Color Palette

As I save up for a new camera, I took the weather today as a deciding factor for me to backup and go through some of my old files. I think that in the near future I will post some of my Taiwan favorites that I haven’t really had a chance to post over here as I wait out this dry camera and wet typhoon spell. But first, let me also mention that I decided to try something new out as well.

Inspired by my design seeds post yesterday, I decided to take some time today to learn how to do that myself. I remember for my Picture Color class this summer, one of my classmates posted a tutorial on it, but I hadn’t had time then to really go over it. I went over our archived posts on the message board and found it. So, without further ado, here are a couple of color palettes I made today. I took both from my FYE Inspiration file, and you can find more about that here.

It was a lot of fun to learn how to add, pull, and place the colors in their own little boxes, and I think that in future I may do a few more of these as well. (I think I may start to do five colors in the next round, though.)

If you are interested in learning how to make these, you can check out this lovely tutorial with circular swatches here. Enjoy! 🙂


Finding Inspiration in the Little Things

While my camera is in the shop, I’ve been paying attention more to the questions. Through questions posed in my online courses as well as the ones that have been rolling around in my head for what seems like ages, I’ve come to realize how much my camera is a part of me. I love it. I crave it. I need it. There are so many small things I notice on a daily basis that I long to capture; so, for now I try to remember it in my mind. Things like the friends we’ve reconnected with over dinners and lunches. The vendors on the side of the street, with their hopeful and longing stares, waiting for a break from a hungry passerby, or maybe just the heat. The beautiful sunshine we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy over the past week. All of these things and more that I wish I could capture, but my little phone just doesn’t seem to do them justice. No manual settings to create that dreamy shallow depth of field or that magical sun flare I love so much. While I love my smartphone, my heart and my eye just aren’t with that little camera.

Even though I have missed having my camera by my side, I have been paying attention to the smaller details that sometimes get passed by. I find myself watching with more closely and with more purpose without my camera, thinking about what I would have shot had my camera been in my hand, which I think in the end is a good thing. I find that I’m honing more of my decisive skills: looking at the scenario and situation with more of an intuitive, observant nature. And I find that in doing so, I am definitely seeing more. I also realize that in doing this, I am finding so much more inspiration in the little things: the rust in a blue metal door, the shadows on the sidewalk, an old man’s wise grin, the retro-style bus seats, the shading of the clouds as the sun sets.

So, in honor of finding inspiration in the little things, I would like to share one of my favorite little sites that I stumbled upon a while back: design seeds. I absolutely love this site. It pulls so many awesome color schemes from things that we so often see in our daily lives. One of my recent favorites is this one. So ordinary, but so beautiful.

What ordinary things have inspired you lately?

Morning Light

tangled legs
soft touches
“good nights” and “good mornings”
sweet kisses
late night movies
shared hopes and dreams
spoken fears

Thank you for all that I’ve been able to share with you.
Happy Anniversary, Jeremy.
I love you.

Making Time

Do you ever feel like you just don’t have the time? The time to relax? The time to enjoy life? The time to create? The time to just be you? This is how I’ve been feeling lately. Due to so many happenings, I just haven’t felt like I’ve had the time for me.

Or have I?

I am in the middle of the beginning of a transition period, if that even makes sense. (It does, promise. lol) The details are too sticky to get into here; however, I realized (or rather, re-realized) recently after joining CBC and Superhero Summer Camp that I do have the time – that even though I’m busy, the time is there. Or rather, here, now.

Don’t get me wrong, despite the busyness they often create, I feel so blessed to have the job(s) that I do, the life I live, the people I know and love, but sometimes I find myself feeling too guilty when I sway away from any direction that doesn’t directly affect my original goals of coming here (support Jeremy/save money). After giving it some thought, though, I realized what I have heard, read, and understood for several times before now: I need to make the time. I need to schedule the time, otherwise I will continually find myself feeling guilty for not working more on editing those papers, for not adding one more TOEFL tip to that handout, for sitting in the sun when I should be emailing, or researching, or printing. Most importantly, despite having heard, read, and understood all of this at one or more points throughout my life before, the main point I realized today was that I haven’t actually given myself permission to not feel guilty. Let me say that one more time: I haven’t given myself permission.

So, hereby this summer, I give myself permission to create (even if it’s not the most beautiful piece of artwork or the most eloquent essay/story/poem). I give myself permission to get messy. To enjoy the sunshine. To take time for me. It may be hard to let go of the tasks waiting on my desk. It may be hard to be in the present moment, but I am here, and the time is now. So, whether it is for 30 minutes or three hours, I give myself permission to make the time each day and enjoy it. In reality, the time out I take for me will actually help to fuel my other work, to revitalize my mind and energy, as it will resonate in the other areas of my life as well.

Is there something that you’ve been wanting to do for a while now, but you just haven’t been able to find the time? How would you feel if you actually did it? Grant yourself the permission to enjoy some YOU time, even if it’s just thirty minutes per day. (You have my permission.)

Rainy Days

“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.” ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Lately life has been, well, busy to say the least. I haven’t found myself with much free time. So, when I found out that today I would have a whole day to do anything I want, well, I was pumped, (to say the least). But what to do? Sometimes when there are just so many options to choose from, one becomes stuck, and for a couple of days prior, I found myself at a crossroads. See, after the typhoon passed yesterday, the sun came out, so I thought that I would be able to head up to Danshui, maybe go to the beach area and explore a bit. However, the dark clouds this morning over the mountain (and a late breakfast) made me rethink my decision. Instead, I got

a haircut and hung out with my favorite person for most of the day (Jeremy!), and I even got to take some time out to sit, photograph, and read (outside!) during an awesome thunderstorm.

It was fabulous! I desperately needed a day away from work. (It really had been a while.) Despite my usual planning and love of organization, today’s lack of schedule ended up being wonderful. Exactly what I needed – even the unexpected rain. 🙂

Kenting Vacay (Part Two)

The four of us rented a car…OK, Scott did most of the hard work for us (thank you!) in order to head down to Kenting, beach capital of Taiwan. It was an awesome adventure that was definitely needed. We left late at night, and for the first half of the car ride, I felt like this:

But then I caught my second wind towards the last three hours of the trip, and what can I say? “I was too excited to sleep[!]” when we arrived to the hotel at 2AM. So, then I felt like this little kid from the Disney commercial so long ago:

After finally falling asleep, I awoke a few hours later to the brightest sunshine I’d seen in a long time. It was glorious. We headed down for breakfast, where I was greeted with loads of fun colors and beautiful flowers and vases.

(Some of them reminded me of Greece because of the use of blue and white together – oh how I long to visit Greece…)

We even got to see some oxen roaming around:

…to which a young girl continuously shouted 大象 (elephant) at. Then, upon finding out that they were in fact not elephants, but oxen, she became quite disheartened and walked away. Haha.

Following that, it was off to do some exploring!

(Side note: don’t try coconut water; it’s disgusting. lol)

Both days in Kenting were spent at the beach.

(Unfortunately I did not get to try surfing this time around, but definitely on the next beach vacation!)

On the second day we stumbled upon the official National Park area in Kenting, which meant we got to see a lot of rocks, but for the most part we were more interested in the feral kittens.

OK. Maybe some of the rocks.

But more so this dead tree:

As we headed back to the hotel to watch the sunset on the second day, we found a lovely field and a neat little temple.

(It’s been so long since we’ve seen an open field!)

After making it back to town, we were just in time to watch the sunset in peace…well, except for the [already] drunkards cheering for the sun to set.

Upon leaving the next day, we ate breakfast at a colorful little place down the road, and then it was time to head back home.

(Not sure what Jeremy said that caught Stef’s attention, but it must have been intriguing because I’m pretty sure I was counting.)

I can’t wait for our next vacation! 🙂

Kenting Vacay

After returning from Kenting, the beach capitol of Taiwan, for Dragon Boat Festival, it’s been a mad rush back to work. While I slowly but surely get back into the groove of my everyday routine, here are a few photos from our awesome trip until I can finish the full post.

I hope you enjoy them!