smell of pastels is a distinct one, chalk pastels that is. If I had to
describe them, I would describe them as having an old smell... not in
the bad way, but like in the way an antique book wafts it's vintage
fragrance when flipping through the pages. Pastels, something I haven't
attempted since teen-hood whispered my name a few days ago... and I
found myself pulling out a special antique box.
When I was a teen I had a short stint with an art tutor that became more of someone to talk to and relate with then actually learn anything from. I think I must have struck a heart chord with her as she gifted me a vintage set of pastels. As a young child and young artist with the years of experience to come, a gift like this was like finding a treasure map. There was so much possibility, adventure, and excitement to be had with a hand full of chalk and color.
Touching the box conjures memories and nostalgia. It takes me back to my teen-hood home, sitting at the dining room table doing what I thought was a fantastic portrait of Paul McCartney. I found the chalk pastels to be incredibly smooth. I adored how I could lay two colors side by side like sleeping lovers, push and pull my fingers where the two meet achieving a perfect blend. Magic! I am truly picky about a good gradient. It has to be just so... and pastels make it easy to acquire the perfect effect.
Last weekend, knowing I had a Somerset Studio deadline looming, I took down the box, opened it and inhaled its vintage scent. I think I even for a second closed my eyes and revelled in the moment. I always find it amazing how something as simple as a smell can bring you somewhere in your mind. It's like time travel for the soul.
It felt good to havel my hands covered with chalk and to take a trip back within my mind... maybe I should do it more often.
The excitingly warm spring weather here in the north east really coaxes my stomach toward a summer palette. Dreams of market bags filled with farm grown fruits and veggies makes my heart smile with delight. Spring and summer are obviously the best time to eat your heart out on things that grow by root. Until the near future when I will be able to tip toe through the market, tote over my shoulder, I will start to crave things like farm fresh produce and recipes like bruchetta.
A few days ago I carried an abundant armful of tomatoes, basil, garlic, and other ingredients out into the warm sunshine where I chopped, diced, and danced while doing so. Good tunes, good sun, and good company makes the world go round. Feeding what you made to the ones you love is a whole 'nother pleasure entirely!
Thankfully cutting onions outside kept them from stinging my eyes, another plus to cooking outside! I loathe cutting onions. Onions and I have only recently become friends. My whole life I have shunned them from my plate... and still only selectively allow them in dishes that I make or eat. I was a picky eater growing up and still have my moments, but allowing myself to at least try something and not turn my nose up at it has greatly opened up my culinary world. There is so much to taste and enjoy!
It's spring, and spring means turtling season! If your a regular reader you know I have a soft heart for any creature, but especially for turtles making their way across, or idly sitting in the middle of the road. Let no turtle go un-saved when it presents itself in my path.
In the past week I have saved four turtles, just a wee fraction of the tally to come... last years total exceeding twenty I name and number each of my shelled friends.
Please don't hit or run over a turtle, love the earth and all it's creatures. After all, it's a true pleasure to help a traveler on their journey to greener waters.
Abandoned homes with un-locked doors that you can sneak into is so adventurous and fun. You listen for every sound wondering if you will be caught by a local saying "hey! who goes there!?". These homes are the kind that have left behind antiques, open cupboards, and the original skeleton keys still hung on a nail on the wall by someone who hoped that someone else would come along and give the crumbling home some love and rejuvenation.
Walking into each room you wonder who lived there, who loved there, who walked the floors and made the beds. Once before this place was loved. It was someones safe place and spot to rest their head.
Perfectly peeling paint I imagined how if it were my home that I wouldn't touch the walls at all. They would stay as is, perfectly aged and full of wonder. How long does a home have to sit in the hot texan sun for every wall to peel, crackle, and unfurl?
I may be home now and acclimating myself back into routine, but that doesn't mean I still don't have a bunch to share with you from my adventures in Texas. My last full day in Texas found us traveling a few hours out into the flat country farm land of that grand ol' state. It's blue bonnet season in Texas and it's just starting to really demand attention.
Blue bonnets are the texan state flower and when you see them you know exactly why.
We stopped for just about every patch we saw, sitting amongst the petals and catching each other in awkward poses trying to capture just the perfect shot. It was refreshing to be with someone else who also gets right down on their bellies for a photo. Someone who knows it's not just about pointing and shooting, but about a careful eye and seeing what others don't.
The blue bonnets are mingled with the bright orange and coral blooms of Indian Paintbrush, the subtle pinks show off as wild poppies and wild phlox. It seems flowers never come in combinations that aren't flattering. It's as if they know and prepare for the show that is spring.
Being amongst this jaw dropping display only makes me more eager for New York's own spring exposition. It was hard coming home from warm climates to cold. My first day back found me layering up and not wanting to exit my warm blankets in the morning. I brought home a tan, a renewed heart, and a missing of a friend I wish I could see on a regular basis. Till next blue bonnet season Jax! I'll be waiting for your visit here when the apples turn red.
Our day started in our own separate fluffy hotel beds, stretching out and saying to each other "what do we wanna do!?".
I have been driving in Texas!! HA! I'm a bad passenger and often find myself nauseated and feeling close to death. Okay maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but it feels like that when I am in the throws of a stomach turning bout of UGH! So yup, I've been driving! It's fun and Jax makes an awesome travel guide. It's so refreshing to not be on any type of schedule.
We go, do, and drink coffee whenever and wherever we want.
Breakfast at Starbucks and a drive onto the Galveston Ferry. I have never been on a ferry let alone drove a car up onto one! It was such an experience! Once securely on board and moving, we got out of the vehicle and perched over the edge of the boat. The laughing gulls chased us as the pelicans which I have aptly named aviators for their precise flying skill graced the sky off shore. Back in the car, driving off the ferry, we drove twenty or so miles on High Island where we checked out the local graveyard and after made our way to the beach and stayed for hours just combing through piles of shells looking for sea glass until we decided we were hungry and had to pee.
Turkey wraps, a soda I couldn't open, and a bag of chips and we were setting up camp back on the beach!
There are only so many chips you can eat in one sitting and we found the perfect way to use the rest... by sharing!
These feathered friends had extreme precision! After throwing chips to them we began to throw them straight into the air over our heads! These laughing gulls knew where it was at for sure!
We said goodbye to the beach, rode the ferry again, and drove back to Galveston and walked the strand. There I bought my first cowboy hat (straw one) and some souvenirs to bring back home. I have fallen in love with italian sodas which are flavor mixed with I think sparkling water. My first one was a lemon drop, yesterday I decided a perfectly pink strawberries and cream was in order. After a long day of adventure we two girls were worn the #$%# out. Crashing early back at Jacquie's humble abode was a immediate necessity.
Graffiti art IS art. It's an amazingly colorful and inspiring medium I have completely no understanding of. The idea of using different tips on the end of spray cans to complete a larger than life perfectly blended piece of art just blows my mind. Who knows, maybe someday I will have the opportunity of trying out some can art!
After poppin' tags at the nearest thrift outlet we took a hop, skip, and not even a jump to a series of buildings amazingly decorated with works of evolving and ever changing art. This project is called the Houston Art Project, supported by the Bread of Life and funded by the Rice University.
Jax and I wandered down paint laden corridors as we talked in our best white girl street slang. Cameras snapping and lines like "I'll pop a cap in yo ass" echoed off the walls.
Here are images I took at the Houston Art Project. I was blown away at every turn, by every new amazing piece of WOW!
I told Jax I would pay her a whole dollar to lay on one of those couches, but she declined (come on! lol).
In my opinion every town, city, and place should donate an abandoned building to this sort for cause. Not only is the cause great, but the public gets to experience graffiti art in a positive light.
I'm here!!! I'm in Texas, the flattest state Ive ever seen! As I sit across from my soul sister and artistic match - we sip our coffee, edit our photos, and chat about life.
There are smiles, a cardinal singing in the yard, and a husband at home who is doing his first real full day with all three children on his own (YOU CAN DO IT BABY!). Today will be a day at the beach, in shops, and then an over night just girls in our own hotel room. The world (or Texas) is our oyster!
The flight seemed to take forever. The airport a guessing game disaster if you asked me, but I do presume since I'm here that really it all went okay. I didn't expect for goodbyes in New York to be so hard... who was I to think I could just leave everyone, hop a plane, and not shed any tears!? Fantasy land. The worst was watching my husbands face get smaller and smaller and harder to see as I stood on the security line. Of course I did security wrong, almost forgot to take off my shoes, and was poked fun of by the security officers when I raised my hands over my head in the futuristic scanner. Needless to say my anxiety was running a muck! Literally dragging me up and down the coast of New Jersey.
Arriving at my gate I got on line to board and realized that I was not meant to be there yet, I did NOT want to end up in Chicago! So I did the walk of embarrassed shame, sat down with my adrenaline headache and nearly bawled. An hours wait found me pulling up my big girl panties to find some ibuprofen and a drink. A little jumping up and down in my head and a "I did it", and I was calming down a bit (thanks adrenaline crash). From there it was a delayed take off and being squished against the window by a larger than life line backer sort of fellow. Next to him sat a mouthy New Jersey-esque who did nothing but complain of texas, the flight, and advice on where to eat (complete with routes and street names). Did I mention the flight seemed to take for-eva!?
All was good when we landed and a sudden rush of excitement took over. My soul sister of more than 7 years awaited me just past security! There she was! We hugged, we squealed, and we headed straight for the nearest thrift outlet! (poppin' tagsssss). It's amazing how two people that jive so well via text and skype, jive so naturally in person too. It's like we have been with each other before, everything just fits!
It is in my opinion that EVERY friend should be a BEST friend. The people you take into your life should not be sub-par but everything you want in a friend. Treat each friend in your life like they are your only because they deserve that treatment. They love you, you love them, and love is not a half assed sort of emotion.
Jax is so wonderful in person! She's quirky, sweet, and has a little southern drawl. She raps in the car, carries her old starbucks cup into starbucks to throw it out and receive and newly brewed handful. Jax is petite, sweet, and silly as a lamb hopping through fresh spring grass. It's amazing to see all of her artwork in person! It's everywhere and reminds me of my own home with my artistic things strewn into every nook and cranny. Here I can actually touch her work, see all the in progresses, and kick her in the ass when I see there are new things that have not yet appeared in her etsy shop or blog (mmm hmmm guuuurl)
Visit Jacquies blog here to read about her side of our story and visiting adventures!