Friday, January 23, 2015

Has it Been This Long?

Life has been busy here in South Korea, but I'm not complaining.  We've been enjoying traveling, eating & well living. 

Jogyesa Temple in the middle of the city of Seoul. I love this photo contrasting the old & new.

Jogyesa Temple

Chandeokgung Palace

This way to dumpling heaven! It's in Insadong.

 Special orders from the holidays. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving from South Korea

Life here has been busy & full.  What else could I ask for?  I am thankful for another new assignment & the adventures that follow.  I hope you & yours had a very Happy Thanksgiving.

If you're local, come join me & 19 of my Military Spouse friends for Black Friday.

Friday, November 14, 2014

It's the Most Wonderful Time...

Holiday Season is upon us!  I'll be at the Osan American High School on Osan Air Base this Saturday & Sunday.  Yea, bring on bazaar season.

I'll be taking custom design orders until the end of November in time for local Christmas delivery. This will allow me time to enjoy the holiday season with my family.  

My watercolor face in the sweetest DIY print.

The beautiful Pyeongtaek Sunset that greeted us our first week here. 

I'm scrambling, as usual, to make sure I have enough "stuff" to fill my table.  As an added "bonus" from this move, most of the jewelry I had made is in storage.  (Yes, that's my sarcasm coming out.) At this point, I just have to say "See you on the other side" and look forward to that "Christmas" when we get everything back from storage one day.  I've been a military spouse for awhile now so I don't freak out quite as easily as I used to. 

Our first trip out on our own to Jinju. We went to the Lantern Festival. I'll have more info in another post.

We've had some opportunities for sightseeing in the time we've lived in Korea.  As a photographer & artist, I have loved every minute of it.  I love that I began as an artist inspired by places I hadn't been to & I now I'm inspired by everyday life.  I am so blessed by the life I lead.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Design Surface Patterns from Scratch Blog Tour

Welcome & thank you for visiting! Thank you to Bonnie Christine from Going Home to Roost for being our gracious host. We all met though the class she taught: Design Surface Patterns from Scratch on CreativeLive.  The class was one of the best I've taken.  I was ready to jump in & start playing in Illustrator.  I bought the class, so I own the recordings of the class & can watch them anytime.  It was a jam-packed 3 days of information.  It is amazing how much I learned about the Illustrator program from Bonnie.  She is an Amazing teacher - & it's not just me. Take a look at the student work & their reviews.

Here are all of us from this week:

Monday October 6th
Megan Tannahill |

Tuesday  October 7th
Twitter: or @studioemdesigns
Instagram: @studio_em_interiors

Wednesday October 8th
instagram:  sweetgumsara

Thursday October 9th
You are Here!
instagram: nerissaalford

Friday October 10th
heidi ahmed |

You can look at all of the posts here.

My sweet family.
For those of you that are here for the first time, my name is Nerissa Alford.  I am a military spouse, mom, artist & nomad.  I'm into all sorts of artsy things.  I started designing jewelry, then I found mixed media canvases & photography.  With the photography I became interested in digital design.  At our last base, I was lucky enough to work as a graphic designer & became proficient with Photoshop.  These days I've been playing with digital design & watercolors.

These are photos I've taken on base or right outside base at the local market. After I took this class, I look at EVERYTHING as inspiration.  I think I drive the kids nuts having to stop all the time to snap a photo.

We have been blessed to have had the opportunity to live abroad.  We spent 3 years in Kuwait, 2 years in Turkey & we'll spend the next 2 years here in Korea. Life has been an adventure!
My collection is based on what's inspiring me here in Korea during our everyday life. We've been carless for a bit, so we've done a few tours & I'm just exploring what's around me.  The plan is to make 2 collections: within the gate & beyond the gate.  Pictured on this post is the "within the gate" phase until I get some wheels.

My color palette for the collection.  I began with the colors from a canvas I painted & added some fall colors.  Before I learned how to use Illustrator, I used colourlovers to help create color combos.

Don't laugh, but this is as far as I've gone in Illustrator, besides the artboards above.  I used to blob brush to "trace" the photograph.
I am so excited about what I've learned that I'm going in so many tangents.  I have always been inspired by my environment & surroundings, but it's as if this class has retrained my eyes. I've been taking pictures, sketching & I probably have a million ideas in my head for collections.  So I don't know if this is too aggressive, but I'm giving myself 2 weeks to finish this half of the collection.  We've been in our home for about 6 weeks & I'm starting to feel settled.  Granted we're going away this weekend, so stay tuned for those pictures.

Mixing my current love of watercolors & digital design.  Back in the day, I would have never thought I'd label myself an illustrator & painter & here I am. Illustrating "the Girls" has been so much fun!
I've taken some of my new Illustrator knowledge & have been making downloadable prints in my etsy store. My current love is taking acrylic & watercolor paintings I've done & mixed them with digital art.  I hope you've enjoyed your visit to my blog.  Korea is full of festivals & they are currently in full swing. I'll have more inspiration after this weekend!  I hope you come back to enjoy our adventures here in Korea. Come back & see me here:

Bonnie has graciously offered readers a free month to join the Roost Tribe.  She has resources like downloads, tips, printables & recipes.  She had such a wonderful demeanor during the class & the vibe continues on.
The blog hop continues for another 3+ weeks, so make sure you visit Bonnie's post for lots of inspiration.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I ♥heart♥ Illustrator.

Color palette & Illustrator drawing from a flower photo taken outside our apartment building.

I'm just getting started on learning Adobe Illustrator. Once I became proficient in Photoshop & understood the difference between vector & raster images, I knew I had to learn!

Start your blog tour here.

Enter Creative Live's Surface Pattern Design Class with Bonnie. The class was Amazing! I learned so much within the 3 day course. The fun thing about Creative Live is that all the classes are broadcast FREE & LIVE. Since I'm on the other side of the world, it was live while I was asleep. Two of the nights I was up when it started & I didn't want to sleep.  I ended up buying the class & now I have all the videos downloaded & can watch them over & over.
I am truly an Illustrator newbie. The most I've done is open the program up & yell at it "why aren't you like photoshop?" "how do I pick things up?" "where are my layers?" - I could go on. Bonnie has fixed that! Not only is she a gifted designer, she's also a super teacher. I take a lot of classes on-line since I don't have the opportunities abroad, & this is hands down one of the best. I have my Illustrator workspace set up, I know the basics of getting around & LOOK I made some of those cool color combo boards.

Moving has always given me a fresh inspiration board to start with. I realize it more with every move & I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had abroad. This class has my mind going in a million creative directions right now. I can't quite keep up with it, but it is so fun to be this inspired!

Color palette created from a picture I took in Antalya Turkey. The spice displays are amazing! Well, shopping in Turkey in general is pretty amazing. I would have never created this palette on my own without what I learned in class.

Bonnie had a wonderful idea to do a blog hop to show what we've learned. 7 weeks of creative inspiration from my classmates - I'll be posting on 9 October. Come check it out! The blog hop starts here. If you don't already follow Bonnie, get over to her blog & social media!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Local Market? 예 ν•˜μ„Έμš” ye haseyo (Yes, Please)

Fresh baby octopus. Lots of vendors had these in tubs of water along with various forms of seafood - eel, crabs, fish. This was just about the coolest thing!
I had the best time at the local market this past week. It was a few minutes walk off base, so I had to find it first. Those of you know me with my nickname of "Magellan" know this is no small feat. Once I found the Korean ladies with the baskets on wheels I knew I was set!

This stand was full of all sorts of dried fish.
When I got there, I was in awe. It was rows of people & all sorts of merchandise: homemade kimchi, seafood -  fresh, really fresh-alive, cooked, - tons of veggies, street food - sweet & savory, - clothes, and I whole bunch of stuff I literally had no idea! 

Fresh veggies...
and more fresh veggies

I have no idea what these were. Seaweed?

I can't wait to go back & do more exploring. I went with a cross shoulder bag to bring back my haul - which was a plate of street food & a baggie of garlic. Exciting, I know! I'm planning on taking the family next time so we can all explore. I love seeing things through the boys eyes. Sometimes I am so busy looking for things that I miss out on others. I took all of these photos with the iPhone so the big one is coming next time!

Yep, it's a cow head, sitting on a table. My other photo I was excited about! I am definitely the mom of boys. 

Kimchi galore
Funky mushrooms

Street food

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Fresh Start

Above Istanbul
It was time for me to start a new blog.  I've gone a long time without posting.  We've moved to our third country, we have a new house, kids are in a new school, hubby is working in a new way to serve the mission - it was time for a fresh blog.  With the last blog title having the word "Rant" in it, it's not quite where I am these days.  So here I am.

Korean War Memorial

These days we live in Pyeongtaek, Republic of Korea & are stationed at Osan Air Base. We are so excited to be here & have just been here for over a month. This is just a quick post to say "hi". I've been hiding from blog land for the last 2 years.

Gyeongbokgung Palace