Saturday, May 30, 2009

Camera Critters 60

Camera Critters

It's Saturday and it must be Camera Critters time!
Back at the Houston Zoo, I'd like to introduce you to
two Asian Elephants, Mom and Son,
Tess and Tucker.

Tucker wondering around looking for something to get into!

In a year or so, Tucker will have a little brother or sister.

But my real reason for talking about the elephants was to
introduce you to Max, The Elephant Dog.
I think you'll enjoy the video (from the Houston Chronicle) and his story
and you'll see more of the elephants and the new elephant barn.

Friday, May 29, 2009


It's Friday so it must be Potpourri Time.
I'm starting off with another journal page that I've done
following the process in the Visual Journalism 101 class I'm taking.
I do love the gesso resist.

I've added collage elements to both sides of the page.
Next step is to doodle and journal --
the two hardest parts for me.
I like what I've done so far.

For some reason I haven't been in the paint mood.
I'd rather be knitting or doing cross-stitch.
I've also noticed that my fingers are itching to work with fabric.
Maybe I should listen to my fingers???

I did get some reading done this last week.

I bought Summer on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber at Sam's Club and took it with me to my dental appointment the same day. I read while waiting to have my teeth cleaned. When I got home, I read until I finished the book. This is the latest in Macomber's Blossom Street series. Quoting from the book flap, " Knitting is a lot like life ... dropped stitches and all!"
"Knitting and life. They're both about beginnings - and endings. That's why it makes sense for Lydia Goetz, owner of A Good Yarn on Seattle's Blossom Street, to offer a class called Knit to Quit. It's for people who want to quit something -- or someone! -- and start a new phase of their lives."

I enjoy the setting of a yarn store, although Macomber really doesn't spend much time there. These are nice, cozy romances. The good guys and gals come out winners and the bad guys and gals fade off into the sunset. Some nice, quiet brain candy. And, did I mention, Macomber always includes a knitting pattern?!

The Art Thief by Noah Charney is a book that Mr. Dragon found, read, and then passed it on to me saying "I think you'd enjoy this one. I did." Can't beat a recommendation like that! In The Art Thief, three thefts are simultaneously investigated in three cities, but these apparently isolated crimes have much more in common than anyone imagines. A dizzying array of forgeries, overpaintings, and double-crosses unfolds as the story races through auction houses, museums, and private galleries. My favorite character is a minor one in the novel, Professor Barrow. I’d love to take an art history course from him. I'm going to "borrow" some of his comments on my next tour!

Some people say a really good author writes about what they know. Charney certainly knows all about art and art theft. He is the founding director of the Association of Research into Crimes Against Art (ARCA), the first international think tank on art crime. He holds degrees in art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art and Cambridge University, and he divides his time between New Haven, Connecticut; Cambridge, England; and Rome, Italy. The Art Thief is his first novel.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lazy Day

It's a lazy day here at Twisty Lane. Mr. Dragon is off to fight with the taxing authority about our house taxes (not so lazy for him). I'm going through a stack of magazines and catalogs that seem to be cloning themselves. I can't just throw them out. There might be something I can use in collage or, heaven help us, I might help the economy by ordering something! I thought I'd share with you what caught my eye before these head out to recycling.

From the L.L. Bean Home Casual Furnishings Catalog
I love these little songbird decoys.
We all know how much I love birds!

Classic Adirondack Chairs from L.L. Bean in great colors.

I loved the wool hooked throw pillows.
Remember, we lived on Galveston Island for 13 years.
Guess the water still calls to me.

The Williams-Sonoma summer catalog also arrived.
I always check out their catalog to look at the recipes.
They had a jalapeno pepper roaster.
That brings back memories of living in New Mexico
and roasting Hatch green chili.

I love the Provence linens.

A recipe with some of my favorite things: asparagus and goat cheese!

I love the wreaths.
Each year I look and awwwwwww over them.

Color again!
Le Creuset Cookware
I think I like the Lemongrass the best.
But the Azure Blue isn't bad or ......

How about a square wreath or a market bag?

That's it!
A little eye candy for the day.

Monday, May 25, 2009


(Thanks to my blogging friends for helping with this post.)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Camera Critters 59

Camera Critters

We are off to see the orangutan family at the Houston Zoo.

Always looking for something to do.

Look what I found!
My pretty blue towel!
Look, Mom, Look
See what I can do?!

My towel needs to be washed --
just like my hands and face!

Mom's never too far away.

Just look at that expression!

Love you, Mom!
Thanks for breakfast!

Dad looks tired!

Have a wonderful, critter filled weekend!


It's Friday, so it must be Potpourri Day!
I'll start off with the journal page -- visiting the sea
and using some of the techniques from Pam's class.

The fish stamp and the bubbles are my favorite things!

I just finished reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. I bet most of you have already read this fine novel. It was in our bookcase and just happened to jump into my hand when I went looking for a new read. See! I can read something other than a mystery! If you haven't read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan yet, you must. I give it my highest recommendation -- five dragons!

"In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, or "old same", in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she has written a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men. As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on the fan and compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. They both endure the agony of footbinding and together reflect upon their arranged marriages, shared loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their deep friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart." (Taken directly from the back of the book ... I couldn't have said it any better!")

Look what Lori sent to me -- a beautiful skein of wool yarn with the instructions to make something wonderful for myself. I will, I promise! Lori was part of my Pay-It-Forward and the yarn was a thank you. No, thank you, Lori! Be sure you drop by and visit Lori at Pretty Things where you'll also find a link to her shop (beautiful jewelry).

Lastly, I would like to leave you with a Thought For The Day.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


The lovely Sarah over at Cottage Garden Studio has given me the Noblesse Oblige Award. Here are the details:

The recipient of this award is recognized for the following:
- The Blogger manifests exemplary attitude, respecting the nuances that pervade amongst different cultures and beliefs.
- Their Blog contents inspire; strives to encourage, and offers solutions
- There is a clear purpose at the Blog; one that fosters a better understanding on Social, Political, Economic, the Arts, Cultures, Sciences and Beliefs
- The Blog is refreshing and creative
- The Blogger promotes friendship and positive thinking

The Blogger who receives this award will need to perform the following:
- Create a post with a mention and link to the person who presented the Noblesse Oblige Award
- The Award Conditions must be displayed at the Post
- Write a short article about what the Blog has thus far achieved – preferably citing one or more older posts as support
- The Blogger must present the Noblesse Oblige Award in concurrence with the Award conditions
- Blogger must display the Award at any location at their Blog

My goodness! Thank you, Sarah. I'm not sure I can live up to this award. I started Tales From Twisty Lane as a way for friends and family to keep up with what was happening in the lives of Mr. And Mrs. Dragon. It has certainly grown into other things: crafts, books, museums, a little Buddhism on occasion, and I hope, every now and then I find an article, or email or book quote that brings a little light into the readers life. I'm not a philosopher or psychiatrist or writer, but I've been around awhile ... been there and done that ... and hope I can offer a few inspiring words every now and then. Most of all, I've had a wonderful time meeting all of you -- women and men with stories to tell, words of wisdom and JOY!

I must pass this award on and would like to send it to:

Alicia - Antique and Vintage Jewelry
Kim - The Bodhi Chicklet
Kim - Queen of Arts

Joy To You!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Be Nice To Yourself

I don't usually post on Wednesday. As you know, on Wednesday Mr. Dragon and I get into the car, run a few errands and have our adventure day. But, I was reading through my emails this morning and the Christine Kane email was one I wanted to share. I even borrowed the picture from her email. I hope you like it, too. Here goes:

Top 10 Bodacious Ways to Be Nice to Yourself
by Christine Kane

Just as there was a time when "google" was not a verb, there was also a time when "bodacious" was not a word. Bodacious is a blend of "bold" and "audacious" created in British English dialect late in the nineteenth century.

Still, I'm glad it was created! Some days we need to be bodacious! And some days, we need to remember to apply it to how kindly we treat ourselves. Trust me: You'll thrive tomorrow because of today's kindness.

Here are my top 10 bodacious ways to be nice to yourself:

1- Flowers!

This is so simple - and yet so powerful! Fresh flowers beautify any space. I always have an orchid on my coffee table. I see it the minute I walk in the door, and it reminds me to take a deep breath and cherish the beauty of my life. Have a Sunday practice of getting fresh flowers to get your week off to a bodacious start!

2 - Take a nap

Favorite thing: I climb into bed for a nap in the middle of the day. Within minutes comes the soft ploop of cat paws on the cover. I can hear the cat thoughts: Hmm. The human has decided to lie quietly. I'd like to take part. Then the paws walk all around me until they find the very best spot for settling.

Cats know the truth: Naps are bodacious!

3 - Pay full price

The amount of energy we waste on trying to get "deals" is often not worth it. If you see something you love, then get it. I'm convinced that we'd all be so much happier and wealthier if we just got exactly what we loved without looking at price tags and wasting time looking for sales. (We'd probably have much less stuff too!)

4 - Trampolines and swings.

I was at a cocktail party last year. The adults were up on the deck watching the kids jump on the trampoline. At one point, all the kids ran inside. I kicked off my shoes and ran for the trampoline. Three other women joined me. We laughed and jumped for about 15 minutes. It was the most fun I'd had that week.

Swings are fun, too. And they're easy to find! Who cares if you look or feel stupid? Being an adult doesn't have to mean being boring!

5 - Truncate your To-Do's.

How many items are on your to-do list today?




A day should have no more than two or three mission-critical priorities for completion. The rest are extra credit! Giving yourself the gift of completion is the ultimate self-kindness.

6 - Order out.

I love preparing meals. But some nights, it's just necessary to let someone else do the cooking. We have a great delivery service in our town. I don't mind the extra expense if it allows me a night of no clean up, and a little extra time to write or just be with my husband.

7 - Take a long walk with your dog.

Are you one of those people who gets home from work and marches your dog around the block with a grim look on your face? (Another to-do item checked off the list!)

Try this: Take your dog for a long happy walk. Revel in the delight and presence of your dog. It will absolutely lift your spirits.

8 - Go on a retreat.

Many of the women who come to my Unstoppable Power of Intention Retreats show up frazzled and nervous. They've never done something so bodacious in their lives! They leave refreshed and renewed. One woman hugged me as she was about to drive away from the March retreat and she said, "This was the best money I've ever spent on myself."

It doesn't have to be one of my retreats, of course. (Though they are pretty great! And the October retreat is already half-full!) You can search google for all kinds of bodacious retreat getaways in your area.

9 - Read for fun.

Do you relish your days on the beach because it's the only time you'll allow yourself the joy of a trashy novel or some "light" reading?

Why not get a little bodacious and bring the beach to your work-week? Curl up at night and get lost in some fun fiction.

10 - Step AWAY from the computer. (And the phone.)

Everyone needs a break from social media and blogs and email. (Yes, even this e-Zine!) Don't include your computer in any of the above activities. And turn off your phone, too! I promise, your computer and phone won't take it personally! (Neither will this e-Zine!)


Please do! Just be sure to include this complete blurb with it:

Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her 'LiveCreative' weekly ezine with more than 4,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at

See Christine's blog - Be Creative. Be Conscious. Be Courageous - at

I'd like to add : Have an adventure today!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Musashi's Garden

Monday is usually A Simple Woman's Daybook day,
but today I thought we'd take a walk through Musashi's garden
and see what's blooming.

The gardenias are coming to an end.

Calla Lily

This is the first year I've tried these bulbs.
They only bloom for a day.



I hope you enjoyed your brief walk through Musashi's Garden.
May you have a beautiful week.
Joy to You

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I'm Taking Another Class ....

I'm taking another online class.
This time with Pam Carriker called Visual Journalism 101.
I'm really enjoying the process.
Here are scans of the first page -- Lesson 1.

Remember, I'm working in a lined composition book --
a little different than water color paper.
I'm going to start another page today with different colors.
Stay tuned!

Head over and see the other classes that are being offered.
Several new classes have been added.
Creative Workshops

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Camera Critters 58

Camera Critters

It's back to the Houston Zoo to meet Pandu
the Malayan Tiger.

Pandu has a new friend, Hana the Malayan tiger and you can meet her in the You Tube video below.

Hana is 9 years old and comes to Houston from the Fresno Chaffee Zoo in California. Hana came here so one of our male Malayan tigers, Jammu could go to the Alexandria Zoo in Louisiana. Jammus move to Alexandria was recommended by the Tiger Species Survival Plan (SSP). There are few Malayan tigers in US zoos and the SSP identified Jammu as the perfect mate for the Alexandria Zoos female Malayan tiger.

Hana's birthday is February 28. Weighs 87 kilograms or 191 pounds. Hanas keepers describe her as a very calm cat. Shes already settling into a daily routine, alternating time in the tiger exhibit with Pandu. Pandu and Hana are closely related and therefore are not recommended for breeding.

Friday, May 15, 2009


It's Friday so it must be Potpourri Time!
I'll start out with the latest journal page.
I call it prayer.
In many ways, very simple - no writing by me.

I finished Beautiful Ghosts by Eliot Pattison. This is the fourth novel in the series featuring disgraced Chinese Inspector Shan Tao Yun. I suppose mystery reviewers would call this a suspense thriller. Shan was sent to a work camp in Tibet for taking on corruption of his superiors - a very dangerous thing to do. Shan is released from the camp, but without papers of any kind, no status, official identity or the freedom to return to China. He lives with Tibetan lamas where he has learned about Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism. In Beautiful Ghosts, a murder in a ruined monastery in Tibet and an art theft in Beijing are linked. The same officials who exiled Shan are asking for his help.

I love these books. Pattison brings alive the Tibetan people, their old way of life, their life under the Chinese, their hopes. It is heart breaking and hopeful at the same time. I had been saving Beautiful Ghosts to read. I don't want the series to end. I have one more tucked away.

Wormwood: A China Bayles Mystery by Susan Wittig Albert is the latest in this long running cozy mystery series. China is an ex-lawyer and an herbalist. In Wormwood, China has decided to assist her friend, Martha, with some herbal workshops in a historic Shaker village in Kentucky. It seems like a Garden of Eden, but is far from it. The restored modern version of the village is plagued with misfortune and strife - some of it sabotage. Martha, a member of the board and a relative of a Shaker who left the fold long ago, is hoping China can get to the bottom of it.

I do enjoy the China Bayles mysteries. I love the herbal lore. I'm always learning something new. In Wormwood, Albert has added lots of Shaker history. More things to learn! And, as in all good cozy mysteries, there are some delicious sounding recipes at the end. Also, at the end, lists of herbs for Shaker Gardens: A Medicinal Garden, Tea Garden and Culinary Garden.

The grand opening of the Arts of India Gallery is tonight.
And I have to leave you with a little something I found on another blog.
(Did I make a note of where I found it? If I did, I can't find it! I apologize!)

Joy to You!