Victoria BC, Port Angeles, WA, Pacific Northwest, Olympic Peninsula, Amy Nieto PhotographyOftentimes I wonder how will I ever leave the Pacific Northwest, if and when the time comes to leave this place. We celebrated my brother’s birthday by making a small trip to Victoria, British Columbia and Seattle, Washington. Victoria is a dream land. I can’t wait to go back. (All images shot on FujiFilm Pro 400H)

Victoria BC, Port Angeles, WA, Pacific Northwest, Olympic Peninsula, Amy Nieto PhotographyVictoria BC, Port Angeles, WA, Pacific Northwest, Olympic Peninsula, Amy Nieto Photography

 

 

Images from the M/V Coho Ferry that transports passengers and cars from Port Angeles to Victoria, BC. It had been over 10-15 years since I have traveled on a boat so it’s a good thing to be aware than I do not get sea sick!

MV Coho Ferry, Victoria BC, Port Angeles, WA, Pacific Northwest, Olympic Peninsula, Amy Nieto Photography

 

MV Coho Ferry, Victoria BC, Port Angeles, WA, Pacific Northwest, Olympic Peninsula, Amy Nieto Photography MV Coho Ferry, Victoria BC, Port Angeles, WA, Pacific Northwest, Olympic Peninsula, Amy Nieto Photography

MV Coho Ferry, Victoria BC, Port Angeles, WA, Pacific Northwest, Olympic Peninsula, Amy Nieto Photography MV Coho Ferry, Victoria BC, Port Angeles, WA, Pacific Northwest, Olympic Peninsula, Amy Nieto Photography

MV Coho Ferry, Victoria BC, Port Angeles, WA, Pacific Northwest, Olympic Peninsula, Amy Nieto Photography MV Coho Ferry, Victoria BC, Port Angeles, WA, Pacific Northwest, Olympic Peninsula, Amy Nieto Photography

MV Coho Ferry, Victoria BC, Port Angeles, WA, Pacific Northwest, Olympic Peninsula, Amy Nieto Photography MV Coho Ferry, Victoria BC, Port Angeles, WA, Pacific Northwest, Olympic Peninsula, Amy Nieto Photography

At last! Victoria, BC! A whole ‘nother country just five hours from Portland! A WHOLE DIFFERENT COUNTRY WITH DIFFERENT CURRENCY. Awesome.

 

Victoria BC, Tudor Cottage, Tudor homes, airbnb, bed and breakfast, Canada, Pacific Northwest,  Amy Nieto Photography Victoria BC, Tudor Cottage, Tudor homes, airbnb, bed and breakfast, Canada, Pacific Northwest,  Amy Nieto Photography

Oh, The Tudor Cottage. We arrived a bit too early for our check-in, but were delighted when the owners still let us in. And you know what we found? A CAT. LIVING IN THE HOUSE. A CAT THAT LOOKS JUST LIKE MY KITTY PICARD BUT MALE AND HOW DID THEY KNOW I LOVE CATS IN OLD TUDOR HOMES?!?!?!? My vacation was made.

 

Victoria BC, Tudor Cottage, Tudor homes, airbnb, bed and breakfast, Canada, Pacific Northwest,  Amy Nieto Photography

This kitchen. This kitchen right here. All the windows.

 

Victoria BC, Tudor Cottage, Tudor homes, airbnb, bed and breakfast, Canada, Pacific Northwest,  Amy Nieto Photography Victoria BC, Tudor Cottage, Tudor homes, airbnb, bed and breakfast, Canada, Pacific Northwest,  Amy Nieto Photography

Oh my, Victoria. Sigh.

Royal BC Museum, Victoria BC,  Canada, Pacific Northwest,  Amy Nieto Photography Royal BC Museum, Victoria BC,  Canada, Pacific Northwest,  Amy Nieto Photography

The Royal BC Museum is fantastic. I particularly enjoyed their 2013 Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition and their permanent First Peoples Gallery.

 

Royal BC Museum, The Soda Shoppe, Victoria BC,  Canada, Pacific Northwest,  Amy Nieto Photography

My brother peeking out from the Soda Shoppe where we enjoyed hot dogs and shakes and it was all my idea because I am always hungry for hot dogs and shakes and Canadian shenanigans.

 

The Empress, Afternoon Tea, , Victoria BC,  Canada, Pacific Northwest,  Amy Nieto Photography The Empress, Afternoon Tea, , Victoria BC,  Canada, Pacific Northwest,  Amy Nieto Photography

Did not get to step inside Victoria’s famous hotel, The Empress, but someday I would love to have afternoon tea there. Because tea is best served hot in the afternoon. The British knew this. Or someone else did. I have no idea. But I would love to tour the Empress.

 

The Empress, Afternoon Tea, , Victoria BC,  Canada, Pacific Northwest,  Amy Nieto Photography Parliament Building, Afternoon Tea, , Victoria BC,  Canada, Pacific Northwest,  Amy Nieto Photography

Parliament Building, Afternoon Tea, , Victoria BC,  Canada, Pacific Northwest,  Amy Nieto Photography

The Parliament Building.

Centre of the Universe, Afternoon Tea, , Victoria BC,  Canada, Pacific Northwest,  Amy Nieto Photography

Centre of the Universe. OF COURSE, I was delighted at the sight of these hand-painted constellations.

 

Victoria Butterfly Garden , Victoria BC,  Canada, Pacific Northwest,  Amy Nieto Photography Victoria Butterfly Garden , Victoria BC,  Canada, Pacific Northwest,  Amy Nieto Photography

Victoria Butterfly Garden, where it felt like I was Back Home. Ahhh tropical plants, how I miss you.

Victoria Butterfly Garden , Victoria BC,  Canada, Pacific Northwest,  Amy Nieto Photography

Bon Rouge, Victoria BC,  Canada, Pacific Northwest,  Amy Nieto Photography Bon Rouge, Victoria BC,  Canada, Pacific Northwest,  Amy Nieto Photography

 

So yah, I’m in love with Victoria, BC and someone needs to adopt me from Canada so I can live there easily. Thanks. You know how to reach me.

 

Your friend in Canadian travels,

Amy

 

p.s. First post in ages!

p.s.s. First post in 2014!

p.s.s.s. There are good things happening.

 

 

3

Hello Autumn

It is finally Autumn. Summertime, and all the failed expectations I had of it, is gone. I am GLAD. I have longed for the gloom and doom of Portland for a few weeks now. TIGHTS! BOOTS! TEA! BAKING SODA TO CLEAN MY MUGS FROM ALL THE TEA I WILL DRINK IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS! HUZZAH!

 

currentseptwip

Bags and accessories I am working on!

Little Bright Studio progress has been a bit slow due to a few alterations to The Plan. I had wanted to create my own science-inspired fabric but it seems that will occur next year. I did, however, find some amazing Japanese prints that will add just the right amount of geometry and color to my bags!

ilovepatterngraphic

Polka dots! Organic mustard fabric! Cool geometric red!

 Life, love and dating have been ridiculous. Turns out being a rational, logical, smart, funny cat-loving gal is HARD. But whatever. I have my cat. And Netflix. And Trader Joe’s sells fantastic cheap wine and it’s just six blocks away. FTW.

whatfits

All the things that can fit inside a Ne(on) Pouch!

This week I am applying to Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco. I’ve never been, soooooo, wish me luck!

 

calicali

I spent nine grueling hours at Disneyland in August. My reward: a nice relaxing evening overlooking the Pacific Ocean with my cousin.

Okay, my cat is chasing her tail (again), gotta go watch that shiz.
Love,
Amy

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Awesome Week Has Been Awesome

amy-at-kiva-zip-oregon-launch

Awesome week has been Awesome. Here’s why:

1) Kiva Zip launched their Oregon program today at a community event with current Oregon borrowers presenting their projects to potential lenders. It was a fantastic event, invigorating and reaffirming. I feel I am improving how I explain Little Bright Studio’s mission without resorting to numerous “umms” and “soo” and “ILOVEKITTIES”. So tough.

little bright studio bag sketches

2) In preparation for the Kiva event, I drew these sketches of bags currently in proto-type. Love them!

3) My Kiva Zip loan is 55% funded! Huzzah!

4) As part of my Tuka CAD class at the Portland Apparel Development Center, I finally got to learn how to use the electronic cutting table. OHMIGOSH. It cuts your pattern from fabric in just a matter of seconds! I was far too amazed by this machinery to capture its process on video, but I promise to do so next time. IT’S SO AWESOME.

5) I had a killah flour-less brownie at Blue Bird Bakers on NW Thurman & NW 24th.

 

Neon pouches

6) Made these fun, neon bags with fabric purchased at Modern Domestic!

 

Here’s to a new great week,

Amy

2

Campaigning for a Kiva Zip loan

kiva zip loan, fundraising, kiva zip oregon, micro loaning, micro-loans, crowd-fundingHello friends! Oh my. AWESOME NEWS OF AWESOMENESS. The Portland chapter of the Young Woman Social Entrepreneurs is endorsing me for a Kiva Zip loan to fund my first collection of Bags For Science! HUZZAH!

This is both exciting and terrifying. SHIZ JUST GOT REAL. By campaigning for this $5000 loan by July 31st, I will be able to purchase bolts of fabrics and other materials needed to create my new bags. My favorite part is that you can be involved in my success. Kiva Zip loans work as a person-to-person lending platform, any person can contribute toward the success of an entrepreneur in need. Think of it as crowd-funding (like Kickstarter) but I am receiving a loan (that I must repay, of course).

My full profile has all the details, including a personal story that fuels my passion and a breakdown on how the funds will be spent.

amyelevatingimpact

Last week, I attended the Elevating Impact Summit organized by the PSU Impact Entrepreneurs. It was an invigorating experience to be surrounded by people just like me who want nothing more than to make some sort of difference in the world around us (as cliche as that sounds). It was during lunch time, when my loan went live with the help of Stasi Baranoff, who is overseeing the launch of the Kiva Zip Oregon Initiative. I squeeled and may have cried a bit. Okay, a lot. I shared the news with Andrea Bailey who originally plucked me from obscurity (not really, we’re both in the same Facebook group for the World Domination Summit) and ushered along the endorsement from YWSE! Needless to say, it was a very overwhelming, but fulfilling day! At some point throughout the day, I knew for certain this is my calling. EEEEeeeeeeeee!

I am forever grateful if you are able to share my story with your friends. You may copy the graphic above to your blog, share some graphics from my Facebook Page or you can directly tweet these messages:

Help @littlebrightpdx reach her goal of making science happen with a @kiva loan by July 31st! http://bit.ly/12cSkfC – Tweet this! -

If you love loaning to @kiva entrepreneurs, check this one out: Bags For Science by @littlebrightpdx http://bit.ly/12cSkfC  -Tweet This!-

Do you like microloaning, locally-made bags, science (& perhaps cats)? Then help @littlebrightpdx fund her @kiva loan! http://bit.ly/12cSkfC -Tweet This!-

Of course, I will forever be indebted to you (ha see what I did there) if you contribute monetarily. Remember this magic link doubles your loan amount, which will allow me to reach my goal faster.

Yours in fist-pumping and pant-soiling,

Amy

0

Digitizing Patterns and Portland is Awesome

 

patternmaking, digitized, TUKA design, CAD, AutoCAD, prototype

This is a muslin fabric proto-type of the everyday shoulder bag. It must fit my Camelbak bottle, which by the way, YOU MUST CLEAN EVERY DAY OR ELSE YUCKY STUFF WILL STICK TO THE VALVE. ugh.

I will never be able to get over how amazing it is to be a maker in Portland, Oregon. It is a city that nourishes its talent, helps it grow and distributes its fruit. Sometime in late 2012, while researching weather-resistant fabrics, I stumbled upon Rose City Textiles‘ website. Besides selling a wide variety of active-lifestyle fabrics (gore-tex! waxed canvas! breathable waterproof!), they also harbor the Portland Apparel Development Center, a studio full of industrial machinery fit for apparel and/or bag production. With hourly fees, you can use their sergers, industrial sewing machines, embroidery machines, t-shirt printer AND MY FAVORITE…the electronic cutting table! OHHHHHHH BABY. A machine that cuts your patterns electronically at a speed of a thousand times faster than your feeble human hands? HEAVEN.

 

patternmaking, digitized, TUKA design, CAD, AutoCAD, prototype

Then I deconstruct the bag and rework on the pattern. This part is oddly gratifying.

I am currently taking their CAD (computer aided design) class to digitize my bag patterns so I can use the cutting table. These images show MY process of producing a prototype before digitizing it into the TUKACAD software. Next Tuesday, I will finally get to see how the cutting table works. Rest assured, I will also share the magic with you. INDUSTRIAL MAGIC.

 

patternmaking, digitized, TUKA design, CAD, AutoCAD, prototype

Numbers! Figures! Measurements! OCDness!

Can’t lie- cutting fabric is my least favorite part of producing bags. It is often inaccurate and annoyingly time consuming. As I’m often worried about my limited time, this service will be SUCH a game-changer in how I produce my collections. Can I repeat how much I freakin’ hate cutting fabrics??? HATE IT.

 

patternmaking, digitized, TUKA design, CAD, AutoCAD, prototype

Match the half-points, corners and curves with the cross-hairs on the TUKA mouse. It will trace the shape of the pattern unto the computer. WILD.

Seriously, Portland, you are pretty darn amazing.

 

Uber-excited,

Amy

6

Associate Cat Lady goes on an adventure

I will be taking care of that funky little cat up there for a week. His name is Tobias Fünkat. Ridicute.

I will be taking care of that funky little cat up there for a week. His name is Tobias Fünkat. Ridicute.

This is Brittany, she is my Associate Cat Lady, because she helps me a lot with Little Bright Studio and is also a fellow cat lady. Together we are the Adventurers Who Love Cats And Cocktails!

Brittany being the most adventurer of the group, she is off to a three week-long trip around Perú, with an extra stop in the Easter Islands. She’s a hard-worker and it’s very inspiring how she has downsized her life in order to afford these adventures. In less than a year, she will join an elite group of People Who Aren’t Scientists Who Have Traveled to Antarctica And Played With Penguins.

Join me in following her funny musings on life, cats and TRAVEL on her blog, Twitter and Instagram!

¡Buen viaje, Brittany!

Hearts,

Amy

0

Most days, I am scared.

Columbia River Gorge, Washington, Spearhead Lake

Spearhead Lake, Washington, Columbia River Gorge

Most days, I am scared. Some days I cry. Other days (mostly at the end of the month), I curse my private college education and my inability to use a credit card wisely throughout most of my 20s.

Disclaimer: I am PMSing as I write this. Tomorrow I might just feel super peachy, but for now, I am PMSy. Bear with me.

I just read a blog post from designers Jen Adrion and Omar Noory of These Are Things that reminded me why I must continue what I do:

I realized that failure isn’t running out of money or doing something wrong. Failure is doing nothing. Failure is not even trying.

My Spring began with three setbacks:

1) a minor work-related back injury that limited my working hours and had me on chiropractic treatment three times a week (I’m on twice a week now). The injury (again, minor) flared up a lower back pain I had been quietly ignoring for the past year. While the upper back pain was covered under worker’s comp, the lower back, however, wasn’t. Monetary damage: about $500.

2) Having only purchased my Bernina sewing machine a couple weeks ago, I was sewing at Modern Domestic in NE Portland, which was fine and dandy, until the back injury when I was advised to take it easy on the sewing. Modern Domestic is five miles from my apartment, getting there required a bus transfer carrying all the fabrics I was working on which caused even more strain on my back. So for weeks, I sewed maybe 3 hours a week. Damage: my carefully crafted product-launch timeline.

3) And the WORST OF ALL, my allergies have been absolutely uncontrollable this season. Being a waitress, I can’t quite go to work with snot falling out of my nose. It’s kind of gross. Well, it’s TOTALLY gross. Monetary damage: an extra $500-700.

I am whining, I know. First World Problems. It’s extremely challenging to launch such an ambitious project when my total monthly expenses hover near $1800 a month and I don’t earn much more beyond that number (I live on my own and, well, I’d like to reference the first sentence of this post to demonstrate who receives most of my hard-earned money). Most of my waking hours are consumed by restaurant work, feeding myself, commute, and now, chiropractor, MD (and apparently I have to go get an xray soon, whatever) visits. I am O-VER-WHELMED.

But if I quit Little Bright Studio now out of fear that I will become penniless then I would have fuckin’ failed and you have full permission to call me a pansy. There are kids out there that need microscopes and pencils and, dammit, we may be able to actually help them with that!

I can’t quit now.

I’m too legit to quit.

….

Yeah, I went there. Okay, I’m done.

Love,

Amy

p.s. ANY ONE ELSE SO FREAKIN OVERWHELMED BUT EQUALLY EXCITED BECAUSE LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL AND FLOWERS ARE PRETTY AND omg I hate pms.

p.s.s. Again, minor injury. I am apparently 95% healed and my visits will just be 3-4 a month!

p.s.s.s. omg you HAVE to visit These Are Things. ISN’T THAT THE CUTEST WEBSITE EVER???

p.s.s.s.s. WHY DO I KEEP YELLING AT YOU

3

Enunciate your mission statement

This is Little Bright Studio from Amy Nieto on Vimeo.

I took the big step on Friday. Big Girl Step. BGS, yo. I pitched Little Bright Studio’s mission to two organizations that provide funding to social entrepreneurs!!!

One organization required a video submission. Oh boy. My friend Mai from MaiCamera Photography shot the video in my apartment/studio. While I am pretty decent at public speaking, I was VERY nervous about E-NUN-CI-A-TING properly, as my accent has a funny way of delivering the wrong message. Mai constantly reminded me to “SMILE, AMY, SMILE”.

E-NUN-CI-ATE

SMILE

WIN-THEM-O-VER

MAKE-A-DI-FFE-RENCE

O-M-G-IF-I-GET-FUN-DING-THEN-SHIZ-WILL-GET-REAL

NOT-FREA-KING-OUT-AT-ALL

 

Love,

Amy

0

Handmade Bike Tote Bag and my Bike-story

 

Leather cotton, handmade, local, spacious, tote bag, bike, turquoise, gray, handmade, leather handles

Click on the photo to check out this awesome tote bag I just listed on my shop!

 

I hope you all had a great Memorial Weekend. You could say it marks the beginning of Summer biking! I love riding my bike so much. There is a certain freedom I feel when I do so. It’s not smugness of any kind. It’s just a genuine appreciation of how hard my body works when biking up the many hills here in Portland. I also love that it gives me the excuse to never have to step into a gym! I am an all-weather bike commuter (okay fine, it doesn’t snow here) so yeah, I even enjoy biking in the cold (November?) rain. I truly do! That’s how much I love biking.

In honor of this awesome tote bag with the coolest bike print ever I just listed on my shop, I will reminisce about all those bikes that have served me well over the years.

 

pixdiary_310_5pm

I once caught my shoelaces on the chain and I fell down in front of a whole bunch of teenagers. It wasn’t a good day.

Bikey Number 1.

I went to college in Savannah, Georgia where it is flat and I did not own a car (a car-less college student? Oh yeah I was POPULAR), so I decided to get my first bike since I was a young girl. The college shuttle took me to the nearest Wal-mart where I picked up this Men’s Huffy beach cruiser on sale for $50. SURPRISINGLY ENOUGH, that bike lasted at least 5 years until I moved away. I never had to even replace a pedal. I’d say the best $50 investment EVER.



Marin Bike, city commuter

Bikey Number 2

After selling my Hyundai Sonata a few months into living in Portland, I bought a super awesome Marin City Commuter in killer gray at Seven Corners Cycle. Good solid little bike. I sold it to buy….

 

Surly Long Haul Trucker , pittock mansion, portland, oregon, or,road bike, touring bike, ortlieb bag, organge pannier, ortlieb panniers

La Rabiosa and my obnoxiously bright self at Pittock Mansion, overlooking all of Portland. The ride was 2.7 miles but it took me an hour to complete it BECAUSE 16% GRADE HILL.

Peach Beach, Columbia River Gorge,

Bikey Number 3

Oh, Bikey Number 3, a.k.a La Rabiosa, a.k.a. the bike of my dreams, a.k.a. the bike that somehow directed the path my life is heading right now. A cross-country trip was planned thanks to this Surly Long Haul Trucker touring road bike. She was everything I needed. And then it got stolen. It still kinda hurts.

 

Surly Long Haul Trucker , road bike, touring bike, ortlieb bag, organge pannier, bike shop, portland, seven corners, ortlieb panniers

No, SRSLY, don’t even try stealing this one. DONT EVEN LET ME CATCH YOU LOOKING AT IT

 Bikey Number 4

I may be thumbing up in that photo, but what I really wanted to convey was a middle finger and a threatening “COME AT ME THIEVES I WILL F**K YOU UP”. Bikey Number 4 is a Surly Long Haul Trucker as well and purchased a month after La Rabiosa was stolen. I was angry, stressed out and I pondered adding a THIRD lock to my security arsenal. But Bikey No. 4 has been a darling to me and I accepted her as the bike of my dreams because, really, Bikey #3 just ain’t coming back. I think I will go wild this Summer and switch out the blue handlebar tape for… I dunno, FLAMES.

So that’s my bike story, do you have a faaaaaaaaaaavorite bike? I’d love to know her story!

Love,

Amy

 

 

1

Pattern A Day

manypatternsaday

Inspired by Anika Starmer’s monthly “Pattern A Day” drawing challenge, I remembered how fun it is to draw and created a few patterns. I began using my trusty black Uniball pen, then I moved on to color pencils and finally, for the first time ever, I bought markers. AND I WENT CRAZY WITH THEM.

And I mean CRAY CRAY.

I am now a lover of markers.

Come join the fun on Instagram! hashtags: #patternaday #letsmakepatterns

Love,

Amy

0

LBS