2017 Documented Life Project: Finally December!

I was cleaning up my workshop this past weekend and realized I never photographed and shared here the final month of 2017 in my Documented Life Project. So, for posterity's sake, here we go!

Often due to the way the calendar falls, two month's land on one spread, as was the case here with the last few days of November and first few days of December. All the better to share a sweet picture since we kicked off the week with Olivia marching in the Thomasville Christmas Parade with her twirling group, Apex Twirling Academy. That Saturday was my birthday as well as a Hurricane Irma rescheduled FSU football game that we attended with a large group of my girls' marching band members. I don't always show the calendar side of these spreads since they can be a little boring, but sometimes I'll cut random magazine images that grab my attention to add some color to my calendar days, thus the lovely bowl of avocado and squash!


And speaking of magazines, that's where these fun boots came from, walking across the first art journaling spread of the month.


And yet again, another magazine clipping! I loved that jar and used it to bring a little sparkle to an otherwise not fun week due to a little oral surgery I had to endure. I cut things from a variety of magazines including Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Southern Living, Better Homes and Gardens, and Magnolia Journal. I'm also a home decorating magazine junkie, but those are sacred to me and have yet to see scissors. Though I have been thinking about doing something with all those fun doors of the month in HGTV Magazine. :-)


This page on the left and below is probably one of my favorite from the whole year. I started out collaging some random scraps of paper and then wasn't quite sure what to do next (I really struggle with choosing focal images....). I dug through my bin of stamps and found a plant-looking one. It was just the grassy looking things, which I stamped in black and then hated it. So after letting it dry, I painted it with a random selection of paint I had sitting out and added the sunshiny flowers and, voila, I loved it! The deer on the right is from an old Papaya Arts planner I took apart when it was out of date. This week represented our last week in Tallahassee before we headed home to Jacksonville for the Christmas break.



This spread came together nicely for me in regards to color. The art journaling side started out looking quite differently! It was an old ad, which you can see peeking through with a little "merchantile" and coral coloring at the top. Can't even remember what I started out doing, but clearly it went a different direction as I ended up with much softer colors through a little bit of paint, some napkins and a bird cage. We went down to South Florida to visit my dad the first part of this week and did a fun day at Lion County Safari. Can't believe that place is still there and better than it ever was! We had a hysterically funny several minutes thanks to an ostrich who really wanted the stuffed animal that was sitting on the dashboard of the car. He apparently was convinced he could get to it through the windshield and entertained us trying to do so. I have it on video somewhere!



Our Lion Country Safari goat friend, who the girls name Bert, above. I posted these two pictures to my Instagram feed and Lion Country Safari actually commented and said "Martin won't mind his new nickname! Thanks for visiting!"


Christmas Day brought us our usual Christmas morning walk out to Big Talbot Island's Black Rock Trail to Boneyard Beach. We had to go extra early due to the timing of the tides, and we caught a beautiful sunrise. Magical way to start the day.



And this last page closes out 2017. Both my 2016 and 2017 projects divided out into three books each, so I covered the covers of each volume in pretty papers and have all six of them sitting on a shelf in my workshop. Now, I'm working on 2018, and am only, oh, about seven months behind... Thanks for stopping in today! See more of my 2017 DLP project here; see 2016 here; see 2015 here; and see 2014 (my favorite!) here.

Best Shot Monday: Girls Trip to North Carolina


The redheads and I had a girls trip with my sister and her girls up to the mountains of North Carolina last month. I'm finally getting around to editing photos! We waterfall and trail hopped for two days and went to the Biltmore one day.  Photos above and below were taken on the Pink Sands trail near the Cradle of Forestry Museum.



The photo above was pure serendipity. We were on a trail that took us by three waterfalls in the Dupont State Forest portion of the Pisgah National Forest - High Falls, Triple Falls, and Hooker Falls.  Here we had hiked down to the bottom of High Falls to put our fingers and toes in the water. I was fiddling with something in my pack, and I looked up and saw the five of them by the water like this. So sweet!  The photo below was at Looking Glass Falls. I'm not very good a selfies, but I'm proud of this one! 



The Biltmore Estate is quite the experience. When we pulled up Google maps for directions, we thought there must be an error when it told us the Biltmore was only a mile and a half from our hotel. Our hotel was in the center of town (Asheville), so thought that couldn't be possible! But sure enough, when we went around the corner, there was the entrance, right there in the middle of the city. When we drove through the arched gateway, we felt like we had entered into some sort of time and space portal because the city literally fell away and all we could see was trees and sprawling land. Amazing!


And lastly, if you've been following along here any bit of time, you know I love these walking away shots. This was on the Pink Sands trail, and I just love little Ramona's little swing of the hip there. 

Thanks for stopping in today!  I know I've been pretty quiet here on the blog for most of the summer, but I'm working on getting back into the swing of things again! 

Football Season is here: Custom Jacksonville Jaguars Piece

Jags Necklace for Shannon!

In the South, Fall means football, and though we are smack dab in the middle of the dog days of August, football is cranking up around here. I created this custom piece for one of my best customers who wanted some bling to cheer on the Jacksonville Jaguars. I do often create custom pieces, so if you have something in mind, just drop me a note!

August Free Bling!

Rhodochrosite and Pearls-1 square

Happy August to you! Congratulations to Tracy from Jacksonville, the recipient of July's Free Bling! This month, I'm sending these delicate little beauties out into the world. These are small rhodochrosite gemstones with little seed pearls, all wrapped up in sterling silver. These are on the petite side, with the pearls and the gemstone just about one inch in length total. In the Book of Stones, Robert Simmons shares, "Rhodochrosite emanates one of the most tender and loving energies of any stone, soothing the heart, comforting the soul, and vibrating to the frequencies of inner peace. It is a marvelous talisman of joy and healing, of embracing one’s rightful powers and rising to one’s full potential." My girls and I did a little gem mining with my sister and her girls in the North Carolina mountains a few weeks ago, and it got me interested in the meanings behind different gemstones. Fun to explore!  And while gem mining wasn't as fun as I remembered it being when I was a kid, it was definitely fun for the kiddos!

To get your name in the hat to win these little beauties, leave me your first name, city and state, and a way to contact you in the comments below no later than midnight EST Thursday, August 23.  Share this post on Facebook and post a separate comment letting me know you did that for another entry. And if you haven't already subscribed to my monthly newsletter, click here to subscribe and you'll receive a reminder each month for Free Bling and one more entry. Newsletter readers get a Free Bling entry simply by replying to my monthly email!

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