Thursday, December 31, 2015


what Christmas is all about:)

just when I was ready to hibernate and settle in for a long winter's nap, here I am back to feeling like myself again. for THREE weeks, almost all of December, I have been sick and miserable starting with my first experience of migraines leading to a terrible cold and a major pity party (there was a band and everything).

Christmas still managed feel like the holidays and it was great: lots of amazing food, relaxing, family, fireplace crackling, snow! (only for 15 minutes but it was there), eggnog, classic movies and Nat King Cole. I’m also looking forward to what's next: 2016. I really love beginnings. between the coming new year, and getting over my head exploding and the death-cold I really feel a newness coming that I quite like. It’s like a snake shedding its skin, and I feel I'm ready to do so many things or to do things differently and whether I do or not, that doesn’t matter. I don’t let it turn into let-downs; the newness is just too good to let it turn into that.

Friday, December 11, 2015

hiking boots & pinot

wine & shoe shopping!
last night Jake & I went to REI to do some hands-on (or feets-on) reconnaissance for hiking boots. lo and behold we arrived and it was the REI Member Christmas Party! we had no idea and it was the greatest accident ever.

s'mores bar! I made a nutella version
 great music, games, wine, beer, popcorn bar, make your own s'mores bar, oysters freshly shucked, interactive prizes, a snow simulator, bon fires, oh my!

Caleb & Walter quintet

Patagonia featured Talyor Shellfish

popcorn bar!

we did manage to still get some "work" done testing boots (Jake's wearing the 5 10 tennie approach shoe & I'm sporting the Asolo Tacoma hiker). neither of us committed because we still want to test a few more products. I will say that I'm strongly leaning to purchasing the Vasque Talus.

snow simulator fun

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

this week in coffee

Caffe Umbria

back in historic Pioneer Square again this week, and finding another great spot to get my medication (coffee). Cafe Umbria sits in a stunning space; it has all those lovely European details that take me back to cafes of my mom's hometown in Italy.

I definitely plan on returning to sample more of their diverse menu with gelato, wine, pastries, sandwiches and of course, a gorgeous delicious latte.

documenting moments

east coast, west coast, southern US, northern US, to Africa to Australia. some really great things happening on Instagram lately.

Monday, December 7, 2015

cut & paste

textures don't quite show up digitally, but this piece was fun to make. I tried doing a photo image transfer in the lower corner than didn't quite show up. but now I like that there's a faint, almost distant, rubbing of building windows. 

this one's for my mum's birthday. how cute is she & her cousin? wish I could hang out with those two in Italy in the 60s.

Friday, December 4, 2015

my jealous curator

The Jealous Curator is one of my favorite blogs ever - what an amazing idea (why didn't I think of it). for any type of creator, it's so true to see something and think "why didn't I think of that?!"
in my case this week, I've selected two artists.

the first I actually saw on Pinterest but was in fact posted via Jealous Curator: Shawn Huckins. his paintings are amazing. I've been collecting paint chip samples for decades, using them in collages or saving them because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with them. I just love color families.
Shawn Huckins

secondly, these portraits from Erika Altosaar. such lovely, lovely lines.

hair portraits by Erika Altosaar via Wolf Eyebrows

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

this week in coffee

Elm Coffee Roasters

you know it was a good crema when it's still there after you've finished.

I visited Elm Coffee Roasters in Pioneer Square with Sera yesterday. this spot has a damn fine cup of coffee, a beautiful atmosphere and very friendly staff (all three exceedingly important in my eyes).

She Explores

Giant Sequoia National Park
after almost one year, I am still unabashedly thrilled to be a part of the She Explores tribe of women. Gale Straub, founder, has created a remarkable community for women who love the outdoors. the photography and stories are gorgeous.

two weeks ago She Explores opened the doors to the Artistry Shop where you now can purchase work from these talented women right from the site. so go check them out and get the Christmas shopping (camp)fires ignited!

me at the Washington Tree

Monday, November 30, 2015

black & white

>>broke out the nibs tonight<<

Sunday, November 29, 2015


buying this for my father in law but wanting to add 2 to cart

listening to Ziggy Stardust on repeat

planning an art challenge for December (maybe January)

making the gingerbread popcorn recipe from Treasures & Travels

Saturday, November 28, 2015

small business Saturday

Fisherman's Terminal

today I went to Constellation & Co. located at Fisherman's Terminal to pick up my first Christmas gifts of the season. this shop has gorgeous hand-made cards and prints made by the owner. they also collaborate with local artists providing unique jewelry and gifts that are all gems.

another small business I supported today is Edgevale, an outdoor apparel company from California. all of their products are stellar, not to mention designed and made in Cali. I may have ordered the Campfire pants for myself.

Friday, November 27, 2015

water, water everywhere

so many great books adding up on my reading list. here's a 'lil sampling I'd like to get...after I'm done Christmas shopping, of course.

Thursday, November 26, 2015


Huckleberry Basin at Mount Rainier

thankful for my sweeny, my partner and best friend Jake. this week marks our 18th year together and we love each other more each day.

>>Happy Thanksgiving<<

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

cut & paste

>>a walk in the woods before I get my pecan pie game on for tomorrow<<

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

closet space is overrated

...unless you want to fill it. that's right, I said it. I'm going to take this moment now to warn you that this is not a "minimalism" or "organize your closet" post. it's quite the opposite actually.
an ode to the full, beautifully messy closet.

don't get me wrong; sure, we all have things in our closet that probably should not be in there (Chucks with holes in both heels, high school soccer jacket, bridesmaid dresses). I will also admit that cleaning out your closet is a somewhat liberating process, and that the end result can in fact feel pretty great. but there are also those other moments, like when you realize that a certain new plaid jacket would look great with my old red jeans I no longer have and are living somewhere in Buffalo Exchange or (gasp!) someone else's messy closet. giving away items that I can't get back kills me. so, to all you shoe and clothes hoarders out there, this one's for you. after all, it is a collection.

I never know what to wear - via Catherine of Wolf Eyebrows

Waiste Blog
pattern greatness via Sara Waiste

my closet contribution shortly after picking up this vintage mushroom gem from Beats & Bohos
Eclectic-vintage-shop feel closet, swoon

Dylana Suarez's closet is multiplying! I love that it literally has grown outside of the original closet.
Dylana Suarez's closet is multiplying! I love that it literally is growing out from the original closet.

Monday, November 23, 2015


I was going to write my first whiny post. instead, here's a photo of the hottest day of my life: Death Valley.

Zabriskie Point in August

Sunday, November 22, 2015

sidewalk art

I've always thought Campmor magazine was the J Peterman of the outdoors. also, packing tape image transfers are fun!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Birch Box

signing up for a monthly Birch Box has been the best ten bucks I've spent in a while. it's a lot like getting a Christmas stocking every month filled with fun little pampering treasures. except it's in a well-decorated box that's perfect for holding your stuff.

the summer months' boxes packed more punch for me with lotions for sun-kissed skin and dry shampoos. my November box was a mixed bag for me. the gamble is also part of the fun - not knowing what you're going to get and the bonus of getting products you never knew you needed or loved.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday's got me like

Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
Martha Reeves & The Vandellas

Thursday, November 19, 2015

the enemy of art is the absence of limitations - Orson Welles

Pinewoods Campground, Kettle Moraine SF, WI photo credit: Jake Fritzler

NaBloPoMo stands for National Blog Post Month involving a blog post a day for one month. on day seven I began to realize that starting a blog for the very first time via 30 consecutive posts feels a bit like jumping right into the deep end without swimmies.

luckily I can swim. I had always wanted to try blogging, yet I'm doing it without much planning and lotsa short deadlines. but I love goal-oriented challenges, love 'em, and this one was my way of making myself stop being fickle and face the dragon. just do it, don't think. thinking will come later. this is okay for me because, well, I'm an overthinker.

so please bear with my tinkering and occasional awkward content flow. oh, and bad jokes, sorry those are here to stay. nothing I can do about that, it's hereditary.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Raw. Vegan. (definitely) Not Gross. ice cream sandwiches

ginger cookie & chai ice cream sammies!

this dessert was absolutely delicious, and I actually can't wait to make them again. for the chai tea I used Tazo Vanilla Caramel Chai, other than that no ingredient changes were made. I did use the oven as I don't own a dehydrator (yet) and the results were perfect. I also like that it's really a fairly low maintenance recipe to whip up, given you have a food processor.

now if you haven't already, go check out Laura Miller. I'm a huuuge fan of hers - I love her photo shoots, her show Raw. Vegan. Not Gross. (even though I'm only an occasional vegan) and looking forward to seeing what's in store for her new show With Laura Miller on Tastemade.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

small scale

going through my journals recently I noticed that a few of my favorites were always small, particularly two moleskines and this journal - one of my all-time favorites that I picked up at Fischberger's Variety in Milwaukee a couple years ago. sidenote: that store is my playground.

anyhoo, that left me wondering: is that because I'm limited to small pages that I fill them better? was it just timing and those were some of my favorite time periods? (nope!) is it just the journals themselves? (maybe. I do love this small 'lil fatty!)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

slices on slices

the #weeklyfoodphoto challenge theme for this week is "slice" (verb or noun). so many great places you could go with that. I took it to sandwich town featuring the classic grilled cheese: Grand Central Bakery Como sliced bread and Colby Jack cheese. nom.
food photography challenge hosted by @paolacthomas

Saturday, November 14, 2015

                                                                  >>for Paris<<

Friday, November 13, 2015

cauliflower shoefie

Trona Pinnacles

that surface just looks like cauliflower to me. anyways, we're having multiple systems of torrential downpours, flooding and wind gusts here in the Pacific Northwest. so here's a photo of me standing on tufa in the sunny, hot desert from last month.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

sidewalk art

>>building some art making habits this week<<

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


last weekend Jake, my dad and I attended Kenmore Camera's Digital Photo Expo. Jillian Bell from Tamron gave a lecture on macros and it really rekindled my love for getting up close.

at a young age my dad taught me shooting on his Minolta with the 50mm and 100mm lenses, and a macro photography phase quickly ensued. fast forward back to present day, I'm surrounded by tons of big-skyed landscapes on Jake's and my hiking trips and macro shooting went by the wayside for broader views. having said that, I'm ready and excited to delve into macros and look a little closer again.

you get close enough to something and the distractions go away - Jillian Bell