Saturday, August 22, 2009

cruiser bikes in motion (or parked)

i love cruiser bikes. everything about them. their comfort, their casual appearance, and of course, their mobility from getting to point a to point b. since i started commuting to work almost a year ago, i haven't had the convenience of riding my bike as often as i used to. i miss those days dearly—when i would walk to work or ride my bike, so as a tribute to these wonderful 'machines,' i am devoting this post to cruiser bikes all around.

for now, the cruiser bikes i have snapped photos of are local—fort collins, colorado—and although there were a plethora of gorgeous cruiser bikes out there, i could only post a few (for now).

this orange beauty is mine...(i had to throw this one in, of course)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

pop art blast

as some of you may know, i am a graphic designer by trade and education, but during a recent unemployment 'stint' in 2007, i was forced to try and make some money decisions while being at home collecting my temporary unemployment checks.

i had tried since 2003 to work freelance design from home, and although i enjoyed it, it wasn't as lucrative as i had hoped—or enjoyable, for that matter. with graphic design, it's about what the client wants, not what the designer wants. one of my design professors from college always used to say—"as a designer, you create for others, but as an artist, you create for yourself." this definitely holds true in the world of graphic and web design.

what else could i do that would provide me the freedom of fine art mixed with computer illustration? the answer? pop art.

it's something i have always had a passion for, but never took to another level personally. until i was laid off in january 2007 from my part time design gig, thus forcing me to take another look at how i could make money while actively looking for another job elsewhere.

from then, i started selling my pop art on ebay which quickly became a profitable—albeit temporary—solution. as i dabbled and experimented on the computer, i quickly found that creating pop art via the computer was better suited using a vector program (i.e. adobe illustrator), not a raster program such as adobe photoshop, which seemed to be the common application for such a task. not only are the lines clean and crisp, but there are no resolution issues when using a vector program, as well. it was a perfect solution for me and for my customers.

here are a few samples of my work—and if you're wanting to purchase some of my pieces, go here. but please be patient, i haven't posted all of my designs to date, but i'm working on it—slowly but surely. if there's a design you're looking for, just check out my bonanzle booth, or contact me directly, and i'm happy to work with you on a custom or already created piece.

in memory of electric guitar guru - les paul 1915–2009 (©2008)

1960s andy warhol protegé - edie sedgwick (©2008)

bob marley (©2008)

tabby cat (©2008)

1970s bmw (©2008)

1980s rubik's cube (©2009)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

bohemian nights at new west fest

one of my favorite parts of summer here in fort collins is the annual local festival, new west fest. every year at the end of august, the city of fort collins hosts this magical event. in addition to the many local artisans showcasing their handmade goods, this festival wouldn't be complete without the sound of music throughout the day and into the night.

last night during bohemian nights, we had the pleasure of listening to the folk sound of musical talent, melissa etheridge. it was an amazing evening packed with many locals as well as visitors alike. all there for one reason—to enjoy the acoustic sound of melissa's solo talent while the sound of her raspy voice permeated throughout the downtown area. it was nothing short of delight and enjoyment.

although the festival was frequently interrupted with rainstorms throughout the day, it didn't stop visitors enjoying the day. while munching on the many tastes of food right there within our reach, visitors took in their surroundings at the same time. my daughter munched on a good old fashioned hot dog, while i couldn't resist my favorite indian cuisine, saag peneer and naan—and of course, homemade lemonade freshly squeezed right before our eyes. as a treat to end this traditional meal, we enjoyed a delicious funnel cake. simply divine.

after we finished with lunch, we headed over to the kids' area which was packed full with jumpy castles and obstacle courses, as my daughter enjoyed her active time inside the many air-filled arenas, i watched on with admiration and envy. wishing i could be a kid again.

since we wanted to head back on sunday for a day of clearer (and drier) weather, we continued to enjoy the busy surroundings of the downtown area as the weekend came to a close.

before we headed home for the day—and before we came back to listen to the live music in the evening—i had to break down and buy my daughter a handmade one-of-a-kind bow & arrow set. it was the cutest and most imaginative creation, that i had to give in and spend the $8 to get it for her. as often as i can, i love having the opportunity of being able to support local artisans as much as possible. seeing as i am one myself.

Monday, August 10, 2009

end of summer days

it's that time of year again. the end of summer.

in a way, i'm very sad. mostly because i have enjoyed the gorgeous weather we've had this summer and all the beautiful lush green landscape that continually surrounds us—thank you, mother nature, for bringing us a hefty supply of rain this year. then a part of me is excited for the cooler weather. don't get me wrong, i have loved walking around with my flip-flops everyday and not having to worry about wearing my winter coat, but then i do love the cold and the snow at the same time. which is why i moved to colorado in the first place—skiing. yup, i'm addicted. what can i say. but i have tennis to keep me busy during the summer months while i anxiously await opening day and the arduous annual fight of who will win the much coveted title of the first mountain to open for the year—arapahoe basin or loveland.

as usual, i'm going in a completely different direction than what i intended. to discuss our gorgeous day at our local city pool. it was glorious! not too hot, not too cool. perfect. what more can you ask from a summer's day as it comes to a close?

my daughter enjoyed splashing in the water and riding down the water slides as my husband and i looked on with admiration as we realize how fast she has grown these past short months.

for now, we'll just enjoy her as the active 9 year old girl that she is, because before long, she won't want to be seen with us.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

estes park, colorado

here i go again, blogging about colorado. i never intended this to be a blog about all things colorado, but these past few weeks, we really have been taking advantage of the exciting places and majestic views rampant throughout our beautiful state, that i had to share them with you.

although we went up last weekend, i wanted to touch on it now. my husband, kirk, my daughter, emma, and myself headed up to estes park last weekend for a day in the mountains. since estes park is only a 45 minute drive from our home, it was an easy trek incorporated with a gorgeous drive. and in this day and age of higher gas prices fueled with the poor economy, we didn't feel as though we were wasting money on a days drive up the 'hill.'

upon our arrival, per usual, the summers in estes park are very crowded with tourists alike. although the majority of the tourists seem to be from outside of the colorado area, there were many—like ourselves—within a close proximity wanting to enjoy the mountain air without a few hours drive west of i-70.

in addition to majestic mountains in the background, there wasn't a short supply of rivers flowing and rock formations throughout. it was simply sublime.

many photos were snapped, while we ate lunch at a delicious local pub, and walked around and shopped like the rest of the daily crowd. it was a nice day, coupled with breathtaking views.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

pawn shop find

i recently started collecting stackable anniversary/eternity rings as a way to switch up my wedding ring ensemble. after going to many brick & mortar jewelry stores, i soon realized that these rings were way out of my price range. i tried the massive jewelry section on ebay, only to be overwhelmed again at the overpriced options.

as i was driving my daughter to school one day, i always notice the same reputable pawn shop along our route (if one can call a pawn shop reputable). i figured i'd give it a shot and go in there and see what they had. you always hear how people can find really good deals at a pawn shop, so why wouldn't this hold true for jewelry?

as i walked in, i immediately walked towards the jewelry counter. unbeknownst to me, i was surprised to see the massive amounts of diamond rings looking up at me waiting to be held, tried on and loved once again. as i perused the selection, my eyes continually gravitated towards this one white gold diamond anniversary band, sitting there in the case, looking a little worn and a little dull, but i knew the potential of this "diamond in the rough."

once i tried it on, i knew this was the ring for me. this ring needed to be brought back to life. after paying a mere $175 for what i thought for a ring maybe worth $400—i headed to my trusted jeweler and had him resize it and polish it up for me. i didn't inquire about an appraisal because i honestly didn't think it would be worth the effort to submit to my insurance company.

to my pleasant surprise, my jeweler informed me of its worth—he declared its value at a little over $1,000. naturally, i was shocked by this recent development as i didn't think i had gotten that great of a deal.

who would have thought that such a gorgeous ring purchased from a pawn shop could be worth so much more than i had originally paid? i was thrilled. so much that i now wear it with my pear shaped diamond engagement ring (originally from an estate) which gives it an elegant addition to my wedding combination.

take a look...

Monday, August 3, 2009

only in colorado...

on my way home from work tonight, i noticed there were a lot of cars pulled off to the side of the road taking pictures of something. when i looked over, i immediately saw these three beautiful elk standing there as if nobody was there taking their picture. it was the most amazing sight, that i had to pull over and take their picture, as well.

i am so happy that i was lucky enough to have my camera conveniently located in my purse, so i immediately grabbed it and snapped away at these gorgeous creatures. makes me only appreciate my surroundings in colorado that much more.

what a breaktaking view...