Monday, April 29, 2013

Nikki Post: Epic Road Trip Prologue

As Claire mentioned in a previous blog post, we teamed up with my friends Lisa and Lauren to visit three and a half states (Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and a drive-through of New Mexico) in two and a half days (part of Friday, and all of Saturday and Sunday). Lisa has a policy of visiting at least one new state before every birthday, and this year, Oklahoma was the lucky recipient of our presence. Our stops in the other states were merely to make the weekend epic and exciting. We had a blast and solidified our statuses as "besties", which was especially exciting for me because it marks the first time that I can say I have best friends in both of my "homes."

I'm finally editing the photos, and Claire's helping me do research on the various sites we visited and people we met. (Because she likes this to be an educational as well as entertaining blog.) As always, I thank you, loyal readers, for your patience as I sort through and edit the hundreds of photos I took and dig through the internet for information to share. Claire's first entry will detail our trip through a stormy Kansas, our stay in a swanky hotel, fun at the Tulip Festival in Wamego, and our delicious lunch at a taquería named after a very famous terrier.

Not sure how many entries there will be, as I haven't yet split everything up into sub-folders. There WILL be additional photos from the trip added to my Facebook fan page, which may get updated before this blog occasionally, simply because it's easier. Keep an eye out there as well. :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Date Night: Paint your own Pottery

Nikki and her friend Megan go on "date nights" every week or so where they hang out and either have a cheap dinner or do something fun together. A couple of weeks ago, they went to a really cool place called Color-Me-Mine where you can paint your own ceramics!

There's a $10 studio fee to cover all the supplies and the glazing/firing process. Then you pay for whatever piece you'd like to paint, and you're ready to go! They have a lot of different ceramic pieces to choose from...

There were whimsical pieces...

There were superheroes, cute animals, and food...

And LOTS of stuff for pet-lovers!

Speaking of pets, Nikki chose a mug with a dog on it to give to her friend Lauren (who owns Pawsitively Pooches, LLC and is Eva's dog-walker/dog-sitter) as a belated Easter present.

We went over to the HUGE shelf where all the paint colors were kept and chose the colors we thought Lauren would like best. Her dog Sneakers is the unofficial mascot for Pawsitively Pooches, so we wanted to paint the little dog to look like him.

The different tiles on the surrounding walls show customers/artists what the colors will look like pre-glaze and post-glaze. (It's a big difference!) They also show what the colors look like with only a FEW layers and with MANY layers (again, a big difference). There are little tiles in front of every bottle of paint to show the final color, and all of the bottles are numbered so you can remember which color(s) you used if you run out of paint. 

Next up, grab your painting supplies! They have brushes of every size and shape, sponges, stencils, pens, pencils, and palates for holding your paint.

With all of our supplies in front of us, we were ready to paint!

I had offered to help Nikki paint the back part of the mug while she painted the front...

...but she said that my lack of hands/opposable thumbs/muscles would make it impossible for me to help. Plus, I'd already made a bit of a mess on the table top (it had paper on it!), so I was put in charge of keeping Nikki's engagement ring safe and clean while she and Megan painted.

Megan had chosen a mug too, but hers was going to be speckled with paint and have a musical theme since she's a (really great) singer.

Fro-yo break!!

Megan discovered that the best way to get the speckled effect she wanted was to use a toothbrush and flick the paint on there using a variety of methods.

This was NOT one of the methods she chose.

This was one of the methods...although without the silly face (most of the time). ;)

Nikki (with my supervision, of course) painted the "Sneakers" mug.



So it's a good thing that Nikki put me in charge of keeping her stuff safe, because Megan went CRAZY with her spackling! She kept trying different techniques with the toothbrush... throwing paint at it with brushes. She was worried about messing up her clothes (because she hadn't thought to wear grubby ones), so Nikki gallantly offered her hoodie as protection. Funny that neither noticed the SMOCKS RIGHT NEXT TO THEM. Luckily one of the nice employees pointed this fact out, and Nikki's favorite hoodie was spared further messiness.

Once Megan was properly besmocked, she continued her quest to make the table (and Nikki and herself and Nikki's mug and everything else in a five-foot radius) as messy as possible.

Megan to Nikki: "Haven't you ever MET me before?! How did you NOT know this would happen?!"

The aftermath

Unfortunately for Nikki, Color-Me-Mine had to close for the night before Nikki could finish her mug. They said they'd hold onto it for her, and she could return the next day to finish it. So we headed back over the next morning to finish the job.

All set to continue our creativity!

This time, I got to be on clean-up duty!

Nikki only meant to be there for about a half-hour or 45 minutes, but she forgot that she's a crazy perfectionist, so everything had to be JUST RIGHT and not look sloppy. PLUS she started adding new features that she hadn't thought to do the night before, so we ended up being there for TWO HOURS!!

She added paw prints going up the handle of the mug...

...and a big paw print on the inside bottom.

We had to wait a week for the mug to be glazed and fired because it was spring break time, and as you can imagine, the place had been FLOODED with kids and their parents looking to spend some quality time together. It was totally worth the wait though, because the mug came out looking GREAT!

And most important of all, Lauren loved it. :)

Color-Me-Mine has several locations in the Denver metro area, so if you want to have a fun girls night or a birthday party for your kid or just a quiet night by yourself being artsy, I HIGHLY recommend checking it out!

Friday, April 12, 2013

EPIC ROAD TRIP!!!!!!!!!!!


Nikki, me, and her besties Lisa and Lauren are going to 4.5 states in 2.5 days. No one thinks we can do it, and we probably can't, to be honest, but it's gonna be SO AWESOME to try!

First stop: Wamego, KS for their tulip festival and Wizard of Oz themed food/wine stores.
Second stop: Oklahoma City, OK because Lisa's never been to Oklahoma; we're also gonna go to a blues bar and eat barbecue
Third stop: Amarillo, TX to see Cadillac Ranch where this dude PLANTED CADILLAC CARS and then got all artsy with them
The half-state: We're gonna drive through New Mexico to get back to
Fourth state: Colorado, where if we have time, we're gonna stop off at this place named "Cimino Park," just like Nikki's family's name!

We got a new camera, because Nikki's fancy one stopped believing that its lens was attached to it when IT TOTALLY WAS, so we'll be able to document all the awesomeness of what we're doing.

See you when we get back!!! <3