About Me

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I like to scribble...both with markers, and, now, with words


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"The Great Christmas Snowstorm of '09"

...At least I think that's what they'll be referring to this one as. I was just on weather.com, and reading that this guy could be comparable to the Great Halloween Blizzard of 1991: cue memories of dad pulling me around on a sled in my snowsuit so I could still go trick-or-treating. At least getting goodies at Christmastime does not require setting a foot outside! It's just too bad church and Pa and Dava's house are too far away to be pulled there on a sled.

It has not started to snow here yet, but looking at the map, there are two storm systems-one from the north and one from the south-that look like they are getting ready to gobble us up.

Here's to being safe at home with a stockpile of coffee, a pile of presents under the tree (though even more still to wrap...), and yummy Christmas treats to keep our bellies full. Now if only our house had a fireplace...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

ArtID 565 Project 3 Renderings

So these images actually did not scan very well, (they are kind of fuzzy and dark), but they are about as good as they are going to get with the COD scanners...and they don't look so bad at this size (just don't click on them). :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Design Student Pet Peeve

These are the questions (or variations of) that I have been getting asked all week (usually from a non-design student):

"So, are you almost done with your project? How much longer until you are done?"

I usually just stare at them blankly for a moment, quite unsure of how to answer. See, a design project is never truly done. There are always little tweaks and fixes (if not big tweaks and fixes) that can be made to alter the project. Something can always look different, match better, be represented differently, made of a different material, expanded upon more, etc. etc. etc. It is not possible to answer this question in a quantity of minutes, hours, or days. And "almost done"...what does that mean? Obviously right now I am closer to being "almost done" with my project then I was yesterday. Even tomorrow, once this project is "complete" and presented, it will still only be "almost done".

So my answer to their question?

"Um...it's due on Monday?"

Hopefully that suffices.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Round 2

One more big thing...

Plus two more littler details...

Some shopping displays with a sweet black rug...

And the central hub with a seating area, elevator, and escalators (sorry, no Santas this time).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

24 Hours

What can be done in 24 hours? A lot of little things: household chores, shopping, watching TV, making and eating multiple meals, working out, sleeping. Even some big things: hosting a party, driving to another state, having a baby.


One really big thing.

Above: The second level of our floor plan for Dillard's, hypothetically located in North Grand Mall. Yes, that's right, I have been working on this rendering for the past 24 hours. I have printed, sketched, drawn, measured, markered, inked, colored penciled, re-markered, and re-inked every single line and every single stroke on that page. To put this to scale, this drawing is approximately 3 feet wide by 2 feet tall. (Very thankful that we downsized from originally having it be 5 feet wide by 3 feet tall...It would have been as wide as I am tall and I would still be working on it!)

Note that I also said second floor, meaning that right now, after I finish this blog post, I am going to whip out the first floor and do this all over again.

And what's a huge rendering like this without having a little fun? Below: a close-up of the lower left corner (near the customer service desk in our plan) of some Christmas trees and a Santa Claus (and yes this is a plan view, so it looks really awkward but Santa is sitting down and you are looking from above). What's a department store without a Santa Claus to visit and ask for all the goodies around you?

Tis the season (or very nearly)!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Caribou Coffee just got...better.

I know, I didn't think it was possible, either. It's all I can do to not go there every single day (a poor college student has to cut something out of her budget :( ). Not only does Caribou already have the best coffee ever, but they now infuse all of their chocolate drinks (i.e. a mocha) with your choice of real milk, dark, or white chocolate.

Do you realize what this means?

I can get dark chocolate in nearly every single coffee drink now!

As I sit here, I am sipping on the most delicious Campfire Mocha in the history of the world...excuse me, the most delicious dark chocolate Campfire Mocha.

Sorry, budget, but I think something else is going to have to take a cut. Caribou Coffee now just got that much more appealing and I will be taking my coffee and dark chocolate addicted self there that much more often. I don't really need groceries, right? Or gas?

Not only did I discover this wonderful news about chocolate, but the Christmas/Winter cups are out!

And the Christmas cups being out means...

Reindeer Blend, Ho Ho Mochas, and Fa La Lattes for everybody!

What a great day for coffee.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Just a 4-year Old in My Pink Tutu...

I'm not quite sure how to explain it, but sometimes when I am teaching dance, I happen to glance up at the mirror and see a line of little girls, eyes upon me, copying my every move. It always gives me a moments pause, not seeming right that I am the instructor in the front of the room, instead of the 4-year old in a pink tutu trying to follow directions. It's kind of a scary thing...I mean, what are they doing trusting me with a room full of 4-year olds anyway (or 5-year olds, or 6-year olds, etc.)?!? Isn't someone still supposed to be instructing me? I think I am still 4-years old...for heavens sake, I just saw a commercial for the Crayola crayon maker on TV today and I am planning on asking for it for Christmas! When this happens though, it startles me, and I really have to think about what I am doing and saying. I guess sometimes I just go so much into autopilot mode that this is a good reality check. Though I do still marvel at the fact that I can have a room of up to 15 girls that do everything I tell them to do. And when they come in with big smiles on their faces, or get big, goofy grins when it is their turn to do across-the-floors, it is totally worth it. Love it. <3

Also, an observation: I am currently sitting in studio in my go-to working in studio outfit: red ISU sweatshirt and jeans. I have had this ISU sweatshirt since I made my first visit here as a junior in high school...which I just realized was SIX years ago. Aaaahhhh! I have seriously worn this sweatshirt to late nights in studio since my freshman year here. I don't even think anymore, just grab it before heading out of my apartment. I have even been guilty of snatching it out of the dirty laundry...as long as it is not too far down in the pile. It's just so darn comfy and perfectly worn-in.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween + College = So Weird

So far today I have...

  • Seen an Oompa-Loompa (orange face and all) eating lunch in the MU...
  • Walked past a penguin waddling his (her?) way across central campus...
  • Been given candy by a ninja outside the library...
  • Almost bumped into a hippie in the lower level of the COD.

And it is barely even noon....not to mention still the day before Halloween!

Can't wait to see what the rest of the weekend brings...hopefully it's more candy! :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

ArtID 469 Watercolor

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Weddings, Weddings Everywhere...

I am about ready to puke from talking about wedding stuff. Between my own wedding, then my maid of honor getting engaged so I am now HER maid of honor, a girl I teach dance with getting married next May, and others in my interior design program being engaged too, it is pretty much inescapable. Not that I am unexcited for my own and other weddings-I definitely am!-but talking about any one subject nearly 24/7 could drive anyone to the loony bin...

Also, while theknot.com is a wonderful tool and wedding website, there are some girls out there that really need to get a life. I enjoy it for some of the local resources it recommends, and I really, really, REALLY like the checklist that helps keep me on track, but beyond that....meh. There have been a few times that I have clicked on the different forums and questions, but it makes me want to gag each time, and wonder why on earth I clicked on them in the first place. The acronyms alone could cause an English teacher to commit suicide. It took me a few days to even realize that BM meant bridesmaid-at first I thought it meant best man! FI=fiance (duh...), MOH=maid of honor(ok, confession: I DO call my own MOH this one), and I still can't figure out what MUA means. Not to mention that the same girls seem to sit on the forums all day writing back and forth...seriously, don't you have a mom (does mother of the bride=MOTB?), BM, MOH, FI, or MUA (?) to help you out at all? Why ask the opinions of strangers all the time?

Now for the good, non-complaining news: I have all of the major things done except for finding a DJ-the church, reception site (which includes catering), photographer, florist, and cupcake lady are all booked-hallelujah!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

On the Road Again

Boy, all of these "road trips" are really starting to wear on me. Since the start of this semester, I have only been in Ames for two full weekends. And since my boy was here one of those weekends, it hardly even counted (homework-wise, anyway). Lets see...

Aug. 29/30: GONE. In Albert Lea, MN for a wedding reception.

Sept. 4/5/7: GONE. In Madison visiting my boy.

Sept. 12/13: Actually in Ames.

Sept. 16/17/18/19/20: GONE. In Toronto on field trip.

Sept. 26/27: GONE. In Madison to see the boy again.

Oct. 3/4: In Ames. Boy is here.

Oct. 10/11: GONE. Back home in Twin Cities for wedding planning.

And coming up I will be in Ames this coming weekend, and then gone again to visit the boy in Madison (and then it's HIS turn to come see me here again in November!).

This crazy road tripping all of the time actually started last semester, in the spring, with spring break. That was a 9 day long journey of non-stop travel to something like 6 cities in 4 states. Not to mention being gone in Sioux City all of the time last semester for my design build studio, plus being gone a couple of times for internship interviews. Then this summer it seemed like almost daily road trips what with my 90-minute commute every day. This whole year seems like it is going to be nothing but traveling, though, with the boy being in Madison, wedding planning to be doing back in Minnesota, and now Crystal getting engaged and married in May, which means more bridal showers and things to travel for and plan. (I am super super excited though! Bring it on :))

I have to admit, though, that I do like being "settled". I could never have one of those jobs that requires travel 4 or 5 days a week, that's for sure. Last week I was looking at the little case I carry my jewelry in when I am traveling. It's been sitting on my desk, full of the jewelry I wear most often, since the beginning of the school year. For a moment I just sat and stared at it, wondering why on earth I had not put it away yet. But then it dawned on me-I have needed it to be ready to go almost every weekend-it just doesn't make sense to put everything away only to pack it back up again! Likewise for my suitcase. Sure I COULD put it somewhere out of plain sight in my room...but when I need it every three or four days to pack again, it seems much more practical to leave it right where it is.

I do have to mention, though...one (or two) of the things I least enjoy doing in life are packing and unpacking. And the biggest part I dislike about unpacking is the massive pile of laundry it leaves on my return. Yee-uck. :P

Saturday, October 10, 2009

the phrase "October snow" should be an oxymoron

I hardly even got to enjoy my fall (best season EVER) and now there is snow on the ground. Snow = winter no matter what the calendar might say.

Yup, you read that right. I am going to check the date again, just to reassure myself...but nope, it still says it's October 10th.

It's kind of surreal to be watching brightly colored leaves fall in the snow. Kind of pretty at the same time...but I would much rather there not be snow on the ground. Makes it much more difficult to jump into a great big pile of leaves if there is cold, wet snow underneath. Even my guilty pleasure of being able to step on crunchy leaves is nonexistent since all of the leaves are wet and soggy.

Not to mention that it took a good five minutes for me to brush all the snow off my car this morning. Very uncool.

Mother Nature had better get this chilly chilly weather out of its system this year. Planning for an October wedding next year is now making me just the slightest bit nervous...between the rain, cold, and now snow picking a date in fall is seeming to be quite risky.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Extreme Makeover Den Edition-Before

Five other interior designers and I got selected to help out three dorms (us interiors are working in teams of two) makeover their dens for the ISU Extreme Makeover Den Edition. Our den definitely needs our help. At first glance, it isn't so bad, but...

Odd baby blue walls and a broken foosball table...

A "window seat" that is a good 6 inches away from the windows...leaving a nice gap for garbage and other debris...

Hugh Hefner inspired wood paneling around the door...which we can't really even touch :(

Why does the ceiling even have ceiling tiles in the squares? Particularly when half of them look like the above image...

And white boards that don't erase and are forever inscribed with math problems from a good 20 years ago.

Interior designers to the rescue! Something like the below (super quick) sketch is what this room is in need of...and we may even explore stadium seating and white board paint. Rock on.

Stay tuned to see how Friley Cunningham's den turns out...it can only get better from here!

Monday, September 28, 2009

guilty pleasure #3

Waking up early to get a skim Campfire Mocha (though still with the whipped cream, marshmallow bits, and chocolate shavings on top-a girl can only be so good) from Caribou before walking to class on a perfect fall morning-stepping on as many crunchy leaves as I can along the way.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

ArtID 565 Project 1

Ok, this last board looks a lot better with all of the materials actually on it. I will update it once I take a picture of it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Toronto + Tyson's Birthday

Got back yesterday from a 5-day trip to Toronto for an interior design field trip. The trip was ok, but since we had just finished a group project and had a critique last Monday, leaving on Wednesday was bad timing since A.) we were all already sick of being around each other 24/7 from working on our projects and B.) nobody had yet caught up on sleep from working on said project. Combine the above two things with the fact that there were 18 of us girls on the trip, and I will leave the drama that ensued up to your imagination. Toronto was not really all that different from America. Two good things are that they are die-hard hockey fans and say "a-boat" (for about), so it was kind of just like being back in Minnesota. Below: my favorite picture from the trip, from when we went to the Contemporary Canadian Art Museum and their feature exhibit was about hockey. :)

So that is the first part of my post. The second part is that it is my honey's 23rd birthday today. While I unfortunately can't be with him today (the second birthday I have missed in two years. Last year was my fault because I was on a field trip in Chicago, but I say that this year is his own darn fault since he felt the need to go to Wisconsin of all places), I will be heading out there this weekend to finally be able to see him again. I still miss him a lot-3 weeks is much much much too long in between seeing each other!-and every day presents a new situation where I just don't know what to do without him. (Today's: I could not finish my lunch and had no one to eat my leftovers. Sad day.) He is now my 23-year old bug killing, dish washing, food eating, good listening boy, and I can't wait to give him a big birthday hug and a kiss. Love you bear!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Lack of Sleep Tolerance

As a freshman, staying up all night to finish projects once every week or two was no big deal. Don't get me wrong, I would have much rather gotten some sleep, but even on days that I did not have to stay up all night, it was not uncommon for me to stay up until 2 in the morning. Just because. Even through sophomore year, I was restless until the wee hours of the morning.

I would LOVE to have those abilities back again! (Yeah, look at the time of this post...I could totally use some of that energy and ambition right about now!) It's not even that I don't want to stay up, but lately around 10 or 11 o'clock, I start to get...tired. Sleepy. Beat. Homework and projects become harder to work on. Usually I give up and just go to bed, figuring that sleep will help to clear my head for the morning.

And yet here I am, Thursday before our first studio project is due, 3:47 am...tired, sleepy, beat, and exhausted. A slave to design still...and coming full circle from my sleepless nights freshman year.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Perils of Design

Above is the first iteration of my mall kiosk design for studio (due in less than a week-eep!). My group has decided to sell green (as in sustainable and eco-friendly, not necessarily in color) baby products, which has turned out to be pretty fun. I have learned more about cloth diapers and sustainable fibers than I ever thought I would in my whole life. (As a side note, did you know that the same product that has been banned for use in tampons because it causes toxic shock syndrome is still legal to use in disposable diapers? What's up with that?) But anyway, notice anything glaringly wrong with the above kiosk (minus that I am still attempting to contrive some sort of roof structure)? My person is trapped inside-I forgot to give them some sort of door to get in and out! Yikes. Some interior designer I am. Of course I was thinking that my design was coming along pretty well, and actually quicker than I thought, so I sent Tyson a picture of it. His first response: "the person is stuck inside".

Darn engineers.

But it LOOKS cool.

And here we go back to the drawing board...

Monday, August 31, 2009

Mind Doodles IV

1.) I like the scarf trend; I think they are cute. What I don't get is wearing scarves with tank tops. I actually think it looks kind of cute until I realize that it just doesn't make sense...it's warm enough to wear a tank top but your neck is still cold? What?? It's like the socks with sandals look: it's either warm enough to wear sandals, or cold enough to wear socks, but definitely not both!

2.) Whenever I finish a project, no matter how good or bad it might be, I only see the flaws in it (at least at first). I wonder if someone like Da Vinci would look at his Mona Lisa and only see what was wrong with it, or Van Gogh look at Starry Night and see all of his mistakes.

3.) 18 years of school (including my fifth of college!) and the first week just does not get any easier to transition into. And actually, this is the second week...darn it.

4.) I am missing the Great Minnesota Get-Together (that's the Minnesota state fair for those of you out there not fortunate enough to be Minnesotans ;)) this year for the first time since I was in elementary school. Sad day.

5.) Below: my first project completed and critiqued for the year, for my Advanced Studies in Interior Design class, which this semester is focusing on color. This is what I was referring to in #2...however mine actually looked pretty darn good when viewed with everyone else's projects on the wall together. Rock on.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What I Didn't Know

In church today, there were some freshman girls sitting behind me, talking about what they thought of the church and other things. It made me think of my freshman year in college; what I thought I knew then, and what I definitely know now...but mostly, it made me think of what I DIDN'T know four years ago...

  • I didn't know that I would not get into the interior design program the first year I applied
  • Related to the above, I didn't know that I would be in the middle of some Iowa cornfields for five whole years of school
  • I didn't know just how difficult DSN 131 and DSN 102 would be
  • I didn't know squat about interior design
  • I didn't know how much I would miss Minnesota lakes
  • I didn't know that I would not be studying abroad in Rome my senior (or in this case, super-senior) year like I had planned since high school
  • I didn't know that I would ever find a boy so perfect for me
  • I definitely didn't know that my final year of school I would be much more concerned and preoccupied with planned a wedding (MY wedding, of all things!) than with any schoolwork I might be given
  • I didn't know that life would be so filled with ups and downs during these college years; almost nothing has been static during this time
Basically, everything that I ever wanted and planned for in college has been completely twisted around and turned upside-down. I was supposed to be done in four years, fully graduated with a degree in interior design, fresh from a semester studying abroad in Rome, before jetting out to the East Coast to work for a few years, and I definitely thought I was going to be single for quite some time (not by my own choice, but I just assumed). Instead, I had my dream of interior design taken away from me for one of the hardest years of my life, and then given back again; had my dream of studying abroad in Rome completely taken away, (that one is not going to be given back), and met my wonderful boy right after I became 100% fully content and happy with being single. God definitely has his own plans, and I have to say, they tend to be at least a little bit better than anything I could ever dream up for myself. :)

Oh how I miss my boy...

These are the things that my boy should have been around for today to help me move, but instead he is off gallivanting in Madison, thinking he is so smart and cool going to grad school (and I know that he will read this, so maybe he will feel just a little bit guilty... ;)):

  • Greeting me at the Freddy community center with a big hug and kiss when I came to check in and pick up my keys
  • Opening doors for me
  • Carrying heavy things from my car up 3 flights of stairs to my apartment
  • Putting my futon together
  • Hooking the TV up and figuring out how to connect to get the cable channels
  • Putting the shelf in the kitchen area together
  • Organizing all of the technical (phone cord, computer stuff, etc.) items in my room
  • Moving the furniture (desk, wardrobe, and bed) around in my room as I desired
  • Protecting me from all of the spider webs in the entryway of my apartment building
  • Going to dinner to enjoy some tasty food from The Cafe
  • Paying for and carrying my groceries
  • Putting things on the top of my wardrobe, because I am just a little too short to reach that high
  • Cuddling with me; as comfy as my body pillow is, it just doesn't quite cut it compared to him
So, basically, what I am really trying to say is that I miss him a ton. I never knew how much I relied on him for so much stuff. It is a lot different being here at school without him than it is to be without him back home, and a lot harder since I am so used to him being around here. I honestly have just about forgotten how to open a door all by myself. He is my heavy lifting, spider-killing, bill paying, reach-up-high-for-me, computer geeky, handsome, wonderful, cuddly, bear of a boy, and this year is not going to be quite the same without him.

Love you Bear!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Chronology of Getting Through to ISU's Financial Aid Office

You would think that after 4 years we would have this all figured out, but alas...

8/17/09: Called multiple times, busy signal every time.

8/18/09: Ditto

8/19/09: Ditto


10:39 am: Ditto

10:51 am: The phone actually rings! Hooray!

10:52 am: Sat and listened to what alternated between classical and old MoTown music from the '60s. I think this is progress.

10:55 am: Continue to be reminded that I have reached ISU's financial aid office. Um...hello? I have gone to ISU's financial aid office a fair number of times and have never heard classical and/or MoTown music playing. Pretty sure they are lying.

10:59 am: More of the same.

11:02 am: A real person! Success!!!

11:02-11:09 am: Explain that I want to get rid of a loan that I already received the money for but do not want. Also ask where to return the money. The guy removes both loans (from summer and fall), repeatedly tells me its my fault for approving all of my financial aid in the first place, (even though you have to approve your financial aid by a certain date, long before you see your actual U-Bill with the breakdown of all the charges, and maybe then decide that you don't want/need some of the loans you recieved), does not tell me where to return the money that I have already recieved, and leaves me more confused then when I started.

11:10-11:18 am: Mom and I sit down with my old bill, the new bill with all charges and payments in front of us on the computer, and one handy-dandy calculator to figure this all out.

11:19: Sip my coffee with a sigh of relief, about 78% confident that we have figured this all out correctly...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Engagement Pics

Check out Tyson's and my engagement photos here:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Recap of Washington DC

Tyson and I just arrived back to the great state of Minnesota late Sunday night after spending 10 days in Washington DC. While much of the time I was lonely (he was at a conference all day every day, so I was pretty much left to my own devices) it was still nice to get away. Check out some of the highlights:

Tyson's first plane ride...ever!

Safe and sound at Dulles airport.

Sweet bubble tube!

Nemo at the National Aquarium in Baltimore

Mary Lincoln's dress

Dorothy's Ruby Slippers (on the Yellow Brick Road, of course)

Abe Lincoln's Hat

Some of my favorite jewels from the Smithsonian...like the Hope diamond...

...Josephine's (Napoleon's wife) gorgeous tiara...

...and a huge (over 22,000 carats!) Topaz

Nighttime in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia...there are no railings around the pier so I am just glad Tyson didn't push me in!


...and fountains.

Not only did we walk all the way TO the Lincoln Memorial (way in the background) on the hottest day of the year in DC (102+ degrees!), we also walked all the way BACK to where the car was parked...

Tyson in front of the White House, after we may or may not have seen Obama land in his helicopter.

It's hard to tell from this picture, but Lincoln's hands are HUGE on this statue compared to his body.

What this picture doesn't show is the long, hot walk back to where the car was parked...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

guilty pleasure #2

Having the people I work for think that I am so amazing with all of my fancy design programs (Photoshop, Illustrator, AutoCAD, etc.), and then turning around and using Paint when they ask me to do really low-level stuff.

Monday, July 27, 2009

guilty pleasure #1

Flipping through a celebrity gossip magazine while I am sitting under the dryer at the hair salon that I would not otherwise buy or read...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Big Chip

So I mentioned in my last post that my family was going up to Lake Chippewa for vacation. This is no small deal. My mom's side of the family (she has 5 siblings), plus 3 groups of my grandparents neighbors (one couple who has 8 grown kids alone!) have all been and kids) people either stay in town at the hotel or do what we do and split a cabin with another family so we each are there for half of the week. It is definitely not summer unless the journey to Brandon, MN is made (population: ~450), and I can't wait until I have kids of my own to bring up there-and hopefully they will love it as much as I do!

Unfortunately this year, it was COLD. We were in sweatshirts and jeans all night and all day and it did not make for a very good time. This is, however, the first time in 17 years that it has been so cold and been a total wash, but we made do anyway...

Our cabin

The mansion on the lake that we go to see every year and wish was our cabin...

Asking Auntie Sharon to be a bridesmaid...check out the look on her face ;)

How to keep busy on a cold afternoon:
-Pizza: check
-Smirnoff Ice: check
-Margarita: check
-Apples to Apples: check
As I hardly ever drink, the combination of the two beverages above about knocked me out for the day...

Hi dad!

The epitome of our vacation: huddling during a freezing boat ride!


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