DIY Plastic-free weighted blanket

I recently figured out how to make a weighted blanket that didn’t use any plastic. I don’t have pics of the process yet, but here are just the instructions.

I surveyed lots of other instructions for making weighted blankets.
This site has good sewing instructions, and is basically what I did:

What I did differently from the above instructions:
1 – my columns were 6 inches apart.
2 – my rows were about 5 inches tall
so my compartments were roughly 6″x5″ rectangles.
3 – instead of poly-pellets, I used a 1/2 cup of well-rinsed small river pebbles per compartment.

A 1/2 cup of river pebbles weighs about 7 oz.

We wanted about 15 pounds, and an area coverage of about 30X36 inches. This was most easily accomplished by having 36 rectangles that were 6″x5″.

The pebbles were from Home Depot, and cost about $4. We rinsed them in my son’s wagon, until the water mostly ran clear. He loved this part. Then we dried them in pans in the oven at 250 degrees Farenheight. (The warmed rocks felt really good!) We transported them in an old rag rug from oven to sewing area.

One bag of pebbles made two adult 15 pound blankets, and one child 5 pound blanket. I used some old heavy material I had around. The total project took an afternoon, from shopping to one finished blanket. After the rocks were washed and dryed, the next blanket took only about 30 minutes to make.

If you have any questions, please email me at vgentzschATgmailDOTcom.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Motherhood lessons – five years in

Well, Motherhood has been my biggest teacher to date. It’s taught me my most important lesson – that I have worth and dignity because I exist, not just because I do…and do…and do.

The first several years of motherhood were rough. I tried to do everything, and failed… repeatedly. I’ve learned and am still practicing.

Because I have worth, because I exist, that means I get to, no NEED to, take care of myself. That looks like knowing and honoring my limits and capacity, and doing what I can when I can to strengthen myself. This looks like recognizing and honoring my needs first.

When I first had Olie, I essentially forgot that I existed, and did everything that was best for him. I gave up sleep. I gave up my job. I gave up so much of myself. To be what I thought he needed. To give him everything I thought he needed.

More than all the things I tried to give him, he needs a happy mother, and a happy father, in a happy relationship. And to be happy, I need to take care of myself. I need to be selfish, so that I can be who I want to be in my relationships, to my self, husband and son.

I wouldn’t change anything that I’ve done, because I needed to do it that way to learn what I needed to learn, but I would do things differently if I were doing it again. (and we’re not.)

Here are some of the changes:

I would ask for help early and often, especially babysitters. Babysitters are good, essential, necessary, and cheaper than counseling.

I would take time for myself sooner, a day, a night, a weekend. I would involve Mark more in the daily parenting. I would let go of my ideas about how things needed to be done, and let them learn on their own – a lot sooner.

I would plan for my capacity, not Olie’s. What I can handle matters more than what he can handle. You have to understand, that my capacity rarely exceeds Olie’s. =)

I would prioritize sleep. If I don’t sleep, I don’t function, and everyone’s unhappy. If I were doing it again, I would get more sleep sooner, and do what it took to get it.

I would take time with Mark more. Dates. Weekend trips. Make our time together the highest priority after I have taken care of myself.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Olieism 2.18.13

Situation: Sitting in the car before dropping Olie off for his first day of pre-school.

Olie: Will you be going home to work?
Me: Yes, I get to work on taxes.
Olie: Texas is a weird state.
Me: Yes, it is.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The significance of the nautilus shell

I love this.

The ancient Nautilus Shell is a symbol of proportional perfection. It is the most inspiring and energetic form known to human kind. It is also the perfect paradox – having survived relatively unchanged for millions of years, the Nautilus Shell is, oddly enough, a symbol for expansion and renewal as it grows increasingly larger chambers throughout its life. Its shape represents the golden mean number, known as PHI, in which the digits continue indefinitely without ever repeating themselves. PHI is found in all living forms, and when used in artwork and architecture, it renders the object beautiful to the human eye.

To me the Nautilus Shell encapsulates what I try to achieve in my work: balance, beauty, consistency and continual growth. I strive to integrate that perfect paradox…to create stability by keeping what has always been good, but to generate change by discovering what needs to improve. I want to strike that perfect balance between justice and progress that helps us become a more civil society. I want to provide my clients with beautiful, top quality work that inspires and energises them to continue evolving, whilst always retaining that which is good.

Thank you, Rebecca Cotton.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Growing Younger

From the March 30, 2012 issue of magazine “The Week”

A 101-year-old great-great-grandmother was recognized by the Guinness World Records this week as the oldest woman to ever tandem paraglide. Mary Hardison of Ogden, Utah, took her record flight to celebrate her birthday in September of last year, while being cheered on by four generations of her family. This week, Guinness said it would officially add her feat to the record books. She said she was “humbled” by her record, and encouraged other elderly people to try to break it. “Do things as long as you are physically able,” she said. “Be positive. Friends don’t like a grumpy person.”

Redwoods Camping

When we were camping at Sam Taylor Redwoods State Park two summers ago (campsite pictured above), I met another camper who was a retired woman traveling across the US in a converted van. I love meeting adventurous people of any age, but I especially LOVE meeting and hearing about adventurous elders who knock holes in my unquestioned assumptions about what it’s like to grow older. I want to be like these two women.

Who do you want to be like when you grow younger?


Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment