i’m off to cruise and craft…

today i head out to Long Beach, CA to board a Carnival ship – aptly titled “Inspiration” – for this year’s Crafty Chica Art Cruise!  i’ve never been and i’m looking forward to doing lots of art-ing, crafting,  and meeting lots of new people – especially facebook friends i haven’t yet met in real life!  i’ve heard awesome things about this cruise but never thought i’d be going on one…

i’ll have lots to share later, including how i got lucky enough to go on this cruise, and LOTS of photos, but for now, if you want some background on the Crafty Chica cruise, check it out at http://craftychicacruise.blogspot.com/p/past-cruises.html

i leave you with one of my new black and white drawings.  i’m happy to say i’ve been drawing SO much again!  i’m back to doing what i love and what comes naturally to me.  last week was a creative week, just me + my black Sharpies + white cardstock.

there really is such satisfaction in doing what you love…

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Huntington Library visit…

my sister, lulu, invited lawrence and me to the huntington library in san marino last month. if you live in california and get a chance to go, do it – you will not regret it!

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from the huntington’s “About” section on its website at http://www.huntington.org/

A private, nonprofit institution, The Huntington was founded in 1919 by Henry E. Huntington, an exceptional businessman who built a financial empire that included railroad companies, utilities, and real estate holdings in Southern California.

Huntington was also a man of vision – with a special interest in books, art, and gardens. During his lifetime, he amassed the core of one of the finest research libraries in the world, established a splendid art collection, and created an array of botanical gardens with plants from a geographic range spanning the globe.

These three distinct facets of The Huntington are linked by a devotion to research, education, and beauty.”

It was a beautiful day to visit the botanical gardens, with so many flowers, shrubs, and trees blooming, but the best part of the day was spending time with lulu.

when lawrence’s father became ill, lulu texted me daily to check on his condition and see how we were doing.  she went to see my father-in-law in the hospital on valentine’s day, the day before he died, providing lawrence with support and advice in making some difficult decisions.  so it was nice to spend some time together, surrounded by nature and so much beauty after all the ugliness…

plus – my niece, marisa, has been volunteering at the huntington every saturday for the past 4 years, so lulu (her mother and chauffeur) is now an expert tour guide on the place!

beautiful sculptural pieces (middle is from Shakespeare's garden)...

beautiful sculptural pieces (middle is from Shakespeare’s garden)…

there’s no way to see everything in one visit: there are libraries, and art collections on display, and various botanical gardens. one of my favorites is the japanese gardens…

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japanese garden…

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lawrence, by the pond in the japanese garden…

it’s a great place for inspiring your creative muse!  the three of us took so many photos – everywhere you look is a photo opportunity.  you’re surrounded by all the colors, textures, and patterns nature has to offer.  i can’t wait to go back!

it inspired me to draw again, the way i used to.  just my black Sharpie and white cardstock.  i feel my muse coming back…♥

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