How is it possible that in all the times I’ve been to New Orleans, I never knew about the French Quarter Gem and Lapidary? Tom and I stumbled into it by accident. Actually, we didn’t stumble into it. We found it and I pressed my nose against the glass kid/candy store style, and I think they opened a few minutes early to stop me from drooling on their window.

Seriously, if you love stones and crystals, do NOT miss this place when you’re in New Orleans. The staff is wonderful, the merchandise is amazing, and the jewelry they make is extraordinary. I could have stayed there all day and been happy. Tom and I came away with a couple of new friends to take with us on vacation.

Moony and Jas.

Spotted in the city

Beware, wolves are everywhere.

I tried to find info on this mural online. No luck. It’s behind Charles Beverage on White Oak Drive in the Heights. Their lot is extra parking for Onion Creek Coffee House, Bar & Lounge. In fact, I used that lot for parking at our last Pup Crawl, and I’m lucky I didn’t get towed. Maybe I was surrounded by Jacob Energy. =)

ETA: Another mural led me to the muralist! The artist is Nicky Davis, and this is actually titled COYOTE. Sorry, Jacob, the wolves did not give me good parking fu. It was the coyote. –bc August 13, 2017

Photo Friday, No. 547

Current Photo Friday theme: Bright

For the second week, the Photo Friday theme is “Bright.”

You can find Houston’s Mini Murals all over the city. The one above is on the corner of Main and Alabama. The Mini Murals are painted traffic signal control cabinets meant to brighten our urban landscapes. It’s not often I’m stopped long enough with a ready camera to shoot one from my car. I’m going to try to get more of them, because every time I see one, it makes me happy.

Button Sunday

Yep, it is. How about another throwback photo?

Me with Timothy and Timmy

This time to April of 2001. We’re back at Baba Yega Cafe–I guess it was a tradition. I didn’t know it, but Jim would be a surprise visitor joining us soon. We all had so much fun together being in the same place at the same time.

I’m sharing this because these guys know one fast track to my heart–ART! Both of them gifted me with art on the latestĀ celebration of my birthday.

Another fascinating artist from the Bayou City Art Festival was Jennifer Lashbrook of Lashbook Studios and her Swatch Paintings. She uses tiny paint swatches to create these. When you view them with the naked eye, you see pixels, but you can view them through your phone’s camera and the image becomes defined. There’s a better explanation on her website, of course.

Timothy gave me this one for my birthday.

Viewing it on your monitor doesn’t have quite the same impact as viewing it in person, but if you look at the monitor through your phone’s camera, you can see how the image emerges.

This painting below I first saw online. I think I said something like, “That one’s mine, right?” And my other Timothy–Timmy!– who painted it gave it to me for my birthday. I need to start demanding more of these. šŸ˜‰

Serpentine, 2016

You can check out more of his work here (I LOVE the mole paintings so much): his Whiting Mills site, his Saatchi Art site, or follow him @forry_t on Instagram, where he frequently posts photos of his art.

Inside joke this painting reminded me of just now, Timmy: “I was becoming a snack.”

I’ll have more birthday memories to come, I’m sure. After all, you don’t turn 135 every day. Just every year.

Follow the yellow brick road

On Friday, Timothy and I met our friends Ashley and Angela at the Bayou City Art Festival in Houston’s Memorial Park. I saw so much that I liked and admired–I love the way creative people’s minds work. But hands down, my favorites were the works of artist Amy Flynn. They are “found object robots,” or FOBOTSĀ®. Seriously, go to that site. Look at her photos. Look at her blog. She is AMAZING, and one day I will have some of these critters. In the meantime, how about a little Oz action?

Later that night, Lynne and Ashley joined The Houndstoothers for a cookout and some delicious chocolate cake baked by Debby. It might be someone’s birthday soon. I can’t keep up during birthday season.

Missing You

Today is my friend Riley’s birthday. I miss him so much. I want to read a new poem from him, hear a new song, and tell him all the ideas I have in my head for things I want to write, the main one using our adolescence together in a ghost story.

Tom and I started going through those bins on our carport that so desperately need purging. I have an action plan for some of them, so I’m on my way. But mostly I wanted to find all my Riley correspondence. It stretches back more years than I will admit to. I’m lucky that he liked to draw and write and gave me so much of his work.

None of his stuff, of course, is part of the purge. Somebody else can trash it after I’m gone. It still means too much to me.

circa our junior high school years

I love you, John Riley. Thank you for an amazing history.


In an earlier post I talked about trying to complete some of the tasks I featured on Photo Friday last September. This one is ongoing, but it’s gratifying that friends have had some quiet Craft Nights to exercise the chance to color.

Lynne and I have been coloring together since we were kids. Even then, just getting to our teens, we were “too old” to color, but we never believed that. There’s no such thing as “too old” to color. We like to think we were MANY years ahead of the adult coloring craze that’s now possibly in its waning days–though not for us. Coloring is a chance for companionship and conversation; an escape from stress; and at times, an opportunity to process sadness.

Here are some examples of what we’ve been doing.

Lindsey’s lovely ombre effect. What happens when artists color.

Tom’s first from a dragon coloring book he received Christmas 2015!

He received this coloring book this past Christmas. Apparently the movie was not so good, but the illustrations in the coloring book are excellent. It should be fun.

Lynne did these two:

Her biggest crowd-pleaser was this one:

This one was totally created for Rhonda to color!

I think this is one I did that same night:

I did this one over a couple of Craft Nights:

Lynne has one still in progress:

Some bright colors from Lindsey on this one:

Here’s one of the books I’m looking forward to:

I finished this one last summer. I think I Instagrammed it but never put it here.

I should send this one to Marika to do in honor of Teddy:

I forgot to put my Christmas angels out this past holiday! Some of you may remember that a few years ago, Marika sent some of these angels out to friends to color as a surprise for me. The offer still stands. I have plenty of angel books and will happily mail an angel to you to color if you send your mailing address to me at Then you’ll be part of the next Houndstooth Hall holidays!