Friday, April 29, 2011

I love nights like tonight!

Outside it is gently raining, my cat Figaro is cuddled near me on the couch. I am drinking an herbal tea made from fresh ingredients from my garden and I am reading a great book! I only wish I could spend more nights this way!

The tea I made was a "relaxation tea," if any of you would like to make it here are the ingredients.

2T Fresh Chamomile flowers
2T Fresh mint leaves
2T fresh fruit or pineapple sage leaves.

Bring your water to a boil, but DON'T boil for too long. I think I did mine for a too long and the flavor was a a little flat.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Runaway - Yeah Yeah Yeahs

"Can't help looking back. Run, run, runaway. Lost, lost, lost my mind."



A little more on "Spring Cleaning"



This spring I am cleaning out more than just my room. The thing I am tossing is:

Baggage. Lets face it we all have it, and its time to get rid of those metaphorical suitcases!

There are somethings that are not worth the struggle or the fight, and are harmful to hold onto. I'm letting go, and in doing so I hope to find the courage to live the life I desire, and to love freely with an open heart.

If anything or anyone is weighing you down and holding you back join me, and together lets let go.


Image of suitcase: via

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Cleaning


I know that I am not alone when I say that I am not a fan of extreme cleaning. Perhaps many of you reading are also tired of constantly battling the second law of thermodynamics when it comes to keeping your home-room-etc neat and tidy.  No matter how often or diligently we clean everything manages to get messy again doesn't it?! Its an eternal battle that never ends! Because of this I have developed the unfortunate tendency to drag my feet with the never ending task and have become comfortable with a system of organized chaos.

However my negative view of cleaning was altered this week while reading a passage in Paulo Coelho's novel "The Witch of Portobello;" a book I would highly recommend to anyone. In this particular passage a character, Edda takes a rather sunny view on the simple task of washing dishes.  Edda says:
"When you are washing up, be thankful that there are plates to be washed; that means there was food, that you fed someone, that you've lavished care on one or more people, that you cooked and laid the table. Imagine the millions of people that have absolutely nothing to wash up and no one for whom to lay the table."
This idea can definitely be applied to more than just washing up. It is wonderful that I have a home and a place to clean.  Even though constantly having to clean up can be a pain, it is a sign that people are present in and enjoy my home. As a playground of some of life's fondest memories, it is only natural that a home requires an investment of our time and energy for maintenance.

Image via

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sleepless Beauty.


Its that special time in the semester when lots of shi* needs to get done, and sleep is a rarity.

As I prepare to stay up late again studying, I am reminded of the fairytale Sleeping Beauty. I have to say 100 years of sleep and waking up to a prince's kiss sounds lovely right about now... unrealistic perhaps, but lovely all the same.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

In a bookshop I found a greeting card that read:

"She requires a steady diet of faith and fancy, with a little mischief here and there for good measure."

I love it! :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Saturday April 2nd


I discovered a fun and quirky illustrator, Schettler. Check our their profile it is lovely!

Character Design Fun


Hey everyone!

In one of my illustration courses we are working on a sequential art project. Tonight I have been playing around with the characters I am going to use in mine and I thought I would share some of my rough work. I am still trying to get the hang of the medium guache... I don't know why it is so hard for me to use.

When my project is finished I will post the whole sequential piece.

Well, it is 2 am and I am off to get what sleep I can.

Cheers! :D




Friday, April 1, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

Getting Started

I know that I have been really bad at putting my artwork online in the past. I am afraid I have the classic problem of never being satisfied with my work. However, it is time that I move on from that stumbling block and just get started! I am working on a website and it should be up and running by summer. 

In the mean time here are some pieces from my sketchbook. Last week in my life drawing class we began to study drapery. All week I have been drawing and studying clothing! I absolutely have loved it!

The Tapioca




This week my friends Stephanie and Hilary are having a combined birthday party and the theme is the 1920s. Do you know what this means? Oh yes, it is time to bring out the tapioca!!! Hahaha.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Floating Gardens


Finally it is the season for planting gardens and flowers! Although I am still working on obtaining a green thumb (sadly my indoor herb garden didn't survive the winter) I love gardens, and gardening. I feel that everyone should try gardening at least once in their life. There is something truly special about caring for plants and watching them grow. It is incredibly rewarding.

One problem that seems to get in the way of gardening for people my age is lacking sufficient space. I found a brilliant solution to this problem on Fossil's lifestyle blog. Fedor van der Valk has created a space saving, urban-friendly, and gorgeous garden technique called string gardens.




I am looking forward to making my own string garden. Although I know I will not have time to do so until after the semester is over. I am simply too crunched for time now, and I have a feeling it is going to take me a few attempts before I get it right. None the less, I welcome the challenge and look forward to the results. :)

Sources:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ice Castles: My Farewell Post to Winter.


As of yesterday Winter is officially over and Spring is here! While Spring is my favorite season and I am in no way sad to see Winter pass. I thought I would honor the parting season and do a farewell post for it; writing about something unique and special this winter offered me.

For those who live in Utah or visit it frequently, you may already be familiar with the Ice Castles in Midway. I just discovered them this year and all I can say is "WOW!"  One man, Brent Christensen (with some help from nature), took art to a whole new level with his incredible ice castle creations.

How fun and romantic would it be to get lost in magical ice castles on a date? Sigh, perhaps it is pathetic but I keep envisioning holding someone's hand while walking through these and cuddling when we become cold. So boys who is up for it next year?




Images via:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I ❤ Crepe Sunday!


One Sunday a month the girls in my ward get together in the morning and have a crepe party. It has turned into a really fun and delicious tradition! After I had  finished eating one too many crepes I was left feeling very grateful for good friends and with the thought: "Bless the French!"

Here is a recipe for crepes if you want to get together with your friends and start your own "Crepe-Sunday" tradition. (I would highly recommend it.)

Ingrediants:
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 6 teaspoons melted unsalted butter
Directions:

1. Whisk together the flour, eggs, milk, sugar, salt, and 4 1/2 teaspoons of the butter to form a smooth, thin batter. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before proceeding.

2. Heat a heavy 6-inch skillet or crepe pan over medium-high heat. When hot, brush with a light coating of the remaining butter.

3. Ladle about 1/4 cup of crepe batter into the pan, tilting the skillet to evenly coat the pan with batter. Cook until golden brown on the bottom and the top begins to look dry, 1 to 2 minutes.

4. Using a spatula, carefully turn the crepe and cook on the second side just until the bottom colors slightly, about 30 seconds.

5. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely to keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter.

For more fun crepe recipes go to partysugar.

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Also, I know it's random but I would like to give a shout out to the BYU Basketball team for their amazing game yesterday! It was a great game to watch (and not just because player 41 on the other team was incredibly hot...). Keep it up boys! We need you to bring it when we face Florida!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

At this time I am reminded of an old saying that follows: "If you put in what you have always put in you will receive what you have always received."  I don't like what I have been "putting in" lately. The past few months I have been afraid of my own shadow, afraid to take the risks I need to take, and sulking in self pity. At times I have displaced the hurt of my failures on those close to me. I haven't been living up to the person I know that I can be. Soon it will be the beginning of a new month, and I want to make some changes in my life. In all areas of my life.

I apologize to all those around me for when I haven't been as strong as you have needed me to be. I am sorry when my areas of weakness have burdened you or might have caused you pain. With every mistake I make I am learning, and I hope to become a better person for you and for me.

To myself, I am sorry because I know I have always been my greatest restraint. I wish to shed my hesitation and open the doors I need to open. I am sorry for always looking backwards, I know now that the only direction for me and my heart to go is forward. I want to be the best I can be.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

An Adventurer


Remember the question "what do you want to be when you grow up?" Some of the girls around me wanted to be princesses, dancers, teachers, presidents, etc. Had you asked the little girl Ashley what she wanted to be, she would have boldly proclaimed that she wanted to be an adventurer!

An inner voice whispers to us to seek, discover, and finally to know.

Is 21 too old to still be searching?

Is 21 too old to still be yearning to break away?

That inner voice I mentioned is not whispering to me, it is shouting.

To be honest, I fear the day I can no longer hear it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Favorite "Lullaband" (Name Courtesy of Kurt Beard)



This post is for Scott, Emily, and Ciera some of the coolest people I've met. Thanks for the music guys.

I remember the first time I heard Book on Tape Worm perform almost a year ago. When Scott, with his ambient vocals, began to sing I was swept away. The words and melodies reflected all of my darkest secrets; my insecurities, pains, regrets, and hopes. I know that the music is his personal story, yet I cannot help but feel when I listen to their band that no one knows me better than Scott Shepard.

Finally (after much arm twisting) the band has announced that they’re recording an album! To fund the project they have started a Kickstarter page. After one performance on Saturday they have almost raised half the money needed! Woo-hoo!

Together, Scott, Ciera, and Emily make a good team. Their stage set is always really neat too. Look into this band if you have a moment.  If you like what you hear become a fan on Facebook or look at their website: bookontapeworm.com. To raise awareness for their new album, this month is "blog about Book on Tape Worm month" (as if I needed a reason to write about them) so to further contribute I will post more videos of the group on this blog. Here are two for now, enjoy :).





The song in this last video, "Corners", is one of my favorites. It is beautiful.

"I'm not photogenic, but I'll take your pictures love, You'll see I'll be the finger in the corner of your favorite memories."

"Growing old is the slowest form of time travel."

Another Post About Japan

Social media can be a very valuable thing, especially in times of crisis. It never fails to amaze me when I realize how connected our world has become.  Social networks have been buzzing since the 11th of ways to take action, find loved ones, or just raise awareness. Facebook alone counted 4.5 million status updates from 3.8 million users across the world on March 11 that mentioned “Japan,” “earthquake” or “tsunami.” The  animated graphic below reflects this in 10 different points in time.. (You may have to click on the image to see the animated version or go here)


I am glad that the Internet exists, how else could a girl across the planet have any hope of  helping the victims overseas or receive accurate up-to-date information? The tsunami and earthquake may have passed but the recovery has just begun. (Not to mention, the situation could become worse depending on what happens at the Fukushima nuclear power plant...)

Social media makes donating to relief efforts such as the American Red Cross or Save the Children easy. If you aren't very good with the Internet and taking advantage of social media (I was one of them...twitter still confuses me.) There is a web page that explains how in seven simple easy ways. Click here to view the page.

Too often I hear people whining and griping about the "evils technology have brought to our society," but look at how the social media has been used in this crisis. In fact, Monica Diaz of the Red Cross Los Angeles chapter said that "the best way anyone can help is by going online."


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Source:
How Facebook Users Reacted...

Do I Have To?

Image via: Real Simple

I am the exact opposite of a person with a foot fetish. I don't know why but feet have always grossed me out a little. Unless they belong to an infant (who could hate those cute things?) I don't want to spend a lot of time touching them, looking at them, working with them...etc. I will give myself pedicures and take care of my feet as far as I have to but that is the extent of my relationship with the appendages. So imagine how thrilled I was to learn that this week in my intermediate life drawing class we were going to spend all week studying and learning about the foot.

Actually, I was okay with that part. The feet are a tricky part of the body to do correctly and I could always use more practice. What I am dragging my feet about (no pun intended...well maybe it was a little intended) is that I have to draw 25 feet from life. This means I get to go around asking people if I can draw their feet (alone). Tell me that question wouldn't make me sound like a total creeper? Ha ha a boy in my class when he found out our assignment joked and said he was going to ask people if "they would remove their shoes slowly" before he began to draw them. Oh man.

Personal creepiness aside, as I mentioned above other people's feet gross me out. Lets face facts, most people's feet do not look like the pair in the image above. They are dry, cracked, and smelly.

Aw well, I guess I will quit whining and just get to work.

Until next time.

The Weekend Ended Too Soon...




This weekend was exactly what I needed! On Friday my friends' bands, Shawty & The Beast, Apt, and Chance Lewis played a free hip-hop show at Sammy's.

After the show I went and danced all night at Dance Dance Vinyl Monster! It was so much fun and I needed the release that dancing offers!

On Saturday, I was able to go to a lot of good concerts! Book on Tapeworm performed and to my great delight announced that they are in the process of recording! Yesss!!! Also, Wild Apples and Ferocious Oaks played a fun show at Muse. After the concerts we all went and ate and hung out at Village Inn.

Thank you all of my friends for the great weekend!


video

Here are some video clips of the show at Sammy's. These videos aren't of my friends' performances. Unfortunately I showed up a little late and only caught the last group.

video

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Major Pangs

I love the art program I am in, I truly do. They don't accept that many people and I worked too hard to be accepted into my program to change my major now. Even so, every now and again I find myself worrying if I chose the right major. If I should instead be studying in the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies. I love learning about life in other countries and I want to travel to A LOT of places.

Even if I am not an "international relations" student, I still take the classes they offer and participate in their forums and events. Through that program I have been able to meet, listen, and on some occasions have lunch with, an ambassador from almost every country. Not to mention listen to some other rad people such as Greg Mortenson, Condoleezza Rice, and Paul Rusesabagina.

This past week I was able to listen to Ambassador Hem Heng of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Even though the room he spoke in was filled with mostly Caucasian students, almost everyone in it spoke the Khmer language...I felt a little out of place. When the Ambassador spoke he discussed his country's past and present and the history of the U.S.'s relation with them. It would seem that our two countries which are now allies have had a rather rocky past together.

I am glad Ambassador Hem Heng and his wife were able to visit Provo. It was great learning about Cambodia. My knowledge of the country was basic and left much for wanting beforehand. Unfortunately, this time I couldn't meet Ambassador Hem Heng. After he spoke I had to run and finish a project. I look forward to next week's visitor, the Ukrainian Ambassador Olexander Motsyk. If you live in Provo or near it you should come!

To Japan With Love

I am sure most of you have heard of what has happened in Japan. I almost have no words, watching the news...it is surreal to see the damage that has been done. I love Japan, I have studied the language and culture for years now. I have friends staying in Northern Japan and since Friday I have been worried sick for them and the people of Japan.

My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this tragedy. If you want to help text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate to the Japan Quake Relief Fund.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

 (Concept art for Disney's Tangled by Bill Perkins)

Guess who I was able to spend 3 days with. Pfft not even close... Give up? Bill Perkins! The acclaimed Disney Artist! Recently, he did the concept art for the movie "Tangled" but he is no stranger or newbie with Disney. He was the art director for Aladdin and Fantasia 2000, the key layout and workbook artist for Beauty and the Beast and has worked on many Disney movies and others such as Shrek. If you would like to see a list of all the films he has worked on click here. 

On Monday (the 28th) through Wednesday (the 2nd) he came to my school and I was able to meet and learn from him.  I was very interested in his history. He didn't start out as an animator, he graduated in illustration and later dabbled with fine art and gallery work. During a recession he worked with a group of artists to get their work into a museum. After that project he became fascinated with the idea of "collaborative art" and started working at Disney as a layout artist for the film Oliver and Company. And from there he has become a legend in the animation world.

The key concepts I took from Bill's lectures and demonstrations were composition and design. The man knows design! (I will come back and post some of my notes later.)


On his last day here (unless you spent 300 dollars and attended his color workshop), Wednesday, two animated films were premiered: BYU's newest animated film Dream Giver directed by Tyler Carter and a new animated short by Disney that hasn't been released yet Tick-Tock. After the films Bill Perkins shared his experience.

I couldn't believe how incredibly nice Bill Perkins was! Like C.F. Payne he was incredibly helpful  and I learned so many valuable lessons about the tools and elements of design!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Congratulations Laura and Andrew!


Last Friday along with the "Bowls for Humanity" taking place, a friend from my old Young Women's group, Laura, was married. While I am very happy for her and Andrew, I am still having a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea. When did I reach the age that all of the girls I grew up with were going to start getting married?!

I couldn't attend the wedding but her reception, which was held in Provo's Historic Southworth Hall, was beautiful! No surprise there, Laura has always been very stylish!!!


Bowls For Humanity


Provo has a new Food and Care Coalition building and I have a new bowl! Like it?

Last Friday Provo's Food and Care Coalition hosted the 5th annual Bowls For Humanity in their new building and used soup as a tool to fight local homelessness and hunger. Local potters-both amateur and professional-donated one-of-a-kind bowls for the evening. These bowls were sold at the fundraiser for $5-$20, and with each purchase people were given a dinner of soup, a roll, and a water bottle.

The proceeds went to help the Food and Care Coalition operate and run their new building which offers services such as dental care, temporary housing, showers, eye exams, laundry facilities and three square meals a day. The new building's  mission is to provide a place that will inspire hope, confidence, safety and help the people get back on their feet. (You can click here to read their mission statement)
 
Over 900 people packed in to join a night of music, fun and soup. Over 3000 pots were donated and before the night was over they ran out! It was neat to see how much people care. In addition to the handmade ceramic bowls, flowers, food, and advertisements were all donated. And all the services I mentioned above are only available because people donate their time and talents.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mothers


Today marks the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day. I struggled when trying to find the perfect topic to write about. Who or what could I discuss that would encompass my view of the feminine and womanhood? I thought of writing of women who shook the world before their time, of famous politicians, scientists, artists, etc. Then it hit me, the women I need to spotlight on this special day are mothers.

I am so grateful for my mom and all she has done me. I am grateful for the women who have entered my life and acted as mother figures. So often mothers comfort others when their own needs are greater than those being comforted. I believe that the empathy shown by mothers during their own strife is a portion of divinity.

If we could see the real history of mankind in its entirety, would it feature the echoes of war and gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great fights of men or the peacemaking of mothers in their homes and neighborhoods? Neal A. Maxwell asked: "Would what happened in cradles and homes prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses?" I think so.

Thank you all who have acted as wonderful mothers and mother figures. You have helped make the future a brighter place and this girl is very, very grateful for you.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Truth Hurts

I know these videos are old, but they crack me up! Let me say that I am all for "girl-power" (read my blog if you don't believe me), but that first video is why I prefer to hang out with groups of men. Although, the example in the second video isn't much better...

Boys will be Girls:



Girls will be Boys:

A Bird's Eye View of My World



I spend the majority of my days studying in the Harris Fine Arts Center at Brigham Young University and I never know what fun things I will be a spectator of. I took these photo's from my phone while I was on my way to an art class in February. It was the Ballet Department's premier of Cinderella. Before the show began the main floor was crowded with little girls adorned in fluffy tutus, glistening tiaras, and feather boas, anxiously waiting for their turn to meet the cast.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Don't Forget

'Whatever comes,' she said, 'cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of  a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.' 
-Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Little Princess.

Since infancy I have loved the story of Sara Crew in "A little Princess." I never forgot her courage or determination. The lessons I learned from the story have stayed with me into adulthood.

If I could get one message through to the little girls I work with, or any girl for that matter, it is how much they are worth. It matters not where you come from or your circumstances all girls are princesses.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Reflections: Feb 20th-26th

I spent the majority of last week being sick. So I will skip most of the details (you are welcome) and write about the only good day, Saturday.

Saturday the 26th was very fun and very French!
 
  

During the day I got a ton of work done and in the evening I went over to my friend Ian's house and he and I made brie in puff pastry! I was a little nervous at first (due to the mold on the outside of the cheese) but I am glad that I tried it. It was actually really tasty! After we cooked and ate the Brie with French bread we watched the movie Amelie. It was an excellent film! One of my new favorites! :)

After that I went and saw one of my favorite local bands Ferocious Oaks play a show to promote their EP release. They were brilliant as ever.

With a new cd, a new taste for moldy cheese, and a new favorite flick I felt a little richer after Saturday.

Reflections: Feb 13th-19th

Hello!

I am sorry I know it has been a while since I have posted a weekly reflection. The past two and half weeks have been very eventful! So much so, that I am overwhelmed trying to figure out how and where to begin.  But I will do my best to recapture what has been happening in my life here in Provo. I will begin with the last week, and a little of the week before that.

For starters...

The last few days (well...for a while) my hair has been seriously out of control. In some ways I have to admire its spirit despite its difficulty. It has refused to be tamed or manipulated.
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With that said, I will begin writing about the bigger and better things ha ha. On Wednesday the 15th I was blessed and privileged to meet with a very renowned Illustrator C.F. Payne (Chris Payne)!!! For those of you who are unfamiliar with him, he is a man who has been dynamite in the illustration world for a long time. He has won multiple awards from every notable illustration and design institution you can think of.

He came to my school to give a demonstration and a lecture. During the demo I lucked out! For four hours I was able to sit in the seat right beside him and ask him questions and watch him paint.

Here are some of the main points I learned from Chris:
  • Always start with a gesture; look for dominant shapes.
  • You are only as good as your reference.
  • The work is the fun part of it- dive into it! It's where you want to be,  there is only pressure when you are not working.
  • DESIGN is the most important! Communicate an idea and make it make sense.
  • KEEP IT SIMPLE-To design successfully you have to see shapes. Look at the space and design the picture. Don't get so caught up in little details.
  • Experiment!
  • Don't work in isolation, network and communicate with other illustrators and artists often.
Spending the day with Chris (at his demo and at his lecture) taught me so much! I learned so much from him. I also couldn't believe how nice, open, and honest he was! He answered all of my questions and the questions of my peers. Not only that but when I spoke with him I felt like he was sincerely trying to help me; that he really wanted to do all he could to help me improve and succeed.




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On Thursday the 16th I received lots of letters from Ben! They were incredibly sweet and turned my Thursday, which is normally a LONG and exhausting day, into a wonderful day!



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 Speaking of letters! I owe an apology to many of you. There were so many who I wished to write a letter of love to but February ended up being super busy and school/work demanded most of my time. Please do not feel bad if you didn't get one!  My parents and some of my best friends were slighted too. >.< sorry!!! I will work harder next year to get them in the mail - delivered. 

I was able to make and deliver some on Sunday to my family on my Grace side who live in Utah. We met on the 20th and had dinner at my Grandma's house to celebrate my cousin Heather's birthday! Whoever said that "there is no such thing as fun for the whole family" obviously never met mine. My family is wild and I love spending time with them! I especially loved the desserts of the evening! My grandma made her specialty strawberry short cake and Danielle (Heather's sister) made cupcakes that looked like sushi.  I know to many reading this that will seem random but Heather works at sushi restaurant so really the cupcakes were quite clever and fitting. :) 

These are how my letters/valentines turned out.

Heather with her birthday strawberry short cake

Danielle and her "sushi" cupcake creations. Cute huh?!



My dad playing with Lucy and Tyler.