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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Mini Concertina Construction

Honestly, I never thought I would be a 
I don't skate board or do anything
outrageous, crazy or exciting..

but I have to admit that I am having a good time
making these..
especially if I can inspire someone to create something 

the video above
 is really just part one, 
and I promise to show you how I layered the 
book in a texture video..

but next week I am taking a blog break, it is my annual 
Birthday trip, but we will be filming the trip..
and shooting photos for the blog..

and I will return to the blog the following week
with my January Pages...

 enjoy the video..
as always, I am so grateful to your readership
thanks for stopping by...

Ciao, Ciao!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Travelogue-Part 3 Florence

The weather was unstable..
we left Rome at the perfect time..
just before they had a tornado..

but Florence was not spared,
the river below is the 

What is normally quite calm ...
became a sea of mocha..
these were photos that I shot on the way in to town..
in the morning..
and you can still see the green river bank on the other side..

by the time we left 
the brown water writhed from side to side of the block wall..

Our guide took us to 
Santa Croce Square
which was lovely..

and pointed out several sights
we had some time for shopping 

Santa Croce, and the square in Florence...

and then because time was short,
we headed to the Uffizi Gallery
which had been on my list of "must sees" 
from the time I was a young teenager..

two special artists 
had work in the Gallery

Filippo Lippi, Madonna and child with two Angels, Uffizi Gallery 

oddly enough they not only knew each other but 
they were teacher and student..

which was something I had not known.. 
Filippo Lippi
Sandro Botticelli

If you have time to view my 
channel and watch 
An Artist in Europe,
I have stories about both of these artists..

one thing I failed to mention in the video was
that I was interested in seeing the Botticelli works
specifically the 
Birth of Venus 
because most of Botticelli's Pagan works
were burned when he came under the spell of 
the religious zealot of the time..

known for burning more than images on 

The halls of the Uffizi are endless and filled with statuary..

this amazing gallery was once the home of the 
Medici family, who were
it is an impressive building...

below, the view 
of the 
Ponte Vecchio 

from inside the Uffizi...

This shot below, gives you a good idea of the enormity
of the museum..
which is on the left and the right 
and since it was a "Free" day 
all of Florence was lined up to go to the museum
as well as the tourists..
we had membership passes and 
sailed past the line,
which was 

The lines inside the Museum were
unbelievably long...

and we did not have time to wait..

so I missed many things that I wanted 
to see..
but that means I will have to see them

on the return trip...

The Fleur De Lis 
in Italian
is the crest of the city of 

and you will find it everywhere..

The roof top garden and cafe at the 
top of the Uffizi above would have been packed if 
it was not rainy and cold..
but we still enjoyed the view..

We ate pizza near the Duomo
above and had a nice lunch while the rain drenched everything and everyone..
we had a bumbersol on the ship..
but they did not allow them in the Uffizi
so we would have had to discard it..

so we bought one on the way back to 
Croce Square below..

and the rain finally stopped..

but it washed everything clean and 
made wonderful puddles in the 

old stone square..

at this point we were headed to 
Aix-En- Provence

And I will eventually show you 
those photos too..

Along with Barcelona, Mallorca and the Canary Islands..

but for now..

ciao, ciao!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Artist Shelfies

Well dear hearts
here is my latest video..

Artist Shelfies..

thank you, Sarah Fishburn..

I know I have photographed them many times..
but it is a bit different when you get a tour..

and I have to say...

I cannot count.. 
what shelf number are we on???

and every time I see this..
I laugh out loud..

the blooper we left in.. 

Next week 
Concertina Construction..

Ciao, Ciao!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Year of Art Journaling

Another year has come and gone..
and like many..
I was not sad to say 

In January
as always..
I created my self portrait,
I was letting the white hair grow in 
and I was eager 

to start the new year
as always 
a new year stretches out
as endless possibilities 

In February ..
I wrote my annual love letter to myself..

In March I was beginning to deal with some
health issues
and I realized that I was going thru some
intense metamorphosis
due to the death of my mother in February...

the wings below are tissue paper, hand colored with Inktense pencils and gold leaf... 
they are safety pinned to the page 
and when you turn the page, they actually


There was a lot of chaos..
and dreams going on 
grandmother spider came to me in a dream...

and in May
I kept stepping on 
and when I found the old dictionary page
I used it in the spread..
to remind me to listen to my intuition..

June brought a revelation about 
the nature of 
this is a 3D page and it is hard to see, but the wings are made of mixed media paper
and they are glued into the center of the book....
the quote is Rumi

"You have escaped the cage, your wings are stretched out...
now fly!"

I often explore the double tree
image in my work, representing partnership..

In August I was doing spiritual work
and recognizing that I was still
working on
my transformation for the year..

balancing both the feminine and the masculine...

September brought more work
this time with family issues
and my role in my family..
it also brought up inner child work..

the images are not me, but represent me in 
the past..

October brought relief and a visit from my 
sister, it was a joyful visit..

we traveled to Europe 
in November, 
and arrived home the weekend before 

the pages are about my grandmother
and how brave she had to be to come here..
and how dire her situation was to make her 
take on such a perilous journey..

how I admire her courage..
and love her so..

December was sweet..
literally, I made cookies and flourless Chocolate cake, coffee cake
and spiced nuts..

but my spread reflects my feelings for the holidays..
all of them..

"Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of Love."

Hamilton Wright Mabi

And now I am beginning my January pages
my self portrait as usual..
and I think I can stuff another year into this journal..

and working on my new series..

the Naturalists' Notebook

I want to thank you all for the wonderful
and all the subscriptions to my 
I could not do it without 
Mr. La Dolce Vita..
who is my fearless videographer 
and iMovie genius..

We have some fun planned so thanks for 
stopping by...


Friday, January 6, 2017

Art Journaling

Here is my latest video on Art Journaling... I just want to thank everyone for subscribing and I have a link on my side bar if you want to subscribe. Next week, I will be filming Artist Shelfies..

Thanks for stopping by, I am as always grateful to you for your visits and kind remarks..



Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Inside the Travel Journal

Years ago
I was fortunate enough
to find a guide book of Europe
written in the 1930's
so I used the antique pages in my
travel journal of course..

I loved the old maps and the notes
the previous owner had made..
it was charming..
so I used papers to obscure writing 

which is most effective..
and attractive...

The Trevi fountain was a favorite spot.. 

above ...
you can see one of my photos of the Trevi fountain
I left space in my journal for 
my personal photos and 
printed them as I arrived home..

I found wonderful wrapping papers in 
Florence and used them liberally ...

St. Peter's Square and the Basilica sketch I made of the floor plan...

Florence was wet rainy and cold, 
and so beautiful...

we were there for a very few

precious hours
and it was torture 
to leave without seeing...

some of the sights that I had wanted and dreamed of
as a child..

Aix -En-Provence 
was amazing and we enjoyed a sunny 
but chilly stay there..
tiny shops and wonderful food at the 
farmer's market in the square..

Marisa was our tour guide in 
and she was an Art Historian
so I really enjoyed the 
of the 
Picasso Museum
and I glued half the brochure to the page and folded it back to 
cover my writing...

with so many tickets, train stubs
and evidence of travel I added several
pockets to hold all the bits and pieces...

We went to Mallorca 
from Barcelona
and I will have travel photos for you..

at sea a day

and then we stopped in the
Canary Islands..

and finally we were at sea..

we had smooth sailing home and it 
was a beautiful trip..

and believe it or not, but I still have work to do
in my journal...

I poked this quote in the back
of my journal..

Travel is more than the seeing of sights, it is a change that goes on, 
deep and permanent in the ideas of living.
Miriam Beard

For me, it was certainly that..
permanent changes..
I found out why I am the way I am..
and I really loved what I found..  


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Day at the Vatican

Since I am working
in the studio on a deadline
for Sew Somerset 

 beginning work
on a new show 

St. Peter's Square.. stunning in the afternoon sun..

 as well as finishing my 
travel journal...
and my art journal..
I decided that it would be
a good time to catch up on the travelogue..

Hopefully you have seen my new YouTube
channel videos and our European video,
if not you can follow the link in my side bar and

 I took a LOT of photos and wanted to give you more details
just in case you happen to go to Rome...
and if not, then perhaps it would solely be for your viewing pleasure..

so grab your libation and sit back,
this is a long post...

no floor was unadorned, everything was inlaid..

we were very glad we had purchased our tickets 
and arranged a private tour ahead of time..
the lines in Rome are as legendary as the attractions..
if you go to any museum or attraction,
you could literally spend most of the day in a line..

Our guide was very personable and kind, and extremely knowledgeable 
and I learned a lot about the museum..

let me say
you probably know it is a country..
the Vatican..

but you have no idea how enormous, how spectacular it is
until you go..
to say I was exhausted is an understatement..

Defaced fresco, left from a Protestant invasion in 1527..

the rooms of art..
of statues..
and frescoes..
went on for miles..
not to mention the information

which was overwhelming for me..
stunning, but overwhelming...

The Map room was a long corridor with maps frescoed on the walls..
below is a small detail..

it was really incredible...
as you know,
for me it is all about the details.. 

fortunately the crowds were not too bad..
there were 40,000 people at the Vatican
the week before ...

the view from the windows of the museum were
just spectacular..

and I managed to capture..

a few for you..

yes what you see is Vatican City..

and then there were rooms of antiquities..
from every country..

from all over the world..
I tried to give you an idea of how many each and every room held..

it was mind boggling..

I loved the angel painted on the cove ceiling..
below, the way her wings stretched out of the panel..
talk about coloring outside of the lines...

and they have a huge art collection
of contemporary and modern artists..

I managed to get a shot of the Matisse..
but since we were on a tour, I could not 

We were not allowed to film in the Sistine Chapel..
but we did manage to film in St. Peter's and that was captured on
our video..

Here are my impressions of the Sistine Chapel..
first of all, I suffer from claustrophobia, and with so many tourists
crowed into such a tiny chapel, it was very challenging..
it was breathtaking to see
Michaelangelo's work in person..
to see that the ceiling and the Last Judgement
look like two different people painted them, and indeed
since he was almost 30 years older when he painted the Last Judgement,
I would say that he probably was a different person by then.

The ceiling was painted under duress, he did not consider himself a painter
but a sculptor..
But, the Pope wanted him to paint,
and threatened to destroy Florence,
his home town and his family..

Can you imagine what he would have created
if he had been free to do what he


contrary to popular belief,
he painted the ceiling standing on scaffolding
and not laying on his back..

The grounds are just as stunning 
as the museum and St. Peter's..

I was smitten with this fountain and the
giant pinecone..

so beautiful..

and the fresh air and the green lawn, revived me..

the potted trees were enormous..

below, the amazing expanse of landscape..

and leaving..
as if through a key hole..

we walked across the bridge..

The Ponte Sant'Angelo...
the Bernini sculptures were amazing, 

and it was such a lovely thought...
that we had angels to watch over us..
as we made our way back
to the hotel..

Thank you for stopping by, as always
I am so grateful for you kind readership..

ciao, ciao!