Colorado Style

I recently read an article that said Colorado Springs is the second least fashionable city in America. While I feel the need to fight and say Colorado Springs isn’t less fashionable than a place like Milwaukee, (I feel like being a fit city has to account for something, I saw far fewer overweight sweat suites here than I did in my time in Wisconsin) I won’t claim this is a remotely fashionable city.

I like to think I do my part to raise the bar occasionally, but sometimes simple statement is better. This is a perfect example of looking like I belong in Colorado, but not succumbing to the masses. Maybe it’s just the red pants, but it works, I think:

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(faux) chambray – thrifted. Vest – Merrell, from my pro-deal days. Pants: Marshalls, Boots – 6pm. Necklace – Yobel Market
 

This outfit is perfect for all the random fall-esque events you can do out here in Colorado. Campfires, Manitou Springs people watching, bike brewery tours, you know, the usual.

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Fall explorations

This trip was actually a few weeks ago around my birthday. And around my friend’s birthday… in fact it was her birthday trip, but I went a little bit for me too. A sunny mild fall day in Colorado at peak Aspen color? Get real.

On our way out to Salida, a small mountain town with some awesome festivals throughout the year, the views alone are worth the trip. Wilkerson pass is one of my favorite passes, you slowly rise up and hit this incredible surprise view on a massive mountain range beyond a vast flat valley. It was one of the strongest memories I have from visiting as a kid, this valley covered in a sheet of snow. We wandered around some paths at the rest stop…

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On the way into Salida there is a sneaky tire swing behind a fence. It’s worth the barbed wire dodging, it has to be the most incredible tire swing view ever, a line of 14ers behind, just enchanting.

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And the grass itself was so photographic.

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Had to stop by the local cute antique store.

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Grab a couple pints. It’s Colorado, you always have to try the beer!

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Drove over to some open space near Buena Vista to take a color hike. For some reason it started off with shotputting some rocks?

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And senior posing in this field of gold…

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Just stunning…

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Hipster artsy on the stumps

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This was a magical spot, the light was hitting this clump of golden aspens just right and it literally was glowing!

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Found ourselves an old cabin off the beaten path.

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And some creepy bones in a firepit… Then we headed back instead of taking out changes with some crazy forest dweller.

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SO MUCH FALL! I took a million photos, it was glorious and gorgeous and whimsical.

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Our weekend didn’t end there, but the lovely pictures did as the sun set. If you are ever in the area make sure you check out the Mt. Princeton hot springs, where you can actually sit in a rocky mountain stream (ice cold) in the rocky pools of steaming natural hot springs. Another favorite experience from vacations as a kid!

I just can’t get enough of fall!

Oh, hey.

I won’t pretend I’m good at this regular blogging thing. The funny part is I’ve got a pile of photos/projects that I’ve been wanting to post. Taking photos seems to be the easy part, my long-winded writing is holding me back. Too bad, I’m probably not going to get much briefer. (Briefer is a word?!)

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I’ve decided:

I’m going to start posting outfits. 

(dum dum dummm…) I feel a little weird about it. This isn’t really a fashion blog, nor do I want it to become one. But, in all honesty, how I dress has become a significant form of creativity for me. Not that I wear crazy stuff all the time, but the experimentation of form and color, and pushing boundaries on those bold days, it really has been a creative outlet for me in those busier times when I can’t make stuff. Also, I am a huge thrifter/second-hander/swapper/clearance racker (i.e., I don’t spend much on clothing), and I’d love to show that you are limited to looking frumpy when you do so! Look good at a fraction of the price.

So, let’s start it off, shall we?

Summer Bike Ride & Beer

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Tank: Swapped, J.Crew. Skirt: Swapped, Mata Traders. Necklace: Thrifted. Sandals, Chaco.

I live in Colorado, Coloradoans like bikes and beer. They go hand in handlebar. This outfit is great for those absurdly hot sunny days we have (even 80’s late september, days after it snowed in the mountains!) You could find some cute shoes, but the casualness of this outfit combined with Colorado’s love of Chaco made me think some classic flippy-floppies were needed.

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Don’t you love the little chain details on this shirt? A couple of them are missing, but hey, I got it for practically free at my local closet swap!  Also, a note on my nails… they are super brittle and I’ve been biting them for years. I’m having some current success growing them out, but nail polish is saving them by covering the junk that get’s under them in minutes. However, I get a little lazy with polish and let it chip and just wear whatever fun color I feel like, regardless of outfit. I think it’s the 6 year old in me.

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As I said, don’t forget the beer. Normally I’m a loyal Colorado beer drinker (we have so many great ones…) but I picked up some brews while in New Mexico that I can’t buy up here. This is a tasty saison from Santa Fe Brewing Company. They have some great ones, check them out if you get the chance!

There you are, be proud, I did an outfit. Awkward ending.

Judah and the Lion

It’s a busy season in life right now, so I haven’t been crafting with my hands as much. However, I was so blessed to get to photograph a small concert down the street from us this past weekend. It was especially special to see our old friend rocking the banjo, it was only a couple years ago we went to see him play in little shows for his high school and youth group.

While I have a few other projects I’m slowly but surely getting through (weddings and a senior), I can’t begin to say how great it was to get the chance to shoot something so fun with no obligation and total creative freedom. And then to edit these photos was almost as enjoyable!

Take a look at my favorites from the show, then check out the band at Judahandthelion.com and give them a listen, maybe buy an ep or something!

 

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Waldo Canyon Fire

Another excuse for nothing new. Though I haven’t been inherently busy, I have been preoccupied with a rather large distraction to my city. If you haven’t heard anything about the Waldo Canyon Fire, google it to catch up. An unprecedented fire causing major destruction Tuesday night, and many more homes still in harms way.

Making/photographing helps me process, so I regret to say I turned into a bit of a gawker, but I tried to do so in a safe, rule-following, out of the way fashion. Here are a few pics from the past few days:

Day 2 picture, fire coming over first ridge into view of city.

Fire on the mountainside. Viewed from downtown.

Smoke beginning to consume the city, I had no idea at the time that fire was consuming the front slope.

My city on fire.

Ash the next morning. Possibly the page of a magazine, traveled 10 miles through the air from someone’s home.

Additional Photos Here if you are interested.

It has been emotional, surreal, and draining. Many friends are evacuated, some unsure if they have a home to go back to. They are predicting this will take at least a few more weeks to contain, not sure if that changed after the burst the other night. My beautiful skyline will be altered for years to come, and peoples lives will never be the same.

If you are the praying kind, please join us in praying for rain!

Vacation love: Santa Fe, Great Sand Dunes, mystery aspen grove

We took a relatively spur of the moment vacation before the summer got too crazy. It was unorganized, last minute, unplanned, and absolutely GLORIOUS. Love the chance to take photos without purpose…

Santa Fe, NM

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Random small camp site in the middle of an aspen grove in Pikes National Forest.

 

Roof Pallet Garden

So you have likely seen the vertical pallet garden by now, right? Well, we live in a second floor apartment with a door to a  south facing “porch” which is actually a flat piece of roof with no railings. We love it. (We have no children…)

But we want a garden. And not some silly little flowers packed in tight, we wanted to produce food from our plants. So our pallet garden looks a little different:

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What You Need:

  • – Pallet – if you are going to eat from your pallet, be careful to not get one treated with chemicals.
  • – Landscaping Fabric – keeps your dirt inside the pallet and not all over your porch.
  • -Staple Gun
  • – Dirt – our pallet was smaller than standard size 50in by 25in , and used less than 3 cubic feet of dirt (Get the potting kind! We had to exchange ours…)
  • – Plants – do a little research as to what you want and what works well in your region and in smaller spaces.

Start by fixing up your pallet. Clean up any stray nails/screws and sturdy up any loose boards.

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Some of the plants. We also bought a bunch of tomatos (already potted here) to see how they’d do. I eat tomatos like candy…

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Attach your landscaping fabric. We went overboard with the staple gun, but I don’t regret it. Went along all four sides as well as the support pieces that go across the middle.

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Make sure to keep the “top” open if you are going to put this upright at all. If you put it completely upright you will want to plant here, if it is at a slight upright (like ours) then it helps to collect rain water.

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Start filling with dirt, make sure to tuck it in the bottom and under the support pieces so there won’t be too much movement when you put it more upright. Don’t overfill yet, you need to put your plants in still.

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Happy garden making!

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Now put in your plants! Make sure to loosen the roots of the plant so it takes in its new place, but don’t disturb the roots too much, it’s hard on the young plants. Tuck them in fairly tight (but not too tight) with more dirt. Full in any sneaky holes, and save the rest of the dirt to fill in as it settles.

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The finished product a few weeks later moved to it’s final resting place:


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Facing slightly east for extra sun, with our struggling tomatos in front. (I trimmed all that blight off, but they still have a pile of flowers, so I think they will be OK!)

Thus far my main improvements have to do with my plant care, but this neat little pallet keeps out weeds and many ground varmints. I am however experimenting with how to keep the squirrels from digging, but so far they haven’t ruined any plants. However, the fight is on once fruit starts forming…