summertime fun – and a writing update


we went to the lake last weekend

if anyone out there has been wondering why there hasn’t been much posting around here, it’s because i impulsively semi-decided to give myself some time off from the computer. i am trying to get outside for myself and with my other beloved dog nessums and get some serious bonding time in while the weather is good around here. he sort of got the shaft when kaiser was sick, but now that he is the top dog (and the only dog) in the house, he is enjoying lots of long solo walks.

my mailbox is full of blog submissions and tips, which i am very happy to receive. keep them coming, but please know that i will probably not be starting up the daily posting until july or august. i am having way too much fun in the sun right now.

thanks for stopping by, and i hope you all are having a lovely summer too!

the winner is…

i am pleased to report that the winner of the 4×2 photo book contest is paula! congratulations to you!


many MANY thanks to all of you who dropped by and left comments – i am grateful to all the wonderful friends who have supported and encouraged my photography and our project, whether in person or online. big virtual hug now. 🙂

off to nola…

i can’t believe it’s 11 am already, that it’s thursday and that i am off to nola this weekend for a visit with the in laws. what happened to the week?


i have a sneaking suspicion that this will be the respite/restart/inspiration i need to begin writing posts again! i also plan to give the new camera a good workout while i am down there, so maybe if i don’t say anything i can still tell you a story when i get back.

whatever happens though, i want to let you know that plans to embark on an odyssey filled with chicory coffee, powdered sugar and gumbo will be underway directly. have a lovely weekend!

many thanks


photo by barca

many thanks to you all for your comments, emails and condolences about my dog kaiser. things are continuing to get better around here, and i am grateful for the support. also, thanks for bearing with me as i continue to jump back onto this blogging bandwagon. it’s not that there aren’t plenty of wonderful things to report on, it’s the number of hours in the day. i’m sure you can relate. 🙂

a sad day

we had to put our beloved 12 year old dog kaiser to sleep yesterday. he was no longer able to walk and could not place any weight on either of his back legs. we had been lugging him around in a sling and harness for months now, at 94 pounds, because he couldn’t go on the stairs but was still able to use at least one rear leg to hold himself up. he just couldn’t do it anymore, and we did not want him to suffer any longer than he needed to.


in his robust years he was 20 pounds heavier, bold and protective, with a magnificent head the size of a mailbox. he smiled frequently, was very vocal when he thought something was unfair, or he wanted to eat our clementines. he walked like a tiger, all sinewy and sleek and when he had open space to run and you were lucky enough to witness it, it was one of the most gorgeous things you could ever see. i loved him as much as a person could love a dog, even though he truly tried my patience at times. you can see that from this photo taken a few years ago, before he had the surgery on his spine. i look like i am strangling him, which makes me laugh, until i remember that i can’t do that anymore.

i could blame my lack of blog writing for the last few weeks on this, but i won’t. i haven’t been writing because i am working on a new series of photographs for my etsy shop, and a photo collaboration with a dear friend. these projects have been occupying my time, taking precedence over this website, which makes me feel oddly guilty about not writing, but this is the way things are falling into place and i choose not to fight it.

today though, today i just don’t feel like doing anything.

there will never be another kaiser and i will miss him for a very long time.

newness, and two new art blogs from me


though you all know by now that this blog is not about me, today this post is. i’m ankle deep in some new creative projects right now that i want to share with you…

1. my new digital painting blog.

i have had a burning curiosity about painting for a very long time. just last year i finally took the plunge to do something about it. i bought some mini canvases and paints and brushes several months ago, and while i had intended to start my resolution to really go for it and put paint to paper last year i never managed to make it happen. i’m not sure why. maybe it was the slightly intimidating fact that i have never painted before? i was always intensely involved in my academic studies as a child, all the way through my college years, and i guess i never really pursued balancing that with creative studies. i’m not going to say that i wasn’t encouraged, but in my house, the emphasis was always on academic excellence. that’s just the way it was.

so fast forward to now. when my husband bought Art Rage 2 for the computer i thought i’d give it a try, because i was already spending copious amounts of time in front of the computer writing and researching for this blog. i tried it, and you know what? i love it. seriously love it. it could be the greatest thing that i have discovered doing in a very long time and i can’t believe i never did it before, virtual or otherwise. it is so relaxing, and has quickly become a regular part of my daily routine. it adds surprisingly pleasing balance to my life. from a beginner’s standpoint i will declare that the program is wonderful. it is so user-friendly and thoughtfully designed. we have it on my hub’s christmas present, the new HP touch screen computer, and i can even put a brush up to the screen to paint instead of using a mouse if i want. quite novel! i highly recommend it.

anyway, here is one of my digital paintings. i call it Structure.


i still have yet to paint on actual canvas while sitting at my table, but i know that’ll come this year and soon, because i’ve started digitally. i really want to sort out the differences between the 2 methods. right now, i know at the very least that using actual paint for the pieces i’ve made so far would take much much longer, because everything is so heavily layered and drying time would be distinctly different. it’ll be fun to discover all the nuances of each style, and my style in the process.

from a painting perspective, i am attracted to and think in abstracts. if you want to see more of what i’ve made so far, my blog is called because i can’t draw. because it’s the cruel truth.

2. my new photography blog.

yup, that’s right. a daily photo blog. no words, just pictures. i’m not chattering away on my painting blog either, because i talk enough. i do welcome and enjoy YOUR clicks and comments though, anywhere you want to put them!

eventually i’ll get myself a fancy photography website with flash and make the images much bigger, but i’m not committing to that yet. i think i need to approach my photography in a more orderly and logical way before doing that, think more in terms of thematic structure. i like the images i’ve put into my etsy shop but it feels more loose than i prefer it. i would give it a good edit but i don’t have a large body of inventory to pull from, so some thoughtful building of the portfolio (as well as my skill set) is going to take place this year. i got the incredibly powerful nikon d90 camera for christmas, which makes the little kodak i had been using look like a fisher price toy. it is a beast that takes incredible photos, and i am enjoying the learning process of growing into and (hopefully eventually) mastering it. it also has great video capability, so don’t be surprised if i bust out into that mode this year either. i will continue to use both cameras as appropriate, as well as my iphone, but the d90 is totally suited to what i am talking about with regards to addressing photography in a more encompassing, thematic way; it was the perfect gift for me.


my photo blog is just a bit of what i see around me in my daily life, and it continues to aid me in slowing down enough to enjoy the present. some of my shots on that blog might cross over with snapshot sundays here, though i am trying to avoid overlap. each place is a different facet of me, and i am trying to respect that. the blog is called rods and scones, because rods and cones was already taken.

that’s enough about me for now. i’ll clam it up and talk about others next time. 🙂

happy happy


karla and balloons by allie smith

wishing you warm and wonderful thoughts on new year’s eve. the older you get that faster the months fly by. god, that sounds so cheezy but it is totally true. i’m planning to be back online next week, and hopefully with a big can of writing mojo — you know how you take a few days off from the computer because of a holiday and then you discover lost hours in the day? and then you feel compelled to not use the computer as frequently, because you need to clean out your closets, you start enjoy the art of cooking again and you just got a nikon D90 for christmas that you want to go out and play with when you’re not organizing your house? well maybe that’s just me. but you know what i’m saying.

my only resolution for 2009 is to go with it. how about you?

merry merry


i’ll be spending time with my family for the next few days, so i’ll take the time now to say thanks for reading, thanks for looking and thanks for listening. i’ve enjoyed hearing from you all year long in my email box and also in the comment boxes. i am grateful to feel connected to so many people from everywhere on the map, quite literally. i’ve had close to a half a million people cruise through this little place here this year. i can hardly believe it!

to the 4 visitors from fiji, i say bula vinaka and welcome!

to the cherished group of you that pop by on a regular basis, i say thank you for your support, humor and encouragement. i hope we all can continue to add a little joy to each others’ daily lives in 2009.

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