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Midland, Texas, United States
I write. I make stuff.


Friday, April 30, 2010

More Clothes!

Years ago, my mother made me some cool sheath dresses out of cotton. I loved these, and I wanted more and more and more. But:  I'm too fucking lazy to do zippers. Oh, I KNOW how to do zippers. I've DONE zippers. I replace zippers all the time when they go wonky.

But I'm not doing zippers On Purpose. You know? So I found/altered a pattern to make these dresses without zippers. This means, of course, that they can't have front darts, because, without a zipper, I would not then be able to get them over my shoulders and chest. Not breasts--we're talking linebacker shoulders and chest here--just wide bones or something. So the dresses--half a dozen of them--have always bothered me. With no front darts, they're kind of baggy, and they kind of look a little like mumu dresses to me.

I've been trying to dress them up, with little shrugs I got on sale and dyed and these fabulous beaded belts that I found for--get this!--$6 each. Here's one:

I saw the photos of this and went, "Eeeeeeee!" I feel like my own grandmother here. Dump city.

And here's another:

It's just not happenin' for me, and I'm not sure why. And why is it that 3" heels look fabulous in a size 6 and just look Lurch-like in a size 10? To get fabulous heels, we'd have to have, like, 7". Like that's ever going to happen. The dress has a beaded "motif" in the front--I cut and appliqued one of the flowers and then beaded the hell out of it. The cotton shrug was on sale at Penny's, and I dyed it orange. But it still feels dumpy through the middle to me. Like I'm trying to hide a gut.

Here I'm showing you my shin, which you read about previously and which IS STILL BLEEDING, people. Gah. When I cut myself, I take it seriously. Toilet paper = The New Bling.

I don't know about these dresses. Got to think about them some more. I made them years ago and just never wear them. Maybe they should become fabric again and find a new, more useful life? What do y'all think? Dumpy? Or OK? I'm never this indecisive and figure there's something going on. Probably something about not measuring up to my mother's 1) sewing skills and 2) 18" waist.
Who knows?

Cat Teeth Photo for Kim

The Bat-Toothed Girl

My Funky Wardrobe

I've decided that it is My Responsibility to show that you can have fun with your clothes even if you're not 22 and model-quality cute. And rich. With an official Dresser.


We'll start off with the boring part, the part where I have to cover myself up whenever I'm out in the sun. That whole skin cancer thang, you know. This is one of my Walking Outfits. The white linen shirt is from a teacher's garage sale, $2. The pants were on clearance somewhere. Also linen. I dyed them, lengthened them, stitched the new hem so it didn't look as if they'd been lengthened (always creating challenges just to see if I can make things work). The shoes:  Keens. The hat:  something The EGE picked out in New Orleans. Then he took photos of a bunch of other women wearing similar hats to convince me it's really cool, because I hate hats and resent now having to wear them. I love them on other people, but I have a big head and have to have a men's size XL, and I have horrible memories of marching in parades when I was in band in high school and we had to wear shako hats (remember those?), and although I got the largest one they had, by the end of the route my head was throbbing, and the red mark stayed across my forehead for days. Shudder. So he's on a mission to convince me Hats Are Groovy.
With the omnipresent baggie of cat food, of course. I'm the Pied Piper of cats.

Then there's this Anti-Sun Version, from our Saturday at the Art Festival in Austin with Wendy. This hat, from the quilt show in Houston (made in Africa, I think, and rather expensive, at least for me) drove me fucking insane: it's light and rather floppy, which is why I bought it. For comfort, you know. But I didn't think about it + wind. It slapped me in the face, it obscured my vision, it made me nuts. The shawl thing was another constant irritation. Wendy will happily tell you that I bitched about this pretty much constantly. I tried to make it amusing, but there's only so much you can do with "Goddamned fucking hat!" You know?
Just FYI, it was in the high 80's and sunny. Normal people with this many clothes on would have melted away. Me? I just miss the feeling of sun on my skin, damn it.

Moe & Lennie Lulu: They Only Look Sweet

This happens all the time:  one will hold the other down and begin bathing his/her ears or head or face or throat, and it just looks so sweet and lovable and you go, "Awwwww." And then the bathee has had enough and tries to get away, and the bather holds them down, and the bathee gets free and strikes back, and the bather retaliates, and then they swat and wrestle and Lennie Lulu leaps for Moe's throat, and he flips her and pins her down again, and she slaps him, and then she, being much fleeter of foot, races off, ears back, all huffy, like, "The very idea, like my ears need cleaning. The big galoot. And his breath--my god!"

But here you don't see all that. Here all you see see is just two spoiled cats lounging around in the studio, acting all sweet and loving. Deceptive, isn't it?

In Which I Am Forced to Buy Capris

Y'all know what I think of capri pants, those stupid, wide-legged, cropped-off pants for women that, supposedly, make your legs look somehow "better" but that, in fact, make no one's legs look better, right? Everyone knows that a long unbroken line is--duh--longer and thinner-looking than a short, chopped-off line. But women still buy these things, and they still wear them.

Not I, however. "No," I said. "No way. I will never, ever, ever buy a pair of those hideous things. You couldn't make me wear them! I wouldn't wear them if they were the only things left to wear in the world! I would go nekkid first! I refuse! I'll be dead first!"

Apparently I'm dead, because I now own a pair of chambray linen capri pants from Eddie Bauer. Yes, I do. And, no, these were not a gift. They did not appear mysteriously on my doorstep with some monetary inducement to wear them--like, if you wear these, we will pay your gasoline bill for the months of May and June, in which case I would be wearing those puppies every. Single. Day. Since May and June are the months we're going to be On the Road, and the gas bill for those months is going to be absolutely astronomical. I can't even think about it lest my head explode.

So I must be dead, what with these pants, right? However, dead or not, there IS an excuse for why I have them: I was forced to buy them. By La Quinta Inn and Suites in Cedar Park.

Let's see how that worked, shall we?

Once upon a time, I was An Excellent Packer. When we left to go out of town, we had everything we needed. Hell, we had everything we could possibly need if our trip somehow ended up lasting the rest of our lives. We had everything we needed plus backup supplies. Like, we'd have a bottle of lotion, and then we'd have a backup bottle, in case we ran out. Coz there's nothing more irritating than being in the car and having dry skin that itches and is driving you nuts. You try to scratch, but you're buckled in, and you can't really reach, and the air is dry and you're getting itchier by the minute. 

Or you run out of soap and have to use those teeny tiny bars from the hotel. Although, truthfully, we usually use those, as taking your own, full-sized bar means you have a wet, slimy bar of soap you have to schlepp around the whole time. And you're trying to conserve it and make it last, since it's some special non-itchy-skin (yeah, yeah, we have Persnickety Skin, OK?) soap that's hard to find when you're driving through, oh, say, Magnolia, Arkansas.

But somewhere along the way, the way of Middle Age and Menopause and Forgetfulness and Less OCD-ishness, I've slacked off. I don't always remember to check the make-up kit, and I don't always remember to make a list. Hell, I don't always remember to ask The EGE if he remembered his damn cell phone (which was why he was phone-less the whole trip to Seattle, much to my continuing amusement as I encouraged everyone to go up and ask for his phone number so they could call him later).

OK. So that's my excuse (although it really isn't one) for ending up on Salado with no shaving cream and no razor. Now, given that I have shaved my legs virtually every single day of my life since I was 11 (except for a few occasions when I was really sick or something and didn't even SHOWER, or when I had the hysterectomy and had to stay in the hospital because they stuck a hole in my bladder AND gave me a lovely infection, and then The EGE went home and brought the supplies and, while I was tripping on morphine (which I loathe and am allergic to, speaking of itchiness), shaved my legs FOR ME. And you wonder why I adore the man), you'd think I'd remember to make sure I have the razor and shaving cream, right? Because, really, I can't do the whole shaving-in-the-shower-thang. My legs are too long to FIT anywhere, and I can't shave with soap. I want shaving cream. Oh, not to make the stubble softer or anything like that, no. I need shaving cream as a guide, as an indicator of where I've already shaved and where I haven't. You know? OK, maybe you don't. But that's what I need it for. And I didn't have it. I spent the days in Salado using lathered-up soap and one of The EGE's old razors (he carries a selection in a variety of sharpnesses--for his face, for his head. He shaves twice a day.) And bitching:  I bitched a lot about the shaving.

When we got to Cedar Park, I actually noticed the little sign they stick on the bathroom mirrors at La Quintas, the ones that tell you oh-so-cheerily that, if you've forgotten anything, anything at all, you can come down to the lobby and get whatever-it-is, for free.

I've always wondered what would happen if I went down and asked for a heavy-duty tampon and some Darvon, plus a couple of condoms and a plastic fork. You know, sort of staggering in, wearing your bathrobe, looking skanky. The look on their faces would be worth the hassles they'd give you the next morning at check-out.

Anyway, so I figured, hey, this would solve the shaving issues, and so I went down and asked for shaving cream and a razor. The woman at the desk was more than happy to provide both, and we spent some little time talking about electrolysis (which she's having on her armpits) and leg-shaving (which, being widowed, she doesn't do, something I don't understand because I can't stand the feel of leg stubble rubbing on my clothes, but that's just me).

The next morning, I happily opened up the little packet of shaving cream--which actually lathered up! wow!--and the little plastic razor. Now, I knew that the razor felt a little funny, but then, it's not the kind The EGE buys for me. No, I do not know what kind he buys, but he buys the same kind all the time, and I have been using these without incident for many, many years.

Yes, I fully realize that I am spoiled. And?

So I shave my legs and get into the shower, and then I get out and start drying off, and omigod. What's that? I'm way past the age where I expect to find blood on my towel, you know? I don't much expect to find blood ANYWHERE, thank you very much. Except those first few days with a new toothbrush, which I hate.

I looked down, and it looked as if someone had taken a cheese grater to my shins. Seriously. Look (and this is a couple days later, when it looks better):

I have to think a minute to remember what you're supposed to do when this happens, since it hasn't happened in years. I tear off some little pieces of toilet paper and stick them all over my legs. (No, I do not have a photo of that, and aren't you glad?)

And I get dressed, and off we go. Now, we're supposed to be heading home, but we realize we're just a couple miles from the Round Rock Premium Outlet Stores, and we figure, "Why not?" We could just as easily have asked, "Why?" since there's nothing we need, and outlet malls are generally sad places, but it was warm and clear and sunny, and we were in no hurry, and we might find, oh, belts (for him) or a bag (for someone who already has way, way too many) or shoes (and why on earth would THAT be a good idea?) or just get a chance to walk around and look at stuff. So we went. And walked. And looked at the coolest Converse sneakers in amazing colors (nobody bought any) and found leather belts ($4.99 each) and a groovy hat that looks just like a man's regular hat but is made entirely of paper ($9.50).

These belts and hats were at Eddie Bauer, and while The EGE was playing with his camera in the mirrors,

I was trying on stuff from the clearance rack, thinking about how not-like-me these clothes truly are. There were a pair of chambray capris, linen--which I love--and very comfortable-looking, and since I'd never tried on any of these, I thought, oh, why not. 

I put them on, and they WERE really comfy, partly because they were a size 10 and a little too big, but! They had a drawstring, so I cinched them up and went out to show The EGE, who was still taking photos. He liked them, surprisingly. Huh. I kind of liked them, too, once I rolled them up and got over the whole chopped-off-wide-legs thing. And they were less than $20, which is My Rule for Clothes. But eh. I didn't need them, and I had sworn I'd never own any. So I went in to take them off.

You know where this is going, don't you? Yes, indeed: in the process of trying on clothes, I'd knocked off the little bits of toilet paper stuck to my legs, and my legs had resumed their bleeding, and I'd bled on the capris. We're not talking dripping with blood here, but there was definitely blood on the inside of the leg of the pants.

There are several things you can do in this situation:
~~ you can do nothing. Take off the pants, hang them back up, put them back on the rack. Probably no one will ever notice--it was, after all, on the inside of the pants. It would never show.

~~you can tell the salesperson that there's a blood stain on the pants and let them deal with it, admitting nothing.

~~you can tell them that it's your blood but that you're sorry and the pants don't fit and you can't buy them

~~you can buy the damn pants.

They're not so bad, really.

More of The Ever-Gorgeous Earl's Photos

I try to keep track of which photos I've already showed you, but sheesh. I had these marked as "done," but I don't think they are. Anyway, these are some of the ones in the desktop wallpaper rotation. I esp. love the last two.
Hoover Dam.
Sunset in Scottsdale, AZ.

Two ceilings in Las Vegas--these make the most fabulous wallpaper:

I Love This~~

We were behind this car somewhere in New Mexico:

And This Week's Fabulous Winners Are~~

Wow--thanks so much for participating in this:  thank you for stopping by, and thank you for taking time to go to the artists' websites and visit and then leave comments telling what you like about their work. I sent Kelly a note and told him to come by and read what people were saying--I hope he did. I love it when someone gets to eavesdrop on a conversation where people are saying nice things about them.

Anyway--so here are the winners:

Art Doll Quarterly:  Janie (and her daughter; I love what she's doing with the Barbies)

Belle Armoire:  Ariel (imafarmgirl--i love what you're doing with the clothing donations--even the ones that have to be shredded are going to a great cause (Ariel gets piles of unsellable clothes from the local Goodwill and alters and remakes many of them. She gives away some, and the ones that are too worn or stained for anything else get shredded up and sewn into pillow cases for the animals at the shelter, which makes me really happy).

Rubberstampmadness: Briana--cool workshop!

Somerset Studio: Jan from Wyoming. Thanks, Jan, for signing up for Kelly's newsletter. That's so cool.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Santa at Home up North

Hey, Jude, gave Santa a new home up in Pennsylvania, and he looks happier than he ever has:

And you know what's really amazing? It took less than 48 hours for him to get there. I think reindeer were involved.


Oooh, oooh, oooh! We get home from Salado on Monday night, and on one of the tables in the sewing studio are these two big boxes.

 I'm like, "?" because I didn't remember ordering anything and wasn't expecting anything. I open one up:

Maps! Lots and lots of maps:

From Ellen at AAA. She's the best, and this is like Christmas.
Moe thinks they're pretty cool.
There must have been a little spider in the box.
He though he was going to catch it, but it was small and fast, and 
he's. . .um, not.

So, as you can see, I have my work cut out for me. Got the route kinda planned, thanks to Ellen, but still have a lot more to do. Anyone wanna come help?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Podcast with Michael DeMeng

We got to spend a little time in one of Michael's workshops at Artfest, and it was great to see how much fun people were having and what amazing things they created. I've talked to Michael several times--he's in Living the Creative Life--and he's always planning something new. Today he talked about the New Orleans workshops he's planning with Kathy Malkasian, of Valley Ridge. Man, that's somewhere I'd like to be, for sure.

The podcast is almost an hour long. The audio is OK but not great--it never sounds quite as good when a cell phone is involved, but then, a cell is better than iChat, which gives really lousy audio. You can hear it just fine, though, so hop over to his website so you know what it is he's talking about, and then settle back and enjoy the podcast. Then you'll want to check out his new book, Dusty Diablos: Folklore, Iconography, Assemblage, Ole! his previous book, Secrets of Rusty Things: Transforming Found Objects into Art, and my book that he's in, Living the Creative Life

As always, you can listen by clicking on the button in the little player at the end of this post, or you can download the podcast by subscribing to Notes from the Voodoo Lounge in iTunes, or you can click over there in the sidebar to go to my podcast blog page at (or you can just click here). How much easier could it be, really?

Enjoy, sweeties!

What's This? Another Give-Away? Shhhhh. . . .

When an unexpected extra copy of Somerset Studio arrived in my mailbox today, I started to save it for a give-away next week, figuring that lots of people stop by only on Monday and Friday. And then I thought, well, huh: what about those people who stop by all week long? Don't they deserve something extra? So here it is, the new-next-week issue of Somerset Studio, just for y'all.

 Even if the magazine isn't your cup of tea, this issue might surprise you. It's got my piece about Kelly Moore, from Santa Fe, and he's not exactly what you might be expecting. (That isn't his work on the cover; his work is below.)

You know what to do:  go to Kelly's website, look around, pick out something you like a lot, and then come back here and tell us about it. I'll pick someone on Friday, so you'd better hop on over there right away.

Good luck!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

This Week's Give-Away #3: Rubberstampmadness

Roberta Sperling at Rubberstampmadness still sends me issues of the magazine to look at and share, which is really sweet of her and really good for stampers. If you're interested in rubber stamping, you need this one.

Post a comment and tell me something about why you love rubber, and I'll pick someone on Friday.

This Week's Give-Away #2: Belle Armoire

The second little give-away is the soon-to-be-released May/June issue of Belle Armoire, with my profile of Debbie Bone-Harris and her stunning artwear.

 Go here to see more, and then come back and post a comment telling us what you like best about her work for a chance to win the issue. I'll pick someone on Friday.

This Week's Give-Away #1--Art Doll Quarterly

Stampington very generously sent me an extra copy of the brand-new Spring issue of Art Doll Quarterly,

featuring my profile of the amazingly-talented husband-and-wife team of Chomick and Meder and their fabulous automata. 

The photo on the cover is not of their work. This is one of the kinds of work they do:

Go here to see more, and then post a comment telling what you like best about it, if you can actually narrow it down. 

I'll pick someone on Friday for the magazine. 


Magazine Interviews This Month

I remembered (!), believe it or not. Here are the current magazines with my artist profiles. Please keep in mind that the photos on the covers are not of the work of the profile artists. You have to go to their websites to get an idea of what they do.

Belle Armoire, with Debbie Bone-Harris. I've seen her work in person at the Bernina Fashion Show at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. Stunning work, indeed.
(not Debbie's work)

Somerset Studio, with Kelly Moore. We met Kelly at his booth at The Flea in Santa Fe, and I knew immediately he was someone I wanted to find out more about (about whom--yeah, yeah, yeah). Cool, cool stuff. You need to visit his website and read his book to get an idea about how his mind works.
(not Kelly's work)

Art Doll Quarterly, with Chomick and Meder. Oh, my. Even if you hate every kind of doll, you'll love the stuff they do. They're a husband-and-wife team creating the coolest automata, and their website, designed by Chris, is great fun. (She's also designed the websites of some other fabulous doll artists including Lisa Lichetenfels, Jodi and Richard Creager and Bill Nelson. Go check these out--you'll want to take your time and look around, especially on Bill's site.)
(not Chomick and Meder's work)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hello from Cedar Park, Texas~~

Where is Cedar Park, Texas? I have no idea. Well, OK, I have an idea:  I got us here, late last night. But really? I suspect that it's one of those artificial places they create as a bedroom community or industrial park or tech corridor. One of those places that feels more like a movie set than a real town, and one of those places old-timers swear don't really exist. It was 5000 people in 1990 and is now right around 63,000. The handy little brochure here on the desk in the brand-new La Quinta tells me this and much, much more, and if I get a chance, I'll give you a full report. But don't hold your breaths, OK? Chances are I won't really get around to reading it and digesting it for you before it's time to head out for home.

What, you might ask (although you probably never would) am I doing in a place I'd never heard of? The short answer is: La Quinta. And I don't mean that's where we are, although it is; I mean it's why we're here. We're here in Cedar Park, Texas, because there's a new La Quinta Inn and Suites. 

Now, before you stalk away in disgust, muttering to yourself about how much time you've wasted reading the blog of someone who's obviously got more problems than you have time to deal with, traveling around to obscure places in order to stay in new big-box hotels/motels, let me explain:  new LQ's often have a promotion where you get triple points for a night's stay. Since we stay in LQ's so often, we have--hang on!--"Elite Status," meaning we get more points for each stay. And then those are tripled. PLUS:  if you stay before the end of April, you get an additional 1000 points. You can use these for a free night's stay, or you can use, say, 6000 points as a discount on however-much the room would cost. So I do whatever I can to collect points, knowing that they'll come in handy on the Huge-Ass Eastern Road trip. Plus if you check in late, you can usually use the Complementary Upgrade--last night we got a two-room suite for like $66. We could have chosen the jacuzzi suite, but you know me:  I don't actually travel with bleach, so the chances of me getting into a jacuzzi in a motel room are, well, kind of a little slim.

I get the shudders just thinking about it. And no, it's not what you think: I'm not thinking about the activities that surely took place in the jacuzzi and the resulting possible crustiness around the faucet handles. Nope. I'm thinking about the hairs that are surely caught in the drain, just waiting for you to sink down into the water before they float up to tangle in your toes.

Gack. Good thing I'm not getting ready to eat my Cheerios. 

Anyway. No jacuzzi suites for moi. Although I did tell The EGE we could have gotten one. He looked at me and said, "Yeah."

We had an absolutely smashing time yesterday. We drove down to Austin, went to Wendy's house, and walked to the Art Festival downtown across the river. We meandered along the way smelling all the flowers (Wendy and I did that) and taking photographs (The EGE did that, and I took iPhone photos uploaded to Facebook), and then we saw some artists I knew and talked to some people Wendy knew and then we walked over to Cork and Company and had wine flights and cheese, and then we meandered back to Wendy's and got the boat (aka, the SUV) and went to the fabulous gigantic Whole Foods, where I bought genmaicha tea (after taking out a small loan--holy moly!) and sampled more wine and danced in the aisles. We were dancing in line at the check-out (that would be the two who aren't The EGE), and the DPS (Texas Department of Public Safely) trooper who was standing with the clerk (why? I do not know. Perhaps there are various highway-related infractions taking place at the register) said something about how The EGE must be our adult supervision, and The EGE asked if he could borrow the trooper's handcuffs. The trooper said, "Oh, so it's a date, then?"

We all chortled, because you always laugh when a Law Enforcement Official makes a joke.  Unless, of course, you were serious about the handcuffs.

We then went to Central Market and got dinner, and we dropped Wendy at her house, and then we headed out into the wilderness to find Cedar Park. That sounds quite adventurous if you leave out how we had the iPhone and were driving through the night on what turned out to be a toll road. 

What has happened to toll roads? I remember them, vaguely, from other trips to big cities and places like Oklahoma, where they had toll roads even back when I was a kid. But we've evidently missed something, some innovation in toll roads, because they no longer have little toll booths where you toss money into a basket. Now you have to have either a tolltag or an address. From what I could gather, from all the little signs, they are going to mail us a bill. We don't have a tolltag (we'd use it like maybe once every 5 years), and we didn't give anyone any money, and I'm pretty sure they're not going to let us just not pay, all like, "Oh, they're from Midland; we'll let them drive on our toll road for free. We love Midlanders!"

This is not true. Pretty much no one but Midlanders loves Midlanders. Midlanders are like the US when the rest of the state is Europe.

Austin would be the French. 

I have no idea how much they're going to charge us for using Highway 183, but I'm guessing it will be multiples of dollars, since we developed some familiarity with it over the course of the evening. We found our exit, got off, went down and made the u-turn the iPhone told us to make. The hotel was right there on the right, up ahead, and there was a drive that dead-ended. So we passed that, to get to the actual hotel drive. Only there wasn't one--turns out the dead-end was actually a turn in the road, and that the lack of landscaping didn't indicate a pasture so much as it did the newness of the hotel:  they hadn't finished landscaping the grounds.

The problem here is that, once you passed this driveway, there was no way to turn around, no other turn, no way to go back unless you put your vehicle into reverse and drove back several hundred yards. Since Cedar Park seems to be full of law enforcement vehicles--they were everywhere--this didn't seem like A Plan. So we continued on, meaning we got back on 183, the Toll Road, now going back the way we'd come. And then, after a mile or so, we had to get off, cross under, and get back on. Meaning that we took not one, not two, but three little trips on their Toll Road, under the cameras that, I'm guessing, were taking photos of our license tags, adding each short little pass onto the bill. I'm guessing there will be some sort of extra charge for cluelessness:  the computer was chuckling to itself at how cleverly the town planners arranged for hapless travelers to miss the hotel entrance and take another little tour of the toll road.

But we did finally check in. The EGE spent a lot of time in the parking lot, trying to figure out why our programmed keys are no longer programmed, so that they won't lock or unlock the doors. I thought I'd try to re-program them, but when I read about doing that, in the manual, I realized that if they get just a little bit more wonky, those programmed keys might not even be able to start the boat. So we're going to try to make them work until we can get home and take them to the dealership and find out what's wrong. Very odd, that both sets of keys, which have not been near each other, have quit working. It's probably some pre-set factory ruse to force us to come into the shop, where they'll try to get us to have something hugely expensive done to the vehicle before we head out on the Great Eastern Road Trip (anyone want to help me figure out a groovy name for this trip?), never mind that we had it serviced before we left on this current trip.

This La Quinta is new. The woman at the desk swore it's brand new--I went back and asked her what it had been before they made it a La Quinta, because it's the oddest LQ we've stayed in in a long time. The oddest one, in fact, that didn't used to be something else. And those are the worst--some old motel that failed and then was bought and "renovated" (ie, painted an ugly color) and turned into a La Quinta. This one is like a pared-down version, spare and boxy and cheap, with hideous green walls. The stairwell is ugly and looks as if it's a dozen years old. There's an odd odor, a cross between "cat box" and "paint," and I just really don't believe that it's new. But she swore it was, and why would she lie after we'd bonded over body hair and health insurance? (She's having electrolysis on her armpits, but she has very sparse hair on her legs, and since she's widowed, she doesn't worry about that. She has no health insurance, which does not endear me to La Quinta, and hasn't been to the doctor in over five years, never mind that she broke her toe last week.)

We have a little less than three weeks before we head out again. On the one hand, I do not want to go:  I don't want to be away from home for almost six weeks and am sure to have various melt-downs about this along the way. On the other hand, it's going to be fabulous fun, and we're setting up more book signings along the way--so far we have Raleigh and Asheville, North Carolina; Minneapolis, and New York City (and if you want to host one somewhere in between, let me know), and we've got Art and Soul Virginia, Valley Ridge, and Bead and Button--so it's not like we'll be bored out there all by ourselves. And I'm jazzed about the book signings. Did you know (I'm sure I've told you this before) that the average sales for a book signing = two books? Yes--that's what Joyce, the community relations manager for Barnes and Noble in Midland--tells me. That's the average. So any time you sell more than two, you're doin' good. We had two signings in Salado--one at Stamp Salado and one at Shady Ladies' vendor night--and I sold every book I had and could have sold more if I hadn't run out. That's really cool--it's fun to meet people and talk to them and sign the books, so I'm really looking forward to more of that. Got to get home and order more books.

So that's our weekend. Salado was wonderful--you've got to go there--and Shady Ladies had a great first year--Jeri says she's going to do it next year, making some changes and growing. Austin was fabulous, and we loved spending the day with Wendy. Now to find a Starbucks and hit the road for home~~

Friday, April 23, 2010

Texas Hill Country Blue Bonnets

GeoTagged, [N31.21725, E99.96065]

Where we are right now.

Texas Hill Country Blue Bonnets

Where we are right now.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Homes for Old Toys

Thanks so much for helping me find good homes for Santa and Humpty Dumpty. Santa went to Hey, Jude, who collects Santas and will give him a good home, and Humpty went to Donna Goff, because she sent me this photo of her as a baby:
How could I resist that?

The little blind baby doll still needs some serious love, though.

Thanks, y'all~~

And This Week's Winners Are~~

Yeah, so I had a hard time picking someone, so I cheated and picked two people.

Nanc and Monkey Mind, you each win a Moleskine sketchbook. Send me your addresses, please, and I'll get those in the mail the next trip to the PO (which might be today).


PhotoTropedelic: "Heuristic Artfullness"

The Fabulous Catherine Witherell posted this on her blog last week, and it's so much fun I have to stay away from it. I adored all things Peter Max when I was in high school but wasn't, of course, allowed to indulge, seeing as how he was A Hippie and all. I now have a Peter Max shirt I found and snatched up at Goodwill, and I'd love to have more Peter Max stuff (not that I'm going to be scouring eBay)--I'm WAY envious of that coloring book she talks about. And Flair pens! We LOVED those! Omigod:  and purple lined notebook paper? For pages and pages of dramatic and heartfelt (snort) notes? Omigod, yes.

So here's what PhotoTropedelic can do to your photos:

Anyway, PhotoTropedelic is an iPhone and iPod Touch app. for $1.99. The coolest thing is that it lets you download the image via a computer on the same wireless network, so you can use these to make postcards and stickers (Catherine's idea) and whatever else you can dream of. These are the first two I've done just this morning--and now I HAVE to get to work. Can't believe I'm being so bad this morning:  playing instead of working. What's the world coming to? Big Fun!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Podcast with Pamela McCarville

O, finally! Finally, finally, finally:  a podcast. I was beginning to think I'd never do one again, what with one glitch after another, one new thing and then another new thing. But I sooo wanted to talk to Pam, and I finally just bit the bullet and did it, glitchy Audio Input Device and all. It did take a few years off my little life, it surely did, when it ate things and refused to open our nearly-an-hour conversation and then slowly, slowly exported while I stood by, wringing my hands and chanting.

OK, not really. I don't chant. And thank goodness it wasn't necessary. I had Pamela's good wishes backing me up.

The audio is a little uneven--I've got to get Levalator again. But you'll enjoy hearing Pam talk about drawing--she's not only imaginative and creative; she's also inspiring and encouraging--just what you need to finally pick up that notebook and pencil (yes:  she gives you permission to draw in pencil) and get started. If you're already a draw-er, you'll love listening to her talk about her own drawing practice. 

To see more of Pam's work, go to her website and her blog. You might want to look at her drawings as you listen to her talk. As always, you can also listen to her by clicking the link over in the sidebar, by going to my podcast page at Libsyn, or by finding us at "Notes from the Voodoo Lounge" in iTunes--it's free to subscribe.