Back to Work - The Week in Progress

Camamu Logo botanical illustration by Tiger Food Press. Lavender, calendula, and rosemary.


I'm really proud to show you my latest client work, for Camamu Soap here in Portland. I'm telling you, you need smello-internet to fully appreciate how amazing this shop smells. But you don't need smello-internet to see the gorgeous product.


This evening a friend of mine brought a couple of skateboards over to my house and we took off for an empty parking lot nearby to zoom around on four wheels under the stars.

It's been nearly 20 years since I stepped on a board, and I knew I'd be wobbly and insecure, at least for those first initial steps and pushes. I was, but I was also surprised at how quickly my body reclaimed its knowledge. I've been surprised numerous times lately, in fact, at how my ability to pick things up has improved with age, not decreased. Tonight, I hauled my middle-aged body up on a toy I hadn't played with for two decades, and I felt more confident on the deck than I had in two weeks as a beginner when I was 20.

I became confident enough that I tried to pull something off that I wasn't ready for, and now I have a lunch plate-sized bruise and a little less skin on my left hip, but that pain is offset by my increasing faith in my own resilience.

In the same breath with which I tell you this, I'll also tell you that this week I got a rejection letter from a show I'd hoped to get into this year, an enormous holiday craft sale here in Portland. I felt more disappointment than I'd anticipated, and this precipitated a rash of harsh introspection. A little too harsh, likely. This one little setback felt enormous for a period of time this week, and I actively sought to figure out productive ways of overcoming my sense of inadequacy.

Neural plasticity is a topic that's interested me for quite a while. As much as I'd like to put conscientious practices in place in my life that encourage my brain to seek out new ways of getting from path A to path B, it's the accidental that often encourages growth instead. I hadn't intentionally set out to feel better by spending time with a friend I hadn't seen in ages, doing something physical and almost completely foreign to me, but I did. I feel as if this ache and swelling in my hip will be a positive byproduct and reminder that there is opportunity to carve out new paths every day.


I've been wanting to, but have never actually shot video of myself working, so I finally did! This little ditty is obviously a sped-up rendering of the first steps in carving a lino block. Also perhaps obviously, I'm a bit behind on the production schedule for the hawk calendar, but they'll be printed and shipped this week for sure!

Addendum: I just got word that I'm in at another wonderful holiday craft fair - one of my favorites and one not to be missed. Ya win some ya lose some :)