Thursday, 20 December 2012

Three things on Thursday - being prepared

1)  With so many people getting ready to travel for whatever holidays they celebrate (even if it's just holidays from school and work), I thought I would use this chance to remind people traveling by car to make sure the car is stocked with a small emergency kit.  Jumper cables, water, blankets, a candle and matches, flares, etc.  You can get a pre-assembled kit or make your own fairly quickly.  Also, if you are traveling in the cold, please make sure you take along a warm coat, boots, hats, mitts, etc.  Even if you are wearing your pretty party clothes, with the lovely high heeled shoes, it might be a good idea to take along your warm things (even if you are not wearing them) in case you get stuck on the road.

2)  I highly recommend printing off this list of 50 last minute things you can do if you have a bit of notice of an upcoming emergency situation.  The kind of thing you can do if you have a day's notice of a storm coming.
I had meant to share this a few weeks ago when I first came across it, but I misplaced it and only found it again this morning.  Print it off and store it in a safe place (where you will remember it) so that if you aren't prepared now, you can take the steps recommended to put yourself in a better situation.

3)  Stay safe, make some memories, take some pictures, spend time with family and friends and have yourself a good time.  Whatever traditions you keep, for whatever holidays you celebrate, make the most of'll be thankful for it later.

Here is one of our favourites:

...And, as a bonus, I received a wonderful surprise the other day.  Someone very near and dear to me has finished packing her and her husband's evacuation bags!  Woohoo.  The best Christmas present I can think of.  Here's to hoping we never have to use them...any of us.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Handmade Holiday - Holiday cards

I think it is finally safe to share the holiday cards I made this could still have time to make a few if you are going to hand deliver them...
I started by drawing a very simple image onto some card stock.  There were more branches in the beginning, but I kept removing some because I was going to have to cut every single space.  Then I traced it onto a bigger piece and cut out all the openings leaving a frame around it.

 I cut large sheets of card stock into 4" x 8" smaller cards and traced the image onto each one.
 ...and then cut them out piece by piece.
 ...until the tree was all cut out.
 I dabbed on little spots of "tacky glue" because I had an old bottle of it and I thought white glue would make it too wrinkly, and hot glue would make it stick out to much...
...and then glued on a light blue background (can't capture the colour it seems, but it is robin's egg blue)...and don't worry, I went back and cut off that edge sticking out the bottom.
 I wrote my little message inside and signed before gluing anything onto the front, and had the rest of the family sign.  I like to put song lyrics in my holiday cards.  And next, the fun part...
 I drew a little chickadee onto a piece of paper.  Just in black ink.  Then, I scanned it in to the computer, shrunk it, and used a mailing label template to paste a whole bunch more onto a "word" document and printed it out in black and white.  Then I coloured in all their bellies and wings with pencil crayons.  Any bird would be cute, but nice chubby chickadees are my favourite.
 Then I cut them out with a tiny pair of scissors, one by one...
 ...72 of them.  Sometimes, I worry about my own self :)
Then, I hot glued them on to the front of the cards so they would puff out a bit from the branches.
I wanted to add some glitter snow falling among the branches, but due to unexpected events that took us out of town for most of a week, I ran out of time.  I think they look a little too plain, but my family will understand, I know.  Feel free to fuss them up a bit if you make some.

See, easy peasy, right?  
Warning...these take a good bit of time if you are making a whole bunch, but if any of you have one of those fancy Cricut machines, this would take no time at all I would think, and making just one for a very special person would be worth the effort, I think.

Oh, and by the way, you might have to make your own envelopes too, as a 4" x 4" envelope is very hard to come across.  Just sayin'.


Thursday, 13 December 2012

Three things on Thursday - getting prepared

If you are a regular reader, you will notice that posts have been sporadic at best lately.  I am finally ready to share in the hopes that I help someone else at the same time.

My father-in-law has been ill for some time with cancer.  A few weeks ago, he fell in his home and ended up having to go into the hospital.  He caught pneumonia, and because of his weakened state, he was unable to pull through it.  We had to say good-bye way too early.

Here is the thing:  He was prepared.  Since his illness began, he had time to "get his affairs in order" and it made me realize that if something happened to us (my husband and I), we do not have our affairs in order and it might leave the kids in a bit of a lurch.

So, for three things on Thursday, here is what I plan to work on as soon as possible:
    -we finally made our will a few years ago, but the executor does not have a key to our house, so no way to access it...need to fix that.
    -our lawyer said to have a chart of all banking accounts and financial information attached to it - we did that, but all of our information has changed since that time so it needs to be updated
    -we want to get a fireproof / watertight box so that all of the important information will be safe and sound

and here is an extra for this week: I really need to make copies of our licences, SIN cards, health cards, etc.  One copy to keep in the fireproof box once we get it, and one copy for the evacuation bag.

Not the most pleasant post, but if we get prepared, hopefully we will save someone a huge headache.

What about you?  Did you do anything this week to prepare for emergencies?  Any tips for us?  Please feel free to share in the comments.  Thanks.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Free pattern - little knit toy bombs

When the boys were little, they had little stuffed felt blocks that they used to have indoor snowball fights with. Over the years they got pretty nasty looking and eventually got thrown out.  They miss them, and I thought I would make them some little cartoon bombs - a la video game- so thry could do it again.  They are rather quick to make...maybe a little over an hour start to finish.
I used some leftover worsted weight yarn from the stash, and size 4.5mm needles.  The gauge isn't really important so you can adjust your needle size up or down depending on what yarn you are using.  Directions will follow for a small, medium, and large toy bomb.

You are going to work back and forth on two needles for a few rows before joining in the round. 
Cast on 4 stitches onto one dpn.  
Row 1: Increase into each stitch by knitting into the back and then into the front of each stitch (kfb). 8 stitches.
Row 2, 4, 6: purl
Row 3: kfb into each stitch.  16 stitches.
Row 5: (kfb into one stitch, k1) repeat to end of row. 24 stitches.
Row 7: (kfb, k2) repeat to end of row.  32 stitches. Join in the round here for the small bomb with 12, 12, and 8 stitches on the three needles.
Row 8: knit in the round for small bomb.  purl for medium and large

Medium and large only: 
Row 9: (kfb, k3) repeat to end of row. 40 stitches.  Join in the round here for medium bomb with 15, 15, and 10 stitches on the three needles.
Row 10: knit in the round for medium, purl for large.

Large only: 
Row 11: (kfb, k4) repeat to end of row.  48 stitches.  Join in the round here for large bomb with 18, 18, and 12 stitches on the three needles.

Knit in the round as follows:
small: 5 rounds, medium: 11 rounds, large: 17 rounds

Large only:
(k2tog, k4) repeat until end of round.  40 stitches. Knit one round.

Large and medium:
(k2tog, k3) repeat until end of round.  32 stitches. Knit one round.

All sizes:
(k2tog, k2) repeat until end of round.  24 stitches.
Knit one round.
(k2tog, k1) repeat until end of round.  16 stitches.
Knit one round.
(k2tog) repeat until end of round.  8 stitches.
Knit one round.
(k2tog) repeat until end of round, putting all 4 stitches onto one needle.
Break yarn and switch to your "wick" colour.
knit in I-cord until your wick is the desired length.  Cast off.

Stuff your bomb through the opening at the bottom at stitch closed.  Weave in all loose ends.
Make a handful.  Enjoy!

By the way:  I am on the last of the "Little House" books in the box set. I don't know what I am going to read when I am done this one.

Linking up with:  Keep Calm, Craft On over at Frontier Dreams
                          yarn along over at small things

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Three things on Thursday - getting a prepared a bit at a time

I missed posting "three things on Thursday" last week but here is a little something I have been working on to continue getting prepared for emergencies a little bit at a time.
 I saw these on a website I found the other day and thought they would be a great thing to have in case of an extended power outage during the coming winter.  I have to say, I felt a little silly going to buy wood shavings when we composted some all summer long, but the bag ended up costing about 3 or 4 dollars, and I have made three of these so far.  There is enough left over to make several more, once I pick up a bit more wax.  They are supposed to be able to keep a small room from freezing, and if you put a grill over it, you could even warm up some food.  I haven't had a chance to test them yet, but I intend to before I make more.
I found a hurricane lantern at the Goodwill, for a whopping deal of $5.00.  It didn't have any wicks though, and I thought I was going to have to McGyver one, but after searching around town, I found some in the camping section of Canadian Tire - just a note to any of my Canadian readers who may be looking for some.  A six pack was $6.00 and I don't think I ever ever have changed the wick in my original hurricane lantern, so I am expecting them to last a while if they are only used in emergencies.

Lastly, I finally decided that I should indeed add hand sanitizer  to our evacuation bags, so I picked up the three small bottles of it.

How about you --- did you take any baby steps this week?  Please share your tips, comments, and helpful finds to help us all out.