i honestly don't know what i was thinking this month...my calendar is spilling over with appointments, events, promises, to-do's. {not to mention an unscheduled trip to the ER!} let's just say i will be extremely happy for september 1 to roll around. so for today i thought i'd just share a few visuals of the stuff i've been up to over the past 2 weeks, and what i have going on this weekend!!!  here we go...
i helped to coordinate the 6th Annual Jamie & Andy Schliepsiek Memorial Fundraiser...this is the {party} we throw every summer in my sister and brother-in-law's honor. 

we always do a silent auction...
and raised over $5,500 that night!

the event is held in my hometown of peoria, IL and we spent a long weekend
hanging out with some of my favorite people...

and then back to houston for my very first mixed media workshop last weekend...

and our big art show this weekend...
david and i decided a while back that we wanted to celebrate women artists...and we're so excited that our neighboring gallery has joined us!  it's going to be a great night. {a long, exhausting, carefully planned night.} and i'm looking forward to sleeping well into next week.


mission failed...

this flashback friday is actually a reflection on how i DIDN'T live like a kid last week...please don't be disappointed with me, it happens sometimes. that damn adult instinct takes over and says things like "that's not professional" or "you'll look like a clown." now when i was a kid, looking like a clown was a GOOD thing. so here's how it went down last week...

i was in a funk...i was having one of those crisis moments where i realize that i work to pay my bills in this terrible cycle of consumerism for things i don't really want, but need to maintain this ridiculous lifestyle i didn't exactly choose but seems necessary in our modern western culture.  (and yes, i was temporarily forgetting that i love my job and have a really lovely and exciting life despite this work-financial obligation-responsible-adult-predicament.) so i had a flashing thought that i should wear my "wedding shoes" {pictured above} to work to cheer myself up a bit, but then VETOED it. just like that...my yucky grown-up brain told me NO.

this is exactly the stuff that stifles creativity. that stunts our growth (at any age). this is not good for my soul. i firmly believe that kids should wear tutu's and firefighter hats to kindergarten (or 6th grade!). i also believe that i should wear red puma sneakers to work if i feel like it. red sneakers do not take away my master's degree or the licensure i attend countless continuing ed courses and pay hard-earned cash to maintain. funky blue laces do not say "i am a bad social worker" or "i am incapable of providing empowering statements and listening attentively."

if i have to be a grown-up, i should be able to act like a kid not only in the privacy of my own home (ben and jerry's straight from the container, with an oven mitt to protect from frostbite), but in public as well. and next time i feel like a little wedding-shoe-love might lift my spirits....i will say yes.
for a chance to win that fabulous giveaway, answer me this...what did you do this week {or really wish you had done} to feel like a kid again?


whimsical women interview #2

today i have the pleasure of introducing you to a fellow houstonian--and someone i have an abnormal amount of bizarre similarities with.  (for example: we don't like to talk on the phone, we love butterflies and power tools, and must at all times sleep with a fan for white noise!) Jen DeDonato is a full-time artist and mom to two boys, not to mention the founder of colorfly studio!
she will be joining me at the women of texas art show at mariposa studio this month and i'm thrilled to see her art in person {finally}! jen's artwork is featured throughout this interview and she has graciously offered a giveaway to whet your appetite for the upcoming show! but we'll talk more about that later...first, let's meet august's whimsical woman:  jen dedonato!

as i leave behind my old blog, the year of discovery, i'll ask for one thing you've discovered in the last year?
I would say what I've learned this year is not to take your health for granted. I've been really sick for exactly one year and it's been hard on me. Waking up every day and feel good is something no one should take for granted. A not so serious discovery is that I've discovered I love pedicures! Nothing better then to look down and have happy toes looking back at you.

how do you bring fun into your life…anything you do regularly that makes you feel like a kid again?
Go carts! It’s been awhile but I love riding them with my boys. I am blessed because I have a wonderfully fun family and friends. We go to plays, sing-a-long movies, theater, day trips, art exhibits, new restaurants, street fairs, festivals you name it we will find it and enjoy ourselves.  

how do you maintain balance in your life (IF you do), between creative endeavors and the other parts of your life?
I have to break my day in half…in the morning/afternoons I work on art and then late afternoon/evenings I have to tend to home and family. This schedule is easy during the school year because my boys are gone but it’s much more difficult during the summer months because we keep crazy hours.

what does community mean to you? could you describe a community of which you're a part?
I am a part of a great art community here in Houston. I have been surprised how everyone really sticks together and helps each other. What I’ve experienced is that it’s not competitive and crazy. The monthly artist market I am part of (First Saturday Artist Market) is great because all the artists are so helpful.

what is the BEST costume you've ever worn?
I love handmade costumes and the best one I ever wore was done by my friend’s Mom. She made me into static cling. It was awesome because it cost nothing! All my clothes matched and then she put socks, pantyhose, shirts and such all over me. I don’t have a picture but I wish I did.

if you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? and who would you take with you?
I would go to Egypt hands down. I have always been intrigued with the history and to see the pyramids up close would be amazing to me. I would take my husband because I would love to have that experience/memories with him. Plus he would have to tell me which direction to walk.

tell us something about yourself that only a few people know…
I have to sleep with a box fan. I have to take it with me when I travel. I won’t take it on planes but if I could get it into my suitcase I would consider it! My son’s doctor suggested it to sooth my son because he was a screamer baby but in the end it ended up soothing me. It’s the sound I guess that makes me feel comfortable and cozy…can’t explain that one.  

and last, what's something you've been working on…or an upcoming project you want to share with us?
 I am working on soldered pendants with my artwork in them. I am really excited about them because they are just cool beans! Also, I am illustrating a wonderful book that a friend of mine wrote. It’s super clever and creative.

one lucky winner will receive the above 8x10 print on wood block

to enter the giveaway, you'll need to either:
1. comment on this post, answering the question: what makes you feel like a kid again? OR
2. comment on tomorrow's flashback friday post

i'll choose the winner from the comments from both days (and yes, you improve your chance if you comment twice!) and announce it on monday 8/16.

thanks so much to jen for visiting the playground...if you're loving her artwork and can't wait to see if you win the incredible giveaway, you can peek at her etsy shop here. i'll leave you with one of my favorites...


this i believe

a little happy for my hump day....my essay was posted on thisibelieve.org!   take a peek here.



there is magic all around us. but we must be open to its power. and believe. children have no problem with this task...the rabbit comes out of the hat and they are awed. it is an incredible sight, to watch the faces of those witnessing magic.  as adults, are we still able to believe--to go back to that place of innocence where the impossible is possible? we hear stories in the media about miracles. and people believe. we see something that defies all logic and acknowledge that sometimes...miracles happen.

what is the difference between magic and miracle? is it simply an open heart that allows for us to capture the magic and hold it inside of us? children's hearts are open to everything. but as we age, it seems to harden...protecting us from the inevitable heartbreaks that come with adulthood. despite this knowledge, i want to leave a little piece of myself open to the possibility of magic. to trust that there are things we cannot explain--and don't really need to. sometimes it's just more enjoyable not knowing how the trick was done, and just for a moment...to sit in awe.


i scream, you scream...

this week's flashback friday is all about summer fun....specifically, ICE CREAM! although i'm not gonna lie, i believe that ice cream is a year-round delicacy. recently, as we were driving to work i noticed a little shop i'd never seen in the 100+ times we've driven by.  it was called hank's ice cream, and i just knew that we'd be visiting very soon.  so last night david and i had a perfect summer evening...swimming at the Y, then home for a (well-balanced) meal, and then....to hank's!

i have to tell you, that oatmeal raisin in a sugar cone was sculpted to perfection by a young gentleman i am guessing to be hank's grandson.  and there were three generations of hank's family behind the counter of this old-fashioned ice cream parlor...one to give me the delicious "tester" of homemade heaven, one to make the perfect cone for my licking pleasure, and the third to divulge my husband's creative nature.  he could not be bothered with your run-of-the-mill rootbeer float, he opted for the much more exotic, much more texan...


we don't mess around down here, ya'll! it was so much fun, walking outside on a hot (82 degrees at 8:00pm) night, enjoying a sugar high with my hubby. but today i got to thinking about how we rarely allow ourselves such joys in this carb-obsessed, south-beach-frenzied, calorie-counting country of ours. i thought of the glorious gelato stands in italy, where no one is shy to order extra pistachio creaminess...and then walk around the piazza enjoying every lick.

which is what i wish for you in these last weeks of summer: to truly indulge yourself. maybe you're lactose intolerant and ice cream isn't your thing, but find whatever it is...and really ENJOY it. don't eat it and then think about how many sit-ups you're gonna need to combat those cheese fries, just enjoy them.  as kids we don't worry about it "going to our hips"...and to be honest with you, i don't think we should be doing it as adults. i know i've rambled on about weight watchers in previous posts, but i'm gonna have to repeat it here:  they know what they're doing.

the one rule in WW (okay, there are a few...) is to actually taste your food, to enjoy it, savor it, make it worth it.  which is exactly what i did with my cone last night, right down to the last bite. life is short...we're never gonna be as thin as we think we "should" be. again, i ask you:  on your deathbed will you remember those extra 30 minutes on the treadmill, or that wonderfully warm night out with your husband, ice cream dripping down your wrist, watching this...

what are you doing this summer that makes you feel like a kid?



i want to write. i want to sit with my pencil and legal pad and scribble it all down. i want to get it out there...blow the petals into the universe. i am yearning for the long, uninterrupted time for me and my words. i am ready.


summer loveliness

my photo was featured over here...i loved scrolling through all of the amazing images and snippets from a day.  hope your sunday is lovely...