Saturday, January 25, 2014


We were in The Leaning Pear this week when I spotted some new artwork peeking up over the top of the fireplace wall.

All those mismatched letters reminded me of an installation my friend Heather Carter once did, called Life Boats. Heather prefers to use found materials in her artwork, so for months she had everyone she knows saving any boxes or packaging with large letters they came across. I walked over to take a closer look.

That's when I realized the final line was a favorite quote from the only poet I have ever loved, Mary Oliver. It says "Tell me, what is it that you plan to do with your one wild precious life?" How odd! Heather's installation had included that very same quote, only hers had been one long, single line of words that wrapped all the way around a huge gallery hall over at Texas State. Could this possibly be her's as well?

It wasn't until I turned around to head back to my table that I happened to glance up and see these "boats" floating through the air.

Oh yeah! Most definitely the work of local artist Heather Carter, who also happens to be co-founder and past president of The Bountiful Sprout. Way to go, Heather!

Friday, January 24, 2014


What is the most critical component in a winter survival kit?

Why, seed catalogs, of course!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


While painting that first little woodland girl with antlers recently, I got to thinking about this facebook clip I saw not long ago, of friend High School Debbie's darling granddaughter dancing around in a funny animal hat, to her very favorite song --  this crazy/wonderful music video by a Norse brother-duo called Ylvis, which went viral a while back. The song is based on a children's book which asks the proverbial question, "What does the fox say?" And, well, believe it or not, I actually know the answer to that question.

You see, we live on a piece of property which the original owners dubbed "Fox Hill." This spring I was delighted to find Mama Fox trotting past my window each morning as I sat at the computer, occasionally followed by her kits.

Over the past several years we have sometimes heard a strange noise in the night -- a cross between a bark and a cough, almost like someone was trying to clear their throat. One night Lex and I had the windows in the house open, and we spotted something perched on our big retaining wall, making that strange coughing sound. We couldn't see it clearly, but could make out pointy ears and a fluffy tail. It was too big to be a house cat, so we wondered if perhaps it was a small bobcat or mountain lion. Then one evening when John was coming up the outdoor staircase, he reported seeing a fox making a strange cough-like sound, and we finally put two and two together. That was Mama Fox calling to her kits, or warning us away whenever we got too close!

So there, now you know.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


There are many, many reasons why I love my weekly trips to our local library, not the least of which is that they remind me of those long ago trips to another white stone library near downtown Dallas, right across from the old Lakewood Theater.

 I love this giant agave. I don't know why, I just do. I call her Audrey.

I love that our library has a rain tank.

I love that, anytime I hear mention of a good book on-line, I can go straight to the library's website, put it on reserve, and a few days later I get an email saying "Come and get it!"

I love this cozy fireplace surrounded by comfy chairs.

I love the new Young Adult librarian, who is keeping this section well-stocked with great reads, has started sending out a newsletter describing what's new, and who understands that not all readers of YA fiction are teenagers.

I love the multipurpose room they added on not long ago, and all the interesting people they bring in to speak and teach there.

I love that the walls and this display case are filled with an ever-changing representation of local art and collections. Right now the case is filled with a collection of vintage safety razors and shaving paraphernalia, owned by Fiber Woman's hubby. He'll be coming in to talk about them at the end of the month.

I really, really love this double-sided bookcase, housing multiple copies of all the latest and greatest books. They call it the Book Club Section, but anyone is welcome to check out one of the books. I always find something wonderful to read there.

Mostly I just love it that this place is filled with real books that you can touch and feel and smell. Know what else? You can bet your booties that if I ever have grand kids, I'll be hauling them over to the library's wonderful children's department every dang chance I get! Afterwards, we'll mosey across the street to Mima's for a made-from-scratch taco lunch. Life just doesn't get get any better than that.

Monday, January 20, 2014


Didn't have much time in the "studio" (aka bedroom corner) this weekend, what with a birthday to celebrate on Saturday, and a funeral to attend on Sunday. So, instead of getting knee-deep in a project, then having to tear myself away from it, I did this.

I spread open two different journals and gessoed a two-page spread in each, then laid out some of my favorite art supplies. All weekend long, whenever I entered the bedroom for some reason, I'd wander over to the art table and do a bit of spraying or dabbing, some scribbling or dribbling. Next thing I knew, I had two completed backgrounds, ready and waiting for inspiration to strike!

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Yesterday was an eventful day. For one thing, I got to spend the day celebrating Darling Daughter's birthday with her. We began the day with lunch at that way-above-par pizza place over in Dripping Springs called Pieous. I told you about it a while back when we first discovered it. 

From there we went to check out a new shop in "Drippin'", called Goodie Two Shoes, which friend Nurse Nellie has been raving about. I knew I'd love it before I ever walked through the door.

Lots of color mad stuff inside, most of which is thirty bucks or less.

Best thing about the morning? It got me out of our annual HOA meeting! Unfortunately for poor hubby, without me there to protect him, he wound up being the new president.  I feel pretty bad about that.

On the upside, once he was out of his meeting, he got to go over to Austin and hang out with our daughter's hunny Nate at the SXSW volunteer recruitment event. Did any of you see the picture Lex posted on facebook this week, showing Nate in the barber's chair with one long strip of hair missing, down the middle of his head? Turns out he wasn't just being weird. Well, OK, he was, but there was a purpose to it. You see, Nate has been a volunteer at Austin's annual SXSW event for many years now, and for the last several years has headed up a crew. Last year he thought it might be fun if he and his crew stood out from all the rest of the guys and gals wearing solid black. So they all wore brightly colored TUTUS! They weren't sure how it would go over with the boss, but he really liked it -- so much so that he decided to have a contest this year, to see which crew could come up with the best outfits. Which led to this:

So why is Nate convinced that he has found his soul-mate? Well, because Lex didn't just jump on board with the whole "Gru and his Minions" theme. She was the one who squealed "You totally have to shave your head for this!" "Really, you're OK with that?" PLUS, she's the one who found the fart guns for them. A match made in heaven, no?