Archives for category: pretty things

Goodness, life gets so busy. So much so that this blog has been sorely neglected. What have I been up to, you ask? A lot!

  • I took a my first “real” vacation in two years. I journeyed to Cabo San Lucas to celebrate the birthday of a dear friend of mine and fellow photographer, Mamta Popat. Check back soon for a multi-media project celebrating the trip.
  • I’ve attended several workshops and symposiums for my photography profession as well as my arts educator profession. One highlight was attending the opening of Art Intersection, a new space in Gilbert, Arizona dedicated to promoting and connecting people to art. I attended a lecture entitled “Publish Your Photography Book” hosted by Darius Himes of Radius Books and Mary Virginia Swanson. Very informative and inspiring event. Plan a trip to Gilbert to check it Art Intersection. They have a lecture in April on the power of laughter. Teehee!
  • I photographed the very beautiful and heartfelt wedding of two lovely people. I am thrilled with the way their wedding album turned out. I also booked a wedding for April. Yay for Love!
  • I attended the opening of the exhilarating and challenging contemporary art exhibit ‘Borderlandia’ at Tucson Museum of Art. Provocative commentary on border, culture, history, gender issues. Wow! And if you are familiar with Hieronymus Bosch’s painting ‘Garden of Earthly Delights‘ you will have an especially gleeful experience.
  • I was fortunate to attended a series of discussions and trainings hosted by the Arizona Commission on the Arts at a variety of  locations here in Tucson, including the Poetry Center. I learned a lot, and I also reaffirmed my motivation to work to create state and or national standards for media literacy. Big plans!

I am very proud to announce that I was accepted into the Creative Capital Internet Workshop for artists. The workshop, hosted by Tucson Pima Arts Council (TPAC), is a professional development program aimed at assisting artists with business development. A total of 24 local artists were accepted in to the three-day workshop to be held at the end of March. Very exciting opportunity! I know it will be helpful as I embark on the launch of my book, HeartFound, and all the projects I have floating around my creative brain. This year is going to be so fantastic!

At this moment I have about a zillion things I should be doing to make a deadline of some sort, but I needed a visual reprieve and I ended up here…editing and posting some images I took last weekend. I have been experimenting with multi-second hand-held exposures that play with movement and push digital constrictions. Very cool stuff.

Enjoy some new vibrant and energetic images captured during last weekend’s performance of Seashell Radio at Plush nightclub here in Tucson.


I have been so busy with work and challenging the creativity in others that I haven’t challenged my own creative channels. I explored my yard when the rains hit today, after they had been threatening for a couple days. It felt good to have my camera back in my hands.

Desert Rain 6

Desert Rain 8

Desert Rain 5

Desert Rain 1

Desert Rain 2

Desert Rain 4

Desert Rain 9

of course…I found a heart.

I have a love affair with travel, flight to be precise. It must be connected to my nearly insatiable need to be in motion, in transit, leaving here, going there, moving forward – literally or figuratively. Blame it on my nomadic upbringing, but the curiosity of finding myself surrounded by unknowns is a challenge I seem to consistently be chasing.

I went home for the holidays this year. It had been two years since I was home last for Heidi and Jake’s wedding. It was a splendid and relaxing vacation. I played games invented on the spot by my older nephews, who also taught me how to play tennis on the aptly named Wii. I flirted with my younger two nephews who already have heart-breaker qualities and made it extremely easy for me to fall madly in love with them. My sisters and I had wonderful talks that I wish we could have more often, if only we lived closer to one another. I had great conversations with my mom that continue to play-back in my mind. How does a mother’s identity change after thirty years of active motherhood slowly moves a woman towards being the caretaker of one – herself?

When I do travel, I do my best to time my flights properly. It’s a science, really. I schedule outbound flights to correspond with the rising sun and I time the descent of returning flights with sunsets. I like the conceptual connection of the dawn of adventure as I depart from my hometown of the moment. I also embrace the abstract of my adventure coming to an end as the daylight descends into night.

On my flight home I found myself thinking about the “why” of my travels. What is it about leaving and returning that is so magical? Here are some pictures and some words I strung together during that return flight…landing at sunset, of course.



look with flight speed
way down and across
a curdled-milk contrail
diagonally cuts
the crossword quilt
sewn by her hands
to comfort the 4-year-old boy
crying in seat B, aisle 33
salt-watered tears
mimic erosion flows
imprecise, confused
into and over
their complicated neighbors

dense, red light
breaks snowed-starved mountains
into baby pink tips
sharpened, carved
by extreme extremes
paler, and paler pinks
as the aircraft falls
in tandem with the sun
I am anxious to reconnect
my feet with their walking path
because even from this distance
gated bedroom communities
have beauty.


p.s. When I fly into cities I know well, I also select which side of the aircraft I want to sit on (go ahead, call me neurotic, I don’t mind). When flying into Oakland, I sit on the right side of the plane so I can peer down into Yosemite National Park as we pass over (sadly, it was clouded over this trip). I sit on the left side when flying out so that I can peer down upon San Francisco, where I went to university. We also fly over Candlestick Park, where I cut my teeth as a young photographer covering 49er’s games back in the days of Steve Young, Jerry Rice and a young kid named Terrell Owens.


his fingers
trace intricate
designs across my palm
weaving himself
into my life line

– krista

I have joined an truly amazing group of local artists from nearly every creative discipline – writers, poets, dancers, designers, architects, arts advocates, educators, filmmakers, body workers – for a deeply collaborative project.

The Invisible City aims to explore the ways in which we – as people, as inhabitants – interact with the spaces that we live in. The project is focused on downtown Tucson’s growth, both stunted and rapid. The project is occurring completely in public spaces and we fully welcome participation from everyone and anyone.

Sessions are Fridays from 5-7 p.m. and on Sundays from 2-6 p.m., over the next four weekends and will take place at a wide variety of locations throughout downtown Tucson.

Click here to visit The Invisible City project blog.

Click here for locations and information on how to participate.

Click here to see images and to see video.

Click here to read the work of writers and poets.

At the end of the project, a performance will be held on Sunday, Nov. 16th at 5:30 pm, (Tickets: $10). Location is the top floor of Pennington Street Parking Garage.

The inaugural Wine(y) Poetry Night finally happened…despite extreme bike crash injuries (Miz A is okay, but got stitches in her elbow this morning), timing misunderstandings and my sudden realization that my collection of Pablo Neruda is missing (gasp!). I’ve been wanting to get this event going for the longest time and I finally got off my duff and did it. I adore my friend Jill T., but now I love her even more for the fact that she brought a super thick collection of Neruda, from which she read…and I swooned. His Tierra series hits me every time. I have a special affinity for “Unity”.

I was thrilled to share my love of contemporary poet Stephen Dunn. A piece of his entitled ‘Optimism’ from his Pulitzer-Prize winning collection “Different Hours” is one that I keep on my nightstand and read on a regular basis. I was introduced to Dunn by my former Photo Editor back in Nebraska, Ted Kirk, and I am most thankful for the introduction. His work has such power. It is complex simplicity.

The Divine Miz M, sporting a bright red t-shift printed with: W.W.J.J.D.?, read from her hero, Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock and Roll”…hence the What Would Joan Jett Do?” t-shirt.

Tesa read a beautiful piece “And you held me” by Janet Marley (sp?) as well as a few exquisite pieces by Rumi. Miz A introduced me to the magic of Joy Harjo.

Wine(y) Poetry Night will be a standing affair, I’m glad to report. Stay tuned…

Wines sampled:

  • ‘The Turk’ from Turkey Flat (Australia):  Combination of Shiraz, Grenache, Cabernet, Mourvedre grapes. Excellent. Peppery and earthy and comes in a screw-top bottle.
  • ‘Nero d’Avola’ from Archeo (Italy):  100% Nero d’Avola grapes. Lovely table wine. Smooth with a nice berry tones.
  • Marlborough from Nobilo (New Zealand):  Savignon Blanc. Crisp and sweet with fruity citrus tone.


Optimism – by Stephen Dunn
My friend the pessimist thinks I’m optimistic
because I seem to believe in the next good thing.
But I see rueful shadows almost everywhere.
When the sun rises I think of collisions and AK-47s.
It’s my mother’s fault, who praised and loved me,
sent me into the dreadful world as if
it would tell me a story I’d understand. The fact is
optimism is the enemy of happiness.
I’ve learned to live for the next good thing
because lifelong friends write good-bye lettres,
because regret follows every timidity.
I’m glad I konw that all great romances are fleshed
with failure. I’ll take a day of bitterness and rain
to placate the gods, to get it over with.
My mother told me I could be a great pianist
because I had long fingers. My fingers are small.
It’s my mother’s fault, every undeserved sweetness.

published in “Different Hours”

here’s more love, from me to you.

the road home from Mexico…

sidewalk, Phoenix…

a horse named ‘Heart’, Holbrook, AZ…

Girls bathroom, Tucson, AZ…

Yuma, AZ…

elementary school, Phoenix, AZ…

sigh. life has been busy and very full. visits from family and friends, birthday parties, traveling all over the state of Arizona for a contract photo assignment, making lots and lots of presentations to local high schools to recruit this year’s staff of 110º youth apprentices…and the reappearance of Love in my life (more on that later!).

my sister Heidi, her husband Jake and their son Kaeden came to Tucson for a visit. It was so nice to have family come visit, and especially nice to have a little fella around to cuddle with. we went up to Phoenix for a great weekend with the eldest Niles Girl, Julie, and her family at a resort. days were spent in the pool with a few rounds of adult beverages. very relaxing and fun.

who wouldn’t want to just kiss, kiss, kiss this cutie-pie?

a few hours after Heidi, Jake and Kaeden departed for home, the lovely Becki arrived for her last Tucson visit before her departure for her Peace Corps assignment in Morocco. we headed down to Puerto Penasco, Mexico with fellow former Nebraskan Jill P. it was beyond great to be next to a large body of water – the Sea of Cortez – and with two great friends! i sat there…took turns sipping my beer and inhaling the scent and sounds of sea water.

Jill is a fabulous bargainer, so we walked away from the market with boogie-boards for a nice price, which meant we went straight into the water and floated in the undulating waves for hours. i did get knocked over by a strong wave – lost my sunglasses and hair clip. totally worth it.

the next beach Becki and i will find ourselves on will be off the north-African coast! Becki leaves for Morocco tomorrow and i am extremely excited for her new adventure with the Peace Corps. it has been a long (and grueling) process for her and i’m so glad that she is finally on her way. i’ll be visiting her next june and i’m already hatching plans for (mis)adventures!

beach art…

today, a tuesday, is remarkable. one year ago i pulled into Tucson, checked myself into a hotel and immediately began to fret about what i would wear the next morning as i began my new career as an educator in the non-profit world.  everything about my life was in transition at that moment. i had no idea where i would live…if i would like my co-workers or if they would like me…where i could find a good cup of coffee…what the local music scene was like…if i could make friends in a town where i knew only one person…if i would be able to work with youth. if i would even like Tucson…if it would ever feel like “home”.

as i write this post, i sit on my sofa with my feet upon my beautiful vintage Lane coffee table inside my quaint 1938 adobe home. my vintage dishes fill my kitchen cabinets. local blues musician Tom Walbank is on my iTunes and i have plans with friends every night this week. i survived my first year working with youth and i soon came to realize that teaching is deeply rewarding to me in ways that i could never have anticipated. i totally and completely adore my co-workers and i think they have come to appreciate my steel will and off-beat sarcasm. i had a good cup of Mexican organic coffee this morning from a local coffee shop and a youth i mentored this year stopped into the office to say hello.

anniversaries always make me stop for a moment…take a breath and give thanks for all that has come my way. they are a moment of reflection. i am thankful for the spectacular individuals in my new “home”-town that have added me into their lives, enriching mine in the process. i’ve written about them all here. i also give thanks for the support given to me from out-of-state, especially during my early months here.

i feel incredibly fortunate. i feel proud. i feel creative. i feel challenged. i feel strong and free. most of all i feel closer to my continual goals of stability and clarity.

i (heart) Tucson.

after a whirlwind weekend that ended abruptly, leaving me with a slight case of emotional whiplash and a small contusion of the heart, i spent this evening back in my cocoon of live music with my super fabulous friends Mel and Sean. we went to see Thao with The Get Down Stay Down at a Tucson venue I had not been to yet – Solar Culture – which is basically an art gallery/live music venue. how many ways can i say it was totally dreamy to have my two loves combined in one space – creative local art and live music. it was inspiring…so i made this photo with Sean’s iPhone…

the opening band, Horse Feathers (from Portland, Oregon- which is ironically where my new friend – Friendly Ben – flew to this morning for a camping trip with his brother. Hi Ben! Go to the Tillamook cheese factory. I insist.), was really impressive. beautiful vocals with a lilting and moaning violin accompanying. Thao has a voice that reminded me of a fancy-free Edie Brickell. i loved them so much i came home and immediately downloaded their latest album from iTunes. i’m listening to it right now. love, love it….”as sharp as i sting, it just soothes you, doesn’t it like a lick of ice cream”..

i want to thank Lauren for reminding me that i have a blog. i have had lots to blog about, but i’ve been lazy about making the time. i also want to thank Miss Mel for bringing me her awesome vegan sushi tonight. i promise to blog more in the next few days. cheers to everyone.