winter break

block print napkins
Happy Early Christmas & Holidays. I am so ready to rest and spend time with my family. This first semester at my new school has been humbling ­– I often felt like a first year teacher adjusting to the cultural shift, expectations, and new curriculum. Luckily I get to edit and beef up my lessons during the next two weeks since my classes are only a semester long. A new start fitting for the New Year. Although it’s been hard at times, I’m happy made the change, and I look forward to creating new memories here. Some things I’m planning to do this winter break:

+ Visiting San Francisco for Christmas. I went when I was one or two years old so it’s kind of like my first time. Any favorites?
+ Working on more block prints. I’ve started testing them out on linen napkins.
+ Taking photos not for products!
+ Listening to 500 Miles on repeat. I love Carey Mulligan’s voice.
+ Slow mornings and sitting down to eat breakfast.
+ Eating more of this soup. BJ made it a few weeks ago. So good.
+ Watching movies and shows in bed. So far we’ve seen Midnight in Paris, SNL’s Christmas show, and Top Chef.
+ Catching a showing of Her

painted patterns

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sketching_baggu

I’ve been a fan of Baggu’s painted pouches, and a couple of weeks ago, I decided to paint a handful of pouches for M&S’s Feliz table. We’ve been planning doing painting workshop at the store , but it’s been a little too busy to set a date. So this was a nice opportunity to experiment and practice. I copied some of my sketchbook patterns onto the blue pouch, and I’m hoping to paint a few more pouches for the holidays. It’s relatively easy to free hand paint, fun, and the possibilities are endless. This was the brand I used, and a little goes a long way.

slow things down

breakfast

ceramics

Pausing for a bit and trying to slow things down.
Favorite breakfast right now: yogurt, berries, chia seeds, and Milk & Honey granola
Ceramics: (above) Angel Oloshove (below) Bari Ziperstein, my glazed planter, fruit bowl from Gravel and Gold

summer drinks

My summer break is sadly coming to an end very soon. This month, I’ve been going to my new classroom a few times a week to get adjusted. On off days, I’m at the store, seeing family, or trying to work on my own stuff. I haven’t been able to start anything big since my plans for an “uneventful” summer changed, but I’ve started some small projects. Above are two drink recipes I illustrated for M&S ‘s blog. They are both super tasty!

 

to watch

I’ve been gathering websites and materials for the upcoming courses I’m teaching and BJ has been a huge help with finding art history related lectures and movies. Last night, we finished watching, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, a beautiful documentary about the Chauvet Cave in France. I can’t recommend it enough! The glittering stalagmites, the handprints scattered through the caves, the expressive horse paintings, the 30,000+ years of history all adds to the overwhelming sense of awe. We’ve also watched the Caravaggio episode of Simon Schama’s The Power of Art, which is presented in a more passionate and dramatic fashion than most art history videos – it works though. I’ll post any other good finds we come across this summer.

caveofforgottendreams

BJ loves, loves going to the movies. I feel bad, because I only feel the urge once in awhile. When I get to the theater, I’m usually glad I went, but I generally prefer watching movies at home. But after watching these trailers, I’m looking forward to catching Museum Hours and  The Spectacular Now on the big screeb. They look promising, right?


june

June has flown by and I’m already halfway through my summer break. A lot has happened: I finished up the school year and completed my 5th year of teaching; we went to New York with my sisters for work/play, we saw Eggleston at the Met, celebrated my 28th birthday with friends, rode the ferry over to Brooklyn, had a lovely lunch with the Dobbin Mews ladies, came back to Houston; and then… I got a new teaching job. As I was looking forward to a summer of “nothing,” things changed quickly. But this change was good. I had a tearful goodbye (all on my end, of course, because I cry about everything) with my former school, and now I’m preparing materials for my new courses. My commute will cut out almost 1.5 hours of driving every day, and most importantly I think this position will enable me to havea much more balanced life. Here’s to a new beginning!

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Revisiting Before Sunrise

We watched Before Sunrise today as a refresher for Before Midnight. The first time I viewed this movie, it was on a VHS tape my sisters and I rented from the local Krogers. I love that you’re able to grow with the characters, and now reflect on where you were at when the 1st and 2nd movie came out. Watching it again, they seem so young, and Ethan Hawke comes off as a cynic and Julie Delphy very passionate about everything. It works though and seems very appropriate for who they were in the first movie.

BeforeSunrise

I loved reading about Robin Wood’s thoughts on one of my favorite scenes – the listening booth scene. Found here:

“I have to confess, at this point, to a failure: even on first viewing I told myself that I would ‘one day’ analyze in detail the scene in the listening booth of the record store, in which nothing happens except that Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy either do or don’t look at each other, their eyes never quite meeting. After a dozen viewings I abandoned the project. I suppose one might try an elaborate system of charts and timings, annotating ‘direction of the gaze’, when and how long each looks (or doesn’t)… which would demonstrate nothing of the least importance. With no camera-movement, no editing, no movement within the frame except for the slight movements of the actors’ heads, nothing on the soundtrack but a not-very-distinguished song that may vaguely suggest what is going on in the characters’ minds and seems sometimes to motivate their ‘looks’ (“Though I’m not impossible to touch / I have never wanted you so much / Come here”), the shot seems to me a model of ‘pure cinema’ in ways Hitchcock never dreamed of (not merely ‘photographs of people talking’, but photographs of them not talking), precisely because it completely resists analysis, defies verbal description. All one can say is that it is the cinema’s most perfect depiction, in just over one minute of ‘real’ time, at once concrete and intangible, of two people beginning to realize that they are falling in love.”

Before Midnight on npr

Hi

Summer’s here! Making time to recharge, create, and reflect. And hopefully things won’t be so quiet around here.

chaunguyen_ceramics

cats and cats and cats

Recently, my friend Tyler asked me to draw some cats for him and afterwards, I scanned and messed with some of the drawings just for fun.  BJ introduced me to some cat memes while I was looking up images. I’m severely allergic to cats and more of a dog person myself, but I’m now warming up to them :)

 

Cats small

m&s papercuts

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Paper cut window mobiles for the store from my time off during Spring Break with help from Thuy. Lots going on around here. We’ve been driving back and forth to see family during the past couple of weeks, and just said good bye to the last few still here. Be back soon with more updates!