miss loopy's therapeutic crafting

I just want to share with you one of the interesting stories behind our inspired friends collection. When our dear Loopy was born... at ten weeks early and weighing in at only three pounds... The Fan and I were horrified that she might not make it. In fact, she was not expected to make it through the night, even. They removed all of the machines that go "bing" and we braced ourselves for the worst. The little rascal held on... she even tried to pull one of the tubes out of the top of her soft little head and they fashioned her a hat made of a paper cup to prevent her from rearranging her IV. Thus, her first chapeau.

Since that moment, hats have been an integral part of Loopy's life. We had the tiniest hats knit for her to keep her little head worn and even as she grew, if she was fussy, the mere placement of a cap on her head calmed her down. She is still that way... a closet full of hats!

As she struggled along, she amazed and shocked all of the doctors and nurses in the NICU. She was discharged home at a mere four pounds and began to thrive so nicely under our watchful eyes.

As time progressed, we noticed some things weren't quite as they should have been. Not supporting her head, not sitting up and rolling over at benchmark stages, The Fan and I both suspected something to be terribly wrong. Of course, premature babies develop a little slower than full term babes, but we were worried. She was diagnosed with all sorts of developmental delays... but basically we were told she would never walk, talk or thrive like other children.

This would simply not do. Being a wise and experienced mother, The Fan coached me along and we began our own methods of intense therapy to bring Loopy as far as we could... you should have seen it, dear friends.

First, we tied her into her high chair with a scarf. This enabled her to sit upright. When sitting on the floor, we propped her with pillows and stuffed animals to encourage sitting on her own. Gradually... we took them away.

Then, when we decided it was time for her to crawl and then to pull herself up, well, we just put styrofoam on every hard surface we could find and then we put everything - and I mean everything - just slightly out of her reach... including her bottles. We wouldn't get them for her. You want a bottle? It's right over there on the coffee table. You'll get there when you are hungry enough. It sounds harsh, but it had to be done. Even if she wanted to be with one of us, she had to make the effort... we waited patiently with outstretched arms for her to make her way to our embrace.

After she mastered pulling herself up, we moved things even further away, so she would have to take steps. This was the hardest part. She was much older than other babies who were already running about. We stuck to it... she started getting mobile. Her toys started going up on shelves. Her bottles were kept in the kitchen, if she found her way to the kitchen, she got her bottle. She was pooped, and so were we.

But by two years old, she was sitting up, moving around and starting to walk. It was a long two years.

Time progressed. Still, Loopy was physically challenged. Her fine motor skills were lacking. The simple act of picking up cheerios was frustrating and daunting for her. We didn't let up. The food went on the tray, it was up to her to poke it in if she could.

As she got older, her gross motor skills became almost normal (to the shock of her physicians!) but we still worried about her fine motor skills. Something had to be done. All of those kiddie games were boring her by the time she was in school and a girl can only string up so many plastic beads on a thread.

Thus, the hatpin was born. I went shopping for the fanciest of beads I could find... and I even raided my grandmother's stash of vintage jewelry from the 40's and 50's. I set out the matches of the beads in little piles and The Secret Weapon helped me prepare the proper gauge wire for the pin. We didn't sharpen the pins at that point - for obvious reasons. I wrapped them with masking tape on one end and on the other end we enlisted little Loopy to poke those tiny vintage beads onto the wire. I helped with the special glue provided by The Secret Weapon and little Loopy sat there for days poking beads onto wire. It was excellent therapy for her. We made dozens of the most lovely hatpins together... what was I to do with all those hatpins? I have a few vintage hats, but surely I didn't need that many hatpins.

And so, Loopy's therapy is your golden opportunity. If you have even one vintage hat in your collection, you should have a hatpin on it. They are available for the rest of the week at Inspire Company, sold in coordinating pairs so you don't have to make too difficult a choice!

Vintage love features one of my favourite beads - that giant drop bead is a classic hatpin style.

How Sweet features those retro beads snitched from my granny's necklace. Look at the hand-painted swirls on the red bead... how funky is that? Sometimes I wish I hadn't taken that necklace apart, but my loss is your gain.

Be mine... a lovely little set perfect for a Valentine decoration... all of these hatpins make lovely extras on gift parcels, you can stick them on your bulletin boards or inspiration boards, use them on scrapbooking pages as embellishment or really, I could list off a thousand uses for them. I have poked them into floral arrangements, corsages at weddings and showers... we even embellished one of the initials we made in Loopy's room with a coordinating hatpin. Skip on over to Amy's if you want to have a good look at the hatpins before they are gone.

Oh... many of the Thread Bears have been adopted. I must say, we are more than a little surprised that Lena (named for our dear Mrs. Staggs) is still in teddy orphanage... she, like her namesake is such a good listener. All of these items will be available for the remainder of the month of September.




Fabulous pieces!

~ Gabriela ~

Jane said...

Love me some preemie success stories! Mine came home at 4 pounds, too. Now I see full term babies and they look huge! Love the hat pins! :) New layout looks nice, too!

mandy said...

Love how you made it through the tough times. It gave me some ideas for my little one. He is still not holding his bottle or crawling as he should.

Pam said...

Saucy...oh the things we have in common!!
Rhys was also born 10 weeks early and was 3 lbs 8 oz!
she is a little fighter, like all preemies that i know!
glad all worked out so well...loopy is a beautiful young lady (from all the photos I have seen on your blog). As a speech language pathologist, working with many delayed children I applaud you...as the mother of a preemie, I too know what all those milestones mean and the importance of reaching them (in their own time).

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

A mother's love is a powerful force. Brava to you and your Loopy. Her work is lovely, BTW.

Lisa Milton said...

So glad to hear you didn't accept the lack of hope the doctors were offering up.

I know it is extremely hard to let them struggle - my son had motor skill delays, including speech - but what you did for her. Well, it brought tears to my eyes.

Hats off to you & The Fan.

Jerri-Lea said...

Thank you for sharing so much of yourself and your inspirational story of Loopy's start into this world! You would never know now looking at that gorgeous daughter of yours that she was an itty bitty preemie with so many obstacles to overcome. Good job Loopy! I'm going to go hug my little darlings again while they are sleeping, they are so precious!

Just say Julie said...

Such an inspiring story, and such an awesome product to come out of it.

MJ said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. I purchased the "Mon Amis" hatpins (which I felt was appropriately named) for my craftroom! I'll think of you and Loopy whenever I see them there!

Barb said...

What an inspirational story. Thank you for sharing.

Yin said...

That was such a sweet and beautiful story. I so admire the strength you and darling Miss Loopy have shown through out the years! Here's the best for the years to come!

Her Shabbyness: Sweet 'n Southern said...

Oh my goodness you had a challenge with Loopy! I was a preemie too, born at about 8 weeks early.

I love the story of how you worked with her and how great she progressed. That's a wondrful story!

Linda Crispell said...

Saucy-Please go to Oprah's TV show site, they are looking for parents who were given a diagnosis and refused to accept it. Your lovely story sounds perfect for them!

hunnybunny said...

Thank you for sharing your story, I can't say I've experienced what you have but I can say that I have seen personally the "impossible" happen with family. Congratulations on your successes, and thank you for sharing them with us.
P.S. You just got TONS of bonus fabulous points, and I didn't think you guys could get any more.

The Pumpkin Pink Cottage said...

that was beautiful, and how strong you both are and now look at her she is just beautiful...great job mom. And the hat pins are wonderful...hugs, lisa

The Mrs. said...

What a wonderful story and what an amazing MOther! And look at Loopy now!

3rdEyeMuse said...

thank you for sharing such a touching and inspirational memory with us ... it's always heartening to hear about the way people choose to tackle their obstacles. I applaud you and Loopy for your tenacity ... it's obvious your efforts have been rewarded ten fold. :)

ps - I am sooo falling in love with the thread bears, but (as I am sure you are aware) it appears Lena has been adopted!! woohoooo!

blaze said...

its such a good thing you stuck to chalenging loopy!