Friday, October 30, 2015

Coffee Time

Artist Bob Burridge has a weekly newsletter/video called Bob Blasts that I have been following for awhile.  When the latest Fall in Love With Journaling Prompt was Tea Time/Coffee Break, I decided to try to emulate his coffee cup series using watercolors.

First, I did just one cup in a small 5.5" x 8.5" Strathmore Mixed Media journal.

 Then, in my 9 x 12 Strathmore Visual watercolor journal, I did another and added some text on card stock.

 Finally, I did a double page spread in my Canson 7" x 10" Mixed Media journal.  

I think I like the first one best.  Bob recommends working in a series and painting very loosely.  He is fun to watch on the videos.  By the way, he sells his coffee cup paintings (9" x 12" acrylic on paper) for $195 each!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Smell of Chocolate

The latest journal prompt from the Fall In Love With Art Journaling Challenge was "Do You Smell That?"

I immediately thought of the delicious aroma of chocolate that hits you upon entering Norman Love's Chocolate Shop in Ft. Myers, Florida.  I painted some of his jewel-like candies with watercolor for my journal page.

I loved that place.  It appealed to all my senses...well, maybe not Touch!  Do you see the sign in front of the chocolate bouquet?

 Love me some chocolate!
I just found out that there are two chocolate shops in downtown Raleigh.  Field Trip!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Back to the Mountains

We were able to rest up enough to come up to our mountain cabin on Wednesday.  It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day.  We were so excited to see the autumn leaves on this lovely drive.  And of course our own little piece of Heaven was a sight for sore eyes.

On Friday, both of our sons came up with their families.  It was a joyous reunion.  How wonderful to all be together again!

 As you can see, the weather was considerably cooler than it was in southwest Florida!  Jackets and hats were necessary on those rides up the mountain.

Some other friends and relatives also joined us.  I will end with this giant group "selfie!"

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


We said goodbye to Florida on Monday.  We arrived back in Raleigh, NC at 11:30 PM after a long day. 

This post is to thank my brother, Jeff, and his lovely wife, Anna, for taking care of us for over two months.  They made it bearable to do what we had to do.  Staying at their home was calm, peaceful, and therapeutic.

Jeff and Anna took care of our food, housing, and transportation needs while Charlie was being treated at Dattoli Cancer Center in Sarasota.  They are both great listeners and encouragers.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Sea Turtle Painting...and Going Home!

I saw a sea turtle photograph on the cover of the Scene Magazine at the doctor's office.  I decided I had to paint him!

Sea Turtle, by Jeanne Turner McBrayer, 2015
Wonderful husband finished his last day of radiation on Friday!  We thought Day 44 would never get here!  They awarded him a diploma!

Here is a shout-out to Mary from Dattoli, who is also a quilter.  Thanks for looking at my blog!  I hope to have some more "quilty" content before long.

After finishing at Dattoli Friday morning, we had to go to the Sarasota hospital for a surgical procedure.  He did well, and we came back to Fort Myers to recover for the weekend.  After a return trip to the doctor on Monday, we hope to fly home to North Carolina in time to see a little bit of autumn.

Life is good!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

A Flock of Ibis

I came across these little guys while walking my brother's dog this week.

A Flock Of Ibis, Jeanne Turner McBrayer, 2015

The ibis appeared to be eating bugs out of a sunny spot on a neighbor's grassy lawn.  They looked very pretty in the sunshine.

We have had some great bird-watching off the deck of the house.  There is a small lake, and we enjoy seeing the variety of wildlife attracted to it.  Otters, ducks, herons, iguanas, even bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, and owls are all in the neighborhood.

There are two bald eagles perched at the very top of the Norfolk Island Pine, just above the first pine branch.

A couple of ducks at the edge of the lake.

An iguana is swimming across the lake.

It is a serene place to sit outside and read or just relax.  The weather is getting nicer here, less hot and less humid, making it even more attractive.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Fall in Love With Art Journaling Fall Challenge

I never finished the thirty journal pages in the last challenge, but the newest one has started up on Facebook:  Fall in Love With Art Journaling Fall Challenge.  You can sign up by following the link.

The first challenge was to use initials or monograms.  I did a simple watercolor wash, some letters with black marker, and some doodles around the edges with gel pens.  Good type of work for watching college football games.

Here is a little beach scene I did on a 4" x 6" card. 

There was another rocket launch from Cape Canaveral on Friday morning at 6:28.  This time we were still at my brother's house before leaving for Sarasota.  In the picture below you can see the sun rising over Fort Myers, and the white clouds are the vapor trail from the rocket. Very cool!

Our beautiful weather continues here in southwestern Florida, while most of the east coast is swamped with rain from Hurricane Joaquin.  Thank goodness there was no direct hit, but there is a lot of flooding in the Carolinas.  More rain is coming their way.  Hope the sun comes back out soon for them.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Great Blue Heron Painting

Here is a little card I made for my new friends from the Dattoli Cancer Center, Fiona and Howard from the U.K.  They had rented a house on a pond, and Fiona got pleasure from feeding a one-legged great blue heron.  I thought she might like this little memory of her stay here.

Fiona's Friend, Jeanne Turner McBrayer, 2015
We have made some very nice friends at Dattoli.  Everyone there is in the same boat.  It is nice to talk to people who are sharing the same experience.  Howard finished his treatments today, and they are so glad to be heading home.

After treatment today we went to Siesta Key for breakfast at Another Broken Egg.  It has become very well-known thanks to college hoops sportscaster Dick Vitale, who eats there frequently. No Dickie-V sightings today, Baby!

We ate outside.  I love the pottery coffee mugs.

I had a delicious and unusual breakfast of fried brie covered with apple, pecan, and raisins sauteed in Grand Marnier liqueur.  Oh, man!

Charlie had a Belgian Waffle with blueberries.

After breakfast I surprised him with a trip to the Apple Store in Estero, Florida, near Fort Myers.  There is a very nice shopping center there called Coconut Point.

I bought Charlie a motivational gift for being a "good boy" during all his radiation treatment.  He now has an Apple Watch.  He loves gadgets and is very good at figuring them out.  I think this gave him a little lift as his treatment winds down.  We are both homesick and ready to be back in North Carolina, but this will give him something new to play with.

There is a major hurricane brewing off the eastern coast of the US, but it is sucking all the moisture out of the air here in southwestern Florida.  There is no humidity, the temps are lower, and there is a light breeze.  Yesterday we went to the beach at Lido Key and loved the more pleasant temps.  There were actually some waves, which have been kind of rare since we have been in Florida.

Tonight was so pleasant that we sat out on the deck and enjoyed the sunset.

It is raining cats and dogs at home in North Carolina thanks to Joaquin.  We are enjoying being on the right side of this hurricane.