Light and love, sand and sea

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Call it a reflection of the American school system, or just the fact that Bermuda is seriously teeny tiny, but very few people I’ve told about my move know almost anything about it. Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions:

Where is that? Not down by the Bahamas! Bermuda is much farther north than many people think. If you were to draw a horizontal line straight out from Charleston, SC you’d run right into the island. I usually leave from Atlanta, which is just under a 3 hour flight.

Why Bermuda? About a year and a half ago, I reconnected with an old boyfriend from high school and college… who happened to now live in Bermuda. He grew up in Wisconsin with me and was offered a job at a reinsurance firm. Reinsurance (companies that insure insurance companies) is a huge industry here, and there are several thousand expats working on the island. Some of our best friends here are English, Irish and Scottish.

What’s up with Bermuda shorts? Oh yes, they’re real. Generally brightly colored and slightly shorter than American men’s shorts, they are the business uniform for men in the summer. They can be worn with a jacket, tie, or just a dress shirt depending on the office culture, but they are always worn with tall (usually dark colored) socks and dress shoes. SERIOUSLY. This is the look!

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Are you going to get a job? No. I looked before I moved, but Bermuda has very strict employment laws. I had to get a permit to reside here, and its contingent on my not seeking employment. I’m continuing to work for the magazine in Wisconsin and other freelance clients in the U.S. and continuing to print work for non-Bermudian shops. Please get in touch if you need design or letterpress work!

How big is it? Tiny! The entire country is about 20 square miles total and is actually made up of more than 100 islands. Some of Andrew’s coworkers commute by boat! Others drive small cars, but the most common means of transportation is a scooter. I’ve rented one for a few weeks now and I’m finally starting to feel steady on it. Another week or two of practice and I’ll be ready to take the test for my license!

What’s weather like there? Right now, it’s pretty hot—high 80’s (F) during the day, and humid. It doesn’t cool down at night like it does in Wisconsin, the temperature drops maybe 10 degrees. Winters here are rainy with temps in the 50’s and 60’s, which seems quite luxurious when compared to the winters I’m used to, but the air stays so humid that it feels colder—especially on a bike!

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More questions? Leave them in the comments and I’ll get back to you!

Status update

Seven minutes. That’s how long I’ve been staring at my blinking curser because I simply don’t even know where to begin this post. A lot has changed my friends….

Moon gate—found everywhere on the island, engaged couples are supposed to walk through them for good luck.
Moon gate—found everywhere on the island, engaged couples are supposed to walk through them for good luck.

Let’s start with the big one: As of last Saturday, I live in Bermuda! Longer post on this coming shortly, but here’s the abbreviated version: For the last year and a half or so, I’ve been dating a man who lives here. After many trips back and forth, we’ve taken the plunge and decided to cohabitate! Personally I’m thrilled to take this step with him and can’t wait to see what our future brings. Professionally, excitement is just barely edging out apprehension.

I quit my job. And didn’t get a new one. For the first time in nearly 15 years, I won’t have a steady paycheck arriving safely in my bank account every two weeks. That’s not to say I’m drinking Swizzle on the beach every day—I’m growing my freelance design business (get in touch here) and giving 622 press the time and attention it deserves!

Horseshoe beach—so beautiful!
Horseshoe beach—so beautiful!

Speaking of time… For the first time since I got serious about letterpress, I’m going to have it! I’ve become so accustomed to working my 40+ hours at the magazine and then coming home to work nights and weekends at the press I almost don’t know what to do with all my free time. I’m going to draw. I’m going to do yoga. I’m going to brush up on my French. I’m going to have a garden. And I’m going to prototype all the product I eventually want in my shop.

Succulants thrive here—this one is three feet across.
Succulants thrive here—this one is three feet across.

Oh right, the shop. One of the things that has really been crystallizing for me over the last couple years is the ultimate goal is for 622 press. I’ve found that while I love collaborating with clients on custom projects like business cards and wedding invites, I don’t want to do that full time. My greatest joy comes from creating something for myself or just for creation’s sake—and then having someone else like it so much they must have one of their own! I also want to have an outlet for all the other things I make—ceramics and crochet, paintings and textiles. And finally, whenever I participate in an art fair or other event, I’m reminded how much I do like talking with people about what I do. What’s the perfect combination of all of these things? Retail.

These little guys are all over the outside of our house.
These little guys are all over the outside of our house.

The shop will not be here in Bermuda (more on that to come too), but hopefully by the time we move back to the U.S., I’ll have enough of the pieces in place to start things up. So that’s what I’ve been up to! Stay tuned friends, and expect a lot more behind the scenes and lifestyle posts, as well as a peek inside island life. Thanks for sticking with me!

Look how blue that sky is!
Look how blue that sky is! (No, this is not our boat, but we did get to cruise around on it!)