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one of a kind

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I have just added a new tote to the shop. I’m excited about this one! A couple weeks ago, while sorting through my fabric stash, I came across this textile I had forgotten about. I don’t know why, but it really grabbed hold of me and I ended up dropping everything I was doing and shifting gears toward building something with it. It was the most fun I’d had at work in quite a while. I recently finished this bag, and have since pulled out a few other textiles from my collection that I’m excited to share soon.

It’s always hard to cut these materials, which have been carefully woven by hand, and in this case beautifully embroidered. It can feel like a disservice to cut them up, and yet here it is – a very useful bag that will be worn on someone’s shoulder, carried around for years. This textile is as striking as it ever was, and making an appearance like it never was. There’s no disservice there I guess, is there.

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wood works

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benchwork

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Some photos I took while making a few small gifts last week. I am quite in love with the process of woodcarving, right down to making my home made finish, which we use for all our wood care and which Steven seems to plow through in the wood shop, to my satisfaction.

In the simplest of steps – it starts with cutting a blank, then carving it into the desired shape, sanding through a series of grits, wetting to raise the grain, sanding, wetting, sanding, wetting (etc foreverrrrr), and finally the excitement of oiling and seeing the true colors of the wood shine through.

I like to keep a few wood projects at hand so I can pick something up whenever I have a few minutes, or the inspiration strikes.

Out of curiosity, if you were to learn one new skill this year, what would it be?

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around the studio

In the studio lately…

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I discovered Milky Chance recently and have been playing a couple of their songs (Flashed Junk Mind and Stolen Dance) on repeat. I’d love any music suggestions from you all! I’ve asked this in the past, and found a lot of new-to-me music which I still currently listen to because of your suggestions, so thank you. I LOVE discovering new tunes and wish there were an easy way for us to share with each other on a regular basis. I don’t care what genre, I just love to discover new sounds. What’s on your playlist lately?

custom_work_0An order of totes with some new colors in the mix. Fun to see an old style look new again. I have since added this one to the shop, also available with a shoulder strap here.

shipping_2_smA package ready to be wrapped up. I once read somewhere, regarding someone’s thoughts (and sadly I can’t remember who) on “what is handmde to you” and she said something to the effect that to her, handmade is when you hold the item you just finished and really look at it before you send it off. There is an appreciation and a deliberateness in what you have done. I could relate to that so well. Everything I make is made with love and care, time and effort. It’s satisfying to see it finished, and I wrap it up with a feeling of anticipation for the recipient. I hope this recipient, like all my customers, will be truly pleased with their package. And if they are not in any way, I want to hear about it. I really do!

shippingPackaging orders. A rare human view :)

I hope you all had a rejuvenating weekend.

Happy Mother’s Day to my moms, both of you ♥

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early may

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So much color showing up right now.  So much life!

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wngd

In case you didn’t know, today is World Naked Gardening Day.

But really… if your situation suits, you could and should make any comfortable day a naked gardening day.

http://www.wngd.org/

Thanks for the heads up D :)

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time out

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northbound_97_197_3We took a short breather last week, and headed up to the mountains for a stay in a fire lookout tower. After having stayed in one last summer, I perused all the possible openings for the next season and found a couple nights available at Fivemile Butte. Fire lookouts are not easy to book as they fill up very fast. I made the reservation with excitement and abandon. Having just returned from weeks of camping that was the current mood, and it worked out well because how do you know what will be happening so many months up the road? There is no point in deliberating over it. Just go with it!

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Admittedly, I would never have taken time out to go camping right now, but the timing could not have been more perfect. It has been a stressful past month or so, and a shift was really needed.

 

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When we finally arrived after the long journey up, the weather started to quickly change. The sun gave way to clouds; the wind, which had been blowing pretty hard for the latter portion of our drive, started blowing harder; and we felt a slight mist start to fall. Steven chopped some kindling and a few extra pieces of firewood and I continued packing things up the stairs. For me this was a welcome activity after sitting for so many hours.

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We set up our space, explored around the property for a while and then settled in for the evening.

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We had cooked a pot of beans and rice at home to bring along, and while we had packed other meals, that turned out to be such a nice convenience and all we really needed for our nights up there. We heated tortillas with cheese, beans and rice, on our griddle over the woodstove and were just so happy to be up in the trees and mountains. Amidst our chatting and general enjoyment we didn’t pay too much mind to the wind, but once we went to bed it became apparent how rowdy it was. I woke in the middle of the night and laid awake for quite some time, heart beating hard, imagining all the possible ways we could potentially survive if the tower blew over. Even on our very windy coast, I am not used to that kind of constant heavy wind. In the morning I learned that Steven went through something similar! In the morning we also discovered we’d had a visitor, snacking on apples and pooping on the table. Mice just have no table manners.

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By morning the clouds had cleared and the wind had calmed down significantly. It is such a treat to wake up in a tower in the sunshine. In my opinion, it’s impossible to wake up on the wrong side of the bed under these circumstances. Even if you find mouse poop on your table.

To the west of the tower Mt Hood is pretty impressive and can be seen from a lot of places on the site, and to the north, even though a bit hazy most of the time, Mt Tahoma and Mt Adams could be seen.

We took the mornings slow, enjoying the warmth of the sun and the views. While the days were fairly warm, there were freezing temps at night and the mornings were pretty chilly.

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We took some short hikes, finding lupine, arrowleaf balsamroot and other spring wildflowers starting to bloom. We saw deer and various birds, and the bees were going crazy for the flowering manzanita. After tromping around we snugged up in the sun next to the woodshed where we were sheltered from the breeze, and just blissed out on the warmth and rest – me with my plant guides and Steven with his milk thistle seeds.

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This trip inspired me to want to get out camping more in all seasons. I realized how few experiences I’ve had in the mountains when the wildflowers are blooming, and I like to imagine stepping out with my snowshoes on in the winter. And as always, I feel so restored by nature. There is nothing so healing as the earth, the wind, the sky, the sun, and the allowance of the time and space to just let go and be.

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iris_march29_0Some springtime observations and garden notes…

The bats (and flying bugs) are back, and have been back for some time now. The swallows are as well!

The osprey has returned and we’ve been watching to see where it decides to nest. The dead tree it has nested in every year could be in better shape.

Elders are flowering. Already?

Crows are around again; paired off, talking loudly, and constantly gathering nesting materials.

The wooly bear caterpillars are super abundant, like I’ve never seen. Last year we hardly saw a single one.

Our apricot has set lots of little fruits for the first time, and the stanley prune flowered abundantly. Even the apple tree has put out it’s first 2 blossoms. It’s struggled, so this feels like a great sign of progress.

Herbs, like thyme, chives and rosemary are flowering and others such as oregano, savory and echinacea are putting on new growth like crazy.

In the garden the slugs have been scarce so far this year. I’m amazed. And so relieved! The peas and fava beans are growing with vigor, carrots have abundantly sprouted, with almost no help from me – due to a seemingly perfect balance of rain and sun. Beets and cilantro are putting up green growth, and borage – which made it through the winter (with total ease), is about to flower. I planted corn last week. This is a first for me, and I am super excited! I purchased a variety which is said to do well in cooler conditions – heirloom seed of course. I plan to do a 3 sisters style planting in that bed.

Last week I did another round of planting in pots – some garden staples, some for the general landscape and some just for fun… more peas, more lettuce, more basil, more sunflowers, goldenrod, baby’s breath, cosmos, blue fescue, echinacea, and a bunch of other things I can’t remember at the moment.

Something gives me the feeling this year is going to be pretty excellent for growing plants.

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