Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Vlogging Vednesday

  This is for everyone who asked me "how do you do that?" when they see me and my little crochet hook going at it.  I finally figured out how to use Mr.C's webcam and recorded a quick video on how to crochet. If you have been doing this for a long time and just looking for patterns, try the "My Patterns" tab. Otherwise you can take a look at my video blog entry (Vlog) and then bop on over to Adeline's Daddy who started this whole thing and check out all the other great How To Vlogs!

Vloggin' Vednesdays


And now with out further ado, or excuses, here is my very first Vlog. Hope you like it!




Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Shout Out!

"You can always tell a real friend: when you've made a fool of yourself he doesn't feel you've done a permanent job."
Laurence J. Peter


  Just had to give a quick shout out to my girl Lacy who put together this cute banner for me and has been supporting this habit I've developed, she was the one who got me hooked on this one. Yes, I mean blogging folks and yes Lacy it IS all your fault but I love you anyways!

  Lacy and I met in Microbiology Lab waaaay before I was a nursing student and was just a student finishing up pre-requisites. She was the cute blonde in front of me who could look stylish and fabulous in goggles and a lab coat, I hated her. Then she turned around and asked me if I had a pencil and that was it, I was done, we were friends! And I am so glad you left your pencil at home that day girl!

  For any of you nursing types I want you to read her last five posts, especially if you have any ambitions of being an OB or L&D nurse. Her recent experiences will make you laugh, cry and hopefully be better nurses!

Read her story here 


  Thanks hun, for having the courage to tell your story, the honesty to tell it like it happened and a good enough sense of humor to laugh at it all.  This is why I love you, but I still want that pencil back!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Readers, Weigh In!

  Sorry about the lay off dear readers! Labor and Delivery takes a lot of time to learn, especially if you've never had the pleasure of participating yourself!

  Anyhow I have since released all (two) of my patterns for free on Ravelry,  and have been overwhelmed by the positive response that my two bitty patterns have received. Thank you to everyone who left such wonderful words of encouragement, it really means a lot to me to have something I worked on receive such praise. This has also made me think, and that is usually a bad thing!

You all know dear readers that I have been looking for ways to raise some much needed funds to help with relief efforts in Japan. The warm reception of these patterns have gotten me wondering if people like these pattern, do they like them enough to pay for them? This is where you come in dear readers, because your opinions are very important to me and I wouldn't have this blog if it wasn't for you. So please weigh in on this matter;

Q. Would you be willing to pay for these patterns knowing that the money raised would be donated to Red Cross relief efforts in Japan?

Sakura Pattern - 50 cents

Stethoscope Sweater Pattern - $1.00

  Well dear readers it's in your hands now, please weigh in by leaving me a comment about what you think. Please feel free to tell me that I am over charging or selling myself short on price. I'll leave the polls open until next Monday and then make the decision. Look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Not your Mama's Knitting!

  Ok so if you are easily offended or doesn't have a sense of humor avert your eyes or better yet just click the little "x" button in the top right hand corner of your screen, otherwise consider yourself forewarned.

  The reason for the warning will become clear as you read further my friends. Now if you all remember in the last posting I alluded to my OB instructor wishing for a "realistic vagina". Her complaint is that the models we use which I refer to as "the plastic butt's" are pretty useless when learning how to insert a foley catheter correctly. Just to give you an idea most of the "learning equipment" we are given are rigid plastic dummies whose anatomy is kinda sorta there, just not in great detail.

Our "patient"

Learning to suctions our "patient"
 
Speaking to the female genitalia, when you have practiced on a dummy that consists of two holes in plastic, it rather fails to create a complete image and when you get to the real thing you often find yourself scratching your head thinking to yourself; "What the hell is all that? It doesn't look anything like what were practicing on in lab! Now where the heck do I stick this thing?" all while trying to maintain a professional, cool, calm and competent looking exterior that assures your patient that you are indeed competent and not a puzzled and overwhelmed student.
  So in an effort to help my instructor find a anatomically correct vagina with, as she put it, a labia , a clitoris etc. I began to surf the web. Well I was surprised and in some cases a little disturbed with what I found, so of course I felt the need to share with you dear readers!

First I want to say this clever knitter takes yarn art to a science, literally. If you visit  aKNITomy you will find all your high school biology nightmares reworked in yarn. Personally I LOVE this store! This gal is seriously talented, take a look!
Brings back memories!


Next up, for those of you gals who like the more adult side of Halloween, check out these numbers by Brittany Wilson. She has a blog here at Boho Knitter Chic Spins and you can find the patterns for these hot numbers on Raverly.
Candy Corn Pasties! Perfect for those warmer climates

Spider Web Brassiere

These look way fun!

Anyhow, while this was a ton of fun to find it took way longer to find a yarn vagina, BUT I found one! It was there in all it's glory on Into the Big Bad Unknown


  It was not found by searching under anatomically correct names, it was listed as "Crochet Cooter". Huh, it would seem that after all these years of nursing school may have expanded my medical vocabulary, but I seem to have lost some of my "ahem" other vocabulary.



Monday, March 21, 2011

Hardware Shopping

 Mr.C took me to JoAnn's as promised yesterday and we picked up a couple of sets of purse handles. Sadly there were no straps to be found, leather or otherwise. When I checked online for straps I was aghast to see that they averaged about $15.00 a pair! If anyone has any suggestions as to where I can pick up a set that won't break the bank I would love to hear from you. But back to the purse handles!

This is what we picked up.


 On sale for a very thrifty $4.00 a pair. The Head Design Consultant agreed that the bamboo one's are perfect for the Sakura Tote and the black square's will be used on the buttercup yellow mini tote I am working on right now.

So this is a general idea of what the handles should look like on the tote


  I think I will have to make a trip out to the Hobby Lobby to pick up some nice stiff fabric for the lining. That should give the tote a little more structure and shape when it's done.  Not sure when that will be, I started the OB portion of school and that should take up a lot of time and my instructor has been asking if I could find some crochet or knitting patterns for models of female anatomy. I love challenges!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Line Unveiled

  Friday was an observed day of silence by a huge number of bloggers in support of For Japan With Love which is raising funds for the victims of the tsunami in Japan. So with a ton of time on my hands, since this is spring break for me, I sat down with some yarn and ambition to make something to go towards my own fundraising efforts as outlined in this post (if you missed it please check it out).

I know you are holding your breath in excitement to see what is being unveiled in my new "spring line", so I will keep you in suspense no longer. Here it is!

Sakura Tote

I made this purse using the Square Bottomed Bag pattern found on the blog My Yarn Addiction. I had a couple of skeins of white acrylic yarn that had been given to me by a co-worker just lying around. The pattern is super simple and pretty idiot proof, just the thing for a mindless twiddle finger sort of day.

 When I was done I embroidered on the branch in brown yarn that was left over from making a turkey for Thanksgiving. I was going to crochet a branch with some cotton thread and sew it on like an applique, but the Head Design Consultant, Mr.C insisted that the embroidery would look better.


 He was right, it has a nice Japanese watercolor kind of look to it.  Now obviously I'm not done it needs to be lined and I thought I had a couple of purse straps in my box of goodies, turns out I only had one. Mr. C  promised to take to Jo-Ann's today to get a couple.  We have been arguing about whether to use leather straps or wooden handles. Dear readers would you chime in on this one and let me know what you think, leave me a comment!


Oh yes for entertainments sake this is how I blocked this sucker

I finally found a use for those nursing texts!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Calling All Crafters!!






"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, 
nothing is going to get better. 
 It's not."
~Dr. Seuss  

  I think you noticed that I have been doing alot of thinking lately about Japan. I really want to do something, but that must be the nursing part of me. I hate standing by and feeling useless when you know in your heart that you have the ability to help, even if it is in some small way.  I have been wishing that I was finished school so I could hop a plane and head to Japan as part of the relief efforts, instead I am stuck reading textbooks and writing out careplans.

  I know that where there is a will there is a way and I am not one to sit by the fireside with my knitting and do nothing.  In fact I am going to put those knitting needles to work, but I also need your help dear readers.  I am re-posting my pattern for Sakura in todays issue and asking for your help. I know many of us want to help but in these days do not always have the financial means, I mean for heavens sake I'm a starving student. But I have devised a plan!

  What I am asking from you dear readers is this:

  1.  Find your scraps of yarn, 
  2.  Use my pattern along with said scraps of yarn and make a few flowers.  
  3.  Put the flowers in an envelope and send them to me.  
  4.  I will put them together into some pretty hand made items and sell them online, all money made from those items will be donated to the Red Cross.

 Easy peasy right? If you are crafty yourself and wish to make an item to donate I would love to have it! I will feature all donated items on this blog.

  Please help! This could be an absolutely amazing show of the power of crafters, so let's use these super powers and get to work! Here is the Sakura Pattern again.  Just for reference I used size 10 crochet cotton and a 2.25mm crochet hook. Please feel free to use whatever scraps of pink and white yarn you can find.  Right now I am going to set a goal of 100 blossoms, lets see how close we get.  And if you think this seems like a small and insignificant thing remember what Mother Theresa said:

"We can do no great things, only small things with great love."





Sakura

-Pink crochet thread

-White crochet thread

-Yellow glass beads

-Crochet hook 2.25mm


Gauge: Not important


Abbreviations: (please be advised this is in US terminology)

SC - Single Crochet

DC - Double Crocet

HDC - Half Double Crochet


Directions:

With pink thread. Chain 5 and slip stitch into first chain stitch to form a circle

Round 1 - SC 15 in the circle

Round 2 - Change to white thread and attach to a SC with a slip stich.

Round 3 - In the next SC. Chain 2, DC3, 1HDC, DC3, Chain 2, slip stich all into the same stich

Round 4 - Slip stitch into the next 2 SC's

Repeat Round 3 and 4 until you have a five petal flower.

Glue or stitch the yellow beads into the center of the flower



Please feel free to share this pattern, I ask that you link to this pattern not copy and post it. This pattern is for personal use, gifts or charity, please do not sell this pattern or items made from it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sakura






"In the cherry blossom's shade
there's no such thing
as a stranger."
-Kobayashi Issa

  With all the pictures flooding in from the site of the tsunami damage in Japan I have been thinking alot of childhood. Growing up in Toronto, ON there was a very strong Japanese Canadian population.  Every year right around this time when I was a child, grandma and mom would pull the kimono's out from the boxes in the basement and dress my sister and I up for the Spring Festival at the Japanese Candian Cultural Centre. 

  Spring Festival was one of my favorite events of the year, not only was it a day of fun but I got to dress up and not just kind of, it was the whole nine yards. Kimono, obi, wooden sandals (geta)and not to mention those lovely hair pieces of brightly colored flowers. 

  At the center we were always greeted with the sound of taiko drums, flutes and laughter. The scene in my memories is always one of barely controlled chaos as children ran about, bright colors and sakura.  Cherry trees in full bloom were present seemingly all over the gardens out back lending shade to people snacking on traditional festival treats.  No one was a stranger on those days, as we sat together under the shade of the cherry blossoms, we were all friends and family brought together by the promise of spring and the celebration of a new season.

Sakura

-Pink crochet thread
-White crochet thread
-Yellow glass beads
-Crochet hook 2.25mm

Gauge: Not important

Abbreviations: (please be advised this is in US terminology)
SC - Single Crochet
DC - Double Crocet
HDC - Half Double Crochet


Directions:

With pink thread. Chain 5 and slip stitch into first chain stitch to form a circle

Round 1 - SC 15 in the circle
Round 2 - Change to white thread and attach to a SC with a slip stich.
Round 3 - In the next SC. Chain 2, DC3, 1HDC, DC3, Chain 2, slip stich all into the same stich
Round 4 - Slip stitch into the next 2 SC's

Repeat Round 3 and 4 until you have a five petal flower.
Glue or stitch the yellow beads into the center of the flower



Please feel free to share this pattern, I ask that you link to this pattern not copy and post it. This pattern is for personal use, gifts or charity, please do not sell this pattern or items made from it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Dressed for Success

  So at the beginning of this semester I noticed something, my stethoscope was really cold when I threw it around my neck. Besides being really unpleasant for me I figured this must be very unpleasant for it too. I mean think about how hard it works all day, then at the end of the day is tossed into a bag cold and lonely.  So I decided to make my little work buddy it's very own sweater.


  Classmates began asking how to make them, one even placed an order (which I am still trying to complete) so it got me thinking. I've never written a pattern before, but I sat down and tried to put what I did down in words.  So here it is, my very first pattern. If you find any errors please let me know and feel free to contact me for any clarification.  This is a great project for getting rid of that yarn stash, I used some Caron's Spa that I had left over from a previous project, it's silky soft and I loved the color. I also worked mine in two colors and my pattern is written for a solid color, I think that you should be able to figure out how to add stripes. If your stethoscope has a long forked section just add a couple more rows on the closure flap to make it fit.  This pattern is very customizable and would make a great gift for your favorite nurse or nursing student.

Stethoscope Sweater

Sport weight yarn 
4mm Crochet hook
Velcro
Snap fastener

SC - single crochet
DC - double crochet

Directions:
Row 1 - Chain 20

Row 2 - SC in the second chain from the hook and continue to SC to the end.

Row 3 - Chain 1 and turn, SC in each stitch to the end

Row 4 - Chain 3 turn and DC in to 14 SC  

Row 5 - Chain 3 (counts as the first DC) turn and DC in to each stitch to the end, slip stitch into the 3rd chain at the beginning of the row to join. 
*This will make a V opening at the bottom so the bell will fit through the bottom of the tube*


Row 6 – Chain 3 DC into first DC. Working in the round DC in each DC, joining each round with a slip stitch into the 3rd chain of the first DC

Continue Row 6 until the length of your tube reaches from the bell of the stethoscope to the fork of the tubing of stethoscope.

Last Round – 2 DC into the first stitch, DC into the next 6 stitches, 2 DC into the next stitch , DC into the next 6 stitches. Join row with a slip stitch into the 3rd chain of the 1st DC. (Total 16 sticthes)

Closure Flap

SC in the next 8 DC’s. Chain 1 and turn

SC in each of the 8 SC’s. Chain 1 and turn. Continue for 5 rows.

Tie off and break thread.

Repeat for the other 8 DC’s

This creates 2 “flaps” that when folded will close over the binurals and hold the sweater on.


Finishing

Single crochet into every stitch along bottom opening of the sweater in a contrasting color.
Single crochet into every stitch along the edge of the two flaps with a contrasting color.




Sew a fastener on the flaps. I used Velcro feel free to try something else because it took forever to get it sewn on. I think next time I may use a cute button and make a button hole.




Sew a snap fastener on the little “tail” at the bottom opening closes snuggly like so. This keeps your V opening from gaping open and getting caught in stuff as your go running by. 


Please feel free to share this pattern, I ask that you link to this pattern not copy and post it. This pattern is for personal use, gifts or charity, please do not sell this pattern or items made from it.


Now my work buddy is snuggly and warm, a secondary benefit to using yarn is that it keeps your neck warm in those chilly hospitals!  Please send me pictures of your version of this pattern, I would love to see them.






Thursday, March 10, 2011

Oh Yes I Did!!

  I had a presentation to give to my clinical instructor and classmates about pressure ulcers and how to stage them. So what does this over achieving nerd do? Build a model using nothing more than a slightly damp kitchen sponge, some magic markers and white glue. Not bad if I do say so myself!

What do you think?



Here's the whole thing all assembled with the layers of skin neatly labeled. 

A stage 1 pressure ulcer presents as a red spot on the skin that does not blanch when pressed.



Stage two is looks like a blister or an abrasion of the skin


Stage 3 is a crater that now extends into the fatty tissue


Stage 4 the wound now extends into the muscle tissue and possibly bone


So there! I used my crafting super powers to educate my classmates and you dear reader on a very important nursing topic.  Now what the heck do I do with this sponge?


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy National Craft Month!

  Kay readers this is a super fast post because I am at work but couldn't keep this to myself.  The wonderful people at FaveCrafts are celebrating National Craft Month in the best way possible, they are clearing out their cupboards and are going to give away a huge goody basket that all crafters will love. 

  Now I know you are asking how do I get in on this giveaway free for all? Immediately head over to Fave Crafts and read the rules. It's super simple, there will be a post every day with the header "National Craft Month" simply leave them a comment, this counts as your entry, at the end of the month they draw a winner. How awesome is that?!?

  Ok that's it, gotta run my supervisor is giving me looks and there is a line of students is getting kind of long. Good luck to all of you who enter and thank you so much to the awesome people at FaveCrafts for this giveaway!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Giveaway Bonanza!

  Ok, so anyone who knows me will tell you that I am cheap. Maybe not in those words but I am a pretty thrifty person, I don't like to pay more than I have to for anything and if there is anything that I can get for free I will jump all over it.  So you ask yourself, where the heck is she going with this?  Read on dear reader, read on.
  Now that I have committed to this whole blogging thing I have began to do a lot more research across the web and I have found out one amazing thing, people are giving whole truckloads of stuff away! I feel like a kid in a candy store!  So not being the greedy type I have decided to share with you dear reader, and try to catalog some of the best of the best giveaways. Ready? Ok, here it is!

   FaveCrafts is the first on my free goodies list. Not only does this amazing site give you 1000's of free patterns and craft how to's for everything you can think of (this includes DYI wedding planning, sewing and jewelery making) it has a whole give away page!  They don't just offer one, they offer many free giveaways!




  I have personally entered for this beautiful book by Alice Korach and Toshi Myoda called Beading Basics and Beyond. One click of this link and you will be sent to the entry page which contains a full review of the book. Personally I cannot resist anything that sparkles so I have to try for this book. If you love beads click that link, the greatest part is that you can enter to win everyday! But hurry contest ends on March 15th, so get clicking!








  I also have an entry in to win this awesome little gadget by Fiskars called Stamp Factory.  This little gem lets you load a number of different stamp plates into it so you can create "stamp scenes" for homemade cards and even stamping ribbon! It comes with a bunch of stamps and ink pad so that you can get stamping as soon as you can get the box open!  Once again the included link will take you straight to the contest form so there is no searching needed. Contest ends March 18th. 



Craft Gossip is the most amazing site for inspiration.  It has a little bit of everything for everyone on it. They post tip's, free patterns and even highlight and showcase amazing work done by crafties like you and me. Readers can report "craft gossip" to the editors of the site which will be sorted through and published (hint hint readers, this blog could be considered "craft gossip) Anyhow, they also have a HUGE page of giveaways that grows and grows. I have bookmarked this page and check it daily! Here's a couple of the giveaway's I love best, but this list is by no means inclusive to please use the link to the entire page.

The first amazing giveaway is a Batter Dispenser and Icing Writer from Kids Smart Living. This bowl has a dispenser for easy pouring of cup cakes and is made of kid-resistant plastic, perfect for baking days with the family. I think the icing writer is a vast improvement over those messy icing bags!  Contest open to US addresses only. Ends March 14th. 




For my quilting friends this one should make you jump for joy. They are giving away this colorful book Cut the Scraps! by Joan Ford which will have you reducing your fabric stash. Man I wish they had one of these for yarn scraps!  Again only open to US addresses, meaning if you have a US address (or a friend with one) you can enter this contest! Only open until March 17th.




For all you knitters there is only two days left on this one! Beautiful color work is hard to accomplish, but this book makes you actually believe you can! I put in for this one, I need to make that purse on the front cover! Enter to win The New Stranded Colorwork by Mary Scott Huff. Hurry and enter! Contest closes March 7th.






My friends over at Purple Kitty have a monthly giveaway that is always awesome. This month it is this booklet The Big Book of Knitted Monsters by Rebecca Danger. Who wouldn't want to knit up a bunch of these cute guys? I want a whole pile of them, some for under my bed, in the closet.......



Alright, I would keep going but I really have to get back to studying pediatric heart conditions and make a model that will demonstrate what pressure ulcers look like and how to stage them. I think that one will require a trip to the Hobby Lobby. If you come across any awesome giveaways I would love to hear about it, in fact I would just love to hear from anyone! Hmm I think colored sponges should work for the pressure ulcer project...I'll keep you all posted.