Seattleversary! 4 Years

The City Beautiful

Sunny Florida

Four years ago, one way ticket in hand, I boarded a plane that flew me far away from everyone I loved and everything I knew. It was the first time that choices were mine to make instead of my environment dictating what I must do. By all accounts it made no sense to move 3,000 miles away. I had no money, no real job prospects and only a sleazy motel to call home. I understood when certain members of my family cornered me and said I was making a huge mistake. I understood when my best friends felt put out and couldn’t be as excited as I was. While I miss seeing all my folks on the daily, Seattle is still the best decision I’ve made. It’s my magic city!

photo by Jared Wade

This is incredible photo is by Scott Dalrymple.

One month before I got on that plane, I got on this website. I posted this blog. Four years later I’m looking back at that first post teary-eyed. This is the place I come to to share all the odds and ends in life, one collected viewpoint. It makes me smile to reread posts about trying to learn how to stick with things! Duh! Clearly I’m capable of stick-to-it-ive-ness! In the past year Sunshine Press has gone from randomized whenever I feel like to semi-organized mostly consistent content. I thought it might be fun to talk about the changes made this past year and share where I’d like to go. Eh? Yeahhhh!


We’ve added a section where I open up our kitchen and share recipes. Honeybee’s even shared one! Did I ever tell you how that whole thing started? Matt would text me early in the evening and ask what I wanted for dinner so he could bring it home from work. I realized I needed a list, a menu, so I could quickly get back to him. When we began, I wrote the list in a notebook, but then filled it with other random nonsense and blog ideas. Rather than rewriting it, I figured the internet would keep everything forever. And if you’re gonna post a list of food on the internet, you really should do the decent thing and show pictures of it. And boom! Next thing you know, there’s sisig and black beans and rice, tilapia, etc. It wasn’t until the caffeine free not-too-sweet sweet tea that I considered adding beverages, but as soon as I did it seemed like a no brainer. We love to mix up cocktails and punches! So you can expect to see more drinks in the next year! As well as the foodie goodness you’re used to!


I know entirely too many wonderfully talented beautiful souls not to share them. Meet is my biggest challenge, but if I had to choose, I’d say it’s my favorite section here. It takes a while for schedules to line up and editing, but it’s more than worth it! So far we’ve met Briana, Jeri, Matt and, most recently, Bethany. There won’t be too many changes here except that I’ll be working on keeping this a monthly feature [you know, instead of drifting in and out randomly].

Life List:

The life list has been up for a while, but this year I was able to cross a few big ones off. Find my love, keep him/her. Be published. Hang my paintings in my favorite coffee shop. Who can forget my flowing silk satin robe? And I told a funny joke. This next year you’ll see me focusing on the financial and educational goals as well as adding some new stuff to the list. Can’t. Wait.


Taking pictures is something you can always improve upon. Sometimes I do great work, but I recognize that my camera/lens set up is limited. Until I can afford another upgrade, my plan is do become an expert at what I have. I’d love to go back through the Menu: and remake everything during the day to get the best shots. A lot of the time I’m challenged by poor lighting in our house. I mean we live in a basement people! But even in the above-ground kitchen where the walls are yellow, when I cook at night everything looks extra double yellow. In order to effectively get better I’ve been doing at least one photo-heavy post a month. This month’s was Out of the City and Into the Woods [part 1]. I figure that’ll give me a good chance to hone my skills and keeping it all fresh. As always I greatly appreciate feedback!


I’ve been using Polyvore to design rooms and outfits. Love it. Want more of it. At least one a month. Visualizing spaces is something I do for fun. I see a Domino magazine and my eye gets to twitchin, I love that there are so many ways to make a house, apartment, ranch, farm, bungalow, duplex, trailer, whatever into home. In the far off future I want to be able to offer interior design as a service, so putting together rooms here is great practice.


There’s no shortage of stuff to do in this world. This year I finally stained that antique table! And you can’t forget those pre-wedding projects such as my Love Wins window, and paper garlands, vamping out my nightstand, and staining my dresser. Looking ahead here, you can expect a great deal more. I want to build us a bed and I’m starting to get the itch to repaint our whole room. Of course if I repaint it, then I’ll want to build new shelving. Possibly add mirrored panels to the sliding closet doors. You know me. A sunshine’s work is never done. Especially now that there’s Wrays of Sunshine Press, my wee Etsy shop. Coming up soon there’ll be new pieces as well as some practical items for the every day.

In general:

General changes have included the new layout, which I love. Simple squiggly chevron. But behind the scenes I’ve created and maintained a spreadsheet to keep myself on track with all this. Why? Because I must. There’s no reason except that I positively love to blog here. If I could, I’d quit my stupid mailroom job and blog full time, but I’m just not there yet. I’m hopeful for the future. The plan is to increase readership [through consistent dope ass content], then grow to accept sponsors…actually I’m now accepting sponsors, I just haven’t gotten any yet. Lols. That’s okay, though. There’s always room to grow.

If you or someone you know want to advertise their small business/blog send em my way!

More than anything, though, I’d really like to thank you for stopping in to my little corner of the internet whether you’re new or you’ve been with me from the beginning. I look forward to many more years of bloggage. Is bloggage even a word?

It is now. Just decided.



Fashion is Smashin

Fall is my favorite season. It’s those shining burn-out days of summer fading into the time-to-get-cozy weather. It’s the leaves changing color and falling like some sort of dream world. It’s entirely coincidental that this season is also number one in the fashion world. It’s all about pattern, texture and lots of accessories. Count me in!

I’m not the most fashion forward gal around. I’ve generally tried to stay away from trends because timeless clothes last forever, but this past few seasons I’ve just hated everything around. Okay, not hated. Enjoyed looking at on other people. But, what with all the ironic logo shirts and neon there wasn’t much out there that really fit my style. What this means is I spent the whole summer in this pair of floral printed denim shorts I got from H&M and this outrageously spiky pair of gladiators. Just switched out the top.

Coming along this fall, though, these ten toes will be going back into the close-toed shoe part of the closet. The shorts’ll be filed under out of season. And I’ll be naked if I don’t find something soon!

This fall I’m looking for:

Fashion is Smashin

Labour of Love top

Wrap coat

Dolce Vita suede booties

Plush fleece lined hat

Black tube scarf

Killer combinations of the classic black and white. Stripes, florals, sweaters!

I naturally run hot and throughout my [upcoming] schedule I’ll be doing quite a bit of running around. This combination of factors makes layering essential. Who likes to be hot and stuffy and stuck in a huge cable knit sweater? Not I, said the little mouse. Lace is amazing because it’s so ultimately feminine and airy, but somehow provides a definite layer of warmth. I swear. Last fall I had a pair of lace tights with a mini skirt and short coat while Honeybee rocked thick jeans with shorts and big socks underneath. Guess which one of us was shivering!

I’ll need new boots both for rain and for dry cold days, a purse with enough umph to handle school stuff. And infinity scarves by the dozen. Okay, not dozen. Maybe just two.




Creating Spaces

teal living room
I’m experimenting with putting together spacial plans and designs. I love the way this teal rug fades in the middle like the inside of an old oak tree. Can’t get enough of that modern gray couch and it’s sexy, sexy texture. You can’t keep me away from a coffee table with storage and this one features an extendable top, too! Perfect if you like to have a gajillion projects going on at once. Ahem. No one here does that. Can’t forget that cutie little terrarium, either! Presumably this would go on the table, but what if it was giant and just sat on the floor?! Well, it would probably not be such a good idea if you have a curious kitty like we do, but, you know. A girl can dream.

Tom Tru

Design draws my interest for a lot of reasons and on different levels. I loved walking around the Museum of Modern Art in L.A. with its stark white walls and ornate frames and crisp gardens, yes. But I’ve also loved the inherent homeyness of a grandparent’s house with relics abound. There are intangible traces of history in artworks that help make a house a home. Take this burlap wall hanging here.


Did I ever tell you how much I love it? Matt says his grandma gave it to him when he first moved out on his own and he’s always had it up ever since. Can’t blame him. There’s a sexy mid-century modern approach to the flowers, to the colors. It’s joyous and wonderful and perfect and you know it. I wanted to learn more about it so I asked the internet.


I came up with this one which is very similar, but links to a dead Etsy sale page. It was vintage and somebody bought that little cutie.

Printed on the back is the insignia of the Tom Tru Corporation of Lambertville, New Jersey. So I asked the internet more about this Tom Tru and all I can find is either people asking about Tom Tru or people auctioning Tom Tru originals. Mystery! Intrigue! I simply must know more. Tell me more!



From the Ground Up

Remember how we were supposed to have some sort of apocalypse or something and then nothing happened? [Or am I thinking of the movie 2012?] Well, duh. I mean all end of the world type messages read as paranoid or at least outlandish, but this one in particular evoked this secondary feeling in the back of my head. This sinister, sarcastic voice lurking and a’creepin’ that said, look, if it does happen, I won’t be surprised, honey. And it’ll be just what we need. And we will rise up. Seriously. Wasn’t even worried about it. Why? Because I get the feeling that the people who survived by whatever miracle it took, if they were forced to return to the days before pre-fab plastic disposable everything, would have to make things themselves. And the moment you try to build something, the moment you appreciate everything that’s ever been built. There’s peace in building a [functional] life. From the basic building blocks of the body and soul to the things that surround us physically. I look at some of the detail work in antiques or handmade furniture around our house and I instantly appreciate the artist who built it. I wonder what they did for fun. If they listened to music while they worked or whistled or retreated into a blanket of silence. And then I get excited. Then all of a sudden there’s graph paper and measuring tape. Hey. How’d you get here, drafting supplies? Well, while you’re here. Let’s see what we can come up with.

desk sketching

So nothing happened to the world as we know it, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t start building things ourselves, from the ground up.



Moving Right Along

Well I think I’m doing alright. Well, as alright as can be. School starts Monday. Here’s my updated winter break to do list:

  • clean smokeware
  • figure drawing session
  • super special Christmas surprise!!!
  • new planner crossover
  • 2013 rough plan
  • wedding considerations (update, pre-measurements, invitations)
  • Studio (floor plan, brainstorm, paint, desk, room divider, set up)
  • work out
  • infinite cuddles
  • read a book purely for pleasure (suggestions?)
  • trip to Walla Walla
  • get camera cleaned, get battery for remote control
  • Meet:Jeri

If you’re ever looking for a semi-inexpensive date for you and your boo, I suggest a figure drawing session. I say semi-inexpensive because I already had an 18×26 sketch book and charcoals in many sizes [but charcoal is not expensive and you can get smaller sketch books cheaper]. I set up two heaters and drew nude Honeybee in charcoal and pastel. It was my first time working with pastels [I got them for Christmas from Granma Jo, thank you!] and I loved it, although they’re not quite as easy to manipulate as charcoal on newsprint…unless your hands are warm.

figure drawing session date

honeybee’s chest

As for the rearrange, everything’s coming along nicely!

Plan for the bedroom:


Actual bedroom:






So, okay, it still needs some work. Moving everything around forced me to realize just how uneven our space is. Look at how crooked those DVDs look! But we ended up keeping the coffee table. That’s a victory. The room still feels spacious and we have all that extra storage. Score. We win.

Now the other room didn’t get the love the bedroom did. I didn’t draw up a bunch of little graph paper squares. I didn’t think it would do much good because everything in there is a square.And pretty much everything has to stay where it is. So here’s where my desk will be!

Room dividing curtains:


There’s a water heater back there. And, you know, I like the industrial look, but, um, something had to be done.


I decided on curtains instead of a hinged-wood room divider. They were cheap and pretty damn easy to put up. Should I shorten them? Probably. But that’s not what’s happening today.

I had to invent this chain out of extra IKEA pieces to keep it from slouching around the duct. Whatever it takes.


Ignore that dust.

The two things I won’t have time/money for [painting and the desk] are okay for now. I found a table top in the AS IS section at IKEA that’s the same size that I wanted for half price except it’s the blonde wood. I’m just not into blondes. So I’m gonna sand this bad boy and paint it black. Then I’ll finally decide on legs and get those to match. Yay! And in the meantime, if I happen to do some homework in bed it won’t be the worst thing that ever happened to my back because we’re now against the wall. Hooray! I can lean! Gangsta lean!

As for reading a book purely for pleasure before the next semester starts—not gonna happen. Unless you count Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Crafts. What can I say, it brings me pleasure. I’ll get the camera cleaned in the coming weeks. And, well, I hope we get to Meet: Jeri soon!

Now then, off to do!



Decision Day

So let’s see what I’ve accomplished so far from my Winter To Do: 

  • clean smokeware
  • figure drawing session
  • super special Christmas surprise!!!
  • new planner crossover
  • 2013 rough plan
  • wedding considerations (update, pre-measurements, invitations)
  • Studio (floor plan, brainstorm, paint, desk, room divider, set up)
  • work out
  • infinite cuddles
  • read a book purely for pleasure (suggestions?)
  • trip to Walla Walla
  • get camera cleaned, get battery for remote control
  • Meet:Jeri

Moving right along, yes! But today is serious. Today is decision day. I’ve been on every site, I’ve read every inspiring post, I’ve been a design demon-fiend. So much so that that hyphen was absolutely necessary. I’ve drawn up a little floor plan of our space and cut out individual little pieces for each piece of furniture. Peep my teeny lap top table and all!



I haven’t done so for the jam room quite yet, but here’s how our bedroom looks now. 





  • Our bed floats like an island in the middle of the room
  • I have to turn left to see the tv
  • Our hdmi cord is short and prevents our distancing ourselves from the tv, must invest
  • Honeybee’s desk and “Rack Rider” must stay where they are because the cords feed from there directly into the jam space for recording. 

So I moved around all the pieces until I got a combination that fits. Here’s the plan:









  • Get the bed against the wall because I like to sit up and read comfortably.
  • Eventually add one of those fancy headboards (perhaps with storage!) 
  • Use surfaces to hold things and use trunks for seating 
  • Spotlight the “getting ready” zone
  • Acquire giant mirror
  • Move the wall shelf and put the tv on it
  • Add my record player and laserdisc console underneath and voila! 
  • The DVDs aren’t just floating out there, they’ll actually fit perfectly beneath the shelf there. 

This of course leaves out the lap top table, coffee table and possibly the trunks under the printer. The printer itself can go on the shelf on Honeybee’s desk, though, so no loss of functionality there. I think I’ve found enough storage and table space to make up for it. I think.


The one thing I haven’t really mentioned for this project is budget. Why? Because I have next to none. It’s meager. I mean almost as teeny as all these little pieces of graph paper I cut I out before thinking I probably coulda used a computer for this. I look at other design projects that redo a room for $2000 or even $500. Yeah, no. Maybe over time I can work to that, but for the moment I’m a broke college student! Does that mean I don’t deserve fabulousness? No. Right?! Right. I’ll be doing this in waves, project by project until we have our ultimate space [or we move]. 

So, off to Ikea I go. And I’ve got a four day weekend to set it all up. Wish me luck!




Thinking About Space

I’ve been thinking about the space and coming up with ideas, but I thought I might try one of these mood-board-pinny things. Check out what I’ve got so far.


Before and Before-Before

Something like three months ago Landlord decided Honeybee and I should have our own bathroom. [We share a three-story 1920s era house with a couple and a bachelor. Our space includes our bedroom plus the room adjacent which functions as Super Plaid‘s practice space, recording studio, everyone’s washer/dryer, and my art studio. It’s a pretty good-sized room.] Up until then we’d used the bathroom on the main floor right along with  the roommate(s) who lived up there. There’s another restroom on the top floor, exclusively for the couple. So there ended up being three or four of us sharing the restroom. For Honeybee and me, the trip was out the room, up the stairs, through the kitchen and down the hall. Do you know how disappointing it was to get there and find it occupied? Very. Not that it happens often, but you know. I came here to pee. It’s not like I’m gonna go all the way back downstairs without peeing. So, here I am standing around in the hall. Naturally, when we heard the news about this bathroom, which is to include a shower [squee, double squee], we were excited! Honeybee more so than me, I think. He pees a lot. The rent went up a little bit, but the bathroom was coming in a month!

Like I said, that was three months ago. You can’t blame the guy, though, he’s doing us favor, after all. He’s no slumlord, he’s not weird or mean or anything like that. Actually, Landlord is an engineer with a passion for this house, since it used to be his and he lives across the street. He’s doing everything by hand. Magnificently, might I add. Just slowly. So [goddamn] slowly! And the construction has taken over our lounge space [we’d only just finished painting] and my workspace. This means I’ve been typing blogs, drawing, writing essays and graphing linear functions on the bed, my back slowly contorting, rebelling with aches and pains. Horrible can’t-yoga-myself-out-of-it-pains. Over the past two months I’ve basically built up a 500mg tolerance for ibuprofen. Omg. What’s kept me going is as Landlord’s brought in all the accoutrements [toilet, vanity cabinet, subway tiles and the like], I’ve fallen in love. He’s made wonderful choices in light fixtures as well. Ooh! I can’t wait!

Once it’s finished, I’ve decided to revamp the [rest of the] space to make everything as functional as possible. After all, this room is where all our passions come to play. Out with the lounge and in with…something different. I don’t know, we’ll have to see it before we can name it. [Important things to consider include the fact that it’s a basement…that floods when it rains for an entire season…like it does in Seattle.]

Usually when things are finally at the after stage I’m hyped to take a million photos, but not so much in the before, but since this upcoming after begins a new before, I thought it was important to get he before-before and the after-before with the upcoming before-after to follow. Confused? Worry not. Check out these photos!

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I love a project! Stay tooned!