Renewed Fascinations

Today, my husband and I met up with family to have lunch at McMenamin's Edgefield, where I got the yummy Terminator Stout + Chocolate Milkshake above, followed by a little stroll through some antique stores in Troutdale, Oregon.  I found a great shop that had some Native American artifacts, which I adore.  

I'm finding myself wanting to explore more Native American history.  As a child, I was always completely fascinated with Native Americans, constantly reading stories, drawing pictures and making little 3D models of huts, and even clothes out of bark for my troll dolls :)  I have always felt such a connection to the land, nature, and animals, and I found something I could relate to in so many of their belief systems with that.

Through my childhood, I now remember that I was always surrounded by Native American artifacts.  At my mom's house, there were arrowheads, and a sling for a baby, and at one point I think even a headdress.  Her home was also situated near a Native American graveyard, and there was a longhouse down the hill.  At the family cabin in California, there were woven baskets.  I don't have anything like that now, but would like to.

What's interesting is that I feel like I've rediscovered this passion, or curiosity, after so many years of being focused on other places...I finally feel like my interests, and my heart, are coming back home.  

Already, this has filtered into my work, with my jewelry reflecting endangered plant species from the Northwest, but I wonder how the Native American aspect will affect me and my work.  

I guess we'll just have to wait and see...

The Early Bird Sale And A Giveaway!!!

It's that time of year, when the leaves start turning, temperatures are dropping, and our thoughts turn to the upcoming holidays (or for some of you down under, leaves are growing and temperatures are rising...lucky ducks!)....

And it is the perfect time of year for my 

Friday, October 28th at 12:01 am
Monday, November 7 at 11:59 pm 

Because after all, the Early Bird gets the worm...and in this case that worms are shiny and made of metal :D

You may have also read above that there is going to be a GIVEAWAY.  
We all love those, don't we?  
I will be giving away a pair of my gorgeous The Dalles Mountain Buttercup Earrings to one lucky winner and one Lemongrass Jar Candle each to three lucky winners!

Here is how to enter the giveaway:

1. Post about the sale & giveaway on Facebook (and leave a comment): one entry.

2. Tweet about the sale & giveaway on Twitter (and leave a comment): one entry.  (My twitter name is cechandler).

3. Post about the sale & giveaway on your blog (and leave a comment): one entry.

4. Leave a comment here about your favorite thing about Autumn: one entry.
So there you have it!  4 ways to win some fabulous goods, and a great sale as well!  I'm looking forward to reading your stories and comments.  I will be announcing the winner of the Giveaway on Tuesday, November 8.

p.s. Aren't those Kookaburras so cute?!  The image is from the Powerhouse Museum Collection in Sydney, Australia.

You're invited...

 Fall is upon us, and with it come thoughts of the holidays!  Gifts for yourself, gifts for your loved for your coworkers, even!  


Starting this Friday, I will be hosting an EARLY BIRD SALE in my Etsy Shop!

 The SALE will run for 10 DAYS.  TEN. DAYS.

And, there may even be a giveaway....I'll let you know....

The details:
What: EARLY BIRD SALE!!! All items in the shop will be 10-30% OFF.
When: Friday, October 28 to Monday, November 7

I'll be posting an announcement again on Friday, October 28!  See you then!

Because remember...the early bird gets the worm.

For the Love of Tradition...

Every year for the past four years, Dave and I have made a trip to the Pumpkin Patch at Sauvie Island, near Portland, Oregon.  I know I went there as a kid, but I don't know if it was an annual thing, and now it's one of the traditions we've built that I love the most.  Yesterday was no exception...

The day started out bright and blue, with a beautiful cup of coffee and plans to visit the Pumpkin Patch with friends...

....we drove along the freeway, up and over the Fremont's one of my favorite bridges.  I love all the shapes and the high, high arch...

....then we passed through the industrial district of NW Portland.  What beautiful lines those power lines create!...

....onto Highway 30, past the St. John's Bridge...

...and onto the Sauvie Island Bridge.  Look at those X's, and the gorgeous rust color!...

....the X's on the Sauvie Island Bridge remind me of chromosomes...

....we arrived at Columbia Farms, which has a wonderful selection of pick-your-own flowers, berries, and a great selection of crazy pumpkins....

....after we all picked out pumpkins, noshed on apples and honey sticks, we decided to head to St. John's for Thai food, so across the St. John's bridge we went... a little place called Thai Cottage where we enjoyed Thai iced tea and various yummy soups, curries, and noodle dishes...

...and where Dave made me take out of focus pictures of our friends.  

I hope you had a wonderful weekend, too!  Do you visit a pumpkin patch each year?

I Made You Some Candles...

We made these gorgeous Lemongrass Candles for our wedding, with the help of a few friends, and I am now listing the rest in my Etsy Shop!  They give off a lovely light, burn nicely, and the scent is lovely.  Plus, they double as insect repellent (perfect for camping or outdoors)!

New Materials, New Adventures...

 Constructing the walls of the box

Last week, as some of you may have seen, I created a handmade box for my Book and Box Structures class at OCAC.  This week we will be moving on to book binding practices, but I have to say, I absolutely LOVE making boxes.  The techniques tie in beautifully with my love of fabrication, and I find the process very rewarding.  It is much quicker than creating boxes out of metal, and I get to use beautiful book cloth and papers of various textures and colors.  I have always been fascinated by beautiful fabric and papers...the colors, textures, and patterns make my heart flutter, so getting to use them is very exciting!  

 A roller-printed feather serves as the lid for a copper box that will fit into the larger handmade box

This last week, we learned how to make paste papers for covering books, which was really fun.  There were some really interesting Indian fabric stamps made from wood that were great for creating patterns on the paper.  I hope they turn out nicely!

Amber, in movement

In other adventures, the kitties have been struggling with all the changes going on around here, what with the wedding (and all the supplies for it being around), people coming and going, multiple house guests, and then both Dave and my schedules changing so drastically that neither of us are home during the day.  Sammy and Amber have been showing their dislike the only way they know peeing on things they're not supposed to.  So, after a nice visit to the vet to make sure there was nothing medically wrong, we learn it is all behavioral and are now making changes to try and appease the babies and reduce the bad behavior.  Wish us luck!

 Sammy playing with his new toy, attached to our front door

I am consistently telling parents about their kids, "This is a phase," which most behaviors in children are.  So now, I hope that with our cats, this is a phase.

Boxes, Cats, and Less Sleep...

What a week it has been!  My days have been FULL!  

Full of wonder and beauty, mixed with varying levels of sleep deprivation and creativity.

This last weekend, I spent a good amount of time (17+ hours) finishing a box for my mid-term project in my Book and Box Structures class.  It's a fairly simple box, but has significant meaning and lots of little surprises.  I can't wait to have Dave photograph it and show it in all it's beauty to you!  The outside cover is a gorgeous cream with tan striations, and the inside is a bright magenta!  I love it.

It felt SO good to spend the weekend in the studio, even if I wasn't working solely with metal.  There is a copper box to go in said artist's box, so I was able to make a little something (actually a really big something, the size of a crow's feather).  Now I just have to clean up all the solder and patina it!  

Amidst all this wonderful creativity, there were some lovely breaks:

Breakfast with the hubby
Cooking sweet potato, sausage and wild rice soup (which was gone in two days!)
Lots of cuddles with the kitties (we have to keep them happy somehow!)

This weekend my mom is visiting, and I haven't seen her since the wedding, so I'm excited.  There will be some good food, funny movies, studying for the Art History test (eep!) and possibly, a trip to the pumpkin patch.  We have been going to the Pumpkin Patch for the past 4 years...we always go to a small one down the street from the ridiculously large one...there's rarely a crowd, and I feel good about supporting the little guy.  Plus!  They have ghost and cinderella pumpkins!

What's your favorite pumpkin?

I hope you have a wonderful week!

Feather Hunting

I took myself up Mt. Tabor today, on a rambling walk...
through the dog park (I wonder if people think I'm crazy, walking through a dog park with no dog)...
up trails, across roads, and around the reservoir,
all the time stopping here and there, searching.

I looked under trees, in grasses, along the paths.
I was hunting for feathers, and boy did I find them!
(I was also calling out, within myself, 'feathers, come to me!')

I found big feathers, little feathers, mommy feathers, baby feathers, tattered feathers, and pristine feathers, and even one dyed feather.

Now to prep them for their evolution...


I have been sick for the last week.  
I am trying to heal, but time doesn't wait for sickness.  I was able to take one day off school last week in order to rest, and now I am healing.  Unfortunately for me, at the end of my colds, things settle into my lungs and my throat gets dry, and I end up coughing a lot.  In fact, I can't really speak right now, it throws me into coughing fits so quickly (and I am SO sick of cough drops). 

So, I am being quiet.  I am eating home made chicken pho, and being silent.  

The clouds are covering Portland, and a subdued light casts over everything.  It makes for a rather nice, quiet feeling amidst everything, reminding me of an Ani Difranco song that starts,

The sky is grey
The sand is grey
And the ocean is grey,
And I feel right at home,
In this stunning monochrome,
Alone in my way...

I learned of a friend losing her dog today, and it absolutely broke my heart.  I lost my own dog, Buddy, a few years ago to ridiculous, frustrating, stupid circumstances that were totally out of my control.  Being as empathetic as I am, I feel for her and her little family and their loss.  
(I don't mind being empathetic.  It's part of me.)
In a bit, I will go feather hunting around the neighborhood....wandering seems the only logical, meditative act to work through those feelings.

I hope you having a beautiful, calm week...