gypsy handmaker...

oh my, it's been a while.... being a gypsy has it's challenges, mostly keeping up with one's journals & such as it's always tucked away in a box or in between locations.  since last i wrote, ry & i packed up our goods & hit the road again & have landed for a spell in the sleepy,  super laid back coastal town of carpinteria, california.  missing portland, especially during spring bloom season but loving the mid 70's temperature & endless sunshine here...  i've been busy setting up my studio & back to creating again which makes me so delightfully happy!  my focus, as ever, is on well made, simple, thoughtful, timeless goods that's easy to wear & easy to grow old with.  i'm also super excited about setting up a natural dye studio so i can experiment & custom dye my handmade goods!  in the meantime, here are some goodies that i'm slowly putting up on my site in the coming days/weeks.

i hope you are living beautifully & authentically wherever you find yourself! 

aloha!

arts + letters smock in 'bloom'

arts + letters smock in 'bloom'

mini.malist x-body leather tote in 'de oro'

mini.malist x-body leather tote in 'de oro'

arts + letters smock in 'enso'

arts + letters smock in 'enso'

mini.malist leather tote bag in 'caviar'

mini.malist leather tote bag in 'caviar'

leilei + g's bespoke bags & hats

a perfect cure for the cold rainy days?  sew up a batch of bright cheerful vintage print bags & hats of course & send them to kaua'i!  i treasure the moments spent sewing & handling these vintage linens, they have that certain quality that new materials lack, they feel richer & heartier & these prints... swoon...  dreaming of the ocean, sunshine & sandy toes, this batch manifested from that dream.  find these one of kind goods at oskar's boutique on the garden isle of kaua'i!  aloha!

leilei aloha + g roslie's bespoke bags + hats

leilei aloha + g roslie's bespoke bags + hats

handmade clothes

wishing you the happiest of new year! so excited to be posting my first small batch of slowly & lovingly handmade coats/jackets. each piece is one of a kind, made from vintage woolens, each individual in character but all classic, beautiful both inside & out. wrap yourself in love & warmth for years to come.  here are some photos showing both inside & outside of these hand stitched beauties. available for sale in my shop now.  enjoy!

'wabi sabi' kimono ranch jacket

'wabi sabi' kimono ranch jacket

'wabi sabi' jacket - inside out

'wabi sabi' jacket - inside out

'la luna' kimono jacket

'la luna' kimono jacket

'la luna' jacket - inside out

'la luna' jacket - inside out

'cafe au lait' cocoon coat

'cafe au lait' cocoon coat

'cafe au lait' coat - inside out

'cafe au lait' coat - inside out

Creativity

“This liminal space between creation and destruction is the true domain of spirit and art. That edge is dynamic. It’s where growth can happen.” ~Fletcher Tucker

I love this quote from a beautiful article I just read about an inspiring couple living in Big Sur. This is our time, collectively & individually. With so much destruction occurring all around us, it's ripe for creativity & really the only way to growth & renewal.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing everyone a beautiful day filled with gratitude & wonder. Thank you for walking this earth & sharing the journey.

Late Autumn in Portland, Oregon

Late Autumn in Portland, Oregon

fall fell in portland...

Fall has most definitely befallen Portland, an explosion of color around every corner... here are some photos of what's happening nature-wise here... Enjoy & I hope you are all enjoying the best the season has to offer...

a moment of ensō

a moment of ensō

shapes + colors + texture of nature

shapes + colors + texture of nature

crimson leaves

crimson leaves

family of leaves

family of leaves

light filters through impossible colors

light filters through impossible colors

trees in reflection

trees in reflection

nature of things

nature of things

universe of leaves

universe of leaves


Full Moon Hunting

Ry & I set out yesterday to find a sweet spot to chill & witness the rising of the beautiful moon goddess.  I woke up from an apt dream that reminded us to look towards the East so we set off in that direction on a clear blue cloudless day. We drove past Mt Hood & after several diversions, we pulled off along the side of a mostly deserted road in Wapinitia. As dusk set in & the skies turned cotton candy pink, lavender & blue, we caught the first glimpse of the crescent eclipsed moon.  We followed a dream, went East & witnessed a magical event unfold before our eyes. Here are some photos of our full moon hunting. Wishing everyone a beautiful week of self reflection, discovery & manifestation.

a view to behold

a view to behold

ghostly achitectural remains in the town of Simnasho

ghostly achitectural remains in the town of Simnasho

Mount Hood in distance at sunset

Mount Hood in distance at sunset

A road less traveled...

A road less traveled...

Mount Hood illuminated by the setting sun. 

Mount Hood illuminated by the setting sun. 

Mount Saint Helens in the distance

Mount Saint Helens in the distance

First glimpse of the eclipse

First glimpse of the eclipse

The Blood Moon in all her glory

The Blood Moon in all her glory

Otsu Noodles

One of my favorite staple dishes to make, an offshoot of the Otsu noodles, recipe courtesy of Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks & via Pomelo restaurant. I love Heidi's recipes, she focuses on fresh, in season produce & with her clean, minimalist, non fussy cooking style, it brings out the best flavors of each ingredient.  I tweak mine a bit using Korean red chile flakes (gochugaru) instead of cayenne & I add a substantial amount of various roasted or steamed veggies along with bite size cubes of organic crispy tofu (marinate with shoyu, garlic & sesame oil or whatever you fancy since tofu soaks up the flavoring, sprinkle & toss in organic corn starch, bake it at 400* approx 20 min for the perfect crispy exterior) & the end result is a delicious, light citrusy, shoyu, honey, sesame noodle magic!  It's both comforting but light & healthy.

Here's a link to the recipe:

http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/000110.html

Enjoy!

Healthy, delicious Otsu Noodles

Healthy, delicious Otsu Noodles

Happy Belated Birthday to Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver, a woman I can't thank enough for the wisdom & the clear seeing she gifts us through her poetry.  I read a wonderful post on Brainpickings yesterday celebrating her 80th birthday. Here is her poem, reflecting on life, how magical you can make it, especially when you know first hand of it's fleeting nature & how it can all be taken away so easily. May Mary continue to bless us with many many more birthdays & her beautiful gift of poetry.

 

THE FOURTH SIGN OF THE ZODIAC (PART 3) ~ Mary Oliver

I know, you never intended to be in this world.
But you’re in it all the same. 

So why not get started immediately.

I mean, belonging to it.
There is so much to admire, to weep over.

And to write music or poems about.

Bless the feet that take you to and fro.
Bless the eyes and the listening ears.
Bless the tongue, the marvel of taste.
Bless touching.

You could live a hundred years, it’s happened.
Or not.
I am speaking from the fortunate platform
of many years,
none of which, I think, I ever wasted.
Do you need a prod?
Do you need a little darkness to get you going?
Let me be as urgent as a knife, then,
and remind you of Keats,
so single of purpose and thinking, for a while,
he had a lifetime.

Music as inspiration

I love listening to KMHD here in Portland & have developed a deep affinity for all things jazz.  I heard this band Skydive Trio for the first time while running errands this week & immediately pulled over to the nearest spot under a shady tree to take the sound in.  Everything I love in music is contained here in this one song titled Bravo.

Music has been a form of inspiration & muse for almost every creative medium since the beginning of, well, music.  Hearing this song, it captures the essence of what I aspire to evoke in my line of clothing I'm working on;  fluid, calm, transcendent with an innate sense of something we know to be true & real.  What a beautiful musical treat. Happy Sunday!

Handmade Leather Tote Bags

I've been collecting materials to use for my designs as long as I can remember, mostly vintage or salvaged textiles to remix & reimagine into something beautiful & equally functional.  Amongst the treasure trove of rare, one-of-a-kind antique & vintage textiles, I also collect leather.  As a designer focused on bringing an eco-friendly process to my craft, leather has been one of those materials that I have paused & contemplated about.  Don't get me wrong, I love leather, I love the feel, the texture, the durability but I also know it's a questionable material to use in the realm of 'sustainable design' or 'eco friendly design'.  So I've used it sparingly, mostly for handles, as it is one of the most durable materials to utilize for such purpose & well, durability & longevity is an integral part of the sustainability model.  So in an effort to stay true to my desire of creating an eco & earth friendly product while staying open to using materials like leather, I try & source mostly vintage leathers, leather pieces or remnants either cast off due to a visible 'scar' (which I personally think is beautiful) or no longer usable to let's say a furniture maker due to insufficient size after cutting for a project.  When I purchase new leather, I always source from companies using eco friendly dying & tanning processes.  Here's a trio of some beautiful vintage leather pieces that I purchased many years ago that I just finished making into the perfect size tote bags.  I had just enough to make these 3 bags & because I love working with leather so much, I will be adding more pieces in the coming months utilizing various hides from my ever growing collection. These beautiful bags are currently available here on my shop page!

Simple Vintage Leather Tote in Ruby Rose

Simple Vintage Leather Tote in Ruby Rose

 Simple Vintage Leather Tote in Teal

 Simple Vintage Leather Tote in Teal

Simple Vintage Leather Tote in Dried Seaweed

Simple Vintage Leather Tote in Dried Seaweed

When it's too hot to cook...

cool as a cucumber

cool as a cucumber

It's been seriously hot here in Portland, I mean "who cranked on the furnace?" hot & the thought of cooking or pretty much doing anything for that matter has been feeling like a mountain of a challenge. When the temp hits 90+ it's definitely time to think about eating raw, little to no "cooking" the better, just a lot of slicing!  I hit the PSU Farmers Market yesterday morning as I do every Saturday & sliced up this cooling, easy, breezy lunch made with fresh goodies grown by the good farmers of Oregon as well as the incredibly fresh simply smoked salmon (best of the season as I was told by the fine people at the Smokery due to this time being the peak spawning season meaning the fattiest, richest salmon to be had). After slicing the Japanese cukes super thin, I "pickled" it with lemon juice, a dash of rice wine vinegar, fresh dill, capers, salt & pepper & let it sit for about 10 minutes.  Pile on the cukes & salmon with sliced heirloom tomatoes & shallots on a sesame bagel (I love Schwartz Bros bagels) with a smear of Nancy's cultured cream cheese & you're in heaven. No need to turn on the oven or stove which is #priceless during this intense heat spell! Keep cool & enjoy all the abundant freshness to be had at your local farmers market wherever you may be, it's seriously #goodeats!  Happy Sunday!

Week end recap

One of our dearest friends came to visit this week which gave us the opportunity to see through the lens of a visitor of this beautiful state again....  Belly ache laughter, delicious food, misty waterfalls, walk along a sweet deserted creek, building a driftwood fort, windblown coast, smoky beach campfires, silky sands, breathtaking vistas, a pub enclosed in canopy of trees, stiff whiskey, Irish dancing, vintage shopping...  ahhhh, love Oregon & grateful for the precious time spent talking story with our good friend, THE best gift in life.  Bringing this week-end to a close with a stack of pancakes dripping with Kaua'i lilikoi butter, courtesy of another sweet friend that came & went, leaving cherished memories & good eats.  Excited about getting back to creating this week with a heart filled with love & friendship.  Happy Sunday!

Majestic Multnomah Falls

Majestic Multnomah Falls

Drinks under a canopy of trees

Drinks under a canopy of trees

Inspecting our driftwood fort

Inspecting our driftwood fort

Sweet friends

Sweet friends

Good eats to end the weekend... Lilikoi butter pancakes... yum.

Good eats to end the weekend... Lilikoi butter pancakes... yum.

Fading beauty

Woke up to the changing color of this gorgeous Monstera Deliciosa leaf that I bought for a friend visiting from Hawaii just under 2 months ago. Beautiful even with the colors fading. Always inspired by the beauty of nature in all her exquisite wonder. Happy Sunday!

Monstera Deliciosa

Monstera Deliciosa

Seaward Bound

When it's sweltering in the city, time to hit the road & head west to the coast.  My favorite highway in Oregon, 26 West makes its way through a lush forest & drops you off at the foot of the sea.  Roll down all the windows & get ready for an elixir of trees, wild flowers, berries & rivers to fill up your senses...  So much beauty & wonder to behold, I am forever longing to head to the sea but when you have the magic of both the forest & the ocean, you are doubly blessed here in Oregon.  Here's a little photo journey of a Saturday well spent.  Happy Sunday!

26 westward bound

26 westward bound

tree couple

tree couple

Nehalem River  

Nehalem River  

Nehalem Falls

Nehalem Falls

Nehalem Bay State Park

Nehalem Bay State Park

Dunes + Sea

Dunes + Sea

Dunes

Dunes

S'mores by the sea...

S'mores by the sea...

Big skies over Nehalem
Big skies over Nehalem
Parking lot view

Parking lot view

One of my favorite views... 

One of my favorite views... 

Dusk arriving

Dusk arriving

Sunset

Sunset

Little beach campfire with my old man

Little beach campfire with my old man

Magic hour

Magic hour

Nightfall

Nightfall

New Slouch Bags

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.

 

Handmade Belgian linen slouch bag - Sun Kissed Chaparral

Handmade Belgian linen slouch bag - Sun Kissed Chaparral

Handmade Belgian Linen Slouch Bag - Hedgehog + Morel

Handmade Belgian Linen Slouch Bag - Hedgehog + Morel

Handmade Vintage Denim Slouch Bag - Indigo Blue

Handmade Vintage Denim Slouch Bag - Indigo Blue

Handmade Eco Linen Slouch Bag - Bark

Handmade Eco Linen Slouch Bag - Bark

renewed site renewed vision

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/