watercolor flowers

Watercolor flowers

Oh hello! I am still making things, just at a lazy summer pace. I’ve been practicing my letters on the iPad; nothing exciting to show for it, though. I really want to get better at watercolor flowers like these, too.

I have a longer vacation coming up in a couple weeks, during which I don’t have major plans beyond spending time with Tim and the kids and visiting the lake. Hopefully that leads to more drawing time, too.

I’ve updated my Etsy shop with lots of new work, and even stickers!

Nova Scotia/P.E.I.

The week before last, we dropped the kids off at sleep-away camp in the middle of the woods for six days of screen-free adventures. Then the grown-ups set off on a mini-adventure of our own; two nights in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Charlottetown, PEI.

It’s funny (to me) that we’ve lived up here for several years, but never made a point of exploring the eastern provinces that are relatively close by. In contrast, we’ve visited Boston and points south many times.

We crossed the U.S./Canadian border at our usual spot and let the Trans-Canada take us where it would. I re-upped our Audible subscription so we could listen to The Stand on the way (Tim has never read it, a travesty) and when we got tired of that, we talked about grown-up things and enjoyed the peace and quiet.

Halifax seems like a nice l’il city. We made our first stop the mall, because: LUSH. And an Apple store. And a bookstore. We’re starved for modern shopping options where we live, and it shows.

With our consumerist itch scratched, we headed to the waterfront for dinner at an Irish pub and a little walk around. I’d love to go back when we have more time to explore the city. It’s small enough so as not to feel overly chaotic but large enough that there are plenty of things to do. It reminded me of Portland.

The next morning, we made a pit stop in Dartmouth to check out the IKEA. Tim had never been, so I showed him the wonder and glory that is Swedish-made household goods and showrooms. I’m happy to say our marriage survived the trip intact. Our bank account did, too.

We crossed the big bridge to PEI that afternoon. Someone told me PEI is a lot like Aroostook County, and I agree; it’s northern Maine, but with an ocean around it. Farms and potato fields for miles, red soil against the blue sky. I felt right at home driving to Charlottetown on the narrow two-lane highway.

We stayed at a bed and breakfast called the Eden Hall Inn, which was within walking distance to downtown and the boardwalk, and spent the afternoon walking around Charlottetown. I had tasty vegetable curry at Merchantman, and ice cream from Cow’s for dessert. My favorite part by far was Victoria Park; I spent a lot of time enjoying views from the waterfront.

Our last day in the Maritimes was spent on the northern part of the island, in and around Cavendish. Anne with an E on Netflix re-ignited my interest in Anne of Green Gables, so we visited the Anne of Green Gables Museum and the Heritage House provincial park.

I really can’t wait to bring the kids out to PEI someday. Ellie has expressed interest in Anne of Green Gables, so we’ve started reading it together before bedtime. Soon I’ll have an excuse to revisit the museums!

We capped off the trip with a visit to Richard’s Fresh Seafood for fish and chips before the long drive home. This was such a great way to spend a few days together as a couple. We’ll celebrate 12 years of marriage in mid-August, and it made for a perfect almost-anniversary trip.

Resist

I’ve been working on this one for about a week on and off. I outlined the letters in Illustrator, then moved to Procreate on the iPad to draw the flowers and foliage. It went through a lot of iterations before it started coming together. An earlier screenshot:

The behavior of our nation is disheartening, to say the least, so this is my response; trying to make lemonade from lemons.

Just be.

This is the first thing I’ve made in Procreate that I could see putting on a t-shirt. I fussed with the letters (esp. that darned “B”) forever but eventually found a style I liked.

The Apple Pencil makes lettering on an iPad more intuitive, but the tip of the pencil is slippery on the glass. It doesn’t have the same tactile feedback as paper and marker, so it’s harder to control the stroke width. I redrew these letters so. many. times. and my hand was cramping by the end. I’m used to drawing with the point of my finger, not my whole hand. 😀

Imaginary city

Tim loaned me his iPad so I could fiddle around with the Apple Pencil and the full version of Procreate. I need so much practice, but I appreciate the ability to work in finer detail than I can when drawing with my finger, and the pressure-sensitive features make it easier and more intuitive to write script. I may have to sneak them away again soon.

I’m rereading Stephen King’s It for the many-ith time since I first read it at 11, and it may have influenced that drippy balloon up there.

I’ve always had a fascination with horror in fiction. Like many 80’s and 90’s kids, I cut my teeth on R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike before reading my way through King’s library. I love a good ghost story.

These days, my tastes lean more toward sci-fi dystopias, but I come back to books like The Stand and It for the brilliant storytelling more so than the scares.

she shells she shells

Thinking summer thoughts! We have a busy few weeks ahead; I have a couple blocks of vacation time in July and August, the kids have camps, and there are road trips semi-planned.

I am plodding my way through art-making and working a lot in Procreate, because it’s relatively low effort, and I am tired. My iron levels have not improved from where they landed after the infusions, so I’m still anemic. Work + regular exercise + time with family + the occasional household chore is about all I have the energy for before I crash on the couch for the day, so doodling on my phone is a solid compromise. Although Tim just got a new iPad with an Apple Pencil, and I might have a little bit of tech envy…just think of the lettering possibilities!