Saturday, August 30, 2008

Crazy Beautiful on Mt. Hood

Tim and I took a hike up on Mt Hood this last week. It was most beautiful, truely incredible: fields of rock and small glaciers, meadows of blooming high altitude flowers.

This is Timberline Lodge pictured above (the view from above the lodge) which previously I had only visited in the wintertime to go snowboarding. Timberline is an awesome snow park location and the lodge is a masterpiece of old massive timberframes, big fireplaces and panoramic views out the many windows. It was built back in the 1930s as a WPA project during the Great Depression, fell into disrepair as a government owned building, and then was bought and restored by the Kohnstamm family. Today it is a beautiful tourist attraction and my delight as a local Portlander. Its only about a 45minute drive from home and an absolute pleasure all year round! Although previously I had only seen Timberline under over a dozen feet of snow!

sidenote: Timberline Lodge was used in the movie The Shining for the outside view of the hotel in the opening scene

Alright, enough about the lodge and the fact that its summertime so most of the snow is melted.

There are many trails that lead up and around the area- we hiked a section of the Pacific Coast Trail that passed thru to the Zig Zag Valley. Only about 4miles round trip and some of the most awesome views I've ever seen from Mt. Hood. It was really amazingly beautiful. I took many many pictures, posted some of the on flickr.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Custom Mobile

There are more pictures on my Flickr site... the beautiful Red Breasted Hummingbird was a special request - I love how it turned out. Evidently it was quite quite the eye-catcher at the studio this week!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Chakra Circles in my Etsy shop!!

Okay, the small size is there... I still have to take pictures of the large size. :)

And I have a great new description of the Chakras (thank you Aimee! You rock!) that will now be included with the purchase of this design of mobile! Yeah for that! Heres a condensed version to give you a taste of goodness:

The Chakras - Short Version

Chakras are the energy centers of the body. Imagine them as whirling wheels of light and color -- each charka relates to different emotions and systems in the body. They have no physical structure and can shift around the body, but are most often visualized running down the midline of the body.

There are seven primary chakras:

  • The root chakra -- muladhara -- is represented by the color red. This chakra is located at the base of the spine or the groin. It governs the sense of the body and our connections with the family we were born to and/or raised in.
  • The sacral chakra -- swadhisthana -- is represented by the color orange. This is the sexual and creative center.
  • The navel chakra -- manipura -- is represented by the color yellow. This chakra governs digestion, both of food and of life experiences.
  • The heart chakra -- anahata -- is represented by the color green. This is where the physical and spiritual halves of the self meet. It is also where strong emotions (like love and hate) reside.
  • The throat chakra -- vishuddha -- is represented by the color blue. This is the chakra of communication, both spoken and unspoken.
  • The third eye or brow chakra -- aina or anja -- is represented by the color indigo. Located on the forehead, this chakra governs vision, insight, and intuition.
  • The crown chakra -- sahasrara -- is represented by the color white. It is located at the top of the head. This energy center connects us to a higher power.

Cute Banner!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Amazing Pictures

I went out to pick peaches on Sauvie's Island on Thursday with my friend Poe. The rain stopped, the sun came out, the fruit were plentiful (and gorgeous!) and

little bitty froggies were jumping around everywhere!

Affraid of stepping on them, I walked carefully and took lots of pictures. This little guy was honestly just hanging out in a beautiful fusia pink dalia.

The local variety of Dalias are in full bloom. Everything from pink pom-poms to black spikey florals. Both the frogs and the bumble-bees were hanging out in the dalias. They have good taste.

The peaches are ever so yummy and the blackberries were all-out-insane.

Last week we had a few relentless days of extreme heat (sorta late summer heat wave for Portland) and this week it was cold and raining, so the fruit seemed to be drinking up all the water and happy as could be. I was very impressed. Now I have to make pie.

So far we've made some more peach salsa. Oh my its good!


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Portland Independent Artisans Cooperative

I am so proud to be part of the Portland Independent Artisans Cooperative. So exciting. I do believe this is the very first Etsy street team to go legal. We are a full on co-operative, able to open a bank account and whatnot that is so necessary in this world of group advertisement campaigns and the funds that are necessary to integrative marketing tools.

Anyhow - check out the PDXIndie site
find out more information about what is going on locally, who is working in the crafty scene here in Portland Or., whats going on with the local street team. etc...

Its a great site - I tip my hat to the ladies behind this powerful site. I like it. I like it a lot. I gladly paid my due and look forward to the sheer potential of this team.

thanx ladies for all the hard work!


Monday, August 18, 2008


My website is back up! And my email works again :)

Apologies to anyone who tried to email unsuccessfully... my bad entirely.

I woke up this morning and realized I was down. Completely, no email, no website ( sheesh. Dotster has been emailing me for months telling me my domain name was going to expire, I knew it was coming, but I am in transition to goDaddy, and between sheer procrastination and ineptitude, topped with a strong resistance to picking up the phone (even if it means solving my problems) my website expired, which shut down my email as well. Oh how I roll my eyes at myself. Here I am still paying for hosting, and I already paid for a website domain name transfer, but yet my sh*t is down and I felt so stupid. One phone call this morning got it all worked out, no problem. Good customer support over there at GoDaddy. I must say - top notch.

A little back info on the story: I manage and create my website myself. Oh I don't necessarily do a goood job, but the fact remains, up to date I have always done it myself. And I am now in a period of transition... got a little awkward there for a couple of days evidently. I am sweet-talking my brother to possibly take over the website design work - won't that be sweet! But for now - I am just happy to be getting emails again and having a website that works.

heres a picture of me and my big brother back in 1983 in Cleveland Ohio.

It makes me laugh that back in the day, in the early 90's I was a little kid computer dork. I went to a computer camp in the summer. Me and my friend Cristina were the only girls in the whole camp. One year we were counselors. My brother and father would make computers in the basement and I was logged online thru the local college in Cleveland back when internet connections were established by putting the phone on rubber cups. I really used to consider myself pretty knowledgeable with computers, not anything amazing, but somewhat impressive background. Well its been decades now and I move like a turtle in a world where the progression of computer and internet technology improvement has evolved like a rabbit. So now I am soooo ignorant and incompetent with computers and web design. But I make do. I know how to use Dreamweaver to some extent. I can read the html to some extent... but for years I have been using very simple software from Yahoo that has enabled me to create my own website extremely simply. I definitely recommend Yahoo for anyone that doesn't know how to make their own website, but wants to do it themselves. Its so easy, its great for kids too. Gives you lots of statistics and bar graphs and whatnot. I like that. I am switching to GoDaddy though, I am stepping up to the challenge, with my big brother's help :)

just a little hic-cup. woops. my bad. hopefully no one noticed :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Favorite things to do

Picking Peaches

Ever since I was a little girl my favorite fruit has been peaches. Perfect summer peaches. Not some out-of-season crunchy whatnot... I'm talking about the insanely sweet juicey fuzzy peaches.

Okay - so there are many peach orchards out on Sauvie's Island here in Oregon, very close to Portland. Yesturday we went and picked some. They were amazing. And pretty cheap - works out to about $1 per peach, which are more like $3each at the farmers markets in town.

As big as softballs, and you cannot eat them without bending over because of all the juice that goes dribbling down your chin. I love it. And it smelled so good in the orchard, so good.

The trees were full of ripe fruit, the ground was littered with them and bugs were having an orgy of sweet delicious feasting... I tried to take a video to capture what it felt like. I swear the peaches were singing to me "pick me! pick me!"

Monday, August 11, 2008

organics to me aug 11th

My Organics to You delivery just arrived and there is so much goodness: lettuce, chard, carrots, cantelope, plums(2), nectarines(2), a peach, roma tomatoes(2), green beans, walla walla onion, and an eggplant

delivered to my door today - yippee!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Mile of Mobiles

I used to always buy my galvanized steel wire in small rolls, avoiding the big bulk quantities simply because they are so friggin' heavy. Never wanted to pick up that weighty roll of wire and carry it around... so I bought these small rolls, sometimes multiple times a week. Finally one day maybe a year or two ago I decided to take the plunge and buy the big amount of at least one gauge wire that I use. The spool is pretty large (as well as heavy) and claims to be 1/4mile long.

The spools get lighter as I use them, easier to pick up and move around :)

Now I am finishing the second 1/4mile spool and reminiscing... I make a lot of mobiles. Over a mile of mobiles have been made by me... at least! I really do fly thru a lot of wire. I find that funny and a little bit amazing!I consider myself a glass artist - but I am a wire artist as well I suppose. I keep it pretty simply though. Simple: wire, pliers, wire cutters.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Amateur Photography

Last week at Etsy Tea Time I hosted a sort of photo help session. Autumn of Autumn Comfort Candles on Etsy (incredible candle maker!) was so kind as to offer her home for Tea Time! Thanks Autumn!

Etsy shops definitely do better with constantly improving photography... or at least thats what I have found! So this was a great chance for a bunch of us to get together and share some photo knowledge.

It was mid-afternoon on a Thursday during the summer, so there were many cute mini people running around being crazy. In fact, there may have been more little boys under the age of 5 then there were adult women at the house at one point!

Okay, photo pointers that were shared:

the awesome and very do-able ghetto light box. gotta luv it.

Take a box, cut out the sides, attach tissue paper. Oh and take a piece of poster board (white - or colored/neutral toned textured papers make great backgrounds) cut a long piece that is as wide as the box and way long. Attach the short end to inside of the box, at the top back corner so that it will be the back as well as the bottom with no crease (this provides the infinite background)

Autumn had one hanging out on top of her fridge (great storage spot!)

Also very useful: a tripod. Gotta get one. They are great. Keeps the camera steady so you can take macro shots with good focus.

Another hint shared: use the timer, that way the touch of your hand will not shake the camera

Get the tripod down low and level with the item you are focusing on, but stay at least a foot away, if not more. Use your macro setting if you get this close.

You can take the lightbox and tripod outside for great shots, but indoors use lights. Lots of them. 3 is great (one from each side and one from the top - or one from the back for a neat look).

One option is to use inexpensive metal hoods from the hardware store. These "PhotoFlood" bulbs (available at Sunlan in N. Portland) are amazing for glass, and great in general for amateur photography, they help keep the colors true to the eye.

For hanging a light above you can use a medium size paper ball light fixture (available at Ikea for real cheap)

Personally I plug all my lights into one lightstrip, that way I only have to have all the bright lights on when I am actually shooting pictures. When I am arranging and whatnot I leave the lights off (this also helps with the short life-span of these uber-bright lights)

Here is a picture of my closet photo setup. With all the lights on its very bright. But really versatile... I love using a closet, this way I can leave it all set up and simply close the doors and the mess goes away!

AND THEN we did a little chit chatting about Photoshop. For all those who use Adobe, and perhaps don't really know how, here are a couple of need to know kinda things:

with a picture open
-for a white background:
go to IMAGE and select Adjustments and LEVELS or CONTROL L
click on the little eye dropper in the far bottom right corner of the LEVELS box, if you hold your cursor there it should say "White"

Now click anywhere on your image, preferably where you would like the whitest of the white background to be - and poof - white background


Friday, August 1, 2008

Bagby Hotsprings II

My very first blog entry was about Bagby Hotsprings. This week Tim and I went out there, its such a beautiful hike, an amazing place - truly a retreat for the soul.

Its been almost a year now that I've been blogging here in the Garden of Leah, so I thought it timely to bring it back to Bagby. Inspiration and relaxation.

I've been spreading myself thin and working a lot lately, so a little treat was what I needed. Tuesday adventures are a habit in my little life, so this Tuesday it was out to Bagby... next Tuesday, who knows? I am itching to go pick some peaches!

I think its imperative in any happy life to take a little time off regularly. For most normal people that is the weekend, or never... for me, its Tuesdays.