Sunday, May 30, 2010

5 Reasons I'm Pretty Cool

One of the tasks on my 101 in 1001 is to come up with 5 good points about me. Most of us are our own worst critics, so I figure this can be a good reminder that I am actually pretty great, and that while I screw up, I'm still awesome.

1. I have ninja knitting skills
2. I have a sharp wit
3. I can be a good mom, when I pay attention
4. I'm a great listener
5. I have spectacular taste (see: Hubby, Ester, and various awesomeness in my life)

That was actually'd think finding 5 reasons that make you cool wouldn't be all that this a sign that I am, in fact, not ACTUALLY cool?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rebel Alliance

I have been welcomed to the Dark Side, which in my life, makes me a Rebel, though in Star Wars, the Rebel Alliance were the Jedis. After waiting months for the day of my appointment to arrive, yesterday was finally The Day. I stopped at a local pub and had a delicious, peppery cup of clam chowder, and headed over to the studio.

We discussed color schemes, final placement, and made sure any tweaks I wanted were done.
Waiting to begin, with the stencil in place!

My work was done by Tanya at Above The Pearl Tattoo, a lovely shop that is by appointment only, and you are the only person there getting work done. It was a peaceful place, which I was very thankful for, as I had some serious jitters going on. She talked me through everything, gave me breathing techniques for getting through the more painful parts (some parts of the wrist are VERY sensitive!), and gave me breaks when I needed it.
In progress

Taken without looking, because while I'm a trooper, I just cant watch needles + skin

During the time Tanya was working on me, we had the window open for some fresh, rain-soaked air, and soon we heard shouting. It became more clear as they got closer to her studio, and I guess there was a protest of some kind going on last night. We never did figure out WHAT they were protesting, all we heard were chants of "Go home mumblednameofsomeoneorsomething". But, it provided interesting conversation, and helped, again, distract me from the burning feeling of the needle.
completed outline

I may be a geek, but I totally ooh'd and aah'd over her awesome tools. this stencil thing was amazing, and the purple that the stencil was totally reminds me of the old microfiche (spelling?) papers we would get in school. I know I'm dating myself, but that purple used to be the go-to ink for whatever they used to make copies of worksheets in my elementary school.

I hadn't had a particular color scheme in mind, so in talking with Tanya, we decided to go fully traditional, as my whole design is traditional, and she made it AMAZING. As it heals, the colors will POP more, and the shading will be obvious. Right now, it looks pretty solid, which I still like, but I'm excited to see the healed art too.
final product, about 5 minutes after she finished

I am SO incredibly happy with this! It was absolutely worth the wait.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Another one bites the dust

So...I've hinted here and there about something big coming up, involved travel, and my need for a passport. girl from Belarus is GETTING MARRIED!!! Long story short (because I have yet to write out the whole story here), 2 student exchanges and my wedding later, she and I are good friends, and basically consider each other sisters, as we're both only children. She announced earlier this year she's getting married, and that it just wouldn't be complete without my attendance. All together now...awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!

But, I know how she feels. My wedding would have been seriously lacking if she'd not been able to come over for it.
As you may have seen, I'm working on a list of 101 in 1001, and once she invited me, "go back to Belarus" went on the list. so did "purchase tickets to go to Belarus", because a trip really isn't ever -real- until you have tickets.

You guys...

I have tickets.

My father is a genius.
See, the thing is, a trip to Belarus from the US is anywhere for $1500-$3000 USD. Now, I'm your average Jane with a day job and a bad spending habit or two. $1500 isn't just sitting around in my life, waiting for that perfect opportunity to be spent! HA!

Talking with my father, he offered me his Frequent Flier Miles, and all I had to do was purchase the remainder of the miles to make mine a full ticket. I still have to get a ticket to get from Amsterdam to Minsk, Belarus, BUT....I officially have tickets to get myself into Europe!!!

So...I have a $1900 ticket, roughly...and it was less than $500! This is such an amazing life I can afford a few souvenirs while I"m there!

So, prepare yourselves. I'm taking my digital camera, and I know how to use it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Don't trust anyone

In our house, with 4 adults, we have a routine where Matt gets little M ready for school, my mother in law Donna takes little M to school, and I usually pick her up. When Donna is on the way to school with little M, they play various games, chat, whistle, pray and generally try to start the day with a good mood.

Thursday morning transpired as such:

Little M: I used to be rude to Grandpa, but not now. Now I love him.
(this is true, she used to avoid him at all costs. We never really figured out why, except that he mercilessly teased her. But lately, she's accepted him as she does the rest of us. I guess we're learning pack dynamics here?)
Donna: Oh? Why were you rude to him before?
Little M: I didn't trust him, but I trust him now. But...I don't trust restaurants.
Donna (after a confused pause): You...don't trust restaurants? Why?
Little M: I just don't trust them.
Donna: What do you think will happen?
Little M: I think they might poison my food!

We have NO IDEA where this idea came from...we can only assume someone must have talked about getting food poisoning from a restaurant within her earshot. Donna then relays this to Matt and I, and we're both baffled. Little M LOVES going out to eat, so this is news to us.

Fast forward to Thursday evening...Matt has just arrived home.

Little M (attacking Matt's legs): DAAAAADDDDDYYYYYY!!!!
Matt (disentangling himself, towering over M): Hey Little M! So...I hear we don't get to go out to eat anymore?
Little M (confused stare): What? Why??!
Matt: You told Grandma you don't trust restaurants, so I guess we can't go out to eat anymore. more Chinese food...
Little M (abruptly, and quickly cutting him off): Oh no! We can go to the Chinese place! I trust the Chinese!!! one else.
*cue the rest of the family DYING of laughter*

Good to know. When she gets older, and brings home a dating partner that isn't Chinese, I am SO throwing this in her face. Yep, I'm an awesome mom.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.

I have a small area of wall in my sewing room that has become my art "collection", if you will. With only 3 pieces, I can't truly call it a collection, yet they're all art, and they all sing to me. When I'm not looking out the window (directly next to the art), I'm glancing over these pieces, smiling to myself and often noticing new details or textures I hadn't seen before.
My "collection"
Sparrows and Bleeding Heart, by shaireproductions
Crush, by kmberggren
Crush, by kmberggren
Merchild, by kmberggren
I just adore each of these pieces on their own, and as a collective on my wall. They all represent love in some form, they are by talented artists, and two of these were given to me by people I love.
Do you ever find that the more progress you make toward something, the more motivated you are to keep going? I think this is a normal facet of human nature, and I am no exception. Lately I've made serious progress on The Big Secret Sewing Project, and my piles of cut fabrics are bigger! I'm nearly done cutting everything out, and will soon be able to start assembly. This is WAY ahead of the time I thought I'd be doing all this, so now I'm thinking, maybe I CAN actually do this whole bag business on a large scale. If I can knock out this thing, I am going to feel like Super Woman. It could the kick in the pants I need :)
The piles they are a growin'
The bolts, they are a shrinkin'
Do you have a collection of sorts that inspires you?

Monday, May 10, 2010

What are Heelys?

As I have written several times about learning to use my Heelys, etc, I have come to realize that not everyone lives in my little world of Awesome. In order to induct you to this world, I will begin by introducing you to Heelys.

One day, probably two years ago or so, Matt and I were strolling around the Oregon State Fair. In a booth we randomly came across, there were stacks and stacks of shoe boxes, proclaiming that one could run and skate without changing thier shoes. We looked a little closer, and saw they were Heelys, shoes with skates in the heels. As tempting as they were, for $70 a pair for adults, and not a lot cheaper for kids, we walked away empty-handed.

Fast forward a few years, and we're rambling around at Ross one day. Suddenly, Matt comes over to me with a big old cat-got-the-bird grin, holding a pair of pink and white Heelys! For $10!!!
Once again...


We're not stupid. We bought those suckers so fast the checkers thought a tornado came through.
Speed through another year or so, and I'm cruising Ross with my girl Ester (noticing a pattern here? Yes, I'm cheap.) She comes from the shoe department with a pair of Heelys for HER, for $15!


I went back and scoured the shoe shelves like a crazy person. I mean, I moved all the shoes to see if any were hiding, I checked all the sizes in case other people are like me and "hid" them there. Nada. Ester scored the one and only pair that day.

Since my day job has me near that Ross, I've been leisurely checking for them again about twice a month or so. A few months ago, I scored! Again, just for $15, and I'm pretty sure they'd just stocked the shelves. I had about 5 pair to choose from, and Ester nabbed a second pair.
Mine are styled like this, but are brown with little flowers on them and rhinestones. Because apparently I"m a sucker for girly.

Since then, I've been working on the unique balancing act that is skating on Heelys, building the muscles in my shins that are required for allowing yourself to roll distances. I've just about got it, and it's providing no end of entertainment to the boys at work as I skate around the kitchen on breaks.
I'm the weird mom who wears mismatching outfits, styles her hair in the 40's styles, and wears Heelys so I can skate through stores with my kid.
You know you're jealous.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday Five

I randomly put in "Friday f" and waited to see what Google's auto-complete would give me. Hence, today's post is now a Friday Five!

Today's Friday Five is brought to you by my need for lists, and the things in my life that make me smile:

  1. Our cat when he "talks" to us, especially in the wee hours of the morning
  2. Finally getting that one counter/corner/desk cleaned off and neat
  3. Cheering for the softball team that little M is on, even when they don't score - they have a blast and that's all that matters
  4. Figuring out how to skate on my Heelys, and having little M clap her hands and say "GOOD JOB MOM!" in response
  5. Tinkering with my blog to get it just right, and getting the results that I want - do you like it?
So...what makes YOU smile?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I Hope You Dance

Earlier today, as I was sitting here cutting away 30 yards of interfacing (in about an hour thankyouverymuch I ROCK), I was listening to a pile of songs I've put together on If you've never played around with that, you totally should. If you've ever listened to Pandora and gotten frustrated, you should check it out.

Playlist allows you to literally build yourself playlists, and listen to them. You can't download it, so they're not violating any of that jazz, and you get awesome music! One of the songs that came on was LeeAnn Womack's I Hope You Dance. It's a beautiful country song about jumping for the chances life gives you.

My favorite line:
When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance
There's so much more to that song, but that one line sticks with me every time I listen to it. I like to think I've taken chances in my life, that I've risked things. Honestly? If I have, they've been small. I have yet to take that big leap of faith that changes one's life. I honestly haven't seen a time in my life to take it. Perhaps I look at life as though the big leaps just aren't that big to me, I'm not sure. I know some would say adopting little M on what essentially, was a 30 second conversation, was a leap of faith. Others perhaps see a few other things I've done in life as big risks.
All I know is, God seems to put things in my path that just seem right, they fit perfectly, and so I embrace them. 

They don't feel like a big leap of faith, a big risk, or life changing until I look back. Often, even when it's life changing, when looking back I can see my life was already heading that direction, and the changes weren't a surprise.

Looking forward, there are so many possibilities. So many chances for things to turn out amazing, or to come to a crushing halt. I have no way of knowing where my path will lead, but I do hope that when I'm given the choice to sit it out, or dance...that I will leap to my feet with a grin on my face and never look back.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Daily Blessings 5/3/10

Today's thankful items are brought to you in picture form. Hover over them if you're not sure what it is supposed to represent!