Tag Archives: being a better human

Redoing Homework

I am now in full swing at school, which means homework. It’s not super terrible stuff, but my literature class takes a little bit more time than other classes have in the past. So, today, I did my homework in the office of the art lab, planning to print it out there so that I wouldn’t have to worry about it at home. Well, due to the the annoying fact that school computers are the not the most reliable machines to store homework on, when I went to the library to print it out, the file was gone. Nowhere to be found, even though I saved it three times. Needless to say, I was a little less than thrilled.

Obviously, there’s a chance that I made a mistake when I was trying to save the file, but this isn’t the first time this has happened to me at school. Also,saving files is a habit now. I’ve been doing it since elementary school. It’s been engraved into my brain for the last ten years how to save a Word document, so I don’t know how I screwed it up on the computer at my college. Due to the file running away at school, I had to come home and redo the work, which was frustrating, since I had spent an hour and a half at school getting it done the first time. It’s done and printed out, ready for my class tomorrow morning, but as I reflect on the day, I have come to some conclusions.

My day was pretty swell up until 4:30 when the fiasco with my homework happened. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I have two art classes, and it’s wonderful. I had worked on two projects that day in Design and Painting, and had gotten some really great feedback from my teachers.

After Paris

“After Paris” My line project for Design Project

Monocromatic Painting WIP

“Peach and Flower Still Life” WIP of my first oil painting

I let lost homework almost ruin my entire day. Something that took me only 30 minutes to redo almost messed up six hours of awesome studio time and meeting new people. Often times, I let little things screw up the good things that are going on in my life, and that’s something I’m working hard to fix.

Sometimes, things go wrong. It’s inevitable. But the way that we choose to handle those situations is up to us. God doesn’t ever give us anything that we can’t handle, and through the sucky times in life, He is always there to carry us through them. He cares about every part of our lives, and He wants to helps us through our trails, even if they are smaller ones, like having to redo homework. He doesn’t get mad when we get upset, in fact, those are the times when we can draw closer to Him.

So, what have I learned from today?

  1. I need to put a flash drive on my lanyard and use it all the time.
  2. I need to take my laptop with me to school to avoid the school PCs.
  3. Having to redo homework is not the end of the world (even though it really sucks)

Until next time,

Abby

Isaiah 41:10: Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you in my righteous right hand.

I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie

As far back as I can remember, I’ve been a book lover. There’s a few pictures of me in old photo albums with stacks of picture books and of trips to the library. There’s even a few librarians that have watched me grow up since we moved to the home that we’ve been in for the past 13 years.

Sadly, due to the intensity of a few of my college course over the past academic year, I wasn’t able to read any leisure books while I was doing school. It was a very sad situation. I was reading mundane textbooks that made me bored out of my mind, and all I wanted to do was dive into my stack of library books. I’m one month into my summer, and since I got out of school, I’ve read a grand total of eleven books. There have been days where I lay in bed for hours at a time just soaking in words, and because I have started reading again, I’ve wanted to write again.

When you start to develop a skill, such as writing, there are times were you need to go back to the thing that inspired you to start developing that skill. Looking back, the writing that I did when I was consistently reading was loads better than when I wasn’t. Studying books that you love and even ones that you dislike help your brain learn the kinds of techniques you want to use when making your own style. Plus, reading helps you build your vocabulary and is a great way to keep your mind sharp. If you’re going to write, you need to know what people like and don’t like reading.

If you are interested in the books that I’ve been reading, you can check them out at my Goodreads here:  https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22783084-sherlock I’ve been reading a lot of Young Adult fiction, but I’m also reading through some comic books and art history books. If there’s a book that you love that I should read, let me know! I really enjoy finding new things to read 🙂

I hope everyone’s summer is going well!

Until next time,

Abby

When Did I Become An Adult?

Yeah yeah, I know I’m not technically an adult yet. I’m still months away from being 18, but as I was sitting at my desk today writing business emails and making a to-do list for the summer, I asked myself, “When did happen?”

This summer, I’ll be traveling and doing shows and having a lot of fun, but I’m also having to do “adult” things. I have my own business and I am responsible for the piano education of nine children. Like, there are five mothers paying me weekly to be a teacher. I am an officer in two clubs at my college, and over the summer I am trying to get stuff ready for August so that when said month does roll around, I won’t want to go crawl in a hole and cry because I’m so overwhelmed with stuff to do. At my wedding job, I have to take care of guests and drive home when I am very very tired. Oh, and that car I drive in. I have to buy gas for it so that it will take me places. Not to mention I’m putting away money for when I go to “actual” college.

But despite the sometimes stressful situations, I don’t think I’d want my life to be any different. I don’t want to change who I have become.

We live in a world today where it’s more acceptable for teenagers and young adults to do just enough for them to get by. It’s encouraged by our media culture to slack off and just party, because you’re only young once. To girls my age, the TV makes me feel like the most important thing for me to be is independent and powerful, just as long as I have an adoring boyfriend by my side. It’s become a norm to be average, and we often get stuck in this cycle of mediocrity and irresponsibly.

I’m extremely thankful that I have wonderful parents and mentors who have taught me what hard work looks like. I’m glad that I’m learning how to handle money and how to be a good employee now, because when the times comes for me to leave my childhood home, I want to be stable enough to not just survive in the “real world”, but to thrive. Schools aren’t preparing their students by teaching them basic life skills that they need to be a functioning member of society, and many adults are struggling because no one ever taught them. I feel that our culture is setting up students my age to believe that they can’t live up to their full potential because everything is too hard, or too scary, or too risky. We aren’t encouraged enough to step up and be more responsible for our own lives, and that’s messed up! God created us to glorify Him with every thing  that we are, but you can’t do that when you’re only living your life averagely.

This is not me calling out my friends who don’t have a job or are still living at home after college, but it is me encouraging you to stop living in a cycle of mediocrity. If you spend your time doing sports instead of working part time, be the person to lift your team up, even when you’re in a ten game losing streak. If you live with your parents while you’re in school, for heaven’s sakes, get off the XBOX and go do the dishes. If you have a crappy, part time job (one, I feel you), do that work to the best of your ability, and be the employee to go the extra mile (even if it does mean mopping up puke in the bathroom). There are always improvements that can be made in our lives, but when you are living everyday to the fullest, you are on the right track 🙂

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go put my soap box away and find my coloring book. Hey, there’s no rule saying that adults can’t color 😉

Until next time,

Abby

Story Time: Banners and Spilled Creamer

This past Thursday, I was the banner carrier for my branch of local colleges at their graduation ceremony. Along with four other people who weren’t graduating this year, we represented our respective schools while our peers graduated. I had to be at the auditorium at 10am to “rehearse”, and was stuck there for two hours. After that whole ordeal, I went to lunch with my CAB adviser and two guys who are very chatty about college plans. While I love talking to people, the best part of my day were the next two hours.

My dad works right down the street from where I had lunch, so instead of my mom having to drive up again to get me, he picked me up and I went back to his office. We hung out for a little while, but since he had a meeting, I ended up walking over to the shopping center across the street. It’s super cool how you can get there; the city has a bunch of “links” between buildings so that you can walk from place to place above the traffic. I wandered around the different levels for the next few hours, visiting a few of my favorites: the Crayola Store, the fudge factory and a really neat boutique that has a lot of artsy clothing. My final stop was on the third floor, which had a really cool coffee bar.

After looking over the menu, I went up to order. Apparently, the espresso machine wasn’t working, because my first two orders were not availble. The girl who was taking my order looked like I was going to yell at her or something, but I got a regular cup of coffee and all was good. I parked myself at the bar and started sketching. I like my coffee super blonde, so I asked for an extra cup of cream. Not really paying attention, I didn’t realize that my phone was in the way of the girl putting the cup of cream on my side of the counter. Neither one of us was able to see it until it was too late; the little cup spilled all over my place mat,  phone cased and sketch book. At this point, the barista looked like she was going to cry. She was apologizing profusely, trying to wipe up as much as she could. Now, some people might have freaked out at her, especially with a soaked sketchbook, but it was easy to clean, and wasn’t worth yelling at another human about.

After the spill, I ended up chatting with the bar tender. She opened up and was really friendly. We talked about school and art and coffee, and she was a lot more relaxed. When I left, I wondered how often this woman had to deal with rude customers. I know from personal experience that the food service industry is not the most fun job. Whenever you are short with a stranger, it could effect them for the rest of their day. Sometimes we forget that other people have the same feelings that we do; they have good days and bad days. I’m sure you’ve had a day where someone ruined it by a mean comment. You don’t know how other people’s lives are going. A cashier might be going slow because they are experiencing a lot of physical pain. A waiter might be forgetful because they have a lot going on in their mind. There are many times in life where you have the choice to give people grace or tear them down.

My encounter with the coffee lady was a short part of my day, but days after it I’m still thinking about it. I hope that next time you deal with a difficult situation with a stranger that you’ll realize that you aren’t the only one who has bad days. Maybe they’re having a rough time, and you can be the person to brighten it.

Until next time,

Abby

Done

Hey Summer, how have you been?

It’s kind of funny that my summer has begun, cause it definitely does not feel like it’s time to break out the swimsuits and Beach Boys Albums (it’s currently storming outside my window as I type). But, nevertheless, I am done with my 4th semester of college and I only have a year left to finish my Associates Degree.

This was possibly one of the hardest semesters for me physically and emotionally. A LOT was happening during these last four months, and I am grateful that I made it through and learned some really important lessons that are going to help me succeed down the road.

1) Not everyone likes you.

Yeah, it’s a fact. Sadly, you can’t be everyone’s friend, because not everyone wants you in thier life, even though you’re awesome.

2) You can’t work with everyone in the same way. 

Some people are super easy to work with; you click right away and you work extremely well together. But then there’s other people who don’t think the same way that you do. Sometimes, you need to put your pride aside, hold your tongue and be patient. I’m still working on steps 1-3.

3) Write the paper sooner than later.

Just do your homework, Abby.

4) Math is not as hard as you think it is.

It’s actually sort of fun sometimes. Sort of.

5) Don’t speed.

You can get a ticket for doing that apparently.

6) SLEEP.

It’s the one thing that can keep you sane.

7) Don’t say ‘yes’ to everything. 

Even it’s for a really good cause. Sometimes, you need to step back and let other people fix their problems. And other times, you need to say “no” to really fun things, and even though it really sucks, it is not the end of the world.

8) Alone time is great. 

Going to Olive Garden by yourself is awesome.

9) People change. 

Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. Just love people where they’re at, but always remember #1.

10) Hard work pays off. 

Though it can take a lot of sweat and tears, your hard work will eventually pay off, even if it’s not in the ways that you think it will.

I am so thankful for this new found free time. I am hoping to be blogging more over the next few months! To those of you who are getting ready to graduate or are finishing up finals, best of luck to you! You got this 😀

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Until next time,

Abby

Two Weeks

I hate it when I break a streak. But who doesn’t? You go for so long without breaking your habit, but when the streak ends, it seems to take forever to get back into the groove of the habit you created. That’s how I feel about this blog.

Life sometimes gets insanely busy, and because of that, you have to put somethings that are awesome on the back burner. That’s something that I’ve learned these past two weeks of not blogging. I love writing, but with the craziness of a new show, the final weeks of classes, the flippin’ ACT and work, I had to let something that was really fun go for a while to focus on what was really important. I broke my streak of consistently blogging because I had to do other things that are more important right now. And that’s okay. Seriously guys, all I really want to do right now is devour  with my copy of 5th Wave and binge watch 30 Rock while hiding in my Fortress of Solitude (aka my loft bed). Sadly though, I have to be responsible and put my school stuff first.

If you are dealing with a ton of stuff and just wanna cry in a corner….

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Know that you are going to get through it, even if it means not getting to do all the fun stuff you would rather be doing. Learn to prioritize and how to say, “NO”. If you do, your life will be a tad bit easier.

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To all my friends gearing up for finals while dealing with a hundred different responsibilities , I feel your pain and I am right there with you. Hang in there, folks. Summer will be here before you know it!

I’m hoping to get back into my usual schedule of blogging this week! Thanks for sticking around 🙂

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Until next time,

Abby

My “17” Bucket List

I love lists. They’re the best. I’ve thought of things that I would put on a bucket list before, but I decided to start a new tradition for myself to mark my 17th birthday. I have devised a “17” Bucket List. Below is a list of 52 things that want to do during my time of being 17. Some are easy, some are difficult, and some are really weird. I’m going to do my best to update it throughout this year, and hopefully I’ll have it all done by my 18th birthday! Then I’ll start on a new list!

Here we go:

Abby’s “17” Bucket List

1. Make a High School Year Book

2. Write a Song

3. Get Read Converse DONE! (March 29th)

4. Start Doing Archery Again

5. Put together a book of poems and doodles (Shel Silverstein Style)

6. Do a 365 Photo Challenge

7. Get a good ukulele

8. Finish an entire coloring book

9. Win a NaNoWriMo

10. Finish my 2014 money jar and start again

11. Do a 5k

12. Learn to throw on a pottery wheel

13. Do a cosplay

14. Finish a novel

15. Get a nice camera

16. Be able to do 100 sit ups in one day

17. Learn to juggle

18. Read a book in a day

19. Visit the Nelson Atkins

20. Go to a movie alone

21. Sort of learn how to skateboard

22. Go to a Con (any Con)

23. Get something (anything) published

24. Get a job in the art lab at school DONE! (March 30th) 

25. Create a website

26. Do a big puzzle

27. See the ocean

28. Do a stand-up routine

29. Plan a senior art show

30. Make a comic book

31. Finish my Doctor Who comic collection

32. Get my nails done

33. Go to a midnight premiere

34. Make a life sized drawing

35. Put together a manuscript for a picture book

36. Finish my 2015 reading list

37. Write a fan letter

38. Paint on a pair of shoes

39. Make a recipe book

40. FINALLY get my splits

41. Have a sidewalk chalk day

42. Learn how to use oil paint

43. Fill a sketch book

44. Learn how to play the harmonica

45. Draw in an old book

46. Have a Star Wars movie marathon

47. Read through the whole bible

48. Do a series of dance paintings

49. Be British for an entire day

50. Plan an awesome wedding speech

51. Go to Lawrence for the day

52. Put together an awesome portfolio for school auditions

Here’s to another year 😀

Until next time,

Abby

Don’t Take The Easy Route

Don’t Take The Easy Route

 

It’s probably one of the cheesiest things I could say, but it is so true: Don’t Take The Easy Route. Here’s why.

Both semesters that I have taken an art class at college level, I have strived to be better. After all, I’m competing with kids that have been at this longer than me. So I decided without really realizing it that I was going to really challenge myself with each project. I wanted to make something that I wouldn’t normally make, and improve with each project. And because of that, I’m a much better artist now.

I say this now because I am in the middle of a tough project. In Drawing 2, you have to do a piece based off of an emotion. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it conveys some sort of deep emotion. So I decided to do a self-portrait. I hate doing portraits, especially of myself. I don’t know why I don’t like drawing myself. Many artists like drawing themselves as apposed to other people because if they mess up they don’t offend the other person. I dunno what my deal is, but I don’t like drawing my face. I also decided that on top of doing a portrait, I was going to use a technique that involves covering the whole paper in charcoal and erasing to draw your lines. Very messy, very frustrating at times. It’s nowhere close to where I want it to be yet, but I’ve already learned a lot from this project.

Whatever you’re doing, don’t take the easy route. When you take the harder road, you learn more and grow more. Don’t give up. You got this. Prisoner WIP 1

            I will share my finished project with you when I get it done! I hope you will enjoy it!

Until Next Time,

Abby

What Else Is Good?

Today, I had a meeting with my activity board advisor Emily, in which she got up to speed on how classes and CAB events were going, and basically what was happening in my life. I love that she cares to learn about each of her students one-on-one 🙂

Anyway, in the meeting today, she kept asking the question, “What else is good?” I had to think about it every time she asked. I had to really think about what was going good in my life, which I didn’t like. My life is pretty good, and I feel happier than I have been in a while, but it still took some effort to be able to express what good was happening in my little world. So, I decided to really think about what is good in my life. I set a timer for 5 minutes, and this is what I came up with.

  • I haven’t gotten lost yet in my math class.
  • While my meteorology class is super boring, I have over 100% in the class because my teacher gives so much extra credit.
  • I am growing as an artist in my Drawing class this semester.
  • Cinderella opens next week and this show is gonna be awesome!
  • I made the Improv team again! This summer, I get to travel to San Diego with nine other super awesome, talented funny CYT students to compete in a comedy competition called Improvaton.
  • My car works in the snow, thank the Lord.
  • Walking Dead starts again on Sunday.
  • I got four new piano students!
  • My Mac doesn’t restart every ten minutes anymore.
  • Art Club at school is going great! It’s been so much fun so far, and I can’t wait to see what this awesome group of people do this spring.
  • One of my paintings sold at the Juice shop that I sell art at this week.
  • While I love doing shows, after next week, I’m doing to have a month and a half off from rehearsals. I’ll be able to catch up on school stuff and get a handle on my big research project.
  • I have a free drink to go get at Starbucks tomorrow.
  • I have a warm home, food in the fridge, running water, a toilet, wifi, and a wonderful family to come home to everyday.

If I spent more time, I could probably come up with a much longer list of what is good in my life. A lot of the time, we forget how good life can be with all the crap that pops up. 2014 was a pretty rough year, and it was often hard for me to see the brighter side of things. But everyday is a gift. God is always good, and I am thankful for everyday He has given me.

So, what good in your life? Ask you answer that question, answer this one: What else is good? There’s always something else that you can be thankful for 🙂

Until next time,

Abby

How Not To Suck At Art (Or Anything Else in Life)

Vase and Fish Tail One of my biggest pet peeves is people saying, “Aw man, I could never draw like that. I have no artistic ability.” Yeah, that drives me bonkers. It sounds mean, but this is why: I hate it when people put themselves down, especially when they say they could never do something like drawing. Now, I love drawing. I know that not everyone is an art major like me. I know that other people have other talents.

But there is a difference between “talent” and “skill”.

 hand

You are born with talents. I am a firm believer that everyone has a special combination of talents, and that no one is talentless. Some people are gifted with the ability to keep moving for a long time, like at a soccer practice. Other people have an eye for seeing things in different ways and coming up with ideas for creative projects, like in an art studio.

Lightbulb Skill is something you have to develop. While I have been doing art for a long time, I don’t feel that I was necessarily talented when I took art classes at age 6. Now, I was pretty creative, but I wasn’t an art prodigy. It wasn’t until 6th grade that I started to really work on developing drawing and painting skills, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop refining those skills I’ve picked up.

But I’m not just gonna throw a pencil at you and tell you to start drawing. Here are some tips on how to get better at art:

10665163_889489894436953_5175919063925375059_n1) PRACTICE 

You can’t not practice. You have to keep working. I have filled about 12 sketchbooks in the past 4 years with drawings and doodles and scribbles. If you want to get better at drawing hands, start drawing them. Over and over again.

2) LEARN TO TAKE CRITICISM abstract_pumpkin_by_jediskygirl-d84os9d

This is really hard for me, because I always think I’m right. You have to learn to take critiques from people who are observing your work, especially from people who have been at it longer that you have. I got feedback from a girl named Amanda who I thought was crazy amazing in my Drawing class last spring and I was over the moon that she cared enough to tell me how I could improve. Push the pride aside and learn!

Mac, Hayley and Me3) REALIZE THAT IT TAKES TIME

This is the most important step. 99% of people who start working at art don’t become artistic geniuses over night. It could take years for you to get really good at anything involving art, and that’s okay! You learn from others and yourself how to make things look awesome, and it can build other life skills like patience, dedication and persistence.

These three thinCaffine Blissgs can be applied to anything you do in life. Whether it’s sports, theater, school or even in your relationships, you aren’t born knowing everything. Anything worth doing takes work, but in the end, it really can be worth your while! I tried sports when I was younger, and I didn’t stick with them. I realized that I wasn’t the best suit for athletics, but I still enjoy being active and pretending that I’m sporty. I do believe that if I had stuck with sports and had practiced at them, I could have been pretty good, but I didn’t want to put in the effort. Now, I’m not saying that I wish I was a soccer star. I’m very happy with what I’m doing with my life. But I do know that it is an example in my life where I chose to not put in the effort to get better. Same with any relationship. I have to practice listening to people. I have to take criticism when I screw up and upset someone. I have to put in the time to build a friendship, and it takes time to do that. Whether it’s with a sibling, a boyfriend/girlfriend/best friend or an adult, relationships of all kinds take work, and a lot of people don’t get that.

UP PaintingAll of the art through out this post are pieces I’ve done over the past year. I’m very thankful that I’ve had teachers and fellow students who have encouraged me to keep working and practicing at art. I’m nowhere near where I want to be, but I’m working on it 🙂 So before you decide that you’re never going to try something, like art, give it a second thought. Who knows? You might find a new hobby, or a hidden passion.

Until next time,

Abby