Saturday, November 30, 2013

Out and About at the Mall and Such

While I'm not crazy enough to risk life and limb on Black Friday, today (Saturday the 30th), I needed to get a few things so we braved several shopping centers and even the mall!

I didn't want to bring my DSLR with me as a lot of stores get touchy about taking photos with a big, "professional" looking camera so I just used my cell so sorry for the poor quality. But I thought Willow might enjoy a little bit of an outing.

Just heading down the road from where I live off to the mall. I figured this was a good road to show you how utterly FLAT it is around here! It was a little overcast earlier today too.
Walking through the mall. (One of many, many malls around here!)

We spotted elves walking by.

Later, we found the elves and helpers handing out reusable tote bags advertising "Christmas Town" at Busch Gardens Tampa. We're thinking of trying to see it for the first time this year so if we do, Willow will of course come along.

After the mall, we hit Target! (You can see the Hula girl on Love's dashboard next to Willow in this shot. LOL)
In addition, we also had to visit both Joann's and Michael's today but I didn't get pics. It was a lot of running around but we got all our errands done so yay!


Thanksgiving was a simple affair this year, just Love and I at home. Two weekends ago, we had a family meal with his family at his cousin's house and my Mom doesn't do a big Thanksgiving anymore because it's just too much work for her.

So Love and I bought a small, breast-only turkey (since neither of us likes dark meat) and cooked it up with homemade mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy and corn.
The bird is straight out of the oven and cooling and the other items are staying warm.

That's a pretty fine Thanksgiving dinner!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Shopapalooza 2013

Shopapalooza 2013 is the 4th annual show in Downtown St. Petersburg celebrating local, small businesses. A group of us that are all Tampa Bay Area Etsy sellers, got a discount on tent space and we had a little "etsy row" of vendors.

I've only done two shows before this event and both of those were just a table. This was my first time setting up a full 10x10 tent for a show. My husband took up part of the space showing off some of his artwork as well. It was an amazing amount of work and I spent the past three weeks working on it all from creating the display shelves for his art from scratch to making stock and getting my whole tent set up created and show-ready!

My tent!! You can see my jewelry on the left, his art in the back and Willow sitting with my yarn ball ornament tree on the right! :)

Willow poses with my table of jewelry!

The view from within my tent. Out past the park, you can see the edge of the water and some of the sailboats and yachts docked there.

Looking left out of my tent

Looking down the path of other etsy vendor tents

Willow is dancing along to the group performing "Thriller" (why? No idea! LOL)

Quick Visit to the Library

I had to make a quick run to the library to return my slightly overdue books (whoops!) so I only had my cellphone with me to take a couple fast pics.

The branch is finishing up major expansion which more than doubled the size. It's been under construction for a year or so now but is nearly complete!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

IKEA Tampa

I needed to get a few things for my upcoming art show next week so Sunday, November 17th we headed to Downtown Tampa to hit our local IKEA store!

So. Many. Couches!

Need a coffee table? Or twelve?

It's like a maze in there! Willow consulted the map.

Drooling over the very pretty kitchen.

After all that walking around, we stopped for a snack.

The view from our table. Part of the parking lot, then the new Crosstown Expressway overpass they're building and the Tampa Skyline in the distance. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Early Thanksgiving

Love's family had our Thanksgiving yesterday, November 16th because of scheduling. Next weekend is my art show, and Thanksgiving itself finds several of his family members on a cruise. So yesterday it was!

Getting Ready for My Art Show

I've been so busy running around getting ready for my upcoming show (Shopapalooza on November 23rd) that I've been spending a lot of time up at my Mom's house. See, I'm in a 3rd floor apartment and my mom has a nice sized backyard. Her husband also has a nice work shed with plenty of tools for working on creating a new shelving system for my tent.

Mom has three hibiscus plants in her backyard. This is the yellow one. She also has a red and a pink!

Mom's orange tree. The oranges are little and green right now because the season for them isn't until about February.

Large "elephant ear" tree in her backyard. She basically put a plant in the crook of the trunk and it spread and flourished. My Mom has an amazing green thumb. (That I did not sadly, inherent!)

In my step-dad's shed after doing some dry-brushing to "age" the door s that make up the structure of my shelf display.
Here's a dry run of setting up my tent display to get an idea of the layout.

Close-up of the shelving unit I've been working on for the past couple weeks. Love how it came out!

And on the way home, the sky looked pretty as I stopped at the store for dinner so I stuck Willow on top of my car and took a quick shot. We have more impressive sunsets than this but this one was nice too.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Festival of the Masters - Downtown Disney

Saturday, we hit the Festival of the Masters art show located in Downtown Disney. Festival of the Masters is a really awesome annual show where only the best of the best get to be featured. Everyone there has to win an award in a juried art show just to apply!

Downtown Disney is in Orlando and is part of the Walt Disney World resort. It's like an outdoor mall but really fancy with shops and restaurants and a movie theater, bowling alley and more. It's free to walk around just like any mall and the Festival of the Masters is set up as tents and sidewalk chalk art all along the walkways. This year is the 38th annual event - it's older than me! :)
Here's a map of Downtown Disney

The canopy is part of Cirque du Soleil's permanent show, Orlando House of Blues is in front and you can see some of the tents all around featuring all kinds of art.

More tents plus the bowling alley in the distance and more store fronts and dining.

The sidewalk chalk art always really impresses me. They do AMAZING work!!

Water fountain and Planet Hollywood location.

There's a Lego store and all kinds of cool, super large Lego figures like this Loch Ness monster in the lake!
Maleficent in her dragon form out of Lego

Lego Snow White and Dopey from the Seven Dwarves.
Much larger than life Mr Potato Head outside the toy store.

After a lot of walking, we stopped for a late lunch. Earl of Sandwich is owned by the actual current Earl who's ancestor invented the sandwich and gave it the name! Yum!!

Last stop of the night we hit the Christmas store. It's all Christmas all year long. I needed Love's extra tall reach to put Willow in this picture. Do you see him? :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Welcome to Florida!

Willow arrived and it only seemed fair to give him a little walking tour of my apartment complex to help acclimate him to his new home for the next few months!

Even on November 6th, it was warm and sunny out. In fact, we're unseasonably warm right now with a high around 85F! (It's normally about 79F this time of year so it's a bit too hot right now and I'm eager for a break in the hot weather.

My apartment building backs up against a preserve. So this is the view from the back.

Walking down behind my building towards the pool. You can see the edges of the preserve on the right.


One of the many (many!!) palm trees in the neighborhood.

A lot of the flowering plants have been trimmed now that the peak of the growing season is over, but there was still a single hibiscus flower bloom to get that tropical feel!

More palm trees!

Heading back towards my building, the clouds looked so cool! I had to put the flash on so you could see Willow but that's why he's a little unnaturally bright here.
So there you have it! Introduction to my apartment complex and Willow's first look at Florida! :)