Monday, June 30, 2008

moving in

Here we go, moving into my new apartment! Yeah, I don't have any furniture yet, so I put my clothes on hangers... stood back and thought: "ta da!". While I was on my way to the place (from... buying hangers) I was out for the exotic and rare Portland thunderstorm. Walking around Hawthorne, it was impossible not to note just how many small businesses were closed due to the heat. People in the neighborhoods I walked through were out on porches, watching the skies and/ or having BBQs. I hope by this time next year I'm settled enough for a BBQ!

I may not have furniture, but I've already accumulated a small stack of reading material. Titles I'm working on (from the bottom up):
1. Refresh, Refresh (short stories) by Benjamin Percy
2. Growing Up Ethnic in America (short stories) edited by Maria Gillan
3. Revenge of the Lawn (novel) by Richard Brautigan
4. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle ("A Year of Food Life") by Barbara Kingsolver
5. Awake at Work (Buddhist practices in the workplace) by Michael Carroll

And, I know it is already in so many blogs but I just wanted to give a nod over to SMALL magazine. Working with so many artists and designers I really love, I'm glad (other than some clothes) the sketchbook is unpacked. Now I just need to find my light box. Anyway, they've put together a really beautiful, inspiring edition for summertime.
Cool stuff.
Subscribe, y'all.

Friday, June 27, 2008

come together

Hello June, month of plans coming together~

I'm relieved and happy to announce I accepted a job today. (lets out 10 month long held breath)
I'll give you a hint from one of my favorite blogs also, weirdly, posted today. eee ooo :) ...

I'll be moving into my new place this weekend, and hopefully getting some furniture for my room at the same time. Ah, so much excitement going on in my pattering heart! Also, I just had a latte. Maybe I'll go run around the block in celebration.


Last week Celeste and I went to Cannon Beach for an afternoon to meet the Pacific ocean. The first half of the day there were fog and clouds, with a fine slanty rain coming down intermittently. Don't get me wrong: it would have been beautiful to me no matter what the weather.

We grew up on the peninsula Cape Cod in Massachusetts, surrounded by the Atlantic. Not that we had a house by the ocean, or that our parents had a boat, or any of those other stereotypical things people consider when you say "I grew up on the Cape" (no, I've never been to the Kennedy compound. Thornton Burgess was more our speed). Myself, I didn't really leave the Cape much until going to college in Boston, so was cradled in that land of cottages, buoys, ice cream, summer people and beach glass for quite a while. I remember being really surprised by the city even though Boston felt familiar as the backyard, and those feelings of wonder discovering the non-Cape Cod world are still strong 12 years later. At the best of times, at least.

So, it just was a matter of course that my sister and I would head to the coast. I think the rolling waves, breathing in the salty air, surrounded by small stunted trees and small boxy beach houses, these things are how we measure our experience of awe and appreciation of the world. Maybe it isn't even an experience I can qualify like that, exactly, but the point when I put my feet down here, restlessness rested. For an afternoon, just to fill my senses with this basic language of home, with introductions to the remarkable west coast differences, this was simple, as simple as satisfying.

(Celeste and I enjoy the inevitable ice cream cup and sundae, respectively. It's hard to smile right with your mouth full of chocolate fudge, but here is a good effort!)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Okay, goofing around online this morning and I can't help but post a few more pictures from last week.

Monday, June 23, 2008

week in review: life in still life

This is one of those times when I don't feel like I've got too much news, but then I look back on my week and know what? I find I was pretty busy. As you know, I had a little birthday last week (thank you for your comments! yippie!) and found myself on the track during that time toward my first apartment here in Portland. Last Thursday I went in the morning to look around for jobs, dropped off some resumes and took myself out for a really lovely Thai lunch for the special day.

In the afternoon I met with my future landlord out in SE for coffee at Tiny's. They had some pretty cool paintings up on the walls and were playing Belle & Sebastian, so I was happy in my nerdy 90's sort of way. I had to write my DOB on the rental application, and it didn't take long for my landlord to catch on. Upon wrapping up the meeting, he sent me off on a birthday walk through a rose-lined neighborhood to this incredible espresso bar. I picked up mouth-watering peanut butter cake (slice) for myself (and a sinful cheesecake slice for my sister) that I proceeded to nurse for the next 3 days. Our friends here in SW brought home an incredibly silky chocolate cake that night, too, one of the best cakes I've ever had. Man, this place has far too much good food. Ugh!

My sister and I spent the weekend house-sitting for K and R, who also live in SE (and had just gotten this mini kitchen set for their own Gemini, Miss Ruby... happy second birthday little lady!). I spent the weekend mostly just drawing, cooking VEGETABLES (but nibbling at cake), exploring South East which is now my neighborhood too, and ducking into thrift stores. When K and R came home, they introduced us to our fourth cake of the week- mercy!... but it sure was delicious!

My good news is that the apartment came together (!) and I'll be moving in at the beginning of July. I'm very, very excited to learn more about the area and becoming comfortable enough to really get into art-making again. My future roommate is spending my first month on the lease in India (!) so I'll be hanging out with her cat (and posting pictures of the house) while she is away.

I probably won't post again until the job is finalized, too, but wanted to catch up as best I could before another break from the blog. Hope everyone is having a great summer!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Water, in it's falling form:

While investigating around Portland in the days immediately after the road trip, Celeste, Phil and I drove with our hosts out to Multnomah Falls. This is a large waterfall about 20 min. outside the city with some eye-popping hikes around it. I like the picture above because it gives you just a bit of perspective, plus you can also see the water splashing back up the side of the mountain near those viewers.

We left the falls and went for another hike several more miles down the highway. This walk and the subsequent waterfall we came upon was actually more breathtaking than Multnomah because although it was a smaller falls, there were no viewing bridges or tourist booths... we were right there in the woods. Driving through 17 states and visiting destination after park after city, many of the sights we saw were separate from our direct experience one way or another. Somehow along the way we often tended to be spectators. In this place, blessedly, there was the comforting natural experience of being a person in the world, interacting directly with the natural environment.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


To all my fellow gemini out there, happy birthday and welcome welcome welcome summer! :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Ah, and here it is: the post where (almost a month later... but somehow in blog-time that's okay) I get to tell you that on day 11 we made it to Portland safe and, well, sound. Cranky, cagey, without a voice but with failing brakes, but other than that... sound. :)

The above picture is the house-behind-a-house where Celeste and I are staying, sort of like a studio, thanks to friends here in SW Portland. For the next 3 days I proceeded to take pictures of EVERYTHING... so for this post I just cherry-picked the highlights for you (hi, mom!) of our introductory weekend. Maria said that we still seemed to be in motion and truer words are rarely spoken. I'm pretty sure for the remainder of the time Phil stayed with us to "relax" after racing cross-country to get here: neither one of us for several days were quite aware how to react or cope with having stopped.

My sister scooped us up that first day we arrived, fed us a breathtaking late lunch at Marcos in Multnomah Village here in SW, afterwards letting us fall promptly and heavily asleep.
Yes, I slept for 12 hours.
okay, more like 16.
The next day we did things like join our hosts M and S for the Saturday farmer's/ art market downtown, go for a hike through the trails, community gardens and woods of the neighborhood, unpack the car (can I even express how good that felt?) sleep more, and meet Celeste's other friends here who live in SE:

(this little lady knows what's up)

If you don't find me at the beach, I'm probably in a bookstore... so the obvious thing to do was visit Powell's. And, because all of my friends are booksellers too, the obvious thing was for P and I to take pictures there.

On went these little excursions, on went the incredibly scrumptious meals (the headaches realized I wasn't on the road trip anymore and did, eventually, come back... but not before just one more bite of these Belgian waffles... oh my goodness...) the cold medicine and the gallons of coffee.

This is pretty much how it felt to step off of the road of such a wild, intense experience as moving across America. Everything looked surreal and achingly beautiful; smells were rich, tastes were as though they were just invented, my senses were on overdrive.

A great introduction to a new place, to be so wide-eyed, but it carried with it that emotional edginess of laughing/crying too... and there was plenty of both. Remember C and I had been packing and moving for weeks before we left PA, then the whirlwind week on the Cape/ seeing my friends in Boston, which I didn't post about since I had no internet or camera of my own back then. The whole thing together was over a month of rush-rush-rush! I'm glad that extreme is starting to settle down, to be honest. I'll be really glad when take-out goes back to an extravagance and I have a kitchen to cook in after a long day at work with thoughts of the weekend. You know, for example.

At Thai Spice on our second or third night after arriving we were greeted by a huge rainbow that stretched over the tree line and the shops in The Village. I almost don't know what was more beautiful, the food or the rainbow!

Just goes to show what a riot of sensational experiences those first introductory days were here, whoo!

feet first

"There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle."

Still working on a lot of editing for the photos of the coast, but as I catch up with myself here on the blog I want to thank my sister Celeste and my as-yet-to-be-born nephews for coming along to the ocean yesterday. It honestly was a magical experience dipping my toes into the Pacific while watching the clouds lift from the mountain.

Celeste has also been posting with more regularity about our recent trips around the area here, and just a reminder she is following the events in China as best she can on her Bamboo Village blog while the shop is still in hiatus. (I know it has been really hard for her not to be able to get right on a plane and help once we heard about the earthquake...) Yesterday's trip was exhausting for her, and it was raining when we arrived so plans to "sit on a blanket when we get there" while I explored were less than optimal. I just really want to underscore my gratitude for her enthusiasm about the venture and let her know how proud I am of my big sis. 6 months, babies! This time last year, I wonder if we could have believed it!?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Press Page

Super Kawaii Mama blog 2008
Wickedly Chic blog 2008
Macaroni and Glue blog interview 2008
Gigalea blog 2008
Ollerina blog 2008
Heart Handmade "The Skinny on Notebooks" 2008
Mixed Palate blog "Friday Favorites" 2008
Life of a Busy Little Bee blog 2008
Faded Willow blog 2008
Ninja vs Penguin blog 2008
Bandelle blog "The Love Letter" 2008
Bugs and Fishes blog 2008
Scarlet Cat blog 2008 2008
Label of Hope blog "Crazy about Stationery"2009
Rikrak Studio blog "Greatest Hits" 2009
Babble(dot)com's Droolicious 2009
Knitty(dot)com's Summer Issue "Cool Stuff" 2009
The Expert Agree blog "Etsy Shmetsy, take me to your cuteness"
Green Eyed Monster blog "Etsy Monster Finds!"
I Love Handmade blog "Robot Parade by ouou" 2009
Knitty(dot)com's Fall issue "Cool Stuff" 2009

Day 11: Entering Oregon (last day!)

The above picture was the scene greeting us in the morning as we left our hotel for day 11, beautiful wisps of clouds circling the mountains. Unable to push through well into the night because of my still-worsening illness, we spent the night in Boise... a lovely city. I think in the state we were in, many a cross-country-er would have forgone the final lodging cost, plowed through eastern Oregon and arrived in Portland early in the morning. Really, Idaho is not a long drive. However, I am very, very, very grateful we didn't try that.

We entered the state of Oregon, the 17th and final state on this adventure, bright and early at 9 a.m. The first impression? So, this is why everyone keeps talking about how green it is here! Immediately there is green in the fields, green moss on the rocks, trees on the hills and mountains. Sadly, for this part of the trip I couldn't stay awake any longer, my cold had taken all my energy away. It is really unusual for me to fall asleep in cars unless I'm disparately ill... and then I was also on a lot of cold medication, too. Phil kept waking me up for the ever-changing landscape, which was a good thing to do.

Our first stop was Baker City, where we stretched at a rest area before realizing we were quite hungry. A little further, we found the city and ate at a truck stop. (Blueberry pancakes, not that great, but they would have been fantastic if I had gotten the buttermilk. And the coffee was just fine.) I really love Oregon's old iron neon signs, they are running rampant across this state!

Somewhere between Baker City and Arlington was another scenic lookout that we decided to veer slightly off course for. We learned that in 1961 the Oregon Scenic Areas Act was established, removing billboards and other distracting signs from Oregon's highways (they call them "freeways") and protecting scenic vistas such as the one we were drawn to. Oregon is big on providing a lot (I mean, a lot) of information (civic, historical, ecological, etc) to its citizens and visitors... this was becoming quite clear to us. As you can see, there were a lot of clouds that day: we were standing pretty much in the middle of them!

Then, they parted for just a moment and I got a breathtaking glimpse of the valley below:

So on it went; awake, asleep, awake, asleep on through I-84 running along the boarder of Oregon and Washington. And, on went the changing landscape, the clouds parting and regrouping, the mountains rising and falling away again...