June 30, 2012

Tour de McMinnville

Due to a recent series of life-altering events in the lives of family and dear family friends, I suddenly have a renewed determination to live life to the fullest.  You know,

I want to be healthy, age gracefully, and want to "walk the walk" when I talk about being respectful of my planet.  With that in mind, meet my friend Bessie Bicycle. Eat your heart out, Tour de France cyclists!

Ol' Bessie is has been unearthed after a 6-year stint in storage and is delighted to see the light of day.  She has been dusted, de-rusted, oiled and inflated.  I have been on three short rides in the past week with my sweetie Dave, and can't believe how much I still love flying down the road on my trusty multiple-speed steed. 

This morning we went about five miles and in a nod to the inspirational cyclists over in France, we rewarded ourselves with coffee and pastry at our favorite coffeehouse.

Although my legs feel like wobbly Jell-o each time when I get home, I am in better shape than I thought-- no soreness or leg cramps have reared their ugly heads.

Ol' Bessie is a bike I got at a yard sale about 12 years ago.  I think she is some kind of mountain bike, but I really don't have a clue.  She reminds me a little of my favorite bike I had in high school and college.  It had just three speeds but carried me to school and back, and on hundreds of other adventures. By my calculation, Ol' Bessie has 21 speeds, and I haven't a clue what to do with about 18 of them.  But I suppose I'll figure it out.  

Do you have memories of a favorite bike? Do you know what to do with 21 speeds? Are you following the Tour de France? Did you carpe diem today? Let me know in the comments section of this post.

June 21, 2012

Welcome Summer!

It's here! It's finally here! Let's celebrate summer!

Summertime is full-bloom time here in northwest Oregon, which is exactly why the McMinnville Garden Club holds their annual Garden Tour and Garden Faire in June.  In fact, it's going to take place this coming Sunday, June 24, and I will be participating in the garden street fair which takes place downtown on 2nd Street and Cowls from 9 to 4 in McMinnville, Oregon. There will be booths filled with wonderful, lush garden plants of all kinds, garden art, and garden-related gift items!

To get ready for the Garden Faire, I've designed a dozen or so brand new floral pendants and earring sets for summer. But there's a twist.  Just for fun, I experimented with photography instead of watercolor paintings.

If there's anything I like as much as painting flora and fauna, it's photographing them!  So I've taken some of my favorite botanical digital photos, played around with a little artsy tweaking, and turned them into glass pendants (earrings are in progress...). 

I will "test market" them at the street fair on Sunday, and if they are a hit with the garden goddesses there, I just might have to make some more.  After all, I have about a gazillion nature photos saved on my computer, just waiting to be played with.

For example, I have one whole folder devoted to succulents. This photo was taken in my brother's front yard in Southern California.  He is replacing large areas of lawn with mostly drought-tolerant plants and drip irrigation and has created a beautiful succulent garden along the driveway.  

I'm also testing out the new pendants in my Etsy shop right now, just in case you can't make it to McMinnville on Sunday. Oh, and


June 2, 2012

Why I Cannot Leave a Plastic Bag Unattended For More Than 20 Seconds...

It's always a little embarrassing when a plastic bag starts following you around for some inexplicable reason...

You can try backing away from it, but sometimes it still keeps following you around...

That's when you should just go with the flow and pretend it's your new Superhero Cape until someone takes pity on you and removes it and you pretend like nothing happened. 

[Just one more good reason to use reusable canvas totes instead of plastic bags...Recycle, Reduce, Re-use!]