It feels like spring is just around the corner – the subtle fresh smell in the air and the increasingly frequent appearance of the sun and tiny green buds on tree branches. This is likely just an illusion, one to be replaced with a damp, gray reality, but it’s fun while it lasts!

I just started reading Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink. I spotted this book on the Powell’s Calendar of Events, but the reading/author visit didn’t fit into my schedule well. Instead, I requested a copy from the library and I picked it up this weekend. It’s been great reading material for my daily commute on the MAX – and it’s a topic of particular interest to me because I find that my own motivation waxes and wanes due to...the phases of the moon...or something.

Overall, I’ve felt a lot more motivated this first month of 2010 and I attribute it to our new home environment and a sense of being more settled since getting married. Life is good and today’s sunshine is streaming through a magnifying glass and setting that belief on fire.

I spent the early part of the week working and continuing my first sewing project, which is now almost complete. Working from a pattern and instructions in Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing has proven very helpful to me. I’m good at following directions, which zaps good techniques straight into your brain. On the other hand, you can take note of elements that aren’t quite pleasing to you, and change them the next time around. I plan on making another tote bag to give as a gift this month, and there are a couple of changes I plan on implementing.

On Saturday, Lindsey and I ventured out to Forest Grove (much more of a “venture” for me than for her) for a knitting and crochet class. I already knew the basics of knitting, but I wanted my skills to be verified as accurate. When we arrived, we learned that a reporter and photographer from the Forest Grove newspaper would be present. (Hopefully a link to that article is forthcoming.) Lindsey decided to learn crocheting, while I breezed through casting on and the knit stitch. We were interviewed by the reporter while we stitched away. I was eventually taught the proper way to “purl” and lo and behold, it is a heck of a lot easier than I was making it out to be. I ended up with some new bamboo needles and a pretty skein of burnt orange yarn with which to make a lace-like scarf.

I stopped at home briefly, then drove in the opposite direction to SCRAP on the east side. I wanted to pick up some, well, scraps – of fabric – for two birthday projects I’m working on. I managed to find several, along with two balls of yarn, a few greeting cards, a knitting book, and a football trophy (long story), all for $9.

Next I stopped by the Mill End fabric store in Beaverton, which I’d been told was amazing. Turns out “amazing” is an understatement. I couldn’t believe the fabric selection – and the prices seemed very reasonable to my untrained eye. I selected some batting, canvas, and lighter cottons for my projects and spent a lot of time browsing the unimaginable array of fabrics. Several retro patterns caught my eye, including vintage Mexican prints that will someday live in our eclectically decorated home. Not to mention the gorgeous nature-inspired fabrics. Oooh, the possibilities. I have most certainly found a new passion.

Audubon on Sunday – not much needs to be said on that, as my shift was somewhat depressing. After that, however, Jesse and I headed downtown with Clara and the long-lost Danny. We hit up the Backstage Bar, which is hidden behind the Baghdad Theater on Hawthorne. This narrow, dimly lit space houses a restaurant, bar, free (yes – free) pool, and the all-important jukebox. We hung out for a few hours, playing generally not-very-good pool and choosing awesome songs to hear. It was a nice, low key way to end the weekend.

Then of course, back to work. It’s another very busy week into which I’ll try to squeeze an ounce of creativity. And several ounces of motivation for good measure.

As I walked home from the MAX station this evening, I had a moment of realization - or I remembered, rather - that I am very, very lucky and many pieces have miraculously fit together to make my life the way it is. In nearly that very same instant, I spotted a Great Blue Heron standing in the creek behind our home, so well camouflaged among trees and brush. I'm drawn to this type of bird in particular, and to see one at nightfall, sitting still and silent and hidden, made my heart jump. It was a moment of reassurance, of synchronicity - as Jesse would say. I'm on the right path and these meaningful, happy moments are my reward.


  1. Your bag looks great! Makes me wish I had room to leave my sewing machine out all the time.


    PS - You found a great find at SCRAP, the book is normally $10 by itself.

  2. Thanks! My sewing machine is on a tiny desk in a tiny corner - I just have to be diligent about putting supplies away when I'm not using them.

    Jesse had pointed that book out at Powell's before, so I was very excited to find it for only $2!

  3. Wow! That bag does look awesome! I love colors you picked and that you picked red for the inside. I heart red!