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I admit it…

I've been a miserable blogger.  So what do I do?  Start another blog!

Actually, it's for a reason.  I've been diagnosed with labyrinthitis, an inner ear infection that causes hearing loss and debilitating vertigo.  I've been missing work frequently and am preparing to take a leave of absence in order to address the symptoms, hopefully start therapy, and get a good foothold in managing the disease.  Like a lot of chronic illnesses, labyrinthitis is never really cured, but can be managed successfully.

If you're at all interested in following this completely different aspect of my existence  please join me over at Icarus Falling.  Thanks.

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Sandy Hook Elementary School

There is so little to say right now other than how horrified and hurting we all are.  As a teacher, I want to remind everyone that those staff that were involved… I can guarantee you they did everything possible to take care of their students, their children.  They may not be our children by birth, but we love them as much, if somewhat differently.

Please love a teacher today.  Events like these hurt us in such a personal way.  If you are a parent and you remove your child from school today, please give their teacher a hug.  They’ll need it.

Please remember, love, support, and pray for the children, families, staff, and community of Newtown, CT.

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The wedding crafts!

It’s been nearly five months that Nick and I have been married, and it’s been just lovely!  We had a marvelous summer, really enjoyed seeing our family and spending lots of time relaxing.

While looking through photos today, I realized that there was so much DIY at the wedding, and I would love to share them!  Please enjoy!

Our programs, created with just Microsoft Word!  I went with a ‘hotdog’ fold rather than a ‘hamburger’ fold for a different approach.
Our beautiful baby’s breath bouquets, lovingly made by my mother.  I was banned from working on these after messing up the first one.  =p
66The men of the wedding party wore navy calla lilies wrapped in printed paper and copper wire. 113The collection of vases, bottles, and votive holders that made up many of our table-toppers.  The large vases are actually just PVC pipe mod-podged with paper!
I’m particularly proud of our little Han and Leia cake toppers, painted by me!
Our welcome table with more accessories, our custom pencils, and our sign-in book from Shutterfly.
My handmade earrings, showing the touch of teal throughout the wedding.
Our own special Reistling, bottled by my parents especially for the event!  I made the label.
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A friend in need…

If you were around the anime con scene in the 90s and 00s, you probably met Kevin Lillard.  He probably took your picture, if you were a cosplayer.  If you had a website back then, you probably watched A Fan’s View like a hawk for days after a convention.  Kevin was a fixture in the community for years.  He is a genuinely wonderful person and a joy to be around.  Nothing buoyed my spirit at a con more than seeing Kevin walking toward me in full photographers regalia.

Kevin was a newspaper writer and photographer as well, in his daily life.  As newspapers have begun to fail, he was one of the many journalists who were laid off.  And it’s taken its toll.

When you live in your car in an abandoned parking lot along a major interstate highway, you see interesting traffic from time to time. Around 8 a.m., eastbound sirens announced the approach of police traffic,led by a plain white box van with a large door on the left side, followed closely by an armed personnel carrier. It took a moment before I recognized the two vehicles, which I had seen on the streets during my now-ended career a s a reporter for the Indianapolis Star. I saw those same two vehicles downtown a couple of years ago when covering a so-called bomb threat involving a man who had left a backpack next to what was then the police department's downtown district headquarters. The white box van carries the police department's tactical robot so the small convoy must have been headed to a SWAT call out.

I'm in he same position of life as the street person whose backpack led to that fuss of years ago. Out of work and out of money, I've been living in my car for the last month, spending days at a nearby library, sending out mostly ignored online job applications. Already there's no money to buy food and the last things to eat were some peanuts from a vending machine at the Anderson newspaper where I had my last job interview. I spent my last change to make a 50-cent call at a pay phone hoping to speak to a recruiter and reached only voice mail. The car where I've been living started running out of fuel on the way to the library and I barely got there. With no money there will be no fuel and no way to go from place to place. Even if there is another job offer there will be no way to get there,with no money and no fuel. Unless there's some sort of miracle,this is the end of any hopes I had. All of the prayers have been answered with messages of failure. This is where we have learned what God really wants

This heart wrenching post came from Kevin’s Facebook today and sparked a movement to help save one of our dearest friends in the cosplay community.  If you have anything to spare, please give Kevin a hand by donating via PayPal, courtesy of ACP or sharing any resources for support you may have in the Indiana area by filling out this GoogleDocs form, courtesy of Soni.

Our community is amazing!

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Made just for me.

I am a week and a day (officially… of course I was back and forth and into this and that all summer) into my new position as technology teacher for the elementary grades at my school, and I’m finding more and more that it is clearly my place in the universe.

I am incredibly lucky to take two of my deepest passions – technology and education – and blend them into a learning experience that is so essential, so needed in our schools today.  As I’ve told colleagues and even some of my older students, use of computer technology and the Internet has moved so fast in the last 15 or so years that it’s nearly impossible to understand the consequences of it.  It was my generation that developed the Internet as we know it, all the promise and pitfalls, the miracles and bullying, the beautiful and horrifying edges of all of it.  We ran headfirst into the technology without thinking what we were creating; the Internet was – is – my generation’s atomic bomb.

I have been charging my oldest students with using what we’ve created for good, demanding that they learn how to use it well, with grace, for proactive means.  Even the littlest I am pointing in the direction of positivity and understanding: first and foremost, listen.

It’s a transformation for me, too.  In my new position, much of the staff has come to rely on my technology literacy for their everyday uses; even the administration has given me responsibilities that I’m suited for and challenged by.  That’s given me the opportunity to take charge, use my areas of competence, to help others, smooth paths, and open doors.  I feel proud of what I do for students and colleagues alike.

My principal sent me an email last week after seeking my advice on a particularly pesky problem, saying that my new position seemed made just for me.  I can’t help but agree.

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Tada, jewelry!


A few pieces I finished this morning after them sitting in my “to-do” pile for months.  The green pair were actually just purchased, but one of the earwires was broken.  A few fun new things for school, which starts in a week!

What “to-dos” have you gotten to lately?

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A new studio…

Nick and I are planning on purchasing a new home in the next year, and one of the most exciting projects for me is developing my studio space.  I expect to locate it in a ‘loft’ space immediately off the stairs on the second floor of the home, and it is subsequently open to the rest of the upstairs.  I want to be able to keep it very tidy and clean things up in a jiffy when I’m finished working, but I also want the space to be pretty!  I checked out a few options on a recent trip to Ikea and here’s my plan!

studioplan copy

The majority of items are from Ikea, with a few accents thrown in from Urban Outfitters.  The curtains are pieces that I already have (and got lucky finding images of the patterns online!).  I really want the space to be more than just a work space, also a place to enjoy relaxing, reading, playing games, whatever I’d like to do! The sofa is also a sleeper, great for those extra guests we may have.  I’m sure I’ll also be able to find lots of places for the kitsch I already have and any extra small storage I may need.

What do you find that you need in a studio space?

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Theatre Shooting in Colorado

Current information on the shooting at a theatre in Aurora, Colorado from NBC.

Nick and I are safe; we were sleeping in our home in Brighton when the shooting occurred.  Of course, the theatre where the shooting occurred was mere blocks from our old home in Aurora, and that really makes the incident still more disturbing.

But we are safe, all our friends in Colorado are safe; just please keep the victims, families, and all of Colorado in your thoughts and prayers.

If you are able, please donate blood, it is a surefire way to help the victims and support our community.

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The war is on!

So, have you all been watching Craft Wars?  I thought it sounded a little silly at first, but it’s AMAZING.

Image from TLC

Three crafters compete each week for $10,000 by making one small project in an hour that will eliminate one contestant, and one MASSIVE project as the final test, to be done in 5 hours.  They’ve done patios, playhouses, and even pet palaces!

I’ll be honest… this is the first reality show I’ve ever seen that I actually want to pursue being on.  I love the idea of the challenges, and I think my unconventional cosplay skills would give me a real edge on the floor.  And yeah, ten grand isn’t a bad deal either!

Check it out Tuesday evenings, or at TLC’s website!