Monday, March 31, 2014

The Great Headband Project of 2014

This post, here/now, was the first one.

Headband post #2

Headband post #3

It started with a visit to a combination craft show, garage sale, flea market (massive in three huge buildings).

We found a headband stand.

I didn't buy one with the intention of using it for a pattern. Instead I bought one for middle (she was with me).

And then later in the day, I said - maybe we should have bought more.

And middle replied - They were expensive, I looked at how they did it, we can make them easily.

When I took a good look at it, I said - I can make them a lot easier than the way they did it.

This is the one we bought. 

How they made it was to turn the edges under once, stitching as they went, and then turn the edges under again, top stitching. 

What I did was to make a pattern from theirs, out of felt. The pattern was the finished size of the headband, NO seam allowance.

I pinned the felt pattern down the center of the right side of the fabric I was using.

Then I used the felt pattern as a guide in my serger. The serger finishes the edge of the fabric and cuts off the excess fabric as it sews.

Fresh from the serger, this picture shows the headband with the finished edges and seam allowance.

 This shows a close up of the serged edges.

Next step was to remove the felt pattern.

Then I put the headband in the regular sewing machine and turned the edges under, top stitching as I went. I have been sewing for a long time. I did not need a pattern or basting to turn the edges under evenly. I just free handed it as I went. A hint is if you are stopping to adjust the fabric or turn edge under, always stop with the needle DOWN so the headband does not get pulled out of allignment.

This picture shows the wrong side of the finished headband.

Here is a close up of the wrong side.

These headbands are tied at the back of the neck. That is why the pattern gets thinner at the ends. That is also why the headbands are only one thickness of fabric and not doubled, it is easier to tie.

I put trim/ribbon on some of the headbands.  To keep the ends easy to tie, the trim/ribbon does not go all the way to the end of the ties. I cut the ribbon at 18" and the length of the finished headband is 31". I did not turn the edge of the ribbon under on the raw ends. Instead, I cut the raw end with pinking shears (helps prevent fraying) and then used a zigzag stitch on those raw ends reversing several times (going back and forth over it several times).

Middle took all of these pictures (below) for you. She folded each headband so it is the way it looks on someone's head.

Original is in this picture with the rose on it.

 The majority of the fabric strips were in a bin, leftovers from a long ago quilt. I had a lot of ribbon in a box. So the majority of the headbands show were made from my sewing/quilting/crafts stock pile. I did buy a few things to match with orphans (had ribbon I loved, needed fabric to match  OR  had fabric but wanted ribbon for it.).

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Working on classroom supplies

Middle and I worked on bulliten boards all last summer. As an RA she had four large boards in her hall (60 girls on her end of her floor, big dorm). There were a few boards which are really only appropriate for a girls/college/dorm floor (great naked yoga article, std's, getting along with your roommate, etc). The vast majority of her boards contained holiday, seasonal or general topics that would work for college or age 3 - snowmen, food, sunglasses, turkey, etc. She has a supply for a teacher's lounge board too - reducing stress, posture, Dr Mom Says, exercise, communication.

We continue to add to her stash (great Olympic stuff on sale after they ended earlier this winter).

She has a wide variety of teaching clothes and shoes too. I worked very hard on this last fall.

Middle did not know it, but I started picking up classroom stuff a couple years ago.

I gave her these things over spring break, because she is in the classroom more and more. If you are trying to remember - duel early childhood ed (ece) and early special ed (espce) major.

She has a bin with larger size, plastic mammals, bugs, reptiles.

She has funnels and measuring cups/spoons for science experiments.

She has finger puppets.

She has three sets of animal dominoes.


While she was home over spring break, we hunted through a great resale shop which is run by a local church.

We found a pair of large (1 1/2") dice, and Junior Boggle and Junior Yahtzee.

We found a tunnel. It needs a little sewing, but is good otherwise. She has a second tunnel we got (new) with a 40% off coupon.

We found the deal of the century on a Cranium Super Fort. We paid $44.99 for what we have seen
listed from $250-350 on ebay and amazon.

The pictures below are of her actual pieces. They came in four large totes that originally came with the set.

60 red ball joints
80 red C clamps
23 blue feet
4 purple square walls
5 blue panels
3 green panels
4 purple panels
4 orange panels
3 red panels (larger)

78 poles, the yellow ones are flexible, the orange ones rigid

these were the only broken pieces out of the whole thing -
6 poles (end connectors are broken) she is saving them for other uses

We also found this gem at a local store on clearance -

Preschool catch - where ever your thumb lands, you make the sound of that animal. They come in all different topics for many ages and are called THUMBALLS,

There is a huge flea market/garage sale event in our area (geared towards families) later this spring. We are going to attend and hunt carefully.

Also, long ago, when I packed up the kid's books, I packed up all kinds of things for middle to use as teacher reference materials - craft books, science books, lists of reading books, etc. There are two huge bins of them. I also saved actual projects the kids made in school. There are some great things in that bin too. Middle did not realize until last week that those bins existed. They are a wealth of resources too.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Foam Roller

 You might have caught my note that Middle is currently doing preventive knee physical therapy.

This is with a quality sports physical therapist.

If you have not heard me say this in the past, here it is again. Physical therapists come in different levels. There are those who are geared toward people getting on and off the toilet and in and out of the car. Then there are those who are athletes themselves and work toward that end with their patients. The same way I would never go to an over weight nutritionist, I would also not go to an out of shape physical therapist with poor posture.

Middle's therapist has her doing high level, effective, training type work.

He has her using a foam roller and ankle weights for some of her moves.

We bought both at Walmart. They actually had a very good selection.

I believe her foam roller was 18". There were larger sizes available.

Her ankle weights were 3 lb. 5 lb were also available.

I am attaching a full copy of the sheet that came with the roller, because when it is all in the package at the store, you can't see the moves.

ADDED LATER - this is a very thick, short, pool noodle I have used in a foam roller type of way. In comparison to middle's (green, below) it is not as good. Hers is thicker. Her shorter length is easier to roll. Hers is ram rod straight and mine has a natural curve to it. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

This works really well for jammed vacuum cleaner hoses

I am not sure if I have talked about this previously, might be a repeat. I queried on "PVC" and nothing popped, so I suspect not.

I had the pieces out and grabbed pictures, hence this post.

I have a normal length vacuum cleaner hose, the longer one (shown below), and then a super long one  we rarely use.

The short one came with a vacuum. The longer two I bought separately from a vacuum shop. The shop is where I buy vacuums and do repairs.

The middle hose (shown below) is long enough to make it all the way up the first/long part of the stairs.  So I can leave the vacuum on the floor by the first step and use the hose with a foot attached, to  get each step.   REALLY HANDY.  Very safe.

As you know hoses tend to get jams. Reaching a jam, in any hose can be a problem, long hose even more so.

A couple years ago I went to the hardware store/lumber yard looking for a hose jam solution.

I walked up and down aisles, looking carefully.

There was a huge selection of PVC pipe.

Some was straight, I found a section that was curved.

As I write this, I am pretty sure I actually took the medium hose with me. And I tried various types of PVC pipe on the hose, standing in the aisle.

I think I told a clerk what I needed and showed him the hose. I think he helped me dig through the
PVC racks.

And when we found this one (below) he cut it to the right length for me.

If you look carefully at the hose, you will notice one end is very bent/curved, we start the PVC at that end. And as we feed the PVC pipe through the hose, we keep the hose at a gentle curve (like the PVC pipe). The PVC pipe is very strong/firm, so if there is a clog, it allows firm pressure to be applied. It makes a good ramming rod (if you will). I don't think I could ram a hole into the hose with the PVC pipe. But keeping everything at a gentle curve insures the pipe stays in the middle-ish of the hose.

I have no idea how much the PVC was, but I do not think it was expensive. I don't remember how much the extra long hoses were either.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Yoga poses for people who hunch forward a lot during the day

Some of you will smile when you click over to this link because the header is poses for nursing moms.

But as I read, I realized nursing moms tend to hunch, so the poses are good for most desk workers.

One thing I would like to elaborate is Sphinx. You do NOT push back against the floor. Instead you pull your torso forward, through the arms as if you were trying to drag yourself forward. Any pose with this general type of positioning has a forward pull element to it. Up dog for example, you are not pushing body back from the hands, you are pulling body forward thru the arms to extend.

If you are looking for poses for other situations, such as lower back pain, here is the link. My suggestion, if these poses are new to you, and you have any type of health condition, is to start slowly. Not one a day, but yes, one a week. Then if you have a reaction, you will know the trigger.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Vision Boards

Jennette Fulda (formerly known as PastaQueen) wrote a post about a Vision Board Party she attended earlier this winter.

Really fun (I think) that this is an annual event for this group of women. This would make a great non-food, traditional, holiday activity for an extended family too. Perhaps New Year's Day during all the games (for example).

If you remember middle is a RA in college this year. Part of her job is to have activities for her floor. She and the other RA's usually double up on these programs so it is half the work and a good turn out of attendees.

As soon as I read Jennette's post, I knew it was something middle would love. I wrote to Jennette to see if middle could borrow Jennette's Vision Board picture for middle's announcement signs. She said "yes". Since we have a colored printer, I printed a stack of these pictures so all middle had to do was add the date, time, place.

Youngest and I, on one of the few warm days, went dumpster diving for magazines (for middle who was at college and had no access to magazines). Believe it or not, I mentioned this to another mom, and she just stared at me. It turned out that when her kids needed pictures, she went and bought magazines for them to dissect. .  .

Our recycling center is very clean. Magazines (and the like) are put in two large bins. The bins are about about 4' tall and probably 4' across both ways. So these are huge bins. Luckily they were mostly full, that day, so it was easy to dig. If they had been nearly empty, youngest would have had to climb IN them to reach magazines for us.

We had to dig through a lot of catalogs and phone books, but found a wide variety of really great magazines. There was a horse one, athletic, house, gardening, etc. We collected several dozen magazines that day. Middle is actually going to keep this collection so as a teacher she has magazines for kids to use for projects.

I had a 20% off coupon and also a $5 coupon for our local art store. I bought 12" x 18" heavy weight tag board for middle. This is heavier than construction paper but thinner than poster board. In my opinion the 12" x 18" size was perfect because it made the project doable in one sitting and is a nice size for hanging on a college door or bulletin board.

Her dorm would have picked up the cost of the paper, but then the leftovers would have been theirs. I bought a mega pack for $8 (with my coupons) and then she had lots left for other projects.

This is not middle's board. It belongs to a friend. Middle's (still in progress) is very similar. They decided to just use words. The friend finds/cuts words and middle arranges/glues. They just happened to finish this one first.

Here is Jen talking about Vision Boards (2013).

Here is Karen (2012).

Here is Jane on her Inspiration Board (2011).