Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dactyl Life Giveaway

I teamed up with Chloe over at Lazy Explorers to offer you this fantastic giveaway! I had such a fun time working with her to design her custom stationery set. If you'd like the chance to win your very own Dactyl Life stationery set, be sure to enter the giveaway! You can choose to win the set I designed for her or pick one from my shop. I will be mailing the set to the winner! It's a chance to get some awesome stationery as well as a sweet package from me :)

Just head on over to Chloe's post to submit your entries to win! You may as well browse around her blog while you're over there, too! She is rad.

If you want to keep up-to-date on Dactyl Life happenings, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Weekly Mail

I received the most amazing package from Emilie this week! She sent me this vintage scrapbook she found at a thrift store. It was such a treat to flip through the pages. I'm so flattered she thought to send that to me! I might be scanning some of the pages in, and I will definitely be making a separate post about it. I'd also love to send it on to someone else because it is amazing and I want to spread the joy!

I also received a lovely letter from Mary. It's always a treat to receive a letter from her. Her letters are always entertaining and she always sends some nice things my way! Her letters are almost always filled with confetti, too.

I wrote 4 letters this week but haven't posted them yet. Sometimes I'm really lazy about that. I don't have any excuses for it! At least I'm catching up on my replies.

My pen pal, Kyle, did come in to Portland this week and we had the chance to meet up for pizza & beer. I was excited to meet him and we had a pretty hilarious time hanging out. I really love meeting pen pals. It's always really easy for me because I feel like I already know them, I'm just putting a face (and a personality) to their writing. It certainly was that way with Kyle! I knew instantly who he was when I saw him hanging outside of Powell's even though I've never seen a picture of him before. I felt like we clicked instantly and it was like hanging out with an old friend. My cheeks hurt from laughing so much after hanging out. So much fun!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Weekly Mail

Greetings from the dactyl den! This week I did not write one letter! I started reading a book (The Interestings) and that is consuming my free time. Oops. I received 3 lovely pieces of mail. A really sweet letter from Venus, one from Connie & a funny postcard from Kaylah. Now I have about 11 things that I need to reply to! I hate getting so behind but I also like doing other things.

I might be meeting my pen pal, Kyle, this week. I hope we can find to time hang out. He is pretty rad & I always like meeting new people/pen pals!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

New Collages!

Over the past couple of weeks, I've picked up a few vintage encyclopedias from the same set. They are full of really fun illustrations that I have been using in my collages! So far I have 3 out of the 6 books. I'm desperately trying to find the other 3 but considering they were made in the early 1900s, it might be a bit difficult. I thought I got lucky as there was a listing on Amazon for the "whole" set for $5! It turned out to be just Volume 6, which is the condensed version of the entire set, and one that I already had. Whoops.

I've made a total of 6 new designs in the last few weeks and they are probably my favorite to date. The majority of the illustrations in the books are just black & white, with a few random color ones. Working with very minimal color/design is definitely a challenge but it also allows me to be a bit more creative with my backgrounds and other elements of the design. Before I would use some random scrap of paper as backgrounds & elements and I'm kind of straying away from that. Experimenting is fun! I would love to do a recording of how I work and do a time-lapse video of my process. I love those types of videos!

The above designs can be found in my Etsy shop if you want to look at more pictures. Or, you know, purchase them!

I've been a bit lazy and haven't printed out the other 2 designs yet as I just made them over the weekend. I'm pretty excited to have them printed out though!

I'm also going to venture away from stationery and offer some other things in my shop over the next few months.

Do you have any designs you'd love to see? Favorite animals? Colors? Tell me whatcha think!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Monthly Mail - August 2014

August flew by without me really accomplishing anything. I had a very lazy month of scanning in new images for collages, playing video games and avoiding anything productive! I was on a Theme Hospital kick for most of the month and that is just bad news. I get so sucked in to that game! It is one of my favorites from my childhood.

I'm getting a little conflicted about trying to write letters on my breaks and lunches at work as I just don't seem to be motivated to write letters at work anymore. Typically, I leave a stack of letters I need to reply to at work, and if I find the time/motivation, I write when I can. I usually end up forgetting to bring letters home during the weekend so I'm left with less time to reply!

I received a lot of mail this month! Thank you to everyone who made my mailbox happy!! I also received a mysterious postcard (the bunny one above); there wasn't a name, return address or any indication on how they received my address! Mysterious mail is sometimes the best but I wish I had an address to send a thank-you card back to them! Also, Ciara's postcard (the bear) is just so cute! I would suggest checking out her Etsy shop if you are looking for some fun mail-related goodies.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Weekly Mail

Another (fairly) slow mail week! I received 3 letters and sent out 5 letters & 1 postcard!

I brought a bunch of markers and letter writing supplies to work so I've been doing a lot more doodling on envelopes! It is a great way to pass the time.

I also updated my shop with some new stationery designs! Go check them out!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Keeping Schedule

I've never been much of a spontaneous person. The older I get the more I realize how important it is for me to keep a schedule and have a routine. Ever since I started selling on Etsy I've realized how crucial it is for me to keep to my schedule. I never expected the be as busy as I have been with my shop. I'm incredibly grateful to be busy but it is hard to stay on top of things while juggling a full time job.

I implemented a Google schedule through Google calendar to help me keep everything on track. It's so nice to be able to see what I'm doing each week and what needs to be done. To help me remember everything that needs to be done, I also brought in a fabulous website call To Do List. That website was brought to my attention by an awesome blogger, Zie. I tend to be very forgetful and do the majority of my work online so the to do list is super handy for me. I also love checking things off of it!

Last week, I ended up working a lot of overtime at my job and that completely messed up my routine. I was so tired! I didn't want to do anything when I got home (especially coming home after gym days, agh!). I had blog posts to write, designs to collage, and cleaning to do; nothing was accomplished that week. Finding the time and energy to shower was difficult!

I'm hoping to get back on track this week, and make sure I stay on track! I do like to enjoy my life so I'm not incredibly strict about sticking to my Google calendar but it is nice for reminders to blog and do creative things. I recently picked up some rad vintage books and I can't wait to start on new stationery designs. I'm planning on retiring all of the designs you see in my Etsy shop in the next few months. Get them while you can! All of those designs will be unavailable come 2015.

How do you keep track of your life?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bicycle Rides

I've been riding my bike everywhere lately. I feel like I'm doing the opposite of what most people do regarding transportation. In Las Vegas, you really have to drive everywhere as the city is so spread out, public transportation sucks and it's just too hot to do anything else. I got a car and license at 15 years old and I've had a car ever since. I've always hated driving and dreamed of living somewhere with ace public transit or somewhere small enough for walking around.

Then I moved to Portland and the first order of business was selling my car. Not only was it awesome to cut down my debt by a significant amount, I was ecstatic to be free of car insurance, gas prices and parallel parking. I started walking or using public transportation and I finally graduated to riding a bike! I have always been pretty nervous about bike riding. As you may have guessed, I didn't spend much time riding a bike in Vegas. People driving in Vegas do not care about pedestrians or bicyclists (they barely care about other drivers!).

I try to ride my bike to work every day, which is a short 1 mile ride each way. Riding to work is the best because it is mostly downhill. I still struggle a bit with my lungs riding uphill but it's getting better each day. Nathan and I also do a funsie ride over the weekend. I don't really like riding in traffic but thankfully most drivers are pretty nice. Gotta love Portland! Especially the bicycle path by the river.

My favorite thing about riding is really just getting out of the house. I do love walking but it is so time consuming! Portland is a really small city and basically ideal for bike riding. I get to explore places that I normally wouldn't go because walking would take too long and riding the bus would be a hassle. I don't really like riding the bus if I have to take more than 2 buses! Buses require a little bit more planning so I really appreciate the spontaneity of riding a bike. Nathan & I were riding over a bridge last weekend when I looked to my right and saw a bunch of graffiti. I immediately knew we had to stop and take a look!

So, I went from driving to walking to riding a bike. I feel like most people go from walking to riding a bike to driving. What transportation path did you take? I wonder if I'll eventually get fed up and buy another car. I don't see that happening unless it is a purple, 1966 Mustang convertible (my dream car).

Monday, August 4, 2014

How Happiness Won Me A Trip To Hawaii

Do you guys remember when I posted about the Happiness Journal that I received when I started my new job? Well that same journal won me a trip to Hawaii! Shortly after finishing the journal, there was an company raffle for everyone who completed a journal. Ten raffles tickets were given out for every journal that was completed. The prizes were a trip to Hawaii or tickets to an upcoming Justin Timberlake concert.

I finished my journal barely in time to participate in the raffle. Even then, I wasn't sure if I could participate as I was just a new employee. After being encouraged by my lovely coworkers to participate, I tossed all of my raffle tickets into the Hawaii prize bucket and anxiously awaited the results. I remember talking to my boyfriend about how cool it would be to win but I never thought I would! I'm probably the unluckiest person when it comes to contests. But I won.

I remember coming back from lunch to find the email announcement with the winners. My coworker and I were reading it at the same time and I hear her say "It's the ticket right after mine!" I open my drawer, pull out my tickets and there it was, the winning ticket! I triple-checked the numbers to make sure I wasn't dreaming. After making sure I was awake, and the winner, I sent off the email to claim my prize.

As I was a new employee, I was told I had to wait until I had been working with the company 90 days before I could take the vacation. So, I waited. And waited. And waited a little bit more, thinking and dreaming of my Hawaii vacation. I didn't want to even start planning just in case something horrible happened and I was let go before my 90 days were up. Somehow I was patient enough (and didn't get fired); just last week was my "anniversary" and now I can officially begin planning!

To be honest, I have no idea where to begin. What do I want to do? Where do I want to go? It should be noted that I am absolutely terrified of the ocean/things in the ocean (mostly sharks). Nathan is pushing for us to go snorkeling and in a shark cage. I'm trying my best to be brave and I'm sure I will just do it but every time I think about it I'm basically frozen with fear. It's silly. That's what I get for being raised in the desert!

The most exciting thing about this trip is that it will be the first vacation that Nathan & I take together! Although we have moved across the country (twice), we have never officially taken a vacation.

If you have Hawaii suggestions, leave a comment!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Weekly Mail

This has been a pretty slow mail week for me. I just received 2 things in my mailbox. Both were pretty unexpected though! Ciara Kay sent me a fun postcard to let me know of a silly dream she had with me in it. My aunt sent me a little note with an old photo and a charm she found that says "Tara".

I didn't send out any mail this week! I was going to send out 2 letters yesterday but I totally forgot. That happens a lot. Well, I did send out an Etsy order yesterday. Does that count? I almost didn't get to send this out because apparently Post Offices in Oregon do not like to be open on Saturday.