Saturday, May 11, 2013


Angel Wings by Donna Tarver
Had a fabulous time getting my hands dirty with friends this week. Several women went together to rent the wonderful facility at Wimberley Quilt Camp for the day, so that we could putter to our hearts content without distraction, and so that we could learn from and be inspired by one another. Basically it's an entire house out in the country, where women go to quilt for a week or a weekend. The owner was a bit hesitant about letting a bunch of messy painters, carvers and collagers loose on her lovely wood floors and quilting tables, so we took extra pains to cover everything in plastic drop cloth.

Communal Art Supplies for Sharing
High School Debbie, Working on Some SheArt

Taking a Break for Good Food and Chocolate
Dirt Cake Adorned with Knitting Needle Flowers

Debbie's Daughters and Grand Daughter Dropped In for a Bit
Can't wait to do it again! I'll show you what I was working on later.

Friday, May 10, 2013


The good news is that my Art Day With Friends yesterday was a resounding success, and we hope to be doing it again before too long. I will share pictures with you sometime this weekend. The bad news came when I arrived home, floating in a state of euphoria, only to have my bubble popped by my hubby's sad expression, and the headlines in the Wimberley View.

Remember my mentioning that there was one last lifestyle Hubby and I would like to try out someday? One where we lived in community -- right in the heart of Wimberley, in a relatively maintenance-free abode, and where we could walk most everywhere we needed to go? That idea has been percolating ever since I first read about the co-housing communities in Denmark, years and years ago. However, it didn't become a real possibility until we heard about the 55+ housing development that had managed to win the approval, not only of the City Council, but also of C.A.R.D. (Citizens Alliance for Responsible Development), and was scheduled to begin construction next year, right behind King Feed and Brookshire Bros. It sounded like the perfect place for us to settle, once this four-acre property, along with its aging well, septic, heating/a.c., and water catchment systems,  just got to be too much for us to deal with.

So, imagine my surprise when I opened yesterday's paper to see this:

Yes, that would be the same "Representative" Isaac whose fast-tracking of a bill to allow one particular billionaire to apply for a M.U.D., which would enable him to transform his Needmore Ranch into a development with thousands of homes and no restrictions as to well-spacing, should he ever choose to do so, already caused an uproar in the community, and an emergency Town Hall meeting filled with an angry mob.  His reason for squashing the project? "I do not like the developer."

Sooooo. When exactly did the word "representative" stop meaning "a typical example of a group", and "one that represents others as a body"?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


I'm busy getting ready for my mini art camp tomorrow, with High School Debbie and friends. There are decisions to be made regarding what projects I want to work on while there, in which journals, and using what supplies. There is packing to be done. There's a camera battery to be charged. And, most importantly...

there are Mexican Chocolate Streusel Brownies to be baked!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Mexican Bird of Paradise
Took an early morning stroll through the Cantina Garden, to see how much damage Mister Armadillo did last night. The answer is, "Lots!" A dog would be the solution but, even if we had one, odds are it would be spending its nights in the bedroom with us, not out there guarding the flower beds. The good news is, despite his best efforts to uproot everything out there, there is still much to be enjoyed.

For one thing, I'm lovin' this mystery plant I got from Shoal Creek nursery in Austin.

Someone had mislabeled it as a particular salvia, but I googled that salvia and it looked nothing like this!

I'm fairly certain it's just some variety of shrimp plant that I'm unfamiliar with. (I lied! It is indeed a salvia, called Wendy's Wish!)

I'm also loving the way the hues in this toffee-colored Heuchera (aka Coral Bells) echo those of the little succulent in the foreground. Can't wait for them both to spread out and fill in that space.

Loving the crazy bloom stalk on this tall, paddle-leafed aloe that I picked on a whim, primarily due to that little bonus baby succulent that found its way into the pot. Never could resist freebies.

Wish I could remember the name of this grass. I'm pretty sure it's related to Purple Fountain Grass, but it gets prettier colors, and though it looks rather delicate, it is actually quite hardy, coming back year after year -- unlike Purple Fountain, which just can't take the cold.

The real stars in the garden right now, however, are these hanging baskets that Dear Hubby ordered...

'cause even when the plants in them look like crap, they're still just adorable!

Monday, May 6, 2013


All week long I've been immersed in the artsy goodness of Kate Crane's section of the 21 Secrets class, Journal Soup. It's the perfect solution for those of us who tend to freeze up when faced with a beautiful new pristine journal, for fear of "messing it up."

For starters, we're not using journals at all. Instead she has us grabbing whatever bits and bobs are at hand, such as old manila folders and tags...

contact solution packaging and bits of paper and ephemera from our scrap buckets...

or those cardboard inserts that come in all sorts of merchandise.

We are trying out different techniques in each project, and using the "scraps" encourages us to be brave and to experiment. When done, each piece or "ingredient" gets added to our Journal Soup box/pot:

There's just no telling what amazing morsels you might create, once you start blending your ingredients!

Sunday, May 5, 2013


We watched the most amazing little documentary last night. I can't remember the last time a movie left me feeling this good -- especially a documentary! Those usually leave me in a deep, deep funk. But not this one. This time I can't stop smiling.

Imagine, if you will, a young man brought up in inner-city Detroit in the 50s and 60s. He's working construction by day, singing his poetic stories about life in this hard, hard place in local dives by night. One day in '69 or '70, a couple of record producers happen to hear him and recognize his brilliance. He's offered a record contract, and an album gets made. Happy days, right?

The only problem was, after the album was released, nothing happened. It didn't sell. It didn't get air time on the radio. He didn't get chances to tour. Zip. Nada. So he goes back to working construction, and fades into oblivion. Or so he thinks.

What no one realized was that one girl visiting the States from South Africa happened to stumble across his album. Something about it spoke to her -- caused her heartstrings to vibrate -- so she took it back to Cape Town and played it for her friends, who shared it with other friends, and so on and so on, until it ends up contributing to a revolution of sorts. Despite being banned, and not allowed air time on the government controlled radio stations, and never having played a single concert in this country, this young American whom no one knows a thing about manages to encourage a generation of young people to rise up in rebellion against apartheid and life in a police state, helping to change the face of a nation. In South Africa, it is said, the music of Rodriguez is more popular than that of Elvis or The Stones.

Back in The States, however, he hasn't a clue. In fact, rumor has it that he blew his brains out in despair when his music career flopped so profoundly. But did he really? Guess you'll have to watch the movie to find out. Meanwhile, I'll leave you with a song: Sugar Man