Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas 2013
Christmas journal page from Olivia, done in oil pastels
Merry Christmas Eve to you! We've been enjoying the day making brownies for Santa and a birthday cake for Jesus.

Growing up, I spent Christmas Eve at my Nana's with my mom and my cousins.  Nana always made rich, creamy Oyster Stew like no one else could. We lost that Christmas Eve tradition when I lost my mom in 1999 and then my Nana shortly afterward, but thanks to Benny, I'm looking forward to having Nana's Oyster Stew tonight.  We could never get the recipe because Nana never wrote it down, but Benny watched her make it for several years and finally got it right last year.

I wish you the warmest of holiday greetings in whatever way you choose to celebrate. My hope is that at this time of year, if at no other, we can all put our differences aside and share a time of peace, joy and forgiveness.  I've always felt that Dr. Suess said it best ...

"And the Grinch with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came with ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags.  And he puzzled and puzzled until his puzzler was sore.  Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from store? What if Christmas, he thought, means a whole lot more?"

Merry Christmas to you and yours. May God bless you with the richest of blessings that can't be bought at the store.      

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

iHanna Postcard Swap: Time to Share!

I've finally gotten around to scanning the postcards I received in iHanna's swap! I've only received nine, so hopefully there's one more to come out there. You can see the pile of cards I created to send out here.  Enjoy!

iHanna swap from Brenda Leonard
From Brenda Leonard
 
iHanna swap from Valerie Kemp
From Valerie Kemp

iHanna swap from Jana Bodin
From Jana Bodin

iHanna swap from Patricia
From Patricia

iHanna swap from Marissa Vidrio
From Marissa Vidrio

iHanna swap from Laura Marschall
From Laura Marschall

iHanna swap from Cathy Peterson
From Cathy Peterson

iHanna swap from Jen
From Jen

iHanna swap from Hagit
From Hagit

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Time for December Free Bling!

December 2013 Free Bling

Time for December Free Bling! Random.org picked comment number two for November, so congratulations to Jennifer from Orange, California, for winning my November Free Bling.

I can't believe it's December already, and at this point, I haven't even started Christmas shopping. I'll be busy this weekend!  For my December giveaway, how about some pretties for your ears: lovely deep blue glass briolettes wrapped with sterling silver wire, topped with twisted sterling rings and an even deeper peacock blue crystal, all hung on sterling silver french wires.  To enter visit either of my Etsy shops (here for jewelry and here for photography) and leave a link to your favorite item in the comments along with your location and a way to reach you by midnight Thursday, January 16. Want more entries? Tweet, blog or Facebook this giveaway and leave another comment with the link. The next winner will be drawn via random.org Friday, January 17. 

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 like my Facebook page or sign up for my monthly newsletter on my website here for specials. Thanks for stopping in!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hello, 48

Kelly portrait by Kate Inglis
Photo by Kate Inglis, taken on the beach at Serendipity
Today is my birthday. Hello, 48. I certainly don’t feel 48, and I don’t think I look 48, but the calendar tells me otherwise. I see the years pass very quickly through my girls; I can’t believe they are 10 years old and in fifth grade. That simply doesn’t seem possible. But other than a few more gray hairs, I’m not feeling my age just yet. I guess I live that old Jimmy Buffet song: “I’m growing older, but not up.” As I look over this past year and reflect upon what I’ve done and what I’ve learned, I’m happy that I’m still managing to play as much as possible.

Wish ribbons
Wish ribbons on the back deck of the main house at Serendipity
Today I wanted to reflect back on what I’ve been learning through my artful adventures over the last year. I think the main thing I’ve been learning about myself is that I remain simply me, and I think that perhaps I process life’s triumphs and tragedies a little differently than many in my art circles do. I think I’m a pretty simple girl. While I am a creative thinker and feel like I can finally call myself an “artist,” I’m also a grounded, practical realist. I’ve never been a deep-thinking, analytical type of girl. And to me, art is play; it’s neither an emotional release nor an exploration of my deepest thoughts or feelings. At least not on a conscious level anyway. And after thinking about my experience at Serendipity in late October, I’ve decided that I’m okay with that.

mason jar
There were beautiful aqua mason jars filled with flowers everywhere
I’ve held back writing more in-depth about Serendipity because I simply didn’t know what to think about the whole experience. I certainly enjoyed the retreat. My instructors, Melody Ross and Kate Inglis, were very inspirational, and the hosts and all the women I met were completely lovely, and I’d love to have more time with all of them. But still something was missing for me. I think I’ve finally realized it was intense emotion. I’ve read some of the blogs other Serendipities have written and marveled at the depth of emotions that they felt there and have felt since. I’ve struggled with that a bit, as I just didn’t feel those things. I had a nice getaway with a good friend, met some wonderful new people, ate lots of incredible food, and made some art; I did not experience deep emotions. But does that mean I didn’t get out of it what I was supposed to? I don’t think so.
Welcome ribbon
A welcome ribbon on the beach steps
During Melody’s class, we talked early on about the different types of hurts every one of us experiences. Melody broke them down into three major types that made complete sense to me: things others do directly to us, things others do that hurt us but aren’t necessary done to us, and things we do to others. I hope I’m remembering that correctly. I was easily able to think of something for each of those, so they are definitely relatable, and I was fascinated and moved by some of the raw emotion I saw in the room. After a bit more talk, we started on our books, which were to be reminders of all the things that make us feel better when we are having a difficult time with any of those hurts. Later in the afternoon, Melody circled us around for another chat, this time to talk about any shifts in thinking we’d experienced as we’d worked through the day. I didn’t really have any shifts, but I did have a bit of an “a ha!” moment, in that the three things I thought of for those three types of hurts were centered around my parents and my relationships with them. But I also shared that though I’ve been through some crap in my life (haven’t we all?), I feel like I’ve dealt with it pretty well and have moved on. I don’t dwell. I write about things, but then I try to move on…even when others try to keep me from moving on.
Kelly and Melody Ross
Me with the super sweet, super amazing Melody Ross
I shared with my classmates that my parents had five marriages between them, and I had lost my mom to suicide nearly 14 years ago while she was going through her third divorce. But still, even with that, I shared that I’ve been happy with my life; I believe that I have a gift for being able to find the positives in things. Was it hard to find the positives in my parents’ multiple divorces and my mother’s suicide? Heck yeah, it was. There were definitely some very dark times there. But now, ultimately, I think my father is happy, my mother is walking on golden streets, and I have a loving husband, two incredible children, and a happy little roof over our heads. We all make our own choices, and I’ve chosen to be happy. My life is good. I think I wrapped it all up pretty well here.
Seedling
A little tendril of focus
I know you’re probably scratching your head wondering how the heck I got to this point in this post when I started talking about what my creative endeavors have taught me this year. I’m not sure myself! I think my revelation is I’ve accepted that though I may come across many women who bare their deepest souls and emotions through experiencing art-making, I just don’t. And that’s okay. Both for them and for me. For me, at 48, playing with art is an escape, it’s an antidote to a stressful week at work, it’s something fun to do with my girls. I like getting my fingers messy with paint. But I process the difficult things through putting my feet to the pavement or taking long bubble baths with a good book. That is simply me, at 48, at 28, and hopefully at 88!
Photocraptastic assignment
From my "Photocraptastic" assignment with Kate
 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

iHanna's Annual Postcard Swap!

Postcard swap 2013-2
 
I'm participating in iHanna's annual postcard swap again this year.  I'm behind as usual, but I finally got these out in the mail this week, off to swappers all over the globe! I've already received a few myself from as far away as Sweden.  Once mine all arrive, I'll scan them all and share with you here.
 
Since I was pressed for time, here's how I did mine. I started out with a large sheet of watercolor paper and brushed water all over it. Then I sprayed it with spray inks in coordinating colors, picked it up and dripped it around a bit, and then layed another sheet of watercolor paper on top. I then pulled up the top sheet, leaving color on both sheets. Then I sprinkled kosher salt all over each sheet and let them dry. Then those sheets stayed like that, laying out on my work bench to dry, for, oh, about a week. No, it doesn't take a week to dry. It just took me that long to get back to them! I cut them down to 4"x6", and then when I was at Michael's with the girls this weekend, I spotted these cool tree stickers and got an idea. I found the cloud stickers, added some washi tape and some scribbles, and viola, done.
  Postcard swap 2013-1

Monday, November 25, 2013

Best Shot Monday: Playgroups!

Playgroup-72

We've officially started playgroups at the shelter! When I went in for portraits Friday morning, I wasn't able to get nearly as much done as I usually do because I was too distracted by the playgroups. They are so much fun to watch! Imagine 20-25 dogs all out romping around together...especially shelter dogs, who are stuck in a four foot by eight foot cage most of the time. Their excitement and joy to be able to be out in the sunshine enjoying each others' company was screaming out from their happy faces and wagging tails. I just couldn't resist this foursome watching me through the fence. They are straight out of the Little Rascals, and they also demonstrate the variety of dogs that can be found at your local animal shelter!  Think about adding a new furry friend to your family this holiday season, and rescue a shelter dog or cat!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Little Postcard Art Happiness

Wyanne postcard

I've been making some mail art to send off to friends today. This happy little postcard will be making its way to a friend battling cancer. Send her your prayers!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Best Shot Monday: Tulip and T.A.I.L.S.

Tulip_A803262

Meet Tulip! She's a Treeing Walker Hound.  Isn't she gorgeous? And she has a sweet, loving temperment. We've seen quite a few hounds in the shelter the past few months. It's unfortunate that some hunters will train hounds to use during hunting season and then dump them when hunting season is over. Tulip here is a prime example that your local shelter has a variety of wonderful breeds waiting for good homes. 

We also have a new program at the shelter that dogs like Tulip and many others are now participating in. It's called Teaching Animals and Inmates Life Skills. Through a partnership with First Coast No More Homeless Pets (FCNMHP), Jacksonville Animal Care and Protective Services (JACPS), Jacksonville Humane Society, and the state of Florida correctional system, shelter dogs are placed in correctional facilities to be trained and socialized so they have a better chance of finding a new permanent home through the TAILS program. FCNMHP transports them to one of three rural minimum security facilities in Northeast Florida: the Lawtey Correctional Institution, the Union Correctional Institution, and the Baker Correctional Institution. Each dog is assigned to three prisoners so the dog won’t bond to just one person and will learn to respond to a variety of voices and personalities. Once matched with a dog, the inmates are fully responsible for the dog’s care: feeding, grooming, housebreaking, and obedience training. FCNMHP provides a trainer who instructs the inmates and correction staff how to work with and train a dog. The dog is with at least one inmate 24 hours a day. One of our staff members goes to each facility weekly to observe and troubleshoot any problems. The dogs will stay at the prison for nine to ten weeks.

At the end of the program, the dogs will be crate trained, know basic commands, such as “sit” and “stay,” walk on a leash and generally be well-mannered. Upon their graduation, a new set of canine students will arrive to be trained. The TAILS program benefits both the dogs and their trainers. The dogs going through this program will be much more adoptable, and the inmates will have developed skills in animal training and behavior. TAILS has one additional benefit: for each dog in the program, two canine lives are saved. Placing a dog in the prison means that space opens up in the shelter for another dog that might have been euthanized for lack of space!  Such an outstanding program!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Monster Art

Livvie Monster

Is this not the cutest little monster you've ever seen? Olivia made this in art class and brought it home to me yesterday. Love this little guy! She was so proud of it. She's always seen Sarah as more "artsy," but I think she finally felt like with this piece, she found her place. I'm looking forward to a whole family of monster art!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Time November Free Bling Friday!

November 2012 bling

Time for November Free Bling Friday!  Random.org picked comment number 11 for October, so congratulations to Anna from southern Louisiana for winning my October Free Bling.

Can you believe it's November already?  That means December and Christmas are just around the corner!  So for November, here's a sweet little pendant I created with a vintage image of good ole St. Nick. The pendant is one inch square and will come complete with a silver ball chain. To enter, visit either of my Etsy sites (here for jewelry and here for photography) and leave a link to your favorite item in the comments along with your location and a way to reach you by midnight Thursday, December 5. Want more entries? Tweet, blog or Facebook this giveaway and leave another comment with the link. The next winner will be drawn via random.org Friday, December 6, just in time to wear for the Christmas holidays.  Giveaway open to United States and Canada residents only.

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 like my Facebook page or sign up for my monthly newsletter on my website here for specials. Thanks for stopping in!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Best Shot Monday: Nags Head Flowers

Nags Head Flowers

One of the classes I took while at Serendipity was a photography class with Kate Inglis. Kate covered quite a bit of technical information the first couple hours of the class, really stuff that I learned way back when I took photography classes in college. But there were so many great reminders! When I photograph at the shelter, I'm not able to get very creative with my photography simply because I have to work so quickly. I can only keep the dogs' attention so long! And Lord help me if I'm working with the cats!

One of the things Kate reminded me of though is the magic you can create using different aperture settings. She shared with us that despite all the photography purists who say that "you must always shoot in manual to be a real photographer," you really don't have to do that. Apeture mode gives you lots of options! So this photo was taken in aperture mode, with a 35mm fixed lens set on 2.0 aperture. Believe or not, this is straight out of the camera and there was a garbage can in the background! But thanks to the incredibly shallow depth of field achieved with a 2.0 aperture, the background just fades away. Thanks for teaching me new tricks and reminding me of all the things I've forgotten about, Kate!   

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Moments Wrap Up

Girls with boots in class with Melody Ross at Serendipity. I'm the hearts with wings.

Since I've been traveling so much since October 23, I finished out the Moments Challenge over on Instagram and Flickr, but I did want to share one more shot from the challenge here! These were all the girls in boots in our class with Melody Ross at Serendipity. I'm the heart with wings boots lower left.  More about the retreat to come this week!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

On the Road to Serendipity!

photo credit Madelyn Mulvaney
Photo credit Madelyn Mulvaney
I'm on my way to Serendipity so the blog will be quiet for a bit! I've so been looking forward to this little getaway. My long time friend Dana is going with me, so we'll be experiencing a great girls' trip!  Pictures next week!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Moments: Day 22, Painted Deli Paper

Painted up deli paper on my workbench. #art #artjournaling #painting #color #themomentschallenge

I use deli paper between the pages of my art journal when I'm working in it to try to at least keep a little bit of my mess from getting onto pages I've already finished. I'll reuse a piece until it's pretty much cover and I end up with some pretty neat papers.  I love painted deli paper! This piece has been sitting on my workbench. I actually backprinted a stencil onto it and then painted it. Not sure what I'll do with it as I kinda like it just the way it is!

Jump in on Daisy Yellow's The Moments challenge and share a moment from your day every day in October.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Moments: Day 21, A Little Guitar...

Guitar lessons this evening ... #guitar #music #themomentschallenge

I've been taking guitar lessons for nearly 10 years now. My guitar teacher and I have come to calling my weekly lesson my "once a week supervised practice" because rarely I pick up my guitar unless it's Monday evening. Part of this is just simply lack of time. There's just so much going on once I'm home that it's hard to find time to sit down and play. Another part of this is that I've always had terrible stage fright! Honestly! I've played paino since I was a kid and when I get warmed up, I'm still pretty good, but I rarely play for anyone. My husband has learned that if he sneaks up on me playing, he has to sit in the stairwell and listen so that I don't know he's there. Is that crazy? So since I'm not even anywhere close to being as confident in my guitar skills as I am on piano, my guitar teaching is really the only one who hears me play. I know I need to get better about that. I'm currently rockin' out, learning Bon Jovi's Dead or Alive. That opening lick isn't as hard as it sounds once you slow it down ... way down! And I do believe Jon Bon Jovi has gotten far better looking with age. :-)

Jump in on Daisy Yellow's The Moments challenge and share a moment from your day every day in October.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Moments: Day 20, Halloween Shopping

Halloween shopping fun. #glasses #halloween #themomentschallenge

"There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit front porch." ~ Robert Brault

We did a little Halloween shopping today, so the girls had to try on just about every prop in the store. When I was a kid, I couldn't wait for Halloween! Though back in those days, it seemed a much safer affair. These days, I stick close to my girls' sides.  This year, Sarah's dressing up like a cat, with a hot pink and black leopard print dress, and Olivia's dressing up as a 70's disco queen.  Me? I found a really cool owl mask on Etsy.  How about you and your family?

Jump in on Daisy Yellow's The Moments challenge and share a moment from your day every day in October. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Moments: Day 19, A Contradiction

Opposites... #flowers #rust #themomentschallenge

"Do what you will, this world' a fiction and is made up on contradiction." ~ William Blake

I found this little contradiction of a pretty flower sprouting in a most unlikely spot, blooming out of the concrete and pulling away from a rusty old pipe at a nearby marina. I love little surprises like this. 

Jump in on Daisy Yellow's The Moments challenge and share a moment from your day every day in October.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Moments: Day 18, Fashion Forward!

Ready for the school dance today. My twin girls' very different personalities definitely come out in their fashion choices.  #shoes #fashion #kidstyle #themomentschallenge

Though my girls are twins, they have very different personalities and very different fashion styles. Sarah is my crazy dresser. I love her color combinations and fearlessness. Olivia has more of a classic style. Most mornings we take our "Daily Dose of Awesomeness" photo on our front steps. I had already taken that full body shot and we were on our way to school when it hit me that a perfect Moments shot would be just the shoes and socks (or no socks!). So we pulled over near the cow pasture and hopped out and took this shot.

Jump in on Daisy Yellow's The Moments challenge and share a moment from your day every day in October.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Moments: Day 17, A View of the Creek

The view from Chowder Ted's this morning, about 75 yards from my house.  #sunrise #water #marsh #themomentschallenge

"Poets who know no better rhapsodize about the peace of nature, but a well-populated marsh is a cacophony." ~ Bern Keating

Caught this shot this morning from the parking lot of Chowder Ted's, the world's best seafood dive, which just happens to be less than a football field away from my house. This is Brown's Creek, which branches off the St. John's River which you saw here.  We eat at Ted's at least twice a month. And we kayak deep back into Brown's Creek from our dock. If this were low tide, you'd see a sandbar out there, the perfect place to pull the kayaks up and hunt for hermit crabs near the marsh.

Jump in on Daisy Yellow's The Moments challenge and share a moment from your day every day in October.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Moments: Day 16, Some Special Journals

Baxley Books

These books went out in the mail today to the two special ladies I told you about in this post. My girls and I have been keeping Vanessa and Blaine in our prayers daily and wanted to make them something special to create some fun in while working through Blaine's treatment and the loss of Lance. I make these journals from books taken out of circulation from our campus library. Our librarians know not to send anything to the book recycler until I come take a look!  These started out as part of a 36-volume Shakespeare research set printed in 1969.  I pull out the original pages, create some art for the covers, and then sew in new signatures with either mixed media paper or water color paper. These two have water color paper in them, so Vanessa and Blaine can get as messy as they'd like to!

I posted these on Instagram today for The Moments challenge, but I wanted to give you the full shot here on the blog.  Jump in on Daisy Yellow's The Moments challenge and share a moment from your day every day in October.  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Moments: Day 15

My addiction.  I moved them from under my desk to a jar across the room to protect me from myself.  #bitohoney #candyaddiction #themomentschallenge

Do you have a candy addiction? This is mine: Bit O Honeys. Old school, huh? I recently posted on Facebook that I ran out of Bit O Honeys, and soon my mailbox was full of Bit O Honey deliveries. I felt the love! I had them in a bag under my desk for a while, but I soon realized that simply was not a very good idea. They could not be that easily accessible! So I put them in a lidded jar and moved them across the room. Much safer that way.

Jump in on Daisy Yellow's The Moments challenge and share a moment from your day every day in October.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Moments: Day 14

The view from my office window. We've had this scaffolding for more than a year now!  Great to have a window, but...  #officeview #scaffolding #themomentschallenge

Not exactly a Best Shot Monday this week, huh!  I'm still participating in Daisy Yellow's The Moments Challenge through October. And since the goal is to capture one of your every day moments, well, this is what I see from my desk at work. Not the loveliest of views since we've had this scaffolding up for about a year now, but at least I have a window!

Jump in on Daisy Yellow's The Moments challenge and share a moment from your day every day in October.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Moments: Day 13

Menu for afternoon tea party, with invisa money, of course. #teaparty #menu #themomentschallenge

"While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about." ~ Angela Schwindt

I love this quote. I think what my daughters teach me most is to remember to slow down and savor the little moments. Sarah created quite the menu for our tea party spread this afternoon. She set out our best dishes and had the menu waiting for us on the kitchen counter. We often get to use "invisa money" in our house. I wish it worked for shoe shopping!

Jump in on Daisy Yellow's The Moments challenge and share a moment from your day every day in October. It's reminding me that photos don't have to be perfect to capture an every day moment. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Moments: Day 12

Good morning daisies at my morning drive thru. #morningtea #yellowdaisy #themomentschallenge

"The Earth laughs in flowers." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

If I have a greatest addiction, it's my morning McDonald's drive thru sweet tea, half cut. I'm not a coffee drinker, but my morning's just not right without a big cup of sweet idea tea. These little flowers greeted me at the drive thru this morning on my way to set up for the Riverside Arts Market.

Jump in on Daisy Yellow's The Moments challenge and share a moment from your day every day in October. It's reminding me that photos don't have to be perfect to capture an every day moment.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Moments: Day 11

Life on the river sometimes means the river in the backyard.  #riverlife #river #water #themomentschallenge 
"Follow the river and you will find the sea." ~ French Proverb 

I came home to the river once again in the backyard today. This isn't highly unusual on full-moon high tides, but we are eight days away from the full moon, so I was a little surprised to see this today. And yes it's very true that if you follow this river, you will find the sea, oh, about four miles away as the crow flies.  I have been blessed to live no more than 45 minutes away from the beach my entire life.  I am a Florida water-baby through and through with my family roots in the Florida Keys.

Jump in on Daisy Yellow's The Moments challenge and share a moment from your day every day in October. It's reminding me that photos don't have to be perfect to capture an every day moment.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Moments: Day 10

Mama and baby ducks on campus. #mamaduck #babyduck #ducklings #themomentschallenge

"There is one order of beauty that seems to make heads turn. It is a beauty like that of kittens, or very small downy ducks making gentle rippling noises with their soft bills, or babies just beginning to toddle." ~ T.S. Eliot

We have a lake at the front of campus and quite a large flock of ducks and geese. Since they are fed pretty regularly by both students and staff, they aren't very camera shy. I came across this Mama and babies today. These little ones are so stinkin' cute!

Jump in on Daisy Yellow's The Moments challenge and share a moment from your day every day in October. It's reminding me that photos don't have to be perfect to capture a moment!    

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Moments: Day 9

Rainy school morning. #schoolbus #yellowbus #themomentschallenge

"Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain." ~ Unknown

We had a rainy day today, as evidenced by the school bus I was sitting behind at the stop light this morning. I've been having fun with this challenge and am finding that I'm much more mindful of things happening around me. I love the way the light that has just turned green is reflecting under the bus.

Jump in on Daisy Yellow's The Moments challenge and share a moment from your day every day in October. It's reminding me that photos don't have to be perfect to capture a moment.   

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Moments: Day 8

Morning water drops on leaves. #waterdrops #greenleaves #morningdew #themomentschallenge

"Seeds of discouragement cannot take root in a grateful heart." ~ Joel Osteen

The girls spotted this pretty leaf filled with water droplets right when we were getting ready to hop in the car to go to school this morning. It's a philodendron leaf, and honestly, I'm not sure how this particular philodendren popped up in this particular spot next to the drive way. We have some very large ones in our side yard, but we've never planted any where this one has taken root and is now about four feet tall. Goes to show that the smallest little seed can take root where you least expect it.

Jump in on Daisy Yellow's The Moments challenge and share a moment from your day every day in October.  It's reminding me that photos don't have to be perfect to capture a moment.    

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Moments: Day 7

The Moments Day 7

"May the wings of the butterly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond."
~Irish Blessing

Meet Buttercup! She lives in our front yard. Since I participate in quite a few arts festivals, I have the opportunity to come across lots of fun art. Buttercup was created by a husband and wife metal work team out of Tallahassee, and her cousins, Roscoe the dog and Porkchop the pig, hang out on our front porch.

Jump in on Daisy Yellow's The Moments  challenge and share a moment from your day every day in October!    

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Moments: Day 6

Morning boat ride.  #boat #water #girl #themomentschallenge

"Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air..." ~ Emerson 

We finally made it out this morning for a morning boat ride! This is more monumental than you may think. Yes, we live on the river and have a boat and boat lift. However, up until about two weeks ago, the boat had been sitting on the trailer in the driveway for two years. Two years, I tell ya! I had about given up it ever seeing water again when I came home from work one afternoon to find Benny and the girls waiting for me on the dock...with the boat back on the lift. We didn't go too far this morning, but it was wonderful to get out on the water and feel the salt air blowing on my face.

Jump in on Daisy Yellow's The Moments  challenge and share a moment from your day every day in October!  

October Free Bling!

October Free Bling

Time for October Free Bling Friday!  Random.org picked comment number eight for September, so congratulations to Laurie from Seminole, Texas, for winning my September Free Bling.

For October, here are some lovely ruby crystals, topped with lead-free pewter bead caps and hanging on sterling silver French wires. The beads themselves are 10mm, and they hang about 3/4". To enter, visit either of my Etsy sites (here for jewelry and here for photography) and leave a link to your favorite item in the comments along with your location and a way to reach you by midnight Thursday, October 31. Want more entries? Tweet, blog or Facebook this giveaway and leave another comment with the link. The next winner will be drawn via random.org Friday, November 1.  Giveaway open to United States and Canada residents only.

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 like my Facebook page or sign up for my monthly newsletter on my website here for specials. Thanks for stopping in!

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Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Moments: Day 5

Found above my jewerly bench. #moonandback #owl #themomentschallenge

"I love you to the moon and back..." ~ Sam McBratney

Found this sweet little tag leaning up against a mini owl painting about my jewelry bench. I do believe that is Sarah's handwriting. I'm a lucky Mama.

Jump in on Daisy Yellow's The Moments  challenge and share a moment from your day every day in October!

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Moments: Day 4

Last morning with foster kits. Tears came shortly afterwards.  #kitten #themomentschallenge

"What feeling is so nice as a child's hand in yours?  So small, so soft and warm, like a kitten huddling in the shelter of your clasp." ~ Marjorie Holmes 

This was Livvie's last few moments with Josie and Jonathan this morning before I took them in for adoption. The tears came just afterwards! We've had a special eight weeks with them as we've helped them grow big and strong enough for adoption. They were adopted today at our Mega Adoption event by a young girl not much older than my girls. Fostering is one of those things that is heartbreaking and rewarding at the same time. You fall in love with you charges only to set them off on a new path to a happy forever life!

Jump in on Daisy Yellow's The Moments  challenge and share a moment from your day every day in October!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Moments: Day 3

Evening Girl Scout hike. #themomentschallenge

"I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore ... I hear it in the deep heart's core." ~ Yeats

The Moments challenge day 3! The redheads have started Girls Scouts, and on Thursday evenings, they have a hiking group. This was a beautiful view along our hike, tucked away in the back woods of Jacksonville's northeast side.

Join us for Daisy Yellow's The Moments challenge! Capture a small moment of your day every day in October! 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Moments: Day 2

Awesomeness. #themomentschallenge

"Once in his life, every man is entitled to fall in love with a gorgeous redhead." ~ Lucille Ball

The girls and I have a morning ritual that we do almost every school day morning. It's called our Daily Dose of Awesomeness. I snap a quick picture of them before they hop in the car for school. Many days, I pop them over to Facebook and they've developed quite the little Daily Dose of Awesomeness fan club! Caught this one of Sarah this morning. Looking forward to gathering years of these pictures into a book for them!  Join us for Daisy Yellow's The Moments challenge! Capture a small moment of your day every day in October!