Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Count your blessings...

because I have so many this past week.  I was immobilized with stress. What if I don't pass the FIRST of my board exams? Will I be able to take the other exams or will I be saturated with doubt? Will I get my work done in time for my deadline when there is not enough information to complete it? Will I ever be contacted by the construction company I interned for about being rehired?
  • I did pass my first board exam, the Programming, Practice & Planning (otherwise called the PPP). It took me until 10:30pm to look at the results because of fear that my depression would bring on a languor that would prevent anything getting done that day. That's the positive, the negative is that I have TWO exams in April. Yeesh!
  • I got part of my work done. The ALTA survey didn't have enough information bordering on two counties so it went back to the surveyor. I sent off my first invoice, soo happy!
  • I did get contacted by the construction company & will be signing my new hire paperwork later this week. I'm blessed. I want to work part-time because of my very full life. They wanted to work on a part-time schedule with me. My first day will be Monday.
We had time this week to actually DO something.  That something was Dink, Denver Independent Comic & Art Expo.  It was the first year at the Sherman Center, a very beautiful location, & it was packed with artists. Wonderful! Nicolas & I wished we had brought a lot more money because we would of bought comics from all of the artists.  We picked up a lot of cards & I will definitely buy the art of Heather Mahler.
All have online comics so I will keep up with them there.

What else happened this week? Eostre or Easter happened to whichever you prefer. Our attempt at creating a new tradition was shattered by the weather. We had a blizzard this week so we didn't go to the mountains to set up our homestead tent for the season & have a grand barbecue. The lunar cycle had this Easter practically a month early. So while I had a confusing memory that last Easter was pleasant, I did recognize that Easter is the Sunday AFTER the Spring Solstice- which was early this year darn it.  Instead I was going to make an egg braid just the way my Mum did as a child using the eggs my niece dyed. I was very excited to do this since it would be the first thing we baked in our new oven. I didn't put much thought into this. The yeast was too old & the dough didn't rise. So we bought bread & had the eggs on the side.
Uncle Nic loves his egg.
Our friend Brighid came over & while Nicolas braided her hair for a date, I made blueberry mead.  Simply the best day all week.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

How I made it through last week...

I do not know.  I thought I might break the couch from sitting in it for so long reading. Then I lost two pounds even why I was sitting there because food took time out of my study schedule.  After all that I don't think I did well on my board exam. 

The trip to Prometrics was terrifying. I told Nicolas that if I was there after 8:45 I wouldn't be allowed to sit for the exam. He thought I had to be there by 9. So we burnt rubber & I got there by 8:40. I blew my nose & lost my nose ring. Gone! Then while I was getting wanded a woman was ejected for cheating.  I was not in a good mind when I sat down at my testing station.  Then the NCARB puts out an accurate break down of what is going to be on the exams by percentages. I studied a month to those percentages, what was supposed to be 29% contract documents & construction cost estimating turned out to be 85%. I was so pissed off while I was taking the exam. Each time I answered a question and the next one popped up my mind exploded "another one!!"  Luckily I caught a flaw in my vignette 2 minutes before the timer ran out. 

After the exam all I wanted to do was go to a bar & drink green beer on St. Patty's Day.  So Nicolas took me to my in laws.  Oh well, they're lovely people & helped us move the new oven up the stairs.  NEW OVEN! The old one has been broken since last March. Finally I found the one that I wanted at the ReStore, a nice Frigidaire.

The next day we went to the first day of the Robots Revolution exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. First day & the tech was repairing some of the robots.  It was all interactive but if you want to test an exhibit will hold up, put it infront of a pack of 6 year olds.  Luckily we went before the kids came in so we could have the robots to ourselves. 
Nicolas working the stair climbing robot.
We looked like astronauts in our big boots and ski pants. Colorado is the only state that I've lived in that you will be in shorts one day & then parkas the next.  Nicolas topped off his space suit with a helmet.
After that we picked up Lauri Lynnxe Murphy & headed over to the Denver Home Show to see the highlight of the show- the Tiny House Village.  It was like a terrible gauntlet of vinyl windows & asphalt shingles to get to the village but man, were there a lot of tiny homes.  Ohm Sweet Home, Simblissity, Tiny Homes by Darla...Lauri has written all about it on her blog.

The next day was back to the studying. I met up with my fellow testers of the ARE ASAP Challenge for our next TWO exams we are going to be taking this month.  The CDS: Construction Documents and Services (which I was tested on this last exam!!) and the Schematic Design.  The Schematic Design is the longest exam, 6 hours, with no studying.  Its the one exam that you prove you can do a design, which is in fact just space planning of an interior office & then a two story building.  I woke up last night sleeping with the Kaplan book so I'm going to go back to the library so that won't happen again.

Sunday was the best day in a long time.  I got to decorate Easter eggs with my niece.  My sister prepped my dining room table like we were going to field dress a deer just to be ready for a 2 1/2 year with dyes.  We tried to get her to let the eggs soak in one colour, but that was not happening. She held the wire holder with the egg with determination & dipped it around every dye. You know what? They came out great! We described them her dinosaur eggs. Then to keep her occupied while the eggs dried I dumped a zen garden that my mother-in-law gave me into two bowls & she played the afternoon away in my living room sandbox talking to Keylow about lipbalm.  Now I know that Keylow loves the taste of lipbalm.

Back to studying.  Miss you more than chill time & Nexflix- V

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

March is here...

and the most exciting part of the past week is that I had my March hare photographed:)

Its that time of the year that if I want to be part of some summer festivals, the applications are out. That means time to take good photos and update the Etsy site.  I have none of the professional gear because honestly, cameras are not my medium. Never fear! I have a friend that has a table top studio & was willing to let me try it out.  I brought by three pieces with different difficulties in photographing & they turned out marvelously.
Electric Bunny fascinator was chosen because of the metallic highlights.
The black mini tricorn was chosen because black on gun metal burn-out velvet is hard to photograph.
I made this the night before just to see how detailed we could get with sinamay, crinoline & tulle.
I am definitely getting a table top studio! On Ebay they come with the collapsible booth, two lights and a table top tripod. I was just happy to see that a mannequin head fits inside.

With the photos taken, I was able to upload the images to Dropbox for my classes and submit examples to a convention.  Job done.

Now about the frustration that is construction. A days work was destroyed by the last screw going into a girder beam split it right down the middle. I called it a day.

Other than that, my board exam is next week on St. Patty's Day! My pedometer hasn't moved a step since I was able to download the Architect's Handbook for Professional Practice off Overdrive. Taking that large of a book & reading it off of a tablet is torture! I had plans to read four chapters one day, then after reading 100 pages out of a chapter I check to see how many pages in that chapter...260! I am getting various options for determining project costs and project deliveries refreshed in my head but the sheer volume of the Schiff-Hardin lectures are 3 hrs per sitting.  I was going to do just 4 hours of studying a day- that is turning into 8. Man I hope this all sticks!

I might not be writing next week if all I do is study....wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Where are my people at...

I need their support.

It's not easy being "one of those people."  A person that takes it all on. Fascinated with everything. Working off of both hemispheres, both right and left brained. Its a term that I don't like to use because it has classified us in simple overreaching dichotomies because none of us our truly right or left brained. Though experience has shown me that people react to what I do in terms of the hemispheres, and honestly, it hasn't been all good reactions.

That experience has shown me that I should be observant & wait for the right time when I think the person I'm talking with is ready to hear about my adventures.  This is especially true in the office. Number one way to get a bad review is to be open in the office. It's not about being crass, its about painting an image of yourself as being too involved in life outside that your not committing 100% to company. 

Example- this past week. It was my final week as an intern for a general contractor.  I made sure that I was available & adaptable to any projects they had for me. Never did I mention all that I was doing in the outside that wasn't architecture & construction. When I had my final review I brought up all the other ways that I could of been utilized & opportunities for that in the future. They agreed & are writing up an offer for a position in their company.

Next example- a half hour after my final review, I had an interview with the director of the Art Students League of Denver. She had contacted me when they took on some of the course load from Emily Griffith Opportunity School. Emily Griffith is now called a Technical College, as an accredited college, they must have a certain amount of the graduating students getting jobs from their education to keep those courses. So they had to cut seamstress & millinery courses from their curriculum. They did have the comprehension that a department with so much history it shouldn't be just thrown away. That's where I come in, ASLD agreed to take on the courses that would keep in line with their artistic mission, but where were they going to find a millinery instructor? Guess who's name came up! I was quite nervous because the only hats that I had on hand were my small, whimsical pieces. Plus I explained that my goal was never to teach it was to create sculpture that by chance you can put it on your head. That must of been enough because with a handshake I was emailed instructions on submitting my course work for the Summer semester. I'm still walking through the clouds. How can I be studying my brains out to take my architect registration exams & out of left field the dream job comes along?

Which leads to my next example- an email message was waiting for me the when I got home.  What pays is the work I do for a surveyor. The message was that my deadline was moved up six days & the ILC was due tomorrow...oh, & here's the project. Drafting ILCs is receiving the point information from a total station, using algorithms to plot those points, then using the plat information I draw up what is exactly on the site just using the legal description, measurements & stand-off points from the field.  Hemisphere switch from an hour ago?

That was finished at 2 AM- when I got up later that morning, the report was in that I was one of the 18,330 applicants for the Astronaut candidacy. Why did I apply to be one of the 14 new astronauts for the 3 upcoming mission? Because I can, I'm qualified.  Briefly, I studied Astrophysics before going into Architecture & the love of space travel is still in my core. I just transferred my love of remote, adaptable living into tiny homes. 

So why do I need the support of my people? I don't need the discouragement to do less or not to explore my opportunities. I crave for the security of a structured life but this is my path. I'm not trying to go against the stream. I have put my canoe in the river & am going the way the current pulls me.

I took a snap shot of a typical day. I was drawn to make an Easter bonnet for my submission to the Artist Alley in the Nan Desu Kan convention in September. Here is the office manager Soi inspecting the feather whiskers.

Almost done, the monocle needs securing. All this was done while listening to the Schiff-Hardin lectures review all the articles of the B101 Owner-Architect contract...which took hours.