Show Some Love

Because the forest makes my heart whole and bright.

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Shop Update

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I know, what the heck…what has been going on in the making corner of my universe!!

I’ve decided to keep my Etsy shop closed a little longer than expected; as running around, moving and getting ready for a slew of shows and markets has not left any room for me to keep up with photographing and selling my work online. But, I didn’t want you guys to get the wrong idea about me; and think I’m just being a lazy bump on a log over here, and wanted to preview a few of my new pieces that I’ve slowly and tenderly developed over the last few months.  I also wanted to share my show schedule with you, in hopes that if you live in or near the area, that you’ll pop in and say hello.  Please do, I love giving hugs and telling awkward jokes (I only know three…well maybe four…so I won’t take up too much of your time 🙂 !!! )

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June 19-22 Alpine Solstice Festival in Alpine, WY

July 4-6 Whitefish Arts Festival Whitefish, MT

July 11-13 Ketchum Arts Festival Ketchum, ID

August 2-3 SLAM Bozeman, MT

Along with the Bogart Farmers Market every Tuesday from 5-8, Bozeman, MT

and

Gallatin Valley Farmers Market every Saturday (starting June 28), Bozeman, MT

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Messenger Bag

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Laptop Case

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Journal Cover

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Wallet

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Clutch

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Bookmarks

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Toiletry Kit

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The Classic Belt

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And SO many more!!!  Check out my new instagram feed for more regular updates, inspirations and shots of new products and the shows I’ll be participating in.  Feel free to email or message me on here if you have any questions.  I look forward to re-opening the shop as soon as my camera comes back from being repaired!

Happy sweet days of summer, you lovely wild irises!!

XX

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Rounding out my 20’s

untitled-30 I’ve reached the end of the decade over here.  EEeeek!!  The honest truth is, it feels great…I feel great.  I sat in bed this morning, after Waylon our GSP came and got me up at about 6:30, just thinking about all the absolutely fantastic things my 20’s have held for me. This list is more for me…I always think if nothing else maybe this blog will be fun to show my children when they are old enough…but I thought it important, and interesting, to highlight a few moments of triumph.  So, here you go and here’s to hoping this last year of my 20’s will continue to offer many more incredible adventures!

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-Meeting the man I would marry while studying abroad in the Himalaya’s of India

-Meeting so many of my still to this day best friends on that same trip

-GRADUATING COLLEGE…don’t underestimate this one…academia is not my strongest area!

-Leaving the city and moving to the country to live the rural dream…and never ever looking back

-Growing enough food in my own garden to limit our summertime monthly grocery bill to under $100 (well at-least when PB’s gone on fires)

-Learning how to can and preserve enough food for us for an entire winter…and beyond…with lots to give away as presents (don’t worry friends you will still be receiving relish and pickles from me this year) 🙂

-Holding and enjoying NINE different jobs before finally starting my own business

-STARTING MY OWN BUSINESS

-Successfully hunting my first big game on our honeymoon through Idaho, Wyoming and Montana

-Learning how to fly fish and catching and filleting many a fish on solo backpacking trips throughout the magnificent western mountains

-GETTING MARRIED

-Running my first marathon

-Seeing my photography work published

-Seeing my writing published! (This one seemed bigger than my photography, because I mainly write for myself)

-And, having an INCREDIBLE family and wonderful friends to share these places and moments with.

Have a wonderful day friends, and go ahead and do something extra rad…just cause!

XX

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So my husband jumps from an airplane into wildfires for a living…

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Well, he’s professionally known as a smokejumper… yes, this is an actual profession :).  PB and the majority of my best friends, and pretty much my entire family (besides my one brother who’s technically still involved in fire for a living…he’s a blacksmith) are wildland firefighter’s employed through the United States Forest Service -USFS.  But, getting back to the exciting part, yes he parachutes from an airplane into active wildfires to fight and suppress them in order to protect natural resources and homes in the wildland urban interface.  The truth is though; it’s not so much the job that’s exciting and intriguing as the people behind the hockey masks, oompa-loompa suits, and greens and yellows.  The men and women of the smokejumping and fire world are not your run of the mill Joe’s and Susie’s.  They are quirky, weird (and I mean this as a compliment!) and incredibly loving people who come from all walks of life.

My husband has been involved in the fire world for the last 10 years, and I by proxy and by past employment, have also been a part of this zany community for the past 7 years.  I’ll tell you, no one is quite like these singular and wildly unique individuals.  I love them all…I love you all…even if I’ve never met you, because that’s just how the fire community works.  It is an incredibly tight-knit group of people who have each other’s backs, no matter what.

I recently returned from a trip down through the southwest with my girlfriend, and fellow fire wife, where PB- my husband, is stationed at a Forest Service spike base for the heat of New Mexico’s fire season.  He’s down there with around 30 other smokejumpers from 5 other bases.  I was afforded the wonderful opportunity to spend some time with these characters, and also to watch them do a proficiency jump.  I tell you, it never ever gets old watching your husband parachute from an airplane…ever!  It’s the sort of giddy and slightly terrifying feeling that you might get as you step onto stage to give a big speech…or the knotty but super-charged feeling you get as you are waiting to run your first marathon…  You know, it’s just terribly awfully exciting all wrapped up into one!

Don’t get me wrong though, there’s a lot of crazy wrapped up into all this goodness, but maybe that’s another topic for a different post.  Do I miss my husband while he’s gone for months at a time either actively fighting fires or anxiously waiting to fight them…ABSOLUTELY.  Do I sometimes resent the fact that he spends more time with his fire community than he does with his own wife and two crazy dogs…YES…but I would never ever in a million zillion years trade my life with anyone else.  Quite honestly, I thrive off of a little crazy, so the excitement and thrill of this lifestyle is directly in tune with the beat of my own drum.

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Here’s a visual story of these absolutely wonderful people.  It was a true pleasure getting to meet all of these men and women, and I hope to run into them, their wives and husbands, and their children again very soon.

Enjoy!

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Post Scriptus

If anyone from my NCSB fire family is reading this, I miss you guys something terrible!!!!
Be safe friends.
XX


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3, 187.3 miles and a whole lot of wide open spaces

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Filson-2Filson-3Filson-4Did you guys know PB took a job detail down in New Mexico for the better part of this spring and summer?  (I know we have a lot to catch up on here!)  Well he did, and I just returned from an incredible trip down there to visit him and the new landscape he is learning to love.  We both hold an incredibly intimate and highly revered spot in our hearts for the southwestern landscape.  These spaces are open, raw, and decorated with such intensely severe beauty it sometimes makes my heart bleed in despair for the fight and tenacity desert life owns.  I never realized how much I took water for granted until visiting these high desert mountains and seeing just how even a trickle of water can support an entire green oasis.  Water is sparse here, and by sparse I mean you can go days without seeing even a drop of it.  And, what makes it worse is there is sign of where it should be flowing sweet as a freshly squeezed lemonade on a hot summers day everywhere I look.  Each round of the bend, dip in the valley, depression in the mountain hillside is a disappointing tease and an intense reminder of just how different desert living is than my now apparent spoiled lush mountain valley living.

After hiking two-and-a-half hours in 90 plus degree heat at just shy of 9,000 feet, all I can think about is water.  Water to drink, water to swim in, water to stick my dusty, sunburned, cactus scratched and heat blistered toes in.  Water, water, water…!  I’m exaggerating a little bit, but seriously it has never been so clear to me how distinctly I have become the ecosystem I most comfortably call home.  I belong in the high granite mountains, the ones where rivers and lakes dictate how life leaves and enters existence.  How existence is by nature intrinsically tied to the blood and rhythm of all things aqueous.  How obvious it is that I am made of water, 75% to be somewhat exact.  I’ve never felt so weak and exposed with this new and humbling knowledge of just how limited I’ve become based on this one natural resource.

As I sit here writing this, at 8,920 feet in the Gila Wilderness, I am both proud of my ability to have lasted 6 days down here, in temperatures well above my normal functioning comfort zone, but also a little disappointed in myself with this newly discovered limiting weakness…heat and no water.  It makes me feel even worse as the whole time I’ve been down here I’ve taken a searing desire to find out and soak up all I can learn about how the indigenous people and nomadic tribes who passed through this area used this landscape to their advantage in their fight for survival.  And, not fight like war or battle, but just a daily fight to hunt, gather and grow enough food to nourish themselves and their tribal kin.  A fight to build homes in the cliffs above whatever water source they could find.  A fight to limit disease, stay hidden from enemies and advance their society with intuitive cultivation, tool making and necessity living skills.  I am in awe of these people who ranged these lands in the early and truly wild days, pre horrible-horribleness that plagued the indigenous people for centuries to come.

It again makes me feel weak and soft as we leave the basically untouched Mimbres Valley and return back to the nearest city; now decorated with car dealerships, grocery stores filled with boxed crackers, sliced bologna, american cheese, enriched white bread and processed snack cakes; instead of the small-eared corn, pole beans and squash that beckon to grow tall and nourish any willing and mother-earth loving soul.  Geepers, how did we go from that to this…how did we end up here?

I am now delightfully cooled off as I found a shady and sheltered spot on the side of Signal Peak amongst the sweet cream soda smelling Ponderosa pine trees, the always steadfast Douglas-fir and the lovely catkin wearing Gambel oak.  I now realize I’ve already adapted to this new landscape, I can survive here…heck I’m sure I can even thrive here.  It’s one of the very favorite things about myself, if I can be quite frank, is that I am a landscape chameleon.  Any place I get to call home, no matter for how long or short, I learn to love it.  I believe this connection happens because I throw myself head first into exploring these new places.  I put a backpack on, shoes on my feet, hat on my head and head out of my threshold to the timeless abyss of landscape and space.

What a trip, what a truly incredible and enchanting trip, friends.

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Breathtaking, right?! And can you believe this is only about one-quarter of my favorite photos…phew!  Thanks for letting me photo-bomb you.

Also, I finished this book while I was down there.  I can see why Georgia O’Keefe fell so head over heels in love with this landscape.  It is truly the land of enchantment.

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My heart might explode with gratitude for this world’s beauty

I almost couldn’t stand it. The other evening I went out to be a part of the day’s end and as usual stayed out way later than expected.  Winter’s breath left us quite a few weeks ago, and here spring has slowly and tenderly wrapped its tendrils around every nook and cranny I lay my eyes upon.  Winter always leaves with great sorrow for me, as there is nothing I love more than bundling up, cinching bindings, putting skis to the trail and setting out into the white forested garden of Idaho’s backcountry.  The dichotomy of winter’s harsh environment shadowed against the raw and pure beauty of white cloaked peaks is enough to make my heart burst into a million tiny beginnings.  Oh man, all this talk of winter really has me wishing the snow would hold tight and offer a few more high mountain climbs.  Alas, the early eves of white, have transitioned to the gloriously long days of cotyledon greens and buttercup yellows.  I didn’t realize just how much my heart was aching for a landscape painted with new day colors straight from a Kandisnky canvas.

I hope these longer days of transition are finding you well, I know they’ve really re-ignited my yearning for adventure…

Happy spring, chickadees. xx

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Isn’t this wild world of ours so magnificent?!

Idaho, population one

I know, what a silly title for a post…obviously there is more than one person that lives in the state of Idaho…who is this crazy lady anyhow?!  But truly, that is how I feel when I am out jaunting around in Idaho’s forever landscape.  I had this thought as I was on my way home from a backyard hike last night.  As much as I sometimes wish I could firmly put roots down in one location, build a home, and a community of people…I think I am destined to living this nomadic life of mine.  But, this wandering life has led me to so many amazing communities of people and has awarded me so many incredible opportunities to discover, explore and connect with countless amazing places.  Out of all the places I have visited though,  I’ve never felt so entirely alone and so completely alive as when I am out experiencing Idaho’s vast and wild landscape.  These lands echo with story of bone and stardust, of life and re-birth, and the hard work of grit glittered with grace.  Each time I venture out my back door I am completely overwhelmed by the incredible offerings of this sage sloped, creek fed and evergreen dotted paradise.

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 Idaho, population one.