Mud pies with a side of succulent

So, I capitulated to the really nice ladies at the church I attend to do some volunteer work… namely to teach the kiddos at summer camp how to make hypertufa pots.  This seemed fairly straightforward at first – and I had such high hopes of explaining to the older ones how concrete worked and why it was important to society as we know it (including how the molecules reacted to water and how adding inert dessicants helped to keep it lightweight)…. buuuuut remarkably, they lost interest in all of that!  Can you believe it?!  Here’s some of the cute little pots they did however manage to make, despite my lack of imparting any real scientific info on the inner workings of the remarkable concrete molecules. 

Taste the Rainbow… Swiss Chard!

Well, I’ll be damned.  I’ve been lured into the world of really, REALLY healthy vegetables by unseen forces.  I have to admit to being officially charmed by chard.  No longer will it linger on the shelf of Whole Foods or wilt in the outdoor heat of the Farmer’s Market.. not if I’m around!  Next to Dr. Oz, who is almost obnoxious in his zeal for promoting this wholesome plant, I must say that I’m next in line as its new cheerleader!

And why now?  Why, indeed!  Why not!  Look at how scrumdidelyumptious these colors are, for one thing… almost as colorful as candy!  (who likes candy?!)


I know I’m a bit late in honoring the Queen’s Jubilee, but here it is anyway.  A few wonderful depictions of my favorite piece of jewelry, the crown.  How often in life do any women get to wear these?  Isn’t it time for a change in fashion?  Can we please bring these back?


Separation Anxiety

I am not sure if the reason I don’t have kids is because I have arts/crafts or the other way around.  I’ve heard it said that making stuff is generating a similar type of creative force… creating something instead of someone.. but surely when there is love involved in the process, one feels a certain sentimental pull towards that creation.  So it’s completely understandable that sometimes I feel a need to memorialize the moment when a certain item passes out of my hands in to another’s… like this ring I made back in the 90’s when I was trying very hard to ‘make it’ as a jewelry designer in NY. 

I still have the mold for it, but this is the only one I had cast up so far.  The nice hipster  kids that bought it were so cute and they seemed so in love; when he tried it on and her face lit up, I thought, ‘yup!’  It just fit him perfectly, and seemed like an omen that they should be together.  I hope I’m not hexing anything by saying so, but if they should read this, I do hope they stay together.  They are adorable. (of course they did look a little puzzled when I asked to take that picture, since I probably did act a little weird.)

The Garden Tour is TOMORROW! 10:00 – 5:00

….and we are SO ready to share with you our newest creations! 

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Nine creative gardens in Forest Hills, Little Forest Hills and Casa Linda Estates will be showcased this year, featuring terraced landscaping, peaceful retreats, large organic gardens, water features, lavish outdoor entertaining venues, fun and funky art, and incredible landscaping, trees, and flowers. It will inspire you to work in your garden! We hope that you enjoy the White Rock East Garden & Artisans Tour as much as we enjoy showing off our gardens, homes and neighborhoods at this unique annual event. In addition to dedicated gardeners, these neighborhoods are home to many talented artists who will have their unique creations for sale in the gardens.

Tour date: Sunday – May 20, 2012  – 10:00AM – 5:00PM

THE POPE GARDEN – 8358 SAN FERNANDO WAY (The Fish will be here!)
Sponsored by Harry Morgan Realtors

Two plum trees and profuse blackberry bushes in the front parkway mark the Pope garden as a plant lovers’ delight; on entering, discover Japanese maples, Harry’s garnet, iris, inland sea oats and a whole host of perennials. Setting the back garden uniquely apart, a large chicken coop houses a dozen laying hens! You’ll immediately notice two sizable rain barrels that assist in keeping this garden “natural” during our extended droughts. The hardscaping is particularly striking, featuring a screened porch, a large cedar arbor, and an incredible walk-in pool with a waterfall and fire pit. The marvelous diversity and serenity of this yard and garden is an emphatic invitation to spend time lingering and exploring its many charms and delights.

What is the nature of ‘natural’?

Concern over the recent debate over Winfrey Point vs the Arboretum has me wondering alot of things.  Public vs private – who wins when natural land is lost forever; Transparency of government versus covert backroom dealings;  the overuse of Imminent Domain on long-established local small businesses…  and most importantly, how ironic it is that the most respected and idyllic example of “nature” at it’s finest, the Dallas Arboretum, is pitting itself agains supporters of a more homespun form of nature.  So what is natural? This….

or this?

let’s continue the comparisons;  What about this?

or this?

Photo by Justin Terveen



Moving is madness. (sorry, no photos)

There are hairshirts you can wear, and shards of glass you can step on.  But if you’re really serious about causing yourself pain and suffering, nothing tops moving.  Nothing.

I don’t care if they say that changing jobs (specifically losing jobs) and getting divorced is hard on a person.  That may be true.  But just try to live for several months out of boxes, not knowing where the toilet paper is, let alone your next meal or your favorite pair of shoes. 

I hate moving.  I don’t ever want to have to do it again in my life.  Okay, if I win the lottery, I might move to a groovy house in Colorado – but I’d probably pay to have a company do all the packing and schlepping.  But of course I’d have to start buying lottery tickets first, so that’s never going to happen. 

To try and get myself out of the grumps of moving, I’ve decided to try and look at the bright side.  For instance: 

You may be an ugly, sweaty mess for days on end… but at least you will be growing your hair out and nails out because you didn’t have time to sit and bite them (the nails) and you have enough length on the hair to get that Brazilian Blowout your husband purchased for you as an interesting Xmas present.  True story. 

You may be getting your car super dirty hauling endless loads of boxes and plants over … but now you know EXACTLY what the capacity of you Honda Fit really is, just in case you ever have fifteen clowns trying to get inside.  You will know that only fourteen fit.  The last clown has to sit on the hood, or go home.Preferably they will all go home and leave you alone because you’re too cranky for those damn clowns anyway. 

You think you’re so clever because you know exactly where the bread and meat are so you go to make a sandwich, only to find out someone else already moved the mustard…and the mayo, ketchup, chutney, hot sauce, etc.  So you end up having yogurt and some of those old pieces of fruit in the bin.  See?  Moving is healthy for you.  

You can’t commit to working out at the gym for at least three weeks, but you end up losing five pounds from all the stooping, walking, lifting, etc.  

You lose your mind… but you find stuff that you had already accepted as permanently missing from your life, like that weird tube of bright red lipstick.  What was it doing in the bottom of the fish-tank accessory bag?  Really?? 

You are pretty sure that the last two garage sales you had last year really did the job of cleaning out all the crap you didn’t need.  Now however, you can see you were completely wrong.  But hey, we made lots of money at those sales and maybe we can do it again!  But not until fall.  I really don’t care if the garage is full of crap and neither of our cars will fit.  We’re simply not capable of pulling it off.  We’re too old for this crap.  Maybe we’ll just have a nice big bonfire… ya’ll come over and bring your marshmallows and your Pabst Blue Ribbon, ya hear!? 







And it’s Creepy Doll…that always Follows You…

I dedicate this furry-headed Creepy Doll to one of my favorite composers and song-stylers, whose hilarious tunes have kept me smiling whilst creating said creepy dolls for your enjoyment.  In case you haven’t heard him, please look up Jonathan Coulton and show him some love. 

In a town in the woods at the top of a hill
There’s a house where no one lives
So you take a big bag of your big city money there and buy it
Then at night when you’re all alone
And the house is dark there’s a noise upstairs
At the top of the stairs there’s a door so you take a deep breath and try it

And the flashlight shines on something moving just inside the door
There’s a tattered dress and a feeling that you’ve felt somewhere before

And there’s the creepy doll
That always follows you
It’s got a ruined eye
That’s always open

And there’s a creepy doll
That always follows you
It’s got a pretty mouth
To swallow you whole

So you scream and you close the door
And you tell yourself it was just a dream
In the morning you head into town cause you want to go antiquing
In the store there’s a strange old man
With a wandering eye and a withered hand
When he hands you the old wooden box you can hear his old bones creaking

And you know what you will find inside the moment that you see
That someone carved your name into the tarnished silver key

And there’s a creepy doll
[ From: ]
That always follows you
It’s got a ruined eye
That’s always open

And there’s a creepy doll
That always follows you
It’s got a pretty mouth
To swallow you whole

And when you come home late the doll is waiting up for you
And when you fix a snack the doll says it would like one too
The doll is in your house and in your room and in your bed
The doll is in your eyes and in your arms and in your head and you are crazy

Now it’s late and you head downstairs
Cause you just can’t sleep and you make some tea
And the doll disapprovingly asks if you really need that much honey
You decide that you’ve had enough
And you lock the doll in the wooden box
You put the box in the fireplace next to your bag of big city money

As the smoke fills up your tiny room there’s nothing you can do
And far too late you see the one inside the box is you

And there’s a creepy doll
That always follows you
It’s got a ruined eye
That’s always open

And there’s a creepy doll
That always follows you
It’s got a pretty mouth
To swallow you whole

New York Hearts The Fish

Everywhere we looked there were images of fish on our trip to New York recently;  on the walls of a Cuban sandwich shop; on the walls of a subway in Brooklyn; on ancient Chinese dishes at the Metropolitan!  What does this tell us?  You decide.

Subway at Metrotech Station in Downtown Brooklyn

Ming Dynasty serving dish with lovely celadon glaze, found at Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Koi are a beloved image in Chinese art of all kinds.

The Best Something in New York!  Was a pulled pork sandwich or a taco?  Does it matter when they have cute artwork outside?  We only were sad we’d already just eaten when we found this little joint in the east Village.