Monday, August 17, 2009

Canvas Playtime

A couple of years ago I painted this very canvas using a stamping tool from India -- one of those carved wooden pieces used to stamp saris. It was okay, but all the stamping probably should have involved fabric rather than canvas. So, the canvas made it's way to the garage because it really didn't go with anything color-wise. I dragged it out the other day and repainted it, in about 30 minutes, and this is the result. James asked what my inspiration was, and I didn't have an answer. I just started squishing paint out of the tubes onto the canvas, then added some silk thread to the bottom burnt sienna part. Then I started smoothing parts of it, where the colors converged, with my hands! It was really fulfilling in a relaxing, expressive sort of way. You know, when you find something that you really enjoy doing? :o) I should point more.

A Bike Ride Along the Boardwalk

I'm finally back to blogland people! Thanks for not writing me off! Trust me, it's not that I haven't thought of you all and been squealing with joy when you leave a comment, because I have. I just get behind the 8-ball sometimes. But here I am! And, with a story to tell.

So, anyone who knows me knows I'm not a big exercise person, and right up there with exercise ennui is my dislike of being cold. I'm one of those folks who forgets to dress warmly enough for the activity, whether it's a night out to dinner, taking in an outdoor play (at the Old Globe), or even going for a walk or bike ride. Doiy. I know. Well, I got a few things right this past Sunday...and ended up doing something I've been talking about doing for weeks, maybe months. This was the scenery. The first two pics are of no one in particular, just the view from the boardwalk:

Of note, this Sunday made the second Sunday that hubs and I did something together. Last Sunday, we took Saylor (our Labrador; but you know that) to the beach at Coronado. A classic beach trip with blanket and snacks and magazines. James threw the toy for Saylor and I chilled on the blanket. We spent about 3 great hours, just relaxing in the pristine weather. Not that we don't do things together, but orchestrated outings are sort of rare. He's into surfing, windsurfing, and walking the dog, and I'm into estate sales and indoor suff -- you know, embroidery, napping (ha!), blog surfing, a little telly, reading...simple stuff that generally takes place indoors. I'm pretty low-key and hubs is athletic. So, our schedules rarely mesh - I'm here, he's out and about. But this weekend, it all came together. We went bike riding on the boardwalk along Mission Beach! First, we stopped by J.'s brother's house and borrowed a couple of their many bikes. I rode Fiona's old Ross 3-speed with a wire basket. James took a beach cruiser. And off we went! The weather was perfect, and hey, I even had the right jacket. This coming from a woman who turns 50 this year. Are things coming together? Have I actually grown up and didn't notice?

We also stopped by the yacht club to see Fred who was there with his girls preparing the boat for their trip to Catalina island. Fred goes across in the boat, and the girls and Fi take the ferry, then they all stay on the boat. He's looking pretty nautical, no?

Ahhh, what a great day.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

My Vacation and the Photo Mishap

And I use the word mishap, heavily, oh-so-heavily. As heavy as my heart was on the last day of my southern adventure when I deleted every single last one of my pictures. And there were so many...oh, 150? Eeeek! But I will push past my bitterness (actually, it is why it has taken me so long to post - I was so mad!) and get on with the recap! I did take about 10 shots after the unspeakable event. However, among those are not the ones of the gardens at the Biltmore, or the two older men facing each other while napping on a garden bench as their wives undoubtedly explored the gardens. They were so cute.

Moving on...ha! So, about Cashiers, North Carolina. It's outside Highlands and has a main intersection, and that's about it. The population as of the 2000 Census was 196, but grows to 20k during the "season." It is quite a little gem -- full of beautiful homes, antique shops, and great places to eat. The mountains are gorgeous, and just driving down the road is breathtaking. Although the weather was predicted to be bad - stormy, rainy - it turned out to be beautiful: sunny, and with crisp, cool mountain air. Just incredible. We went to the Cashier's Farmers Market, where outside in a little pen the darlingest black and white piglet, Biscuit, was entertaining everyone. He was the cleanest, sweetest little bundle ever. I wanted to take him home. The inside of the market great, with wide plank wood floors and tons of shelves overflowing with canned goodies. There was also a cooler filled with all kinds of shelled peas and mountain berries. I bought some blueberries - they were fantastic. This picture is from the inside of the shop (from the shop's web site).

This roadside gas station - a Sinclair station! - brought back childhood memories for my sis-in-law, Sheri. I did have another huge picture of a big Sinclair sign that was nailed to the back of the farmer's market, but, um, we're not talking about that I thought. :\ Well, I at least broke the spell, and did a post! I'll be back with more soon. So good to "see" you all again. It's good to be home.