8 Sep


“Cartolina #5”

On the way to lunch today I spied another potential place for us to hang out for a summer…or two.  I figure with an entrance like this, the house can’t be too bad;))
“Cartolina #5”
Lunch in Panzano
Is that you I see down there ahead of me on the path???
Cypress and Terracotta =  Italy
Also spied some grapes.  And these aren’t just any old grapes.  They are growing in the vineyards that originated THE Chianti wine that the entire region is known for!
Fresh flowers and a well worn table are too inviting to pass up….
Especially in a ristorante that has chef’s hats “made by mamma”!
Cheese studded with pistachios, fresh bread and a soft cheese served with grape marmalade…
and crespelle  stuffed with ricotta and spinach:))
By now you may be wondering… where ARE the cats of Italy?
Well, some wander out in the afternoon and sit in the shade of the cypress trees.

Others have a habit of showing up for dinner at the pizza place.

 Then some are really into the night life of Tuscany;))

Whatever you do, do not share these photos with Eddie.
The only way I was able to slide out and leave him in Kentucky was to tell him
(1) that I needed him there in order to draw winning names for the cartolinas and
(2) that Italian cats had a different look and then showed him this pic….
Worked like a charm;))
And the winner for today’s cartolina, clawed out of the hat by Eddie,  is:

Elisabeth Phillipson!!!!

Yeah Elisabeth:)) Just email me with your snail mail address to receive your postcard!
Guess who’s been mailing cartolinas???
We are at the half-way mark, with 5 more to go in the mail!

 Leave a comment on this blog post (click here) or email me (click here) to get your name in the hat for the next original watercolor postcard from Italy:))))!

And how cool is it that you can “take a friend to Italy” for free;))  Just forward them this blog post and they’re in;))!
No ticket to buy, no long plane ride….and absolutely no calories to work off when returning home from gelato eating marathons….:)))

P.S.  I am enjoying the heck out of your comments and emails.  Funny, helpful , inspiring, fashion tips, what kinds of flavors of gelatos to try, reminders to call the pasta–pasta, not noodles—even Eddie has been getting an inordinate amount of mail.  Some with promises (good looking girly cats involved here) and others with connections in Sicily and threats of the “cat fathers”.  Once I am back home, I will do my best to answer some of the questions that have come up most frequently–but ’til then, I have to stay on track with my gelato eating program.

So many flavors.
So little time;)

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  1. “Please brighten up this waiting room,” says my busy boss, one morning “Put some art on the wall.”
    Admittedly, the room is on the drab side but as a car spare part supply office, I thought that not many of the
    clients coming through notice much of it.

    From wahooart.com, I ordered online canvas prints about car art, of
    course, like this one http://
    by Salvador Dali.

  2. Sue

    On such a sad day, thank you for bringing the sun.

  3. Sue

    On such a sad day, Thank you for bringing the sun.

  4. Debra Pruskowski

    Dreama ~It could be that it’s Eddies twin and he sensed some kind of connection with you 🙂
    Loving the photos, laughing out loud and still drooling!

  5. OMG! How beautiful Italy is. Your blog is making me want to go to Italy more than I already do.

  6. OMG! How beautiful Italy is! Your blog is making me wanting to go even more than I already did.

  7. Dreama, I promise you, the number 6 has been my lucky number since I rode bus number 6 in the second grade!! AND, I like cats now, thanks to you!

  8. I keep hoping…love love love the cartolinas! I look forward to seeing them everyday! Are you on Gelato and sensory overload…take that moment that you talk about and just “Be” in Italy:):) Eddie is loving just “beeeeeing in Paris…Kentucky-haha:):)

  9. Oh my gosh! How do you sleep at night with all of those beautiful images at every turn?!!!

  10. Eddie Bill,
    It’s not too late! There’s still time to make your break. Just leave a note for Dreama…”GTT” (Gone To Texas.)
    Abby Cat
    Houston, Texas

  11. margaret

    Eddie must be wondering when you will return… so be sure to bring him something from Italia!
    As for me, any old postcard will do.
    Margaret S.

  12. I love your work and I am so envious of your trip! The scenery looks like a fairy-tale book. As always I enjoy your creativity and sense of humor; keep up the wonderful work! Have fun! ~sue

  13. Charyl

    Love your art, your posts and your sense of humor!

  14. Anonymous

    I am really enjoying your posts (as always!). Cheerful and fun- they make me want to come along.

    I’d love to put my name in the pot for a postcard. 🙂
    Leslie Brasher

  15. Anonymous

    Are you painting, other than postcards? Does your energy ever fail?.Carol Hickerson

  16. Anonymous

    Bet more people are booking tours to Italy after seeing your pictures!

  17. Tu mi ispirano. Vuoi essere in grado di prendere il viaggio con voi un giorno! incredibile!

  18. Valerie McMullen

    I just love your photos! Wish I could be there but alas…photos and maybe a very pretty postcard will do! Have fun!

  19. Katherine Baker

    Kitties, pasta, gelato, and rolling vineyards in the crisp fall sun. Life is good in Italy! Lucky you and lucky us for getting a ring side seat. Thanks for the memories, as the song goes…love all your paintings and musings.

  20. Unknown

    Oh yeah and a chapter of the cat denizens exclusivelyof the two countries. Teresa

  21. Unknown

    Oh it is wonderful, seeing Italy through your eyes, I know you are taking tons of photos, you should consider publishing an art photo book of your two visits, France and Italy. Interspersed with some of your gorgeous paintings, it would be so amazing to a follow your experiences through the pages. Love you and Eddie. Teresa

  22. Unknown

    Dreama – I love your watercolor postcards – is there any particular watercolor paints you use?

  23. Anonymous

    Your trip has been a real delight – beauty around every corner! I don’t know when I have enjoyed someone else’s trip so much 🙂
    Still begging Eddie to draw my name . . .
    Karen Gifford

  24. Oh…And in your thought process of France Vs. Italy you must eliminate Gelato and any cats!! Haha!!

  25. Would love to hear how you have loved France versus Italy and if one spoke to you more than the other and why….Just loving seeing you at each!!

  26. Dreama! I KNOW you’re inspired to paint the Italian cook/server! What a great photo! Eddie would love it!

  27. Thank-you for another beautiful post!

  28. Debra Pruskowski

    Your pictures just keep getting better and better Dreama!!

  29. Carol Morris

    Thoroughly enjoying the photos of the landscape, people —and cats of Italy. Your postcards are lovely! Hope I’m lucky and get one!

  30. OK, Here is one to try, if you get half la crema and half orange sorbetto it tastes like the most heavenly Orange Dreamsicle you have ever had!

  31. Here is one to try, if you get half la crema, and half of any kind of orange sorbetto, it tastes like the most heavenly Orange Dreamsicle you have ever had. Mango will work too!

  32. Love the cats of Italy and everything else in these wonderful photos!
    Thanks for the inspiration and fun.

  33. Still trying to get my name in the pot

  34. Every picture is a painting waiting to happen, beautiful pictures!!!

  35. Linda Stratton

    Fabulous trip and fabulous painting! Bellisimo!

  36. Sharon

    Your having so much fun and poor Eddy is worried sick that those cats of Italy are dangerous for you. You better bring him some Italian catnip,etc. Now Eddy put your sweet paw in the hat and pick me, paleez!!!!

  37. Love the photo of the Italian cook. THAT’s a painting waiting to be painted!

  38. I enjoy your insightful blogs and paintings. Inspires me to do more quick paintings on my next trip! I’m looking forward to meeting you in person and painting with you next August in Chattanooga TN.

  39. Dreama your pics are gorgeous. Italy is magical. Maybe I can bribe Eddie to pull my name with some mice meat pie or a catnip bouquet:)

  40. Absolutely gorgeous Dreama. Italy is magical. Please put my name in for tomorrow. Maybe I can bribe Eddie to pull my name with some mice meat pie or a catnip bouquet:)

  41. I am having so much fun following this trip. I love the photographs, the stray cats and, oh yes, your painted postcards. We also take photos of all of our food before messing up the beautiful presentations. Every year I end up with a photo file of beautiful plates of food from Italy or France. It’s so inspiring and tastes wonderful too. I actually remember how good each one tasted.

    All the best, Vicki Brevell

  42. Dreama, Your Photographs are so beautiful that I see a Painting in each one of them. Reading and looking at your Blog each day is so inspiring.
    Can’t wait to take your workshop in a week or so. I am soooo ready.

  43. Wow Dreama, you sure can transport this gal from Rogers, Arkansas to the villages of Italy by just the click of a computer key. Thanks for sharing your heart! amazing

  44. Hi…I have a stray cat that looks a lot like your “Scare Eddie Photo” !!! Joni Leaf

  45. Anonymous

    I am loving this trip to Italy with you, thank you for sharing.
    I don’t understand the comment formats you are requesting, nothing I tried worked so will try anonymous….

  46. NeeNee

    What a beautiful card. This is my favorite so far. Some old neighbors of mine were stationed in Italy and adopted their cat while living there. His name was ‘Bill’…not very Italian. He looked pretty much the same as American cats, but I won’t tell Eddie!

  47. Bellisimo!! Love the painting!! Oh my…your watercolors just sing to me! Must be so amazing to be there in Italy!

  48. Where on earth do you find these pictures?? (Specifically the one you showed Eddie of the “cat”)! A riot.

  49. Please!!! I would really love to have a beautiful postcard…!!!

  50. Suzanne

    My memories are being revived by your postings about the beautiful scenery, great food and wine and the delicious gelato of Italy!

  51. Kelly Reed

    You know that you are incredibly talented. Not only can you paint, but you take beautiful photos.. I have enjoyed seeing your photos each day! I even look forward to finding your email and popping it up first.
    Now I just have to win one of your watercolors so that I can enjoy it up on my wall!
    You very inspirational. Thanks Dreama!!

  52. Deb LaRocque

    Another day, more beautiful pictures, more delicious food and hopefully time to paint! How can you stand it?

  53. It is so much fun traveling with you to a place that I have longed to visit. Maybe next year! Keep having fun.

  54. Marcia

    Thanks for sharing your trip with us. It is nice to get a glimpse of where you have been.

  55. Such great memories….love re-visiting this area with you, Dreama. But I think Eddie might be jealous….hope he picks me.

  56. Gail

    It’s just not fair that one person could be so wonderfully talented in so many ways. Your daily writings and photographs make me feel as though I’m right there with you, your immense proficiency with pen, paint and brush makes me yearn to be painting along with you and the love you put into everything you do is so evident! The Eddie’s back home must be ecstatic that those Italian cats are so “different” and that you won’t be tempted to find a few replacements to bring home!

  57. Cheese studded with pistachios…sorry, but I just had to wipe the drool off my keyboard 🙂

  58. You’ve painted another lovely postcard today! FIngers crossed that my name will come out of the hat in the next few days! 😉 I think I’m gaining weight just looking at the pictures of that yummy food! Italy is now on my travel wish-list. 😀

  59. Susan in S. Carolina

    Wow, your photos remind me of a movie filmed in Italy but I can’t remember the name of it. It is so beautiful and seems so relaxed. I today’s cartolina. It is so nice to see your letter in my inbox every morning. It always brings a smile to my face. Cato, our cat that is in Kitty Heaven now looked so much like Eddie that they must be related. Does Eddie like chipmunks?

  60. Patricia

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful trip with us. The only thing I would change is that I would be there instead of reading about it!!

  61. And their presentation of food is just amazing….simple elegance!

  62. Sarah

    Love your cartolina for today! And the crespelle looks divine. Thanks for writing every day–you must have so many other things to do, so sharing your trip is a gift to us all.

  63. Hi Dreama, I am happy that you got to see the Greve wine festival. Everything about that area is so magnificent. Maybe you’ll get to visit the Villa Vignamaggio where Mona Lisa was born. It’s not too far from Panzano and has wonderful views to paint. I would love for you to drop my name in the old cappella. Warmest wishes, Patty

  64. Tessera

    Poor Eddie! But I bet he is having his own vacation celebrating not having to deal with the “Italian” cats:)

  65. pat

    More fun in Italy; I love wine and cheese!
    Drink one for me!

  66. Anonymous

    I have been to Italy – along time ago. After reading your blog, I see I did not appreciate it nearly enough. I did not even try gelato, much less take enough pictures-who knew I would need art references? Brenda Gibbs

  67. June

    I am absolutely loving each day and each new town you’ve been taking us to. Loving every gelato (which is your favourite flavour, by the way? Or are you still sampling – I mean, researching this to find out which is the best??, all the gorgeous pizzas, cheeses, wines…and ahhh….the beautiful and very cool and beloved cats of Italia. Similar to Greece, cats are very, very loved and cherished in all of Italy. I had a calendar years ago of just that – cats in Greece. I think it’s the temperate climate, the relaxed and much calmer vibe, and of course, the amazing food. Cats know where the good stuff is, and they tell one another of the best places to hang out at. Especially Italian (and Greek) cats.

    No worries – we won’t breathe a word to Eddie about this, and will continue to let him think that the (hilarious) photo you sent him is of course what all Italian cats look like. Couldn’t stop giggling (that is, until my own cats walked in – I quickly scrolled down so they wouldn’t see and wouldn’t tell Eddie).

    Have another pizza and defnitely another spinach and ricotta crespelli (I am drooling and I want one of those right this moment!), and of course some more wine (chianti, naturally) and yes…you will have to do more gelato research. It’s a tough job, but we know you’re dedicated to getting it done properly and thoroughly…so get it to it, lol.

    ps – that beautiful old wrough-iron table with the flowers is definitely something I’d not only love to sit at, but also to paint as a still life. Bellisimo – all of it! Thanks for sharing all of this with us, Dreama.

  68. That beautiful waitress would make an awesome painting! Thanks for sharing…

  69. This trip to Italy is making me hungry!…and wanting to plan MY trip there!

  70. jen lacoste

    Am really enjoying travelling with you. Carefully edited holidays are fab… specially as I have a sister just back from Florence with sore feet, and a bad case of visual indigestion, from there being too much to see. I’m telling her I’m in Tuscany, looking at glorious archways, and a gelato rainbow… Thank you for the great photos, and another great postcard.

  71. Eddie Bill,
    Has it occurred to you that when Dreama returns from Italy you may soon have another feline roommate? He will be named Eddie Giuseppe.
    Abby Cat
    Houston, Texas

  72. Such a beautiful postcard. Please put me in the hat for tomorrow. 🙂 I love that pic of the cypress in the terra cotta. It makes me feel peace just looking at it!

  73. Oh how I miss the food and sights of Italy. Perhaps next time I can come along. But I will plug for another watercolor class, love your cartolina’s.

  74. I’d love to be there with you! The pictures are fabulous!

  75. WOW that chef is so beautiful and you took a classic photo, you’ve got to paint her someday :)) I love living vicariously lol…

  76. The pictures are wonderful……love the little pen and watercolor postcards….

  77. DLPBR

    Clever lady Is good at writing.

  78. Anonymous

    Dear Eddie ~ Please draw my name soon. I LOVE Dreama’s postcards (and everything else she paints).

    Know you’re lonesome for her.

    Love, Julie Reagan

  79. I love your posts, fantastico.

  80. Wow,great blog- wish I was there!

  81. Wonderful photos and paintings–you really are capturing the essence of Tuscany for us sad sacks stuck over here across the pond!


    Please include my name in the drawings!

    Kristina Wentzell

  82. I am having so much fun reading your blog. The scenery ain’t bad either. Love the photo of the cook. Thanks so much for the postcard fun.

  83. Nancy at Finch Cottage

    Your photograph of the beautiful Italian cook looks like a painting to me. Thanks for the journey.

  84. can’t believe you’re already on cartolina #5. My how time flies when you’re eating good and seeing such beauty. Have fun. The cat secret is safe with me.

  85. Lyn

    Another beautiful postcard on a picture perfect Italian vacation!

  86. Hi Dreama,
    okay you had me at the Cyprus trees, Terra cotta, fresh flowers on the table.
    Vineyards where the first Chianti originated!! But I can’t take it… that food, Crespelle w/spinach and Ricotta, bread cheese grape marmalade. If I visited there I would look like my cat… who resembles Tony Soprano with stripes. He would rub me out just for saying that so let’s keep this between humans.

    I’m enjoying our trip to Italy, thank you for sharing it.

  87. That cook/waitress has a real look of a Vermeer painting about her. Hey Eddie if I were you I would down tools … er claws unless you get a promise of some of that Italian kitty food. If it’s half as good as the human food looks it must be superb. But please don’t strike until you’ve pulled my name out of the hat.

  88. It all looks so inviting. So overwhelmingly beautiful. How can you not paint and pour your heart out on canvas and paper? At this point I would believe my whole being would sing to Italy. Thank you for the vacation for the soul.

  89. Yvonne

    Love the photos and seeing your new painting daily. Great warm and fresh colors. I really must plan a trip to Italy again!!!
    Enjoy your second half of your trip. Yvonne Ankerman, Cape Town, South Africa

  90. Youre having lovely weather! Beautiful paintings, Dreama! 🙂

  91. Youre having lovely weather! Beautiful paintings, Dreama! 🙂

  92. Anonymous

    Another beautiful postcard!! Please put me in the hat for tomorrows!!!

    Wendy Slone

  93. Anonymous

    Okay Dreama, you are killing me with all the delicious food pictures. My phone looks tastier by the minute!!! And seriously, I’m in a competition at work to lose weight (up to 13 lbs!!) and I am thanking the food gods our final weigh in is Monday!!! I can’t wait to eat some of this delicious food! LOL!! Thank you for sharing all of your pictures! …Monica Avila

  94. O.K., I am falling in love with Italy… especially now that the photos and the paintings get more beautiful each day AND the cats have finally shown up.
    My kitty “Beauty” is willing to “encourage” Eddie (no one said “bribe”), to draw my name out of the hat sometime this week
    “Beauty” claims to know something about how to make shrimp gelato, salmon soufflé, and tuna tortellini.

  95. Wow, already the halfway mark…time flies, they say.

    Congrats Elisabeth! Your cattolina is beautiful.

  96. Anonymous

    Thoroughly enjoying your posts — I am probably drooling on my keyboard with the gelato and pizza photos. The postcards are really outstanding mini works of art — I am hoping Eddie sees fit to draw my name one of these days! 🙂 Best wishes, Karen Gifford – deep in the heart of Texas

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