flat tires & water

many of you know that i recently lost someone very important. i intend to write a long post about him and the past few weeks, but i’m just not there yet. i’ve been feeling somewhat human again this week, and i’ve been trying to force myself to be social and to engage in things i enjoy rather than lie in bed and mope. it’s not healthy for me, it keeps me from being of any use to others, and it’s not going to bring him back.

so. i rode my bike to work yesterday b/c the weather has been really nice, but my back tire somehow went completely flat by the time i left, so i called j to pick me up. while i was waiting, i walked down to the creek and kicked around for a bit. i’m going to try to get back into the habit of taking regular snapshots of life instead of only pulling out the camera for “photography.”

i love water. if there is a creek nearby, there’s a good chance i’ll end up in it.

more snowflakes

i guess now that i’m using sunlace a little more (although not nearly enough, sorry!), i should work on the menu. i didn’t create one at first b/c i wasn’t sure what categories i’d use frequently, etc. oh, one more thing to do in this insanely busy little life of mine. :)

i’ll be making a neat little post later that should be pretty exciting. until i get that all fixed up for you, here are a few snowflakes from the last mini blizzard we had in oklahoma. the snow is always so bittersweet for me; i just adore shooting tiny ice crystals, but, as an arizona baby, i’ve never developed anything but pure content for the cold. it’s always worth it later, though, when i’m warm and toasty in my house and have lovely snowflake photos all around.

arizona in panorama

until i get the rest of the photos up, here are a few panoramic images i captured during my trip. click on each photo to see a larger image with more detail.

i chased the sunset on friday night about twenty minutes west of phoenix to catch a mountain sunset. i wiggled under a barbed wire fence and walked pretty far out into an open area for this one.

i went hiking in the estrella mountains on saturday and took a full 360 pano of where i was standing so you’d be able to see what i saw all around me.

i traveled back to estrella on sunday before my flight and hiked to the top of the mountain. here’s the view from where i sat for a bit. you can see on the sides how steep the climb was. i had a heck of a time getting down.

postcards now available

i’m gathering all the photos from my weekend in arizona and will have a nice little update for you soon. in the meantime, i thought i’d let you know that i’ve added my postcards to the online shop at embrea. there are three sets: the first of many upcoming editions of polamour polaroid-a-day, tiny little snowflakes, and a random collection of a few of my favorites from around oklahoma. i’ll have some new sets to introduce in the next month or so, too.

visit the postcard shop at embrea.com to pick up a set for yourself or a friend. :)

snowflakes & updates

i’m awful at updating my blog, i know. i have a million things i should probably be posting, and i’ll try to get around to that later. to catch you up a little, i decided to move into the manor and rent my little house to a friend. it’s been great so far, aside from all the unpacking that is yet to be completed. i made it through the year end horse show finals, tried to remove the tip of my finger and ended up with stitches, and had an amazing birthday week with people i adore. i’m flying to phoenix on friday to shoot a concrete blonde show; i’m pretty excited about it. i’ve added a little player with a few of my favorite concrete blonde songs in case you’re not familiar with them.

for you polamour lovers, i decided to not end the project on my birthday at the one year mark. thank you for all the support during the first year, folks. i really appreciate it. i hope you’ll stick around for 2011 and watch me spend way too much money on film. hooray, priorities!

we had our first (tiny) bit of snow in oklahoma city yesterday. i had to scramble around in boxes to find all of my macro equipment, so i only managed to catch a few flakes before the sun went down. they were coming in little puffy clusters, and they weren’t sticking to the ground for more than a few minutes, but i’m hoping for more before the of winter. i hope you appreciate that i’m willing to lie on the cold, wet ground and freeze my fingers for long periods of time just so i can capture these for you. :)

sorry i’ve been so flaky. har har. ♥

pony adventures

i’d forgotten about the little pony photo story until i was going through my flickr today. it’s silly and cute, so i’m sharing it here.

i met four new friends today at mary’s swap meet! they invited me on an adventure. i accepted, of course.

gray pony said they were heading to the top of stone mountain. they tore off through the low desert, hoping to get there before nightfall.

we came up on a river, and buckskin pony walked carefully through to make sure crossing would be safe. how thoughtful!

on the other side of the river was the base to stone mountain. the ponies galloped excitedly up and over peaks.

palomino pony suddenly got a second wind and bounded up ahead of the other ponies. “wait up!” gray pony called.

whoa! that was a close call, palomino pony. whoever knew that stone mountain ended in a cliff?

black pony looked off across the canyon and wondered what new adventures awaited below…


i know a lot of you have been waiting (and complaining) for some time now that i removed the store from my photography site, but it was hard to keep up with the one of a kind items, so i decided to start from scratch. mr jonathan youngblood worked his programming magic to help me out, and i’m happy to finally announce the launch of the new boutique, embrea.

you can buy prints from the entire polamour collection (well, almost entire; i have to add the latest ones) and a handful of prints from my standard photography collection. i’ll be adding many more as i get time, so don’t be discouraged if your favorite(s) aren’t up yet. you can let me know, too, if you’d really like for me to add a specific one right away.

i’m working on new photo pendants and a few non-photo jewelry pieces, and i promise to list those as soon as they’re ready. i’m also in the process of putting together new frames and displays for upcoming shows, and i’ll be sure to add a few of those when i can.

the fun thing about embrea is that we’ve created a point system. each point = 10¢ (ten points = $1). this way, you can earn points through contests, trades, etc, and redeem them on anything listed at embrea. here are two ways you can earn points right now:

  • (10pts) post about and/or link to polamour, sunlace, or haley luna photography in your blog. i hear about so many posts through the grapevine, and this is a good way for people to let me know when they’ve mentioned my projects.
  • (5pts) follow sunlace via google connect. you can find it on the bottom of the right sidebar. i know most of you subscribe to the rss, but the little connect box i’ve added will give me one more place to pick from for giveaways.

i’ll keep adding new ways to earn points, and i’m always open to trade for certain polaroid cameras, instant film, old screw mount lenses, etc.

return from weg

i’m back from eleven days at the 2010 world equestrian games in kentucky. i’m still worn out from all the walking and working, so i’ll have to fill you in later with more details, snapshots, etc.

i had to skip the plaza festival this year b/c weg put me back in okc with only a short time to prepare for a booth, and i decided not to overstress myself for a change. crazy. regardless, i will be making it out there to visit with everyone, so keep an eye out for me.

for now, i leave you with my favorite cross-country eventing jump at kentucky horse park. :)

the david shores saga: part 1

i’ve named this “part 1″ b/c i’m pretty sure this is going to be an ongoing thing. if you’re just now joining us, this is the story of the house (bloodmoon manor) my friend and i bought together two months ago. we hired a contractor to do a bunch of small things before closing, then rip out and redo both bathrooms after closing. he ripped out the entire downstairs bathroom, then stopped showing up or answering our calls. he eventually bailed completely and refused to finish the work he started or refund any of the money that he was paid in full out of closing.

to make things more interesting, mom hired him to do a few things, including fix a leak in her flat roof. she bought a bunch of materials, and he did a little work but never came back to finish. it leaked worse than it did before on the first big rain, so she went up to find out that he hadn’t repaired the damaged area at all; he’d only painted a little tar over it. and, he took all of the materials she’d purchased.

since my post (and its great repost momentum on facebook), another lady told one of my friends (who forwarded her message to me) that he did her roof, but it didn’t pass inspection, so another company had to do it, and he’s still threatening to put a lien on her house if she doesn’t give him more money.

if you’re curious, this is what he left us with after taking over $3k:

the full story with all the details is long, so i put it under the cut if you want to read it. it was originally on facebook (proper capitalization and all!), but i had to take it down b/c it was about another member of fb. he’s even threatened to go after me for “slander”. durp.

we met with new contractors today at the manor to find out what we need to do to fix it, and it turns out that david did a bunch of illegal stuff with the plumbing. he also did such shoddy work that they’ll probably have to tear out his mess and start over. they’re getting the quotes together over the weekend, and then i’ll be filing a suit against david for what we paid him and what it’ll cost to fix the damage he’s done. stay tuned!

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that chevy malibu thing i did

some of you may remember the recent death of my saturn. if you’re new to the story, there’s really isn’t much to tell; the engine threw a rod, and i had it towed to the back of the driveway at the manor. it seemed like a good enough place to let it sit until i figured out what to do with it.

i wasn’t exactly stranded. i have a lot of friends in the area, and i could carpool or borrow a car if i really needed one. jblood and i carpooled to work most days b/c his rodeo had a brake problem, and he’d just been letting it sit until he someday needed to get it fixed. we both preferred to ride bikes when possible, and the loss of my saturn led to daily bike commutes to work and anywhere else we wanted to go. i figured that this was a great opportunity to be on my bike more often — i’d been slacking off over the past few months b/c it was just easier to drive — and i decided to put off car shopping until the weather turned against me near the end of the year. j fixed his rodeo in the meantime, just to be safe.

not long after this all started, chevy asked me to participate in a promotion where i’d drive a new malibu for a month and blog about it on their site. i almost always politely decline in these situations, but my friends pushed me a bit, and i decided to do it. what could it hurt?

during the first conference call, i asked a lot of questions. they told me to drive the car like i would normally and make it a part of my life. but, they also told me that it would be sold as new once returned and any damage would be my responsibility. i asked if that meant i was to drive it carefully and not put my dog or bike in it, and they danced around it, saying, “use your own judgment.” they wouldn’t flat out tell me, “no, you can’t do x,” but it was very apparent that it was to be driven carefully in town and kept clean. at this point i really started to wonder why i’d agreed to this whole thing, but, at the very worst, it was a chance to test drive a car i wouldn’t have originally been interested in.

one of the annoying things was how they assumed i had dreams of being a full time blogger or something. there was a lot of “your blog will get so much more traffic” and “lots of people will see you.” the thing is, i like to write about things that are going on in my life when i have time. i have no interest in quit my job to be a full time blogger, and i’m not trying to promote this site on a large scale. if you know me and want to read it, cool. if you don’t know me and want to read it, nifty. plus, i already agreed to do the promotion, so stop trying to tell me about how awesome it will be for me b/c i’m not stupid; getting people with a lot of local readers/followers to promote a product for a month in exchange for gift cards is good, inexpensive marketing.

they let me pick the color, but it was between mocha and white. i went with the former. i asked if they had any obnoxious colors, and the dealer said, “chevy doesn’t make ugly cars.” ok.

chevy sent me (and two other bloggers) on missions every week. they were boring housewife-themed missions like “go grocery shopping” and “get a manicure,” but i’m not sure what else i was expecting. surely “go hiking, then throw your muddy bike in the back of the car,”  “tow a horse trailer,” or “drive up a mountain” weren’t in their best interest.

let’s just skip ahead to the pros and cons of this car. on the plus side, it drives smoothly and accelerates quickly. it has a high safety rating and does feel really safe, even on the highway. i came to love the xm radio and ipod controls. i’m torn on the bluetooth. it was pretty neat for the first day or so, but the novelty wore off once i had people in the car and it started automatically answering all my calls. as someone who’s on the phone often, i can see the need for being able to talk without using the phone itself, but the actual implementation could be a lot better. the trunk had a lot of space. this is apparently one of the huge marketing points for the malibu. so, yeah, it does. it won’t fit my bike, though.

on the not-so-plus side, the onstar never worked for me in the city (i could call it, but they couldn’t get turn by turn), and i now have no intention of ever having that feature installed on purpose. google maps on my iphone saved me when onstar had no idea where it was telling me to go. the headrests bend your neck at an uncomfortable angle, and i can’t imagine getting rear ended and not walking away with major neck injuries b/c of this. no matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t get two large coffees (which aren’t huge) in the cup holders at the same time. the middle holders are too close to each other, so you can only have one drink there at a time. there are holders in each door, but they won’t accommodate tall drinks.

at the end of the day, it’s a $30k car that gets ok gas mileage. everyone who rode in it thought it was a nice car, and it is a nice car, but it’s not for me. i don’t know if the name, which i hate, influenced my subconscious (think malibu barbie), but that’s pretty much exactly how it felt to me: a boring car for a content housewife to drive when she takes her polite kids to soccer practice or when she wants to meet her boring friends at a quiet bar where they drink cosmos and flirt awkwardly with the bartender.

whatever, that’s how my brain works.

i honestly don’t hate the malibu. i just wasn’t excited about it at all. from what i understand (from people at work who watch tv), they’re trying to market to women in their 20s-30s. i just think they’re targeting the wrong demographic. don’t get me wrong; it’ll be a great car — it may just be the perfect car — for many of you. it just didn’t suit me at all, and i constantly felt like i had to be overly careful with it.

if that doesn’t make chevy hate me enough, i managed to end up with a knee injury that eventually landed me on crutches a week before i had to take the malibu back. realizing the need for a car in the event that an injury might keep me off my bike, i left the dr. and went straight to the hyundai dealership and bought a 2010 accent. it’s adorable, gets good mileage, and there’s a 0% interest for 60 months promotion going on (to move out the 2010s). they sent a tow truck after my poor dead saturn, for which i’d just received a violation from the city (having a nonworking car parked on my property) and had ten days to remove. my dealer drove to lawton and brought me back a green one that evening b/c i hounded him until he found one. it has all the features i liked in the malibu and enough room for many drinks. in fact, jblood liked my accent so much that he went and bought the exact same one (in dark gray) the following monday.

so cute.

i have to thank chevy for helping me decide what features i’d like in my new car and for making me realize that i could, in fact, live with an automatic transmission. as it turns out, clutchless is the way to go when you have a knee injury. to be honest, i’d have slightly preferred a manual in the accent, but they only offer it in a stripped down version (no auto doors or locks, etc). i still love it, though, so i’ll live.

i hate that i’m admitting this, but i really want to put daisy rims on it.