Thursday, September 20, 2012

Well blogger finally did it...........they  forced me to the upgrade.  This is not something i care to tackle.
My love affair with blogging has been waning and this might just be a good reason to let it go. I could sit down and figure out the upgrade but i choose not to.  Blogging since 2008 i think...its time to move on.
Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement in my artistic endeavors. I want to leave you
with a little bit of news that i was saving for the coming weeks......we are in the final stages of buying a house!!!  A brand spanking new one.........i will have my own craft room for the first time ever!!! Exciting things happening! Anyone wanting to still stay in touch you can reach me at my email.....nuleaf@comcast.net .  Time to turn the page to the next chapter...........Hugs! deb

Monday, September 17, 2012

Infusion of Art..........

...........after so much traveling what this blog needs is an infusion (transfusion) of Art! I have to say i've been in a little bit of an artistic 'funk' lately and this Work In Progress (WIP) has been in 'progress' for a little while..........but see i have some news.....i mean NEWS waiting on the horizon that i want to share but i'm holding my breath ...which is hard to do on a 'Just Breathe...' blog and i don't want to 'jinx' it if that is even possible.........well anyway its just put me in a funk of sorts......But everything is coming to a head and good news or bad news i will share it when it happens...........Now......art....... I love this piece for a couple of different reasons.......one...its recycled chipboard from a FiddleFaddle box......I coated it with ModgePodge and let it dry and the acrylic paint is going over it beautifully..................... .........and two....I watered down the acrylic and went across the top edge of each layer and then had a fabulous time blowing the paint........what i see..........what i want you to see are waves and thats the foam on top blowing over the crested wave.......do you see it??? i hope so......and what could that scaley thing be lurking in the layers???? Well this is going to be a postcard......an over sized postcard...I've already mailed one of these thru the mail so i know it will go......official postcard size is 4x6 inches but thats way too small to have any fun with lol! And...............I won a GiveAway over at Jean Zoss's bluebird blog . What an amazing box of goodies this was! She also stuck some of her artwork in there and papers....what fun! These magazines are way more abstract than i am but they teach me to loosen up a little and i find ways to add different techniques into my more structured art......This really was a box full of JOY! Thank you so much Jean! Well stay turned i've got some book and movie reviews coming and we went to the Harvest Festival this past weekend...no cameras aloud but i'm dying to show you what i bought! Hugs! deb
PS. I disabled the Word Verification again.......i KNOW how annoying it is.....lets give it a try...if it shows back up you know it didn't work out......sigh.......

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Expectations...........

...........are a dangerous thing.........I have always been under the impression that Monterrey Bay Aquarium is the 'Cream of the Crop' when it comes to aquariums......I'm not quite sure what gave me that impression for all these years.....something i read or watched on TV...i don't know...but it was definitely on my Bucket List and i was very excited to go and therefor.... ............very disappointed when it didn't live up to expectations......You wouldn't think so from these excellent photos my Hubby took.......aren't they amazing!? He did such a good job shooting thru the glass......and the curators at the aquarium sure knew how to make those jellies pop with their color choices........My favorite has to be this one above......I think they were called Sea Nettles.........and yes they sting! Those skinny tentacles deliver the sting and the foamy arms bring the food to the mouth...... ............Over the years we have been to smaller but 'better' aquariums..... We both would recommend the Aquarium in Albuquerque's Bio Park over Monterrey....Hard to believe (for me anyway) .....Much more to see there....... Monterrey had one lonely Sea Otter.........a handful of sad looking penguins..........The tanks hardly had any fish in them..........a few dead or dying fish along the ledge of the aquarium.... BUT all the souvenir shops were in full swing and VERY expensive... It was extremely crowded...many of the displays we couldn't even get near unless you wanted to shoulder your way thru.......to be fair..........it was Labor Day Weekend......it is CA so of course its going to be expensive.......The Aquarium seemed very kid oriented so keep that in mind, lots of games to play and play areas......don't get me wrong thats great just not what i was looking for.......Right now they are running a jellyfish program.......as you can tell by the photos.... ........and a seahorse program and to be honest those were the best displays almost the only displays....isn't the seahorse above amazing? He hardly looked real in the tank.....unfortunately most of the seahorse photos hubby took didn't come out........this was the best one.....They had shrimp in a round tank with them and the shrimp would swim round and round the tank.....i don't think i've ever seen a shrimp swim.....lol.....they move their little legs sooo fast! I LOVE this above photo too.......maybe a tad blurry but still awesome......now take my opinion with a grain of salt.......our other traveling companions absolutely LOVED the Aquarium and it met all THEIR expectations.........I went into it expecting to be blown away and it fell short...... expensively short............hubby was able to use his Veteran status to get a discount and another companion was able to use a Military Discount but regular price is $35.........and in no way was it worth that........One last photo below...........I know its blurry , but i had to show you the one display that had me smiling from ear to ear and i think somebody had to tell me to close my mouth..........You walk in this round room and a tank goes all the way around the room and a school of silver anchovies swim around and around you all in the same direction..........it was just amazing.......like you were in the middle of a school...........maybe you had to be there..... i hope you can picture it..... One other sad note about this AMAZING trip to Monterrey/Carmel...........the hotel...........sigh......You know some of it was our fault and some of it was NOT......... It's called "The Wilkies' Clarion Collection.......right off the bat when we pulled up we were like '...oh no...' because all the rooms have outside access only........the pictures on the internet did not lead us to that conclusion .......we prefer an inside access hotel.........I must say the outside of the hotel looked well kept.........beautiful bouganvilla bushes blooming and jasmine....well landscaped...so we were totally unprepared for when we walked in the room.......all of my traveling companions had different opinions of what they expected in a hotel room so this is just my opinion......we paid $270 a night for this room (and yes i cringe at that number) And that was our fault .........we waited until the last minute on Labor Day Weekend to decide to do this and we PAID for it........but what was not our fault was the condition of the room...... Two big patches of sheet rock in the ceiling not even tape and floated or painted........i mean at least 3'x3' patches , no air-condition.......and the ceiling fan was on a one hour timer.........so during the night someone had to get up and click it back on over and over or it was too warm.......the bathroom had mold.......they had more rooms than parking spaces.....had our window open and hubby had to get up at 3am as ask the two gentlemen next door to us if they wouldn't mind being a little more quiet as they were standing outside their hotel door talking and laughing and smoking with the smoke coming right in our window......(I was like honey this is CA you don't confront someone like that at 3am) .....$270 a night........i didn't even pay that much for the swanky hotel in Dallas that we stayed in for the half marathon and they had valet service...lol.........and when we complained they were very rude.......and wouldn't give us the name of the manager........expectations.......their 'killer'..............Hugs! deb

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Carmel and Point Lobos.........

..............now you may think I've already been to my favorite part of the trip but ...NOOooooo...you'd be wrong......Before we landed at Point Lobos we stopped in Carmel for lunch and all the shoppers in the bunch (including me) decided Carmel would be worth another trip.........Its a little more laid back than the other shopping places we visited...a little more quiet...shops a little more quaint and not so touristy.... Cannot remember the name of this shop...something to do with a Toad i think........ah....my memory sucks........oh but it was filled with the most delightful things.........then a quick , shared lunch and off we were to Point Lobos..... ...........see i think i was born to hike........my life has not provided the hiking opportunities i wish it had......I would be one of those people that hiked the entire Appalachian Trail.......The Pacific Crest Trail.........life just did not turn out that way.......now i'm getting pretty old to think about tackling such things.........that and the fact i don't have a partner in crime........hubby is ten years older than me and in worse shape than i am if thats possible and he really has no desire to do anything like that...... ..............when i hit the trail.........any trail.......i'am just like a little kid.......i want to run ahead.....i want to stand and look up into the tree tops...........i want to know whats around the next bend....and under no circumstances do i want to turn around and go home........i want to take my shoes off and wade in the cold creek til my toes are numb.......imagine my wonder at all the moss hanging off the trees along the coast..........it was amazing and although we took tons of pictures of it, none of them really hit the spot.........this is probably the best one............. ...........gorgeous views and a little cove that we could walk down to and get our feet wet........some of us got more than our feet wet........See the red on these rocks thats ice plant.......it was everywhere....beautiful.......but its not native ......apparently it came over on ships from Africa and liked it here.......... These two harbor seals were very close to us and totally unconcerned. It was quite funny to watch them haul their substantial selves up on the rocks.......alot of work! Point Lobos was magical.........like Moss Landing i could have stayed there a very long time.....but i must temper my tendency toward craziness when i have companions .....lol.....no one but me would want to spend all day at Point Lobos hiking trail after trail after trail.......pack in a lunch......watch the sunset...........ah now wouldn't that be a good life?...........Had a fabulous time!
****a word of caution and some tips if you are going.............poison oak is everywhere! Keep your arms inside the trail at all times unless you are very carefully picking a ripe blackberry off the bush and popping in your mouth(shhh...)..... Parking lot fills up early! But you can park along the road and walk in paying only a donation.......to drive in and park your car i think was $10. The Rangers were wonderful......patient .... knowledgeable.....at one point on the trail you can give them your car keys and they will let you borrow some binoculars.....the little cove was a great place to get wet....some water shoes and shorts and some dry clothes to change into would have been perfect........wish we had known.....their are some benches on the trail to sit and enjoy the view.......hope that helps anyone heading that way.........Last post will be on Monterey Bay Aquarium and Hotel.........probably the least enjoyable part of the trip............Hugs! deb

Saturday, September 8, 2012

17 Mile Drive..............

.........this lies somewhere between Monterrey and Carmel.........you pay $10 a car and you drive and look at the views and there are places you can pull over and take a peek........wasn't this picture cool? I love the mixture of natural rock and man-made wall......was hoping we could go over there but it was blocked off. ..........the surf was just crazy ......boiling and churning......such a different coastline than i'm used to......some say its because several different currents meet here and others say its because of rocks just below the surface causing waves to break and churn......either way it was a sight to behold............ ..........now thats some golf tee off........can you imagine playing here? I know my hubby would love it but the fees are just way out of our range...but wow what a view!.......back in Livermore there are some golf courses that run thru the vineyards and up into the hills......those run about $150...now maybe that i could see as a Christmas present!.... ..........look at all those sea lions! When first looking at this rock i didn't see much...i knew there were seals over there i could hear them..........then hubby handed me his camera with the spectacular zoom lens on it and .......Wowzerrr!!! I had no idea! ......then i kinda leaned over and asked hubby......'Do you think all that brown stuff on the rock is.....????' and he just kinda nodded and i said 'oh'........and tried not to think about it....... ...........standing there looking at the rock we started to wonder how in the heck did they get up there.......no arms or legs.........i figured at first it must be easier on the back side but then we started watching more closely........see at the bottom of the picture theres one just out of the water and then you can see another one a little higher and so on...they just hop up there out of the water and politely just walk themselves on their flippers and tail right up the rock.......they are very tenacious.......they slide back a little and try again until they make it......lets just not think to hard about what they are sliding in shall we.............. ................signs everywhere telling you not to feed the animals........but from this little guys behavior not many people listen..........he just walked right up to a bunch of people getting off a bus and put on his best little begging act.......the signs explain that he needs to eat his natural food to be healthy.........so i guess that Cheetos is just as bad for him as it is for us....... :) ............these are Brandt's Cormorant...........they were plentiful......I found them interesting because i've been working with turkey feathers on a project and have run into difficulties because their feathers are waterproof and i have to remove the waterproofing before i can do anything with them................. This Cormorants feathers are not waterproof ....which i found odd for a seabird....... so after a dive for fish they have to hold their wings out to dry before the next dive........strange huh??? I have so many pictures.......you have no idea how hard it is to whittle them down to the ones i show you........no professional photographers here.......not even good photographers..........but i hope you enjoy......couple more days of Monterey then its back to some ART!!!...and a movie review....Hugs! deb

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Moss Landing..........

..........our first stop on our Monterrey Vacation was Moss Landing.........lots of bird watchers hanging out viewing the world through a lens........I couldn't see the beach from where we parked the car..........we had to climb this 'little' hill of incredibly thick sand...you know take a step slide back two?........whew.....the view from the top was beautiful ....these pictures really do not do it justice.....it was a dull, dreary ,cloudy kind a day the pictures are just so so.....we stopped to admire the view before heading down the other side.....then before i know it hubby yells and points and starts RUNNING......i look and see two spots in the water moving quickly right to left.... ...........aren't they just adorable?......Two Harbor Seals looking at the two crazy people running along the beach with huge smiles on their faces , like two little kids........to see them in the wild is just amazing.... .........look at this HUGE carrot.....um..........seaweed i guess thats what it is.......we picked it up...we always have to touch....just can't leave things alone...........it was hollow inside and rubbery.........full of water that peed out the end..........the beach was littered with all kinds of goodies..........everything in the top picture was found here......lots of pebbles and crab shells and a whole sand dollar! Got home and washed them all in bleach.......i have some crafty thing in mind if i can keep them unbroken long enough.........Jinx do hear that???? JINX!......... ..............awww look at this little guy! I've decided i love , love, love sea otters.........they remind me of my grandmother.....what? no really..........she could float like a cork........she was a big woman and she loved to swim and float.....she could literally almost sit on the water like she was sitting in a chair......not have to move her arms or hands and just float with no effort at all.....looking much like this sea otter...... I could have walked forever on this beach but i needed a bigger bucket to carry all my treasures.....such a different beach than i'm used to......think Florida........Destin Beach.....the Gulf.....sugar white sand.......turquoise blue water......so different......and i'm so ready for different.....we didn't stay too long......we had more on our itinerary..... found some trash that i
picked up on our way out but really a pretty pristine beach, not crowded.......lots more to share........Hugs! deb

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Why Did the Woman Climb the Mountain?......

..............to see whats on the Other Side...........I know you were expecting to hear about Monterey Bay Aquarium............but this post has been waiting while i ran the Mushroom Giveaway and i don't want to get ahead of myself..........Remember the hill hubby and i couldn't get all the way up a few weeks ago? (Yes hill is probably a more accurate descriptive term than 'mountain' in the title but i thought 'Mountain' would GRAB ya! LOL!) Well if you know me at all you know its been niggling in the back of my mind ever since we stopped halfway up the hill. Last week end Hubby decided to work some overtime and i had him drop me off at the bottom of the hill on his way to work. I don't like to get beat by no stinkin hill. :) Thats the sucker right there in all its glory. I LIKE climbing hills (mountains) always have,even when i was young. Younger and fitter i climbed them alot more easily but i still love the challenge. I still want to see whats on the other side. Like hiking i want to see what's around the next bend in the trail. Hubby insisting we stop only halfway up this hill KILLED me but i think he was afraid the hill WOULD kill me as i was huffing and puffing quite loudly,(hubby does not work out with me and know all this huffing and puffing is normal) it was a warm day and the humidity was high so i let him turn us around and march us down that hill but oh that defeat stuck with me. I knew i could DO THIS. On this day.......by myself......it was a beautiful 65 degrees with a cool breeze blowing.....some hikers, walkers, RUNNERS, bicyclists were about.........its apparently a very popular trail....i wish these pictures could show you an accurate angle of ascent........lol........they don't do it justice... See what a lovely shade of brown the hills of Livermore have turned this summer? The only greenery to be found are some hardy trees and irrigated vineyards..........I'm a little disappointed i haven't completely escaped the harsh , dry , burnt landscape of Texas but with so many places in a drought i wonder where exactly i would have to move to , to achieve that.......I still have the winter rainy season here to look forward to although i hear last year was a little disappointing, without much rain........ AAAaaahhh........you have no IDEA what a lovely sight this bench was............no idea........i sat on my tushkie and waited for my breath and heart rate to calm down while enjoying the lovely views..........I watched the golfers run around like ants and a hawk soar above my head...... Then it was time to get moving again.......I thought this lady in the distance might give you some perspective.........and yes she's running.........she ran up and down twice while i walked up once.......sigh........... This is what greeted me at the top..........another bench and as you can see in the distance more trail........i was so tempted to continue on.........but as you can see it goes down hill and what goes down must come back up and i wasn't sure i was up for that......so instead.........i sat here ...... .............and enjoyed this.........the wind was a whipping up here at the top but it felt good on my over heated face.........the sun sparkled on DeValle Lake like diamonds.......the day was beginning to warm up ..........i didn't linger long before i headed back down........i passed many more people headed up and i let them know there was a bench with a view waiting for them.... :) Hubby says he'll come next time and we'll continue down the path.......i wonder whats around the corner?....