Christmas Traditions

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Sharing a Christmas memory! One of our Christmas traditions is to take our dogs on a trail hike down the Black Rock Beach Trail to Boneyard Beach on Big Talbot Island. It's our Christmas present to the dogs! Timing depends on the tides as the beach is pretty much underwater and unwalkable at high tide, so this year we got out there mid-afternoon. I know it'll be so fun to look back over our Christmas day hike pictures over the years as the girls grow up. What's your favorite holiday tradition?

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Happy New Year! January Free Bling Friday!

January 2019 Free Bling

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season with family and friends. We enjoyed two weeks at home in Jacksonville which included shelter volunteer time, a visit from my dad, some shopping, and lots of being lazy. Just what we needed. So now it's back to Free Bling Friday! We'll start the year with a little golden shine. I created this little sparklers with 14K gold filled findings with sparkly light rose Swarovski crystals, simple and elegant. The crystals are 8mm, so these are on the dainty side.

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, January 31. 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 another entry.  Newsletter readers get a Free Bling entry simply by replying to my monthly email as well as access to subscriber only discounts in my Etsy shop and website. Share this post on Facebook and post a separate comment letting me know you did that for one more entry for a total of three chances.

New to commenting on Blogger? At the very bottom of this post, you'll see a date (1/11/2019) and comments. Click on the "comments" and a comment box will open. Open to U.S residents only. I would love for you to help me spread the word and share this post with a friend or two! Thanks for stopping in! 

Best Shot Monday: Weaver

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Meet Weaver. I've been photographing shelter dogs for going on seven years now, and sometimes there are those dogs...dogs like Weaver. Gorgeous, isn't she? She was also incredibly scared in the shelter. I didn't get a chance to look her up in the system before I left the day I took this photo, but my guess is she was an owner surrender. As a Lab/Golden mix in perfectly healthy condition, highly likely she did not come into the shelter as a stray.

When I came to Weaver's kennel, she was on the far side of her kennel, in the inside portion. At the Tallahassee shelter, the kennels have both inside and outside access, with a guillotine door in between. I take the dogs out from the outside. When I opened her kennel door, she peeked around the corner at me, but she stayed glued to her Kuranda bed (a raised platform bed made out of canvas and PVC pipe). I closed the kennel door and sat down in the outside portion of the kennel, reaching through the guillotine door to pet her. Poor thing was shaking like a leaf. I sat there with her for about 20 minutes trying to coax her over to the other side, but no dice. I let her rest for a while and went on down my list of others who needed photographs that day, but when I finished, I came back to Weaver's kennel to sit with her some more.

When I sat back down the second time, I had some treats with me. After a few nibbles, she finally  came over to the outside portion of the kennel where I was sitting, but even though she let me put the leash on her, she wasn't budging. She would continue to take treats, though! So there we sat, Weaver and I, having a conversation over Pupperonis. And though I couldn't convince her to go outside and enjoy a little grass and sunshine, she did let me take her photo. Thankfully, she was adopted before the end of the day that day.

Lesson here? A couple, I think. First, yes, you can find a variety of dogs at your local shelters, not just bully breeds (though I will say for the hundredth time, Pit mixes and other bully breeds are often some of the most awesome dogs and are almost always my favorites of the day!!!). And second, dogs come into the shelter in all sorts of mental shape as well. Most often, you don't know their background.  But you can know their future by giving them a chance to have a loving home with you.  Give them time and space to warm up to you, and you'll be handsomely rewarded.   

Last Week of Holiday Sale!

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Hello and Happy Friday! Just popping in today to let you know that this week marks the last week in my annual Holiday Sale! I'll be closing up shop the morning of December 21 to concentrate on time spent with my family for the Christmas break. Right now, all items in both Etsy shops (jewelry here and photography here) are 30% off and my website is 33% off (Etsy won't let me do fun numbers like that!). This amethyst bracelet is one of my favorites, and I've recreated it several times. It features sage amethyst gemstones along with a mix of Swarovski crystals all wrapped up with sterling silver. Thanks for stopping in today! Have a wonderful weekend!

Best Shot Monday: Uncle Mike!

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We were home in Jacksonville for Thanksgiving week, so I was able to spend a couple days volunteering at my home shelter. Jacksonville's Animal Care & Protective Services will always be home for me! I shared a little bit why that is in this post. I really fell in love with this guy this week, Uncle Mike, horribly cropped ears and all. Doesn't he have the best smile? He's a little on the short and stubby side and seems a cross between a baby hippo and a land manatee. Wherever he came from, he seems to have not lacked for a meal! He was just so incredibly sweet and wanted nothing more than to roll over in my lap and get belly rubs. Good for my soul, these pups! Go find your volunteer passion! Maybe yours is volunteering with animals as well!

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Ready for a little holiday shopping?

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I've been squeezing in more time at the jewelry bench lately and finally made time to photograph and post all my new pieces. Lots of new things in my Etsy shop and on my website. Go take a peek!

This time of year is always a struggle for me...so much work travel, yet wanting more time creating! And then you add in the shorter days and dark by 5:30pm or 6pm and I'm just pooped and ready for bed! How about you? Does the time change do that to you, too? I have friends in the Northeast, and they've shared with me that it's dark by 4:30pm for them, so I guess I shouldn't complain!

Thanks for stopping in today! Have a wonderful weekend! If you haven't added your name to the hat for this month's Free Bling, click here to hop over and do that! 

Best Shot Monday: Adam, Ellie, and Tallahassee Big Dog Rescue

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This little cutie is Adam. He was rescued by Tallahassee Big Dog Rescue as part of their Hurricane Michael rescue efforts. TBDR pulled about a dozen dogs from shelters evacuating animals in preparation for the storm. He is a beautiful little brindle pug mix puppy. He is approximately five months old, currently 15 pounds, and will likely be a small to medium-sized fella when fully grown. His foster mom shares that he is a happy guy who loves people and loves to sleep next to you on the couch while you watch TV. He is dog friendly and gets along with the several other dogs at his foster mom's house, sleeps quietly at night, and walks well on a leash. Visit Tallahassee Big Dog Rescue for more information!

I shoot for TBDR once or twice a month during their twice monthly events at PetSmart, and since TBDR allows kids to volunteer, my girls get to help me. It's challenging! When I'm shooting for the shelter, there are fenced play yards in which I can take the dogs off leash and let them play, which makes for great pictures! For TBDR, we are a little more limited. PetSmart opens up the back door for me, so we walk the dogs out back into a little grassy area, but we have to leave them on leash. This past Saturday, there were a lot of large trucks back there coming and going from collecting hurricane debris, so it was pretty hectic, and a little frightening for some of the dogs. Adam here was fine. However, we had an escapee in Ellie! We hadn't even gotten her over to our spot when a truck went by, spooked her, and she quickly turned her head in just the right way to maneuver right out of her collar, and BOOM! she was gone like a lightning bolt! My daughter Sarah and one other volunteer took off running after her behind Home Depot, while my daughter Olivia and I went through PetSmart and out front to run in front of Home Depot and meet around the side, hoping one or the other of us could grab her! Luckily, Ellie ended up amongst some sod pallets on the side of Home Depot and just stopped and sat down, very confused and very tired. That allowed speedy Sarah to catch up and pick her up and carry her back. Thankfully! Here's Ellie below, being held by TBRD founder DeeAnn Brady after her escape attempt.  She is also a Hurricane Michael evacuee available for adoption.

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Tallahassee Big Dog Rescue pulls dogs from the City of Tallahassee Animal Service Center as well as several small rural shelters around Tallahassee, in both north Florida and South Georgia. They've even pulled dogs from Missouri and on up farther north in larger need cases and are an all-volunteer, all-donor funded organization. Check them out and donate if you can!