You go to Boston for school? live in Minnesota?

Insert confused look. As the panel with my mug on it to the right states, I am a student. A grad student at that. And I do it all 21st century through the interwebs. BUT, to shake things up, I also go onsite for a week each semester...which explains my brief stop crying, I'm back!

This past intensive was my favorite, because I had a few hours on Friday to actually SEE Boston! You see, typically when I go to Boston for school, we have class from 8am until 9pm with an hour for lunch...and when you have a long day like that, its a law in Boston that you have to go to the bar after (at least that's what they're saying...).

But, lets back up, because I love Boston in the Fall wayy too much to not share pictures from my first intensive....woahhh this post is going all full circle on us.

At the first intensive, each cohort (like a group...there's two of them in my class) broke into two (that makes 4 groups peeps...) and went to different sites to study urban development in the area. My group studied Cambridgeport (which, if I ever moved to Boston, i'd probs live there....serw cute), so we grabbed some bikes and went to go take a look...

That's BU across the River (Charles River, geography nerds)

10 points for anyone who can guess who designed this...I'll give you a hint: the windows leak.

Also, splash parks are all the rage. I wish I was of appropriate age to run into that like wild banshee. 

This is from the roof of our building...we had a wee break and needed some sunlight. The road to the left of the yellow building is the Mass Turn Pike...its kinda a big deal (heard of the 'Big Dig;?)

And here is where we like to end the night....Bokowskis :)

Here's my Cohort with our first semester professor (in orange..hey Jim!).

So, now for a little tour of campus...

All I know about this building, is the top floor has the library, we did thermal imaging here (concrete holds in the heat pretty well!), and adjacent to the library is a really old historical room that had something to do with the Boston tea party? Or I'm really gullible, but there are SUPER old books and a really sweet wood table that I wasn't allowed to sit probs super important. 

This is the main building we have class in...its right on Newbury street...if anyone's been to Boston you may know how awesome that street is.

This building just got completed, and houses the architecture students...Also its right by a firestation... :)
Oh, and it snowed while I was there, so that was beautiful. Here is Newbury street post-snowpocolypse. 

Its kindof hard to see, but this building says Boston Tea Party...think they sell Chai tea?

Anyone recognize this place?

Obligatory "i'm famous by association" shout out picture...

Personally, I think this sign needs to be a little more specific...but that's just me

Also, since we had some free time, I decided to start my own company. And buy some creepy vans to put my new logo on.

First LEED Platinum building in Boston...the Atlantic Warf by Boston Properties. 

There you have it...mmm love me some Boston. Its the St.Paul to my New York. Aside from drinking and touring the city, we jump started our capstone course this past week, which means I'll be writing...and drawing...and writing...and researching until my brain explodes for a fewish weeksish. SO, even though I have a MILLION projects I'd like to share...gimme some time. Please!

Copper Wine Charm

Shoutout to the man who lets me steal his tools on a whim (and helped me start my own collection!)- Happy Birthday Fasha! Thanks for letting me watch you make helping me with this project!

About a day before my parents were to host Christmas Eve, my mom hinted that it would be so nice to have labeled wine charms for the guest who will be arriving. Their friends made these copper wine charms for them a few week prior

I had the stamps, and fasha had the copper, so we joined forces (I say that lightly because well...I did more monitoring and picture taking than anything...) to make our guests some charms. We used some scrap copper wiring and tubes to makeshift these with what we had laying around the house.

First, we tried to weld the wire onto the copper plate, after a few failed attempts we took out the blow torch and lit them up- a much faster result! Once they were attached, we filed out the edges and corners for finished look and opened the wine bottles! Now we won't have any trouble locating our vino after a few glasses :) It's a Christmas Miracle!

Have a great weekend peeps! I'll be posted up in Boston for the next week for my Masters program- I can't believe it's my last trip out there before Graduation! woo time flies! While I'm out- make sure you check out the right side of the website to follow this blog :) Thanks for the support! 

To doing better bad things in 2013!

Well, we are a week into this 2013 new year. We all had time to get over our new years eve hang over, take out the 2012 trash, and reflect on this past year and the coming.

So, lets recap 2012 reaaaaaaaaaal quick and see what we did here at RPSS...
   -I added Framed Chalk Boards into the hizouse to track my winnings in Darts
   -I Sewed up a storm Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, aaaaand Here. Oh, and Here
   -Made some personalized Jewelry for a birthday
   -Built a bedside bench to throw my clothes on
   -Sewed a quilt for a friend to snoogs in
   -Decorated with an old ladder
   -Nailed my love for Minnesota
   -Broke my back laying a patio
   -Celebrated my Aunt jumping over the hill (turning 50)
   -Refinished a few Chairs...aaaand a table
   -Built a nightstand for Boyfriend, a Coathanger for sister, and a Doll Bed for cousin
   -Made myself a bed and a little bathroom organizer
   -And made the holidays a little more festive

But WAIT! That's not all...
   -We got a doctor in the house! (and little sis graduated from college!!)
   -Went with the girlfriends to France and here
   -Friends got married
   -Boyfriend surprised me!
   -Attended the best 5k ever
   -Took a sisters trip to the GC
   -Went camping at the best campsite ever

How on EARTH am I going to top that in 2013?!

Well, let's begin with my 2012 mantra..

Perhaps it was a word, a sentence or a book which has changed your view on a subject this past year. About a year ago I saw this gem:

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At times, I catch myself saying "I'll do that once I graduate", or "Once work slows down I'll finish this." But then nothing gets done, and I'll find myself after graduation wishing I had already planted seeds along the way to set myself up better for my larger goals in life.
Freshman year, my professor put a single image up on the screen the last day of class:
And stated that we need to plant seeds throughout our lives, much like this dandelion does. Not all will stick and form into a weed and affect you, but something, eventually will make a difference. Whether it is keeping contact with a classmate or professor, or taking an unpaid internship or volunteering. Perhaps you will meet someone or do something that'll push you further in the direction you see yourself.
SO, in this new year, I have a few added inspirational words which I intend on focusing on.
Greeting Cards (2 pack) - Let all that you do be done in love
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Looking back on my 2012 planner, I found that there were pockets of time which were packed with to-do's, but were they done with the best of my intentions? This year, I would like to slow down, focus on what is in front of me, what is important to come from it.
A few tangible goals that I have for this year include:
     -Open an Etsy Shop
     -Help someone who can never repay me
     -Graduate and receive my Masters
     -Begin watercoloring again
     -Grow this dern blog
     -Publish something
     -Prioritize my finances
     -Continue to build things and improve my carpentry skills
I'll end this new years rambling with my favorite quote from a man I'd love to have had coffee with:

"I realize you have this very big love and you want to do some very fine things with it. But I'm afraid you won't be able to do anything beneficial until you really start to think and get inside what's causing this love. You are going to have to think very clearly about basics and about what moves you can make to bring about changes in the things you see wrong. It doesn't do any good to get angry. And it doesn't do any good for you to sit here with me unless you can find in all this something of your own to say"

 -Buckminster Fuller
Happy 2013!



A Gingerbread's Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve has been our families favorite Christmas time holiday for many years, and for many reasons. I'm not sure when this started, but my family and I would go to church on Christmas eve, and come home for some juicy yummy buttery crab Sloppy Joes. ;)

As the years passed, the Christmas Eve crew grew from our family of 5, to a few aunts and cousins in tow. A few years ago, we decided to add a little friendly competition to the day. The first year, we made Ginger Bread Houses, last year and this year we made ginger bread men. We break into 3 teams and have about an hour and a half to create a design which 2 of my cousins (who arrive late) judge and declare a winner. The winner has bragging rights for an ENTIRE year. Its important peeps. 

This year, to spice things up, there was a secret ingredient that HAD to be incorporated into the design. Each team got a different type of pasta (which could be used hard or cooked)

Yo mom- remind me to teach you how to focus on my camera :)

We picked teams from a hat. Team 1 consisted of my fasha, uncle Ray, cousin Andy and the Boyfriend. They did the traditional nativity scene.

The second team consisted of my two sisters and aunt Kathy, who did a Shrek inspired scene (look at the use of noods in the ears!)

Finally, and the winners of the night, included my aunt Theresa, cousin Grace and myself. We made the Ristine family Christmas Card. My grandparents are in the corner, grandma is playing cards and grandpa has his book in his hand. My uncle Kevin in the lower left driving his boat, then comes my mom with her large bosom, my aunt Theresa with a bridge over here (she has a fear of driving over them) and a runners number on. Next is my aunt Marilyn with some bright red hair, and finally is Kathy in a princess outfit (as the baby in the family). And check out those little Christmas trees that little Grace made with our bow tie noods!

Once we were finished the beautiful judges rolled in and graded the designs to choose the ultimate winners

This is a tradition we all look forward to. A little friendly competition followed by the best feast of the year.