Hello; It’s Me

Its been a long time since I have posted anything on this blog. I decided to first take a mini-vacation, then that turned into a hiatus, then a “I’ll post when I feel like it”.

The problem is that I have had far too much going on to give any attention here. A lot has changed in the last few months and while I do have more free time, now, I find it filled with housework and chores. This is all fine of course, but it has really made me consider my plans for all of my outlets; video games, the blog, my Facebook page (which is thoroughly unsuccessful), Twitter, Instagram, crafting, couponing, my Etsy shop, and my personal Facebook account.

How much can I handle before I break again? It is a lot to keep up with and the more I think about it the more it just makes me…sad. Why would I continue doing things that give me no joy? I love keeping in touch with people, but hate that icky feeling I get when I don’t have any “likes”, or when something doesn’t understand and posts an off-handed comment. My worth should not be defined as such.

If you could only see me now. I’m lying in bed, pondering such things and trying to remember what my therapist told me: “Live in the moment.”

Meanwhile, my husband is at work, putting in extra effort so that I can be healthy.


A few months ago, we saw that my mental state had deteriorated to the point where I would burst into tears and find myself unable to explain why. I had terrible thoughts that really scared me, and though I was (and still am) going to therapy, I was not getting better.

Brett wanted me to talk to management and let them know that I was unable to work my scheduled times, in an attempt to move me into a different position. While they’ve been able to do this in the past for others, unfortunately, they were unable to do so for me.

So I left.

While this sounds like a bad, rash decision, please note that I have been unhappy for a very long time. I am fairly certain that the only reason I made it as long as I did was because I worked with my husband. He kept my sanity intact as long as he could without even realizing it. He was there for every outburst and every panic attack to get me back up and running.

Just a side note, but you know, it’s humorous to me how quickly people jump to conclusions when you put in a notice at work. I had many people ask if I was pregnant (“No, sorry to disappoint”), if Brett and I were getting a divorce (“Absolutely not!!”), or if Brett was leaving, too (“Not that I’m aware of”). Everyone was very quick to find a valid reason for my sudden notice. At first, I was embarrassed to explain exactly why I was leaving. How do you condense nearly four years of pain into a sentence or two?

So I settled for, “I’m not healthy and need to focus on getting better.” Generally when people heard this, they were happy for me. Sometimes people would press for more details. A lot of people couldn’t understand why I would just quit my job without having another one. I understand; I was really hesitant to do so.

Honestly, I’m so much happier. I can take my time and really decide what I want to do. I’ve thought about going back to school, perhaps finishing my AA or getting an Administrative Assistant certificate. In the meantime, I’m able to really focus on myself, while spending more time with family and friends.

I’d like to spend more time making things, now that I have time, and with that, the hope that I can blog more. I genuinely do love sharing my experiences with other people, and hope that someone finds benefit from what I’ve learned.

However, I’ve decided to step back from Facebook. I feel very sad (overall) when I use it; as though I am not validated unless I have likes and comments.

Instagram will stay, because cat photos. Even though it’s algorithm is messed up (like Facebook’s), I feel it’s a more positive place for a personal account.


I suppose that’s all. A raw update? An unfiltered essay? I’m not sure. It feels good to get it off of my chest, though.

Standing Up for Myself

Hey, everyone. I’m currently on a holiday hiatus, but something came up today that made me feel very empowered, and I wanted to share it with you.

My next official post will be January 5th, 2018. (no longer on a schedule)


I’m usually a very reserved and introverted person. I have a hard time standing up for myself, especially in public with strangers. Confrontation makes me nervous and it’s frankly something I avoid, if I can.

Today, a man at a local store called out to me, “I like your leggings!” I replied with a “thank you” because yes, they are badass leggings. (shout out to my people at Wild Bangarang!)

If it had stopped there, it would have been fine; compliments are OK. However, the wolf whistle that he made (after I had turned the corner)  was not.

I had to stop.

Did that really just happen?

I’ve had unwanted advances (well beyond just compliments) before. The last time was humiliating for me. Afterwards, I avoided wearing my leggings because of it.

I decided that I was tired of letting these people control how I feel. I am tired of letting their comments affect my wardrobe choices or how I think about myself.

I called back with a simple, but firm, “That’s not appropriate.” His disappointed “Oh…” was satisfying. I felt that for the fist time in my life I had really stood up for myself, against my nature.

Don’t give others control over your happiness. Don’t tolerate disrespect. Stand up for yourself, even if it makes you uncomfortable.

My Joann’s Haul

I have a confession to make: I spend far too much money at Joann’s.

I could easily spend hours in that store and still end up walking out the doors with far more than I planned.

Needless to say, my husband grimaces whenever I mention wanting to stop by. He knows when I say, “It’ll only be twenty minutes or so!”, it’ll really be an hour or more.

I ended up hitting my Joann’s store twice, a few days apart. The first day I went, I wasn’t even aware that there was a sale going on! I had received the mailer the week before, but thought that I wouldn’t have any time to go, so I had already forgotten about it.

On my way home from a meeting with a friend, I decided that I’d swing by. Both my Silhouette blade and mat needed replacement and I didn’t want to wait for a shipment from Amazon. I wish that the coupons they had worked on Silhouette supplies! At least now I know to keep a back stock on hand!

Once I had found my supplies, I did my usual swing through the fabric section. For me, perusing the fabric section is the highlight of any Joann’s trip. Of course, this is probably one of the reasons that no Joann’s trip is a quick one.

I noticed the sale sign above the patterns. Simplicity patterns were five for $5.00! I was so excited that I practically ran to the pattern book table. I think the hardest part was deciding on only ten patterns!

 

After looking at what they had and finding only the patterns in my size, I decided on these ones!

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Lots of girly patterns this time around.

 

I mostly focused on costume ideas for this trip to the store, although there’s a few extras.

I’ve been eyeing the Lolita dress pattern for a while, because my best friend, Erin, and I want to make one based off of an inside joke. We’re wanting crazy cat prints!

I picked up both 1153 and 8316 based on possible future gifts or things to just occupy any spare time I have. I really loved the belt on the Firefly inspired pattern, and of course I had to get the Moonie pattern, too. I tried convincing my husband, Brett, to do a Mario/Luigi or Mario/Peach costume with me, but so far he seems to need a bit more persuading!

 

If this wasn’t enough, I decided to pop by the store AGAIN on another day. The sale was still going on and I was in the area dropping something off at a friend’s house. This haul was more on the McCall’s side, because at this point the Simplicity patterns were slim pickings!

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I love seeing the HUGE savings number at the bottom of my receipts!

 

I was really hoping to get the Simplicity version of the Japanese school uniform pattern, but they didn’t have the plus sized pattern in stock (insert frowny face here). However, the McCall’s version should cover everything I need, if not with a little adjusting.

I also grabbed a pattern for Brett, which is the printed suit pattern, D0850. I don’t know what pattern he’ll end up wanting, but it’ll be a hit, I’m sure.

I didn’t get as many costume patterns this time around, mostly because everything was pretty sold out. But I did get a few for-fun project ideas.

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I can’t wait to put these to good use! 

Craft Room Update and Vinyl Transfer How-To

Today’s post is more of an update on my craft room progress as well as being a how-to. There’s a lot of photos in this one because I wanted to make sure that I could explain my process well.

I wasn’t really happy with how my current white board looked in my craft room. I wanted something that looked cleaner and more bold than my crummy handwriting. It really doesn’t help that I don’t know how to write straight, whatsoever.

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Those of you who follow me on Instagram or Facebook may remember when I made a very large vinyl decal for a customer. Her plan was to install it on an upcycled window to use as an outdoor display. It turned out really great!!

 

I decided to challenge myself to make a good decal to run across the top of my white board, which would make it an even longer decal than the welcome one I had made before.

Now, you’ll probably be looking through all of this and find yourself thinking “Why didn’t she just remove the board from the wall?”. That is a great question. I didn’t think of that. Luckily I’m pretty tall so I didn’t have to worry about over-extending my arms to reach anything.

I measured out the total length of the board (46.5 inches) and then decided on how tall I wanted my decal to be. I decided that five inches tall would be adequate to make a statement. I didn’t really care how long the design was; as long as it was more than half the length of the board. If the design wasn’t long enough, it would look stunted.

After taking measurements, I had to find a font that would look good. I wanted something clean and legible with a handwritten look. Once I had my font and design done, I welded the shapes together in Silhouette Studio and sent it to the Cameo to be cut. I chose teal outdoor vinyl (Oracal 651) since I wasn’t really sure that the indoor vinyl would adhere to the weird white board surface texture.

Could I have tested this? Yes. But I didn’t because I don’t have a great color selection of indoor vinyl right now.

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Luckily, since this design was so big, it was really easy to weed out the excess vinyl. Once I had the excess removed, I carefully applied my transfer tape. I use the masking tape method for tape application.

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Using masking tape in the center of the design, I carefully peeled back the transfer tape from its backing. Once I reached the masking tape in the middle, I cut off the backing and used my super awesome squeegee to press down the tape onto my decal.

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To do the other half, I move the masking tape over just to the left of the remaining backing and repeat the previous process. I then thoroughly burnish the decal to the transfer tape using my scraper tool. I like this method because it’s essentially fool-proof!

Next, I needed to clean off my white board. Using an eraser isn’t enough, though; there was still a lot of particles and ink residue on the board.

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This is where our good friend IPA, or Rubbing Alcohol, comes in. Using a paper towel and some of the cheap stuff you find in the first aid department, I went over all areas twice and then once with a less damp cloth to make sure there was no residue remaining.

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Once I was satisfied with my board’s state, I went in for the alignment. Originally, I placed my decal where I thought the middle was, but couldn’t get it just so. I took the difference between the length of the design and the length of the board, divided it by two and put a mark at that measurement on one side. Then I aligned one side of my decal with the line at the height I wanted.

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After that, I followed the masking tape method for application, which is exactly the same as it was for the transfer tape placement.

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Before I did the second side, though, I noticed I missed a tiny piece when I was weeding the excess. Luckily this is easier to fix if you catch it before you apply the vinyl to your surface.

In the loop of my lowercase “r” was a little bit of leftover. I just used my hook tool to carefully pull it from the transfer tape. Once that was done I finished the placement and removed my masking tape.

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I burnished the design really well using a scraper to adhere it well to the surface, then removed the transfer tape.

It looks so much better (and more professional) now! I finally feel like things are coming together and that my personality is coming through!

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I still cannot write on vertical surfaces in a straight line, however. Maybe I should work on that next?

 

If you’re looking for someone to make you a super awesome decal such as this, you can either send me a request using the form on my Contact Me page, or request a custom order on my etsy shop.

The One Where Candace Changed Her Name – Pt. 2

This is part two of a three part series! To read part one, click here!


Since I had finished everything I needed to at Social Security, I headed to the Department of Licensing to do the next step of my name change.

On the DoL’s website for changing your name, it states that you have to visit Social Security before applying for an enhanced driver’s license. I could have applied for a standard license without worrying about Social Security, but with the travel restrictions coming in to play for non-enhanced licenses next year (read the official DHS article here), I decided to just bite the bullet and get the “fancy” one.

Once I arrived at the Department of Licensing (read: NOT the DMV), I was greeted by many warning signs…

Needless to say, it did not look well. The number that was called as I took my ticket was 152.

I was 198.

I took a seat and messaged my husband about the general exhaustion I was feeling. I was thankful that I had someone to message to keep me 1) sane, and 2) awake.

After about an hour, they called my number and I whipped out my padfolio.

Me: “I was married in October and I’d like to get an enhanced license with my new name, please.”

Woman at Counter: “Of course. You’ve been to Social Security already, right?”

Me: “Yes! I just came from there.”

Woman: “…it usually takes 24 to 48 hours for the changes to take effect in their database.”

At this point I was at a loss. No where online did it mention how long I needed to wait after changing my name with Social Security before I could change it at the DoL and other places.

I could have been in bed already! The woman at the counter went ahead and checked my social security information, anyway, in the (apparently extremely rare) case that it had already processed in the approximately 2 hours since I had left. However, that was not the case, and my visit ended with me going home.

At least I had half of the work done!


I ended up waiting until I got my physical social security card before I went into the DoL. I didn’t want a repeat of what had happened before, especially with my limited daylight hours.

This time I went in about 5 minutes before they opened. There was a line about 20 people long in front of me this time and it wasn’t long before they opened the doors.

Once I printed my ticket, I had a seat and waited. It was only around 20 minutes before my number was called up. I did a vision test and the identity check, then filled out a small questionnaire.

I was instructed to keep my ticket and to listen for my number to be called again for my photo to be taken; waiting this time was about another 15 minutes or so. I wasn’t waiting for horrendous amounts of time in-between call ups. For my photo, my glasses had to be off, which felt strange to me. But they need to be able to scan your facial structure in case of crazy situations.

One click and flash later, I was sitting and waiting for my interview.

With the Enhanced Drivers Licenses in Washington state, you are required to have a small interview, which seems to be so that they can check to make sure that you are telling the truth about what you put on your questionnaire.

It was fairly straight-forward and I was done relatively quickly. I was handed a paper receipt and was told to keep my punched (expired) ID with it until my new one came.


Now that I have gone through the whole process of doing this, I know exactly what steps I would tell someone in my situation to take. Things can seem easy when you research, but bumps always occur when you get down to business.

Next time, I’ll have an easy to read synopsis of what you should do when changing your name.