Matt whisked me off to Chicago via my first Metra train ride on Wednesday. It is amazing how diverse things are in big cities. We spent the majority time walking which led to some achey moments on Thursday but we had a blast! I cannot wait to do it again…

Chicago Trip

Millenium Park in Chicago, IL

I love the sculptures that are sprinkled around Chicago. Here is one in Millennium park which I fondly refer to as the “Jelly Bean.”

It might be common knowledge that I rarely win things. I like entering contests and giveaways for the sheer thrill of MAYBE it being my turn. I was so psyched when we walked into Blick’s Art Materials and were greeted with a chance to win something from their prize wheel. I gave that wheel a mighty spin and walked away with a FREE TSHIRT~! Matt walked away with a 40% off coupon which is also a great prize. What a great way to impress a first time customer. I am definitely going back to Blick in the future.

Me modeling my new Blick tshirt.

The selection at Blick’s was amazing. I found myself squeeing with glee when I entered the pen and marker aisles. Could heaven have so many choices? The notebook and sketchbook selection was overwhelming. Miquelrius, Handbook, Rhodia – my head was spinning with all the possibilities. Of course my budget won out since I have splurged a lot lately. The employees at Blick were SOOOO nice and helpful. One asked me if I wanted a basket to put all the goodies I was carrying around into. I declined and explained it kept me under control. If I could, I would move into that store. In the end, I walked out with my first set of Stabilo Point 88 pens and a 5×5 Rhodia notebook.

My Chicago purchases

Rhodia 5x5, Stabilo Point 88 20 pack in awesome split case held together with velcro, Levenger Claret bottled ink

You had to notice there are three items in that photo and one says Levenger. Matt and I found Levenger after some confusion. It was INSIDE Macy’s. Doh. I didn’t find an epic Circa bar like I had visited a million times in my daydreams but I was delighted to sample several of their fountain pen inks. I couldn’t leave empty handed, could I? I’m happy to announce “Claret” is my first bottle of fountain pen ink.

Matt and I enjoyed a nice visit to the Chicago Art Institute. The contemporary art was not on display since the Modern wing is opening soon. We were disappointed but were happy to discover some Pollock pieces in the Prints and Drawings collection. Something about seeing all those works of art being appreciated and treasured brightens my outlook on life. In a busy bustling city like Chicago, people still visit the Institute for a dose of art.

So what do you do after eight hours of walking, your first two train rides and several shop visits? You give your new toys a workout!

Chicago Trip - Stabilo Point 88

Click to go to flickr - more sizes available.

Today’s Arsenal

Imagine if you will, a crowded restaurant, a pocket full of Pilot G2’s and a sketchbook on the table. Yes, I really did have three different point sizes in the kangaroo pouch pocket of my hoodie. Black Pilot G2s in 0.38, 0.5 and 0.7.

In honor of my first Qdoba burrito, I pitched the idea of “Revenge of the Pinto Bean” to Matt. He said to run with it so it was inevitable that Ninja Bean would soon join the ranks of doodles in my sketchbook. Here is the first ink versions of Ninja Bean doodled with Pilot G2s.

Revenge Of The Pinto Bean

I doodled these zombies in my journal awhile back and thought I would see if anyone had any interest in them for my Zazzle shop. Also, don’t hesitate to request a design. I love creating things for others!

Zombies invade my journal~!Zombies invade my journal~!Zombies invade my journal~!Zombies invade my journal~!

In Memoriam


Maximus on 04/30/09, our last night together.

Lastly, I wanted to post my favorite picture of Maximus. For those who don’t follow me on Twitter, my family recently had to say goodbye. Max was diagnosed with bone cancer at the end of April after a dental extraction revealed his jaw had turned to mush under the suspect tooth.

Max’s Story

In the Spring of 2000, my sister discovered an abandoned white and orange tabby in the house she and her fiance were renovating. It was evident by her condition she was homeless. When her pregnancy was noticed, how could we not invite her into our home. Mom and Dad may not have been on board with the entire situation but Molly soon was a resident in my upstairs bedroom. The kittens were born in my bedroom on July 31, 2000. I remember the night well since I was at work and Mom called me to fill me on the birth of four healthy kittens. Muffin and Willow were the females and Squash and Gizmo were the boys.

Awhile later, Mom called my cell phone in a panic while I was at friend’s house. Muffin had tumbled over while playing and revealed a secret. She was a boy! Since he was the largest of the kittens, we had no problem naming Maximus after one of Mom’s favorite movies -“Gladiator”.

Squash, Willow and Max were our family felines. I was away at college and missed a lot of their kitten days but the time I enjoyed was wonderful. They were our babies. Gizmo went to live with a friend of my sister and Molly found a forever home with an older couple.

We lost Willow to an unfortunate complication involving a string in her intestine. (Please please please do not let your pets play/eat strings.) Our heartache over her loss was severe, she was so young.

Max’s personality as alpha male radiated from his regal posture and dramatic size. He often enjoyed outsmarting games and toys. He enjoyed cuddling and rubbing against shoes until the end. That’s what is under him in the above picture. He found his way to Matt’s shoes in the hallway and the sun kissed him for a picture.

Maximus lived up to his name. He weighed in at 18 lbs during his last vet visit. Click on his picture above to go to Flickr where I’ve uploaded a couple other pictures of him. He was large and VERY intelligent feline who touched our hearts and became a member of our family. His life was short but hopefully he knew how much he meant to all of us.

Rest in peace Maximus.

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Take care and be well.