Saturday, December 31, 2011

I swear I don't work for Florida Tourism..... just seems like it!
I'm having a great time re-exploring the backroads of the 'Sunshine State' (where I grew up and spent most of my life) to break up the long drives down to visit family.....

.....and re-discovering all this state has to offer along the way!

Absence makes the heart grow fonder (when you live in Florida, all you think about is getting to the mountains!) and I truly miss these scenes....especially off-season (Sept to Dec) when you just about have it all to yourself!
Now that winter has set in most everywhere else (although it has been mild so far, thankfully) this tropical paradise is especially inviting!!

Sanibel beaches were overflowing with beautiful shells, starfish and sand dollars.....

.....and the oranges were ripe and juicy in my Mom's backyard.

The Spanish moss was blowing in the breeze at serene Myakka State Park .....
.....where prehistoric amphibians keep a watchful eye over marshes and rivers.
And the sunsets.......I especially love the sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico! This view was from the stern of the boat while drifting along the northern tip of Captiva Island.

Pickin's are so slim these days (I don't know if I am being more selective, or there is just not much affordable treasure left out there) but playing tourist makes a fun second choice!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

"Not your grandma's craft show....."

While in Florida a few weeks ago, my trip just happened to coincide with this cool 'Indie Craft' event being held at my old stomping grounds - the site of my early craft show beginnings - the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium.
Major Deja Vu!! How thrilling to be back in the historic venue where my journey into marketing began, and see a hip new generation embrace and run with the "craft" thing and create such great products made from fresh new perspectives - and most wonderful of all - the consciousness of recycling.

This event is the brain child of the artist and promoter Adrien Lucas who excels in advancing cool new trends in the indie craft market. (Her promotional ad pics were so creative....that's Adrien herself in the promo pics above!)

Many of the crafters exhibiting at the show are also fellow Esty sellers, and all of the show and product pics can be seen in this Flickr collection, or on Adrien's site link above.

It's one thing to sit and scroll through the enormous offerings of new products on Etsy, but to see them in person at the shows and meet the crafters was just.....better! I loved how they didn't go insanely over the top with their displays like we always felt the pressure to do! refreshing!!

I'm so glad this chance encounter set ablaze again the tiny flicker of creativity left in me after the exhausting fall shows!

(**Try googling 'indie craft' or 'salvage art' and check out all the new shows, shops and events that are popping up across the country! It's really getting exciting......again!!)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Etsy Favorites

  • Antique Cast Iron Lamp My Dear Friend Abandoned Farm House - Original Print from Outside of Seattle in Washington State - 11 inch x 14 inch Matted Print Ready for Framing
  • Summer Memories - Vintage Inspired Assemblage Necklace Shabby Natural Assemblage Art Vintage Cast Iron Heat Grate - Architectural Salvage - Scroll Design
  • Cashmere Restyle Camisole Sweater Tank in Oatmeal Cream and Taupe Size Small Antique Corbel Painted Cottage Aqua Chic Romance  Aqua Chic Vanity VAN20
  • City Jelly Lamp Custom listing "VINTAGE LUCY'S"  light fixture metal letters 18 inch tall Burlap Basket Chandelier

  • 15 ft of crimped curly wire garden fence SO MANY IDEAS Assemblage art SALVAGE GARDEN II Outsider artAntique Metal Suitcase

  • Browsing the aisles of Etsy is always an amazing adventure!
  • (I'm happy to say I have managed to sell more than I have bought - so far anyway!)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Backroads wandering.......Pebble Hill Plantation

Some of my favorite scenic backroads are in south Georgia - and Highway 319 from Thomasville to Tallahassee is where you find many of the largest plantations in the area (I believe Ted Turner has a little place around here).
Pebble Hill Plantation was owned by naturalist and humanitarian Elisabeth "Pansy" Poe, who, upon her death, specified that her home (on 3000 acres) be open to the public.....
......and so now you can tour the entire plantation - complete with extensive gardens, pool, grass tennis court, cemetery, dog hospital.......

(pink and white camellias were spreading a lovely carpet of petals among the old headstones)

....and my favorite part - the stables!

These beautiful dark giants (they looked like draft horses) were napping in the paddock, and seemed indifferent to
my photography except for the occasional blinking of their huge black eyes. So regal and lovely.......
(I'm experimenting with watermarks since there is more and more 'borrowing' of photos going on......but I still find them very labor intensive)
I did very little picking on my wander - partly because I am still in a state of burnout from the shows, and partly due a lack of shops that were open, but I never miss a chance to visit my all-time favorite shop "Relic's" in downtown Thomasville! It's always fabulous!

Owner Melissa was at Scott's that weekend, but I chatted with Wilson Britt (who has the refinishing shop adjacent) and he was quite helpful in sharing information that came in useful on my trip - thanks Wilson!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Backroads wandering.......Cedar Key

I'm amazed at how I could have lived in Florida for most of my life and never ventured to these cool places!
Cedar Key was a pleasant surprise...... after driving a long way through bleak vistas of palmetto scrub and pine trees, this unique waterfront village did seem like a step back in time......
.....and reminiscent of what "1950's Key West" might have been like - as proclaimed.

It is situated 3 miles out into the Gulf of Mexico (start heading west when you get about a fourth of the way down the state) and I learned it's a federally protected sanctuary, which explains the refreshingly undeveloped nature of it.

Cedar Key was the destination point for Florida's first railroad to connect the west coast to the east coast at Fernandina Beach - which allowed this area to become a major supplier of seafood and timber products to the northeast starting in the 1800's
There are undeveloped little islands and keys scattered everywhere you look, with beautifully unspoiled salt marshes.....making this prime kayaking territory!
Crab traps line the back bayou streets....
.....but most of the action is right down on the waterfront by the boat ramp where the restaurants sit out over the water, and where you can see the islands (boats will take you out to these for a day of beachcombing and exploration) and where you can fish off of the large pier.

A block inland is a little downtown area (modest and a bit ramshackle in a charming sort of way) where shops, and old and new hotels, line the streets.
Being in a time crunch, I didn't have the opportunity to do all the things I discovered there are to do here.....but definitely plan to return......ASAP!

The village is said to be a haven for artists and writers, although I didn't get a chance to check out the shops......and there are so many fishing, boating and kayaking opportunities in the Gulf, estuaries and islands. There's also biking and hiking trails to explore.....some taking you to shell mounds and other historic sites.

Next......Pebble Hill Plantation near Thomasville, GA