Thirty Days Project: Day 7

Ugh. Coming down with yet another cold, so I thought I’d take it easy on myself today with a very simple project, the origami cube.

Unfortunately, the tutorial that I was following, which had lots of comments on how easy, fun, etc. it was to make these cubes, actually left out a HUGE step in the photos and writing. Not that that’s a huge surprise – origami tutorials are notoriously prone to leaving out important bits and expecting you to jump from point C to point Z with no problem. However, this time, since it was a blog entry with play-by-play photos that go over every painful step except for the most important one, I feel that I’m entitled to bitch a bit. Also, I’m a little miffed because I ended up folding not 6, but 18 modules, since the first try didn’t work at all, the second try worked but looked crappy, and I was proud enough to want a third try at perfection.

From left to right: Attempt #1, Attempt #2, Victory!

From left to right: Attempt #1, Attempt #2, Victory!

 

Here’s the fruit of my labor. A cube. Whoo.

941166_10151574209574086_2142903720_n (1)

I’m going back to more intricate projects tomorrow. The simple ones always kick my butt.

Thirty Days Project: Day 6

Hallelujah, I’m finally caught up! I wanted to choose something moderately easy, since I’ve got a lot of tasks to accomplish tonight. So around two hours ago, I sat down to make a 12 module origami ball (using instructions from A Fine Tangle) that should have taken around 10 minutes to make.

Twenty minutes ago, I was laughing hysterically as I tried in vain to figure out how the last three flaps fit together. I had been trying to work out that same problem for another thirty minutes before that. It’s hard to explain the feeling of staring into the mouth of madness as you attempt to figure out a simple fold, but every now and then you just have those special “WTF?” moments. It’s all about meeting them with laughter instead of tears. It’s also helpful to take the model apart and do it over.

It took me three times of taking it apart completely to figure out what I was doing wrong, but as you can see, in the end it worked out perfectly. This model, by the way, is something little kids learn. I know that because I ended up reading a lot of blog posts and watching a few YouTube videos to see where I was going wrong. I felt a little like an idiot knowing that 10 year olds make these during recess, but then I remembered that I used to fold awesome notes to pass to my friends in class, so I’m not a complete dunce, just a little rusty. Onwards and upwards, folks!

935970_10151572473969086_982205000_n

971757_10151572471889086_519007197_n

 

Thirty Days Project: Day 5

Lucky for me that I’m a freelancer, as otherwise I would have just spent an important hour of work hiding away at my desk, making a 16-pointed star. Only one more piece to make before I’m officially caught up and my life can resume its normal (ridiculous) pace…

1502_10151572085274086_259048929_n

5395_10151572084584086_327881620_n

If you’re interested in making your own, head on over to Origami Instructions for detailed photos!

Thirty Days Project: Days 3 & 4

I spent my entire evening making two origami models and watching Battlestar Galactica. Wish that I didn’t have “real” work to do – it was pretty much the perfect night, other than stressing about being behind on so many things as a result of my vacation over the weekend. Speaking of the vacation, I’ll be posting snapshots of my time in NYC soon (at least by Photography Friday). Can’t wait to share my trip with you guys – I dreamt about it last night, in fact 🙂

So as I mentioned in my last post, this month’s challenge is all about modular origami. I chose a couple of fun patterns to try today – a 30 unit Buckyball and a cool little diamond window cube made of 12 units. My patience was tried sorely by the second model. Weirdly, the more modules means the more practice you have, so by the end it’s all pretty familiar. Fewer modules means more irritation, in my experience. You’re “in it” long enough to just kind of get used to the motions, then it’s done. Sometimes I get about half way through a model and have to fight myself to not smash it and walk away. Origami is making me a better person. That’s evident in the fact that both of these projects turned out pretty well – no smashing involved.

Modular Origami Buckyball by Anna Harris
Modular Origami Diamond Window Cube by Anna Harris

Thirty Days Project: Days 1 & 2

I’m running behind on my daily creations for the Thirty Days Project, but vow to catch up tonight! This time around, I’m only making modular origami (I’m hooked on the stuff – just can’t get enough pretty modular stars, boxes and ornaments). Here are my first creations of the month, an 18-module wreath, and a four-module star prism. Both of these patterns can be found on OrigamiManiacs, under the modular origami category.

Modular Origami Wreath with 18 Modules
Origami Star Prism

Just Signed Up For The 30 Days Project!

30-logo

Get ready for some more origami, folks! Just signed up again for the 30 Days Project. This round of the project lasts the entirety of June, and if you haven’t read up on it I really do encourage you to check it out. It’s a 30 day promise to create one thing per day, with no real guidelines on what kind of thing you have to create. It happens twice(ish) a year, and last time around was so much fun. Last November was my first time participating, and if you were reading the blog then you probably noticed me posting a photo of a piece of origami every day of the challenge. A friend of mine created a video every day of the challenge (craziness), and some of the other participants drew, painted, wrote poems, told stories, and more. The 30 Days Project website suggests that participants can:

-Complete thirty software tutorials.
-Record thirty cover songs.
-Photograph subjects that have always intimidated you.
-Write thirty poems from a new point of view.
-Paint thirty versions of the same object.
-Write thirty short stories.
-Sculpt thirty maquettes.
-Copy thirty pen drawings from the Masters.
-Animate thirty walk-cycles.
-Make thirty how-to DIY projects from the internet.
-Develop abandoned ideas from old sketchbooks.
-Anything you like, as long as you post finished work every day.

If you’re getting involved, please let me know! I’ll do my best to visit every day and check out your work, and even though I’m being incredibly dorky right now, it really is a ton of fun 🙂

Enter the Junior Dragon

2013ChineseNewYear

Happy Lunar New Year, everyone! 2013 is the Year of the Snake, also known as the Junior Dragon. The Snake is known for being polished and aristocratic, with a love of fine things. This year’s element is Water, so the Snake in question is the Water Snake, which affects preferred colors a tad – blues, greys, and bluish greens are most appropriate this year, as are Snake’s preferred tones of glittery golds and silvers. Snake is a go-getter, and this year is going to be good for racking up achievements, if we’re up to the task…which I believe I am.

I’m sorry I’ve been rather spotty in my writing as of late. It’s been a particularly difficult few months. My freelance business is going well, work-load wise, but not so well pay-wise (in comparison). I’ve got two clients who pay pretty well, and I did get a raise at my day job, but I’m also working for free for my personal trainer and getting rather stressed out in all at the amount of hours I work vs. how much money I make. Soon it will be time to seriously attack that imbalance and figure out how to fix it, but for right now I’m just trying to focus on the fact that I am not my job, and my debt does not have to dictate my life.

The first big accomplishment of the New Year (Gregorian and Chinese) just happened this morning, and it directly applies to my financial problems. I paid off a credit card (!!!!!), and am actually getting ready to pay off a second credit card tomorrow. Can you believe it? I’m having trouble believing it, but it’s sinking in that I’m finally getting closer to getting rid of the debt that I can comfortably attack (we’re just not going to think about student loan debt – ever). Hopefully I’ll be getting paid from some stocks that The Man and I are waiting to get bought out, and I’ll be able to pay off a third credit card, at which point I’ll only have one more to pay.

My plan moving forward is to put all resources toward paying down this debt, and pretty much refrain from spending on much else. My only two major areas of expenditure in this new period of my life are going to be food (going vegetarian again on Wednesday) and on beauty items – lotions, makeups, and other personal care things. I’ll wait on buying new clothes until I’ve at least got the third card paid off and have started paying down the last one. By then hopefully the vegan diet and lots and lots of gym going/personal training will make it possible for me to buy smaller sizes and make the purchases worthwhile. After I’m done paying the credit cards, I can save up for my next big goals – braces (again, ugh), Lasik, and my trip to Santiago de Compostela.

I’ve been reading this incredibly excellent book lately called How to Look Expensive, written by the beauty editor of Glamour magazine, Andrea Lustig. It’s full of simple but (for me) pretty earth-shattering tips on how to play up your best features and really take care of your appearance without breaking the bank. Best of all, she doesn’t just give basic tips – she gives the names of the best products to buy in every category. So far with the help of this book, I’ve started sleeping on satin pillows (to help my skin retain moisture), started using Burt’s Bees Radiance eye cream (which actually has worked to lessen my dark circles), picked up Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm (amazing! color AND moisture all the time!), and started using this cool tubing mascara from L’Oreal that gives my eyelashes incredible length and doesn’t smudge or smear at all. I’ve been using moisturizer twice a day, and also I just started using Furlesse strips at night for my frown line between my eyes. With all of these changes, my skin’s starting to look a little younger, which of course I love 🙂

In other news, since this is turning into the longest blog post ever, I officially signed up for witch school today! I’ll be attending the Seasons of Avalon school starting a couple of days from now, and am thinking that since it’s something I’m passionate about, I’ll use it as a really great excuse to start waking up earlier every morning to get an hour of study time in. We’ll see!

Other things that are flitting through my pea brain today:

1) Documentaries – I didn’t watch enough of them during January, but it’s still my goal to watch them regularly. Started watching another one yesterday about burlesque, so I’ll keep up with my “Documentary Days” posts throughout the year, I guess.

2) Origami – a friend of mine recently started doing origami again, which makes me want to get back in the groove with creating pieces more regularly. I want to make things that I can sell or give away as gifts, so that’s going to be on my schedule in the next little while. Maybe earrings, or holiday ornaments? Not sure yet, but I’ll figure it out and let you know. Any ideas for me?

3) Travel – one of my best friends invited me to come along with her family on a trip to Seattle in the summer. I’m stoked!

4) Mardi Gras – today is Lundi Gras, and I’m really just worn out from the entire experience. I hadn’t realized how little I drink and go out now, and I’m really just not interested in hanging out in crowds. Don’t get me wrong – I still love costuming and celebration, but going out til 3 in the morning is really not my cup of tea anymore. I don’t want more than a couple of drinks (if that) and I don’t really like going out just to drink or go from bar to bar. I yearn for deep conversation, lots of laughs, and maybe some hijinks, but there’s really no one around to put me into that mood these days, other than my coworkers, and I can’t hang out with them 24/7.

5) Crime – While standing around on Saturday night at the parades, I saw two fights, including watching someone get punched in the face. Later that night, there was a shooting on Bourbon Street. Last week, a 30 year old woman was abducted from in front of her house, driven around the city for a couple of hours, beaten and raped by a 15 year old, 16 year old, and 18 year old. She lived about 10 blocks from me. The Man bought me a taser to go with my pepper spray. As much as I love living in this city, the ever-present threat of violence is getting to be a bit much for me.

6) Fitness – Starting Wednesday, I’m back to a very strict diet and an even more strict workout schedule. I’ve been seeing a personal trainer three days a week and going to a fitness boot camp on Saturdays, but as of Wednesday I’ll also be going to yoga five days a week on top of the rest, plus running at least 2 to 3 miles every other day. My trainer says that my body is made to be around 135 lbs, and I intend to pursue that and get at least half way there by summer. So there. 🙂