My Wagon is stuck

Today’s Daily Create assignment was #tdc1481 Put a Western Reflection in your Front Window

I immediately liked the idea of Arches National Park out my window. However, it wasn’t looking good in photoshop. Instead I decided to take a picture of a Snow Covered Wagon from Flickr (Thanks so much!) and put in my view.

Guess I’m not gonna make it to California anytime soon with all this snow. Dang it!

getting back in the saddle for #ds106

Hi again!

After too long of a hiatus from blogging and making art, I am ready to commit again to #ds106. It helps that I am back in North America after 3 years of living overseas in South Korea. ^^

First assignment for 2016 and getting back : Create a cattle brand.

It is supposed to take 20 minutes or less, but of course I can never just settle on one idea. Luckily my friend Megan Mc, a fellow #ds106 alumnus was there to help me out!

I ended up using my initials for the design rather than my plan to stylize my twitter handle: Cali4beach with C4B…. couldn’t find a good combination of that I liked. Megan Mc said my brand reminded her of some of the ships in Star Wars. Not intentional, but that’s cool anyways.   #tdc148

Apparently I like writing, but I don’t do enough of it

I just started participating in an online course from Future learn. It’s a Fiction Writing course and will last 8 weeks. For more info, go here.

I haven’t done any online courses (#ds106 4 life), or writing courses since my last year of Uni in 2011. 4 years ago! CRAZY!  Time to kick myself into gear and be creative.

The first assignment is to write 1 paragraph with 3 lies, 1 truth and write 1 paragraph 3 truths, 1 lie. The purpose is to realize the relationship between fact and fiction.

Here’s what I wrote:

I hate where I live. This city is comprised strictly of grimy factories and giant apartment complexes that house the workers who slave away in the factories. The city has made a halfhearted attempt to plant trees around to help beautify the city, but the trees are scraggly and wasting away under the noxious air. If I didn’t wear a face mask, I would be choked by the pollutants and yellow dust that drifts over from China. My city likes to blame China for all of its air quality problems, not their stinking factories, but everyone knows better.

How did I end up here? Money. I needed the money. Even though working here pays only a pittance, it’s better than what I could make at home. At home, in a land far, far away, the economy is in the toilet. No jobs, no prospects, no future. I thought this place would be an adventure, and I guess I was right. I could have never dreamed that moving here would alter my life so dramatically. But has it changed me for the better? I’m not sure.

~~

Can you tell what are the lies and what are the truths?

 

This blog is dusty

Wow.

Apparently it’s been over a year since I’ve last blogged. Where did the time go? I think I must have been abducted my aliens….

I’ve been busy, sure, but one year without posting is a little ridiculous….

Sorry everyone!

Really going to attempt to brush up on my blogging and art projects because it’s been so long I think I forgot how to do art. Noooooo!

Everyday I’m trolloling

Haha. I keep looking at this and laughing.

The inspiration behind this?

I was talking to my sister Laura about “Game of Thrones.” I have only watched 2 episodes so far of Season 3. My sister was ahead of me in watching it and threaten to reveal spoilers!

I told her: “Keep it secret, Keep it safe!”

Her response: You sound like Dumbledore.

Me: You mean Gandalf? LOTR?

Laura: Same difference.

Thus the Troll quote was born! 😉

ps. YAY FOR DS106 ART!! It’s been too long.

Portrait Project: Erin

I have always wanted to take a portrait of strangers  ever since my #DS106 class in the Spring of 2011. 

I myself was asked by Tom Woodward to have my portrait taken 2 years ago. I had just met him for the first time, and after a really nice conversation he asked if he could take my photo. I am terrible at smiling for photos [I always give a fake smile], but this was for #DS106 and for art so I decided what the hell! Game on.

But I never have attempted to ask strangers if I could take their photo. This, in large part, is due to the fact I only had a point and shoot for the past couple of years. It would be weird to rock up to a stranger and ask to take their photo with just a point and shoot camera. However,  if I had a DSLR/ more professional looking camera that would be a different story entirely!

This January I finally decided it was well past the time to get myself a good camera. With the help of a photographer friend, I bought a Canon Eos 650D.

My new baby

Although I have had this camera for two months, I’ve hardly had the time to play around with it. I decided I needed someone to model for me as I adjusted the settings. I managed to convince my friend Erin to be my model and we had a photo shoot along the river. Out of all the photos I took that day this is my favorite:

 

Red hair, not blonde

I love Erin’s face in this shot. She seems so carefree and happy. I also love the contrast of her beautiful red hair with the blue sky and the water.

In Korea, people are unused to seeing red hair. People tell her all the time: “You have blonde hair!”

This makes me laugh because if you compare my current blonde shade to Erin’s hair you have to wonder if the Koreans are colorblind! Or maybe it is just they  can’t think of the right word to say…..

My photo shoot with Erin marked my first step into Portrait Photography. I need to keep playing with my camera to find the perfect setting, but I think I am almost ready to take it to the next level and start asking strangers if I can take their photo.

However, I am worried how this will work with the language barrier. I need to learn some handy phrases in Korean that basically say the following :”I am doing an art project! Can I take your photo?” and then show them the link to my blog.

Actually, there is one person I already have in mind for this project. He is the security guard at my school and I see him every morning and every afternoon.

He never talks to me other than saying “Hi! how are you?!” but his big smile and enthusiasm at seeing me makes my day! I want to share his big smile with the rest of the world!

 

Day 76: I like you

Last week I read a Cracked.com article discussing the 5 major Virtues of Mr. Fred Rogers (from Mr. Roger’s neighborhood).

I can’t tell you how many hours I spent watching that show when I was younger. Actually, I’m not gonna lie,  reading the article and watching the video clips made me tear up. Mr. Rogers definitely made a huge impact on me, even though the effect of his show is very subconscious.

In his award acceptance speeches Mr. Rogers asked people to take 10 seconds and think about the people who have helped them become the person they are today. Although many people have crossed my mind, too many to name, some of the first people I thought about are the people I have met in South Korea.

Moving to a new country was TERRIFYING. I spent the whole 13+ hour flight to Korea sick to my stomach, feeling like I had made a horrible life mistake. But once I got here, I calmed down and realized that Korea is really awesome. I love my new life here.

A large part of that has to do with the people I have met, both other foreigners and Koreans. Most of the other foreigners I have met here are not only super friendly, but also, like me, they  are willing to go off on random adventures at any place and at any time.  I also love how most of the people here have such a positive outlook on life! It’s hard for me to talk to people/ be friends with people who  are constantly serious and/or negative because they suck the joy & fun out of everything.

My favorite types of people are the ones who are ready to laugh at anything (even about crummy situations) and I feel that this describes many the foreigners friends I have made here.

Living in Korea I interact with Koreans all day. I have to say that as a whole my experiences with the Korean people has been extremely positive. I find that most Koreans are very kind and friendly, ranging from the students who yell “Teacher, I love you” down the hallway at me (those crazy middle school kids!!), to  the Korean friends I have made, and to the random strangers on the street.

Case in point: Last week it was drizzling and I didn’t have an umbrella. I decided to just tough it out in the rain during my 5 minute walk home from the bus stop to my apartment. As I was waiting on the sidewalk for the light to change so I could cross a busy street, a random Korean woman walked up to me and held her umbrella over my head.

I insisted in Korean I was okay, but she insisted emphatically that I stay under her umbrella. We talked for a few minutes (with my broken Korean) and then we crossed the road together before going our separate directions.

Since Korea is not as ethnically diverse as the US and other countries, non-Koreans really stand out. I feel that many Koreans will go out of their way to try to talk to foreigners and to show kindness that I have not often experienced in America. Of course, there are some things that Koreans do that I find rude (like shoving you in a crowd and not apologizing @__@; coughing/sneezing with their mouth open, etc.) but in general, I find Koreans very helpful and nice.

All in all, I feel really lucky to have met so many awesome students, teachers, friends, and strangers, who  really go above and beyond to try to help me and show kindness to me just because they can, not because they are obligated to.

For them and for all the other people  out there who have offered a friendly smile to me I say “Thank you. I like you. I appreciate you. You make me happy when skies are gray.**”

 

*Nod to the rainy weather that night.

What happens when you forget to make a Valentine for #ds106

The Heat Miser is gonna get ya!!

 

This year I had no idea what I wanted to make for Valentine’s Day, DS106 style.  I made my 2011 Superhero Valentine’s with the help of some of my funny roommates, and  I happened upon on the 2012 Romance Novel Valentine’s cards randomly while shopping.

But now 2013 in Korea, I couldn’t decide what to do.  I feel I have been a lot less creative while I’ve been living here; I haven’t converted anyone to the DS106 cult yet here :/

A few days ago, I was looking on Retronaut for ideas when I found this Valentine. I think it is hilarious because it  so weird!

Since I didn’t make anything for Valentine’s Day 2013 and  broke a 2 year tradition @__@, I know that the Heat Miser must be very unhappy. No….not just unhappy. He would be ANGRY.  What would the Heat Miser do in this situation?

Cook the Blondie! Haha.

PS: I am super impressed with Megan Mc’s 2013 Nerd Valentines! As always, she is rocking nerdom!

My favorite from the set:

I want to program a little robot to say this, haha. Megan rocks at life.

 

daily story journa;s

2012 recap & 2013 resolutions

2012 Recap:

Again, another busy year! I was working a really horrible retail job that made me hate my life. @__@

But then I quit the job and travelled in Europe for two months! I definitely hit my goal of trying to go to as many new countries/places this year as I could!

I met a lot of really cool people, saw amazing sights, and reconnected  with some of my favorite people.

The biggest life change for me was becoming an English teacher in South Korea. I had never been to Korea before, nor taught English before so it definitely turned my life upside down.

I have been living in Korea for 4 months now and  I  finally feel like my life is starting to settle down. I like going off and having adventures, but it’s nice to feel more comfortable with where I live and the job I am doing.

Last year for my 2011 recap and 2012 resolutions I said that I wanted to blog every week. That definitely did not happen! I think this is in large part due to the traveling I did this year and the fact that I fell behind on posting my #366 Creativity Journal Project.

I already mentioned this in a recent blog post, but  #366 Creativity Journal did not turn out exactly as I had planned.  I am no where close to being finished posting this project and certain events happening in my job the next few weeks will make it difficult to play catch up.

I am disappointed in myself for not trying harder this year to get my act together. But I will count this as a learning experience as I finish up #366creativityjournal and I move into my next yearlong project.

This brings me to my 2013 resolutions:  

1) Storyaday project: I decided that this year I want to hone my writing skills. I’ve decided to write a story (fictional AND/OR nonfictional) everyday for a year. Ideally I want to write both a fiction piece and non-fiction/autobiographical piece. To keep track of my progress I will be using these handy notebooks I found.

These are 100 days storybooks. In Korea one of the big moments of being in a relationship with someone is when you have been dating your partner for 100 days. I am not sure why; this will require further investigation. Regardless, this book one way you can keep track of your dating life, or really any life event that requires you to count specific days.

The reason why I like this kind of book is because  it will be easy to track  365 days worth of writing. If I were to use a blank notebook it would be easy to miss some days or to say, “I am too tired to write tonight, I will do it tomorrow.”

Sometimes I don’t want to sit down to write because I know when I do I will end up writing a lot and it will take FOREVER. But since each page doesn’t have that much space to write, it will be easier for me to keep myself motivated with this writing project on the the days I don’t feel like writing.

One of my biggest regrets when I was living in Australia in 2010 was I didn’t keep up with a journal as much as I would have liked. I was too busy living in the moment which was great at the time, but now there are some moments that I wish I had written down so that I would remember it better.  Pictures can help jog my memory, but it doesn’t always help with capturing emotions or the conversations I had with people.

 

2) Blog, Blog, Blog. I have a blog. I should use it. Otherwise this is just a waste of my money and superior writing skillz 😉

3) Koreausa Project. I have been terrible at posting photos. Megan Mc is getting swamped with work too. But it’s a great project and I would love to keep working on it.

4) Travel, Travel, Travel! Travel to as many countries and places as possible this year.

5) Learn more Korean. It’s so useful for everyday life and also to communicate with my students.