Wednesday, November 19, 2014

East Austin Studio tour 2014

Another busy week-end with East Austin Art Studio tour. We went out both days, but we did take it a little bit easy on ourselves. Me especially, since I have been having hip and knee issues and they tend to get worse with cold damp weather.  It was cold and rainy both days, and windy.  We chose locations where there were multiple artists to cut down on being out in the weather so much. Several places we went had big fire bowls or pits burning, so we ended up smelling like woodsmoke, but we didn't mind. Every place we went was very crowded so I guess the weather didn't keep people away. The tour has gotten so big they now have it two week-ends. And guess what, the forecast says there will be rain again this week-end. We need all the rain we can get, so no one complains about it.  I still feel bad for some of the artists who are outside in a tent, trying to keep their wares dry or from blowing away.

Pump Project building.  At least 30 artists here, I lost count.

Art on fence at Pump Project

Quilt in one of the hallways.  Not pieced, all one fabric, quilted.  I love the colors and the birds. It is not cool to take photos of peoples artwork, but the quilter told me this is just the way the fabric came, she just quilted it.
Keeping with my love of gray and of texture, I shot this photo out one of the upstairs windows, of the wet and worn tarpaper roof.

In another neighborhood, I love the colors they used on this house, and the hanging metal on the porch.

Friday, November 14, 2014

All my week-ends crashing together

Hubby says when we get our lives sorted out, we will live 6 months in Idaho and 6 months in Texas, and he wants to do so forever. Hands down the 6 in Texas will start with October...  That is when the serious festivals begin. The ones we like anyhow.  There are festivals of some sort here year round, but the ones we go to all happen in October and November.  The main reason for that is that it is starting to cool off. 

But this year, October has plain flat worn me out.  Every week-end we have had something to do.  Sometimes I just want to stay home.  Hubby keeps saying, but we have always done this or that or whatever it may be.  It's tradition.  Well here are some of our traditions.  October 11th we went to a mask making workshop at the Mexic-Arte museum for the masks and large bat float.

The following week-end was the actual parade.

Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead
Parade and Festival October 18th

Next up, the 35th Anniversary celebration of a store we have been shopping at for about 20 years. The owner Marcia leads trips to Mexico and also imports wonderful arts and crafts from there.
We usually buy at least one important piece from her each year on our Anniversary.  I admired a couple of things when I was there, and later saw Hubby sneak by with a package and take it to the car. It is in the living room now, and I haven't peeked once. Our anniversary is on Monday.
The lovely lady in the center photo and with the mariachis is Marcia Lucas. You can read her story and see some of the kind of folk art she carries in the store.  The blurry photo of the lady in the pink skirt and cowboy boots, is Lucinda Hutson, local cookbook author. She was moving about so fast I never did get a good photo of her.  She has the coolest clothes, jewelry and cowboy boots.
Same week-end, (25th and 26th) we also attended the Texas Book Festival, at the capitol grounds. I was too busy shopping to take many photos.

Hubby with capitol in background
Looking down one row of tents with books, authors, music, merchandise, food.
Next up...beautiful cool fall day for the Grand Prix of the Americas. If you've been reading for awhile you've seen my race car photos, so I'll keep these to a minimum.  Just some highlights. Like the Navy skydivers, and when my favored to win driver led the race for 24 laps and then his team mate, Hubbys favored to win overtook him on lap 25 and stayed in 1st place to the end. The two guys in the photo are Alberto and Hernando, they are from Mexico City, but live in Austin now.  I've decided doing the collages on Picasa is the best way to go when I have several photos instead of stringing them out.  
Almost forgot to mention, after the races Kid Rock was playing in the 360 Ampitheatre stage. We walked over and listened for awhile.  There were a few other concerts going on in the area, so there were a lot of competing sounds.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sometimes the best thing to do....

Is to do nothing at all.
One view of the backyard at my little retreat in Idaho..
I arrived there on August 31st, my birthday.  I spent almost the entire month of September there. Every morning I chose a different window to sit by and drink my coffee/tea/chai and gaze out at the garden. In the early evening, I wandered out to the deck or one of those weathered chairs and sat there, looking back towards the house. It is truly a retreat for me, and I enjoy being there so much, for a variety of reasons.   This is not to say that is all I did while there.  I ran around with family and spent time with my Mom. Saw the Aunts and Uncles.  Went to a football game with Hubby, went to several art fairs.  But my best times while there, have become just hanging out with Hubby at the house and relaxing, or even working in the yard.  I know it will feel different when we move there for good, but for now, I see it as a little escape from the real world and I relish it so much. September was truly vacation month for me.

When I get back to Austin, everything is so hectic, with a million things to do, and being pulled in so many directions.  I've been really busy since I got home and here we are the middle of October already.  I'm feeling stressed and overwhelmed so I'm trying to focus on taking care of myself instead of just slipping back into the rut I usually do.  Part of taking care of oneself is setting time aside to create, instead of planning to create when everything else is taken care of.  It never happens.  So that is where I am at, and where I will be for awhile, with my head down...trying once again to find some balance.  Maybe even some finished artwork.  Don't know why that is so difficult for me, but all I can do is continue to keep trying.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Delicious and nutritious Saturday lunch


My friend Pat called mid-morning and said she was bringing lunch over. She arrived with all manner of "green, raw stuff".  I am not quite as adventurous with food as she is, but I do like a lot of what she likes.  After determining there was no "seaweed" in any of the dishes, I relaxed and set the table. 
We gobbled up the spinach dip with crudités, not much left to take photos of.  Here's what we had.
This is golden beets, spiral sliced into noodles, with arugula pesto, with pine nuts.  Hubby came by and asked us why we were eating worms! This was very delicious. There were a few veggies left from the spinach dip, carrots, red peppers, cauliflower, pea pods.
This is arugula salad, with red onions, sundried tomatoes, sunflower sprouts and toasted buckwheat sprouts. The dressing was tart and delicious, it had honey, cashews, and citrus juice.
There was also a loaf of sourdough bread which we toasted. So everything we ate except the bread was "Raw". We were feeling very virtuous after eating this delicious and nutritious lunch, but we weren't finished yet. 
I had been hearing about the new Dreyer's fruit with veggie bars, so bought some so we could try them out.  Besides Apple, these have kale, spinach, mango, pineapple, kiwi, and pumpkin.  Well.....  about the only thing I can say is they were cold and refreshing.  But not something I would try again. So my friend will have to eat them when she is over.  I talked Hubby into trying a bite, and he kind of turned his nose up.  He likes the plain old Raspberry ones, and my favorite ones are the Coconut Water with Pineapple.  I may try some of the other veggie varieties, but then again I may not.  They did have a carrot/tangerine one that sounded like it might be good.  I wonder what the theory behind these treats is...for Mothers to get veggies into their kids in yet another way except real veggies?  I can't imagine most kids liking these as they aren't very sweet.
I do believe we got our recommended daily allowance of vegetables, not only for today, but tomorrow as well.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Live in Austin Texas

I won't complain about the heat in this post, really I won't.  Just to tell you that it was 98 at 5 p.m. the other evening when we walked into Waterloo Records, downtown Austin.  We went to a CD release party for one of the old timer Texas artists.  Billy Joe Shaver is a legend around here, well loved by many people.  The place was packed full of folks, to capacity in fact. A very mixed crowd, young and old.  A lot of people were standing outside in front peering in through the windows.  Hard to get photos, because it was so crowded, but we got a few.
Billy and Casper before the show
Me, getting a hug from Billy Joe before the show. I was talking as usual, so I'm blurry.
Sometimes it's best to just go and not even attempt to take photos.  But, the point of this post, really is to tell you, that as much as I complain about the weather here in the summertime, this is the other side of living in Austin.  Live music every where you go, and an atmosphere that just can't be beat.  What you have heard about Austin really is true, that it is an awesome city.  The latest statistics show that 140 people move here every day. Because of that, it is losing some of its ease of getting around, but still has not lost its flavor.

Friday, August 1, 2014

August 1st in Austin Texas

We had a cool front today...Ha Ha.  It was only 72 when I got up, and I sat on the front porch with a cup of coffee.  Went out around 10:30 and it was only 82, was very nice.  Went to the stone yard with hubby, and to the garden center next door to look at plants.  Walked around for awhile.  I'm not saying it wasn't HOT...but it only got up to 91 today, the coolest August 1 since 1998.  Weather guy says we will be in the low 90's this week-end.  Likely the coolest temps we will have until October. 

I love this front porch at the stone yard..very Texas looking, it just needs an armadillo.

The garden center next door, which we drive by weekly, but have never stopped in before, has the kind of local plants you don't find at Lowe's or Home Depot.  We only bought a creeping rosemary for the side yard and one of those lovely chartreuse green sweet potato vines.  But found the Mexican Bird of Paradise, they just didn't have the ones with the yellow blooms that I want. The one with the yellow blooms is actually called Caesalpinia Mexicana and the blooms look like this. 

 We ordered these cute fountain grasses, called Little Bunny. They had already sold every one they had today.
They had these lovely wooden arches and a lot of statuary, but I only looked.  I cannot bring home anymore things for the yard, that will eventually have to be moved.  Hard to resist though.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Barometric Pressure Blues

Lately I have become sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.  Yeah, I know, that's an old one..but very apropos. I dislike summers in Texas, and every year attempt coming up with better ways to deal with it, since I can't always run away to my other home.  We have hovered around 100 degrees for a week and a half, with occasional thunderstorms that only drop the temps a bit for awhile. But the constant change is enough to throw me off kilter.

The past week has been pretty rough.  This is giving me fits to no end. I spent 4 solid days with a headache that never quite went away.  Sinus pressure, always verging on migraine, or feeling like I was recovering from one.  Medication did no good, except to remove the intense migraine issues, but the nagging headache lingered on.  Went to bed with it, woke up with it, it hung around all day.  Finally on Tuesday it seemed to clear, and I felt much better on Wednesday.  Then yesterday, I had an eye appointment and after the series of  bright lights in my eyes, guess the time I got out of there I had another migraine! Fortunately it didn't last long and I was fine by bedtime.

Needless to say, I have been spending a lot of time with the shades drawn and resting.  When I have felt better I've been sketching and painting a little bit, trying to keep up with the class I am taking, from the fabulous Mary Ann Moss.  Her classes are a riot, and I am behind, but still enjoying it.  I have my supplies strung all over my work table and stop and do a bit each time I pass by. Watercolor is hard, but teacher assures us that, as with anything, practice and you get better. Her approach is a lot more relaxed than the "traditional" type watercolor classes I have attempted before. I say attempted, because I never really completed them.  I could never learn to render accurate sketches that seem to be required, so gave up.  Some of my sketches are pretty laughable, in fact most of them I won't be sharing any just yet...but soon...soon.   Well..okay, just one, and it's okay if you laugh along with me.  In fact, I insist that you do!  After I had it finished and painted, I noticed that I had 5 pods and 6 stems.... So you can easily tell which pod I added in last.   Back to the drawing board!