Grace's Mosaic Moments


Saturday, April 25, 2020

Need a Mask?


SPECIAL BULLETIN

On May 27, Space X will launch our first manned flight to the Space Station since the shuttles were retired nearly 10 years ago. Last night's TV news announced that despite all the troubles in the world, the launch will go up as planned. EXCEPT everyone is asked to stay at home and watch on TV. To all devoted launch fans, this is agony, but those of us in Florida will most certainly be out in our yards, looking east, holding our breaths, cheering the astronauts on.

Update, 5/28/20.  Heartfelt sigh. Launch a last-minute scrub due to weather - now scheduled for Saturday, 3:23; backup - Sunday (5/30 & 5/31).

* * * * * * * * * *

New information - May 28, 2020:  Just added the Astronomy print, below, to the mask fabrics. The design is large-scale, so each mask will have a different look. (Pattern will not show well in Fu style.)

 
Astronomy 
 
 
Had a bit of a problem taking the photo


New Information - May 23, 2020:  I've added a new mask to the styles available - iffy for women, I discovered, as it messes up your hair, but a good possibility for men. Advantages:  like masks with 4 ties, it adjusts to all sizes and is easy to slip up and down without total removal. Any of the fabrics below can be made up in this style.

Elastic goes over the head, behind the ears, tying behind the neck
 

New Information - May 15, 2020:  now that I have finally received a shipment of professional mask elastic (soft & stretchy) and have figured out something I can use for nose wire, all Grace masks will now incorporate these new materials. Sample pics below.


 
Pleat Mask w/nose wire









 
Fu (center seam) Mask w/nose wire














Grace Note:  Below is the official display page for Grace Masks. Please note that a few fabrics are no longer available. Place orders at:  blairgak@gmail.com






NEED A MASK?



* * *
Please keep in mind that although cloth masks are NOT the equivalent of professional medical masks, they definitely contribute to keeping contagion down. And it's likely we will be wearing them for some time to come when interacting with people outside our homes. Therefore, everyone needs to have something on hand, even if it's only a scarf or an old T-shirt.

* * *


On 3/26/20 I posted a Do It Yourself Mask Making blog. If, however, you don’t own a sewing machine, or even needle and thread  - and wouldn’t know how to use them if they were staring you in the face - I’ll be happy to help.

Masks are $5 each, plus mailer & postage [$1.50 - 3.50 according to weight. U. S. A. only, please (Exceptions can be discussed on link below.)]



To order - or ask questions - contact Grace at:  blairgak@gmail.com.  Payment by check, Zelle, or Paypal Invoice (which includes payment by Credit Card). Local pick-up:  check, cash, or Zelle.

All masks are Machine Wash & Dry. (Only time will tell how well the masks with nose wires will hold up to washing, but I'm optimistic!)  [Previous copy read: Please note that if you have a mask with 1/4" elastic, even 1/8" elastic, the loops may need a hand-sewn tuck to make them fit. Which is why most Grace Masks come with crocheted chain ties, which have some stretch and are “one size fits all.”]

All colors below are available in either style mask (rectangular w/pleats or Fu w/curved center front). Please note that all prints are available in limited quantities, a few in really short supply. However, I have enough black on hand to outfit a monastery!





Red & Blue Stars














Tan w/Stars














American Flags (out)
















Patriotic Places - short supply














Black
















Black & Gray - (out)














Stained Glass - out













Blue Mixed













Dinosaurs (short supply)













Red Polka Dot













Yellow w/Flowers













Yellow Squares













Coral & White













Coral & Black













Tan w/Small Stars













Turquoise Bandana
















Ladies Day



To order, contact Grace at:  blairgak@gmail.com


As always, thanks for stopping by.

Grace

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Mask Array

For Mask-making advice, links to patterns

 & instructions, please select from Archives
post of 3/26/20.


 
Below, my continued excuse for not writing a proper blog. And hopefully, some ideas for others who have dropped their regular activities to make masks.
 (I am something like 29 masks behind at the moment!)


Over the last few weeks the concept of masks has gone from once-a-year on Halloween to (in Florida's Osceola County), "Wear a mask or get fined $500 or spend 60 days in jail." A bit harsh and, thank goodness, not my county, but there's little doubt that masks will likely play a part in our lives for some time to come. Not only now, when we're only allowed out for "essentials" but, more importantly later, when we begin venturing out on a wider scale. 

So this week's blog is a photo array of some of the masks I've been making over the past month. Although there are just two basic styles (Jo-Ann's & Fu, as introduced in my blog of 3/26/20), the wide variety of fasteners makes for a surprisingly diverse presentation. 

Why homemade masks? Because a cloth mask will keep you from spreading a virus (or more ordinary germs) to the people you encounter. In short, it is a courtesy which solves at least half the problem of contagion and therefore very much better than nothing at all. 

Why ties instead of elastic? Because no elastic has been available to home sewers for several weeks now. And the elastic we had in our sewing cabinets is not the highly flexible "one size fits all" we see on the medical masks on TV. Home seamstresses are having to make do with what's available. Also, since the elastic is not very flexible, the  length needs to be fitted to each person's face; otherwise, for smaller people like myself, the top of the mask will end up down around the mouth! But ties can be adjusted to fit any adult, with no need to take a tuck here, a tuck there.

Also, within a week of elastic disappearing from stores, ribbon joined the vanishing act. Again, seamstresses turned to what was stored in sewing cabinet drawers, but when that ran out . . .

We had to improvise:  self-fabric ties, chain crochet ties. Yes, they take time to make, but they work. Shoelaces, Bias binding - folded & stitched down. Creativity is rampart. I personally am grateful to all those dishclothes I made for the church Welcome bags, as it means I have a huge bag of 4-ply cotton yarn just waiting to be turned into mask ties.

Word as of today:  even white thread is no longer available. Sigh.

The masks below are primarily all cotton, with an occasional cotton-poly blend and linen-poly blend. These are fabrics that "breathe" well.
 


IDEAS FOR MASKS

Jo-Ann Style - with pleats


Navy/blue












Patriot












Coral & white (w/crochet ties)












Yellow w/White (w/ribbon ties)













Red polka dot













Black (it only looks brown!)














Mask - Red & Blue Stars













Mask - Tan w/stars













Mask - Patriotic Places




Fu Masks (w/curved center seam)


Stained Glass (w/ribbon ties)












Coral & Black












Tan w/Stars












Yellow w/self-ties

A dozen masks waiting to be turned, trimmed, pleated & topstitched.

~ * ~


For Blair's website, click here.
 
For a link to Shadows Over Greystoke Grange on Amazon, click here.

For a link to Shadows Over Greystoke Grange on Smashwords (20% free read), click here.
For a link to Making Magic With Wordsclick here. 
 
For a link to Blair's updated Facebook Author Page, click here.

Thanks for stopping by,
Grace

Monday, April 13, 2020

Humor & Enlightenment

For Mask-making advice, pictures, links to patterns
 & instructions, please arrow down to post
below this one(3/26/20).



A Dash of Nostalgia & Humor
More than a decade ago, friends of my daughter's family moved from Orlando to Washington state, about as far away as you can get and remain in the contiguous states. But we've kept in touch all these years through Facebook, and now when there's more time for doing those little things that never seem to get done, lo & behold, what turned up but photos from Hailey's Third Birthday Party. So here they are from Washington state to Orlando, Florida, to Grace's Mosaic Moments.





Mike & Riley



Mike & Hailey


And from Halloween . . . 
Riley (below) & Payton



Riley, Cassidy, Hailey - Teenagers keeping Tradition, Easter 2020
 Note the fancy Easter baskets!

~ * ~


An Article of Interest

To the best of my knowledge, the following was written by Jonathon Glasner. I saw it when it was shared to Facebook by Karen Wasylowski on Easter Sunday 2020 (April 12). Yes, it has political overtones, but it seems remarkably authentic and well worth passing along. Article was originally posted on March 22, 2020.


So I thought I would throw up a little history lesson for everyone on both sides of the political divide. I think it’s important that we understand the truth, especially come November when it’s time to vote. Forgive the length. But, hey we all have time on our hands to read, right?

In December 2013, an 18-month-old boy in Guinea was bitten by a bat. Then there were five more fatal cases. When Ebola spread out of the Guinea borders into neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone in July 2014, President Obama activated the Emergency Operations Center at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. The CDC immediately deployed CDC personnel to West Africa to coordinate a response that included vector tracing, testing, education, logistics and communication.

Altogether, the CDC, under President Obama, trained 24,655 medical workers in West Africa, educating them on how to prevent and control the disease before a single case left Africa or reached the U.S.

Working with the U.N. and the World Health Organization President Obama ordered the re-routing of travelers heading to the U.S. through certain specific airports equipped to handle mass testing.

Back home in America, more than 6,500 people were trained through mock outbreaks and practice scenarios. That was done before a single case hit America.

Three months after President Obama activated this unprecedented response, on September 30, 2014, we got our first case in the U.S.. That man had traveled from West Africa to Dallas, Texas and had somehow slipped through the testing protocol. He was immediately detected and isolated. He died a week later. Two nurses who tended to him contracted Ebola and later recovered. All the protocols had worked. It was contained.

The Ebola epidemic could have easily become a pandemic. But thanks to the actions of our government under Obama, it never did. Those three cases were the ONLY cases of ebola in our country because Obama did what needed to be done three months before the first case.

Ebola is even more contagious than Covid-19. If he Obama not done these things, millions of Americans would have died awful painful deaths like something out of a horror movie (if you’ve ever seen how Ebola kills, it’s horrific).
It’s ironic that BECAUSE President Obama did these things - we forget that he did them, because the disease never reached our shores.

Now the story of Covid 19 and Trump’s response that we know about so far:

Before anyone even knew about the disease (even in China) Trump disbanded the pandemic response team that Obama had put in place. He cut funding to the CDC. And he cut our contribution to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Trump fired Rear Admiral Timothy Ziemer, the person on the National Security Council in charge of stopping the spread of infectious diseases before they reach our country - a position created by the Obama administration.

When the Outbreak started in China, Trump assumed it was China’s problem and sent no research, supplies or help of any kind. We were in a trade war, why should he help them?

In January he received a briefing from our intelligence organizations that the outbreak was much worse than China was admitting and that it would definitely hit our country if something wasn’t done to prevent it. He ignored the report, not trusting our own intelligence.

When the disease spread to Europe, the World Health Organization offered a boatload of tests to the United States. Trump turned them down, saying private companies here would make the tests “better” if we needed them. But he never ordered U.S. companies to make tests and they had no profit motive to do so on their own.

According to scientists at Yale and several public university medical schools, when they asked for permission to start working on our own testing protocol and potential treatments or vaccines, they were denied by Trump’s FDA.

When Trump knew about the first case in the United States he did nothing. It was just one case and the patient was isolated. When doctors and scientists started screaming in the media that this was a mistake, Trump claimed it was a “liberal hoax” conjured up to try to make him “look bad after impeachment failed.”

The next time Trump spoke of Covid-19, we had 64 confirmed cases but Trump went before microphones and told the America public that we only had 15 cases “and pretty soon that number will be close to zero.” All while the disease was spreading. He took no action to get more tests.

What Trump did do is stop flights from China from coming here. This was too late and accomplished nothing according to scientists and doctors. By then the disease was worldwide and was already spreading exponentially in the U.S. by Americans, not Chinese people as Trump would like you to believe.

As of the moment I’m posting this, the morning of March 22, 2020, we have 15,220 CONFIRMED CASES in the U.S. The actual number is undoubtedly much higher. But we don’t know because we don’t have enough tests. Why don’t we have enough tests? Remember back when Trump turned down the tests from the W.H.O. and prevented our own universities from developing them? Remember back when Trump had cut the funding to the CDC?

Every time Mr. Trump goes on camera and blames the previous administration for the mess we are now in, I scream at the reporters from FOX, CNN and MSNBC - “Why aren’t you reporting the actual historical facts?!” How dare Trump try to blame Covid-19 on Obama. He has no one to blame but himself.

I hear Republican pundits try to put the blame on China. And they are correct - after all, the disease started there. And the Chinese government handled it poorly and dishonestly. So it’s fair to blame the government of China for the EXISTENCE of the Covid-19 virus. BUT THAT MISSES THE POINT. Obama didn’t blame Ebola on Guinea. He helped them stop it. Trump let the disease invade the U.S.

And he is still not doing all he could to save lives. He keeps talking about invoking The Defense Production Act, but hasn’t actually done so. He’s making the same mistake twice - waiting until it’s too late to take action.

Invoking that act would require factories with the right equipment and know-how to start producing life saving ventilators for our hospitals, protective masks and other gear for our front line health workers. And the plus is it would actually employ people to do so. UPDATE: he just invoked it, FINALLY, way late.

Them’s the facts.

Reposted from Jonathon Glasner

~ * ~


For Blair's website, click here.
 
For a link to Making Magic With Wordsclick here. 

For a link to Shadows Over Greystoke Grange on Amazon, click here.

For a link to Shadows Over Greystoke Grange on Smashwords (20% free read), click here.
For a link to Blair's updated Facebook Author Page, click here.


Thanks for stopping by,

Grace