A friend of mine, told me about a great park not too far from where we live. Ellie and I headed down there for the morning and enjoyed a lovely autumn day, finding leaves, walking along the trails and enjoying the outdoors. It was a beautiful autumn morning with my silly girl.
Jeff took the day off of work, so after nap time we decided to go somewhere we had never been before. We picked up Nana and Papa on our way and headed to the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens. A lovely place for all of us to explore. Ellie enjoyed it very much, insisting on being barefoot and hiking down the rocky dirt paths ahead of us. This child loves the outdoors.
We were only there for maybe fifteen minutes before my camera battery ran out. Of course. So, half of these photos are iPhone photos. I was very bummed, because the beauty of this place made me itch for my regular camera. I was glad to have my iPhone though to at least document my silly girl enjoying nature.
It had been socked in with fog all morning down by the beach, but by the time we made it up to the hills of Santa Barbara, it was a beautiful, sunny day. The gardens had a lovely main meadow full of poppies and other California wildflowers and a path that took you through a coastal redwood forest.
It was like Disneyland for this little one. She wanted her shoes off so she could experience every sensation. There were rocks (and benches like this one) to climb and dirt paths to run along. When the trail got a little tricky she was not thrilled with Mama or Daddy when we tried to help her by carrying her. She wants to do it all by herself, all the time.
We will definitely be returning to the botanic gardens again. There was so much more we didn’t get to see before dinner and a long drive home came calling. A lovely afternoon in nature.
Growing up, I’ve always thought of my Grandmother as someone very special, almost as if she was of celebrity status. Our house walls were covered with her watercolor paintings. I was surrounded by her works of art daily, inspired by the sweeping, muted colors and the simple farmhouses, flowers and scenes of rural America she choose to focus on. I whole heartedly believe my love for art and color stems from having her paintings in my childhood home as well as her influence throughout my life. I didn’t spend nearly as much time with her growing up as I did my maternal Grandmother who lived close by throughout my life, but I do feel a strong bond with this grandmother, a kinship in spirit and creativity. This past week I was lucky enough to spend some time in her home and her studio. I had visited her studio before and just loved its magical elements. The pictures I took do not do the room justice, but I wanted to document them here anyway.
I love all the natural elements she has brought into this room. Old birds nests, rocks, branches and flowers she’s found on walks. She has pottery from all over the world and trinkets hidden in corners in case it strikes her fancy to paint them. She has a big, open window providing natural light that looks out onto her property, where a moss-covered Adirondack chair sits outside in the overgrown grass, begging to be painted from inside. Her classical music c.d.s sit ready to provide aural inspiration and there are art books upon art books and picture upon picture that she has collected and taken to get her geared up to begin and finish a painting. I love how she not only has her own paintings framed and up on her walls but other painters art. She is not only a painter, but a genuine lover and collector of art and I think this makes her as an artist, so much more interesting. This room and the rest of her home is so inspiring. I’ve just recently been introduced to the word and philosophy of wabi sabi and I truly believe my grandmother’s home is the epitome of this aesthetic.
If you would like more information on where to get your hands on one of my grandmother’s incredible works of art you can go here. Or click on the Marty Rogers icon on the right hand side of my sidebar.
We are home after a four day adventure to Washington State to visit with my Grandmother, Ellie’s Great-Grandmother. It was a lovely visit with far too much to see within a limited amount of time, but we spent some wonderful, long days chatting, eating and chasing around my little monkey. My Grandmother is a painter and being in her creative presence was inspiring. Her home, tucked away in the woodlands of Whidby Island, had elements of rustic charm, southwestern flair and bits of old time Americana in every room of the house. I plan to share her lovely studio this week as well. It’s just too neat not too. It was a memorable trip and I’m so glad my Grandmother got to meet Ellie before her first birthday! Hoping to visit again soon!