I am now a minimalist traveler

leland-wardrobe

We made it back in one piece! After a soul-nourishing and relaxing week in Michigan, our flight back to Seattle was mysteriously canceled so we had to scramble to Chicago via rental car to make our connecting flight because all the airlines were booked solid (or so I was told). We cut it super close, but cruised through Illinois toll booths, security checks and grumpy child syndrome with surprising ease. Actually, the grumpy child syndrome was non-existent because K was a champ. She hardly complained and tolerated the almost 5 hours it took from Traverse City to Chicago, and then happily watched her movie on the flight.

What made everything so much easier is that contrary to my natural tendencies, I packed significantly less than I normally do. I’ve mentioned before that I’m the type of person that will boldly toss in a rice cooker and electric kettle to go camping — I don’t believe there is such a thing as overpacking or over-preparation. M and K are light travelers to begin with, so I’ve always been the one to weigh us down.

However, just for kicks, I did my very best to edit down my travel gear this time. I forced myself to limit my baggage to two very small carry-ons for a six-day trip: one for clothes, the other for tools (i.e. laptop, camera, watercolor supplies, etc.). I’m proud to report that I was successful. In fact, this trip taught me that I could have easily cut down on the clothes because I deludedly thought I would be running along the lake on a daily basis and included many pairs of yoga pants and a slew of tank tops that never saw the light of day. I ran once. Okay, I jogged for 10 minutes once and walked for about a mile. Mostly, I slept and read and ate a shocking number of burgers and ham sandwiches. It was heaven.

For future reference, I thought I would record what I actually took on the trip and what I could have done away with. I guess the extra stuff didn’t take up that much room, so it was okay that I had included them and who knows? Had circumstances been different, I might have needed them. All I know is that instead of frantically sewing something for the trip to impress relatives that I see only once a year (which is what I usually do), I selected items from what I already had on hand. Preparations were way, way, way less stressful. Did anyone notice or comment that my wardrobe was very limited? Not that I know of. Would I have cared if anyone did? No.

leland-wardrobe2

Anyway, here’s what I wore (link provided for handmades):

I could have managed without the following, but they were good to have on hand:

  • Black Simplicity top
  • Extra tank tops (5 didn’t get worn)
  • Extra yoga pants (1 would have been sufficient)
  • Swimsuit

Normally I swim, but there was a widespread case of the “ick” (a parasite spread through duck feces – I have no idea what the proper name is, but everyone calls it the ick) near the dock and in parts of the lake so I opted not to touch the water at all. Luckily, K wasn’t affected and M only got a tiny bit that went away in a day.

All in all, it was a lovely trip. Next year, I’m going to go even more minimal!

P.S. The winner of the giveaway is Meris, congrats!

Stay Curious

stay-curious

A little behind the scenes of one of the projects I worked on over the weekend. A dear friend of mine commissioned me for an illustration to give to her colleague, and I loved trying out different lettering styles. The colleague’s catchphrase is “stay curious,” which is a brilliant one.

I have two more illustrations, another quick translation assignment (this time I’m learning all about the art of sushi plating and presentation — so, so cool), and a craft tutorial all due pronto so I am trying my best to stay focused.

It’s funny how the moment I had a stretch of free time, a slew of requests came in. They all sounded so up my alley and so enjoyable that I had to say yes.

I may or may not be back this week. Focus. That’s my catchphrase for the interim. Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Happy Friday + Randomness

seahorse

Happy Friday! With thoughts of the upcoming Father’s Day lingering in my brain, I dug up a watercolor painting I did of a seahorse a while back (daddy seahorses give birth to baby seahorses — hundreds of them at a time!).

penguins

I also remembered that male penguins keep unhatched eggs nice and toasty while the mama penguins forage for food. I love that, though I can’t help but think the female penguins are getting the short end of the deal here given the harsh climate they have to navigate.

Keepin’ it short this lovely Friday and just wanted to wish you a merry weekend! Hope you celebrate the Dads in your life with panache.

I’ve got new projects
Let’s see if I can do this
Out of my zone, yo*

*I’ve unexpectedly found myself with a number of super fun assignments that are due next week (and they are a little out of my comfort zone), so there’s a chance I won’t be posting as much. You know me, though…habits, habits, habits. Which reminds me, I LOVE reading about all the various good habits from the giveaway post!

Happy Friday + Radomness

versatile-dress-bandwstripes

Happy Friday! I’m going strong with Me-Made-May, though I do combine handmade items with the few store-bought clothes I still own.

Here’s a round up of week 2-ish:

Day 6: Renfrew Bamboo Top (worn with RTW yoga pants)

Day 7: Black Simplicity 2365 Tunic + Black Gingers

Day 8: Moss Green Linen Jacket (I wore the same outfit but with me-made jeans) + Indigo Gingers

Day 9: Self-drafted knit dress (shown above – this was yet another prototype for the dress included in my book and the photo is from at least a year ago)

Day 10: Indigo Simplicity 0403/2147 top + Indigo Gingers

Day 11: Lace + Geometric Knit Tank + RTW boyfriend jeans

Day 12: Navy and Black Stripey Tee + RTW shorts

I whipped up a little sketch, just because:

2016-me-made-may-week2

In other news, we’re in month four of the carless life, and I think we’ve found a pretty decent groove. Mostly it’s a combo of walking and taking the bus with the occasional Car2Go. Uber, for some reason, didn’t work that great for me because the app was ridiculously slow on my phone, though M uses it sometimes. M and I are talking about the dreaded car hunt in a month or two (not my favorite activity), but for now the weather’s been so amazing in Seattle, I’m thoroughly enjoying walking everywhere.

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend!

Ahhh, I’m so ready
for Saturday and Sunday
with zero events*

*It’s so lovely to have a few breather weekends without events – I have a few coming up towards the end of the month and in June so I’m going to relax as though I’m a carefree retiree for the next couple of days!

P.S. Thank you for all the wonderful tea recommendations for the giveaway post! I love them!

 

Happy Friday + Randomness

 

craftyanimals

Happy Friday! I’ve been a bit obsessed with this new series of illustrations I created for the Art Walk at Drygoods (I’m typing this before the actual event so I don’t know if anyone will end up showing up, but just having the chance to participate was awesome. Thank you, Keli!). Over the years of experimenting with different kinds of illustrations, I’ve decided that painting anthropomorphic animals is at the top of the favorites list. I mean, a foxy seamstress, a wise quilter, a big-horned knitter and an elephant tailor — I want to keep adding to the series! Perhaps I can include spinning, weaving, scrapbooking, gardening…so many options! I will definitely be updating my etsy shop with these and more on that later.

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On the Me-Made-May front, I’ve completely neglected taking photos, but I have been wearing something handmade every day. Here’s what I’ve donned to date:

Day 1: Gathered Linen TopIndigo Gingers

Day 2: Knit Tank Dress (not yet shared on the blog; it’s one of the prototypes I sewed for Sewing Happiness, which I wore to the Little K launch party last year. Below is a photo from when I first made the prototype a couple of years ago, and it was a sweltering, humid day when I shot this with a remote):

versatiledress

Day 3: Yozora Nani Iro Tank + Black Gingers

Day 4: Yoga Pants (also from my book and not yet shared on the blog)

Day 5: Skippy Dress

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K got attacked by a swarm of mosquitos while playing frisbee in our front yard with friends the other night. Her legs look like something out of a horror movie, and she’s amplifying the effect with haphazardly applied gauze tape. Lucky for us, one of our neighbors and dearest friends is a dermatologist, so she happened to have some effective meds at the ready. We hope the bites will be all better before she heads out on her very first overnight trip without parents (meaning me and M — there will be an accompanying adult) this weekend. She’s going on a Portland extravaganza trip for her friend’s birthday and it sounds like it’s going to be all kinds of amazing. Portlanders, if you see a girl with mummy legs at Slappy Cakes, that’s K.

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Quite a few events coming up! I’m off to go prepare, and I hope you all have a wonderful, wonderful weekend.

Lovely Mother’s Day
to all you Mamas out there
You are important