flashback friday

nicole recently posted a lovely life list on her blog - things she wants to do in her lifetime. one of the items was "go sightseeing on a vespa" and she's already crossed it off her list! i was pretty excited to see that on her list because shawn & i did that once...

in october 2001, shawn & i went on our first trip to italy. within an hour of arriving and with roman holiday on the brain, we rented two scooters. we figured out our first stop and away we went. rome was experiencing a fall heat wave. it was hot, sunny and gorgeous. we were ready for an adventure.  then shawn missed a turn and i realized that i was in possesion of all the maps, the phrasebook and a working knowledge of the italian language. shawn had his charm, good looks and no clue where he was heading or how to ask for directions. i came to a piazza near the turn he'd missed and waited, wondering how i was going to explain to his mom that i'd lost him within hours of arriving in italy. being the smart guy he is, he found me. i gave him a map, the phrasebook and away we went, again. with no destination in mind, we rode around the city, stopping for pictures every so often. we rode up one of the seven hills and stopped for our first gelato at a stand high above the city. this was exactly what we were hoping for. perfection. we decided to go to the spanish steps next. we planned our route and hopped on our scooters, happy as could be. 

we came to a traffic octogon and i was cut off by a truck. we were separated and i was forced to turn. i snapped the picture above at the first stop light i came to. i was still happy. we found each other once, surely we'd be able to do it again. shawn had a map and the phrasebook. we had a destination. we could do it, right?

i would stop, look at the map and start again, only to find myself forced to reroute by one way streets, detours and blind panic. i asked for directions and although the route the polizia sent me on took me through the scariest tunnel i'd ever driven through i was much closer than i had been. the area around the spanish steps is tricky. many streets are closed to vehicles and it seems the rest were one way in the opposite direction. i was making my way through this maze when i came to a dead end. i stopped, looked both ways and began to pull out. a small silver car came out of nowhere and we t-boned. i flew forward hard on the scooter but the death grip i had on the handle bars prevented me from falling. my tire made contact with the car's tire. the driver stopped and started screaming at me in italian. the deer caught in headlights look must've given me away as an american because he started calling me a stupid american girl. i yelled back in italian and he was clearly taken by surprise. he was also taken aback when the carabinieri pulled up behind him. two officers jumped out of their car with their large guns and began yelling at him as well. they had seen the whole thing and were clear - it was him that was at fault for driving so recklessly. one office talked with the driver while the other spoke to me. did i need to go to the hospital? no, i was fine. was i sure? yes. was i american? how did i speak italian? could they do anything for me? i needed to find the spanish steps. could he direct me? yes but why did i want to go to the spanish steps? to meet my husband who was also lost. was i sure i wanted to go to the spanish steps? yes. wouldn't i rather go to dinner with him? no. no. spanish steps, grazie, prego... the very nice military police officer gave me perfect instrustions. i had arrived but how was i going to find shawn? it was very crowded and a couple of hours had passed. what was shawn even wearing? 

somehow we found each other. we ran toward each other through the crowd. you'd think that would've been romantic but i'm pretty certain that we looked less romantic and more like two people finding each other in a disaster movie. disheveled and stressed out. but, we found each other.

shawn went through the same scary tunnel. he stopped and asked for help multiple times. except for the incident with the other driver, he'd had as harrowing an adventure as i. but we were together again. and we were going to return one scooter, immediately. too bad we killed our one remaining scooter the next day after a trip to the gas station. but that's a story for another day.

and if i could, i'd totally do it over again.

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things i love tuesday

Finding Oregon from Uncage the Soul Productions on Vimeo.

dumb soundtrack but so beautiful. i live in a beautiful place.

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i'm thankful to my parents. i know they hate having me so far away but they know, deep down, that this is where i'm supposed to be. 

i'm thankful to my friends, new and old. period.

i'm thankful for everyone who has ever bought something cookoorikoo. they've made the way of life i'm so thankful for possible.

i'm thankful for my job. i get to make pretty things every single day. that's incredible. 

i'm thankful to shawn - for a lot. but right now more than anything for not laughing at me when i said, "how about portland?"

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plucky maidens

bettie & i drove out to forest grove today to go to plucky maidens. we wanted to do some holiday shopping, say hi to emily - who was going to have a booth, and just have a little adventure. holiday shopping was a bust. most everyone had tons and tons of christmas stuff - which i LOVE looking at but don't need. seeing emily was great and the drive back and forth was lovely and filled with fall colors. two out of three ain't bad.

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we had talked about going to see this show when it was announced over summer. he said he was going to be taking a break and this was going to be his last show for awhile. it seemed like we should go. and when we realized that seeing amanda palmer and neil gaiman was going to require a trip to seattle two days before this show it became clear, we were going. i'm so glad we did. 

i am an eye-roller. i am a little jaded. i tell you this so you understand fully that saying this night was magical is a big deal for me. and it was. really and truly. from start to finish. magic.

the music was great. he had his band and many, many friends, including amanda palmer and neil gaiman, come out during the show. he was sweet and seemed a little awestruck that he'd filled this giant room. he also seemed tired - what with playing 200 shows in 35 countries over the last year. he read a story he'd written that underlined the point - he's grateful for his life, for his fans, but he's ready for the break. 

the magic though, the magic began to happen as the clock approached 11:11 on 11/11/11. he got everyone out of their seats and incited what could have been a tickle riot. people danced and sang and laughed. 

when the last song was coming to a close, this happened:

half the crowd, followed him and his balloons into the cold night under a full moon and a clear starry sky on a longish walk to the water. he waited for the last of the crowd to arrive, tied his ubiqitous hat to his balloons and let them go. he then took off his clothes, jumped into the freezing water of the puget sound and swam to a boat waiting for him offshore. from most anyone else, this would have seemed ridiculous. in fact, it still sort of does. but for jason webley it also seemed perfect. 

and magical. 

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flashback friday

one year ago i was baking this: http://shamptonindustries.com/her/blog/fall-goodness

two years ago i was loving this shop: http://shamptonindustries.com/her/blog/etsy-love-0

three years ago this happened: http://shamptonindustries.com/her/blog/go-vote

four years ago i was a little blue: http://shamptonindustries.com/her/blog/malaise

five years ago i was headed back to new orleans, again: http://shamptonindustries.com/her/blog/goin-back-new-orleans-again http://shamptonindustries.com/her/blog/home-sweet-home

today i'm preparing for the holidays, going on an afternoon date with shawn, riding my bike to buy a birthday drink for a friend and marvelling a bit at how far i've come. 


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this thing happened. our house was broken into. they took some stuff, made a bit of a mess and left us feeling very uneasy. we both know if could've been worse. we're ok. monkey's ok. the stuff that matters to us - photos, sentimental objects - they're still here. 

this other thing happened too. i was reminded how awesome people can be. everyone has been super supportive and my new portland friends were all extraordinary. independent of this, but happening simultaneously, another person did some amazing things for me which has in turn made some remarkable things happen. i'm in awe. so, thanks.

(via betty turbo)

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hello etsy

i spent yesterday at hello etsy pdx. it was fantastic. it was great spending the day with bettie and katie, and seeing diane, kirsten and plenty of other people i only get to see every once in awhile. plus, i walked away feeling really inspired. 

my favorite session was "embracing the ugly side of your business" with kim werker. it was amazing. here's the description:

"Taking a good hard look at failure can be a very healthy part of succeeding in creative business. It’s scary, yes. It’s uncomfortable, yes. But it can also be liberating, constructive and valuable to the entire process of fleshing out an idea and translating it into a business plan. Learn how NOT avoiding the unsavory bits can make you happy and make your business thrive."

we talked about road blocks, our fears and what would happen if we woke up tomorrow and those fears were just gone. for me, i am afraid of both success and failure. success because OHMYGOD WHAT WILL HAPPEN? and failure because OHMYGOD WHAT WILL HAPPEN? 

(via beanforest)

yeah, i know. crazy. i get it. but the funny thing is that although its a little insane, i was far from the only one with these feelings. so, yes, i'm a little nuts but i'm definitely not alone. it was on my mind throughout the rest of the day and obviously still is.

(this is where i need to acknowldge that some people would say i'm already successful. on my good days, i agree with them. like this weekend when i reached the 2500 sales mark on etsy. its amazing. i'm so thankful to all of my customers and appreciative for the chance to live this life and make pretty things. on my bad days, i fear that i'm already failing and am just too dumb to realize it. I KNOW. I KNOW, OK? what can i tell you? the button above describes me perfectly.)

i also LOVED was betsy & will of betsy & iya's: bloom where you're planted session. it was a perfect end to the day. they are incredibly likeable and their story is totally inspirational. i walked out feeling like, huh, why am i afraid of success? its awesome (and can be scary) but is totally beautiful too.  (just like my betsy & iya earrings i bought at renegade craft austin, the first time we met betsy and will.)


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10 years

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mommie dearest

happy birthday mom! 

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