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Creative Casey's Blog

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Warrior Dash- Running for St. Jude's

This weekend good friend Marcy, her brother and Uncle and I all headed on a road trip to Gilboa, NY out near Albany, to participate in the Warrior Dash race/fun run (  I had to be up bright and early as it was a 4 hour drive.  We got to our destination in the middle of no where (well there was a farm).  The event was a bit disorganized but we eventually picked up our race packets, checked our bags and headed to the start line.  For the next 40 minutes we were Warriors! The race was about a 5k with 11 obstacles throughout it and one really long "steepish" 3/4 of a mile hill. And of course there was mud! A lot of it!  I kicked butt on the obstacles though there was a couple of wall ones that were difficult if you were short and on your own.  I lost my friend and her family within the first mile so ran most of it on my own.  The worst part was some of the mud pits and pools as I had images of catching some disease (thanks Libby!).

Carrying on the theme of disorganized, there was a long wait for the showers if you could call a water tank truck with water from a pond that shot water out of the back at the speed of a fireman hose a shower. Of course it aligned directly at my face (not fun).  Needless to say I was still pretty covered in mud after that "shower".  This was also the first mud run where they had no changing tents or privacy spaces to change.  Apparently you had to be a St. Jude's Warrior in order to be a VIP and receive real showers, a private changing area and free food. Let's just say the changing clothes part was interesting and leave it at that.

We all hung out for a bit, checked out the rest of the freebies and food and then got back in the car for another 4 hour ride home.  It was a long day but fun. Thanks Marcy for being a trooper and driving!

**Next run will be the Rochester City Marathon Relay. Stephanie, Amanda and Marcy- here SMAC comes! Watch out Rochester!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Bike MS: ROC the Ride

I'm taking on a new challenge and a new cause this fall. I'm joining the Nazareth team in 

Bike MS: ROC the Ride September 7, 2014

for Multiple Sclerosis. The National MS Society mobilizes people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS.

This challenge is two fold; first I have to raise at least $250 and second I have to bike 15.5 miles around historic Rochester.  In order to help me achieve this goal I've decided to use my artistic talent and put together an art fundraiser.

About the Art: 
I created 16 unique one of a kind pieces of art. All photos represent Nazareth or Rochester.  I took all photo images myself and had them printed in polaroid format from PaperCulture (a very cool business) with adhesive on the back.  I then recycled a piece of maple shelving I had laying around and cut them to fit the polaroid images.  Each piece of wood was burned and sanded to create a one of a kind look.  You can show them in two ways; by hanging them or displaying them using the hand cut and stained dowel rod that fit into the back of the wood.

Here's the Deal:
For every $5 you donate to my page on the MS donation site I will enter you in a raffle to win one of two pieces of art.  One represents Nazareth and the other represents Rochester.  They are shown below. (For example, if you donate $10 you will be entered twice to win one of the two raffle prizes.)  

If you want a specific piece of art then you can donate $20 and that piece will be YOURS!  Once you donate $20 please email me directly through my gmail account or through my naz account and let me know what piece you want. I will mark it has sold and I will make sure you get the piece (via mail or in person). Look below to see all options!

Deadline for all donations will be Sept. 7th!!!

My homepage on the MS donation site is:

Any questions please respond to this post or email me.

Thank you all so much for supporting my newest challenge!

Here's the two pieces being raffled:

Here's the art being sold for $20.














Costa Rican Reunion in Ann Arbor

What can I tell you about my lightening fast trip to Ann was awesome! Not just because I got to get out of dodge for a few days and step away from reality but because it was great to spend time with people I met on my Costa Rican adventure.  It was awesome to see so many of us reunite and have a really good time together. I'm very grateful for having met all of these amazing people on my trip.  **Libby thank you for being so gracious and hosting us all. And mostly for putting up with me! :) (Iceland here we come!)

Here's a rundown of my whirlwind trip:
 1. Day one- airports stink! United has never been my friend and continues to not be. I got stuck in Chicago when my flight got canceled to Detroit. This caused me to be in the airport all day. I could have drove to Ann Arbor and back in the amount of time I spent getting there that first day. But once I got there, Libby and I went out to dinner with some of her friends and played buckets at a Brewery which was a fun time.

2. Day two- Up and out early to the amazing Ann Arbor Arts Festival. We spent all day walking around (eating freebies that were handed out), stopping only to return to the house to pick up the Canadians that got in and then we headed back to the festival all night meeting up with my other Ann Arbor friend.  I knew my one big splurge would be at the arts festival. I finally found my purchase...which was at a booth were a gentleman repurposed things like license plates, vintage tea tays, coins, etc... into jewelry, keychains and so on.  I picked up an awesome brass ring made from a World War II artillery shell stamped 1944.  It's awesome except for the next day I woke up with a green finger! Putting clear nail polish on the inside of the ring seemed to fix that problem though.

Libby and I goofing off at the Arts Festival.

Street performers

My recycled World War II artillery shell ring.

3. Day three- Yep, I ended up splurging again and going with my Ann Arbor friends to get a pedicure while the Canadians were living it up at Walmart (inside joke here).  The woman did a great job attempting to fix up my feet. My big toes are looking better every week (well kind of sort of...compared to what they did look like a couple of months ago).  We then headed back to start prepping the food since the Chicago and Grand Rapids couple were coming in today.  The rest of the day was spent eating and socializing. This was the true reunion part. We ate rice, beans, and chicken! Kate made 4 amazing homemade desserts for us and Susan brought in all kinds of goodies from Canada that we don't have here (including smuggling in Kindereggs). We had a blast hanging out, catching up and cracking inside jokes about our Costa Rica trip. This is the part about traveling that I love. You are forever connected to these people and only they know what you mean when you crack those jokes. :)


The Costa Rica Crew!

The infamous Kinderegg- how perfect was it that I happened to get a little painter dude.

4. Day four- We said goodbye to the Grand Rapids couple the previous evening and to the Canadians that day.  We met up with the Chicago couple and my other Ann Arbor friend and we all headed to Detroit for the day.  First, because everyone was easy going they indulged me by going to the Hard Core Pawn Shop (from the tv show). My dad really wanted me to check the place out. We even went inside and I ended up seeing the main owner and his son. The owner took his pic with me and they both signed a muscle t-shirt I got for my dad.  We then drove around Detroit and did some sightseeing, went out to lunch, to a casino (I indulged the others by doing this- not my thing), and then we took the "people mover" (the L) to the baseball stadium where we saw the Tigers versus Indian major league game.  I had never been to a major league game so I thought this was pretty cool. Though I admit the people walking up and down the steps and vendors selling food on the steps got annoying really quickly.

The Hard Core Pawn Shop

Downtown Detroit and the L

Had no idea Canada was that close.

My first major league baseball game.

5. Day five- I got up early, packed and then headed to the airport and said goodbye to my friend Libby. I spent the day traveling (at least there was no major delays this time around) and got home exhausted. Took a couple of days to recuperate but I wouldn't have had it any other way. :)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Paint Nite

Similar to Painting with a Twist which I did back in April, I convinced my friends to sign up for a Groupon for a Paint Nite adventure. There was 6 of us signed up but only 4 of us could make it.  So, Paint Nite is a company that hires "artist" in your city and these people host large group painting nights at local restaurants/bars.  Our venue wasn't the greatest or interesting place to host the event (Bill Gray's at the Hockey arena) but it was one of the only nights we could all get together and had a somewhat interesting painting choice.

Basically you all get an easel, canvas, paints, and brushes. You listen to the instructor direct you on how to paint the one picture/painting option and you create.  While you create you can order food/drinks. The goal is to have a great time with your friends.

So here is the skinny on what I liked and didn't like at this event.  I learned from Painting with a Twist to bring my own artist brushes. This definitely helped me to not get frustrated this time around. I also liked that it was an easier picture to paint so it was more relaxing. The other was complicated and difficult to do to my satisfaction when you had a time limit on each section.  I also liked that the host/instructor kept stressing there is no right or wrong and you can make it your own by changing any aspect of it. (very art therapy oriented)  The instructor also shared a personal story about her son who has autism and who received art therapy and it really helped him in all aspects of functioning and socializing. Obviously, I thought this was really cool.

What I didn't care for is that many people came in late and still went straight for the bar to get drinks. This took forever and the instructor waited for them. We didn't get started until half an hour late (45 min. late for those of us who read the instructions that said to come 15min. early to get set up and be ready by the start time). This ultimately caused us to run over by 45min. and sit there bored for a bit.  The other main frustration was that there was no blow dryers. So once you got the first background part done you had to wait forever for it to dry in order to move on. Plus at the end you had to do the edges and then you were done so you left with a wet canvas. No matter how hard I tried canvas moves around and I got wet paint on my car seat. Arrrrr....

Overall...I had a great time with my friends. And I always find it interesting to see how our personalities show through or work through the medium of art. It was hilarious at times.

I'm not quite finished with my piece. I think I will continue to individualize and put a quote on it.  Will probably bring it to work and hang it in my office.

Here's some pics of Paint Nite with my friends (with permission from them).

My background.

My semi finished piece.