Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I'm alive!

It's been so long since I blogged, I need to catch up! I'm hoping this can be sort of a cathartic experience - processing the last several months preparing to move into the future. It seems like I've been in a funk recently. There have been lots of good things, but a couple of big things that are stressing me out. We'll focus on the good things.

The Tempest went well. We were inside one night, so my set piece got used once. I'm glad it was used period. It was hard moving inside and then back out, as an actress. I thought it was going to be tough being outside. Because of weather, we only got to rehearse once outside before we opened, and then did four of the five performances out there. We were all a little stressed, but everyone transferred well, and, to me at least, it was hard moving back inside once we got settled out there!

The fall semester is over - classes went well for both me and the hubby. I ended up picking up a night class, Education as a Profession, to explore the possibility of getting certified to teach. I really enjoyed my Shakespeare class - getting back into the "student" mode. It, along with becoming involved with the choir, helped me to make connections with some students on campus.

I still haven't completely finished my first online class - Learn Something New Every Day - that I did in September. I finished the album pages, but haven't quite gotten the pictures onto the pages yet. I, of course, have grand plans of doing that. In the meantime, I thought it would be a good idea to pick up another scrapbooking class - a December Daily class that encourages you to scrap about each day in December leading up to Christmas. I really should learn better about myself. I am not a daily scrapbooker - I scrapbook events. So, it turned more into a scrapbooking of December events, which is fine. I'll try to get some of those pages posted up here, I'm pretty pleased with them. I explored digital scrapbooking with this class, using Adobe Photoshop Elements. I like it a lot, though it is very different from paper scrapbooking. It's probably a good way for me to get a lot of pages done, and I really like that I can scrapbook anywhere that I can take my computer (i.e. in-laws' house and my living room without taking over the coffee table!) The downside is I'm using the Free 30-day trial of PE, and it's going to expire probably sometime this week, and I don't really have the money to buy the full program. So, this may be the end of my digital scrapbooking experience, for awhile, at least.

Hmm...what else. Well, Christmas was last week. We had an awesome Christmas. We hit the highlights - Mark's extended and immediate family, my immediate and some extended family. We were blessed with great gifts and great company. My sister passed on her Wii to us as a present - awesome! She got it last year and enjoyed having it for awhile, but I think the newness had worn off, so it's come to live at our house. We haven't turned it on yet, but I'm looking forward to playing some tennis - I think it might be my favorite of the games that we now have. Oh, and I'm definitely going to have to check out some Harry Potter games. Some other things we got were additional chairs for our table (now I can invite more than 2 people over for dinner!) and Mark got a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer (been on his wish list for awhile, now).

Alright, is that enough of an update? I make no promises to blog more, for anyone who's reading along. Actually... if you are reading, would you let me know? Comment or something, just to let me know you're out there. I usually hate bloggers who ask for comments or beg for feedback. But, think of it as a survey. The 2010 Census is coming up, so we'll call it a census of my blog. Really, it's just to let me know if I should feel guilty for not posting for... 4 months. Gulp. I feel guilty whether there's anyone out there or not.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Desigining the Set for The Tempest

I've finally finished the model of the set for the fall production of The Tempest last night- or, at least, it's at a point where it's actually looking like what it's supposed to look like. I'm sure it will be "tweaked" a lot over the next few days as we nail down the final design. I'm so excited about designing this set piece. It's very simple, as the director is a bit of a minimalist, and we have very low skill level in the area of construction.

The model is out of foam core, a supply of which I have been toting around with me for the past six years since I took a class in scenic design. (That stuff's expensive!) I'm glad I am finally able to use it.

(if you don't look too closely, I think it looks like it could be life-size!)

The concept is a platform, under which is the cave in which Caliban lives (behind the cloth). Off the back of the platform is the general direction in which Prospero and Miranda live - we'll use an already existing set of stairs to access the platform back stage (in between the railings). The platform is 3 feet high, about 8 feet wide and 3 and a half feet deep. The show will open with the platform turned around the other way:

to act as the ship for the first scene. I have in mind to drape this side with cloth painted to look like a ship of some sort, and then remove the cloth for the rest of the show, just to add to the idea of a ship. We'll see how that goes over. It'll then be turned back around to serve as the cave on the island.

My original idea was to have this curved platform with stairs (also curved) down both sides. The director is worried it will be too large with two sets of stairs, so we're dropping back to one. And it was suggested today by the director's husband that we use the stairs already built for the platform that is used on our outdoor stage for this inside platform, relieving us of having to build another set of stairs. The only reason we'll be inside is if we get rained out of our outdoor stage, so we'll just add the stairs to the list of things to be moved inside.

I'm very excited about this, especially because I think it's versatile, and can be used in further productions when we need a platform. It may not be Broadway worthy, but it's a great step for our theatre!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

One of Those Unproductive Days

I just don't feel like I've gotten anything done today, even though I really did. I could list the things I accomplished. I think it's that there's still so much I need to do and want to do that it doesn't feel like I got really far. And the things I did today took a lot more time that I wanted to spend on them, so that cut down my time to do other things.

So, it's just been one of those unproductive days. However, something I am excited about is I finally figured out the "Next" button on Google Reader. It's under settings (top right corner), under "Goodies." (I kept looking on the home page for it). It's a bookmark that you drag to your bookmark toolbar, and when you click on it, it takes you through your reader items that have been updated - takes you to the actual site! - and marks them as read in your reader. So awesome!

Learning How to Play Catch Up

The bad news: I haven't blogged since day two of learning something new. The good news, I have actually been journaling and scrapping! I think going into town this past weekend is what messed me up. I was too busy living life to scrap it. I'm okay with that!

So, here are four new pages for you to enjoy!

Thursday, I learned an important lesson about being married. Mark had had a really long day, and it was nice to be able to have dinner waiting for him when he got home. With both of us working so much this fall, we've been having a lot of fast food. It's nice when one of us has the time to cook! The picture of this page is a picture of the meal - Taco Ring, Mexican Rice, and chips and salsa!

On Friday, the most exciting thing happened... we paid off our debt!!! We've been working toward this for about 2 years now, and finally paid the last bit Friday! It was a great day, and we've been celebrating as much as we can! The pictures here are of me and Mark, and of Mark holding his diploma (his master's was the last thing we paid off).

Friday night, to celebrate, we went to Shakespeare on the Green in town and saw The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. It was a lot of fun. Having stage managed the show twice, I think I got more of the jokes than most people in the audience. But it was still a good time.

Saturday, we celebrated by going to a college football game. It was tons of fun. I wasn't really feeling good when we left, and didn't really want to be there, but when we actually got to the game, I had a blast! I learned that I really do like football games! The picture here is of me and Mark at the game, of course!

On Sunday, we got to go to our church, which we don't get to do a whole lot because we now live an hour and a half away. It was great to see everyone, and that night our Sunday school class had a Mystery Luau Dinner Party! It was so much fun getting to dress up and play the roles. I was Holly Day, and Mark was Les Baggs. Mark, of course, figured out who dunnit and pointed the finger at the right culprit. I couldn't have been more off the mark. ;-) It was still a great evening. I was reminded how much I love my friends, and how lucky we are to still have those connections, even after moving. Picture is of the whole group who was there for the party.

That's what I've got so far. I'm getting to the point where working without pictures is hindering me, so I think I'm going to print off a group of pictures and add them in to catch up. I can't wait to see it REALLY finished, with pictures and everything!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Learn Something New Day 2

So far I'm two for two! Here's the page:

And here's the picture for the day:

Background: I was trying to create my favorite Close To My Heart color (Garden Green) on my computer because somewhere along the way I received a file with the RGB color combinations for creating them on the computer. Thing was, I had the values, and my computer wanted percentages. I asked a designer friend of mine if she knew how to translate them from value to percentage, and she told me that they are out of 255. I had no idea! But, knowing that, I was able to use my mad algebra skills (sarcasm intended) to translate them into percentages, and you can see the result of my beautiful Garden Green font color above! I used the color to create the journaling blocks that I'm using throughout my book. A very exciting thing to learn!

'Til tomorrow...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Learn Something New Day 1

Okay, according to my clock, I have 18 minutes left in day 2, which means I have 18 minutes left to finish day 1's page. Good thing I'm done. :-)

First things first. I finished my cover today, too.

I'm quite pleased with it, for now. I may add some detail to it as the month progresses. But I do want to keep it simple. I have a hard time adding 3D elements to covers, they seem to get bent out of shape - literally.

Here's page 1:

It's very simple, too. My theory is that if I keep things simple, I'll have an easier time doing this each day. Just get the paper and a place for the picture down. (I'm taking pictures as the month goes along and will probably print them all off together at the end of the month, since I don't really have a way to print as I go without finding myself at the Wal-Mart Photo Department every day.) I've established a possible pattern with this first page. My book is 7x7.5, and with this page I've got a 6x6 square, 2.5x6 piece of patterned paper, the picture, and the journaling, plus the day and date. I may keep with this format, or I may not. I wanted to start with something easily reproducible yet flexible in case I need to come back to the ease of simplicity. But I may go crazy tomorrow!

Here's the picture that will go on today's page:

It's of me studying for my Shakespeare class. I really enjoyed reading, and even enjoyed the sense of excitement/fear if I was going to be able to keep up in class. I had nothing to worry about, at least that day!

Working in 3D

Yesterday I mentioned that things have been and are getting pretty crazy around here. It is very exciting, because it's all good stuff, with the exception of the ear infection I've been battling for four days.

So, what's been going on?

Classes started last week. I'm taking one course this semester, a class on Shakespeare. It's been a lot of fun so far, and I'm learning (again) that I really can read Shakespeare. I kind of have to get into the grove, but for the most part I'm understanding it. Mark's started classes, too, he's teaching 6 classes this fall, including 2 choirs. All this is well and good, except that for pretty much the entire summer we were both home. Now that we're both gone a lot more, our poor dog thinks he's been abandoned.

We also started rehearsals for the fall production of The Tempest. I'm playing Miranda (so freakin' excited!!!) I was just simply excited about theatre in general, not horribly thrilled about this particular play or part, but after blocking Act One, I am really looking forward to this production. The people are awesome (getting reacquainted with many old friends), and I'm going to have a lot of fun with this part.

I blogged yesterday about the start of my online class, Learn Something New Everyday. I've been working on my cover, and today will begin designing page one (to scrap what I learned yesterday). I'm not stressing about this project... yet. Okay, maybe I'm stressing a little. :-)

Something that's been rolling around in the back of my mind for about a week is the possibility of taking private voice lessons. I've never really thought about doing this much, as other instruments have always been higher on my priority list (violin, guitar, piano), but after the fiasco that was me singing at last year's Talent Show (we just don't talk about that, it really was bad), I think I need help. I've always taken my voice for granted, but I've also always been singing in some sort of group, be it church choir, school choir, or community group. I'm singing with a group again, but I really think I need the extra support private lessons would give me. So I'm considering this. Haven't done anything about it yet.

Finally, the thing I'm probably most excited about, I was asked to design the set for The Tempest! I could do a whole post just on set design (and maybe I will...), but I'll be brief (ha!) since I've already been so verbose. Basically, I'm designing the set for the interior stage, and it will only be used/seen if we get rained out of our outdoor space. But I don't care. I'm just excited to get to flex my creativity muscles in the set world. It's been awhile since I've done any set work, so I'm looking forward to this a lot! I've started drawing my ideas, only to learn that I really can't draw. So, I believe a scale model will be in my future. I've always worked better in 3D.