Category Archives: Uncategorized

Climbing the Cape Lookout Lighthouse

I might not be able to take pictures of fall foliage quite yet, but I did get to climb a lighthouse this weekend, on the Cape Lookout National Seashore.

The lighthouse and keeper’s residence.

It was 207 steps to reach the top, and my legs definitely felt it, but this amazing view was worth the effort!  Seeing the Outer Banks from this vantage point makes you realize that the islands really are just a narrow strip of land, an overgrown sandbar really, less than half a mile wide in most places.

Looking North along the South Core Banks. Looking East towards the Beach and the Atlantic Ocean.There is no bridge to this part of the Outer Banks, so you have to take a boat to get there. Not only is it a beautiful ride, but also it makes the islands pretty empty. You might have to hike a little, but even on a “busy” day you can find a patch of solitude.

Shackleford Banks, viewed from the ferry, not the top of the lighthouse.

Sunny or Cloudy?

The last time I was at this beach, Rexhame in Marshfield MA, 3 years ago, I really wanted a bright, sunny day to take photos. I didn’t get one. Instead I got cloudy, overcast skies. I ended up really loving my photos from that day anyways.  This year, I went back for a family cookout, and I got my beautiful, sunny days! With bright blue skies and warm brown rocks. I honestly can say I’m pretty happy with my photos from both days, and I love the subtle differences between them. Its amazing how the weather and time of day can give such different results.

Which one do you prefer?

Getting Ready for my Yoga Teacher Training

Finally got my Beach Day!

I’ve really been needing a true day off lately. One of the downsides to working from home is that it can be difficult to take time off. Checking email real quick can very easily turn into a few hours in front of the computer. I’ve decided that Saturdays, will now be our days off, and that means no yard work or projects around the house either. With Jon that means I have to take him away from the house or we’ll end up working. I love that he has such a great work ethic, but projects around the house are truly never ending, and sometimes you just need to let it go.

This is my home yoga studio, its also the spare bedroom. I love having this space where I can practice my yoga undisturbed, at least until my dogs lose their minds because the fedex man is here.

I’ve wanted to complete my training to become a yoga teacher for a few years now, and I’ve finally signed up for a program starting in July. I’m very excited, but nervous too. I’m worried about the physical part of the training; I know I’m flexible, but my strength and stamina, for potentially long days of practicing and and learning the postures, could definitely use some improvement. I’m also concerned about the classroom part of the training, its alot of knowledge to absorb in a three week period.

But after a set back this winter, I’m now doing yoga almost everyday, even if its just 15 minutes of stretching. I’ve also added a few guided meditations and strength training sessions a week. I feel like I’m definitely seeing improvements. Which is good, because I only have a month left to get ready. I’ve also downloaded some of the text books so I can get familiar with them and not be so overwhelmed when my training starts.

Have you done any intensive yoga study? What was your experience and how would you recommend to prepare for it?

Goals Progress, February 2017

February was definitely better than January. I still have alot to do, but I also have another 10 months left in the year.

Read 17 Books- Right now I’m about halfway through “Coraline”, by Neil Gaimen and  3/4 through “You are a Badass,” by Jenn Sicaro.

Finish making Christmas Gifts by Thanksgiving- I’ve started a pair of socks for one of my aunts, and while cleaning my office found several other pairs about half finished.

Learn 12 songs on the Banjo- Still no progress on this one yet.

Hike the Neusiok Trail- I’ve made some progress here. I would have liked to have this done by now, and probably I’m only about 1/3 finished.

Explore and take photos locally- Still doing this. Mostly this has been limited to my hikes on the Neusiok, but with the arrival of spring I’d like to see the gardens at Tryon Palace in New Bern and Airlie Gardens in Wilmington if I can take the time for a day trip down there.

Travel internationally- Jon has been talking about going back to Edinburgh this year, which I would LOVE, still not sure if I can make it happen though.

Create 12 Illustrations I love- I am working on a few digital illustrations, one inspired by swallow tattoos and the other of a flowering magnolia tree. I’ve also been reformatting and creating larger files of some of my older illustrations to put up on society6. Mostly this was pretty easy, but still time consuming.

Document my life using Happy Planner and Project Life- I’ve been keeping up with my planner, because I’m a disorganized trainwreck without it. I need to order photo prints to keep up with project life though.

Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity- Not yet.

Have an organized and functional office and finish our bedroom- Working on it.

Grow more food- Still early in the year, so all I’ve done is start a bunch of strawberry seeds.

Become a yoga teacher- I’ve gotten back to regular yoga practice, going to class 2-3 times per week. Now I need to focus on making it a daily habit, even if its just 10 minutes of stretching as part of my morning routine. And I have plans to check out a few teacher training programs this month.

Make healthy habits a priority- I’ve been much healthier recently than I was during the holidays and the start of the year. I’ve gone back to using the MyPlate app on my phone to track my eating, excercise, and how much water I drink. I’m feeling much better. For March I’m going to focus on my morning routine, healthy snacks, water, and yoga every damn day.

I still have work to do, but overall I’m feeling much more positive than I was last month. What goals are you working towards? How are you progressing?

2017 Goals and Progress

Every year I set goals, and I usually don’t accomplish most of them. We are now 1 month into 2017, and here is my progress, or lack thereof.

Read 17 Books- Back before I started knitting and got an iPad, I used to read alot. And at some point I stopped. I haven’t finished any books yet this year, but I’ve started “Coraline”, by Neil Gaimen and “You are a Badass,” by Jenn Sicaro.

Finish making Christmas Gifts by Thanksgiving. Every year I spend the weeks before Christmas frantically trying to finish gifts instead of enjoying the holiday season. Every year I tell myself this year will be different. I haven’t started any gifts yet.

Learn 12 songs on the Banjo- No progress on this one yet.

Explore and take photos locally- I’ve actually done okay with this, trying to take a long walk in different places every week. And bring my camera with me.

Hike the Neusiok Trail- I plan to start this weekend, and do the 20 mile trail as a series of day hikes. I definitely have to get this done in February, or else wait until November because once it warms up bugs will be an issue.

Travel internationally- I honestly don’t know if this will be possible this year, but I remain hopeful!


Create 12 Illustrations I love- I was kind of in a creative funk, but in the last week I’ve started a sketch that will hopefully be the basis for a magnolia flower illustration.

Document my life using Happy Planner and Project Life- I’m one of those people who has all there photos on their hard drive, but once they’ve been posted to Instagram they are largely forgotten. I’ve tried to keep up with project life in the past, and failed. I’m the worst at editing and printing out my photos. This year I’ve given myself permission to order prints online instead of printing them out at home, hopefully this will make it easier to maintain, but only a month into 2017 I can’t really say.

Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity- During the election I got really frustrated, because some of the people I know who scream the loudest that government needs to do more to help the less fortunate, are also the people I know who do the least for others themselves. I understand that if you don’t have much money, you can’t donate much money. But you can volunteer. Which I don’t do myself. But I’ve decided to volunteer 1 day a month with Habitat for Humanity. It doesn’t seem like much, but I wanted to be realistic with how much time I could give. I’ve had  minor health problem recently (more of an inconvenience, than anything to actually worry about), so I haven’t started volunteering yet, but now that its being resolved I have no more excuses.

Have an organized and functional office and finish our bedroom- Progress is being made, slowly.

Grow more food- Obviously, I haven’t gotten much accomplished towards this goal in January, just reading seed catalogs and dreaming of spring.

Become a yoga teacher- Due to the same health problem that prevented my from volunteering, I’ve also been slacking off with yoga. I’ve gotten back to it this week, and am incorporating 10 minutes of stretching into my morning routine. And I’ll go back to class next week. As far as getting my teacher training certificate, I have booked a weekend at Yogaville, and if I like it than, hopefully, I can start my teacher training in the summer session.

Make healthy habits a priority- I haven’t been very good at this at all this month. I’ve definitely let myself fall into a rut. So, for february I will focus on my morning routine, drinking plenty of water, and having healthy snacks available at all times. Snacks are definitely my downfall.

Looking at this I can see I’ve felt stuck for the month of January, which has affected many areas of my life. But things are looking up, so I’m choosing to be positive. I can also see that I have made progress towards some of my goals, so maybe I need to stop being so hard on myself. What goals are you working towards? How are you progressing?

Instagram, January 2017

Top Row:

I love my morning walk with my dogs. Notice that Sasha is leading the pack. I haven’t been as consistent this last month as I would like.

Gathering inspriration on Pinterest. I bookmarked a bunch of magnolia flower pictures for an illustration I started over the weekend.

Lemon Ginger tea from a nearby Japanese restaurant, its delicious!

Bottom Row:

Trees reflecting in the still waters of Willow Pond

Willow Pond

A sketch for an up coming magnolia illustration. I haven’t decided if the final illustration will be digital or by hand yet, but I started this in my sketchbook over the weekend. I’m pretty happy with my progress so far.

New Hats in my Scarlett Made Etsy Shop

Warning: shameless self promotion ahead!

I have to admit, I’m surprised by how well these mens beanies have done in my easy shop, because, to me, it feels like such a simple design. Knitters are always having trouble making things for their husbands and boyfriends, mostly because they want what we think of as “boring.” Unfussy designs and a limited color palette. Soft yarn is important too, men won’t tolerate anything scratchy. But my simple hat has been fairly popular in my shop, and I’ve even had several custom item orders, so I’m adding 4 new colors. What do you think? Do you like these colors, or are there other colors or designs you would like to see?

Maroon with a grey stripe


Forest green with a brown stripe

Navy blue with a cadet blue stripe