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Project Pink Tutu : A tribute for my mom who has Breast Cancer

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about my mom who was recently diagnosed with Breast Cancer….

Keeping tabs on how she’s doing , thinking of HOW exactly I can be of any help to her (and my dad) since I live so far away from home, and searching for a way to SHOW my support.

Since I am cycling to Seattle to raise awareness for Cancer Research on June 16th, I thought it would be AMAZING if I could personalise my bike/ cycling gear for her! And then send her photos of the event.

But what should I do??!  A photo of her attached to my helmet or jacket, or a pink ribbon on my cuff/ chest, or pink ribbons in my pigtails, or sowing the word MOM with red yarn red on my jersey sleeve…. I turned over a lot of different ideas in my head.

I wanted something BIGGER and BETTER and BOLDER – because she deserves it!!

The final result – tres magnifique. I hope my mom likes it!!

So I was super excited when I got home after my Saturday training ride & the idea popped into my head – I could wear a PINK Ballerina style tutu!!! EUREKA!!!

Inspired and energized by my sudden Eureka moment I pounced on my bed & powered up my Macbook to do some quick research.  Primarily I was interested in discovering how much adult tutus cost and where I can find a nearby dance-specific  retailer or online store that can ship product to my door in under a week…

Here’s what I discovered:

ONE: An inspiring & creative initiative by photographer bob Carey – The Tutu Project. Bob’s wife has battled Breast Cancer, so he takes photos of himself wearing a tutu to raise awareness. He’s also published a book of these images – with proceeds going directly towards Breast Cancer organizations including Cancer Care and the  Beth Israel Dept of Integrative Medicine Fund.  The following is my favourite image of his.

TWO: That once again YouTube saves the day! I don’t need to BUY a tutu ….. I can go ahead and MAKE one! It’s super simple!

I watched  this helpful video, took down some notes, stashed an inch tape in my purse, and quickly made my way to Dress Sew on West Hastings Street to buy fabric & ribbon.

There were a lot of different shades of pink tulle – hot pink, dark almost purple pink , pale almost white pink, etc. In the end (thanks to a suggestion from a guy who was buying material for his wizard costume), I settled on a dusty rose pink tulle + a sparkly baby pink organza that I planned to use as an accent throughout the tutu (makes it more magical when you add some sparkle!)…

The method I used is exactly as was described in the video. I measured 25″ for the length of my tutu strips (folded in half that equates to a 12.5″ long tutu) – which is perfect for riding a bike. Not too long (don’t want it to get all snagged on my back wheel) – not too short (so it still looks like a skirt and not a fuzzy belt).

I worked on this till 3am during one of this week’s evenings, and then finalized it the following day … thank heavens for caffeine!

Nothing better than crafts after midnight!!

The reasons why I think a handmade pink tutu is the PERFECT tribute for my mom:

1. Pink – The symbolic colour for Breast Cancer. I like Pink. Pink tutus look pretty. An orange tutu would look nice too BUT A PINK ONE IS JUST PRETTIER! Period!

2. Size & Visibility –  I will definitely be noticable in my tutu. You’d easily miss a small ribbon, or sown-in MOM on my jersey – but you cannot miss my tutu!

3. Handmade – My mom made me a couple of skirts when I was younger. So I am honouring her skill, care and talent with my own creation for her. It’s like we share the same skill/talent – and I think that’ll be nice for her to see.

4. Childhood memories – My mom dreams of me as a kid whenever I feature in her dreams, and when I was little I had a pink ballerina themed room – so it fits the bill.

The sparkly ‘highlights’ – are so pretty 🙂

I am so happy with the result. I CANNOT wait to wear this on the ride PROUDLY showing my mom I am thinking of her – and if it’s not too spoilt from all the rain and mud, I will frame it and hang it in my room as a keepsake.

When I was making it I thought this is even better AND bigger than wearing a pink ribbon because the strips of material folded and tied and half resemble the typical pink ribbon symbol – and I have scores & scores of them. It’s a pink ribbon multiplier effect!

XOXOXOXOX LOVE YOU SO MUCH MOM!!!!! XOXOXOXOX

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Rain Gear for the Ride – Check!

Yesterday I popped into MEC after work  to do some rain-gear shopping ahead of my EPIC Ride to Conquer Cancer 2012 event.

As mentioned in an earlier post – I have been keeping a close eye on the weather and I am sad to say dreadful June-uary has struck again. It will be raining on both days! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

But seriously…. it always rains a lot in June. It’s to be expected. I’d HIGHLY reccomend the RTCC organizers to consider moving the BC ride to July in upcoming years.  

So this is what I bought!

Castelli Leggera Jacket $69

From all the water resistant (NOT 100% proof!) jackets I tried on – this one was the clear winner. The material felt the best. It has a little pouch to stuff the jacket into – so  it folds down into nothing.

I like the super shiny interior that leads me to believe it is the most resistant to penetrating water from the jackets I tried. I also like the Italian- tailoring. Molto bello!  

What I wasn’t super keen on was that it is BLACK – and kinda reminded me of a garbage bag. Having said that – when I was trying it on my pink tutu later that evening, I have to say they looked pretty good together!! The black & pink colour combo always works well on me…. am a girly rocker-chick at heart.

MEC Cycling Shoe Covers $22

These are some decidedly unsexy shoe covers but they are CHEAP and that makes me happy because I doubt I will use them very often. In the future, if it is raining hard enough for me to need them I likely will do a rain check on outdoor cycling for the day!

Since the flap that comes down under the toe is partially hiding my cleat I will need to snip a U shaped hole in them so that I can clip in and out of my pedals with ease. All in all though – I am happy to have found these AND in my size. There were hordes of ppl looking at shoe covers at MEC when I was there – buying them for the RTCC 2012 no doubt!!

MEC Mont Royal Pants $65

So originally I wasn’t thinking of getting pants as well….

BUT when I peeled off my Castelli Cycling Pants on Monday evening after a good soaking from Dragon Boating practise,  I realised how water absorbent those pants really are, and decided some waterproof bottoms are a non-negotiable for me!

These pants are AWESOME. I put them on and decided I wanted them within 2 seconds. Great buy!

2 x MEC Mountain Logo Scotchlite Leg Bands $3.75 each

I bought two of these to firmly hold down my water resistant pants so that they do not snag on the chain (as has happened in the past with another pair of pants I own). I like their funky late 80s/ early 90s lightening bolt design.

SWAG Water Bottle $3

Sadly I destroyed my VanFondo bottle in the dishwasher…. so I bought a cheap and cheerful bright blue one to go with my super-blue bike. Perfect match!

So that is my shopping haul from MEC ahead of the big weekend. If you are doing the ride and do not have any rain-gear… YOU”RE A FOOL!!!

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