Thursday, June 16, 2011

let me show you my pottery skillz

Oh hello friends! 

Whilst packing EVERYTHING WE OWN I noticed that I had never posted pictures of the things I made in my ceramics class last semester! 

(did I tell you about that class?  about how I loved it and wish I had taken it 3 years ago cause I probably would have majored in it?)

I wanted to repair that grievous error before I packed all my projects away into boxes for a long summer's nap, so here are some photos! 

This is the pinch pot we made on the first day of class.  Notice how I call it a "pinch pot," and how my dish is...well...not a pot.  

Yeah, my hands kind of got away from me and everyone around me was just making little was a bit awkward to be doing something different than everyone else (especially considering I have no ceramics experience) but I'm really happy with what I made! 

And...must I say it....recognize the shape much?  OBSESSIONNNNN,

Our second project in class was working on the wheel!  Let me tell you, that business is WAY more difficult than it looks.  The first class period I came home with sore arms and no success and all I could see was the wheel spinning around and around and around and around and around in my mind, taunting me!

Well, after awhile I started getting the hang of it and made our first project, these cups! 

The project was to make a set of three cups on the wheel and to hand build some handles for them afterwards.  The glaze is not what I intended--I wanted to use this pretty turquoise glaze but I put them on the wrong firing shelf so they fired at too low of a temperature. When they came back they didn't look right, and I didn't realize my mistake so I put a clear glaze over the old glaze to smooth things out a bit and then put it on the correct the color that resulted is actually a strange mix of those two glazes.  And, it turns out that the turquoise glaze often releases chemicals when it comes into contact with acids, so we don't even use these for drinking :(  But I think they still turned out pretty cool looking and I'm happy to have them as shelf ornaments :D

Our second project was to make a set of three bowls. Can you tell that I had gotten better on the wheel at this point? ;)

I'm pretty proud of these.  And we use them all the time! 

After the bowls, we made teapots! I didn't go the traditional way and opted to not really make a spout...probably because of my obsession....

Cute though huh? 

Our last project was to make some sort of animal.  I wasn't really sure what to make but I knew I needed to know what it looked like from every side in order to create it, so I got the idea to use one of the animals from this game I have called Zen Bound.  In it, you wrap a rope around an object and the rope puts down paint on the wooden surface as it goes.  The idea is to turn the object so that the rope wraps around and around and covers the whole surface before you run out of rope.  Anyways, in the game, the items are 3D and you turn them around in every direction to get the paint to cover them, so you can see every side--which I figured was perfect for using to sculpt! 

Here is the animal in the game:

It's a hedgehog! 

And here's what I made:

As you can see, I may or may not have painted him to look like Sonic the Hedgehog...cause how else was I going to paint him? ;)  

See his little red and white feet? This one is completely hand-built, meaning I didn't make any part of it on the wheel.  I used a mold to create a dome for the top of his body, then rolled out a slab of clay to be his underbelly.  I made his face next and then his feet, let him dry a bit so the feet could support his weight, and then added all of his scales!  It was a really fun project because it turns out I REALLY like hand building and because I got to use lots of different techniques to make him! Anyways, most of my other classmates made super cool but pretty literal animals, so it was fun to do something a little more abstract. 

So that was all of our projects in class, but the problem with this class is that after every class I'd go home and lie awake thinking about all the cool things I wanted to do that weren't projects...and wonderfully, we were allowed to buy as much clay as we wanted and come in to use the studio anytime, so I made some things for fun! 

I wanted to make a teardrop dish like my pinch pot, but using a glaze that was food safe so I could use it as a salad bowl, so I made this! 

Towards the end of class, I wanted to play on the wheel a little more, so I made some flower pots! 

yep.  I like them a lot. 

Aaand....this is the one I'm really proud of.  It's not perfect but I LOVE the concept.  

It's intended to be a vase--the bottom 3 inches intentionally don't have holes so that it can hold water, but the pattern on the top allows you to see the stems and light! 

Yeah...I can't make any other shape!  This piece really was the most fun though, and is part of the reason I wish I had been able to do more of this kind of thing!  

Hopefully, in the future, I can find a studio somewhere where I can pay to use the kiln and such and do this some more! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Home is wherever I'm with you

We are moving.  I told you that, right?  

We are moving to North Carolina.  We are moving on Monday.  The moving truck shows up on Thursday for us to start filling.

Which means that I began packing today.  

Since we're still living here for another 6 days and still have to sleep and shower and wear clothes and eat, I'm pretty limited in what I can already pack.  

So today I packed everything in the hall closet (all of my crafting stuff [lots], board games, and excess toiletries), all of the books on the bookshelf in our room, and all of the books in the living room.  The only problem with those areas is that you can't see them, so it really doesn't look like much and the house is a wreck even though not much is packed...

I'm stuffing everything in the living room closet for the time being (since we DO still have to live here and Jesse needs to not go crazy from the mess during his finals) which is working out pretty well.  

Anyways, this is what it looked like when I had just finished packing all of the books. 

We have a lot of books. 

p.s. I packed all of our board games into one box and since we're running short on boxes I reaaally wanted them to fit in just the one box...and I pretty much had to become a Tetris master in order to fit them all in.  But I did it! 

p.p.s. Listen to this.  It's where I got the title and anytime anyone says Alabama or Arkansas this song is all I can hear.  

Friday, June 10, 2011

Dear Megan,


(sorry I don't have any recent pictures of you so I stole this one from your facebook!) 

Ohhh Megan.  You are 19! You made it! You are in your last year of teenage-hood, but are already long-since on your way to becoming an amazing woman.  You are growing older so quickly, I can hardly believe it!  (I would have said you're growing up quickly, but you've definitely already grown up!)  Megan, you are so talented (guys, have you seen her photography?  This girl is going places!) and so beautiful! I am jealous of your ability to pull off spunky hairstyles and to dress SO incredibly cute ALL the TIME! (I mean really, can I borrow some of that?) But I also admire your kind heart and giving nature--you're a tough cookie that doesn't always let people in easily, but when you do you love them like CRAZY and you're willing to do anything for them! I love being your sister and I'm excited to continue to be friends as we both attempt to become adults and figure out this crazy thing we call life.  



Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hi my name is Catherine

and I am a vigilante driver.

Doesn't make sense?  Let me explain.

See....we live in Utah.  That's great, most of the time...the exception being, anytime I have to drive anywhere.  Many drivers in Utah still believe they live in the Wild West, and drive accordingly--this means no turn signals, running red lights, passing on the right, speeding, tailgating, and a nearly intentional misunderstanding of the whole  double-yellow-lines-means-do-not-cross thing.  This wouldn't be much of a problem, if the highway police ever pulled anyone over.

Several years of driving with these irritations has led me to be a little offensive with my defensive driving.  For instance, while driving on the highway, I have no problem honking at someone weaving in and out of traffic, or holding down my horn at someone who dangerously cuts me off until they are too far away to hear anymore.  I also have no problem brake-checking someone who is tailgating me (cause really, if you're tailgating me on the highway and I have to stop suddenly, we'll both be dead!).  I also get quite irritated when I'm driving along a normal road, approaching an intersection at which I need to turn left, and the car behind me starts to get in the turn lane long before the solid yellow line turns dashed, despite the fact that my turn signal is already on.  I mean, what do they think they're going to do, get there before me?  So I usually get in once I see them doing so and then drive reaaaaally slowly in the hopes that they'll get the idea that that's not acceptable.

My favorite thing to do, however, is very circumstantial and almost never happens.  You know how you're approaching an intersection and the light turns yellow and every car in front of you makes it in time except for you?  Yeah, I live for times like those. This would be because I know that every car in the turn lane across from me is going to try and make it through the light crossing in front of my lane, even when it means the last 2 or 3 cars are going to continue driving once my light is green.  To be completely fair, I wait to put the car in 1st (our car is manual) until I see that my light is green, but as soon as it is, I start to go--no waiting for all those extra cars in front of me to continue running the red light before I start! Of course, I would never ever hit anyone (that's no good for anyone involved) but I definitely get some satisfaction about honking very loudly to let them know that they're being idiots.

A real mark of my vigilante status would be if I did what I really want to do--that being writing down license plate numbers of cars driving recklessly and breaking the law, and calling the police to report them. I've never actually done this though, mostly because it is a little extreme, and frankly if I'm irritated it's because I'm driving (and Jesse is not) so I don't really want to make him go through all of that just to make me feel vindicated.

Well, all of my vigilante-ism is quite satisfying, but I'm fairly certain it's not very Christ-like.  It is for this reason that I'm glad we're moving back to North Carolina where the drivers speed in the appropriate lanes and always let you in on the highway! As long as, of course, it doesn't turns out that drivers in NC are not as saintly as I which case I might just have to repent of my vigilante-ism and try to be better.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A list

Things to do before we head off to NC:

1. Figure out how to make them let me pay tuition for Tübingen

2. Finish my capstone paper (aka analyze and add 5 sources to my existing paper)

3. Bring said capstone and portfolio to Professorin James so she can give me a little P on my transcript so I can graduate!

4. Pack everything we own into a 8'6" by 9' by 5' space

5. Find my sunglasses

6. Eat at the Cocoa Bean one more time

7. Have one last WICKED AWESOME Jamba party with my lovelies

8. Keep growing another human being

(not necessarily in this order)