How-to fancy up a journal…

Cut cover and placement

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Gadora has happily been off-line lately. Out of the country, actually. Just returned from Istanbul, not Constantinople*, where I spent a splendid week with the family. Beforehand I’d hurried through the packing, sure to include only the most essential wardrobe … Continue reading

It’s high time for a coffee break…

VivaTerra's recycled seat

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There’s no rest for the weary. Though the suitably roomy L-shaped sofa has arrived, Gadora is still searching for extra seating for the 2nd Floor Lounge. I’m hoping it will be the place-to-be after all, so we’ll want enough space … Continue reading

2nd Floor lounge… coming together…

Green Room at Mohawk Lounge

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For the last couple of weeks, Gadora has been point person for the office’s 2nd floor lounge. The original vision: transform an otherwise pedestrian 19′ x 22′ office room with a well-appointed kitchenette into a vintage, yet modern, industrial space … Continue reading

Longtime love: The Century Plant.

Agave by Gordon Huether

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Austin has had an exceptional* rainy season. Besides the full-bodied trees and the flashes of color blanketing the roadside (Thank you Lady Bird), many Century Plants have been in full bloom. Their stalks are proud with patches of vibrant yellow … Continue reading

Sr. Pajaro to the rescue…

Sandwiched between two sunny 50º days, it snowed and snowed in Austin yesterday and was a happy and unexpected surprise. Gadora met it with mixed emotions. Receiving both wildly good news and very sad news—both in the same day—I charged yesterday embracing endings, ready for new beginnings. Whew! Early on I finished a few watercolors and nestled in the living room for a brief respite. Dragging out a package of felting supplies and roving that a knitting-fiend, errr friend gave me over the weekend, Gadora wanted to take a stab at felting and see how quickly something good would come.

Meet Sr. Pajaro.

Without the first clue how to felt a creature, I read the rudimentary instructions and reviewed my earlier posting about collecting cat hair. (So?) At post’s end I linked to Brookelynn’s Craftzine how-to-felt post, which suggests viewing her how-to-felt video. I watched. And I made. First the legs: a simple left-over piece of copper wire was bent into legs…

Frog legs. No!

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A fresh spin on CD recycling…

Gadora managed a thorough clean-up yesterday. With a dreary high in the mid-40s it was far from “Spring-Cleaning,” but there was this box, probably in the office, that held this very important stuff. I was thinking. And I was meant to find it. When said box was eventually uncovered, I also discovered a multitude of discs—some in paper sleeves and some in plastic jackets—most of which had been backed up already and were no longer needed.

What to do with those discs? Put them in the curb-side recycle bins? Throw them away? No. They’re sparkly. According to Earth911, “CDs contain three main components: plastic, metals and ink… But when it comes to recycling, only metal and plastic are processed.” So, Gadora has found alternatives… Spanish designer Belen Hermosa received as much press, originally in 2007, for his CD-chair as the number of CDs he used to create it.

Back Support Disc Chair

Thanks to Russell A. Jones III for his photo-journal how-to turn a pile of CDs into a snappy tower lamp. While my current collection pales in comparison, had I kept every CD already tossed, I’d have me one of these.

Russell Jones CD lamp

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Do-It-Yourself anything jars…

Lacking the holiday and decorating-spirit Gadora may have been a Scrooge, but Valentine’s Day brings sweet things…namely pink-hued peanut M&Ms, Brach’s Conversation Hearts, and heart-shaped sugar cookies. And, I am certainly a fan! (Don’t even get me started on Easter’s Peeps! I almost cannot wait!) Scoring 15 quart-sized mayonnaise jars from a local Austinite, Gadora sets out to give them a new use. Sadly, North Austin does not currently recycle glass curbside. I KNOW, right?! May this suffice in giving these jars a longer shelf life!


A big fan of chalk-board paint, and determined to use it on every surface imaginable, Gadora first taped off each jar, making square or rectangular patterns…

Taped jars ~ square

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Two Hawk Post.

In Dallas, long ago, I (not yet fully Gadora Wilder) shared life with a man breaking into the film industry. We drove a lot back then (Texas takes pride in showy vehicles with super high mileage) and somewhere between Dallas and Ft. Worth we spotted a pair of hungry hawks perched high on a freeway post. It was a rare and regal sight, and I offered out loud that it’d be a great name for a post production company: Two Hawk Post. He and I didn’t make it, nor did the post production outfit, but occasionally sunny days in Texas offer spirit-lifting, hawk-spotting opportunities along the wide and busy freeways.

Adam Welz ~ Santa Ana, TX*

This weekend Austin’s hawks were out. The air was crisp, the skies sunny. Gadora spotted at least TEN red-shouldered, rufous tailed Hawks perched high above the Texas roads. More than one post held two birds of prey. *Gadora borrowed a pic from Adam Welz’ library, as it proves quite difficult to snap a shot of hawks along the freeway while behind the wheel.

Never once thought about bringing these birds indoors, but found some folks who have…

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Sick for Sock Monkeys…

This weekend Gadora checked out the ETSY Austin Craft Riot. On a friendly reconnaissance mission of sorts… (how best to market Animal Prints at a craft fair? Would there be room for setting up Gadora’s refashioned furniture?), instead I found LovelyDay Kanzashi head adornments, playful Squid Ink Kollective Narwhal tees and cutesy things from BabyBolt on display, and toured the Wondercraft! And somehow I missed the Sock Monkey Lady

Before going any further, heed this warning… there really is no particular point to this post. I’m not totally sure how I got here, but Gadora had a sock monkey… once. And it’s one of those crafting projects I could actually successfully tackle.

From the beginning...

As with many a great American idea, the Sock Monkey was imported. Images from Africa were surfacing from the European occupation in the late 1800s, and Western folks were becoming familiar with images of exotic creatures…

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Thank you very much Mr. Roboto.

Today, a funny thing happened. Well, it actually started last night when I checked out The Squeeze’s new pad. Though he had a key, the electricity wasn’t on yet, so we lurked about pointing his dim, blue-lit flashlight. His new space is a blank canvas, save for the leftover space-heater, and the little pile of metal parts propped on the porch banister. Gadora fondled a piece (I have no idea what it was intended for) and placed it on the railing so it looked like a set of robot eyes. Cute! He said it would be, “The Keeper of the Porch.”

This morning, too bright and way early, Gadora set out to organize a pile of magazine’s I’d been stashing. As I flipped through an old copy of Tribeza, a lil Austin glossy, I spied an ad for Haven Gallery. Amy Flynn’s “Bashbord” Fobot (not pictured here, or anywhere other than the ad, I looked!) was recognized as featured artist.

Bothesda 2 by Amy Flynn

Bothesda MD by Amy Flynn

Gadora needed more. “Bothesda, MD” (above) upcycles a tobacco tin, pool ball, lamp parts and hydraulic fittings. He was born 10.15.09. You can read more about him on her blog: Amy Flynn Designs.

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Hunting Halloween…

You won’t catch me decorating for any holiday as I am no fan of crap in or around the house. Long ago I’d sometimes saunter off, and there was that one time in Central Park, and drag home a Charlie Brown twig of a tree. Not Hallmark, nor Pottery Barn, or any big box store is gonna make me decorate. And I’m sure not going to drag it out into the yard for YOU to ogle at. I could give a hoot what the neighbors say.

Creepy Austin yard

Creepy Austin yard

Well, this is Austin. The neighborhood goes all out with its ghoulish garb. Driving past the above horror scene my BFF quipped, “D’you see this? Shu-hu-hure know they’re not part of any HOA’s…’cause they’d be in trouble!” Suppose just ’cause I’m a Scrooge doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the spookishness of Hallows Eve, on someone else’s turf, but can Halloween decor be done with class?

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Fur ball round-up…

While Gadora was on set in a NYC photo studio, the photographer revealed her new series—artistically photographed tufts of animal hair. Magnified like a hundred, hair actually does make for an interesting composition. Later, feeling more comfortable, she offered, “do you want to see it?” Um. Yes? She disappeared, then returned holding a BOWLING ball-size felted ball of cat hair she’d been working on for years. I totally touched it. Years later, I’m not sure which is more alarming… the girth of that ball? Or that I didn’t think “it” odd.

There’s A LOT of fur up in this house. One super cute poop-eating pooch. An often cantankerous domestic short hair. And two, exceptionally fluffy (and by that I also mean overweight) cats. We. All. Shed. Even with the extraordinary Hoover canister vacuum (which makes suck-time loads of fun), hair removal is a never-ending battle. Recently my squeeze sent this link, Amelia Santiago’s brilliant take on a pet portrait.

Big and Little Kitty

Big and Little Kitty

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At Home in East Austin

"R" marks the spot.

Name: Rachel, Jezebel and Lola
East Austin
1,550 sq. ft.
Years in: 9

In a cozy East Austin neighborhood, the scarlet letter “R” marks the spot. Built in 1935 and rumored to have moved to its current location in the ’50s, the house stands apart from its modest mid-century neighbors, and the mystery of its origins tickle its owner pink. The muted turquoise exterior and lilac-trimmed windows only foreshadow the whimsy inside. (Click on pics to take a closer peek!)

Living room and storage close-up

Rachel describes her 7 room, 1 bath house as, “Hyde Park style via the East Side ghetto…with a splash of porn and a lot of hidden yarn.” A fierce knitter, admittedly not monogamous in her projects, she finds clever spots to conceal her craft. The diamond plate truck storage box serves as both yarn storage and coffee table.

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