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!


PANIC TIME!!!!



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.....



BUT WAIT!!!!!



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?






4 comments:

casserole said...

You've been a busy girl, especially for someone recovering from major surgery! I can't say which project I like the best - they're all so cute and so practical! Although I am jealous that teensy little you can cut a bodice from a fat quarter...

idyll hands said...

I love this post! You crack me up :)

Sunny said...

too much cuteness! I'm loving the cage covers and the fact that you can be all coordinated when you travel. I'm still saying send me some of you energy!!

Denise Felton said...

Whoa! So THIS is your version of "taking it easy," huh? You produce more on your slow days than most people do on their "get 'er done" days!

Julie Anne, I am so proud to have had the tiniest part to play in those gorgeous garments. Your work is simply beautiful. And ditto what casserole said about your teensy self. It never dawned on Big Mama me that a fat quarter could become a bodice.

Your blog entry had me scrolling and laughing, imagining how all this happened. The wheelchair slipcovers rock. And the photos of your little loves enjoying their new cage covers cracked me up.

So...are you saying you're not going to sew in the car on the way to WA? Hard to imagine...