Monday, March 30, 2009

Collages: I

Paper collages by Audrey Smith

Spending Freeze: Week 11

Ah, this interminable spending freeze is almost over. I have only one week left. A mere seven days. I wish I could say it has gone by more quickly than I had ever imagined, but I can't say that's true. I also, oddly enough, can't say that I have spent any less these past three months than in the past. Part of that has to do with us taking a couple of trips, some assorted car repairs & the usual house & garden whathaveyous. Part of that also has to do with the simple fact that 'spending freeze' is not a very good description for this exercise. We could spend, of course, one must, but the trick was to eliminate unnecessary purchases & to buy used goods, or better yet, to make do whenever possible.

To that end, I think this experience has been very positive. I really learned a thing or two about thinking before bringing anything new into our lives/home & also learned a very uncomfortable lesson about how much a part of my life those unnecessary purchases had become. I'm remembering one particular weekend, a few weeks in, when I was feverishly scanning the classifieds for estate sale listings. Surely, there must be one! Even a bad one will do! There was something lurking behind it all that seemed so low & desperate to me, I felt ashamed. I think that was my big detox weekend. I did find an estate sale after all, but it wasn't a good one and there was no joy in it.

After that, I got more into the stride. Our weekends were spent in the parks, at the creeks, puttering in our yard, meeting friends, reading books, & building things with our hands. I say, more of that, please!

Friday, March 27, 2009

It rained & it was good

The rains came & left behind some beautiful mushrooms.

Rose's pencil sharpener thought this would be a nice place to take a little rest & catch her breath during her garden rambles.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


The jacket, the sweater, the hair, the glasses: I am in love. Pretty lady, may I have your clothes, please?

via Garance Dore

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Lost Generation

Last weekend, I finished reading the marvellous autobiography of Gerald & Sara Murphy, Living Well is the Best Revenge, by Calvin Tomkins. It got me thinking about F. Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald, so I had to then go reread Hemingway's short & very readable A Moveable Feast.

The Roaring 20s have a fascinating hold on my imagination right now, as we slip away from our own gilded age. We'll survive, of course, but we'll be smarter, warier, thriftier, and more likely to save bits of twine & hoard old margarine containers.F.Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald via LifeGerald & Sara Murphy dancing on the beach at East Hampton via AT Ernest & Hadley Hemingway via the JFK Presidential Library

Spending Freeze: Weeks Nine & Ten

We've been busy, so it has been easy to steer clear of temptation.

Instead of buying unnecessary stuff, we:
Went to the San Antonio Zoo & marvelled at the restless lions, swimming hippos, Kimodo dragons & a silly, rubber-necked ostrich. (Sidenote, did you know that silly, rubber-necked ostriches can actually run 45 mph & kill a lion with a single, deadly kick?)
Planted a garden full of tomato plants, herbs & squashes
Had friends over & hung out in the backyard
Started sewing a rabbit for M's Easter basket
Cleaned house & organized
Read books (I finished two!)
Took Baby M to the Travis County Rodeo fairgroundsPetted deer, goats, sheep & llama in the petting zoo:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Baby Booties

Watch out, pregnant friends! You might just be getting baby booties made for you from this pattern. Or from one of these.

via ithinksewdotcomvia Martha Stewart

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Spending Freeze: Week Eight

I'm not so very good at this.
- unnecessary metal pail for Baby M
- unnecessary new lightweight summer pants for me
- unnecessary new t-shirt for me
- unnecessary pair of Bruce Springsteen tickets

"want/need" glass by inna alesina via Notes to Self

Monday, March 9, 2009

Use your hands

Off to do something real with my hands. Bye-bye computer.
Image from the book "Conversations with Students" by Paul Rand, found via Inchmark

Sunday, March 8, 2009


So, our good friends & neighbors challenged us to a date-off this weekend: who will have the most creative night out on the town?

We went with a Texas-theme & scrambled to hit as many stops as possible.

First stop was at Academy Sports to pick up some fishing line & sinkers. Then on to get some top-notch truck stop barbecue (Rudy's).
Photo via m.chiuuu photostream

Then we drove through the hills of West Austin, over the Pennebacker Bridge, parked the car & hiked up the top of the bluffs overlooking Lake Austin & watched the stars & the blinking lights of the radiotowers & city below us.
photo via fattytuna photostream

Thirsty, we headed off to Deep Eddy Cabaret for some Lone Star Beer, a game of pool & the best jukebox in town.
Photo via Jacob Cuthbertson's photostream
We wrapped up the night be walking down from Deep Eddy Cabaret to a small dock on the water's edge for a little late night fishing. We came away empty handed, but happy, as we held hands, walking back to the car, the moon bright above our heads and the trees rustling in the gusty wind.
I wonder what our friends ended up doing for their night out...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Runway at Night

One of my absolute favorite places in this world is a runway at night. I love the rows & rows of tiny colored lights heading off at all kinds of odd angles in the absolute blackness of space. I love watching the bottom-lit planes taking off and landing. I love the excitement of a journey about to begin and the anticipation of smiles, hugs & homecomings.

Recently, I was stuck on a plane, waiting for clearance to take off. And waiting. And waiting. But I did not mind. I was glued to the window, fogging up the glass & taking it all in. I tried to take pictures, but the lights were too small, the space too immense. I played around with the settings and then finally, I think I got it right. It does not look exactly like what's on the ground, but the feeling is just right.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Spending Freeze: Week Seven

This week, instead of making unneccessary purchases, we:
- Started painting the trim on our house. Bye-Bye baby blue. Hello cream!
- Attended a free organ recital at the University of Texas
- Rode bicycles with Baby M to the Kite Festival in Zilker Park