Monday, September 1, 2014

confessions of a type 1 diabetic

So you probably don't know this about me, but I have Type 1 diabetes. I was diagnosed when I was one month shy of turning 10, so I've been dealing with the disease for a long time. I really don't even remember life before diabetes. I just read this article which got me thinking about how misunderstood Type 1 vs. Type 2 diabetes is. I definitely already recognized that, but it was nice to see that someone else felt the same way.

First, there is absolutely nothing I could have done to prevent getting this disease. Type 1 is an auto immune disorder unlike Type 2. Type 2 is much more common and is typically what people think of when they think about diabetes. They are extremely different. I didn't eat too much sugar nor was I too inactive. My pancreas stopped producing insulin. That means that every time I eat food, I have to take insulin. So I have to know how many carbs I eat and I take insulin accordingly. So, I have to have my diabetic supplies on me at all times. I also have to check my blood sugar at least four times a day (I need to be better about this if I'm honest :/). Plus there are several factors (hormones, stress, being sick, etc)that can alter my blood sugar. I can actually take too much insulin and die, and I can take too little insulin and go into a diabetic coma. The disease is complex and emotionally draining, and there is absolutely no one who understands expect other Type 1 diabetics. As you can imagine, that can be lonely at times.

Another big misconception is that all diabetics can't eat sugar. I absolutely can eat sugar. My diabetes is not controlled by diet. As I mentioned previously, I take insulin based on how many carbs I have or will be eating. So technically I could eat an entire cake and just take the required insulin. Obviously, eating an entire cake is bad decision for anyone, diabetics and non-diabetics alike. However, this is not the case for Type 2 Diabetics. Their bodies still produce insulin, but their cells do not receive the insulin well. Having too much sugar, being overweight, not exercising, etc can contribute to this cellular dysfunction. This is why Type 2 diabetics are supposed to keep their sugar/carb intake low. A lot of Type 2 diabetics can completely rid themselves of the disease by eating healthy and exercising (this is not always the case). Outside of miracle, there is nothing I can do to make my diabetes go away.

People also think diabetes is death sentence. Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics can live a normal life span if they manage the disease properly. Also, yes I have seen Steel Magnolias and yes I can have children. Type 1 diabetics CAN have their own children. It is more tricky and you have to manage your blood sugar closely, but it is possible to have a baby and not die. I could go on with more misconceptions, but I'll leave it here.

I'm sharing all of this information with you because you will probably meet a Type 1 diabetic in your life, and they would probably appreciate a person who better understands their disease. Diabetes has one of the biggest stigmas attached to it and people judge diabetics a lot. Also, people often voice their opinions. As a nurse, I actually experience this with my fellow nurses. I have been scolded by so many of my coworkers for eating candy. That is how widely misunderstood my disease is. Even nurses don't get it right. It is incredibly frustrating and I'm constantly defending myself.

I also need to point out that I am not a hero because I'm a Type 1 diabetic. I'm not brave because of it, and I'm not a survivor (technically I still alive so I am a survivor of the disease but we're all still alive so we're all survivors in a way... that's for another post). I have no choice. I have this disease and I either manage it or I die. That doesn't make me brave. However, if you want to extend me a compliment, you can be sympathetic to the next Type 1 you meet. Ask him/her questions. And by all means don't question their dietary choices.

I'd love to hear from other Type 1 diabetics. Let me know in the comments if there are any of you out there in Hey Wandererland. I'd love to chat with ya.


pic source

Friday, August 29, 2014

diy: affordable custom clothing labels

I don't think we've officially announced this on the blog, but Casey and I have decided to start doing festivals. This decision was not made lightly as it is a pretty big decision. I've been so crazy busy making kimonos because, well, we need 100 for the festival. And 100 kimonos is a lot... However, I am so excited for the festival. Excited and nervous. Needless to say, we need everything to look professional and we want to make sure that our brand is present and obvious. We also need to not break the bank since this business has been started from almost nothing. So the first thing we had to do was get some tags for the kimonos. We ordered some sample labels and looked up prices online forever and everything was just way out of our price range. So the cheapest way to do it whilst still having beautiful labels? Spoonflower, which is the website where you design your own fabric. All you do is upload your logo and choose how big you want it printed on your fabric, which depends on how big you want your labels. I added 1/2 inch to the height and width of my logo to allow for ironing and sewing. You should do this too. In photoshop, I also added lines to the edges of my logo image so that I'd be able to easily cut the labels. Do it, it's super helpful. Also, order the Kona Cotton. I will end up having about 600 labels from this 1 yard of fabric, and it cost $20. Basically it is a super deal.
Okay... once you have your fabric, here's what ya do... First of all, get excited all over again that your logo is printed on fabric. It's pretty legit, just sayin'.
Cut the strips in rows like this. Don't cut out each individual label. You'll die in the process. Guaranteed.
Fold over and iron approximately a quarter inch to the back on the top and bottom of the labels. This is probably the most tedious part. 
Now you will stitch down both folds. Try to stay as close to the edge as possible. It's also easier to sew from this angle rather than sewing with the logo facing up. 
This is what the labels will look like after you've stitched at the top and bottom. 
Now, just cut each label along the lines. 
You're getting so close. Ok, so fold and iron approximately 1/4 inch down on both sides.
Pin the label where you want it on your garment. 
Last but not least.... stitch down on both sides. 
Tada! We like to make a bunch of these at a time and leave them where they are all individual labels. Then, when we are finished making a kimono we just slap one of these bad boys on and we're done. I think these labels are fun even if you only make clothes for yourself. They just add a special touch :)

-Casey & Savannah
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

be bold

We found this delightful building while driving around in the middle of nowhere. We pulled in and sat in the front of the building for several minutes contemplating what to do. The building was adjacent to someone's home, but they weren't on the same property. We wanted to take pictures in front of the building so badly, but we thought it was presumptuous or rude or something to do it without asking. So we thought about asking for permission. Well, we took the bull by the horns and just went for it. What did we have to lose, right? We took pictures there for a good 30 minutes. A little boy came out and was playing in a stream that ran behind the building and the house next door. He said "hi" and that was it. The bogeyman didn't get us. No one yelled, and no one asked us to leave. Obviously, you can't always take this advice, but be bold. Take the picture in front of some random building. What's the worst that could happen?
Savannah's wearing: Dress- boutique in Florida/ Boots- Minnetonka/ Necklace- Hey Wanderer/ Bracelets- Urban Outfitters and misc.
Casey's wearing: dress- some little boutique in Destin, Fl//boots- Steve//necklace- DIY'ed

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