Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Valentines Day!

I'm not one to dote on Valentines Day, quite frankly, I might throw up on Evan if he gave me the cliche red long stem roses with baby's breath and a teddy bear. I would, however, take the chocolates any day. While I feel strongly that Valentines day has become quite a Hallmark holiday, I have embraced it. I do enjoy homemade valentines and special treats. While its important to tell the ones you love how much they mean to you year round, it is fun to devote a whole day to it. This year I'm looking forward to some quality alone time with my number one. Perhaps I can even drag him to see Valentine's Day, which I'm dying to see- what a great cast!

May everyone's weekends be full of happiness and time spent with the ones you love!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Here I am, four weeks into my final semester and its racing by. These past four weeks have been full of busy days, snow, excitement and some attempts at planning life after graduation.

Richmond has experienced more snow this winter than it has in years. Its been really fun and beautiful but is becoming somewhat of a nuisance. Yesterday morning was the craziest snowfall I have seen yet- for several straight hours it came down very heavily with strong winds creating less than ideal driving conditions. Emily and I got stuck in it on our way to at 7 a.m. Anthropologie- as soon as we got to Anthro, they sent us home before it got worse. It took us over an hour to drive a mere 8 miles in which we encountered over 20 car accidents. After getting home and snuggling up in our pjs with some hot chocolate we were thrilled to receive the VCU Alert text message telling us that school was canceled. It was so great to have a snow day and catch up on some work.

Amidst all of the snow, there has been much excitement! In the wee hours of the morning of Monday, February 1st, my step brother Timothy and his wife Katharine welcomed Tristan MacKay Litzenburg, weighing a whopping 8 lbs, 15oz. Everyone is so excited to have him here! He is such a snuggle bug and so much fun to have around. This past weekend, the whole family was in town where we spent the weekend arguing over who's turn it was to hold baby Tristan. Such a joy!

Grace and I have been working away on our line for our undergraduate research grant and have made lots of progress. We have booked Can Can Brasserie for our event which will be held on Saturday, May 1st at 3:30 pm. There will be a fashion show (the models will walk on the bar- so fun), hors d'oeuvres, model mingling, and a question and answer session. So put it on your calendars!! I want to see everyone there! In the midst of all of this planning, we have designed our 8 looks, all of which I am very excited about. Our first look will be complete by Saturday, February 27th to photograph for press. If you want to follow our progress more closely, check out our blog here.

Aside from all this excitement I have been vehemently looking for a job. I have been frequenting the career center, job websites, etc. etc., in search of anything... things are looking rather bleak. But- my spirits are high and I remain optimistic about my future. I at least have until May 21st to find something...

Until next time!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My LAST semester

I have officially begun my LAST semester of college. Yikes! Its an excited yet terrifying feeling. I had my first class yesterday and hit the ground running. I'm super excited about what this semester will bring- I am especially curious to see which direction my art takes... We'll just have to wait and see!!

Last Sunday, a few fellow students and I gave a gallery talk since it was the last day of our show. It was rather anticlimactic until I found out that I sold my first piece! What a great feeling! I actually got to meet the couple who bought my piece and it was really fun hearing why they loved it so much that they had to have it. It's quite flattering to have someone want the work that you have spent so many hours on. Woohoo!!

Grace and I have officially started working on our project for our undergraduate research grant. Its all so exciting yet very overwhelming. We are being quite ambitious, but I think we can do it! We actually started a blog for our professors and mentor to keep an eye on our progress, so please check it out!

Until next time!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Thrifting 101

While clicking through my normal blog roll to see what's new in the blog world, I came across this post about thrifting on Bower Power. It's a great thorough post with lots of good information on how to stay focused and not feel overwhelmed while thrifting. It's definitely worth 7 minutes of your time to read closely. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Uncommon Denominator II

Want to see my work in real life? Head to ArtSpace gallery! The show will be up through January 17th. There will be a closing reception Friday, January 15th from 7-10pm and then an artists' talk on Sunday, January 17th at 4pm. Hope to see you all there!


I got the new Anthropologie catalog today and as always, loved 90% of what was in it, but, nothing caught my eye more than these incredible animal busts! I love the simplicity of the material and character of each animal. Add these to my wish list, please!


Its funny how the busier we get, our priorities quickly change. I love blogging and do miss it, but most days (at this point at least) when I think of posting, I would rather get that 20 minutes of extra sleep, catch up on the latest episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County (don't judge, please), or make a long distance phone call to those I miss. Needless to say, life has been quite busy- a good kind of busy. The past three weeks have been overflowing with things to do, family, friends, and love. I had a wonderful Christmas. I spent Christmas Eve with my Mom, brothers, and hysterical grandparents in beautifully snow covered Lexington. My brothers and I then headed to Richmond for a wonderfully relaxing Christmas day of doing a whole lot of nothing besides being with family and enjoying Christmas cheer. The week following, I headed up to DC for my dear friends' Martha and Jesse's WEDDING! They are the first of my high school friends to get married, making it quite the big deal. Their wedding was absolutely beautiful and they both were beaming with happiness. I have thought about them a lot this week as they are on their honeymoon in beautiful San Diego. I'm dying to call Martha to chat about married life and their trip, but I am forcing myself to hold off and let them enjoy married bliss for at least a week or two.

Following the wedding, I had a great, relaxing New Years with close friends in Richmond. Since then I have been babysitting, freaking out that its actually 2010 that I am beginning my last semester of college, and bumming around. Tomorrow Evan and I are heading to Philadelphia and then to West Chester for a much needed escape.

Until next time.

Monday, December 7, 2009

This Semester's Work!

This semester was quite the busy one! I have grown a lot in my aesthetic and views as an "artist" (I still feel weird calling myself that), and am very excited about my progress! I think I am finally getting to where I want to be- so, I'm really looking forward to next semester and the work I produce. Here are some images of work I made this semester. I hope you enjoy!

This was a chair I found at a local antique mall. It seriously needed some love. I stripped the finish, stained it, drilled many holes in it to create the patterning, added yarn and cotton in many of the holes, wrapped some areas, and reupholstered the seat. Voila!

This was a chair I found in my mother's attic. I absolutely love the shape of this beautiful antique. I simply cleaned it up (got all of the dust and cobwebs off) then embroidered these intricate bugs and reupholstered the seat with them. I quite enjoy it! I have four more of these chairs without the arms, and I plan to make a series of dining room bug chairs. I'm pretty excited.

This is a piece I did for my fabric design class. We had to take our drop cloths (the one on the left) and our urban rubbings (fabric we took out into the city and made rubbings off of various found patterns and shapes) and give them some sort of dialogue. This piece stressed me out (mostly because I don't like using black in my work, and it was a requirement here) but I'm pleased with the outcome! (p.s. This is all hand dyed fabric.)

And for the piece I'm currently working on... it will be another embroidery/reupholstery piece. However, this one will only have one intensely embroidered bug.

And while I'm at it, here are some pictures of a chair I completed earlier in the year. (I photographed it today with everything else.) The fabric is completely hand dyed and embroidered. I painted the red accents on the chair.

And there you have it! Needless to say, my mind and hands have been quite busy! Now onto more embroidery and planning for our research grant!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Good News!

Yesterday, my friend Grace DuVal and I were awarded a VCU Undergraduate Research Grant! I was sitting at my desk in the admissions office when I heard the great news! I couldn't be more thrilled! Grace and I have always had homework parties and frequently bounce creative ideas off of each other, but I am super excited to actually be working WITH her!

Here's a description of our project:

Eco-Chic: Recycled Fashion In this collaborative project, a Sculpture + Extended Media and a Craft/Material Studies student, marry their love affair with fabric. The central theme of this project will be to take pre-existing fabrics such as curtains, upholstery or sheets from second-hand shops and transform them into new and original fabrics which will then be used to create a collection of one-of-a-kind clothing. The fabric and garment design will be inspired by the aesthetic of antique furniture. Varying dye techniques will be used, as will embellishing with embroidery, beading and buttons. A series of unique garments will be created drawing inspiration from the lines and shapes of intricate furniture.
Grace Johnston, Sculpture + Extended Media
Anne Douglas Shaw, Craft/Material Studies
Award: $1,800
Faculty Mentor: Susan Iverson, Craft/Material Studies”

So, get ready everyone, for an amazing fashion show in Richmond, VA in May 2010! There couldn't be a more perfect way to end my college career!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Busier than a Bee

It seems as if I only have time to update once a month! Hopefully next semester won't be as absurd and I will be able to take ten minutes every day or two to post about something... I do miss blogging, when I was blogging everyday my mind was overflowing with creativity from all of the things I was looking at and posting about- also, by posting about them, I was giving myself a place to reference my ideas. Now, they just get lost somewhere in my brain. So, New Years Resolution to self- keep up with my blog!

Anyways, I have been quite the busy bee! Let's see. Since the last post (almost a month ago, ouch!), I have done lots of fun things. We'll start from the beginning.

At the beginning of November, Evan and I went to his Pharmacy School Semi-Formal. We had a great time! It was Vegas themed and we spent most of the night hanging out at a black jack table- where I quickly realized, I am not a gambler, even with fake money. We didn't do much dancing but enjoyed the delicious food and good company. It was fun to get dressed up and I was especially excited about seeing Evan in his new suite. Sooo handsome!

We relaxed for the rest of that weekend and had a craft night on Saturday where we made a wall hanging for our friends Liz and Brandon who recently got engaged. Evan is in their wedding which is in October of next year, it will be so much fun! Brandon and Evan bonded over music and continue to exchange their projects and what not. Recently, Brandon wrote an adorable song about Liz and we captured one of my favorite lines from the song (it turns out to be Brandon's too) and made their gift about that line. "With tree lined streets and a backyard too" So- Evan and I put on our thinking caps and made their present out of cut paper. We cut out all of the shapes we needed and glued them onto a painted canvas, then stamped the lyrics and painted over it all with a clear protective coat. It's a little kitschy but meaningful and we had so much fun making it!

The next weekend, we headed up to West Chester, PA, to stay with Liz and Brandon and attend their Engagement party that their parents were hosting. It was so much fun to get away and spend time with great friends. Aside from the party, we ate delicious food, walked around West Chester, did a little shopping, and vegged out on their beautiful new couch. (They loved their present and immediately hung it up on the wall!)

The Bride and Groom

The Groomsmen

Amidst all of these fun things and the absurd amount of work that piled up on me, I was working away on our Senior Critique Class's show. Emily, Mari, and I volunteered to curate the show- we had NO idea what we were getting ourselves into. It was a lot of work and a lot of chasing after people but it turned out to be a good experience. We installed the show last Sunday, which went rather smoothly. I couldn't be happier with how things turned out, it's truly a great show with lots of great work! Our closing reception is this Thursday, December 3rd, at the VCU Student Commons (between Floyd and Main St), at 7pm. Many friends have been requesting updated pictures of my work but I intentionally haven't posted them because I want to see you at the reception- so be there! There will be quite the variety of delicious homemade cookies to feast on as you look at some great art!

And for Thanksgiving. What a busy holiday! I love Thanksgiving- I love being with my family and not having any reason or need to be anywhere else. This Thanksgiving was great but really busy. I spent Turkey Day with my Dad, Jayne and extended family. It was so much fun to see Emma and Thad (my newly engaged step-sister and future brother-in-law!!), Timothy and Katharine, who is truly the most beautiful pregnant woman I have ever seen, Taylor, my brothers, Dad and Jayne and others. We ate lots of delicious food and livened up the day with a trip to Patient First after my Dad cut his hand while shucking oysters. Fun times!

On Friday I headed home to see friends and more family. On Saturday, I had a bridal shower for my close friend Martha, who will be getting married exactly one month from TOMORROW!! Its so hard to believe, but so exciting! It was fun to catch up with my high school ladies and celebrate Martha's engagement.
Me with two of my favorite ladies Friday night at the Southern Inn

Martha was so adorable, she was SO excited about each gift she opened. You can almost hear her reaction to each gift by the expression on her face.

And now, I'm back in Richmond, after a full day of homework, snuggled up in my bed preparing myself for the next week and a half of finals. Ew. But then, I am DONE! Hello winter break! Although, it is crazy/scary that this is my last fall semester as an Undergraduate student... cest la vie!

Until next time!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Taylor Swift, Again

Most people who know me know that I really love Taylor Swift, I might even be her biggest fan... anyways. She's coming to Charlottesville on March 20th! I've been super excited about it for weeks. My sweetheart Evan, graciously sat by the computer this past Friday morning (I was in class) until 10am when tickets went on sale. I had complete faith in Evan, as I know that he is very much experience in concert ticket purchasing... however, it seems as if we were not prepared to compete with all of the Taylor's tween fans who have joined her fan club, etc., therefore allowing them to buy tickets early. Needless to say, even at the very moment tickets went on sale, Evan could not get two seats together in the ENTIRE arena (which seats THOUSANDS). Hmph. We could still go and buy tickets at $300 each for the nosebleed section, but I am a college student on a budget. I guess I'll just have to wait until the next time she comes around. Oh, and you better bet that I'll be in her fan club- I mean, I can't be her #1 fan without being a member. Lesson learned.

Things were made a bit better this weekend since she hosted SNL. Enjoy the clips!

My Favorite Drummer

My Children's Literature teacher showed us this talented 4-year-old a few weeks ago. Jonah is completely self-taught and chooses all of songs. Really, he's amazing! Unfortunately, I can't embed a video, so you MUST check out his website and see how talented he really is!