Linwood Avenue


sailing and relaxing

traveltiffin mills3 Comments
surprise! i snuck away last week for a much needed vacation! last sunday, my husband and i along with 2 other couple friends headed to the british virgin islands and boarded a catamaran for a once in a lifetime vacation. when people would ask where i was going, i told them and then i said "this is so not my life!"

we had 8 days of beautiful weather, great food and lots of relaxing. although, the relaxation might have been brought on by too many fruity drinks - namely one called the pain killer.

one of our favorite stops was potters restaurant on the island of anegada. i wish my backyard could permanently look like this!

the absolute best part about this stop were the HUGE lobsters we ate for dinner. they were bigger than my head!

now it is back to the real world. however, with all my relaxing, i am having a hard time entering the world of blog reading and twittering, so it might be slow going for a bit.

art and soul, part three

art and soul, flower, traveltiffin millsComment

i was completely blown away by the flowers i saw in portland. i guess all that rain does something good! although i must say that in the 6 days i was there, i did not feel one drop of rain :) believe it or not, all these pics were taken in one grocery store. i was a huge dork and took over 60 images of all the flowers they had for sale - these are just the tip of the iceberg

the colors, the different varieties of peonies, the crazy plate sized flowers i had never seen before, all blew me away. if i lived there, i would forever have a pencil in my hand sketching everything i saw. and would probably only leave the house to go buy more inspiration!

this wraps up my trip to art and soul portland. it was truly such a fun experience. i am so excited to check this off of my list and i dare say i am hooked on art retreats. although next time i go back, i am hoping to do it as an instructor.

art and soul, part two

art and soul, traveltiffin millsComment

on thursday, jenni and i were both free, so we used it as a day to explore portland. we rented a car and it was super easy to get around. believe it or not, we tackled much of the city and only clocked 30 miles on our rental car - crazy.

i loved taking random closeups throughout the day and i couldn't resist this bike. the rusty wear is perfect! i already have plans for this shot in a new piece of artwork that is floating around my head.


we started at the beginning of hawthorne street and went into this store first. you all know how i feel about the revival of swags - love it!!! if i didn't already have a bunch, a special little purple swag would have come home with me in my carry on. and the prices, holy cow, the prices in this city are so reasonable!

i have no idea what this place is, but the outside deserved a photo. this was taken jsut before a random sighting of a powell's bookstore. i'm sure jenni though me a bit crazy with my desire to go in, but i have read about this store for so long on my favorite blogs, that i had to.

the rest of this post is about food, oh the food. i knew portland had a ton of street vendors and i made it my personal mission to find some. how cute is this picnic table set up. i would have loved to have seen it at night with the lights lit.

we started with some poutine (which i thought only existed in quebec, silly me) and then out main course was this delicious fennel and sausage pizza. thank goodness jenni and i have the same taste in food and were able to share our meals or else i would have come home 10 pounds heavier.

finally, this peanut butter cake was the most amazing dessert ever! on friday night, we snuck into town for the best dinner and dessert at this restaurant. it was on 23rd street, but looking at their site, not sure if that is the east side or west side location. i split a fancy sandwich for dinner so i could devour this entire cake. so unexpectedly light and so, so, so good!

art and soul, part one

art and soul, traveltiffin mills2 Comments

i am back from a whirlwind 6 days creating and exploring in portland at the art and soul fest. i had no idea what to expect, but i am pretty sure the real thing was better than anything i could have imagined. oh, i have so much to share, so please forgive these image heavy posts that will spread out over a few days, because i don't want you to miss a thing!

my first class bright and early on wednesday morning was a painting class with lisa kaus. i've said before that painting is very intimidating to me, so i welcomed learning all about fluid acrylics and how to use them. we started out the day doodling with paint on a piece of loose canvas which we then cut up to collage into our final piece.

that's me with lisa and a portion of my final piece. truth be told, i am not super in love with the painting i created - it is lacking much needed depth of color, however, i will definitely keep at it as i love the techniques we learned.

these are two pieces painted by my table mate teri. aren't they amazing? (please forgive the horrible lighting caused by the conference rooms. ugh!). i could not believe when we started talking and found out that she lives in the small ohio town where i went to college. very random!

here is my new friend patti with her painting. i loved her color choices and the added collage elements! it is amazing how much the fluid acrylics resemble watercolor.

my class on friday was an amazing introduction to lazertran water decals in painting. the lovely sara naumann traveled from amsterdam to teach this class and i am obsessed with the product, really obsessed. this transfer product allows me to combine crisp, clean lines with painting. i also fell in love with pan pastels and ordered my first set today.

one friend i met in class was kathy and i couldn't resist taking a pic of her art supply carrying case. it is a vintage suitcase - hard shell and covered with travel stickers!

this is beth, a blog follower and friend of my brother who i finally got a chance to meet. we were lucky enough to have class next to one another on friday, so we met for lunch. i had to get a pic of her lovely piece created in another of lisa kaus's classes.

finally, here is a pic shot out front of the widmer brewery after class on wednesday night. teresa is farthest on the left, followed by my roomie, jenni horne. then there is me and sheryl is on the right. teresa and sheryl are twin sisters and were so much fun, seriously, their bright attitudes were contagious, i wish i could have packed them in my suitcase!

up next... what i did on my day off and then a post about all the amazing greenery in portland.

art and soul

traveltiffin mills2 Comments

i am headed off to the portland, oregon art and soul retreat tonight. soooo excited! a week of doing nothing but creating art  - i can barely believe it.

i have packed all the supplies i need for classes, plus i am bringing a bunch of other things to do in my free time. what is the checked luggage weight limit again? i think i might go over a teensy bit!

i do have to admit that i am bit nervous for the classes though. if you have been reading my blog for a while, then you know that i am not a painter, not even a little bit. i can tell you practically anything you need to know about pretty much any art/craft out there. technique, product, i am a wealth of info. but paint? no way! it has never been a medium that i was interested in. i think the root of this is because i like the small crazy details of creating art. i like things to be controlled, precise, and to line up and with painting, that kind of goes out the window.

i will always remember an art professor i had in college who tried to shake this obsessive perfection out of us. we must have spent 3 weeks on a 24x36 drawing. major time invested in getting everything right, getting the piece to look exactly like we wanted it to. at the end of those weeks, we all had masterpieces in our hands. however, what came next was enough to send many of us over the edge. the professor told us to cut our drawings up into tiny 2x2 inch pieces and then we were tasked to make a collage out of those pieces. i swear that class has scarred me to this day!

in recent years, i have come to realize that freely expressive, over the top, explosive art is just not in the cards for me. and that is ok. so why am i taking 2 painting classes you ask?  well one class was not intended, but was a last minute switch when the instructor of my original class canceled (reserving the awful rant that i could go into) and the other one, i found really interesting. and it really is ok to step out of your comfort zone once in a while.

so i am going in with an open mind and hopefully i will come out with some new skills and knowledge under my belt. oh, and some pretty canvases as well.

i have some posts scheduled for the next few days, but if you want to here about my adventures in portland, i will be updating twitter regularly!

wows and double wows

traveltiffin millsComment

wow, that was a very long and very unexpected blog break. really a break from everything online :) but i'm back now, back for regularly scheduled postings!

some things i have been up to:
  • having a quick out patient surgery that was supposed to be one day of recovery, but completely knocked me out for 13 days. WOW - completely unprepared for that!
  • trying to keep my house in order during this very crazy month of may. why is it that things are always so hectic surround the start of summer break???
  • escaping for a one night get away to celebrate 10 years of marriage. double wow - it really does go so fast :) we had the most amazing anniversary dinner sitting in adirondack chairs at the edge of a lake with our own personal butler (for lack of better word) and a very warm and cozy chiminea.

some things on my to-do list:
  • relish my last 4 days of peace and quiet before the munchins invade full time for 9 weeks of summer break
  • finish this sweet sampler that i started a few weeks back
  • write up my 2nd tutorial for the mayarts challenge i have been participating in. i can't wait to show you all what i have dreamed up.
  • start on this vintage sheet wreath. absolutely love, love!!!

that's about all the goings on around here. just so happy that i am back on my feet again and daydreaming about the start of swim season!

art and soul

traveltiffin millsComment

almost a year ago, i posted a business goal list on this blog. the top item on my list was "go to an art retreat". well... i am so excited for next october when i will be attending the art and soul retreat in portland, oregon. yes, i know that it is months away, but i am sooooo excited. first i get to take amazing art classes, second i get some much needed mommy time, third, i get to go to portland for the first time. i have had a love affair with this city for a long time, which has been made stronger with the fact that over half of my etsy sales are from this city alone. that must mean i belong there, right???

the class i am most excited about is one i am taking with doreen kassel. she is the artist behind the whimsical tile above. i just love her tiles, their joyful quality is simply contagious. i can totally see this technique meshing with my florals. really, my hands and fingers are dying to build and paint a flower garden.


to add to the excitement, i will be bunking with my artist friend jenni horne, who is going to be an instructor this year. for one of her classes, she is going to be making this adorable bird mobile and for the other, she will be showing the class some of her tried and true painting techniques.

if you live in the area, i would love tips on where to go - i like quirky, eclectic neighborhoods. and who knows, maybe i will see you there!

biltmore and barns

traveltiffin millsComment

i'm back from the biltmore house in asheville, nc. i think this place claims it is the largest house in america and when you see it in person, there is no denying that. it's huge!!! we spent the entire day touring the inside through the main tour and an additional private one. it was exhausting going up and down the 4 flights throughout the day, i cannot imagine being a staff member here :) the place is such an interesting chunk of history, we could not get enough of the clothing on display and the stories that came along with them.

this guy met us at the front door along with his brother. there are no words for the expression his face conveys.

we stayed in a cottage about 15 minutes outside of asheville. this is a barn we passed daily heading in and out of town, i couldn't resist documenting it. doesn't it look like it can come alive at any second and eat you!

and just a bit of advice... if you stay on a mountaintop in asheville and it has rained for a day straight, make sure you have a 4 wheel drive truck in order to make it up 2 miles of mudslides :)

charm and history

traveltiffin mills1 Comment

i'm headed out bright and early tomorrow for a girl's weekend in asheville, nc. i love, love, love this place. it is filled with history, beauty and small town charm. oh, and a really big house, maybe you have heard of it? i'll be back on monday to share some photos and stories!

have you entered my apron giveaway yet? if not, click on the link in the left hand column and you can see all the deets!

trips and tons of fun

traveltiffin mills2 Comments

the whole family packed up this past week and headed to emerald isle, nc. this is our second time here and it didn't fail to be a relaxing trip once again. we meet up with old college friends of mine which is always a good time, especially seeing all of our children play together!

we ate a ton of great seafood...

boogie boarded til we had shells coming out of our ears. seriously, one wipe out and you have no less than 3 cups of shell pieces in certain cracks and crevices where they should never be!...

and even saw some beautiful wild horses on shackleford island...