Best Shot Monday: Flowering Plum

Flowering Plum 8 x 12
Happy Monday!  I didn't take many pictures during my Artful Journey trip this year, which is unusual for me. We had a quite a bit of rain while we were there, so it was difficult to get out and about with my camera safely. This was one lovely shot I captured, though, if I remember correctly on the first day. The grounds at the Presentation Center are spotted with flowering plum trees. At least I think that's what this is.  Please correct me if you know better! This was taken with a 35mm prime lens, aperture mode, f 2.8. 

I  spent the last five days at the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities National Programming Conference with my students.  There are educational sessions in the mornings, and then after lunch, it's back to back showcases until late into the evening. It's great having the opportunity to see so much talent, but, let me tell ya, it's exhausting!  Over the course of the conference, we watched at least 60-70 singers/musicians, spoken word artists, novelty acts like magicians and jugglers, and speakers on various subjects.  My two favorite for the conference were Emily Hearn and The Mulligan Brothers. One of greatest benefits of being a campus entertainment programmer is that you get free CDs.  :-)  Go check them out!  Hoping to get them to campus! 

Have a great week!

The Documented Life: Challenges 9 and 10

The girlies and I got caught up on our Documented Life project this weekend, so here's two more week's worth of challenges!
 Week 9-Kelly 
Challenge 9 was to collage something you recycled. I used a paper towel I had been wiping my hands on. You see my favorite colors in it! (above)

Week 9-Olivia 
Olivia used a box piece from her favorite Pop Tarts (above) and collaged a flower on the back (below).
 Week 9-Olivia

Week 9-Sarah 
 Sarah pulled some things out of a magazine flyer we got in the mail that day (above). 

Week 10-Kelly 
Challenge 10 was "What Makes Me Me?" I'm a beach loving, shell collecting, mess making Mama who loves her family, loves to explore, is addicted to her morning McDonald's large sweet tea/half cut, and is always late (above).  I tried Terri Kahr's background tutorial on the dates pages. Still working on getting the feel for that!
 Week 10-Livvie 
Olivia's is pretty easy to read! Elmo is her lovey, her favorite pillow. And I love that she put foster mama on there and drew a couple kittens and a dog (above).
 Week 10-Sarah 
Sarah included her lovey too, Bunny. She also included Girl Scouts and Greek and Roman Mythology because she is immersed in the Rick Riordan books right now. She's finished the whole Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and is on book three of the Heroes of Olympus series. She has been powering through those 500+ page books about every 10 days! 

I post Challenges 11 and 12 next week. Thanks for stopping in to visit!

Best Shot Monday: Meet Miller

Meet Miller. This isn't the best shot I've ever taken, but it was a very difficult one. As I've mentioned before, so many of these shelter dogs just amaze me. I don't know what Miller's story is, but the sadness in his eyes is clearly evident. He's a Pit mix, with big ole bulldog shoulders and a bit of a bow leg up front. He walks as if his shoulders hurt.  But oh my, how he loves.

The reason the shot was difficult to take was because every time I tried to squat down to photograph him, he just gently crawled in my lap and lay his head there. He just wanted to be loved. For this photo, I'm actually on my butt, leaning as far back as I possibly can up against the fence.  I had to clone my knee out of the bottom right corner as it was clearly in the photo almost up to Miller's snout. I'll worry about this boy until he's safely in his forever home getting the love he so dearly needs and deserves. 

In Jacksonville and want to meet Miller?  Visit Animal Care and Protective Services at 2020 Forest Street in Riverside.  They are open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-6pm.  Miller's ID number is A817990, and he'll love you like no other.  Give a shelter dog a chance. Adopt today.

Playing Catch Up! Spring Break, Documented Life, et al...

Documented Life Week 10
The Documented Life, Week 10 Challenge "What Makes Me Me?"
I've been a little slow getting back into the swing of things after returning from An Artful Journey March 3. I think I was just so exhausted! The girls and I have been on Spring Break this week and I had all intentions of photographing the books I made at AAJ to share with you, but you know what they say about good intentions! We've had a good week though.

We kicked off Spring Break with a combined arts festival/camping trip, our first official trip with our new camper we bought over the holidays. The arts festival was a bit of a bust (lovely little park, but no shoppers), but our campground was awesome! We went to Chassahowitzka River Campground. I packed up my booth end of the day Saturday so I could have a little more time with the family at the campground Saturday night and Sunday.

Monday, we went to the movies to see the Lego Movie, pretty cute with good lessons for both the kids and the adults (seriously, never crazy glue your lego pieces together!). Tuesday we were lazy, but Wednesday, we went ice skating with a friend who's determined to go ice skating once a year. We were pretty successful...first ice skating trip for the girls and first for me in about 20 years. The girls fell quite a bit, but they had a great time and eventually got the hang of it. Thankfully, I managed to stay up right the entire time! Thursday we took care of getting the tires changed on the van, ran some errands, and made a new dog bed for Isabelle (I may not have taken any photographs, but I have been productive!).

Today we got caught up on our Documented Life project. Sharing my Week 10 here, which I just snapped a picture of with my phone. This weekend, I'll make time to photograph mine and the girls Weeks 9-12 and my books from An Artful Journey. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!  

Best Shot Monday: Friends and Strangers Project, Sheila

Meet my sweet friend Sheila, next up in my Friends and Strangers project!  Sheila and I have been friends for more than 22 years. I guess you could say we've grown up together on the job. We first met at a Florida Public Relations Society meeting when she worked for United Way and I worked for Amelia Island Plantation.  Who knew that just a couple years later, we'd end up at the college where we both now work?!

Sheila's our college webmaster and a huge help to me and the entire Student Life team when it comes to getting publicity for our events.  She amazes me with how much time she dedicates to not only our college webpage, but even more all-consuming, our main college Facebook page! I don't know how she keeps up with not only sharing all our campus posts, but also creating posts of her own and answering student questions.  She inspires me every day with her always upbeat attitude towards life. She exudes positivity, and that's a quality I've always admired in her.

Sheila and I have had a few conversations about some of the fun new challenges that might be down the road for us.  Who knows just what we might come up with, but I'm looking forward to traveling that road with her!

Thank you, Sheila, for being Sheila!  Though you often call me SuperWoman, I think you are the real SuperWoman. :-)  Love you! 

Read more Friends and Strangers project posts here.

An Artful Journey Sneak Peek!

Book signatures ready for sewing.

This past Thursday-Monday, I was in California for An Artful Journey. This was my fourth year attending this amazing retreat. I'm still trying to catch up on my sleep, but I wanted to give you a quick sneak peek! The photo above is of some of my paste paint and paper book signatures that became a gorgeous book with a very cool stitch pattern and spine. And below, the Florida girl had to take a quick trip to the beach to stick her toes in the Pacific. It was darn cold! I'll photograph my artwork from the retreat this weekend and share next week! In the meantime, click here to see some of my posts from previous Artful Journey retreats!
Toes in the Pacific