Introducing Northerly


As I’ve documented recently, I’ve been filling my non-working days with personal projects. Sharpen the ol’ skills, you know? Learn new tricks, etcetera.

I have to say, it’s difficult to be a talented, passionate designer and still be unable to find a good job that can put my skills to use. That’s been getting me down a lot. And then a couple weeks ago I was at REI to get Alan a (last minute, oops!) valentine’s gift (I got him socks and a S’well thermos because we sexy like that) and was browsing a shelf near the checkout that had a few stacks of pretty magazines with lots of photos of outdoor pursuits and travel adventures. As I was skimming through one of them, I had an idea to go home and just play around with some layouts using my own photos. Make a little magazine mockup for fun. So I did, and I had fun making a fake magazine cover, with a fake name, and trying all the different photo set ups, and doing character styles, and, and.

Before I knew it, I had decided that I was going to do this for real. The prospect didn’t even seem daunting. Start a magazine? How hard could it be? I already have a designer, ME, and I’ve worked on publications before, so I totally know exactly how to run one. If I dig into my own pockets, I can get them printed, and then I’ll find people to sell them. On the surface I believe it really is that simple, but since then I’ve realized just how many moving parts there are to something like this. To market it, I need to have a website, a place to sell it from, and an instagram, and facebook! I gotta get the word out if I want it to actually sell. All that stuff is kinda scary.

But I also know people, lots of writers, who I can go to for submissions or story suggestions. And Instagram is a hotbed of talented photographers all trying to get themselves out there (with varying degrees of success).


But I’m getting ahead of myself. I read articles like this and thisOne thing that was reassuring is that it didn’t seem as crazy as it sounded. I decided that the success of this venture would be determined by what I really wanted out of it, and really all I want is to create something beautiful and if a few people get enjoyment and satisfaction from it, then I’m happy. And I told Alan recently “I’m going to put my heart and soul into this. It’s going to be a print magazine. And if I only manage to put out a couple issues before I burn out or it becomes unsustainable, then that’s OK.” I thought of an angle, a journal for life in the North, and a name, Northerly. Not only could I capitalize on an ever-growing movement in Minnesota to rebrand as “The North”, but it’s also a topic I know about. I know about living up here, because I’ve done it my whole life.

I realized I was really sick of being disappointed in where my career was at, and I had to bring the work to myself. And I also realized that I may actually be well suited for this kind of undertaking. Sure, I’m not an editor, but I was raised by two journalists, and worked at a newspaper, on an “alt-weekly” (that’s not what we called it but that’s kind of what it was) so I have a feel for the editorial process. And editorial design is my passion, which sounds so dorky, but it’s super true.


I created a website through Squarespace and got an email set up. I took my outdoor photography instagram account, these__trees, which was dormant anyway, and deleted everything and made it the official IG account for Northerly. I went to work on a grid that looked professional and design-y (and stood out from other photos on peoples’ feeds), and threw in some hashtags and slowly people started following. I put the word out to my Socality pals, many of whom travel all over the place.

It’s slow building, but so far I’m stoked as hell that people are responding well to it. People are actually submitting pitches, which is *wild*. It’s all I ever could have hoped for. It’s got me thinking down the road a bit. I will probably need a marketing person at some point, maybe a co-editor, maybe even a social media designer. But, this is way down the road.

If you are reading this and want to write about what “northern living” means for you, well heck, get on it! The deadline for the fall (and first) issue is June 1st.

Welcome To Your Life

Friends, by now I’ve shared the news far and wide on social media (which is where 97% of you are reading this from anyway), but I had to make it blog official. Our beautiful little son, Alexander Richard Royce was born on Saturday October 29 at 6:58am. He was a whopping 10 pounds and is 22.5 inches long. That’s what happens when you’re 2 weeks overdue. 

I had a long induction – 48 hours – until I was finally able to push, which took 48 minutes. I’ll take pride in these figures until my dying day. I love a good birth story and will share ours soon. For now, this is a simple way to say hello to Alex. 



Dear Reader, I’m so excited to share with you that Alan and I are expecting a little baby!  I am 14 weeks along, or just into my second trimester, so our little baby bear will arrive in Mid-October.

This is what it was all for. The summer bender, the subsequent changes in diet and lifestyle, the exercise, the haste to get tattooed a bunch… Because I knew ‘the end’ was coming, and I’m so ready for a new beginning. We’re crazy excited.

It’s been SO HARD not to say anything about this publicly since we found out we were expecting (at 5 weeks). I can’t wait for the eventuality of this becoming 100% a baby blog (it won’t, I promise). But I have lots of thoughts and plans I hope to share with you all. Because, being pregnant is fundamentally strange, and the idea of suddenly having a tiny life to keep alive is surreal. I’ve also had a nursery mood board open on my laptop for literally 8 weeks that I need people to see.

Strange fascination, fascinating me
Changes are taking the pace I’m going thru

No Caffeine For Over a Week = No Blog #Content

tumblr_ncgrjy4hWS1tr9u2ao1_500There, now it doesn’t look like I (essentially) skipped two weeks of blogging. Why do I blog, you might ask (I also ask myself that all the time)? I don’t really talk about topical issues I really care about (Planned Parenthood, gun control, socialism etc), so one could argue that I don’t really write about anything of real value. I tend to think of this blog as a genuine diary of my life. Instead of flooding my facebook with photo albums and big life events, I like to put all that stuff here, like a scrapbook. Some days that might mean talking about depression, or my shoes, or the Skyrim soundtrack. But even though it’s all personal experiences (though I’d like to branch out into some sort of series that highlights other individuals), I try to make them at least enjoyable and entertaining for people to read. Otherwise, I might as well just take up LiveJournal again (it’s still alive, but don’t worry. You’ll never find it).

Fall seems to be a slow period for me anyway. Even though there’s so much to be inspired by, the motivation to blog about it all is absent. Oh, but WORRY NOT gentle ones, for I have made lists of things I can write about if the ideas just aren’t coming. We’re all going to have such fun. Plus, the people need to be aware of my hair growth progress.

I mentioned in the title that I haven’t had caffeine in a while. Why? Who knows. One day I woke up and decided to try it for a week. Now a week has come and gone and I’m afraid what caffeine will do to me. The bright side is, I can feel good about drinking tons of decaf coffee, and I don’t get insufferable feet sweats.

Starting back up Monday, I’ll have tons to tell you all. Please stick around: It’s nice over here.

Photo source

Caroline Royce Photo


This weekend was fairly productive, even if it was spent completely in front of the computer. I finally completed the main questline in Skyrim (I killed the SHIT out of Alduin, m-fers), and, I made myself a photography website.

I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, back when we got back from the Upper Peninsula, but I still felt that my processing technique was unrefined. I was learning, but I wasn’t ready. For me, processing the photos is just as important as taking them. I try to evoke certain feelings with them. I’m a designer after all. I don’t aim to represent reality, I try to make it dreamier, more ethereal, more moody.

You guys know. You’ve watched my stumble through this for the last 2 years. My family has certainly seen this better than anyone; with me taking pictures of trees every chance I get at the cabin. They’ve been helpful to point it out. Alan has been the most patient and supportive, many times even helping me get a good shot, whether by being taller than me, or having a fun idea. It’s an expensive hobby, but he clearly knows how much I love it.

But I also thought, why should I have a whole website? I know a lot of photographers. Way more photographers than I know designers. I felt like somehow I didn’t have the right. I mean, isn’t the world already saturated with laymen believing they can take photos? Hopefully I’m not just one of them. I spent more time researching a camera body than I did a car. I’ve spent.. A LOT of time researching lenses, and so far I just have the one (plus the other two that I started with). And plus, while I’ve loved sharing all my photos on this blog, I did feel that it was slightly disorganized, and I wanted a way to showcase some of these photos, because if I’m being honest, I really do think a lot of them are great.

I’m expanding my enterprise, not just to open up new business, not just because I can, but because I really truly want to. I feel like I have a thing I want to say. Thanks for looking at all my photos of flowers throughout the years, and the same landscapes over and over. You’ve helped me to grow.

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