Tuesday, March 30, 2021

How to Make a Quick and Easy Homemade Pocket Tissue Holder - Tutorial Tuesday

Learn how to sew your own homemade decorative fabric holders for pocket tissue packets with today's Tutorial Tuesday project. This easy DIY project is great for beginners - and for last minute gift giving! 

For this project you will need:


Disclosure: Deb's Days is a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to affiliated sites. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you new sewing and crafting content.

BRAND NEW! Now available in my Etsy store as a digital download with the written directions, step-by-step photos, printable templates, and link to the tutorial video. Click to find out more!

    Find the step-by-step how to tutorial to make your own homemade decorative fabric pocket tissue holder right here:

    Thursday, March 25, 2021

    What to Expect When Cruising the Suez Canal

    To me one of the huge benefits to traveling is that when something happens somewhere in the world you have a frame a reference. You can picture in your mind where it is. The sights and sounds (and sometimes even the smells) come back to you. They put you back into the very spot when you were there. Especially now, in a pandemic, it makes you realize how lucky you were to have had the experiences.

    As I've been watching and reading about the cargo ship stuck in the Suez Canal, I can say I was there. I know where it's at. I know that sand. I know why it's causing such a great disruption to shipping traffic. 

    So for those who wish they could have experienced cruising the Suez Canal, today I'm resharing our November 2019 cruise through the Suez Canal

    If you want to know about the day before your ship enters the canal, including the staging area, you can find that post here. 

    Want to know about having to participate in a pirate drill that same week? I have that post here. 

    Now, welcome to the Suez Canal from my blog post November 16, 2019:

    Hello from the Suez Canal! Did you know the Suez Canal divides the continents of Africa and Asia?

    As we are going southbound, Africa is on your right and Asia is on your left.
    Ever see sunrise over the small strip of Egypt
    on the continent of Asia? Now you have.
    We were in a convoy of 22 ships using the older canal. Now they also have a newer canal so more ships can move through each day. We were number four, with three ships ahead of us...

    and the remainder of the ships behind. There were three cruise ships transiting today.


    Upon entering the Suez Canal we immediately noticed differences in the landscapes from one bank to the other. The landscape of Egypt on the African continent was green and developed while the Sinai Peninsula section of Egypt on the Asian continent side was brown and somewhat deserted looking. 

    Some views of the Africa side:


    Compare that to the Sinai Peninsula side:

    While it looks as if the ship is docked along the sand,
    it is actually transiting the western canal.
    There is a bridge across the Suez Canal. The Mubarak Peace Bridge, also known as the Egyptian-Japanese Friendship Bridge or Al Salam Peace Bridge links the two continents. It is closed to traffic while convoys are making their way underneath.
    It appeared the most popular way to get across the canal was by ferry. The ferries darted between the ships in the convoy. They also have floating pontoon bridges that swing out and across once the convoy passes. Because convoys disrupt traffic, they also have a tunnel under the Canal with plans to build more.

    Today was a day of so very much to see. I went back and forth from port side to starboard side and found there was always something to take a picture of. While I could have taken hundreds of pictures I tried to limit them and have a just a few of them to show you.

    Some sights from the Sinai Peninsula side:
    Some from the African side:
     Fisherman were all throughout the waters. Some came quite close to the ship.

    It felt like a day of discovery with so much to see, so many new learnings, and surprisingly a strong cell phone signal all day. (Thank goodness or you'd have no visuals of the day!) 

    We did have two medical emergencies onboard today, with one passenger needing an emergency disembarkation. Our night time route is being altered a bit so he/she can be transferred to an onshore medical facility around 2:30 in the morning. Thoughts are with the passenger and family.

    Tomorrow we have a sea day and I do believe I might just sleep in.


    Tuesday, March 23, 2021

    Make a Stuffed Bunny Rabbit with Treat Pocket - Tutorial Tuesday

    For today's Tutorial Tuesday we have another cute stuffed bunny rabbit sewing project. This little homemade Easter bunny has a pocket in front for candy or treats. It's a fun way to decorate for Easter or a nice little Easter basket gift for your little kiddos.

    For this project you will need:

    Disclosure: Deb's Days is a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to affiliated sites. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you new sewing and crafting content.

    BRAND NEW! Now available in my Etsy store as a digital download with the written directions, step-by-step photos, printable templates, and link to the tutorial video. Click to find out more!


    Otherwise you can watch the how-to video right here!:

    Sunday, March 21, 2021

    March Madness Tournament Basketball Games - Sunday Fun Day?

    If you know me, you know I'm not a basketball fan. Hubby? Well, that's another story. But at his prodding, I've been (reluctantly) occasionally watching. Only for the bingo, of course. Basketball bingo? Yep. My newest creation - and probably the only reason I'm watching with him. 

    It's not a regular bingo game, either. Instead of bingo letters/numbers you use the variety of things you see when watching basketball. And it's available in my Etsy store right now!

    With this digital download pack you receive:
    *25 unique bingo cards 
    *1 blank bingo card so you can write in your own words
    *Master list of all terms found on the bingo cards
    *Basketball cover-up marking chips that can be printed out
    Bingo + basketball + Sunday = an okay kind of day.

    Friday, March 19, 2021

    Last Minute Easter Sale on Easter Sewing Patterns

    Usually Friday means it's Foster Friday, but with no foster kitties in the house yet we'll instead have a Find a Fun Fabric Project Friday instead. Today through Sunday all my Easter patterns are 15% off in my Etsy shop. You'll find bunnies and Easter eggs and carrots and bookmarks and potholders and coasters, and..and..and... You'll find individual patterns and four packs like this one.

    You'll even find projects not yet available here on the blog. Easter may still be a couple weeks away, but get those Easter projects on your to-do list today!

    While it may not be Foster Friday, I can't leave without showing you a gift I received from Desh, Wyatt Earp's prosthetist. (Wyatt was the foster kitty I had who was born with no back feet.) She commissioned a patient to do a pencil drawing of Wyatt. So adorable!

    Tuesday, March 16, 2021

    Make a Quick and Easy Bunny Rabbit Potholder - Tutorial Tuesday

    Easter is almost here and it's time for yet another quick and easy Easter sewing project. This week we're learning how to make our very own bunny rabbit potholder to decorate our Easter holiday kitchen. It's a great way to brighten up your Easter Sunday dinner.

    For this project you will need:

    Disclosure: Deb's Days is a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to affiliated sites. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you new sewing and crafting content.

    It's also part of my two of my Easter pattern 4 packs!

    Otherwise you can watch the how-to video for the Easter Bunny potholder sewing project right here!
    Looking for more sewing and crafting projects? 

    Tuesday, March 9, 2021

    How to Make a Carrot Fabric Bookmark - Tutorial Tuesday

    If you're looking for a quick and easy homemade Easter gift for that special book lover (or gardener) in your life, take a look at today's Tutorial Tuesday project. We're learning how to make a fabric carrot bookmark from fabric scraps and felt. A super easy spring sewing and crafting project.

    For this project you will need:

    Disclosure: Deb's Days is a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to affiliated sites. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you new sewing and crafting content.

    Friday, March 5, 2021

    Raising Foster Kitten Essential Supplies

    After having spent several years fostering young kittens, there are some supplies I've come to rely on time and time again. From food to litter and bedding to toys, check out some of those important supplies you'll need when you welcome the little kittens into your home. 

    I've added links to Amazon so you can see photos and prices of the different products. I am a participant in their affiliate advertising program so if you make a purchase through my link I will earn a small commission. The purchase helps support me in purchasing replacement products for each year's foster kitties. I buy most all of my supplies from Amazon, but do get your supplies wherever is cheapest and easiest for you!


    Supplies for Feeding Bottle Baby Kittens

    • Pet-Ag Nursing Kit 2oz Bottle is the only bottle I use for all the bottle babies. It comes with a little tiny bottle brush that makes cleaning the bottles so much easier. 
    • The Miracle Nipples are perfect for smallest of the smallest bottle babies like little four ounce Cami and Sami.
    • KMR - Kitten Milk Replacer - is an absolute must. It's like baby formula, but for kittens. Cows milk = bad news for baby kitten tummies.
    • KMR 2nd Step is another product we use for older kittens who still need a milk replacement.
    As we transition bottle babies to soft food, we make a concoction called gruel. For gruel you need:
    Rosemary wants you to know
    gruel is very messy.
    I first try them on a thinner gruel before moving to a thicker version. You may need to try different ways to get the kitties interested in the gruel: 
    Parsley likes being spoon fed.
    Parsley in her early
    eating-gruel-from-a-bowl days.

    If the kitties have successfully made their way with the gruel, they can be transitioned to straight canned cat food. If they tolerate the straight canned food, you can transition them yet again to the hard kitten food. Be sure to give their tummies plenty of time before switching over foods.

    Supplies for Keeping Foster Kittens Warm and Comfortable

    Wyatt, my foster kitten born with no back feet,
     slept wherever was easier to get to.
    • Pop up playpens keep kittens contained in the early stages when they don't need lots of space to roam. I've found connecting two playpens works even better as I can have a separate litter box room for them. There are several different types out there, but I really love my Jespet popups because they are bigger, sturdier, and easier to clean than some of the others.
    • A clear playpen with connecting plastic panels is another good option. It gives the little ones space while you can see exactly what's going on. And believe me, you want to know!
    • Blankets, blankets, blankets. You may have to wash kitty blankets every single day (sometimes more than once a day) so it's nice to have plenty of blankets - fuzzy warm blankets, fleece blankets (I have a no-sew fleece blanket tutorial right here), and even receiving blankets. Yep, receiving blankets. There may be times you need to wrap a kitten for bottle feeding or you just might have a hisser/scratcher/lunger who needs to be wrapped to be given medication. 
    We had to swaddle Dutton like a baby
    to get the eye ointment in those little eyes.

    Supplies for Keeping Foster Kittens Neat and Clean


    Kittens can be messy with a capital M and Parsley has the face to prove it.
    While you'll be doing lots of laundry, you'll also be doing lots of cleaning. Kittens are good at learning how to clean themselves but sometimes they need some assistance from their foster parents.
    • Unscented pet wet wipes come in very handy. You can buy a wipes warmer for around $20, but I have been know to put a couple wipes in a baggie and then sit on it until the kittens are finished eating. Warms them up nicely. (Shh...don't tell.)
    • Toothbrushes for brushing their fur. Using a toothbrush mimics mama's tongue when she cleans them. It's comforting for kittens and is a great opportunity for a foster parent to bond with the babes. 
    • Small litter boxes for when they are little kitties, medium litter boxes for when they are better able to climb in and out of the box, and larger litter boxes for when they are several weeks old. I used to scrub up and really disinfect the used boxes between foster litters, but now I stock up on boxes when Amazon has them super cheap (like under $4 each) and replace them after each group of kitties. So much easier! 
    • I also stock up on Amazon's 89 cent litter scoops and toss them when the kittens head off for adoption.
    • Unscented non clumping litter. Little kitties like to eat everything, so litter needs to be non-clumping. After having a group of foster kittens who were allergic to the scented litter, I now only use the unscented.
    • A mat under the litter box can help with the mess that young kitties make. 
    • Kitties just learning about litter inevitably make messes elsewhere, too. Resolve Ultra Pet Stain & Odor Remover is a go-to for me.
    • For bigger messes, I use the Bissell Portable Carpet Cleaner. I can get the messes cleaned up right away.

    Supplies for Keeping Foster Kittens Happy and Healthy ( and Busy)

    Keeping foster kittens happy and playful is pretty easy. The key is toys and they have plenty of favorites.
    • Sparkle Balls are soft balls they can carry around in their mouths.
    Don't even think about taking
    away Sage's sparkle ball.
    • Crinkle balls are almost as popular. 
    • Jingle balls are toys - and noise - kittens love playing with.
    • Mouse toys are treated by my foster kittens just like they would a mouse. I even had one of my foster kittens who thought he should bring it to me over and over and over. 
    • Wand toys require participation from you, but boy they are fun.
    • A track toy - one with balls inside they spin around and around - can be a fun way for them to spend some of their time.
    • A cat tunnel/tube is a place you'll find foster kittens spending a lot of their time. Whether they are running from one end to the other or hiding in it or swatting at one of their siblings through the side, you can't go wrong with one of these.
    • Cardboard cat scratchers give kittens a chance to learn how to use their claws - and not on your furniture. They usually come with catnip you can add, but kittens under three months old don't care much about catnip. If your kittens are older, put the catnip on there and watch them go crazy.
    • Cat trees are great exercise for kittens and give them opportunities to explore some vertical space. The quality varies so look for one with consistently good reviews. The sturdiest one I've ever had was given to me as a gift by Simply Cats for being named their Foster of the Year. They do sell the sturdy cat trees here, but you'd have to be in the Boise area to pick it up.
    Crazy things happen on cat trees by the window.
    • Keeping kittens healthy can be easy. But also hard. If they are sick, you'll want the vet or shelter to take the lead and let you know what you need to do. They may ask you to take the kitten's temperature frequently so you'll need a thermometer. And no, you don't put it in a baby kitten's mouth, on their forehead, or under their armpit.
    Sometimes a warm lap (and some antibiotics)
    are just what the doctor ordered.
    Busted climbing on top of the playpen and
    playing with the humidifier. Silly kitty!
    • A kitchen scale (or postal scale) is also important whether sick or healthy. As a foster parent, you'll need to make sure your kittens are gaining the expected amount of weight each week. When I am fostering bottle babies, I weigh them every single day.
    You mean I have to be weighed on a
    kitchen scale in the sewing room? Yep.
    • Sometimes recording and reporting their weights can be tricky when they all look the same. Having them wear color-coded adjustable collars can be very helpful. 

    While there are a lot of supplies required for raising foster kittens, be sure to provide those things only you can... -

    • Your love
    • Your patience
    • Your attention