When friends are in town it makes me see my city with fresh eyes. And Houston has been quite hospitable… especially to two New Englanders! We had a wonderful week of eating way too much, seeing the sights, and catching up on some much-needed face to face time. And now here we are on the steps of the last week in February. Twenty Fourteen — you sure are interesting so far!
Yeowzer — it was a FULL weekend! I headed back to my parents on Friday. I was doing a photo shoot for some long-time family friends and getting my hair cut and colored. I decided to take advantage of the extra hands and expertise whilst in town. My mom makes THE BEST gumbo and since I have never made it myself (shocking, I know) I wanted a lesson — and to use her massive pot. (And I wanted to stock up on easy dinners!) Who knew gumbo was such a labor of love? My mom still keeps saying… no, it’s really not that much work. Good grief. We have very difference definitions of what “not that much” work is. But our efforts were fruitful and not only did I go home with a double batch but my sister (who came to ‘supervise’) also went home with a few bowls too.
Well, all of that was just Friday. Saturday morning rolled around and since the weather is nice and I’m not longer commuting 90 miles on the highway, I thought I would take off the hard top of my jeep. (Crazy right; it’s like the seasons are reversed.) But seeing as how it’s been since 2009 since I’ve had the hard top off, it’s wasn’t exactly muscle memory. But three hours later, my dad and I had the hard top safely secured and covered for the winter and all parts of the soft-top in place — ready to be folded up on the next pretty day.
After that bit of unexpected physical exercise, I met my sister at a favorite antique shop and I think I found a new (antique) armoire. I need to measure it and make sure that I LOVE it before it comes home with me. I took a picture and I’m glad I did because she and I both liked it more the second day. But I guess if it’s meant to be, it’ll still be there when I can go back to get it.
Upon arriving back home, the hubs and I had to get ready for a dinner party and we made our favorite appetizers. (I’ll share those later this week.) We stayed much later than anticipated which made it a little tough to roll out of bed for our church-filled extravaganza of a day. And then after we endured a rainstorm that should have been named, we headed to Houston’s Antique Urban Market. There were lots of interesting things to see, but it was a bit like trying on clothes when you’re feeling fat. It just wasn’t happening. We inquired about a small end table, but after a much too-high price I felt like — *meh* — whatevs.
And finally we collapsed into our respective couches around 5pm yesterday. I began editing photos and the hubs — well, I’m not quite sure what he was working on. But we ate some gumbo and then watched The Walking Dead. The perfect way to end such a full weekend!
It was about as Fall as it gets in Southeast Texas this weekend. But that made for perfect weather for cleaning out a packed attic! But I managed to squeeze in a few antique shops and shockingly held off from purchasing that little gem of a typewritter. (Only because it was over-priced!)
After being away for the night, I came home Saturday evening to a little backyard magic. I have the best husband, really. We enjoyed grilling and eating outside under some twinkle lights. And we the hubs also tried a dessert recipe in our saladmaster electric skillet and although I did not think it was as tasty as mypeach cobbler — it sure went down easy.
On Sunday afternoon we decided to go for a little bike ride so I could put up more flyers for my writing studio, but alas, our efforts were thwarted as the new gears we just put on our (clearly old) bikes decided to quit. Luckily we were just a mile from home, so our bike ride turned into a nice walk.
I’ve got two writing workshops and a photoshoot coming up this week….and looking forward to it. I’m so grateful for my life!
The first weekend of Autumn actually felt a little fall-ish. We greeted this change in seasons with a (much-needed) monsoon and blustery winds. But the weather cleared just in time for us to head down to the bay for a little gathering of friends and acquaintances. And the rest of the weekend was filled with other menial and important endeavors. We’re ready to head into the last full week of September.
How is it September?! I honestly don’t like being so busy that when I sit down to type it dawns on me that the month is half over! (Such a pessimist realist, I know.) Well, this weekend was no different than the previous million. But it was however the first weekend in a LONG time that they hubs didn’t have anything pre-scheduled so he was quite the dear and peered over the tower of laundry he tackled to watch me furiously work on my computer. I have been busy designing my business cards, flyers for coffee shops, and mailers/info brochures. And two out of those three complete is not bad. He put down the vacuum long enough to help me out with a little graphic design project for church too. We also managed to squeeze in there a beautiful sunset (power) walk via a new route. Upon said route, I discovered a gem of a little street and a house with a solarium (and chandelier!) This little street seems to have magically transported itself from our old home on Cape Ann in Massachusetts. I love finding city treasures like that! And one of the best parts of the weekend was that I got to go peek at my new studio space that is currently under construction. As we walked through the metal maze of 30ft-tall beams, I had butterflies in my stomach. I still can’t believe I’m doing this. As we left my studio, we stumbled upon the studio of artist David Adickes. Simultaneously creepy and amazing — and so inspiring to go big or go home!
1. Sunset walk | 2. Graphic Design Project | 3. David Adickes | 4. The view for most of my weekend | 5. A solarium on my secret street
*Eeeeek!!* I keep repeating my favorite Brene Brownmantra: “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.”
I cannot believe that it’s finally here; I have been working diligently for months…and dreaming for years. And today, I finally launch my own business. Let me introduce Houston’s only AWA writing group — Salt Water Writing Studio. I have just published my first blog post under the SWWS name and sent out invitations to Houston area writers, and I feel like I’m standing naked on a Broadway stage!
As painful as all this vulnerability is, I know it is worth it and I look forward to growing my business and helping writers find their voice by way of thoughtful workshops and stimulating groups. If you are in the Houston area and are interested in learning more, please visit my website and send me an email.
*A huge thank you to Chelsea of Oh My Deer for her lovely lettering of my logo!
I’m fascinated by the work of Russian artist Ekaterina Panikanova. Such a mix of nostalgia, ephemera, whimsey (and maybe a little sadness??). I think it would be quite something to see in person. Kudos indeed Ms. Panikanova.
Her work reminded me of an installation I saw in Fredricksburg, Texas while we were traveling around last month… I’m not sure who the artist was for this particular piece, but it was interesting enough that I snapped a photo of it with my phone. But instead of old books, this artist used clipboards with pages from old books. It’s certainly a little more DIY-ish, but still visually interesting and a similar medium used.
Part of our little Texas staycation involved hitting up a concert (or two!). While in Austin we decided to hit up an Avett Brother’s concert. Also performing were Dawes and Grace Potter and The Nocturnals. I wasn’t completely impressed with the performance of the headliner only because of the venue. (I think I would prefer to see them here.) But the two openers did not disappoint one bit. In fact, two days later we caught Dawes at Cactus Music in Houston. And I’ve been listening to their latest album ever since.