Suddenly, I’m smitten with…

* a city

* soulmate encounters

* lamps with dangly pulls

*Photoshop (we used to not get along at all)

Skylar and I took a road trip to Portland. This city has my heart, and from now on I plan to become a dual citizen of Seattle and Portlandia with lots more trips there.

How do I begin to describe Portland if you have never been there? Well, there is the food (unbelievable). And the quirkiness. Forget it, I can’t describe it. Just make a point to visit for yourself and experience it. We stayed with one of my college besties and old soulmate, Jay. When we were walking around town, I asked in awe, “Why is it like this here?” He thought that was hysterical, but I was completely serious. It is an alternate universe, folks.

Yummy Thai food with Jay and Skylar.

The purpose of the trip was not just to see Jay, but to spend the day with one of the sweetest people I have ever met on the planet (for reals), artist and pattern designer extraordinaire, Jessica Swift (and new soulmate). We spent the entire day in her studio (that feels like a cozy treehouse) and experimented with creating patterns out of paintings. She taught me how to use Photoshop, which has been a source of frustration to me for years! Being surrounded by all her beautiful art and products was dreamy.

Right before the lamp incident (notice bright lamp to the right).

When Jay and Skylar came to pick me up, we took a few photos which resulted in much laughter due to a lamp and Jay’s silliness. Here are few giggly photos thanks to Ryan Swift who appreciates a good candid moment when he sees one!

Things start to get funny...

My imitation of Jay messing with the lamp pulls to adjust the lighting.

Still laughing...

Regaining our composure for another pic.

I never knew lamps could be so funny. Or a city could be so out-of-this-world. Or Photoshop could be fun. Or that this Autumn I would find a soul sister that radiates so much beauty and has had such a profound impact on my life in such a short time.

Love these peeps.

Feeling incredibly blessed. Thanks, Jess, Ryan and Jay for everything.

Wait, I almost forgot. Do you want to see one of the patterns Jess and I made out of my painting, Good Morning, Sunshine? This is my first repeat pattern ever, and I had to name it “Jessica.” (Psst…Michelle Armas, we named one after you too!) I have been wanting to turn my paintings into patterns for years because one of my biggest dreams is to have my art on fabric and textile products.

I am forever grateful to Jess for showing me how to do this. I was overwhelmed when this image appeared on the computer screen. A BIG dream came true that day thanks to a very sweet friend.

Our first repeat pattern based on my painting, Good Morning Sunshine.


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