Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Perrie and I

In 1942, a beautiful baby girl was born to James C. and Miriam S. Perrie in Washington DC.  It became evident, as time went by, that all was not right with their wonderful Barbara Anne.  She would never grow mentally older than age 6 or 7, she was legally bind (she can see some colors and movement) and she had physical troubles.  But that did not stop her parents from loving her and helping her grow to the best of her abilities.  Her Mother kept her home with her and taught her how to take care of herself, and how to love her Savior Jesus Christ, the way a good Episcopalian should. 

Barbara Anne Perrie
age 7

Now let’s skip forward to 2004.  My oldest daughter Abby told me about a friend of hers who was legally blind and but who could see colors and motion, so could I make a color light ball (the colors move in patterns), for her for Christmas.  Of course I could, and so I did.  I wasn’t until several months later that Abby let me know that she would be bringing her friend home with her, so that she could watch her for several hours.  I was okay with that.

I will never forget the first moment I saw Perrie, as Abby lead her through my front door.  I heart jumped within me and my spirit cried out “I have missed you.”  I knew from that moment on that Barbara Anne Perrie would be very important part of my life.  I volunteered to take care of Perrie when her care giver needed a break.  I learned everything I needed to do, so that I could take care of her and have her hugs and kisses would be a part of my life. 
Perrie and my daughters at a Fireworks show
Lake Tahoe, CA  July 2005
Each Christmas, I plan a birthday gift of service for Jesus’s birthday present.  This particular Christmas, I felt that I should be taking Perrie to Church with me.  Perrie loves going to go to Church. So I called her caregivers and arranged to pick up Perrie, take her to church with me and then take her home with me, where she would have dinner with us as a family.  At first I worried, about what I had to do each week, but that didn’t last for very long.  It has become just a normal part of my life.
Perrie at the beach at Lake Tahoe
July 2005
When I started to bring Perrie to church with me, I had a calling in the scouts, so Perrie went to Sunday school and Relief Society with me.  Then one Sunday, I was called into the Bishop’s office and was called to be a member of the Primary Presidency.  I was so excited to work with our Primary President, but then I thought, “What do I do with Perrie?”  Since our Primary President was out of town that week, I went to our Stake Primary President, and was told to take Perrie to Primary with me.  Thus began a series of miracles and blessings in our Primary.  My first Sunday in Primary, I introduced her to the Primary and showed them that even though she was in her 60’s she really wasn’t any different than they are.  Her favorite food was Mac & Cheese.  Her favorite colors were all the colors of the rainbow.  She had 4 cats and 3 dogs and a goldfish.  She said her prayers and she loves Jesus.  We sang the Primary song “I’ll Walk with You” (PSB pg. 140).  And thus Perrie joined our Primary.  Basically she attended 2 Sharing Times at first.  We had Primary children volunteer to be “Perrie’s Pal” and help her during Sharing Time.  Quite a few children were excited to be “Perrie’s Pal”.  She said prayers and gave scriptures as her part in Sharing Time.  She even said parts in the Primary Program.  She gets up and sings whenever the Primary children sing.

Then came the day that Perrie asked why she didn’t go to class like the other children.  So as a Presidency we discussed and prayed about which class to put her in.  We had one class that was being taught by a new couple in the ward.  We decided that I would ask if they would take Perrie into their class.  I approached Sister Baker in the hall and asked if she and her husband would allow Perrie to attend their class.  She paused and then asked if I knew that she was a teacher (professionally) of handicapped children.  No, I didn’t, but Heavenly Father did.  The next week, Perrie started to attend Primary class.  She loved it and her class learned to love her.  Since that time she has been in several different classes, but each class has loved her and she loves them.

Perrie and her caregiver Megan
Her caregiver has told me of times, when Perrie first started to go to Primary, that she would be with Perrie in a store and a small child would come up to her (the caregiver) and ask, "Is that Perrie?"  She would answer "yes" and then the child would disappear.  The children in our Primary have learned to love her too. 

After 3 years we were released as a Primary Presidency.  I approached the new President with my concerns about Perrie.  I was told, "Of course Perrie would stay in Primary, she was an important part of our Primary", and she still is today. 

Today, my Sundays go like this.  One half hour before church starts, I go get Perrie and her wheel chair.  We attend Worship service (Sacrament Meeting).  After Worship Service, we make a trip to the restroom.  Then we go to Sunday school (Primary Class) where her class members take turns caring for her.  From Sunday school, her class takes her to Primary (Sharing Time).  The members of her class know that if there is a problem, to please get me in the Relief Society Room.  They have never come to get me.  After Church, I go pick Perrie up from the Children’s Meeting Room and take her home.

Perry and baby Ender Feb. 2012  after attending Ender's blessing.
Over the years Perrie’s health has worsened.  On May 3, 2012 she will be 70 years old.  Her mother was told she would never make it past the age of 40.  She is in a wheel chair, on oxygen and has a feeding tube, so I don’t get to keep her after church every often, but I do go and take care of her at her home from time to time.  I have curled her hair before church and I have realized just how much I am going to miss her when she is gone.

I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father that he brought Perrie, my eternal friend, into my life.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Crocheted Coil Flower

There are lots of different uses for artificial flowers, to decorate clothing, wear in your hair and, I am sure you could come up with some other ideas.  Here is a simple crocheted flower that would be easy to make a flower out of scrap yarn. 
ss=slip stitch
sc=single crochet
hdc= half double crochet
dc=double crochet
tc=triple crochet
7 gm. scrap yarn
Size F (3.75mm) crochet hook
Yarn needle
Start with an18 inch tail, Chain 38, turn
Sc in 2nd chain from the hook, (2ch, skip 1 ch, sc,) repeat until 18 total ch2 areas, turn.
(Each petal will be in a hole made by a chain two in precious row.)
Petals 1-2:  (ss, ch1, 3hdc, ch1, ss)
Petals 3-4 :  (ss, ch1, 5 hdc, ch1, ss)
Petals 5-6:   (ss, ch1, 2hdc, 1dc, 2hdc, ch1, ss)
Petals 7-8:  (ss, ch1, 1hdc, 3dc, 1hdc, ch1, ss)
Petals 9-10:  (ss, ch2, 1hdc, 3dc, 1hdc, ch2, ss)
Petals 11-12:  (ss, ch2, 5dc, ch2, ss)
Petals 13-15:  (ss, ch2, 2dc, 1tc, 2dc, ch2, ss)
Petals 16-18:  (ss, ch2, 1dc, 3tc, 1dc, ch2, ss)
Once all the petals are done, thread the tail string from the beginning onto a yarn needle.  Start with the first (smallest) petal and working from the back, whip stitch each petal to the ones closest to the center, or in other words, whip the first one to the second one. The third one to the first one, the fourth on to the one it is laying on closest to the center. 
Keep working until all 18 petals are together in a unit.  When you are done, tie what is left of the thread on the needle to the yarn end from the end of the last petal. 
Now take the safety pin and whip the back of the pin to the back of the flower.  Again, tie a knot and cut off the ends.  You may want to put a little glue on the last knot to keep it from untying.  Done! 
You can use the safety pin to attach it to whatever you want. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Busy Couple of Days

For the last 2 + years I have many different people tell me that I needed start an Etsy Shop to sell my creations, because they wanted to buy them.  Well yesterday I started my shop and today, I  added enough items that I now have 22 things to sell, with a box of more to add.  You need to remember that I tend to mass create so it is many variations of 6 different types of things.  I have more to add, but I need to do other things to.  So here is my Etsy Shop address:  craftknowitall.etsy.com.  I will adding  stuff as I go.  Hope you stop by and visit sometime.  My box of things I have made is down quite a bit.  Will need to get crafting ASAP.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Crystal Egg Geodes

This is what I did with my empty egg shells:
How to Make Crystal Egg Geodes
I love crystals and especially geodes, so how could I pass up the chance to turn some empty egg shells (thus the tutorial on how to create crystal filled geodes). I saw it here at http://www.marthastewart.com/343344/crystal-egg-geodes. Well, I couldn’t resist, so I started gathering supplies and ran into one problem. Where to get Alum in bulk? A 1 oz. jar for $4 is just too much for my budget. I finally found a 1 pound bag at a place called Allyson’s Pantry (http://www.alisonspantry.com/ ) here in Utah ($6.00 for the bag). There are other places that have it on line. I am excited to show you how to make Crystal Egg Geodes, so let’s get started.

1 empty (blown) egg shell
Pointed scissors
Paint brush
Alum (6+ Tbs. per color)
2 plastic or glass cups
Easter egg dyes (you choose what type, I paid $.99 for 6 pellets)
1 cup very hot water
2-3 cup size bowl
Rubber type gloves (to keep your hands from being dyed)
Paper towels

First take your empty egg shell and divide it in to, two pieces, lengthwise. I took a pair of pointed scissors and started cutting down one side from the hole at one end to the hole at the other end. The other side just broke in half when I pulled the two sides apart. Don’t worry about straight edges. Geodes don’t often have straight edges, so these won’t need straight edges either. Make sure each egg shell half is clean and dry.

Squirt a little glue into each shell half

and use the paint brush to spread the glue all over the inside of the egg shell. Sprinkle alum crystals (powder) all over the glue. Let this dry for several hours. The alum crystals in the glue provide the “seeds” for the crystals to grow on. “Seeds” are a NEED in all crystal growing situations.

Lay each shell half in the bottom of its own plastic or glass cup, with the cut/seeded side up.

Put 1 cup water in the bowl. This water needs to be hot. Room temperature water can only hold so much dissolved medium (by medium I mean things like, alum, sugar, salt, Epsom salts, etc.). At this point it is called “saturated”. As you heat the water, it is better able to absorb more medium, so you keep adding heat to the water and you keep stirring in more medium until it just can’t hold any more, then the solutions is called “super saturated”. A super saturated alum solution is what we are after. So I heated the water for 1 minute in the microwave.

I added a color pellet, to the water and let it dissolve, making, in this case a nice orange color.

I then slowly added 6 tablespoons of alum, stirring as I went, (it bubbled a little at first) the goal being to dissolve all the alum; this means no crystals in the bottom of the bowl. I learned that 6 heaping Tbs. was too much and 6 level Tbs. was too little, so do something in between.

If you have stirred for what seems like FOREVER yet you still have crystals in the bottom of the bowl,

put the solution in the microwave for 30 more seconds and stir again. That should do the trick. Let the solutions sit at least 15 minutes but no more than 30 minutes. You need your solution to be cool enough to handle, yet if you wait too long your crystals will start falling out of the solution into the bottom of the bowl and not into your egg shells.

Pour half of your solution over each egg half (again it fuzzed a little, I think it was reaction between the calcium carbonate in the shell and the alum, please don't make me balance an equation to figure this out),and set aside for 15 + hours. Alum is great for this project because it is nontoxic, and it makes great crystals in very little time (compared to a week or more for salt or sugar crystals).

Using a spoon, remove each egg shell from the solution. Pour off any extra solution and place the egg geode on some paper towels to dry.

One thing I noticed was that the dye was mainly absorbed by the egg shell, not by the crystals. Yet the crystals are transparent enough that they reflect the color. Soooooo Cool! Now to get some more Alum and this time use neon dyes! I love it and I hope you ENJOY!