So far so good… sort of

January 22, 2013 at 8:28 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Wow this output thing is harder than I thought, it’s so easy to be destracted by pretties like tumblr or youtube.

So I finished a blog post for my work website (all employees are encouraged to contribute to the blog, and apparently the main writer is getting strapped for ideas so I need to see what I can come up with). That post will be on the website this week so yay! Work blog posts take more time to write than something like this because I have research to do and I have to be very careful about how I write them.

The difference between a personal blog and a professional one. However it is a good stretch of the writing muscles and branching out is always a good idea.

I’m still working on a small… well maybe big, blog project, but it’s fairly personal… it’s a project with the Bible. I’m going through the Psalms and finding quotes that can be used as affirmations. I have very poor interal talk, and it was suggested to me that I find something else to tell myself.

If I can’t say that I love me, or that I’m good… at least I can point to the Bible and say God loves me and he thinks that I’m good.

I’ve managed to get to Psalm 33 so far, and after I finish this post I’m moving on the Psalm 34. It’s just tough to keep going at it when there are other, more interesting things to look at.

I did get a fuzzy scarf partly done, though I think I might need to rip it out because once again I made it too wide (I think). I really had fun on Saturday going to knitting, and I also worked a bit more on my dress.

Tonight I’m heading out to practice driving with my instructor before heading to my test for my G license next Tuesday (AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!). Driving is not my favourite thing to do.

After that I’m going to see about working on my bags some more… I found some brown and blue broadcloth, and totally just remember that I forgot to contact Joanne about her broadcloth, DRAT! K, have to email her after I’m done this, before writing my psalm post.

Anywhoo, that’s my update so far… I’m doing pretty good getting started on my theme this year I think. I just need to kind of figure out a focus…

On making more output as opposed to previous years

January 16, 2013 at 9:15 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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So I tend to have themes to my years… I don’t really make resolutions. I learned very early on that resolutions were made to be broken. So I decided that I would not make them because there really was no point.

I make plans, and they can be made at any time throughout the year, but usually my main ones are made at the beginning of the year. Two years ago my plan was to not read so many romance novels, which I succeeded at, I still would reach for them once in a while when I wanted to read in the tub or just let my brain relax. Last year my plan was to do things that scared the crap out of me, during which I swam in the ocean, snorkeled (which is different than just swimming), lay on a net on a Katamaran, stood up in a jeep while on a nature tour (while it was moving), went on a roller coaster, and was in the vicinity of a spider, didn’t kill it, and in fact saved it and released it… which is probably the biggest thing for me.

So for two years I succeeded in my plans, though I still have some things to do that terrify me, like going up the CN Tower, going on an upside down roller coaster, and um… get my G license (Which is happening by the end of the month which is REALLY FREAKING SCARY!)

So this year my theme/plan that I’ve decided on is Output, which really confuses some people when I say it.

Not reading romance, and doing things that scare me makes sense, but output?

When I make these plans I tend to look at my last few years and try to find something that’s been missing or holding me back. Looking at what I’ve done over the last few years, I noticed that I’ve been taking a lot in recently. Watching videos on youtube (some educational, some not so much), reading books (same as videos), listening to music, looking at art, pictures… you get the idea.

All of these things are input. With this I get ideas, things that roll around in my head, things that seem really really good… however, I never do anything with them.

Sometimes it’s because I’ve been so busy taking stuff in that I haven’t had time to do anything. Sometimes it’s because I’ve written lists about my ideas, saved it to my harddrive for later and promptly forgotten about it. Other times (most times) it’s because I’ll get to the point where I’m about to do something with these ideas and get so caught up with the “what if” or the magnitude of what if I succeed or fail?

And I freeze.

In all honesty, succeeding is much more frightening than failing…. failing I’ve done, and I’ve done in abundance. I can handle failing, but when I get a good idea and I think about where I’m going with it and I go down the path to success, I just… can’t…. do… it.

So, in a way this is another thing that I need to do in my continued plan of doing things that scare me. Just, do, STUFF!

Output can be a bunch of stuff. Writing on any of my blogs (some of which I’ll link here, some I won’t… hee I have hidden blogs that probably no one will know I write… and I want to keep it that way *shifty eyes*), sewing, knitting, drawing (which I suck at but you know… I might do once in a while), videos, and really anything that is from me and out into the world.

Output…

That’s what this year is about… what are your plans for the year (since resolutions are just a copout for failure).

My Problem with Blogging

January 8, 2013 at 9:49 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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So if anyone still reading through my poor, ignore blog has noticed, I’m a horrible blogger. I’ll go in fits and spurts for when I’m posting, usually related to my mental state.

When I’m feeling creative, motivated and all that good stuff I post like a fiend, but then I get to a point where I feel that anything I do is crap, no one wants to read what I do … and I curl up in a corner and poke at my blog to see if it bites.

In the last while I’ve made a few other blogs that are more topic specific that I’ve been posting to. I’ve found that I’m a bit better when I’ve got a purpose to a blog (which this one doesn’t really have).

This is one of the reasons I love WordPress, I have about 10 various blogs that are all connected to one account that I can go to and monitor.

For the last while those blogs have been very quiet… basically silent, but I’m hoping to revive them a bit more in the next year and write whatever I’m thinking about.

However, that’s great for the topic specific blogs, but what does that mean for this one?

Well I don’t know. This one is so much of me in various stages of my life, and now that I’m 30 and starting 2013 we’ll see what I do with this. Whether I just link to posts on other blogs so people who know me can follow them, or if I put random stuff on here so that people know what’s up we’ll have to see.

In other news I’m hoping to get together with my lovely knit and chat soon, and seeing as I’ve buggered my knee I should have more time so I might just make this a life blog and post about that.

2013 has lots of options. We’ll see what it brings.

Being an Examiner

April 13, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

So I mentioned in my last post that I’m now doing a bunch of writing for Examiner.com, but there are some things that I’ve noticed.

First, writing in third person is difficult.

Second, coming up with ideas for posts, then turning those posts into comprehensive articles and finding videos/pictures to go with is very difficult.

Third, being coherent when I’m so used to just blathering here in any which way is VERY hard.

It’s great! I’m really enjoying it, but it’s still a challenge. I’m trying to use more resources on the site, like their University, and the forums to get help and inspiration. I’m also following a number of other Examiners who write about a similar topic as mine.

I think a big part of this is that I feel horribly inadequate for my topic. I’m not! I’m Christian and I’m writing about Christian Living, but the big thing is that I know that I’m knew, and different, and that I don’t really fit in, especially with the more conservative sects. There’s a little voice that’s constantly telling me that I can’t do this, that I’m not good enough, and who would want to read something from me when I don’t know enough.

I know it’s likely just to try and get me to stop writing because I’m on the right path and have a chance of reaching people. It’s still really hard to fight those thoughts though. Even when I have a really good article.

I get overwhelmed thinking about what I’m going to write and how much I have to write… but when you look at it, each article is only 200-400 words on average, and I can pump that out in 20 minutes. Heck I’ve been writing this post for 5 and I think I’m already over 200 words.

It’s really not that hard, I’m just allowing myself to listen to those voices. They’re the voices that have been telling me to lay down and die, to let people walk over me, and that I’ll never amount to anything. It’s these voices that I need to evict from my mind. My last article on Examiner got 8 out of 8 possible score. I’m doing the right thing, I have the right stuff for this.

I need to forge ahead and keep going!

It’s just really tough.

What I’ve been up to

April 4, 2012 at 8:02 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Psst, hey there! It’s been a while, and sorry I’ve been quiet, but I’ve been a bit busy.

I started a freelance writing thing over at Examiner.com, it’s taken up a bit of my writing time (though I’m hoping to get back to writing stuff over here soon again since I am being a journalist over there and have to write third person).

If you want to check out my articles you can follow this link:

http://www.examiner.com/user-jessie-percival

I’m trying to keep to at least 2 articles per week, so there will be a lot more updating going on over there.

Anyway, thanks for checking this out, and I’ll hopefully be back writing here soon.

Where did this week go?

February 3, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Whew it’s been busy at work. This week just flew by and here I am at another weekend.

I’m starting to get a bit stressed about my costume, I have a muslin to make, a trial dress (one that I’m hoping to wear in Cuba March 1-9), and then the final dress (though I have 2 different fabrics, a woven purple sparkly, and a stretch velvet).

I haven’t even cut out my muslin yet because I need to get some tracing paper. With luck we’ll get that tomorrow so that I can work hard on Sunday and get it cut out, and hopefully get the thread tracing done. I’m pretty sure already that the bodice isn’t going to fit well. I’m hoping I can figure out how to do the fitting with having to wear it myself. I need to get me/make me a mannequin.

One thing that I’m having fun watching right now is Sew Weekly. I knew when I found this website that it was NOT something I could do right now. I tend to get myself in over my head. This year I’m taking the time to work on my skills, learn, grow, make good clothes for once. Maybe in a few years I can see about joining everyone with this.

For now, I’ll sit back, watch, enjoy the inspiration of seeing what everyone’s making. My favourite part of it though is the “Make this Look” section. I’m amazed at how many awesome outfits can be copied and made. The fabrics that are found! I’m in awe!

So many drool worthy projects!

Right now, I’m not sewing anything because I want to focus on my bombshell dress. I’m ordering my boning over the weekend, and hopefully it’ll be enough for 2 dresses. I get so stressed out about this stuff, but right now I have good reason.

When we went and got the fabric in Toronto, I didn’t have my measurements and supply list with me so I just tried remembering how much fabric I needed. I figured since a full unitard only takes 1.5 yards of fabric, then a dress couldn’t take much more than that, so we went and got 2 yards of each of the fabrics we got.

Then I checked the bombshell dress course, and it said 3 yards of fabric!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So now I’m hoping and praying I can finnagle enough of the pattern pieces to get them all to fit.

Trip to the Symposium – A restaurant review

January 22, 2012 at 7:00 am | Posted in food, restaurant, review | Leave a comment
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As I stated in my last post, I am going to be talking about a lot of things on this blog, and for this post, I will be reviewing a restaurant that some friends, my husband, and I decided to try. Unfortunately, the fact that we were going was not expressed prior to us heading there, so I didn’t have my camera on me, not even my Ipod, so I have no pictures save what I could find on the restaurant’s website.

I apologize and promise I will be a better blogger next time.

And now onto the review.

We decided to head over to a little restaurant in town called the Symopsium Cafe, and by in town I mean Cambridge, Ontario.

This restaurant is near my work and my hubby and I regularly drive by it. We’ve seen signs outside and were interested to see what they had to offer. From what we’ve seen, it looked like it would be a nice place to go, and on a random whim, my husband decided to drive us there for dinner after we’d spent half an hour with no one wanting to decide on where to eat.

There were four of us to dinner, and we went fairly late, the dinner rush was long over, and we were quite hungry. We were greeted to a very nicely decorated restaurant. Normally when you hear “lounge” you think that there’s a bar area. In this case, there is actually a section that I would call a lounge. Rather than tables, there are comfortable chairs, couches, and small tables all allowing a more intimate setting where you can just sit and chat with your girlfriends, or go out with the guys and watch the game. They do have a bar, but it’s more than that.

The walls are covered with artwork with cracks put through it to make it look aged. The lights are dim, but not so dark that you can’t see. The music was a little loud, but it wasn’t blaring. All told the general atmosphere of the restaurant was quite lovely.

We were quickly seated by a lovely hostess at a corner booth in the back of the restaurant. Our server was very quick to come to our table, and most importantly, when I mentioned my allergies, he was fantastic with double checking everything I asked about. My husband and I ordered teas to drink, our one friend got a rootbeer float, while our other friend got a bottomless pop.

We decided to get a couple of appetizers, the Spinach Dip and the Calamari. The Calamari was fantastic, not too chewy, not oily or greasy. The spinach dip came out different than any I’d had before. It was basically just plain spinach with some cheese melted on top. There was a whole lot of pita on the plate, to the point that we made spinach dip sandwiches. We mentioned our surprise at the spinach to our waiter and within two minutes the manager came over to make sure everything was all right.

For dinner, I ordered the cheeseburger with fries, my hubby had the chicken caesar wrap with caesar salad, and our two friends both had the crab pasta. To start off, the prices were a bit higher than expected, we all chose something a little lighter in price. My husband noticed that they have special days, like Pasta Tuesdays, but after seeing the portion sizes, we may as well go to Boston Pizza. There was enough food for dinner mind you, but for the money, it’s nice to get the left over for lunch the next day. The boys enjoyed their pasta though, and said that the flavouring of it and that they’d have it again. My burger was good, it was quite large and I couldn’t finish it all. The fries came with a delicious mayo pesto and were nice and crispy. Hubby’s caesar salad was average, but he found his wrap dry because the mayo was put in it on one side, and the chicken on the other.

Hubby got dessert and it was quite lovely, they had some great ideas for desserts and fairly good prices for desserts.

All told, we loved the atmosphere and the service, but the food left much to be desired and the pricing was a bit high for our tastes.

Rating this restaurant out of five we averaged a 2.75.

All told I’d go back for a desset and tea, but I wouldn’t likely go back for dinner.

Where do I slot in?

January 21, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Posted in Blog, inspiration, random, Serious | 1 Comment
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In the big wide world of blogging, there are a lot of classifications.

You can be a sewing blog, a knitting blog, a life blog, a religious blog, a review blog, a challenge blog, a mommy blog, a health blog…. the list goes on and on.

I’ve recently been trying to think about what I would call my blog.

When I started blogging it was back in 2004 on blogspot, and I was bound and determined to become the next Yarn Harlot. She knit, she took pictures, she was funny, and she was popular.

I was sure I’d find people who were similar to me, who had the same likes, the same ideas, and, most importantly, would be my friends and make me feel good about myself…. ok, so I have a few self confidence issues.

I tried, I really did, I just didn’t knit pretty stuff, and I wasn’t funny, and I was trying to be someone people would like, and who wasn’t me. So over time, I decided to stop blogging, or rather, just didn’t find the time. My blog lazed about, and I eventually moved it over to BlogDrive, which seemed like a better site. It had prettier templates at least.

After a few stuttering failures at becoming a famous blogger again, I slowed right down. I tried to make my blog also focus on my costumes, as I went back and forth between hobbies, and just couldn’t seem to pick up speed, or readers for that matter.

I eventually moved my entire blog over here to WordPress, and I like it here… that’s not so say I won’t find another place that I enjoy blogging at more, but for now, this is my blog home. Plus I don’t want to have to take 4 months to move all the posts over from this blog.

Since I’ve been here at WordPress, I’ve tried to join challenges, I’ve posted recipes, I’ve shown my costumes, talked about my body issues, review some plays I went to, talked about my religion and my thoughts… and this year, I’ve started sewing my own clothes.

The problem with these blog classifications is that while many people will only write about a certain topic on their blogs, it doesn’t even begin to cover the variety of things that they do and think in their lives.

There’s a reason that I dubbed this blog “Odds and Sods”. I’m a bundle of them, my house is a bundle of them, my life is a bundle of them. I realized recently that when looking and talking to me you can’t slot me into a catagory. Going over in my head all the things that classify me, this is just a short list of the things that came to mind:

Geek
Christian
Friend
Sewer
Knitter
Costume Maker
Cat Lover
Gamer
Dancer
Weirdo
Drama Nerd
Theater Lover(yes they’re different)
Food Critic
Administrator
Writer
Wife
Daughter
Sister
Chef
Baker
Artist
Collector

And I could probably think of 20 more things that could classify me. If I fit into all these things, and I write about the majority of them on my blog, does that put me at odds with the pretty little classification system that the Internet has so wonderfully created? Does this leave me on the sidelines as an oddity that doesn’t work into the system and should therefore be ignored?

I don’t know.

I know I have a few more readers than I did when I started, though the majority of them are friends, coworkers, people I know in real life. It would be nice to have a blog where converstions are held in the comments. I just don’t think I’ll ever write that kind of blog. The nice thing is though, that I can go to those kinds of blogs and participate in the conversation in other comment sections.

I’ve also come to terms that I don’t need to make myself be something else to get more people to like me, which is why I’ve stopped trying to be funny, trying to be interesting and trying to be popular. This blog isn’t for me to get friends, it’s for me to write for me. It’s a place where I can put my thoughts and come back to them in the future.

Right now, I don’t really want to go back to the 2004 posts and see what I wrote, because I know that wasn’t who I really was. That was the insecurities of a 22 year old screaming “SOMEONE LOVE ME!!!!!” and I can’t really compare that to who I am other than to know that what I write now IS me.

There’s no point in trying to impress others by being someone I’m not, eventually the truth will come out.

So rather than being fake… I… just ease into my weirdness. At work I didn’t show all my geekitude and costumes and such for the first few months. Now I have a group of coworkers who ask if anything I’m wearing is handmade, another group that’s coming to a geek gamer party we’re having in February… I just didn’t exactly make my geek hood known right away.

This is my blog… It may not ever be on any lists of favourite blogs, it may not every even be read by more than 5 people in a day, but it’s my little spot to put my thoughts, put my pictures, and have something to come back to and see how my life was at this time. If I get more readers, great, but that’s not why I’m writing.

Not anymore.

Where do you get your inspiration?

January 17, 2012 at 8:03 am | Posted in clothing, fashion, inspiration | Leave a comment
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And in this case I’m referring to fashion inspiriation, since I’m very much an eclectic blogger and could mean many different subjects.

This weekend I was helping my husband organize his card collection (I am the best wife in the world I swear) so I turned on a couple of movies. I have a few that I tend to gravitate towards, and I realized that a lot of it has to do with fashion.

The first one I watched was Julie and Julia. Now to be honest, I don’t really like the Julie story. As much as I love Amy Adams, the real story of Julie Powell is so disheartening that it just doesn’t resonate with me. I read a post on Gertie’s blog where she talks about this movie, and she brought forth the comparison between the two women, how Julia Child was brough closer to her husband due to the struggles she was going through, and Julie Powell alienated her husband, and it’s very true and apparent.

And the fact that her second book was about how the fame of the first caused her to cheat and subsequently the break up of her marriage doesn’t really make me want to really read either book.

Anyway, onto the fashion.

When watching movies I always love the fact that I can both knit and sew, and that was never more apparent than when this little shrug came on the screen at the end.

Now I know it’s part of a sweater set, but seriously, how versatile is that shrug? It can dress up, dress down, go over pretty much any shirt or blouse. I think I need to figure out how to make one of my own in the future.

I absolutely adore the majority of Meryl Streep’s wardrobe in this movie! The dresses, the separates, she just looks fantastic! And the retro styles that Amy Adams wears are lovely too! There’s just so much inspiration in this movie, like colour combinations, or patterns you might not have thought of.

Even the hats are fantastic! I wish I lived in a world where wearing hats was fashionable. Maybe I should just say to  heck with it and start wearing them anyway. Oh, and the suit jacket in the middle is one of my favourites!

I could go on and on, but we’d be here all day. Maybe I’ll make a series of these posts just to get some of my favourite ideas all in one place, so for now I’ll leave you with this and a question. Where do you get your inspiration?

My Love/Hate relationship with Jillian Michaels

January 11, 2012 at 8:11 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Well, yesterday I decided that I was going to put my nose to the grindstone and start actually working towards my Cuba body. I leave for Cuba on March 1st and have been intending on working out at my local gym for the last 2 months.

I just rarely got there.

So yesterday, I packed some work out clothes, my 30 day shred dvd and a towel and I took it to work. At lunch I went down to the gym and did the 20 minute work out.

And it almost killed me.

I don’t know if it was just that I haven’t really done much of anything in the last 3 weeks, or the fact that I only ate 4 slices of corned beef in the hour prior to exercizing, but I felt like I was either going to pass out or barf for about an hour and a half after exercizing.

I think the main thing was my blood sugar plummetted, so I’m going to be taking some more food today so I have more to eat prior to exercizing.

I’m only doing level one right now, but I’d like to be up to level 2 or 3 by March.

Jillian Michaels is an interesting character. I really respect her in a way because she used to be over weight, took control of her life, and became a huge motivator for others by losing the weight and keeping it off. However, I really don’t agree with how she promotes pills and suppliments as the quickest ways to lose weight.

I understand that in our busy society, people claim to not have the time to eat healthy and exercize, but from experience, pills and suppliments are not the way to go. My mom has health issues that continue from a stint in the 80s when she went on diet pills. Now I know pills have come a long way since then, but still, we don’t know what health realated issues we’re going to get from them yet.

I really like some of what Jillian has to say about diet, healthy living, and exercize, and I do enjoy buying magazines that have stories about her because it is an inspiriation. I just don’t agree with this one area. It’s a bit frustrating for me, because she seems like she’s a decent person, and maybe it’s just because fame and money got to her a bit. I would hope that she at least did her research and knows what she’s endorsing.

I just know I’d never buy it.

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