Behind the Camera: Beauty

This little gal was a bit of a surprise. We had a record eight-day run of hard freezes a couple weeks ago—remember, this is Florida! rarely do we have more than two freezing days in a row!—and I was sure all my outdoor plants were toast. I was outside Monday afternoon taking some photos of Isabelle and Molly playing together (with Molly’s ever-shrinking cast!) and turned around to see this: one lonely and lovely daisy sprouted out of what appeared to be a dead plant. All the leaves still looked dead, but the bloom was perfect. This one will definitely make an appearance in my photo shop and probably on a glass tile pendant soon. She’s a prime example of beauty sprouting everywhere around you if you just take the time look. Where has beauty surprised you lately?

Tuesday Treasury Shout Out: Etsy Impact on Haiti

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A special thanks to loveartworks who not only included my Violet in this treasury (third row center), but used her as the inspiration for the title. This treasury includes works whose sales are benefitting Haiti. And here’s a whopping number for you! As of yesterday, the Hearts for Haiti Etsy shop has raised $17,765 in sales of donated items for Doctors Without Borders. $17,765! I’m so happy to have been a part of that total. There are now more than 850 items for sale in that shop, and all sales will continue to go Doctors Without Borders for as long as needed, which I’m certain will be far into the future.

As for my efforts, little update on yesterday’s total: I’m now up to $367.50 with a little sale in my supply shop! My sales are going to the Red Cross through the month of January.

Tiles All Around

Worked on some glass tiles in between mountains of laundry this weekend. Where the heck does all the laundry come from? I’m convinced my girls just take things out of their closet and drop them in their laundry basket just for fun. Seriously! Haven’t had time to photograph some of these newer ones individually yet, so I figured I’d just capture a shot of them as group. Gradually working up the different pendants I have available from my photography. Several shown here are new to that group. Others are from vintages ads and such. So far I’ve made $360 in Haiti fundraising sales between my shops and my four donations to the Hearts for Haiti shop (all four already sold!). Lots of new things being added daily to the Hearts for Haiti shop so go back and take another look. Take a peek at my jewelry and photo shops too while you are at it! Fundraising drive goes through the end of the month.

For Sgt. John Nathan Spearing

The girls and I were driving home from school one day last week when Billy Currington’s “People Are Crazy” came on the radio. Sarah in particular loves to sing, and she has my gift for remembering song lyrics. Shortly after she sang the verse below--
Last call it's 2am, I said goodbye to him,
I never talked to him again.
Then one sunny day, I saw the old man’s face.
Front page obituary, he was a millionaire.
He left his fortune to, some guy he barely knew.
His kids were mad as hell. But me, I’m doing well.
And I dropped by today, to just say thanks and pray.
I left a six-pack right there on his grave, and I said,
God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy.

--Sarah said, “Mama, I think that when we go to the 100 Acre Wood this weekend, we should leave something on Sgt. John’s grave.” “Wow,” I said, “that’s a great idea! What would you like to leave him?” “Well, I bet he liked oysters, so I think we should leave him some oyster shells.” So there you have it, Sgt. John; have some oysters. Livvie added the red berries in case the oysters were too salty.

That got my curiosity up. Just who was Sgt. John Nathan Spearing anyway? And why is he the only marked grave in the Theodore Roosevelt area outside of the Browne Cemetery? The park shares the story of the Brownes right there on the trail, but nothing about Sgt. John. So I did a little research and found that John Nathan Spearing was the original owner of the property.  When he and his wife settled in the Jacksonville area after the Civil War, they first settled in "the city," as the area where this land now sits was far out of the city at that time. Spearing eventually wanted more room and settled on this land.  It was he who sold the land to the Browne family, with the condition that when he died, he be buried in a pre-selected spot on the property.  His original gravesite was not where this tombstone now sits.  When his original grave was vandalized, Mr. Willie (Browne) moved the grave and stone to this spot, which is very close to the spot where Mr. Willie loved to sit and watch the marsh and river beyond. Very interesting!

Tuesday Treasury Shout Out: KneeDeepOriginals

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This week's Tuesday Treasury Shout Out goes to kneedeeporiginals for featuring my sweet Miss Eleanor, second row left, in this pretty treasury. Thanks kneedeep! I love this!

For Haiti

As I’m sure all of you have, I’ve been following the devastation in Haiti, and this article that popped up on my Yahoo yesterday particularly caught my attention. How incredibly sad. All of it is incredibly sad, but reading this news touched me more than any I had read yet. If you’ve ever had a close relative in a nursing home, you probably had the same reaction. Totally helpless, and wishing there was something you could do, some way you could help. I understand what is needed most right now and for the months to come will be cold hard cash. To that end, I’m donating all my January sales in both my Etsy shops to the Red Cross. I’ll then match the sales up to a goal of donating $750 on February 1. I’ve uploaded dozens more glass tile pendants that I hadn’t had a chance to load yet, and I hope to photograph a couple dozen more over the next week and get them loaded. If you’ve had your eye on something in either of my shops, now’s the time to grab it and support a good cause in the process. I’ll keep you updated on my progress. So far I’ve raised $204.70. Shop jewelry here and photography here.

Also be sure to check out the Hearts for Haiti Etsy shop, where hundreds of Etsians have donated items to raise funds for Doctors Without Borders. I've donated two prints and two glass tile pendants there.

Apron Anxiety Resolved!

Done! It was really difficult to get a picture of the whole thing, so I did the best I could and showed you little swatches here and there. I ended up doing the Wonder Under thing on the floral fabric and cut out various bits and pieces and adhered it to the canvas apron that I had already sprayed with the Adirondack ink. Once I had all the flowers placed and adhered, I broke out the sewing machine and free-stitched the swirls all over it. I sewed a large pocket across the bottom, lined in the striped fabric and sewn up the middle to make two pockets. Then I added the buttons, and viola! Done! Sarah and Olivia contributed by telling me which button I should attach where. :-) Not something I want to do on a regular basis, but I enjoyed the process once I got started. I hope my swap partner likes it!

Apron Anxiety? Really?

I don’t sew much. I can sew, but I don’t sew much. Though I must admit I’m a fabric junkie. I took a couple clothing construction classes in college and actually made a few cute dresses, and I made these pillows on my bed you see here. Nothing fancy. I've made some fun, funky purses too. I think it’s now the whole hassle of finding a place to set up my circa early 80's Singer and then another place to lay out, iron, cut and pin fabric. I hate to pin. I’m the world’s laziest pinner, which may make me the world’s laziest seamstress. Dare I call myself that? Probably not. Is sewstress a word? Oh, I see it now! It’s sew stress! Yes! That’s what you call it when you committed to participating in an apron swap with people who are probably far more advanced in their sewing and embellishing skills than you are!

I’m not sure what came over me when I jumped on to participate in this apron swap for Artful Journey, but baby, I’m in it now, so I’m finally getting started (um, it was supposed to be in the mail yesterday...). Below are the fabric and fun buttons I picked out. When I took this picture I really had no earthly idea what I was going to do, but I did grab a few yards of Wonder Under when I got this fabric, so I was hoping something would come to me. I also sprayed some Adirondack ink on the ready-made canvas apron I picked up at Hobby Lobby. I wonder if I committed a cardinal sin there, spraying Adirondack ink on it? Hmm…..we’ll see. Started working on it today. Hopefully, I’ll be able to show you my progress tomorrow!

Behind the Camera: Are You Listening?

Happy Thursday! I have a dentist appointment this morning and have to take Molly in for a cast change this afternoon, so I figured it made more sense to just take the whole day off! I have so many things I’d like to catch up on. My little brain has been awhirl with things I want to do lately, so it’s just a matter of finding the time. I’m currently taking DJ Pettitt’s online Memories and Manipulations Photoshop class, and the amount of information she’s been presenting has been mindboggling! I haven’t delved into it too much yet, but I hope to hit it hard this weekend. DH is on a boys ski trip in Park City, Utah, so I’ll have my nights to myself once I get the girls to bed each night this weekend. I just played around a little with this guy this morning. I took this shot in Havana, Florida (just north of Tallahassee), last fall sometime. He just looked like he really had something to say!

Hoping to carve out some time between appointments today to get moving on my apron for our Artful Journey Apron Swap. Pictures to come!

Tuesday Treasury Shout Out: Verve Interiors

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I'm determined to get more organized with posting treasury thanks where treasury thanks are due! How about we do Tuesdays? So, playing catch up, verveinteriors featured me and more of our Etsy for Animals gang in this gorgeous treasury last July (yes, this is much overdue thank you!). My Not Your Grandmother's Pearls necklace is bottom row center. Thanks verve! These are my favorite things in your shop!

Behind the Camera: Meet Molly!

We finally got a little bit of sun this afternoon so I could get a few pictures of Molly! For those of you I’m not hooked up with on Facebook, we adopted Molly from the Humane Society just before New Year’s and were able to bring her home January 3. She’s three months old and a nearly full-blooded yellow lab. Best the Humane Society staff could tell, some person who should not be allowed to breathe threw her out the window of a car. When she was brought to them, she had a broken leg and road rash. It was love at first sight. :-) She was a little shy at first, but now that she’s settled in, she’s doing really well. She loves to play and gets around amazingly well with that cast! Isabelle’s being a great big sister. It’s been a tough week for us with this freezing cold snap (come on, give me a break you Northerners; I know lows in the 20s and teens and highs in the 30s and 40s is nothing for you, but THIS IS FLORIDA! We are not supposed to have this kind of weather!), but we hope to have closer to normal temps by the end of this week! You can see more of these pictures here.

Cold Winter Sunset

The skies were doing some funky things tonight on my way home. Must be the extra cold air in the atmosphere. There was a cool purple haze to the east, and the smoke from a fire to the west was heading straight across the sky just about the horizon. Then I looked out to the dock and our dock light had turned this mysterious green shade! The light is a bit temperamental. Some nights it works, other nights it doesn’t and, apparently, some nights it decides to work and be green. You can just see the top of the Dames Point Bridge towers in the distance on the right.

January Free Bling Friday!

Happy New Year and welcome back to Free Bling Friday! picked number 35 out of 47 entries (two entered via email) for December’s Free Bling winner, so congrats to Kristen from Pennsylvania! January’s entry is a fun pair of lampwork, crystal, and sterling silver earrings. They’re sure to add a little “grrr” to whatever you're wearing. To be eligible to win, simply leave a comment in the comment box (be sure you leave me a way to reach you and where you are from!) or email me with the subject line FREE BLING and include where you're from by midnight Thursday, February 4, 2010. Want two entries? Tweet, blog or Facebook this giveaway and leave a second comment with the link. The next winner will be drawn via Friday, February 5, 2010. Don't want to miss a single Free Bling Friday? Click here to sign up for free weekly email reminders or subscribe in the reader of your choice in the right column over there. Be sure to join my Facebook Fan page over there in the left column for Fan specials!