Monday, March 30, 2009

We have finally made it to the cafe with internet but they only let you use it for a little bit so this is going to be a fast one. I hope you enjoy the photos and just know that I will have lots more when I get home. There is so much to say about this wonderful city. I am completely and utterly in love. We have had some really funny moments too. Lots of stories to tell after I get home. Here I am at the Paris Opera House. I loved the beautiful lamposts. The gold top on the building was spectacular too.

We could see the Eiffel Tower from the top of the Arc de Triomphe. It took my breath away. Tomorrow we will visit the actual Tower. I am in love with Paris. I think I could live here.

They have all these colord doors in our neighborhood. I am taking pictures of all of them. So fun.

These are the stairs in our hotel. Everyday we climb three flights of these stairs to get to our room. No elevators here.

Here are the stairs we climbed to get to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. Crazy amount of steps. I thought I was going to have a heart attack by the time we got to the top. Good thing I didn't know ahead of time that we were going to the top by stairs. Ignorance is bliss sometimes.

You can't imagine the detail that is on the Arc. It is amazing. Everything is so huge and breathtaking in this city. I took a video of the cars going around the Arc. It is quite an art to changing lanes because there are no lines.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


We still have not made it to an internet cafe.  We are so busy everyday that by the time we get back to our hotel we just fall into bed and say we'll go tomorrow.  Today we went to a flea market, Les Ivalides, Opera National de Paris. Lafayette shopping Mall and the Arc de Triomphe. We saw the Eiffle Tower when we climbed the hundreds of stairs to the top of the Arc. If I had put a pedometer on for this trip I would not be suprised if we walked fifty  miles today  because that it what it feels like. .y legs are tired but the boots are wonderful and my feet don.t hurt at all.  Hang in there and hopefully I will get some photos up before the end of this trip.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The start

I made it to Atlanta, Georgia and now I am waiting and eating before I take my flight to Paris. So far so good.  The wierdest thing happened though, I was about an hour into my flight and I look up and my cousin is standing in the isle. She is on her way to sing in Carnegie Hall and I had no idea about it. I also met an old friend on my flight. What's the chance of that happening? OK, gotta eat.
PS I made it to Paris and it is amaziing. I have some pictures to show but I need to find an internet cafe to post them. Maybe tomorrow.
PSS I am in love with the espresso here!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


My daughter and I went to see Wicked last night and we had the best time. It was a rough day for her because my grandbaby was so fussy so what a relief when we finally made it out the door. We went to dinner at Newport Bay and ordered salmon, yummy. We never get to just talk uninterrupted so I really enjoyed the hour of relaxing and talking and sharing. Then we headed over to the theater. We were really close to the stage but a little farther to the side than I would have liked. It was so amazing though. They did such a great job of weaving in the back story for the Wizard of Oz. Apparently, it was not like the book but since I haven't read the book it didn't bother me at all. The costumes where so incredible and the excitement in the air was electric. It was fun to get all dressed up too. It was almost midnight when we got home and I woke early so I will be going to the airport on very little sleep but it was worth it. I had the best time.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Started Packing

The packing is underway. As hard as I try to pack light the suitcase is filling up. Fortunately the coat is taking up half the suitcase and will be removed to make room for the trip home.
I started the day running errands to get ready for my trip. I got my phone upgraded so that I can use it in France. Although, I won't be having long conversations considering how much it will cost me but at least I know I can if I need to. I stopped by Ross to see if I could find a cheap pair of pants and found some skinny jeans for $9.99 so now I have three pair of pants to take with me. Tomorrow, I will finish up by the afternoon because my daughter and I are going to see Wicked in the evening. I love the theater and I hear this one is amazing. We will get back late and then I will need a good nights sleep so I am ready to leave Thursday morning for Paris. Oh, my goodness, it really is going to happen. One day left and then I'm off. I would do cartwheels if I thought I wouldn't hurt myself.
As I am sitting here writing this, my beautiful Sophie is laying in my lap all curled up and very comfortable. This is the hard part of leaving, missing the family and pets.

My poor little puppy dog, Lily Lou, is very attached to me and will mope around the house until I get home. She practically needs psychiatric help when I'm gone too long. Hopefully it won't come to that this time. She is such a sensitive princess. I may have to buy her a tiara in Paris.

Monday, March 23, 2009

60 pounds

Today was the day. The scale showed that I have officially lost 60 lbs!!!! When I started out I thought loosing 50 lbs would be good but then when I got there I realized that I needed to loose 10-15lbs more. Now I am pretty much happy with where I am except for those stubborn rolls around the middle. I think I'm going to have to go down another 10lbs. I just hope that it all comes off the middle. Of course after a week in Paris with enjoying their lovely cuisine I may have more than that to take off. Everyone assures me though, I will be doing so much walking that I don't have to worry about gaining any weight. We shall see, we shall see. I won't think about that right now. Today I am celebrating the hard work and perseverance it has taken to get where I am. And, I would be wrong to say I did it on my own. The will power has come from the Lord, support has come from my family and encouragement from all my friends who have cheered me on all along the way. Thanks everyone. My girls have been so inspired they have decided to try and loose a few pounds too and it has been so good to see them eating healthy meals the last couple of weeks. Here's to health and proper eating habits. I realized that my grandbaby weighs 27 lbs. If I was to hold two of him that would be close to the amount of weight I have lost. I am so glad that I am not going to carrying all that weight around everyday, it is exhausting just carrying one of him for very long. Sometimes my mind just can't wrap around it. I am blessed for sure!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A few hours in my studio

I spent some time in my studio today. It has been weeks since I got some time to paint and play in there. It felt so good to get my hands dirty with paint and ink. I decided that when I get back from Paris I will challenge myself to set up an Etsy shop and put some of my stuff up for sale. I hope I find some goodies in Paris to put up for sale also. Hard to say what I will find and be able to bring back with luggage space being an issue these days. I have three more canvases and the green one in the back of the picture is not finished yet but I hope to finish it before I leave on Thursday.

Friday Creativity

I got together with a couple of artist friends, Karla & Michelle to work in our journals. I was feeling very uncreative but it was so good to put some marks on the page and talk art. I found out that I really needed to get a 005 Micron pen. It makes the tiniest lines. I couldn't find that exact one at the store without driving 20 miles so I settled for an off beat brand in 00. It will work for now. As you can see my buddies didn't lack inspiration at all and went to town on their pages. It was a fun time of just hanging out creating and encouraging one another. I need that a lot more than they do since they have paved their own paths with art already and I am just beginning down that road to discovering who I am and what my art will look like. Michelle is actually having a give-a-way on her blog so click over and check it out.

I would love to win any of her stuff especially that beautiful print. Well, the clock with wings is pretty cute too. Come to think about it, I would love all of it. She is so inspiring with her creativity and the girl has the most amazing shading in her art. I could stare at her paintings for hours just taking in all the colors and shades. I have been so blessed to have these ladies as friends.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

One Week and counting

Today I went over to my nieces shop, paperdoll. We sat down with the maps and tour books and planned our time in Paris. Not an easy thing to do keeping in mind all the metro stops, days certain places are not open and what time they do open. Whew, we did it though. In between all the big stuff we put in some shopping at chocolatiers, paperies, flea markets, a vintage shop and even a private 3 hour art lesson on the streets of Paris. I didn't think it was possible to be any more excited but I am. My sweet niece had a present waiting for me today when I arrived of an Eiffel Tower. I will use it in my journal for sure. I wore my boots today and they are a dream. Amazing in the comfort category. i will continue to wear them until I leave but they really feel worn in already. Well, it is late here so I had better go to bed since I am meeting some artist friends in the morning to art journal and have some fun.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

These boots are made for walking

YEAH! The wonderful brown UPS truck arrived today with my boots. I tried them on and they fit and feel very comfortable too. The test will be hours walking all over Paris in them. I think I am ready now. Next week about this time I will start packing. Yesterday I downloaded Adele's new album so I have new music to listen to on my ipod and The Friday Night Knitting Club on my Kindle. My new memory card is formatted and ready to go. Yep, I think I am definitely ready to hit the streets. This may end up being a very long week. I think I will distract myself by going and fixing dinner. I have a new recipe to try out from my new favorite blog, Baking Bites. She has yummy stuff over there. The only problem is that I am down 59 lbs and don't want to chance making any of the sweet stuff because I would eat it all. I am going to try the skillet scones instead. I'll let you know how that goes.


I thought I would show a journal page. I have been working on pages but I have gotten into this crazy system lately where I don't finish a page in one evening. I pick a page and do a little on that page until I am at a place where I can't think of anything else to put on the page and then another page will catch my eye and I will do a little bit on that page. I am feeling very scattered doing it this way and yet I can't seem to stop myself. YIKES! I need to save myself from this crazy system. I used to just start with a blank page and only work on one page at a time and finish it in one evening. I like that system so much better. Maybe it is because of my completely scattered life in general right now. Whatever the reason, I don't have finished pages to share and that is driving my crazy. Focus, Focus, Focus! Maybe if I say it enough it will happen.

The 8GB memory card I ordered for my camera came yesterday. I think that should be big enough to take a few pictures in Paris but the boots are still AWOL. I figure they should come today or tomorrow. The anticipation is killing me. Oh, I almost forgot:

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Go green today

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A humble beginning

Here is a journal page that I have not done much to yet. As I was reading in chapter six of 12 Secrets of Highly Creative women; I was thinking about how this page represents my art journey. Something just begun not really fresh but not defined yet either. The simple beginnings with so much possibility. This particular chapter talked about when you want to get serious about your art you need to be intentional and give attention to what your goals are. There are lots of people and daily needs that can get in the way of creating and so you need to set boundaries to eliminate the distractions in your life. Be willing to proactively go after what you need and don't feel guilty about it. Give yourself deadlines, if that motivates you. She says in the book, "In order to succeed, you must create a space, commit the time, value it and fight for it. And yes, give some things up". Tell the people in your life that you are not available during this time. The most important part, as far as I was concerned, was when she talked about how creativity has to have silence to emerge. In the silence is where we find new ideas and inspiration and we must make time to escape the chaos of our lives to hear those thoughts and ideas and get in touch with our souls.

I can tell that I am going to have to read this chapter a few times to let it all sink in. I totally understand it but doing it is another thing. Setting aside the caretaker role to friends and family for a few hours to let creativity blossom is hard for me. Everyone else gets first dibs on my energy and I find at the end of the day that I don't have much left over to pour out on the page. But I know in my heart that I am to take this road. I am to learn to be this person who values her creative self because it is a deep form of worship to the Lord who created me to be this way. A tithe of sorts of the creative gifts given. I have so much to learn but attention with intention will give me the time I need to learn it.

The Day Sad Arrived

A friend of mine is a counselor and she told me today that her new book is out. I am so excited for her and can't wait to get it and read what she has written. You can see more about it at her website, Kathleen Sawyer or on Amazon. Way to go Kathy!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Planning for Paris

I have started researching the sites I will see in Paris and they are so amazing just on paper. I can't imagine what it will be like to see them in person. Here is a list of the ones that we are planning on seeing.
Arc Triomphe
Eiffel Tower (2 separate trips)
Notre Dame
Opera National de Paris
Sacre Coeur
Seine River
Pere-Lachaise Cemetery ( maybe)
Shopping (Free P Star, Shakespeare Books, Tati and a department store)
Saint-Quen Flea Market- largest in world
I met with a friend yesterday who just got back two weeks ago and she told me of an amazing vintage shop to visit. Another friend of mine gave me a pack of goodies to use while I am gone such as, a electrical plug converter, passport and ticket holder for when I am in the airport, neck pillow and $15 euros. How sweet of her to think of me. Everyone who has been traveling abroad is giving me the best information, things that I wouldn't even think of because this is my first time. One friend said not worry about the French men. My thought was, "French men? What do you mean, I wasn't planning on talking to any french men!"

I bought a great pair of boots to take and because the wrong tracking number was given to me I can't see where it is or when the package will arrive. I love to track my packages and I am anxious to see if they are as comfortable as the add said they were. Definitely stylish and since I am going to Paris I think that might be important, right after comfort of course. I realized that I don't walk much and so I have no idea if my shoes are actually comfortable for five days of walking or not. How do you test that out? If there is anything that I am stressing about it is the shoes. Everything else will be amazing. I also remembered to buy an new memory card for my camera so all the pictures I will be taking will fit. It is all starting to come together. Less than two weeks to go. Just dreaming of going is a treat. It is almost like being on vacation as I plan it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Testing Mobile Posting

Testing Mobile Posting

This is just a test to see if I can post from my phone. I hope it works so that I can do some posts when I am away from home.

Robin Red Breast

I woke early this morning around 4:30am. Not that I wanted to, mind you, but the brain kicked into gear and there was no more sleep after that. I finally got up and wandered downstairs to get my morning cup of coffee. As I was waiting for the coffee to pour into my cup, gotta love that Keurig, I looked outside. I had at least 50 Robins in my backyard and more in the front yard. I have never seen so many of them in one spot in my whole life. There was even a baby one who breast was more cream colored and had not turned yet. It was adorable. I wish I had a picture to show you but I stood there and enjoyed the sight instead of running for the camera. The sun was starting to shine and they were so happy to be out there pecking around. There really was no point to this post other than I thought it was amazing that there were so many of them.

I got ready and led a women's bible study on focused living/purpose then headed over to Barnes & Nobles to pick up a couple of Paris tour guides. Yippee! My heart skips a beat every time I imagine myself standing in Paris taking pictures. As I was looking at all the tour guides a friend of mine who I taught how to art journal this week, called to ask if I would teach her whole bible study how to art journal what they are learning in the study. This is my friend who claims she is not artistic. She had so much fun art journaling she wants others to know how to do it too. You don't have to ask me twice. I'm all over that. So much goodness going on right now I don't know if I can stand it. Of course, there was kid trouble last night but I am refusing to let it ruin my joy. The sun is shining and that just makes it all the better.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Purpose has been coming up quite a bit lately. What am I doing and why? Today I read in Calm My Anxious Heart, "Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least. If we haven't chosen what we are living for, we're living life by default, acting out the scripts handed to us by family, other people's agendas, and the pressures of circumstances. This is not living as a woman who knows the meaning and purpose of life. "Knowing our purpose can be difficult but then keeping focused on that amidst all that life throws at us can be almost impossible. I have written a couple of purpose statements over the years and even though the core of those statements stays the same I have to tweak them with each new stage in life. I am feeling like I'm at a crossroads again and things are about to change. Nothing specific but a sense that God is working. I am thinking it is time to re-write that old purpose statement and be open to new doors. I feel a need to lighten the load in preparation for the new. Of course, that could be more difficult than I think. We shall see.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Passport arrived!

YEAH! My passport arrived yesterday afternoon. I can take a sigh of relief and start planning for my trip. I still can't believe this is happening. Lots of happy squeals around here these days.

We went to the Chris Tomlin concert last night and it was amazing. Israel and New Breed started the night out and then Chris came on. They were both so good and alongside Chris was Christy Nockles. It was such a great evening. Everyone was standing most of the time and I made the mistake of wearing high heels but I didn't care, the lack of space to dance was more of an issue. Chris Tomlin is such an amazing worship leader and writes incredible songs. I hadn't heard of Christy before but she had a beautiful voice and there is a free download of the song she sang on her website so you should check it out.

We got home around Midnight and had to move the clocks ahead. Not so good for someone who needs 9 hours of sleep a night. Then very early this morning my daughter wakes me up saying she locked her keys in the car and needs to get to work immediately. I was so tired I could hardly move but I managed to drag myself out of bed and get her to work and me to church on time. Then when I got home I wanted to take a nap but had agreed to watch my grandbaby. He was so sweet. There is nothing in the world better than being a grandma.

He was very serious about balancing the toy on top of his head, then he would laugh when it fell off. It is so fun watching him. I'm still looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow though. Hopefully no one needs me bright and early.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Travel Pack finished

It came together rather quickly considering I didn't have a pattern and winging it. I love the fabric and cute little crocheted flower. I hope it works and is useful. I I made pockets on the inside for a signature, pens and water color pencils. I think I am going to add a tape runner too.

I added a flap at the top so that the items won't slip out. It sounded like a good idea but I will see if it does it's job.
I am so glad I finished it today because I am really busy the rest of the day and tomorrow and I don't think I could have waited two days to get back to it. Sometimes I can be so impatient. OK now I am off to go to the Chris Tomlin concert with friends. What a great day!

Travel Pack idea

I came up with my version of a travel kit to take to Paris with me. I will make up some signatures ahead of time and carry them with me. When I fill up one signature I will put it in my suitcase and get the next one out so that I'm not carrying around a big journal as I sight see. When I get home I will bind the signatures into a journal. I am so excited about this. My niece guarantees me that I will find lots vintage ephemera at the flea markets and vintage shops we will be going to. No t-shirts for me. I will spending my money on old books and newspapers, and anything else I can find written in French. OH, the excitement is going to kill me before I even get there. Well, gotta go work on that travel pack. Sorry no pictures today, I am heading to my studio to work but I will show you what I come up with hopefully tomorrow. Have a great creative day! Oh I almost forgot, here is where I got the idea for the travel pack, check it out here.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Paris or bust!

Can you tell where I am going to be in three weeks? I can hardly breathe I am so excited and panicked that my passport won't be here in time.

I got a call from my lovely niece about a week ago asking if I wanted to hang out with her in Paris for a week. Well, let's see, YES, definitely YES. My ticket is booked and I can't believe I am going to Paris. Me, little ol' me. For those of you who are praying folk, start now. Things tend to go awry when I go away. But I won't worry about that now, I have lots to do to be ready in three weeks. YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I just realized something, yesterday was my blogaversary. It flew by without me realizing it. One year ago I took the plunge to start a blog. I remember how nervous I was and that I didn't know what I was doing in setting up a blog. I also didn't know that I would meet some really nice women and artists through my blog either. Some of my friends have asked me why I started a blog and I honestly don't know. I wasn't really even reading other people's blogs at that time. I just remember being on-line one day and thinking, "I can do that so why not just do it?" I was not finding a lot of artists in my area and really wanted to connect with some in any way possible and this seemed like a good way. Wow, I am blown away that it has been a year already. If you want to see my first blog post you can see it here. It just goes to show how one year can fly by and that a simple decision to start a blog can change your life. Thank you to all of you who have stopped by. It's so much more fun taking this journey with you all and a special hug to those who leave comments on my posts. Your words have been such an encouragement to me. I have many happy memories here and hope that in the next year we will get to know each other even better and make more new friends too. Blog love to you all!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Weekend

My niece and I went to the beach for some time away. We always have such a great time of watching movies, eating and creating. This time my goal was to get my new fabric journal assembled. I ended up making 9 signatures but only 7 fit in the journal when I was done. I tried to get all the pages prepped for journaling but I think that was a bit adventurous especially since I ended up with a sore throat and didn't feel like doing a whole lot. I did get around 50 pages with something on them.

This journal is different than all my other journals because I have added fabric, ribbon, trim and lots of patterned paper, patterned tape and netting. I have also added stitching by hand and stitching with my sewing machine. So far it has been a lot of fun.

I definitely can see me making another one of these in the future. I loved painting on the fabric and the feel and look of the cover is amazing to me.

Here is one prepped page ready to go. My niece came with a packet of goodies for me and I used quite a few of the images in this journal. They were all black and white. How did she know? We think a lot alike so it is not surprising. Thanks Janene, I was blessed by your company!

Here is one finished page that I worked on. I wanted to remind myself of all the fun I am having and to not loose the joy as I progress in my art journey. I really like doodling and had some fun this weekend watching Felicity (Freshman year) and playing with my pens.