365/week sixteen

 

S I X T E E N.
16-weeks since I graduated.
112-day's.

add 5-years of college, and it is only NOW that I have the faintest idea of what i am made of, what it mean's to be an artist, what i'm working towards...like really know what I'm working towards!

I guess it truly does take a lifetime to live a life...hence the phrase that "life is too short."

I get it now.

in the past 7-days i've been down in Boise, Idaho for their treefort festival where my chair was displayed at their first ever art show! it was seriously amazing to be back at my old stomping grounds, listening to some B O M B music, eating putine and talking art like a crazy lady <3

it was the exclamation point in my soul that screamed

"H E A T H E R guess what? Your an artist, a photographer, a maker, a creative.  And look at what you've done!  You were at the freaking bottom six years ago and now look at you!"

So now I'm looking at me, at my family, at this soon move to Portland, Oregon and I'm like...."Heck yes!  I know what I'm gonna do!"

So I can't quite tell ya'll yet...but it's vintage gloriousness, full of beauty, photos, open roads, and a lot of P-A-R-T-Y!!!

---- so now i'm gonna stop here, drink my coffee, eat my peanut butter sammie for breakfast and head into the studio before i go plant shopping because the sun's out and I am gonna take advantage of every darn moment I get with that beautiful sunshine!

So shine bright my loves and keep moving forward...because there is more life to live!!!

With Grace+Guts,
-


just a few snapshots from treefort 2017

 

365/week twelve

 

Well, here we are 83-days into this challenge.  I'm currently listening to a melancholy playlist on Spotify which is making me want to make some new playlists to listen to as it's now March (just apparently Jack Frost in my neck of the woods hasn't gotten that memo.)  What are you currently listening to on repeat?

I figured since we're 12-weeks into this deal I would review the list and talk about what I have done, haven't at all touched and the other's that are in the works...just waiting on warmer weather.

1. Write my book: Well, I've been on and off working on this.  I've submitted a few shorts to a few journals and waiting to hear back, but I'm defiantly slacking here.  Mainly because of inspiration. I find good ideas and then 20-minutes later they lack the luster.

2. Go full throttle freelance photographer: Oh boy!  this one is probably where I've done the most work.  Espically moving to Portland, I've really had a tough time finding work that fits, so I've had to sort of just jump off a cliff for this.  I've already booked my first (and some of my biggest sessions to date) in Portland and I'm so stoked!

3. Iceland...this is a much later in the year deal.

4. Get a puppy: Originally I was going to buy one at Christmas, but then we didn't find THE one (finding a puppy is like dating all over again!) and then we found out we were moving...so we are planning on buying a fuzzy baby in Portland this summer!

5. Learn the Cello: Waiting on PDX where I can rent one and take weekly classes

6. Learn the ukulele: This is really rough, lol. I have one and if you follow me on Instastories, you'll note that I sound like a dying cat...but I'm trying and I've found a teacher so hopefully by summer bon fires I won't be the drag of the party.

7. Relearn the piano: YES! I have been working on this, once again I've mostly shared this on Instastories.  But I fell in love with La La Land so much, that those songs are the one's I'm bound and determined to get down.

8. Fiber art + Lit body of work: I've really been working on this for Artwalk (which is in June) and I have shared studio shots on Instastories and will share more photos of the actual work as we get closer to June.  But I'm neck deep in threads and paint and some collage as well here.

9. Purge house: One MAJOR perk of moving to a new state...this isn't a goal...it's a HAVE TOO!

10. Learn how to make chocolate Soufflé: No reason or rhyme why I haven't done this yet. BOO!

11. Learn Italian: I've spent like 3-days on this, so like, nothing.  But I'm renting old Italian films this weekend to watch...so maybe this will inspire me.

12. Learn Polish: I can't even admit to this one yet, lol.

13. Learn hand writing lettering: YES! I've really started taking sketchbook time and have practiced my lettering and even did some work for the marketing company I work for.  It takes time and practice but I'm loving it.

14. Read more: I was doing really good on my personal side of things (see book reviews here) but then my kiddos entered a HUGE Roald Dahl phase and so that's all I've been reading lol.  Not sure if you all want my book reviews on those?

15. Be more involved with my kids: another thing that has REALLY manafested since the hubs moved for his job.  I am not involved with everything with my kids.  From being woke up at 5:23 to pop a lego dude's arm back in to swim and dance meet's to getting all the lice out of my daughters hair (YUCK!) But this is why they have somehow taken over my personal Instagram (sorry...not sorry!)

16. Monthly date nights: A not so great thing with the hubs 6-hours away...these just don't happen.  Man I miss him...okay moving on.

17. Explore AZ: coming soon...promise!

18. Get shoulder tattoo: in da' works yo'!

19. Eat what I want: okay so this week is a true testament to this one...brownies for breakfast...twice.  And zero guilt.

20. Go dancing: Okay, La La Land has really re sparked this one.  Currently looking for ballroom dancing in PDX to go with the hubs.  Anyone have suggestions?

21. Fly an airplane: ALSO...VERY SOON!

22. Get back into painting + illustrations:  you probably saw form a very early time in the challenge on that I just jumped back into drawing and illustrating.  It's upped my design game by 100 and I'm so much happier with my work and myself for just taking 10-minutes a day to draw.  I even had two locations since graduation show my illustrations.  I've also started adding painting to my faber art for Artwalk this summer.  I've learned taking 20-minutes or so a day in the studio is a MUST and at least it's something.  Netflix can wait...although I'm HOOKED on Chef's Table.

23. Learn more about botany: so far I've killed two cacti...I need to fix this!

24. Make a cover to a favorite song: this one is waiting till I'm reunited with my hubs...the guitarist in this endeavor.

25. Create tape deck worthy playlists: been doing...will keep doing...follow me on Spotify!

26. Laugh more: Every day is the goal.  Someday's I've rocked this...other days...I've failed.  But I've given up yelling for lent (I have a German temper I'm over with) so laughing come my way!

27. Coffee: Ever' Damn Day.

Now, for my millions of errands. 
Ugh.

Happy Friday Though Ya'll!

With Grace + guts,

-H

 

365/week eleven

365/week eleven

Patched up jean jackets, Portland and an elephant funeral.  Treefort and art art art.  Taking over the house and dancing to lots of Whitney Huston with waaaay too much coffee intake.  But what else is life?

Read More

365/week ten

 

It's easy to say that I'm obsessed.
This past weekend I had a "mom staycation" where I had my sweet little abode all to myself.
A sunny winter weekend was all mine.
I ate enough Panda Express for 3 by myself, browsed a store without buying anything, read a couple chapters, worked on my own books, I CLEANED.  Oh man did I clean.  I cleaned every dang surface of my house and it was glorious.
But what I also did was go to the movies by myself.  I bought the tiniest bag of popcorn for an outrageous $4.00 and finally saw La La Land.

I know I should be talking about what I did this week in regards to checking off this somewhat daunting list of mine, however, it be stupid of me to not talk about La La Land instead.

For years in school it was all about "finding myself" and when myself came to graduation and was confused about who I was...I panicked.  Was I a writer? A sculpture? A photographer? A mom blogger?  Why had I given up painting? Or my illustrations?  What was my purpose on this earth.  I felt so lost.  
I do not like the feeling of lost.

So I made this list.  Hoping, praying every night that it'll get me just ONE small step closer to not feeling lost.  Yet, this list has caused several steps.  La La Land was one of them.

It's ignited the fire I used to feel with piano once again, and every damn day I've practiced over and over again.

It's brought to question my love for writing and playwrites, and yes, I've been messing around with that.

I've danced around my kitchen table a hundred times this week, with just a smile full of life there on my face.

I have really become so hyper focused since watching this movie.  And where I'm still struggling with finding peace that I may not be just a "one thing" person but a "million things" person who will forever have a confusing jumbled website.  But what I have is a heart for all of this.  The scratching sound of pen on my notebook while I doodle or write, sends shivers down my spine.  The moment my eyes connect with someone else's through a lens, I'm on an unbeatable high.  It's my dance.

I've always been one who was around and loved music.  I see music in everything.  In a moment, a memory, a person. Everything.  I've laid out a Coldplay song music video in Seattle at night over and over again in my head because I just see it.  I'm always dancing and moving and singing and listening to the music that surrounds me.  I guess, I can't expect to be a cookie cutter when I'm a milkshake who's person forgot to put the lid on.

Some day's its glorious.
Others, it freaking sucks.

But I've got 68-days behind me and 297-days ahead of me, and I plan on finishing this list.

Afffttteerr (of course) I finish this plate of hummus and go to bed.

With Grace+Guts,
-H

 

Tiny Burning Embers: In light of MLK day and January 20th

 

Today I was working on putting together something I've regularly done here on Grace + Guts, my weekly favorites, where I highlight things that I've got my heart set on, things I'm being sponsored to show you, things I've recently been using and find lovely and divine.

Tonight, Well...pish posh as my late grandmother would say.

How false this facade is, how so materialistic.  And it's so hard not to be succumbed by all of the popularity that comes with it all.  All through high school, I was the girl who hid in the library or my schools ceramic studio, trying at all costs to be hidden but dying to be popular.  I never made it to the top.  I remained the art writer girl with really good grades but who was too socially awkward to make it anywhere on that popularity scale.

We Google what we don't know, and believe the rest from word of mouth.  We look at what others are wearing (getting paid to show you those things) and we buy into it...we literally buy it.  And it's all jolly good and well here and there, but for it to dictate and determine how we portray ourselves, it's saddening.  To let other's guide you into something.

On the end of the MLK day, I can't help but feel inspired, empowered.  This week, especially, I need this sort of fiery strength.  I believe we all do.  In church yesterday, we started a series on the book of Acts, something I needed to hear.  That we are people of power, strength and possibility.  Nothing, not a single person, can hold us back if we only believe in the strength that strengthens us.  That though we may not know the plan ahead...there has been one laid out for us.
For me.

In six months I am moving to a city where I know literally zero people.  I am becoming a very small fish in a rather large pond.  And besides my excitement for my husband and his wildly fantastic new job and the possibility of running into Cheryl Strayed being upped by like 100, I'm feeling a little more than belittled.  I have always been a sort of "ball buster" pushing the line, fighting, yet, held back by my own unpopular insecurities.  And right now, I'm fighting fog...the unknown.  I do not know the plan that is up ahead of me...and for someone who likes control and order...this is really a disheartening feeling.

But today, tonight.  There is a smidgen of hope in me.  Burning embers scattered across my heart.  The question of "yes...but what if" is what I lived each day by.  Open to the possibility of absolutely anything.  I always told my mom from the time I was very small that I wanted to see the world and change it.  So I am opening up my everything tonight to the possibility of Yes! But what if.

I will no longer fill your feeds with products and gizmo's unless I fully believe in it, whether I'm being paid for it or not.  I will not always post perfect photoshoots.  I am a PNW girl at heart, and a mother for life.  I am a jack of trades unable to decide between writing, art and photography...so I refuse to.  I'm still socially awkward and have every hope of your love and support, but have no necessity need for it either. I'm am, as they say, constantly inconsistent.  I started my 365-day challenge simply because I wanted to secure who I was...and it is doing just that (with the help of Hans Zimmer of course...as he is the soundtrack to my life.)

Let us find love and respect for one another this week.  Empowering our fellow neighbors in all their ambitions and let us move forward with or without the support of central and head government.  For We Are The People.  The very strong people...who can do anything.
And we mustnt ever forget this.

As Always and Forever.

With Grace+Guts,
-H

 

Moved. Brett. Glacier. Artwalk...SLEEP.

I honestly don't remember the last time I was this busy.  I can't, because I'm usually a whirl of a headless chicken juggling the many things that I do.  But these past two-weeks have just been over the top insane...which is fine...because it's all been wonderful (just exhausting) and I'm scheduling a nap for myself in two-weeks.
No joke...I wrote in my planner for two weeks from now a nap at 1:30pm and to wake up at 3:00. (Man I envy my kids sometimes in this regard.)

 ARTWALK 2016 | Heather Woolery | All Rights Reserved 2016

ARTWALK 2016 | Heather Woolery | All Rights Reserved 2016

To start us back on track (yay for some normalcy) We got all of our belongings moved in one day, 24-hours, and our new home...which is substantially nicer yet smaller then our previous places, was a Great Wall of Boxes and Bags and I'm not sure what all.  It's been two weeks of me sorting through stuff, and donating a lot.  If you follow me on Pintrest you'll see I oogle and google at homey homes that are somewhat (not over the top) minimal and C L E A N!  My miner OCD is drawn to this, yet with all our stuff, which we really didn't need, this was impossible.  
So sadly, my studio is still not even touched, it's just a Great Wall of Boxes and Bags, but the rest of the house is really starting to come together and my OCD M U S T C L E A N panic attacks are getting fewer.

 National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

As an early birthday present, the hubby took my down to S. Idaho to go see Brett Dennen.  Let me squeal here like a high school roady. I got to see Brett Dennen in concert.  Now, my love for this man is strictly his music...no joke.  Now, he IS a beautiful human and soul, but that transcribed into his lyrics, and when someone can open themselves up and share it with the world like Brett (melts) I'm all ears.  Brett Dennen was the artist my husband first suggested when we started dating, and when my hubby left for a month long military training he sent me the lyrics of "Don't Forget" by Brett since I was going through such a hard personal time being a single mom.
Now it's become me missing my hubby, having a GAH! day, me needing some good studio music, me just wanting to dance a little bit versus full on Robyn dance floor...Brett Dennen is my main squeeze for this. 
Not to mention I got to meet him, get the typical horrible "I met this celebrity" picture and to cherry top it off...I got a hug.  If you all need a new addition to your Summer 2016 Playlist go check out Por Favor by Brett Dennen...Bon Fire is a current favorite track <3

To finish off the birthday festivities, the following weekend, we took a three-day weekend trip to Glacier National Park.  For living not that far away from it, it's one my hubby and I haven't had a chance to make it to just yet.  Celebrating the Centennial of National Parks, my hubby and I have signed ourselves up for our own personal Nat Park Run 2016-2017 season.  Seeing how many National Parks we can visit in the season.  Now, we're slowed down by our two-week jaunt to Europe in July (bummer, lol) but we're still "Challenge Accepted" "Game On!" 

As for Glacier, I had asked my husband that for my birthday I wanted Hot Coco and Mountains, and well Glacier did just that.  We stuck around the Lack McDonald area since the Going-To-The-Sun Rd. was closed past The Walk Of The Cedars. We did the Cedar trail, and had an afternoon intermission when I was hit with a minor spat of food poisoning.  I was curled up in my sleeping bag watching the silhouette's of caterpillars crawl across the top of the tent while my (oh so sweet) hubby wrangled our children and kept them occupied with our Eno Hammock.    

After lots of sleep and a light dinner I was feeling good enough to go down to Lake McDonald and get pictures of my birthday sunset...and it didn't disappoint.

 National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

 National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

 National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

Now to finish off this headless chicken run I've been doing is Artwalk.  My work is showcased in two separate establishments and I'm organizing another businesses Artwalk...so all I've done this week is go to work, come home and make, pick up kids, do kids sports, feed kids, shower kids, wrangle kids into bed, drink more coffee, stay up late making and organizing, and loath my alarm every morning.
But I'm so excited for these shows and I'm proud of the work I'm showcasing.  After Friday, I'll be more regular about these posts and will show you the art carnival of my town which is Artwalk.

So Happy Humpday Friends.  Take a long drag of your coffee and know its gonna be okay.

With Grace + Guts.

-H

 National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

any given sunday.

 A March Saturday | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

A March Saturday | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Saturday's spent at home are a rare breed around my dwelling anymore.  Between my husbands military + job obligations, my art shows + schooling, my daughter's visitations down south and the random obligations that come with being a living human...getting to just be home is a beautiful, cherished thing around here.

So this weekend has been early wake-up call's by my little Kraken's (because they still have yet to realize what the term's "Saturday" and "sleep in" mean.  It's been a down pour of rain and us just re-potting indoor plants that have been sadly neglected over this winter of busy and rush. 

I was pleased though to see, in the small amount of time I spent outside this weekend, that my lavender plants are starting to bud...so down pour of rain be damned...spring is truly coming!  (chaco tan lines I'm coming for you!)

However, though there has been small little promises of warmer weather, I couldn't help while at the grocery store to grab milk, also grabbing a couple bunches of these daffodils that I polka-dotted all over the house.  The smell has brought a yellow cheery sense to this little dwelling.  

Recently, a lot of struggles + frustrations have seemed to pile up, this house being one of them, and yet in the midst of "doom + gloom" it's always surprising how some comfy overall's, fresh cut flowers, a hot London fog and some studio time or curled up reading a book can make the world seem so much more beautiful...alive.

 The Nuart | All Right's Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

The Nuart | All Right's Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

On Friday, I went downtown for a meeting about an upcoming show for my "I Am The Man" project (you can see HERE) and as I locked my car, I looked across the street at our Nuart Theater, and I couldn't help but pull my camera out and snap this picture.  I walk by this building every week, I actually go to that building frequently, and yet, for some reason, the rain gave it a new feel.  I have this love for store fronts and old buildings.  I've always felt like bricks were sponges.  Soaking up time and memories and yet holding up for all that is to come.

Something that has recently become more important is music.  Now my iPod is a jumble of bipolar scrambled eggs and I have a deeper love for vinyl then most know about me, but my musical, piano playing past has started to creep back up on me.  As I'm rearing to the end of my college career (for now, I doubt I'll ever truly be done) plus orders on my etsy shop, upcoming art shows, and being an editor for a couple publications...my love for reading, writing + art have defiantly been consumed as my "lively-hood", my job.  So its of no surprise to me that my need for an outlet that hasn't been consumed in some work fashion took over my husband's little ukulele.  He had received it as a gift from his parents when they went to Hawaii while we were still dating...and he's maybe pulled it out twice.  Over last summer he tried to teach me guitar but my tiny body compared to his full guitar made me feel more like I was hugging Sasquatch versus playing something beautiful.  I then tried the ukulele and found that it's 'c' cord to be by far one of the happiest sounds in this world...and since then I keep teaching myself this happy little instrument. (photo credit to my 6-year old who has an obsession of taking pictures...I wonder who she learned that from lol).

Recently I've begun delving into Sally Mann's new book "Hold Still", first and foremost for my thesis research, but secondly it had been recommended to me it felt like a million time.  About two pages in, I was swooning over this woman's words and adoring that she had added pictures and scanned in artifacts of letters, report cards etc. into her memoir.  It's been such a beautiful read on photography + memories + childhood + becoming and most of all, living a life.

And I won't lie, I've spent a couple too late of nights and a handful of really early mornings to read this book...but as a mom...you take reading time when you can get it.

In a way, this blog post feels mundane, unnecessary, but then again, if felt necessary.  Over the week, I share so many beautiful moments and images on Instagram, and there is only so much of "me, myself + I" that I can put in the portfolio and I so badly want to share these small moments.  The story behind each image.  

But as much as I love these lazy weekends, I won't lie, I'm so grateful it's spring break, and I'm about to leave town to snag some beautiful shots, drink too much coffee, keep reading Sally Mann and get extra snuggles from my little Krakens.

If you don't already: you can follow all my adventures, coffee raves, motherly moments and making strives on Instagram @heather_woolery + now on Twitter @heatherwoolery.

Banff National Park No.4

 Lake Louise Gondola - Banff National Park - 2015

Lake Louise Gondola - Banff National Park - 2015

To start our day four off right we enjoyed one of the best hotel breakfasts I've ever had (which really is saying something) at the Lake Louise Inn!  It was $1.00 extra per person at check-in and it was worth it, a complete spread from hash browns to multiple types of breakfast meats, sweet-pieces, fruit, on and on along with the most adorable mini Nutella's you've ever seen.  We were also able to purchase our tickets for the Lake Louise Gondola at check-out which made it super convenient.  There is transportation from the hotel to the gondola however we opted to drive ourselves (something about being on your own time which is just nice.)

At the gondola you have to watch a short informational video letting you know how Parks Canada and other groups work together to make sure that not only you as the visitor but the wildlife are as little impacted as possible, and then your off on your way.  There are multiple large electric fences around Banff National Park to detour curious little bears and other wildlife from coming in contact with humans, you see one of these fences on your ride on the gondola, but once your past the fence it isn't uncommon to see one of those fuzzy creatures munching on huckleberries and other foliage down below.  However, though we never saw a black or grizzly bear on our trip, the views from the gondola were wonderful and the informational center was sensational.  If you have kids or want some hands on learning yourself, the informational center is the place to go.  There is a well knowledged staff and lots of specimens for hands on teaching, as well as a nice restaurant and multiple trail heads. 

One thing I saw when researching Banff National Park is that I MUST take the Icefield Parkway, a 3+ hour drive between Banff and Jasper National Park.  According to National Geographic, it's the drive of a lifetime, and if your out to see some wildlife this is the way to do it.  Like I mentioned earlier, we didn't see any bears on our trip, however, during our drive on the Parkway we saw Mountain Goats, Big Horn Sheep, Elk, and a few other small little creatures.  The Parkway is also the way to a lot of other popular attractions.

Once we got to Jasper, we instantly fell in love with the town.  It was quaint, the Canadian Pacific is in the heart and center of this town and its far less tourist driven but local.  Though the tourist shops are still on the main strip, my mom went into a wonderful little flower shop, had some wonderful coffee, checked out a farmers market and got to have Monte Cristos (both our favorite sandwich and if you've never had one SHAME!) at a local Canadian chain.

 Jasper - Alberta Canada - 2015

Jasper - Alberta Canada - 2015

To say the least, we stayed in Jasper a little longer then planned so we drove back in the dark, but we had a booked night back at Johnston Canyon, and if we had known we would love Jasper so much we would have stayed there the night.  However we got to our little bungalow exhausted and happy and well adventured out for the day.  Though this seems like a short day, there wouldn't have been enough time if I made every stop I wished to make on the Icefields Parkway as if was filled with glorious views of the Rockies, multiple lakes, wildlife and other spectacular views.  Take a day and go drive this stretch, its well beyond worth the pricier gas prices.

hings learned: Plan a minimum of one day and one night at Jasper.  Absolutely plan a trip (even a couple hours) on the Canadian Pacific railway.  Look into and book hotels/bungalows or town houses before you go and plan your trip accordingly.