The making of our name

Once we realized that vintage jewelry and finds at estate sales and flea markets would keep growing as passions in our lives, we needed a name for our adventures.

“Dreambox” was part of some of the initial ideas, as homage to the creations that first fueled our passion, but none of those early ideas rang true. Other ideas played on “links” or “chains” or “circles,” because of their connections both to jewelry and to life in general. We also thought about invoking the names of our cats — Phoebe and Sebastian — because, well, what’s not to like about those names, when you think vintage?!

But nothing seemed quite right.

Early one Saturday morning, I surveyed the mess that my board had become.


Mainly just to clean it up, I decided to piece together a necklace drawing only from the beads, bits of chain, random findings and random stuff that was already on the board. No plan, no centerpiece or particular beads in mind. Just the serendipity of how what was already there might fit together, in an unstructured sort of way.

I liked the result. I didn’t love it. But the process was fun and the result was interesting enough. (Though I do have to fix that jump ring in this quick-hit piece!)


Then I got in the shower. (This detail is notable because, of course, most good ideas come in the shower.) I thought about the name some more. I thought: Dreambox Journeys.

Hmm. Close, getting at a lot of the philosophies, but it still wasn’t quite right.

With shampoo on my head, I turned my thoughts back to the “random” necklace I’d made that morning. I thought: “What I really liked was the joy of discovering how those pieces could come together.”

That in turn prompted contemplation about loving estate sales and flea markets partly because of the discovery — the discovery of cool things, the discovery of people’s lives and histories.

Then I thought: Discovering. Discoveries.

And our name was born.

But I still have to clean up that board …



Dreambox Beginnings

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It started with a grab bag stuffed with costume jewelry at the Fremont Sunday Market in Seattle, and the vague idea that one of my crafty relatives could “do something with this stuff.” But once I got home and started sorting through the bags (yes, one bag led to another led to five, all at the same time) … anyway, as I contemplated each piece, I found myself enchanted. Each piece had a story, and even if I didn’t know that story, just the idea of a story set my imagination on fire. Mystery, hope, promise, big events, mundane moments. These are pieces of people’s lives, I thought, and now they’re pieces of mine.

Those pieces percolated in a corner of my brain for a few weeks. At around the same time, Timothy and I found ourselves fascinated by vintage photos we found at the flea market and at the estate sales we’d started to frequent. Then at another flea market we found some fabulous vintage stamps. And at the Goodwill, some remarkable drawings in vintage books. We kept accumulating these things, with no thought about what we might do with them. We simply loved them.

Then, basically out of the blue, it came to me: We’d use these finds to create special boxes to give as Christmas gifts. And we’d call them Dreamboxes!

And so we set to work, spending most of November 2015 with our dining room table taken over by an ever-growing assortment of weird stuff, Mod Podge, and boxes from Michaels with their interiors painted by Timothy. It was a painstaking process, involving lots of layering, waiting for drying, and more layering. But seeing these pieces come together was a joy.

The Dreamboxes were a big hit. But look: We still had leftover flea market trinkets. LOTS of leftovers. What to do with them? The solution: BUY MORE! At the Goodwill, I found a few containers of beads. At various estate sales, more costume jewelry. More beads. Some vintage watch parts. I couldn’t stop. Finally it occurred to me: Someone should “do something with this stuff.”

Then I thought: Well, maybe *I* could do something with this stuff …

And now we have a new obsession.


We at Emerald Pedaling transform …

What, you might wonder, does this bust packed with handmade necklaces crafted from vintage bits and pieces have to do with cycling in Washington state?


Our bikes, and the glorious roads of Washington and beyond, are still our passions. But we’ve made way for new loves as well. Timothy is rediscovering his fascination with photography and cameras, especially vintage cameras. Paula is finding joy in creating necklaces by, in part, reusing pieces of the past. And we’re both stirred by prowling flea markets, estate sales and thrift shops, picking up compelling pieces of history while contemplating the lives in which these pieces once dwelled.

So our blog, formerly called and focusing on our bike rides, becomes and focuses on our discoveries and creations of a more vintage and creative bent.

We’re leaving the past content in place. It’s a key part of our lives here in Seattle, and we can’t just erase it! Instead we pedal on … while expanding our horizons into these new delights.