Folklife 2017

We didn’t get to attend last year, so Folklife was high on my list of priorities this year. I even brought de rhythm!



Check out my Folklife Video on the Wrays of Sunshine Youtube Channel. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Yes yes yes yes! Folklife was TENDER. Next year I’ll have a better camera set-up and I’ll be able to capture more, but no complaints. A good time was had by all.

❤ Does your town have any cool festivals? Populate them and report back!



Sh*t That Makes Me Smile: Tiny Rubber Chicken

Every now and then the silly gets in. And what’s especially funny is no one knows where this little chicken came from. Matt found it in his work apron, I think, then hid it for me to find. Just tiny. Just wee. Cracks me up!

Tiny Rubber Chicken

You can get your tiny rubber chicken needs fulfilled at Archie McPhee.

What’s got you giggling these days?

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Meet: Justin Blackwell

Hai guys, welcome back. Today we’re hanging out with our friend from way back, Justin Blackwell. He’s a mechanic, an engineer, just an all-around what-do-you-need-done-it’s-done kind of guy. We met here in Seattle, but since then he’s moved to Kentucky. The accompanying photos are from his recent visit. Yay!

Do you consider yourself an artist?

I’ve never been considered an artist, but there is an art form to some of the things I do.

When was the last time you danced?

I guess last night would count as dancing since I was pretty well popping and locking to Bust A Move by Young MC. LOL

What was your favorite thing about living in Seattle?

My favorite thing about living in Seattle was the music scene and the diversity of people who I was able to meet on a regular basis. Made some damn good friends out there.


What is your favorite life advice / inspiring quote?



Stopped in for provisions to visit Honeybee at Marketime.

Justin is the wild card character that you’re always happy to have at hand. Whatever you do, don’t ask him to smile for your camera, though. He will make this face. And he will hold it.



Thanks for kicking it with us for a minute. Friends are a blessing and we are some lucky Wrays. Want more? Meet our other friends. And subscribe for more Wrays of Sunshine.

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Sunshiny Florida

One of the best memories of the Summer of 20016: FLORIDA TRIP

It was amazing because I’ve known my Honeybee for years and have, no doubt, told him crazy stories about Orlando but to be able to show him made all the difference. And it was a trip of many firsts.

He’d never been to a theme park at all ever, so you could imagine his excitement as we pulled up to Universal Studios. I’ve been there several times, but had never seen to whole Wizarding World of Harry Potter experience, since they practically announced they were building it the day I moved. But that meant there was something new for both of us.


We couldn’t get many photos there since there were several wet rides. I didn’t even bring the dSLR and my phone was mostly tucked safely inside a plastic bag.

Plastic bags! They use those still! I’m such a tourist.


Actually, in general, I was a little disappointed with the lack of photos and of the quality of the photos that I did have. There are no images of the yummy seafood crab and shrimp pasta dinner we shared. No photos of Jelian’s buoyant baby bump or audio clips of her yelling at Muggles skipping the line. There’s no evidence of Mama Juana’s fresh, perfect tamales—of course they were victims of their own deliciousness, barely reaching the plate before getting drenched in salsa and demolished. Or of Kat & Rawko’s epic hugs and art! Ultimately pictures are only representations of a slice of a memory and those memories themselves are in tact. For example, after the photo above was taken, I switched to video and captured Honeybee exiting the beach. After that he admitted that he didn’t believe that the water would be warm enough to enjoy comfortably. He genuinely thought we were exaggerating. He’s a believer now, though.

See the video on the Wrays of Sunshine Youtube channel.

And later that evening I shared the best memory with Heather. I won’t go into details here, but Heather knows. And I’ll never forget.

Thank you for all who made this trip possible, it truly takes a village. Learning to take a break really offers more benefits than just a tan, we’re able to look around and see just how blessed we are.

Don’t forget to like, comment & subscribe for more Wrays of Sunshine!

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UW Cherry Blossoms

My brain full from a hard day’s learnin’, exit the [art] building to find all sorts of shenanigans.


There are cute girl with bunnies on leashes. There are Frisbee Brand flying disks. And, oh, the cameras. But what can we do? We are compelled to document the beauty around us. And ourselves in it.


Thanks for venturing to school with me, you guys. I’m getting back to work, I swear!

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Greenwood ‘Splosion

A natural gas leak caused an explosion in my neighborhood this past Wednesday. The Quick Stop, Neptune Coffee and Mr Gyros are all blown to smithereens. It is trippy! More than anything I’m glad no one was hurt.

We live about nine blocks south of the site, so we’re far from the blast zone, but I go in there all the time. I’ve waited at that bus stop many times. Jared and I drove by  on Friday. Actually, Jared drove, I rode. Traffic definitely slows to a crawl for a 5 block radius. All the windows are busted out of the Hearing Aid Shop. The pattern of destruction is all over the place. Some huge panes of glass are fine, others are shattered, boarded up in plywood.


Find up to date information on Phinneywood. Donate to the Greenwood Relief Fund. And be careful out there!

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Chihuly Garden & Glass

I won a ticket to see Chihuly’s controversial or debatable exhibit in mid 2015- March or April. Can’t remember why I won, but I do recall it was in Celeste Cooning‘s class and our invited speaker, Hilary Lee, had offered tickets.

Fast forward through the summer of surgery, the Fall of rest, and the rest of fall and find that same ticket pinned to the bulletin board with a thin layer of dust on it. Expiration dates [12/31/2015] spur action, though. Because we take every opportunity for the arts. Emailed Hilary to attempt scheduling a tour. True, I could just go on my own, but who in their right mind would turn down a curated tour with a pro who knows the details and stories behind each piece? Not I, said the little mouse. Basically, the only person better to take this tour with is Chihuly himself and I can only presume he’s busy being brilliant elsewhere. Because, for real.

Not only was Hilary amenable, she also provided a ticket for my Honeybee and we had ourselves time!


Matt & I loved the focus on influence and Native American culture. Hilary explained that Dale grew up in Tacoma and was exposed early to the Duwamish and Puyallup culture. This entire wall of baskets and adjacent wall of textiles is amazing. At some point every glass artist works to perfect the vessel, here you can see the direct link between Dale’s work and Native heritage.


The first time I saw Chihuly’s work was in the desert on a road trip. Can you imagine the very muted-Arizona backdrop, adorned with abandoned canoes and the most vivid glass jutting out in every direction? That Chihuly is still very much present, yet exists alongside other iterations. It was like catching up with an old friend.



One of the most surprising elements of the exhibit—to me, at least, is the overwhelming allusion to water…without any actual water. This is a huge chunk of real estate, there could’ve been fountains and pools. It seemed like there were fountains and pools. But, no. None. It’s clever and dramatic and perfect. I simultaneously felt as though I was seaside and underwater, completely submerged and, yet floating off a reef, but also somewhere else, also, in the deeper sea. Could’ve sworn I heard bubbling, even. Nonesuch.

|The Garden|

I’m studying the history of landscape architecture this quarter and it’s so interesting to see how this series of works of art seem to fit equally well with this very urban setting in downtown Seattle and with the very natural setting of plants.

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Wiggling tendrils of glass and branch abound and just sort of do their thing—completely still.


We even got to see live glass blowing. Molten hot fire wielding madmen, the lot of em!


One of the fringe benefits of having so much space is the ability to display collections. [Because when you have space, it’s a collection. When you don’t, it’s hoarding.] The accordions on display in the ceiling of Collections Cafe inspire awe.


It’s hard to imagine all this is tucked right below the Space Needle in Seattle Center, but it is. Check it out!


If I had to pick a favorite, like if you wrestled me to the ground and just basically demanded I pick one or die, it’d have be this ice queen right here. Hilary says this is how Chihuly does Christmas! [Sorry I only had my zoom lens. This bad boy is huge!]



Even the gift shop had me drooling.


Find out more about Dale’s work and find details on scheduling your visit to the Garden & Glass Exhibit here. I have to give a huge thank-you-shout-out to Hilary and everyone at Chihuly Garden & Glass who treated us so well and showed us such a great time. And thank you, dear reader, for lending your eyeball for a mini-adventuring out into the urban wilderness that is Seattle! With you, it’s always a pleasure.

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Harbor Tour with Argosy

Just a few days ago Matt and I hopped aboard the Spirit of Seattle for Argosy’s Harbor Tour.


When we first met, Matt worked for Argosy. The uniform was very semi-off-duty-coast-guard (read: sexy). He was the audio-visual technician for one of the longer cruises. The harbor tour is just an hour. Ah, Seattle.

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Christina made our drinks and then scurried upstairs to be our tour guide. Something tells me she has many, many more skills. Matt and I have done this tour before, but I feel like we got way closer to the industrial side of Elliott Bay this time around. We even watched the tiny crane operator stack one of these containers. They look small from our perspective, but each one is semi-truck size. Woof.

And we had the super rare treat of seeing a ferry up in the dry dock. I really appreciate that fellow in the wee boat. He lends much needed perspective because WOW!

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Guess what else we saw… sea lions! It was kind of sad, though, when Christina explained that all the beach-masters, the badass sea lion dudes in California, were back home mating while these guys were exiled. Still cute, though.


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A big thanks to Argosy for the lip-smacking drinks and breathtaking views. We had ourselves a ball. Stay tuned for more Wrays of Sunshine. Can’t wait? See more Seattle Sights, get inspired for dinner with our Menu or Meet some new friends. Don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe. Love ya!


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Hempfest 2015

First of all, thank you for all the love after yesterday’s post on anxiety. Today is a new day that I could only reach with the help of friends and family and that’s you!

That said, you know what also helps with anxiety? Mary Jane. Ganja. Herb. Green.


I moved to Seattle before legal, recreational marijuana was a thing, but even then I was excited to go to Hempfest. Just to see so many marijuana enthusiasts was beautiful and, then as Jimi Hendrix wafted out the speakers we descended upon Myrtle Edwards Park which sits right on the Sound and the collective smoke from a hundred bowls met in the sky: an actual Purple Haze. There were suits and ties, belly chains and hula hoops all undulating to the same pulse. I didn’t have a camera back then, so, you can imagine, legal, recreational weed and a dSLR for Hempfest 2015 was YASSSSSS!


We had a lovely time just wandering around. Seattle is that quirky town I love. The weirdos! Weirdos make me feel comfortable, I feel like I’m surrounded with my people.


Also, the curls were doing the damn thang, am I right?


Getting in was faster than ever before. There was a clutch of police officers at the entrance, and in a boat. There was also a drone watching us, so, that’s 2015 for ya. But no one was acting too crazy and it wasn’t too-too crowded.

It was this perfectly Seattle overcast day and then all of a sudden the sun came out and we were cooking and booking to the shade. These guys tickled me, all lined up rolling, packing and…taking a photo of that bud.

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Manticore Stencil Art booth was definitely a favorite. And we learned that shaved ice causes brain freeze.


And there were so many pipes and bongs. We saw this guy just wander by with a six-footer like it was two-for-Tuesday.

Good times, Hempfest!


Thanks for venturing out with me. Our laws aren’t the best, but they’re trying. An afternoon at Hempfest, smiling and laughing and dancing with strangers who are only there to have a good time, reminds us that we’re not alone.

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Seattle Sights: Seward Park

Seward Park is pretty far from our usual haunts in Seattle, but it’s well worth the trek south to see something new. Venture with me.

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Seward Park sits on 300 acres of land and includes some beautiful shoreline, a 2.4 mile walking and biking path, hiking trails and an art studio. It also boasts a beautiful view of Mt. Rainier and ducks for days!

The grass is greener.

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It’s a perfect spot for meditation. Can’t wait till my hair is as big as this curly’s. Get it, girl!

Washington is so green and beautiful. This wee cabin is closed, but cute.

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Paddle boats and boat-boats.

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It seemed totally random to find an art studio there, but there it was. Honeybee was a little nervous about just walking in like we owned the place, but I figured they worst anyone can say is no, so why not try? We were met with what seemed like opposition. A lady met us at the door and said, “so you’re just gonna walk through here?” She said it with a little extra snip to her tone, but I answered with my usual sunshiny “Yeah, if it’s okay.” “Sure great, yeah, walk on through!”

So let that me a lesson to you. Ask and receive. Maybe she was having a rough day. Maybe her tone is just naturally harsh. Doesn’t mean she’s not a nice lady.

There were so many amazing pieces in progress there, but my camera was set up for bright outdoor lighting, so I didn’t get too many.

By the time we stepped out of the studio, the sun was set to glisten mode and everything was beautiful! All the boats were drifting toward the same direction and one of them was playing music for all of us. It wasn’t what I would’ve picked, but it was fun to have mini dance party at a park. Not two things I’d usually pair.

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Learn more about the history of Seward Park. Want more Seattle Sights? Tour the International District, Golden Gardens, and UW’s cherry blossoms.

Thanks for hanging with us, you guys. Always a pleasure!

Brianna Wray