Buñuelos de Año Nuevo

Monday, December 31, 2007 at 6:42 PM
When I was a little girl the family always gathered together to welcome in the New Year. There was music, food, drink and much laughter. My abuelita (grandmother) would often make buñuelos for that special evening. I never learned how to make them but they have always been a warm memory of my abuelita.
Tonight we are gathering at my home. Just a few of us who are left from what once was a big family. They will soon be here and I am surprising them with my buñuelos! I am happy to say that I couldn't resist and had to try one out and they are just yummy!!!
Buñuelos de Año Nuevo 6
Buñuelos de Año Nuevo 1Buñuelos de Año Nuevo 2
Buñuelos de Año Nuevo  4Buñuelos de Año Nuevo 5

To prepare:
about 1½ dozen uncooked flour tortillas.
   note: I bought them pre-made but uncooked at Cosco.  For a history and recipe to make flour tortillas go to:  Wikipedia, Tortillas
Next I heated about an inch deep of canola oil till very hot then fried each tortilla till golden on both sides; draining in large paper towel covered pan.
While still warm you can sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the buñuelo and enjoy or you can prepare a 'meil' (syrup) from  about 3 cups of water,  2 piloncillos,  4 cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and slices from one orange ( I used a blood orange from my tree).  
Bring water and rest of ingredients to a boil, reduce heat and simmer stirring constantly till mixture thickens into a thin syrup.  
  If eating with the syrup do not sprinkle with cinnamon sugar but instead breakup the buñuelo into a bowl and ladle the warm syrup over the flakey buñuelo.

after note:  They were a big hit bringing back memories for my sister and I from when our abuelita made them for us when we were little girls!

Wishing all of you a great year full of creativity and good cheer!


at 6:41 PM

Developing, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

I intended to take a nap in the studio today before preparing for the evening. But instead I found myself trying out a new 9x12 sketchbook with 65lb drawing paper. I just picked something in the studio, an old Kodak Brownie camera that used to belong to my husband's mother. The sea shell I don't remember where it's from and the luggage tag a souvenir from a cruise we took on the Queen Mary last December.

Before the curtain rises....

Friday, December 28, 2007 at 9:46 AM
I took a few minutes before the performance began to do this quick sketch, adding color at home.  We went to see the Rocketts at the Orange County Performing Arts Center.  It was such a fun evening!  Those legs!!!!  I remembered when I was little and my sisters and I would pretend we were Rocketts; kicking up our legs higher and higher!  (I can still do it!)

Before the curtain rises

In Memory: Benazir Bhutto

Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 1:37 PM
Inspired by my friend Laura from Lauralines who painted a beautiful tribute to this charismatic lady, I too took comfort in the quiet of my studio and my graphite sticks.

In Memory: Benazir Bhutto
graphite sticks on 50# sketch paper  18x24 inches

I am always so saddened when hope is extinguished.

Flipping through recipes

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 at 6:02 PM
Amy is visiting for the holidays. Today we went to the gym where she put me through some moves. Then Rudy and Aaron joined us for an afternoon at Borders, lunch at El Torito and to the movies to see I Am Legend. She bought a cookbook at Borders and here she is flipping through recipes as I sit and sketch her.
It was good to get back to doing some sketching. :)

Feliz Navidad

Tuesday, December 25, 2007 at 12:51 PM

Merry Christmas, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

Well if I have to spend my Christmas at work, at least it's with a good looking doctor. I brought a piece of my Christmas Tea ring for him and I to enjoy this morning. I make it for my kids for Christmas morning, left it on the kitchen table for them but cut a couple of servings for Doctor Jose and I. Feliz Navidad Doctor Jose, gracias for breaking bread with me; I wish you good fortune and success where ever life leads you.
and Feliz Navidad to all my artist friends around the world...I hope your day was filled with family, love and laughter....marta

Dianne and Marta

Saturday, December 22, 2007 at 3:46 PM

Dianne and Marta, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

Dianne turned out to be a great tamale maker! After reading the instructions in my new Tamale Book she put on an apron and got started! A true renaissance woman! The fun will continue tomorrow when we have our party and we all eat the tamales!

A few more days to go

Thursday, December 20, 2007 at 6:18 PM
Livingroom at xmas

This is just a quick study I did this evening. I am not going to add any color to it now, perhaps later. The day was cold and misty with a bit of drizzle toward the end of daylight. I cooked the meat for the tamales today and began to wash the 'hojas' (corn husks). I also found some time late in the afternoon to bake my applesauce loaf which I have made every year since I was about 12 years old, while Rudy and Adam finished decorating the tree (wait till you see it!). Tomorrow begins three very busy days making tamales, baking, finishing up with housework culminating in the grand party on Sunday evening for family and friends. As for my holiday shopping. I didn't do any this year. I published my tamale recipe book and will give it to the ladies in my family on Sunday.  For my one year old grand-nephew we got a little people barnyard and animals and for my Annie (grand-niece) I bought her sketching supplies and a gift certificate redeemable to me for weekly art lessons in my studio.  You HAVE to get little kids a gift!  Now, back to warm myself by the fire.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Roses

Tuesday, December 18, 2007 at 4:17 PM
Our Lady Roses
at 4:02 PM

I picked the last of the Our Lady of Guadalupe roses yesterday and brought them inside to enjoy in the studio.  The story of Our Lady is very beautiful.  Her day of honor is celebrated on December 12th in many places in the Americas.   The lovely pink roses help remind me of the miracles that abound at this time of year.  

Open Studio

Monday, December 17, 2007 at 4:12 PM
The studio is now open.  The flow of creativity should begin soon as all supplies are close at hand, yet neatly stored.  In this space I can draw, paint, read, watch television, work on my computer, listen to music, do yoga, make sketchbooks, knit socks, make quilts, sleep and dream.  

mARTa's B & B

Located in sunny southern California, mARTa's Studio is just a little over an hour away from so. California's best sights and attractions.  Within a short time you can be splashing on the shores of some of the Pacific Coast's best beaches or be playing in the snow in the local San Bernardino Mountains.  Maybe a desert oasis surrounded by majestic palm trees is your dream or visiting some of the country's best museums in Los Angeles, Orange or San Diego areas.  And of course Disneyland is less than an hour away.

The studio is a spacious 12x12 foot room which can accommodate two people with a double sofa bed, wi-fi Internet access, radio and television.  All bedding and linens provided.  Bathroom down the hall with tub/shower combo.  Breakfast consists of freshly squeezed Blood Orange juice (when in season), a pot of hot coffee and assortment of breads and pastries.  Champagne and chocolate on request for certain guests (Casey).  Also for your pleasure the jacuzzi is open year round and the swimming pool is warm enough from May through October.  And for friends like Gabi, come on now, little kids can sleep downstairs on the floor!  

The best part of staying at mARTa's B&B studio is that it is totally free of charge!!!!  Only condition is that I get to tag along for all the fun!  We can go sketch, paint plein air, shop, eat, shop, take day trips, shop and take a break for massages at the day spa!

Several weeks notice is required so I can get the time off work!!!

So Casey, Ronell, Sandy, Deborah, Robyn, Sharon, Anita, Gabi, Wendee, Sherrie, Knitting Painter Woman and Natalie..... Come on over!!!

Studio Chaos

Thursday, December 13, 2007 at 8:05 PM
chaos 1 chaos 2

This cloud is slowly lifting.  Yesterday I spent the day with my friends Dianne and Dawn shopping, eating, sipping champagne and eating chocolate while lounging in bathrobes.  We began the day by shopping the boutiques in downtown Riverside, then having a lovely lunch at Las Campanas and then finishing off the day at the day spa relaxing in the jacuzzi, enjoying the bubbly and getting total body massages with hand & foot treatments also.  As we were leaving to go home Dianne spotted a black cat sitting on a car hood in front of us.  I knew then that it must be a bad omen and the bad luck I've had lately was not going to go away soon.  But alas...today was a good day and I accomplished a great feat!  I tackled the studio and it's clutter; filling 6 trash bags with things I no longer used, wanted or needed.  Next a pile of art supplies that I hope somebody wants or else they go out too!  I eliminated 2 bookcases from the studio so I had to eliminate a lot of stuff!!!  I found that there is a lot of space under the sofa bed so that is where my large sheets of paper are going.  Larger boxes in the closet downstairs.  I am just about finished with it and it will soon be open for creativity and creative guests!

Studio Work

Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 4:48 PM
studio 2 studio 1

Lots has happened in the past week.  None of it good.  Must be that black cloud over my head.  The worst of it was my wallet being stolen from my nursing bag while at work last week.  I asked my friend Dianne if the Quilt Group Christmas party at her house last week, could be a 'pity party' for me but she said  "NO!"   I haven't been in the mood to draw either although I carry my pen, sketchbook and travel paint set with me everywhere; just in case the dark cloud lifts.  So today I decided to change my focus (poor me) and dive in and do some remodeling of the studio.  It's begun to get that cluttered look about it and I hate clutter.  I took everything off bookcases in the closet and emptied it out.  In that space I am put a little sofa bed which we bought at IKEA today.  I am going to make it a little haven for me and of course it will now double as a guest room as well.  I just need a hot plate and with the bathroom down the hall; it's right cozy!  So, anyone want to come visit me?

Mug Series: Christmas no. 1

Tuesday, December 4, 2007 at 9:02 AM
Mug Series: Christmas_no.1

Around the beginning of December my mother would announce that there would be no Christmas tamales.  They were too much work for just one evening's celebration.  The rest of us would plead her to reconsider for it would not be Christmas without her tamales.  I think now she just wanted us to beg for there never was a year without tamales.  
I begin December usually agonizing about getting the house ready for the holiday.  I don't really like to decorate and the tree....oh agony for me to decorate.  When my mother was alive she'd come over to decorate it and over the past few years I get friends to come do it.  But tamale making.....I look forward to the event.  For me the real party is the gathering of my family and friends who come help make them.  I am already excited about having new friends come join us this year and join in the fun!
So this morning while the air is still crisp and the neighborhood is just beginning to awaken; I am sipping my morning brew in a holiday mug and wondering who I need to invite to come help me this year.

Los Tamales de Noche Buena

at 8:43 AM
I'm just going to come right out and say it:  I make the world's best tamales.  I make them only once a year for Christmas Eve.  It takes me 3 days from start to placing them on the table but all the work is worth it when family and friends sit to enjoy them.
Tamales de chile have been my family's Christmas Eve tradition for generations.  I remember my grandmother's and mother's tamales and mine are just as good!  
Almost 20 years ago I asked my mother to write down the recipe.  I always helped her make them but didn't quite know the process involved in the preparation of ingredients.  She would say, "oh, there is no recipe, just watch."  So I did, and I took notes and when she died 9 years ago I sat and wrote a recipe booklet.  That booklet is now worn and stained and lives in a kitchen drawer coming out a couple of weeks before Christmas so I can get my shopping list ready.  But on Sunday when I came across the booklet I decided it needed to now become a real book.  That decision was confirmed when I was working on the part that involves the chiles.  For some unexplained reason my studio was permeated with the strong and pungent smell of dried chile peppers!!!  It only lasted a few seconds but I knew it was a message to me that the book is meant to be.
I am enjoying my new imac so much and on iphoto you can make a photo book which apple will print and mail to you.   I have a few more days to work on it and will have copies made for my family.  My sister's girls have been helping me the past few years and so I am happy knowing that one day when I too am gone; the tradition will continue.

Clara's Cup

Sunday, December 2, 2007 at 9:03 AM
Clara's cup
fountain pen, noodler's ink on 90#HP Fabriano artistico wc paper

My friend Clara is one of those loving and giving souls who are just a lot of fun to be with.  Although she lives close by we don't see each other as often as we should or would like to.  She has a beautiful historic home here in town which is a lot of fun to meander through and explore.  Around every corner you find something you haven't seen before and it's always so much fun to 'discover' at her home.  And it is a home because you are always made to feel welcome and feel you can just curl up and pretend that it's "your" house!!!  
Last Christmas Clara hosted our Quilting Group's Christmas Potluck.  A group of about 40 of us gather for the evening to enjoy a good visit and to eat!  We exchange gifts and begin planning our next quilt camp weekends for the coming year.  This year Dianne is hosting the party at her beautiful home....but alas, there will be no skinny dipping in the hot tub as the pool is not quite finished yet.
Last year Clara had picked my name for the gift exchange.  I was showered with several wonderful gifts like a super soft sheepskin throw which sits draped across the bed.  It is referred to as 'the sex blanket' (no explanation needed).  Among the goodies was this very classy cup and saucer which I keep in my china hutch and bring out when I want to sit and enjoy a nice cup of tea.  I smile when I think of how wonderful it is to have so many good friends, Clara among them.

Clara's cup al fresco
Clara's cup altered on adobe photoshop: fresco filter


Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 5:02 PM

fiestapink, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

I got an email from Ronell this afternoon telling me I should do a mug series. I smiled because I sketched this mug this morning before reading her email.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 9:19 PM

Steven, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

I remember your smile. I liked it when you would show me new additions to your rock collection. I liked it when you would sit next to me at my desk and we'd watch videos on my ipod. I miss your hugs. I miss you my boy.

How things turn out sometimes

at 3:17 PM
Christmas time at the Riverside Plaza

I think last weekend was just full of bad karma. I was feeling a bit sorry for myself...got over that. But things were going awry. Like on Friday night my iphone kept going in and out of service. By Saturday I was on the phone between apple and att. Finally on Sunday Apple concluded it was a problem with the phone. All ended well on Monday when at&t replaced my sim chip and Apple gave me a brand new shinny iphone! Now we are all happy!
I spent a good part of the weekend exploring my new imac and finding it easier than I thought to switch from my pc brain to mac os. Do you think it's that right/left brain thing?
I also picked up the knitting needles which always put me in a meditative mode and began a pair of pretty lilac and pink socks! As I knit I caught up on all Grey's Anatomy episodes and sipped hot tea.
Monday was awfully busy at work but good to be among my little friends again. But I felt so tired by the end of the night......alas....woke up yesterday feeling blah again and found that laying on the couch with a fuzzy blanket was a good place to be.
Today I was supposed to meet up with Deborah at the Bower Museum for some sketching but I woke up feeling achy so I had to bail. I was so disappointed because I was looking forward to meeting her and making a new friend.
Rudy is home today and wanted to go browse at Borders at the Riverside Plaza. He loves to just go browse the shelves as do I. He convinced me it would be just for a little while since I'm not feeling well. We left for a bite to eat at one of the sandwich shops and I saw the giant tree in front of the movie theater was all set up. I thought it would make a fun sketch sometime. We left but as we approached my car he noticed one tire had gone flat. He told me to go back inside the book store and wait while he changed it. Instead I found a bench to sit on even though it was chilly and very windy and quickly did this sketch.
It's turned out to be a nice day even though I didn't get to Orange County.   Maybe it is a good thing I didn't take off for the OC because I probably wouldn't have made it with a bad tire.  Apparently the nail caused enough damage that it can't be fixed but needs replacing. 

PS I spent lots of my time yesterday looking at your blogs. Such great postings going on! I will try to say hello in the next few days.

Lipstick on Coffee Mug

Saturday, November 24, 2007 at 9:18 AM
I am usually on the pale side so first thing after getting up in the mornings I dab on some lipstick. As a result I always know which cup is mine when we are sipping our morning coffee. This morning I am feeling tense. Amy is far away in Indiana for the weekend with her boyfriend and his family and Rudy is working all weekend. I see on the morning news that the fires have begun again in Malibu, CA. He works in Long Beach, Ca. but until he comes home on Monday I will be on edge. The boys have their own agendas and so I find myself alone all weekend. I keep thinking I should have just picked up and taken off someplace....like Tahoe!!! LOL. Dianne has invited me to come hang out with her while she decorates her home for Christmas (I have no desire to do my home yet) and to join her family for their Thanksgiving celebration tomorrow. I might just do that. For today I still haven't figured it out. But I did play some more with my new Lamy pen and the Noodler's ink this morning while sipping my morning coffee. I hope everyone else is having a better day.

lipstick and coffee copy

Close Knit

Friday, November 23, 2007 at 7:26 PM
This morning my sister and I went to check out a new yarn shop in town.  After making our yarn choices, our Annie helped the owner wind our skeins into balls using some sort of yarn winding contraption.  While she was diligently spinning the crank I sat in a corner and sketched these two women who were there for some knitting and instruction.  I bought beautiful sock yarn that one day will find itself on my feet!

Closeknit, Riverside, California
moleskine, fountain pen with waterproof noodler's ink and watercolor

Pop Art in a Photo Booth

Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 4:21 PM
Robyn thinks Christmas came early to my house! She asked if I would be posting a picture of my new toy but how about instead a project I created on my new imac? Dianne came over because it's no fun to have a new toy and not have a a friend come share in the fun! We checked out something called photo booth....here is the result of such exploration in mac land.


Monday, November 19, 2007 at 9:01 PM
Tricia & Marta

When I met Tricia almost 20 years ago she was my Amy's 3rd grade teacher.  We got to know each other when Amy volunteered me to come into the classroom to teach the kids how to quilt. (yes I am a quilter).  From here our friendship has continued to grow and is one of my most cherished bonds.  She moved away almost 10 years ago and yet, through frequent visits, emails and phone calls we continue very close.  
Tricia is an accomplished artist who has done some beautiful work in watercolour, pastel and ceramics.  But most of all she's there for me when my whims have taken us into quilting, bookbinding, jewelry making,  mud baths and dancing in the forest trailing soap bubbles while waving fairy wands !!!  All of this of course over glasses of vino!
Tricia has set up a new blog: Studio in a Box  It will be fun to see where the journey takes her.  Welcome girlfriend!


Sunday, November 18, 2007 at 3:56 PM
PedsWardHall copy

And a lazy Sunday on the Pediatric Ward at Kaiser Fontana Med. Center...Fontana, California.


Saturday, November 17, 2007 at 5:04 PM
BPmachine copy

An automatic blood pressure machine. Lazy Saturday evening at work.

Sent from me and my cool iPhone


Thursday, November 15, 2007 at 8:29 PM
Today life found me at the gym early to get in a workout. Then it found me window shopping at one of my favorite outdoor shopping malls where I drooled over the apple iMac computers. The day was gloriously warm and clear...sunshine and blue sky. I love when I can see the mountains looming grand above the horizon. Then, life found me at the computer doing a little online shopping and bidding on ebay (for a bread machine). I struggled to read the computer screen and then just went to the apple site and ordered a new 20inch iMac......so by Monday it should be on my doorstep and I'll have to hook it up and learn to use it! I'm so excited!!!!!! I also ordered a Lamy Safari fountain pen with a converter and a bottle of ink for sketching....that should arrive next week too! You would think this was enough for one day.....No, I still had energy to go with Dianne to the life drawing session at the Riverside Art Museum tonight.....first stopping at Las Campanas for margaritas and bite to eat! Now, this was a great day!

November2007 001

charcoal on plain drawing paper

1500+ photos

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 at 11:13 AM

Well, we've been home now for over a week and almost back to normal. I still have over 1500 photos to go through and organize before I subject family and friends to a slide show! We have unpacked but still have odds and ends to take care of. The shelfs in my studio dedicated to my travels now have to make room for a mini statue of David from Florence, the colloseum from Rome and a phone booth from London. I have a bag full of ticket stubs and metro maps to include in a photo album...once I decide on the photos!
Adam and Amy have uploaded their photos to the web.
Adam: http://picasaweb.google.com/adamjgon/SENATVSPOPVLVSQVEROMANVS

and http://picasaweb.google.com/adamjgon/SENATVSPOPVLVSQVEBRITANUS

Amy: http://picasaweb.google.com/aegonzales3108/Europe2007?authkey=q7bjgg_DyEM

but of ALL the photos from the trip this is my favorite!

My Favorite Photo
At the Trevi Fountain in Rome; enjoying gelato and each other!
How to keep me happy...could take a lifetime to learn....and still be worth it.

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Bergamont Park

Tuesday, November 13, 2007 at 2:06 PM

Bergamont Park, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales. edm#145...draw a tree in autumn

This is my neighborhood. After traveling thousands of miles from home I realized I'd never done a sketch of the place I call home. I live in the suburbs in Riverside, California, US. about 60 miles (100 kilometers) east of Los Angeles. Our town is a little over 100 years old and was once a big citrus producer. Very few orange groves remain now.
This sketch is from this morning's walk. I had every intention of a nice long walk but instead walked about 5 minutes out my door to the local park I decided that yesterday's winds had given way to a beautiful (smoke free) blue sky and I should capture the scene today. The park, unlike those I saw in europe, is usually void of people in the day time. We are all too busy to just go promanade around this delightful little green square. But late in the afternoon the children come out to play or gather for soccer or ball practice. Some of the teenagers sit on the benches and smoke while other play on the basketball courts. Other people just come by while walking the dog or as part of their exercise routine. I never did finished my walk this morning......

Moleskine, watercolor

Spinning My Wheels

Sunday, November 11, 2007 at 6:53 PM
Yesterday I woke up in a strange mood. I had the whole weekend off but hadn't made any plans. I thought of going to the farmer's market, maybe to even sketch there, but didn't want to go alone. I needed some serious work in the kitchen, tidying up and rearranging...but didn't feel like doing that either. A walk perhaps or the gym perhaps? Those 6 lbs I lost in Europe are going to find themselves back on me if I don't watch it! I was spinning my wheels.

I noticed Dianne online and gave her a call. She invited me to come along with her and her family to the opening reception of the Visions Art Quilt Exhibit in San Diego where one of her beautiful quilts was juried in. So, I went. I had a great time.! Another of our friends joined us there also. It was a fun evening and I was glad I'd gone along. She's a wonderful artist but more so, a very good friend.

While waiting for her to pick me up I drew these two random sketches in my neglected Moleskine watercolour book and added color to them this evening.....after spending the day cleaning and rearranging the kitchen....oh, and baking 2 loafs of pumpkin bread...the house smells yummy!!!! But no exercising today :(


purse (pg1) EDM#3 purse-2

Daily Inspirations

Friday, November 9, 2007 at 1:41 PM

Some people get it from the world outside with it's abundance of beauty both in nature and man made. Others by their faith or religious practices which inspire their creativity. Some get it from what they read and see on their computer screens while sitting and sipping coffee on chilly mornings; perusing all the wonderful art blogs in cyberspace.
This was the morning for me. From the burst of colour in Robyn's newest painting to Gabi's must return books to the library making me think I should run over and check out some art books. The contagious urge of Ronell's coffee cups in beautiful shades of greys, blues and bright colour. Jana's orange background in her latest post...wow! Sandy's view of the pantheon with which she somehow fit the roundness of the dome into her square challenge. And Sharon who I'm getting to know through her beautiful art who used coffee as paint for her latest post! I wonder, did she intend to or did she as I do at times, dip the brush into the coffee or wine glass instead of the water glass? Finally Martin's example of any cheap computer paper will do....reminding me that art is a creative journey; discovery the process......something I forget all too often when I focus more on that perfect colour or watercolour paper. Thank YOU ALL. At times I feel I am stagnant and am not moving forward, but the constant inspiration and friendship from all of my blogging art friends is something I treasure ......All of you a gift to me.

The Marais

Tuesday, November 6, 2007 at 11:07 AM

The Marais, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

One of the special treats in Paris was to enjoy a chocolate chaud (hot chcolate) every evening. The chocolate chaud in Paris has no comparison and Is truely a delicious treat that unfortunately I don't think I could replicate at home.

From the Left Bank along the Seine, Paris

Monday, November 5, 2007 at 2:53 PM
After leaving Sante Chapelle with it's jewel box glow, we crossed the river to the left bank and walked along the quai toward the Musée d'Orsay. This wonderful museum in an old train station has many fine examples of French Impressionism. My favorites are the Degas pastels. Rudy fell in love with Whistler's Mother!

This sketch is from one of the bridges on the way to the Orsay. The view was magnificent, so Paris, with the Louvre on the right bank. It was a bit windy and cold but I felt so happy to be standing there sketching where possibly many others have stood before.

From the Left Bank of the Seine, Paris

Sante Chapelle, Paris

at 8:39 AM

Sante Chapelle, Paris, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

I arrived home safe although quite tired. Our trip was a dream and will live on in our memories for many years to come. It will be recalled many times again when looking through photo albums (yet to be created) and my travel sketchbook (work in progress).

Today I woke at 4am with a desire to return to the sketches I did while traveling to begin to 'touch them up' a bit. This one is from October 31st. Rudy and I were excited to see the sun shinning so pretty and bright that we made it our day to explore Paris. We left the apartment and instead of passing in front of Notre Dame (which was our usual route to the left bank) we passed the flower and bird market, the Palace of Justice and 'The Jewel Box'...Sante Chapelle. I convinced Rudy it would be a real treat to go inside on this sunny day. My first visit to the chapel a few years ago was on a cloudy and rainy day. Although lovely, the stained glass didn't have the same effect as when the light is brightly shinning through the windows.

This chapel built by one of the king Louis was built to house the treasure of treasures: the Crown of Thorns. I don't think it's here or if it ever was or where it is now...but none of that really matters....it's the feeling of being inside a jewel box that is magical!

time to go home

Thursday, November 1, 2007 at 8:16 AM
The signs are all around me today, and abundant. The
sun didn't come out today, sad too that I am leaving.
At Place des Vosges the pigons flew in to remind me
that tomorrow I too will take flight. The leaves
fluttered about me as I imagined they were waving
adieu. Despite venturing out the door well bundled
up, the brisk air kissed my cheeks like all Parisians
greet and say goodbye. And last of all, as Rudy and I
were enjoying crepes at an outdoor creperie a little
girl waiting with her mother put both her tiny folded
hands on our table and gazed at me and my crepe. I
said "bonjour" and then told her the crepes were good
and what was her name? Eva. After a veey brief
conversation with her and her mpther they bid us a bon
voyage. I imidiately thought of the children waiting
for me back at work and realized, i am ready tp go.
we leave tomorrow, Friday arriving late in the evening
local LA time.

mARTa's Art
How to keep me happy...could take a lifetime to learn....and still be worth it.

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Place des Vosges

at 7:55 AM

Place des Vosges, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

Last sketching in Paris

at 7:47 AM

Last sketching in Paris, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

La Tour Eiffel

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 at 1:02 PM

La Tour Eiffel, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

YES....Paris is for lovers..... And that is all I have to say for today!

almost over

at 7:35 AM
our adventure is almost over. We leave early Friday
morning. Part of me is ready to to home, another part
of me could just stay here. Those of you who have
kept up with my travels via my blog.
Martas-art.blogspot.com. I hope you enjoyed the
sketches, photos and stories. It was fun for me to
take all of you along! Now, put to do Paris some more!

mARTa's Art
How to keep me happy...could take a lifetime to learn....and still be worth it.

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Roses for Marta

at 1:26 AM

Roses for Marta, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

Paris has brought out the romantic side of Rudy. While I spent the day with Casey and Ronell he braved the metro going to the Champ D'Ellysais and Arc de Triomph, climbing to the top for a view of the city.
On his way back to the apt. on rue Aubriot he stopped for these roses for me.

Casey, Dead Guy and Ronell

Tuesday, October 30, 2007 at 1:29 PM

Casey, Dead Guy and Ronell, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

I normally do not sketch from a photo but this was fun to do!

Sketching with Casey and Ronell

at 12:08 PM

at the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris.

Meeting of bloging friends

at 11:59 AM
I can not say enough about what wonderful ladies Robyn, Ronell and Casey are: meeting the latter two today in Paris.

After exchanging of greetings and coffee we ventured put for the day. Finally, these ladies brought glorius sunshine with them!

First a nice walk to the Sennalier art store where I wowed a real french painter's smock but didn't buy of course.

Next lots of window shopping while in search of the perfect place to have lunch....and we found it! My favorite: the raspberry and beets over soft ricotta cheese... Magnifique!

Now, with bellya full and happy hearts we wandered over to the Luxembourg Gardens to sit and sketch. I had casey in front of me so she made it into today's sketch.
It began to sprinkle a bit and then really poured for a few minutes. So we wandered some more.

By now I was thinking they had conspired to take me on a death march.

We happened into the Montparnasse cemetarie and went in search of Jim Morrison's grave. I got back to the apt. and looked it up (we had'nt found it) only to see he is at Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise. LOL

Another art store' then a stop for hot chcolate and more conversation. Casey continued to sketch.

We walked back to the metro/train station, hugged goodbye and went our separate way.

Ronelle and Casey,
Thank you again for coming to spend the day with me. You were just as I imagined and only wish you lived around the corner! I had the best adventure today and really loved our jaunt through the cemetery. I only hope someday to reciprocate. Again, merci beaucoup!

Sent from me and my cool iPhone

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7 random things

Monday, October 29, 2007 at 12:58 PM
My friend Desiree taged me. Here they are;
1. I can fly. At night I have wonderful 'flying adventures' I am not sure if they are just dreams.
2. I got a tatoo on my 43rd birthday and Rudy didn't speak to me for 3 days.
3. On rare occasions i like smoking a good cigar.
4. I eat artichokes for their orgasmic effect.
5. Red is my favorite color; it is the color of love, blood and juicy pomogranites.
6. I love shoes and purses and thought myself a queen buying expensive crushed patent leather pumps in Rome and matching handbag in Florence.
7. I am a techie addict; to the Internet, my iPhone and anything else that is new and makes my life easier.

Sent from me and my cool iPhone

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Singing in the rain

at 10:43 AM

Singing in the rain, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

Fwd: Je t'ame

at 9:00 AM
Sent from me and my cool iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Amy Gonzales" <aegonzales3108@gmail.com>
Date: October 29, 2007 15:51:26 GMT+01:00
To: "Marta Gonzales" <mmvgonzales@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: Je t'ame

Bonjour Mom and Papa!
I just wanted to take the time out to thank you both for this amazing experience. Even though sometimes we all had our "moments," this will be a memory that will undoubetdly last forever (who's going to forget Loch Ness in London!). You should check your watches (mom, hope you found yours) because I think there was some kind of time change in Europe recently (my wrist watch was off but thankfully the iPhone kept "real" time). Charles de Gaulle is crazy, they have this self check in line but mine didn't work so I had to go see the ticket counter person. On the plane ride there, I almost had my own window and aisle duo until some people got on the plane last minute. I ended up sitting next to a French lady who probably knew about 4 words but tried to communicate with me nonetheless! Luckily for her, I knew the word "pomme" so I was able to help her get some apple juice from the English speaking attendants. When we landed, the crazy French people all threw
their pillows up in the air in delight. Weirdos. Then the line for customs in Dallas was sort of long but I talked to a nice old Brazilian dude who was a chemical engineer. I even forgot how to speak English though, I was messing up all kinds of words! Seth picked me up on time. My house was ok. Car a little slow to start but you'd be too if you had a 3 week nap. As much fun as it all was, I thoroughly enjoyed taking a shower in MY shower this morning.

Thanks again. I miss you guys already but now as dad would say, you have the "boudoir." Oh, one more thing, they confiscated the olive oil. When I went through security it showed up as a potato on the x-ray machine. They kept asking me where the potato was. LOL. So stowe it if you want to bring it back.

Love to you both, Amy

On 10/29/07, Marta Gonzales <mmvgonzales@yahoo.com> wrote:
Miss you and hope you made it back safe.


Sent from me and my cool iPhone

"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination." - Oscar Wilde.

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Who is more beautiful?

at 6:37 AM

Who is more beautiful?, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

what to do on a rainy day in Paris? Go back to bed, make more love and then layzily venture out with umbrellas in hand to a visit to the Lovre. I have never seen it so crowded and was happy we could bypass the long lines with our Paris museum pass. Rudy enjoyed the visit and I was happy that my first visit years ago was much less crowded. Back then I had even gotten a few minutes alone with the Monalisa. Resting up a bit in the apt. Before going out again later. I still have a sketch to do for today.

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