30 June 2010


dear garage door on belmont avenue, you are my favorite garage door in all of portland.

(summer color week, yo)


with a little orange and red thrown in for good measure. tuesday for me? polaroid happy-making plus a trip to the big downtown library and a little bit of turkish baklava. the best thing about color week is that it totally gets me out of the house.

29 June 2010

28 June 2010

week of summer color

thanks to jan, the summer color party is totally on. starting today:

monday: pink
tuesday: yellow
wednesday: green
thursday: red and white
friday: blue

head on over to poppytalk for the deets. meanwhile, I'm off to shoot a little pink. also, I think I may be setting a new personal record for number of posts in one day. totally making up for all that ebb a few months ago. hello, summer flow.

hanging laundry makes me happy

I'm over at sfgirlbybay today with my love for hanging laundry. is there no sweeter sight than all those blocks of color, strung like pinatas across narrow alleyways and backyards everywhere? I think not.

about that list

I want to thank you-- for all the kind words, I thank you. truth is, that list came spilling out around four in the morning. effortlessly, as if somewhere inside I'd been waiting patiently for the right time to tell my seventeen year-old self all these things. and I feel a little tender about whole thing but in the best way, the best possible way. if you are at all contemplating putting together a list of things you might say to your seventeen year-old self, do it. even if you scribble it down on a piece of paper only to rip it up and throw it away, do it. chances are, your seventeen year-old self needs to hear it. and your grown-up self needs to say it.

because I think the the power is in the saying.

27 June 2010

list twenty: things I'd like to tell my 17 year-old self

1. you are not fat.

2. he is not The One. it will seem like he is, but he is not.

3. you do not have to smile for every single picture.

4. you are not going to believe this but you do not know everything. also, your parents are right. about soooo many things.

5. your studio art class will spend a whole quarter on photography. pay closer attention.

6. that little 110 camera you love so much is a total piece of crap. people call it a toy camera now but that's hilarious because, really. it's crap. beg your parents to buy you an old used 35mm SLR. then shoot roll after roll after roll of film. and throw out the flash.

7. remember how good it feels to do a back handspring. in a few years, that skill will be long gone.

8. diet coke is not the answer.

9. do not listen to the people who tell you you cannot be a dancer because you don't have enough training, didn't start early enough and don't have the right body. more specifically, do not listen to that teacher who tells you to eat only saltine crackers for a week in order to drop a few pounds. in a few years, you'll discover modern dance and your world will crack wide open. suddenly, ballet will seem like a stupid idea and everything else will make sense. you will go on to do things you were told you could not do. and it will feel spectacular.

10. you know that awesome color photobooth at the kmart two minutes from your house? visit it regularly.

11. you will get a letter from that girl you stood up for in P.E. class. she will tell you that what you did really did mean something to her. her letter will make you cry and you will be glad you took on the mean girls.

12. wear anything you want. because you can.

13. enjoy the widespread availability of polaroid film.

14. keep writing. keep writing. keep writing.

15. do not wear those vintage spectator pumps you love so much to that choir competition. because your left heel will get caught in the crack of the risers and you will inadvertently flip it several feet into the air. it will land with a dull thud smack dab in front of the table of judges and you will be forced to walk (one shoe on, one shoe off) in front of hundreds of people to the center of the gymnasium to retrieve it. you will not die from the embarrassment. but you will want to.

16. for pete's sake, take that typing class.

17. and when your mom offers to teach you how to sew, do not blow her off.

18. do not stop writing letters to your french penpal.

19. stock up on vintage clothing before thrift stores everywhere are sucked dry by the masses.

20. make grandma corrona teach you how to make her bread. she will tell you it's nothing, that it's just ordinary bread but you will come to realize that it's not. you will come to realize that it is, in fact, the best bread in the world.

21. take bigger, scarier risks. because I promise, you will regret it if you don't. you really, really will.

22. the boys, they are not worth it.

23. stop with the black eyeliner. it's enough already and really, you don't need it.

24. and while we're on the subject, beware of all cosmetic counter makeovers.

25. you are never going to find that party on graduation night. your will drive around with your friend michelle for hours and hours, you will find yourselves in the middle of nowhere at three in the morning. you will feel a little scared but even worse, you will feel stupid. so not the way to spend graduation night, so not the memory you will want to have.

26. do not slather yourself with baby oil and lay out on foil mats. furthermore, wear sunscreen. ALL. THE. TIME.

27. turns out your dad was totally right about the whole time thing. twenty years, gone. just like that.

28. seriously, you are not fat.

(twenty down, thirty-two to go)

25 June 2010

photobooth friday

I'm writing a little song and it is called I LOVE YOU SUMMER.

24 June 2010

number 22

on the first day of summer, we built a tiny snowman. 'tis true. number 22 off the list and crater lake is one of those places in the world that needs to be seen to be believed. wide open skies and water so miraculously blue it does not seem real. I must admit, I was not expecting the snow. and I was not expecting warm summer weather on top of all the snow, but that's exactly how it was. feet buried deep in snow, bare arms warmed by summer sun.

I'll tell you, there's no better way to start the summer off than with a road trip.

we like the driving, the seeing. also, hotels with swimming pools? we are big fans.

dear oregonians, do not miss petersen rock gardens. because when an immigrant farmer devotes eighteen years of his life to building castles and bridges and miniature houses out of stones, you sort of need to see it.

four acres of things built with stones! also, there were peacocks. live peacocks roaming the grounds, calling out to one another in that high-pitched loon-like way. it's possible there were more peacocks than people.

roadside america? FULL OF WIN.

honestly, it felt as if we fit five days worth of road trip into two, like we hit some sort of road trip jackpot. summer 2010, we are not kidding around about you. summer 2010, we are serious about making you awesome.

22 June 2010


it's officially here, that season I love so much. the one I yammer on and on about. word on the street is that summer has been canceled for portland but we do not speak of this. not at our house, anyway.

more summer over at words to shoot by, friends. no sign of cold grey rain over there, no ma'am.

19 June 2010

list nineteen: to do this summer

we never really do everything on the list. but we like the trying.

to do this summer:

1. lay around. a lot.
2. make snowcones.
3. visit the library.
4. ride bikes.
5. pick strawberries.
6. make strawberry lemonade.
7. see crater lake.
8. build a backyard fort.
9. run through sprinklers.
10. transform old jeans into cut-offs.
11. add our photobooth frame to the andy warhol wall.
12. take moonlight walks.
13. visit grandparents.
14. make pinwheel rings.
15. see movies at the drive-in.
16. swim with the cousins.
17. look for lightning bugs.
18. make tiny books.
19. explore tide pools.
20. paint rocks.
21. make sun prints.
22. read books in the hammock.
23. make giant tubs of bubbles.
24. decorate bikes for the neighborhood 4th of july parade.
25. watch fireworks.
26. hit public fountains.
27. make juicebox boats.
28. go on picnics.
29. celebrate ava's 10th birthday.
30. make daisy chains.
31. spend a night at the wigwam inn.
32. watch things grow in our garden.
33. brake for yard sales.
34. make dioramas.
35. pick blackberries.
36. hang out at the park.
37. eat ice cream.

(nineteen down, thirty-three to go)

17 June 2010

the best kind of lab

hey peeps, I'll be leading a secret mission this summer over at the mondo beyondo dream lab. so totally my kind of lab. I'm telling you, seasoned dreamers andrea scher and jen lemen have all kinds of goodness up their proverbial sleeves. other secret mission collaborators: amy krouse rosenthal, tracey clark, katherine center, mark thomas and patience salgado. starts this monday, june 21st and it's not too late to sign up.

dudes! secret missions!

16 June 2010

last day

the bell rang and all the kids screamed, just like they always do on the last day of school. suddenly, they were rushing for the doors, swinging backpacks stuffed with crumpled papers and old art projects. I stood in the middle of it all, feeling just a little bit wistful. I do not cry easily but moments like this do me in. kindergarten and fourth grade, over. just like that. oh but I am so grateful-- for the most extraordinary of teachers and a year filled with the most golden of triumphs. somewhere along the way, ezra learned to read and ava conquered her fear of long division. ezra's counting skills took off and ava's writing hit a whole new level of awesome. it was a year to beat all years, I tell you. one for the books. and in a couple of months, I do believe we'll be ready to do it all again.

but first: summer.

13 June 2010

dear sun,

thanks for showing up today. we really needed you.

11 June 2010

list eighteen plus photobooth friday: six things I love about ezra

ezra is six today. six. and I'm sort of in shock, as I always am each year. as if time has ever done anything other than run rampant and wreak havoc on the lives of people everywhere. here's the thing: I love this kid. for at least a thousand different reasons. but I've got a vanilla birthday cake to bake so here are six:

1. he is absolutely hilarious. everyday, he is hilarious.

2. he pronounces the word hamburger hamburgerger. this kills me.

3. the sound of afrika bambaata causes him to drop everything and dance. if these turn out to be his early b-boy years and he goes on to win the world over with back spins, windmills and toprock, I shall surely cry many salty tears of joy.

4. he calls sunlight 'shine'. as in, mama, I need to roll the window down so I can feel the shine. I need the shine.

5. without fail, he is lulled to sleep every single night with my very special bill murray lullaby rendition of the star wars song.

6. he loves freely. totally and completely, no holds barred. tis a thing of beauty, my friends. and to be on the receiving end of such love? no words.

happy 6th birthday, awesome boy of mine. life without you would be a total drag.

(eighteen down, thirty-four to go)

06 June 2010

list seventeen: things I dream of doing when the day turns sour

on this very sour day, I'd like to:

1. ride a bicycle through narrow alleyways in florence.

2. shoot polaroids on the streets of morocco.

3. spend another summer at the american dance festival.

4. aimlessly wander the lower east side.

5. back float in turquoise waters along the amalfi coast.

6. sweat through alexandra beller's class at dance new amsterdam.

7. travel cross country in an airstream trailer.

8. dig for junk at mercato delle pulci.

9. ride the train all the way down to los angeles.

10. spend an entire day inside a dark movie theatre.

11. fly down the superslide about a hundred times.

I close my eyes and I'm as good as gone.

(seventeen down, thirty-five to go)

03 June 2010

dear june,

I still love you. even though it has rained for eighteen days straight here. even though I am still mostly wearing tights and boots. even though it doesn't feel like summer. AT ALL. I still believe in you, june. I do.

02 June 2010


what did you dream of becoming as a child? what do you dream of now? leave your answers over at poppytalk for a chance to win a few prints of mine: love always wins, love is possible and beautiful. contest ends thursday, june 3rd, 9pm (pacific).

(jan, you are the cat's pajamas)