Monday, August 29, 2016


I've given a few handmade gifts, lately. Last week was one of Penny's teachers' last days before her maternity leave. She's been the sweetest, and I wanted to give her something for her upcoming baby Raven (isn't that a great name?). I made her an Annie Baby Blanket in yarn that self stripes. There was still a million ends to weave in, but I didn't mind. 

The colors reminded me of sunshine, so I made a Baby Surprise Jacket to match the blanket. I still love the idea of giving a "set" to a new mom. There are so many great sets in vintage pattern books I own, and I liked doing one knit item and one crochet piece.

Speaking of crochet, I made a gigantic donut for a friend's 40th birthday from a pattern in this book. It took so much yarn, but not as much time as I was expecting! It sure took a lot of fiber fill though, wow. Bags and bags and bags of it, bought with as many coupons as I could muster, at the craft store.

The size is ridiculous, and the girls pretended it was a pool float one day before we went swimming the day before we wrapped it up.

They were sad to see it go, which made me think I should make another - an orange one with bright pink icing, a chocolate one with light pink icing? Maybe someday, or maybe not :).

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

At the County Fair

We went to the Clackamas County Fair for the very first time, on the last day it was open, after the recent heat wave had broken. We found animals and jugglers to watch, and airplanes and tractors to ride. Lulu rode a pony for the first time. Penny rode one called Rockstar, all by herself. Mr. Jones and I talked about the days when we'll ask them to go to the fair and they'll shrug, and say they'd rather spend the day with their friends. Could that day ever be coming? A big, big part of me really hopes it's never here. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Tie Dye!

Penny has been really interested in the kids art show Creative Galaxy lately (it's free to watch if you've got Amazon Prime). Made by my former colleagues who started Blue's Clues, Super Why, and Daniel Tiger, among other shows, Creative Galaxy has an art and craft focus, and it's been getting the girls really excited to make things. Penny was particularly interested in tie dye, and begged me to do it with her. New craft project? Ok, twist my arm :)! So one sunny Saturday morning, we tie dyed some of our clothes.


I bought a kit, which contained lots of colors already in squeeze bottles, though we only used four, saving the others for another time, when their friends might come over to try it, too. We dipped the shirt in soda ash (bought separately but next to the kit) and put on our old clothes, smocks, aprons, and eventually gloves, when I remembered them.

I think the key to success with young kids and projects like this is to have other activities set up for them when waiting is necessary. We soaked the shirts, and the girls went on their trampoline. Then we tied and dyed the shirts and put them in plastic bags, and went to get groceries. After naptime, we opened up the rubber bands and looked at our masterpieces, and then I rinsed, washed, and dried the shirts while we played in the afternoon.

Voila! They had tie dyed outfits and were so proud. They made me a tank top, too.

They made their dad a t-shirt to give to him when he got home from his trip (wrapping paper pictured).


I couldn't believe how little mess there was! What a success. It was a great way to give new life to the stained up white clothing in their wardrobe. I think we might make tie dying a back yard summer tradition.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Kubo and the Two Strings

If you're in the US, this Friday, August 19th, you can go and see Kubo and the Two Strings in theaters! I have seen it, and it is truly spectacular. The film looks amazing, it's a wonderful story, and I think it might be Laika's best film to date (and I don't just say that because it's the only one I haven't worked on and seen 1000 times already). I think it's a really grand accomplishment for Mr. Jones and everyone he's worked with, and I know you'll really love it.

Mr. Jones has been having fun at the LA premiere these days, can't you tell?

A Cabin in the Woods

We were invited to a friends cabin in the woods last week. The girls got to ride in a motorboat, play in the cabin, and go swimming at the docks. There was so much to see. Lulu is still talking about "boat ride with turtles". Such a lovely summer day. Thanks you so much for inviting us, friends!





Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Across the Pond

We are back from a week in England. In Portland, we don't see much family on a weekly (or monthly) basis, so during this trip we spent hour after hour with our English side. Five girl cousins played and colored and pushed each other on swings, and gave each other kisses and hugs. We went to the chocolate factory and a theme park, but most of the time we hung out in the Jones' back yard, with visitors coming from London and Manchester and Birmingham alike, to see us. Thank you, everyone, for such a wonderful time. 


Oh, how I wish I could have taken 2 year-old Penny on this day out. Her mind would have been blown, to ride on her favorite trains all day. Instead, Lulu told me, "I like Thomas. Penny not like it. I ride on Thomas. MOVING EYES", and Penny, who can barely remember her love for Thomas, still retains knowledge of their names, "No, Lulu, that's Toby," she'd say, and Lulu would stand corrected.




Uncle Jan gives the best driving lessons, while "Dindad" assists with the ice cream consumption.


Penny fell in love with cousin Chloe.  I think we know who to call when we need a babysitter next summer, right Chloe ;)?