Monday, December 17, 2007


this is how i feel after being sick for a week, working during the holidays, and not being able to sleep because i can't stop coughing!!! this will most likely be the only post i get up until after christmas. after, however, i wil be doing a nice long review of my teas--ratings, reviews, favorites, etc... there will be some new additions, i'm sure, after a visit to one of my favorite tea spots-central market in austin where they sell tea in bulk. there are many, many kinds and they are very, very inexpensive to buy in bulk. :)
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Holidays and all the best!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

five random things

i have been so busy working because of the holiday season it seems i have had little time for anything else, including my blog! it stresses me out when i don't post regularly, i don't like it when my favorite blogs are not updated on a regular basis so i hate doing it myself. here is a good reason to write.

i have been tagged by awesome artist Linda O'Neill at Abby Creek Art to reveal 5 random/weird things about myself so here goes...

1. i love heavy metal music, my favorite band is Metallica but i also love tons of other hair bands from the 80's and other classic hard rock bands. but i also love enya, theme music from cirque de soleil shows and irish folk songs--rock on bagpipes!!! some of my other faves are misfits, scorpions, van halen, red hot chili peppers, stevie ray vaughan, and eric johnson of austin, tx.

2. i hate high heeled shoes. if anyone were to see the shoes i own (which amount to a total of 9 pairs--4 of which i really like) and nothing else about me they would probably think i was a lesbian or a schoolteacher-and i say that jokingly.

3. when i was a little girl the two things i wanted to be most when i grew up were a nun or a zookeeper.

4. i would really love to practice the art of falconry. i go to renaissance shows mostly to see the birds of prey--they are so beautiful and something you normally never get a close-up view of. i am afraid of the commitment it takes, though.

5. i love tea!!! i have over 30 varieties in my house right now and i just finished up a cup of green ginger peach by the republic of tea. mmm..... i don't think i could live without hot tea or hot baths.

Rules:Link to the tagger and post these rules on your blog.
Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

since i haven't been blogging very long this is the hardest part for me--tagging 5 other people!! but here goes:
in a garden photo blog
jamie's art fair
kate smudges in earth, paint and life

Sunday, November 25, 2007

daily painting

title: snow blooms

size: 8"x8" square

medium: watercolor

summer is back!

well, we had a nice, short winter--one day. just kidding. kind of . today it is rainy and gloomy like yesterday but almost 70 degrees!!
my new meyer lemon tree likes it. here are some pictures of it and a couple other things blooming outside today.

meyer lemon, the fruit is almost more like an orange--big, round and sweeter than a regular lemonnicotiana-the shorter, non-frangrant variety


flowering maple

Saturday, November 24, 2007

it finally feels like winter here--yucky and cold and gray. why was i waiting for this? why can i not seem to be content with whatever season we are in? fall never seems to be long enough and spring never seems to be warm enough-but then suddenly summer is here and we are all sweating to death and wishing for fall. well, it is a good time to be painting so i have started on some more little 8"x8" watercolors. i have started some larger sizes too but don't seem motivated to finish them. they are so close too... i feel like i am on the brink of a new discovery/path change in my painting. i would really like to get back to doing some encaustics but i don't have a stove or an aluminum plate to make the prints on. gotta work on that. anyway, a little eye candy for the day. title: lotus land
size: 8"x8"
medium: watercolor

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

two koi and a goldfish

this koi, rock, lotus and waves(the colored in portion) were the first installment of my back tattoo. in fact, at the time, i did not realize that eventually my entire back would be covered. such is the nature of the addiction--once you start it is hard to stop. the black rock covers up a small gecko tattoo i got when i was 18. 12 or 13 years later it was looking kind of faded and blurry and because it was so small with small details(tiny feet pads)it would have been impossible to sharpen up. the whole design of this initial koi was interesting because it had to be in a precise location with the black of the rock covering the gecko. my tattoo artist placed a piece of saran wrap over my back and traced the gecko and surrounding landscape(neckline, shoulder blade, arm, etc...) then he came up with a few rough sketches based on my request for a koi and lotus flower. after that the finished outline was done and i went in for the actual work. if i remember right the design and drawing process took about two weeks. the tattoo itself took about 3.5 hours(of pure agony).
so, the installment of the rest of the back was pretty much a rerun of the first part, tracing and then designing. this part was trickier because i started out wanting an asian style dragon. we couldn't really figure out how to incorporate it into the bigger plan so i came up with the idea of a "fish pond" instead. i think the little chinese goldfish at the bottom is my favorite part--i can't wait to see it colored in. the outline took another 3-3.5 hours, also really painful. my tolerance is about 2.5 hours and then it gets really bad. so friday night i went in and we started filling in and around with black shading which has made an astonishing difference in the appearance of the whole tattoo. i will post pictures of that in a few days--it is now starting to peel and looks kind of funky.

Monday, November 19, 2007

turnips and tattoos

i pulled up the first turnips on saturday, the one on the right was almost a perfect little globe!! we haven't eaten them yet, maybe tonight. we have been eating a variety of lettuces and arugula, which to me is in a class of it's own. i love it's spicy but rich flavor and if you've never had it fresh out of the garden(yours or someone close by) you are missing out. arugula bought from the store or even in salads at restaurants is usually seriously lacking in flavor. mmm, i love eating it on rice and fried eggs with cheese--and avocado when it is in season. i couldn't live without our zojirushi rice maker which provides us with hot, fresh, delicious rice at all times. rice is definitely a staple in our house that we eat with almost every meal, it really goes with everything. sometimes i switch between brown rice and white but jasmine is by far my favorite, just the smell of it cooking is delicious.
tomorrow i will post the ongoing progress of my tattoo with photos so if you don't want to look here is your warning. i know i am a liberal person but i am still surprised at how many people are really repulsed by tattoos in this day and age. almost half of the population 35 or under seems to have one. to me, not only do i make art but i AM art!!! i have been told by good friends that i have "ruined my body" and other similar negative remarks. one woman who learned about me from her sister actually said to me in surprise when she met me "oh, you're beautiful!" she was obviously expecting someone in biker gear, all black attire, old and haggard, who knows really but clearly there was some expectation about the appearance of someone who is tattooed. i am not implying any kind of negative connotations about people decked out in biker gear or all black attire--just putting out some stereotypes that i think some people associate with "alternative" individuals. i guess it just reminds me that firstly, this is louisiana and not los angeles, and that old ideas die hard. i would love to hear how other people feel about tattoos and how many people reading my blog have them.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

more encaustics

i have decided to post more pictures of encaustic monotypes since many people seemed to enjoy seeing them the first time. almost every piece is done on a different kind of paper, most are fine art papers as well as drafing vellum. the type of paper and it's texture have as much impact on the appearance of the paintings as the application of the wax onto the hot plate and the taking of the print. here goes. title: rapid growth
size: 12"x 13"
title: meadow horse
size: 18"x 10"

title: natural rhythm
size: 8.25"x 10.5"

title: dot or square?
size: 21.5"x 16.5"

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


today was our first day of serious fog, ooh i loved it. the day ended up being bright, sunny and almost 80 degrees. who would have thought? i enjoyed it while it lasted(the cool, foggy weather).then i happened upon these large mushrooms in the backyard--i love mushrooms and have always wanted to paint them. maybe now i will.

Monday, November 12, 2007

back to the garden

after weeks of waiting for something exciting to happen in the garden, i finally have some decent sized seedlings coming up--only a couple though. my nasturtiums and sweet peas are really starting to look like something. alyssum, pansies, larkspur, hollyhocks and a couple other things are still just teeny tiny. and now i know why many gardeners start plants in flats--i have been unable to mulch or even add more plants to the bed for fear of disturbing the seeds that have not started sprouting yet or burying tiny seedlings that i cannot distinguish from weeds. the nasturtium and sweet peas are definitley an experiment, there is a good chance they will get frozen if we get an early cold night but i am keeping my fingers crossed. i still have seeds left so i can start over later in the spring if necessary. hopefully i will be able to keep the plants covered through any cold snaps.
here is our first turnip poking up from the dirt. mmm.... i can't wait to dice these up and caramelize them with a little butter and sugar.
purple beebalm seedhead
pretty fall foliage of the beebalm
the lion's ear just keeps on blooming--it has such amazing architecture and textures. pointy and soft, sleek and fuzzy, soft and sharp.

i just planted this amaryllis bulb brought all the way from holland! it is the papilio variety, one of my very favorites. i can't wait to see the bloom.
and a new tenant in one of my raised beds... anyone from louisiana or other gulf coast state will recognize this as a crawfish hole!! i have never actually seen the crawfish but i think it is funny that it found a home among my turnips and red beebalm, oh and the thai basil.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

encaustic monotypes

these are some pieces i created by a heated wax process. the wax (which can come in any shape but is usually a thick stick form) is applied to a heated metal plate and manipulated to the desired composition. then a single print is taken off the plate which can be the final piece or can be added to with more layers/colors of wax or can be added to in the form of collage which i have done in the middle two pieces by drawing forms with ink on sheer rice papers. it is a fun process and really opened me up to creating abstract prints.

title: chopsticks
size: 9.5"x10"
title: mother oak

size: 15"x22"

title: cypress swamp

size: 23"x16"

title: lily pond

size: 19.5"x12.5"


just a couple more of my favorite pics from the park

Sunday, November 4, 2007

tickfaw state park

it was a BEAUTIFUL day here today so we went to the tickfaw state park in springfield, la. here are some of the interesting things we saw...cypress knees
bumble bees
moss growing on the bark of a tree
fungus growing on the bark of a tree
and finally some turkeys--too bad we didn't actually see them in the wild, they were in an enclosed yard as we were leaving the park.
more pictures tomorrow from tickfaw.

Friday, October 26, 2007

feline friday

this is our oldest cat, sambucca(sam for short), who is learning to tolerate(on good days)the kittens. sam grew up with marie, our abyssinian who died this summer. sam is 16 years old and is pretty grumpy but loves my husband--she has always like him better than me i think, even though i started dating him after i had sam. she is pretty snuggly in the morning when she is hungry and at night when we are all tucked in. here she is in the new kittie condo we got so the kittens would have something to play on besides her. if there are any cat lovers out there who don't have a kittie condo because all the ones you have ever seen are disgusting, expensive and hideous looking go to this website, steps for pets, they have a great selection, are inexpensive, the shipping is free and the product is a really great quality. i would definitely shop there again. they also donate a part of each sale to a shelter of your choice.

this is one of her favorite spots

unfortunately, these are the only good pictures i have at the moment. next week i will be posting some portraits taken by my good friend and excellent photographer paula casentini who does human, pet and fine art photography.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


this is a passionflower painting i finished fairly recently. it is a 14"x11" in one of my favorite styles to paint, almost a stained-glass look. this will appear in my etsy store soon. a butterfly inkwash painting i did in trade for more tattoo work. i have a full back piece of koi and lotus with waves that needs the color finished up. 11"x14"

a larger go off of one of my daily paintings. it is 10"x22"

my fish alphabet. i started this series with letters k and m for my twin nieces one year birthdays. my 3 year old nephew loved them, so i am working on a swamp scene for him now. i am changing the style up a little for the series so it is more abstract and stained-glass like with more fantastical coloring. commissions taken for specific letters.