Friday, March 26, 2010


I took some snaps yesterday of what's in bloom around our house.  

The columbine in the tub isn't quite blooming yet, but it has little buds and I bet today at least one of them will open.  The one just above, tropical sage or tropical salvia coccinea, was just planted last week. The little jasmine that was also planted last week has grown a sturdy new sprig.   The weather here has been glorious and perfect for the spring garden, lots of sunny days interspersed with days of rain.  It's a Central Texas gardener's dream.  

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bulky pick up day!

It's bulky pick up week in my neighborhood.  I love it.  So far we've scored a big roll of green fencing for our future chicken enclosure, a hollow-core door for my screen printing table, a crappy dolly with really good wheels, two wooden planter boxes, and my favorite thing so far: an old rattan table for the patio plants.

I'll paint the planter boxes and clear coat the table.  I like the way it looks, but it will need protection
from the rain and sun.  Don't look at the sad ginger plant in the back.  I'm putting it in the ground this year.  Poor thing barely survived the freeze, but it's making a valiant effort to come back.  

The two Mexican feather grasses that my friend, Stella, gave me are doing well in their pots, but I'd really like to give them a home in the ground.  Maybe if I ever get rid of the grass in the hell strip, they'd like to live there.  

Our garden is doing really well this spring. The seeds we just planted are sprouting and the lettuces and greens that were planted about a month ago are thriving.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Stamp making/madness

I've been making stamps today and thinking about a larger project to incorporate them.  

I will be making stamps for the rest of the week I think.  They're pretty basic at this point.  They're super fun to make and if you want to learn how to make them, you can take a really fun class with Kathleen
McTee (I can't stop singing her praises!) at the Stitch Lab for only $40!  What a deal!  She will show you several different techniques and you can print your designs on paper and/or fabric.  I keep thinking of different things to do with them: borders on paintings or prints, greeting cards, tea towel borders, pillow case borders (I like borders!), or  using several different ones together to make an image for a screen print.  Learning how to make stuff is super fun and I can feel new spaces in my brain opening up every time I learn something new.  I think this is called "burning new neural pathways."  It's a good thing.  

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Fevered

It's been awhile since I posted.  I made more t-shirts and this time I got the iron really hot so when they were washed they barely faded.  Success! 

Tuesday my friend, Kat, and I went to the nursery in the pouring rain.  I donned my rubber boots and if my feet don't get wet, I'm perfectly happy tramping around in the mud.   I needed only tomatoes and peppers for the vegetable garden and it's still too cool to put them in ( It's supposed to get down to the upper 30s this weekend, so I'll plant them early next week.), but I did find a few other lovely plants. 

 There's a lot to love about springtime in Austin: the weather's perfect, many of the trees are budding and blooming, and the air smells clean and sweet.  

My lady banks rose has just begun to bloom. It doesn't bloom long, and only in the spring, but it's huge and blooms profusely.   I'll try to get some better pictures next week.  This one is a little overexposed. 

 A few of the plants I bought for the back yard beds are two coral berry plants, a couple of Katy ruelias, a beautiful white tropical salvia coccinea, a wood violet, and a barely pink jasmine.  The jasmine is pictured below.

I couldn't resist these English Daisies for the front porch.  I'm loving white flowers right now.

I also pulled up a bazillion baby hackberry trees.  I love having a creek behind us, but the creek bed is lined with hackberry and ligustrum.  Meh.  I try to think that all trees are good, but because these are not native species and are very invasive, I don't encourage them.  Unfortunately,  in a war with hackberry, humans rarely win!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Ok, I'm not quite ready to go into business or anything, but I do like printing t-shirts.  I really like finding the shirts at thrift stores.  I just don't feel like there need to be a lot of new t-shirts in the world.   Here's the three I've printed so far:

The bird shirt is my favorite,  but I have some ideas about ways to make the circle shirt a lot cooler--its color combo is the best, but looks washed out in the picture, red-violet on brown.  I like the Screamin' Jay Hawkins shirt, too, but I just can't seem to take a decent picture of it.  

In the interest of practicing my new skill before I forget how to do it, yesterday I bought some screen paints and a stack of paper for printmaking at Jerry's.  I just need to practice with great frequency and abandon until I feel comfortable with it.  I really like the process and it's something I've always wanted to do.  Think I will look around for some more used t-shirts and get one container of fabric paint and print up a few more shirts this week.    

Friday, March 5, 2010

Toot Your Own Horn

Toot Your Own Horn

Check out these wonderful vintage toy horn lamps!

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Making stuff for my last class

My last screen printing class at the Stitch Lab is this coming Sunday.  I've been nursing a sick kitty--it's a very long story--so I haven't had much time for making lately.  However, this morning I made another stencil to print on Sunday.  I really like this one.  It's from a Charley Harper drawing.

I'm going to print it on this green paper and on a t-shirt. That's how much I like it.
I also made two transparencies for the photo emulsions prints.  They'll be printed on t-shirts.  Here's one:

I made this one on Johnny  Cash's birthday last week.  I also made one of Screamin' Jay Hawkins that proclaims "It's Screamin' Jay Hawkins and he's a wild man, so bug off,"  from "Stranger than Paradise." None of my photographs are good, so I'll just have to wait to post that one when it's actually on a t-shirt!  

We'll be doing nothing but printing in this last class, so I'll be able to make a prints on paper (bought some nice green and orange heavy paper from Jerry's) and a few t-shirt prints.  I  picked up 4 t-shirts at Savers last week.  Can't wait to wear my own custom shirts!  

I've been working with a lot of my art-making demons: the big ones that tell me I'm not an artist;  the nagging ones that tell me what I do is crap;  and the frightened, vulnerable ones that mostly show up in class.  I'm starting to keep a journal and reading more about blocks to creativity and how to work with them.  What seems to work the best is just to continue to make.  

The other thing that I've found to be invaluable on this journey is to surround myself with people who believe in me and who support what I want in my life.  It's interesting to find that when you start showing up in your own life, you start really knowing who those people are.