how he likes to frame things…

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I can not recall how long ago these frames first made their debut in our home, but I do remember the weeks leading up to the event. It involved Jeff being pleased with a garage sale find and four rather ugly frames.


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I really didn’t give much thought to them or what Jeff was up to in his shed for what seemed like days on end. The frames made a brief appearance with only bits of assorted house paints splattered on them. I was mildly interested (that’s putting it kindly).


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Shortly after, Jeff and the frames went back into hiding. Time had passed; I had forgotten about the frames and stopped wondering what Jeff was up to.


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But, when they all emerged, once more, I was completely taken aback at how he had found a clever use with so many items he had been hoarding---scratch that, I meant safe-keeping.


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Like one of our son’s shell collection that we used to have on display in museum like fashion out on our porch.


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An assortment of metal buttons and old costume jewelry…


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Glass pebbles, marbles, quartz crystal points, beach glass…


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Odds and ends of all things pirate (Arrrrrr!)…..


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The backs of the frames were absent from the beginning, and I like that he never bothered replacing them. We simple attach the photos to the wall with double-sided tape and allow the wall to show through the frame.

Up until recently, we had always put pictures of the kids and ourselves in these frames. Changing them out every now and then with different or updated ones.


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But Jeff and I celebrated our 25th this month and have been treating ourselves to day long excursions to some really beautiful locations, close by, over the past several weeks. To commemorate, I changed out the photos with some from our trips.

I imagine these will be staying up for quite sometime…

I hope this post might inspire you to upcycle something with any small-item collections you are saving around the house. If you do, or perhaps already have, I would love to hear about it. Let me know :-)


shhhhh…nature is happening here

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This is my ode to the natural world sign I made in honor of all the creatures that also inhabit our small slice of sw florida.

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They are full time residents, just like ourselves.

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While they don’t always show themselves, I find that when I’m taking photos of items to put in our shop, quietly and for long periods of time,

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…one of them, at least, will poke its head out to observe and see what I’m up to,

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always unexpectedly; never when I would really like for them to appear for photos.

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Using a few of the pictures I had taken in our yard, I created a collage with some bamboo slats.

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I wanted it to have a ‘summer camp’ look to it and decided on one photo for each slat.

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After the photos were glued on, I printed and cut out two different boston fern leaves to overlap the photos on each side.

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Did you know that boston ferns are native to florida even though they are called ‘boston’ ferns? Yeah…I don’t know why either.

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We have quite a bit of this pretty plant; it grows wildly in our yard.

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Jeff made the slats from splitting bamboo poles and drilled holes close to the edges.

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After dry brushing some brown craft paint on the photos I gave it a couple of layers mod podge. Then, I strung the slats together with hemp cord and attached a piece of twisted silver wire to hang it with.

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With thinner wire, I webbed together some small bamboo pieces, that had some of jeff’s carvings and a green paint wash; along with a tiny silver jingle bell.

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I think the collaged nature sign looks awfully pretty there on our hammock post, but ‘bringing the outdoors in’ is a d├ęcor trend that I am all for. It will most likely find a protected spot inside the house.

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I want to thank you for stopping by and taking a peek into our yard that seems to have more of a life of it’s own than meets the eye

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…something that I am forever unexpectedly, yet pleasantly, reminded of everyday.

two collage art bottles

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Sometimes, Jeff will finish taping a bottle and show it to me, and I will claim it all to myself---

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meaning that from there on out, I will be the only one working on it, till it’s finished.

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Usually, we both apply all the necessary layers of glue, paint, finishes, sometimes paper, over the course of a week or more.

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Over lapping each other’s work…

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even changing each other’s work,

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we don’t seem to mind…usually.

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But these bottles were different to me, I’m not sure why, when he showed them to me I immediately blurted out, “these are mine; I want to finish these!”

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Jeff laughed and said, “ok.”

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They remained untouched, in our workroom, well…forever. (just about)

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Jeff never said a word.

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I had no ideas, really.

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While they sat, I did my usual: I took a lot of photos of everything---

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like the royal poinciana blossoms I shot while visiting mama one day,…and blogged a bit, put up new items in our etsy shop, shipped out some vintage sheet music, old ads, one of our smallest bottles…. read, read, and read. I learned how to make my blog template wider over at the very helpful CoffeeShop blog.

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I spilt coffee on a white, ruffled, long, cotton skirt, which my daughter had left behind and had become a favorite of mine. I had been wearing it almost everyday. No bleach in the house, so I decided to tea stain it---why not?

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I blogged a personally favorite post about the air traffic of passing butterflies, and find myself returning to these photos often…I can recall everything about that day.

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And, before I realized, the two bottles were finished.

Sometimes, we are asked, “where do your ideas come from?”
And sometimes I have to answer, “inspiration happens.”

My wish is that it happens to you everyday.

a photo journal…slow florida afternoon

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Sunday, Jeff and I took a drive to Matlacha---an old florida fishing village that lies directly between our home and the gulf of mexico.

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Matlacha (pronounced "MAT-la-shay") comes from a caloosa indian word meaning ‘water to the chin’.

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It is home to a string of brightly-colored art galleries---like the wild child art gallery and the syzygy gallery, island boutiques, seafood restaurants, and old florida cottages.

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It was nice to get out from under the trees and witness an ever expansive sky.

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The heat was like a blanket, and was pulling in the afternoon storm clouds

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We ducked into a favorite watering hole of ours…bert’s bar.

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It was only two in the afternoon, but the band, cindy walsh and the sundogs, was just starting to play some original songs and well chosen covers.

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Dark and cool inside, we stayed at the bar and listened for awhile.

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Every now and then, I am overcome at the realization of how much I love, very much, certain, small…almost disregarded, things about florida.

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Matlacha illustrates much of that for me---the slowness, casualness, un-fussiness, jaw-dropping beautifulness of it all

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…and, yes, even with all the amazingly, absurd heat.

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The way I see it: it’s simply nature forcing us to slow down and stop moving so fast.

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And that is my kind of pace…but not Jeff’s. He never stops moving.

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Not even for a picture.

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As we left, the clouds began dropping buckets of rain all around.

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We came home to a very happy yard. Rain is always welcomed here.

Summer is one of my favorite seasons…(along with three other favorites).

Jeff and I hope yours is moving along at
just the right pace.