Saturday, September 21, 2013



I've been just dyin' to say that for the longest time, and I figure today has got to be the perfect day. I got the mother of all surprises when I opened my mailbox just now and found this, which I wasn't expecting until the end of the month.

Just in time for me to save and take on our little San Antonio get-away this week, right? I wasn't even going to remove the protective plastic wrapper, but then as I was walking into the house a little thought popped into my head, stopped me in my tracks, then had me ripping the plastic off posthaste.

I thought it would take more time! I thought I would get a heads-up! But no. There it was...

my name, in my very favorite magazine in the universe!

I feel like I've just given birth.

P.S. In case you're trying to find it yourself, I suggest you start at the back of the magazine!

Friday, September 20, 2013


Can you believe it? Our baby boy turned 28 yesterday! His birthday just happens to fall on National Talk Like A Pirate Day, so it's always a double celebration for us. We felt bad that his sweetheart couldn't be there to celebrate with him on the actual day, so we whisked him away to lunch and a movie.

Lunch was at La Condesa, a "modern Mexican" eatery, and sister restaurant to Sway, which I wrote about not long ago. Turns out it's located in the very same building as the Violet Crown art house theater, where we were headed next, so that worked out especially well.

The food was quite delicious -- extraordinary even -- but be prepared to lay down some bucks. Each of those plates with two smallish tacos was around fourteen or fifteen dollars, margaritas ran ten bucks each, and of course, you get to pay for your chips and salsa. Made me appreciate my five dollar lunches at Mima's all the more.

At one point during the meal a young lady in a gorgeous red buccaneer outfit, complete with red turned-down boots, strolled past our window, and we barely blinked an eye. Such is life in Austin, Texas. Since we had a bit of time to kill between lunch and the movie, we took a walk around the neighborhood, and ended up stopping in to check out Toy Joy's new location.

Turns out Toy Joy is an awfully fun place to be on National Talk Like A Pirate Day. As soon as we walked through the door, every employee stopped what they were doing to shout "AARRGGHH!"
Too bad we couldn't stick around for the parrot, who was due to arrive momentarily.

Also unfortunate was our movie selection -- Blue Jasmine. Don't get me wrong, it's a good movie with some fabulous acting, but talk about a downer! Why did I not know that it was a new riff on Streetcar Named Desire?

Thursday, September 19, 2013


I came across a great little essay today, in that Life is Meals book I was telling you about. It was about how to be considered "a regular" at your favorite eateries. You'd think frequency would be the only criteria, but there's actually more to it than that. Here is what you must do, according to James and Kay Salter:
  • You don't have to show up every week. Three or four reasonably close visits are usually enough.
  • Loyalty is more important than frequency. If you travel to other cities and go to the same restaurant at least once each time, even if it is only twice a year, you often make the grade.
  • Spending money is infallible, either on the quantity and quality of what you order, how you tip, or, better, both.
  • Attitude can be even more important than money. Customers who are polite and patient, especially when something goes wrong, are held in high regard.
  • Owners, chefs, and waiters are devoted to clients who are enthusiasts, who love the food, the service, the ambiance -- the whole experience -- and don't hesitate to say so.

I'm thinking I just might qualify as a regular at Mima's. What do you think?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I decided to give Jane Lafazio's transparent foreground project another go, this time using the proper supplies, and following instructions to the best of my ability. First I collaged all the bits and bobs I had gathered onto a page in my journal.

Then I stared at it for a while, to see what came to me. I'd used a couple of things that had French text on them, plus the bicycle with the basket looked a bit French to me. Then the fancy frame or mirror shape got me to thinking about some little cafes we had been to -- the kind with a chalkboard sign out on the sidewalk. So these are the images I ended up sketching on tracing paper for my foreground.

I played around with different arrangements until I was satisfied, then glued them in place.

 Next I added a bit of color and a few more details to the images.


Finally, since I wanted the background to recede and the sketched images to pop, I painted a light wash of color over the entire background, to even it out. Et Voila!

Know what? I like it!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


This last piece of art was gifted to me not long ago by a dear new friend -- Lexi's future mother-in-law.

Holly had only been to my house a couple of times, and maybe read a few of my blog and facebook posts, yet she already knew me well enough that when she spotted this little Peruvian tapestry in a shop in Tennessee, it screamed out "Becky T. Lane!" to her.

She got it. She saw the thread running through all my favorite art, my home, my garden, my blog, and my life here in Wimberley -- even if it was only a subconscious glimmer at the time.

So, what did all that art have in common? Every last piece was some kind of market scene! Apparently I have a passion for ordinary people doing ordinary things -- making things or cooking things or growing things with their own hands, in a colorful, joyful way, then sharing the results of their labor with the people in their own community.

Now, if you've only known me since I moved here to Wimberley, or through my blog, you are probably asking "What's so unusual about her buying that kind of art. Isn't that what her life is all about, what with her constant yammering about The Bountiful Sprout and such?" Well, yeah, NOW it is. But not all that long ago, when I bought most of these pieces, my life was something altogether different.

Back then, we were still your typical big city suburbanites, eating mostly packaged, processed food-like substances from a big-ass supermarket, who spent their days trying to fill up their big-ass house with tons and tons of STUFF.

Perhaps this art crossed my path for a reason. Perhaps each piece was a message from the Universe or the Great Creator, telling me to "Wake up and smell the coffee!"

Isn't it fortunate then that those, along with a few books and people who were also tossed in my path, finally did the trick. I got the message -- that wasn't The Good Life I was living!

What about you? Has the universe been sending you any messages? Have you been paying attention?

Monday, September 16, 2013


The next piece of art that stopped me in my tracks was this:

This one is tiny compared to the others I have shown you -- only about 4"x 6". We stumbled upon it in a little art gallery on Coronado Island while visiting our daughter Lex, who lived in San Diego at the time. It is the work of Mexican-German artist Domingo Block, who paints with an old-fashioned wooden toothpick! The next time we went out to visit Lex we made a point of returning to that same gallery, Art and Frames by Wood, and bought this second piece by Block.

So have you figured it out yet? What do all my very favorite pieces of art have in common? At first I thought it was the vivid colors that drew me to Block's work, but after getting them home and hanging them with my other favorites, I realized there was more to it than that. If you scroll back through the two "art grabber" posts I did last week, you are sure to see the common thread that runs through them all!

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Well, I'm ready to give Jane's "Transparent Foregrounds" project another go. This time I'll try to do it up right, maybe even follow the instructions. To start with, I got myself some proper tracing paper. Now I'm in the process of gathering up all kinds of bits and bobs to form the textured under-layer. 

So far I've got part of a beautiful soap wrapper, some glistening marbled tissue paper, sheet music, a gift tag, another tag from some clothing or jewelry I bought, and a few bits of scrapbook paper. That red floral piece with two holes was the chopstick holder next to my plate when we dined at Uchi. That's the problem with this multi-media/art journaling stuff. Every time you start to throw something away, you end up thinking "Hmmmm, wonder if I could use this in a project someday? Maybe I'd better save it." Next thing you know, you're smothered in clutter! The other problem is that I'm absolutely loving the way these colors have melded -- so much so that I now hate the thought of covering it all up with tissue paper. So I'm not...covering it all, that is. Instead I think I might do several small tissue sketches, cut them out right along their outlines, then collage them on here and there. We'll see.

Meanwhile, Circle Journal number three has arrived at my house!

This one belongs to Jeanne, and she too has chosen to use an altered book as her journal. I can't tell you how exciting it is to examine each new journal that shows up -- especially now that you can see examples of several different hands at work in each one, while knowing that the same thing is happening to yours as it works its way around the circle. I won't be showing you the actual projects in them, as I don't want to spoil the surprise for their owners. However, rest assured, once mine finally makes its way back home, I will share everything that is in it! I do have permission, though, to show you the books themselves, and how their owners have crafted them.

Jeanne's Inside Cover. CUH-YOOT!
Her Title Page

My favorite part is this that you see above. Instead of a "sign-in page", Jeanne created several pages of these little rural mailboxes sitting on a fence rail, and each artist who adds to her journal gets to decorate one of her own.

How precious is that? Now all I have to do is think up something equally as cute to add to it!