Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Little sweater refashion...

Excuse the bad photos...but I did an easy little project this past week on this sweater I got from Gabes this semester. It was missing a button. So...

I replaced all the buttons with colorful ones I scrounged up and sewed lace around the top.

I like it better this way. :) It was so hard for me to get any good photos of this project. I think my camera is on its way out. This is just to give the general idea I guess.

Seagrove Pottery

Yesterday Dad and I drove out to Seagrove to check out the town and some of the potteries. Our first stop was at the North Carolina Pottery Center where we found information on some of the potters and viewed some exhibits they had up. My favorite part was this little set by Leah Leitson. I'd never heard of her before, but I really like her work.

We chose a sort of bad time to go look around because a lot of potteries were closed for the holiday. The best time to go would have been last week, but we still got to visit a couple of places. One of them being Why Not pottery. I got lucky and was given a tour of their studio space and a peek at their kilns! I liked her little wall tiles as well as the textures she had in her work.
Another place we visited was Jeff Brown and Michelle Hastings shop/studio. I didn't get a studio tour here, but I got a little info on applying textures to work and got to chat about kilns and woodfiring, etc.
And I saw the most fun and ingenius idea ever for making cone packs:
Way more fun than the kind that I ever make. I think my teachers will get a kick out of these guys.

It was a very nice day.

PS: Happy birthday to my brother-in-law, Matt!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

*things I find miraculous...

Charlestown, WV

*the fact that we have minds that think and reason.



*the way music makes us feel things we can't describe with words.

*the way dancing has the ability to make me so happy.

*language...that we recognize symbols as words that represent sounds that we all agree mean certain things. I mean, it's one of the only things that people agree upon.

*that things have smells.

*the way nature and our bodies work. It's so complicated, but it works so perfectly.

*that in spite of the fact that He knows EVERYTHING about me, Jesus wanted to save me so much that He died for me and loves me no matter what.

When you stop and think about it, the world around us is one big miracle. But we're so very used to it that we miss it all the time. None of us could have dreamed this world up. It's too fantastic. The colors, textures, sounds, sights, smells, cycles, beginnings, endings and so much more that we see and experience every day are so awesome. And the fact that we are allowed to experience it every day should make us feel so privileged.

One of my goals is to view each day as a gift and to be on the lookout for all the little miracles life holds.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas this year...

A few photos of our holiday...
Christmas eve with old family friends...only food was photographed since my camera does not take good pictures in dim lighting.
Skyping with my sister, brother-in-law and niece on Christmas morning...
The peppermint bark my sister, Holly, made.
The dogs watching the food preparations from a distance...
An afternoon drive around town with my dad including pit-stops to look at the park, an old house I like and the places he lived and worked as a kid and teenager.
Not pictured: the copious amounts of sugar consumed, wii played and computer surfing as well as sleeping. A very relaxing holiday.

Merry Christmas. :)

Old house

The photo doesn't do the house justice. So adorable. It reminds me of the house on UP. I wonder what kind of people lived there. What their lives were like. Does the house have a happy story?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas in the City

Tonight Dad and I took a drive into Raleigh to look at the lights. The city is decorated for Christmas and it looks pretty dandy.

I love Christmas lights.
When we came home I did a little painting for fun while my family watched a movie that I didn't want to see (I scare easily during's a flaw) and later my sister came up and showed me some paintings she has been working on this fall. They're beautiful! I'll have to show them off on here soon. I think we may have to do some crafting days. I brought some clay and watercolors with me to play with so there will be plenty to do.
I forgot to show off this little plate my friend Erica gave me. She was trying to clear out her extra pots and put them in the Christmas pottery sale and I offered to buy this one from her and begged her to let me have it. In the end she gave it to me for free. I LOVE it.
Because it's quirky and cute and completely unexpected. I mean, who expects cute woodland creatures to have a pistol?
Moral of the story: sometimes begging pays off. Did I just say that? ;)

Getting ready for Christmas...

Since my family doesn't seem to get too into Christmas we keep things pretty low key around here. We bought a tree this week and decorated it. We never really used colored lights before, but we did this year and I'm glad. I think they're fun.
I told my sister on the phone before coming down to NC that "this Christmas I don't want to eat super junky, but I want to eat a little junky." So I dug up that old nutella fudge recipe and made some and let me tell you that it is pretty good.
Thus far since being home we have gotten a tree, made fudge, seen cousins I hadn't seen in about 13 years (it was really nice to catch up with them) and stayed up late talking and watching stupid TV shows and sleeping in. I found a cool little thrift store that I want to visit more. I keep trying to motivate myself to make stuff, but so far I haven't. Maybe I'll dig up some motivation and manage to get a few things done this break. It's nice to just rest though.

So now I think my sister and I and perhaps our brother (if we can convince him to come with us)
are going to go shopping. Maybe Christmas shopping. Because we still like surprises even if we're all adults (almost). :) And then we're all going to dinner. Who knows? Maybe I'll even dress up a little. Why not?


Friday, December 16, 2011

And now the semester is over...

And while I'm quite relieved I also am quite shocked and unsure of what to do with myself. Maybe I should be cleaning my disaster of a room and packing for a 3 week break!

So my roomies and I along with friends from our Bible study made paper snowflakes and hung them all over our wall. I LOVE it! I felt so silly because I was so excited each time I made a new snowflake. I'd fold the paper and start cutting into it and open it and be surprised each time when I saw how it came out. I felt like a kid. In a way it's nice to know that essentially I'm the same person I was when I was 8...I love cutting up paper and playing with mud (except I now I've switched to clay).
Yes, our Christmas tree is bubblegum pink. :)
And here are a couple of photos of what I've spent the last 3 weeks of my life working my tail off over. And by "working my tail off" I mean not sleeping more than 3.5 to 6 hours per night, missing meals, spending 12+ hour days at school, firing kilns till 3:30 am...etc. And now that it's over I feel shocked and unsure of what I'll do with myself. Sleep regularly? Eat three times a day? Stay clean? I can do that? It's a bit of a shock. :)
So this past Tuesday was one year since I got back home from China. And I think I'm finally over it. This semester has been so insanely busy and full of exhausting, stressful and wonderful times that I feel quite content with being exactly where I'm at. I feel like God has blessed me immensely in allowing me to know the people I know, attend the church here and study something I love. I seriously sometimes feel so happy that I might burst. I'm sure it's way better than winning the lottery. Last night we had a goodbye bowling party for Bangmin since he's going back to China soon and almost everyone from ceramics was there. It was the best time I've had with everyone in a loooong time. And I'll miss Bangmin for sure when he leaves.

Not to say that I haven't gotten super frustrated, angry and discouraged from time to time. I have. Especially with ceramics. But I don't think I could put up with all the frustration, hard work, long hours and let downs involved in every aspect of it if I didn't enjoy it as much as I do. And this semester I can see that I've improved so much in my work and have also deepened and forged friendships with my classmates. I love them all so much.

So now I guess I'll get off here and clean and pack and get ready to head home tomorrow. First stop is at my sister's home to see her, my brother-in-law and my niece. Then it's down to NC to see my parents and younger sister. It will be so good to see them all and relax together. I definitely have plans to work on things while I'm home though. Right now my list looks like this:
1. study Chinese and get a head start on next semester's work.
2. hand build with clay that I'm bringing from school.
3. start writing about my work and what I want to accomplish with it.
4. do a little sewing and is the holidays after all. :)
5. sketch and watercolor.

So yeah, I think it will be great. I think my parents and sister have held off on decorating for Christmas until we get down there which will be great because that means all the paper-snowflake making fun can continue! Let snowflakes and merriment abound!

Okay. Peace out.