Waaay behind on posting these days. We flew away from snow and ice, and are now enjoying sunshine. I’ve packed a bunch of art supplies and am actually dragging them around in my shoulder bag every day.

I saw guy at the hotel who had the coolest bag — when I asked he said it was a vintage Swiss army gas mask bag (sans gas mask) he got from a flea market in London, so have been plotting to find my own vintage bag for art supplies when I get a chance.


We are staying at our friends’ boutique hotel and traveling as part of Russ’s Rotary/Sister City group, to see the progress of donations used build an extra classroom, office, and play yard for a family-services school in our Sister City. We were also supposed to help build a soccer park, but though we all brought tools and such, the goal posts haven’t arrived, so that project will have to be postponed.

chalk.jpg Russ came up with a great art project to do with the entire school, but it was interesting explaining why we were carrying 50 pounds of chalk to customs and airport security. I loved that this little guy drew a chalk track and then drove his car on it. How Harold and the Purple Crayon is that?


It was a fun day, working with the kids at the school — art usually bridges barriers of language and custom. Sister Cities motto is “Peace through People” and the projects are grass-roots — a great way to travel, meet, work with people, and make friendships.


  • Hey again,

    I hope I’m not annoying you by reading these backwards and leaving random comments. But I think I may be able to score you a vintage Swiss gas-whatever-thingy bag here in town. There’s an army surplus place that has lots of those types of bags. Will try to swing back & take pics of possible suspects so you can see if one of them is the real deal. x o Jan

  • Hi Trisha,

    I first bought one of these ashtrays at a flea market and when I tried it out in the studio — it worked great, so I went back but the rest were gone.

    Since then I’ve been buying them on ebay, so I have several colors. As for travel, they are perfect — very light and non-breakable!

  • I know this may sound strange, but I am lusting after your ashtray! What an inspired use! It’s perfect for holding watercolor brushes and a little bit of water. Thanks for the idea! 🙂
    p.s. The character sketches done at dinner are great.

  • Thanks Jamie,

    I’m back home now, but it was a great trip.
    The ashtray is great, retro, lightweight, and good for holding brushes and water and catching the dribbles!

  • This is so beautiful. I love the colors in your art box and the fact that you are using what looks to be an ashtray to hold your paintbrushes. Quite clever. Enjoy your time in the sun…looks divine.

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