Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Wild Months

What crazy wild months these have been! Lots of sorting photos, some time spent creating new designs. But, mostly I have been swamped with an unrelenting amount of fatigue. If only I could absorb and use some of these guys energy. LOL 

Of all the photos I took this last summer my favorites have to be these very special photos of my grandchildren. 

For the first time ever all five of my biological grandchildren were together. It was a very happy day!

Not only were the biological grandchildren there but two honorary grandchildren as well. The little boy and the girl front and center are my oldest daughter's kids all the girls in the back row make up my oldest son's tribe. The three in the middle are his daughters and the two cute blondes on the ends are his significant others daughters. Yes, he is in for a wild ride with five beautiful girls!

While the fatigue has certainly slowed me way down and made it difficult to get things done, I have managed to finish a few designs and make them available on a wide selection of products in our gift shop including Christmas ornaments. Here are two of the new designs.

This design is part of our Hand drawn art products.

This design is part of our Historical Navy products.

If I can manage to stay awake long enough I hope to share more summer photos and some current creative and fun endeavors. I can't believe Christmas is almost here, personally I am not ready are you?

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Festival of the Bands

This year marked the 28th year that Sioux Falls has hosted the regional Festival of the Bands. The all day event was held on the first Saturday of October, and started off with a fun parade. 
Along with all the very talented marching bands there were a number of fun parade entries, like the mini replica of the USS South Dakota and of course a few mascots joined in as well.

I was rather sad that I messed up the focus on the above photo, but I do like the way it turned out when converted to more of a sketch. These Minutemen led what turned out to be one of my favorite bands. I was very impressed with their fantastic performance.
They were the most creative with their formations, which they changed up at least three times as they marched past us.
They even captured my youngest granddaughters attention, which none of the other bands seemed to be able to do. Click here to see what captured her attention.

As this next band approached I learned my granddaughter's cousin on her mother's side was marching in this band. I did manage to get a nice shot of him and a couple of his band mates.
Next came my oldest granddaughter with her flute.

This group of dancers lead their marching dancing band with so much joy and enthusiasm that it was contagious. I was so amazed when I saw that the band was dancing the same dance, dipping and twirling as they played their instruments that I forgot to get a picture of them.
I do have to say that I was a little bit disappointed by the hosting school's performance. Lincoln High School is well know for it's marching band and has repeatedly been invited to march in NY at the Macy's Day Parade and from what I understand has been invited this year to march in Hollywood, Ca. They were good but the song they did was not very original and after seeing some really amazing marching formations by proceeding bands their formation was boring.

Sorry Lincoln but your stiff regimented procession combined with a rather dull song was good but not great.
All and all for a chilly October morning we had a great time.

Unknown Mami

Monday, November 2, 2015

Back In Beautiful Sioux Falls SD

I'm Alive!  
I really hadn't intended on taking the entire summer and beginning of fall off from blogging, but life happens.

I would love to say I spent the summer traveling the world or maybe just lying on a beach somewhere soaking up some fantastic vitamin D. Or, perhaps hiking through a lush forest, drinking ice cold water from a mountain stream, but I didn't. I spent the last three and a half months unplugged from the internet. Three of those months not only was I unplugged but our family was also without a home. Thanks to our family and friends who willingly shared their homes with us we were fortunate enough not to have to live on the streets. Unfortunately that is not the case for the many homeless people in this world.

Some people think that if one is homeless it is because they are lazy or an alcoholic or addicted to drugs. This may be true of some but more often it is not. Some also say that if someone is homeless it is because they chose that lifestyle. Well the fact of the matter is that sometimes becoming homeless is due to circumstances beyond ones control. Often such circumstances force one to make difficult decisions, and yes sometimes the difficult decision is whether to stay in a situation that will ultimately be very bad or take a leap of faith and go through the hardship of being homeless in order to get to a place that will ultimately improve their life. 

Our family made just such a decision. It was scary moving with only jobs lined up but not knowing for sure how long it would take to find a rental we could afford that would be big enough for our family. Although it took us longer than we expected, it was worth it. We are now back home in Sioux Falls with good jobs, surrounded by family and friends.

There is still a bit of unpacking to do before I can honestly say we are settled in our new home. However, I am excited to get back to work both with our small photographic design business Artistix Network and with my blogging. I look forward to visiting all the wonderful blogs I have missed and to the challenge of sorting through and posting some of the many photographs I took this summer.  

Getting into the spirit of the upcoming holiday season, this past week I decided to polish up some old cartoon designs and give them new life with new captions. Here's the results.

Click Here to see Available Happy Monkey Products

Click Here to see Available Products with these designs
Have a wonderful Monday and keep smiling!

I am so Happy to be back in Sioux Falls
I'm linking up with 
Unknown Mami

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Customizing Littlest Pet Shop

My middle granddaughter has realized that using her artistic talents to create something new and different helps relax her when she is stressed. So as we prepaired for our current adventure, Sissy entered the world of revamping Littlest Pet Shop toys. After repainting and styling her pets she decided to do a fun photo shoot with them. When I asked her why she photographed them in the bathroom, she said it had the best light and was good for reflections.

This photo shoot took place just a few days before we loaded the Uhaul with all our belongings and headed home to Sioux Falls. 
The move was made on a leap of faith that has us holing on tight. Lexxie and Lissa both had jobs lined up, so that's all good.however, we did not have a house lined up, so until we find one we are staying with family and all our belongings are still packed away in storage. Until we find a place I will be trying to blog with my phone and tablet and will not be taking any orders for memory photos or taking on any portrait clients. Wish us luck, i do believe we need it.
Do you find creating to be a good stress reliever?

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Having a Bad Day?

Next time you are having an off day 
just be glad you aren't a knife thrower.

Sheridan Lake

Nestled in the Black Hills National Forest a short drive from Rapid City sit beautiful lake Sheridan. Although Lexxi and I were all for an afternoon of cliff diving, the rest of the family voted for the spacious swim beach. The wide stretch of sandy beach sat just beyond a good size lush green lawn scattered with trees and picnic benches, as well as a bathroom facilities. 

While Sissy's heat sensitivity caused her to break out in a bothersome rash at first, after she got in the cool water she was fine and able to enjoy the day. Of course having her best friend there made it extra special. 

After a fun day splashing and swimming in the lake, digging in the sand and eating an enjoyable lunch we headed bhomw just in time to miss the summer storm that was rolling in.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Angostura Recreation Area

While the merry-go-round spins on relentlessly we managed to escape the wild ride long enough to enjoy a bit of nature, and give me something fun to share with you for Sunday In My City.
Unknown Mami

We wanted to go swimming so Lexi's friend suggested we check out Angostura Lake, located about an hour to the south of Rapid City. It was nice to take in the fresh air and relax in the cool water. 

I decided to set my camera on auto, big mistake! After a good deal of editing here is what I got.

Their website boasts crystal clear water and nice sandy beaches. However the beach we were told was open for day swimmers was very narrow with lots of overgrowth, stickers, spiders and lizards. The water was nice although a bit murky with lots of twigs. I am thinking all of this may have been because of the recent heavy rains. 
I love the water but with no oceans here in the Midwest we are confined to lakes, rivers and pools. Rapid City has a number of fun pools but in my opinion they are way to expensive and there is so much more to do at the lake. This week we are hoping to visit another lake that is a bit closer. 
What is your choice for a bit of fun in the water? Lake, ocean, river or pool?