Thursday, April 21, 2011

For my creative block....

I've been in the midst of a creative slump lately, but got a few pieces of advice lately that have helped:

1. "'Do a little bit everyday or whenever you can'. Then you can look back and see how those little bits add up to a lot." Thanks, J-Bo (and Ryan)!
2. Get the projects you are putting off DONE! That way you can actually look forward to creative stuff you WANT to do. This advise is going to be used tonight!

Thank you!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Creative Slump

Lately, I've been in a little bit of a creative slump....

I have lots of projects I would like to be doing, but by the time I get home from work, I am lacking the energy and motivation to do them. The great thing is: my job keeps me thinking, and on my toes. The bad thing is: I have creative things at home I want to do too! The past few weeks though, I am worn out by the time I get home, and eat dinner.

I know I have a lot of creative friends reading this. How do you stay motivated? I have some really cute fabric (aptly named Hope Valley), and a great pattern for a tunic that I really want to sew!* Also, the business cards (and brochure) I was commissioned to design unfortunately won't design themselves.

The funny thing is this: as I write, I keep remembering very recent projects I've done that I haven't posted yet.

STILL, please let me know what you do to keep your motivation up, after a long day of _________ing! Thank you!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

7 Things I LOVE About Our Portland Neighborhood

Here are 7 MORE things I love about our new neighborhood (and the list could go on and on....):

1. The house (with its many flowering trees) two blocks away
2. This sweet (and slightly fancy-pants) grey house (with lime green trim!) in Alameda

3. The many daffodils in bloom, that make the sidewalks so warm and sunny!

4. The "Old Portland" style Bungalows and Four-Squares that are EVERYWHERE

5. Well, this house has a little windmill and aqua watering pots on the porch. I don't need any more reasons, do I?

6. This simple red house with the striking blue chairs and door, around the corner. This house isn't all that "Portland" though!

7. This cute little bungalow that is directly across the street from our house. The people seem nice too! Now that spring is finally here, we will probably meet them on the way to get groceries!

Be honest now: is it obvious that living here is making me a little itchy to buy a house? We go on very long walks, and it is ridiculous how CHARMING some of these houses and gardens are! I have to be patient though - now is not the time for us. You need money to buy, right?

Monday, March 28, 2011

New (Pink!) Little Monster

The world is home to one more little monster, this one hott pink cashmere!

She now has a new home with a very sweet one-year old, named Sage. Sebastien and I went to Bremerton (Washington) with his parents this past weekend to celebrate Sage's big day with Sebastien's sister Vanessa, her husband Dennis, and their wonderful son. It was such a fun weekend, and I hope this cute monster can bring even more fun to Sage in her NEXT year!

Vanessa threw a wonderful party, with lots of kids and treats and flowers (it was a garden party theme).

It was awesome to go and meet so many new people, and be able to hang out with family for the weekend. I especially loved watching Sage and "Brother" (this sweet little boy's name for the time being) flirt with one another too!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood....We're the People that You Meet Each Day

I am excited for spring weather to come! We have seen glimpses of the sun, but winter here means rain, and don't get out of the house nearly as much as I would like (although the wet weather is such a nice opportunity to stay indoors and work on projects).

I am REALLY excited to start taking advantage of our neighborhood this spring, because it is fabulous. We have a great, design-y sewing shop a few streets over (with a fun yarn store next to it), and a couple little row of fun restaurants and bars in every direction.

Two blocks away is a hip little area with an Irish bar, a low-key beer bar, two coffee shops*, a garden store, a New Orleans-style restaurant, and a sweet wine shop (Gem Wine Cellar). A block up from that is Whole Foods.

I am really excited to be in such a hip little hood, and be able to be car-less for a little bit longer (we will likely have to get one, if Sebastien gets a job in wine country).

*If we want coffee in our neighborhood , we head the other direction to Extracto. It is delicious and super cute.

Re-Gifting Made Nice (8 Reusable Gift Bags)

I started with an idea from a friend. Then I moved onto this sketch:
From there, it was just pretty fabric, and some sewing. The bags virtually made themselves!**

These are the first three I made. I really love how they turned out.

These five are a different pattern. I don't think the bags are as elegant as the ones in the first few pictures. The sewing did go much faster, and I was happy to get through all these bags in a relatively short amount of time!

Another friend asked for a rush job on Christmas Eve Eve, making 10 wine bags (from the green, orange and red polka dot fabric above) for their annual Christmas party. It was a challenge to fit it in (and get all my own presents finished in time), but it was worth it. Everyone apparently love their bags!

What did you use to wrap your presents this year? (Check out this lady's awesome little touches to her gifts - maybe next year....)

I guess in the same way that the cobbler's kids had no shoes, the reusable giftbag maker's Christmas presents were wrapped in paper this year. Next year, hopefully I can do projects for myself, too!

**This is not true. While it is a pretty simple project, unfortunately the bags DID NOT make themselves.

Friday, March 11, 2011

December Calling - Shall I Put You Through?

As many of you know, our December was a tad bit difficult, so as the saying goes, Sebastien and I made lemon curd from the lemons (isn't that it?).

Short story long - after moving back to Portland in the beginning of November, I miraculously got a job with a great office within a month. That is very good. Then my job got a little sidetracked (distant past - I LOVE my office now!). Basically though, for December we landed in a new apartment, with lots of time and very little money. We started S'ope's Creations, and were off to the races! It turned out to be a GREAT time to start a little side business, and it kept us very happy, healthy (we would have gone a little crazy, me thinks!), and slightly more flush. Here is one of the fun projects we worked on in December (this particular project was making 17 bags of granola and 2 jars of lemon curd for a friend to give to family and work clients):

counting up each type of granola and lemon curd

We had a choice of Apricot-Ginger Pecan, Blueberry Almond, or Cranberry Walnut Granolas.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Back on the Horse

I haven't posted in a while; I think I've needed a break. I HAVE, however, been very productive. I am going to post some of my recent project photos (and some photos of our home), while I get back into this "blogging thing."

Tomorrow; tomorrow I shall post pictures. Tonight I worked on some sewing, and some RELAXING.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Hills are Alive.... With the Sound of BAAA-ing

In the hills above St. Jean, Pier du Port.... Almost two months ago now! This was our first day of hiking the Camino. Needless to say, the mountains weren't a breeze, but I was thankful to be surrounded by such beauty.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

In Portland

I haven't written for a while. This is partly due to my attempts to find a job (ahem), and partly due to my embarrassment that I STILL don't have all the photos loaded onto my blog, from the Camino de Santiago!

Things are going really well for us. We got here a little under a month ago, and although we don't have jobs, per se, we DO have really wonderful new contacts, and we are constantly in awe of how much support we have in family and friends!

We are staying temporarily in a lovely house in NE Portland. It is a place we found (I would definitely recommend the service), and we stayed here first for our one-year anniversary, in July. These photos were taken then.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 30 - SANTIAGO!

We finished a day earlier than expected, and just in time! I am tired!

I feel SO lucky to be able to do this trip, physically, mentally, and (ahem) financially, and I am so very happy to have such a good sense of accomplishment.

800km! That is a lot, if I do say so myself!

We are saying goodbye to new friends, as we all go our seperate ways.
Tomorrow Sebastien and I head off to Granada, and then to Nerja, on the Costa del Sol. We are going to have some time to NOT walk 27km per day!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day 24: the Dogs Are Barking

Well, this is not going to be our biggest climb yet, but it will be close. Today, we are hiking from Villafranca del Bierzo up to O Cebreiro, a 30.1km hike with an ascent of 1,200 meters. I am a bit nervous. Thankfully, at the top, there should be some amazing views, and some interesting buildings.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Day 20: More Gaudi

Today we will hike into Astorga, in a region known as the Maragateria. Sebastien and I are both excited to see a little more Antoni Gaudi while we are there. Pictures to come.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Day 18: Hopping a Bus?

From the sound of things in our guidebook, today’s route is not as pleasant as others. Today we are walking from Mansilla to Leon, 18.6km (11.6 mi), and much of it is along busy routes. S├Ębastien and I are considering taking a bus from the outskirts into town. Would you consider this cheating a little?