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Showing posts from January, 2015

Hems galore

Today in sewing class we did some basic techniques and machine hems.

First we stitched on paper:



My spiral went wonky, but the triangle was good. We also did a 5/8, a 3/8, and a 1/4 inch stitch.

The 1/4 inch stitch was easier on the paper than the fabric. My teacher adjusted the tension on my machine and rethreaded because I was putting my thread through a piece that is only needed for filling a bobbin, apparently. Things went better, but I had to start sewing further up the piece or it would catch the edges of my fabric in a funny way and try to eat the fabric instead of sew it.

We did French vertical seams on our "pant legs", which were a 3/8 seam followed by pressing it open then sewing a 1/4 seam. The end result is like a seam that has been encapsulated.

Inside of pant leg (It's the middle seam):



Raised view of French seam:

Next we did a double jean hem, which is 5/8 and you try to sew it as close to the edge as possible. Outside of pant leg:



Inside of pant leg:

Finally we di…

Small changes

Where has the time gone by?

So here's what I've accomplished since Sunday:

- 475 words
- an oil change
- a quiz for my Coursera course (92%)
- a filling in my lower left (freezing gave me a huge adrenaline spike)
- this blog post (desperate for list items)
- groceries (more desperation)
- found a white noise sound that is nice and boring
- read a little farther into Wuthering Heights (now on page 124)
- attended a DiSC training session
- booked a meeting with one possible vendor for my work project and have an email thread going with another

That's it.

I'm still feeling frozen from the dentist today and a little weird. I've had panic attacks before, but this was a whole other level. They froze me in the jaw hinge and my heart started racing (thought I was having a heart attack), my ears went all funny, and I couldn't believe they were chatting on so mundanely about toothpaste as I felt like I was under attack. My overly logical brain thankfully comes in handy in situations …

55k, but feeling so far away

I've done the following since Wednesday's check-in:

- made chicken stew
- talked with my financial advisor on writer taxes
- written 634 words on my novel, so I'm now slightly passed 55,000 words
- made good progress on the last assignment for my Coursera course
- gave a fellow writer some information that may help her be able to read her stories without stuttering
- baked gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, carob brownies, but I messed up the amounts so they're not quite right.
- attended the monthly Ottawa Independent Writers meeting
- visited the chiropractor for my weekly neck adjustment
- started making changes to how I sleep as the second assignment for my email course on becoming a morning person
- getting set up for using white noise to reduce the highway noise and hopefully improve my sleep
- not allowing myself to use my phone in bed, which is a harder habit to break than I thought it would be
- attended my first sewing class
- ordered a replacement part for my bread machi…

Sewing Class!

I had my first sewing class today. We're starting really basic; we hand stitched. I learned the cross stitch and the slip stitch. I prefer the slip, but there are reasons to use the cross. We also did hidden cross.

I learned how to pull the fabric to create a straight edge.

I learned to sew with only one thread instead of doubling it.

We did double hems and sewed a button with a shank on.

We went over equipment and uses for things.

Most people in the class are around my age group.

The teacher is fun. She said she won't give us homework because she knows we have lives haha.

So I need a few more tools for next week. I'm to bring my machine, it's book, and a sewing book (my book may be more ancient than the teacher's). I'm glad I got a wheeled case for my machine.

She asked what experience we have with sewing and I guess I've tried more than others in the class between attempts at quilting and costumes, but I explained that I can't make petite shirts that allow fo…

It's Wednesday already?

Well that came too quickly for me this week.

I got a whole 166 words written since Sunday on "The Page & the Magician".

Other things done since Sunday's check-in:

- Laundry including putting it away (which is practically unheard of, but I'm trying to clean my place and keep it clean).
- Contacted my financial advisor to start talking about taxes as a writer.
- Started knitting a replacement lanyard for my work badge as I ran out of spots to staple on the original one and haven't seen any new ones to buy that weren't covered in names of beer brands.
- Completed Quiz 2 of my Coursera course "Learning how to learn".
- Evaluated 5 peers.
- Wrote a business case and a project charter for a project I'm managing at my day job.
- Took chances.
- Read some chapters in Wuthering Heights.
- Figured out next steps for me in roller derby refereeing.
- Corrected my sword grip for my martial art.
- Learned about chunking as part of learning.
- Began an email-based cours…

Grip

Kendo has helped me figure out a key problem in my Iaido. I didn't realize this was happening to me, but it became very clear in Kendo.

I start with my hands in the proper position and then as I cut, my right hand slides down, then my hands are no longer on top of the handle.

My grip hasn't been firm enough.

Grip is a hard thing as too much with the right and you won't cut properly since your left should be dominant.

What I've learned is that too little grip with the right leads to a weaker cut where your aim is off. At least that seems to be what is happening to me.

I've been practicing a firmer grip and my hands stay on top of the sword.

The other awesome thing that happens with your hands correctly place? The swoosh of the blade.

I missed my swoosh.

Now if I can only get a proper tenouchi every time so my blade stops and doesn't bounce...

- Roy Iaidoka

Ah, mail's here!

I got a package I've been waiting on for a while.

Back in October, on the last day of Can-Con, I purchased a book of poetry with a rather intriguing name, "The Sex Lives of Monsters."

I didn't check through it before bringing it home. I was dead on my feet and my brain felt like it was melting from the abundance of learning and the sheer amount of overstimulation I experienced at the conference.

A short time later, I discovered that my copy was entirely full of blank pages. Not a word to be seen inside. I briefly wondered if I was punked; if the pages were blank because monsters don't have sex lives.

I decided that it was silly to think that monsters don't have sex lives and contacted someone from the local publisher and sent them a link to the video I made for them as proof of the issue.

It's taken some time, but I've been sent a copy with words and a personal message. The author, Helen Marshall also generously included a copy of another poetry book she h…

Checking in and stuff

I'm abandoning the overly methodical check-in title. I just don't feel like keeping track of whether this is check-in 4 or 6 as it's really not important. What's important? Getting words into my book, which I've done a little better at... okay quite a lot better at for this check-in.

I feel like there should be a drum roll or something...

No?

Alright, I'll just spit it out...

I wrote...

1,025 words since Wednesday. It's no NaNoWriMo figure, but I also cleaned my house as it was in dire straights. I caught up on the Coursera course I'm taking. At work I started managing a new project, which is always a time filled with a lot of writing and reading. I did a bunch of laundry and actually put the clean clothes away right away instead of leaving them in the basket. I cleaned mountains of dishes.

I'm about to get a load of clean clothes out of the dryer and do another load of dishes.

I took Thursday off and went to a museum outing with Steampunk Ottawa.

I even ba…

Family

Last night I attended an event with Steampunk Ottawa. We went for a visit to the Canadian War Museum. I learned some things and one in particular has me wondering about my family. My dad is from Québec, but further back in his line we are Scottish. I've not gone back far enough to discover how our Scottish ancestors ended up in Québec. Last night I learned about the Royal Highland Emigrants and now I'm wondering if one of the men from Scotland, who protected Québec in the 1700s, ended up deciding to stick around and start his family. I'm sure stranger things have happened.

I've also been wondering about family on my mom's side for a very different reason. My mom was born in 1943 on the aboriginal reserve around Pickerel, Ontario (so a cousin has told me). My mom still doesn't know who her father was. She was raised by her grandparents because her mom had become pregnant out-of-wedlock and that was shameful in those days. When my mom got her birth certificate, it…

2015 ROW80 - Round 1, Check 3

These check-ins seem to be gaining on me. I got 302 words done since Sunday, which isn't much and won't be enough to complete on time. I'm not ready to revise my goal. I'm stubborn. I just need to give myself a kick in the butt to get on track and get a serious amount of words down.

18,344 to goal. I'll get there. I'm good at rallying.

My characters are currently covered in goo from a birth.

In all fairness to myself, I did have readings and coursework to do for a class I'm taking on top of my day job and other activities. Learning also makes me tire sooner. WIth that, I'm out.

Ciao,
R~

2015 ROW80 - Round 1, Check 2

I'm doing okay on this challenge. In five days I've written 1,354 words. I need to do about 250 words a day to reach 20,000 in 80 days, which means I should be at 1,250, so I'm slightly ahead.

I'm slowly getting things done around the house while writing, but my dishes and laundry could use some drastic attention. Tomorrow I have writers group, so other than lunch time I'm not likely to get too much done on my book, but the group meetings are always amazing for inspiration and knowledge. Later this week, I intend to attend a Steampunk Ottawa event because it's been a while since I last saw those people. Speaking of Steampunk Ottawa, I've registered for sewing classes to improve my costume-making skills. $150 for 3 courses, which are supposed to take me through a lot of sewing material. Sorry, that was a little bit punny. I'm also taking a Coursera course for free on learning how to learn. I figured it was a good one to test out that would help me learn b…

ROW80 - Round 1, Check 1 (R. Roy)

ROW80 has twice a week check-ins on Wednesday and Sunday. Today is Wednesday, so I'm checking in!

I'm liking this writing mixed with living thing. I feel like this goal is doable without sacrificing so much that my home becomes a danger zone and sleep becomes an oddity.

Goal: 20,000 in 80 days
Written: 795 words

Tonight I'm off to see The Hobbit in IMAX with a friend. During NaNoWriMo, I didn't feel like I could afford to spend any time doing anything more than my martial art with my writing if I want to meet the fifty thousand word goal. I met it, barely. My winner's shirt came in the mail yesterday, actually. I didn't have much of a life during November, but I did feel like I was doing something amazing, so I don't regret it at all. That being said, I'm excited to see the third Hobbit movie tonight and not feel stressed out because I've only written 795 words in 2 days rather than nearly 1700 each day.

Speaking of living... I better eat my lunch.

Ciao,
R…

2015 ROW80 - Round 1 Goals

I've been a bit slack on writing since NaNoWriMo, adding only about 1,000 words to my book. I've done a lot of reading and researching, but not a lot of words were put onto the page. Perhaps I needed a break from the immensity that was winning NaNoWriMo, but it's been a couple of months and I want to get The Page & the Magician written.

Enter ROW80, which is a Round of Words in 80 days.

My goal? 20,000 words added to "The Page & the Magician" in the 80 days.

The neat thing about this target is that it's workable around life. If I get more than 20k, I can tweak it. If I suddenly have to work longer hours, I can tweak it. Since I have to link this goal post to the ROW80 linky page, there's accountability to the community of other people doing ROW80.

This should help give me a little push in the "write" direction and help me achieve my major goal of completing this novel this year.

Ciao,
R~

First Iai Class of the New Year and "First" Kendo Class Ever

I could have started off the new year a little better in my practice as I was late after peeling my car like an orange.

Ottawa was hit pretty bad by freezing rain. I felt like I needed ice skates to reach my car. I also had a fun time parking near the dojo as is common with this kind of weather because it seems that although class doesn't start until 1pm, whoever is contracted to clear snow on that road never cleans the snow from the only side of the road that the parking signs are posted on. With my tiny car, I can't take the deep snow without ending up stuck.

We ran through Oku Iai kata. They were on number 4 when I got there. I did my standing etiquette and joined the others. It was a smaller than usual class because of the weather.

After spending the holidays doing an abundance of artistic things, I felt more in tune with my spirit and it wasn't so hard to understand some of the things that were taught. I've also started to read Musashi's book and I have a new app…