Wednesday, June 30, 2010


tonight after dinner i was at my computer and i ended up showing one of my host-ladies pictures of people back home and all my art stuff. my roommate alyssa got in on it too and it was just so fun. sharing stories and explaining all the things in my life that i love. hearing i was talented and how lovely all my friends and family are, it makes me feel truly blessed and happy to just be me. even in ireland :)

ps. the piece above is one of my favorites. one in a series, mixed media drawing, 20x30

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

coffee shops and beer.

hello dublin!

monday 28th.

so yesterday was our first day of classes and orientation. neither of which were my favorite part of the day...hah im semi-joking. i was really excited for monday to actually get started on everything about our trip. we caught the bus to be up at school by 8:30, but only after we scrambled to get ready in 10 minutes because our alarm didnt go off! gah such luck. after we chatted with the program directors and saw a tour of the library we had our first class: Irish Flim in the 21st Century. which seems like itll be very fun and our professor, seamus, is awesome. then after a few of us went down to Bakers Corner for lunch before our last class: Myths and Legends: Irish Folklore and Literature. im not sure which class im going to like better! because the film class seems really awesome...buuut i got to talk about gnomes in lit. (keep in mind i then got teased for my extensive knowledge in this particular subject...) and mythology, fairies, history etc.

after school we made a short trip into dublin to try and book a trip for this weekend (this plan fell through a bit but needless to say it all worked out and were still going!) and get a look at the city. we didnt want to be too late for dinner so we just walked around and had a snack at the best coffee shop and cafe downtown.

brewleys cafe. James Joyce was inspired here.mike and jil :)espresso!chocolate croissantcaramel cino ice

later that night, after dinner and such. alyssa (roommate if i havent mentioned that!) and i walked down to a pub called the graduate. to meet up with some friends for the night :) i wish i would've taken more pics of the group but at least other people have been. so ill leave you with visions of wonderfully drafted irish beer.

guinness!and carlsberg!

have a good night loves.

Monday, June 28, 2010

dun laoghaire

ok...a few days late! sunday 27th

so, first full day here in ireland..and i slept for half of it. ok so maybe not half, but my roommate and i were in bed until 12:30 (thank you jet lag) however we did make most of the day. after breakfast and hanging outside with our homestay puppies, we got ready, finished unpacking, and set out for a practice bus adventure, and trip to see the harbour in Dun Laoghaire. i think we managed pretty well and even though we had only a few hours to spare before we had to head back for dinner, really go to see a lot of the gorgeous coastline.

signs to town! Dun Laoghaire town center
boats on the harborlittle me on the rocks :)original fog bellwe are here!

the weather has been gorgeous lately btw. all that irish rain is staying away for us, lets keep it up!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

safe and sound

we made it! hurray!

well, our journey finally seemed to come to a close today by the time it hit around 2 pm Dublin time. our trip to the airport was a success, it started with hugs from hershey, tyler, and mikey and then eventually a tearful goodbye with mom at the departures terminal. once mike and i got through security we ate real quick and got on our plane to newark...which was an adventure in and of itself. this was the tiniest plane ive ever been on! 3 seats a row and maybe 15 rows tops. our layover went pretty smoothly though and we met up with two other AHA students on the flight (which was complete with tons of movies, games, and airplane food). by the time we napped in starbucks and chatted for a few hours, we finally met up with our site director and everyone else around 1 pm Ireland time (which to us felt like 4 am, which meant no sleep!)

once we reached our school via bus shuttle we got scooped up by our homestay mums and taken to our houses. my roommate allysa and i's is very nice. we spent most the day trying to take small naps, emailing back home, and eventually having dinner. later we ventured off to our first pub of the trip! Bakers Corner, in order to watch our homeland do us some good in the soccer game (its ok USA you'll get em next time) and get a Guiness. at least one of those was a success :)

everyone here is really nice and it's going to be a blast. i just can't wait to start school and get exploring! i apologize for the lack of pictures, i was a bit overwhelmed and didn't take many today, however i promise to post some soon.

bye loves!

Friday, June 25, 2010


headed to the airport in less than an hour! bye bye america!

ill miss you, don't go changing. xo,

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

life begins

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone" -Neale Donald Walsch. designed by the people at Quotable, a lovely source of words.

saw this today on another blog i follow called design is mine: isn't it lovely. (its wonderful, check it out here) and i couldn't help but feel like its perfectly describing the nerves i've been having about my trip. life is so short, go live every minute of it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

4 days!

i leave for dublin in four days! friday! ill be meeting my friend mike at the airport and our first flight leaves around 4 pm. which is a connector trip to Newark for a tiny hour lay-over. then its off to dublin at 6:10 pm (we're going to arrive in ireland around 6 a.m. their time saturday morning) i can't believe how fast it came up. i've been running around trying to get everything i need. this week my agenda includes: getting my watch battery fixed, haircut, another dentist appt., buying gifts for my host family, packing, and saying goodbyes. today i checked out the suburb of dublin i'm going to be living in and tried to find a few pictures.

view from the bridge in foxrock

in the mail we also got a little info. about our host families. i actually have a roommate too staying the house with me, her name's Alyssa and she also goes to grand valley. my family consists of "two lovely sisters who enjoy hosting students. very friendly and welcoming. they enjoy chatting with students" it also says they love to golf, play tennis, read, walk and travel and have a "little pet dog" also, one of the ladies, Jeanette, is an excellent cook! which of course delighted me. i can't wait to meet them all!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

poem prints

one sleepless, drawing-filled night last winter. my friend steve sent me a poem he thought i would like. little did he know that i fell in love with it. it was written on a lime green post-it and stuck in my sketchbook, where it still sits today.

in my introduction to printmaking class, the fall that followed, i decided to make a series of prints based on the poem. (i printed the poem itself, which was actually quite painstaking due to the fact all lettering needs to be done backwards because of the printing process. however i was not completely satisfied with it and plan to turn it into an ambitious letterpressing project!) the prints were done as hard-ground etchings and then their dresses were soft-grounded on using a variety of scrap fabrics. one of the sets i used to sew into a book with the poem itself. they're not the most involved of prints i've done, but they're simplicity makes me smile.

maggie, mily, molly, and may

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles, and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea
-e.e. cummings

nom nom

the Starbucks nearest to my house here downriver has pumpkin bread all year round.

yay for a little taste of fall in this blistering summer weather.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

love is a mix tape

i love to read. unfortunately i don't get to do much, especially during the school year. but when anyone recommends me a good book i try very hard to pick myself up a copy. today i was thinking about the best book i've read in a while. this past summer i read my roommates copy of "Love is a Mixtape" by Rob Sheffield and i was infatuated.

you can click here to read about the book, the author, etc. it is a wonderful, yet heartbreaking, memoir about the rolling stone author, the love of his life, and the mixtapes that made up their life together.

my boyfriend joked the other day that i never mention him in my blog. well, the thing that makes this book so special to me, is that it always reminds me of him. in fact when i first met him i told him all about it and he went and picked up a copy and read it as soon as it came in (i later found out he's not even a big fan of reading, which made it even more special). their relationship is so quirky and wonderful it is bound to make you smile.

so as i sit here while mikey watches world cup soccer i will be enjoying their stories for the ump-teenth time. cheers!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

class of '10

so my blog posts have been delayed these few days, i have no wireless in my house so any blogging really has to be done elsewhere. and as i continue to visit with friends and family, and get ready for my trip (13 days! eek!) i probably wont be posting a whole heck of a lot.

i did just want to get on here and dedicate a post to my little brother tyler, who graduated high school yesterday! the THS class of 2010 were freshman in high school when i was a senior. they were the young ones in band, track, and student council that we tried to set good examples for. especially the marching band kids, seeing them gets me teary-eyed everytime thinking back to how scared they all were as freshman, they were the ones we drove back and forth from practice, the ones we tried to be good leaders for, and now they're done! and the class of '07 has been long done. its so crazy how time flies isn't it?
(remember when i used to be the "big" sister?)

i'm so proud of you ty. from third bass to center snare and drumline captain. from jv to varsity wrestling. nhs and spanish club. from THS to GVSU. i love you so much. congratulations! class of 2010!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

on my mind

you have those days? those days filled with so much emotion that you can't tell whether or not to be happy or sad? but no matter what you're just exhausted with the thoughts that have filled your head by the end of the day.

today's one of those days. and im exhausted.

bye wetzels

well, today is my last day of work, many people would probably be really excited to say that but i'm feeling a bit blue. i am really excited for my trip and also for the new opportunities that i have for the fall. but i love the people i work with, and believe it or not i actually usually like the actual work most the time. now two of my friends there are having babies! (oh trust'll be hearing about this come shower time!) and all the girls have graduated highschool! aw how time flies. we've been like a tiny little wetzels family, and you guys have really been here whenever i needed someone this past year. so thanks for everything.

pretzel cupcakes i made for a store meeting this past winter!

come buy a pretzel from me at rivertown today if you're in the area :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

food feasts and 21sts

sunday i had the day off, so i spent it stealing my roommate chris's wonderful DSLR camera and taking tons and tons of photos of all of my prints and drawings that i have been neglecting for the past 2 years (expect posts up about them soon :)) and then creating quite the food feast with my roommates and friends for the premiere of Next Food Network Star.

then yesterday was my friend evan's 21st birthday! yay for birthdays! a group of us went to dinner at a resturant i've never tried before called The Winchester in downtown Grand Rapids which i would highly recommend to anyone. next time i think i would order just a ton of appetizers to share though, as the menu was not super extensive. then back to his house for cake and ice cream- both homemade might i add, cake by me, ice cream by ev, and both delicious.
i hope you had a wonderful day love!

for the cake i actually used Ina Garden, from Barefoot Contessa, and the Hershey's Chocolate Cake recipes and sort of combined/edited them. i did add however a milk chocolate, vanilla, cream cheese-y filling in between the two cakes for a break up of the rich dark chocolate. not my prettiest of cakes, but certainly one of the better tasting!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


yay for mimosas and breakfast for dinner. a nice way to spend a rainy saturday evening after work all day.

on a side note, can't wait to try those crazy huge traditional breakfasts in ireland! only 20 days!

Friday, June 4, 2010

photo fun

ok so just as my previous post promised, i wanted to include a little bit about whats been going on this week. yesterday my friend evan and i took a small trip to visit our friend jessie in marshal, mi (the cutest little town ever for those who have never been). we ate some awesome food at her parent's deli, pastrami joes, did a few photo experiments, and ended the day with ice cream. all in all a wonderful trip.

jessie is a photography major here at GVSU and always takes such wonderful pictures. she had wanted to test out this technique known as "bokeh" in which you can actually cause the light in the background of your photos to change shapes depending on what you chose to cut out of a small cap that goes on your lens. (you can read more about it via the link^) so, armed with her beautiful DSLR, my Canon manual film, and a small pinhole camera that evan made (yes everyone, he is an artistic genius) we had some fun adventures. the pictures posted here are all credited to jessie :) im so glad i got to visit!

lots of hearts!
then evan and i took "engagement photos" :)triangles!camoflauge

ps. major dillema occured with my camera after winding and attempting to remove this particular role of film on the way home. a post about this to come, and hopefully a few pictures that turned out. cross your fingers!