Sunday, October 28, 2012


Yesterday was our first official head to head Quidditch match of the season, VT v UVA. We all headed down to the Drillfield, expecting a good close match. We were playing best 2 out of 3. The first match was quick and close, about 10 minutes long. We won with a score of 70-30. 

And then everything went to hell in a handbasket.

Something clicked in UVA's mind after that first game, and they found a way to completely shut us down. Their defense was absolute and we couldn't get near the goal at ALL. And to make EVERYTHING worse and more frustrating, they were ridiculously aggressive and physical. 

Quidditch is a full contact sport, which scares a lot of people away, especially girls. I'm good at taking a hit, so it doesn't deter me (thank you high school volleyball for teaching me how to roll!), but GOSH yesterday sucked. Those kids were hyper-aggressive, and nitpicking the rules, and yelling at the ref, and being really really scrappy. Our team was really taking a beating. But the weird thing is, they'd be completely douchey during the match, but come up to me and apologize afterwords. I didn't know how to take it.

There were three bad moments that really stick out, and they were all UVA guy on VT girl. A UVA chaser charged our girl chaser when she caught the ball, and was on top of her on the ground. She started kicking to try to get up, and he started yelling "REF, She's kicking! That's illegal!" And he got REALLY mad about it. I yelled over at him, "Well, when you mount her like a lion like that, she's gotta kick to get back up!". The ref agreed with me, but his attitude really grated against me. This kid has a terrible attitude on the pitch in general. Another time, our girl beater was picking up the bludger (for the record, chasers and beaters can't be physical with each other. You match up to like positions), and this guy COMPLETELY barreled her over. The third involved me and one of their beaters. I was getting the ball, and he came at me from the side/back. I was fine, I rolled out of it, but this kid hit my knee.

If there is one body part I am so protective of, it is my knees. High School volleyball ruined my knees, and I've been struggling with knee pain for years. I sprained my left knee last March playing quidditch, so I've been really careful this year to take care of myself. But this kid's bone or something collided with my right knee, and I was down. It's bruised pretty badly right now, about 22 hours later. But I wanted to hurt this kid. I could hardly walk, but I wanted to hurt this kid. I never got a chance to get revenge, but karma did. He ended up chipping his tooth out later in the match and had to leave early. 

Aggression can make or break a game. If one team is more aggressive than another, then the more timid team is going to get completely shut down. And that's where our downfall was. We had no aggression.

But I am still PISSED at that guy who tackled our girls. He was a jerk, and those are only two examples of many when he bent the rules to his advantage (or just blatantly broke them without repurcussion). But I have to take it with a grain of salt. If he were on our team, we'd love him. That's how sports go. And we need to learn from yesterday's game, because we have the Regional Championship in a week.

Me chasing from last weekend's match. I'm not afraid to square up against the guys.

To calm myself, I've been looking around for patterns for the baby quilt I'll be making. I need to run them by Flash's sister, and get her opinions.

Friday, October 26, 2012


I've been busting my butt in studio all week for a presentation today at 1. We're finally designing our schools, and I've been working on my drawings all week. 

One thing I've noticed about architecture school is that no one wants you to fail. Everyone knows that this is a tough major to go through, and lots of people do drop out. But people will go out of their way to help you out and make sure you're doing okay. I was struggling with AutoCAD earlier, and I had at least three people offer to help me out. I spent ages stuck on a Structures problem, and my friend asked me if I wanted help from one of her other friends in the class.

We all know how hard it is. We've all seen that guy who's still working in studio at 6AM, and we've all been that guy. Most of us have pulled all nighters to get work done. All of us have cried over a model (maybe not the guys, but all of the girls have I can guarantee). All of us have put in the hours and created amazing things, and all of us have bullshitted our way through a presentation just to buy ourselves some more time to think.

It breaks my heart to see people leave the program. Everyone in this building feels like my family, and I hate when they leave. Especially when they leave because they can't handle the pressure. I have such a strong support network here, and when people doubt their choice in major, it makes me feel like I'm not doing my job to support my peers. 

But people do leave, and we keep going. We still stay in studio until the wee hours of the morning. We still churn out drawings. We still have ideas. We still create. And we always help carry our friends who are having a hard time.

Last night, I went to a baptism. My two friends, Flash's roommate Tuck and his (recent) ex-girlfriend Rach, joined a church on campus. I forget the name of it, but essentially they are disciples of Christ and live their lives completely for God. My faith has changed and evolved over the years, but it was incredible to see how many people came out to watch them fully commit themselves to God. There had to be at least 30 young people there to support my friends and baptise them. 

I didn't believe the same way as everyone else there, but I could feel the energy and love that they all were sending to Tuck and Rach. It was incredible, honestly. Those two will now have a support network for the rest of their lives, and, they believe, for eternity. 

We are all surrounded by love and support. People may forget it, but there is ALWAYS someone in your life who will drop everything and help you when you need it. Be it spiritual guidance, emotional support, or just bringing you candy at 4 in the morning when you have a presentation at 8. People want to help.

And on a lighter note, I still have no idea what Flash's nephew's quilt is going to look like. GAH.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Projects on the horizon

There's a lot of work to be done for school. This semester, my studio is designing a school for autistic children in Clifton Forge, VA, and I've been working on mine for a week now. My site is an existing high school that's been abandoned for a while, and it's been an interesting process fitting my program into the existing building. The school building is almost 100 years old, so I have the really interesting design problem of integrating new design into a century-old building. 

This is the "old school" on the right, and the addition from the 50's on the left.

I'm actually really excited about the potential that I have to make something incredible. But it's hard to look past the little things and see the possibilities when I'm actually drowning in little things. There's a lot to think about, and I've spent the last couple of days trying to fit as many of my programming elements into the existing space as I can. Then, I'll know how much additional space I'll need. 

I may be rambling. I also have a cold right now, so my head is full of pain and sleep, and there hasn't been much room for architecture. I do my work in studio and count down the hours to when I can go home, put my sweatpants on, and lay on the couch. 

I caught mono this summer, and so this year I've put taking care of myself ahead of other things. Sleep is not only a priority, but a necessity. I used to stay up late in studio working, but now I'm getting better at getting things done efficiently and then going home to bed. Also, it helps that I'm not courting Flash anymore. This time last year, we would stay up until 2 or 3, talking on Skype. Now that we've been together for 11 months, we find other times to talk. He's really understanding about my crazy desire for sleep, too. He wants me to be healthy just as much as I do- that way we can get back to adventuring.

While all my school stuff is going on though, I'm thinking about quilts in the back of my mind. Flash's sister had a  baby a year ago, and I want to make the little man a quilt. I've started brainstorming, and I'm really really excited. The sewing machine is in Nashville, so I'll be able to work on it over winter break. But she and I have been talking and we've decided on an orange and green color scheme. I've been stalking my other quilt blogs, looking for inspiration :)

Saturday, October 20, 2012


It's always a bummer when you get excited about something you've made, only to have it get picked apart. Pin ups are exactly that. You present your idea, and everyone nit picks it. It's constructive, and it definitely leads to better designs, but man is it un-fun.

My professors hashed out criticism and comments on Friday, and gave us our homework: "You guys will be spending all weekend in studio. Also make section drawings." 

Not very encouraging or descriptive. So I'm planning on going in tomorrow to fix my design.

But today was our Quidditch match against UNCG and UNCW, so studio was put on the back burner. My quidditch family woke up early to truck on down to Greensboro for a day of fun. And fun it was! We won both of our matches, which is always a bonus.

My team, the Virginia Tech Phoenixes!


Typically, you can field a team of 21 for a quidditch match. Today, though, we were only able to rustle up 17 people to go. Also, only 3 of them were girls. According to the rulebook, 2 of the players on the pitch must be of a different gender (affectionately called the "girl rule"). It promotes fairness, keeps the aggression down a bit, and ensures that people get playing time. However, when you only have 3 girls (all of whom who are beaters), things get sticky because there's only one substitute for them. My fellow ladies and I did work today though, and our lack of numbers didn't really hinder our play. 

I played as chaser today too, which I don't typically do. I've spent years complaining about chasing and how I didn't want to do it, but today may have changed my mind. It wasn't too bad- I actually enjoyed it! Chasers are very physical, which I can stand up to. I had fun tackling guys and scoring a goal.

UNC: Greensboro were wonderful hosts, and UNC: Wilmington were pretty awesome too.

After the matches ended, I drove over to my grandparents' house for the afternoon and evening. My grandmother is the one who introduced me to quilting, and I've been looking forward to just going for a quick visit. We talk, I read her quilting magazines, and we pick fabrics for her projects. Today we decided on the binding for her version of Red Pepper Quilt's Zig Zag Rain Fence Quilt. She was very set on having a border, but we decided that just the binding would look better.

My grandparents filled me up with food and my grandfather helped me fix up my car. I love visiting for their company, but the food and car help are definitely nice :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Post Birthday Post

I realized after pulling the pies out of the oven that I forgot to add cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg to the filling. They taste fine, just... really pumpkin-ey. Which is fine. But I still feel bad.

Yesterday was a wonderful birthday. My boss let me leave work early, studio wasn't too horrible, and classes weren't bad. Fern, Ginger, my best friend Bamboo, Flash, and I went out to dinner, then Flash and I met up with some friends of legal age to go downtown.

The bummer thing about having a birthday in October is that you're older than most of your friends. So I didn't have many people go downtown with me. Flash and his roommate came, and two friends from the Quidditch team. But we had fun, it was trivia night at one bar and there was live jazz at another. I was sufficiently intoxicated, but within reason for it being a weeknight (oh, the woes of a Tuesday birthday....) Overall, good times were had. Also I got to eat fried pickles. 

Flash gave me the last of my birthday presents last night: a book on my FAVORITE architect, Frank Gehry. Yeah, make fun of me, lots of the academic architecture world thinks he's dumb. But I love just how innovative and out there he is with his designs. He's not afraid to push the envelope (or bulldoze the envelope, as it were), and I admire that. Fearless design rocks, and it inspires me to do amazing things. Or at least attempt amazing things.

Studio has picked up, and we're back to designing. I'm really excited, I'm spending a late night in studio. It feels like normal. In the last two months we've been doing research and case studies, so picking up my exacto knife and churning out a model feels great.

I'm working on a site model for my project. It's tedious and long work, but I do enjoy it. (I also enjoy chips.)

ALSO MY FABRIC CAME IN TODAY. SO EXCITED. One of the fat eighths had a piece cut out of it, which was a bummer, but I'm not too worried about it. The woman who I bought the fabric from put in a piece of this cute goldfish print in with my order, so I'm not complaining about anything.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Funks and PIE.

I hate those days when you wake up in a funk. When you just kind of lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, and think, "Wow, today is going to be terrible." I tried to combat it this morning by wearing my red boots and birthday flannel (it's extra soft, so that was a bonus), but I couldn't shake it off in time for studio.

And boy, was studio a huge kick in the face. My teacher's method of education is "dump tons of information and tasks on everyone so they're overwhelmed, and then leave so we can't answer questions." We're designing a school for autism in Clifton Forge (a hypothetical project), and today was day 1 of design. We've been doing research and other boring stuff since August, so we were all really excited to start thinking architecturally. We picked our sites and were all rearing to go, and then my teachers unleashed a rain cloud of reality: we've gotta design these things up to code.

It makes sense, in the real world everything is up to code. But it was mildly terrifying to hear my teachers just keep listing things we needed to think about: building height, fire safety, means of egress, fire windows, ADA requirements for kitchens and bathrooms, zoning, setbacks, flood planes, minimum net square footage, DOA (department of education) requirements, the list goes on. My classmates in other studios are designing auditoriums and pavilions, all nice and simple. We're designing a school. 

Without going on too much of a tangent, I'll just say I was overwhelmed by the amount of work thrown at me. But throughout the day I was able to tackle a lot of it, and have some nice design ideas I'm going to work with. One of these days I'll write about the project for you. 

Flash and I chatted a bit over Skype during studio, and I told him how pooey the day had been. So, he made plans to take me and Luca to the park after I got out of class. It was a beautiful fall afternoon, brisk and colorful and it smelled like Halloween. We took a walk around the park, him with his camera and me with my second birthday present from him.

He found out from a friend about the Sketchbook Project, an art showcase type thingie where people buy a sketchbook, fill it/modify it/make art with it however they like (within a size limit), and mail it away to be in a travelling exhibition in March. He knew that I like to make sketchbooks and draw a lot (being an architect and all), so he got me one.

I drew a bit at the park, to break it in. I'm really excited about it actually, and I'm already making plans to take the book apart and add more pages. He was very proud of himself for finding out about this, and I can't blame him. This is a really neat project and I'm really excited that I get to be part of it.

Muum and Todd-Face bought me a sugar pumpkin when they visited me in September, and tonight I decided to make a pie. Well, two- I had more than enough filling. I'd never made a pumpkin pie before, let alone a pie from a pumpkin (as opposed to a can). And it really isn't all that hard either. I would show you guys the finished result, but they're still baking.

It's just like when Muum would fix butternut squash for dinner. Except I'm not protesting vehemently about eating it. Getting older does things to you, I suppose.

Speaking of getting older, I went to Kroger and found some NEAT hard cider from Virginia Apples. It looked cool and I wanted to buy it, but apparently 3 hours from being 21 is still not good enough to buy alcohol. No hard feelings Kroger, but I wanted that cider. Guess I'll wait til tomorrow.

Also, I realized that my photographing skills/backdrops/camera are all not that great. My adventurous waterproof point and shoot is GREAT for adventuring and swimming and doing things, but not so much for taking nice photos of studio projects or blog worthy images.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


My 21st birthday is on Tuesday, so Pa and the Jewish Mother came down to visit me for the day. We went to the football game, and had a grand old time. The Old Man's alma mater didn't have a football team when he was a student, so he's living vicariously through me. We had fun yelling at the team, eating stadium food, and playing "Where's Waldo" with Flash down on the field (he was photographing the game for the school yearbook). 

Pa is pretty on the ball when it comes to presents. Both of my parents asked for my birthday list about a month ago, and I just kinda filled it with things I vaguely wanted. There wasn't really anything I needed, so I didn't know what to ask for. But man, he and JM blew me away. They got me a couple new flannel shirts, 21 scratchcards (I won $23), a gift certificate to a snazzy restaurant (so Flash and I can go eat something nicer than chicken stir fry for a change), and a year's subscription to the Original Craft Beer Club. ISN'T THAT AMAZING? I had no idea things like that existed. 

Muum got me a really awesome book that I found in Van Allen Books in NYC in September, which I was really really REALLY excited about too. "The Sky's the Limit: Applying Radical Architecture". I'm stoked to finally begin my architecture library. I feel kind of behind the ball on that when compared to my classmates.

Flash read through the book and found that one of the buildings is in a town called Middlefart, and now he won't stop talking about farting in the middle of Middlefart.

Flash was really excited to start giving me presents, too, so he gave me one a few days early. Back in May, we went on a roadtrip to Seattle. At the Seattle Aquarium, I revealed my adoration of octopi and lamented the fact that I didn't have an octopus charm for my charm bracelet. The man remembered that, and got me a really nifty charm. I'm a huge fan :)

Speaking of Octopi, I managed to get my hands on some of Heather Ross's Mendocino prints. I saw them in a quilt this summer, and died a little when I heard that it had been discontinued. I was internetting around this week though, and found some of her prints for sale on etsy. So, I decided to drop some cash and get myself a birthday present, and I am SO EXCITED! I got a yard of the yellow octopus print, and it came in yesterday. I'm waiting for 9 fat quarters to come in soon as well. 

Ah, fabric and beers. Now I'm really enjoying waiting for the mail to come.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Beginning

I've been thinking about starting a blog for a while now. I feel like I do enough interesting things to warrant people wanting to read about me- I quilt, I travel, I cook, I play Quidditch, and I'm only in my early 20's. I've got YEARS of adventures ahead of me, and I want to share them.

I've started reading lots of quilting blogs lately, because I want to improve my quilting skills and really get into sewing more. However, I realized that the target demographic seems to be a little.... not me. These women are either in their early/mid 30's with small children, or older women with grandkids and a surprisingly good knowledge about computers and the internet (I jest, I just know my grandmother has NO idea what a blog is). 

There are young people like me out there who picked up crafting at the feet of their mothers and grandmothers, and are just starting to hone their talents. And I'd love to get in touch with them- talk about things we've made, how expensive fabric is on a college student's budget, different foods we've fixed on the cheap, and what we want to do with our lives.

So here we are. I'm here, and I'm going to talk about all of these things and more. So come along for the ride!