It’s been a long, hot week here in North Texas. The kind of hot that makes me want to strip off all my clothes and lay on the cool tile floor under an A/C vent—and not the kind of hot that’s conducive to any sort of creative endeavor.

With the heat has come an interesting contrast: the dreamy, idealized artwork I did in my BYOB Welcome to My Garden book vs. what’s really happening in my gardens right now. The art I did in this book before it was sent out to Livia on Monday used photos from my real garden, and is filled with color and brilliant blooms. It sort of represents how I wish my garden looked year ’round. (Work from this round robin can be seen here.)

The reality isn’t nearly as pretty as the artwork. My zucchini and yellow squash have been hit particularly hard by squash vine borers, and this week, I had to pull out two vines that had their main stems eaten completely through. The wasps even started laying eggs on my very tender baby acorn squash vines, which required a little surgery to remove the ugly borer grubs from their stems. It’s disheartening to see big, beautiful plants full of tiny fruits go down so hard and so quickly—and downright maddening to see tender emerging vines under attack.

Meanwhile, all the blooming plants have shed their flowers in the heat, turning most of the front yard colorless. And don’t get me started on what the heat has done to the tomato vines…

All this heat and destruction has caused me to fall into a little bit of a slump. I’d meant to work on a new how-to CD in June, on shrine making, but the going has been slow. I’m not nearly as far along as I should be, and am finding it hard to stay motivated. I have a really short attention span, which means when a project drags on, I have difficulty staying interested enough to finish. Not good.

On the plus side, former student Nicole hit me up to take a day-long encaustic class with her next Saturday. I’m not much of a class taker, but this is something I’ve wanted to try for a while, and the timing seems pretty perfect for a little outside motivation to quit whining and get back to making things.

Also on the plus side, I received Corinne’s Book of Odd from the BYOB round robin, and dove right in, because I had an idea for it right off the bat. Pics will be posted next week.