It’s Cold and Pottery is Hard

Hi! So I’ve been back for… three weeks? Nope. Four. And things have been going pretty good. Except the university keeps cancelling school on some very important days in studio and I’m not too happy about it. My studio this year (which I think I told you was a collaborative studio with architects and architectural engineers). We were supposed to have this “charette” last week where we talked to a bunch of different important people about our site to help inform our research for the design. But then it got cancelled. And then it got cancelled again. Also, I am taking a seminar looking at a parcel of land in Musser Gap which is owned by the university and we were going to have a community meeting to learn more about what the public thing about the land and that also got cancelled. The stupid cold is ruining everything.

Practice was not immune to the school cancellation either. We had two practices cancelled right before our first meet at Temple so the stress was high and most of us had not actually practiced our routines so we were all quite surprised when we didn’t fall all over the place. I actually think A-Team placed first but we had to leave before awards because the meet was on Sunday night and I had a Monday 8 AM which is pottery.

Also. I’m so bad at pottery. Actually, I’m ok at sculpture. Here was our first project, a shoe made out of clay.

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Pretty good right?

But now we have moved on to wheel throwing which I know is “harder than it looks” but its really so freaking difficult. Our first assignment is to make a six-inch cylinder. Nothing fancy. just a cylindrical with a hole. And I can’t seem to do it. It’s been two three-hour classes plus outside time and it’s going so poorly. Six inches never seemed so un-achievable. Ug. I have to go in tomorrow to do it. Hopefully I’ll be done before the sun sets.

Good news though. Very good news! Some time ago, I applied for the MA in Industrial Design program at the Savannah College of Art and Design and I found out last week that I was ACCEPTED!!!!! YAY! WOOO! I still have to wait unit March for RISD though. And I don’t even know what I’m going to do. But it’s still quite exciting!

So it’s been a bit since this happened but the first snow day we had at school, Logan and I went with some friends to our friend Mike’s house to make pasta and sled. We led a little pasta making demonstartion from the stuff that we learned in Rome during our semester abroad in Germany. (That’s a different blog. If you wanna read about it click HERE)

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Here I Am, Back Again

(Written on January 7th)

For one more semester, anyway. Today is the first day of classes. I have a light load this semester but a lot of extra plans too. I’m taking a pottery class which will be interesting. I am already done with my one class and am now waiting for my friends to finish so we can walk around the arboretum and take pictures of mushrooms. So yeah. Big plans. I also have gymnastics this evening which I’m super excited for, although I am extremely out of shape.

I can’t believe it’s my last semester. It’s a little sad, but after five years, I’m ready for something new.

The mushroom photography walk didn’t happen because it got super cold and cloudy and then it started to snow and then it started to sleet.

Also, I have a roommate! No, not my birds. Logan decided to leave his crummy apartment for my slightly less crummy apartment. It’s been nice. Plus, last night he dropped me off at practice.

As you may or may not know, I was in Germany last semester. I documented all of it in a different blog which you can read RIGHT HERE>>>> Zoe’s Abroad Adventure


It is now January 11th. I have finished my first week of my last semester at Penn State. Crazy stuff yo. Last night I went to Zeno’s with some friends to play trivia. We did not as bad as we usually do and then play some pool afterward. It was more crowded than usual. Anyway, I went up to the bar and asked for an orange juice and he said, “You know you’re at a bar, right?” Haha. Anyway, happy New Year.

This year, my studio is actually a collaborative with students from architecture and architectural engineering. Our site is actually a project that Penn State is looking at to do something about which is exciting. Basically, we are designing a sustainabilty center for the campus’s Sustainability Institute. It’s all about environmental education, ecologically conscious design and food production. All the things I like. Yesterday we had a site visit for the project in the cold, windy afternoon. The area is located kinda by stadium and baseball fields. We toured a pilot test of the living machine which uses plants and bacteria to filter waste water, and the morning star solar home which is a sustainable tiny home.

Here is a picture of the home. I want to live in it.

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Here is a picture of Logan watching the BBC nature documentary series, Frozen Planet, narrated by David Attenborough.

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Not Dead!

Hi everyone! My summer has been pretty busy with work and furniture painting and getting ready for study abroad (please follow my blog on study abroad, Zoe’s Abroad Adventure, for irregular updates on my abroad happenings).

Some exciting news about the rain gardens I designed and planted at the Governor’s Residence last summer… THEY ARE NOT DEAD!!!! They also aren’t quite what I had planned but live and learn. I got to visit them last weekend during the PA Governor’s Residence Block Party. It’s really cool to be able to visit them from time to time and see the Residence staff who are all superb people! Here is how things are leafing out at year one:

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Here is me standing beside one of the boards I made. Brown-eyed susans and cone flowers are in bloom behind me 🙂

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Another view of the Sun Garden

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The Shade Garden from behind

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The Shade garden from the front. It’s a bit slower-growing than the sun garden but most everything is still alive which is good enough for me at this point!

Also, they actually installed my rain barrel!!

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Art things have been coming all summer!

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Fractal Table (still for sale)

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Starry Night/travel/nature themed table!

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I finished my internship with Navarro and Wright on Wednesday so I have plenty of time to panic before I leave for Iceland 🙂


Starry, Starry Fence

Fence update! Remember when I told you I was painting a fence (for money)? Well it’s done now! This was done for Jennifer Storm, a victim rights advocate who lives in my neighborhood. She wanted a tribute for her father who fought in the Vietnam War. It started out with an American flag and the she said that Starry Night was her father’s favorite painting and I was like, OH YEAH. So for the mural, I incorporated some of the symbolism from his medals into a Starry Night scene. Here are some process photos:

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…And here is the final!

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A New Kind of Adventure

My first blog post about my study abroad adventure!

Zoe's Study Abroad Adventure

Hi! It’s my first post about my study abroad trip coming Fall of 2018. This blog serves to document my impending trip to Bonn, Germany (and other places) mostly for my own memory but you get to read it too! I have some exciting news! I recently bought my plane ticket! Folks, its starting to feel pretty real. Before landing in Germany however, two of my friends and I will be spending a week in Iceland! I am so very excited! Hence all the exclamation points! It was not until after we decided to spend five days in Iceland that we discovered just how expensive a visit there can be. To cut costs, we’ll be hopping from campground to campground and, according to thrifty Iceland travelers before us, we’ll also be eating lots of hotdogs. I cannot WAIT to start this experience!

Side note: I bought this cool backpack for…

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Welcome Aboard the Intern-SHIP

Hello. Yes. I do in fact have a job this summer, thanks for asking. I am branching outside the world of DCNR to something new! An internship with an engineering firm. There are two landscape architects that I’m working for. The first day was pretty much like any other first day of an internship. A bunch of HR “onboarding” paperwork and then you are led around the office and introduced to all the people who’s names you will immediately forget. They all say “welcome aboard” or “glad to have you on board”. What is with all the nautical language? I think it’s funny.

It’s only the beginning of the second week so not too much is going on. I am getting to do some design concepts for some old tennis and basketball courts near an elementary school that may get turned into a little park! Very cool.

In the picture above, you can see my desk area for the summer! There’s no door or walls to enclose the space so people can walk by and see what I’m doing fairly easily. This is not great for me because my computer and I face away from where the people are walking. I’m thinking of bringing in a mirror so I can see what’s happening behind me. On the wall you can see a window that I drew that overlooks Yosemite Valley. I also have a plant on my windowsill which you probably can’t see.

In more exciting news, my “business” (if you can even call it a business) is thriving this summer! After posting my very first “Ad” on the Creative Wake facebook page (which you should really follow if you haven’t already) I got responses for actual people who want me to paint stuff for them! I guess there is some merit to advertising. One of the people who contacted me asked if I could paint part of their fence.    Their FENCE. I’ve definitely never done something like this before and have no idea what I’ve gotten myself in to but I’m very excited about this! I start on Thursday. In the meantime, I have been painting some other things:

A second Frida Kahlo-inspired shelf!



A cool stool with leaves for my parents who are incredibly tolerant that the den is a constant mess of paint and furniture and is never used for its intended purpose.

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And finally a table my friend found in the dumpster!

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Also, I found this cool website called, Design Crowd. People who need graphic things can post their project on the website and all the graphic designers signed up with the website can make their best design and a winner is picked for the massive pile of entries. I am currently ranked #552,690 out of 627,942 designers so y’know, I have a ways to go.

Yeah, I’ve been pretty busy.

Fence update to come!

Enjoy this nice pic of my birds:2018-05-12 11.17.38.jpg


I’m Going Abroad, and What that Means for You

Yes! For the fall semester of my 5th Year, I will be going to Bonn, Germany! I am extremely excited to visit Europe since I’ve never been. Although I feel like I’d still be excited even if I had already been to Europe. But I guess that’s irrelevant. Anyway, I hope to keep you up to date while abroad. But PLOT TWIST! My free wordpress account has allotted me 3 Gigabytes of storage. I have currently used up about 70% of said storage so I either have to cut down on pictures or make a new blog and link it to this one. Friends. This is going to be tough. I made a new blog (Zoe’s Study Abroad Adventure) but I will be sharing everything I post on this blog (Zoe’s College Adventure). So really, there’s no need to worry.


Something I forgot to tell you:

While I was in State College for my friend’s graduation, I was also there to be inducted into the Lambda chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society. Appparently, only one percent of students in qualified majors are asked to join. I actually didn’t think my major quailfied because its supposed to be a society for people in liberal arts that don’t focus a specific career path but I guess I sneaked in there somehow.