This is a really wordy post. But I feel like there are things I've wanted to talk about for a while. Read or skim.
I wanted to touch on a subject that is bounced around blogs from time to time and that is the value of handwork and hand made items. For me, if I'm going to give a gift to someone or purchase something for myself I first think Etsy.com and like to shop there. I would rather spend money for things made by a person in their home than go to the mall (anyday). I find most things on Etsy are made well and I just really like the idea of supporting other designers or crafters. I do find that people outside the sewing arena don't understand the value of time, fabric, materials and know-how. Sometimes when people find out what goes into making a quilt, for example, they rush to Target. And I've purchased Target quilts, don't get me wrong. They have their place. But when something is handmade or hand designed, don't expect bargain prices.Recently I purchased some new aprons for myself. I wear an apron at home almost all the time. Not only do I cook in them but I sew in them. They keep me from looking like a walking thread collector. I like a nice, well made apron. And an apron, like a quilt can be purchased from many places. I've found so many aprons are made too tiny for me, with cheap fabric, bad stitching and they curl up into a ball when laundered.
I purchased these aprons at Stitch Thru Time. They are made by a woman in Utah and are beautifully made. I'm not paid or gifted to say this. I did pay top price for the aprons. However, they are super well made, came in 3 days and I love them. I can tell they will wash and wear for years to come. Now you know I could have made these myself but I don't really like to sew clothing. And since I'm a past customer I knew these aprons would be exactly what I wanted. I like supporting a local person who sews to support her family and does a great job. Besides, I'd rather make a quilt than make an apron. Weird, huh.Shelbie made me a new shawl that I've worn the past few days. Nice for me she made this for free. Thanks Shelbie. Shelbie uses good quality yarn. This is my 3rd shawl and I hope to have more in the future. This one is Eagles Green (go Philly) and I plan on using it during every game this fall. I really like shawls because they are warm but not confining. I have so many purchased sweaters that I can wear for one season and they pill or I can't wash them so I really value nice yarn and Shelbie's talent.
I don't want to make this into an Eliza blog but i do want to give you updates on my little pixie now and then, if that is ok. Eliza is still in NBICU at Primary Children's Medical Center. She is off all medication, all needles and tubes are out except this little tiny feeding tube. Before Eliza can go home she has to be able to take 100 cc every 3 hours or some such feeding schedule. I was really hopeful she would come home this week but it is very doubtful. We have to be patient and let her put on weight and learn to suck and swallow at a greater rate. I realize this will help Whitney make it easier to take care of Eliza once she is released. You can see she is a beautiful baby. My daughter and husband met with a genetic counselor. They are the 1 in 800 to have a Down syndrome baby. It happens. She is very healthy and has mild Down's markers. It would seem we have every reason to hope for high function and a happy life for her.
Thanks so much to everyone for the continued comments of encouragement, help and information. Friends and family help you do anything and everything.