Bedtime Story

Good Sunday Everyone !!

   I just stumbled upon this text that we'd written for an interview (they asked for 2 pages and ended up leaving most everything on the cutting room floor) and we hate to see words go to waste, so we figured we'd post the full text here along with a link of the interview they ended up carving out of the overall bird ; ) 

  Here's a link to the final interview ... might be interesting to give it a glance before trolling through our tale below.. 

  (Terrain Interview)  

-- And here's the full text that we submitted ... I know,  I know, good luck keeping the Net passerby on the hook this long .. but they asked for it, and you know we couldn't resist ; ) 

enjoy !!


... But, even before that, here's a few pics of our brand new candle ; ) See the whole crew at our Etsy shop ; ) 

(yes .. we actually sell this big momma one in a collection ; )  

   Ah ... and why not throw in a pic from our little ridge-side siesta !! Yesterday we followed my dirt-bike-riding brother to a lookout spot that he knew about 24 miles through the forest along winding dirt roads and narrow bridges. 

   Juwels found the perfect two trees to hang her hammock from, the only problem was that we wanted to hang mine, too, so (against by brother's boisterous ((and graphic)) warnings) we tied the second hammock about seven feet up the tree and invented the bun-bed hammocks ; ) Juwels looked like a silk walker as she climbed into the lower level and then spun and twisted into the high-wire hammock above ; ) 

   I had the perfect positioning to reach up and rock-ah-my-baby side to side and feel her shadow play across my smiling face ; ) 

The Vista ; ) 

   The wind picked up on a few occasions, and ruffled the pages of our books, so we entombed ourselves in little cocoons with tucked top blankets. 

   Photo: taken by caterpillar Juwels with a book she bought at the David Sedaris reading we went to the night before.

    ... okay, okay, here's the interview .... 

alOha !!

We’re peter & juwels - husband and wife, creative partners, and most
of all, best friends. About three years ago, Juwels and I left our
fancy top-story loft, sold off the bulk of our things, and moved into
a 1975 Winnebago Chieftain. Before we built our automotive ark, we
were hustling nonstop just to pay the piper. And at the end of the
day, our eyes were too bleary to work creatively, and months, dare I
say years, slipped by in this very same fashion.

This lifestyle epiphany coincided well with the expiration of our
apartment lease, and we dove off the balcony of our old life down the
wormhole of the Winnebago project. We knew nothing about motor homes
or engine work, and our building experience was limited to Juwels’
childhood tree house and skate ramp construction. Oh … and we were
flat broke. Literally everything in the Winnie had to be rebuilt, a
staggering amount to learn and do, but our fuel was inspiration and
adventurous idealism, not fear of drowning, so we never tired. By
selling off our luxuries, we’ve bought back our time. Pollen Arts was
born in this Winnie, she’s the love child of our revolution of the

-       What inspired the start of pollen Arts? How did the company come to be?

Well, some say that all things started from the sea, and such was
the case with pollen Arts. If I remember right, it was back in
November on the day we found our message in a bottle … or rather, the
bottle itself was the message …

One Sunday morning, at the end of a pleasant bike ride, Juwels and I
were hopscotching from stone to stone across a local tide pool. I was
hollering over to Juwels about the pocket of sea glass I’d found, and
she was giggling back about the pool of hermit crabs she was watching.
“Look at these little guys! It’s like a big city in there.” She mused
what their bubbly underwater voices might be saying , ‘scuse me.’ …
‘pardon me.’ … ‘coming through.’” And it was in this tide pool where
Juwels found what she calls her “gift from the mermaids”, a tiny
antique bottle half buried in the sand.

 It was that bottle which lit the flame of our new candle concept,
and people have been aglow with excitement since we lifted the
curtain. Was it a message from the past … or the future, we don’t
know. But we’re delighted to offer this glimpse into the time capsule
… all the way back to the time when top hats were standard and
milk was a nickle.

-       Can you tell us a bit about the ingredients that go into
your products and where you source them from?

We use 100% raw beeswax and buy from local beekeepers. Beeswax burns
cleaner, brighter, and longer than any other wax on the planet. It
ionizes the air, pulling dust particles and allergens out of
circulation. It produces no black smoke, and the fresh scent from this
golden wax is pure pollen, nectar and sweet honey. By contrast, most
candles on the market are made from a chemical called paraffin. This
wax is a byproduct of the oil industry, and burning it in your home is
similar to having a little car spewing exhaust right on your night stand or
kitchen counter. They’re bad news, especially if it’s sweet-smelling
strawberry or cinnamon apple, that’s just more toxins to burn up and breathe in : (

-       Who or what have been your biggest influences?

As we immerse ourselves in golden blocks of  beeswax, and our home
smells of honey and pollen, we sometimes feel like we’re bees in a
hive. We have great veneration for these fascinating creatures. They do their
merry work dusk till dawn with no drain on the environment. In fact,
if it wasn’t for the bees
playing cupid between male and female flowering plants, many fruits and
vegetables would never reach your plate. These little buzzers cross pollinate
⅓ of our food - that’s one out of every three bites.

But it’s not just the bee’s work ethic and sustainability that we’re
influenced by,
it’s also the trouble they’ve found themselves in and the help they
desperately need. Bees by the millions have been vanishing from the
hive without a trace, and researchers are struggling to find out why.
There’s a great new documentary called “Vanishing of the Bees” which
sheds some light on Colony Collapse Disorder. Juwels and I attended
the Hollywood screening, and as the film unravels the plight of the
bee and their keepers, we learned that chemical pesticides from
conventional food are prime suspects in the demise of our beloved
bees. We can all help by supporting clean organic produce, and
investing in renewable beeswax over harmful alternatives.

Link to a great Doc called --  “Vanishing of the Bees”

-       What is your approach to creating new products?

For us, ideas are kind of like shooting stars. There's really no
direct approach to catching one besides keeping a wide and open range
of vision and presence. They can come from anywhere, and like a
shooting star, these whispers are here and gone. They're pixies of
light and color zipping around in a trail of sparks. A wandering, open
mind is a great net for a shooting star.

-       What is your favorite thing about or in your home? What is the
one item you couldn't possibly live without?

The other day I was reclining in our tiny loft bed which hangs from
springs and bars over the driver's seat (we call this place the crow’s
nest). With my bird’s eye, and partially salivating, I watched Juwels
make a batch of raw chocolate. When she was done, I noticed her
fishing around in one of the kitchen drawers. She opened a round
bamboo container which was full of mason jar lids, and I thought to
myself, I didn’t know there was a container of lids in that drawer. My
mind’s eye flashed into our closet, and I saw recycled cigar boxes &
woven baskets, all neatly packed like a mosaic of right angles, and
their contents, honestly, I couldn't name offhand. If we lived a few
hundred years ago, I would be the nomadic minimalist and Juwels the
gypsy queen with a wagon full of treasures.

When we built our home, I had a lot of practical input, (the solar
power system, water conservation and recycling, security, and I did get
swept up in few aesthetics from time to time) but as far as feathering
the nest, I left that up to the queen bee. The way she organizes her
keepsakes as well as our entire tangible existence is a cross between
a museum of curiosities and an impossible mathematical equation, and I
find it all
unbearably cute. I realized then, that I am very much so living in
what Juwels calls her “Palatial Playhouse”, a beautiful and coveted
place with long term audience for one only, lucky me ; )  I couldn’t
pick one favorite thing from bumper to bumper in our little Winnie,
but their collector, and the one who finds their place, I could not
live without.

-       Where is your favorite nook of nature, and why?

It’s hard to play favorites with the works of Mother Nature. We’ve
swam in coral reefs amongst spotted purple clams and chroma colored
crustaceans. We’ve trod barefoot across red sand dunes, splashed
through mountain creeks and cat napped on tree limbs. We love it all.

But if we were to suggest one very special place where everyone
should visit, (not all at the same time though ; ) it would be this
little jungle town in southern Thailand called Ton Sai. It’s not an
island, but you can only get there by boat since the village itself is
huddled against the sea by great limestone cliffs. Because of the
surrounding cliffs, Ton Sai has become a world-famous climber’s
destination. Wiry sun tanned foreigners cling to the rocks from
first light till they’re just head lamps 100 feet up on a black night.
The whole place vibrates to the beat of a Bob Marley song. There’s no
cars, no pavement, just trees and trails and monkeys and fire flies.
The cafes are crowded with miniature tables, pillows on the floor and
low strung hammocks, and the coconut milkshakes and mango sticky rice
hit the spot before a mid day swim in the clear blue water. We spent a
month there one day, and we’d go back in a heartbeat.

-       What can we expect to see from you in the future?

We have many passions and projects … some top secret for the moment,
but aside from creative concepts - health, happiness, and preserving
the environment are very important to us. We believe the first step to
getting people motivated about improving the planet as a whole is to
first get them informed and excited to take care of one very small
part of it - their own body. When your body’s running right, it’s a
great place to be : )

Health consciousness is a passion that we intend on sharing through
raw food and powerful, simplistic ingredients. Juwels grew up with a
naturopathic doctor and herbalist for a mother and is herself a
culinary artist & mad scientist in the kitchen. We’re superfood
junkies and soon intend on sharing these delectably wholesome
indulgences with the world in one form or another.

 But the big dream is to someday open a wellness center, a simplistic green
paradise where people can unwind, relax, and ascend health and
happiness. We’ll build a hybrid between a yoga retreat and a summer
camp for adults where laughter and art go hand-in-hand with personal
growth. Walking the grounds, you’re likely to find small bungalows
surrounded by flower gardens, fruit trees, organic farming, and
possibly a peacock dancing for love. We’ll have a high vibrational
meditation center amongst the bee hives, mineral pools and a sweat
lodge. And to light the nights, we’re daydreaming of breeding fire
flies and glow worms. We’ll offer a spectrum from detox programs,
cooking classes and creative workshops, to volcano hikes, treetop zip
lines, and horseback rides through the jungle. (yeah, we have a
location in mind ; ) When this dream comes true, you’ll all be invited
to visit our secret garden.

-       Is there anything we've missed that you'd like to tell us about?

Hitchhiking is dangerous, but if you wag your thumb over to our
blog, The Winnebago Diaries, we'll give you a lift : )

  nighty, night 



Candle GiveAway !!! - ends Sunday at midnight

Yellow ; )

   We just posted a giveaway on our facebook page - we really don't know what we're doing on facebook yet  ... but we put up some pictures, and we'll bee doing some giveaways and little blurbs from time to time.

   If you want to get in on the action (the odds are looking pretty good right now :) hop on over there, send us a request, and then just like & comment on the giveaway post to enter.

   Here's a picture of the grand prize - we also decided to pull two other winners, but they'll receive a blind box with surprise candles ; )

  happy hunting - love, love,


Here's a link to the Face Book :   Pollen Arts FaceBook


{ camping at the creek }

alOha everyone ; ) 

   We wanted to share some pictures from a little getaway we recently embarked on. When we originally  moved to Flagstaff, we were knee deep in the holiday rush and barely slept let alone had time to explore the wonders of our new town. Things have stayed pretty busy ... I know, I know - that's a good problem to have. We hear it all the time, but our wanderlust souls sing in our sleep for hot springs, bumpy dirt roads and waterfalls. So ... with the help of my hermit brother, the math teacher, and his trusty dog, Emma Jean, we found just that : )  

Paul forgot his sun glasses, so he had to wear Juwels' dinner-plate-sized movie star glasses. . . 

   About an hour or so out of the green, pine covered mountains and into the desert, we pulled of the highway and and traversed the dead and dusty road about thirty miles towards Fossil Creek and the Verde River. From the pack seat, Juwels wondered aloud if there was actually water somewhere in this gravel pit. "It's amazing," Paul insisted. "But it's a ways down the road." We caught a few odd looks from men on horseback, hunters and trappers .. but with Paul in his GaGa glasses and my long hair, I'm sure we did look a little out of place.

   After a long ride down into the canyon, we reached our first destination: Fossil Creek with it's mineral rich water. How's that color ?!?

   We strolled a short hike next to the creek, and kept losing Juwels as she put everything of beauty under the microscope.

Cat tail seeds : ) 

Loved the crunch of the leaves under our feet. 

And then we found it ; ) This is one of two waterfalls on Fossil Creek. The other one is straight out of Hawaii. We actually just took the long hike to that spot the other day - we'll post some pics of that soon.  

   We got a late start out of Flag, and by the time we reached the falls, the sun was just creeping behind the mountain. I'm a huge baby about cold water, but when I found a couple old tree trunks, I thought I'd found a cheat from having to take the plunge ...

easy ... easy ... 

   Juwels eventually swam out and swamped my boat, so I had to swim after all, and as always, I found myself calling out to Paul and Emma, "It's not bad at all. Refreshing, actually .."

Emma does not like to swim - this is her attempt to blend into the rocks like a chameleon, so we wouldn't toss her in with us. 

Top view - it was painful to keep from jumping from the top, but the water seemed borderline shallow.

Hershey Kiss Cave : ) 

Juwels found this little buddy stashed in a tiny cave. He looks lost .. 

   When these cat tail pods are ready to spread their seed, just a light touch will cause an eruption of fuzzy floating seeds. Paul thought it would be a good idea to break one off and smack me across the back with a loaded pod - POP - and the fight was on. I grenade tossed one that exploded on his backpack. He javelined one at Juwels who was innocently trying to photograph the floating seeds, and on it went till we finally called truce. Poor emma jean was coughing a few up by the time we were done.

Step one.




These wormy pollen strands were everywhere. 

This is Horehound - a medicinal plant that has a bitter taste but is used to make hard lozenges that aid in digestion, and sooth sore throats. It also makes a powerful tea. It has a few lookalikes, but this plant is the only one with a square stem. Pretty cool - we stocked up : )  

   We moved farther down the road in search of the Verde River. Much of the road boarders large drops, and Juwels spotted a boat still attached to a trailer in the ravine and then this totaled car.

The top had been cut off with the Jaws of Life. Eash ... 

Paul took to shooting more holes in it. 
The riffle echoed through the valley with a delayed strobing effect. 

   We reached camp just in time to make dinner on the kerosine stove and get ready for our dark hike through the dessert. There's an abandoned resort on the river, and everything but the walkways have been flooded out or knocked down. One of the main draws to this place in the middle of nowhere was the natural hot springs which they harnessed and routed into a couple crude hot tubs.

   Luckily the city didn't destroy those along with the remaining rooms (I guess the empty rooms turned into opium dens for lost seekers and after one too many overdosed bodies were pulled out of there, they came in with the dynamite and reduced it to rubble.)  

The trees where waving hello the next morning : ) 

   We first experienced the hot springs at night, but went back early the next morning for another soak and to take some pictures under the sun.

   Now this is a big part of what makes the Verde River green ... this odd moss swaying in the water. It's beautiful, but to get to the hot pools you first need to forge the freezing river on foot. Paul slung Emma Jean over his shoulders like a boa, and I rolled my pants up as high as they would go .. but it wouldn't turn out to be high enough.

   Juwels freaked a little as this angel-hair moss strung between her toes. It was bizarre ... and freezing, so before long none of us could feel our toes anyway. Looking up at the stars and hearing the yelps of, "What was that !! Something just swam past me !" I thought - we live for nights like these - for moments like these. We immediately started talking about how we can't wait to have our next guest and bring them along on the adventure ; )

Next time we come out here - we're bringing the hammocks and having a picnic at this spot for sure ; ) 

   This is the last path to the old resort grounds. Imagine people caring suit cases and trunks across these rocks in the 20's. It's so quaint and rugged. Love it !

   There are two tubs on the deck here. One is in this little room with no door or roof. A collaborative picture book has been painted on the walls inside and surely changes with the seasons. When we crossed the river, we heard some loud voices coming from the area where the springs are.

   "I hope there's not too many people," Juwels said.

   "Last time I came, I was the only one there," Paul said. "But that was during the day..."

   "I hope nobody's smoking cigarettes. This is a medicinal place of health," Juwels went on to say, already roosting on this spot where she's never been before.

   I chuckled - she actually called people out at our old hot springs back in California for leaving beer cans or cigarette butts or blasting music. It's a free world, but when you're sitting across from a guy in a small hot spring, and he's just cracked his 5th beer and still hasn't gotten out to pee .. you start assuming the worst.

   This smaller pool in the room is by far hotter than the one outside. I could barely stay in it for more than 20 minutes or so. As we descended the stairs that night, we saw hordes of people, flaming candles on the rocks and old pillar stumps, and a large dog ran up to my feet, snarling and barking. 

   "Don't worry ... he's friendly. Just saying hello," a lanky naked guy said, stumbling out of the tub with a partly crushed can of beer in his hand. 

   Emma Jean, tucked her tail and scooted behind Paul. 

   It was a madhouse - people everywhere. Heads bobbing in the water, more dogs running around and smelling each others unmentionables, and the sound of chanting accompanied by the didgeridoo resonated from inside the tiny room at the far end of the deck. 

   Everyone was smoking. Everyone was drinking, and talking about guns and DUI's and four wheel drive vehicles. 

   "Welp .." I said, taking off my shirt and wrenching off my boots. "Full house." 

   Juwels was a really good sport about it, and I think everyone had a good time ... besides Emma, who's used to staying indoors most of the week and communicating with no more that 3 or 4 people .. ever. She whimpered and groaned, and all the drunk girls there tried to console her for a while but soon lost interest. She did seem to cool down a little as the time passed, and I even remember seeing her at the other end of the pool, lying on the pool deck and licking some strange girl's toes ... ???

   This outter pool had about twenty people in it when we showed up. Most times hot springs are pretty shallow, but this one was super deep. There where a few little seats and foot holes on the edge, but negotiating your body into one of those coveted spots was only a thing that you could win with time .. move your feet, lose your seat.

   Paul and I were in the pool before Juwels, and I forgot to tell her how deep it was. I had inched in from the edge, and when I didn't find the bottom soon enough, I spun around and just clung to the edge. Juwels didn't use this tact, rather, she walked over to the crowed Mardi Gras pool, and just kind of hopped in with both feet. I saw her disappear beneath the water in a little swell, and thought to myself, hmmm ... don't think she intended to do that. She popped back up coughing a little with her wet hair slicked back. "Well .. I didn't want to get my hair wet but ..."

   "Fuck it," some girl slurred beside her. "go big or go home!"

    Somebody offered me a beer, but I declined, "No thanks .. they interfere with my schizophrenia medicine," I said.

   "Oh, that's cool," he said ... I don't think he realized I was joking. It probably got me some street credit anyway ..

   The next morning was all ours though .. well, besides some older guy in the room who kept moaning and drinking out of a flask. He had the most unusual voice, and in the echo of the room, he kind of sounded like one of the characters from Where the Wild Things A. He was nice enough though, and he told us that in the original guest book from this old resort AL Capone had booked the place out on two occasions. Interesting history in these old places ..

   Another cool thing about these two pools: since they were man made, they both had large drains on the outside wall closest to the river. If you felt around with your feet in the right spot, you could actually find the plug and empty the pool in a matter of minutes. And the hot water rushed back in so quickly that after you drained it out and gave the walls a little scrub down (there was a scrub brush there already) fresh hot water would fill back up right away.  

Little Jean Jeanie looks much more relaxed here ... maybe she was just tired from last night's 4 mile hike.

   After laying out in the sun for a while and snacking on cashews and chocolate, we trekked back through the troll hair river, packed up camp and bumped along the dirt roads up the hill. 

   In the Spring, there's a sweet couple who bring goat cheese and fudge up to the farmer's market in Flagstaff. Paul took us by their farm on the way home. Juwels oOOooed and AwWwed at their little faces. I'm slightly scared of goats with their devil eyes and kicking hooves, but damn do they know how to produce some delicious milk : )   

I warmed up and pet this little bugger. .. 

Juwels thinks this guy looks very wise - like Confucius, but I named him Cletus. 
Eye of the beholder, I guess : ) 

These two where bucking away the whole time. Maybe it was over that flashy red collar ... 

   After the goat pens, we walked over to the general store where they sell fudge, soap, cheese, and other curiosities, but there was nobody there. The door was open, and there was a plater of sample fudge near the cash register (thank you), but nobody home.

They mean business ; ) 
Sign Reads: 
"NOTICE: Unattended children will be fed excessive amounts of fudge and sent home with two baby goats!!!" 

Juwels popped her camera through the back door to see where the magic happens ; ) 

   We eventually walked up to the cabin on the property, and asked the lady of the house if we could possibly buy any of their delicious cheese. She informed us that the goats were all pregnant and that they wouldn't be milking for another month or so. So instead, we bought a bar of goat's milk soap... and off we went. 

A ways down the road, a small wooden sign reading "fresh eggs" caused the instinctive reaction to pull a quick U-turn and roll onto this property.  

    This chicken coop looks like it's going to get up and walk away. 
Juwels ran all over the property to meet the cast and crew. 

The proud cock. How's that left leg up? To me, he looks like a pitcher winding up a fast ball : ) 

... and his faithful ladies, hiding out beneath a pine tree. 
Healthy, happy, free range chickens : ) 

And this little doe-eyed buckeroo tried to put the moves on my lady. . . 

Hello there ... 

Are you a Virgo ?? 

   "Oh, oh !!! Pull over," Juwels called out just 50 feet from the chicken farm.

   "Come on..." Paul groaned from the back seat. He thought he could catch a little shut-eye by having me drive, but my inquisitive A.D.D. really kicks in on road trips. I can't resist .. just can't.

    "I've got tests to grade at home!!"

   And just like magic, after leaving the pool deck beside the river, we were welcomed back to our mountain town with a beautiful snowfall. With Sigur Ros playing over the speakers and Paul and Emma snuggled up and dreaming in the back seat, we bid farewell to another pleasant memory of simple pleasure in nature.

Nighty, night, love,