Friday, November 9, 2012


We see tons of deer wandering across our property on a daily basis, but one thing you almost never see is an adult male. Oh, once in a while we might spot a teenager with his first little antlers, but a mature buck with a full rack? Never! So imagine my surprise this morning, when one moseyed across our front lawn, surrounded by his harem.

Even more startling was the day last week when I was sitting on the porch at Inoz', enjoying my lunch, when out of the woods down by the creek came, not one, but two of them. I didn't even attempt to pull out my camera at first, thinking they'd do a quick skee-daddle as soon as they realized they'd accidentally wandered out in the center of town, and were surrounded by gawkers.  At noon. In broad daylight. However, when they were still there five or ten minutes later, I finally pulled out my camera, walked out to the deck rail, and snapped these shots. There's only one explanation for their odd behavior.

It's gotta be "Rutting Season." Drivers beware!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


The subtitle of this second Art of Wild Abandonment class that I am now taking is "Bless This Mess", and this week our assignment was to think of different ways of seeing our homes. We were to think not so much about how they actually look, but more about how they make us feel. It was really about blessing this mess, whatever it is, and wherever we are, right at this time. I feel a bit guilty about this one, for I am actually living in the place I've always dreamed of.

One of the first steps in this project was to glue a few words to the page here and there, then let them sort of peek through the layers of paint. Can you see this "overriding" sentiment, there at the top of the page?

As I sat here, mulling over how this little house on a hillside makes me feel, this is the first thing that came to me:

It's from an old song by The Carpenters that I once loved, and says "I'm on the top of the world, looking down on creation..." Whenever I step out onto our balcony porch, that's exactly how I feel.

Not only are we looking down upon our own handiwork, but also that of our neighbors...

and, of course, that of The Great Creator.

A good friend told me recently that she doesn't mind doing things for those she loves, as long as she feels like they're appreciated. Therefore, this journal page is dedicated both to my dear hubby, who was determined to make every last one of my dreams come true, and to the one who placed him there in front of me on that landmark day in my college dorm's cafeteria, when I was a mere babe of seventeen.

Your love put me on the top of the world.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Borrowed from a friends facebook post this morning:

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. --Lincoln

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Do you remember when High School Debbie and I went to something called Corks & Creations one evening, and had all that fun playing with shaving cream and marbled papers? Well, I got to attend another of those workshops last week, only this time I met up with my friend Fiber Woman.

The topic this time was image transfers -- a technique I have played around with in my art journals, but without much success. Now I know why.

To do an image transfer, you simply take one of your photos and make a copy of it on a toner-based printer, such as a xerox or laser printer (Problem #1 - I have an ink jet). When it's good and dry, you just brush some Golden gel medium over the surface of the image, brush some more over the surface you want to transfer it to, lay the image face down on that surface, use a brayer or credit card edge to smooth out all the bubbles and wrinkles, and then wait. Wait a good long time. Like overnight. Or maybe even a week, if it's a large piece. (Problem #2 - I was peeling mine up after about 30 minutes)

Our instructor for this workshop was local artist Martha Gibson, who happens to be my neighbor as well. Here you see a couple of her masterpieces, involving several layers of images and ephemera. Her work is always winning prizes in local art shows.

If, unlike me, you wait the proper length of time, all the ink from your photocopy will magically transfer itself to the other surface. Then all you have to do is wet the paper it was originally on, rub it all off, et voila! Martha had gelled some images for each of us ahead of time, so we could have the fun of revealing one right away, then we got to begin a couple more to take home with us and work on later.

The really fun part came next, when we all got to dig through tons of ribbons, scraps, jewels and trinkets, looking for fun embellishments for our images.

Too bad this photo turned out blurry, for this was one of my favorites from the evening. The girl who did it had cut out some images from that pile of National Geographic magazines, and layered them over her original butterfly image. I especially like the head from a Bat Girl toy which she glued on.

Now I ask you, what could possibly be more fun than an evening spent with a bunch of crazy-creative women? And a few bottles of wine. Hence the name "Corks" and Creations.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Our good friends Paula and Tim drove two and a half hours here and back on Saturday afternoon, just to spend a couple of hours having a picnic with us, on a gorgeous fall day out at Driftwood Vineyard. I think Tim just needed to verify for himself that John really was doing okay after his hairy episode in the hospital. The Driftwood tasting room is perched on the side of a hill, looking down over all the grapevines, and everyone pulls their chairs close to the edge, to enjoy the breathtaking view.

We usually go there on Sunday afternoons, when there are only a few cars in the parking lot, but we knew something was up when we realized that not only was the lot jam-packed with cars, there were even two limos there!

Sure enough, we had arrived just as a wedding was about to start. It was such a pretty little wedding, I couldn't resist snapping a few photos. I really loved the eggplant and champagne color scheme, perfect for this warmly beautiful fall day.

Good food, good wine, great friends and a gorgeous Hill Country view? I'd say it was just about the best medicine my hubby could have asked for!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. It turns out at least one of those limos had nothing at all to do with the wedding. As we were leaving, we spotted a boisterous group of friends climbing into it, dressed in shorts and other non-wedding attire -- a very smart group of friends, who realized it would be a lot more fun to go vineyard hopping if someone else was driving!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


I have a friend who got a bit miffed when she told her daughter I was an artist, and I jumped in to deny it, saying "Oh no I'm not! I'm just a person who loves to play with art supplies!" She also thinks I should try to do more with my writing -- maybe branch out into something like travel writing, where I might actually get paid (or at least, get some free hotel stays) for my efforts. She's not alone in those sentiments. I know my father (and probably hubby too) often wondered at my lack of drive -- at my seeming contentment with "enough", instead of the normal craving for "MORE!"

All I have to do is look at this photo, to feel positively euphoric!
I have worked in many fields over the years. I went from being obsessed with sewing, textiles and merchandising, to garden design and horticulture, to memoir writing and blogging, and have now segued into art journaling and mixed media, but I have never "professed" to be a seamstress, a landscaper, a writer, or an artist. I wish I could blame it on the fact that we moved too often for me to gain the necessary experience and expertise to build a flourishing career in one particular area, but I must be honest. I actually loved trying on all these different professions. In fact, if there's one thing I'm truly expert at, it's finding joy in and being passionate about many, many different things, rather than just one -- a true "jack of all trades, master of none." Well, unless you can count being "Professionally Joyful and Curious" as a legitimate job title?