Funny how some of the smallest things in life make the biggest impact. Last year my wife bought a dish towel to hang on our oven door. This towel had an embroidered bouquet of flowers with “Plant Happiness” stitched above it. Something about that dish towel made my wife and her best friend (Margaret Hartley) decide that the back wall of our little guest house would be the perfect place for us to paint a mural that featured that cute little phrase.
To make our “mural dream” come true, we hired Austin artist and graphic designer Kat Hartley. Kat is the daughter of Sally’s best friend (and “partner in wild ideas”). Sally has known Kat all of her life. We were totally blessed that the tiny little blond girl with the sweetest little voice ever grew up to become a beautiful and talented young woman with so many gifts and skills.
Kat came for a visit to get a feel for us and our property. Then she sent us sketches back and forth so we would have a basic idea of what to expect. Her designs were AWESOME and we could not wait for her to get started! Kat showed up this past Friday evening ready to work. After setting up some scaffolding she started the process of transforming the tiny little sketch that we agreed on into a great big mural. We had so much fun sitting under the stars, sipping wine, listening to good music and watching her work.
Getting the sketch on the wall was the easy part. Since she did it at night, it was cool and enjoyable. However, Saturday was a different story. I swear it was 120 degrees by 10:00 am! We felt so sorry for her painting out there in the hot Texas sun. Luckily Kat had two INCREDIBLY GOOD friends that came to help her knock out the heavy lifting. Michael Brown and Yasaswi Paruchi met Kat in Japan where they all went after college to teach English to rural Japanese school children. Together again, they laughed, joked, sang, danced and painted! To keep them from passing out we brought them lots of iced mint tea, sunscreen and big floppy hats! They had fun in spite of the heat and we made new friends. It was such a joy to have all three of these outstanding young adults at our house.
Thanks to the help of her friends, Kat finished the bouquet part of the mural early on Sunday. By the end of the day on Sunday she had finished the lettering. After a few final touches on Monday we had a mural!
We are absolutely in love with the cheerful wall art that now greets travelers as they approach our house and gardens. We also absolutely love our young friend for sharing her talents with us! If you would like your own Kat Hartley masterpiece be sure to leave me a comment. Kat paints and she also does very high end antique letterpress work. If you are looking for a one of a kind announcement, invitation, cards or artwork, Kat is your girl! (and BTW, she still has a precious little voice!)