On Saturday, I ran my first ever 5k and I’m proud to say that I ran the entire time (that’s why the pictures are all blurry). The run was definitely a challenge because it was held in the morning when my body is always stiff and unhappy to exercise, and also because of the rainy and cold weather. I think the temperature was in the 40’s so it could have been worse, though.
I also pushed myself to go faster that day, which made it difficult as well. Despite my efforts, I finished in 500th place or thereabouts, which isn’t so great, but I’m proud I did it!
Thanks to my running partner, Charlyn, who has been a great motivator and person to talk to! Running would be so boring without you!
“Why do people even bother having parties if they don’t make sure they have good lighting?”
I believe this is a question I posed on Friday as I was working on my lighting for the Christmas dinner party we had on Sunday night. I think I said it as if I was trying to be ironic, but I might actually believe this. Great lighting adds so much to the mood and coziness of a party. It makes people comfortable. It makes people happy.
With this in mind, I spent an hour or so working on a “light sculpture” on Friday night. I basically just looped Christmas lights around my existing light fixture. It created great lighting and was a bit hit with my guests!
On Sunday, we went back to my friend Kat’s school to hang up the water bottle river, the second art project we worked on Saturday with students from the school and their parents. It turned out so amazing! I love it so much!
To create it, we filled up the water bottles with a small amount of water and then added food coloring in different shades. Then we used yarn to attach the bottles to a net (this was tricky!). Finally, we turned the whole thing upside down and used zip ties to secure the net to the ceiling tile supports.
Kat, if you’re reading this, many congrats on these amazing projects, by the way! The students and families really seemed to love the projects and the end results of both of them were fantastic!
On Saturday, I helped my friend Kat, who’s a teacher, with an art project she was doing with students from her school and their parents. The idea was to inform students about all things water–access to clean drinking water, privatization of water, the pollution created by bottled water–first through their classes and then also through the art project.
For the art project, Kat and her students first gathered up hundreds of water bottles over the course of several weeks. Then on Saturday, we all worked together to clean the bottles, string them together, stuff them with tissue paper, and then hang them as a sort of curtain over the front entryway of the school. I think it sort of looks like a waterfall!
We also started another project, which we finished on Sunday. More on that in the next post.
On Friday, some friends came over and we carved pumpkins. I attempted to make mine look like a Day of the Dead sugar skull. I’m pretty happy with it, and am especially happy that I got to use a power drill to make the holes in it. That was fun.
Last Sunday, my roommate hosted a craft night, which happily turned into a bit of a party! As my way to take part in the crafting, I spur of the moment decided to tape a giant piece of paper to the kitchen floor, put out some crayons, and asked people to work together to create an artwork. Turns out that the 10 people that worked together with me on this were rather artistic and made a lovely piece that, according to Jim, sort of looks like a mandala.
Definitely a very exciting follow-up to the group art project a coordinated the previous weekend.
Back on Tuesday, October 8, I started working on a project using charcoal and crayon on canvas. I first created a design with the charcoal, and then shaved crayon onto the canvas. Then I laid paper over the canvas and used a hairdryer to melt the crayon. It worked okay, but I think using an iron is supposed to be better.
I have to admit something—I’m obsessed with vintage decorating books. Sometimes it’s because the decorating is hideously ugly and sometimes it’s because I love the colors and style of the vintage rooms.
Several months ago, I was fortunate enough to have found a copy of the book Creative Decorating on a Budget from Better Homes and Gardens, a great book from 1970. Flipping through the pages is an amazing experience that keeps me guessing. Why does that wallpaper match that couch? Why is there zebra print on everything? In some cases, the decorating also makes me happy. Several of the rooms look beautiful and use simple style and bold colors to make a statement.
On Sunday and Monday, I spent a lot of time scanning all of the pages of this book onto my computer and then, for a little fun, on Monday I loaded some of the pictures into Inkscape and played around. The result is the top three colorful pieces.