Sunday, December 30, 2012

Better Nursing Home Bibs

Have you seen the bibs used in nursing homes?  All the ones I've seen are giant imitations of baby bibs of white terry cloth.  Serviceable?  Yes, but many people find them demeaning.  It's hard enough to be ill or disabled (or ill AND disabled) without being made to feel a bit foolish three times a day.  I made these for my mother as an alternative. 

Actually I made quite a few of these so there would be enough for at least 3 meals a day for a week.  If you're lucky enough to have your relative at home, you would not need so many.  Rather than looking like bibs, they look like aprons.  I used a basic apron design with slight modifications.  There is no need for waist ties which would be a pain to tie anyway.  It just needs to fit the neck area, wide enough to cover the chest and lap area, and long enough to cover the lap when seated. 

The neck area is adjustable with D-rings on mine so that can easily be slipped over the head and tightened up to fit when needed.
I put up a hook so that all the aprons could hung by this neck strap--easy way to keep them together and handy. 

These pics are to give an idea of how they fit.  (Since I'm the model and the photographer, I finally have an excuse for my amateur quality shots.)

You get the idea, right?

This is a pic of the basic design I used.
I cut out a pattern from the purple paper.  I used cotton early on but think that synthetics are more effective for easy washing and no ironing.  (Yes, I still use an iron for things other than sewing.  Am I alone in that?)  I have napkins from a synthetic blend I've been using for at least three years now that I love.  While they may not be quite as absorbent as cotton or terry, they work more than well enough, don't hold stains, and come out of the dryer wrinkle free.

I made mine from two pieces of fabric sewn right sides together leaving an opening for turning.  Don't forget to pin the straps in place!  If spilling liquids are a bigger issue, you might want to use a terry on one side or as a lining down the center. 

Some things I learned along the way:
  • Use busy prints so that possible stains are not as much of an issue.
  • Use two different fabrics on each side.  It's reversible!
  • In addition to top stitching about a quarter of an inch in all the way around the edge once it's turned right side out, sew in a design or two in the center, or just straight lines to hold the fabrics together.  I used a heart design on this one.
I also embroidered my mother's name on hers because things have a way of getting lost in nursing homes.  I feel like I'm dealing with school-aged kids again!
She got a kick out of having her name embroidered, too.

No need to leave the guys out.  Just use some fabrics such as these.

It's so often difficult to adjust to being in a  nursing home.  This may be one small way to make it a bit more tolerable.

The relatives are arrive in less than an hour!  Must get to work.

Linking to:

More the Merrier Monday

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Can A Television Ever Be Too Big?

I'm been whining about the television in my bedroom for a long time.  Too small!  I couldn't do foreign films because I couldn't read the subtitles.  Most annoying.  My lovely husband was listening.  Merry Christmas to me!

It's hard to see here, but this 55-inch screen takes up practically the entire top of my dresser.  Overkill?  Maybe.  Does it look ridiculous?  Even I think it look a bit silly.  However, when I watch Morning Joe now, I feel like I'm sitting right there at the table with them.  I find myself talking right along with Mika and Joe.  (I never said I was normal.)  I can definitely see the subtitles now.  I'm going with no on the "can a television every be too big" question.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Hi You All! Want to See a Rather Eerie Pillow?

So I stopped back because I dearly miss blogging and found that me last post about stopping the blog is missing.  I can't find it anywhere!  Kind of weird, yet fitting.

Two things have happened here.  First, life is calming down considerably with my mother's nursing home issues.  This have given me more time for the second thing, getting back to crafting.  Every time I finish something, I really want to share it with other crafty people.  Hence, my absolute need return to blogging.  I missed you guys!

While everyone was making cute Christmas stuff, I was playing with eyeballs to make this guy. 

I saw the idea for making the eyes on one blog (wish I could remember which one) and traveled among countless others trying to figure out just how someone with zero artistic ability could pull this off.
Set #1--quite happy with this set
Set #2--not so happy with this set

The center, where the iris is located, is concave.  After painting, I poured jewelry resin in this area.  It was supposed to stay in that area.  The rest of the eye would have varnish to get that shiny look. My resin overflowed covering the whole thing.  That works, too, though, and eliminates the need for varnish.  Here's a pic that kind of shows the reservoir of resin (I think or hope it does anyway). 
That shine gives a great glassy-eye stare.
After finishing this project, I saw that someone else photocopies irises and then cuts and pastes them on the baked polymer.  I just might give that a try next.

So the creature is presently guarding my house and creeping out visitors who suddenly notice that the pillow is staring at them.

Hope you all had a great Hanukkah (or Chanukah  if you prefer that spelling) or Christmas! 

Linking to:

More the Merrier Monday

Monday, October 1, 2012

Look Who I Met in The Hundred Acre Wood

The Hundred Acre Wood Brian and I were hiking through is in Malta, New York.  No chance of meeting a bear, let alone Pooh Bear, there!  We did meet this guy.

 I only had my lowly 2 megapixel phone camera, but his coloring is so unusual for around here that I wanted to show him off!   I've never seen one this with so much yellow before.

There were a couple of feisty dogs racing around, so I moved him off the path
This is the only photo of the toadstools that came out well enough to share.  I love how it is practically turning into petals.  There were more different kinds of toadstools and tree fungus there than I've ever seen in one place before.  I am SO looking forward to getting back up there later this week with a better camera.  Maybe I'll even see that turtle again.  Probably not, but one can hope!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

More of the Travel Pouches--Shoe Bags

On our last trip I wished I had a few of these--

shoe bags.  Sand does have a way of creeping into every little crevice.  I didn't want to just put shoes in the suitcases.  This is much better.

I went with pink zippers this time.  The shoe bags join these other two pouches from last week.
I'm feeling so very coordinated and ready for another trip!  Brian does not share my enthusiasm about another trip, however.

Who else thinks a set of these would make a great gift??  Okay, maybe I'll tone down the bright factor for gifting.  These practically require sunglasses.

 I tried to do fancy zipper pulls.  I had these beads that I though would look so nice with the pink zippers and tropical flowers.
 See, would have been nice, huh? 
Unfortunately I know so little about beading.  The cording I bought would not fit all the way through the bead.  I stuck a large pin down through only to find that the bead was not evenly drilled through.  It got thinner and off kilter at the center.  I'm sure that really fine wire would have worked.  I have no idea, though, as to how all those beading supplies work.  I ended up with five different kinds of beading supplies--none of which work together to create a pull.  Until I figure this all out, a simple cord will do! 
I still don't quite have the zipper ends looking as they should, but each bag is getting better and easier.  Practice makes perfect, right?  By the time I finish a set for my daughter, I should have this all worked out...or not. 

Linking to:

More the Merrier Monday

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Want to See an Ocean Sunrise--kind of??

Here you go!

 I blew these up to 8x10, matted, and framed them.  I'm putting them on the stairwell wall so that I  can see the sun rising over the ocean as I go downstairs in the morning.   Going upstairs, I'll see a setting sun;-}

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Little Pouch Sewing Yesterday!

 Both fully lined...
The boxy one at the top is from It's a Pretty Modern Life and free!  I had no trouble at all with this tutorial.  It is a great one.  I am going to be making one more of these soon.  Did I change it?  Of course.  It's an inch or two bigger in width.  Since the markings required use the ends of the fabric and measuring in a half an inch from that, changes in size are really easy--for me that's sayin' something.  I am somewhat challenged in this area as demonstrated in the second pouch.

The second one is from a Etsy pattern from Projects by Jane.  It's called the Sexy Zippy Wristlet.  I think I lost the sexy part, but consider it a bit zippy.  This one has some instructions that are great for even the really new sewer.  I still had a hard time, though, with understanding the edge sewing on each side of the zipper.  I'm sure it's me.  I have trouble with these things.  I really needed more photos to understand how to sew the edges around the zipper ends. I finally just pushed on through, but think I should have been doing it differently. 

Yes, I changed that one, too.  I always want bigger so...
instead of cutting the ends of the paper and matching the squares, I just left that extra in there.  It was easy enough to do even with the longer zipper required because, like the boxy pouch, it used a measurement in from the edge for setting the zipper.

I thought I had a metal piece to make the handle detachable, but it turned out to be too big.  I'm happy with the sewn-on handle, though.  One thing I would do next time:  cut the darts out when cutting out the pattern.  The lines there are sewing lines, so the cutting triangle would be in a quarter of an inch from there for me.  I found it cumbersome to get the darts together later with the zipper in place.  I think the cut lines would be easier for me to work through.

Thank you to sewing muse, Sandra, whose blog I "mine" for inspiration and tutorial and pattern sources. Now I've got to go visit her to find ideas for zipper pulls.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Most Expensive Piece of Quilting Fabric I've Ever Purchased

Cost of one yard of fabric:  $17.  $5.50 of that was shipping.  Yes, I really like the Winterkist collection.  I've been following the Winterestkist blog hop leading up to the recent release of this line of fabric for months.  Lecien's free quilt pattern using the gnomes kept screaming, "Make me!"  I decided not to go overboard, though.  I wanted to see some in person first.  It was $11.50 a yard from Fabric Worm!  That is more than I have ever paid for fabric. 

I should have stopped when I got to shipping costs, but...I didn't  I did, however, email the company to find out why shipping cost so much.  I just mailed a heavier envelope a longer distance for less than $2.  Answer:  They use a flat shipping rate.  They told me I could have ordered 10 or 11 yards for the same price!  In essence, those making small purchases are subsidizing those making large ones.   My son has an on-line business.  Using the USPS website, he can figure out exact postage for the dimensions and weight of each package,  pay for it,  and print out the completed shipping label.  Customers with large, heavy items need not subsidize those with lighter items.

Lessons learned:  check shipping costs before getting too committed to placing the order OR just be patient and wait for fabric to come to the local quilt shop to see it in person.  I'm also going to avoid blog hops like this.  It build the same dumb frenzy that is presently going on with the new IPhone.  Well, at least it wasn't as expensive as an IPhone. You know you are addicted to fabric when....

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Continuing Saga of the Garden Steps Quilt

Let me begin by saying that I have grown to love everything about this quilt including my amateur stitching.  It has flourished far better than my actual garden-growing and growing!  The original kits from Clover and Violet were for six and twelve blocks.  I got the twelve block kit.  Then I decided that I wanted it to fit a bigger bed.  That would require eight more blocks.  I needed another twelve block kit. The four extra are turning into pillow shams.  Okay!  Way to turn a big project into a massive one!  So I'm down to the embroidery on the last two squares, and the quilt top is together  ready to pin. 
It is a rainy, dark day here which I am blaming for this rather dull photo.  I find that the time to fix photos is often what keeps me from blogging.  I'm trying not to be such a perfectionist.  You guys forgive me, right?  (She says as her few blogger buds hit to drop-this-blog button:-o)
Anyway back to the quilt.  Increasing the size left me with lots of blocks that needed embroidery designs.  I combed through some from Clover and Violets past projects, the internet, magazines, and books to find designs to complete the blocks.  Here are a few that will receive proper credit as soon as my life calms down to its normal frenzy.

from this site,

From a quilting magazine that I won't look up unless you want to find it.

Another online one.

The idea is from an online source though there are lots of changes.
From a photo!  I could not find a Hosta drawing.
These are the last two that I need to finish.  I wanted a squirrel because I have an abundance in my garden.  We also have a few toads which always delight me when they turn up.  I couldn't find a drawing of a toad, though.  The tree frog in the last one will have to do.
Finished!  The squirrel is from Aneela Hooey's Little Stitches book.

Toad drawings were too detailed or dark for me to use.
 Best place I've ever sewn:
In a comfy chair on the beach.

I've got to leave you with one last photo.  I promise--last one.  It's my new favorite spot to compute.
Right now, despite the rain,  I've got a downy woodpecker, purple finch, three gold finches, house finch, too many sparrows, and a cardinal feeding.  So cool to get to watch them up close.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tilly and One-Eye at Virginia Beach

They tried to relax on the beach.  They really did.  First the wave hit.

 Stuffies do not like getting wet.

Then the wind pick up--picked them up!
 Still, they were holding out for that day on the beach.  Don't they look like a sweet couple.  Odd, but sweet.
Unfortunately this guy below started moving in quickly.  Tilly does look a bit like one of those giant marshmallows they're selling, and One-Eye could easily be mistaken for some sea creature.  Honestly, this bird was not cowed by my chaperoning a bit.  He was going for one of these little beasts.  I was NOT gonna be chasing a bird down the beach screaming for him to drop the stuffed animal.

Tilly and one Eye will be seeing Virginia from the balcony.