Wednesday, May 29, 2013

going back for the future

keeping caps & gowns looking classy since 2006, 2009 & 2011
the past few weeks have been... something.  something pretty hard to describe.  i really don't even know how or where it all began, but here i am.  about to begin on a new adventure, and putting this in to words as my final way of saying (primarily to myself) i'm doing what i'm doing, and i'm going for it.
so basically, everything technically started about 8 or so months ago when B & i started dating.  he was encouraging me to go for a job where i could support myself and not have to live paycheck to paycheck as i sorta do now.  he said i should be a teacher, and every time he said it i blew him off, thinking the idea was dumb, telling him i didn't want to go back to sac state for a teaching credential, or just getting annoyed with him telling me over & over again.  i saw the stress that the credential program gave jenny, and i just didn't want to do it.  well, fast forward to march.  i interviewed for a job at an insurance company basically back to back within a weekend of interviewing for the job i now have at the play center in folsom.  i got the job at the play center the same day i interviewed, and then that night, B said "hey, let's look at state jobs" and then, i got frustrated again.  i didn't want a desk job, and i was getting frustrated with him not accepting how my employment status was now.  now that i had two jobs, plus my photo business, i was hoping he would be content.  well, either he was, or just wasn't saying anything.  i'm betting on the latter.
i also interviewed a month or so later at my old job, hoping it would be for the full time position i was entirely too qualified for.  mind you, i applied back in january after my seasonal period at a retail store was completed, and i had recently accepted the play center job.  they were willing to work with my availability as far as keeping the two other jobs i currently had, which meant more money, but it also meant so much more stress & far less of a social life.  i would be going back to an old job, but not in a good way.  needless to say when they did offer me that job, i turned it down.  which felt good.
and then may happened.  i have no idea what made the switch in my brain, but i found myself thinking in to the idea of teaching.  yeah, exactly what i didn't think i wanted to do.  i thought it through for a few days, and then started the conversation off with "so, promise you won't end this with 'i told you so...'" and he didn't.  the next day i "applied" for sierra college, got "accepted" and then began the process of re-enrolling.  i sent my transcripts, filled out the fasfa thing, and then managed to get a counseling appointment the same day i called.  she marked out a "plan" for my goal, and also discovered i got all my enrollment fees waved.  so stoked.  i kept it pretty secret from the majority of my friends for a few weeks, but then finally decided to let the cat out of this bag.  for those of you that missed the facebook announcement, starting this fall i'll begin my (hopefully) three semester journey to get my early childhood education certificate, allowing me to teach preschool.  not planning on going full on for another associates degree... but i guess we'll see where my unit amount hits at the end of 2014.  haha.
when the day comes, i know i'll miss teaching dance classes, but i also know i can't do that forever.  my goal of teaching preschool will fill that "working with kids" hole, and also create a career of it versus a part time job. am i nervous about going back to school after i've been graduated with a bachelor's degree for two years?  yes.  am i excited about it?  yes.  am i ready for a new change in my life??  ohhhhhh yesssssss :)  plus, back to school means a reason for "back to school" clothes shopping.  haha.
and a side note, NO i am not taking a break from my photography business.  i've booked two weddings so far for 2014, and hope that plenty more will come my way.  yes, it does sound a little crazy to be going back to school in the midst of working two jobs, owning a business & still keeping up my social life, but i have an amazing gathering of people close to me that are understanding & supportive.  i'm grateful for each of those who are still around after all these years, and even those that have just entered in to the picture not too long ago :)
i'm sure someday, when this is all said & done... he'll tell me "i told you so"

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

weekend round up - 2013 del oro band tour: chaperon style

here we go.  finally regrouped myself enough from nearly 24 combined hours of school bus time, a hooplah of jousting, knight fights & eating with our hands & about 15 hours in the disneyland parks.  thank goodness for blogstomp!
we left friday morning around 7:15, a la school bus and began the voyage.  the bus seemed to be making pretty good time for the most part.  we thought we would get to medieval times early, but nope.  we hit lovely LA traffic... and probably sat in the same spot for a good 20 minutes.  not even the license plate alphabet game could save us.  we made it to medieval times JUST in time to get in there, get our crowns (blue knight again.  same as 2004) and get our seats.  the girls swooned over the "thor" looking knight, but his good looks didn't get him very far.  he was killed off, letting us all down.  what a punk.  though, the announcer guy (top right photo) has a strange resemblance to my 8th grade history teacher.  after our sad defeat, we loaded the buses back up, and headed to the hotel to get some sleep before the big saturday.
after a lateish night, an early morning came, and we got ready and were down to go by 8:15.  walked to disneyland from our hotel, and then after the rundown of the chaperon spot, we were free.  erika and i zoomed over to CA adventure to get a fast pass for the cars speed racers.  we waited in a gigantic line to get our fast passes... but once we got them, they were for our EXACT chaperone time.  total ugh.  but disney customer service to the rescue got us passes good for any time during the day, so we were stoked.  made our way through cars land, which was totally adorable.  the tractor ride was awesome, but the tires one, not so thrilling.
the speed racers thought? super awesome.  it starts out slow, kinda in the way the monsters inc ride does, taking you through and "prepping" your car for the race.  then you get lined up at the starting line and the car speeds onward.  yeah, i'm pretty aware how stressed out i look in that picture.  but it was fun.  seriously.
we were going to head to the toy story mania ride, but i stopped us when i saw that jessie was out, and had a short line. once we got in line, we were informed buzz would be here soon to switch with jessie, and at that point in line, we would probably be getting our photos with jessie. so we went through the line, got our pictures with jessie, and then got back in line again for a photo with buzz. got lucky with that. but not so lucky as far as getting on toy story mania. the ride hadn't opened for the day yet. lame. we checked out the little mermaid ride. it was cute, but nothing super fancy to rave to all your friends (or blog readers) about. if you have a small princes loving child or need to rest your feet for a minute or two, totally go on it.
headed back to disneyland, got our fast passes for space mountain, and then hit up star tours & astro blasters while waiting for our chaperon shift to happen.  the new star tours was pretty cool.  it scans the audience and selects someone as a rebel spy and shows their photo on the screen.  and each "tour" is a little different each time.  and it's 3D.  well, i could go with or without 3D.  got our pretzels, found goofy, and then it was bench sitting time.
well...  erika generally sat on the bench.  i sat across the walk way by town hall because we found an outlet.  some reason, my phone became lame and did NOT want to stay charged at all during that trip.  so for a good 45 minutes, my phone charged.  no kids came up to tell us they weren't feeling good.  so that's a plus.
we got the desired sister pictures in front of the castle (aka the reasons why we decided we should/could chaperon this trip) and then once we delivered erika's sister back to her group, it was back to fun time. and off to space mountain.
we got on super quick. thanks awesome fast pass idea!  no wait time at all getting on this one.  we  rode space mountain, looking super intense in our photo, and then headed to pirates.  that line wasn't as horrible as it has been in the past, but it wasn't a short wait either.  but of course, it's a classic and everyone generally wants to ride it...  so that's what's up.  tried to get some winnie the pooh character pictures, but they decided to bounce out (literally... tigger bounced out) as we got there, and had no desire to wait in that line to wait for them to come back... and then wait for our turn.  thought about going on small world (erika likes that ride) but when we saw the line, decided food sounded better.  so back to CA adventure we went.
i'm still not sure how i feel about the lack of giant letters in front of the gates...
we ended up at boudin's... because bread bowls are delish.  but a real pain to chew.  after eating, we went to toy story mania, which was open, but a fairly long line.  but we decided to wait it out.
this, my friends, is why we don't take "above" photos in lines...  hey there, creeper lady in the back.
p.s. i won this game, like a boss.  but erika says "accuracy is what counts" you can decide who really won... aka.  me.  after this, we attempted to charge my phone for 30 minutes, but it really didn't do any good.  got in a short wait line for soarin over california, where erika let out her aviation knowledge to some small kid in line.  apparently she has this best kept secret about airplanes.  after our lovely tour of california, we headed BACK to disneyland for a final time that night.
met up with my dad, and then we went and rode matterhorn.  they've since updated the bobsleds, so no more awkward seat snuggling with someone behind you.  which also allows for a single rider line.  we tried to go see how space mountain's wait time was looking, but at 75 minutes, we opted to do otherwise.  dad headed off somewhere, and we rode star tours again.  we had a different beginning, but the same ending.  we went to space mountain again, got up to the front and next people in line, and then apparently some moron decided to try and stand up on the ride.  so they shut the entire thing down, and we had to wait for it to reopen.  erika met up with her sister, and i met up with my parents, aileen & her two friends.  decided to go on star tours... where this time i was the rebel spy.  bum bum buuum.  this time it was the same beginning, but a different ending.  interesting how they do that.  then we rode the astro blasters ride, and i totally beat aileen.    alas, space mountain never reopened for the night, so we headed back to main street for the final meeting spot.  yeah, and i almost wanted that sweatshirt, but it wasn't my size.  it WAS bryan's size though... haa haa haa
it was a VERY long day in disneyland... but some how we made it.
i managed to only buy food & water, and no souvenirs or anything.  which is pretty amazing!  a walk back to the hotel, and then everyone was down pretty quick for the night.
erika and i claimed seats to ourselves for the way back and boy were we glad.  much sleeping was done, well, up until the food stop that got all the kids hyped back up on sugar & caffeine.  a lovely search for a shabby little gas station happened, and finally, we got home around 7:45 that night.  was it crazy?  yes.  would we do it again?  probably not.  was it worth it?  yes.  am i totally stoked to go to disneyland again in the future?  absolutely.

Friday, May 17, 2013

and we're off!

we (erika & i) are currently on our way to southern california now for the whirlwind weekend as "official" chaperons!  i may actually (hopefully) be sleeping right now...  don't judge me.
bus ride
medieval times
bus ride
i'll see you all next week!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

bright "between friends junior" elephant baby girl quilt

so this totally doesn't count in my stash buster tally, but it was a full on quilt top, back & binding that i did all before the month of april was over. so boo yah there.
so my cousin ben asked me in march if i still commissioned baby quilts, which i told him duhhh (not really, but it sounds like a logical answer from me to him) and from there he asked me if i would make a baby quilt for his old room mate who was due with a baby girl in the coming months.  so when i was wandering joanns soon after, i stumbled upon two fabrics.  owls & elephants.  after much survey text messaging, and cuteness levels being measured, the elephants won fair and square.
this quilt was all fat quarters, minus the elephants & yellow stripe across each block. the "between friends junior" pattern i used was from a quilt book my grandma passed on to me, and it just worked fantastically with the multi colored elephants and bright colored prints.  i seriously cut, blocked and pieced this entire quilt together in one day.  with no seam ripping!
my grandma did the quilting for me, with a brown & blue variegated thread to pick up the color from the blue elephants.  please ignore my lack of thread picking...  it's recital time in our house so there are bits and pieces of thread and fabric everywhere... and cat hair.  it never stops.
a better shot of the solid brown back to see the quilting threads.
this quilt was commonly referred to as "ben's quilt" which always put a very entertaining image of my cousin carrying around his brand new very girly baby blankie. aw, so sweet.
to top it all off, i found out the baby came three weeks early, so as soon as i got it back from being quilted, i busted out the binding & hand sewing. blind hemming the binding is so blah to me. it needs to have more excitement to it. well... i guess i can be grateful it's smaller than the olympic queen quilt i did for erika's wedding, or even meagan's peacock colored ginormous quilt.
i found these in my premade sock box, and since she is probably still itty bitty, i sent them along to ben as well. plus, they're pretty well coordinated!
quilt pattern: "between friends junior" from the atkinson designs happy hour book

Monday, May 13, 2013

black & white cats kaleidoscope quilt top

i'm still not sure if "kaleidoscope" is spelled right.
google chrome hasn't told me it's wrong yet, so i'm going with it...
this quilt reminded me a lot of the daisy chain quilt i did for meagan's wedding back in 2011.
not necessarily the exact same pattern and layout, but general assembly idea.  with a few tweaks here and there.  but it was fun to put together!  well... until about the last two rows.  then all sewing chaos broke loose.  more on that in a bit.
the original tutorial had all scrappy materials (which i may do again with this style of quilt. but more blocks) and was pieced on basic computer paper.  i decided to use muslin for my back pieces, which i guess was a good thing since we had no computer paper in the mouse anyways.  the cat fabrics were from my bag making overload days (one of them made for a craftster "cat lovers" swap here) and stashed away to make more for the craft shows lisa & i used to do.  when i started this "stashbust" project, i really wanted to do a black and white quilt, and when i came across this hoard of cat fabrics, i knew it was what had to be used!
the tutorial i used was really easy to follow, and i knocked out the majority of this quilt in one day.  of course, minus the cutting part that is.  i used the turquoise blueish fabric to create the "window" effect of the kaleidoscopes, and also keep it from being a little less of a black & white eye sore.  haha.  the hardest part was trying to get everything to line up so that no two fabrics were the same touching from block to block... which is where all my oops started to come in.  i got down to the last two rows, and somehow, no matter HOW hard i tried.  something was touching the same.  even though when i had it laid out on the floor, all was good.  or so i thought.  so while half watching "hitch" i ripped and resewed.  ripped and resewed.  and bumped in to the iron that was sitting on the floor (which i thought i turned off) and now have a lovely burn on my leg...  wheeee.  eventually, this little 4x6 problematic quilt was done.  and i think having the backs pieced on muslin helped my hulk style seam ripping.  it was intense...
here's how the back looked. much neater with the raw edges from each cat fabric hidden in between.  stashbust in this house also means using random spools of thread...  this one had that burgundy color, green, and i think some hot pink in the mix as well.  i emptied three spools from the drawer, so that's a plus!
tutorial used: film in the fridge's string quilt block
stash bust quilt tops total: 9.  whoop whoop!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

hopscotch cherry quilt. sorta...

sooooo... this was originally from a pattern i found on pinterest.  but in the cutting/sewing process i guess i can say it became an artist's interpretation of a pattern...  more on that later.
so i had this cherry fabric for what seems like forever (the little cherries and hearts) because i think i planned to make myself a skirt or something out of it.  and then maybe i planned to make an apron.  i don't know... either way, i know i just had a decent amount of yardage of it and it needed to have something done with it.  the big cherries i had made something from... probably for a craftster swap awhile back, because the fabric was hacked up in to weird shapes like no tomorrow.  and i think the pink came from this bo peep dress i made for a photo project in 2009.  alas, this was the first stash bust quilt top i have had to purchase just a smidge more fabric for... and it was that pink.  oh well, at least it was cheap!
my number of blocks were built around the middle squares, because i only had just enough for however many blocks there were.  and actually, there are still a few more around the house i didn't use because of another fabric measuring oops.  man, this quilt is full of oops stories.
so here we have the full quilt top on the right. looks good, right? i think so... even if it's totally not how it was supposed to be.  basically, the insides of the blocks are all opposite of what the pattern has them as.  the blue cherries were supposed to be the two outside squares, while the inside square is the one that alternates.  the  "same colors" weren't supposed to be touching.  at all.  so basically, instead of hopscotch, this quilt is a bunch of tetris T tiles.  sounds like a legit cover up story.
block comparison.  cherries went horizontal, while pinks went vertical.  so very bright and cheery.  and girly all over.
yes, i plan to redo this pattern the "right way" and see how it turns out. maybe i'll like it better... maybe i'll like mine better. maybe it inspires me to do a full on "tetris" quilt.  hm.  maybe.  those seem pretty intense, and full of needs for "exact" blocks.  yargh.
original quilt pattern:  fabric cafe: hopscotch
stash bust tops complete: 8 <- four more, and i can technically call my goal met... right?  hm.  not really.  but this 3 month ahead of schedule boost will come in handy in june for sure.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

winnie the pooh "holiday ribbon block" quilts

and now, back to regularly scheduled blog programming.  or at least the best we can get right now :)
so back in april, because it's now may 7th and april was SOOO long ago, i spent a whole day cutting out about 6-7 different quilt tops to power through sewing.  i picked different designs based on what fabrics i had as well as patterns i had never used before.  getting pretty risky over here!  anyways, this first design i may have actually seen on craftster, but i can't remember... it's on my pinterest (pattern link at bottom of post) so we'll stick with that for now.
lately, i've found myself in a very zig-zag/chevron pattern enjoyment.  since erika's wedding quilt last year, i keep finding and pinning those types of patterns.  no shame in that, right?  well when i stumbled aross this ryan walsh pattern, i instantly pinned it and knew it would go to good use quickly.  everything started out as basic squares, and from there were gradually stitched, slashed and re-stacked to create these intertwined ribbon patterns.
the plan, yet again, was to create one bigger quilt, but i basically ended up pushing the number of blocks to the limit due to running out of green & blue fabrics. in the end, i finished up with just 18 blocks total.  well, 19, but i didn't assemble the last green one.  i just couldn't see a 3x6 block quilt being a reasonable size, so i just "chopped" things in half, creating two 3x3 quilt tops (similar in size to my senior project quilts.  oh right.  those were pre-blogging days. hm.  maybe a flashback post series is in store for all those long lost unblogged projects)
it was nice to finally get some more "boy" quilt tops in my mix.  i find that i have a lot of girly fabric in my fabric supply box, so being able to piece together another two that would be able to go to a baby boy or two was fantastic.  i would totally do this pattern again, maybe mix up each ribbon row like in the original pattern.  i still have a bit of this winnie the pooh fabric held on to, so maybe it will make another appearance someday!
and now, for the first time ever in tp&oc history, i was able to locate the "original projects" these fabrics came from!  well, i could have done that with a few in the past, but i just forgot.  oops.  so on the right comes the winnie the pooh fabric & i'm 99% sure the green fabric.  i made this quilt for erika for her high school graduation in 2007.  the photos are all printed on jetprint ink fabric squares purchased from joanns.  i created the layout myself, using photos from 4 years of our friendship at that time (now going on 10 years... sheesh!)  the quilt on the right is where the yellow fabric came from.  i threw lisa a dino themed baby shower for when she was pregnant with kent, and made her this quilt.  i used a plastic template thing, also purchased from joanns, to create this pinwheel-ish pattern.  hm.  maybe i'll do another quilt in that pattern during this stashbust-o-rama.
original pattern:  ryan walsh holiday ribbon block
stash busting quilt total: 7

Friday, May 3, 2013

sneak peek of what's to come soon

while the whole 30 day challenge was going on, i've been keeping things busy at the sewing machine!  i spent the first sunday in april chopping fabric up in to at least 5 different stash bust quilt tops, with fabric laid out for some more to be cut up soon.  of course with that, i had to save a few things so my blogging streak would semi continue in to may.  at least until the fun weekends got here :)  so in the meantime, here is a little sneak peek of some posts that are going to be happening soon!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

april - instagram lookback

oh april.  you came, you did your thang, and now you are gone.  funny thing how months do that.  well, as far as the instagram summary, here goes.
- i cut, sewed & completed a quilt top in a day for my cousin (for his college roommate).  pretty impressive.  this all happened generally while watching big fish.  no complaints there.  sent it away to be quilted, and it was a fantastic feat.  love the bright colors for sure.
- i worked until 230, then a senior session at 6. b had the day off, and said he wanted to go to goodwill to look for silverware... or something useful like that.  did we come back home with silverware?  no.  instead there were nerf guns & darts a plenty.  after the senior session, i headed back over, with a gun borrowed from my brother to arrive armed just in case...  and it worked perfectly, since i ambushed him mid arena battle with his friend tim.  mwa haa haa.
- we also ventured out to the local mongolian bbq place in auburn to give it a shot.  it wasn't too bad, but i still prefer the place in roseville over this small cramped one.  they did have vanilla soft serve with chocolate sprinkles...  but that was my fortune for the night... hm.  could it be that unexpected relationship it's speaking of?  i guess only time will tell.
- my mom spy cam-med me while i was working on my display boards, and facebook messaged it to bryan. which became the downward spiral of him thinking he is hilarious and getting me to think i had just poisoned my lungs with putty dust.  like, drinking a tablespoon of vinegar have my mom check my throat for spots convinced.  he did all this while sitting eating lunch at round table down the road.  ugh...
- the first sunday in april i had sat down and cut out 5 or so stash buster quilt tops, and once i sent the non-stashbuster off to be quilted, i finally felt the desire to sit down and sew one from my stack.  which actually turned in to two small ones, plus a third from a different fabric set.  stay tuned for those in the coming weeks.
- more dart guns...  seriously.  he needs help.  he came home that day with a few more guns, a battle ax & one hulk hand.  and then we ended up at target to return magic card decks & left there with two "clips" of darts for his guns.  seriously, i'm dating a giant nerd.  we've devised a "tic-tac-toe" style decision making game.  hopefully it will be more entertaining than the basic coin flip should it have to actually be used in the future.
- last wednesday he came over to help put the finishing touches on the bridal show display.  we bought these latch things (that i can best describe as public bathroom door locks) to hold the boards together to lay flat front to back.  everything was completed that day, full of frustration trying to figure out how to stand it up by myself without breaking something...  and recharging the drill battery a million times was fun.
- sunday was the big day...  and everything went together pretty well!  only one slip up by forgetting to put the back pin in the cross bar before standing the first two up, but other than that, everything was fantastic.  i love how it turned out, and couldn't have asked for any better.  i talked to a decent amount of brides and seemed to get a pretty good response of weddings lacking their photographers.  fingers crossed!
- now that the bridal show was over, it was finally time to sit down and sew on some binding.  as usual with most sewing projects, there was help...  mushu tends to sit on the floor RIGHT by the presser foot of my machine.  this time, velcro decided he was going to be helpful by laying right on the blanket.  this time, it was mostly pin-less... but that wouldn't have stopped him either.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

day 30:30 - 30 day challenge

day 30: a picture
my candy stash... aka what i ate for lunch on sunday while manning my bridal show booth for 5 hours by myself.  and to think i'm not much of a chocolate eater.  i do love me some 3 musketeers bars.
now that the bridal show fiasco is over, i'm trying to get back to the room cleaning hooplah that was going down in january.  even though i have a second shooting adventure, two dance portrait days, choreography to finish up, a so cal weekend, and potential grad party to attend this month...  i'm still going to hopefully chip away at it each day.  stash bust quilts count as room cleaning, right?  hm.  maybe you shouldn't answer that.  i'm going to stick with yes.
boom pow.  30 day challenge complete.
not too shabby, if i do say so myself.  i think i'll take a month or two break, and then see if i feel like another one in july or august.  and i guess we'll all find out how well this affects my normal blogging amount in the coming months.