Friday, October 24, 2014


I was flipping through the winter issue of Artful Blogging magazine this morning, and came across an article by Mary Wangerin, who blogs at The Turquoise Paintbrush. I knew I'd found a kindred spirit when she said "I gather great inspiration through mindfully honoring little moments like these every day. Beautiful details can so easily get lost in the daily rush; and to me, it really is all in the details." That's one of the main reasons I blog -- to notice the details, and remember.

I suppose if I had to identify one special gift or talent that I have, that would be it. I notice simple things, and they make me very happy. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's why my hubby married me, hoping that some of my giddiness would rub off on him. Not only do I notice things when I'm out and about, I also develop little rituals that make ordinary things more enjoyable. Take chocolate for instance.

This is my favorite kind -- Hershey's Special Dark. I've tried tons of the hoity-toity verieties, but keep coming back to this one. The others seem too bitter to me. Plus they're expensive, and hard to find when you live in the boonies, while this is available in most any grocery or drug store.

Each bar has eight of these little squares in it, and I usually have one square after each meal when I'm home. Lots of people have said "No way! How do you stop at one square? I'd probably eat the whole bar in one sitting!" Well, that's because you're just not eating it right.

There is an art to eating good chocolate. For one thing, you need to give it all of your attention. This is no time for multi-tasking!

Take your one square and divide it into four pieces. Put one piece into your mouth. Now, here's the secret. No teeth, just tongue. Use your tongue to hold the piece up against the roof of your mouth until it begins to melt. Roll it around in your mouth to spread the melted joy around. Swallow some of the juice, then press the solid bit to the roof of your mouth again. Repeat until every last trace of it is gone. The best thing about this particular bar is that it is very thick, so it takes longer to melt.

Move on to the next little piece of your square. Repeat until all four are gone. Now, wasn't that more satisfying than if you'd popped the whole square into your mouth, chomped once or twice, and swallowed the lot of it in one gulp? Of course you'd be wanting more then!

There you have it -- something simple that makes me oh so happy.

Wangerin closed her article by saying "The moment I realized that it doesn't so much matter how far I travel, but what I see -- the inspiration well inside remains filled to the brim. So what are you waiting for? Those little moments in your life are abundantly anticipating your notice. It is my hope that you will treasure and celebrate them. Every single one."

That is my hope as well. And, when you do notice them, I hope you will share a few with us.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Can you believe it? Only eight days left until Wedding Weekend Blastoff! Two of the Muses had not yet tried our new creperie in Dripping Springs. Since Crepes Crazy is catering our Morning After brunch for wedding party and family, and since I'd had to select the menu without having tasted what I was ordering, we decided to rectify that situation.

Loving their new patio with shady awning!
The Scandinavian - smoked salmon, pickled red onions, whipped cream cheese, capers, lemon and dill
Dulce de Leche Turtle - caramel, chocolate chips, roasted walnuts, and bananas or strawberries. Or both.
In addition to the two crepes pictured above, we will also be serving one called Cowboy Up (scrambled eggs, Swiss cheese, ham and bacon) and one called Sweet Cheese Delight (house-madesweet cheese, strawberries and raspberry sauce), for those who prefer to keep it simple.

Taste Test results? Six thumbs up on everything tasted!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


I got a bit sidetracked by Junelle's Farmers' Market art class and all this wedding hoo-hah, but I've finally made my way back to the projects in Pam Carriker's book Creating Art at the Speed of Life. This chapter was called "Tactile By Nature", and was all about adding texture to your projects.

The objective of this first project was to find texture in everyday objects around your house, and use that to create graphite rubbing transfers. So I used this...

and this...

to create this:

For the next project we had to create an Impressionist-style portrait painting, without using any paintbrushes! Yep, other than a final bit of shading from a Stabilo pencil, this lady consists entirely of paint dots "dabbed" on with things like sponge dabbers and pencil erasers.

She's always watching me!

This latest project required layering textures and colors over each other to create a digital collage "look", and was supposed to involve an inkjet image transfer. Unfortunately, we don't have an inkjet printer. Instead, I just sketched an image from my favorite bath soap wrapper onto deli paper, then collaged that over my background.

Needless to say, it's been more fun 'n a barrel of monkeys!

Monday, October 20, 2014


This latest boot is HOT, man! 

I am so in awe of the artists who chose to cover their boots in mosaic. Especially when you consider that they are donating their time and supplies!

As I understand it, sponsors pay a fee to have a boot located at their place of business, but that money is going to support the newly formed Wimberley Valley Arts and Cultural Alliance. The only thing the artists get for all their time and effort is a bit of publicity -- having their work and their name out there for the world to see. Which is why I feel really, really bad about this next boot, where I somehow forgot to photograph the name plate!

How about this mosaic-ed moolah?

If you'd like to see the boots for yourself, you'll find a printable trail map here. And, don't forget to take note of the wonderful artist who created each one, for free!

Sunday, October 19, 2014


The Muses have been trying out a new spot for our weekly get-togethers.  I think we may be here awhile...

as long as the weather is conducive to hanging out on this wonderful covered patio. We have long been fans of this patio, through all its many incarnations -- as a sandwich shop, a Mexican joint, the original Leaning Pear cafe, and now, as The Sugar Shack, whose almond croissants and toffee scones are To. Die. For.

Is there anything better than an awesome little local bakery? With a patio!

I think not.