Monday, March 11, 2019

Much Ado About Busy

I often offend more distant friends when I say I've been busy... I don't intend to leave a text unread for over two weeks or... a month. I've found that my most true friends are just as busy as me and no matter how much time has passed, our connection is the same. Once reunited, there's just so much more to talk about. I've also been lucky to have have a great circle of like minded women from work. The engineering field and all the amazing people who support the engineering group in the City have made my professional network a personal one as well. For the friends who make an effort to pester me, thank you for knowing who you're dealing with. I appreciate you. <3

2019 has been a BUSY year so far. I started a new job as a Construction Manager for drinking water, which was big change from working in sewer construction since I've been out of school. As someone who is incredibly process oriented, it's been difficult to adjust to the idea that 'there's a million ways to skin a cat - and  - there's a million ways to manage a project.'

I've also been getting a lot of publicity for work I did with my old bureau, which was showcased on NBC, Time for Kids, and my alma mater. As an introvert (trained/performing extrovert due to necessity), these commitments to talk for even an hour, often drain me. The way I self care is crafting alone with my fur kids, shopping a far out estate sale, or SLEEPING a lot... However, a personal goal of mine is to get more women and communities of color in science and engineering, which is why I often talk about my career in public settings. My newest project is working on a book, meant to be the WOC's version of Lean In - after finding out that there are practically no books on being a female minority working in STEM.

Outside of career outreach, 2019 has been keeping my weekends busy with volunteer work:
  • City African American Network (CAAN) - we put on some amazing public / city oriented events for Black History Month 
  • Good in the Hood Planning Committee - please help and sign up to volunteer for a shift this summer (June 21 - 23)
  • Judging Scholarship essays for the Al Forthan Scholarships by Volunteers for America
  • Continued work on STEM outreach / curriculum creation for kids.
And, I'm trying to reignite the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) in Oregon, which has got me networking at various events around the Portland/outer metro areas. 

This last month, I started a ceramics class with a good friend, and it has been amazing to learn a new medium. I am terrible at throwing pots, but I am having so much fun. Painted my first piece last week and am hoping it survives the kiln this week. Kudos to instagram pottery accounts for providing SO much inspiration. 

I'm still running two spaces at Found on Fremont - Blind Cat Vintage is still kicking and our cat themed shelf is routinely stocked. Come get your cat themed kitschy goodness at 4743 NE Fremont, Portland, OR. 


A quick craft/upcyle of vintage items that have been doing really well in the space have been my curating of vintage illustrations. I love framing 1960's illustrations from old books / collage materials. They are the perfect accent to the items in the shop. 

Notice that most of the illustrations I'm drawn to are cats... 

In order to clean out my art room, I've also started refurbishing furniture again and a few pieces are in the shop now. Latest project is my dining table - a mid century gem I drove an hour to McMinville to get. Pictures will be posted if it survives a minor staining, gloss varnish, and reupholstering. 

Not going to share more pieces, because I was a little obsessed with this cloth and it was used on way too many items...

I've also gotten really into beading / making jewelry again. I've even started buying strands of beads, which I never used to do. Usually just inherited beads my mom was tired of looking at. Brass tones and natural materials are still my jam though. I've ended up keeping most of my earrings for my personal collection too - which is a first! Fellow jewelry makers know that we often don't wear our craft! Jewelry is a fun instant satisfaction craft and doesn't take as much muscle as my furniture projects.

SO - this is probably the longest post I've done in a while and I still haven't covered the hours I've spent planning the next months ahead. Trips abroad, comicon, classes, and big exams are to be had and I'm both excited and tired already. :)