Bateaux Mouches

Our first night in Paris was the Bateaux-Mouches dinner cruise which was simply amazing.....great food and great company. Catherine and Dale Moore choose so wisely with this cruise and made all the arrangements. All we had to do was dress in party clothes and be ready for some fun!
The sun is setting on Paris and the Eiffel Tower in the background made it even more special. I took this photo on the top deck of our cruise ship.
Our reservations were for the perfect night as our party pretty much had the cruise ship to ourselves.....AND we had our own violinist for much of the evening. There were photo memories for sure but not to be published.....protecting the innocent!
After I took many photos on the top deck, our salads arrived! Don't they look yummy?!
Dishes are cleared for another course so up to the top deck for more photos. I couldn't resist taking a photo of the Statue of Liberty. I thought she was beautiful in NYC and now to see her in Paris!
I am thrilled that this photo turned out so well. My inexpensive digital camera really took some very nice photos.
The bridges have so many wonderful details.
Can you believe how gorgeous this's breathtaking.
Dinner has arrived and Kimberly's vegetarian choice was delicious.
Obviously, my dish was not vegetarian! Then we had more courses to come. I think I was so full that I forgot to take photos of our desserts! If you are visiting Paris and would like to take a cruise around the is the link:

Mail Art for Pat

Book board is a great material for large book covers and boxes.  I usually would have selected mat board but I wanted something even heavier since this was going to be mailed to the UK.
You can see that it's pretty thick!
After drawing your letter and tracing it onto the book board, give yourself some patience in cutting out the form.  You'll want to make several shallow cuts using a sharp Exacto knife as you can not penetrate book board on one pass.  Also, do yourself a favor by using a new blade!
My paper selection was a sample from Stampington & Company's magazine
I choose black paper for the front so I didn't need to be concerned if areas of my collage didn't cover the book board.  It gives you more freedom of expression if you will take the time to either paint, gesso, or apply decorative paper as your first step.  You won't spend your energy being concerned with bare spots.
I like to sand all edges so that the paper meets the edges perfectly.  A smaller sanding file is best for areas where the Tim Holtz hand sander can't reach.  I painted the edges of the book board with black paint and let it dry.  Last I inked the edges of the paper. 
I assembled some rubber stamps and ephemera with the Paris theme that was a possibility.  I also like to gather materials so that I can choose what works best with my theme and/or layout.
I used an antique French document that I copied onto parchment paper as part of the background at the top and rubber stamped the Paris postmark.  I added an Eiffel Tower image on top of another collage item....and continued until the front was covered with Paris images.  It's almost complete!
I added German scrap and then I sealed the entire letter using a sparkle gel medium by Tracy Bautista - Collage Pauge.  It was introduced to me by Lisa Engelbrecht.  I love this stuff!!!You can barely see the hint of can click on the photo for enlargement.  The last thing was adhering a Paris clock embellishment using E-6000 glue. I apologize for not posting the back of the letter as I forgot to conceal the mailing address! I used a Paris label for the send to address for Pat. Three dragonfly postage stamps were adhered in a vertical format and I requested the post office clerk (Greg) to hand cancel the stamps. I added another Paris label at a diagonal at the bottom with my return address written in small print along the vertical side of the "P".

My letter arrived at its destination in perfect condition!  Thanks to the domestic and international postal personnel!

Our Paris Apartment

We arrived in Paris very early in the morning. What a beautiful sunny day and warm temperatures!
Good thing I didn't weight any more than I do! This spiral staircase was very cool and was made for the very skinny! Our apartment building had spiral staircases throughout and most of them were wide with shallow steps. Paris loves their spiral staircases as they are in a lot of saver I guess. Kimberly and I had our own apartment suite where the kitchen was on one level and our bedroom and bathroom were on the lower level. It was perfect for us.
Our apartment also had a sauna/steamroom. However, I don't think anyone in our group took the time to use as we had so much to do and see! We had use of a washer/dryer which definitely came in handy and which is why I packed only one small suitcase. And internet connection was a blessing.

Happy Birthday Sis!

It's Mary's birthday today...yes, Valentine's Day!  She's grown tired of receiving Valentine theme items for her birthday.....obviously I went in another direction!  (The photo is mom and dad holding Mary - the first born)
The canvas was dyed on one of my weekend trips with another sister to Arkansas.  I like dying yards and yards of fabric in different color palettes for artwork later in the year.  It's so messy and it's nice to do these types of projects outdoors.  We stay on Bull Shoals lake that has a shaded yard which is perfect so I can hang my material between trees for drying.  We're so far out in the country, one would have to hunt toward no one cares about my messy artwork.

When I need a break, Annie and I venture into Mountain Home to a delightful quilt shop and that's where I purchased the trim at the bottom along with the batiks that matched my canvas very nicely!

The white lace trim was salvaged from an antique tablecloth. I copied the black and white photo onto photo fabric that I purchased from Joann's Fabric store.

It was a bit frustrating to me that I couldn't locate all my great calligraphy tools and pens for this project.  It was poor planning on my part so I just had to free hand my lettering.  I used Jacquard's No Flow on the canvas before lettering "Family" as that was done with gouache. 

My white lettering pens would have worked perfectly if they weren't so darn dried I had to make several passes and that's NOT a good thing!  My sincere apologies to Reggie Ezell, Lisa Engelbrecht and the dozen other nationally known instructors.

  I also had to go with a more solid background for the lettering to even be seen.  The small strip is adhered using French knots.
I had a new shiny locket that I applied gesso to and then rubbed some off after it was dry to take away the "new" look.  Inside the locket is a birthday wish from me to her.  I sewed antique buttons on with purple awesome spool that I also purchased at the quilt shop.

I asked my husband to find a twig for me and after a few second in the microwave, I attached it in the middle so that the wall hanging would not droop.  Eyelets are used on the top two corners where I threaded the silk ribbon and tied both the branch and canvas together.

Thanks Catherine & Dale!!!

Catherine and Dale Moore spent months coordinating every little detail of the Paris adventure. I have no idea how they managed to corral ten of us for our daily trips as we had to be like herding kittens. And the long hours they spent each day being the host and hostess. Early each morning, breakfast was prepared for us in their apartment along with itinerary, maps, tokens, and information about the area/place we were going to visit. If there were tickets to be purchased, Catherine and Dale had those, too! Reservations were made. Questions were answered....they both had such a great personality. I was so exhausted before I left for Paris from the last and largest part of our move from Oklahoma to Minneapolis. I spent one night at our new address before I left for Paris! Crazy but that's how the timing was. I hope they both know that Kimberly and I so appreciate all that they did for us to make Paris truly a wonderful experience. You're both a TEN! Check out Catherine's website and blog.