Friday, August 31, 2012

"Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses." 

--  Ann Landers

Thursday, August 30, 2012


I love this tree outside the studio. I love sitting under it. It acts like a canopy and shields you from the sun and also provides a nice breeze. The weather has been so pretty lately and I am trying to make it a point to take time out of the day to go outside and enjoy these last warm days before fall comes. Today I sat out under that tree and thought for awhile. I thought about my current circumstance. I thought about my future. I thought about happy things and sad things. I thought about prayers that have been answered and about prayers that have yet to be answered. I talked to God about it all. The good, the sad and the things I don't understand. I came away with no conclusions...just the same state of watching and waiting to see how life will play out. And the knowledge that in the midst of the unknowns and the misunderstandings I am loved. We are all loved. That truth holds me together. It was a nice little rest. A calm, peaceful discontent. A welcome time-out in my busy day.


Meng Lei has been gradually accumulating enough clothing in her studio space to make it double as a closet. She has lots of pretty patterns and textures. It makes me think I should wear more florals and more dresses to school.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

the spice of life.

I finally got the guts to pull out my iPod and take a photo of these sponges sitting on the counter at the studio at my production class. Somehow photographing sponges in front of my teacher and classmates makes me feel silly. But I couldn't help but feel that the colors and textures of the different sponges were so pretty and I really wanted a photo of it.

Variety and diversity are the spice of life. I think that rule even applies to sponges.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

art school

week one is over.
blood, sweat and tears were shed.
(special thanks goes to a 5 gallon bucket of clay that fell on my toe.
sandals and a ceramic studio are not a match made in heaven.)
changes have been made; challenges have been set.
my confidence has been sufficiently shaken.
senior year begins.
ready, set, go.

Friday, August 24, 2012

I'm already overwhelmed.

It's a new semester. I have a new clay body with a new firing temperature. I have to find all my glazes from scratch. I have chosen to try low-fire clay. This may be a terrible idea. I'm waiting to see. However, it already throws so much easier than porcelain does. I made a couple of cups. saucers, bowls, and small punch bowls. It's nice to be back to work. My hands are already dry though. Also, I dropped a heavy 5 gallon bucket of dry clay on my big toe which hurt. I guess this is why they tell us to wear steel-toed shoes (I was wearing flip-flops). Luckily it didn't do much damage.

Wish me luck. If this semester is anything like last year I feel I won't have as much time to post here anymore. Hopefully I can keep up with little photos and thoughts that I want to remember or work through by writing them out on here. This little blog has been quite a cathartic endeavor. It's so much easier to write here than to journal by pen. And I like that it gives me the motivation to take more photos of my day-to-day life. Even the cheesy, low-quality ones. :)

Silver Linings

So for the sake of keeping things real, I'm going to say again (not to turn this space into an emotional dumping ground or anything) that I've been struggling a little bit lately. Feeling kinda down. Feeling discouraged and insecure. I saw this beautiful cloud and silver lining today and was just reminded that sometimes the silver lining to life's little clouds is that it is a chance to strengthen our faith, to obey Christ when we don't feel like it, and the knowledge that our trust and hope is in Him. We don't have the answers to our questions yet. We don't know the end of the story. We just know that whatever is behind our cloud is bright and glorious. It warms us and makes us grow. It is good.

Psalm 42:11
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

 Lamentations 3:21-22
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

 Romans 8:24
For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?

 Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Ceramics is confusing sometimes.

Ugh. Math.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Things that are nice.

  • the view from Old Navy. I got some deals on pants at Old Navy and as I walked to my car this pretty mountain sunset was what I saw.
  • when my teacher shares his Chinese tea with us students when we get to class.
  • driving in the car and singing along to Chinese pop songs with your Chinese friend.
  • when the weather is in the 70s and you can tell autumn is on its way.
  • payday.


I was having a really bad day awhile ago. One of those days where struggles you thought you had left so far behind you somehow managed to catch up with you when you weren't expecting it. One of those days that makes you feel like no one takes you seriously. One of those days where you feel really alone. One of those days when you just don't like yourself.

On that bad day where I felt all those negative things I was shown that I have a great gift. I have a friend. A friend who listened to me as I poured out my heart about things that were causing me trouble. Big things, silly things...she didn't make fun of it. She didn't scold me for it. She spoke truth to me. She told me God was in control and to try not to worry so much. And then later I received a little note from her with some very encouraging words in it. It was so sweet and it encouraged me.

And I was reminded that God has placed dear people in my life who He uses to pour out His love on me. People who remind me that there is something greater at play in this life than what we see with our eyes. I was reminded that a kind word can do so much for a troubled heart. And I was reminded not to let "grown-up" worries keep me from enjoying simple, lovely parts of life.

So thank you, family and friends who take time to listen, care, and encourage. Thank you for not telling me what I want to hear, but what I need to hear.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Just because...

my sculpture class is finished. art supplies are pretty. art school starts back up in one week! somehow this photo just seemed appropriate to post.

because it's fun.

Sneaking away...

Yesterday I sneaked away for a 24 hour mini-vacation to visit one of my roommate's family and hometown. This friend lives in one of the prettiest places I've been. And her family is the very definition of hospitality. Despite my busy week, lack of sleep and stressful road trip to get to her house I had such a restful, enjoyable time. I'm glad I went.
I got to go to a dance (I didn't actually dance) where I enjoyed watching people dance to live music on wooden floors under twinkly lights. I'm pretty sure my newest calling in life is to be a square dance caller (must learn more about this contra dancing/square dancing deal)! Although it had rained at one point the skies cleared and I saw so many pretty stars! I enjoyed a late night chat and mid morning brunch with my friend's family. I got to visit a little festival and enjoy gorgeous fall-like weather.
After a crazy week and some emotional turbulence I would say it was the perfect little get away. And now a new week is starting...and it promises to be busy as well! So I'll end here and try to get some sleep while I can!

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I wish I was a poet.

--Emily Dickinson

I really wish I could write poetry. I read some of Emily Dickinson's poems and I also read a bit of Shakespeare's sonnets. Many of them were so beautiful. Shakespeare is kind of hard to get through though.

I'm on a sort of quest to be more cultured and educated. This is hopefully a step in the right direction. ;)

Monday, August 6, 2012

On being human.

You know what's weird? Being human. It's so normal, but so unknown as well. I can't tell you how many times I have surprised myself by reacting to situations or people in a way I never thought I would. Or by feeling a certain way and not knowing why. Or loving someone I never thought I would even like at all. I am me, but there is so much about myself that I don't know or understand. How can you be something and not really know what you are?

Combine that with the fact that we are always changing, being exposed to new things and learning and we can't control our environments, so the variables for possible outcomes of behavior, thought, reaction, emotion and what-have-you are endless.

It's just so cool and so weird.

Art school is killing me. Perhaps for real.

Two weeks ago when I started my sculpture class I was on cloud nine. Cloud Nine I say! I was so happy to be back, to be mentally stimulated, to have a space to work in and I was over the moon happy and excited. Dude, I was so happy I was thinking, "I'm going to be an artist! I'm going to go to grad school! I love this!" (I've pretty much said no to grad school since the beginning, so to suddenly be considering it was sort of big.)

One week ago I was feeling really tired and sick. Turns out wax releases some pretty vile fumes and they make me ill. Turns out cutting sheet metal with a plasma torch will also release fumes that make you sick. Who knew? Not I! So I did not wear a respirator or any other protective gear to prevent me from inhaling chemicals for hours. And yes, I felt horrible afterward.  However, I was still really loving my class. I was coming up with new ideas. I was making friends with my classmates. I was eager to continue my studies and be back in a studio environment, working away, being challenged and getting feedback.

Today...I helped out with a bronze pour and an aluminum pour. Let me tell you, this is like an art school dream come true for me. The first time I saw a metal pour I almost cried. I really got a lump in my throat. It was almost like watching or being a part of ballet again (weird, I know. I don't understand it either.). The excitement in the air was so thick you could feel it. There was this anticipation and sense of danger but preparedness. It was serious. It was hardcore. And today I got to help out with two different pours and it was awesome! And really hot. As in my calves were dripping with sweat when I was done with each pour. I didn't even know my calves could sweat until today!

Anyway, art school miracles aside, this week I am feeling ready to be done with school. Forever. I am not looking forward to not owning my time anymore. I'm not looking forward to undefined expectations. I'm not sure that right now I feel up for the challenge of being in an environment that is so wonderful and so exhausting and discouraging. Art school is my life now. Most of my life happens inside the art building. It has provided some absolutely incredible opportunities, friendships, lessons, and challenges. But it's not all there is to life. I find myself becoming sucked into it so easily. I don't want to make the mistake of believing art is so important. I love it. I want it to always be a part of my life. I'm so grateful for the chance to be here and study what I love. But I want to see "the real world" as important, beautiful, and full of opportunities, lessons, friends, and challenges too. Having said all that, the class is still really good and my teacher is awesome. I'm not trying to down any of the wonderful aspects of this experience. Also today was the day that I learned that not only are wax fumes bad but so are metal fumes and I learned this after spending over an hour using the plasma torch to cut metal. So I feel pretty bad already. My perspective right now may be slightly skewed.

I think now is the perfect time to end my writing and go to sleep.

And another...

Summer has been dishing out the most incredible sky views lately. I'm going to miss it. The days are already starting to get a little bit shorter. I'm eagerly looking forward to fall weather, but not for the craziness that school always brings. This is the last year and I'm sure it will go by fast. I hope to savor it, but I'm also trying to find that place where you love and enjoy what you have without loving it so much that you fear what the future holds. I know change is good, but I also always fear it a bit. I don't particularly love unknowns.

But I love sunsets. So maybe I'll try to just focus on that instead of thinking up countless "what if" situations that aren't very helpful to me right now.


I got to watch my friends' dogs the other week. They had an old weimaraner named Blue. He was lovely.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

It is is is well...

"My sin oh the bliss of this glorious thought! 
My sin, not in part but the whole, is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more! 
Praise the Lord! 
Praise the Lord, oh my soul!"

Trying to just say "it is well" while things can be rough and/or lonely. 
Trying to be thankful for the many blessings and much love that my Savior rains down on me through others and in my circumstances.
Trying to live joyfully. 
Trying to dwell on the fact that Christ loved me so much He died for me...everything in life is a gift. I don't live under condemnation anymore. That should make me overjoyed!

How is it that negativity can so easily drown out the miracles in life? My goal is to not let the minor things get me down and choke out the joy I should be experiencing, but sometimes that is just a bit difficult in the moment-by-moment parts of our day.

So many sunsets in one evening.

I watched Him paint the sky tonight.
It was like watching several sunsets in one evening.
It had rained and the sky was orange.
Then it was pink and a rainbow peeked out from the clouds.
I like to see rainbows and remember God's promise to Noah.
The sky kept changing and changing until it became dark.
Each stage of the sun's setting was so different from the last.
Although they were all different they were all beautiful.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Lately I've been struggling a bit. When I'm sad, or stressed or just unhappy I typically get very silly. I'm more of a laugh-than-cry kind of person. I really hate crying. Recently I've been struggling with some things. Sometimes I feel like I'm so tired in every way possible that I just have nothing left of myself to give. No more patience, no more sympathy, no more compassion...I'm just trying to keep myself afloat. Sometimes I feel a bit like I'm a go-to girl. If someone needs something they will sometimes come to me. That's good, but lately I am feeling like I have nothing left to offer anyone. It's not that I don't want to help, or that I don't like or love them, but I sometimes just can't be useful.

I feel bad for being that way. I don't want to be so self-centered. Everyone is going through something hard. Everyone can use an encouraging word and a smile. Or a hug. Or a prayer. Or all of it. Sometimes I can use that too.

So I want to write down, for the record, that to all the people that I've been unable to be a good friend to lately, I'm really sorry. And to all the people who have put up with me and been a good friend to me in spite of my sarcastic humor, frustrated moments and more, thank you. You have shown Christ's love, patience and compassion to me and I am grateful.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Romans 12:9-21

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.
Honor one another above yourselves.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 
Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
Live in harmony with one another.
Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.
Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil.
Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.
On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
                          if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
                          In doing this you will heap burning coals on his head."
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

This really spoke to me. What a teaching on how to live each day!