Thursday, December 8, 2011


last month, kirby turned ten. it was an occasion worthy of a party. one year ago i started thinking about things i wanted to do to celebrate the decade. i wanted to make a photobook with all our favorite pictures from the last ten years. i wanted to have cool decorations and party favors. i wanted to make a beautiful cake. i wanted kirby's friends there to make the day extra special. then i found pinterest and all my planning turned to pinning. pretty soon, the months i had to prepare and make things were slipping away. throw in some extra projects, normal busyness, and an unexpected visit from family and i was tossing plans out the window left and right. ;)

what remained was still a very nice party. no one missed the doily lamps i wanted to create. no one knew that there were supposed to be two extra desserts on the cake table. no one knew that the invitation was supposed to be more elaborate. no one knew that all the pretty pencils i had bought to be party of the treat bags had disappeared, never to be found (and still haven't surfaced). i hadn't made a birthday dress, but kirby still had clothes on her body. we made lipgloss and shrinky dinks...lots of shrinky dinks. it was a very nice day for a very special girl, and in the end, that was the biggest goal.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

t-shirt scarves...revisited and restyled

late this spring i became obsessed with the t-shirt scarf. after seeing a pin on pinterest i raided andy's t-shirts for anything too big or too old or too unworn. with my metal ruler and rotary cutter, i whipped out four scarves in under an hour and was feeling quite good about my new undertaking. who doesn't love a scarf?

the next week i went to the thrift store and scanned the racks for half-off tags, quickly flipping past shirts with screenprinting or applique. the week after that i went the goodwill outlet store otherwise known as "the bins". at the bins, they weigh your cart and you pay for your goods by the pound. it's time consuming, but if i ever have a chance to go without children it is so much fun. (i realize that statement makes me a bit sick and strange, but i'm okay with that.)

today, i was cleaning my sewing room...a project that has been taking me weeks to finish. there was a pile a shirts waiting to be scarved. while working through them, i started having visions of restyling them and wearing them in different ways. here are a few options you can probably do with things you already have:

mix with assorted necklaces of the same color...or different colors.

take three strands of your scarf, cut them open and braid. fold your scarf in half and loop your braid through. sew ends of braid together and wrap the sewn part with a small piece of leftover t-shirt.

take two long strands of seed beads and loop them around five t-shirt strands. let the beads fall open with the scarf. loop the longest bead necklace, if you like.

loop your t-shirt scarf in half and knot a scarf on the side. tie the ends together.

use a long necklace to loop your t-shirt scarf in half. your necklace must have a clasp to open. you could do the same thing with a piece of ribbon or lace. twist the scarf four or five times before looping the necklace.

use a bracelet to fasten together your t-shirt scarf after you have doubled it. this bracelet wrapped around twice. bracelet must be able to open. turn clasp to back.

have fun...let me know what else you do with your scarves!

lice creeps me out

i totally ended with a preposition, but they do. lice creep me out!

this year we did not have a hot enough summer to kill the little buggers, so there have been many reported cases of lice this fall. freak out. FREAK. OUT. seriously.

there are a lot of things with which i can deal: sickness, fungus, yeast, itches, etc, etc. lice...i am not prepared to deal with lice. i have no desire to deal with lice. it's not just the bugs. they are disgusting, but it's not just ridding them from the scalp that drives me to this paranoia. it's the debugging of the entire house...the entire, huge, overwhelming house. bags and bags and bags of potential eggs on stuffed animals or in clothing, suffocating for two weeks. it's the unending laundry. it is a pain and inconvenience i wish with all my might to avoid.

my paranoia sent me searching for lice repellent formulas...they have to not like something and i was praying it was an essential oil i contained in my collection. a few clicks later, i was reading through a list of things that deter or kill lice. in less than five minutes i had whipped up my first batch of lice repellent spray, thoroughly saturated my children, pulled up the girls' hair, and went to school (where some cases had been reported) to brave whatever lice remained.

over the course of our two hours at classes that morning, i used my spray on all the carpets and chairs in the main gathering places and anywhere i knew the students who had had lice had been. that evening i sprayed the couches at the dance studio. every day for the next two weeks i sprayed everyone before we left the house. i am no longer paranoid...i am prepared.

erin's lice repellent spray

20 oz distilled water
40 drops each: lavendar, tea tree, peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils

shake well before spraying.

note: i did not have rosemary when i made the first batch of this and figured four out of five was better than none. as far as my reading/research said, tea tree and eucalyptus essential oils were the most important, though i had another mom tell me that rosemary was in fact the most necessary ingredient.

off to the races...cyclocross 2011

since moving to portland, each fall andy has raced cyclocross. last year he was granted a signal team paint job on the modified "meschke" bike he rode his first year. this was special because #1: he was getting to be OFFICIALLY on the signal team, and #2: the meschke bike was the first bike nate built...and was the first bike andy raced.

this year is his fourth year of racing, so it's all pretty familiar. andy's trying to place under 30, but would ultimately love to be finishing in the top 20. perhaps if he worked in a bike shop and had endless time to ride his bike. by the end of the year he will qualify for the "master's category"...for all the old guys 35 and up. ;) i'm sure he will stick with his singlespeed category, shunning his age and going for glory on one gear.

here are some of the best of this season's races so far...

alpenrose dairy

 rainier highschool

the hill that makes your eyes pop out

portland international raceway

fun with uncle nate while waiting for andy's race to start

one of these days it will be pouring on sundays again, but for now we are enjoying a few dry races. i'm hoping for at least one more...we will see what tomorrow holds. ;)