December 27, 2012

New Beginnings

It only seems appropriate to begin the new year with a change of direction in my current job. After months and months of praying and applying and interviewing I've decided to take a job as a nanny for a completely wonderful family. For the past 10 months I've worked as a toddler teacher for a very well respected and prestigious early learning center. Working with these children every day has taught me so much, not only about the children themselves but about my own self and my capabilities as a person. I never would have believed the amount of tasks I could complete simultaneously (if you are a mother I'm sure you understand this) or the sentences that would come out of my mouth ("Why were you chewing on my hair?"). And I will miss little fingers and arms grasping at my legs begging for "up". I will miss the hilarious bed head that happens to newly growing hair after a 2 hour nap. And I will miss a small "crowd" of 1-year-olds gathered at my feet as we read "The Big Hungry Bear" for the fourth time in a row.

But I am very excited to start a new job where I can focus all of my love and attention to one sweet little boy. I won't have to juggle nine other children and a laundry list of paperwork and documentation each day. I'm looking forward to watching him grow up and teaching him how to walk and talk and to figure out this new relationship of one instead of ten. And one of the biggest reasons why I made the switch was because this new position is going to afford me more time, more money, and more energy to focus on my overwhelming desire to pursue my own art practice.

With time- as I've learned to accept that this will be a long-haul- I see a small kiln, a wheel, and a mound of porcelain sitting in a corner of my apartment. Until then, I will be content to make this small, but significant step toward my dream.

//photo of Amy Merrick by Jennifer Causey for The Makers Project

December 3, 2012

Blood Brother

I am excited to share that Blood Brother, the film my boyfriend and close friends have been working on, has made it to Sundance! Its such an honor and it will do so much to help the children in the orphanage. If you haven't seen the trailers please check them out and be inspired.

On another note, I am sad to say that its been a good number of months since I have done anything remotely artistic. A few conversations with coworkers and the fact that I will have next to nothing to spend on Christmas gifts has motivated me to get back in the game and get to work. I'm hoping to make all of my gifts this year and if I'm feeling particularly productive I'll post a few DIY posts about the projects so stay tuned!

October 29, 2012

Love Park

This weekend was a bit of a blur. Tyson and I, along with my roommates and a lot of our close friends, drove out to Philly for the weekend. We had a great Tri-state worship service so we met a lot of people, saw old friends, and got to spend some time in the city and go out to eat with my parents.

I'll spare you some of the details of our frustrating driving experiences, suffice it to say Tyson and I were both at our wits-end by Sunday afternoon. We had to coordinate who was driving what car, who was coming with us, who could leave by what time and on and on.

We were driving around and around center city trying to get to Broad (living in Pittsburgh the past four years has erased any trace of the Philly-girl in me when it comes to driving in the city) when we passed "love park". I longingly looked out the window and jokingly exclaimed, "All I wanted was to take a picture under the LOVE sign..." Tyson looked over at me and said, "Let's do it," and we quickly parked the car (probably illegally...but for like a second...) and ran as fast as could, holding hands, up to the park. A guy who was there took a bunch of photos for us and we ran, even faster back to the car, joking about how out of breath we were.

It was exactly what we both needed. It can be hard to break out of a certain attitude or emotion and all the "talking it out" in the world won't help. Sometimes you just need someone to grab you by the hand and say, "Let's do it"

October 25, 2012

Opening The Windows

Just a sick day at home. I opened all the windows (its 80 degrees in late October, after all). A few leaves from our tree even fell through the window in the living room. No mater how long the windows have been closed for- a day, a week, or all winter- it always feels like something is beginning again when the windows are opened. And to top off this dreamy fall day I thought I'd share the music that has been floating around the house. Its not really fall without a little Neil Young, is it? 

October 17, 2012

Grateful for...

Its a little early in the morning for me to be posting something but I just couldn't help wanting to share one of my favorite poems.

Glory be to God for dappled things--
   For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
       For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
   Landscape plotted and pieced--fold, fallow, and plough;
       And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
      With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
                                     Praise Him.

-Gerard Manely Hopkins

I love thanking God for the simple things, because when you really consider it, they aren't simple at all. Everything he has done is wonderful and amazing and in a season of change it becomes easier to see that his beauty is everywhere. 

October 11, 2012

Life Lately

This season of my life has felt like a whirlwind. Every few months a close friend is getting married, or moving, or going through something life-changing. Even the children I work with are growing up so fast (and others I wish would grow just a little faster...I think its time you start walking, C and H...). Its hard to just step back and breathe, you know? I'm hoping to get some much needed time in my favorite western PA woods this Saturday with a close girlfriend while the boyfriend is in the Ukraine for the next 10 days (that makes him sound like the stressful element in my life but nothing could be further from the truth). I hope at least, fall will take its time. Pittsburgh winters, hold off for just another month or so before the snow, will you?

[photos: Carnegie Museum of Art, garden goods, drive down to VA for my best friends wedding, saying goodbye to Charlottesville: All taken via iPhone with the VSCO app]

September 28, 2012

Blood Brother

I wanted to share something near and dear to my heart. For the last year and a half or so my very close friends and boyfriend, Tyson, have been working on something absolutely incredible. One of our dearest friends, Rocky Braat, moved to India about 3 years ago to be a family to some of the most darling children in an AIDS orphanage. His best friend, Steve Hoover, decided to film a documentary about Rocky's life and Blood Brother is the fruit of both their efforts. 

Its a remarkable story about love, loss, sacrifice, and brotherhood and it is perhaps one of the most hauntingly beautiful films I have ever seen. The first screening was held in Pittsburgh last weekend at the Byham Theater. It was truly a unique experience to have our families and best friends all in one place.

Steve introducing the film

And I just have to say how inspired I am by Tyson and the work that he dedicated himself to; living in India for a short while to film, almost never coming back (so glad he did though...just sayin'), pulling many all-nighters, and working hard to stay true to Steve's original vision.

Rocky and his lovely wife Nimi came all the way from their home in Chennai.

I'm in love with this film. I think you will be too...

‘I often wonder what would it look like if all people resisted the temptation to focus on themselves and truly poured themselves out for the benefit of others.’ -Rocky Braat

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