Photo Bomb

Time is flying.
This is my most frequent complaint. This way that my perception of time continues to increase in speed over time.
I don't think there's any way to keep it from happening. But, I can continue to enjoy all those minutes like I have been recently. Here's a photo post to say "What's up?".

This is Jobin. He's called Baby right now but he will be coming home with me after the holidays to live at his new warm forever home. He's one of the five lab cats we have been fostering for the past few years at work. With an impending move coming early next year, we're all slowly taking these guys home. Jobin was the first who came to hang out with us, and he's awesome.
Babies on the couch by the christmas tree. Scenes like this are why I love to put our tree up right after Thanksgiving. 
Fall trees, they're turning to winter now. Gainesville stays pretty green all year around, but there is a delightful mix of trees here in North Florida. Some of which burn orange and yellow and red until they fall and blow away.
GLAM was a total blast this year. I wish I had the forethought to take more photos that day but I'm happy to say it was because I was so busy! There were shoppers lined up around the building for our opening and I met so many wonderful local art lovers. Our community so fully embraces the entrepreneur and it's wonderful to have been included among such talented peers. I definitely intend to dedicate a post to the sweet sweet stuff I grabbed either by purchase or trade.

Tomorrow we drive down to Sarasota to work at the Atomic Holiday Bazaar on Saturday and spend some much needed time with family and friends. Early is staying at Camp Gabe and Jenn with her buddy Foster. I'm hoping to eat my favorite food, make new friends, see old favorites, and sprint through this final stretch.


Weekend FTW

I posted this photo of new copper hoop earrings on my facebook page last Thursday night and by Friday afternoon they were sold to my friend in Jacksonville.

Now that's a good sign!

I didn't quite work as much as I planned (aka every day) this past weekend but when Monday came I looked back and felt great. Actually, I felt great Sunday night after getting to bed at 1045, realizing that I accomplished everything I set out to do including taking a nap. It was shorter than I wanted, but it was a nap dammit. A good one.

I got home early from work on Friday and started running a computer clean-up protocol that was desperately needed. I still have a couple steps to finish but our home computer is already working so much better. Saturday morning in fact, Collin was able to stream some live soccer and he said it probably wouldn't have been possible had I not cleaned off so much junk the night before. Friday night I also went to dinner with Laura and Cindy for ladies night at The Top. Can I just ask why everyone is getting rid of their damn portobello sandwiches? It's my go-to favorite thing on so many menus and I am having to switch it up constantly now. Come on. I will say I like the addition of fried pickles to the appetizer selections. Always good. Always. I saw Jay working, said hi, and got us some stiffer drinks than usual to start off the night because Collin was super amazing and offered to drive us and pick us up. The benefits of having a husband spending the night in watching soccer and a friend behind the bar. So, instead of enameling when I got home I just hung out with Collin and we went to bed early.
Saturday we lazed around in bed as long as possible before I got up and went out to work. I also wanted to go to the mall and see if I could find a few things for the both of us. Our closets are sad. Well, my closet is sad and his selection of work shirts is small. Anyway I walked around forever and came home with 3 v-neck t-shirts in various colors and patterns. I am so typical. Someday, I will buy something else, I swear. I also drove out to Fresh Market to get a few pumpkins because they were half the price there as any other grocery store in town. Then I stopped in to Publix for my weekly trip. While I was out, Collin kept watching football (not soccer) and cleaned the house. Did I mention how awesome my husband is? He swept and mopped the house, cleaned the stovetop, cleaned the bathroom, and washed our sheets. BAM! By the time I got home I was exhausted and just really really wanted to take that nap. Too bad our friend Jon was headed over to watch the Bama/LSU game that felt like it was lasting forever. By the time it ended, I couldn't justify a nap so I made dinner and hung out at home with Collin until I could go to sleep early.
Sunday I woke up late, after 12 hours of glorious sleep. I made us a quick breakfast while we puttered around and then I made cookies (half of which I burned) to take over to Laura's house for pumpkin carving and snacks. I carved Jack Skellington into mine. Collin carved Lionel Richie. Good times, happy pumpkins. I just hope they won't rot before Halloween like they did last year. With daytime temps in the high 80's all week, I have little hope. Finally I came home and took a nap. No really, we walked in the door and I took off my shoes and got into bed. We were expecting Gabe and Jenn for dinner and TV watching at 5, and it was 4pm. I had well over half an hour for some delicious daytime sleeping and that's just what I did. Then I got up, made another quick dinner and had fun with our friends until about 7. Then I started enameling, popping in and out of the living room to hang out here and there. I managed to fire 8 pieces even while hanging out. Not as many as I hoped for the whole weekend but some is always better than none.

Next weekend is The Fest so my brother and many friends will be in town rocking out. I won't see them much but plan on being brunch hostess to all - come cure your hangover with my bacon. After the cooking, back to more enameling work. This time, I mean it. But I won't be too sad if I get less done than my lofty goals planned.


Busy Lady

Lots of time spent on Love, Lindsey Kaye this week so far. I am getting more and more excited for the shows coming up!
I even spent some time on the computer last night finally making a new banner and avatar for my Etsy shop and re-opening it back from vacation mode. And I thought I would have it back and running at the end of August. Hah!

Sunday and Monday evenings I spent working at the kiln. Somehow I managed to fire more than 20 pieces in just two sessions of a couple hours each. Enameling is not a quick process, but I'm getting more efficient. I think my design and craft are getting cleaner too; something I've striven for in this medium.

Check out the slick lighting on that necklace, eh? I invested a little money in a simple lightbox and lamp set I found (surprisingly) on ThinkGeek.com. Lucky absolutely destroyed the homemade version I rigged up with a cardboard box and tissue paper. It did it's job for a while but wasn't really what I needed anyway. This one folds down into a neat little tiny pack, including the lights. I think I might stop in at Michael's craft store sometime this weekend to get a few more background patterns, too. I have lots of paper but so much is just too busy for a project like this. Better saved for handmade cards and goodies.

More to come soon; I have tiny hearts, blossom necklaces, copper hoop earrings, sterling pendants, and a menagerie of animals still to do. I'm happy that our social life is still full but much more quiet. Prioritizing this time to work has energized me for more!


Keeping Up

If I have learned one thing about myself as an adult, it's that things are rarely as bad as they seem before you actually get started.
As a child, I hated imperfection. A general term, but one nonetheless that could encompass whatever I thought was 'wrong' with something. Perfect to me meant arriving somewhere on time, dressed appropriately and prepared. If I was going to be late to dance class, I would rather just skip it. If I could get there on time but wasn't prepared or dressed (or whatever) properly, again I'd rather not go at all. My fears were in the faces of those who would notice. Notice that something had messed up the plan somewhere along the line and that I couldn't keep up with what I felt were my responsibilities. Fast forward to college and it continued. Woke up late for class; a 'normal' person might throw on sweat pants, forgo the makeup and get there a few minutes late because what mattered was getting there for the lesson. I, would curl into a ball and imagine the hundreds of faces watching me slink to the back of the room as I interrupted the lecture with my crazy ponytail attempt to cover up bedhead.
Therapy for my OCD helped me transition through these feelings to the place I am now. I might not arrive exactly on time and I might not look perfect, but I can find a comfortable medium for myself. I'm no longer paralyzed by a fear of 'imperfection' like I once was. Today I know it's never all-or-nothing. Rarely are there cases where it would be best for me to just stay home instead of being a few minutes late. I am thankful to have had the help I did in understanding this.

Sometimes I look back and can't believe how much more a relaxed person I am now than I was just over 5 years ago.

Recently I have started planning out the work I'll need to do in order to build my inventory for GLAM and Atomic Holiday Bazaar. All lumped together it's incredibly overwhelming. When I break it down though, I can see there is a reasonable amount of work but that it's not impossible.
Not so impossible seeming that I feel like I should just quit, like I should just not waste my time starting because I won't be able to finish everything as 'perfectly' as I want.
All I have to do is work at it, slowly, and enough will get done so that I feel accomplished. So that I will feel competent and that I have put forth enough energy.

Last week I did enamel on Monday night like I swore to myself I would. I finished 5 small teardrop pendants and they're ready for assembly once I drill the metal flowers. This Monday, I let myself off the hook because I wanted to relax with Collin on our anniversary. Tuesday we wanted to take Early on a long walk so that we could wear her out before trying to endure the hell that is clipping her nails. Last night we were dog-sitting for a friend and I didn't think that I could concentrate and maneuver around two big happy dogs while working. Tonight is my favorite TV night. One night after another of potential work gone because I am not prioritizing what I need to. Or, what I tell myself I should be prioritizing.

I'm rambling, and thinking 'out loud' here about all of this. But I feel that with everything I've learned about myself, I should be able to relax and allow myself to not have guilt over choosing other 'work' or even play over this work I have weighing on me. Then again, once I allow myself the luxury of not worrying about getting this done I feel anxious all over about not keeping up.

What I really need to remind myself is that last year I had from now to the middle of November to fire and assemble and order all my supplies for GLAM. And I needed to conceptualize and execute my entire setup and branding and pricing.
If I can do that and be well-received and successful. I can do this too. I know the shows are a little bigger, but the work is faster and I am better now at what I do.
I can do this.
I just have to get myself to.
'Good enough' is good enough, and I will never accomplish everything I want to in a day. Things take time and when it's all done I will look back and think, "that work wasn't as bad as it seemed".


Two Years

Happy Anniversary to my love.

Sunday, Collin and I packed up the car and drove a little while outside Gainesville to Cellon Oak Park. The weather was incredible (much like two years ago) and we had a quiet picnic in an open field, shaded by a century oak.

It was everything I could have wanted to celebrate another year. Delicious snacks, a killer wedding cake replay, and a big soft blanket in peaceful solitude.



goal fail

So I said I was going to enamel on Saturday, right?
Well I lied.

I did not, in fact, do anything related to enameling on Saturday. Instead I hosted Collin's out of town friend staying with us for the football game after he arrived earlier than I anticipated. When I also realized that the football game would not be on TV I should have decided to stay home and work while listening to it on the radio.
What I did instead was go to a friends house to attempt watching it online through her TV. Too bad we found out after we were all there and the potluck had started that it was not online at all.
So we hung out and ate snacks and chicken legs listening to it on the radio.

I had fun, but if I'm ever going to get this work done, I'm going to have to start declining some invitations from friends eventually.
Sunday didn't happen either after waking up at nearly 11AM, cleaning the house, getting dinner started in the slow cooker, getting a surprise phone call from a friend passing through town who wanted to meet for a late lunch, and then hosting Gabe and Jenn (and Foster pup) for dinner and DVR'd TV premiers.
This weekend was full. And I really needed that early bedtime I gave myself yesterday.

Tonight, Monday night.
September 27th, 2010.

I will enamel several pieces. Start to finish.
Because I already made plans for Tuesday to hang out and watch an interesting DVD
with Adriane while Collin is out kicking around a soccer ball with his buddies. We went out for ladies night Friday night at The Warehouse and got to talking about religion/creation. A while ago my lovely friend Anna invited me to see a Christian astrophysicist speak about his thoughts on evolution and creation. It was a really interesting discussion and she then secretly went and bought the DVD for sale at the end of the event. I'm pretty sure it will lean towards the intelligent design side of the argument, but I have always felt bad about failing to watch it for so long. Tuesday sounds like a great night for it, especially because when talking it sounds like something that aligns greatly with what Adriane believes. She is in grad school for architecture (serious business) so I told her that I would always love to hang out and watch TV or a DVD while she's doing sketches or models. A lot of work for most people in school requires serious concentration, but thankfully a lot of hers can be done while casually hangin', but now that we're not all in school, it's harder to feel comfortable doing work if the other person has none to do. It will make for a great time for me to sit and finish the pieces I'll be doing tonight.
I've planned an easy dinner and everything!
GOALS. Aren't they great?



I am reminded when I come to blog that I have been consistently avoiding all things enameling for most of this summer.

"It's too hot to fire the kiln."
"I still have to move in and finish the house for the party."
"I don't have time to build my work desk yet so I can't set anything up."
"It's too hard to move everything around when we have guests who will stay for football weekends when we need to put the bed down."
"I don't wanna."

But then I look at this and remind myself that it's not so hard to just get started and in one night or so have something gorgeous in my hands.

Something that hopefully others will think is gorgeous come December at the holiday craft shows I have already signed up for and paid the required fees to enter.

Mostly I'm putting off what I perceive as an overwhelming amount of work. I'm intimidated by all the talent I consistently see around me at these shows and the fact that you actually have to pay to get into them this time around which makes me think that my items and display have to be even better this year. I can, in reality, break it down so that it's a reasonable amount of work spread out over the next two months but damn. Just getting that first fire going has been rough. I am constantly putting off doing anything related. I'd rather cook dinner, bake bread, strategize supercoupon shopping trips, or catch up on the TV shows I missed from the night before. I was also supposed to have cable in the new guest room/work room and I don't. So I'm pouting.

Last weekend I made progress though and rearranged the guest room so that I can fit the big 6' folding table in there as a work space while I wait on creating whatever custom desk fits better in the room. It doesn't have to be pretty to be functional. All I really need is a desk, an outlet, and easy access to my stuff. Three things I now have.

This Saturday I will fire a good handful of pieces. Maybe a dozen? I don't think that's too ambitious. Then, Sunday morning when I'm re-watching the Gator game after I make breakfast for us and our guest (home games mean guests) I'll even assemble them into actual jewelry. Yep. It's a plan.
Now to stick to it.


Gator Bait

Saturday the 4th Collin's Granny Carol came up for the first football game of the year.
It was over 90 degrees out with some serious humidity.

But we still won! I'm not going to comment on how they've been playing this year because people have had lots of opinions and know much more about football than I do. Check them out elsewhere. All I can say though is that when you win, by a lot, for almost every game of the last 3+ years... it's kind of hard to live up to the hype right from the start.

I'm happy I skipped the game the next weekend because oh man it was even hotter. No clouds and far too many people being treated for heat exhaustion if you ask me. I'm happy to host some of Collin's college buddies for a night or a family member or two and for now stay in the comfort of my air conditioning. This weekend's game against Kentucky should be nice because it starts at 7pm, but I really am looking forward to the first 'Fall' game. That one where I need a sweater and won't get a farmer's tan from my t-shirt.

I don't know how my favorite football team will do this season. But I can tell you that I'll have lots of fun while they're at it.


The Life List : update

Over the summer a few more items have been crossed of my list of 101 things in 1001 days.

First there was #38 - getting renter's insurance.
We had some close calls in the last few years, narrowly missing really expensive damage to our things due to flooding (pipes) and theft. We also now have a dog whom we know would never maliciously bite anyone but who knows what can happen. We're now covered for all of the above and more. Thanks Geico! Not too many like to cover us Floridians for any kind of insurance so I appreciate it simply being available, as well as the ease of online registration and savings thanks to our having auto insurance through them for many years now.

Then a biggie, #60. Quit smoking cigarettes for six full months. Yes! I feel like now I can say I have officially quit smoking. I quit. I did it. Six full months with nothing and I have no desire to have one ever again. At least right now, I'm good. Collin has also taken the steps to quit and has thrown away his last pack since starting at the University. They are a fully non-smoking campus and he can't even have them in his car. I've always said that life changes are the perfect time to quit smoking; a move, new job, substantial new hobby. Something that disrupts your routine in a way that you can effectively remove smoking without noticing while you establish your new habits. Collin's done all three in the last month and is off to a good start. I am happy to support him and I'm happy he sees me as inspiration that we can do it together.

#75 is one step closer, having thrown ourselves a housewarming/birthday/new job party a couple weeks ago. It was a blast and I have a whole year to throw another one and reach my social goal. I think we'll hit the mark and then some.

I also have some items that will be crossed off the list soon enough (so I went ahead and did it already for one). Saturday Collin's Granny Carol is coming to be our inaugural house guest and is taking us to the first game of the football season. So, getting to a Gator game during the 2010 season (#73) is done if you ask me. Collin and I are also going to experiment with not going out to eat except with friends for the whole month of September. After a few months now of couponing we have a fabulous stockpile for ourselves and when I was planning out our monthly meals I noticed we could essentially eat like kings for the whole month with food left to spare and no need to go out. So, because we still have friends and like to do things like spontaneously accept invitations on a Friday night (like last weekend, where we got to then sit outside and listen to the Downtown Plaza concert on top if eating tasty sushi) we gave ourselves the leniency to hit up some of our favorite restaurants. We also have some buffer nights for leftovers or frozen pizza as well as meals planned that will work well for having friends over for dinner or dishes that will be a hit at the next potluck party. I'm looking to cross off #65 (no fast food for one month) by the time October comes, which I'm sure will be way too soon.

Stay tuned for that month of meals I've planned from our kitchen!


It's My Birthday

Gmail Chat August 11, 2010

Collin: i love you
  what a lovely life we have.
2:40 PM me: so wonderful!
  i really do wake up happy every day
 Collin: it's true
  i do too
  especially knowing that my life outside of home is improving as well
  with a new career and whatnot
  but i wouldn't change anything about you and me or where we are in life or in Gainesville or anything
2:42 PM me: me neither
  everything is just right
i'm pretty sure i have everything i wantCollin: well that makes it hard for getting your birthday gifts
2:43 PM me: that's why it's so hard to figure out something for my bday

Collin got the job.
He starts the 20th.
This is the best birthday present I could have ever hoped for but nothing I could have put on a wish list. The great intangible gift I've wanted for the both of us. I knew it would come, but the universe saved it for our 25th. Thanks.

We spent Saturday of Collin's birthday weekend accomplishing goals marathon-style in Orlando. Our day started at 8:30 when we dropped Early off at the vet for some checkup things, drove to Ikea to purchase our sleeper sofa, put that in the car, went back in Ikea to get the rest of what we came for, ate an amazing home-cooked lunch with chef Edgar and Christy at their new place, hopped over to the Mall at Millenia to buy Collin new clothes for his new job, then stopped by to visit my brother Asa and Kat (and friends) at their house before heading back up the turnpike northbound to scoop up Early Girl from her play date with Foster at Gabe and Jenn's and somehow fit a sleeper sofa, two people and a dog in my Ford Focus.
It was an exhausting day, but fun. And we were then able to do almost completely nothing on Collin's birthday except hang out, bbq burgers and go buy a (black) Wii.

Today I'm working on my own birthday, Collin is at the house finishing up a few things I've asked him to do for unpacking and probably working on these 'surprises' he says he has. I think this is the first birthday he has something up his sleeve that I didn't ask for. He knows I'm not that that hard to please and will usually just take me shopping so I can get whatever I want. He also knows I always have more fun planning surprises for other people (him) more.
Today I slept in 30 minutes later than usual, will eat Mexico Lindo enchiladas for lunch, hopefully be able to leave before 4 and then head home to relax with my love before he takes me out to The Warehouse for a birthday dinner date. I cook him whatever he wants for his birthday because he'd rather eat my food and he takes me out on mine because I always do the cooking. Then it's back home to do more of nothing and watch the finale of So You Think You Can Dance.

Turning 25 is going to rule. Life is moving right along and the view is getting better by the minute.


Big Changes

Wednesday morning Collin had a first interview for a position at UF.
Last night we signed our last papers and picked up the keys to our new place.
Tonight we'll get started with the painting.
Tomorrow I'll finish up our packing.
And Collin will have his second interview.
Saturday is MOVING DAY!
And Sunday is the start of a new year.

I know that the start of the new year in January makes sense numerically and all. I get the whole, winter will be over soon/spring renewal/warming of the earth thing.
But for me?
The new year has always been in August. Maybe it's because my birthday is in August and it's always literally been the 'new year' in my life. Maybe it's because school traditionally starts in August in The South. I know living in rental houses whose leases all have started in August has the most to do with it.
For the past 7 years August meant a fresh start, a new budget, maybe a new neighborhood.
This August means all that and more. Maybe a new job for Collin, new work challenges for myself, and whatever else life can throw at us right now. Bring it on, it all seems to come to good. This next week in my life will be crazy and stressful, but I think we're looking ahead into a bright blue sky.



Photos from my last session at the house on 2nd Street.



Southern Summer 2010: RVA

Collin and I are back from our summer vacation and time off celebrating the 4th of July. I wish sleeping in could last forever.
I really do, even if I am a morning person.

Richmond was beautiful despite the 103 degree heat and we had an awesome time with our tour guides Meggan and Ben. We had a rocky start (getting sick on an airplane is really embarrassing as an adult) and a rocky departure (mixed up flight days and severe cramps) but the in between was sweet.

Our first night in town we went to see friends from Gainesville play a show at Emilio's. Hot Graves and Battlemaster. Metal is the way to start a Richmond vacation. At one point I looked around and was the only girl wearing color. Until Meggan came back in from the bathroom that is.

Friday daytime had us walking through downtown browsing the shops and people watching. Meggan and I hit up cute thrift/vintage clothing stores while Ben and Collin had a beer and watched some World Cup. We met up to visit Plan 9 and pick through their stacks and stacks of records. The downstairs was dedicated fully to $1 records. Collin found some Avail, we grabbed a Steve Martin stand-up recording and I threw in an original cast recording of My Fair Lady along with the score to Disney's Fantasia.
By then we fully felt the 100+ degree heat and went to have lunch. Then we went home to just hang out.

The next morning we were off to the James River to swim. Belle Isle actually. To get there, you walk a suspension bridge hung from below US 301. How fitting - the highway that runs through Sarasota and Gainesville both.

We swam, tubed down the small rapids, tried not to trip and sunbathed on great big rocks. Eventually we found a little nook for ourselves where we could break out our PBR's out of sight.

Check it out - somehow I'm also allergic to Virginia freshwater too. Looks like I won't have to debate whether or not to get a kayak for the next time we go down the springs here in Gainesville. Too bad, but at least it's not that terrible. Just a little uncomfortable and a little ugly.

We finally took off after the boys hit 301 and went home for lunch and a sad watching of the US-Ghana game that we had recorded earlier in the day while we were out. I also have a photo of Collin on the floor after the game-winning goal, but I won't do that to him.

I took most of our photos that day. During the rest of our trip we also went to have a picnic at the botanical gardens that would have been gorgeous if not for the scorching sun. We spend some time at Ben's family home while his sister and her family were also in town, playing croquet with the little one Ava. We ate late night pizza at Bottom's Up, under the trains and highways. I hate a slice of the 'Chesapeake' that had blue crab and old bay and parmesan and omg. Washed down with Magic Hat Wacko on tap and served to us by a cute waitress who happened to be at the show Thursday night and didn't mind chatting with us made it even better. We took an afternoon to see the Virginia Museum of Fine Art. I could have spent all day there and I only wish we'd gone earlier in the morning. There was a special exhibit of Tiffany glass and entire wings dedicated to Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Fabrige Eggs and British fine silver serving sets. Guhhhhh I don't know how I didn't have my camera that day,
Oh wait, yes I do. I gave it to Collin to take some pictures at Ben's uncle's workshop where he hand crafts guitars. Then he didn't take any photos and left it on the coffee table when we left for the museum. Boo. We also just spent time driving around. We might have walked to see the sights had it not been so blazingly hot outside. The confederate memorial and museum, The Fan downtown, immaculate examples of Southern architecture and Hollywood cemetery housing among others, James Madison's tomb.

I loved Richmond, but I do wish we had been able to make time to visit in March or so when the trees and flowers are putting on their full show.
And when it doesn't get hotter traveling farther north in The South.


Update: 101 in 1001

While Megan was in town from south Florida over Memorial Day weekend we packed a lot of fun into just three days.
So much that I was even able to cross a couple more things off the list.

#87 Visit the Natural History Museum (not butterfly part)
#88 Visit the Harn Museum of Fine Art

Both of these were accomplished, as well as the last part of #92, trying 6 new restaurants around town (thanks Shooting Star for great sushi and ridiculous happy hour drink deals).

Since I last updated the list at the beginning of May I can also cross off the following (or in my case, turn them pink):
#45 Go 2 weeks in a row without buying groceries
#47 Make a compost bin for outside and small container for daily use inside
I crossed off month 5 of #60 Quit smoking cigarettes for 6 full months. Now that one I will be most proud to finally finish at the end of this month.

Next to tackle will be fixing up that damn bike (aka #62). We sold another mountain bike from the garage last week but Collin decided he wants to keep the two Schwinn road bikes and my vintage sears 10-speed. That makes 5 bikes for two people. Only one of whom rides them at all so far. I would sell them in a heartbeat but he's the bike dude and it's true when he says that it would be nice to have bikes for friends when they are in town. We'll also be able to cross off #38, getting renters insurance, soon when we move. Can I also say it's been way too long since I've started this project not to have completed #68 -dancing downtown? Maybe I can cross that off the list when I finish #62. Double Whammy.


An Atomic Holiday

Just a couple weeks ago I sent off my application to be included in the 2010 Atomic Holiday Bazaar.
Not even a week later I had an acceptance letter waiting for me when I logged into my email account first thing in the morning. AWESOME. Gotta love a prompt and enthusiastic welcoming to the show!

In it's fifth year already, I am blown away that I didn't know about this gem of an indie craft fair until last year. Maybe it's because I wasn't involved in my own business back then, but really, what excuse did I have for not knowing about it when I was living in Sarasota? I drove by this building where it is annually held every day.

Oh, I love that coastal Florida art deco architechture.

I am really optimistic that this will be the best show of the year for me and that means lots and lots of work this summer building my inventory for the Fall and Holiday rush. I have shows scheduled for November and December with one I'm wavering on for October. I've been really happy about using only profits from my artwork to pay for my needed supplies, but I think I'm going to have to give myself a little more cash to get everything I'll need to have enough work for all these shows.
It also means that I don't get to take too long off from creating while we're packing up and moving in July and August. I'll also have to get my enameling area ready for working pretty quickly even if that means leaving other (more fun?) home decorating projects aside until I feel confident that I'm not avoiding the real work to be done in the studio.

My goal for the summer is to work more consistently. I can't exactly keep a schedule because I like to plan studio time around when Collin will be working in the evenings too. This lets us at least have a couple nights a week to relax, cook, and eat dinner together. I need those nights. So, on nights when he is out I like to enamel, or photograph, or edit photos, or post them online. Right now I've been doing a whole lot of nothing because I have a larger stock of inventory. I don't want to let that lull me into a sense of security though.
Ideally I would make time for myself to enamel, photograph, edit and post items online once a week each. Maybe I can keep myself accountable by fitting in a blog post about new pieces and progress on here?
For now these sound like nice goals. I'm just glad people are reasonable here and no one really schedules art festivals in the middle of the oppressive Florida summers - I would be too tempted to sell and I need to pace myself to keep from getting burned out.



That's where I've been.

Oak pollen coating everything in fine dust - turning the city to a giant tennis ball.

Oh, and work. Can't stop working now just because you are sick! Not when there are new instruments to finish setting up to get them running!

Really though, I was sick last weekend. Thursday night I woke up twice to change my sweat-soaked shirt and my fever didn't back down until overnight Sunday. So I did actually get to spend my already-a-day-off Friday and then my made-it-a-day-off Monday on the couch. That's also where I wound up each night after waking, again, so incredibly hot that I couldn't even lay next to Collin. Or the cat.
My only symptoms were the ridiculous fever and the constant coughing that kept the both of us up all night.

I started feeling better, minus the bruised rib I caused from coughing nonstop, but working full (or longer) days the rest of this week has wiped me out.

Other things that have been keeping me tired:
Filling custom enameling orders Monday and Tuesday night. I love love love waking up to new orders, whether they're from friends or strangers. Okay, especially from strangers! It really makes my day.

Wednesday I went out with Kara and Anna for dinner at Bistro1245. Nommmm those portabello sandwiches. Ugh. I could eat there everyday. It had been way too long since we've gone down to mid town for food and I need to be willing to drive more than 5 minutes sometimes to savor my old favorites. In town for just a couple days, Kara is home to Florida from NYC for Easter weekend and I am so glad she stopped in Gainesville. I say it all the time that one of our biggest reasons for staying in town is that everyone loves to come visit you. No one moves away and hates this place, so to be the ones who host visitors instead of the ones who travel to their friends is perfect for us!

Thursday wasn't anything fun, but I had to come all the way back into work to read samples that arrived late Wednesday night. It was the longest most drama-filled day ever for our sampler and I'm thankful my backup analyst had a flexible night so that I didn't have to miss dinner with my girls. I rewarded myself for driving all the way out there by getting chick-fil-a on the way home (since both of the ones in town are so far from us). I freaking love their chicken. Forever. But it's hard to keep from eating like all of it on my drive home. Stop lights just make you want a fry.

Now I'm here, working on Friday and pretty set in my decision to leave early as usual on a Friday to hang out at home for the afternoon with the family. I might go by the grocery store to pick up the rest of the sale items for the week I want to buy. I might go by El Indio and pick up mexican food to satisfly the craving I have for it already this morning at 9:15. Damn. 2PM can't come fast enough.



Quit Yer Bitchin'

I'm guilty of it.
We all are.

Bitch, Bitch, Bitch.
As of late I've noticed almost nothing around me except all the complaining everyone seems to be doing.
Scrolling over my facebook wall reads like a bunch of babies with wet diapers. Sure everyone's in a huff about the recently passed health care bill (which p.s. I am excited about) but even aside from that so many are full of dissatisfaction. Relationships, personal health challenges, the weather, their kids, their mom, their dogs, their whole freaking life. I can't help but sometimes let it creep into my own mind and knock my good mood right on it's butt. And that right there, is something I'm trying harder now than ever not to let happen.

I had a draft post written last night and ready to go this morning but when I re-read it, I sounded just like everyone else...

So it's gone.

Instead I will ignore the stresses around me for just a minute and list some of the awesome that has made me smile in the past few days and is lined up to do the same in the near future.

  1. I sold 4 necklaces and a pair of earrings this weekend through my facebook page and simply by having friends over for our St. Patrick's day party and the Ladies Clothes Swap.
  2. My friends are lovely and we had fun trying on each others clothes, picking out new things and stuffing our faces with delicious girly noms.
  3. The spring weather is glorious and I am getting inspired to take a long walk this afternoon just for photo taking of all the flowers and blooms.
  4. After a busy busy weekend this next set of days off having nothing scheduled except enameling. Just what I want - naps and art.
  5. ... and maybe a little gardening thrown in with the naps and the art.

Spring makes me happy and I wish it would last forever this year. Thanks to some complications with our landlord, let's just say I'm not really looking forward to Summer (and having her as our new neighbor). Until then, I want to try as hard as I can to push out the negativity and enjoy this season in peace until our lives get a lot more dramatic.



Doggy Date

Just look at these sweet pups hanging out together on Early Girl's dog bed.

We watched over this little gray and white fellow over the past weekend while our friend (and hopefully future neighbor) was out of town. His name is Eli. He is awesome. This pair gets along really well with mostly lazy couch slumbering or bone eating on their daily to-do lists. Throw in some yard running and a few hours of roughhousing and you have happy dogs.

Now that the weather is gorgeous and the time has changed back to where I like it to be (dark mornings, longer evening light) we're going to be making our way to the dog park more often with our girl. Eli and his mom live just a few blocks away so these friends will get to play in a big group.
At least until they both get tired and decide to stop and do nothing except lay in the dirt.



An Etsy St. Paddy's

"May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go."

In honor of my favorite holiday I set out to find the sweetest gifts inspired by St. Patrick's day. After gifting and selling all the clover jewelry I made this year I had none left to list in my own shop! I did manage to keep one for myself but if I hadn't made my own I would have loved to wear this perfect lucky charm.

clover necklace by saralagrace

Here are more of my favorite etsy finds for the day:

lucky clover hair pins from HarmonyLaneHandmade

"if you're lucky enough..." notecard from kategreiner

a lucky key chain (8 is also my lucky number!) from alfrescouniquegroup

"In the Clover No.4" watercolor painting by GollyBard

Slainte to you and yours this St. Patrick's day!