My heart yearns for story. I love it, it seeps into my pours and helps me focus my creative inspiration. My Hubby Smash spent the last two years as a MBA student and working full time… so I had some time on my hands to indulge in story.

I started with Tolkien. I have had an affinity since a child for the the story of the Hobbit. But with the Lord of the Rings movies… I fell in love with the epic drama of it all.

I found Professor Olsen and started listening to his college lecture on Tolkien. If you are a fan, this resource is phenomenal and will deepen your knowledge of all things Tolkien.

What stories feed your soul?


A teachable moment sometimes comes when you least expect it. I had one of these this year when I asked a long lost friend to coffee with a side of duct tape.

I had seen a friend from Junior high pinning swim suits & knew from Facebook that she was in her year of yes! I decided to send her a brave message – “I know I haven’t seen you for 20 years but do you want to wrap each other in duct tape & make a mannequin of your likeness for sewing?”

Of course, she said yes!

As we reconnected and realized we were kindred spirits, we wrapped and noticed the elegant angels of each others form (artist & massage therapist). It was then that the talk turned to societal beauty and our thoughts around Health at Every Size (HAES). I fight for my self worth fiercely… she does the same.

I never realized having a form , a realistic look at yourself is shocking. I spent a ton of time just staring at it. I have plans to make some clothing for myself but the work of the mannequin has accomplished so much all ready.

It has given me eyes to see myself & I am so thankful.

beautifully made
beautifully made
My bad- to-the-bone duct tape self
My bad- to-the-bone duct tape self
All wrapped up - armor on!
All wrapped up – armor on!
Stand up straight, strange feeling corset
Stand up straight, strange feeling corset


December of 2013 –¬†Heartbroken & numb – I sat in a councilors office and she asked me if I had done any creative projects around the grieving process, my first thought was – Duh?

Creativity is how I get to know myself.

She sent me off with instructions to start thinking about grieving as an art project.

Start a page in my journal.
Then to the research – for this project I started with the clothing of grief. I went to one of my favorite thrift store, costume magic & vintage frippery. I looked through racks, baskets, and piles of goodies. I was searching for beautiful sadness.

I felt my heart welling up as I found the black section of the frippery. I found a few pieces of lace and spoke with the passionate shop maven.

We talked about how the lace I chose was probably sewed into many dresses & reused by families of women who needed grieving clothing. I also found a beaded collar and she believe it was probably used by a women who lost her partner early and had years of black to wear.

I thought about my own story – one son born to me after three months of bed rest. Doctors offices bad news, miscarrage. And another, and three another’s…. let’s adopt – we leapt headlong into a crazy adventure… but the trade winds of faith were not blowing our way. We ended up with more loss, there is no word for adoption loss. But we had eight non-spoken pains. This all lead me to a journey of healing – journals, counseling, and inward exploration.

One of my first pages of healing
One of my first pages of healing