The costumes : The making

This is something I really enjoy.  Making Lucas and Siena’s Halloween costumes (or any costume for that matter!) Whatever they come up, they usually have a pretty good idea of what it should look like.

In previous years, we’ve had, a ladybug, and a pumpkin.  Thank you Glendie for sewing that for Siena, back then! I think it was Siena’s first trick or treating Halloween, probably when she was two?  We’ve had fire trucks, a fairy, a worker man, a horse, and Willy Wonka.  I know I’m missing some.

This year I introduce you:

DSC_0208-smallPrincess Leia and Yoda (from Star Wars, of course.)

For Siena: Princess Leia.

I made her costume from a sheet.  It wasn’t a cotton sheet, I’m not sure what mix it was, but it was very soft, a littler thicker than 100% cotton, and gave it a nice drape.


We borrowed a costume from a friend who had one, and I copied the pattern, in a smaller size.  It was adult size, but it worked out.  It took me an afternoon to make it, that’s it.  I traced it, shrunk it a little here and there, had Siena tried it at every cut I made.


Sewed the pieces together… it turned out pretty good!  Even with a hood.  Oh man.  I’m getting better at it! Few more Halloweens, I’ll be able to sew them anything they want for the rest of their lives!



We bought a long hair wig.  They didn’t have brown, so I bought black hair, which was not the first choice by Siena, but it worked. Phew!  I then made them into buns.  The wigs are not the best, so in the back, they have shorter hair and you can see the net some, but it works out.  The kids keep saying (from a video I found online) “it’s OK, it’s just for Halloween!”


She’ll be wearing (black) boots that night, because it will probably be cold, but otherwise she wears the costume with white socks, to go with Princess Leia’s white shoes.  And that’s it for this little princess of ours.

For Lucas: Yoda.

We went to the thrift store a month ago (when the selection of clothes was greater, I imagine), and found this (bath) robe.  After deciding if it was the right white or off white, and seeing every detail, because you know, these kids of mine, know their Star Wars details!


We had to find the right brown shirt to go under the robe.  The right neck, the right color, the right tone of brown.  We drifted towards the women clothes, and that is where we found the perfect piece. And lucky us, in that same visit, we found Yoda’s belt.  The costume was almost done.  I just had to come up with the hat.

I thought of buying it, but that goes against my persona.  I can totally make Yoda’s head?  After doing some googling, some Pinteresting, and some Ravelry-ing (the knitting and crochet website) I found a Yoda knitted pattern that I thought I could make.  Well, the pattern is for babies, and is felted.  I knew Lucas wouldn’t want a wool hat, because it itches, so I thought, I’d figure it out, once we found the right yarn.

We went to JoAnn’s and Lucas found the perfect green color.  I didn’t really like the feeling of the yarn, but hey!  I’m just knitting it for few hours, and Lucas is the one who is going to wear it more, so it’s up to him, really!


We came home and I thought about how to make this hat.  For many days, actually.  Lucas was getting worried I wasn’t knitting it.  He kept asking me.  Until I went for it.  I made a beanie hat that fit him.  Then, I had to figure out how to make the ears.  I knitted a triangle for each ear, and then did two rows in crochet, because it makes it stiffer.  I sewed it to the hat, and it wasn’t too stiff.  They flopped.  So I put clothes stiffener, and that didn’t work either.

Now, the third try.  I knitted another two triangles, to make them double so I can stuff them with filling.  And bingo! That was it.  That’s what made it stiff and perfect ears!  He wore it like that for few days, playing around.  But as I looked at them, they looked more like bunny ears.


So I sewed them in the middle, and then felted some wool in the ears and in the back.  I was told it was perfect!  Phew!  I love making my kids happy… with something so simple! Exciting.


He wears it with brown socks, and has decided not to paint his face.  I understand.  I think he looks perfect!

DSC_0232-small Yup!  That’s my Yoda.


The best Star Wars characters ever.  Have fun today!

Cyclocross #2 : Always do the right thing


Our second race,  was two weekends ago.  And it was so much fun because this time, both of my parents went and my aunt was visiting too.  So Lucas had a lot of us cheering for him.




They did a practice run.

DSC_0181-smallBut do you see here the kid on the left?  Even on the practice run (even in this non-competitive race, practice run!) he is cutting off corners to go quicker.  Really? Come on!


Lucas noticed and we talked while we waited for the start.  He was unsure one should do that.  He wondered why this kid had done it.  It wasn’t even a race lap. We talked about competitiveness, about values, about our family values, about how does it feel when one feels cheated, and about fairness.  We talked about the importance of following rules, and mostly, about doing the right thing no matter where or when.  Always.

DSC_0190-smallAnd do you see that cone in the middle of the photo?  That is suppose to be the starting line.  As more kids come, they tend to migrate towards the front, skipping the whole “let’s be polite and make a line” model.  But as we saw last year, and the in the first race few weeks ago, and in this day, again, it is usually suggested by the parents, moving them to the front of the line, no matter the means.

But I will try to brush that off in the next races. Try not to pay attention to this behavior.  But it’s hard when the kids and the parents are actually stepping on your toes, because they are far out from the path, so you end up being inside the path, in the place that was originally marked outside.

Not my idea of good sportsmanship, but oh well.

DSC_0211-smallWhen I see my little guy (on the right, in the pink bike), being careful with the even younger ones (on the left, in the red bike.) This is what matters.  Here in the straight pieces of the circuit, in the curves as well as in the crossing of the obstacles.


This is when my heart swells, and I feel that we (Mark and I, as a parent) and us (as a family) are on the right track, for what I believe is a good role model.  A good person for this world.  No matter where we are, what we are doing.  Always do the right thing.

DSC_0197-small DSC_0204-small DSC_0210-small DSC_0213-smallAnd it is this smile, in most turns and curves, and hops, that we can see how much fun Lucas is having here.  And for us, this is what matters.

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All six of us cheering him on… it can’t be more fun than that!


And after 15 minutes of riding, and who knows how many laps, we have one hot and tired biker.

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And we are on the side of the course, cheering him on, all the way, the whole time.  Because we are there for him, to have fun with him.

DSC_0253-small DSC_0257-smallAnd he gets a second sticker to his number.

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Now, he’s ready to keep riding his bike to the car, and keep riding once we get home too.

Mount St. Helens


Arriving at Johnston Ridge Observatory we can see, in person, the magnitude of the eruption from May in 1980.

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You feel small.

DSC_0096-smallNo matter how or where you look at this mountain, it reminds you of the natural force and its incredible power.

DSC_0138-smallWith its rivers, creeks, moss, rocks, snow, top-less top, crevices, history and powerful nature is right in front of our eyes.

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DSC_0101-smallWe went into the observatory.  The first day they were open after their closures for few weeks.  And as we walked in, Siena and Lucas have young tour guide showing the fun stuff before we even got too far.

DSC_0105-small DSC_0106-small DSC_0108-smallWe went to see the movie, showing the impact of the eruption.  Oh my.  How powerful.

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What a view we had right from our seats.  Amazingly beautiful, we all had to take photos even from inside thees windows.


And then we went for a little walk.

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To notice.

DSC_0141-smallMt. Adams.


To see.

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And learn.

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What a sight.


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An incredible sight.

DSC_0152-small DSC_0154-small DSC_0158-smallMount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.  Johnston Ridge at 4324 ft.




And right here, standing in front, a live sample of the powerful nature.  Incredible.

Running with needles

I think I heard many times from my mom, “don’t run with scissors”, or “don’t run with a knife”, and probably “don’t run with knitting needles…”


But there is a new world record, from last weekend in Kansas City.  A man ran 26.2 miles in 5 hours and 48 minutes AND knitted a 12 feet 13/4 inch scarf on garter stitch.  That is great!  Both in his running and for his knitting.  But especially for his efforts in raising awareness for Alzheimer’s.

From this site.
From this site.


On the way to Mount St. Helens

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While my aunt was visiting, and my parents were still here, we went to Mt. St. Helens.  Last time I was there was about 15 years ago.  So it was fun to go back, and show Siena and Lucas too, this volcano that we see almost daily.


As we turned East from I5, from sunny it turned into this, within seconds!  Portland was beautiful, and I was wondering what we were going to see with all these clouds and fog.


But at the visitor’s center, not far we saw their live webcam. Phew!  I was sure glad it was clear up there!


Driving 2 hours each way to not see the crater from the observatory would be pretty boring for some of the passengers I had with me.

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Fall is definitely here.



We had to stop.  The views…

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And finally arriving at the Johnston Ridge Observatory, with a beautiful sunny and warm day.  And a perfect view!




And a perfect view!

Cyclocross #1 : Back again


Lucas has been looking forward to racing again this fall in the kid’s cross.  He went to a couple of clinics in September, to learn how to mount and dismount for the hurdles, and he was happy to learn that.


We went to the first race (already few weeks ago!) and it was lots of fun.  The day was beautiful, hot even.  Such a nice treat.


Lucas did a practice ride before the race, and then we headed to see the other races, with adults.


Then we headed to the kids’ races.

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Lucas had been waiting, and he so enjoy going to race.

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THey said there were more than 200 kids the first race.  And it seems about right.  These big kids plus the younger ones in the one-lap race done before.

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This time, just my dad went (my mom had the cold we passed around everyone last month.)

DSC_0096-smallI think he had fun!

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And we were there cheering for Lucas, enjoying his smiles every time he came around, and having so much fun.


Because it was at Alpenrose, each kid got a free chocolate milk.  That was nice. Perfect for the snack to last him until we got home.


Thank you my little guy.  It is always a treat to see you having so much fun.

We have the glass back

Last week I picked up our glass pieces.

Look at my mom’s dish…

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All of her pieces look so pretty.

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I love my dish too!


These bowls are so cute… I’d make more too.


Lucas’s small pieces are cute too.

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As are these bugs.


And Siena’s piece… I love it!  I love the colors and the designs and how it looks with the sun shining from the back.

DSC_0037-small DSC_0053-smallAnd all of these mushrooms are so pretty too.  I can see not stopping making them if I had a kiln.

The pieces look so cute and we had so much fun, I think we’ll have to go back soon.


Last week…

Lovely October: I spent my days doing and living, breathing and walking my days, and did lots, but still… where did you go?


Last week…

… I made Siena’s Halloween costume.  In one day!  I might add.

… I started making (knitting) Lucas’s hat for his costume… this one in more than one day, but it’s finished.  Not quite working yet.

… the kids have been paying with friends outside.  Yes! It has been so pretty these past few days that they are outside and barefoot all day long.  Creating and playing… A little extended summer…

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… I went to see the eye doctor after not being there since 1998.  Well?  Glad to hear that not too much had changed in the past 15 years, but I can see (can’t see!) the changes because of use age starting to happen.  Oh well.  I don’t really mind using reading glasses. It makes reading recipes and reading at night much easier!

… I thought I should have gone to the eye doctor further away from my birthday!  Note to self for the future.

… laughed at this.

THIS is the best one yet.

… my aunt came to visit, while my parents are here.  So much fun!  We need to see her more often.

… I tried to keep Lucas from getting the cold we’ve passed around in everyone in my family including my parents as soon as they arrived!  So far, so good.

… our enormous dogwood has started to drop its leaves.  They turned red  two weeks ago, or so, and all of a sudden, there’s more leaves on the ground than up above.  But the leaves, red, yellow-ish, showing veins, and letting the sunshine through.  It makes a beautiful autumn glow in our backyard, and from the kitchen window.  It makes washing  dishes that much more fun.

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See the difference in just 2 days?  Most leaves have fallen now.


I am so happy we have this huge dogwood in our yard.  So pretty many months of the year.


… the kids spent their day at Trackers and came back telling us all about it.  I love what they do up there.  I love seeing them both grow in their skills and so excited about what they learned, each time.  As I show up to pick them up, Lucas’s face has a smile from ear to ear, while kneeling down on the ground working on his bow drill, making fire.

He had little dust come out from his spindle that day.  The part of the bow drill, that turns and with its friction on the bottom piece (fire board) need to create a little dust to start with a fire.   He’s been practicing a lot lately.  Both the fire board and the spindle were very hot to the touch.  He’s going to be able to get it started one day soon.  His face… oh his face of contentment. Precious!

… I picked up our glass pieces too.  So much fun and so very beautiful!  OK, I know *we* made them so I can’t be impartial, but I’m telling you, they turned out really pretty.



… Oh this is funny.


… was fun to see my dad so excited about Chile winning their last qualifying game in soccer to go to Brazil for the World Cup.  Exciting!

… I am loving our silk paintings hanging on the windows.

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… the sun stayed.  Yes it did!  We had sunshine all week, with a little chill in the air, enough to keep wearing my corduroy pants, and a thin sweater, but warm in the sun still. I love this time of the year.  I love autumn… (I know I’ve said it before.)

… Lucas and Siena decorated the house for Halloween.  I’m not much of a Halloween person, not having grown up celebrating it.  But our kids like it, and I like that they like decorating.  Though I don’t enjoy all their decorations, it’s just for few days.  Right?  But this sign and table… I love.


… I took my parents and my aunt to see Mt St Helens.  Lucas and Siena had never been there.  Actually I’ve only been there once, about 15-17 years ago.  Not too far from home, just a couple of hours, and such an amazing site, I feel like we need to go back to do more hikes and see everything around there.  Such an amazing place, this National Monument.  I will share more on this later.

… we all went to see the salmon again this year.  I love it! I’ll share more on this later, too.

… had delicious, de-li-cious! smoked salmon… oh so good!

… saw the trees turning.  Hills, and next to the road side, in my backyard, in the streets, everywhere! From greens, to yellows, reds, purples, oranges, yellow-oranges and everything in between.

… laughed and heard stories.

… we lost one of our goldfish.  We knew it could happen, but it’s always sad to see even the littlest pet go.

… Siena and Lucas played with friends creating potions of all sorts and shapes.  It is so much fun to see their little chemistry or kitchen space all set up for making these mixes.


The internet was down the past couple of days, and I couldn’t post this Monday.  But finally here it is. Hope you are all enjoying this week, wherever you are.


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And at our friends’ home.  Their yard is a little paradise! Take a look.

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Colors and textures everywhere!  I love it!

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Oh… and this plant.  Oh yes! It’s native from southern Chile.  The Chilean Rhubarb I guess.  Gunnera tinctoria.  Isn’t it funny that they have this plant in their yard and I’ve never seen it before here in the US, up until last week?  It took me almost 20 years to see it here.  And actually I saw it again at the beach last weekend while driving on Hwy 101 in someone’s front yard. Funny!  Twice in one week, after so many years never seeing it here.

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Now, I’d love to find a space to put one in our house.  I wonder if we can fit it in.  It would be fun to have one.

Siena came home with a little bouquet of autumn leaves for me.  I love them!

DSC_0058-smallI love the colors, the shapes, the differences, the textures… I love autumn.  This is my time.