Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Get It Out & Get Back On Task!

Some random thoughts gathered from the depths of my brain while working from home this morning:

1) Hummus tastes really good on scrambled eggs. Especially Trader Joe's hummus. Who knew?

2) Varnish takes a reeeeeally long time to dry. Or maybe it's just 'cause I'm impatient to finish this project so I can take it to work and tell y'all about it! Aargh!

ps: This is not the brand I am using, but don't you *love* that it's called "Extreme"(!!!) varnish? LOL

3) This is my 101st blog post! I had no idea - thanks, Blogspot, for letting me know :-)

4) So, most of my adult life I've thought that I totally hate clothing, but I'm coming to realize that I only hate clothing in other parts of the country. In Portland, where the status quo is sort of a relaxed, hippie-ish, organic cotton vibe, getting dressed for work is becoming far less irritating. It also is involving more skirts, leggings, and upcycling stodgy old pieces of clothing. Yay!

5) I've discovered the *perfect* Christmas gift for all of my (local) friends on Pinterest! Here's your hint - the packaging will look somewhat like the picture below. Speaking of, I'm addicted to Pinterest - et tu?

6) While my DFW friends are sharing stories of shorts and air conditioning, I got to wear a sweater to work yesterday. I'd forgotten how much I *love* wearing cozy, comfy sweaters and feeling the crisp Fall air in the Pacific Northwest on my face - yes!

Okay, then, all random thoughts out of my head and into the blogosphere. Let's get back to work!

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Tale of Three Tees

Do you ever get the itching to just...create? Start feeling restless and need to feel something under your fingers, something you can manipulate and make it entirely new? Repurpose and reuse and realize how something in your imagination can become real when you use your own two hands?

Yeah, me too.

I got the bug for tees to skirts after seeing a pretty young thing tooling around downtown Portland in what looked like the most perfectly broken in jersey skirt I've ever seen. Casual, comfortable, and oh-so-chic. I'd show you a picture, but I haven't gotten quite so comfortable in Portland that I'm ready to accost strangers with my Blackberry yet - maybe a few more weeks before I give that class act a try!

So I did what any happy crafter would do - As soon as I got home, I jumped on my computer and Googled my butt off! Check out some of my favorites from the dozens of tutorials I perused:

Melissa @ Sew Like My Mom shares her adventures in Shirt Skirts - uber-cute!

Destri @ The Mother Huddle suggests using and old undershirt for an Easy Elastic Waistband

Mandy @ Sugar Bee Crafts made Easy Knit Skirts for herself and her two adorable daughters

Ashley @ Make It and Love It constructed a Skirt with Yoga Style Waistband from a shirt

...and finally, Cathie @ Domestic in the City nearly got me off-task and onto about 101 t-shirt makeover projects!

Utilizing tips from all of these tutorials, I confidently headed off to Value Village to find my tees. I had a liiiittle too much fun in the men's department - my initial pull included 17 tees. A few too many for an initial experiment, even as less than $4 each. I had to get serious: first, I lined up the tees in order of price. Second, working from least to most expensive, I made some tough decisions. Red tee with gangsta, tattoo-style imprinting? Amazing, but at the high end of the price range. Black tee with studded copper-colored design? Gorgeous, but I had doubts about it hanging nicely with that much weight on one side. In the end, I narrowed it down to three tees: #1 was a nice, plain purple generic tee; #2 was a deconstructed green tee from Old Navy with an orange, tribal print on one side of the chest; #3 was periwinkle and featured lyrics from a Steven Curtis Chapman song. Total cost for three new skirts, including the use of two worn-out tank tops already in my closet? $8.97.

Tee #1 Before
Man, I really need to learn to hold my Blackberry still!

Tee #1 After
Quote from my Step-Mom: "I would SO wear that!"

Tee #2 Before
I almost kept this one as a t-shirt - it looked so comfy!

Tee #2 After
Deconstructed, reconstructed, and soft as a newborn's insteps

Tee #3 Before
Cover your heart in lyrics

Tee #3 After
The lyrics are upside-down to y'all, but perfect for me to remind myself:

we are the treasured and the prized
we are the apple of God's eye
we are the ones who fear his name
we are the children he has claimed as his
we are the ones God sent his son to rescue

we are the ones to keep the rocks from crying out
we are the voices that will shout his praise
we are the sons and daughters of the almighty God
we are the children of God

Thursday, September 22, 2011

So I'm Back...Sort Of?

It's been a summer of changes, that's for sure. I had an amazing job offer in Portland, Oregon (my home town) - really, it would not be an exaggeration for me to say it was my dream job. How many people can say that about a job offer at age 30?? I'm just going with that thought, as well as considering about a thousand other details, my dear husband and I decided it was time to pack up and go. Yes, we left our beloved DFW behind and shipped ourselves back to the Pacific Northwest. Hard to believe it's been 12 years since I left Portland for college I am. Here I am. Just me.

Monkey Boy & Daddy are currently living up in Tacoma, Washington, where my dear husband got a job. Being an elementary school teacher and given the ridiculously bad job market in the Pacific Northwest (much worse that Texas, we're finding) it is truly a God-send and an answer to our prayers for him to have a position. There is much to be said fo
r a paycheck and benefits, especially with a small Monkey around. It has definitely been a challenge to our marriage and our family life already in the three months we've been here, but we can do it. We are committed to doing it - I think that's what makes the difference. That and Skype, which Monkey has endearingly nicknamed "PING!", as in, "I'll PING! you tomorrow, Mommy!" My boys are currently living with my amazing Mother-in-Law, who is retired and cares for Monkey before and after school with lots of love, lots of homecooked meals, and lots of cousins coming over to play. Monkey has taken to his big extended family like a fish to water.

It's still pretty surreal to me, in every aspect of my life, actually. All the commuting back and forth to Tacoma (about a 2 hour drive) isn't helping much with getting myself mentally centered either, I think. Most mornings I wake up and I have no sense of where I am - Texas? Washington? Oregon? No clue. I've been having some issues with insomnia (it's HARD sleeping in a bed by yourself after years of co-sleeping!), so it's a good thing m
y Dad & Step-Mom have an awesome cappuccino machine. Oh, did I forget to mention that? Yup, I've moved in with my dad and step-mom. Luckily, they have a big house in the West Hills of Portland, so I have my own space and they have theirs. My room, which is seriously about half the size of our apartment in Dallas, has an attached full bathroom and is in the daylight basement of the house. A daylight basement, I've learned, occurs when a house is built into a hill, so one side of the room is window-less, facing into the hill, and the other is fully above ground. I have a huge window and a sliding glass door on the above ground side, the latter of which leads onto a deck with a hot tub and has steps leading down into the woods, where a creek runs about 200 yards away from the house. Yup. Tough gig, living here. Not too say there aren't challenges, though: I haven't lived with my Dad since my parents got divorced in 1986 - when I was 5 years old. I've never lived with my Step-Mom, but luckily she and I get along like peanut butter & jelly. I'm blessed, I know. How many adults get a second chance to get to know the parent who wasn't allowed in their childhood?

Why yes, I *am* that girl who will hold up traffic in order to take an awesome picture while commuting! My husband finds it hilarious when I refer to Mt. Hood as "my mountain" and burst out with Portland colloquiums such as, "Look! The mountain is out today!"