Category Archives: Personal Projects
I missed two weeks, but it’s okay! It’s because I was in Austin having the most epic of epic weeks! IT WAS RTX TIME!
Okay I sort of lied. The first Monday I wasn’t technically in Texas yet, but I was flying out super duper early the next morning and was still packing like a crazy person, so my brain was in Austin.
I was there for a full week, Tuesday to Tuesday, and it was so awesome. Like super awesome. Super exhausting and draining, but so worth it. I got to meet so many awesome people, and had so many people recognize me from my work in the community. It was weird to have people walk up to me who I had never met before say “oh, you must be Zelda! It’s so great to meet you! You’re a huge inspiration to me!”
I spent the week as a Guardian, which is what they call the volunteers for the event. I was put on the PA team, which means I was responsible for keeping staff on schedule, fed, hydrated, and not-mobbed by groups of adoring fans. It was surprisingly busy, and I spent most of the convention up and moving (with a decent amount of straight up running). It was a lot of fun though. It was really cool to see the staff behind the characters they play in all their videos.
Probably the coolest part of the week was the final day of the convention after close. The Guardian team was working on clearing stuff out and we kept hearing a commotion out in the hall. When I finally left, I found out what it was: about 300 convention attendees had stayed behind and were cheering for all the volunteers as they exited the building. After spending the weekend literally having the job of crushing hopes and dreams when people wanted to meet staff while we were trying to get them somewhere, having that kind of reaction was phenomenal.
As exhausted and sore and totally drained as I was by the time I got home, I’m already super pumped to do it again next year. It sounds like I made a good enough impression that I will be invited back, so that’s exciting! It also sounds like the staff member I was assigned to really liked me, so I may luck out and get to revisit the same role. It’s a super competitive job, so the fact that I not only got to do it for my first year but may have secured it for the future is just amazing.
When I’m not pretending to be famous on the internet (although I do have over 100 subscribers on YouTube…just sayin’), I’ve been sewing like crazy. Somehow, I magically finished all 3 pieces a month ahead of the deadline…something I neither anticipated nor thought was even possible. All of them were related RTX, specifically the charity auction the RTSideQuest group runs to support Child’s Play.
To give you a brief explanation, RTSideQuest is a community run group that puts together extra events outside of convention hours for RoosterTeeth fans at conventions that have a major RT presence (PAX, RTX, etc). Since RTX is a dedicated RT convention, it’s also where RTSQ has the most stuff going on. One of these events is a charity auction the night before the convention actually starts, a formal event in a hotel ballroom with a silent auction of items and commissions donated by the community. It’s curated so that there’s actually things that are worth while there, and you have to fill out a form detailing what it is you’re going to donate. There’s been everything from custom art to signed game cases (game case = portable gaming center) to clothing, you name it.
1) The Apron
One of my RoosterTeeth friends a few months ago drew up some concept art for a series of aprons based on the outfits of some characters from one of the shows the company makes. She lamented not knowing how to sew to make any of them a reality. I chatted with her a bit, and we came up with a plan for me to make one and record some tutorial videos for her. I ended up with a 6 part video series on it from start to finish, totaling about an hour’s worth of instruction. Since I don’t really need another apron in the house, I decided I would donate the finished product to the auction since it was not only unique, but appropriate for the context of the event.
2) The Backpack
Yes, I made another backpack. Someone actually asked me a year ago at RTX2013 if I would consider making one for the auction this year, and since I had the time and new subject matter to work with I thought it’d be a great idea. This one didn’t take quite as much time since I stuck with outlines instead of filling in the images (the rose and snowflake would have just gotten too messy to be appealing anymore), and the assembly went a lot better since I knew more of what to expect after the experience of building the last two. This is by far my best one yet.
3) The Dress
It’s a formal event, a girl needs a pretty dress! I didn’t really have a summer appropriate formal dress, and I didn’t really feel like spending oodles of money on a new one. While I was searching for patterns and fabric for the apron, I stumbled across a dress pattern I thought was really pretty and past some fabric I was in love with. It was sort of an obvious choice. So, instead of $100 or more to buy a dress, I spent $38 on materials and the pattern (thank you coupons!) and made one custom just for me. Bonus: I finally learned how to successfully sew invisible zippers!
I’m currently working on 2 more projects before RTX and trying my hand with some paint. One project is not difficult in the slightest and is just filling in some block lettering…the other one? I’m trying something I’ve never, ever done before. It requires, like, actual painting skill. I’m hoping with some creative tracing paper action I can pull it off. And maybe a little luck.
Guess what! Things are actually happening in my life that are worth talking about! YAY!
The main construction on the basement is done. It’s kind of looking awesome. We wrapped up painting this weekend, so now we’re just waiting on things that were ordered to come in. Cabinets for the wet bar will go in the first weekend of April (hopefully), then carpet can go in shortly after that. I know Grif is going to be happy to have a large area of carpet to run around now.
This weekend we had a Rooster Teeth Michigan group event in Lansing. We had some bumps, but all in all I think it was a success! We had about 25 people show up over the course of it (a few people floated in and out, but I think we had 22 concurrent participants pretty much the whole time), and we all had a blast. Turns out I still suck at bowling, but other people suck more than me so it’s okay.
I’m looking forward to a much needed week off of work next week. I’m taking it off and flying down to see my parents! Geoff and Grif will be staying here in MI which stinks a little, but at least I get to spend some time with my family. I’m a bit of a nervous flier, and I’ve never actually flown by myself before, so this should be quite the adventure. At least my layover is long enough that I don’t really have to worry about missing a connection or anything.
I’m taking a break from all my sewing projects thanks to a slice right down the middle of my thumb. There’s too much hand work that needs to be done, and all the pressure needed from my thumb will just make the cut worse. On the one hand it stinks I’ll be behind a bit, but on the other hand it’s nice I’ll have sort of an excuse to take a breather.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Seriously, how did I fall off the regular posting bandwagon so hard? I’m going to guess it’s because nothing all that interesting has been happening, so I don’t get those “I can’t wait to share this!” moments anymore.
Figuring out how to record sewing tutorials in a way that works for me but also makes for a usable video is actually a lot more difficult than I anticipated. Luckily we got a GoPro for Christmas, and the attachments for that actually work really well for setting it up at weird angles. The bigger problem is setting it up so I don’t cast shadows on the parts I’m trying to point out, and keeping it zoomed in enough that you can actually see the small details I’m trying to talk about. Definitely a lot of trial and error going on here. More error than anything else.
The embroidery project took a weird turn. I finished the outline for the most difficult shape (a snowflake), and I actually think I like it just as an outline (though that opinion may be tainted by my experience trying to outline it and my fears about trying to fill it). For the time being I’m outlining the rest of the shapes, and then I’ll judge how I think it looks as just outlines. If it works, then I can wrap up this project in about 1/5 of the time I anticipated it’d take me, which would be awesome.
The job situation is still dismal. I have what I refer to as a perma-headache going on and can’t actually remember the last time I didn’t have some sort of headache going on. The lab position I’ve been kind of banking on at Geoff’s company that’s been in the works for ages has been essentially put on hold indefinitely. They’ve gone from saying they’re going to hire 3 people to maybe, maybe being able to hire 1 by the end of the year. So now I’m back to looking full force at all options, though now I’m having a new struggle: I’m having a really hard time identifying the happy medium between desperation to leave this job and risking setting my career track back by taking any old job I can get. I’ve found chemistry jobs, but they’re all 3rd shift tech spots that have low pay. I found regular hour well-paying spots, but they’re desk jobs and definitely not chemistry. I’ll admit, there’s a bit of an ego/pride struggle going on here as well.
I do have an application out to a brewery at the moment. They’re looking for a new cellar operator, and chemists are a surprisingly good fit for a spot like that. It’d at least be a cool way to stray from the lab, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed a bit on that one.
The YouTube channel is going pretty well. Last time I actually checked I had 70 some subscribers, which is pretty good for a new channel. I’m still trying to settle into a groove with it as far as what I want to put up there versus what other people have suggested I try. It’s also surprisingly hard to talk to yourself out loud. I figured since I talk to myself all the time in my head that the game play videos would be a piece of cake…apparently not.
On a partially related note, there’s a member of the Rooster Teeth community that has started producing “Epic Rap Battles of Rooster Teeth” similar to the “Epic Rap Battles of History”. He’s gotten other community member together to make music and record lyrics that he writes, and they’ve been pretty fantastic. This weekend I got to help out with one and voice what is probably my favorite female character of any series they’ve put out. It’s certainly not perfect (let’s face it, I’m not exactly a rap master), but I had a ton of fun doing it and the feedback on the video has been awesome. If you are so interested:
On another related note (can you tell I’ve been spending a lot of time with RT stuff?), I applied to be on the volunteer staff team at RTX this year (known as the Guardians). They had 1600 applicants and choose 400, although anyone who was previously a Guardian got preference so it was really like 1400 people applying for 200 spots. Notifications went out last week, and I get to join the team! I’m super pumped about it, despite the fact that I’ve essentially just volunteered to be the bad guy and exhaust myself beyond reason for 3 days straight. I’ll find out which sub-team I’m on in April. Woohoo!