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11  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 24 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: March 30, 2017 02:58:19 PM
Clara made it home from her stay with seeuudee in the UK a few days ago. Unfortunately, I discovered that I'm intolerant to a specific antibiotic the hard way so I've been sick for days and just now am getting a chance to post pics.

Here she is with a new friend from the Teddy Bear Museum, the photo album, papyrus bookmark and cartouche from King Tut museum, clotted cream fudge, magnet, fossil, and chocolate!

I love the fossil:

Clara went on a lot of adventures and saw a lot of historic places! seeuudee also had a really neat way of putting in the guides and information about each stop right into the book:

Thank you for being a lovely host!
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12  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 24 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: March 23, 2017 07:24:55 PM
Giles is back from his stay with waterbaby! He had some last minute adventures, so his album is still coming, but she sent back all his souvenirs with him. And there's so many great things!

Opening the box...

Look at it all!

She made me the best bat bag - complete with adorable "Giles" California license plate tag:

Quite possibly the single cutest LV accessory ever. She found a Giles-sized sombrero!! OMG I love it!

This is so neat. It's a shirt from a MLK Jr breakfast and there are a deck of "cards" with images and quotes of former felons who turned around their lives. Also, my own Hollywood Union pen, jumping frogs, a pressed penny with the space shuttle turned into a magnet, a wood turtle, and pierced paper banner.

Darnit, this pic came out blurry. I'll have to take another. But it's two dinner plate sized "pot holders" that you use under your plates when they are hot so you don't burn your hands or laps. (We don't have a dining table so we eat on the couch and this will come in handy!) One is even palm tree fabric!

Waterbaby also crocheted Giles his own hat/scarf combo - complete with little ear holes. Aw...

I love everything! I can't wait to see more of his adventures. If his gifts are anything to go by, there's a lot of fun for him to share with me!
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13  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 25 (SU 03/16-03/29 SO 04/05 and 09/15) in ACTIVE SWAPS WHERE SIGN-UP PERIOD HAS CLOSED by phoenixfiredesigns on: March 16, 2017 08:52:34 PM
Sent in my signup!

Here's Clara hanging out poolside here in Florida before her last outing.

(She also has a facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LittleVisitorClara/ )
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14  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 24 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: March 10, 2017 11:27:59 AM
After all this time in Virginia BEACH, Aurora finally got to go to the beach!
MWHAHAHA I *JUST* did the same thing. After being here in FLORIDA with literally MILES and MILES of beachfront (we're kinda famous for it!) I finally ran down and got Alby and Splash a little beachfront view this week!  Grin Cheesy


All the pics are printed and sorted, I just need to actually PUT THEM IN THE BOOK. Show tomorrow, so Monday is my designated day for it.
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15  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 24 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: February 18, 2017 06:38:23 PM
Wow! How cool Anana got to see the pyramids! Shocked

Hard to follow that, but it was "Hockey Day in Tampa Bay" and we went to a Tampa Bay Lightning vs Boston Bruins Alumni game today for my husband's birthday. It's his two favorite teams and we had a ton of fun. It was held at the normal Lightning arena (now known as "Amalie Arena" though I tend to think of it as the "Ice Palace" as that was it's name for so many years) right in downtown Tampa.

Outside the Arena

They were broadcasting for the local SunSports channel:

During the game:

(They only had half of the seats open which is why the other side is completely empty. LOL)

There's a bunch more pics but I'm saving some for the albums. So much fun!
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16  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 24 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: February 05, 2017 11:14:29 AM
Yesterday Alby and Splash came with us about an hour north of Tampa to the Brooksville Native American Festival. It's a yearly powwow event with intertribal dancing, native arts and crafts vendors, information and demonstrations and some yummy food including fry bread! Grin They got to watch some dancing and took in some of the culture of the Indigenous peoples of North America.

(click any pic for larger version)

My husband is 1/2 Blackfeet so it's because of him that we started going to powwows. They're a lot of fun and it's great for me as a photographer to take in the traditional regalia.
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17  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 24 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: February 02, 2017 07:56:18 PM
Alby, Splash and I made a quick run over to the local library to pick up some books that were on hold for me. It was evening and I needed to get home to make dinner so we just grabbed a quickie pic:

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18  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 24 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: January 29, 2017 08:53:44 AM
Yesterday, we braved the cold weather (we're having a rare, wintery weekend here in Florida! It was 84f/29c earlier in the week and yesterday it was a high of 51f/10c and windy and damp. So it was chilly!! (People always scoff when they read what is a "cold" day for us here. But, two things to keep in mind: 1 - it's a significant temp swing to go from the mid/high 80s' down to high 40's/low 50's. And 2 - our humidity means that the cold is VERY biting here. My friend from the UK was hanging out with us on vacation at WDW one day and wore a sundress because it was cool during the day but not cold. Once the sun went down though, she was FREEZING despite it not being that cold relative to England just due to how damp our air is here. It really permeates through you!)

Anyway...we spent the afternoon wandering around Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. We have passes for the year and while we were originally going to go to Disney for the day, not getting a single sale at my show the night before put a damper on the budget for that. (Busch Gardens is 20 minute drive away vs 1 1/2 hrs for Disney)

A lot of the animals were not out; they were too cold and were in their night enclosures. Didn't think that through when we headed over there! Cheesy

Hippo wasn't fazzed by the cold:

And the lions were just hanging out like typical cats:

We also got to see some kangaroos munching on fronds:

And the Tigers were hungry (it was getting late in the day by the time we made it to the back side of the park so they were waiting on dinner!)

They have this "Tiger Popup" where it's a glass enclosure that you can climb a ladder up into and put your head into the area. The tigers sometime lay on it. You can just see the one laying on it here in this pic. (Unfortunately, but the time I made it around to the popup ladder, the tiger had moved!)

The Asian elephants were getting fruit treats from the handlers so they were right by the edge. What was cute was they were working with them, so they'd ask them to show their feet, or open their mouths, etc. Then they tossed a fruit reward. I was amazed at how easily they picked up things like a pear with their trunks!

And, finally, the penguins were running in and out of the water. They're so fast! It was hard to get any clear shots of them. LOL

I have some more "fun" pics but I'll save those for the albums. Despite the overcast day, the cold and a lot of walking, being outside in the cold all afternoon, we still had fun.

(Click any pic for larger version!)
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19  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 24 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: January 29, 2017 08:34:16 AM
Friday night, we did a market in a brewery. Sadly, no one came and it was a frustrating first: my first ever show where I didn't sell a single thing. Cry I've had bad shows before; I've had shows where I didn't even make booth back. But...I've never failed to sell anything. I don't think any of us did though. There were zero customers.

Anyway, meant I had time to mill about and let Alby and Splash explore the brewery equipment!


As always, click any pic for larger version!
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20  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 24 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: January 22, 2017 09:16:13 AM
Yesterday, we went on a bit of an all-day adventure. We drove 2 hours out to a city in central Florida called Mt. Dora which has a famous flea market, Renningers which has an extra huge Antiques & Collectors Extravaganza twice a year. So we wanted to go check that out.

This is just *part* of the HUGE field where the antique market was set up. Doesn't include any of the normal flea market or the other area we never even made it too!!

Next year, we're going to have to (a) get there earlier (we underestimated the length of the drive!) and (b) plan for the size of it. Several experienced thrifters had rolling carts and coolers and all kinds of stuff to make transporting finds while staying hydrated in the 84f (29C) heat of the day easier! We were huffing carrying our stuff back to the car! LOL It's really hilly and we parked waaaay down at the bottom of the hill not realizing how far away it was. Grin

After that, we drove over to Disney's Wilderness Lodge. They had an item on hold in the shop there for me that was sold out everywhere else on property. I have more pics on my DSLR, but I haven't offloaded them yet, so here's one quick pic I took of the amazingly impressive lobby.

More to follow.

We were out all day, drove around 250 miles and got home around midnight. LOL But much fun was had! Cheesy
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