...or Keren Tells a Story

That right there is me speaking in a video. Here's the link if the video is giving any problems.

Our final presentations from my summer program (DDCSP@UW) were called our "stories". Each member in my cohort spent hours coming up with the story we wanted people to know about ourselves and what we learned over the eight weeks. I loved that they gave us the chance to tell people a little bit about ourselves but writing a story was more difficult than I expected. I almost wanted to do an academic presentation because it's easier to be detached and just get the facts out. When I worked on my story it took a lot more out of me than I thought it would.

A little bit on how I pulled this together. I started the first part last year in response to a lot of the violence against black people. It hit me pretty hard that no matter who I marry, my children will be black, and in the US, there are some scary things associated with that fact. I also got the idea of speaking to my unborn children after listening to "If I should have a daughter" by Sarah Kay. I didn't think to include the poem for my final presentation but I had a hard time pulling my story together. I realized that I couldn't give my story without considering my family and how I was raised. 

After many hours of writing and editing and reading out loud and doubting and rewriting, I finished my story. I will not underestimate the importance of rehearsing because there's no way I would have been as relaxed as I was speaking to an audience of about 40 people. I also could not have done it without the support of my cohort (check out other people's videos here) or Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika who came to Seattle and helped us with our stories.

I think it's fitting that my last post brings my DDCSP experience full circle. I was a bit skeptical about sharing it but it's already on the Internet so I may as well add it to my corner of the Internet. 

Thanks to everyone who reads my words. As much as this is a space for me to share my thoughts - I wouldn't be posting them to a blog if I didn't want other people to read. I hope you enjoy the last days of 2015 and I'll see you next year.

Thanks for reading and listening,

Belated Merry Christmas if you celebrate Christmas. I realize that I didn't mention any other holidays in previous posts and it's for the mostly self-centered reason that I don't celebrate them. I'll try to be better about that next year. It's the last weekend in 2015 and it would be nice for me to have a gorgeous summary but Sunday night at 10 isn't the best time for me to be too deep or introspective. For now I'll keep it simple and get on with my last (!) Sunday Currently for 2015.

Reading Afro State of Mind: Memoirs of Nappy Headed Black Girl by Lurie Daniel Favors. (Here's the link to her website.) I got this book earlier this year when Lurie came to school and spoke about her natural hair journey. It was a great experience to meet her and listen to what she had to say. It got me thinking a lot more about how I think about my hair. Check my blog post here.

Writing Nothing really.

Listening "IV. Sweatpants" by Childish Gambino because sometimes you need to tell the haters not to be upset because, "I'm doing me better than you're doing you".

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Hi all,

As of today, I have been free from academic commitments for three days. In case you had a burning desire to know. You know those moments when you think back and wonder if things were ever as bad/good/funny/awkward as they felt at the time? I'm having one right now. But I can't really tell you the answer. I may/may not reread parts of my journal, but for now, I'll just do the list.

Reading A book called 50 Artists You Should Know by Thomas Köster. When I finish I'll tell you why I think they think I should know these people.

Writing Nothing at the moment but I do need to sit down and write a few emails.

Listening "To the Dreamers" by For King and Country

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Wah gwaan?

Real talk, I've been in the library for too long (I had to set up a motivational corner - the monkey and card) and I need to leave soon. But if I don't do this now, I'll end up scrambling at elven-fifty-something to get it in before midnight.

Oh! Fun fact about my life - my computer is back! I rely on it a lot more than I thought and I am very happy that I have it again.

Reading Nothing now. I got tired of working on my paper so I'm taking a break from reading for a while.

Writing Ditto for writing.

Listening "Gracious Tempest" by Hillsong

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Hi friends,

I don't have many words to say right now so here's a photo of the state of my desk. (And aren't our desks just a representation of our lives? lol. Calm down Keren.) Right then - on to the list.

Reading Nothing because I'm heading to bed. Even though I did read Psalm 16 earlier and I felt like that reflects what I'm feeling/what I need to hear.

Writing My schedule for tomorrow.

Listening "All the Poor and Powerless" by All Sons & Daughters.

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...but not really - I just didn't know where to find anything.

The counter was a mess once I finished - I don't how food bloggers make it seem so easy and clean
The roommate and I made some banana bread a few weeks ago. I must have felt a lot fancier than I realized because last week I decided to bake a cake. What follows is my account of the endeavour and the sheer innovation (or stubbornness) that comes when you've already committed to making it but don't have the right ingredients.

The Recipe: Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

My Version: Slightly Shambly Roasted Blueberry-Tangerine-Chocolate Chip Cake

I learned that:

Baking in a kitchen you're unfamiliar is like [insert witty analogy here or just say "is frustrating"].

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Hello all,

I didn't plan to do a Sunday Currently but I've been deleting all that I tried typing so far so and my thoughts aren't coming together as fluidly as I'd like them to. It's also late and I try not to think too deeply when it's this close to midnight.

A few things I'm thankful for:

  • spending the weekend away from campus with a family that I adopted (they don't quite know it yet - I'm still finalizing the paperwork =P),
  • that I'm down to my final stretch of school, 
  • and life, because a friend of mine died on this day last year. 
I blog because it gives me joy. I kept telling myself that I was to busy the past few weeks to do it but I'm realizing that I can take a few minutes for myself to write these thoughts. 

Finally, a disclaimer. Sunday Currently is not my brain child. I found it from a blogger (Sidda Thornton) and she talks about it here. It's a model that anyone is free to use. [= 

Reading Nothing at the moment. I do need to catch up on some Anthro reading though.

Writing A post for later this week about some baking that I did. [=

Listening The heavy breathing of my roommate coming back in from the cold.

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One day I will write a Sunday Currently when the sun is still in the sky. (Which will be an even more impressive week now that Daylight Savings is over and it's going to be dark by 4 or 5 pm. Yay Winter!)

Happy first of November. We're down to two months. I have no words of wisdom this week - it's going to be a busy one. (I feel like a scratched record with how frequently I use the word, "busy". Ah well. Such is life.)

On to the things!

Reading Nothing because I have taken in as many readings as my brain can handle for today.

Writing This blog post and probably in my journal before I sleep.

Listening To my keys clacking and someone going upstairs. (Sucks to live on the fourth floor when there's no elevator. Lol. Too mean? Possibly.)

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Hi all,

How you doing? But really, how are you doing?

The past couple of weeks have shown me how easy it is to disregard that question and give a pre-recorded answer. I'm not saying that you need to give everyone in a five-foot radius a play-by-play of your week every time someone passes and says, "How are you?" but that you should pause and consider it for yourself.

Life goes in waves for me. Sometimes the tide is up to my knees and I have papers, projects, and other commitments all scheduled for the same time. Moments when I can't even respond to messages from people. Then there are moments when the waves barely reach my toes and I'm amazed at the free time that I have.

The pastor talked about peace in church today and it was a message that I really needed to hear. Even though things ebb and flow, God is still with me.

Reading A novel for pleasure. LOL! Nope. I'm currently alternating between Anthropology homework and online magazines. This life.

Writing Notes for my readings - and by notes I mean four line summaries so I have a vague idea of what I read.

Listening To my friends' podcast on Zombies. I'm listening because i) they're my friends and ii) I miss hearing Jamaicans speak.

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Hi all,

The photo this week is of a Jamaican restaurant (Tina's) on Federal Hill in Providence. A friend and I wanted to check out a dessert place and on the way back we ran into a street fair of sorts. It was my first time on Federal Hill (I am slightly ashamed to admit that) but it's all good because it's a part of my goal to see more places in Providence. If I posted a Sunday Currently  last week, the photo would have been of my desk in all it's glory: books and papers stacked in a corner, books and papers strewn across the desk, random pens, pencils and sticky notes, and the plastic wrapper for a fork. It's been a long week. But! My first round of midterms is over, I visited a new part of Providence, and now I have to catch up on readings. Haha.

Here we go.

Reading Carbon Democracy by Timothy Mitchell for class and slowly but surely realizing that I may not have time to read this from cover to cover. Sigh. This life.

Writing Lists on lists on lists.

Listening "Can't Go On" by Group 1 Crew and appreciating how true the lyrics of that song are.

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Not my first WaterFire but my first time seeing them light the wood. 

Oh hello there,

I have neglected my blog and I won't apologize because I've simply been trying to hustle. I'm sure you can understand that.

I was talking with a friend last night and she said that it hasn't even been a month but it feels like we should  be near the end of the year. I snapped to that. I can't explain why but I feel the same way. I know it's not that I've never felt this way before, but it really feels like it. I seem to be busier and have more things on my plate. Which is partially true because I started an on-campus job last week, but I know that's not the only thing throwing my time off. Who knows. Hopefully this is all part of the first day, first week, first month, first semester deal - the first of things seem longer. Yes, I know, I've been here for a year already. I haven't been here as a second year though. [=

To be honest, this post is a chance for me to clear my head a bit before I get back to writing a paper. Now I'll cut the chatter and get to the list.

Reading Notes, articles, papers and pdfs related to Jamaica and our progress with the Millennium Development Goals (specifically Goal 7 about environmental sustainability). Fun Fact: the UN is moving on to Sustainable Development Goals as of this month. I haven't looked at them in depth but I will say that the graphics are very appealing.

Writing My paper on Jamaica's progress with Goal 7 of the Millennium Development Goals.

Listening "Tek Weh Yuhself" by Mr. Vegas because sometimes you just need some throwback dancehall music in your life.

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Over the summer I decided to play with knives. I bought an X-Acto knife and carried my cardstock. I didn't think I'd have enough time to do beads or crochet. Plus, paper-cutting is a lot simpler. I just need the knife + paper as opposed to yarn + crochet hooks or beads + needles + thread. I liked the freedom of taking my paper and knife out of my pencil case and working at a design whenever we had breaks or whenever I thought the instructor wouldn't be offended. In a lot of cases, the motion and need for precision helped me focus more in lectures - even though it looked like I wasn't paying attention. (It's pretty hard to fall asleep when you have a sharp object in hand.) I didn't do much but I enjoyed what I created. I guess I should add paper-cutting to my inventory of craft skills.

Dimensions: 4 inches x 4 inches

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If I knew, I promise I would tell you.

I want this to be the post on DDCSP - the one that gives all the feels and provides me with complete closure until next year. That's probably putting too much pressure on one little post huh? I'm still going to try though. At this point, it's less about remembering every detail and more about remembering moments. Maybe it's more about touching the memories as they pass through my open fingers and not clutching on to all of them, hoping nothing slips through. If I'm holding those memories so tightly, what space will I have for new ones?

A blurry photo of a photo of Squad minus one
Lying on the grass. Sharing a blanket. Having a friend point out the Milky Way. Seeing a shooting star.

"How will I know if it's a shooting star or just a really fast plane?"
"Trust me Keren. You'll know."

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Hello there. Happy Sunday if it's still Sunday wherever you are. I am officially done with DDCSP and I'm still processing that. But I'm home and I'm very thankful for that. Here is my fifth Sunday Currently. Read it if you'd like. If not, it's all good.

All the emails I've been putting off.

Writing Reflections on DDCSP. 

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The cohort stayed in Seattle for the first part of Week 6 and then we went out to Eastern Washington. Moses Coulee was our destination - a place that was like a desert but wasn't quite a desert. Okay fine. It wasn't a desert but it was very dry. We drove by stretches of dry grass and low shrubs. We also drove past agricultural lands which provided a visually appealing contrast to the un-irrigated vegetation. The theme for this week was "Food and Islands of Habitat". We spent the first half looking at urban and community gardens around Seattle and talking about food systems. (I want to spend more time learning about where my food comes from and where it goes.) During our time at Moses Coulee, we visited a large organic farm and then learned about the shrub landscape and conservation issues related to fire, water dynamics and invasive species.

I'll start with Moses Coulee because I encountered a rattlesnake and I think that was one of my favourite parts of the week. A group of us went on a hike to a cliff facing the house we stayed in. We were trying to beat the sunset and we succeeded. I could try to describe the view - how the (almost full) moon looked, and the colours the sun made across the sky - but it was one of those moments that words and pictures could never do justice. I'll never remember exactly what I saw but that makes it even more valuable.

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Oh hey there. Look at that - it's August. I haven't written for a while. I missed last week's Sunday Currently and I haven't written about Week 5 yet. I think I'll end up compiling Weeks 5 and 6 into one post for my sanity.

The photo is from the latter half of last week. We were stationed in Eastern Washington in an almost desert. (Not the scientific term but it's late.) I'm keeping this post short because we're traveling tomorrow and I have reading to finish up tonight.

Reading: Climate Science as Culture War by Andrew Hoffman.

Writing: This blog post.

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Week Four. Halfway through this summer in Seattle and I've learned that not all salt water is created equal. It's funny seeing my friends for more northern latitudes loving the water but those closer to the equator shivering in their shorts.  Here's something else to add to my list of when not to write a blog post: When you're hungry. But on to what the post is about. The theme for this week was Rivers of Life. Our base was the Olympic Peninsula. We spent a few days in the Quinault Indian Nation and then moved to the Olympic Natural Resources Center in Forks. [Insert joke about vampires/werewolves here.] Two of the major goals were to see how the Quinault people's resources are managed and to look at a river restoration project after the removal of two dams.

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Yes. Those are actual bear marks. Photo credit to Alicia. [= 

I'm in a small study room with three other friends trying to focus on a story that will be my final presentation. If you couldn't tell, I'm not doing the best at focusing right now. 

We're back in the Seattle and back at home base. Last week we were on the Olympic Peninsula. The first few days were at the Quinalt Indian Nation. We saw some of their natural resources and learned about their history. Then we went to Forks and saw no vampires or werewolves. We learned things about forestry, fisheries, and dam removals. 

Now I'm going to stop talking because I'm making tea in about ten minutes and I could really do with some gingermint.

Reading: Some of my old posts/writings for ideas.

Writing: The first draft of my "Conservation Story". 

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It's funny how the more time passes between me and an event, is the less I remember. Actually, it's not funny at all. Classic Keren exaggerating. That's how life works. That's where my field notes come in handy. Week 3 was a busy one. We left Seattle bright and early at 8:30 am (give or take) and went on a grand tour around Central(ish) Washington. The details are foggy but first we went East and stopped at a site in Skykomish then North to the North Cascades Institute in Rockport. At the end of the week we went West to a campsite in Mount Vernon and South (partially by ferry) to another campsite in Shelton. According to Google Maps, that's a nine an a half hour trip by car.

The official theme for the week was "Shifting Baselines". We met people who are actively working with the environment. This included park rangers, beaver specialists, grad students in Environmental Education and organic farmers. We talked more about ecological terms like succession, restoration, resilience or keystone species and we could see some of them play out in the sites we visited. Camping was a fun way to end the week because it was my first time actually camping and using a sleeping bag. I like doing these outdoorsy things but I'm also learning my tolerance level for them. The camping wasn't too intense - there were bathrooms on both properties. Despite those amenities, I was definitely happy when we travelled to a site with mattresses, cleaner bathrooms, and less insects.

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Disclaimer: I'm writing from the backseat of our van. I realize that it's not Sunday but if you keep reading, you'll see why and you'll forgive me. I plan on fixing the formatting once I get on my computer. With that out of the way, leggo.
always forget the wonders of technology. We've been on the road for Week 3 in areas with limited cell and wireless connection. I'm not complaining - it's nice not having your phone with you to check your messages or your computer with you to scroll through a news feed. With all the camping and moving, I wasn't sure if I'd get to do my second Sunday Currently. I got into the sleeping bag and resigned to do it next week when I realized that my phone had 3G! It made me happy. Until I realized that I had two bars. Which brings me to where I am now. Sitting up in my sleeping bag, writing my second Sunday Currently on my phone's Notes. 

I mentioned that we've been camping and hiking and we'll be on the road until this weekend. The official theme for last week was Shifting Baselines. We stayed in the North Cascades. We hiked, learned about beavers, canoed, studied more concepts, and then some. We finished the week by car-camping in another national park which was exciting for me since it was my first time. 

On to the Sunday Currently:

Reading: Nothing. The last thing I read was a Pizza Hut menu. lol

Writing: In my journal about the last few days.

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I'm going to leave this program as a semi-hippie. I'm surrounded by vegans and vegetarians and and rock climbers and activists and it's great. For Week 2, we focused on urban conservation and environmental justice. We were in the classroom for some of the time - doing readings, discussions, and making presentations. We were able to spend more time outside of the classroom - on campus and in other areas of Seattle. The trips included natural reserves, governmental and non-governmental environmental agencies, and the Longhouse for the Duwamish tribe. We ended the week with a debate about whether race, class or gender was the primary driver for environmental injustice.

I liked that this week got us outside so much while we were still in Seattle. It got me to appreciate one of the main readings for this week The Trouble with Wilderness or Getting Back to the Wrong Nature by William Cronon. He talked about how the definition of "wilderness" has changed and showed that most Americans tend to think that nature is where humans are not. He ended by saying we should appreciate nature in our backyards because a tree in a garden is just as valuable as a tree in a forest. He says, "Our challenge is to stop thinking of such things according to a set of bipolar moral scales in which the human and the nonhuman, the unnatural and the natural, the fallen and the unfallen, serve as our conceptual map for understanding and valuing the world" (Cronon, 19).

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Taken at the prairie
I mentioned before that I'll be trying new things. Even before I knew there was a blog component to DDCSP I wanted to spend more time on my blog. One idea I found is called The Sunday Currently from the blog, Sidda Thornton. It's a summary of the week and then sound bites of what I'm doing. I'm torn between whether it's vain or not but I'm going to go through with it. I've been putting my thoughts on this space since 2012 so it may be too late to worry about being conceited or not. (If you couldn't tell, I've had semi-battles with myself about whether or not it makes sense to use this blog but at this point I don't even care because I like it so I should just chill and do what I want with it.)With that out of the way, we looked at social justice this week. We had readings, discussions, presentations and field trips. I learned terms I've never heard of before like intersectionality and I realized that inequity will still be there even if I close my eyes and cover my ears. We visited a prairie, environmental organizations, and the Longhouse for the Duwamish - one of the First Peoples of this area. I also had my first American 4th of July.

That was a brute summary. For now, here's The Sunday Currently Volume 1. (It sounds so much fancier when I say "volume".)

Reading: Is Everyone Really Equal?: An Introduction to Key Concepts in Social Justice Education by Özlem Sensoy and Robin DiAngelo. This is part of our required reading. The chapters for tomorrow talked about Critical Thinking and Critical Theory and Prejudice and Discrimination.

Writing: My first ever Sunday Currently.

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Hello friends,

Exciting things are happening and I finally have time to write about them. I started a summer program that's centered around conservation and the environment. For the next few weeks I will be based in Seattle, Washington with a group of cool people from different parts of the US. It's called the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program (DDCSP) and it aims to show us the intricacies of conservation issues and promote diversity and inclusion in dealing with these issues.

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After my post on the index card paintings, a friend at school came up to me and said, "Keren, I want you to make me something". My mind went multiple places at once. "Make what?" "Using what?" "What should it say?". I asked her what she wanted me to make and she said, "Anything". You'd think that would have made it easier, and it did in some ways. I eventually settled on making something with her name and incorporating a Bible verse because we became friends through our Christian Fellowship. The name for these is still a work in progress but I've settled with "Not Quite Coasters". They're not quite coasters because they really shouldn't get wet.

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The title may be a bit dramatic but I am definitely happy that I have my beads near me again. Once I got home and familiarized myself with the mess that is my room (there were more than a few semi-frantic moments of me saying things like, “Mommy! Where are my needles??”). But things sorted themselves out and I sat down with some of my beads. I’ve worked on two bracelets so far.

1. Colourful Spiral Rope

I like spiral rope because it’s relatively simple and very repetitive. Once you choose the colours you’re using, you just add a core bead, add the outer beads, and then go up through four core beads. This sounds like gibberish – I know –but trust me, it’s less glamorous than it sounds. You can look at the week that I focused on spiral rope during my directed study. I chose to do a spiral rope bracelet because I wanted something that would finish relatively and give me a confidence boost that I still knew what to do with my beads.

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I'm guilty of taking my home for granted. Whenever I mention that Jamaica is my home, people conjure up images of pristine beaches, warm sunshine and tropical forests. We do have these but when they're always there it's easy to forget. You get caught up in the grind of every day or you want to go but you don't have the time to. I'm trying to remedy this so last week I visited Galina Lighthouse in St. Mary on Labour Day.

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I spent some time in New York last week before heading home. I usually go between my aunts' houses or go shopping downtown but this time I wanted to do something "touristy". I contacted a friend from school to see if she had time to meet up. She did and she suggested that we go to Chelsea Market and then walk to the High Line. She read my mind! I had heard about Chelsea Market and knew it was a place people recommended that others visit in New York, and I knew about the High Line from some discussions about green spaces in cities in my Urban Studies class. I'm glad she suggested it because I probably wouldn't have gone on my own.

Here's my trip to:

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It's summer which means I finished my first year of university. There should be fanfare. I'll rephrase. I'm done with my first year! This might be the time for me to recap the year but what should I say? I met good people, ate food, did work, wasted more time than I'd like to admit, and I can happily say that it was well done. I know that I couldn't have done it on my own. To sum it up, I give thanks to God for all that happened this past year.

But it is getting dangerously close to me writing an acceptance speech. Yes - it's summer so I (technically) have nothing scheduled for three months. However - classic me - the second day of summer I was concerned (I'm trying not use "worry") that I will waste it away. My sister told me to calm down. She said that's the point of summer. She's right isn't she? I've decided to let things happen as they happen. I usually write a list of things I'd like to do - and I'll still do that this year - but I won't freak out if I don't get to everything on the list.

I'm not sure how often I'll post so I won't make promises. I do think my posts will have a bit more variety than usual. Some topics I may try: places I've visited, books I'm reading and cooking.

The song is "We like to Party! (The Vengabus)" by Vengaboys. That's what I have for now. I should really get to unpacking my things.

Thanks for reading,

In my last post, I mentioned that I went to a forum on black hair. The event - "Natural, Perm, Weave, Braids: A Dialogue about Black Hair in a White Space" - was put on by two groups at my school and there were two parts to the event. The first was a photo call (they sent out a message inviting people to take their photos) and the second was a forum with guest speaker Lurie Daniel Favors of Afro State of Mind. I had a field trip that day but I wanted to go to the event. I decided to go on a later field trip and I'm glad that I did. The event was just about hair but it wasn't just about hair. It may seem like I'm being dramatic but it made me start thinking how fascinating it is that you can analyze aspects of society by looking at black hair.

Here's a (slightly blurry) picture of Lurie.

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It's Easter Sunday or Resurrection Sunday. For me, Easter has always been the time we celebrate Jesus being raised from the dead. We don't really do the Easter bunny or eggs or all of that at home. Another thing - Thanks to everyone who came up to me or commented and said nice things about my last post. I really appreciate it. [=

I'm still continuing with things I did over Christmas break. Last week, I talked about painting. Now on to the other things I did with paper.


I played around with papercutting because of some work I saw from people in my art class last semester. I made a card out of a 6.5 x 4.5 inch piece of cardstock. Papercutting is time consuming and I prayed all the while that I wouldn't make a bad cut and have to start again (or do a poor job of covering the tear).

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I am Keren (sometimes I need to remind myself) and I like to make things. I'm in my second semester of school and work is work and classes are work as well. I actually feel that I have more work this semester than last which has taken, is taking, and will continue to take getting used to. It's okay though. One thing that isn't okay is that I have my lovely box of "creative things" and the only time I've touched it is to move it every time I need something from the box beneath it.

This post is about my mini-experiments with paper and watercolours over Christmas break. I painted on paper and the backs of index cards, cut out a design on cardstock, and played around with Adobe Illustrator. I'll focus on the painting this week and talk about the paper-cutting and Illustrator things next week.

I had some leftover watercolours from high school. The index cards I used are 6 x 4 inches. I painted three things but I can't find the third. It was of my teddies on the sofa at home. Ah well. I'll probably find them when I pack up at the end of the semester. Here are the other two:

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I want to try something new with this blog. Hi there. I'm back because I'm on a break now and I have time to breathe. I want to write about things other than my creations. I like blogging - it helps me clear my thoughts a bit but I don't always have time to work on new projects. What that means, is that depending on how this goes, I may create blog posts about different topics and not just my latest crochet/jewellery/craft piece.

The topic is Lent.

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I left my beads at home for this first semester because of limited time and the first year of university and small dorm rooms. I'm probably going to leave them at home again - you'll see more crochet things in the coming months. But I was happy to be home and happy to have my beads again. I decided to make rings. My sister's friend came over and liked one of my brick stitch rings from a while back and that spurred me to try new and old things with rings. I don't have much to say about each but I do have pictures!

1. Circular brick stitch

I want to make earrings and have a set using the pattern.


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Last semester I did an art class.

I did art but this was different than last year. The class was very open-ended. We would get a prompt, have a week to work on it, and spend two class periods doing critiques once they were complete.

Lessons Learned

1. Don't watch no face
Envy, jealousy, thinking other people are better than you aren't beneficial or pleasant or uplifting. It's just no fun. Since we were allowed to choose our media for most of our projects, few projects were alike. There were paintings, stencil cut-outs, computer-generated drawings, sculptures, the works. I realized that I could sit down and wish my things looked like other people's but I'd probably just go mad. So I made a conscious decision not to.

2. Make the most of what I have
Most of my pieces used pencil crayons because I had pencil crayons. I'm not sure how much art I'm going to do moving forward and I didn't want to buy sets of paint that I'd only use once.

3. Relax and have fun with it
I stopped worrying about whether my ideas were deep or intellectual. I made Box!  - a box filled with crochet chains that you had to stick your hand in and trust that I wasn't crazy - because I like soft things and I wanted people to be surprised and excited. I made the map of my Esterana because I wanted people to check for themselves whether there is an island southeast of Jamaica.

Here's some of what I did.

Home is where

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