Two Tickets To Paradise

Got a surprise especially for you
Something that both of us have always wanted to do
We’ve waited so long, waited so long
We’ve waited so long, waited so long

I’m gonna take you on a trip so far from here
I’ve got two tickets in my pocket, now baby, we’re gonna disappear
We’ve waited so long, waited so long
We’ve waited so long, waited so long

I’ve got two tickets to paradise
Won’t you pack your bags, we’ll leave tonight
I’ve got two tickets to paradise
I’ve got two tickets to paradise
— Eddie Money, "Two Tickets to Paradise"

Well hello blog, have we met before?

After an unintended absence, I have to reintroduce myself to...myself, or rather my blog-self.  

In mid-July, my husband came home from work one Monday and said, "Can I ask you something?"  Now I've been married to this guy for 3 decades, so I said, "No, you may not."  You see, when he starts a conversation out-of-the-blue with this question, it means he has a crazy notion about something we should do, or buy, that generally is not on my 'well-planned-in-advance' agenda.  

So, he rephrases:  "I'm going to tell you something."

And it was a big something!

He had secretly planned (and booked) a trip without my stamp of approval.  Not only that, we were to leave in 4 weeks!!  I was speechless!  Okay,  not speechless - I had plenty to say!

 "Isn't this something a husband and wife should talk about first!?!"  I sputtered.

 "Yes," he replied calmly, "but you would have said no."

And he was right; I would have.  I am a well-nontraveled individual; a "Staycationer".  There are projects to be done, money to be saved, dogs to be attended to...   But mostly, a mom to be near.  I have not taken a vacation in 10 years in order to be available for my mom who is in failing health.  I just couldn't imagine being miles away and  have something happen.  She has been in Assisted Living the past three years, but still...


My daughter said, "Mom!  You need to get away!"  

My son said, "I'll check on Grandma everyday."

My friends said, "Are you nuts?!?  I'll go in your place!"


So where was this sneaky, surprise trip?  ....   Hawaii!!  I WAS GOING TO SEE THE OCEAN!!!!!  Only a month prior, I had created a Mixed Media project called Imagine the Inky Depths. I remarked that I had never been to the ocean; it was something I had only dream of doing; and now, that dream was going to become a reality.  Kauai was the destination: 111 miles of coastline!

This was craziness!  Certainly we weren't really doing this, were we?   I only had 4 weeks to research every nook-and-cranny of Kauai.  My husband does not believe in planning things to do.  He is an easy-going, live-in-the-moment kind of traveler, telling me to relax and get an Island frame-of-mind.  Get serious man!  I also had arrangements to make, obviously some shopping to do, and a home to remodel!  By that I mean, when I do go on vacation I deep clean and deep organize EVERYTHING - basement to attic.

Big mistake...

Day 1 of my gut-the-house itinerary, I partially tore the long head of the bicep tendon.

I fussed, I fretted, I wore a sling...

And you know what?  I finally relaxed!  And when I arrived on Kauai 4 weeks later, I was indeed in an Island frame-of-mind. 

I have decided to do a souvenir canvas of my first time to the ocean.  I experienced so many wonderful textures on Kauai - the contrast of silk and grit of the sand. the velvet waxiness of tropical flowers, the whispery light frothy touch of the tide retreating around my ankles.  I love creating texture, texture and more texture on a black canvas. I began with white gesso followed by light and heavy modeling pastes. I tore crumpled fast-food napkins to apply as 'waves' for the tide.  The beach in the lower quarter of my canvas was a heavy layer of modeling paste mixed with, that's right, sand.

When my thick application of texture was dry. I began the painting process.  My coast was painted with two shades of DecoArts Acrylic Americana Satin in White Birch and Bittersweet. While the paint was still wet, I sprinkled white glitter to mimic the sun dazzled sand I saw at the beach. 

Next up, ocean.  I applied Prima's ArtAlchemy Metalliques: Deep Waters & Rich Turquoise with Prima's ArtAlchemy Opal Magics:  Blue-Pink and Green-Gold.  The crests of the waves were accented with Dylusion's White Linen.


Off the canvas, I sprayed Prima's Color Bloom's Worn Leather onto a scrap of fabric netting.  Next I set out random scraps of paper and sprayed those with Lindy's Stamp Gang's Starburst Sprays in TiffanyLou Blue and Tainted Teal Love.  A touch more Of Prima's Worn Leather spray and may papers were ready for layout in the upper left corner.  

I wanted to feature souvenirs from our trip to Kauai:  the glass bottles (Tim Holtz's glass vials) contain small beach stones from Kealia Beach on the eastern Coconut Shore, sea glass from the southern Glass Beach and sand from the northern Ke'e Beach.  I added more keepsakes such as beach-combing treasures like driftwood and stones and part of the shell lei husband received  at the luau we attended.  My painted netting, some jute and my version of a plumeria blossom were added to the lower right corner.

I included two memory photos:  Glass Beach (I could have relaxed, listened to the surf and 'sifted' sand treasures here all day) and Wailua Beach at Sunrise - my very 'first time time' walking into the ocean!  An 'Oh Wow Moment!'  


Hawaii, aloha a hui hou kakou... Hawaii, fond farewell until we meet again...

(And to my husband, Mahalo nui loa. Aloha Au la 'Oe.)

I would like to enter my Two Tickets to Paradise canvas into the following challenges:

Mixed Media Place August challenge - Creative Gym #20.  The prompt quote "Dreams, if they're any good, are always a little bit crazy", is perfect.  Like I said in my blog, I never dreamed I'd be walking in the surf watching the sunrise over the waves!


Mixed Media World MMW#17: Summer/Sea/Nautical challenge.