Photo Diary | Up North Part 1 |

Tuesday, March 31, 2015




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My, our spring break went by much too quickly! After hunkering down with spring cleaning for the better part of the break I decided we should have a little fun before the break was over and so we headed up north to Seattle for the weekend. Being a Portland native there's always been a bit of a comparison (rivalry?) between Portland and Seattle. The latter always beating out the former in one way or another. Seattle is bigger, they have Bill Gates, Amazon, the Seahawks, and Starbucks. They had Frazier, Sleepless in Seattle, and Nirvana. And being quite into the local music scene in my 1990's days of youth (i.e. the grunge era) somewhere in my teenage mind I decided that Seattle was totally overrated. And, with that, even though it's only a few hours a way and I have had both family and friends that live in the area, I could count on two hands the number of times I have gone into the city. And I can't even remember what decade it was the last time I did. So this time I did all the touristy things I balked at in my younger years: Pike Place, the gum wall, Fremont district, Capitol Hill, the Space Needle and so on. 

I have to admit the whole time I was there my mind was a ticker of comparisons between these two northwest cities (you can see a hipster-city showdown chart here). The first thing I thought on this visit is how picturesque Seattle is. Portland is beautiful but I do believe Seattle has us beat. The city from a distance (and I mean every single direction you could possibly be looking from) there is an amazing, breathtaking, I-can't-believe-this-exists view. Seattle is like Barbie and Portland is like her awkward, not-quite-fully-developed little sister Skipper. Seattle is blue and Portland is green. Seattle smells like salt water and Portland smells like the forest. Seattle feels older and grittier and more diverse (which I like). It also feels much busier, grayer, and a lot dirtier (which I don't like so much). Seattle is about the city and portland is about the neighborhoods. The one thing I will say they have in common (besides the rain people) is both cities are incredibly friendly, progressive, and proud. I did feel some pangs of jealousy while I was there, but in the end I suppose I am more stumptown than starbucks, more land than sea and I was happy to come home to all the parking spaces you could ever dream of. 

P.S. I'll be back with some of those amazing views later this week. 

Currently 06

Monday, March 23, 2015


Wouldn’t you now the rain came back just as spring arrived. But that’s been just fine with me because I have been eyeballs deep in spring cleaning and the feel of cool little droplets of rain running down my sweaty back as I take load after load of donations and garbage to the back of my car felt pretty good. I wanted/meant to post last week but one feels a little reclusive after staring down the 2 inches of dust on the top of their ceiling fan blades, finding an AOL disk tucked in a box of very miscellaneous papers, and a kitchen knife in the back of their closet (that last one is still concerning me. why? how? who?)

And I have to say all this cleaning has seriously kicked my ass and I think my left hand might actually be a little bit broken, but all in all it’s been extremely cathartic. I have organized everything. Well almost, I still have a few spots left. I pulled everything out from everywhere and those first few days were daunting as I sat dusty amongst precariously leaning towers of my shit. But as progress was made it all started to feel a bit therapeutic. 

Last night I started (and finished I might add) on my boxes of papers and journals. For years I have avoided reading my old papers, letters, poems, stories, and my never-ending streams of consciousness. Not wanting to revisit old ‘selves,’ old wounds, to dive head first into the past (because of course there’s no better time to write than those of melancholy or feeling conflicted). Worse I was afraid to find that some things might sound a little too familiar. And to be honest I found those too. I found writings I could still write today but instead of feeling ashamed I actually felt empowered in the changes I’ve been making here in real life. Like the change in and of itself of just facing these papers, reading them, accepting them. Accepting myself. Past and present. Then I tore up all the ones that I could still write (almost verbatim) today with no intentions, moving forward, of needing to write another. 

However, reading all of those writings what I realized most is that I miss writing. Even the writing I know I would have cringed at even a few months ago felt wonderful to read. I just was so happy for all the piles of paper, all the scribbles, all the attempts, all the thoughts and words. However profound or cringe-worthy I found them the most overwhelming feeling I was left with was my affection for  writing on paper. I miss the girl the who wrote on paper. The only thing I use paper and pencil for these days are lists. This must change. And spring, if I am not mistaken, is the season of change. Is it not?

Currently 05

Friday, March 13, 2015


Happy Friday (the 13th). I have to admit I do have my superstitions, like I try really hard to not step on cracks in the sidewalk, I knock on wood, and wish on falling stars. But Friday the 13th isn't one of them. So far it's in fact turning out to be a lucky day for us here with temperatures hitting the 70's. Although this relentless migraine I've been dealing with the last few days is making me wonder if I am getting too much sun? 

Planning / I am actually going to have a spring break myself for the first time in forever and not just one that is lived vicariously through my children's school schedule. I am finishing up my last project for this term and I think one of the things I've missed most about school is that feeling of looking forward to the breaks between terms. That sweet reprieve of nothingness. Even if there isn't such a thing as nothingness in my life, it sounds pretty good. I bought this book and this book and over the break I am going to dig even deeper in my closets for my annual spring cleaning ritual.  You can find me here next year, same time, same place, talking about the same thing. I am on a never-ending journey of achieving a minimalist lifestyle with a house full of boys, a dog, and a business ran out of my house.

Reading + LookingThis essay by Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge. This photography series of photos that are 'too hard to keep'


Working / Last time I talked about my collaboration with West Elm I promised myself it would be the last time (for awhile at least, honestly I didn't think there'd be much more to say on it) but this week I got a re-order from them. And I have to say that getting an order from West Elm in the first place is exciting, but there is always the fear in the back of ones mind (mine) what if they don't sell? So, for me, I think getting another order from them (and so soon after the first was dropped off) is much more thrilling. So I will be busy working on that too over my upcoming "break."

Mothering / Just for a little update on my Milo he's totally fine and back to his Allday Everyday self. I realized this this week when I took him shopping and he went straight for a pair of cheetah leggings, a 'shine and sparkle' my little pony tee, and a Darth Vader toothbrush. I don't think Milo can do anything but Milo, and that's exactly as it should be. Also, thanks to everyone who pointed out how amazing his optimism is, you are right. 

Have a happy weekend! 

Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4| 5 | 6

Currently 04

Friday, March 6, 2015







Oh, hello. Long break. Which I realize is the problem with not posting more regularly, it becomes easy to let the days slip by. We've also been sick and busy and cleaning up and catching up and sometimes just doing nothing at all which feels pretty great when we get the chance to that. 

Enjoying // I keep hearing all these reports of rainy days, seeing pictures of ice and snow and each time I feel like the world has turned upside down, because here, it's been nothing but sunshine and flower blossoms. Spring certainly seems to have made an early appearance around these parts and I must admit I've been enjoying it immensely. 

Aching // Well here's another heartbreaker from the land of motherhood. Yesterday I picked up M+L from school, and Milo said, "mama, I had the best day ever today!" And, I was so excited, I wanted to hear about this, because as those of you who read here regularly know he's had some recent difficulties at school. So I perked up and said "oh, what? why? tell me all about it!" And he said "it was the best day ever because no one was mean to me today!" Ooooooh, that's, um, awesome Milo. That's sooooo great." The other sound anyone nearby might have heard come from me was the sound my heart breaking. I don't even know what to say about that. I just hope he keeps having the best days ever. Oy.

Finishing // I am down to my last few weeks of classes this term! I think I am somehow pulling straight A's which I always did before, but wasn't convinced I would this time. In fact I decided I didn't even want to worry about grades, you know just "do my best." But apparently I can't help it. When I see my grades pop up and I see even a 93% I get a little pouty. I guess I haven't lost the competitive edge I have, with, er, myself. 

Deciding // Speaking of school I decided to take one more term and then call it quits for now (forever?). So the blogging break might be just a little bit longer. But I am enjoying it and, considering I have the worst memory ever, I probably should keep at it and give myself the best chance at retaining some of this information I am paying to learn.

Contemplating // I am kind of, sort of, maybe thinking about Disneyland. I was pretty set on it, daydreaming about it's a small world, picturing M+L excitedly rushing up to their favorite characters to fill their autograph books, and me taking pictures of palm tress and being warm. And then I looked at the admission tickets into the park and the cynic in me quickly pictured something more along the lines of me, a frenetic and sweaty mess standing in lines for hours on end, crying as I forked over twenty dollars for a snowcone, dragging my children and luggage from airports to buses all in the span of a few days. But. With M+L being 6 I can't think of a better time to go. Unless I wait a year, maybe a year from now would be better?

Have a great weekend! 

Currently 03

Monday, February 23, 2015






Seeing / Friday morning I went down to "drop off some cards" to display with my work down at West Elm Portland (really I went to see my pillows and notecards all on display and take some photos of it). And I have to say a couple things about it: First, I think it's awesome that West Elm not only features local designers, but is so supportive, not only in inviting me to be a vendor, but then encouraging me to drop off promotion materials. Second, I think my products look pretty awesome in their store! Probably one of my prouder moments in this journey with my business. 

Fighting / I finally caught one of the 800 colds my Tiger and Allday Everyday have brought home since starting Kindergarten this year. My head has been so congested the last few days I can hardly recall the weekend. 

Embarrassing / Last night I was looking for my phone only to find it deep in the corner of my house nestled in Tigers sticky little hands. After pulling it away I discovered he had just sent a text with exactly 54 emoji's to my small business class Professor. Thirteen of them were the little devil-head ones. (He didn't respond to my apology text. I'll know how he felt about that when I get my grades.)

Buying / After many years I finally found my mid-century danish lounger. The only compromise is I will need to sand it and re-stain it. But the price was right, the aesthetic was right, and the size was perfect.  The fabric may have swayed me a little bit too. 

Wanting / Blame it on that darn Vivian Maier documentary but I can't get my mind off wanting to get a twin lens camera. I almost pulled the plug on one this weekend, but impulse buys just aren't my forte. I am still thinking on it though, and hoping if a wave of impulsiveness strikes me this week, it will still be there.

Watching / The oscars of course. I think I was happiest to see Ida win best foreign film and Patricia Arquette for best supporting actress in Boyhood.

Wondering / Watching the oscars also lead me to wondering what is going on in red carpet fashion. There was not one look that wowed me and maybe only about three that I really liked. But while I wasn't impressed with the red carpet I was impressed with a few of the speeches this year. My favorite speeches were far and away this one by Graham Moore and, again, Patricia Arquette with this acceptance speech (love her), and this one by John Legend. (sean penn no longer exists to me. what a . . .)

Parisian Eclectic | House Tour |

Wednesday, February 18, 2015









One of the things I would love to have someday is a blue velvet sofa. And an apartment in Paris of course. Though I've watched house hunters international and I don't think I could even afford one of those ones that is about 100 square feet with a hot plate and a 12 inch high loft. Though, if I were going to daydream about a Paris apartment, I think it would look a lot like this. It satisfies all of my never-been-to-paris imaginings. Traditionally ornate, contemporarily chic, and infused with a wide array of art. 

But back to life in Portland which has slowed down for us here just the tiniest of bits. I had a stroke of luck with getting some big things done right as we got the long weekend and the spring-like weather we've been having this week. It's been glorious and reminds me that I am, in general, a much happier and productive person when I'm not chilled to the bone. We even have some cherry blossoms blooming and crocuses springing up from the ground now.

And thank you for all your lovely and supportive comments on my last post. Milo's long hair is still blowing in the wind. We spent some time talking about what makes us all special and how everybody is different in one way or another. And then we did a little image googling of men with long hair, you know Native American warriors, ancient Germanic warriors, and 1990's Brad Pitt. 

Currently 02

Friday, February 13, 2015


I am not sure if this upcoming three day weekend is going to have any actual impact on my life but I am enjoying the psychological affect of knowing it's a three day weekend. The last couple weeks have been extra busy around here. And I do know that once this weekend is over a few of my bigger projects will officially be checked off my list, surely to be quickly replaced, but I should have a good couple days of procrastination to look forward to before I dive in again. Ah, sweet procrastination, I miss you!

Looking Forward To / I finished my order for West Elm Portland store and will be delivering it this weekend! While it wasn't a huge order by any means, the pressure has certainly been on to get it done in time, and make sure I felt zen enough while doing it that I wouldn't find myself crying and ripping seams. The best part will certainly be my return visit to see my work displayed in the store. Looking forward to that moment. 


Finding / These amazing mid-century danish chairs (pictured) that I made a quick u-turn to recover from a dumpster near my house. I saw one sticking out and once I pulled it out of the bin I stood on it to see if there were more. Much to my delight I ended up with a set of four. I am hoping a good power washing will bring them new life. My grandparents had these chairs when I was little and I still remember the sweaty pattern they'd leave on my legs each summer day. They have long haunted me as something I didn't take when they passed away and I've been keeping my eyes peeled for some for years. Recently I saw a set on craigslist, but at over sixty dollars a chair I had to ruefully pass them up. So I am sure you can imagine I didn't second guess piling half of my body into that dumpster. 

Working / I have to admit that I can attribute much of the successful moments I have had in my shop to Etsy in one way or another (even if I still despise their new front page). Awhile back they asked me to send them a print for their spring/summer lookbook that they send out promotionally to media outlets. Of course I was honored to be asked for one of my products to be a representative to the Etsy marketplace(!) so, while not holding my breath, I sent my Joie de Vivre print off to the Etsy headquarters to be photographed and maybe included in the lookbook. Just this week I got an email that they did, in fact, include my print! You can see the online version here

Mothering / This week at school the teacher told me Milo was crying in music class and she couldn't figure out why (he's never cried at school before so she was pretty concerned). Once we got home, Luca, was helpful enough to let me know all about it: Milo was being teased for being a 'pretty girl.' And then my heart just broke when I asked Milo if this was true and he said "Yeah, and I want to cut my hair." I found my first reaction was to say "okay, we can cut your hair." However, upon saying this I immediately wanted to take it back. Milo loves his long golden hair. His favorite color is pink. He loves my little pony. Elsa is his idol. Every make-over girl/kitty/pony/doggy app decorates his ipad. He also loves minecraft and spiderman and batman and wrestling and being a boy. Luca loves these things too, though not as fiercely. Milo is a gorgeous boy (his words. true words). In six short years that boy has made me love pink. A color I never liked, I now love it almost as much as him. The emotional range of pink is vast. I see that now. He's also someone I look at and think of as an inspiration. His confidence and sense of self is intoxicating. So as you can imagine to see this shattered also shattered my little heart. 

In the end, after I asked him: do you want short hair because you like it or because you don't want people to call you a girl? And he responded with the latter. I said we'd wait a week. I realized then that the lesson I don't want to teach him is to change yourself to please other people. It's the last lesson I want pass on to him. It's a lesson once learned is so difficult to unlearn (I am still trying to unlearn this). And, truly, what makes him great, what makes all kids so wonderful at these tender and innocent ages is that they can be however they want, they can find joy and beauty in themselves, they are full of 'look what i can do!'s. We should honor that in others and in ourselves well into kindergarten and throughout our whole lives. And with that I think we will be spending much  of this week nurturing that in ourselves and each other. While I am not sure he can understand at 6, that he has been such a mentor to me well past 6, I hope someday he knows this. I hope he continues being exactly who he is. And with that said, when a weeks time approaches. . . well, I am open to suggestions!

hope you all have a happy weekend! did i mention it's in the 60's and full of sunshine here? yeah, that helps. 
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