Friday, December 19, 2014

A CRAFT STORE? IN WIMBERLEY?


When I went to that craft fair not long ago, cardmaker LaNell passed on a most amazing bit of scuttlebut. There was a new scrapbooking store. In wee little Wimberley! Well, I don't do scrapbooking, so I didn't get too terribly excited. I figured it would be a teeny-tiny place, with a very limited selection. Plus, you wouldn't be-lieve how fast things go in and out of business here. Sometimes it's best not to rush out and get your hopes up. To tell you the truth, I all but forgot about it until yesterday, when I took a different route than usual and spotted this sign near the big interior design store my daughter worked at while in college.


I got out and walked all around the little strip of shops next door to it, but couldn't find the new shop anywhere. Guess why. Because, they're actually in that big gorgeous building where Interior Elements used to be -- they've got the whole dang thing!




What is more, they have a whole lot more than just scrapbook paper.


They have stamps and stencils...
 

pens and gelatos, silks and twinks, ephemera and tools,  and all sorts of stuff that art journalists and mixed-media artists might use...


plus precious ways to contain them all!

Love, love, love all the unique pieces of furniture they are using for their displays.




They even have some gifts, balloons, and gift wrap.

The largest bag was only $1.60!
Best of all, they have this amazing loft space, where they plan to offer classes after the first of the year. And not just scrapbooking classes -- they are looking for instructors in other mediums as well, maybe even quilting. I have never had the patience for teaching, but sure would love an excuse to hang out in this beautiful space with other crafty souls.


I always thought Wimberley was pretty much the perfect place to live. Now I'm sure of it!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

CREATIVE CONDUITS

I once read a quote (if only I could remember where, and by whom) that went something like this: I feel closest to the Great Creator when creating. I find that to be so, so true, and it's the first thing that crossed my mind when I watched this amazing little video which Hubby shared on Facebook. My next thought was "Well there you go. Yet another example of what happens when someone opens themselves up completely, and allows him-or herself to become a conduit." I mean, seriously, how many times have you read that some of the greatest artists, authors, and musicians known to man claim that a certain piece of work wasn't really their own doing -- that it simply came to them from out of the blue, and they were merely the instrument for getting it out into the world?

Why, just a few weeks ago, in my writing class at Lucky Star, I met the greatgranddaughter of the woman who penned some of the most treasured children's books of all time, Frances Hodgson Burnett.


According to Kerri, family legend has it that, to her dying day, Frances refused to accept credit for the creation of these books, claiming they were "whispered in her ear", and that her job was merely to get them down on paper.

Alas, that has never happened to me. Maybe that's a good thing, for I'm fairly certain that one would appear to be a bit crazed to one's friends and family, should this ever occur. However, every so often, when I do manage to let go of the reins just enough to fall into one of my little art trances -- that state where one completely loses track of the passage of time or anything that is going on around one -- I  sometimes feel as if there is the tiniest buzz of electricity flowing through me. Which is why many people refer to it as being "in the flow."

As for that cave artist, well, as far as I'm concerned, the wonder is not in the beauty of his work, amazing as that may be. The true miracle is that someone with no education whatsoever in structural engineering has managed to create all those sand caves from scratch, without being buried by a cave-in! Could there be something guiding his hand?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

WHAT TO DO WITH USED TEABAGS

Well, I finally finished my first project in Christy Tomlinson's 12 Artsy Ornaments class -- guaranteed to delight any tea-drinking-art-journaling gal like me...


Itty-bitty journals made out of used teabags and cardboard!

Would have finished way sooner if I hadn't decided I needed to make at least a half dozen to share.


Takes a while to save up that many tea bags!


You can actually write in them if you so choose.


Now it's on to the next project and, hopefully, spending some time with my little Christmas journal, which has been sadly neglected!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

LUCK OF THE DRAW

A few years back, when we finally realized that the younger generation just couldn't afford to buy gifts for every aunt, uncle and cousin, my side of the family decided to draw names. This year sister Gussie just happened to draw mine, and she was pretty darned excited about it, judging from all the smirks and giggles aimed in my direction. Gus is the one who went to Lucky Star art camp with me this fall, which may have had something to do with this...


a beautiful tote bearing the artwork of one of my favorite Lucky Star instructors, Juliette Crane. But wait, there's more! Inside the bag I found an easel-style calendar filled with beautiful artwork, and a color-mad felted bead necklace like the one we saw instructor Katherine Center wearing at camp...


no less than four beautiful journals...


a couple of crazy fun kits which we will be playing with on Christmas Eve...


all kinds of lovely ephemera, of the sort which art journalists just love to play with...



and a beautiful little dish in which to keep these bits and bobs.


Quite the haul, no?


(Don't tell her I said this but, for a math major, she's not all that good at adding. This had to have gone waaaaaay over our set limits!) Did I mention that she got most everything at Paper Source, that awesome shop we stumbled upon when staying at City Centre in Houston?

Hubby's name was drawn by nephew Chris, and based on his snickering as the package was unwrapped, I feared the worst -- yet another goofy garden gnome for Hubby's collection. But wait, what is this?


A gnome-munching dinosaur? I like it!

Last but certainly not least, a handmade gift from the youngest member of the family, niece Merrit, who always insists on giving something to every single person there!


No, not just a bag of ordinary pretzel sticks. Hand dipped pretzel sticks!

The ones with crushed Heath Bars on the outside are to die for!
Could there be anything more delicious to someone who is obsessed with salty/sweet combos? Or more dangerous?

Monday, December 15, 2014

CELEBRATING DALLAS-STYLE


Baby Bro "Wooly"
Sorry for going AWOL on you, but we headed up to Dallas early Friday morning for a three-day Christmas party with my sibs and their families. It began Friday evening with most of us going uptown for dinner at a new place called Grain.  Pretty yummy, but I should probably warn ya' -- be prepared for a veeeeery leisurely meal. (like, three hours!)

On Saturday I got to spend the whole day hanging with sister Gus, to help her get ready for the evening's festivities. We did, however, manage to squeeze in lunch at Rosa's Cafe, an old favorite from our days in Midland, TX, plus a stop at one of our favorite artsy stores. The guys, of course, made a beeline for Fry's Electronics, followed by a good bit of this...


and this.


Then came the usual last minute angst and craziness.



Turns out, now that all the older generation has passed on, we've got nobody left who wants to be the official turkey-carver!  My hubby flat out refused, so Unkie Bud stepped up to the plate, be he wasn't all that happy about it! Has anyone else run into that problem? I myself still have difficulties just dividing a chicken into recognizable parts. Lost arts, people! Lost arts.

Once the gang arrived, however, the laughter returned.

Great Minds Dress Alike
We Thomases love our Christmas poppers/crackers...


for without them we would never get to sit around the table wearing the goofiest hats ever, and reading all those ridiculous puns and riddles. Just wouldn't be Christmas without them.


After that came the much-anticipated gift exchange, but I'll save that for tomorrow.
 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

RACLETTE + CORNICHONS

Remember our little excursion to Trader Joe's last week? Well, one thing that Outdoor Woman talked me into buying was something I'd read about, but never actually tasted. Raclette!


HaHa! I didn't notice that the package said "Trader Jacques" until just now! Anywho, Raclette is a yummy cheese from Switzerland that is traditionally served melted and bubbling over boiled or steamed potatoes, cornichons (pickles), pickled onions, and charcuterie (cured meats, sausages).

 
Luckily for us, I just happened to have a jar of my favorite French cornichons and pickled onions in the refrigerator!


Not only are they delicious, but each jar comes fitted with this neat little gizmo that lifts the pickles up out of the juice, saving you from having to stick your hand down into the jar to dig around for the last few pickles!



So, if you've ever dreamed of spending time in a cozy chalet up in the Swiss Alps, just serve this in front of the fireplace for dinner one night soon.


I guarantee, it's the next best thing!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

YA GOTTA HAVE FRIENDS

They were having a holiday craft sale at the community center on Sunday, so hubby and I decided to stop in after lunch. Boy was I surprised when someone called my name, and I looked up to find my new friend LaNell manning one of the booths! LaNell and I met online a while back, in one of the art classes we were taking. She lived in another state at the time, but has a brother in Wimberley. When she found out that I lived there too, she started following my blog. Now, she and her hubby have joined us all here.

LaNell makes adorable cards like this...


and this.


Now, I don't send out Christmas cards and letters anymore because, well, what is left to tell people that they haven't already heard about here on the blog? Seriously! But, I just couldn't resist buying a couple. I figured I could always use them for gift cards or somethin', right? So, I stuck them up here on the kitchen hutch temporarily, until I decided what to do with them.


I have a sneaking suspicion they are never, ever leaving this house!