I have a playlist called "Where I Pull a Whitney Houston" because there are moments when I need to hold a cylindrical shaped object and perform five or six encores if that's what the imaginary crowd really wants. That statement has no significance outside of me singing out loud before I started typing and I needed some way to start this post.

(The song was "Bottom of the River" by Delta Rae.)

I'm thankful for last week. I was able to visit people and dogs who are very dear to my heart, watch an absurd amount of movies (everyone should see Moana), crochet! for the first time in a while, and remind myself that there is more to life than papers and readings.

With that said,

Reading Words about women and reggae music for a presentation.

Writing Said presentation.

Listening "D.D" by The Weeknd.

Hoping That the sound doesn't travel into the hallway because I'm going to keep singing until my roommates return.

Needing To fold my laundry and change my sheets.

Feeling Like I should quit school and start my solo singing career.

Friends! I hope your weeks went well. Or that they went. Sometimes that's all we can ask for really. Look at that - we're almost done with November. What a ting.

Thanks for reading,
Keren



Hi friends,

I asked one of my roommates whether I was neater during our first year and gradually became messier. She responded with incredulous laughter. I guess it's time to accept that I live in partial filth and that is okay.

It's been a semester - not a semester since I last wrote but that a lot has happened this semester. I'm back because I missed writing and there's less pressure on my system because we have a short break coming up this week. Then back to classes, then finals, then a year and a half before I am thrown out of the world of academia that I've known for the majority of my life and into the cold, dark, world of ~adulthood~.

Best enjoy my break then huh??

Drama aside, here's the Sunday Currently.

Reading The West Indies: Patterns of development, Culture and Environmental Change since 1492 by David Watts for a paper.

Writing Notes/quotes from the book.

Listening "My Whole Life Changed" by Lecrae

Hoping That there'll be a decent number of sunny days for the rest of the semester.

Needing To vacuum. My hair is starting to form colonies on the floor.

Feeling Like I'm in a good place but also very ready for this break.

Wherever you are I hope you're doing well and that you have people that understand your sense of humor and that you can laugh with.

Thanks for reading,
Keren



Hi everyone,

It feels strange doing a Sunday Currently while the sun is still out. This  one is less of an update of what I'm doing and more of blatant self-promotion. I added a link in the menu bar to my shop at Folkmade - my school's online marketplace for student artists. My medallion earrings, choker/bracelet, a ring, and wire crochet bracelets are on sale (there's a post about these here). Friends! Look at it! Tell your friends about it! kthxbye. But for real. I put a lot of effort into my pieces and it warms my heart when people compliment me about my work and it would warm my heart even further if the word spread (and if I made actual money off of what I make).

Now on to the list.

Reading Environmental Ethics by Robin Attfield for my class on environmental justice. It's a dense reading and I wish I had more time to go over it. It's one of those where I reread paragraphs without realizing that I read them already. It covers concepts related to environmental studies that I'd like to get a better grasp of.

Writing A paper for my class on the Caribbean.

Listening "Spirit Break Out" sung by Kim Walker-Smith

Hoping I get a good chunk of work done between today and tomorrow.

Needing To take a nap.

Feeling Like there's a lot to do but that things will get done.

Last time, I made a PSA about Hurricane Matthew. The storm shifted and Jamaica didn't get as much damage but it hit Haiti and other places pretty hard. I just wanted to acknowledge that.

Thanks for reading,
Keren


Some of the things I haven't put up yet

Hi friends,

I'm trying to get back in a groove with the blog so the least I can do is write up a Sunday Currently. Can you believe it's October? It's unfortunate if you can't because there's not much you can do about it. But yes, it's a month into the semester and I'm still not 100% moved in. I had a burst of energy last night/this morning and put up some of my artwork/posters/family photos.

Here's a Public Service Announcement before I go into my list: Hurricane Matthew has moved from being a Category 5 to Category 4 storm and the eye should pass between Jamaica and Haiti but it's still a hurricane and with that comes a lot of rain and wind. We likkle but we talawah in Jamaica but please keep in mind and/or send up prayers for all the islands and people who will be affected by the hurricane.

With that said:

Reading I'm about to start Crazy Love by Francis Chan. My plan is to read through it like a devotional.

Writing An email to a professor about ideas I have for an essay.

Listening To my Mommy talking about her plans for tomorrow.

Hoping Matthew behaves itself. 

Needing A hammer and nails to put some last few pieces up.

Feeling Good because of some of the conversations I had over the course of this weekend.

That's all I have for now. Time to head to bed and get ready for this week. I hope your weekends were restful/productive/good/whatever they needed to be.

Thanks for reading,
Keren

P.S. Check the time stamp - minutes to spare!



Hi friends,

Note: “tl;dr” stands for “too long; didn’t read”. All these acronyms – don’t worry. I’m here to help you stay down with the times and keep up with the lingo.
 Two weeks ago, my safety pin bracelet popped. I figured it unlikely that a professor would hold up a lecture hall to let me gather up my beads so I took a photo of the moment (for the archives) and stuffed the bracelet in a side pocket of my bag. 

A little over two weeks ago, my roommate sat on the floor sewing/taping/willing the straps of her chappals to stay together. When they didn't listen in the dining hall she borrowed a scoongie and wrapped it around her foot.

A few days after, my other roommate came back from a retreat and told us how her slippers popped as well but it was all good because she just tied a scrunchie and kept on trodding.

Yesterday, I walked around with jeans that have a decent-sized hole in the crotch. I have a tab open where I typed "how to patch a hole in jeans crotch". (I can feel my mommy cringing as I write this.)
-

How do you know when to patch/tie/keep something up versus when to let it go?

I’ve been feeling busy since the semester started and I know that comes with the territory. It’s the beginning of the year and things haven't fallen into a rhythm yet. At first glance, I'm excited about the things on my plate. Most of my class material is engaging, my work is relevant to what I’m studying, my role in my Christian fellowship is prompting me to get deeper in my faith. They are all things I want to do but I'm sure if I should be doing all of them right now. 
-

When my jeans ripped, my roommates told me to patch it up and offered me sewing kits.

When my other roommate told us that her slippers popped, we laughed and were well proud of ourselves because the hair tie idea actually worked.

While my roommate sewed the straps to her chappals, my other roommate and I laughed, offered suggestions, and took photos (for the archives).

I think it’s time to let my safety pin bracelet go. It just means I’ll be making a new one eventually. [=
-

I’m not always sure when to keep something up or when to let it go. But I’ve realized that I can talk to friends, family, teachers, mentors, and God about the hole I might need to patch or the bracelet I might need to mend. Which is a pretty nice deal now that I think about it.

tl;dr My safety pin bracelet broke and it had me thinking about how you know for sure when to let things go or when to tie them back together.
-

The song is "It Is Well" by Kristene DiMarco and Bethel Music . Our pastor preached about the original hymn in church last week.


 I hope you’re doing well wherever you are. And real talk - Thank you for reading.

Bless,
Keren



Hi all,

I'm here to say that Babylon has not taken me. School is in full swing and these professors not playing games. I'd like to say that I'm back into the rhythm and everything is smooth but I won't lie to you because you've taken the time to read my words. Things could be smoother - I wouldn't mind less readings and more sleep - but it's so life go. If thinking about school isn't enough, there are so many terrible things going on in the world that more often that not I put them at the back of my mind to try and make things easier for me. I hate to say it, but it seems like it's so life go in those respects as well.

But! I'm here blogging because I've been inspired (and low-key shamed) by my friends who are doing amazing things like studying abroad or being commissioned to write a piece for one of her favourite blogs. Let's move on to the Sunday Currently then.

Reading Graphic Language: Herbert Bayer's Environmental Design by Peder Anker. It's an article for an assignment in my seminar. We're supposed to search the Environmental History journal and explore a topic that interests us. I typed "art" and this article is one that showed up. It's also making me want to take an art history class.

Writing A paper for that same class based on the articles.

Listening "Forever" by Brian Johnson of Bethel Music.

Thinking I'll need to wake up and wash my hair before class.

Wishing I did laundry today.

Needing To get back to reading soon. And clear my bed. Jeez. How do things pile up so quickly?

Feeling Good to be writing here again.

I'm going to finish the article and hopefully start writing before midnight. We'll see how it goes.

I hope you're okay wherever you are.

Thanks for reading,
Keren


A mural on Fleet Street in Downtown Kingston

Hi everyone,

There were five emails about taking the post-DDCSP survey. Marking them as "Unread", I told myself I would get to it once I finished "processing". A beautifully vague way to grant myself a few more days of pretending that the experience wasn't over, pretending that the past two summers in Seattle did not impact me as much as they had, pretending that I wouldn't miss the community I found. But the deadline was getting closer and the squad kept posting pictures and I realized that I had to write something.

If there's one phrase I can attribute to my father, it would be, "Haffi give thanks". ("There's food at home" would be a close second because of how often I asked for food on the road.) The past three months have been different types of busy. Busy with packing up my second year of university. Busy with taking on new positions and responsibilities. Busy with reconnecting with friends and family who mean more to me than I realize. Busy with the never-ending process of understanding my likes and dislikes and hopes and dreams.

Just the easy things really.

Now that school has started [cue maniacal laughter], I want to pause and think about the things that happened. Initially, I felt the need to recount the things that happened and come up with a list of lessons I learned. I kept pushing that idea away. It didn't seem genuine because I felt as if I had to make each of my experiences have a one-line nugget of wisdom like an Aesop Fable. However, what did jive with me was stopping to think about moments that I am thankful for.

So here we go.

Haffi give thanks:

for friends who will help move boxes and bags that are half their body weight

for opportunities to learn from professionals who are doing dope, life-changing things in different countries

for the ability to play in the dirt, dig (but not too deep) through the garbage, and play with sidewalk chalk

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Hi friends,

I mentioned on Sunday that I completed probably the most physically challenging activity in my life. A friend (I’ll refer to him as Yung Cedar) and I climbed 4500 feet, walked 14 miles and spent 9 hours in the Colonel Bob Wilderness in the Olympic National Forest. I still beam when I think about it.

I first heard about the trail through one of the (awesome) women I met during my internship. She came back to the office one afternoon excited about a trail she hiked (and tried to see if she beat our supervisor’s time). That made an impact on me because i) she just up and went on a seven hour hike in the middle of the day and ii) she was (is) a woman. That put Colonel Bob on my radar but I didn’t think too deeply about it.

Last week, the guys and I were feeling restless in the office and we weren’t being productive. We decided that the sun was telling us to go outside and try Colonel Bob. This was around midday and we had to get back in time for dinner. We decided to do the trail that would only be an eight mile round trip.

We got to the Colonel Bob trailhead feeling real hype. After dousing ourselves in bug spray, we gave ourselves four hours to make it there and back.  Two hours in – backs soaked with sweat, cursing at the incline, full from picking berries and ready to see some amazing views – we ran into a concerned older man who asked us if we planned to get to the summit before dark. We were on the seven mile trail. It’s a testament to our collective stubbornness because we would have kept going for a while longer if not for him. We turned back and scrambled down the hill to get back in time for dinner.

Completing the trail stayed on my mind. I wasn’t sure if the others wanted to go back so I was determined that I would do it on my own. I had something to prove – mostly to myself. I wanted to prove that even though I’m not completely outdoorsy, I am strong. I also wanted some time by myself so that I could process my thoughts. I needed to hike Colonel Bob. After doing research and seeking advice from friends, I was determined to slay.

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Hi friends,

I'm writing this because I'm running on endorphins and chocolate milk. I JUST HIKED A MOUNTAIN. 4492 feet. 14 miles. 9 hours. I can't believe we did it and it was probably the most physically intense thing I did. So bear with me as I muddle through this post like I muddled through the trail. (Example of my level of frass-ness: I spent a good thirty seconds trying to fit the USB cord to hook up my phone into the power charging slot.)

Reading All About Love by bell hooks. A friend recommended it and I'm enjoying it so far. It's making me rethink things.

Writing I don't know if you could tell but I'm in no place to write anything coherent right now.

Listening "Blessings" by Chance the Rapper

Thinking My body is going to screw me over tomorrow.

Wishing I didn't have to use stairs (Hard knock life I live. I know right?)

Hoping I don't have to move much at work tomorrow.

Smelling Chocolate milk and chips

Needing Sleep

Feeling Exhilarated. =D

I'm going to come off this device now and get some sleep soon. I'll write about the hike later this week.
'



How does becoming more mature even work? At the end of a school year, I expect to be a completely different person - older, wiser, and that much closer to successfully executing a backflip - but it never feels like that has happened. Then, there are times when I calm down and look at differences in how I navigate certain situations. That's when I see change most clearly.

DDCSP@UW is a two-year program and the schedule for the Year 1 scholars was roughly the same as ours last year. This means that early last week, Taholah's population increased by about thirty individuals and six UW vehicles. The Year 1s visited the reservation just like my group did last year. It was fun going around with them and touring the res again. My favourite moment may have been visiting the canoe stand in an old-growth forest. In my post on Quinault last year, I wrote about feeling discomfort in the forest but also feeling incredibly blessed. I realized this year that I'm a lot more comfortable in the bush. I'd like to extend that to also being more comfortable being away from home, and more comfortable voicing my thoughts, more comfortable pursuing my interests but I might just stick to being more comfortable in the bush. 

The past couple of weeks have been good. Filled with karaoke in the car, fanning away flies, nearly twisting an ankle, d o o d l i n g, driving an ATV on a beach, wondering if I speak too much, l a u g h i n g, involuntary squeaking, protesting an oil rig, feeling conflicted about whether I should be in the States or at home, hiking to the furthest point on the lower forty-eight, c a m p i n g, waking up with a slightly scratchy throat, self-induced awkward moments, practicing riding a bicycle, being concerned about budgeting, running on treadmills, e a t i n g, getting way too invested in The Bachelorette, wondering if I speak too little, playing games with a psychedelic football, good conversations, jumping into a lake at midnight, being confused, c o o k i n g, making new friends, learning to take those low-key pics, eating junk food, (regretting eat that junk food), joking around with old friends, feeling unsure about my project idea, visiting a new city, accepting that I truly love books, and doing many mini crossword puzzles.

There are about two and a half weeks left and I know the feels are going to hit hard this year. I'm going to have to sit alone in my room when I get home and process all that happened. (My parents might be a bit concerned but I'll be sure to emerge for nourishment.) But I won't think about that yet because I'm not there yet. I leave you with photos and captions that take a lot more time to come up with than you might guess.

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Hi everyone,

I'm starting back The Sunday Currently because I have more free time and they helped me process some of my thoughts.

A lot has happened in the past few weeks. From Orlando to Baghdad to South Sudan to Baton Rouge to Dallas to Taiwan to Saint Paul to Brown's Town. People are hurting and rightly so. There's a lot of trouble in the world. But there's also a lot of good. I've been going back and forth between feeling overwhelmed and confused at how many terrible things happen (and that's not even counting the stories that aren't published/publicized in the media) and then feeling overwhelmed and comforted by the good things people do. There was a particular moment when I was reading the news and trying to process the violence against black people in the US  and then went straight to eating breakfast and joking with my team and our supervisor because he invited us to his house as a way to get to know us better. I'm trying to remember how complicated life is - even when it seems like the world is on fire, I still have many blessings that I can count.

Now for the Sunday Currently.

Reading Black Faces, White Spaces by Carolyn Finney. Finney looks at why African-Americans are underrepresented in the outdoors, whether it be in recreation or environmentalism. The book was on my list but I'm reading it now because we actually get the chance to work with her next week. I borrowed the copy I'm reading but I might buy my own copy once I'm finished with it.

Writing Ideas for my project with the Quinault Department of Natural Resources. I'm still not 100% sure of what I want. I know I want to work with plants, think about ways of communicating science, and to draw. One of my teammates and I may work on a project together but we need to brainstorm first.

Listening "Sudden Flight" by Protoje featuring Jesse Royal and Sevana. And to fireworks. They really like fireworks on the res. I used to think fireworks weren't all that bad. I think it's when I don't have warning that they're going off.

Thinking About what I should do for dinner.

Smelling Remnants of campfire smoke in my hair.

Wearing Sweats

Needing To tidy up my things and do some laundry.

Feeling Hungry

That's what I have for now. I hope you're taking care of yourself wherever you are.

Thanks for reading,
Keren


Hi everyone,


It's summer (and has been for a while). Unlike last year, I had less time to pause once the school year ended. I went straight into helping out with a conference at school for a few weeks. I won't go into details but I did get the chance to meet intelligent and dedicated people from around the world who reminded me of two different but related things: 1) that (as much as media tries to make it seem), life is not centered around the United States/Western Europe and 2) that having English as my first language is a privilege. These are two things I know from growing up in the Caribbean but I forget them sometimes.

What am I up to now? I'm back in Seattle for the second part of the program I did last year - the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at the University of Washington (DDCSP@UW). Rather than travel around the state like we did for Year 1, the returning students are working on specific projects in Washington. The projects range from interviewing millennials in Seattle to gathering data on post-fire recruitment in central Washington. My group is on the Olympic Peninsula and we're working with the Quinault Indian Nation's Department of Natural Resources (QDNR). I wrote about our time there last year in this post but this time, I get to spend five weeks there. We just finished up our first week and it was better than I hoped it would be.

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Hi friends,

It's been a while. Oh snap. It's been over a month. Well would you look at them apples. But is so life go more times.

The semester ended. Another school year done. I'm at the point where everything people say about university flying by is very vivid. I'm a bit uncomfortable with confronting that I technically have less ahead of me than I do behind me (at least for my college career). But it's all good no? We have to learn and grow and some other motivational/inspirational line about change.

This post is about the final art project for my oil painting class. The piece is untitled for now. Each canvas is 14" x 14".

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Hi friends,

I'm finally selling my wares. My goods? My products? (Wow. It's very easy for that to sound sinister huh?)


I'm selling some of my jewellery on the Internet. A group of students at school started a website where they promote student artists and give them the chance to sell their work. It's called Folkmade and you should head there and see some of the amazing work people do.

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Hello there,

In my last post, I mentioned that this project was less relaxing because I was overthinking it. The topic was "Appropriation/Collage" and I took a pretty winding road before ending up with my final piece (30" x 24").


This piece made me challenge my ideas about why I make things and who I am making them for. My first response to the prompt was to paint something that commented on cultural appropriation. But I didn't have anything specific to say. I didn't want to choose an issue just for the sake of painting about a topic that I think I should care about. I started to wonder wether every piece I make has to be a deep and insightful piece or whether it's okay if I just want to paint pretty (or what I consider pretty) colours on the canvas.

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Hi everyone,

Five Shapes Five Colours was the name of our last assignment. It was my first time working on canvas. There's more work that goes on before you even get to think about painting. Everyone in the class got to build a stretcher from scratch. I cut the wood with the power saw, made sure the corners were at 45 degree angles, used wood glue and a nail gun to secure the pieces together, stretched the canvas over the stretcher once it was dry, stapled it in place, gessoed and sanded the surface three times and then I realized I need ideas of what to paint.

Here's the finished piece in all it's 4' x 4' glory. The title is "Gardenrange".


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Hi friends!

I'm grinning as I type this. It has been a while. But I'm back. (How many of you started playing "Formation" in the music player in your mind? That or good old Eminem.)

I decided to take another art course this semester. It's a painting class and we're working with oil paints. I won't lie, I feel pretty legit because there is a lot more involved with working with oil paints than using something like charcoal or watercolour paints. I'm going to spend a lot of time in the studio this year since 4' x 4' canvases aren't that portable. (I know right? I have a little spot in the studio.)


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I started my blog in January 2012. That's four whole years ago. My first post was a bit off-the-cuff and not very inspired but it makes me laugh so it's all good.

I think a lot about social media and how it affects me. Without going too deep into my thoughts on Facebook or Twitter or the rest, I think about how my blog fits in with all that. If you talk to anyone who's around me when I write a new post or take pictures to update my portfolio, I stop and ask myself what the point is. I've come close to deleting my blog because I tell myself that it's me being "nuff" or "showing off" or being vain.

Over the last couple of months, I've realized a few things.

I concern myself too much with other people's opinions and I try to think for other people. But that's tiring and it's silly. It's hard enough living my own life, much less worrying about other people. I've also reminded myself of why I started this blog in the first place. I started it as a place to document and show my work. And yes, the fact that it's public means that I welcome other people reading it and writing comments but more in the sense of starting a dialogue with other people who are interested in what I do. (This blog is also a place where my parents can see what I do with all the beads I ask them to buy for me.)

My blog has changed since I started it four years ago. I taught myself crochet. I realized that I like more traditional forms of art. I incorporated my summer program and the thoughts I had during it. I have a chance to write frequently. I learned (and I'm still learning) the importance of posting and creating regularly. I've also been touched by people who read what I write and enjoy what they read.

I don't plan to stop this blog for now. School will start back soon so I'll see how posting twice a week will go. I may go back to once a week. We shall see.

The song is "Live For Today' by Kelissa and Keznamdi.

Thanks for reading,
Keren



Hi friends,

This is a late one but it's still Sunday where I am! (If I went by that logic, I'd have at least three extra hours of Sunday - that's treading some dangerous water.)

Reading The same 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang

Writing Nothing. It's bedtime.

Listening  "My Whole Life Changed" by Lecrae

Thinking Actually, I'm going to hold off on The Sunday Currently. It's too late for me to do anything worthwhile for anyone to read. Instead, I'll leave you with two of my drawings from this week. I joined in the Creative Bug Draw A Day challenge where there's an item for each day and you draw it in your sketchbook. I did one for "apple" and I'm working on "root vegetables".


I'll write more about this later.

Thanks for reading,
Keren


I haven't written about jewellery I made in a while so this post combines my latest ones. I made half at the end of summer last year and the other half during this break. There are bracelets, earrings, pendants and necklaces. No rings though. (Although I did make a friend a ring for her birthday last week.) A few of these are pieces I did before and decided to revist (and refine) and the others are completely new designs. Let's get hype!

Or not. You can be chill too. That's fine.



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Today in church, the pastor mentioned a verse from Ecclesiastes. (Ecclesiastes is one of the books I've read entirely but on a serious level, it goes from 0 to 100 real quick.) The verse is Ecclesiastes 9:10 and it says, "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom". I've translated it as: You better just do what you can do well because one day you going dead like dog. (A bit harsh?) I like that verse and it speaks to a lot of what I've been thinking about related to my interests and talents. Look at Solomon giving me food for thought. Such a wise yute. 

Reading Blog Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit and to Create Community by Joy Deangdeelert Cho

Writing Not much but I'll probably write in my journal before I sleep.

Listening "Hit the Quan" (I'm not exactly sure whose song this is. I see iHeartMemphis and King Imprint. I'm not sure if those are the same people or if one is the producer or what. It's so difficult to keep up with the young people these days. Okay. It's by iLoveMemphis - I checked the Internet. )

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From page 53 in Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon. Theodore Sturgeon said that 90% of everything is crap. (I explain it better in the post, I promise.)

In my last Sunday Currently, I mentioned that I’d put up some of my art pieces. They’ll mainly be from 2014 (when I realized I could draw) and last semester from my Drawing class.

I decided to take another art class at school after the one I did two semesters ago because I realized that I enjoy drawing. My roommate had to deal with all my complaints and tirades and then see me come back after a critique praising the wonders and joys that art brings. This semester brought home that art and making things are important parts of my life so I'll (try harder to) stop denying it. 

I’m also trying to put more of my work out there. My main focus on this blog has been jewellery, then I included crochet, and I’ve thrown in bits and pieces of art. But this blog is Keren Creates, not just Keren Makes Jewellery and Does Crochet. (Do you dig the vibe that I’m putting down?) I also read Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon and I’m making my way through Blog Inc. by Joy Deangdeelert Cho. They’re keeping my momentum up and giving me a lot of ideas of what to do with the blog.

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Happy New Year everyone!

This will be a short post because I'm still not sure of the direction that I want to take the blog. (You can tell it's bad - I deeven have a picture for today. I guess my words alone will have to suffice.) I'm considering how frequently I want to post, whether I want to do a Sunday Currently every week or make it every other week, how the blog will look during breaks versus during school...lots of deep and meaningful questions I'm pondering over here.

Reading I just (re)started A Concise History of the Caribbean by B. W. Higman.

Writing Messages

Listening Music from a party I wasn't invited to. lol.

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