Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Handmade Slippers

I go through slippers like they're nothing, seriously. So, my mother-in-law usually gets me slippers for Christmas and they don't last me a year, because I literally wear them out. I don't know how it happens, but I make holy slippers, okay holey slippers, bad joke but I couldn't resist.

I decided a while ago to try my hand at making my own slippers. I used an old sweater that my Mimi had given me for Christmas one year. It wasn't my style, but I didn't want to throw it out so I kept it and had no clue what to do with it until yet again my feet were talking, you know what I mean. The sole was coming off towards the front, if my slippers had googly eyes glued to them I could have done a puppet show for my kids which I'm sure they would have loved.

I traced around my foot to make a pattern for the project. I, of course, used construction paper. What else would a stay at home mom have on hand? I also made a second pattern which is just a copy of the first oval but it has an oval cut out in the middle, that is the top of the slipper. I, then used the patterns to cut my pieces, four all together. After sewing them inside out, I did a blanket stitch around the tops of the slippers. Then I single crocheted around, using the blanket stitches as my way to attach the yarn. If you have a fabric that you can just crochet into, even better. I have done that also. Then you can either, crochet another row of slip stitches to finish it, or add more single crochet rows and then finish with a row of slip stitches. Just remember with every row you make after the first initial row, you're going to want to decrease around the curve by your toes, or else it might be a bit loose.

Once you've completed the main parts, it's time to add the details. I crocheted two flowers and tied them to the front of each slipper. Then I glued a little gem to it, okay it's a plastic crystal but still cute. If you want, you can also add a strap and button, or even attach some ribbon to either side to complete the slipper and help keep them on.

I would recommend these slippers for indoors, and depending on the fabric used, most likely carpet floors. They are a bit slipper-y on vinyl. Use new or used fabric, I have also made these out of fleece. Super cute and cozy. Get creative when it comes to decorating and your color choices.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bittersweet Times

So these past couple of months have been crazy. Literally, it feels like anything life could have thrown our way it did. Of course, we weren't hit hardest, but still I was close enough to watch with front row seats. My father-in-law, someone I spent many a hour with trying to tame the kids, died recently. It was sudden. He had a heart attack.

The whole family spent about a week, everyday in the hospital, hoping he would wake up, but it never happened. It seemed out of no where to us, but when I look back now I see how it was almost like he had tried to prepare us for it. Not mentally, or emotionally, but financially. He tried to stabilize us, all of us. He and my mother-in-law were helping us with a house. He babysat one of his grandchildren, so his daughter could support her child and herself. He made sure we had transportation, just a week before the heart attack, he bought a car for his niece, his son, his mother, and his daughter. I was given his wife's car, so that she could get a newer car. Now, my family is not rich, so you may ask where all this money came from. Remember the accident from about a year ago, it's from a settlement he got. He spent most of it on other people, because that's what he did. He took care of everyone.

I was so mad when I realized this. I said to thin air, "Do you think this makes it better, somehow less painful, because we can have a place to live or a car to get us from place to place, because I'd give it all back if you could stay!" That's what I thought. I still don't completely understand.

I am grateful however, that I had the time with him I did. He taught me a lot about being a parent. Sometimes it's not about doing everything perfect. Let them have sweets! It's about trying, and sometimes failing, but always doing. I love that man, and I wish I had said it for him to hear, but I know he's heard me since, and I know he knew it even though I never said it out loud.