Sunday, April 29, 2012

Decision Making

My little sister is in London this summer, which makes me a little jealous. It's hard to believe I got back nearly 4 years ago.

My sister has some... difficulty making decisions. I suppose that should be "Difficulty" with a capital "D" or perhaps a capital "DIFFICULTY". Of course I'm happy to help tell her what she should do and what's not worth it, but with the time change and my love of a good night's rest it's not always practical.

So today I whipped up a little decision making aid.

Things that will help my suggestions make more sense:
  1. When I'm traveling, I operate under the theory that I've already spent $__(some thousand)__ to get here, and it would be ridiculous not to _______ because I didn't want to pay the last $__(14 or 35 or whatever)__. The same is true for being there and choosing to do nothing.
  2. I'm not much of a "thing" person. I'd rather splurge on experiences and skip the gift shop.
  3. Cameron does our finances. Not because I can't budget, because I can... my budget just allows me to run right up to the edge. Cam likes a safety cushion because being at the end of a rope sounds less appealing to him. I find it a bit exhilarating. 
Would you advise her differently? I'm curious what your decision process would be.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Spring is here!

Where have my posts been the last couple of weeks? Here's a clue:

Finding Portland from Uncage the Soul Productions on Vimeo.

 Here's part of the description: "Finding Portland was produced, shot, and edited in 51 days during March and April..." And it was completely made with still images! I'm impressed.

There's noting more beautiful than a sunny spring in Portland.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I Dyed: Part 2

So for the rest of the story that my attention span was too short to cover earlier:

Since my back patio died, and I didn't feel like doing it out front and then explaining to my neighbors why their children are blue, I went to my Mom's. Also, she has a garden hose for rinsing.

Okay, so I mentioned that I used dye, but hopefully you realized that it would be below me to dye it all one color. I used wide masking tape to make a nifty little pattern.
Here's the other crazy thing about Rit: it can dye bathtubs. If I wasn't in a rental I would try it. Instead I used every burner on my mom's stove to boil water, and poured them all into a 5 gallon bucket.

I tried my best to evenly dump the bucket on the rug. Here's how that went:
Then it started raining so my mom and I drug it over by the side of the house (because I forgot that it would get really heavy when wet). I left it there for a month.

The next time I went over I came armed with 2 boxes of dye. Instead of dumping it from the bucket, I hand ladled it (which is why my hands turned blue). There were still white spots, so in the end I bought two more boxes, and this time I ladled the dye into my mom's spray bottle (love you mom!) for a nice, even coat. In the end I got it all covered, and ended up with a sore muscle in my wrist from prolonged repeated spritzing.

Time for step 2: second hand blanket + hot glue.

Lots of hot glue. Like 10 sticks of hot glue.
And here's the shocker the hot glue has held together for the past month. And the masking tape worked surprisingly well, although it would have been better if I hadn't pulled it off after coat 2 and tried to put it back on before coat 3.

*Moral of the Story*
Hot glue works BUT now that I know about Rit, it would have been about a million times easier to just buy an ugly floral rug at Goodwill and have at it. ALSO, in the end I used 5 boxes of dye, and the color would have been more consistent if I had done it all at once without letting it dry in between. ALSO, wear rubber gloves.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I Dyed

I'm finally ready to talk about the blue-hand episode. Not that it's taken me two months to get over it, it's just taken me that long to finish. Actually, I finished two weeks ago and wanted to wait to make sure it would hold up.

I'm pleased to announce it has, so here is the story -- If you've ever wondered why every picture I take of Wes is on a blanket, this is why:
Lovely brown carpet full of so much yuk, that I would prefer that his little hands--that will inevitably end up in his mouth--not touch it.

I had been on the lookout for a rug, but you know me, I'm such a control freak I have to do these things.

So one day I was at Goodwill and came across a ridiculously cheap large carpet remnant. I wondered to myself, "I wonder if there is a way to finish carpet edges." After googling it, I found this gem (but really, don't waste your time, I'll tell you all about it):

Nope, not from the 90's. It was posted on YouTube in 2008. I know, I watched the whole thing thinking it would be so bad that it's funny... but it was too bad even for that. The gist of it is, you use their special instabind edging that tacks to the carpet, and then you go around and attach it firmly with (get this) hot glue.

As soon as I heard that, I thought, "I'm no dummy. You just used piping with a sticky side to tack it. The real trick is the hot glue." With that, my mind was decided and I went back and bought the carpet.

The only thing that I was sad about was that it was so very plain. I turned to pinterest, and apparently crafters these days are into painting their rugs. Does that sound crunchy to you too?

I was lamenting to Cam and he made the mistake of wondering aloud if dye would work. I said, "maybe, but where would you get dye?" And thus Cameron accidentally introduced me to Rit dye, which I'm sure he already regrets. According to their website, you can even dye buttons. How awesome is that?

And this post just got too long. I'll finish it later, I promise.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Some Things to Smile About

In case you needed something to smile about today, here are some pictures from the last month or so:

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Project Organic

Some friends of ours at church came to us a few months ago with an awesome opportunity.

The last year they had worked helped an older gentleman with his very large garden, and shared in his harvest. But they are going to be moving in August, so they offered us the gig.

Cam was thrilled.
 I'm a little hesitant about the work involved.
Especially after he sat us down to go through the seed catalogues.

I thought everyone went to Safeway or Home Depot and bought seed packets and tomato starts like my parents always did. But apparently, if you're hardcore and want an organic garden, with seeds grown and tested in Oregon, you order them. Even the tomatoes.
Aren't these seed packets gorgeous though?

The last month we got some of the earlier ones started in some peat pots in the "hot house." I think I'm going to ask if he would mind a mural on the shady side. It's kind of begging for it. 
We also got some heartier stuff into the raised beds, just in time for a late winter storm. Here they are all covered up for safety:
See how big this thing is? We did an entire bed of spinach. We's is going to have to step up his veggie intake come August.