Saturday, January 13, 2018

2018 the year of GROWTH

n my last blog post I talked about my word for 2018. Last year my word was BALANCE and I do feel that I was able to maintain some balance in my work/life struggle which was amazing. I had been  working 6 days a week and progressively getting more and more burned out and neglecting myself and it came to a point where I had to choose between jobs which was DIFFICULT! As I am a classic work-a-holic I will go go go until the day I die but at some point my health and personal life really needed to become a priority again. This year my word is GROWTH and I truly mean growth in every aspect of my life, my business, my health, my love life, my relationships, spirituality ect. 

When I was in undergrad I was almost a psychology major, as in I took so many psychology classes I was only a few credits away from a full on major but then fell in love with the arts. Something that burned itself into my mind was Maslows Hierarchy of Needs. If you haven't heard of this before I would like to share it with you as I think it is a fantastic guide for creating healthy lifestyles. Below is a triangle which breaks down Maslows Hierarch of Needs. At the lowest level is our Basic Needs which includes Physiological and Safety. These needs are followed by the middle section which is our Psychological Needs, Belonging and Esteem. The highest level is Self- Fulfillment Needs which consists of Self-actualisation. If you too are looking for areas to grow in, in the new year it may be a good idea to take a look at this chart and identify where you are feeling strong and areas that may need some work. 

For me I am a work-a-holic, I put a lot of time and energy into my business, career, and self exploration constantly striving to achieve my full potential. My efforts are always focused on the top half of the triangle where things like Physiolgical Needs are neglected eating unhealthy, getting too little sleep, and not taking care of myself as well as I should. This is an area I aim to improve in 2018. 

My challenge to you is to take a good hard look at your life, and identify the areas that you are excelling in (give yourself a pat on the back and keep up the good work) and identify the areas that need some improvement. 

This is how I aim to GROW in 2018. I will keep you updated along the way.


Friday, December 29, 2017

Palm Springs // Travel Photography

Hello All! I made it back over to the blog. It feels like a lifetime ago that I was in grad-school only working weekends and had SO much time to spend working on this space. Those days are long gone, but the exciting news is that my business Charcoal & Ash is growing and I was able to purchase a MacBook Pro which means BLOG RE-Launch! I want my blog to be more in depth, more of me and my thoughts and my art and less keeping up with the fads so hopefully you will find inspiration here and be fueled to go out and create your own beautiful somethings.

I have been dying to hop onto my blog and share our amazing Palm Springs trip!
Palm Springs was a dream come true. 2017 was an absolute whirlwind for Paul and I and the week that we left for Palm Springs the Pacific Northwest was hit with torrential downpours so it felt wonderful to walk off the airplane into the Palm Springs airport and feel the sun hit my skin.

We stayed at the Saguaro Hotel in Palm Springs and LOVED it! Every room is a different color based on desert flowers. The hotel itself felt very hipster, like I felt almost not cool enough to be there but then that passed and we soaked it all in and it was actually very relaxing. The center court of the hotel was a pool and lawn area surrounded by flowers covered in cute almost tame hummingbirds. Some of the highlights of our Palm Springs trip were spending the day in Joshua Tree, driving out to Salvation Mountain and fitting in a day of the most Instagrammed places. Palm Springs was such a needed trip it felt so good to soak up some sun and be away from work distractions for both Paul and I.

2018 is going to be a year of growth and I can already feel it starting. Every year I like to pick a word a theme that I center myself around and focus on. Last year the word was balance and I really do think I was able to balance myself a little better especially in my career choosing to part from my 2 job 6 day a week schedule and stick with one full-time job with a 4 day work week. That worked wonders for my health and family life and I am very grateful that I made that decision. This year I thought about Sustainability, Consistency, and Progress as my word but I have ultimately settled on GROWTH emotionally and professionally. I am excited to see what the year brings and I am super excited to be back on the blog!

Have a wonderful New Years all! and check back on the blog for more fun updates.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Charcoal & Ash // Life Lately

I made it over to the blog! it's a miracle seriously. I thought I would pop on over and let you know whats been going on. It has been a crazy productive year and Paul and I have been carefully creating new experiences and navigating our lives in the creative direction we both want to go and it has resulted in us being insanely busy non-stop.

Since I last stopped by, Charcoal & Ash has been busy, busy, busy! I participated in my first farmers marker and another art show at the Factoria Mall. Paul and I created a promotional video for the shop which you can see in my about page! View my video HERE. We went on a weekend adventure to the Hoh Rainforest and Seabrook and we are planning a bigger tropical adventure towards the end of 2017. 

Paul made the jump to full-time freelance and is now running his own business from home and I couldn't be more proud. We have this crazy dream of both being able to work from home and travel one day and we are making some huge movements in the right direction. A few things that I am dreaming of doing in the last few months of 2017 is a Scorpio Queen inspired photo shoot (to celebrate turning 30 of course! I am also dreaming and scheming about creating exclusive Charcoal and Ash Christmas cards! creating beautiful calendars, and possibly a coffee table book. Oh and I will be participating in a photo contest more on that soon.

So many other things have happened in my life over the last few months, so many great great things I just don't have the time to share it all. But please enjoy these photos from my last photography shoot in Seattle and follow me over on Instagram @charcoalandashpnw for updates on all of the exciting things I'm planning for the rest of the year.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Photo Series: SEPTEMBER // V of Pentacles

Hello, hello I am still here and catching up on the tarot card posts. For September I was given a reading by Secret Garden Social that seemed a little bleak but after thinking about it deeply and coming up with an image for it I realized that it may not be all that bad. Here is the reading for September...

"The card for September is the V of Pentacles. This card is often read as feeling as though one is lacking and poorly. They're on the outside looking into something good, or, as the Wild Unknown depicts it, a flower wilting from lack of light and love and care. But it ALSO offers us this, there is ALWAYS hope. You must first open your eyes and see it though!"

Contemplating this reading and relating it to my life and current events I decided to focus on the hopeful aspect of the reading which is that one can always find hope in almost any circumstance. I decided on an image of a blade of grass growing through a pile of rocks. Depending on how you look at it, you may either see desolate earth pommeled by rocks and destroying any chance the grass has for survival or a mighty blade of grass piercing through the rocks towards the light. I think this is an excellent depiction of the reading and hope that it will inspire strength.

Shop the Hope Rocks print HERE

Monday, August 1, 2016

Photo Series: AUGUST // Daughter of Wands

Shop the Passion City print HERE
A little late for the August tarot card read but here it is (sorry guys things have been CRA-ZY!) Secret Garden Social provided me with the following reading.

"The pull for August is the Daughter of Wands! She reminds us that we should be following our passions. We need to remember, or even FIND, what lights us up, what makes us truly excited and then follow it. With all the changes and acclimation to everything that has happened not only since June but the first half of the year, we should find ways to better attune ourselves to that which we desire."   -Secret Garden Social

I love this photograph of Mt. Rainier looming over the City of Seattle it reminds us of the inferiority of man-made objects and schedules, wants and needs and puts into perspective the extreme awesomeness (yes I said that) of the universe and the not so tangible things like our passions, dreams, and desires. The exciting thing about this concept is that our hopes, dreams, passions, and desires live in our minds and our hearts and are accessible to us even when we are ummmm say waiting for a delayed Ferry to Seattle ;) or sitting at a stop light, or you name it. These things should be what fuels you and August is the perfect time to strengthen your connection with them. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Photo Series: JULY // IV of Swords

As some of you might have remembered I am doing a monthly photography collaboration with the talented Jordana of Secret Garden Social. Every month Jordana does a tarot card reading and gives me a basic theme. In June we focused on death - meaning letting go of the things in your life that do not serve you anymore. Anytime we let things fall out of our lives it opens doors for new opportunities and with new opportunity usually come a period of chaos, not in a bad sense but in that there are new things to be learned and it pushes us out of our routine. The photo for this month was taken at Seabrook, WA. This is a photo of a family relaxing on the beach enjoying each others company and the vast beauty of the sea. I can not think of a better symbol of rest and patience. Remember to check out the Etsy Shop and collect all the tarot card prints.

"This month's card is: IV of Swords The message here is rest and patience. June brought about a lot of big changes and the cogs of that change may still be working. July is all about taking a break from the stress, not pushing yourself too hard when you know it's not good for you and making sure you are taking care of yourself."
- Secret Garden Social

Peach at the Beach

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Photo Series: JUNE // Death

I am excited for this next collaboration which is with Secret Garden Social created by my friend Jordana. Jordana is a skilled Tarot Reader and together we have decided to team up with a monthly tarot card reading and an inspired image from Charcoal & Ash to fit the monthly theme. This image will be available for purchase in my shop. For me this is more of a photography project, and a great way to get the juices flowing and push me out of my creative comfort zone. If you are interested in tarot card reading or having your cards read hop over to Secret Garden Social.

Around the Bend

"The card for the month of June is Death...which is about letting go of things that do not serve you anymore, it's about putting to rest whatever is in your life that's not helping you change or live for the better." - Jordana Zurita 

This image was taken with Jordana's Death Card in mind. It is amazing to me how easy it is to hold onto things that are harmful whether out of convenience or comfort. This June it is time to not only let go of these things but to do some soul searching and identify them! Sometimes out of pure routine we can not see how badly certain decisions and things we allow in our lives actually hurt us. Whether it is something as mundane as eating out too much, or more abstract like your inner self dialog. I challenge all of my readers to take an few minutes and put your finger on those things in your life (maybe focus on one) that are hurting you or holding you back and come up with ONE way that you might address changing this. It is as easy as that! Take the time to identify your enemy and then plan your attack. 

This image "Around the Bend" is of a path rounding a corner in the distance where the light is glowing after passing through a dark tunnel of trees. I think this is a great representation of the death card as it is a positive reminder that after you pass through the darkness and move forward by letting go - the light at the end of the tunnel and your bright future await.