misfit monday: fiber fair, a video summary

Footage I shot at the Fiber Fair held at Young’s Jersey Dairy Farm on September 21, 2013. It’s an annual gathering of local fiber/yarn artisans and wool farmers. The public can come, buy just about anything related to yarn and wool, and learn about the process, including spinning yarn, the animals involved, and the process of creating finished pieces using these fibers. My favorite part was meeting the Pangora goats. They’re a crossbreed between Pigmy and Angora goats, so they’re small and soft.

I’m not an editor or color corrector by any means, but I guess this looks alright. And in case you’re wondering, it was shot using  Canon T4i, and edited using Adobe Premiere Pro and color corrected in Adobe After Effects.

Heidi shows up in it, and at one point I do too!! With a Llama.

Follow my Tumblr: juliethehummingbird.tumblr.com

Brought to you by Hummingbird Productions. (hey, that’s me!)


misfit monday: the woman who changed my life

In honor of the announcement that JK Rowling will be writing a new film series taking place within her magical world, I thought I should write about how much Harry Potter changed my life.

Except I don’t actually know how it changed my life because I was in 5th grade, nearly 11 years old, when I picked up the first book, and very soon after finished off the 2nd and 3rd books. When you’re that young, something doesn’t change your life so much as it becomes a formative part of your life. The Harry Potter series was that for me. However, there are a few ways that I can point out that it changed things for me.

friends at I at the Chinese theater, being the golden trio.

friends at I at the Chinese theater, being the golden trio.

1. Through the characters of Hermione Granger, Ginny Weasley, and Luna Lovegood.

When the books first came out, I was nicknamed Hermione because people thought of me as her. Saw me as her. I corrected other kids, even in front of teachers, I was a smartalec and a know-it-all. I also had brown hair and brown eyes. I was made fun of and had a hard time keeping friends. But once people saw me as Hermione, it changed. A little.

Later on, with the development of Ginny and the introduction of Luna, it became clear to me that I possessed qualities of all three, and each quality I had in common with them was one I was able to accept in myself. I wanted to be smart, but I also dreamed of being pretty, like Hermione. I was odd, obscure, and artsy like Luna, and people accepted that part of me when they realized I was actually good at art. It was the part of me that didn’t care what other people thought because I just wanted to do art and be good at it. And there was the sporty, competitive side of me like Ginny, who always felt like she had something to prove because she was just a girl, or just Ron’s little sister, and the guy who she liked pretty much ignored her. She could command a lot of authority, and she was incredibly capable. I think, though, that I always envied her one particular thing: she was indeed beautiful and a lot of guys noticed her. My best friends in high school were the ones who got noticed. I was the one they could count on to never have a date.

2. Through making me love reading.

I was not a reader as a child. So when I found books I wanted to read, books that I didn’t want to put down, it changed everything for me. I still haven’t found books that grab hold of me like the Harry Potter books do, but I developed a love for reading and the written word from that moment on.

Odd story: when I was 11, reading the books for the first time, I wanted to be like Harry Potter so much that I cleared out a cupboard under a sink, crawled in there with the book and a flashlight, and stayed crammed in there for hours reading, pretending that I was like Harry living in the cupboard under the stairs.

As a teenager who struggled with depression, reading was my escape. I got in trouble on numerous occasions from when I was 13 all the way through when I was 17 for reading in class. The best part was that the teachers would call me on to answer the question, and I KNEW THE ANSWER. They had intended to catch me unaware and to make an example of me in front of the entire class, but when I knew the answer and could go into detail about it, as well as telling them exactly what I’d been reading, it left them fuming. My mom fielded a few angry emails and calls from teachers about this.

I’m not a huge reader, although this year has been a little different for me, and I’ve read around 25 books since late January.

3. Through giving me a world in which I felt I belonged.

Again, this goes back to Hermione. I didn’t fit in well as a child, but at Hogwarts, I always felt like I belonged. I was smart, I was brave and fearless, I felt absolutely sure I was a Gryffindor. I identified with Hermione in a way I’ve never identified with any character. But also, the books gave me friends. Harry, Ron, Ginny, Luna, Neville, and Hermione were all my friends. I laughed at all of Fred and George’s jokes and pranks, snuck around with Harry at night, and faced the tough times in life with all of them too. With a common last name, I easily fit into one of the better known wizarding families (it was a huge joke with all my friends that Sirius Black was my dad). I finally had names of nemesis I could hate (Crabbe, Goyle, Voldermort…. not Draco though, because I had a major soft spot for that little prat) rather than feeling like I was just bullied by a large group, not anyone in particular. (I was bullied a lot in middle school and standing up for myself didn’t do much. I was bullied some in high school, but standing up for myself did a lot more then, mostly because by the time I was a junior, I just didn’t care and the teachers didn’t care if I punched someone after repeatedly telling them to stop harassing me.)

wizard dad

what you don’t know is that I’m wearing a shirt I sewed that matches one Hermione wears in DH1. Pictured here with my wizarding dad.

The characters were more than characters for me. They were my friends, my enemies, my mentors, my allies, my teachers, my family. Some of the times I have cried the hardest have been in the deaths in these books, because it wasn’t a character dying, it was someone I knew and loved. They were as much a part of my life as any real person, and sometimes more.

4. Causing me to learn unusual skills.

I learned to knit because of Harry Potter. I couldn’t afford to buy an official Gryffindor, so I asked my grandma to teach me to knit so I could knit my own. It took a few years before I eventually got around to it, and I think I might knit a new one sometime. But what 14-year-old learns how to knit for fun? Uh, apparently this one. People in my family know to expect at least one person to get a hand-knit something for christmas almost every year.


an in-progress shot of a hat Hermione wore in HBP. I love that hat.

This kind of makes me more like Hermione again, because she learns to knit to free house elves and actually it’s pretty cute.

5. Through teaching me a thousand things I don’t know if I can ever verbalize or recount.

I grew up reading these books. How could I say what I learned from them and how I changed because of them when they were a fundamental part of my formation as a person? But it’s a thousand lessons I learned from these seven books that play into every single day of my life. Harry’s sarcastic responses to things, Hermione’s dichotomy of intellect and emotion fully fitting into one person, how things aren’t always as they seem (pretty much from every book), how one letter can change your life forever, how there is magic in everything. How words are our most inexhaustible source of magic. How love touches us even after death, and how the ones we love never really leave us.

I often feel that I am some strange mix of Hermione, Ginny, and Luna wrapped up into one person. I don’t think I would have ever been able to accept myself and all the oddities of me without JK’s characters, and being able to say, yes, they are the way they are, and they are all parts of me, as I am all parts of them. And it’s okay.

until the very end

in what Hermione wears for the final battle, fake blood and all

On a side note, I’ve dressed up as Hermione at least 6 times. Twice for midnight showings.

I am a proud part of the Harry Potter generation, and Hogwarts will always be home.

return to the start

Sometimes it takes a long time for things to resolve. Life moves faster than that, of course, but the emotional and psychological scars take a long time to heal. The damage, that takes but a moment to be inflicted, can take years before resolution truly occurs. For me, the resolution has been in the works for longer than it probably should have been. And the last bit of resolution is probably one I will never get; I will never be able to tell him I’m sorry. I don’t regret ending things, but I do regret just how much it hurt him.

This is going to be a really long post, and I don’t have photos to put in it because I deleted every single photo that relates to this time of my life. And threw out the artwork related. I even deleted all evidence from my backup drive. However, I managed to find a few photos on my mom’s computer. Proof that it really happened.


It began when I was a junior in high school, and ended when I was a junior in college. And in those five years, a tragic romance unfolded. Had Romeo and Juliet survived, I imagine they would have been just as doomed as Ryan* and I were. Star-crossed lovers is the term. Two people whose lives cross for but an instance in the scheme of time, and in that moment, burn brighter. The moment passes, and despite the love shared, it does not endure. It can’t endure.

We were in marching band at different high schools, both suburbs of the same city. As such, our sports teams competed, and since that included football, our marching bands crossed paths. In the competition world, our marching bands almost never took the same field, since we did different circuits. But it was at the football game between our rival schools when we were both sixteen that we met. During third quarter, the marching bands get to socialize and have refreshments with each other. It’s a neat time to meet other people. Since I wanted to meet horn players from that band, I sought them out, and met one. A friend of his, and several guard girls from my school were part of this, and I found out that his friend was both a horn player and one of the drum majors for their band. Excited to meet other horn players, I managed to get the first guy’s number. Unfortunately for me, the guard girls had been hitting on him, and he assumed I was part of that later on, and decided that I was a psycho, thanks to the drum major horn player friend of his.

It ends, the time our stars were aligned, with a conversation on his 21st birthday. Or at least that’s the last time I remember talking to him. There were a few other incidents involving him showing up to my house and me hiding locked away in my room because I just wanted it all to be over. All after two months worth of him showing up at my university outside of my classes and apartment several times a week, to the point of me often hiding and a friend in the Marines offering to beat up Ryan. Everything between us was a mess that had already damaged us beyond repair by the time his birthday rolled around. It was hard to talk to him that day, May 9th, because we didn’t know how not to be in love with each other. Separating our friendship and our romance was impossible for him, thus leaving me in a place where I couldn’t even be around him or talk to him. It was a disaster. He was talking about some of his friends from high school taking him out to a bar, and how honestly it wasn’t that exciting, and he wished I could have been there. But he knew that we needed to spend time apart. The problem was that mentally he knew this but emotionally he didn’t, and a lot of messiness ensued. For me it was terrifying, and I have to believe that it was for him as well, but for the very opposite reason it was for me; I was afraid I would never escape him, and he was afraid I would.

The second time I saw Ryan, it was during the winterguard/winter drumline season, again while we were juniors. It was the only year I did winterguard, oddly enough. In any case, at a major local competition, my guard had performed and were sitting on the bleachers watching other guards perform before awards, and his drumline happened to be sitting in front of us, watching their high school’s guard perform. I recognized him, and while the other guard girls were all gossiping about who they thought was the hottest, I was busy being the brave one that was cool with moving down a few rows and striking up conversation with the drummers. Lo and behold, Ryan was sitting right in front of the guy I had plopped down next to just to prove a point to the other girls in my guard. And so I started talking to him instead.

We broke up in early March. I had just come home from the Olympics in Vancouver, the last bit of which we had been fighting long distance. He had grown up in a house where his dad was the dominant personality, and his kind mother was glad not to be the one in control. So naturally Ryan gravitated towards being in control and me taking the back seat, whereas I am hardheaded and a very dominant sort of person. We were always butting heads over this, and his need to be in control of my life had spiraled to a dangerous level. All the warning signs I had been too blind to notice were suddenly clear as day, and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that we weren’t meant to be together. That no matter how hard we had tried to make things work, no matter how much we loved each other, that we were wrong for each other. It was a saturday, and we were supposed to go ice skating at UK together, but when I arrived at his apartment and we got into his car, the fighting continued, and one drive around the block later resulted in a long night in which I became scared of what he would do to himself now that he knew for sure that this was the end. Somewhere in the fight he pulled out the engagement ring he’d bought while I’d been in Canada and tried to show it to me, but I closed my eyes and held them shut for a long time. To this day I have no idea what that ring looked like, nor what happened to it.

The third time we met, it was at another football game. This time, our senior year of high school, and I had already developed a minor crush on him, after having met him twice. Determined not to let possibly my last chance pass me by, I stowed a sharpie in my uniform and during third quarter, tracked Ryan down and got his number. He was the head drum major that year, and trust me when I say the allure of being the soloist from my school and being like psh of course I’m friends with that school’s drum major was a big one. There’s a funny story this time from how that first horn player I’d met the year before was desperate to avoid me because he was still convinced I was psycho.

Christmas of our junior year of college, we went engagement ring shopping over break. Just a few locally owned jewelry places, and I remember looking at rings and being beyond excited about our future together. I was going to get engaged to the man I was madly in love with, and we were going to get married right after graduation. I’d picked out a few weekends in late May and early June and we were tossing around what we thought would be best. One summer, we had gone to a local Arboretum, and Ryan and I knew we were going to have an outdoor wedding there. For our honeymoon we were going to go on an Alaskan cruise. Looking at the rings, getting sized, made the whole thing palpable. Our future was set and we were blissful.

Burned into my memory is the first time we ever hung out. Senior year, I was over high school. So instead of going to homecoming, I used my one free weekend between August through November to hang out with Ryan. Since he’s allergic to cats, we ended up hanging out at his house. I’m not entirely sure how I managed to convince him of this, but I guess it was the same way I managed to get his number. And like every guy I’ve ever known and wanted to be friends with perhaps too aggressively, he made the preemptive strike of “I don’t want a girlfriend and I’ll never be interested in you.” I assured him I wasn’t looking. He would later tell me he could tell I was lying through my teeth. We watched V for Vendetta, which oddly enough I had seen that past spring with the guy who took me to my junior prom. Through the whole film, Ryan paid no attention to me, whereas I was painfully aware of him. Crushes tend to be like that. That was also the day I met his parents. When we eventually started dating, Ryan had to explain that I was the weirdo they’d met a year ago and all that fun stuff. The following monday at school, everyone was asking me what on earth I did over the weekend because I was glowing with happiness. So I eagerly told them about hanging out with Ryan, the head drum major for X school. The reaction was exactly what I waned: awe.

The fall of our junior year, Ryan transferred to UK, claiming that he liked the music program better there, and especially the horn teacher. When I broke up with him, he claimed he transferred just to be with me. All I could see was that it meant at some point he had lied to me, although in reality, both reasons were probably true. Being 30 minutes away from each other, we spend an absorbent amount of time together. My social life at my university dropped to basically none. I skipped out on anything and everything to be with Ryan and his friends–all other horn players at UK. It got to the point where I would hang out with those girls (yes, all girls) without Ryan, even though they were his friends. Truth was, my relationship with Ryan had already destroyed almost all the friendships I had, or prevented them from growing into actual friendships. That fall I had my junior recital, Ryan being one of the four horns in a horn quartet piece that ended my recital. It was an arrangement of “Because” by The Beatles. Across the Universe was our favorite movie, and I loved that song, so of course I wanted it in my recital. That fall Ryan was also constantly on my case about religion. We both grew up religious, but he had “outgrown” it, and was always annoyed that I still believed. Any time religion came up, he took the time to try to prove why it was wrong and why I was an idiot for believing. I just accepted that this was a part of who we were as a couple, even though it hurt. Ryan developed this way of tearing me down and building me up that left me dependent on him emotionally. And I let him. That fall, it was the strongest it would ever be.

We IMed constantly senior year. I would watch impatiently for him to sign on, and then often force myself to wait a minute or two before pouncing. Turns out he was terrible at english, and since I was in AP, I would edit his papers for him. The tradition would continue on into college. The first time I edited a paper for him, he kept urging me to hurry up, but I said I was being thorough. I was, actually. I’d never read the book his paper was on, Beowolf, so I judged his arguments on whether they made sense to me or not. When I found out how he did on his paper, he started by saying the english teacher basically chewed out the entire class for all-around terrible essays. He, however, had a 97% on his. So I would help him with english from then on, and he would help me with horn/music stuff. I talked about auditioning for Glassmen, and he was the person I was most excited to tell I’d been offered a spot in the winter of my senior year. We talked about drumcorps a lot.

Summers all blur together for me. We had two summers of bliss together. The first one was the only time we really had to grow our relationship not long distance. Every second of every moment together was precious. The second one, in which we knew he was transferring to UK and would be close to me, was different. We would go roller blading round his neighborhood, he tried to teach me to drive stick (I still can’t), we would play soccer at a park two streets away from his house. We went everywhere together, and any time spent apart was heartbreaking. His presence was like oxygen to me. My dependence on him should have been terrifying to me, but young love is so all-encompassing that I never noticed. Generally when we were together, it was at his house, and Ryan was very rarely around my family because he didn’t like them. Again, it should have been a warning. Although, we didn’t hang around his friends much because I didn’t get along with them. We squabbled like an old married couple, and generally ignored the bigger issues. We’d get to those when they came around. Probably though, we avoided them because if we ever faced them, it could easily end the relationship. Blinded by our love for the other, we never truly even knew we needed to face the big issues.

We didn’t hang out for the rest of high school. One night at Glassmen during move-ins, I was feeling exceptionally down, so I thought I’d try calling some friends. Neither of my best friends answered, so on a whim, I tried Ryan. Who answered. I found out he’d be on tour with the Cavaliers that summer, and that was the moment everything changed. I still had a crush on him that despite my dire attempts to suppress it, had never disappeared.

Upon arriving home from tour, my best friend at the time, Amy, came to the airport with my mom and sister to welcome me home, and couldn’t wait to tell me the news: Ryan had called me. THE Ryan, the one I had gushed about all senior year. So I bashfully told her, uh, yeah, we’re sort of dating now.

And so that summer, every time Glassmen and Cavaliers were at the same show, we found each other and hung out. If I showed up by their buses, the guys knew who I was looking for, and if Ryan showed up by ours, people knew to find me. We were friends, and for a while on tour, my crush on him went away. I almost started dating Danny, another gmen mello. People all thought I would. But then finals week in Pasadena, all those feelings, after having not seen Ryan in three weeks, became real. And finals night, after the awards ceremony and after we had all gotten out of uniform for the last time, Ryan found me. And before he had to run off, and before I had to leave as well, he kissed me for the very first time.

I would have never guessed that the single kiss I wanted the most would turn out to damage me so much. We were doomed from the start, but we could have never known that. You can only try to force a square peg in a round hole for so long, before both are damaged and you eventually learn that it’s impossible. In some sense, the day I broke up with him was like Romeo killing himself, and Juliet being forced to deal with the aftermath. Does she move on, or does she let the heartbreak kill her? We were star-crossed, Ryan and I, and for nearly three years, we were madly in love. But our paths were never going to stay together. They couldn’t.

It has taken me years to undo the damage that relationship did to me. And it has taken me this past year (a whole year) to go from the moment I forgave myself and knew I would be loved again someday, to the moment where I can finally forgive him. Up until recently, the bitterness of the relationship and the horrific way it ended were all I could see.

I wish I could explain things to him. I wish I could tell him I’m sorry.

*name changed.

Also, that’s one of two remaining photos of us together. No, seriously. Two.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, film review

I’m at a loss of words on this one.

There’s  line in the film, “how can you be so happy and so sad all at once?” (I may be off on a few words, but that’s the line) that sums up almost the entire film, and how it makes you feel while watching it. The absolute beauty of everything, both the good and the bad, leaves you feeling both emotions quite fully. I wanted to cry for most of the film, and I was never sure if it would have been out of sadness or joy.

This is a coming of age film, where the people are the stars, not the story. Character-driven, as some former profs would define it. I think the most beautiful part of the film is that the people are all so hurt, with secrets, with pasts that forever impact our present.

The acting is amazing, and I was especially impressed with Logan Lerman’s acting. The way he handled things, the way you could watch him try to forget the bad things in life while they were in the midst of happening, pretend everything was okay when really nothing was… from someone with a mental illness, he captured it well. The moments where he just breaks down, the way all that was written and the way he brought that to life, is what it feels like.

Now, while most people will relate alright with the character of Charlie (Logan Lerman), I think very few will fully identify with him. Where I am in life, however, being in his shoes was as easy as breathing, and that may be why I’m having a hard time actually reviewing the film rather than being like “just go see it because you need to see this film.” That is exactly how I feel. Just go see it.

Now, are some of the characters exceptionally odd in an almost cliche way? Yeah. It’s like in the group of misfits, they wanted to have every kind of misfit. From a social perspective, that really doesn’t happen often. However, most of the main cast had fully developed characters and backgrounds. They made sense in a psychological way.

I really don’t even know what to say other than it’s such a beautiful film full of truths about us as humans. Full of pain and joy and broken people that in their brokenness are at their most beautiful.
Just go see it.

“We accept the love we think we deserve.”

misfit monday: what a weekend

Sometimes I do exciting things, like appear on national daytime tv. Other times, I do slightly less exciting things like sit around applying for jobs and sewing while watching old tv shows.

True story. No really, the tv thing? It happened. Not an extra. As in front and center speaking role. For 20 minutes. I was trying not to freak out or cry. Although the crying part would have worked with the acting.

I have the most random life, and a lot of the stories I tell probably sound like they can’t have all happened to the same person. That either means I tell great stories about kleptomaniac ex-roommates and psychotic pregnant homeless people, or ….. maybe I kind of got the leftovers on other people’s lives. That sounds weird. Imagine you’re at a restaurant and you have four people, but between them, they only order 3 dishes. Three of these people only eat one particular thing each. Say, one eats fish, another eats chicken, and the other eats beef. But these three people get full and there’s still a little of each dish left over, all of which gets passed on to person 4. So person 4 doesn’t have a whole meal of any kind, just these jumbled bits of leftovers. I kind of feel like that’s my life. Jumbled bits of leftovers. On a psychological level, this kind of explains some stuff about me. I’m watching everyone else with whole lives, and I’m sitting here with scraps and tidbits wondering why I didn’t get a whole life, why everyone else is so much more special than me. On the outside looking in. This is my life.

Okay, well, that was depressing. Let’s move on. (I really wish you would all read this in Xander Harris’ voice. It makes it sound much more fun.)

A theater near me (actually the closest movie theater) has $5 wednesdays, so I went and saw a late night movie. By myself. Because I don’t have friends. This is my life. Well, I saw Pitch Perfect because I thought it looked funny. Anna Kendrick is beautiful and talented. On a deeper note that probably very few people in the theater would have picked up on, it touched on a psychological thing that I understand. The whole shutting people out because it’s easier. Because deep down you just don’t want to let anyone hurt you, and you just sort of expect that they will. There was a fitting tribute to The Breakfast Club in there, and I love that movie.

The last bit of that trailer… add that to the list of things I want to say.

Worked on sewing some other things now that my coat is done. I have this pattern for some 1940’s clothes, and I had enough fabric left over from an old project to work with, and that became the shirt. Now to start in on a pair of high waist grey pants. Three pieces. Pretty straight forward. Except the zipper part. Zippers are my downfall. Also, I had to sharpen a pair of scissors, and it was all going fine until I sharpened them right into my finger. Painful and just deep enough for it to bleed rather well.

Saturday was a big day.

First, I auditioned for a tv pilot being shot here. Don’t know where it’s going or anything like that, but hey whatever, I auditioned. Am I likely to get a part? Well normally I would have said no, but they happened to really like me. They said I had a lot of talent and I should really try to get into the acting thing more. First time I’ve heard that. I should hear about callbacks in a week.

Second, my little brother had a marching band competition at The Ohio State University. In the horseshoe. That was cool. Like really cool. But, I don’t understand the old-school marching band thing, with the drum major who is a baton twirler, the lack of color guard, the whole high-stepping thing…. makes no sense to me. The southwest area of Ohio is all about competition marching bands, versus I guess Cleveland is stuck in the “we’re here to put on a halftime show for the football team” thing. Ew. Add that to the list of reasons I will never go close to that town. Anyway, my alma matter did great. They’ve made massive improvements to the show since I last saw it, added more visuals, the guard (which has 3 vets and the rest are rookies) has made huge strides. They should have placed 2nd behind Lakota West (who incidentally have an awesome show featuring music by Edward Elgar and my all-time favorite Dmitri Shostakovich).

I’m employed! Finally. It’s at a department store as seasonal, but that’s a start, right? Better underemployed than unemployed. I have orientation this thursday, and I’m a little nervous for everything, but I always get that way. Last night I had this weird dream that my grandma came over and was asking me all sorts of questions about my new job that I didn’t have answers to and then when I woke up she was actually here. O_o

Oh, and thursday night I watched the VP debate. It was at Center College in Kentucky. And then I realized that I’d performed on the same stage they had the debate on. Woah. A couple years ago, Asbury, Center, Translyvania and maybe one more I don’t remember, performed the full Brahms Requiem at Transy and Center (that’s like an hour straight of singing). And…. yeah. Won’t go into politics. Oh, but Paul Ryan looks like the guy who plays Will Schuster on Glee. Anyone else notice that?

Here’s part of the Requiem. My favorite part.

Ooooh…. secret talent reveal time: the first time I ever joined a choir was in university. In the best choir there. I’m a mezzo-soprano who sings alto 1. What you don’t know is that I’m actually a French Horn player.

This video shows the sopranos and tenors mostly, with the altos and basses on the same side as the camera. So you can’t actually see me, but yes I’m there. In Gloucester Cathedral (they filmed chunks of Harry Potter there). In England.

I told you I had a random life.

misfit monday: when a find meets a design

I was in JoAnn’s the other day buying additional fabric for the back of my quilt, I browsed the fabric section and found this amazing blue wool and this gorgeous gold-orange lining. UH, PERFECT. For what? This!!

I have a pattern that is fairly close to this, and in order to not chance things with a rather expensive wool (though it was 50% off thanks to an awesome coupon) I’m going to stick to the pattern. The fabric is 100% wool, and as close to Tardis blue as I’ve ever been able to find. I mean, I knew it was perfect the moment I saw it, and I’ve been eying this other potential fabric from Mood that I thought was close. Here’s the wool and lining. (the photo makes them just a hint lighter than reality) Perfect perfect perfect!!

I do plan, however, to paint some hexagonal patterns inside on the lining. It’s like a little secret. You have no idea how much I love those little secrets in fashion, those little details that take time to notice but then you’re like that’s just genius.

Now, the pattern is weird and calculates yardage in the oddest way imaginable, so what my mom and I did was to get 2 yards of 60″ wool (it was actually 57″ because I think it was preshrunk… you have to shrink wool before working with it, and you can just hover an iron about n inch above it and steam it. When I did this, the fabric stayed the same, so I think it was already shrunken.) and then we had to redo the layout of pattern pieces. I’m the one with great spacial relations, but my mom’s the one who knows the sewing thing, so I needed her help to make sure that I wasn’t placing the pieces the wrong way. If you notice, every pattern piece has an arrow on it, and every arrow has to go the same way–vertical. Some of the open spaces you see are because I have to cut 2 of one of the smaller pieces so I’ve left space for that.

That is all to say, if you want to make it, now you know. I’ll do a full debrief on the pattern and sewing after I’ve completed it.

I found one of those circle cutter things, and suddenly I know why designers and people who do a lot of sewing use those. So much faster, and straight, clean lines. Awesome.

I’m really excited to make this!

Thing 2: The front of my quilt is done!! I’ve worked on and off on this for a while now, from cutting up tshirts back in… late june–not sure–to finally getting around to sewing the thing a few weeks back. Now I have to add the edging and sew it onto the back and then put the batting in it and then my grandma offered to take me to this shop she knows around here that machine quilts things.

It’s not perfectly rectangular. One side is a little longer than the other. Oops. But for my first quilt, and making everything up as I went with no real idea of what I was doing, I’d say that this is pretty good. Plus it looks cool.

Thing 3: I’m not 100% happy with the sketchbook I made, but I bet if I made another one it’d be perfect. You live and you learn. I’m about 95% happy with it. That’s pretty good.

Thing 4: Here’s a drawing I did in about 20ish minutes yesterday of my little brother while in church. He was rather thrilled that I was drawing him, and every once in a while would move so he could look at it, then return to his original position so I could keep going. It looks exactly like him.

That is all.

misfit monday: mountains

Over the weekend I went on a camping trip with a friend from Asbury and two friends we had met out in LA while those three were out there for school. We were in the Smokey Mountains, so I was glad to have mountains again, but it was a little sad that these weren’t my mountains. I miss LA and SoCal.

Anyway, it was fun, and saturday we went hiking on a rather well known trail up to the Chimney Tops, the last bit of which is rock climbing up to the top. It’s a 2 mile hike each way, and the trail label says “strenuous.” Yes, I’d say so.

Now, the other threes love love love taking photos. I love taking photos, but at the same time, I’m much more into being in the moment. So I don’t have tons of photos, but here are some of the best ones.


Thing two: The Olympics. What a cool opening ceremony. For sure. Also, I’m minorly in love with Ryan Lochte. Oddly enough, his voice and speech pattern is really similar to a friend of mine who is working at the London Olympics right now. Possibly at the swimming venue. Anyway, he’s really cute when he smiles. His whole face lights up and he has those awesome smile lines around his eyes, two of which I find really attractive, if you remember that blog post.

That is all.

tragic tuesday: in memory of a most beloved

Misfit Monday? Nope. This week it’s Tragic Tuesday.

It may be a while before I start posting particularly upbeat blogs again. Although, I will share the one bit of good news I have: Aiden is alive. Aside from one broken key (found where to buy replacements) and an A key that is a bit temperamental, all is well with him. So this isn’t in memory of my 4-year-old laptop.

It’s in memory of my baby. Sunny, my 12-year-old golden retriever, who was basically a rescue dog when she was 6 months old. I’ll tell you her story, if you care to listen.

It starts with Sam. Sam was probably the most energetic, play-driven dog ever. He was hyper. Really hyper. And we didn’t know what to do for him. My parents got the idea that maybe we should get a puppy for him, a playmate. So we started looking, and my mom found an add in the newspaper for a 6-month-old golden retriever puppy that needed a new home. So we took Sam with us to make sure they’d get along, first of all.

The moment they met, they were instant friends. Love at first sight, no exaggeration. The family had been trying to take care of her, but with what had been going on, she had basically been suffering from neglect. So we took her home that night, and day after day at our house we watched her become happier and live up to her name: Sunny.

Sam and Sunny were the perfect match. For three years they were absolutely inseparable. And then Sam died very suddenly of what was basically canine sars. The best vets in the state did an autopsy because they wanted to know what killed him and even then it was inconclusive.

Sunny was heartbroken. I thought it was going to be like Where The Red Fern Grows, where Little Ann dies of loneliness and heartbreak after Old Dan is killed by the Mountain Lion. Sunny’s face started turning grey, and she wasn’t even 4 years old.

We knew at that point that Sunny needed a friend. So we contacted a breeder we had met when I took Sunny to the state fair in dog obedience for 4H. They also had a female golden named Sunny. My Sunny knew all the obedience stuff, she just didn’t want to do it because she wanted to be with people and make new friends instead. Turns out they had a litter of puppies recently, and we claimed a little boy. When we brought him home, Sunny was like wtf is this little thing? Why does it keep following me? It took her about a week to figure out that it was a puppy, and that she could play with it. He wasn’t Sam, but he would suffice.

The two remained together, and although Sunny wasn’t as attached to Skittles as she was to Sam, or as much as Skittles was to her, she returned to her regular, overly happy Sunny state of being. Sunny had various health problems over the years, including a torn ACL which she had surgery on, to another torn ACL which eventually healed up on it’s own (she couldn’t have surgery on this one because of another health problem).

And then late last fall she was diagnosed with kidney disease, which would claim her life over the course of a few months. We kept her medicated and well cared for much longer than could be hoped for, nearly 8 months. She had off days, and last thursday we thought it was just another off day, but as the hours went by, we began to wonder if it was more than that. Friday she was possibly worse, and we rushed her off to the vet. I has to carry her to the car and into the vet because she was too weak to move more than her head and her tail. The vet ran some quick x-rays, and what he suspected based on what we had told him was backed up, although the x-rays weren’t absolutely conclusive. Sunny had a specific kind of tumor that had grown off her spleen and it had ruptured, causing major internal bleeding. Even on  young healthy dog, one of these tumors was absolutely fatal. My dad called my mom at work, and the vet explained what was going on, and she said she’d leave work and come in. By the state Sunny was in, I was worried my mom wouldn’t get there in time. But she did, and we spent the next hour saying our goodbyes. A minute before the vets took her into the back to put her to sleep, she gave my mom and I the most hearty tail wag she possibly could, and I’m fairly sure she used the last of her strength to do it, to tell us she loved us one last time.

I’ve never been part of the choice on whether or not to put an animal down before. I’ve never gotten to say goodbye either. With Sunny, I watched her weaken within the three hours we were at the vet, to the point where I knew she had hours left at best. My mom gave me the option to take her back home, but I didn’t even know if she’d live long enough for us to get her home. It was her time. So we said our goodbyes, and told each other I love you.

She’s with Sam again, her soulmate. Running around, playing, like they used to do when I’d take them to a park near here and let them off leash. Her tail is going in circles, because that’s what it does when she gallops along. There are plenty of stuffed animals for her to tote around (we called them her dead ducks), and they all smell like me because the more one smelled like me, the more she loved it. There are plenty of friendly strangers for her to just go up and greet. And there will be mischief to be had, especially with teasing Sam. What may be decades for me will be the blink of an eye for her, when I see her again.