Finding Time for Bookbinding ... and Lots of Other Stuff

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Well, hello there, old friends. Been a while since I've checked in here, hasn't it! My world had been getting a little overwhelming with the work, family, and the time to create juggle, but aren't we all on a pause now? I hope you and yours are doing as well as can be expected in these unprecedented pandemic times we are now working through.

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As I work in higher education athletics and activities, everything has pretty much shut down for us for a while, and we're primarily all working from home, so I've been trying to find a new normal for me and my family. It's definitely a challenge keeping teenagers motivated! My girls have been on an extended two-week Spring Break, but they will be resuming school online starting Monday. I'm hoping to get them to a little better schedule that does not involve sleeping in until 10am daily!

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I made this sweet little book a couple weeks ago. The covers are from a colorful almond box I found empty in our office break room, happy that no one had thrown it away! I'm packing it up and sending it off to a friend in California as a little surprise. Take care of yourself and your friends and family, and maybe use this time to decompress and rest. I've been wondering if this has been a message from God, the Universe, the Earth, whomever you believe sends messages, that maybe we all needed to slow down and take some time to appreciate everything we have. Be well.
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Handmade Book Club: Paired Needle Coptic Stitch

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I stumbled across Ali Manning and Vintage Page Designs on Instagram late last summer and was immediately smitten!  Ali is an amazing book artist up in Massachusetts.  I joined her newsletter and started closely following her on Instagram, and thankfully right about that time, she sent out a query to her newsletter subscribers to see if we had any interest in creating a handmade book club of sorts. Clearly, many of us said, "Yes, please!!!" and Ali's Handmade Book Club was born.

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This is the first book I made as part of the group.  It's a paired needed coptic stitch, which I learned before from Lori Vleigen, but there was a little twist in the way Ali did this with a thick book board cover that I had never seen before.  I just made one book from that lesson since I was crunched for time (as you know I always am....), but I'm really happy with the method and my little book. This is a wee one at 3" by 2 3/4".  More to come! 

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Best Shot Monday - Sweet Grizzled Faces

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Well, hello there!  Short of a Happy New Year post, looks like I took the whole month off from posting!  Let's get back to work for February!  For my Best Shot Monday this week, I wanted to share these two sweet grizzled faces.  MJ, above, and Celeste, below, are both about two years old and both ended up in the shelter when their previous owners moved. (We won't even get started on how you really can move with a dog...)  Both are super sweet, well-manned seniors. Senior pets are super stars!  They are normally already house-trained, they won't chew up your shoes, and all they want to do is hang out and chill with you. They are the perfect companions. MJ and Celeste are both currently available for adoption at the City of Tallahassee Animal Service Center, but I'm betting there are some awesome seniors at your local shelter as well. Adopt a senior!

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Happy New Year Best Shot Monday!

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Happy New Year! We've been home in Jacksonville for the Christmas break, so we're enjoying all the things we love to do at "Home Home," as we call it. One of those is going to the shelter here to photograph the shelter pups, and I had helpers this week!

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Usually my girls volunteer with the cats or behind the scenes at the shelter - whether in Jacksonville or Tallahassee - so it was fun to have their help with the dogs. Sarah is pretty hesitant with big dogs, but clearly Elliott won them both over. I love this series of shots. Such happiness here. From all three of them! May your 2020 be filled with just as much joy.

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Best Shot Monday: Where Does the Time Go?

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I was going through some pictures this weekend and came across this. Good Lord, where does the time go? How it is possible that these two are juniors in high school and driving themselves around. One of my students works in my office as my assistant, and she just turned 21. We were talking about my girls and driving and cars and I said, "Ya'll just grow up too fast." She said, "I know!  I'm 21 now!" So I guess those doing the growing up sometimes feel it too. 

I was talking with my girls about college and where they might live, and we were talking about dorms vs apartments. Sarah seemed a little concerned that I didn't mention just living at home. When I told her that, who knows, I might head back to Jacksonville full time when they start college, she said, "Oh no, Mama. I may act like I don't want you around sometimes, but ya know, I really still need you to be in the same town at least." That was a biggee for that one to admit!  Liv, she'll be the first to say that she wants to be wherever I am, but Sarah is far more independent. Yep, they grow up too fast. (and yes, that bunny is still around...)

Best Shot Monday: Toodles!

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Meet sweet Toodles. As adorable as she is, she's getting overlooked in the shelter. Can you believe a dog this cute has been waiting for her forever family to find her for more than two months? Outside, she is really a dream. She has great leash manners, sits super sweetly for treats - as demonstrated by this photo! - and she takes her treats very gently.  So why hasn't seen been adopted?  She's just a little over enthusiastic in her kennel, so people are walking right by her. So remember! When you are walking through an animal shelter, don't overlook a dog because she is a little hyper in her kennel.  Depending on the shelter, that dog may only get out of that kennel for 10 to 15 minutes a day, if that. There are dogs in shelters that hardly ever get out for walks. Adopt, don't shop and you'll meet super sweeties like Toodles!  As of this post, Toodles is still available for adoption at the City of Tallahassee Animal Service Center.   

November Free Bling Friday!

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Hello there and welcome back to Free Bling Friday! Congratulations to Kristi in New Jersey, a new newsletter subscriber, who will be adding October's Free Bling to her mailbox. Thanks for putting your name in the hat by following along, Kristi! This month, I wanted to share something that might bring a little sparkle to the upcoming holiday season. I've topped pretty green glass briolettes with Swarovski crystals and sterling silver accents. These little briolettes are a little differently shaped than the ones I normally use for this style. This style of earrings is one of my most popular!

To get your name in the hat to win these little lovelies, leave me your first name, city and state, and a way to contact you in the comments below no later than midnight EST Thursday, November 28. 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 another 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 shops over there in the right column and my website. Share this post on social media and post a separate comment letting me know you did that for one more entry for a total of three chances.

New to commenting on Blogger? At the very bottom of this post, you'll see a date and either "no comments" or a number of comments depending on when you're checking in. Click on the "comments" and a comment box will open. Giveaway 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!