Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Making the Banner

DIY fabric banners

The banner nearly completed!

Since I wrote about the first box of costumes that arrived, many more have come and they are all counted and labeled. There were no shipping problems. We did have three more skaters join the show and fortunately I was able to get their costumes from these companies that have well stocked inventories.

I am also beginning to make the banner with our theme title on it. I mentioned in an earlier post that I purchased two black sheets from Walmart. They were less than $5.00 a piece.

Step 1) Take 2 sheets and with right sides together, stitch around the top and 2 long sides of the sheet. No one will notice that the bottom is left open. Turn right side out and iron.

Step 2) Find fabric suitable for the lettering on the banner. I want green letters. I purchased a 2 yard piece of
fabric at Walmart for $4.97.

Step 3) Make a pattern that you can use to size all letters. I picked the "I" since there are two in the title  "In Tune With Nature". I drew it on a scrap of oak tag with a ruler and pencil.

Step 4) Figure out how many of each letter you will need in the title. Take advantage of the fold and cut out two at once for any that you need multiples of. Start drawing the letters on the fabric using the template as a guide for letter length, width and overall size.

This helps you keep track of how many letters you need of each....

Tracing the letters....

Cut them out....

Step 5) Lay them out (I use the living room floor). I realized I was missing one letter "N" so I took the one from the word "TUNE" and traced it for "NATURE". That fir tree is an "A".....

All the letters are cut out and ironed. 

Step 6) Make a simple drawing of the layout for the rest of the banner. I am planning on a large mountain, sun, trees, river, and some musical notes, etc.

Step 7) Collect various fabrics with interesting textures, shine,etc for the banner scene. To be continued....

I will be getting back to making the banner after my very busy weekend. So please stay tuned. Banners are so fun to construct. It will be a challenge for me this year because my new dog wants to lay in the middle of anything I do on the floor. She drooled on my "H" and tried to walk away with my fir tree. My goal today was to get all the letters cut out and the sheet sewn up. This is my least favorite part to do. NOW, the fun begins!

March 8, 2013
I began this post near the end of January and have been in a whirlwind ever since....costumes have been distributed and final details of the show are being worked out. The show is about a week away....

I had fully intended to take photos of all the cutting but time got away from me. The banner is now complete and I will post photos that I took over the last few weeks:

Laying out the pieces....

Getting an idea of placement before gluing....

The gluing of all the pieces in place is the tedious part of the entire process. I glue the largest pieces on first and then I dot a small amount of glue on each piece just to hold it in place. After everything is in its place, I completely cover the back of the pieces with fabric glue to secure each piece in place.

After everything is glued and the glue has had some time to set, the fun part begins. I outline each letter and fabric piece with glitter paint. I really enjoy this step of the process....

The paint really helps to give the banner a finished look, hides a lot of the raw edges and in this case, adds some detail and texture to the scenery. I wanted the banner to resemble a child's drawing.

Once it is actually hanging up at the rink, I will try to take a is so large (twin-sized) that I cannot get the entire banner in a photo. I have our club name and the year on each side of the banner which does not show completely in the photos.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Welcoming 2013 and Ellie!

Meet Ellie--The newest member of our family!!

Just a few days before Christmas, we welcomed this little girl into the family! We drove 3 1/2 hrs to pick her up in New York. We were not expecting her until sometime around Valentine's Day. It's a rather long story but worth telling. 

I first saw a photo of Ellie on Facebook. Her resemblance to my beloved Willie who we lost in August, was uncanny. The caption under her photo said that she would be destroyed at 5am in the morning. I had to do something to save her, so I called the animal shelter which was located in the South (and I live in NH) and got the answering machine. I left a message telling them I wanted the dog. Still worried about her, I called and left a second message. I did not hear back and I was sure that she had been destroyed.

The next morning I saw a thread under her Facebook photo that indicated someone had rescued her. I then sent that person a message to thank her for rescuing her and explained that I had tried to reach the shelter to inquire about her myself. She messaged me back saying that although she was a sweet dog, she already had two of her own and would be happy finding her a loving family without other dogs. I wanted her! So we began messaging back and forth over the next couple of weeks.

Two days before we were supposed to meet in Maryland to pick up the dog, I received a phone call from her rescuer that she had taken Ellie to the vets because she seemed to be gaining weight so quickly! Uh oh!
She was pregnant! The vet missed her pregnancy just a couple of weeks earlier during her initial visit/wellness check up. I knew that I could not take a pregnant dog....we scrambled to find a rescue that would jump in to help us. We did! Ellie's rescuer then drove her to the foster family affiliated with the rescue in New Jersey all the way from North Carolina. Days later, she gave birth to 11 puppies--yes 11! We were kept up to date by constant photos on Facebook on the day of delivery. It was an exciting day for sure!

We agreed that after the puppies were weaned we would pick up Ellie. That would have been around Valentine's Day. As it turned out, Ellie stopped wanting to nurse or care for her pups and she tried to escape. We were asked if we could pick her up earlier than planned. So we did. Her pups were adopted by another dog who had had a litter a few days before Ellie.

Ellie's ride home....

When we picked her up she was very quiet and I notice that she seemed almost "vacant". She was very cooperative during the ride home. Sometimes she would sit on my lap and other times she preferred to rest on her bed. We stopped to walk her halfway home and she seemed to really enjoy it. It was a beautiful day and we found a bike path with a large bridge crossing a river. She stopped several times to just look at the water. She really enjoyed her first walk with us!

Ellie's first walk......

When we got her home, she ran into the living room straight to my daughter Lindsay and her friend Chloe. She was so friendly and sweet! Definitely a people dog! She was so happy to meet everyone. Because it was Christmas, our house was full of people coming and going. My older two daughters and my future son-in-law stayed overnight. After everyone was gone, Ellie missed everyone and went room-to-room trying to locate everyone.

Slowly but surely her sweet and silly personality is coming out. Every day is a new adventure with her! She "steals" things and tries to hide them before we catch her. And she has stolen our hearts as well! We love her! She has some house rules and some basic commands to learn. She is a work in process for sure but she has a forever home with us and we will always love her.

I cannot thank her rescuer or the shelter enough for going out of their way to save this sweet baby. She cannot be more than a year or two old herself. In a time when we are bombarded with news stories of people who commit horrendous acts of violence towards animals and people, I am reminded that there are wonderful, caring people out there in the world doing acts of profound kindness. This one act of kindness saved 12 lives