The Lay of the Land

Posted on November 22, 2014 at 4:33 pm | No Comments


Click this image for a larger version. The pink-lined shape indicates the topographical placement of my acreage outside of Saint Jo, Texas.

Topography maps are fascinating and incredibly beautiful. To get a better understanding of the terrain on my soon-to-be-purchased piece of paradise, I turned to my old friend Google to hunt out topography maps. The map I chose for this post, which includes my acreage, is especially beautiful because of the etched valleys spreading south from the Red River creating what looks like green crazy fingers or maybe upside down Christmas trees.

With this topography map and using InDesign, I then layered it with two other image files, the site survey and Google’s aerial view, in order to know exactly where my property lies and verify what I already suspected, the entire 8.36 acres lies on the north slope of a large bluff. Sometimes this hill and the larger one to the east are referred to as Tyler Bluff, but more often, the larger east hill is the only one labeled as such. At least one edge of my acreage lies at the base of the hill where an access road has been created.

Click the link below for the entire topography map of this area.

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My New Piece of Heaven

Posted on November 16, 2014 at 5:10 pm | 3 Comments


Around the perimeter, there are open pockets of grass. Whereas the interior is thick with vegetation.

Located just outside of Saint Jo, Texas in what’s referred to as the North Texas Hill Country, lies 8.36 acres of paradise. The closing isn’t until November 25, but I’ve been calling this place “mine” for the past two weeks. Saint Jo lies in Montague County, but this acreage is in Cooke County. This area may not be fashionable for those looking for a country retreat, but that’s what makes it so perfect for me—an unspoiled weekend getaway. Plus, on a good day without road construction, it only takes 1.5 hours to drive there.

I caught this bug while visiting a good friend’s place up there. She owns 34 acres and is currently turning it into a retreat for school and church groups. She knows all the different contractors that would be required to install fencing, sink a water well, install a septic tank, and build a house. In other words, she’s done all the hard work for me.

In the next post, I’ll go into further detail about the location and terrain. And a third post will be needed to explain my ideas for a tiny house. So stay tuned. In the meantime, click the link below for more photos taken during my walk around this property.

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At The Reading Room

Posted on November 14, 2014 at 5:04 pm | No Comments


Postal Mortem                                                            
Jennie Ottinger
at The Reading Room
3715 Parry Avenue/Dallas
November 15 — December 13
reception/stamp trade 11/15 from 6 to 9 pm

Postal Mortem by San Francisco based artist Jennie Ottinger will feature 25 postcards (front and back) sent by Ottinger as a creative endeavor to support the U.S. Postal Service and this endangered mode of communication. The postcards feature social media type messages that are handwritten with related drawings. The opening reception on Saturday, November 15 will involve a stamp exchange: bring some to swap for others (like tiny trading cards). Visit Jennie Ottinger’s website for further information about Postal Mortem.

Ottinger received a BFA from California College of the Arts and a MFA from Mills College. Her work has been shown at Volta NY Art Fair, NADA Art Fair/Miami, Headlands Center for the Arts, Johansson Projects and locally at Conduit Gallery and has been published in Art in America, ArtSlant, Daily Serving, 7X7, Huffington Post.

What’s In the Bag

Posted on October 31, 2014 at 4:58 pm | 2 Comments


Halloween Tricks and Treats bags are ready and waiting by the front door.

It’s Halloween, the last day of the month, and my first blog post in six weeks. I have yet to post any photos here on my blog from my four-week vacation in Paris, France. Mainly because I’m in the middle of installing brand new computer equipment. It turns out that the raw photos I shot in Paris require the latest and greatest computer system to import into Photoshop. But that IS NOT the reason for the new equipment. After three years and then some, it was way past time to upgrade. Way.

Then there’s the 8.4 acres of raw undeveloped land that I just put a contract on in Saint Jo, Texas, which is located north of Dallas in what is called the North Texas Hill Country. The closing is scheduled for the end of November. I will post the photographs I took when walking the perimeter last week. Stay tuned…

Off to Paris

Posted on September 10, 2014 at 4:44 pm | 2 Comments


And no, the dog is not going with me.

I’ve leased an apartment and will be there for three and a half weeks. Because of the endless preparation for this “vacation”, I’m not feeling the excitement yet. At the moment, I’m at the airport waiting. At least the painful aspects of this journey are, for the most part, behind me. You can follow my escapades on my Instagram page. Later, when I’m back home, I’ll post the better photos here.

My Brand New Portfolio Website

Posted on August 29, 2014 at 4:28 pm | No Comments


My original portfolio case pictured above was handmade by Two Women Boxing, and the portfolio itself was a collection of transparencies. I would also carry a portable light box with me to interviews. Transparencies were best for showing off environmental graphics.

Finally, I have a website for my business! I can’t tell you how much fun it was to design and pull this new site together. I’m not kidding. There were some long tedious moments. Some of the older logos had to be digitally redrawn, because they predated the computer, and all my print pieces needed to be photographed in a studio setting. But for the most part, the production went smoothly. And now, all that’s needed is to add the new projects as they are completed. The hard part is done! Yay!

One last word: If you’re viewing this site with an older browser, it will not play as designed.