Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Trip to the Dollar Tree

One of my favorite pastimes is going to the Dollar Tree with my Grandparents- Whenever they used to come visit they would take us to the Dollar Tree and let us pick out one thing each. I always looked forward to these adventures and choosing my item was always a big decision.

Yesterday, I decided to take Jeb and Mosby there to see if it was as wonderful as I remember. Jeb worked his negotiation skills to get two toys instead of one- yeah, I'm a pushover. It was hysterical watching the two boys pick out their toys. Jeb had a particularly hard time, he kept going back and forth between snakes, a T-Rex, and the classic army men, but eventually chose two snakes. Mosby was delighted by anything he picked up, but a waterfilled glittery, pink, green, and blue baton captivated him. The baton and a green race car were Mosby's two choices. Mosby quickly forgot about the race car and is now officially obsessed with his baton. He calls the baton "water"- I guess because of the water that fills it, and gets very upset when he puts it down or drops it. It's pretty hilarious.

The Dollar Tree trips absolutely proved to be as wonderful as I remember if not more- I loved watching the boys think about what to choose in an aisle full of random, crappy toys. Jeb has been begging me all day today to go back again.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Some More Art

Since I have been hanging out with two awesome kids all week, I have been reminded by why I have used them as both inspiration and subject matter in some of my past pieces.

I made this piece second semester of freshman year (Spring 2007). The assignment was to make a survival kit. I interviewed 3 year olds and asked them if they were going to be stranded on an island and could only take two things, what would they take. The responses I got were: chicken and lots of papers, grapes and stuffed animals, a football and ice cream cones, popcorn and snugglies. I used the childrens' responses as inspiration to make the survival kits. I then hung the pieces on hooks that you would find in a preschool at a child's height. This piece was so much fun!

A close up.

I made this piece for my furniture design class in the Fall of 2008. The chair itself is a puzzle for children. It is made up of four parts (the seat, backrest, and two sides) that come apart. I am still very excited about this idea, however I feel as though it needs some tweaking.

*please excuse the quality of the phototgraphs!


It seems as though eveytime I babysit overnight for Mosby and Jeb something goes wrong with my car. Yesterday, as I was driving to work, I noticed that my car suddenly got VERY loud- it sounded like a race car- I get to work and realize my entire muffler "system" is three inches from the ground. Great. So I panick all during work about where to take my car, how to get it there since I had to go pick the boys up from school right after work, etc. Thanks to some help from people at work, I figured it all out. When the evening came and it was time to execute my plan to get my car, I called the neighbor who said she'd come watch the boys while I did what I needed to do. She said she'd be over shortly- two and a half hours and several unanswered phone calls go by and the neighbor is no where to be found.Ugh. At this point, its too late for my work friends to help me out so my friend Ashley comes to the rescue. At 8:30 (the boys bed time) I load them up into my race car and drive 20 minutes to the mechanic in the middle of nowhere. Once we finally get there, I do what I have to do, transfer the boys carseats and head back home with Ashley. We take I-64 home, and of course, our exit ramp is CLOSED- forcing us to go way out of the way. We finally get home close to ten. The sweet boys never complained once and slept peacefully in the car- they deserve a pizza night tonight!It all worked out in the end but I still have yet to hear from the neighbor- lessoned learned, do NOT flake out on people.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Emily Wright

I'm going to try to write more about artists that interest me and I thought I would post about my roommate, Emily Wright, because I LOVE her work. Emily is a wonderful roommate and very talented jewelry and textile designer. It has been fun to be an insider and see how she has grown over the past two years both in her concept and design. She really blossomed this past semester when she learned how to enamel. Her work is colorful and so much fun- not to mention she has an amazing eye for color! Emily brings textiles into her work in unique ways, always giving her pieces a freshness.

Em is leaving for Peru tomorrow and will be gone for a month- so today, she started a blog to write about both her artwork and her travels. I am very curious to see how this experience affects her jewelry and textiles. You should absolutely check out her blog to read about her travels and look at other work she has done!

Here are a few of my favorites...

This one is my absolute FAVORITE- i want to steal it and wear it everyday!

This one is pretty great too- it can be worn two different ways!

Emily also makes smaller versions of this one for $100- if you're interested, you should absolutely check out her blog.

I. Am. So. Tired.

Sheesh! I have babysat over night before but for some reason these two boys are draining me! They have so much energy making this experience that much more fun, but I am exhausted! I'm looking forward to sleep.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

So Fun!

So kitsch yet so great! You can find many more like these on Etsy, but these two were my favorites- especially the cup of joe!

The Perfect Summer Sandals

I've lucked out with cute sandals this summer at a reasonable price- however, the challenge has been finding some cute, basic brown sandals without breaking the bank. After playing internet for far too long, I came across these adorable sandals from Target! I ordered them tonight and can't wait for them to get here. I hope they are equally as cute in real life!

Playing Mom

Today was a crazy day- I worked all day while the boys were at school. I dropped them off on the way to work and picke them up on the way home. I then came home to find a broken freezer and a mess- oh how fun it is that these things happen. But- I've lined up a repair man for Friday, lets just hope he gets here when he says he will so I can make it to work on time. Im very worn out and beyond exhausted but nothing makes me grin wider than Mosby's adorable high pitch shrill when he calls my name- "DOUGASSS!". Its pretty cute. Thank goodness for the little things!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Anthropologie Gets Me Every Time

I don't think there has ever been a time I have gotten the Anthropologie catalog in the mail and not drooled over each page. Their summer catalog had me both drooling and longing for Goshen Pass.

I want to be here, in this beautiful river- Can't wait for a weekend at Goshen!

I sigh when I look at this picture, this is beautiful, straight out of a fantasy. But, for some reason this reminds me of my friend Nate Winston's dock- and many wonderful memories, of course.

*Special thanks to Rachel Cothran for already scanning these pages and posting about them on her Project Beltway Blog- which you should absolutely check out- its amazing!

Goodbye Holiday Weekend, Hello Babysitting

I had a really amazing weekend after long rough week. I got to spend time with Evan and many close friends, it was such a treat! Tonight, at around 8:45, I started my week long, overnight babysitting for Jeb and Mosby- I will be with them until late Sunday evening. I have babysat overnight for both of the boys before for 3 nights, and then for Mosby alone for 8 nights- so, I do have some experience under my belt with this family and others. However, I am nervous about Jeb being away from his parents for 7 days. Jeb is 5 and much more attached to his parents than Mosby. Don't get me wrong, Mosby adores his parents, but he's also the most easy going child I've ever encountered.

So I've been here for 45 minutes already and am getting a little nervous about the week. The boys had a neighbor babysit for them all day until I could get here, since I already had plans and couldn't make it here until 9ish. When I arrived, Jeb came downstairs (even though he was supposed to be in bed)- I walked him upstairs and he repeatedly asked me why I was here and when I am leaving- uh oh. The poor kid has 6 more days with me... He then proceeded to complain about a fly in his room- now we all know that its pretty impossible to catch flies unless your some sort of fly whisperer or something, so I killed it- which then yielded the "you shouldn't kill bugs" lecture from Jeb. sheesh. I'm sure he's having a little separation anxiety and that he will be better tomorrow. I am a bit nervous for the week, but I know I will survive. Please, get ready for many wonderful stories about these sweet boys!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Trevor Mikula

Even though this blog is really about my life, I try to point it towards art as often as possible. I woke up really early this morning and have been playing some serious internet (Evan and I's term for surfing the web) and revisite Trevor Mikula's website. Trevor is a family friend who I had the priviledge of spending some time with him last summer during my internship at HA Gallery in Nashville, Tennesse. I met Trevor several years ago and since the first time I have lai eyes on his work I have been obsessed. He's incredible- he paints fun, whimsical pictures using a palette knife and has the most amazing sense of color. The thick impasto of his paintings is also very effective. I often look at Trevor's work for inspiration. I have written a paper on him and his work and chose him as an artist that I would base a piece off of for one of my assignments. Needles to say, young, amazing, and has quite the career ahead of him. You should absolutely check him out!

A lot of Trevor's earlier work were these amazing landscape paintings- they are similar in style to his newer work but more about landscape its self. The above picture is a piece I created for an assignment in which we had to relate to an artist and his or her concept. This absolutely is not one of my favorite pieces or even a piece I am very proud of... But, I really love the idea the Trevor creates an 2-D environment in which the viewer can get lost. Here, an ideal environment within my ideal environment- home and the mountains. I would love to try to do a similar project to this again, however with a different approach (we were required to used glass for the assignment) and use a better color palette.

Fun Night Out!

My best friend Chelsea came down for the night last night and we had an awesome time! We had a delicious dinner at Edo's Squid and had to finish it off with some yummy Bev's homemade ice cream. We later headed to a Pendleton concert which was a blast! It was so grat to hang out with everyone!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mark as a competetive eater?

My friend Mark works for CBS here in Richmond. Being a young employee, he gets roped into doing silly things rather frequently. A few weeks ago he had to pose as a hacker for a video clip and yesterday, he had to participate in a funnel cake eating contest against a professional eater- who happens to be two times the size of Mark. I crack up every time I watch it- probably because I know him and its just really awkward. I can't seem to post the video but here's the link- you should absolutely watch it! (you'll have to copy and paste it in the address bar) Badlands Booker - Competitive Eater


Today at 2:00, I picked up my little sister Cache (with Big Brothers Big Sisters) to hang out. We decided to do a little gardening. Since I don't have a yard, we planted flowers in front of Evan's house. Today probably wasn't the best day to do it, as it is VERY humid and the sun was beating down on us. Even though we were quite sticky after, it was a really fun experience! We pulled a lot of weeds, found many gross bugs that Cache caught and put in her "bug home" (those bug cages we all used to have), put new soil down, and planted the flowers! Cache and I agreed that we're going to maintain the garden all summer, adding new flowers, weeding and such. It should be fun! Here are a few pictures of the start of our garden...

So Long, Farewell

I'm back in Richmond and happy to be here, although it was tough to drive away with dry eyes from my home at 523 Jackson Avenue yesterday. Its done. Yesterday at 11:00 a.m., my mom closed on both our old and new houses. There's nothing to do from here on out other than be positive. The new house isn't ideal, but I know it will be home shortly. I am returning home in 2 weeks for my brother William's high school graduation and am anxious to see the changes my mom will have already made. I spent the 3 days I was home helping my mom pick out new light fixtures, faucets, mirrors, furniture, etc. While it was sad and tough, it was also fun since I love interior decorating. Our contractor is coming Monday morning to make a few changes, such as adding crown molding and building bookshelves- I know he will do a wonderful job! Before I left home I took some pictures. I'm not saying that 523 Jackson Ave is a masterpiece, so no judging- but it is perfect to me.

The front of the house from the street.

The front porch.

The flowers were so pretty I couldn't help but take pictures of them!

The backyard.

And for a few pictures of the interior, which have this cheesy border because my mom e-mailed them to me, oh well!

The living room.

More living room.

The dining room.

The dining room from another angle.

The kitchen.

The kitchen again, with the mural painted by Karla Kirkland (my mom's best friend from high school)

The side room/ family room.

The side room/family room from another angle.

And for the new house...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Home for a few days...

I'm home in beautiful Lexington, Virginia for a few days... I'll be back in Richmond tomorrow evening and will resume posting on Saturday.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Great Book

I just finished reading "Girls in Trucks" by Katie Crouch and loved it! It takes you through Sarah Waters' struggle to find love and happiness, and the extremes she takes in attempts to achieve it. This book is both hilarious and heart-wrenching and successfully captures the behind the scenes live of a debutante from Charleston, South Carolina. This book is an easy, fun read that I was able to relate to as I grew up in a relatively Southern town. Add it to your list of books to read!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Feeling Nostalgic

I'm finding myself feeling quite nostalgic this week. I'm excited to head home on Wednesday, since the last time I was there and saw my family was early February- far too long, especially since we only live 2 hours apart. Regardless, it will be nice to get back home and breathe the mountain air. There's nothing like getting off the interstate and rolling down the windows and taking a deep breath. This trip will be an interesting one. I'm curious to see what I uncover as I go through all of my stuff- especially the boxes under my bed in which I kept "important memories" all throughout high school. I'm sure there will be some good laughs.

I'm also really looking forward to seeing my grandparents, two of the most amazing people. They're so wonderful and unbelievably hilarious (without intending to be). Earlier this semester in my textiles class, I was given the assignment of Macro/Micro. It was really difficult for me to come up with something, but I kept coming back to my grandparents. After much brainstorming, my piece came to be about how something or someone (in this case, my grandparents) is just another being in the world, but to an individual, that something or someone is so much more- they are everything. Before my grandparents moved to Kentucky, they lived in Clifton Forge, VA, a tiny town about 30 minutes away from Lexington. Every Tuesday and Thursday they would pick me up to spend the night with them. I always looked forward to visits with them. Before I could even talk, I knew the interstate exit, exit 35. As my Grandpa has told me hundreds of times, "I would get off the exit and you would start clapping your hands and kicking your feet". I still get just as excited about seeing them.

For this piece, I embroidered a portion of their house, The Lucy Celina, now known as The Firmstone Manor a bed and breakfast that they have since sold (and it has changed drastically) with the exit sign in front of the house. I realize that this piece probably won't hold much meaning for others, but it is very special to me.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I Like This Dress... A LOT

I'm in love with this dress. I have no particular occasion for it, but I will be saving my pennies to make this purchase! Urban Outfitters never disappoints me.

My Friends Are SO Talented!

This past week at the beach, my friends Chase and David treated us to an impromptu mini-concert! Aside from being extremely talented artistically, I had no idea how musically talented they both are! After they finished playing, I was beaming and told them how proud I was of them- needless to say I caught a lot of crap for it:) Regardless, it was a real treat to hear them play! Here are a few clips from two of my favorite songs- Enjoy! (p.s. I don't know why the videos are grainy, but its the sound that counts)

Goodbye 523 Jackson Avenue

Its official, come Friday (May 22nd), our beloved yellow brick house will no longer be "home". My mom has decided to sell our home and move into a brand new house and give it the charm and character of our past houses. This has all happened so quickly but I understand that it's for the best. Its hard to imagine that Wednesday will be the last time I head home to 523 Jackson Avenue. Its bittersweet. I will miss our house deeply- it's where my mom so bravely let me paint my room neon green, where I had many sleep overs and get-togethers before school dances, where I got my first kiss, where I baked my first cake from scratch, where I used to chase my brothers with golf clubs when they would gang up on me, where so many things happened- it's where I grew up. Its hard to say goodbye to the house that I hated when we moved in, but that we made our own. My sweet Evan has offered the best insight as he has moved something like 9 times- he told me that for him,"home isn't a building, home is a place and the people within that place" I have found much comfort in this thought and I still look forward to returning home to beautiful Lexington, Virginia.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Back to Reality

I've been at the beach since last Saturday afternoon and have taken a hiatus from life. It has been absolutely amazing, I can't think of anything better I could have done for myself this week. I feel rested and recuperated from the semester. Throughout this past week, with a lot of time on my hands and little on my mind, I have found myself appreciating the world and its natural beauty. Okay, okay, so I'm not trying to be all sappy or deep, but- I realized this week how much I miss out on when I am focusing so much on everything else. I have taken special care to pay attention to the little things, such as natural textures and patterns; the woodgrain on a fence, the bark on a tree, the texture of the millions of broken shells in the sand, the veins in leaves of plants, its all so beautiful. I think that my recent piece in which I took photographs of found peeling paint and embroidered over them drew my attention to the small, beautiful things that go unnoticed. I'm curious to see where this new found interest in discreet beauty takes me.

When I took this photo, I was just snapping random shots of the fence around our pool. When I look at this photo I see a face, with quite the personality.

The cracking wood on the walkway- I found this texture appealing.

Just a pile of stuff I encountered on a walk along the beach, the "stuff" became much more interesting up close.

Friday, May 8, 2009

I'm a Senior?

I am finally finished! This round of finals seemed to be the roughest yet- not because they were harder, they just seemed to drag on and on. But now I'm finished and can barely believe that I am a senior! Its amazing how quickly time flies. Tomorrow I am headed to the beach with a bunch of friends. I have been looking forward to this for months- its going to be wonderful to relax for an entire week! I will not have my computer with me for a week, so I will not be posting. However, when I return, I hope to have a nice tan and many great stories!


Being in the midst of finals and thinking back about my art work and how it has evolved, some of my favorite pieces are still from AFO. I thought I'd occasionally take a walk down memory lane and post some of my older work. This piece is where I became inspired by textiles, and is a huge reason for why I am studying Crafts and Material studies. For this piece, I dyed all of the fabric, and sewed it together, creating a "map" of the sewing machine. The way the light shines through the sewing holes in many places is beautiful.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Last Piece Of The Semester!

Of my three final textile projects, I am happiest with this one. I was excited about my idea from the beginning but had doubts about my execution- luckily it turned out well! For this project, I used cyanotype fabric, which is a light sensitive fabric (sensitive to UV rays). When you place an opaque object on the fabric in direct sunlight, you get an image transfer onto the fabric. This fabric is great, but a lot of work and you have to be meticulous about the process. For this piece, I drew 5 old houses, then copied each house twice onto transparencies and then placed the transparencies on the fabric out in the sun with a protective layer of glass to keep the drawing in place. After exposing the images, I rinsed the material, bleached the color out, using trisodium phosphate, and then tea stained the fabrics. While I was expecting the tea stain to be more of a sepia tone, I was pleasantly surprised with the coffee brown. After staining them, I embroidered on each house, highlighting details. This piece is a series of five separate houses that are hung in a straight line.

A few detail shots...