Thursday, October 22, 2020

Candy Corn Headband | Simplicity

Candy Corn Headband | Simplicity: Find Candy Corn Headband at Simplicity, plus many more unique crafts & crafts projects, supplies, tools & more. Visit today!



Step: 1


  • Candy Corn Headband Pattern (see page 4 of the PDF) – pattern will print in exact size on a single sheet of 8-1/2" x 11" paper.
  • One (1) 3/4" to 1" wide headband
  • One (1) 9" x 12" sheet of white craft felt
  • One (1) 9" x 12" sheet of orange craft felt
  • One (1) 9" x 12" sheet of yellow craft felt
  • Small amount of polyester stuffing
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Matching thread
  • Hand sewing needle
Step: 2


1. Fold each sheet of craft felt in half – this will ensure that you have pieces for left and right candy corn ears cut correctly. Cut candy corn ears and headband cover pieces from felt according to downloaded pattern:

  • Four (4) ear tops in white
  • Four (4) ear middles in orange
  • Four (4) ear bottoms in yellow
  • Two (2) headband covers in yellow
Step: 3

Pin together one ear top, middle and bottom, matching notches and cut edges, to form a candy corn shape. Stitch together in 1/4 inch seams. Press seams to blend stitching; press seams open.

Step: 4

Repeat Step 2 with remaining ear pieces, until you have two complete pairs of candy corn ears.

Step: 5

With RIGHT sides together, pin two candy corn ear pieces together, matching cut edges and lining up colors. Pin along the two sides, leaving the bottom open. Repeat with remaining ear pieces.

Step: 6

Stitch long sides of ears together in a 1/4 inch seam. Press seams to blend stitching. Turn RIGHT side out.

Step: 7


Stuff ears with polyester stuffing. Tip: use a chopstick to get stuffing into the points of the ears.

Step: 8

With RIGHT sides together, pin headband cover pieces at straight seam to form a continuous piece. Stitch together in a 1/4 inch seam. Press seam to blend stitches. Press seam open.

Step: 9

With RIGHT side facing outwards, wrap headband cover piece around the headband, starting at the center and working towards the ends.

Step: 10

Overlap felt along the inside of the headband, pinning as you go. Trim away felt to fit headband if necessary.

Step: 11

Using a hand sewing needle and matching thread, whip stitch cover in place. Turn back ends and whip stitch to hold in place, for a clean finish at the ends.

Step: 12

Pin candy corn ears to headband, using the photo as a guide. Make sure that the longer side of each ear base is facing an outer edge – this will ensure that the ears sit smoothly on the curve of the headband.

Step: 13

Using a hand sewing needle and matching thread, whip stitch ears to headband.

Candy Corn Headband

Monday, April 20, 2020

Martial arts training reduces stress and improves cognition in older adults.


There is no expiration date on neuroplasticity and being active is always a good thing. Traditional martial arts training has long been suggested as an activity to benefit folks across the lifespan and there are many anecdotal reports of practitioners at very advanced ages. I personally have met and trained with many martial arts masters who were in their late 70s to mid 80s. While physically slower, they displayed amazing timing and thus remained terrifying in their technical abilities.

Although we make a correlation, observing someone of advanced age doing an activity like martial arts doesn't really prove to us that the activity preserved their function. We need training interventions to prove that and training interventions for older adults have long been lacking. But the kind of evidence derived from training interventions is much more powerful than cross-sectional studies because they are direct tests of the training itself.

Which brings us back to researchers in Germany—Drs Petra Jansen, Katharina Dahmen-Zimmer and their colleagues Brigitte Kudielka and Anja Schulz—who have been conducting interesting intervention studies using karate training in older adults. I've written about this work previously, when Jahnsen and Dahmen-Zimmer showed that karate training in individuals as old as 93 years of age could improve cognition and emotional well being.

Their 2016 study "Effects of Karate Training Versus Mindfulness Training on Emotional Well-Being and Cognitive Performance in Later Life" published in "Research on Aging" looked at individuals between 52 and 81 years of age. The martial arts training was focused on forms (kata) practice using Shotokan's "Heian Shodan" (equivalent to "Pinan Nidan" in many other systems like Yuishinkai, Wado-ryu, etc.)

Researchers did a number of neuropsychological assessments on the study participants before training, as well as collecting samples of their hair to measure stress through cortisol levels. The karate group was then taught the "Heian Shodan" kata and self-defence applications over 16 one hour sessions (2 times each week for 8 weeks). Compared to the pre-intervention levels, the karate group improved in cognitive processing speed and subjective mental health and had reduced anxiety.

I have been interested in this work for a while and so I reached out to the lead authors, Petra and Katharina to ask a few additional questions about their motivations and the responses of the participants. As experimental psychologists, they said they want to do research to determine the brain benefits of physical training and activity. Katharina herself has trained for over 20 years and is a black belt holder in the Shotokan karate system. She has seen directly that training has many benefits in cognition and mindfulness in herself and others.

Petra shared that many participants say that "now I can do something, which is impossible for older people! I feel so strong, I feel more safe...". Katharina also echoed this concept when telling me about an 80 year old who said "when I started to train in karate, my grandchildren said 'Grandma--you are crazy!' but now they are so proud of me." The positive effects of the training study have led many of the participants to continue training even after finishing the research.
These scientists also told me that, while they focus on specific activities (karate, mindfulness, etc) in their interventions, the key is for individuals to identify what works for them and "that which is best for themselves". This is a really important point and I think it fits with another point they emphasize, that training improves the body but also "self-esteem and this can have a really huge impact in older age".
Not surprisingly, I really like using karate kata training to help improve function in those with declining abilities. One of my first karate teachers, Shane Higashi Kyoshi, told me over 30 years ago that "karate isn't just to make those who are strong, stronger. It's supposed to help make weaker people stronger."
Oh, and the idea that karate kata training can help reduce stress and improve self-esteem and efficacy? It's rather poetic. The name of the kata used in these studies--"Heian"--means "peaceful and safe".
(c) E. Paul Zehr (2017)

How the World War II veteran who raised £26 million to fight coronavirus has released his first hit single — aged 99-years-old


Captain Tom Moore was awarded three military medals for his service which saw him stationed from Mumbai to Myanmar. And now, approaching his hundredth birthday, he adds a chart-topping single to the collection.

After raising over £26 million ($33 million) for the National Health Service’s fight against the coronavirus, the veteran has, alongside Michael Ball, hit the number one spot on the iTunes British download chart with a duet remake of Ball’s classic, You’ll Never Walk Alone, selling almost 36,000 copies in its first 48 hours.

“When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high and don’t be afraid of the dark,” Moore says on the track, which is a mix of Ball’s singing and Moore’s narration.
The song made its debut at number one, ousting 103 year-old Dame Vera Lynn, who is also raising money for the U.K.’s health service. Lynn, with Katherine Jenkins, released a duet cover of the her 1939 hit We’ll Meet Again, recently referenced by Queen Elizabeth II in her national address on the coronavirus crisis.
Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, released a message on Monday thanking key workers including medical and scientific professionals who are working to protect us from Covid-19.
“As we approach World Immunisation Week, I wanted to recognise the vital and urgent work being done by so many to tackle the pandemic,” he said in a statement on, the royal family’s website.
Moore has eclipsed the crowdfunding platform Just Giving’s record for cash raised by a single campaign, managing 100 laps around his garden with the help of a walking frame. All profits from his single, produced by Universal Music Group owned Decca Records, will fund the campaign too.

He has raised more than 25,000 times his initial goal, a modest £1,000.

Moore turns 100 on April 30 and will now receive hundreds of cards from the viral #makeacardfortom Twitter campaign. A petition to knight the veteran has also notched almost 900,000 signatures, while U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, himself recovering from a serious bout with the coronavirus-borne disease Covid-19, is set to look at ways to reward this latest act of kindness to have emerged in response to the continuing global pandemic.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Can't find Hand Sanitizer? Here's an Alternative.

Hand Sanitizer in stores now is like finding a Unicorn in your backyard.

You can buy some at Etsy here
but you can also do this instead.
Carry a container of sink water and soap with you. No one needs to go anywhere but maybe after shopping you need to wash your hands? Well, water and soap work better than hand sanitizer.

Containers to use:
Anything that won't leak. Used water bottles, used soda bottles, etc. Just leave in your car along with soap. Wash your hands and perhaps leave a towel in your car too.

Take care, stay safe and stay home.
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.

Comfort from a 102-year-old who has lived through a flu pandemic, the Depression and WWII

Her Story here

At Lucille Ellson’s home, inside her brimming drawers, are hints of how the present mirrors the past.
Ellson is 102 years old. She was born December 30, 1917, right before a flu spread through military camps in Europe and the United States and became a global pandemic.
She was a baby then, unaware, but heard stories of how her uncle contracted the flu while serving in World War I; and how her father got it so bad that he took time away from the family farm outside Laurens, Iowa. 

Neither died. Ellson’s mother would remind her of that, too. But it wasn’t Ellson’s last time living through a historic crisis. She was a teenager during the Great Depression. She was a schoolteacher and young wife during World War II. And she has reflected on that as the country faces another pandemic, this one from the novel coronavirus.
Ellson has been going through the letters, newspaper clippings and other stuff — she calls it “mumbo jumbo” — she’s kept over a century. It all reminds her of what’s gripping the country, the feeling of being stuck inside and a bit scared, and of not knowing what the future holds.
“I know a lot of people are in a panic about their weddings because they have to cancel them or postpone them,” Ellson said this week from her home in Orlando. “Well, let me tell you about my wedding.” 
She can only draw faded lines between the coronavirus and the 1918 flu, since all those stories are second hand. The lines get thicker between today and the Great Depression, spanning 1929 to 1933, with millions applying for unemployment and the economy faltering. But Ellson sees today and the World War II period as true parallels.
It starts, for her, with a delayed wedding. She was supposed to marry Floyd Ellson in July 1942. Then came the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. She and Floyd knew what that meant. He had a low draft number. Their marriage would have to wait. He was soon enlisted in the Navy, sent away for training, and Ellson stayed home teaching in Iowa while panic reigned.
Plumbers were out of work, she remembered because all metal was directed to the war effort. A few local heating businesses closed for the same reason. People left her tiny town and rushed west, hoping for jobs building ships in California or Washington state. There was a shortage of teachers, and the school system begged her brother, who had fallen sick and was discharged from the Army, to come use his college degree in their classrooms.
“I spent so much time reading the ration book,” Ellson recalled. “The grocery store shelves were empty. It wasn’t quite like now, because you were allowed outside, but there was the same fear. That we didn’t know what was going to happen tomorrow.”
When she and Floyd did have their wedding, about a year later than expected, they weren’t gifted any metal dishware or table cloths. Those materials were still needed in large bulk by the U.S. military. She left teaching for a desk job at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station. He was away for 17 months as a gunnery officer. They were lucky and lost no relatives or close friends in the war. 
Floyd didn’t make it home for Christmas in 1944. But he did send a letter to Lucille, who would soon give birth to their first child, a baby girl named Jane. They loved writing to each other. They would later write a book together, titled “My First 100 Years,” an effort Lucille finished after Floyd died at 104 in 2012. They had been married for 69 years.
“Darling I really love you,” Floyd penned to Lucille in a letter dated Dec. 25, 1944. “Everything you wrote & each little package just brought out to me your really true colours. You made this a very pleasant Christmas in such a way that I cannot be bitter. I can only hope we can be together next year & we can demonstrate to each other only what we can feel now. … I will sign off now and dream of you.”
Floyd was honourably discharged on Dec. 20, 1945. He made it back to Iowa for Christmas with Lucille and Jane.
“I’ve been through so many things,” Ellson said. “To cope with this virus, and all that’s going on, I would tell people to not get stressed about planning far ahead. You can’t do it. A long time ago, I started making a list every morning of what I had to do. It was the only thing I could control, and I stuck to it, you hear me?”
Those lists are similar day-to-day: Check-in on family with her iPad, do Zoom video calls with her kids, their kids, and their kids’ kids. Make meals and bake desserts to leave on the front porch for her son who lives nearby. She cooked for 25 people in February. She calls that preparing “a little something.”
Ellson has few infirmities for her age, wearing a hearing aid and taking thyroid and blood pressure medicine. She still walks unassisted when inside. She otherwise uses a rollator for balance and storage. She calls it her “buggy.” 
Lately, she’s been focused on organising the drawers that show a life in full. She is sorting the mumbo jumbo into categories. One is for when her house will be sold, a pile of neighbourhood regulations, the property deed, and old contracts that Floyd signed. Another is for receipts she doesn’t want to throw away. Another is for her kids, with the first-grade report card that shows she received a “D” in deportment and more letters from the war.
This is not her way of wasting time. She wishes she had more of that. But what Ellson wants people to know — “if I can preach for a minute,” she requested with a laugh — is that this, like everything else, will pass.
“I learned that from living, I guess,” she said. “You see a lot when you get to 102.”