Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Christ has risen; he has risen indeed.

Happy Easter! This year Easter came early, just the weekend after spring break. Still, I came home to celebrate it with my family and to get some much needed real medicine.

I thought that I would post a couple of early Spring photos I snapped last week of the year.

This year the Tulip Magnolia was gorgeous, as always. Surprisingly the snow didn't kill the dainty pink blossoms, they are still there.

Me: I really like this shot.
My parents: that your finger?

They just don't understand my art. ;)

I just loved the light in this one, even if I'm not wild about the subjects. I took these photos in the early morning light and I just really wanted to capture that freshness.

I really loved the composition of this one. As you may or may not be able to tell, I've really been trying to shoot through things-- an oft mentioned suggestion in photography.

There was a lot of purple in the yard-- and only a couple flowers blooming. I can't wait for Spring to fully hit, with its warm temperatures and greenness. This time last year we were having picnics...

These flowers were by far my favorite thing to shoot that morning. I just loved how the cool purple tones blended well into the morning light. I have like fifty photos of these....

But I won't show them all ;)

So last Thursday some friends and I were craving some sushi, but didn't have time to make it. A quick Google search later we found a little restaurant called Domoyaki, or something to that effect.

The roll was every bit as good as it looks, and the service was amazing. A much better, and not too much more expensive, alternative to sushi from Kroger. ;)

In other news I finally heard back from ISEP! I'm going to Universite Jean Monnet in St. Etienne, France next semester!! It was my top choice school so I'm super excited. On top of everything my friend who applied to study in France also was accepted to Universite Jean Monnet so we will be going together :D I can't wait to study abroad. This little crafting blog will be transformed into a travel blog as I traverse the great world with my friend.

Until then, thanks for reading and Happy Easter! :)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Collage of College

So a couple months ago in January some friends and I were in Wal-Mart to get something or another. I happened to walk by their craft section (surprise, surprise) and spotted a foam board. I had seen a craft idea on Pinterest that used mod podge and a foam board as a cheap way to show off your photos.

It didn't seem like it would take a lot of time to make it, so optimistically I thought I could just do it one weekend at school.

Enter, life and far too much homework. The board just sat unused in a corner of my dorm room until I decided to bring it home for Spring Break, when I knew I would have to time to do it.

It's rather straight forward, but I thought I would show you guys what I did.

I printed out some of my favorite pictures; I only ended up being able to fit 18 on my poster board. The craft idea I had seen used square photos-- and if you can print square photos go for it. But I ended up with a mixture of vertical and horizontal photos.

I played around with the order for a while, trying to maximize space. I ended up doing two lines of vertical photos on the edges and two lines of horizontal photos in the middle. I also tried to evenly distribute the colors so I didn't have huge group of all back and white toned photos.

Trusty Mod Podge!

I began by laying down a nice coat of Mod Podge onto the poster board. The craft I had seen used black poster board but all Wal-Mart was selling at the time was a nice dark blue board. I like the blue, it's not as harsh as a black background would be.

What I didn't do is check to make sure that the pictures were flush against the poster board. Look out for air bubbles-- they're fairly easy to get rid of when you first put the photo down. I didn't even think about that until after everything was done and I noticed a couple of air bubbles.

Once your photos are pretty well dried and attached, go over them with another coat of mod podge. This just really helps cement them all evenly to the poster board. Have no fears, it'll dry clear. (if you use the right mod podge I suppose. I used Matte but I think the others also dry clear....) Try to evenly distribute the mod podge, don't leave any streaks of it or you'll be able to tell when it dries. Now the top layer of Mod Podge will give a texture to your photos, for better or for worse. I don't mind it and I know I've seen a couple of craft tutorials that actually use that to their advantage by making a photo look more like a painting with textured brush strokes thanks to a layer of Mod Podge.

Then, you wait.

I put a lot of mod podge on the top layer-- probably a bit more than was strictly necessary but it didn't have an adverse outcome-- so it took a while for my poster board to dry.

Et, volia! A rather straight forward and easy way to show off your photos in an orderly fashion without paying for a frame.

 Now here in the wonderful land of Hendrix I'm sick as a dog. Luckily it's a slow week for me, homework wise and my early morning lab was cancelled, allowing me to relax a little and blog.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sudden Snowfall

As I packed for Spring Break I thought of the warm temperatures of New Orleans and optimistically threw in shorts and sun dresses into my suitcase. I knew Jonesboro would be slightly cooler, but it couldn't be that much different, right?

Wrong. Not only has it been a chilly Spring Break here in Jonesboro, yesterday the ground was blanketed in 2-3 inches of snow.

Yup, that's right. Snow. In what I thought would be a warm spring break. I didn't believe the weather forecasters until the snow pounded down Thursday night.

The snow was falling so fast and it was so dark that the long shutter speeds turned the flakes into streaks.

It accumulated far quicker that I expected. Around two in the morning the snow was supposed to turn into rain-- and start eroding the white carpet of snow. So I snapped some long exposure photos of the backyard while it was still snowing. It's so cool to look at a almost pitch black yard and a 2 second exposure later it's as bright as mid-day.

Of course what you sacrifice is clarity-- it's hard to hold the camera perfectly still for two seconds; it's longer than you would think.

The next morning I headed out early in the morning to snap some pictures of the snow laden earth before it was all washed away by the rain.

It was so odd to glance out in the white backyard and see a splash of vivid pink from the tulip magnolia; snow and the blossoms normally don't coincide.

It's odd, a day or so earlier I had headed out to capture the beginnings of spring in the back yard-- and I'll post those pictures later. The sudden late snowfall was cool and very short lived. By nightfall most of the snow had been washed away by the rain.

Spring Break is almost over! I just keep telling myself that we are that much closer to summer. I can't wait for summer-- I wish I could just skip past that whole finals thing, find out if I was accepted into ISEP, and start my robotics research gig I landed this summer.

Thanks for reading! Check back soon for some spring photos :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Back to our adventures in the wonderful city of New Orleans. As snow threatens to fall outside it's crazy to think that just a few days ago I was wearing sun dresses and getting obnoxious blisters on my feet.

The first night we were there we went to an amazing local joint, the Rum House (which I keep trying to call Red Rum...). Even though it was like eight the streets were packed with happy pre-st. Patrick's day drunks and we had to wait almost an hour to get seated.

Suffice to say the food was worth the wait.


My lovely photogenic roommate!
The zoo was a blast, packed full of cool animals.

There was this gorgeous peacock just strutting around on the sidewalk. He was beautiful and he knew it.

The were plenty of adorable monkeys.

There was a cool aviary where the birds darted above our heads. This was the only shot I got of this brilliantly blue bird-- too bad he's looking the other way.

There was a reptile house; even in the dark building I was able to get some decent pictures of this cutie.

After the zoo we hiked to a cool diner where we waited around an hour to get in and get some awesome omelets.

On Monday we spent the morning walking around the French market.

Pretty cathedral windows
That afternoon we headed over to the amazing WWII museum. It would take a day or so to fully appreciate every exhibit they had; we only had a couple hours but it was still interesting.

The next morning we said goodbye to our New Orleans friend and headed home. Thirteen hours and one movie (Argo!) later we finally reached Arkansas, trading into 70 degree weather for the chance of snow.

Snow. In Spring Break. We'll see what actually happens.

Until then, thanks for reading! :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Because apparently no one says 'n'ahlins' (sound it out).

The great city of New Orleans is where my friends and I (after much discussion and disagreeing) decided to go for part of Spring Break. Everything fell together-- my parents were going there, so we caught a ride with them, staying with friends in the city, helping us keep the cost down.

On Friday afternoon everyone headed home with me to hang out with some kitties and get ready for a seven hour car ride to New Orleans.

Seven hours later we pulled into New Orleans and onto the massive and beautiful Tulane campus. Coming from a little college nestled away in a corner of Arkansas, Tulane was overwhelming large and college-like. It felt like we all went to some small jr. college compared to this huge official campus. There were so many people just out and walking around campus, every subject actually had its own building, unlike Hendrix where several subjects are put into one building.

The happy couple
Traveling down to New Orleans was like traveling forward in time, rushing past winter into the mid-Spring New Orleans was enjoying. The trees had leaves, the flowers were blooming, and the weather was perfect.

There was a tree on campus where leaves had been replaced with Mardi Gras beads, like a party weeping willow.

We spent the night in a dorm room and headed out next day to the beautiful park that was right across the street from campus. At the back of the park was the zoo, though we spent a lot of time just wandering through the park.

It was crazy, leaving chilly Arkansas for the beautifully warm temperate temperatures of New Orleans.

This has to be one of my favorite photos from the whole trip. I just love the fresh light and the dainty raindrops.

I can't imagine how it cool it would be to be just a five minute walk away from a park like this. Hendrix has a beautiful campus, but without a nearby park like this.

The zoo was amazing; I took far too many photos to cram into one little post. Stay tuned for more adventures in New Orleans!

Thursday, March 14, 2013


I can't even think of a fitting sentence to describe how long it feels since I last posted. So I won't try.

A week or so ago, some friends and I went to the Miss Hendrix drag show. Like last year we camped out for ticket. Unlike last year, we camped out inside-- yeah it was odd-- and there wasn't any drunk guys who tried to sleep with me.

 The show itself was okay but the best part was when one of the drag queens was dancing to Taylor Swift songs. Romeo and Juliet starting playing and he ran off stage, proposing to his girlfriend right in time with the lines 'knelt to the ground and pulled out a ring'. ;) So that was rather precious. And a little odd, as he still had heavy make-up on.

All the proceeds went to charity-- this was the culmination of a week long festivities. Overall we raised 50,000 which is pretty awesome.

In other news, I flew my first kite! Or at least, the first one in a veryyy long time.

This was at my second game of D&D; I mastered the art of spinning a D20-- a 20 sided dice.

Today is Pi day! In case you have somehow missed this fact. In the caf was a delicious assortment of pies. This was a peanut butter and chocolate pie, as good as it looks.

So last night a couple friends and I headed down to Little Rock for our first off-campus-actual-in-a-bar-legit concert. One of my favorite bands from YouTube, Walk Off the Earth, was playing. Despite one of the main singers being like four months pregnant, they were amazing performers, and the concert was a blast. My hands are still purple-- huge X's on both hands preventing me from using my charms to get alcohol (ha).

I didn't want to be one of those people; the obnoxious ones who have their cell phones up the entire time, blocking the view of everyone behind them so I just sneaked a quick photo, which is why some drunk girl's hand is blocking part of the band.

It was so odd to go from watching videos on YouTube to seeing the band live; but it was so much fun. Even if I did have 8 am lab the next morning.

Totally worth it.

Stay tuned for Spring Break! Only one more day and one more test to get through before I'm headed home. Only for the night, though, because Saturday morning I'm headed to New Orleans!

Now I should get back to studying for that test...

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Quantum Cats

I hate coming up with titles.

It has been ridiculously long since I last posted-- an unfortunate testament to my workload. Even though I have nothing big to blog about, I wanted to post some pictures about my life.

The best way to grade Astronomy homework :) I went home for my birthday to see my family, hang out with a friend, and see my lovely cats. I feel like college could be exponentially less stressful if there were more pets around.

I broke my streak of somehow always missing the Hendrix plays to go see a musical with a ridiculously long name. Considering how small Hendrix is, and the fact that no one goes here just for musical theater, the musical was really good.

Before I went home for the weekend, my friends and I were really craving some sushi. Normally we make some on Saturday, but since I would be gone, we headed over to Kroger to buy some sushi. Now I had been told how good the sushi was at Kroger, but I was a little wary. The price, however, was reasonable, the sushi was pretty good.

Last Wednesday a guy from the group that helped find the Higgs-boson particle gave a talk in Little Rock. So my friend and I ran the second our dress rehearsal for band ended, grabbing some food, and racing towards Little Rock. We didn't get out of band till 5:30, the talk was at 6:00 and it was a 30 minute drive.

Traffic, road construction, and one missed exit later, we pulled into Little Rock. Not realizing that there was parking at the event, I found an open spot downtown and we took off running towards the Clinton Library. Suffice to say, my lack of athleticism made the 'running' turn into a couple sprints interspersed with walking quickly. We arrived ten minutes late, but everyone was really kind about it, and let us in. The talk was geared toward the general public, skipping over the more hard core scientific details, but was still really interesting.

They had a nice fancy reception afterwards. Surrounded by all these fancy, well-dressed people, I went to grab a piece of chicken, only to have it slid off my plate, hit the table and fall on the floor. I just don't belong in fancy events.

So last night some friends and I tried out a new-to-me Asian restaurant, which was delicious. I took a quick picture of the rice, being the photographer junkie that I am, and edited it on my phone-- not using Instagram this time! I just wanted to post a quick before and after.



I was able to crop, use a preset, and dodge and burn to my heart's desire. I used an app called Photogene-- it's pretty awesome and cheap.

I was searching for an open wifi network and found this ;) pretty snazzy name.

I think I've procrastinated enough. I have a 2000/3000 word paper due on Quantum Tunneling that I really should get back to. I thought about posting about the really cool parts of quantum tunneling (all of them!) but I realized I would only bore you. ;)

Thanks for reading!