Every day should be a fiesta!

Am I right, folks?  Would it be so bad to wake up and find your living room sparkling from top to bottom with shiny banners and glittering flowers, all lighted up with tiny (or giant) Christmas lights?  That’s just *another* one of many things I love about the Mexican influence, as one finds in these two far-flung locations:  Mi Tierra Restaurant and Panaderia, in the Mercado in San Antonio TX; or off the plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Yes, I can see bedazzling my home like this… but I have a feeling we all might get headaches from the sheer joy of straining our necks looking up all day.  So, I will settle for visiting these spaces when I get the time to travel there.  sigh….

These pinatas grace the ceiling of the panaderia at Mi Tierra…

And these white lights glimmer among golden banners to create a glow that lights up the faces of diners. 














Is this just joyful and lovely?  Why not swath your front door in a colorful blanket flowing out of glitter-dusted fake flowers, metalic stars, and sky-blue ostrich feathers?   I mean, I guess the real question is… why not?

And then, there is a long passel of old hand-decorated Christmas balls that sent me over the top in a candy store in Santa Fe.  Apparently, much like Mi Tierra, this place stays festive all the year long.  That might explain why the balls look a bit dusty and worse for wear, but you can see that they were lovingly crafted a good many years ago and therefore make me happy.  Am I now inspired to do some Christmas crafting?  Probably!!

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. 

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.)

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



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.


Springtime in Dallas=Trip to Northpark!

Ever since kid-dom, I have associated the advent of spring with these things:  Tiny peeper frog down by the creek, fuzzy growths on the mimosa tree in the yard, and a trip to Northpark Mall to check out the spring decor.  Since there were no interior displays to speak of this year, however, I reveled in the gorgeous displays of colorful tulips and bright green grass in the newish couryard!

Even on a cloudy day, this is one beautiful place that Dallas can be very proud of.  Even the outdoor eateries have panache and style.

Did I just teleport to Europe or New York?  Seriously, this is one sweet porch.

And to top this beauty off, there are gorgeous things in the stores.  I had never been inside Desigual before, but this is my new favorite place, si!  The style is kind of Dali meets Gaudi and they share some electric koolade on a dark day in the middle of summer:

Also at the inimitable style-maker store Anthropologie, I located some terribly spring-y dishes from Portugal that have such a wonderful hand-made feel from the weight to the differences in the crackled glass glazing:  do I want some for the new house?  Do cats like to have their butts scratched?  (sorry photo gone)

Oops, I think the effects wore off on me!  I think I see some easter eggs rolling off the grass in to the Adidas store…

And then here’s our new Easter Tradition:  Shooting Peeps with b-b guns!  I *know* it sounds sort of horrific, but until you try it, don’t knock it.  Let’s face it, those things are pure spun sugar and you’ll get diabetes just looking at them…it’s better to just shoot them.  Talk about a Family Fun Adventure for your stay-cation!

Try it sometime with your family.  Just be sure not to invite anyone with a beef to share… safety first!

Charity Starts at Home

Steve and I decided to go with our love of cats when we chose the charity we’re going to start giving 5% of our sales to for this coming season.  http://www.kittico.org/

What we like is that this organization is locally based in Dallas, catering to the abundant feral and neglected cat population here.  Since living on lower Swiss avenue many years ago, I’ve done some trap and release on about a half a dozen cats, including nursing the mom’s already born kittens back to health.  This group works tirelessly against the onslaught of unwanted kitties born every year, stopping the problem by fixing them and re-releasing them into their current clan/community, where they can live out their lives hunting vermin and living in harmony with nature.  Sometimes, they are also able to find forever homes for the ones that are not truly feral or have been abused/neglected/thrown out by previous pet owners. 

Please check back to the blog for updates on our donation successes! 


Awesome Local People: Maureen Keating

Friends, please take a moment to click over to the Local People tab on this blog and learn about a local photographer who you will want to call upon to document the most amazing moments with your animals and kids.  Seriously, folks.  She can make even a plant in a concrete pot look elegant.

Recurring Craft Events in Dallas, Spring 2012

Several folks asked me to give them the deets on the Dallas craft scene as I know it.  I will be brief and list the ones that are Dallas-based and which recur every month, starting in March and going through to December. Here they are in the order that they occur each month: 

Bishop Arts Market – First Saturday (and Sunday) of the month, in the parking lot adjacent to Odd Fellows cafe and Chang Thai.  8:00 am – 3:00 pm or later: http://bishopartssaturdaymarket.com/

White Rock Local Market – Second Saturday of the month from 8:00 am till 2:00 pm (with a second show occuring fourth Saturday just for local growers) in parking lot next to Green Spot gas station and market, on Buckner road:  http://whiterocklocalmarket.com/

Deep Ellum Outdoor Market – Every Third Saturday of the month, on either side of Malcolm X Boulevard behind Cafe Brazil (which is on Elm Street) in the covered parking lot and in the tents across the road.  Goes from 10 am till 5 pm generally:http://www.deepellummarket.com/home.html

You can find out about annual shows and events all around the metroplex here:  http://festivalnet.com/state/texas/tx.html and also follow http://www.dfwcraftshows.com/ as well as http://www.pegasusnews.com/.  I hope that helps you out somewhat.  I’ll post here on this blog which shows we will be attending.  Hope to see you out there!