Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hot, Hot, Hot

It has been very hot here the last few days. What have we been doing in the heat? Thursday night we went to the Idaho Shakespeare Theater and saw Into the Woods. Fortunately, we were in the shade and it did cool down after the sun went down.

Friday was around 103 degrees. We didn't do much. Anna and I went to JoAnn's to get fabric I could dye. Then she wanted to go to the pet store to look at the animals. They had six kittens and two older cats (usually they only have one or two). We watched them for a while. When my nose started to run and eyes got itchy, it was time to leave.

Anna has been reading a new Warriors book and one of her old ones. Here she is looking cute in a new skirt she picked out (it's actually a skort).

Saturday, I spent the day outside dyeing fabric. I ran out of soda ash and fabric so didn't do as much as I could have. Here they are heating up in the sun.

Since it was so hot, I had to take a break and have a orange sherbert/fresca float. Really refreshing.
Here are the colors I ended up with.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Frank's View

When we go on a trip, Frank and I each take a camera. It always amazes me that, even though we are in the same place at the same time, our pictures are different. Of the over 1000 pictures we took, there are only a handful or two that look the same. We each look at things differently (just like art!).

My pictures seem to focus on the middle ground to close ground (i.e. details) and Frank's usually end up being the distant, wide angle view. Granted, his camera has a better wide angle than mine but I think it would still be that way even if it didn't.

Most of the pictures I have been putting on my blog have been the ones I have taken. Today you get to see some of Frank's.

I love this one.

If you look very closely, you can see the Alps. That's all we saw of them.

Of course, we had to have a picture of our constant travel companion and website namesake, Big Cat. He's done a lot of traveling.

Frank was actually the only one who saw these ruins because Anna didn't want to climb the steep steps and path up to see them. We stayed by the river.

Anna also had her own camera but didn't take many pictures. I forgot to have her take one of Frank and me together, since that never happens.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

And Now for Some Art

When I go on a trip like this past one, I usually bring a journal in which to write everything. It helps me remember. I usually carry one with blank pages, that way if I want to draw something I can. I don't bring a sketch book.

This time I thought I would try bringing a very small sketch book. I found one that is 3-1/2" x 5" (size of an index card). It would fit in my purse. I knew I wouldn't have time to actually sit and sketch, but just in case. I also bought a small travel watercolor set which is not much bigger than the sketch book.

I have not much experience with watercolors. I've never had any formal instruction with them. I thought maybe I would just give it a try. What I found out was that the small sketch book is great for fitting in a small purse, but that it was a little hard to draw on because there isn't much room to rest your hand on it (and on a trip you are usually not at a table). I used the watercolors much like I use my colored pencils, just for coloring in. I also brought a permanent black marker which I used to outline most of the stuff before doing the watercolors.

Anyway, I did a few things. Most of the time it was in the hotel, or on a train or airplane. I'm also very slow at drawing when I am looking at something realistic.

This was a decoration on the building across the street from our hotel in Zurich which they were renovating.

At the hotel in Bern, they served hard boiled eggs for breakfast. They had dyed the eggs red and put the Swiss flag symbol on them with a sticker. I thought that was fun but had forgot to take my camera to breakfast to take a picture. Here's my interpretation.

As we were at the train station waiting to leave Switzerland, we decided to get rid of some of our Swiss franc coins in the vending machines. Frank picked out this weird candy called Yo-Gums. It was a cross between a gummy thing and a creamy thing. I thought they were kind of Yo-yuck.

This is view from the hotel terrace in Trittenheim. This one took me a while to do. But it was nice to sit there and watch the sky. I didn't fill in the sky because we were watching thunderstorms and lightning and it kept changing. Plus, I was getting tired of doing it. I smeared the watercolors a little bit.

This was a drawing of the top of the building across the street from our hotel in Frankfurt. Didn't finish it all. It is pencil.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Felines in Europe

For those of you who know us, you knew you couldn't escape the cat pictures! So here they are. Although the cat count for this trip was very low coming in at 15. Germany seems to be more of a dog country (can you say German shepard?).

Anna making friends with the locals.

Anna took this picture of one of the windows of a store in Bern.

This was Anna's favorite town. It is Zell and it is surrounded by the Black Cat winery. Hence, they have the black cat symbol all around town.
A fountain in the middle of town.
Anna wanted us to buy one of these bottles of wine, but we did not want to have to carry it around and didn't think about shipping it to ourselves (probably wouldn't have done that either). I thought a picture would suffice.

This was the hotel cat at one of the places we stayed.
Anna wanted to take this picture. It was painted on the subway wall in Frankfurt at the zoo stop. (Yes, we did go to the zoo. Pictures for you on another day.)
Anna searching for cats in the small town where we stopped to have our snacks for lunch.
She found one (and another black cat nearby).
Anna says, "Bring on the cats!"

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Wall Art

These pictures are mostly art that were on walls outside. On this trip I noticed that there was quite a bit of painting under the eaves of many buildings.

I think this one is amazing.

This was a wall inside one of the castles we visited and it is painted.