travel

Stop it Switzerland!

Hi there. How are you? 

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My family and I took an unforgettable trip to Switzerland this summer. It's so damn idyllic there that it was difficult to whittle down the photos to a manageable number for this post. In true Johnson/Johansson style, this trip was jam packed with activities. 

Read on.....

Stettlen

Our trip started in Stettlen, just outside of Bern, to visit these two cuties (my niece and nephew) and their parents.  Even the view from their house is lovely. You can see the alps in the background. 

Bern

Matt and I were the first of the family to arrive, so we got to enjoy a private tour of Bern with Matt's brother Luke, his wife Cindy, and their kiddies, William and Kendall. 

Celebrating Jack

Next to arrive was Jack (my stepson) and Matt's parents. They had just finished up their week long trip to France and Germany. (That was his high school graduation present. How cool is that?!?) The celebration of Jack's graduation continued in Switzerland with tacos and ice cream cake. ( A very traditional Swiss meal. HA!) 

Solothurn

We took a walk around Solothurn, and hiked the 249 narrow stairs up to the top of the St. Ursen Cathedral for some spectacular views. Then it was a quick drive to Stansstad to visit a lakeside WWII era bunker. I had to snap a photo of the typewriter that I saw there. In fact, it was the only photo I took there. 

Lucerne

We ended the day in Lucerne, where we picked up Carrie and Rick who had just arrived in Switzerland. (Matt's sister and brother-in-law.) We had a lovely Swiss meal filled with sausages, pretzels, potatoes and beer. 

Murren

The following day we had another adventure, albeit a soggy one.  The pouring rain couldn't keep us from a trip up in the Bernese Alps. We took the gondola up to Murren, which even in the rain, was adorable and majestic. 

Stop it Switzerland

The rain started to subside a bit, so we decided to hike down the mountain to Gimmewald.  The views were so unreal and I kept saying "Stop it Switzerland." The beauty was totally overwhelming. I felt like I needed to stop every few feet to take a photo. The further down we descended, the more it cleared up. It made for some killer views! 

Cue the deluge of beauty.......

Seriously. Stop it Switzerland! 

A Break at the Pub

By the time we reached Gimmelwald the rain had ceased and the clouds had lifted. We stopped at an adorable pub for drinks and then took some more incredible photos outside. 

Kendall is my Muse

Can you tell I love snapping photos of my niece Kendall. She loves to pose for me! 

Well, that was just the first THREE days of the trip.

I'm exhausted from going through all these photos and reliving this unforgettable trip. I'll have to finish up this recap in another post. 

That's all for now. Ciao! 

Vacation Inspired Art

Hi there. How are you?

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We recently returned home from a lovely 10-day vacation.

Traveling to Tampa, Florida, Matt (my husband) and I embarked on a 5-day cruise with a group of old friends. We witnessed the beach wedding of our friends while docked in Key West. (Matt served as officiant!) From there we headed to Cozumel, and back to Tampa.

After the cruise, we drove down to Naples, Florida and spent a few relaxing days visiting Matt's parents in their winter home.

Ten days of sun, sea, and leisure does wonders for my psyche.

In the words of my Dad, "It didn't suck."

 My vacation drawing was influenced by the tropical color palette of my travels.

My vacation drawing was influenced by the tropical color palette of my travels.

Our tropical travels inspired this drawing.

My sketchbook comes with me everywhere I go, especially on vacation. Though this trip was packed with activity, I did manage to get in a little drawing time. I drew out by the pool on cruise days and in the Schooner bar when we had our pre-dinner cocktails. If I don't get in a little drawing most days, I just don't feel right.

As you can see, the tropical colors of my travels inspired the "bird of paradise" color scheme. I had intended to use this drawing as the backdrop for a new card design, but I haven't decided how to use it yet. (Thoughts?)

 My vacation drawing is available as a print. Click through to purchase.

My vacation drawing is available as a print. Click through to purchase.

My vacation drawing is available as a new 8" x 10" print.

Here's the print, shown mocked up in a frame. Doesn't it look sharp? This print, along with several others is now available for sale on my website. These vibrant, abstract prints are sure to give a little pop of personality and color to your space.

That's all for now. I've gotta get busy making! Ciao.

Coachella 2015 - Fashion Fails of the Festival

Hi there. How are you?

A few weeks back, Matt and I attended Coachella, the huge annual music festival in Indio, California. Someday I'll write about the music, but first I must tell you about the fashion scene, or lack thereof. Maybe I'm just getting old and don't understand, but we saw a lot of bad trashy style and not much good.

I couldn't get over how many young girls were dressed almost exactly alike. It's like Coachella had a uniform/dress code that I wasn't aware of.

I made a Polyvore mock of the Coachella 2015 "uniform." 

So, Polyvore is gone now, but you can probably get the gist of the uniform from my description. 

1. It's hot and sunny in the Indio desert, so you if you must wear a hat, it must be black, floppy and made of felt. (Makes perfect sense right?) If you decided to deviate from the black hat, you must wear a flower crown.

2. The desert is dry and dusty, so wear a bandana over your nose and mouth. Makes you look so mysterious and gangsta! Show a little American pride by wearing one featuring the starts and stripes.

3. Underwear makes the best outerwear at Coachella. The skimpier the better......It's too hot for anything else. Visible side boob is a plus.

4.  Add a touch of bohemian to your look with a practical fanny pack. (Actually, this is the only sensible part of the Coachella uniform. You've got to do a ton of walking and standing at Coachella and a purse gets hot and cumbersome.)

5.  White, high-waisted lace shorts make perfect sense when sitting on the dusty ground, waiting for the next band to start. The only other acceptable form of shorts are acid washed jean shorts. Extra points if your shorts are cut so short that your butt cheeks are exposed.

6. Gladiator sandals make the most sense for the many miles you will walk during your weekend at Coachella. If you must have a little more support, wear ankle boots. If you're a real slob, wear Chucks.

Here are some of the actual pics I snapped at Coachella:

Don't worry, I picked on the boys too.

And lastly, here's what I wore. Aren't I so hip?

Though this post was incredibly fun to write and I so enjoy people watching, I post about the current "bare it all" trend because it alarms me. 

Do young girls think this it's necessary to be scantily clad to attract the male gaze? If you ask my husband, he'll say that all a girl needs to do to catch his eye is a wear a sundress. It doesn't need to be super short or revealing, just a well fitting, flattering dress.

Girls, you can be sexy without being skanky.

So readers, what do you think? 

Am I old and and just overreacting? Is it just a generational gap? (I went to high school and college in the 90's when oversized overalls and flannel were all the rage.) Do chime in!

That's all for now. Enjoy your weekend. Ta-Ta!