“Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
A.A. Milne

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

More Primitives for Sale!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 I have been working on several more primitives and have a few more to sell.  

If you would like to purchase an item, please use the BUY NOW button to the right of the blog under the item you wish to purchase.  All transactions go through PayPal. Items will be sold on a first come first serve basis. Once an item has been paid for I will mark it sold as soon as I can. Items will be shipped out within 2 days of purchase.

Easter Annie $18.00 plus $5.50 shipping         SOLD SOLD SOLD

Made out of muslin with a 100% cotton dress and pantaloons, Easter Annie has a cute pink dress with Peter Cotton Tail bunnies on the print.  She is 13 inches tall with an embroidered face and wooly yarn hair.  No glue was used only thread to attach everything. (This is not a toy and intended for decoration only).  She holds a bunny rabbit and has a Cherish necklace on her dress.

 Mrs. Hop (Original pattern by Jackie Schmidt from TFC)--$10 plus $5.50 shipping

Made from muslin and tea stained for that primitive look.  13 inches high (decoration only)

 Primitive Annie--$18.00 plus $5.50 shipping

Primitive Annie is a 13 inch cutie made of muslin with an embroidered face and yarn wool hair.  Her printed dress has beehives and bees on it.  She is not a toy and used only for decoration.  Use the BUY NOW button at the right of the blog if you would like to own her!


Make your own Easy Microwave Popcorn-cheaper and safer

When my kids were growing up, they would always be hungry when they came home from school.  One snack they especially loved was apples and popcorn. Air poppers for the popcorn were healthy and natural but were messy and a pain to use. It was also one more appliance to clutter up the counter tops in the kitchen.  I started using microwave popcorn.  Unfortunately I didn't know the dangers of microwave popcorn.  (Not to mention that over time, it is pricey).

A report from the FDA indicates that a chemical coating used in microwave popcorn bags breaks down when heated into a substance called perfluorooctanoic (PFOA). The Environmental Protection Agency has identified PFOA as a “likely carcinogen.” Another study has found an acid that can be extracted from the chemical causes cancer in animals and is “likely to cause cancer in humans.”
A second potential danger in microwave popcorn is diacetyl, an FDA-approved chemical found in the fake butter flavoring. There’s even a debilitating respiratory disease called “popcorn workers lung,” (the medical name of the condition is bronchiolitis obliterans) suffered by microwave popcorn factory workers caused by extended inhalation of the chemical’s fumes. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, (NIOSH) concluded that diacetyl needs further study so that workers in the flavorings and snack industry are no longer at risk
The Food and Drug Administration continues to study whether consumers can develop lung disease from inhaling diacetyl. In response to the concerns regarding the risks of diacetyl exposure, a number of microwave popcorn manufacturers have discontinued using it in their products.

I wish I had known back then how simple and cheap it really is to make your own microwave popcorn. 

Here is what you will need:

1 bag unpopped pop corn (I buy the store brand but buy whatever you like)
1 larger container to pour the unpopped popcorn into
paper bag lunch sacks
vegetable or olive oil
popcorn seasoning or salt

1.  In a container , pour your unpopped popcorn. 
2. Add 2 tablespoons oil 
3.  Add 2 teaspoons of salt (optional)
4.  Put lid on container and shake up
5.  Put a 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup scooper inside the container for easy use

6.  Put 1/2 cup uncooked kernels into the paper bag.  Fold over twice.  Cook for 3 minutes (or adjust for your microwave.   Make sure you cook the bag on its bottom and not on its side.  It will burn if you cook the bag on its side.  The oil will bleed a little through the bag but that does not hurt anything.

7.  Add some seasoning if you like and enjoy!

I make up several bags a few days ahead of time so they are easy to grab and cook.  This is so easy the kids can do it themselves.

I don't have the numbers as to how much cheaper this method is (I don't do math).  I do know a big bag of uncooked store brand popcorn was $3.29 in my store.  Add the bags which were 50 bags for under two dollars and the oil and season and you have a lot of popcorn for much, much less than the microwave stuff in the store.  AND the biggest perk is no nasty chemicals (unless you add some)!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Come and Listen to the Story of Someone with Down's Syndrome

In the 1960's, children with disabilities were not readily accepted into society or into our schools.  The feeling at the time was to put "them" away in institutions where society didn't have to see them or hear them or even think about them.  The conditions of many of these institutions were horrendous.
 The women's ward at Willowbrook, a Staten Island institution for mentally ill or delayed.
(Go here to read about one infamous institution  http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=87975196 )

On March 2, 1960 a baby boy was born to a young 19 year old mother. This was her first child. She had married young , just 17, and was unfamiliar with much of the world.  She didn't know much about disabled people or children.  For a whole year she loved and cared for her child along with her husband.  To them, he was perfect.  There were, however, small things about the child that bothered them.  He did not roll over when he was supposed to.  He often had difficulty holding his head up.  And he never babbled like other babies his age.

  The young mother, concerned, took her child to a doctor for a check-up.  The doctor was surprised and asked the mother, "Don't you know why your child is the way he is"?  No, she did not.  "Well", replied the doctor, "your baby boy is mongoloid".  That was the term used in those days for children with Down's Syndrome.  "I suggest you put him in an institution where they can care for him better than you.  He will be nothing but a detriment to all other children you have."  Upset, scared, this mother ran home to her husband and shared what she had found out.  Together, they ignored the doctor's recommendations.  They ignored his cruel suggestions of "putting away" their child.  And they vowed to keep him as long as they possibly could.  And keep him they did.

That mother was my mother.  That boy was my older brother. 

And it was not to my detriment that they kept their son. My earliest memories are of my brother , Mike, and I.  I was his protector; he was my friend.  I loved him fiercely. I cared for him.  I mothered him.  I played with him.We were always together.

  He followed me around like a puppy dog from the time I could walk until the time I left home.

 When I left and went away to college, my mother would tell me he would sit in my room and wait for me.  Just sit and wait.

Mike was my teacher.  He taught me compassion and empathy for those who cannot speak for themselves.  You see, he never learned to talk.  When he was 5 years old he had the measles-a really bad case of measles.  His fever became dangerously high.  But in those days, even doctors would refuse treatment of disabled children.  And the hospital refused to treat my brother.  He recovered from the high fever and measles but the few words he had begun saying, disappeared.  So much injustice in those days.  So much ignorance.

Later, when my own son was diagnosed with Autism, who better but I to be the mother?  I had already learned so much from my own brother. I learned to fight for those with no voice.  And thus because of my brother, I helped give a voice to my own son ( who did learn to talk).

Well over ten years ago, I began to notice a decline in my brother's health.  He began to have trouble walking, feeding himself, dressing himself.  During one incident when my parents had left him in my care, his decline became oh so apparent.  He refused to do anything I asked him.  He refused to even move from the bed he was sleeping in. Growing up, he had always listened to my direction.  My own mother could not handle him as I could(and she would often admit that).  So when his behavior and his health declined, I knew my parents were no longer going to be able to keep him at home.

Soon after that, my parents put my brother in a group home for disabled adults. Although it was confusing for him (and my parents) he lived there quite comfortably for several years.  Unfortunately his health continued to decline and reached a point where he had to be put into a nursing facility.  Over a five year span, his health deteriorated.  He lost his ability to walk, then feed himself, then sit up.

Seven months ago, as my mother also began to decline, my brother had to have a feeding tube inserted as he could no longer swallow.  By that time, he no longer recognized any of us.  He lay in a bed and stared at the ceiling.  It was painful to watch and each time I visited it, I prayed to God he would be released from the prison he was in.

Right around my mother's death, my brother developed pneumonia for the umpteenth time.  He had been battling pneumonia off and on for five long years.  This time, antibiotics stopped working.  He began to develop other infections.  His breathing was so labored , I could feel him struggle with each breath.

A few days after my mother's funeral, the doctors delivered their recommendations.  Mike was not going to get better.  They could not cure the pneumonia.  He was slowly drowning.  They suggested he be taken off all life support.  My father could not handle that recommendation (understandably so) and ignored it for a week or so.  But after much prayer, my father gave the go ahead.

Mike was strong.  Stronger than any of us imagined.  He lived for 9 days off of life support.  Yesterday, January 21, 2013 at 6 pm Mountain time, my brother was set free.  He walks again; he eats again; he laughs again.  Most important of all, my brother finally is able to talk! When we were growing up, I used to dream about talking with my brother. About him carrying on a conversation with me.  And now, that dream is reality.

Thank you, my brother.  I am who I am because of you. Till we meet and talk and laugh.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Primitive Sales!! Raggedy Anne

I have been a crafter for many, many years.  20 years ago , I sold items through a crafters mall and through week craft fairs.  Those days are long over BUT I still make items on occasion and sell them. Every once and awhile I am going to list items here that I have made , for sale.

If you would like to purchase an item, please email me at rentalsinelko@gmail.com and include the item name (and how many if applicable) in the subject. Also include your name, mailing address and paypal email address and I will send you an invoice that includes shipping.

Items will be sold on a first come first serve basis via email. Once an item has been paid for I will mark it sold as soon as I can. I accept Paypal and will try use the lowest shipping method on the larger items. Items will be shipped out within 5 days of purchase.


    Primitve Raggedy Annie__- $15.00 plus $5.50 Priority Mail   SOLD SOLD SOLD
A cute 13 inch Raggedy Annie.  She is made from tanned muslin.  Her face is stitched with wooly red hair.  She wears a cotton blue dress with a chicken print.  Her little tage says Angel with a big rusty bell tied on.  

__ Primitive Heart  Ornament- $1 each (state quanity) plus $1 shipping   (9 available)              
 A 5 inch cloth heart made of homespun material .  Button on front with safety pin and hanging thread.


Primitive Valentine's Heart pattern

A fabric heart is one of the easiest sewing projects you can embark on.  Even beginners can sew this one.  So grab your fabric and thread and needle and stuffing and begin sewing.  No picture tutorial for this one but I will give step by step in instructions.

Primitive Valentine Fabric Heart

1.  Print out pattern below OR draw your own hearts.  Free hand is best as it makes it more primitive!


2. Cut out patterns and trace onto wrong side of fabric.

3.  Sew all the way around the heart using a machine OR sew by hand using a running stitch.

4.  Cut a small slit in the center of the back of the heart and turn to right sides.

5.  Stuff loosely with polyester stuffing.  Sew slit shut.

6,  Embellish with buttons, rusty safety pins, etc..You may also add a piece of thread at the top to hang to use an an ornament.  OR leave off the hanger and put in a bowl for a bowl filler.  OR string several together at the side for a heart garland.  Let your imagination go!!

7.  If you wish you can stain with coffee and cinnamon.  I chose not to stain these.