Saturday, December 13, 2014

12-13-14 … miscellaneous rambles

My grandson turned a year old yesterday. On his birthday, his cousin who is 3 months younger decided to take her first steps. These babies, although they live several states apart and have seen each other for a total of 2 weeks, are pretty synergistic, or so it seems. How many 9 month olds will notice his 6 month old cousin can’t get around as well as he can and bring her toys to play with or allow her to play with the same toy he had first when she reaches for it? How many 6-9 month olds absolutely light up at photos of her baby cousin?

I like to think they know they’re related. Babies are smart, far smarter than too many people give them credit for. There was also no jealousy when their parents held their cousins, which can very well happen at this age.

Of course, being brought up in a loving and sharing environment where they’re encouraged to explore helps that.

Christmas is far more fun when babies are involved. This new grandma is having plenty of fun.  :-)

Of course, this new grandma has set work aside to some extent, also, to spend time with babies, even when it’s over the phone or on video message.

The writing plan for this year was to get Rehearsal 4 out, as well as the new editions of Rehearsal 1 & 2. That’s not going to happen. Possibly early 2015. The first EMK Artists & Cottages book was set to come out in October, also, which also didn’t happen. Well, you know, books stay the same however long they sit. Babies don’t. Babies change incredibly fast.

They are also very inspiring. Punkindoodle and Ladybug are no exception. More stories ahead…

One of the big parade hosts on Thanksgiving was talking about some TV channel and how great it is for kids and said when the kids are sleepy but won’t give in, set them in front of whatever channel it was and let them fall asleep watching.

My gut wrenched and I wanted to grab his microphone and yell, “DON’T DO THAT!” Sigh. Put them in bed with books, preferably with someone reading them a book. Don’t bore them to sleep with television. Relax them with reading. Yes, it matters. It most definitely matters.

I also caught a clip of a show someone else was watching the other day where a guy said he was a writer because he’d written a book. His buddies promptly laughed at him and asked if it was published and since it wasn’t, they made a big deal out of saying he wasn’t a writer if he wasn’t published. Really? One of them was moronic enough to say, “I’ve flown in airplanes. Does that make me a pilot?” Now, if you don’t realize how completely unfitting that comparison is to publishing making you a writer, maybe read more. You’re a writer if you’re a writer. You’re a published author if you’re a published author (in whatever form). [You’re not a writer if you only read books (re the pilot comparison).] You’re an artist if you create art, whether or not anyone ever sees it. You’re a musician if you play music. We are all a very wide variety of things. Why pigeonhole? And why laugh at someone who has written a so-far-unpublished book just because it’s not published yet? How about trying it yourself instead? Write a whole book. Sure, anyone can do it, but not everyone will. (Quality is a whole different matter.)

And this morning: a new teen show commercial where a girl talks about someone being sweet, “but sweet can be boring” so she changes her whole appearance and sets out to… do whatever she sets out to do with her new “I’m so cool” attitude. Really??? Come on, Hollywood. Grow a brain, already. And we wonder why kids think snarky and nasty are cool? Sweet is not boring. Snarky is getting very boring. Kids being who they aren’t just to fit in with the snarky in crowd are beyond boring.

So that’s the state of things as I see it on this 12/13/14 at 15:16 (military time for 3:16). Some things only happen on a rare occasion and we should maybe take notice even when it seems pretty non-eventful.





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Saturday, December 06, 2014

DIY: Fuzzy Sock Mittens

When I couldn’t find those little baby mittens with a string that keeps them hooked onto their coat, I decided to get creative. With the plethora of fuzzy socks available lately, it’s easy to find some in the colors you want.

4880My first thought was to use the toes since they’re already stitched together and that would be great for bigger hands (or if you find them in small sock sizes). I wanted them smaller and more rounded, so I cut off the end. I left enough of the ankle to be able to wear the rest of the socks. (You’ll want to finish the edge in some way so they don’t ravel.)

Next, I turned them inside out and trimmed the end I cut to a somewhat rounded shape. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
4881cpBecause this material frays and bunches, I cut fusible interfacing and ironed them on to the finger areas that I would need to sew.
4882I tried machine sewing, but given the softness and bulkiness of the fabric, my machine kept getting stuck, so I gave up and grabbed needle and thread and did a simple whip stitch around the edges.

To help keep them on baby’s hands, I used 1/8 inch soft elastic, sewed it in a circle, folded it around the pre-finished edging (inside-out), and sewed it in. Measure it on your baby and be sure not to make it too tight. No cutting off baby’s circulation!

For the string to keep them from getting lost, I used three strands of yarn and braided them together (use all the same or vary the colors to match your socks). I knotted the ends tightly and sewed the knots on the edge of each glove, then frayed the extra yarn under the knots for decorative purposes.

And voilá! Homemade one-of-a-kind baby mittens!










Note: These do not have separate thumbs. You could cut the shape out to create thumb holes if preferred.
Note 2: This was a spur-of-the-moment project for my granddaughter. If you have thoughts on different ways to do it, please comment!

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