Monday, March 30, 2015

Meet Griffin

Hello dear readers. This weekend, our much anticipated puppy joined our family. My brother-in-law and his wife, gifted us this very special puppy for Christmas. Griffin, an Austrailian Labradoodle, is almost 12 weeks old and comes to us from Liberty Labradoodles in Oregon. He arrived this weekend by plane and is now in the process of getting to know our family. Griffin will eventually train to be my son's therapy / assistive dog, but until then, he's just our sweet floppy family pup.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Richard Murray's Live-Work Art Studio

Richard Murray is an established wildlife painter living in Eastern Oregon. His home sits on a gorgeous swath of acreage near the Snake River where birds of prey, deer, cougars and a host of other wild animals roam free. His home is a nature preserve. It also serves as a continual source of inspiration for his paintings.

On New Year's Day, I had the opportunity to visit Richard's home and photograph his studio. I'll be returning in the spring to photograph it for publication, but I wanted to share some of my winter photos with you here. Richard's home was designed as a massive studio space to accommodate his large pieces. Living quarters are tucked seamlessly into the front end of the space, facing the nature preserve.

Walking into his home is like walking into a cathedral - not only the scope of the space, but also the scope of the art. One immediately feels a sense of holy work. Richard is a gracious man and a master of his art. Each of his animal portraits are painted to scale, meaning that his tit-mouse is the size of a tit-mouse and his water buffalo is the size of a water buffalo. The viewer has a sense of greeting the animal as you would in life - soul to soul. It is an astonishing sensation.

Stay tuned for another look at Richard's home this coming May.
The house will be in full bloom and I'll have an interview with the artist himself!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

New Additions to the Hen House

Hello backyard chicken fans! Today, we're introducing our two newest members of the flock. After our hen Aretha turned out to be a dude, we re-homed him and mourned his empty space on the roost bar. So after a couple of months wondering when and if we should get more chickens, we took the leap!

Meet Billie (a Barred Rock) and Nina (A Buff Orpington). These two girls are only four months old, about 10 weeks younger than our existing hens. We're still in the getting to know you phase, which brings with it lots of chasing and squawking as the ladies establish their pecking order. But it all seems to be going very well so far. Here are the newbies, Billie and Nina:



Monday, March 23, 2015

Home from CAMP

I spent the weekend in the Texas Hill Country, just outside of Austin with a group of marvelously creative women. We were all attending CAMP: a Texas Style Council blogger's retreat. I was definitely one of the camp "elders", but their verve and vitality was really infectious. (Listen to me, I sound like an old rickety vampire sucking the youth juice from bypassing fashion bloggers).

The grounds were beautiful, although mostly cloaked in sheets of rain for the weekend. But we made the best of it and huddled around fireplaces, craft tables and iPhones. The camaraderie was certainly the highlight of this weekend of sisterhood, but the breakout sessions were also a nice bonus. I was also able to connect with my dear friend, Valerie, whose baby I helped deliver here in Dallas 3-plus years ago. She was my bunkmate, along with the extraordinary best-friend-team, Savannah and Jenny of Maiedae.

Every morning we were met with coffee, provided by TOMS and some sort of a social mixer or class. There was yoga, fireside chats and early morning lab sessions with the talented Angela Cruz from Squarespace. I've been hoping to unify my work, art, blog and art shop all in one place, and Squarespace is going to help me to do that! In the next few weeks, you'll see some big changes here at La Maison Boheme - and all for the better. Now I won't be spread across 5 separate platforms! No more bouncing between Blogger, Big Cartel, Tumblr, Paypal and Passionfruit Ads. Squarespace is a one-stop-shop and I couldn't be happier to be making the transition.

In addition to the social networking and crafting, we had a few wonderful keynote speakers who talked to us about thinking big, honoring your own voice, fearlessness and emotional breakdowns. The speakers were Jenny Lawson of The Bloggess, Bethany Joy Clark from TOMS, Caroline Recktor of Unfancy, Jess Lively of The Lively Show and Sophia Rossi of Hello Giggles.

We finished our time together with a really beautiful trust exercise. 
Sisterhood. It's so important.

Now I'm back home in Dallas with countless business cards, Instagram feeds to follow, all sorts of new inspiration and best of all, the creation of a cohesive blog and art website. (Sigh). Thank you to Indiana Adams, founder of the Texas Style Council, for one lovely last hurrah at CAMP. You and your team of volunteers did a beautiful job!

Me and Valerie