Saturday, September 27, 2014

San Juan Del Sur


Welcome to San Juan Del Sur.  The official location of this season's reality T.V. show Survivor.  The island of Ometepe was another previous Survivor location.  And we were just there as well!   Plus we drove right by the location of the season in Guatemala.  That makes us feel like real adventurers.  But thank goodness we were able to dine on the best that Nicaragua had to offer.  Instead of rice and boiled water.  San Juan Del Sur is a tourist town. So where are they dropping off the new crew of survivalists?  Well, I don't know.  But there is plenty of wilderness near by.  So what does San Juan Del Sur have to offer?


A great beach!  I love soft and firm sand for walking.  And a little warm Sun and wave action doesn't hurt either.


Ouch!  I love this photo.


Beached.


Perched.


Bridging the gap.


Be sure to walk all the way to the end.


And take time to enjoy the view.

P.S.  I've created a new photo blog.  A place where I can sell photos and photo cards.  Click here to check it out.  And if you like it, please help me spread the word!  It's called My 3rd Eye. That's what my camera is to me. 

To see my ode to the toucan and Dominical, Costa Rica scroll down...


Friday, September 26, 2014

Dreams Do Come True


I wish I was here.

There's really nothing else to say about this week's www.illustrationfriday.com theme wish.

But dreams do come true.  We're going there again in 2015.  Here's what I wrote a few years ago curled up in bed listening to the howler monkeys outside our cabana. It was probably around 4 am. I'm usually so excited to start the day it's hard to sleep.

The mist slowly thickened in the hills over the top of Dominical. A bolt of lightning flashed on the horizon.  And a blast of thunder hushed the chorus of cicadas.  Soon the vibrant green rainbow of forest completely vanished behind the clouds. The first rain drop fell on the leaf of the trumpet tree and bounced onto the large beak of a chestnut mandibled toucan.  The sparsely decorated branches of the tree were no match for a jungle rain storm. The toucan looked toward the ocean and quietly flew out of sight. 

To see photos of Costa Rica, birds, flowers and more... click here!  I've created a new photography blog called My 3rd Eye.  That's what my camera is to me.  


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Spring Forward. Fall Back.


I thought it was timely to finally post my bluebird photo that I snapped at Cedar Lake this Spring.  This photo was taken the night before the first official day of Summer. I couldn't wait for the transition. Now we are only a few days away from Fall.  It sure went fast.

They have quite a few blue bird houses at Cedar.  So I was hoping to spot one.  If it wasn't for his blue back he would totally blend into the tree.


We stuck around for a Summer's Eve sunset.

Time sure flies when you're having fun.



Friday, September 19, 2014

New found Happiness!

Happy Dog

I look up at Happy Dog every day.  He sits above my computer in an old row of pet portraits that I painted years ago.  But he is a novelty to this blog.  Completely new.  I just scanned him for the first time. He fits the novel theme over at www.illustrationfriday.com this week.

I think my subject was yawning.  But what was captured by my paintbrush was unbridled joy. This reminds me of a funny email that my husband keeps sending me.  He will highlight certain words and sentences. And resend it to me. Then laugh about it when he gets home. And it makes me laugh every time.  Here it is...

Dogs vs. Cats
Two Different Points of View


DOG DIARY
8:00 AM - Dog food! My favorite thing! 9:30 AM - A car ride! My favorite thing! 9:40 AM - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!10:30 AM - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!12:00 PM - Lunch! My favorite thing! 1:00 PM - Played in the yard! My favorite thing! 3:00 PM - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing! 5:00 PM - Milk bones! My favorite thing! 7:00 PM - Got to play ball! My favorite thing! 8:00 PM - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing! 11:00 PM - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!
CAT DIARY
Day 983 of my captivity!
My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape.

In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a 'good little hunter' I am. The sick bastards!

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of 'allergies'. I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow - but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. He obviously has issues.
 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Keep Calm and Ferry On


Rivas beach and Concepcion Volcano in the background

I didn't expect to take my favorite photo in Nicaragua after they lost our Ferry reservation to the island of Ometepe.  But I did.  We don't speak Spanish.  And when we arrived in Rivas to take the Ferry we experienced our first trip hiccup.  What would that mean?  Sleeping in our car?  Bribing a ferry worker?  Well, luckily it only meant waiting, drinking a Tona and walking on the beach by the Ferry station.  We made it on the next boat.  But things can get pretty confusing pretty darn fast when you don't know when, why or how things go wrong. 


Our vehicle.  I remember wondering if we would get on when I took this photo.  It seemed like such a crap shoot.  When we got on they had Spanish soap operas on the T.V.  And the locals all bought homemade snacks that ladies brought on in big baskets.


The good news.  We arrived on Ometepe at sunset.  The bad news.   We had to drive to our lodge on the other side of the island in the dark.  And if you have ever driven in Central America you know it is not recommended to drive after dark.  The funny thing is that it is not necessarily because of crime.  Every person, cow and dog like to hang out in the road.  It's dangerous! 


Well, I've already posted some of the things that we did on the island. Hit my labels at the bottom to check out some other Ometepe island adventures. 

This post is all about the coming and going.   Now we are trying to figure out the return trip.  Dean is talking with some other gringos.  Hmmm.  Hopefully if we work together we'll get on.


I took this photo of a kiskadee standing tough in the concrete jungle while waiting.  And waiting.


Here it comes.  Do you know that Nicaragua has 19 Volcanoes?  And I just saw on the news that they were hit by a meteorite!  Good grief.  When it rains it pours.  Anyway, we were staying on an island with two of them.  And there's another one peeking out in the right hand corner.  I think it might be Mombachu.  


Ometepe is slowly fading away. The rear view of an amazing adventure is always bittersweet.  You can see both volcanoes in this photo.  Concepcion is on the left.  The cone peaks at 5,280 feet.  Which makes it the world's highest lake island.  And Maderas volcano is on the right. 

It was a beautiful place.


And if you haven't already, please click here to see my illustrated map of Ometepe!  It's published over at the cool travel website TheyDrawAndTravel.

The end! 



Saturday, September 6, 2014

Guess me from behind...


Guess me from behind

Joan Rivers made me cringe.  But most importantly she made me laugh. I can't imagine a Friday night without Fashion Police.  Even my husband loved it.  Neither of us really care about fashion.  My husband definitely doesn't.  But it was so fun to laugh at celebrities.  Joan made fun of herself as well as everyone else.  So I decided to bravely post my own dos and don'ts on non-celebrity fashion.  In her honor...

Each photo highlights a Fashion Police segment. The top is Guess me from behind.  Where the hosts guess celebrities solely from their behind.  It was always hilarious.


"Witch" stole my look! (+ cat)

  O.K. It's supposed to be Bitch.   But I'm channeling Joan and trying to be funny.  I posted two shots to represent two celebrities wearing the same outfit.  The horror!  One is Angelina Jolie and the other is me.  I wish.  Ha!

Starlet or Streetwalker

Definitely street walker since I'm dressed up as a Saloon girl.  This was one of my favorite segments.  And it wasn't always easy to tell. The staircase in my old apartment building makes for the perfect retro backdrop here.

Hot Ticket

I felt "Hot" on this night in South Beach. We even got served free drinks at one of the bars on Ocean drive.  I like to think it was because of my Hot ticket status.  The good ole days.

Aspen


Busted!

In which celebrities are caught wearing the same (frumpy as shown here) outfit at two or more different events.  For shame.

My events...

1) climbing a mountain
2) Hugging a teddy bear


Rack Report

This one is obvious!  I love this old wishful photo taken in New Orleans.

RIP Joan Rivers


P.S. To see my latest illustrated map of the island of Ometepe click Here!  They filmed the T.V. show Survivor there.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Spring Goslings


I figured I'm way past due in posting my spring gosling photos.  Since most of these little buggers are filling the skies with squawks and following their elders south already.

 Cute Goslings were swimming at Lake Nokomis this Spring. No big surprise. The only difference was that this isn't Lake Nokomis. It is the flooding around Lake Nokomis.  The relentless Spring and Summer rains turned all of Minneapolis into a water park. 



He's got a leg up on his peers.



Look at that sweet face.



Drip dry.



They're all small fries! But they don't stay this cute for long. 


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Stillness

Stillness

I caught a Swallow at Wood Lake.  And when I say caught I mean caught.  He was only there a few seconds.  Swallows, warblers and anything small were in a feeding frenzy this Spring.  It is so hard to catch them sitting still.

I love the colors in this photo.  And how the metal railing leads into the bird. A split second lucky shot that is actually focused.  Nice.



Friday, August 22, 2014

Skulduggery


Skull.  The timely theme over at www.illustrationfriday.com this week.  Who would have thought that I started my art career painting them.  Especially when I've been wandering around in the world of children's illustration for so long now.  Maybe too long.  When I was painting my southwestern and texture filled skull pieces I was still making slides of my work.  And this is the only one I have scanned.  One of the originals sold before I could even get a slide done of it.  It still remains my largest single sale to date.

That would definitely qualify as skulduggery now.  Or more like stupidity.  Selling something you can't even make prints of.  But I miss those innocent and naive days of making art.  I didn't know what the heck I was doing.  But I enjoyed painting and expressing myself so much.  Now my work has to have a purpose to promote myself.  Or be appropriate for my website.  No skulls there.

Maybe it is time to climb the mysterious stairway and find out where it really leads me... 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Internet Cat Video Fest 2014!

We brought our cat cups!

No, I'm not joking.  This is an official Internet Cat Video Festival.  And it is at the Walker Art Center.  No slouch in the art world.  I do have to admitt feeling a little embarrassed last year at the 2013 fest at the State Fair grounds.  Especially when a guy on stage started shouting, "It's a cat party.  A cat party!"  Uff da.  We still have that going through our heads.  A meow worm.


We weren't decked out in cat t -shirts, head gear or tails.  But we did bring our cat cups.  We use them all the time.


Dean was the first to get a tat.  



Of course I had to get one too.


And look!  They played a video of my cat Hana!


O.K. I just photoshopped her in. But she's definitely a star.  She's named after a town on Maui.  Mew, mew.  And she pukes on cue.  Actually, she's just yawning here.  Poor Hana.  It's called cat shaming. 



And Akua made his film debut as well!  


I'm just pulling your tail. Akua is named after a cat we met on the Big Island of Hawaii.  The original Akua Nani means gentle "female " spirit.  Opps.  Sorry big guy.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Chicken Lost


I thought it would be fun to post my Chicken Little illustration for www.illustrationfriday.com this week.  The theme is journey.  I don't have it on my website anymore.  It has traveled all the way to my saved files.

So where are they now?  Well, Chicken little grew up to be Gold and Plump.  Henny Penny has a line of clothing stores.  Rooster Cogburn, A.K.A. Cocky Locky was arrested for street fighting.  Ducky Daddles forgot to migrate.  Go figure.  Goosey Loosey, well, we won't go there.  And Turkey Lurkey ended up in prison with Cocky Locky for stalking. 

Of course I could just be feeding you a line of gobbly goop. 

The end.



Monday, August 11, 2014

Classic Corkscrew


I've been taking photos of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary for years.  And every time I snap a photo of the morning light shining down on the boardwalk I intend to do a painting of it.  So far I haven't.  But it is on my bucket list.


A green gecko was hanging around.


There were magic orbs.


A hawk looked down from above.


The swamp was in bloom.


Lettuce Lakes was ready for dressing.  (It really is called Lettuce Lakes)


A little Blue Heron was selecting a snack.


Lunch!  I love this shot!


Another beautiful morning in good old Florida.