6 Sep

During the Creative Process

You Say Cortona, Eddie Says Cortuna

It all started with a dark stranger who kept leading me on….

And the next thing I knew, cats were turning up everywhere…

So I shouldn’t have been surprised when I walked into the shop and saw…

Just as we had feared.
Eddie has joined us in, as he calls it, Cortuna.

So I will attempt to offset what may become a HUGE problem by focusing on Italy.

Both the big things

(This is the view from Cortona—it sits high on the hill overlooking the Tuscan landscape below 🙂

and the small

(Dinner bell outside a restaurant—signaling the “party ’til the cows come home” mantra I’m thinkin’)

I figure while you survey your options of what you are going to paint today in your journal or postcards that you may as well have a nice place to enjoy your coffee 😛 (There’s no need to hide….no one cares what you look like without make-up…I’ve been out scaring the locals for hours already;)

It’s a flower kind of day —here’s what’s blooming in Cortona!!

(Please note:  The photos I share here of our time in Italy are to be used as reference for  doing watercolors for personal journals or postcards only.  I please ask that they are used soley for that purpose:-)

Enter below to get your name in the hat for a chance to win a beautiful handmade journal that I just found here in Cortona:)

If you have a friend who needs some JOY in their life, share this post and encourage them to have some fun playing in the water (colors) and traveling along to Italy—everybody needs a Roman holiday once in awhile:-P!
Runaway to Italy continues on the next blog post!!!  Ciao Baby!!!
P.S.  Make sure you don’t miss a post from Italy–just click here to get your daily dose:)
P.S.S.  If you just joined us, you can pick up some watercolor journaling tips–just click here.
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  1. Teressa Sliger

    Italy agrees with you as much as France – I see your colors – purple, pink, blue, everywhere!

  2. Barbara Hust-Ray

    Would love to paint on the pages of this journal.

  3. Jill O'Cull

    i love your writings…you’re humor hasn’t changed since 3rd or 4th grade… you know a couple of years ago.. wish we could share this journey…

  4. Kathryn Ikeda

    How do you always manage to find such wonderful colors to photograph everywhere you go?

  5. Mary Moran

    Love to be so surrounded by cats. Of course I prefer to paint the countryside. But cats are good subjects by way of camera!

  6. ginny

    in my dreams!

  7. Michelle

    I love living vicariously through you Dreama! Italy is magical!

  8. Linda Chapman

    Love Italy, love painting and love you and Eddie!

  9. I promise to personally return that wonderful watercolor journal to Italy in the near future. 🙂

  10. Julee Ann Holder

    Thanks so much for your writings each day and photos. I really enjoy seeing them and living Italy through you. Keep them coming.

  11. Ginny Good

    My dream is to go to Italy to paint with Dreama. Since I can’t go this year maybe I can win the watercolor journal! Love your emails and blogs!

  12. Hmmm- I’m thinking that is Eddie’s Italian cousin, Eduardo! Love the watercolor journaling! Your journaling has inspired me to actually carry and use a sketch book with me. Haven’t gotten to the watercolor stage. Just using pencil but its a start!

  13. Dana Burton

    Such beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing with us.
    Dana Burton

  14. Bruce Bingham

    The only way this could be anymore delightful and fun is if I was in Italy too, bonjournaling with you! Big hugs.

  15. Marcie Mills Sigrist

    That is one beautiful journal. Good luck ducking the tuxedoed one…

  16. Liz Rosky

    Beautiful Journal some lucky person will jump for joy when they win that! Love todays inspiration photos.

  17. Sandra Jean Ammeraal

    Great photos. Love the cat on the stairs! I was in Italy in 1999 but never got off the beaten track. I imagine that’s what happens when you go on a structured tour, you don’t get to see those cozy corners.

  18. Starr Hull

    Thank you for the beautiful pictures to paint. I’m looking forward to my trip to Italy too.

  19. Elaine Dobrowolski

    Ahhhhhh, Ha, Ha, Ha……..Eddie really gets around……Ciao Mr. Eddie

  20. RoseAnn Hayes Watercolor Paintings

    So delighted to be back in another of Dreama’s adventures! I look forward to each one. I watch for a new post every day, hoping to find one of those little jewels that day (the videos). I love my pretend-friend, Dreama!

  21. Irene M. Santana

    Oh what a beautiful sight over looking the Tuscany landscape in Cortuna. I see you have a black handsome escort in Cortuna. Enjoy all those beautiful sunflowers contrasting against the bright blue Tuscan sky, just like the geramiums contrasts so nicely against that gorgeous blue journal. Enjoy, enjoy yourself in Cortuna, Dreama! 🙂

  22. Toni Treverton

    wonderful Photo’s, I enjoyed Italy in 1999…Umbria, Tuscany, Rome, Florence, You are making me want to get out the photo’s…

  23. Julie Winter

    You are pure inspiration…thanks for enriching my life every time I visit your pages. Ciao!

  24. Uh-Oh, Eddie in Cortona??? I bet he stowed away in your luggage, and is the reason your luggage was slightly overweight… hmmmm. I wonder what he’s up to? Please keep us posted.

  25. Love these posts, Dreama. Wish I could be there with you all.

  26. Sandra Robbins

    Live life colorfully while in Italy.

  27. Suzanne Cornick Epp

    that gives me a great idea…….I’m going to add embossing to my journal pages……..I get so many inspirations from you Dreama!

  28. Diane Howard

    You sure make watercolors look easy…love the loose feeling!

  29. Cj Rider

    How fun! The Felix Shirted person with the black cat looks like my son’s black cat, also named Felix. lol – I had to check and make sure she wasn’t out galavanting while we weren’t looking! lol

  30. Shelly

    Thanks for sharing a a slice of Italy with us! And that sketchbook…oh my…Bellissimo!!

  31. jobi

    That wine box, upside down…Brunello di Montalcino…you’re freaking me out! Another connector! I have a 2002 bottle in my wine cellar. First the pillows from Lowe’s, now this! So fabulous! Love every connection on this journey. Hope you had some of that wine! What a beautiful region – Cortona- I will remember that. And no makeup?! Count me in! I’m exhausted by all this wedding prep. Want to disappear into the Italian countryside. With wine. And chocolate. And sleep. Look forward to the next post… zzzzz

  32. Angela Langdale

    I wish I was under that periwinkle blue umbrella, surrounded by golden sunflowers…aaaahhh!

  33. Phyllis Elliott

    So beautiful and special. I have been to Italy but not to paint! That’s on my bucket list

  34. Suzanne Michels Hoyne

    Ooooh Cortona looks fabulous. Thanks for the visual memories,

  35. Linda LD Artman

    Thank you for taking us all along with your journey.

  36. Karen Gifford

    You know, if Eddie needs a handler while you are busy there in Italy, I would have been available – with leash! Thank you for the delightful photos.

  37. Valerie McMullen

    Why is everything seem so much prettier in Europe? They really know how to live! Wish I could be there! Love all the kitties!

  38. Terri Godfrey

    Love all that you do! Please enter me in the drawing…would love to win the journal!

  39. Linda Perrin

    I can just imagine how beautiful my watercolors will look in this fabulous book!

  40. Dennis Kendel

    We get home from trips and we find we have all these cat pictures. Just can’t resist. Lorraine

  41. Sharon Lynn Williams

    Hi Dreama: we were in Cortona Thursday! Unfortunately one of my students left his backpack with all his watercolour supplies there, and when we went back to get it, it was gone of course. You didn’t find it did you???
    Hot enough here for you?

  42. Charleen Martin

    You”re amazing… your posts are delightful and I know, bring a smile to many faces. Thank you for sharing.

  43. Debby Horowitz

    Thanks for sharing. I love the cats!

  44. beverly


  45. Carol Collier

    Looks like another beautiful day in Italy! I look forward to the sites and paintings! And I’d love to win that beautiful journal…or a postcard…..or a black cat. Oh, no, scratch that…no cats by mandate of our two dogs.

  46. Jaquelin Perry

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!
    J. Perry

  47. Carla Pasley

    Wish I could be there, too! Thanks for sharing! It is fabulous to see.

  48. Suzanne Lipke

    Love the journal and all the pictures! I’m going to go wake up my watercolors now…. 🙂

  49. Jennifer Edgar

    I loved cortina when I was in Italy, I have a small wooden carved cat from there as a momento.
    That journal is amazing ax are your photos thank you Dreama.

  50. Trish Davis

    I love that Eddie got to Italy before you did and now probably speaks Italian quite fluently. Love all the inspiration for watercoloring. Thanks for taking us along.

  51. Cindy Beynon Miller

    Eddie needs to meet a French poodle! Ciao Baby

  52. Terri

    Bella and Ron: Hope you are enjoying every Italian minute! Love from Paris……

  53. Kathleen Barnes

    Hmm. I have heard legends of Cortuna from many a furry friend!

  54. Betty Turner Hunter

    Stunning cover.

  55. Maureen L. White

    I love all the photos but especially the cat at the bottom of the stairway, getting all that to line up doesn’t happen often. You are in such a beautiful place enjoy every min as I know you will. Love getting your daily updates!

  56. Elaine Cook

    Such a beautiful photo of begonias, and that exquisite sketch book. I would love to win it.

  57. Beautiful pictures, love the balcony with the umbrellas and sunflowers and the window with flower pots. Can’t wait to see more!

  58. Joyce Howard

    I enjoy tagging along on your travels! Thank you.

  59. Vicki Miller Strode

    I’m going to give watercolors a try, thanks to you! 🙂

  60. Sharon

    Dreama so Eddy is in Cortona (Cortuna) with you. Well I have a problem then because I thought the cat that showed up at my door the other day was Eddy. He ate all our fish and pate then left saying he would be back soon. Oh Dear me, what shall I do….. What a beautiful journal filled with my favorite paper. I have my fingers crossed as I drive to the market for more fish…just in case!

  61. Carol Hickerson

    I love traveling with you, Dreama!

  62. Diane Klock

    Thank you Dreama for sharing this trip and photo’s with us. I am loving it and have found myself addicted to journaling since your trip to France. Thanks !

  63. Maggie Ruley

    Thank you for the lovely photos and inspiration.

  64. Irene


  65. gayle

    The journal is beautiful. What a joy it must be to find something so special. gayle

  66. I really enjoy your post on Facebook and your emails. You are in a beautiful place!

  67. Susan

    Thank you soo much for posting photos of your travels Dreama. I am a 70 yr old stay at home Nanny who wishes she could travel like you…so I paint instead. I so enjoy traveling thru your eyes, you are such a talented woman and your paintings are very inspiring. I’m trying to loosen up and get the feel of how you render the paint. I’m still learning and love every minute of it. I started out as a watercolorist, then tried pastel and am now into oils. Enjoy your trip as I know you are. Sue

  68. shirl

    Sorry, Eddie assured me you knew he was going to Italy. That’s why I helped him get his passport.. And he has been practicing his Italian meboujouooooooow 🙂

  69. I knew Eddie would show up. That rascal!!!

  70. Your making me dream dreams of Italy. So beautiful. Your a lucky lady. Enjoy.

  71. Judi Hostetter

    Oh, how I wish I was there in Cortona again. I loved that hilltown. Beautiful photos. Thank you for letting us ride along. Wish I had seen that beautiful blue w/c journal when I was there a few years ago.

  72. Sharon Merchant Ivy

    Cats, cats everywhere! What fun!

  73. Marilyn Troutman

    Thank you for sharing Dreama.

  74. Linda Phillips

    Ever so delightful!!

  75. Annette

    Isn’t it wonderful that cats are everywhere! This is going to be a remarkable trip. Thanks, Dreama.

  76. Jennifer Saylor

    Love it all! An inspiration every time. Thank you.

  77. I’m thrilled to be with you in Italy. What gorgeous views. I love the cats!

  78. kim

    about to go paint a mural at the dog and kitty rescue barn in town – as it turns up a beautiful day but not as beautiful as yours…enjoy

  79. susanne billings

    please throw my name into the catdish for the watercolor journal…………..

  80. What great pictures! We really enjoy them. I am off to a meeting of the Murer House Foundation for our gala Italy on Wheels event next Saturday. Cars motorcycles, bikes, Italian beer, wood fired pizza, gelato! Check out our website Murer House Foundation and click on events. A little of Italy right here in Folsom, California!

  81. I so enjoy reading your posts of your travels, admiring your paintings, and drooling over your photos! Our cat Little Man sends his regards to Eddie! 🙂

  82. Joan

    Dreama, I look forward to each of your posts. I am seeing Italy through your photos. Thank you!. You make me want to start a journal, and that one you found is one of a kind !

  83. On this rainy day where I live, it’s great to think of Italy and all of its offerings!

  84. rosemary daly

    Hello Dear Dreamer,
    I wish you blessings today! Thank you for taking me on this Beautiful trip with you. Being the daughter of an Irish mother and an Italian father, my heart is Irish but my Soul is Italian, maiden name “Mazzola” so, I feel alive once again!
    Grazie mille,

  85. I’ve spoken with Eddie and told him to keep an eye on you! Only 2 gelatos per day. He will be watching!

  86. Gaylynn

    Fav photo today…the patio w/tables & umbrellas.

  87. Karen Smith

    Italy is gorgeous……thanks for sharing!

  88. Marcia

    Eddie sure is a world traveler! Really enjoy all your pictures, thank you for sharing with us back here. 🙂

  89. Monique

    I have been to Cortona and we loved it.. 5 yrs ago..would love to return..
    Where did you find that beautiful watercolor journal in Cortona?
    It’s beautiful..
    I have been ejoying everything.

  90. Deb LaRocque

    Your pictures make me want to paint all day!

  91. Beth

    Dreama, Would love to be with you ! Please send more photos !
    Enjoy your time in Italy !

  92. Marilyn WhiteTraini

    Ciao ciao, Bebe !

  93. Rhonda Boyd

    My fingers are crossed! (;

  94. Andrée

    Hello Dreama! Everything is in place! Italy, Tuscany,and Eddie!….Thanks for sharing! Andrée

  95. Debbie Bruce

    Your posts are a highlight of my day. it is so fun to see where you are and catch your infectious excitement of what you are painting. Have a fun trip! Tell Ron Hi!

  96. Holly Rose

    What a splendid journal! And the photographs are just the way to start one’s day.

  97. Ruth Walsh

    The journal, Italy, and Eddie all look AMAZING!!!

  98. Corinne Murphy

    Dreama, is that REALLY Eddie?! Not just some Italian impostor?!! So if Eddie is in Italy……where is Eddie Pierre?! Hmmm……

  99. Dreama, you are amazing in so many wonderful ways! Your blogs are so fun and make me smile all the way through! Thanks for sharing the energy!
    Enjoy your day!

  100. Holly Morris

    Oh how I LOVE that handmade journal. All your pics are just beautiful, breathtaking actually. Thanks for sharing!

  101. marianne leal

    ciao dreama~so beautiful and inspiring!
    thank you for sharing:)
    savor each moment in love, grace, and gratitude

  102. Lyn

    Dreama, You really know how to make a day sparkle! Thanks for sharing.

  103. Judi Ann Hostetter

    How wonderful of you to let us, who are here at home, travel along with you via your lovely photos. I will be sketching from them in my “Italian” sketch book that I bought in Florence when there. Our guide took me, by car (because I have mobility problems) to see the “Under the Tuscan House” and I loved it. Cortona is one of the delights of Italy for sure. I love the way you render your paintings and the lively colors you use.

  104. Kathy Scott

    Dreama you never fail to inspire and lift my spirits when I read your posts and blogs, have a wonderful time in Tuscano

  105. Linda Dal

    Ciao Bella
    Only to whisk myself away to Italy,
    With you in spirit

  106. Helen

    Bella! Bella! Loving the photos as well as the sketches. And Fabriano! I’ve absolutely fallen in love with it over the past year! Swoon!!!

  107. Fran M

    Its so fun to read your posts and see a little of Italy. I would be honored to be drawn to win the journal.

  108. Tricia

    You have some lovely photographs of your trip.
    Thanks for sharing them, and what a lovely journal!

  109. Love your photos of Cortona. We have been there. Once you visit Tuscany, you will always long to go back……especially with your paints and journal. Carolyn

  110. Arleen Turzo

    A painting everywhere you look! The inspiration must be overwhelming! Enjoy; we’re all pretty envious here…

  111. Karen Mitchell


  112. Claire Southward Snyder

    I am loving my trip to Italy!

  113. RoseAnn Hayes Watercolor Paintings

    I’m getting back in the groove of anticipation for each new post, or video, or painting! You make it so much fun! And that gorgeous watercolor book is so pretty it looks like it should be framed in a shadowbox!

  114. Anita

    Oh Dreama, I wish I was there…”one of this day, my dear Dreama, one of this day” lol, arrivederci! 🙂 <3

  115. Nancy Martin Piros

    Tuscany has always grabbed my attention! Everything I have seem in book, photos and movies.

  116. Nancy Martin Piros

    Dreama, Italy looks really nice ! Keep the tour coming you to Eddie ! Keep the photos coming please !!! Stay safe hugs hugs hugs

  117. martine paquet

    I love Toscane!!!

  118. Dianne L. Stroup

    Beautiful flowers…and I love that cow bell!

  119. Helen Farson

    Beautiful photos! Beautiful Watercolors! Beautiful blue journal!

  120. Hoda Dimitri Nicholas

    Lovely pictures…. so jealous, lol….

  121. Marie Mustard

    Keep the wonderful photos coming.

  122. Flynn Gentry-Taylor

    Dreama I imagine myself there and in France every day! LOL..Do you sketch in pencil first or just you pen for watercolors? You are Such a great sketch artist.

  123. Sherry Defazio

    Joy, beauty, serenity ring the bells of Italia! So much to see through your eyes Dreama. It makes my day so much brighter!

  124. Artist Dreama Tolle Perry

    And more from Italy…:)) More pictures and more giveaways!

  125. Dreama, I am so enjoying your photos and our virtual trip. We are painting everyday here in the states and seeing your blog is so inspiring. Thanks so much for adding to the excitement if September.
    Hugs and Bon Howdy to Ron.

  126. june

    Ohhhh….to be in Italy right now….I found that very same thing about Italy – Italy loves cats, and cats love Italy. Amazing how Eddie found a way to get there to ‘Cortuna’ (love it!).
    What a gorgeous buon journal that is! It’d go quite nicely with the also gorgeous sparkly, shiny, glimmery H20 paint pots…just sayin’ 🙂

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