Thursday, August 25, 2011

start of a new semester

Hi there world, so it's the start of a new semester...and time to wrap up some projects and start others. School technically starts on Monday, although my 1st class is Tuesday. I start seeing clients at my practicum site the same day, and I just got the dates for the Indie Patchwork shows in November! I don't FEEL like summer is over yet, but the world sure wants me to be thinking about the fall.

So here's my project rundown:

1. Thesis
Since I last wrote, I put aside the thesis plan to finish the IRB packet. This is an intense thing - the IRB is the review board that decides whether or not I am allowed to conduct my research at all. I was intensely nervous for the anti-climatic turning-in-of-the-packet last week. It included a letter from my thesis advisor, their packet (title, topic, ethics review, hypothesis, purpose, benefits, how I will protect the subjects, etc. etc.), ALL of my measurement scales, a copy of my survey instrument, the letters of approval from the groups that I will be sending my survey to, informed consent, and my intro email to the groups. Big giant packet, emailed and hand delivered to their office. I did that last week, and now I wait for the board to review and approve! Hopefully there won't be too many edits...

2. Craft Shows - I just got the dates for the Patchwork Indie shows in November! I instantly made a list of goals - new earrings, birds, and washcloths by then. I love Patchwork and I think before-christmas is going to be a great time. I want to make sure I look ahead to that so I don't get surprised by it and waste that opportunity.

3. Classes at CSULB
I am taking 17 units:
A. Trauma and Grief
B. Group Counseling
C. Meds
D. Clinic
E. EDP520 (research)
F. Thesis

I'll be able to write more about my goals in each one when I actually attend a class. Right now my goal is to SURVIVE this semester. I bought a calendar, and all I need is to stay organized, focused, and keep from procrastinating.

4. Practicum - I have been doing trainings at my site for over a month now. On Tuesday I officially put in my "slips" - which are requests for clients in certain time spots. I am officially allowed to start on August 31st. I am nervous, excited, ready, scared.... honestly until today my biggest concern was time management. Then I read a news story about therapy gone awry, and now I am scared of ruining people for life. I don't want to make them worse!! So my head is all over the place where my practicum is concerned.

5. Work - I put in my two weeks notice almost 2 weeks ago. Monday is my last day. I am sad to leave my clients - they are truly the best part of this job, but I also feel bad for not...feeling bad. I have a hard time with transitions - the minute I decided to resign, I was done. I also don't like the awkwardness of these I have been sort of avoiding telling people I've been leaving. Probably not the greatest thing, but... that's me.

6. Exercise - I am on a three day streak of 10 minutes a day. Monday: water aerobics for 1 hour, Tuesday: cycling for 51 minutes, Wednesday: walking for hours, today: water aerobics for 1 hour. I am trying to look ahead in my schedule and do the thing that sounds the most fun!

7. Sprint Triathlon training - I haven't done anything organized with this training - but I am going to start incorporating biking into my week. I feel a little stuck without a good (real) bike, which might just be an excuse. I don't know. I just don't know that much about this. But I figure - biking, running, swimming - I'll just do *something* related to those three things until I have the wherewithall to push it further.

8. Healthy living - Honestly, this has been rough for me lately. I had a really rough time about two weeks ago, and all I could do was watch tv and eat. I've never eaten emotionally like that before. It was awful. The thing that picked me up out of it was going to Big Bear and going camping and fishing with my husband and cousins. I came home happier and more resolved. I don't even want to give myself crazy goals here...I just want to make the BEST choice of the options I have, MOST of the time.

9. Therapy - Still attending, but need to figure out a better schedule. Still love it, still a strong proponent for it. Also it got me to start journaling again, which for someone who preaches the benefits of journaling all the time, has done it way less than she should lately. I even got my water colors out last week and painted a few pages.

10. Husband - In the process of revising certain roles and figuring out how we do this wonderful marriage thing - yes, it's been a year and 2 weeks, but being an overachieving student and MFT trainee and wife require awareness, prioritizing, and conscious decision making. I have a hard time being multiple roles, and I feel frequently like my DH suffers. There are my wants: to nurture, to make the house beautiful, to feed and cook and take care of, to garden and be self-sustaining, to create a house with light and music and creativity, to spend time with him and be able to do the extra little things that make his life better and easier. There are my other wants: to watch 4 seasons of Madmen in a row, to crochet for hours, to read and re-read YA books. There are pressing requirements: to write that paper, to study for that test, to attend that training and buy dogfood. It is so hard for me to prioritize my values, my goals, my wants, and my schedule. I keep thinking it HAS to be easier once I am done with school - but I want to "bloom where I'm planted" and not stave off the life I want for "later" because that feels like a death trap. I also am not great at little bits of everything - maybe something I should work on. Maybe I should physically set a timer and do 15 minutes of EVERYTHING I want to do every day. I don't know. But it's something I think about a lot.

11. Cousins - K and Y are going back to Spain tomorrow morning. I am really, really sad to have them leave. Their presence this summer has made it exciting - they're both really funny and sweet and I enjoyed having them here so much.

12. Making things for other people - I have 5 shawls I am making for a friend's wedding, and curtains for my cousin. I have a little over 1 month for the shawls, and the curtains should have been done 6 months AGO. I am a huge slacker. I will get out the sewing machine this weekend and work on the curtains. I will.

So that's me right now. Full of so many directions. Maybe that timer thing isn't a bad idea - then at least I'll get to it all.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

bird decorations!

So.... another little textile obsession of mine, spurred on by my constant browsing through ravelry's baby patterns... This is a quick little project that is an awesome stash-buster! I didn't buy a single new thing for any of these... just using up the awesome little bits of yarn I love and don't want to get rid of (you know, the half yard of baby alpaca, etc.) and random buttons I found in the bottom of my sewing box. The idea was to make a mobile out of these, and I haven't gotten that far yet... but I keep making the birds!

First you crochet a circle - any yarn, any pattern of stripes, anything. Then crochet a beak, wings, and sew them in. Fold the circle in half, sew some button eyes, attach a crochet chain to the center, fold in half and sew shut!

These aren't the greatest photos - but I was too excited not to share them right away. They are super fast creations - and after this first batch, I know better what to do next time. I have a bunch at home that are halfway in the works right now! Haha. love the birds! This blog has an actual pattern for you if you're interested. :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Baby Blocks!

I spent Saturday/Sunday in Santa Barbara for my friend Marina's "baby warming" - she is about 4 months along, and as this kid should grow up calling me Aunt Roya...I wanted to make sure I made a near-to-my-heart sort of present.

I agonized a little bit, actually - no idea what to make. I wanted to make sure I made something gender neutral (for practical and philosophical reasons), and I didn't want to make anything other people would make either...

So I started by finding my favorite book covers from when I was little - and I printed them on iron-on-transfer paper. My idea was to make a quilt using these book covers and yellow fuzzy fleece backing! Well...I accidentally ironed on a book cover that while it LOOKED like a Dr. Suess book, it was actually a spoof and not exactly baby-blanket appropriate.

So I decided to make "baby blocks" instead. They are each hand-sewn, with the book covers cut up into 3 inch squares, and that yellow fleece as the supplemental material. I stuffed them with hypo-allergenic batting, and put a bell in each one so it would make baby-attracting noise!

I also made a box for them to go in, using more book covers!

This was a super fun project, and I can think of about 8000 variations I'd like to make. Can't wait to do more :)