Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's Blog...wow.

I just found Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's blog, and she is so inspiring! I just had to share this post about a dress and tie she painted to wear to a formal event. So creative! I've included a picture of her date's tie to give you a peek at what is in store when you click to see her spectacular dress! Click on her name to see the dress she started with and how she transformed it. You really have to see this! Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's dress.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Journaling Paris...

Right after stowing our luggage at the hotel, we walked over to the Eiffel Tower. Of course this has been on my bucket list forever, and it definitely did not disappoint. It's every bit as beautiful as I imagined, and the views are fantastic!
 I made a little pocket for my Paris Pass. I couldn't bring myself to throw it away, so now it's part of the souvenirs. I put more of the little photos I had printed in these pages. These are just cut and paste over some of the pages I'd painted up before leaving home.
 Here is Jennifer looking out over the city and Pat, Jennifer, and I up high in the tower.
Later that night, we saw the tower glowing with golden light, and it several times in the evenings it puts on a sparkling show.
 We stayed at the Hotel Duquesne Eiffel, which was charming. Old and yet, modern...a nice combination. We could see the Eiffel tower if we opened the window and looked down the street.
 Another pass I kept, Plus a little map torn out of a guide.
 I drew this as we sat at a café by Notre Dame and drank mulled wine (it was pretty chilly out).  The cathedral is stunningly beautiful, and also a moving place to visit. Mass was in progress while we were visiting.
Here is another page that is totally cut and paste. So many of the maps you pick up are wonderfully drawn and colorful. This one was for the Big Red Bus. It's one of those hop on, hop off tour buses, and it had the tour on tape in many languages. It was a nice way to see some of the city, and give our feet a rest at the same time!
 Musée de l'Orangerie was also a bucket list site. I 've always wanted to see Monet's large water lily paintings. They were simply amazing. It was a moving experience to sit and soak them in. While I was sketching I saw another sketcher, so I sketched him too. This was one of my favorite moments in Paris.
 We spent one whole day at Versailles. It's hard to imagine the expense that went into creating this palace...which was the summer palace...it's incredible. It also makes you think back on the history of the time, and maybe understand some of the angst and frustration of that time in history. It makes me glad that it's a place everyone can visit.
 We had to try Ladurée's macarons while in Paris! Lovely treat!

 Here's a page with a photo of the three of us in the garden at Versailles and a bit of a post card of the chapel there, and a little drawing of a settee/bed in one of the bedrooms. Everything at Versailles is incredibly ornate.
A cut and paste using a pretty postcard.
Pat treated us to a wonderful early dinner at the restaurant in the garden. These images are cut from some paper placemats that the waiter gave to us, after we explained about our journals. There were nice fabric tablecloths on the tables, but maybe they use these outside. The artwork is charming! Cut and paste makes for a quick page and captured memories.
 Jennifer had been doing some reading about the Petit Trianon, a village built for Marie Antoinette to get away from her responsibilities at the palace (a summer place away from the summer place). She had it built as an idyllic country village.
 I just used the beautiful map of the gardens for this page. It was like something straight out of storybook. It was not the easiest thing to find..even with a map. I think they could benefit from a few signs to lead you through the garden to the hamlet.
Here is the queen's boudoir. I sketched this little building from one of my photos after we got back to Ireland, because we were on a pretty tight schedule in Paris. This was in the hamlet, separate from la Petit Trianon. As I said, the buildings are STRAIGHT out a storybook. If you'd like to see some great pictures of a very charming place go to this site: The Queen's Hamlet.

Well, that's enough for today. More of this journal on another day!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Ireland and France Travel Journal

My sister Jennifer and I were so fortunate to be able to visit Ireland and France this March. It was my first time outside the USA, and I had a great time. We visited with my cousin Pat, who lives there part of the year. She has been going to Ireland for many years and was our amazing tour guide. She's also a seasoned international traveler, and we learned a lot from her!

I'll share more pages with you later, but for now, here is a start. Under the pages I've listed some of the "ingredients" in the page. I used lots of tickets, maps, and other things that accumulate during a trip.

Pat gifted us with beautiful little leather journals made by the Holden Leathergoods of Co. Kerry, Ireland. I used the bag the green bag the journal came in, as well as the stickers from the bag, and a purse cut from Holden's literature. The journal is even signed by the maker. Pat gave these to us before we left home, so I broke the ice by doing this page and one about packing before we left.

Here's a page done while I was packing. The suitcase is cut from an old postcard.

One day, early in the trip, we visited Howth. It's a lovely town on the Irish sea with many places to buy fresh seafood. While Pat was shopping for salmon and other things for dinner, Jennifer and I were exploring and taking pictures of the harbor.

This page was made with little photos I had printed at the little pharmacy in Donabate, the village where we stayed with Pat. I had the pictures printed 2 images to a print and then cut them apart, so they they would be small enough for this book. Pat is an amazing hostess, and we had a wonderful meal with her Irish friends. The salmon she made was the best I've ever eaten.

Here's a description of a proper Irish breakfast, which Pat fixed for us on our first day there. More on that later...yummy.  The Chinese bit was a note inside the bag of Chinese takeout we had with some Irish friends that night.

Here is a receipt for groceries and a list of words and phrases we were hearing being used in Ireland.

In Ireland, the driving is on the other side of the road, and there are roundabouts wherever you go. They actually work quite well, but I was so confused at first. This map of an imaginary roundabout shows my confusion, because I got the directions wrong on several of the vehicles. This page is all colored pencil and ink and white Sharpie pen.

We were charmed by Dublin. More pages about that to some, but here is a teaser: a Dubline streetlamp with shamrocks, and a Georgian Dublin door.  Pitt Artist Pens and Prismacolor colored pencils. Many of my pages were prepped with some paint before leaving the states, and this is one of them.

Here are a couple of Irish cottages, which dot the landscape. We even visited with friends who live in one of the old cottages, which they've renovated into a charming little home. This is happening all over Ireland, as the government encourages people to save the old buildings. These two even have thatch roofs. The pink one is a sweater shop in Doolin.

We went back to Howth several times. We were amazed at how the Irish sit out and eat at patio tables when it's quite chilly! Hardy folks. We also went back to Howth for a prawn festival which was mouthwatering. This page is just my notes, plus a wonderful little map they give out in Howth to help you find your way around.

I have many more pages to show, but this is a start. More to come!