Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Random Acts of Craftiness: Jacks Lampshade

The day has arrived. It's the Random Acts of Craftiness due date. Luckily this is pass/fail based purely on participation. Even though I feel like I failed, I participated, so I passed, woohoo! When Erin gave us the assignment of crafting with game pieces I drew a blank. There were way too many options. Finally I thought of the the simple game of jacks, played with a ball and metal pointy thing, yes indeed, called jacks. I attempted to make a lampshade.
After much measuring I thought I knew how many jacks I needed. One jack every square inch should have added up to just over 90 jacks. So I ordered 96. Well... I should have ordered closer to 200, or maybe even 400 if I put them closer together.
Since I didn't know how this would turn out and I didn't want to sacrifice my existing shade, I built a wire frame for my lampshade. It just consisted of bending wires until they made a circle and some stands.
Then fishing line and a few mornings watching The Price is Right before school and this is what I ended up with.
I love the shape of jacks. They are so fun.
As you can see from this beauty shot, I didn't have enough to even get half way done. But I got the front side finished.

My husband likes them closer together. What do you think?
I have been so busy going back to school that this is as far as I got on this project (and I got this far on it this morning, on the linky party due date). I have intentions of buying more jacks and spending more time tying them together with fishing line while watching The Price is Right. I just haven't had time to do it yet. I think I'll change the shade to a different lamp though. This one has too much silver.

I'm super impressed with everyone's projects who have linked up so far. Good job crafters!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

An Answer to Mo


     I apologize for not answering your question on Tuesday before I got off the bus. I've thought about your question for the last two days. I was expecting to see you on the bus again today to give you an answer. For whatever reason you weren't there. But I still have an answer for you (even though you don't know about my blog because I don't give personal information to random people on the bus).

     The short answer is, I just do. I doubt you wanted such a brief answer when you asked "How do you keep doing it when school gets hard?" I don't think of any alternative. Quitting isn't an option. As soon as the thought of quitting crosses my mind, I throw it out like the month old Indian food in the depths of my refrigerator. I can either do my best or do my best. Those are the only two options I give myself.

     I used to get trapped comparing myself to other students. They'd go above and beyond, turning assignments in early, making study guides, and coming to school extremely early only to leave a few hours before they'd have to return the next day. I got so discouraged because I would never be a good student like they are. Then I realized that I'm not them. I don't have to do what they do to be a good student. I just have to do my personal best. I make goals for myself. If I don't meet those goals then I've let myself down. Instead of dwelling on it I remind myself that the next day I can do better than the day before and that's all that matters; improving myself every day with only my previous self to compare against.

     Think about all you've sacrificed to go to school. You came all the way from Tonga. Your parents got your started on the path to American citizenship. That's amazing! You seemed impressed that I already have a bachelors degree at 24 and that I'll have a second one in a little less than two years. But I'm impressed that you are in a whole new country, going to school, and learning the confusing bus system. Even though you're in your first semester, you've sacrificed enough that it's worth it for you to keep trying your best and to finish. Eventually you'll have enough classes finished that you're more than half way to graduating.

     There are people to help you. Parents, friends, classmates, teachers, advisers, and many other people invested in your education. But when it comes down to it, your name will be on the diploma and you will have to do the work to earn it. You have to want it.

     By going to school you will gain so much. You will gain knowledge about things you've never heard of before. You'll probably gain knowledge of things you never want to hear of again. Hopefully, you'll also gain the ability to keep learning, to think about issues from multiple perspectives, and to find solutions to tough problems.

Best of luck to you my single-serving friend and may the force be with you.