Friday, January 3, 2014

Minion Stuffed Critters

I made many things for Christmas, but most I found on Pinterest.  I looked for, but couldn't find a good stuffed Minion (from Despicable Me) so I had to design it myself.  Say hello to my family of Minions.
Each has different hair and eye combinations and the initials were the first initial of each child's name.
"K" has what I lovingly call hair plugs.  The stiff spiky hair was plastic lacing and I used fabric glue to sandwich it between bias tape.  The plugs were then stuck through the fabric from the wrong side of the fabric and glued in place.
 "M" has yarn hair. The glasses were made from sale "Halloween" fabric from Joanne's.  They were holographic circles.
"H" had the easiest hair.  It was also plastic lacing but I just stitched it into the seam.
"R" had spiky hair again.  The eyes themselves were made of brown felt with a black circle for the center.  I took some caramel colored pearl cotton and sewed from the black circle to the outside of the brown felt.  I took a couple of stitches in the center with white pearl cotton.

I would love to do a tutorial, but I have very poor communication skills when I try to explain what I did.  These little critters took about 1 1/2 days each to complete with normal duties stuffed in the middle of the days.  They sure were fun, though.  Goodbye little fellas!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Felt Campfire and Food

It has been close to a year since I posted but I am awfully proud of my latest creation and wanted to showcase it.  The idea came from Pinterest (of course) and I used several different posts for inspiration.  Lindsay and Drew had a great tutorial that I used and then I found that Etsy had lots of felt food and campfire stuff to buy and I drew on them for some ideas.  This will not be a tutorial.  I tried to make notes for myself so I could do it again, but I couldn't come up with the right words that clarified what I did.  So here are a few pictures and a few explanations.

This is the final kit that I sewed up.

I first tackled the fire pit itself. It required a big circle of gray. Everything was done with the circle.  No additional felt required.

 Here is where I sewed it.  It is the backside.

Next I tried the logs.  I basically did them like Lindsay and Drew described.  I did sew some details on them with the sewing machine and I found the birch fabric at Joanne's and thought I would use that.

The wood needed a fire so I turned to that next.  It is 3 sided and has an opening in the bottom.

I did the sticks next and did them basically like Lindsay and Drew except I used a magnetic purse snap.  Turning them was a real trick and I soon realized that I needed to sew the sticks to the joint of the twig and install the snap and start the turning process before I sewed the rest of it. I tried to do it without the suggested dowel, but it needed the stiffening that the dowel provided.

It was time to turn my attention to the food.  I sewed the marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate bars exactly like Lindsay and Drew.  I used magnets in the ends of the marshmallows. I had to be careful to check the polarity of the purse snaps and make sure the marshmallows would stick to the end of the stick.  I also used the smaller measurements suggested for the marshmallows.  I didn't want to make marshmallow blobs for the s'mores so I only lightly stuffed the marshmallows so they could be smashed down for the s'mores.

Of course, Lindsay and Drew did not have hot dogs and buns and condiments so I had to figure them out by myself.  I could find no tutorial.  I must say that the hot dog was the easiest thing I did once I figured out how to do it.

The condiments were fun and easy to figure out.

The hot dog bun was not as easy.  It involved two different sized pieces of fabric.  The larger was gathered to fit the smaller.

I sewed a zigzag stitch at the joint and then a straight stitch. I also made a stitch through all materials at the "v" point which served to make the bun keep a cupping position for the hot dog.

This took a little while to sew and a lot longer to figure out.  It was purely a labor of love for the grandchildren I am going to visit.  One last look!

Oh and did you notice that orange plastic piece?  It is a Halloween strobe light that I bought at Dollar Tree.  It makes the fire flicker in the dark  It is placed in an opening that I left in the bottom of the fire.

Last of all I made a big canvas bag to put every thing in so it wouldn't get lost.  Thanks Ash and Andrew for the idea!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

My vote

I am a Mormon and I am voting for Mitt Romney. 

I want to explain myself though.  I am not voting for Mitt Romney just because I am a Mormon.  There have been Mormons who have held office that I would not and didn't vote for.  Here is why I am voting for Mitt Romney and yes, being a Mormon is part of it, but probably not in the way you might think.

First, Mitt is a former stake president.  This leadership position is not one that you are elected to or ask for.  It is one that you are called by God to perform.  This means that the person who calls the stake president has been prompted to call him by the Holy Ghost.  It also means that he is honest, that he is a leader, that he believes in many moral principles that I believe in.  He has worked with rich people and poor people and has counseled them in many situations and for many reasons.  Because he is a very actively participating Mormon, he is also charitable and knows how to work hard.  I guarantee that he has done such things as paint, cut down trees, etc. as part of church service projects.  He has seen the poorest of the poor and we all know that he has seen the richest of the rich.  Because he is a very active church member, there are so many qualities that I know he possesses.

Second, Mitt is a successful business man.  This country is in a terrible spot.  We have trillions of dollars in deficits and we must bite the bullet and dig our way out.  He is going to be responsible for some terribly hard decisions, but he has the backbone to do so.  There is a story of a veteran's hospital and Mitt's visit there and his response to the needs of the hospital.  I first heard it on a Glen Beck radio show, but I found it here.  I won't repeat it.  You can read it yourself.  Many people love Reagan, but don't realize that this nation didn't love him during his reign as President.  Did you realize that when the air traffic controllers went on strike and stayed that way?  Did you know that he used his power as President to bust their union?  He was not popular when he did that, I can assure you on that.  But Reagan made those hard decisions and the country was better for it.  I feel that Romney would do the same.

Third, Mitt is a person who can negotiate.  He has told us about it in every interview and every debate.  In his state, he was governor and he was able to pass all sorts of legislation because he worked on both sides of the aisle.  Because he is honest (see number 1), he doesn't say what he is going to do, what his plan is or he seems very wishy-washy on the subject.  There is a reason.  How can he say what he is going to do, if he is going to negotiate with both parties?  He knows full well that he has to be able to work with both sides and will have to give in to others demands to get his way on others.

Fourth, Mitt has issues with speaking.  He is great at sound bites, but they are not the sound bites that he would want people to pick up on.  Now why is that a reason to vote for him?  It is purely personal.  I am just the same way.  I say things that I think are perfectly clear and self explanatory and find them being interpreted in ways that I never thought they could be.  Thus I can truly relate.  Also, some silver-tongued people are all talk with no substance or their words have completely different substance behind them.  I remember a family that I knew as a youth who were so sweet and said the nicest things, but I never trusted them.  They were too slick and polished.  Romney tries to be transparent, but gets in trouble when he does so.  I have no doubt that his "binders of women" was purely his way of letting others know that he wanted the best working for him, but wanted them to be women also.

This is but a small part of my thought processes, but it is getting late and I am starting to not make much sense.  So I am off to bed.  Night, night!  And thanks for listening (reading) my opinions.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

So many readers! WOW!

Today, on a whim, I thought I would check my blog which has been seriously neglected this year and see what had been happening.  To my surprise, it has received over 11,000 lifetime hits.  How did that happen?  It makes no sense to me.

I have spent the last few months settling my sister's financial affairs and I am starting to get back in the habit of creating.  Perhaps I will start posting soon, but in the meantime, I am surprised and amazed that so many people have checked my blog out. Thanks to all of you!

If you wonder what I have been doing in my spare time, you might want to check my Pinterest account.  It is

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Jeanine goes home

Jeanine has fought her last battle with her renal cell carcinoma and lost. She passed away this morning, July 10, 2012 at 5:08 a.m. More details will follow.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Jeanine again

A few days ago, Jeanine went back to the radiation oncologist and he suggested that it was time to radiate the other tumor that he had told her about. She wanted some more time to recupe from the previous radiation, so she will go back a week from Monday and make a decision at that point.

Jeanine, my sister, Mardy, and I talked to the PA for her original oncologist today and the PA confirmed what the oncologist had already said. There is nothing more that he can do for her. Jeanine cannot have any more chemo. The PA suggested a call to a hospice. Jeanine had hoped that when/if the biliary tubes were unblocked, she could go back to her normal (for her) lifestyle. The PA inferred that it was time to quit fighting, but said that they would support her if she decided to continue to do so. The PA also said that in most cases radiation is allowed in the hospice environment when it is done to provide pain relief. Jeanine now has a big decision to make and she is the only one who can make it. The PA also told Jeanine that her bilirubin levels have risen again... It is now at 30.

Jeanine continues to live at home. Mardy and I, along with a good friend, take turns staying with her. In a couple of weeks my brother, Dave, and his wife, Laura, will move in with her for an indefinite period of time. She mostly sleeps/daydreams her days away, but every once in a while, she'll get a burst of energy and do a little cleaning or bookkeeping. She is still very aware of her surroundings and even if her eyes are closed, she knows what is going on most of the time. She enjoys visiting both on the phone and in person, but tires out quickly.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Last Thursday, Jeanine met with her Radiation Oncologist. He told her that as they had done the work-up on her liver, they had found that there were actually 2 tumors that could be affecting her biliary tubes. They were radiating the top one, but there is a lower one to the side that also could be causing the problem. He said that they could not radiate both at one time, it would be too hard on her liver. He told her that after her radiation was done and she has had time to recupe a little, they will check and see if radiating the other tumor is an option or is necessary.

On Friday, Jeanine went to see her Oncologist and he told her what he had told me. She is seriously ill. He told us of things to watch for. He also said that if her bilirubin goes down somewhat, she should plan on checking to see if the clinical trial would still take her. She had a blood test on Thursday and he had those results. Her bilirubin was 22. It was 7.5 when she was in the hospital 3 weeks ago. Her test a week later showed that it was 17. The normal is 1.

He also told her that her potassium levels were rising. He prescribed a medicine that she was told to drink. She got most of it down before she threw it up. When she called him back, he told her to limit her ingestion of fruit instead.

Jeanine has finished her radiation schedule as of today. She had her 5 days of radiation. We were told that it is called surgical radiation because of its pinpoint accuracy. With the exception of some extra pain and severe tiredness, she had no serious side effects.

Today the radiation tech called me into a room and told me that he wanted Jeanine to see the PA. The PA and the tech said that she is much more yellow than she was. It was no surprise to her. She had told me this morning that this was the case. The PA will talk to the radiation oncologist tomorrow and decide if she needs to see him ASAP or if she should see him next Tuesday at her regular appointment. The PA did say that the radiation takes a little time to "cook", so there is still hope that it will help.