Wednesday, November 23, 2011


See, I CAN learn from my mistakes.  For example, I checked the expiration date on this baking powder I was about to use.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Three Rivers Arts Festival

Last Sunday my cousin Holly and I went over to the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Covington, LA.  Jason agreed to go too  - a great surprise!  I always love having him with me, of course, but he usually skips out of this sort of festivity.  I can sometimes convince him to go look at art, though.  He likes very realistic paintings, and we saw a couple of good ones at Peter Anderson the weekend before. 

We didn't see much in the way of realism at Three Rivers, but we did get to see my friend Amy (Andree's sister), who is a fabulous painter.  Her paintings are very colorful, sort of stained-glassy looking, fun works of art.  Flowers, fruits, and the occasional ballerina...they would brighten any spot!  I WILL have one, one of these days.  I need to save my $ for it!

Here's the link to the facebook page for her art.!/AmyCGlisan?sk=wall

Amy's "Plants of the Bible" series is currently on exhibition at the Bible Museum in Monroe, Louisiana.  The Bible Museum is part of Biedenharn Museum & Gardens.  The Biedenharn includes the historic home , formal garden, Bible Museum and Coke Museum. Joseph A. Biedenharn was the first bottler of Coca-Cola and he built his home in Monroe in 1914.   

Here's an article about the exhibit:

I love looking at all the different art.  It makes we want to come home and try to create something.  Of course doing anything like these artists do is way beyond my talent level, but I like to putter around and try things. 

The only thing I bought was an AWESOME little shadow box for Kaylin's room at my house from Fused and Flamework Glass artist Fath Wickey. 

I had the HARDEST time deciding which one to buy; she had several that I loved.  She even had a couple of little dogs which were darling.  She also had really amazing LONG versions of the one I got.  They were a way out of my budget, but man-o-man they were BEAUTIFUL.  I was happy with the price of my little box - $65.  The colors are perfect for Kaylin's room and I love the shapes of each little flower. 
After the festival, we stopped in Slidell to visit our Aunt Billie and Uncle Mike.  They left later in the week to spend two weeks in Turkey.  Thanksgiving in Turkey. They probably won't be having turkey though, I'm sure.  It was such a good day, and I'm glad I'm finally climbing out from under all the work/ home/ location adjustments and DOING what I moved here to do - spend more time with my family. 

Dear Annie Sloan Chalk Paint,

Where have you been all my life? 

You helped me turn crappy, $2 Goodwill picture frames

Into these picture frames.  In minutes!

I want to paint everything in my house now.  Come over and visit.  I may just paint YOU!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

1st Annual Peter Anderson Festival

Well, 1st one for us anyway.  The P.A. Festival is one of the biggest deals on the coast.  300ish local , potters, jewelry makers, painters, woodworkers, etc. set up booths along the two main streets in Ocean Springs.  There is festival food (Funnel cakes and fried oreos!), live music, and the people watching is great.

Jason and I live within walking distance of all this fabulosity.  It makes me very happy. 

As usual, I was out of town all last week.  Jason scrubbed and laundered and mowed and edged and fluffed, and then Friday night he made a big batch of his famous White Chicken Chili.  All I had to do was come home.  He rocks SO HARD.

Mom came and spent the night Friday night. Scot, Alex, and Kaylin came over Saturday morning.  Jason offered to run a shuttle service for us since we weren't sure how long Kaylin would make it. He drove us up the street and picked us up, which worked out perfectly. 

Kaylin was fun and hilarious, but she did NOT want to sit in her stroller, nor did she want to be held.  She was only happy when she could run around on her own.  There were WAY too many people for that, plus myriad dogs, security dudes in gold carts, and etc., then she got hungry and had to have a pulled pork sandwich from The Shed. Needless to say, we only got through about 1/3 the booths.

But it was all good, because reinforcements were on the way!  Soon after we got back to the house, two of my kids (coworkers of mine) from NOLA arrived to see the new house and go to the festival.  Jason went too this time, and we made it through the whole thing.  It really was great.  So many BEAUTIFUL things. 
I bought a great limited-edition print of the coast with the barrier islands.

I love that it has a little Walter Anderson drawing at Horn Island
I also fell in love at first sight with this Starfish platter.  I bought the last two the artist had. They were only $35!

UGH I just want to HUG IT. 

Sunday, we thought about going back, but opted to veg out and watch a Big Bang marathon.  Holly and Chris came to hang out, which made the weekend complete.  Awesome weekend, awesome festival.  Next year we hope to have even more of you over.  Free parking here!

Friday, October 28, 2011

But seriously, can you stand the cuteness?

My niece in a jumper made by her KK (aka my Mom).

A little fall treat

My neighbor's confederate rose is blooming.  This one was hanging over on my side of the yard, so I had to bring it inside.  It was about to rain and it would have been ruined anyway. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

What I DID buy.

I know Jason's next question is going to be "Well what DID you buy?".

So here it is.  2 vintage necklaces (because I don't have enough vintage necklaces that I don't wear), and a fat little bird that I think I will use as my "object" for the art class I'm taking.  Total.....$21. 

Stuff I didn't buy

Welcome to a new type of what will become a recurring blog entry......

Stuff in stores that I didn't buy (but totally would have if I:
         a> was a hoarder,
         b> had a resale store and a hunky jack-of-all-trades like The Picker Sisters, or
         c> didn't care that it drives my husband nuts when I come home with "junk". )

So for our first go-round, here are some things Dale and I looked at today in BSL and didn't buy.
A super-cool 50's? 60's? coffee service

A cool (heavy) old flower frog.

A cute glass-covered shadow box
The mid-century end tables which Dale has been coveting and "can't explain why they aren't in my own house yet."
Onion and Garlic?  Salt & pepper shakers


Dale and I spent MANY an afternoon in antique/ junk stores while we were at Mississippi State, both of us poor college students, honestly trying not to be any more of a financial burden than we already were to our parents.  That was one thing that we had in common - GUILT.  We were both RA's, and the little money we made from that job went a long way.  I think in all those trips, I only bought a couple of pairs of vintage earrings and the elephant planter that started the collection I still have today.  And I'm sure a few other things here and there, but if it was over about $3, it was out of the question. The fun was in finding the treasures and really prioritizing what we could save for. No, folks, we did not have credit cards back then (THANK GOD), and we have been known to put something that cost $17 on lay-away.  That was 20 years ago, and we've come a long way, baby.  But today felt just like the old days...and I loved every second. 


P.S. I need help learning how to get my pictures and stuff organized on the page the way I want them.  It aggravates me.

THIS is one of the main reasons I moved to the coast...

Left work a little early today to get a jumpstart on my weekend @ Mom's.  Got to Bay St. Louis (BSL), and it occurred to me that Friday is Dale's day off. (Dale is my BFF from College, for those of you who are new readers.)  I have been needing to go to BSL to look in several antique/vintage junk stores AND the Mockingbird Cafe, where both Dale and her 12 year old son have art for sale.

So taking a big chance because Dale always has 1400 things going on for herself, and 210 things going for each of her 4 kids, I called her. And By George!, she answered!  AND, she was AT THAT MOMENT standing in one of the very stores I wanted to visit.  So I turned off the interstate while she ran to get her girls and we met up at the Mockingbird for some pumpkin spiced lattes and planning. 

The #3 painting, entitled SPIN, is mine (well I hope it is shortly. I've requested a payment plan).  So back off. 
Here is a better picture of one of Aidan's pear paintings
Then I sat down with the girls for our afternoon coffee and a littlest pet shop sorting session.  I'm all about sorting (and resorting and resorting and resorting) things.  Tlearn Dale's youngest is as sort-happy as I am was fun.

Dale's kids are so beautiful, and so COOL (of course).  They are super-neat kids to be around.  I'm so glad I'm going to get to know them. 

So we finished our coffees, then we took off for an hour or so of junking! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

First REAL garden project

The new house has a built-in smoker area with a cabinet and a tiled countertop area.  It is the Bomb.  Of course my first thought was not OOH!  A SMOKER!  Jason and I don't cook.  Yeah he can make some AWE.SOME wings on a grill. But other than that we aren't really outdoor-cooking people.

So MY first thought was.....POTTING AREA!!!

This past weekend I got to try it out for the first time. It worked perfectly.  Plenty of working space, plenty of finished stuff space, even a little ledge for my coffee and tools.  I used the metal surface of the smoker for trash, and then easily separated that into plastic for the trash can and paper for the fire pit. 

Really the only thing I brought with me from Tulip Street was my succulent collection. And Boy ohBoy they enjoyed the drought this summer and had TONS of babies. I needed to separate them, repot them, and hopefully they will all root. Then I can give lots of them to my friends, and use them to make new cool combo pots and maybe even a Fairie garden or two. 

Here are the finished ones all tucked in for the fall and winter.  They should be able to make some good root systems by the spring, and then start making babies all over again.  These little plants amaze me.  They are just happy to be pretty much anywhere where they can soak up the sunshine and their feet won't stay wet.

We should all try hard to flourish where we are, right?

The rest of the pictures from this potting session are linked to the right ---------> (under links to photo albums).   

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I'm a Doodler, So Sue Me

I am a Doodler.  I doodle at meetings, in classes, when I'm on the phone, when I'm watching training videos, at the Dr's office waiting room, on airplanes etc.  Lucky for me, the head honchos that I deal with for training classes in my own agency and at the FFIEC A> are both well-educated about HOW to train people, GET it, and even ENCOURAGE it (my agency's training lady even puts out pipe cleaners, playdoh, and/or various other things to play with while you are listening in class), and B> know me well enough to know that I am (ALMOST always) fully paying attention. 

The other people in classes though.....UGH.  You people drive me nuts with your little remarks about the doodling.  To me, when you are sitting in a class staring blankly at the front of the room rarely even blinking, it doesn't look like you are listening, it looks like you might be a serial killer. 

Research shows that you have to have TWO areas of your learning centers engaged in order to retain information.  That means that if I'm listening to you read me a 200 slide powerpoint presentation and I'm not doing anything else.....I'm not hearing you. (People that READ their powerpoint slides to me are a topic of a whole 'nother rant.  As is the use of the phrase "a whole 'nother"). 

Last week I was in a week-long class which included 11 students and 8 trainers.  I was expected all kinds of crap for the doodling, but only got a passing comment from 2 of the trainers, and as usual, three of four of the class participants.  It usually doesn't bother me in the least, but last week was a little stressful and so it bugged me more than normal. 

Just so ya' know, while I'm doodling, I'll retain about 30% more of the information than the guy sitting next to me staring in to space.  And that is science. 

From a TIME: SCIENCE article:

" Doodling, in contrast, requires very few executive resources but just enough cognitive effort to keep you from daydreaming, which — if unchecked — will jump-start activity in cortical networks that will keep you from remembering what's going on. Doodling forces your brain to expend just enough energy to stop it from daydreaming but not so much that you don't pay attention."

And here's a Ted talk about the subject:

There's lots of research to back this up.  So hey you doodling naysayers.....BACK OFF.

Just for the record, here are the things I doodled last week in class:

I'm going to start carrying the research with me to all my classes.  I swear. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A late-night chat with my favorite geek.

About a week ago, I used a little award I got @ work to purchase a new Keurig machine.  We LOVE it.  Even Jason, not really a coffee drinker, is all about it and has changed his daily routine to include a cup of coffee on the back porch. 

This past weekend I ordered a few boxes of Kcups, but they haven't arrived yet. Jason was worried that he was using all the cups, and thus resulted the following exchange:

do they sell K cups in stores locally?
or is it all online?
yes they do! they have them @ Target I know, and probably Wally World
k... cuz I feel bad I'm drinking all the ones we have.
at least if we can go get more that will be cool.
yeah and we can even get a carousel
like... with ponies?
yes with ponies. We can put it out in the back 40
oooooh purrty
ain't it?
seems like... it would just be neater to have a cover or something for whatever box they come in
and you just take them from the bottom of the box
or... whatever.
filling the carousel is like... the antithesis of the k cup philosophy
of coffee for little or no work.
I mean... having to unload the box, then reload them into the carousel is like raising the activation energy needed to attain said cup of coffee
"the antithesis of the k cup philosophy"
well maybe we could just get the carousel for the VARIETY coffees, and the teas and donut shop coffee something else

ooh I found one!
ok lemme see
its awesome
zero entropy to the system.
I love you
We can use my pretty red bowl that the garden district gave me!!
yea that sounds like an idea
I mean i guess if you like keeping around like 5 or so different types
one of those would be cool
did you take your medicine?

Typical exchange for midnight on a work night.  He keeps me real and takes good care of me :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Loves Books

K.E.S., much like her Aunt Nonya, loves books.  I made her one out of my scrapbooking supplies and pictures of her.  Each page says "K.E.  is..." and some emotion or description that matches the picture. 

And then I mod-podged the heck out of it because I wanted her to be able to play with it.  She loves it!  (See video I posted just before this post). 

I'm not 100% satisfied with the mechanics of it. Next time I'll use binder rings to give it more structure.  But I like my idea for the stars - they flip up to reveal another picture.  For example, flip this star up and you see: 
 So that worked out pretty well, except the stars sort of flop around and get twisted too much.  If I do another book, I'll have to figure out a better way to do these extra features. 

Joy to the world I can upload videos :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

A "Jason Pickens" Answer

A couple of weeks ago, at 11:30 pm, as I was packing and getting ready for a flight the next morning, I casually said something like "my sink is still a little slow draining.  If we are going to need a plumber, I want us to call one before our home warranty runs out".

And as the words left my mouth, I saw Jason snap into scientist mode.  This does not always happen when I ask a question or mention a household issue, but when it does happen, I know to just stand back. 

20 minutes later, I was in possession of the following information:
  • The elbow under my sink is not clogged, and the angle is sufficient to allow for proper water drainage.
  • The sink in the hall bathroom, whose faucet causes a turbulent flow,  can fill a plastic cup from our kitchen in 8 seconds.
  • My sink, whose faucet causes a laminar flow, can fill the same plastic cup from our kitchen in 3.4 seconds.
  • Both sinks drain the water from a full plastic cup in 4 seconds.
  • My sink drainage is perfectly adequate, I'm just turning the faucet on too much.
And now I find myself trying to identify the flow type of any faucet I turn on. 

Antique store SCORE!

I've been looking for my new favorite antique stores since I moved to the coast, and so far I've been disappointed.  All the stores I have visited thus far are too small with too little inventory, way too expensive, or both.

Saturday, after leaving the Saefood Festival,  I couldn't make up my mind if I wanted to go look at lamps way over in Gulfport, but I headed over there anyway.  Then I decided no, I didn't want to go over there, so I turned around to go home down some back roads, and THERE IT WAS.  A big fat antique mall. 

Now usually I only like antique malls occasionally.  They often have too much crafty stuff, new JUNK, etc.  But this was featured a big sign on the side that said "BOOKLAND", so I couldn't resist. 

JACKPOT.  No junk, No crafts, reasonable to cheap prices. 

My first score was SIX vintage library books on gardening.  OOOOh I'm super excited about these.  It's been awhile since I found any good garden books, and these should keep me occupied for quite awhile. 

My second score was SIX vintage necklaces and a pendant.  I'm forever looking for vintage jewelry and I never find anything I like.  Literally, I haven't found a piece in like 20 years.  These were fun, cheap, and even CHEAPER because the vendor was there and cut me a deal on every piece.  

Total for six hard-back books, six necklaces, and a cool pendant?  $48!  I'm happy with that! 


I have so much I want to blog about, that I'm overwhelmed.  It's been a while since I had the motivation to share, but I'm feeling motivated, creative, and glad to be here.  So I'm just going to randomly pick stuff from my stash of pictures and start posting them.  Here we go!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Speaking of my Daley-Dale....

Some random shots from her ultra-beachy-cool 100+ year old beach cottage (recently featured on the Bay St. Louis Tour of Homes, thank you very much). 

Bird nest salt & pepper in a nest. Painting of sugar thing.

Old Window used as door on cabinet displaying Shearwater Pottery teacups.   

                        Talking about oranges, keeping it beachy by pairing the orange with light, washed out colors.

Bird by Marion

Monster by Aubrey "My monster has wheels but he just sits there"

                              Water fountain to quench the thrist of the 800 neighborhood kids always running around.


  Stuffed Elephant by Aidan.
                                                                                                  Birds by Sadie.

Painted floor in art studio.
                                                                               Perfect playhouse.

Little mushroom people.  The hats are bells and play different notes

She's as elusive as Jason in pictures....but I managed to get a blur of her.
I have needed her back in my life for so long!!