Typewriter-week 4

This week was the last full set of dates I'll have.  Only two days left in January, counting today, and my quotations will be done-zo.  I honestly thought (probably around week 2) that this might be something I continue throughout the year...almost like my own version of the 365 photo project.  But this past week with school and work and having a social life, has really showed me that I might not have time to continue.  At least, I wouldn't have the time to enjoy it without feeling the pressure of life breathing down my neck. 

Honestly though, I'm impressed with everyone who has every done a 365 project.  Life is hard and finding time to fit in a daily task is impressive.  I'll be interested to see how I feel on February 1st when I don't have to sit down and write a letter or even touch my typewriter.  One thing I think would be cool is just doing another month-long challenge.  Maybe I'll tie it in with my 25 before 26 goals.  Something like pray every day in February or workout every day in some way, shape, or form (rest days be damned).  But I ramble.  Feel free to check out my intro, week 1, week 2, or week 3 if you're new to the "project."

January 23

January 24

January 25

January 26
 What's that?  10-year-old Sara in the world's shortest haircut?  I've always been a grade A hottie, I guess.

January 27

January 28

January 29

January Goal Review

January is winding down, hard and fast.  I figured we're close enough to the end of the month that I could do a quick recap of how my 25 before 26 goals are coming along.

1.  Etsy shop- vintage
Haven't thought of this goal at all, haven't done any work on it. Until I do my blog remodel, I feel like this one will be on the back burner.  It doesn't help that all of my vintage is in a shed that is half covered in snow...and not the fun, fluffy kind you see in movie, but the North Dakota kind.

2.  Collection of short stories- ready to submit
I've actually been creating a few new pieces and have tried writing more.  I haven't edited/expanded any of the pieces I have on my computer.  Creating a new piece, even if it's only a few pages at this point, is really exciting because it's been awhile since I've been happy with the results of pen to paper.

3.  New tattoo
This one will either take place between now and May or September and December.  I have placement down.  I have my idea in my head.  I just need to meet with my artist and see what he comes up with.  And you can bet I'm not going to miss out on summer water activities just because of a tattoo.

4.  Finish framing prints
4/11 of my prints are framed.  The problem with some of the others is that they're either a weird size (meaning I'll have to mat them myself because I'm not doling out the cash for that) or...well, frames are just pricey in general.  I know this one will be finished.  I'm just going to watch sales and maybe even do a little thrifting.  I have all of the measurements written down in my book, so I have that information on me at all times.
Messy night of framing and Law and Order SVU
5.  Blog redesign
Again, I feel like I want to do things before accomplishing this.  I have my eye on a couple of designers out there (because I figure I can do it myself, or I can have a result 500x better).  Part of me thinks, "I'll wait until I post more" or "I'll wait until I have a better camera."  A big hang-up right now is I'm not sure I'll be sticking with the Calico Sun name.  Don't get me wrong...I still love it.  I still think it's cool.  But someone else owns the domain with the name and is selling it for $250 and since I blog for fun and not that often, it doesn't make sense to plop down cash for it.  If they don't drop their price to something more in my range, I might just rename this entire blog so I can have a domain that doesn't include a "blogspot" in the title.

6.  Buy nice camera
Nice cameras don't have to cost an arm and a leg.  I have my eye on a few basic Canon or Nixon models, but just don't feel like I'm there yet.

7.  Learn how to do my hair
I've learned how to use my curl wand!  But that does not make me a hair expert.  I'm going to keep experimenting and playing around.

8.  Go on a trip somewhere new
Nothing planned.

9.  Bring Crookston to dog training class
I've looked into two different places.  I just need to pull the trigger.  I've got the start date for our local kennel club written in my planner and I've emailed a different gal who's a certified dog trainer.  We'll see how this pans out.

10.  Figure out Spanish creds
Took the CLEP test and well...you can read how that went if you'd like to hear me rant.  Pretty sure I'll be enrolling in an online class in the next week or two and then this sucker will be completed and crossed off the list.

11.  No credit card debt
Ugh.  Just ugh.

12.  Send more letters
I don't know why I said "more" instead of having a concrete number.  So far, I've mailed one package, two postcards, and three letters.  If I keep up those numbers monthly, I'll be happy.

13.  Create realistic workout plan
What is working out?

14.  Learn to crochet
I had a student teaching me this a couple weeks ago and haven't touched it/thought about it in weeks.  Is it weird if I put an ad on craigslist looking for an instructor?  Will pay in cookies.

15.  Grow closer to God
My goal is to achieve this by trying different things and seeing what works for me.  Maybe one month, I'll go to church every Sunday.  Maybe I'll try praying every night for a month.  Right now, I'm working toward this by reading two books for Catholics.

16.  Complete a 5K
The Frozen Feat is coming up in a little over two weeks.  I'm not foolish enough to think I can run most/all of it...but if I just finish it...it counts.

17.  Volunteer
I had orientation for the Mission about a week ago...but then my car appointment took too long and I had to miss it.  I've rescheduled.

18.  Finally go to the drive in theater
This is a summertime goal.

19.  Renaissance Festival

20.  Read 40+ books
I've read 5 books since my birthday.
1. Reached
2. The Killing Woods
3. Silver Linings Playbook
4. Me Before You
5. Ascendant

21.  Print more photos
Again, unclear goal.  I haven't printed pictures other than for work.  I'm thinking I might try and create a photo book.  I also want to do something with all of my Instagram pictures.

22.  Create more
I've already knit more this year than all of last year.  One night I went to a friend's house and tried my hand at drawing.  I made a new piece of art for my room.  I finally finished these pieces in embroidery hoops.   I would even tell you my typewriter series counts in a small way.
23.  Go camping
Summa, summa, summatime

24.  Make a quilt
I've talked with someone about this one.  I think this will need to either be something I do in little pieces (aka I need to get my sewing machine out of storage) or all at once (once school is out for the summer).

25.  Get my passport
I have all of the information written down.  Now I just need to get my picture taken, and take the financial plunge ($110 yo).

Typewriter-Week 3

This week was filled with quite a few unexpected ups and downs.  On the 20th, I ran out of typewriter ink.  I didn't realize how quickly I was burning through the ribbon with my quotes and daily letters.  But I was okay.  I order a universal ribbon on Amazon and it would arrive two days later.  I'd made two quotes for a friend, so I was covered for the 21st and would easily resume on the 22nd.  I decided that I'd just write my letter for the 21st on my computer and not let it stress me out too much because there was nothing I could do.
Then my ribbon arrived yesterday, the 22nd.  The first thing my dad said when I unpacked it was, "That looks too big.  Did you make sure it'd work?"  Well...no.  The word universal on the packaging made me believe it'd work.  I was wrong.  It was too big.  After five minutes of literally ripping apart pieces of the machine and trying to figure out a way to make it work, I had to accept defeat.  Two more days, I told myself.  I just need to find a vendor who has prime.  There were none.  I ordered the correct ribbon and had to resolve myself to the fact that it would be about a week before I could resume.
But I broke down.  I'd written my letter on the computer the day before and it hadn't felt right.  The typewriter had been something I'd grown used to using daily, part of my routine.  It was silly, I knew this, but it really was a coping mechanism.  I was devastated.
Oh course, my dad threw out the idiotic idea that maybe Office Max would carry my ribbon.  I asked him if he really thought a chain store would carry the proper ink for a typewriter that universal ribbons didn't work for?  Parents are stupid sometimes and don't realize that the times, they are a changing.  I drove to class, still crying and told myself I'd just have to figure something out.  Buy another typewriter-maybe visit pawn shops, put an ad on craigslist...anything.
After class, I decided to call Office Max and was told they carried some typewriter ribbon, and what type did I need?  I told the guy I'd planned on buying it based on looks and would be in soon.  After a miscommunication with the sales guy about what I wanted (he thought I wanted to buy the $150 typewriter, not just ribbon) I found the ribbon section.  There it was.  Mecca.
My dad had been right.  No real surprise there.  So, that is why there are two pictures for the 22nd.  The first one is post-meltdown, pre-ribbon when I decided I would use the old ribbon to create quotes or posts or something...I hadn't exactly worked out the details at that point.  The second picture is the authentic one.  Feel free to look back at the intro, week 1, or week 2!

January 17
Saw this quote on a co-worker's FB or Instagram, or some other social media.  As you can tell, I've definitely used my A Beautiful Mess app quite a bit since downloading it.

January 18
January 18th is something I told myself over and over and over again when I was dealing with a break-up.  It helped me realize you can't hold on to something or someone who no longer exists.

Janaury 19
Good advice for life in general.

January 20
January 20th is the day the typewriter's ribbon ran out.  This quotation was for a friend who I used to work with who commented that she loved the quotes and asked if I'd ever type up one or two for her.  I made a couple different versions, playing with spacing and layout, but just shared my favorite one of each on Instagram.

January 21
This might be the first picture of a quote taken outside of my house (a majority are taken in my bedroom).  I brought it to work to send out, to the same friend who requested the January 20th quote by Whitman, so I decided to share it attached to one of the many poms I have hanging from the library ceiling.
January 22
Used ribbon.  This was done right before class.  It really is the last bits before you can see the ink just dissolve.

January 22
Real quote!  I saw this one someone's twitter and loved it.  It seemed like a positive one to end my hectic day with.

As I wind down to the end of January, I don't know if I see this project continuing or evolving or just finishing.  I guess I won't really know until February 1st.

Typewriter-Week 2

This week's Typewriter post (feel free to read the intro and/or see Week 1) is a mish-mash of the Instagram pics and some of the unedited versions.
January 9
I did a lot of research on this Bradbury quote and found that it was something he seemed to say quite often.  Because of this, there are numerous versions out there on the web.  I just picked the one that appealed to me the most.

January 10
The George Bernard Shaw quote was originally posted on my Instagram slightly blurrier, with the misspelling more obvious, and in black and white.  I took the original picture quickly before leaving to dog sit and didn't notice all of the errors until I sat down to post it.  Oh well.  This version isn't much better but it will do.

January 11
This week also marks the time I finally broke down and purchased the A Beautiful Mess photo app.  January 11th was the first photo I edited using the program, though that's obviously not the one you see above.

January 12

January 13
Dylan Moran's quotation is just gold.  It hits super close to my heart.

January 14
My friend, Nichelle, had January 14th's quotation as her FB status and as soon as I saw it, I knew I was going to type it out.  A lot of people on the internet (because a lot of people are stupid-sorry) credit Vonnegut with this quote.  Nope.  It's actually from a blog called I Wrote This For You.

January 15
 Here is a real Vonnegut quote.

January 16

January 15th Playlist

Couple of the tunes I've been jamming to as of late.  Not much more I can say on the subject other than, I hope you enjoy it!

Fuller Life Stress

It seems that the happier I am, the more stressed out I become.  I think it has to do with attempting to have it all, and not necessarily knowing how to manage it all.

This year, I came up with the 25 things I want to accomplish before I turn 26 and I think it's caused me to be more intentional with my time.  Sure, I still marathon large amounts of Netflix, but I do it while working on my typewriter series (Intro and Week 1) or while knitting (which fits with 22 on my list-Create More).

Today marks the first official day of classes at school and while I'm thrilled to return because it means getting one step closer to the degree I've managed to evade all of these years, I'm also tired.  I wrote about my epic fail with my attempt to CLEP out of Spanish yesterday and that's just one small part of my education this semester this year.  The thing that hurts is how close I was, how close I am, and the fact that I have one more attempt before I need to chuck a couple hundred dollars toward a class that is only good on paper, not in my everyday life.  So this is consuming me.  I'm ignoring my excitement for my online class and having my first class on campus tomorrow, for the first time in over two years!  I'm focusing on this test because not passing means I need a night class that requires me to travel half an hour to and from it three nights a week.

I need to make a better planner system.  Years ago, I created my own, borrowing from hundreds of pins.  The planner I created fit my crazy life (I had four jobs at the time) and left me feeling Zen.  If it wasn't in the planner, it didn't exist.  This year all I have is a monthly calendar and the notebook that contains my 25 goals.  While this is fine for big picture ideas/plans, I need something a little more intensive for managing the minutes on days when I seem to have no time.
But I am living a fuller life.  Last weekend I went over to a friend's house and she taught a few of us basic drawing skills.  It was the first time I've hung out with her in entirely too long and the first time I'd done something social in over a month.  I had a fantastic time realizing that I'm a hopeless cause when it comes to drawing/sketching.

No hablo espanol

Today I took a test to attempt to CLEP out of 8 credits of Spanish.  Keep in mind that I haven't taken a Spanish course, or really thought much about the language in general, since I last took a class my junior year of high school.  I met with my advisor at school and found out that in order to graduate with my intended Secondary Education with a focus of English degree, I needed a boatload of foreign language credits.  The definition of boatload being 16 credits.

Now traditionally 16 credits take 2 years to complete.  Considering that I have no interest in being fluent, or using my limited Spanish in any capacity, I tried to figure out a Plan B.  If everything works out for me, I could graduate in 1.5 years, and there is no way I want to stay another semester for a language that I'm taking based on a need, not a want.

So I took a Spanish placement test today.  For some reason, UND will let me earn 8 credits or nothing.  So I can't even CLEP one class, it has to be two.  For the listening portion, I needed an 8, and for the other portion (more of a reading and comprehension sort of exam) I needed a 26.  I did really well on the listening portion, earning about what I needed, but on the reading and comprehension...I earned 24.  2 questions shy.

Right now I'm in panic mode.  I have one re-test allowed before I need to actually sign up for the classes.  The proctor recommended watching movies in Spanish to prepare, saying that 50% of the time it seems to allow your brain to remember/re-access the dusty regions associated with a foreign language.

Part of me wishes I'd bombed.  Coming so close and knowing that it's a matter of, honestly, guessing correctly on a few extra questions, is torture.  But I'm going to try and retest on Monday because if I don't pass, there is a night class I can enroll in that's a half semester, so I could finish 8 credits in a semester instead of an entire year.  If anyone needs me, I'll be listening to Spanish music and watching a crap-ton of subtitled films during the next week.

Colored Tights and New Glasses

I got new glasses the other day and am just a little shy of being obsessed with them.  My old glasses are square, so I decided to try out a pair of round frames.  When I was trying on specs at the doctor's office, my mom was not exactly a fan of these and wanted to know why these were my favorite.  I told her that every time I put them on and saw myself, they made me laugh-why wouldn't I get glasses that made me laugh and feel happy?
This is an outfit I wore to my job at the high school.  I was really excited about these tights because I got them for a crazy great price at Urban Outfitters.  I bought them specifically for this dress.

Crookston didn't understand what was going on so he came and jumped into my arms just as the picture was being taken. 

In addition to my cool frames, I thought my outfit was just bomb.com in general.

Can't not post super awkward pictures of me in my outfit.  This one was when I was trying to "frame" my shot.

Cardigan/Gap -- Dress/Kittson -- Tights/Urban Outfitters -- Socks/Buckle -- Watch/Fossil -- Bracelets/Buckle

And because I mentioned my glasses, here's a close up of their awesomeness.

Typewriter-Week 1

I'm both surprised and pleased to say that I've kept up with my typewriter madness.  One of my instagram followers works with my mom and told her, "Sara must have gotten a new typewriter, huh?"  Evidently my constant (read:daily) quotes are noticed, even if slightly unappreciated.

The first two quotes are on last week's post where I explained how I came to own this typewriter, and what my plan was.  In the interest of not being redundant, I'll leave those pictures alone and only share the newest ones.  I tried to cite the sources of the quotes when I could, but this thing we call the internet is not always so good at giving credit where credit is due.  If you know the author, or original source of a quote, let me know and I'll add that information under the picture.

January 3
January 3rd's quotation was taken after I wasabi-taped it to my inspiration (closet door) board.  That's where all the quotations end up, even though many of the pictures are taken before I place them there.

January 4
Dealing with grief and regret is what led to me choosing the above quotation.  I'm trying to let go of the painful things and thoughts that I'm carrying around because they just weigh me down emotionally.  This is a good, daily reminder to live.

January 5
All the pictures I'm sharing are from instagram, with the exception of January 5th.  For some reason, the picture I posted didn't save to my drop box, so you guys get the original, before it was chopped into a square.

January 6

January 7
This is one of my new favorite quotes!  So often we do things because we think we're supposed to or society makes us think we won't succeed.  Trying to live a better life for me and not do things just because I'm "supposed to" or "not supposed to."

January 8
I've also kept up with my letters, though I'm not sure if they're helping me or not.  I do like that it causes me to reflect and think and write daily, so we'll see if I continue on with this part of typewriter madness.  For now, it's working.  I love the hum of the typewriter and the sound of the words being created, but my sister complained that it sounds like I'm river dancing upstairs every time I'm working.  Oh well, anything that incidentally affects my sister is a win in my book.


I've come into a typewriter within the past month.  It came with lots of memories, both wonderful and sad, as its previous owner, a good friend, is no longer with us.

For the past three weeks, it had sat in my closet.  I'd catch myself staring at it when I was cleaning.  I pulled it out a time or two and just sat in front of it, looking at the keyboard, imaging that it held clues and explanations for what had happened to its owner.  Every time I thought about using it, I just couldn't bring myself to do it-everything I thought about writing seemed so trivial, so minor.

Then someone I follow on Instagram posted a quote that I saved to my phone.  It described how I felt and what I was going through in a simplistic manner.  It was the perfect thing to type.  So I did.

After I copied those words, it seemed okay to keep going-so I did.  I wrote a letter.  I wrote about how sad I was, how angry.  I wrote about the mundane things that were happening.  I just wrote.  Once I was done with the letter though, I put it away.  But the quote.  I wanted the quote somewhere where I would see it daily, so that I could be reminded that it was okay.  That I was okay.
I have hundreds of old library catalog cards that I'd purchased a while back with the intention of creating something wonderful.  They've sat in a drawer and collected dust.  I pulled out a few and began to type Broken Hearts, a quote I found author-less on Pinterest.

January 1st Quotation
A couple of pieces of wasabi tape later, and it was adorned to my closet door.  Done.
But then it was the 2nd of January.  Another new day in a new year.  I looked at my closet and felt a little bit of peace, but also like it was missing something.  So I pulled out my typewriter again.  I wrote another letter and decided that January was going to be a month of healing.  A month of letters.  A month of the typewriter that I strangely held responsible.  More than the letters though, I decided that I was going to find a quote that I loved every day and type it out on one of those old library catalog cards.  So this January, I will be sharing my quotes on Instagram (Stezie88) as I create them and hopefully, if I remember to be a good blogger, on this page as well.
January 2nd Quotation