A Person of Interest – Mugshots Squared

Today, I want to feature a man we have all come to know and love. As a local to Staunton, he can be found, around town, sometimes on a Harley. He’s a landscaper by profession. And a wonderful human being by design.

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Many of you may remember him from Lee High class of 1981 or with his Bride and high school Sweetheart, Angie.

This man has a heart of gold, his family is his pride and joy,  his God is his guiding light. and he has an eye for our amazing landscape too. Not just any landscape, mind you, but the kind that captures your attention in the way that he sees it. His name is Mic Whitesell, and he is known and loved by all of us here at LTD 7 as the eye behind the camera of Mugshots Squared and the only male member of The Dream Team. Mic not only takes wonderful photos, but he has a way of with photo names as well. He captures our world in such a beautiful, fun, lighthearted way!  You can find many pictures framed and for sale in our downtown location of LTD 7 but please take the time to join his Instagram, his photos are amazing and far to many to feature at LTD 7. Any item you find can be framed or purchased. Contact LTD 7, Downtown.  Mic’s Instagram:

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Mic’s First baby Shower FullSizeRender

December is his busy time of year! 10539183_889233974444250_8121803981696963175_o

His beautiful Daughter6723_562111873898577_6668879911979023366_n

Mic’s Favorite View of the land13232907_1718256675115760_2477748878788784798_n

Enjoy my interview with Mic.

Living the Dream,

Lynne

 

  1. How did you get started? “What’s your story?”

I have always taken pictures. I probably started shooting around the age of ten.  My brother and I had a bathroom that was turned into a darkroom when we were young. I used a 35mm camera until the camera phone evolved.

I have worked outside all of my life. I think my relationship with nature influenced my “like” of subject matter. Some of you may or may not know that my real occupation is a landscape gardener. I have been self-employed for many years, but now work for a major healthcare organization doing pretty much the same.

A few years back, I was persuaded to join and use social media as an outlet for my hobby. I was reluctant at first, but soon, I was hooked. By popular demand, and with the encouragement of LTD 7, I started Mugshots2. All of my pictures are taken with my camera phone.

“A-Mazing  Morning”13932679_1748682748739819_6888208334683998524_n

“Downtown Drops”

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  1. Is this a full time gig? Do you think some day it will be?

Yes and no. I take photos all the time. Some days the totals for photos shot can reach in the hundreds. Maybe I will go full time, someday… anything is possible.

  1. You use an iPhone? Are you telling people that you support Apple phones for this kind of endeavor? Will any camera phone work?

 My first camera phone was a Samsung Galaxy. I was satisfied with the results, but due to a mishap (H2O) it had to be replaced. My new phone just happened to be an iPhone 4. I became comfortable with it. Since then, I have upgraded to an iPhone 6s. Is it any better? I don’t know; they all have advantages and disadvantages. I feel you should use whatever you have and make the most out of it.

  1. Where would you most like to shoot?

I take pictures of anything-anywhere. In January, my family and I visited Hawaii for a couple of weeks. The abundance of subject matter there was unbelievable. I took over 6,500 photos!

Mostly, I enjoy exploring our area right here at home, photographing what I term “overlooked subject matter.”

“Around downtown”

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5. What is the biggest obstacle to pursuing this dream of yours?

 In one word: Money.

6. Do you ever encounter resistance from the public?

Not really. I just use common sense. And I always ask permission.

  1. What is the most unusual thing that has ever happened to you while shooting? G Rated, of course.

I stopped to take photographs of some rusty cars on my way home from work one evening, only to find a couple months later I was a “Person of Interest” in a robbery case on the same property. I was subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing.( Thus the name of his company)

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Wherever he travels, he takes LTD 7 with him 🙂

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  1. What would you like to share with dreamers like you? What one piece of advice would you say pushed you the furthest in this dream?

 I would say, just “Do It!” If what you want makes you happy…then be happy. Don’t procrastinate. Even if your dream doesn’t turn in your favor, at least you tried. You can learn from your mistakes and be better.

The name, “LTD 7” says it all. “Living the Dream”

Thank you Mic!

Mic Whitesell iphone Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TO GIVE OR NOT TO GIVE

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I wonder if you are beginning to make a list of gifts you need to buy for the upcoming holiday gift giving season. Do you have “easy” people to buy for on your list; people that you know in a snap of the fingers just what to buy for them? On the other hand, what about those “hard to buy for” people; are there any like that on your list?

Obviously we are all probably going to come up with a few ideas for the hard-to-buy-for people on our list. But what about the teen or young couple or the teacher and coach on your list that would prefer a gift card, be it in the form of a cash gift card or one to a particular store? We all hear about the throngs of December 26th shoppers looking to spend their gift cards. Did you know that these pieces of plastic are a very lucrative business? Have a look at some statistics.

The Gift Card Industry

  • Over $100 Billion is spent on Gift Cards annually
  • 93% of U.S. consumers purchase or receive a gift card annually
  • Consumers spend an average of $213/year on gift cards
  • 83% of corporations use gift & prepaid cards for employee incentives

Purchasing Habits

  • 72% of customers will spend MORE than the value of their card
  • On average the recipient will spend 20% MORE than their gift card value
  • 90% of gift cards are used within the first 60 days

Where Consumers Buy Gift Cards

  • 31% – Gift card mall or kiosk (grocery/convenience stores)
  • 27% – Websites that sell multiple gift cards
  • 27% – In person at the retailer or restaurant
  • 16% – On the retailer or restaurants website

Gift Cards Online

  • Online gift card sales are growing by 29% per year
  • 97% of the top retailers & restaurants sell their gift card online
  • 92% of those top retailers offer multiple card designs
  • Less than 3% of local businesses sell their gift card online

Based on these numbers, it would be fair to assume that we will get or give gift cards this season. The question then becomes:

How do we give a gift card in a creative, caring way?

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Obviously, we don’t want to spend a fortune on the cards but there are ways to present gift cards that show you put the time and the effort and some thought into the recipient’s gift.

Take a look at just some of the clever ways to give a gift card.

If they drive a lot, or love driving, consider a gas card inside a Hot Wheels package.

If they cook, bundle up a hot pad and some wooden spoons with the card.

If they love date night, prepare a Chinese takeout box with a dinner card and a movie card.

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If they love coffee, put a gift card into a specialty grown container of coffee beans or a mug?

If they play golf, why not gather up some new or used balls and make a plaque?

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If they love reading, buy them an antique book and place a card inside its pages.

If they want clothing, how about wrapping up a package of hangers with a gift card attached?

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If they eat a banana every day at break, why not bundle up some and put a bell and ribbon on top?

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If they love vintage, how about a Mason jar filled with twine or buttons or some favorite thing they collect?

If they love candy, place a gift card into a Mason jar of candy.

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Sometimes the best gifts are the ones that are the simplest and easiest to get and to give.

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LTD 7 sells gift cards and we have them in both of our stores and online as well. We can supply the gift cards in various denominations and we can help you package them in clever and fun ways. We have lots of containers; we can make a gift basket, and we can help you to surprise a person or two or three on your list. When you come in, please ask for help. You can trust us to listen and come up with some ideas for you to consider. Don’t forget the mailman, the gardener, the teachers and coaches and your favorite neighbors and friends. There is surely a way to make all your gift-giving a little less stressful and a whole lot of fun in the process. Consider a gift card this holiday season.

Have a tremendous week everyone! Thank you to our customers and friends that stopped in LTD 7 on Friday night for Sparkles and Sweets. It was so much fun seeing all of you!

Living the Dream,

Lynne

This Little Piggy..Revisited

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It’s that special time again…it comes around before I know it and it’s one of my very favorite LTD 7 activities!

Next weekend, Saturday October 17th, is LTD 7’s Fall Market!

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If you have been following us on Facebook, you are becoming familiar with this year’s lineup of visiting vendors that will be hosting booths. Each day we have been featuring one vendor. If you have been to one of our previous markets you know just how much fun happens right along with your Fall shopping. It really is one of the hallmark LTD 7 events!

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If you are a “vendor in the making,” and thinking about our market or any market as one way to feature your goods and well, let’s be honest, make some $$$, then this blog is for you.

For the rest of us, let’s just plan to attend! The weather promises to be cooperative and we will have activities for the kiddos, so bring them along! There will be plenty of good food, great music and a ton of our friends will be there.

LTD 7’S Fall Market truly is a fantastic day and one not to be missed!

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SHOULD A NEW VENDOR STAY HOME or SELL AT A MARKET?

In one word: SELL!

Sign up.

Show up.

Sell.

It may not be this year, and it may not be on your radar, but studies have shown that if you schedule an event as a vendor, you take your dreams and passion to the next level—You become a seller! From there, the sky is the limit. You have a scheduled task and you have gone from the planning stages to execution. That is a feat and one you will forever be proud of!

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For those of us who long to bring our passions and dreams to the center stage and make money in the process, signing up to be a vendor at a local market is one great pathway to success. Markets are surefire ways to test your product with the general public. Markets offer you a chance to hand out brochures and business cards and meet with other vendors. Markets bring you a readymade group of buyers and a chance to hear comments on your product. Customers shop with friends many times and they chat about your wares as they enter your booth. It’s a get ready, get set, and then go listen opportunity to learn what appeals to the shopper and what comments they make.

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Don’t sit at home, wishing away your dreams and passions. Let your little piggy go to market!

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You will meet other vendors; you will have an opportunity to see what other booths look like and you will, believe it or not, have the time of your life!

We will see all of you next weekend at LTD 7’s Fall Market!

Living the Dream,

Lynne

The Power of Love

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Pssst you guys! Valentine’s Day is coming up in just two weeks. Do you have any surprises planned? Are you dreaming of a romantic getaway? Have you dropped a few hints yet? Do you love getting roses or does something else, like a potted flower tickle your fancy?

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What about a heart-filled box of chocolates? Do you love chocolates? Me toooooo! “I have had enough chocolate”…said no one ever!

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I remember shoeboxes decorated in pink and red construction paper and doilies and having a slit in the top. I remember watching the other kids in my grade school classroom file by and give me a Valentine. It was wonderful. Remember how much care we took to sign our names and pick just the right little Valentine from the package for each of our classmates?

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What memories do you have of childhood Valentine’s Day?

I always get in the mood to create something in early February. Perhaps it’s a wonderful dinner for my husband, or sending a special care package to a loved one, far away. I love the idea of surprising a friend with a simple card and gift that shows him or her how much I care. I love the chocolate roses I see the children carrying in to school to give to their teacher.

Okay. I admit it. I am a fool for love! Totally and completely addicted to love. The power of love is definitely amazing and totally astounding. It truly is what makes the world go ‘round!

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I thought it might be nice to share some pictures of romantic getaways…the kind we can probably all fit in the budget with a little ingenuity and creativity. These pictures were taken this week at one of the large retail markets I visited. Note the fluffy pillows, the soft draping fabric in gorgeous pale tones. Look at the simplicity of having just one beautiful plant in the room. See how, to be honest, just making our beds of a morning can be oh, so inviting in the evening.

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Don’t ya just want to curl up with a magazine or a good book in one of these luscious beds? What struck me when I saw these displays was not the cost and newness and latest fashions, but instead it was the idea that a simple change of bedding…even just the sheets…can create an oasis of serenity and calm. Keep it simple this Valentine’s Day. 2015 is turning out to be all about comfort, nesting and romantic simplicity. Just look how romantic and comfy these beds look! But, keep in mind, achieving the look does NOT mean we break the bank and go out and buy a whole new bedroom set or bed cover.

Switching things up and adding a touch of red or pink or white to remind you of love, can be all it takes. The “warm fuzzies” can be as easy as pulling out a treasured blanket your grandmother crocheted. Imagine yourself wrapped in it and thinking about all the love it still holds. What about buying your family each a new and crisp, clean, pillow, tied with a large red ribbon?

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Valentine’s Day can be as sweet and easy as a cup of warm hot chocolate at bedtime, cherishing the aroma…or…taking that bubble bath with a new candle burning and then painting your toes red. It can be a fresh tube of red lipstick or a spritz of a new fragrance. Pull out the red scarf, and if you don’t have one, maybe treat yourself to one. You deserve to pamper yourself on Valentine’s Day.

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LTD 7 has many items available that might warm your hearts and those you love. Come in and check out our selections and gorgeous displays sure to please.

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Here are a few gift ideas…to name just a few:

A nice throw blanket…

Or a soft pillow in a favorite color…

A wonderful bar of scented soap…

A plaque…

A scarf…

A picture frame…

A candle in a new scent or a favorite one…

Some jewelry for you and a loved one…

A dozen cupcakes to pass on, instead of just one.

The possibilities are endless and this week at LTD 7 we will have jewelry and candles at 20% off.. to those that mention they saw the announcement on the blog.  Be sure to stop by for those trinkets and baubles and lovies and sweets that you need. We gotta whole lotta love inside our doors, just waiting for you! In order to get the discount,

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends. We love you! XOXO

Living the Dream,

Lynne