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trip to the ymca of the rockies: part 1

June 15, 2017

Hello again.

 

These last two weeks I have been in one of my favorite places: the YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park, Colorado. The YMCA property is 860 acres of pure beauty that borders Rocky Mountain National Park and is part of the adorable main street town of Estes Park, CO. My mom has been going to the Y every summer for the last 36 years after my grandma heard about it at our local Y in Crystal Lake. Lucky for us, she continued her summer tradition with my brother and I and it has been a staple in our summer ever since birth. 

 

I never know how to describe the Y because it is a mix of a camp, a resort, and a conference center. In a nutshell, it is a giant piece of property with 9 lodges and 250 individual cabins. These cabins are donated by families but maintained by the Y, so they are similar in design but they vary in bedrooms and bathrooms. Usually my family stays in a three bedroom, enough room for my parents, my grandparents, and the kids (which is me). In the center of the Y's campus is its main buildings (the Administration Building, known simply as "the Admin," two auditoriums, a church, a library, conference areas, dining halls for staff and guests, a pool, a programs building, a cafe, etc.) Sort of like a college campus...minus the school and everything looks like a log cabin. But, my favorite building of all time is the Mootz Family Art and Design Center. Or as we call it, the Craft Barn. 

 

A crafters paradise is the best way to describe it: tye-dye, silk painting, basket weaving, jewelry making, wood burning, glass fusion, ceramics (the kind to fire and just regular figurines to paint), mosaics, leather, and magic t-shirts (like tye-dye, but with bleach). It is overwhelming, but there is never a moment when I don't have an idea. I have made everything in the Craft Barn except for a magic t-shirt. I plan to feature each one on here as inspiration for anyone who reads this!

 

 

 

Since I am moving into an apartment when school starts, I decided to make a few things for it. The first one I am featuring here is a fired ceramic spoon rest. I designed it to match my polka dot plate set that I got for Christmas! I'll walk you through the process below:

 

1. Pick your pottery.

 

 2. Draw out your design. Pencil burns off in the kiln, so draw away!

 

Being a spoon rest, I thought "lick me" would be fun since it is a spoon rest and I was thinking like cake batter or something. Apparently I was the only innocently thinking one. Everyone else laughed at it for obvious reasons, but I went with it. A few others suggested "spoon me" which I thought was pretty funny. 

 

 

3. Paint it. Three coats for a solid color. Also, you have to use special glaze that doesn't burn off in the kiln...it finishes with a shiny look 

 

I went with light pink, black, and white. (Who would have guessed, right?!)

 

 

4. Finish it and wait for it to be fired! 

 

A stormy day in the mountains means a busy day in the Craft Barn...

 

 

5. Pick it up from the kiln!

 

At the Craft Barn, it fires over night at like 2000 degrees. They also put a clear glaze over it to protect the paint. Yay for dishwasher safe!

 

Hope you enjoyed this post. Now that I am away from school, I hope to update more often. Also, I gave up on the lowercase thing for large blog posts...it confused me too much!

 

Check back soon! 

-EAM

 

 

 

 

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