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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Just another day in Paradise. . .

Hello hello! Hope everyone is doing well, and enjoyed their Easter!  We didn't plan on doing anything, but, we were invited to celebrate Easter with the person were staying with and his family, so we enjoyed a beautiful day filled with delicious food and Awesome company!  We have been staying busy here and hopefully will have some new stuff ready to put on etsy in a few days.  If you haven't checked it out recently we added some new jewelry and hummingbird feeders!!  

and this one isn't up yet, but I will be adding this new sculpture as well
as always, click the pic for a larger view.

Other than working hard and enjoying the California weather, not much new has been going on here.  Hope everyone is having a good week so far, and my thoughts go out to those battling the floods and tornadoes...Spring is definitely coming in like a Lion....hopefully the May flowers will be extra beautiful this year.

JR and Kiley

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter Everyone!!! We are here in Atascadero, missing our friends and family like crazy! Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday, and spending time with some beautiful, smiling faces.  Not a lot has been going on here in the past few days except work work work!!! So its Picture Blog day! =)
^  this is Caleb, JR and Joey after a long nights work, the night we arrived in PHX

JR doing late night Demo at Cloud Nine smoke shop in Phoenix
The owners of Cloud Nine Mike and Steve, with JR and on the counter, behind them, barely visible, are the pieces the picked up while we were in town. 

Demo #2 with Josh Hamra!  This one is at Herb N Legend in Phoenix, Josh on the torch with JR watching

During the demo at herb n legend--there was a good crowd, never to many people at once, but always a nice flow of peeps checking out what was going on, and asking questions.  

the bad ass sign the owner from Herb N Legend had printed and then gave us! Thanks Tim!!!

If your in the area check out BOTH of these shops! Great Variety, great prices, AND GREAT people!!! tell em Turtle glass sent ya =)

while we were staying in Poway Kiley went down to a park a few blocks away with the dogs, and snapped a few pics... A tree.

The Park had a little train track running through it and you can take little rides around the park, its cute.

This is at Camp Comfort in Ojai, CA.  We were the only people there the whole week!  Our spot by the river was AMAZING!!!  You could hear the water flowing over the rocks, and around dusk the sound of frogs and crickets was almost deafening.  Definitely something I could listen to forever =)  We were also so lucky to listen to an owl hoot throughout the night, and we both caught a little glimpse of it as well.   

Ryan and JR in Ojai (LOVE Ojai)

my fortune/life motto =)

here we are Atasacadero, with an amazingly beautiful view and great company!

To get a better view of any of the pictures CLICK on it, and it will open a new window with the big picture =)
Happy Easter! Enojy, 
JR and Kiley

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day Everyone!!!!

Not a lot has really happened since yesterday...We got some work done, hung out with Jason, and cooked dinner.  Typical evening in our house hold =)   I'm just trying to get into the groove of trying to update daily (semi-daily).  SO I guess the highlight of the night last night was when Kiley (who Loves coffee, but is OBSESSED with iced coffee) tried her hand at a cold-brew coffee recipe.  Here is the recipe she altered:

Cold-Brewed Ice Coffee
Adapted from The New York Times
Yield: Two drinks
1/3 cup ground coffee (medium-coarse grind is best)
Milk (optional)
1. In a jar, stir together coffee and 1 1/2 cups water. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight or 12 hours.
2. Strain twice through a coffee filter, a fine-mesh sieve or a sieve lined with cheesecloth. In a tall glass filled with ice, mix equal parts coffee concentrate and water, or to taste. If desired, add milk.

What she actually did was ground a ton of beans, which turned into about 2-3 cups of grinds (yes i realize 2-3 is a large range, but she forgot how many cups she used lol and was SUPPOSED to use 2)  She put all the ground coffee into a clean milk jug (1 gal.) then filled with water, shake, and stuck it in the fridge for approx 12 hours...probably longer.  Shaking every so often.  She strained it by using a regular coffee pot and filter and just poured it directly over the filter, stuck it in the pot and let it filter into the coffee pot.  It took awhile, and about 3 filters but we now have delicious cold coffee on demand =)  She bought Torani sugar free Caramel and Chocolate flavoring syrups, and took a large cup half filled with ice, poured cold coffee over ice leaving about an inch of space from top of the cup, added about 3  "lid-fulls"  (she uses the lid from the syrup as her measuring object)  of caramel syrup and filled rest of the way with milk and stir.  mmmmmm delicious!! Especially now since its warm enough in the morning that hot coffee is to hot,but cold coffee hits the spot =)  
an advanced warning:
cold coffee is very easy to drink quickly, it is apparently more concentrated than regular coffee
you will get the shakes if you consume several glasses! or 1 large on very quickly.

Also just as an FYI, if you are not a daily coffee drinker, this coffee mix is supposed to stay good in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, but it will last about 3 days here =)  I'm not sure, but I would imagine the flavor would not be the best after 2 weeks, but what do i know?  SO....grab your grinder and start brewing!!  While your waiting for the 12 hours to pass, read this article:::its about the creator of Earth Day.  Its a nice article, and I think it deserves recognition.  Since it is kind of long I copied my favorite part =)

"The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the other way around." Our wealth and economic well-being as a nation is dependent on ample supplies of clean water, clean air, and productive farms and forests, managed in a way that doesn't mortgage the future for short-term, ill-begotten gains today.

I ask you to remember this lesson from my father: in ways small or large, individual action matters, we as individuals have the power to change the world in often unimaginable ways. And please, make every day Earth Day.

--Tia Nelson is the daughter of Gaylord Nelson, the former Wisconsin governor and senator who founded Earth Day in 1970. Nelson died in July 2005 at age 89.

I hope everyone was able to go outside at least for a moment today and take some time to delight in the beauty that surrounds you, and discover the wonders of nature =)

Our natural world is alive with beauty and wonder.    It's important for
our peace of mind and our enthusiasm for life to love the world we live in
and care for the earth and all living things.                  
- Unknown                                                             
Enjoy today,
JR and Kiley


Hello everyone!! We were posted up in Ojai, CA and there was almost no internet signal, so no updates!  I left off when we were in Phoenix.  We spent some time with family, which was so nice!  It is always great meeting new people, but familiar faces are a nice touch of home =)  As we were leaving the flagstaff area we weren't really sure if there were going to be any glass blowers to visit in the area, since we hadn't really heard from anyone.  We got a message from an artist named Joey, who set up a place for us to park, and said we could come hang out for a few days.  We met up with Joey and Caleb at Caleb's shop. He has a new shop in his house where they both work. They are awesome guys and taught me a few things :) Joey hooked us up with Mike and Steve at Cloud Nine Smoke shop and they let us camp in front of their store for the weekend. I did a live glass blowing demo for them the next night, and was the first time I had ever done that. They picked up some glass for their store as well. Caleb then hooked us up with Tim @ Herb-N-Legend smoke shop . Who talked me into doing a live demo at his store as well :) He called up a local artist named Josh Hamra, who is really talented and super kind. We made a collab piece in the parking lot in our RV/ mobile studio. Herb-N-Legend also picked up some of our art so Kiley now has some work in a shop as well. We had a great pizza dinner with my grandma @ a crazy organ pizza place, and rolled out towards San Diego to meet my sister and for My birthday. We went to the dog beach at Ocean beach and Had a Delicious sushi dinner with my sister and her husband on my birthday. We spent the rest of the time working in the mobile studio at a friends house in Poway, CA. On the last day before we had to leave we went to Balboa Park which is a giant park with several museums, gardens, and art displays.  When we first arrived we walked up to a group of people standing out side the cultural arts building.  There were several people with large drums, as well as several girls dressed in work out type clothes.  As we walked up the drummers began playing a tribal sounding beat and all the girls started jumping around in a dance routine!  It was fun to watch for a few moments, and then we continued on past a huge playground and up the road past a rose garden as well as cactus garden.  My sister gave us free passes that got us into a bunch of the museums, that she and her husband had got for volunteering.  We would have LOVED to visit all the museums and gardens but we only had time for a few.  We first stopped at the San Diego Museum of Natural History.  Kileys camera unfortunately dies as soon as we got there, so no pictures =(  She was pretty bummed.  There was a gem and mineral exhibit going on so of course we spent quite a while in there =)  We moved on to the Museum of photography next, then walked around the Spanish village art center.  We went to the botanical building, but unfortunately they were closing and we only had about 5 minutes to walk through quickly.  We strolled through the park enjoying the free entertainment as well.  There was a magician, a "clown" dressed up doing balancing tricks and crowd jokes, some girls trying to raise money for a trip, singing songs, a group of kids having a dance off, a man playing the didjeridoo with beat keeper shaker things attached to his ankles (very cool) and much more!  We finished our trip at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, we had so much fun here!!  Definitely fun for kids AND adults who act like kids =)  We spent the most amount of time in this museum, and I would highly recommend it!  We ended the night with some fish tacos at a pizza place with my sister and her husband, came home, packed up the shop and left the next morning.  We stopped at camping world to get a oil change before we rolled out for Ojai. The first night in Ojai we met Ryan in town and he showed us a parking lot where we could park for the night. We had a welcome beer at a local bar and was it nice to see a familiar face.  Ojai is a tiny town just north of LA, but feel like another country! Its was hard to believe we were still in southern California!  It had a very "tight-knit"  small town feel, which I noticed immediately when we went to get some fresh air after our beer and came back in to full beers, on the house! We got up early at got to a quiet little camp ground called camp comfort. We were the only campers all week :) We camped next to the creek and the sounds of the frogs reminded me of home, there was an owl that we kept hearing and even got lucky enough to catch a couple glimpses of it in the trees and flying around. Ryan just opened a shop in Ojai in a Warehouse space. It has lots of room for growth. I helped him install his ventilation fan the first day I was there. Ojai is like no other town I have ever been to.  Its like a town from a movie!  It has a very vintage feel as you walk through, but when you go through the stores that cluster the downtown area, its easy to see it is a very modern, new-age type town.  There are no fast food places, or chains restaurants or stores, all local and lots of organic fresh everything.  The people were so welcoming! Everyone wanted to hear our story, and had so many questions.  They let us into their tribe and made us feel like family while we were there, and we are so thankful!   Ryan was super kind while we were there and We got a lot of work done and visited Georgios for scooners a lot as well. We also attended a champaign brunch next to a orange grove with some very kind cool people. We almost didn't want to leave Ojai, but there is so much to be explored still, so we moved onward =). Now we are in Atascadero California at Jason Sparks Studio. He hooked us up with a spot to camp right next to his studio.  And has been very gracious so far!  We have been here a few day, got the shop set up, camper unpack, mailed some stuff (etsy sales YAY!!!) and starting to get some work done.  Hopefully since we are in a spot with internet I will be able to keep the blog updated more often!  So now, BACK TO WORK!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

California Love ~

Wellll, it looks like I'm a bad blogger =( I have been SoOoOo busy lately its been impossible to keep up with everything!!!  Last time I posted we were still in Cottonwood, AZ--So much has happened since then lol I don't even know where to start!  I supposed I'll fill everyone in on then till now hehe.

SO I already wrote about our visit to the GC and our original trip down Oak Creek Canyon, as well as our day in Jerome, so I suppose that leaves us on our 2nd trip to Oak creek Canyon (Tuesday March 29th).  We had originally planned on doing a few of the better known, easy oak creek canyon hikes during our visit, but we got a late start that day, and as soon as we headed up the trail the weather started looking gloomy.  We wanted to get started earlier, but we didn't actually leave to head to the top of oak creek canyon (near Flagstaff) until around 2:30 in the afternoon and made a few random stops along the way, so we got to the top around 4:15.  At the top there is a little outlook area where there are several stands with Native American crafts set up, mostly Jewelry, and a few other odds and ends (belt buckle, statues).  We are both big fans of Native American Jewelry so of course we had to stop and take a look around.  After browsing, we walked around the outlook, and could see all the way back down the canyon!  It was crazy to see the road we drove to get up to the top winding around curves and through thick patches of trees, and eventually disappearing into the canyon.  The view from the top is beautiful, but the ride back down was breathtaking!  All the houses along the creek are beautiful--talk about jealous!-- and it was so peaceful hearing the sound of the water flowing over the rocks and down the mountain, the smell of spring was definitely in the air!  Since we got such a late start the Slide Rock State Park was actually closing right as we were about to pull in, so being the rebels we are, we parked a little ways away, hiked a short trail and climbed down some rocks down to the "slide" of Slide Rock State Park.  AND-so glad we did!  It is such a beautiful area!!  Over time the creek has etched away the red rock creating a natural "slide" in the rocks.  They say in the hot summer months this place is packed full and sometimes hard to get into, but since it was cool, and almost closing time, there were only about 3 other people there.  It was a little chilly, but I was curious about how cold the water was FREEZING!... but I'm sure would feel nice in the summer.  Had we been here in the summer, I doubt I would  have taken a trip down the slide.  Its a very narrow shoot carved into rock...I can not imagine it is a smooth ride, actually I would image it a s kind of painful and possibly damaging to swim wear, unless you a small child--BUT--it was a great spot for pictures =)  and of course we got some....
This one is from the top where we hiked down 

the white water that ends at the left side of this picture is the "slide"

Such a beautiful place!! I wish we could have stayed longer, but the park was closed, and the sun was starting to go down, so we climbed back up the wall, up the trail and hit the road.  We decided to stop in Sedona, and do some window shopping.  We stopped and got some ice cream =) and sat on a patio looking out at the beautiful red rock scenery, soaking up the evening sun.  The gloomy weather had passed quickly, and the evening was warm and the streets of Sedona were full.  We stopped into several stores admiring all the unique  art, and red dirt dyed cloths and bags.  Some of our favorite things (and obviously, everyone else's) were the Indian Jewelry and Kachina dolls.  I say everyone else's because they were in almost every store on the main strip.  It was so much fun looking at the hundreds of different styles from the different artists. Each piece of jewelry is unique and every doll has its own personality.  After avoiding the temptation to to buy anything at any of the stores, I finally decided to purchase a ring.  It is a sterling silver ring with tigers eye, jasper, onyx, and opal stones.  And the lady even gave me a lil discount, which always sweetens the deal =)  By this time we had browsed most of the stores on the main strip and they remaining one were closed so we headed back to the campground.

We had some GREAT neighbors at the campground for a few of the days we were there.  They were from New Mexico, and were on a mini vacation.  The husband is a colon cancer survivor, as well as living with Parkinson's for the past 15 years.  He built custom classic cars, and carved BEAUTIFUL walking sticks.  We had a campfire one night, and they invited us for wine another night.  We had a great time and definitely enjoyed the company =)

On Thursday, we went to several of the Sedona Vortex's.  Here is sone Vortex information, found from this  website:

There are several energy centers, or vortexes of subtle energy, located in the Sedona area. (In Sedona, the energy centers are referred to as vortexes rather than vortices.)  The energy from these vortexes saturates the whole area in and around Sedona, and can be noticed in a subtle but general way anywhere around town.  If you actually go to one of the vortex sites, which is where the energy is strongest, it can be a very uplifting experience.  The energy you take in at one of these energy centers can stay with you and affect you positively for days afterwards.

In addition to being a beautiful and serene place, Sedona has long been known as a spiritual power center. This is because the power that emanates from the vortexes produces some of the most remarkable energy on the planet. This energy is the reason Sedona is full of people that are "on the path", that is, people who have made a commitment to grow and become as much as they can spiritually. It is also the reason that such a large New Age community has sprung up in the Sedona area, bringing with it a variety of spiritual practices and alternative healing modalities
The vortexes in Sedona are swirling centers of subtle energy coming out from the surface of the earth. The vortex energy is not exactly electricity or magnetism, although it does leave a slight measurable residual magnetism in the places where it is strongest.
There are four main energy vortexes in Sedona. The subtle energy that exists at these locations interacts with who a person is inside. The energy resonates with and strengthens the Inner Being of each person that comes within about a quarter to a half mile of it. This resonance happens because the vortex energy is very similar to the subtle energy operating in the energy centers inside each person. If you are at all a sensitive person, it is easy to feel the energy at these vortexes.

Ok, so that was easier than trying to explain myself what a vortex is =)  We went to the Airport Mesa and hiked around, first up to the outlook point, then around the airport trail.  Here are a few pics, 
the small "bell" shaped one on the Right is Bell rock, from Airport Mesa.

This is all of Sedona, you can barley tell its there, it blend so well!

After leaving airport mesa, we headed to Bell rock.  It was a GORGEOUS day!! The sun was shining bright, hardly a cloud in sight, and it was a nice warm 85 degrees, PERFECT motorcycle riding day!  There were TONS of bikes on the road! ---I would like to take a moment to  say it is motorcycle season, and taking a few extra seconds to take a second look may save lives of our loved ones. Give us our fair share of the roadway!!  Take an extra second to look for could save my life, Thank you!--  Since it was so warm we didn't hike all the way up the bell, but we seen a couple people hike all the way to the top of one of the columns.  here are a few pix:

What a fun day!  After leaving bell rock we rode around on the motorcycle for a bit more and then headed over to Tlaquepaque shopping center.  Unfortunately most of the shops were closed, (the stores in Sedona all close before 8pm! most at 6 or 7!)  but we were still able to enjoy the beautiful surroundings, (with hardly anyone to get in our way haha!)  There were tons of beautiful metal sculptures and and large Water fountains everywhere.  We went into an amazing art glass store and a rings store, where Kiley decided she needed a new ring lol, most of the shops there were pricey so we went back to one of the stores we stopped in the day before and she got a sterling silver ring with a big turquoise chunk, with silver inlay running through it.  After doing our lil shopping stop we went back to airport mesa to catch the sunset.  We got there just as the sun went behind the rocks, and a few people were leaving, but the show was just beginning! We got some great pictures of sunset over Sedona.

these pictures look much better full size, so click to enlarge!!!

Kiley should be posting more pics from our Sedona/Cottonwood trip.  As for now, I'm tired and this post is pretty long.  Tomorrow i'll write about our time in  Phoenix and so far in California.  Hope everyone enjoyed their week, Happy Friday everyone =)
JR and Kiley