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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Day 30: Down & Dirty

#YourTurnChallenge was a 7-day blogging challenge started by Seth Godin's Special Projects Lead Winnie, which I was honored to take part in. And I'm gonna keep going!!! I've decided to extend the challenge to 30 days. I will blog everyday from Jan 19th until Feb 17th. Wish me luck and happy reading. 







Holy shit, we made it!!! Put on your prettiest panties, pop the champagne and light the fireworks in celebration of this awesomeness!!! So how was it, blogging for 30 days in a row? Well….Damn tough.

At the beginning I was excited and nervous to share my thoughts. Once I got past the nerves I felt that my writing ability really started to kick ass. It became easier to write but then outta no where it became hard to separate my thoughts from ideas. WTF? At one point I was so caught up in my head that I was mentally writing about what I was doing at that moment. Was I becoming a psycho???  This would be a massively overwhelming time for me and I was super excited that it didn’t last long. Soon after I felt that my head started to filter my thoughts differently and I was back on track. Phhheww that was a close one.

Trying to convince myself that I wasn’t crazy may have seemed like the biggest challenge to this blog-a-thon but in reality it was finding the time to post. I have a super intense schedule in LA and just to survive I’ve made so many sacrifices, especially to my passions/trades. This means working all the time to just barely cover my bills, no time for anything else. Recently I’ve changed things up and I’m not subjecting myself to unhappiness anymore. The only thing I am willing to give up now is sleep (oh, money too) which is not easy. After a super intense long ass shift at the beast I would come home in the early hours of the am and sit at my desk to finish my day’s post. Most often then not I would fall asleep at my computer while typing which really sucks when you sit on a ball instead of a chair. Let’s just say I have fast Bruce Lee type reflexes, thank god. 


 

Was it worth it then?? Hellz yeah!!! By dropping my guard and putting it all on the table I let y’all in to see the real me. And you were listening. Who knew?!?!  I never thought I’d hear from anyone during this challenge and I knew for sure that no one would read my words besides my family but I was wrong. I received so much love and support over the past 30 days. I’m so damn lucky to be surrounded by such a kick ass community who cheers me on. It makes me feel like I can do anything. It’s amazing what can happen when you have the love of others to help you along the way. This love kept me going when I didn’t want to write and just give up. And still keeps me going on the days that I think this project of traveling the US is the dumbest idea, wondering why I just don’t settle. This is when you guys step in with the confident reassurance that what’s important to me is important to you because you believe in me. That’s worth it all.

Thank you!!!!

*also a big shout out to my Gma for her daily support and insight over the last 30 days, luv you*

*I'd love to hear from you, have questions? Comments? Please contact me at casey [at] caseyshepparddesigns [dot] com Thank you again for reading*  

 
 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Day 29: A Pictures Worth



#YourTurnChallenge was a 7-day blogging challenge started by Seth Godin's Special Projects Lead Winnie, which I was honored to take part in. And I'm gonna keep going!!! I've decided to extend the challenge to 30 days. I will blog everyday from Jan 19th until Feb 17th. Wish me luck and happy reading. 

 


Being a Jack I gotta add another trade to my plethora of passions….photography. As a kid I was always around a camera, one of the perks of your Dad being a pretty awesome photographer. He showed me different ways to alter a photograph to make the shot your own. This gave me the freedom to think opening about my approach to taking photos.




I won’t really explore this art until I was living in NYC where I worked at a modeling agency. As part of my assistant gear I was given a Polaroid camera which meant I was in charge of taking pictures of new models that didn’t have photographs. This was so clients could see what the newbies looked like on film. Just cause someone looks good in person doesn’t mean they will on film or vise versa. Being surrounded by the best of the best in this world gave me the opportunity to corner photographers and pick their brain on how to shoot. This was a huge help and tool to developing my eye. Another was practice, practice, practice.

Every weekend I’d take the camera home with a bunch…more like a TON of film, which I was sooooo not allowed to do, and I’d shoot everything, my friends, drunk parties, time at the beach, the street, everything. I actually created a wall of shame in my loft of a bunch of Polaroids stapled to the wall. After a weekend my friends would be eager to see what photos I put up. It became an honor to make the wall, which I kind of geeked out that everyone got into it so much. Over the years the wall actually grew large enough to become the wall. 

       A Polaroid that survived the Wall of Shame, great sunset after a day of sailing. Beautiful.



Since I thought photography could have been my career I learned how to develop film and prints. I even had a darkroom in one of my apartments. What a blast, I’d spend hours just playing. I still have a great bond with shooting it’s just not the same as hammering or forming metal. To my surprise I actually use photography all the time with metal smithing. I have to document most of my work so it’s super handy to know how to shoot. 
 


Currently I shoot mainly with my Iphone but I am taking my Holga film camera on my US tour. It’s a plastic camera that is medium format and is known to leek light which creates some great artsiness to pictures. The Iphone is good for quick instant photos and to help set up a shot so I won’t waste film but there’s no way I could take this trip without sticking to my roots of film. I gotta do it for me and my dad. Just not right any other way. Some people say film photography is a dying art ‘HA!’ I say, when something is made to last, it will last which means someone will always be shooting film and of course listening to vinyl.  





*I'd love to hear from you, have questions? Comments? Please contact me at casey [at] caseyshepparddesigns [dot] com Thank you again for reading*   

 



Sunday, February 15, 2015

Day 28: Ties That Bind

#YourTurnChallenge was a 7-day blogging challenge started by Seth Godin's Special Projects Lead Winnie, which I was honored to take part in. And I'm gonna keep going!!! I've decided to extend the challenge to 30 days. I will blog everyday from Jan 19th until Feb 17th. Wish me luck and happy reading. 



As kids we fought.
When you wanted to play all I wanted was an adventure. I would try to escape your late night clasps until you would finally win and I would collapse in exhaustion. When I was forced to be with you I would be so annoyed and wish you would just disappear. In my mind we were not friends.

I grew up a bit and things would change. We hung out a lot when I was a teenage. We spent most of our time together on weekends or after a party, sometimes during class but always on Sunday afternoons. You were my faithful companion while watching late night movies. These were the years where we truly bonded.

Now that I’m an adult we’ve become so distant. I never have time to play or watch late night movies and you disappear right as I make time for you, which is usually in the middle of the night. Where do you go? It’s as if you tease me with the thought that we are still friends. As I lay alone waiting for your return I envision our times as kids together. I’d take back all those nasty thoughts to have just one more minute with you. I miss you sleep. 

*I'd love to hear from you, have questions? Comments? Please contact me at casey [at] caseyshepparddesigns [dot] com Thank you again for reading*  




Saturday, February 14, 2015

Day 27: Which Way?

#YourTurnChallenge was a 7-day blogging challenge started by Seth Godin's Special Projects Lead Winnie, which I was honored to take part in. And I'm gonna keep going!!! I've decided to extend the challenge to 30 days. I will blog everyday from Jan 19th until Feb 17th. Wish me luck and happy reading. 



‘Raising The Bar’ by Gary Erickson is one of my favorite books that I find very inspiring. It’s the account of how Gary created Clif Bar and his challenge to keep his unique vision in a massive growing corporate food industry. I stumbled across this gem in one of my usual trips to my safe haven, the public library. As I flipped through the pages I saw Gary was not only an entrepreneur but also a cyclist, I snatched the book up immediately and couldn’t put it down.


Gary writes about the parallel of life in business and life on the bike. I agreed with his philosophies even before I had read them, it was my view on life and I found it heartening that someone of his caliber would share my eyes. But there was one philosophy I hadn’t realized and it has stuck with me since, the Red Road, White Road. In biking you have a choice to take the direct path of the red road that is mapped out, fast, predictable, safe and you know exactly where you are headed. The red road is only about a destination. The white road on the other hand is less traveled, may be dangerous, not mapped out, length unknown but there’s the possibility for adventure and a sense of accomplishment. The white road is about the journey. Gary uses the same comparison in business. Clif Bar is a white road style of company. I knew I was the white road kind of girl on the bike but in business I wasn’t sure. My gut said white but society said red. After reading Gary’s words I found it easier to go with my gut. It was as if I found someone to ride with on the lonely, undiscovered road.


*I'd love to hear from you, have questions? Comments? Please contact me at casey [at] caseyshepparddesigns [dot] com Thank you again for reading*   


 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Day 26: ROTHNOTHAGAR

#YourTurnChallenge was a 7-day blogging challenge started by Seth Godin's Special Projects Lead Winnie, which I was honored to take part in. And I'm gonna keep going!!! I've decided to extend the challenge to 30 days. I will blog everyday from Jan 19th until Feb 17th. Wish me luck and happy reading.




Well it has finally happened. The day I’ve been in total denial about my entire life. The day that I would become like many before me, I’d become….well…put in my age. I feel that I should start this tale of woe with “it was a dark and stormy night” since it was dark and the tears in my eyes felt like a storm. *Breath* As I was closing up the bar last night a young wine stuart was closing up his area next to me. A must dance to song broke out and he started to bust some moves. As I sleeplessly laughed I called out for him to pull a David Lee Roth, ya know the staple spread eagle jump. The cute little dancing machine stopped to reply with “Who?” I repeated myself as did he. At that moment I felt like the earth was becoming a strange and unusual place, where was I? Who was I? Am I in an alternate universe? Who doesn’t know Diamond Dave. After picking my jaw up off the ground I once again said David Lee Roth just incase the stuart, who for some reason was becoming less cute, was so tired he was having a mental lapse or a massive aneurism, please say aneurism, please!!! Nope, nothing registered. Still in disbelief and almost in disgust I rambled out “Ya know, Diamond Dave!! Just a Gigolo, Hot for Teacher….pre Sammy Hager!!!!” He looked even more confused. Now in rage I shouted out “VAN HALEN!!!!” “Oh yeah, I don’t know anything bout those guys I’m a 90’s baby.” My rage and shock instantly dissolved and as it was about to turn to bitterness I realized, yep, it was an aneurism. 



*I'd love to hear from you, have questions? Comments? Please contact me at casey [at] caseyshepparddesigns [dot] com Thank you again for reading*   

 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Day 25: Stirred Not Shaken

#YourTurnChallenge was a 7-day blogging challenge started by Seth Godin's Special Projects Lead Winnie, which I was honored to take part in. And I'm gonna keep going!!! I've decided to extend the challenge to 30 days. I will blog everyday from Jan 19th until Feb 17th. Wish me luck and happy reading. 


I’ve been at Bestia, or the Beast, for over a year now and its one of the craziest most intense restaurants. I work behind the bar but before I was allowed to prance my pretty self around the glorious shelves of delicious spirits I was required to complete an intense 6 week classic cocktail bar program called the Julian Cox Program. I would learn about 60 cocktail recipes by heart…ish, the history, process, laws and culture of spirits. We drank…errr…sorry…tasted every day, sometimes starting with 100 proof Rye, sounds great, right? Ahhh yeah, you try drinking warm gin at 10am. Guess you could say I’m not an alcoholic. It was tough, long hours, daily tests, nightly studying and more information than you could even image about spirits. The fun part was the history, the stories. Did you know that the daily ration of rum for the British navy was a pint, a whole pint every day!!! At times of battle it was increased to two pints. Daily rations would exist until Black Tot Day in 1970. Mitcher’s Rye is called the whiskey that warmed the American Revolution since Washington bought this whiskey to keep his troops warm through the long brutal winter once the war started. *side note, Robin had Mitchers Rye at the SSAZ race, thank you my man, made this girl a super happy camper.* When the British saw how the Dutch would get shit faced before battle they would call it Dutch Courage which would eventually become the term we all know and love today, Liquid Courage. Pechuga is a ceremonial agave spirit that is distilled with either chicken, turkey or rabbit. It’s so strange to taste liquor that has the mouth feel of meat without the actual meat itself, weird…..but delicious.  Fun facts, right? I could tell you stories all day long.


The history behind culture is life. People gather, share life and spirits. From weddings, wakes, bike rides, ice fishing, reunions, you name the moment it’s what we do as humans. Besides the history there is an art to creating cocktails which include balance, style, thought and intent in each one.



Since I’m an artist I of course had the curiosity to attempt to create a cocktail. So here is the result of my virginal shot at making a masterpiece with a bit of culture. This drink was inspired by the song ‘Edmund Fitzgerald’. My cohorts behind the bar hadn’t heard of this song and with that disgrace I knew what my mission was: to create a cocktail that was bitter, smoky and made you envision a grumpy old sailor biting down a piece of leather before having his wound of sorts cauterized by a blazing hot poker. Okay, I know the song is about a cargo ship getting lost and sinking on the great lakes. No matter, it will for sure put some hair on your chest. Plus when you are trying to balance age it’s always barefoot uphill in the snow both ways, right?



Now go to your local bar and demand them to make this argggghhh matey style cocktail.



Edmund Fitzgerald



Dash Peychand Bitters

Bar Spoon Simple Syrup

3/8 oz Laphroaig

3/8 oz Campari

3/8 oz Ramazzotti Bitters

1 ½ oz Blended Scotch



Stir

Serve in a coupe or Nick and Nora Glass

Garnish with discarded grapefruit twist



*I'd love to hear from you, have questions? Comments? Please contact me at casey [at] caseyshepparddesigns [dot] com Thank you again for reading*   


 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Day 24: I Surprise Myself

#YourTurnChallenge was a 7-day blogging challenge started by Seth Godin's Special Projects Lead Winnie, which I was honored to take part in. And I'm gonna keep going!!! I've decided to extend the challenge to 30 days. I will blog everyday from Jan 19th until Feb 17th. Wish me luck and happy reading.




The first moments of my weekend adventure would be set with the pace of forgetfulness. Who would have thought that being a bit absentminded would affect the blissful turn out to an epic weekend. But this was Single Speed Arizona, anything was possible

Friday morning I woke at the butt crack of dawn after a few hours of sleep. It was time to hit the road. After the 6+ hour drive I arrived at my buddy Scott’s house in Mesa. Scott and I were fellow Pirates from Nebraska but he had branched out to become part of the Drunk Cyclist, this years host for Single Speed Arizona. SSAZ is a yearly weekend event that is filled with lots of beer, crazy shenanigans and a mountain bike race. For the race you must ride a single speed bicycle. That means no gears.

Once Scott and I loaded up his truck I ran inside his place for a quick pee break. This would mark the ‘moment. I would forget my bag with my cell phone and wallet. I won’t come to this realization until we were almost to the campsite, a town away. My first thoughts of concern were for my blog posts. Once again I out smarted myself. I had already written my posts and scheduled them to be delivered. I had hoped to re read them one last time before sending them out but it was outta my hands now. Guess the single speed gods were making sure that my first SS (single speed) event would be lived to the fullest.

The first night was filled with setting up camp, a night trail ride to registration, bands, beers, whisky and would end with a uhaul full of bikes, bikers and keg stands. I was starting to feel the stuck up, law abiding LA stick that had started to work its way up my ass last year start to loosen. I could now start to relax while we sat around a group sized bond fire sipping intoxicating beverages.  

The next morning was damn early. There is this amazing ability that I lack, to function in the AM especially after a night of drinking. SSers are dripping with this talent. As the sky was just starting her wake we were loaded on the shuttle ready to head to the race start.  I needed coffee.

As we arrived to the start o the race there was a pep talk with instructions, don’t be a dick on the trail, heard. At about 9:30am we were given the go to take off. Looking like a herd of crazed Banshees we speed down the main road in a long flowing line to the trailhead. My nerves were outta control and legit, I hadn’t ridden more than 5 miles of singletrack in the past couple of months. I felt I was in way over my head. I told myself that all I needed to do was make it half way then I could chill, drink beer and relax. You can do this, you have nothing to prove, so just bike and take in the nature.

As I hit the singletrack I realized I would be hiking instead of riding, a lot! As I got down on myself for my lack of skills I caught up with the Back Of The Pack Crew. This group of bad ass, big hearted, crazy fun and sweet dudes (and ladies) ride for the pure love of riding. I awkwardly hiked my bike over the rocky creek crossing to sit with them. As I sat catching my breath the crew was just chilling, taking a moment and enjoying the views. I also caught up with my new friend Amy. She informed me that everyone was walking as much as I was that no body gave a shit and that we were going to have a kickass day. I felt the stress, nerves and anxiety fall into the creek and wash away.  It was gonna be a rad day I thought. And with a smile I took a swig off someone’s flask that was filled with the most delicious Rye. The day would continue like this. I had no phone, no computer, no contact with the outside world, had no idea what mileage we were at or even where we were. I couldn’t take pictures, tweet, facebook, instagram or text. I was forced to be in the moment and I relished it.


 During a typical bike race people obsess about how many miles they have gone, how many miles to go and how fast every mile was. This race was much different. This would mark the first time that I’ve ever done a race that no one cared about the mileage. Actually no one had a computer (to track mileage, time, and elevation) on their bikes. I was in the middle of nature with a bunch of positive, informative and protective bikers. I would end up having the best ride I’ve ever had and finally ride my ride, not anyone else’s. I was enjoying every view with every moment.

Once I rolled into the half way point I felt a need to finish the ride. Even though I had reached my goal and this had been the most difficult trail I wanted to ride on so that I could spend more time with these super rad guys. I also didn’t want to miss out on seeing the rest of this amazing Arizona singletrack.

The terrain, the beauty of Cave Creek singletrack continued to blow me away as we started the second half. The crew started to dwindle down. It would end up being just four of us, Frog, Jolly, Joey and me. As we rode along the guys would point out plants, rocks, minerals, mountains. I had a private guided tour of their back yard. Awesome. When the sun started to set the sky wrapped us in the warmth of pinks, oranges and blues. Taking a moment to look back and take it all in my bones started to fill with a euphoric peaceful feeling. With the visions of beauty fading to black the mental challenge of not giving up set in. We rode on for about 2 more hours in the dark passing cows, brushing up to a bull, getting dive bombed by an own and crossing paths with a Colorado toad. I was fatigued, bonking (mentally and physically shutting down) and ready to be done yet giddy with the idea that I actually was doing this.

Back of the Pack Crew


It took 11 hours to finish but I came in DFL for womens. Dead Fucking Last, which is a big deal in the SS world. Where have you been all my life, I am always last, I could be pro!!! Okay, moving on. This will mark my biggest challenge and accomplishment on the bike to date. What’s more important is that I made a ton of new friends and spent time with the bike in nature. I got outta my comfort zone, let go of society and truly lived in the moment. The bike is constantly teaching me the ways of the world, this day it was the guys in the back of the pack with the lesson plan. They reminded me why we all ride bikes, for the pure love of riding. It also reminded me of why I write, metal smith and travel, for the pure love of it.

Thank you SSAZ, Drunk Cyclists, Back of the Pack Crew, Scott, Amy, Frog, Jolly, Joey and many more for a weekend full of letting go to be in the moment with no consequences and to just piss in the wind to see what happens.

 *I'd love to hear from you, have questions? Comments? Please contact me at casey [at] caseyshepparddesigns [dot] com Thank you again for reading*  

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Day 23: Multi Layers To A Single Outcome

#YourTurnChallenge was a 7-day blogging challenge started by Seth Godin's Special Projects Lead Winnie, which I was honored to take part in. And I'm gonna keep going!!! I've decided to extend the challenge to 30 days. I will blog everyday from Jan 19th until Feb 17th. Wish me luck and happy reading.




As I stood in a herd of wild single speeders who were amped and ready to seize the day I felt a wave of doubt hit me hard in the gut. I can’t do this. What the hell am I doing? How can I bail?  My once decent muscles that had clung to my thin frame now looked like they were inverted. They loosely dangled from my arms and actually flapped in the wind. I was in no shape for this. I was standing next to girls that were damn bad ass. They were tough, cool and ready to roll. I wanted to cower and hide. But alas, I’m stubborn and don’t usually back out of a challenge. Plus I had nothing to prove today. My goal, to make the half way point of this 36 mile-ish mountain bike ride on a borrowed single speed bike, which means no gears, and to have fun, nothing more and especially nothing less. It would turn out that I’d end the day with 11 hours on the bike to become the Womens DFL (Dead Fucking Last) and taking home rad new friendships, a feeling of belonging, a massive love for single speed bikes and the largest smile ever to exist. But how did this happen? How could something unfold so naturally? How could people be so rad? How could a weekend of bikes, booze and shenanigans bring so much peace?

This is getting pretty deep and will take some thought. As I figure out the words to bring this event to life think on this: what makes you centered, happy and in the moment? 

*I'd love to hear from you, have questions? Comments? Please contact me at casey [at] caseyshepparddesigns [dot] com Thank you again for reading*  

 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Day 22: To Be Continued

#YourTurnChallenge was a 7-day blogging challenge started by Seth Godin's Special Projects Lead Winnie, which I was honored to take part in. And I'm gonna keep going!!! I've decided to extend the challenge to 30 days. I will blog everyday from Jan 19th until Feb 17th. Wish me luck and happy reading. 


I fell asleep in the bathtub I think at least twice. As I type I unintentionally nod in and out. But I continue on even as my thoughts become increasingly weighted with exhaustion. Disregarding natures call to pass out I try to sneak back into the daily routine of things which ends in me getting caught by my holiday self. She uses all her might to try desperately to drag me back. It becomes a tug of war gradually won by reality with the loom of adventure hovering.

What the hell does this mean? Yep, you guessed it; I’m back from Arizona and itching to write all bout it. So patiently hold on to your panties while I conjure up some cleaver words for all our enjoyment. 



*I'd love to hear from you, have questions? Comments? Please contact me at casey [at] caseyshepparddesigns [dot] com Thank you again for reading*  


Friday, February 6, 2015

Day 21: Where Is She?

#YourTurnChallenge was a 7-day blogging challenge started by Seth Godin's Special Projects Lead Winnie, which I was honored to take part in. And I'm gonna keep going!!! I've decided to extend the challenge to 30 days. I will blog everyday from Jan 19th until Feb 17th. Wish me luck and happy reading. 



Being late can cause all sorts of outcomes such as losing your job or trading in that sports car for a mini van. I thought the out come of my lateness would cause disappointment. As you read this post I will be on the road without my laptop and probably no internet.  And so You, my very loyal yet very small group of followers, aren’t left to think I gave up on my 30 day challenge I actually wrote this post a few days ago, which is today. Today started off with me being, yes my kiddies, late. I over slept (which was greatly needed) and then spent my time working on two projects with the same deadline, packing for the Arizona trip and blogging 3 days worth of posts. Currently its 11pm, I still have to finish blogging, packing…shit I have to shower too. Tomorrow (or yesterday for you) I will waken at 6am which is the exact time I’m supposed to hit the road but I’m thinking I’m going to be late. What adventure will that bring?  


*I'd love to hear from you, have questions? Comments? Please contact me at casey [at] caseyshepparddesigns [dot] com Thank you again for reading*  

Day 20: In Search Of Gnar

#YourTurnChallenge was a 7-day blogging challenge started by Seth Godin's Special Projects Lead Winnie, which I was honored to take part in. And I'm gonna keep going!!! I've decided to extend the challenge to 30 days. I will blog everyday from Jan 19th until Feb 17th. Wish me luck and happy reading. 
 



In September I’m taking part in my very first downhill race. Thanks to Amanda Batty and her ProvingPossible Program. The #ProvingPossible project is an ongoing effort to inspire women all over the world to 'Prove Your Own Possible'. They're focused on helping women and girls push their limits by trying new sports to raise the level of both female progression and recognition inside of the action sports industry. This program will finance my very first downhill race entry fee. Rad, thank you.


And holy shit, I’ve got to get my ass on the bike. With my crazy work schedule it’s been hard to find time. That’s why I’ve switched things up. I’m working less and in turn making less money. This also means I’m on a pretty tight budget but if that’s what it takes to ride I’m game.



I’m also trying to get back into bike events like racing or fun rides. This helps improve my skills and involves me in bike communities. This weekend will kick off this year’s festivities with Arizona Single Speed. I know no idea what this means except that I will be borrowing my friends single speed bike (no gears) and hitting up 40 miles of singletrack in Arizona. The rumor is that the course is evil hard. Way to start off small Casey.



I was hoping to have some training time but no. I haven’t ridden 40 miles in months. My last long ride was 20 miles of some what flat paved road on my skinner tires. I think I’m gonna get my ass kicked. Okay, you’re right, I’m gonna get my ass handed to me. Bring it on. Gotta get back in the saddle some how. Plus my goal for the weekend is to just have fun, enjoy being on the bike and with a new bike community. If I finish that’s great if I don’t at least I’m getting out there and doing, not just talking about it. Wish me luck.  



Link to Amanda’s #ProvingPossible Project





*I'd love to hear from you, have questions? Comments? Please contact me at casey [at] caseyshepparddesigns [dot] com Thank you again for reading*   

Day 19: Block That Writer

 #YourTurnChallenge was a 7-day blogging challenge started by Seth Godin's Special Projects Lead Winnie, which I was honored to take part in. And I'm gonna keep going!!! I've decided to extend the challenge to 30 days. I will blog everyday from Jan 19th until Feb 17th. Wish me luck and happy reading. 



I knew this could happen. I didn’t really think it would since my mind never really shuts off or shuts up. I thought I would totally make it 30 days in a row without succumbing to the dreadful….err…uhhhmmm…oh I can’t think of the words….ah ha…writers block!!!

Even though I find myself constantly thinking of something to write about, I’m even thinking of something right now but when I go to put it on the page I’m not motivated. I’m hoping that this is a transition that happens and once I hang on for a couple more days I’ll break through to some free flowing Pulitzer goods. So what do I do til then? Write these jabbering uninviting words to born us both to tears??? Okay let’s look at this logically. It’s what, day 17…no 18, maybe more….wow. I’m trying to focus on writing something insightful, interesting and that can hold the addition of someone like me. And everything should flow nicely together, nothing choppy. And do I know what I’m talking about or am I full of shit. Need to fact check. Then spell check. Grammar check. Edit, read and then re-read. Oh man, I’m kind of dizzy…I feel like I’ve been chasing my tail round round round round round round again. Where’s the catnip?


*I'd love to hear from you, have questions? Comments? Please contact me at casey [at] caseyshepparddesigns [dot] com Thank you again for reading*  

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Day 18: Heart of the Beast

#YourTurnChallenge was a 7-day blogging challenge started by Seth Godin's Special Projects Lead Winnie, which I was honored to take part in. And I'm gonna keep going!!! I've decided to extend the challenge to 30 days. I will blog everyday from Jan 19th until Feb 17th. Wish me luck and happy reading. 





Seven years ago this St. Patrick’s Day I took on something bigger than I could have ever imagined. I became a first time dog owner and to 2 month old boxer, no less. If you aren’t familiar with the mentality of this beast than you are really missing out, they are loving, loyal, kind and hyper as hell. When people meet India they comment on how sweet she is and notice how well we get along. It wasn’t like that at the beginning. For the first six months of our relationship we couldn’t stand each other, at times loathed each other. This was just when we played in the yard. Walks, oh man…I’d have to stop and take a break so I won’t kill her. As I would sit on a park bench trying to regain my cool, India would sit far away from me doing the same. But things soon changed after we took a training class. Once we understood which roles we played, I am the human India is the dog, the bonding started. That bond has continued to strengthen over our seven years of companionship. 

 Even though Speed Racer is her favorite movie she also really digs Coming to America, what can I say this dog has taste!!!



What can I say about this crazy tiger striped clown? She’s a trail dog who loves bikes. She’s terrified of thunderstorms, loves pig ears, really wants to eat a cat, gallery goer, studio dog, people lover (she secretly thinks she’s human), bed hog, snuggle queen and  has the worst farts ever. But I gotta say I’ve never met a being with a bigger heart. This is probably why she has more friends than I do.




Best part about India, besides scaring everyone with her fierce 70 lbs. all muscle boxer frame? That she reminds me what unconditional love is all about. Reminds me to take a dance break while making breakfast. Reminds me that when I’m sick or sad or down and out that rubbing a dogs belly will fix it all.







Speaking of beasty love, please check out this beautiful article about how dreams, passion, dedication and love make things happen. This is my Bestia family. Enjoy.



*I'd love to hear from you, have questions? Comments? Please contact me at casey [at] caseyshepparddesigns [dot] com Thank you again for reading*   

  

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Day 17: Down to the Dirty

#YourTurnChallenge was a 7-day blogging challenge started by Seth Godin's Special Projects Lead Winnie, which I was honored to take part in. And I'm gonna keep going!!! I've decided to extend the challenge to 30 days. I will blog everyday from Jan 19th until Feb 17th. Wish me luck and happy reading.


My passion for tools, metal and wearable art is sometimes beyond my comprehension. What I do understand is after a few minutes at my studio bench there is a flick of a switch, like in mountain biking. It’s a kind of trance that takes me somewhere else. It feels like someone has taken over my hands and creates something that my mind had no idea they knew how to make. That’s how I know this is my passion and I’m addicted. Just like the bike and my community I’m unable to function properly without it. This gives me one of the greatest gifts, the gift to know that you’ve had a good day when you have a little dirt under your nails. 


*I'd love to hear from you, have questions? Comments? Please contact me at casey [at] caseyshepparddesigns [dot] com Thank you again for reading* 



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Day 16: Line Crossing

#YourTurnChallenge was a 7-day blogging challenge started by Seth Godin's Special Projects Lead Winnie, which I was honored to take part in. And I'm gonna keep going!!! I've decided to extend the challenge to 30 days. I will blog everyday from Jan 19th until Feb 17th. Wish me luck and happy reading.


“Commitment is the line you must cross. It’s the difference between dreaming and doing.”


In my first year of mountain biking I came across this quote and many versions like it. The more experienced riders told me I needed to fully commit to a difficult skill or task while on the bike or I’d crash. It was that simple. I wasn’t sure if I believed them, could it really be that simple? Guess there is only one way to find out. I figured the best way to test their philosophy was on a group ride. I became anxious as we approached a steep difficult drop that I was very familiar with. Actually I had become a pro at somersaulting down it while clinging onto the bike. Okay, it’s show time. As I nervously reached the edge hands sweating, heart racing I told myself “you are going to do this, you totally have this. Commit Casey!!!” I was actually shouting this out to myself just incase I couldn’t hear my thoughts. The drop was so steep that I had to push myself back far enough so I won’t topple over the handle bars. My saddle (bike seat) was about in my chest but I wasn’t an acrobat today, I cleared it. Hellz Yeah, this commitment thing worked!! They were right. I was doing not dreaming. To this day all I have to do is commit and there are no crashes. In a way it made something hard easy. It was as if life had no choice but to succeed when in that state of mind. So how does this bike philosophy parallel with life? Does it translate? Will it have the same result? What if I crash or fail? I guess the only way to truly find out is to commit.



*I'd love to hear from you, have questions? Comments? Please contact me at casey [at] caseyshepparddesigns [dot] com Thank you again for reading*   


Monday, February 2, 2015

Day 15: Maintaining The Flow State

#YourTurnChallenge was a 7-day blogging challenge started by Seth Godin's Special Projects Lead Winnie, which I was honored to take part in. And I'm gonna keep going!!! I've decided to extend the challenge to 30 days. I will blog everyday from Jan 19th until Feb 17th. Wish me luck and happy reading.





The moment I’m at my best, the most free, in the flow and connected with the universe is when I’m doing what I do. And yesterday was one of those days. I’m collaborating with an artist who lives in Europe but it just happened that she was going to be in San Diego for a week. Hot damn. This means roadtrip. Since I only had a day I was going to take advantage of every moment. That’s right that means a trail ride. I packed up the bike and found an easy trail that was about 20 miles east of San Diego. The day was coming together. There was even a constant flow in traffic, no stopping, that’s so strange, especially for LA.

I’ve done this numerous times, packed up the bike, rode a trail and then meet up with a new artist. In a couple of months this will be my life for a year. I gotta say I was a bit nervous. What the hell am I doing? I can’t do this, can I? As my nerves and doubts kicked in I pulled up to the trail head. After a quick change from the California girly sundress to my biking outfit of baggy shorts, bike tshirt and bandana, I was ready to role. As I jumped on the bike and clipped in I was damn giddy! And after bout two minutes the usually flick of the switch happened. I was flying, peddling as fast as I could through loss dirt and gravel. Even though the trail was pretty flat there were a few kickers that I hit full speed in hopes to catch a little air. I was free. I was out of my head in nature and hanging with one of the raddest steeds ever, skidmark (my bike). When I didn’t think it could get any better the sun popped out its pretty shinny face. As I sped back to the car, I laughed as I sang out as loud as I could to Tom Petty…I’m free….free falling. Yeah universe, I feel ya.

Time to load up the bike, hit the gas station restroom which I would use to convert myself, for the last time today, into my normal chilled out artist grab with motor cycle boots…to boot.

While driving into San Diego I was feeling good, really good actually. My job at the Beast is so physical that my body always hurts. Today’s ride felt as if it kicked me back into the cyclists that I haven’t seen since I moved to LA. I’ve missed her and it was nice to have her back even if it was just for the day. I was now getting nervous to meet the artist. I really only knew her by conversing over emails for the past couple of months. But I always get a little nervous before meeting someone new, that’s normal. Plus today was a good day, I was feeling it. Venture on.

We meet on the beach. It was short and kind of awkward at first. But today was a day of planets aligning, even for the strange awkward ones. When we talked about our project the nerves started to disappear and we found ourselves geeking out. This was a blast. After a few hours I was back in the car heading home to LA. As I drove I thought about the day which seemed unrushed. Usually I feel like time is getting away from me, not today. We just worked and without any effort. I could live this day over and over again without getting frustrated or bored. I’d dig it to the point that would make Bill Murray jealous (I had to go there its Groundhogs day damnit…okay…booo). 

*I'd love to hear from you, have questions? Comments? Please contact me at casey [at] caseyshepparddesigns [dot] com Thank you again for reading*