It’s a snowy creative weekend

It’s always rainy in Seattle, but this past weekend, it snowed!

Hi readers, sorry for being away for so long. I’ve been active on many other platforms: Instagram, Youtube, Twitch, and my 2020 soul project The Stationery Cafe Podcast. However, I decided to give my blog some TLC as well this year. Perhaps a tandem of a post a week would work?

In Seattle, our winter isn’t as harsh as everywhere else in the country. We get a few cold days, and sometimes a sprinkling of snow once or twice in January or February. However, we were all caught off guard by the snowstorm that gave the city a crispy white makeover over the Valentine’s Day weekend. We’re not mad about it. In fact, the whole city had turned into a giant playground where adults and children alike are sledding on snow drift-covered roads, building snowmen, and having a good time.

Cookie, my 5-months old golden doodle, had a great time. He was swimming and jumping through the snow banks like a little dolphin, it’s so adorable. However, the snow clumps were a pain to remove and a hassle for both parties.

Every time I come across these special occasions, I always want to make the best of it by doing something special, creatively. Otherwise, I’d feel like I’ve wasted my days just sitting around. I pulled out my new watercolor sketchbook by Stickerrific and nervously begun the “first page journey” on this pristine product. The notebook contains 300 gsm, 100% cotton paper by Bao Hong. In my head, I knew that I would like to create a hazy, moody, snow-filled scene of Gas Works Park, Seattle’s iconic recreational park that turns into a snowy sledding destination for the people of the city. As I worked on this painting, I was listening and following along my friend @ohaijoy’s Twitch stream where she’s illustrating cute characters based on the Hobonichi Challenge.

Gas Works Park covered in snow. Beyond that, you can see the hazy silhouettes of Fremont buildings and tree lined hills.

Towards the end of the weekend, my friend Eleanor (@herbcoil on Instagram, a talented illustrator based in Seattle) did a dual Instagram Live with Alvin from Malaysia. They also picked a snowy scene to draw together. Since my first page in the Stickerrific sketchbook was too good (in my opinion), I was having some anxiety breaking into subsequent pages of the sketchbook. Do you feel this way too? I decided that by painting along with them, it might relieve this pressure of not wanting to ruin my sketchbook with a bad drawing. Thankfully, all the worry was just in my head! I like my second painting.

Jigengi Temple in Fukushima, Japan

It’s not a proper snow day if you are not drinking hot chocolate with marshmallow, right? I made myself an extra hot cup and stood in the falling snow, feeling extra romantic. Meanwhile, Cookie is going to the bathroom out on the deck by my feet, so there goes that dreamy scenario.

I took over 100 photos this weekend, of the snowy view, of Cookie prancing around in snow, and of Elliot shoveling our way out around the house. I’ve shared before that my Traveler’s Notebook is typically used for “over spills” of my creative journaling that doesn’t fit in the Hobonichi Cousin Avec. This is definitely one of those situations. I printed out all the photos on sticker paper and cut them into little stickers. Then I went around my studio and picked out washi tapes, stickers, stamps, and ephemera that would fit the theme of the spread I’m making. It kind of feels like I’m shopping my own stash!

On a whim, I decided to film the process of decorating and creating this spread. Watch this chill journal-with-me video if you would like some cozy vibes to your journaling session!

Of course I did more than one spread in my Traveler’s Notebook. There are so many elements I can utilize, so I tried out many different styles as I go about documenting my weekend. I coordinated the color of my pens to the stickers, the ink color of the stamp, and to the texture and pattern of my washi tape. Here’s the remaining spreads of our Seattle snow day creative journaling session.

I decided to give the last spread a Valentine’s Day flair. I forgot to capture our delicious homemade v-day meal, which is too bad.

The thing with snow, is that it’s pretty when it’s falling, but SUCH a hassle waiting for it to melt, or worst, turn into ice if the weather continues to be below freezing. Thankfully, we had it lucky this year. Snow fell for two days, and promptly all melted away since Sunday afternoon and the entirety of Monday with 45 degree temperature. When you open the window, you can hear tiny streams just following all around you…that’s all the snow melting off our roof! Coming from Boston, I totally welcome this short reprieve of snow experience. Too bad Cookie also loves playing the slushy, dirty, melting snow.

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