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!!)