Saturday, January 12, 2013


I did it! I finally did it!

I finally carved my very first stamp, using a Speedball linoleum cutter -- and I managed to do it without any bleeding whatsoever, using a tutorial by Jeanne Oliver, from one of my 12 Artsy Ornaments projects.

My inspiration was one of those crazy owls above, from a project I did in Junelle Jacobson's first Art of Wild Abandonment class. I love those owls!

There were one or two mishaps along the way -- like when I was trying to carve out a teeny-tiny highlight in each pupil, and instead gouged out most of the pupil in one eye -- but hey, what did you expect on my first attempt?

Besides, it's his imperfections that give him so much character. Right?

Friday, January 11, 2013


I miss Dear Abby. We no longer get any papers other than the once-a-week Wimberley View, and for the most part, I don't miss them. You can waste a lot of time reading a fat daily newspaper cover to cover, and usually end up feeling downright depressed. But, I do miss my crosswords, and I really, really miss Dear Abby.

I splurged and grabbed an Austin paper out of the machine when we went out to breakfast not long ago, skipped over the front page, and went straight for Abby. As usual, she had received an interesting letter that got me to thinkin'. The writer opened the letter by saying "I realize we created these monsters, but...", and went on to complain about her adult children, who had no interest in their parents except when they wanted a handout. I felt so grateful that my kids weren't like that at all, and always seemed happy to spend time with us, often at their own suggestion. It did, however, remind me of others I knew. My parents for instance.

My dad was so crazy in love with my mom in the early days that he spoiled her rotten. It made him feel good to shower her with gifts and do stuff for her, like fetching her wrap whenever she felt chilly. Years later, when it had got to the point where she wouldn't walk across the room to get herself a drink of water, always expecting someone else to get it for her, he was often reminded of their courtship days, when his stepfather was fond of saying "Son, you better watch out there, or you're gonna create a monster!"

It also got me to thinking about all the women I know who did the same kinds of things for their hubbies when they were newlyweds -- picking up their trail of dirty clothes and discarded shoes from around the house, bringing them snacks and beverages as the sat on the sofa watching sports -- then resented the hell out of it ten or twenty years later. It reminded me of many of our friends who went out of their way to help when that first grandchild came along, then were a bit shocked later when it was just assumed that they would be free to babysit at the drop of a hat, and that they couldn't possibly have a life of their own at their advanced age, or anything better to do with their time.

Anywho, I can't help but wonder now just what monsters I did create, and what will most likely come back to bite me in the butt sooner or later.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Someone I know is in desperate need of a whole day where she has nowhere she has to go, and absolutely nothing she has to do. She has all this wonderful new art stuff to play with...

but hasn't managed to sit down at her drawing table even once since before Christmas! Well, you know what they say about that don't you?

"Seven Days Without Creation Makes One Weak!" 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


The rain tank is pretty much full...

the creek has some water in it again (and a white egret, I believe)...

the heater is working again, hubby's hypertension specialist says we needn't come back for four months this time (it has been every two months ere now), and best of all, we made it all the way back from Houston in the pouring rain without any accidents. Life is good!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Well, we're off to see the wizard again -- the hypertension wizard in Houston, that is. Normally I'd be excited, since we usually manage to pack a lot of fun into these quickie trips, turning them into mini vacays. This time I'm not so sure. They are predicting severe thunderstorms with high winds and possible flooding, all day and all night, both today and tomorrow, both here AND in Houston. That may put a bit of a "damper" on our fun, and make for some miserable road time. I'm just praying we don't need paddles in order to get back home.

In the meantime, I've got new photos of Poodie's 70's-Condo-Redo. She's got paint on her walls, and it's time for your first shock!


Surprising, no? But trust me, It's gonna be FAB-u-lous!

Monday, January 7, 2013


We had such a gorgeous Hill Country sunrise this morning, I couldn't resist going out on the balcony to snap a few shots of it. While out there, I got a bit of a surprise.

Overnight, my waves of amber grasses had somehow morphed into frosty mounds, and there was a nice chunk of ice in the bird bath.

Oops! Guess it got a good bit colder last night than I was expecting. Too bad I didn't bother to cover those pots of large succulents that I've been trying to overwinter outdoors.

The pot that's tucked up next to the house, just outside the bathroom pipes, seems fairly unscathed, but I'm not so sure about these other pots, left exposed out on the terrace.

Know what's interesting about them? Remember how I told you that the Donkey Ears plants seemed to be forming baby plants way out on the tippy-tips of their large, pointy leaves -- baby plants which were sending down fuzzy little aerial roots in hopes they might come into contact with some soil? Well, most were hanging out over the edges of the pots, with no soil in reach, so guess what they did?

They dropped off the tips of the plants, nestled themselves into the cozy piles of leaves that had accumulated around the base of each pot, and a few of them have managed to survive numerous dips into the 20s there! How's that for resourcefulness?

The biggest surprise is that this Christmas Cactus, which I stuck out in the Cantina Garden on a lark this time last year, is still hanging in there, and still blooming up a storm!

Winter in central Texas is a constant bounce from temps in the 70s, down to the 20s, and then back again, so it won't be long before we have a nice sunny day -- one warm enough to inspire me to get out there and trim back all these freeze-zapped perennials and the many clumps of ornamental grasses in our flower beds. Mustn't wait too long, because you just never know when those amazing grasses will begin sending up fresh new blades of green...

and these very dead-looking clumps here will be sending up delicious little spears of asparagus for our early spring dining pleasure!

Sunday, January 6, 2013


A fuzzy blanket, a great book, and a cozy fire in the fireplace...

It just doesn't get any better than this!