Not my cat but a very loved and sweet impostor.

I always considered myself a dog person until I got a cat. Now I am a dog and cat person. Cats are pretty special beings and there is no better stress reliever than a cat on your chest. I speak from experience.

With Spring cleaning this year came purging. An XL t-shirt that fit no one had to go. But no self-respecting artist could part with a tee featuring a Ralph Steadman illustration. NO, so I made a cat tent. 

A t-shirt, safety pins, cardboard, tape, hangers, a cat bed and viola!

This no-sew design featured here was relatively easy to do. My tent did not turn out as neat as the final product shown in the video but my cat likes it just fine. Advanced in years, I thought she might be a bit wary of this new contraption. Instead, she was curled up in it in no time. 

Since I have touched on the subject of recycling in this post, I would like share a tip. Friends recently turned me on to a convenient opportunity at our local Schnucks grocery stores. (I once heard a spectator behind me at a Cardinals game, after seeing an advertisement, ask "What is a Schnuck?")  At each store entrance is a Trex recycling bin for all kinds of hard to recycle plastics including those cat and dog treat zip closure bags. For a complete list of items they will take, see their website.

         Plastic now recyclable.     My cat asking for what she wants.

We love our pets and will do anything for them. In return they give us so much more. One special gift is their sly ability to expand our horizons.

Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm 

to ask for what you want.



Have an egg-stra special day.


Young Girl with Cage  by Berthe Morisot

Edgar Degas
Hats off to the current exhibit at the St. Louis Art Museum.  Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade (a collaboration with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco) features works by Degas and contemporaries including Manet, Renoir, Mary Cassatt, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The show assembles treasures from collections around the world and takes you back to early twentieth century Paris.  Hats abound in garden, shop, and street scenes.  Displayed within the works of art are creations by great milliners of the period.

A small sample of hats on exhibit.

A side exhibit offers you the opportunity to design your own hat.  I declined, but in 2001, our Muny Theater sponsored a contest to promote an upcoming production of My Fair Lady.  You were asked to draw a hat Eliza Doolittle might have worn.  One of my designs (shown on the left below) placed third in a category.  The prize was two free tickets to the production. (Third placed us a few rows below the free section.) The Muny, a respected outdoor venue, operates during the summer months.  We were warm in our seats that hot, humid night but it did not come close to what the performers experienced in their head-to-toe Edwardian Era costumes.  I tip my hat to them.
My 2001 hat design entries.

Milliners, typically female shopkeepers, not only constructed hats, they choose lace, trimmings and accessories to complete an outfit.  They were artists with attention to detail down to the hat pin.  Their creations in the exhibition serve as a reminder that the life depicted in the paintings and drawings, while idealized, was real.  I encourage you to attend this exquisite show before it closes on May 7 if you can. 


May your troubles be less, 
and your blessings be more, 
and nothing but happiness 
come through your door.




The St. Louis Art Museum (SLAM) recently held their annual Art in Bloom exhibition.  On this weekend, floral arrangements by local designers are displayed near the works of art that have been assigned as inspiration.  The flowers this year were as vivid and varied as the art throughout the museum.  The designers successfully conveyed the colors, composition and even chaos found in the paintings, sculptures, quilts and stained glass windows with which they were paired.  In one instance a floral still life was perfectly replicated in real life. 

Other museums offer this special exhibition and I encourage you to check it out when available.  Below is a small example of the work that was featured at SLAM.  Enjoy.

Floral design inspired by Bathers with a Turtle by Henri Matisse

Floral design inspired by Dark Abstraction by Georgia O'Keeffe


 What do you do on a rainy day in the desert?  Get out your drawing pencils, of course.  During a recent Southwest stay I did just that and the result is pictured above.  Illustrated is a javelina.  Sightings are common where we stay and their skunk-like scent will give their presence away even when not seen.  Javelina are peccary which are native to the Americas--they are not pigs.  The pig family originated in Afro-Eurasia.  So called "razorback" hogs found wild in parts of the US are descendants of escaped domestic pigs brought by European settlers.  If you are interested in learning more about javelina, click here.

Photos have been tough for me to acquire. Most javelina sightings occur at night when they are most active. When I do happen upon a daytime encounter my phone is usually zippered away. The photos I have managed to capture are blurred due to my haste. While not aggressive, javelina are best kept at a distance.

Wildlife encounters are one of the joys of desert living. Other recent sightings include coyote and mule deer. Ravens also have a special appeal with their gurgling croaks and whooshing wing flaps on the wind.  But I'll save ravens for another post.

Until then.