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Frames and Roses

Today I became absolutely obsessed with my framing project. It took on a certain magical quality – an altar full of symbols. I’ve always wanted one, and it will be perfect for Halloween!

There was one tiny frame for which I couldn’t find a watercolor, a round, really ornate frame. I ended up painting roses to go in it. In the end, I’m really pleased with how this turned out. I can’t wait for people to come over and see this, to pick from the table of framed watercolors, a symbol or an omen that might be meaningful to them, and bring them luck.

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Gingerbread House

Today I started working on this small gingerbread house painting, because it’s time to advertise my new commissions project which involves a gingerbread house surprise sponsored by my top collector – a real estate agent I highly recommend. My new commissions project involves painting house portraits, and I’d love to do one for you!

It’s been in all respects a really good day, and I’m excited about many things, including the house portraits! Also, as a special good omen, the number of lizards sleeping in my lemon tree has now increased to two. One sleeps with its tail curled up, the other one with its tail hanging. I find this nothing short of magical.

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Shrimp Cocktail

In which my fridge is full of yummy leftovers, I decide to take it easy after a really busy weekend, I take two yoga classes back to back, and the highlight of my day is how much I love my old battered and paint-splattered dining room table being in the middle of the room with the new orchid on top and surrounded by the chairs dressed in the slipcovers my friend gave me. Little things like that make me really happy – which doesn’t mean that I don’t occasionally splurge on the big things, but more on that later. I’ve a pretty epic adventure in store.

Also, my historical expert sent me her notes on my Betty manuscript today. As usual, she has really good insights, some of which are funny. She notices, for example that Betty eats way too much meatloaf – not a practical choice for summer in a home with faulty ACs. Point taken. I have to invent some other meals for Betty. What did people eat in 1961? So far I’ve come across shrimp cocktail. I also found out that was the year carpaccio was invented – but it’s unlikely Betty would have been eating such a thing in Galveston.

Also, my lucky lizard is still around. He’s shifted to sleeping on the other side of the lemon tree, and is now on a different leaf, with his tail hanging, not curled. But he’s still there. And I hope this little cold front we’re having doesn’t upset him.

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Orchids!

Sometimes I cook for friends. I have to admit I haven’t done this in a long time, so even an old favorite, like polenta with mussels felt a bit daunting, but I pulled it off. It was a fun meal – though I will advise against falling for the lure of instant polenta. The real deal bubbles like a volcano and requires patience, luck, and skill, but tastes so much better! Live and learn. The mussels and clams were tasty, though, and it’s the kind of meal that’s fun to share.

My friends brought me an orchid. I will need to do some research to find out how to keep it alive and thriving. It’s a most beautiful thing, and secretly I’ve always wanted one.

Also, and this is very exciting: today I took my carousel horses, and the big painting of tapas I made for my art show in Barcelona years ago, to a store called Feliz Interiors (1305 S Voss Rd) where they will coexist with many wonderful and quite fascinating objects until they meet collectors who love them and want to take them home. I’m so excited! It’s a beautiful store full of eclectic and happy gifts and furnishings. I know the carousel horses will have a lovely time there!

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Old Theme, New Surface

Today I felt like doing something abstract – I was exhausted from yesterday’s trip to the Island, also under the strong impression of a complex dream involving a hummingbird. So I revisited an old theme, the type of balloons of color I enjoy making upon a white background that’s not completely white. What’s different about this is I used a wood panel instead of a canvas. In the past I’ve played with this technique and composition on canvas.

In the evening the carousel horses and I received some very special visitors. I won’t reveal what’s in store until tomorrow, but for now let me just say my timing in bringing these spunky little horsies home was perfect! Tomorrow marks the beginning of a new adventure for them!

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Do Not Grab the Hands

I did it! I drove down to Galveston to see the statue of Mary Star of the Sea. It was so lovely! She was indeed waiting for me in the church parking lot, and there were two people there to watch for her safety (along with a sign saying “do not hold onto or grab the hands”). They gave me all sorts of useful information. Here’s what I learned: She was added to the church later, so she’s only been up there since 1878 (the Basilica dates from 1848). She was made in France and weighs 3,000 tons. The day she was supposed to go up to her place on top of the spire was a very windy day and people were concerned it would be impossible to get her up there (even nowadays it’s quite difficult, involves plenty of insulation and a crane that costs $3,000 a day). Despite the stormy weather, in 1878, people believed that if she wanted to get up there, she would. And she did!

Also, she is standing on a serpent, to show her victory over evil. It will take about two months to restore her and we might get to visit her again at that point or not. After all, the crane is expensive and she might want to get back up there as soon as she can.

Needless to say, this was all very satisfactory information and I enjoyed seeing her up close immensely. She looks very happy and peaceful and I think she liked seeing me too.

Afterwards I went to Maceo’s and ate a very good sandwich. Ronnie then fed me a pumpkin cannoli, which was amazing, and a very good espresso. It was so good seeing him! It’d been too long.

Then my friend and I loaded the carousel horses into my car and I drove them home to Houston. I’m absolutely thrilled to have them back. I’d missed them so very much!

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How to Be Friends with a Lizard

Some of y’all already know I’m obsessed with the little lizard that sleeps on the same leaf of my lemon tree every night. I can’t even describe how excited I am to see him there. And yes, I do check. After dark, I open the door and look outside. There he is, always on the same leaf, though his head faces different directions on different nights, and his tail is sometimes curled, sometimes not. I used to take a lot of pictures. It’s hard taking pictures of a tiny lizard sleeping on a tiny leaf, especially in the dark. One night I got too close and scared him. Luckily he came back, and I learned that the best way to be friends with a lizard is to leave him alone.

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Crescent of Light

I didn’t make it to the Island today to see the statue of Mary Star of the Sea. But my friend posted a picture in which the light does a funny thing: It forms into a Crescent – a powerful symbol of the divine feminine.

I’m hoping maybe Friday I can make it down there to see her myself. Today was busy with pretty mundane stuff. Though I also got to buy new makeup to wear to the Gala next weekend!

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Live Painting!

One of my collectors, a member of Sky Club Elite, asked me if I’d consider donating a painting to raise money for HEART, a nonprofit that helps provide professional education for the developmentally disabled. I was happy to contribute to this great cause, and in the end we decided it’d be fun if I painted live at their happy hour! Tonight was the night, and although I had never done this in front of a large audience before, I ended up loving it! I decided to recreate a painting I’d done last year, of a girl with balloons (inspired by @whereintheworldismiha) but make it more colorful, larger, and make the balloons heart-shape in honor of HEART.

My friend came out to support me and she took this great picture of me painting. I’m so excited to have it, because there are not that many pictures of me in action, and this one I really love!