Monday, December 7, 2009

Love is in the air

...everywhere I look around...

I have been to three weddings in the past week. They were all a beautiful mix of emotions. One was my grandparents' 50th anniversary vow renewal, the other was an old friend from LSU, and this past weekend's was my mom and Nick, finally getting married after 4 1/2 years. I cried at everyone...they were all beautiful in their own way. I'll post more pictures soon, but this one is my favorite.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Metals and Skin

So the project is finally finished! After many hours of wrapping window screen and pricking my finger a gazillion times with the needle, it is finally done. The installation went great today. I had nothing but positive things said about it, and it ended with my prof asking me to display it out front in the art building! I really felt like I stretched myself this time. I normally tend to lean toward being very symmetrical, but this time I stepped outside that box, and I'm so glad I did!

No big freak outs this time, but I did run out of material last night in the studio, which meant I had to go to Home Depot late, and then wake up 2 1/2 hours early to finish it this morning...but it was a success.

I used 1/4 in hot round rod for the metal frame, and then slate and charcoal colored soft window screen for the skin. I REALLY liked working with both of those materials. And I like squares alot...come to find out.

Friday, November 13, 2009

"You could cry or die, or just make pies all day"

So I finally put to use my REAL SIMPLE magazine and I made my first homemade pie! I made the crust from scratch, and it was an adventure! Below the recipe are pictures...Oh and by the way, listening to Patti Griffin was an amazing cliche to add to the experience!

First, here is the crust recipe (courtesy of REAL SIMPLE with Chuval commentary):

Hands on time: 10 min Total time: 1 hour, 40 min Makes one 9-inch pie crust

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for rolling the dough 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (I used Land O Lakes...or whatever has the Indian on it...healthier) 1 tablespoon of sugar 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (I used regular salt, worked just as well) 3-4 tablespoons ice water

Step 1: In a food processor, pulse the flour, butter, sugar, and salt until the mixture resembles course meal with a few pea-size clumps of butter remaining. OK, not all of us college kids HAVE food processors. We have our hands. And then soap and water. Still works. Judge me.

Step 2: Add 2 tablespoons of the water. Pulse until the mixture holds together when squeezed but is still crumbly (add more water, a little at a time, as necessary). Avoid over-processing, which will make the dough tough. Still just use your hands. It helps in not over-processing anyway.

Step 3: Place the still crumbly mixture on a sheet of plastic wrap. Or tinfoil, if resources are short. :) Shape it into a 1-inch-thick dick, using the plastic (tin foil) wrap to help. Wrap tig
htly and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 3 days. (The dough can be frozen at this point up to 2 months.)The "disk" is going to look pretty small. Don't be discouraged! It really thins out.

Step 4: Place the disk of dough on a floured piece of parchment or wax pa
per. Using your knuckles, make indentations around the perimeter of the dough (this will help prevent cracking when you roll the dough out). False. It does not help the cracking. The cracking is still an issue, and it's just one you have to deal with. Play with the dough like puddy where the cracking occurs and just push the cracks together to make it smooth again. Oh. And tin foil also works instead of the other kind of paper, just make sure you sprinkle flour on it.

Step 5: With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into an 11-inch circle (work from the center outward, and use the parchment paper to rotate the dough). Flour the rolling pin, parchment paper, and dough as necessary to prevent sticking. If you don't have a rolling pin, like me, I used an old wine bottle, I just sprinkled some flour on that old Riesling bottle and rolled away!

Step 6: Loosen the dough from the parchment and carefully and I mean CAREFULLY transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. I used the throw away tin foil pie maker things. Fill the dough into the plate (avoid stretching). Trim the dough to a 1-inch over hang and tuck it under itself to create a thick rim. My rim was actually a little thin, and I didn't roll it out wide enough, so there wasn't much to trim...but don't fret! It still worked.

Step 7: With the index finger of one hand, press the dough against the thumb and forefinger of the opposite hand; continue around the perimeter of the crust. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days before using. This makes it pretty.

Ok, now that is complete, you can move on to making your pie crumbles while you wait to go on top of whatever filling you have. Obviously, if you are making a pumpkin pie, or a chocolate whatever, you don't need a topping, except maybe some whipped cream. This is a great top for fruit pies though:

1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1/4 cup granulated sugar (huh? I just used sugar)

In a food processor, pulse the butter, flour, and sugar until large clumps form. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. I found that the harder it got from staying in the fridge, the easier it was to crumble in the end. I know it doesn't look like a lot, but when the pie is ready to be filled with the filling, then crusted, this will be the perfect amount. Just crumble the mixture all over the surface of the pie. It doesn't have to be perfect or thick. Make sure it meets the edges of the pie though.

Pre--heat your over to 350 degrees. I let mine cook for about 40 minutes, but everyone's oven is different. Check it at 30 min and then judge by then how much longer you need. The crust should be golden.

OK! Want to see pictures of my adventure?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Decor and Austin Funny

New wall art!...I love this chalkboard paint! Thanks Katie.

Exactly. Who WOULDN'T want a springy Jesus on their dashboard?
Here's to you, Austin.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

NEW BLOGS! -Spread it.

Hey guys, I have two new blogs up and ready for viewing. One is dedicated solely to the Jesus paintings that I do, and the other one is more of an online portfolio for future clients to view and see if they want something similar. Tell your friends!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trick or Treat Slash Don't Eat Me!

Is this not the most precious Halloween costume you have ever seen?
It's my baby cousin, back in Baton Rouge, Louisiana!


For those of you who don't understand Louisiana, she is a crawfish in her boiling pot...bless her heart!

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Anyone who knows me a little better than just a follower of my blog...which that is most of you, or else you wouldn't be following my blog... :) knows that this past week I've taken a step in my life journey that has led me to a new found freedom because of it. I let go of the control over something that wasn't mine to control. I didn't just say it in my head that I let go, because we all know that would be a lie, but I actually took physical steps in letting go and freeing myself to continue embarking on this road God has called me to.

That big step has opened my heart to taking charge of my identity and my health as a woman. I decided that contentment, while it is something to be learned over time,  is also something that I can take physical steps towards. Many times in my day to day life I find myself feeling like I am in a rut of somekind. I know I have no reason to be there at the time. I have my health, my friends, my family, my education, and a God-given income of some kind, but I still feel icky and unmotivated. I'm changing that today.

Our contentment is to be found in our Lord. However, it is also my duty to take care of myself and the body I was given to live this life in. IIf I am not keeping it healthy, being lazy, not eating properly, I will not feel motivated and even worse, I will feel discontented for no specific reason...WHICH IS THE WORST FEELING OF ALL TIME!

I'm changing that today. I need support and I need encouragement in that. It started today with takng my vitamins this morning, washing my face, drinking water, eating breakfast, stretching, running at town lake, drinking more water, calling my dad for a while, and now enjoying some crafts while taking a "humorous" defensive driving's a trip.

Like I said, I need encouragement to keep up this routine of taking care of myself. I already feel amazing right now, but I have been here before, and it's over after three days! It's

My search for this learned contentment is continuing, and my heart fills full of grace and compassion. Please pray for me that I can keep this up, keep a balanced life and never quit getting this fulfillment from my Father.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

It's History

So I was talking with a really close friend of mine a few weeks ago, and we were just discussing our pasts and mistakes we had made, and where we are now because of them, and she made a comment about a part of her past that she hated and it broke my heart because I know it broke hers. She said, "I just hate that it is my story."  At certain times, I could relate, and I started pondering on my past and the parts of it that I wished would have been different. If I had had things MY WAY, certain things never would have happened...

Our other friend interrupted my self-pitying thoughts with a few humble words of wisdom.

"It's His story though, not yours."


Those words have stuck with me ever since. Who am I to wallow in the "cards dealt to me?" Who am I to criticize the romantic comedy/drama/mystery/thriller that has been written for me before I was knit in my mother's womb?

It is what it is. Love will be used for His glory, and so will hate. Darkness will be turned to light by and only by the grace of God.

It is what it is. And it is His story.

Love it. Embrace it. Learn from it. Glorify Him in it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Let There Be Light

We are doing a "series" that is going to go verse by verse in Genesis at The Austin Stone. and we only got through about 4 verses this morning. It was very interesting how Matt showed up "the Gospel according to Genesis."

3And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness -Genesis 1:3-4

The he sited many references when Christ called Himself the "Light."

12When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” -John 8:12

This plan was from the beginning. And there was light. And it was good.

It challenges me to be light. It challenges me to look at light differently, to see it as invented by my Lord. Light is everywhere, it is why we can comprehend color. Light is what brings people joy when the sun finally emerges from the clouds. Light is what gets us off our butts and out of bed when all we want to do is be lazy. Light is good.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

For Better or For Worse

Those words don't ring as very promising these days. However, I am blessed to have a couple of those marriages in my life to look up to. I just received my grandparents' 50th anniversary invitation in the mail today, and believe it or not, they truly love each other even more than what it looks like in their wedding photo. They share everything, even down to peppermints, and my Maw Maw still cries when she talks about how sweet my Paw Paw is and how much she loves him. This is why it's supposed to be a picture of God's love...never ending, never forsaking, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; until death do us part.


The exhibit was a success, and the piece didn't fall apart. On to metals!

Why most artists are mad (as in CRAZY!!!)

I have been working on this piece for a little over a month now, and it's a mix of "just want I wanted" and "hmmm...I wan't expecting that..."

The piece is an abstract sculpture, inspired by a small clip of Eduard Manet's "Luncheon on the Grass." The woman in the background is my favorite part of this painting, and I love the grace of her bathing in the pond. I focused in on her hands dipping in the water, and this is where the sculpture started to take its shape. The "hand" is made out of a cedar log that I drug off of T Bar M's ropes course...and the "water" is lamenated plywood.

I just took my first step towards true artist's insanity tonight. The piece broke. In three places. I am saying this calmly right now, but only because I was just a wreck only a few moments ago. I literaly almost threw the wood up against the wall. I went mad. The wood is so top heavy that the place in the center where it snapped wouldnt stand upright while I was trying to glue on the two pieces on the side that I had just finshed sanding...which they kept slipping off as soon as the middle piece would stay put! was a MISERABLE experience!! Fortunately, God heard my prayers and I was able to get it to at least hold for the night... I have to drive it to school tomorrow and instal it before 11. I am terrified...PLEASE pray for me.

Monday, October 12, 2009


When you hold your hand as close to your face as possible, it seems HUGE. You might think to yourself "holy crap my hand is HUGE!"...but in reality, is it really? Slow down, back it up, your hand is so small in the grand scheme of things. Focus on things bigger than your hand.

I think I've had my hand glued to my nose my whole life. Back it up.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Something about Red Beans and Rice

There's something about cajun food that brings people together. Something about LSU football that make people who don't even know each other, relate in ways that non LSU fans will never understand. Pair the two together, and it's community at it's best...They allow for making new friends, bringing back together old friends, and deepening present day friendships even more. I love Louisiana culture!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Livin' it up

THE college dream.

Geaux Bobcats

Casie's Community

Yes friends, that is a 7 foot tall Dora the Explorer pinata strapped to the top of that car.

They are probably on their way to the roasted corn on a stick truck.

Much love, Austin.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Baby Steps

Many people have dreams or goals, but I think the reason they don't get accomplished so often is that sometimes the dream is so big, or seems so "out of this world," that the dreamer loses heart. He/she thinks themselves inadequate. I say, it just takes baby steps. Take the time, and simple CALL the right person.NETWORK. GOOGLE the important information. COLLECT tools, one by one. JOURNAL about it, so you don't forget. PRACTICE. FAIL. LEARN. You're not going to get anywhere just dreaming and planning and talking.

I am amongst about a thousand little goals, but you know what? I have taken baby steps in all of their directions. They may not all play out, but at least I can't blame myself for not taking the steps.

My baby steps for today:

Minor Obsessions

So in the past oh, hour or so, I've become freakishly obsessed with vintage dress forms. "How?"you ask? Well, I was googling and googling and googling for one that wasn't a cheap $50 one, and all the beautiful ones were well over $100. I found a couple of similar-to-my-taste-but-not-quite-there forms, but nothing sufficed. I started thinking about my sculpture class and how I will be working with metals in a couple of weeks...I might ask him if I'm allowed to make something functional...that would be AWESOME.

But for tonight, I just drew one...and it's pretty enough.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Blah to Bliss

Finally, life in my living room.
(note:definitely fresh sunflowers)

Whoop Whoop

My first A&M game was definitely an experience. I've never seen traditions quite like that before...however, it still doesn't hold a candle to any LSU game ever.

The weekend was overall successful however. Katie and Ross were once again the most hospitable couple I know...and I love them dearly. Katie and I had another freakishly productive weekend of arts and crafts.

I had a chance to see a few of my good camp friends and just reconnect with people very special to me.

My Sunday started with a 6:30 drive from College Station, beautiful sunrises, and an amazing start to my new women's Overcoming Sin class...I'm so excited about this. I think I made instant friends with one of the girls within the first two minutes.

If you get a chance to listen to Matt Carter's podcast of today's sermon on community, don't pass it up!...Katie and Ross I was thinking of y'all during the sermon this morning, y'all should listen together. I think you'd love it.

I finished the Sunday with about 6 hours of studying American History at Dominican Joes...conveniently right next to today's version of The Days of Our Lives with an obnoxious couple, nay, an obnoxious brat and her sorry sad boyfriend, both who don't see any problem with arguing in a quiet, study-made-environment-coffee shop...though very entertaining...and great material for procrastinating facebook updates!