Thursday, May 17, 2012


Or, perhaps I should say "Should've Been Appearing" in the Wildly Abandoned Garden (henceforth to be referred to as the W.A.G.), since half the cast seems to have dropped out of the show at the very last minute!
All those huge rudbeckia heads that were ready to unfurl?
All those gorgeous liatris stalks that were just beginning to fluff out?
There should have been a ton of these pretty little cornflowers in bloom at this point. Not a trace.
 Gaura and gazania? All decapitated, and mostly defoliated.
Just about the only thing we do have in abundance are these little hoof prints! I did mention, didn't I, that all bets were off once the babies arrived?

Of course, this isn't really the whole picture. As you can see in the picture of the full bed above, the cosmos and zinnias are still going great guns, and there are many succulents, native shrubs and deer resistant perennials throughout the Cantina Garden that are still doing just fine. Plus there is an absolute ton of milkweed that reseeded itself from one little plant a year or two ago. The deer haven't touched that.
They do, however, have an army of assistants who are doing their diligent best to take care of that task for them! I will leave them to it. The payoff in winged splendor will be well worth the sacrifice.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Right around this same time last year, we were packing up to head out on that long-awaited trip to Paris and southern France. You might recall from my post here, that one of my favorite things about France was all the little flower shops, whose goods spilled out onto the sidewalks everywhere you looked. So, when I discovered that my latest class assignment was learning how to make buckets of coneflowers out of baker's parchment, well, my mind couldn't help but wander back to those flower stalls in France.
To make the flower petals, we took a sheet of parchment and smeared on several different shades of craft acrylics, letting them overlap and blend together in places. After the paint dried, we were supposed to cover it all with a thin layer of ModPodge, but that kinda slipped my mind until after I'd cut out a whole heap o' petals. Fortunately, they still turned out ok -- at least, as far as I can tell.
Our original class supply list had called for "tissue paper with words on it", and the only one I had been able to scrounge up was meant for baby gifts -- all gooshy and pastel. When I found out what we were actually going to use it for, I had to say "Oh heck no, I don't think so!" I bought a package of black with white dots instead. Then, just by chance (because my bag was starting to weigh a ton) I was pulling an umbrella and a sketch book from my purse, when out popped the cutest little zebra-print gift sack -- just seconds before I was to begin cutting out the flower cans. Talk about synchronicity! No telling how long the sack had been in there, or where it came from in the first place.
Since I had only used a tiny fraction of the polka dot tissue, I just couldn't resist adding a little window awning, like the ones you see on so many French shops. Unfortunately, that left me with no room on the page to journal, other than on the flower cans themselves. Maybe that was for the best. As they say, sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


My favorite little neighbor isn't quite so little anymore.
Above you see him as he was just a month or two ago, when the bluebonnets were in full bloom, and I had just met him. So stinkin' cute, and FWUFFY!
Here's what he looks like now -- still stinkin' cute, but not nearly so fluffy, I'm afraid. Our babies, they grow up fast, don't they?

Monday, May 14, 2012


I had a simple assignment this weekend: take one sheet of paper, and dab upon it the colors that are rocking your world right now. Then assign each color a word, perhaps one that describes how it makes you feel -- kind of like one of those Rorschach ink blot tests. Funny, isn't it, how "simple" so often gets way out of hand? This time, it started with me flipping idly through a few magazines, to see which colors jumped out at me. As you well know, our tastes often change, so I wanted to nail down exactly where mine were focussed at this particular moment in time.
I tore a few of those magazine images out, and ended up gluing them onto my color inspiration sheets. Then I remembered some of the things I had seen online lately, and printed up a few of those images as well. Next, of course, I had to get out all my paints, water-soluble crayons and pastels, water color pencils, etc., so I could try and figure out just which ones came closest to matching the colors in the photos.
Before I knew it, our dining room table was covered in color inspiration sheets! I still haven't done the actual assignment, but there's one thing we now know for certain. Miss Becky ain't no fan of muted or pastel! But then, I guess you already knew that, huh?

Sunday, May 13, 2012


As soon as I began my latest art class assignment, I was immediately reminded of this post about "farm girl fashion" over on my very favorite blog -- the one that has kept me coming back on a near daily basis since, well, since I first discovered blogs -- Soule Mama.

Image from
The assignment was just to create this precious girl in layered skirts and aprons (pieced from fabric and paper), and place beside her something we are passionate about, whether it be sheep, art supplies, gardening tools, or even cupcakes! Well, I'm not passionate about sheep, but my instructor Junelle most certainly is, and as soon as I saw the roly-poly cuties she creates from paper, I just had to try it for myself!
Therefore, I decided to dedicate this journal page to the women who are out there keepin' it real. Those anti-sex-in-the-city-women who wear galoshes, not as a fashion statement, but out of necessity! Women like Amanda Soule who, on any given day, might:
  • kill a snake
  • birth a lamb, a blog post, an amazing book on The Creative Family, an inspiring new magazine called Taproot, or perhaps her own child, right there at home
  • knit a sweater, whip up a few more skirts or jammie bottoms, or sew costumes for a ballet troupe
  • rehab a 200 year old farmhouse
  • plant veggies, feed an army, then put up some preserves
  • gather eggs, honey, flocks, ruffles, or her five kiddoes for their home-school lessons
So, let's hear it for all those women like Amanda -- the women who are out there turning "homemaking" into something RADICAL!