On island time

Love this place….I’ve walked the beach, rode a bike, sat with my feet in the pool, hung outdoors all day. If this is retirement is like, yes please. I feel like a kid who can do whatever she wants…..so I painted.

Advertisements

Inspired by Florida

During our winter break, I had plenty of time to do what I naturally gravitate towards…making stuff!

After Jeff completed the pallet sectional, Patrice had a cool wide plank board across the back of it.  It was begging for some art.  I used Patrice’s  mosaic supplies and made a few fish for it:

P1040342

Definitely funky fish…they were fun!  I hope Patrice adds more.  These are on mesh, which gets cut away.   The fish will be applied to the board with an adhesive, and finally grouted.

Patrice invited her friend and artist, Marie Dyer, to teach a landscape painting class while I was there!  So in the Tiki Bar, nine of us painted all one day under Marie’s guidance.  She freely shares her experience, always finds the best in everyone yet encourages us to improve.  I learned so much that day.  We painted with acrylics.

Here is Marie, getting us set up:

P1040319

She’s creating a color mixing chart for us, as we used only primary colors and white:

P1040322

We are all listening intently to her instructions and tips before starting (note  the use the sectional is getting.)

P1040325

Patrice started on a mural, a coral Bougainvillea vine …she has a good start,  and will keep working on it:

P1040333

Here’s my painting:

P1040340

Inspired by this scene:

P1040318

Here are a few things I learned from Marie:

-No perfectly straight lines are found in nature.

-Have an entry point for the eye, a line to follow and an exit out of the painting.

-Repeat colors throughout the painting.

-Leave an area for the eye to rest.

And lastly, I really enjoyed sitting here working on my journal, and painting postcards:

20150211_122306

Here are my postcards from paradise:

CCI02262015_0004A

Fish1

fish2

palm trees

pathtobeach

This last one is special.  Patrice and I walked around her garden, and identified every plant she grows…I wrote them down as we walked:

Pattsplants

This is the last post of our visit to Florida.  And, just in time, spring is inching its way to the Mitten.

More Florida

IMG_9940

“Sunrise looks spectacular in the nature; sunrise looks spectacular in the photos; sunrise looks spectacular in our dreams; sunrise looks spectacular in the paintings, because it really is spectacular!”
Mehmet Murat ildan

IMG_9942

Thank you Jeff for taking the sunrise photos!IMG_9950

I love seeing the planes come and go on the grass runway, which happened several times  while we visited.   I always hold my breath until the landing or takeoff is successful.

IMG_9951

Jeff volunteered for a couple of projects for his sister.  That man loves a challenge.  Below is the start of a waterfall at one end of the pool.  Jeff built a support from wood:

IMG_9956

Testing…..

IMG_9957

Finished, for now….Patrice will have it beautified with more rocks and plants very soon:

IMG_9972

Jeff also built an awesome sectional sofa out of pallets….

20150211_121828

He just whipped this up one rainy afternoon!

I always feel slightly inept when I compare what I accomplish with my husband.  He will do something spectacular, while I cook a meal, weed the garden, read, or plug away at placing little bits of glass within a mosaic…or, more likely, all of those things.   I try not to think about it, but sometimes its hard not to compare…he is in constant motion, like the energizer bunny!

My idea of a wonderful vacation is having plenty of downtime to create, to engage the art brain.  And that I did.   My last post for Florida will be a show and tell of what I enjoyed doing while on vacation.

A few more warm sunny days

in Florida, documented with photos, even though life goes on here in the Mitten.  Its cold, gray and harsh here and I am not quite ready to leave the tropics!  A few more days and events to share:

We boated over to Boca Grande on Sunday.

The island is known for its banyan trees, but  Hurricane Charley destroyed most of them in 2004.  One of our favorite streets, aptly named Banyan Street, is still lined with them.

IMG_9894

IMG_9893

Our group from left to right:  Jeff and I, brother Jim, our friends Chris and Judy, and Patrice and Jim.   Chris and Judy drove down from North Port to meet us for the day,  we sure did enjoy seeing them!

IMG_9897

P1040273

Boca Grande, means “Big Mouth”…but there is nothing loud or cantankerous about this place.  Boca Grande’s a quiet, charming little town.  Its named for the Boca Grande Pass, a deep shipping channel and popular sport fishing spot.   Golf carts are the preferred method of travel around the island.  In fact, we rented a six passenger golf cart so and toured the island.  (We made Jimbo walk…just kidding).  At the south end is a restaurant called South Beach.  We are glad to have found it,  good food and a great atmosphere:

P1040284

 

P1040287

P1040289

More island sights:

Monster lilies””:

P1040271

More banyan:

P1040294

P1040295

The island’s historic hotel, The Gasparilla Inn, allows  commoner’s, like us, to walk through:

P1040307

P1040308

P1040310

Time to leave this beautiful place…..

P1040270

On the way home, we stopped to check for manatee’s at our secret spot, but didn’t have any luck spotting any.  IMG_9908

And, lastly,  we stopped at Cabbage Key.   I learned that “Key” is the same as “Cay”, meaning a small sandy island.  Legend has it that Jimmy Buffett composed “A Cheeseburger in Paradise” after a great day of fishing, and a cold beer and perfect burger at the Cabbage Key Inn.

IMG_9911

The tortoises were out and about, and enjoyed a handout from Jim of hibiscus blooms:

IMG_9912

IMG_9914

A day well spent!

Jimbo

 

IMG_9872

Patrice and Jeff’s brother, Jim, joined us on the island for a few days.  We had  fun watching his excitement as he discovered all the unique features of the island and Florida.  This was his first time down there.

P1040220

The three sibs:

P1040227

Jimbo is INTERESTED (all caps for emphasis!!!!!) in edible wild plants.  He is passionate about that topic, crazy for information on this topic.   But tropical plants are a whole new universe for him.  He was full of  questions and requests for us to “google”  when we couldn’t satisfy his curiosity.

At his urging, I ate one a prickly pear “tuna”.  They were not quite ripe, and little too tangy for my taste buds.  Jim was happy I gave it a try though!

The “tunas” are the red fruits growing out of the cactus:

P1040175Jim was a lot of fun to have around!

P1040237

P1040259

Home….Brrrrr

We are just back from 9 days in Florida.  We arrived home on the coldest night of the winter.  A 70 degree change in a couple of hours.   A shock to the body, mind and spirit!  Almost like enjoying a sauna then jumping into an icy pool.  I somehow didn’t have an ice scraper in my car, so we were scraping the ice away from the windshield with a credit card at the airport parking lot.  Baby, its cold outside!

We had a great getaway on North Captiva island though!  A wonderful visit with Patrice and Jim.  We enjoyed island life for over a week.

But, home is home.  Its good to be back to my place and my people.

We took many photos…here are a few we took on the day of arrival:

IMG_9854

 

P1040155

P1040157

P1040160

P1040162

The second day was rainy, so Jeff worked on a project for Patrice-making a piece of furniture for her Tiki Bar under the house….out of pallets.  I’ll show you the finished project in a future post.

P1040163

I wandered around Patrice’s beautiful garden on this damp, cloudy day and took photos:

P1040164

P1040165

P1040167

P1040170

P1040171

P1040177

P1040186

P1040199

P1040204

OP1040208

Hope these warmed you up a bit….I’ll be back with more.

Florida photos….

 

just thinking of you, and thought you might like the warmth of  some tropical images.

This is the beautiful resort we stayed at:

IMG_8504

Actually, its Patt and Jim’s place…..

IMG_8507

Prettiest place on the island…..

IMG_8508

 

IMG_8513

 

IMG_4480

IMG_8509

We visited the town of Boca Grande, rented a golf card and explored…the banyan trees were spectacular….

IMG_4426

I discovered a mosaic tarpon in a little store, and loved it….each scale is 3 or 4 pieces of glass, edged in mirror.  I think it was done over a “stuffed” trophy fish.  Patience and skill, and an amazing color sense accomplished this mosaic. 

I do not know who the artist is, and I regret not asking about it.  As you can see, its sold and awaiting a new home.

IMG_4430 (2)

Detail shot

IMG_4431-001

I also found some lovely shell mosaics in the elegantly decorated hotel, sorry for the poor photos….

IMG_4411

IMG_4412-002

IMG_4416

Jeff spent a lot of time  on docks, the beach and the boat catching us dinner:

IMG_4503

 

He would go out at sunrise and again in the evening, with a few midday casts too….His goal was to catch a fish every day.  He was successful. 

IMG_4482

I saw a manatee family one afternoon:

IMG_4529

Most mornings, Jeff had a fishing buddy:

IMG_8612

 

P1030318

One of my favorite things to do this trip was sketch and paint…

P1030356

One mid morning on the boat, the sky  glowed…P1030256

 

P1030259

We soaked it up, and saved it for later…..

P1030260

One evening Jeff, Patt and I ….along with Lia’s Gilbert went out to the pass to watch the sunset. 

IMG_8569

We enjoyed ourselves….

P1030261

The water was calm, the wind quiet.  Dolphins were feeding all around us…

IMG_8593

 

P1030295

We loved our little mid winter break.  Loved spending time with Patrice and Jim.  But regardless, home is home….it was good to come back.  There is some sunshine here, too:

P1030343

They are 3 months old today.