Monday, September 1, 2014

Best Shot Monday: Friends and Strangers Project, Sherwin

Next up in my Friends and Strangers project, meet Sherwin! Having an on-line creative business, I make regular trips to the post office to mail orders. Jacksonville's main post office is close to my campus, so most often that's where I go. I've found all the staff there to be very welcoming and friendly (definitely not the case in another post office I sometimes visit), but Sherwin has always stood out to me. I've wanted to catch his photo for a while, but most often when I'm in there, there's a line of people so I don't want to interrupt. Thankfully one day last week, I dropped in to mail a package on an afternoon that wasn't quite so busy.

Sherwin was born into a military family in Texas and through the military, his family ended up in Jacksonville by way of Norfolk, Virginia, when he was in kindergarten. He's been in Jacksonville ever since. I have to admit, I was shocked to hear how old he was because he certainly wears his age well (much like my good friend Walter)!  He's been with the Postal Service for 20 years, so I'll let you do the math.

Thank you, Sherwin, for your always excellent service and positive attitude.  Those of you in Jacksonville, stop in to the main post office on Kings Rd. and say hello!

Happy Labor Day to you all!  Sherwin and I are enjoying our day off!  I hope you are, too! See more Friends and Strangers project posts here

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Documented Life: Week 30

I've been doing a little better keeping up with the Documented Life Project, but I'm still behind on blogging them (and, of course, there's the whole little issue of weeks 17-29 that I have to go back and do...). Week 30's challenge was to add receipts, labels and business cards, Smash book-style. So I added a whole little hodgepodge of things and am really happy with the way it came out!

Week 30-2 Kelly

Week 30 was a tough week for me as I learned I was not selected for the position I've been working towards for nearly 10 years. But, after more thought, I think it was a blessing. When the position was finally created, it wasn't exactly what I hoped it would be, and the funding for it was not guaranteed after the first year. Probably best that things worked out the way they did.  I keep reminding myself that everything happens for a reason. I'm simply meant for something bigger!

Week 30-3 Kelly
When I started grabbing things from my table to add in, I spotted my package from the sweet Liv Lane and had to smash her in on the tip-in tag!

Week 30-1 Kelly
The E for elephant card came from a stash of flashcards I picked up I can't remember where, and the elephant stamp came from my stamp stash (stamps are another little addiction I have). Olive Manna is a fun little shop on Etsy I picked up some twine from, and I cut the dream quote out of a 2010 Papaya journal I've had laying around forever for this very purpose! 

Week 30-4 Kelly

See more of my Documented Life Project posts here, and check out the whole project here!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Best Shot Monday: Making a New Tradition

St. George Island 
Since the girls were born, we've spent the second or third week of August visiting my Great Aunt Livy for her birthday. Aunt Livy passed peacefully in her sleep on the night of her 92nd birthday last summer, so we decided it was important to create a new tradition to celebrate her. Now, we'll spend that week on St. George Island, where we took this picture. I'm grateful that I have a friend who owns a lovely little cottage on St. George Island!

These past few weeks have definitely been ones of new adventures.  My blog absence has been due to getting the girls (and me!) ready for middle school!  They started 6th grade last Monday, and it's been quite the challenge for all getting adjusted to the new routine. Not only did the redheads have to make the transition to a new school, they also had to make the transition to riding the bus to school!  Thankfully, I was able to adjust my work schedule so that I can be home with them until the bus comes, though our bus adventure started off on the wrong foot. On the first day, as we stood at the end of our driveway waiting for the bus to stop (we live on a state road, so by law, the bus must stop at our house), the bus just blew right by!  We got in the car and chased the bus down at the next stop, and I had a little chat with the bus driver.  Though she told me we were not on her stop list, I assured her that I had already talked with the transportation department three times over the previous two weeks to ensure that we were, in fact, on her stop list.  When I called the transportation office when I got into work that day, they confirmed that, yes, we were on the list; there must have been a miscommunication with the driver.  Oh well, at least they got that challenge over on the first day, and the bus now stops at our house.

So now, summer's over. (Well, summer isn't really over in Florida until sometime in late October, but you get my point.)  It's been a whirlwind and another testament to that old cliche of time passing so quickly while your kids are growing up.  We're settling into our Fall routine, hoping for a little bit of cooler weather and getting ready for football season! 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tuesday Treasury Shout Out!: Green Thumbs Up

Green Thumbs Up by KristisBeadsnBaubles 
Thank you to the lovely Kristi of KristisBeadsNBaubles for including one of my photographs in this beautiful treasury featuring Florida artists and members of the Florida Etsy Street Team.  My Queen Anne's Lace photo is third row, third spot.  Hop on over to Etsy to view this treasury in all its clickable glory here and be sure to check out all of Kristi's selections. 

Kristi makes beautiful polymer clay beads and includes them in her own jewelry.  Take a peek at her beautiful shop when you get a chance!  

Monday, August 4, 2014

Best Shot Monday: Zoey and Panda

Zoey 8-3-14
Our fosters babies are coming right along! After we lost tiny Bella and Gracie went to Mega, we picked up a new foster to keep tiny Zoey company, sweet little Panda (below). At last weigh in on July 26, Zoey was 14 ounces and Panda was one pound 14 ounces. I'm sure Panda's gained two ounces and is ready for surgery and adoption by this point, but we'll keep him with us until Zoey is ready to go. She still has a pound to go, so we'll probably have her for another month or so.  Way too long to get attached...  Who am I kidding?  I'm already attached...  After losing her sister, she'll be very hard to give up.

These two love to play together, and they've finally gotten big enough to play with Spartacus Pete. Tink prefers to stay upstairs away from the youngin's. I had a bit of a panic moment the other night when I went downstairs to feed them and put them to bed. Benny had already let the dogs in and put them in their crates but left the kits out for me to feed. When I went down there, Zoey didn't come running like she always does.  I called her and called her, but nothing. I walked around the corner, and there she sat ... in Isabelle's crate, right next to Isabelle like they were the best of friends. Isabelle is a nearly 70 pound chocolate lab mix.  Zoey was tiny enough that she was able to squeeze through the bars of Izzy's crate. Izzy looked from me to Zoey and back again like she was saying, "Um, Mom, um, Mom, um, do see that she is in here, right?"  I opened the crate, got Zoey out, and hugged and thanked Isabelle profusely for not eating the kitten.  Since then, Zoey can't get enough of her.  If Izzy is around, Zoey wants to sit next to her.  Isabelle's still not sure what to think about that.

Panda 8-3-14

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Documented Life: Weeks 14-16

I'm woefully behind on my Documented Life project, but I have a plan to catch up! Here are Weeks 14-16. 
 Week 14-Kelly

Week 14 was to write your name and embellish it. My tip in for this week was a piece of scrapbook paper, so I thankfully had a good background to start with. I used one of Roben-Marie's Art Pops cards and added my name in a variety of alphabet letters, embellishing with other stickers and washi tape.

Week 14-Kelly

This was the week I lost my sweet blind girl Savannah, so I featured her prominently on the journaling pages. This was also the first week I tried Roben-Marie's tutorial for creating the inside pages, which I loved! I hadn't thought of putting paint all over the place. I was afraid it wouldn't work on those thin pages, but it worked very well!

Week 14-Kelly

Week 15-Kelly

Week 15 called for going monochromatic, using shades, tints and hues of one color. I went with pink. (Shocking, right?) I like to pull fun graphics out of magazines, so that's where the Grow Love came from. I've cut out that ad twice now, but don't ask me what it's advertising because I can't remember!

Week 15-Kelly

I still need to add some journaling to the inside of Week 15.

Week 16-Kelly

Week 16's challenge was to use a cardbood food box or tray in a creative way. Well, my greatest food weakness on this earth is Girl Scout Do-Si-Do cookies. It's truly very sad. During cookie season, I buy what I think is a reasonable amount for our family. This year I initially bought one case of Do-Si-Do's. Well, those were gone way too fast, but alas, our troop was out of them and I couldn't find any more anywhere! I was I went to eBay. Yes, my friends, I bought a case of Do-Si-So's from a cookie mom on eBay. And then my friend Dan, whose wife Christy must also be a cookie mom, brought me another nearly full case. That was in February. Out of all that, I only have five boxes left.

Week 16-Kelly

I still need to add some journaling to the inside of Week 16. Undoubtedly it will be about sailing away on a large cruise ship full of Do-Si-Do's. The redheads are just as behind as I am, but they want to catch up with me. Hopefully I will be sharing more of their pages soon! Oh, and for my catch up plan...every week now, I'm doing the current week's challenge and one catch-up challenge. That's the plan anyways...

See other posts from the Documented Life project here

Monday, July 28, 2014

Best Shot Monday: Friends and Strangers Project, Dana

Meet my lovely friend Dana. Dana and I met more than twenty years ago when we both started working at the college. Dana was a counselor at the time and has since switched over to teaching psychology full-time. Unfortunately, she's now on another campus, so we don't get to see each other as much. Over the years, we have bonded over our love of art and animals. That's her sweet girl Faith in the picture with her.

We have very different personalities, but I think it's those differences that keep us close. We have different ways of viewing the world and the day to day trials of life. Being a psychologist, Dana is far more analytical than I am and is much better at digging deep into her thoughts and analyzing why she feels a certain way or why things may be happening the way they are happening. Me, I've never been much of an analyzer; I'm pretty much a "it is what it with it" kind of girl. Given that, I think she's able to help me analyze when I need to, and I'm able to help her take a step back and just accept what is without the analysis when she needs to!

Last fall, we went on an art retreat up to the Outer Banks of North Carolina together. When Dana discovered Serendipity online, there were just two spots left. She decided that was fate and called me to say we needed to go. Even with the retreat scheduled for the Alabama/Tennessee game weekend, Benny agreed that we needed to go (we do have our football priorities around here). We had such a wonderful trip. We took one class together (Melody Ross) and then one class separately (Dana took Hannah Marcotti and I took Kate Inglis). As we shared our day after our separate class, Dana said she had to hold back laughs several times throughout the day thinking "Oh my, how Kelly would hate this exercise..." Hannah's class was filled with the type of deep introspection that Dana is great at, the same type of deep introspection I have no patience for!

We also had a full day just to play and explore, and since we planned to hit all the antique and vintage shops we could find that day, Benny was concerned with what we'd come home with. After all, we intentially took Sally (my extended wheel base minivan) with the back seats removed so that we'd have plenty of room to bring home whatever treasures we found. Dana was on the hunt for a carousel horse, which we didn't find. I was on the hunt for an old door, which now sits proudly in the corner of my living room with a brightly lit star hanging on it. I so very clearly remember Benny walking over to the van when we got home, looking in the back and saying, "Why is there an old door in the back of the van?" Now, Benny is fully in support of me trading Sally in for a smaller vehicle, you know, for the better gas mileage...

These days, Dana and I make time to get together for lunch dates, art play dates, and wandering through antique shops, some of my favorite things to do. And usually the redheads join us. They love when "Miss Dana" comes over to play. Thank you, Dana, for all these years of special friendship. I look forward to many, many more!

Click here for more Friends and Strangers Project posts. I wrote about what I learned at Serendipity here.