Diamond Craze

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Yes, I know, it’s been a long time right? But today I finally got some inspiration about one of the things I have been totally obsessed with this spring/summer… DIAMONDS (specifically diamond art)! This craze all started with Jessie’s birthday preparation. As I was searching for a theme for her party, I discovered a diamond themed party here, (at one of my favorite blogs). While searching the internet I realized just how many fun diamond/geometric art, DIY’s, and party themes there are out there, (like this, this, and this). And I guess that’s where my love for diamonds blossomed. I’ve been itching to have another diamond themed party, maybe to celebrate the end of school. For now I’ll just share with you guys some diamond art that I am crazy about and one or two pics of how Jessie’s birthday turned out.

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pPhoto Credit: one, two

From the Studio: Practice Makes Perfect

Rachel!
I haven’t forgotten all the important homework and practice you assigned me over the break. (It seems like its been such a long time since we chatted in Starbucks about cubes!) I’m sorry that I have not been as diligent as you in working on our first theme for our sketching goal, Moose, but at least I am improving my form! I’m excited to continue our little goal and I would like to suggest that we go with plants or shoes for our next theme, (something a bit more simple for the beginner ;).

I miss you so much already and I really appreciate the opportunity I had to call you before you left China while I was at the TCK Seminar. Let me know when you have time to chat!

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Last stretch before the Reunion!

Sisters! I can’t wait to be reunited in December. Hopefully all is well with you three. I am working hard for the final review next week. I know you are all busy doing your work but I just wanted to say that I am so excited for this winter break and can’t wait to create together.

I myself am working on this final project-doing a lot of drawing and modelling. Pray for me-I am just not good at creating physical models.
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Rachel: I pray that this Thanksgiving Break will give you the strength you need to knock out this first semester! You are doing so well and I’m so proud of you!! Your work was just too good to not share here. I love the movement and the ink is really great on this one!

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Jessie: I know you are doing so much-Vex, Uni applications, SAT, AP preparation, and Art- Just remember to rest and know that you aren’t defined by the outcomes of any of these things. And congratulations for all that you have done so far! AMAZING AWARD FOR YOU! I had to share this image because-Jessie- I really is amazing. Proud of you and your dedication to your work!

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Maddie: Hope that 10th grade isn’t killing you. I know that Computer Science can be hard, but don’t forget your fun loving spirit in all the work 🙂 Just know that you will be taking a break very soon and get all that work out of the way before hand. I wish I could be in Guangzhou with you and the Gohs!

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On Site: Guangzhou Factories

Hey guys!

Last week was my Reading Week and we went to China to check out some factories in Guangzhou. I really enjoyed getting to see how stuff actually works and how we can use those things in our designs.

The first factory was a wood lamination factory, this machine (below) took the wood planks and laminated them together to make a full load bearing wall.

This is the view of the control room of a concrete factory we got to visit. They mentioned that they actually add ice to the mix to better bond the concrete mixture.

This is a model of one of the container ships at the Guangzhou International Shipyard. It was really cool to see the model and then go outside to see the gigantic ship being built!

We had to wear our hard hats.. good times.

These apocalyptic cranes are actually out of use and just sit at the concrete factory site. They reminded me of an alien infrastructure invading the Chinese countryside (maybe too much Falling Skies, eh Jessie?)..

Fall Spirit

today'sgreatJessie, Michael, & Rachel,

Hey guys! Fall is finally starting to arrive in Tianjin and I’m actually really excited! I can’t wait till I’m able to cozy up in a warm, soft blanket and sip down spiced apple cider or pumpkin Lattes. Here’s a little playlist to get us in the mood for pumpkin treats, candy corn, and snugly nights. Hope you enjoy!

XOXO, Maddie

Picture Source

From the Studio: Tokyo Protocol, Project 1

My four dear sisters:
Although I have been talking to you four girls more often than last year-it doesn’t seem to be quite enough. You guys seem so committed to C4, so I guess I’ll have to just post here to satisfy you guys! (You know I am a perfectionist and its hard to just post a ‘sketch’ of an idea).

Anyways, I wanted to share a bit From the Studio! Project One of our semester has been quite a challenge, but we got through it and I am proud of what I accomplished.

Our initial idea comes from an interpretation of nature and what it means to be in “symbiosis with nature”. Gigi and I designed an installation for this project that played with gradients and transparency to communicate the idea that you can be hidden in a number of ways and also exposed in a number of ways.


This is a mock-up model we made with tracing paper, bamboo skewers, and pieces of paper.


We decided to construct our installation with wood and fabric of varying transparencies.


The final product was quite satisfying, especially in experiencing the installation. Getting to walk inside of it and explore all of the spaces and different ambiences was really fun!


This is a diagram of how we expected it to work (which, in the end didn’t deliver in quite the way that we hoped).

I put together a booklet that explains more about where our ideas came from and some background.

Just wanted to say to each of you: I love you!!
Jessie: Wish we could share late night chats and work together on our own crazy projects.
Maddie: I need a playlist for working, miss your fun and sassy work vibes. 🙂
Rachel: 加油!我觉得现在你可以明白我的情况多一点。别忘了,我也认识你的情况(studio生活,工作很晚,什么的)不好天的时候,就给我打电话!(and practice your Chinese!)
Megan: I really miss drawing with you (It is so much more fun than drawing by myself).. wish you were around to help me out with some of my drawings!

Robotics: New Update Avaliable

Michael and Rachel:

Today I was shocked to hear that Rachel didn’t know where the robotics class was going for their first competition: Tokyo Japan! Japanese sushi, BBQ, fashion, and robot fighting, here we come.
It is due time for an update on our progress: Michael, I’m sure you will find these robot designs interesting – try to guess which one is mine!

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We still have some serious progress to make before our competition in November, so we decided to pull an “all-nighter” at school to finish our work (a.k.a. Robotics Sleepover!). We ordered out Korean Fried Chicken and watched Pacific Rim (the perfect movie for a robotics party). I may have only slept one hour, but after the SAT and college application packed vacation I just had, I needed some relaxation.

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Rachel, don’t be horrified by this primitive manner of espresso making. We have to do what we have to do to get some caffine!

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Michael, tomorrow we start the main construction on the Vex Toss-Up field and I’ll be thinking of you! I will suppliment this post soon with pictures of our finished field!
I miss you both so much!

Tumblr Finds #3

Hey Rachel,

I’ve finally started to notice how few people are in the house these days. I have to admit, it’s a challenge trying to figure out how to live in a house with only five people, conversations are shorter, Decisions are harder to make, and life is a lot quieter! I can’t even begin imagine how my life will be after Jessie leaves for College. Everything is changing way too fast. I feel so excited for you though as you discover your new life in Pittsburgh. I’m constantly praying for you and your time there. I love you so very much!

Tumblrfinds3I know how much you enjoy looking at Tumblr blogs so I decided I’d make this Tumblr Finds for you!  I think this blog is in need of a little inspiration, don’t you?

Sources {one, two, three, four, five)

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

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Doesn’t this look like an entrance into the “Secret Garden?” I was walking down this path for the third time yesterday afternoon and was suddenly hit with the urge to show Megan this place. She would love it.

This botanical garden houses over seventeen separate gardens, all pertaining to a specific region or theme. Some of my favorites are the Spice and Tropical Fruits garden, the Fern garden (the moment I stepped into this area, I smelled a wonderful earthy scent, like that of a damp forest), the Desert room (succulents are, of course, my favorite), and the Butterfly garden. The Butterfly photographed in this post. Although I didn’t actually capture any butterflies or moths in any of these photos, I assure you, they were fluttering in every direction.

I can imagine Megan watching the various, brightly colored creatures dance around in this glass room. It is seriously magical.

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The project that we are currently working on in Drawing class (the reason I have returned so frequently to Phipps), is essentially a plant adoption. We are to choose our favorite plant and find out everything we can about it: photograph, draw, and research. We are supposed to know this plant from the inside out. I chose the “Philodendron” from Brazil (tree pictured below). I love the texture and pattern of its trunk, and the branches are  intertwined creating a very interesting structure.

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The drawing below is a synopsis of five different gardens within Phipps. We were to pick one plant from each garden and use it to represent the whole. I learned so much about simplifying my work throughout this process. Every assignment that we’ve completed so far has brought me great leaps farther in my knowledge of “design drawing.” It is such a privilege to study here, under such brilliant professors. 

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I admit that this process is often extremely aggravating. Drawing isn’t a personal hobby or “enjoyable activity” for me (as you know). However, I’m thankful that I have this unique opportunity to improve and learn. Tell me what you’ve been working on recently!

Miss you guys xo!

On site in Pittsburgh

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Hey my sibs,

Seeing that I’ve lived in Pittsburgh for 3 weeks now, its high time that I share some snapshots of my new home with you. These photos were actually taken for a school studio project. Groups of three were assigned specific locations around Pittsburgh to explore and photograph. I was one of the three to travel downtown for the exciting photo-expedition. I had no idea where we were headed until I literally stepped off the bus into the classy, theater-filled, waterfront of Pittsburgh. It has been such an interesting place to photogrpah.
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Lion King is in town this month, so all the theaters have festively dawned yellow banners and Safari characters in their windows for the occasion.
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IMG_0541As I look back on these few photos, I am again amazed at Pittsburgh’s unique atmosphere. From pink bridges and sculpted flowers, to flash thunder storms and cathedrals, this place is perplexing.

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Thats all for now, I hope these pictures say a thousand words about my experience here so far… its at least a little clearer than telling you about it over Skype 😉 Have a great weekend! Miss you guys!