Thursday, February 21, 2019


Hey everyone! Hope your new year is treating you well. We've been just trying to survive for the most part. We had the usual sickness. Started with Evan, then me, then our sweet Finley. We got better, then it snowed. Woohoo! Except we were stuck at home for several days. I'm used to a city being prepared for snow. The main road was plowed but it's kinda useless when the neighborhoods don't get plowed. I finally had Evan plow through the thick slush with my Subaru so we could get to the store. Still some snow on the ground, but not much.

Before we got sick, I decided to make a big change in our living situation. It's been hard, but I had to come to terms with the fact that my studio space is wasted space right now. I've tried to do my jewelry while being a full time mom and it's just not working out. If I had family near to watch my daughter while I work it would be a whole different story. And not to mention that we still don't have a bed for her. Don't get me wrong, l love the cuddles with her, but I love being next to my husband too. And we need that time together. Especially if we are going to have another child! The only time I really have to make anything is when she goes to bed. And lately, that time is being spent with my husband and/or cleaning. By that point I'm ready for sleep. I must have sleep. I am not one of those people who can function on only a few hours of sleep. Never going to happen. I'm going to enjoy this time I have with my daughter, it goes really fast like everyone said it does. She's already almost 16 months old!

So, my studio space is going to turn into bunks. I'm super excited to paint and decorate this space too. Of course, it can't just be plain. It's going to have to be a fun play space for the kid/s as well. I haven't put all my art stuff in storage. I kept the paints, felting, sewing, and a few jewelry tools. I have to have some art supplies around. It's who I am! We have some ideas for a bit larger studio space for me in the future. And I like our plans.

I spent the last week and a half or so packing all my stuff for storage (perfect timing while being snowed in). You wouldn't believe how much shit I crammed in my space. If you are an artist too, I'm sure you would understand. I'm getting better at letting go of stuff. Probably always have to work on it though. Now Evan can work some of his magic while Finley and I are gone. She's going on a plane for the first time to visit grandma. Can't wait for some warmer weather and sunshine.🌞

So if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, my posts will be more on the progress of the bus and family life than jewelry right now. I hope you enjoy and thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 29, 2018


Before I had my daughter I started to work on my jewelry full time. I was actually starting to make money mostly from doing custom bike badges. I did enjoy doing some of them but found that doing custom work gave me terrible anxiety. I found it hard to say no and got terribly overwhelmed. Once I got pregnant it became hard for me to continue doing my work. With pregnancy hormones it made my anxiety worse. And the extremely hot summer didn't help. I was also a wreck because my husband was gone the majority of my pregnancy. So most of the momentum has been lost with the art business.

Now that my daughter is about ready to walk (and she's needing the breast less) I am having these fantasies again of being a full time jeweler and traveling. And my husband keeps mentioning being a stay at home dad. We also have ideas for owning property, not sure we could pull that off with a jewelry business that needs a lot of work. Although I love my daughter more than anything I also love my creative time. And without having a sitter, it's been almost impossible to do any work. We've signed a lease for a year in our current location  so we still have time to get our ducks in a row. Currently paying off bills and purchasing long overdue items like a new mattress, next will probably be a laptop. And there is the question of health insurance. That is a costly thing in this country and we currently have decent insurance through my husband's job. Can't we just have universal healthcare already?

There is still a lot of work to be done in the bus too. Yes, it's livable but there are quite a few things yet to be done. Not much different than your standard home. There's also the question of another child. I'm 37 so it's not like I have a whole lot of time to decide if I want another one. We would also have to do some serious work to make room for another kid. I'm not sure if I can handle two kids in this bus. But if dad is taking care of them while I work than it might work. And I do miss having a house sometimes. Especially because my daughter really needs the space to move around. We've been hanging out at the library a lot lately. At least she gets to be around other kids this way.  And I've made a few friends.

I also have the fantasy of having a storefront to sell my art and jewelry. And to stock it with other amazing artists. Our current plan is to pay off all our bills and buy property while Evan has his steady job. Maybe after we purchase property we can see where life takes us? We both have creative dreams and ideas about how we want to live our life together. Is it possible to be able to pick more than one? Can we have the best of both worlds?

Sunday, November 18, 2018


Patience is the name of our bus which is quite fitting for the current state of our lives. Patience has been around a few years, since 1972. She has driven over 300,000 miles and hauled a lot of children before we took her over. Patience isn't a fast mover, she needs to be warmed up before she starts her day. And sometimes needs the kinks worked out before she hits the road. Sure the ride is loud and bumpy but she usually puts a smile on peoples faces as we pass by. And you can count on road trips taking twice as long to get to your destination. It's not that noticeable though, because the scenery is more enjoyable. Sometimes she is stinky, whether it be the cloud of smoke coming from the exhaust or the occasional poo smell from the toilet. All worth it so the husband doesn't have to pull over a million times to accommodate my bladder. The inside is small, yet cozy. Really easy to get messy but can get clean up in a jiffy. Patience is something you definitely have to get used to. She was a little overwhelming at first, but we've grown to love her even with her faults. Nobody is perfect, not even a bus.

Our daughter is much like the bus, she requires a lot of patience. If I'm in a hurry, guaranteed it will be a bad day. I need to remind myself daily to take it slow. My anxiety comes out if I try to control what is going to happen with the day. Recently, I've discovered I'm more OCD than I realized. I knew I had it, but until Finely got to be the age of a toddler I didn't realize how bad it was. You wouldn't think that I am OCD if you saw what my jewelers bench looked like after hours of creating, but I can only handle a mess for so long. Especially in a small space, it forces you to be organized. So I spend the majority of my days cleaning. When it comes to babies and toddlers, they are messy when they eat. You have no idea how much this bothers me! Yet I am a complete slob when I am cooking or baking, and even when I'm eating. But I clean the mess when I'm done. Nothing gets my anxiety going as much as when we are in the car and Finley is screaming or whining. I try to plan car rides when I know it's nap time. Usually, I forget all about the stressful car ride when we get to our destination. She's so excited to be at the store and puts a smile on other shoppers faces. Just makes my day. Even though she has the typical qualities of a toddler, she is a very happy girl and I am so thankful for that.

A sample of what it looks like when I'm trying to fix dinner, or accomplish anything really.


Monday, November 12, 2018

Catching up

Hey everyone, here I am again over 2 years later attempting to be a blogger. This time I am going to make it stick. Since my last post we have driven back across the US in our bus to Washington state to get married, drove down to California to see family, had a baby, drove back to California again, and now we are planted on the west side of the Cascade mountains in Washington. I think I will start my posts from where I left off in Pennsylvania. I took a lot of photos while we were there and met some wonderful people. I feel I need to share these memories with you before I delve into our current life. So I am going to rewind to the end of 2015 when my husband flew to Washington to scoop me up and drive across the country in my Subaru with U-haul and my cat and bird. The bus (her name is Patience) had been in Pennsylvania since the beginning of 2015. Evan drove her there in the very cold winter by himself so he could start his job. It didn't have much done in it, but at least the wood stove and bed were finished before he took off. I ended up having a family emergency situation so we were apart for about 10 months. That was a hard time for both of us, only saw him once in that time. And it's when I needed him the most. But we survived and it only made us stronger as a couple.

The trip from Washington to Pennsylvania was a pretty quick trip. We just wanted to get there, especially since we were carrying precious cargo; my cat Pumpkin (who is 13 now) and my cockatiel Sunny (may he rest in peace). We made it across in 4 nights. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Hey everyone! Wow, I can't believe my last post was in 2014. Well, we've had a lot going on since then and I haven't been able to keep up. I spent about a year and a half away from my bench helping out with some family stuff, but now I am back! We are currently in Eastern Pennsylvania and have been here since Christmas of last year. I've had some time to reflect and get myself back on track. I've been slowly adding items back in my Etsy shop and Evan has been slowly building inside the bus. It's starting to feel more like a home, he's amazing! I will try to get some more updates on the bus build soon, but for now enjoy this photo I took of the amazing campground we have been staying all summer. It has been PARADISE! It is not only beautiful, but also filled with generous and fun loving people. We are going to miss them dearly when we head back to the west coast for the winter. If you are on Instagram I have been posting pictures. You can find me under artbywinona and winonaphotography. That's all for now, thanks for reading!

Monday, October 27, 2014


Here we are with our second update.  We are moving right along with the bus remodel and have made some real progress.  We decided to just take out the shower and the rest of the wall structures that were previously built and start from scratch.  There will be a completely new design to accommodate our needs.  Three of the five windows have been put in and it's starting to look like home.  There have been some real good rains storms the last few weeks which has actually been a blessing because we have discovered some leaks.  The two fans in the ceiling were poorly installed and has caused some water damage.  So thank you to the Rain Gods!

The timeline for our bus project has been cut down considerably because of Evan's full time job offer. Alas, our funds have also run short.  We would like to have the bus fully running to go by the end of December.  If you like our project and would like to donate to our cause we have set up a Go Fund Me account.  I plan on making artistic gifts for anyone who donates big or small.  You can check it out here:

And of course I have more pictures!  Take a gander and enjoy :-)

Evan removed the old windows and cut out new spots for the new windows.  Here, he is welding in some extra supports where the windows will go.

I got a chance to practice some of my welding.  Maybe I'll get in on some of the welding on the other windows :-)

I cleaned up the windows real nice and got them ready to install.  These came from Evan's 1972 camper he had.  He took it apart a while back because it had so much water damage.  I love that we get to reuse them in the 1972 bus, a match made in heaven.

A nice view of before the windows are installed.  The fan above is what Evan is working on now.  The ceiling panel had a bunch of water damage on the other side.

TA DA!  Aren't they pretty? 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Our new home

Welcome!  This blog is going to be about our new journey to happiness.  I have dreams of being a full time metalsmith and my fiance loves his job as a Rigger.  Evan's job requires lots of traveling and we are miserable being apart for so long.  I would also like to travel more so we came up with a solution. 

 We bought a bus!  A 1972 Crown super coach school bus.  It already has been partially upgraded with toilet, shower, sink, solar panels, freshwater/gray water tanks, and sewage tank.  It looks nice on the inside but it isn't accommodating for our needs.  We got it home on Friday afternoon and had a huge portion of the inside ripped out by Saturday evening.  It had several bunks built in for the two adults and 7 children that lived in it before.  There is a lot of work to do still to meet our satisfaction but I am excited to work on this project with Evan.  He is a very handy man and am thrilled to learn some new skills.  I am going to have a section of the bus just for my mini studio, I am so excited!  

For your viewing pleasure, here are some before pictures of the bus and what we have torn out so far.  I hope you enjoy following us on our journey. Share with others as well, the more the merrier :-)

This space above here is going to be my studio space :-) My bench is going to fit perfectly.

Our friend Tony showed up.  He helped us out some, mostly drank ;-)

We're going to add some windows in from our vintage camper we took apart a while back. 

This is all for now in the demolition process.  Now we just have to plan what we are going to do next.  Probably going to put in the windows and redo the ceiling.