We drove up to Berthoud Pass on Saturday to ski, and ski we did. We brought all three dogs (we're still dogsitting Jemma), and tired them out by forcing them to keep up with us, on skis, in snow that was belly-deep. It was good for them.

Anyway, we'd planned to grill brats (and a veggie burger for me) post-ski. We set up shop in the parking lot; lounge chairs, plenty of Coors Lights, music blaring. We had this incredible view of the mountains, and with the exception of the occasional fellow skiier, there weren't that many people.

I happened to have my camera out when a truck and trailer pulled into the parking lot, drove right in front of the most magnificent view, and parked. An old cowboy got out and proceeded to unload his mule. (A mule! Remember how I'm obsessed with mules now?!) And then he proceeded to march his mule up and down in front of the perfect view. It's ironic how much work I put in trying to frame shots, all the time, every time I work with clients, and then boom, out of the blue some picturesque cowboy with some picturesque mule pulls up, parks and then does picturesque walking in front of the mountain vista.

Eventually, the cowboy and his mule (Boomer), came over for a visit. The cowboy told us about how he had Ridgebacks for many years. He called them Zing Dogs, Zippered Intelligent Noble Guardians. (You know, because the ridge is like a zipper). And he told us about one dog in particular, a dog named Anama Zing Dog. Which is the same thing as An Amazing Dog. Clever, that guy.

It was just one of those totally random yet fascinating encounters. And these are the photos that resulted from it:


Travel / a(part)

I just came across two photographers that I adore.
The first, Noran Bakrie, has an entire travel section on her website. I'm finding it particularly inspiring. Some of my favorites:

Also, I am enjoying Katie Shapiro's a(part)/together series.
Doesn't this remind you of how we used to braid our hair together?

We had a serendipitous run-in with an old cowboy and his mule today on Berthoud pass. I photographed it, so I will post those photos in the next day or two...


via the library parking lot

No pictures as of yet. I know, I should be lashed or something. Especially because when I do post pictures you will be in love...it's absolutely gorgeous here. BUT, I didn't want to seem like a total paparazzi upon arrival, plus I have been hard at work. Here's a list of a few things that have gone down so far: (I'm posting this via the library parking lot in town because they have free and fast wi fi but I'm starting to feel like I look a little sketchy so I'm gonna make this fast)

Lots of laughing at little Scarlet
Some soccer with little Gus
Some muddy poop mixture splashed in my face from Waldo who is constantly covered in the stuff
Constantly reminding Waldo that "no, you can't eat that!" High on his list are horse vitamins, horse grain, cat food, chickens, but mostly I find him digging into huge piles of poop.
Watering the cows
Watching Waldo get chased by cows
Watching Waldo get chased by goats
Watching Waldo get chased by roosters
Brushing the draft horses
Riding. So far it's been two ponies (Devon and Abe) and one old ropin' horse named Stitch
Participating in a Wendy Murdoch clinic (probably a whole post on the forthcoming)
sweeping the barn
mucking stalls
watering the arena
driving things to and fro on the four wheeler

Well, that seems like a good intro for now. Waldo is getting restless, and I need to find some food.


Una Settimana

Hard to believe that Day 1 of the trip will occur in just seven days. 
...and I'm not at all ready.  I guess that's what the next seven days are for.

How's Carbondale? I want to know everything.


into the yonder

After a number of false alarms and delays, today is the day I actually leave for my Carbondale adventure. Most of me is excited. It has serious potential to be fabulous. But there is part of me, admittedly, that is sort of freaking out. There are just so many unknowns and I am about to go plop myself in the middle of them. The fact that I have Waldo is proving to be a great comfort because there is no better icebreaker than a puppy, so I'm pretty thrilled that he gets to come along. He must be such a confused little guy, being uprooted every few weeks and all.

One thing I do know is that the internet service at the house is not so hot, but I'm going to try my darndest to keep up with regular posts. Here's hoping that my room doesn't look like this!


Mini Contribution

My contribution to the Mini Horse theme, also from my shoot on Saturday.

I'm really liking some of these... Maybe I should always be horribly hungover when I go on shoots?

Magdalene the Mule

I meant to post this yesterday, but the internet in my office hates me. This is Magdalene, a Mule from my photo shoot on Saturday. I'm newly infatuated with Mules; they're like horses but sillier.


fun with minis

Today I decided to focus on miniature horses for my daily Google search. I will be interacting with them for the first time really at my job in Carbondale, so I wanted to get an idea for what I will be dealing with. I think a great activity for the kids one day could be making a princess costume for one of the ponies.

Collaboration I

Evening photos of you & your blue wolf:

Hopefully video will be edited in the next few days, at which point I will also post that too.
What's Collaboration II gonna be?


Worth it

Sometimes it's totally worth it to get up for sunrise. These are new favorites.


Carpe Diem, etc

I know you're probably getting sick of hearing about The Trip, but I can't help it. Once I get started thinking about it, I can't stop. The whole trip is a result of this unignorable need I have to feel like I am really living, grabbing life by the horns, seizing the day and all the other associated cliches. Sometimes I feel all of those things so strongly it's actually physical.

Your recent Carbondale post inspired me so I did a search on Flickr for 'Greece, 1970' and spent a good hour cruising through people's scanned thirty-year-old photographs of Greece.

Also, we watched this video in class today and it reminded me of our conversation yesterday about how to get animated drawings into physical space:

made with openFrameworks from openFrameworks on Vimeo.


chapter next

I like to spend time googling Carbondale since I really have nothing of substance to imagine what life is going to be like there. These are a few favorite images I've stumbled upon.


The closer the Big Trip gets, the more I plan. And the more I plan, the more I freak out. In Italy I'm staying almost entirely in hostels. The good news is they all have free wifi in the rooms, so at least I can blog about the cockroaches and people snorting cocaine in the bunk below me.

Booking hostels in Italy is making me really excited about the fact that hostels are few and far between (or altogether nonexistent) on a lot of the Greek Islands. Prices are also pretty cheap, so it looks like for that part of the trip I'll actually have my own little space.

I just booked this charming little place in Rhodes:

Just an unbelievable 16 days away.


Lauren's Playland

Alas, I am sitting down now to compose a post about my recent transition. I think I have been avoiding it a bit because I feel like I should have some really big ideas or thoughts or revelations to write out, and while I know that those things are running around in my mind, I'm still not sure I can lasso them into competent sentences. Plus, I am listening to Pres. Obama give the commencement speech at Notre Dame, and am thinking maybe I should just copy down what he is saying.
Even though I packed my life up in Washington and drove it 17 hours to Colorado, I'm still waiting for the moment to sock me in the stomach when I really comprehend that my two year graduate school adventure is over. When I think about the last two years that funny thing happens where it seems like it simultaneously flew by and also lasted forever. The thing that saddens me most is that everyday from here on out that experience will become a smaller and smaller part of my life, while in the midst of everything it was an enormous time.

The sky looked like this the morning of my departure:

Waldo amazed me by sleeping all but maybe three hours of the entire drive. As you can see, he still prefers the economy seats.

The picture above is documentation of the map my brother and Michelle drew on my graduation present. I love it so much, that it's likely I will stick it in a frame. I think it captures so much of what I loved about the last two years. It feels funny to have earned a Masters in Art because I think I did a lot more learning about life (although, I would never say that I have Mastered Life.) I feel such a sense of accomplishment knowing that I moved to a completely unknown part of the country to a town where I didn't know a single person....and I didn't die. Instead, I really got to know that beautiful corner of the world, met some really interesting people, and formed some life long friendships. I know that my mind opened in a way I'm not sure it would have otherwise.

And now I am back in Colorado with Washington tucked in my pocket and ready to see what comes next. (So far, what has come next is a lot of hangout time with the Ridgeback herd).


The Botanist

The dogs and I hiked to the plateau on top of South Table Mountain this morning in time to catch the sunrise. The Colorado sky did not disappoint.

While I was sitting waiting for the sunrise I couldn't help but notice the abundance of plant life. Maybe it's because I'm so used to everything being brown and dead, but I had no clue there was as much botanic diversity as there is on TM. I would happily endure rain every afternoon if it could only stay this green all summer.


Tuscan Whole Milk & My Book-Cover Debut

My preferred reading today has been the customer reviews on an Amazon listing for one gallon of whole milk. Hi-larious.

Some favorites:

Be advised this product comes in only one color....WHITE.

What's the matter Tuscan Whole Milk? Afraid of a little color in your life? It's a different world now with President Obama in the "Whitehouse". Even Eggs are available in Brown.

Get with the times.


Thumbs Down. I added to my gas tank. No difference felt. Very disappointed will not buy again.


This is the whitest drink ever!


If you like milk, try this milk. If you like chocolate milk, STAY AWAY FROM TUSCAN WHOLE MILK! Totally different type of milk.


"Tuscan Whole Milk" can be re-arranged to say "I'll know mustache". Coincidence? I think not.

There's also a surprising amount of poetry.
In other news, while my book cover debut is not yet available for purchase, it is available for preorder from most major retailers.



Thanks for carrying more than your own load here on the Wonder Net these last couple days. The family is in town now, which leaves me with less time sitting around thinking about a post. You'll still have to wait to get a juicy post about my impending big move, but in the mean time I wanted to share some of the results from the shadow puppet project I gave my class as their last project.



It's long, but it's awfully cute.


My Stint as a VJ

Welp, I think it's safe to say I'll never be a real VJ. But I have to admit it was fun to pretend to be one for this project, and I ended up relatively happy with my alternative classical approach. For some reason the sound is pretty quiet, so turn up your speakers. (And ignore the Resolume watermark; I was using a demo version of the program). Also, you'll have to forgive the transitions; when performed live they are much smoother.

Classical VJ from Claire B on Vimeo.


Goodbye Wafflemaker

I just came across this site (via Swiss Miss) and instantly loved everything about it--her reasons for doing it, the strangely attractive layout of everything that one individual own. Also, I think I'm going to try to buy some of her clothes.

I think you'll like it, too.

Europe on My Mind

Maybe it's because I'm in the midst of a lull, school-wise (the calm before the finals storm), or maybe it's because I now officially have less than a month before my departure date, but for whatever reason I can't stop thinking about my impending European Tour.

Deciding where to go has been far more difficult than I expected. There are just so many tempting options; Switzerland, Amsterdam, Berlin, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Spain... But I've finally decided on an area of focus, which will be Mediterranean Europe.

Here's my plan, which really isn't any more concrete than these squiggly lines at this point:

So it comes down to: London -> Nice, France -> Italy -> Greece -> London.

Now I have to move to the next level of figuring out where within these countries I'll go.
I don't know any names yet, but I'm going to try for places that look like this:
and this: