Monday, March 26, 2012

There's NO Such Thing....

...as CUTE and COMFY shoes! I recently decided it was time to go shoe shopping to replace* my faithful Merrells that are beginning to come apart. *I'm taking them to the shoe shop to see if they can be repaired, but I'm not hopeful.

Since I knew this would be a long and torturous process, I decided it was time to get started.

I called up my Partner in Crime Adventure to schedule the grand adventure. Before we went, we did a little bit of looking around on the web, reading reviews and such. Do you know you cannot tell a comfortable shoe by looks, price, style or materials? It must be tried on and walked around in!

Then the big day arrived and we were off!

Here is a quick view of just some of the styles we saw:
Watercolor and Ink
Fabriano Artistico CP paper
Were we successful? Well, yes, I suppose so.

We eliminated a lot of "cute-looking" shoes and we eliminated a lot of "ugly-looking" shoes simply because they were waaaay uncomfortable or because they were just too ugly to wear to be caught dead in!

We did both manage to come home with a pair of shoes though.

Why are you turning your head sideways like that? Oh, wait a minute...
Better?

Good.

Getting back to the shoe hunt...I'm not sure that the shoes we purchased will ever be good for travel, but you never know—things change. Travel needs change.

I must say I was astounded at the number of 4-inch (and higher!) heels I saw on the market. The future foot doctors are going to be making a killing in another ten years or so!

However, I also saw a vast number of positively adorable ballet-type flats that were about as comfortable as walking on broken glass. What's with that?

Very disappointing.

When traveling, I really believe the best way to absorb a new place is by walking around on foot rather than by car, bus, trolley or even a bike. You're moving slower and seeing more. It becomes "mission critical" to have comfortable shoes if you're that kind of traveler. You absolutely have to have the kind of shoes you can wear 14-16 hours a day for 5 or 6 days in a row!

Because if your feet hurt....well, let's not go there. That's not even fun to think about (shudder).

We're gearing up for another round of shoe-shoppin' fun....wish us luck. I think we're gonna need it.

Do you have a favorite "walking" shoe? If so, do share!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Technology and Toys

Fun with Photo Booth®
I recently upgraded to the Lion Operating System on my Mac laptop.

Sigh.

I've been having all kinds of "fun" trying to figure out how to do things that used to be a breeze, and in my humble opinion, didn't need "upgrading" or changing.

But Apple didn't ask me.

And so I struggle with simple things. My address book used to be alphabetized by first name rather than last name. I rather liked that. It worked well with other programs that used the same method. I "know" people by their first names, rather than first and last.

It often takes me three times as long to find someone now compared to the old way. And, yes, there may be a way to change it back, but I haven't yet made the time to find out how.

I thought it might be good for the gray matter to learn a new way of doing a task. So far, it's just aggravated the dickens out of me.

However, there's always a few fun things to play with when you make these types of changes and one of them is a program called Photo Booth®.
Joey - Pinched
This isn't a new program....it was on the last system I had, but rather than play with it, I just deleted it off the dock and ignored it.

See the fun I was missing!?!
Tucker - Pinched
Tucker was not wild about the computer and was doing his best to get away from it. We'll have to try again when he's a little more mellow.

Technology is a wonderful part of my life. It makes it possible to play out in cyber space, but upgrades are something I do not look forward to in general....however, if they continue to throw in toys like Photo Booth, I might be more likely to upgrade a little sooner next time!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

For Whom Does The Bell Toll? - NOLA

There are still a few pages that I haven't gotten around to posting from my NOLA sketchbook.

The image below is from Oak Alley Plantation and it is of the bell that they used for mass communication:
NOLA - Oak Alley Bell
The bell was used to call the workers at the start of the day, lunch time and to signal the end of the work day. It was also used to notify others in the community if there was a marriage, birth or emergency such as a fire.
Other plantations in the area also used bells. This one was place right off from the main door of the plantation. Someone had planted a lovely rosebush beneath this bell, but thorns were on no concern. If you look at the top of the image, you can just make out the cable that attached to the bell—this allowed the bell to be rung from the gallery (porch) of the plantation.
A simple means of communication, but a very effective one all the same!
The artwork was painted from photos in my NOLA sketchbook.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Postcard From NOLA!

Can you stand one more post on NOLA Live?!
Postcard Pocket
One of the things we did at NOLA Live was to draw names for a Postcard Swap. Each person pulled a name of someone they weren't traveling with so that we could learn more about each other. We all agreed to mail our postcards around the first of December, 2011. Once the card was received, we each posted to a private blog for the big "reveal!"

I received this wonderful postcard from Adine Rotman:
© Adine Rotman
Posted with permission
This was from Mardi Gras World and Adine added glitter to really captured the glow and glory of the original dragon.

I wanted to add Adine's postcard in my sketchbook, but I didn't want to glue it down. Instead, I created another pocket so that it would be protected and I could see either side easily.

I decided to really have fun and play with the idea of a postcard on my journal page. I used a postcard rubber stamp and a brown pen to give my pocket the look of a postcard:


 I also included two special stamps:


For the first one, I took the Imaginary Trips logo, printed it out small, cut it out and then "antiqued" the paper with a sepia ink pad used for stamps. After I glued it down, I used a rubber stamp of mail cancellations over the top of it in another brown.


The second stamp is one of the hand carved stamps I made last year with the NOLA Live logo written on top of it.

Last, but certainly not least, I added a copy of my postcard to the page:


I painted one of the other "traveler's" on the trip, Cheryl Gebhart! This is truly an "imaginary" painting in that I combined her outfit from one photo, her posture and gear from another and the garden from yet another photo.

Again, I printed out the image to more of a postage stamp size and then attached it over another piece of paper so that it is raised off from the journal page.

We had quite the variety of postcards—cows, queens, windows, cathedrals, courtyards, and beignets all showed up! It was a lot of fun to see everyone's creativity and individual take on NOLA was lots of fun!

It was also a nice surprise to find in the mail and a wonderful reminder of fun times in the middle of December's maddness!

Monday, March 5, 2012

All Aboard for An Imaginary Trip To Greece!


The first Imaginary Trip to Greece is scheduled to begin on April 26th and registration is now open! I hope you'll come and enjoy this beautiful country with me. Rich in color and culture, Greece is a treasure trove of history, diversity and beauty.

Ancient ruins, azure seas, wineries and olive groves are just a few of the things we'll see as we wander through this sun-kissed land.

I do hope you'll join me! Please click here for more information.