Friday, June 28, 2013

This Weekend

I'll be out in Seabrook this weekend with Gray's General Store selling t-shirts, Cuppow lids and making custom jar cozies on the spot!

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Here Goes Everything

Today is my last day working part-time at the local college here in Grays Harbor. It's been fun bringing in entertainment and putting on and planning events like giant bowling and lunch time karaoke, but it's summer time now (despite the warning email I got this morning about possible lightning strikes on campus) and I've got lots of other projects to get working on!

I've got three major goals or guiding values on my list:

1. Quality > Quantity. I will be focusing on taking all of the things that I do and figuring out how to slim it all down to the top quality projects, then making those things even better.

2. Connect. I love people. I love fast paced environments. I know that if I don't spend some time focusing on ways to stay connected to these things, I will become discouraged and end up spending my days watching The Wonder Years on Netflix and eating way too many burritos.

3. Make some money! Let's get real. I've got bills to pay...

By Banter Banner

Here's the short-ish list of things I'll be doing this summer:
  • Use writing as an excuse to have more adventures in Grays Harbor. Drag my camera and friends along and post it all up here, here, here and here.
  • Relaunch Gray's General Store... I've got some big ideas including an online store, new product lines and a co-working space!
  • More picnics. Fancy ones. Like how they do in Portland.
  • More hammocks.
  • Fill my brain with inspiring and educational books, podcasts and videos... like this one:

  • Attempt to take on creative and self-improvement projects that I hear about in these books, podcasts and videos (... a photo a day like Chris Glass does... maybe).
  • More, more, more copywriting, marketing and advertising projects!
  • Get back into my running and yoga routine.
  • Ride my bike more so I can have thoughtful and deep contemplations on my place in this world like my friend Kelly Hogaboom.
  • Host a backyard music festival/camp-out.
  • Try to help get a few businesses off the ground for friends and family.
  • Generally (and hopefully) not be too lazy.
Wish me luck! (please... I'll need it)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

You. I Like What You're Doing Here.

Sometimes the things I read and see on the internets makes me very happy.

Best part (sorry about the swears):

Do what you want. Be your damn self. Don’t be a terrible person. Be nice to others. Be supportive of your friends and allow yourself to give them the benefit of the doubt when they want to try something new, like rescuing shelter dogs, or making performance art in the nude, or dating terrible people. They’re your friends and you love them, and if they suck, stop being their friend. Show up for work. Pay your bills. Find some fucking purpose in your life, and figure out a way to share that purpose with others in a way that isn’t sanctimonious and doesn’t involve a picture of a woman laughing at an empty beach. Smile because something makes you smile. Laugh because you’ve surrounded yourself by people who make you laugh, and they’re funny fucking people, and you’re happy to be with them. Dance because you’re drunk at a big dance party with your friends and Michael Jackson is playing, not because ‘no one is watching.’ Everyone is watching. We’re at a fucking party. That’s how parties work.
Do whatever the fuck you want.
And the next time one of you has the kind of spare cash around to take a prancercise vacation to a tropical island, for the love of all that is holy please bring me with you. I am excellent at waving scarves around but even better at buying drinks with tiny umbrellas.
Lastly, I need this.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Songs for Summer

CHVRCHES - The Mother We Share

Dan Croll - Compliment Your Soul

Empire of the Sun - Alive

Caveman - In The City

HAERTS - Wings

Still Corners - Fireflies

Friday, June 14, 2013

Weekend Reading List

I have discovered my spirit animal, via an online test. I had no idea it was so easy.

I've been wanting to make fun sleeping bags for years! Anthropologie beat me to it.

Rediviva: A Rustic Revival

It was just after that random Aberdeen planning commission meeting I went to a while back, discussing ways to improve downtown, when I first heard the news that Andy Bickar had plans to open a new restaurant. The "young people" (that's what they call us, I'm sure) from the meeting headed out to happy hour at Billy's for a debrief. There's nothing quite like commiserating with fellow business owners and community leaders over a beer and a salmon quesadilla, compliments of the chef. Andy was among us and dropped the news that he was in the process of buying the old Mallard's Restaurant building, a few blocks away.

Best. News. Ever.

That was back in November of 2012. Now, we are mere weeks away from the opening of Rediviva. Named after the ship of Captain Robert Gray (yeah, hi, namesake of my store as well), the name literally means "revived."

He is, very literally, reviving this old downtown Aberdeen building. I stopped by last week to see the progress and, let's be honest, to get a first glance at what will probably be my new drinking hole. Compared to the previous building's high-end restaurant, I'll say this is going to be anything but a "hole." During my visit, I saw a lot of scaffolding and drywall, but I could already tell that it will likely be one of the most beautiful spaces in Grays Harbor. High ceilings. Exposed beams. Talk of a chandelier and over-sized art work. I'm in.

Andy wants this place to look like it was plucked right out of downtown Seattle and dropped in Aberdeen. Now, I'm a sucker for good interior design, but I'd also be willing to bet that the food will be top notch as well. He told me about his plans to offer fresh, local and foraged food at reasonable prices. Fresh seafood and oysters. New American, he called it. And let's not forget about the bar: micro-brews, hand-crafted cocktails and Mexican Coke. Anybody who cringes at the idea of serving regular fountain Coke is ok by me.

As far as I can tell, Andy's doing everything right: the layout (banquette seating really is the only reasonable choice), the design (rustic yet modern), historically significant (because us Harborites are weirdly obsessed with the past), and good food (we can assume, based on Andy's fancy awards and press attention). Next time you see me cruising the streets of downtown Aberdeen some random evening on the old Schwinn, you can assume I'm on my way to Rediviva.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sleepless and Sewing

On Tuesday, I was recovering from an all nighter. Something I don't do often, and only happens on those occasional nights that I either a) am feeling like a fun addict and can't seem to pull myself away from something awesome, regardless of how early I have to get up in the morning or b) worked at the youth shelter in town because a kid needed a place to stay for a night. On this particular Tuesday, it was the latter cause for my sleep depravity. I had rolled crashed into bed at approximately 7:30 am and set my alarm for 9:30 am. Ahhhh sweet sleep...

After working a few hours at my day job, where I had consumed a, let's call it, "decent" amount of coffee I officially achieved zombie status. My brain had stopped working almost completely but my body was full of energy. Most likely from all of that caffeine.

As I was pacing back and forth in my apartment, trying to figure out what I could do to calm my shaky self, my friend Krister Lile saved the day. He had a project for me!

FYI: Krister is cool. He is a local interior and graphic designer and you should probably hire him for your next remodeling project.

Anyway, what he had in mind for this day was a quick sewing project. He was creating invites for a party being held at his parents' house and, being the clever guy he is, he wanted these paper invites to be sewn together.

I busted out my machine as he drove up the hill from his studio to my apartment. I hadn't used my tiny blue sewing machine in quite a while, since I always seem to be working on project at my shop. I was excited to get this thing out again.

The project took less than 10 minutes. We decided on a zig zag stitch. Gold thread on one side (because that is what the bobbin currently held... nobody wants to reload a bobbin, you with me?), black on the other. I sewed each one in line with the next, creating a sort of paper banner, and we used a knife to cut them apart.

We agreed that more paper sewing should be done in the future.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


I am totally fascinated with this ad.

Apple wins again. They take an inspirational design philosophy and somehow turn it into an inspirational life philosophy... so, naturally, I must buy this thing (or things, I suppose) and cling to these ideals.

if everyone is busy making everything

busy... it's like a dirty word. And, yes... my attention is really divided among so many things...

how can anyone perfect anything?

what am I doing with my life?

we start to confuse convenience with joy

Holy crap. Am I happy? Did a buddhist monk write this ad?

abundance with choice

yes.... ok. I've been to the Cheesecake Factory. I've tried to order from their 20 page menu. Abundance is not always a good thing.

designing something requires focus.

eeek. I need to focus. What do I want in life?








I suddenly feel like I need a hug

then we begin to craft around our intention

that's a word that seems lost in our culture. It sounds so serious... and... intentional.

it takes time

I'm so impatient... I should work on that.

there are a thousand no's for every yes



I need to clean out my closet

we perfect

I want to perfect something

start over

life is so hard sometimes

until everything we touch

where's that hug?

enhances each life it touches

I want to change the world

only then do we sign our work.

Oh, right. This is an ad. But I have so many feelings now. What do I do now? Buy the new Mac Pro? Maybe...