Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Documented Life Project: Week 37

Week 37-2 
Welcome to Week 37 for the Documented Life Project!  This week's challenge was to doodle with a white paint pen.  For my tip in, I used a gelli print I created in Albie's class at An Artful Journey and added some white paint pen doodles.  And Good Lord, I just realized I never shared my books and gelli prints from Albie's class with you!  And it was in late February/early March!  I'll try to get those photographed this weekend and share them next week.

Week 37-1

Week 37-4

On the inside spread I added a receipt from August 1941 as a background and then added scraps and doodles on top. The hearts are cut from soap wrappers and the same gelli print.

Week 37-5

Week 37-6

The highlight of the week was the Open House at the girls' middle school.

Week 37-7

And I couldn't help but add my challenges trying to doodle with our foster kitten Zoey (who's now become a foster failure and new permanent resident) on my shoulders!

Week 37-3

Click here for all the details on the Documented Life Project. Can't wait to hear what the girls have planned for 2015! Click here for my other Documented Life posts.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Best Shot Monday: Florida National Cemetery

Florida National Cemetary-3

I had a meeting down in Tampa on October 1.  Since the meeting ended by noon, I had some time to leisurely make my way back home. One of my favorite things to do is a leisurely drive home, stopping wherever a sign may take me!  I've lived in Florida my entire life, have traveled up and down I-75 literally hundreds of times and never before noticed the sign that noted the Florida National Cemetery.

Florida National Cemetary-4

Intrigued, I took the exit and followed the signs to a beautiful place of peace and reverence.  It's in Bushnell at the 309 Webster exit about an hour north of Tampa within the Withlacoochee State Forest. The Withlacoochee State Forest was acquired by the federal government from private landowners from 1936-1939 and is the second largest state forest in Florida. The cemetery itself was established in 1983, and the first internment was in 1988.

Florida National Cemetary-2

As I was walking through the markers, I truly felt such an overwhelming feeling of peace and awe.  I read name after name and wondered about their lives and their service in the wars.  I was struck by the female names, nurses who served in WWII (listen to the awesome music on this site). I also noticed that on the backs of many of the soldiers' and sailors' markers were the markers of their wives.  On one was a sweet message: "Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand." 

Florida National Cemetary-1

I'm so glad I took that little detour.  I thought of my relatives who fought in WWII, my grandfather in the Navy and my Uncle Wilbur in the Army, and imagined what their names would look like on the beautiful markers here. If you are ever in this area, I highly encourage to take this little detour. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Documented Life Project: Week 36

Week 36-2-72

It's getting harder and harder to photograph this book because it's so thick!  I may have to go back to scanning!  Week 36's challenge for the Documented Life Project was black and white.  What immediately came to mind was that old kid's riddle: "What's black and white and red all over?"  "The newspaper!"  Ba da boom.  The last time we went to the Irish pub up in Fernandina Beach, they had the coolest serving basket liners.  They were this newspaper printed deli paper.  So of course, I asked our waiter if I could have a few sheets, and he gave me about 50!

Week 36-1-72

I've stuck notes from the week inside the envelope. It was initially red, so I covered it with various pieces of scrapbook paper that included black and white.  On the calendar spread, I started by gluing in the deli paper and then gave it a light smattering of white gesso. The large black dots are black paint on which I used some punchinella to add smaller white dots. I added a few smaller white circles with some scribbles and called it done!  See more of my Documented Life posts here; follow along with the whole project (free!) on the Art to the 5th blog here

Monday, October 6, 2014

Best Shot Monday: Wiggles and Tweetle Dum


Most often I photograph dogs at the shelter, but during my last shoot, I had already photographed all the available dogs so I headed in to try some cats.  They don't cooperate with me nearly as well as the dogs do, but every now and then I'm still able to capture a little magic.

Meet Wiggles (above) and Tweetle Dum (below).  These two are a bonded pair that came in together as owner surrenders.  Next to abuse cases, owner surrenders break my heart the most.  Put yourself in their furry little paws. They've been in a home, these two together for many years, and then all the sudden their owner takes them into the shelter and leaves them there.  How would you feel?  Scared and abandoned, right?  These two are struggling for those very reasons.  Their best shot to regain a happy life is with someone who will adopt them as a pair.  Wiggles is a six-year-old male seal point Siamese, and Tweetle Dum is an eight-year-old male brown tabby.

Here's what Priscilla, one of our shelter volunteers, has to say about these two handsome boys: "I love these 2 babies !! They love attention and are so sweet together. Wiggles was very shy at first but now loves to be petted, and so does Tweetle Dum. I put some toys in their cage, and they both started playing with them. I pray they go to the same home because they really need each other."

Our next Mega Adoption Event at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds is this weekend, October 10-12, 10am-6pm, but I sure would like to see these two find a home before Friday.  They've been at the shelter since August 21.  Wiggles ID number is A824709; Tweetle Dum is A824708.  They are waiting for you at Animal Care and Protective Services, 2020 Forest Street, in the Riverside area of Jacksonville.
Tweetle Dum_A824708

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Documented Life: Week 35

Week 35-3-72

Week 35's challenge for The Documented Life project was to draw, sketch, paint, or doodle a face or cut and alter one from a book or magazine.  If you've spent any time following or even just poking around this blog, you've probably picked up on the fact that, other than my children's faces, my favorite faces are furry!  So given the opportunity, those are the faces I chose to highlight. (If you are hopping over from the Documented Life Facebook group and want to see my shelter photography, check out this Flickr set for the more than 1,000 furry faces I've photographed for our city shelter.) 

Week 35-2-72

I pulled these images from a great little magazine called Rescue Me. You can visit them on Facebook here.  If I remember correctly, the kitten was part of a food advertisement.  The dog is from a great campaign from the Shelter Pet Project.  I love these ads that speak from the animal's perspective. 

Week 35-1-72

These spreads actually came together rather quickly since I used the magazine photos as the focus (I'm terrified of drawing, particularly faces, so this was my best option this week...I really need to take Dina Wakley's drawing faces class!).  I embellished the images with paint pens, rub ons and a few random stickers.  The "Together Forever" sticker brought the message home.

Week 35-5-72

If you are looking to add a four-legged friend to your family, please consider shelter animals!  Adopt, don't shop!  There are amazing animals waiting there for you, and believe me, they know that you are rescuing them.  Rescued pets make the very best pets.  See what's up at our shelter here.  Check out my other Documented Life posts here, and catch up on the whole project on the Art to the 5th blog here!

Week 35-4-72

Monday, September 29, 2014

Best Shot Monday: Friends and Strangers Project, Ted


I'm currently taking an online class from Liv Lane called Choosing Beauty.  I discovered Liv a couple years ago and was immediately taken in by her positive attitude and the fact that she is a "human sparkler."  Human sparkler? Isn't that awesome!?  Though I'm typically a pretty happy-go-lucky kind of girl to begin with, this class serves as a daily reminder that beauty lies all around us, even where we might least expect it.

This picture is a great example of that.  It's certainly not a "Best Shot Monday" candidate from a technical standpoint, but when I watched this moment unfolding, it struck me how beautiful it truly was.  I know I've mentioned Chowder Ted's in the past, but here's your official introduction to the man behind the chowder, so to speak.  What struck me most about this moment is the beauty of this little place. No, the kitchen of our great little neighborhood seafood dive is not exactly beautiful, unless the beauty is in it's workhorse simplicity.  But "the place"...that's quite beautiful.

Chowder Ted's is literally within walking distance from our house.  We're just east of Brown's Creek; Ted's is just west of Brown's Creek.  We started coming here when we bought our lot, six years before we actually built the house, and our girls have truly grown up there. Their first visit was at six weeks old, sitting in their carriers, thankfully sleeping the whole time. We've been blessed to call Ted and his family friends and have even shared a few Christmas Eve's with them. One of my girls' friends at school even said to her one day "Hey! Why is your picture on the wall at Chowder Ted's?!?!" 

As my girls ran back into the kitchen to give Ted a hug and catch up last Thursday night, I realized what a gift we have been given in this little place. We've made new friends here, shared birthdays here, celebrated holidays here, and even walked over to check to make sure it wasn't getting flooded during a really bad storm when Ted couldn't get to the restaurant! Heck, we even help bus tables! So, a technically beautiful picture?  No. To someone who knows knowing of this place, it's just a blurry snapshot.  But to me, it's another example of how finding beauty isn't always a visual thing; it can also be found in personal connections and a tiny little seafood dive. 

For more Friends and Strangers Project posts, click here

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Documented Life: Week 34

Week 34-3-72

Week 34's challenge for The Documented Life Project was to "fill the page with numbers that relate to your week." The most important number for us that week was six, as it was the FIRST WEEK OF SIXTH GRADE!  That was really the only number I could think about that week!

Week 34-4-72

I used yet another scrap from my sidekick for the tip in, a page from an old book. It seemed perfect for our week of starting middle school, with the two young girls and the question on the bottom: "Where are you going?" she asked.  I added color to the page with Faber Castell gelatos.  I love the creamy consistency of the gelatos.

Week 34-2-72

On the interior spread, I started with a piece of deli paper under paper scrap and then grabbed my big numbers stencil. And here would be where I made my mistake. I used black gesso and a makeup sponge to stencil the numbers, and you can see that I probably should have gone with actual black paint, which would have been thicker and stenciled a bit cleaner (click on pictures to enlarge). But lesson learned!  I journaled that lesson on the page as well.

Week 34-1-72

There's a funny story behind "We are Not an Island."  This actually came from the exercise I struggled with the most in Orly's class at An Artful Journey.  I won't go into much detail about the specific exercise so as not to spoil Orly's class if you ever have an opportunity to take it, but suffice it to say, we were talking about islands. The classmate next to me, and I can remember her pretty face as plain as day but can't remember her name, was struggling as much as I was, so she reached over and wrote this in my sidekick.  We both tried very hard not to burst out laughing!  It was actually a little bit of serendipity that this shown through so clearly from the back of the sidekick pages I used in Week 33, so I just brought it out strongly with a black Sharpie as a fun memory.

Thanks for stopping in today!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend and get to spend some time enjoying what you most love.  See more Documented Life posts here.