Thursday, June 21, 2018

Hello Summer!

Hello Summer! Today marks the official first day of summer, although its felt like summer for a while now. Any who... we are celebrating summer's arrival and the arrival of some new items in my shop!

Summer is all about sweet tea - sprinklers - chasin lightning bugs & daydreams - guitar nights under twinklin stars - sunshine - flip flops - porch sittin - back roadin - and dancin with the one you love. 

I was printing and transferring the images to fabric this week and Jeff said "what if you could make a wrap fit a Mason jar?" Hmm, let me check on that...Summer is all about sweet tea - sprinklers - chasin lightning bugs & daydreams - guitar nights under twinklin stars - sunshine - flip flops - porch sittin - back roadin - and dancin with the one you love.
Well guess what? With the addition of one extra strip of Velcro, the same wrap will fit a quart jar or a 30 ounce tumbler! Pretty cool, right?!? Versatile and fun - because while we love ice tea in Mason jars, hot summers require stainless steel tumblers, if we are going to have cold beverages in our cup for any length of time! Plus the tumbler fits in our cup holder while on the road. Seriously, I don't leave home without my tumbler full of ice water or tea, my purse, and my planner notebook. The three must haves! 

Summer is all about sweet tea - sprinklers - chasin lightning bugs & daydreams - guitar nights under twinklin stars - sunshine - flip flops - porch sittin - back roadin - and dancin with the one you love.

 Here's my favorite place to drink tea, daydream, listen to the sprinklers, watch for lightning bugs, and do a little porch sittin'!
Rustic Summer patriotic yard gazebo
I printed a few large images and created patches for a couple of denim shirts and vest. I am very tempted to keep this first one for myself! I love the cut of this vest plus it has pockets and I've got a pink sleeveless shirt and turquoise jewelry that would so match this! For the moment it is online, unless I change my mind! 

denim shirts, vest, and cup wraps

There's also a larger version of the Summer graphic on a distressed denim shirt. 

All of these items are in my etsy shop and can be shipped or I'll take any available to the next Mineola Antique Fair on July 13-14.

So tell me - what's your favorite thing about summer???

Gypsy Farm Girl graphic

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Quitman Arboretum, Stinson House, and Medicinal Herb Class

A few weeks ago, by Sister-in-Law Lisa shared a post on Facebook about a Medicinal Herb Class at the Quitman Arboretum. First, I didn't know there was an arboretum in Quitman (which is about 20 miles from our house) and second, I love herbs and wanted to know more. 

We discussed it and our schedules both allowed it, so we decided to go! Quitman Arboretum, here we come! My niece Brenna was also able to attend with us and we had a fun girls day. 

Holly Ross from Hollyberry Herb Farm near Canton, Texas was the presenter for the very informative and enlightening class! We got to make a herb tincture and purchased some herb plants that we usually don't see at the local garden centers. 

This quote was in our workbook and I believe this is the way we should view our food. I've always grown some herbs and love to pick them fresh for cooking, although now I will be studying and making some more tinctures and even household cleaners, with the plants I grow here at home. 

quote for healthy living and eating
After the class, we got to tour the arboretum grounds and the Stinson House that is on the arboretum property. The Quitman Arboretum is all volunteer operated and funded. Last year, they had extensive wild hog damage to the grounds and they are in a rebuilding and replanting stage. 

This was the drought tolerant garden - after the initial planting and first year of watering to get the plants established, there is no irrigation to the plants in this garden.

I've never grown echinacea, although I'll be looking for some plants to add to my garden and can even make some of our own tinctures in the future! I certainly think it is a very pretty plant and love the flowers! 

My husband swears by his triple echinacea (aff. link) tea for help with allergies. We order it on Amazon, since it is no longer available in local grocery stores. A few weeks ago, we ran out of his tea, before the new shipment came in (I procrastinated ordering it) and he had some dizzy spells and allergy trouble while we waited for it to come in. He was so relieved when it came in and two cups a day keeps him on track! I seldom get sick, but if I have a a scratchy throat, I'll drink a cup of the tea and it always helps me. 
 Here's the path to the gazebo. This place is great for pictures and is located right behind the Hogg Park in Quitman. It's such a peaceful and calm place!
 The property is steeped in history and has a story to tell - this is the George Bridge that was once used for wagon traffic to cross the Lake Fork Creek.

 The Stinson House is located on the arboretum property and the class was held indoors the home built in 1869. It is also very steeped in history. The first native born Texan to become Texas governor was Jim Hogg from Quitman - he married Sallie Stinson, who grew up in this house near the present day Pine Mills. Their daughter was Ima Hogg (yes, really) and she was instrumental in getting the house moved to the Governor Hogg Park in 1969. Ima's initials are on the trunk pictured below.
Lisa and I both loved the tour of the house! We both have a love for old homes and history, so this was a fantastic day. Last week, while we were at the Mineola Antique Fair, we got to talking about gardens, photography, and eating healthy with one of the co-owners of the fair. Through that conversation, we found out that Deanna is also the President of the Quitman Arboretum. She gave us the tour and told us a lot about the work of the arboretum. Lisa and I have already made plans to go back in December when they have the Christmas tour! The exterior of the home is currently being painted, so I didn't take exterior shots of the house with the ladders set up and windows covered with plastic. Rest assured, we will be going back! 

After we left the Arboretum, we headed down the road and had lunch in Mineola. Next, Lisa and Brenna shared one of their favorite place with me. While I have seen the signs for the Mineola Nature Preserve, I had never been and it was a treat! I can't wait to go back with Jeff for a return trip. I took lots of pictures there and we only saw a tiny portion of it (it's almost 3,000 acres!) I'll share them in another blog post, so stay tuned! 

Friday, June 15, 2018

An Artist Hands...

I've worked with fresh flowers this week and my hands look filthy.
An artist hands by Gypsy Farm Girl

This reminds me of a time a coworker was accused of not bathing and just being nasty because her -florist hands were dirty / stained. 17-18 years later, I've never forgot those words that were said to me, about another creative person, by someone who worked in the industry.

Y'all, I've washed them numerous times. I've hand washed the dishes and I've taken a bath every single night, I've scrubbed, I've scraped my nails... They are still stained. Everything I made this week had a type of eucalyptus in it. We have private well water with iron in it. The combination makes my hands speckled. It's crazy, but eucalyptus is gorgeous and it won't stop me from using it or from creating art!

You know, it rials me up when I see and hear people comment that they judge a person by their hands (or feet, etc.) Don't get me started on feet and why cute shoes are not supportive or comfortable!

I'm proud to be an artist, who puts my hands, heart, and head into everything I make. I'll proudly wear the stains of my work on my hands in order to create something for you! I'm not embarrassed by the stains or the paint, and the cuts, wire scrapes, etc on my hands. I encourage you not to ridicule someone because their hands are not perfectly manicured.