Saturday, August 20, 2011

AiR Jam

Thursday, I went to Hub-Bub's AiR art talk/open studio. Got there a little late so I missed the beginning of writer-in-residence Eric's talk, but the last bit of it was good, as were the other talks. I really wanted to spend some time in the gallery getting acquainted with their work first, but the open studio was a rare opportunity to see their workspaces so I followed the crowd up the stairs. Eric, the writer, was my first stop. He apologized for not having much to show because he wasn't a visual artist but he did have his MFA thesis lying out for perusal so I read a few poems while community members and ex-AiRs stopped in to chat. Someone brought him some basil seeds for his mini herb garden - apparently he'd made a few remarks about it in his talk before I got there. He also had a guitar, base, and ukelele out that he welcomed his visitors to play.
The Writer in his Natural Habitat

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Settling in for the fall

I am starting back to work at Converse tomorrow! I am so excited. Beth, Converse's director of communications, emailed me shortly after she found out that Kathryn, Converse's web content manager, would be moving on to teach at a technical college in Greenwood. I'm glad for Kathryn because teaching is what she really wants to do, and I'm glad for me because I love working at Converse, especially that job. I'm going to be a part-time interim content manager while they conduct a search, but you never know what might happen... :)

So I will be juggling two jobs and two classes this fall. I expect I will have my hands full. I've really enjoyed my little breather after summer school and am ready to tackle new classes on Thursday. I am taking Practicum in Organizing and Managing Web Resources (which meshes perfectly with being a web content manager!) and Principles of Assessment for LIS Professionals. I have been excited about the first class since I took Intro in the beginning of the summer. The same professor will be teaching it and I feel like I learn a lot from her. I really deliberated on whether to take the second class or not. It is a special topics class, which means this will be the only time it's offered while I'm in school. It will definitely be useful in my chosen field, since colleges are always doing some kind of assessment. In fact, I'm a little afraid with this class under my belt, the college I end up working at will rope me into being a part of all their assessment committees. It was fun and exciting as an undergrad, but now it just strikes me as a lot of additional work. Well, assessment is a powerful tool for improving your professional practice and your institution so... I think it will be good for me. And I ended up not having a choice. I had to take two classes to get loans.

I feel like I am really starting to settle back into life in Spartanburg. I know, it's been almost a year, but pretty much the first half of it I spent missing where I had been, and trying to go back, or at least get out of here. There were times when I felt pretty sorry for myself, since I really felt like I had given up everything to pursue the Lord. A great job, a great life, school/career opportunities all lined up and ready to go...I ended up not only sacrificing that but losing my health as well, ending up, seemingly, right back where I started, only worse off. But that's not really what was happening. God was taking me through growing experiences. Showing me more of who I am, what the church is, what's going on with the saints in the recovery and how I fit with all that, and just how big of a world I live in. Some of what I learned I liked, and some I didn't, but I'm glad to have learned it. I no longer feel that longing for the Training that I felt for months. I wanted so badly to be back there this term, but now it's pre-training week, and even hearing all the chatter on facebook about who's going back, and who's starting out, I can honestly say that I'm just happy for my friends who will be there. God's made it pretty clear it's not where I'm supposed to be right now, and He's reminding me of the rich awesome wonderful life that he's given me here.

So I'm connecting with friends old and new in the area, and remembering what it means to be a responsible family member. I'm cleaning, scything the lawn with my dad, and cooking with my mom. I talked my family into buying a half share at the local CSA. I'm enjoying community in Spartanburg. I went to Hub-Bub for the first time in...nearly two years, I guess. Enjoyed a delightful drum circle and met one of the Artists-in-Residence. I'll be back to take a closer look at his work, along with that of the other AiRs, on Thursday at the Art Walk. I will have to find yet another rhythm with a new job and a new school load, but I am confident that I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me, and, perhaps for the first time since I left, I'm looking forward to a future in Spartanburg that's bright with promise.

A snippet of the drum circle. Lots of fun!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Camping Scrapbook

Finished the scrapbook today, after working on it feverishly all week. I learned a lot in the process. Pam has provided an excellent record of our adventures here, here, and here. Let me know what you think of my first digital scrapbook!


CampingScrapbook-Swimming Hole

CampingScrapbook- Campsite

CampingScrapbook-Looking Glass Falls

CampingScrapbook-Sliding rock

CampingScrapbook- Picnic


Click on the pictures to zoom in on Flickr. I feel like there should be like a back cover or something. Oh well.

Thanks to Summertime Designs for the kit, and Tom Kolter for the font.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Camping and more weddings

So my best friend Pamela and I decided to plan a camping trip to celebrate finishing my first summer in graduate school. It ended up also being a celebration of her being healed from a medical condition, so it was doubly exciting. She's going to blog all about it in the next couple of days, so I won't say much except that it was awesome, we had plenty of unexpected adventures, and we made lots of good memories. I'm really getting into this digital scrapbooking thing, so I decided to memorialize the trip with a scrapbook. I'll post it here when I'm done. So far I've finished two pages. It's kind of addictive.

I've also been at two more weddings since I last blogged (bringing my total to five this year).One was an old friend from back in my homeschool days, Mikia. We haven't really kept in touch well so I was honored to be invited. It was a cute outdoor wedding with a beach theme. The second was a friend from freshman year of college, Shilo. She transferred sophomore year, but we were pretty close back in the day. She asked Pam and me to be bridesmaids, which I was really nervous about,  since it was the day we left our campsite, but it was a huge honor. So after two days of getting wet and dirty and mucking about, we woke up early, packed up our gear, showered and got all fancy to be bridesmaids. It was a whirlwind, getting there barely in the nick of time, being handed a bouquet and told to lead the way out the door to the alter. Then a bunch of pictures outside on a hot muggy day and the reception. It was really sweet when we did the Converse tradition of circling the bride and singing the Alma Mater.

I am so excited to be finished with two classes! I've got about two weeks before the fall semester starts, and I plan to enjoy every bit of it. Though I really do need to figure out what I'll be taking this fall.

Here's the bride and her bridesmaids:
Shilo, Lydia, and Pamela

Monday, August 1, 2011

New Blog Layout!

I am learning about html and web design in my graduate class and got inspired. :) I found this awesome digiscrapping blog (yay new word!) while working on one of my assignments and the Moments kit appealed to me. I found this cool font at and after several hours of labor, much tweaking and risky code manipulation, I am proud to present Long Purple Bike's new look. By the way, if you need free hi-res image hosting, Picture Push seems to be a pretty good choice.

Please tell me what you think of the new look!

Edit: Added "Why Long Purple Bike" page, went through and tagged all my posts from the beginning, and added a cute little tag cloud. Hopefully that will help you to discover and peruse more writings of interest. Remember, I LOVE comments! >.<
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