Creative Corner : Artist Benjamin Gazsi

We’re republishing one of our favorite artist interviews today – originally posted on April 22, 2014.

Ben Gazsi is an artist who may be best known for his eco-sculptures, but before we delve into his work, let’s get one thing out of the way. Yes, his given name really is Benjamin Gazsi; it’s a Hungarian name, not a political statement related to incidents in the Libyan city.  And get this, he’s not the only Ben Ghazi (different spelling intentional) to be asked such questions. So, on with the art then?

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I discovered Ben’s work while preparing for our camping trip to Cooper’s Rock State Forrest. I knew that his bear sculpture was still standing and was excited to see it and take a few pictures while we were there. As luck would have it, Ben was in the forest working on his next installation for Cooper’s Rock: a turtle that is being unveiled today, Earth Day 2014! Of course I couldn’t pass up the chance to photograph his process and ask a few questions.

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Winter Photography Tips

Sarah is a professional freelance photographer – she’s always sharing tutorials. Learn how to find flattering natural light for selfies and portraits or catch tips on photographing kids and pets. See what camera Katie shoots with or check out my favorite lenses.

Live Seasoned Spring 16 Photographing Winter Landscapes08Live Seasoned Spring 16 Photographing Winter Landscapes14 We agree, it’s a little bit strange to talk about Winter Photography Tips in mid-April, but did you see all the snow that fell in Boulder this past weekend? It wouldn’t stop! With a house full of food and relatives and the fire on full blast, we enjoyed every second of the snow.  We even made it outside for a hike up the mountainside.  If you’re still enjoying wintery snowscapes, here are a few practice pieces of advice for photographing in the snow. Continue reading

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Seasoned View : Vol. 24

Each month we share our Seasoned View.  Snapshots of nature and daily life taken by the Seasoned sisters. Find our archive of past months’ views here.

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Bali! Before heading to Bali, I groaned at the thought of it.  I had only ever heard Bali mentioned during prize puzzles on Wheel Of Fortune and it was always preceded by ‘an all inclusive 9-day getaway!’ blah, blah, blah. I imagined it to look like one huge Sandals resort. Ick. Not my kind of traveling (I apologize if it’s yours!) I thought, no way, not going to Bali, any other Indonesian island, yes, Bali, nope! Holy crap I was wrong. Bali is amazing.  There are a couple touristy beaches on the southern side of the island, but beyond that Bali is an amazing, lush, green gem of an island.  More on that in another post, but for now here’s a few new Seasoned Views for your April desktops and backgrounds. Usually we share images that Kate and I took over the past week, but we’re taking it wayyyy back this month and sharing photos of where I was exactly four years ago. Welcome to time traveling with the Seasoned sisters.

You can upload one or all of these photos to use as your desktop background or even as phone and tablet wallpapers.  Simply click on the download link below each photo and save the image.  Enjoy!

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Why I Fell in Love with Laos After Only Five Days

If you are curious about exactly where I went in Laos and how it all went down, here’s a detailed (might I say too detailed) account of my trip in 2012.
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Laos! A country most people have never heard of or at least could not place on a map. The same was true for me before I lived and worked in Thailand. Once I found myself in southeast Asia, I became aquatinted with small countries that surrounded me as I hoped to explore each of them. Laos had always intrigued me because I heard so very little about it.  I must admit, I did very little research before heading to Laos, which is how I go about most trips (for better or worse), but nothing I read hinted at exactly how beautiful, calm, sleepy, and kind Laos can be to travelers.

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Five Ways to Have a Better Day

With my recent travel mishap, I’ve been thinking about moods and emotions and the power we have over them. I must say, I have the ability to become gruuuuumpy.  Nine times out of ten it’s because I’m hungry or tired and once I realized this correlation, I was amazed at how easily I could control my mood for the better.  It’s like once I recognized the problem, I was able to address the effects of it even if I couldn’t immediately solve it. Admittedly, some days I have no idea what the problem is. I wake up and wish I were still sleeping. It could be attributed to something in my work life or maybe my student loan bill is due or maybe my personal relationships are troubling me, but whatever it is, an easy solution isn’t always present and I just want to lie under the covers for a few more hours.  Ultimately that makes me feel even worse.  Ignoring the day is no way to go about creating a happy life. It’s important to check in with yourself, acknowledge your pitfalls, but ultimately to shake them off, get out of bed, and get on with your day.  Easier said than done, right? I hoping these five ways to have a better day will have you up and at ‘em before you remember what’s troubling you.

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Take a moment and a mantra – Take a few deep breaths. I’m talking deep, belly breathing, breaths. Choose a mantra for the day and remember to talk to yourself like you would someone you love. If your bestie was having a rough day, what would you say to him or her? Decide on a few wise words or a mini goal for instance: I am compassionate, I will use my actions to help others feel loved today, or whatever you think you need to hear and repeat that three times. I try to think of whatever I’m dreading for the day, maybe it’s completing a project or a deadline, and gear my mantra towards that goal: I’m creative and productive. My work is valuable and appreciated. Whatever you need to hear, say it to yourself, don’t wait for someone else to acknowledge your struggle or congratulate your triumphs.

Call an amigo – Even though I’m not really a phone person, talking to a friend or family member helps immensely.  Sometimes we all fall into a funk and we need a familiar voice to pick us up a little bit. It’s okay to reach out when you’re feeling stuck, chances are the person on the other end of the line has been there or is dealing with something else at that very moment.  You could be doing them more good than you know.

Spend five minutes enjoying nature – It is proven that a few minutes outside will improve your mood. Don’t wait until lunchtime to sneak a moment in the sunshine, go outside right now.  Spend five minutes taking in your surroundings.  Listen for birds, insects and frogs.  Notice the trees that you see.  Can you name any of them? Acknowledge the growth and decay all around you and appreciate both. Enjoy the absolute absurdity that is life on earth.

Drink Michael’s Secret Stuff – Drink a big glass of water, tea, coffee, kombucha, fruit juice, whatever is your favorite go to beverage, gulp it up.  Offer your body a bit of hydration to kick start your day. Water has the amazing ability to improve your mentality and energy levels.  If you’re fueled up, you’ll certainly function better so start with a big glass of h2o. Oh and if you didn’t get the Space Jam reference you need to reevaluate your life and re-watch the movie 😉

Work up a sweat – Get the blood flowing. Even if you start your morning with one sun salutation, your body will thank you. Stretching and sweating releases endorphins, which in turn improve your mood. When we’re feeling bummed, the last thing we want to do is go to the gym, but you don’t even have to take it that far. Simply lie down and do thirty crunches or hold a plank for thirty seconds.  After that try twenty lunges or squats, there is no way you’ll regret slipping in a few seconds of exercise and who knows, it may turn into an hour of sweating and stretching.

If that’s not enough, here’s a valid excuse to watch cat videos, which will definitely cheer you up!

Image by the loveliest lady
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The Great Backyard Bird Count is Happening Right Now!

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Hey peeps! The backyard bird count is happening this weekend! Learn all about it here, but basically you sit somewhere for 15 minutes or more and you tally up all the different kinds of birds you see then you report in with your findings.  Read this, it’s a good introduction of what you’re getting into.  You can make it as big or as small of an affair in your household as you please.

Yesterday and today I simply sat in front of my big office window watched the woods behind my house for thirty minutes.  It’s kind of meditative and if you’re thinking you can’t sit still and do nothing (you’re actually helping quite a bit!) listen to a podcast or an audio book while you wait and watch. I’m currently listening to All The Birds In The Sky by Charlie Jane Anders. Total coincidence BTW.

If you have children, this would be a great time to get out any bird identification books you might have, bird stuffed animals, stories about birds or even a big pair of binoculars.  While you’re at it, you could fill any feeders you have hanging on your porch or in your yard.  Get your babes interested in our feathery friends.  My pop started taking me on bird walks at a very young age and I still remember the wonderment I felt finding and identifying different birds.  Great egrets and snowy egrets were some of the first I learned and to this day I still get excited when I see them even though they’re hella common.  Have an amazing weekend and whatever your plans, make time to spend at least fifteen minutes contributing to the Great Backyard Bird Count.

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Welcome January

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A new year! Ugg/yay. I’m feeling so many feelings about the flipping the calendar from 2015 to 2016. Excitement about all to come while wanting to slow down time because I don’t want to miss a moment and there’s so much to do, but I’m sure many of you feel the same way. I’m assuming that this is a sign of old age? blah.

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Seasoned View: Vol. 21

Each month we share our Seasoned View.  Snapshots of nature and daily life taken by the Seasoned sisters. Find our archive of past months’ views here.

Happy New Year everyone!  We have a nice mix of sunny and frosty for your January edition of Seasoned View. All of these images were taken my Katie or myself in Colorado over the past two weeks.  As you can see, we went on our fair share of wintery hikes and we’re suggesting you do the same- you won’t regret it.  Bundle up and get out there!

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You can upload one or all of these photos to use as your desktop background or even as phone and tablet wallpapers.  Simply click on the download link below each photo and save the image.  Enjoy!

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World Rivers Day

Let’s work together to keep our rivers and oceans clean.  Here’s a recent post about our favorite biodegradable shower products.

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Happy World Rivers Day!  Hopefully you’re in close proximity to one and can easily enjoy some cool river water today.  I’m still in Nepal, a country racked with rivers that are fed by beautiful snow capped mountains.  The raging rivers in Nepal power a whopping 80% of the country’s electricity.  Nepal’s three major rivers are the Kosi, Gandaki and Karnali.  Pokhara, where I’m currently living, is near to the Seti Gandaki or White River.  Below you’ll see photos of the white river during a yoga teacher training group outing.  Liveseasoned fall15 rivers2

We ventured ninety minutes outside of Pokhara to hike and visit the hot spring on the White River.  This was actually last week during Clean Up The World Weekend.  My group helped pick up lots of litter at my request.  It was a great bonding experience because none of the Nepali people could fathom why we were picking up trash with our bare hands and insisting we put it in the van and take it back to the hotel.  You can see my Indian asana teacher (in all white) carrying a box we found on the side of the mountain, which we then used to pick up more trash along the White River.

_DSC6749Liveseasoned fall15 rivers6Liveseasoned fall15 rivers3While we did our best to collect trash there is obviously a lot left to be done in Nepal and all over the world.  The river I visited in Kathmandu was absolutely trashed.  It’s no wonder since it runs through a city that is home to over a million people.  It was quite a surprise to me though because my guesthouse receptionist describe it as an amazing natural area.  You could say I was a little disapointed when the local bus dropped me off here.

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Then there is the Bagmati River, the one in which cremated remains of hindus are tossed into. While it’s easy to judge those who use rivers differently, it’s hard to tell if we would act the same if our country’s standards for water cleanliness were different or almost nonexistent like those in Nepal.  We learn from those around us and if your piers are washing their clothes in the water and throwing the detergent wrapper downstream you will almost certainly do the same thing.  One of my favorite books growing up was A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry. It’s the story of native americans and europeans working together to restore a river that had been heavily polluted. I honestly think that book was my first introduction to the concept of water pollution and realizing that whatever you do upstream will have a consequence downstream. It still baffles me that some people don’t realize storm drains lead to rivers and oceans.  It’s never too early to educate your children (or even your adult friends!) about the importance of fresh water and the way we interact with it.

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Happy Autumn Equinox

liveseasoned_fall14_autumn-2Remember this sentiment from last year?  We thought it was too good not to bring it up again.  Ever since I did this quick photo shoot, I’ve been thinking about how much fun it was to have an idea and make it come to life all within a couple hours.  As strange as it sounds, it’s quite rare that I act on my ideas immediately.  I usually write them down and talk myself out of them later.  Often times I think it’s because I don’t have a creative partner (on this side of the country) to help bring my ideas to life.  Whenever Katie and I are together we’re bouncing recipes, products and photo shoot ideas off one another constantly.  Either I move west or stop making excuses for my inability to act because I absolutely love how this little shoot turned out and it was so easy.  This is all to say that Autumn is most definitely a time to act. Seize the day because they’re getting shorter!  By the time I return to the U.S. there will be a chill in the air, but no complaints here, the weather in Nepal is absolutely beautiful right now.  The skies are growing clearer every day, which means more and more glimpses of the Himalayan range.

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Remember to get outside on Monday, September 28th, for the full harvest moon.  The entire yoga group is going to visit Sarankot, a nearby peak to watch the moonrise and do some meditating.  I’m stoked for such an adventure and I think you should plan something just as special 🙂

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