Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Take that b****esssssssssss

FULL DISCLOSURE: I wrote this post about a week ago and am just getting it posted (isn't that how life works??) We're getting a little into "Katie Philosophy" but sometimes it helps me figure out what I really am trying to say by talking (or in this case writing) it out. Also there is a little profanity in this post so just keep that in mind...

For anyone who didn't talk to me this week, the beginning was like hell. We had a project due Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I got 4 hours of sleep Sunday night finishing my Residential project. Then starting Monday morning I was up for 40 hours straight working on my lighting project due Tuesday afternoon. To put it in perspective a little there were 20 about of 26 of us in the computer lab at 4am Tursday morning still working. The amount of work we had is a whole other topic but the point is by the end we were all feeling a little broken.

We have a secret Facebook group for just our class and at the end of Tuesday one of my friends posted this message for all of us:

They tried to break us this week, but we prevailed, this hell of a week is over, we did it. We are part of the best design school in the nation, if you have made it to this point you should know, you are one of the top 27 students in the nation. Take that b****esssssssssss.

I sometimes joke about quitting Interior Design when I get really tired of a project but I know I never, ever would actually do it. I know 1000% that I am in the right major and I am so lucky to be able to do what I love what I love every single day...and to even have found what I love because so many people don't even have that.

Also I love that it's hard. I don't think I've ever had a time in my life where I've picked the easy academic path. Lord knows I love a challenge and this definitely falls in the challenging category.

This brings me back to my friend's post. It reminded me so much of what I had been telling myself over those two days when I got tired: you are awesome and even though this sucks it's going to be over soon and it will be worth it when you get to do exactly what you want to do.

I think right about now, everyone that knows me can laugh because I'm sure you've heard me say "I'm awesome" at one point or another. The sad part, though, is as I write this and you read it, I sound egotistical but in reality, that's not me at all. The more I think about it, the more I realize there is something wrong with a society where it is socially acceptable to tell people how much you are unhappy with yourself...how fat you are, how others have things so much better...but it's not ok to say I'm great? That I am so happy with who I am? Think about that one.

Don't get me wrong. There is definitely a fine line between confidence and cockiness. And as I've thought about it, I think the difference is the humility to admit that you don't know everything. I will say that freely as well. I don't know everything...not even close. But you know what? Thats a GREAT thing. I love learning new things because that's how you become a better person. I think it's so important to be open enough to accept criticism and make it constructive and to know that there are so many things that people can teach you. Learning new things is one of the best parts of life.

I guess this brings me to my point of this post. (ohh wait this post had a point and wasn't just you rambling??) Each of has unique talents and gifts. No one has the same ones and sometimes it's easy to get caught up in what everybody else has. But just remember that other people are thinking the same thing about you. So instead of wishing away our time maybe we should instead be focusing on what we DO have and developing those talents. And you know what? It is PERFECTLY FINE to say you know what? I really like who I am! I'm pretty great! Just remember...there's always something more you can learn :)
P.S. Just for the record...readers, I love you all...and think you're pretty awesome!
P.P.S. All the pictures are of my interior design family :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Journal Painting Time Lapse Video

Remember how I was saying that we had awesome teachers in Interior Design? Well our teacher last year, Peek, definitely pushed me. Hard. And guess what? I'm a better person for it.

I'm extremely Type-A, control freak, perfectionist, etc etc. Peek pushed me to be fast and sketchy. To ask for help when I really need it but to try to figure things out for myself and just make it work. Apparently being messy is good for your soul :)

The point of all of this is that I kind of like pushing myself out of my comfort zone and trying new things. Especially when it doesn't matter if I "mess up". Insert my journal. It's funny though because this concept was actually an assignment we had during Drawing II freshman year. We were supposed to take an old book and repurpose it. Experiment. The perfectionist that I was had a really hard time letting go without planning out every page to be a masterpiece. Needless to say I didn't do well on the project.

Fast forward three years and I finally get it. Isn't it funny how it just takes time sometimes? They were just giving out free books in Spidle for the last few weeks so I took one. I already had glued a few pages together and primed the pages with gesso before I started. Oh and I also cut a few pages out periodically so it wouldn't get too thick.

I love watching other people's creative processes and thought everyone might enjoy seeing mine. Here's the thing...I finger painted. 1. I hate getting my hands dirty (pushing myself people) and 2. Let me repeat that...I finger painted. aka something a child can do. What does this mean? ANYONE CAN MAKE ART. People don't think they're creative but everyone is!!!

So here are the finished pages:

And here is the process video...enjoy!!


P.S. The only supplies I used were acrylic paints, rubber letter stamps, and an ink pad! The quote is from the song "When I Look to the Sky" by Train!

P.P.S. If you need more journal inspiration/time lapse videos, check out Lil Blue Boo. If I haven't stressed this enough...Ashley is awesome. Also the finger painting idea came from Alisa Burke who is seriously one of my artistic heros. She blows me away.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Three Day Rule

Have I mentioned we have the BEST teachers at Auburn?? Not only are they teaching us about the technical interior design things but I think they do a good job pushing us to be our best and helping us with the lessons along the way. 

This post is actually a copy of a post my teacher Virginia, who is in grad school at Auburn, blogged about back in March (you can read her whole blog here!). The timing was great in that she wrote it right after I had just gotten back from formal (the very same one I painted the cooler for). I had put off a bunch of work, it was the end of the semester, and after such a great weekend, I did NOT want to be back in school. VA had me read her 3 Day Rule post and I really think that it's true. 

So this week when I was in her office crying on Monday for absolutely no reason (did I mention she's AWESOME!?! ;) ), she reminded me of the post again. Today is day 4 of being back in Auburn after having a great weekend home and I finally  feel like I'm getting back into the swing of things. I think it's really important to give yourself time to readjust to your "new normal". So without further ado here is Virginia's original post (because she says it best!):

"I have been on 5 trips in 5 weeks. Meaning I have left Auburn 5 times in 5 weeks. Meaning I have had a heck of a lot of fun but have pretty much escaped reality for 35 days, living in a fairy tale, “just get what needs to be done so we can go out of town….” Unfortunately, that’s not how real life works.
Yesterday, I had to climb off of my “fun mountain” and get back to reality. I’m coming off of a 5 week high of fun and vacations and to be honest, I feel like a druggie crashing. Wait, responsibilities… what are those? Back on the budget. Back to running. Back to teaching. Back to work. Being back to those things aren’t near as hard as the emotional, mental and spiritual instability I’m facing. Mom told me yesterday as I walked out of the house in St. Simons, remember the 3 day rule.
So what is the 3 day rule? It’s a rule my mom and I talk about all the time! Here’s the background: when I get off my normal schedule, when I do things out of the ordinary, especially taking vacations or preparing for a major presentation, my body goes into “survival mode”. I have one focus. That focus is to enjoy myself or in the case of a project, to work really hard. The focus is the people or adventures or task in front of me. Stuff like budgets and laundry and eating healthy and exercise and sleep and anything else that gives my life balance, goes to the back burner, or even completely out the window. Then the vacation is over or the presentation is given. And there is an adjustment period. And the adjustment period can get really messy. I actually started making a list in this blog post of some of the emotional meltdowns or freak outs I have had right after these “survival mode” moments but then I reread the list and had to delete it, y’all would think I’m absolutely crazy. (even though most of you think I’m crazy anyway, I felt like I should not give you solid proof by putting it in print….) Let’s just say that the few days after exiting a survival mode period in my life, I should not be making big decisions, or making changes, or evaluating myself or relationships. Why is it such a big deal? Because my head isn’t clear. I’m “off”. I’m crashing after a high. I have to give myself time to readjust to being in the real world.
So my mom calls it the “3 day rule”. Give yourself 3 days to get back to normal. It’s SO important for me to take those 3 days and focus on getting back to normal. I HAVE to run, I HAVE to do laundry, I HAVE to read my Bible, I HAVE to focus on myself. When I don’t… that 3 days turns into 3 weeks, or however long I keep pushing it back. And in that time…. I’m unbalanced. I do things out of character, I make bad decisions, I don’t treat people the way I want to, my priorities are out of whack, I am not responsible. So if you can only imagine what it has been like for me to be out of town 5 times in 5 weeks. There hasn’t really been any opportunity to follow the 3 day rule.
So today, when I texted someone and they didn’t text me back, I got all sad and offended and started questioning our friendship, and then I got mad at myself for acting “crazy”, etc. etc. etc. And I had to check myself, wait VA, it hasn’t been 3 days. Cut yourself some slack. You’re over exaggerating. Take a deep breath. So now I’m in my office, hiding with the light off, headphones in, focusing on my 3 day rule. Focusing on getting myself back balanced. I’m running tonight and doing laundry when I get home. I’m not going to put anything on my plate that doesn’t have to be done. I’m focusing on getting myself back to normal. Following the 3 day rule, just like my momma said to. (and I’m learning that 99.9% of the time, she is always right…..)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cooler Painting Tutorial

Hey everyone! Happy October! 

One of my friends asked me to give her a guide as to how I painted a cooler back in the spring. Now, if you aren't familiar with cooler painting, here's a quick run down. It seems to be an only Southern college tradition and it's bigger at some schools than others. Basically how it works is that when a fraternity boy invites you to his formal it is proper etiquette for you to paint him a cooler. The cooler is then brought, filled with drinks, to the formal. The cooler is usually hand painted and personalized for the boy. Some might say...that's a lot of work for just a boy (aka my mom) but the concept is that he is paying for pretty much everything so all you have to do is the cooler :)

I don't have any step by step pictures but the pictures are from the cooler I painted for a Sigma Nu at Vanderbilt! (also please excuse the crappy iPhone quality...I took them at 4am before I left and this was also before I had my nice camera!) Also, there seems a be quite a few different ways to paint coolers. Mine might have more steps than most but in my opinion, if I'm putting all this time into painting it, I want it to last. And so far, this one did.

Step 1: Sand

You don't need to sand super, super well but just enough to kind of scuff up the surface so the primer will stick. I used a coarse sand paper then a finer grit after to make sure it was sanded pretty well. Again, this is just me being extra sure but I think this is one of the most important steps because everything is going to peel off or chip if the paint doesn't adhere well to the cooler

Step 1.5: Spackle over logo

On the front of the cooler, there is usually an indented logo of the cooler brand. I didn't really want to paint over this and just leave it so I took spackle (doesn't really matter what kind...you can get any at Home Depot or Walmart!) and with a spackle knife filled in the logo. Lightly sand after.

Step 2: Prime

I used Kilz 2 primer which you can get at Home Depot, Walmart, etc. I love this stuff. It sticks well to most surfaces and you don't actually have to sand shiny surfaces super well for it to work (however, again, see my opinion on step 1 for amount of sanding). I think I did 2 coats because part of my cooler was red.

Step 3: Paint

This is the fun part. Paint whatever designs you want on the sides and top! (See tips at the bottom for painting ideas!) I just used regular acrylic paint and then paint pens for the details.

Step 4: Seal

This may be the most important step of all. A lot of girls and places on the internet say to just use Modge Podge. PLEASE DON'T. Modge Podge is NOT water proof. What I used to seal (and this is also what we used to seal our square project last spring if that tells you how much I trust it) is Minwax Polycrylic. I cannot stress how wonderful this stuff is. You can just get it (again) from Walmart or Home Depot. It comes in a few finishes (gloss, matte, and satin I think) and you just shake it up and paint it on. It looks a little cloudy when it goes on but it dries clear. I think I did 3 coats. Seriously ya'll...please trust me on this. Seal with Polycrylic!! 

And that's it :)


1. If you're looking for inpiration, check out Pinterest or Cooler Connection on Facebook

2. I free handed most of my drawings BUT this is how I did the lettering. Print off the letters for the size you want then flip it over to the unprinted side. With a regular pencil color the area where the letters are. Just color the whole thing in with pencil graphite :) Then tape the graphite side to the cooler where you want it so that you can see the printed side. Trace over the edge of the letters with a pencil. When you trace you will leave a graphite imprint on the cooler then you can see where to paint!

3. If you write on the handle like I did...make sure to seal that too! I did it last minute and forgot then when Josh carried the cooler down to the beach, he had "the good life" on his hand :)

Good luck!