02 January 2018

Backpack Out of Old Jeans

My husband has quite a number of old jeans that are not good enough 
to give away to people who can wear them but still good enough to be something else. 
So, I disassembled three of his jeans pants and made two bags,
 a big hand/shoulder bag and a not too small back pack. 

Here, I am going to share the backpack.

Inspired from this Youtube tutorial, I made one my own -sewed and modified. 
No stick glue needed. 
I don't trust glue in keeping the back safe to carry around. 
Thinking about it brings me to a scene of falling stuff in the middle of the jungle, 
water bottle bent or worse, emptied or house keys missing. Lol! 

Instead of straight, I made the top edge tapered and the bottom area semi-cercilar. And I did some blunders, which I am going to enumerate, along with some tips so you don't fall for the same mistakes, at the bottom part of this article.

Here are some pictures.

The front part of the bag. The string is my old shoe lace. The blue lining and the pocket are from my husband's short pants

To make this bag, you need the following:
  • 2 pieces of jeans cloth of your own measurement/size (this one is 11 by 12.5)
  • a long 4 inches wide and 32 inches length cloth that would serve as the middle section of the bag
  • 2 pieces of 1.5 inch bias cloth for side piping
  • 1 piece 2.5 inches bias cloth for top edge piping
  • 1 piece shoe lace
  • colorful threads
  • 1 button (I used the button from one of the jeans pants)
  • 2 pieces of 3 x 25 fabric for handle
  • 1 7x8 fabric for cap and a bias cloth
  • one 5 inches piece of bias cloth for hanging (the one right in the middle of the two handles) 
  • a rectangular piece of cloth for inside pocket
  • sewing machine
  • sewing needle
  • scissors
  • tape measure
  • pen or marker
  • ruler 
  • needle pins (optional)
~The black lining of the handle is the string of the short pants which I just added on one side of each handle to make it wider~

Inside are tablet phone, kindle, and mobile phone. This bag can also hold a 1-liter water bottle.

The holes for the string. Each hole is hand-stitched with different colors of sewing threads.
In the video, only two holes are suggested for each side. I suggest that you do the same (remember the blunder I mentioned earlier).

~string holes at the side~
~I let the chair wore the bag for the time being.~
Tips in making this project:
  •  Decide which part of the bag is the back side so you can sew the inside pocket there. The inside pocket should be folded twice at the opening so that no broken threads would be visible. The three sides should be folded once while sewing it to the middle of the 11x12.5 fabric.
  • Since I used a ready-made pocket for the out part of the bag, I just sew it in the middle of the front part of the bag.
  • With right side attach one 11x12.5 fabric to one edge of the 4x32 fabric using needle pins and sew. Remove each pin as you sew along. When you reach the curve side, make 3 to 4 small slits half an inch apart so as you continue sewing, the fabric also comes along.
  • Do the same on the other side of 4x32 with the other 11x12.5 fabric.
  • Sew in the bias cloths at the edges (see the blue edge lining of the bag). While doing so, remember to attach one end of each handle at the back side of the bag so you don't need to remove the stitches on that part later on, which what happened to me.
  • Make the necessary string holes and stitch around it using blanket stitch or buttonhole stitch.
  • Attach the other ends of the handles in between two string holes on  the back side of the bag. On top of it, sew in the cap with the right side upside down. Watch the video for clarity.
  • Put the shoe lace and your bag is ready. 
  • I added a button right above the outside pocket and added a hook for it that is sewn at the center edge of the cap. You can make a buttonhole there instead of a fabric hook.
If you decide to make this bag and have a question, do let me know and I'll answer your query as soon as possible.

The bigger bag that I mentioned will be posted soon -once I finished adding a zipper to it. :-)

22 December 2017

With God, All is Possible!

Religious apologists would claim so!

Yesterday, I posted this -

"There had been an accident. One dead, three heavily injured, one lost a leg. 
These guys were rushed to the nearest hospital. 
While doctors were doing the best they can to save the victims' lives, 
their friends and family prayed for their safety."

If you were a god, what would you do?
Would you hear and answer the families' prayer 
or would you prevent the accident from happening altogether?

You see, if I were a god, I wouldn't let any harm come to my children,
therefore, I'd prevent the accident from happening!
And I know you would do the same.

Now, apply the scenario to ship sinking, fire, plane crash,
murder, shooting, etc. The answer is all the same.

And that, my friends, is the difference
between your god and me or anyone who chooses
to prevent bad things from happening.

Less than three minutes later, my niece shared a link to an article titled, "why so much suffering" in the comment section. It was a link to Jehovah's Witnesses website. This is the link if you're interested. 

We exchanged arguments, questions, and answers (although much of my rebuttal were ignored).

She shared the link for me to read since, according to her, I have a lot of unanswered questions. Well, I do. But just because these questions don't have answers...yet, I'd leave them to god. No way! And it's fine if they are left unanswered. I am perfectly okay with it.

She encouraged me to go through that article, which I did. I read lines after lines with verses quoted from the Bible. There are many flaws in that article if one really tries to understand it, but I didn't enumerate them all to her. I took two claims and added my own interpretation. But before I go further to discuss that, I'd like to mention three (there are more) claims presented in the article:

1.  Jehovah, God, never causes bad things to happen, for it is unthinkable for the true God to act wickedly, for the Almighty to do wrong!

2.  The ruler of the world is Satan the Devil. (That is why there so much suffering in the world.)

3. With God, all is possible. 

So, let's dig this deeper. 

~If there is a benevolent God, then number one must be true. (Yeah, it would be nice if everyone on earth is happy and no problems to face, including global warming. Yey!)

~But wait, famine, riots, war, hunger, diseases, conflicts, murder, shootings, atrocities with each other, etc. are all over the world! Ah, Satan the Devil is behind all these. (Well, it's actually great to have someone else to blame for all the mess in the world created and governed by the Almighty that doesn't do wrong! Perfection!)

~Oh, geez! All is possible with God! If so, then it means that Satan the Devil can be destroyed, immediately! Once Satan the Devil is defeated, all suffering in the world will disappear, will dissipate into thin air. With God, all is possible so those people who are victims of being in the wrong place at the wrong time can never be in the wrong place at the wrong time anymore. 

"Do it, God! Do it!" plead these starving innocent children.

"I will, my children! I will. Be assured that I know when all of Satan’s challenges will have been fully answered.So be patient 'cause I am patient. For now, I am giving you time to come to know me and choose me as your Ruler. While you do that, I'll let you starve!" answered God (Jehovah).

"Don't bother about that promise, children," I butted in. "God is some egomaniacal, capricious piece of sh...., err, human imagination that has extremely low self-esteem. Why else would he want his children to please him and creates a tantrum if he isn't pleased and let you starve instead of smashing that head of Satan's so you'll never starve and suffer again? So, go home! Tell your parents to wear contraception and demand from over-eating, obese, mansion-owning dregs of humanity to spare you some food for your bellies! Don't depend on God. He's got a huge ego to please!"

27 November 2017

Persimmons or Amarphal or Ramphal: Hachiya and Fuyu Variety

Five days ago, my husband had some business to attend to in Dehradun. Going to bigger cities is something that we don't do often. In fact, we would be glad if transactions can be done online or through someone. We just loathe the pollution -the traffic, the crowd, the garbage, the horrible plight of non-human animals and the apathetic and cruel treatment of human beings to these poor earthlings!

So, to make the trip worthwhile, my husband and I would buy the fruits, groceries, vegetables, nuts and seeds that aren't available in the place we live.

This time, he took two varieties of persimmons -Hachiya and Fuyu, and other fruits like Thailand guava (huge and bland but tasty and crunchy), chicos, custard apple, canary melons, red grapes, Midknight oranges, etc.

The above picture is a variety of Hachiya. From medium size to large size, the fruit is a delight. Hachiya variety looks round but pointed and they are astringent or sappy, which means, they cannot be eaten when hard and firm. They have to ripen from top to bottom. They must be very soft, only then, sappiness goes, and they're enjoyable to eat.

A few of the vendors selling this variety shared their stories involving Hachiya. This variety is NOT popular among customers! At first, we were puzzled. Such beautiful and tasty fruit and people don't like it? There must be a reason.

There is only one explanation. And I'll go through that below. In the meantime, here's Fuyu variety.

Fuyu variety is the non-astringent variety. They are quite small, round but flat. These are the characteristics of the non-astringent persimmons -round and flat.

Until three days ago, we've been eating this variety the wrong way, or shall I say, eating it one way -the soft and ripe way!

My husband's experience in buying this variety this time gave some light as to  
when to eat Fuyu best, and that is, when they are hard and firm.
This goes back to the vendors' stories. People like this variety because they can be eaten immediately making it popular.
Customers only buy Fuyu!
And that is because, these fruits are displayed and sold hard and firm, never soft and ripe, and that is the first experience most customers have.
So, the moment they buy Hachiya and eat the same way they eat Fuyu,
the experience would be horrible
because Hachiya variety is astringent.
Nobody really likes a sappy tongue, right?

Also, not many have the curiosity to ask why and find out how to properly eat Hachiya persimmons! So, the next time they see the fruit, they'll pass by it remembering their
disgusting first experience.
The thing is, not many know how to eat it.
Even the sellers themselves!

So, now you know!
The next time you come across these fruits, buy them in loads, for they really taste good!

Just a few tips. We keep them in the fridge, wash them thoroughly, 
and eat them with their skin on
The skin of Fuyu is a little bit coarse and tends to separate from the pulp onceit is soft and ripe. When hard and firm, it is crunchy and sweet (an iinformation we
just paid attention to even though we've read the same info two years ago).

~two platters of fruit goodies: Midknight oranges, chico, local orange, guava, Fuyu and Hachiya persimmons~
  • Hindi people call persimmons Amarphal or immortal fruit OR Ramphal or fruit for the Gods.
  • In the Philippines, Filipinos call the fruit Mabolo. For 27 years in the Philippines, I'd never seen the fruit. I just heard it. Though I wondered how does Mabolo fruit look like. My imagination pictures a round and black fruit. 

15 August 2017

Stephen Grellet, Quaker Missionary

Though there are variants of this quote, I prefer the use of "fellow creature" because it embodies all creatures on earth, which makes sense since the author was a member of the Religious Society of Friends (also known as Quakers) that practices vegetarianism and veganism as a reflection of the Peace Testimony, extending non-violence towards animals. 

We don't need to be a Quaker or a Christian or a Muslim or a Jain or a Hindu or a Buddhist to be good and kind to our fellow human beings and to all the non-human animals we share this planet with. After all, we are all Earthlings, citizens of the planet Earth!

Be vegan.
Non-human animals value their lives as much as we value hours.
Let peace reigns in our hearts and it begins on our plates.