Friday, June 21, 2013

Last night at Chinese Church/English Bible study.

I am so grateful that I was able to make it to Chinese church one last time. I love it so much! I usually get asked at least once why I'm there since I am one of two only white people who go and I speak only a little bit of Chinese...but everyone there is so kind and welcoming. I'm just so grateful to have been a part of this group. They have meant so much to me! I feel the love. <3

In honor of the longest day of the year our English Bible study went to the highest spot in the county (conveniently located about 5 minutes from church) and had our study there where we could watch the sunset. Sitting on the rocks and reading scripture with my friends while watching the sunset was one of the sweetest times I've had so far this summer. It was such a breath of fresh air and it was so beautiful. I am so grateful for how beautiful it was tonight. It was one of those times that you realize that life is just so sweet.

Walking down the hill as it got darker we could see bats flying and the fireflies coming out...the sun was almost set and still a tiny bit colorful...we read from Job 38 and it was a beautiful reminder of God's sovereignty. I think it helped to ease my anxious mind with this upcoming move. That is also something to be grateful for!

I am moving away from one of the prettiest places I've ever lived. I'm grateful to have lived here for four years. Grateful for the experience, for my time at school, for my friends, for the church family I have here, for the quiet and restful parts of town, for tonight...

Yeah. I'm just grateful for all of it. I feel so blessed and lucky. <3

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Peek into my sketchbook

I'm not much of a drawer...I've always preferred 3D projects. But what with moving and packing and not having access to a clay studio I've been trying to make it a point to spend some time each day with my sketchbook doing something other than just make lists or rough sketches of my pots. It's been fun drawing patterns, prints, and trying to creatively log ideas away for future reference. Most of these are just quotes and little doodles, but quotes and songs are really inspiring and mean a lot to me. I think the style of music and lyrics and some of the quotes I wrote frequently reflect the ideas I want to infuse into my work. Family, home, friends, quirks, beauty, and's the musical equivalent of what I hope to make in a tangible item.

At any rate, it's helping keep me sane and have some fun since I can carry my sketchbook and tons of pens in my purse. Also, after my post about social networking and wondering exactly how I feel about it, the sketchbook is nice because it's a creative way to get thoughts and feelings out of my head without having to share all of it with the whole world (although I guess I just did share a few pages here in blog-land so maybe that defeats the purpose?). It's kind of satisfying. And for someone who struggles to sketch at all during the academic year I've almost filled a whole sketchbook...which makes me feel kind of accomplished. :)

Art Class


I got a chance to teach an art class. I was planning to teach all summer (once a week), but as it turned out I only got to go twice. We made sketchbooks our first day and marbled paper (using shaving cream and acrylic fun!) our second day. I didn't get any detailed shots of the sketchbooks, but I got a few photos of some of the papers we made. It was a fun experience and I feel very privileged to have been able to try teaching with such awesome kids. And it was kinda crazy having students who were taller than me. :)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer smoothie

Allow me to be honest...I don't really like smoothies. It's the yogurt. As much as I want to be getting my probiotics in a fun and healthy way I just don't like yogurt (unless we are talking frozen yogurt, which is another story).

So this smoothie is my favorite because it has frozen strawberries, a room temperature banana, and some pulpy orange juice. I prefer not to use recipes, I just start adding and blending till I reach a consistency I like. It doesn't get watery because there is no ice in it. And it doesn't have icky protein powder or yogurt in it either so it's pretty much perfect for my picky palate. I've made it with blueberries, blackberries and strawberries too and omitted the banana which makes it much more icy.

One of my former classmates is a glass-blower and he gave me this cup in exchange for a mug that I made. It's quirky and has the colors of my alma mater which makes it a unique cup to own. And since I don't drink and haven't run my dishwasher in about a week (single living...I realize I just don't make that many dirty dishes!) today seemed like a good time to use this pretty cup. Cause when life is changing and seems so uncertain I like to be a little fancy. Somehow I think it makes me feel better.

In other news I am moving and need to pack everything up ASAP. Moving is not something I am new to as I have moved probably about eight times by now, but all that experience has taught me that no matter how well you think you have planned moving is never smooth or fun. Also this is the first time I am moving all by myself and am leaving the place that has been my home for the last four years. It's kinda sad. I'm trying to pack in between visits with friends that I don't know when I'll get to see again.

Alright. Enough stalling. I'm off to pack up my lonely house and make moving arrangements. So scary and hopeful all at the same time.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

For Ainslee

A couple months ago a friend of mine was in a very serious car accident. She went off the road, hit a tree and her car caught fire and then blew up. Fortunately, she made it out of the car before she could be badly hurt and escaped the whole incident with minor injuries.

I met Ainslee at college through my roommate who was longtime friends with her. She was studying fashion and was (and is) super stylish. On separate occasions I've seen her wear tinfoil jewelry and an altered old prom dress on campus and look fabulous...she just pulls it off somehow. But she is maybe best known sartorially for her enormous scarf for almost every day of the year (during our freshman year...I hear she's pared it down considerably).

After her accident one of her friends made a facebook event where we would all wear scarves on the same day and post a photo of it to celebrate Ainslee and the miracle of her life. This cheesy photo is my contribution. I was glad to participate in the online celebration of how her life was spared, not only because of this miraculous situation but because she is one of the sweetest, most uplifting and encouraging young women I know. And so much praise and glory has been given to God because of this situation.

Dear Ainslee,
Thanks for your constant kind words, your enthusiasm for life and for others, your praises to God, and for setting an example of how a scarf is easily one of the classiest accessories a gal can rock. The way you have come through this event is a reminder to us of how precious life precious you are...and how loving our Savior is. You are a reminder to be grateful for every day!
You're wonderful and are loved by so many!

Friday, June 14, 2013

If you make a cool craft, or have a deep thought and don't blog about it...did it really happen?

I've been thinking about my motivations for blogging. I really am not sure why I do it. It has come to the point where it seems like I need an audience. And not just me, but everyone who is addicted to social networks. I mean, we can hardly have a thought without posting it for everyone to see. Sometimes we don't have a good thought to post so we just write "bored" and everyone "likes" it on facebook. It started to make me wonder if I shouldn't just quit this little blog. Can I be content to have a thought and just let it live in my head? Or only tell it to one or two other people? Can I make a fun craft and be content knowing that the only people who see it are the people who come to my house (not a lot of people)? And then being a crafter and hopeful-someday-artist I realize the benefits of an online presence because allowing others to see your personality helps make a connection to your work and increases your business prospects. But in the end I think that also has the potential to turn us as people into a brand and become a fad or a trend or maybe even a person that I am not. I don't know if I want to do that either.

I am not saying that I think blogs are bad. I have loved blogs ever since I discovered them and have had my own blogs since I was a teenager. I think they make great outlets, journals, and are great for gathering inspiration, ideas and making connections with other people. And if you have a good thought or a great process to share it really can enrich other peoples' lives. If you are just being yourself and sharing that with others I think it's refreshing and encouraging to connect with others in that way. But for me I sometimes question why I do this and whether I should do it at all.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

No such thing as normal

I've come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as normal. Normal jobs, families, lives...I don't believe in it anymore. Sure, there are things that are more typical, more healthy, etc...but I think that rather than let this ambiguous idea of "normalcy" be a standard for living that I need to view holy as the standard for which I make decisions.

Nobody can define normal consistently. One "normal" family will look different from another "normal" family. And normalcy changes. While it was normal to grow up in a home with a mom and dad in the past, now kids frequently live in homes with one parent, divorced parents, step-parents, same-sex parents, etc. That is their normal.

So I don't really care anymore about being normal. Or pursuing what is "normal." I think I should just pursue being holy. Because if we were made in the image of God for his pleasure, then we are not living normally anyway. God is the standard. His Word is the standard. And it doesn't match my society's definitions of normal or even good.