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!

MENU:

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!

MEET:

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.

Photography:

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!

Design:

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.

Projects:

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.

Xo,

Sunshine

Has It Been Three Years Already?

Hey, guess what! This past week I celebrated my third Seattleversary [specifically October, 13th]! I remember it like it was yesterday. I went to Old Navy and bought a grey and black plaid pea coat, boarded a plane with a one-way ticket and [several hours later] Butterfly picked me up from the airport. [Yeah, that pea coat was useless. They don’t sell real coats in Florida. Why would they? You don’t need them there!] I remember arriving at my new home, a sleazy motel on Aurora, and seeing the carpet stains, thought the worst. I cried myself to sleep that night, only to be woken up by an actual pimp slapping his actual hooker around outside my window. Still, Seattle charmed my pants off. I would make an almost daily trip to the Fremont Library and count all the flowers I encountered on the way. The leaves were bright yellow and red and orange.  The kind of leaves that make you feel like you’re in some kind of wonderland.

I’ve loved Seattle a little bit more everyday, all the while missing Florida and Tennessee and familiar faces. I’m constantly encountering doppelgängers of Florida friends. Even though they’re different people on the opposite side of the country, they make me feel right at home.

Looking back I know I did the right thing, but at the time [especially in certain moments] moving across the country with no job was a shocking thing to consider. At one point a relative cornered me and promised that all the worst things would happen to me and that assured me that my actions were killing my mother. But actually some of the best things have happened, and Mama Sunshine is just fine.

To celebrate three years of ass-kickery, I’ve decided to share my life list. I’m a list maker naturally, but I was directly inspired by Nicole at Making it Lovely [her blog is dope, read it]. Anything major I’ve ever accomplished has come from a list that I may have jotted down on some scrap. Whether or not I maintained it, checked it twice, I need to write things out for the sake of my sanity. From there I break goals down into individual tasks and get them done. Some of these may not ever get crossed off, that’s okay, what’s important is that at every turn adventure unfolds.

So, here’s a list of adventures I’d like to have. You can also revisit the list at its new home, tabbed across the top of the Press! I’ll keep it updated and add photos/links as things are accomplished!

Much To Do

Experiences

  • find my magic city, move there.
  • go hot air ballooning
  • visit New Zealand
  • hike Mount Rainier
  • show Honeybee Orlando/Winter Park [then escape to Key West]
  • create a Sunshiney environment for everyone I love
  • camp for a whole week
  • go spelunking
  • go surfing in Hawaii
  • ride a scooter in Paris
  • dance to Spanish guitar in Spain
  • shoot skeet
  • hang out on a Native American Reservation

Skills

  • pee standing up
  • give a momentous speech
  • learn Spanish
  • learn French

Music

  • play drums for an all girl rock band
  • play harmonica
  • play piano
  • sing my soul to share
  • start a band
  • Super Plaid Super Tour
  • write a solo album

Projects

  • paint a mural
  • 365 [daily] project
  • direct a music video
  • publish a [creative nonfiction] novel
  • grow an ivy, use it as a shower curtain
  • plan a garden from landscape to harvest
  • create a postcard series
  • refinish antique round table
  • do some badass graffiti
  • sew an art quilt

Family

  • find my love, keep him/her
  • have a kitty that loves me
  • record both our family’s histories in a timeline format
  • create a proper scrapbook for Honeybee & Me

Home

  • have a home that fully suits our needs [recording studio, painting studio, office, library, workshop]

Professional

  • make enough [from art] to support my family
  • become debt free
  • perfect my portfolios [web, paper scrapbook, paper glossy]
  • be the featured artist in a show
  • hang my paintings in a Seattle coffee shop/bar
  • learn to code a full on website with a store
  • start an arts collective
  • be a college graduate
  • shoot a wedding [photographically]

Style

  • own a flowing silk robe
  • find the perfect wide-brimmed summer hat, rock it
  • have a [well-organized] closet full of classics
  • wear a ball gown
  • pull off red lipstick
  • create a signature

Health/Fitness

  • have a 4-pack
  • use only all natural/environmentally friendly goods [that work]
  • jog without iPod

Just For Fun

  • learn a sexy partner dance, do it in public
  • fleur-de-lis tattoo
  • treble clef tattoo
  • host a major event
  • wear a catsuit
  • rollerskate again
  • bowl a 250 or above
  • tell a hauntingly scary ghost story
  • tell an actually funny joke
  • have a pig-tailed pie flinging birthday party

xo,

Sunshine