Friday, March 23, 2012


Well, I've watched about thirty 15-minute how-to videos since I signed up for this online art journaling class -- and that was merely those for week one of a 3-week class! They had so much information and so many great ways to combine and layer your various paints, pens and papers, that I'm thinking I need to go back, watch them all again, and start keeping a separate journal where I demonstrate and take notes on each technique, so I can refer back to them later.

She Art Girl by Christy Tomlinson
I've got lots of ideas percolating, but I've yet to put pen or brush to paper. I love Christy's work, as well as that of Jenn Olson at Evolutions (the one who sent me that great prize package recently, which included my first art journal and Pitt artist pens)...

An art journal page by Jenn Olson, from her blog Evolutions
and Aimee at Artsyville.

Art by Aimee@Artsyville
But, I don't want to copy the work of my teacher, or anyone else. I want to come up with my own style. My own way of doing things. I guess you gotta start somewhere, though, and until I've played around with some of Christy's techniques, I'm not going to know which ones work for me, and which ones don't -- and I'm sure not going to come up with anything new of my own.

I've always been drawn to art supplies, just not to art galleries. In fact, the first time I ever remember getting worked up over an artist was when we were in Provence, seeing the actual places and colors that inspired Van Gogh's work. Anyhoo, it was figuring out what to do with the supplies that had me in a quandary. Tole painting was kinda fun for a while, back in the early 80's, until I grew weary of that whole "country" decor thing, and all the little gee-gaws that went with it. I never had the patience my sister-in-law has for all the fine detail work involved in miniatures and polymer clays, and I sure didn't want to paint pictures like both our moms did. What would I do with them? We've still got stacks of theirs stashed everywhere, and no place to hang them! But art journaling? That might be just the thing for me.

What could be more perfect? I won't end up with a houseful of stuff I don't need, my kids won't end up with a bunch of stuff they don't want, but I still get to play with color to my heart's content! I suppose most people use art journals as a way to express their thoughts and feelings, but I've got my blogs for that. Sooooo, I'm thinking that something more along the lines of a gratitude journal, or maybe a simple pleasures journal, might be more up my alley -- the perfect companion for my graphic to-do lists, and something I might enjoy posting on the blog now and then. Yup, it's all starting to come together for me. All I have to do is gird my loins, take a deep breath, and dive in head first!

Thursday, March 22, 2012


A year or two from now, when I'm tearing my entire house apart trying to find all my old drafting supplies because I need a certain ruler or template or something, I'm counting on one of you to remind me that I put everything in that red metal picnic basket on top of my bookshelves.
Why did I move it all up there? Well, because it filled up an entire 5-drawer plastic cabinet that sits next to my desk, as well as four vintage flower pots, and it's all stuff I've barely touched since I segued from garden design to garden center merchandising and then to writing. And, now that I've discovered art journaling, it's space that could be better put to use holding the art supplies I already had...
plus all the stuff I bought at Hobby Lobby this week...
plus that box of stuff that's wingin' its way to me as we speak, from my Art Journaling instructor's online shop, The Scarlet Lime.

See! I told you it was dangerous for me to take up an artsy kind of hobby!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Have I ever told you how much I adore the aquaduct system out at Lady Bird's? How its marriage of beauty and practicality just sends me over the moon? "Only about a hundred times", you say? Well, make that a hundred and one!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


After The Flood -- Early September 2010
How are all my Hill Country buddies doing this morning? Hope everyone managed to stay high and dry during last night's hullabaloo (especially those of you up around Burnet). We got about two and a half inches of rain last night, and the creek was roaring like a son-of-a-gun when I got up and opened a window this morning, but as far as I can tell, we had no wind or hail damage, and no tornadoes touched down near here. There are lots of low-water-crossings hereabouts that are closed right now (pray that my hubby doesn't try to drive through any of them on his way to a doctor's appointment in Dripping this morning), but since no more rain is expected in the next few days, the levels should recede fairly soon.  All in all, coulda been a lot worse -- and I sure won't mind having that full-to-overflowing rain tank, as we head into summer!

Monday, March 19, 2012


One of the main reasons we went splorin' at the wildflower center Saturday was that we like to see what looks best at different times of the year. Autumn is my favorite season, so I gravitate towards plants that hit their peak in fall and, if I'm not careful, my garden could be dead boring the rest of the year. As we were moseying around, we each came up with several ideas for things that are bursting with color in early spring, to help kickstart our respective gardens.  My very favorite was this small native tree/shrub called Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia var. pavia). Its blooms drove me absolutely color mad!
By lunchtime the next day, my hubby had found, bought and planted one for me! He's a good man. Which is why I would like to return the favor, by helping to identify his favorite plant of the weekend which, unfortunately, was not labeled. Anybody recognize this grassy-like plant with large, fuzzy plumes coming out of the base? Anybody?

Sunday, March 18, 2012


We were starting to see lots of bluebonnets along the highways and hiking trails, so decided it was time to make a trip out to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin. Ya know what? I guess it's true what they say...
Everything really IS bigger in Texas!