Monday, September 24, 2012

Stressed spelled backward

is desserts.

Not that I'm stressed, exactly. But busy?

Between starting a new job...

(Ray Fires Up...that one's mine)

...attending a writer's conference...

(with lovely author Betsy St. Amant! buy her latest here)

...and watching the first season of Downton Abbey...


Busy is close enough to stressed. Kind of like a cousin.

Which means that tonight, I'm sharing this glorious recipe.

Mixed Berry Crumble + Lavender Ice Cream

If you don't like sinning, look away from this picture. It will tempt you in ways never seen, nor felt, before.

And PS: it tastes just as good as it looks.

Adapted from something I Googled. Lacking on the specifics.'s called work-brain.


  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

  • 4 tablespoons raw sugar

  • 2 cups whole-wheat (or all-purpose) flour

  • 2 cups rolled oats

  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 1/2 cups butter (or earth balance, if you're "healthy" like me)

  • optional tasty add-in: chopped walnuts (to taste)

  • optional health add-in: up to 1/4 cup of ground flaxseed


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

  2. In a large bowl, gently toss together blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and raw sugar; set aside.

  3. In a separate large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg (and flax and walnuts, if you're adding). Cut in butter/earth balance until crumbly. Press half of mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Cover with berries. Sprinkle remaining crumble mixture over the berries.

  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until fruit is bubbly and topping is golden brown.

As for the lavender ice cream?

I bought mine here. Thanks, Henry's!

It would be good with this too, though. Specifically blueberry vanilla graham. Mmmm.

Bet you $10 your stress will fly out the window if you make/smell/consume this. Or at least I will bet you $10...just as soon as my first paycheck comes in.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Goodbyes on display

My work is officially on display at Giddens Gallery of Fine Art in Grapevine, TX.

I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to show and sell pieces of my collection.

But y'all...I'm also a little heartbroken.

Those canvases on the wall? They each contain a little bit of my heart.

In a way, I guess all of my artwork does. But these four...they're special.

Each piece has a story.

Technically, this one's title is "unnamed." But I lovingly refer to him as The Chief.

The Chief was inspired by a Native American Lit class I took at Pepperdine. We covered so many authors, and just as many subjects: longing, pride, sorrow, tradition, fear, and passion. The Chief is not one man. I referenced two photos of historical chiefs to develop my chief's face (one from the Crow Nation, one who was not identified). There is no underlying sketch. I started by painting the shadows, and let his features form around them.

When I look at The Chief, I feel everything: longing, pride, sorrow, tradition, fear, and passion.

I'm so happy he's on display, and so excited about the conversations he might start among gallery visitors. But I'm still sad to let him go.


He's been hanging in my room, and the spot where he used to live seems lonely now.

I painted him in Texas, but he once brightened my tiny Pepperdine apartment, too. I don't know why my attachment to this piece is so strong. It's a color-based abstract--something I can recreate.

But it won't be quite the same.

"What Is"

This one was a commission for dad.

It's been in his office for over two years now, and those words have become our family motto.

My mom, my dad, and I have all struggled with (intense) anxiety at different points in our lives. This is the catchphrase we use to re-center.

We can still speak it, of course. But I'll kind of miss looking at it on the wall.

Here's where "Flowers" used to sit.

It was a commission for mom, inspired by a small oil painting we found in a cafe.

Huge, textured, bright. It was the focal point of my parent's living room.

I'm okay with seeing this one go. My mom, on the other hand...

let's just say, I owe her another painting.

So why let them go? Why say goodbye to pieces from my personal collection? Why put a price tag on pieces of my heart?

(overly dramatic, but I'm "an artist"...which totally entitles me to occasional bouts of drama)

Here's the answer: because the Lord has so faithfully given me the very best, even when I am faithless. And, in good faith, I wanted to give back to Him in kind.

Here's the story: I wanted to show my work in a gallery. I had no idea how to go about doing so. Today, I loaded three canvases into my car. While driving through downtown Grapevine, I saw a sign in a window. "Giddens Gallery of Fine Art: Currently Interviewing Artists."

I interviewed. They accepted. I put my canvases on their wall. Their soft opening is tomorrow. My work will be up in time for Grapefest, which traditionally draws crowds of 250,000+.

It's the very best that I have to give. It's all that's left of my personal art collection.

An offering of thanks to a Father whose name is Grace and Love.

James 1:17 - "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

1 Chronicles 29:14 - "But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand."


Besides, sometimes, it's good to get rid of the old. I think it's time to create a few new pieces.

Isaiah 43:19 - "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fashion's Night Out

And they said Dallas wasn't New York.

Well,'s not. But we're still pretty chic, y'all.

Calm, cool & collected, too.


Raya Ramsey, D Magazine Beauty Editor

Margaux Anbouba, of "Tongue In Chic"




More soon from Northpark's 8pm fashion show. Gorgeous.

And finally,

"elegance is the art of being astonishing without creating astonishment."


Friday, August 24, 2012

The latest

I think I recognize that byline at the bottom...
If you live in the HP/Dallas area and want to read the rest of the story, I'd love for you to pick up a copy. Find locations here.
A few of my snapshots made the final cut, too.
For the rest of the photo story, click here.
I love telling (Park Cities) people's stories.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

In celebration

Yesterday was my momma's birthday.

As far back as I can remember, birthdays have always been a big deal in this family.

same day, same people, (really similar outfits), different year

We like celebrations. Then again, who doesn't? Cake, smiles, laughter, friends, joy, family, more cake...these things equate happiness.

Sometimes, though, there are other feelings that sneak into celebrations.

Memories of people who used to celebrate with us. Nostalgia. Things we file under the category of bittersweet.

As a unit, I think we were really missing this lady last night.

My momma's momma. My Momo.

Until last night, I think I had limited my memory of her to goodbye. Over a year has gone by, but still I could not go deeper into how things used to be; when she would drive to our house for every birthday, make fried chicken for dinner and a chocolate pie for dessert. Our celebration last night changed that. And I'm so glad that it did - I needed to remember.

After all, my mom is a part of my grandmother. In celebrating one's entry into the world, we remember the other's exit.

Cue transition.

I have a B.A. in Creative Writing. To obtain that degree, I had do quite a bit of poetry writing. I pretended not to like it. It seemed gratuitous; overly emotional and feely-feely. I wanted to do young adult fiction that was pop-y and bright. I wanted to write life into protagonists who loved the color pink, and ate cupcakes, and dreamed of being Homecoming queen, and talked about boys and silly drama and fashion. That was that. No black berets and tortured souls and rain-spattered windows for me, thank you.

Mostly, that is what I do. Proof: I'll submit the final draft of a YA manuscript to my editing team at the end of this month. But sometimes poetry just gets at it more than prose - "it" being that nameless feeling, that forgotten memory that tends to sneak into things like birthday celebrations.

That being said:

We miss you, Momo.

Happy birthday, Momma.

Karley with a K. Todos los derechos reservados. © Maira Gall.