Wednesday, October 29, 2014

New Orleans Trip - Part 1

Last Thursday, we drove to New Orleans to a wedding. The son of dear friends was getting married and we decided it would be a great opportunity for a road trip. You all know how much we love that. It's about 10 hours from Savannah to New Orleans via Jacksonville and Mobile. That seems like a long time, but car travel here in the south is quite relaxed. 
Ramses kept trying to help me pack. And Winslow was getting worried - he doesn't like the suitcase coming out... 
 On the first day, we decided to break up the trip and stop in Pensacola, Florida. We stopped there to get together with one of Daniel's cousins he grew up with and hadn't seen in a long time. We had such a great visit!
The next day, we went to the historic part of Pensacola and I didn't take nearly enough photos. It was really pretty. We had fantastic breakfast at the Bodacious Brew - probably the best coffee I've ever had! I'm not kidding.
Afterwards we walked around for a little bit and then got on our way to New Orleans. We took the scenic road along the gulf into Mobile. And guess what? I forgot to take photos again even though we saw many beautiful views and some gorgeous homes on the waterfront.
For the wedding we all stayed in Metairie. We arrived at the hotel, walked to the nearby Whole Foods for a late lunch and then got ready for the ceremony, which took place in this beautiful church.
This is a little bit out of focus, but it's the only photo we have of us from this trip all dressed up. And it's the only photo we took at the wedding.
Aside from these! At the reception, they set up a photo booth along with hats, glasses, wigs and other stuff to choose from. Everyone got to keep one set of the photos and the other set went into a scrapbook for the bride and groom. Very fun!
The guest book was a big cookbook and everyone signed it and wrote a few lines on different pages. That is such a great idea. A "real" guest book they will probably never look at again, but this cookbook they might use for many years to come and always see everyone's well wishes for a happy marriage.

In my next post I'll show you some photos we took in New Orleans the next day. I thought it might be too much for one blog post. I don't want to overwhelm you!

How are you all doing? I hope all is going well!! Can't wait to visit some of your blogs during the next few days!

With much love,

P.S. It's now Wednesday night. We got back on Sunday. I am just now feeling like I am back into my routine. Why does it take me so long?

P.P.S. I haven't even been back in my studio again. I'm hoping I'll get there tomorrow. I have a lizard to paint... 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Time is flying. And new art. And observations.

Dear friends, I have so much to tell you and time is just flying by these days. I bought some soy milk the other day with an expiration date sometime in December and was momentarily dumbfounded. Until, that is, I reminded myself that we are nearing the end of October.
What?! Didn't this year just start? This happens to me every year - suddenly we are in a race to the finish. Oh well, fall is here, the weather is gorgeous and all is very well.
Today, I was driving home from running some errands and as I was looking out at the beautiful landscape I suddenly felt this burst of joy bubble up. And right then I realized that I have found my mojo again. I had lost it. Almost completely.
Last year (2013) was so full of anxiety for me that it took this long to recover. I had lost all trust in life. All of it. I was constantly braced for bad news. And I held all of that tension inside. Not a good way to live.
Tucker approves!
This year through vigilant attention to my thoughts, loving care of myself, doing things I enjoy, giving myself permission to actually do the things I enjoy and not feel guilty about it, through taking my attention away from fear and guilt and noticing the beauty that can be found even within the frailty of life - I found my way back to my inner core of happiness. It was always there but I think the tension I held inside of me cut off my access to it.
And I think this joy is bubbling forth into my paintings. They make me happy - painting them and looking at them and sending them into the world. This pretty little dolphin sold as soon as I posted in my store. It's already on its way to its new home...

With much joy and happiness, I wish you a most wonderful week!

P.S. How do you like my messy studio with all the color and paint everywhere? It makes my heart very happy!

P.P.S. We bought that bright red and green vinyl table cloth in Oaxaca, Mexico, one of the most creative places I have ever visited! I was reluctant to go at first not speaking the language, but we've been back four or five times since and it is one of our most favorite places in the world. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Creative Stuff & Birthday Dinner

I can't believe it's been two weeks since I updated my blog, but that is what happens when summer is over. It seems that with cooler temperatures we all come back to life and get really busy with meeting up with friends, going into town, going out for walks. In short, we love being able to be outside again without melting!
It also means though that computer time is cut short. And that means that I'm behind on e-mails and blog visits. I think I'll try adopting a once-a-week-blog-post approach for the rest of the year (which I can already see getting busy with fun stuff) and see how that works. Flexibility is the key, I think!
I have been so busy with creative projects and it has been beyond fun for me. In this post, I'll share a couple of my latest paintings, which have sold already. I'm working on another one and will maybe get that done today.  I'll also show you some of my recent sewing projects.
My art continues to excite me, especially since I work so intuitively for most of the painting and never know where it will lead. Fun!!
So, yesterday was Daniel's birthday and I planned a surprise dinner with some friends for him.
Because we've all been to Spain, I decided to make paella (the real thing!) and a few tapas for appetizers.  I was so nervous and really studied quite a few paella recipes and then put together my own combination of ingredients.
I finished these little clutches last week to send to a boutique in Texas to hopefully sell for me. They turned out beautifully, although I have to admit I am still a bit insecure about my sewing.
Speaking of sewing, just in time for the dinner I finished sewing these fun placemats. Each one is different and they all make for a happy table, don't they?  
And the paella? It was perfect and delicious!! I had bought the real paella rice for it and added chorizo, chicken, prawns, squid and clams. I was so relieved it turned out well!
For his birthday, I got Daniel (well, us really) a fire pit for the backyard. We've talked about it for a long time and I figured we'll make great use of it all winter long.
And as you can see, we tried it out last night. It was perfect! Even Winslow joined us for some conversation (although I suspect he was more intent on checking out dessert!).
It was one of those evenings that is just rich with all the good stuff: friends, family, laughter, good food, perfect weather and simply spending time together. In the end, those are the things that matter, aren't they?!

Sending you love and joy on this beautiful Thursday!

P.S. I made a fantastic Sangria to go with the dinner.

P.P.S. It may be responsible for the slight headache I have this morning...

P.P.P.S. It was totally worth it!