Sunday, February 6, 2011

2011 New Year's card, letter

Hi, All!
So I've already been kindof of bad at keeping in touch here with the blogging, so I think this is the perfect post to just share our annual Holiday Letter with you!
We were so busy having fun with family (and then catching flu) over the Christmas break that we never got a new photo of us for a Christmas card, so we ended up making a New Year's card a little later.  Then school started and all the new projects along with it, so many of them didn't get sent out until pretty late in January.
I'm not very good at getting things mailed/sent in a timely manner especially with our current schedules.  I think I actually have a couple more to try & send out that I didn't have addresses readily available for, and now, to tell you the truth I've kindof lost track of who I've already sent to...so, especially if you're family and you haven't gotten one in the mail yet, send me your current mailing address!
Until then, here are photos of what we sent out and I'll post the typed letter below for you to just read here, digitally :)

We Love you all, and please forgive us for our scatter-brained unorganized methods of communication!



Here's our christmas New Year's card


Here's the front/back of the pretty envelopes I designed to match:




Our letter had to catch up from missing last year's, so it was a little long and needed both sides.  Here's the front:



And the back of our Armstrong family letter:





Here's what the letter says (this version is even cooler than snail-mail because you can click on all the links to see cool images/web pages/videos of what we're talking about in the letter):


January, 2011
Dear Family & Friends,
        Happy New Year to You!  We hope this almost-annual letter finds you well, that this New Year is already starting out promising, and you were able to bring 2010 to a close with loved ones and lots of rest over the Holidays.
        We just enjoyed our 4th Christmas season together as the Armstrongs, though we haven't been so successful at wishing you well & keeping in touch for all of them.  We mailed out our Calvin & Hobbes themed card & letter in ‘07 for our first Christmas, then we were only able to send e-cards w/ a family letter in ‘08 (which can still be viewed in my 'notes' on Facebook), and last year was so crazy you may not have heard from us at all!

It has definitely been a very packed last few years for us.  It seems we've been 'busy' at every turn, since we transferred to John Brown University for our Cinema degrees in Spring ‘08; and we finally just accepted that this was probably going to stay the current status until we finished.  But we are now finally almost there!  
        Obviously we've had a ton of stuff going on since our last update, and one of the biggest was the completion of what we're calling our Senior thesis project.    We're required to produce a Senior Cinema production for our degree, & Andrew and I co-produced a 17 minute short film called From Below, last semester.  It is a sci-fi story, based on Plato's Cave Theory, set in a dystopian society.  It was a huge undertaking, that several of our advisers didn't think could be pulled off, but in the end we were able to hold an official theatrical Premiere at the Siloam Springs 6 movie theatre to a fairly full theater of around 75 people!  We both put a ton of work into almost every area of production, but specifically Andrew did a great job Directing it, and I (Krystal) got some great feedback for my Production Design work.  And Andrew's brother, Frank, gave us amazing lighting as our Gaffer.  We're quite proud of what we accomplished, for a no-budget student film with major time & resource constraints.   You can view it (and many of our other projects) at  Vimeo.com/AndrewArmstrong
        The other thing keeping us so busy last semester was the great opportunity we had working as Student Producers for the video content of the brand new JBU Website, which was just rolled out this month.  We worked super hard with a small team of 3 other underclassmen, and our great boss, Jacob Roebuck, to complete a number of videos you can now see up on the JBU home page (JBU.edu) as well as the 'majors videos' around the site, like on the Cinema page, etc.  We both did a lot of work on different videos in each of these various capacities- directing, producing, shooting, artwork, and conducting interviews, etc.  It was really rewarding to see our professional, quality work now 'published' on an official University web site, which has already got great reviews from the school President & others.

Perhaps even more exciting, though, was our opportunity to intern on the set on of an independent feature film, Searching for Sonny, (complete with well known Hollywood actors, & experienced crew members) this Summer.  We spent literally every waking hour for 3 weeks, working on-set or driving to & from Andrew's generous Grandparents' house to sleep a few hours inbetween work days.  It was hard work, but so very rewarding.  It was a great experience, and as our first narrative movie set w/ a budget, we learned so much more about how things work.  We both did a lot of common Production Assistant stuff, but we also both got to work closely w/ a lot of important people on set too, like the 1st Asst. Director, who took special interest in us and kept Andrew under his wing as a Director in training (which actually got Andrew credited as an Additional 2nd Assistant Director!).  We also got to do things like pick up actors from the air-port, & assist them on set;  Andrew got to drive several of them around a lot (Masi Oka, Minka Kelly, etc.).  I spent a lot of time in Wardrobe where the ladies there really took a liking to me, and on my last day I got to be on the camera crew where they taught me a little on how to use the Red camera, hands-on!  We were both on-screen extras a few times but Andrew even got a couple short roles all dressed up as a cop, complete w/ lines & fake facial hair!  We came away w/ a lot, and really had a blast.
I think there are a few other things that have happened in the last couple years, but those were the big ones for us.  This year, when we graduate & leave this little college town in NW Arkansas, we cannot wait to see where God will lead us after JBU!  If it's simply back to Dallas, where we call home, we'll be overjoyed to be near friends & family again.  But there are even possibilities of the film industry in Vancouver, BC (Canada), which would be just as exciting of a new start!  Either way, we know God has great things in store, and we're excited to discover them soon, thanking Him along long the way for the joy & blessings inbetween!
        Oh, I nearly forgot, on that note, we recently started a little family blog:  Andrew-and-Krystal.blogspot.com   There are only a few posts so far, but we'd love for you to come visit, look around, leave comments, & subscribe or become a 'follower,' so we can keep you in the loop on what these new changes will be as they are uncovered along the way.

We love you all and pray that this coming year, (or heck, even this new decade!) is really filled with His Love, Peace, and Blessings for each of You!  And we'd love to hear from you along the way, as well!  Happy 2011!

Much Love,
Andrew & Krystal Armstrong
Andrew-and-Krystal.blogspot.com

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