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42 dd

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42 dd

Drawing. It's an essential part of any artist's or designer's career and really, their life. I believe that if creatives don't sketch or draw or doodle, whatever the hell you want to call it, ideas will turn stale. Creative juices will run low. And growth in a positive direction just won't happen. With that said, I'll be the first to admit that I've gotten lazy. We all have and we all do at sometime or another.

So. 42 days ago, I made myself promise to do at least 1 daily drawing.  It started out partially as a personal experiment and also as a way for me to rejuvenate my creative mojo...to keep my brain and my ideas fresh. Somehow, it turned out to mean more than that.

  • Drawing everyday turned out to be a great way to record memories. As I mentioned in my last post, I recently traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Some of these were drawn there-in the middle of sight seeing and people watching. I'm so happy that I have drawings from there to remind me of the good times that were had on our trip. Pictures, of course, are great ways to record memories too, and boy did I take a lot of them, but there is something about bringing back a piece of something handmade and created on a trip. It feels...a little more special. 
  • These drawings were drawn in so many different places. One in a car. One in a plane. One on a beach and some in coffee shops. Naturally, different surroundings brought different inspiration and really had an affect on what was going down on paper. This, in turn, leaked into my own side projects and other work-having a great effect on what I was producing all around. 
  • Drawing on the daily allowed me to really laugh at myself. Out of the 42 days I did the drawings, a few of those days were really crappy...I would be grumpy or stressed and draw some really funky looking things. Those funky things turned out to be some of my favorites out of this whole collection! If you couldn't already tell - #'s 19, 21, 26 were the bad days. (You have to click the images to view them in the light-box with numbers). 

So yeah. This was a pretty cool experience. I think I might carry it on a little longer...or maybe forever? We'll see. :) 

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san juan 2013

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san juan 2013

I can never quite get enough of travel. I've never thought about why, I've just instinctively known that I loved it, and that was the only reason I've ever needed. As I've gotten older, that's not a good enough answer for me anymore. I feel like I owe it to myself to understand why I like the things I do, so I can make sure that positive mojo keeps coming my way.

Last week, I found out (part of) that answer. Fred and I were on a public transit bus in Puerto Rico. We were traveling from new San Juan to site see in Old San Juan. I sat there and stared at the people riding in the same metal can that I was. In that moment, in some way, I felt a sort of connection with those strangers. I thought about the lady sitting next to me. We were breathing the same air, which at the time seemed pretty amazing to me because we live over 1,5000 miles from each other. I was looking at the same exact streets as the young Puerto Rican father who fed his baby while he waited patiently for his stop. He made me think of how I used to bottle feed my brothers when they were little. I shared a smile with the older lady in front of me who reminded me so very much of my Mamaw Lois, a very special woman my family lost only 3 short months ago. I saw these people and I felt like I understood a part of each of them. Everyone of us on that bus had troubles, laughs, worries, and who knows what else waiting for us at our next destination. In one way or another, all of us are traveling...we all have stops and we're all in this life, together. If you sit down and think about it, that's pretty special. 

The Streets of Old San Juan: Kick-ass molding. Gorgeous tile. Unique architecture. Typography. Alleys. Cobble stone streets. Bright colors. Potted plants. Wrought iron gates and rails. Tall doorways and ceilings. These are the things I loved the most whilst traveling the streets ofOld San Juan.

Touristy shops. Creepers who followed us. Those are the things I liked the least. 

 

Fort San Felipe del Morro.

Nature life in Puerto Rico

Nature, in general, in Puerto Rico was pretty crazy.  For one thing, there were lizards everywhere. EVERYWHERE. 

One thing I really really loved about Puerto Rico was that there were plotted plants all around.  They were around houses, on sidewalks, in front of office buildings, in alley ways, etc. The locals there really find it important to incorporate nature and plant life into their daily lives. It was really, very refreshing. 

 

They were adorable, but they had some freak feet, so I decided not to touch them. 

During our time in Puerto Rico, we were lucky enough to be able to rent a car to travel an hour away to see El Yunque National Forest. It was there that we saw 2 waterfalls, and we actually even swam in one of them. 

This is my tiny husband in red, Fred, standing in front of La Coca Falls! 

We journeyed a half an hour hike to and from La Mina Falls! It was miserable and hot, but it was so worth the trek. This is what the path looked like. 

La Mina Falls.

The plants and trees in the rainforest were also pretty amazing!  

Beach life in Puerto Rico

Ok, so, doing a post about Puerto Rico is almost impossible without mentioning the gorgeous beaches there. 

This was the beach at Ocean Park, which was 2 blocks from our apartment. 

Another shot of the beach at Ocean Park.

This is a shot taken from a boat of Icaco Island. It was there that we did some snorkeling!

Sketchbook goodies

So, for the past 5 or so weeks, I've been doing a drawing for every day that passes by. I started this for several reasons, really, which I will explain in a later post where I gather all of my drawings and display them together. Anyway, I continued this new tradition while in Puerto Rico and I'm so glad that I did! I'm going to keep this going for every trip I take from here on out. It was really cool to be able to get away from the SLR and iPhone camera and record things by hand. 

All in all, we had a pretty awesome time in San Juan. There were infinite things to do and see there, and everyone we met was so very nice. Oh, and these photos don't even scratch the surface of the amount that I took while I was there, so keep your eye out for more down the road! Happy travels, and happy weekend everyone! 

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everyday

Everyday, I'm amazed by the beauty that surrounds me-everywhere. These are some iPhone nature captures I've taken recently.

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farewell

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farewell

Ontonagon, Michigan beach and an interesting piece of driftwood. 

Ontonagon, Michigan. That's where I was for a majority of last week, and what a truly beautiful place it is to visit. Unfortunately, I was there for grievous reasons. My Grandmother passed away unexpectedly while visiting her family there, and the service was held right there in her home town of Ontonagon. Despite being there under very sad circumstances, my family and I managed to have a decent amount of fun. Following in my Grandma's footsteps, we all took full advantage of what this little town had to offer, and drank in as much of it as we could.

We tried Pasty's for the first time. They are very popular in that area. If you've never heard of a pasty, let me tell you that it is one of the most delicious things you will ever eat. As my mother described it, "It's basically like a pot pie only without the gravy." I'm not huge on gravy, so that's probably why I enjoyed it so much. I'm sure there are plenty of different recipes, but the pasty I ate had beef and potatoes inside. Back in the day, the copper miners up there used to pack them for lunch often. 

We (my husband and I) took a lighthouse tour. Having never been inside or even close to one before, we were pretty excited about it! We geared up and went to the local town museum and payed our $5 for the tickets. A bus then arrived shortly thereafter to take us to the Ontonagon Lighthouse. The guide was amazing, informative, and so very courteous. The tour was well worth the money and we got to learn a bit about local history. 

Ontonagon Lighthouse 

While in town, we also visited a few local shops where Fred and I spent monies on postcards and bring back gifts for our nieces and nephews. Our favorite shop was called Gitche Gumee but the Nonesuch Gallery had the best signage. Check out that hand drawn, hand painted type. Daaaaaamn.  

 

Hand painted sign right outside the Nonesuch shop. Nice work!

We had a bonfire on the beach right behind the little caboose-turned-vacation-home that we were staying in. We made s'mores and waited for the sun to go down so we could see all the stars. I didn't realize this, but this time of year-it doesn't get fully dark until 12 or 12:30 in the morning in that part of the country! Needless to say, it was a late night for us. The wait was worth it, though. I saw more stars in the sky than I had ever imagined even existed. 

Brothers, husband, and brother's girlfriend gathering beach wood for the fire to be had.  

The wildflowers in Ontonagon were gorgeous. I think these are called Indian Paintbrushes.  

My family and I went on a boat ride on our very last night in Ontonagon. My 2nd cousin Scott took us out. This was probably my favorite outing as a family. We drank. We made fun of each other...and we laughed. It was good to get away from dry land for a while to free all our minds, even just for a little bit. My 2 brothers, (hopefully one day) sister-in-law, and husband all stripped down to their suits and decided to go for a swim in Lake Superior. It was so freezing cold, I could barely stick my feet in. I heard that the ice just fully melted only a month ago! 

 

My view from the butt of the boat. Not too bad, I say.

And last but not least, we visited the Porcupine Mountains while in Michigan, too. Specifically, Lake of the Clouds. The view there was so increadibly beautiful. So much green and blue. 

Lake of the Clouds.  

So, this concludes our trip to gorgeous Ontonagon, Michigan. Although the passing of a special lady brought us to the tiny town, there was precious time spent reconnecting with intermediate and extended family. Farewell, Michigan and farewell to you too, Grandma. I'll remember our travels together and I'll always still think of your face when I eat Caramel Nips. 

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rescue handwriting

I just read this really wonderful article about the dying art of handwriting. I love how the author compares writing things by hand to going for a walk...that the act of doing it is for enjoyment and enrichment in our way of life... 

Sometimes we open our front doors, and go for a walk in the spring sunshine. We might not get anywhere very far in two or three hours on foot, whereas in three hours by mechanical means you can get to Yorkshire (by car) or Paris (by train) or Istanbul (by air). But on the other hand, you’ve had a nice walk in the spring sunshine for very little expenditure, and you feel better for it.

You feel better for it.  

When my husband and I traveled to Europe last year, we swore the food there tasted better than it does here in America. There was also less of it. People rode bikes everywhere. There were hardly any cars. Homes were most often tiny but those buildings had more character than I could have ever imagined. Quality there seemed to override quantity...and that's what I want for myself, too. 

When was the last time you went for a walk? 

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adventure week

I'm coining this past week Adventure Week! 

On Wednesday, I had the entire day to myself! It was quite glorious; I decided to have a couple downtown Cincy style adventures! As I've gotten older, I've come to realize that sometimes you have to step back from everything and enjoy things by yourself. There is absolutely nothing wrong with eating lunch solo at a cafe...or going shopping by yourself; I did both of these things on Wednesday, and it felt great!

First, I treated myself to a meal at Taste of Belgium on Vine Street in Downtown, Cincinnati. The food, as always, was scrumptious and the atmosphere was delightful. I then walked a few blocks over to the Ohio Book Store. What a place that is! Wow! So many books-somewhere around 4 or 5 floors worth! 

Ohio Book Store treasures. Yup-that's a vintage issue of Playboy! 

I saw this beautiful mural on my way to and from the Ohio Book Store. 

Aaaaaaaaand the day after that, I met up with my mom and brothers in Newport, KY to poke around the Newport Aquarium. It was so fun! We saw so many different species of fish and sea life. It was really amazing. If you have never been to the Newport Aquarium-go. It's especially great if you have children.

My brother Ryan with his lovely girlfriend Lydia on the left. On the right-my oh so raunchy brothers Brandon and Travis. 

Me with my beautiful Mum on the left. On the right, a grumpy mother and daughter piranha. 

And this is all of us kids. What a good lookin' bunch, eh? 

Oh boy-and then after the day at the Aquarium, Fred and I were off to Lexington, Kentucky! Yay-wedding time! I had plans to visit all of these historic sites but instead, we just decided to go downtown and check out Victorian Square. Also-there was a farmers' market going on, and we couldn't resist checking out that! 

A beautiful map of downtown Lexington map.

A beautiful and massive fountain at Triangle Park. 

My handsome husband and I taking in Triangle Park. 

While heading back to our car, I saw this breathtaking mural. We walked a bit out of our way just so we could snap a few photos. 

I believe this street artist's name is Herakut. Do check out her linked webpage. She has some really beautiful work. I've never seen any other street art like it. 

And finally-the wedding! It was probably the most beautiful wedding I've ever been to. The venue was absolutely stunning. The food was cajun and ridiculously delicious. The people we so very friendly and the bride and groom looked phenomenal. 

An exquisite chandelier and ceiling medallion. 

Amanda & Derek gettin' hitched.

They did it!

As if this weekend wasn't packed full of enough crazy awesome stuff-we decided to throw one more thing in there-a visit to a winery! We traveled a bit south of Lexington to the Talon Winery. It was very charming and quaint. Oh-and the wine was delicious! We did a tasting with a co-worker of Fred's and his wife. Do check it out if you are in the area. 

These were taken inside of the Talon Winery. Such a beautiful interior!

This was taken on the way to Talon Winery. The land out there is so beautiful-full of lavish fields and horses.

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a traveling fool, indeed

I'm a traveling fool this next month-and in more ways than 1!

First off-I will be traveling to a new place of work come the beginning of next week. Tomorrow is my last day at a company I have worked at for nearly 3 years. It's bittersweet, really. I'm excited to start this new chapter in my career, but also sad to leave friends and familiar faces. The new job is at F&W Media and all I can really say right now is that I am stoked, and I can't wait to get started. 

Original photo source unknown.

Original photo source unknown.

This weekend, I will travel to Lexington to see my college friend marry one of the sweetest people I have met. I'm pretty excited. I love weddings...everything about them. My husband and I have decided to make it a long weekend and since I will be in between jobs, we plan to visit the Henry Clay Estate and hopefully Shaker Village too (I'm a sucker for historic homes/buildings). Fred wants to go to a winery or 2. We have a busy weekend ahead of us-full of exploration and site seeing!

And finally-near the end of next month, my husband and I will be traveling to-wait for it- San Juan, Puerto Rico! Hell yeah! We were looking for a beach getaway that wasn't going to break us that's when Fred's Mom recommended San Juan. This was great advice-as we were able to use airbnb to find a very reasonable apartment that we are renting for the better part of a week. It's just a couple blocks from the beach, equipped with a full kitchen (hooray for saving money on meals), swim gear, and the best part: bikes! We plan to bike to Old San Juan for a day or 2 and Fred has also planned a few other adventures! I can't wait! 

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mini trip

Ahoy and happy November!

Mini trip! Husband and I just got back from short weekend getaway in Indianapolis and Bloomington, Indiana. 

Indiana

Indiana

We went to Indy to meet up with our friend's Amanda and Derek and to see one of my most favorite bands (again)-Matt and Kim! Ahhhhh! They were awesome-just like last time. So much energy and enthusiasm! 

Vogue Theater in Broad Ripple

Vogue Theater in Broad Ripple

Ahh! We're adorable!

Ahh! We're adorable!

Transient

Before heading to the concert, we stopped off for dinner a few blocks away from the Vogue Theater. We went to a local pizzaria called Bazbeaux and it was super delish-everything was so tasty and the staff were very nice and helpful. There were lots of other trendy trendy eateries in the area, too. 

BazBeaux in Broad Ripple

BazBeaux in Broad Ripple

The Blue Heron B&B-view from bed!

The Blue Heron B&B-view from bed!

We concluded our evening by heading back to the Blue Heron Bed and Breakfast. It, too, was in Broad Ripple...only about a 5 minute drive from the Vogue Theater and Bazbeaux. Staying at the Blue Heron was one of my most favorite travel experiences. We woke up the following morning  and the owners, Gail and John, made and ate breakfast with us and we spoke with them for nearly 2 hours about art, travel, remodeling bathrooms, and life in general. Breakfast ended with hugs, and then we were off to Bloomington to visit my best friend, Margaret. We stopped by Monon to get some coffe first, though. We tried the Choo Choo blend and it was one of the most delicious coffees both of us had ever tasted. If you are ever in the area, do go there for some java. 

Coffee from Monon. 

Coffee from Monon. 

While in Bloomington, Margaret took us to the Oliver Winery. It is right by the water-so beautiful. There is outside seating and such if you want to stick around and hang out for a bit. We picked up 2 new kinds of wine and some hard apple cider, too.  

Image found  here .

Image found here.

I'm so thankful that we are able to take little trips like this here and there. It's so nice to be able to getaway and clear your head when life gets crazy-especially this time of year with all of the holidays coming up! Sometimes, it's really hard to remember to take time for yourself...but when you do, it sure is sweet. 

Have a great week guys!

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eurotrip part 3

The 3rd city we visited while in Europe was Wijk Ann Zee (meaning District of the Sea). Fred and I stayed at Hotel Mare Sanat, which to me was kind of like staying in a wealthy grandmother's very large house. So, basically, I loved it! The decor within was just beautiful-lush wall paper, winding stairrs, and old antique furniture. It was one of the most charming hotels I have ever had the pleasure of visiting.

The little town of Wijk Ann zee was so very nice. It was quite small and people there were pretty friendly. There were a few small shops and restaurants here and there. It was a nice getaway from the big cities because the general atmosphere was much more relaxed. Also, there were not cconstant rowds of people everywhere like there were in Amsterdam. The town was very clean and well kept, too, which was refreshing.

These were our neighbors that lived accross the street from Hotel Mare Sanat. They were so very sweet and friendly...but probably because we had fresh apples for them to eat. Fred named them Bonnie and Clyde, because he said the little one dreamed of becoming a clydesdale horse. *Nerd humor.

On our first day in Wijk Ann Zee, we went to a bar/restaurant on the beach, drank coffees, and wrote out post cards while we waited patiently for the sun to set. Although we really wish it had been warm enough to sit on the beach, we still enjoyed ourselves.

Fred loves having his photo taken. You can't tell from this picture, but on the inside, he's weeping tears of pure joy.

Along the backside of the shore were these little tiny shacks. Apparently people pay/rent out the small shacks to keep and store their swimming equipment. How convienent, right? They were, however, quite an eyesore.

Ahhhh! Kasteel Assumburg! This was the first of 2 castles that we were able to visit/see. We had to travel for about 45 minutes from Wijk Ann Zee to see this magnificently crafted castle, which was built in the 15th century. Although we were not permitted to have a look around on the inside (there was a wedding being held indoors), we admired it from the outdoors. I didn't realize this prior to our arrival to the castle, but it is actually a hostel! 

Oh goodness-the gardens in the back. Gorgeous. While exploring the gardens in the back of the castle, I read on an informational bulliten/outdoor picture board that the gardens were actually created more recently-sometime in the past 5-10 years, I think.

I really liked the statues surrounding the gardens. Not only were they really beautiful, but I liked to think of them as keepers of the gardens...watching and warding off evil doings.

Imagery by Rebecca Wilson

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