taking thyme

Recently, as I was harvesting some lemon thyme from my garden, this little idea came to mind. It combines a recipe for Lemon Thyme and Lavender Bath Salts, some black and white photographs I garnered from my garden and a little bling.

This recipe was adapted from Loriann Cargill Bustos’s Lemon Thyme Bath Salt recipe. I think these pieces could be used as sweet autumn gifts or favors, or with a little decorative tweaking, become a holiday gift project to enjoy with young ones. 

-Bowl, wooden spoon
-2 cups sea salt
-1 cup Epson salt
-2 tablespoons baking soda
-2 tablespoons dried lemon thyme
-2 tablespoons of dried lavender buds
-Zest of one large lemon, dried
-5 drops of lemon essential oil
-5 drops of lavender oil
-Clear glassine envelopes, white cardstock
-Black & white garden photographs or images of your choosing
-Tim Holtz idea-ology Chitchat Word Stickers, rhinestones
-Glue dot roller, glue
-Rotary cutter/lip edged ruler/cutting mat or scissors

Remove thyme leaves from their stems. Zest lemon. Place thyme leaves and zest on a parchment lined pan and dry. (To shorten the drying process, put the pan in a warm oven.) Place ingredients in bowl and mix thoroughly.  

Cut white cardstock pieces to size of envelopes and insert. Embellish envelopes as desired. Scoop bath salts in front of cardstock inserts and seal envelopes. Gently shake envelopes to distribute salts.


moody blues

Someone recently asked me to consider designing an altered planner page. I hesitated, because my planning process is rather drab and uninspiring. However, I’d just completed two collages and thought the little creative interlude might be an interesting way to explore a palette I’d playfully termed “moody blues”, as well as use some wonderful findings I’d procured during a recent trip to Portland.

Since my handwriting is abysmal, I decided to focus my design on color/object placement and record a few notes and appointments via typed text. I’m sure someone else, with handwriting as divine as some I’ve seen in Stampington & Co. publications, would have great fun filling the remaining blank spaces with beautiful, colorful script.


lily garden

I’ve developed some new pieces for an art show that will be taking place this weekend. While much of my work within the past year has been inspired by my rural Texas roots and a renewed interest in my maternal grandparents’ immigrant experience, my current collages reference my religious upbringing and the spiritual path I’ve traveled since.

This is one of my favorites. It features an image from Brugge and a most amazing site in my community- The International Waterlily Garden.

A fellow creative asked me to produce an art piece for this year’s Lily Fest, which resulted in an unexpected visit to the lily garden. It was a rare August day, cloudy and cool. I became quickly enamored with the site and the lilies’ sculptural shapes. I’m looking forward to working with more of the images I captured that lovely day.


the many and the few

Recently, when I was putting away a few utensils, I found myself feeling grateful for those simple tools. There were no more than a handful—all that’s required for a week’s worth of meals. They had served me well for many, many years, those timeworn forks, knives and spoons, especially during our kitchen renovation when so much was stored away. Before we moved to our current home, I considered replacing them, but I’ve declined to do so. I bought them when I was a young girl, during one of my mother’s garage sale forays. She suggested that I purchase them for my “hope chest”. (Hmm . . . I wonder if anyone has a “hope chest” anymore, and if so, what hopes are locked away?) Wait . . . utensils, gratitude . . .

Funny . . . those utensils caused me to wonder why we might deem that which is limited to be of greater value.  For instance, ordinary rocks, of which there are many, are not considered to be as valuable as rare “precious” stones. The list could go on and on. Could the case be true for those few forks and knives? Had their decreased numbers increased their value?

And so I continued to ponder the many and the few, wondering if this pale pink rose I recently purchased (something occasionally difficult to obtain) was more precious than the boundless array of flowering weeds that dot the landscape? Yes and no. Maybe, but maybe not, because it seems there is beauty to be found in both the scarce and the plentiful-- if we choose it to be so, if we pause to relish each offering.

Isn’t each breath I take, currently countless, as precious as my last?


lavender & blue

I have lavender growing in the garden this year—a bit of a miracle for me. I’ve never been able to keep it alive for any period of time, so I’m enjoying it immensely, cutting and drying it for gifts and projects.

In one instance, I paired some lavender stems with a deep blue ribbon. Intrigued by the combination, I decided to stop and take a photograph of this pairing. The handcrafted communion plate is a favorite of mine. So happy I retrieved it from the kitchen cabinet.


mini meditations

I was delighted to learn these little collages would be included in Somerset Studio’s July/August issue. A set of three was formed with scraps of handcrafted paper, mini pocket calendars and bits of miscellany retrieved from the crooks and crannies of my purse and desk drawer.

These pieces developed through a series of fits and starts, adhering to a schedule of their own making, and I’m so glad they did. During their crafting, I was given an opportunity to explore possibilities posed by each and every step and experience a process unimpeded by the incessant tick-tock of my mental clock.

Image:  Somerset Studio July/August 2017 Copyright © 2017 Stampington & Company, LLC