Friday, February 27, 2009


Today I had a date with the lovely Miss K to go downtown to The Museum Of Contemporary Craft. We saw an exhibit by Mandy Greer, an artist that works with textiles and fibers. Really interesting pieces done in miles of crocheted ropes, beads, buttons and other mediums. I really enjoyed the exhibit and it gave me some curious ideas.

Then, we strolled around downtown Portland going into galleries, stopping for coffee and french pastry. We talked about the art that we saw, our own art and all the creative processing and handicaps we share. As we sat on the park bench talking, I realized that I hadn't done this sort of thing in ages and ages. It was a blast and I made a mental note to do this sort of thing more often. It was inspiring and grounding both. It got my wheels turning and reminded me that sometimes we must dare.

We ended our adventure by making a craft date for this coming Tuesday. I will be sure to fill you in on the making and the mess after it happens.
It was a good day.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Communication Breakdown, School is Cancelled And I Don't Know Jack

My Internet has been wonky of late so I have not been able to post the last few days, hopefully I can get through this one without being booted off. It's been going on for months and we have finally broken down and decided to do something about it. I am optimistic that by by Thursday evening we will have a nifty cable installed and all our surfing will continue unimpeded.

So, preschool was cancelled this morning because teacher Joyce got the flu, poor dear. This put the whole day off kilter. Today is my husbands birthday. Happy B-day Love! I was planning on spending my childless couple of hours searching for the perfect gift (I know, way to put off 'till the last minute) but, bringing my sweet girl to a wood crafting store for an hour is a recipe for disaster. I really did try to search out the coveted #5 Jack Plane for my sweety, or the equally sought after Fore Plane (wood working hand tools for those of you wondering)but, the sources for used tools around here are limited and I don't know just what I'm looking for in a good used tool. So yes, it turns out I don't know Jack.

Well, it's tradition around here to make the birthday boy (or girl) the dinner of their choice so, I'm off to the store to get fixuns for Chicken Fried Steak and Mashed Potatoes. Until next time I thought I would randomly leave you with some of the more "arty" pictures from our trip.
A monster tree
Impenetrable Bamboo Forest
Curly Eucalyptus
/>Red Dirt Path to the Sea ...and a Hawaiian goat for Claire

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pink Stinks...Or Not

When I was a little girl my favorite color was pink, but only by default - because purple was already taken. My older brother's favorite color was purple and he was not particularly good at sharing. He refused to allow his little sister to share the same favorite color as himself so, pink it was. I grew to be wild for pink. When I was eight, my father built our crazy house in the woods and I got to pick out my carpet and wall paper. Yup, you guessed it, pink and pink - with a crystal chandelier to boot, hanging from the raw timber ceiling - if you can imagine. Over the years however; my passion for pink subsided, then died away, and then turned into outright loathing. I think it may have had something to do with teenage angst and a rebellion against the pink pastel sweaters my mother was always forcing upon me. In any case, my aversion to pink continued well into my early adult years.
Over time, my feelings about pink simply became ambivalent. I am not especially drawn to it. I own one shirt that may be considered to be in the pink family but, beyond that I don't give it much thought. That is, until recently...

Right now I have pink on the brain. My next project is my daughter's Birthday Dress. She has only a few specific requests:
1. It must be PINK
2. It must be twirly
3. It must have an under skirt that is also PINK
4. It must have ribbon and fluffle (ruffle) that are PINK
Well, the girl knows what she likes.
So, I have been on a mad hunt to stockpile my remarkably pink less stash with all things girly and PINK. Now, I just have to figure out how it will all come together in one super-duper 4 year old worthy masterpiece. Ummm...sure.
Wish me luck.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pili lani - Close to Heaven

I'm back! What an amazing adventure we had on our vacation to Hawaii. I was reminded of how much I love the islands, what an incredible place. It hits you as you come off the plane, that tropical air, the sights and sounds. Driving from the airport to West Maui I got to watch my husband's expression as we took in the scenery, "Wow!" was the most common utterance. Once we found our condo, a sweet studio with the most spectacular view of the ocean, we went out onto the lanai (patio) and immediately saw a few whales swimming just in front of us. It was as though they were saying "e komo mai," welcome.

We were blessed with beautiful weather the whole trip. My husband is now completely addicted to snorkeling. We found one tiny beach that we had all to ourselves, we snorkeled there for awhile and ended up swimming with sea turtles, the biggest ones I have ever seen. They are endangered so, this was a special treat. Fish all the colors of the rainbow and a wild seascape of coral reef met us at each turn. Each evening we went down to the beach next to where we stayed, with our drinks of rum and POG (Passion, orange, guava juice) and watched the sunset. This resulted in about 53 photos of sunsets!

...and another perfect sunset...

I also got to eat all the food on my wish list while I was there. Hawaiian Mixed Plate lunches of Chicken Katsu, Kalua Pork and of course one scoop rice. The best Chow Fun I have ever had and Hot Malasadas (a Portuguese fried doughnut) from Komodas bakery. Unfortunately, I did not get any pictures of the food because I ended up being too excited to eat it and only thought of pics after it had been devoured. And even after all the good eats, I still lost a few pounds on my vacation!

The last two days were spent up-country exploring. We drove up the side of Haleakala and took in the stunning views. We ended up in a tiny town called Keokea where we stopped for coffee and while we sat on the deck of Grandma's Cafe, we were serenaded by Fred and his wife on Ukulele singing Hawaiian songs. This man had lived his whole life in this town and had such a soulful, beautiful voice, that I was moved to tears.

We also had the most awesome experience meeting some locals who invited us to their house for dinner. They showed us such genuine hospitality and kindness, opening their home and hearts to us. We truly felt the Aloha spirit during our trip and I couldn't have wished for anything more, except perhaps to stay a little longer. We did briefly entertain the idea of having Nana send our daughter over and never coming back.

On our last day we took a horseback ride at Piiholo Ranch. The name loosely translates to ascending a hill slowly to heaven and that pretty much says it all.
I feel so blessed to have been able to take this trip, it was the vacation of a lifetime. To share it with my husband, to breathe deep the perfumed air and relax, to know our daughter was being so well cared for by her Nana, to slow down and appreciate the beauty, what an amazing gift! I am humbled and inspired beyond measure.

Oh, and of course I picked up some fabric while on the island. It was so affordable (the only affordable thing in Hawaii)I couldn't resist.

Now I need to catch up with all my favorite blogs to see what I missed while I was away and get back to reality. It's all good.

Monday, February 9, 2009

I Felt It

One more quick post before I leave on a jet plane tomorrow. Lola Nova has been featured on the Felt-o-rama blog! April has done an amazing job with this blog, it is full of wonderful information and fantastic inspiration. I definitely recommend you taking some time to poke around over there. It is the companion blog to her shop where you can find beautiful Hand-Dyed Wool Felt, Eco Felt, embellishments, books and patterns as well as needle felting supplies. So, go check it out and tell her Lola sent you.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I've Got The Funk, Buxom Blonde Causes Cave In and The Island of Happiness

So, I've got the funk, or rather I had it. Not the good time Parliament or Funkadelic hip shakin', groove makin' Funk. No, I had the swampy, low down, feeling so tired and melancholy Funk. Fer no good reason, boy howdy! So, I have not been posting as I thought I might before my vacation. See, I am about to take a vacation - so what the heck am I blue about? Maybe I got the Februaries, or short-timers. Let's just say, I aint feelin' justified but, I was still feeling funky.
The sun was out again yesterday, a February tease in the Northwest, just before the Daphne blooms, a hint of magic yet to come, waiting for the Crocus Pocus to arrive. The first day in the yard. Gloves on, snippers at the ready, my girl singing and digging in pink cowgirl boots and sunshine. Zen like labor for an hour or two and then such a satisfying moment of back cracking stretch and surveillance. It's an annual ritual to be followed by other rites of season. Oh, that blessed vitamin D, you do go to my head. I love the dirty nails and attention to bandaiding a blister, a feeling of accomplishment and peace with battle scars.

Speaking of rites of passage (insert awkward segue here):
As a parent you can't help but anticipate future scenarios but, for the most part you try to be in the now, live the present phase and not get too far ahead of yourself. Sometimes things just happen, sneak up on you - finding you ill prepared and stumbling. My daughter just received her first blond bombshell doll, you know the one I mean without naming names. She isn't even 4 quite yet and she was obsessed. Other little girls in her preschool were bringing them for sharing time and I watched my girl hover and be awe struck, as if she had found the Holy Grail. Then she talked about it on and on. I wasn't ready but, I caved in. She had to earn this doll, wow what motivation! I knew if I withheld this doll of glory from her, it would become more powerful in it's lure. I had them as a kid so I'm not sure what my big problem is with them - giant corporate greed, unrealistic beauty themes, manipulative marketing, cheap plastic gobby gook - perhaps. At least they have scaled back the torpedo bosom a little. My daughter is now at school happily and proudly sharing her doll. I am still a little uneasy with the whole business, I can't wait for the teenage years!

Now, I bid you all adieu for a wee bit. Yes, that vacation I mentioned. My husband and I are off to the Island of Happiness, better known as Maui. We have been saving and planning for a while now. We have never taken a vacation destination trip together. It's a pretty big deal for us. My husband has never been to the islands, I lived on Maui as a kid but, I haven't been back since. I have been to a couple of the other islands but, it has been 8 years since my last trip to the Big Island of Hawaii and that was no vacation. That last trip was a surreal and stressful journey to claim my father's body and deal with his unfinished business. This is going to be a real relaxation vacation. My brilliant mother-in-law, fancynancyjane will be watching over the bean here at home. The longest we have been away from our girl is one night, so this is going to be a kid free free for all. Whatever that means. May you all be happy, healthy and blissfully blogging on until I post again.