My Blog

I intend on using this microscopic slice of the internet to share my experiences in life with you. I started this blog back in 2008 when my husband and I drove across country. It served it’s purpose as a way to let family and friends know what we were up to, but now I’m hoping to evolve it into something more meaningful that extends beyond just family and friends.

Me

I’m happily married to an intelligent, handsome, funny, loving, multi-talented man. Not only can he fly both helicopters and planes, but he can also fix just about any problem with our vehicles or homes. He has a remarkable aptitude for just about everything. We have two cats, Tia (aka: Tia Bean, Bean Rat, Bean Bunny, and Bean) and Thomba. Well, Thomba’s full name is Jean Claude Alberto Thomba, but we just call him Thomba (aka: Bob, Beast Rat, Bob Rat, Thom-Bob, Bobble, and Thomba Von Land Bass).

I have been working as a Freelance Graphic Designer since 2010. I run my own business, Painted Peak Design Co. I’ve been selling my photography online for about 6 years through various websites—Twenty20 being where I’ve had most of my sales. I’ve also recently opened a Society6 shop where I’ve started selling some of my original art, too!

Mike served in the Army for eight years, which meant we were moving to a new place every three years or so. It was a blast and we lucked out with one amazing duty station, Japan! We met some great people along the way and had some experiences of a lifetime. Now that we’re actually able to pick where WE want to live, we chose Colorado. We’ve been lucky to call Colorado Springs home for over two years now. We’re very much enjoying the close proximity to the mountains and all of the outdoor activities that we enjoy doing! It’s nice to know we’re not going to have to pack up and move in another two years, but this is hardly our “forever home”. Round and round we go, where we stop, nobody knows.

I am part nerd and part outdoor adventurer. I am totally happy sitting in front of my computer, teaching myself about design and photography, blogging, editing photos, etc., but pluck me out of my office chair and drop me in the middle of the Sierras with some climbing and backpacking gear and I’d be STOKED!

My Equipment

In the event that you were actually wondering what photography equipment and software I use, wonder no more my friends!

Here’s the current (updated 2020) rundown:

Cameras: Canon 60D, iPhone XS, DJI Spark

Lenses: Sigma 30mm f/1.4, Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5, and Canon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6

Software: Adobe Creative Cloud Photoshop, Lightroom Classic, and Premiere Pro.

Cameras

My photography and videography are done using a combination of my Canon 60D, iPhone XS, and DJI Spark. My favorite DSLR lens is my Sigma 30mm for its fun depth of field effects with that f/1.4 in both photography and videography! My DJI Spark is the newest addition to the fleet. It was given to me by my family for my birthday two years ago. It is a great drone for beginners (that’s me!). I believe it is no longer for sale and has been replaced by the Mavic Mini. If I were going to upgrade today, though, I’d go with the Mavic Air 2. You get a lot more bang for your buck with that one.

Software

As far as the photography software is concerned, I love, LOVE, LOOOVE Lightroom! It’s easy to use, great for organizing and there are a bunch of beautiful presets out there! I even tried Aperture once, out of curiosity, and immediately returned to Lightroom. Photoshop is also wonderful for fine-tuning your images, but it takes a lot more know-how to operate that piece of software. Of course, if you’re up to it, there are a ton of YouTube tutorials and books out there on Photoshop (and Lightroom, too)! My favorite educational website is Skillshare.com! They have courses in just about everything I’m interested in. They’ll usually give you a free 3-month trial, too!

Computer

As for my computer, I’ve been using a 2016 Macbook Pro, 13″ 2.9GHz i5 processor with 8GB of RAM. It’s been pretty good, but a little laggy when running programs like Premiere Pro. I miss the speed of my Hackintosh, but it was tough to keep up with the software updates. I’d almost always run into some small glitch every time I updated the OS and that got really annoying. If it was a big update I’d have to run a program to change settings to the BIOS. It was just too much for a non-techy person, like myself, to handle. My next computer will probably be another Macbook Pro, but this time I’ll go for the faster processor and more RAM.

iPad/Apps

The newest addition to my little tech family is my beloved iPad Pro (2018) 12.9″. I LOVE this iPad!! I upgraded from an iPad Air (2014) and, WOW, what a difference! The Apple Pencil really ties together the entire experience!

I use it to create digital art with Procreate, the BEST digital drawing/painting software I’ve ever used! If you’re already into creating on your iPad with Procreate, I highly recommend Bardot Brush for some excellent brush sets! Lisa (creator of Bardot Brush), also has some wonderful tutorials on her YouTube channel. Lastly, she has created a “Making Art Everyday” drawing prompt tool on her website—it’s great if you need some inspiration to get drawing!

The last app that I simply can’t say enough good things about is GoodNotes5. It’s a note-taking app that has everything I’ve ever wanted in an app to take notes! I’ve been using it since 2014 and it just keeps getting better! There’s a myriad of other apps I use, but those are the two I use on a daily basis.

Well, that about wraps it up! Comment with any questions, as I’d be more than happy to help!