Author Archives: RyanMcGurl

Cranberry Blue Cheese Autumn Salad

Ingredients:

3 cups of Arugula

3 oz. Chicken, Sliced

1/4 Braeburn Apple, Diced

1/4 cup Carrot, Shredded

1/4 cup Dried Cranberries

1 oz. Blue Cheese, Crumbles

1/4 cup Candied Pecans (optional)

2 Tbls. Balsamic Vinaigrette

Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, and toss until everything is lightly coated with the vinaigrette.

Blue cheese. Cranberries. Pecans. Yum! This salad is one of my favorite fall dishes. The tart flavors are a great contrast to the comfort foods I usually enjoy this time of year. I frequently eat it for lunch or dinner when Jon isn’t home (he doesn’t believe salad counts as a meal). Or sometimes I leave out the chicken and divide between several servings for side salad.

2 Perfect Days on Ocracoke Island

Today, we are preparing for Hurricane Florence, but a week ago we had a few absolutely perfect beach days at Ocracoke Island.

Beautiful sand dunes on the island, which is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Like most all the islands of the Outer Banks, Ocracoke is just a narrow strip of sand, less than half a mile wide in most places, but with 12 miles of beach.

It’s pretty great bringing the trucks to the beach, I don’t have to carry anything, and the big canopies keep me from getting sunburnt!

A pretty back road I spotted on my morning hunt for coffee.

Finally, some good weather!

In spite of the broken hand, I think this last week has been the best so far this summer. Up ’til now it’s been very rainy. But this week the weather has been mostly sunny and I have a small splint on my hand instead of a cast.

A roseate spoonbill! Seeing this rare bird was pretty exciting. Normally their range is Florida, not North Carolina.

Beach day on Bird Shoal Island.

Evening at the Atlantic Beach fishing pier. There is a bar out at the very end and we had a few drinks while the sun set.

Looking Forward to Fall

It hasn’t been a very good summer. Not at all. We have gotten so much rain. And when it wasn’t raining we were working in the yard, building a new area for the dogs. We haven’t even been to the beach more than a few times. And then, when we started get caught up, and I thought I would get a chance to give my neglected gardens some love, I broke my hand. So right now, I am really, really looking forward to fall.

Collection of pretty Fall inspired artwork on Society6

Morning on Virginia’s Eastern Shore

When we lived in Virginia Beach, we would often walk our dogs at a state park on the north end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, but never had the opportunity to explore the area more. It looked very pretty from the road, but usually we were at the beginning or end of a long drive, and just didn’t have time to stop. finally, last weekend I got to see a little more of Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

I was visiting a friend who owns a beautiful place on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Its is so pretty and peaceful, so far removed from the crowds just 45 minutes south in Virginia Beach.  Thanks to Odin landing on me by 6:00 every morning, I’m used to waking up early. So before anyone else was awake, I took my camera and went on a short walk alone. The early morning light was so beautiful!   Long leaf pines and healthy marshes provide a home for wildlife along the edge of the bay.  These sticks in the water mark the location of crab traps.
  A 300 foot pier juts out into the water. It was so relaxing to tie up a float and drink a few beers while we sat in the water. The night before, not at 6:00 am.

I can’t wait to go back!

Dreams Collection and Fingerless Mitts, and Yoga on the Beach

Dreamy pinks, blues, black and white, pretty skies, foggy rocks, mysterious forests. Check out my Dreams Collection found on Society6.Working on a pair of fingerless mitts, Six Degrees of Separation

I started this pretty pair of mitts this week, even though I have several projects going (always!). I just wanted something quick, and is a great pretty little project.

I go through phases where I knit or crochet alot, and then not at all. I feel like over the year I was going through my yoga teacher training everything else got moved to the back burner. It was alot of work, but mostly I just felt like it was hanging over my head to get it done. And I did, I think it actually took me 7 or 8 months, but when I started I thought it would only take 2. But I finished in February, and received my certification about a month later.

Speaking of yoga, starting on Thursday, June 28, I will be teaching Yoga on the Beach on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, so if you are in the Atlantic Beach, NC area, this is a great way to start your day.

Beachy Artwork and Queen Anne’s Lace

I can’t believe we’re already halfway through June! I would have liked more time to enjoy this spring, but so far summer has been pretty nice. I’ve been spending more time over at Atlantic Beach, one of the Outer Banks barrier islands and only about 15 minutes from my house.

Check out these pretty, beachy artworks here:  https://society6.com/ryanmcgurl/collection/summer-by-the-sea  Aren’t these Queen Anne’s Lace pretty? I spotted these growing on the side of the road, and just had to take some photos.

New Magnolia Illustration and my Sketchbook

Last spring I blogged about a page in my sketchbook, and showed the process of a magnolia illustration I had done. (Check it out here.) Now, I’ve finished a digital, vector illustration using that sketch as a template. I actually started this not too long after the original sketch, but I felt like something about it just wasn’t working. So I put it aside for awhile. Recently, I started working on it again. I changed the background from a light blue to this darker shade, and added the small leaves at the base of the flowers. Suddenly it felt finished. Originally, I hadn’t wanted to do a pink colorway, but it ended up being my favorite. What do you think?

What else am I working on? This fun little sketch of a mermaid’s tail. I wasn’t home, so I used colored pencil to add color instead of marker. I’ve really been loving colored pencil lately.

And just a few days ago I finished this drawing of some daffodils.