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:
Here is me standing beside one of the boards I made. Brown-eyed susans and cone flowers are in bloom behind me 🙂
Another view of the Sun Garden
The Shade Garden from behind
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!!
Art things have been coming all summer!
Fractal Table (still for sale)
Starry Night/travel/nature themed table!
I finished my internship with Navarro and Wright on Wednesday so I have plenty of time to panic before I leave for Iceland 🙂
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:
…And here is the final!
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.
And finally a table my friend found in the dumpster!
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:
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.
Yay! I am home! I actually have been home for a week. I was pretty productive. I got an internship, painted a coffee table, finished an essay and cleaned my room (sorta). My internship is with an engineering firm but they have a few landscape architects on staff. It’s also close to home which is good. I plan on biking at least a few times per week because I am out of shape yo.
Graduation is Boring
I’m sorry. But it is. Last weekend, I went back up to State College for my BFF Haleigh’s graduation. It was held in the BJC because she’s in (or was in) the Eberly College of Science which is pretty big. Anyway, the whole ceremony could be run so much more effiencently. But I guess tradition trumps speed. About half the time was taken up by people introducing other people and the other half was taken up by people who cheered for way too long when their graduate’s name got called.
Here is a picture of the coffee table I painted for my friend. He wanted a radioactive waste barrel, an eel with three eyes, and a fish with a cowboy hat hidden somewhere. The resolution of this photo is definitely not good enough for you to be able to tell which fish has the hat on.
Not for Long (Because I am going to Germany!)
STAY TUNED FOR A VERY IMPORTANT POST!!!!!!!
Final Presentations in Baltimore, Maryland
My final presentation for my Baltimore project happened a few weeks ago. We got up 6:00 AM and drove down in a university-owned creeper van. I slept. We all slept. Because 6 AM is very early for the average college student.
Around 10:00 AM we arrived at the Parks and People Foundation campus and set up our projects in an old, stone house that the foundation refurbished. Our boards were massive and we had to get pretty creative to fit all nine of our projects in the room. Mine wasn’t even in the room but put over some bay windows in a side area. They gave us some sticky dots to use for our posters but we were skeptical they would stay up. In the background, The Big Labowski was playing on the mini projector one of our professors was trying to set up. We finished hanging our stuff and sat around for a bit and talked about nothing. Then we left for lunch at this place called R House which is an “adult food court”. Its pretty good. I recommend it. On the drive over, we bet on how many poster would be down by the time we got back.
Lunch passed and we drove back to the stone house. Our presentations started at 2:00. At 2:30, people started trickling in and we were well on our way by 3:00. Instead of doing a live presentation, we played our recorded power points and stood up at the front awkwardly. I had recorded my power point at my apartment and my chirping birds were pretty noticeable in the background. Oh well. After our presentation ended the audience asked us questions. There were some people from Johnston Square, some Penn State alumni, and a few who work at firms in Baltimore. I am very happy to say that my design was quite well received. The community members seemed very excited about my ideas and my concept which made me very happy. 🙂
After presentations, we went to an Oriels baseball game. We all wanted to go home, but our professor was so excited about it (and he already bought tickets for us. Don’t worry we paid him back.). Anyway, I had never been in a major league stadium and I gotta say it was pretty cool. It’s like a little town. Our seats looked over right field so it was hard to see what was happening. I don’t think any of us were invested in the game but we had a good time. At one point, I came back from the bathroom and some of my friends were watching something very intently. They said a couple a few rows down had been fighting. The girl stormed off at one point but had now returned, looking irritated and huffy. In the end they made up, and the guy’s arm returned around the girl’s shoulders. It wasn’t super warm but it got colder as the sun set. I shivered a lot because I didn’t dress warm enough. The Oriels won and we went home.
Earth Day at the Residence
On Monday, I got to talk about my rain gardens for the Earth Day celebration at the Governor’s Residence. It was fun to see the Residence staff and my old supervisor. I got to do it because DCNR was invited to set up different stations around the grounds to talk about plants and other earth day things. There were some local area schools in attendance. Including my old elementary school, Londonderry! I got to see some of my old teachers and a few of the current students. They told me I was “like a million years old”. Thanks guys.