Monday, May 11, 2015

"Flapping Parrot" #8

I haven't been stitching as much as I'd like. Life has been a bit busy, more on that after the stitching update. I managed some progress on the flapping parrot, and I'm still working on College, which I will update next time.

Before:

After:

I've mentioned this before but I'll say it again. Golden Kite pages are only about 3,000 stitches each, so they feel like they go a lot faster than HAED pages. The end result is that there's way more of them per pattern, but that's okay. I really like the way it's stitching up so far, even though you can't tell at all that it's going to be a parrot. In time, the picture will come out more and more, as is the way of cross stitch.

First of all, I wanted to thank everyone for your support about my previous post. It was upsetting when it happened not just because my feelings were hurt but because this is such a prevalent problem, not just for women, but for everyone. We are constantly being judged and placed against impossible standards that, thanks to photoshop, don't even exist in reality! I know it's weird to say but it took me being in the physical presence of celebrities for me to realize that they are real people! Silly, right? That's not to say they weren't beautiful people. I mean really, they were. But they were still people. Their kids were running around on set. They were laughing and joking between takes. Whistling and singing to themselves. Doing the robot. They ate food. They drank coffee. They had their earbuds in and were listening to music/podcasts/radio/etc. It was very eye-opening and extremely comforting in the most positive way. So thanks, everyone. Your kind words and thoughts are so very much appreciated.

H³ got a job! He's now a field geologist! He also got into grad school! Things are moving forward for him, which is really great. I'm still looking for a job. I've had some interviews here and there but haven't found anything full time or permanent yet. I'm on a couple of eligibility lists with libraries, I'm working through an agency for the possibility of some records management work with law firms, and I've received some referrals for movie and TV work as crew. In fact, at the end of April I had the opportunity to work as a PA on the set of a pilot called Rellik, directed by Tim Russ (of Star Trek: Voyager fame). It was so much fun! Not only did I get to do PA work but also dress sets for the art department, and be a stand-in. Rellik is going to premiere at Sacramento Comicon in June so if you're around I think I'm going to try to go. We'll see. Here's a cast/crew photo.

I am in that photo, but pretty tiny so not sure if anyone will be able to find me.

That's all that's new in my neck of the woods. One of my friends is having a baby in July and I'm almost done with her baby blanket. Maybe another 2-3 days of working on it and it'll be ready!

Happy stitching, everyone!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Off My Chest (a non-stitching post)

I would really like to get something off my chest. Something that happened yesterday that has been bothering me since. And although it might seem an insignificant thing, it has larger ramifications.

Yesterday I changed my profile picture on Facebook. Not really a big deal. It's what happened next that has me in a bit of a kerfuffle, so to speak. Within minutes, a certain individual thought it was imperative to let me know that I looked like I had "gained a couple of pounds." I haven't. In fact, I've lost a couple of pounds. I am, however, wearing a somewhat baggy jacket in the photo, which is actually an older photo of me:


I'm not here to defend my weight, honestly, though it is a bit of a pride issue, too. The point is, I don't care who you are and I don't care who you're talking to, you have absolutely no right to say something like that to an individual, especially not in a public forum. Obviously there are exceptions (like medical) but I stand by what I say.

All of us have malicious thoughts. Whether we're seeing a person who may have been mean to us at a certain point of our lives or a friend who may have put on a few pounds, we can't help thinking to ourselves sometimes "oh, wow!" or "they look different" or something along those lines. That's natural. From that thought, though, we have a choice. We can choose to share with them our negative impression of their body or we can choose to keep it to ourselves and go by the mantra "if you don't have something nice to say." I prefer the latter, personally.

Nobody is perfect and sometimes we can't control the thoughts that pop into our heads. But as long a those thoughts stay there, no harm is done. It is when you make the conscious decision to body shame someone that I have a problem with.

Now, this isn't the first time something like this has happened to me. A lot of people seem to think that because I'm mildly attractive and on the fitter side of life that it's okay to talk to me in any way they see fit and comment on my body, because I obviously have a lot of confidence and I won't be offended by it.

Wrong. Wrong, wrong, WRONG. Everyone is insecure to an extent and hearing constant criticism regarding the way you look isn't the best way to maintain a healthy body image. I feel like a fair number of people would be shocked, or at the very least surprised, to find out how I really feel about myself. A lot of people have even said to me that there's a fair number of people who would kill to look like me, so I'm not allowed to feel poorly about myself. To make an exaggerated analogy, I feel like that's akin to saying, "you're not allowed to feel hungry because people in this world are starving."

So, what I'm trying to get at is think before you speak. You don't know how words that to you may seem harmless may affect someone else. You don't know what that person is going through. Maybe they're feeling really, really terrible about themselves and you've now sent them over the edge. Maybe they're struggling with serious body dysmorphic disorder and just needed that one little push to fall into full anorexia. Or maybe they were having a really great day and now it just got a bit sour. I'm not saying you're responsible for the mental health of everyone out there, but you are responsible for your own actions and choices, and deliberately trying to make people feel bad about themselves shouldn't be a choice anyone makes.

I could have told this person off. I could have turned right back around and made a snide comment in return, designed to hurt back and hurt worse. But I didn't. I deleted the comment, and I blocked the person. And that was my choice.

Sorry about the serious, and perhaps depressing, tone of this post. It's a widespread issue that I feel truly passionate about and I just needed to get it out of my system.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

College page 19 done, and WOAH, life... woah

I don't know what got into me but I managed to stitch about 400 stitches per night, thus finishing Page 19 of College!

Before:

After:

Getting closer and closer each day! 4 whole and 1 partial page left, and I'm excited to be done!

I feel like life has exploded recently. H³ got into grad school and received an offer to be a TA. He also got two job offers besides the TA offer. He declined one that wasn't in his field and accepted a geology position. First day of work was yesterday, so good changes are in the works. The commute is kind of rough but we're taking it one step at a time.

I also have a job interview today, so if you have any positive vibes to spare, I would very much appreciate them. Life would get significantly better if we were both working, so if I were to get this job (which is a rather good job) that would be a really big step in our lives. We'd be able to move out, get a dog, etc. So please, cross your fingers, send a prayer, positive energy, whatever you can spare!

Thank you, and happy stitching, everyone!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

College #73

I'm getting so excited about possibly finishing College this year that it has been hard to stitch on anything else. Each stitch I put in has a sort of finality to it. I get extra excited to stitch on it and extra motivated and I feel like my needle has just been flying. I find myself putting two or three hundred stitches in each night, which is not my usual stitching speed (usually I get about 150).

Before:

After:

I might have a page finish the next time I post!

Not a single person was interested in the sock yarn, so I added a "free yarn" tab to the top of the page and I'll just post it there, and any future yarn there may be.

Besides working on College I have been knitting a baby blanket for a friend (due in July) and crocheting a blanket for H³. Some of you may know that H³ is really, really tall.

Photo for reference:

I'm 5'6" and wearing flat shoes in that photo. So there you go. He is tall. (6'3"-6'4"). This is inconvenient only in the sense that people who were previously tall to me are no longer tall. I've had men try to impress me with their height, verbally bringing my attention to it, and they are just not tall to me. I guess it's a matter of perspective.

Anyway, the throw blanket we have for him basically doesn't cover him. If his feet are covered, the rest of him isn't. If the rest of him is covered, his feet stick out. Sadness happens. So I'm making him a gigantic blanket so he can snuggle up like a giant burrito and stay warm. Yes, summer is coming, but we've had some cool weather lately, especially in the evenings, so it's fine. I crochet really fast so I anticipate having it finished in a week or two, at my current pace.

On top of all that I have started reading the Outlander books. I finished the first one a few days ago and got my hands on the second one yesterday. I'm surprised I can get anything done!

That's all I've got for now. I've been pretty down lately, but hopefully my spirits will lift soon. We'll see.

Happy stitching, everyone!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

College #72, movie news, and a teeny tiny giveaway

Hello!

So first, College. I feel like I'm in the home stretch! My stitching bug is working in full force and I'm so excited. Every stitch feels like the last! So close! I mean, not really - I still have the entire row to stitch, but it just feels so close!

Before:

After:

Crazy, right? Those are the beginnings of the very last row! I'm confident that College will be finished this year, particularly if I'm resolute in working on it - which I am! Every day a little bit closer!

Next up, the much promised movie news. I'm sorry to say that I can't divulge much, but I can divulge that my part of filming has ended. It was absolutely the best time of my working life and I will likely seek out more projects in the future, particularly while steady full-time work evades me. The film is as of yet untitled, but IMDB refers to it as "Steve Jobs" and the cast includes Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, and Seth Rogen. That's pretty much all I can say about it. Not sure when the release date will be, but I will keep you all posted on it and once a trailer gets released I'll link that. It really was an absolutely incredible experience. I got to talk to some amazing people I never thought I'd get to meet. And Michael Fassbender is one of my absolute favorite actors (along with Cumberbatch and Hiddleston) so it was an honor to be working alongside him, as well as such an accomplished and amazing woman as Kate Winslet. She is truly inspiring. So that's my brief "acting" career. It's not much, but it's a start!

Finally, I have a teeny tiny giveaway for my knitting friends. I'm working on downgrading my stash. When I was learning to knit I bought some yarn that I have since found no use for. So, instead of taking up space in my things, I've decided to throw it up here as a giveaway!

They are both mystery sock yarns. The dark one on the left is 49 grams and the light one on the right is 47 grams. I'll leave this tiny giveaway open until 11:59pm PST March 31. Just leave a comment stating which one you'd like (dark, light, both) and your e-mail address. If more than one person wants a certain one then I'll draw a name randomly. Also, if you have a friend you think might be interested in free sock yarn, let them know! I'm not trying to get more followers, I'm just trying to get rid of stash and clean up a little bit. Spring cleaning I guess. And yes, I WILL ship international.

Also, in the future, once I finish a knitting project if I have a decent amount of yarn left over and I have no plan for it, I will likely do this again. Spread the yarn, right?

In completely other unrelated to anything news, I am trying to learn German. Right now I am fairly elementary ("Ich bin eine Frau" & "Eine Biene" being my most impressive sentences) but once I get a little bit better I will probably be asking for a German pen pal! Yes, that's right! Someone I can write ridiculous letters to in German who is willing to not only mail a corrected version back to me but also write me back in German to see if I can decipher and understand the letter and respond appropriately. Probably a dumb idea but there you go. I'm nowhere near there yet.

So, with that, happy stitching everyone!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

College pages 17 and 18 finished!

It took me long enough but I have FINALLY finished pages 17 and 18, and consequently row 3, of College of Magical Knowledge.

Before:

After:

I'm really quite happy with it, and have one more row and exactly 36,000 stitches left. I have a feeling that finishing this project will be much akin to finishing grad school: after I put my last stitch in and pull out the gridding I will stare at a wall for two hours, not knowing what to do with myself. I'll grid up page 19 today and put in the first stitches. Hopefully, it will all go smoothly.

I received some questions in the comments in recent weeks. One was asking what movie I'm working on. Last day of filming is next Monday and after that date I'll let you guys know what it is and who's in it. Also when it comes out to the best of my knowledge. They keep putting me in scenes with the main actor (not complaining) so there's a good chance you'll actually be able to see me, if you're not too busy staring at him on screen. Wouldn't blame you if you missed me because of that, though.

The other question I got is how I calculate anticipated date of completion in my sidebar under each project. This one is a bit more complicated to answer. Basically, I'm crazy. I have a tally app on my phone that I use when I'm stitching, and every stitch I do I mark it off on the tally. Then, at the end of my stitching night, I put it into a spreadsheet I've created. This spreadsheet calculates my average number of stitches a night, how many days it would take me to complete the project at the current stitching average, and then spits out a date based on today's date of when I can anticipate to finish it based on all those numbers. So yes. I'm utterly insane. If, however, this sounds like the kind of obsessive compulsive that's right up your alley then let me know in the comments, along with your email address, and I'll send you a blank copy of the spreadsheet for you to fill in. Some basic Excel skills required (like knowing to click the corner of a cell and drag it down for the formula to continue) but it's not difficult and I'm willing to help anyone out who needs help.

Back to filming, I'm having the best time of my life. I'm learning a lot of new things about myself. I'm happier and I'm more confident. I'm starting to be more comfortable in my own skin. And I don't want any of it to end. Also, in four days of filming, I have already earned 2 of the 3 required SAG vouchers to join SAG. Will I join? I don't know. Probably not. The investment is huge and I'm not entirely certain it's something I want to pursue as a career just because there's so much luck involved. But, in the meantime, I made some fantastic memories, got to meet some absolutely incredible stars, and had the time of my life. One more day of filming left!

I also signed up for another half marathon. It's the moonlight run in July in Davis. My goal is to beat my previous half- time, so here's hoping for the best (and training my butt off).

Today I will grid up the next page of College and get started on it. I'm also working on part 3 of the AAN Halloween SAL so I hope to have that done soon.

As always, happy stitching!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Greek Mandala part 3 done, College #70

It's amazing how busy life can get when you're unemployed, but I guess it's a good thing I can find things to fill up my time with. The filming schedule I'm involved with is a little all over the place so my sleep schedule is a little all over the place as well. I have to report tonight at 10pm for an all night shoot so I, naturally, stayed up all night stitching and slept this morning (though I'm pretty sure I'm going to go take a nap soon). As a result, though, I finished part 3 of Greek Mandala!

Before:

After:

Backstitching from 3 until 5am is probably not ideal but oh well. It's done and I think it looks fabulous (if I do say so myself).

But College of Magical Knowledge has not been neglected either! I'm disappointed by how little it looks like I stitched on it, but I put in over 2,500 stitches since I last posted it.

Before:

After:

I hope that the next time I post it will be with a College page finish!

Besides filming and stitching, I've been playing a lot of Diablo III and reading. So not much else to report on the life front, I suppose.

Short post today, I guess, but I think I'm going to go take that nap now...

Happy stitching!