I am an unfinished work, and so are many of my projects. This blog is just an odd collection of things I make and do.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Something's fishy around here

I really should post before/after pictures, but I forget.  Then I'm done--or even halfway done--and realize I should have taken pictures.

So...imagine with me, a trip to the fish store and buying a pretty betta fish for my husband while he picks out fish for his big aquarium, and then the other fish pick on Betta and we have to isolate him.

Now imagine a little cheap flimsy tan corner stand.  I say tan...more like that old crayon color usually labeled "peach" or "flesh" which was lighter than anyone's skin that I know...that's about the color of this beat up little cabinet, which I picked up on the side of the road a couple of years ago, much against my husband's wishes, I might add.

Now imagine me spending hours on the computer picking out fish and designing paper...

Only to figure out later that I could have just googled "black and white fish wallpaper" and found great designs already done, like the one at this link.

Fast forward...
to this:

A can of spray paint, semi-gloss black rust-oleum, a water-proof top for the stand, and a fish tank with colorful plants and rocks and Betta has a new home. We just need to top up the water. We have some in open jugs waiting the required 24 hours for the chlorine to dissipate. 

The cabinet top is simply printed paper, attached with spray adhesive to a foam board. I wrapped it over the edges and around to the back side, then covered the whole thing with clear Con-Tact paper which I keep on hand for just such things.  You never know when you might need it. I set the completed topper on top of the little cabinet. When I someday re-purpose it for something else, it'll be easy to remove the fish topper and just have a black cabinet.

His colors don't show well here, but there's Pretty Boy down in the corner of the tank, bottom left.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Is that a hot pot? Don't brush off this gift, okay?

Taking lessons from my niece on interesting blog titles. Hers always grab my attention.

My sister has an apple theme in her kitchen, so when I found a pattern for knitted washcloths with apples on them, I had to make them for her. However, I changed it up,being super independent and kind of crazy like I am.  When I got to the binding off, I added a loop for hanging. I added some cotton batting and cotton fabric, stitched them all together, and voila! Potholders for her apple kitchen.

I found these cute little brushes at Target one day, so I just had to get them to go with the potholders.  One day I put them all in a box and sent them "Just because."  It's not even close to her birthday or Christmas.

My sister was going to come to my graduation just a few weeks from finishing these, but hey, it's way more fun to get a package in the mail--a surprise especially--and open it up to see what's inside.

Detail of the stitching on the yellow potholder.
Stitched Side

Knitted Side

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Poster Project

Update: 4 April 2016: There is some helpful information at CSOM. One is  An Overview of Sex Offender Management; the other is Fact Sheet: What You Need to Know about Sex Offenders. There is a specific paper about juvenile sex offenders. All of these are written more for law enforcement, communities, or therapists, but they do contain specific information on the ways that juvenile sex offenders are different from adults and should be treated differently.

April 1, 2015:
I've been working on a huge project--my Master's Poster. In my college, we have to create and defend a poster based on solid research. I have to put the references somewhere easily accessed by a QR Code, so I'm posting them here, along with the abstract for the poster. If your local library does not have information available on the topic, please let them know of the issue and encourage them to consider the issues addressed here.

How Librarians Can Identify Needs, Break Down Barriers, and Provide Resources

     When a juvenile is identified as a sex offender, it creates a need for a new set of information for the parents of the offender. Information may be very difficult to find, and many books and articles cast a stigma on the parents, who are already stricken with shock and dismay that their child is a sexual offender. If the victim is a member of the same family, the situation and need for information takes on an even greater complexity and urgency.
   In my research I identified the major information needs of parents of juvenile sex offenders, such as how to find legal help, obtain treatment, or locate alternative housing for the offender. Parents may want to know the probably of recidivism, or whether their child will be required to register as a sex offender. I examined the barriers to the information, including fear of exposure and difficulty in locating resources. I then sought out resources for parents of the juvenile offender.
   My research included books and articles, trips to libraries for firsthand experience in checking out such materials, and Internet resources. What is needed is a central location with a list of community resources that is easily accessible, private, and neutral, with at least an access point in the public library. The library could collaborate with a children’s justice center or abuse hotline to collect resources, easing the burden on already overburdened parents. 

Adler, N., & Schutz, J. (1995). Sibling Incest Offenders. Child Abuse & Neglect, 811-819.
Associated Press. (2012, Jan 7). Dealing with child-on-child sex abuse not one size fits all. Retrieved May 7, 2014, from USA TODAY News: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-01-07/child-sex-abuse/52431616/1
cassie33. (2010, Sep 7). Is older step son sexually abusing his little brother, if so what do I do????? Retrieved May 6, 2014, from StepTalk.org {Where stepparents come to vent}: http://www.steptalk.org/node/31787
Cedar Rapids Public Library. (n.d.). Summary. Retrieved May 5, 2014, from Cedar Rapids Public Library: http://crpl.ent.sirsi.net/client/crpl/search/results?qu=incest&te=ILS
Chaffin, M., Letourneau, E., & Silovsky, J. F. (2002). Adults, Adolescents, and Children Who Sexually Abuse Children: A Developmental Perspective. In J. E. Myers, The APSAC Handbook on Child Maltreatment (pp. 205-207). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, Inc.
Children's Bureau. (2013, Nov). Clergy as Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect. Retrieved May 7, 2014, from Child Welfare Information Gateway: https://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/statutes/clergymandated.pdf
Condrell, K. N. (2006). Condrell, Kenneth N. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.
Dunne, J. E. (2002). Information seeking and use by battered women: A "person-in-progressive-situations" approach. Library & Information Science Research, 343-355.
Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health and Keys for Networking, Inc., Blamed and Ashamed, The Treatment Experiences of Youth with Co-occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disorders and Their Families  Alexandria, Virginia. 2001
Finkelhor, D., & Baron, L. (1986). Risk factors for child sexual abuse. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 43-71.
Google. (n.d.). Google Web. Retrieved May 6, 2014, from Google: http://www.google.com/search?q=my+teenager+abused+his+brother&oq=my+teenager+abused+his+brother&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i64l2.13125j0j7&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=122&ie=UTF-8#as_qdr=all&q=my+teenager+is+a+sex+offender&safe=active
Lawlis, F. ( 2013 ). Google Web. Retrieved May 6, 2014, from Google: http://www.drphil.com/articles/article/266
Lehman, J. (2014). Empowering Parents: Child Behavior Help. Retrieved May 6, 2014, from Is It Time to Call the Police on Your Child? Assaultive Behavior, Verbal or Physical Abuse, Drugs and Crime: http://www.empoweringparents.com/Is-It-Time-to-Call-the-Police-on-Your-Child.php
Massat, C. R., & Lundy, M. (1998). "Reporting Costs" to Nonoffending Parents in Cases of Intrafamilial Child Sexual Abuse. Child Welfare.
McCallum, S. (2001). Nonoffending mothers: An exploratory study of mothers whose partners sexually assaulted their children. Violence Against Women, 315-334.
Miller, D. (1993). Incest: The Heart of Darkness. In E. Imber-Black, Secrets in Families and Family Therapy (pp. 181-195). New York, NY; London: W.W. Norton & Company.
NCSL. (2011, May). Juvenile Sex Offender Registration and SORNA. Retrieved May 7, 2014, from NCSL National Conference of State Legislatures: http://www.ncsl.org/research/civil-and-criminal-justice/juvenile-sex-offender-registration-and-sorna.aspx
Parker, W. (n.d.). When Do I Need a Family Counselor? Retrieved May 7, 2014, from About.com Parenting>Fatherhood: http://fatherhood.about.com/od/parentingadvice/a/family_therapy_2.htm
Pierce, L. H., & Pierce, R. L. (1990). Adolescent/Sibling Incest Perpretators. In A. L. Horton, B. L. Johnson, L. M. Roundy, & D. Williams, The Incest Perpetrator (pp. 99-107). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
Plummer, C., & Eastin, J. (2007). The Effect of Child Sexual Abuse Allegations/Investations on the Mother/Child Relationship. Violence Against Women, 1053-1071.
Smith, H., & Israel, E. (1987). Sibling Incest: A Study of the Dynamics of 25 Cases. Child Abuse & Neglect, 101-108.
Swaggs. (2008). Older son molested younger sister and brother. What to do? Retrieved May 6, 2014, from Yahoo! Answers: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080519175330AAFFe4I
Thomas, M., Eckenrode, J., & Garbarino, J. (1997). Family Sexual Abuse. In J. Garbarino, & J. Eckenrode, Understanding Abusive Families (pp. 114-130). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Inc.
Wiehe, V. R. (1997). Sibling abuse : hidden physical, emotional, and sexual trauma. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Worley, K. B., Church, J. K., & Clemmons, J. C. (2011). Parents of adolescents who have committed sexual offenses: Characteristics, challenges, and interventions. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 433-448.

On the poster itself there is:
Reference Librarian Comic created by me at http://writecomics.com/
Conference Room Picture Avila University

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Cookies and Cream

I saw this coaster at a restaurant, Red Lobster, I believe, while I was on vacation. Doesn't it look delicious? Unfortunately, not gluten-free or dairy-free, so I didn't have it.

After our trip, I kept thinking about that cookie, so I decided to try to make my own version.

It's not as pretty, but it was delicious! 

My "lava" soaked into the cookie a bit, so it did not run out as well as the original. Still, it was super yummy!

How I did it: 

(The brands I use are in parentheses; if you have a favorite brand it will likely work just as well.)

Mix up a batch of Toll House cookies using gluten-free flour (Domata) dairy-free mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life) and vegan margarine (Earth Balance).  Bake some of them in cupcake pans. Immediately, so they are still soft, push something slightly smaller than the cupcake into the cookie to make an indentation. Let cool.  Bake the rest of them so they come out close to the size of the top of the cupcake pan openings. Cool a few minutes and remove from pan.

While still warm, fill the bottoms with Hershey syrup, cap with a cookie, and top with a scoop of non-dairy frozen dessert. (Almond Dream) Drizzle with Hershey syrup and dig in with a spoon.  

Warning: this is a very rich dessert. 

What to do with extra cookie dough:  Make cookies, of course!  I did them starting a little thicker, which is easier with the GF flour, and when they came out of the oven, I pressed a thumbprint into each one and filled the hollow with Hershey syrup.