Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gratuitous cheesy photo for the family from Chinese New Year.

I got roped into being a host for this year's Chinese New Year celebration. I had to wear the dress, the heels, lipstick and straighten (and create a poof...yikes) my hair. This ceramics major felt super gussied up. And my legs were sore that night from wearing heels all day. The sad fact is that ceramics majors have no reason to ever wear high heels so I don't even though I think they're pretty.
I also was so wound up from being a nervous, anxious wreck for a week and a half because I had to speak in public in front of a big audience (well, big to me) that I still haven't quite gotten back into a normal eating schedule. I wake up each morning and my heart is beating kind of fast and my breathing is shallow. Big tip off that I'm anxious. Being a worrier is no fun and it's not good for you either. My roommate's boyfriend was really ill the week of Chinese New Year and I begged my roommate to bring me his toothbrush or a cup that he'd drank from so I could catch his illness and get out of hosting. She wouldn't go along with me though and insisted that being sick was worse than public speaking. Fortunately it's over and I don't ever have to do it again (I think). I also had to do a song and dance with my class which was actually pretty fun. We felt really silly, but sometimes being silly with all your classmates is a real team-building exercise. I'm glad I got to do something with them. I really like them.

I'll be honest these past three weeks of school have been quite crazy and full of strange incidents and situations and it has really shaken my confidence and made me really self-conscious and insecure in some ways. Last semester I had some times where I was really unsure of myself and of what I was doing, but I also had times where I was SO happy. For no apparent reason. I couldn't believe that this was my life and how much I loved it. I'm trying to get back to that point again. Thankful. Content. Joyful. I'm taking lots of vitamins and minerals and trying to cook healthy to give myself a boost on feeling well. Prayers would be appreciated.

So let's see...anything else going on lately that I haven't written about? I made a porcelain using a recipe from Val Cushing and I like it hen mucho! (Yes, I did just mix chinese and spanish!) I had to use the new New Zealand kaolin in place of EPK since we are out and it is super white. It's pretty cool. I want to make some slip out of my china clay reclaim to have a slightly different white slip to trail or paint and put glaze over for a subtle difference in line work.

I had to call my Chinese teacher tonight and speak to her in Chinese. It was part of my homework assignment. It's much harder to understand them on the phone because I can't see them speaking. Plus they seem much quieter. I had to say "shen me( 什么? or "what?")?" a lot. We have a test on Friday. 星期五我要考中文。I should probably be nervous, but I'm pretty sure my adrenal glands are shot after the Chinese New Year and other things. So I'm not nervous about it. I figure as long as I study I'll be fine.

Also, I'm pretty sure I met my soul mate on the elevator last Monday. In the time it took us to get from the ground floor to the 5th floor I found out that we had both lived in 3 of the same states. He had moved 27 times, had been a marine and his Dad was a pastor. But I didn't learn his name. Plus I don't remember what he looks like. But he was really nice. Too bad I'll never see him again. Ha ha.

I'm finally getting caught up on my homework from last week. I had 2 critiques plus all these extra meetings for the Chinese New Year with the other 3 hosts and 2 of our teacher so I got behind on housework and some homework. I've missed swing dancing 2 times so far. Maybe I'll get to go back next week. I loaded and fired a bisque kiln tonight and Nick and I are going to fire a salt kiln on Saturday. Should be fun. Seeing fired pots is always exciting. Well, usually anyway. I've had quite a few really bad kiln firings. Let's hope that these turn out well. :)

Now it's off to bed. Another very busy day tomorrow but it will end with a Bible study with the same group as last year and I'm very much looking forward to it. :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

get ready...get set...

Tomorrow is the first day of classes for our new semester! And although this is my 6th year of college which makes this my 12th semester I am still not exempt from having anxiety over going back. Something about knowing everything will be different and seeing old and new faces makes me jittery.
I got home to my apartment a couple of days early and did a little cleaning and sneaked in a visit with a friend. While cleaning I realized that I've amassed quite a collection of pots. And that isn't even all of them! Some were in use, in the dishwasher, holding my soap, toothbrush and other toiletries and others are unaccounted for at the moment. Some were made by me, some bought in China but most were gifted to me by friends. I love using pots made by other people. I know I've mentioned it before, but when I use a bowl or plate or cup made by a friend it makes me very nostalgic. It's nice to know that the people you cared about created and handled something and then gave it to you. That is the thing about handmade that I love so much.

I realized that I own quite a lot of pots. More than I use and more than we can comfortably fit into our cabinets along with the other dishes my roommates contributed for use. So I packed up some of the ones that were in the very back of the cabinet and picked out the ones I made that are the oldest and least used to put into the next student pottery sale and then kept the ones that were made by friends and that I most recently made. There is a lot more room in the cabinets now. Which means I can fill those spaces with new pots made this semester.

So tomorrow I'll go to my first classes. And get to go back to the studio and hopefully see some familiar faces. I went back to my church today and it was so good to see everyone there again. There were still a lot of people missing who hadn't gotten back into town yet that I'm looking forward to seeing in the next week or so.

Wish me luck for tomorrow!

A little project

A few years ago I made fabric flowers with my friend Becca and I loved the way they turned out. We rummaged through her fabric stash and found all the synthetic fabrics we could get our hands on and used them to make flowers. It was very easy...you cut out circles or any shape you want and burn the edges with a candle. It crinkles up into a nice little flower petal that you can stack together with other petals and turn into pins or glue to a bobby pin or hair clip.
I think they're fun. :)

Monday, January 2, 2012


Holly took a few photos of my while I was at my parents house for the break. A few of them came out nicely. I am a little shy of the camera so when someone takes a photo of me that I feel comfortable with I don't mind stealing it from them. :)

I love that scarf. I bought it in China and wear it all the time. I'm not much of a fan of the color pink, but I think this scarf goes with almost everything. All last semester I felt really grungy from being in kiln building and helping set up for the symposium so I started wearing more pink to give myself that instant "girl" feeling. Since then I've warmed up to the color.

Also I am jealous of my sister's camera. That is all.


A peek at the New Year holiday weekend...

Trying out the new texture mats/plaster slabs from my classmate, Thom. I tried to do a little hand building, but didn't pay enough attention to it to put anything together before it dried out.
Trying out our mini-donut maker from my sister, Jacqueline. Gluten-free cake donuts? Yes, please!
A sign at the park, where we went to walk off the gluten-free mini-donuts. I remember when there were actual flowers to not pick. Now everything is dead.
Someone left a little ornament on a tree in the park. I love spotting things like that.
Blue skies...warm weather.
The year 2012 came in like a lamb in that it was quiet, mild weathered and very restful. Not pictured: watching My Fair Lady on the last night of 2011 and watching The Fiddler on the Roof on the first night of 2012. The lovely dinners my sister Holly made to end and welcome the year. She is becoming quite the cook. And the tennis wii matches that Adam and Holly had, which were very entertaining. I'm really bad at the wii.

It was a nice and restful weekend. Now we're gearing up for another busy semester. That means Dad and Holly registering for classes, Adam and me packing to head back up to "almost heaven." We're going to stop and visit Jacqueline for a couple of days before heading back to school. I miss WV. It is always good to see family, and while I know one can learn to love any place they live there is definitely something about WV that I love. I remember driving back after staying in NC for the summer and feeling surprised at feeling slightly emotional when I saw the mountains...I realized that it's home. I have a very busy semester ahead, which I'm both grateful for and a bit apprehensive about. It will be good, I'm sure.

Happy New Year, all!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

All I want is a room somewhere...and some other stuff.

The other day I posted about New Year resolutions. New Year's eve we watched My Fair Lady and during Eliza's song "All I Want" I thought a bit about what I want for life. I've posted before what my life's goal is, but in addition to that I do have a dream for what my life will be like.

I've always wanted to get married and have a family. A big family. At my grandmother's funeral I looked around and saw her 10 children, their children and the grandchildren and even great grandchildren and I couldn't help but think that I want to leave a legacy like that. It was so beautiful. I've always wanted to have a home where people felt welcome and comfortable. I want to live far away enough from people to have privacy and freedom for my kids to run and yell and play without bothering anyone, but close enough to people to easily keep them a part of my life. I want to be a wife and be the best friend to some man. I want to help him as he becomes everything God wants him to be. I want to grow in my faith with him. I want to grow old with him.

I want to be a homemaker. I want a place to call my own that I can decorate, clean and live in. I want to cook and bake healthy, nourishing foods for family and friends. I want a community. I want to work with my hands. Ideally I'd love to be a potter and make pottery but also make books, prints and take photographs. A jack-of-all-trades artist or something. And I want to be fluent in Mandarin as well.

I don't want things to come too easily. I don't want to be wealthy. I never want to be a high-society girl. I don't want big fancy stores and restaurants to be second nature to me. I want big cities and fancy places to always be a novelty. I want to be thrilled by simple things. Like nature, friendships, and experiencing life. I want to work hard and play hard. And be festive. I want to be the kind of person who makes a special dinner for friends and family...just because the day was so lovely. Or so hard. I want to be the kind of person who dresses up for no occasion other than the fact that I'm alive and that's a reason to celebrate.

I want my life to be about serving God and seeing others come to know how much He loves them. I want to see others love and serve Him. I want to see God change lives and communities. I want to see the promises He made in the Bible can come to pass. I want to experience friendship with my creator and always rest in the security of His love and power.

I want to end each day counting all my blessings and being grateful for how much I've been blessed and I want to wake up each morning with an enthusiasm and zeal for life.

Already I've found myself overwhelmed with how GOOD life is. It's hard. Finances are tight. Relationships can be strenuous. There are plenty of things to worry and stress and complain about. But sometimes I can't believe how fortunate I am. I love this life I've been given. I haven't attained that entire dream yet. I'm unmarried; I don't have kids. I'm a student. I'm in debt. But I wouldn't trade the experiences God has given me and what He has taught and is teaching me for anything right now. I'm completely content to be right where God has me and I look forward to what He brings me next. I don't want to wait until I have everything I think I want to be happy, joyful and thankful. I guess what I really want is an attitude of trust and joy in my Savior.

Anyway, in my wildest dreams that is a glimpse of what I want. It probably sounds silly and girlish, but I guess I am both of those things.