Thursday, March 31, 2016

It's Curtains For You!

'Allo 'allo!

So this post is a wee bit overdue.
It's about all those curtains I kept talking about!

The lovely lady who was the recipient of those curtains I'd been working on (on and off) since the fall took some shots of them hanging in her home in all their glory.

So below I present you a smorgasbord of all those hours of labor and cotton. Heh!


Mmm... Patchwork~!

A lovely stretchy floral print

I had the most fun making these. :D Wee bit of creativity went into manufacturing them.

Curtains derived from old (100% organic cotton!) bed sheets = I LOVE IT

It certainly does look homey and cozy in this shot :)
 And then I was feeling good on such a curtain kick that I did a little redesigning of the curtains in our master bedroom that I'd been meaning to do for a while.

Some years back, I crafted these cute-n-childish curtains for when the upstairs room was the playroom.
It went great with the aesthetic.
But for the past year+ the upstairs room has been our master bedroom where the "marital bed" is, so the print of little children running around didn't really work anymore.
So I turned this...

Sorry it's not hanging. But this is the general look

Close-up of the cuuuuute print on it. this!

Crappy shot...nice curtains!

They keep out the sunlight pretty well, and are a more somber and warm brown-red paisley print.

It feels so good to have that done!
Now to give the kiddie curtains to the other Rachael who's been waiting on me for curtains (oops!) and maybe whip up a set or two for the RV.
Wish me luck~!
And in the meanwhile...Happy It's Curtains For You!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Sakura-Con 2016!

Hello hello!

Wow, it's been over a week since I last wrote.
I guess you could attribute that to a few things:

1) Spring Break!
That's right, it was a loooong Spring Break this year for the kids, with the last day of school being March 16th, and them not coming back to school until today, March 29th. Yowza!!
There wasn't the usual schedule of biking and playdates and all that good stuff.
So I didn't feel there was much to report.
Mostly because of point #2:

I already wrote how Ella had not been feeling good in my last post.
Well, it literally lasted until the following Thursday. So yeah, pretty much a week straight.
That, along with the crappy weather, reduced our Spring Break to all indoor time, as everyone convened in the one big king bed upstairs. It reverted back to a Family Bed, like it used to be when the kids were super little. :)
Many a video game were played, and myself I holed myself up in the other room to work on our PPT panels for the convention.
I also played a LOT of piano, and finally nailed down that "Where is My Mind" piece. So that feels nice. :)
Next on my piano hit-list: Gary Jules' "Mad World"

Two songs from movies I enjoyed as a teenager -- go figure!
Speaking of reverting in age...

The big event finally happened!!!
SAKURA-CON 2016!!!!!!!
It was everything I'd hoped for and more.
I managed to get Ella's Eevee costume done in time (literally the night before), and even had to whip up William's boots while driving on up.
So yeah, I am going to share our time at the Con thru a series of photos:

Eevee Evolution Get-together! :D
We got the Friday mid-day and immediately the otaku-immersion began.
This was the first time I had both kids come with me to a con, and I must say it was such a delight!
They really made me have to slow down and not be too panel-/activity-focused, mostly moseying around, and just enjoying being there.
Not to mention the con-goers were just eating them up!!! :D
We were always hearing lovely compliments from people, saying how adorable the wee little Link (William) was or how cute an Eevee (Ella) we had.

Child Link and Adult Link
I'd forgotten how extra nice people at anime conventions are.
I attribute it to how isolating this fandom can be (anime and the like is consumed in a very isolated manner, just watching the shows in the comfort of your own home, etc), and how people really open up when they are surrounded by like-minded people for once!
This Adult Link, for example, really made William feel special and also told us about the big Nintendo character cosplay meet-up happening later that Saturday.

A small sampling of the LoZ cosplayers there were.

Being a pokemon, Ella-the-Eevee also took part in the Nintendo cosplay meet-up and met a fellow Eevee-sempai :D

Yes, that was Ella's default pose for photos. My prime 'n' proper li'l Eevee ;)

I want to take a moment to talk about the kids' cosplay outfits if I can.
I already share with you the creation process for William's Link outfit.
Well, Ella's was equally as homemade and although I don't have as many photos to show it, I can explain it here:

- the shirt and pants came from her wardrobe, only needed to have white batting added at the top to make the fluff of the Eevee's...chest fur? Not quite sure what you'd call it.
- the armwarmers were crafted the same way William's were, with more batting at the wrists
- the ears were made of yet more of that same brown fleece, with wire running through them and looped around the headband on her head (from my collection)
- the tail was (yes, you guessed it) also made of the brown fleece sweater + white batting from that CHS Garage Sale. It's a pity I literally have ZERO photos that show off the tail, but trust me it was adorable.

Oh! And I need to show you a close-up of William's little Link boots that I made while in the front seat of the camper on the ride up:

So proud of how they came out!!
I just covered his usual red rain boots with the last scraps of that brown fleece sweatshirt. So there was literally only the zippers and pockets left of it by the time I was done. BUYA!!

When I was working on Ella's Eevee outfit, I finally started listening to the audiobook of "Everything Is Illuminated" so that was good~

Okay, so back to the con:

As you know, we were there with free complimentary badges thanks to the fact that we were holding three hours of panel content.
The three one-hour panels we held were:
1) Breaking Into the Manga Industry
2) Lost in Translation
3) A Day in the Life of a Manga Artisan

I had to take some photos of the turnouts to our panels, because they were such great crowds and really made the panels what they were:

So, about two dozen attendees in the audience. Not bad~!

The first panel room was really large, but the turnout wasn't so big. Regardless, I felt we did a really good job on it, and having dear Miss Jessica Henry and Jack-san there turned out to be a total lifesaver as William decided he had to go potty in the middle of our panel! Ha!!

The line outside the panel room for our second panel :D
And inside! I'd say there were about 50+ people?? :D

The second panel "Lost in Translation" dealt with the philosophies behind what makes a good translation, and the kinds of calls we have to make in dealing with manga to be localized.
Evidently it was a subject that a lot of people were interested in because there was a huge enthusiastic turn-out. Had some really opinionated folks with lots of contribute and many laughs had too :)
I felt the best about this panel, and the kids were really well taken care of too.
This lovely lady sat down next to them and kept them entertained the entire time. She was such a God-send, I swear. I hope she knows how much we appreciated her and can feel all our positive thoughts about her!!!

The last panel was on Sunday morning which is part of the reason I'm sure the attendance was so low.
Plus the room was this little tucked away place.
So only about 15 people showed up.
Oh, well. It was our most "freeform" panel out of the bunch, so I guess we got out of it what we'd put into it :D


So, yeah.
All in all, the con reminded me of the more fun side of the industry, and I felt inspired to try to be an even better translator going forth!<3 p=""><3 p="">
<3 p="">I was also very happy that we didn't have to drop a lot of money to be there.
As I'd mentioned, the badges were free for us, and Ella was only $35 total.
Then, I spent under $50 at the merchandise hall, so that was good. Phew!
Got Dash some birthday gifts there -- One Piece shitajiki and fanmade LoZ-themed playing cards.
Oh, and I scored a gift for Kathy-neechan. ;) But I won't share anything about that here...

I think that's just about everything I wanted to mention about our time at Sakura-Con 2016.
I swear there must be 100 photos of Ella and William floating out there on the world wide web because of how many people just had to take snapshots of them. If I track any down, I'll definitely show them here :D

Oh, wait!
Speaking of which, I went on a total Rick-and-Morty hunt, and took snapshots of every/any cosplayer from that series that I could.
This is the result:


I feel stronger than ever that I'd really like to make it to Kumoricon 2016 with the whole family.
And a wicked side of me wants to dress up Ella and William as Rick and Morty respectively. Highly doubt they'd ever let me, but a girl can dream! :D

A'ight, well that is all for now.
It really was the best way to cap off the Spring Break, and we all came back very inspired and jazzed in our own ways :)
My next post will talk about Dash's birthday so until then, look forward to it and Happy Sakura-Con 2016!!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sew Much Done This Weekend

Howdy howdy!!

So as an update to everyone's health, pretty much Ella is the only one down for the count, napping several times a day and have not much of an appetite.
That worked fine for my weekend plans that went something like this:

1) Made William's Link costume!!

Remember how I bought all those cheap articles of clothing from that High School Garage Sale?

Well, I turned this:

Into this:

Out on the town!

William's is now ready to be a little Link at next weekend's anime convention :D
It took me about 3 hours to whip up, and reminded me how much I love sewing little kids pants, be they swants or otherwise. So easy and forgiving~!
My favorite part had to be the gauntlets with tiny felt triforce on them.

William and I had a fun time traipsing down to the library in his get-up, where we picked up Pikmin and will be subsequently dedicated an hour a day to progressing through the game together. :)

Now to continue what I accomplished this weekend...

2) Finished all those curtains for R.S.!!!

Last six...DONE!

Okay, so not the most flattering shot, and definitely not the way that curtains are supposed to be enjoyed, but I literally just finished them up and am snuggled up in bed and didn't want to lay them out or hang them up or anything. Truthfully, I am awaiting a great big flood of photos from Rachael when they are all hanging in her home on perhaps a sunny day so that they can shine in all their glory :D

Anyway, you may recall that I had this batch waiting to be done since October and though I got a lot of the curtains done during February Break, these last six were lingering for god knows why. I have a tendency to do everything...except for the last thing or two.
Like, in the case of doing dishes, I'll do aaaaaall the dishes...except the big pot the soup was cooked in. Sorta like saving the worst for last, only I don't even do it. Ha!

Now that those two projects are completed, this is what I plan on focusing on for the rest of the week:

- translate book due
- make Ella's Eevee costume
- plan our panels for the convention(!!)

That last one is really the one I'm most excited/nervous about tackling because it's going to take a lot of (gasp!) brainpower thinking up specific examples to share with the audience, assembling images to share on the PowerPoint, and mapping out the course of our discussions, etc etc.

Must. Do. Iiiiit!!!!

A'ight, well I will talk to you again soon.
Until then, take care and Happy Sew Much Done This Weekend!!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Sickness Abounds!

Hey, everybody!

Wow, what a strange week it's been.
Dash has been down with his flu-like symptoms since Sunday night, and only now (Friday) is he finally up and back to his old self. We actually held a conversation after dinner for the first time in what felt like forever.
Yay for recovery!

But actually, he wasn't the only one having trouble.
Wednesday afternoon, upon returning home from school, William was very much not acting like himself: opting out of playing video games; having no appetite; and finally putting himself (!) down for a nap. He awoke with a fever and a wee bit of vomiting!! ;_;
Needless to say, he was SICK!

I figured I'd be safe, but when I woke up Thursday morning, I was overwhelmed with such vertigo that I couldn't function. Could barely get down the stairs, only with Dash's help, and was trembling all over and pale as ghost. I ended up sleeping in bed all day.
It was great!!

William snuggled himself right in!

Ella spent the morning at a friend's house so that Dash could attend the Parent-Teacher Conferences at the kids' school, and I am so proud of William winging it on his own with an out-of-commission mama. He crawled into bed with me to sleep of his own accord, and Dash came home to find us like the photo above.
Needless to say, the feedback from the teachers was all roses. Yaaaay~!

So that was Thursday.
Today has been much better, I must say!
William is still on the mend and needs lots of sleep, and even Ella put herself down for a nap which tells me her body might feel something come on too. @_@ Oh, well! As far as I'm concerned Spring Break has arrived, and we have zippo plans so give us your worst, sickness!!!

Something good today was that Ella go this in the mail:

Ella's first very official piece of mail :D

That's right! Nintendo of America wrote back to her!
As you may recall, a couple of weeks back at the Letter Writing Social, Ella Rose wrote to some of her favorite establishments.
Well, Nintendo replied!
The letter was a basic "thank you and keep supporting us because we are committed to raising the standard of video games etc etc" kind of message, but it had a couple of perks!

She was so thrilled!
A Princess Peach bookmark and Pikachu Pokemon card!!!
What sweeties they have in the correspondence department, or whoever it was responsible for this.
Really made this little girl's day!

It inspired me to really go ahead and write to Justin Roiland which I've been meaning to do ever since I feel in love with R&M back in October.
I'll let you know how it goes!! :D

All right, well, until next time, I hope you all are staying well and take care.
And Happy Sickness Abounds!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

William Drawings

Yo yo~!

So it is yet another cold, rainy day here in Corvallis and with Dash under the weather and bedbound, there has really not been a lot going on here.

Today and yesterday pretty much looked like this:
- Dragged the kids with me to my tutoring session on Monday in the library with interesting results.
- Monday night I made a really delicious chicken-n-rice soup and stayed up way too late listening to more podfic, and stumbling upon a huge list of fics inspired by Miike Snow's "Ghengis Khan" music video (yay!)
- I'm practicing piano more regularly now and working on learning Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" as well as Maxcene Cyrin's cover of "Where is my Mind".
- Put the kids to bed at 6:30pm today to see if that helps with rousing their sleepy selves in the morning.

So with really not a whole lot to mention, I figured I'd showcase something I've been meaning to share with ya'll for a while: William's rare but adorable drawings.

Here are some from over the past six months:

The oldest one I have on record and readily available.
It's supposed to be Link from the Legend of Zelda Universe, if I recall correctly ;)

"A bird"
 He did this one back when we were coming back from SoCal back in October. :)


 From the Mario Bros. universe~

So yeah, as you can probably tell, William is not a prolific as Ella when it comes to drawing.
Oh, well. To each their own. And Ella does take time to give William little drawing pointers here and there.
Speaking of Ella, I never shared this little gem that is a personal favorite of mine:

From back when the R&M craze first hit me in November '15 :D

Mama's favorite sci-fi cartoon characters, on a grid-like pattern since her original intention had been to cut it up into a puzzle for me. Needless to say, I'm very glad she didn't!!

Aaaaanyhoozers, I hope you enjoyed that little gallery of William drawings.
Until next time, take care and Happy William Drawings!!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Wonderful Weekend

Hello hello!

Man, this past weekend was so good, I've been meaning to write about it but just couldn't find the time.
So here we are on Monday and I'm going to go back in time to recount how the past two days have been :)

Firstly, I want to name this past Saturday "Secondhand Saturday".
Why, you ask?
Because I scored big in both a garage sale and a local thrift shop.

I love me a good Gift Economy, where I can meet my needs by sparing someone the excess clutter in their lives, but sometimes spending a little money doesn't hurt.

Saturday morning started off with hitting up the Corvallis High School's annual "Spartan Garage Sale." So conveniently located in their cafeteria (just down the road from us!) and so many reasonably priced items and huge selection! :D
My intention when I went there was to score all the pieces I'd need for William's upcoming Link costume.
And I was not disappointed!!
For only $4 I got everything I'll need so I look to turn this:

$1 each!

...into this:

More or less...

Good thing he already has his sword and shield!
I'll probably be able to use that big brown sweater to create some Eevee ears and tail for Ella's cosplay too ;)

Later, while the kids were baking with Dada (peanut butter cookies for our neighbors!) I hit up the Heartland Humane Society's Thrift Shop in the hopes of finding a lamp shade for a standing lamp I scored for free...but instead I found this:

It weighed 30 lbs!!
That's right.
An old-school ream of computer paper! For only $5!!
I had to carry this beast home the entire walk home from downtown, but it will be so worth it as now Ella can draw to her heart's content without me worrying about having enough paper for important adult print-outs. Heh! I swear, this guy ought to last us at least a year.

Then, after all these great secondhand scores, Dash and I got to treat ourselves to a date!!
So "Secondhand Saturday" morphed into "Date Night Saturday".

A classic "dinner and a movie" affair.

I cannot recommend "Zootopia" enough!!
It was rendered beautifully, with endearing characters, and really timely messages about racism and stereotypes. We watched it in 3D but I must say it did nothing to enhance the film in my opinion. Never really does, to be honest.

Anyway, after that we hit up Koriander yet again and this time I got the cheese tonkatsu. So indulgent!!!

I was feeling amped and great (did I mention I had a ton of candy at the movie theater again? ;) ) and we ended up staying up until 1:30am, watching the US version of Top Gear (hilaaaaarious!!!!!) while I read more R&M fanfics and got lost on imgur. Totally and utterly a great way to end the day.

I'm going to name Sunday "Sleepy Baking Sunday" because DST went into effect and ugh, did I feel exhausted thanks to it. ;_;
Church was a'ight, and the rest of the day was baking primitive bread with Ella.
It honestly took sooooo loooooong.
Because we brought out the ol' grinder and had to grind all the flour down by hand.
But the results were worth it and Ella felt very accomplished.

Made a dozen of these rolls!

Look at that li'l beauty!
Sunday evening I got to go out on a date with a friend, so that's two dates for me in one weekend! Buya!! :D

And now here we are with yet another raaaaaaaainy day, and Dash is feverish and bedbound ;_;
Poor dear~
I foresee a li'l lesson in the evening with the lovely Maggie-san, and then hopefully altering a t-shirt I got from the last Clothing Swap thanks to this nifty book:

I bought this way back in '06, and honestly never did much with it so I gave it away, because the library carries it anyhow! I'll let you know what I end up fashioning from the shirt later ;)

That is all for now.
I hope you all had a good weekend and foresee a great week coming up.
Til next time, take care and Happy Wonderful Weekend!!

Friday, March 11, 2016

"Movie Night"

Hello again~!

So we were partaking in our (semi-)usual Friday night activity in the Dashiell household, and I thought I'd take a little shot for posterity.

Friday night is "Movie Night" but lately it's been more like "Episode Night" especially since we've gotten into The Great British Bake-Off.

Puts 'em riiiiiight to sleep

I must say, it's an entertaining, inspirational, and educational program!
And it really puts the little ones a the right energy to gently drift off~

Ella's already informed me that she wants to try her hand at making a primitive bread tomorrow, inspired by the history segment they did on bread from the caveman days :D

So yep!
That's "Movie Night" in our household.
Do you do a Movie Night too? If so, what are so family favorites?

Well, until next time, take care and Happy Movie Night!!

Town Hall Event Take II

Hi hi~!

So last night was the 2016 version of the Sustainability Coalition's Sustainability Fair.
You may recall that I got to speak at last year's event about the Gift Economy and Clothing Swaps and such.

This year, I went purely as an enthusiastic attendee, and was joined by Ella Rose :)
She was such a trooper, putting up with all the chatting up I wanted to do with all the folks I ran into, and staying up until 9pm so that we could see the Clothing Swap get some attention in the Community Scrapbook...

We were waaaaaay back, but there it is! well as participate in the table discussion and listen to the main presentation of the evening.

The theme of the evening was systemic change to help create a sustainable community, and when it came time for our table to discussion what kinds of systemic change we'd like to see, I launched fully into the vision I have for curbing waste during the Student Exodus. My tablemates brought up the brilliant idea of approaching the folks on OSU campus that orient the students to let them know about the many second-hand options in town so that they don't all go to Fred Meyer to buy their clothing hangers, waste paper baskets, and other such items that are so absolutely redundant and will simply be thrown out at the end of the year anyway.

The presentation, held by a young couple that own a solar power company here in town, covered their trip to Germany last summer and all the amazing advancements going on in the field of reusable energy in Germany. It was very inspirational and rekindled my interest in getting solar panels on our house. Granted, in the past, we've had solar companies have to turn us down on account of the shady nature of our property. Oh, well!

Anyway, it was a great time and I love that it's a yearly staple in this wonderful community of ours.
If you've never been, I highly recommend it for next year.

So until then, take care and Happy Town Hall Event Take II!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Yo yo~

So I was thinking about how families can have their own little "language" sometimes.
Like, inspired by a certain event that they experienced together, or a mispronounced word their little ones said in their younger years, etc etc.

In our own family, we have a few of these kinds of Dashiell-isms which I thought I'd record here to look back on:

1) Dashiell Divinations
I've only mentioned this once on this blog three years ago, but it's something Dash and I will say when we want to make a prediction about something might happen.
Some famous ones from the past include the creation of the show "American's Next Top Pregnant Model" (it's gotta happen!) and my personal Divination that someday Hoover Flags will come back as a fashion statement ;)

2) "Ticky ticky tacky"
This is something the kids say when Dash and I are starting to bicker and fight. It's their way of saying "Stop fighting, or save it for later at least." That way it breaks the tension and we agree to either drop it or save it for when the kids are not around.

3) Farkles, Fiders, and Foons
When Ella was really little she couldn't pronounce her "sp" sound well and words like sparkles, spiders, and spoons would come out farkles, fiders, and foons. So sometimes when we're being goofy we'll use those words instead of the proper ones. Always gets a laugh.

4) Fick something up
Kathy-neechan actually coined this one, and it's a term we use when someone's intention is to help "fix" a situation but instead they just make it a worse for you and "f*ck" it up. Hence "fick". Like I once had a friend offer to help look at my bike tire to see if he could straighten it...only to end up warping it further. D'oh! He dun ficked it up now! So yeah, it happens~

5) Phantom Itch
It's that sensation you get when someone's scratching your back and although it's very pleasurable, there's also that niggling feeling that if they could juuuuust scratch a little more to the right or left then they'd really get an itch...only for that sensation to keep traveling out of reach of their hand. And so you're strangely never quite satisfied when they're scratching your back, because it feels like the itch is constantly evading you. It's that darn Phantom Itch.

All right, well that's all the ones I can think of at the moment.
I'll try to remember to blog when more come to mind.
Do you and your family have little linguistic quirks like these?
They are quite fun!

Anyway, until next time, take care and Happy Dashiell-isms!!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Sakura-con Coming Up!

Howdy howdy~!

So I just received some big news today.
It all started back in January, when I submitted three panel ideas to this anime convention up in Seattle, WA to see if they would be accepted and, therefore, grant us free membership for the duration of the con.

Well, just today I received word that they were all accepted, so at the end of this month the Dashiell family is going to Seattle for Sakura-con 2016!!! :D

I'm so stoked because I've never been to Washington, let alone Seattle, and it'll be William's first con ever!
I can't say the same for Ella, because back in September she attended Kumoricon with me and Kathy-neechan when we went to do a panel too.
It was about us being manga translators and the panel went smoothly enough. Ella was mesmerized by all the clever cosplay (especially of the Pokemon kind), going so far as to participate in their Cosplay Bingo challenge where she had to track down and take snapshots of certain characters in order to win nifty buttons. If memory serves me right, she got a total of six by the end. BUYA.

Anyway, this time, Dash and I will be discussing the following three related-but-still-unique topics:

1) Breaking into the Manga Industry: our backgrounds that got us to where we are today
2) Lost in Translation: how/when to preserve very Japanese elements in manga while localizing it
3) A Day in the Life of a Manga Artisan: what our careers consist of in a practical way

I'll be working on putting together the contents of our panels over the next few weeks.
Oh! While also putting together the kids' cosplay outfits!!

That's right, Ella wants to go as chuu-Totoro...

This outfit is still around from when we made it for her 2012 Halloween costume!
...and Eevee.

So a humanoid version of this.

There are lots of really cute interpretations of Eevee cosplay that you can find online, and I'll be sure to share what we come up with.

As for William, he wants to be Link for the entire duration of the con, which is fine with me. :D
 I just have to find the pieces to put together an outfit like this:

I think William will look good in white tights ;)

I look forward to scoring more 下敷き, giving away comp copies of some manga we have worked on, and singing in karaoke :D
We'll be sleeping in the camper, and William is so young he gets in for free too, so all we have to pay for is Ella's 50%-off membership. Buya!!

Anyway, I'll let you know more the weekend-of, but I just had to share the good news of what's in store in the coming weeks.

So yeah, if you'll be attending Sakura-con, let me know and maybe I'll see you there ;)

Until next time, take care and Happy Sakura-con Coming Up!!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Big Sunday!

Howdy howdy~!

So after the hubbub that was yesterday's Clothing Swap, you'd think that today would be relaxed and devoid of as much activity as possible, right?
And it all started Saturday evening actually!

As is the family tradition when it comes to Clothing Swaps, we all headed out to El Sol de Mexico to celebrate and decompress. The kids had a lot of good things to say, I enjoyed some margaritas and then we made the last-minute decision to let a friend of Ella's sleep over.

They actually behaved themselves very well, going right to sleep -- of course reading the dictionary aloud, as I do when it's my turn to put the kids to bed, has that effect on kids ;)

When we all awoke this morning, Dash made biscuits while I battled a little hangover (guh) and then we had to rush off to church because I'd agreed to have our family "usher" for the service.

We'd never done this before and I'm going to be honest...not so sure we'll be doing it again.
I'm just not all that good at herding folks, which is what the gig mainly consisted of. Granted, that's not to say I can't improve... But having the two little ones made it less than ideal. Especially with  William being so perplexed as to why Dada was actually at church for once and yet we weren't even sitting together.

Oh, well! I'm glad we gave it a shot.

The rest of the day, Ella was whisked off to Clara's house for a playdate followed right on its heels by the local community production of Mary Poppins!!

I have been hearing only the best things about this musical and I'm glad Ella got to see it. While I was walking her back home, she was humming "Step in Time" and working some pretty great chimney sweep moves ;)

The rest of the evening was taken up with bathing Tak'e, tidying up, and playing a new card game with the kids!!
At yesterday's Clothing Swap, Ella came across a pack of playing cards that I haven't seen in years.
Five Crowns!!

Thank you to whomever brought this to the Swap :D

Anyone else familiar with this little gem?
Our Uncle James introduced it to us as adolescents and it became a quick family favorite. It was initially the art that captured me, but now that we're playing it again I remember how exhilarating the pace is and how much strategy goes into it.
I must say William has greatly impressed me with his ability to remember the rules, stay focused, and strategize in a way that resulted in him winning five rounds. Wow!

Maybe the kid's just generally good at games, not just video games! ;)

Dash rounded the evening off with a fantastic hearty brinner and we watched another episode of the Great British Bake-Off which the kids fell asleep to.

I'm feeling bushed, myself, and look forward to a deep and uninterrupted sleep tonight. (Dear God, please...please.)

So until next time, take care and Happy Big Sunday!!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Spring 2016 Clothing Swap!!

Hi everyone!!!

Sorry for disappearing off the face of the planet for a few days there.
I was battling a mere head cold that was threatening to go full-blown by hunkering down, lying in bed while listening to a sweet sweet podfic.
Really, not that much to report about this past week. A couple deadlines (wrapped up in mere hours, wow!), some nice tutoring sessions, and "whatever" weather.

Then came today.
The Spring 2016 iteration of the Corvallis Family Clothing Swap!!!!

This photo does not do justice to the busy-ness that the event entailed.
It was was such a great big fun time :D
Made especially all the more popular thanks to the article in the Corvallis Advocate.
As always, I failed to do a head-count, but I think it's safe to say a couple hundred people showed up. BUYA.

A new addition to this Swap was the presence of a "thank-you note writing station" to give attendees a chance to thank our generous co-sponsors that keep the event the money-free frugal-fest that it is.

Little package...BIG gratitude :D

I pretty much had an assortment of different colored pens and slips of paper (salvaged from the OSU Student Exodus!) available for people to write their many different expressions of gratitude to show our sponsors how big an impact their support of the event makes. I will make sure it gets to the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition's Waste Action Prevent Team since I consider them the main sponsor so that they can read all the messages of adoration and thanks that our community has for them. It's the least we can do for them making this large space available for us and our seasonal cause. :)
Last time, I tried to do a digital e-card of thanks but it was harder to get people signing it, the interface was a little wonky, and this way they have a constant physical reminder of the good deeds they are responsible for.

My volunteer staff was superb and I really cannot thank these people enough for their dauntless energy and enthusiasm during the somewhat short but still intense event that it was. ♡♡♡

Personally, I was so busy greeting folks and bringing them up to snuff on the ins and outs of the event, that I didn't have much time to seek items for myself. However, I did have a second or two to snag some key pieces that are already my new faves:

Elven hat-scarf, anyone??

And Kathy-neechan is all professional now and needing blouses, so I rallied some friends to keep an eye out and they came up with a good dozen or so specimens that are sure to please her :)  So thoughtful of them!!!

Also, William and Ella are rather self-sufficient at these events now and Ella, in particular, procures outfits not just for herself but for her li'l bro too. Such a good girl! Below is a new outfit concocted from items procured today:

Love that gradient skirt and corduroy purple button-down!


Every Clothing Swap I meant to take photos to record how awesome the event is, but I feel like I failed miserably once again!
If anything, I got some shots with my main ladies who are constant presences and have helped out tons in the past.
Firstly, the wonderful Miss Angel!

We both like purple a lot

I swear this girl lives up to her name and a complete doll. I love her and her little girl!!
Next is Miss Merrell!

I must say if I had to say I'm good at something it's at taking photos at arm's length

This lady does it all...with three children under 5 y.o.!!!! How???
Anyway, she is great.
And what's so cool to know is that these two ladies met through what...? The Clothing Swap!!
Times like this I wish someone could make a documentary about our little shindig here. Just a lot of beautiful relationships forming and acts of charity going on. Very cool.
There were also a bunch more people that I didn't have time to shoot "selfies" with, but I hope they all know that I love them too!
So much dedication, and energy and selflessness with this event. This community is the best, honestly!!

Anyhoozers, I have a lot of thank-yous to write, and some kids to put to bed!
Ella's having an impromptu sleepover with dear Clara so I have to make sure they sleep noooow.

Til next time, take care and Happy Spring 2016 Clothing Swap!!