Sunday, November 30, 2014

Moving Blogs

After so many years on Blogger, I have finally decided to make the switch to Wordpress. I would say it has been a long time coming but really I just want a fresh start. This blog has never had much of a vision. It's been a mish mosh of posts; traveling, mail, photography. I long for a space that aligns with my vision for Dactyl Life.

The official switch will happen in a few days, on December 1st. I won't be moving any of these old posts but I already have quite a few great posts lined up for December! I hope to introduce more post series with more of a set schedule as well. I want to be more deliberate with my blogging and I feel like a clean state will help with that.

On December 1st, will redirect to the my Wordpress blog!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


I've been super happy with all of my outgoing mail as of late! I still have quite a few replies to catch up on but I'm almost there. These two letters went out at the end of last week. I'm almost out of stamps but I have to wait until December to order more. Ahhh.

I picked up these airmail envelopes in Hawaii. I didn't want to cover up the airmail stripes but they were so white and boring! I had to add a little flair to them!

Monday, November 24, 2014

On being inspired

I've been incredibly inspired lately to do collages. I think a lot of it has to do with the change in weather. The hot weather makes me miserable and super lazy. I didn't think summer would end this year but it finally came to an abrupt stop.

So, it's winter and all I want to do is paste bits of paper down and make art. I haven't put glue to paper in quite some time since I've been doing digital collages. It feels awesome to go back to the basics. As much as I love the ease of digital collages, it will never be better than "real" collages. I think a lot of it has to do with the textures.

Here are some things I've been working on.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Volcanoes National Park

Thankfully there are a lot of things to see and do around the Big Island that do not involve water. Volcanoes National Park is one of them!

Like Mauna Kea, we went to the park around sunset. The main reason we went was to check out the glow of lava! Who wouldn't want to see that? It was quite surreal to see it in person. I really wish I could have seen actual lava but the glow was just as neat. I'll take what I can get!

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Snorkeling was an unreal experience. I never thought I would have the courage to do it. Before we left for Hawaii, I would be thinking nonstop about how I would react to being in the water. I honestly had no clue. The most I could figure was that I would freak out. Growing up in the desert, I really didn't have much of an opportunity to hang out in natural bodies of water. We had a pool, so I know that I'm a decent swimmer but it's something completely different to be comfortable in water that is more than 6 feet deep and with things living in it; particularly sharks.

Our bed and breakfast host was sure to tell us that shark sightings were not common on the island. That was a little soothing but, in the back of my head, sharks were all I could think about. It's a completely irrational fear, I know.

I absolutely love the ocean just not being in it. I had an alright time snorkeling. It was really cool to see everything but I couldn't get over the fact that I could be looking around and possibly see a shark. It was just too much for me. I could be in the water for 5-10 minutes at a time. I'll probably never do it again.

 This photo sums up my entire snorkeling experience

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Place of Refuge & Kealakekua Bay

There is no shortage of ocean or beautiful places on the Big Island. We went to see Kealakekua Bay, where you can apparently ocean kayak with dolphins. Although we weren't able to go out kayaking (thank god), it was a nice little spot to check out.

We did go snorkeling near Place of Refuge. It was beautiful! This snorkeling spot is a bit more advanced, as there are more waves and it is deeeeep water. You go in off the rocks and boom! You're in the water and you can't stand up. That was a bit too much for me.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mauna Kea

One of my favorite things that we did in Hawaii was visit Mauna Kea. It's absolutely amazing to be so high up and looking out on to a sea of clouds. We went up the mountain right around sunset. I think that was my first time seeing the sunset above the clouds. It was a great experience, and so beautiful.

Another thing Mauna Kea is known for is their observatory! We had planned to stick around after the sun went down to peak through their telescopes. Unfortunately it's a pretty popular place among tourists. Not being the biggest fan of crowds, Nathan and I called it a night and headed back down the mountain.

We made our own fun by stopping along the highway on our way home and taking long exposure photos.

Friday, November 14, 2014


Honolulu! We did a day trip to Honolulu to see what the fuss was about. That didn't go quite as planned, though; Nathan ended up catching a cold the day we left!

We splurged a bit on this hotel, as it was just a one-night stay. I thought it was going to be a fancy hotel with some excellent room service and whatnot. The whole experience was pretty disappointing but mostly the room service menu! We ended up ordering pizza.

Since Nathan wasn't feeling well, we did not do anything special. It was kind of a relief, though. Honolulu reminded me of a tropical Las Vegas and I just wasn't feeling it. The view from our room of the ocean was pretty! The next day we flew back to Kona. I was very happy to be back on the Big Island.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Big Island

I'm not fond of crowded places, like Honolulu, so we decided to hang out on the Big Island for our trip to Hawaii. It was super relaxing, rural and green. It rained every day, everywhere except for the beach. I was so thankful for the daily rain! I might be the only person who wants rain while visiting Hawaii but when I say I hate the sun, I mean it.

Driving back from Mauna Kea, we stopped on the side of the highway so I could take some long exposures. With my first attempt, my camera decided to fall off the car. 

 Another long exposure. It was pitch black out, save for the lights of passing cars so I was super stoked to see how the clouds turned out in this shot.

 On a drive to Volcanoes National Park, we stopped to take a peak at South Point. You can barely make it out in this photo, but it's at the left with all the windmills on it. Absolutely breathtaking!

 The sunset near South Point

 Photographic evidence of the gloomy days we had on the Big Island

Gloomy days, best days.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I'm Baaaack

At the end of October, Nathan and I took our first vacation together; we went to Hawaii! This was my first real vacation in over three years. It was a much needed trip. We actually got back on November 2nd but I spent all of last week getting back into real-world mode.

Before I resume normal blog programming, I'm going to be sharing different parts of my trip each day this week.

To be honest, Hawaii has always been last on my List of Places to Visit. I am basically terrified of the ocean and just about everything in it. When it comes to sharks, I can think myself into a panic attack. I don't like the sun, humidity, or being warm. However, I won this trip through my job and I love to travel; so it's off to Hawaii.

The trip turned out to be amazing and I'm so thankful that I had the opportunity to visit Hawaii. We stayed on the Big Island, in Captain Cook, at a beautiful bed and breakfast called A Beautiful Edge of the World. We wanted something a big more slow-paced and definitely not touristy. The bed and breakfast was probably the best choice we made. The owners were lovely and had wonderful suggestions on things to see "off the beaten path." We had a tasty breakfast each morning, complete with fruits and coffee they grew on their land. Our room was massive with a private lanai with the most amazing view of the island and ocean.

One thing I will never forget about our time on the Big Island is the noises you hear at night. Birds and bugs I have never heard before. It was amazing at how loud but peaceful it was.

This is the house we stayed in. A Beautiful Edge of the World, complete with a banana tree out front.

To get to the bed and breakfast, you had to go down a very small road. Their neighbor owned a horse (plus a donkey and chickens) that was free to roam around the area. The horse often ended up in the middle of the road. We would play many games of chicken with that horse!
A selection of the plants and trees you can find around the property.

 One of the lovely views you could find while walking around.

The view from our room's lanai. Hawaii had such beautiful sunsets.