Friday, January 19, 2018

THE ONLY PROBLEM WITH LAP ROBES...

is that they only cover one's lap!



Thankfully, today we're finally blessed with a day that began with temps above freezing!
 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

GREETINGS FROM ATOP DAREDEVIL HILL

 
We're getting pretty good at handling all these "Jammie Days" we're being gifted with this year. Yesterday's came with rain and ice, so we couldn't have left home even if we'd wanted to. Believe me, we didn't.

Now Hubby is reading Origin, and I've moved on to The Fifth Season.
The Best Lap Blankets Ever Invented
Just swish the plunger up and down a few times for a nice head of foam on the milky beverage of your choice.
This morning it's only 16 F out, but this afternoon we should get about six hours of full sun, with temperatures slightly above freezing. Hopefully, that will be enough to clear our driveway of ice. Temps will go right back to being frigid after that brief reprieve, but at least we will no longer be housebound, and perhaps the FedEx truck will be able to make it up the hill with our Blue Apron delivery, which was supposed to arrive yesterday. Then we can make it into town to stock up on more logs! 



Know what's really bizarre? In just a few days we will be back up around 70 F, and I'll be wearing my flip-flops again.

Texas. Gotta love crazy to live here! 


Monday, January 15, 2018

OUR FORGETFUL ELF STRIKES AGAIN

Believe it or not, my hubby was actually a bit of a Grinch before I met him. But, then I introduced him to The Thomas Way of doing Christmas. He was especially impressed by the fact that, in my family, you were never too old for a fully-stuffed stocking! Eventually, that became his "thing", and before we knew it, he'd begin hoarding stuffers mid-summer and, come Christmas, he was adding goodies to any stocking within shouting distance. In fact, he was stashing so very many stuffers that he was having trouble remembering what all he had and where it was hidden. Inevitably, sometime in January, or even later, he'd come out wagging something in his hand, saying "You'll never guess what I just found!" In fact, it became so routine that the kids and I began taking bets on when it would happen, and who it would be for. This year I was the lucky recipient! Just the other day he came into the bathroom where I was putting on my makeup, and plopped this down in front of me, saying "Guess what I had 'squirreled away' downstairs!"


I just about dropped my teeth. I've been wanting a good squirrel watercolor mop ever since I started taking on-line classes with Junelle Jacobsen and saw her using one. But, every time I started to buy one, I'd chicken out. They're expensive. And here he'd bought me a whole set, complete with a bamboo roll-up holder, then managed to forget all about it!

So, between those and my new set of really-good Windsor & Newton watercolors, purchased with a couple of gift certificates from the kids, I feel I really must get back to painting! A couple of years ago -- back before I got distracted by weddings and travel journals and collage and paper-painting and grandbabies -- I was having a lot of fun with my then-new Creative Girl workbook by Danielle Donaldson.


I'm thinking it's really time I got back to that. Don't you agree?

Friday, January 12, 2018

HABIT-FORMING JOURNALS

Have any of you heard of this guy -- the one who started illustrating the hilarious things that kept popping out of his little girl's mouth? Well, one thing we really regret is not jotting down more of the funny, shocking, heartwearming things our own kids said and did when they were small. You feel sure you will remember them all but, surprise, you don't! Now that Little Goober is starting to talk, Papa John wants to make sure our kids don't make the same mistake we did. He went on line to see if he could find some kind of journal for them to keep a record of those special moments in and, par for the course, ended up ordering three! Two of them actually made it to their house.




One, however, never made it any further than the little side-table in my cozy dining porch nest, where I watch the sun come up each morning.



You see, one thing I have never been able to do is form any sort of art habit. I'll get totally immersed in one project for a while, but then I might go days, weeks, sometimes even months, without picking up pencil or brush. What I really want is a daily habit. It doesn't have to be a whole project per day, maybe just a little sketch or something. I was thinking about signing up for a class called 365, but when I read the blurb on the back of this book, I knew I was holding the perfect solution there in my hands.


In fact, it reminded me a lot of those super-fun exercises we did in my illustration class, with Becky Dawson of One Lane Road, at art camp this fall -- the ones that had us laughing so hard we almost wet our pants!



So far, so good!

P.S. Speaking of Becky Dawson, did I ever tell you that I finally received my Lucky Star coffee mug she designed? You saw it in the last post, about my "Seasonality Cafe" brain fart. Picture me this morning, sitting in my cozy nest, sipping tea from that mug, watching the sun come up, and sketching in my new little journal. Does it get any better?
 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

IF YOU HAD A SHOP...


I was doing a final flip-through of last summer's issue of Artful Blogging (sister publication to my favorite Stampington magazine, Art Journaling) when I came to an article by this lady, which I had dog-eared first time around.


In it, she was describing the process she went through when first envisioning her blog-to-be. She happens to design "modern crochet patterns for old-fashioned crafters", and said she found it helpful to play "Shop Girl", and to pretend she was opening her own little boutique rather than starting a blog. So she asked herself why she wanted this little shop, what types of products would she offer, who her customers might be, and how she would draw them in. Then she envisioned how her shop would actually look.


Know what? It got me to thinkin'. A lot. I finally came to the conclusion that my dream blog-shop wasn't really a shop at all. It was more of a café -- one where I'd meet up with my internet muses on a regular basis, in order to inspire and be inspired, to nourish our creativity, to share our explorations, and to support one another's endeavors -- much like the one where I meet up with my local muses every week, for all the same reasons.


And, the more I thought about my little café and its customers, the more I came to realize that, perhaps, it is time to give these premises a mini-makeover, maybe even tweak the name a bit.  Still thinkin'.

So, what about you? Who among you has never, ever dreamed about having a little shop of your own? What would it look like? What kind of merchandise would it carry? Who would shop there? Go ahead, dream a little!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

HUNKERING DOWN


With temps down in the 20s all week, we decided to make it a "Hygge" kind of week. As I'm sure you've read by now -- it coming in second for "word of the year", beat out only by Brexit -- Hygge is the Scandinavian word for well-being, and also for the practice of creating a mood of coziness and conviviality, in order to survive their long, dark, frigid winters.

A Hearty Pot of Boeuf Bourguignon
So far we've had a couple of days that we declared to be "Jammie" days, where we lit a fire and stayed in our PJs all day long. We've cooked some delicious, stick-to-your-ribs food, started watching some fun new series on Netflix and Acorn, and we've read lots of good books.




I even gave myself permission to leave my little tree up a bit longer than usual, as it really added to the warm, cozy atmosphere.


I especially enjoyed it first thing in the morning, sitting in an otherwise dark room, sipping my first cup of hot tea.


Pretty much the only "work" I did, other than cooking, was to finish up a few art projects. Now, I just need to get my art table cleared off so I can start the year with a clean slate, so to speak, before jumping into my next project.


Just about the only thing that was worth leaving the house for was this little dude.


Now we know where his phone habit came from. Apparently Papa John even let him send his first text, and take his first selfie!

Most exciting event of the week occurred yesterday morning, when I finally headed into town. I stopped at the bottom of the driveway to set the trash out for pick-up, and spotted something white out of the corner of my eye. My first frost flower!


Then I saw another.


And another! They were everywhere, under every clump of trees, and all along the fence rows.

 
Now that was definitely worth leaving the house for!

Friday, December 29, 2017

POOR LITTLE PITOOTIE


Know what my very favorite part of Christmas is? I think it's probably late night Christmas Eve, after everyone but Mr. and Mrs. Claus has finally gone to bed, so that the stocking-filling-ritual can finally commence. Mr. Claus just loves that part so, so much.

The Calm Before The Storm
Austin's and Areej's Stockings
Calvin's Stocking & Gift Pile
The next morning, Lex was up not long after me, and came upstairs to start preparing a fabulous Christmas feast for us all. I later asked my hubby if he was sad about not being in charge of breakfast for the first time. Without a moment's hesitation, he replied "Heck No! Best Christmas EVER!"

It seems everyone was dressed for the occasion, except me. 




Guess I'd better go shop the after-Christmas sales, see what I can find for next year, huh?


Little Calvin started out quite jovial, but as the morning progressed, he got more and more mellow...

Loves his new shoes, and his little Daniel Tiger Christmas tree ornament!

Can you believe his mama actually asked Santa to bring him Play-doh and finger paints? What a nice mom!
until finally he burst into tears and became inconsolable. Turns out he was running a fever! We're so thankful he made it through all the best parts before it got too bad, but pretty sad that they had to cut their visit short, and that we didn't get to take him to see the Wimberley Trail of Lights.

Ah well, something to look forward to next year, right?

P.S. We've come a long way, baby. Just for fun, check out this post about one of our very first Christmases here in Wimberley.