Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Inspiracion de Robert Brady

Inspiration.  What is it?  Something that can be googled?  Something found on Pinterest?  Something that you have to schedule in to find?  To me finding inspiration is a pure moment that cannot be forced nor forgotten, something I think many of us tend to forget.

When I was twenty years old (more than a few years back), I packed up my bags and spent part of my summer living in Mexico while studying the Spanish language and the Mexican culture.  I lived in a tiny, tiny village called Tepotzlan which is just south of Mexico City.  It was my first extended trip out of the country and a life changing experience for me.  

We would often grab a cab or take the bus to the neighboring, and larger, city of Cuerna Vaca.  It was there that I experienced my first earthquake, actually!  But more importantly, inspiration ran straight into me there.  
On a school day trip, we visited la casa y museo de Robert Brady.
Born in Ohio, Robert Brady studied fine arts, traveled the world and begin collecting.  He collected art that spoke to him, art that represented the places he saw, art that would surround his home in Cuerna Vaca where he settled down in the early sixties.
Once inside of his house, I never wanted to leave.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I had to be forced to leave!
These are the actual photos I took while touring through.  I'd have to wait for everyone to leave the room, snap my pictures and then would take in every. single. thing.
For me it was the vivid colors, the organized collections, the representations from ALL over the world, the perfection.  The everything.
I often think of this house and how I felt while there.  It inspired me but it also touched me deeply.  Can a house do that?  It did to me.  
Should you ever find yourself in central Mexico and need something to do (happens often, eh? ;) visit Cuerna Vaca and take in the collections and color that Robert Brady left for us.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Screw You, Billy Idol!

Ok, not really but kinda.  

A few years back your family fave, Billy Idol, came to town.  A large group of my friends bought tickets to go see the blonde Brit at the ol' Lady on Brady.  It was a pretty good show until Mr. Idol starting playing music from his Christmas album.  What?!   Billy Idol Christmas music?!  In protest, myself and m'lady April decided to walk around, get a drink, whatever, just get away from the holiday tunes.  

During our jaunt, we ended up sharing air space with a rather loud, portly man on his cell phone speaking as though he were someone important.  Once he hung up, I asked him (in a rather smart-ass way) if he were with the band or something.  Turns out he was their bus driver.  We all talked for a bit and he ended up swearing up and down, left and right that if we met him near the bus after the show he would introduce us and our other lady friends to Billy himself.

We returned to our friends and immediately told them about our fortune but nobody believed us and nobody was interested in giving the meeting a try...except for me.  After the concert, the ladies headed to the buses where HUNDREDS of people were crowding around.  The menfolk we came to the show with kept calling us over and over, ready to leave.  We were beginning to get mighty discouraged when someone tapped me on the shoulder.  It was the bus driver.  Apparently we were looking for him on the wrong side of the bus.  He had hunted us down and took us riiiiiiiight by Mr. Idol's chariot.  

We waited a few more minutes when suddenly, the bus door opened and the short, ripped, blonde wailer appeared and came straight to us.  He complimented my sister's and my teeth and then glanced down at my ladies and proclaimed "Those are nice!!!" in his perfect accent.  I've never been more proud of my bosom ;) Between the four of us, we had one camera with 1% of battery left which left us with this glorious photo...with the bus driver leering in the background.
Immediately after the photo Billy went wild.  With a Sharpie.  He signed everything and anything that wouldn't run away.  Any article of clothing near him, wallets, purses and I'm pretty sure he would have signed my 'teeth' if I had let him.

Long story short, er, long story longer, when he signed the back of my new but cheap tank top, this is what I ended up with.  Chicken scratch.  He signed my shirt with it allllll bunched up while standing behind me either before or after that picture was taken.  
In a fit of crafting fury one night, I cut off the bottom of the shirt to use as a lining and have since been left with the illegible top and I just can't haven't been able to throw it away.  Until now.
I decided that writing about the experience and publicly shaming Billy on his penmanship would be all the documentation I would need of the evening.  So now, I can throw away the top half of that shirt that I *swear* was signed by Billy Idol...unless you have any better ideas... 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Four of Those Outfits: Black & White & Red All Over

Hello my dear friends!  My apologies for my absence!  I know you've just been DYING to see what I wore for the last week of school, haven't you?!  Well, after a rather rough week, I ended up completely throwing my back out to the point where I couldn't drive for three days and was literally stuck in bed.  This has happened once before but didn't take me out as badly as this bout has.  I'm still rather stiff and am relying on the mister and my family to help me with random things but at least I'm upright now!  

The last week of classes is always bittersweet.  I look forward to the free time again (although,  I always immediately fill it with other stuff ;) but I miss my students and time in the classroom SO much!  This semester was no exception and I'm already missing the grand group I shared three months with.
Monday I wore a dress I've had since college from who knows where, necklace and earrings a gift from my dad from a trip to South Africa, jacket/shirt stolen borrowed from my sister and my trusty ol hooker boots.
Tuesday, well Tuesday was a doosey.  While at school that day, I learned of the passing of an old family friend that completely threw me for a loop.  It was the straw that broke the camel's back.  I powered through classes after shedding some mighty tears and continued through the day.  My photos were devoid of smiles but at least we got some photos ;)  I wore a dress I picked up from a half-price sale of a store I've been shopping at for WAY too long - Cheap Thrills.  The scarf was a gift from my sister a few years ago, earrings were self-made, boots from Target and tights from who-knows-where.
I rallied on Wednesday for the first batch of the last day of classes - Speaking.  I LOVE the last day of speaking because we have an awards ceremony where the students have to come up with quick, impromptu acceptance speeches!  Hearing how they reflect upon the class and all that they've learned is truly rewarding.
I've had this dress since high school and back then, I actually had my grandma take the sleeves off to make into a teeny-tiny shirt that I used to wear clubbing!  There's photographic evidence of that somewhere ;)  It seems I've always had the sleeves chopped off of old dresses!  I've lost count of how many holes I've sewed up in this puppy.  I warmed it up with a long Express black button up, Target belt, vintage earrings brought back from Prague by my pops, Gap tights and the Dallas Cowboy cheerleader estate sale boots!
Thursday was the end of Writing and Grammar where testing was the theme for the day.  While boring to observe, testing gives me lots of opportunities to get grading and other busy work done.
I wore a skirt from the great beyond, vintage shirt from Cheap Thrills, sweater cardigan from Gap, and those killer vintage boots I still can't believe that I have.
With school over and all grades now turned in (the ONE thing I could do while laid up was grade!) I'm focusing all of my energy on Alliday!  If you'd like to stay up to date on its progress, you can connect on Facebook and follow our blog for artist profiles!  It's going to be a good one!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fuzzy Friday: Feline Therapy

My saving grace this week?  Home.  And some particularly fuzzy ladies.
 OFTEN these two ladies steal the beast's bed.  He will give it a look and crash on the floor beside them.  Such a gentleman.
 I can't even tell you how many photos I have of these two mirroring each other.  It always gets me more excited than it should :)
 And this little lady has fallen in love with the cat couch, one of the best silent auction items I've ever won.  
I truly believe that animals know when your sick or blue and know exactly how to make things a bit better - lots of fuzzy love.

Monday, November 14, 2011


The past few days have been laughably bad for me but yesterday took the cake.  Today is proving to be better but I'm still needing much positivity and uplifting so I've chosen to relive this past Sunday where my mister kidnapped me for a day trip to a part of Oklahoma I had only tiptoed on before.  

We awoke before sunrise, loaded up the car, packed up the beast and headed southeast for a much needed escape from normalcy on a stunning day.
After a few hours in the car, we found ourselves at Robbers Cave, a notorious hideout for many of the bad boys from Oklahoma's past including Belle Starr and Jesse James.    
We hiked and hiked all over the place!  In fact, my legs are STILL sore from it!  I was amazed how well the beast did traipsing along the giant boulders.  There were a few times he didn't quite make his jumps so we'd have to help his gigantic bum up or he'd start to slide down some of the rocks but he never gave up!  He was my motivation to keep on trucking. 
Standing atop the cave was breathtaking.  Standing atop the cave on a beautiful day with my mister and my beast was memorable, to say the least.
After exploring the cave portion, we found ourselves in the Stone Corral which is where the outlaws would hide and shelter their horses.  It amazed me to imagine horses climbing those huge rocks but I suppose if the beast could do it, so could they.

I was also floored by discovering that a bloggy friend, Kwill, on the other side of the country hiked and explored horse caves on the same day we did!  
And this.  This picture makes me so happy.
Since I wore a scarf around my neck and we were at Robbers Cave, it was only appropriate a shot like this was taken.
After a good while exploring, we perused the gift shop and nature center...complete with soft-shelled turtles and snakes galore!  The beast was even allowed to 'shop' with us :)
The park is situated on Lake Wayne Wallace (never heard of it?  Yeah, me neither) which I would love to come back and swim in during a camping stay.
Being as insanely busy and overwhelmed as I currently am, I told the mister that if we were to go on this trek, every bit of planning was up to him.  I was just along for the ride.  It was in the park where we dined on the most fantastic picnic lunch made by him...salads, sandwiches and Gardettos, a road trip staple for me.
The second part of our journey was planned to be spent driving across the Talimena Drive which is a long stretch of scenic highway on the top of the Ouachita Mountains, one of Oklahoma's three ranges.  Well, we made it about a quarter of a mile into the drive before I got a little overwhelmed by the combination of the height and the high winds so we snapped a few shots and back down to lower ground for scared ol' me.  Maybe another time...maybe.
But with our detour came an unexpected surprise - Spiro Mounds!  I had been to the mounds several years ago while volunteering with the Tulsa Foundation for Architecture on a fantastic 'Outlaws Tour' led by the famous Michael Wallis.  
Spiro Mounds is the ONLY prehistoric Native American site that the public can visit in Oklahoma.  It's amazing to me that such a civilization thrived there and that evidence of them remained hidden for thousands of years!
A replica of the village is slowly being rebuilt which you can mosey through to learn about how life was long before we can even imagine.
If you're needing to run away for a day, I highly, HIGHLY, recommend the trek we took.
I'm so thankful that the mister made me quit working for a bit (although I did bring a little work with me ;) and get out on the road.  It's a day I'll never forget.  We're already busy planning our next Okie day trip!
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