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Learning Log, Aug/Sep 2022

Life has been super busy this past couple months, hence the double feature this time around. This is also a special Learning Log because it is dedicated to my friend Saili, whose wedding I traveled to Monterrey, CA to attend in August!!

A neon sign that says Saili and Billy present a little BS Two big lacy jellyfish floating perpendicular to each other ina blue tank

Saili is my number one hype queen, always quick to jump in with a supportive word. I am pretty sure she is the only person who reads all my fiber crafts posts. Spend an hour with Saili and you will feel capable of punching through brick walls.

Congratulations Saili and Billy, and thank you for having all of us share in your day. 💞


Had the opportunity to go to Maui, Hawaii in September! Unlike most Seattleites it seems, I’d never been to the islands and I extremely get the hype now. Kapalua Coastal Trail in particular was a beautiful afternoon walk:

A cove of crystalline, turquoise water sweeping into a rocky coastline A low formation of rock that was clearly formed by slow lava flow. There's small pools of water amidst the lava rocks.

I’m realizing I’m a big fan of cool rock formations in or near the sea (looking at you, Giant’s Causeway).

My fiancé and I have not taken a real vacation for the better part of 3 years. Our first afternoon in Maui we were just floating happily in the sea, wondering why that felt so MIND BLOWINGLY nice. Turns out when you don’t take time to relax, away from the details of your mid-pandemic life, you end up a little more tightly wound?



Started a new sketchbook, the Stillman & Birn Epsilon.

A sketchbook page saying 'your sketchbook wants to be filled not feared, Nina Cosford'. There's a watercolor background in bright warm tones.
A jetty of rocks rendered in water soluable crayons
Black Rock in Maui, Hawaii

I’m enjoying it so far: the paper is smooth enough that Posca pens don’t tear up the surface, but it’s thick enough for wet media. The pages do wave a little bit with wet media, but I don’t mind it (kind of enjoy that, if I’m honest).

Dunes rendered in pale watercolor, with scribbles of umber and green in crayon on top
The view of sand dunes from our Airbnb in Sand City, CA

Lately I’ve been exploring how I do/don’t like to use Neocolor II water-soluable crayons.

Fiber arts

A small fabric panel made of triangles, squares, and rectangles. Colors include red, yellow, pink, blue, teal, black, and white. There are black and white squares in a checkboard pattern.

Working on a zipper pouch for an A5 sketchbook! Here’s the top (mostly) pieced together. Bright colors have been giving me so much dopamine lately.

More learning and doing

  • Found a fountain pen that actually works for me and now am extremely into fountain pens and inks! They look so pretty, especially on the Tomoe River Paper in my Hobonichi journal.
  • Worked for a hot minute on a redesign for my website (which is not yet live). I don’t have a much color on the site right now, and this redesign is definitely swinging towards the “ALL OF THE COLOR” end of the pendulum.
  • Learned the term asterism, and also that “dinkus” is a technical term. 🤨
  • Used my Mode Intermediate SQL tutorial chops from earlier in the summer to write a new query for a dashboard at work! Huzzah!

On the Internet



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  • Melanie Richards on

    Latest Learning Log is a double feature, because life is busy, but that also means: so many bright fun things to share! 👩‍🎨…
  • Sameera on

    I love love love Melanie’s learning logs. I always look forward to them.…