• ARTWORK OF THE WEEK: Sun Set Dreams

    ARTWORK OF THE WEEK: Sun Set Dreams 1LINK TO VIEW/SHARE ART WORK:
    http://bit.ly/sunsetdreams1

    BACKGROUND: Sunset Dreams was painted from a photograph my daughter Keaolani took when we lived in San Diego, CA. I loved the colors she captured in the sky and how the leaves reflected the light in magical ways.

    Prints of Sunset Dreams 1, along with others in this collection can be found in the Nature Inspired Gallery

    Purchase a print of this weeks Artwork of the Week and SAVE 20% off 3 days only!
    Use coupon code at checkout: SunsetDreams

    KLR ART APPAREL: Find this artwork on clothing, wallets and more on my online apparel store.

    www.kararittenhouse.com

  • Inspiration behind a Starry Night Painting

    Today, I wanted to share with you about my inspiration behind this acrylic painting I did called Starry Night.

    It all started a few years ago when I was playing around & blending water colors. I was loving the effect I was getting and it looked like rain. At the time, I had just started playing around with ink & watercolor. I loved the contrast and the definition I could get from using ink, so I outlined a wave and filled it in with watercolor.

    But there was something missing…

    That is when I decided to fill in the wave with lots of lines to define the movement. I started a new drawing, as I normally draw first, then add paint. I was falling in love with the whimsical nature of the drawing.

    The results and the original Starry Night watercolor painting:

    I continued to explore watercolors, painting fun waves, sunsets and playing with color.

    In the beginning of 2018 I took an adult painting class with a local well know artist and art educator. I had wanted to explore acrylic painting more. Honestly, I had always hated painting with acrylics, but being wiser and older I know that when you don’t really like something, that you find it frustrating, it’s more related to operator error then anything. I was correct. I found out in class that when using acrylics it’s important to use drying extenders, that adding gloss into your paint makes colors pop and there are so many tools to paint with other then just a brush.

    Fast forward a few months, we had already embarked on our RV adventures and I was visiting my parents in PA in the fall of 2018. We ended up staying there much longer due to some RV repair issues that came up so I set up a mini art studio in my parents sun porch. I loved all the windows, the light durning the day was amazing!

    I had been painting a lot of florals using my pallet knifes, but the cold winter had me missing the ocean, sand and sun. So I switched gears and started painting ocean inspired works using my pallet knifes and rubber spatula.

    While in PA, the thought I should try to paint A Starry Night in acrylics. There were a few obstacles I needed to address. I had to try new things, figure out how to separate the sky from the water since using a pallet knife or rubber spatula makes the paint thick with lots of layers. I ended up taping off the area I was painting. This allowed me to have great texture in the sky and wave but also allowed the wave to be in front of the sky, so you truly got a 3D effect on a flat surface. The lines are painted on last using an oil based paint pen.

    Prints of a Starry Night can be found here in my Ocean Inspired Art Gallery.

    Which one is your favorite, the Water Color or Acrylic?

    Aloha,

    Kara

  • Riding the Waves

     

    With the boys being older they love that they get to go out in the water together and play in the waves. I love not being a nervous wreak that having a toddler at the beach brings you!

    The ocean is a powerful beast but the boys are strong swimmers, we talk about the current and what to do if your caught in a rip tide. We look at the waves and talk about where the good spot to swim is. I point out land marks on shore they need to stay between. They wave at me every so often to let me know they are good. I wave back because my eyes are glued to them but I’m not a nervous wreak because I have giving them the skills needed to enjoy the ocean.

    The boys were begging me for a Wave Bandit board after seeing a few people using them at the beach the other day.

    They looked fun & fast!

    The boys decided they would use their money on the boards but the only ones on sale we could find came in pink & teal. Kai response was “Mom real men wear pink! Plus those are your favorite colors so I’ll think of you when I’m riding some waves!” Seriously I love this kid! 💗 They are anxiously awaiting the arrival in the mail!




  • Flying Space A

    Flying Space A through the Military

    The Military has an amazing opportunity to fly for Free on select missions around the world when extra seats are available. This is called flying Space-A.

    There are many rules to using this privilege, it’s not a guaranteed seat, flights get canceled at the last minute or  you  can easily get bumped. But if you have time and are completely flexible in your travels it can be a great way to explore!

    The best way to find out how to fly Space A is to use this great website. It explains the different categories or how they prioritize passengers, how to get signed up to fly and info on destinations and how to look for flights.

    I have flown a few times Space A when we lived in Hawaii. It was a great way to leave the island when my husband was deployed and be able to go see the grandparents!

    I decided last minute to try a get a flight out to Hawaii to visit my best friend from college who still lives out there. A flight had popped up leaving San Diego 7am the next day. I quickly contacted a friend to see if she knew someone who could take Kona. Thankfully she had the perfect person and by 5pm I was dropping him off with Mr. P at his vet tech school. Kona was going to be able to attend class too! How amazing is that?!

    The students were practicing wrapping bandages. Kona is so chill I think he was the perfect dog to help out!

    Now my next obstacle was what to do with the RV! Since I have it listed for sale I decided to put it on the base used car lot. I went down and they had space available, I filled out the paperwork and paid my fee. Latter that night, after traffic died down and I finally got all packed and took a  shower I drove the RV over to the lot to park it.

    The next morning we arrived at the terminal very early to mark ourselves present for the flight. Once roll call came we had been accepted for the flight and had our bags weighted. We were excited & ready! Unfortunately right before we were going to be called to board the plane, the flight was canceled! We were so bummed but that’s how Space A works, you have got to be flexible!

    We were told there were not going to be any more flights to Hawaii through the end of the month. So I decided to check for last minute commercial flight deals, but the cheapest flights were over $2k! yikes! That is not in the travel budget! I then looked at the next closet terminal to fly out of, which was Travis AFB and an 8 hr drive north.

    They had quite a few flights with many seats going out the next 4 days so I figured that was my best option! And if we didn’t get a flight out sight seeing San Francisco, Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park are all on my list of places to visit.

    Since we had all of our luggage in the car we just hopped right on the highway and drove north! We arrive at Travis shortly after dinner and was able to get the LAST room available at the base lodging. It was a huge 2 bedroom apartment too. After living in an RV for a year that felt like a palace!

    Unfortunately the fight that was scheduled for the next morning was canceled so we took the opportunity to drive into San Francisco to do some sight seeing!

    I was able to check off 2 bucket list items too!

    Drive over Golden Gate Bridge, it was way smaller then I expected!

    Drive down Lombard St, aka the windiest road. It was so steep! Actually all the streets in San Fran were very steep and I was not expecting that!

    We explored Fisherman’s Warf, had an amazing lunch & found a really cool antique coin operated game museum that you could actually play!

    There was so much more we could of done or seen but with no plans and tired kids I called it a day!

    Saturday 5/18 there was a Patriot Express Flight scheduled with 36 seats available. I figured that was our best shot at getting a flight. We arrived at the terminal very early because we had to check out of our hotel. After a quick trip to Walmart and the BX we decided just hanging out there was the best option. We marked ourselves present and waited for roll call. Once the list of people who had marked themselves present was posted I saw we were the only ones in Cat 4 and there were only 15 people in the higher categories so I knew were would get seats! Of course I didn’t let myself get too excited until we were taking off! lol!

     

    These two guys had a long few days but man are they were troopers! 👊🏼

    They were so excited to get on the plane. ✈️

    Kai was telling people in the terminal he was going back to his “Homeland” 🤣

    Keanu was a bit nervous & asked if we could hold hands on the plane ❤️

    Once we got on the plane he was looking around asking 100 questions. 🤓

    Then it hit me.🤦🏼‍♀️

    This is only his 2 flight ever & he was a baby the first time we left Hawaii, so he obviously doesn’t remember that plane ride.

    Fun fact: Keanu has only flown on military space A flights!

    He was praying as we took off & got really scared when the fasten seatbelt sign came on during dinner and we got a bit of turbulence. I explained it was completely normal, kind of like going down a road with too many potholes and needing to keep seatbelts on so you stay safe. Kai was so sweet and grabbed his hand and told him it was ok.

    He was very interested in what the buttons were, how the tray table worked and how the oxygen mask came down.

    The bathroom was another cool thing to checkout too! Like 20 times durning our flight. I was glad we were right next to the bathrooms!

    The boys also had their first (and last 🤣) soda because that’s all they had. #beggerscantbechoosers

    Our meal included an old school hostess cupcake… they were not fans. 🤣 Its amazing that as a kid those were one of the best things ever! But I even took a bite and it was gross! 🤢 How did we eat that crap?! 🤦🏼‍♀️

    As we were about to land Keanu exclaimed “I see a volcano!” Really loud. There was a bit of laughter from the other passengers.  I explained there was no active volcano on Oahu 🌋

    We arrive in Hawaii after 9pm, collect our bags and went out to get the base bus that runs to the Navy Exchange so my best friend could pick us up. Unfortunately that bus was not running anymore since the store was closed! I swear when I called and asked about the bus they told me last bus leaves at 10:15pm. I was bout to order a Uber when another couple offered us a ride. I was very grateful since the Uber was a 45 minute wait and $30 to go 2 miles! yikes!

    Here to a start of an amazing adventure!

    The next morning after breakfast with my best friend and her room mate we headed down to Hickam Beach which is located on Hickam AFB. When the boys saw the colors of the water they were so excited!

    Stay tuned for more Hawaii adventures!

  • Surfboard Art

     

    I was accepted to participate in the Mission Hills San Diego Art Walk in April. One of the opportunities artist could apply for was to create an art project on a recycled surfboard that will be auctioned off as a fundraiser for Art Reach San Diego, which helps keep art programs in schools.

    While I was in PA my husband was able to go down to pick up a used, recycled surfboard for me supplied by ReRip.

    I was so excited to get started on this project right after we arrived in San Diego! I first had to clean and remove any wax on the board, then I primed it with Kills primer.

    Next, I drew out my design on the board.

    Then I started painting using a pallet knife. Because the board was used there were lots of small divots. By using the palette knife painting technique I was able to fill in the deeper divots and also hid them by the texture of the paint.

    All the colors were on and then it was time to lay the lines down. This is always the most nerve wracking part for me! One mistake and it’s so hard to cover up the black paint!

    Thankfully I didn’t make any mistakes!  Kona enjoyed sleeping in the sun as I worked.

    I put many layers of a high gloss clear coat on it once the lines were done. It was so shiny and it definitely made the colors pop! Since I had to wait for paint to dry in between steeps I took the time to work on my tan.

    The final project! I was so happy with the way it came out!

    The Board was  on display durning Mission Federal Art Walk 4/27 & 4/28

    I was so excited to see that the board sold and I was able to help raise money for ArtReach San Diego!

  • New Adventures

    Looks like we are heading to Italy next, I should be excited but it means I need to do something with my RV.

    I put so much into this thing and it deserves to be on the road and not stored for a few years. 😍🛣

    Who wants an amazing RV that all the work has been done for you? 🙌🙌

    1988 Holiday Rambler Presidential, 34CS

    Class A, 33 ft 

    Attached bike rack hitch.

    VIN: 1GBKP37W2J3309361

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/u7dZVFctJh2PAcR39

    Sleeps: 4-5 

    Seatbelts: 7 (3 in sofa, 2 living room chairs and 2 in front seats)

    REMODELED & UPDATED!

    New tires with TP/heat sensors- 9 includes full spare)

    Lots of motor work done! Not inclusive but some of the big items- New transmission with warranty, heater core repaired, fuel pressure regulator, new spark plugs, Cab AC retrofitted for R134a, (along with other repairs so fully road worthy) 

    Outside has been waxed and polished. 

    New awing 

    Generator, fixed some issues (new transformer, rectifier, cleaned carburetor)

    LP tank

    Inside has been fully updated! 

    White & blue cabinets, light gray walls.

    New lux vinyl plank flooring. 

    Bathroom has been fully renovated, new toilet, faucets and tile surround in tub area.

    Gas stove top

    Convention/air-fryer toaster over (not built in)

    Dinner was removed & replaced with: Mini washer/spin dryer. (Plumbed in) & Custom built butcher-block counter with storage underneath & 2 folding stools.

    Back bedroom with 2 twin beds, new memory foam mattresses

    Tons of storage inside!

    Jack-knife sofa in living area with new memory foam mattress and custom fabric. 

    Pull down twin over cab (hold up to 150 lbs, but not the best sleeping space, ok for child/tween. I currently use for storage but will buy new mattress if needed)

    2 roof AC with toggle switch if using shore power

    30 amp shore power- new power cord

    Will include: All hoses- stinky slinky, drinking water hose, extra hose for cleaning.

    Misc items like engine fluids or repair items I have on hand.

    More photos here

  • Cross Country Crunch

    Well we were FINALLY able to make plans once all the RV repairs were done! If you ever need RV service or parts and you are in PA, I highly recommend John’s RV & Trailer Center in Jacobus, PA.

    Leaving was a bit hard. The only times I’ve seen my dad cry is when I leave and oh man it breaks my heart, but it was even harder because he enjoyed the boys so much! I am so grateful for our time in PA and although it was RV issues that kept us there for so long, I know God had his hand in the mix and knew we all needed the time together!

    I decided to leave on a Thursday night after my dad got off work and we had dinner together. I figured it would be easier to say bye at night & I could beat the morning traffic, thankfully I did that because it snowed overnight!  Not a lot but enough to of made me nervous driving in the snow.  My husband flew into BWI and I found a Crackle Barrel to park at overnight right outside of the airport. He landed at 6am &  took an UBER to the RV.  We went right back to sleep and the boys didn’t even wake up!

    3/1

    After a hardy breakfast to “pay” back our over night stay we hit the road to  Virginia Beach to visit some old Navy friends.  It was a quick overnight stop, but we had a great meal,

    snuck in a quick ER trip before breakfast and had some yummy pancakes before we left in the morning.

    I was REALLY bad about taking photos, we were just too busy chatting it up!

    3/2/19

    The next day we headed out towards Charleston, SC! We were all so excited to go back to our old hood and visit all of our friends! I think we all feel like Charleston is our home, especially our kids because they remember it the more then Hawaii but it’s truly because of our amazing friend in our old neighborhood!

    The drive was SOOOOO long! We all just wanted to get there! We were a few hours latter then we had anticipated pulling in about 9pm at night. We were staving so we had to stop for food. We were craving wings from Voodoo Tiki Bar. I had pulled over so my husband could jump out and go pick up our togo order. I told him I would pull through the neighborhood behind the bar and pick him up on the other side. Well I turned a bit too soon and ended going through the back ally of the parking lot. It was a tight fit but thankfully the RV handles like a boss!  We were planing on just sleeping in the RV outside of our friends house, but ended up staying inside, who can turn down a big bed you don’t have to pull out! lol

    3/3

    The next day was filled with hanging out, walks around the park, potluck with friends, kids having a blast together again, RV tours, being reminded how bad the bugs suck , lots of drinks and laughs late into the night.

    3/4

    We had a great visit in Charleston, it defiantly wasn’t long enough but we are on a time line to get my husband back to the ship! We decided to drive straight to San Antonio, TX so we could have a day to sight see, so that meant 2 very long days of driving! The first day was good and we pulled off before Biloxi, MS at a rest stop for the night.

    3/5

    Longest day ever!

    We left at 7:30 am
    Hit traffic at 5pm so pulled over for few hours to eat, take a shower & relax.
    8pm back on road but after 2 hrs I was DONE driving! It took me 3 rest stops to finally find a spot to pull over at for the night. We didn’t quite make it, but we only have 133 miles left to go!

    3/6

    San Antonio TX !! I booked us at a KOA. We stayed 1 night, and its a very nice RV park!  We had an upgraded camp sight with patio, table, fire pit and grill. Every camp sight should have those amenities! The boys enjoyed the playground, playing hockey with dad and diner and S’mores over the fire pit!

    After we checked in we took an UBER to the Riverwalk, found a TexMex restaurant… where I could enjoy a margarita of course!

    We walked around and went to the Alamo. It was the anniversary of the fall of the Alamo which I had not been aware of when I planned our trip.  I wish they had some sort of Jr Ranger booklet like the National Parks do but I didn’t see anything.

    We decided to do the Riverboat cruise which was great & very informative! We defiantly learned more on the cruise then we did walking around the Alamo!

    3/7

    Long Drive day with a over night stop at a rest area. I am so grateful I chose a Class A RV to travel in. It makes traveling so much more comfortable and easy to just pull over and stop. If we had a trailer or 5th wheel it’s still doable but a bit harder, especially if you have slides or are not set up to boon-dock!

    3/8

    White Sands National Monument, NM

    Bucket list items!!!

    Way cooler then I expected! Loved we could drive the RV right in and hang out! They had these great little picnic tables with shelter over them, which would be perfect for hot days! Since we got there in time to enjoy lunch we took full advantage of them! We got some sledding in before the winds made us run back to RV! That sand hurts!

    The boys worked on their Jr Ranger booklets in the RV and we went to the visitors center to finish them up, They then turned them in & received their Jr Ranger Badges!

    3/9

    We decided to skip our next stop after I realized it would be a few hour round trip off the highway and just drive straight into San Diego. We were doing good on the mountain climbs but I made the mistake of pulling off for gas before a BIG climb, like literally right at the base of the hill. Once I started to pull onto the highway I knew it was going to be hard to get up to speed with such a climb!

    Before that it was easy sailing at 70mph but I was only pulling 55 up the hill, Big Betsy was doing pretty good. Unfortunately I was watching the heat gauge creep up when I found out I actually have a heat alarm! Devils pass on I8 into CA almost got us, but thankfully they have places to pull over for overheating vehicles. We only needed 5 mins of cooling off the engine. It was 40 degrees outside so that helped!  I had pulled over almost at the top so restarting wasn’t to bad! Then it was back to normal speeds for us!

    We pulled into our RV spot just after the office closed so the night host showed us to our spot. We got all set up and the next morning we woke up to water views! I am defiantly going to enjoy this beach front living!

     

  • The Maryland Science Center

    The Maryland Science Center in Baltimore

    We have been to the The Maryland Science Center  a few times, once a few years ago when we visited the area and shortly after we got to PA at the end of 2018.

    Since my daughter was in town for winter break the boys asked if we could take her. Last time we went we didn’t do all the areas because it was a busy field trip day for the center. We got there early so we could beat the school groups and be done by lunch.

    The kids had a great time exploring the different hands on exhibits.

    The workshop was the most fun for them and where we spent the most amount of time. They created a few buildings out of cardboard for a group project of building a city. They decided to build a Hydro electrical plant since there was a river running through the city.

     

    The Maryland Science Center in Baltimore is located right on the water at the Inner Harbor. Its the perfect spot to walk around and grab some lunch near by.

  • Snow Tubbing

    Avalanche Express Snow Tubbing in York, PA

    We did a COLD thing today!

     

    My daughter came down on winter break to have some fun with me and the boys and to visit my parents. My mom knew about this place so it was the perfect time to check it out!

    A snow tube escalator!

    You can go down together…

    or not…

     

    After walking up 5 times because I wasn’t being lazy, I gave into the escalator!

     

    We defiantly had a blast! Thank you to my mom who brought us out for some fun!

     

    www.avalanchexpress.com

    27oo Mount Rose Ave

    York, PA 17402