30 October, 2007

Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival 2007

Long story + no time = very short post. These pictures are for Breka, my dear old Evil Editor, who has hacked her way through the Anti-Entering Authority to reach me.

Of course, anyone is welcome to enjoy them...

My amazing closet outfitted all three of us girls (and I was wondering what I had for a RenFest!), except for the brown velvet shirt. Fuzzy, if you wanna tell the story about those pants...go right ahead. You don't still have them, do you? :-P

Here I am, in greater detail (though I really should crop this picture). I loved this costume...it felt so comfortable and not too hot and (I thought) it looked fabulous. (Ignore the weird look on my face or the buttons that would never have adorned a lady from the Renaissance. Please?) It consisted of a humongous black skirt (from the thrift store--it was handmade, and I think it must have been for a theater production. The waist is high and small, and it's really long--even for me), a blue dress (which I made in high school), a black velvet vest (I called it a bodice...my Mom wore it in college), and black leather boots from my grandmother.

24 October, 2007

Youth Camp 2007

Ha! I'm sitting in the computer lab at school, waiting for inspiration to finish my paper. But I thought I'd be the "first" to blog about YC07, since that was probably the biggest event this summer. [Edit: This post actually took me 6 weeks to write.]

This year was the best year ever.

I was a team leader again this summer. This year was my 10th year at camp, and my 3rd as a team leader. I was also the oldest team leader, which was weird. This amazing guy was my co-team leader. Our team was called (oh-so-appropriately) "Spaced Out," and included this Camper Of The Year. I've got a ton of pictures on my computer, so I'm going to invent a term and "photo-blog" my way through camp. My apologies to those whose photos I used, but haven't credited. I'm sorry! (Jason, I do not have a team picture. I have hundreds of YC07 pics on my hard drive, and none of them are of the team!)

I love camp!
(my bro Matt)

Jason was an amazing guy (did I say that already?) to co-lead with. Thanks, Jason!

This is the best picture of YC07, or of Monster Volleyball--EVER. Kudos to Mike for taking it.

Monster Volleyball.

Increasing the contrast
made the net look so cool!

Um, girls...Are you aware of your surroundings? Yeah, there's a camera and all...but watch out!

The strategy game was called "YC Amoeba," and involved running while holding hands with those in your group (the number of people grew at every station). This was near the end, and right before the hardest station--the picnic table carry.

This guy's job was to yell in our faces until we laughed or 30 seconds elapsed.

It was hard!

One of the stations was to run through a gauntlet of noodles swung by the players of Noodle Sockey. It was the best station...to swing noodles in :-P

Games were amazing.
Our team did very well in most of them, and I enjoyed them heartily.

Dan, being awesome. I did this, too, and right after shaking the water out of my hair, Mr. Tumino approached me and said, "you know, Shannon, only a guy would do that." I was appalled. Lane immediately started to tease me about it, and the phrase "only a boy would do that" became a regular part of my interaction with her. (Thankfully, she retired it recently :-P)

Mike H. served as the "Water Nazi" by forcing people to drink and spraying them with water.

This kid is dear to my heart, and an incredible blessing to many.

(this is me feeing important, whereas the picture itself has very little importance here)

The skits were amazing. Ours was good (in everyone's opinions but the judges), though it cost us first place overall at camp. We were in first until skits were scored, and our skit came in last. So we got second place overall. Downer. But good for the pride :-P

Steve shaved his head for our skit
and played the role of Old John

Mr. Pierson counsels a
young Johnny B (er, Nick)

Here's a video of one of the best skits:

I love the focus that YC has on the parent<-->teen interaction. It's so, so, so important, and it doesn't get emphasized or encouraged enough. Many parents participate by being referees (like Mr. C here) and get the chance to influence their children and others'.

This is a girl who was on my team with her father and brother (yes, I remember her name, silly, but I don't know if she'd want me to publish it).

The reason why camp was so good this year was simply because God was there. During one evening, Jess M and I were sitting at the front of the meeting hall, hugging and laughing and sniffing away tears of joy. "God, thank you that you are so present! Thank you that our pastors don't know what to do next because you have completely taken over this meeting!" Several people got saved, relationships were mended, and a general sense of impending joy proliferated.

There was one point where Dave T had finished praying for a friend and was walking around looking as if his face would burst with joy. I asked, "Good time of prayer?" and he laughed--a belly laugh. He never answered with words, it was just a laugh! And yet, I knew exactly what he meant. He left the building because he couldn't stop laughing and didn't want to disturb everyone else.

Oh, man. It was amazing. I get goosebumps still, just thinking about it.

Lane, thanks for letting me share your time with God on the second night. I hope you benefitted by it, because it was a defining moment for me.

Ahhh, so delicious.

How was camp possible? These guys! And Katie C.
And so many more people.
But John spearheaded the whole thing, and for that I am grateful.
"Check out our whiteness!"
"No, Mike, we're trying to show off our muscles!"

15 October, 2007

Insane Artist

Poor Vincent. Except for the mental illness (I haven't been diagnosed with anything...yet :-P) I identify with van Gogh quite a bit. His early thoughts on art and its relationship to God resonate with me, though later in life he rejected Christianity. In my studies, I found a cool quote I wanted to remember. I don't necessarily agree with it, but it makes one think...

Many people think that they will become good just by doing no harm--but that's a lie...that way lies stagnation, mediocrity.

Just slap anything on when you see a blank canvas staring at you like some imbecile. You don't know how paralyzing that is, that stare of a blank canvas, which says to the painter: you can't do a thing. The canvas has an idiotic stare and mesmerizes some painters so much that they turn into idiots themselves. Many painters are afraid in front of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas is afraid of the real, passionate painter who dares and who has broken the spell of "you can't" once and for all.
~Vincent van Gogh, in a letter to his brother "Theo" in October 1884

After reading that, and looking at van Gogh's work...doesn't it make sense that he was a great artist? So much passion and opinion! And yet, it makes sense that he was crazy...too much passion and opinion!

And yet, he has a good point. This is an excellent metaphor for life...don't just sit there and be afraid of time and the future! It's scary when one is making huge decisions about life. But don't just sit there and do nothing...take risks! Don't let fear keep you from not doing. Don't define yourself by what you don't do or can't do. With God, all things are possible!

12 October, 2007

Art Store

Wow. I've been kicking around the idea of selling art online, but didn't know where. So I've also been kicking around the idea of starting an online business. Since then I've learned a lot about online businesses, but I don't know if my idea will work all that well...because I found my idea. It's called Etsy.com, and I love it. I may be putting my own stuff up there, but I found a cool bowl, the London skyline, an abstract painting, a sweet ring, ooh, and here's another, a leather journal, and--OH! Check out the sweet design on this search page! Cool place to get ideas and spend dough :-P I think I may try to get Laedelas' name there...

In other news, I just saw a sweet design for a dress. It was a satin...wrap, almost, with a tulle skirt underneath. The satin was a closely tailored, asymmetrical tunic, and the tulle was full and had sparkly stuff embroidered in it. Sweet!