I’m painting all day today as I’m about to finish another larger piece, but I figured it was time for a post where I show you what I do when I’m NOT painting.

I hope you had a fantastic long weekend and that you’re enjoying the shorter work-week. We get the long-weekends so seldom it’s almost like we go into mourning once they are over. It’s a little different when you’re a full-time painter and can ease into the first work-day but I’m also working every day of the week and haven’t really taken a day off in six month. Still, I’m empathizing and remembering and longing for the next one…

Casey and I headed downtown for 4th of July and celebrated independence day by watching a baseball game. Can it get more American? We had a great time and lucky for us the Nat’s won! After a nice dinner we headed to the Mall and watched the fireworks. I’ve never been to downtown DC during the fireworks and it wasn’t as bad, people and traffic wise, as I had expected. The heat was the worst. I’m glad I can check it off my list of must-do-things when you’ve lived in DC for 10 years. You can see much nicer photos of the fireworks here… my iphone just doesn’t cut it.

We headed to Wolf Trap recently to watch RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles. I love going to this venue because it’s all outdoors and you can sit either on the lawn or have assigned seating under the roof. After being rained on during a full Harry Connick, Jr. show, I now always opt for assigned seats!

It was a great show and if you love the Beatles, I highly recommend it because these guys are really good at looking like them, sounding like them, and playing like them! Apparently the song list is based on a reunion concert the Beatles were planning on hosting in 1980(?) which never happened.

I love my patio and we use it a lot, especially during the summers when we grill almost every day. I love how my climbers are starting to take over. I find it very peaceful and serene.

I hate to admit but my studio gets really messy FAST. As soon as I’ve cleaned it, it gets messy again in just a few days. Am I the only one!?? I’m lucky to have my studio in my house but I’ve definitely already grown out of it… It doesn’t look like this today but it easily could in a few hours.

 I have the most darling nephews and nieces as both my sisters have children. It’s such a joy to have children in the family. These two girls often stop by during the day to say hi and play with Lola and Rasmus. It’s such a nice break in the day.

My mom and I recently tried to teach the youngest one Små Grodorna (little frogs) in preparation for Midsummer. She laughed and danced along but probably thought we were crazy for dancing and singing about frogs… oh silly Swedes.

I spent what felt like a whole week at Fedex Office (aka Kinko’s) recently in preparation for my Gaithersburg Show. I made a larger bridal bouquet poster to try and make it more eye-catching in the booth. It took several tries to get it right but eventually it worked out. They also helped me with a booth banner and the bridal bouquet sign. Yay! Now I want car decals, tri-fold brochures etc. etc… 🙂

Jill Sorensen of LiveLikeYou was asked to do a speaking engagement for Apartment Therapy downtown a few weeks ago so we drove down there together. I helped filming and taking photos for her blog while she was sharing interior design tips with everyone. You can read more about this event on Jill’s blog.

{I’ve become completely spoiled with good weather and on this particular day thought 82F/27C was a little chilly to jump in the pool for. During my 10 summers in the outdoor pool in Sweden, I was lucky if it got over 62F/17C!}

I’ve tried to pick up swimming again and I swim at our public pool a few times a week. Man, I can’t believe how easy it all used to be. I still have a long way to go before I can swim an hour straight.

My whole family was involved in swimming growing up and my sisters and I swam for at least 10 years each. I quit because I wanted to focus more on my academics as I saw first-hand what it took to be a really good swimmer – my sister was one of the best swimmers in Sweden for several years!

And I thought my 5 times a week practice and swim meets were enough, try eating special food, measuring it, taking blood tests here and there, waking up early to swim, just to swim again four hours later etc. etc… It’s rough. My 5 times a week at the age of 13 was only the beginning climb when you want to reach to the top.

We celebrated my mom’s birthday recently with a sailing trip in the Chesapeake Bay. It was really lovely and I can’t wait to do it again. My nephews got to steer the boat while we (mom, sisters and I) enjoyed the views. It was beautiful.

Speaking of the Chesapeake Bay… On a Sunday afternoon, while cleaning the studio yet again, I suddenly wanted just leave the mess behind and head to Annapolis. So we did. 🙂 We enjoyed a lovely afternoon on the dock, eating delicious food and enjoying the water. It’s about an hour drive (with no traffic) and a really nice break from the normal routine.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little inside look at what I’m doing when I’m not painting, and what I’m doing to be inspired to be creative.