Thursday, October 20, 2011


latest obsessions of the week: 

Dirty Projectors: Two Doves

Feist: Honey Honey

Regina Spektor: The Calculation (aka This Fire)

Peter Bjorn and John: Tomorrow Has To Wait

Bon Iver: Calgary


last semester i took a printmaking class, and more specifically intaglio printmaking which is done on copper plates and then printed onto paper. it's a long and complicated process and one flaw or skipped step will ruin the piece. read up about the process {here}. i hated this class while i was taking it due to the rigid system, but looking back on it i am really glad i took it, and it is actually very interesting. 

  FRAMES. B.A.T. out of 2 Editions. 2011. Line Etching.
{this one was the first thing i did in the class, more of an experiment really. and that is why some of it is scratched up and crooked}

FLAT. B.A.T. out 3 Editions. 2011. Line Etching and Dry Point. 
{this is the third assignment we had and my teacher actually liked this one a lot. the image comes from a study i did from a still life in my past drawing class. the objects were drawn flat and objectified into simpler shapes. i am not putting up the second assignment we did because i don't really like how it turned out...i did it right after my knee surgery and couldn't devote as much time as i would've liked to it, plus under the influence of drugs and missed a couple of steps and screwed some of it up...don't do drugs kids}. 
DEER MOUNTAIN. Edition 1 out of 5. 2011. Line Etching, Aquatint, and Dry Point Techniques.
{this was my final project for the class, and i spent a lottttt of time on it. i think i was in the print lab for 3 days straight morning until 1 or 2 am, and luckily the security or custodians didn't kick us poor art students out. this took a lot of process...tedious tedious process. and towards the end i just wanted to stop wiping plates with ink and get out of there for the last time}. 

so there you go! some of my artwork. {although they are a little crooked and blurry...} 
and if you are wondering why i don't post more artwork it's because for the post part in my classes we are learning basic techniques and do a lot of still lifes/studies so they aren't worth sharing. but i plan on making some of my own artwork that isn't for a class over the course of the year so that is something to look forward to. and also i will be posting some abstract work i have been doing for my painting class soon! oh and i have been shooting more film now that the leaves are changing!

Travel Guide {Edition I}

well here it is. some of you have asked specifically for it so this is my attempt at rating the places i have been thus far in my nineteen years of life. why edition one? well i figure there will be more added for each year i travel. enjoy and keep in mind that this is my opinion and i have talked with many others who would differ depending on their experiences. {also, i would like to note how incredibly hard this was to do because i like each place for different reasons and it is hard to say one is better than the other}.

12. Burma {Myanmar}
It was definitely a very interesting and insightful experience but I would not want to go again. It is war-torn and extremely poor, but the countryside is beautiful. {see the post here}
11. Grand Cayman Islands
I went here as a part of a Caribbean cruise I went on. Pretty but since we spent most of our time at Sting Ray City I did not enjoy it too much. {i mean who wants hundreds of sting rays swarming them and rubbing all over their body? how do you think steve irwin died?!}
10. Canada
I haven't been to Canada in a while, but I do remember that is can be gorgeous, green, and great for people who like nature. Last time I was there we went to Niagara Falls, which is cold and wet and magnificent.  
 9. Ireland
Part of my time spent in Ireland was awesome and part of it not so awesome, but it was an adventure that's for sure. If you want to see the Ireland they show you in the movies you need to get far away from civilization and plan on getting lost because tourism information is not Ireland's forte. But once you get out into the green rolling countryside it really is breathtaking. 
{posts one, two, three, and four from ireland}
8. Mexico
Mexico is great for many reasons. First and most important of which being the food. Mexican food is a gift from God. REAL Mexican food...nothing is better. And now I am hungry. I have been to Mexico a couple of times I think, but more recently on a cruise where we stopped in Cozumel and Costa Maya. The snorkeling was the best I have had so far (comparing to Florida and Thailand), souvenirs are cheap, there are ancient ruins just waiting to be explored, and the people are generally nice and humble. 
7. Belize
Man, Belize was so much fun. It was also part of the cruise and while we were there we went cave tubing in the rainforest. Dream come true? Yes. At that point in life I was obsessed with rainforests so this was perfect. We saw a lot of wildlife and got to float down a river, in and out of caves, on an inner tube. So awesome. The people in Belize were also nice and we got some good food there too. 
6. Scotland
My trip to Scotland was perfect, but too short. We only got to go to Edinburgh for a day and a half but we did a lot in that time. Including hiking to the top of an inactive volcano for sunrise at 3:30 in the morning, where I got to be the highest person in Scotland for just long enough to have one of the more incredible experiences of my life. We went on a ghost tour at night and visited the cafe that J.K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series in. Bonus: Scotland is gorgeous. {posts one and two
5. Costa Rica
One word: amazing. Loved every moment of Costa Rica. I convinced my parents to do a trip here during my rainforest phase. We were there for two weeks in the town of Jaco {a major surfer destination} and stayed in an awesome hotel complete with a private beach, huge pools, and hammocks. Our days consisted of horseback riding to waterfalls, kayaking, zip-lining, rainforests, national parks, beaches, and lots of monkeys. Oh and really really good food. Plus I loved the people there, they even sang me happy birthday at one of the dinners. GO TO COSTA RICA. Can I emphasize it enough? They are also one of the countries that are preserving their surroundings instead of destroying precious and rare life, and by doing so they make all their money through tourism. 
{some of the pictures are in this flickr photo album}
4. England
Oh England, what can I say to some you up? Well I spent about two months in this country and I have my likes and dislikes, but mostly fond memories. Six of those weeks were spent in lovely London on my theatre study abroad through BYU, where I also went to Dover, Oxford, and Stratford-upon-Avon. And the other two were spent in Harrogate with my sister and her family, enjoying the countryside, during which time we went to Bath on the way to France. England is simply beautiful. It looks just like it does in all the movies- green, rolling, and full of sheep. Combine their accents, their sophistication, their history, and their wonderful array of sporting events and you have a must-see. Plus the weather was quite enjoyable whilst I was there. Oh and it doesn't help that I am a Jane Austen addict either. {I am not about to link every post about England because there would be like a hundred but here are some of the posts on my side trips: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. And if you want to read about London you will just have to dig through the archives or my facebook pictures}. 
3. Italy
Three cities, two days each, six days of jam-packed tourism. I loved Italy, and I think I would have loved it even more if I had gotten to take it slow and spend some time in the country too. Rome was perfect to us the first day, and the second day was a bit interesting hahaha. Florence was breathtaking and full of art {most of which I didn't get to see}. Venice was sunny complete with clear blue waters, fascinating architecture, and slow times riding bikes to the beach on a quaint little island. And the best part of Italy? Food, of course, but mostly GELATO. And it helps that there are lots of good looking men with great fashion taste and excellent glasses.
 {see the posts for all three cities here: one, two, three, four, five}. 
2. Thailand
Six weeks in Thailand, and it only took one day to fall in love. Riding elephants and ostriches, playing with adult and baby tigers, lighting thai floating lanterns, side trip to the beaches in the south, temples, and lots and lots of rain. However, my favorite aspect of this was the children we taught at the orphanage through HELP International. Northern Thailand is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, the skys are gorgeous, the hills are a perfect shade of green, and it is almost always sunny. The food is delicious, the markets have everything you could want and it is incredibly inexpensive, and the people are the most friendly of all. {again, to read more you'll need to search past posts because there are a lot of them}
1. France
Been there twice and it is still my favorite country so far. I love everything about French culture- the language, the food, the pastries, the lifestyle, the art, the architecture, and the countryside. What more is there to say? Paris, Loire Valley, and Normandy. C'est bon. 
{see the posts here: one, two, and three}

And now for some less detailed lists:

1. London
everything you could ever want at your fingertips: culture, music, theatre, art, food- and all in an incredibly quiet, clean, and efficient city of its size.
2. The cities of the Loire Valley in France {Amboise, Beaune, Blois, Chinon, Tours}
3. Florence
4. Venice
5. Rome
6. Paris
7. Chiang Mai, Thailand
8. The Normandy Region of France
9. Edinburgh
10. Jaco, Costa Rica
11. Harrogate, UK
12. Chiang Rai, Thailand
13. Phuket, Thailand
14. Tachileik, Myanmar
100,000,000. Dublin, Ireland

1. Thai
2. Costa Ricans
3. Italians
4. Scottish
5. British
6. Burmese
7. Irish
8. all the other ones i will not list because i have no opinion slash too much bias

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

why AMERICA is so lucky slash the best

i started this list a long time ago whilst in europe and every time i was frustrated and missed america i would add to it. i didn't add to it while i was in thailand so i just now contributed what i could think of, but seriously i love america and appreciate it so much more now (even more than i already did). {i would also like to add that i haven't edited this list and am too lazy to do it at this point} after coming home i hear ignorant people talk about how they dislike america or how they want to move to another country and it drives me crazy. some people just don't know how good they have it, and frankly if you are saying statements like that i would rather you move, i'm sure canada would love to have you. and while i loved many things about all the countries i went to here are the reasons i am grateful for america: 

toilets that flush
no squatters
they have toilet paper
air conditioning
they use deodorant
they wash themselves
errrthing is cheaper
some videos and websites only work in the us (hulu!)
free parking
public bathrooms
wide roads
road treatments
not as many traffic cameras
bigger cars
bigger houses
thick pizza
snails/pets are friends not food
everyone wants to be us
we create our own tv shows, movies, and products that everyone else wants
we wait in lines
we have manners (mostly)
we acknowledge the existence of others and say excuse me
free/clean water
the government takes care of so much for us
SCREENS on the windows
french toast/pancakes/waffles are breakfast, not dessert
you can be loud and take kids to public places
southern hospitality
everyone speaks freaking english all around the world
chick fil a

{man i started this in europe a long time ago and can’t think of anything for thailand...partially because i love thailand so much}
real cake
AIR CONDITIONING (oh wait, did i mention air conditioning?)
less child labor and trafficking 
showers that are not connected to the same area as the toilet
western toilets that you won’t fall into if you can’t squat because you had knee surgery
buses without karaoke
buses that are not packed with a million asians
less amounts of tons and tons of ugly stray dogs
TRASH CANS (did i mention trash cans?)
wireless internet
police officers that actually follow the law
bus schedules that actually make sense (kinda)
real bread and pastries
and lets go with democracy and FREEDOM.


so some of this is new to the world and some of this is new to me. but either way i'm addicted. 
{keep reading below so you can give me advice}

also i am going to try and actually post things that take more than 5 minutes to do (like posting youtube videos). i just got some of my intaglio prints out of my car that i should be posting soon. plus i have a whole list that i have been putting off for no good reason. plus plus it is fall which means that i will drive up to the canyon and capture some of the beauty before it's all gone. i have been a bit absent-minded lately and i am going to try and gain control of my life and actually get organized...wish me luck? oh yeah and i have to register for classes in 10 days. 

ps- if you are actually reading this and you are not my parents, i would like your opinion (because we know that i am indecisive). 
for summer: should i go volunteer in a country in africa OR should i do a south pacific recreational study abroad in australia, new zealand, and fiji?? 
(africa is cheaper but the study abroad is probably once in a life time)...dilemmas. and i have 10 days to figure it out soooo help me and leave a comment! that means you amber, audrey, and friends. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

HELP International Thailand 2011 Team Video

oh hey i forgot to put this up with my last thailand's the end of the year video for our team. i am in there like twice- one video and one group picture. not so much a fan of the music {...and other things} but what can you do. enjoy!

Friday, October 14, 2011

arcade fire || the xx

obsessions as of late: 
Arcade Fire- Headlights Look Like Diamonds
The xx- VCR
The xx- Basic Space
Arcade Fire- Rococo

ps- hopefully some new blog posts will posted this weekend. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

HOLGA {Squaw Peak}

a couple of days-ish after i got home from thailand i wanted to play with my holga and take pictures up in the canyon (and mostly go for a much needed drive after not having my car for 4 months). so me and chelsea decided to have a picnic at nun's park. most of the pictures below were taken on squaw peak. 

also, as promised, i will be doing a review at some point of all the countries i went to since some of you asked for recommendations.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sawasdee Ka Thailand

My last post about my experience with HELP International in Thailand. About time.

The last day there were only a couple of us left and we packed, cleaned up the house, and I gave away almost all of the clothes I brought. Gotta make room for all those souvenirs (especially the 66 movies I bought). I got my last meal at the Chicken Hut, makes me hungry thinking about it. We said bye to Maple at the Hospital and then me and Dave had the first flight from Chiang Rai to Bangkok together and from there it was a longggg trip back to America heading west instead of east. It's cheaper to book round-trip tickets and since I had come from London, I was heading home through London. Chiang Rai to Bangkok, to Mumbai, to London, to Detroit, to Salt Lake. 6 airports, 5 layovers, 5 flights, and no sleep. At the time I calculated about 27 hours in the air and 17 hours of layover I think. But mostly I don't even want to think about it or airports for a very very long time. I kept my self sane by watching movies on my laptop, listening to endless amounts of music, and my first meal was a delicious cheeseburger from Burger King. When I got to Detroit the customs line was so long that I almost missed my connecting flight by a couple of minutes. Dodged a bullet on that one. When I finally made it back to the United States you could not have found a happier person. I missed America so much after being gone for four months in 9 different countries. Goodness I have never appreciated the United States more in my life. And the next day I got Mexican food. glorious glorious mexican food, oh how i missed it.

Looking back I am glad I went to Thailand. I fell in love with the country and the people, I learned a lot about myself, and experience many new things. People always want to hear about how I rode elephants and ostriches, how I played with tigers, or if the food was good, and although those things were amazing, but what I miss about Thailand are the children I got to teach at the orphanage and the girls I got to meet at the Recovery School. I spent a very short amount of time with them but I will always remember those experiences and I just hope that they have the future I know they deserve. I can still hear their laughs and see their smiles. And that is what's important, people, not souvenirs and not getting to brag about the cool things I did.

I know we could've done a lot more to benefit the people of northern Thailand. We weren't as efficient as we could've been and because of this I might not ever volunteer with them again but you never know. I do want to go to Africa next summer so stay tuned. And I know some of you are interested in volunteering with HELP International so if you have any questions please just message or email me and I will tell you all I can to help and give you my opinions. But in the meantime here is their website:

here are some of my favorite pictures/experiences. (and some are from my day trip to burma of course) it's nice to have them all in one spot for once.