There Is A Landscape I Imagined- Art Journal Monday

thread and art journalart journal monday
mixed media art journal
art journal monday- there is a landscape I imagined

I have three or four more posts to put up on here from the Big Bend trip (who said I was getting better at not procrastinating? I owe you a drink)  but life’s been a series of ups and downs this past week and a half and so, here we are with with an Art Journal Monday as a bit of a placeholder while I get my life together.

On the positive side, my next adventure has been booked and planned out finally. The first two weeks of October will consist of me heading on my most ambitious roadtrip yet and stops include : Yellowstone (WY), Grand Tetons (WY) , Yosemite(CA) , Death Valley(CA), Las Vegas (NV) Joshua Tree(CA), Salton Sea (CA) and Carlsbad Caverns(NM).  Should be sufficiently epic I think, as this will probably be my last roadtrip before I set my sights firmly on overseas traveling.

Songs on Repeat-

Abrahams Song (Bibio remix) DM Stith
Conquest of SpaceWoodkid
Fallen EmpiresSnow Patrol
Winters WallWise Children

On a random note, i’ve started to be more active over on Tumblr so if you’ve got one, come find me .

not drowning in my coffee cups yet,
~m

Art Journal Monday- I Have Hungered




As i’m STILL editing my photos from my trip to Big Bend (blame work and not my incessant procrastination), i’m posting some pages from my art journal I did last month. Though I only post a set of two pages every week it’s probably good to mention that I usually do a set of 6 to 8 pages at a time in one sitting, as whatever inspired me is usually good for pouring out over page after page.

And what inspired these pages? Well, that would telling wouldn’t it.

Songs on Repeat-
Sweet Sour- Band of Skulls
FleshSimon Curtis
Inferno- Sir Sly
I Love YouWoodkid
Bad CompanyFive Finger Death Punch
Death Valley Fall Out Boy
Bloody ShirtTo Kill A King (Bastille Remix)
Terrible LoveThe National

Plans for my two weeks off at the beginning of October have been solidified into a coherent jumble and all I’ll say for now is, it shall be epic and will probably be the last great roadtrip I do before I start crossing oceans to start ticking off all the places i’d like to see outside the great old US of A. Apart from being much more diligent about my exercise routine with this trip in mind, i’ve also added weights into the mix and the comments i’ve been getting from dudes who are intimidated by women who lift weights have been both hilarious and a great source of motivation, but more on that next week. Currently getting through 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles Mann which is proving a challenge not for the content (which is fascinating) but the writing style, and looking forward to bending my brain into new and interesting shapes by tackling Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter afterwards. I’ve also been slowly but surely getting back to my love of snailmail, though with more restraint than before given how crap-tastic I can be with managing my time.

not drowning in my coffee cups yet,
~m

A Tale of Inconvenient Footwear and Not Enough Coffee- Roadtrip 2016

If you’ve been following this blog for the past couple of weeks, you’ve probably seen all the posts i’ve been doing on the roadtrip I took back in March to celebrate turning a quarter century old. You might also be wondering why its taken me so long to get to the end of posting about it- to the point where i’m getting ready to go on another one. We can place the blame for that squarely on my jobs understaffing issues and the fact that i’ve been floating on a sea of over-time since I got back from said trip.

But hey, we’ve come to the end of it, or near enough. While the past posts have been me mainly writing about the lovely things I was thinking while I took the photos I shared, this post will be more er, honest. There’s being in love in the moment as I pressed that button on my camera to capture it, and then there’s the moment directly after where I realized I needed coffee but soon and there wasn’t a gas-station for miles.

And just like the first post , all the photos included below (except like 2) were all taken by my iPhone so ye be warned.

Jeep Renegade at the Grand Canyon


The first leg of the trip, Texas—>Grand Canyon, AZ, was started just a little before 5 in the morning and if I haven’t mentioned it before, I am not a morning person. The only reason we got on the road on time and with nothing missing is because the bf is thankfully (and annoyingly) a morning person and because i’m a terrible effing person, of course I picked a fight with him for daring to mess with the GPS for what I deemed to be too long. Eventually things got sorted though, because he’s been with me long enough to know how to tame the godzilla I am in the mornings and we listened to the first half of the Limetown podcast to get us through Texas.  Just before passing into New Mexico, we (ok ok, it was all me) decided to take a break from that to listen to a 99% Invisible rebroadcast episode of The Sound of Sports that was perfect to pass the time that seems never ending when you’re trying to get out of the barren depressing wasteland that is the north-east side of Texas.

I covered the drive from New Mexico through Arizona and our experience at the Grand Canyon pretty well in the post linked below, so I won’t get into it all again. I’ll just mentioned that there is a “cafeteria style” restaurant in the Grand Canyon Village- where I might or might not have taken the last photo up above- that earned itself the #1 prize for worst (and yet most expensive) breakfast. I don’t name names though, so have fun guessing which one it is if you ever visit.

The second leg of the trip, Grand Canyon—>Zion Natl. Park, Bryce Canyon was wonderfully weird and the only thing I regret was not listening to Is There A Ghost by Band of Horses as we raced our way out of ribbon like roads of Arizona towards Utah, because for whatever reason it’s my favorite roadtrip song and with the sun shinning like a blazing fireball above us in the completely clear blue skies, it would have been a perfect memory. But as you can read in the first post below, I listened to my usual brand of cliché songs to make up for it anyways. Again, I think I did a semi-decent job of covering most things when it comes to the time I spent at Zion, Bryce Canyon and rolling on down Scenic Byway 12, but heres a few things I didn’t mentioned.

– We stayed at the Bumbleberry Inn, in the small town of Springdale for our 3 day stay in Utah and the room rate comes with included breakfast at Wildcat Willies. And yeah, it’s exactly what you would expect from the name. Lots (and I do mean LOTS) of western themed stuff hanging from all the walls to the point where I almost expected spurs to magically appear on my shoes.The staff was amazingly kind and friendly though, and the breakfast was the best of the whole trip. I would highly recommend staying at the Bumbleberry Inn just for that perk, though everything else about it is fantastic as well. Btw, true story – I picked to stay there because I was just plum tickled by the name….the bf was not as amused with my choice until we spent the morning of my b-day sitting out on the balcony drinking really tart lemonade while watching the sun change lights on the rocky mountains in front of us. I didn’t explore the town as I had wanted to as I was hit with a minor bout of fatigue and depression on the morning we had the time to do so, but the bf did and brought me back the most amazing coffee I have ever tasted to lift my spirits. While I can’t even remember the name of the place it was from, I would advocate visiting every coffee shop in town if it meant you could taste coffee heaven on your tongue like that

– Pizza picture up above was from Zion Pizza and Noodle Co and if there was a way I could just grab my friends and drag them there for pizza without it being called “kidnapping” I would do it.

– The part about the inconvenient footwear in the title comes in here. I am a mess of person, if you’ve followed this blog for long enough or know me in RL then jesus you know how true that is, especially when it comes to properly planning roadtrips. If it wasn’t for the bf I would just drive out with my camera and cash and just make do. As it is though, he can’t plan everything (and I wouldn’t want him to) so I ended up in these hiking places with my Vans and my work flats. As a friend of mine always says, mess.  Not that this stopped me of course, cause i’m me and everything, but I thoroughly ruined my Vans on the icy and muddies trails of Bryce Canyon and scuffled up my flats at Zion. I finally remember I had packed a pair of Nike’s as we were leaving for Monument Valley though, but considering I still forgot to change into them till we were about 10 miles into the 17 mile loop, it doesn’t count for much.

– I don’t think I mentioned this in any post before, but people in general seemed particularly interested in gawking at my Jeep Renegade as if they’d never seen one before (I mean, this is a possibility as it just came out last year but still). It was both flattering and weird and the one time we saw another one on the road, me and the driver exchanged really crazy happy smiles even while passing each other at 75 mph and wherever you are lone Jeep Renegade driver, we are now bonded for life.

The last leg of the trip was Zion–> Monument Valley–> Santa Fe and then headed home. I covered my ecstatically wonderful experience at Monument Valley in my last post. We were supposed to hit the Four Corners Monument right afterwards but we missed visiting hours by about half an hour and so that has a huge bummer, for the bf more so than myself, but i’ve vowed to make sure we visit it one day even if it means I drive us out there like a speeding loon just to stand in 4 places at once for like 5 minuets before we have to head back home.

And so, this is the part where I have to get realistic with you, oh reader of mine. Just like my last big trip that ended in Boston ,by this last leg of the trip, I was a little worn out. There’s only so many days I can go at 110% with cheerful energy and over the top spontaneity before I need a little bit of a break. And so, after arriving in Santa Fe after a night filled with me driving through what felt like ALL of the Safety Zones the state had to offer (this is a stretch of road that has apparently been designated as an area where people need to crawl instead of actually drive and I cursed up the bluest of streaks that kept making the bf kindly offer to take over the driving for me- which of course I refused because I am one stubborn son of a gun), I needed a little bit of a break. This was actually our second time in Santa Fe, so thankfully we were both ok with just taking it easy this time around. I put makeup on for the first time on the trip, dressed in something other than dirty ripped jeans and a t-shirt and we headed out to do a bit of shopping (souvenir and jewelry for me, t-shirts/hoodies for him).

Highlights of this part of the trip included:

– Arriving at the hotel the bf had picked out, Fort Marcy, and finding out we had been upgraded to a two story condo suite with literally the best interior design i’ve seen outside of a magazine. The service here was fantastic and apparently the happy review I left for it on trip advisor has garnered an usually high number of likes, so yes- I recommend you stay here if you’d like somewhere not too crazy expensive that is still well appointed and near to the city center with lovely and helpful front desk people.

–  A fantastically wonderful woman at one of the shops who spent a good 45 or so minutes helping me pick out some lovely pieces to take home with me (lets not mention the stupid amount of $$ I spent here, let me keep my dignity) and told me she loved Texans because, “They’ve got big hair, big hearts and big wallets” – so effing true my dear. She forgot to ring up a shot glass I had picked out for a co-worker and came rushing out of the store after I had checked out and was leaving to furtively shove it in my hand and wish me a great day.

– Eating at the Blue Corn Cafe just like we had done at our first time here and the food was still so finger lickin’ good. Go if you’re ever there, please please please, your taste buds will thank you.

– Curling up with the bf to eat amazing mouth watering Chinese take out from Lu Lu’s on the couch in the downstairs part of the condo and watching episodes of Discovery channels Gold Rush and Deadliest Catch as we are always wont to do at some point during a roadtrip. A universal constant if you will.

We woke up relatively early the next day and headed home, tummies full of coffee and gas station donuts and ready to say goodbye to our life on the road, at least for now. He drove us halfway home at reasonable speeds while I scribbled my thoughts down in my journal in the passenger seat, and then I took over the wheel and broke every single speeding limit in two states while he listened to my rants on the impossibilities of fantasy economics and playlists inspired by the betrayal of Julius Caesar played on the car stereo. It was perfection and while I was sad to be home again and facing the idea of a piled up mess at work, all good things must end and anyways, I needed to get back home to start saving up more $$ for the next trip.

~m

Art Journal Monday- From The Road

maps and art journals
roadtrip art journal page
travel art journal
maps and art journal pages
Grand Canyon Sketch, Art journal
Roadtrip art journal

These pages were done while huddled in a car going 85 mph down a darkening highway, sitting on the rough blanket of a motel while sleep tugged at my eyes, at the table of a very not-so-great restaurant while sunlight streamed through the glass ceilings and finished up while sprawled on my office floor, maps and brochures scattered around me.

I still have my primary art journal to finish but this one…I can’t even tell you what prompted me to stuff this brand new journal into my suitcase instead of my usual one, except maybe i’m a sucker for blank pages and the cute little compass rose embossed on the cover couldn’t have been more cliche-perfect for a roadtripper like me. It was lovely to have new, perfectly clean pages to work on though, like a open map in front of me just begging for an adventure to be picked out, a route to be highlighted. Maybe this will be the one I take with me on whenever I renew my Texas adventures….I don’t know yet, we’ll see.

Song on Repeat:
The FearBen Howard

( Currently tired to the bone, haven’t yet even made the effort to edit a single photograph and while my hands itch to start type-type-typing out things for stories i’ve shined to a polish in my mind, i’m just taking it easy this week. I go back to work tomorrow and I don’t know if i’m quite ready to throw off that restless feeling of being on the road, the whole country laid out as a possibility and nothing to stop you from just driving till you can’t anymore. I’ll be exchanging my mudcaked shoes for sensible flats, my ripped and dirty jeans for bookish trousers and pushing up my glassed on my face not to get a better view at the vista laid out in front of me but to analyze numbers and dosages again. But….I think i’ll be ok and honestly, being back home isn’t the worst feeling, especially not when I burrow into my couch and queue up some episodes of X Files to watch with the boyfriend, thats a pretty great cozy feeling actually.)

Not drowning in my coffee cups yet,

~m

On the Road- A Fury Of Color In the Southwest

Driving Through Arizona

No Art Journal Monday today folks.

I’m on the road and I wasn’t organized enough to get my shit together before I left to have one queued up ready to go. And if that isn’t the theme pretty much everytime I head out on the road, I’m not sure what is. Things like having an itinerary and even just knowing exactly where i’m headed are things I always leave till last minute but….I kinda get addicted to the feeling of throwing things at the wall and seeing something new and unexpected take shape.

The loose plan is currently (over several days obviously cause i’m not totally insane):
Texas —> Grand Canyon —> Zion National Park —> Bryce Canyon —> Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument–> Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park—> Four Corner Monument—> Santa Fe —> Texas

Rest Stop Poetry

the Grand Canyon, March weather

The drive out of Texas into New Mexico is one i’ve done before but this time the colors seemed to just burn even before I had left the flat lands of east Texas. At the first rest stop in New Mexico me and the boyfriend found words and lyrics (Car Radio- Twenty One Pilots) scribbled onto the red faux-adobe walls of the picnic seating area and as the sun set over Arizona as we neared Flagstaff, the sky just burst into cotton candy splendor that felt like the best kind of welcome.

Will be leaving the Grand Canyon sometime tomorrow to head towards Zion and i’m just extremely excited to explore all these new lands i’ve never been to before. I’ve been favored with clear skies, crisp winds and brilliant sunshine and i’m not gonna waste one second of it.

~m

P.s Yes all these photos were taken with my iPhone but I promise the rest are actually being shot with my camera in RAW and JPEG format so…idk, better photos to come.