Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Look What Santa (I mean James and Kyle) Brought Me for Christmas!

My Christmas present from James and Kyle this year is pretty great.  They gave me a website! Now it's not finished.  In fact, it's just getting started, but there is a link to my blog and a link to their website for Homebase Studios. AND it reflects the name we officially have from the Secretary of State, YoungLab Incorporated. I'm grateful, to say the very least.  Thanks so much guys.  It was such a great surprise!  It's going to be fun to watch it evolve as we get closer and closer to opening the business.  Check it out!


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Love and Semester Update

This has been another wonderful Christmas.  We spent yesterday at my sister's house because Jenny and her husband, Sam, are excellent cooks! They really love to spend time in the kitchen and it shows in everything they create.  I've been working on them a little, trying to convince them to come up and teach a class when we get the cooking classes going at YoungLab. :)

We've also been spending holidays at their house because with our newest addition to the family, Gaius, it's just easier to have everyone go there. Have I mentioned how cute my nephew is?  I know this is more of a professional blog, but the love I feel for that little boy knows no bounds! Here's a little proof.

After changing diapers, giving bottles, and rocking him to sleep, I was feeling pretty amazing. I thought of myself as a big time care giver. Then it hit me! With the help of many people, James and I are creating a place where, in addition to opportunities to learn all kinds of things, I can give people (big and little) lots of love, care, encouragement and support.  I'm really excited about this because I know how much we all need it and I feel like I have so much to give.

My dream is to teach the pre-school classes during the day and an evening, adult, art history class one night each week.  I really can't wait. We'll bring in people to teach and lead classes in other areas, but I'll probably be around for all of the classes, especially during the first five years (and maybe longer). That's just how it goes when you start a business. Plus, one of the perks will be that I can learn from others too!

Luckily, every step along the way is just as exciting as what we will be doing.  Here's what I envision for the preschool classes: singing, playing instruments, story time, garden time, snack time (made from produce we'll pick from the garden) and art time...and lots of laughter!  Everything will be centered around creativity and encouragement.  It's going to be a magical place for kids.

I'll write more about the after school programs for kids and the adult night classes later, but I'm just as thrilled to share what I've been learning at school with the big kids too.  Oh and speaking of my own education, I made a 4.0 this semester! Yeah!!! I don't know if I've ever made a 4.0 so I'm really glad that I got that experience sometime before I graduated.  I only have one more semester of class and then I'll write my thesis.  My 22 year stint in college is coming to an end. I can't believe it! Ha! But that's another reason for establishing a place for learning.  I won't ever stop thirsting for knowledge and new experiences!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lunar Eclipse Magic and YoungLab Inc.

One of the great things about staying up late, studying, tonight is that there is a lunar eclipse!  I doubt I'll be able to take a picture of it with my iPhone, but I'll give it a shot and post it here when I come back inside.

Not Bad For An iPhone Picture!

Yesterday Romy told me that one of her friends said you should write down your wishes on the day of a new moon.  Well, we're going to have a full moon tomorrow night (now tonight) so I'm going to just go ahead and write my wishes here.  I wish for continued momentum with our project in the Paseo. It's going so well.  I also wish for contentment, peace and even more love so that I will have more to give.

Speaking of continued momentum...

The magazine that called us for an interview called again today to set up a time for taking pictures! I'm so excited about this because more people will know what we're wanting to do.  We can use all of the support and encouragement we can get!  The magazine is OKCBiz and our story should be in their February issue so be looking for it!

Oh and one more thing! We printed off and filled out the application to form a nonprofit tonight.  We just need one more signature and we'll send it in.  Because the domain name "The Young School" was already taken, we have finally settled on "YoungLab Inc."  I like it very much and am excited that it's all coming together.

We are really moving now!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Today has been pretty awesome.  I haven't exactly been sleeping much because I had two large papers due this week, but those bad boys are finished and turned in! Yay! Add in the fact that I slept late (reaaaallly late) and that the painters primed the brick walls at the building and you've got yourself a recipe for a happy me!

My phone camera wasn't working today but the Hipstamatic app was so I took images of the progress that way! So, so excited!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Story #4 - Homebase Studios

Yay! Here's our fourth webisode, "Story #4 - Homebase Studios."

It's a little peak into the mind and life of my partner James Varnum and his partner in Homebase Studios, K. Edward Van Osdol.  These two men are the creators of all film and video components that will be featured on this blog.  They are just getting their start but have already done so much! Just last month they created all of the artist videos for the Paseo Arts Association's Oklahoma Artists Awards.  It was a great night and I was so proud of what they did.   They also did a commercial for the Democrat Party right before our last governor's race.  

James went to USC for architecture and film and met Kyle (K Edward) at the Oklahoma Arts Institute a long time ago when they were both there to study film.  

Take a look at this short story.  I think it will help people to more fully understand what we want to do at our building when we open up and get going!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Finals and More Good News

Well, it's almost finals week at OU so I'm home on a Friday night, reading and writing papers.  I have a great image to work on for my Studies in American Art class. The painting is owned by the Cleveland Museum of Art and I'm definitely not reproducing it here for any monetary gain, so I hope it's ok to do so.

William Sidney Mount, The Power of Music, 1847, Oil on Canvas, The Cleveland Museum of Art

As you can see, this antebellum painting by William Sidney Mount instantly conjures up issues of race relations.  For a while, this image was thought of as a very sympathetic portrayal of an African American man because he reveals a quiet dignity and his front facing placement within the foreground confronts and challenges the viewer to identify with him as an outsider. In addition, the lines created by the bodies of all four characters seem to connect and establish a harmony amongst them.  The power of the music draws them all together.

However, all of my research points to the conclusion that anyone who views the work solely in this way projects their own post-civil rights movement understanding upon a multivalent image painted in a very different time.  Mr. Mount lived in New York, and while a reductionist viewpoint would encourage one to assume a northerner would have a more progressive view of slavery, he did not side with the abolitionist movement until the Civil War began. In fact, he called Lincoln's Republicans, "Lincoln-poops."

But isn't it the ambiguity that can be so interesting? Isn't it in the working out of these questions and issues that we learn and grow?  And isn't that the point?

Everyone in this class was allowed to chose their own imagine months ago and we have been writing about it since then. I imagine that I was drawn to this work because even before I did my research, I knew there would be plenty to discuss in relation to the included themes.  Music is my first love and I believe in the equality of all people so this seemed like a no brian-er.  However, as I study and research, I find one door after another that I would like to open (and read) in order to have a more complete idea of the context within which this piece was painted. Studying is fun but eventually you have to complete your project!

So It's back to writing.  I just knew this would be a good exercise to help me get back in the grove.  Plus it's fun to share!

One last, very important thing - Yesterday, James and I were interviewed by a local business magazine about our project and the publication will be taking pictures sometime in the next few days.  I'm really excited about it! They contacted us after hearing about what we're doing and I'm so grateful.  I'll announce the magazine's name soon. I just want to make sure I'm being as respectful as possible by not giving it away just yet...but soon!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Great News!

We received the structural report last week and James has met with a framer and the engineers to go over plans, so we're very close to submitting for our permit!!! Yay!!!!! If all goes according to plans, we could hopefully have our permit around the beginning of the year and get this party started! (Ok, enough with the exclamation marks, but I'm just so excited about progress.)

This past year has been full of growth and learning.  James and I have hit our stride in communication and conflict resolution.  I'm proud of him and the work that he's been doing.  Because of him, we have found the property, saved it from being torn down, applied and received approval for the national tax credit, applied and received approval from the Historic Preservation commission for our paint, doors, windows with insulated glass,  and recycled material shingles.  The last two are huge because that doesn't usually happen, but James never gave up! We've gotten the historically accurate windows ordered and they are very close to being finished. (Watch for a future "story" with people from Wewoka Window Works. It's going to be good! The people there are awesome.)

We will now also have our building permit thanks to James.  This is the work he's supposed to do according to our agreement, but you never really know what kind of partner you're going to get until you get into the thick of the work and I can safely say that I'm a very lucky person to have him as a partner and a friend.  There are many things we've accomplished together and I'm grateful for our synergy.  We've overcome struggles and challenges and have become even better friends in the process. In our discussions, we've talked about how easy it is to be overwhelmed by what we see ahead, but we help each other to remember that we just need to take it one day at a time, one task at a time and we'll climb that mountain together.

I'm so grateful and I can't wait to see the building become the physical manifestation of so many months of paperwork, applications, hard work, plans and dreams.  Take a look at it because it's not going to look like this for long!