Saturday, November 20, 2010

Make A Super Warm Blanket In 5 Minutes (no sewing required)

I made something really amazing today (directions and photo below). I want to say it was because I spent the day with crafters, but I'm not sure that "crafters" are the right term. They make things from scraps of other things. Does that make them crafters? I like to call them repurposing designers. 

W and I were selling photos and note cards from our business, Ward Vogt Designs, at a holiday boutique today. It was amazing. We sold out on all of our Celebrate Mountain Lakes note cards and received a bunch of back orders. Plus, we got to spend the whole day together! Networking was amazing, and I got to see friends selling there. My friend Mary was selling her chocolates, Amsterdam Chocolates, and they are so good (and safe for nut allergic children). You must try them! 

All that do-it-yourself repurposing stuff got me motivated. I bought hand sewn goodies at Van Ryzin Design. Turns out the seller, Georgia Van Ryzin is an etsian, too. Her etsy store doesn't show all her great stuff, and I hope she starts to list it all for sale, because they are unique and cuddly and adorable. I got the kids (from the big, jolly fella so don't tell) great fingerless -- she calls them "texting" mittens -- with this cool fringe on the sides, and I also got some adorable dolls. She also had blankets and scarves, that were the same material as the mittens and dolls. I think they are acrylic but they feel like perfection. She had hand-knit funky winter hats from toddler sized to adults. And bags, and aprons. I could have bought it all. Loved her!

After a big day of sales, followed by a night of unpacking the car and cooking dinner, I was spent. The house was nearly neat enough for me to feel comfortable calling it a day. Nearly. Floating above my head, though, were about seven oversized Mylar balloons that were just begging to be put out to pasture. My birthday, a week ago today, brought me a wealth of healthy, colorful Mylars that tonight, though still full of air, look exhausted. With Thanksgiving a week away, they needed to come down.

I had a plan for the balloons. You see, when I go to acupuncture, my acupuncturist, Susannah, sometimes covers me with a Mylar blanket to keep me warm. The second it covers me, I feel my body heat reflecting back at me. I joked that I was going to go home and cover myself in my birthday balloons. She mentioned that she actually has a client who made one from balloons, and hers was just more colorful than the one that was in the acupuncture center

And there it was...  

Mylar blankets are used for many reasons. They are used to offset hypothermic reaction. They are the silver things you see thrown over runners' shoulders after a marathon. I figured I'd give making one a try. It's not like they are so expensive (between $10 and $20), but I thought this would be a nice way to save my birthday balloons, and heck, free is free and it's always fun to make things. 

I didn't do this neatly at all, and still, I love the way it turned out. I just cut the balloons in half, so that they could lay flat, and then I sort of taped them together, collage style. It was so much fun, laying the balloons out on the floor and making fun patterns with them. After I finished the blanket, I asked my son to test it out...

Great success! He loves it!

Now, after making it you do need to fold it neatly. You can't cuddle in it -- it is Mylar. You just drape it over your body to get warm. I made sure mine was taped together pretty well, and I am saving it for nights when the heat isn't working, or when we come in from playing in the snow. Who knows? It's just such a happy blanket, and does so much for the body with really no maintenance at all.

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