Monday, December 21, 2009

Little Silver Circle

I bought a dozen of these at an after Christmas sale several years ago. I had never used them because I had planned to change the red ribbon out for some other color. I would get them out every year and look at them, but never quite get around to altering them. This year when I decided to only get a few boxes of decorations out and only put up one tree, I found them again. This time I took the time to exchange the ribbon for moss green ones, and I hung them on the tree. Now, if you look closely you will see that they are all the same bare branch picture. It's a photo I like, but I think next year I might take the time to cover the words "Restoration Hardware"... LOL It is the photo that came with the frame!! So you've never done this before??? Well, I really hadn't. A few days ago I ran into a friend in the store and we were discussing how hard it is to do "everything" for the holidays. I told her what I had done, and she started laughing so hard she was crying. She then told me about the year she had bought a bunch of picture frame ornaments and had plans to put B&W photos of all the family members in them, but never got it done. Around time to do the tree, she was so tired, she just hung them all on the tree. She said she forgot about it, until some of the family members were looking at them, trying to figure out who the people were in the photos, because they sure didn't look like anyone in the family. She said she has used them every year since, just like that, and they all get a laugh out of the "faux" relatives.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I'm feeling more like Christmas

I have recovered from my little meltdown of last week-end. I ran away for a few days and it seemed to help. Of course a day or two in a nice hotel, drinking lots of creamy coffee and eating chocolate for breakfast will remedy lots of ailments, I'm sure. Add to that a great pal who delivered a big box of books and magazines to the hotel before I even arrived. I definitely had a respite from real life! I'm facing life a little more focused right now. Taking one day at a time instead of letting 3 or 4 attack me all at once. Everything is done around here that is going to get done. I swear I am not going to do one more thing.

This morning I woke up at 4, made tea, and spent a long time sitting snuggled up in a blanket, admiring my Christmas tree. It looked ugly to me last week, but this week it is beautiful, and it didn't have to do a thing, but sit there and wait for me to look again!! I love sitting in a dark room with only the twinkle of the tree lights on. I went out later to World Market for a few food items and a quick stop by Michaels, for a couple of Tim Holtz items to play with later. No pressure, just play.

Notice the round silver frame in this photo? Look at it closely. I will tell you a funny story about it tomorrow.

Close up of clip-on bird

I love these white paper ornaments from Hallmark from I don't even recall how many years ago.

This year I used gold,silver, white and turquoise

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I wish I had a river I could skate away on.....

If you listen to the Joni Mitchell song "The River", that describes my Christmas spirit. I swear every year that I will ward off the blues, but my nature, being what it is...well.... I used to be Martha Stewart, with a tree in every room, all perfectly themed and color matched. Tons of baking and entertaining and the whole package. Some years I was so tired on Christmas day that all I wanted to do was crawl under the tree and take a nap while everyone enjoyed the fruits of my labors.

Circumstances change, years pass, we are far away from family. That makes a huge difference. Hubby and I have developed many new and different traditions, so we don't buy into the commercialism, not that we ever did much. As far as gift-giving is concerned, we keep that real simple. Some gift cards, food items, and charity.

I am just really blue this year. Part of it has to do with medication problems that I am working on, so I can't blame it all on the season. Anyhow, since I last posted, I have been moving slowly, dragging my feet, sleeping a lot. This week-end, I finally got the ONE tree decorated. It took me all week. Hung the wreath on the door, and I think I will call it done. And I think I will run away from home. Oh wait, the bird-feeders need filling. Better do that first. Oh, and I should probably tell hubby I am leaving.

Lime and Turquoise, my signature colors

Close up of wreath

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tea and Chocolate, Anyone?

Stories of another action packed week-end here in the big city. Saturday was spent alternating between watching football, raking leaves, and organizing and putting out Christmas decorations.
Sunday, I went to a local tea shoppe for a tea and chocolate tasting. I usually pair my chocolate with the Evil Bean... but I was intrigued, since I really am trying to learn more about teas, and shift my drinking habit from so much coffee. It was a really fun event. We got to taste 5 different varieties of tea, each paired with a chocolate of their choosing. Then we discussed and rated them, on how we thought they went together. We met a lot of nice people and the owners of the shoppe are really nice, and very knowledgeable.

Christmas display at Zhi Tea

Display near front window

The adorable Erika Martin, serving up her handmade chocolates

Packaged Blissed Out chocolates made by Erika

Our table. Notice the growing pile of foil candy cups, that is my place at the table. When my friend Pat started saving hers and slipping them over to me, the rest of the guests noticed. She told them a little tale of what I do with recyled bits, so they all saved theirs for me too. Gold mine!! And silver, and pink, and turquoise! Yay. I am so happy with little bits of papers. What a goofball, huh?

The rest of the afternoon, and into evening was spent at one of the many local holiday affairs. All local artisans and crafts people in one location, with many great things to choose from. Jewelry, pottery, paintings, photography, wearables, and the like. I came home happily worn out from another fun filled day in December. More festivals to attend next week.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Studios Part Two

The metal arts area from yesterdays post. There was a lot of cool rusty stuff laying around to photograph.

These would be so cool to have to rust paper on.

Old sign in corner with weeds twining round.

What a hoot, reflected and distorted.

Not a studio, but a cute cottage next door to one. I love the colors, and would adore having this house as a studio. Or for just me to live in. See the lime green house to the right of the photo in the background? Hubby said we would have to have it as well, for him to live in, and to store my "stuff". It is one of those two story McMansions, in an old neighborhood of little cottages.

At the Tillery street location. I forgot which artists were there, I was so enamored with this rusty old cabinet in one of the spaces. I took a lot of shots to use for collage backgrounds.

I forgot Abby's ATC yesterday. I met her when we sat across the table from one another. Hers is the one with the hand. The other one is an older one of mine, using one of my favorite quotes. I think they go well together, don't you?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Empty Bowls and Studio Tours

Today I am recovering from such a wild week-end. There is always a lot going on around my town, and the holiday season is off to a busy start. The Empty Bowl project. Taking place the Sunday before Thanksgiving, this is a benefit for our local food bank. Local potters donate handmade bowls, and local restaurants donate soup. You buy a bowl and get it filled with soup, and yummy breads to go with it. It has always been held at a Pottery studio, but has gotten so large that they had to move it to a convention like center this year. We used to get there at 9 and wait 2 hours to get in at 11. We were usually always among the first 50 peeps in the door. However this year, there were people in line at 7 a.m. for an 11 a.m. opening. Yikes... We went to artist studios and came back a few hours later, and only waited about 20 minutes to get in. It was so crowded I didn't have an opportunity to take photos. A friend of mine was serving soup, but I never did even see her. The Empty Bowl project started as a grassroots movement and has pretty much become a national project in many cities.

Ah, the studio tours. I love them, they are so inspiring. You get to meet so many artists and see them working or at least see where they do their work. Also to make purchases. This too, has grown over the years, so choices have to be made. One can't possible see it all. We have our favorites we go to every year, and always add new ones. My head is still swimming with all the things we saw. I'm sorting and filing photos and business cards, for folks I may want to contact later. I have a few to show. For some reason I was struggling with the settings on my camera so did not get a lot of good photos. There are a lot of real nice studio/gallery spaces, but the ones that appeal to me the most are these first two...a collection of artists in old houses or industrial areas.

A wreath from favorite metal artist Barry George

A small fraction of Barry's collecton of "stuff"

One studio had this labyrinth in the back yard, it was fun. She makes floral mandalas from dried flowers she grows here.

One studio space had an Artist Trading Card workshop going on. We made a few, then traded with other peeps there. A lot of fun. Met some cool people.

More tomorrow. I must rest up then get something done around here and start prepping for Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Walk on the East Side

Hubby and I went on a walk the other day(on our anniversary) and I wanted to go to Big Red Sun...However they were closed. We called, and they are now only open by appointment, and do mostly commercial work. Sad, another indication of hard economical times I guess. They have some things that most other nurseries don't carry, so will have to look elswhere for unusual plant material.

Looking towards downtown

Love their blue porch and the colors of this light fixture

Plant material, I like the dichondra the plant, lantern, house across the street

Monday, November 16, 2009

Of all the things I've Lost....

I miss my mind the most! A funny little saying, yes? Well, it describes perfectly the way I have been feeling. November is slipping right on by, just as the previous month did. I have been having some medical issues, mainly medication problems. I'm attempting to get off a medication that just isn't working, and try something different. That entails a bunch of experimentation, and feeling crappy and out of control. One medication makes me feel numb, but I sleep at night. Another one makes me feel normal, but I am awake all night with anxiety attacks! So, I just haven't been posting. The struggle for life is taking what little energy I have.

November is a month full of activities here locally,that I normally enjoy immensely. I really have been trying to keep up, but am falling behind a bit more each week.

Artist Studio tours this past week-end, and I gave out early on, so didn't get to see as much as I wanted. Thankfully it is on next week-end also so I have hopes to hold up for a longer time period then.

I've done very little artwork in weeks, mostly just sort supplies and move stuff around, waiting for the spirits to move me. Lots of ideas bouncing, but just clanging up against one another in my brain.

Tomorrow is mine and hubby's wedding anniversary.....I started a card two weeks ago and it still lies unfinished, so I will slip out to the store in a bit and purchase one. Hubby won't mind, but he will know how guilty I feel, especially since he has been hiding a project he is working on for me.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Texas Book Festival

I spent yesterday recovering from two fun filled days at the Texas Book Festival, a yearly event that I eagerly anticipate. We get to hear a lot of authors speak about the books that they have written the previous year, plus purchase books, hear great music from local musicians, and hang out at the capitol and grounds. All this is free to the public, it's a wonderful family friendly atmosphere. The weather could not have been more perfect, Lows in the 50's Highs in the 70's to low 80's. My kind of fall weather. The reward for having suffered through all those triple digits for the past few months. I even got to take a little nap on the capitol lawn, until a squirrel started dropping nuts on my head.

This place was centrally located for Hubby to make several stops at during the w/e.

Besides hearing authors speak, gathering ephemera,I humored myself by taking photos of some of the gorgeous boots I saw people wearing. I also photo'ed a lot of peoples dogs, but won't show those, at least not now.
Love your boots Margie

Wimberley boots

Suede and tied

Bag and boots of the lovely, sweet & talented Patricia Vonne

Friday, October 30, 2009

Perfecting my Disorganizational Skills

Some days I feel like I spend half my time searching for things. Doesn't matter what it is I need, I have to go on a search for it. No wonder I rarely get any artwork done. By the time I have uncovered everything I need for a project, I am so exhausted I don't have the energy to create. There was a time many years ago I was probably one of the most organized people on the planet. That is what is so baffling about the problems I am having now. How and when did this happen? Well, I suppose part of it is just amassing so darn much "STUFF". Living in the same place for 16 years has contributed to it as well. When one moves every 3 to 5 years there is a constant cleaning out of things to lighten the load. Being able to indulge in my passion for all things paper, as well as my shiny magpie nature, has led to gathering way too much. I haven't had to make many choices over the past few years, just gather whatever suits my fancy. Gather it in faster than you use it up and pretty soon you have a problem. I was thinking I might be a hoarder, until I actually saw an episode of that show. Well, what a relief to find I am NOT. Of course it is just one of the many jokes among us creative types, that yes, I really DO need 27 pairs of scissors. Actually if you ask the hubster, he would probably say I have more than that. Sigh. Well, what prompted this ranting and raving, you ask? Once again, I have misplaced something that I have spent days searching for. My lovely Frida Kahlo necklace that I made for Dia de los Muertos several years ago. I didn't have it for the parade last Saturday, and it appears I won't have it for the actual celebrations this week-end. It is very important to me, so why don't I put it back in the same place twice? No, I lay it down wherever I happen to take it off, and then it gets buried with something else, or swept into a basket when I am "tidying" up. And that is not the only Dia de los Muertos jewelry I have misplaced, so it must all be hanging out together someplace. Even though I did have a few things to wear, I really need and want my Frida necklace. The hubster wants the shrine I made for him a few years ago too, but says he understands...Odds are I will find it next week when I am searching for something else.

The small collection I was able to find to wear.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It was a fine night for a Parade

One of my favorite events of the year, among all the Festivals and events, is Dia de los Muertos. Even though the date is not until Nov.1st and 2nd, the parade and party was on Saturday the 24th. Colorful, lots of good music and wonderful food. The weather was cool and so comfortable. Some years it's so hot it doesn't feel like fall. Y'all know how I feel about HOT weather...ick. I'll be putting some more photos up on my Flickr site, but here's a few for now.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Windows Wide Open

The week-end was wonderful weatherwise. After mid 90's again on Friday, we got a cold front and 30 degree drop in temperature. I love sleeping with the windows open, even though sometimes it wreaks havoc with my allergies. I'd rather put up with that than constant airconditoning.

Saturday I was able to clean house a little bit, between watching several hours of college football with hubby and even a movie. The fresh air gave me a wee boost of energy I hadn't felt all week. Oh, and remember I mentioned all the "unfinished" projects I had, I did manage to finish something...I cleaned off the table in my entryway, yet again. This is always an ongoing project, as we tend to drop things there as we come in. Keys, the mail, library books, found items such as rocks and bird feathers, etc. It gets to looking pretty cluttered, but yet we don't seem capable of breaking the habit. Once the first thing gets put there that doesn't belong, it just seems to snowball until there is a big stack. This is not a big accomplishment, such as finishing an art project, but I decided I'd better start looking at some of my chores as finished projects to keep myself from feeling like I am getting NOTHING done.
So this is the way I like it to look!


Sunday, I had a friend over and we looked at books and magazines, planned a few art projects, watched a couple of recordings and ate this!
Vietnamese coffee, along with Italian Pizzelles. A nice little treat.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Where does the time go?

Here we are, halfway through October, and here I sit, with a dozen projects still halfway finished. I usually get such a burst of energy as soon as fall comes, and I feel renewed and capable of getting thing done. I am faltering this time, and it makes me feel crummy. Actually, I guess that is why I am faltering. I have been feeling physically and emotionally "crummy." Is that a medical diagnosis, I dunno...guess I could also describe it as feeling like crap, and that is not one either. I am dragging around with no energy, feeling sorry for myself. Doing things in fits and starts, and finishing nothing. I have spent the last couple of days sitting in front of the computer sorting photos, trying to find some "fall" stuff to post. Even my photos are a disorganized mess. But in every single album, there are birds and clouds, so here are some more.

Seven p.m. Grackles

Three on a wire

Wispy evening clouds

Friday, October 9, 2009

It finally FEELS like Fall

I've been so envious of those of you who have written that you are experiencing fall like weather. Even though we've had tons of rain, it was a wee bit cool then got hot hot hot again. Yesterday was in the 90's and heat index up to 100. Felt really awful. We had a cool front trying to come in, but the heat hanging over us wouldn't allow it...according to my trusty meteorologist, MM. It rained in the night a lot, and when I got up this morning it was 55 degrees. OH YEAH! Dug out the woolie socks and boots and a long sleeved shirt, along with my shiny green raincoat and scarf. Went out with hubby for awhile, for a stroll through the neighborhood. Then we went to the mall(outdoors) with our umbrellas in hand and strolled some more and got a coffee. Cold and windy, and it felt so good. It is supposed to stay cool through the week-end. I won't ever complain about it finally feeling like fall. It feels like it could be a spicy tortilla soup kinda evening. Maybe I can even dig out my flannel jammies this week-end, along with the wool throws for the sofa and chairs. Oh boy! Can you tell I am really ready for cold weather?

Bundling up a wee bit

Pomegranate blossoms after the rain