Archive for the ‘Cogitations’ Category


Can i break them

Well golly 2016, that was unexpected.  Saturday was sunny (but not warm), then you gave us snow on Sunday.  And ice on Monday.  What a way to start the year.

Snowy thyme trees Icy thyme trees Spores Ice chandalier Captured Fir Snow caterpillar Grass




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Sunlit moss 1.1.16

My word for the year is Move – movement, motion, no more letting myself get “stuck” in anything, keep dancing, keep creating, keep taking those steps every day to do the things that make me feel good…  Push forward when necessary, float gently when necessary, run and jump and leap to grab what I need when necessary.  Move.

Blurred forest 1.1.16

Last year my word was Allow, which deserves its own post, but I also adopted the mantra Live Love – I’ll be keeping that one, likely forever, and adding another: Create Daily.  Anything.  If nothing physical, then create beautiful thoughts in my head.  Push out all the crap.  And post more often; I’ve turned to Instagram to share the pictures but I finally realized I’ve been missing the story telling, too.  So, more posts this year will be part of my Create Daily.

Sunlit moss too 1.1.16

These three photos are among the first 20 I’ve taken with my new Canon Rebel T5 (I have a feeling we’ll be fast friends as we get to know each other a little better).  Photos taken yesterday, edited and posted today – Create Daily, days one and two – check!

Hello, 2016.  Nice to meet you.  Let’s be friends.  I have a feeling we have a lot to do together this year.

: )



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From the back wedding pic

Five years ago tomorrow we were married in our own backyard, surrounded by a lot more people than I ever expected, on a day that started out crazy windy/busy/tense/busy but turned out to be perfect.  I scored my dress at a sale and Mom bought me the most beautiful veil from an entirely different store, but it matched perfectly.  I chose to do most of the planning and making myself because I wanted what I wanted (right, Mom?):

  • Folded and made ornaments from around 250 origami cranes for favors.  Packaged them up all pretty, too.
  • Created our Save the Dates and invitations from scratch, but never did get a picture.
  • Made the ring pillow.
  • Cleaned so many windows my arms were as ripped as they ever have been.  Which isn’t saying that much.
  • Made my bouquet, my girls’ bouquets, the corsages and the boutonnieres.  My friend Leslie helped put together jars of flowers for the tables.
  • Cut our “S” monogram cake topper from a favorite copper printing plate that was at the end of its previous life.
  • Made the stand for the big 3-tier cake.
  • Chose all the candies and pretty glass containers to go into a kick-ass Candy Bar display.
  • Made the fabric pieces to go on the center of our big round tables (yards and yards of fabric, washed, ironed, and ripped down to size – whew!).
  • Helped lay the 10,000 sq ft of sod that went into our yard in preparation.  There was a lot of preparation to get the yard ready.  And lots of worrying about the rainy summer that year.
  • Made anklets for me and my girls out of beach glass found in Mexico (where he proposed) and beads that matched the wedding colors, then forgot to wear mine.
  • Planned to make our guest book but made the wise decision near the end to let that go and use a beautiful National Parks book instead.  Then forgot to have anyone announce guests should write all over it!
  • Worried about things that didn’t matter in the end.
  • Would make very few changes if I did it all over again.

Taking vows

I recruited a dear friend (and Mom for carrot cake) to make our cakes (and decorate them too – go Leslie!), recruited another friend to sing The Nearness of You during the ceremony, recruited my Mom to do the most awesome wedding buffet ever, recruited another friend to officiate, recruited the most awesome photographer ever (photos in this post are Jenn’s), recruited the entire wedding party to help setup that day… We wanted to throw a big party for our friends and family, and get married while they were are all there, so that’s what we did (and messed up the rings, too, because I gave the Best Man Matt’s ring instead of mine…).  It was crazy fun, a little stressful, and beautiful.  Kids ran around, we laughed and ate and drank and I still don’t always remember everyone who was there.  It was perfectly us.

Cutting cake

Just don’t smash it in my face!

Life is not always perfect, not always easy, but I’m happy.  There’s no one else I would choose to live this life with.  And damn, we make cute babies.

I love you, Matt.


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6.22.15 Forrest with bubbles

I wrote this 7 months ago.  Not sure why I never posted it, but my have times changed:

On Saturday morning I was woken from a dead-to-the-world sleep by a loud voice blaring from the monitor:


By the time I stumbled out of bed, grabbed my glasses and made a pit stop he was down to yelling Momma! while alternating with whining.  When I walked in his room the whining cut right off and he sat up and said “Baby little crying.”  Yup, sounds like it, kid.  It was a cheerful morning so after we grabbed his two blankets he waved at his bed, saying “By crib, night-night,” then told me “Go downstairs!”

We settle on the couch to watch “elephant, giraffe, monkey” – an episode of Chuggington that has the aforementioned trio.  We discuss “monkey scared?” and “train scared?” because they do indeed scare each other before all is resolved.  Before the 30 minutes was up, he turned around on my lap to implore “fruuiiits?” with a sweet smile.  Fruits are fruit snacks.  When I say OK he slides down onto the floor, saying “I beat you!” as he runs for his little table and chair in the dining area.  Up he climbs on the chair, pulling his table to him with a squeal on the hardwood floors.

I bring over a packet of fruit snacks along with his milk and water.  He already knows to look for the little slice in the wrapper to pull open the package – I showed him once, and that’s all it took.  He happily starts eating his fruits as I putter around the kitchen, asking “Do you want a banana?  Some toast?  Some crunchy cereal?” Sometimes he’ll respond “No, no, nooooo” and be perfectly happy with just Fruits, other times he wants it all, and often eats it all.  Lately he asks for “pbutter toast?”

After breakfast we head upstairs so I can take a shower.  Our bathroom holds a loud dumptruck, 4 pull-back cars, a set of three stacking cars, and a plastic piano that plinks like no-one’s business.  I once gave him a set of hair chopsticks to use with the piano so he opens my drawer at the sink to dig those out as I remind him “Just the sticks.  The rest isn’t for you to play with.”  I’m still amazed this usually works.

I shower with the door open while he plays, often narrating his actions or singing as he plays on the piano…

Now Forrest is almost 3.  He has his own bedroom and big-boy bed, we have a relatively stress-free bedtime (hard fought and hard won, and NEVER taken for granted!), and when he wakes up in the morning he runs upstairs to find me.  Usually before 6:00am.  Sigh.

He gets his own fruits now from the pantry, and sometimes his own crackers.  If he could reach the cereal he could take care of that too.  Same with the milk.  I’m not ready for his complete access to a jug of milk…

He has a funny sense of humor, laughs at the pratfalls in his cartoons, and deliberately makes the wrong sound for the animals in his books, or says things like “E is for apple!” and laughs.  He writes his numbers and the alphabet already.  I find that shocking, but he often wants to play with sidewalk chalk when we get home in the evenings and often wants to write letters so we do.  He also started drawing pictures of his own things – a bat!  and elephant with one leg!  A hippo, and those are his little eyes!  He lives for playing outside, and we can let him play a bit on his own now with monitoring and a willingness to sweep all the gravel off the driveway.

He’s growing so fast.  Every day he changes a little and grows more and makes life connections.  I miss him from 7 months ago, I miss him as a tiny little guy, but I wouldn’t change now for anything.

We love you, Forrest!


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Photo by Amanda Fall, founder and editor.

It’s that time again – the month is halfway over, time is flying faster than I can keep up, and the next issue of The Phoenix Soul is available for my enjoyment.  Aaaaah.  Now to schedule the candle-lit bath with bubbles and glass of wine in advance so I don’t forget for the next issue…

Tenacity – perseverance, determination, persistence.  The strength to go on.  Pushing through.  I don’t think of myself as tenacious until I remember what being the mom of a newborn is like – keep pushing on, momma, you do have the strength.  Until I remember what is was like to voluntarily use the print lab in college during the graveyard shift (10:00pm – 5:00am) because I wanted and needed the time to spread out and work at my own pace on the big press and I was determined to make it happen; those were the glory days.  Until I remember each day to seek the joy in the sorrow, to choose happiness and light and laughter – to persist in the face of so many things that could drag me down.  Tenacity for the win, gang.

Find your issue of Tenacity here.  Better yet, subscribe for 6 or 12 months so this beautiful indie mag keeps coming to you each month.  It’s a feast for the soul.

(This message contains affiliate links, because I love to support, and be supported by, the things I believe in.)

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The sweet, spicy scent

Of peonies reminds me –

I deserve the best



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I’m slowly beginning to see a way forward to growing my own creative practice again (and business, maybe?) and one thing that popped up for me recently and filled me with light was a couple of affiliate programs for bloggers/artists/creators I follow and want to support (making a little money is an added benefit, sure, but I won’t support what I don’t believe in.  And I will always make a note when I’m including an affiliate link).

Flying Lessons 500x168 Badge





I’ve had this e-book for a while.  I started it, stopped it, started again, had a baby, and now I’m ready to take another look at how I might grow my future creative biz.  Kelly Rae’s words and ideas and art and heart speak so deeply to me, that possibilitarian attitude, that sense that I can do or be anything…that I hope you find joy and meaning in Flying Lessons too.  Find it here.  (psst – affiliate link!  : )

Another heartfelt, heart-full publication I stumbled on not too long ago (via Instagram surfing, I believe), is The Phoenix Soul online magazine (psst – another affiliate link! : ).  I found Amanda as the creator of Sprout Magazine and then watched her transformation to The Phoenix Soul – each month Amanda creates and curates the most beautiful gathering of truth and beauty, vulnerability and celebration; she even publishes photos from Instagram that catch her eye and speak to her heart (it’s so fun to see my photos in The Phoenix Soul!).  I’m so very proud to be part of The Phoenix Soul affiliate program too.  Care to buy an issue or subscribe?  You won’t regret it.

My dear friend Linda doesn’t have an affiliate program but must be mentioned here as well.  She’s a pranic healer, teacher, and really good soul – you can find her here.

My other dear friend Linda is an incredible encaustic artist, teacher, author and workshop-leader extraordinaire.  Find her here (and take a class!  buy her books!).

Now if my friend Nicole would open an Etsy shop for her awesome art, I’d include that too…

I have a total girl crush on fellow curly-girl sisters Lacy and Kayla.  They cover heart, body, mind and soul like no one’s business, so check them out too.  My Angel Reading with Kayla has been a recent turning point for my creative life when I thought it was gone for good (or at least until Forrest moved out of the house).  Those two are just JOY.

I could go on and on.  There’s a lot of junk out there on the web, a lot of sad and bad and mean and horrible, but there’s a lot of good too.  Let’s all share the good.




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Us at 33 months

I’m not sure what time warp I’ve been in that allowed 3 weeks to pass without posting (Instagram, I’m looking at you), but wow.

Hi!  I miss you!Wild iris crop

I’ve been walking, snapping the occasional photo (bumper crop of wild iris this year like whoa), putting my studio back together, falling off the wagon of healthy eating and climbing back on again (hard to fit on there sometimes around the chocolate, but I try), and fighting with a 2-year-old about who gets to set bedtime.  More on that later this week.

Crazy hair

We’ve been on a playground tour to find the best slides and playgrounds in the area (and run off some energy on a weekend, please, oh please don’t give up your nap yet!), which has been fun but he doesn’t like the super-fast, super-wide 30-foot slide that’s closest to home.  Not yet, anyway.

30 foot slide

This was before he went down the first time (“Yah!  Slide!!”).  Daddy took him again but that was enough for sure.  Do you know a lot of playgrounds now have these big net sphere things for kids to crawl on/over/through – see upper right – that are darn hard to get through as an adult?  And that’s safer than a tire swing?

Writing his name

We’ve also been playing with chalk in the evening, drawing letters and shapes and “Momma, a jellyfish!”  Evenings are tough for me – I feel like it’s a mad rush to get home, get some play in, get some dinner eaten, and get him to bed at a reasonable time to get him enough sleep to start again at 6:00 the next morning.  Let me tell you, sleep is a hot commodity these days.

Silver linings

But there’s always a silver lining – the love in my household is strong and real and makes everything else fall by the wayside.  Can’t beat that for anything.

What have you been up to these past few weeks?


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9 mo crop 2

Almost 2 years ago we sat in the front yard when it wasn’t quite warm enough to enjoy, for “9-month” pictures.  I loved this orange top.  His pants were too short.  I forget how little hair he had, and how cute the pudge was, and that he would curl his toes in when he sat.

32 months

Last weekend while out running errands, grocery shopping, and living the weekend life, I decided an iced latte was a good idea.  We pulled up to Human Bean, which Forrest recognized as where we had a “juice!” smoothie probably the weekend before, so I ordered a little one for him.  Wearing his orange cape from Grandma, with his balloon from Fred’s and now a “juice!,” this kid was happy as a clam.  I told him to dink his juice slowly, “or my head hurts!” he said.  Yup.  My heart was bursting wide open.

A couple days ago we were driving home, close to Human Bean, and Forrest said, “Momma, you want a coffee?  I want a juice?”

“No, I’m good sweetie.”

“You want a coffee?”

“No, thank you.  Not right now.”

“I want a juice?”

“No, night tonight.”

“I want a juice!”

“I know you do sweetie but juice is a treat.”


“I want a treat?”

(I had to choke back a laugh, smart kid)

“No, not this time sweetie.  If we get it all the time it’s not a treat.”

(big pause)

“Oh.  Otay.”


Gosh I love this kid.  Can’t wait to see what the next 2 years brings.  = )



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Little birthday orchid

“Alas, the wasted potential” is the really dramatic way of stating I have a lot of supplies I’ve never used, and it’s a crime.  A crime, I say!  Evidence in point –

  • Paper making supplies – frame, felts, instructions
  • Marbling supplies – inks, instructions
  • Printmaking supplies – I have a press.  A press!  I’ve had it for years now and used it one time, for a series of 10 or so prints.
  • A cropadile.  Totally forgot about this one.
  • Needle felting – roving, needles, couch, instructions.
  • Metal stamping – bench, letters, hammer, metal
  • Crepe Paper – for making paper flowers like these.  And these.
  • Yarn.  Not a true knitter’s stash, but more than I should have considering I usually only knit scarves, and only during a blue moon.
  • Fabric.  Several tubs.  One for someday belly dance clothes.  One full of totally impractical asian-print brocades (this one weighs a TON) that are iffy to sew and difficult to wash.  One containing massive yardage of red and plaid flannel that I’ve toted around through … 4 moves? intending to make a fairy tale cloak out of that someday, unless I just make crib sheets instead.  One full of stuff that called my name.  One full of odds and ends and scraps and interfacing and what-all…

The only recourse I have to remedy the waste, the neglect, the sad crime of it all is to start 39 Projects!  I mentioned in my Hey I’m 39 birthday post that I plan to do 39 projects over the course of this year, and document them here of course, so what better way to start than take a look at my list of under appreciated tools and materials and START!

Here’s my list, in no particular order; it’s not set in stone so if something else catches my fancy I’ll replace one of these without blinking.  = )

  1. Make a bunch of crepe paper daffodils.
  2. Marble paper.  With my marbling kit, and with nail polish.
  3. Create a mixed media pendant to wear, using materials from one of my Magic Jars of Goodies.
  4. Create a circular weaving.
  5. Create a crane mobile.
  6. Needle felt a ???  Not sure what to try first!
  7. Use my fabric stash to make a travel tote that will hold the iPad, a sketchpad, camera and chargers, and a small stock of supplies.
  8. Make a mini book using my sunrise/sunset photos.
  9. Knit a cowl for myself.
  10. Knit a vest.  Or a cardigan if I get really ambitious.
  11. Paint a watercolor picture – ref all of my flower photos for source.
  12. Finish my SIBC project.
  13. Put art up in Forrest’s new big-boy room.
  14. Print an edition of 10 feather collographs.  Use some gold leaf too?
  15. Make a pair of mixed media earrings using wood.
  16. Make paper!  With my kit!
  17. Pull an old print and create a new piece of art with it.  I know this is open-ended, but I don’t want to put boundaries on it.
  18. Use nail polish to “enamel” a pendant.
  19. Draw 3 faces, any medium.
  20. Weave a wall hanging with fabric scraps & yarn.
  21. Make a pincushion.
  22. Finish 1 of the stuffed origami cranes.  Totally finished and embellished.
  23. Make a pillow cover for my extra insert – quilted?
  24. Sew a skirt.  Or alter one I’m not wearing.
  25. Take macro photos of my Underwood typewriter.
  26. Create a mini book using those photos.
  27. Paint a wall in our bedroom.
  28. Make a headboard for our bed.  And a bedskirt.
  29. Metal-stamp jewelry: Love, Peace, Joy, Get Your Butt Moving…
  30. Vanuatu stamp art – large-scale.  Subtle colors.  For Lake Oswego show in June?
  31. Make a book out of an old print in my stash.
  32. Make a tunnel book.  Nature themed.
  33. Make 3 mini-book pendants.  Things I would want to wear.
  34. Finish Matt’s bighorn sheep drawing.
  35. Paint a pin-up girl.  Use Grandma’s old patterns.
  36. Make a bookboard box to store my collection of little found bones.
  37. Make a paper and bead statement necklace (inspired by Alisa’s)
  38. Finish my Larger Than Life painting/wall hanging, or at the very least put some work in on it!
  39. BREATHE.

Birthday orchid


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