Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Little things

Snowy tire tracks
On a day like today...when it is below freezing and there is snow on the ground...and I've been away from home for about 14.5 hours...and I am tired from a full day of unloading a clay shipment, working with clay, and swing dancing...
On a day like today I am grateful for little things. Like a hot shower for achy muscles. My soft bed. Friends to work with. Dancing.
I am very well taken care of. And when my life is very busy like this I am quite content in almost every way except I wish I had more time for everything. More time to take it all in. More time to spend with others. More time for sleeping.
Speaking of sleeping and my soft bed, I think now is a good time to call it a day. :)


I am in a mixed media class this semester and I am SO excited! Can I just say I am planning to "paint" using water balloons filled with fabric dye? My inner child is so happy for this! I already have a few other ideas in the works for other projects. And I must give most of the credit to a lady named Hong Yi.

Perhaps you have heard of her? Oh, she only does some of the COOLEST THINGS EVER! Like painting a portrait of Yao Ming using a basketball. Or painting a portrait of Adele using candles. And...perhaps I should just post a link to her site so anyone who stumbles across this humble little blog of mine can go visit her space on the net. You won't be disappointed.

Go. Look at awesomeness!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Someone take the scissors away...

Ever since I had to draw portraits last semester I've noticed how asymmetrical my face is. How asymmetrical all of us are actually. And you know what? I like those little quirks and imperfections. My eyes are shaped a little differently and my smile is a bit lopsided and I like it. I'm not perfect and I never look perfect and I guess I am just okay with it by now. I've learned to appreciate how little flaws in my work can be construed as "character" (a term we art students hate to hear being used in describing our work) and I guess I view those little imperfections as giving my appearance character.
Also, since October I have been cutting my bangs. They've gone from sweepy side bangs to this shorter look. Someone may need to take my scissors away. Especially since I get the urge to trim them at the weirdest times. Like 4 in the morning. Or right before I'm supposed to leave for work. Risky times to be wielding scissors and making changes in my hair.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

It's the end of the world as we know it...and I feel fine.

Last semester begins...now! Well, yesterday actually. But I only had one class yesterday and it wasn't a major class. It was actually a dance class! Yay! I'm so excited to go back to my first love of dancing. I intend to take dance classes about 4 days a week (if I can find my student ID to get back into the gym!).

But today was my first day of my last semester of art classes and I got text messages from 3 graduated classmates wishing me well and asking how things went. It made my day. This experience is coming to an end, but boy have I got a lot of relationships, memories, and hopefully skills to take with me when I leave here!

Last night I talked to a friend from high school for over 2 hours on the phone. It was so good to catch up with her. We hadn't talked in about 3 years and there was so much to talk about. First day of classes always makes me so nervous and jittery so it was so good to have conversations with friends and texts from classmates who have finished school and are on the other side. Encouragement came right when I needed it!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Creepy self portrait

My teacher told us that whenever he has his students do self portraits they always look like they are either scared or mad. He was right. When he assigned the self portrait project all our drawings looked really miffed. Mine looks especially spooky. My angle was really weird. Regardless, it's probably my best drawing ever. It makes me want to continue learning to draw portraits.

In the words of Napoleon Dynamite: "It took me about an hour to do the shading on your upper lip." However, I probably won't be asking anyone to go to a dance with me by drawing their portrait. At least not any time soon.

Handmade books.

Some examples from my bookmaking class last spring as well as some more recent books.



It's one of those beautiful winter days. The kind where you don't mind that it's cold...instead you rather appreciate the changes in each season. Cold days, long nights, sharp light. Winter is harsh, but it's a good reason to stay inside and surround yourself with all things soft, warm, and comforting. Blankets. Soups. Ms. Marple episodes. Coffee. Those things don't mean as much to me during the summer.

On a day like today where the sun decides to come out, which is rare as it is almost always overcast here, the light is so strong and beautiful coming in through the curtain in the kitchen. It prompted me to play with my camera settings and try to capture the colors and textures of the plants and fruit in my kitchen. I like the way those colors seem so vibrant and alive when everything outside is dark or dormant.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

When the going gets tough...

the best chinese fortune I ever got said I would get some new clothes...this was a close runner up. :)

Isaiah 55:12

"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands."

a favorite verse.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


I am pretty sure if I went back and looked through my photo and blog archives for the past year that quite a lot of my photos would be of the sky. Sunsets, storms, clouds, or documenting the rare blue sky that we occasionally get here in the mid-atlantic region...they are all there along with a few unsuccessful attempts to photograph the stars or moon at night.

I'm still on break and am enjoying the time off to take in my surroundings and have a chance to process the past semester and year. This is my final year as a student. Kind of scary. Kind of exciting. So many things are changing. Lots of dear people moved this past year. Lots of hardships were endured by people I love throughout the past year. I can't even count all the people I know who got engaged, married, or started families this year. I'm here for what may be my last winter in this town that has become my home. I guess it hasn't hit me hard yet. That everything is about to change. Or maybe it already has to an extent and it's just lessened the impact of the idea. Right now I'm not sad at the idea of change or scared of it. Or excited by it. I'm just enjoying some quiet days and visits with family and friends. I guess life is too short to miss the good things by worrying through it. I can't help but fret or worry about some things, but as much as possible I am trying to just take everything in and accept it and move on. Believing that God is making my future for me makes me feel that I can relax a bit and trust Him and enjoy the experience He is giving me.

It's nice to have a quiet start to a new year. I hope there are lots of restful moments and times of restoration.

Kiln firings from the end of the semester.

Salt Firing in reduction.

Wood Firing. Candling stage.
Enjoying a clear view of the stars while firing.
Firing kilns is an exciting, nerve-wracking experience for me. I'm always waiting for something to go wrong. But there is nothing quite like firing a kiln that's roaring at well over 2000* F and trying to see if you can outwit it. I only win sometimes. Someday I'll figure it out. It's a funny thing, the juxtaposition of the power and energy of the kiln and the quietly peaceful night sky. It's a good time and place to sit and think about things and rest while you wait for your kiln to (hopefully) finish well.