Thursday, April 26, 2012

Coming Up Roses

One of my dearest friends who reads my blog paid me a very high compliment a few weeks ago.  She said one of the things she likes about the blog is that my posts are mostly happy and positive.

That just made me glow.

I do try to keep my posts sunny and positive, because that's the way I would like to be - if not all of the time, then at least most of the time!  If I'm perfectly honest, I'll have to admit...there are some dark moments, even when you're working at the source of the pixie dust.  There's negativity from fellow cast members, from the occasional grumpy guest, and from myself too - and it can be hard to shake it all off!

So it's nice to leave it behind when my fingers fly over the keyboard working on a blog update, or when my I'm pouring through photos to decide which to upload.  Creating a new post sets me free -- when I get to write or frame an interesting photograph or work on something with my hands, it's easier to take all the frustrations and things you can't change and just. let. go.

And you know, when life isn't coming up roses, then sometimes it just needs a little help, and maybe you can make the roses yourself!

...quite literally as it may happen!  Here's one instance of how I've been (at least trying!) to change negative to positive lately.  I *love* making these little paper roses while I'm on the front desk or concierge desk.  A fellow cast member taught me how; now I'm addicted!  I make them in red and purple and yellow, and each has a little stem, so I hand them out to the little princesses I see walking by.

It's so cute to see the reactions -- often the moms love them even more than the girls.  "Oh, her middle name is Rose!" they'll say.  Once I got the sweetest lady - she had surprised her two daughters at the last minute with a Disney vacation, and I gave them each a rose.  She LOVED them, she was amazed I had made them myself; said you never get anything handmade anymore, you couldn't buy these in the shops.  Luckily I had one extra one, so I pulled it out and made sure she got a rose too!

ANYwho, I've been working on a very special rose project of late.  My resort recently had an art competition - you had to use recycled materials from your work location to make some sort-of object d'art.  So I decided to use some of the unimportant recycled papers to make a bunch of roses and create something special, something with a little MINNIE in it.  Here's what I came up with:


Like it?  I thought it turned out rather well.  It takes about 3-5 minutes to make one rose, and there are roughly 4 dozen making my my Minnie head, so it did take rather awhile.  But it was really fun to make it!

I was so impressed with the other entries as well...our merchandise locations made a gorgeous diorama of Wall-E and Eve.  There were other lovely paper sculptures, a waterfall complete with potted plants, and one of the restaurants used some old kegs to make a huge basketball hoop!

I wish I'd gotten photos of the others, but I was early dropping mine off, so the others weren't out yet.  The Wall-E one took first place.  Out of seven entries, I got fourth.  Not too bad!

So for anyone out there that's been in a negative funk lately (and believe me, I know how it feels!), here's hoping some roses are headed your way soon! :)

4/24/2013 UPDATE: Well, it only took me a year (oops!), but I've finally got a how-to tutorial up on my youtube channel.  Here it is:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Toast, of the Tonga Variety

One morning I woke up and made an incredible discovery: in these eight months I have been living at Disney World, I have not once had tonga toast for breakfast.

Obviously this was something that needed to be remedied immediately!

So that very AM I hopped in the car and drove over to the Polynesian.

Have I ever mentioned that I love this place?  Really?  I have??  Are you sure? ;)

When you come across a bare tree at Disney World it's so odd!  I discovered an extra odd tree I had never noticed before.  I'm not sure if it was a cocoa tree or what, but it had these pods...


...and some of the pods seemed to have turned into fluffs of cotton.  Very strange.

I love just taking a stroll around the Poly before or after going to Captain Cook's.


A pretty, tropical pond and a happy, snobby shadow!

So. Tropical!

Soon I left the tropical splendour of the outside for the tropical splendour of the inside - of Captain Cook's!

See?  More beautiful tropical flowers!

...and pineapples too!

...and one thing I absolutely ADORE about Captain Cook's is that when you place your order you go on a magical tropical tiki adventure through the rain forest.

Today's adventure led to: the Tonga Toast.

After you've paid for your meal and are waiting for it to be ready, you have the opportunity to stroll around and look at all the delicious things you didn't buy but still could... basically everything in the bakery case.  YUM.

The kitchen, where Captain Cook cooks.

Looking into the seating area by the drinks machines...

...looking into the other seating room.  I usually prefer that one...I love those tropical flowers carved in the wood!

Then at last my buzzer started buzzing...

The Tonga Toast was ready.

Oh, yes.

Oh, OH yes.

YES YES YES -- Eat it already, girl!  So I stopped taking pictures and took a bite.

...and it was soooooooooo delicious.

It was perfectly sugary and crispy on the outside and soft and moist and banana-y on the inside and SO fried and unhealthy -- I was probably consuming all my calories for the coming week, but I couldn't even think about that.

It was around 10:30 when I got to Captain Cook's, and I hadn't had anything all morning, so I thought I'd be able to finish it.  But then I got half way through and began to feel full.  Luckily I had Yo the Yeti along...

That yeti was all ready to dig in with his sparkly teeth.


Yet even with our combined efforts, this was the best we could do.  There is just SO much of it.  I would highly recommend splitting it.  But I would definitely recommend trying it, even if you have to tackle it on your own.

Tonga is one of my favorite kinds of toast. :)

Fairies in Floral

One of the parts of Epcot Flower & Garden that I love best are the Disney fairy topiaires.  Tinkerbell and all her friends come into bloom along the pathways of Future World, and it is so pixie perfect and pretty!


Ready to enter Pixie Hollow?  The first fairy friend you'll meet is Silvermist!

Silvermist is the water fairy, so she is surrounded by little ponds.  Every so often a little stream of fog or mist spreads over the pond -- like the fairies are skating over it, such a cute touch!


More cute touches!  They had little fairy houses (like the one on the right) scattered throughout the gardens.  They were like tiny pixie dollhouses...I want one!  lol!  Also loved the little pixie ship in the pic on the left.


Another mode of magical transportation they had in Pixie Hollow was this little cottonball air balloon.  I think it's from one of the Tinkerbell movies.


Fawn, the animal fairy, and a sparkly tree.

There's a new Tinkerbell movie coming out that must take place in the "Winter Woods," so they were promoting that.

Of all the pixie dollhouses, my favorite, hands down, was this one, Tinkerbell's house!  At first they had it right up against this black fence, which made it impossible to get a really good pic of it.  But later they moved it back a bit...

I want to live in a teapot!  Well, not a fairy-sized teapot; but a human-sized teapot would do! ;)

Another view of Tink's cosy house!

The girl in green herself!

Tinkerbell and her new friend from the Winter Woods -- I think her name is Periwinkle.


So so pretty!  When I have my own garden I want some pixie topiaries to put in it, lol!

I LOVE how detailed the topiaries were.  Look at Periwinkle's darling shoes!

Tinkerbell and Periwinkle, since they're in the "Winter Woods," were surrounded by a bevy of beautiful white flowers.

Iridessa, the sunshine fairy!

Each fairy had a little plaque next to their topiary, saying who the fairy was.  It also had a little silver autograph that you could use a crayon to rub a copy of it onto a little map you got a the entrance.  From the look of this plaque, there were one or two crayons that lost their way!

Here's Rosetta's plaque and autograph.  It was so funny to watch the little kids using their crayons to rub off the little autograph.  Some would go to town and scribble so hard that they got nothing at all.  Others would ever-so-carefully and softly color and get a beautiful autograph.

...and yeah, I'll admit it, I totally did one too!  And I also have to admit that some of the kids did a better job than I; it's hard to rub lightly but not too lightly, lol!


Two more of Tinkerbell's friends: Vidia and Terrence.  Yes, I'm twenty-three, and I know all their names.  Is there a problem with that? ;)


More fun pixie dwellings!

There was a playground in the midst of all these pixie topiaries, and I did not get a pic of it.  But this is one feature of it I thought was cool...a little bamboo tunnel!

Lovely Rosetta!

And now, friends, you can say you've walked through Pixie least virtually! ;)  Hope your day is full of pixie dust!