Friday, September 29, 2017

Quick Draw

I could watch each page a thousand times. Soooo cool 

Quick Draw butterflies



 And so many more ...

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

How could I be so lucky?

I find these random letters I write to myself , and think ... I don't remember writing this ... I just found this one. Written December 31, 2013.

Small, daily gifts I love the most. I have many “large” gifts to be thankful for but the small ones hit the hardest, in my heart, daily. 

I walk out to my backyard in the wee hours of the morning and hear the hummingbird hanging out in the neighbor’s weeping willow… search out and find her (him) … I feel so grateful I have had that moment. Or when I watch a flock of noisy Pine Siskins scavenge through the yard after I had put out some suet. I feel so grateful that I had the money to buy the suet to feed the birds so we could see them and enjoy them. I watch the dogs run after a squirrel (stealing suet) and see everyone’s exuberance. … the squirrel safely on the fence and the dogs thinking they are protecting their territory … I feel a moment of joy. Nature is fun and all are safe. 

When I look out of my family room window and see the sun setting behind the Olympic Mountains, lighting up the Puget Sound in majestic reds … I think I can’t be luckier than I am in this moment. 

Then there is a winter blue light, at dusk, that is the most beautiful of all light. It makes me want to light a fire, make a hot cup of tea, pour a glass of wine and just keep looking out my window until dark has taken over. I always feel thankful.

I smell early morning air, and think, “God, it can’t be better than that!” I wave at my beloved neighbors of 22 years and think, “God, it can’t get much better than this.” I wave at people at the grocery store that I have known forever and think, “I feel so lucky to have such a boring, enriched life”. 

Most of you know, I love my flowers from the moment they bloom until they go to seed. Watching the process makes me so thankful that I have a yard in which to discover these miracles. And I love that I can photograph them and discover all kinds of secrets. When I see my 13+ hydrangeas blooming, I think to myself, “How could I be so lucky?” 

The last 4 years have held many nervous moments. Not life-threatening like my sister’s breast cancer (I can happily say she is doing fine) or Heather’s brush with death before the birth of her daughter. 

Losing a job can be life altering, scary, but not insurmountable. I had my crying fits of fear and questioned what my life’s calling really was. I had my family in my corner behind every tearful fear and knew they were behind me, cheering me to my next goal, whatever that might be. 

I was thankful I had freelance work so we could keep our house and pay all our bills. But I was really thankful I had the extra time off to spend with my mom when she was really sick and we were spending every other day in ICU. I’m so glad I could be here with her when she was at her worst. I have said many times, God gives you what you need and I needed some extra time to spend with my mom. 

Then Matt and Bri decided to move back home to pay us rent, help us out while I was unemployed and give up their temporary, yet expensive independence. Before we all knew it, we were all expecting a grandchild. I was in shock at first, because they were so young. My husband was the most positive of all the adults in the house. He looked at me and said, “many have gotten through this and so will we”. Of course, he was right. Being much older parents than most, we might not have experienced being grandparents. But here we are, and we have had the pleasure of holding, loving, changing diapers of our own granddaughter. From two people who found each other so late in life, that thought we would not be married or ever have kids … I think that is a big reason to be really, really grateful. 

We were so happy to welcome our granddaughter, Mason, into this world in October 2013. 

So here we are, welcoming 2014 before we can even digest the events of 2013. Maybe that comes from being “old” … it all goes so fast. Four generations are living in one house, experiencing all of life’s “ups and downs” together. Giving each other comfort in love, humor and support. 

Life can’t get much better than it is right now. Or more confusing, congested, dirty, messy but also happy and fulfilled.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

"We do"

We had a wedding last weekend! Bri and Matt decided to have a low key, civil ceremony at the Seattle Municipal Courthouse. After 9 years together, a precious 4-year-old addition ... we got a beautiful daughter and now we are all Millers!

It was a wonderful wedding event with family. And Mason had a blast. ;)

My letter to Bri and Matt:

 "I am so thankful Matt has found someone to love, who loves him, who understands and tolerates him. I see two people who laugh and have conversations while they are cooking dinner. Who have goals and dreams and are willing to work towards them. Two people who are great parents to an extraordinary little girl. I am so thankful to welcome a wonderful, smart, giving daughter into our lives. I have always bragged that we have the best son in the world. David and I were lucky to have Matt. He changed us for the better, added so many wonderful memories. He is the best and now we can brag that we also have the best daughter. On a side note. I think it is funny that a polish boy found a polish girl in the middle of High School. Let’s call it fate"

Monday, September 04, 2017

Google travel

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Animated life

I have been busy at work lately. Illustrated three stories the last two weeks, two of the stories I created animated gifs. I am sure I am doing it the wrong way; they are fun, but a lot of work to get them just right. I found out you can convert an animated gif to a mp4 ezgif. I might have known that before, but it has been a long time since I converted a gif.

This one is for 'New nanoparticles make targeted, temporary gene therapy possible". My first version was very rigid and decided the more organic feel was the way to go.

Additionally I created an animations for "New guidelines take aim at chemo-related nausea". 

I spend a lot of time watching video tutorials, trying to learn after-effects. ;0

Looking up, thinking trees

How trees talk to each other | Suzanne Simard 


“Crown Shyness”, A Phenomenon Where Trees Avoid Touching

Crown shyness (also canopy disengagement, canopy shyness, or intercrown spacing) is a phenomenon observed in some tree species, in which the crowns of fully stocked trees do not touch each other, forming a canopy with channel-like gaps. The phenomenon is most prevalent among trees of the same species, but also occurs between trees of different species. There exist many hypotheses as to why crown shyness is an adaptive behavior, and research suggests that it might inhibit spread of leaf-eating insect larvae.

Deep in the woods of the West Pomerania region of Poland, an entire section of trees bends at sharp angles near their bases, forming an odd and entrancing phenomenon known as "The Crooked Forest." 

Some unusual shapes of trees here. 

I wish I was braver

I know well enough I am an artist (and graphic artist). I suffer and delight in creating something almost every day of the year. I struggle daily learning new skills, keeping up with updated apps,  trying to stay "young in thought" and relevant as I age and talented coworkers have just left college with a shiny new degrees. Sometimes it is fun and wonderful, sometimes a challenge, sometimes painful, sometimes I don't want to own it and sometimes I want to shout it out to the world, "this is mine"!

I feel like a chicken because I choose a paycheck instead of exploring the life of a real artist, untethered by rules, regulations, stackholders and budgets. Set free by exploring every little corner of a creative thought or internal spark. But I have always been too cautious and poor to be that brave. Maybe in another lifetime. In the meantime, I can enjoy these little snippets of what seems like real artist enjoying their talent. To quote the song in video below ...  "Oh, if only, if only ... "

Edith Rewa · Field Trip from The Design Files on Vimeo.

More on Edith Rewa here

Sheridan by Ken Done from The Design Files on Vimeo.

More about Ken Done here on Design Files.