Terrapin Tea

Nicolas T., a Horticulture student at my work, came up with the idea for an herbal tea product during an entrepreneurship class. Over the past 12 months our department has watched his idea rapidly develop, culminating in a product launch at the campus food co-op last week.

Taking off on his initial product idea, Nicolas grew Tulsi, Skullcap, and other ingredients for his tea blend in the UMD Community Learning Garden. He then navigated the bureaucracy of both the University AND state food safety laws to create a market-ready product: Terrapin Tea. If you have ever worked for a state-run organization, then you understand what a significant feat of tenacity and perseverance this is.

In addition to his pursuit of product viability, Nicolas harvested tea seven days a week, worked full-time at an off-site internship, dehydrated and packaged tea leaves at the Maryland Food Co-op, and still made the Dean’s List.

In exchange for some of said product, Nicolas asked me to design his Terrapin Tea logo. When his product launched at the Maryland Food Co-op on campus last week, I jumped at the opportunity to take some photos.

My co-worker, Heather, wrote a very engaging article about the entire process. I highly encourage a read! The rest of the photos I took are available on Flickr.

 

 

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Healing Through Art

Yesterday I finished this watercolor painting in memory of my pet Uromastyx, Liz Lemon. Liz passed away on January 20, 2018. She was one cool reptile and an excellent roommate; I miss her dearly. My apartment is not the same without Big Liz in her desert habitat, lounging under a heat lamp and gazing through the window at other, less spectacular animals. Painting this portrait helped me get through the doldrums of the past week or so without her.

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“Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.”
– Leo Tolstoy

Paint Your Own Mixed Media Mandala

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At Numi Yoga on November 3, I am leading a mixed-media mandala workshop. To prepare for this workshop, I have painted several mandalas and observed the history of these hypnotic images. Altogether this has been a new experience for me, and now I can’t stop drawing these! No two are alike.

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The Sanskrit word “mandala” is loosely translated to mean “circle.” Hindus were one of the first people to use the mandala spiritually, but the mandalas that most individuals find familiar are ones made by Buddhists. In many cultures, the circle represents infinity, but a mandala represents more than simple geometry. Mandalas represent the infinite universe, and wholeness within one’s self.

The owner of Numi Yoga, Kelsey, and I brainstormed together for a painting party image that would reflect the restorative qualities of yoga. Not only is the mandala tranquil, but relatively easy as an art project. I want people to relax during this art experience!

The creation of a mandala can have significant meaning for any individual, especially those who enjoy meditation. For me, any type of painting or drawing activity is meditative. The purpose of our mandala-making at Numi Yoga will be relaxation paired with the fulfillment of learning a new skill. It will be an experience not to miss.

I hope to see you at Numi Yoga on November 3!

Click here to purchase tickets through the Numi Yoga Workshops page.

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Oriehls Magic

What happens when the two biggest Baltimore Orioles baseball fans in the nation meet? They fall in love and get married. ❤

On September 9, the Riehls said “I do” at the Baltimore Hilton overlooking Camden Yards. Their wedding was Orioles baseball-themed — everything from the cupcake tower, to the surprise guest on the dance floor (THE Oriole Bird), to Chris’s heartfelt musical ode to Baltimore – reflected a love of Maryland’s favorite big city.

Jen’s idea was to create an “XO” wedding logo using the Baltimore Orioles’ iconic orange “O.” I enjoyed working with her to create a one-of-a-kind wedding invitation, photo booth image, and other designs. Scroll down for photos and to see the invitation.

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Oriehls Magic in the form of a cupcake tower.
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The first dance. Can I say right now how much I freakin’ love weddings?
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Dining in style at the reception with some of my USG friends.
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Special guest at the dance party: the Oriole Bird! If you know me, then you know I love all manner of birds. #Birdland

Jen and I became friends while working together at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG). Through Jen, I got to know Chris by participating in his Baltimore Rent-A-Tour outings that showcase historic sites in the city. Going to their wedding was also a reunion of sorts because some of my favorite USG people were there as well!

Thank you, Jen and Chris, for the opportunity to design your wedding invitation and logo. Congratulations and I wish you many years of happiness. Go birds!

 

Designing the Choptank River Lighthouse in Stained Glass

The Choptank River Lighthouse is a historic site on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where I am from originally. Situated on the waterfront in Cambridge, Md., the lighthouse is a symbol of the town as well as Dorchester County. In the early 1900s, lighthouses like this one guided ships which sailed along the Choptank River.

A family friend who lives in the town of Cambridge commissioned this stained glass project in 2016. After many visits to my mom’s house on the Eastern Shore, where I could access my stained glass workbench and materials, I was able to complete this one-of-a-kind project.

Designing an original stained glass pattern is equal parts challenging and rewarding. I made several sketches by hand before scanning and finalizing my pattern in Adobe Illustrator.

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My pattern, vectorized in Adobe Illustrator. By creating a vector graphic, I can enlarge my design to any desired dimensions without losing image quality. Please email me at randie.hov@gmail.com if you would like permission to use this pattern.

 

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A photo of me cutting the glass into the desired shapes, as my mom grinds the edges of each piece. This allows for the pieces to fit together like a puzzle. The next step is to wrap the perimeter of each piece in copper foil.

 

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After each piece is cut and ground, it’s time to start fitting them together. A perfect fit is important; it allows the solder to strongly hold the pieces together.

 

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This project was so large, that I could only fit half of it at a time on the flat wooden frame that I use for squaring (my wooden squaring frame is from Glass by Grammy of Salisbury, Md.). This is the bottom half of the panel. The final stained glass panel measured approx. 22 inches wide and 32 inches tall.

 

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Here I go with the soldering of the top half! Each piece has its edges wrapped in copper foil. The solder is then applied to the copper foil. This chemical reaction results in a super-strong joint between the foil-wrapped glass pieces. Eventually, the entire project will be placed in a rectangular wooden frame for hanging. In my opinion, a glass project is not finished until it is beautifully framed.

 

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Whoa! I was so proud when I could finally lift up the finished panel and see the sunlight streaming through.

 

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All set and ready for framing! A big thank-you goes out to Jeff Evans, for commissioning this unique project. This certainly is a showpiece in my portfolio! I also owe many thanks to my mom, Sharon Hazel, and Carolyn Adkins of Glass by Grammy for helping me see this panel through to completion.