One week...

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That's right. Only one week until I board that plane and head on home to Minnesota. I know I haven't updated this in a while...I've just been super busy traveling and trying to fit in as many things as I can before I leave. That being said, A LOT has happened since I last posted on here. I've been to Sydney, Melbourne, the Great Ocean Road, Cairns, and the Great Barrier Reef. It has been a complete blast and I've seen some incredible things. I'm not going to post a huge entry right now about all of my travels because I am very tired (I flew back from Cairns/my dive trip this afternoon-evening)...but I do have my photos from my dive trip already up on facebook. So if you want, you can check those out here: Spirit of Freedom trip

The trip was one of the best trips I've ever taken in my life. It was four days out on the ocean, with 3 of the days filled with diving. All we did was dive and eat and sleep. We would get up in the morning, have breaky (breakfast), dive, 2nd breaky, dive, lunch, dive, snack, dive, dinner, dive, dessert, sleep, repeat. It was absolutely spectacular and I still wish I was on the boat (Spirit of Freedom). The crew were wonderful and meeting all of the other divers was great... especially because they were from all over the world. There were people from Germany, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile (I think), the UK, the US. It was such an interesting experience getting to hear all of their stories of different dives they've done around the world and it made me fall in love with diving all over again. I'm just so happy that I started diving as young as I did because now I have the rest of my life to continue with it. I was the youngest passenger on the boat by at least 10 years I think...but that didn't even matter because diving people are the best type of people around and we all get along no matter what the age difference is.

I still have to go through my photos from Sydney/Melbourne and get them uploaded, but I've just been pretty busy with doing last minute things, taking Brisbane in and enjoying the city I've called home as much as I can these past few weeks. I am very excited to be home though. I can't wait to see all of my family and friends that I have not seen for over five months.

I hope to post another update on here tomorrow or Sunday, so until then... cheers!

Jewellery and Small Objects final...

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I figured I'd post the final outcome of my Jewellery and Small Objects class....

The project we worked on the entire semester was revolved around the idea of material culture which refers to the relationship between social relations and objects. In specific, we looked at how objects can show the culture and way of life of the person who once used this object if looked at many years later.

Being a scuba diver and having such a strong passion for diving, I chose to focus on the idea of the material culture of divers. The object I decided to create for class was a cover that would be used to wrap around my dive log--the one object in diving that records literally everything when it comes to diving. It records the people, the places, what we saw, the technical aspect of diving, etc. Basically, a dive log can be looked back upon years down the road and you would be able to tell the relationships, the memories, the places traveled, and in general a sense of what the diving world is like.

For my piece, I made the cover out of leather, with various cutouts riveted onto the front and back. All of the cutouts on the back panel represent different people that have had an impact on my history with diving... and then all the names of everyone I've dived with in the past are stamped into the frame. Being that this was the first time I've ever worked with metal like this, I am really happy with the results and I learned a lot over the semester in regards to various processes and techniques used in the world of metalsmithing.

So without further blabbing on about things, here are some pictures of my final piece......

Front cover...
DiveLog1.jpg

and the back
DiveLog2.jpg

Close ups of the cutouts....
DiveLog3.jpg

DiveLog4.jpg

DiveLog5.jpg

DiveLog6.jpg

DiveLog7.jpg

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"leave only bubbles" button on the front cover
DiveLog10.jpg

October 17th, 2012

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Also known as one of the best days of my life.....let me (try to) explain:

First off, those of you who know me pretty well know that music is a huge part of my life and those of you who don't know me as well, now you know that. There is not much in the world I love as much as going to a concert, getting lost in the crowd, and just taking everything. Music is one of those things that has such a huge impact on me that it has the ability to completely turn my mood around. If I need to get away for a while, I'll throw on a record (yes I have a record player and collect music on vinyl) or put my headphones in and just slip away for a while. That all being said...seeing as I'm in Australia, one of the things I obviously wanted to do was to experience a concert in a different country. I've already told you all my plans to see Gotye right before I leave for home and my failed attempt to see Jimmy Buffett (still sad I missed out on that one). What I haven't told you (or at least I don't think I have) were my plans to see the one and only Mumford & Sons, one of my favorite bands of all time. This is a recap of how I came about getting a ticket / deciding to go to their concert(s) (yes plural).....

    I found out they were doing an AU / NZ stopover tour during my time here...one of the dates being here in Brisbane, in an outdoor amphitheater which is part of the city botanic gardens. I was so excited to find this out and started saving money in order to go but it unfortunately sold out before I could get a ticket. Luckily, there was a second show two weeks later on the Gold Coast that wasn't sold out, so I got a ticket to that show instead. So there I was, all content and happy that I would be seeing Mumford & Sons in Australia, on Halloween, with some friends of mine. Then two days before the show here in Brisbane, I was able to get my hands on a discounted ticket for the show. Despite the fact I was seeing them in two weeks, I couldn't possibly pass up the opportunity to see one of my favorite bands play a show in the city I've been living in the past few months of my life, in the middle of a botanic gardens. So I bought the ticket and went and I don't regret one cent. It was honestly one of the best nights of my life.

Onto yesterday / last night.....

So about 2ish in the afternoon I decided to walk over into the city, stop by the farmers market to get some lunch (by that I mean delicious apples and fruit, mmmmm), and then head to the botanic gardens to just spend the afternoon sitting in a tree, listening to music and sketching. It was wonderful. Around 4.30ish, I headed closer to the entrance of the Riverstage, seeing as gates were at 5/5.30ish, and found a rock to lean against while I waited for the couple to show up that I was getting my ticket from. As I was sitting there, music to my ears started filling the air....Mumford & Sons started sound checking. I was filled with so much excitement just from hearing them play bits and pieces of songs, testing things out, and I couldn't wait for them to actually take the stage about 4 hours later. Fast forward to after they were done sound checking and what happened next makes me smile from ear to ear just re-living it in my mind.....a van drove out from the backstage area, with non other than Ben, Ted, Winston, and Marcus inside. They drove right past where I was sitting and waiting and waved / looked right at me as they drove past it. I basically died...not really, but the butterflies in my stomach were going like crazy. Fast forward again to once I was inside the gates...I quickly moved my way towards the front, ending up about 10 or so people back from the barricade. The two openers were both fantastic...Willy Mason was first and then Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros followed. "Home" by Edward Sharpe is such a freaking amazing song live....the energy from the crowd and how lively the band was (mind you there are 10+ of them on stage) made it such a great song to experience live.....

And then there was Mumford & Sons.

They took the stage right around 8.10 and played for an hour and 45 minutes. So basically it was an hour and 45 minutes of pure, exhilarating, music-filled, bliss. I was in heaven. It's really hard for me to fully describe my level of love for this band, seeing as I would end up just going on and on and on, gushing over all of their little quirks that make me love them so much. I basically love them so much it hurts. Not much can top Marcus' voice belting out their songs / him strumming the heck out of his guitar combined with Ted rocking out an upright bass and actually making it look cool, Winston and his awesome self on the banjo, and Ben and his radiant smile on the keys.

Instead of going on and on about how amazing last night was, especially seeing as I've already made this entry quite long, I'll leave you with some photos from the concert:

Mumford2.jpg
The massive crowd...this isn't even showing half of the crowd. There were a bunch more people to the right and left of the frame, as well as about double the size behind that white tent thing. The crowd was at least 8,000 people strong.

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Marcus Mumford...aka the man with a voice that I could listen to forever.

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Oh you know...typical Wednesday night in Brisbane, rocking out to Mumford & Sons

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I can't get over how amazing last night was.

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The set list of perfection.

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The limited edition, lithograph poster I got (only 101 made and hand numbered by the band)


And that's all for now. Now it's time for me to hit the books (well technically not the books, more so the computer and my designing programs) and buckle down for these last two weeks of school....and then I'll get to end the semester in style with seeing these lovely gentlemen of the road again on Halloween. I'm excited.

Cheers!

Two weeks...

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The past few weeks of my life have been rather hectic in regards to school so I apologize for the lack in updates. Then again, I'm not too sure how interesting it would have been for you all to read updates about schoolwork so I guess I spared you that bit. Like I said, school has been super hectic--and super stressful--all because I'm on the final stretch of my semester abroad (in terms of school that is). I have major projects in every one of my courses as well as a few tests/exams to prepare for, but that's just how the end of the semester goes. It's funny thinking back on my time here in Australia and realizing how fast it has actually gone by. I still feel as though I just got here maybe a month ago, but in reality, I've been here for almost four months now (more like three and a half) and school is ending in two weeks. TWO WEEKS. It's still hard to wrap my head around that one. In two weeks time, I will have my third semester of college completed and then have a month in Australia to travel and explore and really take in the whole cultural aspect of things. I am very excited to say the least.

I figured I'd give you all an idea of what my life looks like at the moment in regards to everything I have for school within the next two weeks......


  • Typographic Design--Design a 20 page booklet for a music festival

  • Digital Print Design--Design a 24 page booklet about Australian Busk Tucker (bushfood / plants native to Australia); Final Exam

  • Jewellery and Small Objects--Finish up the cover I am making for my Dive Log (it is turning out really well so far); Artist Statement; Visual Diary

  • Music in Contemporary Contexts--Listening/Reading test; Final Exam

So yeah...I have quite a bit on my plate for the next two weeks, but I have a really good start on everything so I should be completely fine. It will still be pretty stressful though I'm guessing just because of the amount of stuff I have to get done, but I'll manage. And once I'm done with all of my schoolwork, I'll upload pictures of all of my projects that I've done while over here...I figured it'd be good to show you guys what I've spent a lot of my time doing :)

But enough about school....

Remember that Gotye drawing I had mentioned in the previous entry? Well I finished it and I am absolutely loving how it turned out. I just don't know how I'm getting it home seeing as it is at least 2ft by 3ft haha. Anyways, here's a picture of the final outcome:

Gotye2.jpg

And now onto even more exciting news....well not fully...just a brief intro to my next post...

Last night was one of the best nights of my entire life. I saw Mumford & Sons live in the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens, on the Riverstage. My next post will be dedicated to last night's pure brilliance. (I'll have it up later today)

Until then, here's a glimpse of my amazing night:

Mumford3.jpg

Cheers!!

School and Semester Break

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Oh wow, it seems as though I have fallen behind again on updating. I've been quite the busy girl these past couple of weeks with having projects due for critique in every one of my courses as well as a few exams thrown into the mix. Ahhh the joys of midterms. Thankfully they are completed but now comes the waiting to hear back on how they all went.

Right now I am on semester break, which is still crazy to believe seeing as everyone back home (at least at UMD) is only in their fourth week. As soon as I start classes back up next week, there will officially be a mere four weeks left of regular classes. After that, there is a break week, which is to be used for studying, and then a week of final exams. Being that I am an art major and most of my finals are projects as opposed to exams, there is a high likelihood I won't actually have any finals during that exam week though. All of my critiques--or at least the ones I know of so far--are scheduled for the last day of or normal class. So what does this mean? It means I get an extra two weeks I didn't know I would have to explore some more of the local area of course!

So, semester break. It's supposed to be a nice break away from the stress of school, right? Wrong. I still have projects to work on and other things ended up happening that caused more stress than need be--unfortunately resulting in a falling out between someone I've known since kindergarten. However, it is nice to have a break away from needing to go to class on a daily basis and actually being able to work on my projects when I want to rather than worked in around my class schedule. My break isn't all projects and stress though...I've managed to work in a few enjoyable things into my week.

Last Saturday, four of us--Josh, Scott, Leah, and myself--took a mini road trip down to the Gold Coast for a day at the beach, in Surfer's Paradise. It sure was an odd experience driving (technically riding along) on the opposite side of the road as well as being in a car where everything was flip-flopped. Despite being thrown off by my surroundings in the car, the ride was an enjoyable one...how can it not be when the first song played is "Don't You Forget About Me," from the Breakfast Club??? The beach was absolutely amazing. Again I say the ocean is one of my favorite things in the world; you can't help but love the smell of the air, the sand in your toes, the salt water against your skin, and that beach tangled hair. I was completely worn out by the end of our day full of tumbling along with the ocean waves. I'm pretty sure sand is the devil though seeing as it covers everything when you go to the beach...your hair, skin, clothes, bags, everything! While we were at Surfer's, we also ended up passing by the tattoo shop the leader from my Byron Bay orientation trip works at. Unfortunately I didn't get to see him and catch up though...he either was in the back working or out somewhere.

Sunday through to today I have been working a lot on a project for Digital Print Design....designing the packaging for a CD. I have to say I love projects like these. They are always quite fun to work on and beat studying for an exam any day. I just finished turning it in, so it's nice to feel productive and have one more thing checked off my list of school works to do. Now all that's left is to write an essay for my Music in Contemporary Contexts course.

Besides the work I've done for school over break, I've also started into the largest drawing I've ever done and I have to say it's probably my favorite to date (at least out of my drawings of people that is). The drawing is of Wally De Backer...more commonly know by his stage name, Gotye. I'll upload a picture of it once I'm finished with it, which will hopefully be later this week.

Either tonight or tomorrow during the day, I am going to see Hotel Transylvania. I'd rather be going to see Perks of Being a Wallflower but seeing as it apparently doesn't get to be released in Australia, I'm opting for the other movie...still excited to see it though. Plus, who can say no to a fun animated movie anyways? Gotta keep the child in you alive somehow!

This coming Saturday, a group of us--same group as Gold Coast, plus 4-5 more people-- were supposed to take a trip to Stradbroke Island (Straddie) but it got pushed back until next weekend. That trip should be a fun one when we actually go. Basically we are going to spend the day on the island, just hanging out at the beach, and then watching the sunset and camping out/grabbing a cheap hostel for the night. It should be nice and relaxing.

Seeing as this entry is quite lengthy, I think I'll wrap it up here. Sorry there are no pictures for this update...like I said, I've been rather busy with projects that I just haven't bothered to take too many pictures. The next ones will definitely (I hope haha) have pictures to accompany them.

Cheers!


Fins to left, fins to the right

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My weekend getaway to Byron Bay was absolutely amazing. 4 dives, wonderful people, and breathtaking views...both on land and underwater. It was the first time testing out my own underwater camera, which I was excited about. A lot of the photos ended up a bit blurry and the video I shot was a bit shaky, but hey it was my first time with my camera. Anyways, I put together what footage I got from the weekend into a short video....I figured it'd be a cool way to show you all the world I love. The quality of this link isn't the best because I had to compress it a lot in order to be able to upload it and not use up a lot of my internet usage, but you'll get the gist of what I did this weekend. Here's the link to the video:

Dive Trip Video

And here's the link to the photo album from this weekend:

Dive Trip Photos

Cheers!

Almost forgot!

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With how excited I am for my dive trip this weekend, I almost forgot to inform you all of the really awesome event that starts tomorrow spans all the way through September 29th! Anyways....starting tomorrow (the 8th) Brisbane Festival kicks off. I'm not really too sure about what all is going on but by the looks of it, there is going to be a lot of celebrating over the next 20 days here in Brisbane. Every night, there is a lights and laser show on the river, incorporating some of the buildings from the city. There will be a lot of various music, dance, theater, comedy, etc shows dispersed throughout the festival and the final night, the river is lit up in fireworks. From what I can tell, it will be really fun and definitely a new experience to see Brisbane come to life for this 20 day celebration. Below is the link if you'd like to check it out for yourself:


Brissy Fest

Back to the sea

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After a very long, stressful, and sleepless week I finally get to go diving again. I cannot wait to wetsuit-up, grab all my scuba gear, and take that giant stride back into the deep blue. For the next two days, I will be back in Byron Bay, diving the site I was supposed to on my first trip there. There's a huge chance we will get to see sharks and a slight chance to catch a glimpse of a whale or hear one as its passing by. After this past week of midterms I definitely need this mini break away from school and the city. Unfortunately, my midterms are not quite over. I still have one more critique and test on Monday, which means my weekend away isn't one completely free of school. Whenever I'm not in the water diving or out taking pictures, I will be studying away for my Music in Contemporary Contexts test and putting together a short overview of my first Typography project. Even with having to do school work over my mini-trip, I am still super excited to be back in the water...especially because I now have my own underwater camera to take photos and videos with! Now I will be able to show more of the world I love so dearly. Diving with a camera will definitely take some getting used--many of my first pictures will turn out blurry I'm guessing--but I am excited nevertheless.

Stay tuned for pictures from my little weekend getaway!

Cheers!

Midterms

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This upcoming week is probably going to be one of my most hectic/stressful weeks during my time here in Australia. The reasoning behind this is because it is midterms.....I still can't believe I'm already halfway through my schooling this semester, it's crazy!

Within the next 9 days, this is what all will be happening:
Sunday: study, dive shop, design stuff, study
Monday: class, studio, class, design stuff, study
Tuesday: studio, study, design and print stuff, more studying
Wednesday: typo test, study, prep for critique, design stuff
Thursday: class, prep for critique, study, pack for weekend
Friday: studio/prep for critique, critique
Saturday: Dive Trip!!!
Sunday: Dive Trip!!!
Monday: critique, exam......

and then I'm done with the craziness that is midterms, where all professors have exams or projects due, and I'll only have 6 weeks left of classes.

It's Tuesday on the island....

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Well I'm not actually on an island, but it is Tuesday....and today has been great. Tuesdays are my day off from class, so they are normally spent catching up on some homework or out exploring the city. Today was different. Today I sat down and spent hours looking up flight information, hostel bookings, and trip itineraries, all trying to figure out my set plans for semester break and once school is done. I am glad to say that everything is worked out! Here's what my future (in terms of trips around Oz) looks like:

Semester Break:
Friday night--Jimmy Buffett concert in the Botanical Gardens
Saturday/Sunday--day trip to the Australia Zoo
Monday/Tuesday--meeting up with friends in Mt. Tamborine for a few days filled with wine tastings, horseback riding, waterfalls, and hiking. It should be amazing.

After school:
Dive trip: I'll be going on a 3day/3night liveaboard dive trip out of Cairns.....flying into Cairns Sunday, departing for the reef Monday, return to Thursday on a low-level flight over the Great Barrier Reef, back to Brisbane Friday. I'm really excited for this trip because I get to live on the ocean for 3 days and dive with human sized fish!

Sydney and Melbourne 2in1 trip:
I've done a lot of planning and figured the best way to get to both cities is to do them both in the same trip! Instead of flying Brisbane to Sydney and back, and then repeating that later for Melbourne, I'm now flying from Brisbane to Melbourne...spending a few days there (meeting up with my friend Sam, and going to the Great Ocean Road)...and then flying to Sydney from Melbourne (only $35) for a few days (getting to see Darling Harbour, the Opera House, and having a cheeseburger and pina colada at Margaritaville). I'll then return to Brisbane for another week or so before I get to see Gotye and then I'm home!

Cheers!