The New Look

I'm very pleased with the Nautie Mermate's make over!  This past October Nautie Mermate turned one years old!  Miss Ivy calls her my blog baby....and I think she might be right!  I decided that since I had made it a year (successfully blogging almost everyday) I was going to take things up a notch. 

I'm just starting to reach the point where I'm getting comfortable having people read my blog.  I know that may sound ridiculous but, for the most part I know everyone who's visiting the site.  It gives me a bit of freedom to say whatever I want, or not edit when I'm sleepy, or not worry about my grammar - because I know that you'll all love me anways!  I have new readers now!  (Hi Bridget!)  People I don't know!  While this is majorly exciting it's also a little nerve racking.  I have found (especially onboard a ship) that a little nervous energy can be a miracle worker when directed properly - it may make the difference between getting it done and putting in a little extra effort.  I decided that Nautie Mermate required something extra.

I began working with Lauren (who helped me get set up initially) back in October.  One of the benefits of having cool friends is that you can go over to their house make a mean pot roast and have mini design sessions!  We came up with a few 'mock ups' (or ideas that we had put together).  I took them home with me and then I sat on them for a few months.

What blew my mind is how what I thought I wanted didn't look anything looking like what I ended up loving!

Here is a bit of a background on why I chose what I chose....

I wanted the site to look nautical without being cliche.  Which is why I opted for the oriental style waves in the background.  I've always had a thing for oriental wave patterns - my favorite artist is probably Hokusai - and so I gravitated towards these waves immediately.

I have received a couple requests to bring back the chart of Hilo (which was in the upper corner of the original Nautie Mermate).  I was sad to see the original Nauti Mermate chart disappear it just wasn't working out.  You'll all have to live with oriental waves for awhile!  Take that!

I also wanted the site to look feminine.  I am, afterall, a chick at sea.  Pink has been my 'signature color' for quite sometime now.  When I left Hawaii for Maine my Bestie and I got matching hot pink jansport backpacks for college.  We also had matching lobster claw keychains.  Ever since I picked up that backpack pink has been a 'thing'.  Maybe it was because I realized that in the dead of winter hot pink can pick your mood up in a heart beat.  Now, if there is an option available I'll almost always choose the pink one.  I also learned that on a ship - no one will steal your shit when it's pink.  Those pink work glvoes?  Still where I left them!  My pink water bottle?  Gone?  Nope!  What no one ever believes is that it's not really my favorite favorite color is probably chocolate brown.  It just didn't feel write to have a blog of my own without somehow incorporating some pink! 

The image of me (the mermate) on a swing near the ocean isn't going anywhere.  For some reason this photo is 'it' for me.  I want to always be having that much fun.  I want to always be in my favorite dress.  I want to always be near the ocean.  I love that photo.  I especially love how it now looks like a polaroid.  I deem it cute.

The trinkets were photographed by yours truly. 

I love orchids (yes, even though they look like lady bits).  When I'm home in Hilo I go to the farmers market and buy about two potted orchids a week.  Sometimes I buy cut flowers too but, I mostly buy orchids.  My Mom gave me pink plastic plant markers - when I go to work I take all my orchids over to my parents and my Step Dad keeps them alive.  He has a magic touch with the orchids and has quite a collection.  When I'm home if any of the orchids bloom that have a pink marker then they get to come down to my house.

I also love jewlery.  Especially jewelry that reminds me of home when I'm off on adventures.  The white coil below the orchid is a necklace that I found in a thrift shop when I was bee-bopping about on the Big Island.  There was an iconic jewelry store in Hilo back in the day called Ming's.  They mostly made chinese style gold jewelry however; in the 20s they did a lot of work with ivory.  This necklace has little ivory beads that are carved into the shape of pikake (jasmine) blossoms.  Ming's made this style of necklace very, very popular and now you can find it all over (although it is no longer ivory).  My necklace is a choker and the clasp is in the shape of a pikake leaf.  I love it.

The pendant resting on the orchid is a little trickier to spot.  It is a tahitian black pearl clasped by an octopus.  This is my most special piece of jewelry.  My Mom gave me this pearl as a graduation present from the Maine Maritime Academy (MMA).  It's a little extra special though.  Every year MMA has a ring dance.  The Juniors all purchase a class ring - there is a big formal - and a 'ring dipping' ceremony.  Your ring gets dipped into water from the seven seas and is blessed.  I was on the ring dance committtee and spent a fair amount of time writing people requesting water from the seven seas (various research facilities and vessels).  I'm not much of a ring wearer and I asked my Mom if instead of a ring I could maybe get a black pearl.  She said, 'Well, I wasn't going to tell you this....and I had been saving it for graduation...but, I picked out a black pearl for you and have been paying a little bit on it every month.'.  It was an amazing moment.  When I got to see it I was really touched that she had picked one in an octopus for me - the octopus is a very important symbol in polynesian navigation and voyaging.  He is at the heart of many myths and legends but ultimately each tentacle represents a specific group of islands in polynesia.  Long story short, I was able to take it to ring dance and have it dipped in water from the seven seas.  Needless to say, I love it.  (In fact, I'm wearing it as I type.)

There is one more new item - it's not all the way up and running yet but, on the sidebar you can now find a map called 'Where I've Been'.  If you click on it you will be directed to a page where you can select pins on a map - each pin will correlate with a specific post about where I've been!

There you have it!  The new look in a nutshell (okay, fine...that wasn't a nutshell....the post was loooong!).