All Hands' schedule of in-person workshops and classes is on pause until further notice.

What I Did When I Got Into Harvard


This morning I'm on the road with my husband and son on our way from New York to Massachusetts for my college reunion. Contemplating all the changes in my life in the last decade is churning up all the feels. That and the prospect of reuniting with so many old friends and acquaintances. 

Thinking back to graduation 10 years ago has also stirred up memories from 15 years ago when I first found out I got accepted to Harvard. I was in dumb happy shock. I lost my appetite I was so excited. Which is saying something, because I love to eat! But the reaction that I recall most vividly was my urge to create. Maybe it coincided with high school senioritis, but I found myself daydreaming about how I would style and arrange my dorm room once I got to campus. One weekend morning back in Texas, I got out our family's stash of acrylics and nine of those circular cork trivets from Ikea (great for crafting!) and painted a brightly colored animal on each - a zebra, tropical fish, giraffe, frog, koala, alligator and so on. When freshman move-in day rolled around in the fall, I hung them on the wall in the Pennypacker common area that I shared with my three new randomly assigned roommates. They understood and embraced pretty quickly that Kendra loves to decorate. :)

That love for expressing myself in my surroundings is what bonded me to my first real and ultimately best college friend, Ariel. She lived next door on the same floor and asked for my help to decorate her room. We made removable paisley decals out of contact paper and positioned them on the wall to create an over-sized Indian woodblock pattern. When the time came at the end of freshman year to choose who we wanted to live with for the remaining three years of undergrad, we of course chose each other. 

Getting to study at Harvard is something I'll be forever grateful for and am to this day still in awe of. And I find it significant that I turned to creativity to celebrate one of my life's most joyful occasions just as I turned to it to heal from the devastating loss of my brother. 

So tell me, what's been your experience of creativity as a companion through major milestones? Both the struggles and the good times... :)

In community,

PS. Here's what's up next at the studio:

Block Printing - Sun Jun 2
Leather Clutch and Key Fob - Thurs Jun 6
Natural Perfume Making - Sat Jun 8
Embodied Abstract Painting - Sun Jun 9