My Biggest Sewing Project

I started sewing in the late winter of 2014.  I went to an introductory class at Joann Fabrics, and from there, I used youtube and blog tutorials to learn everything else.  Most of what I have done has been trial and error.  I used tutorials or free patterns online to make my projects.  I also designed my own pattern for sausage pillows.  Up until this most recent project, I had bought a few patterns from Joann’s, but I hadn’t tried any yet.  I had my cousin’s baby shower coming up, and I wanted to make something for her gift, so I set out on using my first envelope pattern.

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I chose to make the bear.  I made a list of all of the fabric and other supplies I would need and set out to the store.  It was quite an ordeal having a toddler there with me.  She tries to grab everything off the shelves, and she touches all of the fabric I put in the cart, often times unrolling the bolts.  Several fits took place as well.  It took a while for me to pick out just the right fabric, but I finally had everything I needed.

When it came time for me to start working on it, I was a nervous wreck.  I read the instructions from start to finish several times.  My hands shook SO BAD the whole time I cut out the pattern pieces.  I was so afraid of messing them up.  After much longer than it should have taken, I finally got the pattern cut out.

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The next day, I started cutting out the fabric.  For some reason, that wasn’t as stressful as cutting the actual pattern.  I did struggle with how to mark the different parts of the pattern.  I finally decided to use tracing paper for the applique lines, and I used thread to mark the places where the pattern would go together.  It probably wasn’t the best method, but it worked out.

I worked on this project over a couple of weeks.  I would generally only work for about 2-3 hours at a time.  Finally it started taking shape.

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When I finally finished, it was such a relief.  My husband was impressed.  He never thought I would make anything like that.  My mom got to see it, and she loved it.  Of course, I am my own worst critic, so I saw imperfections here and there that bothered me, but overall, I think it turned out nice.

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I would love to see some of the projects you have made in the comments!

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The Quiet Life of Cold Sores

The burden of getting cold sores has been something that I’ve experienced since high school.  Outbreaks were always something I dreaded, but I dread them even more now that I am a mother.  Not being able to kiss my child for 2 weeks is heartbreaking.

I was always horribly embarrassed to admit that I suffer from cold sores.  I will never forget my first outbreak.  It was New Years of my junior year in high school.  About a week before, I took a volleyball to the mouth during a tournament and split my bottom lip.  It was no big deal, other than the split lip didn’t seem to want to heal very well, staying pretty tender longer than was typical.  I went to a friend’s house for New Years Eve and stayed the night.  When I woke up, I felt terrible!  My gums felt like they were on fire, I felt feverish, and I had ulcers all over the inside of my mouth.  I was so miserable, and my mom was so worried about the appearance of the inside of my mouth, she took me to the ER.  The doctor said I just had some canker sores.  I had had canker sores before, but never this painful or widespread.  We went home, and I went and laid in bed.  We had people over for my dad’s birthday, but I never came out.  My mom tried to bring me a plate of food, but I couldn’t even eat.  The next day, she sent me to my pediatrician with my dad.  By this time, I also had this painful sore on one of my fingers.  The Dr. promptly diagnosed me with Herpes Simplex Virus-1, or cold sores, which is different than a canker sore.  I was horrified and embarrassed.  How could this have happened?  She gave me a prescription for an antiviral and sent me home.  I missed school and volleyball practice for probably almost a week.  I could hardly eat or drink, let alone talk.  I had a few sores on my lips that broke open, so my lips stuck together.  In order to get my lips apart, I would have to break open the sores again.  It was extremely painful.  I lost about 10 lbs that week.  When I returned to volleyball, many of the parents in the stands remarked to my mom how much weight I had lost while I was out sick.  I never told any of my friends or teammates the reason I was sick.  This breakout was considered a primary infection, which is why I was so sick.  It usually only happens during the first outbreak.

Over the years, I have tried to be extremely careful about preventing the spread of my cold sores.  If I had an outbreak, or even thought I felt one coming on, I wouldn’t kiss anyone, share drinks or utensils, and I wouldn’t share my lipgloss.  I think friends at the time may have thought I was being rude, but I was trying to spare them while never telling them the reason I wouldn’t share.  How could I admit that I had oral herpes?

When I started dating my husband, it wasn’t long before I had to tell him about it.  When I would get any hint of a cold sore coming on, I wouldn’t kiss him.  I had to tell him it was for his own protection.  It sucked having to go 2 weeks at a time without kissing the man I loved.  It still sucks.  When my daughter was born, it seemed that I was getting cold sores about once a month.  It was devastating having a newborn that I couldn’t smother in kisses.  It was also terrifying to me as a nurse knowing the vulnerability of a brand new baby.  During that time, I asked my OB/gyn for an antiviral prescription.  Now in my chart, oral herpes is listed.  I am still a little embarrassed about it.

The reason I am admitting all of this is to spread awareness.  An article I read said that antibodies to HSV-1 is found in about 80% of all adolescents, so it is a very widespread virus.  Many people are exposed to this virus, and there is no cure.  It stays in your body and lies dormant.  About 1/3 of people will suffer from relapses.  For most people, cold sores are just an annoyance.  For infants and people with weakened immune systems, it can be dangerous, so for that reason, if you have a cold sore use extreme caution.  Wash your hands frequently, especially if you touch an area where there is a sore, and do not share drinking utensils, cups, or anything else that touches the sores, and do not kiss others.  Also be aware that it can be spread to the genitals with orogenital contact.

Feel free to share your experiences with me, and try not to be embarrassed if you do suffer from cold sores.  There are likely more people that you know that also suffer with them.

Neglected Blog

Things the last few months have been super crazy, and the blog has unfortunately taken a back seat.  A lot has happened since I posted last.  Here are some of the things that have happened:

  • Savannah Banana turned 2 years old, and we had a birthday party to celebrate
  • We announced that we are having another baby…Yep I am pregnant! (Due in early February)
  • My baby sister graduated from high school
  • I worked TONS of overtime in June and July
  • We visited the Detroit Zoo a few times
  • We went to a Detroit Tiger’s game
  • Lots of time was spent in the pool
  • Savannah saw her first movie in theaters (Minions)
  • We went on a few pontoon rides
  • We went to a fun family reunion
  • We went to Indiana on a family camping trip
  • My parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary!
  • Most recently, I accepted a new job

I will write individual posts on some of these events, but for now, I will just post some picture highlights.

Visits to the Detroit Zoo

Visits to the Detroit Zoo

Savannah's first movie

Savannah’s first movie

family reunion

pontoon fun

Hopefully it won’t be too long before I am able to write my next post!