April 30, 2013


Have you ever had an amazing creative idea that you wanted to try? 

Something that just came to you and you haven't seen anyone else do it? 

Something that in your head looks so amazing that you are afraid to try it because it won't live up to the image in your head? 

Yeah, me too. 

I have been mulling over an idea for months.  Seriously months.  I wanted to do something that combined a number of my creative talents. 

This past weekend I sat down and tried my idea.  What do you think of it?  I am SO IN LOVE WITH IT!!!

I took a reference photo of mine of a blue jay.  I free hand drew it onto my board which is 5x8 inches.  I then took my pyrography tools and did a simple outline and details on the feathers.  I then took some wood stains and painted layers on it like a watercolor. 

I wanted this to turn out well, but since I had built it up so big in my head, I honestly thought it would fail.  I am so glad that I was wrong. 

Can't wait to show it off at my Woodworkers Guild meeting tonight.  I am eager to hear what the old guys have to say about it.  I am also eager to hear what you have to say about it. 

So, what do you think?

April 26, 2013

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary

How does your garden grow?

I have found that even though I have a pretty black thumb, it's slowly turning green and I love to garden.  I love flowers.  So here is a peak around my yard right now with what is growing.

My cannas are already waist high and blooming.  I can thank the lack of a winter here in south Texas for my cannas surviving it and now thriving early (very early) in the season.  Usually these beauties don't start flowering until late May.

My recently planted Columbines are just starting to flower.  This is one of my favorite wildflowers when I lived in Colorado, which also happens to be Colorado's state flower.  I was pleasantly surprised when talking to the owner of my favorite nursery that he said they did great in the shade in Texas.  I'm always up for an experiment.  I deem this a success!  This one happens to be maroon and yellow.

My mint, thyme and oregano are taking off on the slate patio.  All of these are suppose to help deter mosquitoes and they are doing a mighty fine job of it.  When we go sit out on the patio, we step (the kids stomp) on these herbs to release the fragrance and the mosquitoes stay at bay!  YAY!!! 

Pink Chintz Thyme

Golden Oregano

On the patio we also have planted thyme, pineapple mint, chocolate mint and ginger mint.  The ginger mint isn't doing too hot, but the thyme, chocolate and pineapple mint are doing great, I just have to keep in it check as it likes to get a little taller than I like.  So far, it doesn't mind the abuse and the cutting that I perform.

Here is my favorite garden art.  This was done by the talented Fred Conlon.  You should check out his work, it's hilarious!

Near these guys is my dwarf chenille.  This has done amazing in a shade area and was the only thing in my garden that thrived during the drought.

My vegetable garden is producing a whole lot of tomatoes right now as well.  I had two of my tomato plants survive winter!  I was told that if they survived they wouldn't fruit and if it did, it wouldn't taste very good.  Those myths are busted!  We have picked at least 30 tomatoes so far and the kids eat them before I can cook with them.

Solar Fire Tomatoes
I am also so happy to say that I planted a Satsuma Mandarin tree.  It's in bloom and has tiny little mandarins already!  They are so cute.

I will update again with my garden as more and more things are coming back and starting to bloom. 

Anyone else able to start gardening yet? 

April 22, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy

I want to apologize for my lack of posting.  Spring is here and it keeps me busy.  Between all the end of the year stuff starting to pop up, getting some commissions done, helping my hubby with some graphic design stuff, getting the yard and garden in order and a few building projects...it doesn't leave me with much time for anything else, including blogging.  I hope that in the next two weeks, things will have calm down, at least a little.  So here is a peek at a few things I have been up to.
My hubby asked for me to make him this graphic for a speech he is going to be giving.  My husband dreams of becoming a paid public speaker and I help him when I can.  You can check out some of his lessons on leadership over at his blog here.

Once upon a time, I made a Fence Picket American Flag for a friend.  When she saw that I did a Texas one, she commissioned one of those from me.  6 months later I finally got it done!  At least I got it done, right?  Sorry it took so long friend!

And here's a sneak peek at the big build I am currently working on.  Hoping, HOPING, to get it done by this weekend.  Can you tell what it is?

Do you find yourself insanely busy every spring?  Is it just me?  Please tell me it's not just me!

April 15, 2013


I swear, there is a plague that has descended upon my house and never intends to leave.  There is only so much whining, fevers, crying, and bodily fluids that one woman can handle.  With all that, I reached a breaking point.  I try and channel my frustrations to good.  I REALLY try and not take them out on anyone else.  I am afraid I took it out on my shovel.

Yup, that's a bend in my shovel.  Poor red, she deserved better.  I used her to unearth a tree stump.  Probably not the most proper tool for the job, but it served its purpose.  I only took out my frustrations on her and that stump that never wanted to die. 

That tree stump, the stump of a crepe myrtle that stood over 15 feet tall.  It became sickly and barely produced a flower, so I cut it down, it then went crazy and tried to come back to life.  I had other plans.  I will show off what replaced it soon, but for now, I am mourning the fact that I have a decrepit shovel. 

April 9, 2013

Beer Can House

You read that right, Beer Can House!!!  Houston is so awesome.  John Milkovisch was the brain behind the operation, although he must have had one amazing wife to let him do it all. 

View from the street.


Original state of the house.

The story behind the Beer Can House at 222 Malone started simply with a man who enjoyed beer and transformed his yard with stone and concrete because he didn't like to mow the lawn.

And here is the culprit that started it all.  The wheelbarrow that hauled the stone, concrete and supplies.  I love how they have put it on display!

Everywhere you turn, there is something whimsy and fun.  You cannot help but smile when you walk around the property.

He didn't decorate with just beer cans, but boy are there a lot of marbles and beer bottles too!

Marble Fence.

After John covered the grounds, he started on the house. 

Beer can siding.

Rear of the house.
Quote from John.
Close up of his beer can wind chimes that adorn the house from the roof.
Walking around and hearing the wind chimes, you could feel the love.  Not often do I find so much metal and concrete to be comforting and relaxing.  I wish I could have met John.

The one thing that I take away from visiting the beer can house is to keep creating what makes me happy.  I want to leave a legacy that represents me and no other.

April 4, 2013

Check It Out

A while back I got an e-mail from Amanda over at Smart Blonde and Crafty.  She was inspired by my DIY Bird Feeder so much that she decided to make her own.

The one above is the inspiration, to check out Amanda's take you will need to check out her team's amazing Spring Magazine.   Amanda and Kelly know how to put together a beautiful spread.  You can find their take on this amazing project on page 12-13.  I am also mentioned in the Blogs We Heart on page 17.

So, go hop on over to Smart Blonde and Crafty for lots more spring inspiration.

If anyone else has been inspired by my DIY Bird Feeder, I would love to see it!

April 3, 2013

March Best

March seemed to fly right by.  Gardening, trips to find wildflowers, spring break and Easter.  I did managed to snap more than just photos of the bluebonnets!

 Even though bluebonnets are a springtime staple in Texas, I managed to take a few other photos too.  

Top: Bordered Patch Butterfly, Colton and Maben in the bluebonnets in Brenham, TX
Center: Cardinal hanging out on my lawnmower, Colton showing off his favorite egg
Bottom: Top view of a bluebonnet, Colton smiling while playing in the sprinkler, Peacock feathers

April 2, 2013

I ♥ Ladybugs

Every year it's become tradition that I import ladybugs into my yard and garden.  My boys love when I get the bag of ladybugs and help me release them.  This came at just the right time since I was starting to notice some aphids on a few of my plants (a dietary staple of the ladybug). 

When you buy ladybugs at your garden center (not all of them carry them and usually you can only find them early in your planting season), they come in a mesh bag.  When you cut a small corner off of that bag, they escape quickly!

When you get more than a few, they definitely start to tickle.  Maben didn't seem to mind.

This is the first time we did ladybugs, three years ago!  Maben was so little there.  He was trying to make them fly by blowing on them.  (Maben above, Colton below.  You can't tell they are brothers can you?)  :)

Colton was in on the action and busted out his new bug catching/inspecting stuff from his Easter basket.  He enjoyed watching them up close and personal, but didn't want to hold them.

This was one of the few times they actually got him.  He wasn't too happy about it and lots of hand flapping began just a split second after I took this photo.

Colton even was nice enough to share his magnifying glass with Maben.

An afternoon full of nature, exploration and fun.  What more could a boy ask for?

Do you import ladybugs into your garden?  Are you interested in doing it now?

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