Tuesday, December 25, 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS!


This wreath is almost the only concession I made to Christmas decorating this year.  A few ornaments hanging around here and there and a handful in a bowl.  The only crafty thing I did at all is to decorate a few tins to put candy in.  Drank a bit of coffee and had some Hershey Dark chocolate while I was filling the tins the other day. 

November and December have been filled up with challenges.  Right now we are in the midst of plumbing and foundation repairs.  The decade long drought in Texas has caused a lot of soil problems, and our house, among many in our area, has basically cracked in half!  So we are in a bit of a mess right now.  There is a tunnel dug under my house and that is just the beginning. The entire house will have to be "put back together". So we are packing things up and moving them to certain rooms and into storage, before the guys with the Jackhammers arrive next week.  We still have water(limited) today, but have been told we won't have tomorrow while they repair one of the main drains. That  could take a couple of days.  We may be able to stay in the house while they do some of the work, but it is still kind of up in the air. Therefore, no decorating for Christmas or having company over.  We are working today, and both trying to keep our sense of humor intact. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Snap OUT of It!!

She said! Holy Smokes, I have been gone a long time. I've been trying to write this post for at least two weeks. It's hard to know what to write, to say, when one has been absent for so long. I had a very long and strange summer and it became very difficult to put into words, so I didn't. I always have difficulty with the heat and humidity in the Texas summers that seem to go on forever. This one was particularily hard. There were family issues, chronic health issues, and when these thing coincide with summer, I tend to spiral downward into a place I don't like to be. I stop creating, which also adds to my crabbiness. So, after a few months of becoming what I like to call a "cave dweller"...that means hunkering down in the cool house in the A/C and isolating myself, I am coming back to what some might call normal.

It is finally starting to cool off somewhat in Central Texas. But like always, this time of year, we get teased with one or two autumn feeling days, then right back to the almost 90 with a LOT of humidity. Over the week-end we had one rainy day when the high was 65. While hubby and I were out we had to laugh, as almost everyone we saw was wearing their boots, scarves and light sweaters and jackets. The next day everyone was back in shorts. But at least we all "found" our fall wear and have it at the ready for the next cool day. I am feeling invigorated and inspired to get out, move about, and get busy creating things again. So, hopefully, I will be back to posting on a more regular basis.

Just so I don't have to post this without a photo, here are a couple of shots I took in my front garden recently. I realized after uploading, that my lady statue had a bit of bird poop on her head, it is almost obscured by a leaf, but not quite.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Short Report, A Ghost of a Post

Summer has been a runaway freight train, one long extended road trip.

It got HOT in Texas, VERY hot.  Early on.

We went to Oregon...without a jacket or an umbrella.  It rained, we got wet, we dried out.  Saw the darling nephews, and other family. Saw Dragon Boat racing for the first time.

We went to Idaho.  There was a heat wave there.  We didn't care.  It's a dry heat.  We looked around. We made wishes to move there.  We came home and I hibernated in the A/C house.

My computer crashed. I've been without it for two weeks.

Hubby has been trying to cheer me up.  This was the photo he left on my laptop screen.  This was yesterday, August 1st.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

but i really want to just stay home

After a busy week of getting things done, I really wanted to just stay home and rest yesterday. But noooo says the Hubster.  He had ordered these tickets for a Formula 1 Expo at the convention center.  I found myself wishing I hadn't agreed to go because I was just TIRED!  But off we trekked.  It was enjoyable for what it was, but it was not what we expected for the price we had paid for the tickets. In other words, we felt it had been really misrepresented.  It mentioned there would be live music from local musicians, which we saw no evidence of in the time we were there.  It also said there would be "famous and well known" Formula 1 drivers, which we saw no evidence of.  One of the vendors pointed out one fellow dressed in racing attire and said to me "he's famous"  but it was not someone I recognized and she did not know his name.  HaHa.  There were only 3 food vendors which didn't seem like enough for the crowds they had predicted.

It was also so bright and glaring in the Exhibition Hall that photos were not good, at least with my little camera.  But if we had not gone, we would have imagined it to be much grander than it was. It was mainly to promote the new Formula 1 track that opens here in November and to get people to purchase tickets. YAY!!!  I already got one for Hubby for his birthday earlier this month.   However, we had two day passes, and when we got home, Hub immediately called a friend who was very happy to have the passes for today.  Besides, I am of the opinion that what you get is usually based on what you EXPECT to get.  We made our expectations based on the price of the ticket, therefore our expectations were a bit too high.  It was not bad for what it was.  I did hear a few people say "This is it????  What a rip-off.  Guess they expected way more than we did.

Here are some photos...





The Orange Lamborghini
Hubby with the Orange Lotus
 Cute ladies.  The one on the left was Vendor for the collectible race prints from many of the Grand Prix races over the years.  The one on the right was the Ferrari rep.  She tried to convince me I too COULD walk in those shoes!
                                
We talked about Cars, Fashion, and Nail Polish colors.  tee hee


I was also drawn to a booth were this guy http://www.mark-dickens.com/ was selling prints of his original collages he had done using ephemera from the races all over the world.  He had very large pieces that at first appeared to be "encaustic"...well of course I had to talk to him about it.  He said it was resin that he had brushed on. They were pretty interesting. He was selling only boxed sets of the prints.dThe piece I thought was pretty cool was a collaborative piece where a very long roll of paper was printed on with tires, with signatures of the race car drivers and people who had participated.






When we left there were quite a few people just coming in, so we may have just been there too early, before things got jumping.  Since we had paid $10.00 for parking we decided to just stay downtown for awhile.  We stopped at the little Crepe cafe for a Cappucino and it was so crowded we had to sit outside.  Thankfully, it was ONLY 90 by this time and the table was on the shady side. We talked each other into sharing a crepe, and it was pretty good. The savory ones sounded really good, but we opted for the sweet one with ice cream...Outside in 90degree weather...yeah that was a good decision.  HaHa.


We had the Crunchy Camille, it sure was tasty, especially with an iced Americano.  Since this place is 1/2 block from the Convention Center, there were a lot of people who had come from the EXPO.  We met a lovely lady from Italy with her son Lorenzo, who told us he was going to be a Formula1 Driver and his car would be the RED one.  I think he may have been about 5.  He was so cute when he ordered his own crepe and he said "I'd like the tomatoes and Mozzarella on the side, please". He and the Mother spoke Italian to one another, but once in awhile he would speak English to us when she reminded him.  She told us he had very particular culinary tastes!

We walked a bit downtown, then came home and I took a long NAP!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

paper or plastic

When given the choice I always say paper. I read that it takes more energy to produce them than the plastic. But the plastic has now been recycled so many times and is so thin it tears apart before you even get home with it. When it comes to the grocery bags, before you can even get to the car sometimes. Besides, the plastic ones just irritate the heck out of me.  They seem to be a blight on our landscape. They are blowing around and stuck in trees everywhere. I don't think I've ever seen a paper one hanging from trees or blowing down the street.  You can at least use the paper ones quite a few times, and then still cut them up and paint on them if you wish!    Truth is, it takes an incredible amount of energy to produce both kinds, and both are bad for the environment.  So what are we to do?

   Most times I carry my own canvas bags with me, but there are times I'd like a paper bag from a particular store. Yesterday that was the case, with all three places I went. I really love paper bags.. Kraft brown is one of my favorite colors anyhow.

Sunday shopping with the hubster.  It was his birthday, so I took him to Denny's for his free Grand Slam.  I think it's one of the few places that still gives you breakfast on your birthday.  It's kind of a kick...and about the only time of year we actually eat at Denny's.  Then we went a few places we hadn't been in awhile.  Central Mkt, Anthropologie, Big Red Sun.    Just strolling, mostly.                       


Here's what came in the bags we brought home.
Hub wonders if I can keep this little air plant alive.  I killed the last one with a little too much misting.


Bowl of succulents, they need dappled sun and not much water.


Woody Harrelson is a very funny guy.  Uppercase is an amazing publication.  Too bad it is $18.00!

In the afternoon, the Birthday Boy went golfing.  I read the new Mags and took a long nap.  A Perfectly Fine Sunday.

Friday, June 1, 2012

no-one was harmed in the making of this art

I'd been wanting to experiment with some encaustics for  awhile, but it hadn't been at the top of my priority list. Besides, I like to do a little research when I'm going to learn something new.  When Hubster decided HE wanted to give it a try, well it was full speed ahead. We bought a kit of expensive wax, we had to have more expensive stuff to go with the kit...we did find an electric skillet at the Goodwill though, so did not have to buy the expensive enxcaustic palette that was recommended.  We set up a work area in the garage. Of course we each had different ideas of how this was going to go! Typical when men and women work together.  Even in 90 degree weather, melted wax hardens pretty quickly!  We didn't have enough pans to melt all the colors of wax, so only worked with a few.  That's why everything is the same color scheme!  Just getting a feel for the materials. We both thought flinging hot wax was fun, so there will be more to come.

This is play, and this seems like CRAFT.  Maybe after a lot more play we can call it ART.

Hubs squares
















My very first encaustic on cardboard












The three I did.  One on left needs more.







Thursday, May 24, 2012

as time goes by

So goes the struggle to maintain reason and normalcy in these whereabouts.  I had a flare up of back pain about 10 days ago, so I have been operating with a more muddled brain than usual.  I've found that having chronic pain can lead to bad decision making. What usually works when my back flares up, did not this time. When the old back goes out on me, I first try the heat and cold therapy, hot soaks in the bath, stretching, muscle relaxants and pain pills.  In a few days it's better.  This time that didn't work. I knew I needed a massage, but did I make an appointment...noooo.  Sweet hubby thought he could help, with a back rub.  Immediately it felt worse and for the next few days I could barely walk.  Oh, during this time I also had to work, and sitting at my desk was really painful. 

After more self-care, it is much better.  I had solid good sleep the last two nights, so I'm beginning to feel almost normal again.  I do have a bit of cabin fever so I'm going to venture out to pick up a few art supplies for a week-end project.

Hubby did all the shopping and errand running while I was such an invalid.  He brought me home a few cute things, one of which was this wire house from the new collection at Target. They have a new thing called The Shops at Target. It's kind of hard to explain, but basically,they partnered with several shops around the county to showcase their collections in Target stores. 
The only one that really caught my eye was the home and garden collection.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Today we kept it very low key, it's the first Mother's Day without Hub's Mom. We went to get new tires on his car. Left the car and walked about a mile to Target and Starbucks. I power walked all around the Target store. Thankfully it was cool this morning, by the time we walked back to get the car a couple of hours later, it was getting warm and humid, and I was on the edge of getting cranky! I called my Mom and Sister, they were all having a B-B-Q at Sisters house. Here's the card I made for my Mom. I used the French General line of papers I just got from Michaels.






Back of envelope

Front of envelope



Mailer
 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

hubby takes me on a date

To one of my favorite places. Whole Foods Market. Good food to eat, coffee, even wine to drink, and TONS of eye candy. This corner in downtown Austin is delightful to me....There is Whole Foods, Chico's, Waterloo Records, Anthropologie, each on their own corner. Just looking at each place makes me swoon. I don't even have to buy anything. But on this outing we did pick up a few things.

 Live music at Waterloo. Glen Fukunaga, fine Austin musician.
Date night giftie at Anthropologie.
Bouquet of Peonies
Display at Whole Foods
We ate Sesame Kale salad, along with pizza. Gobbled it up, so no photo.

Monday, May 7, 2012

so far away....

Time is rushing by me so fast I can hear the wind whistling in my ears.

Earth Day Venue from two weeks ago
At the end of the final program we all marched out in a conga line, beating drums that they handed out. People formed the words Beyond Coal and a helicopter flew over and took photos.  If you look closely you can see where I was seated and a little lower in the photo, hubby.  They seated people by shirt color, or at least tried to.  We were out there for almost an hour, I got sunburned.                                                                                                                                               
                                                    

As you can probably see, I am having some trouble getting my text inserted properly in this new blogger format.

I can't keep up with it all

I am feeling so far behind in everything. My energy level is so low that I can barely get through the day.  Most days I need a nap.  This Earth Day Festival from a few weeks ago marked our first day to hit 95 degreees.  We've been in the 90's almost every day since.


Aerial photo of all the folks who marched out in a conga line, with drums to spell out this message for alternative energy.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

EARTH DAY 2012

There are too many festivals to count, much less attend, on any given week-end here in Austin. Last week-end, we chose the YARD ART TOUR, which I have tons of photos from that I haven't posted yet.

This week-end it is EARTH DAY stuff. Yesterday we spent several hours at a Wine&Cheese tasting event. Had plans for a couple of other stops, but after all the wine and cheese we were too tired to continue. 

Today we are off to an all day festival of events.

As soon as I have time to figure out this new format that blogger has come up with, I just might be able to post photos again.





Saturday, April 7, 2012

HAPPY EASTER

How does one get over that awkward stage, when explaining why they haven't posted to their blog in such a long time? One doesn't really. I've had the doldrums, had personal issues, have had lots to say, but didn't know how to put it into words. Any number of reasons, I guess I've had them all. At any rate, here are a bevy of bunnies to share for this Easter Week-end.
disclaimer...none of these bunnies are real, folks. The two who look real are photos of real bunnies with flowers added. I don't believe in painting real live bunnies, or chicks either for that matter.









Tuesday, March 13, 2012

my name is Frona

Hub invited me out to breakfast this morning. We had to make a run over to B&N to pick up a couple of things, so decided to hit our favorite deli on that side of townn...MannyHattans. Only to find that it had gone out of business! When did this happen...who knows, we hadn't been there in about a month. Oh no...did we help put it out of business by not going often enough? My best and favorite bagel, a real N.Y. style bagel, tough and chewy, not the airy, bready ones you find in the grocery. Trying to think what else was in the neighborhood, we decided on Panera Bread. We rarely eat there, they have a rep of having very high-calorie, non healthy foods. Well, when one craves a bagel and cream cheese, that's not the healthiest choice anyhow. Since we were going to eat in, I asked for my Cappucino in a ceramic cup. The waiter looked a little surprised, like that doesn't happen often, but he dug around under the counter and came up with one. He said, "here we are, this one has your name on it", then he turned it upside down to read the bottom and said "if your name is Frona". I said, "well it could be, that's a nice name". I told him that since Mannys had closed we may be coming there more often, he said I'll save the cup for you. When he called me up to get my bagel he said "here's your order Frona". He seemed to be enjoying the fun of it all. I'll bet he will remember me next week. Hope he still has this nice yellow cup.




When we left, we discovered a small gallery/frame shop in the same mall, so went in to look around. They had a lot of frames and a few gift items. There was a collection of licensed products from several artists I know from Somerset Studio publications. I bought this cute little heart by Kelly Rae Roberts.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Back in The Groove

I've been gone for a few weeks, and just now getting settled back into a normal routine. I spent a good amount of time making preparations for both my parents birthdays,invitations, gathering photos, and making them each something special. My sister and I planned a big combined celebration for them, since their birthdays are only 4 days apart. It was a mini-family reunion, so we got to see lots of Aunts, Uncles, cousins that we hadn't seen in a good long while. We had over 40 people show up for the party/open house. We also had an entire week of celebrating, going to dinner at relatives homes, out for breakfast for both Mom and Dad. We had an excess of everything...coffee, sugar, food. It was all great fun, lots of laughs. Now we are all trying to detox our bodies!

Here are a couple of the things I made for my parents birthdays.

12x12 framed and embellished.


Hanging canvas. I cut the stencil for the cowboy from a photo my Mom took of my Dad a number of years ago.

Back of canvas