Trading Treasures

A new friend on Instagram liked my art; I liked her Washington state sand dollars. She suggested we do a trade. 

DEAL!

 Dani's sand dollars on my sketchbook

Dani's sand dollars on my sketchbook

I've thought a lot about why I agreed to do the trade. I have LOTS of sand dollars...too many really. But I didn't do the trade for the sand dollars (even though they are beautiful and so different from our Puerto Rico ones). 

I did the trade to challenge myself; to put myself way outside my comfort zone. I love making art in my sketchbooks and to hang on my studio walls. I even like using it to make cards... but to send it out "there" somewhere? Scary stuff.

I decided not to rip out a page from my sketchbook but to make a large piece just for her. It drove me to get it done. And it felt great to put it into the mail and wait. They came as I was walking out the condo's front door for a two week trip in October. I took them along with me.

I've had so much fun with these little Washington beauties! Especially with my new OlloClip macro lens for my iPhone.

They remind me of old fashion soda crackers. I love the dark ones. LOVE them!

Aren't they stunning?

Do any of you remember the Swopper's column in the Yankee Magazine? 
It was a classified page for unusual objects. "I have ten sand dollars. What have you?"  The column was discontinued in 2013 after about 74 years. I always loved it. 

Gratitude

I am very grateful for words and a million other things.

I've begun to think about 2016's word for the year. No one word is taking center stage...but the process has begun.

Do you pick a word for the year to focus on? 
How do you do it? Or does the word come to you?

Downsizing my Journals

Moleskine notebooks and I go way back. I truly love using them.

My favorite Moleskine is the XL Classic Notebooks and the XL Cahier Notebooks. I do the plain pages...no lines, no rules...beautiful blank pages.

I also have my sketchbook that goes everywhere I go. They tend to be small than the 7.5" x 10" Moleskine, but they are thicker. I love the spirals; I flip it open and back and work on a smaller one-page area.  

I take the pair everywhere on our travels. Plus, I have a bag with my small paint palette, brush, pens...It adds up especially since I travel light: a carry-on suitcase and a backpack for my laptop and items I keep with me. If I add a book and a file of work I feel it.

This is the Midori Traveler's Notebook. It is only 8.4" x 5.1" and it has component that you can add. I put in a plain writing notebook, a sketchbook with nice heavy paper and a Kraft paper notebook. So far it is working well for me. 

Everything fits into the orange bag. It is so easy to grab it and go. I've used it on one short trip the first of November. I'm excited to see how I like it on a longer trip.

I'm curious what you use for journaling, writing or art. 
Do you have favorites? Why?

Delusional

I thought we were home for at least a month...I should've known better.

Another airport...

Another trip...
A very last minute decision. It started with, "What would you think about leaving on a trip in 36 hours?" A last minute deal...Are you willing? 

This time it is a vacation.
A time to unplug again...to escape and rest...away from the phone, email, texts and Skpe. 

While I'm happy at home and can do all that here, he cannot. 

So off we go...reading, writing and rest...for both us.

What do you do to unplug and rest your body and mind?