Thursday, March 31, 2016

Next Adventure Hawaii.

This Hawaiian Cruise took us to 4 islands in Hawaii, The Big Island of Hawaii, Maui, Kauai and Oahu over the course of 15 days.  And of course, thanks to the Jones Act of 1920 we made a quick stop in a foreign port, Ensenada,  on the way back home.

This is the ship off the coast of Maui. it doesn't look all that large from this shot but it carries almost 4,000 passengers plus crew.  A small floating town.

These next two pictures will give you a little perspective of its size.  I stood in the middle of the ship and took a picture looking in each direction down our hallway.  You can just barely see the end of the hall each direction.  And this ship had 16 decks plus a couple of half decks. No lack of exercise here, it seemed every other activity I was going to attend was on the opposite end of the ship.

There where stage shows in the evening.  Art auction on sea days, craft classes, bingo, language lessons, music lessons, a casino. Swimming and relaxing.  Activities day and night.  Or you can chill on deck or on your balcony and just read a good book.

We had great food, too.  I really enjoyed the salad bar in the buffet for lunch.  But of course there where decadent foods, too, like lobster and prime rib, scallops and prawns just to name a few.  And of course desserts.

And tropical drinks.

Great coffee bar and fresh Gelatos.

There was a huge movie theater where we saw first run movies like Ant Man and Spectre.

Beautiful flower arrangements throughout the ship.

Beautiful ship decor.

Multiply swimming pools.  This one was just a few doors from our cabin.

Breathtaking sunsets.

And spectacular full moons over the ocean.

I love cruising, unpack once and see the world without worry of driving or flying.  My hotel goes with me.  Over the years we have made friends with many of the people who work onboard and have stayed connected through social media.

Oh, I can't forget there is duty free shops onboard, too.  

I hope if you love the sea as much as I do that one day you can cruise to new adventures.

My favorite cruise line is Princess.

Happy Travels!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Weekend with the Artists

The beginning of March we were invited to a weekend with 3 artist at The Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay.  We spent 4 days surrounded  by art and artist and art auctions.

It was a great weekend except for the weather.  It rained the entire time.  I so wanted to go down to the shore.  Oh well, maybe we will drive back down there on a hot day this summer to enjoy the spectacular views and cool ocean breezes.

 The drive over to the coast was dark and threatening but dry.  It didn't began to rain until after we arrived at the hotel.

It was nearly dark when we arrived at the Ritz and the wind had started blowing.  We where in for a major storm on the coast.  So glad the event was at our hotel.  No driving necessary.  At one point the hotel went on generators during the evening as the storm knocked out the power.

We could barely see the ocean from our room the weather had turned so bad.

But our room was great and very cozy, every night when we came back to our room there was soft music playing, lights dimmed and a crackling fireplace video playing on the TV.

Huge bath with tub and shower.
Even had an espresso machine in the closet.

The first night the artist appeared in costume as a "Rocky" character and drew an upside down drawing.

And when he turned the drawing right side up it was a fighting olive.

Yes, the artist was the olive guy, Michael Godard.
  He is a really neat person with a great story of painting inspired by the loss of his daughter.  He gives so much to charity to help kids.  Great guy.

 Michael Godard with Mr.K

This was his newest painting. It sold that day at auction for over $150,000.00.  I couldn't believe my ears as 2 couples bid against each other and the pair on our right won the final bid.  Wow!  Way out of our price range.

The next day I took a few pictures through the windows of the storm.  If the weather had been good there would have been a bagpipe player on the golf course at sunset.  Bummer didn't get to hear him.

The second day's artist was Tim Yanke, who paints a lot of Southwest style pieces.  Indian headdresses, dragonflies and Native American images.  He does a lot of work with the Native American people to help get there story told.  Here we are posing with him and a few pieces of his work we bought. I love dragonflies and these 2 where gorgeous.

And on the final day the artist was Marko Mavrovich.  He paints in a beautiful impressionism style that brings to life the views he captures.
Marko Mavrovich

Marko began this painting as we where watching.  Twenty minutes later this turned into a beautiful field of poppies.  Truly beautiful.  It sold at auction the next day for a little over $4,000.00.

Mr. K and Marko
And as we departed on Sunday Morning the sky cleared and the sun came out.

It was still too windy and cold to go to the beach. But the day turned out to be great for the drive home.

Happy Travels!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Painted Hills

I snapped these pictures from the car as we where driving home from the port.  The hills look like the have been painted with orange color.

These wild poppies are the California State flower.  There aren't many places anymore where you can see this many of them from the road.  When I was a kid they grew along just about every road in California.

There were also pretty yellow and lavender patches of wildflowers along the highway. But the sight of so many poppies was truly amazing.

Spring is in full bloom.  We will have to go for a ride in the hills as it seems like this is a very plentiful year for wildflowers.  This is my favorite time of year when the trees and flowers are blooming and the grasses have the beautiful spring green carpet of fresh grass just emerging from a long winter's nap.

California Poppy

These are such delicate flowers.  They are as thin as tissue paper and each bloom only last for a short time.

As we where driving around a bend in the road all of a sudden the hills where covered with millions of orange poppies.  Another reason California is called the golden state.

Sorry for the blotches on the picture, our windshield was dirty but I couldn't resist the shot of millions of orange poppies as far as you  could see.

Happy Travels!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Dollar Store Cross

Didn't have time to make much for Easter only being home from our trip for a few days.  But I thought I would share my Dollar Store clothes pin cross I have hanging on the front door.  It measures almost a foot in length. 

I began by separating the metal clip from all the pins.  Then I laid out the pattern I wanted to glue together and started in the center glueing them using white glue.  I glued the pieces together and laid them on my work table to dry.  It took awhile to make each arm of the cross.  I did the short ones first, then the top and bottom.

The next day I lightly stained the wooden cross with brown distress ink.  Then cut ribbons and hot glued those to each arm of the cross.  Next I made ribbon loop for hanging and hot glued that to the top back side.  I then added the light lavender bow with hot glue. Next I added some crepe paper flowers I made that where left over from another project and a few sprays of pearls.

This project would cost under a dollar to make depending on the size you decide to make.  More time than money.

I think 12" is probably as large as I would make this cross or it might get too heavy.  I thought this was a good size for the door.

Happy Crafting!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Wishing everyone a happy Easter

I hope everyone is having a Blessed Easter.
It will be quiet around our house this year.  Mostly a day of real rest after traveling for so many weeks.

I will cook an Easter dinner later in the day and catch up on some of the stacks and stacks of mail.

Can you believe we have been traveling most of the last 5 months?  It is beginning to all blur together.

My apple tree was just loosing it's leaves when we left and now it has new leaves and blossoms.
We totally missed winter this year, hello Spring.

Now I plan to turn my thoughts to Spring projects in the house and yard.
 The first thing I plan to work on will be to redecorate my studio.  Get organized  and ready to be super productive.

Next I plan to start a shop on Etsy where I will sell handmade and vintage items.

Seems I have big plans for the rest of the year, so stay tuned to see how it all develops.

Hallie, my Executive Assistant,  is so happy we are home.  We really missed her, too.

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Good News and Not Such Good News

The good news is that my vacation has been extended until March 25th,  the not such good news is I won't be back to this blog until the 27th.

We will have been on 5 cruises in 5 months leaving from 2 different ports, a week in L.A. an art retreat in Half Moon Bay, CA. Drove to L.A., 400 miles each way, twice.  And spent a few days on land to catch up on laundry and other necessities from time to time.  

We have seen art, renown artists, volcanoes, whales, more whales, Mexican villages and lots of ocean.

I have tons of new projects and ideas for this blog.  So see you then.

Can't wait to get back home to start crafting, painting, decorating, gardening, and cooking again.

San Pedro Harbor

Happy Travels!