Thursday, August 17, 2017

Starting another fidget mat

Hello, everyone.

Fidget mats are supposed to be very useful (at least for people who were fidgety before they became ill) to assist dementia patients. There are lots of them on Pinterest.

The mats are also great ways to use up stash! This time, the base fabric is cushion cover fabric, a poly-rayon chenille design of assorted circles and squares. Very modern! The color tones are browns and creams.  The zipper element thus got a contrasting color for its flanges.

While applying the zipper to the mat, I noticed that the pins were difficult to remove.

It's good to have a tweezer around! It worked really well to just nip those tips in and pull the pin out, and even to then insert the pin into the pincushion on the machine.

The zipper element, a fairly common part of fidget mats, is there for the sole purpose of being opened and closed. This one got a small blue heart added behind the zipper--three cheers for bead stash!--so the person can find something under there besides the base fabric of the mat.

The mat is presently ready for binding.


As y'all can see, there are a lot of neutral colors in this one. The flowered circle is a re-used piece of embroidery, which has been backed with muslin and made into a pocket, with a little bit of lace added to ground the circle a bit. The ribbons sticking up from it hold a cheerful button that can be slid back and forth along the ribbon. The animal print at top left is faux-fur, and it's really soft! The chenille pattern gives texture all by itself, and some of the design elements were outline quilted to increase their prominence. There are buttons to the right of the pocket, some with beads on top of the button, and a dangle loop from the red rosette holds an enamel cross (removable for laundry.) There is also a sprinkle of beads in the circle next to the fur, and the green dangle can be moved around, as well as allowing a person to slide the silver-colored tube bead up and down a little bit. The zipper tape is left over from one of the Fabulous Pack Duffels made last spring, with an extra pull added so it's a usable zip.  (ByAnnies.com has directions on how to do this.) Also the red-ribbon rosette, which sits around the shiny gold button but is't sewn down, can be spun.

All the mat needs now is bias tape around the four sides and it can be given to the person. (There are two more chunks of this chenille fabric waiting in the wings to become mats also!) I'm thinking that if there is enough red bias that would be perfect.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Sharing the fun (embroidery)

Hello, everyone.

Recently there arose an opportunity to share the fun of embroidery with DGD--who is just about kindergarten age.

This Pin had been saved with the hope of future use--and the source site talked about using the method with children about the same age. So we were off to the races!

There was a stack of foam plates in the pantry. There was a large assortment of DMC thread wound on cardboard bobbins. And there was a packet of size 22 tapestry needles. (Big enough for the whole 6-strand thread, not super-sharp, and easy for her to hold.)

First she tried a couple of random stitches to get the feel of sewing with the needle. (Which isn't all that different from the cardboard sewing cards in her toybox at home.) Then she traced the outlines of  a heart, to practice following the line, and then her initial. After that, she moved on to a more-complex piece: a flower with 4 front petals, 4 back petals, and a center.

The reverse. Freezer tape used in lieu of knots.

The front.
With this age, even if they can thread the needle themselves once in a while, it's still just at the edge of their coordination abilities, so an older person needs to help with that, and with keeping the floss from making a knot on the back.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Something new on the saguaro cactus

Hello, everyone.

There is something new on the lower part of one of the saguaro cacti. I'm not sure whether it is a branch trying to form, or a flower bud.


This is forming on the east side of a cactus with full sun and an uninterrupted west exposure.

I want to say it's a little baby branch, but who knows? The whole plant is about 12 feet tall (?) and this is only about 2 or 3 feet up from the bottom. Do they branch out that low?


Saturday, August 5, 2017

A photo from our last day of walking on this year's pilgrimage

Hello, everyone.

Things have been busy around here--not in an interesting way, just busy--and there just hasn't been much time for the blog this week.

This photo was taken, after DH injured his leg, at the parish church in Deba:


The only thing that was done to this photo was to use the color correction thingie in Photoshop...the medieval carvings are all inside the narthex (covered entryway) of the church and there is just a whole lot of color left on the stone.

I think you're supposed to read it from the bottom up: bottom row, from the left, the Annunciation with an angel, the Visitation, the Nativity, the Presentation in the Temple (these four are all part of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary) and at the right the homage of the Wise Men. Middle row, from the right, the Dormition of Mary (when she died, or "fell asleep" in the term of St. Paul in his epistles) and apparently the whole rest of the row is about the Assumption of Mary, with the heavenly court as witnesses (?) The top is the Coronation of Mary, with the Holy Trinity represented (Jesus and the Father on thrones and the Dove of the Holy Spirit placing the crown) and accompanying angels. These last two are part of the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary.

The figures next to the flat portion appear to be the heavenly orchestra with instruments. Outward from that, a floral row (the red part) and some other figures that I don't know.

We noticed that it was really neat when we saw it, but the distraction of the injury kept us from seeing just how neat it is until we looked back at pictures later. I have noticed that a lot of the Camino pictures have more in them than we realized when we took them--one benefit of using them for computer screen background!




Thursday, July 27, 2017

Progress on the Tech quilt

Hello, everyone.

This is just a small update on the Tech quilt progress. The top is finished, and the next step is to lay the backing (not chosen or made yet) and the batting and then the top down somewhere flat and pin-baste the whole thing together for quilting.


This photo is cropped a bit, but y'all can get the idea. It has been a good stash-busting project, even though there were a few new fabrics bought to  balance out the ones in-house already.




Tuesday, July 25, 2017

More Valley birds

Hello, everyone.

The corn crop grew, and dried off, and was combined (harvested with the machine that cuts and prepares the cobs,) and then the farmer began to disk the stalks into the dirt.  I had seen a pair of the Karakara (Mexican eagles)  on the disked field the other morning, but my photo didn't come out well.

The Karakara is said to be mostly a scavenger, but it is beautiful and not bare-skinned on the head and neck like many vulture-type birds. Lately we have seen a few around the neighborhood. Possibly it is the existence of more established neighborhoods with their yard trees getting tall now that draws them. This has been a very busy year for birds.

There is a small bird photo, though: the whistling tree ducks are scavenging the dropped corn kernels (maize kernels) that were knocked off during the harvesting process. They are coming around in the morning just after sunup and in the evening before sundown.


You can see their pink beaks. The one in front seems to have something to say!


Friday, July 21, 2017

Body pillows

Hello, everyone.

With DH being laid up with Da Boot, we’re learning new things without getting out as much.

Da Boot has rigid plastic on the bottom, and metal splints along the sides. It weighs a bit. And when DH would move in his sleep, his other ankle would get clobbered by Da Boot. Sometimes it got hit so hard that a scab resulted. This is suboptimal sleeping, to say the least. I thought of all the ladies I know who have used a Body Pillow (about 5 feet long) to support their legs and hips during pregnancy. They all love the things.



So I bought one, and also a washable cover for it. Then I was faced with getting the cover onto the (long, long) pillow. After trying a couple of ways, this was what I came up with.


1       With the end zipper open, crumple up the pillow cover sides into a donut, trying not to twist the cover. This will be a little bit like getting ready to put on one leg of a pair of pantyhose. 
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2      Insert the end of the pillow into the bottom of the cover, which is next to the top because of the crumpling.

      


3       Pull the sides up over the pillow, switching from side to side as needed. 
4      When you have it up to the top, zip the cover and place it into the ready position for use. (pic of pillow on end of bed)



The Body Pillow is much more popular now than it was when it came home. It protects the other ankle very well and supports the injured leg into the bargain.

If any interested readers have found another way to get that long bag onto the long pillow, please feel free to chime in with a comment.