Hidden talent

I have always wanted to try my hand at painting. I have always been weary of it because the one painting project I did while in college was the worst thing ever. That one painting is what caused me to get a B instead of an A in my foundations 2-D Design class. So you could say I'm quite bitter about that. The only other painting experience I have is when I was younger, I loved doing paint-by-numbers. 

Thus, for Christmas I had this crazy idea to paint pictures for my friends for our Friendsmas! That didn't end up happening because I started much too late. But I did want to paint something to give to the person that works at the barn where I board my horses. He takes such good care of them and always does everything I ask and I wanted to give him some sort of gift! 

I decided to try out watercolor paints, as I have never used them before and thought they would be the easiest to start with. A few hours later and this happened--

*huge gasp, jaw drops* that was me after this turned out way better than I expected. It was a learning experience, getting the perfect amount of water and paint for each brush stroke, but I think I did quite well. Only problem was that I liked it too much, and since it was my first successful painting I felt like I had to keep it. Therefore, I set out to paint a second one that I was for sure giving to Everett. 

Naturally, the second one turned out just as good, if not better...but no worries! I framed it and wrapped it up and gifted it! Maybe I should paint more often. 

Jack of all trades

This past year, while working as the Photo Editor for Sooner Yearbook, I finally got to fulfill my goal of writing a feature story for the book. I was overjoyed to write this piece! Obviously, my passion for college basketball is pretty well-known by most, so when they told me the previous writer assigned to this story quit, I jumped at the opportunity to write it. I was a bit nervous because I hadn't truly written a news story since high school when I wrote for the Catch-It-Kansas high school sports website. But I have keeping pace with my blog and writing about sports, thus, I was merely a bit rusty. However, I basically live the story, so it was easy to write about the growth of the men's basketball student section.

The fact that I got to interview Coach Lon Kruger and Big 12 Player of the Year, Buddy Hield, who is also my favorite player, was essentially a dream come true. You could say I was giddy with excitement on the way to interview them. I'm a full on college basketball nerd. All in all, the feature turned out great and the praise I received for it gave me confidence in it! 

Additionally, I got to design all the sports spreads, while we were scrambling to finish everything the last week after school ended before we sent the book out. It was cool being able to contribute to the book in all the areas: print, photo and design! 

To read the article, visit my blog : mylifeinthesaddle.wordpress.com! 

Back to the Drawing Board

Lately, during my breaks I have been taking at my internship, I will take about 30 minutes total spaced throughout the day and practice hand-lettering. It has been a great exercise and I've definitely improved over a few days time. Now that I don't have school projects, I feel like I have all the time in the world to try out all these design ideas I have had with no restrictions. 

It is always good to take a break from designing on the computer and go to the ol' pen and paper. I mean that's how people made things when computers did not exist. I've mostly been practicing calligraphy writing, but I saw some cool designs on Pinterest putting type over images, so I wanted to experiment and also make something really unique and meaningful to my summer roommate, who I just met, but it seems like we've been friends for years! 

First I tested out the idea on a photo with my friends and I from the road trip we took last summer. 


The idea above turned out pretty well, so I rolled with the idea for my roommate, Andrea, and started drawing a combination of her favorite things and adjectives to describe her! Bringing out my inner sneakiness, I would slyly ask her questions to get more tidbits of her personality to add to this piece of art. I think it turned out pretty cool! After finishing the drawing, I took a photo, stuck it in Illustrator and image traced it and then put it on a photo I got of her from the photo shoot we went on a few days ago around Deep Ellum in Dallas. Click through below to see the before and after! If you would like anything like this done for you, let me know! I think I really like the idea of mixing my drawings with my photography. I really like that the vector didn't turn out perfect, as it provides more character. But I do need to practice a lot more on my drawing skills.  


I got the chance to study abroad in Italy last summer, and WOW was it a wonderful experience. I'm so in awe of everything over there. God's beauty is just magnified ten-fold in Europe. The photos don't even begin to capture the landscapes and structures and people. I was fortunate to have my camera for most of the time I was abroad...however, during my last week and before my extra week which consisted of Barcelona and London, my camera decided to break on me and not work...you could say I was rather upset, but my GoPro got me through those last two weeks and I definitely used it a lot over the whole month there. 

I haven't really had time to sort through all my photos I took. My friends are really nagging at me to make a video compilation of all the GoPro vids I got. I will get to that eventually...it's already been a year since leaving for the trip and that's crazy to think it's been that long. However, I have gone through a few photos and done some edits. Below are the ones I've gotten around to editing. Enjoy! 

I could go on and on about my experience abroad, but let me just leave you with this: I would strongly recommend studying abroad to anyone who has any interest in doing it. If you have any doubts at all, don't worry about it! This is kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do something truly amazing. I had my doubts and worries, but once there, it's so easy to forget all of your troubles. You get to immerse yourself in another culture and test your skills at interacting with the locals, try new foods, and just explore! The people you meet, the places you go and the experiences you'll have is so much more enthralling than sitting in a classroom learning. The possibilities are endless, and the friendships you make can last a lifetime. I went in with two of my best friends going with me and came out with a few new close friends that I hadn't even met before and we did so much together the following year at OU! So if you are thinking about studying abroad, whether in Europe, Africa, or Asia or wherever, go for it! Step out of your comfort zone for this chance at having one of the greatest adventures of your lives and one that you can look back on for the rest of your life. 


I miserably fail at posting on this frequently, so I'm just going to bombard with a few posts while I have some spare time at work.