Friday, November 30, 2012

Coming Home - Nothing Like It

I needed one more post for my week out of town and since I can't upload any pictures due to the photo hosting thing, I thought I would just share my week before going. I wish I could show photos but I will figure that out soon. I sewed and finished Princess Fives "Tune" quilt. I sewed a really cute body pillow case to match as she asked for one of those for Christmas. I finished Princess Two's A quilt and am working on the B quilt with her and it is almost done. 

Princess Two met with the surgeon and had her surgery and they found scarring on the gallbladder and he told us that she would have eventually had to have it out if not now so we were glad we figured it out as one of my friends that actually helped us figure it out had a problem for two years before getting hers out so we are blessed to have gotten it quicker. She has had problems for a full year now. She is excited to see if she can eat without pain now.

She is still drugged up and I am trying to pack so I can leave. I will be packing my mom tomorrow and you will be reading this next Friday. I spent a few hours trying to figure out picture hosting this week but it is beyond a few hour transition. I think I need to just get off blogger and go to the .com I have. 

I know I will be thrilled to be getting home tomorrow and want to let you know that I appreciate you all. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sea Gypsies - Moken Tribe of Thailand - Adventure for Princess Four

Princess four is going to go on a service mission to Thailand to follow in princess number three's footsteps. If you remember a few summers ago, Princess three went to Africa. There are lots of posts about it which you can look up at the bottom of this page on the search just typing in Africa. 

So, this next summer, Princess Four will be going off to help the Moken people just off Thailand. Princess twos best friend went to Thailand the same year Princess Two went to Africa but they worked at a different village. This will be the first time that any group has gone to the Moken people. 

The group they are going with is hoping that they will be able to help these people. The local Rotary clubs in Thailand and many missionaries are helping in many ways but they are still in great need so Princess four is very excited to go. 

Here are some videos that you may want to watch. I was fascinated by what I saw. I learned two things I didn't know. It is amazing.  
Click here to see the 60 Minutes video about how these amazing people survived the tsunami several years ago.

Click here to see how they can see more clearly under water than you or I. Under water, the eye usually dilates due to the lack of light lower in the water. However, the Moken people learn how to over rule this automatic reflex and make their pupils constrict which makes them be able to see clearly under water  which is twice as well as you and I. I had never heard of this before but studies show that any child can learn to do this. They also slow their heart rate down which allows them to hold their breath longer. 

I though that was so amazing. It is a short video but well worth the watch. They use infrared cameras to show the boy's pupils changing. Very amazing. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Princess Africa's Getting a New Pet

I found this unique item at a second hand store. 

Yes, it is VERY different but since Princess three went to Africa and has her room decorated in orange and brown African print, (see her room here) I thought she may like this. She and the younger princesses don't read my blog much so I feel confident that these posts will be safe as long as someone doesn't share them with the girls. 

I thought the container was a "one of a kind" and decided that I would get it for her, clean it up and fill it with candy for her college room. 
She doesn't want much for holidays and she loves when I buy bulk candy after Halloween so I purchased some to fill up the elephant. 

Someone made this elephant out of paper mache. I could see the letters under the paint. It was in English so I don't think it was foreign made. I didn't know if the paint in the middle was lead based so I thought if I covered it with duck tape, any candy inside would be safe. 

I used black tape and covered the bottom and sides and then used black acrylic paint to finish painting the  inside.  The white thing you see is the handle of the foam brush I used to paint the inside.

I also used black duck tape to cover the inside of the lid which had a crack in it. 

None of that was hard but took some time. 

The outside had some dust which we vacuumed and then washed with a damp cloth and then I took Elmer's glue and since the outside was made using  strips of cloth, some of the edges had frayed. I used the Elmer's glue to glue any loose ends and cut any frayed strings off securing it better so it will withstand use at college.   
I don't know how Princess 3 will like her new pet but I thought it would match her room just great and make an interesting candy jar. Even if she just likes it for the candy, I know it is something that her friends will LOVE as long as she shares! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Growing Miniature Squashes - Totally an Accident

So, I shared with you that this weeks posts were going to be short. This one actually is funny because they are all short. 

We planted our garden this year and I did my best to keep it watered but somewhere in there, I lost the battle. The sprinklers I put in were hidden behind vines and I didn't get them moved so my squash crop this year was quite funny. 

I got one pumpkin that would fit in my palm.

I got two butternut squashes that are barely enough for one. 

The banana squashes are not much bigger than the butternut squash. the largest one is a spaghetti squash that actually is good size and Princess four is excited about that as it is one of her favorite squashes. 

Sitting on the boxes, you can't really tell how large they are but in the palm of my hand, you can see that the banana's are just funny small. 

I think I will cook them all on Thanksgiving showing gratitude for our harvest, as small as that may be! 

Here is a picture of the banana squash next to the one that I bought a few weeks ago at the pumpkin patch.(Here is a link to that post)  Quite a difference in size!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Homemade Captin America Shield - for Free

I am headed out of town for a week to take my mother out of the country. Some of these posts will be short but I have saved them for just this occasion when I wouldn't have much time to post. 

This Halloween when Princess Four wanted to go out trick-or-treating, her friend showed up with this amazing shield. I thought he bought it somewhere and asked him about it. 

He told me he made it.

Of course, I then had to take a closer look and asked him if I could take some pictures and blog about it. He said that was fine and he was very excited to tell me about it. 

The first exciting thing for him was that he found the lid on the side of the road. He didn't even have to buy it. 

My guess is that you could buy one at a second hand store but what I would do is head to the recycle shops looking for one. 

He took the handle off and put it on the inside instead of the outside. If it is attached, drill some holes through it and screw in a handle from the hardware store.

He then took a hammer and started hitting the outer edge making it flat instead of down. Once it was as flat as he liked, he took some shiny silver metallic duct tape or vinyl and made a star for the center. 

Before putting it on, he spray painted the center blue. He didn't have to mask anything as he would do that before painting the rest red. He then taped down a paper plate and sprayed the rest red. After that, he put the star on. I thought he was very creative in making that for free. I guess the paint cost something but how much fun is that for a child to have to play with. Best part is, it really would work as a shield!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Princess Two Had Surgery..... Thanks-giving She is OK

Once again, I am having problems with my photo hosting. Princess Two had surgery this week, we did Thanksgiving dinner, I am leaving the country for a week with my mother and we are having a extended family dinner all within three days.  I am packing, nursing, cooking, cleaning, and driving so I hope you will forgive me for this post. I can't post any photos today but Princess Two is doing well after having her gallbladder out. She is home as it was same day surgery. 

I have posts done for next week and hope to be able to figure out the picture hosting issue when I get home next weekend. 

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and were able to give gratitude in all things. I am grateful for so many things but really don't have time to list them as it is 5 a.m. and I have so much to get done. 

Here is a link to a post where I list some blessings that I think shows what I am thankful for always.

Also, here is a link to another list of things I am thankful for often.

Here is a link to the second part to that post. It is talking about "Counting your blessings" which I do often but probably not often enough.

I am so blessed but sometimes wish I weren't so busy. :-)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Princess Number Two Illness Guess - Gallbladder

 As you know, if you follow my blog at all, that Princess Two has come home from her mission in Taiwan early due to some weird illness and symptoms. 

We had a few interesting experiences and I think we know what the problem is but aren't sure what to do about it. 

Since she arrived home, her stomach cramping that she had most of the past year started to go away some and she thought maybe it was that she could sleep longer and get more rest but a few weeks back, I made some stir-fry with shrimp and used lots of olive oil in the process. That night, princess was rolling around on the floor in pain. 

The next day, she ate more and once again was on the floor in pain. I didn't know which night she was in pain or what she was eating.  I know she had been eating lots and enjoying the foods she hadn't eaten in a year but those two nights were the worst pain she had in weeks. 

Forward to my bunko night. Princess joined me and on the way in, she mentioned that she had really bad pain in her right shoulder right under the scapula. I touched the are when she sat down and wondered what she could have done to have such a big pain. She said it didn't hurt like a pulled muscle just really bad pain. 
Forward to an hour later when I am at a table with three women and one says, "Do you want to hear a funny story?" she then tells this story about how she had her gallbladder out two months ago and her dad had been having right shoulder pain in the back for months and went to a chiropractor, a Dr. and a massage therapist and nothing was helping. She told him when the Surgeon went to take out her gallbladder, he asked if she had been having any right back shoulder pain as that was common with gallbladder issues. She then said her father was getting his gallbladder out in the morning. 

I got chills. No one heard princess tell me her shoulder hurt. The woman was sitting in the exact spot Princess two had been when we talked and I touched  her hurt shoulder. I don't know if she had told me at any other time, I would have put two and two together. 

We had family down to welcome Princess home a week later and I mentioned to a friend that we thought her problem was gallbladder. My sister-in-law was standing behind me. 

She reminded me that my 18 year old niece had her gallbladder out over a year ago because she kept having similar issues for months. The Dr.'s diagnosed her with Anorexia but the mom told them she ate the same as her 8 other children if not more. She had all the tests to check out the gallbladder and they all came back normal. She even had a scope down the throat which showed nothing. 

Until the surgeon actually went in and took it out, everything looked normal. When he took it out, they realized it wasn't and that she would have had problems ongoing. Since then, she has been fine. She does take some medication but that is because she was so young. They don't like taking the gallbladder out in people under 19. It was a life saver for her as she couldn't eat any meat.   
We went to the clinic and got some tests ordered. Once again, we went back to our bland died of no milk, not much dairy, limited chicken and fish, no red meat or pork, and mostly fruits and veggies cooked with little or no fats. Princess felt better.

She had an ultrasound which didn't show stones. She then had a Hida-scan ordered and it showed normal. 

From there, I thought perhaps we were off but still can't get that nagging thought that she is like my niece and needs to figure it out. So, I call the Surgeon and make an appointment.         
We decided to do a test on our own and see what she can and can't eat to have a reaction. The first night, I made shrimp again. She had pain that was tolerable but did have mild discomfort.

Night two, we had an early Christmas dinner with the women of my church. We ate, Chicken cordon bleu (which has ham and cheese wrapped in chicken with breading) baked potato with butter and sour cream, veggies, gravy, salad with ranch dressing and cheese cake for dessert.    

By midnight, early morning, she was up in my room cramping in pain with tears in her eyes. She said, "This is the pain that I had almost every day of my mission. It hurts so bad." We almost went to the ER but she put on a movie and I rubbed her back as the pain was radiating from the gallbladder area to the back. 

After that, we decided she didn't need to test it anymore. She had me tearing up with the thought that she was nauseous and in pain for the past year and no one took her to get tested or fixed. 

I am sure she has the EXACT same issues as my niece. It must run in the family. I have a sister, my mom and a cousin who all had long fights with gallbladder issues before having them out. I have a friend who had a miscarriage and her gallbladder out and a cousin and friend that had them out while pregnant. 

I figure we should get this taken care of while she still has insurance through the missionary group and perhaps she can go out and finish the work she started to do. However, she wants to go somewhere warm! :-)     

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Showing off her Clothes on the Looney Tune Quilt

I have shared in the past how Princess five has a collection of Looney Tune items. The last few days, I have been sharing some of the fun things that we have been able to put on her quilt.

Today, I just wanted to share some of the clothes the girls and I wore that are in some of the photos included. All but one of the outfits on the quilt we wore and there are some pillow squares that she had in her room but other than that, all the clothes on the quilt were actually worn by the girls and I.

I am sure I have other pictures of the girls in the clothes but since I never finished scanning all the their pictures, I don't have time to go through and find them in the boxes of stuff so I just posted some that I knew the "where abouts" of in our photos that are digital.

The overalls at the top are probably the "most famous" of the clothes. Princess number three was chosen to be in the dolphin show at Sea World when she was about five while we were on vacation. She was wearing those overalls in the photos at the show.

Flash forward five or so years. At the time, I had no idea what princess three wore when we went to Sea World. We are on vacation again at Sea World when Princess five gets asked to be in the dolphin show. 

It wasn't until we were looking at Princess three's photos that we realized that both girls were wearing the EXACT same outfit when they were chosen to be in the dolphin show at Sea World!
I think Princess five may want to be like her older sister... Not a bad thing but weird about the outfit. 

The "I have issues!" shirt was a joke shirt I bought and wore camping to make my sisters laugh. I still had it in my drawer but thought it would be fun to include it on the quilt. It is kind of a joke in our family to "have issues." 

Flipping through the few digital photos we have prior to 2005, I found Princess two wearing the jean Tweety overalls while getting a school award and included that picture
I also included the photos of our family dressed up in the Looney Tune costumes as I found it while looking for a few pictures of the girls wearing their "Tune" clothes and thought it was cute. I have kept busy over the years sewing costumes and quilts for the girls but it sure has been fun for them to have all the memories.

I think I may miss doing this type of thing when they are gone. I enjoy creating things for  the girls to enjoy. I'm sure I will have lots of grandchildren to create for soon enough. Wont that be an adventure?!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Over-All Cutest T-Shrit Quilt Squares

For today's post, I thought I would show you several ways to incorporate overalls on your t-shirt quilt. 

This Tweety pair had cute pockets on the side of the pant part so as not to loose that, I cut the top front off, the legs by undoing the inside hem and cut the "Looney Tunes" triangle off the back and sewing it onto one of the legs.

If you look at the top picture, it almost looks like the pocket was in the front center but because I cut it just below the waistline and sewed it back on (you can see the black dot heads of the pins across the waist where I pinned it before sewing.) you can't tell that it isn't the front unless looking. Then the other pocket leg, I sewed the triangle on the upper left of the square. They both came out cute. You can get anywhere from 1 to 4 squares off overall depending on what pockets, front and back you want to use.

These other full length overalls could have been used in several ways and I had planned to use the back pockets as a square of their own but once I show you how to sew the crotch to make the back into a flat square, I realized I had a few two square so I cut the pockets out and sewed them onto the bottom of a t-shirt and they look really cute. 

I try to keep as many pockets as I can as children love to put things in pockets or just slide their hand into them on quilts. 
The other things I try to keep are the custom buttons. The Looney Tune one's have that written on them. Princess Two's Pooh quilt has "Pooh" buttons on her quilt and loves that I left them on.  I suggest putting anything with lots of buttons on the side bottom or top edges so that when you lay on the quilt in the middle, you don't have a button in your back. 

If you want to make the back of the pants or overalls to be its own square, I show here how you fold them over themselves and then pin a straight line down using a ruler and then sew it and you can get a fairly good square out of them. If there is something decorative on the back and you don't want to lose it but don't have enough for its own square, just cut them off and sew them onto the other square somewhere.

For the front, just cut off the front to what size you want it and cut out a flat square out of a sweatshirt or thicker material and then pin and stitch the front on as most overalls would need something behind them to make a square.

You can see how I did that in the bottom photo when I sewed the Tweety Bird overalls onto a pair of her silky/velvet pajama pants she loved and wore for years.

You can also see in the "I have Issues" t-shirt, how I ended cutting off the pockets from the overalls I showed and sewed them on using zig-zag and I think it came out really fun. I liked the striped red and white of the shirt with the hearts and label in the same color from the pockets.

You can see where I did the same thing with a Tweety from the purple shirt front and stitched them onto the large Tweety overalls. 

This quilt is taking lots of time with all the little things needing to be sewn on but the smile on her face will surly make it worth while.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Went Looney with Sit-itus and Over-Focus Syndrome

I have a tendency to get so focused on a project that I have a hard time doing other things while that project isn't finished. 

That is why I don't start puzzles unless we have a long weekend where I know I can get it done as I don't like knowing I have unfinished projects to do.

Sunday all day, I had a horrible headache. One of the worst in a year. I was in bed most of the day taking drugs and drinking Coke to try and keep myself from losing what wasn't in my stomach. (Hadn't eaten much.) 

After about 8 pills and two liters of Coke, I ate something and wanted to keep my mind off the pain so I started working on Princess Five's quilt. She walked in on me the other day working on it when I thought she was in bed so she knows about it but she couldn't keep the smile from showing as she has asked "How it is going?" several times in the past few days. 

I didn't think it would ever take as long as it has but there are so many overalls and small shirt, etc that most of the squares have more than one item needing to be stitched on. I was up all night and it wasn't until mid day today that I realized I hadn't blogged for today. I worked almost 24 hours on the thing straight. I had all the rows square stitched together and sat down for a moment to pin the rows together. 

That was when the Sit-itus hit me. The Over-Focus syndrome hit about an hour earlier when I realized I hadn't blogged. I have 720 posts over the past 2+ years and have only missed a few days due to technical difficulty in posting etc. I think there was one day I posted late but today, I totally didn't even think about it last night or today until late in the day. 

Princess 2 came in about 2:15 p.m. and gently woke me. I was sitting up with the top two rows of her quilt pinned on my lap and had my legs on the coffee table where the cutting stuff was. I told her to let me sleep for a few hours. I made a few calls to reschedule some things and laid on the couch like you see in the top as I was so tired I didn't want to go up to bed. 

I had a three hour power nap and got up to write this after getting the girls dinner. 

This is why I don't like to start new projects until the last one is finished. It makes me VERY tired! I could so be called a "work-a-holic" so it is good I can focus on one thing at a time until it is done and then start the next.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Giving Bugs Hat a New Life - T-Shirt Quilt Squares

Today, I'll share with you how I make squares for a t-shirt quilt out of hats, visors or baseball caps

Today, I will show you how I do it with hats

In the past, I have done it a few other ways but I just wanted to show you how I like to do it now. 

In the  photo in this link, on the orange squares, you can see a hat (on the right) I pulled apart all the way and sewed in sections as she wanted all of her friends finger prints that were on all sides of the cap or baseball cap. It doesn't look as cute but at least you can see the front, sides and back. The orange square on the left has a visor brim or band and the visor part itself sewn on.
On the quilt I made for a friend, you can see how I incorporated the "hoodie" section of a sweat shirt on the bottom left, it had a cute print and we wanted to keep that on the quilt. I actually left the ties on and sewed them down in a circle so you could tell it was actually a hood. Click here for that.
Usually now, this is how I do hats. Pick out the hat liner (the white thing) and throw it away. Then, pick through the underside of the hat brim with scissors and get the tip in and start cutting on the inside edge. Cut it all the way across so you can get to the plastic or cardboard piece that maintains the shape of the brim or visor. 
Pull the plastic piece out of the brim. 

Next, fold the hat in half like you would find them stacked on a shelf pushing the back into the front. 

Cut up the sides where the fold is and throw away the back of the hat unless there is something on the back that you want to keep. Even the back by itself could be a cute square but I just threw them away wanting only the front.  

Try to keep the brim attached to the hat, I pin it in place as you can see in the next two photos as I don't want it to move before I can sew it. 
When you unpick the hat band or take out the plastic, sometimes the stitches holding them together come out. Also, on some hats, the brim is held in place by two rows of stitching which you will have to unpick before the plastic can be removed. (As you can see on the bugs hat photo above.) 
Next, pin it to the square you want. I usually use the back piece of a sweatshirt where I used the front on the quilt. Never sew it onto t-shirt material as it can't support the weight of the hat. It would rip eventually and possibly even while stitching. Sweatshirt works best.

Lastly, using zig-zag stitch, go around the outside of the hat until it is secure. As you can see I am having a problem with my machine and the stitches aren't even so I just went around the edges twice which fixed the problem. 

Lastly, Sew with straight stitch where the brim attaches to the hat.  This secures the hat and brim where it may have been unpicked. 

It also gives the hat more security being attached to the sweatshirt in a few more places. (Similar to quilting it down.) If you stitched that part first and then sewed it onto the quilt, when the quilt was hanging, the hat would hang away from the square as it is heavy. This pulling away could rip the hat off eventually at the corners. Sewing them together after the hat is on the square keeps the hat secured to the square. 

If you look closely at the bugs hat, you can see where I unpicked the two rows of stitching on the brim that held the visor part in place. I don't stitch back over it as when the quilt is washed, these marks won't be noticeable

"Tune" in Monday when I hope to have the overall squares done to show you. There are so many options with those as well! However, it all depends on how much time Princess five spends at home this weekend. I can't get much done with her home without her seeing something. Hopefully, I can keep it a secret until Christmas!