2 Year Anniversary

Last month was our second wedding anniversary! (and just about two years of living in Maryland) We took a walk in the trails behind SERC; Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. (where Jim works.) I've decided that every year, on or just after May 24th, we'll take some family photos. Near trees. 'Cause we got married near trees. It's gonna be a thing!
2 Year Wedding Anniversary 2 Year Wedding AnniversaryTwo years ago I got to celebrate my love with my forever guy in a beautiful park surrounded by friends and family. I really can't believe it's been two years since that day. 2 Year Wedding Anniversary 2 Year Wedding Anniversary
A bit about the "photo shoot": These photos were actually taken with my phone. My original plan had us using a nicer camera but once we got there I noticed the SD card was missing. So, I ended up propping up my phone on the portrait plate of my tripod and using the timer function. The quality is not ideal, but still, think the shots came out nice.2 Year Wedding Anniversary 2 Year Wedding Anniversary
I tried not to get too cheesy with the poses. I mean, we only really have three. "Classic," "Looking at Each Other," and "Kissing." If we had a photographer I'm sure there would be so many more ideas. There were some really cute ones from our engagement shoot and the wedding (obviously) which I know I've yet to share here. (Getting to that this year!) ♥︎ Happy wedding anniversary Jim. I'm so thankful for you every day, I love you so much!

3 Writing Confessions

Wordbound is a weekly writing prompt, run by fellow writer, YouTuber, cosplayer, and blogger, Kristina Horner. Every week the exercises are posted to Twitter and Instagram for anyone who wants to take part in the challenge. I'll admit, making writing a priority has not been easy. (Probably due to a combination of my mental health and my multipotentiality.) Last week, however, a blog prompt was posted to Wordbound which I'm hoping is the inspiration I need. So what are my 3 writing confessions, you ask?

#1. I don't share my fiction. 
When I was in my teens I wrote much more and I wrote with friends and wrote for class (creative writing was the best time I had in English class!) I didn't post any of it online though. (Not even my Cats fanfiction.) In my 20s and 30s, I blog publically online but I don't really let others read my fiction. I've only shared my first NaNoWriMo novel (with maybe two people) and no one's read the other three. I wonder if that's because I don't think I'm good enough or because I really like what I write and I don't want to hear any of the criticisms. Am I aspiring to something and I want to get better or is writing just for me and the quality of it doesn't matter? I'm not sure I know, and that leads me to the second confession.

#2. I'm wishy-washy with my goals.
It's true, I once proclaimed that I wanted to be a published author...when I was a child. I had just read the first book in the vampire series, 'In the Forests of the Night' by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. She wrote that at age 13...and I was 13. I could do this, couldn't I? Was I already too late? I'll just keep writing. If I had just stuck with that goal and not gotten 'distracted' by film and costume design (and many other interests) then I'd be a lot further along than I am. But I didn't stick to that goal, I'm a multipotentialite and sticking to one goal is not something I do very well. Some days I think I'm finally gonna get serious about writing and other days I swear that it's just a hobby. Honestly, I'm really not sure what my goals are when it comes to writing...and I don't like that.

#3. I hold back so as not to 'use up' my best ideas.
I know that thinking that the 'well of creativity' I have will eventually dry up, is rubbish. That well is endless. Yet my instinct to save and to hoard my great ideas so I don't waste them is pretty strong. I'm a collector and I don't like 'using up' things. It's a problem. I know a lot of writers and creative people are like this and you just have to keep writing and know that your 'best' ideas are not your 'last' ideas. You will come up with more and better ideas the more you write. I know this. I just need to actually put that knowledge into action...and 'use up' everything I got! (Easier said than done, obviously.)

So this was the first Wordbound I've publically participated in and I loved it! I'm debating making a big list of all of them and eventually catching up. If you have any advice for how to publically participate since I'm still shy/cautious about sharing the fiction prompts, (maybe I share just a sentence?) let me know! Thank you for reading and thank you to Krisitina for creating Wordbound, you are my unofficial writing mentor....just fyi. ;)

Are Fidget Toys for BFRB? (Body-Focused Repetitive Behavior)

Well, welcome to the most personal video I've ever made. I've been too scared to share this bit about myself and even now I'm still scared to hit publish. It was other YouTubers with BFRBs who helped me understand myself, so maybe it'll be okay. Do you have fidget toys for your BFRB? (Do you have a Body-Focused Repetitive Behavior?)

MEOWexander Hamilton (Cats + Hamilton) - BroadwayCon 2017

"Pardon me, are you Aaron Purrr sirrr?" MEOWexander Hamilton
The idea came to me during the bus ride to the first BroadwayCon in 2016. I was scrolling through Twitter on my phone when I found out Cats was coming back to Broadway that summer. It was beyond perfect timing! That year one of my cosplays was the Jellicle kitten, Jemima. I think Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted congratulations of some sort and the hashtag #cats4ham (a play on the hashtag #ham4ham) started to appear. I immediately joked that I should make a Cats/Hamilton crossover cosplay for next year. Welp...jokes on me 'cause I did it!
MEOWexander Hamilton
MEOWexander Hamilton
The costume I chose was Hamilton's opening look since it's brown and off-white. (Good cat colors and I already have my brown and cream arm warmers I made years ago.) Making the costume was a bit experimentation and a lot of patterned sewing. Most of the clothing was from a pattern but I did construct the cravat without a pattern, just looking at photos of Lin-Manuel in the show. I knitted myself some brown and black leg warmers to mimic his boots and a (slightly hidden) tail to match. The wig was the most experimental part, Jellicle cat in the front, Patriot ponytail in the back.
MEOWexander Hamilton
I'll be doing another post about the makeup but I do want to mention the glasses. I realize Hamilton does not wear glasses till the second act but I would have needed to wear glasses anyways...hence the in-character prescription glasses. They really came in handy since I wore this costume 4 days in a row. First for only an evening (to see Cats...video of how that went here) and then for all 3 days of BroadwayCon (Review of day one, two, and three.)
MEOWexander Hamilton
MEOWexander Hamilton
MEOWexander Hamilton
MEOWexander Hamilton
The entire week was beyond amazing, I made some new friends and everyone seemed to really get a kick out of my costume! MEOWexander Hamilton was a success!
MEOWexander Hamilton
MEOWexander Hamilton

Reviewing Week Five of VEDIM(M)

Wow, Vlog Every Day In March (Maybe) is over! This week was only five days and I uploaded a video on only two of them. (I took progressively more days off as the weeks went on, yes I noticed.) These two videos were ones I had been planning on making since the start; stats and outtakes. I purposely did not get into the emotional aspects of VEDIM(M) since I'm still processing it all. It was hard. I certainly had the time and resources to have had done all 31 days, it was the mental and emotional side of myself that failed me. (To be clear, I don't think I failed the project.)

The open-ended-ness of the word "maybe" saved me from getting upset and allowed me to view the project from a more scientific point of view. What I mean by that is, I wanted to see what would happen with loose rules and a forgiving structure. I believe without that there would have been (even more) hits to the quality and I think I would have had experienced some pretty stressful days had I not had that extra M. I did the right thing ultimately and I am actually proud of myself for what came out of the endeavor.

One of the main things I learned was that I can continue to do this hobby every day, just not upload every day. Editing, filming, planning/scripting, CCing, and maybe even learning to do visual effects, are all things I can be working on. VEDIM(M) was a good jumpstart, but now it's time to take it out of the public eye until the next upload. As always, thank you for subscribing and feel free to click on the image that intrigues you most.

Reviewing Week Four of VEDIM(M)

Week four of VEDIM(M) was the shortest week yet at only four videos total. I uploaded, Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. (Only falling one video short of my plan to copy the format of week three.) It was a tough week. I used pre-shot (kinda old) footage for one, Twitch footage for another, YT live streamed for the third and shot the fourth on a pretty bad day. (It took forever to edit the short video 'cause I had way too much footage of me trying to get out of my head.)

The last week will be even shorter yet but I am looking forward to being able to say that this project is complete and I am happy with the result. (I really am!) So stay tuned for the final videos and click on the images below that make you curious. >^..^<

Reviewing Week Three of VEDIM(M)

VEDIM(M) week three, come and gone. I fell into a groove this week that I really liked. The groove is as follows: Monday: video, Tuesday: no video, Wednesday: makeup time lapse via Twitch, Thursday: no video, Friday: video, Saturday: montage, Sunday: live stream.

I like this format so much I'm replicating it for the fourth week. It's a formula that really feels much more balanced than a full on video every single day. If week four goes well I might take elements for the final week. (Though the last two videos are already planned.)

Part of me is really looking forward to posting only once a week but this continued work is really helpful to understanding things about myself. Like recognizing patterns in my emotions on days I feel too worn out to make a video, or feeling the waves of inspiration and ambition ebb and flow. Some days I love my huge list of ideas, it makes me feel like I have no limitations. Other days that list is a source of guilt, the videos I should be making but instead do something that requires much less effort.

Here are the videos from week three, click on the thumbnails that entice you, or watch them all here.

Reviewing Week Two of VEDIM(M)

Oh wow, am I learning a lot from VEDIM(M)! This week started off on Monday with a pretty long video tag that revealed a lot about how I've been feeling about YouTube recently and my own YouTube history. It did well and a few people I tagged even did it. This week was also the first week where I skipped a day. It was my slight contribution to the Day Without a Woman strike. I realize YouTube is not my job, but I just didn't feel right "being seen" that day, if that makes any sense.

Overall week two was much more stressful than week one. It was longer, I had less pre-recorded videos to use, and I had some bad days. Friday and Sunday were the first montages I did. I did not even promote them anywhere save for the auto-tweet that all my videos get. There were only 2 pre-recorded videos, the last of what I had stock-pilled. (Since I decided to delete the footage from a 'get ready with me' I shot...) It was rough, but I have to remind myself of that second 'M.' It's perfectly okay to skip more days. 

I might skip today out of necessity. I'm busy on an edit for work and I think my Premiere will be tied up in that till this evening. Lets hope I can bulk shoot today at least. Feel free to brows the thumbnails and click on the ones that spark your interest. Thank you!

Reviewing Week One of VEDIM(M)

VEDIM(M) stands for Vlog Every Day In March (Maybe), my month long project for March. I'm trying to create quality videos every day to see how it makes me feel (but with low pressure, hence the 'maybe.') I explain it more in the first video, but the idea is because of my short attention span when it comes to hobbies.

So far I've uploaded 3 videos that were shot in February and 2 videos that were shot the day they were uploaded. I still have 4 pre-shot videos (one of those is actually is up today but I'll review it next Monday, etc.) There are 26 more days to go...however I have a long list of ideas. So, the real challenge is production and post-production. I'm feeling confident, but you always do in week one of a month long project...

Here's the VEDIM(M) playlist so far. ~click me~ or go ahead and scroll through the thumbnail images and click on one that intrigues you!

Seeing Cats in Costume

My experience seeing Cats in costume!  Watch me embarrassingly fangirl over Tyler Hanes and MORE in this video that makes you question the fact I'm a 30-year-old adult married woman and not a 14-year-old obsessed teenager.

BroadwayCon 2017 - Day 3

Day three! The final day! The day I completed my goal and met Andy Blankenbuehler, the choreographer of Hamilton and the Cats revival. I think he dug my costume. ;)

The rest of the day was one of sad goodbyes, joyful singalongs, and promises of hanging out before the next BroadwayCon. If the first BroadwayCon was about meeting new people, the second was about re-connecting and expanding the circle of like-minded theater fans. America's kind of messed up right now, so it was refreshing to spend a weekend worry free and safe. The ending ceremony explained it so well, I filmed it and you can watch it here. If you prefer a video of the entire experience, you can watch my vlog here.
IMG_7988 IMG_7997 IMG_7998 Feeling good to be done with that makeup, four days in a row is a lot!
IMG_8019 Here's the one photo I took at Broadway Sessions. Ben Cameron is such a fun guy. Thanks for letting dance and sing on your stage despite how terrible I am at it! Haha! (Yes video of that exists, no I will not post it online.)