Thursday, January 31, 2019

Making Draw String Pouches or Bags For Marbles and More

I mentioned recently that I was put into the Bears group in Cub Scouts. 

I got my first assignment and it had to do with marbles. I ponder why I would need to  know marbles with scouts but dutifully performed the tasks set aside in the manual for scouts and marbles. 
I wondered at the best method to make marble bags as they have it in the manual to help the boys make pouches to hold their marbles. We discussed what "pouches" are used for and how every culture has some form of the pouches for coins, riches, herbs, etc.

I figured we would need sturdy fabric as cotton would fray and need to be surged or hemmed at the edges and wouldn't be the most sturdy. I thought about using upholstery fabric but it gets caught or catches and is super stiff. I couldn't find leather and wondered if I should just make some bags out of the thicker fabric but it still would leave me needing to hem it all.

I found some polyester fabric and decided to make the pouches out of this fabric due to its ability to not fray. I clipped the top of the fabric with pinking sheers so I wouldn't have to sew a hem or salvage edge. If you are going to do this at home, l would suggest polyester knit fabric as it doesn't rip.

I found some super tight wind thin chording and we used that with large darning needles to sew a gather stitch at the top edge of the fabric. Make sure that you are not really close to the top edge so it doesn't pull through the top edge, about 3/4 inch down from the top edge is perfect.

Tie a knot at the end of the string before sewing and after you finish the gathering stitch, make sure you have enough string left to be able to tie a square knot to hold it closed. I wanted a way to be able to keep the bag closed even if the knot came undone. 

I came up with using a button to keep it closed. I cut the knot off the back end of the string and threaded both ends of the string through the button and then tied a knot on each end of the string. The button being pushed tightly against the fabric bag top when gathered worked great at keeping the top of the bag from opening when you wanted to keep it closed. 

I was really impressed at how the boys were able to gather the tops themselves. I could have had them sew the edges of the bag on a machine so they could have made the entire bag, but we just have time at our meetings for the sewing machine, but perhaps we can do that for another meeting. 

You can make the bags any shape you want but in the end, a rectangle worked best for the boys. Watch the video for more details, but if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Have a Blessed Day!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Bath Time Fun - Painting and Crayon Kit

I have fallen asleep blogging the last three nights. I have the parasite lung burning super awful and believe that when they are burrowing, they produce a sedative effect so that they can move without threat. 

I am struggling with fatigue and having kids around, makes my life wonderful but busy, so even though I may want to blog other things, I am struggling at this very second falling asleep. I have been doing the pages of one letter as I fall asleep and then wake every few minutes. 

I believe this is part of why I think I post something, and find out later I didn't but because I took all the pictures and am ready to post but beingt so tired, I don't and then other things come up and I never get back to posting events.  Currently, I just made another huge row of r's so I need to get to bed. I usually do a scavenger hunt for Valentines Day but since I won't be with the kids that day, I gave them their gift early. 

I found this fun art tub set. It has a paint tray where you squirt paint soap into a little paint pallet and there were five colors of soap pens as well. The kids had a blast with them and even cleaned it up before bed! There is enough for four or five art murals in the box. 

I just typed a line of e's and about fell off the bed asleep. I was actually dreaming. Just know I found the kit at Walmart and I would purchase it again as they enjoyed it!

Have a Blessed, Clean, and Colorful Day!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Princess Five Living in The Mission - Ellis Island Again

Hello all my wonderful family and friends! How are you all?! I'm so sorry I didn't send a letter last week, but here is this one, it's going to be a little long!
This week was pretty great!

One day we were street contacting for 
about an hour and everyone seemed to be in a sour mood. No one was happy, no one was smiling, little did they know that we had a message that could change their lives forever and bring them joy through eternity. 

Unfortunately, no one wanted to here that message. So after an hour of nothing we started walking back to our car. When we were almost there we saw our first genuine smile of the day. We stopped her, her name is Dalilah, and she was so happy and willing to hear our message, we return to her work later that week and told her about the book of Mormon and gave her a copy, she works all the time, so it will be hard to meet with her again but we are hopeful that we can teach her again.

Another cool thing that happened this week, is I've been trying to listen to the spirit more. We were searching for a certain street, turns out we were in the wrong town, but as we were walking to find it, I had the thought to knock a door, and she said "never suppress a good thought," so we did, and immediately we were let into the house, and were able to teach a quick lesson on the book of Mormon, it was really cool experience.

Also, we were street contacting another day, and I tried to tell this woman that she had a beautiful smile, so the word for smile, but the word for smile in Spanish is "sonrisa" and "sangre" is the word for blood, so I ended up saying "songrisa" which 1 is not a word and 2 my companion thought I was saying blood so I'm sure this poor woman on the street thought I was telling her that she had beautiful blood.

We went to Ellis Island again this week, and it was empty so that was a long day. Also, listen up everyone, the streets of Patterson are kind of crazy. The other day we were doing a table  presentation stand for English classes with our Zone leaders, and the this very drunk woman came up mumbling how she spoke English, then punched and broke our sign, then signed her signature across our whole sign up sheet, she walked away but circled her way back, and stood really close to one of the Elders and started rapping at him. It was SO FUNNY, but also we were all really scared of her.
Our friend Anna, who we started teaching through English classes, came to church this week! She brought her two daughters, and she absolutely loved it, she has gone to a different church her whole life, and so she was in awe by every little detail. Like the boy who blessed the sacrament bread was having a hard time so he said the blessing like 7 times, because he couldn't get it right, which as a missionary when things don't go smoothly at church it's kind of stressful, but later she told us that she was so amazed with the patience and peace she felt from the congregation, the whole time. So surprise blessings!

Also in this ward, every fourth Sunday, they have "missionary Sunday" where the missionaries always speak, I didn't know this until Wednesday, and I didn't have time to write one until that morning, and then I had to translate the whole thing into Spanish. I was really worried that it wasn't good, or that people wouldn't understand it, but later when Anna was talking to us she quoted my talk, so I'm really glad she got something out of if.
Spanish is fun, but hard, I said something the other day, and it came out in a Dominican accent on accident, and it's happened like 3 times since so to all of you who told me I was going to come back with an accent, I might just not with the one you excepted😅

We went to eat at a Dominican Juice bar this week, and I wanted to try the most Dominican thing they had, it was called yarua I think, which ended up being this type of banana fried, with cheese and pulled pork, with fry sauce looking stuff on top. It was so good! I also tried another dish which is like a burger but instead of a bun, they have flattened and fried plantains. 
That's it for this week!

Hermana Princess Five
Anna and her family
Parallel Parking
Ellis Island
Dominican food

Monday, January 28, 2019

Busy Day - Jewelry Bag Sort 14K Gold

I am so excited to be able to visit with Princess One and the cutest grandchildren in the world today. 

I won't be able to write, so I am sharing a jewelry sort I did so I can spend more time with them. It was only $10 but I could see that it had some gold items in it, and hoped that it was real. I got quite a bit of broken silver, but the ring was 14K so well worth the $10 I paid. 

I hope you enjoy it and hopefully I will have some fun pictures of my cute grandchildren to share later this week! 

Have a Blessed Day! 

Friday, January 25, 2019

Marbles For Days - Boy and Cub Scout Activities

I was recently put in as a leader for cub scouts. I am over the Bears group. Having no boys in my family, I have never had kids in boy scouts.

20 years ago, I was a Pack Master / Assistant and would have to plan pack meeting and was rather good at planning the fun events we would do once a month at pack meeting. I did that for a year or two and it wasn't a bad experience, but it wasn't my favorite activity as boys are rather active compared to the girls I have worked with and the activities they like to do are different many times. 

I would always donate to "friends of scouting" fundraising drives, and would joke that I would donate $100 a year saying, "I will donate as long as you don't make me have to work with the scouts." I also felt that someone needed to teach boys how to provide and protect as my girls would need prepared men to marry, so I felt like donating to scouts was a worthwhile thing. 

I will share next week how we made the drawstring pouches for marbles, but wanted to share this video today on the activities we did this month for scouts and how we did marble races and used old toilet paper and paper towel roll tubes for that. 

The kids loved making those long tunnels with the tubes and tape and also enjoyed racing their "marble racers" they colored. In the end, it was really hard to determine whose car won as they all let them go at different times so I just had them pick a number and they got prizes for whoever was closest to the number I picked so that made it a bit more fair. 

Their favorite was playing marbles using round chocolates I purchased from the dollar store. Instead of using marbles in the middle, they used the big marble shooters and we put the round chocolates in the middle of the circle and they could knock those out of the ring. 

After the game, I divided all the chocolates evenly amongst the boys and told them to play marbles at home with their families using the chocolates. Next meeting, when I asked them about it later, they said they just shared the chocolates. I am guessing they wanted to keep the majority for themselves, but it was still a fun activity for them. 

I collected the paper towel tubes for over a month when everyone was home for the holidays as we went through lots of paper towels as that is all we use in the bathrooms and kitchen to dry our hands, so I had plenty for the marble racing maze tubes. 

The boys all came up with a marble game that they shared with the group as well. I thought they were quite creative with it which was nice. I wish we had time to actually play the games they described but it seems our group always starts late as we do our opening with the other age groups so by the time we get the oath, flag, etc done, there just isn't much time to get things finished. 

I wasn't sure I would be very good at this, but the boys seem to like the ideas I have, and the activities we have done so far, so I guess I am doing alright. I have had a few moms share that their boys are enjoying it so that also reinforced that it is going OK. 

It was cute to see them carrying their marbles in the bags they made and being proud of the job they did making them, so check out that post next week. 

Have a Blessed day! 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

My YoYo Artist - One Talented Niece

I have a niece that I call "Yo Yo" since she was a baby. I shared in the past that she is amazingly talented. She has made me wonder where she will end up in life due to her sweet ability to learn new things, perfect them and move on. 

Every year, when we get together for family reunions and activities, I ask her to give us an "art show" and share her latest and greatest works of art. She had always been willing to share with me, allowing me to see her growth and movements into different medium. 

She doesn't stay with what makes her comfortable, but moves on to things that will challenge her in a new way. She has worked with all sorts of different medium and has sold customs painted designer toy animals as well as painted leaves and is an expert in clay miniatures. 

I was working on a project this past year, and needed to sculpt something in clay and she had just what I needed to fix the elephant carving I needed to repair. I would have had to purchase the item online, and wait for shipping to our out of the way town, but she had everything I needed and wouldn't let me pay for the supplies. I was given instructions on how to mix the clay and use it. 

Sometimes it is good to have an expert around to help with those little things that come up. It isn't a wonder she is so creative as both her parents are artists in their own fields. Her dad is good at so many thing, he welds, builds, designs custom rat rods and is crazy good a free hand custom painting on cars. 

Her mother is a whiz with papers, fibers, fabrics, and décor. She has created masterpieces out of any type of papers. She created Princess One's wedding bouquet and flowers out of old maps. I can't even tell you how creative she is when it comes to repurposing things.

I wish I had taken a picture of the custom leaves she painted. She got fall colored real leaves and painted silhouette safari animals on them with trees etc. It made them look like animals on the tundra at sunset with all the cool autumn colors. I guess I didn't get any pictures of those. 

Recently, she was working on these cartoon type animals as she wanted to be able to illustrate books, so in the last post linked above, you can see how she was working on those and then see in these pictures how she perfected them and is now moving on to other things. 

She was so excited to get a new designing computer for Christmas this year. She had to help pay for part of it due to the cost, but she earned and saved money to do that. Within the first two days, she did the portrait of her niece pictured at the top, and the portrait of the boy at the bottom of the page. 

Those were her first two creations. I sat and watched her whip out the top portrait while we were at our family Christmas party.

Since that time, she has gone back to her first love of animals. She wanted to be a vet when she was little as she loves animals so much. But, we could tell art would become her first love and animals would be bumped back to second. 

You can see how she has combined both loves and is getting better at this new medium on the computer. I can see her becoming an animator for Disney with her love of both art and animals. 

I'm so glad I get to watch this girl excel. I may just need to do a post on her sister who is quite famous as a fingernail artist. I am in awe of what grand scenes she can paint on a fingernail! She recently did a portrait of her daughter across the five nails. When compared to the original photo, you couldn't tell the difference in the two. 

I am related to some really talented people! Have a Blessed and Talented Day!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

In God We Trust Update - It's Been Over a Year

It has been over a year since I counted up my "found money" as it was in November 2017 that I added it all up last.

If you haven't seen my original post about that, check it out here. I have never made a video before about why I pick up coins off the ground, but figured that may make a good video so those that are subscribers to my youtube videos can understand my references to coins. I find that many people that watch my youtube channel are not blog readers. 

It is so interesting to me how times have changed. It is amazing how quickly things change now, from electronics, to how we get information, and how we communicate. Things are just moving so fast that it is interesting to me to see how much things have changed in the world in the last 100 years. Even more in the last fifty year, and I wonder where things will be when my children are fifty. 

I took some time today to count up my "found money" and shared on my video how I was talking to my sister yesterday. We were talking about how much time all the family history has, and is, taking up in my life. I keep finding myself overwhelmed and avoiding all the things of my mom's that I need to do, as it sucks the joy out of my world.

It is the sheer volume of things she saved, and has that are overwhelming. Even with that, her mother was a secretary and had many thing organized, but it was nothing compared to the pallets of boxes we have had to sort and the thousands of tapes and movies, pictures, and documents I have had to scan and transfer to video. 

I really wonder if I am wasting my time organizing it and sorting it. I know many other families just throw everything out with hoarders, but I can't seem to do that with the historical papers, pictures, recordings, and documents. I just wish my seven siblings would spend a week and come help me get this finished and get through the last of her estate stuff so I can move forward and let go of it all. 

I was sharing this with my sister, and she told me she wished that God would be able to give me a sign or let me know somehow that it does matter and that all the stuff I am doing is important and just after she said that, I looked down and saw the dirtiest dime I have ever picked up. I questioned if it was even a dime it was that dirty. We had been standing in that spot talking for half an hour and neither of us noticed it. 

She said, "there is you sign~ a penny!" I said, "it's a dime" and she said, "There you go, what you are doing is ten times more important, He just let you know sending you a sign!" 

Later, I pondered on what she was saying. I realized that in a clean shiny dime and that dirty, scratched condition dime have the exact same value! No one wants the dirty penny, they want the shiny, new looking coins but what I do, and have always done, is take the dirty coin, (item, dresser, etc) and make it new again, polishing, cleaning, sewing, whatever it takes to make it valuable and wanted again. Funny thing is, after I make it nice and new looking, people want it! 

No one wants the broken trophy, the falling apart frame, the dresser with the drawer falling off, the radio table that needed refinishing, the 180 8mm films, the thousands of pictures in six pallets of papers and junk mail, finding and transferring hours of family recordings, some over 60 years old. etc. However, when I get it all finished and looking good, everyone wants it.

I realize that I have a gift for taking unwanted and discarded items and transforming them into something useful and beautiful! I can take chaos and make order. I can take overwhelm and make it functional! It isn't to say that I want to do it, but I can do it. I take old t-shirts and make a comfy quilt, and that I do enjoy doing. I think it is because it is on a limited scale. There can only be a certain amount of items on a quilt, so I know I am dealing with a specific pile. 

The other items have been huge and daunting amounts but even with that, even though I still have totes, piles, boxes and bins of stuff to finish, when I look back at the amount of stuff I have done, I have come a long way with what I am working on, but when I look at how much I still have to do, I do get overwhelmed. I need to just focus on one task at a time. 

I know there is value in what I am doing and I know that everyone in my family wants the information once it is in a tidy package. Hopefully, I live long enough to finish this all up and get working on my own family videos and scanning pictures as I don't want to leave my girls with any thing to work on, just give them something they can enjoy. 

I added another bit of cash to my "Found Money" today and hope I am continually blessed to be reminded regularly to "Trust in God" in my daily travels. 

Have a Blessed and coin filled life!