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November 29, 2009

Paris Vacations

We rented one specific apartment twice, each time for one week, almost 10 years apart.  I wasn't keeping a travel sketchbook in February 2005, so I have hundreds of photos of Paris over 35 years, but no sketches.  I adore this apartment, which is located on Ile de La Cite, just several buildings away from Pont Neuf.  All 6 windows at the end of my arrow face the Right Bank.

I decided to do a travel sketchbook page for  Kate's class - before we move on to Lesson 3 - and immediately thought of this photo from our last visit.  It was the only time that we were in Paris when it snowed - a very magical time.




November 27, 2009

Grandchildren Are Wonderful!

All of our family were together for Thanksgiving this year.  We try, whenever all of our grandchildren are present, to get a group photo.  This usually leads to many cameras flashing and lots of laughter - and a huge number of "out takes."  This is the best of the ones that I took.


Daily Journal Pages

This is a very busy week in our household - my husband and I do all of the cooking for family and friends on Thanksgiving (20 adults this year) and we're not getting any younger.  This year, we moved the venue to my daughter Rachel's apartment, but that meant that we were caterers - a new challenge.  But we didn't need to set up the apartment which was a wonderful help.  It was the year when all 3 of our children and their families were with us.  We have several hours of champagne with 7 hor d'oeuvres, then soup, salad, turkey, sausage stuffing, fresh baked bread, etc, etc, 

Tuesday: I bought great carrots to use for our soup and decided to sketch them while cooking. 


Wednesday:  I used fresh lime juice for a recipe and cut up all of the mushrooms for soup - and sketched and painted both of these while taking a break from cooking.


Thursday:  The day was a whirlwind, and after the guests left and the children were asleep, I sketched and painted my 2 year old grandson's stuffed flamingo.  He loves flamingos and entertains us constantly by assuming a one-legged flamingo pose and flapping his wings.  When my daughter came in the morning to pick us up with all of the food, he was hugging the flamingo and shared it briefly with me.  I would like to make this into a Christmas ornament this year for his stocking so none of us will forget this great stage.




November 24, 2009

Steamer Trunks from Ireland

Yesterday my husband and I went to our grand daughter's pre-K class to talk about our ancestry.  All of our parents were born in the United States.  All of my husband's grandparents were born in Belorus and emigrated to the US from 1900-1908.  My grandparents and 5 of my great grandparents, were born here.  But my great grandmother, the only one I knew, was born in County Armagh, Ireland and moved here alone, following her fiancee, in 1887.  She was a really cute, very elderly woman when I was a child - somewhat deaf and never without her black cane.  

Here is a picture of Annie Ballance which was taken upon her arrival in New York City.  When I researched our family, I found her passenger list, which recorded 2 pieces of baggage - both of which I now own.


This is a picture of Sydney standing near the largest of her steamer trunks, which is in our apartment.  I scraped off the paper cover and stained both trunks 50 and 30 years ago - and have moved them from place to place since then.  This trunk has a wallpaper lining and glass top filled with family photos.  All of the quilts I made that are no longer in use are carefully folded inside.


I was delighted to finally paint both trunks as part of my journal page from yesterday - reflecting our visit to Syd's class.




November 22, 2009

Journal Pages for the Last Two Days

I love strolling on Madison Avenue, past the windows of the famous designer boutiques.  But Madison Ave also has its share of street vendors, and as I walked up on Friday, I sketched their wares and the street decoration that has already been added to the lamposts for Christmas.


When I carry my sketchbook and pencil case, I also carry this artist grade travel set of watercolors by Daler-Rowney, but half the time I draw when I'm out and then paint using my regular Winsor-Newton palette at home.  I plan to replace these paints with my palette, but never do...maybe next year.  The size and shape of this travel set is wonderful - and the mixing areas include the flat areas and 4 deep end wells.



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