Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wondrous opportunity?

Remember that fortune cookie last post? Jeff didn't get into the top three schools we wanted him to get into (Cal, UCLA or UT.) He did, however, get into Chicago.

I said I wasn't going to go with him since it's only a year long program. I also expected to be able to choose one of the other three instead, too.

...is Chicago my wondrous opportunity?

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Where I've been~

I wish I could say I've been off on amazing adventures full of stories and pictures. Alas, such was not the case, and my life continues to not be terribly interesting, or so I think. I need to be better about that.

Mostly I'm just a lazy person who is working her butt off to make ends meet while Jeff and I attempt to find some sort of more permanent employment. Dealing with unemployment issues, creative work that takes a long time for not a lot of pay, making websites, and attempting to salvage a social life is a pretty daunting task when it comes to a married pair of married procrastinators. Especially since we've been trying to catch up to Game of Thrones, both in book and television form. That series certainly takes up a lot of stupid free time!

I will try to be better and I really think posting things like this blog helps organize my life as well as my thoughts. I just need to be more organized about it.

I'm still waiting or this fortune cookie to come true. ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Some geeky DIY

I've been in such a crafting mood lately! With work, commissions and some overdue presents, I haven't had the time to really dig my fingers in and start (let alone where on EARTH would I put any of my finished projects? I don't have space for the stuff we have now.) That doesn't mean a girl can't dream, right?

First off, clearly we're doing it wrong.

This belongs to one of the many talented Lego artists. I wish we had the space and dedication for such a plastic bricked wonderland! Seriously, check out his and other's Lego work spaces, it's quite frankly insane. And so well organized!

Next, look how adorable these terrariums are! Used as centerpieces for someone's geeked out weeding. While execution could have been better, the idea and end result are phenominal. I mean, how easy is it to get some glass jars and build your own little nerdalicious landscape?

Gus' names from Psych!

Great idea, guys! They even had Scott Pilgrim inspired drink coozies as favors. You can see some more of their centerpieces at the Offbeat Bride, including Firefly, Katamari and Portal! *swoon*

How about this beautiful Hunger Games tote?

Mama wants! All things from ParamountPacific's Etsy shop are hand screen printed (and I've got my eye on that District 12 bag, myself...) Doesn't look like they have the bag in stock, but there is a matching tee! Has anyone tried their hand at screen printing? Even those little "screen printing in a can" things I've seen at Michaels? Once again something to be shelved until I have a proper studio. And time. And money.

I'm also crazy and I'm attempting a Tom Baker Doctor scarf for a friend's dad. It was supposed to be a Christmas present, but I knew there was no way I would even be starting it before the marathon. Between the aformentioned work and getting some rescue things done, I'm still on "52 Tan", and still have quite a ways to go.

Feel free to share any projects you might be working on, or an idea that sounded like you wanted to take it up! I was thinking of starting felting and picking up cross stitching again (you know, with my spare time.)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Working for a wedding photographer, I have such an attraction to looking at other people's weddings and engagements (lucky for me!) So when I saw this wedding a few years ago by Red Heart Photo (who is currently down due to hacking...), I fell in L-O-V-E love.

How amazing is this carnival theme?

Argh! Not that I'd ever change what we did for our wedding, but how FUN is this? I wish I were that badass to have those sleeves. And her hair.

Perfect with a capital P~!
And what about this Up themed shoot by Wildflowers Photography?

Isn't this just too sweet? 

I wish this had come out 4 years ago or we had the forethought to do a sweet theme like this. I'm tearing up just looking at these pictures! Such a lucky couple and a talented photographer. I mean, just look at me, I have THREE different Ellie badges.

Clockwise from the left: Pin traders from WDW, homemade from Etsy from an actual bottle cap and safety pin, and a pin from a special edition BluRay bundle from Costco.

More to share, more to drool over, but for now I should crack the whip and get back to those edits!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

In which I play Photographer

This last Saturday, I took some pictures for save the dates for Steph and Jeremy over at Klo'ver. There is still a lot I have to learn about photography. Examples such as what lighting gear I apparently need now (speedlight vs softbox vs reflectors), and to make sure we call ahead to places, even bookstores and comic shops. Never would have thought them to be issues, since people take pictures in there all the time, but when a "fancy" camera comes out, I think it's time for people to get serious.

Well, it all worked out for the best at any rate. Keith's Comics on Mockingbird in downtown Dallas was more than willing to let us go nuts after we had been turned down from a few previous stores. The results of our endeavor landed us with some pretty sweet shots, if I do say so myself.

Can you tell I abuse the vintage filter I use for work? It just gives off this soft and dreamy feel I can't seem to get enough of, but I should probably tone it down a bit sometimes. I also think I might need to start shooting in raw more often, but the only computer I find I can edit raws on is my work computer, as CS3 is not equipped to deal with my camera's specific raw files (because there are different raws for each camera, who knew?) and the programs we use at work are a little out of my price range at the moment and we have Mac licenses. I do not use a Mac for personal use. 

...I'm rambling. But as far as correcting my images, I think I need some beefier files. It would probably also help to encourage me to shoot less, since raws take up WAY more space on a card than jpegs. For the time being, I'll probably just have to go between both my work and my personal computer to see how things work out. One's much faster than the other but I'm a little more familiar with different editing software than solely Photoshop.

...rambling. Again.

You can view the rest of the session on my Flickr, and tell me what you think. I figured out I needed some additional lighting and I should have figured out a way to get them not looking so stiff and posed, but I'm new behind the camera. Usually the magic happens behind the computer.

I also got a Loomis reprint as thanks, and bought myself a Jake hat. It was a good Saturday.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


After our marathon extravaganza, the six of us runners turned hobblers made the journey across Orlando to the magical world of Hogsmede. Also known to the muggles as Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park where they house the Magical World of Harry Potter. I have got to tell you, it certainly was magical and we would have spent the whole day in the back of the park if we didn't feel the obligation to at least walk around the rest of the park and get punished by our own hubris on the Jurassic Park ride.

We peeked in through the entrance and laughed at the cruelty of the promise of snow on the rooftops as it was almost 80 that weekend. In January. Note the park-goers lack of sleeves. Nevertheless, we passed through the magical gates where we would spend pretty much our whole day.

We were first greeted by the Hogwarts Express. 

There was a conductor standing there outside the platform ALL DAY, just hamming it up with the park guests and not breaking character once. Down the path a ways we were also greeted by an a cappella group, complete with singing toads!

After a few songs with them, we couldn't wait any longer. It was time at last for the Harry Potter Experience ride. The line was daunting and even crossed in back areas guests usually don't visit in the parks, but the wait was well worth it. Even the line itself was worth it! I couldn't take enough pictures, especially with my old phone, but here is a taste of just the Harry Potter Experience the Line!

There was so much more! In fact, most of the line was outside the castle since everyone was trying to get pictures of the DADA classroom and Dumbledore's office the line would pause for pictures, then you'd be running to the next one! It was so much to take in and we could have played Hogwarts Students all day in that line if they allowed us. But they also had one of the most interesting warning signs I've ever had the pleasure of seeing for a ride.

I hope you caught that bottom line. That's right, please REMOVE ALL PROSTHETIC LIMBS PRIOR TO RIDING. I had no idea such a thing would be an issue! And while the ride was all over the place, I can't see it being tough enough to rip off a well fitted prosthetic. Well, it certainly made us laugh at any rate.

But with the HPE over, and expensive swag bought to hang on our walls, we carried onward to lunch at the Three Broomsticks where I encountered my first butterbeer. I'm not going to lie, I hated it, far too sweet for my tastes. We ended up with a Hog's Head beer instead, which was so much better and also had it's own souvenir glass.

After some more shopping and pawing over wands and sweaters and more expensive swag, we settled ourselves outside of Honeydukes and Zonko's to enjoy big fat bags of candy and Potter-centric sweets like Chocolate Frogs and Sugar Quills.

After getting our fill of candy, naturally it was time for some coasters! There was a (no longer) dueling coaster we walked right on twice to get on both sides. What they did was redecorate their existing coaster to be all TriWizard Tournamenty, which was pretty awesome, only there was a cast member who wouldn't let us stop to take pictures once inside of the dragon first task tent setup or the Goblet of Fire in order to keep the line moving. There were plenty of banners outside to gawk over (and FINALLY a mention of someone not in Gryffindor! How I wish they had TWT shirts of all four of the contestants, not just Harry...)

Can you tell I have Badger Pride? ;)

Well, after meeting up with our friends who didn't ride, we explored the rest of IoA, got soaked by dinosaurs right before sundown, disoriented on Spiderman, then promptly hightailed it back to Hogwarts for some last minute candy and a look at the castle all lit up before the park closed and we were politely kicked out to make our journey back to our end of Orlando by WDW. If you are at all a fan of the books (or movies, I suppose), you really do owe it to yourself to go.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Marathon Wrap-up

Well, as you might have read, I kicked ass and took names at that marathon.


Okay, maybe I didn't kick ass so much as just finish less than 5 minutes before the cutoff, but I trekked all 26.2 of those god-forsaken miles! We were perhaps just slightly disillusioned as we got up at 3:30 the morning of the race after one of the best dinners we've ever had at Citricos the night before.

After walking around in the chilly morning air, we grouped together and walked the 20 minutes down the road to our respective starting corrals where we would start. And oh boy, was there a start for us when we finally got going!

(here's a little video someone managed to get of what the start was like. Not from this year, but this is pretty much how it went down. That overpass is about where we were standing. The start was WAY up there, though, and each corral moved up and started about 5 minutes apart. We didn't actually end up crossing the start about 40-45 minutes after the first group went.)

The mile markers were all pretty fantastic, and each one we would count down our triumphs. It's the only thing you can do when there are so many miles ahead of you.

Miles to go in the teens!

Half way!

6 miles left and this is seriously getting to be bullshit...

Really, though. Whoever said it was an exercise in your mind over your body hit the nail on the head. It was more of a mental battle for me by mile 18 through about mile 22 or 23 where I had to keep telling myself I was almost done even though it felt like my knees were going to run right off by body and my feet were swollen and I needed fruit sugars so badly but all they had were bananas. BANANAS. I HATE BANANAS. What I would have done to steal that whole bag of orange slices one lady had... But we did it. And we ran around and through all of the parks.

Spaceship Earth!

Cinderella's Castle!


It's almost as if they set up the race just for me, where they'd know I would need some sort of boost near the end of the race. Hollywood Studios was the second to last park and being Hollywood (and in "California") it happens to be where they shove all of their Pixar characters. So I got to feel incredible...


And lift my spirits up...

And combat my mental monsters...

And...run through the costuming department. Yeah, I have nothing witty for that.

But I finished. And then proceeded to hobble around the parks (and Universal! Woo Harry Potter! I'll post more about that day another day) the rest of the week. I sported some fancy K-Tape for my blisters and runner's knee and swollen feet.

In fact, all of us finished (including my sister and her friend.) I'm so proud of us.

Next stop, the Disneyland Half Marathon this Labor Day weekend. I've got my eye on that Coast to Coast medal. But if you fine readers want some advice, don't ever run a marathon. Just don't do it. It sucks. You hurt. You get drained. If you're like me, you'll cry. More than once. During and after. You feel like you'll never walk again. You don't know why you thought running was ever a good idea. But if you don't listen to me, at least do the Disney ones, because they have stuff to do along the way. I can't imagine ever doing a marathon where there wasn't something almost every mile.

Psst...see those orange Goofy medals our friends are wearing on the right there? Yeah, they're crazy stupid. They did the Goofy Challenge, which was the half marathon the day before the full. I don't know how they did it and I will never attempt it. I just wanted my Mickey medal (they actually got three that weekend. Jealous? Yes. Enough to want to do one myself? Never.)
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