Saturday, April 26, 2008

Back from Virginia

So we are back from Virginia Beach ! The hubby and I drove 14 hours yesterday ! Yikes !!!!!! I don't think I would do that again. When we were starting to get really fed up about 8 hours in we were in the middle of New Jersey where the traffic was a little crazy and it was just so busy everywhere. All we wanted to do was get home but that last leg was a long one. I was so happy to sleep in my own bed though and it feels good to be home.

Why the rush you may ask ? Well, I wanted to get home early because I knew I would need a day or two to recover before I head out on Monday for my next road trip to Mont Tremblant, Quebec to see MY NEW NIECE !!!! Yes, my sister had her little girl, Kate (Katherine) Ainsley on Tuesday, April 22 (Earth Day) ! The baby was 8 pounds, 12 ounces and my sister did the whole thing au naturel ! Brava, Sister !!! Can't wait to see that little Cupcake Kate !!!! (I have this habit of finding nicknames for everyone - I think this one may stick !)

Virginia Beach was a great time for the hubby and me, inspite of the cold, windy, rainy weather we had to start off. We had only one real beach day on our last day, Thurdsay, when we sat in the sun (got kind of burnt) and "toe-d" in the water and watched the dozen or so dolphins frolick all along the beach right in front of us !!!! I was giggling and clapping my hands like a little girl from my excitement at seeing those magnificent silver bodies in the surf !!!!Such a treat !

On Tuesday, it was about 50 degrees and so blustery ! We got bundled up anyway and headed out in between the rainshowers with the camera. I wanted to just shoot whatever images jumped out at me, and take "quirky" shots. Here are some of the best shots from that day :

I love this photo of me kissing the fish lips !

The hubby hugging the pink fish (not so happy about this "quirky" photo). Check out the reflection in the hotel window.

Virginia Beach has these signs all over ! No behaviour that will ruin anyone else's time allowed ! So cool !

S is for Spiral, Six and Spots (on the sidewalk)

The head of a Venus statue in front of a restaurant - I love her against the bricks.

Cool Restaurant with a Cool Sign

Just liked this - I imagined it on the cover of my art journal !

A rose waiting for the sun just like us !

Sand Art

That's it for this post. I will have more later but I have to get started on laundry and get ready to go get the Chica Dog from Camp !!! Can't wait to see that furry face !

Monday, April 21, 2008

Beach Blogger Kimbo

Virginia Beach Rainbow - Sunday Night

Virginia Beach Board Walk - View from our hotel

So our plan was to stop in Washington, D.C. and spend the day in visiting the city on Monday. When we arrived in Alexandria, Virginia, just outside the city, it was pouring rain, I mean thundershowers, torrential downpours ! And the weather forecast called for more of the same on Monday. Also, when we stopped in the beautiful Ole Towne in Alexandria and inquired about a hotel room, the price kind of blew the budget big time. So then it was time to decide, move a little further away from Washington for a cheaper hotel and drive back in on Monday to be tourists in the big city or drive three more hours and arrive at the beach a few days early.

You can tell from the pictures above what we decided. It is still very off season in Virginia Beach so we were able to get out hotel for the two extra nights no problem. When we got there the rain had stopped and we were able to take in the cool ocean air right from our balcony. Then we were blessed with a rainbow !!! (I know it doesn't show up great in the photo !) That was the sign for me that we had done the right thing.

The forecast is kind of sad for the next two days - cold (high 50's) and rainy but that's ok ! David and I are together, we can watch the crazy waves from the balcony bundled up when it's raining and we have nothing to do but be cozy, read, nap, blog and maybe journal a bit. Perfect down time !!!!!

David came up with the name for my post ! Cute, ain't he !

Friday, April 18, 2008

Had To Have These Shoes !!!

El Naturalista Iggdrasil N096
Check out these babies !!! I went looking for shoes to go walking on my trip and came across these oh so fine shoes that my friend Suzy had told me about quite a while ago. They were my favorite color green too! Even though the price was too high for the budget, I just had to have them !!!!! Then, oh woe is me, they didn't have my size !!!! Went home and ordered then on line. I won't have them for the trip but they will be waiting for spring and summer frolicking when I get home ! Yipee ! (I love shoes, can't you tell ? )
Here is the description :
El Naturalista Iggdrasil N096
Standing for "The Tree of Life" in Nordic mythology, this is a classic style in its original clog version, rooted at the center of the El Naturalista universe. Pull-grain leather upper is treated with natural oils and polish, which gives it an attractive rustic look but is softened until optimal comfort is reached. Thick & sturdy hand-stitched accents present a distinct feature in every style. Anatomically-correct insole made from recycled cork allows breathability & shoe hygiene. Recycled footbed is contoured to the natural shape of the foot for lasting comfort. Recycled, high-quality rubber, which contains a scent of tea tree oil, is used for these unique outsoles.
Lucky, lucky me !!! It also fits in with the "Green" Art Journal Friday theme posted by D'Blogala. Though I didn't have time to do a journal page, here is my creative process for the day ! Recycled cork and rubber, not to mention the great color make these shoes a pretty "Green" choice, dontcha think ?

These Dreams of Mine

"Broken Wing" - Another page from my bird book

So this post in being done in a little bit of a hurry as the hubby and I are kind of rushing around doing a hundred things today to get ready for our road trip !!!! Wooo hooo ! We decided that we would take our "economic stimulus" dough and do what the Devil George wants us to do and spend it ! From what I have read, most people are taking this ridiculous and scary bit of money to help pay off debts incurred by the sick state of the economy (thanks for that too George !). We could easily have done this too but we decided that we really need some couple time and that it has been way too long since we had a trip together. We couldn't afford a flight and a stay anywhere so we decided on a road trip. We wanted to go somewhere a little warmer than NH in April, somewhere neither one of us had been before and somewhere we could drive to without spending days on end in the car. So we are driving to ..... drum roll.... Virginia Beach !!!

We are heading out tomorrow, driving about 6 hours to "Philly-ish" as I call it, somewhere near Philadelphia for the first stop. Then Sunday, we will head down to Washington, DC, where we want to spend the day doing the tourist thing on Monday. I want to see the Reflection Pools, the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. On Tuesday we will do our final leg and arrive at Virginia Beach where we will spend three days hanging out at the ocean, relaxing, holding hands, smooching and having quality couple time. Virginia is for Lovers, you know !!!

We are both very excited. The Hubby, a gadget man big time, got a great deal on a GPS on E-bay and is very excited to use it. I thought a AAA map would be fine, but hey, I get to choose the GPS voice - sexy Aussie Lee - so I'm happy. I have packed a mini-studio to journal with, and my laptop will be placed in her sexy travelling bag and come along for the ride (whether she gets taken out along the way remains to be seen!) ! The cats are being visited by a friend so they will be fine. The only sad thing is that Chica has to go to "camp", the kennel that she always comes back from a little hoarse from barking all week which she never does at home ! As much as I wish she could come with us, it will be nice to be "kid"-free for the week ! Maybe we will sleep in past 6:30 pee time !!!

When the Hubby and I first met and fell in love, I told him that he seemed to be making all my dreams come true. He is still doing that whenever he can after 7 years of marriage. Travelling around the country and seeing new things is one of those dreams. Life is good. Bon Voyage, Kimbo, time to take wing and fly.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Monday Morning Bliss

The last ice on Dorrs Pond

So Chica and I went for a great walk this morning to a lovely local park. There is a path woven around a pond ( a highly polluted pond, I am sure, as it is filled with city water - no swimming for my lab in that sludge !). The park was beautiful in the brisk spring morning. Strangely, I have never brought my camera with me until today. Maybe I was too concerned with making the walk good for the Chica-girl instead of myself ? Anyway, I really enjoyed snapping pictures (difficult when your 65 pound on-leash lab wants to sniff the next bush while you are trying to get that shot !!!) until the camera battery died ! No worries though ! There will be many more photo opps now that I know how much it adds to the experience and now that that horrible winter is finally over and I feel like walking again !

Chica pauses by a red bush - "Is that a squirrel ?"

This next shot is dedicated to The Stumbly Diva whose blog I discovered yesterday. She wrote about the messages she gets from trees. I left her a comment promising to "listen" for messages from trees today myself. I looked up and saw this face. The message I got : "Let me out ! I have things to say !" Also "Leave me alone, you damn woodpecker !!!"

I was pretty happy with this photo ! It really got exactly what I saw ! Hope your Monday was bliss-filled too !

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Saturday Morning with the Three Muses

So Dawn at D'Blogala was one of those lucky, smart ladies who went to Artfest. I am so envious ! I have heard so many wonderful things about how people who attend feel like they have had an art experience of a lifetime. This year wasn't my turn but who knows what the future holds ? I have actually never been west of Vegas, baby, but it is definitely in my life plans to hit the West Coast some day. Maybe I can throw the Artfest Experience in there too !

Anyhoo, yesterday, Dawn posted some blind contour drawing pieces that she created during a Water Color Portraits class with Tiphoni at Artfest. I had tried that exercise a long time ago in an art class where we had to draw our hands that way, looking only at what you are drawing and not at the page you are drawing on.

This morning I decided to give it a try. I took a favorite photograph of myself at 5 years old and tried the blind contour technique. I drew the face three times, each time trying to peek a little less !!! Which of the three do you think I peeked the least at while I drew ???

If you guessed the face on the left, you are correct !!! I showed the drawings to the hubby and he thought the left on was very Picasso-esque ! Maybe this is how Picasso did his stuff ? Who knows ! I took the three drawings and the inspirational photo and created this page in my journal - it's called "The Three Muses".

It was supposed to be rainy and cold today in NH but instead we have nice sunshine and warm temps (56 degrees). It feels good on the one hand - especially now that we are finally mostly snow free !!! But I was kinda looking forward to a rainy day where I wouldn't feel guilty being inside in the studio instead of outside with the hubby picking up the winter's dog poop and raking the leaves leftover from the fall. Oh, well, I will deal with the guilt later !!! Sorry, sweet hubby, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do !

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Interview With The Artist - Part II

Interviewer :So Kim, what is your biggest fear ?
Kim : That someone will read this interview and send in the guys with the white coats !!!!(laughs heartily)
Interviewer : No really, what is it ?
Kim : (long pause) For a long time I have felt like my biggest fear is dying, but I have come to realize that it not the dying that scares me so much as the thought of a wasted life. That is it. My greatest fear is a life wasted.
Interviewer : Do you feel like you are wasting your life ?
Kim : Yes, sometimes. I think I waste a lot of my time worrying. Worrying about how I can feel fulfilled, worrying about losing the people I love or having to watch them suffer, worrying about my own health, worrying about the environment and how we have ruined it beyond repair, worrying about having enough money to live well, worrying that the boogie man under the bed is gonna get me somehow !
Interviewer : That's a lot of worry !
Kim : Ya, I know !!! It sucks !! That is why I turn to my art so much these days. Why I think it is the answer for me. When I am creating, I don't worry. I just am. I get into the moment and play with color, ideas, techniques, the textures. There are two things in my life that really help me when I am worrying too much. One is my art and the other is my loving relationships with my family and friends. When I am with those sweet, funny, caring, complex people who really get me, I am not wasting my time worrying. I am just there, enjoying the experience, sharing the time doing whatever we are doing. Like I said, those are the two things that keep me sane.
Interviewer : "Mostly sane" is what you said
Kim : Ya, mostly sane. I think the best people, the most interesting people, the people I want to be around, have a certain element of "craziness" to them. I think totally sane would be boring !
Interviewer : So Kim, to wind up our interview, I am going to ask you a couple of questions I like to ask all my guests.
Kim : Go for it ! I love it when Oprah does it on her celebrity shows !
Interviewer : Okay. Favorite Color ?
Kim : Green
Interviewer : Favorite food ?
Kim : Raspberries in summer. Oh, and rare roast beef with all the fixings ! Sorry all you vegetarians out there ! That was the feast from my childhood.
Interviewer : When was your first kiss ?
Kim : Oh, Peter, the red headed class clown, in the fifth grade !
Interviewer : Favorite luxury item ?
Kim : Expensive high thread count cotton sheets ! I change my bed twice a week just to enjoy them even more ! I am worth it !
Interviewer : How would you like people to remember you ?
Kim : "She always said yes when you asked her to come out and play !"
Interviewer : Thanks for sharing, Kim, and for being so open.
Kim : You're welcome. It was fun !
If you would like to know more about Kim Mailhot and her artistic life, check out her blog "Queen of Arts" on Blogger.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Interview With The Artist

(This is a journal page dedicated to my most favorite and dear place on Earth, the balcony at the Cottage on Lac Bibitte, Mont Tremblant, Quebec. Can't wait to get there !)

So Julie at The Land of Lost Luggage does this brave, wonderful, revealing thing. She posts an interview she did with herself ! Even in the interview itself, she says how she thinks that people who read her blog don't really "get" her and yet she goes out on limb and puts herself even more out there for people to get. So very cool and gutsy ! A real artist thing to do !
It gets me thinking ... could I do that ? Would I want to do that ? Why would I want to do that ? Would people "get" me ? Should I care ? Would Julie be insulted, flattered, mad if I follow her lead ? Am I a copy cat artist ? Should I seek counselling for thinking so such ?

Then the common refrain from my hubby comes into my head "Don't think ! Just do !"
Okay, okay, so here I go :

An Interview with Kim de Broin Mailhot, Artist
Interviewer : Welcome Kim.
Kim : Nice to be here, thanks for having me.
Interviewer : So what brings you here today ?
Kim : Well I read the interview you guys did with Julie, liked it and I thought I would give it a try. I guess you could say I was inspired by her to be here.
Interviewer : What about Julie's interview inspired you ?
Kim : I think I admired how she took a risk and put herself out there.
Interviewer : Is is common for you to take risks, to put yourself "out there" as you say ?
Kim : Part of me, the artist part of me, is a risk taker. I love trying new things, trying not to worry about the end results, just experimenting and seeing what comes of it.
Interviewer : Do you worry about whether or not people will like your art ?
Kim : Not really. I mean, I love it when people appreciate what I do, and oooh and ahhh over it. I also love making things for people I know and love. A lot of what I am creating these days is just for me, just to get the ideas out, to express something inside of me. It is definitely the heathiest form of therapy I know, and the cheapest !(laughs).
Interviewer : So you think you need therapy, Kim ?
Kim : Shit ya ! Who doesn't in this mixed up, scary, hard, confusing world we live in ? My therapy, my art, and my important relationships with people I love are the things that keep me at least mostly sane ! They both let me see the beauty in life, know what is important, sift through the crap I worry about and let me know that I am here on this planet for a reason.
Interviewer : What reason ? Why do you think are you here ?
Kim : Very philosophical inteviewer, aren't you ? What magazine is this for again ? Hmm...I don't really know the reason yet. I haven't got it all figured out !!! Maybe the reason we are here is to figure out the reason ! How is that for philosphical ???
Interviewer : Going back to an earlier response, you said the artist part of you is a risk taker. What about the rest of you ?
Kim : Ah, now you go for the soft spot ! No, I don't think I am really a risk taker in general. I think I worry about things a lot. I think I am afraid a lot of the time.
Interviewer : So Kim, what is your biggest fear ?

(to be continued...)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Rebirth & Artist Dates aka Craft Store Shopping

This is a collage I did last year for the art journal workshop I guide each month - the theme for spring was "Rebirth". It is one of my favorite pieces of all time ! Though grey and cool today, it is at least starting to feel a little spring like thanks to the snow slowly leaving the landscaping !!!! I need some green !!!!

My friend Sonia and I went on a fun artist date yesterday to Absolutely Everything in Topsfield, Mass. Okay, it was a shopping trip to a great store! They literally have almost absolutely everything a mixed media artist could want in terms of supplies ! It was so much fun to see some many of the tools I have been looking at on-line in person ! They have a huge selection of rubber stamps and I picked up a couple from Tim Holtz's Stampers Anonymous {Components} Collection . They are perfect for ATC's but I know I will use them in my art journal. I also beefed up my Gelly Roll Pen collection now that I have found out how well they work on acrylic (dried !!!) paints. I was really trying to be reasonable with the budget but I could have bought so many treats !!! Like a kid in a candy store ! Such fun. It is a good thing that the store is an hour from my house !

As I was checking my usual favorite suspects today, Julie at The Land of Lost Luggage had a fun photo guessing game posted ! Fun idea ! It was an extreme close up photo and her visitors had to guess what it was. Guess who guessed correctly ! Yep, the Queen of Arts ! Check out Julie when you have a chance if you haven't already. She is great !

I haven't had much energy for any other creative endeavors this weekend. I am taking next week off from subbing - screening calls to avoid the principals in search of warm bodies to cover for the day ! I want to spring clean in my studio - it is such a mess ! I have to do the old organizing trick of sorting through things and making boxes to store elsewhere, give away, and trash !!! I have so many things that I have been holding onto just in case and I have also somehow acquired so many new things that I love to use but have no room for in my storage system. It is really time to make room for the new ! The rest of the week will hopefully be spent playing in a nice tidy studio all ready for new messes !!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

CRUSADE # 19 - Cut it Out II

So I am back to blogland (yea !) after a week of traveling, having sweet family time at my sister's baby shower last weekend, fighting a cold (again - damn kiddie germs !) and finishing a three month subbing contract at an elementary school library (kids were sooooo fun !). I missed having the time to connect with my new friends out there. It is such a challenge sometimes to take the time to do what I love when the list of have-to's is long. My goal is to post twice a week but that isn't always going to be the case, I guess. I have to remember that this blog is for me, for my pleasure and stop feeling guilty when I don't reach my "goals". Enjoy the process as they say.

I have jumped aboard the GPP Street Team CRUSADE #19 - Cut It Out II thanks to Michelle Ward's wonderful inspiration and tutorials. I had a blast with the rubber stamps in Crusade 18 so I was anxious to join the fun again.

I headed out to AC Moore with my 50% off coupon (gotta love those coupons !)and bought my stencil cutter and some Plaid stencil blanks, printed out some images to work with, taped stuff down to my glass from an old picture frame and got to melting ! I think I went a little too quickly at first as my lines were a little sloppy but I soon got to flow. I loved the zen quality of burning plastic with my cutter ! Great to do to music, of course ! I was listening to Robert Plant and Alison Krauss today (love that CD!).

Here are my first three stencils :

I don't have any spray paint (maybe I will get some with next week's coupons !) but I tried out my new tools with black acrylic paint and a make-up sponge. I love all three but I think I will use the "zebra" border a lot - I love borders on my journal pages. The little bird is a die cut stencil from a Cricut machine I love having around too. I added some details to it with a Gelly Roll pen. The paper is pages from a old hymn book from a flea market with a wash of acrylic paints.

So I have joined the addiction to stencil cutting ! I can't wait to see what all the other talented Crusader come up with !