Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Friday Finds!

One of my New Year's resolutions this year is to make an effort to live life a little more green.  I've already made a few little changes, like switching to reusable grocery and produce bags, recycling as much as possible, eating organic, and I no longer drink bottled water.  So, I thought I'd make my resolution today's theme.  The store I'm featuring today is Garbage of Eden Design.  Stephanie makes really fun jewelry out of plastics that would normally just be thrown away!  Here is one bracelet that I particularly like...

Can you believe this is made from yogurt containers and plastic grocery bags?  Now, that's a nice-lookin' bracelet!  And you know I love it when artists give back too.  Stephanie donates 10% of your purchase to a variety of non-profit charities, and even lets you choose which one you'd like her to donate to!  Stop by and see her creations!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Cedar Rapids, Six Months Later.

This week was the first time I had been back to my hometown of Cedar Rapids since the floods happened.  It has snowed several inches, so my sister and I piled in a Jeep, and she drove me around to the areas that were hit pretty hard by the flooding.  It was so sad to see the heart of downtown, which was just starting to regain some life in it, as empty shells with 'for rent' signs in the windows, or where windows used to be.  Hopefully, with all of the hard work that people are putting in, the life can be put back into it once again.

This building was in an area near downtown.  It looked as though a lot of these businesses just moved out and won't return to the area.

This was a furniture store downtown, right across the street from the Great America Building.  I worked at the GAB durning the summers as an intern during college.

These next few are from the Time Check area...this area was hardest hit.  Some homes were marked for tear-down, some for repair.  Other than the handful of homes that had been renovated, the area was like a ghost town.

"We Will Rebuild"

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Friday Finds!

I love wine.  I love learning about it, I love the smell of it, and most of all, drinking it!  So this week's Friday Finds is dedicated to a few wine finds I've stumbled upon on Etsy.  The first is a seller that takes old wine bottles, flattens them in a kiln, and gives them a new life as a cheese serving platter!  Wine and cheese go great together, so how clever to make a serving tray out of a wine bottle.  And she has even etched this one with a nice design.  The seller is JellyBugArtworks, and she has not only these wine bottle serving trays, but she also makes very pretty glass and gemstone jewelry as well.

Next on my list is 'wine bottle bling' brought to you by sassafrass2.  The holidays aren't over yet!  If you are planning on bringing a bottle or two of wine as a hosts' gift for a New Year's party, this knit cap and scarf is such a cute idea to dress up the wine bottle, and makes your bottle stand out from the bottles in wine gift bags!  Be sure to check out all of sassafrass2's other knit goodies in her store!

Last but not least on my wine-themed list of finds this week is this beautiful balancing wine bottle holder sold by boxes 'n' more.  He has made this piece using two different kinds of wood.  This would definitely be a conversation piece for your kitchen or dining room.  In addition to the wine bottle holder, he has a variety of very nice wood items, such as trinket boxes, wood valets, even earrings!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Finds

So, I thought I'd try a new weekly post, called 'Friday Finds'. I've decided to do this for a couple of reasons. One, I'd like to blog more often than I do. Two, I am a member of Etsy, not only do I sell there, but I shop there as well! I find so many wonderful treasures that I'd like to pass on some of them to others. I also read several other blogs and sometimes find something that catches my eye, and would like to pass those on as well. So this week, with it being Christmas time, I've found (well, a friend sent me the link to) an Etsy seller that has the perfect gift for people absolutely obsessed with their animals! I include myself in that category. Actually, I'm probably at the top of the list in that category! Anyways, the sellers name is polymerpaws, and she makes little clay figurines of animals! She even welcomes custom work, just send her some photos of your pet! Even better than her cute figurines is that she donates 10% of all her sales to the Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue! Check her out!

Plaza Lights Photo Shoot

The holidays are right around the corner, and I was very excited for the lights to be switched on at the Country Club Plaza. I've never photographed them, so I wanted to take a stab at it this year. I went out on three seperate nights to capture the lights right after they switch on and right after the sun goes down. Its a very small window of time to get the perfect balance of beautiful blue sky vs. the bright lights, so I couldn't get all 3 locations shot in the same evening, so I had to do it in stages. I first did a pedestrian level shoot, wandering around through the crowds in the middle of the lights. The next shoot was across Brush Creek to get the lights from afar. Then for the final shoot I went up on top of a parking garage to get a more birds eye view. Here are some of my favorites, please enjoy!