A New Adventure: Art-Xscape, plus some gardening


In the culmination of 6 months of work, I launched the Art-Xscape Retreat, a new mixed media retreat coming to ATX in 2014 this weekend.  There was a bit of a scramble at the end as my tech support on the web side of things (my dear brother) had to take shelter to avoid the second batch of tornados to accost the OKC area, just after closing on his new house!  All’s well that ends well, though.  He and the family are safe and sound, as is their new house, and the website made it up!  Please visit it and comment if you see anything of interest!  I’m pleased as punch with the line-up of classes and instructors! 


We have been the beneficiaries of some of the wet stuff – to the tune of 5 inches at my house!  That has led to largess in my garden and flower beds.  I donated 5 tomatoes, darn it, to the local mocking bird this week before I got my bird netting up.  Hopefully, I won’t donate any more!  I’ve been harvesting green beans and cucumbers for a few weeks now, in addition to cherry tomatoes, but this week saw the first large tomatoes.  Marley has fallen way down on the job of patrolling the garden!  He’s been enjoying laying in the grass instead.


I planted a bunch of dill in the hopes of having dill to go with the cucumbers for pickles.  Unfortunately for me, I’ve had swallowtail caterpillars chowing down.  I’m down to 3 out of the original 8 plants. 



I managed to catch what I think is a baby dragon fly visiting my lemon tree.  He kept climbing up into the blossoms and curling his tail around them, but I got this shot where he’s extended out straight and his wings are just visible.

I had a visitor to the mist flower at the other end of the garden a couple of weeks ago, just as I was wrapping up in the back garden before heading out of town.


He swung from the flower heads for quite a while.  I managed to get several really good shots before heading back inside the house.


Happy June!

Flowers, Bees, Gardening, Fairies


I spent the weekend working in my yard and researching costuming options for the Flower Fairy.  With the weather approaching the upper 80’s, it’s the time of year where flowers start blooming, the live oak trees drop their leaves and pollen, and the weeds start to take over my yard.


I made a lot of progress on my back patio.  I’m really happy with how it’s turning out.  I added pots with veggies, herbs and ornamental plants, including 2 huge urns of Carolina Jasmine to grow up and over my pergola.  I got my fountain out of the garage, cleaned the pump and filled it up with water and it’s burbling happily just outside my back door.  I finally hung my birthday present to myself from last year (it’s been sitting in my house since May!).  I planted my tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers and beans in the garden, and got it mulched.


I spent a bit of the evening yesterday photographing the flowers in my front yard and trying to catch a particularly fat bee on a frame in focus.  He kept hovering around one of my daisies that survived the winter, blooming the whole time, but as soon as I would get him in focus, he’d zoom off.  Finally – I managed to get one frame of him in focus!


I’ve been struggling with the direction for the costume for the Flower Fairy.  I want a costume that suggests flowers, but isn’t terrifically intricate as I intend to sell her in my Etsy shop and don’t want to put so much work into it that she gets really expensive.  Mom suggested going to Jo’Ann fabrics and looking at pattern books, when I complained that my normal sources of inspiration were not panning out.  I thought that was a great idea, so I headed there Saturday evening (after my trek for pots and potting soil).  Boy did I have a fun hour going through the pattern books.  I bought a few, since they were on sale for $1.00.  I also picked up the latest issue of Threads, which had more eye candy in it. 


So, this evening, after watering the plants, and noting the growth rate of one of the vines (12” in 24 hours!), I headed into my studio to play with the fabric and try to puzzle out the costume.  I ended up swapping out the brocade for one a bit less pink and then decided to pull out my journal to work out what I wanted to do.  Thirty minutes and a bit of water color later, success!  So, tomorrow evening, I’ll begin construction!  All in all, it’s been a productive weekend and Monday evening.