Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Project

I started this post Friday morning and this thing called life hit and I got a little busy. It wasn't intentional, but that's how it goes. A few of you have been waiting on this post and I'm sorry I'm late with it! Sit back a minute because this turned out a tad bit more lengthy than I anticipated.

I was informed by Girlfriend Down the Street yesterday that she had been waiting on my post of the The Project for some time now. She's quite the sassy thing, that Girlfriend. We were both at the elementary school to see awards day for our children and we always have a good chat fest when we see each other.

A few months before Christmas, the Crafts and Conversation program was running at the base Chapel. As usual, Neighbor Debbie and I were constantly on the look out for an affordable project for the ladies to do on Thursday mornings. I have to hand it to Neighbor Debbie....she is the Craft Queen. When it comes to C & C, I have always said she was the brains and I was the mouth behind it all. I can't tell you how many hours we sat on the computer looking up ideas and passing links back and forth on yahoo messenger. Between us, there's probably a hundred plus sites bookmarked with ideas.

One day she asked if I had ever seen any rice bags. The kind you warm up and use as a sort of heating pad. I had, indeed seen them and always contemplated getting one but didn't want to pay the high price. She discovered in her research that rice really wasn't the best choice. It can hold moisture badly and will eventually end up getting mold in it. Dang. BUT, she continued, it had been discovered that another ingredient worked really well. Wonder what it is? Deer corn. Deer corn is the bag of corn you can buy at sporting goods, hardware, and Wal*art. It's used to bait a certain area to attract deer so they can be shot and killed. Barbaric, I know.

An idea was born to use that corn for good instead of evil. (really not evil to me, I'm from the South and used to stuff like deer hunting and such)

With the economy being so bad, we decided to make some of these for ourselves as Christmas gifts. Right at Thanksgiving, Crafts and Conversations was shut down to lack of funding and that left us with time on our hands! (a right scary thought)

We headed to one of the last Super*Wal*arts that still carry fabric down in Florida to see what our choices in fabric were. Some scraps were found at less than .75, so we grabbed those. I found some table napkins on clearance, 2 for a buck.

We were set to make some heat bags. I've never been one to use a sewing machine, but Neighbor Debbie trusted me to be careful with her baby and she patiently taught me how to sew the bags. So many mornings we spent at her house drinking coffee, sewing, putting corn in bags, and high five'ing each other when something came out looking good. We were right secretive about it, too, to all our friends. When asked what we were up to, we'd become all secret ninja and evasive. (Guess what some of our friends got for Christmas?)

What started out as simple neck bags evolved into so much more. I believe the idea was born when Neighbor Britt had need of some heat during "that time of the month". Most women who have a hard time with cramps know that a little heat can hit the spot and help so much. So, we made Aunt Flo Bags. Neighbor Debbie's son, Sean, was hurt at school when he fell face first into the bleachers in the gym. Bless his messed up nose and eyes. What he needed was a bag to conform to his face that would put blessed healing coldness there. I saw some scraps from our neck bags that looked like 4 inch squares. I asked why couldn't we sew those and make Boo Boo Bags to put in the freezer. We did. They work wonderfully! That made me think of my daughter and mother in law who get migraines and have to have something cool over their eyes. Why couldn't we make Migraine Bags? We did. Neighbor Greg was our willing subject. He was sitting on the couch playing some Tiger Woods and I would ask him to lay back so I could check width and length of the material as we were flying blind on measurements. I must have done this a half dozen times and he never once complained (to my face! ha ha) I thought of my brother in law who has very severe back issues. Why couldn't we make a bag large to cover a larger area to provide more heat relief? We did.

My biggest question was......this is warm in the microwave. Wouldn't it pop? More research showed that it was not prone to popping. Jordy let us know quick like when her daughter put hers in the microwave that 3 minutes was not a good idea. Apparently, they're not prone to popping at the 2- 2 1/2 minute range. Hit three minutes and you got trouble. Good to know!

Neighbor Debbie decided to go the extra mile. The bags for the corn is made of muslin. We made pillow cases to go over the bags so they can be washed. Think about it, would you? You warm it over and over and put it on your neck or back. Those places sweat. And stink eventually. Having a protective bag you can remove to wash makes life a little better. This also applies to the Boo Boo Bags if they get a little bit of blood on them. The bags are 100% cotton (very important detail so they won't melt in microwave) and very low maintenance.

This is the bag of deer corn you can buy at the store. We were always sure to sift it and make sure any trash was removed. sure not to get scented. The apple flavor/scented ended up feeding a huge family of deer in my back yard. I never really smelled it, but Neighbor Debbie said it smelled like "butt". The deer surely enjoyed it and I spent a couple of days at my kitchen window in the early hours of the morning sipping coffee and watching them eat.

To the right are the many bags we made. This would be the plain bags with muslin material. They are sealed/stitched closed and waiting on cases.

As you can see, sewing the bags closed with corn was on the hard side. We would use stacks of them on the side of the machine to help us. Many cups of coffee were consumed while doing this. I find it funny, too, that we both had to take our shoes off in order to mash the pedal to sew.

Ladies and Gentlemen...this is your tax dollars being spent wisely here. Neighbor Debbie and I suffered greatly through the first dozen bags trying to get that corn in without spilling it on the floor. The household kitchen funnels we had were too small for kernels of corn. Oh, how frustrating it was for the person trying to get that corn in an itty bitty hole. Neighbor Greg was working shift work (hold one while I hum a bar or two of that Kenny Chesney and George Strait tune, would you? Thanks!) at the time The Project was going on. Mostly, he would be playing some Tiger Woods and occasionally conversating with us. (I know the word "conversating" isn't a recognized word, but it really should be.) He heard us struggle with that corn. At one time, he got up, walked over to the desk where we were working and, by golly, he whipped up a paper funnel that made our lives so much easier. I told the Chief that I now loved him and we were blessed to have The Nuclear Funnel. Why that name? Because in military speak, he's a "nuke" (like The Man). They are a rare breed, those nukes. Neighbor Greg gets FULL credit for helping his wife and neighbor keep their sanity while in the creation process. Please note that there will be no pictures of me and Neighbor Debbie. We were not dressed for the Glam Society on those mornings. It was all about comfort and work.

This is a sampling of the heat bags. The middle ones are the Aunt Flo Bags. That material would be the napkins I found on clearance. The race car material was found on clearance and we really liked the boy theme it gave. Neighbor Debbie had the flannel material in her stockpile of fabrics, so the men were able to get manly looking bags. Add in some pink flannel we found for the girls and we were on a roll!

Aren't these adorable? These are our Boo Boo Bags. They are stored in the freezer in Ziploc bags so no moisture gets in the corn. We made boy and girl themed so everyone would be happy when using them. Nothing fancy at all, but very functional.

We were very pleased with how The Project turned out. We have plans to make more and I'm contemplating on doing a give away here on the Edge (after I consult with my crafty partner). There is already another project in the works and it involves power tools! Yeah, baby!


Neighbor Debbie said...

Love the post as always. And Im glad that you are a willing subject to my craft whims. I know that if I get a idea that you are usually game. Love ya sis.

The family said...

How cool is that? Oh oh if there is a contest I am ALL over that !

The family said...

IS it bad that I get such bad BLOG envy when I come here? Man I totally covet your blog. I need to work on that.

AND - I can't find Paiges link to her blog on here?

Miss Hope said...

Stef, I fixed it in the link to the right of my blog. Has her name in the title.

I wiggle every time I see the new look here. Becca did an amazing job!

C said...

Those are awesome! I'm glad you finally posted about your big project. :)

AndreaLeigh said...

awesome gifts, miss hope. i can't sew to save my life, though. i'll have to buy one from you!

Sam, Missy and Alex said...

Hope, I have also come to be nosey and to apologize!

First, I loved your creative bags that you made. I especially like how you kept it top secret until it was time to unveil them, so cool!!!

Secondly when we headed to Fl I wasn't even thinking about anybody but us. This was our first big family get away together allllll year and I was a giddy as a school girl. I mentally needed the break away from SC!

When Sam gave me the green light and said we could go- I had the bags packed in 3.2 seconds and I flew out the door. It was totally selfish of me. I am sorry to hurt your feelings. I would never do that on purpose.

I promise I will call, email, post a comment and send a pidgeon, when we drive back through GA so that we don't miss each other again!


Anonymous said...

OMG....This is Girlfriend...I cant even remember my password...heck, I havent even finished reading the post...first of all the shock that it FINALLY made it to the Blog and then the more SHOCK(I know that isnt correct English)...this is what I wanted to borrow Neighbor Debbie for!!!! I just might be connected to the happenin's down the street more than y'all know....

Now, please excuse me while I go back and actually read about the project~

ronee said...

Im crafty..why did I not know about craft and conversation??? what the heck? I am up for projects me girlie! I heart the nukie would have come up with something brilliant too! Miss you girlie!

THE Paige said...

okay ya'll, i wrote two long butt posts yesterday. somebody needs to go read and comment them.. -_- PLEASE? i worked REALLY hard on them. i even accidentally deleted the whole blog and had to make a new one then retype the blogs! now thats love people!

Busy Texas Dee said...

I end up logging on you post more than once because I read it and then decide I want to post a comment and remember I need to be logged on my blog to post one on yours. One of these days I will remember that. Anyway now to the comment.

I really like the idea of the heat/ice bags. And the Boo Boo bags are great. Haven't had to use those ones yet but I have used the one for my back and Matt used one for a headache he got while here.

As far as your new project I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with next. Power tools are always fun. I'm still a little scared of some of the ones we have here and are using on a regular basis. Ashley has gotten pretty good at using them as well. And of course Michael looks like he was born using them. Go figure.

Lishak said...

Sounds like you've been busy and having fun. What a creative idea! I absolutely love it. I like the pics that go along with it too! I may need to try making one of those during deployment. It's a good time filler! :)
I'll bet it was so much fun watching the deer. If it were possible to do here in Kingsland, I would. But, no deer here!
I hope you have a lot of fun doing your next project and stay safe with those power tools!

Michelle said...

now those are too cute! Miss Hope the crafty one...LOL..can't wait to see the power tool digs!

Denise said...

How clever, and how cute! I don't know about using the machine to finish them after they're filled...I think I'd be hand-sewing those puppies. What a pain either way. But they turned out great! Aunt Flo doesn't stand a chance.

Monogram Queen said...

Wow - y'all rock! They are such a nifty and practical idea!
Deer corn - who knew?!!!

Donna Marie said...

**this is Donna** so i just read this post (is like jan 24th) and I have to say that I found myself about to tear up because I miss you all so much. I used to be close enough to drink that coffee with you :(. but on a happy note I did get one of those wonderful bags and they are great for my knees and I had a friend that got in a car accident and by way of God himself only hurt his shoulder and he was very happy for that cool bag too. its come in handy in lots of situations and now im pretty excited to use it on my headaches b/c i never thought of that. anyway I just discovered your blog. so yaye! LOVE YOU!