Friday, February 27, 2009

A Little Bit About My Sister and a Lot About Old Ideas Becoming Re-freshed

Before I begin here's the Scrabblebuff update~~~ My baby sister is doing incredibly well for a gal who leaks continually.'s not what you think. ( And she'll get me for that, of course, but I don't care, I'm just glad that her kidney transplant has gone so well that she'll soon have the energy to get me!) She has a bit of a fluid discharge from her incision that is proving rather annoying and preventing her from gallivanting all over Washington DC. But she'll soon be drying up. Who knows, maybe she'll even do a blog about it?

Thank you for all the good wishes and prayers for her. She has a couple of months of recovery ahead of her so please keep the lines open.

We now return you to today's Blog already in progress...

Fresh Ideas ?

How amazing is it to discover I’ve been with it for more than 50 years!

I love crafting but I was afraid I was getting outdated and old fashioned.

You see, I’ve been doing the same sorts of items since I was a Brownie. Then, our leaders told us we were being thrifty by Scrap Crafting. They found projects for us to do using mundane throw-away items in Pack O’Fun magazine. These were remakes of Depression Era Make Overs from their mothers’ old Aunt Martha's Workbasket magazines.

Later in college Art Methods and Materials in the late 60s, I was using Beautiful Junque. I even used hundreds of Kleenex carnations to hide the scaffolding they put up in the church two days before my wedding! (they promised it wouldn’t be brought in until Monday! We left them the flowers!)

Down the road, my Cub Scout sons made tie slides and Mother’s day gifts from Cast Offs. My sons and their dad built an entire Space city from discarded styrofoam packing and toothpaste caps, blister packages, and broken 8 track tapes etc. over the course of a winter.

During the Washington days I used Recycled Materials to create items such as dried flower arrangements in milk glass or cobalt blue cold cream jars. The items Scrabblebuff and I sold at craft fairs were about 60% Eco Friendly.

Thrift store crochet threads provided the stuff for the Genuine Victorian Style Cell Phone Covers and Water Bottle Holders I made while working as a Schoolmarm at Columbia State park.

As a doll house miniaturist, I created lamps and canisters and perfume bottles from beads purchased at yard sales. I traded squares of silk gleaned from blouses stuffed into the church’s $1.00 a bag sale, for other wonderful Found Treasures.

I have taught generations of children how to make mommy a shopping pad from a cereal box, magazine pictures, scrap paper, and glue. I can do them in my sleep. Once they were Scrap Craft, Now they are Green Gifts. What’s more they can even be red or blue or purple but still be Green!

I was pretty content in my green rut. I had gotten over my dismay in discovering( just as I finally got some things that matched) that the banged up furniture, with the worn paint, my kids had lived with all their lives was actually Shabby Chic!

But now there’s a new wrinkle! I have discovered Up-cycling! This means you take something old you were about to donate or throw out and turn it into something new-and very expensive! My sister-in-law is making wonderful funky ( am I still allowed to say funky? ) pillows for dorm rooma out of sweaters. Fab Grandma introduced me to Etsy Stores and I love them. What a way to stimulate your own economic package.

Finally, I have a use for all those vintage crochet patterns for scarves, cowls, collars and hats that I’ve been collecting for years. Patterns from the 40s,30s and even older are new again. By using new yarns and threads, I can make things I wouldn’t have been caught dead in when I was a young teen because it was so old fashioned and today the kids go nuts for it! I haven’t opened my store yet but I’m busy making things. Now if I can just keep them away from my granddaughters!

Jim is glad I’ve discovered these things since I have way too much yarn for someone who lives full-time in a 32” Winnebago! I admit I do tend to save a bit more craft material then I need right now. But heck, As my dad always says to justify his barn and sheds stuffed with valuable stuff, “I may need it one of these days.”

I just wish somebody had told me about felting back when I was shrinking all those wool sweaters and getting in trouble for it with Mom. I‘d love to try that next. Of course, they do sell wool sweaters at thrift shops…

See ya down the road,

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day Gift

I doubt that God has the time or patience to read blogs. He has so many other things to do that we never think about. So today at church, I’ll tell him directly what I’m about to say here and what I’ve been saying since Thursday night. I only write this so others will know how grateful I am for His Valentine to our family.

On Friday, February 13th, my beautiful little sister, Scrabblebuff was given the gift of renewed life by an unknown organ donor. After a long flight from Seattle to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington DC, she received a new kidney in a late night transplant operation which lasted into the early morning hours of Valentine's Day.

Although some tried, none of our family members were able to serve as live donors of the needed kidney for various reasons. I guess that just goes to prove what Scrabblebuff has been saying all along -that she’s a unique lady, the only one of her kind in the family. Now, through the generosity of a stranger, she’ll go on beating me at Scrabble for years to come. This is such a happy occasion for us.

As we watch my sister begin a new chapter in her life, I simply want to say thank you;

To God who listened to our prayers,

To the family members who offered so generously to give her a kidney,

To the friends of long standing and those we know only through on-line connections who have prayed for these many months that a kidney would be found,

To those who stepped forward at the drop of a hat and provided the means to get her and her husband to Walter Reed.

To my niece who has efficiently, lovingly, and generously gone without sleep to make travel arrangements for her Mom and keep us all apprised of the situation as it has been happening.

To my nephews who have jockeyed their confusing schedules to help keep the needs of the family met.

Most of all, thank you to the Unknown Lady who signed an organ donor card which on Friday gave my sister and presumably others such precious gifts. To her family I want to say we will never forget and we are so sorry for your loss. I’m sure our Mom has welcomed this wonderful soul to her special place in heaven. After all, they form a special pair since both have given Scrabblebuff life.

My little sister is an extraordinary gal. She raised four great kids who each had health challenges of their own including one who will need his Mom’s care for all of his life. They have grown into fine adults who are holding down the fort back in Washington state while Mom and Dad are in DC. She did this while serving as a family advocate and volunteer coordinator for a busy health department where she helped other families stay together and receive the services they needed. And at the same time she was an Army wife for 20 years who welcomed lonely soldiers into her home and made them feel part of a family.

This next few months will be a struggle, emotionally, logistically and es
pecially financially for my sister’s family but with God’s grace, and Scrabblebuff’s determination to win, they will get through it.

At her request, I’ve been very low key about her situation for over a year. Today however, I think she won’t mind if I tell her story and make a request of my own. Please, if you have not done so before, consider signing your donor card and even looking into becoming a live donor by clicking here. Someone’s sister, mom, daughter, wife, brother, Dad, husband or son will thank you.

See ya down the road,