How does time get away from me?  I am on this computer all of the time but I just don’t stop to post my thoughts anymore.  I need to get better and try and be more disciplined.  Ok, enough of my self bashing…

Lately I have been busy dealing with aging parents and my own sore back issues.  How does one grab a laundry basket and pull a muscle in your back?  It seems so stupid yet I DID THAT!!!  Maybe the answer is to NOT do the laundry anymore. Unfortunately that isn’t practical.  But after visiting a wonder chiropractor, I am almost back to my “old” self.  That was a scary adventure in itself.  But I liked it because we solved the pain without heavy drugs which I don’t like to take.

Perry and I were able to escape to Colorado for a few days.  Getting out of the Houston heat was so wonderful!  We spent one night in Breckenridge.  Since there was a beer festival going on we decided to go check it out.  First day in that high altitude and it didn’t take long for one small beer to make me feel pretty good.  HA!  Here are a few pictures that I took from our day there.


One thing I noticed were the pretzel necklaces.  Everyone was wearing them so they could bite into it between tastes of the different beers.  I guess they cleansed your palate.  He didn’t look so happy about me taking his photo.  TOO BAD…


Lots of interesting characters!



We stayed at a lovely Bed & Breakfast called The Fireside Inn.  It was one block from the main street in town so you could walk everywhere.


The next day we drove to Aspen for four nights.  Rode the gondola to the top of the mountain so we could enjoy the Sunday noon Bluegrass concert.



Everyone was enjoying the sunshine and the great music!

More to come…

“WORD OF MOUTH” by Kathy Zieben

The latest challenge that was presented to our group was called sticks & stones.  My interpretation of these words goes way back to the children’s nursery rhyme we all grew up reciting. It persuades the child victim of name-calling to ignore the taunt and remain calm and good-natured.   (Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me)

While it seemed like a good practice to use on the playground, words can actually cause pain and suffering that may never go away.   Not only saying words to hurt someone face to face, but now there is cyber bullying and texing!

My quilt is called “WORD OF MOUTH”.  It began as a collage of words radiating from a head surrounded by shredded paper.  Sometimes we feel like our brain is on overload from everything we hear.  I scanned the collage on fabric, quilted and embellished it with beading.

Just remember to think before you speak.  Know that your words can cause harm!

word of mouth

word of mouth upclose


Everyone I know has the problem with collecting objects.  Whether  it is clothing, collectable objects, or family treasures, how does one decided what to keep or what to toss?  Having someone come in and organize for you is worth every penny!!!  Do you remember the guy on Tv named Peter Walsh?  He was the clutter organizer.  He would point out that clutter clogs the mind.  When I heard him say that, it set off a light bulb moment for me!

When my friend’s house flooded, I was there to help them sort out their things.  We threw away water logged stuff and packed up  boxes with items that could be saved.  She was so happy to have my help.  But the only problem was weeks later when she started thinking about some of the stuff that we did throw away.  There are no “GO BACKS” as you know in trash…It only hurts for a second when you throw it in that black garbage back and then you have to forget about it.  

Alot of the things I have in my studio, I never touch.  So what motivates me to keep the stuff?  I think being an Artist puts you in a separate category.  Possibly one day I will use it in a project.  Hopefully one day I will give it to someone who needs it.   Perhaps I just like looking at it.  WHO THE HELL KNOWS why we collect certain things????

Have you ever seen the show “Hoarders” on TV?  I know that I am NO WHERE close to having the illnesses that those people have.  Emotional depression, family issues, or illness is what has gotten those people where there are.  There was a point in time where I could have seriously crossed the line with my many collections!!  But I also like to be very organized, neat and tidy.  I don’t like clutter!  So I organize, organize, organize all of the time!!!!  I don’t want my family to deal with my “stuff” when I am gone.  So if you can’t do it yourself then pay for someone to come in and do it now.  You just never know what tomorrow will bring.  

The photos were found on the internet and not taken by me.


Garage inside. Old broken car, shelves with tools and stacks of things.


Photorealism in Acrylics

Eight weeks ago I signed up to take Photorealism in Acrylics Painting through the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies through Rice University.   What is photorealism?

Photorealism is a genre of art that encompasses painting, drawing and other graphic mediums, in which an artist studies a photograph and then attempts to reproduce the image as realistically as possible in another medium. Although the term can be used to broadly describe artworks in many different mediums, it is also used to refer specifically to a group of paintings and painters of the United States that began in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Inspiration came from artists such as Wayne Thiebaud, Audrey Flack, Ralph Goings, Chuck Close, and Janet Fish, just to name a few.

In order to explore the narrative possibilities of still life we captured images from Whole Foods grocery store, hoping to get that one shot that would be good enough to paint!  One reason I wanted to take this class was to be able to use my photography skills in my art.  Using a grid system, we learned to transfer our imagery to canvas.  But then the hard part came.  How to paint something that would look real?  I decided to do an ear of corn for my first attempt.  My painting became more of a “mixed media” piece of art because I used fabric and thread to complete my project.

Here is the final product that I will present in class today.

IMG_3174 IMG_3173 (1)

“CORN” acrylic painting on canvas, fabric, thread

16″ x 20″


Recently we were out in San Diego and La Jolla visiting our daughter and soaking up the sunshine!   We had some delicious food while there, especially breakfast foods!  I love that about traveling, not cooking and getting to eat all your meals out!  Thank goodness we walked almost everywhere we went otherwise the pounds would have started to pack on.  There are so many wonderful walking trails which are so hilly.   And don’t forget the beautiful beaches and walking in the sand.  That is a great workout, too!

This first picture was from Cody’s in La Jolla.  It is on Girard Avenue.

IMG_9557_2This breakfast was from The Coffee Cup on Wall Street.


And my favorite food I discovered was an Acai Bowl at Turquoise Coffee in Pacific Beach on Cass Street.

IMG_9737So if you have an opportunity to make it out to San Diego and La Jolla, you have my recommendations for three restaurants.  I wish I was there right now!!  I am ready for some breakfast…


I have been so busy working on a few projects that I have finally finished my quilt for the Into The Woods Challenge.  It was inspired from a photograph that I took while on a family vacation in Deer Valley, Utah.   Using a fisheye lens to capture my son’s image touching a tree was my inspiration.  He appears to bend the tree with shear strength!  

Why does walking “Under the Canopy” of trees feel so powerful?  Can taking a walk help one gain a sense of peace and calmness?  ABSOLUTELY!  These giant structures makes you feel significantly better about yourself.  Breathing in the fresh air and hearing the crunch of leaves and twigs on the ground can melt your stress away.

This quilt started with a photograph that I collaged with words and images.  I scanned it onto fabric.  It was machine quilted with silk, paper, and metal leaves.  Glass bead leaves were added on the bottom.




I’ve been really busy so far this year (only two weeks but seems longer) organizing my studio and getting ready for all the hard work that will be coming out of it.  I’m working on art quilts and making fabric baskets.  I continue to draw and make collages in my art journals.  Basically I am having so much fun playing with all kinds of materials.   My latest quilt , which I finished yesterday, was for an architecture theme which I named: “WELCOME TO MY WORLD”.   Houston is my hometown, so I am very familiar with the distinctive architectural areas of our city.   I chose to show the reflection of various buildings on a pair of glasses.  I started out with a paper collage in my art journal which I scanned onto fabric. It was machine quilted and hand beaded.  You might even recognize some of the neighborhoods!



Houston or H-Town, is the way we refer to our city for those of you who are not from Texas.  If you are a Lyle Lovett fan, he wrote a song about Texas called:  That’s Right (You’re Not From Texas).  Here is a link to the song if you would like to hear it.