Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Can't Wait to Meet Wyanne!

Yeah! This morning, I found an awesome new artist (well, new to me anyway!) who just so happens to be right in my own backyard. Wyanne Thompson lives just 20 minutes up the road in Fernandina Beach. How cool is that? I just posted a thread on the Etsy forum last night looking for other artists in Northeast Florida and, by luck, one of Wyanne's pieces was on the Etsy home page treasury this morning and caught my eye. The work featured here is one of her photo collages, something new she just started this weekend during this lovely nor'easter we've been having. Love it! After checking out her Etsy store, her website, AND her Ebay store, I love all her work. Since we are basically neighbors, hopefully we can meet up soon! Check out her website here, and then you can link to her Etsy shop, her Ebay store and her blog from there.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Do you Believe in "Meant to Be?"

So what’s your take on fate, destiny, and what's "meant to be"? I took the girlies over to FSU Homecoming this past weekend so the DH could have a weekend to himself to do all those guy things without having to worry about us girls getting in the way. Great trip. Exhausting trip. Entertaining Sarah and Olivia for three days away from home is quite a feat! We went to the Homecoming parade, did a little Seminole shopping and had some of my favorite pizza…and that was all just on Friday! (These three pictures are from the parade; Sarah says the motorcycles “scare her ears”.) Though I visit Tallahassee frequently, this trip in particular brought about a change in perspective for me. Why? After months of contemplation, in August I applied for a job that would have required a move to Tallahassee. It was a great opportunity for me career-wise and Tallahassee is certainly a great place to raise a family, yet I was still very hesitant in applying simply because of the move. Obviously, I went to school in Tallahassee so I do love the town, so that’s not the reason. I have very little family left here in Jacksonville, but DH was born and raised here and has never lived anywhere else. Given that, my greater concerns were for him, yet he’s been far more enthused about the idea than I have. Though we’ve both been having a really hard time with the idea of giving up the dolphins in our backyard...

I did lots of praying… not that I’d the get job, just that I’d get an answer to the question “Are we meant to move to Tallahassee?” And though I was one of three finalists, I recently learned that I did not get the job, so I guess I did get my answer. I think. Normally when I go over to Tallahassee, I stay with my old roommate KT, but this weekend, I stayed with my Chi Omega big sister Kathy since she has kids, one of whom is an excellent babysitter who was happy to keep the girls while we went to the game! Spending the weekend with a Tallahassee family confirmed that Tallahassee truly would be a great place to raise a family. It’s a very pretty town in general and Kathy and her family live in one of the most beautiful areas…canopy roads, parks and hills everywhere. Saturday morning her son had a flag football game, so we went to that and the girls played at the park there. I enjoyed seeing the camaraderie of both the boys and the families watching. (DH is still having a hard time accepting the fact that his children do not have male anatomy and won’t be playing football….which means he won’t be coaching football like Kathy’s husband David does.)

The rest of the afternoon was spent just hanging out, getting ready for the FSU game Saturday night. So, was I disappointed I didn’t get the job? Sure, but amazingly enough not as disappointed as DH. He really wanted that for our girls. Are we still considering moving to Tallahassee? Who knows…I guess we’ll have to see what the Man upstairs has planned for us. Am I actively looking for a job in Tallahassee? No. But if a good job in Tallahassee were to fall in my lap, I think we’d have to reconsider those dolphins. Maybe a nice mural and a weekly trip down to the coast could substitute?

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Free Bling Friday Number 26!

It's Free Bling Friday time! Last week's winner is Nery D. from Jacksonville, FL. Congratulations, Nery! This week's entry is a neutral pair that will dress up or down with ocean jasper semi-precious gemstones and intricately detailed Balinese sterling beads caps, all hanging on sterling French wires. They hang approximately 1 1/2" total.

To be eligible to win this pair, simply email me by midnight Thursday, November 8, with the subject line FREE BLING and include where you're from. Good luck! Don't want to miss a single Free Bling Friday? Sign up for free weekly email updates here!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Angel in the Post Office

If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know I'm a sucker for animals. Currently, I’m trying very hard not to get attached to Gus Gus and Jacques, the two mice from my girls’ class that came to live with us last night. Long story short, their class had a hamster named Wilbur. One of the little boys in the class knocked over Wilbur’s cage one day and, unfortunately, Wilbur met an untimely demise. About a week later, DH shows up at the school with two mice in a cute little mouse condo. He swears one of the guys at work brought them to him, but that still sounds a little fishy to me. Anywho, he took them to Ms. Tammy to replace Wilbur and, since their daddy brought them, Sarah and Livvie got to name them… favorite current movie is Cinderella… Cinderella’s two best friends are the little mice Gus Gus and Jacques. Are you following this?

As luck would have it, Ms. Tammy has now decided she probably shouldn’t have two little mice in her classroom, no matter how elaborate their mouse condo, so when I got home yesterday afternoon, there they were…on top of Isabelle’s crate. I’m sure Izzy can smell them when she’s in her crate, though I think DH decided that Kitty and Savannah would be less likely to terrorize them up there, and, of course, they'd have that nice view of the aquarium. So that means our household menagerie now includes one dog, two cats, two fish, six hermit crabs, one starfish, two mice, and a yard full of fiddler crabs. Thankfully, the girls have yet to catch any of the marsh rabbits that live next door and often visit our yard. So, all that said, here’s the absolutely wonderful animal story I received via email today.

“This is one of the kindest things I've ever experienced. I have no way to know who sent it, but there is a kind soul working in the dead letter office of the US postal service. Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my four-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could, so she dictated these words:

Dear God,

Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.

Love, Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God in Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to Heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed 'To Meredith' in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called 'When a Pet Dies.' Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,

Abbey arrived safely in Heaven. Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away. Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don't need our bodies in Heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day, and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I am wherever there is love.

Love, God.

Okay, now go get your kleenex, and thank God for children, animals and angels in the post office. Like this post? Click here to sign up for free weekly email reminders.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Loran Scruggs: New Fun for Old Cans


I love to come across artists who take a new twist on old recycled junk. Loran Scruggs has done just that. Isn’t this funky little airplane cool? It would make a great Christmas gift for a little boy on your list, or even a big boy who loves airplanes. Wow…the holidays really are just around the corner, aren’t they, and here it is 84 degrees and muggy in Jacksonville.


Loran also does these fun little whistles, made from tin cans and bottle caps. What a great way to blow out your frustrations! Check out Loran’s store here for more fun items.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Happy Shack Designs Featured on Blooming Lily

Thanks so much to Laurie Warshawsky, the fabulous designer behind the independent design blog Blooming Lily for featuring me! Free PR is always a wonderfully welcome thing! Be sure to check out Laurie's blog here and her gorgeous Elle-a-Belle gemstone jewelry line here.

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Free Bling Friday Number 25!

It's Free Bling Friday time! Last week's winner is Jacinta S. from Pensacola, FL. Congratulations, Jacinta! For this week's entry, I'm sharing one of my new pairs. In these little beauties, I've wire-wrapped aqua quartz briolettes and Montana Swarovski crystals onto sterling rings and hung them from sterling lever backs. They hang approximately 1 1/2" total.

To be eligible to win this pair, simply email me by midnight Thursday, October 25, with the subject line FREE BLING and include where you're from. Good luck! Don't want to miss a single Free Bling Friday? Sign up for free weekly email updates here!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Favorite New Happy Shack Earrings!

I've been posting lots of new pieces on the website this week and these are my favorite new earrings. I've started working more with gemstones and these highlight four, from the bottom up: chalcedony, citrine, amethyst and peridot. Aren't these yummy? Check out the website for all my new pieces! Like this post? Click here to sign up for free weekly email reminders.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Once Upon a Time...

I discovered these little treasures surfing my favorite website (yes, that would be Etsy) and thought they were the coolest, most whimsical idea I've seen in quite some time. They are tiny little fairy doors for the tiny little fairies living all around us. The artist is a graphic designer with a master’s degree in children’s literature, and I can’t write the description any better than she already did, so in her words, here you go:

“Fairies are all around us, and while some of them live in forests, many of them prefer to live among muggles just like us! Use double stick tape or glue to hang your fairy door in your home to let fairies know they are welcome, and you just might be surprised how quickly they move in. You may have to wait a few days while the fairies observe you to make sure you are fairy friendly, but I suspect that soon you’ll spot fairy dust near their door, marking their arrival.

Fairy doors are designed to open inward so once a door is installed, only fairies can open it by using their magic. Fairies are very shy so be very gentle with the door and don’t try to force it open once it is installed or you might scare the fairies away forever.

The fun begins in discovering what kind of fairy has moved in; will it be a travel fairy that leaves you travel plans and tickets for fun outings or will it be a cleaning fairy who will stop by periodically to inspect your home and leave treats when she’s pleasantly surprised by how clean your home is (and maybe notes when she’s a little disappointed)? A library fairy or a junk food fairy? The possibilities are endless. Maybe it will be a fairy that adores your family and leaves special gifts on holidays and other special occasions. No matter what kind of fairy moves in, it's sure to add a little magic to your home.”

Please check out Once Upon a Time Design to pick out your own little fairy door. Even if you don't have a little girl in your family, I think these appeal to the little girls in all of us. I know I’m going to have to have one (or two...)!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Treasures Found...

Back in June, I told you about my anniversary bracelet that I lost that day...here's the initial post. Well, look what turned up!

We always take the rear seats and the car seats out of the van for my arts festivals, and when we finally got around to putting them back in a week after the San Marco show, this is what we found. Livvie takes the credit, as when DH was shaking the Cherrios out of her seat, the bracelet shook out instead, and she ran upstairs to give it to me. Let me tell you, I am one happy camper. I guess something this special had to turn back up somewhere... again, since this was actually the second time it's been lost and found. The first time I lost it, it only had two charms on it and I lost it in Lake Tahoe. Believe it or not, we found it in the gutter just outside our hotel. I guess I better not lose it again. Time for a new clasp.

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Divas will be Stylin'

I have a heck of a time getting my girls to let me put their hair up, especially Olivia, so I have enlisted the help of extra fun hair doo-dads. I just purchased some of these cute little hair clips and have high hopes that they'll do the trick! These were created by Becky of Little Daisy Chains. Too cute, huh? See more of Becky's fun little creations here.

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Trailing Daisies...

I was surfing through the Etsy Treasuries this morning and came across a Treasury with this gorgeous, and very unusual, flower. According to the seller, The Eclectic Studio, it's called a Trailing Daisy. Very cool, huh? Check it out here. You can kill hours of time surfing through Etsy Treasuries. They are a great way to see lots of the cool handmade things on Etsy very easily. Check them out here!

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Free Bling Friday Number 24!

It's Free Bling Friday time! Last week's winner is Charlotte P. from Jacksonville, FL. Congratulations, Charlotte! Charlotte is actually the Mom of my wonderful arts festival assistant Whitney! Here's this week's entry. I've combined yummy crazy lace agate with Swarovski crystals and sterling accents for a very versatile go-with-everything pair. They hang approximately 1 1/2" total on sterling French wires.

To be eligible to win this pair, simply email me by midnight Thursday, October 18, with the subject line FREE BLING and include where you're from. Good luck! Don't want to miss a single Free Bling Friday? Sign up for free weekly email updates here!


Thursday, October 11, 2007

I AM Wonder Woman!

Every now and then I'll feature other designers' jewerly here that really speaks to me. This bracelet screamed to me! I was a big Wonder Woman fan when I was younger and now I've heard rumors that she's coming back to the small screen...or is that the Bionic Woman? I can't keep up. And when is LOST coming back on anyway? Anywho, I stumbled across this bracelet and had to share. The piece is from Venus Fly Trap Jewels out of London. She has tons of other super fun pieces for you to take a look at here. Of course, remember to save your pennies for all the new pieces I'll have up by the end of the weekend!

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Irresistible by Danielle J. Hurd

I grew up with dachsunds and still have a soft spot for them. I got Samantha, a short-haired black and tan, for my 4th birthday. She went all the way to college with me and died my junior year. Funny thing--the one picture of her that sticks in my head I must have taken when I was still a young child, as Sam is wearing a baby bonnet. About two months after Sam died, my mom surprised me with Boca, a little short-haired red. I had to have her put down in late 1999, at 15 years old...one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life. I stayed in the doctor's office with her and held her until she breathed her last breath. This little gal here looks just like her. Painted by Danielle J Hurd, she's titled "Irresistible". I agree; she is irresistible. See more of Danielle's work at Studio 1212 here.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

San Marco Fall Arts Festival: Um, Duh!

A big thank you to those of you who ventured out for the San Marco Fall Arts Festival this past weekend! I can't say it was my best show, but I can't say it was the worst, either.... I did about 1/3 of the sales I usually do in San Marco. I guess it was a combination of factors, with weather bring the primary culprit. But lucky for you, gentle readers, all the new things I created for that show will soon appear on the website!

For the bright spot of the weekend, Whitney and I had plenty of time to chat, and I was finally able to use my new sign Gypsy painted for me! Not a great picture here since you can't really see the mermaid, but I hope you get the general idea. And let me tell you it was quite a feat getting it up there. On Saturday when we were setting up, since the sign was a new addition, we didn't think about it until we basically had the whole booth set up. So even with my height and a stool, we were struggling. I brought some small white garden chain and hooks which I had planned to use to hang the sign from the rafters of my tent. For whatever reason, we were bound and determined to use the chain. Tried the sign in the center rear. No luck--fell forward. Tried it in the center over the center rafter. No luck--fell forward again. Hit Whitney in the head. Tried it in the corner diagonally. No luck, crooked, and it w0uld have hit me in the head all day. Gave up and said we'll just have to figure out something later. Dad-gumm it. Paced around at little bit. Not quite ready to give up. Tried it in the center again. Knocked one of the shelves down in our zeal to make it work. Set it on the table before serious bodily injury occured. By propping it on the table, at least we could say we did use it.....we just didn't hang it. :-)

So that afternoon, as we were sitting around due to a lack of customers, inspiration hit. Why the heck were we so set on using the chain? Get rid of the dang chain and we have no issues. That was our "um, duh" moment. Thus the picture you see of our set up on Sunday.

Not much other excitement to report. I did enjoy getting to know Kathy Frosio, the artist next to us, a little more. She's another local who paints some really fun beachy pictures that would look great in my house. One day.... For now, check out her work here. Whitney and I did have one strange moment when we thought we heard something fall, and discovered that the glass disk on the Ferris Wheel lariet had become possessed by the glass demon and split itself in two. Luckily no one was around or they could have lost an eye! And there was the moment we saw a child go by in a stroller holding what appeared to be a glass snowman with an electrical cord coming out of his butt. You know, those ones you see lit up at Christmas time? We were pretty punchy by that time so, when we finally did stop laughing, Whitney had to check it out closer and we discovered that it was a ghost with a cord coming out of his butt. Much better. At least the season was right. But regardless, seeing a child in a stroller clutching anything with a cord coming out of its butt like a well loved bunny was pretty funny. And no, Sarah's Bunny does not have a cord coming out of her butt. Most days anyways...

Hmmm....something just hit me. At this show, one of my least productive in three years of doing shows, I was able to use my new sign made by the person I met at the least productive show. Since Gypsy is one of the most positively infectious people I've ever met, I choose to think that's just a freaky coincidence! Read more about our first meeting here.

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Friday, October 5, 2007

Free Bling Friday Number 23!

It's been a crazy busy week, but it's finally time for Free Bling Friday! Last week's winner is Danielle G. from Jacksonville, FL. Congratulations, Danielle!

Here's this week's entry. I've combined beautiful green and silver lampwork beads torched by Annie Devilbliss with Czech crystals and sterling accents. They hang approximately 1 1/2" total on sterling French wires.

To be eligible to win this pair, simply email me by midnight Thursday, October 11, with the subject line FREE BLING and include where you're from. Good luck! Don't want to miss a single Free Bling Friday? Sign up for free weekly email updates here!