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Starting with the corners

Home photo by Chandler O'Leary

Slowly but surely, this place is beginning to look like home.

Tacoma photo by Chandler O'Leary

Good thing, because the days are absolutely flying by,

Studio photo by Chandler O'Leary

the weeks passing me in a blur of time.

Home photo by Chandler O'Leary

Neither the Tailor nor I could really take any time off from work for our move, so we can only settle in a little at a time. There are so many boxes to unpack, fixtures to mend, hidden spots to clean, surprises to deal with, infrastructure to set up—a million things to build and scrub and fix and dismantle and assemble and purchase and beautify and polish and rewire and dig up and plant and patch and strip and undo and restore and set up just so. Some parts of the house are perfect as they are; others need attention immediately; still others will just need to be lived with as-is for some years, until we can get around to tackling them. If I think about any of it too long, I go a little mad.

Home photos by Chandler O'Leary

So for now, we’re focusing on the corners. There isn’t a single room that’s done yet, but little corners here and there are starting to shape up nicely.

Steller's Jay photo by Chandler O'Leary

These images, then, are little glimpses of what my days have been like lately, of the moments that have alternately focused and fragmented my attention.

Home photo by Chandler O'LearyStudio photo by Chandler O'LearyConstellation illustrations by Chandler O'Leary

Through it all, work goes on, as close to uninterrupted as I can make it,

Home photo by Chandler O'Leary

while the hum of everyday life picks back up around me.

Home photo by Chandler O'Leary

I’ve gotten in the habit lately of keeping my camera on a shelf behind my work table. It’s a good reminder that while forward momentum is nice—

Home photo by Chandler O'Leary

—I need to remember to stop every now and again and take a good look at where I stand.

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Saturday morning sketching

Sketchbook drawing by Chandler O'Leary

Every so often the Tailor and I rack up a list of errands to run down in Portland. So we pick a Saturday and hit the road early. But before we tackle our list of stops to make, we always start our visit with a quiet cuppa somewhere. Since Portland is chock-a-block with fantastic bakeries and coffee shops, we try to hit a different place every time. This weekend it was the French bakery, St. Jack—and some quality time with the ol’ sketchbook.

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Packing the important stuff first

Photo by Chandler O'Leary

I’m leaving for a fall vacation in a few days, so my to-do list has things like passports and battery chargers on it. But the things I took care of first? Refilling my watercolor set, and knitting up some mittens for the trip.

Because, you know, priorities.

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Tea for two

Tea at the Empress photo by Chandler O'Leary

No stay at the Empress is complete without sitting down to Afternoon Tea.

Tea at the Empress photo by Chandler O'Leary

Now, I love a good cuppa no matter where I am, but leaning back in a squashy chair and gazing upward at something like this makes every sip a little more special.

Tea at the Empress photo by Chandler O'Leary

The Empress has been pouring tea every afternoon since it opened in 1908—it was the first venue in Victoria to offer it to the public.

Tea at the Empress photo by Chandler O'Leary

For over a century it’s been one of the city’s biggest tourist draws, but it was easy to forget all about the crowds. Somehow it felt like a quiet, private meal at the home of a dowager aunt. Not normally my, uh, cup of tea, but I loved how unexpectedly cozy it was.

Tea at the Empress photo by Chandler O'Leary

The scones made me miss the Tailor. He would have loved them—and then tried to figure out the recipe.

Tea at the Empress photo by Chandler O'Leary

The savory course was to die for. It was a curious, perfect mix of England (curried chicken, cucumber finger sandwiches) and the Pacific Northwest (best smoked salmon ever). Two months later, I can’t even look at this photo without the memories flooding my taste buds and making me salivate.

Tea at the Empress photo by Chandler O'Leary

The Inner Harbour just outside the window, a good friend across the table, and a seemingly endless array of flavors to hand: the perfect recipe for a relaxing Sunday afternoon.

Tea at the Empress photo by Chandler O'Leary

NOTE: the shop is currently closed; I am taking a break to do some traveling, prepare for some events and reorganize my inventory. All orders placed between now and May 20 will ship on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. I apologize for the inconvenience!