Inspiration #9: Fallen for Fall

Inspiration by Mail

“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”   ~Henry David Thoreau

I’ve been a little preoccupied this week by autumn painted leaves, wood burning stoves, crisp air and mint tea. I am so grateful to God that I am living again in a place that celebrates the changing of seasons. I want to go running in piles of leaves, curl up on the couch and pick apples. All at the same time!

Because of this I have decorated just a little bit in my room to remind me of all the fall wonders. There is a little pumpkin stand/patch near my house that has the perfect little wonders for my tiny room.

There is a tiny little orange/yellow gourd sitting on my headboard/nightstand table with a gorgeous deep hued leaf resting above.

I received a card from my great Aunt Elaine this week with autumn written all over it. Now it sits proudly by my display of a small pumpkin, white gourd, a few tiny pine cones and a leaf wrapped candle holder. I’m not usually a candle person but for some reason a little cinnamon spice is good this year.

This is my door into my room. I made a the wreath from a tutorial from Jones Design Company. It is coffee filters that you dye different colors then cut up and roll into flowers. Some of the colors were a little too springy so I hand painted a few of them deeper and added lots of leaves. Another excuse for me to walk my neighborhood. Now that I am all done decorating, I have to resist the urge to pick up every leaf I see. There are all so beautiful!

Fall and being grateful for Fall.

Sprinkle a Little Fairy Dust

Art Doodles

Mothers are brave, protective, and adventurous. Every time a mother leaves her children with me, I am amazed at the amount of trust that she has bestoyed. Usually only after one meeting! A mother’s intuition is never wrong.

I counted on that very intuition when I built up Date Night Fairies Babysitting Service (DNF) while living in Tampa. From moving their in 2004, I had increased my list of families to over 20 in just a short amount of time. Of course I couldn’t have done this without my first family to give me the recommendation forward.

My very first family was the “Friday Night Date Boys.” My dad is very good about meeting the neighbors and really anyone who will talk to him while he is out grooming the yard or walking. That is how I came to know “my boys”. They hadn’t quite hit the double digits by then but were growing like weeds quickly! Their mother, Mallory, is straight forward and my kinda gal. What’s the point of beating around the bush? Her dry humor and ease made me feel right at home.

I spent many Friday and Saturday nights with those boys. Most of the time protecting breakable items in the house during a dart gun war or catching balls flying through the air. I’ll never forget taking air guns outside to paralyze the small lizards that scatter everywhere in Florida. The same lizards that look like they are constantly doing push ups; they may just be a little cocky. Or when the boys decided it would be a great idea to start trapping animals that wandered the backyard. I came over one day to find a not-so-happy possum in the trap. To make the night ever more adventurous they decided to let it go… yeah not my favorite part.

As the years wore on, I didn’t see them as much. Partly because they were pre-teen to teenagers and didn’t really need a babysitter anymore and also that I was busy with school. I would stop by infrequently and be amazed that they had outgrown me in height. These boys, soon to be men, definitely take after their father.  Oh My Friday Night Boys!

Thank you to Mallory for believing in a strange teenage girl to take care of her precious boys. Recently, I have also become extremely grateful for Mallory’s immaculately clean home and great style sense. (Living in Seattle again has taught me a few things.) I never would have been able to start DNF if it wasn’t for you and your wonderful family.

“We hope to be sprinkling a little fairy dust in your home soon!” ~ DNF Slogan

Tonight I was thinking of lettering for some reason- still need to work on those skills. There are a few faint fairies flying about on this card. One of them is the Fairy Godmother- Me! If you look really really closely you’ll see the telltale hat upon my fairy head.

Inspiration #8: Cap & Cape Girl

Inspiration by Mail

You may have noticed that whenever I paint myself into one of the cards I am wearing a hat and maybe a cape with a fur like collar. I’m proud, honored and super happy to say that I actually own ones just like them!

Right before I moved to Seattle, I took a short pause in LA to celebrate Christmas with my family which is where I found my prized possession of a vintage caramel heathered cape and a vintage fur collar at Shareen Vintage. Ecstatic to be moving to a cooler weather climate, I snatched these two pieces and settled them on my shoulders. How had I ever lived without these pieces before!

My original thought was to call this blog “The Adventures of Cap & Cape’ or “Cap & Cape Notes” but none of them expressed the gratitude that I wish to portray in every post. Which brings me to say that this blog has everything that I appreciate in life on a very basic level: my fur collar & cape, hats, art, writing notes and expressing gratitude. I have a full life!

And now a few pictures of the adventures of this cap & cape girl around town…

On the train back to Seattle from Portland. I felt like I was traveling back in the 1920’s.

All dressed to go to Shareen Vintage in LA with my little fashionista Jelly!

Private Eye, Virginia. It was makeup day at the dance studio I worked at. It had to be something out of the usual, obviously!

First day of art school!

I’ve realized that I need to take the Cape on a few more adventures. Now that the weather has turned colder, I have been wearing her all week. What a feeling to be all snuggled up with the fur gently brushing my cheeks where ever I go. Now all I need is a pumpkin spice latte and the day is set.

1, 2, 3,… 5, 6, 7, SALSA!

Art Doodles

“Ver-heen-knee-aaaa!” Yes, that is my name rolling off the tongue of my favorite salsa partner. I hated the pronunciation of my name in Spanish when I was younger but now with the rolling rrr’s and lively tempo it sounds like music!

Dancing is one of my favorite activities to do. The endorphins start pulsing through my veins along with the cowbell tink-ing in the background. Its a glorious feeling to just let the music flow through the tips of my fingers and the balls of me feet; the only point of contact the world beneath me. Always being a girly-girl, I enjoy the flip, twist and swish of my dress flowing between my legs as I turn and go through the salsa basic.

After moving to Seattle, I realized that it would be a little bit harder to find a good salsa partner. Imagine my surprise when in a small little Spanish restaurant in Wallingford I met Mario. A true gentleman, a salsa leader and penchant for laughter.

Thank you Mario for being a great friend and salsa partner! I promise I won’t try to lead… as much. 🙂

Can’t wait to get on the dance floor this week!

Glass Adventures

Art Doodles

For the past 8 months, I have been working as a gallery assistant/manager at Canlis Glass Gallery + Studio. It really doesn’t seem possible that I have been in Seattle for even 8 months never mind 9 and change. The sayings seems to be true. “Time flies when you’re having fun.”

And boy do we have fun at the gallery! From impromptu imitations of “Train” singing to fighting off wandering hands from touching fragile glass to full on laugh til you cry sessions. The antics of J.P. and Leigh Canlis, artist and president, have me in a perpetual gleefully happy mood.

Thank you to J.P. and Leigh for making my time at Canlis Glass enjoyable, worthwhile and fun! I appreciate being trusted by you in many areas of Canlis Glass and your lives.

J.P. and Leigh recently took the Canlis Glass staff to Buca di Beppo’s for a little out of the gallery “bonding” time. This is where I was able to here their engagement story (J.P. hand blew a glass Hawaiian fish, placed the ring inside and had Leigh literally fish for it in the ocean off of a small island…of course their were some mishaps that made it suspenseful and funny!), find out that Foster (glass assistant) and I have birthdays one day apart, and about Leigh and J.P.’s scrape with a certain restaurant due to a food fight in their earlier days… Needless to say, I know where I am hiding in the gallery if desperate circumstances arrive, Graphite Bamboo Installation.

A Lifetime of Love

Art Doodles

Like clockwork my birthday comes every year. Amazing how when I was younger I wanted to speed it up and now that I am getting just a little bit older (not much) I wish that it would delay its coming. But one thing that I can always look forward to at my birthday is my Aunt Lois’ birthday cards.

My Aunt Lois is actually my dad’s aunt who has lovingly taken every great-nephew and great-niece of hers on. I don’t know how she remembers everyone’s birthday and keep us all straight! I am extremely blessed to have her in my life and appreciate every card, check and smile from her!

A little story about Aunt Lois and I is we spent a trip together when I was 11 to Disneyland with my Grandpa, Nana, Aunt Cindy, Uncle Andy and little cousin Alec. One night, while we were in a tropical oasis that I would later in life call home for 7 years, we witnessed a beautiful display of God’s painting abilities with a pink and orange sunset. For some reason we had created a tickling contest associated with pink sunsets. Now our favorite joke is to mention a pink sunset. If you look closely birthday card number 23 is a pink sunset just for my Auntie Lois!

Rip Roaring Time

Art Doodles

I love the wind and water. At this very moment, I am buried beneath a fluffy down comforter so I can I have the window open to feel the cool (getting colder) breeze and smell the rain kissed air.

Naturally I would enjoy white water rafting! And I do! I revel in the eminent possibility of being overturned at any moment into a raging river. Yup, sounds like a pretty good time to me! Here is a snap shot of a rafting trip I took with my family two years ago. We…aaaaa… forgot…to…aaaaaa …HIGHSIDE!


Do you see the look of pure enjoyment on my face? I might be the only one smiling in the group (I’m the one next to the guide in the orange hat). Our guide, Rob, gave us a sound lashing laced with a few choice New Yorker swear words afterwards, but it was worth it!

My most recent rafting trip wasn’t quite that eventful. Unfortunately, no dunkings, raft upsets or other “dangerous” happenings. But instead a peaceful float down the Tieton River in Yakima, WA with beautiful scenery. It was good time even without the mishaps.

At this point, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with appreciation. I’m gonna tell ya. I had purchased these rafting tickets back in May for a friend and I to go during our birthday month. Well it just so happens that this friend up and moved to Chicago the month before! Whats a girl to do? Figure out another person who is adventurous enough to have a good time on the water. I asked around but prior plans, fear of water (what! who has that!), and dislike for wet suits left me hanging. Until I found out that Derek went sky diving out of a plane in Fiji. I realized that if he can sky dive in Fiji he probably wouldn’t have a problem floating down a river in Yakima. He accepted even after finding out that it would a 9 hour day with 6 hours driving and 3 hours floating. What a trooper!

Thanks Derek for coming along for an adventure, driving 6 hours, sniffing out good wine and grabbing me some apples.