Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Making the best of things.

So. While there are things about all seasons that I appreciate, winter is my least favorite. I don't like the unpredictability of it. The freak snowstorms. Slippery roads. Frozen windshields. Basically, getting around in winter is a pill. It makes me feel anxious for peoples' safety.
Snow covered leaves.
But there is something very homey about winter. Which I am enjoying today by winterizing my room. I'm pulling out heavier blankets and making sure I have access to my coats and snowboots. I might even hang up my Christmas lights. Also, I'm thankful that a couple of inches of snow is much less life-altering than having my home be underwater, or being out of power which is something that the coast is dealing with. My night class was canceled, so I brought all my pots and slabs home to work on here. If yucky weather allows me to be home then I guess I'll take it. :)

The weather here...

 Friday...sunny and 80 degrees farenheit.
Monday...rainy and in the 40s farenheit.
Tuesday. In the 30s and snowing.

Thanks, Hurricane Sandy. The weather is gorgeous. And thanks, school, for being one of the only colleges open in the state right now. It's pretty awesome.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sad to say goodbye

I'm a little sad to be saying goodbye to the prettiest October I can remember. The colors and the temperatures were just about as perfect as you could ask for. The only reason I can think of to not be sad for its departure is that if the weather was always like this I doubt I would appreciate it as much as I have this season. I suppose it is better to love and lose than never love at all. Or something like that. :)

I think this just might possibly be
The prettiest October I've ever seen.
The bright golden, orange, and red of the leaves
The brilliant sky and crisp fall breeze
Frosty mornings and warm afternoons
Chilly nights with a bright harvest moon
This time of the year is, by far, my favorite
An annual reminder that life, we should savor it.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Where the heart is...

They say that "home is where the heart is." Let me tell you, right now my heart is not at the ceramic studio. It's at home. At my little space in my apartment. I'm not sure what hit me. Maybe it's the wonderful weather. Or maybe it's because I'm getting older (24 in about 2 weeks...). Whatever the reason, I just want to be at home making hats, blankets, cooking, baking, and cleaning and organizing. Every day I have someplace to be before 9 am (with the exception of most Fridays) and I usually have to be out till 9 pm or much later. I don't often get to be home. I am getting really tired of this kind of schedule. All I want is to be home.
But, it's just not the schedule I've been given for now. And I likely won't have it till after I graduate. School is so incredibly demanding. And working adds to the busyness too. There is no point in being angry about this. But while I'm at school pining away for a domestic existence I intend to make objects for the domestic setting...home. So get ready to see more pie plates. Vases. Dessert dishes. And whatever else I decide that I want in my domestic setting someday.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall blessings

This morning on my way to school I drove under a canopy of some of the most beautiful trees and colors I've seen in years. It was as if woods were on fire with fall colors. I wish I could take photos and drive at the same time, but since that's a terrible idea I just snapped a few photos of the trees outside the ceramic production studio.

I wish everyone else could have experienced it too!

Monday, October 15, 2012


Yesterday in our Bible study we were talking about the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy of Holies and how serious it was for people to enter into God's presence. Touching the Ark of the Covenant would mean death and if the Levite priest didn't follow the necessary sanctifying practices before entering the Holy of Holies to offer the sacrifices he would die.

It makes me think how privileged and blessed we are now to be able to know that the Spirit lives in us and we can talk to God at any time about anything. Also, it made me realize how much I take for granted the access and intimacy I can have with God. The Bible says we can approach the throne of grace with confidence and talk to God. I don't think I can even begin to grasp how big of a deal that is. But when I remember that in the Bible we know that entering into God's presence in an unholy manner would be the death of you, I start to get an idea of how serious and important this is! It's kind of shaming to me because in the past I know I have told God that I'm mad at Him, and "thrown out a fleece" when I've prayed. And even now I need to be more reverant and worshipful when I talk to Him. God has been so very gracious and patient and loving to me through all my errors.

I just cracked open a book on prayer and I'm excited for it. I have a hard time praying and I want to get better at that. Because a relationship with God is the greatest privilege in the world and I want to experience that to the fullest.

Ink Drawing

I'm in a drawing class this semester and my teacher let us try wet media (drawing with ink). It has been my favorite part of that class so far! I went out and bought some inks of my own to try using. Another fun thing he did was have us pick up some sticks to use instead of brushes and since I enjoyed it so much I decided to make my own wooden pencils to dip into inks.
I just whittled points onto sticks I found outside the studio. Some sticks were really dense and others were very soft. I feel that it might make a different kind of line quality based on how much ink the wood will hold.
They're pretty and fun!

Sunday, October 14, 2012


So the other day I went out in the morning with my guys from Indonesia to find warm clothing for winter. Can I just say that I enjoy those guys so much!? They're so enthusiastic and funny. We shopped till I was ready to drop. I thought I was a good shopper, but they wore me out. I think I'm lucky that I mentor guys that like bargain shopping!

Anyway, I met them at 9 am and got home around 1:30 pm. I was so tired that I decided to try to take a nap before going to work in the evening. I crawled into bed and was quiet for a bit. I looked at the light coming through the window...it was golden and so pretty. I suddenly realized that there was a big lump in my throat and tears behind my eyes. I didn't expect that. I had a nice morning and had felt pretty good. I think I finally just got quiet and was surprised at myself for not feeling quite okay. I think I've been pushing a lot of things back and was still enough that they came up without me expecting it.

I haven't resolved anything. I am still trying to work through my busy schedule. I'm still trying to work through problems that have yet to be solved. But I think this weekend off was good for me. And oddly enough, I still worked 2 jobs and got up early to volunteer at church and will be helping host a Bible study tonight (I need to clean my living room!), but just not going to school and being in that environment was so refreshing for me. I needed it. And I didn't miss it at all, in fact it reinforced my realization that I'm ready for something new. I'm ready for new opportunities. I'm ready to make more time for other people and other interests. I'm ready for time to be quiet and relaxed and to get over some things.

Also, I'm ready for Thanksgiving break. Can I get an "amen?" ;)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Taking a *vacation*

It's Saturday!  I haven't been in to school all day! All day! I'm on the verge of breaking out into cold sweats because I feel guilty for not being there. But I'm refusing to feel like that. I have the right to take time off. I have the right to be as invested in ceramics as I need to be. I also have the right to focus my attention onto other things that I enjoy and am obligated to do. And this weekend I will do just that. I'm thinking of it as a stay-cation. I think I will go back to school on Monday feeling more refreshed and focused if I take time out of there to remind me of life in the "real world."

I've been struggling with what an appropriate amount of time and effort I need to be putting in at school. It seems like no matter how much we do it is never enough. No matter how little sleep I get or how many meals I skip to work on things I can't seem to prove to some people at my school that I am serious about what I do. Some classmates recently watched a documentary about a sushi maker whose goal was to be the absolute best at what he did and he was willing to put himself entirely into what he did to achieve his goal. Giving your best to what you do is a good thing. But shouldn't that apply to more than just making sushi (or art)? I mean, what if you make the best sushi, but you are neglecting people in your life that need you to be there for? And what if giving yourself entirely to your passion means you neglect your health and you don't take care of your body? Have you done your best then?

There is only one thing in my life that deserves my absolute best and my entire self and that is God. Not ceramics. Of course, there is the proverb that you should "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." --Provers 16:3. I think I can say that I give more thought to doing my homework than to actively seeking and following God. But I need to change that. It is good to give your best to what you do. But it is better to give your best to God and to commit all that you do to Him.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fun with friends. :)

Me and the girls.

I like that we look happy in this photo. We were laughing about something. :)

Beautiful leaves! Why do we find such warm colors during cold months?
Today I took a much needed day away from school (although I still showed up there for awhile) and went to a local forest with my friends. The weather was just perfect and the colors were so pretty. I ended the day by going to an art opening at a local gallery and saw all my clay buddies. It was the nicest Friday I have had in a long while. Next to running away for the weekend, it was pretty much perfect. :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Frank Sinatra

So I'm down and so I'm out, but so are many others
So I feel like tryin' to hide my head 'neath these covers
Life is like the seasons after winter comes the spring
So I'll keep this smile awhile, and see what tomorrow brings
I've been told and I believe that life is meant for livin'
And even when my chips are low, there's still some left for givin'
I've been many places maybe not as far as you
So I think I'll stay awhile, and see if some dreams come true
There isn't much that I have learned through all my foolish years
Except that life keeps runnin' in cycles, first there's laughter, then those tears

 This song resonated with me a bit. Seems to me that not only am I feeling like the fly on the bottom of the wagon wheel, but so are many others. I really have it quite easy in comparison to a lot of people. Trying to hang in there...my attitude is slipping a lot. Prayers would be welcomed!

Moon Festival

I was invited to a Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival celebration! Although I only got to stay for a short time, it was a good time! I got to watch my old classmates perform a skit and song and saw some of the girls I know from the mentorship program do performances. And I ate some mooncakes too! There was a pretty stellar kung-fu routine that made me wish I knew karate. So many things I want to try. Someday, maybe!

As of late...

I'm really into this song. Actually, I really enjoyed the whole album when my friend played it for me.

School is about to send me out of my mind. I hate being there. This is a first for me.

I just want to hide away in my house and not leave. I want a domestic existence. Maybe someday.

I used to be afraid to graduate. The thought used to make me anxious...now I'm anxious to be finished.

Another Straight-Out-Of-Camera shot...look at that sky! It was brilliant today! No mid-Atlantic overcast sky today. It was sunshine-y and lovely.

I've been having some luck at the Dollar Tree finding objects to slipcast. My inner old-lady is so excited.

 I'm switching back to high-fire clay after my disastrous critique last Friday and am excited. I think it's going to be all atmosphere-firings now. I just have to make my clay now. Boo.

明天我跟我的中国朋友们要去看红叶。Tomorrow my Chinese friends and I will go to look at the autumn leaves! I should have been a Chinese studies major because I find the language so fascinating. But I never would have taken Chinese had I not gone to China, and I wouldn't have gone to China had I not gotten into ceramics. I'm going to trust that God has a plan here. I was looking at Rosetta Stone Chinese and maybe someday I'll pick that up and try to learn it myself.

Last, but not least...is it May yet? Graduation...hurry!

Sunday, October 7, 2012


I signed up to be a mentor to international students this semester. I have two students, this young man from Indonesia and a young lady from China. Unfortunately, our schedules prevent us from meeting very often, but the few times I have met with them have been fun. They have included shopping, art lectures and most recently a challenge course in the mountains with the other mentors and students. The weather has gotten cold enough that jackets and other cold weather gear are a necessity and the fall colors are really coming in strong. I feel the urge to run away to the park next weekend to enjoy it before they go away. We got a little glimpse of the colors this weekend at the challenge course where we all played team-building games and had fun together.
It is pretty neat to work with internationals. I would love to always be involved in some sort of International experience, be it traveling or welcoming newcomers to my country. And yesterday I really enjoyed playing games with this guy and his other Indonesian friends who are in the program. We had to split into teams frequently and the groups that these guys were in were always the most fun, in my opinion. They were so energetic and enthusiastic. And silly in the best way possible. Our group may not have won the most challenges, but I can guarantee we had the most fun together. :)

Mother knows best.

Having a rough day...recovering from an intense and disappointing week. Talked to my mom about it. She said, "listen to Riverdance. You'll feel better." So I put it on. And I do feel a bit better.

I think (hope) God is preparing me to leave this place, because I feel like I'm letting go of it. I don't feel so attached and I feel ready for a new adventure. To make new goals and dreams. To be open to other things besides just art (which I intend to always keep a part of my life, but am trying not to make it my whole life). Somehow, the Riverdance soundtrack has enough nostalgia and pep to make me feel better. And it reminds me that when I finish school I'll be free to try to learn to play my violin again. Or take a dance class for fun. Or just make pots and art that no one but I will see. Or to delve into other interests that I've not only put on the back burner, but taken off the figurative stove completely.

I'm glad that I feel ready to move on. I just have to hang on till God moves me.

The way I wish I could describe it...

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012


I took a wrong turn the other day and went down a road I've never been on before. I am glad I did because I saw some very pretty fall sights. And it was such a quiet road that I even felt safe to pull off and take a picture out my window. It was nice to have a slow afternoon and nice to see something pretty.


We fired a wood kiln yesterday (I use the term *we* loosely as I was in and out throughout the day and mainly an observer)! While we were out there I noticed how pretty the wood was. Kind of gorgeous, in fact.

"And I think to myself...what a wonderful world."


I bought myself a camera. It was on clearance. Not a fancy SLR like I hope to someday own, but a major step up from my last point and shoot and my ipod camera (which I still love). These are some straight-out-of-camera shots. It has some fun features like toy camera shots which I used in the sunset photo and long exposure settings which I used for the moon photo. I need a tripod to get a clear shot at night though and I don't have one at this time so it's blurry. It will definitely come in handy when taking slides of my work.

I've been reading through Psalms recently and David's writings about his fears; his anxieties; his trust in the Lord. His beautiful praises to God frequently say "shout for joy" or "sing for joy." I don't know about anyone else, but although I am a loud person at times I feel quite inhibited to just shout how joyful I am. Lately I haven't been quite that joyful and wish that I was so joyful that I would shout and sing out loud praises to my God. Toward the end of last fall I remember feeling so joyful and content that I thought I might burst. It was a wonderful way to feel. I no longer think that every time we struggle emotionally, or face hardships that it is the result of something we did wrong, but instead that it might be part of growing spiritually. I'm trying to learn Paul's secrets of being joyful no matter his circumstance. Life is funny.