The Invisible Man

Liu Bolin

“Liu Bolin, the 35 year old artist from Shandong, China has mastered the art of camouflaging himself against virtually any background.

The talented Liu Bolin says his art is a protest against the actions of the Government, who shut down his art studio in 2005 and persecutes artists. It’s about not fitting into modern society. Despite problems with Chinese authorities, Liu’s works are appreciated at an international level.

Liu often works over 10 hours straight on his art to achieve masterful perfection.”  (Quoted text borrowed from this website)

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Tea.

Ughh. Tonight is the first night that I haven’t been able to sleep in a long while. Insomnia must really blow. It just so happens that I was thinking about tea and making myself a cup. It’s a very involved process– tea is. Do we have cream, would I wake the whole house when I shake my fake sugar out of its packets (and then send Monster Dog into a frenzy), do I use loose tea leaves (do I have loose tea leaves?) or do I use the tea that my best friend brings back from England, or the tea that reminds me of my mother, or the tea that comes out looking and tasting like Koolaid? So many choices… so many options… so many concoctions.

Simply put — I love tea. That’s pretty much it. I could say that I fix it one way… but I don’t. I like some teas plain, other teas with milk and LOTS of sugar, some teas with just sugar, but never with lemon because that’s just gross.

Some people are tea snobs. Some people just don’t care. I like to think of myself as being somewhere in between. I’ve grown up drinking tea. My mother always had a glass when we were younger and my father would usually order Oolong tea whenever we went to an authentic asian restaurant, and then my English best friend and I are always drinking tea, either together, alone, or with her family. While here I am talking about hot teas… growing up in the South and being a true Southern woman — I appreciate the work (or lack thereof) that goes into Southern Iced Sweet Tea. There is usually a perfect ratio of sugar to water/tea. It’s a concoction that has been mastered so that it is disgustingly sweet and makes you forget about the sauna that is your backyard.

Enough Talk… Here are some of my favorites.

Milk and sugar teas:

This is my go-to Tea. It’s delicious. My other favorite black tea’s are Earl Grey and good ole English Breakfast.

This is arguably the best tea in the world. Try it if ever given the opportunity.

Plain Tea:

Oolong (Chinese Tea)

I love this tea because it reminds me of my Dad. But to be honest it taste like water… with a hint of something woodsy. Sounds tasty, right?

This is a tea that I put absolutely nothing in. It warms your body and leaves you with a refreshing mint after taste. There’s something really nice about that. Especially when you have been sitting in studio for over 12 hours in one chair and have been throwing down coffee after coffee with maybe one or two Red Bull’s and 5 hour Energy shots. Sounds Disgusting, right? It’s nice to detox the body sometimes.

Chamomile Tea

Now its not often that I want Chamomile Tea, but… there are some days when you want to curl up with a book or throw on a cheesy Jane Austin film and Chamomile is the perfect tea that complements both of those really well.

Sweet Teas:

My boyfriend turned me onto this. Its delicious. I haven’t tasted a bad flavor. Our favorite is the Mint and Honey but the Pomegranate is a close second.

Ahhhh… yummy yummy – Milo’s Sweet Tea is the BEST Southern Sweet Tea in the WORLD.

If you’re not from Alabama I doubt you’ll ever get to taste this — too bad so sad — more for me! I’m making sure that I take a few gallons back to school with me when summer is over. A southern girl should never be too far from a. home b. her dog and c. her sweet tea.

Good Ole Southern Iced Sweet Tea

Tea’s you shouldn’t bother with (They don’t even deserve a picture):

  • Arizona Sweet Tea with Lemon
  • Irish Breakfast — grrr.oss.

Alright… my insomnia is in check. This little girl is off to bed. pltw.

We’ve Got Tomatoes!

That’s right, we’re growin’ tomatoes in the backyard. My mother and I decided we would try our hands at a little gardening. What I really mean to say is that my mother has a green thumb and if I look at these tomatoes the wrong way they might all die. But she has shown me, that with a little bit of water and some of that killer Alabama sunshine and more than a little love, we can grow tomatoes in our backyard. Look at how lovely they are!

Look at Those Tomatoes Hiding

B-E-A-Utiful.

Before...

... and AFTER!

Does everyone remember my wretched puppy, Porcini? Well, he decided that I couldn’t keep ALL of my tomatoes. So he STOLE one. BAD DOG!

WRETCHED CREATURE!

For inquiring minds, I must tell you, Tomatoes are a far superior vegetable to Potatoes.

Y’all have a great day! PLTW.

Drew Scribner

September 7, 1984 - July 5, 2010

Life is too short. Live a life of no regrets — the way Drew did.

Roll Tide, Drew.

If yo[u] make mistkaes in life[,] then f*ck it[,] make them! Everytime someone gets hurt…  it makes them stronger. Pain is power, so use that power to make yourself stronger. If your hurt[,] then be strong. If your upset then cheer the f*ck up. If you dont know what to do[,] then let your heart lead you and dont ask any questions. Our minds f*ck up what our hearts feel! So dont make that mistake because nine times out of ten your heart ends up bein right!

~Drew Scribner

Alabama Prison Art

Alabama Prison Arts + Project Education

So mom and I were eating at the wonderful Whole Foods the other day; when we were at the checkout line I noticed a group of people wearing Orange shirts around the store. I told my mom that I really wanted to ask about their T-shirts. So she nonchalantly asks. Apparently these Orange shirted people are from Auburn University and have begun a program educating prisoners in Alabama on fine arts and humanities, their name, Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project.

I was assuming that it was an Art Therapy program but – no, their mission is education. They have found through studies that if someone is educated in prison, they are less likely to become incarcerated for a second time. From their website they state, “The arts and humanities give our students, who have often had terrible experiences with education previously, a way to enter into learning through discovering more about the world and their self.”

I really want to do something to get involved and I would LOVE to teach a class. As an artist, I find art incredibly rewarding and rehabilitating. Art can give someone self confidence and strength through self discovery. Let’s do something.

Students

Here is one thing we can do, “APAEP started Books Behind Bars to provide quality literature and educational materials to not only the project’s students, but the entire prison population.”

Here are some acceptable books that can be donated:

Acceptable:
*Any contemporary fiction
*Both paperback and hard-bound books are acceptable
*Non-Fiction
*Poetry
*Basic course textbooks (Basic Math, Economics, and Social Science)

To all my friends in school, I know we can find some of the above in our extended collection that we have from undergrad alone. Hell, I can see my brothers Human Physiology book right now! (although that book may not be needed, I know we have old books that we would be happy to part with 🙂 ) Let me know if you are interested in donating some books and we can ship ’em off.

Check out their website here.

Pictures are provided by APAEP