Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Chocolate Valentine

It was that week that most of us avoid, the Valentine week.  I have no complaints because by avoiding everything Valentine a few years ago I met my husband. Ha!

This week didn't even really feel like a romantic one with so much going on.  I will give you a short break down since I have a full day of reading a 200 page Kaplan PPP exam review textbook a head of me.  Lets start with the stupidity that is Victoria.  I joined a workout challenge to do 30 days of cardio classes in 35 days. Somehow this week pulled a muscle from between my shoulder blades up through my neck.  Thus having my evening hours with my back laid up moaning. Dumb. The positive side is that I got four teardrop fascinator bases covered in fabric. Which leads to the next task, updating my Etsy site.  I'm planning on submitting to Summer fairs & festivals so an Etsy site can be used as a portfolio. Nothing really fabulous is up there NOW, but I do have 14 hats in various stages of completion that will make a good little shop. If anyone is interested in being a head model or has a table top photo studio I can borrow, talk to me.

Thursday night was the opening of the Chocolate exhibit at the Museum of Nature & Science. Call it a couples' night since we met up with our friends Skip & Juliet at the museum. We had a cup of Chestnut Mocha in the lobby beforehand to curb any cravings. That seemed to be unnecessary since the exhibit wasn't so exciting. The exciting part seemed to be when I had an tiff with the sweet counter clerk. They were selling Pate du Fruit & I said that I didn't think that it was spelt correctly, that it should be Pate du Fui. Her response was that the chef lived in France so he spelled it correctly, my response was ditto. In the end we are both correct since its spelt both ways. Whatever. Its just another moment that I showed I'm turning into my mother.  The photo opportunities in the exhibit were good at least.

You can't tell but I'm sitting on a large chocolate truffle.  Yes I was in flapper clothes since we were going to the Great Gatsby dance party afterwards.

Nicolas loved the chocolate cornucopia.
Friday night we got adorned in our finest flapper wear again to go to an Ominious Vintage Valentine night. First we went to the Ice Cube Gallery to see the Ridiculous-ness show. Really good abstract/found art sculpture & paintings. By the end of the evening my feet were killing me! Don't trust rhinestone heels. Tony, the smallest man in Denver, had to help me out at one point.
By Saturday night I was getting tired. After I morning long test prep session I was mentally set for alot of reading but we had one more event to go to- Brigid's Deadpool party. We haven't seen the movie yet so no spoilers. What we did do was a lot of games.  Once someone knows that you play board games you are welcome in with open arms.  The newest game that I learned that evening was mini Epic Galaxy which was graciously explained to me by Seth, a game designer himself.

Well that's the short of it. Off to do some studying.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Measure once...

measure on & on & on.  What a reality that I live in that I spend most of my time measuring.  At my internship I spend my days measuring every square foot & linear foot of construction drawings to look in minute detail if the architect & the engineer have designed it appropriately so I can calculate how much a project is going to cost.  There are wonderful computer programs like Onscreen Takeoff or Bluebeam that can quickly scale & measure for me BUT the construction service company I work for doesn't have that technology. So I wield an architects scale, constructulator & a pad of paper.

After I'm done writing today I will switch to an engineer's scale & work on my contract work for a local surveyor laying out his ILCs. Another process that would be simplified if I had any of the Civil Engineering programs. Since it hasn't been that time consuming I haven't made the splurge for a new computer with new programs. Instead I'm using the ol' math equations to convert the total station surveys to CAD plots (simply put I've made my own app in Excel).  Remember I said not time consuming (yet).

Outside the doors of my lab I work on tiny houses. Recently its been cutting all the furniture grade plywood to make the stair/cabinet for the Mayday Experiment.  Its a more realistic adaptation of a design Lauri Lynnxe Murphy found on imgur.
It's been a real mind switch to go from measuring entire buildings to these little stairs. Talk about measure twice cut once. I won't write more about that project when Lauri writes so well about it on her blog.

Back in the home lab I have so much to do I'm happy that I take exercise classes to get me out of the house. I got the Arco Lamp repaired & in the living room. My friends poke fun of my desire to obtain certain pieces of designer furniture. I fell in love with the Arco when I saw it at the MoMA but not willing to pay the $2995 ticket. My beautiful friend Melissa remembered my drooling & gave me hers! This changes the living room wonderfully.
Let me know if anyone in the Denver area is interested in the old lamp.

The workshop is coming along. In between snow storms I've been building a new worktable. It would be so much simpler if our HOA allowed me to attach to the walls of the garage. Since we can't that means more measuring to make everything movable & collapsible - tiny house skills at work.  Once that's done I can get some serious work done on the Mead Brewing Station & the Mobile Tea Cart...

The lab was flipped on its ear this week with an introduction & an opportunity to teach millinery.  More to come on that when I get the details worked out. In short, my free minutes have been laying out a path for a better web presence for my hats. The fourteen hats in various stages of construction need to be finished & photographed. (A new concept of mine to photograph the hats BEFORE I sell them.) Then I need to do something about this janky ol' blog design....

The last measuring this week is the scary kind- body measurements. Nicolas & I enrolled in his company's health program hosted by Prevent. The management of Prevent decided for some reason to have people that eat together not be on same paths for some reason? Nicolas & I are in separate teams for the next 16 weeks of the program. His kit arrived first. The usual introductory book, meal log, tape measure, etc. The spooky part is the scale that came with it. Every morning you weigh yourself & IT SENDS YOUR WEIGH VIA WIFI TO PREVENT. I'm all about accountability but I don't like the grey area of my health being electronically monitored by a company connected to my health insurance. Oh week 5 we receive our pedometers that have the tracking too.  So when my scale arrived this week I wrote down my starting measurements, turned off my 'bugg-out' reaction so that I could mentally get over all my apprehensions & step on that scale. 

How do you measure life?

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Time is running out...

...for fun!  Last year I was wait listed for the American Institute of Architects ARE ASAP Challenge, a Biggest Loser like challenge for board exams.  The objective to take (& pass) all seven board exams in one year. (The registration board gives you four years so you don't lose your mind.) Off hand this past week I checked in with the coordinator to see if they were doing the challenge again this year & she informed me that I had a slot!  I am not gunho to take these exams but I can't pass up the coaching & support from other candidates. So starting February, goodbye free time - hello NCARB.

The last days of January was a weekend of meeting with my friends &; fitting in some handy work. First on Saturday I met with the girls at the library to make some jewelry.  Libraries are not just for books anymore. Denver Public Library produces a series called Fresh Life full of groups, classes & events. This week we went to the Hampden Branch to make Washer Necklaces. There was quite a turn out so we did have to patiently wait through loud hammering to use the metal stamps. The supplies were very basic: a bead chain, washers, jump ring, bead post, bead, pliers & sharpies.
 The stamps themselves don't seem hard to obtain since they were in last weeks JoAnn's ad. Here's the tutorial if you'd like to do this at home.
There's so much you can do with metal. I think someday I might try using my alcohol inks to try this:
After leaving the library we went to a local haunt, oddly enough for Aurora is the English Tea Cup. They do serve tea, but its quite americana. They do have a grocery though that can be fun. Here we are having tea with Her Majesty.
Sunday's class occurred with persistent pestering. Allyn's Fabrics has finally moved to a new location after sixty years in Cherry Creek. Not much has changed though. Still crammed to the ceilings, employees constantly busy giving individual service to customers & the only place in Denver you can buy real millinery supplies.  The current owner is the daughter of the original so she's been making hats since she was seven. A bounty of knowledge & will tell you some of it if she's got a spare moment.  In a dying art form, I hate to see masters not sharing some of their knowledge. So for YEARS I've been pestering her to teach classes. When I went in this week to get more corset looping for a series of berets I'm making, I almost exploded to hear that she had a class last weekend. It was just a fascinator class so a beginners class but I wasn't contacted.  I didn't pout or cry but I guess she could sense my disappointment because she offered to let me attend a private class this Sunday.  A class that I'm glad I didn't have to miss, it was a practice class with the ladies of her Model A Club before she teaches at their convention this summer.  Model A = 1928 - 1931 = JAZZ AGE!! When I'm not looking at images of architecture I'm looking at Art Deco for the inner flapper.

It would be an entire separate blog to tell about what I learned. In short it was tackling horsehair derby hats (think those horrid Easter bonnets from the '70s), removing the crowns to intracept more horsehair to create cloches that would ride down around the ears. 
The art is correctly ironing horsehair to do your bidding. If you iron in you get a curve, if you iron out it flattens. Pull it remains thin, Push it widens. We had lots of catalog images from National Bella Hess.
If you are looking for a style of the late '20s, your going to be wearing a helmet, so the '30s are more attractive. 

We also learned plenty of trim techniques like making leaves using french belting & cloques.  I already have an idea of what I'm going to make with some organza & appliques.
After studying for my exams though!