I haven't heard this one in a while, a favorite stripped down version of a Hendrix classic... Happy Sunday everyone!
Here's a fresh new batch of lovingly hand stitched slouch bags in Belgian linens & vintage denims. My staple design, always a classic & a favorite to hold & carry, they are beautiful both inside & out! Available at my shop page.
it's been a while since i last posted & realizing half of the year has come & gone. we've been busy remodeling our first home & as remodeling goes, seemingly no end in sight... my designs have been on the back burner for the past several months but now that our home is in a livable condition, i feel energized & ready to start creating again. so with this new energy, i put a heaping amount of time & love into this new site bringing both of my labels, rizom designs & leilei aloha under one roof, so to speak. my hope is for a cohesive space, an organized, streamlined site that makes it easier to share what i love & create. please browse around & check back often for regular posts. for now, i leave you with a spread in the beautiful spring/summer issue of oregon home magazine featuring my little redwood tote bag. thanks so much to snow blackwood & the oregon home staff for their generous love! here's a link to their stunning magazine if you'd like to browse their latest issue! http://www.oregonhomemagazine.com/
I was recently told by a very wise man the name of my 'spirit angel'. Her name is Alana. In Hawaiian, Alana is a feminine form of Alan meaning 'Awakening'. We are going into a period of exciting changes but changes can be scary with a host of unknown factors which has kept me awake many a nights. I went on a morning walk yesterday through the park, absorbed in thought about Alana, asking for guidance and strength during this time of transition. I was admiring the beautiful fallen leaves of gold, red, orange and began gathering them to scatter at the foot of a magnificent tree. As I bent down to pick up an enormous bright orange leaf, I saw a perfectly intact sand dollar amidst the dirt. I thought how wild to find a sand dollar in the middle of a park in Portland, some 70+ miles from the nearest shoreline. I did a bit of research about sand dollars & discovered a wealth of spiritual symbolism and meaning behind this beautiful creature of the sea. Transformation, internal strength, bravery, planned activities, encouragement, freedom, movement, socialism, reformation... this all resonates deeply with this particular time in my life. Breaking a sand dollar open, I read, one would find 5 perfect Angel or Dove shaped fragments which releases peace and good will towards all mankind. As much as I resisted breaking this beautiful gift, my inner voice nudged me and in breaking open, we birth a new life & new possibility into existence. Thank you Alana, thank you Universe for this truly amazing experience....
I scored a huge bag of organic red & yellow peppers at the farmers market the other day for $5!! Usually these gorgeous peppers run about $5 a piece but it's the end of season (sigh...) & our lovely farmers had a bumper crop which needed unloading so I happily scooped up a bag! I was thinking of making a pureed roasted pepper soup but decided on a red pepper coulis. I found this great recipe on the cookingchannel but tweaked the sauce by adding roasted shallots, garlic & cippollini onions to the mix. You can roast everything at the same time but keeping the shallots, garlic & onions in a little pocket of foil. The colors turned out like a celebration of Autumn! Ry & I will be enjoying this delicious coulis over quinoa, roasted beets & steamed kale tonight. Happy Friday & wishing you a lovely Fall weekend...
yes, we live in a world where this exists... titanium blue berries encased in the brightest fuschia calyxes that smells like peanut butter! amazed by the miracle & utter beauty of this life...
I've been listening to a lot of Gregg Braden lately & really getting into the concept of 'feeling is prayer'. I'm not a 'religious' person by any means but I am deeply interested in spirituality. I do believe that our thoughts & feelings can manifest many different realities for us as human beings, depending on whether we put emphasis on positive or negative energy. I went for a walk this morning to the park and after a short meditation and some journaling, I was walking back with a thought or maybe I should say a feeling of wanting & eating a chestnut. Just out of nowhere, I thought that, maybe because it's clearly evident Fall has befallen us here in Portland. Just as I was thinking or 'feeling' this, I heard a loud thud of something falling on a parked car steps away from me & when I looked down, I saw hundreds of fallen chestnuts all around me! They were everywhere & when I looked up, I happen to be standing under not one but two gigantic chestnut trees. I usually take a different path so I never came upon these trees before... Ask & you shall receive or should it be Feel & you shall receive? Call it what it is but I think there's something to this 'feeling' & 'manifesting'. Wishing everyone a beautiful Friday into the weekend & may you be 'feeling' awesome wherever you are...
I was thrilled to receive an email from Shannon Quimby, (an internationally recognized designer, photo stylist, author... the list goes on of her amazing accomplishments) inquiring about my designs and her desire to use some of my handmade bags and hats in her upcoming photo shoots for national publication! I met with her a few days later at her gorgeous home in Portland (one of America's first homes to be built on zero waste! Beautiful!) to discuss her creative process and to drop off Rizom goodies for her shoot in Portland. I found Shannon to be a beautiful, talented, gracious, down to earth woman with a wonderful sense of style & humor and I am so thankful to have the opportunity to work with her. Here are a couple of pieces that I just finished for her to take with her on a shoot in Texas coming up next week. So stoked!
My latest handmade bags created from a small batch of reclaimed heavy European suede that I purchased while wandering the streets of Portland. This suede feels amazing with such a gorgeous, lazy drape to it. Perfect for the trio of cross shoulder, slouch & tote bags that I made from this wonderful material. Hand printed with my favorite primitive floral design in muted colors, these are super fun bags with a lot of purpose and style. Originally intended for upholstery, this suede is made to last... The 'Walkabout', 'Wanderer' & 'Sojourner' (can you tell I'm 'Wanderlusting'?...) available here, here & here....
I've been thinking of the creative's journey, the difficulties, the self doubts and immense joy all bundled into one swirling emotion... This quote by Mary Oliver from an interview I read is a beautiful affirmation of a woman who really stayed true to her creative desires, I love this... "I've said before that the angel doesn't sit on your shoulder unless the pencil's in your hand. ... And in truth that [is only] given after years of desiring it, being open to it, and walking toward it."
Diligently doing the work, holding it as something special, even sacred, having a spacious mind and always moving towards your desire, the main ingredients to a fulfilling creative life...
I've been having so much fun making these great keychains, hand stitching & embroidering elements of nature with a primitive modern spin. the designs range from spruce and pine trees to rivers, rain and stars, each element that makes up our beautiful natural world... feels good in your hands, the warm buttery rich brown eco leather & the split key rings hold 3 sturdy vintage brass clips for easy access to your keys. available here!
this handmade one-of-a-kind hat, the 'mountain star', was inspired by a magical night camping deep in the mountains of the pacific northwest... with darkness settling in, gazing up between the dense growth of magnificent trees, i was delighted and comforted by the glow of twinklling white and blue stars dancing all around us. a moment of happiness... pure & simple... the 'mountain star' hat is a memento of a happy night spent in the cold mountains communing with trees and stars... a great hat for camping in the woods, combing the beaches or making your way through the concrete jungle.. available here
I've been meaning to blog about this sweet vintage French linen tote bag. This one was custom made for a very special customer on Kauai recently (lucky bag...). I love everything about this little one! She is the perfect size, roomy enough to fit all of your essentials, fits snugly around your arm & ready to travel with you everywhere. It has a leather bottom insert for structure. Thin, beautifully aged vintage leather straps that gives it a delicate look to an otherwise workhorse of a bag. I love the fit so much that I made 2 more (in different fabric/coloring) which will be listed soon. Wishing you a love filled weekend!
here's one of my latest handmade sun 'n shade hat named 'constellation' for a very sweet lady who needed a stylish protection for her face when combing the beaches of the eastern shoreline looking for sea glass treasures... this beauty will certainly do a good job at that! happy hunting!
“A path is only a path, and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you . . . Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself alone, one question . . . Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't it is of no use.”― Carlos Castaneda
I've asked myself this question for what seems an eternity, 'What is my path?' My walks on the beach, through a park or climbing a mountain gives me good footing for my mind and sometimes the path reveals itself to you, a path with heart, the only kind to take...Aloha Friday!
I have a deep love for cooking & always seek out the local farmers market & go religiously every week no matter where I may find myself. Supporting local organic farmers is a big part of my life & making delicious, healthy dishes is one of favorite things to do. I'm going to start posting some random recipes here in the hopes of sharing my passion for cooking. Here's one of my latest Asian inspired dishes. Fairly quick to prepare, the only glitch is turning on the oven in the middle of summertime which I know is not a very energy efficient thing to do but I do love my roasted veggies... Have a go at it & let me know how it turns out!
(please be forewarned, I rarely write down recipes so hopefully your palate & preference will let you decide how much of each ingredient you'd like to use ...)
preheat oven @ 400
cook brown rice with a touch of butter & the last 10 min of cooking, add edamame on top & steam cook
marinade & dressing:
whisk together shiso/ume paste, tamari, honey, toasted sesame oil, fresh garlic, rice wine vinegar, gomasio & togarashi (taste & adjust to your preference & make enough for marinade & reserve some for dressing at the end).
slice shiitake mushroom & sprouted tofu & toss in the marinade (reserve some of the marinade for the dressing at the end) & put on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper & roast in the oven for approx. 20 min (check to make sure it is not burning but you want it to be nice & caramelized)
pan braise kale with sliced garlic, red chile flake, stock & ume vinegar until nice & wilted.
assemble all together on a bed of brown rice, drizzle with the remaining marinade/dressing, top with crispy seaweed & another dash of togarashi & enjoy!
**please use organic ingredients whenever possible, especially soy products which is mostly GMO if you don't go organic.
River by Mary Oliver The river Of my childhood, That tumbled Down a passage of rocks And cut-work ferns, Came here and there To the swirl And slowdown Of a pool And I say myself- Oh, clearly- As I knelt at one- Then I saw myself As if carried away, As the river moved on. Where have I gone? Since then I have looked and looked For myself, Not sure Who I am, or where, Or, more importantly, why. It’s okay- I have had a wonderful life. Still, I ponder Where that other is- Where I landed, What I thought, what I did, What small or even maybe meaningful deeds I might have accomplished Somewhere Among strangers, Coming to them As only a river can- Touching every life it meets- That endlessly kind, that enduring
One of my favorite mid century prints that I have treasured for years and years, it speaks to me in so many ways, as Mary Oliver does, the poetry is in the print as it flows out and swirls about, like a graceful river, in all it's beautiful muted colors of nature.
Nothing is so beautiful as Spring – When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush; Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing; The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush ...
excerpt from 'Spring' by Gerard Manley Hopkins
the wonder, the colors, the freshness, the taste, oh the happiness of spring! blessed with rain, the spring comes alive with technicolor brilliance here in the pacific northwest, so much goodness one's heart sings with joy! the 'botanical' sun 'n shade hat, made of a gorgeous blooming vintage mid century linen is a visual ode to the magic of springtime and the anticipation of heading outdoors into the sunshine!
This is one of my latest custom project for a wonderful customer in Santa Monica. I was slightly hesitant to making the so-called 'fanny pack' at first because of the 80's association in my mind with this type of bag and the 'mom jeans' that went along with it but once I started to put my own spin and design elements into it, I fell in love with the idea. It's beautiful, understated and so practical, I feel like I may need one now... Here's a few snapshots of how she turned out.