It’s Been a Long Time

I can offer no excuses. I just got out of the habit and my Mojo decided to take an extended vacation! She’s back and having a challenge adjusting to not being on vacation. While she has been getting back into the swing of things, I haven’t been idle. I am still creating just not in my art journal or posting here. I am trying to change that. Baby steps.

Back in March, I went to see my family in California. I spent quite a bit of time with my parents and loved every minute of it! I even got to do a bit of altering and decoupaging some TV trays for Mom. I asked her what she wanted and she said, “something gorgeous and beautiful,” as if that didn’t put the pressure on! After a couple restless nights wondering what I was going to do since I had no art supplies with me, I hit upon the wonderful idea of decoupage collaging with decorative napkins. I sat Mom down with my iPad scrolling through Pinterest with tons of pins of ideas. She liked. Off we went to get gel medium, paintbrushes, paint and napkins. Now, I thought that would be an easy task, but NO! Fortunately we stumbled upon some happy, colorful ones in Pier 1. Armed with supplies we headed back home where I got to work sanding down the wooden trays, prepping them for their imminent face-lifts. Armed with the spray cans I started to spray but Mom was so worried about my workout shoes getting painted that I had to stop and rig up some protective gear. I was wrapped in giant clear plastic bags! It was a sight. Sorry there aren’t any photos. Dad couldn’t get the video to send to me but he has it for posterity.

Mom and I worked on tearing out images of butterflies, birds and flowers to use to cover the trays. I was so proud of her for perservering with helping me out. I know she didn’t enjoy it at all! Thanks, Mom!

Here’s the end result:


Please keep in mind that it’s more orange than fuschia, although I like the pinky-ness of the photo.

Everyone is happy with the finished trays and they are lovingly used at every meal.



The Leopold

The Leopold  was our final museum. I met new painters I had never heard of and that art (like beauty) truly is in the eye of the beholder. I learned to appreciate the time spent and effort exerted of all the creatives whose works were on display. I learned that it really is ok to walk right by some displays or stop and peruse as much or as little as I wanted! How liberating.


That’s me on the left with our youngest daughter.

There is a permanent exhibit for Egon Schiele, a protégé of Klimt and known for his many self-portraits. I did like a few of those but I was especially drawn to his landscapes and cityscapes.


New artist “friends” I met…


The Annex and More Klimt

**My apologies for double posting some of these photos. I should have looked at the previous one first! Boy, is my face red!!!

Still museum hopping in Vienna… We came upon this small, unassuming building (which later we learned was called the Secession) with a sign at the front directing us inside to view Klimt’s art. We followed.

Even though this frieze is unfinished, it’s still a very beautiful piece of work. This isn’t the entire frieze – it spanned 3 walls – this are just the parts I liked. (To see the entire frieze, click here).  I was absolutely enthralled with all the gold leaf that was used. It looked different from every angle!


Klimt – Vienna

Continuing my summer travels, no trip to Vienna should be without visiting at least one art exhibit. And there are SO many to choose from. So many, in fact that I just couldn’t decide which one to see first! I had it in my head that I would be determined to see as much Klimt as I could, so armed with my lists of galleries, museum apps and Google Maps at the ready, we set off…

We actually went to three, besides the Kunsthistorisches (the National Art History Museum) – the Belvedere (Palace), the Leopold and Seccesion.

I was and still am amazed at the delicate detail of his faces. They are so life-like, I can just about imagine reaching out and feeling the soft skin. And I love his Gold Phase along with all the vibrant colors he uses!

More amazing is the frieze near the ceiling over the staircase! To view, there is a telescope (with a Swarovski crystal lens) on the lower landing facing the paintings. While I couldn’t find how large these particular paintings are, I’m thinking they must be life-size or larger considering how much detail you can see from across the hall. How I would have loved to have visited during Klimt’s 150th anniversary a few years ago when the museum had installed a bridge where, for the first time, visitors could get a close-up view of the paintings here and the Beethoven frieze in the Seccession building!

While pictures don’t show off the paintings like they should, but they are proof that I was there!



Kunsthistoriches Museum

Not being a big opera fan, I opted for a bit of museum hopping. Luckily, our oldest daughter is also interested. So, armed with museum apps and Google maps, we headed of on our museum adventure! We started with one of the big one that houses a variety of exhibits.


I am a BIG fan of Egyptian art and was happy to discover the very extensive exhibit on display. After seeing the art in Egypt I knew this was quite an impressive collection.





I fell in love with this hippo (a replica of the original); so much so that I bought a reproduction from the gift shop! 

Vienna – July 2016

This was a fun surprise to find on our way to the train station near our hotel. According to the plaque nearby these were painted in a minimalist style in 2013. We love superheros!

Also on the same route to the train station, I spotted these beautiful wildflowers. But they may have been intentionally planted.  What caught my eye was the color and as I got closer, the unusual shapes. Of course, I had to get a photo!!



My son, husband and one of our three daughters walking through Nacht Market.

Summer Vacation

I am having the hardest time getting back to posting. I can find anything else to do but sit down and compose. Ack! I am trying to improve…

For our vacation this year, we all agreed on a family one. It’s been a few years since all of our schedules have meshed. With four adult children it takes a bit of planning! But we did it and decided on Bratislava (Slovakia), Vienna (Austria) and Budapest (Hungary). All three destinations were close enough that we didn’t have to traipse through airports, which is a big plus given security measures in effect globally. And since all three countries are member of the EU, it makes country hopping that much easier!

Our first stop with our two youngest,  was an overnighter in Bratislava. We arrived in the afternoon so had a chance to explore around the hotel. The next morning we hired a car for the hour drive to Vienna, where our two oldest children would meet us.

I loved discovering all the wondrous architecture…

I took many other pictures, but these are the most stunning, especially with that gorgeous blue sky as a backdrop!

We found the famous open air  Nacht Market and had schnitzel and other local food for lunch.


Fell in love with this sign outside a cafe:


Just a few pictures to share today. More soon…

Sightseeing in Doha

A visit to Doha just wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Museum of Islamic Art. There are fabulous artifacts and historical pieces housed in this stunning building. Designed my I.M. Pei, he has creatively incorporated geometric shapes and designs that reflect the theme of the museum. The foyer alone is worth the trip.

Photos are allowed without flash. I wanted to take pictures of everything I saw, but I refrained myself and only took pictures of things that shouted out to me. I will definitely be visiting this museum again on my next trip to Doha.


The exhibits encircles the foyer on several floors. I took this from the 3rd floor.


Unless you look down from any of the upper floors, you would miss this stunning design in the floor!


Would love to have a full wall of these tiles!


The beautiful small shell cup caught my eye even before I read what its purpose was.

This simplistic font type caught me eye. So unusual and different from the calligraphy norm of that time.

This simplistic font type caught me eye. So unusual and different from the calligraphy norm of that time.


Love the pattern and colors. So inspiring!

This view alone is worth the whole trip to the museum! Peaceful and calm; the perfect place to go to when you need to recharge. The day I was there was a bit hazy but on a clear day, I'm told, the view of the city through the arches is spectacular.

This view alone is worth the whole trip to the museum! Peaceful and calm; the perfect place to go to when you need to recharge. The day I was there was a bit hazy but on a clear day, I’m told, the view of the city through the arches is spectacular.


I didn’t see this until I was leaving. The black tile lines create a large geometric design. Beautiful!

Pool Art

I remembered to take my sketchbook with me to the pool. I usually pack it and then forget it in the room. These two sketches were a few of the trees around the pool and in my direct line of vision on both days. I really like using a fine line marker these days. I am more confident and don’t feel the need to erase my lines. You’ve come a long way, baby!


Love the shadow of my hand taking the photo.


I sat in the shade on my 2nd day out in the sun. I like the dappled look.

A True 5-Star Experience

During our quick trip to Doha a couple weeks ago, we stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel and, I took full advantage of getting some sun. Was in for a wonderful surprise! While this was by no means my first stay in a 5-star hotel, it was a first for actually feeling each and every star!!


After being shown around the pool area, I chose where I wanted to sit and the attendant made up the lounge! complete with make-shift pillow!


Then he returned with a cooler full of ice and bottled water! And 2 different sunscreens on a tray but I forgot to get a photo of that.


Chilled grapes, anyone? Yes, please!!


An ic=ce-cold towel. So refreshing!


Serve yourself cooler. Today’s was cucumber, mint and lemon. Really hits the spot.

I highly recommend staying here if you’re ever in Doha. A great experience!