Hello and welcome once again.
The next day, moments before the ceremony…
After the ceremony…
Thanks for stopping by!
Hello and welcome once again.
The next day, moments before the ceremony…
After the ceremony…
Thanks for stopping by!
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
At the home of Brandon & Sarah Sullivan
No pictures from this night! We couchsurfed with Brandon & Sarah and their adorable kiddos in the sweltering city of Phoenix. It was a pleasant stay, with pleasant and relaxed folks. Bought a crossword puzzle book for the car ride into San Diego.
Thursday, June 4, 2015
San Diego, California
At the home of Kenny & Marta Wingler
We arrived in San Diego after driving through a crazy windy spot called “Devil’s Pass.” It looked like God’s dump trucks had made mountains of pebbles, but Carla wouldn’t know because she was too focused on staying out of the grips of the hellish wind (it was nuts).
We had such a great time in San Diego with Carla’s family– Marta (her mom’s sister), Kenny (Uncle), and Andrew (cuz). We had delicious Steaks-by-Kenny, and sampled fine craft beers under the supervision of aficionado, Andrew “Magnum” Wingler. “Magnum” is Andrew’s bowling nom; we cousins tried to go bowling one night, but didn’t know that the games were well over our budget for the night. So we just made up bowling names for ourselves and drank more expensive craft beer.
We ate at an incredible Italian restaurant.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get very many pictures of San Diego.. a good chunk of our time there, we spent figuring out our budget for the rest of the trip. It was kind of a headache..
Sunday, June 7, 2015
North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
In the backyard of Kellan & Meggan
Another Couchsurfing adventure! We pitched our $2 tent behind Meggan & Kellan’s bungalo in Hollywod, just behind the main Scientology building. K&M are improv comedians, as well as dabbling actors and professional dog sitters. We stayed with them during a time when they were dog sitting a large, skittish black Great Dane and a small, aggressive punk of a mutt, neither of whose names we can remember. They both liked us, fortunately.
We hiked up the back way, through Hollywood Hills, to the Griffith Observatory. This is the Ennis house by Frank Lloyd Wright; Mayan Revival architecture
The Griffith Observatory
Hiking back down. It was really hot. And look at that smog. Shew.Old Hollywood grits and glamour.
At the home of Erin Reeve
Our first stop on the post-wedding drive back to Denver was Nashville. We arrived in conjunction with a tremendous sunset. We had some bites to eat at Broadway Brewhouse West with Erin and Stephen before hitting the hay in prep for the long drive to Denver.
Last time we drove this way was when we originally moved. On that drive I was really into taking blurry photographs of the landscape as it flew by. This time my interest was clouds.
We saw this storm rolling in from 15 miles out.
Carla getting maniacally excited about the fact that the storm had reduced visibility on the highway to a few feet.. like another time I can think of..
Sunshine on the other side.
First stop on the honeymoon: lunch at a cute rest stop.
Carla made tuna.
Sunday, May 31, 2015
Santa Cruz Lake Overlook Campsite; North of Santa Fe, NM
We thought we had totally lucked out on this find. Carla and I utilize a lot of free and cheap traveling resources, and we found this campground via a website called freecampsites.net. The reviews on it were pretty good; a few mentioned that it was frequently noisy on the weekends, but honestly, that sounded fine to us, so we plugged it into the gps and arrived just before the sun started going down. An inebriated couple approached us as we began setting up the tent, and– long story short– probed and pried about who we were and why we were there, eventually asking if we were armed. Fortunately, Carla never travels without her handy-dandy 1987 Case pocket knife (thank you, Josh Casada), and of course her key chain mace. So we were safe. I’m being slightly facetious, but it was still a little nerve-wracking. We spent a good part of the evening in solitude, but eventually we did start to understand what the couple were warning us about. Apparently, the spot is used as a drug drop-off spot, as well as a late-night hook-up pull-in (gross). We kept our distance though, and tried to play it cool. Everything went fine. :)
It was heart-breakingly gorgeous. And the second night there was a lot tamer than the first. We popped down into Santa Fe and looked around there. Carla was suffering from some altitude sickness (did you know that Santa Fe is 7,200 feet above sea level??), so we weren’t able to do a whole lot besides trudge around the city and drink coffee & water.
This is morning on the overlook.
A fun metal sculpture at a (super hot) gas station.
The sand dunes of Southern California.
This one is almost ready for its covering of leather. The final step is gluing on a small piece of leather at the head and tail of the spine. The pieces will complete the illusion of a rectangular frame floating on the surface of the cover.
The one is at a very early stage and needs a lot of attention.
A finished book from my last class. I’m working on getting all of my unfinished books to look as nice as this one.
A handmade marbled paper (Victoria Hall, 1990, Norwich, Norfolk) right next to a handmade Cave paper (http://www.cavepaper.com).
A headband sewn with silk thread. Headbands are very elegant and numerous in style, but you hardly see them on books. It’s a shame.
I tried something new with this one. I made three raised bands and one flat band. I also practiced some leather inlay decoration as well as an underlay.
I’m going to fly through this as quickly as I can, so put your hands in the air.
I moved! Finally! Well, it’s been several months now, but I haven’t made the public announcement yet, so here it is! I’m SAFE! I’m COMFORTABLE! It’s QUIET! I can be in the bathroom HOWEVER LONG I WANT!! It’s so, so, so wonderful! I’ve named this abode The Rabbit Hole. A nod to Alice’s Adventures Underground and Lewis Carroll, as well as to The Shins and James Mercer. The song lyric goes, “..we all spend a little while going down the rabbit hole..” And I’m only going to be here for a little while, as it turns out, because a month after I’d signed the year lease, Adam proposed! So I’m spending as much time there as I can, to soak up my single-ness. :) Here’s a picture that Ashley took of my front door:
The complex is called The Aladdin, and it’s up a block and over a block to Adam’s house! And one block up from Adam’s house is my new job! So convenient! More on the new job later. And speaking of the engagement, Riverdale Schoolhouse is going to be our wedding venue– it’s an old updated schoolhouse just off the interstate in Knoxville, near Kodak and Strawberry Plains. Here is a view of the outside– photo credit to my friend, Leah Bullard (don’t know the couple).
And here’s one of the gymnasium. These are my friends, Dustin and Lisa, who got married there last year. Photo cred to Dixie Pixel.
We are supercalifragilistically excited about the location. Some of you may have been under the impression that we were going to get married on an island in Maryville. Aaaand we’re not going to name names, but the owner of the island was a little less than honest with us about almost everything we needed to know– and on top of that, none of our parents liked the place. But whatever; we’re not bitter, and we didn’t put any money down, so all’s well that ends well.
We’ve decided on May 23rd of next year (2015). Is anyone a number-nut like I am? Because I’m a ‘uge fan of this whole “5=2+3/3×5” business.. I’m probably crazy. Anyway, that’s Memorial Day weekend, so– opposed to our previous plan– we’re going to have to send out “Save-the-Dates,” for those of you who may forget and plan Spring break activities or Holiday Drunk-Fests. We’re not too upset about this additional challenge, because both of us happen to be big, giggly fans of our own creative muster, and of course, we’re designing and printing our own mailings. That being said, we’re also both pretty perfectionistic when it comes to artwork that we show people– so this could be a belabored process. Hoping for the best. Also, the bookbinder/letterpress printer/calligrapher for whom Adam works has graciously offered his studio and services for our printing needs! So touched! The guest list is ALMost completed (very, very close), so our next step is asking for y’alls’ addresses. We’ll be in touch.
You may remember that I have been sharing an art studio with Adam’s roommate, our friend, Macon Terry. It’s where I am right now, it’s really a perfect spot for everything I need to do creatively. And unfortunately, Macon’s busybusy life is requiring him to move out at the end of the month, but fortunately, Adam is going to be taking his place! He (Adam) had been struggling trying to find a proper place to work on his binding– and this suits him just fine. So that’s exciting! He’s already got most of his stuff moved in, and true-to-form, is already cleaning. I’m not the cleanest person when it comes to my art space..
My move from graphic design to illustration hasn’t gone very smoothly. You may have seen my new website, which is fun and all, but isn’t getting me an ounce of business. In fact, the only work I have right now is from returning customers. It broke my heart for a while, but– being unwilling to sell myself short– I’m stiffening my neck and continuing to hold out the hope that my call from God was not a misinterpretation. I’m continuing to do work for myself (creating a good portfolio, keeping up some semblance of creative momentum.. here and there), and spreading the word that I’m an illustrator for hire. It’s super-duper hard to sell myself. Even harder to turn down work because the pay is too little. I feel like I may have hurt some peoples’ feelings, or possibly offended their sensibilities, by choosing not to do their jobs. I wish I could tell everyone as plainly as I see it: if you consistently work for one-tenth of your actual value, not only will your work ultimately reflect that, but after time, your value will actually decrease. Same as in life: if you act like an idiot, eventually you’ll become one.
So since nobody likes my artwork [enough to pay for it], I had to get another job. And it was a pretty severe blow to my self-esteem. I’m nearing thirty, and still working in the service industry. No degree. No savings. No money to pay for my wedding next year. The cards sometimes feel like they are so stacked against me..
..but I digress. My new job is a gift from God, for so many reasons. First, like I mentioned earlier, it’s two blocks from my new apartment. Second, I am appreciated, valued, respected, by both of the owners and both of my coworkers. I even get to draw! Third, the owners are the most adorable young Moroccan married couple ever– Ray and Wafaa:
Fourth, I think I’ve really met a new friend and kindred spirit in one of my coworkers, Kellee. Fifth, I get all the free coffee, espresso, and fresh baked goods I could ever want. It’s called the Corner Coffee Bakery, and everybody should visit their social media sites as soon as they’re up.. more than likely, I’ll be reminding you all of that shortly. This picture is of Wafaa, my beautiful chalkwork, and Kellee.
Anyway, I like it a lot. I make enough money to pay my bills, and to put a tiny bit back into the wedding fund. And the conversation is excellent. Kellee and I have a lot in common, and rarely find ourselves without some subject to think out-loud about to the other. We muse about the possibility of hosting a podcast in the future called “More Than Bariste,” which is the Italian plural form of a female barista.
We’re in this year’s Catechumenate, which– according to Webster– is “the institution by which catechumens are prepared for church membership through a course of religious instruction.” We read things the clergy have prepared, and get together every Thursday with the other catechumens to get to know each other, learn about the church, and search our own hearts and minds for any questions or concerns we may have about joining the Episcopal church. It’s very exciting. I do wonder if we’ll actually end up joining though. For how liberal the church is, they still claim the miracle of transubstantiation. And I just think that is so silly. Anyway, I don’t have the energy to go into too much theology-talk right now, but I’m sure I will at some point. It’s very stimulating. Here’s a picture Ashley took of me stepping down into the Undercroft for Catechumenate:
Uhhhhhmmm, recent happenings, recent happenings.. ASHLEY visited us! It was such a BLAST. She is a fast-paced lady, that is for dang sure. We did SO MUCH. Hookah and chai at The Gypsy House, Snarf’s delicious samiches after playing arcade games at the 1-UP, black-light bowling in the Highlands with the newly-wed Adam and Mary Stump (!!!), catechumenate potluck (yu-huh-hum), beer and roller coasters at Elitch Gardens (brave Ashley for riding the wooden one!), a pint at our favorite Denver bar, The Streets of London, homemade breakfast, Denver Bicycle Cafe, Ashley got a TATTOO of our Birdhouse Walk-In Theater bird, and the date of our first film, hung out at The Pie Hole for a while, and even got to see a fun movie at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, outside of which the Jurassic Park Jeep was parked! Ah, it was all just so, freaking, great. Adam and I both felt windblown when she left (in the best of possible ways). Here are a few pictures to highlight our time:
And the next weekend we had the plaizhure beyond maizhure of spending a few days with Adam’s lil sis, Lee! And her friend and cohort, Sheela. Unfortunately, I was working a lot while they were here, and didn’t get to spend nearly as much time with them as I would have liked.. boo. But I did get this goodie. I love catching people in the middle of saying things. :)
We took a big hike into the Rocky Mountain National Park, past Estes Park, and it was great and glorious on the way up, but then on the way down, it started raining. It wasn’t storming, and the rain wasn’t oppressive, but by the time we all got down the trail (it was maybe an hour and a half), we were completely soaked and had to pee really bad, ha! Anyway, it was a fun time!
And aside from that, all I have left to update y’all on, is that Adam and I have started a Denver off-shoot of The Birdhouse Walk-In Theater, and we’re calling it Theodore Theater. Why? Because it sounds good. Our mascot has yet to be illustrated and tattooed onto our foreheads, but don’t worry, we’ll get pictures when that happens. ;) We’ve had a few screenings so far, at Adam’s house here in Capitol Hill, but we hope to start getting a little more legit, with flyers and popcorn and whatnot. Keep your ears peeled. Gross. Sorry.
It’s quite a glorious morning. I’m wearing my bridesmaid dress from Anna Laura and Marshall’s wedding, along with the best pair of cowboy boots I’ve ever owned. Drinking coffee, looking around at all of the progress I’ve made on my freelance Illustration and Design business.. I feel pretty good. Since I’ve been scheduling my daily life over the past few years, I’ve seen immense improvement in its quality. It’s amazing how much MORE time I feel like I have, when I put it into a budget. The time that I save, I get to enjoy! And man, really enjoying my spare time is something I’m not used to doing.. and I love it. I don’t know why it’s so much harder for me to keep a financial budget though..
Adam and I went to Elitch Gardens again yesterday, intending to jump into the wave pool and splash around like juveniles, but turns out, you have to rent a locker.. for twelve dollars. We’re going to be smarter next time and hide our valuables in the car, and put a magnetic key holder underneath it. Silly Elitch. We love those spinny-rides. You know, like the teacups? They have so many at Elitch. I think hearing Adam laugh/yell on them is one of the brightest spots of joy in my life. I hope we get to go back a lot before it gets cool. Elitch, by the way, is a lot like Dollywood, but maybe leaning toward the Tennessee Valley Fair sometimes.. I have yet to get a turkey leg. Will happen.
I didn’t blog about it, but last month over my birthday, my Canadian friends, Jillian, Chealsey, and I met up in Las Vegas, Nevada, to hang out and celebrate my birthday a little. We spent the first night in town, at the home of Curtis Walker and his adorable daughter, Adrienne. My Aunt Luci and Uncle Jim knew Curtis from his involvement with the Telluride Film Festival, and both of them strongly encouraged us to meet up with him if we could. Curtis is battling cancer right now (although I didn’t know it had relapsed until I got back to Denver), with a spirit as fresh, curious, and positive as anyone I’ve ever met. His daughter is a seven year old Whovian, and all three of us girls wanted to take her home with us.
After that we went up to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and camped at a quaint little ground called Kaibab. We hiked and sight-saw and had a campfire (it got incredibly chilly at night), just exulting in our sweet, lasting friendship with each other. I met the two of them while doing my Discipleship Training School (DTS) with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Northern Ireland, and we just liked each other so much, we decided to stay in touch afterward. We’ve met up and/or traveled together every few years since then (that was 2008).
After that, we spent a few more nights in Las Vegas, at the home of Beau Pignatello. We met him through the most-excellent website for cheap traveling, couchsurfing.org. He and Curtis showed us some more of the great sin city, and we couldn’t have asked for more decent hosts. Both of them were born and raised in Las Vegas, so they knew what to show us, and what to roll their eyes at! Chealsey had to leave a day before Jillian and I did, so the last night in Vegas, Jillian, Beau, and I made a one-night-band! All three of us were raised in church, and Beau still had his stack of worship music guitar chords from back in the day, so we sang all of them, and more, until the wee hours of the morning. It was so great. :)
Jillian came back to Denver with me for a few days. We had lots of fun; I got to see Denver through fresh eyes, and we got to spend even more time talking about deep and serious things. Something fun about Jillian and me is that we are on opposite ends on a lot of controversial issues right now, but our sincere love for each other and Jesus flies in the face of it all, and our friendship continues to grow. Actually, come to think of it, I have a good handful of these friends. How wonderful.
Anyway, then it was back to the daily grind for a few days, and then I flew off again to Salt Lake City. My friend Rachel and her family live outside there, in a town called West Wendover, Nevada. I went to try and be some help while she got ready to give birth to kiddo #3. She had the baby a few days after I left, and they named her Heidi. The time out there was good; we got to relax by the pool, watch TV, visit thrift stores, enjoy Dave’s master-chef-manship, sight-see around the nearby towns, and talk endlessly about baby names.
I arrived back in Denver on August 11th, and was tired from all of my travels, and had missed Adam a lot, so he asked if he could treat me to a drink at the Matchbox. After talking about serious things for a while (a common practice), he pulled out a beautiful dark blond wood veneer ring, and asked if I’d like to marry him. I said, “Sure.”
We’re trying to compromise on our styles of expressing joy and happiness about it. My style, as some of you know, would be to blast trumpets across every social media platform known to man, and pass out announcements on the street corners for three weeks; Adam’s would be to shake hands with me in public on our wedding day. Ha! Well, of course, I’m exaggerating, but suffice to say, we’re keeping calm heads about it, and will be sure to let everyone know details as soon as we have them. Until next time!