Tag Archives: being awesome

Be a Girl Worth Fighting For

Over the past year, I have learned a lot about myself. Many doors have closed, but so many new ones have opened, and I’ve started to understand who I am. Finding my identity in the right things has been a long journey, but through this process of refinement, I feel that going through some really tough times has been the best thing that could have happened to me.

I recently had the honor of playing the role of Mulan, which made me start to think more about the young woman I want to be. There is a song in the show called, “A Girl Worth Fighting For,” when the soldiers are singing about the kind of girl they want to fight for as they march off to war. The things they sing about are very superficial; they want girls who have good looks, will fawn over their battle scars, and cook a good meal. The fellas don’t really care about girls who have a brain or speak their mind. In our society, girls are often told that looks are the most important thing and that their value is found in what others say. Well, this isn’t the case. To be a girl who is worth fighting for, there are a few qualities that the world will just brush aside that you need to know.

Be a Girl Who is Kind

Make people wonder how  you keep smiling. People are going to hurt you. That’s what people do, but people also have the potential to overcome hurt for the better. There are going to be times when it is hard to be kind, but in the long run, being kind is one of the most attractive qualities that you can have. Keep your chin up, Princess. It’s gonna be worth it in the end that you didn’t spread that rumor or that you don’t retaliate with a hurtful comment.

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Be a Girl Who Doesn’t Compromise

Being strong means standing firm in what you believe. Set high standards for yourself, and don’t let anyone make you compromise. It’s so easy to let yourself slip up and start bending. If you ever find yourself saying, “Okay, maybe just this once,” that’s a giant red flag telling you to get out of that situation. You are entitled to your beliefs and your boundaries; don’t let anyone take that away from you.

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Be a Girl Who is Herself

It’s really easy to want to change parts of yourself to fit in with the crowd. Everyone wants to be liked by everyone else. But here’s the harsh reality: Not everyone is gonna like you, and that’s okay. Granted, there are things that you might want to work on, like being a better listener or keeping your space tidy, but don’t feel like you need to hide the things that make you You. If you love baseball, you rock that jersey. If you like getting dressed up, by all means, you work those high heels. If you’re quiet, don’t feel like you have to shout and if you’re loud, use that to make other people laugh or feel good about themselves. God has given you specific qualities for a special purpose; don’t feel like you have to change yourself just to get that boy’s attention.

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Be a Girl Who Waits

This one is super difficult. You’re scrolling through your Facebook and see all your friends out with their boyfriends or girls you grew up with getting engaged, and you’re thinking, “When am I gonna get that?” Or you might even already be in a relationship, but you hear friends talk about their wild nights with their significant other or run across a magazine that tells you all the tricks and tips to “having a good time.” It’s a battle to wait. I’ll be the first to say that sometimes I get a little bummed out seeing all the cutesy couple pictures as I scroll through my Instagram. But would I rather have a so-so boy now, or an amazing man later? Waiting can be really hard, but it’s so much better than having regrets.

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Be a Girl Who Knows Her Value

Everyone is valuable, and sadly, so many girls don’t understand the concept of being valued. But oh my goodness, you are so precious and wonderfully made. You were hand-crafted by a Creator who is crazy about you, who designed your laugh, picked the color of your eyes, and placed you in this time and place to live an extraordinary life. It’s up to you to realize this for yourself. Those mean girls or dumb boys don’t have any right to assign your value, so don’t let anyone sway the way you view yourself. You are strong, you are beautiful, and you are so loved. This is something that will always be a constant battle, and there are going to be times that you feel that you are utterly worthless. When times like this hit, remember that the God who knitted you together died so that He could spend an eternity with you.

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As I continue to grow up in challenging times, it is wonderful to get reminders of who I am as a child of the King. There are always gonna be hard days, but during those rough times, I’m thankful to know that the One who designed me thinks of me as not only a Girl Worth Fighting For, but Dying For!

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Psalm 139:14

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Until Next Time,

Abby

Being Jealous of My Main Character

I like to think that I’m a decent writer. I’ve been doing this blogging thing for a while, and I’ve dabbled in the script writing and poetry realm. But, my biggest goal as a writer is to become a published novelist. The program that has helped me work on this goal is NaNoWriMo. I’ve mentioned this program in the past, but as a quick over view, you write a 50,000 word manuscript in 30 days. That’s about 100 pages in a Word document. I tried back in April with Camp NaNoWriMo to write just 10,000 words for another project, and I utterly failed. This month though, I have hit the half way mark on my current project, which is rewriting the novel that I wrote in middle school called Drawn to Life.

While I’ve been working on the project, I’ve come to find out that my main character is someone I really want to be. In all honesty, she has a lot of the characteristics that I have, but as the story as progressed, I’ve become jealous of how my main character handles certain situations. This is making me feel slightly crazy, because I’m the one who created her. I’m the one who has made her a person who doesn’t take crap and always stands up for herself. So why am I jealous of a fictional girl of my own creation?

As a writer, I often write characters with attributes that I wish I had. For example, I once wrote a short story for a school assignment about a surfer  because surfing is something I’ve wanted to learn how to do for a long time. I love writing about superheros, because I think having some sort of super power would be extremely awesome. So, when I write a character who is assertive and sticks up for herself, it’s a wake up call for me. It’s a reminder to me that I think about being a person that does not let people walk all over her, but sometimes, I don’t put those thoughts into action.

I guess my biggest hope to get out of writing this story is that I grow as not only a writer, but as a person. I want to learn from my characters how to be stronger, which is basically learning from myself. Man, it’s really weird being a novelist.

I made a video on this topic, so check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v

If you are a fellow writer, let me know if you’ve had any of these kinds before! I’d love to know if I’m not the only crazy one ;P

Now, time for me to go back to noveling.

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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

Camp NaNoWriMo (April 2015)

Ah NaNoWriMo. An adventure only the bravest of writers attempt, and a challenge that only the most courageous win. It’s a battle that you fight with your biggest enemy: yourself.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. The official month is November, where you spend the 30 days working to write a 50,000 word novel (Around 1,700 words a day). I have participated since 2012, and this year, I decided to join the camp experience (which started yesterday). The camp is a little less daunting; you get to set your own writing goal. Due to my work load with school and Godspell, I set my word out goal to 10,000, which is roughly 333 words a day.

It’s been a little rough for me writing wise over the past six months. Last November, I came no where near close to finishing the 50,000 word goal. It was really frustrating, and it kind of put me in a funk. But this year, I have made it a goal of mine to get something, ANYTHING, finished and published. I have about five novel/series projects started, but I have only finished one, and that was in eighth grade (and it sucked). Through trial and error, I have learned what I like to/am good at writing, so I have chosen to work on a story titled “Almost Twins” that has been outlined and reworked multiple times. It is a big goal of mine to get a rough draft done by June, so Camp NaNoWriMo will give me a jump start on that.

I hope to give you a great report at the end of this month giving you an update on my novel. If you are interested in a challenge like this, check out these websites below! They have great writing resources and are constantly updating with videos, pep talks and challenges. It’s a good way to get motivated to get those awesome stories out of your head 🙂

http://campnanowrimo.org

http://nanowrimo.org

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

Find An Amanda

You are never gonna be the best at what you do. Whether it’s sports, theater, academics, art, or apple pie making, there will always be someone that is better than you. And that’s awesome.

10982207_889529911068473_6655976454121931389_n As you grow older and develop skills in whatever you do, (let’s say art for an example) you will constantly be learning. To help in this process, it helps to find people to mentor and/or inspire you to be better. Even John Green (the author of The Fault in our Stars and co-VlogBrother) had a mentor: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBKKcxCuH-g) I have had many people like this in my life, but I would like to highlight one in particular: Amanda.

1939829_836947219660076_4886078506899368476_nLast spring was when I took my first college art course: Drawing 1. I was pretty nervous being the youngest in the class and working with people that had done art a lot longer than me. Amanda was in the class too, but then thing about her was that she was one of the only people in Drawing 3. And boy was she wicked good. We would do critiques every other week and we always had a hard time giving feedback on Amanda’s stuff because it was so great. Most of us didn’t really know how she could improve on her pieces, because she was way ahead of us.  The few critiques where she commented on my art are the ones I will never forget, because it felt so cool to have someone so talented complimenting my work. I ended up talking with her over the semester, and I was really excited to introduce her to my family at the art show at the end of the year. I was so bummed when I found out that she was moving to Virginia, where she’s at now furthering her study of art.

1450226_836940302994101_7281774416530864193_nWe still keep in touch over Facebook, commenting on each other’s art. I don’t know if she knows this, but I often creep on her art page to motivate me to work harder. It sucks that I don’t get to continue an in person friendship with her, but I am thankful for the time I got to observe her at school last spring. I have had other people in my life who have inspired me to be a better artist, actor, writer and over all human being, but Amanda is one that has stuck out to me over the past few years. She worked hard to get where she’s at, and is a great example of how hard work really does pay off. You can’t expect to wake up one day and be able to paint a masterpiece. It takes time, effort, and a lot of patience.

10014589_836938556327609_6333656827532512806_nEven if you’re amazing at what you do already, there is always room for improvement. It’s not a sign of weakness to have a teacher to guide you or a person to motivate you to be better. All great leaders have to know how to be led. So, find someone to push you to be the awesome human you were created to be.

Find an Amanda.10277329_762491297136814_8183378722769922818_n

Until next time,

Abby

*All art throughout this post belongs to Amanda Brooke*

Fantastic People to Check Out who inspire me to be awesome:

Amanda:https://www.facebook.com/amanda.brooke.gustin

Sylvia’s Art: 71488_10151626859416663_1142336742_n1456488_10152057976586663_1652354052_n

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Matthew:https://www.facebook.com/haveanartattac

Justin:https://www.facebook.com/fullsailbyjf

My Momma 🙂http://awomanwitharmor.com

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

Words of Wisdom from Dr. King

MLK Day 1Today marks the 29th Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Many people spent the day at home, enjoying a day off. Many others though  participated the in National Day of Service. This is the first year that I didn’t just stay at home. Being part of a leadership club at school, I spent the day serving the community alongside my peers. While sleeping in would been nice, I MLK Day 2think it’s really cool that I got the opportunity to serve others. We worked in a huge cave that is used as a storage unit and my team sorted out Christmas lights. The copper from them will be used to pay the rent of the homes that the charity owns to house the homeless. It was really cool to spend the time team building with some really awesome people.

I spent a lot of time thinking about what I was going to write today. I wondered if I should just pick a topic off the list I have already, or do something to talk this day. So, I went to the place where I get many a question answered: Google. I started looking for information about Dr. King, and I found some facts that I had never known before, like:

  • George Washington is the only other American to have had his birthday observed as a national holiday.
  • King entered college at the age of 15 after skipping 9th and 12th
  • Today over 700 streets in the Unites States are named after Martin Luther King Jr., with one such street in almost every major city. 
  • King is to date the youngest male to win a Nobel Peace Prize, winning it in 1964 at the age of 35.

I remember as a kid learning about Dr. King in school. We would do word searches, watch movies, read books and get homework. But then the week would pass, and we would move on to other things. Yes, I knew that he was a great man. Yes, I knew that he led the fight towards equality. Yes, I knew that he caused people to think. But I didn’t really stop to think until now.

I found a website that had a list of quotes from some of his speeches, these few really stuck out to me:

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

 

“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”

 

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

To be completely candid, I am in a constant battle with myself. The teenage years are rough. (From what I’ve heard, the adult years aren’t easy either.) I’ve made mistakes and said things that I regret. I struggle with the fact that I want people to like me and I constantly want to please people. I sometimes feel as though I am a bother to those around me.

MLK day 3But over this weekend, I had a revelation that I’ve been needing to have for a while now: I am who I am, and I can’t change. Granted, I will always be going through stages of being refined and constantly learning new lessons, but I am stuck with the fact that I am Abby. And that a great thing.

It is my life’s mission to love others. I am, as one friend called me, a “Jesus Freak”, or as my bible says, a Child of God. As a Child of God, I am not asked, but I am commanded to serve and love others. Dr. King knew this too. He knew that his life was constantly in danger. “I’ve Been To The Mountain Top”, his last speech, was given the night before his assassination. It was almost as if he knew he was going to die the next day. Go read it. It’s very inspiring. But even though he knew that he was in constant danger, Martin still actively spoke out against segregation and called everyone out for tearing each other down.

Many Christians today are living comfortably. Loving some people is hard. It can be risky. You could get your reputation tarnished. In some places, there’s a chance you could get hurt. Being zealous like the early Christians is a taboo in our culture, so we just coast through life. We love people that are easy to love. We serve when it’s convenient. We zone out in church and don’t apply the teaching we hear when we walk out the doors.

I’m done coasting. I want to soar.

Dr. King didn’t live to see the change that happened in our country. While I don’t plan to start a national movement to change horrible laws, I want to make a difference. Whether it’s serving others full heartedly, loving people (even if they’ve hurt me), or just learning to love the person that God made me to be, I was to make changes happen that matter. If Martin could keep up his fight after being threatened, scoffed at, and arrested 29 times, I can work to make a difference in the lives of those around me.

Until Next Time,

Abby

MLK day 7

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! 

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”.

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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