2017 Documented Life Project: February


Welcome to February in August for the 2017 Documented Life Project! :-) This first week's spread was a bit of serendipity (my favorite word). I had cut those legs out of a magazine and then they fluttered to the other side before I could glue them down. Liked the back side even better. The highlight of the week was our state student government conference. I always love the opportunity to hang out with my former SGA colleagues.



The second week was actually created by my daughter Sarah. She had been doing some DLP creating and kind of fizzled out, so I asked her if I could include some of her pages in my book. She was quite honored! The highlight of this week, depicted by the photo, was our first mountain bike ride as a family. My husband and I have been mountain bikers for years, but this was the first time we took the girls. They loved it!


This next week includes a collection of under papers brought together by a Pam Carriker heart stamp. This week brought our first introduction to the high school our girls are now attending, capped off by a band concert in which the middle school band got to perform on the high school stage.



This last spread was more under papers topped off by a Donna Downey stencil that I stenciled on more under papers and some book pages. I really love the way this came together! It's my favorite spread of the month.


Thanks for stopping in!  See more of my 2017 Documented Life Project here.  And you can check out my 2016, 2015, and 2014 DLP projects by clicking on those years. Thanks to the ladies at Art to the 5th for the inspiration.  And speaking of inspiration, I've been back at the jewelry bench lately and will be sharing some new jewelry pieces soon.  I've missed digging into bead boxes! 

Best Shot Monday: Meet Rocky


For this week's Best Shot Monday, I'd like to introduce you to Rocky. While I do most of my photography volunteering with the City of Tallahassee Animal Service Center and Jacksonville's Animal Care and Protective Services, my girls and I also help out Tallahassee Big Dog Rescue when we can.  This picture aptly demonstrates that TBDR also rescues small dogs!  All TBDR animals are in foster homes, so it's a little hard to get them all photographed. They hold twice monthly adoption booths at PetSmart on northeast Capital Circle in Tallahassee the second and fourth Saturday of the month.  Thankfully, PetSmart lets us sneak out the back door with the dogs to a nice green spot for photos. 

This cute little guy was taken in by TBRD from the Bainbridge, Georgia, Humane Society. He's about one or two years old.  He's a bit reserved at first, and his foster mama says he tries to be a good watch dog, but soon enough, his friendly and affectionate personality takes over. His favorite place is right next to you, and he's learning to become a great little lap dog. He's sitting up on my daughter Olivia in this picture, and it looks to me like he is completely smitten with her! He has such a sweet expression on his little face.

Rocky still needs a bit more practice walking on a leash, but he will pick it up just fine given a little patience (of course, he prefers to be carried!).  Younger children might intimidate him, but he should adjust to being with older kids that take their time with him to earn his trust. He's neutered, update-to-date on shots, microchipped and available for adoption through Tallahassee Big Dog Rescue.  

Best Shot Thursday: Meet Wiley!


Let me tell you about Wiley. Wiley came in to the City of Tallahassee - Animal Service Center system as a stray in October 2016. Yes, you read that correctly! October 2016. That means he’s been in the system for 10 months! He was there at the shelter in the kennels waiting for his forever family to find him until the end of March when he was selected to participate in the UTOPIA program. The UTOPIA program is a partnership between Animal Services and the Taylor Correctional Institution (TCI) in Perry. Dogs selected for the program are housed at TCI for a minimum of eight weeks to receive socialization and basic obedience training and then are returned to the shelter for adoption.

Wiley graduated from the UTOPIA program in July and has been waiting for you to find him since. Shelter staff estimate him to be about four years old and 55-60 pounds. And let me tell you! This dog is amazing! He’s a cattle dog mix who knows commands like sit, roll over and play dead. He walks well on his leash and, even though he’s incredibly fond of treats, takes them very gently. He loves to play, particularly tug of war, and he’ll even “talk” to you while he’s playing. And while he loves a great game of tug of war or fetch, he is also content to just settle in and chill for a while, and you know, maybe share your snack with you. He's also a playgroup member and gets along well with others. His handlers at TCI even shared that once he learned where his temporary “home” was, he was able to run back to and into his kennel from 200 yards away after his training and play for the day! One thing to note, he should not join a home with cats, but really, who needs a cat with this much awesomeness waiting for you? He’s available for adoption at the City of Tallahassee Animal Service Center.

Though you might not be in the Tallahassee area, I bet there is an animal shelter near you. And I promise you it's full of awesome dogs like Wiley. Give shelter dogs a chance. Adopt, don't shop.

UPDATE:  I shared this post on Facebook when I wrote it and it was shared numerous times.  Wiley was adopted two days later!  

Workshop with Pam Carriker

PC journal 8

The first weekend of August, I had the pleasure of taking a workshop with Pam Carriker at Donna Downey Studios. This is the second studio workshop I've taken at Donna's place, and she and her husband Bill are wonderful hosts. And Pam was a very fun and patient teacher!  I've admired Pam's work for a while and was initially drawn to her thanks to her book Art at the Speed of Life. Great tips there in finding time to squeeze little bits of art time into very busy lives. The piece above was a work in the art of covering up.  I tried a hand ... I hated it ... so I covered it up. :-) I'm finding that I definitely don't have a light hand myself when it comes to working with the Stabilo All pencil and a water brush.

PC journal 1

Full spread here.  So clearly faces aren't my gift either, but I was determined to try. Love that crazy hair, huh? I'll definitely have to keep practicing on the faces.

PC journal 3

PC journal 6

Pam walked us through her process for creating her journal pages and then basically turned us loose. She brought all her paints and inks for us to use as well as all her stamps and stencils. We also had full use of all Donna's supplies there in the studio. That's one of the things I've really loved about workshops there. All supplies are included so you don't have to figure out how to pack and bring it all on a plane! (And they even pick you up at the airport!) The spread above with close up was definitely my favorite of the weekend. Those funky boots just spoke to me; they came from one of Donna's stencils.

PC journal 2

PC journal 7

The spread and close up above involved working with tissue paper transfers. What I really liked about this process was flipping the same image over to get a mirror image. Pam supplied us with the image. Not sure where to go from here on this page, so we'll see where it takes me.

PC journal 4

PC journal 5

Pam taught us a lot about using a color wheel, both in selecting colors for a page as well as in using a color wheel as an actual design element. I should have layed down some white gesso under this color wheel to make the colors more true and vibrant on top of my fairly busy background, but these are all the colors in Pam's line of paints through Derivan Matisse available at Jerry's Art-a-Rama. They were very fun to work with! Very vibrant, yet sheer at the same time.

I'm thankful to have these opportunities to get away and play with paint and paper every now and then.  They are few and far between since I have so much travel in my new job (going on three years now, but still feels new ...).  I came home energized and ready to clean up my studio and get back to playing more again. Thanks, Pam and Donna! 

Best Shot Monday: The End of Summer


Yes, the end of summer is quickly approaching ... not in a regular calendar sense, maybe, but most definitely in a school calendar sense. I caught this shot of Benny and Olivia sitting on the dock with the dogs not long before we had to head back over to Tallahassee for the start of band camp. Yep, band camp. (I know those of you of a certain age and movie generation might now be saying in your head, "This one time... at band camp..." My husband says it all the time now!) As the redheads head into high school, they will both be participating in marching band, Sarah with her clarinet and Olivia on drill team. Because they are incoming freshmen, that meant THREE WEEKS of band camp. The first week was freshmen only, 8am-noon; last week we finished up full band, 8a-5pm; and this week they have afternoon rehearsals 3pm-5pm. School starts on the 14th!  Hard to believe my girls are heading into high school.  It may be cliche, but it's so true. Time surely passes quickly!  

Getting Back to the Jewelry Bench

Cristhel necklace

While we were Home in Jacksonville for a good part of the summer, I brought some really basic jewelry supplies home with me, REALLY basic. I brought my tools and some brass wire and chain, along with a bin of beads that I've been meaning to destash on Etsy. I never got around to photographing the beads I wanted to destash, but I did spend some time at my workbench playing around with some random beads I had there at Home. I spent a couple nights working with sweet Denver at my feet, and this was one of the pieces I made then. I sent this one to my fellow shelter volunteer friend, and now volunteer coordinator, at our Jacksonville shelter as a little surprise to thank her for all she does for our shelter staff, volunteers and, of course, all the animals! Once I get my workshop cleaned up and reorganized in Tallahassee now that we are back over here, I plan to get better at spending a little more time at the jewelry bench again. Great thing to do while my art journal pages are drying!

2017 Documented Life Project: January


Hello! Now that we've finally hit August, it's time to share my January edition of my 2017 Documented Life Project (snort...!). I have been chugging along in my 2017 journal on a fairly timely basis... just have a little backlog in sharing it! The Art to the 5th gals did not continue with DLP in 2017, but I decided to do another year on my own since I really liked the documenting part of it, particularly adding in pictures from the week to my journal. It really is a great reason to actually get those pictures out of my phone and into real life. I started the year out with a little booklet I received from Brave Girls Club, perfect way to start the year.


The first week of January was a big one for us. The Daily Dose of Awesomeness got BRACES! :-)


For the second week's spread, I used this stamp I got from Donna Downey Studios. Since we try to be all sorts awesome around here, it's perfect for our family. I cut that pink light out an HGTV magazine.



The inspiration for the next week came from a Sherry Canino video tutorial. So much juicy goodness out there on YouTube; I discovered Sherry through Roben-Marie Smith. The excitement this week included my turning-50-right-of-passage: a colonoscopy! Whoo hoo! All good! (and it's really true what you hear...the procedure itself is a breeze; it's the prep that makes you miserable. Be sure to get your screenings!!!)



In my goal of "using up what I have," one of the things I've been trying to do here is include more of my photographs in my journals. This little heart leaf has been in my stash for a while. I captured it in the parking lot on campus a couple years back. I'm always on the lookout for hearts in nature. This week took me back on the road for our FCSAA Winter Music Symposium. Lucky for me, it was in Jacksonville, so I got to spend a fews days at Home. Looks like I also got two shelters day in that week, one in Tallahassee and one in Jacksonville. Bonus!



Another thing I've been practicing with these past two DLP journals, in addition to using up what I have, is that some weeks I just need to embrace simplicity. That may mean using a page from a magazine that really speaks to me or, as in this case, using a fun little postcard size message. I do a lot of juggling in my life, and I'm a chronic over-scheduler (I don't think I know how to live any other way...), so one way I do try to manage that is by being okay with a really simple page on occasion. After all, I don't think art journaling would be fun if it became a chore, right?


To see my 2016 Documented Life Project, click here. For 2015, click here. And for 2014, click here. I'll continue posting 2017 by the month until I get caught up posting! Thanks for stopping in today!  I'm excited to be heading up to Donna Downey Studios this weekend to take an art journaling class with Pam Carriker