Best Shot Monday: Ozzy

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I hope you are doing well in these super trying times! Around here, we are grateful we're able to get into the shelter to volunteer. It brings at least that little bit of normalcy to our week. The shelter has done a great job managing all this with the volunteers in a very safe way ... we are limited in the number of volunteers allowed per skill level per shift and assigned to a "team" so that we are only interacting with the same group of people, and even at that, keeping our social distancing and wearing masks when around others. This past week started the temperature taking and a list of questions before we could begin our shift, so even more precautions in place.

Ozzy here is one of the adorable new faces we got to meet this week. Doesn't he have the sweetest face? And such gorgeous eyes. His markings are really unique as well and one of them forms a sweet little heart on his side. So cute! He's available for adoption at the City of Tallahassee Animal Service Center. They are doing adoptions by appointment! Thanks for stopping in today!

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Week 2 - #100daysofuseitupkelly

Week 2 of my #100daysofuseitupkelly 100 Day Project consisted primarily of a little series of 10 journals I made for my Chi Omega student exec board members.  Once I had them all done, I sent them all off in little happy mail packages to my students. I also had one fun little octopus necklace in this week. She sold the minute I posted her, and I received a request for another! You can see all my 100 Day Project posts for this year on my Instagram account here, and you can learn more about the 100 Day Project here!

Days 8-14

Best Shot Monday: The Many Faces of Ella

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Oh, the many faces of Ella. The Daily Dose of Awesomeness and I have fallen hard for this girl over the past two weeks. She's a mess, really. Horribly cropped ears, super snaggle tooth, bad hips (but she gets around just fine, thank you) ... but the sweetest, most lovely personality ever. We would have taken her home in a second if I thought we could handle three dogs (and two cats) right now, but there is just too much going on in our lives to add another to our pack. Someone out there will be very lucky to add this sweet girl to their family.

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She's about 8 years old and would be the perfect couch companion. All she wants to do is sit next to you and enjoy all the pets and snuggles. She's available for adoption at the City of Tallahassee Animal Service Center. They are open for adoptions by appointment. Go to their website to complete an application and bring Ella home! I want visiting privileges.

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When You Lose a Friend ...

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Frankie ... I photographed Frankie for the second time this past Wednesday. And I loved him just as much as I loved him the first time I photographed him about a month ago. Yesterday, though, he breathed his last breath, so today my heart is a little shattered. This is by far the hardest part of volunteering at an animal shelter. Yes, the senior dogs that show up break my heart. The ones that show obvious signs of abuse break my heart. But this. Falling in love with a dog and then learning that he didn't make it out breaks my heart the most. Sometimes things just happen, and they can't be overcome.  

Frankie came into the shelter as a stray at nearly 90 pounds, quite a bit over weight.  Up until yesterday, he'd been with us for about six weeks and was slimming down. He was in play group, but the past two days in play group, things did not go well. Frankie got in a tussle in play group on Wednesday, but staff and volunteers were able to break it up and thought it was an isolated incident. I actually walked him and took this photograph after play group that day.  He came back out in play group yesterday, and unfortunately, the previous day turned out to not be an isolated incident.  He got into another tussle and things worsened. Because of his behavior, shelter staff decided the best course of action was to humanely euthanize him. Having seen what he was capable of in the right - or wrong - circumstances, they could not risk adopting him out to the public. I did not see this happen since I don't volunteer with play group, but I can imagine that it was a scary and traumatic thing to witness.  

I know that part of the gig of being a shelter volunteer means accepting that this happens sometimes, but accepting it certainly doesn't make it any easier (and for the record, it happens at private humane societies, too, not just municipal shelters). The Frankie I knew was sweet and friendly with his people, and he surely did steal my heart. He was my favorite kind of land manatee. He was goofy and loved belly rubs. When he was tired on his walk, he'd just plop down, usually on my feet. And he was gentle and affectionate with me. It's not my place to second guess the shelter staff's decisions, particularly since I was not there to witness the incidents, and I know theirs is a very difficult job. I appreciate that they took the time to reach out to me personally and let me know. But I could not let this week pass without recognizing Frankie here. He lived ... and he loved ... and he was loved ... and he mattered. Run free, sweet Frankie. See you at the Rainbow Bridge, for I most certainly loved you in this life. ⁣

Support your local animal shelter. They need you. The animals need you. I'll keep doing what I do and work harder for Frankie. 

Week 1 - #100daysofuseitupkelly

Hello there! I'm taking on the 100 Day Project again this year! I found that last year, it really did motivate me to create just about every day, even if it was something super simple. This year my hashtag is #100daysofuseitupkelly. If you can read between the lines there, so to speak, yes, I'm using things up! I decided I have so much crap - ah, I mean so many wonderful art supplies - that instead of coming up with something specific, I'll just make something every day out of something that is currently in my studio. This will be anything from an art journaling page, to a small book or journal, to a piece of jewelry ... whatever! I hope you'll follow along! I'll post in weekly batches here, and you can also follow along on my Instagram here (@kellynwarren if you are on IG). Yes, many of the things you'll see will be available for purchase, but I'll likely not list anything on my website until the project is done, so shoot me a note or comment if you see something you'd like to appear in your mailbox! You can learn more about the 100 Day Project and artists behind it here.

Days 1-7

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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