Posts

The current exhibition of works by prolific African artist El Anatsui at the Denver Art Museum is a visceral manifestation of the ancient storytellers. Using what the immediate has to offer, Anatsui’s wood work, metal sculptures, clay pieces and installations whisper deep into the soul. Shimmering tapestries of bottle caps hang and drape the Hamilton gallery space like stained glass windows for everyman. One of the artist’s quote stenciled on a wall “Rather than recounting history, my art is telling about what history has provoked” resonates within me as a playwright, while others make me want to scrawl them out large on my children’s walls… or perhaps my own.
Pull from your personal history for inspiration
Look for materials in the immediate environment
Travel, and bring your travel experience to bear in your work
Allow for the possibility of something unexpected and wonderful to happen
A professor for many years at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, Anatsui teaches a way of seeing the world—a process rather than a particular style. His advice to his art students reveals much about his own art and his connection to a timeless wisdom.
Read more of my journey through this grounding and uplifting exhibit.

If you’ve never had the joy of experiencing Ballet Nouveau Colorado’s Carry On with Paper Bird, you should consider giving yourself a gift. A dreamy collaboration of spirits which weaves the innovative choreography of BNC with an original score from indie folk fav, Paper Bird. Part love story, part natural phenomenon, it’s as magical as the Aurora Borealis on an open plain.
Read more on my Huffington Post blog as I kvell about the show and my conversation with Ballet Nouveau Artistic Director, Garret Ammons.
Carry On with Paper Bird, one night only. Friday night 9/7, at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, presented by Arts & Venues Denver as part of the Western Arts Alliance Annual Conference. Tickets to one of my favorite things on the planet are available through TICKETMASTER.

Let’s face it, no matter how much Oprah says it, shopping for the right bra is enough to send a girl scrambling to refill her Prozac. Unless you’ve got SOL…
Blow a kiss goodbye to standing half naked in a cold dressing while a salesgirl, cheerfully ignorant of the effects of gravity, sweeps in with a tape measure, an attitude and an armload of magic-memory-foam-underwire-gel-ultra-turbo-maxi-uplift contraptions designed for her sorority sisters. It’s all good when you’ve got youth or silicone on your side, but what looks great on an “Angel” looks like hell on a grown-ass woman.
Escape from the mall and wander over to Cherry Creek North to SOL…store of lingerie. It’s a little slice of heaven where a woman can hold her head and her bust line high. Rather than padding your ego, SOL sisters Cindy Johnson and Jeanie Peterson with their expertise and superb service, have grown their boutique into one of the country’s leading specialty lingerie stores and before you hit the dressing room you’ll know why. I took the girls in for a peek and found my new addiction.
The shop is simple and elegant, a beautiful frame for the exquisite designs. Part art, part architecture, the European intimate apparel carried by SOL goes way beyond what you’ll find at the mall. As we strolled the display boards chatting about style– body, bra and life— co-owner/psychic/bra-fitter extraordinaire, Cindy led me to a private room, asked me what shapes I liked, concerns I had and left me with “I have a few things you’ll like”. No measuring tape, no calculation of rib-to-nipple ratios, no humiliation… just a simple ‘be right back’. Her re-entry with a hand-picked array of lovelies and her adept handling of the proper fit, had me feeling like everything was in place and all was right with the world.
“How do you choose the lines you carry?” I asked, as I tried on one titillating bra after another. “Well, we used to go to the fashion shows and make lots of appointments with the designers, looking for, let’s say, that perfect red bra. It was crazy. Eventually we learned which lines were consistent with the quality, style and structure that fit our vision, then narrowed it down to those who were also able to deliver on time, as ordered. We’ve taken years to cultivate relationships with the lingerie design houses and have been asked many times to step in as consultants.”
What you pay for at SOL is more than snobbery of a luxury line of European lingerie, it is expertise. This expertise and consultancy has earned Johnson numerous visits to The Today Show, where she shows America what’s important in fit as she shows off what’s in fashion.
The experience is the very definition of personal… and in a good way. Because they put their heart where their SOL is, they create deep, meaningful and lasting relationships not only with designers but with a loyal clientele.
Celebrating 15 years, SOL is in full-birthday-celebration swing. Wednesday night saw a 1920’s themed bash, complete with a Nash. September 6th, stop by the store for a pre-party as Cherry Creek North hosts Fashion’s Night Out, or break out the purple push-up and come along to “Take Me Out to the Rockies” on September 26. October is national bra month and you know Team SOL will be decked out in style on October 7th at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure .
SOL…store of lingerie 248 Detroit St. 303.394.1060

I’m moving! Well actually, I am planning to move. Next year. That’s how long it will take me to prepare my current home as a rental, give the tenants in the other house notice, and most importantly, let my son finish eighth grade at his current school. The idea came to me this summer when my old friend/former neighbor/current client called to discuss her options regarding the inspection objection on her new home. “We’re sitting in the backyard having wine. I wish you were in the hood, you could come over.” And that’s when it hit me; I’m too far away from my friends! I’ve been rumbling a plan around in my head since then, but I knew it was in the cards when my thirteen year old jumped in the car one day and stated, “Mom, I don’t think these suburban kids are my people.” Oh, I feel ya, babe.
Moving to Denver from Los Angeles, we settled in to Congress Park for the first ten years. The boys went to Denver Public schools and loved them. I loved the sense of community I felt; summers under the elm trees at the Congress Park pool, cool autumn evenings on the soccer fields, and all the school activities with the kids and parents I was growing up with. I felt safe, and I felt loved. People got my sense of humor, we shared our sorrows, our secrets and our extra tomatoes when the gardens were good. As our family’s needs and the market changed, we crept slowly southward. I kept the boys in Denver Public Schools as long as I could but the daily commute in the winter was fraying my sanity and my tread. I began to notice my urge for the urban as I kept putting buyers into my favorite neighborhoods; Park Hill, Congress Park, Washington and Platt Parks, Mayfair, (I could go on) but never realized it was all part of my secret plan. Now that Gabe has decided he wants to forgo the big suburban high school experience to attend East with his best friend and the other members of his “tribe”, I’m out of the walk-in closet and all in!
I grew up in the suburbs, have nothing against them in general or my neighborhood in particular. Actually I like it here in this funky little sweet spot called Dream House Acres. Free from the covenants and cul de sacs that make me claustrophobic, I love the wide, hilly streets, the mid-century modern houses and the mountain views from my back patio. I don’t even mind the 20 minute commute when I choose to make it; I’m just a city girl. I need the proximity to the arts and cultural centers, the theaters, restaurants and farmers markets that pop up spring through fall. Most of all, I need to be around a wide variety of people and the sense of community that Denver offers.
Why do I bring this up, you ask? As a real estate agent, I spend my days and into the nights helping movers and shakers change up their lives. While I’m focused on the business of buying and selling homes that make these moves worthwhile, my clients are focused on the mental, emotional, physical and financial planning that leads up to a big change in your habitat. Following a page out of my own playbook, I’ve pulled out the Task Timeline Template which I lovingly bestow upon my clients.

I have completed phase one; Making The Decision. Phase two, Preparing the House, will take much longer; pulling up carpet, throwin’ down a little love on the hardwood floors, the painting, slight upgrades to the kitchen and baths…slight? Who am I kidding? And along the way,I will partake in my favorite slice of Virgo heaven— PURGING! When you think about it, there is no way to move without making a decision about every single thing you own. What stays, what goes, how many sets of socket wrenches do I really need, will I really wear this? Thank god I have a year.

Taking the time to wrap up the dishes and the memories this house holds, I will be mindful to keep the valuables and leave the rest behind. A fresh coat of paint, like a white sheet of paper, lets the new occupants write their own stories on these walls (not in the literal sense, I hope), as I move forward to the next chapter of life. Painting the new place.
If you’re ruminating on such things~ buying or selling, up or downsizing, Spanish Olive vs. Navajo White~ give me a call. We can share tips as we scrub grout and fantasize about the new digs. After all…I’m improving my skills just for you.

Had such a great time at the SaddleUp!Foundation Denver Suitcase Party last summer, it’s time to polish up my vintage ACME Kickers boots, toss a toothbrush in my bag, and pony up again!
The bash is held in a decked out private hanger at Centennial Airport as the sun sets in glorious Colorado style. Mingle, nosh and bevies (and no that’s not a law firm) start the night out right and this year’s entertainment, country music singer Jessie James, is sure to get my saddle-sore fanny to the dance floor. As the evening settles in to the blue light of evening, guests whip out their raffle tickets to check the winning numbers as the stars light up the sky. Lucky winners board Chuck Latham’s Westwind II (hence the toothbrush) and jet off for a two night stay in 5-star accommodations at the Trinchero Winery in Napa Valley.
Tickets include a raffle entry and extras can be purchased at the door, $25 each or 5 for $100. 9 News anchor, Cheryl Preheim and Jonathan Wilde of 92.5 The Wolf’s “Jonathan and Mudflap Mornings” will keep the party going, and who doesn’t like a party for a great cause?
SaddleUp! Foundation is dedicated to empowering individuals with special needs through equine assisted activities and therapies provided at a family-friendly ranch. They bring their mission to life by upholding the highest level of equine facilitated activities and therapies for the mentally, emotionally, and physically challenged, including but not limited to, Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADD/ADHD, Traumatic Paralysis, Muscular Dystrophy, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Fragile X Syndrome, Prader-Willi Syndrome and Multiple Sclerosis.
Hmmm….what to pack? Black, of course. White, of course, red lipstick, toothbrush… I think that about covers it!

It was a watershed moment at Saturday night’s Riverfront Park Fashion show as the skies opened up for an evening shower. Thankfully, the downpour took place between designers, but left the fashionistas running for cover in cabanas, under umbrellas and in cupcake stands. With hair drenched and clothes so wet they were see-through, guests cheerfully waited out the storm’s passing and when the DJ cranked it up again they took to the runway for a spontaneous dance party!
The natural intrusion was a great leveler, changing the see-and-be-seen scene into a live-and-let-live celebration, unleashing waves of childish joy.
To read my pre-bash post CLICK HERE, and to check out fellow Huff Post bloggess, Andrea Real’s post-show coverage and event slide show CLICK HERE.

One of Denver’s architectural wonders is the Fredrick C Hamilton Building, designed by Daniel Libeskind at the Denver Art Museum.. With its jutting roof line and walls all akimbo, I love its mix of elegance and surprise. Apparently the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent did too because when DAM Director, Christoph Heinrich, approached them to host the Yves Saint Laurent Retrospective they said “Oui”. They make for a chic ensemble and quite the coup. Denver is the only stop in North America before this exquisite exhibit heads south of the border. New York must be green with envy.

When Yves Saint Laurent took his seam ripper to the nipped Dior waistline, he unleashed the power of the modern woman and seems to have designed her wardrobe for the past 50 years. The words ‘jumpsuit, pantsuit, safari look and bolero jacket’ were rarely heard before the genius of the YSL moment, and never to describe fashion. Influenced by global culture, Saint Laurent drew his inspiration from the arts and artists, from operas, literary figures, personal muses and “aesthetic ghosts;” he has woven time into the timeless.

Read more.
The Yves Saint Laurent Retrospective lands in Denver for an exclusive look into the designer’s genius. The Denver Art Museum is the only North American stop as this exquisite exhibit travels from Paris to South America. Why? “Because I asked.” says DAM Director, Christoph Heinrich. With the integration of local fashion stars and designers included in the gift shop and gallery, I say “Magnifique!”

I live and work in a city that fosters and grows its arts and cultural community, lights the way with a beacon of alternative energy investment, and preserves the character of the city’s neighborhoods and Technicolor past… That’s something to look up to.

It took Dr. Richard Alpert, Timothy Leary and countless hits of LSD to learn one simple truth: Be Here Now. So what can the psychologist-turned-spiritual guru, Baba Ram Dass, teach you about today’s Denver real estate market? BUY. HERE. NOW.
With nary a trace of mind-altering substance in sight, I can honestly tell you that the time to list your home for sale in the Denver metro area is NOW.
“How now” you say?
• Because EVERYONE else IS WAITING until spring.
• Because buyers ARE out looking.
• Because SHOWINGS ARE UP and inventory is down.
• Because all FOUR OFFERS I wrote in January created a BIDDING WAR.
Now, we all know war is not the answer but in real estate, a competitive market results in sellers driving their purchase price above their asking price. At this point (Jan/Feb, so I’m being here this quarter) the demand exceeds supply and buyers are flying out to snatch up well-priced properties like savvy shoppers after Christmas at Filene’s Basement. There is simply not enough out there. And I’m not just talking of the under-$200-first-time-buyer/investor end of the market. A home priced at or around $300k is likely to move well, despite the common seasonal perception, the Super Bowl or the weather. On Friday, as constant snow flurries were rapidly accumulating inches, agents were rushing out to show homes in order to present their offer s before the “Highest & Best” deadline. (I know this, I was one of them.) Today I submitted an offer for a buyer on a property, sight unseen. The home fit his criterion and he’d been beaten out three other times, so today we take no prisoners.
If you are sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the winter storm to pass before you list your house, remember… you could be pushing up daisies before the crocus pushes through the frosty ground. Now, I don’t mean that in the literal sense of the metaphor, but in the BE HERE NOW spirit.
If you’d like more information on the value of your house, trends in your neighborhood, or a yoga class near you, send me a vibe, a text or find me on Facebook. As the guru said…“We’re all just walking each other home.”
― Ram Dass

All this buzz about the end of days has got me thinking. First came the Absurdist humor Tweets and Facebook posts, followed by invitations to post-Rapture looting parties, (what to wear, what to wear?) and the folly that follows a good thread. But as I rise from my desk to continue the perpetual cycle of laundry, a new status update spins into my head. What if this actually happened? Not tomorrow, I’ve got plans, but maybe later in the week, say… Wednesday after Oprah’s final episode? I picture myself, turning off the television, slightly weepy, and crossing through the kitchen to the basement stairs. Wondering how the flies got in the house, I make a mental note to check the screens. The day is sunny; the rains have gone, and as I pass by the open backdoor I hear a croaking in the garden; a familiar sound of frogs who sang me through the summers of my youth. As I land at the bottom of the stairway I catch a glimpse of my teenage son on the basement couch. It’s well past noon and he’s still sleeping… at least I think he’s sleeping. Surely not the slaying of the first born, I think, and wait… there are no frogs in Denver. I cross to the couch, pass my hand by his open mouth to feel his breath and relieved I reroute to the laundry room.
I empty the dryer of its warm contents and bring them lovingly into folds as Apocalyptic thoughts tumble through my head. How different the world would be if the “Righteous” rose and left the rest behind. I imagine we’d reinstate Universal Healthcare to match the bloated need, which would be so much easier with the insurance lobbyists out of the way. Ditto for environmental causes. The real estate market would explode with vacancies, tipping the stagnant market to the buyer’s favor and foreclosures would drop: it’s hard to evict a zombie. Loans would be readily available with a plethora of bankers and mortgage brokers left, though interest rates might be hellish. I’m thinking the ranch style will be the dwelling of choice; writhing up a flight of stairs can be torture.
My thoughts turn inward. How would I feel if this really happened and how prepared am I to meet my maker? The spin cycle stops. I lift the lid and throw linens from their moist drum into the inferno of the dryer. I’d be okay I think, if the rest of my life is any indication: not the Valedictorian, but above average… top of the class perhaps.
Turning the washer dial 360°, the sound of the basin filling calms me. What the hell am I thinking? Of course you’d go to Heaven, Tracy. You’ll be there to greet the sinless mothers, Bounce sheets in one hand, box of Tide in the other: “Our Lady of Perpetual Laundry”. *smiles* Love can wash away a multitude of sins. Love and a can of Shout.

How do you get into the real estate investing game? One house at a time. Real estate investing, like the stock market, can be daunting for some, but the payoff is worth the learning curve. My client, Kevin, became a landlord in 2007 with the purchase of his first rental property, half of a duplex in the City Park neighborhood of Denver. With a $150,000 purchase price and some minor upgrades to suit his specifications, Kevin was able to create positive cash flow within a few months. Two years later, we looked for another property, scouring for a neighborhood where you could still find a bargain, yet prices were pitched to rise. We found a larger single family, bank-owned home between Park Hill and Stapleton and were able to close on it for $136,000. The rehab was more inclusive, but with Kevin’s skill and good taste he created a very desirable rental which drew a very happy tenant. More cash flow. Today, we closed on his third rental property, in the heart of Park Hill. The $107,000 purchase price gives you an idea of what the market has done over the past few years and why Kevin is a happily building wealth through real estate. With a low down-payment, a well-planned fix-up budget and great interest rate, Kevin will be putting a total of $1,000 a month in his pocket this summer from his three investment properties. When you add in the tax benefits and property appreciation that comes with buying now and holding a long-term investment, Kevin is coming out way ahead.
Buying rental property is a great way for creative people to build long-term, sustainable wealth. For Kevin, this is the perfect blend of creativity and commerce and we’ll be following his journey through the fix-up process. Do you think this might be a good path for you? Call, text or email me, I’d be glad to show you successful strategies for building wealth through real estate. Till then, THRIVE BABY!