Gratified Fridays: Nature's Beauty

It's been impossible not to be grateful for all of the gorgeous weather we have had lately!  The park down the street has finally gotten its little pond and stream filled.  It was so nice soaking our feet, and listening to the trickling water.  MyBoy sang as he put his hands in the water, thinking no one could really hear, but I could, and it was the sweetest sound.

This week, Matt and I resumed our house hunt, and as we drove out farther into the countryside, we saw clover fields, burgundy pink, rolling color across the land.  Beautiful.  I can't wait to find that perfect special place for us...I have so many plans...and I just can't wait to add remodeling, gardening, and interior decorating to the topics of this blog!

What are you grateful for lately?  Link a post about anything that made you happy this week!

I hope you will share in this link up, to spread gratitude, and ultimately happiness through this online world...Link back to me with my button or a link and be a follower of my blog, thanks!

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has." 
- Epictetus



Be Right Here

I naturally tend to live in the now, not really thinking too much about tomorrow, just today.  And I like to be that way.  But as I get older, I am finding more and more experiences (the not so nice ones) piled deeply within myself, drawing me away from the beautiful present and into the darker past.  I am easily distracted by this place, all the while holding desperately on to the beauty that is today.

So much so that my dreams haunt me; my subconscious lashing out in protest to the unsuccessful stifling and ignoring of what stays unresolved in my heart.  I guess that sometimes there is no closure, only questions.

I walked the puppy to the park today.  Every bee and blade of grass found her curious.  We settled into a nice spot, she lay down in the crook of my arm, and I closed my eyes.  The blue sky wrapped us up in its nowness, its clarity.

"You wander from room to room

Hunting for the diamond necklace

That is already around your neck!"



Beautiful Spring Storm

The most beautiful rainbow I have seen in a long time, beginning to end, and a double rainbow barely there as well!  The storm had been all hail and torrents of rain, it came suddenly and left just as quickly, leaving lake sized puddles in the streets.  The sun was setting, glaring orange and highlighting this rainbow against a stormy charcoal sky.  The colors were electric.

The kids ran outside, all smiles, jumping and pointing, wrapped up in the rainbow's magic.

I remember the first time I ever saw a rainbow.  My dad took me to look out over this wall which looked out over the city.  He kept pointing to the sky.  I could not see what he saw, I had never seen a rainbow before.  I didn't know what to look for.  Suddenly, there it was...this one a soft pale arch of colors.

Rainbows are little miracles.

Paint a rainbow inside of you, paint a rainbow, let your smile shine through. When it's cold and gray, push the clouds away, paint a rainbow in your heart.


Gratified Fridays: Link Up!

It's Friday again!  I like to use today to look back on my week and find things that I am grateful for.  And this week, I invite you to do the same, with a linky party!

Why gratitude?  You know what they say, that "gratitude is the best attitude", and it definitely breeds happiness.  Being able to look at your life with a dose of gratitude and positivity really helps put things into perspective, even when that grey cloud sneaks overhead.

But it isn't easy to remember to be grateful for the little things, so I like to make a practice of it every week here on my blog.  It also a helpful reminder to be grateful when, throughout the week, I find myself looking for things to put in Friday's post.  I've been doing it for quite a while, and I thought it might be nice to share the practice; to spread some positivity through the blogosphere.

Mini vacations with Matt are so special to me.  This week, we escaped to downtown Portland and had brunch at Mothers, best breakfast, ever!  We also managed to squeeze in a date night at our local McMenamins.  We dreamed about the future, buying a house, building me a backyard studio, gardening...and enjoyed some solid one on one.

And...Big News.....I made the dean's list again this semester with a 3.75 GPA.  I have to admit thought that I am more grateful to have it all over with than for the GPA, haha.

>>>Now it's your turn!

Link up with a positive post, something, anything that made you happy this week and share it here, there is never too much gratitude to go around!  Please be a follower of my blog or use my pretty button, thanks!



WOYWW: Airplanes Too

My shop has been a busy busy place as usual, but I was able to design a new pair of earrings.  Matt's favorite co-worker is retiring next month from her job with Matt as an Air Traffic Controller.  So of course, I made her some airplane earrings (she already has a pair of my mushrooms...so I knew she would just love it...and she did!).

Copper Studs:  Your Aeroplane, Airplanes

The earrings are adorable on, they can be flying towards each other, or away.  Too funny.

Happy WOYWW, to everyone!

Linking up with Julia for WOYWW.


I Heart Instagram, Don't You?

I love editing photos, it is creative, relaxing, and I can do it anywhere on my Iphone!

*totally addicted*

You can find me on Instagram here:

Are you addicted to photo editing and Instagram?


Gratified Fridays: Time For Simple Things

Still LOVING being done with school!  So much time for these things:

>>>Mother's Day Breakfast in Bed (organic waffles, fresh berries, fair trade coffee, turkey bacon)
>>>Relaxing Kiddie Pool Side with Pups and Kids
>>>Day's End Sunsets and Grilling
>>>Making Myself jewelry

If this keeps up, I might start reading a novel, just because I can (there are a few on my nightstand just begging for attention).

Happy Friday everyone!



It has been so nice lately to be spending so much time outdoors.  I love spending thoughtful moments with MyBoy, he knows how to quietly appreciate things.

We didn't feed those adorable ducks, even though we wanted to.  They are supposed to be "wild".

I am trying to keep my kids naturally "wild" too, by not feeding them junk either.  But unfortunately, they keep coming home from school, with stories of the unsavory things they hear from some of the kids around them.

Those are the kids that get fed junk from mainstream media, the kids who sing songs with sexual innuendos, the kids who swear like sailors, the kids who laugh when they talk about rape and killing.

Those kids are victims to social media, and not parented well enough to know not to repeat the junk that they are exposed to.

You know what I'm talking about; the violent video games and cartoons, the radio songs singing blatantly about sex, the nude and emaciated models gracing covers in the checkout line at the grocery store...

It is really hard to escape the mainstream cultural dump of ideas that flows so easily around our world.  I wish I could follow my kids around with earmuffs for every time something inappropriate is thrown around in front of them like it's no big thing.   As my kids grow older, I find it harder and harder to keep them from noticing how disgusting our culture can be.

I can only hope that with every disapproving look and reaction I see coming from my kids, that I have helped teach them to stay naturally beautiful...that they won't be tempted to take on false identities, and say awful things, just because everyone else acts like that.

“Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture.”

-Allen Ginsberg

I will continue to censor the world around me, the best I know how, working towards creating a culture for my kids that is better.


Nature's Retreat

It was off to the wild for a day of warm sun and nothing to do but listen to the river rush along.  Spring ferns were uncurling, all of the new plant growth was lime green in the sunshine.  Electric.

Between dipping feet in the river water, there was time to read, paint, and close my eyes.  I taught MyBoy how to play Rummy, and MyGirl reminded me how to play GoFish with a regular card deck.  I got caught up on a jewelry design I'm working on for a friend.

Mostly I regrouped from a long three months of being way too busy.  I thought about the end of that, and the way I want to appreciate the more manageable months ahead.

A pair of hawks circled around in the blue patch of sky above our little day camp.  Triumphant screeching echoed through the river valley.  As I lay there in the sun, content to feel the earth beneath me, the sky open above me, I felt a bit of that freedom in my bones.


Everyone's Happy

No more.  Nope.  Not doing the homework gig any longer!!  And, I admit to getting over a 3.0....so I deserve a big smile.  See...I'm smiling.

But you know, it isn't an achievement that makes someone happy.

It is being able to go into something knowing you will do your best and that your best will be good enough.

Happiness is having faith in yourself.

I wanted to give up half way through this semester.  My shop doubled, maybe tripled its popularity at the beginning of the semester...and there was always the parenting and volunteering, and house cleaning....and I was just so fed up!  And exhausted!

But I kept on.  And I knew I could do it, if I just DID it.

And, kind of like Christmas...the end finally came and it's over (only there isn't that weird After-Christmas let down).

It is time to get back to the stuff that I want to do, like designing jewelry, being an attentive mom ALL of the time, teaching the puppy to heal, and whatever else I feel like doing.

Today I played Mario with my kids, watched some Sci-fi, and made lemon pepper cod fillets for dinner.  I also did the dishes.  And we walked to the park for some sun time.

That all seemed way more achievable without homework deadlines looming in the background.

Anyway, I feel like I am BACK from some nightmare hiatus called "college".

Hello.  It is nice to be here.


WOYWW: Mother's Day Madness

Since we last chatted on a Wednesday, I have made about 60 rings to fill orders for Mother's Day...and did you know this week was also finals week?  I have written too many words to count, writing papers for classes and last minute assignments.  (Only one paper left!!!...and no more school!)

So I have been a busy girl.

I was really surprised by the demand for jewelry over this holiday, but I learned my lesson!  Next year, I will be ready!

It was really sweet how much people wanted to show love for the mamas in their lives, and I was happy to play a little part in that. 

I also got a chance to reshoot some of my jewelry designs with the jewelry from the new orders, and especially like these three shots:

Polka Dots & Hearts: A collage of Seven Stacking Bands
Declaration Stacking Bands

The Substantial Band in Sterling Silver: Hand Stamped, Your Choice

Happy WOYWW, all!

Go visit Julia if you want to play "what's on your workdesk wednesday"...at the Stamping Ground.


Date Nights at McMenamins

Somehow, we have managed to sneak in a couple of date nights over the last few weeks.  McMenamins must be our favorite place to hang out because we keep finding ourselves there!  I think it must be all of the variety that keeps me interested.

There are at least three different locations I know of within easy reach.  They brew their own beers and spirits.  Their menus change all the time.  And there is pool to play and live music to listen to.  I always find myself staring at some weird mural, or painting, or mosaic masterpiece...there is art everywhere you look!

I am ready for another date night already (hint hint, Matt...if you're reading this).


Gratified Fridays: Working Girl

It has officially been a year since I opened my Etsy shop, Tarnished & True, and things have only grown more and more steady.

So... happy birthday to my shop, and the fruition of an idea, and a little homegrown business that is all my own.

And Thank You------>

A big thanks to all of my wonderful customers for showing me that my jewelry is beautiful enough to buy.

All of my readers, thank you for the encouragement and feedback on my work, that has been priceless.

Thanks you especially to Matt for all of those beautiful little wooden crates you have made (over 200) that make my shop super special.

And to the kids, thanks for giving up your mom to her work bench even when you want so badly to play Nintendo with her, or watch bad sci-fi TV shows.

Love to you all.


Now I am back to the workbench to kick out all of those Mother's Day orders that are keeping me from doing my homework. :)


WOYWW: Looking Forward

What's on your work desk this Wednesday?  I hope there is a ton of creativity going on in your world, because, I swear it makes at least my world go 'round!

I am looking forward reallllly hard to the end of the semester (only ONE week away, thank you!) so that I have time to work with all of those pretty beads you see there, and the newest addition still in little bags.

With schoolwork always looming, I have had no time to do anything besides fill orders for designs already in my shop, so I am so excited to find the time again for aimless exploring in the shop and new work!

I have about a million ideas that have just been sitting around in my head while instead of working them out, I have been writing papers about Dante, Dali and Religion.  Oh My.  I also wrote a paper about raising urban chickens.  And this week, I will be writing a paper about Michelangelo, another about a play, and finishing up a non-fiction writing portfolio.

I also have another gazillion blog ideas just waiting for me to find the time....oh, and I need to plan a vacation.

Basically, the light at the end of the tunnel has shown itself, and is staring me in the face..and if I can just complete the last few tasks...there will be a LOT more time for the things I love.

And.  I.  Cannot.  Wait.

Happy WOYWW, all.  Go say hi to Julia for hosting.