The Time Together

Persona 5 Sketchbook by Soma Acharya @ Ink Torrents Graphics



Hi Everyone!  I want to extend a warm welcome to both my new readers and many thanks to my returning readers for sticking around here for years.   I love to dabble with different things and travel.   This is where I share my recent attempts and photos.  After coming back from such a big road trip, it took awhile to settle back into everyday.   I always take a sketchbook with me when I travel.  This particular one has recently been my companion.  When I bind a book, I don’t often have a purpose in mind.  Sometimes a book finds its own identity as we spend time together.



Owl Sketchbook by Soma Acharya @ Ink Torrents Graphics



I made this little owl book a couple of years ago as an after hours project.  This year I found the perfect use for it.



Mindfulness leaves drawing idea by Soma Acharya @ Ink Torrents Graphics




It was one of those days when I was mentally exhausted.   After dinner,  my eyes landed on the little book.   I grabbed a Tombow watercolor marker and started doodling leaves.  It was the perfect peaceful thing to do before bedtime.   I had found a purpose for the book.




Mindfulness lights at Japan Center San Francisco drawing idea by Soma Acharya @ Ink Torrents Graphics



My husband and I were walking in Japan Center in San Francisco one evening, and the strings of lights caught my eye.  It was a misty day with occasional drizzling rain.  I wanted to remember and recreate that peaceful feeling in the sketchbook.  I painted the dark indigo sky, and drew the power lines and the bulbs with a pen.  Then I started painting the myriad yellow dots with a brush while listening to my favorite music, remembering the night at Japan Center.


This year, I am trying to set some time aside regularly to do simple mindless doodle painting while I let the mind wander and find a peaceful place.  The little owl book is just perfect for those whimsical paintings.




Ink sketches with Sailor fude pen by Soma @



I love to zone out while book binding.   I had a few loose sketches that needed a home.  I added a stack of drawing paper to these sketches and made a book.  Just like the owl book, I made the book with no particular purpose in mind.  

As the months went by, I found myself sketching moments I wanted to remember in that book.  The pages started to reflect my feelings at those times.   The book still didn’t have a cover, but I started to have an idea of what I wanted to draw.




Persona 5 Sketchbook by Soma Acharya @ Ink Torrents Graphics



I wish I had taken a few photos as I was making the cover.  It’s not printed;  I used markers to draw directly on the cover.  

I ran into a bit of problem with washi tape while working on the white area.  I used the tape as a guide for drawing the straight lines.  Except, the tape tore the paper when I tried to remove it.  So I had to take the book apart and rebind it. 

Once I recreated the face,  I decided to trust my own hand to draw the straight white and black areas without any guide.  I took my time, stayed relaxed, and it was done. 

FYI – I used Posca markers for the white.  I tested the marker on a scrap first.  One thick coat caused pilling on the paper.  So I did multiple thin coats and let it dry completely between coats.  That resulted in a really good white.




Persona 5 Sketchbook by Soma Acharya @ Ink Torrents Graphics



I love to play Japanese role playing video games.  The girl on this cover and I share more than just the fluffy red hair.  I identify with her the most.   This drawing and this book are as good a self portrait as it gets for me.   Hello!! 

Just as this website is a journal of sorts, I also see very much of me through the books I create.   I really love it when the books that I make start to tell a story.  When I finish making a book and send it to its new home, I often wonder what journey awaits it.


See you next time with my new sewing pattern and a new book!


I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please consider paying a visit to some of them.


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One in Hand and Four on the Road

Solar Eclipse 2024 - photo by Soma Acharya @


Hi Everyone!  What started as a solar eclipse viewing trip ended up being an epic journey.   Steering wheel in one hand and four wheels on the road,  my husband and I set out on a 5,200-mile drive on numerous small byways.  After visiting seven states and feeling the forces of tremendous winds, storms, along with snow and desert sun, I am back home again.

This is going to be an abridged version of our road trip along with a few photos of the eclipse.


Chasing The Shadow – Eclipse 2017


We were at John Day, Oregon for the 2017 eclipse.   The sky was perfectly clear.  With my husband’s help, I had managed to take a full set of photos of the eclipse that time.  Except, by the time I looked up, the totality was over.  Since then, I wanted to experience at least one more eclipse.

Driving the lengths of California, Arizona and New Mexico, we set out for Fredericksburg, Texas.



Solar Eclipse 2024 - photo by Soma Acharya @



We had a thick cloud cover, so I didn’t get to take the full set of photos ( which would have mostly been for study purposes ) that I wanted.  I could have fiddled with the camera to get more photos but, unlike 2017, my goal was to do mostly visual observation this time around.


Please click on the image thumbnails to see the photos –



Luckily, the clouds cleared up enough for me to do visual observation and take at least a few photos through the telescope.   The close-up photos are of solar prominences which are only visible during an eclipse.



Solar Eclipse 2024 - photo by Soma Acharya @



I haven’t had the chance to go through the photos I took with my camera yet.  For now, I am sharing the photos I took with my phone.



Petrified Forest National park - photo by Soma Acharya @



Before we got to Fredericksburg, we made one stop at the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. 

The wind was fierce that day, blowing at a steady 66mph.  Dust and tiny stone chips blasted the skin.  I could barely stand straight, let alone take photos.


After reaching Fredericksburg, we had to unpack most of the car to get to the telescope and everything else that I needed for the eclipse.  With the eclipse behind us,  we packed our car once again for the next part of our journey. 



Great Basin Sand Dunes National park - photo by Soma Acharya @



Walking on the sand dunes on the Great Basin National Park, Colorado



Rocky Mountain National park - photo by Soma Acharya @



A whole day of hiking on snow in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado



Pika from Rocky Mountain National park - photo by Soma Acharya @



From my sketchbook – A pika from the Rockies, a kindred soul. 

Neither of us can stand warm weather for too long, and I learned that my allergies disappear at 7500ft onward.



Rocky Mountain National park - photo by Soma Acharya @



Ending the day watching the sunset with a flask full of tea, and cake



Arches National park - photo by Soma Acharya @



Snow to sand – Landscape Arch at Arches National Park, Utah



Utah Badlands - photo by Soma Acharya @



Driving through the Utah “badlands”



Capitol Reef National park - photo by Soma Acharya @



Off to Capitol Reef National Park, Utah





Stopping at Escalante Canyon, Utah

The least mapped region in the US



Bryce Canyon National park - photo by Soma Acharya @



Sunset and sunrise at the Bryce Canyon National Park amphitheater, Utah



Highway 50 sunset - photo by Soma Acharya @



Drove on the loneliest road in the US, Hwy 50



Highway 50 Nevada - photo by Soma Acharya @



Overnight at an old mining town in the middle of nowhere



Highway 50 California - photo by Soma Acharya @


Back home again, in California


We drove through quite a few lonely roads through a strange landscape that I did not know even existed. We walked into places that were as foreign to us as we were to them.  We were made to feel welcome and at home everywhere we went.  We got to know the land and the people who are very much part of it.


A feeling of extreme sadness always takes over me when I have to leave the road behind and return home.  As we drove toward California, one look at my beloved Sierra Nevada mountains was all I needed to shake off that sadness, knowing that I will be out there again pretty soon.

I was missing my kitties a lot by this time.  They are the pull I need to get back home again.  At home, a lot of cuddle time made the homecoming that much more worthwhile. 


Until next time,


I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please consider paying a visit to some of them.



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