Natural Hair: Anatomy of a Bad Hair Day

Can I just unleash the struggle for minute, y’all, please? So far in this natural hair journey I’ve been zooming right along. I started with lots of help from Youtube and the blogosphere, finding decent products practically up front and things were great. Now that I’m branching out to experiment with new products the results are not necessarily consistent. (Which, of course, demands a very scientific method approach to determine which product it was that brought on the unfavored coiffure.) All those poorly-lit science labs flashed through my mind as I rinse out what I think is the offending product. I’m still in the shower with wet hair, but I can already tell my hair is dry and sad. Scientific method smyerrific blefid, I say. I can fix this. I throw in a coconut deep conditioning treatment that’d been on deck for trial. That’s where we begin. Looking rough.

Bad, bad hair day

But besides whatever hold/shine issues the products cause, I can’t get around the overall shape of my hair. I think it’s crying out for a haircut, but I also still want to wait until it’s longer. I’m only six months into this thing. Who knows how long that might last with this weird puff situation. A lady can only stand so much struggle.

All that said, I shared my situation with my bestie and my mister and do you know what they both said?! Your hair looks great, they said. I don’t know what you’re talking about, they balked. So I’ll say to you what I said to them, dear readers:

When you have a bad hair day and everyone who knows you best and sees you most often says they can’t tell the difference, what does that say about the good hair days?! Am I imagining that these good hair days even exist?

Natural Hair 6 mo

Struggling with a smile, though, cause that’s how I do.



UW Rallies for Ferguson


I can’t even tell you the feeling up climbing the stairs to school only to see our familiar George statue flanked by UW police, Seattle PD and a few unmarked cars that looked cop-ish. It was rainy, but that’s not unusual around these parts, but the chanting. Red Square is situated almost conically, so the sounds echoed until you could breathe it. The air was palpable, the message clear:

No justice, no peace. No racist police.

As the assembly broke up I was lost in the sea of people who care.

I wish I could’ve got a little bit of the rally itself, but due to some almost miraculous camera fumbling and foot traffic that idea didn’t quite come to fruition. Still this mini video will suffice to remind me of the feeling of getting washed over by support.



Happy Thanksgiving!

This year I’m most thankful for family, both the born-in and self-made kind. I happen to come from a great group of folks who’ve always been sweet to me. I also happen to have moved far, far away from all of that familiarity. Yet and still, there are places I can go all over this city to find friendly faces. Then, there are awesome readers who check in on me here. All that makes for one happy Sunshine.

cornish game hens

I hope your holiday is filled with joy!



The Liebster Award

So, you guys, Diana from One Broad’s Journey nominated Wrays of Sunshine for the Liebster Award. Isn’t that nice?! I think so. We’ve never been nominated for an award around these parts, so I definitely consider it an honor.

Rules: Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award. Answer the 11 questions given to you from the blogger. Give 11 facts about yourself. Nominate 11 blogs you think are deserving of the award (less than 200 followers). Let the bloggers know you have nominated them. Give 11 questions to them to answer.

My Questions

1. Why do you blog?

I blog because I am. I can’t help it, I love it! It really feels good to give back to the blogosphere when I’ve gotten so much out of it as a natural hair, beauty, home decor and DIY resource. And I love having reasons to be accountable to my own self. I’m actually no good at keeping diaries and often let months go by between scrapbooking memories. Wrays of Sunshine is an account of what’s happening in our lives in semi-real time.
2. What is your favorite Disney movie?

That’s a tough one. Right now, at this moment I’m thinking Jungle Book but if you ask me again I might say Lion King or the Little Mermaid.
3. If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be?

What a cruel question! If, of all the projects that I’m currently in the middle of right this second and I could only do one, it’d have to be college. Is it weird to consider  college a project? I do and it gets priority because it’s my most expensive project in progress. Once that’s over, then it’d be another tough choice between this blog, the Catfight Craft blog, and music. Music might win because that’s something I can enjoy with my Honeybee…but if I did I would blog about it. This is why I have a bajillion projects!
4. What is your free time guilty pleasure?

Besides starting new projects and making to-do lists? Well, we have this old school Nintendo at my house. And a little game I like to call Dr Mario. And Super Mario 3. And chocolate.
5. The best place you’ve ever visited in the world is…?

That depends how you describe best, really. Best overall, I guess, would be Seattle hence moving here. But most surprisingly beautiful was the desert near Phoenix. Every time I’m in Austin I get the feeling I could make myself at home there. All that bbq and music. Oh and New Orleans had this vibe to it like none other. The architecture, the history, the color and speed of that city were all factors in its greatness.
6. What is one of your favorite quotes?

“I do what I can do when I can do it.” Chris Tucker (Money Talks)
7. Go to a comedy club or a dance club?

8. What is the worst gift you’ve ever been given?

I don’t really remember bad gifts. My mom’s gift-giving abilities rival Martha Stewart. Growing up I was the baby and the only girl, so I got pret-ty good at asking for what I wanted (I’d spend a solid week assessing the Toys R Us “Big Book” and highlighting my favorites in a color coded system of preference). So, so weird.
9. What is your favorite memory?

That outlandish 30 day road-trip I took with Butterfly. Everyday I knew we were making personal history. We were two girls on a mission, who wouldn’t settle, who gave zero fucks. Oh, it was a time!
10. What is your favorite outdoor activity?

Lounging, gardening and jogging. In that order.
11.  Where’s Waldo?

You can’t miss him. He’s in the striped shirt.

11 Facts

  1.  I’m totally and completely easygoing until I’m an absolute stickler. For example, this morning I asked my husband to, please, replace my pillows before I get home. I know it’s silly, but sometimes you just want your stuff how you left it.
  2. I’ve been blogging for more than 5 years now and I’m certainly showing no signs of slowing.
  3. I love Willy Wonka (the original, not that Johnny Depp foolishness).
  4. Oh, I wish I had more time and money for travel.
  5. If I’m in a tizzy or freaking out, just get me to a natural body of water and I’ll be alright.
  6. If it’s from IKEA, Crate & Barrel or CB2 I can identify it.
  7. I love yoga!
  8. I hate yoga pants.
  9. Somehow all the sweetest, most awesome people attract and attach themselves to me. Or, another way, I have all the best friends in the world.
  10. “I believe surgery and I believe in prayer and I believe in mercy killing when I’m beyond repair, yes, I believe…in love.”
  11. Inspiration comes constantly for me and having Evernote to sort and keep them with me has already saved me lots of $$ on notebooks.

11 Blog Nominations

  1. Bethany at Peep This
  2. Rachel at Bread & Roses Parenting
  3. Emory at Hello Scarlet
  4. Chelsea at Rookie Notes
  5. My buddy Dale at the Shoddy Onion
  6. My amazing ladyfriend, Katherine at Monochrome Lit
  7. Thoughts From Kimberly
  8. Jasmine at Flux & Flow
  9. That artsy fellow at Lizard Pudding
  10. Emerald Lily
  11. And Kelsi Rae at My Hair Envy

And my questions to you my fellow bloggers!

  1.  What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
  2. What song gets you in the most creative mood?
  3. When did the internet begin for you?
  4. Do you keep a tight editorial schedule on your blog, or play it loosey goosey?
  5. What’s your most used expletive?
  6. If logistics were not an issue, where would you go first?
  7. Favorite cartoon?
  8. When was the last time you danced?
  9. What do you consider the most embarrassing song in your collection?
  10. Best song for karaoke?
  11. Are you sure?

Thanks again for the nomination, Diana! Yay!



Printmaking Studio

May I introduce you to my new happy place! I had my camera with me in the printmaking studio at school a few evenings ago and I thought it’d be fun to show ya where I do some of my learnin.


Just so you have your bearings, you walk in the door with this printmaking transom window. Immediately to your right are dangerous hot plates above which we put our most recent work. Can you tell which ones are mine?

Left: mine is the long linear piece on the bottom. It’s the 3rd part of a 3-part print. Right: Part 2 is the blue one. Also pictured: wall of brayers. A whole wall! Wondering where the brayers are? Nope. You don’t have to. They’re right there.

Beyond the brayers is an emergency exit door where we hang aprons. Then there’s the water bath for paper soaking. To the left of the bath sink is the hand washing sink with assorted cleaners on the shelf above. Rounding out the corner is our outlandish amount of drying racks. I was the only one who swooned for the drying racks on the first day of class.

Our current project is drypoint etching. There are multiple parts involved and the imagery is a self portrait. I love the way school challenges me. Self portraits wouldn’t even cross my mind in terms of printmaking. Camera, sure. Cell phone selfies, occasionally. But a drypoint, never.

Drypoint is an intense process, my favorite kind. It involves really sticky ink practically scraped in the scratches on a plate. Then you rub off the excess ink with varying stages of tarlatan. You start with the dirtiest one and wipe until almost clean.


On the other side of the room there are tall windows and plenty of counter space to work on with cabinet storage on the bottom. Everything we ever need is already ready to go at the oil station thanks to our technician, Kim.

palette knives and oils

You may be wondering what’s happening in the center of the room. There happen to be two, giant, fancy, legit printing presses. Here’s my self portrait on the Takach.

Not only is the process for each individual print arduous, but with drypoint (or any etching) you really want to proof it as often as possible. At the time that’s usually overwhelming but then, later, you have a step by step process print collection.

I’m not quite done with the assignment just yet, but I can’t wait to show you how it turns out!

drypoint self portrait 2014

Thanks for visiting my print shop with me. It really is a joyful experience (of hard, hard work) every time I step foot in the place.

See ya (in the),


Boat Street Marina


Now that it’s been a few weeks since the onslaught of transition I can sort of resurface. If you’re anything like me, you know scoping out and perfecting the route and routine is important. Most especially when public transit is involved, and it takes two buses to get there (there being to work/school). They run pretty often, so it works. It’s awesome to work at school. Technically it’s going to the same place everyday, but I get to see two very different parts of campus. The view I offer today is right behind the building I work in, I wandered over to the Boat Street Marina after a hard day’s admin. Positively dreamy.

Camera update! The D70 went back home to its original owner, Jessie, and I got a new one. These pictures were taken with the Nikon D3200 and, lemme just say, I love it. A lot of the situations I find myself in are low light—we live in a basement, y’all—and the old model wasn’t as equipped to handle such conditions. And if it did happen to be a bright, sunny day in Seattle—cough cough—Seattle then I’d stumble into the other problem with the D70: the hair that lived deep inside the body of the camera. It was there when I got it and at first it was no big deal to edit it out, but as I added more monthly features around here, editing this hair out of every single photo became a thorn-needle in my side-haystack. This is not something you can air dust out, people. I needed a professional, but never once in the two years that I had this camera did I have enough $ and time at the same time to make that dream a reality. That, and it happened to be that Jessie missed having that camera, so boom.

The hazy golden shots were taken from the same spot on another day. In case you’re wondering how it suddenly got glorious out. Though, the weather has been pretty erratic lately.


In related news, I’m freaking hyper excited that my artistic fruits are ripening in their own time. Two years ago that D70 was the first thing I really bought for my bloglife. Two years later it affords itself an upgrade. My baby’s growing up, y’all. Squee!

Anyway, guess what.


Duck butt.



Midnight Moon & Sweet Husbands

Did anyone else catch that spectacular full moon the other day? Well, night. It was so much bigger than my camera really shows, and I knew photographs wouldn’t do it justice going in. Still, I ran—not walked— to get my trusty Nikon. Ooh la la.

The next night Honeybee brought home my favorite flowers. star-gazer lilies. They look so tropical and smell so good I basically get ten degrees warmer just looking at ’em. I asked why and he said, “for taking such good care of me.”


Little did that sweet, sweet husband know that this wife-woman would cause the incident. What is the incident, you ask? Oh, nothing, Continue reading “Midnight Moon & Sweet Husbands”

Beauty Between Raindrops

I suppose it’s that time of year when Seattle shows her true colors, no more of this baffling sunshine until 10pm. Nay, friends. It’s dark at 4 or 5 now, what with daylight savings! And it’s raining.

Of course no fucks are given about rain around here…once you get the proper gear. My auntie asked me how I stay so positive despite the weather to which I responded, “I just have to be my own sunshine.”

Boat Street Marina


Sneaky peaky teaser photo of a shoot coming up soon. More to come!




October, We Barely Knew Ye

Oh, were you looking for October? Sorry, love. It’s gone. It’s already gone!

Presenting the month’s posts here at Wrays of Sunshine in a round-up format really helps me wrap my mind around how quickly the time flies. And October is a special edition because it’s my favorite time of year and it’s my Seattle-versary! Five years I’ve been exploring the wild, wild (Pacific North) West and it’s clear this city suits me. Five years I’ve been blogging the dream. I’m surrounded by and creating music and visual, sometimes wearable, art; appreciating the now while planning for the future. And I love it!

Early on I was on a mission to get busy and I’m happy to report the mission is accomplished. For now.

Golden Gardens

Actually it was while I was busy studying when I happened upon these beautiful words. Architecture is so such a powerful thing to appreciate and study. It costs so much and demands so much time and care that it really shows what mattered most to a country in time so far away. I try to imagine what life was like somewhere between the Tigris and Euphrates gossiping about whether this whole written word thing was gonna catch on. Can you imagine?

Canopy of Trees

Then all of a sudden it was my 5 YEAR Seattlerversary which is a big holiday in my book because I’ve learned so much and have truly been welcomed by this city. To celebrate, I brought y’all along on a walk through Fremont with my Honeybee and me. It was good times, we took in all the fall color. Beware of spiders, though. They are not ‘uckin around.


This time of year I’m all about warm, yummy dinners. But warm and yummy don’t have to mean extra salt and msg (the flavor enhancer). I finally hammered down my own recipe that which is comparable to that box brand except entirely completely wholly better. I probably wouldn’t have been so motived to do this if there were a Popeye’s anywhere near here, jus’ saying. Dig my dirty rice, y’all!


Over on the CATFIGHTCRAFT blog you can find my recipe for the Big Salad, advice for setting goals, and Bethany’s post about our Etsy shop update! We are constantly creating and refining and it’s so exciting, for real!

Then, like, all of a sudden time started flying on by and it got pret-ty quiet around here. Apologies, folks, but it’s hard out here for a pimp.


Jared, Honeybee and I carved punks and Halloween was a grand old time.

November. It’s upon us already! Don’t forget to fall back you guys. What are you doing with your extra hour?