In my Sketchbook, “the Edge of the Sea”

“Always the edge of the sea remains an elusive and indefinable boundary… belonging now to the land, now to the sea.” Rachel Carson, The Edge of the Sea

This is something completely different from what I normally do in my sketchbook. Usually I use sharp, bold lines, and when I do add color is from brightly colored markers. But I felt like mixing it up, for more of an art journal or altered art project.

For the background I started with one of my own photos, which I played around with digitally to lighten it and to give it more of a cool blue color. Then I used some stamps to subtly add texture in light blue and silver. Then I added more stamping, in a bold copper color to add contrast and make the piece more interesting. Then for more texture, I used the light blue and copper ink pads around the edges. It came out a bit heavier than I wanted, but I like it. I wrote the quote with a black marker. Its been so long since I wrote in cursive, that I had to stop and think about what I was doing a few times. Then I used a dark blue washi tape to adhere the picture into my sketchbook. Not only does it cover where markers have bled through from the backside, but I like the contrast of the geometric design and the organic feel the rest of this piece has.

Neusiok Trail, Part 1

If you follow my instagram, or have read my posts about my 2017 goals and progress, then you will know I’ve been hiking on the Neusiok Trail during the last month. The trail is about 22 miles long, and can be done in one long hike, or several shorter day hikes. I’ve chosen to do it as several shorter hikes. I just don’t feel the need to sleep on the ground when my bed is only 30 minutes away. This means I will actually hike the trail twice, as each day I am hiking out for several miles, and then back to where ever I left my car. So far I’ve hiked about a quarter of the trail, split up over 2 days, for a total of about 13 miles.

Two trees have grown together.

On the trail. There are definitely drawbacks to working for myself. But days like today, when I can take several hours in the middle of the week and have the forest to myself are so worth it.

An osprey nest on the banks of the Neuse River.

Interesting bit of wood.

One of many boardwalks over swampy areas. Lots of swampy areas, glad I was wearing my hiking boots.


Sailor Jerry Swallows

I finished this digital illustration of a pair of swallows last week. The inspiration was Sailor Jerry style, vintage inspired tattoo design. Because of the long distances they travel, sailors would get a swallow tattooed on them after sailing more than 5000 miles, or a pair after 10000, or after a particularly perilous trip. The also represent love and coming home.

This was a pretty quick illustration for me, I worked at it a little each day for about a week. Then once I figured out how to draw one of the wings it all came together and I spent an afternoon locked in my office finishing it.

I’m pretty happy with this, I like the simplicity and the bold colors. I’m considering doing some more tattoo inspired pieces, maybe a dragon or a mermaid.

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?

Instagram, February 2017

As you can see, I did some hiking this month, mostly on the Neusiok Trail. I’ll do some more on that in a separate post.

I’ve been working on a new sock pattern, I’m almost done knitting them so I can write and post the pattern to ravelry, hopefully by the end of this week.

Lots of pictures of my dogs. Panzer had his semi annual vet appointment this week hes doing really well. The vet told us he wishes all 10 year olds he see were this healthy. I think its because the younger dogs keep him active and playful. And we actually walk our dogs everyday, I’m convinced thats the reason my husky lived to be 16 and was pretty healthy for all but his last 6 months.

We did lose a chicken. When they were out in the yard a hawk killed one. So the ladies have been stuck in there coop for the last few weeks. I’ll start letting them out again in the spring, when there is more food around and the ladies wont be such a target.

Towards the end of the month my bulbs started flowering. I’ve been really missing winter, probably because I see everyone’s pretty snowy pics on instagram, but I’m over it and so glad spring is here!