Sunday, February 12, 2017

Dog Arthritis Bed and Blankies

 I spent yesterday in my sewing room and it felt so good to just dink around in there for an afternoon!  Of course I had to spend the first 30 minutes cleaning, sorting and organizing because it tends to become a dumping ground of fabrics, findings, materials and items that need to be repaired...but I digress.
 Lopi was limping around and unable to jump onto our bed or go up and down the stairs about a week into the second strike this summer.  The alarmist in me panicked because I was just sure she had hip dysplasia or something seriously awful and when you're not working, the last thing you want to do is take a dog to the vet.  We took her in and it turns out she has the arthritis in her knees and now takes a doggy NSAID every day as well as some glucosamine.  I joke every morning that she has to take her pills and supplements.  She's doing so much better and you'd hardly know she'd had any trouble.  Another recommendation of the vet was to keep her joints warm which can be a trick in Minnesota. 
 I had an idea to make a new dog bed for her and cover it with leftover Insul-Bright batting.  Striking nurses have little extra petty cash so going to Joann's just wasn't an option.  I didn't have any stuffing material so I thought about shredding up old clothes or fabric scraps.  Whenever I make a quilt there is always an 18" or so margin of batting leftover from the large queen size pieces I buy and I save everything because you never know when you might need it.  Well thank goodness I did, and I was a little embarrassed that I had so much scrap batting saved, but I used it all up!  I folded it and sandwiched and wrapped it around itself to make a padded dog bed and didn't sew a stitch so it took about 10 minutes and I used up scraps that were taking up space in my sewing room.  Win-win!
Next I wrapped around a layer of Insul-Bright to seal and contain it, blanket stitched the edges and whip stitched through the middle with yarn and an upholstery needle.  Not too shabby!  You can see in this picture how messy and cluttered my sewing room is.  I need to sew more to use up stash!
I made a large pillowcase for it out of some stash fabric and voila--an arthritis dog bed!  Zak and Lopi both lay on this and it was absolutely free! 
I made 2 dog arthritis blankets yesterday using Insul-Bright for the batting and doggy and critter prints.  Insul-Bright reflects energy back to it's source, both hot and cold, so it is ideal for cooler bags, casserole carriers, coats, etc.  I've seen dog arthritis blankets in catalogs which is where I got this idea.  We have a blanket on the couch upstairs and down so now anywhere they lay, they can keep a little warmer.  My dad is currently traveling in Israel, but were he here he'd shake his head and say, "You need to have children."
And I don't know about you guys, but I think today is definitely a macaron day.  I fancied something sweet with my afternoon coffee and they hit the spot.  I also had to make a little room in my freezer for the deals I scored at Target between my Cartwheel and coupons.  When I was single and mortgage-free, I never shopped for deals or clipped coupons and just bought whatever I wanted.  Now I play a serious saving game and actually plan my shopping trips and delight in the money I save.  It certainly served me well this summer when preparing for and actually weathering a labor strike.  Now I continue to do it and stash the savings for a rainy day.  Have a warm and sunny Minnesota Sunday!  :)

Friday, February 10, 2017

Festive Pillows

The last time Brenda and Melissa and I got together was this summer at Brenda's cabin for a Weekend Retreat and Craft-Off.  Brenda found this fabulous tutorial for magic pillowcases and we had fun with it.  I made a pair of Christmas pillowcases that weekend but I should have bought just a tad more fabric so the print could be horizontal instead of vertical.  It's a busy enough print that it doesn't really matter, but I notice it!  Oh well.  Fun, easy and quick project.

I bought Valentine fabric that weekend too but only got around to sewing them last night.  When we still chose our own scrubs, I made all kinds of seasonal and holiday tops and I love using seasonal fabrics throughout the house in various home textiles.  My mind is mentally going through my stash inventory for combinations that I could use for my nieces and nephew. 

On a somewhat unrelated note...where I grew up in rural north central Iowa, we trick or treated with an ice cream bucket or a large plastic bag.  In fact, the volunteer fire fighters in our community would hold an assembly at our school every year and talk to us about trick-or-treat safety because we went out in the DARK in my day.  They'd also hand out sturdy plastic trick or treat bags to every kid in attendance and that is what we used.  Since moving to urban Minnesota, I was surprised to see that most kids up here trick or treat with pillowcases.  I asked Dave about this and apparently it is standard practice from time immemorial.  What do you use where you live?

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

It's still winter...

More gloomy cold winter weather.  It is Minnesota however and we pass the season with the comforts of home.  Truth be told, I secretly love this weather because you get to wear all your knitting and snuggle up with blankies and bake with reckless abandon.  Nature gives us beautiful scenery too, like this Sleepy Hollow mist hanging over the woods and pond.
My new favorite thing is my essential oil diffuser.  I have one in my living room and one in our bedroom.  Both were purchased at Target for $29.99 and I don't know what I did without them.  We've used aromatherapy at the hospital for some time now and I use these at home every day and at night.  I use oil blends for relaxing and energizing and just love them and sent one up to my sister in law and nieces in Duluth.  Maybe it is just psychological but I find it very calming and thought they could use a little calm while my brother is deployed.  Also it scents the house without being sooty like a candle, and even though our dogs are well behaved, I always got nervous burning a candle with a dog running loose.  Our new Hyvee stocks a large selection of oils and diffusers and I check them out every time I'm in there.  My favorite oils so far are Sunleaf and Minnesota made!
I finished my first pair of gloves using sock weight yarn and size 2 needles.  These took forever but I am very pleased with the result.  I have tons of sock yarn and now have another project to utilize it instead of just socks.  This yarn was purchased at a gas station shopping center in Iceland!
I look forward to watching EastEnders every weekend on Tpt with a blankie and my heating pad and now I can drink tea with my mug!
My holly plant has berries developing!  I'm so excited I can hardly stand it!  Now I'm checking every day to see if they turn red!  I want this thing to turn into a full blown shrub so I can cut boughs for holiday decorating!