Celebrating Colorful People in the World

Susie and I attended a wine tasting event in Englewood at One Barrel Restaurant. So fun!
Leonardo da Vinci exhibit at the Museum of Science and Nature in Denver.
De Vinci wrote in reverse, a mirror image of the words. Here is his alphabet.
Inventor, thinker
I had no idea of his varied genius. I thought mostly of his paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. (Which turned out to be Michaelangelo instead) But he was dynamic in so many areas!
Hmmm…
Painter, The Annunciation
Gigantic Crossbow, with The Ideal City in the background.
The Ideal City model, built with tiers for different parts of life. Da Vinci’s ideal city idea came about after the plague had ravaged Milan, killing off nearly a third of the city’s population. Leonardo wanted to design a city that would be more united, with greater communications, services and sanitation to prevent the future spread of such diseases.
His ideal city integrated a series of connected canals, which would be used for commercial purposes and as a sewage system. The city would feature lower and upper areas – the lower being canals for tradesmen and travelers and the upper being roads for “gentleman”.
He invented many versions of flying apparatus.
The triangle cone shaped structure toward the right, is a parachute.
Another version of a flying machine
Vitruvian Man
According to Leonardo’s preview in the accompanying text, written in mirror writing it was made as a study of the proportions of the (male) human body as described in Vitruvius’ De architectura 3.1.2–3, which reads: “For the human body is so designed by nature that the face, from the chin to the top of the forehead and the lowest roots of the hair, is a tenth part of the whole height; the open hand from the wrist to the tip of the middle finger is just the same; the head from the chin to the crown is an eighth, and with the neck and shoulder from the top of the breast to the lowest roots of the hair is a sixth; from the middle of the breast to the summit of the crown is a fourth”.
Insightful!
Early scuba diver outfit
Sketches of the human body
The Anatomical Manuscript B is kept at the Royal Library at Windsor Castle. In it he made a number of pen-and-ink drawings recording his observations while dissecting an old man who had died in a hospital in Florence in the winter of 1507-08
The notebooks, which date between 1452 and 1519, contain incredibly detailed images of the human body
He would dissect dead human remains and then draw what he saw. Dissection was completely illegal unless one was a physician, which da Vinci was not. It is believed that da Vinci would get grave robbers, and eventually a hospital director to get him cadavers to study. da Vinci hid all of this anatomical drawings and kept them secret because of the illegal nature of what he was doing. He was able to identify not only muscles and bones, but also their functions in the body, which was an incredible breakthrough. He dissected bodies illegally at first, but eventually got special permission from the catholic church to dissect and sketch what he learned for a medical book. 
The Mona Lisa is his most famous and most parodied portrait.
We attended a beautiful wedding for a close family friend. Kristine Bachicha and Caleb Hintz were married in a lovely outdoor garden at The Chateaux at Fox Meadows.
Kristine Bachicha Hintz and her beautiful mom, Lisa!
Michael, Bob Bachicha (father of the bride) and Shannon Wood. Buddies for many years.
Charlie’s angels coming off the dance floor, Lisa and Susie!
Josh Bachicha, Kasey and Lauren at the reception.
Lisa, Mason and Sadie Wood enjoying the evening!
Nikki and Lisa Wood, looking as lovely as ever!
Kasey and Michael in the garden.
Nikki and Susie relishing the details of the ceremony.
Mason is entertaining Shannon and Michael before the reception.
Kasey looking gorgeous with her newly cut bangs!
Susie with her sunbrella, happy to be at the event!
Beautiful!
Nikki, in her goddess dress! Fabulous!
And her trademark laugh!
So gorgeous! Congratulations to both families!

The Magic of Inspiration arrives in practical ways

I saw this mirror on Restoration Hardware’s website and decided to upgrade my mirror to look similar.
How it looked originally…
A couple coats of spray paint and sandpaper distressing and this is how it turned out. I like it!
And this cool ornate mirror always reminded me of Indonesian style…
But after adding vibrant Turquoise paint and some distressing, it became this fun tribal artifact.
My garden boxes look great and are flourishing in their new space on the shed. However, the water runs straight through the basket and ends up on the ground. I decided to use these old galvanized buckets as planters to catch the recycled water and brighten up the area below the garden baskets.
I drilled holes in the bottom for drainage…
I planted a Clematis vine and some annuals in each bucket and they look fresh and colorful under the baskets.
One on each side of the shed door…
Looks great!
And anther bigger bucket under the hanging basket by the back porch.
When I replaced the hardwood floors in the kitchen in 2012, I found these 1938 vintage newspaper pages being used as insulation.
They are beat up, but the articles, ads and comics fun to read.
Inspiration comes in unexpected places. I’m learning to listen to my heart and hear what it’s telling me. My work is ongoing, but I feel more balanced and clearer than ever before. We all struggle and fall and crumble sometimes. Let’s recognize the humanity in us all. Give freely, the support you so desperately need in your own life at times. Smile at people, say something positive, give them a hand. It’s so simple and so needed.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” -Leonardo da Vinci

When I was little, I did what my parents told me to do. Then I went to school and did what the teachers told me told do. I got a job and did what my boss told me to do. Today, I do what I want to do and I love it!

This miniature Rose was given to me by Susie, in April. It was beautiful but very quickly dropped all it’s leaves and looked dead. I put it in my bone yard with the rest of my pots.
A week later, I start to see new growth! So, I planted it in one of my gardens to see if it would come back.
Look at it today! Blooming in it’s new place!
Do you know Dragonflies eat mosquitos? This one is feasting on Aphids!
I found this mirror in storage. I like it, but it’s dark and heavy looking. I got inspiration from a pic I saw online and decided to paint and distress it.
First coat of paint. I used an off White chalk spray paint.
This ornamental mirror was also being stored and feels outdated with the Cherry colored stain.
Deciding on what color to paint over the Cherry stain. I went with the darker one.
First coat of Turquoise spray paint.
Being single, I generally eat Al Fresco. And when I do entertain, I like to offer a selection of tapas or finger foods so guests can make a meal of flavors they like. I try to stick with healthy menu items and have been able to redirect me attention to cooking more since I’m home more. I definitely eat better!
My niece Lauren, came over to do some cooking this week. We’re assembling some vegetarian salads for lunch and learning how to do some basics.
Another light evening meal.
Simple is better. I spent many years building my life. More money, more stuff, more stress. Once I achieved what I thought was “success”, I started to get rid of all the stuff I surrounded myself with. Now, I love knowing I don’t need stuff to be happy. In fact, the more stuff I get rid of, the lighter and freer I feel.

“I am convinced, both by faith and experience, that to maintain one’s self on this earth is not a hardship but a pass time, if we live simply and wisely” 
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden

The Simple Farmhouse Cabin that Exposed my Hidden Courage

Late Fall of 2000, I bought my first house in Gunnison, CO. Palisades rock formation in the far right background.
More of a farmhouse cabin, really. It had Yellow painted log siding, cinder block and brick exterior base walls, screened in porch, mud room, 3 bed 1 bath.
Dreary looking when I first got my hands on it. But it had some good potential and I was aching to fix it up!
The house sat on 2 lots, giving me some out buildings, stables and corral, a detached garage, a large garden area and tons of extra space.
Corral and stables beyond the yard.
The detached garage had a couple small windows, which I later enlarged and turned the garage into a studio. I rented out all the rooms in the house and moved myself into the studio.
Next door is a historic old school house.
The interior had Oak floors. My 2 cats Dutch (Tabby) and Camille (calico), were given to me by Susie as a house warming gift.
Pine tongue and groove paneling throughout, a wood burning fireplace.
Original built in cabinets. The ceiling was some kind of paneling without the standard aluminum grid.
Living area near the front door.
Largest bedroom
The kitchen and bathroom were outdated, so my then-boyfriend, Kurt helped me do a very basic remodel on a very limited budget.
Apparently, I had enough wine corks to do a back splash behind the original farmhouse sink.
I tiled the counter top, painted over the residual adhesive on the bottom half of the back splash, added some shelves, painted the original cabinets and added Black hardware to make this old kitchen feel brighter and cleaner.
Super rustic and super inexpensive to do!
I painted the foundation rustic Red, added a rooster weather vane, took down old metal fencing around the house, cut down weeds and took the screen off the porch to open it up.
1 year after moving in, I got a new puppy, Foxy Girl. My roommate got one of Foxy’s sister’s at the same time and named her Mariposa. This is THAT day and we are both so happy!
Spring time in Gunnison is potentially more exciting than in other places. When you live in an area that gets as cold as 30 below zero and snows crazy amounts that sticks around until June, a reprieve is so very welcome! The city turns on a water ditch that flow through the town, but until it’s turned on late May or June, we hand water.
Green begins to show up. This deck was already there and gets used through out the whole year.
Mature trees and gardens appear.
A simple sitting area against the house, protected from wind and out of view from the street.
Colorado summers are the best!
I set up some seating spots in the yard for entertaining friends when they stop by.
Beautiful old Aspen tree with flowers in the garden below.
With the city ditch turned on, Poppies bloom in a cluster. I also added some trees for privacy and shade. The rock to the right of the pic is a piece of petrified wood.
Foxy Girl enjoying the beautiful summer day on the grass
After taking the screen off the upper part of the porch, its seems breezy and welcoming. A perfect place to park your bicycle.
A Progressive Bicycle Party, ending at my house. All my girlfriends gathered to celebrate another summer in Colorado!