Thursday, January 26, 2012

Etsy Cache.....

I've always wondered what other Ebay and Etsy sellers do with all the stuff that is listed and waiting to be sold and shipped. I find myself just decorating a wall in my office with it, since I don't have an extra room for storage.

As my massive cleaning/purging "everything unnecessary that I own is getting donated" project continues (after many months, only 1/2 finished---this is why I run away to Florida!) not much else is getting worked on....especially blogging and creating....but I did manage to make some wire bees during a brief time out. Kinda fun and spring-y--and not too involved.

Hmmm.....make that: "sassy loves trash....but is getting rid of most of it"!!
I found these cool mini photography letter magnets last trip home at my favorite St. Armands shop: Garden Argosy
. They come in two large sheets, with about 6 of each letter, and are really fun to play with....I use them on old baking pans.

Motorcycle mirrors have caught my attention lately.....there's an idea brewing somewhere in my brain of how to repurpose these--it just hasn't materialized quite yet.

Back to the drudgery....

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mermaids, Mangroves, and Manatees.......

The gray days of winter made me do it! (post MORE pics of Florida, I mean) I know, I blog is starting to become a travel brochure, but I promise this is the last of my FL pics.........for now, anyway!
What could possibly be more fun than watching a real live mermaid show in crystal clear bubbling springs through giant underwater windows?

For this aspiring mermaid......NOTHING! (except getting in there myself, but they have silly rules about that)

It's vintage Florida for sure, being one of the state's earliest tourist attractions, and it seems so quaint and low-key compared to the mega-attractions of Orlando, but I'm really glad it's still open and delighting little mermaids of new generations!

My Florida mantra is ""! There are such killer deals on fabulous hotels from September to December......and the weather is usually great! The Sanibel Harbour Resort, overlooking Sanibel, Captiva and Pine Island, was practically deserted! (and the pools are even heated....oh yeah!)

Sanibel Island is almost one-half wildlife preserve and the best way to see it is drifting through the beautiful mangrove trails via kayak.

It's beautifully serene to drift along and quietly take in all the amazing scenes of nature as you decompress into a totally chilled-out and mellow state of mind.
Manatees love the warm waters of the Florida inlets this time of year (it's super hard to get pictures of them!).

So much beauty......
.......but the sunsets - with the ever-present seagulls - always steal the show!

Monday, January 9, 2012

A delightful backroads discovery....Giraffe Ranch eco-adventure

**This one's for you Kayla! (My sweetie just loves giraffes!)

Unforgettable, educational, surprising...........these are just a few adjectives that come to mind when describing this unique eco-adventure located on the backroads of Pasco County north of Tampa.

Giraffe Ranch, which is situated on 47 acres of rolling terrain shaded by beautiful oak canopies, is a surprisingly personal and interactive wildlife experience that is very much like embarking on your own private safari.
Charles "Lex" Salisbury and his wife Elena Sheppa have created a wonderfully unique wildlife preserve and working ranch, with experiential learning in mind.

Lex is the former director of Tampa's Lowery Park Zoo and together they share interesting information prior to, and throughout the tour---which BTW has strict size limits to retain the personal element.

All of the animals have lots of roomy habitats, and you can see the care that has been taken to ensure their days at the ranch be happy ones.
Although the giraffes are the stars of the ranch, there are many other interesting animals--we saw antelope, warthogs, Dexter cows, zebras, ostrich, Haflinger horses, Lemurs, all type of fowl, and lots more.
You can even take a camel ride, or experience your tour by camel-back! But since it was about to rain, I wimped out and boarded the safari truck with the canvas roof!
The clean and carefully thought-out habitats, the amazing depth of knowledge shared, the hands-on interaction with the animals.....
....are all what make this experience so unique......
.....and refreshingly personal.
I believe they were about to acquire a pair of rhinoceros when I was there (some of the animals are on loan from the San Diego Zoo since the ranch is fully accredited and licensed).
You know, I'm actually not much of a 'zoo person'---I always find myself distractedly imagining a world where the animals all run free---but I truly enjoyed this unique place--you acquire knowledge without being 'taught', and really feel like family by the time you leave!