Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Merry (chockfull!) Month of May

Hello hello!

Wow, I was absent for a long time there.
A month and then some, to be exact.
But you have to understand, I was suuuuper busy and updating my blog just fell by the wayside.
To make it up to ya'll, I will now give an overview of just what it was I was so busy with in May, starting with...

1) Origami Lucky Stars
As I'd mentioned briefly back in April, I had been slated to help decorate for CWS's annual Spring Fling adults-only dance. In my mind, I was envisioning making a bunch of little origami lucky stars that would hang off branches throughout the gym in a woodland-esque scene.
Unfortunately, after a couple of weeks of feverishly folding 200+ stars, the Spring Fling got cancelled suddenly, so I was a bit left in the lurch.
Nah, not really.
I ended up giving a few away for Mei's 11th birthday (お誕生日おめでとう!), incorporating them into Japanese lessons and Sunday School class and...this!

Rainbow order, of course.

So yeah, I now consider myself quite an expert at Lucky Star creation, so if you ever wanna learn, just let me know! I work with 8"+ long strips cut to 1/2" but my goal is to get down to 5 mm to use in jewelry and the like ;)

2) Student Exodus
Some of you may recall my 2016 New Year's Resolution post back in January, wherein I mentioned wanting to do something to divert waste during the great student move-out happening in June. Well, after thinking about it over five months, I finally came up with a plan which I set into motion the third day of May.

The doorhangers come with move-out timeline/calendar and two complimentary bags
I pretty much adopted what OSU does for their on-campus residents, and tweaked it to work for the Greek houses (frats and sororities) that I targeted for this. The idea is that the students can turn their move-out into more of a donation drive, with their unwanted items going to local non-profits and families in need.
 I dished out the resources and materials for 1000 "move-out kits" total, but at this point have only handed out 400 or so between a dozen or so Greek houses. Oh, well. The leftovers can be used for next year too ;)
Next week will really be the busy week of winging by the houses and picking up the items to redistribute.
I'm nervous but excited! It's the first year anyone's done this (from what I can tell) and I've gotten lots of positive responses from folks I've told. The GT will even be covering it too, so yay!
Watch out for more updates on that next week and beyond ;)

3) Audiobooks
So between these two repetitive and time-consuming tasks, I've found myself with a lot of time to listen to audiobooks!
Within three weeks, I listened to:
George Orwell's "1984"
Jane Austen's "Pride & Prejudice"
Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist"
and now I'm 30 minutes away from finishing a podfic for the BBC Sherlock show called "Disregard the Danger."

I love audiobooks for their multi-tasking capabilities, and I must say that I have a couple of preferences when it comes to them.
Firstly, I like one reader to narrate the entire book, doing all the characters' voices and everything. None of this "cast of voice actors to do all the characters" B.S. ;P
I also like them to be hella long. "The Alchemist" was just over four hours long which was too short for me, sir.

Anyway, I don't know what I'll be listening to next, but I'll be sure to share it when I'm done.

4) Art
There was also quite a lot of art done this month!
Ella, the resident artist of the family, has been developing her style more and more, especially with the help of a new desk (thank god for curbside finds!) and her Pokemon book.
Here's one drawing of hers that particularly tickles me pink, which she did for my 32nd birthday:

Rick & Morty forever and ever.

Just look at Morty's cheek! It's bulging from the cake that's in his mouth. Awesome, right?? :D
Myself, I've been working a lot with the local schools and artists groups, but got to do something I'd never done before! I worked with the Corvallis Drink & Draw Social Group!
The group usually meets at a pub or other such location to draw in a social setting. But they'd never had a themed session with a clothed model so I got to be their first one :)
The theme was "Cowgirl" and it was a lovely time with a super lovely and talented group.
Below are two pieces created by the lady who runs it, the very talented Patricia Smith:

Held each pose for 30 min. Not bad! :D

Jason Courtney also shared some with their Facebook group page, that you can see here. Wow, so talented!!!

5) Lamprey Creek
As for an outdoor activity, I'd like to share with you what we have been up to as far as Lamprey Creek.
Thanks to the proactive and wonderful Tess Hoffman, CWS will be an official contributor to the restoration of the newly named Lamprey Creek in MLK Jr. Park here in Corvallis.
What that means is on the first Saturday of May we helped clear away the blackberry bushes chocking up the creek; and last Saturday we helped set up and take down the official awakening ceremony.
It's good to show the kids that volunteerism is what makes the world go 'round, especially for such a noble cause as this.

Ella sporting her CWS shirt!

It was a good time, and I look forward to coming back in the fall to help plant a garden or two! :D

Those were pretty much the main things I thought I'd share from the month of May.
I feel I ought to share a recent photo of William too, so here he is on May 1st at our church's "Lego Day" event:

So excited with his teacher Miss Louise.

I've also been playing a lot of piano, and even memorized a beautiful piece by Brian Crain in just one week! It's called "At the Ivy Gates" and it's just lovely.
I also hope to pick back up Amelie's "Comptine d'Un Autre Été" and hopefully a Rick & Morty song or two!!!!! I suddenly feel like I can do it! Wish me luck~!

 Oh, I also got to translate the remaining volumes of this super sweet manga called "Kilala Princess":


Can't wait to read it to Ella. I think she'd really take to the art and storytelling devices~

We also had three families over for dinner on three different weekends, which is pretty big for us, but something that we definitely want (need!) to do more often.
We've discovered that the trick is making it a "build your own ____" kind of dinner. Examples include "build your own burrito" and "build your own sandwich." "Build your own pizza" is a good one too ;)

Well, that is all I have to say about May.
June is gonna be awesome busy in its own way and hopefully I'll be better about updating so that I don't have to dump a bunch of stuff on you in one go. :D

Til then, thanks for stopping by, take care and Happy Merry (chockfull!) Month of May!!