Project 365: March 21-27

The campus where I work is located right next to one of Jacksonville's oldest and prettiest historic districts, so this week, I thought I'd take you on a tour of some of my favorite entryways. The girls and I just finished reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and are now on Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (who knew there was more to the story?!?!...boxed set here!), so I couldn't help but Wonkify the pictures a little bit!
 I've always loved the purple shutters on this house.

This one looks like a fairy house.

Love the bright red orange door here. It's right next door to the fairy house above.

This one is on another street.  Love the old stone look.

How about this for an entryway!?  This house has been one of my very
favorites for as long as I can remember.

A more colonial look.

And more pretty stone and wire work.
Thanks for stopping in! Click here for all my Project 365 posts.

Spring Shows Coming Up!

Lavendar Bracelet

Happy Friday! Working on some new jewelry pieces for my upcoming Spring arts festivals. First up next week is the Springtime Tallahassee Arts Jubilee March 31. Even though it's a huge pain in the butt to set up and break down for this show (all in one day, starting with a 6:00am set up and getting the last of my booth back in Sally, with the cops trying to reopen the streets at my heels, at 6:30pm), it's still my favorite show of the year. Old friends from college, trips down memory lane, Barnaby's pizza, Po' Boys fried pickles...maybe even Sunday down on St. George Island if I can squeeze it in.  For those of you in Tallahassee, I'll be in my usual spot on East Park between Adams and Monroe facing the DoubleTree.  Hope to see you there! 

Project 365: March 14-20

Alas, I'm realizing that many weeks it's just not possible for me to capture a photo a day that's worth sharing, so I'm concentrating on getting seven good shots for the week instead! This week is Spring Break, so we've been beach bound. Lucky for us, it's only a 10 minute drive.

The girls are making this look a lot tougher than it is. I actually have the hard part...when they turn the beach buggy over to me the minute we hit the sand!


A little kicking around...


Hello, Mr. Seagull.


The redheads get lots of sunblock and cover up at the does their freckly, green-eyed Mama.


Love those freckles...


Ready to dive in...



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New Books and a New Outlook

Purple Ink and Gesso Book 2

This is one of the books that I initially made at Eliza Holliday's workshop, but I've taken it apart and re-sewn it about 10 times now. That's really the best way for me to cement a stitch in my brain! This one uses a long-stitch, and now that I've been looking around at various long-stitches, there seems to be a variety of ways to approach it. I couldn't help but add a little bit of Kelly bling with the eyelash yarn, but the yarn also serves the purpose of tightening up the exterior stitches as well! The cover is painted with a mixture of inks and gesso, giving it a fun marbling effect, and the signatures are Arches text wove which hold both wet and dry media very well as I shared here. The girlies and I are on Spring Break this week, so we hope to find some time for art in between beach trips and other outside play!

Purple Ink and Gesso Book 1

I spent last Wednesday-Saturday at the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities national conference. The conference was in Jacksonville this year, so we didn't get the benefit of being able to stay in the hotel for all the late night activities. And late nights are great fun, because the musicians, agents, student life staff and even some students all get together for fun jam sessions. Wish I could have stayed for those! As you know if you've been reading my blog for a while, I've been going through periods when I've been working towards a change in my day-to-day professional work, leaning towards making a shift over to the faculty side of the house. Conferences like this always energize me and remind why I've done this work for so long: it's the connections, both the connections and relationships I'm able to build with my students as well as the connections and relationships I'm able to build with other professional staff and musicians and speakers. There are just some truly awesome people in this field, and that makes the decision to make the switch so much harder.

Purple Ink and Gesso Book 3

One particular conversation really hit home with me. I was having lunch with a few speakers who've become friends and ended up having a long talk with Troy Stende after lunch. We talked about our families, sharing pictures of our kids, and about the challenges and heartbreaks we've both faced in finally having these wonderful little families. And we talked about the work that we do. When he learned that I've been in this field for 18 years now, he was surprised and asked how I've done it for so long (this is a high burn out field because of the time involved). I knew the reason was the connections I'm able to make with my students, some far stronger than others, and then he told me that he really envied my side of the field. He said that as a speaker, he gets to see that initial spark go off in students that he works with, but then most often, after that hour or that day spent in training with them, he rarely sees them again...he doesn't get to see if that spark grows. That reminded me how blessed I am to have that opportunity. I do get more than a hour or a day with them, and the ones that I really bond with, I get years with, even after they've graduated! I told him about several of my former students whom I'm still very close to, and knew in my heart that there were dozens more that I didn't mention, and he said, "That's your gift. That's why you've done this work for 18 years." And he is so right. Even through all the admnistrative nightmares I've been dealing with over the past couple years, (no, I'm not afraid to tell you that institutional effectiveness is truly driving me over the edge!), it's the students that keep me there.

I know that the primary reason I've been looking at the switch is time. While my current role gives me all these wonderful opportunities, those opportunities come at a huge cost in time away from my family, and not just at conferences, but also at really long days and often times nights on campus. My girls are at a time when they are changing so quickly, and that time with them so is precious. I'll keep pondering and see where the good Lord takes me, but right now, I'm thankful that I've had these past four days to provide me with some much needed clarity at just the time when I needed it.

Project 365: March 7-13

From a day at the zoo...

In the Japanese Garden...

Sarah photographing me photographing her.

A very curious parrot..

And a very debonair lorikeet who liked the camera...

Sarah feeding the camera-loving lorikeet...

Livvie taking a turn...

And a sweet little ladybug.

Thanks for stopping in this week! Click here to view all my Project 365 photos. 

Time for March Free Bling!

Light My Fire Photo pendant

Time for my monthly Free Bling Friday giveaway! Yes, I know it's Monday, not Friday, but that's just how my world has been lately! picked comment number two as the winner of my February Free Bling, so congratulations to long-time reader Cindi H. from Illinois!

For March, how about a little spring color?  Here is my Light My Fire photo sized down to a 1" glass tile pendant. To be eligible to win, simply visit either of my Etsy shops (here for jewelry and here for photography) and leave a comment in the comment box below with the link to your favorite piece along with a way to reach you and where you’re from by midnight April 5, 2012. Want more entries? Tweet, blog or Facebook this giveaway and leave another comment with the link. The next winner will be drawn via Friday, April 6.

Don't want to miss a single Free Bling Friday? Click here to sign up for free weekly email updates or subscribe in the reader of your choice over there in the right column. And be sure to join my Facebook Fan page for specials. Thanks for stopping in! Giveaway open to US and Canadian residents only.

Project 365: February 29-March 6

I concentrated on faces this week, primarily furry ones!

February 29: These geese hang out at our lake near the front of campus. That one in the middle seems to be sharing a little attitude...

March 1: This is my sweet Molly. We adopted her from the Humane Society, broken and abused, a little over two years ago. She's now a happy, healthy member of our family. Here's her story.

March 2: This is Marshall! Isn't that the best dog face you've ever seen!?! I met him and his mom Leah at the Riverside Arts Market.

March 3: And another beauty from the arts market. He seems to be just chillin'.

March 4: And another little cutie from RAM. This little gal fit in the palm of my hand.

March 5: This is my sweet Isabelle, Molly's big sister. She will be five in May.

March 6: And another of my beauties...with her little furry friend. Thanks for stopping in!  See all my Project 365 posts here.  

Project 365: February 22-28

It's been a difficult week around here between being crazy busy at work and having lots of rain, so I'm going with a rain and water theme for the week. I actually took all these photos on my last trip to California for Artful Journey.

February 22: You can almost see my reflection in this water droplet.


February 23: Water dripping from white daffodils...


February 24: ...and water dripping from the little red buds...


February 25: ...of the tree that produced these beautiful blooms. See that one water droplet in the middle?


February 26: There was a whole grouping of these trees just outside our studio.


February 27: Beautiful moist ferns growing in the redwood forest near our cabins...


February 28: And a heart leaf found on the trail.

Thanks for stopping in!  I'm hoping to make a visit to P.S. 4 tomorrow so we'll see if that works out!  Click here for all my Project 365 posts.