That was AWESOME!!"  That's my daredevil. 

So what did I learn?  I learned that my girls have grown up so quickly and are reaching the stage where they are independent in their decision making, and that is something I must respect.  I grew up an athlete, my husband grew up an athlete, so naturally we have the desire to push our kids to try athletic things.  But in pushing, we are also trying to remember our boundaries ... and respect theirs.  And remember that these are two little individuals that, while made up of a combination of our DNA, are still individuals ... with their own boundaries ... and fears ... and expectations. The good news is that both the girls are excited to go back to circus camp next year.  Olivia is already thinking this is something she'd really like to get involved in when she goes to college at FSU.  Sarah?  She says she'd like to do circus camp for a few years, but she really has her sights set on being an FSU Marching Chief. And that's just fine with me. After all, I was a band geek too. :-)  (And I really wish FSU did circus camp for adults...)   

Friday, August 5, 2016

August Free Bling

August Free Bling

Welcome to August Free Bling Friday! Congratulations to Katherine from Jacksonville for being the lucky winner of July's Free Bling! This month I'm sending these little blue beauties out into the world. I created these with pretty little Czech glass briolettes topped with Czech crystals all accented with sterling silver. These are petite, the briolette being smaller than a dime in diameter. They hang approximately 1 1/4" from top of French wire to bottom briolette.

To get your name in the hat, leave me your first name, city and state, and a way to contact you in the comments below no later than midnight ET Friday, August 26. Share this post on Facebook or Twitter and post a separate comment with the link to the share for two entries! 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 (8/4/2016) and "comments" in hot pink. Click on the "comments" and a comment box will open. Open to U.S residents only. Please help me spread the word and share this post! Want a reminder of Free Bling Friday each month? Sign up for my monthly newsletter over there in the right column! Thanks for stopping in!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

2016 Documented Life Project: February


How about a little cool February journaling on this super hot July day!? Still chugging along with the 2016 Documented Life Project: the unPlanner. Catching up on sharing! Here's February! Continuing to use up scraps around my studio!


The first week's spread includes a pretty card I received from Kelli May Krenz and our List Ten, which was "things I never should have done." I don't really have that many regrets. I feel like everything we do, good or not so good, teaches a lesson and is part of who we become.


Week two was Chi Omega Creole week, my first assignment as a Chi O Chapter Advisor. I was so proud of my Creole chair and her team. They did an awesome job and raised just over $30,000 for Make a Wish! :-) This spread also includes some fun art from Gina Lee Kim. She sent me two of these, so I decided to include one here!


Close up of Gina's sweet little camper painting.


On the back side of Gina's painting, I included her little heart note that came with the package, which was written on some artwork by her son Stephen!


I kept the Valentine's week spread simple with "Be" cards from Brave Girls Club.


On the back of the "Be" cards, I cut up a journal page into pieces to fit the inserts. Again, using up scraps that are laying around my studio!


Week 3 was a tough week for me, so I thought this postcard I included on the left summed up the week. I journaled about my challenges for the week on the back of the postcard.


This sweet inserted little card was for the "think of summer" challenge for that week. That photo is of me and the redheads at St. George Island a few summers back. Love that picture.


And lastly, the last week of February was An Artful Journey, our last Journey, sadly! The collage on the left and below is from papers I gathered while in class. You can see what I created at An Artful Journey this year here.


Thanks for stopping in today! See more of my 2016 Documented Life Project here, see my 2015 DLP here, and 2014 here (my favorite!).

Monday, July 25, 2016

Best Shot Monday: Meet Sherlock!


I've shared before that some shelter dogs are easier to photograph than others (see this post for the anatomy of a shelter shoot). Well, Sherlock here, he was quite the challenge. Not because he was high energy ... not because he was easily distracted ... not even because he just didn't show any interest in me. Oh no, this boy ... this boy showed all the interest you'd ever want in a dog. He most certainly stole my heart. He's currently being treated for heart worms (thanks to the fine folks from Friends of Jacksonville Animals!) so I had to keep him on his leash for our time together.

We walked a bit before going into photo session mode, but even on our walk, he was glued to my legs, looking up at me like he was saying, "You're coming with me, right?" Some dogs exhibit that behavior due to fearfulness, but not this boy. It was all love. The photo above was pure luck. I was walking him, or he was walking me, and he decided he just wanted to stand between my legs and poke his head out the back. It took a bit of contortionist skills I didn't realize I had to get the shot, but I love it. Those are the back of my shorts you see on the far left.

Sherlock selfie

We sat down for some lovin' and some cell phone selfies as well, all of which were hysterical. My arms just weren't quite long enough! Below is his "official" shot, though my favorite is still the one up top. He's listed as an Australian Cattle Dog, approximately two years old. His ID number is A1006150. He's got some scarring on his face and on his hind end, but I'm not sure what his history is; he came in as a stray on July 14. Whatever his history, it sure didn't adversely affect his personality. This boy is so incredibly sweet.  Be sure to go see him soon at Jacksonville's Animal Care and Protective Services, 2020 Forest Street, and adopt this special boy. I don't think he'll be there long!


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Sweet Little Tea Book

Tea Book-3

While we've been home in Jacksonville this summer, I've been working on my coptic stitch for bookbinding. I created this little nugget last night. It's just 2 1/4" square!

Tea Book-4

This is a four-needle stitch (or one needle for each sewing station, however many you choose!) that I learned from my sweet friend Lori Vliegen. There is definitely a learning curve on this one since you have four needles going at the same time, my biggest lesson being how to keep from getting blood on your book when you poke yourself with one of four needles (or two or three needles, but really, who's counting?)

Tea Book-1

One of my goals this year has been to use up stuff that I have around. I had some paper left over from a Mermaids and Mamas book project, which I used for the signatures for this book. While I was sitting at the kitchen table sewing it all up, Sarah came over and watched for a bit. She said, "Aw, that's so cute and small and .... WAIT A MINUTE! IS THAT A TEA BAG BOX!??!?!!" So yes, the covers are from a tea bag box, my favorite flavor actually.

I'm having fun making these little tinies...there will be more to come!  You can learn this stitch from Lori by taking her class here. I had the benefit of learning it in person since she's in the Jacksonville area!  Thanks again, Lori! 

Tea Book-2