April 30, 2015

Ready to cruise down a river or two or three...

This week I finished and sent off 7 travel journals for the seven other couples Bob and I will river cruise with pretty soon. The eight couples (from 4 different states!) will cruise together on the Viking longship from Amsterdam to Budapest. Several will spend extra days before or after in various places, but the book I made focuses on the 15 days of the cruise itself, 

I used the deconstructed journal format Jill Berry talks about in her video and in whose retreat workshop I participated, taught in Jill's place very ably by Caitlin Dundon.

 To make it my own, I added pockets lots of pockets, personalized stickers and tags, a little envelope with more crap ephemera and a "kit bag" with a sharpie, permanent tape (currently all pages are in with removal adhesive tape so that pages can be taken out while on the trip, then reattached afterward more permanently.

Usually, when I am needing to do more than 1 or 2 of the same of something, I get bored by the time I am at the 3rd one. Really intensively bored and hating it by the 5th one. This time, I enjoyed it all the way through and gave myself the time to do the extra things with variety. (Variety is the spice, you know, especially for this earthling.)Each one is unique but similar to the others, so it kept me interested. I loved having the opportunity to use some stamps, rubbings, and doo-dads (see above paragraph ha ha).

Tyvek is a girl's best friend.

April 29, 2015

Sunday Papers Time.

While I haven't done much in my visual journals and I'm a few Sunday papers behind, I have been BUSY this month creating a lot of art, which is always fine by me. More on that later. Here's one project.

But on to Sunday Papers:
Whenever my friends and I get together for lunch, especially if it's been a while, we begin to make an agenda of catch-up items. We don't want to miss any news and views!  Or, if we meet often, we're likely to bring with us our latest clippings - physical or virtual - to share. Let's just say, in either case, we rarely if ever lack for conversational topics. Call this my Did You See opportunity I'd like to share with you over lunch. Are you going to have wine? Let's split dessert.


When women pass 50, in some ways, their lives get better,” Ms. Fonda said. “It’s like: Who cares? What do we have to lose to not be brave?
OK, I admit it. I'm over 50.

illustration by Jessica Fortner

" 'We travel for romance, we travel for architecture, and we travel to be lost,' the writer Ray Bradbury said in a 1990 interview...'There's nothing better than to walk around Paris and not know where in hell  you are,' "

Stephanie Rosenblum states in her essay, "You can't go wrong." Not only in Paris, she says, but in any city "if one hopes to have the kind of chance encounters that make a vacation more than a game of hopscotch around landmarks."  I am such a proponent of this concept that I enjoy solo wandering, hopping the Metro toward any direction, perhaps doing some research first as to things I might find in out-of-the way neighborhoods. I like to get off at any stop (I've done my crappy or dangerous neighborhood homework first) and stroll aimlessly around, perhaps looking for something in a photo I saw or just discovering. When I can, I do the same in any unfamiliar city. Paris is perfect for this: fairly compact, easy to hop on a Metro, something to sketch or photo on almost any street. Okay, I admit I keep my iPad or map in my bag in case I get hopelessly lost (which is, in my opinion, hard to do in Paris, but easy in lots of other places) or need to refresh my sense of direction. And I do this venturing out in the daytime. I will always remember the first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower I had as I wandered about on my first trip there. I was somewhat disoriented at the time, not worried about it, but aware I wasn't sure of my location. Literally,, as I turned the corner, there it was, a total surprise, the top half peeking over the buildings. A moment of unexpected glee I will always remember.


"We live in a culture so preoccupied with happiness...that we forget grief is not something merely to get over, something over which we "achieve closure," but a human undertaking, a slow, sticky process of allowing our love to take another, more remote, shape."  Meghan O'Rourke. 

From NYT Book Review, another memoir on love and loss and grief. There have been several lately. Any of us who have had a painful loss, even as a friend or family member helping the coping process, gravitate toward these memoirs, whether or not the loss is fresh. The process of grief is such a large part of life. I think this will be on my read list. 

The Light of the World, A Memoir by Elizabeth Alexander.  Book review written by Megan O'Rourke, author of The Long Goodbye.

April 23, 2015

A couple of updates and another shameless plug

First, at the risk of being a  nuisance, let me post this article that was in the Seattle Times today about the wonderful Boys in the Boat, which, if you haven't read still, please do yourself the favor. Human spirit, persistence, and all that good stuff.

Next, I recently posted a notice and video of the upcoming Sketchbook Project tour, pleading to my friends in LA to put their dates on the calendar. Now, the whole year's schedule is available, and oohboy, they are coming to Seattle again. Whoo  hoo!  And it's the last tour, so saddle up and check it out!  I absolutely promise on my Sapphire and  tonic, you won't be disappointed.

Here's the full schedule:

And here's another plug for my own entry called Hometown Journeys submitted in 2013,

which I would love for you to look at.  Because I did some fold-outs, not all of the pages scanned very well, but I hope you get the idea. You can instead view the separate pages on the Flickr link in the  right column or here.

It was hard to give up the real thing which represented a whole lot of time and work, but I visited a slew of new places and loved the challenge of integrating my photos and my own drawings.


April 13, 2015

A Mobile Sketchbooky Treat

Heads up, my California buddies! The Sketchbook tour will be in LA June 26-28! This will be the last Sketchbook Project tour. You'll have to go to Brooklyn to see the sketchbooks after that!

and to Atlanta, Austin, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle (see my smile), Chicago, and Toronto, dates to be announced.

If  you love looking at sketchbooks and visual journals to your heart's content, you will enjoy. There is amazing art out there. Details below, but first:

  • 5905 Wilshire Blvd - L.A., CA 90036
  • June 19-21 / Austin, TX

    • Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum
    • 605 Robert E. Lee Road - Austin, TX 78704
    • June 19-21

    • June 5- 7 / Atlanta, GA

      • Ponce City Market
      • 675 Ponce de Leon Ave NE - Atlanta, GA 30308


April 11, 2015

A Garden Carnival

Had a dream last night, one I hadn't had before...
It 'twer a flower carnival, and on the garden floor
More toots and ballyhoos and whizzes in the air
'Twas fine and dandy, a visual candy, my imagined floral fair.
Flowers on left and right are the fruits of Lesson 1 in Carla Sonheim's Crazy Flower Mini-class. 


April 1, 2015

In the mail, a fruity surprise...

Early this morning
'bout 7 a m
Ate the last grapefruit,
a Florida gem.

Would need to buy more
(Grapefruit really rocks.)
What's that?  The postman
has brought us this box?

A box full  of grapefruit?
How are we so lucky?
From Ar i zon a!
Well, that's just plain ducky!

Thanks, Judi and Gus
for  the backyard surprise
And see? The full bowl
is a feast for the eyes! 


My New Website! Please visit!

I am excited to tell you about the new One Red Chair website. A link to this blog is over there, as well as visual journals and a gallery which is growing gradually.  I'll have an Etsy link in the future. It is a work in progress but I chose to let 'er rip and invite you to watch it grow rather than wait until "done."  (Done? They really never get "done," do they?). I  hope you'll check in often for new additions and bookmark the site. The blog will remain as is at this home.

You can find the link to the website over to the right, at the top of the column. Please do visit!
Taken by me, Paris, 2013
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