Thursday, May 29, 2008

Fit for a Queen.........

It seems I am able to breathe a little today, and have very much enjoyed sitting down and concentrating on something other than bacteria for a change. I made this little wee stomacher for a special little Queen~ its all silk and soo teensy! I may add a few extra little touches, but kinde of like it plain as it is .....

I love making teensy weensie things, and this one fits right in~ it's just 1.5" tall!

Holding Steady!

Tressa is doing well today~ a little sick to her stomach this morning, but good! Her leg is quite sore today~ she was up walking too much yesterday I am sure, so no getting up today. She couldn't feel a thing yesterday, so the fact her leg is sore today is so wonderful~ it means there are healthy nerves there~ woo hoo! I am very pleased with how it looks today~ nearly identical to yesterday, and it has started to granulate. I know all your prayers are working!!! Thankyou thankyou thankyou~ a million thankyous could never be enough.
This is a picture of Tressa the day before her last surgery~ her best friend moved to Pennsylvania last week, but before she left, she came and showed Tressa how to crochet~ and I'm so proud of her she is really going to town on her little blanket!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I have been trying to find information about the one bacteria that Tressa's first culture tested positive for, and come to find out I have been spelling it wrong this whole time~ it is in fact Acinetobacter Baumannii . If you would like to read more about this type of drug resistant bacteria, you can see a great sumary here :

Reading the description is quite frightning, and makes me so much more happy with our Dr in cutting the whole of it OUT. We live out on a farm, and Tressa DOES shower every is still a mystery to us all how she got this. It makes me want to hold down my children and scrub them all over with a hard bristle brush. I hope my dear readers will read its description, and be made AWARE of it, so that you will never have to deal with this in your family
Out for a WALK today!

We are doing pretty good today! Tressa's 'wound' was quite shocking to see in person, even knowing what to expect....but we all are good with it. She was very upset this morning when she caught a glimpse of it, and frightened, but we had some long talks and I honestly think she is A.O.K. with it now. I told her Id much rather have her with a hole in her leg, than not have her at all~ and as long as it heals with NO more infection, Ill TAKE IT! She does literally have a hole there, muscle exposed, but as soon as it starts to granulate, we will get some skin on it and GET TO COME HOME! She has no feeling there, so at least it isn't hurting her anymore. She has been released from her in bed restriction and today we got her up and out of bed for a walk and short trips OUTSIDE~ which really made her happy. Shes just on Unasyn & Primaxin now, and gets unhooked from her IV machine in between doses so shes much free~er now. The section of her leg they took out was sent to pathology, I would REALLY like to know what the infection was, but as long as its G*O*N*E*, I can honestly say I really don't care. I am not holding my breath, there seems to be so many 'new' illnesses and germs these days, it gets too scary for me to think about.

THANKYOU all so very much for the emails and cards ~ I cannot adequately express my gratitude to everyone for caring so much. Hopefully I can return the favor some day to each and every one of you

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Surgery #2

Today started out just like the past 2 weeks...waiting for the Dr to make his early morning rounds so I could see for myself if Tressa's leg looks any better. He came in at around 8am, and it looked sooooooo much worse than yesterday. yuk. He said surgery again today, but since she was throwing up this morning, we had to wait a bit for that to stop. Her meds seem to make her stomach upset every few days. She was finished with her surgery by 4 pm, and this time Dr took out everything that was infected, or looked infected, or was close to the infection, all the way down to her muscle. I have very HIGH hopes that this will be it! We will be RID of this nasty beast of whatever it is, as it is still unknown. If she starts to heal and all goes well, she could be ready for her last surgery in as early as a week! He will take a skin graft from her upper thigh and use that to cover over the missing area of her calf. All will be well. THANKYOU so much for all your thoughts and well wishes~ we appreciate them so very much

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Pinch me please~

and wake me up from this nightmare. I have been avoiding posting about Tressa because every day the Dr comes in, the news is worse than the day before. There is no new healing. He has no answers. There is NO where elce for us to go. He says one to two more MONTHS in hospital. I would be lying if I said I wasnt devistated. I feel so mad and helpless all at the same time.... all I can seem to do on a regular basis is cry. They took a new culture of it yesterday, but since it was saturday....they probably wont even sent it out to the lab until Monday...and since tomorrow is a holiday, most likely not until Tuesday...then 72 hours after that before they will send any results.
Thankyou for all of your emails~ it is really depressing for me to write the same bad news over and over again, so I hope you will just drop by here for any updates, and if you have a few seconds, send some healing thoughts to my girl

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Update on Tressa.........
Day 7 in hospital, and to make along story short, they have no idea what is up with our girl, which is very frustrating to say the least. The infected areas the surgeon cut out last Friday aren't exactly getting any 'worse', but not any better either. 3 new areas of infection have sprouted up around the old one, and Dr says the tissue, which is getting black and dying, acts like there is a foreign body beneath they need to be taken out in another surgery, but right now, he is most befuddled that she has yet even start to heal from the last surgery. She is on the Vancomycin and Clendomycin still, and Primaxin for the aconita bacter .......everything is so confusing. We have had some good news tho, I guess...because the wound is not starting to heal, she has been tested for several cancers, vascular diseases, lupus, and diabetes, ALL of which have come back negative~ so she DOESN'T have any of those! Today pathology sent samples out to be tested for some strange fungus, and also tuberculosis. Dr says it will most likely be at least another 2 weeks in hospital. She is being a very good patient, only getting up to go the the bathroom and take her shower. I got her a new movie, National Treasure 2, that she has been so excited to see, so am taking that and the dvd player out of the truck and all the children, so we can all sit around a little 12" screen tomorrow and try and watch it together! AND!!!! I am SO proud of her, one of her friends from school visited and showed her how to crochet.....and she actually remembered how to do it! WOO HOO! This girl NEVER sits and works on anything for more than about 30 seconds, so to sit and watch her zooming along crocheting for hours at a time, it incredible! THANKYOU all so much for your well wishes!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Welcome????? Is the Summer????

WHAT a year we have had with the children~ I should be able to stay at hospital for free, I have spent some much time and $$$$ there lately. First with Pip and her broken leg, and now my oldest, Tressa(12). I know it's not exactly pertaining to the Museum, but in a way it is, because I have not time for anything else! I have so many email inquiries as to how Tressa is doing, I though it easiest to add her to the BLOG, because I have so little time when I get home in the evenings now. The last day of school here was the 16th May, and at 6am on the 17th, last Friday, Tressa finally had surgery on her leg. It is SUCH a relief to FINALLY find a Dr that is on the same page as I am, and we are now in total 'Get er done' mode. For those who don't know, Tressa has had a staff infection on her lower leg for the past 7 MONTHS....the only thing her other dr has managed to do was pump her up on antibiotics that did absolutely NO good, except to make her body form allergies to those meds, and the staff stronger. We went to a new Dr on the 13th, and he did her surgery the 17th. He cut out the badly infected areas, and she is in hospital on bedrest with her leg elevated. She will remain in hospital until it is healed, I'm hoping it wont be to horribly long~ she is on Vancomycin, Clendomycin & Primaxin, all via her IV, at continual doses thru the day. Dr said this morning it is usual for the cultures of anaerobic staff to take at least a week, and he is not planning to even change her meds until he has those results, so she will not be coming home this week :(. I have said for months it is MRSA, and now finally someone to agree with me......I was thinking I was going INSANE. She puts on a happy face, but is already getting quite tired of being in the hospital and not able to even get up and walk around
Here she is getting some advise from her little sister Pip~ something like 'its not so bad, this is what you need to do........' THANKYOU all so much for your emails and calls~ be sure that I have forwarded each and every one of your get well wishes to Tressa. I read her the list this morning and she said "Gosh Mom~ all your friends are SO nice to care" So THANKYOU from both of us!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Workbasket........a la 1855

Several of my dear readers in bloglandia have asked about shoes recently. Shoes are always, and have always, been favorites amongst us women....don't ask me why! Tomorrow being Mother's Day here in America, I thought it fitting to share with you a pattern for a lovely little pretty Watch Case, courtesy of page 553 of the June, 1855 issue of Godey's Lady's Book.

As you can see, no pattern is really needed, these are so simple to contrive! There are not even any instructions given in the Lady's Book, just the illustrations you see above. These were very popular thru the 19th century, this particular little shoe is intended to hold a lady's pocket watch when not in use, but they are very charming holding anything really~ from little dried or paper flowers, to real ones picked out of your flow'r bed. You could also add a bit of stuffing and a little silk covering, and have a very cute pin keep. What a perfect little 'needful' you could whip up for a cherished Mother's Day gift tomorrow! I made this one up today in about an hour~

Mine is made of silk in my two most favorite colors~ blue & brown together. You could make it up in a SNAP if you just wanted to use pretty paper instead of fabric.

What you will need~
snippet of fabric for sole & vamp
little ribbon scraps for trim
thread & needle

1. So you may start by drawing you out a shoe shape. I used the one in the book, but you could draw your shoe with an even pointier toe, or a stubby flat one. First draw the sole shape, as if looking at the bottom of your shoe.

2. Next, draw out the shape of the vamp~ which, as you can see by the illustration, is the same shape of the sole, but widened a bit~ the wider you make the vamp, the larger/deeper the little pocket will be on your shoe(where you would put your foot into)

3. Assembly~ If making entirely of paper, just glue your vamp to the sole around the edges~ takes about 2 seconds! If you are making of fabric, I prefer and think it easier to decorate/trim the vamp first, before attaching it to the shoe sole. You want to bring the edges of the vamp over the sole, and fold over to the BACK~ and glue it just around the edges. Once this is done, then I take a scrap of paper, cut the same size & shape of the sole, and glue this on the back, hiding the edges of the vamp & making it look nice & tidy.

4. Add a little string or wire hanger from the top, add what pretty trims to your heartes' desire, and voi~la! finito!

Have fun~ and Have a Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Coming to TDIPT May 15th............

I hope you will stop by The TDIPT Mercantile on the 15th May to see the new dollys and wonderful Primitives there from so many talented artists! My Little Mollye Pickett will be there....
along with one of my Grande Dames, Frau Milla Goethe, my biggest dollye ever! She stands 31" tall, (a bit over that on her stand), and is a reproduction of a c1825 German Mache Beidermier Ladye Doll.
She has very intricate sculpted mache hair in the popular 'Apollo Knott' of the era, and is dressed entirely in antique textiles. She wears 3 strands olde natural coral beads around her neck, and has inset antique brown glass eyes~ Doesn't she just look so happy! Hope to see you there!

*** photobucket wont let me add my usual slideshow of closeup views, so they are allready listed on my alternate blog, *******

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

History's Mysteries.......... I love this hood. I have had it for quiet some time and always have wondered who wore it, and when. It is in almost perfect condition, and expertly hand made of silk, so most definitely was donned for some special occasion, then carefully packed away. Below is a line drawing, taken from an extant garment, 1702, and is called a 'Camlet Hood'. I am amazed in the fact that it looks so much like the one I have here at the Museum. I have scoured and scoured all my resources, and can find no plain explanation of them. From its construction it is obvious they were either worn during the front half, or the very last, of the 18th century, when hair was worn close to the head. But then again, poorer folk and lesser classes would have always worn their hair close to the head, so they may have been common the century thru. My example belonged to a wealthy ladye indeed, from make and materials

The way the bonnet is gathered at the crown of the head, in the back , is a common trait of many 18th century hoods and bonnets attached to cloaks & mantels. The most intriguing aspect for me, are the long lapets down the front. This hood is made of a mushroom brown lightweight silk on the outside, with matching chin ties that are now torn off short, but still original. The inside is lined with a luscious raspberry pink silk, with the area from the chin ties out to the front edge being finely hand quilted in pink silk thread. The seams up the back & over the shoulder are piped in pink silk, with matching silk covered wood buttons.

It measures a whopping 46" around the face!

Inside hand quilted silk lining, you can see the miniscule piped front edge there to the left in the photograph

The condition is nearly pristine, with slight water stain to the crown, and a nickle sized area of wear to the lining of the right lapet. The fact that there are no fold marks in the silk, makes me wonder if it was worn with the sides folded back, or kept forward. The illustration shows one similar being worn with the lapets folded back, and I have a feeling this one was probably worn the same way, especially with the matching piping on the outer seams. The fact there are no creases in the silk, are more likely attesting to the fact it was worn for a special occasion and then packed away.

The outer silk, while extremely fine and an expensive textile in its day, is still pieced together to make use of every little scrap. This side lapet is 3 separate pieces of silk seamed horizontally.

Closer view of the over the shoulder seams & button trim

I believe the term 'camlet hood' to be descriptive of the type fabric used, and not the actual 'type' of hood. Camlet was a fabric originally of camel hair, worsted with wool or silk in the 17th century. As I understand, towards the end of the 17th century, goats hair became more common, and have read many 18th century advertisements for super fine silk camlets. There are several 18th century estate inventories listing hoods and bonnets of red and black camlet, and is also sometimes spelled camblet.
Without actually getting into the time machine I am still waiting to be invented, this bit of history will remain a mystery to me!