commemorative ink

A few of The Cheerios approached Saucy with an idea about how to commemorate their stellar season. Saucy wasn't so sure at first, but they were adamant and eventually won her over.

The only problem was obtaining permission from their parents. This bit was easily solved, Saucy sort of fudged up some fake identifications. Besides, Saucy is almost like a parent to them. You might recall when they wanted their ears pierced at the end of the first season and Saucy got written permission from the mothers of Dee, Daisy Duke and Beegie - it's kind of the same thing. Only not a piercing.

These Cheerios decided to do something a little more permanent. They'd been talking about it for a while and put a great deal of thought into it. They'd planned it for at least three days.

Saucy helped them with the artwork and they took it with them... they all wanted the same image. They wanted something that reflected their sense of team unity and their lurrve of cupcakes.

It didn't take too terribly long. In fact, Saucy is kind of generally repulsed by needles but the whole thing was fascinating and each tattoo only took about forty five minutes.

Unfortunately, photography is not permitted inside the shop. It must be a privacy issue. At any rate, they are all under eighteen years of age and Saucy didn't want to tip that off to the shop owner. Where we live, you have to be over eighteen to get ink done.

Here they are - outside and relieved for the hard part to be over! They're all bandaged up. They can't wait to be completely healed to show off these beauties... they just look a little bit inflamed and red right now.

If you would like to see what the image looks like you can visit the tattoo shop's website. They liked it so much, they posted it. Click here.

recovery time

The Cheerios competed at the provincial championship over the weekend. They did extremely well, placing second in the Senior Level 2 division. They missed first place by a half of one percent.


Saucy's biggest regret is that she didn't get a photo of the girls with their medals to show you. If one pops up, she'll share it here with you soon.

Regardless, she was thrilled with their performance and more importantly, their behaviour on and off the mat. They were the embodiment of dedication, spirit and team work. They were gracious in victory and defeat at every turn. Last week, they were thrown new skills to learn in order to be competitive over the weekend and they volunteered for a three hour practice on a school holiday to master everything before competition.

Now that the cheer season is over, Saucy needs a small rest. Make it a large rest. She will be away from the blog this week recharging her batteries. (No doubt, planning the bows, uniforms and routine for next year in the back of her mind)... in the meantime she plans to pour herself a nice beverage and put up her sore feet. The amount of work that goes into a successful season is mind-boggling. To every coach of every team, Saucy wishes you a restful off-season. Just getting your team through the season is an accomplishment, it really doesn't matter if you win a trophy at all.

See you next week!

green and gold week

Here are The Cheerios in their spanky new yellow uniforms at last night's City Cheerleading Championship. Aren't they the cutest? You bet they are.

They placed fourth overall in the whole city. Do you remember when they made bows for the team that lost some members last week? That team beat us for a third place spot last night. It must have been the bows, we passed them some of our magic! We're super happy for them, though. To have such a rough go of it and rise up with half a team at the end of the season... it was amazing to witness!

One of the best parts of this season so far is that every team in the city has won something somewhere. The winning pie has been cut up pretty evenly and everyone has had a taste. That means we're all pretty evenly matched and it's a good thing. It keeps everyone on their toes.

These are the new cheer bows Saucy made for The Cheerios. Also super cute, right? Tutorial to come... soon. Not this week. Not during Green and Gold Week. Saucy has too much on her plate with the Provincial Championships coming up on the weekend. She's not planning to finish fourth there, no sir.

Saucy made a variation of the traditional black and white iced cookie in green and gold. She was inspired by a recipe from the Today show... and it was okay. But she's not sharing it with you because, it was only okay. She should have used her own glaze recipe because this one was too thick. She'll revisit the whole black and white cookie idea another time and share the results with you then. In the meantime, these were nice to have around in the dressing room.

The Cheerios gave dipped pretzel rods to the Green team from our school. They compete at Level 3 (the Cheerios at Level 2) - and they nailed it last night, bringing the City Championship home to Aden Bowman for the first time in the history of ever.

Because city competitions aren't divided by level, our school's teams had to compete against each other. The Cheerios were thrilled that if they had to get beaten it was by friends. You always want to play with friends, and lose to friends.

Saucy's going to say it again... win.  It was another win for The Cheerios, no matter what the scoresheets say.

a story about bears

Saucy has a story to tell you about The Cheerios and their competition this weekend, but she has no pictures to show you. Not only was her camera battery dead, it all happened so fast there was no time to take any pictures anyway. You'll just have to read the story that Saucy has illustrated with pictures of bears from the Internet and imagine how it all went down... but with different kinds of Bears. 

This weekend The Cheerios had a pretty big competition. It was the first time they ever took part in a two-day event, meaning the scores on the first day would be combined with the scores on the second day and the winner would be determined by an average. It was a little tricky to prepare for this event, with some limited gym time, some non-cheerleading related injuries, and one of The Cheerios even had to miss a practice for a funeral. These things happen.

 They really did. After the first day, they were ranked in the first position. 

Because Saucy realized that it could be an advantage - or maybe a disadvantage - being in first place after the first day. Sometimes knowing you're in first place can make you a little slack or over confident. But it always, always makes your competition hungry. That's the worst part.

When you're in first, you have everything to lose. The other teams have everything to win. They will bring everything they have to the mat to hunt you down.

Today, The Cheerios took their routine to the floor and generally they most of it even better than they did the first time.

Saucy knew that one little fall, it could take The Cheerios out of first place in a hurry. Overall though, they were pretty confident after their second run. 

Then Saucy found out that the other teams had no falls at all today. None.

When it came time for the awards, The Cheerios circled up on the mat and cheered for the Level Three group from their school as they won their division. It was super exciting, because they went into the second day in second place. 

This made Saucy even a little more nervous. It proved that first place can be snatched away like a pot of honey.

Saucy and The Cheerios had to wait. The announcer called every other level but not Level Two. It was kind of nerve wracking and very suspenseful. 

And then it happened. The Level Two awards began and The Cheerios were called up to get their third place trophy. Saucy was a little disappointed... she thought maybe if they hadn't hung on to first place, at least they would have second place. But that didn't happen.

It was especially disappointing for the girls involved in the little fall because they felt responsible for the outcome. Saucy could see on their faces they were upset with themselves but she smiled at them and nodded her head when they clapped for the other teams being called.

Then, the team that had been in third place after yesterday got called up to win first place. Of course The Cheerios were extra disappointed that they were beaten by the team that stripped them of their title last year. Well, that's how sports rivalries start, Saucy thought. Here we go. How are we going to nip this in the bud before it gets ugly?

Immediately the scoresheets got passed over and Saucy decided to tear into them right away. She doesn't usually do that on the mat but she was just dying to see where things went wrong exactly - because there's still a week left in the season and there's no better time than this exact moment to start figuring out what you need to fix, right?

But the scoresheets had unusual numbers... The Cheerio's numbers were higher than everyone else's. Saucy scratched her head and started grappling for her reading glasses because she's getting old like that. Luckily, the new assistant coach who is not only an athlete - she's a math major - was on hand to have a look at the papers. 

The Mathlete announced that maybe something was wrong.

Just then the nice lady that runs the event came over and told everyone to hang on. The announcer had made a mistake. 

And Saucy didn't even want them to get too excited. Because, they still maybe didn't even win first place. But they were starting to squeal and squeak. They were trying not to get too worked up and Saucy was trying to be all Mama Bear on them and make them behave. 

And when the announcer apologized and said she'd read the rankings incorrectly, the room sort of erupted. The Cheerios had won first place after all!

And pretty much, Saucy made The Cheerios calm down because even though they were happy, it was super unhappy for the other teams... more so than if they'd just straight-up lost. So The Cheerios were kind of calm and it was a little surreal and the only regret Saucy had at that moment was for the other team and maybe just a little bit that she'd shut The Cheerios celebration down. They didn't really get their moment. Oh, well.

Then, a voice came over the loudspeaker and the Grand Champion was being announced. The Grand Champion at a cheer competition is the team that scored the highest of all the teams in all of the levels - it's kind of a big deal. The Grand Champions get a really big trophy. The Grand Champions, mathematically, are the winners of all the winners.

The Cheerios were called up as Grand Champions.

And, just like that, The Cheerios had their moment. Saucy didn't make them put too much of a pin in their celebration at that point. After all, she'd made them put a pin in it when they were finally called in their division.

They carried their division trophy with their Grand Champion trophy to their dressing room and they took pictures around that big trophy with huge smiles on their faces. They updated their Facebook statuses and the parents came running over to hug and kiss everyone. It was kind of awesome. It had been a tad dramatic, yes... but it was pretty thrilling.

The best part of that moment for Saucy was that both teams from the school won their divisions. It wasn't really the Grand Champion part. It was that the Green Team won Division Three and The Cheerios in their yellow uniforms won Division Two and they'd cheered for each other, not against each other.

After the pictures were taken, the Judging Director came into the dressing room. She looked stressed out. Saucy could only imagine, after all that.

The Cheerios were not Grand Champions. They had to give the giant trophy back. The Cheerios were standing there, stunned.

Because, she realized, her reaction - just the look on her face - would be a cue for the girls. If she got too worked up about it, so would they. After all, they were still the winners of their division. That part was still okay.

Saucy looked at the Judging Director who looked sort of terrified and worried. She must have been sure...

And then, something pretty cool happened. The Cheerios asked who the real Grand Champions were. It turned out to be an amazing team from another city. Not just mathematically, but in the most general way possible - they deserved to be Grand Champions. They are pretty awesome. 

In the blink of an eye, The Cheerios grabbed the giant trophy and bolted out of the room to find the real Grand Champions. They found them in their dressing room and gave them the good news themselves. They actually found it quite satisfying.

After all, they'd kind of had their moment with it.

When it was finally over, The Cheerios had a small trophy for winning their division but Saucy knew a little something right then and there. They're different kind of winners. They have the biggest hearts.

Saucy and The Cheerios left to go home. Traveling back to the city, they sang to the songs on the radio, they worried about the feelings of the team that had to give back the division trophy and they decided to work extra hard for next weekend, so there's no confusion about who wins.

cute spiky cheer bows tutorial

Saucy has a friend who coaches another team in town. They like to chat on the phone and talk each other through the usual ups and downs that happen during the season. Their team colours aren't too far off from The Cheerios - blue, green and white instead of yellow, green and white.

After making plenty of bows for The Cheerios, Saucy was struck with the idea to make bows for her friend's team in time for competition next week. Yes, the teams are competing against each other... but everyone should have fancy hair accessories, don't you think? Plus, Saucy had most of the materials at her disposal and she wanted to try her hand at a different style of bow.

The Cheerios will present these bows to the other team and hope it gives them a little boost of confidence. They've had a hard little go of it over the past few weeks and snazzy new bows just might be the trick to bring back their mojo.

There are lots of tutorials and tips on the Internet, but this is the way Saucy likes to fashion a pretty, compact bow that can be worn atop a high ponytail or worn in pairs on a pigtail hairdo. Now, that would be damned cute.

You will need: 
Grosgrain ribbon at least 2" wide - approximately 18-24 inches per bow
Grosgrain ribbon approximately 1/4" wide in corresponding colours
A needle and thread
Elastic hair bands (one for each bow)
Sharp sewing shears
Strong nylon or plastic string (medium gauge fishing line would also work)
Clear nail polish

Start by measuring three equal lengths of ribbon for your basic bow. Here, Saucy measured three pieces of 2" wide grosgrain ribbon to be six inches long each.

Notice, she used a needle and thread and cinched one of the pieces in the middle. This piece will be the tails of your bow. If you would like longer tails, cut this piece an inch or two longer than the other two pieces but still cinch it in the middle.

Saucy wanted puffy, compact bows for this project.

Next, using a needle and thread, fold the other pieces over, one at a time and cinching the ends together with a little fold and smoosh (technical direction), fasten the bow loop securely with several strong stitches.

The next step is to simple stitch the two loops together, end to end. It doesn't have to be pretty, just strong.

A few more stitches will attach the bow tails to the loops. This sounds painstaking and it might actually be... but this is a fine task to work on while you watch, say, The Bachelor. Courtney... really? That is another blog post for another day.

The next step is optional but if you have enough thread on your needle, place a tiny stitch at the top of the bow tails under where they meet the loop connection. This will give the finish bows a perfect shape with no flapping.

Now... if you can get your hands on this stuff, you are golden. The Secret Weapon finds this at army surplus stores for Saucy (you should go there sometimes, they have the coolest stuff). This is a kind of plastic string that is INDESTRUCTIBLE.  You can tie it, pull it, stretch it to the limits and it will not break. Imagine how handy this material is at a time like now.

It's so durable, you don't even have to use a full width. You can cut the length you need and then proceed to tear it into narrower strips - you will not diminish its strength in the least.

Saucy cut one nice long tail (about eight inches) in another school colour and cinched it with the magic string.

She also used the magic string to secure an elastic pony holder to the back of the bow. She gave it a few little wraps and an extra tight tie.

Then, looping the long green tail under the loops but in front of the tails of the main bow - do you see what she did there? She tied the green tail up and under the loops so they all fly together in the same direction. She does not trim the magic string at this point, not yet. She sets aside the whole business and gets busy making spikes for the embellishment.

Having cut five pieces of ribbon in corresponding colours, she performs the same twist and tie routine with another piece of magic string.

Then, slipping in these short pieces (they're cut to three inches each), she goes along adding and tying the five pieces. She twists and fluffs as she goes along.

Eventually, she has a lovely little spiked ribbon arrangement. Miraculously, if she used a good long length of magic string, she has a generous tail to secure it to the bow, right between the loops.

Here goes nothing... she places the spikes where she wants them in the middle of the bow.

Then, she inverts the whole shebang and uses the long tails of magic string along with the excess tails she did not trim when she added the long green tails... she generously ties and knots the spikes in place. This step also reinforces the elastic to the bow.

After trimming any excess bits of string, the bow is now ready to starch and bake.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Use your hand to puff up the loops of the bow into a nice round shape (or however you like them) and spray generously with laundry spray starch. Saucy does this part over the kitchen sink, transferring the bow onto a cookie sheet lined with a clean tea towel. Sometimes she stuffs the bow loops with tissue paper to prevent them from flattening out when they bake.

Bake your bows about 20 minutes or until firm to the touch. They won't be rock-hard but they'll hold their shape when your cheerleader jumps, stunts and tumbles.

You may repeat the starching process until your spikes are quite in the place you would like them. Of course, you may also decide to re-starch them after each use.

The last, final step before wearing these bows is to trim the tails using a sharp clean scissor. Dab the edges with fray-check or - Saucy's preference - clear nail polish. Don't forget to dab it onto the tips of the spikes as well as each of the tail pieces.

Your bows are now ready for wear and tear. Tip: do not use the bow elastic to create your ponytail. Use a separate elastic (or two) to secure your pony where you want it and then add the bow using the attached elastic. This will ensure your hairdo is more secure and the bow on your elastic will last much longer.

The Fan is bringing extra-wide white grosgrain ribbon home with her from Palm Springs this weekend. Saucy will have one day - Sunday - to fashion oversized bows for The Cheerios to wear to the City Championships next week, and Provincials the following weekend. She's planning on doing it a little differently, so she'll post that tutorial as well.

The Cheerios have snazzy new uniforms to unveil next week, courtesy one of our talented and generous Mama helpers. New bows are in order as well, don't you agree?