15 November 2009


So I'm working on a catalogue of my jewelry to provide to boutiques and I'm really getting into it! Maybe my calling was a graphic designer in another life? I just wish I had more sophisticated equipment...Word isn't cutting it anymore! ;D

25 October 2009

falling for fall

Just a few moments of fall pleasure in the woodlands of east Texas. I'm normally obsessed with the amber and scarlet hues of fall, but I'll take what I can get in this lovely butter glow I found during this week's field work...

20 October 2009

lost in maples

I've been waiting and waiting for central Texas to succumb to fall, to those cool nights in the 40's that trigger the inevitable preparation for a long winter. Fall is my absolute favorite time of year and even in Texas one can find a hint of New England color. If you know where to look, you can see trees ablaze with vivid amber, scarlet, saffron, and emerald speckling the landscape.
So I keep waiting for that perfect weekend to go hiking in one of my favorite parks in the hill country, Lost Maples State Natural Area, a remnant from the Ice Age that supports relict bigtooth maple trees. These beauties are GORGEOUS in the fall and could give New England a run for its money! Here are some past pictures from TPWD's website and Laurence Parent.

When I found out that Lost Maples started to see leaves turning 6 weeks earlier than usual this year due to the summer's severe drought, my heart guiltily started beating faster. Early fall foliage? At least something aesthetically pleasing would emerge from a season of debilitating stress! But to my chagrin, because of the recent (and much needed) heavy rains most of the trees are continuing to hold onto their leaves...for now. Which, I keep telling myself, is good. We need the rain. Yup, yay rain. So until the weather cools, I guess I'll keep waiting to be lost in those firey maples.

19 October 2009


Here are some of the latest pieces from Lauren Tree Jewelry! I will be posting these and others on Etsy soon. Enjoy!





Morning Dew


Wood Grain

Flower Bud



Budding Twig


18 October 2009

fall flowers

Around this time of year I usually endure a fretful pruning of the barely surviving plants and mostly dead flowers in my flower beds. This year's record rainfall in October gave us a sweet reprise from the inevitable fall browning of the plants. I wish I could have taken photos two weeks ago, but I just fixed my camera so bare with me! I worked like a slave to keep this bed alive all summer with no love in return til now...

Some other beauties...

And the piece de resistance, my double-blooming hibiscus with a double bloom! Four times the lovely!!!

14 September 2009


I'm here paying my respects to someone I've come to love and admire immensely. Okay, so it's a tree, but it still means the world to me. We bought our home in March of 2007 for three reasons: close proximity to downtown/UT, the beautiful refurbished interiors, and the massive Texas red oak that spanned our entire property. Since then, this mighty "heritage oak" has fallen on tough times.
Last May's hail storm and what had to be a tornado brought down a girthy little branch -- ah yes, so big was this little one that I couldn't wrap my arms around it (yes, that would qualify me as a tree hugger) and it engulfed the entire back yard when it came down, missing our eaves and fence by only a foot (luckily).
So comes the drought of 2009 when Lady Luck took a back seat to Murphy's Law. Coming home to two massive tree limbs on your roof does not bring one comfort. It was actually my worst nightmare realized. Drought apparently stressed the old beast to the point of collapse and our roof was in its warpath. Surprisingly, shockingly, our house sustained little damage, which makes me thankful for owning a 70-year old home that was built to last. But that's about all I'm thankful for. Our half of the oak is now gone and the other half is scheduled for removal. All that urban habitat, shade, and food supply gone in two days of chainsaws and trailers.
The best part was that it started raining the day after the tree cracked and continued to do so for a solid week, you know, when we have a hole in our roof. That Murphy and his law really stuck it to us this time. Just think, if that tree had held on for one more week, hell, one more day, it could have been saved (or at least I like to think so).
I mourn for the loss of that beautiful majestic beast and will pay homage to it by planting young oaks in its wake, so that one day the neighborhood wildlife and I can enjoy the simple pleasures that come from living near such a presence. Plus, it makes all my necklaces that were molded from pieces of that tree that much more special. Tear.

13 September 2009

hiatus abandoned

Finally back from no-man's land, I vow to be more diligent this fall in my writing and creativity. This summer was far too exhausting, but with fall comes peace and time, time to reflect and be inspired. Some highlights from the summer to prove that I wasn't just sitting on my lady lumps. ;D

Lindsey's and Vain's Wedding, Wisconsin, July 2009

Mom-mom's 90th Birthday, San Francisco, August 2009

Family Reunion at the Cliff House, San Francisco, August 2009
Our little getaway to Napa for our 7th anniversary, Napa Valley, August 2009
Hanging with baby Finn in New Ulm, August 2009

Don't get me wrong, I haven't been completely unproductive. Here, I'm wearing one of my latest creations while dancing it up in celebration of a friend's birthday, September 2009...
Now off to Etsy editing...I'm back...

25 June 2009

a cleansing

The last couple of weeks I had the privilege to do some field work up in North Dakota. I immediately thought of Fargo when I found out I was leaving. All those "you betcha's" and "don't cha know's" and "I think I'm gonna barf's" from a quirky pregnant cop in one of the best Coen brothers films (perhaps of all time) swam in my mind as I was imagining a barren wasteland of a country. That may be the case in the dead of winter, but my adventure would take place in the tender beginnings of spring. From the moment I peered out of that plane down into the vivid green hillsides, I realized I was in for a visual treat, some stunning eye candy, and I greedily licked my lips...
The topography was incredible. Every morning we'd drive up through the Killdeer Mountains and I desperately tried to affix my eyes to the road to keep from involuntarily gawking at the glory of those contoured beasts.
Photo by North Dakota Tourism/Gerald Blank

I would have hardly called my job "work." I was riding around all day on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) while flushing birds and looking for their grass-cupped nests of paint-speckled eggs and tender nestlings. All the while, finding all sorts of other wildlife.
My only regret is not taking a picture of a scampering buffalo calf that I glimpsed while driving through. Reminded me of this...

Photo by South Dakota Tourism

And what I took away from this experience was this: a renewed sense of peace, a cleansing of my mind, body, and soul--something that I was not aware that I needed. My job is mostly spent indoors writing technical reports--the exact opposite of why I got into this field. I rarely get to do the field work that I so enjoy and only for a few short months in the springtime. Mostly, I go home, water my garden, and listen to the neighborhood birds -- that's about the only nature I get day-to-day unless I go hiking around Austin on the weekends (or herping at night). But with the temperatures being 105+ lately, I would rather not have a recreational heart attack, thank you.

So the rare chance to be in 70 degree weather was deeply refreshing. I realized that the thing I was solely and soully obsessed with to the core was that beautiful marbled sky. It must be all that clean air, the limited human intrusion, or maybe the location in the northern hemisphere. Whatever it is, I couldn't drink enough of it through my thirsty eyes.
I'm glad to be back, but I will never forget the impression North Dakota left on me. It grounded me again and reminded me why I love what I do--like meeting up with an old friend I haven't seen in years. Would I recommend it? You betcha, hon!