the art & adventures of tracy durnell


April 5, 2010


Beautiful Outdoors

A few photos of the great outdoors from 2010. River from North Bend, waterfall and moss from Novato in California.

boulder in the middle of the Snoqualmie River just outside Riverbend, North Bend, Washington

Cascade mountain reflected in the Snoqualmie River outside of North Bend

stone wall showing uplift and layers by Snoqualmie River in North Bend, Washington

wild hens and chicks in Novato California

moss and lichen

detail of moss in Marin County, California

shooting star in front of a small waterfall in Novato, Marin County, California

small waterfall in Novato, Marin County, California


April 4, 2010


Jewelry March 2010

We moved at the end of March, so for the first half of the month I created a bunch of stuff, knowing I wouldn't have time (or room) to bead while we were moving. Jewelry from March: 4 bracelets, 4 earrings, 3 necklaces.

all jewelry from march

four bracelets made by kaeldra

necklace and bracelet set in yellow and teal made by kaeldra


March 12, 2010


Quickie Trip to CA

I made a quick hit-and-run trip down to California a couple weekends ago, where we had a grand time visiting the Marin Headlands, seeing family, doing a couple little walks, going to see King Tut and Cartier diamonds at SF museums, and just hangin. Mom and I also made homemade tortillas for the first time - yum!

golden gate bridge from the marin headlands, san francisco behind
marin headlands in dark shadows
crashing surf at cronkite beach in the marin headlands
crashing surf at cronkite beach in the marin headlands
mom and kirby ready to walk!
reverse sunset looking away from cronkite beach
waterfall near IVC

I will not subject you at this time to my photos of moss, because I have been too daunted to edit them myself!

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February 21, 2010


Snow Tracking Two

I went snow tracking for the second time this year (despite the junky / nonexistant snow). (First trip of the year.) This time we saw tons of bobcat tracks rather than the majority of coyote tracks last year.

bobcat tracks stepping over a hole in the snow
Bobcat tracks (female?) east of the pass.

solving the question of what this bobcat was doing in such a hurry
running bobcat tracks in snow
What was this bobcat doing in such a hurry?

bobcat tracks on a snow island in an iced-over lake
This bobcat was light enough to walk across the frozen lake, so we couldn't follow it.

maple leaf draped on branches

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February 8, 2010


Backpack to Goldmyer Hotsprings

As part of a buildup to my hopeful pass to pass backpack this summer, we backpacked 10 miles in to a natural hotsprings in the Alpine Lakes wilderness, Goldmyer Hot Springs (note: I didn't take any pictures of the hot springs since it was full of 'clothing optional' visitors - flickr photos here).

It was way further than I was prepared to do carrying a 30+ pound pack, so I hobbled out the last five miles. Typically the trail is only 4.5 miles each way, but the road was washed out before the official parking lot by 5 miles.

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February 2, 2010


January Jewelry and 2010 Goals

2 necklaces, 2 bracelets, 5 earrings
I've been busy this month, so I've taken a bit of a break from beading and just made these few items. The fossils in the yellow-tan stone form little flower petal shapes. I am also in love with the fire agate in the double strand necklace - I might add another piece of turquoise to the necklace as well.

Every year, graphic designer Nick Felton prepares a booklet detailing the statistics of his past year. I've been inspired by it the past couple years, and have just started using the daily personal stat site he made, which is quite fun. I'm tracking the pages I read by genre, what I eat for dinner, how many pieces of jewelry I make and post on Etsy, my daily method of commute, and free time activities (top entry so far: napping). I know I could set this up in excel, but daytum is easier and generates pretty graphics for me.

Continuing on the projects theme, I've laid out a detailed plan of 2010 goals and quarterly "action items" to achieve them (since I seem to have failed at completing my 2009 goals since my last 'goal check-in'). I tried to follow all that advice about making goals specific and quantifiable (e.g. 'drop a pant size by June' instead of 'lose weight'). A few goals I'm excited about: backpack from Snoqualmie Pass to Stevens Pass in August, compete in an orienteering meet this fall, earn $1000 profit through etsy, and create a seasonal recipe database. So far this year I've mostly tackled other goals (improve naturalist skills, manage my $ for retirement and specific purchases, expand my graphic design portfolio to include 10+ solid pieces), but now it's February it's time to step up the pace.

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January 29, 2010


Work Website Posted!

I am so excited and relieved to finally be finished with my website overhaul for work! I started work on it in earnest in mid July, with many breaks in between as I had to switch to other projects.

The old website used tables and ugly out of date code with a bland layout, tiny project photos, ugly feature images, colors that didn't complement the company's logo and identity, and an unclear focus that confused potential clients. Left, old homepage, right, old service page.
original homepage and service page

My goals were to:
  • improve SEO,
  • develop a style complementary to the company's identity,
  • refocus content to more accurately reflect our work,
  • update the code to be cleaner, easier to update, and adherent to current webstandards.

I got to try a bunch of things I hadn't gotten to before, including sIFR text replacement, using php to construct the pages, and a little bit of fine-tuning javascript add ons (gallery slideshow and scrollable project list).

I started off thinking about the site's structure, and reorganized the division of projects to be more logical to laypeople like myself. We discussed what new pages we wanted to add - a blog and a page about our sustainable practices.

To begin, I designed the homepage, which grew from the selected option (below) to the final page at Funnily, I got stuck around permutation 4 for quite a while while I moved on to designing the service and project pages.
progression of homepage design

Final homepage (screen capture in firefox 3):
final homepage design, screen cap in FF3

When I had a good feel for how the homepage would look, I started designing the subpages. I divided the meat of the site into sections - wetlands, streams, planning, etc, and each of those sections has a landing page listing services and projects.
steps in service page design

Final service page (screen capture in firefox 3):
final service page design

I started gathering content, since I wanted a description, statistics, and photo slideshow for each project. I wound up writing more myself than I thought I would at first. Also, I had to research options for the features I wanted - photo slideshow, text replacement, and a way to display projects. Originally we had been going to stick with our old webhost, which support asp - but not, I discovered after spending hours teaching myself about master pages, Terrible, ancient hosting. Thankfully I convinced my boss to upgrade our hosting. That way I got to use .php instead, which I hadn't used before but now wholeheartedly embrace.

Finally, writing the code (which I prefer to do from scratch), testing, creating styles for print, mobile, and iphone viewing, and the launch!

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