It's over! We have moved and are out of our house. We sold our house after 25 years. We are living in an apartment temporarily! The picture above is what it looks like outside of the apartment.

 I did not think I was going to make it! Seriously! I did all the packing. It took me about a month to pack all the little nik nakky stuff....(decorations, wall pictures, kitchen stuff, (which took me a week and a half all by itself), attic, garage stuff, extra bedroom and bathroom stuff, my studio and on a side note we took two flat -bed trailer loads of my yard stuff to my sister -in- laws place who lives out in the county).  I can not believe all the crap we have accumulated!

We rented a 10 x 30 storage unit for most of everything and the rest went into the apartment with us. It took the movers 12 hours to move us. In the rain... I might add. Nothing is easy! It never rains in Texas but the day I want to move it rains! We are in a 7 year drought so go figure. And it was cold too!
I'm so glad it's over. I can finally relax and enjoy Christmas.

I'm really enjoying the change. It's a small apartment but it's cozy and very pet friendly. The path way outside of the apartment is perfect for walking Max. I think he likes it too. He is old so he doesn't care to go outside that much anymore.

I'm so glad we did this move. It was a dramatic change for us but we needed it. I'm so grateful we sold our home especially in this economy, but actually San Antonio's economy is not that bad.

I think it hit me one day that I could not bare to live in the same place for the rest of my life. We had to do something now or just forget about it. We are no spring chickens and this move just about killed my back.

Most of my art supplies are in the storage unit. I tried to bring a few basic items along with me to the apartment, so I wont be doing much painting for a while....hopefully I can do journal work and quick sketches. Obviously my Etsy shop is closed because I put all of that stuff in storage.

After the first of the year I will get with my realtor and start looking for a house. I can't wait for that.
Then moving starts all over again. It may take me awhile to get back into art. I'm hoping to open another Etsy shop after I get settled or just totally revamp my currant one.

I think now that things have settled down I will be able to relax and get out the depression. I sure hope so.
Everyone have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Hugs,
Charlie




Status Update

Pumpkin Girl

Did this painting last month before the madness hit the fan.

I feel I need to explain what has been going on with me. I have been going through some crazy feelings lately. I blame it on symptoms related to menopause, but who knows :)..... I've been real emotional and crying at the drop of a hat at everything.
This summer we decided to put our house on the market. We have been considering this for a long time. It was a hard decision. We listed it the end of August and got an offer the end of October. It is under contract so nothing is set in stone.
I've been reluctant to say anything about this because I don't want to jinx anything.  I'm stressed about the move because we do not have a place to go if we sell. We will have to put everything in storage and rent until we find something else. This was our decision because we did not want to  buy until we sold the old house.
I'm basically in limbo. I can't pack or do much until I know for sure the sale will go through.  I'm excited and sad at the same time. We have a couple of hurdles to go through first. It may all fall flat and the sale may not go through. Like they say "it's not over until the fat lady sings". With all the emotions I've been going through I'm not sure I care anymore. I'm exhausted.  If it sells it sells,  if not,.... oh well. I can live here another 25 years.
This sort of explains my absence here. I'm going crazy. I hate not knowing. I'll try to keep you posted but who knows if I'll have internet.

Girl Painting

Christi Ballerina

This little girl painting is for my niece Christi. It will be her Christmas gift. I finished her a few weeks ago and I'm already on to the  next one.  The painting I'm working on now is giving me all kinds of trouble. Not sure why????? I can't draw an eye to save my soul!
Mamma said there'd be days like this.
I'm so glad the weather has changed. We had a brutal summer here in south Texas.  It is actually in the 80's right now. So perfect! I can drag my art supplies outside to work and even turn off the air and open all the windows.
The weather has also inspired me to clean out my closets. I'm in a real chunking mood. I want to get rid of everything. All of a sudden I can't stand clutter. Go figure!
Have a great October.
Hugs,
Charlie

Video of My Newest Painting

video


This is "Gothic Princess"
It's all about the journey!

How about my first attempt at a video on my iPhone?
I thought a video view of my new painting would be nice. Hopefully you can see all the yummy textures. Sorry for the jerkiness but iphones are pretty sensitive.....or either I'm just a terrible videographer. She will  be for sale over at Charlotte's Collection on Etsy soon. I still have a few things I ned to do to her before I can list her.
On another note I'm listing a few vintage postcards as digital downloads in my Etsy store...trying something new. Again!
I'm still missing my kitty. Thanks to all of you who commented. I appreciate it. It will take time to get over it. 
Have a great week.

In Memory of....

Tangi

I am so depressed. My sweet kitty got hit by a car last Friday morning. I got her as a kitten in January of this year. She was not quite a year old, but she touched my heart in so many ways. I miss her so much. I can't believe I'm still mourning the loss a week later.
We put flyers out around the neighborhood early Saturday morning and someone called a few hours later to say they saw a cat that looked very much like her on the side of this busy street.  The city or some good soul must have picked up her body because she was not there when we went to look.
I'm not sure how long it will take me to get out of this funk. I can hardly go outside without looking for her or thinking she is going to run past me like white greased lightning like she used to do.
It's been unbelievably hard.
:(

Summer Paper Doll



Hi everyone! How's your summer going? I'v been super busy. I finished this painting a few weeks ago and I'm just now getting around to posting her. Luck has it that Inspiration Avenue's challenge this week is Sun Kissed. I thought my girl in retro swimsuit would be a good fit. Yes her outfit is supposed to be a forty's ish swimsuit. I tried a little different approach this time. Her face is very minimal. Drawn on scrapbook paper as is the rest of her body. So much fun....I'll have to do more.
Well got to go I'm having a garage sale tomorrow and have to make the signs, get change and finish pricing. 
Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Inspiration Avenue Weekly Challenge

Hi everyone I'm hosting this weeks challenge at Inspiration Avenue. I decided on Nursery Rhymes. I have not hosted one in awhile because I could not come up with any good ideas. Not that this one is so great, it just popped into my head and so I went with it. Ideas and inspiration happen upon me this way most of the time. I do things intuitively without really understanding why I do it.  For example why I pick one color over another when painting. It's like my hand just reaches for it without much thought. Most of the time when this happens it works. When I try to hard I find it does not work.
I know I'm rambling on about stuff that I'm sure most artist understand. 

My entry is a portrait of Goldilocks.
Goldilocks and the three bears is one of my favorites. I have so many favorites, it was hard to choose. 

"Goldilocks"

My obsession with painting the female face continues.

And my frustration with blogger continues. I have stopped blogging because I  hate blogger. It just does whatever it wants.....like why has the size of my type gone so small????? and I cant copy and paste anymore.

I'm just going to ignore it and go on. I don't have time to mess with this blog!!!!!!

Hugs,
Charlie



Flea Market



One of my favorite excursions while in Rome was going to the flee market Sunday morning in the neighborhood of Trastevere. What a charming place to visit and so unlike the rest of Rome.  More and more tourist are making the trek across the river. I guess you can't keep a good thing secret for very long.

 A beautiful must see church, one of the oldest in Rome called "Santa Maria In Trastevere" is there. 

"Santa Maria In Trastevere"
This picture is not that great. You can't see the intricate detail. It's all mosaics. Unbelievable! This is par for Roman Catholic Churches. 


After the flea market we walked around and found this lovely piazza with these musicians playing. 
We drank blood red orange juice and ate snacks. Yummmmm! 


I have so many pictures that I can't possibly show them all or talk about them all. I tried to put them together on a digital stick and they would not fit. I guess I'll have to buy a bigger flash drive. It's always something. This concludes the first week of my trip. I still have a week to go mostly Cinque Terre. That place was gorgeous. Oh my gosh....I already want to go back. So romantic!

Sacred Ancient Symbolic Art


Rome is full of this sort of religious wall art. They are on the buildings outside almost on every street. It does not matter if the street is a quaint little side street or busy and crowded. I was so enthralled by them all.


I loved the canopies and shelving like in this one above. 



I have made these and some of my other Rome photos into art cards. I've decided to sell them on Etsy. I guess I had an ah ha moment, so for now I'm back up and running on Etsy.
This week Inspiration Ave's theme is religious art so I'm entering these.Click the link to check out more art. 
Thanks for looking.
Charlie

Day Six Orvieto

Pottery In Orvieto

Duomo Of Orvieto

View From Orvieto

On the sixth day of my Roman Holiday we took a day trip to Orvieto. What fun to get out of the big city of Rome! More fun was taking the train! We saw all kinds of neat things including gypsies. I wish I could have taken pictures of them. A funicular takes you up to the top to where the city is located. I never rode one of those before. We went to Orvieto because it is known for its pottery and they were having a special pottery market in the town square that morning. We missed the early train so we did not make it to the market, oh well. We still got to go shopping and I got a couple of small items anyway.
Orvieto is in the wine region of Italy, so they have their own wine as well. It's a white wine. We tried it at a local restaurant. It was very good, loved it. It's also known for that beautiful church, picture above. It's called the Duomo of Orvieto. I wish I could have stayed in Orvieto longer. It was beautiful! 

Street Scene In Orvieto


Inspiration Avenue Charity Auction for Angel Faces


Inspiration Avenue is having it's annual charity auction today. Stop by the link here and look through some great art and make a bid or two. All money goes to benefit Angel Faces.

Change

La Celestial

I started her before the trip to Rome. I'm so very happy that when I got back I was able to pick up where I left off and finish her. She is my mother earth but more. She is everything girly that I love including all my favorites: a pink dress, flowers, butterflies,stars and a halo of flowers. To give her hair texture I used embroidery thread. That was fun doing and I think it really turned out well. This photo does not do the painting justice. There are so many layers and textures you can not see in this photo and the color is much more vibrant.

I will continue blogging about my trip to Rome here soon. 

I'm  trying to figure out what I want to do with my art. What direction to go?  Before the trip I was so scattered with my thoughts and lost a lot of my creativity. I know it had a lot to do with the trip. I was just too excited about going. I have let my Etsy store go to the wayside. I'm tired of the things I have in there, so I'm letting everything expire and then I guess I'll  have to do a makeover. In the mean time I have joined a new art web site that sells your photos for you and gives choices of prints, canvases or framed prints. It is called imagekind. I have always loved taking pictures and I feel I have a pretty good eye. I have tons of photos that I have taken in the past which are beautiful and are begging to be shared. I've wanted to sell them on Etsy but could not come up with a feasible way to offer them to the public. This site does it for you. I don't have to run across town to get giclee prints made, pay for them and then hope they sell on Etsy. Also I ran into the same problem with making giclee prints of my art. This is something I'm working on now. I still have to make a great photo of the art. I think a new camera might be in the near future. Next problem is Etsy. I really don't want to shut it down. I'm thinking and pondering and pondering and wondering. Hummmm? What to do ??? What to do? Change in in order.

Vatican Museum

Exit door
We finally made to the Vatican Museum. This was the number one site I wanted to see in Rome other then St Peters Basilica. I guess I was not sure what to expect. It was a lot bigger then I thought and tons of  unbelievable art! I wish I could have taken more pictures, but it was so crowded. people were always in the way and I felt like cattle being herded through. Even so, I was not disappointed.




 Map Gallery 

Other then the Sistine Chapel, the map gallery, tapestry room and the Raphael rooms are my favorite. You can not help but gawk at everything. I was so busy staring I did not have the inclination to take many shots. No one could take pictures in the Sistine Chapel anyway. I'm not sure why they let you take photos in the other rooms. The art in the Raphael rooms are awesome too.

The School Of Athens by Raphael
This one by Raphael is interesting because it has all the great thinkers gathered together in this one painting/fresco. I like it because he painted Michelangelo into it as well. Raphael was in this room painting while Michelangelo was painting the Sistine Chapel. Maybe a little competition was going on....who knows.

Michelangelo by Raphael

You can get an idea of how big Raphael's paintings are just by the size of this photo. This is a picture I took  of Michelangelo from the painting The School of Athens right above. Pretty cool!

I'm so glad I had my Rick Steves' book. A tour guide would have been needed if I did not have his book. I really don't think I missed anything by not purchasing a professional guide. But I have to stress you do need something whether it's a tour guide or tour guide book. There is too much to see. You might miss something important and may not know what you are looking at.
The Sistine chapel is case in point. There is so much on the ceiling, you can not possibly know what it all means.

Another day in Rome

View from top of Castel Sant' Angelo


 
View from top of Castel Sant' Angelo

St Peter's Basilica

The day we toured the Castel Sant' Angelo we thought we were going to have it easy. Well, you can't tour a castle without taking a hike all the way to the rooftop. It was a lot more walking then we anticipated. However it was well worth it just to see the beautiful views represented in the photos above.
After the castle tour we walked to Piazza Novona, a busy piazza we visited on our first day in Rome. Jerry rested his knees at one of picturesque cafes while drinking wine and people watching. I shopped, toured more churches, drank a little wine and ate gelato, not in that order  :)
Not a bad way to spend the day in Rome.


Piazza Novona

 Piazza Novona

Enjoy!
Charlie

Around Ancient Rome

Arch of Constantine

We are in the Colosseum looking from a birds eye view over some of  Romes ancient ruins. This is the arch of Constantine. Emperor Constantine made Christianity legal in 312 AD. Before that one was killed for believing in Christianity. I'm sure you might have watched the movies where Christians were thrown out to be slaughtered by the gladiators....maybe even in the Colosseum.

Ruins

Another Church

Margaret here checking to see if the door to this church was open. All the churches in Rome close form 12 noon to 3:30 or 4:00 p.m. We missed visiting  a slew of churches just because we were site seeing in the middle of the afternoon. Oh well that meant we took lots of cappuccino breaks or wine and cheese breaks depending on our mood.  Many of the restaurants close during these hours too (not so much in the touristy areas). I think it's their siesta time.

Guess who this is.

We walked and walked around the Roman Forum and Palentine Hill. Not too many shots were taken during this part of our excursion. These two sites were not my favorite part of the journey, but I'm sure being dead tired on my feet had a lot to do with it.
Oh well.... but.... we still had time to go look for one more church before we left the area and that was St Peter in Chains Church. I had to find this church because it had a Michelangelo in it. 

Michelangelo's Moses

This ended day 3 in Rome.

My Roman Holiday Continues

Ruins around Colosseum

Touring the Colosseum


 Inside Colosseum

 Colosseo

Is this cool or what? 
Rome is so old. 

This day was our first day on our own. No Marcia to lead us around. We messed up a little getting off the metro and got really turned around. We did  a lot of unnecessary walking. However, I thought it was a good thing because we needed to figure out how to get around by ourselves with the map.
                 Sooo by the time we were to tour the Roman Forum I was so tired that I did not enjoy it at all. Here are a few pictures of ancient  Rome and the Roman Forum. 

Ok blogger is making me mad. It refuses to let me hit carriage return. It is loading pictures wherever it pleases. I'm not going to be able to finish this post. I'll see you tomorrow.







Day Two Roman Holiday

Fountain of Trevi

Here I am at the Fountain of Trevi. I'm not too crazy about this picture of me.....bad hair day. My flat iron did not fit properly with the converter I brought for the outlet conversions,so it did not work at all the whole time we were there. Everyone said I looked more European with the curly hair...yeah right :) Oh well I let it go and now it's part of my new year, new me motto. I'm not straightening my hair anymore....at least more then not.

Santa Maria del Popola

This church has two Caravaggio's in it. Wow this boggles my mind. This is just another church out of many that are unassuming outside and amazingly beautiful inside. Unfortunately too dark for pictures, and you cant' take pictures of the Caravaggio's anyway.

Spanish Steps

 This area around the Spanish steps is a fun gathering place for everyone day and night. Streets leading up to this piazza have some high end shopping.

Spanish Steps at Night

 Sorry about the blurry picture, but I'm not that great of a photographer and night time shots are hard for me. I love to take pictures at night though.

 
Night time in Rome
This street is just off the piazza close to the Spanish steps. Ok we did not spend all day at the Spanish steps. We came back here in the evening on another night.


Inside a Church

I don't know the name of this church. It is one of many we stumbled onto on our second day in Rome. I can't read Italian and it was not mentioned in my tour book. Just another church in Rome, no famous art inside just amazingly beautiful!

Basilica San Marco

Ok here is another church. I hope you don't get tired of churches.

Our third day in Rome we toured the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.
More pictures to come.
Hugs,
Charlie



Roman Holiday

Pantheon


 St Peter's Basilica Square

On the first day we saw Piazza Novona, the Pantheon and St Peters Basilica. Three sites that were on my must see list. St Peter's Basilica is awesome. It is huge! Huge does not say enough. It has some unbelievable art: Michelangelo, Bernini, and Raphael. The best part for me was we attended mass there. I'm catholic so that was a real treat.  The Pope did not say mass at this time because he only says mass on Sunday and Wednesday. I have some beautiful shots inside but some did not come out great because you can not use flash. This was the case in all of the churches we went into. There are over 300 Catholic churches in Rome. We saw a few on the tour list. I could go back just to take tours of the churches. One is more beautiful the next. 


Inside the Basilica
Just to give you an idea of how enormous it is.
Enjoy,
Hugs,
Charlie