Tuesday, July 7, 2015


five weeks ago today, i boarded a flight, and ten hours later i was in edinburgh, scotland.
This trip came together relatively quickly. After coming home from New Zealand, I knew I had to take any opportunity I could to go wherever I was able. I applied for a scholarship to a study abroad program in Galway, was accepted, and made my deposit a week later.
In the past five weeks, I've been up and down Scotland, across England, and all along Ireland's east and west coasts. I've seen so many beautiful places but I've been putting off making this post because I know words and pictures could never possibly convey the impact of these island landscapes. But now that I've been settled into Galway for two weeks (though,  admittedly, I'm not totally unpacked yet), I figure I might as well give it a go:

 After spending several days recovering from jet lag and exploring Edinburgh, my friend Nina flew in from Switzerland to travel to the Isle of Skye with me. I met Nina last year in New Zealand, where we rented a car and wandered for days. Honestly, I'm an anti-social person, and Nina was the first person I ever talked to at a hostel, but I'm so grateful to have befriended her. She's up for anything, and teaches me to be up for anything too.
 We spent several days sleeping in a little red fiat  on the sides of roads in the middle of valleys, we drank coffee every time we encountered a cafe (I probably spent about $20/ day on lattes), and shared gingerbeers and red wine at dusk, which happens to be at about 12:30am in Scotland.
 Our first adventure was to the Old Man of Storr, about fifteen minutes outside Portree. The climb to the top was long and far. I found myself dizzy often,  and I'm still not sure if it was because of the change in elevation or just the sheer intensity of the views.

  We walked alongside the Old Man, some formations hundreds of feet taller than us. I have never ever felt so little before in my entire life. They hit me harder than a skyscraper ever has, harder than the mountains I grew up in ever did. It seemed so foreign and too real to even possibly be real. Again, my heart hurts even trying to relay the impact here. No words or pictures will ever suffice; a true "experience."
 Though the wind was cold and the vastness of the white-gray skies burned my eyes, I never wanted to leave the top. We sat and congratulated each other, as if we had conquered something, but my climb seemed to pale in comparison to the feat of the Storr's simple existence.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


I've learned I'm not the best at updating a blog, but here is a recap of the past few months:

1. lived a spring and summer in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, returning to my most favorite swimming holes and spending time with some of my favorite people,
  1. Helped my mama move out of my childhood home, painting over the names and notes my friends wrote on the ceiling above my bed,

    3. Helped my boyfriend move out of appalachia and into a small and beautiful Brooklyn apartment with his best friend. Before, we visited and stayed with our sweet friend Demetria in her light-filled space with some of the most special cats I ever met. Aaron's neighborhood is unbelievably perfect, quiet and small and lined with plant-filled coffee shops and people walking dogs that they will let you pet and play with. it feels like home even though it isn't mine (yet).

4. Moved myself into an apartment near my school, my first real space of my own. There is a cat here and his name is Rimbaud. I adopted a fig tree and she sits at the corner of my bed.
 5. Opened an etsy shop selling some handmade leather bags. I've been lousy at updating that too and have nearly sold out of what I originally listed, but have lots of new bags ready to be listed in time for the holidays.

thanks for sticking with me, guys!

Friday, April 18, 2014

little while

towards the end of my trip i had less and less access to a computer and even less access to internet so there was no way for me to post here, but now i've been home two weeks and neglected. i've been busy garden-building, listening to music by my friends and love, spending my money on mango mochi from the trader joe's across the street. coming from summer this harsh april is distorted into fall and i've been really tired. here are some self-portraits from my time on the other side.

and here is a picture of my best friend who i am excited to be reunited with:

Monday, March 3, 2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Luna Boots workshop.

    I've spent the past three days in Dunedin participating in a shoemaking workshop run by Luna from Luna Boots, held in Lou's studio. I heard about the workshop last minute from a friend I met at a hostel in Te Anau just days ago, and immediately knew I had to do whatever I could to get on the roster. There are some things I've always longed to do, and most of them involve using my hands to make tons of sorts of things-- knitting/ crocheting/ embroidery, book making, leather work... I've rarely been able to find the time or advice on how to get started on new projects, so when something like this stumbles across my path I have to participate.

    I've been traveling for over a week now, and was supposed to for yet another two weeks or so, but in order to make room for the workshop in my budget I shaved down my travel and found another WWOOF host for four days from now. I'm so glad I did-- the workshop was worth the time and resources to make a custom fitted, custom designed shoe of my own.

Lou has the prettiest studio I've ever seen. It's right in the heart of downtown, with big windows overlooking sweet and busy Dunedin cafes. Bonus, it was on top of a seriously delicious Japanese restaurant.

 Luna was such a great teacher. So kind, patient, and supportive with your work. She's been teaching shoemaking for nearly forty years, having started a shoemaking co op in Wales after college.

 It took three full days to make the shoes, which seems simultaneously like a seriously short amount of time and a quite lengthy process. The days flew by but the work was constant and complex. I'm left with so much appreciation for the process.

 Anyway, at this point I'm so totally mesmerized by the process of shoemaking. I'd love to make more once I'm home-- I found out about another shoemaking workshop in Port Townsend near Seattle that I'm too strongly considering making a trip out for.

We took some glamour shots of our shoes-- you can see the imperfections but I think they're a sweet reminder to myself that they were made by me with my own hands.

Everyone in the workshop wound up with the sweetest shoes that totally matched their personalities. I'm not sure mine necessarily reflect myself in them much, but, while the red lining was a sort of fluke brought on by lack of options, I think its suited to one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books that I first heard when I was fourteen and has stuck with me since: "if there is no love in the world, we will make a new world, and we will give it walls, and we will furnish it with soft, red interiors, from the inside out, and give it a knocker that resonates like a diamond falling into a jeweler's felt so that we should never hear it."

    (A funny thing: the redheaded girl with glasses went to Warren Wilson, I found out on the last day! An itty bitty college outside of Asheville. She now lives in New Zealand working for Amnesty International. I love it when the world makes it apparent how small it can really be.)

    Anyway, soon I'm off to Christchurch to meet the friend I heard about the workshop from and travel around the tip of the South island before bridging over to Wellington.