Best Shot Monday: Pete and Repeat!

Pete 4-26-14

Say hello to our newest foster kittens, Pete (above) and Repeat (below)!  They are brothers and are so sweet and playful.  They are giving Josie and Jonathan a run for their money as our favorite foster kittens and we've only had them for three days!  They play hard, and then boom!, fall asleep right where they land.  We'll probably have them for two to three weeks until they are old enough and heavy enough for their neuter surgery, and then they will be off to their forever homes.  Always remember to adopt, not shop!  Stop by your local animal shelter to meet your new best friend!
Repeat 4-25-14

Artful Growing and Mermaids and Mamas

Livvie Trees062

For years, I've dreamed of being an elementary school art teacher.  I just think that would be the coolest job!  I've actually researched getting a second master's degree in Art Education but have not had any luck finding a program that will accept me. It doesn't appear to matter that I've already earned one bachelor's degree, one master's degree, and have more than twenty years' teaching experience.  In order to be accepted into every program I've researched, you must have a bachelor's degree in Studio Art. We self taught artists are apparently not talented enough.  Phooey.

So instead, I have to get my fix seeing what my girls do at school and through Mermaids and Mamas.  Livvie created that awesome tree painting above. It's hard to see in the scan, but it's actually pretty textural. She first painted the background stripes and then painted the three background trees.  From there, she drew the fuller trees on other paper, painted them, cut them out and collaged them to her painting. The topmost branches are free floating.  Sarah did the landscape below.  It was a bit large to fully fit on my scanner, but I love how she's shown depth of field here!

Speaking of Mermaids and Mamas, we are in our last few weeks of registration!  If you have some young ladies in your life, we'd love for you to join us. Hop over here for all the details.
Sarah Landscape063

Friends and Strangers Project, Jim

Photo credit: Moe's
No, I didn't meet a burrito this time. I met Jim.  And though Jim and I had a lovely conversation, he would not let me take his photo, so therefore, you have a picture of a burrito.  Because I met Jim at Moe's.

Jim and I have been on the same lunch circuit for about three years now. I'd see him at Moe's (my usual Monday lunch spot for Moe's Monday), the Loop (my usual Tuesday lunch spot for Double Punch Tuesday), and Panera another day of the week. I'm not loyal to Panera on any particular day.  And for the record, Friday is usually Chick-Fil-A day, and occasionally, I'll hit Crispers or Tom and Betty's. I've seen Jim at all those neighborhood haunts too. I realize I could save a heck of a lot of money by brown bagging it, but I've just never been the brown bagging type.

So back to Jim. As I mentioned we've been on the same lunch circuit for a while, but we've never officially met. A head nod here and there has been the extent of our interaction. Last week I decided that if I saw him, I would sit down and talk to him.  When I walked into Moe's on Wednesday (totally threw on you that one didn't I, since I usually go to Moe's on Monday!), there he was.  So before ordering, I walked over to his table, asked if I could ask him a question and sat down. By this point I imagine he was thinking, "Oh holy hell, this blonde that I've been seeing around for three years now is actually stalking me."  I mentioned that we've been on the same lunch circuit for a while now and he just laughed and said yes, that's true. When I told him about my Friends and Strangers Project, he said he'd love to get to know me, but he didn't want me to take his picture.  Now, Jim is definitely not an unattractive guy, so I'm not sure why he was so camera shy, but what the heck, we continued our conversation.

He lives in the Avondale area (where my campus, Moe's, the Loop and Panera are located) and is a project manager for a family business specializing in home design.  When I asked him if he was an architect, he told me that in residential design, you do not have to work with an architect when designing or remodeling your home because you are not required to meet ADA requirements as you would for a commercial building. I did not know that! We talked about home design for a while, and then he asked me what I did in the neighborhood. When I told him I worked for the college, he said that only those who've grown up in the neighborhood know all the different names the college has had. I actually graduated from my very campus three college names ago, as did he! 

I haven't given up on getting a photo of Jim yet, and since I'll undoubtedly see him again, I'll keep trying.  In the meantime, you may now imagine eating one of those yummy Joey's above. See more Friends and Strangers posts here.

The Documented Life: Challenge 13

Things have been a little more hectic than usual around the Happy Shack this week since I have an arts festival this weekend. If you are in the North Florida/South Georgia area, come see me at the Glynn Arts Arts in the Park on St. Simon's Island!  I'll be selling my jewelry in this show, so I've been spending this week and last at the jewelry bench.  The girls and I have a little catching up to do on our Documented Life project, but I wanted to share Challenge 13 with you today.
week 13-kelly by sarah

This was really fun, because the challenge was to let someone else doing something in your journal!  For mine, my tip in for the week was a piece of a jelly print I created, so Sarah added to one side (above) and Olivia added to the other (below).  I love having little pieces of their art in my book!

week 13-kelly by liv
week 13-liv by kelly
Olivia picked one of the sample pages from a couple new paper packs I picked up and used that as her background on one side.  From there she turned it over to me (above).  After I finished my side of Livvie's page, Sarah completed the back side (below). I love that Sarah added the "my buddy" scrap for her sister. 

week 13-liv by sarah

week 13-sarah by kelly

And lastly, Sarah used the same process as Livvie, using the sample page from one of my paper packs. Above is the page that I finished for her, and below is the page that Livvie finished for her.  We've really been enjoying this process, and I've loved that the girls have been occasionally taking their books to school with them to show their friends and teachers.  You can still get involved by checking out the details here!  
 week 13-sarah by liv

Best Shot Monday: Caught in the Act

Caught in the Act Butts 
I love cows. Can't resist them. (And no, I'm not a vegetarian.) I had a meeting in Tallahassee on Friday, and there's a great cow pasture just east of Tallahassee. Those cows are always very curious. When I was cruising by Thursday evening, the girls and I squealed with delight, "Look at the butts!" So I turned around and went back to photograph the butts.

After I had taken a few shots, this one cow turned around and stared me down (below), just like she was saying, "Why the heck are you taking pictures of our butts? Do you find our butts funny?" It made me think of a stupid joke my husband likes to tell: "Why do you never see a cow with a bobbed tailed? ..... Because the sun would shine up her butt and spoil the milk!" Ba da boom!
 Caught in the Act

Saying Goodbye to my Sweet Old Girl

I had to say goodbye to my beautiful sweet old blind girl, Savannah, this morning. When I took her in for her checkup yesterday, Dr. Brown ran blood work on her. Dr. Chandler called me back this morning to let me know that her blood work indicated advanced kidney disease and cancer, so it was time. I’m so grateful to Dr. Brown and Dr. Chandler of the Animal Eye Clinic for helping both me and Savannah adjust to her loss of vision over these past two years, and for helping me make the decision I had to make today. I’m also thankful for Dr. Roy of Gateway Animal Hospital, who has been our long-time primary vet, for helping me with such compassion this morning when saying goodbye. We brought her home and buried her in our butterfly garden.

I know those of you without pets may not understand the grief that comes with having to euthanize your pet, but my animal lover friends certainly do. Benny and I came into our relationship with two dogs each, but Savannah was our first pet we had together, our “first child” so to speak and my first cat, and she gave us 17 beautiful years of cuddles and biscuits. She was the last of a litter of kittens that were dumped on the porch of my assistant’s mother, and when Angie brought that beautiful little ball of calico fur into the office, I simply couldn’t resist. When she lost her vision (due to a blood pressure spike that detached her retinas) she became more and more attached to me and followed me everywhere around the house for comfort. She’d wake me up in the morning with a gentle meow saying it was time for breakfast; when I got home in the afternoons, she’d come out at the sound of my voice; when I sat down on the couch to watch TV, she’d find my lap; and as I washed my face and got ready for bed each night, she’d lay right there at my feet. And now I have to find the right words to tell my girls. I will miss you, sweet blind girl. Meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

The Documented Life: Challenges 11 and 12

Week 11-Kelly

Back with more of our Documented Life project! Challenge 11 was "Put a Bird on It." Part of my goal with the project is to use only things I have on hand. And I have a ton of scraps and stuff on hand! I've had these sticker letters around for a while and you've seen them pop up on other pages as well. The background here is some painted deli paper I used to protect my work space while journaling. I pulled the bird from a pile of collage bits I had (above).

Week 11-Olivia

Olivia already had a pretty piece of scrapbook paper as this week's tip in, so she added to it. The two birds are fabric birds I found on Etsy at least two years ago. Finally getting used! I also found the stickers on Etsy and use them on random mailings (above).

Week 11-Sarah

Sarah also used two of the fabric birds I had and drew a tree for them to live in. We talked a lot about backgrounds this week and the importance of taking our time and not rushing through something just to get the "assignment" done. Lots of lessons there, both in journaling and even more so in life (above).

Week 12-Kelly

Challenge 12 was "Cut Up a Magazine." Magazines are definitely not in short supply around here, so we had plenty to leaf through and cut. I started with a bowl of strawberries as the base, which you can hardly see anymore. Then I added the pink flower, then the cat, and then the green flowers, cut with a punch. I topped it off with a little rhinestone collar for the cat and a white Sharpie paint pen for highlights (above).

Week 12-Olivia

Olivia went with her favorite theme: animals! She started by coloring the background and then added a collage of dogs (above).

Week 12-Sarah

Sarah went with a Despicable Me theme. We love Despicable Me! Great movies if you haven't seen them. She started out by coloring the background and then added her collage (above). We'll be back next Wednesday with Challenges 13 and 14. See more posts from The Documented Life project here.