My Creative World…
Posts Tagged ‘travel’

An Island In Time – Part 1

IMG_3580I think I awoke at about 3:30 a.m. It’s a little fuzzy now. This trip began and ended in the dark hours of the morning. My entire immediate family converged on a tiny island called Vieques, Puerto Rico. My children and grandchildren were already there waiting for my husband and I. Leaving somewhat chilly December weather in Tennessee and traveling to the tropics, we traveled with anticipation and wonder that so much distance could be covered in one day.

The most exciting part was that we would get to spend a week in paradise with the people that we love the most. Our own little island in time.


After leaving the mainland of Florida, the views were awe inspiring. I think that these are the Florida Keys, but it may have been a part of Cuba. We drove an hour to get to the airport, flew to Orlando, boarded another plane to San Juan, got a van ride for an hour and a half to a town called Fajardo and barely made it there in time to take the hour and a half ferry ride over to Vieques. When we got there we had another 20 minute cab ride to our destination. Whew!


The ferry ride began in the light of afternoon, but as we traveled, the sun set over the main island. I couldn’t resist taking shot after shot as the sky grew more colorful. Riding on the very top of the ferry, we could enjoy the wind in our hair and the rocking of the boat as our eyes drank in the view. I had a very nice conversation with a woman and her husband who had just moved to the island six months ago. They had lots of good tips.


There are SO many beaches to choose from on this island! My sons were determined that we would find the best of them. We drove through some very washed out roads with potholes that looked like small ponds, but did not get stuck or stranded once.  We were rewarded with almost deserted, amazing beaches with not a building in sight. IMG_3637

The beaches all had a different flavor. Some had sand as fine as powder. Some had course sand with lots of treasures to find. IMG_3638

Some were covered with seaweed and some were pristine.IMG_3640

Some had great snorkeling and some did not. IMG_2283

Coconuts grew everywhere!IMG_3737

The town of Isabel II had its own charm. You could tell that once it had been quite a prosperous city, but when the Navy vacated the island several years ago, the economy was greatly affected. IMG_3739

There were some very charming houses that had obviously been abandoned for years.IMG_3740

I really loved this rocky beach! There were lots of coral hearts and interesting bits to find.IMG_3754

The rain moved in quickly and we had to skedaddle. I would have loved to stay longer here. So many beaches…so little time on this trip. IMG_3758

The drama of the stormy sky was very inspiring. The islanders were very thankful for the rain since they just made it through an extremely dry summer.


The bay near our house was always most photogenic in the evenings at sunset. We always walked there for dinner at one of the restaurants on the Malecon (boardwalk) across the street. They were all open air with a view of the bay.IMG_2310

There were several sailboats anchored there in the bay that one of my sons was paying very close attention to. He is longing for the day when he can buy one of his own.


The end of the trip began in the dark as well. I think we did pretty well in getting 7 people including two babies to the ferry on time. As we cruised away on the ferry, the morning star was visible as color returned to the sky over the island of Vieques.IMG_2351

More to come…

Art Journaling On The Move

My cousin messaged me the other day and said that she was going to visit her sister and they wanted to do some art journaling together. She wanted a list of materials that she should bring to work with. I was making a mental list and then I decided that this would make a great blog post…especially since it is summer and vacation season.

She will be traveling by car, rather than flying so the possibilities are greater for carrying a variety of materials. You can make it as simple or elaborate as you want. The materials can be inexpensive or you can spring for the fancy, latest, trendy art supplies. Here is a list of some of the basics:

Art journal supplies

  • A journal with pages thick enough to handle water media. It can be large or small.
  • A set of watercolors-they are easy to pack and much simpler than lots of bottles of acrylic paints.
  • Optional-a tube or bottle of white acrylic paint to add highlighted areas or cover mistakes.
  • Colored pencils-I like watercolor pencils because they can do double duty.
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Optional-oil pastels
  • Graphite pencil
  • Colorful markers and gel pens
  • A sharpie
  • Calligraphy pen
  • Black Bic pen-they are great for writing over different media without getting clogged
  • Fine point white paint pen
  • Adhesives-glue sticks are non-messy or you can water down white glue to glue larger pieces. Make sure it is dry before closing the journal so your pages don’t stick together.
  • Letter stamps and favorite image stamps
  • Stencils and a cosmetic sponge to apply paint sparingly over the stencil
  • Things to make textures like bubble wrap.
  • Magazines with colorful images like faces and patterns to cut up and collage. If I am away from home, sometimes I like to gather materials locally like the brochures for local attractions, ticket stubs, tags, newspaper clippings.
  • Some of your own photos that you would like to include.

IMG_2469All of this should fit nicely into a medium sized bag so it will be super portable.


Now if you are really limited on space you can make a miniature kit to travel with. This is great for when you are flying. When I am traveling out of the country, this is actually what I take.

  • A small moleskine journal
  • A tiny watercolor set
  • A film canister for water
  • A small mechanical pencil-extra leads inside
  • A glue stick
  • Folding scissors
  • A Bic pen or other fine point black pen

IMG_2471This fits easily in a carry on bag or in a purse. (Even my tiny purse.) This one is good to carry with you anywhere just in case you are stuck waiting somewhere or if inspiration strikes you to record a memorable experience.

I hope this helps! Leave me a comment and tell me what your favorite travel art journaling supplies are.

All Who Wander Are Not Lost


For all of the Lord of the Rings fans out there, or just those of you who have a case of wanderlust…I just finished the new necklace made of hand stamped and cut copper, leaves made of wire, maps, and resin, and beads. One of a kind…so far.

Digging Israel


If you noticed a bit of silence for a few weeks, it is because I was away in Israel volunteering with an archaeological dig. My dream trip! As you can see from the picture below I was ecstatic to be there. There was so much new information for my brain to process, it will take a while for it all to come out. What an inspiration!


Along with seeing the usual sights, we spent a lot of time under the ground in a massive cave system that extends under the Old City of Jerusalem. We were digging in a couple of different areas of the cave. No great discoveries were made on this trip, but the usual pottery shards were found that are one of the main methods that archaeologists use to date a site. We were working in cooperation with the Israeli Antiquities Authority and they will publish and official report of their conclusions at a later date.



My job was to scrub, sort and label the pottery shards and other artifacts that we found. This allowed me to be above the ground most of the time during the second week of the dig. Our archaeologist would sort through the trays at the end of the day and say what was significant and what was not. We got to keep many of the pieces that were not helpful for dating. They were interested in the handles, and rims and anything that might have a design on it. We also found many cut stones that were used in mosaics, small pieces of glass, and bones of whatever the people had for their meals, mostly lamb. Each piece was tagged with the area and layer it was found in.



It seems that just about anywhere that there is bare dirt in Israel, you can find pottery shards. I picked some up at several locations that we visited. Outside of the cave where we were digging, they were doing some construction work and I found several pottery shards and some old glass. It seems that after a century or two in the soil and climate of the region, the glass develops a patina that is iridescent, or almost like an opal. I brought back several pieces that I am incorporating into some jewelry along with some of the pottery shards. I will post some of them in my next blog post.