Grad School

One semester down…

Yesterday evening was my last class of my first semester of grad school — woohoo! Six credits down, 30 more to go. Next semester I am taking a 6-credit class that is a prereq for pretty much everything else in the program, and then I’m able to take a whole slew of awesome classes (Magazine design, Creative concepts, Book design, Typography II). I’m pretty excited about it.

I really enjoyed both of my classes this semester. Typography I was fascinating to me. Our final project was to typeset the Constitution, which was a fun challenge. And my photography class taught me the ins and out of my camera, how to use Lightroom, shoot in camera RAW, and all sorts of other super useful things.

For our final projects, we had to shoot a series of photos that all fit together. I opted to drive all over the area taking photos of water towers. Yes, water towers. Odd, I know. But I’ve always had a strange fascination with water towers, so it worked well for the project. The final product was six creepy photos showcasing water towers in Howard, Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties.

ASmithofAllTrades_WaterTower_PBDS638-4ASmithofAllTrades_WaterTower_PBDS638-5ASmithofAllTrades_WaterTower_PBDS638ASmithofAllTrades_WaterTower_PBDS638-3ASmithofAllTrades_WaterTower_PBDS638-6ASmithofAllTrades_WaterTower_PBDS638-2

I’m quite proud of how they turned out. Plus, now I know the location of about 12 different water towers…. that’s useful, right?

Anyway… one semester down, at least five more to go! Now I just need to make it through a bit more work, then it’s CHRISTMASTIME.

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Life

Interior Decorating Class

Last week I finished my interior decorating class that I took through Howard Community College. It was a 6-week class that met at a local high school during which we learned about basic design principles, color, accessorizing, floor plans, window treatments…. it was awesome.

The class was small — only 12 people — so we got to talk to our instructor a lot about projects we are working on and problems we are running into. I chose to focus on our living room during the class and actually made a lot of progress! For me, the most helpful classes were the floor plan session and the color session.

Floor Plan

There’s always been something off about the way I had the furniture arranged upstairs, so the floor plan class allowed me to get feedback and ideas from my classmates. They suggested that I take two chairs and place them directly in front of the coffee table to create a designated seating/conversation area. I’d been wanting to buy two chairs, but I had planned to place them on the walls, versus in the middle of the room.

When I placed the chairs in front of the coffee table, it really did create a much more conversation-ready sitting area.

Floor Plan1

You can kind of see that here:

Room

Those are the second set of chairs that I bought for the room. And guess what…

Dining Chairs

…those went back, too. I got them from Target for a great price, but since they are dining chairs they were just too small. Well, if I were to put them along the wall like I originally planned, they were perfect. But in this new configuration, they were too small and too obviously for a dining room.

Instead, I swapped them out for two charcoal slipper chairs from Target.

Slipper Chair1

They have a great button detail that sort of mimics the faux tuft in our couch.

Slipper Chair

I definitely sacrificed quality for coast on this purchase, which is unfair since the chairs are actually quite comfortable and very nice now. But, I’m pretty sure they won’t last more than a few years, especially with a furniture-loving dog and future kiddos — at $128 a chair, that’s not the end of the world.

Now, my next challenges. End tables and color!

Another portion of our class was spent looking through catalogs to see if anything piqued our interest. It really helped us nail down our individual styles, too.

I love the Ballard catalog best — does the circled table look familiar? That’s my coffee table (well, two of them) that I got from the thrift store!

Catalog

This page has the end table I’m pining over. They are $149 and I’d need two of them, so I’m basically waiting until I feel like dropping $300. I think I’m going to poke around at thrift stores for a few months before I make that decision. But if I don’t find anything else, I’ll eventually be purchasing these – I love how the iron will match the coffee tables without being too matchy-matchy. And the mirror will reflect lamplight and the light from our bay window! I just need to find them at a thrift store for $10/each now 🙂

Catalog1

Yes, I am cheap. Well, not cheap. Just frugal.

Now color — that is my real challenge.  I love the gray and mint combo I’ve got going on, but I think the room is too dark and too monochromatic. So now I am working on adding more color to the space to create more visual interest in the space. I will be doing this through throw pillows and artwork. You can actually see some of the pillows I’m considering on my Pillows Pinterest board. I’ve been adding like crazy this weekend. Now I just need to make decisions. A lot of them are from Etsy, which means no returns. So it’s a little extra incentive to make sure I am positive before I purchase.

Pillows

I’ll hopefully make a decision soon and move on with artwork. The walls are crying for something on the. I’m thinking a gallery of some sort behind the couch and a console table with a mirror above it on the other wall. We’ll see what happens!

#HoCoArts #HoCoSchools #HCPSS #HoCoCrafts #HoCoBlogs

Life

Columbia Mall Shooting

Ugh. I don’t understand why people do the crazy things they do…

Columbia is my home. It is my happy place. It is where I grew up. It is where I went to school. It is where I bought my first house. It’s where we’ve met some of our best friends. It’s where we will have babies. It. Is. My. Home.

It could have been me at that mall. Or my husband. Or my sister, brother, mom, dad, stepmom, stepdad or mother-in-law. It could have been my best friend or my neighbors. It could have been someone I loved. It really saddens me that such a senseless act of violence took place in our mall, leaving three people dead. Three families are mourning the loss of their loved ones and I feel for them. I feel for them and at the same time am so eternally grateful that my sister and I weren’t shopping at the mall. Or that my hubby and I hadn’t just ran in to get food like we’d done two nights prior to the shooting. Or that my mom couldn’t get her manicure appointment until Sunday. So grateful that my loved ones are safe and didn’t have to endure the terror that filled the mall on Saturday.

I am also so grateful to live in such a great community with fantastic first responders. The Howard County police and all of the other first responders who attended to the mall shooting had the situation under control minutes after they received the distress call. I truly appreciate the professionalism and courage they displayed on Saturday and know that they do everything in their power to keep our community safe.

Here’s hoping the families that lost loved ones will find peace and this tragedy in Columbia will help inspire a change. No family and no community should have to suffer a loss like this.

Hug your loved ones tightly.

#HoCoBlogs