Welcome to my home-cooked journal.
Here you will find my rants about every day life and things that keep me busy.
In the past I have frequently written, but there's no saying if I'll continue on that path. It all depends on how busy I am.
Have fun reading my scribbles.
I proudly present my By Brenda portfolio website! It has taken me quite some time and two tries to make something that looks somewhat like I had in mind (though I had to make some concessions) and that still works well on small devices like phones and tablets. I did three courses about responsive web-development and responsive images and tried my best to make this mobile friendly. I learned quite a lot but also experienced a lot of the know frustrations of my first job, though I must say that there has been much improvement in the world of the web.
If you find any mistakes on the site of any kind (spelling, errors, malfunction) please let me know and tell me what kind of device you were using. Mind you: I tried to keep the images as low in file size as possible but to get clean images you do need some quality (thus bigger file size) so loading the detail images of a portfolio item might take some time especially when you're on a slow connection. However: you load these on demand (after clicking an icon) and not at first page load.
Now I still need to get an online shop and produce some more stuff to sell and get this thing going....
I notice the days are getting shorter (no!) but the weather is still mostly good and now that we have a swing-couch in the back yard I will need to spend some time on the thing to finally finish the shawl/wrap that I am making with this pattern. It was originally started because I like the pattern, but now it has become something for my Orenda character Crissy. I've also worked on it in character.
So, what have I been up to since my last blog post? Well... on the first of July I could have gotten surgery for my hernia but I cancelled that. Then in the evening there would have been a little festival in Veenendaal on which Amersical would perform a couple of Mamma Mia songs. Alas, the weather sucked and it was cancelled. Retry on the 26th of August (and the weather looks to be boiling hot that day... omg.. I'll be wearing spandex....).
On the third of July there was an Orenda special; a picknick in a beautiful park. Both soggy (started with pouring rain) and sunny and quite thrilling. It left me aching for more. Fortunately we did not need to wait too long because 12-14 August the main event was held. More about that later.
Instead of celebrating my birthday in the weekend following the 29th of July Matthijs and I went away for the weekend to a camping that we had visited before on a cycling holiday in 2013. Den Ouden Dam in Kesteren. We rented the 'Gite' which was a good thing considering the weather. It was mostly clouded and even a bit rainy, so not the best weekend for a camping trip. But it was way more relaxed than celebrating a birthday with the resulting stress and then not being able to sit in the garden. We did take the corset with us to tinker on it some more (the cups needed 5 iterations to become 'good enough') and we finally came up with something that would work at that point. Until that stress was gone I didn't realize it meant so much to me to have it finished. Stupid Muse, forcing me to make a mock-up into something wearable for the event....Then my brother got the keys to his new house and we drove to Enschede on two separate days to help out a bit. Stripping a closet out of the bedroom, stripping the bedroom walls of wallpaper, removing plinths from the livingroom floor and Matthijs was puzzling about the electric circuits in the house. Then 1,5 week more of working on the corset and a matching top and then finally Orenda!! Or in Matthijs' case the Summoning. It was weird to leave him on Thursday evening to go to Cora and Rene with whom I would drive to the event. And on Monday I came back and Matthijs was still at the Summoning. We both had our own stories to tell but it took me a lot of effort to concentrate on his because I was so full of my own experiences. Still am. It doesn't help that my IC fiance is available for chat nearly daily. ;-)
So now I am planning on yet another costume upgrade. This time the skirt. I want to make a new mock-up (honestly, mock-up!) corset with a pattern that I will draft myself to prepare for the wedding dress (though we're postponing the wedding since we have so much fun in the time leading up to it). I want new covers for my other IC shoes (which will match the new skirt better than my current shoes) and I'm writing more IC letters and trying to come up with some more interesting/conflict generating background for my character. There'll be some IC chats as well, perhaps a special. But the main event will take a year (nooooo!) of waiting. However, this buzz should die down sometime... I'll just need to concentrate on the next fun thing: balfolk on September 11th in Wageningen.
I'm still learning German via Duolingo, doing some online Udacity courses on responsive webdesign (trying to figure out if I want to work in that field or not), planning to start home-training for belly dance again and in September Amersical and streetdance will start again too. Enough to keep me distracted. Oh... and of course I'll need to start looking for a job again in earnest, though I am still unsure what to do. I'll have a talk about that with UWV at the end of this month.
No surgery, but disaster strikes nevertheless!
Oh drama! :-p
Well, as the title states I have decided not to have surgery on my hernia. The reason is that I was afraid of the treatment and the long looooong period of revalidation. Besides that the pain was manageable. There's some pain in my hip every now and again and on bad days also on the outside of my right calf but is not as bad as I thought it would be without the medicines. And I can surely say that I have kicked off of those meds now, so this is all the pain that there is left.
Then how did disaster strike? Well, because I had expected our vocal coach to be wearing my outfit for the extra performance on the first of July I laundered it (by hand). Yesterday I noticed some 'water stains' and decided to wash and thouroughly rinse it all again. But, the horror, the stains only got worse and some of the blue dissolved and left silver behind! So now my top is ruined! Fortunately I did not wash the pants because there was less armpit sweat and make-up involved there. So that one is still good.
I do have some blue spandex left. Probably enough (even with the stretch in the right direction) to replace the entire body. However, that will be a hell of a job that I'd rather not start on. Unfortunately a little voice is screaming in my head that I could never wear this again anyway, so just fix it and be done with it...
Mamma Mia the musical - what fun!
Last weekend Amersical performed "Mamma Mia, the musical" in a theater in Amersfoort. It was great, despite some health issues of several people, including myself. I caught a cold on Wednesday and over the weekend slowly lost my voice. Crappy timing!! So on Saturday afternoon things were still quite well, on Saturday evening I could not do my long note in one of my solos and on Sunday I even had to playback some songs! So frustrating! Fortunately my singing coach offered some advice and the rest of the group sang along with me so that my sound feed could be turned off or louder depending on what my voice did.
I had some trouble with my hernia on Saturday but on Sunday it was much better, however I overburdened my right ankle with the heels I was wearing (saw the doctor today for that). But the show had to go on, and it did. :-)
The audience for the matinee performances was (as always) a bit timid, but the Saturday evening was (as always) great. We even got applauded for just walking onto the stage in our glitter outfits! We got lots of compliments. I even got compliments via other players from 'their' audience! There was quite some stress in changing costumes and physical discomforts, but it is always such a rush to perform together.
Of course we ended the weekend with pancakes in De Kabouterhut as is tradition. But this was not the final act. We will perform in a retirement home next week on Monday and we were even asked to come perform at an Abba-party on the first of July. How cool is that?! (Less cool is that the 1st of July would be the day that I undergo surgery for my hernia.... so let's really hope that it is not necessary!)
Mamma Mia Musical