Sunday, August 30, 2015

Texas-Sized Moonflowers

With the Full Moon and lots of Miracle Grow, we had a bumper crop of moonflowers last night -- over 25 blooms, the fragrance was intoxicating.




Thursday, August 20, 2015

Thursday Tea Time - Trader Joe's Peppermint Tea

This week - Trader Joe's Peppermint Tea

Price:  Around $2
Size:  20 individually-wrapped tea bags
Caffeine:   No
Type of tea:   Herbal
Steeping time:  3 minutes
Mix ins:   A little bit of Pure Beeing honey
Fragrance:  Peppermint
Ingredients:  Peppermint leaves
Opinion:   This isn't like a candy cane peppermint.  It has a mint kick, with a nice warming aftertaste.  Not very strong, you may want to double up or brew a few extra minutes/leave the teabag in the mug like all the cool tea drinkers do.  ; )  Nice to soothe the tummy and your sinuses if you are feeling a bit congested from allergies or the remnants of a cold.
Rating: 3.5 only because of the delayed reaction mint flavor
Nice color for an herbal peppermint tea!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Raise your hand (or needle)

If you have used a Stretch & Sew pattern or still have a favorite in your stash.  Here is mine --

Per my note on the envelope,
Obviously they ran a little short!
Well-drafted, and versatile wardrobe patterns (a nod here to the stirrup pants of the late 80's/early 90's) - the skirt and the slim pants are still sewable and wearable today.  Beginning in the mid 60's, Ann Person wrote books about techniques on sewing on knits and designed patterns, sewing notions (Perky Bond!) in addition to opening stores and franchises.  She was probably the most instrumental in changing the Big 4 to offer multi-sized patterns and helping several generations learn to sew with knit fabrics.  She was inducted into the American Sewing Guild's Hall of Fame in 2004.  Sadly, Ann passed away on August 10 at the age of 90.  




Saturday, July 25, 2015

Shuffle on - Number 4!

Pinkie the First

Well, on the positive side -- it is definitely an upgrade for the same price, 2 gig now from 1 gig.

iPod Shuffle #3, in Space Gray, is lost in outer (outside my purse) space somewhere.   There is a very remote chance it may be under my car seat when my purse tipped over.  That dark gray/silver makes it difficult to find in dark places, in and out of my purse.

Pinkie the First is definitely brighter and, for the win, has more space to load up audio books and podcasts for flying both in the pool and in the air.  But until then, it is staying grounded in a matchy Vera Bradley zip case.
Hooray for the Vera Bradley outlet in San Marcos!

Friday, July 24, 2015

North by North South East West

Inverted dinner and salad plates for circles!

A traced quarter made the perfect center circle!

Whoops - went over the lines!
I got distracted
watching the Astronaut Wives Club on TV
That's OK, that's now North!
And the center - The Moon!

Voila!
Two coats of sealant makes the chalk disappear
and the pearl paint really pop

We needed a stepping stone near our front gate - to step over the mud and water when it rains.  Checking out Lowe's, hubby found a 12" square concrete stone and suggested I paint it.  Why not?  And why not a compass, oriented to the North on our land.  And on our iPhones.  Thank you, Apple!

Easy-peasy to do!    I used Craft Smart acrylic paint in Navy and Pool Blue (Craft Smart is Michael's house brand paint) and Martha Stewart's Mardi Gras Beads (purple outlined circles), Habanero (red), Carrot and Mother of Pearl.   FYI:  The Martha Stewart Mother of Pearl is a really good paint.  Grab it next time you are in Michael's and can't find anything to use your coupon on...you'll love it.




Thursday, July 23, 2015

This week - Oreanthi "Harmony"
Cost: $6.99 at Central Market
Size:  15 transparent biodegradable pyramids, made from cornstarch!
Caffeine:   No
Type of tea:   Herbal
Steeping time:  3 minutes
Mix ins:   A little bit of Pure Beeing honey
Fragrance:  Floral
Ingredients:  Chamomile, rosehip, jasmine flowers, nettle, marjoram, scented geranium and Greek sage.
Opinion:   Another one of the teas featured during Central Market's Greek Festival, which seemed to be added to their regular tea selection.  You may find this in two places, with two different prices. Of course, the higher price will ring up.  But Customer Service was very good about refunding the difference.   I liked the name and the box design, and also the interesting combination of herbs.  Marjoram?  Hmm, they could have left that out.  It kind of made it take a turn towards poultry seasoning tea, especially with the Greek Sage - haha!  : /  But, if you add a little honey, by the time you finish the cup, you will also agree "it's not bad and kind of fun to drink."  I thought the Scented Geranium was very unique and nice addition to the jasmine flowers.  And Oreanthi means "beautiful flowers"  You'll end up buying a box, too, when you read this description - "...Chamomile and Marjoram, reputed for their calming effect on rattled nerves, Nettle known for its slimming and cleansing properties and Greek Sage said to promote harmony and inner balance. Scented Geranium is believed to have destressing properties that ease anxiety and tension. We have blended these traditional treasures together with Jasmine and Rose Hip for a refined and exquisite taste..."
Rating: 3.75

Pretty!

Nice color!





Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Watercolor Wednesday - Fogged

I tried to capture atmosphere in watercolor, using gradations, a limited palette, monochromatic/complementary colors.  Fog and mist are interesting and pretty to paint.

Sailboat in the foggy mist
9 1/2" x 13"
watercolor


"Nothing that is can pause or stay;
The moon will wax, the moon will wane,
The mist and cloud will turn to rain,
The rain to mist and cloud again,
Tomorrow be today."
-  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  


(a tip of the brush serendipitous discovery and inspiration of Anne Packard's "Fog" while trying to find misty/foggy quotes/poems)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Paper Pumpkin 2


Always packaged so nicely!
(Shhh!  I carefully reuse the tissue paper - I love this shade of blue!)

Eight cards now and two different sized envelopes with liner inserts
That's an improvement!
Very generous with the supplies!


I'm trying Stampin Up's Paper Pumpkin again.

Click here to find out about and sign up for special deals and promotions.  I got this month's and next for half off.  And I more than got my money's worth,  even if I had paid full price.

There seems to be more goodies and more options for creativity than when I tried them a few years ago.  It's especially fun to check out the Pinterest boards and YouTube channels now  to see what people have done with the kits.

I think the stamps are very versatile and reusable, not just for these cards, but for my other multi-media project endeavors - water color, collage, Gelli printing. . .

Stampin' Up pairs together really interesting and nice color combinations  And who can resist an ink called "Tip Top Taupe"?

This is really a clever promotion to give people a chance to try their products...and get hooked.  Especially when you watch the YouTube channels offering different alternatives to use the kits.  And using additional products.  (One demonstrator turned the flower into a hamburger!  Bippity-boppity-boo!)

Best Cinderella movie ever!







Sunday, July 19, 2015

Garden Update - This morning


My pretty, wild, crazy front yard garden this morning.  It's chock-a-block full -- We added more plants yesterday, and also to the side kitchen garden.  The bees and the butterflies love it, too!


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Unexpected sweet deals and steals - Part 2

I was on my way to Michael's to see if they carried water brushes, and the little voice in my head said, "Check out Tuesday Morning first!"   They are both in the same shopping plaza.  I've found some great craft and art supplies there before, and you have to hit it right.

Stencils - for water color and Gelli-ing
And how could I resist spelling my name in aquamarine glitter letters?!
Swarovski crystals?!
In 4mm square cut!
and 42 3mm circles for 99c!
Also a cool glue
And mosaic sticky tiles in shades of pink and pearl 
This was my biggest find - a Daler-Rowney 7" x 10" travel sketch book with a 2B sketching pencil inside
$8.99, regular price $29.99
And FWIW, Michael's does not carry water brushes. . .

Friday, July 17, 2015

Unexpected sweet steals and deals - Part 1

Back-To-Art-Class-School-Supplies
They are already beginning to stock art school supplies!  Even in unlikely places, such as the grocery store.

I found these Tombow markers, ink pens, Prisma pencils, watercolor pencils and crayons pencil holders at Kroger for only 69 cents.  And, squee! -- They have a slide out drawer.  I just saw these at Texas Art Supply the other day at their discounted price of $1.69.

And this double-zipper double-pocket pouch for only 99 cents in the office supply aisle (the ones in the back-to-school aisle were smaller and only single-sized). . .

Great size! 9" x 6"
(Damp) brushes can go in the mesh compartment

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thursday Tea Time - Tea for Two

This week - Trader Joe's Jasmine Green Tea (revisit)

Cost: $1.99 at Trader Joe's
Size:  20 tea bags, individually wrapped
Caffeine:   Yes
Type of tea:   Green
Steeping time:  7 minutes.  Whoops!  It is supposed to be 1-2 minutes.  But it didn't become bitter.
Mix ins:   A little bit of Pure Beeing honey
Fragrance:  Jasmine
Ingredients:  Green tea, jasmine blossoms (?)
Opinion:   Not as good as my standard bearer for jasmine tea - World Market's jasmine tea with the  jasmine "pearls" - but more like broken up bits and pieces.  However,  it gets points for convenience and price when you can't find or stop by a World Market and I was in the mood for jasmine tea.   Trader Joe's version is more like a floral tea with a green tea finish, and a nice light tea for a little pick-me-up in the afternoon and evening.  Oddly it tastes better warm than iced.  I reviewed this almost two years ago, and I think they did improve it.
Rating: 2.5




Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wednesday Work in Progress - San Marcos River

9 1/2" x 7"
This was inspired by a photograph taken of the San Marcos River on Mother's Day this year.  (Before the Memorial Day rains and flooding).  The green areas flowing in the water's current are Texas Wild Rice, (Zizania texana), endangered and protected.    It is only found in the San Marcos River.

I need to add a few more layers of color for contrast, and the photography kinda sorta bleached it out a bit, but I am really liking this so far!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Want fries with that?


This was my "bonus" basket of sweet potato fries at our Cafe Express painting meet-up today.  I had ordered the tuna sandwich with sweet potato fries, and this is what came out when the buzzer buzzed.  I asked, "Where's the sandwich?!"   Oops.  A few minutes later the sandwich and more fries appeared.   Plenty to share with everyone, and to paint.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sunday Sketching - Lalique Art Nouveau Hair Comb



I love Art Nouveau and found this beautiful gold, enamel, sapphire and horn hair comb by RenĂ© Lalique from the Art Nouveau Jewelry Show at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston website.  The Fibonacci spiral design, which also rings my bells, is bonus!




Friday, July 10, 2015

Netflix Stars - Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

3.25 stars - a nice wrap-up to the trilogy and tribute to Robin Williams...though he seemed off his game.  There were some slow and tiresome parts (to the point we were wondering how it was going to wrap up), but it left the door open a crack if they wanted to continue on with Rebel Wilson in the future.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Thursday Tea Time - Deep (voice) Throat

I'm all for the herbs and holistic health
approach!
Three weeks ago, I lost my voice. I mean, it was gone.  Then the sore throat and coughing spells kicked in as silly me, expecting not to talk and rest my voice?!  I just made things worse.  I even named that frog in my throat, Wilbur.  Finally I went to the doctor.   It wasn't bronchitis, it wasn't pneumonia, not sinus nor ear infections, negative test for Strep.  Just an irritation from all the dust blowing here from Africa.  My osteopathic doctor, in addition to prescribing weapons-grade pharmaceuticals to silence the vicious cycle of an "unproductive cough" causing the hoarseness and vice versa, suggested this tea to try.  And my acupuncturist recommended Evergreen's Respitrol CF formula.  (and my doctor gave that his thumbs' up, too!)  Needless to say, I no longer need to take the knockout Rx's.  (Thank goodness.  Unproductive cough?  Unproductive me!)  These have helped me turn the corner.  And walking along the beaches of Galveston!  Done and done!

This week - Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat

Cost: $5.79 at Peak Nutrition in Galveston
(Besides online, I believe you can also find it in Kroger's organics section and at Whole Foods)
Size:  16 tea bags
Caffeine:   No
Type of tea:   Herbal
Steeping time:  10-15 minutes (can reuse again)
Mix ins:   a little bit of Pure Beeing honey
Fragrance:  Marshmallows and anise
Ingredients:  All organic - licorice root, slippery elm bark, marshmallow root, wild cherry bark, bitter fennel fruit, Saigon cinnamon bark, sweet orange peel
Opinion:    My doctor just sung the praises of this tea, which he also drinks himself.  It really does sooth and calm my throat from hoarseness and coughing spells.  It tastes absolutely wonderful.  In fact, I'm going to stock up and start drinking every day closer to the upcoming fall hayfever/allergy season as a preventative.   P.S. And the orange peel did not give me a migraine!
Rating: 5+
Pretty, delicious and good for you!


Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Netflix Stars - Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton

5 Stars!  I love behind-the-scenes documentaries, and these people were able to get unheard-of access to the production of his collection from New York to Paris to Tokyo, when he was still with Louis Vuitton.  It was fun and interesting to watch Marc Jacobs in action. I especially liked that amongst his collection of t-shirts he favored to wear while working, he had a Gilley's t-shirt. ; )  And bonus the Netflix rental DVD has the bonus features you can watch afterwards.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

May the Fourth Be With You - Part 4

This week - Lahaha Breakfast Tea

Cost: $1, on sale.  Regular price $1.99 at Central Market.  Look for them on the rack near the freezer section.
Size:  30grams
Caffeine:   Yes
Type of tea:   Black
Steeping time:  3-4 minutes
Mix ins:   Nothing helped this
Fragrance:  Astringent
Ingredients:   Black tea
Opinion:  Yuck!  Very bitter.   I love Breakfast tea and had hopes for this one.  Which were quickly dashed and this trashed.
Rating:  0


looked promising

May the Fourth be with you! Part 3

This week - Lahaha Supreme Compassionate Oolong
Cost: $1, on sale.  Regular price $1.99 at Central Market.  Look for them on the rack near the freezer section.
Size:  20grams
Caffeine:   Yes
Type of tea:   Oolong
Steeping time:  5-7 minutes
Mix ins:   None or just with a little bit of honey.
Fragrance:  Slightly floral
Ingredients:   Oolong tea
Opinion: If you are looking for an oolong tea and its antioxidant/anti-inflamatory health benefits, this would be a good one to try.
Rating:  3
Before brewing

After brewing!

May the Fourth be with You - Part 2

This week:  Lahaha Supreme Awash Crimson Tea
Cost: $1, on sale.  Regular price $1.99 at Central Market.  Look for them on the rack near the freezer section.
Size:  15 tea bags
Caffeine:  No
Type of tea:   Herbal
Steeping time:  5-7 minutes
Mix ins:   None or just with a little bit of honey.
Fragrance:  Malty-earthy, very slight cinnamon.
Ingredients:   Cassia cinnamon
Opinion:   Yuck!  Glad I only spent $1.  Don't waste your dollar.  Basically just looks and tastes like colored water.  Maybe better if you used two bags?  Not impressed.
Rating:  0
blech!

May the Fourth be with you!

I was down for the count the past couple of weeks, and missed posting my tea reviews.  To make up for it, here's four for the Fourth!
All of them are on sale at Central Market for only $1, so celebrate the USA and celebrate the savings.  It all started with a tea party, you know. . .

This week:  Lahaha Supreme Honey-Suckle Summer
Cost: $1, on sale.  Regular price $1.99 at Central Market.  Look for them on the rack near the freezer section.
Size:  15 tea bags
Caffeine:  No
Type of tea:   Herbal
Steeping time:  5-7 minutes
Mix ins:   None or just with a little bit of honey.
Fragrance:  Light floral
Ingredients:  Honeysuckle bud, honeysuckle flower
Opinion:   What a nice sweet treat for summer.  Not cloying or heavy-handed.  This is very soothing hot and delicious iced, too.  Relive the days of summer and enjoy the benefits of honeysuckle, which supposedly helps lower body fat, per the package.  Well, that would be a bonus, but the tea also tastes wonderful.  I also appreciate the minimal packaging.  And you can't beat the price right now!  There are still a few packages left (look on the bottom rack and also tucked behind another flavor on the middle rack).
Rating:  4.5
tag and string free!

Pretty honeysuckle yellow!