Pardon my dust…

This is a little something that my bestie shared with me. She sweetly said that it reminded her of me – if only!!!  In other great news (and for those of you who follow me on instagram/twitter, already know)… I’m painting again. Had I really been thinking, I would have gone for a smaller canvas, but no. It’s a 5′ x 7′. It’s bigger than me. Well hell, go big or go home.

allisonachang

Advertisements

The Great Wall

Today we went to The Great Wall.  There is an old saying here, “Not been on the Great Wall, not a great man”. We came on the perfect day. It was absolutely gorgeous. I was so happy to be out there. We hiked to 22 towers and I think could have done 22 more. It was incredible.

We could not have asked for a better day. While it was hot… there was also a really nice breeze.

Today, my toes were at The Great Wall. And they were very happy about that!

Now, I’m gonna leave y’all with one thing — ROLL TIDE. Is it football season, yet???

———————————————————————–

Today I am thankful for: my grandfather’s 90th birthday. Grampy is 90 today. I wish I could be there to celebrate with him. I am also thankful for my wonderful friends — this time last year, I lost one. AND I am thankful for my certain someone. Happy you-know-what day. I love you, babe. You rock my world.

Beijing: Yesterday + Today

Yesterday we saw so many cool things. And today we had another full day. I’ll have a longer update on each event later… for now… I’ll just update you in pictures. I hope that’s okay. Tomorrow is another big day. No fireworks for us, I don’t think — however, there will be a really great wall. Above is the CCTV building by architects Rem Koolhaus and Ole Schreeren from OMA.

We also got to see the Olympic Birds Nest by architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron — one of my favorites!

Earlier in the morning we went to the Temple of Heaven and Earth and we walked around the extensive parks and heard a bunch of old people singing. I’m learning that old people sing a lot in these parts. It’s really kinda nice. I took some cute pictures of the kids. Aren’t they precious?

And then later that night we went to the Night Food Market. My Pop’s would have been all over these oysters. And all of the other strange things they had there.

We played it safe and stuck with the fruit. They put sugar all over my watermelon. It was still delicious. We were happy. AND the night market made all of hard work of walking around the city worth it… it reenergized us.

And then today, we had a girls day. We went to the Summer Palace and had a lovely time. That place is so huge!!! I wish I could say we covered all of it but I think we would be lucky to say that we covered a 1/3 of it. Oh well. Life is Good.

——————————————————————————

Today I am thankful for: my bargaining skills. I’m getting really good at it. Helen (my Popo) comes out and does her thing. Tonight we were looking for socks. Found some — and the lady told us 3 for 298 yuan. We told her that she was freakin’ crazy and said that we only needed one. She goes down to 100 yuan. Say what? I don’t think so. We walk away (the best tactic of them all) and then they come chasing after us. 50! 50! No way — I say… ok, ok 20!!!! 20!!! We all turned around and said 20??? Hmmmm…. Let’s go for 5.

M50 ART GALLERY: Cao Yingbin

So as many of you know, I’m not feeling well. I took a half day from work today and took a long nap, after which, I was going crazy from being inside. So I went for a walk… in the rain. For better or worse, I ended up at M50. If you want to know something about contemporary art in Shanghai, “M50” is the place to come. This is where I go to find all of the new and wonderful tags in town. But this is also a space for inspiration. And y’all know, I’m all about some inspiration. I’ve been here once before, and I remember seeing this piece of art, it was totally bizarre and something that you could stare at for a good long while. It’s the piece of artwork that everyone looks at whether they want to or not. It’s humorous, it’s interesting, and it’s pretty simplistic when you get right down to it.

  • Artist: Cao Yingbin
  • Medium: Acrylic on Canvas in addition to several mixed media works
  • What the Deal?: Satirical/Comedic art
  • Note: These images may not be acceptable for all audiences
I absolutely love this painting. It has to be one of my favorites at M50. And everyone in this gallery stops to look at it – again, whether they want to or not. Which gallery, you might ask? It was around the corner and through the woods and up the stairs at the OFOTO Gallery. Side Note: My absolute dream job – art collector. And this would be added to my esteemed collection. This painting title is: Everyday Life
—————————————————————————————————-
Here are two details of the painting. Interested? Of course you are. My best friend and I have this theory — never leave something behind that you think you might regret not having. Well, today I asked how much this little winner would be… I was informed that each painting could be sold separately (but let’s be honest… these two are a pair and should stay together) and for these 30 x 40 cm (each) pieces of art — they will run you an estimated 20,000 RMB. Which is approximately $3,076 USD. YIKES!!!! Now I’m sure you could bargain… but still… that’s pricey for my pocket book. But hey, Cao Yingbin, when I’ve made my fortune… maybe we can talk.
———————————————————————————
Today I am thankful for: it being hump day. At least we’re onto thursday tomorrow! And then the weekend will be here.

Anderson, SC: Split Creek Farm

Hey y’all. I know it’s been a while… I had my FINAL final Review… EVER, just yesterday! How wonderful is that? Pretty darn wonderful. And since I’ve been inside working in studio all week long, we thought it was high time to get outside. There is a goat farm that my roommate has been telling me about since I’ve been back in Clemson and I regret not going to it sooner. And even better, they have amazing goat cheese! AND award winning show goats.

Place: Anderson, SC

Name: Split Creek Farm

What: Awesome Goat Farm and Certified Roadside Market

This place is so cool and the lady working today was incredibly friendly. She greeted us as soon as we got out of the car with one of the many Great Pyrenese dogs that they have guarding their goats. The beauty that greeted us; her name is Sophie.

The lady working was telling us a story about the dogs. She said that they are incredibly protective over their goats. They know when even one is missing. She was telling us how they moved one of the pregnant goats into a different pin and the dog was staying on the edge of the fence to keep an eye on his flock and his missing goat. Isn’t that precious? I also asked her what the dogs were protecting the goats from. She said that they protect them from Coyotes (the lady called them Ci-yotes — some plural form of coyotes, haha), big cats, wild dog packs, and she even said that there have been bear spottings around those parts. Doesn’t that dog look like Aslan?

Eeek! Baby goats. These goats, we couldn’t touch. They were anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks old. We couldn’t touch them because their immunity systems are still being formed. But they were soo cute!

These goats were so silly. Can you see that in the image on the right that that goat is actually biting on me. He was really cute and when I pet him he kept trying to nibble at me. I want a goat.

Ok y’all. You have to watch to this! This is a super short video a took today of one of the cawing goats. Now, all goats caw and bahhh and make noises.. but this one in particular was very noisy. We later found out that she was pregnant and was probably going to have her baby this afternoon.

Heeheeehee… now that’s just funny. Goats are silly.

This goats name is Stevie. Stevie is blind. Hence, the name. I think there is something really beautiful about him and his coat is so pretty.

This is one of two shops on the farm. This shop contains local crafts and artwork from artist around the area and the other one contains the cheese shop. YUM. There was a tray sitting on the counter with all of there delicious cheeses. They were to die for.

This was on the back of the door at the cheese shop. I love every single one of these stickers. I think I need a good sticker collection. Did you notice the TOWANDA sticker?! Yes Ma’am!!!!

Look at this guy hiding all by himself.

Something particularly special about this place is that the owner can no longer work there. She has a dedicated staff that works around the clock who helps her maintain a successful business and care for more than 350 goats. She has become increasingly sick and is on a waiting list for a Lung Transplant. You can, of course, go and donate money towards her healthcare costs. In return, they will give you a small wooden toy goat as a thank you for your donation. Mine is sitting on my vanity now and I can see it everyday. I love this place and the people who work here. Let’s support our local artisans as well as those in need.

Me and my roommate Aud at the entrance to Split Creek Farm. Go check it out!

Today I am thankful for many things: goats and goat cheese… being finished with my studio final… for my best friend’s friend, Drew, having a successful Appendectomy… and for Life – all in all – things are good.

I have a date next weekend with a big ole bottle of wine, some goat cheese and crackers, and my boy. Imma happy kid.

Locks of Love: Before and After

Yep, it was about that time… I asked a friend whether or not I should cut my hair, and she said, “no, I like it long”. So naturally, I had to cut it. Every 3-4 years I go under the scissors and cut off my hair and give it to Locks of Love. Some of you may be asking yourself, “What is Locks of Love”? Please read below:

Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics. Most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. The prostheses we provide help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers.

Mission Statement: Our mission is to return a sense of self, confidence and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss by utilizing donated ponytails to provide the highest quality hair prosthetics to financially disadvantaged children. The children receive hair prostheses free of charge or on a sliding scale, based on financial need.

So yeah. I think it’s a great cause. I give it to kids who need it — and, you know what? It’s just hair. Mine grows back but not everyone’s does. If you want to know more, or even donate your own hair — check out the Locks of Love website here. Here’s some before and after shots.

Goodness, this is the Before (Why is it so close up? We can thank my mother for these pictures– ha, note the blurriness 🙂 Love you mom)…

During…

After! This is me with my fabulous hair guru, Greg. He works at Hair Group in Homewood, AL. Check them out here. Tell them I sent you over, if happen to stop by. They are so wonderful. Now for some really old pics. This was my third time to do Locks of Love. The first time I did Locks of Love, I was a Senior in high school just about to graduate… circa 2004. Oh my goodness.

AHH! I cannot believe my hair was that long. Such a hippie… or Pocahontas? Oh my. But you can see that I haven’t stemmed far away from the white tank and blue jeans… what can I say, it’s my signature outfit… or something.

Isn’t that precious? Moving on….

—————————————————————–

Today I am thankful for: my 25th birthday. It’s today! p.s. Eat LOTS of cake!! I will and no one can judge me on my birthday… it’s what your suppose to do. I see a lot of Strawberry Shortcake in my very near future!

Listening to: The Way I Are- Timbaland

Spring Break: Day 1

Day 1 of Spring Break has come and gone and I’m already exhausted and I wasn’t even doing any of the hard work. We decided after a leisurely morning of sleeping in (gasp) and watching a little Sebring (no judgements, please — it’s classy racing) that we would have a productive day and take the kayak out.  We went to the Mulberry and it was a perfect day. The weather had to have been in the mid-80s with beautiful blue skies and icy cold water.

This is one of the old bridges that crosses over the Mulberry. It’s closed to cars now… and probably for good reason. But I love the beautiful rusted steel.

The hard work and play time of the day…

————————————————————————————-

Today I am thankful for: lifejackets and a boyfriend who looks out for me more than himself when floating down stream.

Listening to: Alexi Murdoch Pandora Radio Station

A Wonderful Weekend

So, I must apologize for not blogging… life has been hectic — mid-term reviews, and all — and as I’ve always been told, “School comes first”. Anyways, you might remember that sometime last week I had one of the best weekends ever. And it lasted only 24 hours. I came home for a friends 40th birthday party and had so much fun at this totally cool venue and restaurant called the Cantina (where I must go with Food Team). I got to catch up with old friends and coworkers. There was a DJ, awesome food, and an open bar — Need I say more???

Then my Boyfriend and I were invited to a Mountain Bike Race by one of the sponser’s of the race, Red Mountain Rovers (and they are some totally cool guys). The race was at Stoney Lonesome, check it out here.  We had sooo much fun, even if it did involve waking up at 5 a.m. in the morning. I never voluntarily wake up that early — that would be miserable. Here are some pics from the event. I think I might want to give it a try during the next go-round.

By the way, this car is pretty BAD–in a good way – ya know?

Pre-race talk (+/- a few participants). They even had a canon to start the race.

Our new friends, post race, discussing the difficulties of the course. I love that they have beverages 🙂 — but the beverages started shortly after arriving — it was just that kind of day. Hearts of a champion 🙂 After the race and race activities we caught lunch at an awesome place on Highlands called Rojo. Might have to be a new weekend favorite 🙂 Gosh, I sure am happy, look at all of these smiley faces.

After we went to Rojo for 3 hours we were exhausted, water logged from more beverages, full from a delicious lunch, and yet we wanted more… So we went to Railroad Park. It was just such a beautiful day. And the park was packed–it was beautiful–who ever thought that an urban park would be successful–hmmmmm?

You know I had to find some street art.

Then after Railroad Park we went to both our momma’s houses. The first was planting tomatoes for the coming summer! At the second, we met up with neighbors and drank more beverages until it was dark. The neighbor’s girls’ were still playing on the tire swing, the dog still wanted the ball/frisbee to be thrown, and there were still good conversations to be had — and after an hour or so we had to go home and crash. What a good weekend! But alas, it had to come to an end… and I had to go back to Clemson the following day – bright and early.

———————————————————————————–

Today I am thankful for: getting to go by one of my favorite sushi restaurant’s – DOZO.

The Hunt: Tennessee

So while at the farm we were able to witness something that I never even knew existed anymore. We saw the opening day of Hunting Season as well as the Blessing of the Hounds. Now, if you’re like me… when I hear “Opening Day of Hunting Season” I think of Bubba with a shotgun up in a tree-stand waitin’ on Bambi to come ’round the corner and have her pretty little head blown off —  this is not the case. It was quite sophisticated as you will soon see.

I came into this not knowing a single thing about any of this — I can’t really claim that I know much more… so I will attempt to explain to you what I saw. Basically, if my understanding is correct, this is what happens — Everyone meets at this very old cottage where a lunch is served and everyone is looking down-right fancy. Riders and non-riders get good and shnockered-up on liquor, beer, and wine and then start getting ready to set out on the hunt. A preacher blesses the hounds and then First, Second, and Third Flight is determined and announced (announcing who will ride in what order). Then men and women gather on their beautiful 17 hand thoroughbred horses (worth more than my college tuition, I imagine) and follow the hounds out on their search for coyotes or foxes. Now I didn’t know this, but the hounds actually kill the fox and/or coyote… but the goal is to follow the scent. And we found that the scent was not so strong this first hunt.

Once the riders are off chasing after the hounds, everyone else goes “Hilltoppin'” — meaning that you have to hunt the hunt. You go and sit on top of hills in search of the riders chasing after the hounds. A horn is blown by one of the riders indicating their location. There are also riders called Whips who sit atop the mountains and search for the hounds to tell the other riders which direction they should continue on. Here are some of our pictures below.

Hilltoppin'

Waiting to see if we could to hear the hounds or horn and see the riders.

Found them.

So after we found the riders we went and discovered another landmark close by…

I hope that you’re thinking exactly what I’m thinking… Oh,that’s right, it’s a Teepee. Oh it wasn’t originally put there by the Native Americans. It was absolutely bizarre… but I guess that’s what make people so interesting. We’re all into something a little… different. I have to say, they were quite beautiful on the hill over looking the “holler”.

Interior Shot

How many men does it take to close a teepee?

We were even lucky enough to find the Whip. Looking and listening for the hounds. Doesn’t it look like something straight out of a movie? It was wonderful.

BBCX365

 

Johnny Selman: Islamists Seize Somali Radio Stations

 

So I found this awesome graphic artist, Johny Selman.  And I’ve been checking his website daily. Let me tell you what his mission is. He found that more and more of us today are getting our news online and if these stories were more graphically interesting… maybe more of us would be checking in to see what they were all about. Cool, right? Here’s what he had to say:

I will do this by creating a more visually interesting vehicle for the news, use a credible news source (BBC), and promote, market, and network. I will design a poster a day for 365 days in reaction to a headline on the BBC news website and update this website everyday with the poster and the accompanying news story.

What I really enjoy about him is that he has done these amazing graphic designs to tell the news story from the BBC and unlike most artists’ he doesn’t explain his process in a little paragraph below his work… instead he only has the article which inspired the design. LOVE it. Here are some of my favorites. And add him to your blogroll because he is the bomb.dot.com.

 

Johnny Selman: Hundreds of Kenyan Teachers Sacked Over Sex Abuse

Horribly upsetting story; however, I love the historical art reference. You can never have too much Venus of Willendorf (22,000 BCE)- one of the oldest art history artifacts and known for its fertillity symbology. Smart Art… I love it.

Johnny Selman: One Year to Clean Toxic Spill in Hungary

Johnny Selman: Israeli PM Urges West Bank Settlers to Show Restraint

Johnny Selman: Belgian Skydiver 'Murdered Love Rival' During Jump

Johnny Selman, you rock. Check him out at his website HERE.

PLTW.