Best Shot Monday: Sharing a Little Magic

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Meet Magic!  I was so happy to see this fella get adopted this weekend. He's about 75 pounds of awesome.  Sometimes larger dogs like this, particularly, shall we say, enthusiastic, large dogs like this, wait a while to get adopted. Thankfully, Magic didn't have to wait as long as others. Can you imagine being cooped up in a kennel for nearly 24 hours a day? Next time you are considering adding a four-legged pal to your family, please considering adopting from your local shelter! Shelter pets truly do know they are rescued and return that love in spades! Magic was adopted from the City of Tallahassee Animal Service Center. 

For those of you new to my blog, thanks for stopping in! Yes, I am a multi-media artist, and my artisan jewelry, mixed media art journaling and handmade books are primarily what you'll find here, but I've also been a photographer for about 35 years, and for the past 10 years or so, have been training my lens on spotlighting shelter animals, usually on Mondays! 

Chunky Collaged Book with Handmade Book Club

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I created this fun little book during a one-day virtual retreat with my Handbook Book Club, led by Ali Manning at Vintage Page Designs. It was super fun. From start to finish, this chunky little book was created in about six non-stop hours. It's 4 3/4" by 3 1/4" and about 2" thick!

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There are 18 total signatures, each an individual folio that was made by cutting down large sheets of mixed media paper that I collaged before trimming to size. It's sewn with an Ethopian coptic binding. It's just plain fun to look at and to hold. I haven't decided if I'm going to add anything further to it, or just leave it as is. Thanks to Ali for a super fun day of creating.

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Week 8 - #100daysofuseitupkelly

Trying to get back in the grind of popping in here more regularly and catching up on sharing my 100 Day Project, called#100daysofuseitkelly.  Here's Week 8, days 50-56. I'll be featuring one or two of these projects in a little more detail later in the week. My favorite of the week?  My owl, of course!  I love this little guy and have used him multiple times. He's from a pack of napkins!  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!

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Best Shot Monday: Sweetness

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Gosh, can't believe it's been a full four weeks since I've checked in here! Working through all this virus stuff really has me pretty discombobulated! I've been having a very hard time focusing through all this. Anyone else? Between working from home some days, going in to the office others, juggling all the work changes this has brought forth, and helping my girls navigate it all, these past six months have been quite the doozy. How are you managing? 

One source of consistency for me has been going to the shelter. I'm so grateful I've been able to keep this up through all this. While our procedures for volunteering have changed to adapt to state and local requirements, I'm still able to go in once a week, which has been a blessing. A good two or three hours with the shelter pups always lifts my spirits. And so many of these pups have been through so much, and yet can still throw out smiling happy faces like this one. Meet Sweetness. She is so aptly named! This gal is so sweet and loves nothing more than good snuggles and belly rubs. She's awkwardly playful, super goofy, about one year old and 36 pounds, and, as of this writing, available for adoption from the City of Tallahassee Animal Service Center. 

Support your local shelter!  Adopt. Volunteer. Foster. Donate. Educate. 

Missing my Best Pal

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I've really been having a hard time getting back into the groove for about a month now, and I've realized it's primarily because I just plain miss my Spartacus Pete. It's been about a month since we lost him. He always hung out with me in my art studio, and it's a bit lonely there without him. This photo of him sitting smack dab in the middle of my jewelry bench is one of my favorites, and it now sits on the shelf above my workbench so he can keep an eye on me. ⁣ ⁣ 

We adopted a new kitty today. We met her last week, and she just got spayed this morning for pick up. Her name is June, and I'll share pictures later. It was a tough decision, and I'm not sure my and Sarah's hearts were quite ready yet, but we've been worried about Zoey. Prior to his death, she'd never been without him and she's been a little depressed. Since the girls are going back to school tomorrow, we decided it was time to find her a new pal. ⁣I know with all the craziness going on in the world, the loss of a pet may seem a small thing, but I think all the craziness going on in the world made it an even bigger thing for me. Pete left a paw size hole in my heart. I know my pet lover friends understand!

Jumping Into a Junk Journal

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I've been fascinated by junk journals lately. I actually created my first very simple one last August in a class with Kiala Givehand and Tiffany Goff Smith, and I used that one for Kasia Avery's art journaling advent calendar last December. So while I was at home in Jacksonville earlier this summer, I decided to create my first more in-depth one with whatever I had on hand there at home!

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I started with an Daily Q&A book that I never used and cut the book block out. I collaged painted and stenciled on the cover and then went from there! I added in a variety of "junk" papers, i.e. old sheet music, old book pages, maps, scrapbook paper scraps, etc, but the one thing I did not like about working in that first simple junk journal I created was that all the papers were a bit thin.

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To remedy that, I added good quality mixed media paper to the signatures. Before sewing it all together, I created some tuck spots and sewed in a few bits and bobs here and there. It was a fun process! I can see how they can become a bit addicting!

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Sunday Gratitude ... and Having to Say Goodbye to my Best Pal

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We had to say goodbye to our beautiful boy Spartacus Pete this past Thursday. So what can I possibly be grateful for about that? Stick with me for a few minutes. My sweet Pete had a cancerous mass removed in December. Doc told us that if it didn't come back within a year, we were likely good. I think Sarah and I were in a little bit of denial as it started coming back, always asking each other, "Is this his mass coming back or is this his bone? I can't tell. Can you?" We kept telling ourselves it was his bone. Long story short, we were denial, and his cancer had come back, but we didn't have that confirmed until another issue arose.

Pete April 2014

We were home in Jacksonville the week of July 13 taking care of some routine doctor and dentist appointments when I started noticing him acting strangely, his breathing labored. By the next day, I just felt in my bones that something was wrong, so we rushed back to Tallahassee to get him to his vet there. Turns out that not only had his mass on his side come back, but he also had a large mass in his chest which was creating fluid and flooding his lungs. Doc drained his lungs so he didn't have to struggle to breathe, and we decided to put him on some prednisolone, bring him home and love him for long as we could keep him comfortable. I couldn't bear to put him through surgery again, knowing the cancer would continue to come back.

Pete August 2016

Pete's always slept with me most nights, and he actually woke me up about 4am Wednesday morning - my girls' birthday - struggling to breathe again. I tried to comfort him and prayed hard for God to give him just one more good day so that he didn't die on the girls' birthday. I'm grateful God granted my prayer, as Pete soon was able to settle down, his breathing steadied, and he went back to sleep. He had a pretty good day Wednesday but started struggling to breathe again Wednesday night. Thursday morning he continued to have labored breathing and didn't want to eat even the best stinky wet food - and Pete loved to eat - so we knew it was time.

Pete Sept 2017

This boy brought us so much love and joy in his six short years. He was our first foster failure. We fostered him and his brother Repeat (yes, Pete and Repeat, and even we messed up the names), and hadn't planned on foster failing (of course, you never PLAN to foster fail). I took them both back to the shelter when they were ready for adoption, but three days later when Repeat had gotten adopted and Pete had not, we took that as a sign that he was meant to be ours.

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He loved his toys and had them all over the house, but his favorites were the pillows out of the girls' doll house and his taco fish. The girls finally gave up and let him have all the doll house pillows, and he often left his taco fish for me on my pillow. He was a champion baseboard surfer, he loved to lay on my desk under the lamp whenever I was working on my computer or across Sarah's bed in a sunny spot with her, and one of his all time favorite places was on my left shoulder. He'd stand up on a counter or the bed and crawl right on up and hang out there, purring, as long as I'd let him. Sometimes I'd pass him from my shoulder to Sarah's, and he'd just keep on purring. He often held down the refrigerator for us so it couldn't get away, and he sometimes was that creeper who lain in wait on the top of the kitchen cabinets, just his eyes and ears peeking over the top.

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Here's what I'm grateful for. First, the power of prayer. So incredibly grateful that the good Lord gave us that one extra day so he could be there, comfortably, for the girls' birthday. Second, in these days of COVID when we've all spent so much time at home, I'm grateful I had that extra time with him and grateful for those last 12 days we were given to help prepare us to ease his suffering. I'm grateful that we chose to foster kittens, and we chose to foster fail with this fella. And I'm grateful for every day and every cheek rub and every purr in the ear he gave us. I've cried a lot of tears over the past two weeks, but my boy is not struggling any more, and for that, yes, I'm grateful. See you at the Rainbow Bridge, my sweet Spartacus Pete, for I know we will meet again. Find Savannah; she'll show you the way. We were so blessed to share our lives with you. You were most certainly one of a kind, and I loved you with all my heart.

Pete Sept 2014