Monday, December 31, 2012


Sometimes the smarty-pants in me makes resolutions like this:

gain weight
get older
make Cs

So that if I do actually do those things (I mean, getting older is something I can accomplish without trying! WIN!!!) I won't be upset. You know...aim low and if you do better than you should be happy!

But this year I'm making some resolutions that I think are more practical, and could possibly be accomplished relatively early and will hopefully be a step toward forming better habits.

Like...get rid of all excess stuff that I don't need/use. There is a new thrift store that is coming to town that benefits a local Christian boys' home and I'm thinking of just donating everything to them.

Also, get better at budgeting. I guess making a budget is the easy part. Sticking to it is the challenge.

Have fun. That sounds kinda weird, probably, because most people make serious goals. Like, they plan to accomplish things. I've worked really hard these past few years, and I've taken on a lot of responsibility. That means sometimes having to say no to social invitations and fun activities. But I want to get the work-aholic in me under control and learn to make more time to relax, enjoy the people in my life, and do things that are fun and healthy for me.

Take myself more seriously. Does that sound like a contradiction? Well, I'll be honest, being an art major can take a toll on your self-esteem in some ways. You don't get very many pats on the back for your hard work. You never feel like you're good enough. For anything. At least, that's how I feel within my specific focus. Maybe it's not typical of every student in every focus within the arts. Then add on top of that all the questions people ask you about your choice of major. "What are you going to do with that?" "Geez, of all things why did you pick that?" " will you live?" "So I bet that's pretty easy, huh?" "Hopefully you will marry a doctor. Or lawyer. Or an engineer. Since you're probably going to be destitute." Rather than sit here and defend my choices, I will just say that sometimes it's easier to joke about yourself and your "bad" decisions than it is to seriously say what you hope the outcome will be and leave it at that. But even then that kind of makes you feel like no one ever takes you seriously. I'm actually a serious person, although around certain people I can be really silly (close friends attest to this). And I do have serious goals. I don't have to be ashamed of them. I guess this goal should be combined with: stop worrying of what others think of you.

Lastly, my goal is to keep making art. I (hopefully) will graduate in May. So my goal is to keep learning and making art outside the academic setting. And hopefully to sell art once I graduate.

Happy New Year, all. :)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

--Parks and Recs

--Every time a couple gets married two single people die.
                                                                                                               Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler)

This cracked me up too much not to write it down.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Am I the only one who thinks the idea of an old man keeping tabs on how naughty you have been and then sneaking into your house to leave you presents is creepy?

On another note I went and saw The Hobbit tonight. It was good, but not as good as the book of course. Also, I was not aware that it was going to be made in several parts. I was bummed when it stopped. Also, Phili and Kili were kind of the cuteness. And Thorin was kinda the handsomeness too.

It is reeeally early on Christmas morning and even though I still haven't wrapped my presents and I didn't make gluten-free cinnamon rolls ahead of time to bake for breakfast I am going to sleep. I will try to have a better post after I've had some sleep. :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Plates and bottles...

No formal slides of my plates and platters, but this was the set-up during my critique. I'm thinking for my show next semester that I would like to have shelves and mount my pots on the walls. For more of a home-y look.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Final Critique pots

Of course, now that it's over and I've had lots of sleep I can't wait to get back to playing with clay. So many more bugs to work many more ideas to many colors I want to bring in!

Yo ho, yo ho a potters life for me. :)


Slides of my work from the second half of the semester. Usually I use lots of color. These pots were mainly brown. I do like the black carbon trapping that happened on these though. The surface was kind of fun. I am still trying to figure out my surfaces and would like to have more pattern and color, but at least atmospheric firings provide a completed look.

Anywho, enough ceramic technical conversation. I am finished and have been catching up on a lot of lost sleep from the past three weeks.

Seriously. I think I've spent my days mostly sleeping. I feel a little guilty for not being productive, but mostly I'm just grateful for a chance to really rest. The only things keeping me from sleeping are my job and visits with friends. I'm an all-around-super-blessed gal. I was able to pick up a few extra hours at work this week and last week, which is great since I'll miss a week of work when I go see my family. And I am sneaking in a few last minute visits with friends who have graduated and are moving off to Texas and China. Two of my favorite places on earth, in fact! It does a tiny number on your heart to say goodbye to people you care about. But it's nice to know that your sadness is caused by the fact that you have such good memories with special people that God put in your life. 

Also, to follow up with my last post about me gushing on how much I love my classmates, I think it only fair to say that I have been blessed with such incredible people in my life. Not just my classmates. They are truly wonderful, but so are the other folks in my life. In the past week I can't say how much the precious people in my life have encouraged me. Classmates, friends, family...I doubt I'll ever be a financially wealthy person, but I am SO very wealthy in my relationships. 

Dear friends, classmates, co-workers, and family,

You make this life so interesting, so fun, so beautiful. Thanks for sharpening me. I love you all!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Break thoughts

I finally reached the end of this crazy semester. Funny how quickly time seems to pass when looked upon in retrospect. I'm sure time dragged in some ways while we were in the middle of it..

What can I say? This is the first year I'm able to say that I'm GLAD the semester is over. Usually I feel a lot of regret and wish I had tried this other idea or been able to finish that project. But this semester I am looking at the good and the bad and saying goodbye to it all and hello to break. I think I'm ready for a break from ceramics and a chance to catch up on other things that I don't normally have a chance to work on. Like mending a pile of clothes in my closet. And refinishing a magazine rack that I thrifted on the cheap. Or making books or other types of art. Chances are good that four weeks of break won't be nearly enough time to do all that, visit family, work, clean my dirty apartment, and actually rest.

I think I get so caught up on "endings" that at the end of each semester as people graduate or as we all take a break I feel so sentimental about the time we've spent together and how things will change the next time we are all together. I've had critiques where I looked around the room at my classmates and knew that it would be the last time we were all together that way and I mourned the loss of that consistency in my life. The truth is I spend more time with my classmates throughout the year than I do with anyone else. These people see me when I'm doing well, but have also seen me when I've been practically at my worst. They have taught me so much about generosity, caring, working together, and friendship. They are part of my every day life. I love them dearly and am so thankful that God gave them to me as friends and classmates. I think God has used their presence in my life to teach me so much about myself and my walk with Him.

I think too as I near graduation I realize that some of these dear people will always be a part of my life. Some will fade in and out of the picture as we go on our different ways. But some of these people...I hope so much that we will always be friends. That we will always keep in contact. Even if just to shoot a photo of what we're working on to each other and say "look what I'm making!" Also, I think I've realized too that in the past I viewed school as my assurance of being able to make ceramics. Now, although I know it will be harder to continue making pots once I finish school, I am pretty determined that unless God steers me in some other direction that I will continue to make pots. This is just training and a stepping stone. It will somehow be a part of my life. So this semester I've spent a bit of time trying to learn to balance that passion for my work with obligations and interests outside of school. It's been good. The end of school doesn't mean I won't ever get to work with clay again. It can still be part of my life.

Another thing I've noticed is that by the end of the semester I think I'm running mainly on adrenaline. Because eating and sleeping don't happen regularly during those last couple of weeks before formal critiques. I think this causes an increase in my beta endorphin levels that keeps me somewhat cheerful throughout all the stress. However, once the semester ends and the adrenaline rush and beta endorphins level out, I tend to crash. This may also be part of why I am an emotional wreck by the end of the semester. I'm grateful that I get to stay here in town for most of the break. Not because I don't want to see my family, or that I don't love them. But honestly, at this place in my life, having consistency through my job and my church and community here in town gives me some stability that I crave in my life. I don't end a semester and immediately lose my schedule and ordinary routine and head down to a place where I have no routine, no schedule or work to do, etc. I am so grateful that I get to visit with family over the break, though. I wasn't entirely sure I would get to, but I do and I'm so happy!

All in all, over this past semester I've been reminded of what I've been learning these past few years. As an art major and future artist, I am financially poor. But, in God's love and mercy; family and friendships; and experiences I am so very rich! I have everything. Well, sometimes I don't feel I have the time to take it all in and appreciate it. But when I do slow down enough to appreciate little things like the teamwork I experience with my friends, or firing a kiln under the stars (I love seeing the stars, and firing a kiln is it's quite the experience to contrast the quiet of the sky and the energy of the kiln....yeah, I may be a hippy), the care and concern expressed toward me by my family and friends, and all the other little things in my life I am a bit overcome by how very blessed I am.

And after this somewhat incoherently written post I leave you with a Shirley Temple song that I identified with a bit and have been singing for over a week:
"There's billions worth of golden sunbeams. 
That everybody can possess. 
All God's children got success. 
Come and get your happiness. 
There's billions worth of silver moonbeams. 
Enough for everyone I guess. 
What's a million more or less? 
Come and get your happiness!
 Along the wildwood of your happy childhood
When you were Jills and Jacks. 
In raggy britches there's a lot of riches
On which you don't pay any income tax.
So get under that blue heaven.
Away from trouble and distress.
Just find mother nature's address
And come and get your happiness.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A letter to my sister Holly

 Recently, my little sister Holly wrote blog posts about each of us, her siblings. They were all so sweet and encouraging! So I thought she deserved one too! This letter is for you, Holly!

Dear Holly, 
For the longest time I always thought of you as the 6 year old version of yourself. So petite, so cute, so young...
But then awhile ago I realized you are a grown up! In fact, just two weeks ago you drove me to your place of work! You voted in the national election this year! Since when does my baby sister drive and work and vote and go to college??? You are truly developing into a lovely, beautiful woman and I'm so proud of you and I admire you!

Some things about you:
You wear red lipstick and look great; you wear heels and don't fall over...I cannot do either of those things! You are witty and funny with a great sense of humor. You have become such a good writer. I love reading the way your describe the world. Your photographs have become so good! I think you could really do something with photography! You are musical and have developed your abilities in playing instruments and I've heard you sing (we are all so shy of singing around each other or anyone unless it's silly bad singing) and it's beautiful. Actually, you are quite the accomplished young lady. You play instruments, are artistic, you are quite the cook, and are just an all-around charming young woman. Not only that, you have great style and carry yourself beautifully. You're a natural knock-out.

But I would say that the thing about you that I admire more than all those things is that you have such a lovely heart. You love people. You love people that others might deem unlovable. You see beauty and potential in people who perhaps don't see those things in themselves. And I'm sure you help bring out those qualities in people as a result. Also, you are an encourager. You really listen. I know when I talk to you that you really care. You are genuine. I believe that ability to love and encourage others is a gift from God. Always love the people God has put in your life. Always be aware of the fact that God puts people around you and that you have the ability to influence them by showing His love to them and sharing His truth with them.

You are kind, caring, loving, talented in many ways, intelligent, gorgeous, sensitive, deep, hilarious, genuine, and lovely. You are the total package, my friend. In the words of Sydney Poitier on To Sir, With Love: "You're a smasher. The whole world is waiting for you." Life will always have its share of hardships, but I believe that so many good things are in store for you. That as you seek to know God more and follow Him you will experience His joy and love in many many many ways. Don't be afraid to make big scary go to a University or travel or get married or whatever else God may have in store for you. At least, don't let being afraid stop you from doing those things. Pursue the natural talents and interests that you have and develop them. You have them for a reason.

I love you. You are always welcome to come stay or live with me (that is if I ever figure out where I'm going and what I'm doing!) or if you choose to take advantage of some other opportunity I will back you up and support you as best as I possibly can. I was looking on my computer for photos of you for this post and realized, sadly, that I don't have a lot of current photos of you. I'm sad that I don't get to see you very often. I enjoy visiting with you so much. I think about your trip up here over the summer and how much fun we had just hanging out. I miss you and like you said in your post, I miss our little trip to places to go exploring. And since I have not got many recent photos of you I thought I'd post some photos of way back when we were still exploring Harpers Ferry and having fun. I think you are so gorgeous in these photos, so I am going to post them.

You are one of my dearest friends in the world! I can't wait to see what you will do and watch as you continue to become the woman God created you to be. 
I love you!