bringing the aspens indoors

February 28, 2014

while spending a long weekend up in fairplay, colorado, i was able to soak in some of my favorite things:  lovely company, an outdoor hot tub [with a stunning view of snow-covered mountains], a yard full of beautiful trees [aspens!] + tons of sunshine.

before heading back to the city on the last morning of our trip, my friend katy + i scavenged some aspen branches from the yard with the intent of doing something creative with them.  katy had the plan to gather branches to make a mobile for the nursery she was putting together in her home.  her creation came out GREAT – take a look!

katy's mobile + a sneak peek at her nursery!  mountain-themed.

katy’s mobile + a sneak peek at her nursery! mountain-themed.

a view of one side of the nursery.

a view of one side of the nursery.

i was originally planning on using the wood that i collected to make some sort of necklace holder [because i have a trillion necklaces hanging on my closet door].  but, instead, it transformed into an above-the-bed piece…filling up some blank space that i’ve had since rearranging my furniture a few weeks prior.  i work with gemstones almost daily + love being surrounded by their radiating energies, i chose to do some simple copper wire-wrapping accented by meaningful gemstones.

a full view, measuring about 30 inches in length.

a full view, measuring about 30 inches in length.

after doing a bit of research on gems + minerals that aid with sleeping, i was able to look through my stock of beads to see what i had that would work together – aesthetically + metaphysically.  in my focal piece, i used agate [in both a bead form + a wire-wrapped agate slice], labradorite, amethyst, tiger eye + clear quartz [i used a small raw, wrapped crystal + rutilated quartz beads].  agate provides nightmare protection.  labradorite assists with lucid dreaming.  amethyst + tiger eye create a higher sense of awareness + aid with meditation.  clear quartz amplifies dreams.

detail of the beautiful wire-wrapped agate slice.

detail of the beautiful wire-wrapped agate slice.

another detail with two necklaces hung on twigs.

another detail with two necklaces hung on twigs.

for the past few months, i have had serious trouble remembering my dreams.  i would wake up in the morning + not recall a single thing.  not that it is a huge issue, but i have always enjoyed analyzing my dreams [to some extent] + also loved those “WTF is going on in my brain?!” moments when i’m lying in bed.

you know what?  ever since i installed my new art above my bed, i have either had whole dream recollection or at least bits + pieces.  power to nature!


PS:  the materials i used were:  fine amethyst + chevron amethyst + black fire agate + agate slice + rutilated quartz + raw quartz crystal + labradorite + tiger eye + thin copper wire + a bit of epoxy.


listening to:

50 ways to leave your lover by paul simon

new age girl by deadeye dick



a one woman wonder!

melissa bruck, a wonderfully talented maui-based artist, is one of the most art-minded people that i know.  just by looking at her for the first time, you can tell that she oozes creativity.  :)

world bodypainting fest

melissa during the WBPF

from painting [murals, live painting, body painting, commissions, visionary painting], fashion [costumes + custom], stilt performing, sculpture, marketing, teaching…she dabbles in a bit of everything.

most recently, her body painting has captured my eyes, making me wish to be one of her models – transforming my everyday “boring” self into a mystical creature of the wild.  rawr.  in 2012, melissa traveled to europe to participate in the World Body Painting Festival.  since then, she has been working her magic for countless local events, but also well-known events such as Burning Man.

Maui Open Studios 2013

in early 2013, melissa’s original paintings + prints were on display for all to experience during her solo exhibition with Maui Open Studios.  her colorful, psychedelic, simple-yet-complex works of visions, mandalas + music-inspired scenes are eye-catching + exciting!  she also does many “live art” sessions, which is painting during a live music event.  so. freaking. RAD.  below is one of my favorites [love the eyeballs!].

kishauwau - live painting - acrylic on canvas

kishauwau – live painting – acrylic on canvas

i am sure that living near the ocean is incredibly inspiring for melissa + i am so ecstatic that it is fueling her creativity to such an extent.  knowing her for many years, i’m positive that she is impacting many lives + living her dream.  :)

siren song live painting - wood

siren song live painting – wood

melissa, thank you for being YOU – you ROCK!


PS:  please show the love for this beautiful, creative soul by checking out her website.


listening to:

vamp by phutureprimitive

phoneme by STS9

my friends ROCK: j washington

December 22, 2013

with an extraordinary visual eye, janette “j” washington creates stunning works of art – behind + in front of the camera lens.  yes, this beautiful + talented woman is a photographer, cinematographer + model!

her dark, prominent features capture the light + her unique, edgy look snatches the interest of the audience, whether it be print or digital.  janette’s fun, natural, alluring presence is sought out by many….including me!  i wish to someday be able to highlight her in my product shoots.  :)  a genuine beauty – just lovely!


photography by jim pollock

working mainly with a 35mm camera [as opposed to digital – love it!], she takes photos of an array of subjects, including musicians, personal + professional head shots, landscapes + much more.  finding the essence + soul in subjects is very important in capturing the interest of audiences + janette does a wonderful job of doing just that.  you can find the special spark in each of her works.


35 mm “golden gate bridge”


35 mm “christina”

in addition to still photography, janette is also a cinematographer – her current project being “for the incurable insane”, a documentary which shares the personal lives of the patients living in the peoria state hospital [also called the illinois asylum for the incurable insane].  what began as a thesis documentary for her degree in cinematography, has snowballed into a labor of love, passion, sweat, tears + satisfaction…something that will transform her life as we know it.  please click the photo below to view the trailer + if you wish to contribute to her cause of sharing the lives of many who were forgotten, you can do so here.

through all of your hard work + dedications, you are an inspiration to many…myself included!

thanks, j – you ROCK!


PS:  show your love + check out janette’s various pages:  documentary site [+ blog], photography portfolio + deviant art portfolio.

listening to:

after the guidung venus by koan

where boys fear to tread by the smashing pumpkins

blues.  check.

rock.  check.

funk.  check.

folk.  check.

country.  check.

this guy’s pretty much got every genre covered.  :)

chris g 2

having known chris gelbuda for years, i have seen him advance from rock cover bands in high school + college to opening for some bitchin’ jam bands to song-writing with/for well-known talent.  most recently, his song “wingman” was picked up by country star billy currington + the album is currently at the top of the country charts!

hailing from my hometown in illinois, chris now calls nashville “music city”, tennessee, home.  on a daily basis, he is writing with up-coming + well-known songwriters.  he performs at festivals nationwide during the warmer months, frequently goes back to chicago for shows [check out a tour schedule on his site] + also is going to be at a destination festival called best fest in costa rica coming up this february.  his sublime tribute band, secondhand smoke, plays dates all over the US, too – they can be hired for your tropical [or not-so-tropical] parties!  [psst:  they’re playing in chi-town this friday + saturday!]

chris g

i love to surround myself amongst creative + talented people, chris being no exception.  his witty banter, mad guitar skills + lyrical talents are recognized + appreciated by many, making for a fun show.  :)

thanks, chris – you ROCK!   love, RACHIES.

please check out his site, FB + spotify.



listening to:

elvis’ christmas album by elvis presley [’tis the season, baby!]

steppin’ razor by sublime


my friends ROCK: megan hume

December 16, 2013

using her two creative hands, megan hume designs + makes all sorts of goodies for men + women.  sewn, glued, nailed, baked…you name it!

with a huge love of music + the scene that goes along with it, she first found herself sewing + creating her own clothing + costumes…  to this day she still hosts sewing parties at her studio in boulder, colorado [the mecca of costumes + costume parties it seems].  whether it’s prepping for halloween or a run of phish shows, she is your go-to for specialty party wares!

after moving to + being around the music scene in boulder, megan began to take her skills to the next level with set design + construction.  welcome hume productions!  she + her husband make up the HP team, transforming normal spaces into wondrous places!  [we were so thankful to have them work their magic for our VINES fashion show earlier this year!]

hume productions - YMSB

as if she isn’t busy enough, megan decided to follow her passion of baking + start a delicious baked goods business!  simply called Baked, you can choose from a variety of yummy treats, new products being added all of the time.  locals:  i’ve had a chance to experience a few of her goodies + they are DIVINE.

chocolate cups

mookie sandwiches

megan, i love your entrepreneurial passion – you ROCK!


PS:  check out hume productions’ site + FB, as well as Baked on FB.

listening to:

the complete album collection by led zeppelin  [oh yeah, baby!]

when you first meet chelsea linsley, you become captivated by her friendly smile, comforting warmness + sexy, stylish appeal.  you may make small chitchat for a bit, but then you eventually get around to talking to her about design [no matter the medium].  this is where you can watch her eyes sparkle with possibilities + ideas come bursting from her mouth, notes + sketches from her fingers.  a true artist.


a fun design snippit captured from chelsea’s blog.

chelsea may be currently enveloped in the digital + small business world [for the most part], but she went to school for fiber arts + ceramic design + has extensive training in the arts.  currently based in boulder, colorado, she has certainly made a name for herself in the graphic design world.  clients at the top of their game seek her out from far + wide, wanting to work with such a conscious, dedicated woman who has such an experienced, trained eye.  on most days she is creating websites, logos + other branding materials, items for print [business cards, notecards, etc] + working on plans for future right-brain business plan workshops [i’m so excited for this – coming to boulder soon!].


postcard + online advertisement for my first fashion show.

an accessible way to get to chelsea’s work has recently been launched:  an etsy shop full of vector images, ready-made branding, printables + invites.  i lovelovelove that she’s doing this because it makes her work super affordable for those who cannot commit to a cost of a total branding overhaul [most listings are only a few dollars!] + it creates fun projects for her to work on…even further expressing her creativity!


psychedelic diamonds – customizable business card template

i think most recently, i’ve seen the fire burning even more passionately than ever before through chelsea’s creation of pattern design.  the way she works into the wee hours in the morning on new patterns, always excited to share the new collections that she has completed.  a combination of modern psychedelia + love of color + eye for bad-ass-ness [can i use this word?], her patterns are absolutely stunning.  below is just a taste.  trust me, there are plenty more to be shared via future collaborations with successful + up-and-coming artists.


pattern design samples

having known chelsea since we were seven years old [yep, second grade!], i have always been quite intrigued by her artistic talents.  i must say it was slightly difficult to write about her on a more professional level without the love i have for her gushing out in every sentence.  :)  she was a comrade in art class + i am so damn thankful that we have kept in touch over the years.  we have become the closest of friends, living amongst the mountains together, taking every day in as if it was the best, enjoying life to the fucking fullest.

she is my super duper sparkly glittery star, a world of inspiration + partner in creativity!

thank you, chels!  you ROCK!


PS:  please visit chelsea’s site, FB, blog, etsy shop + show the love!

listening to:

led zeppelin by led zeppelin

girls by beastie boys

my friends ROCK: bryce widom

December 11, 2013

when one thinks of beautiful boulder, colorado, some of the following may come to mind:  a grand view of the flat irons, smiling faces, street musicians, runners, a quaint image of an outdoor mall, yogis, the scent of incense and cannabis, gardens, farmers markets, cairns, more runners, children wearing tu-tus and wearing fairy wings, wonderful restaurants, pups, drool-worthy breweries…and drool-worthy breweries with gorgeous chalkboards.

yes, chalkboards. you know, the ones that change seasonally and usually feature whimsical dream or fantasy settings.  and gorgeous, exotic women.  [it’s funny, but before i even met the artist himself, the works of art at the mountain sun and southern sun breweries seemed to have kept me coming back more than the beer!]

the maiden

“the maiden” – vine street pub in denver 2010

behind those beautiful chalkboards is an ultra-talented artist whose name is bryce widom.

bryce is a dreamer, believer, father, husband, martial artist, and a true, passionate creative.  his talents are sought out by many businesses and companies, as well as by private collectors – local or not.  i absolutely love the genius of impermanence with his chalkboard art.  hours upon hours of intricate work can easily be wiped clean in a matter of minutes, making it very fragile in an art sense.  [don’t fret, prints are available!]  local hot spots have also claimed his hand at executing lovely menus and other signage.  he may be one of the few people who can rival me at the beautiful handwriting game.  :)

menu at piece love and chocolate in downtown boulder, co

menu at piece love and chocolate in downtown boulder, co

smithklein gallery recently picked up on bryce’s talents and featured him as the resident artist for the month of november.  his oil and acrylic paintings [that aren’t easily erased] are still on display and available for purchase at the fine downtown gallery.

riches embraced

“riches embraced” – oil on canvas

so, as the first feature in my “my friends ROCK” series, i would like to express my deepest appreciation of bryce widom’s work.  i’m in awe of his talents.  his eye.  his love of the land.  the visions.  the dreams.  and his love of his number one muse.  i am proud to have a special widom print framed and hanging in my bedroom…one that i have interpreted in my own way, staring down at me every single day.

here she is:

"wintersea" - mountain sun 2013

“wintersea” – mountain sun in boulder 2013

thank you, bryce!  you ROCK!


PS:  please visit bryce’s site, shop, and FB and show the love!


listening to:

dervish by govinda

white rabbit by jefferson airplane

my friends ROCK

December 10, 2013

i love to support handmade + grass-roots + hometown artists/entrepreneurs when i can.  there is just something that feels FABULOUS about giving your hard-earned cash to someone who makes/does their craft with care + passion!

i have always been in absolute AWE over the talented friends that i have all over this wonderful earth.  from musicians to painters to builders to those in the healing arts to dreamers, i feel so completely blessed to know such creative, determined, confident + unique individuals.  you inspire me every single day!  thank you from the bottom of my quirky, crafty heart.

over the next week or so, i will be featuring my friends who i think are ultra-talented + rock at life.  presenting the “my friends ROCK” series…


my friends ROCK

listening to:

a cabinet of curiosities by jane’s addiction [wow, this album is RAD]

pendulum by haywyre

print your heart out

October 10, 2013

one of my dearest friends + bad-ass creative extraordinaire, chelsea linsley, just launched her new website….and a new etsy shop!!  take a look at her sexy site HERE.

in her shop [which goes by her name – chelsea linsley], she is bringing her design services to an extremely accessible point via digital templates, printables, and patterns.  you can print your own stationery, cards, use the designs for anything you can dream up!, and if you’re savvy in photoshop/illustrator, she also offers pre-made branding packages with vector files, media icons, and fonts.  chelsea be adding new goodies often, so be sure to favorite her shop and check back often!

hint:  if you sign up for her newsletters [sign up via her website], receive a coupon code for a shop discount!  also, find her on facebook HERE.

here is one of my favorites of her new items:  a printable halloween invite!  clever!  and CUTE!


we’re up all night for good fun….

we’re up all night to get SPOOKY!

here are some of chelsea’s other rad offerings:

chelsea wave

chelsea yoga

chelsea media icons


listening to:

get lucky by daft punk

somebody’s watching me by rockwell

so clutch

October 8, 2013


fucking RAD.
in LOVE.

tiger rose wooden clutch by Tesler + Mendelovitch



listening to:

undertow by tool
unicorn by chew lips