Words of late artist Frank Howell...I totally relate!

"There are few days off and no retirement from this entanglement of knowledge, passion and vision that will be molded and converted into creative expression. There are no guarantees of acceptance, understanding or reward, but...the noise inside the mind never ceases. I will paint today, tonight and for as many tomorrows as I am given..." Words of the late artist Frank Howell...

Monday, September 21, 2015

Gulf Coast Bloggers Meet at Jenna's

Well, I'll  just start this post by saying that it took me long enough to get this one published. Now, let me explain why.

While attempting to take pics at the Gulf Coast Bloggers meeting, using my camera, it flashed  the "no more memory" message after I snapped the first pic....oh no, now what?  I remembered leaving the memory card in my computer when I was working on my last post. Oh well, I'll grab my phone and take pics with that...it takes great quality pics, so that should be fine.  Now before I get too far into the story, let me also tell you that I was taking notes on my computer-- right there at the meeting.  Yes, the same computer with the camera memory card still in the slot--like in my lap... Anyway, once I discovered the card in the computer when I got home, I felt so blonde (which may or may not be my natural color) or maybe I'm just getting old.  Other blonde sisters out there, please don't be offended...I'm trying to rationalize in a humorous why I am so messed up these days....because if I can't laugh about it, I will probably cry.

On to the next part of the story...

Now that I was home and ready to blog about the meeting, I couldn't figure out how to get the pics from my phone to the computer!  I tried connecting the two devices using the charging cord with the USB end on it and couldn't get that to work, but I installed some kind of driver onto my computer that it told me I needed!  I decided I would wait to talk to Son to see if he could help me, because he's a computer whiz...Just then, Hubby walks in and sees me frustrated and fussing over it.  He asked, "Why don't you just e-mail the pics to yourself, then save them?"  I felt so dumb and MAD at myself...Why couldn't I think of that?  Do you ever have moments like that?  Some days I feel like I'm living in a fog...and I can't believe I'm even sharing this with you....it's embarrassing.  I used to be so sharp...thank goodness for hubby.

Now, let me share what I'm here to talk about--the Gulf Coast Bloggers meeting on Ono Island at my friend, Jenna's home.  Jenna's blog is The Painted Apron, and if you follow her, you know she is extremely talented (both in the kitchen and with a paintbrush!) and I feel fortunate to call her my friend. She welcomed the group with the pretty themed table display that told the story of our individual blogging journeys--there's a VW van, the map of our area, a camera, and a necklace (that she purchased from me!) that shares the sentiment, "Enjoy the Journey".  Look at the surfboard on top of the van and the beachy elements.  She really put a lot of thought and effort into making it perfect, and it was. What's hiding right behind that map is a pretty and tasty table full of goodies that was the fabulous lunch she made for us...more about that later on down in the post.

Here's our hostess, Jenna (in the stripes).  And there's Donna enjoying a cup of coffee as we waited for our special guest speaker to arrive...

...and Leslie Anne, modeling her pretty dress...that matched everything--her tablet, the glass in her hand, the walls, they sky, the water.....

And there's Alan up behind Hope and Leslie Anne...

Our speaker and special guest was Judy Oxford, from the Coastal Arts Center (formerly Orange Beach Arts Center) in Orange Beach.  She serves on the Board of Directors (aka Friends of the Arts) and was very enthusiastic about the future of the organization. She shared with us plans for the new arts center which is scheduled to be constructed within a year or so...still working on the final plans, so there's no completion date set in stone yet. It's going to be fabulous!  I was impressed with the old one, so I know the newer and improved facility is going to be something to really be proud of. She shared lots of info about classes, the hot shop where they blow glass, kids activities and plans for the future.  I'm looking forward to visiting the new arts center, and I've always wanted to try that glass blowing thing!  

There's Linda listening and taking notes as Judy shows us some pictures of the plans for the new Coastal Arts Center.

Once Judy finished her presentation, we each shared what was new in our lives and blogging tips, troubles, questions and answers.  It's hard sometimes to fit everything into a meeting that's only a couple of hours long--we could talk forever when we get together.  

Now, back to the food and drinks that Jenna prepared for us...

This pretty and beachy drink was peach tea, which was served with playful and colorful straws...and in pretty blue Mason jars that were the color of the water just outside, and Leslie Anne's dress, of course...

I didn't get a shot of the entire table, but just trust me when I tell you it was prettier than anything you've ever seen at any party or restaurant!  I did get some close-up detail shots of the individual dishes.  Jenna shared the recipes on her blog...just click here for that link.

That pimento-cheese and strawberry paired together in the croissant sandwiches--amazing! And the sweet crunchy nuts in that fruit salad...mmmm good.  It was all good, but these are the details that remain in my memory as favorites of the day.

And here's the view from Jenna's living room.  Isn't it just so serene?  It made me feel as if I had landed on some island paradise somewhere--wait a minute--I had.  Ono Island is an island paradise...

Here, Karyn visits with us as Linda and I enjoy lunch out on the deck.

Back inside, I'm in love with all the color and texture in Jenna's home.  Just look at this fabulous tile in the powder room!  And there's Linda telling me, "I can see you in the picture, Judy."   I see you too, Linda!  I'm sure we're not the only two bloggers who blogged about that tile!  It was so unique and full of gorgeousness!

...and the glass sink...Simply.  Dreamy.  Like a mermaid's sink...

...and the texture and color of the boards on this table made my heart skip a beat.

Jenna's art adds the fun factor to her home.  She uses lots of texture and a bright palette of colors. Trying to categorize the style of her work left me thinking "representationalism" carried out in a very loose manner, with some abstract pieces appearing here and there.  All pieces are lovely and a feast for the eyes.

Thank you Jenna for your gracious hospitality!  It was one of my favorite meetings of all time, and the lunch was a special treat!  We look at pics and read about your scrumptious cooking several times a week, and we finally got to actually eat some of it!  It did not disappoint!  

You can click on each blogger's name above as they first appear in the text; their name is linked to their blogs...Please go check them out and maybe you'll see one (or two or more!) that you would like to follow.  As a diverse group, we cover a broad range of topics on our individual blogs--just go see!  I love hanging out with my blogger friends and I'm looking forward to the next meeting in October!  We also welcome new bloggers to come join us and be a  part of our awesome group. Just click on this link for more info on the Gulf Coast Bloggers.


  1. Oh goodness, thank you Judy! It was certainly my pleasure to have you all in my home~You got some great pics despite of the challenges!! Thank you for all the kind words, come back any time~

  2. Jenna, I always say that I love to write posts when I have good subject matter and this was one of those occasions. I did get some good pics, and now I know how to make it all work! I guess an old dog CAN learn new tricks!