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From the Sierra Mountains in California

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From the Sierra Mountains in California

Post by LeslieVasquez on Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:24 am

Thar's Gold in Them Thar Hills!!!

I'm from the Motherlode. The area where they discovered Gold in California that started the Gold Rush in the 1800s. It's in the spectacular Sierra Mountains ... the foothills which are also quite lovely. I live closest to a town called Volcano where they once took 90 million in gold out during the heyday so that's fun to say I'm from. During the Gold Rush 5,000 lived here but now only about 100 in town but like I say ... I'm not actually in town. A lot of mountain people up here are spread out in these hills, not in towns at all.

Although technically a "stay at home" mom for the past 9 years, my husband and friends call me the "stay outdoors" mom because I've been an oncall tour guide for Black Chasm Caverns since they opened in 2000 (they call me their "call girl" Wink and I also lead their 3-hour adventure tours crawling through tunnels, rock climbing, and rappelling a 30-foot cliff. I also kayak (babies love it), hike, snowshoe, ski, backpack, fish, etc. all with my kids in tow.

Before kids I was a freelance writer. I had a few articles in National magazines (Mothering Mag, Backpacker, etc.) but mostly it was regional publications, newspapers, or website writing.

I've also done some professional storytelling (which is not reading ... it's more theatrical but it's not theater either ... it's often funny and spontaneous but it's not improv and I like to incorporate music into my performances).

I've been on the local television station for various things but not as a paying gig. Most people know me either from my outdoor adventures or as the mom who gave birth to her child in her car in the lane of traffic at a stop light on the way in to a Sacramento birth center. Now that's a great story to tell if we ever meet in person.

I started doing art because the schools didn't have a program and I felt my kids should do it but what I didn't expect is I fell in love with art myself at the same time. Within a year the Amador County Recreation Agency hired me to teach art to adults and kids now and then. Then the Arts Council hired me to teach it in the schools in the spring. I started winning awards at fairs and such.

Then a year ago there was a fundraiser at my child's school and a PTA mom stopped me while I was picking up my kids and said their face painter had just cancelled and the carnival was 2 days away, would I do it. I said, "I don't know how to paint faces." She handed me a box of Halloween paints begging me to give it a try. So I went on Utube and found Lisa Joy Young's videos and I knocked it out of the park at the event. Don't you just LOVE Lisa?

Even older kids (too cool for face painting) were lining up. My tip jar was full and I donated that to the PTA for their fundraiser. Unexpectedly the PTA paid me $25 after the event.

A week later an agency called First 5 called me saying, "Word around town is you're an awesome face painter. We want to hire you to paint faces at our Holilday Carnival." And so I bought the "real" paints (DFX), began to educate myself about the business, and started getting occasional jobs here and there. My youngest wasn't in K yet (she started this year) so I didn't really persue the jobs ... they just kind of found me. Once my little one started K, I began to set up my website and look for jobs.

I totally LOVE face painting although I'm still terrified each time I stop to think about how many faces I'll have to do at my next event since I'm so new to it. I still worry I'll have an off day and everyone will be disappointed.

I love it that they call this area that I live in the Motherlode. Miners used to call it "seeing the elephant" as they came West because it was so very different and new to them or they'd exclaim "Eureka!" when they struck gold after much hard work and hardships ... I guess you could say, I've seen the elephant and I LOVE it. Eureka! I've finally arrived. I've found the Motherlode.
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LeslieVasquez

Number of posts : 19
Location : Sierra Mountains, California
Registration date : 2012-11-30

http://www.LeslieVasquez.net

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Re: From the Sierra Mountains in California

Post by LeslieVasquez on Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:27 am

Forgot to mention, if you've ever seen the movie the Matrix ... movie 3 or 4 where they go down into Zion ... the movie makers based their set of Zion partially on Black Chasm Caverns where I guide. They thought we were cool! Can't get much cooler than that!
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LeslieVasquez

Number of posts : 19
Location : Sierra Mountains, California
Registration date : 2012-11-30

http://www.LeslieVasquez.net

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Re: From the Sierra Mountains in California

Post by LeslieVasquez on Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:50 am

Forgot to mention the Shenandoah Vineyards are here too.
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LeslieVasquez

Number of posts : 19
Location : Sierra Mountains, California
Registration date : 2012-11-30

http://www.LeslieVasquez.net

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Re: From the Sierra Mountains in California

Post by Valerie A on Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:38 pm

Welcome Leslie
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Valerie A

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Location : Near Eugene Oregon
Registration date : 2012-07-18

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Re: From the Sierra Mountains in California

Post by PaolaSunglow on Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:46 pm

Welcome. cheers
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PaolaSunglow

Number of posts : 1400
Age : 51
Location : South New Jersey/Shore
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Re: From the Sierra Mountains in California

Post by Katurah on Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:51 am

Welcome! bounce Very Happy
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Katurah

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Age : 22
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Re: From the Sierra Mountains in California

Post by fesspenter on Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:04 am

Welcome to the Forum!
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fesspenter

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Location : Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Re: From the Sierra Mountains in California

Post by anniel on Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:41 am

Good to meet you!
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anniel

Number of posts : 2316
Location : Denver
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Re: From the Sierra Mountains in California

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