Sunday, October 19, 2014

Traveling Through Italy and Paris - Florence

Dear Reader, this post will my thoughts and impressions of Florence, Italy.  There is a back story as to why my trip began in Venice.  I was supposed to spend a week in Orvieto taking a class related to creating a travel journal; however, I could not afford the cost of an 18 day trip in Europe and so I sadly send an email to the teacher stating that I would not be able to join them.  She replied and suggested that I consider joining the group in Florence and take that part of the journey.  That was something I could save for and afford so that is what I did.

I would meet the group of friends on Sept. 20th.  I was able to get a really good deal on my plane fare, the caveat was that  had to travel on Sept 18th by myself.  Hmm I thought this will be interesting spending a day in Florence by myself.  There were days when I was extremely nervous about this solitary adventure.  I have traveled alone before, but only to places where English was the main language.  I worried if I would be able to handle everything.  I have a translator on my phone so I could always look up words (that was comforting).  So with my Smart Phone I took off.  There were some changes as my connecting flight through Paris was cancelled due to a strike by the Pilots of Air France.  I flew Air Berlin to make connections through Dusseldorf, Germany.

Dusseldorf Airport

Sitting in the Dusseldorf Airport waiting for my connecting flight

Watching TV in German at the Airport

The flight from Dusseldorf was on a plane that is called a Hopper, it is a Propeller Jet.  Since I had never been on a propeller plane before, I was a little taken aback when I saw it.  The ride was pretty nice until we neared  Florence.  There was an unexpected hail storm and we could not land.  The pilot came on and said that he had been advised that it was too dangerous to land so we had to fly around for awhile.  What???????  It was truly interesting.  We landed after about 30 minutes and I made my way through immigration, got a stamp from Germany in my passport, and found a cab.  So far so good.

Arrived at the hotel, left my luggage in the room and went out to explore.

Remnants of Hail Storm in Florence - Sept. 19th

Candy Store in Florence

Tower connected to the Duomo (Cathedral) in Florence

Duomo in the Public Square in Florence

Out side of the Academia Galleria in Florence

Mother with Child in Museum

Beautiful depiction of Jesus on the Cross

Carousel on the way to the Uffizi Museum  so quaint and beautiful

Arno River in Florence

 Uffizi Museum - Botticelli painting

Another take your breath away painting

First paintings I saw when I entered the Uffizi, unexpected, simple and touching

I was so touched by the art 

Ceiling in hallway on the 2nd floor of the Uffizi

Mesmerizing, it is amazing that many painters were also sculptors

I think this is the gift shop door, but not sure  Just liked the decal

Items from Church

A portion of the stole of the Bishop

There are times when pictures tell that story and there is no need for additional words.  I had the opportunity to visit paper stores and buy wonderful paper, Purchased art from a street artist that made me smile, and enjoyed the beauty of the city.  One thing I have learned is that at this point of my travel journey I want to not do touristy things, but get an apartment for a week or two and immerse myself in the actual life of the place.

Next week - Venice, Murano and Burano.  Until then.....pilgrim

Friday, October 10, 2014

Traveling Through Italy and Paris - Excellent Cuisine

Dear Reader, in this blog post we will travel through Florence, Venice and Paris through food.  Oh it was so fun to experience the delightful tastes of each place.  Hope you have eaten and have a full tummy as you view these wonderful delights.
Lunch in the Piazza on Sunday in Florence
Fried Zuccini and Lamb Shank in Florence.  Dinner on Sunday Night
Pasta and Sausage Shells in Venice
Duck Breast in Paris
Cheese Plate after main course in Paris
Foie Gras Appetizer at the start of the Riverboat Cruse dinner in Paris

Pulled Pork Sandwich in Dusseldorf Germany Airport

Rigatoni with Sausage and Truffles in Florence.

There were so many great meals.  The cuisine is such an important part of travel.  From Excellent 
Gelato in Florence and Venice (oh do I love gelato), to the best French Fries (Pomme Frittes) I have ever eaten in Paris, each meal introduced me to the culture through food.  I tried items I had never new to me, Duck breast  and Foie Gras and both were excellent.  I had Orange Fanta in Italy which is 100 times better than the Fanta we have in the US and I was in Orangina heaven in Paris (I love this carbonated orange drink).  

Food was just one part of this trip, but it was an important part.

Next week, a closer look at Florence.

Please leave a comment, it is always good to hear from friends and visitors.

until next week......pilgrim

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Traveling Through Italy and Paris - A New Series

My Roommate Debbie
Giraffe Statue in Dusseldorf Germany Airport
Group Selfie, Maryann, Jessica, Tracie and Me

Hello dear readers, this post is the introduction to a new series that will run for the next few weeks.  Traveling through Italy and Paris is my story of traveling through Florence, Venice and Paris.  11 days seeing the sights, experiencing good food, stories of Apocalypse Paulo, the great train rides and many more.

My trip began on Sept. 18th and ended on Sept. 29th.  I cannot begin to tell you how much fun I had and what I learned not just about the places I visited, but also about myself.  40 days from today is my 65th birthday.  I experienced this trip through the eyes of a person entering an exciting time of life.  I have new feelings about myself and who I am.  I have an updated list of things I want to do and accomplish, I have an enhanced zest for life and I really have a new appreciation for my art.

In other good news, I had my yearly check up with my breast oncology surgeon and my mammogram was really good. No changes from last year and I am good for another year. So, I plan to make the most of it.

For the next few Fridays, I will be posting a new installment to this series.  I hope you will be as excited to read them as I am to write them.

Have a great week and hope to see you on Friday, October 10th.  pilgrim

Monday, August 25, 2014

Learning New Techniques Art Journal Techniques and Tangents - Grids

Second segment of AJT&T Number 4

First segment of AJT&T Number 4

 Base background for Pages

After the 61 days of Index Card a Day Challenge was done.  Tammy Garcia developed another project, Art Journal
Tangent and Techniques.  Each Friday in August a journaling technique was shared.  Many of the techniques were taken from Classes Tammy had taught in the past.  I am going to write about them, not in any particular order; rather by the way they made me feel.

The technique I am showing today was about making random squares (a grid if you will) using acrylic paint and a wide paint brush.  First I thought about the book that I would use and the Junk Mail journal came to mind.  I really love this book, but because the pages are brightly colored papers and glossy cards it was going to take a lot of work gessoing each page.   But, but, but.....these squares are simply perfect for covering the page and then creating magic.  Magic I tell you.

Ok, just a little dramatic, but the outcome is something I really love.  Because I have to make my own interpretation to any project,  the squares took on a life of their own.  Inchies, rectangles, 2 inches, horizontal rectangles, vertical rectangles shaped by the collage images I chose to put on the paper.  I finally feel comfortable collaging.  I can finally relate to the concept and I am in love.  

Summer is almost over.  The staycation ends next Sunday.  It has been a blast.  I have had so much fun creating and learning not just about art, but also about myself.

Thanks for stopping by and please say hi.  Comments make me so happy.


Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Week 5 of Staycation: ICAD's done week of June 29.

Week 5 of staycation is done.  It has been so relaxing and full of artsy fun.  I have been working on my index cards and I have been having a ball doing them.  I think the best part is looking at the prompt and thinking of ways to illustrate them.  Below are some of the cards from week 

Red White and Blue of the 4th of July

Tomorowland.  Goody is my favorite Disney Character so naturally
He was the them of my Tomorrowland Card

Coffee and Tea was the theme for this card, but since I do not drink coffee
I dedicated the card to Tea which I love.  Dried tea bags were used as part of the background


Stamps was the theme and in my stash of ephemera I found from ArtFest which turned out to be stamps commemorating
the festivals from 2000 to 2012.

I am so enjoying this summer.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Week 4 of Staycation: ICAD 22-28

Dear Reader.....

Week 4 of the Staycation and ICAD is done.  Time is going by so fast but I am having a good time.  Below are the Index cards from this week.  Enjoy.

Beach Umbrella
#22 Chlllin' on the Beach

 #24 Brown
Wonky Houses painted on Index card and crinkled deli paper

# 23 Star Wars
# 25 Maple Leaf
Leaves Traced and painted with shades of Orange background shades of green

# 26 Magnifying Glass
In memory of my Mom who had a magnifying mirror that she used to apply her make up as a child I loved that mirror
#27 Album Cover
Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon I have always loved this album cover so I set out to draw and paint it
the black is black gesso and the other colors are acrylic paint pens  this was fun because I was determined to have it look just like the cover and I came really close.  I find I like doing linear drawings,  Who knew.

#28 Robot
I have been really letting my mind go with the prompts.  I had to give my robot a name and a purpose; introducing Servibot and Service is its goal coming someday to an IKEA near you.  Servibot has real fashion sense and personality.

Well, that is the week 4 dear reader, Please feel free to leave a comment, it can get lonely here in this laptop.

Until next time......pilgrim

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

End of Week 3 of Staycation

Candy Wrapper 


Harry Potter

Pattern Repeat

ICAD week 3 final four cards with prompts related to Candy Wrappers, the color Orange, Harry Potter and pattern repeats.  I had fun making these.  I find that I love using the 4x6 size index card.  It gives me more space to create.

Candy Wrapper:  I used the wrapper from candy I got in China last year, I used a base of chinese newspaper and then collaged on the candy wrapper.

The color Orange:  A few of the participants used Orange County California to reflect orange.  I got curious about the number of counties in the USA that are called Orange County.  I like how the card turned out and I found 8 counties named Orange County

Harry Potter:  I have never read one word of a Harry Potter book or seen a movie.  I wondered where he lived so I looked it up and drew a rendition of a map I found, that was really a hoot to do.

Pattern Repeat:  I am trying to learn how to use my stencils without having the paint bleed and so it was so fun to use the Stencil Girl Stencil I won last week on this card.

I have found that I like coloring the cards at least the initial layer with ink from stamp pads applied with sponges,  The paper does not buckle and I like that.

Week 3 was a really good week, relaxed, read, cleaned the art room and just enjoyed life

until next week........pilgrim