Artist Love: Pierre Bonnard 1867-1947

Beau and I went to the Impressionism exhibition at the SAM for my birthday. I fell in love with the bright colors and dreamy, light filled quality of Bonnard’s paintings. IMG_7091

Fascinatingly, a couple of his paintings were stolen from a gallery in London and discovered in an Italian kitchen 40 years later. They had been bought for around $100 but were worth $600,000!IMG_7087

My next painting endeavor is going to be trying my hand at impressionism.  I’ve tried with watercolor, but I think gouache will give me better results. Stay tuned!

Me in front of a wall of renoir’s Picking Flowers:IMG_6973

More about Digs

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I’ve been getting a lot of questions about our new eskipoo Digory.  First off, he’s half miniature poodle and half miniature American Eskimo Dog. Both breeds are highly intelligent, obedient, and fiercely loyal. (And oddly, have a history as circus dogs)

He’ll be under 15 lbs!

I have absolutely no allergies to him. At first I was really worried because he still had the dander of his mother on him and what I can only describe as the scent of a gerbil cage.  I had itchy eyes and a rash on my skin from holding him.  But after a bath (for both of us) I now feel none of that. No allergy meds, and no keeping him from my face! This is a huge HUGE happiness for me. I can’t even hug my friends with pets or I can’t breathe, get itchy eyes, and get an earache. It’s really bad. I took a chance on Digory and miracle of miracles it’s worked out. Also, he doesn’t shed! No vacuuming :)

Why a puppy? I haven’t had this question, but I want to address it. I really wanted to get a rescue dog, but chose a puppy for two reasons. One, we went through the heartbreaking process of trying to adopt a little westie mix and they told us Harry was too young. And two, and my vet agreed, that puppies grow into your family with kids so are used to being lugged around and prodded, while a rescue dog can be a gamble as to whether it will be able to handle your kids. I did some research on the ranch Digory came from and the dogs are well cared for, the puppies held and loved by family, and the mother adopts kids from Haiti so they have beautiful new lives.  I felt really good about my decision.

I’m already so in love with this pup. It’s kind of insane how much. When I was a kid I read a fantasy book where the main character had a loyal dog who adored him and stayed by his side.  I remember thinking I wished I could have a dog like that, but that it was just a fairy tale. Digory adores me! He follows me around and wants nothing more that to sit on the couch with me and coo. (He literally coos, it’s so cute.) I think of how I always said we’d never ever have a pet because of my allergies, and my fears of another thing to take care of, and start to tear up. I’m so happy I have Digs.


IMG_7414We got our new pup this week! He is the most darling thing ever. He loves to snuggle, obey, and play! The boys are becoming fast friends, and I have been swooning since I got him. He is soft as silk and poofy as a bunny! We could not have imagined a better new best friend! IMG_7191IMG_7276IMG_7315IMG_7240

We picked the name Digory for The Magician’s Nephew from the Chronicles of Narnia. When he gets older we’ll call him The Professor :) IMG_7436IMG_7460IMG_7405IMG_7360IMG_7245IMG_7318IMG_7187

I love his white paws and the white tip on his tail. They make me think of a fox! Sometimes poodles lighten up quite a bit after they grow so I’m cherishing his raw sugar color while it lasts! IMG_7317


The other half of the puppy we’re getting is an American Eskimo Dog!

I have always wanted a dog that looks like a fox or a wolf. When I was a girl we had the most darling Samoyed named Sam and I miss his fluffy, soft fur and sweet nature.

American Eskimo dogs were used as circus dogs in the early 1920’s and the very first tight rope walking dog was an Eskie!

Our pup’s momma is a smiling white beauty named Luna.  Oliver wanted to name our dog Moonlight after her. I think it’ll be a middle name :)

I couldn’t find many iconic photos of Eskie’s but here’s a mood board of sorts for my imagination. There’s a wolf and a couple foxes in there too :)



We’re getting a puppy! The boys and I could not be more delighted. I’ve researched a bunch over the last few years what the best pooch would be for our life style. I am allergic to most anything that grows so I wanted a dog that didn’t shed very much. We live in the city with lots of parks and a small backyard but do not have a lifestyle that would accommodate a really active large breed. And Harry has energy for days so we needed a dog that could handle a little rough housing. Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 2.05.15 PM

Our dog is half poodle. Non shedding, water, fowl, and war dog, and a favorite of the french court during the Louix IV reign. It’s pretty popular to mix breeds with poodles to get a great disposition. I’m really hoping our dog looks more like his other half, but if not…I’m among great company:

Geometric Coffee Tables

  I’m in love with these coffee tables! They look like something you’d find in the Mines of Moria. Right now we have one that looks straight out of Lothlorien. It’s made of natural gnarled branches. It’s one of my favorite pieces. But It’s square and a little large for our space and Beau said the other day that he thinks we need a round one. So of course I jumped on the chance to research coffee tables out of our price range and in the realms of fantasy ;) 
Do you think he’d notice if I snuck this one in? 


Pink Moth Wall Paper

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I just went on Spoonflower to play around with wall paper ideas.  Then as I was browsing images I came across this old painting I did of pink moths.  OMG! It would be perfect wall paper! I ordered a roll to see how it would look.  Am I crazy or is this something I could sell in my Flora Forager shop?

Others I didn’t buy but could be fun…

Our Aurora

Yesterday Beau and I got into a fight. I was upset about something, he told me not to be, I told him he was being mean, he told me I shouldn’t tell him how to be, then I told him he started it…we were like a dog chasing its own tail. Miscommunication, lost in translation. 

Usually silence precedes reconciliation, and we were on a two hour car drive, so I tucked under my coat and fell asleep fuming. 

I woke up in snowy mountains. We stopped at a rest station and I grabbed snacks and coffee for us. Never fight when you’re hungry, tired, or without a coffee in hand. 

“Tell me the aurora forecast.”

Of course he’d looked it up. I have driven my family all over the dark areas of Washington trying to find it. I used to keep the forecast on my blog. And Beau, grudgingly has stayed up until 2 in the morning, the kids asleep in the back, to the islands on the Salish sea just to appease me. To no avail.

A solar flare was coming. There was a chance we’d see it. 

We were going to night ski, just the two of us. Beau had learned to ski a couple years ago and we were finally able to go up just the two of us. It was also much needed time alone together and the first thing we did was have a fight. But there’s a comfort in 12 years of marriage. The promise of “this too shall pass.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Me too.”

Then Beau told me all about the cherry blossom festival in Japan. “They hang lanterns in the cherry trees.” They have parties into the night. We are going to Japan in the spring, and hopefully will hit the two week cherry blossom season at the right time. He said I should have someone dress me as a geisha in Kyoto. 

Beau’s been learning Japanese. That’s how he found out about the cherry blossom party. The word was Hanami. He came across it in his studies. It’s funny. I had been slightly irritated all break over his incessant need to study Japanese. He’s been completely immersed. I’ll try to spend time with him but all he can do is sit next to me, absorbed.

But here we were, flying down the dark mountain together, sparkling snow covered trees lit in the lampposts, a Narnia to ourselves. There were no northern lights, but the hope of them thrilling, and I shouted, “I love that you like to learn new things! Japanese and skiing…” And I whizzed away from him.

We’ve both learned so much, and are ever growing. It hurts, and takes patience, and sometimes you don’t get to see the reward, but we are a solar flare about to happen, lanterns hung waiting for blossoms. We are the beauty in simply looking at an aurora forecast. 

Hope is our northern light.

Boys and Girl

Finn just finished reading the Spiderwick Chronicles and we’re about to watch the movie.  We got popcorn and chocolates and we’ve been squealing with excitement. He and I have been watching Smallville every night, went to the Starwars movie together just the two of us, and love talking about super hero trivia.

I never thought it would be this way.

When I first found out I was having a boy I freaked out a little.  On the drive home from the ultrasound we stopped at a stop light.  The tears were beginning to spill down my face. I said, “I always thought I’d be watching Disney Princess movies with my girls.” Beau laughed. “Don’t worry…they all have a prince.”

But what I didn’t know was my own capacity for loving boyish things. As it turns out, there’s just as much Peter Pan in me as there is Tink. I love ninjas and cars races and blasters and invincible heroes. My parents  pretty much raised us as tomboys, and while I resented not wearing tutus and tiaras and struggling through a soccer field, I really loved exploring the wild, fishing, hiking, skiing, Indiana Jones, and Alien. I love action sequences, and thrill at sci fi, when Lucy and I played Star Wars she was princess Leia and I was a female version of Han Solo.

My boys have loved every bit of the girly things I hoped for.  Maybe we’re not painting nails and doing hair, but they love glitter and the Tinkerbell movies, and dancing, and cooking, and crafting.  They snuggle and giggle and tell me I’m a princess. And though they moan and groan when Clark Kent kisses the girl, I know they secretly love it.

Gender is a spectrum, I know, but I still have a bag full of french baby girl clothes, toddler ruby slippers, and the flower girl outfit Talia wore in my wedding saved for…someday.  It’s hard to give up on the dreams I had of putting lipstick on my very own daughter. My heart still aches a little.

But Princess movies all have a prince, and hero movies all have a girl.

My boys and I? We’re perfect for each other. Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 2.11.21 PM