Where the Water Falls

After several weeks of hard work with my day job, I needed to take a few days off to disconnect from the everyday and get some extra adventuring in.   I took to the Columbia River Gorge with my favorite companion and her2 year old (also my favorite) for a day of hiking.

We decided on Wahkeena Falls to get our PNW fix, knowing that half the vertical hike was paved.  This made it “easier” with a little one strapped to my dear friend’s back.  With several switchbacks and several goldfish crackers, we made it to Fairy Falls.  The water was pristine and the moss and ferns were the most beautiful shades of green.  All I could say the entire way up was, “This place is magic- and we live here”.   What could have been made into a large loop hike, we made our finale the falls and made our way back down the trail, since hiking with a little one can be tricky. A quick zip to the Eastwind Drive In for a bite and HUGE ice cream cones for all and we were feeling like the day was the perfect amount of adventure and friendship.

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Remembering Boston (Without Snow)

I write this as many dear friends are on their millionth hour of deep snow, wretched freezing temperatures, and cabin fever.  The PNW has been rocking this winter- mild, warm and SO MUCH SUNSHINE. Now, I wanted this post to serve as a reminder of the good that has been the east coast- and it will return.

Winter Boston meet Summer Boston. I know it has been a while since you’ve had clear streets, sunshine, and easy access to your city.

I’ve been holding these photos of The Natural Ginger  and her Mr. for a few months.  They needed some real attention, so they waited until all of my family photo sessions to be worked on. They got married in August at the family farm and had some gorgeous photos taken by my favorite photography duo- Memory Montage Photography, but wanted just a little bit of Boston time their wedding clothes. While out in Boston last September with the handsome, we took to the streets in full wedding attire, including an impromptu bouquet constructed in line at Trader Joe’s.  We made our way through the city from the Boston Public Library, Fenway Park, and the Northeastern Campus where they first met.  The night closed with a dive bar filled with friends. Couldn’t ask for a better memory of sweet summer.

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Braving the Cold

This family is always lucky to have a sunny day, but it is ALWAYS cold for their photo session.  This year we chose the Tacoma Glass Museum as a backdrop. Even with the freezing temperatures, we managed to have fun and capture another memory!

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The Blue Octopus- Sips-n-Canvas

Hi, my name is Monica. I am a craftaholic.

I certainly can’t decide which skills I would like to hone in on in the craft world, so I’ve decided to dabble in them all- and I mean ALL. This week’s adventure brought me to The Blue Octopus in Tacoma, Washington.  My dear friend over at Mary Jo Photography recommended this adventure thanks to a quick snag of a Living Social deal.  I am so glad she did. This is soley a blog about my super excitement about the entire experience. So. Much. Fun.

Walking into the studio space- The Saint Helens Ave Mercantile, you will find a creative co-op run by 4 fabulous and entrepreneurial women.   Located there is the OCD Candy Company, The Tea Works, Wolf Bear Treasures & Orcal Card Reader- Gail Scott, and of course The Blue Octopus. It is filled will all things lovely, creative, and a bit eclectic. Something for everyone really. The painting class is taught by Kerry Cole, who quit corporate job permanently a few years ago to get fully immersed in her art. Luckily for her students and the community, she did.  Her art covers the walls and can be felt in every speck of paint on the tables.  Every piece feels like it is personal and has a story.

The Sips-N-Canvas class is an opportunity for those interested in painting to dabble (stipple) their way into the paint media.  Kerry starts everyone off by having them choose an image that speaks to them.  She gets you all the supplies and techniques needed to create a masterpiece including cheese, crackers, and wine. of course wine. During the two hour class, she is patient, knowledgeable and SO encouraging.

This was one of the best guided art experiences I’ve had in a while, and would highly recommend Kerry’s classes to anyone interested in painting.  Her art is for sale on etsy, in her shop, and at exhibits. Her painting classes are open to everyone, and she even offers private parties. Who’s in?

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Calligraphy- a nearly lost art

I’m not sure about anyone else in my immediate generation, but I haven’t really written cursive since Mrs. Petrich’s 4th grade class. It’s slightly depressing to see my attempts at formal cursive- nothing seems to properly connect, and as for scale? Totally non-existent.

Enter Calligraphy, and a lovely local artist, trying her best to rekindle this dear pastime. Caitlin Dundon of One Heart Studio in Ballard, Washington is meticulously mastering her craft and willing to share with any wanting to learn.  I signed up for her Into to Calligraphy course with my favorite photog-friend, Mary of Mary Jo Photography.

After venturing around Fremont and Ballard to partake in deliciousness at The Other Coast Cafe, we wandered around Venue-the location of the class. It is an incredible local store with really great locally crafted goods. It took a lot of willpower to not buy every.single.thing. in that store. I did not leave empty handed- but could have enjoyed everything there.

The class had 8 openings, 7 of which were filled. Two long tables are set up with all necessary supplies in the middle of Venue. Paper, ink, and your own take-home Calligraphy pen are included. Caitlin is attentive to learning needs, and demonstrates her craft with ease. She gives a little bit of background for each type taught.  Students are encouraged to learn the basics and add their own flair. Needless to say, I struggled immensely with my “formal” calligraphy style, but the whimsy of my innate penmanship certainly took over with plenty of support of all around.

I have all intentions of signing up for Calligraphy II: Fun and Fancy Lettering offered.  Classes start at $40. Which is  a stellar deal for the art of a diminishing craft.

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Dance the Night Away

I was honored when I got the call to take photos for 6 fantastic High School students for Tumwater High School’s Homecoming Dance. This group was so much fun. They looked fabulous and were ready to have an incredible night on the town.  Laughter and shivers were the theme of the evening as it was a cold and cloudy day and they were all eager to start their fun.  Word is that they had a really great time at the dance. I had a really great time working with all of them!

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Fun & Games

Just because we don’t have children of our own yet, doesn’t mean we don’t have the opportunity to enjoy all that spring has to offer in the way of kid activities.  As a kid, I loved our hometown easter egg hunt, and loved to find treats hiding in the grass. Now that all of our closest friends have kids, its the perfect opportunity for fun. This was the third annual Easter Egg Hunt at our house.  We stuffed and hid 200 plastic eggs filled with spring surprises for our favorite 5 kids to find.  This year was particularly fun, since they are all kindergarten to 3rd grade, the perfect amount of competition.  We also had a gunny sack race, three-legged race with the dads and a shoe kick competition.  I was so concerned that the kids would be bored at our house without having all the kid things they are used to, but it turns out they just wanted to hop our little back yard fence, color with chalk, and play ball.  What a perfect way to welcome spring. Easter-9 Easter-10 Easter-15 Easter-16 Easter-14 Easter-8