Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Holiday Sale AND Giveaway!

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying this beautiful snow! And hopefully it doesn't tangle up travel plans too terribly bad. Just wanted to share that I am having both a sale in my Etsy shop AND a giveaway on my Facebook page. The sale is for 20% off of your entire order, and the giveaway is for a beautiful 16 x 20 stretched canvas print of Wanderbloom. So if you want to try to score a free Christmas gift, head on over and tag yourself in the image.

I hope everyone has a happy and blessed Thanksgiving :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Oregon's Hobbit Trail: A Real Enchanted Forest.

I have been daydreaming about my experience here since the moment I left. The Hobbit Trail, a hidden gem of a hiking trail on the Oregon coast between Florence and Yachats, is a truly magical place: covered by a canopy of trees, blanketed in moss, and completely filled with wonder. As soon as you enter the forest, you feel incredibly small in the presence of something so wondrous. The winding, mossy trail leads you through about a million breathtaking places before spilling out onto an even more breathtaking private beach.

I have a hard time picking a favorite place/activity/experience on the road trip my friend Amber and I took from LA to Portland up the Pacific Coast, but this very well may be it.

Curious about what it feels like to walk through a place that looks like something out of a dream? Come relive the magical journey with me:

The view to the left shortly after entering the forest. This second trail goes to the Heceta Head Lighthouse. I was immediately overwhelmed with the lush surroundings.
The path is soft with things that look like pine needles, and you can barely hear your own footsteps. You immediately feel a sense of being so small in such a magnificent place.
The trail starts to take on the feeling of being inside of a tunnel, where the sides and top are made from plants, trees, and moss.

The entire time you are following the path, you can hear the crashing waves from the ocean.

Moss covers everything. I have never seen so much green in my life.
Trees take on a whole new life with their mossy coverings.
Plants growing recklessly. So beautiful.
After a very gently ascent at the beginning of the trail, you start to descend once you get closer to Hobbit Beach. I was pretty much waiting for a hobbit to come down this staircase after me.
Sunlight peeking through the towering trees.
The path starts to open up, revealing spectacular mossy landscapes.
More light starts to shine onto the trail as you near where the edge of the forest hits the beach.
A crazy, gnarly tree that sits right in the middle of the path.
Very close to the beach, more and more light starts to leak in.

Once the path opens up, you can really explore the forest. We found this spot, where someone had camped the night before. Not a bad view.
There are a couple of ways to get to the beach that we saw... both of which involve jumping into little ditches lined by tree roots and covered with bramble, like a little tunnel. Seriously, where are the hobbits?!
You turn around to see the little hole you just exited from real quick, and it looks like this.
Then you turn to the beach and see this.
And this.
Then you turn to your right and see this.
When you get up close to explore the cliffs, they are completely covered with living little words. There are waterfalls everywhere. The sound is unimaginably beautiful.
I was so sad to leave the beach, but wandering back into this magical forest and walking the trail all over again fixed that pretty quick :)
If you are going to be on the Oregon Coast any time soon, please, do yourself a favor, and stop by this magical place. The hike is super easy and would be great for kids or dogs, and is fairly short... which gives you lots of time to explore. It's kind of tricky to find, so here are some tips:

-The Hobbit Trail is located off of Highway 101 about six miles north of Florence, Oregon.
- The trail head is on the west side of Highway 101. There is a parking pull-out on the east side of the highway, so just park there, cross the road, and you will find it.
-The Carl C. Washburne State Park sign is a great landmark to use. The Hobbit Trail is just south of the sign; you can see the sign from the parking pull out. If you pass the sign in your car heading north, you have gone too far. If you are heading south, you will see the parking pull out on your left shortly after the sign.
-After you take a few steps into the forest, you will see signs for Hobbit Beach and the Heceta Head lighthouse. This means you are in the right place.

My last tip is to bring a camera or at least bring your cell phone so you can take pictures. You will not be disappointed: this place is like a little slice of heaven :)

It's November!

Wow. It really is... and the amount my heat is running all of a sudden proves it. The trees are starting to look bare, there is frost on the grass in the morning, the Hershey's Kiss holiday commercial (where the kisses ring like bells... you know that one) has reared its festive head.

I feel like the days since we got back from our road trip have flown by. I haven't been taking any pictures unfortunately, because either 1) the TSA deemed my camera battery charger to be unsafe in my checked luggage and removed it, or 2) someone working for the TSA or Southwest Airlines helped themselves to a camera battery charger. Lame. I've been too annoyed about it to look into how much a replacement costs. Pretty sure someone stole it. Sometimes I wonder how dishonest people sleep at night.

I've had a massive list of ideas sitting on my studio table since the middle of summer, and this week I pretty much started attacking it. Maybe it's the upcoming holiday season that has me super motivated. Or the fact that this is going to be my first real taste of a holiday rush in my shop; last Christmas it was still a baby with a pretty small inventory... this week I went over 400 items. I'm hoping for absolute madness and nights that I'm up until 4am, printing and packing orders, like one of Santa's elves or something. We will see what happens.

Aside from 9000 photos from the trip, these new prints have been added to my inventory:

"Beware of Artists," featuring a quote that was the subject of an internet hoax, and one I am a huge fan of. Prints available HERE.

"The Fix." Prints available HERE.

"Choose Joy." Prints available HERE.

"Elven Girl." Prints available HERE.

"I Like Cats," an idea that's been in my head forever and modeled after the Le Chat Noir poster :) Prints available HERE.

"Under the Stars," further feeding my map obsession. Prints available HERE.

"Love Them Anyway," a beautiful quote by the amazing Mother Teresa. Prints available HERE.

"Run Wild, My Child," created soon after returning from our road trip. The world is meant to be seen :) Prints available HERE.

"You Are A Soul," a quote often misattributed to C.S. Lewis. I love it. Prints available HERE.
Seriously I don't know what is up with the surge of creative energy but I cannot seem to stop making things and I do not want it to stop! 

Sidenote: is it too soon to start decorating for Christmas? After receiving a genius tip from my friend Amber, I went to Kohl's on Saturday and their Christmas things were 50% off, and of course I had a coupon soooooo things got a little crazy. Seriously. Can I start?

Hope everyone is staying warm and enjoying the fall :)