I had every intention of posting a few times last week, and now I suddenly find myself in the middle to the next week, with myriad excuses. I really am building some bad blogging habits. Gasp!
Last week was a big week for the fourth graders I teach as they moved the oyster spat they had been raising from the Baltimore Harbor to a restoration project site in the Bay. I was unable to accompany them on their trip, but it seems they had plenty of attention--three media outlets came along for the ride, capturing some nice interviews and footage. To be honest, the camera crews were there more for Under Armour, who has recently started a sustainability department and allowed us to house our oyster spat on their dock. So though the cameras weren't for us, it was a great experience for the kids. Here is a link to a news clip:
Watch this! (proving that the local news really doesn't do a great job of investigative reporting, the segment is titled "oyster harvest" instead of restoration; our students watched with horror as the reporter fudged some of the facts!)
Mike and I went to a great concert on Saturday; it was an outdoor festival featuring Patty Griffin and the Avett Brothers (who are amazing live) in the middle of nowhere New Jersey. What's funny is that I never imagined NJ to have much a nowhere, but really, we could have been in Alabama. In one 6 mile stretch, we passed three western outfitters/tack stores, several dairy farms, and a rodeo center, complete with overweight horses and cows all living together in crammed quarters. This was New Jersey? If only southerns knew that :)
On Sunday, my friend April and I took our horses cross country schooling at Tranquility Manor; it's a really beautiful farm and the xc course was good for Caesar and me--we jumped a big bank up and down, a few novice fences, and some great jumps in the woods. The day was not without issues as we had a few stops and some "runaway to my new mare girlfriend" moments, but I was quite pleased with our efforts overall, and, more importantly, it was fun!
I started my jewelry course at MICA on Tuesday, and it was, um, interesting. I think the course will be quite good, but the first class was a bit boring at times and intimidating at others. Our first assignment had little to do with metalsmithing--we had to take various office supplies (markers, index cards, post-it notes, electrical tape, etc.) and create something artistic. Hmmmm. Something artistic. With paper. Made by my hands. Right. I was of course intimidated. I have never been artistic nor have I ever really wanted to be. I do love making jewelry and decorating, but drawing and painting, no, no, no. Not my thing. As a kid I could not color in the lines so I decided that it was stupid and never attempted it again. Needless to say, I got many an unhappy face on my "art projects". Even last night when I was recounting the details of my class to my friend, Linn, she mentioned that I doodle well. Then I had to remind her that I had two doodles I relied on--a bunch of grapes that my mother always drew when on long phone calls and a smattering of swirls that I picked up from someone else. Of course. Ha. I never even learned to write in a fancy way, unless you count doctor script.
So back to my project. I got this grand idea that cutting tiny strips of electrical tape and layering the strips one of top of the other, alternating colors would be unique. A few minutes later, I had made a lump of tape on an index card. Beautiful. Meanwhile my classmates were already moving on to their second piece; asymmetrical balance abounded, beautiful lines and movement, striking color patterns. Blech! Whatever would I do? My second attempt was a little better and my third--a quiltish thing made of tiny strips of post-it notes wasn't half bad. And I made a tree, the leaves of which were those tiny electrical tape strips. When it was time to share, I found myself feeling very envious. Many of the other students were at one time MICA students and thus possess some background in art, or at least, some confidence. I will say that though my pieces looked very elementary (imagine the work of a 6th grade boy who would rather be playing outside), they were diverse and at least a little bit creative. I'm not so worried. I already have several pieces of jewelry I have made that I feel proud of, and I have lots of ideas. I do hope to learn to be more precise and to work more carefully (I am a bit of a rusher). In general I feel like I come up with good ideas, but the execution is where I struggle. Patience.
The great news is that we can use the studio almost every day of the week while enrolled--open studio hours means I will be one prolific jeweler (I hope:) And I promise I will post some photos of my work soon.
Riding has been up and down this week. A great flat session followed by a not so great flat session followed by a messy jump lesson today. Suffice it to say I was pulling on Caesar big time, and he was pissed about that. We blew through several lines and made some scary barrel racers turns to get around. Oh no. Yikes. But tomorrow, my trainer is having me use a hackamore. Hopefully that will help me remember what it feels like to let go. I sure hope so--I don't want Sunday to be a wreck. More on that to come.
Hope you are having a great week wherever you are!
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