Saturday, May 30, 2009


After the farmhouse making the transition back to the city proved to be very hard. So many people and the noise again, but we soon adjusted and got into the swing of museums and churches, cafes and shopping! Paris was so different from Rome, the people, the feel of it. I can't really put my finger on it but it went beyond the obvious. In Paris people were much more dressed, they were also a bit more reluctant to help. The city was beautiful and we soon discovered why people fall in love here. Most of my sketches in Paris are on heavily journals pages so I will be sharing the few that are just sketches, mostly done in the Louvre and in the park outside the Louvre. The museum has and incredible Egyptian Exhibit that I enjoyed sketching in pencil.

I am sorry that I don't have more things to share in Paris, I will be doing some paintings from all the pictures we shot and I will share then. One thing I did try to do was to capture some of the people, in a different small sketchbook I drew some of the people, here are four of those drawings.

Friday, May 29, 2009

My Trip

It is so nice to be missed, I missed all of you too, my dear Internet friends. Our daily chats were gone so abruptly! I was hoping to post all the way through but my phone and the Internet issues made it difficult. I decided to just stop stressing over it and fix it when I got home. I noticed once I entered the states the emails that wouldn't post all posted! AHHHH So much happened and I don't want to bore everyone with the details but it was a wonderful trip, dreamy, and perfect in every way. I am going to post all of my fairly good sketches, skipping the ones that have mostly writing and journaling, in this one post. I will be posting my photos on facebook and flickr if you are interested. If anyone is so inclined to paint one of my photos please help yourself, then share with everyone. I tried to journal everyday, I am glad I did since each day was so packed with activities I doubt I would of remembered anything if I hadn't. We have never been to Europe so if I get a bit excited or overly wordy please forgive me, I think it might have been our trip of a lifetime. The hospital that is taking care of Jennifer wouldn't release her until tomorrow so it is Friday and I am cleaning up the loose ends of our vacation in preparation for my trip back to reality.
Pict 1, is the Piazzo Navona and the Four Rivers Fountain by Bernini( see photo in previous post). This square is lined with wonderful resturants, gelato stands and artists selling their wears. It is a hub bub of activity and we loved it.

Pict 2 Palentine Hill- We did the Colosseum, Palentine Hill and the Roman Forum and my feet hurt. This sketch is a part of the ruins on Palentine Hill which is part of Augustus' quarters, bathhouses. I loved the way they trimmed the pine trees, it showed off their structure perfectly.
We started the museum tours and I have lots of pictures of them but not sketches. I am going to skip to the farmhouse. My brother and his friend Helen met us in Rome and then we all went together out to the Tuscan hills where they rented a farmhouse, we stayed with them for a few days before leaving for Paris. It was such a wonderful adventure. The owners had 40 acres of olive trees and made their own olive oil. When we arrived in the kitchen sat olive oil, their homemade wine, perserve, and fresh eggs from their chickens. The farmhouse over looked a valley and Montepulciano, the village across the valley. Everyday we took our rent a car out to a neighboring village and explored. Such fun!!

This is the farmhouse, so many things to sketch and paint, I could of stayed busy for a month! Then it was on to Florence for a night and then to Paris. It was so hard to say good bye to my brother and Helen, we had such fun with them. We were half way through and I had to keep pinching myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming.

In my sketchbook I would paint something and then journal around the object. I am not sharing all of those pages since there is so much journaling. I did want to share these pages because I loved them. One is of the old water barrel that they used back when to get their water down in the creek, then the oxen would haul it up the hill. The other is of the poppies and view. These bright orange/red poppies were in bloom everywhere in Italy.

We arrived in Florence and spent the night in a beautiful Palazzo. An old palace converted to a hotel. We went and saw more museums and statues which were all amazing, this is one of the lion statues outside of the Ufizzi Museum.
Florence is known for its florentine gold so I had to buy some!
Next Paris!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

We celebrated Mothers day on Friday since Jennifer was going to be in the hopital on Sunday and we were leaving for Europe on Monday. Soooooo... your thinking "who cares". I wanted to make sure I wished all of my dear artist friends a Happy Mothers day with another one of my little mini quilts/fabric pieces I have been working on. I also did a quick sketch and painting of the yummy chocolate covered strawberries that Kim had for us to eat at her house. My mom prepared the ribs which were just amazing, then Aimee brought the beans, Kim made a salad, I brought a greek pasta salad and potatoe salad and strawberry shortcake! OK, phew, 20lbs later we dragged ourselves home!

I will be flying off to Italy and France on Monday, I will be posting a sketching/painting journal of our adventures on my blog, I hope you all will check in often and keep us in your prayers.

Happy Mothers day!!

Friday, May 08, 2009

New fabric pieces

I have been playing again! Paint, collage, fabric. I really like the way these small pieces are turning out. I made a fabric/paper and then painted and distressed. I have started a few more but I know they will have to wait until I get back from vacation.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


I participate in a challenge every few weeks on the blog "Different strokes from different folks". Karen Jurick is a wonderfully talented women and encourages us to break out of the "paint whats there" thinking and encourages risks. Developing style and so, with that in mind, I have decided to go about these challenges a bit differently. I am going to give myself the freedom to experiment and try new things, either papers, paints, techniques, whatever. The goal is to learn something new, without the fear of not living up to expectations. Thats the only problem with these types of groups. When you see all the great work you feel pressured to just perform and put out. I am going to try and take that away. So, in saying that, I also understand that things will not always work out and they may actually flop big time. I am going to make myself post regardless. I feel sweat already!

This current challenge was a New York street scene. I took my watercolor paper and added tissue paper for texture. This caused the paint to run and travel along the tissue paper lines and took away the control of the paint, but it was fun. I added some pen, pastel pencils for fun.

Monday, May 04, 2009

May 4th, Everything is in bloom

Our coral tree is starting to bloom, they are amazing blooms, spikes of color. The tree sets these flowers prior to leafing out, so this barren, wonderful twisted shaped tree has these giant clumps of flowers on the tips of eash branch. It is striking. This variety of the coral tree is as beautiful without foliage in the winter as they are in bloom, or in full foliage as they are in summer. this variety is also less invasive and destructive as some of the others which can grow up to 60' in all directions and lift all cement within its reach.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Working in the yard

Today we worked in the yard, it was a beautiful day. We have been trying to get the backyard in before we leave on vacation. Since our trip is on May 11, we are running out of time. We had 25 yards of compost dumped in our driveway last week and we got all of it into flower beds and into the new lawn areas. We have four lawn areas in the backyard around the pool and buildings. I can't wait for green, we have had brown dirt for so long. It will not only change the whole look of the yard but it will also make it cooler. Around a small stucco wall in our front yard Randys rose's are blooming like crazy. He loves his roses and we have so many. That first flush of color is always so amazing. These roses are almost irridesent red with yellow centers and they are so showy.

Originally uploaded by ddhabicht

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