Thursday, April 16, 2009

One Big Winner!

Congratulations to the winner of my first Free Give-Away!

Today is April 16th, 2009
My Free Give-Away has a winner!

Allie Schellhammer has won the earrings of her choice 

I hope that she enjoys them and wears them in good health for many years to come!

A Happy Day to Allie and everyone else who has come to visit me at


Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Piece Of My Heart

My six year old niece is visiting from Georgia this week. Let me just say, first of all...I absolutely adore her. When she was born she became a piece of my heart. I miss her when we are apart and I cherish every fun and wonderful moment that we spend together. I only see her about two times per year, but the time is quality time, for sure. I devote every moment we have together to bonding and doing interesting and fun activities. We make up games, create art, read stories, snuggle and chat. 

The most important part of our relationship is that we know how much we love each other and how special we are together. We are both artists, and for whatever reason, I know how she thinks. I know what she is going to say about things, before she gets the words out, because I understand how her mind works.

Last night after I read her a book about a baby dolphin she said, "Aunt Ally, It's not good that we don't live together. I wish we all lived at your house. I don't like not seeing you all the time." I have felt that was since the day she was born. 

She will go home on Saturday and a piece of my heart will go with her. I wish that everyone with a special and wonderful child in their life will take the time to create memories that they can both cherish for the rest of your lives. Fostering a bond and a loving relationship with a child is a gift that lasts forever.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Happy Spring Give-Away

I just love springtime! It puts me in the giving mood.

This Give-Away runs from 4/2/09 - 4/16/09 at which time the winner will be selected at random.

First become a follower of my blog

Visit my online shop allyjoy.etsy and see which item is your favorite.  

Give the item a heart. 
Come back to this blog and write a comment at the bottom of this post about which item in my shop is your favorite and why.

One lucky winner will win an Allyjoy original.

 If your favorite item is a photograph, you will win a Fine Art Print of that image.

 If your favorite item is jewelry you will win a pair of earrings of my choice. 
I will select the earrings closest in style and color to your selected favorite item.

Please  select your true favorite from the shop to write about in your comments.

I look forward to hearing your comments
 and picking the 
Lucky Winner!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


While I was dreaming of Springtime, it was happening in my garage without my knowledge!

Last summer I dug up all of my bulbs in order to lay landscaping fabric (weed block) and to re-plant my flower beds. They are groups of Allium, Narcissus, Daffodil, Hyacinth, and Paper White. I had hired a gardener to reshape my bushes and to lay lava rocks over the weed block. He was on a tight schedule, being double booked that day. Therefore, I didn't have the time or energy to figure out where to place the bulbs at that time, so I hurriedly scrounged around in the earth on my hands and knees and gathered up all of my little "babies" and put them in a plastic bucket. I put the bucket in my garage and essentially forgot about the bulbs until my husband decided to clean out the garage.

Well, I saw the bucket out on the driveway, and to my great surprise...the bulbs were sprouting without any care on my part. Most of them had started growing fresh roots and nice green foliage...getting ready for their spring debut.

As a photographer, I was inspired and began setting them up in rows on paper towels to see which ones were interesting. I am always on the lookout for a new muse. So, which one would raise it's tiny green hand and say, "pick me...pick me!" Well, I must say there is one that is my favorite at this point. It has a beautiful "S" curve to it. The roots even have grown in a nice curve, so it is going to be my first subject of the bunch tomorrow morning.

I have set out a variety of background surfaces to try the bulbs out on. I am excited and just love how inspiration can come from anywhere and anything. I see beauty all around me, each and every day. Sometimes an object or living thing calls out to me and begs to be noticed and immortalized. I am sure some people might think it's nuts to get excited over some half-grown, dirt clumped, musty scented bulbs...but I could spend an entire day enjoying every nuance that they have to offer.

Speaking of the odor, my husband went downstairs to my studio and said, "Boy, we really have to do something about the doggy odor...the basement smells like onions!" I laughed and said, "That's not the's the bulbs". Bulbs are in the onion family, which is why they smell less wonderful than the lovely flowers they produce. The Hyacinths are the most heavenly perfumed of all, in my opinion. I always make my children smell them each year when they bloom. That is why I plant them by the front entrance. Who wouldn't like to smell that lovely scent each time they come and go? Not me! I love it.

When I am done photographing them, they will go to their new home in a shallow planter where they will enjoy time to grow and bask in the sunshine. They, however, will not be rid of me and my camera. I photograph my garden every year and really love recording the different stages of growth. I even love certain plants after their peak, as some are even more interesting as they get dry and change shape.

Serendipity keeps me young and fresh and ready to create. Interesting things are all around us, everyday. I hope that you will take the time in your everyday life to look at objects in the natural world as well as man-made world and see the beauty. Let the little things inspire you and bring you unexpected joy.