Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Eyeglass case for charity

This is a pattern I designed to be used to create items to donate to the Alice Park Day Nursing Home ( see post http://www.crochetville.org/forum/showthread.php?t=91721 )If you choose to use this pattern, please consider making an extra one to donate.
Picture to come as soon as my new digital camera arrives at my door which is supposed to be today!

Eyeglass Case
You will need:
size F hook
approximately 3 oz of Red Heart WW yarn
1 button
1 tapestry needle
stitch marker

Ch 29
Row 1: sl st loosely in 3rd chain from the hook. (hdc in next ch, sl st loosely in next ch) repeat between () across the chain. End with a sl st in the last ch.
Row 2-28: ch 2, turn. skip first sl st, (sl st loosely in next hdc, hdc in next sl st) repeat between () across to last st. sl st loosely in top of turning chain.
Place stitch marker at end of row 28
Begin front flap
Row 29: repeat row 2
Row 30: ch 2, turn. skip first sl st and first hdc, (sl st loosely in next sl st, hdc in next hdc) repeat between the () 11 times. Skip next stitch, sl st in turning ch
Row 31: ch 2, turn. skip first sl st and first hdc, (sl st loosely in next sl st, hdc in next hdc) repeat between the () 10 times. Skip next stitch, sl st in turning ch
Row 32: ch 2, turn. skip first sl st and first hdc, (sl st loosely in next sl st, hdc in next hdc) repeat between the () 9 times. Skip next stitch, sl st in turning ch
Row 33: ch 2, turn. skip first sl st and first hdc, (sl st loosely in next sl st, hdc in next hdc) repeat between the () 8 times. Skip next stitch, sl st in turning ch
Row 34: ch 2, turn. skip first sl st and first hdc, (sl st loosely in next sl st, hdc in next hdc) repeat between the () 7 times. Skip next stitch, sl st in turning ch, fasten off
hold work so that the beginning chain is at the top. Attach yarn to left side of the beginning chain. Work a reverse sc across the beginning chain opposite row 1. Fasten off
Fold work so that row 1 meets up with marker at end of Row 28. Pin both sides in place to create a pocket for the eyeglasses. With opening side facing you, attach yarn at bottom left of eyeglass case. Work 27 reverse sc evenly up left side and across top of flap to the middle of the flap, ch 3, skip next stitch, work 27 reverse sc across remaining top flap and down right side. Fasten off. Weave in ends. Sew button to center of row 6.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Hot Chocolate

I came across a wonderful email a few days ago that inspired me to create a printable. Here is th email:

A group of graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired. During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in their work and lives. Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups -porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the hot chocolate. When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said, 'Notice that all the nice looking,expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. The cup that you're drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was hot chocolate, not the cup; but you consciously went for the best cups...and then you began eyeing each other's cups. Now consider this: Life is the hot chocolate; your job, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life. The cup you have does not define, nor change the quality of life you have. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate God has provided us. God makes the hot chocolate, man chooses the cups. The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything that they have. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. And enjoy your hot chocolate!

I created this:

to wrap a single packet of hot cocoa in. The back side is the above email. If you click the title of this blog post it will take you to a better quality picture that you can print or download. Hope you enjoy and that you focus on the hot chocolate and not the mugs!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

He's Free at Last!! Amblyopia patch pattern

My son, J, is finally free! For those of you who saw his picture in my "frost" blog entry you have seen the eye patch he has worn for 6 hours a day for the last 6 years. He has a lazy eye. Not an eye that wanders, but one that didn't want to focus or work. In 2005 his eyesight WITH glasses was 20/100...borderline legally blind. Uncorrected he would not have been able to get a driver's license.
Patching has been a very long, unhappy road for J. He hated wearing the patch, hated the attention it brought him when we were out and about, and hated the question "What happened to your eye?" every time we went out. To begin with he had to wear an adhesive eye patch. Picture a giant eye bandaid and that is about what it looked like. After a few years we found a website that was selling eye patches that fit over his glasses and looked a little more fun. At the time you could only order the eye patch off the internet. So I ordered one with a soccer ball (his favorite sport) embroidered on it. He was less hesitant to put it on and he looked less like he had an injured eye. This made life easier.
However, the patch wears out over time. It didn't look to complicated to make so I took it apart and modified the pattern so it would fit better and started making my own patches for him. He seemed to like this better because he went with me to purchase supplies, he picked out different colors, different embroidered patches to put on them etc. He personalized them.
The good news, earlier this week we went to his opthamologist. His vision is now 20/40 and has been for about the last year. We have been attempting to wean him off the patch so that we can ensure that his lazy eye will continue to function properly. At the visit the dr. released him! He now only has to go for yearly eye exams and can throw away all of his patches. His face lit up and I don't think his smile could have gotten any bigger! It was a wonderful day for him.
So in honor of his gift of freedom from the patch, I am sharing my pattern for his patch. I apologize that I don't have pics of it being made but my oldest, K, accidentally broke my digital camera so now pics until I can afford to get a new one.

Children's Eye Patch for Amblyopia
You will need:
1 piece of felt
piece of fusible web same size as felt
pattern that can be found here
thread to match felt
small embroidered patch of choice
following the manufacturer's directions, fuse the fusible web to one side of the felt. Print out the pattern and check to make sure it printed the correct size. Cut out pattern pieces from the felt. Pin the dart area on the large pattern piece and sew along dotted lines. Cut excess material off the main body of the patch. Cut eye slit. If desired, sew embroidered patch to the center of the second pattern piece. Now place this piece behind the lens of the childs glasses. Cut remaining pattern piece and place on front side of lens and pin to main body of patch. Sew along dotted lines of top piece. Cut excess material off. To place on glasses, slide arm of glasses between the main body and the lens cover piece. Place nose piece in the slit of the main body of the patch.

Creative Commons License
Eye Patch for Amblyopia by Ginny Blankenship is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas is in the air....

or at least on the walls at my house. I still haven't braved pulling out the artificial tree to put up. Not sure where to put it this year as every bit of corner or wall space in my livingroom/dining room is currently occupied. Gonna have to do some thinking on this one!
I have managed to pull out my Christmas snowmen and put them out and my outside lights are up, although my hubby informed me last night (the first night my lights were up) that only half the strand I put up on my banister is lighting. Upon inspection today I realized that someone has broken one of the bulbs after I put them up.
While putting up my snowmen I noticed that the part of my wall that is immediately visible when entering my front door was bare. Oh no!!! Then I remembered a project I had seen in one of my many craft books. (Don't ask which one because now that I am looking for it, it has mysteriously disappeared!) They had taken an ordinary furnace filter and painted a pumpkin on it and painted the cardboard border. Well, I got to thinking that this would transfer to Christmas well. Keep in mind I am NOT a painter by any means. I can paint in the lines but that is about it so this is a VERY easy project. Thought I would share it with you today.
Also, sorry the pics are sideways but I didn't realize that I couldn't rotate them, or at least that I (read I am not very knowledgeable about blogging or how to make these things work the way I want them to) am not able to rotate them.

Christmas Funace
You will need:

acrylic paints (below is what I used but only because it is what I had on hand, feel free to use whatever colors you want!)
FolkArt parchment #450
Apple Barrel Colors Maroon
Apple Barrel Colors Territorial Beige
Outdoor/Indoor Gloss Real Green #20421
FolkArt enamels Coffee Bean #4013
1 furnace filter that is white (the old fashion kind that you can see through) any size

paper towels
raffia (I used maroon and green)
old toothbrush
hot glue gun
a trash bag (optional)

I begin by painting the cardboard border first. Mix equal amounts of parchment and territorial beige. Use this to paint the carboard portion of the filter. You don't have to paint the back, but definately paint the front and sides. This took 2-3 coats for me. Be sure to let it completely dry between coats or it ends up getting soggy and bends/warps out of shape...trust me!
Once the base coats are dry, you are going to "speckle" the borders. Pour some paint onto a plate and dip your toothbrush into it. Now, use your thumb to splatter the paint from the toothbrush onto the border. I suggest you try this a few time on a practice paper first as it takes some getting used to. Repeat until the border is speckled all over with green. Rinse the brush and repeat this with the maroon. Allow to dry completely.
Now the fun part. If you have not already done so, cover your work surface with the trash bag as this step uses LOTS of paint! Put a large amount of green paint onto a paper plate. You will be using pieces of paper towel as your "paintbrush".

Dip your papertowel into the paint and then dab onto the filter. You can put a big blob of paint in one spot, dampen your papertowel and use it to blend the paint out into the desired shape. Or you can just use straight paint and dab. Don't try to get straight, solid lines as it won't work!
If you mess up, I say this because I did...ummm...several times, you can fix it as long as your paint has not dried.

Simply take your work of art to your kitchen sink. Make sure that the faucet is NOT over the work of art (not shown in the picture but TRUST me on this one) and use your sprayer to spray out the paint from the area you want to redo. Allow this to dry completely before painting again or else the gloss paint starts to look pale and bubbly.
Once you have painted the tree with the green, use the same technique to add a trunk and allow this to totally dry. Then, take some maroon raffia and tie it into a bow. Hot glue this to the top of the tree. (Don't apply the glue to the filter, rather apply it to the raffia and then place on the filter. Otherwise, you will melt the filter. Again TRUST me on this!)
Using maroon and green raffia, create a braid about 18 inches to 24 inches long. Poke two holes into the top of your filter. Take an extra piece of raffia and make a loop. From the back push this loop up the hole you have created in the top. Put one end of the braid into the loop and pull the loop back through the hole. Knot the braided raffia, apply a dab of hot glue to the knot and then pull the braid from the top to secure the knot on the underside. Repeat for the other hole to create a hanger for your work of art. Taa Daa! Your own quick, cheap, easy work of art to decorate your house with. Be sure to sign it on the back and enjoy!

Creative Commons License
Christmas Furnace by Ginny Blankenship is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
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Creative Commons License
This work by Sunflowers At Home is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.