Vote for Dahlia At Dusk

Dahlia at Dusk
My photo of this natural beauty is in the Twenty20 Flower Challenge today. As of this writing, it is #30 from a total of 2,790 entries (& growing). For the next 13 hours the public votes up their favorites and the Top 20 photographs will move on to the next round. Then a Twenty20 judge will pick their favorite flower to include in their upcoming book.

If you like my dahlia closeup and it is not yet 3 a.m (EST) on 8/17 please click here and add your vote! If you'd like to share the link with friends: http://tinyurl.com/k65s3zq. Please note, Twenty20 will ask you to sign up/log in with either email or facebook but it is quick and easy.

Thanks in advance for all of your support! I'll let you know how it plays out. Best wishes for wonder-filled weekend!


Odds & Ends of Summer

Where has the summer gone? 
Life has been busier than expected with work and play around here. 

Summer's highlight was a visit to Acadia National Park, a welcome break from routine and the sticky Florida heat. I've shared few photos on Instagram and facebook and will pop more up here one day soon.

A close second was catching Kishi Bashi at Tampa's New World Brewery last week. 

Ever wanted to step inside a lovely decor magazine? As always, a visit to the restaurant/ bookshop/ decor store/ coffeehouse/ teashop/ eventspace Oxford Exchange was a pleasure. If you are in Tampa this space is a must-see. Also check out their online calendar; there is always something intriguing on the schedule. That's where I spotted the recent Instameet. I love a trip to OE and it was fun to meet fellow shutterbugs. Below is panoramic of the book shop. (Click the pic for a bigger view). For more photos of the meet up search the Instagram app for #OEInstaMeet. 

I also returned from my holiday in time to catch Jobsite Theater's performance of  Steven Deitz's Inventing Van Gogh. While a bit over the top (especially the second half), the play was an interesting study of truth, myth, art and obsession. There were some outstanding performances,with most cast members jumping through time to play two different characters. I look forward to seeing what actors Ned Averill-Snell (who played both Gaugin and a modern-day art expert/con man) and Greg Thompson (Van Gogh's friend Dr Gachet and a present day obsessed art professor) get up to next season. 

My next few days are filled with a bit of back-to-school prep and some projects I've committed to but procrastinated (surprise,surprise). It is all a bit hush hush for now, but I'll share when I can. 

So, what have you been up to this summer? Anything planned for fall fun?


A little R&R

Hey, All. What have you been up to the lately? 

I've had my traveling shoes on the last couple of weeks. I meant to catch up on some belated blogging, but with only sporatic internet access that hasn't been happening. 

I'm still more off line than usual for a few more days. Hope you enjoy your week!


We have a winner!

Congratulations to LaTanya T., the winner of today's random drawing! 

She takes home a Snap Ray's Guide Light. For more info on this illuminating prize, click here

Thank you to all who entered this drawing. Be sure to pop back soon for the next prize announcement.


Tutorial Tuesday - 7 Beachy Keen DIY projects

Beach Canvas DIY from UnoDosTresChic

Welcome back to Tutorial Tuesday! I don't know about you but I have a case of summer-brain and am already counting the days to the weekend! Here are some fun beach-themed projects from all over to get your imagination flowing. Click the link below each photo to visit the matching tutorial.

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Today's theme was inspired by a cute knotted bracelet DIY that Etsy shared for How-To Tuesday, another great source for all kinds of fun projects.

Am I the only one who has a cheap flip-flop "blow out" on a regular basis? This braided strap upcycle has me actually looking forward to the next one.

And this Towel Bag seems easy enough that even I can sew it. While I have some crafty genes, sewing is my kryptonite. It also seems like a great way to re-cycle those perfectly-good-if-a-bit-worn bath towels that have started fraying on the edges. (I only need so many "dust rags").

I love this simple (and simply yummy) idea for infusing and transporting your favorite beverage. The recipe is for sangria but fruit infused seltzer or water is tasty too (and good for public beaches that don't allow alcohol).


Lets end our trip with some ideas for the treasures you've collected. The Dude keeps bringing home shells and I keep meaning to try Martha's shell candles project. Alternatively, check your craft store for some picture perfect shells while you are picking up the candle making supplies.

driftwood craft project

This Driftwood Fish sign just makes me smile! I think I am going to see if the Dude want's to make one for his Grandpa's birthday this fall. I would look cool next to his antique "Ocean House" sign and remind us all of lazy summer days at the beach.

Do you have any favorite coastal projects or recipies? If so, please share! I'm always adding to my crafty to-do list.


By the way, if you are reading this before 1 a.m. (EST) on 7/10/14 there is still time to enter the random drawing for a Snap Ray Guidlight outlet cover. Click here for details or to enter the drawing.


Tutorial Tuesday - Ten July 4th DIYs

Ready for some summer fun?

Dress up your Independence Day with these crafty & tasty ideas. Click the links below each image to visit the tutorials. Lets get the party started with these cute and colorful kicks:

Top off your festive look with a printable holiday hat:

instruction and step by step on how to make a paper hat july 4th

Now that you are looking good
lets top off the table with some easy DIY decorations.



And something yummy for the tummy:

Red Velvet-Berry Cobbler Recipe

Menus4Moms: American Flag Fruit Kabobs

Time for Fun & Games:

Air Mail Ballots Game

 After Dark:

For the shutter bug:

On a separate nighttime note - If you haven't entered my July 10th random drawing for a Snap Ray Guide Light / LED outlet cover Click Here for more info and to put your name in the hat.


Thursday Giveaway - Win A Snap Ray Guidelight + review

I first spotted The Snap Ray Guidelight on Pinterest and thought it sounded like a cool idea. The pinned ink brought me to this kickstarter campaign. Looks like a lot of other people were impressed as well. The creators asked for $12,000 to fund their start-up. By the time their crowdfunding campaign ended over 9,000 people donated more than $480,000. 

What is the Snap Ray Guide light? Basically, it is a special light sensitive outlet cover with LED's set into one edge. These light turns on as darkness falls. They are easy to install and take their energy from you electrical system. Curious? Click on the above video for details.

Yesterday my set of Snap Ray outlet covers arrived. I have to say they are super easy to install. With a few turns of the screwdriver you simply replace your existing standard outlet cover with a special Snap Rays one. It is really that easy. 

Now that I've installed a few, here are my thoughts. Like I said, very easy to install. However the light sensor is hyper sensitive. It worked great in open spaces like my dining room but is a little too sensitive in shady spots, like the wall between my kitchen counter and overhead cabinet. The plastic outlet cover is more flexible that I expected and would not sit flush on some of my walls (they have a stucco-ish texture and are not especially straight & level). Overall it is a pretty cool product though, and one I recommend for open spaces. 

You can see the gap in my photo above. I shot it at twilight with my phone and no flash. The outlet is just under the windowsill. It leaves a deeper gap than my old, basic Home Depot outlet cover. (I live in FLA and keep picturing bugs squeezing in, and chances are I'll probably return to my old cover.) But I think this is the fault of my wall, not the Snap Ray product.

Since I have more Snap Ray covers than I can use, I'm giving away an unopened one to an Artsnark reader in need of a little extra illumination. The prize cover will look identical to the one in my above photo. Please note: this outlet cover will not fit all styles of outlets. You have until 1 am (EST) on July 10 to enter this random drawing. This drawing is open worldwide and it is possible to enter more than once. Simple follow the instructions below. Good Luck!

By the way, this review and giveaway are in no way sponsored by Snap Power. I just think it is a pretty cool product and want to share the love.