Friday, March 18, 2016


Well, it's that time of year again -- SXSW time! The time when our son-in-law Nate gives up at least a week of his vacation each year, just so he can work his butt off heading one of their volunteer crews. The time when our daughter was forbidden to ever have a baby (she's cutting it pretty close), because he never wanted to be forced to choose between that or his child's birthday party.The boy plans ahead.

Last year Hubby got a bracelet so he could attend events all day every day for a week or more - and it just about killed him. He was a total couch potato for at least a week afterwards. This year he decided he could have almost as much fun just wandering the streets of Austin, and enjoying the sights there. Here are a few photos he snapped whilst doing that very thing, on the day which ended with a 9:00 PM stop at Voodoo Donuts!

A Set Piece From New Mini-Series Fixin' To Come Out Called "The Preacher"
People Lining Up To Get Into One Of The SXSW Events


Hubby had no idea why she was getting handcuffed, as she didn't appear to be drunk or high.
So, weird enough for you?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


This is the kind of stuff that happens whenever I let Hubby run amok in Austin without me.

I musta been pretty ticked -- considering I don't eat donuts, and his doctor had just warned him about his high triglycerides -- ...

'cuz, early this morning, I did this.

Partly it was to see if any of them was actually "to die for" (No, especially not the morning after!) but mostly it was just to get a rise out of him.

I guess he didn't even notice because, when I came back in from walking a minute ago, he said "If you want one of those donuts, better get it now. I'm taking them all to the gallery with me in a little while, and leaving them there for the workers.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016


Earlier today I went out in the early morning fog to do some walking up and down our driveway, and I'm pret-ty sure I just had my very first close encounter with a pack of wild hogs! Most mornings I hear rustling in the trees right behind our house, but it's usually deer who pause for a bit to stare at me, then go right back to what they were doing. So, when I heard rustling this morning, I didn't think much about it. However, when I got a bit closer, I suddenly heard a very deep grunt that sounded nothing like a deer. Next thing I knew a string of dark shapes went racing past me through the trees -- shapes that were much to low and squatty to be deer. AACCK! Never knew I could run backwards without tripping.

In other big news, Outdoor Woman just became a grandma! And, what better way to celebrate than with a toast at our first Sunday-Afternoon-At-The-Vineyard meetup of the season?

Guess it's time for another Grandma Book Shower. And then, in just about 10 weeks, it will be my turn to be the new grandma. WHEEE!

Monday, March 14, 2016


A couple of months ago, when I was flipping through my latest issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine, I saw an article by Seth Apter, about stepping outside one's comfort zone. I skimmed over it, thinking "Yeah, makes sense", then set it aside and forgot all about it.

The newest issue arrived recently, so I went back through the older one once more, to make sure there was nothing in it I wanted to sketch, use, or do, before donating it to the library. When I came across Seth's article again, it was like "Whoa! He's talking to ME, isn't he?" You see, much has happened in the last couple of months, and I'm pretty sure it was Synchronicity's way of leading me back to something I should have paid more attention to the first time!

First of all, I realized that it had been quite some time since I'd signed up for any art classes -- so unusual for me! I had a favorite teacher online from whom I had taken numerous classes, and learned so very much from. But, the last couple of times I'd registered for one, I'd only completed two or three projects before losing interest. What was wrong with me?

Second, we went to Sudan -- a humongous step outside of my comfort zone!

Third, when working in my travel journal afterwards, I started out using my usual sketch and watercolor techniques that I had learned from that favorite teacher, and created several uninspired pages. Then I got a wild hair and decided to fill those beautiful saris with bits of colored paper instead of paint and, suddenly, sparks flew!

When I mentioned in a blog post how much I enjoyed doing that bit of collage, and shared that post on Facebook, I suddenly started seeing links to a certain collage artist from California in my Facebook feed -- one who "paints" with paper, as I had done.

I started following her blog posts, only to discover that she is coming to New Braunfels (so close!) in August to teach a three-day workshop that will include instruction not only in her collage techniques, but also in painting your own unique paper stash to use in them. I had my deposit check in the mail the very next day!

So, this is what Seth had to say in his article, and why it resonated with me the second time around:

"To grow as an artist you need to develop and evolve. Growth is at the heart of creativity and the core of artistry, and nothing leads to this type of change as much as taking a risk and stepping outside your comfort zone...Being in that zone may put you at ease and give you a sense of control, but it can stifle your creativity and become a barrier to your growth as an artist."

New Work In Progress
He even went on to list ten or eleven ways to take a risk and step out of your zone. These in particular called out to me, because I've actually thought about doing them, but held back.
  • take a class in a technique that's outside your wheelhouse
  • sketch or draw in public
  • if you work small, go large
  • usually use a paintbrush? use your hands instead
  • risk rejection by submitting artwork to a magazine
  • call yourself an artist
Guess I have a new to-do list, huh? Which is kinda funny, when you consider that the very first thing I ever submitted to Art Journaling magazine -- one of my crazy illustrated to-do lists -- actually did get published. But, for some reason, I've never had the nerve to try it again. This travel journal just might be worth the risk, if I ever finish it!