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!

Catch Up!

Its pretty adorable how many concerned phone calls, e-mails, and texts I have gotten regarding my blog. Yes, it has been over two weeks since my last post- oops! Time has become such a strange thing for me, its something I have very little of, yet seems to pass so slowly. So I will try my very best to fill you in...

Tomorrow is Evan and I's two year anniversary! Last night, we went out to dinner at Kabuto's, a Japanese steak house here in Richmond, and it was delicious! It was so nice to have a fun, quiet evening all to ourselves. Today, we packed up Evan's car and moved home to Poquoson where he'll be living for the next five weeks to complete his Ambulatory Care rotation for pharmacy school. I'm going to miss our week night dates that consist of cooking dinner together and watching HGTV or A&E and doing homework together. But five weeks isn't too long, and hopefully we can squeeze some fun visits in.

I've been a busy bee working away at Anthropologie. Last week, we had a visit from several other visual managers in the district, so we were running around like crazy people trying to get ready. But the visit went pretty well and everyone is happy to have it behind them. We have been doing lots of wrapping objects with yarn and sweaters, it all looks great but I'll be happy when the wrapping is finished.

Schoollllll. Ahh. I am so behind in my work for my senior critique class. I plan to play catch up today, but am feeling as if I have hit a wall. I'm really overwhelmed with such a bad case of artistic block and my lack of motivation. Hopefully I will pull through!

Halloween! Halloween was a fun weekend! Our friend Kelly hosted a chili cook off where there were many delicious chili's to taste. Evan and I's chili did not make it to the cook off as we had a bit of an issue at his house. ohh well. After our failed attempt, I made fun Halloween treats that were quite the hit! It made up for our chili catastrophe! Evan and I dressed up as bacon and eggs- and he gets all of the credit. It was a fun, low key evening.

I promise to try to be better about my updates. I hope everyone is well!

Until next time.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I've Been Working on Some Things

My blog has obviously taken a back seat to my life and art work. I thought I might fill you in on what I've been working on. My internship at Anthropologie has been great, aside from occasionally getting kooky after spending hours on end in a tiny windowless room with two other girls... but, we have fun and are creating some great things!

Our tiny, messy craft room, cozy right?

Its incredible how many materials are jammed into this tiny room.

A few of the thousands (literally) of accordion folded bunches we've made that will make up the poofs that will consume the store over the holiday season.

Our ostrich! Isn't she beautiful? I can't say that I made her myself, at all, but I helped!

Her egg's that we wrapped in yarn, fun, huh?

For my senior critique class, we had to write a proposal for what we wanted to work on this semester- My idea was to alter old damage furniture and make it better, while maintaining the furniture's elegance and form. Sounds like a good idea, right? It turned out to be a rather tough undertaking as I found myself afraid of messing up the chair. I jumped over many hurdles and wanted to give up on more than one occasion because my peers were pushing me to do something I didn't want to- change my beautiful antique chair. I only wanted to give it a little love by repairing, refinishing, and reupholstering it while giving it a little something extra. That's eventually what came out, but I can't say that I'm completely happy with it. Time to move on. I think I'll stay with the chair idea but not change them at all, only focus on the cushion and bring in some of my embroidery. This semester has been quite a learning experience and I'm curious to see what I make next...

I apologize for the picture being completely out of focus, I"ll post a better, clearer one later.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Life in the fast lane as a Craft and Material studies senior has been both crazy and exciting! I can't believe that we are already at midterms and my last fall semester will be over before I know it- a bittersweet thought. Since my last post, a lot has happened so I thought I might fill you in...

During my second week of my internship at Anthropologie, I got a major owie. I sliced my index finger on a glass hook and spent the evening in the emergency room getting stitches. It was such a strange freak accident- only I would mistakenly find a broken glass hook and gash my finger on it. Forget about table saw accidents. *knock on wood*. My wonderful roommate Emily has been a ray of sunshine who cracked jokes as I got stitches and has done the dishes consistently so I wouldn't get my hand wet. I am happy that the stitches are now out, however, I will miss my splint that was so helpful in maintaining my finger in an indicating position.

Injury induced or not, I have been suffering from a severe case of artist's block. This truly has been terrible. I have spent the last 5 weeks frustrated about my work for my senior critique class. My proposal for the semester was to rework old furniture while highlighting its elegance yet giving it a sense of modernity... It sounds like a good idea- too bad my vision is NOT coming to fruition. I have a critique on Wednesday after which I hope to ditch this idea and perhaps work on some embroidery ideas I have. We'll see what the teacher has to say...

Despite my artist's block, a few stitches, and a freak out here and there regarding graduation, life has been great! Last weekend was my 22nd birthday and it was a great one! I started the day with Evan eating brunch at The Black Sheep, a delicious restaurant here in Richmond. We then spent the day together running errands and getting ready for my Nickelodeon themed birthday party. We grilled out for dinner, making some delicious homemade hamburgers and french fries, which gave me the opportunity to introduce the delicious fry sauce that I brought back from my Utah trip back in August- it was quite a hit!Three of my dearest high school friends, Chelsea, Sarah Macon, and Paul drove in from out of town for my party and it was so nice to have them here! Most people went all out for my party, there were many great costumes! It was so much fun to reminisce old cartoon favorites.

Austin grilling some mean burgers

My amazing Nickelodeon cake, courtesy of Chelsea

Eureka, Chuckie, Clarissa, Chuckie


Evan was Rocko and his tail was hilarious!

After a fun day on Saturday, my mom drove up from Lexington for a fun girls day. We went shopping, ate a delicious dinner and just hung out. It was great having some uninterrupted mother daughter time. I couldn't have asked for a better birthday weekend!

This past weekend was our fall break/reading days. I headed home on Thursday where I spent most of my time in my pj's doing homework catching up on Glee. I had way too much work to do to get to do the things I normally like to do when I go home, but it was nice to have some uninterrupted work time. I did find some time to hang out with my grandparents which is always wonderful. They are such a crack up! I love to sit on their horribly uncomfortable futon and listen to all that they have to tell me as they offer me food every 3 minutes. They are just so sweet.

Friday evening, I headed east to Poquoson, stopping in Richmond to pick up Evan. This weekend was the annual Seafood Festival in Poquoson, an event that we couldn't miss! Although it was freezing and wet, the seafood festival was great and it was a lot of fun hanging out with family and friends. We went and saw Where the Wild Things Are and I must say that I was a little disappointed. I guess it wasn't what I expected. I don't know, it was strange.

And now I'm back in my cold apartment overwhelmed by all of the work I planned to do but didn't this weekend. Such is life. Back to the grind stone tomorrow!

Until next time!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Crazyyy Semester!

My blog has obviously taken a backseat to everything else in my life- with three jobs, an internship and being a full time student, something's gotta give. My blog is not, going away, I will just be posting much more periodically, when time allows. I'll be enjoying my favorite month of October while working my creative muscles in both the studio and at Anthropologie. Until next time!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Congratulations Emma and Thad!

Its certainly wedding season! Last night I got a phone call from my adorably ecstatic sister who was calling me to tell me she was ENGAGED! I have been waiting for this day but didn't realize it would come so soon! I cannot wait for all of the fun wedding planning! I know Emma and Thad will have a very fun life together (how can you not have fun with Emma?). Yay for love and marriage! I couldn't be happier!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Craft Talk

Today, in my senior crit class, I was talking to my professor about how I'm struggling with walking the fine line between arts and crafts and fine craft- something that people within the craft world face on a regular basis. My teacher encouraged me to embrace craftiness (as in arts and crafts) and push it really far- which will maybe will set it outside the realm of arts and crafts, giving my work a sophistication. Hmm? Oh art. After seeing that she hadn't completely convinced me and freed me of my worries, she drug me to her office where she made me watch this ridiculously hilarious video that she said would cure my issues. This video is pretty silly but as a crafts and material studies major, I really appreciated it and it lightened my worries. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

RVA Rap Video

I just discovered this hysterical music video on Young House Love, a blog about DIY home decorating based in Richmond. The bloggers were trying to give their readers a glimpse of the city they call home. The video is too great to miss out on, especially if you live here in the beautiful, RVA. Please, enjoy!

Monday, September 28, 2009

1st Day!

Today was my first day as an intern at Anthropologie and I absolutely loved it! It was so much fun to be in a creative environment with peers who have the same design aesthetic as I do. Emily and I spent hours cutting magazines and maps up and making paper airplanes (I swear I'll be doing it in my sleep). The thought of spending hours folding paper airplanes seemed really daunting but there's something nice about doing something so methodically mindless. We were folding the airplanes for the window display which is already looking great. I promise to post pictures when they are finished (hopefully they will be tomorrow). It feels really great to have this internship I have dreamed of for months now and I have a feeling a lot of inspiration will come from the experiences. Stay tuned!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Too Cute!

This adorable video just makes me smile. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I cannot be more excited to tell you that I officially have an internship with Anthropologie! guh! I am completely ecstatic! I will be working on visuals and displays for the Richmond store at Stony Point Fashion Park with their visual team and two other interns, my roommate Emily and friend Mari. I know it will be a lot of work but I look forward to spending many long hours working with such incredible people exercising our creativity. I can't see what we come up with! I head into the store early tomorrow morning (technically this morning) to learn the ropes, get my schedule, etc. I will keep you posted on how things go and hopefully have pictures of some of the work I do this semester! Yay!

House of Harriet

How fun are these mugs?! Harriet Darnave is an artists who lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She has an Etsy page that displays her incredible work and tells her story.
For years I worked as an illustrator for books and magazines, only the last couple of years I use tableware and tiles as my canvas. I paint with glazes and fire the pieces myself in my kiln. Most of my products are designed for everyday use and are dishwasher proof, food safe and can even be used in the microwave.
You can even contact Darnave to have her customize a piece for you! Just sent her a pic and voila!