Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Coming Attractions--Part 2-ish

Ok, this is for all you imaginative and not so imaginative people out there! If you can come up with a name for this bag (in 'Comming Attractions' post below) you will win a

apron out of my store of your choice. I think I've just run out of name ideas....or the problem is the bag isn't tweeting and whistling, nor does it have feathers.......

Post your ideas and suggestions in either this posts comments or the comments area in the post below.

Oh, winner will be announced in about 2 weeks!

So far, for your viewing pleasure, we have these as suggestions:
1. Earth Purse
2. Huey's Tagalong
3. Huey Pack
4. Fly The Coop bag
5. Better Bag
6. The Weekender Pack
7. All Around Town Pack
8. Tote-A-Long
9. Hue'll love this Bag
10. Hue gotta have this Bag
11. Homemade Everything Bag
12. Hand Sewn Earth Bag
13. Hand Sewn Handbag
14. Sewn in Ameribag
15. Hand Sewn All In One Bag
16. Ozark Mountain Handbag
17. Pursilla
18. Diamond Bag
19. Roo Pouch
20. Wheele Bug
21. Wheelie Purse
22. Camelback Pack
23.Converta Bag
24. Bag and Baggage
25. Bring Me Bag
26. Purse and a Half
27. Pack Purse

Coming Attractions

Well, my move from Arkansas to Washington is just 4 weeks away. Everything that can be packed is packed and what's left is stuff we need, stuff the movers will pack or stuff that we're packing in Elsie (who is getting treated like the classy lady she is and is being taken in a trailer to Washington so as not to stress out her 22 year old 148,324 mile engine). So, of course I'm just sitting, resting and twiddling my thumbs. Oh, and watching the soaps!

Now, for those of you who know me, you can stop laughing now. You're right, I'm busy and actually pulled out my sewing box and the few supplies that I had in my 'working on it' project box. Which I was conviently using as an end table---sneaky, huh? And began a project that began with the Santa Ana fires in the San Diego area in 2007.

Inspired by one of my bestest friends and the one and only 'Mom-In-Law' to my Cleo, I created what was originally designed to be used as a first aid kit for birds. A bag to keep all you need in an emergency for birdie in one place, ready to grab at a seconds notice. Someone, I can't remember who at the moment, but I think it was another of my bestest friends Dawn who commented that the bag would make a great purse. To which got my mind working (yeah, terrifying, huh?), and I made two more of these bags. One for me to use on my wheelchair as a 'purse', one for Cecils Mom to test out as a bird first aid kit (bestest friends are always great for testing ideas on! -thanks Donna). Then, I made yet one more for a fellow Etsian, Mommyknowsbest (or her medic alert tags), to test out, too. It's her fabulous zipper pulls I'd been attaching to each of the aformentioned bags. The one I made her was and is used as a school backpack for her 6 year old daughter and last I heard it was surviving school, a tug of war with one of her other daughters, AND the 6 year old. So, with one surviving a 6 year old and one surviving me and 5 cockatiels, I feel they're pretty well tested and ready for market!

So, once this move is over I plan on slowly listing 2 or three of these bags for sale and seeing what happens:
Each 12 inch wide, 14 inch tall, 5 inch deep bag features:
-1 elastic topped wallet pocket
-2 cell phone size pockets--will also hold a small day planner
-1 jumbo pocket 12x14 (inches) in size which can hold a note book, important papers, etc
-1 key ring to hang keys or cell phone off of so it doesn't end up at the bottom, never to be seen again
-2 elastic topped pockets that can hold a 16 ounce bottle of water each or pens or umbrella or etc
-each bag is lined with insulation and will actually keep warm stuff warm or cold stuff cold for 3 to 8 hours depending on outside air temps
-each comes with 3 different lengths of straps and 2 shoulder pads to protect your shoulders from the clamp/hooks used to connect the straps to the bag
-The straps can be used as either a back pack or moved to the top loops and used as a purse with either a long strap or a short one.

These bags don't have a name yet and I'd love suggestions! So suggest away!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

How to PROPERLY recover from major surgery

As any of you who read my blog know, I had major surgery on March 11 of this year. Major enough that I was supposed to be doing a lot of sitting and resting. Which I did religiously......sort of. Under the very strict supervision of my nurses (see 'The Nurses' article in the second post below this one to refresh your memory) I managed to work on a couple of nice slow and very easy, nothing stressing, projects.

The first project was a thinking challenge from my good friend and fellow AREtsy Denise Felton . She sent me three really beautiful 18 inch by 22 inch fabric squares with a fabulous get well card she'd made herself. The challenge she'd penned upon the interior of the card was for me, while recovering, to figure out what the three little squares could possibly be used for. Her suggestion was that the fabric would look pretty good as one of my scrap aprons. I thought for a rather brief period of time and just couldn't part with all the love and healing vibes she'd packed into each beautiful square. Whatever these little squares were to become, it had to be a 'selfish me' project. Two of the squares immediately looked like outfits to me, and thus they became:
I even managed to chance upon a headband from Beckababe on Etsy that is a larger green and while polka-dot version of the fabric square Denise sent me! I also found a reversable headband from MindyKuen on Etsy which, of course, I didn't get a picture of due to not wanting to be a model anymore than I had to, that goes with the other three tops I hand stitched. Go to Mindy's shop and be prepared to be amazed! Actually, go to Becka's shop too, and prepare to be amazed! Both Etsians do beautiful work! The third square, as I type, is still sitting in my sewing box in a state of zen. It's trying to decide what it wants to be when it grows up---probably another top....

With those project underway I was happy, contented and relaxed until it dawned on me that we had just over two and a half months left before our move!


Ok, not really. But I did, out of total boredom and not really being able to sew as much as before the surgery, went fabric shopping to complete a project I'd set out to do several months earlier: make wheelchair covers. Why? Well, aside from the fact I'm just not a 'basic black' kinda person, they actually serve a very valuable purpose. Did you know that one ultralight wheelchair can cost $3000+ and medicare puts up one heck of a stink to cover 80% of the cost? Did you know that the cushion on my wheelchair cost $400? It did. So, the practicality of the wheelchair covers was two fold; protect the back of the wheelchair from the inevidable bird poop since you can toss a slip cover into the wash, but not the wheelchair. And two, protect the cushion from Hubby tossing it into the greasy back section of his truck. Slip covers are easy to replace, cushions aren't. I've also got two wheelchairs, the one I use and a possessed electric one that works fine for Hubby, but refuses to cooperate with me. I set out to make 4 covers, two per chair, one to keep on and one to change out when the first needs a bath. This is what I ended up with:

While fabric shopping for wheelchair fabric, another good friend stopped by and gifted me 4 yards of fabric. My friends know me well! Nothing soothes the soul and heals the body like beautiful fabrics! Well, two yards of the four total was a pretty burgundy polka-dot that I decided had to become a top. "OOOOOH! Better yet", I thought to myself, a top cool and comfortable enough to wear after surgery during our 8 to 10 day car ride up to Washington! "OOOOOOH!" I thought to myself again (actually, it was out loud to Double Trouble, who were perched on my knees and refusing to let me move at that moment) I can wear them when I go visiting relatives I haven't seen in 15 years and I won't look like a bag lady! So, out came the sewing box again (ok, honesty, I never put it away), and away I stitched on two travel tops:
Ok, that's it, gotta get packing and ready to move 2890 miles north west. I'm gonna put my sewing away. Yup, all done sewing till I get to Washington.....


I needed new travel cages for Tyson Parker, and Double Trouble (Worthington and AsaMina are good at sharing, so they get to share a travel cage---shhhhhh! They don't know this as I type!). Well, the new cages came in and, of course, Murphy of Murphy Law fame, had to make an appearance! The new cages were a whole quarter inch larger than the ones they replaced (which had unsafe bar spacing and were dangerous for my angels). So,needless to say and of course, the travel cage covers that I'd made for the old cages didn't fit the new ones. It took Tyson Parker and Double Trouble a good hour of going through ALL the fabric I had before they decided every single bit of fabric in my craft closet was terrifying and they wanted the expensive fancy fabric I'd just bought for the above projects as their cage covers. You and I both know Murphy must have had quite the talk with the threesome, huh? Well, Double Trouble insisted that all Paisley Jam (the name of the fabric) was what they wanted. Tyson Parker, was quite happy with a bit of this and a bit of that. Those who've read my blog before know Tyson Parker needs a bit of therapy for his fabric fetish---which also explains the 'unique' picture I got of him on his new travel cage and cover. Have you ever tried to photograph a flirting tiel? No camera speed is fast enough for that, trust me! Double Trouble, of course, tried to convince me that their cover was terrifying, but I looked them in the little bitty eyes and told them to go sit on an ice cube. They opted to sit on the travel cage and cover instead.

What? You really think I've done all this sewing all by myself?! Of course I didn't do all this sewing by myself! I'm recovering from major surgery, remember? Lots of rest to recouperate, like a good girl! So, who was helping me? Worthington Israel Wentworth, of course. I haven't a clue why he picked this up, or what went through is mind the first time he gave it a try, but the little guy LOVES to sew! Ok, he can't work a needle, no hands, remember? But, what he does do is grab the thread as I pull it through the fabric past him. He helps me pull the thread snug so each and every stitch I do, is 'just so'. Now, he knows he's not allowed to help with store stock projects because some people are actually allergic to 1 year olds with feathers (much to Worthington's dismay). But, if it's a 'selfish me' or 'fellow bird person' project, he's right in the middle of it. This series of pictures is of him helping with all of the above projects. I held the thread in the air with one hand and the little camera in the other and just snapped away. His head is rarely in focus due to him 'bobbing for thread' in the air like a child bobs for apples on Halloween. That last picture is him glaring at me for one too many pictures. I only took 20, honest!

And that, for those of you wishing to know, is how you properly recover from major surgery! Any questions?