through new eyes…

It was very exciting and relaxing to be away on vacation for two weeks. I didn’t work on any projects at all while we were away.

Instead, we ate ice cream.

ice cream

We wandered with no goals or reasons in mind.


We hung out in coffeehouses and drank amazing Stumptown coffee. I spent two wonderful weeks with my amazing partner, our fabulous kids, and got to know everyone all over again. I feel so amazingly blessed by this.


We saw natural wonders. Multnomah Falls in this case. This is a truly stunning place, pictures don’t actually do the falls much justice. We marveled at the water for a bit, the boys climbed most of the way to the top and then we all got ice cream and dabbled about creekside, down near where the water calms down and gets ready to join the mighty river.


We went to the most beautiful beach in the world.

the beach

Climbed rocks.


Ate amazing food and saw some amazing art. Portland is probably the most artistic city I’ve ever visited. There are just random paintings on buildings, things are bright and colorful and beautiful. It’s truly a gorgeous city. I might want to move there. Actually, if I didn’t have so many ties here, I’d move there in a hot second. It’s definitely on the menu for consideration for points in the future.

building with paintings

Spent some time with Elder Daughter, who moved away to Portland a year ago and who seems to be thriving. See how thriving she looks?


Obviously being a pastry chef in one of the coolest cities in the Pacific Northwest totally agrees with her.

It was really nice to just be selfish and off for a few weeks. Instead of work, I visited a couple of great yarn shops and a kick ass bead shop, ate a lot of ice cream and great food, saw my parents and a few old friends, took a lot of photos and came home inspired and happy and rested. I had the art journal along but you know, I just wasn’t feeling it, it felt like work, so I didn’t bother. I read a novel just for pleasure! It was amazing!

For some reason, coming home has translated into a massive studio reorganization/back room purge/Goodwill-garage sale effort which I absolutely feel compelled to finish before I get back to work. I’ve been musing about how it’s funny – when you leave them for a while, old systems suddenly begin to seem cumbersome and inefficient. When you’ve lived quite happily out of a relatively small carry on bag for 12 days, that whole closet filled with stuff you never wear seems unnecessary and wasteful.

I started in on the studio today, pulling stuff off shelves and out of cubbies, trying to be ruthless about what should stay and what should go. I’m about halfway through, have made friends with some stuff I forgot I had, and was able to let go of some other stuff I’d been clinging to for no reason (or rather, reasons that no longer feel quite so important to me now.) It’s gotten me started thinking about how it is SO easy to just randomly collect shiny supplies and then never use them.

Does having the stuff to make art make you an artist? Not so much. Making the art makes you an artist. But I think sometimes we forget that and get caught up in having whatever is new and shiny. That’s fine, unless it gets in the way of your actually being able to create. It’s good to root through the chaos and see what you’ve forgotten to pick up and use, once in a while.

It feels really good to go away for a little while and then come home and see with new eyes. I had a great vacation!

About Maia Rainwood

Owner and Maker at Maia Rainwood Design. Wearable art for wise women, birth keepers, witches, and world-builders.
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7 Responses to through new eyes…

  1. Tina Tierson says:

    Glad you had such a great time in my neck of the woods! I live in Vancouver, WA, just over the bridge and 5 mins away from Portland. It is an amazing city, isn’t it? I’m originally from the east coast, lived all over, including the beautiful Bay Area, but the Pacific Northwest is definitely home now! Glad you discovered our wonderful beaches too! Cannon Beach is my favorite and I go there as often as I can! Which bead shop did you visit? There are actually quite a number of really good ones here and I try to make it a habit to visit as often as I can! Can’t wait to see your newest jewelry!!

    • Rainy says:

      Tina, the bead shop was actually in Arcata CA and is called Heart Bead. Really cute shop with a wide selection. I didn’t get to any bead shops in Portland, more’s the pity. 😦 We visited one in Ashland that was having a wicked sale the day we were there and I was on a crazy budget. It was SO hard to leave empty handed.

      This wasn’t my first trip to the Pacific Northwest at all. I lived in Eugene for a while and have visited Portland before. Am originally from Humboldt County and my ex inlaws lived on the Puget Sound, so I’ve done the Oregon coast many many times. Love it SO much. It’s the first time I’d explored those parts of the city, though.

  2. A perfect post for Bastille Day, Dear H&O!!! Much thanks and luv for this wisdom. xoxoxoxo

  3. Marilyn says:

    Oh so close and yet so far. Next time we will have tea at Peninsula Park in amongst the roses.

    • Rainy says:

      Yes! yes for sure. I just didn’t have any time aside from the family stuff this time ’round. I’m gonna come up later in the year I hope, or early next year more likely, stay a week if I can, and really take my time and see folks.

  4. Knitnana says:

    It’s truly a nice town…I enjoyed visiting Portland two years ago.
    And yes, travel broadens in ways we don’t expect!

  5. I loved my visits to Portland. We were on the west coast a month ago but didn’t get a chance to see the PNW coast. Glad to see you having a wonderful life.

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